By: Carolina Gómez Mena
On July 4, the Tsotsil priest Marcelo Pérez found out that he had an arrest warrant against him, but he didn’t flee, because “I am innocent; after praying deeply, I decided to continue with my pastoral activities,” he told La Jornada.
About this situation, the Meso-American Ecological Ecclesial Network (Remam, its Spanish acronym) expressed its solidarity “with Pueblo Creyente of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, with Marcelo Pérez, faithful companion of this people,” against whom a judge issued an arrest warrant, presumably for the disappearance of 19 Pantelhó residents, which would have occurred at the end of July 2021.
The Remam expressed its support to all those who “in Chiapas have experienced the constant dispossession of their territory, as well as other forms of violence. We offer them our solidarity and join their voice and their indignation” to all those who “care for and defend the territories.”
The network stressed that it supports those who “take care of our living space” to “preserve it and pass it on to the generations that come” and warned that its work has been subject to various forms of “violence,” because “we face processes of environmental degradation, dispossession of our territories, as well as limitations to the conditions for living with dignity and environmental justice. “
The effects are caused by the “imposition of economic growth as a way of valuing life and nations. This dominance is supported by laws and structural reforms that allow the abuse, privatization and devastation of our common home (the planet).”
It added that: “hundreds of communities face problems of forced displacement or depletion of our soils and waters due to the proliferation of extractive processes, increasing industrialization, and savage urbanization, as well as the technification of agriculture to put it at the service of consumers in rich countries. “
All these dynamics “constitute the daily life of many peoples in the state of Chiapas. However, despite the fact that these peoples have raised their voices for centuries, the commodification of territories continues advancing hand in hand with violent dynamics, whether at the hands of criminals, paramilitaries, police or soldiers.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada, Monday, July 11, 2022, https://www.jornada.com.mx/2022/07/11/politica/007n3pol and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee