By: Elio Henríquez, Correspondent
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas
Members of the caravan called El Sur Resiste | The South Resists, organized by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), arrived in San Cristóbal, after touring the states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatán.
The group of about 250 people, which traveled in three buses, arrived on Thursday at 11 p.m. from Palenque, where in the morning they held a march and a rally in which a representative of the CNI said that “we are resisting the onslaught of capital that has declared a war of extermination of the original communities.”
He said: “We know that this traitorous government is protected as a Good Samaritan with gifts and support of the misery that it is giving to our people and so, when we walk with the caravan they turn to say: ‘Long live the Mayan Train’ and that is very serious, brothers.”
“But we also know that there are many of us who are fighting indignantly and demanding that capital get away from here, that it leaves us in peace, that the original peoples are worthy and we also defend the lives of those bastards.”
“Megaprojects don’t mean progress”
He added: “Our children are at risk of living in misery. They tell us that (projects like the Maya Train) are progress and that is a lie. They poison our land, pollute the water, plunder it and turn the territory into merchandise.”
He called on civil society to unite “because we cannot move forward alone in the face of this war declared on indigenous peoples,” while calling on the government to “stop militarization throughout the country.”
An Otomi from Querétaro who participates in the caravan, said: “we are the voice of the peoples who fight, who tell the government that we do not want to be killed (…) We want to live. “
The caravan’s journey began on April 25 in the Progreso ejido, municipality of Pijijiapan, Chiapas, and after 10 days arrived in San Cristóbal on Thursday, at 11 pm, accompanied by observers from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), the International Service for Peace (Sipaz) and the Swedish Movement for Reconciliation, among other NGOs.
The caravan stayed at the Cideci / Zapatista Caracol Jacinto Canek, where this Saturday the international meeting El Sur Resiste 2023 will be held.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada, Saturday, May 6, 2023, https://www.jornada.com.mx/2023/05/06/estados/027n3est and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee