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)


National: Actions to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán, 13 years after his arrest

June 25, 2013

Acción afuera del CERSS 5 @ SIPAZ

On 19 June, 13 years after his arrest, at least two events were held to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a Tsotsil professor from the El Bosque community who is presently being held in the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced (CERSS) No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Chiapas). Outside this prison, there was a mass offered by the priests of El Bosque, Magdaleno Sánchez Ruiz, and Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez Pérez.  Once the religious act ended, messages in solidarity were read, and hundreds of protestors held a march to emphasize their demand.  In Mexico City, there was organized a political-cultural event with the same demand, which was attended by members of different groups, including the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT) from San Salvador Atenco, and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME).  Different persons, such as the former rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Pablo González Casanova, and the local deputy for the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD), Carlos de Jesús Alejandro, expressed their support and demanded the release of Patishtán Gómez, member of the Voz del Amate and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the EZLN.  The PRD representative did not discard the possibility of requesting presidential pardon as a final gesture, in case of a failure from the federal tribunal in Tuxtla Gutiérrez in its decision on Alberto Patishtán, which is expected in the coming weeks.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Exigen liberación de Patishtán con marcha en torno a penal (20/06/2013)

La Jornada: Podría quedar libre pronto: ONG (20/06/2013)

Aristeguinoticias.com: “No tomaron en cuenta mis derechos”: Patishtán, a 13 años de encarcelado (20/06/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pilgrimage by the Believing People for the release of professor Alberto Patishtan (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Petition from the CDHFBC to release Alberto Patishtán (15 April 2013)

Chiapas: Forthcoming actions for the release of Alberto Patishtán (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: “Justice is its opposite,” declares Alberto Patishtán (20 March 2013)