For life, peace and justice in the Mountains of Guerrero

We want a world where many worlds fit.

By: Gilberto López y Rivas

The National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Government Council (Congreso Nacional Indígena–Concejo Indígena de Gobierno, CNI-CIG) and the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) recently convoked the Campaign for life, peace and justice in the Mountains of Guerrero in order to break “the circle imposed by criminal groups that, allied with the bad governments, seek to end the power from below with terror and violence, because they know that is where they will be defeated.”

This call, of an urgent nature, urges carrying out the necessary actions, parallel and simultaneous, to dismantle the considered war of the powerful against the life of humanity and the entire planet, and what they call “the narco-paramilitary war against the peoples and communities that are members of the National Indigenous Congress.”

Last May 4, the Nahua councilor José Lucio Bartolo and the delegate Modesto Verales Sebastián, from the indigenous communities of Xicotlán and Buenavista, respectively, were kidnapped and murdered. On May 23, near Chilapa, Guerrero, two members of the community police of the Nahua communities of Tula and Xicotlán, Bartolo Hilario Morales (comandante), and Isaías Xanteco Ahujote, promoters of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero Emiliano Zapata (Concejo Indígena y Popular de Guerrero Emiliano Zapata, CIPOG-EZ) were deprived of their freedom, murdered and dismembered. In a comunicado, the CIPOG-EZ specifies: “It is important to point out that our murdered compañeros and their communities have been organizing their community police for years to resist the violence, extortion and imposition of poppy growing on the part of two criminal groups, the Ardillos and the Rojos, who control the municipal presidencies of the region, count on the Mexican Army’s complicity and that of state and municipal police…”

It’s clear to the CIPOG-EZ the relationship between the pro-development stance of the current government with its megaprojects, and the different types of armed actors that operate in indigenous territories, as well as the role of autonomy as an essential instrument of anti-capitalist resistance and rebellion: “The peoples, nations, tribes and indigenous barrios, are resisting not only the megaprojects with which the owners of power appropriate nature and land, but also against death, fear and desolation that their armed groups impose on the whole country. Although they may have the shirt of los Rojos, los Ardillos or the repressive forces of the bad government, the power of money and the ambition to make profits based on the suffering of the peoples, makes them the very same. Constructing that peace and autonomy for the peoples of Chilapa and the region is the horizon for which our murdered brothers struggle because of neoliberal capitalism.”

The CNI-CIG-EZLN is convoking a caravan that will depart from Amilcingo, Morelos, on July 12, and will spend July 13 and 14 in Acahuehuetlan, Chilapa, Guerrero. At the same time, it invites a collection of food, medications and economic resources in the places and the [bank] account of the CNI-CIG that they specify in the call. The purpose is to make visible the humanitarian crisis in entire regions, in which no food or medicines can enter, nor can they sow the land “given the risk of being killed on their plot, or keep their schools open for fear of a possible attack on our sons and daughters.”

But the war against the CNI-CIG not only takes place in the state of Guerrero. The strategy of irregular war described in the manuals of the Sedena [1] is applied throughout the national geography. In a letter against the militarization and in solidarity with the communities of Zapatistas and of the indigenous peoples of Mexico, recognized intellectuals of Mexico and global ambit, expressed their concern over the growing military activity in Zapatista territories, and they point out: “It worries us to find out about the recent homicides of members of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Government Council. The possibility worries us that this new administration, like its predecessors, liberal or conservative, once again place the indigenous peoples at the edge of extermination.”

Zósimo Camacho counts at least 117 members of the CNI murdered since its foundation in 1996, and he emphasizes: “Andrés Manuel López Obrador completes half a year of having assumed the Presidency of the Republic, a time in which 10 cases were added to the long list of murders and disappearances against indigenous activists of this organization (…) No one has been arrested for these murders and the investigations don’t advance. Death, so far in the “fourth transformation” has permission if we’re talking about indigenous peoples.”

Because of action or omission, the Mexican State should answer for these crimes.

[1] Sedena is the acronym for the Secretariat de Defensa Nacional, Mexico’s Defense Department


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, June 28, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee







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