Festival of resistances and rebellions in San Cristóbal – Day 1


Náhua Virgin

Náhua Virgin

Chiapas Mexico, January 2, 2015

José Luis Hernández, a delegate of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI, its initials in Spanish), inaugurated the sharing at the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions in the installations of CIDECI Unitierra, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. “We bring the word from where we come and the places where we have been,” he explained.

The CNI representative shared some of the numbers of the people registered in the Festival’s different sites: 1300 delegates of 28 native peoples from 20 states of the country and 2,914 participants of the national and international Sixth, of which 736 are international attendees from 42 countries and a total of 2,178 come from the 32 states of the Mexican Republic.

Ayotzinapa present

Continuing the tonic of the previous exchanges (sharings), the relatives and compañeros of the disappeared Ayotzinapa students spoke out. Berta Navas, mother of one of the disappeared students, spoke first and described her son with tears in her eyes as a very humble and hard-working student. “His only vice was being a teacher coming to the communities like those of the compañeros,” she remembered, and continued talking about the repression that the rural schoolteachers suffer: “This government does not want people prepared to bring a message to the communities.”

Berta Navas spoke above all to the people that have been supporting the parents of the normalistas throughout their search for these last three months. “Many thanks to all the people that have received us in their communities from the bottom of my heart, because they have reached out to me.” Referring to the talks of the Ayotzinapa families, at the New Years Festival in Oventic, she specified: “It was an honor that they told us to speak in their place, it was the best honor that I have received. I feel small before all these people, and I ask you to support us today and always. To conclude, Berta Navas exclaimed: “I hope that no one else is missing a child, that no one else is missing a family member.”

Cruz Bautista, another father of a disappeared student, continued Berta’s talk. With his words he explained how his family learned about the youth’s disappearance through the newspaper and appealed to all those in attendance to share their issues: “We hope that with your help this information will reach the country’s poorest barrios so that they realize the anomalies the government does to disappear people that demonstrate against it.”

Next, Bernabé Abraján, the father of Abraján de la Cruz, moved the whole auditorium with his words and continued bringing tears to several of those in attendance. His broken voice remembered, publicly, that today January 2 would be his disappeared son’s birthday. “We would have wanted to be sharing his birthday today with all his relatives,” he alleged. His voice, full of rage and emotion warned clearly: “Now I realize that it’s not only the state of Guerrero, all the states have problems with the government.” And he added: “Now we are going to see that justice is done, through all of us organizing together.”

Óscar García, the brother of Abel García Hernández, spoke to those in attendance explaining the difficult family situation familiar that exists. “My mother cannot speak in Spanish, only in Mixteco, therefore I am here.” The young man continues explaining how his mother asks that he return home, but he “prefers to be here fighting to see his brother again.” Abel García Hernández wanted to be a bilingual teacher, and his brother, the one that now speaks in the CIDECI, wanted to be a soldier but he explained that now he doesn’t, that he no longer wants to be part of the narco-government. Like him, Tlabertino Cruz, father of a disappeared normalista, also thanked the attendees for their presence and asked for the support of all those gathered together.

To finish, Omar García, a teachers college student remembered: “Our history has to do with resistance and rebellion for constructing a different world and for us it is an honor to be here in the CIDECI.” And he added: “We did not open our eyes on September 26, we already had them open.” Finally, he explained an anecdote about the goodbye they had with Subcomandante Moisés: “We expressed to him that we also wanted autonomy in the rural teachers colleges and he told us that seeing is believing.” The student concluded as follows: “We assume that with the courage and determination of thousands of people all over the country that will be possible.”

The inauguration ceremony ended with a present that the Emiliano Zapata Autonomous School of Huixtipec delivered to the Ayotzinapa relatives and compañeros. They read a poem in Náhuatl that talks about the disappeared normalistas and delivered a painting that has accompanied them during the whole Festival and symbolizes a virgin with various Náhuatl symbols.

Between the different talks from the relatives of the Ayotzinapa students, we had the opportunity of listening directly to Mario Luna, the activist and prisoner from the Yaqui people. The compañero expressed from Cerezo 2 of Hermosillo that: “we are where you are, we remain firm.” In reference to the bad government, he explained that: “They are hoping to let our hope fall into oblivion.” He also launched a message of hope: “We can reach a way of self-governing different from that of the politicians.”

Antonia Canuta.


Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

January 2, 2015

En español: http://www.pozol.org/?p=10177



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