Chiapas: SIPAZ event – 20 years accompanying lights of hope

December 26, 2015

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SIPAZ Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope”

Photo @SIPAZ

On 27 and 28 November was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas the Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope” to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ). Those participating in the event included women and men from communities, organizations, human-rights centers, the academy, as well as activists, both from Mexico and other countries. By means of panels, the invited speakers shared reflections regarding their experiences, situating them also within an historical analysis incorporating the principal tendencies, challenges, and obstacles. The event stressed concern for the present situation in the country, given that participants agreed that we are in a war situation.

Two media based in the lessons learned through SIPAZ’s years of work in Mexico were presented at the event. One was a documentary, entitled “That the Heart Not Break. Non-Violent Struggles for Justice and Defense of Land,” produced in collaboration with the Koman Ilel community media collective. The video was presented with the participation of the involved communities and organizations: communities displaced below Tila and the Las Abejas Civil Society, based in Chiapas, along with the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER), from Oaxaca. In parallel, the book Struggle with a Woman’s Heart: The Situation and Participation of Women in Chiapas (1995-2015), was presented and discussed. This volume brings together the major experiences and lessons from women’s struggle to participate and for gender equality.

For more information (in Spanish):

SIPAZ: 20 años acompañando luces de esperanza (EDUCA, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

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Press conference: Girls and female adolescents also count

October 25, 2014

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Participants in the press-conference. Photo @Sipaz

In observance of International Girls’ Day, on 11 October there was held a press-conference at Melel Xojobal with the title “Girls and female adolescents also count: challenge in the observance of their rights to education, decent work, and a lives free of violence.”  Moderated by Magaly Dominguez López, four girls aged 13 to 17 expressed their concerns and demands.  These indigenous girls go to school, but they also work in childcare, selling artisanry, or helping in hotels, thus supporting their families.  For these reasons, they demand not only the right to school, but also to dignified work.  Beyond this, they demand lives free of violence alongside gender equality.  They criticized communication media for presenting images of the ideal woman that do not correspond to their lives.  With regard to the future, they desire more attention from media, so that their voices are also counted.

For more information (in Spanish):

Melel Xojobal

Red por los derechos de la Infancia en México

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents (1 October 2014)


Chiapas: Congress approves electoral reform. It establishes formal gender equality, but with exceptions

July 7, 2014
Congreso del estado de Chiapas (@chiapas.gob.mx)

Chiapas State Congress (@ chiapas.gob.mx)

On June 30, the Chiapas State Congress approved reforms and additions to the Code of Elections and Citizen Participation by majority. Such changes allow the approval of the federal political and electoral reform at the state level.

The most controversial points include that of gender equality for candidates for elected office, but the reform allows for the rule to be suspended, for, if the candidate comes from a democratic process of internal election within a party, it is conceivable that equality not be observed in such a case.

As part of the discussion, Alejandra Soriano Ruíz (Party of the Democratic Revolution, PRD), president of the Commission on Gender Equality of the state Congress, asked the lawmakers to remove this exception, but the proposal was rejected. Congresswoman Rosa Alma Siman (Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI) said in reply that women in Chiapas do not want to participate in politics, and that there are not enough women interested to ensure gender equality.

The delegate of the National Electoral Institute (INE) in Chiapas, Edgar Arias, announced that he will promote the challenging of these reforms before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), explaining that “on the subject of gender they should retain an exception to the constitutional obligation of parties to observe equality when nominating candidates.”

As for other changes, it is worth mentioning that campaign times were shortened in comparison with the times proposed at a federal level. For the governor it will be 63 days and for Congress and municipal government, 33 days.

For more information (in Spanish):

Impugnarán ante la Corte la reforma electoral aprobada en Chiapas (Proceso, 1ero de julio de 2014)

Congreso de Chiapas homologa reforma electoral (El Universal, 1ero de julio de 2014)

Aprueba Chiapas paridad de género… pero con “candado” (CIMAC Noticias, 2 de julio de 2014)