Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente organize a pilgrimage on the seventh anniversary of jTatik Samuel Ruiz

February 3, 2018
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Photo @SIPAZ


On January 25, the People of Faith (Pueblo Creyente) organized a pilgrimage to honor jTatik Samuel Ruiz, commemorating the 7th anniversary of his death. According to the newspaper Cuarto Poder, “more than five thousand Catholics of the 57 parishes of the diocese of San Cristóbal” participated in the pilgrimage through the streets of San Cristobal de las Casas before gathering in the Plaza Catedral to celebrate a mass officiated by the new bishop, Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, who was accompanied by the bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, Raúl Vera López. Aguilar Martinez stressed in his homily that “we learn from St. Paul and also from so many who in the history of this diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas have spent their lives preaching with their words and their works the magnificent announcement of God’s love in Christ.”

Pueblo Creyente reaffirmed that we are aware of the reality that we live in, and we are moving in many places and in many ways, we have the firm task to go on struggling for freedom, peace with justice and dignity for the benefit of the people, uniting us in a common struggle and building alternatives; and before the indiscriminate exploitation of the Gifts of Creation, today we are also an example and a proof of organization in defense and care of Mother Earth. “

The banners that they carried during their pilgrimage were painted with texts denouncing social and political conflicts. They reflected the issues presented in thier statement, where they strongly rejected the plunder of Land and Territory and the privatization of natural ressources, the effects of the so called “structural reforms”, the corruption and impunity and the fact that “throughout the country, and particularly in Chiapas, adequate consultations are not carried out when laws are drafted or projects are developed that affect the territories and rights of indigenous peoples”. The large number of pilgrims exceeded the participation of the pilgrimages in the previous years.

For more information (in Spanish):

Realizan peregrinación en honor al obispo Ruiz García (Cuarto Poder, 26 de enero 2018)

Pueblo Creyente peregrina en el séptimo aniversario de la pascua de jTatik Samuel Ruiz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: The Zoque Believing People to Receive 2017 Nobel Peace Prize October 28, 2017

Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas July 3, 2017

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage February 5, 2017

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Chiapas: In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, commemorations for Day of the Dead

November 19, 2015

Altar de la Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas.  Foto: cortesía.

Altar of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas. Photo credit: courtesy.

In observance of the Day of the Dead, several organizations and collectives organized commemorative events in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. For one, Melel Xojobal, a civil association that works to promote, defend, and exercise the human rights of children and youth through participatory processes, organized an act against child mortality due to discrimination, violence, and poverty. With slogans such as “they should not die” protestors marched through downtown, where they installed an altar with information regarding several cases and statistics on child mortality in Chiapas and Mexico. “We do these marches to raise our voices, so that people come to realize that the government does nothing, that when something happens to children or youth, impunity remains,” said a youth protestor.

For its part, the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas also installed an altar. Using photos of femicide victims, both from the state as well as from other parts of the country, they commemorated the victims of violence against women and demanded the end of the violence against women and female human-rights defenders.

Beyond this, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Lucio Hernández Patishtan, and Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, prisoners held in the Center for Social Readaptation (CERESO) of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, published a letter denouncing “the injustices, discrimination, and unjust incarcerations” due to which “we have not been able to visit our homes” to remember their dead. “Today and in this space we create our own altar to commemorate our families, friends, and all those who fell in 1994, as well as those killed in the Acteal massacre, tatic Samuel Ruiz García, who lamentably has left this world. Some of them died in the struggle, such that they are not present any longer as persons, but their spirits will live on in our hearts.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Día de muertos – Melel Xojobal (Vientos Culturales, 5 de noviembre de 2015)

Carta de presos en el día de muertos (Chiapas denuncia pública, 31 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: 5 years since the massacre of 72 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas (11 September 2015)

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of migration agents, says La 72 (22 March 2015)

Chiapas: Justice is demanded in the case of the feminicide of the youth Itzel Yanet Méndez Pérez (16 May 2012)

Chiapas: XV Aniversario de Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)


Chiapas: Call for the 2015 jTatik Samuel Jcanan Lum Award

February 8, 2015

© SIPAZ convocatoria Jcanan Lum 2015

Jcanan Lum Award call 2015 © SIPAZ

On 23 January, the 2015 public call to propose candidates for the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award” was launched.  The announcement was made by Monseigneur José Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo and the honorary president of the organizing committee.

The call recalls that the award has the goal of “making known and inspiring the work of women and men, organizations, and collectives that have distinguished themselves by their contribution to the people in the creation of communal and/or regional alternatives, as well as by their work directed at unity and peaceful social transformation […].  We want to recognize their love for the people, their resistance, their service, their search for alternatives amidst the suffering and marginalization of their communities, amidst the destruction of the Earth, the defense of human rights, the defense of the dignity of all, and their struggle for peace, justice, and liberation.”

“jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” is a charge that the Mons. Samuel Ruíz García received in the community of Amatenango del Valle by Ch’ol, Tojolabal, Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Zoque peoples on 14 October 2009.  There, he was recognized as the protector of their people, who love and defend him for being someone who cares for life, nature, and the Earth.  With reference to the same, the jTatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Award seeks to support individuals or groups and stimulate them by giving voice to their social work.

The proposals must be made in writing, physically, or electronically before 31 October 2015 to the following address: Calle Brasil No. 14, Barrio de Mexicanos, CP 29240, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México. Tel. and fax: 967 6787395, 967 6787396 E-mail: jcananlum@gmail.com

The awarding of the next wave of Recognitions will take place in January 2016 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in observance of the Episcopal Anniversary of jTatic Samuel Ruiz García.

For more information (in Spanish):

Convocatoria jCanan Lum 2015

“Reconocimiento jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum”, lanzamiento de convocatoria, Koman ilel, 23 de enero de 2015

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award during the assembly of the Believing People (7 March 2011)

Chiapas: Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organizations XI’NICH (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: celebration and presentation of 2011 jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award (31 January 2011)

Chiapas: Burial of Don Samuel Ruiz and presentation of the Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Award (31 January 2011)

Chiapas: visit to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied (30 July 2010)


Chiapas: Pilgrimage of the Believing People to observe the fourth anniversary of the death of Don Samuel Ruíz

February 8, 2015

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Photo @SIPAZ

On Saturday 24 January, the Believing People of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese held a pilgrimage through the streets of this city to commemorate the struggle and path of Don Samuel Ruíz García, the former bishop of Chiapas, who died four years ago.  Close to 10,000 believers, including Ch’ol, Tseltal, Tsotsil, Tojolobal, and mestizo men and women, participated in the pilgrimage which left from two points in the city toward Peace Plaza, where a mass was celebrated in honor of “jTatic Samuel.”  The banners that were carried during the event demonstrated the concern the pilgrims have for Mother Earth and the struggles they are undertaking to defend it, employing texts such as “no to mining,” “no to the highway,” and “our Mother Earth, the life-root of our people, we will defend.”

 

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Photo @SIPAZ

The pilgrims also expressed their solidarity with the struggle for justice carried out by the families of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, as their banners also showed.

For more information (in Spanish):

“Reconocimiento jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum”, lanzamiento de convocatoria (Koman Ilel, 23 de enero de 2015)

[VIDEO] Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente recuerda a jTatic Samuel Ruiz(Koman Ilel, 25 de enero de 2015)

Peregrinación Pueblo Creyente (Koman Ilel, 24 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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 (13 June 2014)

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


Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba”

March 30, 2014

25 Aniversario del Frayba, marzo de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

25th anniversary of Frayba, March de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 19 March, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba) celebrated 25 years since its founding.  Created in 1989 through the invitation of the then bishop of the the San Cristóbal de San Cristóbal diocese, Samuel Ruíz García, it in time passed into becoming a key reference for the defense of human rights, particularly of indigenous peoples, at the local, national, and international levels.

Part of the celebrations included the organization of an “International forum on human rights: from memory to hope,” which was attended by more than 350 persons, nationals and internationals.  On 18 March, the book The Social Evangelism of Bishop Raúl Vera was presented by the very bishop himself, who previously had worked with Samuel Ruiz in Chiapas and who now holds the presidency of the CDHFBC.

At the press-conference and ceremony which closed the events, the members of the CDHFBC recognized the difficulties and challenges implied for example by the advance of extractive industry and touristic projects in Chiapas, ina ddition to the attempts to loot territory, but they stressed that “it is the people who guide our path, in a positive feedback loop.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Destaca obispo Raúl Vera, la creación del Frayba por don Samuel Ruiz(Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Sin traicionar el legado de Samuel Ruiz, celebra el Frayba su 25 aniversario(Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

El Frayba celebra su 25 aniversario (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

“Lo que no se vale aquí es no caminar… caminemos”: Samuel Ruiz García(Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Sitio Web del 25 aniversario: http://yorailmaya.wordpress.com/

Facebook: frayba.derechoshumanos

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)


Chiapas: End of Mother Earth Congress

February 3, 2014
Peregrinación Congreso de la Madre Tierra. Foto @SIPAZ
Pilgrimage for Mother Earth Congress. Photo @SIPAZ
In observance of the third anniversary of the death of bishop Samuel Ruíz García and the commemoration of the 40 years since the founding of the Indigenous Congress in 1974, in San Cristóbal de las Casas from 22 to 24 January took place the Pastoral Diocene Mother Earth.  At the event close to a thousand people participating, hailing from different parishes of the state of Chiapas, as well as guests invited from other parts of the continent.

Among the principal goals of the Congress were to address the present environmental situation and to “propose agreements and actions to promote her defense and care.”

Among the agreements taken by those participating in the Congress were the work of raising awareness among families and communities regarding the existing problems, to organize communities to care for and defend Mother Earth, to pursue unity among political, ideological, and religious, differences, and to articulate and reorganize all the parishes to observe the agreements taken at the Congress.  In this way, it was decided to block mining operations and governmental policies which negatively affect the interests of communities: “We oppose mega-projects and devastating mineral exploitation.  We oppose the structural reforms proposed by the government to promote the interests of the dominant classes, in opposition to the people.  We pronounce ourselves in resistance to these more than 20 years of neoliberal agrarian reform which has ignored us completely as indigenous peoples, campesino communities, and Mexicans […].  Given the power of the transnational firms and their accomplice governments and allies, who seek to accumulate land and the resources of the air, soil, and subsoils, given to us by God, it is necessary that we realize the importance of resisting them…”

Lastly, on 25 January, the diocene organization the Believing People carried out a pilgrimage in the streets of San Cristóbal de las Casas that ended with a homily in the Peace Plaza, as presided over by the bishops Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel and Enrique Díaz Díaz.  Those present recalled the work of Samuel Ruiz and expressed their concern for the problems affecting Mother Earth.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se inicia en Chiapas Congreso diocesano sobre la madre tierra (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2014) Más de mil 200 indígenas y mestizos en el Congreso Pastoral Diocesano de la Madre Tierra (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de enero de 2014) Cierran filas pueblos indígenas tras concluir Congresode la Madre Tierra en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de enero de 2014) Marchan y recuerdan al obispo Samuel Ruiz (Noticias, 25 de enero de 2014) Primer Congreso de la Madre Tierra en San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas (Pozol Colectivo, 27 de enero de 2014) Comunicado final del Congreso Diocesano Pastoral de la Madre Tierra (Otros Mundos, 27 de enero de 2014) A 40 años del”Primer Congreso Indígena de Chiapas Bartolomé de las Casas” (Koman Ilel, enero de 2014)


Chiapas: Awarding of Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Recognition

February 3, 2014

(@koman ilel)

(@koman ilel)

On 21 January 2014, the jTatic Samuel, jCanan Lum Award was given to the Migrants House, the House of the Wandering jTatic Samuel Ruiz García of Pakal-na, based in Palenque, Chiapas; to Fray Tomás Gonzales Castillo, responsible for the “72” Migrant Home in Tenosique, Tabasco; and to the Ecumenical Group of Organic Agriculture belonging to Pablo L. Sidar, from Chicomuselo, Chiapas.

The nomination of the jCanan Lum (a term that in Tseltal signifies caretaker of the people and land) is a charge that Samuel Ruiz García, bishop of the San Cristóbal diocese, received in Amatenango del Valle from the Ch’ol, Tojolabal, Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Zoque people in 1999.  The award now recognizes work in favor of the people and Earth as taken on by individuals, groups, and peoples.

This year, the award committee was led by the bishop of Saltillo, Raúl Vera López, and by Professor Alberto Patishtán, who received this recognition from the bishop himself in 2010, while he was incarcerated.

For more information (in Spanish):

Entregan reconocimiento fundado por Samuel Ruiz a la casa de migrantes La 72 (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2013)

Activistas de apoyo a migrantes y conservacionistas recibirán el Reconocimiento jTatik Samuel jCanan Lum (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Launch of call for 2014 jTatic Samuel Jcanan Lum (5 February 2013)

Chiapas: First anniversary of the death of bishop Samuel Ruiz García; third award of the Jtatik Samuel jCanan Lum recognition (2012) (8 February 2012)

Chiapas: presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award during the assembly of the Believing People (7 March 2011)

Chiapas: Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organizations XI’NICH (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: celebration and presentation of 2011 jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award (31 January 2011)

Chiapas: visit to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied (30 July 2010)