Subject: Delegations to Mexico
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 09:46:46 -0500
From: "Tom Hansen" <alex2051@xsite.net>

UPDATE

Mexico Solidarity Network Friendship Delegation to Chiapas October 10-17,1998

Your active participation is requested to build the Mexico Solidarity Network Friendship Delegation to Chiapas, October 10-17. The Mexico Solidarity Network anticipates a delegation of 25 to 50 people.

- Call at least ten people from your own contact list and encourage them to participate in the delegation.
- Join the delegation yourself.
- Help raise funds for the delegation scholarship fund.

For a copy of the flier, application or organizing packet, please contact:
Mexico Solidarity Network
4834 N. Springfield 1247 E St., SE
Chicago, IL 60625 Washington, DC 20003
Tel: 773-583-7728 202-546-9355
e-mail: alex2051@xsite.net

Rationale: The first Mexico Solidarity Network Delegation to Chiapas in July realized significant accomplishments. Even in the midst of a campaign against foreigners, the delegation visited 34 indigenous communities without serious incident. As a friendship delegation, participants traveled under tourist visas, in strict compliance with Mexican laws. The delegation produced a comprehensive report on conditions throughout the state that is a valuable educational tool. Eighty-six delegates returned to the US energized for future solidarity work. The presence of foreigners continues to be critical to the survival of indigenous communities. Often foreigners are the only line of defense between isolated communities and the army. Delegates act as the "eyes of the world," reporting on conditions, the effects of low intensity warfare, and human rights abuses. This is particularly important this fall as the Mexican government cranks up its strategy of low intensity warfare, using fear and hunger as weapons against the indigenous population. The October 10-17 Friendship Delegation will reinforce the precedents established by the first delegation. Delegates will stand with indigenous communities in their time of need.

Logistics: The trip is scheduled for October 10-17. The Mexico Solidarity Network will work with indigenous communities, Enlace Civil and the Fray Bartolome Center to develop an appropriate itinerary that responds to conditions when we arrive. Delegates will travel to San Cristobal de las Casas for an orientation. The evenings of October 10 and 16 will be spent in a hotel in San Cristobal. The rest of the time will be spent in various indigenous communities. Be prepared for the equivalent of camping. Visas: It is important that the delegation respect the sovereignty and laws of Mexico, especially immigration laws. As of mid August, those laws are not clear. Immigration officials recently proposed new restrictions on foreigners, but the appropriate legislation has not been passed by the National Assembly. Since this is a friendship delegation and we will be traveling at the invitation of the indigenous communities, we will be
traveling under tourist visas. Tourist visas are obtained on the airplane as you fly from the US to Mexico. Please note San Cristobal de las Casas as your destination on the tourist visa.

Costs: The cost is $400, and is determined by actual expenses plus a small contribution to administration and a scholarship fund. The costs cover lodging, ground transportation, food while we're in the indigenous communities, program and visa. Costs do not cover plane fares. Delegates who need help with flight reservations can call Scott at 800-328-1332.

Scholarship fund: The number of scholarships will depend on the number of delegates plus extra donations that are received by the Network for this fund. A scholarship committee of the Mexico Solidarity Network will determine scholarship awards. Applications for scholarships are due by September 18, 1998. Late applications cannot be accepted.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT TOM HANSEN AT ABOVE E-MAIL ADDRESS