Chiapas Support Committee

Marichuy denounces INE’s system for collecting signatures via cell phone

Marichuy speaks at Palenque event.

 By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas (apro)

The candidate nominated by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) to the presidency of the Republic, María de Jesús Patricio Martínez (Marichuy), today denounced “the simulation” and failings of the collection of signatures through the electronic system and the slowness with which the application operates on some devices.

Within the framework of her penultimate day of touring the five EZLN caracoles, the candidate was in Palenque today, where she headed a meeting before thousands of men and women in the central plaza.

There, the candidate to an official independent candidacy exposed the farce that the mechanism created in the National Electoral Institute (INE, its initials in Spanish) has so far turned out to be.

After her registration at that organism, among the more than 40 candidates, she will have to collect 866,593 signatures in at least 17 states of the country in the next 120 days. If she achieves that, she will be able to access public financing and initiate her campaign on March 30, 2018.

Last October 15 the indigenous candidate received her proof that accredits her as a candidate to the presidency of the Republic and on Monday, October 16 she started collecting citizen support for registering Indigenous Government Council’s proposal.

After completing that step, she created jointly with the CNI a support network in the 32 Mexican states, with which in just two days they registered 1,480 volunteers and foresee that that next week 1,500 more will be added for collecting the needed signatures.

However, Marichuy denounced today that from the beginning she has seen that the digital electronic system is not made for the people of Mexico, “for the poor of this country, but rather for the rich, demanding (that we use) technologies for the collection of signatures that in many of our communities we don’t even know.”

The presidential candidate assured that: “the INE made a list of telephone makes and models so that you must have at a minimum an Android 5.0 operating system or higher and so many hours to begin with the download of the applications in the devices, we find that the list is not true; we find brands that are not included in the list and of those that are included they don’t all work. The download is tedious and can take hours.”

The Nahua woman from southern Jalisco explained that the operating system requires higher versions to really work.

Another obstacle, she explained, is that the “mid-range” telephones indicated by the INE cost more than five thousand pesos and those with “high range,” cost more than 12,000 pesos and, even worse, among those several of the brands and models selected don’t work either.

And she went further: “In order that the photograph to be accepted it must be taken at noon, because morning and afternoon light is insufficient, unless there is a special light that illuminates it sufficiently. This means that, if we reduce the days to hours, that we have one third of the 120 days provided by law.”

Then, she remembered that the INE said that a registry by this means would take them 4.30 minutes and, according to its calculations, they would reach the 120 days that electoral law sets for collecting the more than 866,500 required signatures.

However, reality revealed that one registration could last up to 16 hours because of the bad technical quality with which the application is designed.

“Many signatures that we collected were not even able to upload in many hours because of because the places through which we were passing between Altamirano, Ocosingo and Palenque, where they usually have a good Internet signal, didn’t even have a telephone signal. And those signatures that they have achieved sending don’t receive a notice of receipt until 24 hours after having been sent to the INE,” she denounced from the stage.

With these “classist, racist and excluding measures,” she said, you realize “that this electoral system is no made for those peoples below that govern ourselves and that the laws and institutions of the State are made for those above, for the capitalists and their corrupt political class, resulting in a big simulation.”

Nevertheless, she commented that “as is the custom in our peoples, surrendering, selling out or giving up is not an option and we will redouble efforts to collect the citizen support required to figure as an independent candidate to the presidency of the Republic on the 2018 electoral ballot.”

Even with that imposed obstacle, she emphasized, they will continue working to expand and strengthen the organizational structure throughout the country until making “the earth tremble at its core and it permit the survival of the Native peoples and the reconstruction of a Mexico that has been intentionally torn to pieces by those who hold power.”

After her public denunciation, she criticized the many abuses and injustices of the capitalist system in the towns and communities of Mexico not being told in the communications media “because there is someone that tells them what things have to be told and what things have to be done.”

Later, the activist repeated that the indigenous peoples would continue struggling so that their voice is heard in the countryside and the city.

More voices

Comandanta Amada spoke at the event in the name of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command of the EZLN from Caracol V “That speaks for everyone,” who coincided with Marichuy upon pointing out that: “it’s time that the people organize, that they fight, rebel and resist wherever we may be in our different places and geographies, because the capitalists are globalizing the exploitation and destruction of humanity all over the world.”

The leader considered that the indigenous peoples are also able to globalize their struggle “to make rebellion throughout the world, because we have a single common enemy, which is the neoliberal capitalist system.”

A masked indigenous woman identified as Alejandra, referred to the creation of the five Caracoles and their Good Government Juntas, from which began a form of self-government 14 years ago in each one of them.

“The origin of our self-government is because of the non-fulfillment of the accords signed in San Andrés Larráinzar between the federal government and the EZLN, representing the Native peoples of our country of Mexico,” she assured.

Within that system, she explained, the peoples have confidence in their self-government because their representatives -men and women- come from the same towns, where they are names by means of assemblies of agreement by uses and customs, and that don’t require money for publicity.

Comandatas Valentina, Jackeline and other indigenous women also spoke at the event.

Differently than the other Caracoles that Marichuy has visited, there were no uniformed Zapatista milicianos in the central plaza of Palenque, although there was a military discipline of men dressed as civilians and masked, who guarded the spokesperson for the Indigenous Government Council created by the EZLN and the CNI.


Originally Published in Spanish by

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



COMPaRTE: Zapatista Art in Oakland | Oct-Dec 2017


The Chiapas Support Committee with the Eastside Arts Alliance are hosting the “CompArte: Zapatista Art in Oakland” exhibition, October through December 2017, at the Asian Resource Center, in Oakland’s Chinatown.

For more info:
Eastside Arts Alliance:
Chiapas Support Committee

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017, starting at 6:00 pm with music, poetry & the artists.
At the Asian Resource Center, 317 9th Street, Oakland, CA 94607.

Featuring artists:
Daniel Camacho
Jhovany Rodríguez
Andrés Cisneros
Rafael Sanhueso
Asaro Collective from Oaxaca

CompArte: Zapatista Art in Oakland.

El arte muestra la posibilidad de otro mundo.—EZLN
Art demonstrates the possibility of another world.—Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN)

Painters that create works of art imbued with symbols and images of justice, exposing capitalist exploitation and its inhumanity, share practical visions where our communities live free of oppression, want, poverty, pollution, racism and hierarchical suffocation on canvass. Social justice art shows us how to imagine the revolution. This is the call of CompArte.

CompArte is a play on the Spanish words compartir (to share) and arte (art), “CompArte: Zapatista Art in Oakland” is a show of sharing art to help us dream a different world where we all fit and to show solidarity with indigenous communities in Mexico and everywhere else.

The Eastside Arts Alliance Cultural Center presents the CompArte artwork, curating this diverse and political powerful work to Oakland communities.

Compartir ZapatistArte

EZLN Comandante David dijo: “Los artes y culturas son parte fundamentales de la lucha contra el capital destructor de la vida y de la humanidad. Sólo con la unidad y la organización de los pobres y de los rebeldes del mundo, podemos destruir ese sistema de muerte.”

EZLN Comandante Davíd said: “The arts and culture are fundamental elements of the struggle against capital destroyer of life and humanity. Only with the unity and organization of the poor and the rebels of the world can we destroy this system of death.”

CompArte is an international festival, first convened by Zapatista communities in 2016, to celebrate art and culture as a catalyst for social change, in rebellion against capitalism and all its walls of exploitation and oppression: racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, english-only mentalities.

Zapatista supporters created CompArte Festivals all over Mexico and in other countries in 2016 and again in during the summer of 2017.

The Zapatistas in Mexico convened the second “CompArte: Against Capitalism and its Walls, All the Arts” and invited solidarity and community groups across the world to join them in bringing together art, music and poetry to celebrate the struggle against capitalism and lift up art and culture as central to organizing the fight against capitalism and building movements for deep justice, community and for humanity.

Responding to the call, the Oakland-based Chiapas Support Committee ( organized the second annual CompArte poetry, music & art festival in Oakland on August 12, 2017 bringing together a more than a dozen painters, poets, artists and musicians to recognize and celebrate culture and art in the movements for justice and its power to imagine a different world where there is room for everyone.


Marichuy, a very different campaign

Marichuy and members of the Indigenous Council tour Zapatista Territory.

By: Luis Hernández Navarro

Some 21 years ago, on October 11, 1996, an indigenous Nahua from Jalisco read the political statement of the nascent National Indigenous Congress. In the name of more than 600 delegates coming from all over the country, she announced the decision of the recently founded organism of original peoples to construct a new homeland, “that homeland that never has been able to truly be one, because it wanted to exist without us.”

That speaker, a traditional doctor, was María de Jesús Patricio, the same one that is now the spokesperson and independent candidate to the Presidency of the Republic for the Indigenous Government Council (CIG, its initials in Spanish). There, she warned in the name of her compañeros: “We are standing up, we are standing up to fight. We are determined to risk everything, even death. But we don’t carry drums of war, but rather banners of peace. We want to partner with all the men and women who, upon recognizing us, recognize their own roots.”

Two decades, one year and three days after that day, last October 14, that same woman arrived in Guadalupe Tepeyac, Chiapas, a community of just 48 houses and 144 people, where she was received by 15,000 souls. The welcoming ceremony the Zapatista support bases, the authorities of the Good Government Junta Towards a new hope and the EZLN’s commanders gave her was a multicolor and diverse fiesta. Rebels motorized and on horseback, escorted her between walls of balloons and women dressed in their typical clothes.

Despite the time that passed since the founding of the CNI, Marichuy’s word, her commitment to the defense of life and to another world continues being the same as she had on that October 11, 1996. It’s only that now, after tirelessly touring the country, after seeing the suffering and the horrors that those below in Mexico suffer, after listening time and again to her different brothers and sisters, her vocation of service and delivery to the cause has matured and grown. That’s why now she doesn’t call only to indigenous peoples to organize to struggle against capitalism, but rather she summons all of those below to do it. “The (indigenous) peoples cannot do it alone,” she said in the Good Government Junta of Morelia, last October 15.

She doesn’t talk about hearsay, and it is noted. Her life has been spent very far from the glass bubbles that so many professional politicians inhabit. She names what she has suffered and experienced, something very similar to what so many other humble women have experienced in the country. She does it without being strident, with squelching simplicity, depth, conviction and knowledge.

María de Jesús Patricio is making history: she is the first indigenous woman in the history of Mexico, the mother of a family, to be a candidate to the Presidency of the Republic. She is carrying out a presidential campaign with a woman’s face, aroma and word. Although it was still not formally an electoral campaign act, the meeting that the CIG spokesperson held with the Zapatismo of the border jungle zone as well as the meeting a day later in the Caracol of Morelia in the Totz Choj Zone has an emotional gender charge. Everything turned around the woman. The speakers at the event were women, those in attendance at the event were overwhelmingly women and the speeches spoke of and to the women.

The multitudinous meetings of Marichuy, the delegates and council members of the CIG with Zapatismo in Guadalupe Tepeyac and Morelia have shown that the EZLN maintains a formidable force and ability to convoke. The fact that so many thousands of sympathizers traveled across the disastrous and precarious network of Chiapas roads and junctions is not easy. It requires organizational muscle, discipline and vehicular infrastructure. But is also requires genuine conviction that effort forms part of a just cause. Only in this way can rain, heat, long waits, heavy loads be prevented from becoming factors that inhibit massive participation. It shows that this mobilization born from conviction is the spontaneous mass expression of joy from the support bases before María de Jesús, adorned with the warm reception from the EZLN’s founders.

Several dozen council members and indigenous delegates from all over the country also participated in the tour of the CIG’s spokesperson through the Zapatista zone. They were transported in more that 10 trucks. As of now, the council is made up of 141 council members, from 35 indigenous peoples settled in 62 of the 93 regions that they have thought to constitute. Such a diversity of representatives of the original peoples had never encountered and lived in rebel territory.

The tour has had a marked anticapitalist character and also promotion of the popular organization of resistance. Besides the vindications of gender, the discourses of the speakers have combined personal and community testimony about the abuses of the powerful, the recuperation of the historic experience of the disgraces experienced on the finca, the rage before the catalogue of damages and humiliations suffered at the hands of the exploiters, the denunciation of the looting and devastation caused by neoliberalism, the so-called autonomous organization from below and appraisal of indigenous roots.

About this line of denunciation, Comandanta Miriam said, in the name of the CCRI-CG of the EZLN in the Morelia event, that it’s more important than ever to organize because, with the government’s support, the four wheels of capitalism, exploitation, repression, dispossession and scorn, are perfected every day to fuck more with those below.

María de Jesús Patricio, the same one that participated in the founding of the CNI 20 years ago, started walking in rebel territory with the proposition of inviting all those that are struggling against the monster that wants to devour everyone so that, together they get rid of it. She will continue walking through the country on a very different campaign to, as she announced more than two decades ago, construct a new homeland “that has never been able to truly be one, because it wanted to exist without us.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee





Marichuy in La Garrucha


The plaza in front of the Caracol’s elevated stage in La Garrucha was overflowing.

Brothers and Sisters, it is the time of the peoples, it’s time that we unite, it’s time that together we take out these big capitalists that have taken away our lands for years. They have divided us, they have made us fight with each other, and they have made us see that just by extending a hand we have to offer caravans to them. We must unite, we have that big task, removing this capitalist system that is destroying our communities, that is destroying our peoples, that is dispossessing us of what is ours, that is contaminating all these waters, and is cutting down all these forests; that’s why it’s necessary to unite and together be able to destroy this capitalist system that is not only going to destroy our communities and our peoples, but that is also going to destroy human life and that is in the indigenous communities and is also in the big cities.

Now is the time, brothers and sisters, of unifying, of thinking about what we are going to do together, of how we are going to construct that new Mexico and remove this Mexico that the people who have money have imposed on us, the people who only think about themselves, who don’t think about us, who don’t think about out lands, who don’t think about our waters, who don’t think about our trees; that’s why we have decided to unite and fight for everyone, for the whole world, not just for the indigenous peoples but for everyone.

Then, we must destroy this big capitalist that is destroying us and we can only do it organized, thinking together about how to do it, only with the indigenous peoples and their sister and brother workers of the countryside and the city shaking hands. It’s necessary that we walk firm, that our voice is heard, that our steps are seen, that those peoples that for y ears have been forgotten and stepped on rise up and say “We are no longer in agreement, we want to continue living and we want life for everyone;” that’s why it’s necessary to unify those efforts and demonstrate to the powerful that yes we can achieve it, that if we achieve uniting all the indigenous peoples and the workers of the countryside and the city, and clearly we can do it, then we can make the powerful that want to dispossess us of what we have tremble.

Let us feel it, brothers and sisters, let us trust the one at our side, he is not our no enemy, we must unite so that we can free ourselves from this capitalist system.

Long live the indigenous peoples of Mexico and of the World!

Long live the workers of the countryside and the city!

Long live the EZLN!

Long live the National Indigenous Congress!

Long Live the Indigenous Government Council!

Gracias, brothers and sisters!


Originally Published in Spanish by Actividades del CIG y su vocera

Monday, October 16, 2017

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee




Words of Marichuy in Morelia, Chiapas


Zapatistas of Morelia greet Marichuy with their left fists raised on a rainy day in Chiapas

Well, we already listened to our council member compañeras that make up the Indigenous Government Council and before beginning (my talk) I want to report that as of right now we have 141 council members that are already making up the Indigenous Government Council; they are from 35 indigenous peoples from 62 regions of the country, out of the 93 that we had thought council members could come from, then we’re still walking, still organizing the different indigenous peoples to complete that large Indigenous Government Council.

Also, brothers and sisters, I am thankful to this organization for receiving us beautifully. On my way here I was looking at the hills, the rivers, the trees and I said: “it’s so good that they have not been contaminated here, that they have not permitted cutting trees here, and that you are organizing here.” And we see the work you have done and we want to promote that work in the different regions of the country, the ways of the indigenous peoples, their forms, their style, each one who we have to organize in order to take care of what our ancestors have left us, what they fought over for years and that they have wanted to take away from them.

It has cost some places deaths, incarcerations, disappeared, repressions, but nevertheless, I believe that all of us in the National Indigenous Congress know what awaits us and we’re going to continue moving ahead, and only with the organization of all indigenous peoples can we demonstrate to the power, to capitalism, that we can definitely take it away, that we can pull it out by the roots, because that is what is wanting to dispossess us of our riches, that is what is making us fight among ourselves to take advantage of our riches, that is what is thinking about how to remove us from our communities and be left with those riches that the communities have.

And we said: “we are not going to permit it,” but we can’t do it alone, so we think that we are going to go out to walk and tour this Mexico and that we are going to invite all our brothers of the city, all our brothers from civil society, all our brothers that are also struggling out there, so that together we will join hands and be able to get rid of this system that wants to destroy us, principally our peoples, our communities, our inhabitants. They are imposing programs on us, and those programs only bring division on the interior, bring death to our lands, bring contamination to our waters, and therefore we are no longer in agreement as indigenous peoples who are inside of the National Indigenous Congress.

And we want to walk together with all our brothers from the different peoples of Mexico; we must shake each other’s hand now to be able to defend ourselves, as Comandanta Miriam said. We have to f eel that trust with our brothers that are here and that together we will expose that great monster that wants to destroy us and that monster is not only in Mexico, it’s all over the world. Therefore we have to shake hands, get to know each other and struggle together; we must think about how to take care of our children, all the women and men, and we have to take care of that land jointly that our grandparents left us.

We must destroy this monster and we must do it all together, organized, and I think that if we all join hands, we will be able to do it, brothers. Yes, we can do it! And we have to trust that our voice will be heard, that our organization is going to look beyond, and then the powerful are going to tremble when they see all the original peoples of this country, who are the indigenous peoples, united and organized and defending this country that is ours, because we were here first and we must recuperate that, and we have to re-organize it to our way, because we already saw that how it is organized now doesn’t work, it brings u s death, it brings us destruction, it brings us division and brings us disputes. We have to shake hands with everyone, everyone who feels that it’s important to have a dignified life, a life that we have to transmit to all those who come after us.

We must achieve that, brothers, on this walk, indigenous peoples together, communities together, brothers together that are in the city, in civil society that is also thinking now about how to articulate these forces and together we are going to win.

Long live the National Indigenous Congress!

Long live the indigenous peoples of Mexico!

Long live the indigenous peoples of the world!

Thank you, brothers!


Originally Published in Spanish by ACTIVIDADES DEL CIG Y SU VOCERA

Monday, October 16, 2017

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Marichuy begins her tour in Guadalupe Tepeyac

“We live in oblivion and marginalization; we suffer triple oppression for being women, indigenous and poor,” the Zapatistas pointed out during the meeting with María de Jesús Patricio. Photo: José Carlo González


From the Editors

Guadalupe Tepeyac, Chiapas

The indigenous Nahua woman María de Jesús Patricio, known as Marichuy, spokesperson for the Indigenous Government Council (CIG, its initials in Spanish), met yesterday in the community of Guadalupe Tepeyac, Chiapas, with the Good Government Junta “Towards New Hope,” Border Jungle Zone, and with the support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN).

The meeting in Guadalupe Tepeyac is the first stop on the tour that inside her proposal as an independent candidate to the Presidency of the Republic will be held in the five Zapatista Good Government Juntas between the 13 and 19 of this month. Different CIG members will accompany her during the tour.

Comandante Tacho participated in the reception for Marichuy. In the name of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee (CCRI, its initials in Spanish) Border Jungle Zone, Aurora welcomed her. In her speech she said that they were proud of the meeting attained by the original peoples for the first time in history. “The time has come –she explained– of everyone being represented, the countryside and the city, by a compañera that will fight for the people of Mexico.”

Comandanta Everilda spoke in the name of the EZLN’s General Command. She analyzed the situation of exploitation, oppression and discrimination that the Indian peoples, campesinos and workers in Mexico and in the world experience. She explained the existing cruelty against those below on the part of the bad governments and the neoliberal capitalists. She documented the process of privatization underway of communal and ejido lands, rivers, forests, jungles and mountains.

Comandanta Everilda warned that they have resisted death as indigenous and campesinos. “We are here –she said–, you and us, we came from the more remote times of this history and we must not ever permit that foreign invaders invade us again.”

Marichuy met in the community of Guadalupe Tepeyac with the Good Government Junta “Towards New Hope” and with the EZLN’s support bases. Photo José Carlo González

The conquest of liberty and justice, the comandanta explained, will only come from the people, and from no one else. It will not come from the parties, the corrupt politicians or the capitalists. The life of the people of Mexico, of the planet and of humanity depends only on the organization of the countryside and the city.

Upon talking about women, she asked for men to pay attention. “We (women) live in oblivion and marginalization in capitalist society. In the countryside and in the city our situation is worse than what we just heard. We suffer a triple oppression because of being women, indigenous and poor. As indigenous, we have never been taken into account in the countryside.”

To conclude, she said: “Now is the time to win our rights, to prepare ourselves, to stand up and demonstrate that as indigenous women we are capable of constructing a new and better world, but we will only achieve it organized from below and to the left, and thus achieve a Mexico where the people command and the government obeys.”

She said to the CIG, to María de Jesús, to the National Indigenous Congress and to the people of Mexico: “the time to decide has come. It’s time to organize! Destiny is in our hands and those of the people of Mexico.

The widow, the children and the family of Galeano, the Zapatista teacher that Cioac paramilitaries murdered on May 2, 2014 in La Realidad, who dedicated his life to fighting for humanity, participated in the meeting. In the name of the women of Guadalupe Tepeyac, Gloria Elisa Benavides gave a biographical sketch of the fighter and explained how his killers continue free with the government’s complicity, and they ridicule the family. Through her, they sent a greeting to the mothers and fathers of the 43 disappeared from Ayotzinapa and to all those who seek disappeared relatives.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



Frayba and Sipaz will escort the Indigenous Government Council caravan

Marichuy and supporters.

By: Elio Henríquez

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) and the International Service for Peace (Sipaz) reported that they would accompany the caravan that starting from this Friday, October 13 until October 19 will be effectuated in Chiapas, organized within the context of the tour of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Government Council.

The contingent departed from this city towards the town of Guadalupe Tepeyac; the itinerary includes Morelia, La Garrucha, Roberto Barrios, Palenque and Oventik.

Separately, the Secretary of Gobierno of Chiapas, Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda, offered “all guaranties of free transit and security, “to the caravan of the Indigenous Government Council and its spokesperson, María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, through Zapatista Zones.” He said that: “on instructions from Governor Manuel Velasco Coello he has readied an operation for guarantying the security and free transit in the events and deployments that they are to carry out within the state.”

In a communiqué, Frayba and Sipaz reported that: “the objective of the accompaniment will consist of providing an observation and documentation presence for the respect of human rights on the passage of the caravan and in the convoked events.

“We consider it important that these activities be carried out peacefully, al ser parte de un peaceful organizational effort that aims at the defense of the rights of the country’s indigenous peoples,” they added.

They pointed out that: “the present communication is to inform the Mexican authorities and international human rights bodies, in order that within their ambit of jurisdiction, they provide guaranties of protection to the caravan, which we reiterate, is a civilian and peaceful action.”

Frayba and Sipaz requested that: “guaranties are fulfilled with respect to protecting the integrity and security of the caravan’s members, the right to life, and the individual and collective rights and freedoms, immediately guarantying the conditions necessary for the caravan’s development, without considering police accompaniment in the activities.

“Sipaz members will be present in the activities wearing vests with the organization’s logo and the words ‘International Observer,’” they expressed, while Frayba members will be accompanying the caravan in the role of human rights observers.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

“Defense of land has brought us repression, threats and murders,” they denounce in Chiapas

March against mining in Chicomuselo, in the Sierra Madre of Chiapas.

By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas (apro)

Some five thousand men and women, members of San Pedro and San Pablo parishes of Chicomuselo, in the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, held a march-procession this Monday to protest against the extractive mining that threatens their territories and contaminates their rivers, streams and the social fabric in the region.

Coming from various communities, they congregated in Chicomuselo, the municipal capital, where an abundant contingent held the march with signs and slogans against mining companies that have started to provoke conflicts between the residents of different communities.

Men and women from different towns in resistance that today participated in the march called the “Movement against mining exploitation and the dispossession of land,” denounced their “systematic enslavement” on the part of the different levels of the Mexican State.

This march/pilgrimage took place after they held a regional meeting last Sunday to analyze the threat that extractive mining and the companies that have approached different communities to effectuate their mining concessions represent.

“After having listened to the problems of the different communities and organizations in resistance, we agree that our struggle in defense of Mother Earth has brought us as a consequence, omission, repression, intimidation, threats, persecution, incarceration and the murders of community human rights defenders in Chiapas and in other parts of the country and of the world,” residents said today that held a mass at the end of the procession.

They indicated that the private capital mining companies, national and transnational, together with the State and its three levels of government, are determined to increase and diversify their actions related to dispossession of natural wealth, displacement of the population, occupation of the territory and elimination of any organizational process that attempts to resist and defend itself peacefully, legally and in total exercise of their collective rights.

They pointed out that this insistence on the part of the mining companies continues provoking division and confrontation in the communities by taking advantage of the poverty of the residents and offering them economic resources so that they will accept the mining project.

They declared that they are in civilian resistance, but as part of a peaceful movement in favor of life, always willing to dialogue in search of solutions to their problems and to the “death plans” that damage their communities.

They denounced that those who have decided to defend life and Mother Earth are now in constant risk under threats from the impresarios, from organized crime and from the State and its three levels of government “that only favor the paths of impunity, injustice, inequality, dispossession, exploitation and scorn for the original peoples, communities and ejidos.”

They supported the struggle of the campesinos from Ricardo Flores Magón and Grecia ejidos in that same municipality of Chicomuselo, who have opposed mining in their communities and they denounced the repression, persecution, as well as threats of death and of dispossessing them of their agrarian rights in their respective communities.

They likewise stood in solidarity with the organization of ejido commissioners of Chicomuselo municipality in their social demands for the benefit of inhabitants of the Sierra Zone and rejected all forms of intimidation and threats against them, because in recent days some ejido representatives have received calls to threaten them with death if they continue involved in the movement against mining.

Therefore they demanded that the autonomy and self-determination of the peoples in Chiapas and in Mexico founded on Constitutional Articles 1 and 2 and on international conventions are respected, as well as the physical integrity of those who defend life, Mother Earth and nature be guarantied.

They demanded the cancellation of mining concessions in Chicomuselo and of “all the death projects” in their territories, which only bring destruction, dispossession, poverty, diseases, community conflicts and divisions.

They demanded a stop to the Mexican Army’s militarization and patrolling on the territory of Chicomuselo communities and hold the Mexican State at all three levels of government responsible for any aggression or attack against them and/or the towns and communities.

After the mass, they asked all the towns, communities, ejidos, grassroots organizations, and the men and women of this country “that they maintain their struggle firm, their resistance and that they organize, don’t give in, don’t sell out, and don’t let themselves be deceived.”

They emphasized the importance of articulating their struggles in all corners of the state, because the land is an inheritance from their ancestors and, therefore, must be taken care of and defended.

“Our peoples and organizations have decided firmly to defend life, territory and the environment because the future of our country is at risk,” they concluded.

Besides the priests and faithful from the parishes of San Pedro and San Pablo, Chicomuselo, members of the Vicariate General of the San Cristóbal Diocese, the Diocesan Coordination for Human Rights, Diocese of San Cristóbal, the Vicariate of Social Pastorate and the Vicariate of the Pastorate of Mother Earth were in yesterday’s meeting and today’s procession.

[A long list of other organizations in attendance]


Originally Published in Spanish by

Monday, October 2, 2017

Re-Published with edits and English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee




María de Jesús calls to organize the “pains and rages” of the peoples

María de Jesús Patricio Martínez shows proof of registration upon leaving the INE. Photo José Antonio López

By: Claudia Herrera Beltrán

María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, Marichuy, spokesperson for the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Government Council (CIG), presented her intention to be an independent candidate to the Presidency of the Republic with a call to “organize those pains and rages” of the peoples.

Upon delivering her documentation at the National Electoral Institute (INE, its initials in Spanish) announced that she would not receive “one single peso” of public money, given that her campaign will be done with collective support.

Surrounded with dozens of followers, she complained that the requisites for those who want to contend as independents next year are designed to place obstacles in the way of indigenous communities’ participation and she mentioned as an example that the HSBC Bank didn’t want to open an account for them and they had to go to another institution.

“They put a lot of obstacles in the way of us achieving this first step. They wanted to treat us top down, like those who rule up there above; like this structure is only designed for that, not for the people below, not for the working people, much less for the indigenous communities.”

She marked her distance with respect to other candidacies. “Our proposal is different, it’s collective.”

She insisted that the end purpose is to organize, for the purpose of “finishing with this capitalist, patriarchal, racist, classist system, because of what we are living in our own flesh.

“Thus we must organize all those pains that are happening to our peoples. We have to organize all those rages. That is our message. It’s necessary to organize those pains and rages. That’s the only way we’ll be able to continue forward.”

She offered that as a woman, as a mother and as a worker she would also struggle against the machismo and the patriarchal system predominant in the country.

Protected by officials of her government in her visit to the INE, she pointed out that in order to contend she first had to get the permission of the inhabitants of her state and promise that, if she achieves it, she will not use public money.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Redacted and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


Peña Nieto decrees putting the first 3 special economic zones into operation

Aerial view of Puerto Chiapas where the cruise ships dock.

By: Alonso Urrutia

Tapachula, Chiapas

President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the decree by which the first three special economic zones: Tapachula, Coatzacoalcos and Lázaro Cárdenas, will enter into operation with a scheme of fiscal incentives to capture foreign and national investments in the country’s south-southeast region. The purpose is to reverse the unequal development of this region with respect to the rate of growth in the country’s center and north.

“We are not going to permit that the history of the south-southeast continues to be marked by poverty, marginalization and inequality. The Special Economic Zones will be a parting of waters in the development of this most affectionate region. They will mark a before and an after.” He asserted that Mexico would apply a successful scheme in other latitudes so that the regions that lay behind the most and with the most poverty are incorporated into the development and have the same rate of economic growth as the rest of the country.

In these first three zones they foresee investments of at least 5 billion 300 million dollars in the next three years and the generation of 12,000 jobs, anticipated Peña Nieto, who also indicated that the transformation would not be easy or fast, because of which the period of consolidation would transcend his administration. Nevertheless, he vindicated that this model is a sowing “on fertile ground.”

“We want to set aside welfare policy, which, inside the social policy, only seeks to bring economic support that at times only alleviates or mitigates the condition of poverty, but doesn’t get to the bottom of it,” he pointed out.

During the event they announced investments of impresarios from Nuevo León in the Coatzacoalcos special economic zone, while Lakshmi Mittal, president of the administration council of Arcelor Mittal, anticipated destining a billion dollars to Lázaro Cárdenas metallurgy.

After observing a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the earthquakes, Peña Nieto defined the Special Economic Zones as a territorial demarcation in which there would be private conditions by means of a public policy that fights to capture investments and detonate industrial development. Starting with fiscal incentives and training incentives for the formation of human capital they seek that these regions have a big development potential.

The scheme will permit a deduction of 100 percent in the payment of the tax on rent in the first 10 years and one half in the following five, special treatment of the value-added tax that can even apply a zero rate, and a special customs regimen to enhance export and import.

The Treasury Secretary, José Antonio Meade, maintained that there is clarity in the federal government, but that there are matters pending with Chiapas: in the short term to surmount reconstruction of the damage provoked by the earthquakes and historic matters pending because: “We know that poverty is a challenge that we fight everyday to overcome; but we also have long term matters pending.”


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, September 29, 2017

Redacted and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee