Pronouncement from the V Assembly of the Women’s Movement in Defense of Mother Earth and Our Territories

San Cristobal de las Casas, Jobel Valley, Chiapas, Mexico.
March 23 and 24, 2024

To the women who organize and fight for life
To those who defend the rights of peoples, women and Mother Earth.
To the civil society that builds other possible worlds.

Women from Chiapas, coming from the Zoque, Tsotsil, Tseltal, Ch’ol, Costa, as well as women from Central and South America; including El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Argentina, also women from Germany and the Basque Country we gathered to analyze, reflect, share, learn and heal ourselves collectively in the V Assembly of the MMDMTyNT. We share our common word:

Young women from different regions of our state have identified the problem of organized crime in Chiapas, which causes insecurity and violence. We are especially alert to the fact that girls and young women are the most affected, which makes us more and more uncertain about going out. We are afraid of men who harass and abuse us. For this reason, we want more organization, responsibility and community vigilance to prevent violence against us and our community.

We, women of the Zoque region of Chiapas, raise our voices in the face of the serious challenges we face in our territories and communities. We are distressed by the presence of organized crime and the recent confrontations between public transportation organizations such as COTECH and CIOAC that place us in the crossfire of their disputes, threatening the peace of our lives and that of our families. In addition, we are deeply alarmed by uncontrolled deforestation, the expansion of extensive cattle ranching and palm oil monoculture, practices that cause serious environmental impacts such as the loss of our forests, soil and water contamination. We call for solidarity and unity of all women and communities to protect our land, our rights and ensure the well-being of future generations.

From the Selva-Palenque region, we are concerned about the physical, emotional and psychological violence that we are experiencing due to the destruction of the jungle caused by the so-called Mayan Train, which is causing the disappearance of animals, medicinal plants, rivers and the food that Mother Earth gives us. We denounce the disappearances and kidnappings perpetrated by organized crime, we will not remain silent or normalize it. We women do not want to get used to feeling insecure when we leave our workplaces or when we go out to work in the fields.

In the Highlands, Tseltal and Tsotsil region we are in a very difficult situation due to the increase of armed groups. There is fear every time they cut the electricity and block the roads, because it announces an ambush and confrontation between organized crime groups. There are more and more guns and rifles. There is clearing and destruction of hills to extract gravel and stone. There is more and more contamination of rivers and springs, there is a shortage of water, which causes intestinal, eye and skin diseases. There is drug use among young people and sexual harassment of girls in the community. The Coca Cola company is extending water concessions, while there is greater abandonment of water treatment due to the incompetence of public institutions.

In the region of the Coast, we face similar challenges to other regions in relation to organized crime and forced disappearance. This situation affects us deeply, as our children go to school and we are afraid that they will disappear. In addition, we are concerned about the increase in militarization with the National Guard where there are mining concessions, dams, the entry of companies such as Bachoco farms, the Interoceanic Train megaproject, and the gas pipeline. We are concerned about the problem of water contamination from drainage. We feel insecure, we fear that everything will be taken away from us, that the water will be contaminated or taken away by the companies.

All of us women agree on calling for respect for our culture, our languages, our way of eating rooted to the land, we want to unite and walk together through the planting of crops with more love for the land.

We consider it urgent and necessary to promote the awareness of society in the care and responsible use of water, the bad government has no interest in regulating laws and standards that protect water. We deserve quality water for our families, communities and towns; water for life. We are organizing for the care of the rivers and reforestation of the territories.

As young women, we propose to our fellow women that we organize ourselves to create security strategies among ourselves in the hope of living in safety and going out into the streets without fear.

As organized women, it is important and necessary to be informed, to continue speaking out and to make known what is happening. We cannot remain silent. It is important to maintain community assemblies and make visible the situation that is happening in each community. To look for more women to organize ourselves. To create proposals for life, for caring among communities and for Mother Earth.

To summon more women and young people to be aware and join forces, and not to feel alone or small, but stronger. We hope that our word will be heard and spread. May the love for life give us the strength to continue fighting.

Photo: Ansetik Ts’unun

We will not allow our children to be easy prey for organized crime and we will not allow our territories to be taken away from us. We ask society to join us in our struggle. We call for action in order to have more strength. We invite women and defenders of Mother Earth and the territories to our struggle for life. We have dignity and confidence that women, communities, neighborhoods and civil organizations will make and be a network to be able to confront this wave of systematic violence. We have hope that we can inhabit our spaces without fear, hunger or blood.

We are one with Mother Earth and territory. 
Together and organized we will overcome.


Collective Defenders of Nasakobajk, Zoque Zone.

Tsijilba Bij Collective (New Path), Ch’ol and Tseltal Jungle Zone.

Red de Mujeres de la Costa en Rebeldía, Zona Costa (Coastal Zone)

Women’s Family Collective, Highlands Tsotsil Zone

Nichim Collective, Highlands Tseltal Zone

Antsetik Ts’unun Collective. Highlands Zone

Translation by Schools for Chiapas

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