Joint pronouncement for life. “A systemic change is necessary”

CHIAPAS: JOINT PRONOUNCEMENT FOR LIFE. “A systemic change is necessary,”social organizations demand

In Chiapas, there are still many people displaced from their homes.

To the people of Chiapas

To the EZLN Good Government Boards:

To Indigenous and campesino organizations:

To federal, state and municipal Governments:

To federal, state and district health authorities:

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

From the South of Mexico diverse social, civil and collective organizations come together to share information, analyze and generate strategies to jointly face this pandemic COVID 19. In this collective effort we find ourselves 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 areas of women’s rights, childhood and youth, indigenous peoples and migrant peoples; defending the right to health, water, territory, information and free human mobility, among others. From these various capacities, wisdoms and experiences we join forces to jointly accompany the peoples in demanding rights, to inform in an accessible and truthful way about the pandemic, to generate creative spaces for mutual aid and to document and denounce possible human rights violations that arise during the emergency.

We start by remembering that we are in a state that has historically and in particular experienced exclusion and marginalization, and in contrast to a tremendous organizational power that is the fruit of its long history of struggle and resistance. The pandemic that we experience today reiterates that capitalist forms of production, in which violence, inequality and dispossession predominate, make the means for the reproduction of life precarious and diminish the possibility of living a decent 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 productive containment and storage systems, a process that violates human rights and land rights. 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 necessary, for which we consider it essential to listen to the voices and struggles of indigenous peoples and campesinos who care for and defend Mother Earth and its 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 developmental option as the only valid indicator. Hence, a paradigm shift should put above all else 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 face this situation before a saturated and in some places collapsed health system, that’s why we urge the federal, state and municipal levels to listen and attend to demands and considerations based on a clear diagnosis of the needs of the different territories in Mexico. We are for the effective and comprehensive guarantee of the right to health set forth 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 determinations of the pandemic that place migrant populations, working children and street children, urban slums, people in detention, precarious workers as sectors with greater vulnerability to contagion, to 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. Broadly disseminate state measures of care and accompaniment for girls, boys and women who experience intra-family violence, and that the care is easily accessible and with a human rights focus.
  4. Recognize the complexity of human mobility in Chiapas as it is a state of origin, transit, destination and return. For this reason, implement efficient epidemiological surveillance measures for people in forced displacement, migrants who are in detention, and those who forcibly return to communities: a) Specific care plan that includes information accessible in local languages to the family and community of return, prompt diagnosis-treatment, and follow-up.
b) We affirm that migration is not a crime, therefore we urge to suspend immigration detention, avoid overcrowding in detention centers, the immediate release of all people and guarantee their human rights.
c) Regarding the 9,950 victims of forced displacement, we request the same epidemiological surveillance measures and an effective response to the widespread violence caused by paramilitary groups.
  5. Guarantee appropriate conditions for health workers at all levels. Provision of sufficient supplies, equipment and training to strengthen first-level health services for Non-COVID and COVID 19 care, including the strengthening of care spaces and horizontal collaboration with community health agents: midwives, promoters, doctors and interns.
  6. In the case of midwives, the State facilitates and accelerates the recognition of midwifery in the civil registry and extends birth certificates without any condition. That they be respected to continue exercising attention and care, that community recognition is sufficient. In the event that they request it to adequately supply materials and supplies necessary for the delivery care.
  7. We request that the federal government pay special attention to the way in which the health strategy is implemented by the local government in Chiapas. We recognize the committed work and recover the requirement of Section 50 of the National Union of Workers of the Chiapas State Health Secretariat, which literally says:

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

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

  1. Expedited and transparent information on health care protocols in Chiapas. To offer dignified care, it is necessary that the personnel are adequately protected in accordance with the protocols established by the World Health Organization.
  2. Guarantee basic services in the supply networks of drinking water, sewerage, electricity and sanitation for the general population and with particular attention to hospitals, health homes, homes for the elderly, migrant detention centers, prisons and children’s rooms.
  3. Guarantee and regulate the supply of food to avoid speculation in the prices of essential items. For small producers of surpluses, maintain guarantee prices and facilitate the distribution of their products. Promote farmers markets for agro-ecological or transition products for local distribution. Guarantee that a percentage of the purchase from small producers of surplus is allocated to the total purchase of food from the Mexican State.
  4. Generate timely economic plans, without any conditions, to worthily accompany families who do not have insured wages and jobs. Monitor and ensure that these subsidies do not become the object of clientele and corruption.
  5. That the process of hospital reconversion is transparent at the state and district levels 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. NO COVID 19 .
  6. Information on strategies to support other problems derived from phases 2 and 3 such as intra-family violence, femicidal, psychological, economic, physical and sexual violence against children and women, stigmatization of the COVID patients, attack on / health workers.
  7. We ask that under no circumstances force measures be applied by the police and military bodies for the purposes of containing the population that may incur illegal actions and violations of human rights of persons.
  8. Stop the narrative of war, promotion of fear, physical repression of the State and the demonstration of force, which exert physical, symbolic violence and provoke fear and loneliness that prevent building solidarity and collective ties. The deliberate promotion of rumor, disinformation and panic makes people sick, demobilized and, in the extreme, becomes a stigmatization and persecution of the other.

We recognize the efforts that Chiapas society is making by staying at home, 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 displays of solidarity that are being deployed We therefore 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 with the dissemination of information in local languages, generating networks of solidarity and mutual support, and we also maintain our action of observation, documentation and denunciation of actions that violate the human rights of people in these territories.

Signed by:

Organizations: At`el Antsetik Community Center; Peasant Ecology and Health Training Center / Ombudsman for the Right to Health (CCESC-DDS); Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación, AC; Averages; Melel Xojobal, AC; Global Pediatric Alliance; Commission for the Defense of Human Rights, AC; Community Health and Development (Sadec); Ixim Antsetic Women’s House; Water and Life: Women, Rights and environment, AC; Mesoamerican Voices, Action with Migrant Peoples, AC; Economic and Social Development of Indigenous Mexicans, AC (DESMI); Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center, AC (Frayba); Center for Studies for Change in the Mexican Countryside, AC (CECCAM); Mexican Institute for Community Development (IMDEC); A helping hand in the fight against AIDS AC; Formacion y Capacitación AC; Fray Matias de Córdoba AC Human Rights Center; Apostolic of the Heart of Jesus (YMCA) Tapachula; Kaltsilaltik, AC, Comitán .; Initiatives for Human Development AC; SJM Frontera Comalapa; Center for the Rights of Victims of Violence Minerva Bello, Trust for the Health of Indigenous Children AC

Ajmaq Rebellion and Resistance Network

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

Network for Peace
: Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center, (San Cristóbal de Las Casas); Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada Human Rights Center, (Ocosingo); AC CEDIAC Center for Indigenous Rights; Women’s Rights Center (San Cristóbal de Las Casas); Support Commission for Community Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO) (San Cristóbal de Las Casas); Economic and Social Development of Indigenous Mexicans (DESMI) (San Cristóbal de Las Casas); Education for peace (EDUPAZ) (Comitán); Liaison, Training and Communication (Ocosingo and Comitán); Services and Advice for Peace (SERAPAZ) (Ocosingo).

National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All and All”


Originally Published in both English and Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Monday, April 20, 2020


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