Rally by MODEVITE and the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide
On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, several events were held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.
For one, the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide held its first assembly on 23-24 November. Through this action, the organization released a communique “in favor of social property, in opposition to all forms of privatization of the land and territory” and denouncing “the energy reform as well as its continuation in the strategic rural reform.” The women, together with some men, ended the meeting with a march against violence against women. Beyond this, the Movement in Defense of Land and Life (MODEVITE), from the Believing People of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese, also marched on the same day. Simultaneously, thousands of persons (30,000 according to Proceso) mobilized in ten other municipalities in the state, “to remember that Mother Earth must be protected against the mining, oil-extraction, and hydroelectric-dam megaprojects, among others, that are being imposed on our lands […]. We will raise our voices to prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages, drugs, and prostitution in our communities, and we will denounce the ineptitude and corruption of authorities in terms of failing to resolve these problems.” Both marches converged and reached Central Park jointly.
Despite the fact that the two groups had already announced their events, in the Cathedral Plaza, where the marches traditionally end to give way to rallies, the space was occupied by the state-government. From early in the morning, privatized space was installed for the event at which Governor Manuel Velasco Coello awarded support “From Heart to Heart” to 4,000 single mothers. It bears noting that initiatives like the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide have denounced the welfarism promoted by the state governments, which lead to dependency and end up becoming a form of social control over women.
For more information (in Spanish):
#SanCristóbal de las Casas sale a la calle contra las agresiones machistas y en defensa del territorio #Chiapas (Koman Ilel, 25 de noviembre de 2015)
Comunicado del l Movimiento de Mujeres en Defensa de la Tierra, el Territorio y por el Derecho de las Mujeres a decidir (Koman Ilel, 25 de noviembre de 2015)
Realizan mujeres Asamblea en Defensa de la Tierra (Cimac Noticias, 24 de noviembre de 2015)
Marchan miles en Chiapas en pro de la vida y la defensa del territorio (Proceso, 25 de noviembre de 2015)
Miles de indígenas integrantes del Pueblo Creyente marcharon en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 26 de noviembre de 2015)
Peregrinación en defensa de la vida y el territorio en 11 municipios de Chiapas (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 24 de noviembre de 2015)
Por la vida y la libertad de las mujeres (Cimac Noticias, 24 de noviembre de 2015)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Center for Women’s Rights in Chiapas denounces threats (26 December 2015)
National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)