Chiapas Support Committee

The Tseltal communities that resist the National Guard

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Nacional Guard barracks constructed on indígenous territory in Chilón municipality, without prior consultation of the communities.

Text and photos: Orsetta Bellani in Pie de Página

The Chilón Community Government is opposed to the megaprojects and the presence of National Guard barracks, which has now been constructed by order of Sedena, [1] thus violating the right of the peoples to territory and putting the communities’ right to security at risk.

CHIAPAS

César Hernández Feliciano took his pozol seated in front of a small store at the Temó Crossroads, Chiapas, when he perceived that the tension was going to explode. The director of the Chilón Municipal Police used his knife to cut the banner of the Bachajón ejido members who, on October 15, 2020, were demonstrating against the installation of a National Guard barracks in their territory, and the struggle was beginning.

Cesar kept the pozol in his morral (shoulder bag) while he watched the rain of stones that the police threw at the protesters, and tried to take cover in the little store. He didn’t make it in time: a baton hit him and a group of police dragged him, kicked him and put him into the gondola of a patrol car. Then they transferred him to another, where the campesino and catechist, a militant of the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite, its Spanish acronym), met José Luis Gutiérrez Hernández, another ejido member who had been arrested.

He had a deep head wound. They took them to the Center for Social Reinsertion for those Sentenced (CERSS, its initials in Spanish) in Ocosingo and charged them with rioting. Soon the torture began again.

“You are the leader of the Modevite,” the police shouted while they were beating him with a baton, behind the bars of his cell.

“There are no leaders in Modevite,” he answered to the blows.

“You are lying, asshole,” and another blow came.

César and José Luis were two days without eating or having any con tact with the outside. On the third day, with their hands and feet in chains, they put them in a white [Nissan] Urvan.

“Now we’re going to take you to hell,” the police threatened them. “It’s good, you’ll go after us,” answered César.

They spent more than five hours with their heads covered and bowed, their hands clasped at the neck. “It seemed like a forced disappearance, but I wasn’t afraid because I had faith in God,” says César Hernández.

It was arriving at the CERSS “El Amate” that the sadness began to appear. Nightmares haunted his nights and the marks on his body didn’t stop reminding him of the blows. It was difficult for him to walk and in order to stand up he had to scale the wall with his hands. To this day, César cannot carry much firewood because his abdomen burns.

Consequences of militarization

Chilón residents know the consequences of militarization. In 1995, after the EZLN Uprising, Sedena constructed a barracks in this area of the Lacandón Jungle populated by indigenous Tseltals, which was closed in 2007 due to opposition from the population.

“When I’m sitting here, everything that happened to me comes to mind and I start to cry,” says César. Not even here, in the courtyard of his home in San Martín Cruztón community, where he and his wife planted purple and orange flowers, does he find peace.

We’re talking about a Tseltal self-government body promoted by Modevite, which just this November 20 celebrated its fourth anniversary. It was elected through uses and customs, works in a parallel way to the partisan municipal government and asks for a consultation so that its right to govern its territory is recognized exclusively.

The Chilón Community Government is opposed to the megaprojects and the presence of the National Guard barracks, which have already been built by order of Sedena –instead of a civilian government body, as the Constitution provides- in spite of the fact that there was no prior, free and informed consultation. Those who approved its installation were only the municipal commissioner and the municipal president, who handed the territory over to the National Guardia with a loan contract -in other words without making any payment- for 30 years renewable for another 30 years.

“The rates of violence and insecurity in Chilón do not justify the imposition of a military barracks and presence in this territory,” César Contreras of the Prodh Center affirms in a press conference, which together with the Frayba Human Rights Center assumed the legal defense legal of César Hernández and José Luis Gutiérrez, and the legal accompaniment of the Tseltal communities. “The question is: what then are the objectives of the installation of these barracks? Who or what projects are you taking care of?”

According to the Chilón Community Government, the megaprojects in play are several. “The San Sebastián Bachajón ejido commissioner goes around saying in the assemblies that the Coca Cola company will come to exploit a water hole to produce soft drinks,” says councilor Pascuala Vázquez Aguilar.

Chilón would also be crossed by the Highway of the Cultures, [2] infrastructure that is part of a megaproject that revives an ambition the Fonatur has had since 2000 to build a superhighway between the tourist cities of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque, in order to transform Chiapas into a “new Cancun.”

The highway project was frozen in 2008 because of opposition from the communities, but the current administration decided to extend it some 300 km to the coastal city of Pijijiapan. The superhighway would permit tourists to travel easily from [Pacific Ocean] beaches in western Chiapas to the archaeological sites and swimming holes and spas in the Lacandón Jungle, and would serve as a link between the Trans-Isthmus Corridor and the Maya Train. Along this highway there would be seven National Guard barracks: in Tonalá, Arriaga, Cintalapa, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chilón and two in Palenque, a city where they also plan to build one of the Maya Train stations.

The authors of the document “Militarization of the Mexican Southeast” from the Latin American Observatory of Geopolitics express a strong concern about the growth of military power during this six-year term, including the National Guard, 76% of which is composed of members of the armed forces­. “When this administration ends in three years, the military will already have occupied entire regions of the country,” warns Ana Esther Ceceña, a researcher at the UNAM and a co-author of the document. “I don’t know who will be able to dismantle that power, or return it to its previous levels, which were not small either.”

According to the Prodh Center, 10 National Guard barracks have already been built in Chiapas -without consultation- and they plan to build 21 of the 300 barracks that in a few years we will have in national territory.

“The Chilón barracks is the only one in Chiapas that is still not inaugurated. We think that our restraining order (amparo) is stopping it from starting to function,” says Victorico Gálvez Pérez of the Frayba Human Rights Center. Jointly with the Prodh Center, in November 2020 the Frayba filed an amparo, which is still not resolved, against the presence of barracks in Tseltal territory and against the deployment of military activities in general. The judicial authorities made no progress in investigating the torture that César and José Luis suffered, and the Public Ministry even affirmed that the injuries were self-inflicted.

The two indigenous Tseltals are firm in their struggle and in their demand that the legal process against them cease immediately. César Hernández celebrates the change of precautionary measures that he obtained a year ago, but traveling every two weeks to Ocosingo to sign-in at the Control Court is very expensive for him and the prohibition on leaving his municipality makes him feel encaged. The days pass slowly between work in the milpa and his house.

“When I’m sitting here, everything that happened to me comes to mind and I start to cry,” says César. Not even here, in the courtyard of his house in San Martín Cruztón community, where he and his wife planted purple and orange flowers, does he find peace.

Notes

[1] Sedena is the Spanish acronym for the Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional, Mexico’s National Defense Ministry

[2] Highway of the Cultures is the new name of what was previously called the San Cristóbal-Palenque Superhighway.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Pie de Página

Sunday, November 28, 2021

https://piedepagina.mx/las-comunidades-tseltales-que-resisten-a-la-guardia-nacional/

Re-published in Spanish by:

https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/2021/11/las-comunidades-tseltales-que-resisten-a-la-guardia-nacional/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

In Chiapas, paramilitaries expel Tseltals for refusing to buy weapons

Differences over the use of 20 million pesos that they won in the presidential plane raffle derived into the expulsion of 28 Tseltal families from the community of Nacimiento, [1] in Ocosingo Municipality, who allegedly refused to buy firearms.Comunidad-Ocosingo-amenazadaPhoto: Displaced families from the Nacimiento ejido protest in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

By: Elio Henríquez

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

According to what one of the representatives of those affected denounced, community leaders belonging to the Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers (ORCAO, its initials in Spanish) expelled around 250 people last October 18, causing their displacement. The representative requested anonymity. He said that among those displaced are Jacinto Sántiz López, who served as treasurer of the community and Armando Gómez Sántiz, who served as president of the vigilance council.

He explained that by community agreement, Jacinto withdrew six million pesos last year to build a dome and a temple, but the leaders of the opposing group, known as Los Petules, headed by Pedro López Sántiz and his brother Marcos López Sántiz, who is the community’s rural agent, “wanted to force us to buy weapons.”

He pointed out that the 20 million pesos from the raffle were won by the José María Morelos y Pavón kindergarten, located in said community, and deposited in the bank account, whose card Jacinto managed in his capacity as treasurer.

He denounced that after the 28 families were expelled at gunpoint, “38 heads of household of the aggressor group remained. They obliged us to buy weapons, but as we didn’t want to, they expelled us.

“We are not in agreement because we are campesinos. They displaced us on October 18 for not agreeing to buy weapons with the paramilitaries; they kicked us out.” He assured that of the six million pesos: “Los Petules apportioned $1,800,000 pesos for the purchase of weapons; they forced us to give them that amount.”

The representative explained that they left all their belongings, including 250 head of cattle of the 28 families. “We are the sons of ejido owners and now we are suffering and struggling to see where we can get something to eat. We don’t have any kind of attention from the government.”

He affirmed that the leaders of Los Petules forced Jacinto Sántiz to hand over the card, because of which the 14 million pesos that had not been withdrawn from the bank remained.

The indigenous man emphasized that they were still in Nacimiento “when they bought the weapons. They said that each one of the 66 families acquired one, but we didn’t accept them, only 38 members of the paramilitary gang did.”

He said that: “they are high-caliber weapons, like those that the Army uses. They have contacts because they are part of the ORCAO and they know where to buy them. They use them to attack the inhabitants of El Carrizal (near Nacimiento), belonging to the National Front of Struggle for Socialism (FNLS, its initials in Spanish). And they also continue attacking the Zapatistas” in the Moisés Gandhi autonomous zone, located in the area.

He recalled that even before they won the prize “there were already differences between the two groups because we’re not in agreement with what they do.” He pointed out that the 28 displaced families are sheltered “in a safe place (in Ocosingo) because they are looking for us and we can no longer leave the municipal seat.”

He stated that: “if we had not won that raffle, they would not have displaced us because the conflict would have been avoided. We had the bad luck to win that money.”

[1] The Nacimiento ejido is located a few miles south of the Cuxuljá Crossroads, where ORCAO paramilitaries burned and robbed Zapatista coffee warehouses and burned a Zapatista diner in 2020.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Thursday, November 25, 2021

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2021/11/25/estados/032n1est

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Mexico’s attorney general investigates the murder of Chiapas journalist Fredy López Arévalo

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Photo taken from the Facebook page of Fredy López Arévalo

In 81 % of the cases involving the murder of journalists in the last 10 years no person has been prosecuted, according to the Global Impunity Index of the CPJ corresponding to 2021.

By: Editor Alma Martínez

The Attorney General of the Republic (FGR, its initials in Spanish), “attracted” [took jurisdiction over] the investigations into the homicide of journalist Fredy López Arévalo, an event that occurred in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, last October 28. The FGR decided to exercise jurisdiction by treating it as a serious crime and by elevating it to the exercise of the right to information or freedom of expression.

In response to the request for jurisdiction, formulated by the FGR, the FGR’s Prosecutor for Homicides and Femicides, delivered the corresponding investigative notebook, the Chiapas Prosecutor’s Office indicated in a statement.

According to preliminary investigations, the victim arrived at his home in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in his automobile, coming from Tuxtla Gutiérrez, when he was attacked by a man who fired a gun. López Arévalo had a professional career as a journalist since the 1980s and collaborated with different national and international media. Currently, he administered the social network magazine “Jovel News,” through which he shared news related to political and security issues, among others.

According to the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-HR), this murder is added to another six murders and two disappearances of journalists documented during 2021, in which a link between the journalistic activities of the victims and the aggressions suffered is possible.

Impunity

In Mexico, being a journalist is to risk one’s life. Last November 4, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) urged Mexican authorities to carry out a prompt and exhaustive investigation into the murder, as well as to clarify whether the attack was motivated by his journalistic work.

The brutal death of journalist Fredy López continues the alarming tendency of violence against the Mexican press, and consolidates the terrible condition of Mexico as one of the world’s most violent countries for the exercise of journalism, declared Jan-Albert Hootsen, the CPJ’s representative in Mexico.

He added that unless the Mexican authorities take the investigation of these attacks seriously, López’s death, like so many others, will remain unpunished.

The crime occurred the same day that the CPJ placed Mexico, for the second consecutive year in sixth place on the list of countries where justice does not resolve cases involving the murder of journalists.

For its part, Article 19 announced that in a country where the press is attacked every 13 hours, neither the right to dissent nor the right to information is guaranteed, especially considering that 145 journalists have been murdered from 2000 to date, 11 women and 134 men; 25 have occurred during the mandate of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Thurs day, November 25, 2021

https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2021/11/fgr-atrae-investigacion-del-asesinato-del-periodista-freddy-lopez-arevalo/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Greed is the Name of the Game

Cerro San Pedro

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

The situation seems desperate and at the same time, no one knows what to do. The ticking of the world’s time against the clock is sounding (or at least some well-informed people are quite convinced of that) and nothing that should change is really changing. As if humanity, or a large part of it, could not be detained. The circus of powers, businesses and interests come together with the masters of the world, and they continue to do with it as they please. They always win in their wars and in our disasters.

The dramatic aspect of the matter is that the machinery of production and consumption that guarantees the welfare of the so-called one percent, takes the better part of the global population, appropriates its needs, and turns it into a captive clientele. Those who don’t fit, pariahs and condemned nations, will be cast aside. The shareholders and boards of directors of the mining companies and weapons manufacturers are the worthy heirs of King Leopold of Belgium, the killer of the Congo. Now, at a suicidal scale.

It turns out that it is unthinkable for both populations and governments, even if they pass as legitimate and responsible, to stop the machines, the chains of unbridled production, the fever of money and the destructive construction that they call development, business, divine mission or mere vanity generate so much death among living beings and so much indestructible garbage.

Scientists have been paying attention for decades, drawing conclusions and calculating projections. People across the planet feel every day more and more the effects of this global change in climate and the 4 elements, the fluttering of a butterfly in the Desert of The Lions that causes an earthquake in China.

There is no lack of organized and conscious resistance, but it continues to be dwarfed by the obstacles that it faces to influence essential change. There is moderate or naive (adolescent or literally childish), radical, rural, performative, anarchist, diffusion and analysis of alternative research. Rarely massive, easily persecuted, and not often together. Their fragility is extreme. Environmental defenders, for example, are assassinated constantly in Latin America and elsewhere in the South.

We have conglomerations of collectives, towns and entire regions that by tradition or conscience (or both) seek in agricultural production and sober existence, not only their sustenance, but the healing of the world. In them, the ancestral wisdom (in times when memory has an expiration date) and recent scientific knowledge come together — for once they have arrived at the same conclusions and enhance one another.

Because of continuous combustion, the Earth is in peril. The temperatures are being shuffled, cold where it was hot and vice versa, epidemics, drought here, flooding there, rivers, air and soils poisoned by the residues of extraction and industrial production. And, how to avoid the urban sprawl and its addiction to energy?

Many were already convinced to stop the extraction and burning of petroleum and the exponential spread of its products and waste. But who will get out of the car, turn off the heat, forego electricity, or the devices devouring lithium, coltan and other new minerals that feed technology? Will we stop emptying the oceans of fish? Or producing millions of tons of manure from cows in a stratospheric production chain? Stop pushing agricultural development for the most voracious capitalism?

Meanwhile, the poles and glaciers melt and drain into the sea, the coasts are inundated, the most beautiful forests and jungles burn. To top it all, for the benefit of those who seek to extract and extract and extract material to consume it.

It is known that mining, modern mining more than anything, is lethal for soils, people and life. Even so, nothing stops it. No speech, no hypocritical law stops the mining companies, be they national or Canadian, Russian, Chinese, it’s all the same. Here we have the gold mine that will devastate, before our eyes, the most beautiful and vital part of the southwest of the state of Morelos, because of the legal delivery of its soil to Esperanza Silver (subsidiary of Alamos Gold Inc.)

According to the Morelos Movement Against Metal Mining Concessions, within a radius of 10 kilometers from the point where it plans to carry out the project, spanning the surfaces of the municipalities of Temixco, Xochitepec, Miacatlán, Emiliano Zapata and Coatetelco, 200 thousand people will be irreparably affected in terms of their health, their environment, and the possibility of developing sustainable activities and their heritage, due to the dust, the contamination of the soil and surface and groundwater as an effect of mineral extraction and processing.

The damages will be irreparable in Temixco, an area of popular rivers and swimming holes; in the beautiful Rodeo and Coatetelco; in Xochicalco, archeological treasure of the Mesoamerican classical period. Expendable soil, history and people: greed is the name of death.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, November 15, 2021

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2021/11/15/opinion/a09a1cul/

English translation: Schools for Chiapas

Re-Published by the Chiapas Support Committee

EZLN: 38 years of consciousness raising and construction of autonomy

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By: Gilberto López y Rivas

On November 17, we commemorated the 38th anniversary of the founding of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) by a small guerrilla group composed of five men and one woman, three mestizos and three indigenous men, who entered into the mountainous zone of the Lacandón Jungle in the Mexican southeast. This proportion of its composition was to change: the political-military organization is today majority indigenous and with a significant presence of women in all its organizational spaces.

The Zapatista Mayas have walked many paths during these 38 years of clandestinity, recruitment and exponential growth of their ranks among the Tseltal, Tsotsil, Chol, Tojolabal and Mam peoples, their military and political preparation for the January 1, 1994 Uprising, the dialogue and negotiation of the San Andrés Accords with the federal government (1996) and, after the betrayal of the political class and the three powers of the Union, the extraordinary process that opens with the construction and strengthening of local, municipal and regional self-governments, based on autonomy.

The EZLN makes the autonomous exercise a strategy of peaceful resistance against the counterinsurgency war, organized crime, para-militarism and corporate invasion of territories, which goes beyond the self-governments, transforming the autonomous subject in various directions: inter-generational and gender relations, which promote a unique participation of women and youth, the permanent political, cultural and ideological awareness of its membership, the preparation and relief of the militancy in the political spaces of their structures and hierarchies.

This experience of comprehensive autonomy constitutes a paradigmatic example of the revolutionary nature of these processes in the forging of highly politicized and participative communities, which can establish a new type of democracy and forms of government, which are synthesized in the govern-by- obeying concept, a redefinition with the surrounding environment, local and national, a real change in the development of a solidarity economy.

The defense of the autonomous subjects to the action of the market and its state agents means control of territory from the communities. At the same time, the Zapatista Mayas strengthen in the spaces where their hegemony prevails, a multi-ethnic weave of diverse peoples, overcoming secular conflicts over boundaries and resources, through consensus, tolerance and overcoming religious, ethnic and cultural differences. Likewise, and without pretending to fall into vanguardism, which also characterized many of the national liberation groupings, the Zapatista Mayas promoted the formation of the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Government Council (CNI-CIG, their initials in Spanish), which currently embodies the resistance of the indigenous peoples to the process of recolonization, continued with special vigor by the current government of historical change.

Like none of the political-military organizations that emerged after the triumph of the Cuban revolution, the EZLN overcomes proletarian perspectives about revolutionary subjects, forming its popular army with indigenous peoples, who appropriate the insurgent project and transform it. This fact signifies a qualitative change in the conception of the indigenous world that the national liberation organizations had been holding, in which they conceive indigenous peoples, in the best of cases, as a secondary and subordinate ally of the revolutionary processes, on which one must impose a veiled form of paternalistic assimilation. Far from a stagnant version of Marxism, it is applied to the objective and subjective conditions that the founding group encounters, which one might expect, caused ruptures, criticisms and disagreements that still flourish today, in equivocal demands, out of place and loaded with resentment that, in the current context, only help the counterinsurgency and the established power.

Despite a counterinsurgency strategy that has been active non-stop since 1994, exacerbated at present by extremely provocative actions of criminal paramilitarism, militarization and militarism deployed in the extension and depth of national territory by the current Fourth Transformation government, the EZLN celebrates its 38th anniversary with an audacious political initiative for life, against capitalism, racism and patriarchy, which takes to the  limits of the world its dialogue with the peoples and movements in struggle, beginning in the disobedient land of Europe.

Keeping the flame of the concrete and possible utopia, the ethical congruence of the “everything for everyone, nothing for us,” is an extraordinary political merit of the EZLN in its 38 years of struggle, without surrendering, without selling out and without giving in.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, November 26, 2021

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2021/11/26/opinion/022a2pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

The (supposed) limits of capitalism

Beatriz Aurora

By: Raúl Zibechi

For a long time some of the Marxists claimed that capitalism has structural and economic limits, established in “laws” that would make their (self) destruction inevitable. Those laws are immanent to the system and are related to central aspects of the functioning of the economy, like the law of the decreasing tendency of the rate of profit, analyzed by Marx in Capital.\

This thesis led some intellectuals to speak of the “collapse” of the system, always as a consequence of its own contradictions.

More recently, more than a few thinkers argue that capitalism has “environmental limits” that would lead it to destroy itself or at least to change. Its most predatory aspects, when in reality what has limits is life itself on the planet and, very in particular, that of the poor and humiliated half of its population.

Today, we know that capitalism has no limits. Not even revolutions have been able to eradicate this system since, time and time again, in the bosom of post-revolutionary societies capitalist social relations expand and from within the State the bourgeois class in charge making them of prosper resurfaces.

The expropriation of the means of production and exchange was, and will continue being, a central step for destroying the system, but, more than a century after the Russian revolution, we know that it’s insufficient, if there’s no community control of those means and of the political power in charge of managing them.

We also know that organized collective action (the struggle of classes, genders and skin colors against oppressions and the oppressors) is decisive for destroying the system, but this formulation is also partial and insufficient, although genuine.

The updating of thought about the end of capitalism, cannot but go hand in hand with the resistances and constructions of the peoples, in a very particular way of the Zapatistas and the Kurds of Rojava, of the Native peoples of different territories of our America, but also of Blacks and campesinos, and in some cases of what we do on the urban peripheries.

Some points seem central to overcome this challenge.

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The first is that capitalism is a global system, which encompasses the entire planet and must permanently expand so as not to collapse. As Fernand Braudel teaches us, scale was important in the implantation of capitalism, hence the importance of the conquest of America, since it permitted an embryonic system to spread its wings.

Local struggles and resistances are important, they can even bend capitalism on that scale, but to end the system, alliance/coordination with movements on all continents is essential. Hence the tremendous importance of the Tour for Life that the EZLN is carrying out in Europa these days.

The second is that the system is not destroyed once and for all, as we debated during the seminar Critical thought versus the Capitalist Hydra, in May 2015. But there is an aspect that profoundly challenges us: only constant and permanent struggle can suffocate capitalism. It isn’t chopped from a block, like the heads of the Hydra, but in another way.

Strictly speaking, we must say that we don’t know exactly how to end capitalism, because it has never been achieved. But our intuition is that the conditions for its continuity and/or resurgence must be limited, subjected to strict control, not by a partt or a State, but by organized communities and peoples.

The third point is that we can’t defeat capitalism if we don’t construct another world at the same time, other social relations. That other or new world is not a place of arrival, but a way of living that in its daily life prevents the continuity of capitalism. The ways of life, social relations, the spaces that we are capable of creating, must exist in such a way that they are in permanent struggle against capitalism.

The fourth point is that, as long as the State exists, there will be a chance that capitalism will expand again. Contrary to what a certain thought proclaims, let’s say progressive or left, the State is not a neutral tool. The powers below, which are non-state and autonomous powers, are born and exist to prevent capitalist relations from expanding. They are, therefore, powers by and for the anti-capitalist struggle.

Finally, the new world after capitalism is not a place of arrival, it’s not a paradise where “good living” is practiced, but a space of struggle in which, probably, peoples, women, dissidences and the people below in general, will be in better conditions to continue constructing diverse and heterogeneous worlds.

I believe that if we stop struggling and constructing the new, capitalism is reborn, even in the other world. The story of Old Antonio who says that the struggle is like a circle, which starts one day but never ends, has enormous currency.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, November 19, 2021

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2021/11/19/opinion/021a1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

They remove the Mayor of Pantelhó and investigate him for homicide

Trujillo Morales

The mayor said that he has been pressured for weeks to resign from his position as mayor, but he refused to do as Leonel Reyes, coordinator of government delegates in the General Government Ministry, asked.

By: Isaín Mandujano

In a “secret session,” the plenary of the State Congress removed the constitutional authority and privilege [1] from the mayor of Pantelhó, Raquel Trujillo Morales, and the State’s Attorney General (FGE) opened a criminal process against him for the crime of homicide.

Raquel Trujillo Morales was elected mayor as a member of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD, its initials in Spanish) in the elections last June 6. However, after the armed irruption of the El Machete Self-Defense group last July 7, he left Pantelhó and could no longer return to his municipality. The day for taking the oath of office, he did so from a hotel in the state capital, because the self-defense group and the 86 communities maintain a presence in Pantelhó.

The 86 communities and 16 different neighborhoods in the municipal seat, named their new council authorities so that they were recognized by the State Congress. However, they had no validity after September 30 until constitutional proceedings against Raquel Trujillo Morales. [2]

Trujillo Morales expressed having been pressured to resign, since they put blank sheets of paper in front of him in the installations of the General Government Ministry. Also, the government body allegedly presented his resignation, thus declaring the disappearance of powers in Pantelhó, so that now it can proceed to recognize the new councilors headed by the Tsotsil indigenous leader, Pedro Cortés López.

For his part, the former mayor assured that, all this. is a “fabrication of crimes” and that “in due course each one of the lies that the FGE mounted will fall.”

He said that he will face the criminal process because he is innocent and that he will return to his municipality with his held high: “I can’t deny my courage and frustration because with the hand on the waist the institutions that are supposed to exist to guarantee the Rule of Law lend themselves to these tricks.”

Imagine if they can do that to a municipal president, what can we expect as citizens? I strongly condemn the unprofessional and non-legal attitude with which the people and institutions that participated in this infamous act conducted themselves, the now former mayor said in a statement.

He holds the State responsible if something should happen to him, to his family or people close to his person or family.

Raquel Trujillo Morales, not only maintains the threat of being deprived of his freedom by the FGE and the state’s judicial apparatus, but also of being deprived of his life because of a threat that hangs over his person from the El Machete Self-Defense group.

The Self-Defense group points to him as being an accomplice of the civilian armed group called Los Herrera, whose founder Austreberto Herrera and his son, the leader of that group, Dayli de los Santos Herrera, are both prisoners in the El Amate Prison in Cintalapa, pointed out for different crimes. The civilian armed group is pointed out for different crimes, such as homicides and forced disappearances committed in Pantelhó for more than 10 years.

[1] This removes not only his power to carry out official duties, but also his immunity from prosecution, a privilege of office.

[2] Despite removing Trujillo Morales from office, the Chiapas government has not officially renewed or extended the authority of the municipal council elected by the people. That council continues to govern de facto.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Wednesday, November 19, 2021

https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2021/11/desafueran-al-alcalde-de-pantelho-lo-investigan-por-homicidio/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Llamado al gobierno mexicano de poner fin y desmantelar guerra paramilitar contra comunidades indígenas y zapatistas

Protesta contra la complicidad y apoyo del gobierno mexicano a ORCAO y otros grupos paramilitares en Chiapas; frente al consulado mexicano en San Francisco, California.

Alto a la guerra paramilitar contra las comunidades indígenas y zapatistas

Alto a los megaproyectos e industrias extractivas en territorios indígenas y zapatistas

To read the version in English, click here: End all Mexican Government support & disband the paramilitary war on indigenous and Zapatista communities.

17 de noviembre, 2021

Al Gobierno de México

Al gobierno de los Estados Unidos

El 19 de septiembre de 2021, el Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) emitió una grave advertencia de que Chiapas se encuentra al borde de la guerra civil. Todos los niveles del gobierno mexicano (el federal, estatal y municipal), con su apoyo a grupos armados paramilitares, han alimentado ataques violentos, matando e hiriendo a miembros de comunidades zapatistas e indígenas, quemando y saqueando propiedades comunitarias indígenas y forzando el desplazamiento de miles de mujeres, niños y hombres.

Exigimos que el Gobierno Federal de México y el Gobierno de Chiapas pongan fin a su complicidad con las agresiones actuales contra los zapatistas y las comunidades indígenas y honren su responsabilidad internacional de garantizar, respetar y proteger la vida y seguridad de las comunidades de Chiapas que ahora están bajo ataques graves y violentos.

Las autoridades públicas encargadas de hacer cumplir la ley, incluida la policía local y federal y la Guardia Nacional, se han coludido o han estado al margen mientras los paramilitares disparan contra las comunidades.

Exigimos el fin de toda complicidad y apoyo por parte de la policía mexicana y que los responsables de estos violentos crímenes sean detenidos, investigados y llevados ante la justicia.

Nuestras demandas

Al gobierno mexicano:

  • Alto a los ataques contra las comunidades zapatistas e indígenas en Chiapas;
  • Proteger y atender el retorno seguro de las comunidades indígenas que han sido desplazadas forzosamente por los ataques y la violencia de los paramilitares;
  • Desarmar y disolver los grupos paramilitares, incluidos ORCAO y otros;
  • Procesar a la ORCAO y otros líderes y miembros paramilitares responsables de la matanza y destrucción de comunidades zapatistas e indígenas;
  • Detener la violencia anti-migrante y poner fin a la detención de migrantes que pasan por México;
  • Detener los megaproyectos y todas las industrias extractivas en los territorios indígenas y zapatistas de México; y
  • Detener el Tren “Maya”, el corredor transístmico que incluye los “parques” eólicos de Oaxaca y el Proyecto Integral Morelos (PIM)

Al gobierno de los Estados Unidos:

  • Poner fin a todos los fondos militares y la asistencia al gobierno mexicano, incluida la Iniciativa Mérida;
  • Alto a la violencia, la detención y la deportación de migrantes que buscan asilo;
  • Desmantelar los oleoductos de Dakota y la Línea 3 y todos los oleoductos que atraviesan territorios y comunidades indígenas y que amenazan el suministro de agua de todos y todas y la vida.

Hacemos responsables a los gobiernos de México y Estados Unidos por cualquier pérdida adicional de vidas y el violento desplazamiento de los pueblos indígenas de sus tierras y territorios y la destrucción capitalista del mundo natural. Estamos comprometidos a actuar por la paz para evitar que ocurra una guerra civil en Chiapas y alzamos nuestras voces y fuerzas en solidaridad con las luchas de los pueblos zapatistas e indígenas.

FIRMAN

Proyecto de los Trabajadores Agrícolas Fronterizos

Chiapas Support Committee

Unión del Pueblo Fronterizo, El Paso

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Xochipilli Chicano/Latino Men’s Circle

Nicaragua Center for Community Action

Global Women’s Strike

Pueblo Y Salud, Inc.

La Red Binacional de Mujeres Que Luchan

Alcohol Justice

Mundo Gardens

Sexta Grietas del Norte

Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice

Peace and Freedom Party, socialist, on the California ballot

Freedom Archives

Día de los muertos DC

Mexico – U.S. Solidarity Network

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Oakland

Firmantes individuales

Caitlin Manning

Diana Bohn

Carolina dutton

Kelly Archer

Sarah Brooks

Sharat G. Lin

Isabella Smith

Ahuilitzli Mejia

Cheik Ouedraogo

Kate Keller

Ricardo Gouveia

Jennifer Ferrigno

Michael Golart

Todd Davies

Rafael J González

Paul Costuros

Matthew de la Torre

Diane Cherry

Joseph Bender

Pablo Gonzalez

Cinaed De Canntun

Charlotte Maria Saenz

Jennifer Murphy

Ariana Thompson-Lastad

Theresa Ortega

Rachel West

Jane Welford

Clarissa Del Visco

Brenda Villanueva

Carol I Moeller Costa

Aurolyn Luykx

Fernando Arista

Jessye Grieve-Carlson

Tiffany Konyen

Muhammad Mustafa Raza Khan

Amanda Bloom

Graciela Monteagudo

Neil Birrell

Michael Bass

Emory Douglas

Targol Mesbah

Mayra Jimenez

Janice Luna Reynoso

Jessica Toni St Bruno

Peter Rosset

Jose Ruiz

Andrew Claycomb

John Vasquez

Elizama Rodas

Rodolfo Casillas

Adam Vurek

Sarena Khasawneh

Norma J F Harrison

David Keenan

Alptekin Aydogan

Ciarree Parker

Anthony Faramelli

Karen Hoffmann

Meredith Staples

Claude Marks

Andy Gillette

Nick DePascal

Glenn Kasabian

Norberto Valdez

Joanne Castronovo

Zineb Mouhyi

James Mulligan

Stefan Ali, Esq.

Julie Webb-Pullman

Kyle Todd

Gerardo Morante

Ariadna Mondragon

Adan Garcia

Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen

Astrid Diego

Amy Raynel Juan

Call on the Mexican government to stop & disband paramilitary war on Zapatista & Indigenous communities

Members of the community and the Chiapas Support Committee gathered in front of the Mexican consulate in San Francisco to denounce the Mexican government complicity & support for ORCAO & other paramilitary groups in Chiapas.

End the Paramilitary War on Zapatista and Indigenous Communities

Stop all megaprojects and extractive industries on Zapatista and Indigenous territories

Para leer la versión en español, haga clic aquí: Alto a la guerra paramilitar contra las comunidades indígenas y zapatistas

November 17, 2021

To the Government of Mexico

To the Government of the United States

The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) issued a grave warning that Chiapas is on the brink of civil war on September 19, 2021. All levels of the Mexican government, (Federal, State, and Municipal) with their backing of paramilitary armed groups, have fueled violent attacks, killing and wounding members of Zapatista and Indigenous communities,  burning and pillaging Indigenous community property, and forcing the displacement of thousands of women, children, and men.

We demand that the Mexican Federal Government and the Government of Chiapas end their complicity with the current aggressions against the Zapatistas and the indigenous communities and honor their international responsibility to guarantee, respect, and protect the life and security of the communities of Chiapas that are now under serious, violent attacks.  

Public law enforcement authorities, including local and federal police and National Guard, have colluded with or stood by as paramilitaries shoot into communities.

We demand an end to all complicity on the part of Mexican law enforcement and that those responsible for these violent crimes be detained, investigated and brought to justice. 

OUR DEMANDS

To the Mexican government:

  • Stop the attacks on Zapatista and Indigenous communities in Chiapas;
  • Protect and attend to the safe return of Indigenous communities who have been forcibly displaced by paramilitary attacks and violence;
  • Disarm and disband the paramilitary groups, including ORCAO and others;
  • Prosecute the ORCAO and other paramilitary leaders and members responsible for the killings and destruction of Zapatista and Indigenous communities;
  • Stop violence against and end the detention of migrants passing through Mexico
  • Stop the megaprojects and all extractive industries on Zapatista and Indigenous territories in Mexico; and
  • Stop the “Maya” Train, the Transisthmus Corridor including the wind “farms” of Oaxaca and the Proyecto Integral Morelos (PIM).

To the U.S. government:

  • End all military funding and assistance to the Mexican government including the Merida Initiative
  • Stop violence, detention and deportation of migrants seeking asylum 
  • Dismantle the Dakota and Line 3 pipelines and all pipelines that go through indigenous territories and communities and that threaten everyone’s water supply and all life.

We hold the Mexican and U.S. governments responsible for any further loss of life and the violent displacement of Indigenous peoples from their lands and territories and the capitalist destruction of the natural world. We are committed to acting for peace to prevent civil war from taking place in Chiapas and we raise our voices and forces in solidarity with the struggles of Zapatista and Indigenous peoples.

SIGNED (initial signatories)

Border Agricultural Workers Project

Chiapas Support Committee

Unión del Pueblo Fronterizo, El Paso

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Xochipilli Chicano/Latino Men’s Circle

Nicaragua Center for Community Action

Global Women’s Strike

Pueblo Y Salud, Inc.

La Red Binacional de Mujeres Que Luchan

Alcohol Justice

Mundo Gardens

Sexta Grietas del Norte

Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice

Peace and Freedom Party, socialist, on the California ballot

Freedom Archives

Día de los muertos DC

Mexico – U.S. Solidarity Network

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Oakland

Individual Signatories:

Caitlin Manning

Diana Bohn

Carolina Dutton

Kelly Archer

Sarah Brooks

Sharat G. Lin

Isabella Smith

Ahuilitzli Mejia

Cheik Ouedraogo

Kate Keller

Ricardo Gouveia

Jennifer Ferrigno

Michael Golart

Todd Davies

Rafael J González

Paul Costuros

Matthew de la Torre

Diane Cherry

Joseph Bender

Pablo Gonzalez

Cinaed De Canntun

Charlotte Maria Saenz

Jennifer Murphy

Ariana Thompson-Lastad

Theresa Ortega

Rachel West

Jane Welford

Clarissa Del Visco

Brenda Villanueva

Carol I Moeller Costa

Aurolyn Luykx

Fernando Arista

Jessye Grieve-Carlson

Tiffany Konyen

Muhammad Mustafa Raza Khan

Mayra Jimenez

Amanda Bloom

Graciela Monteagudo

Neil Birrell

Michael Bass

Emory Douglas

Targol Mesbah

Janice Luna Reynoso

Jessica Toni St Bruno

Peter Rosset

Jose Ruiz

Andrew Claycomb

John Vasquez

Elizama Rodas

Rodolfo Casillas

Adam Vurek

Sarena Khasawneh

Norma J F Harrison

David Keenan

Alptekin Aydogan

Ciarree Parker

Anthony Faramelli

Karen Hoffmann

Meredith Staples

Claude Marks

Andy Gillette

Nick DePascal

Glenn Kasabian

Norberto Valdez

Joanne Castronovo

Zineb Mouhyi

James Mulligan

Stefan Ali, Esq.

Julie Webb-Pullman

Kyle Todd

Gerardo Morante

Ariadna Mondragon

Adan Garcia

Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen

Astrid Diego

Amy Raynel Juan

ORCAO Paramilitaries Attack and Burn Zapatista School in Moisés y Gandhi

FOTO-EZLN-750x410-1

Above Photo reads: Stop the attacks on the Zapatista Peoples! Paramilitaries out of Chiapas!

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. November 21, 2021.

To the Peoples of the World

To the Indigenous Governing Council

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the National and International Sixth

To the Networks of Resistance and Rebellions

As the Ajmaq Network of Resistance and Rebellion, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, we denounce the cowardly armed attack suffered by our compañeros and compañeras Bases of Support of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (BAEZLN, their initials in Spanish), of the Moisés y Gandhi Autonomous Community, belonging to the Good Government Council “New Dawn in Resistance and Rebellion for Life and Humanity,” Caracol 10 Flourishing the Rebel Seed, by paramilitaries of the Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers (ORCAO).

The ORCAO paramilitaries from the community of San Antonio Las Flores, which is also part of the Siete de Febrero region, at 10:00 a.m. went to check the water pipes. They had only checked them for a few moments, when they began to shoot from different points towards the community of Moisés y Gandhi.

They were shooting intermittently, several high caliber shots hit three houses in the community, putting the BAEZLN of the community at risk.

The armed attack continued and at 4:30 in the afternoon, a group of paramilitaries approached the Zapatista Autonomous Secondary (Middle) School “Siguiendo el Caminar de los 2 Mártires” (“Following the Path of the 2 Martyrs”) of the community and set fire to three classrooms, burning them instantly. It’s worth remembering that on October 14 the Autonomous School suffered an armed attack by ORCAO; today they carried out their threat and their attempt to put an end to autonomous education.

This group of paramilitaries have carried out actions under the protection of the Ocosingo municipal authorities, where the misnamed Green Party (an offshoot of the PRI that plays dirty with Morena) governs, and where its main leader is an official of the municipality. They act under the protection of Governor Rutilio Escandón Cadenas in exchange for the votes that the Green Party gave him to become governor of Chiapas. A favor is repaid with a favor.

The actions they have carried out have been publicly denounced, however they have remained in total impunity: the looting, robbery and burning of the Arco Iris store on August 22, 2020, located at the Cuxuljá crossroads, Ocosingo municipality.

On November 8, 2020 the Good Government Council of Patria Nueva denounced “the kidnapping and torture of a comrade Zapatista Support Base from the community of San Isidro, annex of Moisés y Gandhi, by the paramilitary organization called ORCAO.”

On September 11, 2021 the paramilitary group kidnapped two members of the Good Government Council José Antonio Sánchez Juárez and Sebastián Núñez Pérez, keeping them as disappeared until September 19.

Faced with the acts carried out by the paramilitaries of the ORCAO, the complicity of the Green municipal government and the State and Federal governments of Morena,

211121_denuncia

We demand:

Immediate cessation of aggressions against the autonomous community of Moisés y Gandhi,

Enough of the counterinsurgency against the Zapatista communities initiated with the PRI, continued with the PAN and now implemented under Morena.

Respect for the Autonomies that the EZLN is building in its rebel territory.

The Heart is Below and to the Left

You are not alone!!!!!

=====Ω=====

Originally Published in Spanish by Red Ajmaq

Sunday, November 21, 2021

https://redajmaq.org/es/ataque-armado-y-quema-de-la-secundaria-autonoma-zapatista-de-moises-y-gandhi-por-para-de-la-orcao

Translation: Schools for Chiapas

Re-Published by the Chiapas Support Committee