Chiapas: Zoque People’s Assembly against extractivism

September 20, 2018
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@Padre Marcelo Pérez Pérez


On September 8, around 400 people from 22 communities held a Zoque People’s Assembly against extractivism in the community of Linda Vista, municipality of Ixtacomitán. The priests of Amatan, Simojovel, Rayón, Tapilula and Sta. Catarina (Solosuchiapa) invited by the Movement of the Zoque People of Faith in Defense of Life and Territory (ZODEVITE) were also present.


In the main decisions that were made are the agreements not to participate with Zoque representatives in the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples that Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) plans to create, a document to protest against the recent elected Deputy Humberto Pedrero, considering that he does not represent the Zoque people and to conduct a march against hydrocarbons on September 16 in Guayabal and on September 22, in Rayón.


For more information (in Spanish) :

Chiapas : Asamblea del pueblo zoque contra el extractivismo (Rebelión, 13 de septiembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas July 3, 2017

Chiapas: Ejidos and Communities in the Zoque Area March against Mining Projects May 4, 2017

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Chiapas / National: Twentieth National Encounter of Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) takes place 50 years after their creation

August 31, 2018

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From July 23 to 28, the 20th National Encounter of Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) was held in Chiapas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their creation. The bishop of the host diocese explained that the CEBs “are a group of people of the Catholic Church who come together to share the word of God, reflect and see how to apply it in daily life. This group, a small community, is like a family that strengthens the life of the parishes, of the dioceses. “

After the opening event in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the participants from the 45 dioceses of the country were divided into groups that met in different parishes of the diocese, some located in the city and others in municipalities such as Teopisca, Tila, Venustiano Carranza and Ocosingo. Representatives of the CEBs of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras also attended.

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Photo @sipaz


At the end of the event, again in San Cristóbal, they issued a joint statement in which they proposed “to promote active citizen participation in this moment of profound socio-political change in our country”, after the electoral victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the beginning of the month. They acknowledged that “we are at a key moment in our country, because in the past electoral process, the people decided to change the direction maintained during the last six years, which led to the concentration of the economy in few hands, structural reforms, the climate of violence and corruption, the interventionist policy of the United States as also happens in various countries. All of this represents, without a doubt, a great challenge for the citizens who have decided on a change “.

Among other agreements, they decided to “renew our communities, accompany and include children, adolescents and youth; promote active citizen participation in this moment of profound socio-political change in our country and promote continuous, integral, social, political, testimonial, and shared formation that allows us to respond to the realities of today “; as well as to “deepen our historical memory as a source of life and hope; recover the role of the laity as subjects of the journey of our church and society; and resume and resignify our method: See, think, act, evaluate and celebrate “.

For more information (in Spanish):

Celebran 50 aniversario de las CEBs en Chiapas (La Jornada, 23 de julio de 2018)

CEBs proponen “impulsar” participación civil tras triunfo de AMLO (La Jornada, 29 de julio de 2018)


Chiapas: a forum on Free Determination is held in Bachajón

August 9, 2018
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Photo @ SIPAZ


On August 8 and 9, under the premise that “the construction of autonomy is done collectively”, a forum on “Free determination and defense of the territory” was held in the Bachajón ejido, municipality of Chilón.

On the first day of the forum, which was convened by the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite), more than 500 people exchanged experiences of self-determination and defense of the territory among indigenous peoples. Representatives of the Permanent Commission for Peace and Justice in Oxchuc were present; as well as of the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque People of Faith in Defense of Life and Territory (Zodevite); of San Felipe de los Herreros (Michoacán) and of the Colectivo Emancipaciones.

The second day consisted of a pilgrimage and a mass in the Bachajón ejido. By means of a pronouncement the different movements and collectives demanded:

“To the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute of the State of Chiapas, to carry out all the necessary steps so that in Chilón, Sitalá and Oxchuc, our right to elect our municipal authorities according to our internal normative systems becomes effective, a right which is recognized in the second article, section A, section III of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.

To the Federal Government ,to adapt the text of Article 115 of the Constitution, in such a way that the figure of the Indigenous Municipalities is contemplated, protecting and enforcing the recognition of the right to self-government on the part of indigenous peoples and communities throughout the country.

To the corresponding Authorities, to stop the process of privatization of water that puts our hydrological basins and the survival of our communities at risk. For us, water is not an economic resource, but a source of life, that is why we are willing to defend it to the ultimate consequences. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas chiapanecos realizan foro sobre Libre determinación (La Jornada Maya, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Pronunciamiento Modevite (Blog Modevite, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Indígenas de Chiapas y otros estados realizan “Foro por la libre determinación y en defensa del territorio (Proceso, 8 de agosto de 2018)

Partidos políticos ¡nunca más!: Pueblos originarios (Chiapas Paralelo, 10 de agosto de 2018)

Plantean instituir la figura del municipio indígena en México (La Jornada, 10 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: The Councils of the Community Government from the Municipalities of Chilón and Sitalá are presented publicy May 30, 2018

Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination November 24, 2017

Chiapas: MOVEDITE Announcement on Early Political Campaigns August 29, 2017


Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente organize a pilgrimage on the seventh anniversary of the Easter jTatik Samuel Ruiz

February 3, 2018
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Photo @SIPAZ


On January 25, the People of Faith (Pueblo Creyente) organized a pilgrimage to honor jTatik Samuel Ruiz, commemorating the 7th anniversary of his death. According to the newspaper Cuarto Poder, “more than five thousand Catholics of the 57 parishes of the diocese of San Cristóbal” participated in the pilgrimage through the streets of San Cristobal de las Casas before gathering in the Plaza Catedral to celebrate a mass officiated by the new bishop, Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, who was accompanied by the bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, Raúl Vera López. Aguilar Martinez stressed in his homily that “we learn from St. Paul and also from so many who in the history of this diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas have spent their lives preaching with their words and their works the magnificent announcement of God’s love in Christ.”

Pueblo Creyente reaffirmed that we are aware of the reality that we live in, and we are moving in many places and in many ways, we have the firm task to go on struggling for freedom, peace with justice and dignity for the benefit of the people, uniting us in a common struggle and building alternatives; and before the indiscriminate exploitation of the Gifts of Creation, today we are also an example and a proof of organization in defense and care of Mother Earth. “

The banners that they carried during their pilgrimage were painted with texts denouncing social and political conflicts. They reflected the issues presented in thier statement, where they strongly rejected the plunder of Land and Territory and the privatization of natural ressources, the effects of the so called “structural reforms”, the corruption and impunity and the fact that “throughout the country, and particularly in Chiapas, adequate consultations are not carried out when laws are drafted or projects are developed that affect the territories and rights of indigenous peoples”. The large number of pilgrims exceeded the participation of the pilgrimages in the previous years.

For more information (in Spanish):

Realizan peregrinación en honor al obispo Ruiz García (Cuarto Poder, 26 de enero 2018)

Pueblo Creyente peregrina en el séptimo aniversario de la pascua de jTatik Samuel Ruiz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: The Zoque Believing People to Receive 2017 Nobel Peace Prize October 28, 2017

Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas July 3, 2017

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage February 5, 2017


International: Zodevite Movement Receives Pax Christi International Peace Prize

November 10, 2017

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From October 23rd to 26th, the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Land and Territory (Zodovite in its Spanish acronym), the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) and Pax Christi International, met with 13 parliamentarians of the European Union.

According to Frayba, in the different meetings testimonies of violations of rights were presented, among others, of “autonomy, self-determination and land and territory, which violate communities of indigenous peoples in Chiapas.”

In Brussels, “Frayba and Zodevite demanded the cancellation of arrest warrants against caretakers of the Zoque territory; and they called for international solidarity to force the Mexican State to respect the autonomy and self-determination of the Zoque indigenous people.”

On October 29th, Chiapas poet and Zodevite representative Mikeas Sanchez received the 2017 Peace Prize, awarded by Pax Christi International, “The movement has undertaken a non-violent campaign to stop hydraulic fracturing, oil exploitation and mining in southern Mexico.”

In a speech given by Ms. Sanchez, Zodevite mentioned: “we want to share this award with other peoples of Chiapas, Mexico, Latin America and the world, who are living similar situations.”

The award was presented at a ceremony at the Maria SS Institute. Bambina (Via Paolo VI, 21) in Rome, Italy.

For more information in Spanish:

Pax Christi International honours ZODEVITE with 2017 Pax Christi International Peace Award (Pax Christi International)

Reciben zoques Premio Internacional de la Paz (NVI Noticias, 30 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Creyente Zoque evidencia proyectos de despojo ante la Unión Europea (La Jornada Guerrero, 27 de octubre de 2017)

Entregarán Premio Internacional de la Paz a movimiento indígena (Cuarto Poder, 6 de octubre de 2017)

Zoques dedican el Premio Pax Christi Internacional a otros pueblos originarios (Radio Zapatista, 31 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Zoque en resistencia contra megaproyecto recibe Premio Internacional de Paz (Europa Zapatista, 1 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Internacional: El Pueblo Creyente Zoque, recibirá el Premio Internacional de Paz 2017 (19 de octubre de 2017)

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez. (4 de julio de 2017)

Chiapas: El pueblo Zoque se está movilizando contra los mega-proyectos en Chiapas.  (29 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos.  (3 de mayo de 2017)


Chiapas/International: The Zoque Believing People to Receive 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

October 28, 2017

ZoquePhoto:@Chiapas Denuncia Pública

On October 18th, 2017, a press conference was held in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, to announce that the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth (ZODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) will receive the 2017 International Peace Prize. from the hands of the international organization Pax Christi, on October 29th in Rome, Italy.

In its press release the Zoque Believing People recognized that this peaceful movement is a call to stop the crisis of our civilization that threatens our world: “The Zoque peoples have declared themselves in permanent defense of our territories so that the different ways of life (human, animal and nature) are respected and revalued for the survival of humanity “

Their way of seeing this reality has been worthy of this award: “extractive megaprojects represent death and devastation for land and life, which is generated from above, that is, by the interests of transnational companies in their desire to accumulate material riches that only bring environmental, economic and political problems.”

They pointed out that: “For a decade now, have been trying to install mining, hydroelectric, geothermal and hydrocarbon extraction projects our Zoques in Chiapas that threaten to destroy a large part of the biocultural heritage, especially symbolic places such as the Chichonal Volcano – the house of the Piogba chuwe – and the mist mountains of Rayon and Tapalapa, but mainly large areas of corn crops, where the Zoques sustain their life, their cosmovision and love for the land are at risk because of the tender and concession of more than 160,000 hectares of land to private and foreign companies from several countries “.

This award “represents an encouragement in our journey and recognition of children, women, men and elderly Zoques who have decided to raise their voices to show the world their indignation and deep love for the land, which commits us to continue building the resistance of indigenous peoples, but it is also a message of peace and hope for all those peoples of Latin America who fight for life, water, land and territory.”

For more information in Spanish:

El Premio Internacional de Paz representa un aliento en nuestro caminar: Pueblo Creyente Zoque. (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 18 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Zoque en Defensa de la Vida recibirá Premio Internacional de Paz. (CDH fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 5 de octubre de 2017)

Por qué el Pueblo Creyente Zoque marcha a favor del Agua, la Tierra y la Vida. (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 19 de junio de 2017

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: El pueblo Zoque se está movilizando contra los mega-proyectos en Chiapas. (29 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos. (3 de mayo de 2017)

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez. (4 de julio de 2017)


Chiapas: MOVEDITE Announcement on Early Political Campaigns

August 29, 2017

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On August 19th, 2017, the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MOVEDITE in its Spanish acronym) of Chiapas issued a statement from the community of Santa Cruz in Sitala, where they strongly denounce, “political groups disguised as civil associations or aid foundations that use people and abuse their poverty. Where they condition the most basic aid for votes and thus corrupt those who they say they support.”

They further reproached “the political propaganda on posters, painted walls and calendars that promote candidates outside the stipulated time. Without respecting the laws and norms, it is obvious that what really matters to the parties is the triumph of their groups and not the good of the people.”

They also added that they reject “people who are visiting communities offering support and wanting to buy community leaders. It confirms that the parties have not changed and will not change the way they do things.”

They recalled through the communiqué that it is illegal for the parties to advance the campaign using, for example, the creation of foundations.

They urged all who receive this word to build autonomy and denounce lies from the path of their traditions seeking a fairer and more dignified life, where everybody has a place.

 Their denunciation is headed by a statement by Bishop Felipe Arizmendi, Bishop of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas in which he states, “The parties split, divide and confront the communities. Legislators should analyze the feasibility and suitability of another electoral system: […] by traditions and customs. Analyze this path and advance democracy, if it really interests them that the people be the ones who build their history.”

It is worth mentioning that MOVEDITE is made up of Tseltal, tsotsil, ch’ol and mestizo men and women with presence in 11 parishes of 12 municipalities and one ejido of Chiapas, members of the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas.

 For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento de MOVEDITE ante las campañas políticas anticipadas. (20 de agosto de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Culmina peregrinación de 12 días del Movimiento de defensa de la Vida y el Territorio en San Cristóbal de las Casas. (29 de noviembre de 2017)

Chiapas: El pueblo Zoque se está movilizando contra de los mega-proyectos en Chiapas. (29 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: Peregrinación de unos 400 católicos en defensa de los pueblos, la Madre Tierra y por la liberación de presos. (6 de septiembre de 2016)