Joint Pronouncement for Life

To the people of Chiapas

To the EZLN Good Government Council

To indigenous and peasant organizations

To the federal, state and municipal governments

To the federal, state and district health authorities

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, April 20, 2020

From the South of Mexico, social organizations, civilians and diverse collectives came together to share information, analyze and generate strategies to face this pandemic in solidarity COVID 19. In this collective effort we find those who have been working for years for the defense and promotion of human rights: civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental in the state of Chiapas. For decades we have developed multiple initiatives for justice and dignity in these territories, specifically in the area of the rights of women, children and youth, indigenous peoples and migrant peoples, defending the right to health, water, territory, information and free human mobility, among others. From these diverse capacities, knowledge and experiences, we join together to accompany the people in demanding their rights, to inform in an accessible and truthful manner about the pandemic, to generate creative spaces for mutual aid and to document and denounce possible human rights violations that may occur during the emergency.

We start by remembering that we are in a state that has historically and particularly experienced exclusion and marginalization, and in contrast with a tremendous organizational power that is the result of its long history of struggle and resistance. The pandemic that we are living through today reiterates that the forms of capitalist production, in which violence, inequality and dispossession predominate, make the means for the reproduction of life precarious and diminish the possibility of living a dignified life.

There is a strong relationship between the health of nature and human health. Viruses proliferate in situations of ecological devastation linked to agro-industrial expansion and its systems of confinement and productive storage, a process that violates human rights and the rights of the land. If conditions remain the same, viruses will continue to appear, changing the model of food production, betting on food sovereignty and agro-ecology is a means to prevent future pandemics.To prevent this from happening, a systemic change is needed, so we consider it fundamental to listen to the voices and struggle of the indigenous and peasant peoples who care for and defend Mother Earth and their territory.

This health emergency highlights the dismantling of public health systems resulting from the capitalist model and the subordination of people’s health to a model that serves the market and the developmentalist option as the only valid indicator. Hence, a change of paradigm would have to put above all the right to life and human rights of all people.

We know that it is a great challenge for the Mexican government, and for society as a whole, to confront this situation in the face of a saturated and in some places collapsed health system. For this reason, we urge the federal, state and municipal levels to listen to and attend to the demands and considerations based on a clear diagnosis of the needs of the different territories in Mexico.   We pronounce ourselves for the effective and integral guarantee of the right to health enunciated in Articles 1, 2, 3, 7, 13, 17, 25, 26, 27, 28 Bis, 29 and 77 Bis of the Constitution of the United Mexican States. We demand:

   1. Address the social determinants of the pandemic that place the migrant population, working and street children, people living on the outskirts of cities, people in detention, and precarious workers as sectors most vulnerable to infection, timely diagnosis and access to treatment.

   2. In the case of indigenous peoples, and recognizing the historical strategies of community health, fully respect the exercise of their right to autonomy and their own models of health care in their territories. Within the framework of the San Andrés Accords, the second article of the Constitution, and international instruments such as ILO Convention 169, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  

   3. To widely disseminate State measures for the care and accompaniment of children and women living with domestic violence. That the attention be easily accessible and with a human rights approach.

  4. Recognize the complexity of human mobility in Chiapas as a state of origin, transit, destination and return. Therefore, implement efficient epidemiological surveillance measures for people who are forcibly displaced, migrants who are in detention, and those who are forcibly returned to their communities.

      a) Specific care plan that includes information accessible in local languages to the family and community of return, expeditious diagnosis-treatment, and follow-up.

      b) We affirm that migrating is not a crime, therefore we urge the suspension of migratory detentions, the avoidance of overcrowding in detention centers, the immediate release of all persons and the guarantee of their human rights.

      (c) With regard to the 9,950 victims of forced displacement, we request the same measures for epidemiological monitoring and an effective response to the widespread violence caused by paramilitary groups

   5. Guarantee appropriate conditions for health workers at all levels. Provide sufficient supplies, equipment and training to strengthen first-level health services for non-COVID and COVID 19 care, including the strengthening of spaces for care and horizontal collaboration with community health agents: midwives, promoters, doctors and interns.

   6. In the case of midwives, the State should facilitate and accelerate the recognition of midwifery in the civil registry and issue birth certificates without any conditions. That they be respected in order to continue to exercise care and attention, that community recognition be sufficient. In case they request it, to provide sufficient materials and inputs needed for delivery care.

   7. We request that the federal government observe with special attention the way in which the local government of Chiapas implements the health strategy.  We recognize the work that has been done and we reiterate the demand of Section 50 of the National Union of Workers of the Chiapas State Ministry of Health, which states:

“At this moment we lack effective leadership in the state to face this contingency, our institution at this time is directed with political and not scientific purposes, therefore it does not represent the interests of public health of our state, for this reason we do not know this official representation and the workers will organize as we know how to do, to face the pandemic.

We demand that the State Governor, Dr. Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, immediately dismiss the political secretary of health, with the immediate replacement of experts in epidemiology that Chiapas has.

   8. Expeditious and transparent information on health care protocols in Chiapas. In order to provide decent care, staff must be sufficiently protected in accordance with the protocols established by the World Health Organization.

   9. Guarantee basic services in drinking water, sewage, electricity and sanitation networks for the population in general and with particular attention to hospitals, health centres, homes for the elderly, migrant detention centres, prisons and children’s homes.

   10. Guarantee and regulate the supply of foodstuffs to avoid speculation in the prices of basic necessities. For small producers of surpluses, maintain guaranteed prices and facilitate the distribution of their products.  Promote peasant markets for agro-ecological products or products in transition for local distribution. To guarantee that a percentage of the total purchase of food by the Mexican State is destined to small producers of surpluses.

   11. Generate opportune economic plans, without any conditions, to accompany in a dignified manner those families that do not have salaries and assured jobs. Monitor and ensure that these subsidies do not become the object of clientele and corruption.

   12. That the process of hospital reconversion be transparent at the state and district level with clear and precise promotion and dissemination of the critical route of urban care, and rural coverage, and without neglecting hospital care and outpatient consultation for NON-COVID 19 patients.

   13. Information on strategies to support other problems arising from phases 2 and 3, such as domestic violence, feminicide, psychological, economic, physical and sexual violence against children and women, stigmatization of COVID patients, and attacks on health workers.

   14. We ask that under no circumstances should force be applied by the police and military forces to contain the population who may be involved in illegal actions and violations of human rights.

   15. Stop the narrative of war, the promotion of fear, the physical repression of the State and the demonstration of force, which exercise physical and symbolic violence and provoke fear and loneliness that prevent the construction of solidarity and collective links.  The deliberate promotion of rumour, disinformation and panic makes people sick, demobilises them and, in the extreme, becomes a stigmatisation and persecution of the other.

We recognize the efforts that Chiapas society is making by staying in their homes, as well as the autonomous health proposals of towns and communities, we value the initiatives of small businesses that are doing their part, we celebrate the broad demonstrations of solidarity that are being deployed, and we urge the authorities to act responsibly and fully comply with their public mandate.

We appreciate and recognize the work, commitment and dedication of health workers.

We will continue to work in a coordinated manner and in co-responsibility with society and with the peoples with whom we walk, we will continue to disseminate information in local languages, generating networks of solidarity and mutual support, and we will continue our action of observation, documentation and denunciation of actions that violate the human rights of people in these territories.


Organizations: At`el Antsetik Centro Comunitario; Centro de Capacitación en Ecología y Salud para Campesinos/Defensoría del Derecho a la Salud (CCESC-DDS); Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación, A.C.; ProMedios; Melel Xojobal, A.C.; Alianza Pediátrica Global; Comisión Para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, A.C.; Salud y Desarrollo Comunitario (Sadec); Casa de la Mujer Ixim Antsetic; Agua y Vida: Mujeres, Derechos y ambiente, A.C; Voces Mesoamericanas, Acción con Pueblos Migrantes, AC; Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, A.C. (DESMI); Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, A.C. (Frayba); Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano, A.C. ( CECCAM); Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario (IMDEC); Una mano amiga en la lucha contra el sida AC; Formacion y Capacitación A.C.; Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matias de Córdoba A.C.; Apostólicas del Corazón  de Jesús (ACJ) Tapachula; Kaltsilaltik, A.C., Comitán.; Iniciativas para el Desarrollo Humano A.C.; SJM Frontera Comalapa; Centro de derechos de las víctimas de violencia Minerva Bello, Fideicomiso para la salud de los niños indígenas A.C.


Ajmaq Resistance and Rebellion Network

Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas(REDIAS)

Network for Peace: Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, (San Cristóbal de Las Casas); Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada, (Ocosingo); Centro de Derechos Indígenas A.C. CEDIAC; Centro de derechos de la Mujer (San Cristóbal de Las Casas);  Comisión de Apoyo para la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria (CORECO ) (San Cristóbal de Las Casas); Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas (DESMI ) (San Cristóbal de Las Casas);  Educación para la paz (EDUPAZ) (Comitán); Enlace, Capacitación y Comunicación (Ocosingo y Comitán); Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz (SERAPAZ ) (Ocosingo).

National Network of Civil Organizations for Human Rights “All Rights for All”: (made up of 86 organizations in 23 states of the Mexican Republic): Academia Hidalguense de Educación y Derechos Humanos A.C. (ACADERH) (Hidalgo); Agenda LGBT (Estado de México); Alianza Sierra Madre, A.C. (Chihuahua); Aluna Acompañamiento Psicosocial, A.C.(Ciudad de México); Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos, A.C. (AsiLegal) (Ciudad de México); Asociación Jalisciense de Apoyo a los Grupos Indígenas, A.C. (AJAGI) (Guadalajara, Jal.); Asociación para la Defensa de los Derechos Ciudadanos “Miguel Hidalgo” (Jacala Hgo.); Bowerasa, A.C. “Haciendo Camino” (Chihuahua, Chih.); Casa del Migrante Saltillo (Saltillo, Coah.); Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, A.C. (Ciudad de México); Centro de Capacitación y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos e Indígenas, Asociación Civil (CECADDHI) (Chihuahua); Centro “Fray Julián Garcés” Derechos Humanos y Desarrollo Local, A. C. (Tlaxcala, Tlax.); Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador, A.C. (CAT) (Ciudad de México); Centro de Derechos de la Mujeres de Chiapas (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chis.); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Don Sergio” (Jiutepec, Mor.); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas”, A. C. (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chis); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Francisco de Vitoria O.P.”, A. C. (Ciudad de México); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Matías de Córdova”, A.C. (Tapachula, Chis.); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Juan Gerardi”, A. C. (Torreón, Coah.); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez”, A. C. (Ciudad de México); Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña, Tlachinollan, A. C. (Tlapa, Gro.); Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres (Chihuahua); Centro de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos del Sur de Veracruz “Bety Cariño”, A.C. (Tatahuicapan de Juárez, Ver.); Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa, A.C (Tonalá, Chis.); Centro de Derechos Humanos Paso del Norte (Cd. Juárez, Chih.); Centro de Derechos Humanos Toaltepeyolo (Orizaba, Veracruz); Centro de Derechos Humanos Victoria Diez, A.C. (León, Gto.); Centro de Derechos Humanos Zeferino Ladrillero (CDHZL) (Estado de México); Centro de Derechos Indígenas “Flor y Canto”, A. C. (Oaxaca, Oax.); Centro de Derechos Indígenas A. C. (Bachajón, Chis.); “Centro de Estudios Sociales y Culturales Antonio de Montesinos, A.C.” (CAM) (Ciudad de México); Centro de Investigación y Capacitación Propuesta Cívica A. C. (Propuesta Cívica) (Ciudad de México); Centro de Justicia para la Paz y el Desarrollo, A. C. (CEPAD) (Guadalajara, Jal.); Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (Ciudad de México); Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral (CEREAL-Guadalajara) (Guadalajara, Jal.); Centro Diocesano para los Derechos Humanos “Fray Juan de Larios”, A.C. (Saltillo, Coah.); Centro Juvenil Generando Dignidad (Comalcalco, Tabasco); Centro Kalli Luz Marina (Orizaba, Ver.); Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA) (Ciudad de México); Centro Mujeres (La Paz, BCS.); Centro Regional de Defensa de DDHH José María Morelos y Pavón, A.C. (Chilapa, Gro.); Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos “Bartolomé Carrasco”, A.C. (BARCA) (Oaxaca, Oax.); Centro Universitario por la Dignidad y la Justicia Francisco Suárez, S.J. (CUDJ)(Guadalajara, Jal.); Ciencia Social Alternativa, A.C. KOOKAY (Mérida, Yuc.); Ciudadanía Lagunera por los Derechos Humanos, A.C. (CILADHAC) (Torreón, Coah.); Colectivo contra la Tortura y la Impunidad (CCTI) (Ciudad de México); Colectivo Educación para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos, A.C. (CEPAZDH) (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chis.); Comisión Ciudadana de Derechos Humanos del Noroeste (Mexicali, Baja California); Comisión de Derechos Humanos y Laborales del Valle de Tehuacán, A.C. (Tehuacán, Pue.); Comisión de Solidaridad y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, A.C. (COSYDDHAC) (Chihuahua, Chih.);  Comisión Regional de Derechos Humanos “Mahatma Gandhi”, A. C. (Tuxtepec, Oax.); Comité Cerezo (Ciudad de México); Comité Cristiano de Solidaridad Monseñor Romero (Ciudad de México); Comité de Defensa de las Libertades Indígenas (Palenque, Chis.); Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha A.C. (CODIGODH) (Oaxaca, Oax.); Comité de Derechos Humanos “Fr. Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada”, A. C. (Ocosingo, Chis.); Comité de Derechos Humanos “Sierra Norte de Veracruz”, A. C. (Huayacocotla, Ver.); Comité de Derechos Humanos Ajusco (Ciudad de México); Comité de Derechos Humanos de Colima No Gubernamental A. C. (Colima, Col.); Comité de Derechos Humanos de Comalcalco, A. C. (CODEHUCO) (Comalcalco, Tab); Comité de Derechos Humanos de Tabasco, A. C. (CODEHUTAB) (Villahermosa, Tab); Comité de Derechos Humanos y Orientación Miguel Hidalgo, A. C. (Dolores Hidalgo, Gto.); Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos “Hasta Encontrarlos”(Ciudad de México); Comité Sergio Méndez Arceo Pro Derechos Humanos de Tulancingo, Hgo A.C. (Tulancingo, Hgo.); Consultoría Técnica Comunitaria AC (CONTEC) (Chihuahua); El Caracol, A.C (Ciudad de México); Estancia del Migrante González y Martínez, A.C. (Querétaro, Qro.); Frente Cívico Sinaloense. Secretaría de Derechos Humanos (Culiacán, Sin.); Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho (Ciudad de México); Indignación, A. C. Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (Mérida, Yuc.); Instituto de Derechos Humanos Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J. Universidad Iberoamericana- Puebla (Puebla, Pue.); Instituto Mexicano de Derechos Humanos y Democracia (Ciudad de México); Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario, A. C. (IMDEC) (Guadalajara, Jal.); Justicia, Derechos Humanos y Género, A.C. (Ciudad de México); La 72, Hogar-Refugio para Personas Migrantes (La 72) (Tenosique, Tabasco); Mujeres Indígenas por la Conservación, Investigación y Aprovechamiento de los Recursos Naturales, A. C. (CIARENA) (Oaxaca); Promoción de los Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (PRODESCAC) (Estado de México); Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (ProDESC) (Ciudad de México); Proyecto sobre Organización, Desarrollo, Educación e Investigación (PODER) (Ciudad de México); Red Solidaria de Derechos Humanos, A.C. (Morelia, Michoacán); Respuesta Alternativa, A. C. Servicio de Derechos Humanos y Desarrollo Comunitario (San Luis Potosí); Servicios de Inclusión Integral, A.C. (SEIINAC) (Pachuca, Hgo.); Tequio Jurídico A.C. (Oaxaca, Oax.); Uno de Siete Migrando A. C.(Chihuahua, Chih.); VIHas de Vida (Guadalajara, Jal.); Voces Mesoamericanas, Acción con Pueblos Migrantes AC (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas).

Coordination of the Guatemalan Chapter on Transborder Migration and Gender: American Friends Service Committee, Oficina Regional de América Latina y El Caribe  (AFSC); Asociación Comunitaria Multisectorial de Monitoreo Comunitario en Salud y Apoyo a Migrantes (ACOMUMSAM); Asociación Consejería Oxlajuj Ix para Centroamérica y México (CAMEX); Asociación Coordinadora Comunitaria de Servicios para la Salud-Guatemala ACCSS; Asociación de Desarrollo Social de Ixcán (ADESI); Asociación de Familiares de Migrantes Desaparecidos de Guatemala (AFAMIDEG); Asociación Lambda, Consejo de Juventud para el Desarrollo Ixcoyense  (COJDI); Comisión de Asuntos Migratorios de Ixcán -CAMI; Comité Municipal de Migración; Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Acción Psicosocial (ECAP); Federación Guatemalteca de Escuelas Radiofónicas (FGER); Gobierno Ancestral Plurinacional Q’anjoba’l; Jóvenes por el Cambio; Mamá Maquin; Médicos del Mundo Francia – España; Mesa Nacional para las Migraciones en Guatemala (MENAMIG);  Molanil K´inal B´e; Pastoral Social La Libertad Cristo de Esquipulas; Pop Noj’; Red  Juvenil Ak´Molam; Sociedad Civil. Capítulo México: American Friends Service Committee, Oficina Regional para América Latina y El Caribe  (AFSC); Centro de Derechos Humanos Oralia Morales; Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova;  Coalición Indígena de Migrantes de Chiapas (CIMICH); Comité de Derechos Humano Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada A.C.; Formación y Capacitación A.C. (FOCA); Iniciativas para el Desarrollo Humano A.C.; Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario (IMDEC); Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración AC (IMUMI); La 72, Hogar – Refugio para Personas Migrantes; Médicos del Mundo Francia – España, Pastoral de Migrantes; Parroquia de Frontera Comalapa; Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes  (SJM); Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados  (SJR), Servicio Pastoral a Migrantes San Martin de Porres (SEPAMI – SMP ); Una Ayuda para ti Mujer Migrante A.C.; Voces Mesoamericanas, Acción con Pueblos Migrantes, A.C.

Collective of Monitoring and Observation of Human Rights of the Mexican Southeast : American Friends Service Committee  – Oficina Regional de América Latina y El Caribe (AFSC), Apostólicas del Corazón de Jesús (ACJ),  Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Matías de Córdova, Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac, Centro de Derechos de las Víctimas de la Violencia Minerva Bello, Formación y Capacitación (FOCA), Iniciativas para el Desarrollo Humano, Kaltsilaltik, Red Jesuita con Migrantes – Centroamérica y Norteamérica, Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes – Frontera Comalapa, Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados México (JRS México), Tzome Ixuk-Mujeres Organizadas A.C., Una Mano Amiga en la Lucha contra el SIDA, Voces Mesoamericanas, Acción con Pueblos Migrantes, AC.

Pronunciamiento covid Por la Vida 20abril2020

Originally published in Spanish on the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights webpage.

English interpretation done by Schools for Chiapas.

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