Chiapas: new communiques from the EZLN

March 21, 2015

Homenaje a Galeano, La Realidad, agosto de 2015 (@SIPAZ archivo)

Homage to Galeano, La Realidad, August 2014 (@SIPAZ archive)

In a communique published on 4 March entitled “On the Bulletin Board,” the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a series of activities it has programmed for the remainder of 2015.  On 2 May, there will in the Oventik caracol be held an homage to Luis Villoro Toranzo  and the Zapatista support-base José Luis Solís López (Galeano), who was murdered in May 2014 in La Realidad, Las Margaritas municipality.  The EZLN announced the event as having special guests, including the relatives of Villoro Toranzo and of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, as well as members of the Sixth International.  It also noted that, from 3 to 9 May, the seminar on “Critical Thought in light of the Capitalist Hidra” will be hosted at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

The news also announces the second “grade” of the Zapatista Escuelita (31 July-2 August), the anniversary of the caracoles on 8-9 August, and the third level of the Escuelita in November and December 2015.

The EZLN added that, from 5 March onwards, being the anniversary of the death of Villoro Toranzo, there will be “many words regarding critical thinking, beginning with the report on the inauguration of the School and Clinic in La Realidad.”  Starting on 5 March, indeed, three more communiques appeared, entitled “Thank You I, II, III.”

For more information (in Spanish):

EN EL TABLÓN DE AVISOS. El Conserje (Comunicado del EZLN, 4 de marzo de 2015)

El EZLN realizará un homenaje a Luis Villoro y al zapatista José Luis Solís(La Jornada, 4 de marzo de 2015)

‘Toda la clase política vive de la actuación’, dice el líder del EZLN (CNN México, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Gracias I, Gracias II y Gracias III (Comunicados del EZLN, marzo de 2015)

La vida de un zapatista vale más que la casa blanca de Peña: EZLN (La Jornada, 9 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: threats against families sympathizing with the EZLN (29 December 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

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

Chiapas: During International Women’s Day on 8 March, a meeting, march, and rally

March 10, 2015

8 de marzo

In observance of 8 March, International Women’s Day, the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas, together with women’s organizations, collectives, and groups, organized a meeting to launch a Movement in Defense of the Land, the Territory, and In Favor of the Participation and Recognition of Women in Decision-Making, which will be held on 6 and 7 March in CIDECI Unitierra.  Furthermore, on 8 March itself, there will be held a march from the administrative building in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to the Cathedral Plaza, where a rally will be held.

For more information (in Spanish):

[CONVOCATORIA] Hacia la constitución de un Movimiento en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio y por la participación y el reconocimiento de las Mujeres en las decisiones (Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Conmemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Close of the Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion

January 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ SIPAZ

3 January 2015 marked the end of the First Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion: “Where those from above destroy, we from below rebuild.”  Organized by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), the Festival ended in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, after having shared spaces in four Mexican states.

The events in Chiapas began in the Caracol II of Oventik, “Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity,” where 21 years since the Zapatista uprising of 1994 was celebrated on 31 December and 1 January.  Following speeches from family-members of the 43 disappeared students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés read a communiqué and recalled that “only as organized peoples will we find the truth.  All that we want as people is what we have to build among ourselves.  It is in this way that the relatives of the murdered and disappeared students of Ayotzinapa are developing their search for justice and truth.”

Sup Moisés invited those assembled in Oventik to imagine “how a new society could be,” so that they began to struggle using “the example that the relatives of Ayotzinapa present us, that is, that it is better that we who suffer from this disease known as capitalism search each other out and meet.”  He stressed that “what is now most urgent is the truth and justice for Ayotzinapa,” given that “the most painful and indignant reality is that the 43 are not with us.”

Beyond this, Moisés individually embraced the group of relatives and students who were listening to his comments on stage: an embrace “of caring, respect, and admiration.”  Nor did he forget to name the 46 “absent” individuals, including the 3 students who were found on 27 September.

Lastly, on 2 and 3 January, the Festival ended with the sharing of conclusions, agreements, and pronunciations at the CIDECI-Unitierra.  Members of indigenous peoples of the CNI indicated that “we share this same pain that is called capitalism, [and we hope that] our path will be constant.”  One of the students from Ayotzinapa mentioned that “when we bid our farewells to Subcomandante Moisés, we told him that we also desire autonomy for our rural normal schools and […] we believe that with courage, dignity, and the determination of 43 families and thousands of people in the country and throughout the world, this and much more will be possible.  Many thanks.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Clausura del Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y las Rebeldías Contra el capitalismo, en Chiapas (Colectivo Pozol, 3 de enero de 2015)

Entrevistas al final del Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y Rebeldías contra el Capitalismo (Radio Zapatista, 6 de enero de 2015)

EZLN celebra 21 aniversario del alzamiento, abrazando al movimiento de Ayotzinapa (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de enero de 2015)

Palabras del EZLN en el 21 aniversario del inicio de la guerra contra el olvido. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés(Enlace Zapatista, 1 de enero de 2015)

Todos debemos acompañar a los padres de Ayotzinapa: EZLN (Aristegui Noticias, 1 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN to cede its place to relatives and disappeared students of Ayotzinapa (19 December 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women

December 8, 2013

Marcha en Oaxaca. Fotos @SIPAZ

March in Oaxaca. Photo @SIPAZ

In observance of the International Day of Non-Violence toward Women on 25 November, different collectives and organizations carried out acts of denunciation in the capital of Oaxaca.  A caravan-march carrying dozens of paper coffins representing the 240 femicides that have taken place during the administration of Gabino Cué took to the streets of the city to Santa María Ixcotel, where participants demanded the punishment of the murderers and clarification of the cases.  The organization Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Gender Equity denounced the inefficacy of the Oaxacan justice system which via omission has allowed for an increase in disappearances and murders against women, stressing that 99% of the cases find themselves unresolved, with the perpetrators unpunished.  In this sense, Consorcio accuses judges of partiality and demands that sentences incorporate gender perspectives.  Beyond this, members of the National Network of Young Pro-Choice Catholics carried out a march through downtown Oaxaca City which ended at the Palace of Governance, where flowers and crosses were left behind to represent the murdered women, and protestors demanded that the government put an end to the impunity amidst the increase in femicides and sexual violence.

This same day, non-governmental organizations in Chiapas demanded that the state government declare a Gender Violence Alert.  These groups denounced “the incessant violence against women in Chiapas and the different forms of violence against women and their extreme conclusion: femicide.”  They recalled that, so far this year (January-October 2013), the number of deaths of women has reached 84, 71 of whom were killed violently.  On 24 November, the Indigenous Center for Comprehensive Development and Training (CIDECI) received more than 200 persons who participated in a “Meeting against violence against women and femicide in Chiapas.”  Participants engaged in dialogue regarding three fundamental problems: structural violence, femicide, and women’s health.  The next day, there was a march of women through the streets of  San Cristóbal de Las Casas which raised the slogans “No more violence against women” and “Patriarchy kills.”  In parallel terms, a juridical commission submitted a petition for a Gender Violence Alert to the Secretary of State Governance, based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.  Also in observance of the International Day against Violence against Women, Mayan peoples and theists from the northern region of the state released a press-release denouncing these types of forms of violence.  The document, among other things, mentions that “domestic violence is ever-worsening in our communities, as worsened by the consumption and sale of alcohol.  The trade in alcohol principally affects WOMEN and CHILDREN.”

Also on 25 November, in Guerrero, President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the construction of a Center of Justice to provide legal, psychological, and economic support for women who are victims of violence in the state.  The center was inaugurated in Tlapa, in the Mountain region, and it represents the first phase of a communal project called Women’s City, which seeks to build offices to provide comprehensive attention to women who suffer violence or have been abandoned or trafficked.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Oaxaca, suman 64 mujeres asesinadas en 2013 (Grupo Fórmula, 24 de noviembre de 2013)

Son 240 casos de feminicidios en Oaxaca, marchan en la capital(Realidad Oaxaca, 25 de noviembre de 2013)

Celebran “viacrucis” por las mujeres (El Imparcial, 25 de noviembre de 2013)

Video: Colectivo exige cese a la violencia contra las mujeres (Noticias Voz e Imagen de Oaxaca, 25 de noviembre de 2013)

Realizan encuentro contra feminicidio en Chiapas (Contra Feminicidio Ch, 26 de noviembre de 2013)

Exigen se decrete en Chiapas alerta por violencia de género (Chiapas Paralelo, 26 de noviembre de 2013)

Pueblos mayas y creyentes en el día internacional de la no violencia contra las mujeres (Pueblos Mayas y Creyentes Unidos Por El Cuidado De La Vida Y Defensa De Nuestro Territorio, 25 de noviembre de 2013)

Segob “despolitiza” Alerta de Género… 3 años después; es insuficiente para defender a las mujeres, dicen ONGs (Sin Embargo, 26 de noviembre de 2013)

“Ya basta” de violencia a las mujeres: Peña (El Universal, 26 de noviembre de 2013)

Mujeres víctimas de violencia tendrán un Centro de Justicia en Guerrero (CNN México, 26 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Conmemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Careful, patriarchy kills! Presentation of the “Campaign against violence against women and femicide in Chiapas” (3 October 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Increase in feminicide and State Accord for Gender Equality (22 April 2013)

Oaxaca: March of releatives of victims of feminicide and members of human rights organizations for women (22 April 2013)

Oaxaca: More feminicides under Gabino Cué than in the final years of Ulises Ruiz (24 January 2013)

Chiapas: Colem Group of Women take action against feminicide (19 October 2012)

Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples build Justice and Truth”

March 25, 2011

Forum “With Memory, the Peoples build Justice and Truth” (@SIPAZ)

On 16 and 17 March, in observation of the 22nd anniversary of the founding of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), there was held the meeting “With Memory, the Peoples build Justice and Truth” at the Indigenous Center for Integral Traning (CIDECI-Unitierra) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Some 150 women and men attended the event, hailing from different social and civil organizations from several states of the country, including Chiapas, Guerrero, Chihuahua, and Mexico City. The common thread of the event was the subject of the construction of memory, a process that according to those who participated should be carried out in a collective fashion so as to counter the false versions of history propagated by the economic and political elite of the country. “The construction of memory helps us to understand our journey from the past, to locate our presen tasks, and to define as to where we would like to go in the future,” explained one participant.

On the first day were held several panels dealing with different questions: impunity and new forms of constructing justice (Communal Police of Guerrero and the Civil Society Las Bejas of Acteal, from the highlands of Chiapas); the defense of Mother Earth (ejidatar@sfrom Atenco, state of Mexico; ejidatar@s from San Sebastián Bachajón, Northern Zone of Chiapas); concrete experience in the work of historical memory (community of Masojá Shucjá, Northern Zone of Chiapas); defenders of the right to expression (Center for the Rights of Women, state of Chihuahua and members of the Coordination of Women in Resistance in Jotolá, Chiapas).

There was also read a communiqué by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, in which he greeted in the CDHFBC for its 22nd anniversary and manifested his indignation as regards the behavior of “some idiots” (government functionaries) with regard to the burial of Samuel Ruiz García in January. Moreover he expressed his concern for the integrity and life of human-rights defenders in Mexico as well as respect for the members of the CDHFBC, who despite the risks implied by their work, nonetheless continue: “You could have been others, but you chose to be that which now brings you together.”

The final pronouncement, signed by the organizations and movements present, stresses the importance of memory in light of the tasks handed down by the past so as to maintain hope for the future: “Memory helps us to remember, brings to the present the disappeared, those who have been murdered, imprisoned, exiled. We do not forget the dirty war, State terrorism, or the counter-insurgency war; nor do we forget who it is that is responsible for impunity. Regardless, also in our memory are those individuals, peoples, and organizations who never give up, and it is this memory that converts itself into hope for future generations.” The organizations that signed the pronouncement proposed the following, among other things: “In light of the generalized violence imposed by the State, let us generate movements for peace and against war, and let us expand and recognize the participation of women, children, youth, and the elderly in the decisions governing collective life.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del encuentro “CON LA MEMORIA, LOS PUEBLOS CONSTRUIMOS JUSTICIA Y VERDAD” (17 March 2011)

Hermann Bellinghausen: “Empezó en Chiapas encuentro de activistas y defensores de derechos de todo el país” (17 March)

Palabras del EZLN a la XLI Asamblea Nacional de la Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles “ Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos” (March 2011)

Chiapas: Meeting of Women in Resistance and Hope to defend Mother Earth and the land

November 10, 2010

On 6 and 7 November, women from different towns and organizations from Chiapas attended the Meeting of Women in Resistance and Hope to Defend Mother Earth and the Land, held on the campus of CIDECI-Unitierra.  The women who attended shared experiences regarding the Earth, the situation lived by their families, and how they see justice in their communities.  In the final declaration of the meeting, the Earth is defined as a source of food, customs, and traditions, and of their history as a people.  On the other hand they stress various problems related to the defense of the Earth that they have to confront as women.

In the communiqué, the women explain how they resist projects advanced by the government and big companies that affect their lands: “[the rural-cities project] requires that we leave the Earth’s natural resources in the hands of the government and firms that take these away from us so as to exploit them, thus violating our rights to live the way that our grandparents have.  Other projects htat threaten our communities are the dams that are to be built in our territory; their construction would force us to leave our lands.  But there are also other resources–specifically mineral ones–that lie below Mother Earth, and for this reason we reject the large firms that exploit our lands, that damage the health of our sons and daughters through the pollution of our rivers and communities.  They destroy the paths, divide the communities through money, and bring death to those who confront these foreign companies.”

Additionally, the women pronounced themselves against militarization and police-presence in their regions: “our territory is also affected by the presence of the police and soldiers, who supposedly arrive to help or give aid, but what we see is that they only arrive to control our daily lives.  At the checkpoints they seek information and treat us with disrespect.  In the places where they put their camps there is prostitution, alcoholism, drug-addiction, and problems in the community.” The women also indicated that the cultural patrons of their communities as being causes of inequalities between women and men: “the customs of some communities are not all good, because it is the men who continue having control and power over the land, even if it is us who work it; also in some communities in which the majority of the authorities are men there are sought agreements that exclude the word of all.  They want to control even those with whom we will get married.  They don’t recognize our rights as women.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Communiqué, sound, and video of the Meeting (Denuncia pública, Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights)

Women’s meeting held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Cuarto Poder, 10 November)

Chiapas: National Network of Civil Resistance against the High Prices of Electricity is formed

May 20, 2009

On May 16 and 17, a meeting of organizations from 7 Mexican states took place in order to organize a National Network of Civil Resistance against the High Prices of Electricity. This meeting took place in CIDECI- University of the Earth in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, and representatives of 20 organizations from Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, the Federal District, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Veracruz attended in order to organize a united front against the privatization and high prices of electricity.

After a short recuperation of the history of civil resistance and the struggle against electricity prices in various parts of Chiapas since the Zapatista uprising in 1994, the representatives of each organization shared their experience of struggle and the situations they are dealing with. In addition, the organization analyzed the government policy regarding electrical energy, and that during two decades there have been various legal reforms which helped the process of privatization of electricity, which in Mexico is administered by the state.

The objectives of the National Network of Civil Resistance against the High Prices of Electricity are to: “Strengthen our processes of resistance against the high prices of electricity through coordination at a national level which implies: organization and co-ordination, communication, solidarity, sharing of experiences, learning, widening of the network. Struggle for the respect and compliance with the San Andres Accords. Struggle against the privatization of electrical resources.”

The Network will be run under the following principals: “Independent of the government and political parties, democratic and militant; in Solidarity: `if one is attacked, they attack all of us’; non-negotiation with the government except involving prisoners: recognize and respect our differences and diversities. Reclaim the electrical energy for the people”.

For More Information:


Artículo de La Jornada sobre la Conformación de la Red Nacional de Resistencia Civil a las Altas Tarifas de la Energía Eléctrica (In Spanish)

Refusing to Pay for the Lights: Local Struggle against Privatization – SIPAZ Report, December 2004