By: Armando G. Tejeda
María de Jesús Patricio, Marichuy, is on tour through Basque and Spanish cities with the charge from the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI) of denouncing the “increase in repression, murders and harassment” against the original peoples ever since Andrés Manuel López Obrador arrived in the Presidency of Mexico. The denunciations of the former pre-candidate to the Presidency also include the National Guard, which she points out as mainly responsible for the repression, especially for promoting energy projects in places like the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Morelos and the territory through which the Maya Train will pass.
In an interview with La Jornada, Marichuy ratified these accusations that she exposes at the forums she attends and warns that in the next general assembly of indigenous people, between November and December, resistance strategies will be decided to face the “very grave” situation, she affirms, in which their communities are found.
–What leads the CNI and you to make this tour outside of Mexico to denounce what happens in Mexico?
–It is to report the real situation that our indigenous peoples experience, since what is said in the media and what those above say, among them the President of Mexico, is not what happens below. We want it known that there are many dead, there are disappeared, there are aggressions toward people that organize to defend their territory. We are living in a state of war declared towards the peoples because of wanting to introduce megaprojects that will only bring territorial destruction to entire peoples and communities. It is a dispossession that the government carries out through repressive forces, such as the Army, the police, but also groups of the narco that surrender to the interests of the corporations.
–According to you, the repression has intensified since López Obrador assumed power, even worse than with the PRI?
–Yes, that is exactly what we are seeing. It is said that it is a government of the left dice and that all is well, but it isn’t. Below we are worse than before, because they have murdered our CNI compañeros and councilors and that had not happened before. To the peoples, war has been declared in order to impose those megaprojects. In fact, we believe that the National Guard was put in place to repress, not to take care of the communities, and to consummate the agreements necessary for executing the megaprojects. So, all that about change is a lie. The change for the peoples went backwards. Besides it holds consultations with the peoples, simulated and rigged, in which it offers assistance, gifts, to condition the result of the consultation.
–In case that the community votes in favor, what would happen?
–It’s that sometimes information is paid for so that it comes out in the media that the consultations were done, but in reality it’s not so. It’s not something that the communities say, but rather something for which the corporations are paying.
–You assert that the National Guard is responsible for the repression and attacks on the CNI. Could you point out for exactly what attacks and what kind of violence has been exercised against you with the National Guard?
–It’s just in the places where there is more organization to prevent what the corporations establish, like the wind farms. They have told us that the National Guard has hit the people who resist; specifically, on the Isthmus, but I don’t remember the name of the town.
–How do you know that it’s the National Guard? Are they in uniform? Do you know them?
–Because they always wear like a bracelet with an NG. And it’s happening like that on the Isthmus, in Puebla, in Chiapas.
–And those attacks, in exactly what have they consisted?
–They have told us that there have been blows; there have also been some deaths, but there is no certainty of who they were. For example, the murder of Samir Flores was a little after a government visit in the zone in which there was a demonstration against the thermoelectric plant. And it was obvious to us that it was a message for the one who raises her voice to not say anything. They also murdered four councilors in Guerrero and other CNI delegates. And that didn’t happen before.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee