By: Gilberto López y Rivas
In light of the EZLN’s well-founded denunciations about the threats and risks that the mega-projects of the Fourth Transformation’s government represent and the violence that structurally accompanies this form of capitalist globalization, hundreds of distinguished personalities from Mexico and the world in the fields of scientific work, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, literature, arts, journalism and political activism subscribed to an unprecedented document of solidarity with the Zapatista Mayas and of categorical rejection to the “campaign of disinformation, lies and slander,” which our newspaper published on the front page.
Those who signed this text recognize the example of resistance, dignity, congruence and political creativity that the Zapatista struggle represents; they consider that their rebellion, “an event of great transcendence,” constituted “one of the first resounding reactions on a planetary level against neoliberal globalization.” They emphasize that the Zapatistas “are and continue being an expression of the original peoples’ legitimate struggle against the domination and contempt suffered for centuries and even today, as well as in favor of their rights to autonomy.”
At the other equidistant pole from the EZLN’s critics, who condemn it to a supposed autarchic isolation in which they experience the “decline” of their movement, the signers identify the popular self-government established in their territories as an “example of real and radical democracy, worthy of inspiring the peoples of the world and of being studied in all the departments of social science on the planet. The construction of Zapatista autonomy represents for us, the constant, honest and critical search for an alternative and emancipating project of highest importance when facing the challenges of a world that seems to be increasingly sinking into a profound crisis, at once economic, social, political, ecological and human.”
Because of this evidence, the signers expressed “their concern for the situation that the Zapatista communities and the indigenous peoples of Mexico face, upon their territories and communities being attacked by mining, tourist, agro-industrial, infrastructure and other projects, like the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI) and the Indigenous Government Council (Concejo Indígena de Gobierno, CIG) have denounced. At this time, we are especially concerned about the large projects the new Mexican government promotes, like the Trans-Isthmus Corridor, the million hectares of commercial trees and the so-called Maya Train, recently denounced as a humiliation and a provocation by subcomandante Moisés, the EZLN’s spokesperson, since it seriously affects the territories of the Maya peoples that inhabit the Mexican southeast.” They oppose their “devastating environmental effects,” the mass tourism development that it will trigger, the haste to start the work and the violation of the rights to a “real, prior, free and informed consultation, as Convention 169 of the ILO and the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples establish. It seems very serious to us that international commitments assumed by Mexico are violated like that (…) We share the total rejection that the EZLN expressed against these and other large projects that seriously affect the autonomous territories and ways of life of the peoples.”
The document warns of and denounces: “in advance any aggression against the Zapatista communities, be it directly on the part of the Mexican State or through groups and organizations of armed or unarmed ‘civilians’. We place responsibility on the Mexican government for any confrontation that may emerge within the context of the implementation of these megaprojects, which correspond to a model already saturate with unsustainable and devastating ‘development’, decided from heights of power and shamelessly violating the rights of the original peoples.” The signers make an appeal: “people of good heart” to “be attentive to the risk of aggressions against the Zapatistas and the original peoples of Mexico.”
This precautionary warning is based on a global systemic tendency. The mega-projects are imposed by means of different armed actors: armies, police, security agencies, paramilitary groups, drug traffickers and counterinsurgency devices that in Chiapas have not stopped operating since 1994. The country’s militarization process, which will increase with the National Guard, is functional to the corporate neoliberalism that William Robinson specifically characterizes as “militarized accumulation.” Sidestepping the articulation between neoliberal capitalism and State violence is a grave political error on the part of Zapatismo’s detractors.
You can sign onto the international solidarity letter here.
En español en Enlace Zapatista:
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, January 25, 2019
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee