Chiapas: Bishop of Tehuacan, Next Bishop for the Diocese of San Cristobal

November 10, 2017

Bishop.pngRodrigo Aguilar (Photo@ El Sol de Puebla)

On November 3rd, Monsignor Rodrigo Aguilar was named by Pope Francis as Bishop of San Cristobal de Las Casas. The new bishop, born in Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, was bishop of the Diocese of Tehuacan since January 30th, 2006. Prior to that diocese, he had headed the Diocese of Matehuala, Jalisco.

The new Bishop Aguilar follows in the footsteps of others, Bartolome de Las Casas (1543-1550), Samuel Ruiz Garcia (1959-2000) and his predecessor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel (2000-2017).

According to the Yucatan newspaper, “they asked in the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas that whoever arrived had episcopal experience and work in indigenous towns, since the diocese is mostly indigenous.”

In a statement on the episcopal succession, Bishop Arizmendi mentioned about his successor “that Monseñor Ruiz García fought hard with persecution, for the defense and dignity of the native peoples, so that their rights were respected. He promoted peace, always with the foundation of truth and justice. You should not lose your pastoral heritage” and also in the letter gave “thanks to God and the Catholic community for the almost 27 years of episcopal service in Chiapas: a little over nine years in Tapachula, where I arrived on March 7, 1991, and 17 and a half years in San Cristobal de Las Casas, from May 1st, 2000 to date.”

For more information in Spanish:

El Papa nombra a Rodrigo Aguilar obispo de San Cristóbal de las Casas (El Proceso, 3 de noviembre de 2017)

Defensa de los indígenas debe prevalecer: Arizmendi (Cuarto Poder, 6 de noviembre de 2017)

Nombran a Rodrigo Aguilar como obispo de San Cristóbal de las Casas (El Sol de Puebla, 3 de noviembre de 2017)

Se despide de Chiapas (Diario de Yucatán, 4 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: El obispo Felipe Arzimendi presenta su renuncia al Papa (8 de mayo de 2015)


International: Zodevite Movement Receives Pax Christi International Peace Prize

November 10, 2017

Zodovite.pngPhoto:@ Pax Christi International

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)

National: Marichuy Criticizes INE Traps to her Candidacy

October 28, 2017

Marichuy.pngPhoto @ SIPAZ

On October 14th, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, the candidate for the presidency of Mexico and spokesperson for the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym) began a tour of the five Zapatista caracoles. During the tour, the spokesperson was accompanied by CIG councilors and a delegation from the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym).

The tour was in the context of gathering the support of citizens, the collection of 866,500 signatures, to be accepted as an independent candidate.

During the tour, in the different caracoles the spokesperson Marichuy was received by thousands of Zapatistas, organizations and civil society who waited for hours to see and listen to her and the councilors. After several talks by different speakers, each caracol held for a cultural event.

During and after the Marichuy tour and the civil association that promotes the candidacy denounced “a presumed sabotage to prevent it from reaching the number of signatures necessary and thus avoid its registration.”

According to the complaint of the CNI, “On October 18th, the INE website was blocked for least five hours, during which time it was impossible to carry out any type of auxiliary registration operation or review the progress of signatures During the sessions and tours, access to telephones and the internet was blocked in the municipalities of Altamirano and Ocosingo, places where these services usually work well.”

For more information in Spanish:


Denuncian presunto sabotaje para impedir el registro de Marichuy como candidata independiente (Proceso, 24 de octubre de 2017)

México: Denuncian ataques para impedir candidatura de Marichuy (teleSUR tv, 25 octubre de 2017)

El sabotaje a “Marichuy” evidencia el poderoso interés para impedir que contienda en 2018: asociación (Sin Embargo, 25 de octubre de 2017)

For more information form SIPAZ:

Nacional: Marychuy se registra como candidata independiente a la Presidencia de la República (18 de octubre de 2017)

Nacional / Chiapas: El CNI conforma su Concejo Indígena de Gobierno y elige a su vocera. (SIPAZ, 31 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)

National: Marychuy Registers as Independent Candidate for the Presidency of the Republic

October 21, 2017

Marychuy.pngPhoto: @radiopozol

On October 7th, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, Marichuy, registered as an independent candidate for the Presidency of the Republic in her role as spokeswoman for the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Council of Government (IGC). She announced that her campaign will be done with collective support, so she will not receive money from the National Electoral Institute (INE)

According to Milenio newspaper, the National Indigenous Council stated that “after the countless racist and classist acts, we have managed to fulfill all the requirements that the electoral law and the INE structure, built by the members of the institutional parties, impose to prevent that a person from below, a woman and indigenous, can aspire to the independent candidacy to the Presidency.”

La Jornada newspaper reported that she advanced some of the contents of her proposal explaining: “As a woman, as a mother, as a worker, I also tell you that we must fight against machismo.” She called for “organizing those pains and rages” of the population. “For them, the people below do not exist and we have to organize ourselves, to end this capitalist, patriarchal and racist system.”

It is worth remembering that in May 2017, the indigenous peoples of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) formed an Indigenous Council of Government (IGC) and elected Marychuy in San Cristobal de Las Casas as spokesperson, stating at that time that she would be their independent candidate for the presidency of Mexico, with the support of the EZLN.

For more information in Spanish:

‘Marichuy’ se inscribe como aspirante independiente a la Presidencia. (La Jornada, 7 de octubre de 2017)

Marychuy llega a su registro ante el INE arropada por EZLN. (La Razón, 8 de octubre de 2017)

Indígenas eligen a su vocera y aspirante presidencial para 2018, ¿quién es y quién la respalda?. (Animal Político, 29 de mayo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional / Chiapas: El CNI conforma su Concejo Indígena de Gobierno y elige a su vocera. (SIPAZ, 31 de mayo de 2017)

Nacional: “La ofensiva de arriba, ante el movimiento de abajo”, comunicado del CNI anuncia agudización de la represión. (SIPAZ, 17 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas : Allanamiento y robo de información a integrante de Semilla Digna, parte del CNI. (SIPAZ, 6 de agosto de 2017)

October 18, 2017


San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, October 12th, 2017.

Joint communiqué.

International accompaniment and observation of human rights

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, (Frayba) and the International Peace Service (SIPAZ) report that they will be accompanying the caravan organized in the framework of the tour of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Council of Government, which will take place from October 13th to 19th of this year in the state of Chiapas according to the following announced program:

Friday, October 13th, 2017.- Start of caravan to Las Margaritas.

Saturday, October 14th, 2017.- Village of Guadalupe Tepeyac.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017.- Morelia Caracol.

Monday, October 16th, 2017.- La Garrucha Caracol.

Tuesday October 17th, 2017 .- Roberto Barrios Caracol.

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017.- Palenque.

Thursday October 19th, 2017.- Oventik Caracol.

The objective of the accompaniment will be to provide a presence for observation and documentation for the respect of human rights in the course of the caravan and in the planned events. Regrettably, in the face of the denunciations made by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) in recent months, which have included threats, attacks and aggressions, we see this deterrent presence as necessary. We consider it important that these activities be carried out with peace of mind, as part of a peaceful organizational effort aimed at defending the rights of indigenous peoples in the country.

The present communiqué is to inform the Mexican authorities and international human rights bodies, so that in their area of ​​competence, they provide guarantees of protection to the caravan, which we reiterate, is a civil and peaceful action.

In the same way, we ask for guarantees of respect and protection of the integrity and safety of the members of the caravan, the right to life, and individual and collective rights and freedoms, guaranteeing in the immediate future the necessary conditions to carry out the caravan, without police accompaniment being considered in the activities.

The members of SIPAZ will be present in the activities wearing vests with the organization logo and the text ‘international observer’.

The members of the Frayba will be accompanying the Caravan as human rights observers.


We call for permanent accompaniment by international human rights organizations.

We call for national and international solidarity to demand the Mexican State in its three levels of government:

1.- Guarantee the work of human rights defenders in Mexico.

2.- Immediately adopt appropriate measures to guarantee the safety and physical integrity of the members of the Caravan of the National Indigenous Congress as well as the Indigenous Council of Government.

3.- Ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9th, 1998.

4.- In general, ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with international human rights standards ratified by Mexico.

We declare that we will be attentive at all points of the tour, with the aim of ensuring respect for human rights and documenting any security incident.

This communiqué has been sent to the authorities of the Mexican State, as well as to international human rights bodies.

For more information:

Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI)

Este sábado se registra Marichuy, la aspirante presidencial zapatista (El Proceso, 6 de octubre de 2017)

La aspirante indígena a la presidencia de México rechaza dinero público para su campaña (El País, 9 de octubre de 2017)

Para más información en ingles:

Mexico’s Indigenous Congress: Decolonising politics (Al Jazeera, 27 de septiembre de 2017)

Zapatista-Backed Indigenous Woman Registers to Run for Mexican Presidency (teleSUR, 7 de octubre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional : Candidata presidencial “no es decisión de una persona” (Subcomandante Moíses) (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas / Nacional : CNI y EZLN realizarán consulta para nombrar a una candidata indígena hacia las elecciones presidenciales de 2018 (15 de octubre de 2016)

Chiapas: Theft, Burglary, Harrassment and Intimidation on the Chiapas Coast.

October 17, 2017


The Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center denounced that on October 2nd, the domicile of human rights defender Guadalupe Nuñez Salazar, Councilor of the Indigenous Council of Government, was raided.

The doors and veneers of the house, located on Calle 1º de Mayo No. 73 in the Colonia Evolucion in the city of Tonala, Chiapas, “were not forced, the subjects entered through the back of the house, until arriving at the room of Mrs. Guadalupe where they only took away a cell phone, Lanix brand, a TV, and her wallet containing the amount of $MXN 1500.00 as well as her personal ID.”

The Digna Ochoa Center also reported that the PGR Criminal Investigation Agents carried out acts of intimidation and harassment against their members on October 4th when they returned, after having toured three communities affected by the September 7th earthquake in Tonala. “A white Tacoma pickup with no plates blocked the way, three armed men came down and asked them to get out of the vehicle, when they did, the uniformed subjects began to take pictures and videos.” According to a bulletin from the Digna Ochoa Center, of PGR gave different reasons for the detention, the first was “that they had received a complaint stating that an organization was asking for money in exchange for providing food and that they were investigating” and the second “in Paredon there was a young man who had been arrested for automobile theft, stating that since we are new, they did not know how to proceed because the boy was asking for support regarding his rights, as we were told at the checkpoint that you were human rights [defenders], we stopped them and asked them.”

The Digna Ochoa Center. expressed its concern about the acts of robbery, search, harassment, intimidation and “demands the Mexican State and the Government of Chiapas:

– End all acts of threat, intimidation, harassment against Mrs. Guadalupe Nuñez, Councilor of the Indigenous Council of Government on the Coast of Chiapas.

-It will guarantee her physical integrity and her life as well as that of her family before any present or future situation.

– Investigate and punish those responsible for the search and theft of objects against Mrs. Guadalupe Nuñez.

– Investigate and punish the behavior of the three elements of the Criminal Investigation Agency attached to the PGR in Chiapas.

– Take the necessary measures to ensure the full exercise of their human rights in the framework of the political proposal of the Indigenous Congress of Government and to support the people affected by the earthquake on the coast of Chiapas.

– Stop all acts of intimidation and harassment against members of the Center for Human Rights by public officials, especially police bodies.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente: Allanamiento y Robo en casa de Concejal del Concejo Indígena de Gobierno en la Costa de Chiapas #CIG #CNI (Centro de Medios Libres, 3 de octubre de 2017)

Pronunciamiento del CNI por el allanamiento y robo a la concejala de la Costa de Chiapas (Congreso Nacional Indígena, 4 de octubre de 2017)

Agentes de Investigación Criminal de PGR realizan actos de intimidación y hostigamiento a integrantes del Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa. (Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa AC, 6 de octubre de 2017)

Pronunciamiento en solidaridad por el allanamiento y robo de Guadalupe Nuñez, concejala del Concejo Indígena de Gobierno (Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa AC, 3 de octubre 2017)