[Admin: The EZLN and the CNI-CIG are focusing their joint resistances on the Morelos Integral Project (PIM). This article begins to explain why: Resistances to the PIM could be repeated with the Maya Train, the Tehuantepec dry canal (aka Trans-Isthmus Corridor) and other pending megaprojects impacting indigenous peoples throughout Mexico.]
Gilberto López y Rivas
Upon completing the first 100 days of the new government, it’s concerning that its ex oficio lawyers make targeted statements about those indigenous peoples, who from their knowledge and anti-capitalism, denounce and resist the renewed development, neo-indigenist and militarization policies of the Fourth Transformation.
The EZLN and the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Government Council were not responsible nor were the “isolated voices” of the “Zapatista environment” for the fact that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador would ratify the PIM (Proyecto Integral Morelos, Morelos Integral Project) in his speech in Cuautla on February 10, in which he reversed his public commitments in 2014 and 2018, and in which he stigmatized “leftist radicals,” and classified them as “conservatives,” without distinguishing that, in reality, they were members of peoples and communities that for years have been waging an unequal battle against the PIM, and, now, paradoxically against the new government, that defends and represents said project.
The murder of Samir Flores Soberanes, the very incarnation of that struggle, took place ten days after the presidential harangue. Pointing out, as does Armando Bartra, that it seeks to make political use of this death to “feed blood to a cause that doesn’t need it” is trivializing that murder and an unsustainable political infamy. Samir is a symbol of the struggle of the peoples that remember with admiration and respect their teachings. Amilcingo, his birthplace, becomes the epicenter of mobilizations like the Emerging National Assembly versus State Violence and Self-determination of the Peoples, held on March 9, in which the current government was characterized, in fact, as a continuity of neoliberalism, calling for a national and international mobilization next April 10 in Chinameca, and declaring AMLO a “persona non grata” in Morelos: “We will not permit –participants in this assembly assert– that the death of our caudillo of the south is insulted with the presence of one who seeks to impel death projects on Zapatista land.” The resistances to the PIM could be repeated with the Maya Train, the Tehuantepec dry canal and other megaprojects at the doorstep.
The apologists of AMLO’s achievements in his first 100 days seem to not take into account the unavoidable reality of the profound gap between the original peoples and a government that already decreed the end of neoliberalism, in the “100 days that moved Mexico” (sic). Of course, as indigenous peoples organized in defense of their territories and their autonomic processes, it’s not a priority on the governmental agenda, except when it refers to the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI), which as of today has not made one single statement about the Morelos Integral Project and the continuity of the violence against those who struggle in defense of Mother Earth, like Samir.
The INPI is carrying out consultations in communities formally comply with Convention 169 of the ILO, although Victoria Tauili-Corpuz, the UN’s special relator on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, already firmly expressed her concerns to the current government about the obligations contracted in this regard by the Mexican State, in accordance with the constitutional context and the international treaties in effect.
Also, from the ambits authorized, difficult of being accused of “conservative” and “ultra-leftist,” emerge critical observations that coincide with those sustained by community resistances. Greenpeace lamented the little attention of the current government, “beyond the discourse,” to the theme of the environment, and evaluated that in just 100 days of government President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s policies –on environmental and energy matters– profile Mexico in the direction of a climate disaster. Among the five points on which such affirmation is sustained, specifically, the reactivation of the thermoelectric plants, like the one in Huexca.
Within this context of authoritarianisms from the power: To what hypothetical dialogue does Bartra refer and who is hindering it when consultations are imposed from the federal Executive that have been considered illegal, illegitimate, in violation of the collective rights of the original peoples? Is it dialogue with the delegate of the Presidency of the Republic in Morelos, Hugo Éric Flores, a systematically questioned operator that harassed the dignified people of Huexca with his presence on the night of last March 5, without being invited by a community assembly, accompanied with public force, and offering patronizing and corporative aid that seeks to buy consciences and, that yes, fraction and divide communities? Is it dialogue with the prosecutor that “investigates” Samir’s murder, insulting his memory and the ethical integrity of the atmospheres of family and struggle? Is it dialogue with one who only listens to the echo of his word made law?
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, March 22, 2019
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee