Chiapas is Mexico. “Global Day of Action STOP the war against the Zapatista peoples.”

From the Horrors of War to the Resistance for Life

Chiapas is Mexico, and concentrated in Chiapas today much of the violence that afflicts the entire Mexican territory. The war that was imposed on our country by the United States, and deepened by Felipe Calderón, now reaches the entire national territory. The border has moved to the southeast, and with it the war, one that the current administration has not stopped: 153 thousand 941 intentional homicides1, 42 thousand 9352 people disappeared and unaccounted for, 693 journalists and 944 defenders of land and territory, of indigenous peoples and of the environment murdered during the current administration’s continued process of militarized and criminal recolonization.

Chiapas is Mexico, and as elsewhere in the country, Chiapas is living in times of extortion, shootings, forced displacements, trafficking of women and migrants, drug trafficking, kidnappings, assassinations of territorial defenders, journalists, femicides….

The facts are undeniable: in Chicomuselo, paramilitaries harass the population so that they stop their oposition to and allow the reopening of a barite mine, leading to forced displacements. In Comalapa, territorial disputes between organized crime groups are also causing the forced displacement of thousands of people. Just outside Tuxtla Gutiérrez, a truck that illegally transported migrants overturned, killing at least 56 people and injuring another 70. In Pantelhó, armed people assassinate Simón Pedro, a defender of the rights of indigenous peoples and member of the civil society organization Las Abejas de Acteal. In Santa Martha, municipality of Chenalho, armed men attack families victims of forced displacement and assassinate seven Tzotzil people. In San Cristóbal de las Casas, armed groups roam the city, displaying their capacity for mobilization and their firepower… The list could go on and on, as every day new acts of violence take place in the state of Chiapas.

Groups of organized crime, paramilitaries and narco-paramilitaries have been operating throughout Chiapas with total impunity. In response, the federal government sends the military and the National Guard to a state that has already had a large military presence since 1994. This remilitarization has not translated into a reduction of violence and illegal businesses; on the contrary, organized crime groups have diversified their economic activities and have intensified their attacks against towns and communities.

In this context, paramilitary and militarized groups, that for three decades have operated with total impunity in Chispas, continue increasing their belligerent actions against the Zapatista peoples. The Regional Organization of Coffee Growers of Ocosingo (ORCAO), which has operated at least since 2000 at the service of different governments, political parties and power groups in the region, between 2019 and 2023, has carried out more than 100 attacks against Zapatista villages belonging to Caracol 10, Floreciendo la Semilla Rebelde, based in Patria Nueva, Junta de Buen Gobierno Nuevo Amanecer en Resistencia and Rebeldía por la Vida y la Humanidad. The attacks, aggressions and provocations are constant and have intensified since 2019. Zapatista authorities, human rights organizations and at least three civilian observers missions have documented and made public reports and hold press conferences on these violentions. We share as an annex to this statement a detailed account of several of these attacks.

From the national and international arena of support for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and the National Indigenous Congress, on June 8, 2023, we carried out 72 actions (36 national and 36 international) to make these denunciations visible and to demand a cease of the war against the Zapatista peoples and a stop to the war in Chiapas. These solidarity actions continued to be carried out in different states and countries. The responses came a few weeks later: from June 19-22, 2023, members of ORCAO carried out new coordinated attacks in three Zapatista communities: Emiliano Zapata, San Isidro and Moises and Gandhi, which are part of the Moises and Gandhi Region, and are located in the official municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas. The attacks ranged from burning plots of land to armed attacks against the communitites. These aggressions lasted, on this occasion, three days and at least 800 shots of different calibers were fired, in addition to burning of plots of land near the houses of the Zapatista families.

On June 23, in his morning press conference from Chiapas, the head of the Federal Executive, accompanied by the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of National Defense and the local governor, downplayed the serious context in Chiapas and the widely documented attacks against Zapatista communities. In addition, the government continued with the disqualifications against people and organizations who defend the territory, human rights, and organizations that document and denounce these and other forms of violence.

These responses, both from ORCAO and the President of Mexico, are worrying and alarming: ORCAO continues and increases its armed operations, while the President of Mexico covers it up, with his discourse, and serious acts of violence that are clearly on the rise. The denial, minimization and distortion of this proven reality become a cloak of impunity that protects paramilitary groups.

Worse yet, the president of Mexico took up the discourse of his predecessors when they claimed that these conflicts were only occurring between local groups or “between communities”, thus evading all State responsibility and emulating Felipe Calderón and his offensive “they kill each other”.

This panorama brings us as individuals, peoples and organized communities, in Mexico and in other parts of the world, to redouble our efforts to stop the war against the Zapatista communities and against Chiapas. Today we ratify that the current government not only does not listen, but also continues to allow and support a strategy of counterinsurgency and criminal war. Therefore, we call for:

1. Denounce the war against the Zapatista peoples and war in Chiapas in general, and point out the responsibility of the state and federal governments.

2. To deploy information campaigns and solidarity actions throughout the country and in other countries to inform about the war against the Zapatista peoples and communities and the war in Chiapas.

3. From this space of national coordination, we call for the “Global Day of Action STOP the war against the Zapatista peoples. From the horror of war to resistance for life”, on July 13, 14, 15 and 16, with the objective to inform society about the situation of war against the Zapatista peoples and the war in Chiapas. This day will include:

a) Flyers and information distribution

b) Information tables

c) Artistic events

d) Mobilizations

Likewise, between July 24 and 28 we will hold a national forum with three axes: violence, justice and peace. Likewise, we share that we are in a position to carry out observation and accompaniment work in Zapatista territory when conditions permit.

We make this call to deploy all possible solidarity with the Zapatista peoples, not to fall into indifference and individualistic escapism in the face of the attacks that the peoples and communities of that state are experiencing on a daily basis. Chiapas is Mexico, and today Mexico and the world must see and act against war and in favor of peace, in justice and dignity.

Original text:

Want to receive our weekly blog digest in your inbox?

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


  1. Federal government data.
  2. Data from the National Registry of Missing and Unaccounted for Persons.
  3. Federal government data.
  4. Memorial de personas defensoras asesinadas (HRD Memorial).
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top