Chiapas: Beginning of grand pilgrimage of the Believing People from Simojovel

April 10, 2015

Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente, Simojovel, marzo de 2015 (@SIPAZ)

Pilgrimage of the Believing People, Simojovel, March 2015 (@SIPAZ)

On Monday 23 March, more than 5,000 members of the Believing People from Simojovel–an organizational process associated with the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese–undertook a grand pilgrimage (Easter Via Crucis), leaving from this city to arrive in the Chiapas state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, on 26 March.  Through this peaceful mobilization, they seek to obtain greater security in the region, the closure of cantinas and brothels, an effective campaign against alcoholism and drug abuse, and an end to corruption.  Equally, they have pronounced themselves in defense of their priest, Marcelo Pérez Pérez, and the members of the parish council who have received threats due to their support of these demands.  In this sense, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to guarantee their protection.

This first day, the pilgrims covered approximately 45 kilometers, stopping to sleep in Bochil before continuing on in the direction of Ixtapa, the destination for the second day of the pilgrimage.  In total, they plan to walk over 120 kilometers.

For more information (in Spanish):

Peregrinan 10 mil en Chiapas contra corrupción en zona norte (OEM, 24 de marzo de 2015)

“En Simojovel no hay agua potable, pero sí litros y litros de alcohol”(Chiapas Paralelo, 24 de marzo de 2015)

Marchan católicos contra alcohol y drogas (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2015)

Simojovel Chiapas: Importante, significativa y oportuna la Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente (Radio Pozol, 23 de marzo de 2015)

Solicita CIDH medidas cautelares para sacerdote de Simojovel (Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People from Simojovel announce pilgrimage to Tuxtla to demand peace and justice (22 March 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November de 2014)

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Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel

July 20, 2014

Foto (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

Photo (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

On Saturday 12 July, the Believing People of Simojovel carried out a fourth “Pilgrimage for peace.”  Thousands of persons marched to highlight the increase in violence in the municipality due to alcoholism, drug-trafficking, prostitution, and arms trading, and to denounce the death-threats received by the priest Marcelo Pérez and other members of the Council of Parishes of San Antonio de Padua.  On the same occasion, they accused municipal authorities of being corrupt and of favoring this situation which undermines peace and security for the people of Simojovel.  In a communique, the Believing People declared that “Amidst these death-threats, we cannot be silent or be indifferent; we cannot simply cross our arms while seeing so much suffering caused by the corruption of the authorities.”

Furthermore, they publicly demanded that the corresponding authorities re-establish peace and tranquility for the people by closing places for drug and alcohol sales, prostitution centers, and repressing the traffic in weapons.  In this way, they specified that “We demand security for our people; enough of violating our rights.  We demand liberty and justice.”  They added: “This is our action so that peace be restored in this community.  We will not tire; if we see that there is no result, we will take other measures in the coming days and months.  The people must continue raising their voice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ante amenazas de muerte no podemos callar: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 12 de julio de 2014)

En Chiapas el Pueblo Creyente peregrina por la Paz (Frayba, 12 de julio de 2014)

Peregrinan por la paz en Simojovel (Cuarto Poder, 13 de julio de 2014)

En Simojovel, Chiapas la delincuencia manda, controla y amenaza(Proceso, 12 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel for the closure of “cantinas” and the end of violence; parish priest receives threats (June 13, 2014)

Chiapas: Believing People holds pilgrimage in Simojovel to denounce the increase in violence in the municipality (October 26, 2013)


National: Commemoration of two years of the MPJD

April 8, 2013

Cartel-2do-año-del-MPJD-baja-600x889

On 28 March, two years after the murder of the son of the poet Javier Sicilia, which gave rise to the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD), there was held a series of actions to commemorate this date in Cuernavaca (Morelos), Mexico City, Chiapas, and even Tokyo, Japan.At the Mexico City event, Javier Sicilia declared that two years after the MPJD’s beginnings, there persists “a suffering that does not see any sort of justice or peace,” although he also indicated that “all commemorative dates are also times during which we stop to think, would it not be worth it to simply leave our pain inside […]?”  He indicated in this sense that there have been advances in three respects: the visibilization of victims, the State’s taking acceptance of responsibility, and the creation of the General Law on Victims.Regarding the future of the MPJD, Sicilia identified three aspects.  With regard to the Law on Victims, he said that the MPJD would maintain “an absolute vigilance for the real application of the General Law of Victims throughout the country […].  The only reasons that we see as serving as obstacles for this are bad faith, disparagement, ignorance, and solidarity with organized crime.”

Sicilia also demanded that the Estela de Luz, where the event was held, be transformed “not only into a center of documentation of the memory of all victims in the country, but rather a cultural center for peace.”  It should be mentioned that until 8 May, there will be carried out a campaign to collect signatures at www.change.org/esteladepaz toward this end.

Finally, Sicilia announced that the MPJD would continue to collaborate with U.S. organizations that participated in the Caravan for Peace (August-September 2012), given that “there will be no peace as long as on the other side of the border, there is no regulation of the consumption of drugs or of control of the weapons of extermination.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Presenta oficialmente Movimiento por la Paz exigencia de resignificar Estela de Luz (La Jornada, 2 de abril de 2013)

La situación de las víctimas, peor (Proceso, 1ero de abril de 2013)

‘‘El Estado, aún omiso ante miles de crímenes’’(La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2013)

“Sobre el misterio del dolor que trae esperanza y la vida que nace de la muerte”: Reflexiones en el II Aniversario del Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad (Iglesias por la Paz, 29 de marzo de 2013)

Palabras de Javier Sicilia en la conmemoración de los dos años del MPJD (MPJD, 28 de marzo de 2013)

La Voz del Amate y Solidarios de la Voz del Amate saludan al MPJD (28 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: EPN dismisses Calderón’s motion against the General Law on Victims (7 December 2012)

National: MPJD criticizes presidential “veto” of Law on Victims (10 July 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)