Indian Mexico Continues Standing Despite Extermination, Indigenous Congress Declares
We learned on this path that the powerful have no respect for the word; they betray and violate it.
By: Hermann Bellinghausen, envoy Published: 08/19/2013 18:05
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas
“Indian Mexico finds itself alive, standing and with a single heart that becomes large, as large as the pain that we suffer and as the hope for which we struggle, because despite the war of extermination that has become more violent than ever, we are here,” the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI) stated today.
After concluding its national gathering under the name Seminar Tata Juan Chávez Alonso, called for by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) and the CNI, they made public a broad pronouncement, which joined together the dozens of urgent demands of the original peoples throughout national territory that met over the weekend in this city.
“At this time as well as in our history with Mother Earth, Yaqui, Mayo, Náyeri, Wixárika, Rarámuri, Odam, Nahua, Purépecha, Nañu or ñuhu, Mazahua, Popoluca, Tzotzil, Chol, Tzeltal, Tojolabal, Zoque, Totonaco, Coca, Mame, Binnizá, Chinanteco, Ikoot, Mazateco, Chontal, ñu saavi, Chatino, Triqui, Afro-mestizo, Mehpa, Nancue Nomndaa, ñhato and peninsular Maya indigenous peoples, nations and tribes recognize each other in the struggle for the respect of our ancestral way of life, a struggle that we learned together and about which we have spoken, we have demanded and we have repeatedly been betrayed by the bad governments.”
Coming from 19 states of the Republic, the indigenous delegates expressed: “On this path of struggle we have learned that the powerful have no respect for the word; they betray it and violate it one time after another in the length and breadth of this country called Mexico, since the failure to recognize the Accords of San Andrés Sakamchén de los Pobres, the 2001 indigenous counter-reform and the countless betrayals of our peoples from different regions and struggles.” And they assert: “We are the Indians that we are, decided to reconstitute ourselves in another possible world.”
In a list of 29 demands, the first is the immediate liberation of the Tzotzil professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez and of all the country’s indigenous political prisoners.
And next, denunciations that “the bad governments and the trans-national corporations have availed themselves of paramilitary groups to impose extractive mega-projects.”
Drug trafficking, dispossession of rivers, mountains, corn and air and different repressions! The CNI warns: “an unprecedented attack on the world’s sacred pillars recognized and sustained by the original peoples, who defend it with assurance in the name of life in the Universe.”
The pronouncement concludes: “We recognize, support and encourage the struggles for autonomy and free determination of all the indigenous peoples that make up the CNI, from the Yucatán Peninsula to the Baja California Peninsula.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Monday, August 19, 2013