Isabel Garcia's klan teams up with MEChA to mooch for Mexico

Money and goods raised here to aid indigenous communities in Chiapas

Tucson Citizen
Dec. 3, 2002

Two Tucson groups have raised $3,000 to $4,000 in cash and goods to aid the indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico.

They planned to turn over the donations at a public potluck Wednesday to Pastors for Peace, which plans to make deliveries in Chiapas from Dec. 17-23.

Pastors for Peace is a national group with a membership that includes social activists from all sectors of society.

The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and presentations will start an hour later.

A Pastors for Peace caravan started in November and has stopped in more than 40 cities in Canada and the United States. Members of the caravan talk about the Chiapas situation and raise funds. Since the January 1994 rebel uprising of the Zapatista rebels, Chiapas has become the heart of the Indian rights movement in Mexico.

"New levels of political and corporate brutality are being inflicted upon indigenous people in Chiapas and they need our help more now than ever," said Scott Zambrano, local coordinator of the fund-raising effort.

"There has been a lot more government repression and a lot of pressure coming from paramilitary groups and the Mexican government," he said.

The caravan will deliver nearly $200,000 worth of antibiotics and other medical supplies, school supplies and computers to hospitals and nongovernmental organizations in Chiapas.

The Tucson groups involved were Coalicion de Derechos Humanos Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan.

They raised $700 to buy 35,000 doses of amoxycillin, $2,000 to $3,000 worth of other medical supplies and about $1,000 in cash, Zambrano said.

The public is welcome to attend the potluck at Peace of Dove Lutheran Church, 665 W. Roller Coaster Road. It is free but those attending are asked to bring a dish and may make donations to the cause.