Chiapas: Cries of liberty from the Believing People in Simojovel

October 8, 2015

(Durante la misa @ChiapasDenunciaPública(During mass @ChiapasDenunciaPública)

During the night of 15 September 2015, when President Enrique Peña Nieto proclaimed his “Cry of Independence” in the Zócalo of Mexico City, the Believing People from Simojovel made their own cry. Following a Catholic mass at the San Antonio de Pádua parish, the group called into question the spectacle, asking, “What are we celebrating as Mexicans? Are we free and sovereign? If we are free, why are there so many dead? Why is social protest criminalized? Why in Chiapas are there so many displaced? Why so much corruption from the authorities? Why does organized crime have so much power, slowly taking over increasingly more communities? Why is there so much poverty—rising, indeed, with more than 2 million impoverished?” They recognized that “Viva Mexico” cannot be proclaimed if each year brings more poor living under the boot of institutionalized violence and the concentration of wealth among a small minority. They demanded a new face and heart for Mexico, and a change to the system.

The Believing People noted that there exists a generalized cry within the country, as expressed by the Mexican bishops: “Enough! We do not want more blood to be spilled. We do not want more dead. We do not want more disappeared. We want neither more pain nor more shame […]. We unite ourselves to the general cry for a Mexico in which truth and justice provoke a profound transformation of the institutional, judicial, and political structures that will assure that events such as these will never recur.” For this reason, they proposed cries that come increasingly from organized communities that are struggling for truth. Beyond this, they invited all the people of Chiapas to organize themselves to defend and protect the lives of their communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gritos de libertad en Simojovel (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

Creyentes “celebran” Fiestas Patrias (Diario de Chiapas, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

Pronunciamiento del Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (Vida Nueva, 24 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New threats against the priest and members of the Believing People (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: Believing People of El Bosque march for a halt to violence in their region (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest (23 April 2015)

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

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National: Several criticisms of the presentation of Peña Nieto’s Third Report of Government

September 13, 2015

Enrique Peña Nieto during the presentation of the Third Report of Governance. Photo: @cnn méxico

Under the slogans “Mexico at peace,” “inclusive Mexico,” “Mexico with quality education,” “prosperous Mexico,” and “Mexico with global responsibility,” President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) presented his Third Governance Report on 2 September. During the presentation made at the National Palace in Mexico City, EPN made public his evaluation of the first half of his presidency, noting that he would not change the path of the reforms he had promoted, but rather accelerate this. “We will continue to build on the base we have established during the first half,” he expressed.

EPN discussed the previous year (September 2014-August 2015) as “difficult.” “Our country was profoundly hurt by a series of lamentable cases: the events of Iguala and the escape of a criminal recall the situations of violence,” he noted. According to La Jornada, the president’s comments alluded to the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa and the escape of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, “el Chapo.” Beyond this, he recognized the indignation and social rejection of both acts due to “indications of conflicts of interest that even involved the Executive branch.”

EPN also announced that there would be no new taxes or increases on those already existing, despite the decline in income from the petroleum sector. He also reported the fall in impactful crimes and the increase in poverty rates, according to the Measurement of the National Council for the Evaluation of the Policies of Social Development (CONEVAL). Beyond this, he declared that the changes to the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca (IEEPO) were oriented toward the “liberation of public education in Oaxaca, the particular interests that have maintained it captive for decades,” beyond ratifying the progression of the Educational Reform: “For our children and youth in Oaxaca—and throughout Mexico—the law will be applied. There will no retreat: despite the difficulties, the Educational reform will reach the last corner and school of the country.” He also warned of the risk of “believing in demagoguery, intolerance, and populism” in these moments during which there reigns “frustration and pessimism.” At the end of the report, he presented a new decalogue called “10 measures for new challenges.”

The Third Report received many criticisms by national and international organizations that believe Mexico is passing through a severe human-rights crisis that they feel was ignored in the presidential report.

For more information (in Spanish):

3r Informe de Gobierno 2014-2015 (Presidencia de la República)

El Tercer Informe de Peña Nieto en 10 frases (Animal Político, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

Iguala perturbó a México, reconoce Peña Nieto (La Jornada, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

Al dar un balance de su mandato, EPN reconoce hechos que causaron desconfianza e incertidumbre (Animal Político, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

A casi 1 año de Ayotzinapa, EPN no ha cumplido decálogo en seguridad (SinEmbargo, 7 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Nacional: Lack of confidence and strong criticisms of the Second Governmental Report presented by EPN (15 September 2014)

National: Submission of First Governmental Report amidst protests and mass-disturbances (13 September 2013)

National: Polemical ascension of EPN (7 December 2012)


National: Entry into law of bill on the rights of children and adolescents

December 29, 2014

(@elconstituyente.com)

On 3 December, President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) signed into law the new bill on the rights of minors that was shortly thereafter published in the Official Diary of the Federation (DOF).  Peña Nieto affirmed that it would represent “a legal instrument for progress to create the appropriate conditions for the comprehensive development of minors.”

In a press-bulletin, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Mexico stressed “the creation at the highest level of the National System for the Comprehensive Protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, of the Federal Prosecutorial Office for Protection, and of the National System for Information on Infancy, as well as the obligation of assigning an adequate budget to observe the implementation of the law, among other things.”

UNICEF considered the consolidation of a legal mark that would provide greater protection to the 40 million children and adolescents who live in Mexico a great opportunity.  Nonetheless, it stressed the following challenges faced by minors in the country:

“• Slightly more than half of children and adolescents in Mexico (21 million) lived in poverty in 2012; of these, 5 million suffered extreme poverty.

• There are still 6.1 million children between 3 and 17 years of age who do not attend school, despite the fact that attendance in basic and middle-school education has increased.  Child mortality (defined as applying to those under 5 years of age, per 1,000 children born) is still high in states like Guerrero (19.4), Chiapas (19.5), Puebla (19.7), and Oaxaca (20), despite the fact that the national rate has declined considerably (from 41 in 1990 to 16 in 2012).

• Six of each 10 children and adolescents have directly experienced some form of violence in their homes or schools.

• In 2013 15,561 unaccompanied children and adolescents were deported from the United States to Mexico.  These migrants have been exposed to all types of dangers and human-rights violations.

• 2.5 million children and adolescents work, despite efforts in recent years to reduce the rate of child labor.”

UNICEF stresses that “This law will be transcendental for the future and present of children in the country, and for this reason for development in Mexico with regard to social and economic questions, as well as matters related to justice, such that the next step will consist in assuring the adequate implementation of the law and guaranteeing that new mechanisms and institutions stipulated by this law will have the means to operate in an efficient manner.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El presidente Peña promulga la nueva ley sobre derechos de los menores(CNN México, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Promulga EPN Ley de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes, fundamental para progreso y paz social (Radio Fórmula, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Promulga Peña la ley de niños y adolescentes (El Universal, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

Más de 40 millones de niños podrán contar con un mejor marco legal(Boletín de prensa, UNICEF, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)


International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements at the Vatican

November 12, 2014

Internacional: Encuentro Mundial de Movimientos Populares en el Vaticano (@Via Campesina)

International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements at the Vatican (@Via Campesina)

From 27 to 29 October, more than 150 leaders from different labor, migrant, campesino, and indigenous organizations and processes participated in the “International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements” that was held at the Vatican.  Among the participants present were the Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas de Chiapas Center for Human Rights, and the Mexican Electricians’ Union.

Pope Francis (an Argentinian) noted that “[t]his meeting responds to a very concrete desire […] that should be accessible to all, because today we see with sadness that land, shelter, and work is evermore out of grasp for the majority.  It is strange, but if I speak of this, for some it means that the Pope is a communist.”

The Pope recognized the struggle of grassroots movements that “do not rest content with illusory promises, excuses, or alibies.”  “The scandal of poverty cannot be addressed through the promotion of contention strategies that only tranquilize the poor, converting them into domesticated and neutral beings,” he warned.

He stressed that “the poor do not simply wait with their arms crossed for the solutions that never arrive; now, the poor seek to be protagonists to find their own solutions to their problems.”  The poor, in this sense, “are not resigned, but rather they protest,” and this protest “bothers” those in power.  He expressed in addition that he hopes that “the wind of protest becomes a gale of hope.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Discurso del Papa Francisco a los Participantes en el Encuentro Mundial de Movimientos Populares

Resumen del Encuentro Mundial de Movimientos Populares (Minga Informativa)

Impresiones de una jornada histórica (Ignacio Ramonet, Rebelión, 30 de octubre de 2014)

El papa Francisco rinde homenaje a los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos (La Jornada, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Papa pide “tierra, techo y trabajo ” para los pobres (Milenio, 28 de octubre de 2014)

Discuten en el Vaticano sobre marginación (El Universal, 28 de octubre de 2014)

Movimientos populares del mundo, con el Papa (La Jornada, 25 de octubre de 2014)


Chiapas/National: Issue 3 of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” magazine, “Beyond Sharing”

September 29, 2014

Portada de la Revista

Cover of issue 3 of Rebelliousness Magazine

On 19 September, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés published a new communique announcing the publication of issue 3 of the Zapatista Rebelliousness Magazine, the EZLN’s word.  The first part of the issue provides part of the content of the “sharing” that took place between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista peoples at the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting, and the second half provides interviews with “comrades of free, alternative, autonomous, or however-you-call-them media.”

In said communique, signed as having been written in August 2014, it is expressed that, “[i]n La Realidad,” where the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting took place, “we discussed how capitalism has us and why it is that it has us [so], and what it is that will happen to us, if we continue in the way that the capitalists have us.”  It continues: “Peoples, nations, tribes.  Poor people, the poor exploited workers of the countryside and city are those who know what a new world should be like, with a new system of governance.  Why?  Because they have suffered injustice, poverty, inequality.  They have suffered sadness, pain, bitterness, loneliness.  They have suffered imprisonment, torture, forcible disappearance.  They have suffered centuries of lies and tricks, discrimination, very horrible things–inhumane cruelties, humiliations; they have suffered looting and displacement.  It has been centuries and centuries of insults and lives without peace, because of those from above, the capitalist system.”

Furthermore, it was recalled that from 22 December 2014 to 3 January 2015, there will be held the “First Global Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Editorial 3. Más allá de la compartición (Enlace Zapatista, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Second issue of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” released (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 2014)


National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day

May 16, 2014

@Agencia Cuartoscuro

@Agencia Cuartoscuro

Since 1924, 30 April has been celebrated as International Children’s Day.  In theory, the day was established to promote the rights of children.  However, the date has now become a “political festival of balloons and clowns,” as the daily newspaper El Universal charged, while Chiapas Paralelo indicated the “proselytism” of politicians who take advantage of the organized events to take pictures with children.  El Universal also mentioned the absurdity of inverting in toys and spectacles “more than in solutions to protect those who are being celebrated.”

Certainly, little can be celebrated, as these media and others have stressed: Mexico is one of the 30 countries in which children suffer conditions of slavery.  Beyond this, more than half of all children (20 million) live in poverty, with 10% of them residing in Chiapas.  The statistics regarding children in this state are equally alarming in terms of education, access to health services, and nutrition, among other things.  Melel Xojobal A.C. noted for its part that “the country has very little to celebrate when more than a half of its children and adolescents live in conditions of poverty, exclusion, and violence.”  The group observed for example that in Chiapas more than 21,000 minors live in the streets, that the state has the lowest percentage of school attendance in the country, that it has a rate of child labor higher than the national average, and that more than half of the children of the Highlands region suffer from malnutrition.

For more information (in Spanish):

Proselitismo con juguetes y despensas, en el marco del Día del Niño y la Niña (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Más de dos millones de niños, niñas y adolescentes en pobreza y exclusión en Chiapas: Melel Xojobal (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Día del Niño… o de los políticos? (El Universal, 30 de abril de 2014)

Día del niño con mucho que trabajar (Cuarto Poder, 30 de abril de 2014)

Día del niño, detrás de una sonrisa inocente está la pobreza y la desigualdad (Crónica de los Altos, 30 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)


Mexico: poverty increases in the country, especially in urban areas. Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Guerrero continue to have the great number of poor. Campaign for the ratification of PF PIDESC

December 14, 2011

At the beginning of December, the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval) released the most recent statistics regarding poverty in Mexico.  While the states with the highest percentages of impoverished persons continues to be Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Veracruz, the greatest number of poor are found in 190 urban localities, particularly in large cities.  Coneval attributes this situation to the crisis of 2008, general inflation in the prices of food, as well as commercial dependence on the US.  The statistics of this organization take into account a number of variables of social lack including health, education, and housing, in addition to income, factors that are jointly determine whether poverty is moderate or extreme.

The most impoverished municipalities in the country are the following: San Juan Tepeuxila, Oaxaca (with 97.4% of its population impoverished); Aldama, Chiapas (97.3%); San Juan Cancuc, Chiapas (97.3%); Mixtla de Altamirano, Veracruz (97%); Chalchihuitán, Chiapas (96.8%); Santiago Textitlán, Oaxaca (96.6%); San Andrés Duraznal, Chiapas (96.5%); Santiago El Pinar, Chiapas (96.5%); Sitalá, Chiapas (96.5%), and San Simón Zahuatlán, Oaxaca (96.4%).

In previous days, upon presenting the report “Social Panorama of Latin American and the Caribbean,” the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal), a UN organization, had indicated that Mexico and Honduras have been the only two countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in which poverty has increased in the past year.  According to Cepal, in contrast, in the majority of Latin America and the Caribbean, poverty rates have diminished.  It details that in 2009, 34.8% of the Mexican population found itself in situation of poverty; in 2010, this percentage rose to 36.3% of all residents of the country.  The number of Mexicans who live in extreme poverty equaled 13.3% of the total population in 2010 (an increase of 2.1%, compared with 2009).

In related matters, on 7 December, a coalition of 95 Mexican organizations and networks handed over to the Secretary of Foreign Relations more than 18000 citizens’ signatures supporting the signing and ratification of the Facultative Protocol for International Agreement of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (PF PIDESC), a means that could help in the struggle against poverty.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de prensa completo (CONEVAL, 2 December)

Puebla, DF y Edomex concentran pobreza: Coneval (Proceso, 2 December)

Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero y Veracruz son las entidades con mayor índice de pobres: Coneval (La Jornada, 3 December)

Sólo en México y Honduras creció la pobreza en el último año: Cepal(La Jornada, 30 November)

La campaña mexicana por la ratificación de PF PIDESC entrega el sentir de más de 18 mil mexicanos a la cancillería (Boletín de prensa, 8 December 2011)