Pronouncement of the International Gathering El Sur Resiste May 7, 2023



       “Global corporate capitalism, Planetary patriarchy, Autonomies in rebellion”

May 7, 2023
To the General Command of the EZLN
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Indigenous Government Council
To the national and international organizations that struggle and resist
To the free, alternative, independent communications media or whatever they are called
To the peoples of Mexico and the world

From the Heart of the land where dignified rage was born, grew up and reproduces, the rebellious peoples of the geographies of the South-Southeast that walk the caravan El Sur Resiste/The South Resists 2023, Binnizá, Ayuuk, Nahua, Nuntajiyi (Nuntajuyi), Maya, Chol, Zoque, Tzeltal, Tojolabal, Tsotsil and mestizo peoples, convened by various organizations of this geography and by the National Indigenous Congress, toured the territories affected by the interconnected military megaprojects, the misnamed Maya Train and the Interoceanic Corridor. We arrived at the Zapatista territory of CIDECI-UNITIERRA / Caracol Jacinto Canek in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, where we met with many other peoples and organizations of the original peoples and urban areas of the south southeast of the country and many other regions of our Mother Earth to share the pains, hopes and strategies of articulation, to learn from the struggles of other geographies and to continue weaving solidarity networks of resistance and planetary rebellion.

From April 25 to May 4, members of the El Sur Resiste Caravan traveled through communities and towns in eight states of the Mexican Republic; starting from the community of El Progreso, municipality of Pijijiapan, with a stopover in Tonalá, we toured the coast of Chiapas and crossed the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, from the Binniza community in resistance of Puente Madera, municipality of San Blas Atempa, passing through the rebel camp “Tierra y Libertad” in the place of the Aayuuk community of Mogoñe Viejo,  municipality of San Juan Guichicovi both communities of the state of Oaxaca and reaching the Nahua community of Oteapan in southern Veracruz. From there, we started the journey towards the Maya territories of the Yucatan Peninsula, crossing the State of Tabasco through Villahermosa and the coastal community of El Bosque, devoured by the sea due to global warming, arriving at Candelaria, Campeche, and following the route to the community of Zakí, today named Valladolid in Yucatan and the community of Noj Kaaj Santa Cruz,  today Felipe Carrillo Puerto in Quintana Roo, returning through Xpujil again in Campeche territory to return to Chiapas and meet the Zoque, Chol, Tsotsil, Tojolabal and Tzeltal peoples, with a stop in Palenque, crossing the region of Los Altos to reach our final destination, Jovel, today San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Throughout this journey, our hearts, feelings and thoughts were opened to listening and observing the multiple pains and destruction caused by the voracity of great world capitalism that we feel in our own body through the constant harassment of our caravan by the police and military bodies of the Mexican State.

In these times of global geopolitical re-arrangements where the big capitals of the Western and Asian blocs accelerate the process of this new stage of colonization war, disputing the territories of our planet, destroying Mother Nature, dispossessing, exploiting and expelling the peoples and murdering and disappearing those who oppose them, we see the complicity of states and organized crime in its various forms, all of them bloodthirsty.

We affirm that we are facing the greatest expression of the patriarchal power system inherited from thousands of years ago and installed in our lands for more than 500 years with the genocidal European invasion. We witness its devastating effects on our territories but we also feel with great force the resistance of our peoples, who have safeguarded our very existence as indigenous peoples.

In Cideci’s Assembly Hall, Zapatista Caracol 7, Jacinto Canek.

In this global re-arrangement, the Mexican Southeast and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, play a strategic role in the interests of global corporations to link by land in just 200 kilometers the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic and facilitate the transport of goods, hydrocarbons and other resources from the subsoil. The interoceanic corridor has been a place of transit since ancestral times of the commercial routes of the peoples, but in times of the colony and the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, as well as during the governments of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries they have tried to appropriate it without success, this by the historical resistance of the peoples of the region.

This self-appointed government of the fourth transformation is no different, since it contemplates the modernization of the ports of Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz, the construction of a highway and the modernization of the railroad for freight trains that will not only connect the two ports but also with the train they call Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula.

That is why we say that the Interoceanic Corridor, the misnamed Maya Train and the Morelos Integral Project in the center of the country are part of an interconnection and energy supply network for corporations that will operate in the south of the country and Central America, most of them with private and foreign capital.

A high voltage line will be installed and the expansion of the isthmus gas pipeline that they intend to connect with the new maritime pipeline that will bring fracking gas from Texas to our lands. This project will be built along the Veracruz coast, in the vicinity of the reef system, from Tuxpan to Coatzacoalcos and with another maritime branch to the new Dos Bocas refinery, also part of this megaproject.

This infrastructure reflects the deepening of a model, based on the extraction of fossil hydrocarbons, which accelerated during the twentieth century, in a way never seen before, the indicators of pollution and global warming, reinforced by supposedly clean energies in the hands of big foreign capital that does not represent any just energy transition for the peoples.

Indeed, the project not only contemplates the construction of these infrastructures but also the opening of new territories for the extraction of hydrocarbons, mining and the implementation of industrial and wind farms as well as the construction of new urban centers for workers semi-enslaved nationals, but mostly migrants who by order of the master of the North will be detained at the Isthmus, making this territory a new wall of human containment.

The Isthmus is ours! Resistance to the Interoceanic Corridor.

In the Maya territories on the Yucatan Peninsula and the states of Chiapas and Tabasco, a new territorial reorganization is developing to be placed at the service of the big tourism capital and big capital for industrial developments. 

The Caravan witnessed the devastation of the jungle to make way for train tracks, hundreds of miles and millions of felled trees where deer and jaguar once walked. The flows of the sacred water are being modified with catastrophic consequences for the peoples who will be named in the future as natural disasters. 

In Maya territories that were victims in the beginning of the 20th century of the Genocide promoted by the State during the Maya Social War, today the train and the megaprojects that are illegally imposed are part of the new genocidal practices.

The construction of that train, is accompanied by the installation of 21 stations and tourist development zones, photovoltaic wind parks, thermo-electric dams, breweries, pig farms, cultivation of palm, soy and other mono-crops, as well as big real estate developments, hotel complexes, shopping centers, casinos, restaurants and everything that’s necessary for the large masses of tourists that they expect will arrive on the peninsula, provoking dispossession, voracious extractivism and the destruction of the ways of life of the Maya peoples.

Both in the peninsula and in the Isthmus, through misinformation and false promises of well-being linked to the deceptive handling of concepts such as progress and development where social programs have played a fundamental role, due to fear of violence, separation from the community and the possible loss of social programs many people remain silent and do not organize, even knowing and seeing the growing violence and destruction of territories.

But the evils that come with these megaprojects of death are becoming more evident every day.  All these infrastructure projects represent the dispossession of our territories for the benefit of big capital as part of a project operated by the Mexican armed forces (army, navy and national guard), in coordination with the police and migratory bodies and in collusion with the organized crime cartels and the consequent expansion of capitalist and patriarchal criminal economies.

We hear and testify that the first of the spoils is that of ancestry and communality, because when they strip us of the sense of belonging to Mother Earth, we stop feeling it, listening to it and feeling its pains. First, they strip us of our memory and our spirituality in order to be able to strip us of our way of life, our roots and the land, because whoever no longer sees in it a mother, but a commodity that can be bought and sold, gets rid of it without thinking about what those who only want to exploit it will do to it.  They uproot their trees and poison them without caring about the destruction of our communities and our ceremonial centers, the pollution of the air, land and waters, springs, rivers, lagoons, seas and cenotes that are the waters of the bowels of our mother.

We saw how the sea is literally and tragically swallowing the community of El Bosque in Tabasco, as a consequence of climate change caused by global mega pollution, particularly by the energy model based on the extraction of hydrocarbons, which this government and big capital reinforce.

We also note the terrible increase of a culture of violence that has permeated the entire society from the communities to the neighborhoods of the cities with drug trafficking, extortion, the collection of floor rights (fees for protection), particularly affecting youth, women, migrants and defenders of the environment and human rights.

More and more young people from indigenous communities and poor neighborhoods of cities fall victim to drug trafficking networks, as one of the few “alternatives” to overcome in the midst of this disaster, self-destruct their brains with cheap drugs like crystal, become hitmen and end up murdered.

Particularly, we note the increase in gender violence from family violence to femicides with the terrifying figure of 13 women murdered daily in our country and a clear increase in repression against those who oppose megaprojects, defend the territory and denounce impunity and chains of complicity, repression ranging from threats, forced displacement, imprisonment, disappearances and killings.  

More and more young people from indigenous communities and poor neighborhoods in cities fall victim to drug trafficking networks, as one of the few “alternatives” to overcome in the midst of this disaster, self-destruct their brains with cheap drugs like crystal, become hitmen and end up murdered.

Particularly, we note the increase in gender violence from family violence to femicides with the terrifying figure of 13 women murdered daily in our country and a clear increase in repression against those who oppose megaprojects, defend the territory and denounce impunity and chains of complicity and repression, ranging from threats, forced displacement, imprisonment, disappearances and killings.

We identified the racist policies, persecution strategy and stigmatization of the National Institute of Migration against our migrant sisters and brothers. Our compañeras and compañeros from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador were denied entry to the country.

Attendees at the El Sur Resiste International Gathering 2023.

We note the systematic violation of the rights of indigenous peoples and particularly the right to self-determination and autonomy whose exercise is essential to rebuild from our ancestral cultural roots a free and dignified life based on communality from decision-making in assemblies, with full respect for women, LGBTQ+, for youth, children and the elderly and in harmony with nature.

We note the pressure of all government agencies, starting with the agrarian prosecutor’s office, so that the agrarian nuclei and indigenous communities pass to full control and thus end the social ownership of the land that represents the strength of our struggles.

But in contrast to all these calamities, the Caravan also allowed us to travel through hope and life, to encounter the countryside and its native seeds that are being protected by peasant hands. Feel the joy of rebellious music that excites hearts and inspires resistance. We enjoy art as a front of struggle that with its colors, sounds and excitement allows us to continue in the joyful rebellion.

The Caravan allowed us to meet the jungle that resists. Where the trees are cut down, life springs up again. We listened to the birds and their messages, drank the crystal-clear water from the wells and breathed the clean air of the countryside. We find peoples and communities that organize, resist and do not allow the dispossession or even the entry of companies into their territories. They also take measures to recover ways of life that build hopeful autonomies for humanity. On the other hand, we find rebellious cities that build collectivity and autonomy in the midst of urban monsters, where the love for land and territory flourishes again.

We offer to Mother Earth, we invoke the spirit of fire, water and air, recognizing that long struggles are sustained by the spirituality linked to territory and our ancestry. Knowing that we do not seek a final victory but that we fight just like our grandfathers and grandmothers did and before them, our ancestors and as our children and grandchildren will continue to do. As we reaffirmed in the 10 working groups of the South/Southeast meeting on May 5, we build other possible worlds by celebrating what we are harvesting and recognizing that our strength comes from memory and wisdom as struggling peoples. We have reflected that we resist through embracing the values of full and dignified life close to the land, such as the cultivation of our food, traditional medicine and the protection of our peoples through community guards.

We recognized that even in the midst of all the destruction of the capitalists there are many achievements that we are reaping: The first and most important thing is that after 500 years of attempts to exterminate us, we continue the organization from the community against dispossession, in the same way the lands recovered in different towns, the struggle of women for the recognition and exercise of their rights,  the struggle for water, the release of political prisoners, the relocation of train stations in Mérida and Campeche, the establishment of zones free of extractive projects, the conservation of languages and traditional festivals and the construction of autonomies.

After the caravan and our internal gathering, 940 people from 40 indigenous peoples of the world, from 27 states of the Republic, from 30 countries and 10 autonomous regions gathered in the International Meeting “World Corporate Capitalism, Planetary Patriarchy, Autonomies in Rebellion.”  We listened to the word of 5 speakers to analyze and study the geopolitical situation of the world, of Mexico, specifically of the south-southeast and the global south. We also heard the sharing of experiences of struggle from all these regions as well as proposals to continue the construction of autonomy.

The sisters and brothers of Abya Yala from Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, shared with us the situation they have to face and we verified that this predatory capitalist system is acting in the same way in all geographies where peoples still protect nature, culture and life itself. But in the same way we see the joy, strength and living organization of organized peoples.


We denounce the violent eviction of the Tierra y Libertad camp as well as the imprisonment of 6 compañer@s perpetrated by the navy and state police on April 28, one day after the passage of our caravan. We demand that the government of Oaxaca and the federal government immediately cease the harassment against these defenders of land and territory and particularly in the case of the Tierra y Libertad camp on the Isthmus and the withdrawal of the arrest warrants against 17 members of the community of Puente Madera, San Blas Atempa, and the acquittal of compañero David Salazar linked to process.

We repudiate the racist immigration policy and violation of the rights of this government that prevented the entry of the daughter of comrade Berta Cáceres prohibiting her from flying to Mexico City, despite having all her papers in order, as well as the harassment against 7 Central American comrades at the border post of Tapachula, Chiapas.

We demand that the illegal assembly of March 5, 2023 in the Nicolás Bravo ejido, Quintana Roo, in which the final stop of the train misnamed Maya was illegally approved in favor of the Azcarraga group, owners of Televisa, and that will damage more than 100 Maya ceremonial centers be revoked!

We demand the cancellation of the eviction order of the community of Emiliano Zapata III, in the municipality of Candelaria, Campeche, promoted by the alleged owner Fernando Oropeza Arispe and ordered by a civil judge of first instance of the state of Campeche. In the same way, the cancellation of the arrest warrants of the community’s comrades.

Immediate cancellation of work on the train misnamed Maya, especially the illegal construction of section 7, the installation of the military casino and the tourist development in the community of Xpujil since despite the definitive suspension granted by a federal judge, SEDENA continues its construction in contempt of the federal order.

Stop the Agrarian Prosecutor’s pressure on communities and ejidos to convert socially owned lands to full domain, ending the collective lands of the country’s indigenous communities.

Urgent and immediate relocation of the El Bosque community in the municipality of Centla, Tabasco, who are environmentally displaced victims of global warming produced by the voracious extractive system that continues to plunder and deforest the territories.

We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in this country, political prisoners in solidarity with the voice of El Amate, Fidencio Aldama, the prisoners of Eloxochitlan de Flores Magón, Oaxaca, all those unjustly incarcerated for defending water and territories, and the compañero support base of the EZLN, Manuel Gómez Vázquez and, the revocation of the 50-year sentence against comrade Miguel Peralta Betancourt, persecuted politicians of Eloxochitlan.

We accompany and firmly join the demand of the relatives of victims of femicidal violence in Mexico to achieve truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition, not only for women who have been abused but particularly for children (daughters, sons, sisters and brothers), collateral victims of this infamous violence in this country that sows fear, Death and impunity. Neither forgiveness nor forgetfulness! Punishment of the guilty! (Facebook: @FeminicidiosCrimenesdelesahumanidad, @FatimaVariniaEnTuHonorYRecuerdo, @JusticiaParaLupitaBastida).

In the case of the Tila ejido, in Chiapas, we demand the execution of the sentence of the RAN favorable to the recovery of the 130 hectares that have been taken from them by the municipality.

We demand a presentation alive for the thousands of disappeared in the country, the community member Antonio Díaz Valencia and the lawyer Ricardo Lagunes Gasca who were disappeared due to a conflict between the community of Aquila, Michoacán and the Canadian mining company Ternium.

Justice for the 43 students disappeared in Ayotzinapa. Because they were taken alive, we want them back alive!

We affirm loud and clear and from our hearts to struggle and organize, that we will continue to meet and articulate with other struggles around the world.

Neither with the National Guard, nor with the navy, nor with the army. They will not stop us!

While you destroy, we construct.

El Sur Resiste Caravan and International Gathering


Originally Published in Spanish by El Sur Resiste, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

One Comment on “Pronouncement of the International Gathering El Sur Resiste May 7, 2023

  1. Pingback: Chiapas court sentences the “Cancuc 5” to 25 years in prison – The Free

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