Chiapas: Tenth Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation

November 3, 2014

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Mayan altar to celebrate the conference. Photo@Sipaz

From 21 to 24 October, there was held the tenth Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation in the Tres Pozos community, Comitán municipality, as organized by the Commission for Support for Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO).  Some 110 persons (66 men and 44 women) from 50 communities of 14 municipalities participated, in addition to representatives of civil organizations such as CORECO, Casa Kolping, SERAPAZ, and SIPAZ.  The space provided the opportunity to meet, exchange experiences, and to coordinate action for shared projects among those who works as builders of peace in their communities.  Beyond this, an analysis was made of the prevailing socio-political context in these communities.

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In this sense, a pilgrimage was held on 22 October to observe the global call for action “A light for Ayotzinapa,” a call that was heard throughout Mexico as well as abroad to express solidarity with the victims of the events that took place on 26 and 27 in Iguala, Guerrero.  Participants at the Meeting said their farewells, having come to agreement to continue to work together.  It was decided that the next meeting would take place from 20 to 23 October 2015 in the Los Chorros community, Patwitz region, Ocosingo municipality.

For more information (in Spanish):

CORECO, A.C.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Contradictory versions regarding findings from graves in Iguala three weeks after the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa – Protests are radicalized (26 October 2014)

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

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 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: http://chiapaspaz.wordpress.com/

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: Celebration of the Seventh Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation

November 28, 2011

From 21 to 23 November was celebrated the seventh Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation and the XV anniversary of the Commission of Support for Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  The event was organized and facilitated by CORECO.  To the event arrived 65 persons (48 men and 17 women) from 23 communities in 11 municipalities of Chiapas (Ocosingo, Altamirano, El Bosque, Venustiano Carranza, Comitán, Tenejapa, among others).  There also participated representatives from different organizations from Chiapas and Oaxaca.

The event was held with the objective of “making profound and strengthening our being and task as builders of peace, to advance in our path toward unity, peace, and reconciliation.”

In small work-groups there was reflected upon the problems lived by the participants in their communities, zones, and regions: “There are many divisions among organizations and religion.  There are tricks on the part of political parties.  Alcoholism is on the rise due to bars, many youth consume drugs, there is prostitution, adultery increases.  The youth go out to work in other places (migration) and change their cultures, traditions, and language. We are losing our culture as indigenous people.  There is bad information from the media.”

In light of this situation the participants in the forum interchanged their experiences as builders of peace and reflected on the work they are each of them doing in their communities, in addition to the obstacles they confront and the tasks to be realized so as to improve the situation and advance in their work of peace and reconciliation: “As builders of peace we have a great deal of work to do […].  We can construct peace through the defense of natural resources, in the struggle against mining, in efforts to build food sovereignty, in the defense of the rights of women and children […], in the struggle against militarization and paramilitarization, against the privatization of land, against repression […], for health and education.”

There was also reflected upon how it might be that the heart and work of the builders of peace and reconciliation could be strengthened: “In the work of the construction of peace I see only the organization, religion, or party, not the heart.  But if I approach the persons I will see many qualities, many flowers that are in their hearts.  We have not only spines; we must recognize our qualities, our flowers.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Sixth Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation (26 November 2010)

Fifth Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation – Beyond stressing the need for peace, let us construct it! (SIPAZ Report, March 2010)

Chiapas: Meeting of Organization of Relatives of Prisoners of Ocosingo (OFPO) (October 6, 2010)


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):

Coreco

Pronunciamiento Serpaz, 21 September 2011

Día internacional de la paz, ONU, 21 September 2011


Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives

April 15, 2011

photo: http://www.murciaconfidencial.blogspot.com

On 12 April was released the second part of a correspondence between Subcomandante Marcos and philosopher Luis Villoro.  In this latest part, Marcos reflects critically on the violence lived in the country, beginning by recognizing the poet Javier Sicilia and the struggle he is engaged in since the killing of his son Juan Francisco: “the pain and rage of Javier Sicilia (physically far away but close in ideals for some time) make echoes that reverberate in our mountains.  It is to be hoped that his legendary tenacity, as now called for by our word and actions, succeeds in bringing together the rages and pains that are being multiplied in Mexican lands.”

Beyond the reflection on the national context, Marcos also criticizes the state government of Juan José Sabines Guerrero, which “persecutes and represses those who do not conform to the false chorus that lauds his lies-made-government, which persecutes human-rights defenders in the Coast and the Highlands of Chiapas and the indigenous of San Sebastián Bachajón who refuse to prostitute their lands and encourages the actions of paramilitary groups against Zapatista indigenous communities.”

In the postscript Marcos writes on the death of Felipe Toussaint, coordinator of the Commission to Support Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO): “once again death has arrived with its unforeseen pass to a comrade.  Felipe Toussaint Loera, a Christian who believes in the necessity of terrestrial justice….  I remember him in one of the preparatory meetings of the Other Campaign in 2005, when he attempted to inscribe his individual history in the history of a collective that is reborn once and again.  We salute his life, because in it, to the questions ‘where to?’ ‘with whom?’ and ‘against what?’ Felipe responded: ‘below, with the indigenous who struggle against the system that exploits them, loots them, represses them, and disregards them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

DE LA REFLEXIÓN CRÍTICA, INDIVIDU@S Y COLECTIV@S. (Carta Segunda a Luis Villoro en el Intercambio Epistolar sobre Ética y Política), Enlace Zapatista, 11 April 2011

Reconoce ‘subcomandante Marcos’ lucha de Sicilia, La Jornada, 12 April 2011

Comunicado completo: SOBRE LAS GUERRAS. Fragmento de la carta primera del SCI Marcos a Don Luis Villoro, inicio del intercambio epistolar sobre Ética y Política. Enero-Febrero de 2011

EZLN: la guerra de Calderón dejará miles de muertos y jugosas ganancias económicas (La Jornada, 15 February 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: National march “We are fed up” (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: new communiqué by the EZLN “On the wars” (20 February 2011)

Chiapas: The EZLN laments the death of Don Samuel (31 January 2011)


Chiapas: Felipe Toussaint, coordinador of CORECO, dies

April 15, 2011

Last Saturday died in Comitán Domínguez Felipe de Jesús Toussaint Loera (11 January 1957 – 9 April 2011), coordinator of the Commission to Support Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO), member of the Directive Council of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), President of the Institute of Intercultural Studies and Investigation A.C. (Inesin AC), and Assessor of the Believing People of the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  He had also been a priest and worked for years with Don Samuel Ruiz García in Sabanilla and as Vicar General in the San Cristóbal diocese.  Both as a priest and after renouncing the priesthood, Toussaint never gave up his committment, as stressed bishop Raúl Vera in a celebration before his remains were cremated.

“Felipe continues building paths toward peace and reconciliation; he continues to love without limit those whom he always did love; he continues and will continue to love life.  We have no doubt that the seed he sowed will continue germinating in this Chiapan land until it reaches beyond the walls and borders and even crosses oceans.  We will continue following his example and his teachings to continue on the path toward a just and dignified world,” wrote the CDHFBC in a communiqué.

The postscript of the most recent communiqué by Subcomandante Marcos also mentions the death of Felipe Toussaint: “once again death has arrived with its unforeseen pass to a comrade.  Felipe Toussaint Loera, a Christian who believes in the necessity of terrestrial justice….  I remember him in one of the preparatory meetings of the Other Campaign in 2005, when he attempted to inscribe his individual history in the history of a collective that is reborn once and again.  We salute his life, because in it, to the questions ‘where to?’ ‘with whom?’ and ‘against what?’ Felipe responded: ‘below, with the indigenous who struggle against the system that exploits them, loots them, represses them, and disregards them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Fallece sacerdote alegado a Samuel Ruiz (El Universal, 10 April 2011)

Fallece Felipe Toussaint en Chiapas (Escrutinio Público, 10 April 2011)

Ofician misa para Felipe Toussaint (Cuarto Poder, 11 April 2011)

Análisis a fondo: Felipe Toussaint Loera (El Pais.com, La Comunidad, 10 April 2011)

Fallece miembro del Consejo Directivo del Frayba (Frayba, 10 April 2011)

Fotos – Aspectos del funeral de Felipe Toussaint Loera QEDP (Frayba, 10 April 2011)