Chiapas: Events to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

December 26, 2015

Mitin del MODEVITE y del Movimiento de Mujeres en Defensa de la Tierra, el Territorio y por el Derecho de las Mujeres a decidir. Foto: @SIPAZ

Rally by MODEVITE and the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide
Photo: @SIPAZ

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)

Chiapas: During International Women’s Day on 8 March, a meeting, a march, and a rally (10 March 2015)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

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

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)


Chiapas: Violence in Teopisca to force women to attend a PRI rally

June 10, 2015


Graffiti: “Votes are gained, not bought,” Teopisca (@Chiapas Paralelo)

On 27 May, women who benefit from the Próspera governmental welfare program occupied the Teopisca City Hall to protest the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and its mayoral candidate, as they had been forced to attend a rally from this party, planned for 10am the next day. They were threatened with having their support withdrawn if they did not attend the action, they denounced.

In retaliation, women painted graffiti against the PRI mayoral candidate, Raúl López; they also punctured the PRI bus’ tires and broke its windows. They demand the resignation of the Próspera municipal coordinator, and that the SEDESOL officials suspend political conditions for participation in the program.

In light of these acts, the Chiapas Center for Women’s Right A.C. (CDMCH) denounced “the violence that women face if they receive welfare programs from the political parties and officials of public policy, in exchange for votes, forcing them to join whatever political party to ensure the flow of support.” The CDMCH denounced that the women had been threatened with “having their programs withdrawn if they do not join the party, [which] takes advantage of their impoverished state, amidst the fact that there is no comprehensive attention granted by the State in terms of education, health, housing, and just work.”

The CDMCH has demanded a halt to violence against women, as well as the use of poverty for political ends, being “consequences of the impunity and social backwardness in which thousands of us women and our families live in Chiapas, in terms of the exercise of the right to free and informed voting on 7 June.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Beneficiarias de Prospera en Teopisca desocupan alcaldía tras cese de funcionaria, La Jornada, 30 de mayo de 2015

Protestas en Teopisca por uso electoral de programa social, La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2015

Comunicado del cdmch ante los hechos violentos een el municipio de Teopisca por motivos electorales, CDMCH, 29 de mayo de 2015

Mujeres denuncian que el PRI les condiciona la entrega de PROSPERA en Teopisca, Chiapasparalelo, 28 de mayo de 2015

Chiapas: International Women’s Day in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

March 21, 2015



In observance of International Women’s Day, 8 March, close to 200 women and men marched in San Cristóbal de Las Casas for equal rights.  They marched from the south of the city to downtown to demand a cessation of violence against women, patriarchy, and femicide, as well as “an end to the privatization of the natural goods such as lands and water, because it is a plundering of our peoples and communities.”  During the rally with which the march concluded, different groups, collectives, and communities reported about the creation of a Movement in defense of the land, the territory, and in favor of the participation and recognition of women in decision-making processes.  “The Movement arose as a response organized within the context of the plundering and destruction of natural resources, as well as the generalized violence exercised by the State through its neoliberal policies and gender violence,” they explained.  Participants stressed that the declaration of principles of the group establishes 11 principles that govern it, toward a position “from below and to the left, like our hearts, using a logic of autonomy, democracy, and independence from the government and all political parties.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marcha en San Cristóbal por el Día Internacional de la Mujer (LaJornada, 8 de marzo de 2015)

8 de marzo, #Mujeres de #Chiapas forman el Movimiento en defensa de la tierra, el territorio y por la participación y el reconocimiento de las mujeres en las decisiones (Koman Ilel, 9 de marzo de 2015)

[AUDIO Y FOTOS] [COMUNICADO] ¡Con éste Movimiento nos llevamos un compromiso para toda la vida y vamos a luchar juntas y juntos!. (Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, A.C., 8 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: During International Women’s Day on 8 March, a meeting, a march, and a rally (10 March 2015)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

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

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: SCJN calls on Chiapas state congress to modify electoral reforms to respect gender equity

October 11, 2014

Congreso de Chiapas (@Chiapas Paralelo)

On 2 October, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) released a sentence regarding electoral reform in Chiapas state that requested that the local deputies of the congress eliminate a clause so as to respect gender equity among candidates.  Last June, the Chiapas state congress approved a reform that included an exception to gender equity in the case that a candidate would leave an electoral campaign through a democratic way as determined internally to the party in question.  The Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD) had submitted a motion regarding the constitutionality of this clause, considering it to function to the detriment of women’s political participation.

Beyond this, and for the first time, the SCJN declared that the electoral laws that mandate affirmative action for women are constitutional.  Another article of the electoral code of Chiapas that calls for women to lead the lists of candidates to multiple positions and for the wages for candidates to be represented proportionately had been challenged by the Labor Party (PT), though the Court has decided against this challenge now.

For more information (in Spanish):

Obliga la SCJN al Congreso de Chiapas a respetar paridad de género en candidaturas (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de octubre de 2014)

SCJN invalida reformas electorales de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de octubre de 2014)

Avala Suprema Corte trato preferente no igualitario a mujeres candidatas (, 3 de octubre de 2014)

Mexico: Insufficient attention to human rights on the part of EPN

March 20, 2013


 Nearly a hundred days into the new administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, Annesty International (AI) expressed that “the few measures that Enrique Peña Nieto has taken in terms of human rights simply do not correspond to the gravity of the situation that Mexico is experiencing.”

“There exist worrying indications that this government is not giving sufficient priority to the protection of human rights.  The new administration should break with the empty promises from before regarding human rights, putting an end to the impunity of abuses,” noted Javier Zúñiga, special assessor of AI.

Victims of violence, police reform, code of military justice, migrants, women, indigenous people, human rights defenders and journalists: AI went systematically through the problems that exist and the lack of significant progress in each sphere.

For more information (in Spanish):

Peña Nieto: Cien días esperando verdaderos avances de derechos humanos (Comunicado de prensa de AI, 5 de marzo de 2013)

AI: insuficiente atención de Peña a derechos humanos (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2013)

Ai: Insuficiente respuesta de EPN en derechos humanos (El Universal, 4 de marzo de 2013)

Pide AI al gobierno de Peña más compromiso con derechos humanos(Milenio, 4 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Nacional: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)

National: International judges report on conclusions of the observation of state of justice in Mexico (12 October 2012)

Chiapas: Presentation of report on torture in Chiapas “From Cruelty to Cynicism” (2 July 2012)

The OMCT condemns torture in Chiapas (18 August 2011)

Chiapas: Women march against militarization

May 18, 2012

Photo @SIPAZ

On 11 May around 400 persons, a majority of them women, carried out a march from the Teopisca municipality to Amatenango del Valle to protest against militarization, high electricity-prices charged by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), and mineral exploitation.

The members of different organizations and municipalities denounced that on 2 February, members of the Secretary of the Navy and the Army took ejidal lands to install a camp without authorization from the owners in the Madronal neighborhood of Amatenango del Valle.  They met in a rally in the central park of Amatenango, where they read several communiqués, one of which notes that “We do not understand what you are doing; you have entered our homes seeking arms and at night you patrol other communities; you take our lands and do not know what you are doing there; we do not need the Army to come care for us.  What we demand is that our autonomy, languages, and cultures as indigenous be respected.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan en Chiapas contra militarización y tarifas de CFE, La Jornada, 11 de mayo de 2012

Marchan en Chiapas contra tarifas de la CFE (El Universal, 11 de mayo de 2012)

Convocan a marcha y mitin contra militarización en Amatenango del Valle, Mirada Sur, 10 de mayo de 2012

Colectivos de mujeres de La Grandeza, Aguacatenango, La Merced, El puerto y Napité denuncian militarización en comunidad del Madronal, Enlace Zapapatista 13 de mayo de 2012

Chiapas: Release of Margarita López Gómez

March 2, 2012

Source: El Proceso (Patricia Chandomí)

On 10 February 2012 was released the Tsotsil indigenous woman Margarita López Gómez who had been held in prison for seven years, accused unjustly of homicide for the death of her husband.

“In October, 2004, MARGARITA and her eldest daughter of 15 years denounced before the indigenous judge for peace and conciliation in San Miguel Mitontic, Chiapas, the acts of domestic violence and sexual assault to which her daughter had been subjected by her father JUAN VELASCO LOPEZ, from whom she had also borne two sons.  As the authorities did not follow up with the denunciation JUAN continued to violate his family in impunity.  On 24 January 2005, the eldest daughter discovered that her father meant to abuse his daughter of 5 years and then hit him him with a branch until he died.  In light of the acts, Margarita and her daughter are found guilty by the judge who knows of the event.  The daughter was released in 2008 after three years.”

By means of a translator Margarita told in press conference that it was when she was 12 years old that she became partner to Velasco López.  Shortly therafter, they left to live in the Montecristo neighborhood, Venustiano Carranza municipality, in the center of the state, where the acts occurred.  Margarita denounced that her husband caused domestic and sexual violence.  Accompanied by members of the Center for the Rights of Women, she said she felt “very happy and content” following her release, and she also expressed her gratitude to those who contributed to her liberation.

For more information (in Spanish):

El calvario de Margarita López, una indígena tzotil, Proceso, 10 February 2012

Rechaza ayuda oficial la indígena tzotzil excarcelada ayer en Chiapas, La Jornada, 12 February 2012

Comunicado Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, Zapoteando, 10 February 2012

Mujeres indígenas sufren violencia y las encarcelan (CIMAC, 10 February)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Press-conference by Group of Women COLEM denounce violence against women (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: activities on the International Day against Violence against Women (28 November 2011)

Chiapas: Press-conference by Group of Women COLEM denounces violence against women

February 9, 2012

Press conference at the Café Museo Café. Photo @ SIPAZ

During the morning of Tuesday 31 January there was held a press-conference on the part of the Group of Women of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (COLEM) in the Café Museo Café, denouncing violence against women.  First, the young woman Kathya Montserrat Lopez Banda read an Urgent Action in the case of the kidnapping of her daughter by the family of her former husband.  Following various acts of violence against Kathya Montserrat, her husband Erich Diestel Reyes and his family took the child (3 years of age) in a violent manner on 18 November 2011.  Beyond the petition to civil society and the authorities requesting that they help to find her daughter, she denounced not having been attended to by governmental authorities.  “The woman Ana Elisa Coello, in charge of a Center of Justice for Women, promised me help, but when she came to know who the aggressor was, the change was for me notorious and inexplicable.  Later I learned that this woman is a friend of the Diestel family.  She did not support me, whereas previously she had promised me the quick recovery of my daughter and my protection.”

Following the reading of the Urgent Action, Marta Figueroa (coordinator of COLEM) gave a presentation in which she denounced the violence exercised against women in general, emphasizing that there exist many testimonies like those of Kathya.  The press-release affirmed that “we allow ourselves to express our alarm regarding the rights of women in light of the political failures and joint actions, certain in light of the multiplicity of cases with and without denunciations of violence against women.  For this reason we observe that while millions are wasted in Chiapas for advertising, violence against women including feminicide, impunity, lack of due attention, evident omissions, and the lack of concern for problems resulting from violence persist.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente del caso de Kathya Montserrat Lopez Banda (31 January 2012)

Boletín de prensa COLEM (31 de enero 2012)

Blog de COLEM:

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: activities on the International Day against Violence against Women (28 November 2011)

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs – Tierra Caliente is second-highest national location in number of feminicides (14 September 2010)

Mexico: Presentation of the 2010-2011 diagnostic regarding human-rights observers

February 8, 2012

The report Human-rights defenders in Mexico: Diagnostic 2010-2011: regarding the conditions and risks faced in the exercise of their work published by civil organizations concludes that 76% of the women dedicated to the defense of human rights are assaulted for reasons of their gender.

This indicates that three of every four female rights-defenders in Mexico have been victims of gender violence due to their work; of these 40% claim sexual violence to be the principal form of assault, while 12% find death-threats against their families and children to be principal, in accordance with the report presented on 19 January by Luis González Placencia, president of the Commission on Human Rights in Mexico City.

According to the report,l 45% of female defenders who were consulted find the State to be responsible for the attacks and threats, and that while the acts are “perpetrated by particular or unknown persons, they are directed by local, state, or federal authorities.”  The remainder of the attacks and threats are attributed to “conservative groups, firms, media, and colleagues from the movement (this least likely).”

According to reported data, the most vulnerable activists are the indigenous, youth, and transsexuals due to their “lack of economic or affective autonomy, familial and/or sexual violence, and the innumerable difficulties involved in reconciling their familial life with their activism for human rights.”

The report stresses that violence against female defenders “seeks to blame and shame the victims, normalize or justify acts of aggression, ignore the words of women who denounce reprisals, isolate women from their nuclear family or community, seek the reproduction and legitimation of gender roles and stereotypes, and question and attack them when they participate in public affairs.”

The diagnostic report was compiled by means of the systematization of the responses of 50 female Mexican right-defenders during the first National Meeting of Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico and the Memories of the National Meetings of female defenders.

During the presentation it was explained that the report seeks to “recognize, visibilize, and generate solidarity and a culture of protection for female rights-defenders.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Víctimas de violencia de género, 75% de las defensoras de derechos humanos (La Jornada, 18 January 2012)

Sufre agresiones por género 76% de activistas proderechos humanos: estudio (Proceso, 18 January 2012)

Entrevista al Presidente de la CDHDF, Luis González Placencia, en la presentación de la investigación Defensoras de derechos humanos en México: Diagnósticos 2010-2011 sobre las condiciones y riesgos que enfrentan en el ejercicio de su trabajo (CDHDF, 19 January 2012)

Más del 70% de agresiones a defensoras de derechos humanos tienen componentes de violencia de género (CENCOS, 19 January 2012)

Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en México, Diagnósticos 2010 – 2011 sobre las condiciones y riesgos (Video Cencos)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: activities on the International Day against Violence against Women (28 November 2011)

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs – Tierra Caliente is second-highest national location in number of feminicides; SCJN will analyze recommendations of the Inter-American Court in the case of Radilla (14 September 2010)

Women of the left call for the creation of a Movement of Women of the Left in light of national emergency

July 25, 2011

Mujeres de Izquierda

On 16 and 17 July 716 women of the left from 29 states of the Republic met in the Deportivo Villa Olímpica, Tlalpan, in Mexico City, to initiate a process of organization of women that would strengthen the political, economic, and cultural change needed in the country.

As they mention in the Final Declaration: “In Mexico [the crisis of capitalism], worsened by the policies of Felipe Calderón, have provoked a series of converging crises of social, political, economic, environmental, security character, which have generated a profound deterioration in the living and work conditions of the population as well as more inequality and social exclusion.  Without a doubt one of the worst aspects of this situation is violence and the feminization of poverty.”

The women of the left called for the “creation of a Movement of Women of the Left in light of the National Emergency which is inclusive, democratic, horizontal, and plural.”  The movement will struggle among other things for “a life free of violence, respect for sexual diversity and for lesbian women, respect for intercultural diversity, particularly for indigenous women.”  The demands are among other things and going beyond respect for the rights of women “the immediate appearance with life of all those persons who have been disappeared, a cessation to impunity and corruption, and justice for female victims of feminicidal violence.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración Final del Encuentro de Mujeres de Izquierda (17 July)

Encuentro de mujeres de izquierda pide cambios en la estrategia oficial(La Jornada, 17 July)