“Defense of land has brought us repression, threats and murders,” they denounce in Chiapas

March against mining in Chicomuselo, in the Sierra Madre of Chiapas.

By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas (apro)

Some five thousand men and women, members of San Pedro and San Pablo parishes of Chicomuselo, in the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, held a march-procession this Monday to protest against the extractive mining that threatens their territories and contaminates their rivers, streams and the social fabric in the region.

Coming from various communities, they congregated in Chicomuselo, the municipal capital, where an abundant contingent held the march with signs and slogans against mining companies that have started to provoke conflicts between the residents of different communities.

Men and women from different towns in resistance that today participated in the march called the “Movement against mining exploitation and the dispossession of land,” denounced their “systematic enslavement” on the part of the different levels of the Mexican State.

This march/pilgrimage took place after they held a regional meeting last Sunday to analyze the threat that extractive mining and the companies that have approached different communities to effectuate their mining concessions represent.

“After having listened to the problems of the different communities and organizations in resistance, we agree that our struggle in defense of Mother Earth has brought us as a consequence, omission, repression, intimidation, threats, persecution, incarceration and the murders of community human rights defenders in Chiapas and in other parts of the country and of the world,” residents said today that held a mass at the end of the procession.

They indicated that the private capital mining companies, national and transnational, together with the State and its three levels of government, are determined to increase and diversify their actions related to dispossession of natural wealth, displacement of the population, occupation of the territory and elimination of any organizational process that attempts to resist and defend itself peacefully, legally and in total exercise of their collective rights.

They pointed out that this insistence on the part of the mining companies continues provoking division and confrontation in the communities by taking advantage of the poverty of the residents and offering them economic resources so that they will accept the mining project.

They declared that they are in civilian resistance, but as part of a peaceful movement in favor of life, always willing to dialogue in search of solutions to their problems and to the “death plans” that damage their communities.

They denounced that those who have decided to defend life and Mother Earth are now in constant risk under threats from the impresarios, from organized crime and from the State and its three levels of government “that only favor the paths of impunity, injustice, inequality, dispossession, exploitation and scorn for the original peoples, communities and ejidos.”

They supported the struggle of the campesinos from Ricardo Flores Magón and Grecia ejidos in that same municipality of Chicomuselo, who have opposed mining in their communities and they denounced the repression, persecution, as well as threats of death and of dispossessing them of their agrarian rights in their respective communities.

They likewise stood in solidarity with the organization of ejido commissioners of Chicomuselo municipality in their social demands for the benefit of inhabitants of the Sierra Zone and rejected all forms of intimidation and threats against them, because in recent days some ejido representatives have received calls to threaten them with death if they continue involved in the movement against mining.

Therefore they demanded that the autonomy and self-determination of the peoples in Chiapas and in Mexico founded on Constitutional Articles 1 and 2 and on international conventions are respected, as well as the physical integrity of those who defend life, Mother Earth and nature be guarantied.

They demanded the cancellation of mining concessions in Chicomuselo and of “all the death projects” in their territories, which only bring destruction, dispossession, poverty, diseases, community conflicts and divisions.

They demanded a stop to the Mexican Army’s militarization and patrolling on the territory of Chicomuselo communities and hold the Mexican State at all three levels of government responsible for any aggression or attack against them and/or the towns and communities.

After the mass, they asked all the towns, communities, ejidos, grassroots organizations, and the men and women of this country “that they maintain their struggle firm, their resistance and that they organize, don’t give in, don’t sell out, and don’t let themselves be deceived.”

They emphasized the importance of articulating their struggles in all corners of the state, because the land is an inheritance from their ancestors and, therefore, must be taken care of and defended.

“Our peoples and organizations have decided firmly to defend life, territory and the environment because the future of our country is at risk,” they concluded.

Besides the priests and faithful from the parishes of San Pedro and San Pablo, Chicomuselo, members of the Vicariate General of the San Cristóbal Diocese, the Diocesan Coordination for Human Rights, Diocese of San Cristóbal, the Vicariate of Social Pastorate and the Vicariate of the Pastorate of Mother Earth were in yesterday’s meeting and today’s procession.

[A long list of other organizations in attendance]


Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com.mx

Monday, October 2, 2017


Re-Published with edits and English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee




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