December 20, 2001
CHIAPAS UPDATE: November 11-December 10, 2001
The team visited the municipalities of Yashgemel and
Puebla, in preparation for an upcoming delegation.
Puebla were dealing with rumours of a potential
on their community on October 29 or 30, and the
witchcraft against one of their pastors. (See
release, “Sorcery and Politics.”)
The team stopped in the Autonomous Community of Polho
set up a visit for the delegation. They were not able
to set up a
visit at the Majomut military base. In the evening the
team had a
meeting with the Mesa (the governing bodyof the
Acteal, regarding the creation of a non-violent
team and the upcoming delegation.
Team members arrived in Tzajalchen, and had a rugged
the milpa (cornfield) of an Abejas member. In the
team met with two Abejas regarding the idea of setting
non-violent response team, which community members
was a good idea
The team traveled from Tzajalchen to Nuevo Yibiljoj,
in at Majomut to visit the military there to get an
regarding the request for a delegation visit.
military assured the team that the base was solely a
social labour camp (which the Mexican military says
social services to the local residents) residents know
that this is
the primary military base of the municipality, with a
number of troops and vehicles.
The team traveled to X’oyep, and on the way stopped in
base in Majomut. They again received no response
the request for a meeting with the delegation. In
team visited with an original community member (i.e.,
who lived there before there was a refugee camp) , who
close connections with the team. While helping to
the team discussed preparations for the delegation and
of the non-violent response team.
San Cristobal de las Casas (SCLC)
The team worked on last minute plans for the SCLC
of the delegation, along with the orgnaization
Initiatives. On the 19th, in the afternoon, the team
by John Worrell and Linda Ammons, who have
worked in Palestine and and were part of a CPT Hebron
delegation several years ago.
San Cristobal (SCLC)
Angie Freeman and Cliff Kindy had a visit from Alicia
(SERPAJ), who shared that six people who had been
instrumental in perpetrating the Acteal massacre,were
from prison on November 17. Four of the six returned
village of Los Chorros.
San Cristobal/Los Chorros
Kindy, along with John Worrell and Linda Ammons, left
for Los Chorros to check on the current situation, and
if the delegation should shift plans to go there. From
they learned that the ex-prisoners were afraid to
houses, and that the whole community was scared.
The team and delegation attended the monthly memorial
in Acteal. The team had a positive meeting with Mesa
who encouraged the team to visit other non-violent
other parts of Chiapas.
The team and delegation had a meeting with coffee
Maya Vinic, where they heard about the the problem of
coffee prices and plans of the cooperative. On the
way to Polho,
they stopped in at the Majomut Military Base for an
visit and conversation. The military did not want to
the group but acknowledged the earlier attempts to set
The delegation heard from a community member in Polho
the history and philosophy of the autonomous community
the team accompanied delegation members to Puebla and
Yashgemel. The delegation started planning an action
would involve buying coffee at a fair price and taking
Nestle to be sold.
Kindy, along with delegation member Randy Meyer,
overland to Los Chorros to talk about the possible
potential for a visit with the ex-prisoners, making
sure to talk
with both Abejas groups there. The delegation and
of the economic hardship and food shortage the
communities are facing.
The team and delegation work through details of the
By night, the first of the coffee started coming for
the action and
prayer (See December 3 release, “Paying the Price of
The team, delegation, and coffee made their way back
Freeman and Kindy had an evaluatory check-in, and made
decision to start the process of closing the project
(See December 10 release, “A light on the future and
invitation to pray.”)
The team began preparations to close the CPT Chiapas
as the delegation prepared for the action at Nestle.
Chiapa de Corzo/SCLC
The team, delegation and coffee traveled to the Chiapa
(near Tuxtla) to request that Nestle buy coffee at a
(See December 7 release, “From Los Chorros to
delegation left to return to their home countires.
The action was
not covered by television because ex-Beatle George
death dominated the news.
The team started visits to NGOs and partners to let
of the decision to close, and were met with
support. The Nestle action was covered in ‘Expreso
The team traveled to Acteal to meet with the Mesa
project closing. The Mesa was conducting elections
The team shared stories and pictures from the Nestle
both groups of the Abejas. Plans to meet with the
prisoners fell through.
The team accompanied MCC country representative, Sara
and four others people to Acteal for the day. The
a letter of introduction from the Abejas for upcoming
with other non-violent groups in Chiapas.
Team traveled first to Bachajon (near Ocosingo) to
members of Jyomblej, an indigenous, non-violent group
made connections for future visits.
Team found the office of the Xi’nich (The Ants),
non-violent group, and learned of another, the ORCAO
Ocosingo, which they also visited.
Freeman and Kindy work on the final steps of closing
for an interim period of three months