Chiapas: Peace Network calls for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules” in the face of the increasing problematic in the Lacandon Jungle

June 10, 2014


Montes Azules (@SIPAZ)

Montes Azules (@SIPAZ)

On May 27, fourteen civil organizations that work in Chiapas, either members of the Peace Network or allies, expressed their concern amidst the growing tension and social conflict that prevail in the Lacandon Jungle and the Montes Azules Biosphere: “We are concerned that, in response to the public dissatisfaction manifested at this time by the CZL [Lacandon Community Zone] and ARIC ID [Rural Association of Collective InterestIndependent and Democratic], governmental actions may use strategies that violate the rights of peoples, such as the implementation of forced evictions of families and communities (like the ones that occurred between 2003 and 2012), or the arrest of local authorities and leaders of this movement.” Therefore, they urged the state and federal government to look for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules and the other six natural protected areas that exist in the Lacandon Jungle.

For almost a week, around 1,500 indigenous people have been organizing demonstrations to demand the release of the Lacandon community advisor, Gabriel Montoya Oseguera (arrested last May 14); the regularization of three villages (Rancheria Corozal, Salvador Allende and San Gregorio); and the expulsion of the environmental researcher Julia Carabias from the reserve where she currently works. Besides intermittent roadblocks, they have closed public buildings such as the city hall, courts, and the prosecutor offices in the city of Ocosingo.

The presence of environmentalists in the Lacandon jungle has continued to generate conflict. Last April, the researcher Julia Carabias was held for 48 hours. On 26 May, two members of the environmental and cultural organization Na-Bolom, Beatriz Mijangos Zenteno and Enrique Roldan Páez, were also detained and released after 22 hours.

For more information (in Spanish):

Red por la Paz en Chiapas denuncia clima de violencia y conflicto en Selva Lacandona (La Jornada, 28 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Red por la Paz y organizaciones hermanas (27 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen indígenas se regularicen asentamientos en la Selva Lacandona (Proceso, 27 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen libertad de líder tzeltal (La Jornada, 25 de mayo de 2014)

Toman indígenas oficinas de gobierno y exigen la expulsión de Carabias de la Selva Lacandona (Proceso, 23 de mayo de 2014)

Campesinos protestan en Ocosingo, Chiapas (El Universal, 22 de mayo de 2014)

For more information of SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Social and civil organizations denounce “simulated” kidnapping of Julia Carabias (June 2, 2014)

Chiapas: Federal and state government announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle (2 June 2014)

Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)

Chiapas: Chiapas Peace Network repudiates attack on EZLN support bases

May 18, 2014

red por la paz

On 12 May 2014, the Chiapas Peace Network published a communique condemning the “violence unleashed on 2 May 2014 in Caracol I ‘Mother of the Caracoles, Sea of Our Dreams,’ located in La Realidad, from the autonomous rebellious municipality San Pedro Michoacán (official municipality Las Margaritas).”

The Peace Network noted these “acts represent a rupture in the process of dialogue to resolve preexisting conflicts, as the Good-Government Council and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights have noted, with the latter being present at the dialogue table.  Beyond this, it is an attack on the autonomy that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) has been advancing for more than 20 years.  It is to be noted that the attack took place within a context of nine public initiatives of the EZLN which were to be carried out at the end of May and beginning of June; these will now be suspended due to the violence.”

Amidst this situation, the Peace Network urgently called for “a re-establishment of dialogue mechanisms as accompanied by a prompt and efficient investigation to sanction those responsible for the aggressive actions and the murder of Jose Luis Solís López”.

The Peace Network is comprised of 10 organizations working in Chiapas: Fray Pedro Lorenzo de La Nada Human Rights Committee (CDHFP), the Center for Indigenous Rights A.C. (CEDIAC), Services and Assessment for Peace A.C. (SERAPAZ), Commission of Support for Unity and Communal Reconciliation A.C. (CORECO), Economic and Social Development for Indigenous Mexicans A.C. (DESMI), Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), Education for Peace A.C. (EDUPAZ), ENLACE, Comumunication and Training A.C. (ENLACE CC), the Chiapas Women’s Rights Center A.C. (CDMCH), and the International Service for Peace (Sipaz).

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín: Las organizaciones de la Red por la Paz reprobamos la agresión a las BAEZLN (Red por la Paz, 12 de mayo de 2013)

Red por la Paz en Chiapas condena violencia en el caracol zapatista La realidad (La Jornada, 12 de mayo de 2014)

Blog de la Red:

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN communique “Pain and Rage” (18 May 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)

National/International: End of solidarity week “If the Zapatistas are harmed, all are harmed” (3 March 2014)

Chiapas: Report from the Peace Network Observation Mission to San Marcos Áviles and denunciation from Oventic (29 April 2013)

Chiapas: Civil Observation Mission on Human Rights to San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, Chiapas, on the part of the Peace Network (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Report from the Peace Network Observation Mission to San Marcos Áviles, and denunciation from Oventic

April 29, 2013


On 25 April, the Chiapas Peace Network, comprised of 10 civil organizations, publicly reported on its findings regarding the situation of the Zapatista support bases (BAEZLN) in San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, following the carrying out of a Civil Mission of Observation and Documentation in this community on 20 and 21 April of this year.  The Mission reports that death-threats and threats of rape continue, as do aggressions and robberies directed against Zapatista families.  During its stay in the ejido, the caravan experienced “a hostile climate,” and party-members threatened to forcibly removed the observers from their vehicles, warning them that if they did not have “good [conclusions], it will be bad [for you] and blood will run, blood will be spilt.”  The official report notes that “there exists an imminent risk that once again (the first time being in 2010) there be a forced displacement [of BAEZLN] by residents of the same ejido who are affiliated with the PRI, PVEM, and PRD.  We alert the government of the gravity and urgency of the situation, and call on it to take immediate actions to avoid the irreparable damage to the lives and physical security of the indigenous who pertain to the EZLN.”The Mission met with municipal authorities in Chilón and with governmental representative Nabor Orozco Ferrer.  The municipal union representative recognized the displacement and looting of lands from the BAEZLN since 2010, noting that “what is clear is that Zapatistas bought land, but these were taken from them because they did not pay taxes [or for] water and electricity.”  Regardless, he denied the existence of a “situation of violence at present.”  The governmental delegate in the zone admitted for his part that “there exist political interests behind these acts on the part of some persons who could be provoking conflictivity.”In previous days, the Zapatista Good-Government Council (JBG) which pertains to the Oventic caracol denounced the numerous aggressions directed at EZLN support-bases in San Marcos Avilés, from July 2011 to mid-April of this year.  The JBG affirmed that  it has “been denouncing all the shameful acts of these party-members who always want to provoke more problems among the indigenous of the same community, organized [as they are] by governors Juan Sabines Guerrero and now Manuel Velasco Coello.  Disgracefully, the three levels of official government have done nothing to arrest the injustices and violations of human rights being committed against our comrades.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe de la McO a San Marcos Áviles (Red por la Paz, 25 de abril de 2013)

Comunicado completo de la JBG de Oventic (JBG de Oventic, 20 de abril de 2013)

Denuncia JBG de Los Altos agresiones en San Marcos Avilés (La Jornada, 23 de abril de 2013)

Persiste clima de agresión y amenazas contra familias del EZLN en Chilón (La Jornada, 25 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: “Immediate risk” of expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos Avilés (26 February 2013)

Chiapas: Communiqué from the Oventic JBG regarding the aggressions and death-threats on the aprt of persons affiliated with political parties against Zapatistas in San Marcos Avilés(5 July 2011)

Chiapas: death-threats to Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos Avilés (5 July 2011)

Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés (18 October 2010)

Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos y Pamala (14 September 2010)

Chiapas: Civil Observation Mission on Human Rights to San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, Chiapas, on the part of the Peace Network

April 23, 2013


On 18 April 2013, the Chiapas Peace Network announced it would carry out a Civil Observation Mission to San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, in the coming days.  Its public letter explains that:

“We members of the Peace Network in Chiapas would like to report that on 21 and 22 April 2013, we will carry out a Civil Observation Mission for documentation in the community of San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, toward the end of collecting testimonies following the recent threats of forced displacement directed against Zapatista support bases (BAEZLN) on the part of residents of the same ejido who are affiliated to different political parties.  In this sense, we also hope to meet with the mayor of Chilón, Leonardo Rafael Guirao Aguilar, and the delegate for the zone, Nabor Orosco Ferrer. Upon finishing this visit, we will produce a report which we will then present.

The Peace Network in Chiapas was created at the end of 2000.  It is a space for reflection and action comprised of 10 civil organizations that maintain a permanent analysis regarding the local and national context, using punctual actions that can be used in light of grave actions, observation missions, or thematic meetings in terms of human rights.  We see it as important to carry out this mission and meet with authorities to put an end to the escalation of death-threats and their possible realization, especially taking into consideration that between August and October 2010, 170 BAEZLN persons from the ejido of San Marcos Avilés had already been displaced, and that presently many are living in precarious conditions, since they are displaced from their lands and work, and constantly must face threats to their personal safety.

To national and international human rights organizations, to national and international communication media, to the public, we ask that you remain attentive to whatever may happen in terms of this Mission, and to share the content of the information once it is published.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: “Immediate risk” of expulsions of Zapatista support-bases from San Marcos Avilés (26 February 2013)

Chiapas: Communiqué from the Oventic JBG regarding the aggressions and death-threats on the aprt of persons affiliated with political parties against Zapatistas in San Marcos Avilés(5 July 2011)

Chiapas: death-threats to Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos Avilés (5 July 2011)

Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés (18 October 2010)

Chiapas: The Peace Network presents report regarding Sustainable Rural Cities

May 18, 2012

Presentación del Informe en conferencia de prensa @ SIPAZ

Presentation of report in press-conference @ SIPAZ

On 10 May, the Peace Network, a space for action and reflection made up of 10 organizations that have since 2001 sought to support processes of peace and reconciliation in Chiapas together with the Collective for Kollective Analysis and information (CAIK) presented the document “From Earth to Asphalt, Report of the Civil Mission for Observation of the Peace Network and CAIK on the Sustainable Rural Cities Program.”

In October 2011, these organizations carried out a Civil Mission of Observation in two Sustainable Rural Cities already populated by  persons as well as 4 others that are in the construction or planning stages, with the goal of documenting the present situation in terms of the human-rights situation in which the population finds itself directly affected by the Sustainable Rural Cities Program (CRS) that the Chiapas state-government has been developing.  Another key reason for the report is that the CRS Program leads to the forced displacement of people from their communities, given that behind the official objectives to combat poverty are found hidden interests seeking economic and political profit.

The testimonies of the affected persons, presented in this report, illustrate the different means by which the CRS Program violates several internationally recognized human rights, including the right to self-determination of peoples.  During the event also was presented the “Until there you go” documentary that examines the same subject, the product of CAIK.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian plan de desintegración social mediante las ciudades rurales sustentables (La Jornada, 14 de mayo)

Subyace desintegración cultural en reordenamiento territorial en Chiapas: Ong, La Jornada, 13 de mayo de 2012

Página Web de la Red por la Paz

Audios de la presentación (Radio zapatista, 10 de mayo de 2012)

Trailer del video: Hasta ahí te mueves (CAIK, 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: CAIK presents documentary “To there you will move”” (7 March 2012)

Chiapas: Nuevo Juan de Grijalva denounces repression and harassment (8 June 2011)

Chiapas: opening of new Sustainable Rural City in Los Altos (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: Las Abejas’ communiqué denounces construction of rural cities in the Chiapas Highlands (22 May 2010)

Chiapas: Violence against member of Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights is denounced

April 27, 2012

Photo:@ CDMCH

The Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights (CDMHC) and the Peace Network have denounced a new case of violence and discrimination suffered by one of its members in San Cristóbal de Las Casas due to her condition of “gender, class, and ethnicity, for being a woman, indigenous and poor.”  On 12 April, at 5:15am, of the CDMHC’s members was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver, to which she responded by defending herself and succeeding in escaping.  The woman had been going to the transport hub that goes to Ocosingo so as to arrive at the offices of the CDMHC in the Yajalón municipality, where she works.

The CDMHC denunciation adds that “It is also clear that in light of events such as this that has happened to our comrade with the complicity and responsibility of the Mexican State, which bears the burden for all acts of violence against women in its failure to guarantee their security and respect their basic rights, not to take the proper measures to eliminate discrimination against women, and taking on adequate means to modify or change laws, rules, uses, and pracitces that constitute discrimination against women.”

The members of the Peace Network support the demands of the Women’s Center, demanding that “Action be taken–political, social, economic, and legal–that will guarantee the rights of women to lives free of violence.  Down with IMPUNITY, which reproduces violence against women.  We call for an investigation of the events that have been denounced and punishment for those responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian violencia y acoso hacia mujeres, Cuarto Poder, 19 de abril de 2012

Denuncia Red por la Paz Chiapas, 20 abril de 2012

Chiapas: in observation of International Peace Day

September 27, 2011

Peace is not a gift that will arrive because we want it

Peace is not an order that is imposed by force
Peace is not negotiation with the destroyed enemy
Peace is not a dream that is impossible
We build peace by creating spaces for peace.

On 21 September Coreco (Commission of Support for Communal Unity and Reconciliation, A.C.), a member of the Chiapas Peace Network, celebrated its XV anniversary.  In an event celebrated in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas was presented a book written by Felipe Toussaint Loera (1957-2011), Commission of Support for Communal unity and Reconciliation, Positive Transformation of Conflicts in communities and organizations in Chiapas and Peace work 1996-2005.  Felipe Toussaint was part of the founding group of Coreco and coordinated this organization from 2002 to 2011.  Members of the present team of Coreco also shared the trajectory fo the organization during these last 15 years in Chiapas.

In observation of International Day for Peace, another member of the Chiapas Peace Netowrk, Serapazs (Services and Assessment for Peace, a civil Mexican organization dedicated for the past 15 years to the positive mediation and transofmraiton of conflicts) published a document in which it shares its concern for the situation of increasing conflictivity that has gripped the country, highlighting the classification by the Global Index of Peace, shared in these days by the Institute for Economy and Peace, on which Mexico is listed as 121 among 153 countries.  Serapaz stresses this in a communiqué: “The results of the Global Index of Peace reinforce our vision that the Mexican government not only goes on a mistaken path by implementing a war strategy to combat organized crime.  It also demonstrates its incapacity to orient social conflict toward processes of dialogue and mediation that tend to evade repressive ends and to recognize the peoples, organizations, and communities as legitimate interlocutors.  The information recently reported that this government has approved 73 new mining projects this year is worrying, as it suggests an increase in conflictivity […].  Regardless, in this context, as SERAPAZ we would like to manifest that we find in the development of our work of facilitation, mediation, negotiation, formation, articulation, and strengthening of social actors a large and inspiring gamut of experiences and organizational collectivities that are building Peace by means of alternatives to the models and life conditions of their communities.  Amidst the darkness, we find enriching signs and true sources of hope.”

For more information (in Spanish):


Pronunciamiento Serpaz, 21 September 2011

Día internacional de la paz, ONU, 21 September 2011

Chiapas: The Peace Network visits prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón

March 8, 2011

On 27 February, representatives from several civil organizations that comprise the Peace Network visited prisoners from the Other Campaign in San Sebastián Bachajón who have been imprisoned in the State Center of Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 17, in the municipality of Playas de Catazajá.  In the interview with the prisoners that lasted about an hour, the imprisoned discussed their situation within the prison and claimed to have been arrested for having defended their land and territory, once again expressing their innocence as regards the crimes of which they have been accused.  They denounced that on four occasions state-government officials visited them in prison offering their liberty in exchange for accepting proposals for dialogue.  In a communiqué, the Peace Network reported on the visit and expressed its concern for “the lack of will and/or capacity of the state government to intervene in existing conflicts, avoid contributing to them, or indeed finding short-term ‘solutions’ that, in failing, are followed by repression against groups that conflict with their politics.”

In other news, several organizations and persons national and international have called for acts of solidarity to be had on 7 and 8 March to demand the release of the prisoners.

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: detentions vis-a-vis blockade of road Tonala-Pijijiapan during action of the Other Campaign (26 February 2011)

Chiapas: Caravan of women to San Sebastian Bachajón (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: Agua Azul, new happenings and denunciations (17 February 2011)

Chiapas: update in the Agua Azul case (14 February 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (10 February 2011)

Chiapas: confrontation over control point at Agua Azul leaves one dead and several injured (7 February 2011)

Oaxaca: the Peace Network condemns armed attack against observation-caravan in San Juan Copalá

May 1, 2010

The civil organizations that constitute the Chiapas Peace Network strongly condemn the attack that members of a humanitarian caravan comprised of representatives of human-rights organizations, journalists, and international observers suffered on 27 April.  The caravan was en route to the community of San Juan Copalá in the Triqui region when it was ambushed and fired upon, presumably by individuals associated with the Union of Social Welfare for the Triqui Region (UBISORT), an organization linked to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and claimed by some to be a paramilitary group.  The attack left two dead:  BEATRIZ ALBERTA CARIÑO TRUJILLO, member of the Center of Community Support Working Together A.C. (CACTUS) and JYRI ANTERO JAAKKOLA, a Finnish international observer, as well as a number of injured.

This attack was directed at a humanitarian, non-violent observation-caravan; it brings to mind the risks to which human-rights defenders and journalists are subject in México.  We express our concern for the vulnerable situation of those who work to defend and promote human rights in light of the increasing tendencies of violence, criminalization of such work, and governmental indifference to the protection of life and physical security of such workers.

Particularly grave, in our view, is the fact that, following the death of the Finn Jyri Antero Jaakkola during the attack, the Oaxacan state government is calling into question international observation, a non-violent mechanism of civil intervention that has served to put an end to violence in several locations and contexts.

The state government has denied responsibility for these acts of violence.  It should be said, though, that impunity regarding the several murders and violent acts that have been experienced in the Triqui region has contributed, at least by means of omission, to create a violent situation in the zone.  Finally,we find it worrisome that, as is often the case in Chiapas, the response to this attack be limited to a mere re-establishment of public order instead of an examination of the root causes of the violence that has been experienced in the Triqui region.

In light of the present situation, the organizations that comprise the Chiapas Peace Network demand

  • The immediate intervention of the State Attorney General’s Office of Oaxaca and of the Federal Attorney General’s Office, so that they engage in an impartial investigation, put an end to violence in the area, and punish the material and intellectual authors of these murders.
  • That immediate action be taken to address the violence that is experienced in Triqui communities, with special emphasis on respect and guarantees of internal dialogue
  • That the supposed paramilitary groups in the region be investigated and dismantled

  • That conditions which allow for the re-establishment of security for the entirety of the population without qualification be established–an eventuality we see as unlikely if the region is to be be militarized
  • That solutions be found to that which constituted the basis for the creation of the caravan–that is, the lack of access to basic services among the general population


Member-organizations of the Peace Network

Educación para la Paz (Edupaz)

Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Políticas de Acción Comunitaria, A.C. (Ciepac)

Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, A.C. (Desmi)

Servicio Internacional para la Paz (Sipaz)

Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria, A.C. (Coreco)

Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación A.C. (Enlace CC)

Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz, A.C. (Serapaz)

Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, A.C. (CDMCH)

Centro de Derechos Indígenas, A.C. (Cediac)

Comité de Derechos Humanos Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada, A.C.

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, A.C. (Frayba)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 Abril 2010)