Mass Mobilizations in Chiapas
Home of the Compañero Manuel blog on the Zapatistas & Mexico
The past month in Chiapas has been one of spirited mass mobilizations rejecting the education “reform,” the government’s plans for megaprojects and proposing fundamental constitutional changes. It started on November 13 when more than 100,000 people protested the “deceitful” education reform in the state capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez in anticipation of the teacher evaluation scheduled for December.
On November 25, people of faith (Pueblo Creyente) throughout the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Diocese marched under the banner of the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory to denounce the government’s plans for megaprojects in the Eastern part of the state (Zapatistas Territory). The plans for Dams, oil wells, mines and tourism projects are shocking and would rearrange the economy and the peoples in many micro-regions. Just 5 days later, folks from the Coast and the Sierras also marched to denounce megaprojects in the Western part of Chiapas.
Another large mobilization took place in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on December 6, when thousands heard Bishop Raúl Vera advocate for a new Constitution. The following day, ten thousand Federal Police arrived in Chiapas to take control of the federally-administered teacher evaluations amid strong protests from teachers. One teacher died in the December 8 protests and others were arrested. The next day teachers and the government exchanged hostages, agreed on a “truce,” and the teachers went back to work.