Chiapas: SIPAZ event – 20 years accompanying lights of hope

December 26, 2015

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SIPAZ Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope”

Photo @SIPAZ

On 27 and 28 November was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas the Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope” to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ). Those participating in the event included women and men from communities, organizations, human-rights centers, the academy, as well as activists, both from Mexico and other countries. By means of panels, the invited speakers shared reflections regarding their experiences, situating them also within an historical analysis incorporating the principal tendencies, challenges, and obstacles. The event stressed concern for the present situation in the country, given that participants agreed that we are in a war situation.

Two media based in the lessons learned through SIPAZ’s years of work in Mexico were presented at the event. One was a documentary, entitled “That the Heart Not Break. Non-Violent Struggles for Justice and Defense of Land,” produced in collaboration with the Koman Ilel community media collective. The video was presented with the participation of the involved communities and organizations: communities displaced below Tila and the Las Abejas Civil Society, based in Chiapas, along with the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER), from Oaxaca. In parallel, the book Struggle with a Woman’s Heart: The Situation and Participation of Women in Chiapas (1995-2015), was presented and discussed. This volume brings together the major experiences and lessons from women’s struggle to participate and for gender equality.

For more information (in Spanish):

SIPAZ: 20 años acompañando luces de esperanza (EDUCA, 1 de diciembre de 2015)


Mexico: Final results of the 2015 midterm elections

June 25, 2015

(@Portico online)

(@Portico online)

On Sunday, June 7, 2015, more than 83 million Mexicans voted for 1,996 public offices, including 9 governorships, 500 federal deputies, and hundreds of local offices in different states of the Republic.

A week after the elections, upon finalizing the calculation of votes, the National Electoral Institute (INE) reported that the deputies chosen by direct votes and proportional representation within the Chamber of Deputies would include 203 seats for the PRI (which will retain the majority vote), 108 for the PAN, 56 for PRD, 47 for the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM), 35 for MORENA, 26 for the Citizens’ Movement, 8 for Social Encounter, 10 for New Alliance (PANAL), and 6 for the Labor Party (PT). 41% of the offices will be held by women.

The election registered a participation of 47.72% of eligible voters, while the percentage of blank votes reached 4.76% of the total.

For more information (in Spanish):

¿Cuántos legisladores tendrá cada partido en la Cámara de Diputados? (Animal Político, 14 de junio de 2015)

INE confirma resultados para diputados federales; PRI obtuvo más de 11 milliones de votos (Sdp Noticias, 14 de junio de 2015)

PRI será mayoría en San Lazaro; finaliza el conteo (El Universal, 14 de junio de 2015)

Ganadores de las elecciones del 7 de junio del 2015 (El Economista, 15 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: PRI wins elections within violent context (25 June 2015)

Chiapas: abstentionism and blank votes “win” in midterm elections (25 June 2015)

Oaxaca: Violent election day: 440 incidents, 92 arrests, injured, disappeared, and one killed (25 June 2015)


Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity

April 10, 2015

20150205_164829Photo @SIPAZ

The first report from the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), a branch of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), indicates that the forcible disappearance of the 43 students on 26 and 27 September 2014 in Iguala amounts to a crime against humanity.  The families of the youth and the organizations which accompany them welcomed this first conclusion from the GIEI.  They expressed that the primary recommendations, which call on the Mexican State to treat the case as a forcible disappearance, gives the hope that justice and truth will soon prevail.  Among the requests made by the Group, stress is placed on gaining access to a digital copy of the evidence that is available to the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), treating the case as a forcible disappearance, establishing a mechanism of medical attention for the relatives in the region, and urgently providing the comatose student Aldo Gutiérrez with a second neurological evaluation, beyond protecting the evidence that exists and continuing with the searches.

On 23 March, relatives of the students and representatives of civil organizations announced that the Mexican government lied to the IACHR during the audience on “Denunciations of forcible disappearance and impunity in Mexico.”  Manuel Olivares, director of the “José María Morelos y Pavón” Center for Human Rights, located in Chilapa, Guerrero, denounced that, contrary to what the State officials said, there existed no search protocol in the Ayotzinapa case, and that the demand for the presentation with live of the students has not been met, either.  “The response from the State is highly inadequate,” he concluded.

In other news, the report indicates that two units from the Reaction Force of the 27th Infantry Batallion, based in Iguala, were patrolling the streets from 11pm on 26 September until 6am the next day.  The soldiers saw the dead, invaded the hospitals in which the injured were found, and were fully knowledgeable of the gunfire and attacks.  On 27 September, the students were looking for their disappeared comrades in the streets, while others made reports to the Ministry of the Interior, but the report from the patrols provided by the 27th Batallion that day claims it to have been a day “without news.”  This information is contained within one of the documents provided to Proceso by the Secretary for National Defesne (SEDENA) in accordance with the Law on Transparency.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de normalistas saludan informe de expertos de CIDH, que acusa desaparición forzada (Centro Prodh, 20 de marzo de 2015)

Insatisfactorias, respuestas de Estado ante CIDH por desaparición forzada (Centro Prodh, 23 de marzo de 2015)

En manos del PJF, petición de la CIDH sobre desaparición forzada (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2015)

Ayotzinapa: sus propios informes comprometen al Ejército (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (21 March 2015)

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Chiapas/National: Issue 3 of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” magazine, “Beyond Sharing”

September 29, 2014

Portada de la Revista

Cover of issue 3 of Rebelliousness Magazine

On 19 September, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés published a new communique announcing the publication of issue 3 of the Zapatista Rebelliousness Magazine, the EZLN’s word.  The first part of the issue provides part of the content of the “sharing” that took place between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista peoples at the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting, and the second half provides interviews with “comrades of free, alternative, autonomous, or however-you-call-them media.”

In said communique, signed as having been written in August 2014, it is expressed that, “[i]n La Realidad,” where the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting took place, “we discussed how capitalism has us and why it is that it has us [so], and what it is that will happen to us, if we continue in the way that the capitalists have us.”  It continues: “Peoples, nations, tribes.  Poor people, the poor exploited workers of the countryside and city are those who know what a new world should be like, with a new system of governance.  Why?  Because they have suffered injustice, poverty, inequality.  They have suffered sadness, pain, bitterness, loneliness.  They have suffered imprisonment, torture, forcible disappearance.  They have suffered centuries of lies and tricks, discrimination, very horrible things–inhumane cruelties, humiliations; they have suffered looting and displacement.  It has been centuries and centuries of insults and lives without peace, because of those from above, the capitalist system.”

Furthermore, it was recalled that from 22 December 2014 to 3 January 2015, there will be held the “First Global Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Editorial 3. Más allá de la compartición (Enlace Zapatista, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Second issue of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” released (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 2014)


Chiapas/International: Book presentation “Opening Borders with the Heart: Guide for the Application of a Psychosocial Focus in Migrant Contexts”

September 29, 2014

Portada de la guía (@OSC de defensa de derehos de los migrantes)

Cover of the Guide (@civil-society organizations defending the rights of migrants)

At the beginning of September, eight non-governmental organizations from Mexico and Central America met in Tapachula, Chiapas, to present their guide for the provision of comprehensive attention to migrants in public and private institutions: “Opening Borders with the Heart: Guide for the Application of a Psychosocial Focus in Migrant Contexts.”

This document, published in May 2014, seeks to contribute to the “recognition and implementation of a psychosocial focus in our region of Central America and Mexico, for migrants themselves, their families, and local communities as well as the organizations that work daily to defend their rights.”  The guide covers four themes: communities of origin, especially with regards to women; relatives of the disappeared; migrants homes; and teams that work with migrants.

For more information (in Spanish):

Descargar material Abriendo fronteras con el corazón: Guía para la aplicación del enfoque psicosocial en contextos migratorios

Proponen ONG´s guía para la atención integral de migrantes (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Oaxaca: Father Solalinde declares that migrant flows will not diminish amidst imposition of new federal measures (5 August 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)


Chiapas: Large increase in femicides; monument to be built to honor victims

September 15, 2014

Foto @ Chiapas Paralelo

Photo @ Chiapas Paralelo

On 1 October, relatives of victims of femicide and women’s human-rights defenders will construct a monument to commemorate femicide victims in Chiapas at the bridge in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, from where the body of Viridians Flores Martínez was thrown in June 2013.

At this bridge on 1 September, some 200 persons–including relatives, friends, and activists–held a mass and made floral offerings to honor the memory of Viridians Flores, who was killed by Omar Fernando Rosales Toledano, a former secteary of the PVEM Senator Luis Armando Melgar Bravo.

Beyond this, the relatives of a youth of 21 years rejected the mandated reconstruction of events ordered by a judge in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, which would involve the use of a pig, as this would be a moral outrage; besides, as they say, all the evidence points to Fernando Rosales as the confessed murderer of Viridians Flores.  For this reason, judicial efforts were canceled after it was denounced that these would violate the Law on Victims, which establishes that victims must be treated with humanity, respecting their humanity.  Juan Carlos Flores Santiago, father of the murdered youth, mentioned that it is presumed that the judge is trying to find ways to bring evidence to light that favors the suspect and in this way to nullify any possible sentence against him.  He also declared that the witnesses are retracting the statements they provided in June 2013, when the body of his daughter was found.

Chiapas has become one of the top ten states in the Republic with the highest number of femicides.  However, no protocols exist to investigate this type of crime, nor are there adequate personnel who are trained to attend to such victims and provide justice.  As evidence of this trend, one could consider the release in 2014 of two confessed murderers of women.  Not a single perpetrator of femicide in Chiapas has faced the maximum sentence of 60 years.  In the state, the increase in violence against women has become increasingly visible in the last three years: in 2010, 22 femicides were registered; in 2012, this number climbed to 97, while in 2013 83 cases were registered, and from January to September 2014, 41 cases have been documented, in accordance with the statistics provided by the Group of Women of San Cristóbal (COLEM).

For more information (in Spanish):

Construirán monumento contra el feminicidio para honrar la memoria de las víctimas (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Reclaman justicia por caso de feminicidio en Chiapas (Proceso, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Realizan ceremonia religiosa en memoria de Viridians Flores (Reporte Ciudadano, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Familiares de Viridians Flores rechazan peritaje (Noticias, Voz e Imagen de Chiapas, 30 de agosto de 2014)


Chiapas: further controversy surrounding the EZLN in Mexican newspapers

April 2, 2010

“Masked to unmask the power that humiliates them” states a mural at the zapatista Caracol of La Garrucha.

On 27 March, the daily newspaper Reforma ran a story in which a putative ex-member of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) who claims to have held a high position in the Zapatista organization “revealed” that there exists a relationship between the EZLN and the Basque separatist group ETA.  In the anonymously written article, the Mexican newspaper claims to have received a “lengthy document” comprised of 83 pages that include several photos that reportedly detail the structure of the EZLN, its finances, armaments, and international support.

According to the text supposedly received by Reforma, “foreign visitors from Italy or the Basque Country […] presented 150,000 Euros to the the Autonomous Councils” of the EZLN; the date of this reported act goes unmentioned.  The article also mentions that “Some say that in recent days [the Italian/Basque visitors] presented 750,000 and later an additional 350,000 Euros to the Good-Government Council (JBG) of La Garrucha, where the most important EZLN military settlement is found.”

The article went on to claim that military training takes place in La Garrucha; it features photographs of weapons cache said to pertain to the EZLN that includes AK-47s, AR-15s, FALs, SKSs, G-3s, M2s, M16s, M1s and Mark1s, as well as pistols of 45 caliber, 9 mm y .38, among others.

The supposed EZLN ex-militant also “revealed” several cellular numbers and photos of an unmasked Subcomandante Marcos in addition to EZLN members and foreigners said to be from ETA.

Responding to the question “What is the goal sought in publishing in Reforma an article based on information that comes from a presumed deserter of the EZLN?” the PRD federal representative José Narro Céspedes, coordinator of the COCOPA (Commission for Agreement and Pacification) claimed:  “To begin with, to grant the eight columns of the front-page and an entire page of dubious origin, [which] lies and misrepresents in speaking of political intention–or to have a pretext for some repressive action.”

In a 31 March article in La Jornada, Magda Gómez for her part asks “What can we say lies behind the linking of zapatismo with an organization such as ETA?  Why is it not mentioned that Subcomandate Marcos has rejected all forms of terrorism, whatever be their origin, in a series of controversial letters written to ETA itself?”

“In addition, this accusation also criminalizes the European non-governmental organizations that have given economic support to the Good Government Councils and puts them in the sights of the Spanish government.”

This is not a minor happening, as it is reminiscent of 9 February 1995; the difference this time is that we don’t know if the attack will be only from the media, or if it in some ways previews major actions to be taken by the Mexican state–a possibility that we cannot rule out.”

Yesterday, April 1, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) shared the reply of Leuccio Rizzo, whose face was shown on the front-page of Reforma as being that of Subcomandante Marcos.  In its communiqué, the CDHFBC states that “this Human-Rights Center knows Leuccio Rizzo to be a person in solidarity with the people, and so it concerns us that the daily newspaper Reforma […] would publish information devoid of substance that violates articles 11 and 14 of the American Convention on Human Rights and serves as a counter-insurgency measure used by the Mexican State to identify and criminalize human-rights defenders.”

To read Leuccio Rizzo’s response to the Reforma newspaper (in Spanish):

Clarification and reply by Leuccio Rizzo

For more information (in Spanish):

Counter-insurgency:  I don’t know for sure…  I assume it is so (La Jornada, 30 March)

Ex-Zapatista reveals supposed links between the EZLN and ETA, according to daily Mexican newspaper

Ex-militant reveals that the EZLN will receive financial assistance from ETA (Univisión, 27 March)

This is the supposed ‘subcomandante Marcos’ (El Mundo.es, 27 March)

Subcomandante Marcos is stripped (Tabasco Hoy, 27 March)

Other articles available on Indymedia


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