Promedios de Comunicación Comunitaria - Chiapas Media project


  • “The Chiapas Media Project works with indigenous and campesino communities in the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Guerrero. The objective [is] to provide these communities with the means to produce their own media and distribute it” 1).
  • “For many people who live in the developed world use of video cameras, VCR's, TV's, and computers is a daily occurrence. But when one speaks with indigenous peoples about access to this technology they say it is only a dream. For centuries indigenous people and their cultures have been represented by people from the outside. Recently over the past few years there has been an effort to get new communication technology into the hands of indigenous people so that they can represent themselves, with their own words and images. This is what the Chiapas Media Project (CMP) is attempting to do in Southern Mexico.
  • In February of 1998, The CMP began as a result of conversations with autonomous Zapatista communities who were requesting access to video and computer technology. The Zapatista's or Zapatista Army of National Liberation, are an indigenous movement made of up Tzotzil, Chol, Tojolabal, Mum and Tzeltal Mayan Indians. They became known to the world via the internet on January 1, 1994 when they staged an armed uprising and took over six towns in Chiapas demanding that indigenous rights be recognized in the Mexican constitution. Another demand was the formation of indigenous controlled TV and radio throughout Mexico.
  • Since 1998 the CMP has been working as a bi-national partnership to providing video and computer equipment and training to indigenous and campesino communities in Chiapas and Guerrero, Mexico. The emphasis has been in the area of video production. The Chiapas Media Project is currently distributing 16 indigenous productions worldwide” 2).


  1. San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
  2. Guerrero, Mexico
  3. Chicago, USA
  • Centros Regionales de Medios de Comunicación (zapatist territories, Chiapas) : Palenque, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Las Margaritas, San Andrés Larrainzar


  • Television or video broadcasting: 28 videos distributed worldwide, and hundreds of video for the internal use of the communities
  • Other publications: mailing list


  • Spanish
  • English
  • Chol
  • Tzeltal
  • Tzotzil
  • Tojolabal


  • The project has been implemented in several indigenous communities (Chol, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tojolabal) in the southern states of Chiapas and Guerrero : Palenque, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Las Margaritas, San Andrés Larrainzar
  • “Since 1998, the CMP/Promedios has distributed over 6000 indigenous produced videos. These videos have been screened at universities, museums, and film and video festivals worldwide” 3)
  • In France, the video produced by Promedios are distributed by the cooperative Co-errances

Legal status

  • Bi-national NGO (USA/mexico)
  • In Mexico, Promedios is registred as a civil association
  • In the USA, Chiapas Media Project is registred as a non-for-profit organization.


  • The Chiapas Media Project has 4 main sources of income to continue the work we do:
  1. University/Community Presentations
  2. Video Sales
  3. Newsletter/Direct Mail Donations
  4. Foundations
  • Funded in part by:

Angelica Foundation
Daniele Agostino Foundation
Chace Fund
Departamento de Cooperaciòn del Gobierno Vasco
France Libertés\\
Funding Exchange
Fund for Global Human Rights
Goldman Environmental Foundation
Global Fund for Human Rights
Honor the Earth Fund
John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation
Joshua Mailman Foundation
Peace Development Fund
Reebok Human Rights Award
Riverside Sharing Fund
Solidago Foundation
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
US-Mexico Fund for Culture
Vanguard Foundation
William H. Donner Foundation

Internal organization

  • Co-founders

Alexandra Halkin
Tom Hansen

  • Advisory Board
  • Abel Barerra, Human Rights Center “Tlachinollan” Tlapa, Guerrero
  • Sally Berger, Museum of Modern Art, NYC
  • Dorothy Christian Okanagan-Secwepemc, Videomaker, Canada
  • Blase Bonpane, Office of the Americas, Los Angeles
  • Tatiana Da Silva, Downtown Community TV, NYC
  • Ricardo Dominguez, The Electronic Disturbance Theater
  • William Fisher, William and Mary College
  • Susan Gooding, PhD candidate, University of Chicago, Educational and Historical Research Consultant
  • Dr. Faye Ginsburg, Director, Center for Media,Culture and History, New York University
  • Flora Guerrero, Artist, Cuernavaca
  • Tom Hansen, Mexico Solidarity Network
  • Dr. Amparo Martínez, UNAM, Mexico City
  • Gustavo Martínez,
  • Guillermo Monteforte, Ojo de Agua, Oaxaca
  • José Manuel Pintado, COPAL, Mexico City
  • Jacklyn Rodriguez Vega, ChicagOtra, Mexican students de Aztlan-Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
  • Patricia Diaz Romo, Huicholes and Pesticides, Oaxaca
  • Dr. Beverly Singer, Director Alfonso Ortiz Center For Intercultural Studies, University of New Mexico TecsChange, Boston


  • Address : 4834 N. Springfield, Chicago, IL 60625
  • Email :
  • Tel. : 312-504-4144
  • Fax:


  • 2009 CMP launches Fair Food Across Borders, a bi-national advocacy project using video to campaign against human rights abuses faced by migrant farm workers, often from Chiapas and Guerrero, who harvest many of the fruits and vegetables grown in Mexico by transnational corporations and consumed in the United States and Canada4).
  • May 25th-June 29th, 2006 : tour in France to present 5 short movies
  • 2002: CMP/Promedios produces Reclaiming Justice, which tells the story of the Indigenous Community Police (ICP) of Guerrero and was made to counter the state and federal misinformation campaigns against the ICP and to tell their incredible success story in significantly cutting down crime in their regions.
  • 2001: in summer, the CMP/ Promedios begins video workshops in the Montaña region where most of Guerrero’s indigenous communities are located. These workshops are organized through the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña, in Tlapa, Guerrero. CMP/Promedios then begins working with the Indigenous Community Police (ICP) based in the montaña and costa-chica regions.
  • february, 2001: Crisanto Manzano Avella, an indigenous video producer, and his family.with an important international influence in indigenous video, suffers threats and aggressions by the caciques of his village, Tanetze de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, Mexico 5).
  • April 14, 2000 : the Chiapas Media Project wins the “Eagle Award” from TAOS Talking Pictures, “an organization dedicated to encouraging the thoughtful production and informed consumption of mass media […] The Eagle Award recognizes the achievement of an individual of organization in creating a healthier, more vibrant media environment”
  • 2000: The CMP/Promedios began working in Guerrero with the Organization of Campesino Environmentalists (Asociación de Campesinos Medioambientalistas de la Sierra de Petatlán)
  • 1998 : the Chiapas Media Project launched with its first workshops : 40 video cameras are distributed to 37 communities. The zapatist communities based in the State of Chiapas suffer repression by para-military groups, like during the massacre of Acteal in December, 1997. In february 1998, Tom Hanse, co-founder of the CMP/Promedios is arrested and expulsed by the Mexican authorities, while providing video equipment to Ejido Morelia, with the pretext of intrusion into the internal political affairs 6)
  • 1997 Several leaders from the indigenous communities in Chiapas are consulted about the accuracy of the project according to their needs

Links with other alternative media


  • ANDING, Kristina, “Chiapas Media Project puts video cameras—and power—into the hands of Mexico's indigenous people”, Jul. 1, 2003, Digital Content Producer, Available online
  • GUMUCIO-DAGRON, Alfonso (2001), “Projet de moyens de communication du Chiapas”, in Ondes de choc. Histoires de communication participative pour le changement social, The Rockefeller Foundation, pp. 299-304.
  • HALKIN, Alexandra (2009), “Outside the Indigenous Lens: Zapatistas and Autonomous Video-Making”, ICT for Development, June 15, Available online
  • New Critical Theory: Essays on Liberation By William S. Wilkerson, Jeffrey Paris Published 2001 Rowman & Littlefield ISBN 0742512789
  • Basta!: land and the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas By George Allen Collier, Elizabeth Lowery Quaratiello. Published 2005 Food First Books ISBN 0935028978
  • Women of Chiapas: Making History in Times of Struggle and Hope by Christine Eber (Editor), Christine Kovic (Editor) Routledge; 1 edition (August 22, 2003) ISBN-10: 0415945577 ISBN-13: 978-0415945578
  • Las Abejas: Pacifist Resistance and Syncretic Identities in a Globalizing Chiapas (Outstanding Dissertations on Religion in History, Society, and Culture, 1) by Marco Tavanti Routledge; 1 edition (December 20, 2002) ISBN-10: 0415942152 ISBN-13: 978-0415942157
  • Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism by Sam Gregory, Gillian Caldwell, Ronit Avni, and Thomas Harding, Pluto Press (September 26, 2005) ISBN-10: 0745324126 ISBN-13: 978-0745324128
  • Biz-War and the Out-of-Power Elite: The Progressive-Left Attack on the Corporation by Jarol B. Manheim, Lawrence Erlbaum; 1 edition (March 25, 2004) ISBN-10: 0805850686 ISBN-13: 978-0805850680
  • Ethnomusicology: A Contemporary Reader by Jennifer C. Post Routledge; 1 edition (November 8, 2005) ISBN-10: 0415972035 ISBN-13: 978-0415972031
  • Unexpected Harvest: A Faith Journey in Four Seasons by Margery Leach Trafford Publishing; 170 edition (July 6, 2006) ISBN-10: 1553690915 ISBN-13: 978-1553690917

5) Salzman, George, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Abril 2007 “El Proyecto de Medios de Comunicacion en Chiapas y Crisanto”
6) HALKIN, 2006
map/americas/mexico/promedios.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/20 20:55 (external edit)