On Monday 23 March, more than 5,000 members of the Believing People from Simojovel–an organizational process associated with the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese–undertook a grand pilgrimage (Easter Via Crucis), leaving from this city to arrive in the Chiapas state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, on 26 March. Through this peaceful mobilization, they seek to obtain greater security in the region, the closure of cantinas and brothels, an effective campaign against alcoholism and drug abuse, and an end to corruption. Equally, they have pronounced themselves in defense of their priest, Marcelo Pérez Pérez, and the members of the parish council who have received threats due to their support of these demands. In this sense, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to guarantee their protection.
This first day, the pilgrims covered approximately 45 kilometers, stopping to sleep in Bochil before continuing on in the direction of Ixtapa, the destination for the second day of the pilgrimage. In total, they plan to walk over 120 kilometers.
For more information (in Spanish):
Peregrinan 10 mil en Chiapas contra corrupción en zona norte (OEM, 24 de marzo de 2015)
“En Simojovel no hay agua potable, pero sí litros y litros de alcohol”(Chiapas Paralelo, 24 de marzo de 2015)
Marchan católicos contra alcohol y drogas (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2015)
Simojovel Chiapas: Importante, significativa y oportuna la Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente (Radio Pozol, 23 de marzo de 2015)
Solicita CIDH medidas cautelares para sacerdote de Simojovel (Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2015)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):