Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage on Eighth Anniversary of Jtatic Samuel Ruiz

January 31, 2019

believing(@SIPAZ)

On January 25th, as part of the eighth jubilant anniversary of Jtatic Samuel Ruiz, the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas made a pilgrimage to this city to celebrate a mass and remember the former bishop and well-known defender of human rights worldwide, in particular those of indigenous peoples. More than three thousand people from different pastoral areas of the Diocese participated. The Mass was concelebrated by the current bishop, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, Raul Vera Lopez, bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, and some 20 other priests.

They recalled that the Believing People is an organized process within the diocesan structure: “We are indigenous peoples, we are mestizo, we are not slaves, we are builders of our history, we live and fight for a community life that seeks “Lekil kuxlejal” (good living) that proposes a culture of life for the whole ofsociety”, “seeking to give a significant boost to reconciliation, unity, peace and justice …” (Diocesan Pastoral Plan).

In its pronouncement, the members of Believing People denounced that “at first sight in our country everything is calm according to the authorities, but in reality the people are the ones who feel and suffer the situations of injustice, abuse, corruption and impunity of the authorities together with threats, violence, forced displacements of communities that are divided from outside.” In addition, “there is a lack of employment, low wages, rising prices of basic products, insecurity, recruitment of people for organized crime groups and trafficking in persons, which leads to migration from the countryside to the cities, to other states of the republic or the United States and Canada, which causes family breakup with its fatal consequences.” They also criticized the deficiencies of the education system and the health system.

They added that “there are transnational and national companies, as well as caciques that cause pollution and destruction of natural resources: cutting down trees, mining, hoarding and privatization of water and wetlands; promotion of monoculture of African palm and rubber that is affecting health. The fumigations in our crops without permission and also by the modification of our creole seeds, by Monsanto.”

They demanded among other things, the solution of the sociopolitical conflicts of Chenalho-Chalchihuitan, Santa Martha-Aldama; Chabajebal and Amatan; that they cease militarization and paramilitarization in communities that generate violence, insecurity, rape of women and unpunished deaths; the release of political prisoners; that there be no threats or aggressions against human rights defenders or ecclesial servants who fight for the common good; and that the rights of indigenous peoples are respected. They also spoke out against megaprojects that “are strategies of low intensity warfare, keeping us disorganized, full of conflicts and generating dispossession (hydroelectric dams, the San Cristobal-Palenque highway, the Maya Train, mining)” and against the Guard National.

They finalized their pronouncement announcing that they will continue “forward in the process of liberation of the peoples” and making “conscience in respect to Mother Earth: seeking ways and agreements within the autonomy of our peoples and family to avoid the indiscriminate felling of trees and pollution.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado completo: Chiapas: “No somos esclavas ni esclavos, luchamos por una vida comunitaria”, octavo aniversario de Jtatic Samuel Ruíz (Pueblo Creyente, 25 de enero de 2019)

Por Tren Maya, pueblos originarios exigen se respeten sus derechos (La Jornada, 25 de enero de 2019 )

Rechazan pobladores Tren Maya en Chiapas (El Universal, 25 de enero de 2019)

En aniversario luctuoso recuerdan legado de Tatic Samuel Ruíz García (Ultimatum, 25 de enero de 2019)

Conmemora Pueblo Creyente Octavo Aniversario Luctuoso de Tatik Samuel (NVI Noticias, 26 de enero de 2019)

Solución a problemas de límites: Creyentes (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 26 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente organize a pilgrimage on the seventh anniversary of jTatik Samuel Ruiz (February 3rd, 2018)

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage (February 5th, 2017)

 

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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 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


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

MOVEDITE.pngPhoto:@MOVEDITE

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)


Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas

July 3, 2017

Zoque1.pngThe movement declared itself against extractivist projects, “which put the social, environmental and cultural life of the 60,000 Zoque speakers at risk.” Photo: @Sipaz

On June 22nd, the indigenous movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth organized a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutierrez, in which about six thousand people from 3 zones, members of civil society as well as priests of the Archdiocese of Tuxtla Gutierrez and the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas participated, according to La Jornada.

Participants denounced that the energy reform approved in 2013 along with ten other constitutional reforms “constitute a serious threat of dispossession of indigenous peoples’ lands”, as only their proponents would benefit from them.

In this case, the International Public Bidding known as Round 2.2 involves “the concession of 12 natural gas and oil extraction wells in the coastal states of the Gulf of Mexico and Southeastern Basin, which is composed of 12 blocks, two of which have an impact on the state of Chiapas. A total of 84,500 hectares of land in nine municipalities in northern Chiapas would be used for the extraction of natural gas through dispossession and environmental contamination of Zoque territory.”

Blocks 10 and 11 in Chiapas would affect the municipalities of Tecpatan, Francisco Leon, Ostuacan, the town of Chapultenango, Ixtacomitan, Ixtapangajoya, Pichucalco, Solosuchiapa, Sunuapa and even Teapa (Tabasco) in order to obtain moist gas, light oil and super light oil.

Zoque2.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

In March 2017, representatives of the movement reported a series of irregularities in the bidding process awarded by the Federal Government’s Energy Secretariat (SENER in its Spanish acronym), because all the affected communities were not consulted and there were no translators in their maternal Zoque language and neither has an Environmental Impact Statement been presented as required by law.

According to the movement, the specific risks would be “excessive use of water, migratory movements, contamination of soil, air and springs, loss of biodiversity, environmental imbalance, reduction of food production, damage to property and public health.”

 The movement stated that they are proceeding “to make the corresponding complaints before the national and international courts over omission in the absence of the presentation of the corresponding Environmental Impact Statement, as well as by the faults that are being committed in the process prior, free and informed consultation.”

Equally, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) said that “we salute the mobilization and organization undertaken from below for respect for what is theirs … to resist and to repudiate in an organized manner the so-called Round 2.2 on their ancestral territory with which the capitalists plan the extermination of the peoples of the north of Chiapas.”

Zoque3.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

For more information in Spanish:

Pagina facebook del movimiento

Comunidades zoques resisten a proyectos de despojo (Chiapas Denuncia, a 22 de Junio 2017)

Marchan 6 mil personas en Chiapas en rechazo a explotación de hidrocarburos (La Jornada, a 23 de Junio 2017)

“Alto al despojo, destrucción y muerte”: Pueblo Zoque ante Ronda 2.2 de la SENER que ofrece su territorio al mejor postor (Desinformémonos, a 23 de Junio 2017)

Pronunciamiento del Congreso Nacional Indígena en apoyo y solidaridad con la lucha del pueblo Zoque y por la libertad de Luis Fernando Sotelo (Enlace Zapatista, a 23 de Junio 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque

Chiapas : comunidades zoques se oponen a extracción de hidrocarburos en el norte de Chiapas

 


Chiapas: Celebration of Simojovel Believing People

April 12, 2017

PCS1Father Marcelo Perez at the Celebration in Simojovel, April 2017. Photo: @Acteal Las Abejas

From April 4th to 6th, Simojovel Believing People organized a series of events, including the appointment of two brothers who received the ministry of permanent deacons, and the fifteenth year of ordination as a priest of Father Marcelo Perez Perez, parish priest of Simojovel.

On April 4th and 5th, Father Arriaga Alarcon SJ, Father Gustavo Andrade Hernandez, parish priest in San Bartolome Carranza and Father Jose Aviles SJ, parish priest of the Chilon-Bachajon Mission participated in the masses and spaces for reflection on the Word Of God and the mission of the Believing People.

On April 6th, a Mass was celebrated, presided over by the bishops of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel and Bishop Enrique Diaz Diaz.

All the events were animated by the Simojovel choir “United in Jesus”, regional music from different villages.

PCS2.pngSweFor and SIPAZ accompanying Father Marcelo at the celebration Photo: @PuebloCreyente

 For more information in Spanish:

Jtotik Marcelo hace 15 años Papá Mamá Dios te eligió para trabajar en su milpa. (Organización Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, a 6 de abril de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente

Chiapas: El Pueblo Creyente peregrinó en Tuxtla en apoyo a las y los maestros

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel rechaza diálogo con los hermanos Gómez