chapter  1
18 Pages

Las Abejas and the Acteal Massacre

Chiapas for more than forty years. During that celebration, Bishop Ruiz spoke about the ‘globalization’ of Acteal and how Las Abejas had expanded their worldview as they continued to welcome visitors from all over the world. In his words:

I observed first hand how Las Abejas rapidly grew in their understand­ ing of being in a globalizing Chiapas by examining a world map hung on the organization’s office wall in Acteal. Las Abejas’ Mesa Directiva (Board of Directors) received this map from a pastoral worker of the San Cristobal de Las Casas (SCLC) Diocese a few weeks after the Acteal massacre. Since that tragic day on December 22, 1997, frequent international delegations and

human rights observers from various countries have come to visit Las Abejas in Acteal. In several interviews, the Tzotzil indigenous people of Las Abejas told me how that world map was a way to visually locate the national origin of vis­ iting people in relation to Acteal. Visit after visit, it was like opening themselves to the world as they drew more lines linking Acteal to numerous countries and cities all over the world. The Mesa Directiva commented how later those links symbolized Las Abejas’ many connections with numerous foreign organiza­ tions. Acteal soon became a place where international coalitions for solidarity and for the defense of human rights were established and implemented.