Transnationals and indigenous peoples in struggle

Zapatista woman playing accordion at the EZLN’s 2018 International Gathering of Women that Struggle.

By: Magdalena Gómez

Citizens in our country are living in campaign season, even without being members of any political party. The campaign that I refer to is not that of messages or promises that are expressed in speeches with few contrasts, or through social networks and the mass media, or what simulates paying attention to the governmental suspension of propaganda around social programs. In sum, it is not that which the National Electoral Institute regulates.

This campaign doesn’t display itself as such and, of course, it has rules, those of transnational capital, and it applies them blindly by means of the dominated and occupied State in which it has converted the project that emanated from the 1917 revolution; a whole history of advances and setbacks, of social struggles, which still don’t achieve dismantling that authentic meta-constitutional power.

We maintain, of course, the three powers, and each period, in the Legislative and the Executive, some are named and others change, in the logic of guarantying gatopardismo (changing everything so that nothing changes). The previous week we had the pearl of evidence, which out of respect for Zapatismo I resist calling the other campaign, because it deals with the campaign, the real one that truly affects us, whether we are conscious of it or not.

The 2018 OCDE Mexico Forum took place, which, “coincidentally,” the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCDE, its initials in Spanish) holds every six years, as a guide, they said, for the best international practices for the new administration’s development of policies. That clarity of language leaves no room for misunderstanding. They presented the third edition of the series Strategic priorities for Mexico (Getting it Right for Mexico), in which they vindicate the origin of the federal government’s initiatives validated in the agreement called the Pact for Mexico, signed in 2013 by all the political parties. In that regard they affirmed: “The investment challenge is crucial for the medium-term success of Mexico’s energy policies. Without the necessary investment, the energy sector will not unleash its potential for growth and job creation. Pemex today already faces a challenge, while struggling to increase investments just to maintain its current levels of oil production.” Today they came to reaffirm that the reforms were priorities, and should be maintained and deepened. Yes they are that, in effect, for the companies that have been favored with concessions for the exploration and exploitation of oil, open-pit mining and gas pipelines, with opening and competition in tele-communications. La OCDE recommended putting into practice the anti-corruption system, the more expeditious and transparent functioning of the judicial system, as well as the fight against the insecurity.

It gave the task to the State’s new “administrators,” even its spokespersons expressed that it’s understandable that they want to introduce nuances in the energy policy, but in now way change the direction already outlined in the Constitution. In the same line we have the federal government’s daily statements around the inevitability of continuity, while press for the granting of concessions in the field of hydrocarbons, a question not included in the electoral season. No party has set a firm position in this regard, but their candidates reassure capital and those that were expected to be more radical, offer fragile responses and leave their operators statements to the effect that the concessions were already reviewed and are in order.

But also last week the voice of the so-called civil society was heard before the United Nations Organization (UN) at the meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, before the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. More than a hundred organizations presented an alternative report to the one the Mexican State presented on the group of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights in Mexico. For example, they documented violations around the right to prior consultation, free and informed with indigenous peoples and communities, and the official delegation pointed out that starting with the judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation around this right, measures have been taken and protocols constructed and they added that the problems raised around these processes, are presented because of community divisions and not because of omissions or flaws in application. Obviously they don’t recognize the government’s active role in the promotion of the same; and, finally, they resort to the very old alibi of inter-community conflicts. Also at the UN in these days another lawsuit has been opened with Peña Nieto, with the presentation of the Double injustice report from the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which questions the basis of the so-called historic truth about the Ayotzinapa case. And all of this while the indigenous peoples resist dispossession and violence from their territories.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



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