Chiapas: Pilgrimages and marches against violence against women, and other demands

December 15, 2014

Peregrinación de Pueblo Creyente en San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

Pilgrimage of the Believing People in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

On 25 November, in observance of the International Day against Violence and Exploitation of Women, thousands of Catholics pertaining to the Believing People from the San Cristóbal diocese engaged in simultaneous pilgrimages in 12 municipalities of Chiapas to demonstrate their opposition to the planned highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque; to demand justice for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa; to oppose violence against women, alcoholism, energy reform, and corruption, among other issues.  Approximately 3500 engaged in the action in San Cristóbal, with 7000 in Ocosingo, 10,000 in Chilón, 1000 in Oxchuc, and 800 in Tenejapa.  Participants indicated that they engaged in the pilgrimage “in a peaceful manner, requesting respect for our constitutional right to protest, be heard, and have our complaints addressed by municipal, state, and federal authorities” and to “express solidarity with the more than 100,000 victims of organized crime and especially the families of the murdered youth and the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, in Iguala, Guerrero, as well as with the victims of Acteal who, nearly 20 years since the massacre, still plead for justice from the government, thus strengthening the impunity that has led 73 of the 75 imprisoned for this crime against humanity to be released.”

Marcha en San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

Beyond this, after the end of the “Forum for Women, Peoples, and Organizations in Defense of the Land and Territory” that was held from 23-24 November, close to 250 women and men marched on 25 November in San Cristóbal, given that they see “with great alarm that big capital is at war with all the peoples of the world because it wants to plunder our lands to make way for investments for mining firms, airports, hotels, highways, seaports, transgenic seeds, monocultures, dams, etc.”  They added in the communique that “another strategy has been to generate conflicts among the people to divide the struggle and so control land.  But the most dangerous thing is to allow the drug-traffickers free reign to convert out land into a crossfire zone, leaving a hundred thousand dead and disappeared.  For this reason we affirm that the firms, the bad government, and the drug-traffickers all seek the same thing: To gain control of our communities, our ancestral resources, our bodies, our lives, and even our future.”

Beyond this, some 500 persons from the Light and Power of the Highlands Region organization, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, marched with banners listing various historical massacres in Mexico.  As one of the banners read, “in the future, the next massacre could involve you or your children.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alto a las distintas formas de corrupción del gobierno y violencia al pueblo Queremos Justicia y Paz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas (25 de noviembre de 2014)

Marchan en Chiapas contra autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque (La Jornada, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Miles marchan en San Cristobal contra los megaproyectos y violencia contra las mujeres (Espoir Chiapas, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel (20 July 2014)

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 (26 October 2013)


National: Federal judge orders suspension of sowing and commercialization of transgenic maize

October 25, 2013

(@Greenpeace)

(@Greenpeace)

A federal judge has ordered the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture to suspend permits to transnationals such as Monsanto and Pionner to sow, cultivate, and commercialize transgenic maize in Mexico.  With this development is resolved the collective action made in July by 53 scientists, intellectuals, agriculturalists, artists, and activists, as well as 22 environmental, productive, and human rights organizations, to demand a healthy environment and the retention of the biodiversity of maize.  This demand was presented with the argument of protecting the human right to biodiversity, given that Mexico is the very origin of the maize plant.  This suspension has the objective of opening a profound debate in which the parties will present their claims in favor or against genetically modified maize.  According to the Vía Orgánica group, the introduction of transgenic maize to Mexico would represent a serious risk, given that 53% of the caloric intake of the national diet comes from the direct consumption of maize.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ordenan suspender siembra y comercialización de maíz transgénico en México (Proceso, 10 de octubre de 2013)

Juzgado federal frena liberación al ambiente de maíz transgénico (la Jornada, 10 de octubre de 2013)

Mentiras y verdades sobre el maíz transgénico (Greenpeace México)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Chiapas: International Day of Action against Monsanto and Transgenics(7 June 2013)

Chiapas: Popular Forum for the Defense of the Land, Territory, and Food Sovereignty (26 November 2012)

Chiapas: Visit by Oliver De Shutter, UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food (21 June 2011)