Chiapas: CompArte Festival Goes Ahead

July 26, 2016

CompArte.pngPoster for “Compartir el Comparte por la Humanidad”

The Zapatista “CompArte por la Humanidad” festival initiative began on July 19 with an event at the teachers’ and popular camp that blocks the exit to the highway to Tuxtla Gutierrez in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where local artists and spectators arrived, both nationals and from other parts of the world.

After the welcoming ceremony, the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) in the highlands of Chiapas, which heads the movement, left the word to Berta Nava, mother of Julio Cesar Ramirez Nava, who was murdered on the night of September 26, 2014 in Iguala (Guerrero), and Omar Garcia, ex-student teacher of Ayotzinapa and survivor of that night. Both opened the “CompArte por la Humanidad” festival, remembering “the missing and fallen of the night in Iguala, to whose pain is now added that of the massacred on June 19 in Oaxaca.” 19 pieces of poetry, music, acrobatics and theater were presented as well as two projections of indigenous resistance in the Cauca (Colombia) and the Kurdish revolution.

“CompArte” will be held in the Indigenous Center for Integral Training-University of the Earth, Chiapas (Cideci-Unitierra), based in San Cristobal de Las Casas from July 23-30, and to date 1,127 artists from around the country and 318 from other nations have registered. On opening its doors to the festival, Cideci-Unitierra said in the words of the Zapatistas that “the arts are a hope for humanity and that it is in the most difficult moments, when there is more disappointment and helplessness, that only the arts are able to celebrate humanity.”

The compas of the five caracoles of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) had suspended their participation in the festival from July 17 to 22 to show solidarity with the teachers’ movement. Nevertheless, they invited the participants and attendees of CompArte to Oventic on July 29… “It will not be everything that was prepared by us, but it will be nothing less than this: A gift we want to give you. Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t. But we are sure that you will find sounds, colors, lights and shadows that have no aspiration other than to make you listen, watch and feel the ‘thank you’ we embrace you with.”

For more information in Spanish:

Compartir contra la Represión: Recuento de desalojo al bloqueo magisterial en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Centro de medios libres, 21 de julio de 2016)

Pliego de acuerdos de la Asamblea Popular de los Altos de Chiapas e invitación a recibir el CompArte en el bloqueo magisterial (Centro de medios libres, 19 de julio del 2016)

¿La geografía? Oventik. ¿El calendario? 29 de julio del 2016(Enlace zapatista, 17 de julio del 2016)

CNTE Altos de Chiapas recibirá a artistas del CompArte (Centro de medios libres, 17 de julio del 2016)

Festival CompArte sigue en marcha del 23 al 30 de julio (La Jornada, 09 de julio de 2016)

Chiapas: Believing Peoples Hold Pilgrimage in Tuxtla in Support of Teachers

July 20, 2016

Believing People.pngBelieving Peoples pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez

On July 18, about 30 thousand members of Believing Peoples representing 52 parishes throughout the state as well as thousands of teachers, members of the CNTE, held a pilgrimage together on Monday in Tuxtla Gutierrez demanding that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, discuss in “public dialogue” not only education reform, but also the so-called structural reforms that the government has been promoting. “We came to demand that the government act honestly, because even when there is a negotiating table with the CNTE, we remember what happened to the San Andres Accords (signed in 1996 between the Federal Government and the EZLN). The government betrayed them, and that can also happen now”, the indigenous pastor of Simojovel parish, Marcelo Perez Perez said, during the demonstration on Monday in the central square of the state capital, where teachers installed in a camp two months ago as part of protests against education reform.

Apart from Believing Peoples, several organizations, communities and groups expressed their objection to the reforms and their support for the teachers in recent weeks.

For more information in Spanish:

Indígenas de Chiapas advierten posible “traición” del gobierno en diálogo con la CNTE, Chiapasparalelo, 18 de julio de 2016

CNTE y Pueblo Creyente marchan en Tuxtla; en duda el inicio del próximo ciclo escolar, reporte ciudadano chiapas, 18 de julio de 2016

Comunicado del Pueblo Creyente de la diócesis de San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 18 de julio de 2016

Candelaria el Alto se solidariza con el movimiento magisterial, 12 de julio de 2016

Pronunciamiento en apoyo del Movimiento Magisterial: pudee,  4 de julio de 2016

Estamos con ustedes resistan y resistiremos: Xinich al magisterio,5 de julio de 2016

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/ Nacional: La CNTE y la Segob acuerdan mesas de negociación (13 de julio de 2016)

Oaxaca: Organizaciones de Derechos Humanos presentan informe sobre represión en Nochixtlán(11 de julio de 2016)

Chiapas: Miles de creyentes peregrinan en apoyo al movimiento magisterial (5 de julio de 2016)



Chiapas/National: EZLN Postpones CompArte Festival to Support Teachers

July 6, 2016

Mural.pngMural in Cuxulj community (Photo:@SIPAZ)

“This is the time of the teachers in resistance. It is necessary and it is urgent to be with them” – so says the communiqué of July 4 of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), signed by Insurgent Sub-commander Moises and Insurgent Sub-commander Galeano. In the communiqué they summarize “the lessons of June.” Those above have been clear and cynical: “in Mexico, capital rules and the government obeys.” Those below: “the teachers in rebellion and the people who support them concluded their free, public and lay seminar this month of June and they gave us a more complete lesson: in Mexico, capital rules and the government obeys…but the people rebel.”

In the document they said, “when as Zapatistas we say that we respect a movement, it means just that: that we respect it. It means that we so not interfere in their way of doing things or schedules, in their organizational structure, in their decisions, strategies and tactics, their alliances, their decisions. All of that corresponds to those who make up [the movement] to evaluate and decide. … We Zapatistas only want the teachers to feel that we respect them, that we admire them and that we are attentive and taking note of the lessons they are giving us. … To put it more clearly, the most important thing now, on this calendar and from the limited geography in which we resist and struggle, is the struggle of the democratic teachers.” Due to this, they decided to postpone their “participation in the CompArte festival, both in Oventik ‘caracol’ and in CIDECI in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, which was to be held from July 17 to 30 […] and to donate the money and food we have saved for our transport to and from Oventik and CIDECI, for our upkeep during the festival, to the teachers in resistance.”

To continue with the idea of CompArte they asked “the ‘compañeroas’ of the Sixth, in so far as their possibilities allow them, to create in their calendars and geographies spaces and conditions for the Arts and their irreverent challenge to imagine other worlds, so that they can celebrate humanity, its pains, its joys, its struggles. Because this, and nothing else, is the objective of CompArte.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado “Las lecciones en Junio” (Enlace Zapatista, 4 de julio de 2016)

EZLN dona dinero y alimentos a maestros de la CNTE (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de julio de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Aumenta apoyo al magisterio al nivel nacional e internacionalpost magisterio (23 de junio de 2016)

Nacional: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales y comunicado de apoyo del EZLN (1 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero: Teachers Continue Mobilizations Due to Lack of Agreements over Educational Reform

June 30, 2016

TeachersPeople crossing blockade on foot in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Photo: @Oscar León.

In negotiations that lasted about seven hours, the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and the Government Secretariat (SG) resolved that ‘attaining justice for the people of Nochixtlan, Guerrero, is the priority of the dialogue”, according to La Jornada. The news outlet noted that the government will seek to carry out exhaustive investigations into the events in Nochixtlan on June 19, where nine civilians lost their lives in a confrontation between dissident teachers and state and federal police. The government committed itself to damage reparations for the families of the dead.

At the same time, both parties in the dialogue continue to formulate an agenda for discussion in which the CNTE proposed the repeal of educational reform as a central point. In a statement, Adelfo Alejandro Gomez, of Section 7 of Chiapas, declared that they want to find a “deep” solution, one that “is not passing nor momentary.” He warned that the mobilizations and blockades will not be stopped but they will continue with their plan of action so that the educational reform is reversed. For his part, the Secretary for the Interior, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, reiterated that repeal of the reform is not the competency of his Secretariat: “it is not a theme that we can see to, it is a constitutional mandate, it is a reform made by the legislators, by the Constituent Assembly.” He also emphasized “co-responsibility”, referring to the necessity of both parties to reach an agreement, requesting the teachers to guarantee conditions of calm, stability, passage for supplies and ending the academic year. Meanwhile, blockades continue on ten highways in Oaxaca and 14 in Chiapas, blocked by teachers, families and civil society that sympathizes with the CNTE to reject the police repression in Nochixtlan as well as the repeal of the educational reform. It should be highlighted that the first round of negotiations took place after a month of teachers’ protests against the government refusal to establish communication with the teachers, and that this only happened after the death of nine people in the blockade in Oaxaca. No date has been announced to resume the negotiations for the moment.

On another note, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, unjustly imprisoned in in the State Center for Social Reinsertion for Prisoners (CERSS) No. 5 in San Crsitobal de Las Casas, observed two days of fasting and prayer in solidarity with the CNTE. In a public letter, the adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), wrote that “such a painful event as occurred in Oaxaca that our brothers lost their lives (sic)” motivated him to sympathize with the teachers “who have been fighting against the educational reform for more than a month.” He also demanded that the President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, “exhort the Governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, for the freedom of compañero Alejandro Diaz Santiz”, an organized prisoner who has been imprisoned for 17 years and would have the right to partial remission of his sentence to be paroled.

For more information in Spanish:

Las protestas seguirán, dice la CNTE luego de 7 horas de diálogo en Segob; la reforma se mantiene: Osorio Chong (Sin Embargo, 28 de junio de 2016)

Impasse en diálogo entre CNTE y Segob; agendan encuentro por Nochixtlán (Aristegui Noticias, 28 de junio de 2016)

Atención a Nochixtlán, primer acuerdo Segob-CNTE (La Jornada, 28 de junio de 2016)

Inicia bloqueo carretero permanente en ocho puntos estratégicos de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 27 de junio de 2016)

La CNTE reanuda bloqueos en carreteras de Oaxaca; en Chiapas protesta en frontera con Guatemala (Sin Embargo, 27 de junio de 2016)

Desde el CERESO No 5 Roberto Paciencia inicia ayuno en solidaridad a la lucha magisterial (Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs, 24 de junio de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Aumenta apoyo al magisterio al nivel nacional e internacional (23 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia escribe a Alejandro Díaz (24 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Writes to Alejandro Diaz

June 29, 2016

Carta.pngCopy of the letter from Roberto Paciencia to Alejandro Diaz Santiz. Photo: @Koman Ilel.

Unjustly imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz, deprived of his freedom three years ago, wrote a letter to Alejandro Diaz Santiz, who has been imprisoned for 17 years. They met in the State Center for Social Reinsertion for Prisoners (CERSS) No. 5 in San Crsitobal de Las Casas, the prison where they began awareness and denouncement processes against the human rights violations against the prison population. Paciencia Cruz sent greetings to Diaz Santiz, who was sent to the State Prison No. 5 of the Federal Center for Social Re-adaptation (Cefereso) in Villa Comaltitlan, Tapachula, Chiapas. Paciencia wrote, “Compa, we hope that you don’t feel alone remember that your ‘ compañeros’ are on your case, we know that you have suffered a lot these 17 years that injustice has deprived you of your freedom, the authorities have never been able to solve your case (sic).”

 It should be remembered that Roberto Paciencia Cruz was imprisoned in August 2013 and has been in captivity since although he has not been sentenced. Arrested without warrant and tortured in the following hours he recently became an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). For his part, Alejandro Santiz Diaz was deprived of his freedom in 1999, “at the moment of his arrest he did not have a translator and he was accused of a crime he did not commit”, according to his attorney Lionel Rivero, as well as not having the economic resources for an adequate defense. Alejandro joined the Sixth and organized the prisoners’ collective “Sympathizers of the Voice of Amate” (Solidarios de la Voz del Amate). Nine months later, he was transferred to a maximum security prison even though his crime was not in federal jurisdiction, which was interpreted by the “No Estamos Todxs Workgroup” (GTNET) as “political revenge of the bad government against Alejandro, punished for supporting and raising awareness of the other prisoners and for refusing to be silent about the abuses against detained persons.” According to declarations of Alejandro’s relatives, he is isolated and has limited visits.

The letter from Paciencia for Diaz Santiz ended with an encouraging sentence: “keep your spirits up, compa, we will stay standing until we get our freedom and freedom for all out brother and sister prisoners in the country.”

For more information in Spanish:

Roberto Paciencia le escribe a Alejandro Diaz Santiz, presos políticos de Chiapas (CGT Chiapas, 19 de junio de 2016)

Carta de Roberto Paciencia para romper el aislamiento de Alejandro Diaz Santiz (Espoir Chiapas, 15 de junio de 2016)

#PresosPolíticos Roberto Paciencia le escribe a Alejandro Diaz Santiz (Koman Ilel, 13 de junio de 2016)

La CNDH ha recibido este año 800 quejas contra el sistema penitenciario (La Jornada, 30 de mayo de 2016)

No pueden cerrar la voz: libertad para Alejandro Díaz Santis (Agencia SubVersiones, 10 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncia Alejandro Díaz Santiz malos tratos hacia los reclusos (8 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia se asume como Adherente a La Sexta (25 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Santiz ayuna por 17 años de encarcelamiento (13 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncia Roberto Paciencia desatención en su salud visual (24 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncia Roberto Paciencia escasez de alimentos y negación de visitas (27 de enero de 2016)


National/International: Growing Support for Teachers At Home and Abroad

June 23, 2016

Teachers.pngStudents and teachers support the CNTE in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Photo: @Rafael del Río

In support of the struggle that thousands of members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) carry on and following the most recent repressive actions against them by federal forces on June 19 last in the Oaxaca State, many civil society organizations expressed their solidarity with the teachers, demanding a peaceful solution to the conflict from the state and federal governments.

In Chiapas, Believing People parishes called a pilgrimage on June 20 in Tuxtla Gutierrez. They showed their support for the teachers and repudiated the violent acts that occurred in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, which left a toll of at least 11 people dead in altercations with the police. In a statement they explained that, “with such events we cannot remain on the sidelines, as a church we will always be on the side of the oppressed and we will raise our prophetic voice. The reforms are the expression of a new ‘Porfiariato’. We must struggle, we shouldn’t be conformists or slaves.” Father Marcelo from Simojovel parish extended an invitation to a mega-pilgrimage in support of the teachers for July 1 next with around thirteen parishes from the diocese of San Cristobal.

Another show of support and solidarity came from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). In a communiqué titled “Notes on the War Against the Teachers in Resistance (The Hour of the Police 3)”, they noted that, “There are more and more families helping the teachers, donating support for their trips and marches, becoming anxious when they are attacked, offering food, drink, and refuge.” They also pointed out the lack of educational arguments of the Secretary for Education, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, and the violence employed in repression of the mobilizations. Later, together with the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), they published another communiqué. Titled “FROM THE STORM”, both organizations expressed their repudiation of “the repressive escalation with which they intend to impose throughout the country the neoliberal capitalist reform that they call ‘educational'”. They highlighted that the resistance movement against this reform has become a mirror for more and more people, demanding an end to repression against the teachers in struggle and the immediate and unconditional release of “ALL political prisoners.” Their communiqué closed with an invitation to “all those peoples of the countryside and the cities to be attentive and sympathetic to the teachers’ struggle, to organize ourselves autonomously to be informed and alert facing this storm which falls on all.”

On a national level, Peace Brigades International (PBI) expressed their concern to state and federal authorities and the diplomatic corps over the deterioration of the situation. In a public announcement on June 20, they urged the Mexican authorities to respect the right to protest, to favor dialogue with the teachers and guarantee the integrity of teachers and defenders. On another note, in many states civil society, students, families and health workers are joining the mobilizations. Among others, in Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca State, the artistic community organized a cultural event called “Cultural Barricade”, in which hundreds of artists from Mexico and other parts of the world participated on June 20, raising their voices to repudiate the repression.

On an international level, Amnesty International reminded the authorities that they have an obligation to control public order and take measures to prevent, investigate and sanction those responsible for acts of violence. Due to the events of recent days, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) reinforced its presence in Oaxaca as well as in Tabasco, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacan, states which have also witnessed similar conflicts. The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) strongly condemned the serious acts of violence reported in Oaxaca State and called on the State to promote a process of dialogue in the framework of educational reform that allows the search for a solution in the context of a democratic society with full respect for human rights. Apart from the organizations mentioned, there were many actions on the part of civil society. Some examples are sit-ins and vigils organized in several cities in France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil, among others, in rejection of the repressive events in Mexico.

It is worth mentioning that on July 22 there were negotiations between the CNTE and the Interior Secretary. According to the CNTE, this dialogue, obtained thanks to the broad popular mobilization, did not result in concrete agreements but they were able to table three themes: “repeal of the badly named educational reform; a route for the transformation of education; and measures for the distention and revision of the consequences of the imposition of the administrative labor reform.” A second round of dialogue is expected next week. It is also noteworthy that the 23 people arrested in Nochixtlan have been released.

For more information in Spanish:

Convocan a participar en brigada cultural (El Imparcial, 23 de junio de 2016)

CIDH condena hechos de violencia en Oaxaca, México (CIDH, 22 de junio de 2016)

PBI México, Pronunciamiento público (PBI, 21 de junio de 2016)

Exigen en ciudades del mundo que cese la represión contra los maestros en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 21 de junio de 2016)

Pueblo Creyente peregrina de nuevo en respaldo al magisterio (Pye Chiapas, 21 de junio de 2016)

Comunicado Conjunto del Congreso Nacional Indígena y el EZLN (Enlace Zapatista, 20 de junio de 2016)

Apunte sobre la guerra contra el magisterio en resistencia: (La Hora del Policía 3) (Enlace Zapatista, 17 de junio de 2016)

Aún no hay acuerdos concretos con el gobierno: CNTE (La Jornada, 23 de junio de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:


Chiapas/Oaxaca: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales; al menos 6 muertos en Oaxaca (21 de junio de 2016)

Nacional: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales y comunicado de apoyo del EZLN (1 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas: Moving Farewell for Social Activist Bersain Hernandez Zavala

June 13, 2016

Bersain.pngBurial of Bersain Hernandez Zavala, June 3, Tonala, Chiapas. Photo: @Pozol Colectivo

On June 3, hundreds of people bid farewell to Bersain Hernandez Zavala, social activist for the rights of the people of Tonala, Chiapas. Bersain was a member of the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center and founder of the Regional Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone, an organization adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), founded in September 2006 to demand fair prices for electricity and the recognition of access to electrical energy as a human right. He was also a teacher at a secondary school in Tonala and an active member of the teachers’ movement against educational reform. In the moving farewell, he was remembered at the school where he worked, paid tribute to at the Tonalteco Civic Front offices, celebrated at a mass, and accompanied to the cemetery by relatives and compañeros in the struggle.

The popular defender died on June 2 in a road accident. Several members of his family were travelling in the same vehicle, as well as Carlos Velazquez Ruiz, all of whom required medical attention. They are therefore requesting financial support and provided bank account details for deposits.

For more information in Spanish:

Petición de apoyo (Facebook de Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa AC, 6 de junio de 2016)

Con aplausos y cariño despiden al profesor Bersaín Hernández, en su secundaria de Tonalá Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 3 de junio de 2016)

“Bersaín murió, pero nunca se rindió”, el legado de Bersaín Hernández, maestro y luchador social de Tonalá Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 3 de junio de 2016)

Fallece el luchador social Bersaín Hernández Zavala, en Tonalá Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 2 de junio de 2016)

Carta del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 3 de junio de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Agreden a defensor del Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base Digna Ochoa (17 de marzo de 2014)

Chiapas: Denuncia de desalojo y amenazas en Tonalá, CDH Digna Ochoa (31 de octubre de 2012)

Chiapas: Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa denuncia hostigamiento de agentes federales a ejidatarios (5 de mayo de 2012)