Chiapas: EZLN announces activities for 2016

March 12, 2016


EZLN march, December 21, 2012, Palenque. Photo @ SIPAZ

On February 29 of this year, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) published a convocation for upcoming activities that they will organize in 2016. Signed by Insurgent Sub-commander Moises, considering that “the sciences and the arts represent the only serious opportunity to build a more just and rational world”, they announced three events: the festival “CompARTE[i] FOR HUMANITY”, which will be held from July 17 to 30; a festival in homage to the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena – CNI) for its 20 years of struggle and resistance, to be celebrated on October 12 in CIDECI in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas; and finally the meeting “THE ZAPITISTAS AND THE conSCIENCIAS[ii] FOR HUMANITY”, which will also be held in CIDECI between December 25, 2016 and January 4, 2017. In the communiqué, people who wish to attend the events are asked to register beforehand at the email addresses given and which can be seen at “ZAPATISTA CONVOCATION FOR 2016 ACTIVITIES”

The EZLN also recently published four other communiqués. After “MEANWHILE IN…the political party affiliated communities”, in which they described different situations of dispossession in the communities ruled by the political parties, the published “AND IN THE ZAPATISTA COMMUNITIES?”, in which they described the achievements in the autonomous municipalities in terms of education, health, economy, working the land, etc. In it they highlighted the participation and progress of Zapatista women: “We see a fault: Zapatista women are advancing more than the men. They are not advancing equally.” In the same communiqué they stated that, “We are not going to be fooled by ecclesiastic, secular or lay stupidities, of supposed ‘new constituents’ that want ‘to save us’ and who recur to the same old methods of coercion that they claim to criticize.”

On another note, “WHY DON’T YOU SELF-PRESCRIBE THIS?”, published after charges of sedition, mutiny, terrorism and conspiracy since 1995 against Sub-commander Marcos, now Galeano, were lifted, along with charges against 12 other Zapatistas. In it, ‘SupGaleano’ wrote, “it is only theater that simulates justice where there is impunity and shamelessness, and pretends to be ‘institutional government’ where there is only pillage and repression.”

Finally, “The arts, sciences, originary peoples and the basements of the world” was a letter for Juan Villorio Ruiz, son of the deceased philosopher assessor of the EZLN, Luis Villorio Toranzo. “The sciences and arts unite, connect, they convert borders into ridiculous cartographic points”, writes Sub-commander Galeano, as well as “I have mentioned originary peoples and the basements of the world because they have the best chance of surviving the storm and the only ones capable of creating ‘something else.'”

[i] Play on words of the Spanish verb ‘to share’, with ‘compa’ and ‘arte’

[ii] Play on the words ‘conscience’ and ‘with science’ in Spanish

For more information in Spanish:

CONVOCATORIA ZAPATISTA A ACTIVIDADES 2016 (Enlace Zapatista, 29 de febrero de 2016)

¿Y EN LAS COMUNIDADES ZAPATISTAS? (Enlace Zapatista, 23 de febrero de 2016)

ASÍ QUE MEJOR AUTOPRESCRÍBANSE ESTO: (Enlace Zapatista, 25 de febrero de 2016)

Las artes, las ciencias, los pueblos originarios y los sótanos del mundo. (Enlace Zapatista, 28 de febrero de 2016)

Zapatistas: las mujeres van más adelante en la construcción de la autonomía (Desinformémonos, 24 de febrero de 2015)

“Maquillaron todo para mostrar al Papa otra realidad”, acusa el EZLN (Proceso, 24 de febrero de 2016)

Prescriben delitos imputados al Subcomandante Marcos (ahora Galeano) y 12 zapatistas más (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional: Acuerdos de San Andrés: incumplidos 20 años después (24 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: EZLN denuncia la situación en comunidades partidistas y anuncia próximas actividades (23 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas: CDHFBC denuncia privación arbitraria de la libertad u faltas al debido proceso de BAEZLN (23 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas/National: San Andres Accords unfulfilled 20 years later

February 29, 2016


Dialogue at San Andres. Photo @ Radio Zapatista

February 16 marked 20 years since the signing of the San Andres Accords between the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the federal government. The accords were the result of five months of negotiations and dialogue about indigenous rights and culture in the Tsotsil municipality of San Andres Larrainzar, renamed San Andres Sakam’chen of the Poor by the Zapatistas.

On signing the accords, the government promised the creation of a judicial framework which would recognize the rights of indigenous communities and peoples, not only in Chiapas but throughout Mexico, among them the right of self-determination of the original peoples, recognizing their autonomy according to the cultural, social, political and economic characteristics of each group and place. The agreement on right of access to natural resources in the territory of indigenous peoples and communities was also relevant. The government promised to take these accords to Congress to convert them into reforms and additions to the constitution to guarantee their application, although the resulting proposal omitted a number of the signed accords. This was interpreted by the EZLN as a betrayal, a fact which led to the interruption of dialogue of the Zapatista commission with the federal government, ending the negotiations in the second round of six planned encounters.

“Already 20 years, in which the Government of Mexico has refused to fulfill [the San Andres Accords]; and at the same time they have been put into practice for 20 years in Zapatista territories, with their own forms of self-governance”, according to the declarations of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) in Proceso. In spite of this, “it is important to note that the counterinsurgency policy of the Mexican State continues against the EZLN and the peoples of Chiapas who build different paths to neoliberal capitalism. It is evident the militarization in indigenous zones, the drive to conflicts in communities with Zapatista presence, the use of campesino organizations to confront the Support Bases of the EZLN, and the use of government aid programs to control and co-opt the population that resists. Moreover, forced displacement and impunity for crimes against humanity committed by the Mexican Army and paramilitary groups persist”, CDHFBC noted.

For more information in Spanish

Los acuerdos de San Andrés. 20 años de traición (La Jornada, 18 de febrero de 2016)

San Andrés: 20 años después (La Jornada, 26 de enero de 2016)

A 20 años de los Acuerdos de San Andrés, siguen violentado los derechos indígenas: Frayba (Proceso, 17 de febrero de 2016)

El zapatismo y el uso estratégico del silencio (La Jornada, 23 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Foro impulsa reformas legislativas para el cumplimiento de los Acuerdos de San Andrés sobre derechos y cultura indígenas (27 de febrero de 2014)

Chiapas: a 18 años de la firma de los Acuerdos de San Andrés sobre Derechos y Cultura Indígenas, estos continúan sin ser reconocidos por el estado mexicano (19 de febrero de 2014)

Chiapas/National: EZLN denounces conditions in communities affiliated to political parties and announces upcoming activities

February 25, 2016



EZLN march, December 21, 2012, San Cristobal de Las Casas. Photo@SIPAZ

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation published a communiqué on February 21, “Meanwhile…in the communities affiliated to political parties.” Signed by sub-commanders Moises and Galeano, it describes various situations of pillage and exploitation that communities are living through in communities that follow the party political system in the southeastern zone of Chiapas.

Although they omitted the names of the communities and of the informers “who in some cases fear reprisals”, they denounced the privatization of communally held lands or ejidos through government projects in a number of communities, where sale of lands had been signed unknowingly in the belief that government support was being signed for. Likewise, they witnessed the pillage of indigenous peoples’ lands, which contain materials such as uranium, amber, sulfur, or potential tourist attractions, through the same methods of deceit or coercion. They also denounced that in some communities in the Ocosingo area they had been forbidden to cut trees for their necessities, such as cooking or building materials for homes, while lumber companies are permitted to cut.

As regards projects directed at women and as has been reported by other organizations, the recipients of the Prospera program have to meet certain preconditions to receive support. Some of these include compulsory Pap testing, and giving birth in hospitals instead of with the aid their traditional midwives. If the preconditions are not met, financial support is withdrawn. Moreover, they revealed that women who went to Tuxtla to receive their financial support were requested to come accompanied by the young women of the community, who “in exchange for receiving the project are obliged to have sexual relationships.” Added to this, the communiqué dealt with the recent distribution of digital televisions in lieu of the analogic switch-off. According to the text, at the distribution event in Comitan, “two people died, a child and a woman: the child died because it was crushed from the people pushing and the mother was unable to protect it; the woman was murdered when, on arrival home, the husband took out his pistol and shot her for not looking after his son.” As if this weren’t enough, not all of the televisions worked, and they also require the purchase of a scrambling device, which was interpreted as a form of government business with a company that sells the units.

Another feature reported was two cases of the presence of organized crime in communities. First, they made known the recruitment of men in the communities “to go and work in the north.” Gangers promised that they would be taken directly to their workplaces, guaranteeing transport and therefore avoiding possible security problems on the way. According to the EZLN, “the work is sowing marijuana and poppies” somewhere “they are not allowed to leave.” In another town, a family made an agreement with a drug dealer and one of the daughters was murdered for non-payment, which was videoed and sent to her father.

At the end of the communiqué, upcoming activities were announced for which “they [we] should be alert.”

For more information in Spanish:

Y MIENTRAS TANTO EN… las comunidades partidistas. (Enlace Zapatista, 21 de febrero de 2016)

Zapatistas evidencian a los partidos y anuncian que habrá nuevas actividades (Desinformémonos, 22 de febrero de 2016)

EZLN anuncia convocatoria ante incremento de despojo en Chiapas (Más de 131, 22 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: CDHFBC denuncia privación arbitraria de la libertad u faltas al debido proceso de BAEZLN (23 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: 32 años “sembrando autonomía” (19 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Amenazas de muerte y agresiones físicas en contra de BAEZLN de la comunidad Tzakukum (10 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: EZLN denuncia liberación de los homicidas del Maestro Galeano (21 de agosto de 2015)

For full text in English:



Chiapas: SIPAZ event – 20 years accompanying lights of hope

December 26, 2015


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)

Chiapas: “Sowing autonomy” for 32 years

November 21, 2015

@Paisà García

On 17 November, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) observed the thirty-second anniversary since its founding. Its creation occurred after the arrival of the National Liberation Forces (FLN) to the Lacandon Jungle and following the indigenous congress of 1974, as well as within the context of a struggle over land, upheaval by indigenous and campesino social organizations, as well as the ecumenical work of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese in accordance with liberation theology and the preferential option for the poor, as endorsed by Vatican Council II. It was not for another 10 years of a clandestine accumulation of strength that on 1 January 1994 the EZLN rose up in arms against the Mexican Army, demanding work, land, housing, food, health, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice, and peace.

Several groups released pronunciations congratulating the EZLN for its more than 32 years of struggle, such as the General Confederation of Work (CGT) Chiapas and the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR). In this way, several collectives organized events to celebrate the date, both at the national and international levels.

For more information (in Spanish):

RvsR: Feliz cumpleaños EZLN: 32 años mirando un horizonte (Enlace Zapatista, 17 de noviembre de 2015)

CGT celebra el aniversario del EZLN. 32 años sembrando autonomía. (CGT Chiapas, 17 de noviembre de 2015)

EZLN: 17 de noviembre de 1983 (Rebelion, 17 de noviembre de 2012)

Las FLN-EZLN 42 años después (Alainet, 2 de octubre de 2011)

Declaración de la Selva Lacandona (EZLN, 1993)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Death-threats and physical attacks against the BAEZLN in the Tzakukum community (13 September 2015)

Chiapas/National: EZLN announces second level of the Zapatista School (10 September 2015)

Chiapas: Risks to the lives of Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN) (3 July 2015)

Chiapas: Denunciation of paramilitary attack on the El Rosario community, pertaining to the La Garrucha caracol (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks (17 May 2015)

National: Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN communiqué “Pain and rage” (18 May 2014)

Chiapas: Annual report from Frayba on “Human-Rights Insurgency”

November 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Participation by Estela Barco during presentation of report @ SIPAZ

On 5 November, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report that carries the title “The Human-Rights Insurgency,” which deals with the “perspective, questions, and situations” that the CDHFBC has documented and monitored in Chiapas from March 2014 to March 2015. During the presentation of the document, several members of the directive council of CDHFBC spoke, including Blanca Martínez Bustos, director of the Fray Juan de Larios Center for Human Rights; Jorge Santiago Santiago; Estela Barco Huerta, general coordinator for the Social and Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans; and the president of the council, jtatik Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo.

The CDHFBC described the present context as a moment that “is a dark time, amidst the implementation of saddening repressive measures that constitute State terrorism, whereby military occupation and the state of siege are normalized. With this, the violations that make up crimes against humanity such as torture, forcible disappearance, extrajudicial executions, femicide, and forcible displacement, among other crimes, are daily occurrences in Chiapas and Mexico.”

The document proclaims the comprehensive defense of human rights that is the work of the CDHFBC. The questions it addressed include torture, impunity, defense of land and territory, as well as the ongoing war context, which in the report corresponds to four chapters: Torture, an implicit negation; A look at the cracks of impunity; War in Chiapas, territory, and peoples; and Reality of war-context.

The CDHFBC expressed that torture “is engrained and generalized in the Mexican justice system, and it is not only denied but even rationalized.” From the perspective of historical memory, remembrance is the principal pillar “of the struggle of victims and their families in the cases of crimes against humanity […]. They collectively protect and transmit memory against forgetting and impunity.” With regard to the “internal armed conflict in Chiapas,” the “communities and organizational processes persist and resist in defense of their autonomy and territory amidst State policies that seek to plunder land, spirit, and culture.” Lastly, the chapter on “Reality” is dedicated to the Zapatista teacher Galeano, who was murdered on 2 May 2014 in La Realidad, official municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos

Boletín Frayba presenta su Informe Anual: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos (CDHFBC, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

Despojo territorial, espiritual y cultural, una constante en Chiapas: Frayba (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba” (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)


Chiapas: Provisional return of displaced families from Banavil for Day of the Dead

November 19, 2015

Tumba de Antonia López Méndez.  Foto: @Sipaz

Gravesite for Antonia López Méndez. Photo: @Sipaz

From 30 October to 3 November, the four families displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, returned provisionally to their homes. During these days, they visited the gravesite of Antonia López Méndez, the daughter of one of the families, who died on 21 February 2015, 11 years of age.

It bears recalling that the families were displaced at the beginning of December 2011, following an attack carried out by militants from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) carrying firearms. During the events, Alonso López Luna was forcibly disappeared and, to date, his whereabouts remain unknown. In this way, the attack also cuased the death of Pedro Méndez López, while six others were injured. Beyond this, Lorenzo López Girón, the son of the disappeared, was arrested, as was Francisco Santiz López, a Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN). Both of these have since been released.

In a communique, the displaced families affirmed that “we returned well during our provisional return, though the bad governments (federal, state, and municipal) did not guarantee our security.” The displaced continue to hold the three levels of government responsable for the aggression that provoked the displacement, and they have demanded the revelation of the fate of Alonso López Luna, the carrying-out of ten arrest-orders against those responsible for the displacement and forcible disappearance, the return of families, the cancellation of two arrest-orders, the compensation of losses incurred, and the presentation with life of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias tseltales en retorno provisional regresan a su desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas denuncia pública, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

“Nuestras exigencias al Estado mexicano: VERDAD, JUSTICIA, RETORNO Y PAZ”, tzeltales desplazados de Banavil Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

“No muere nuestra memoria aunque el mal gobierno lo quiere acabar nuestras raíces”, indígenas desplazados de Banavil, Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 3 de noviembre de 2015)

[FOTOS][VIDEO]Retorno provisional de familias desplazadas de Banavil, Chiapas.

(Koman Ilel, 5 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement (July 21, 2015)

Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa (March 8, 2015)

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (December 16, 2014)



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