Chiapas Support Committee

CNI-CIG-EZLN CALL TO JOIN THE CAMPAIGN FOR LIFE, PEACE AND JUSTICE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF GUERRERO

 

The peoples, communities, nations, collectives, neighborhoods, and native tribes that make up the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Governing Council, as well as the Zapatista National Liberation Army call for actions to dismantle the ongoing war by the powerful against the life of humanity and the entire planet. More specifically, we call for actions that will dismantle the structure and paramilitary siege that maintains the ongoing violence against our peoples who, with dignity, have decided to confront and end that structure.

For this reason and:

  1. Considering that the capitalist narco-paramilitary war that is conducted with the complicity of the bad government and criminal gangs against the peoples and communities that belong to the National Indigenous Congress is expanding throughout much of the country, and that today, through terror, these actors threaten to exterminate the life and peace that we defend so that they can complete their violent neoliberal projects.
  2. Considering that the impunity continues for the cowardly assassination of our brother Samir Flores Soberanes from the Nahua indigenous community of Amilcingo, Morelos, and that the intentions of the big moneyed interests to complete the criminal thermoelectric project in Huexca, Morelos remain unchanged.
  3. Considering that the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ), who are members of the CNI-CIG, have made a call to break the narco-paramilitary siege that criminal organizations have imposed on the low mountains of Guerrero.
  4. Considering that the permanent aggression against our compañeros is creating a humanitarian crisis, it has made the introduction of food and medicine to the region difficult, it has made it nearly impossible for people to work their land due to the fear that they will face assassination in their fields, and it has made it so that these communities cannot open their schools for fear of a possible attack on our children.

WE CALL ON

Networks of support for the Indigenous Governing Council

Networks of Resistance and Rebellion

The National and International Sixth

Human rights organizations and networks and

On conscious civil society in solidarity to participate in:

THE CAMPAIGN FOR LIFE, PEACE AND JUSTICE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF GUERRERO

The campaign will be leaving from the Indigenous Nahua community of Amilcingo, Morelos on July 12, 2019 and will arrive in Acahuehuetlan, municipality of Chilapa, Guerrero where it will remain on July 13 and 14.

Along with this initiative, we call for parallel and simultaneous actions in every organizational space possible that will help put an end to the capitalist war against the peoples of Guerrero. With these actions we will break through the siege imposed by these criminal gangs who, along with the bad government, hope to put an end to the power that we have below through terror and violence. They do this, because they know that is where they will be defeated.

We call on everyone to participate in the COLLECTION OF FOOD, MEDICINE, AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES THAT WILL TAKE PLACE AT CALLE DR. CARMONA Y VALLE NO. 32, COLONIA DOCTORES, CUIDAD DE MEXICO, BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 10:00 AND 17:00 IN THE AFTERNOON.

We would also like to invite people to make donations directly to the bank account of the National Indigenous Congress. THIS ACCOUNT IS UNDER THE NAME OF ALICIA CASTELLANOS GUERRERO, AT THE BBVA BANCOMER BANK, ACCOUNT NUMBER 0471079107, CLABE BANCARIA [Standardized Bank Code] 012540004710791072, SWIFT CODE BCMRMXMM, ABA [Routing number]: 021000128. PLEASE SEND A COPY OF THE DEPOSIT SLIP WITH YOUR NAME, TELEPHONE NUMBER AND ADDRESS TO THE FOLLOWING EMAIL: aliciac.2145@gmail.com; with a note that you would like your donation directed to the communities that belong to the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ).

All of the money that is raised will be managed directly by the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ) and distributed according to their collective agreements.

In sum, our call is to defend our collective life and existence. We will not resist by simply waiting for death. On the contrary, we will reconstruct the ancient world, the present, and the future that will defeat this offensive against our existence, because the life of the world, of our mother earth, and of our indigenous peoples is non-negotiable.

Sincerely,

For the Full Reconstitution of Our Peoples

Never Again a Mexico Without Us

June 2019

National Indigenous Council

Indigenous Governing Council

Zapatista National Liberation Army

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2019/06/12/convocatoria-del-cni-cig-y-el-ezln-a-la-campana-por-la-vida-la-paz-y-la-justicia-en-la-montana-de-guerrero/

TO DONATE

The Chiapas Support Committee is accepting donations to add to our own donation to this campaign. If you would like to respond to the above request with a contribution, you can do so via our PayPal donate button. Contributions will be acknowledged. You can also mail a check payable to the Chiapas Support Committee to the address below. Deadline for receiving donations, which will be sent by wire transfer to the above-mentioned CNI account, is July 1, 2019.

Chiapas Support Committee

PO Box 3421

Oakland, CA 94609

 

Industrializing: the plan for Tehuantepec

The Isthmus of Tehuantepec, showing the area affected in white in the box on the right side of the graphic. The gray streak running through the white area is for the freight train. There are 11 indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples in that area.

By: Susana González G.

The project to create seven Special Economic Zones (SEZ) launched in the last presidential term to impel the development of Mexico’s southeast will be formally buried with a presidential decree that the legal advisors of the federal Executive now analyze. Instead, a free zone with six industrial parks will be created along the Isthmus of Tehuantepec –which connects the ports of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, with Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz–, one of the country’s regions most lagging behind [economically].

“The future of those zones is that their disappearance is going to be decreed,” pointed out Rafael Marin Mollinedo, the one responsible for the Program for the Development of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and for the SEZs.

Instead of the SEZs the federal government projects a free zone, along the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, with six industrial parks of 500 hectares each, with fiscal incentives similar to those granted at the northern border (where starting this year taxes were reduced and wages increased) and located on ejido lands so that their property owners will obtain permanent benefits “and won’t just be watching as progress and development happen without being included,” the official stated in an interview with La Jornada.

“It’s the same scheme of reducing the capital gains tax (income tax on corporations) and the sales tax on a 20-kilometers wide by 300-kilometers long strip around the train. That will be the free zone. We’re going to exploit the connection with the United States and Asia,” he indicated.

Since the beginning of 2019, the income tax (ISR, in Mexico) rate was reduced from 30 to 20 percent and the sales tax (IVA, in Mexico) went down from 16 to 8 percent in 43 municipalities of six states on the northern border, in addition to the fact that the minimum wage doubled from 88.36 to 176.72 pesos per day.

The Treasury Ministry is analyzing all that in the Master Plan for the Free Zone, which Marin foresees will be finished next October.

The goal is that in two years the railroad and port infrastructure on the Isthmus will be modernized, and at the same time the first industrial parks will be promoted and ready so that at the end of the six-year presidential term the bases for the six are settled, with 50 percent of the companies installed.

The bet is “to generate a whole pole of industrial, commercial and service development in a comprehensive way, but we’re going to mainly promote agribusiness to take advantage of all the zone’s raw materials,” he said, but admitted that there is no projection about investment, job creation, demand and cruise ships in the corridor and the generation of cargo that the project is expected to detonate.

The Trans-Isthmus Corridor, he said, is not new. Infrastructure has existed for the ports and the train since 1900, when Porfirio Díaz was president, but “it must be modernized and made efficient to attract the arrival of ships, so that they unload and transport their merchandise from one ocean to another.”

Rafael Marin assured that with the indigenous consulta (consultation) that the federal government held it obtained support for the Trans-Isthmus project and “a permanent dialogue was established with the indigenous communities so that they will participate, embrace it and are included. But, there will be consultations for the installation of each industrial polygon.”

Difference with the SEZs

“The fiscal incentives for the free zones will be different from the SEZs, because in the SEZs companies would not have to pay any income taxes for 10 years, but also they didn’t have such an easy scheme because they were asked for a very high investment amount of 90 million dollars for generating 500 jobs, so that only large firms would be able to access the project,” he explained.

He considered that the decrease in tax collection due to fiscal incentives in the free zone would be less than foreseen with the SEZs.

–Is all the previous work on the SEZs thrown out?

–I don’t know. We are betting on other development models, different, and we are focused on that.

He maintained that, different from the New International Airport for Mexico (NAIM, its initials in Spanish), the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had not planned to eliminate the SEZs and “we explored the possibility that the zones of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz would remain as part of the Trans-Isthmus Corridor.”

Not seven, because that’s too many and “they would pulverize” resources and efforts. He even said that representatives of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank commented to him that: “that project was not going to yield results because of being so scattered and it was not advisable to open seven zones in the country at almost the same time,” besides the fact that 90 percent of the SEZs in the world have failed.

In the end, we decided to eliminate the SEZs. Marin discarded lawsuits against the federal government, maintaining that: “there is really no commitment and it wasn’t advanced enough. We have time to get out of this SEZ project. We are unraveling it. The companies made their requests and procedures, but we had not authorized any permits.”

He assured that only seven companies had advanced procedures for being installed in Coatzacoalcos, Lázaro Cárdenas, Chiapas, Yucatán and Campeche, with a joint investment of 1.5 billion dollars, but, he added, among them are included the Agro-logistical Industrial Park of the Southeast and Arcelor Mittal, which are already installed in those zones.

The land that the state governments donated will be returned to them, he added. If the states want to they can go ahead with a part of the project to attract investments, like Yucatán will do, since many of the fiscal incentives were state or municipal.

While he admitted that the disappearance of the SEZs has caused concern and criticism from business leaders and from southeast governors, Marin Mollinedo considered that: “the criticisms are few and it’s more like fussing.”

Not even in the high level meeting between entrepreneurs of the United States and Mexico, which was held two weeks ago in Merida, was the subject of the SEZs proposed, he said.

To the contrary, he said that there is not a day that he doesn’t receive in his office representatives of both national and foreign companies, like the big shipping companies, interested “in not being outside of the Trans-Isthmus project.”

Regarding the previous government’s project of forming the SEZs, three already had the creation decree (Coatzacoalcos, Lázaro Cárdenas and Puerto Chiapas), two others had been approved (Salina Cruz and Progreso) and the remaining two (Tabasco and Campeche) their decision was under review.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2019/04/24/economia/018n1eco

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

They’ll build 3 National Guard barracks in Chiapas in areas used by migrants

Members of the National Guard in an operation to arrest migrants at the southern border

By: Angeles Mariscal

They ask for land in the municipalities of Tonalá, Pichucalco and Palenque, located on the Coast and the Northern Zone of Chiapas.

The Chiapas government asked the local Congress for the disincorporation of 3 plots of land in order to destine them for National Guard installations, in zones where migrants pass. They will be delivered via donation, in favor of the Ministries of National Defense (SEDENA) and Navy (SEMAR), Aristegui Noticias reported.

It was last June 4 when they initiated the process for destining lands that would be used as bases for the National Guard in the municipalities of Tonalá, Pichucalco and Palenque, located on Coast and in Northern Chiapas.

Ismael Brito Mazariegos, Secretary of Government of Chiapas, made the request and it was turned over to parliamentary commissions inside the local Congress.

We’re talking about the decree initiative by which the Executive of the state of Chiapas authorizes the disincorporation of three hectares of land located in the municipality of Pichucalco, “in favor of the Federal Government destined to the Ministry of National Defense to carry out the construction of installations of the Regional Coordination of the Nacional Guard,” the note detailed.

They also asked the municipal council of Tonalá for the disincorporation of municipal land “in favor of the Ministry of the Navy for the construction of the Nacional Guard’s general barracks.” And, they asked the municipal council of Palenque for the disincorporation of municipal land and to alienate it -via a donation- “in favor of the Government of the Republic, which will destine it for construction of installations for a company of the National Guard.” Management of the lands will be resolved soon.

In the context of this act, the agreements that the governments of Mexico and the United States reached were to contain the migratory flow and to send 6,000 members of the National Guard to the state of Chiapas; this after President Donald Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on Mexican products if actions to stop thousands of migrants that attempt to reach the United States are not carried out.

The immigration policy of the Andrés Manuel López Obrador government of containing immigration on the southern border via militarization of the travel routes and the authority that was given to members of the National Guardia to do the work of immigration agents, have been questioned by civil society organizations and academics that see in it the risk of human rights violations of the migrant population, and the subordination of [Mexican] institutions to the economic agenda and interests of the United States.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Sunday, June 9, 2019

https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2019/06/en-chiapas-construiran-3-cuarteles-de-la-guardia-nacional-en-zonas-de-paso-de-migrantes/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Chiapas: they kill an ecologist and threaten his family members

The Tabasco activist José Luis Álvarez Flores, defender of the environment and promoter of the conservation of primates, was killed and his body found Monday on a road in the municipality of Palenque, Chiapas. The photo was taken from his Facebook account.

By: René Alberto López

Villahermosa, Tabasco

Gunmen murdered with five bullets –one of them in the face– the environmentalist José Luis Álvarez Flores, 64, whose body was found Monday in the ejido Calatrava, municipality of Palenque, Chiapas, on a road that leads to Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco, Francisco Ricardez Olivares, director of public security of the first location, reported

A native of Emiliano Zapata and known as a defender of the environment and the conservation of primates, Álvarez Flores had denounced the illicit removal of sand from the Usumacinta River, which crosses through both states.

Police in Emiliano Zapata reported that the homicide was perpetrated at 12:25 pm on Monday. The murderers left a message at the side of the cadaver, in which they threaten the victim’s family members.

Personnel from the Chiapas and Tabasco prosecutors’ offices went to start the investigations, although at the close of this edition no one had given an official version of what occurred.

Locals narrated that the activist directed the Management Unit for the Use and Conservation of Wildlife (Uma, its Spanish acronym) of the howler monkey (monkey that lives in the zone and which he seeks to protect from being run over on the road).

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources created the Umas in 1997 as spaces for the conservation of wild life.

The Uma for howler monkeys is the first one for primates in Mexico and was created to protect one of the most studied monkeys of America. It encompasses 345 hectares of rancho Las Vegas, in the locality of Chablé, municipality of Emiliano Zapata, at kilometer 3.2 of the Chablé-La Guayaba highway.

Durante the inauguration of the space, Álvarez Flores affirmed that this Uma would be “a place where we would be able to see the majority of the animals and birds of the wildlife that exist in the southeast of Mexico.”

The promoters of this Uma point out that more than one hundred black howler monkeys and specimens of the tiger heron live in that unit. The authorized management plan includes the conservation and eventual use of the green iguana.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2019/06/12/estados/028n1est#

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Chiapan demons

Women’s resistance to militarization after Acteal Massacre. Art from the Zapatista communities.

By: Luis Hernández Navarro

The lifeless body of Ignacio Pérez Girón appeared on the side of the Tuxtla Gutiérrez-San Cristóbal free highway (in other words, not the toll road). It had signs of torture. Two days earlier, on May 4 of this year, his family had reported his disappearance.

Pérez Girón was the trustee for the indigenous municipality of Aldama, in the Highlands (los Altos) of Chiapas. He was 45 years old. Months ago, in January 2019, he had denounced the armed paramilitary attack on the community.

Since February 2018, residents of Aldama have experienced an authentic humanitarian crisis. Several communities in the municipality are constant victims of attacks with firearms from paramilitary groups. Some 25 people have been murdered and several dozen injured. Additionally, more than 2,000 have been violently displaced from their homes and villages. Those who go out to work their fields run the danger of being murdered. The aggressors come from the villages of Santa Martha and Saklum, in the neighbor municipality of Chenalhó.

On five different occasions, Pérez Girón had asked the state government to install tables for dialogue to de-activate the conflict. Before the murder, the journalist of Rompeviento TV, Ernesto Ledesma, asked President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on three occasions about the attacks in this region. After the Pérez Girón murder, he asked him again. From the location of the acts, he produced four reports with multiple first-hand witnesses (https://bit.ly/2wesaOn). Neither the police nor the military presence has stopped the attacks. Those who carry firearms for the exclusive use of the Army move about at their leisure – freely.

This problem has been around since 1977. It emerged because the government gave Santa Martha 60 hectares of Aldama property. According to the Good Government Junta in the Caracol of Oventik, “the three levels of past and present government are responsible for the division, confrontation, fear and rupture of community life.” Because, “agreements appeared that were not fulfilled, putting more fuel on the fire,” in order to “divide the communities.”

The violence in Aldama and in Chalchihuitán is the consequence of the release of the material Acteal killers. On December 22, 1997, in Acteal, Chenalhó, 45 men, women and children who were praying for peace in a chapel were savagely executed by paramilitaries (https://bit.ly/2ELb9A8). Despite the fact that they were fully identified by the relatives of the victims, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation liberated the murderers at the beginning of 2009, arguing that due process had not been followed. The criminals never gave up the weapons with which they perpetrated the massacre.

The main promoter of the campaign to liberate the Acteal murderers was Hugo Eric Flores, tied to the theology of neo-Pentecostal prosperity, associated in the beginning of his political career with Ernesto Zedillo, president of Mexico when the massacre was committed. Leader of the Social Encounter Party, he is currently the super-delegate of the Fourth Transformation in the state of Morelos. The Chenalhó paramilitaries that have attacked Aldama residents throughout the past year are the same ones that murdered members of Las Abejas in Acteal almost 22 years ago, or they are relatives of the killers. Rosa Pérez, the ex municipal president of Chenalhó, a key figure in the reactivation of the armed civilian groups, is a relative of those who perpetrated the massacre. Abraham Cruz, the municipal treasurer until recently, is the son of the pastor who blessed the murderers’ weapons.

According to what those displaced from Aldama stated, Rosa Pérez and Abraham Cruz, the current mayor of Chenalhó, reorganized the paramilitary group that has existed in that municipality for years, originally created by the Army, “although this time we were the ones attacked” (https://bit.ly/2Xle8q7).

What happened in Chenalhó, Chalchiuitán and Aldama is not an isolated act. In practically all corners of the Chiapan geography old and new groups of political and economic bosses (indigenous and mestizo) dispute territorial control by means of violence. Members of the Chol people of San José El Bascán, in Salto de Agua municipality, are at risk of an armed attack and forced displacement.

Instead of serving to insert order into the demons of para-militarism, the Army’s presence in the state seems to have focused on encircling and harassing Zapatista territories. The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center reported that since the end of 2018 the number of Mexican Army incursions into the headquarters of the Good Government Junta in the Caracol of La Realidad has doubled.

Far from confronting the local power groups, the state government, headed by the Rutilio Escandón of Morena, protects them. The sons and grandsons of the old finquero [1] oligarchy now occupy key positions in the administration of the Chiapan Fourth Transformation. The state’s governor and his government officials are part of the problem, not the solution.

The ghost of Acteal runs through Chiapan territory. The demons are free. Those above opened the door for them.

Note:

[1] Finqueros were the estate owners from whom the Zapatistas took land away in the January 1, 1994 Zapatista Uprising.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2019/06/04/opinion/016a2pol#

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

 

For life and against war in the Zapatista communities

By: Gilberto López y Rivas

Today is being carried out in national territory, and in various countries of the solidarity world (among them, France, Spain, Greece and the United States), a day against the militarization of Zapatista territories and communities, which has been denounced by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), and studied methodically by the Fray Bartolomé de las Casa Human Rights Center (Frayba).

The Frayba, through the documentation that the Civilian Observation Brigades (Brigadas Civiles de Observación, BriCO) carry out, sees a 100 percent increase in the number of incursions of the Mexican Army, land patrols, and helicopter flyovers that started in December 2018, and, it concludes, with well-founded reasons, that these acts of intimidation and harassment “mean an attack on their right to autonomy and represent a risk to the life, integrity and security of the entire population. It has been observed that military vehicles often pass at high speed through the communities, without concern about the people, the children or the animals in the road.” The Frayba also documented acts of espionage in the international observation camp of La Realidad, which equally violates the integrity and security of those who carry out monitoring.

This process of militarization is also being carried out through an increase in the activity of paramilitary groups, which the Sedena, for sure, in a reinterpretation of the old metaphor of “taking away the water from the revolutionary fish” (isolating them from the people), considers in its counterinsurgency manuals that it gives better results in counter-revolutionary action introducing “braver fish” into the theater of war. We remember the State crime of Acteal, or the work the killers carried out in the territories in resistance to understand this “metaphorical contribution” of the Mexican military men to global counterinsurgency.

The EZLN, in the communiqué that denounces the military offensive, points out: “The patrols and flyovers don’t follow the drug trafficking routes, or those of the overwhelmed caravans of migrant sisters and brothers who flee from a war that refuses to say its name… to enter another that hides behind a talkative and quarrelsome federal Executive. No, that death threat travels by air and land through the indigenous communities that have decided to stay in resistance and rebellion in order to defend the land, because in it is life. Now, additionally, members of the Federal Army and Air Force go into the mountains and appear in the communities saying that war is coming and that they are just waiting for ‘orders from the very top’.” The obligatory question at this point is: Who is giving the orders?”

In the rest of the country, militarization (and para-militarization) materialize, on the one hand, in the implementation of the National Guard, which constitutes a surrender of public security to the military, now legalized, and on the other hand, in the role assigned to organized crime in the murders of indigenous defenders of territory and of Mother Earth, councilors of the CNI–CIG, many of them community radio communicators, like Samir Flores Soberanes, executed 10 days after the continuity of the Morelos Integral Project was announced.

This process of militarization and para-militarization in Zapatista territories, or in anticapitalist resistance, is carried out without the organic intellectuals of the Fourth Transformation being disturbed, occupied as they are in writing epistles of unconditional support to the federal Executive, or accepting key portfolios of the Cabinet for the eventual granting of the permits necessary to continue the death megaprojects.

The current global crisis of civilization detonates a radical destruction of the basis of life. Among its principal forms in play are ethnocide, ecocide or necro-political capitalism. (See the exceptional book from Luis Arizmendi / Jorge Beinstein, Tiempos de Peligro: Estado de excepción y guerra mundial. UAZ-Plaza y Valdés Editores, México, 2018). Contemporary critical thought is deepening in the denunciation of the new forms of destruction that it brings with it, necessarily, relating to the accumulation by dispossession “of public property, of common property and of generic property (like genetic codes or water)” (Arizmendi, ibíd. p. 20), until reaching death policies as the basis of an accelerated accumulation based on the criminal economy.

The militarization process in Chiapas opens the danger of a new Acteal. De-militarization, the dismantling of the paramilitary groups and respect for the Zapatista communities, their territories and their autonomous processes, must be complied with immediately. ¡El EZLN no está solo! (The EZLN is not alone!)

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, May 31, 2019

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2019/05/31/opinion/021a2pol#

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

CNI-CIG-EZLN communiqué on the violence against the original peoples

To the peoples of the world

To the networks of support for the CIG

To the national and international sixth

To the communications media

The passage of neoliberal capitalism is marking its steps with the blood of our peoples, where war rages because we don’t cede our land, culture, our peace and collective organization; because we don’t cede in our resistance or resign ourselves to die.

We denounce the cowardly attack perpetrated last May 31 on the Nahua indigenous community of Zacualpan, members of the National Indigenous Congress in the municipality of Comala, Colima, in which a narco-paramilitary fired high-caliber weapons against a group of young people, murdered one of them and left three more seriously injured.

Given the grave facts, we hold the three levels of bad government responsible for permitting the operation of these narco- paramilitary groups in the region, principally the director of public security, Javier Montes García. We demand the full respect for the uses and customs of the Nahua indigenous community of Zacualpan.

We condemn the aggression and destruction that occurred in the early morning of May 31 in the localities of Rebollero and Rio Minas, belonging to the Binizza community of San Pablo Cuatro Venados in the municipality of Zachila, Oaxaca, at the hands of an armed group, which violently destroyed the homes of dozens of families.

A numerous group of people arrived at the place firing high-caliber weapons and accompanied by heavy machinery, and after many shots they brought down the houses, obliging the compañer@s, among whom were minors, to leave and take refuge in the mountain.

They brought down 24 homes, burned corn and other grains stored as seeds for planting, burned the personal belongings of the community like clothes and shoes. In addition, cattle, power generators and water pumps were stolen.

We condemn the repression and dispossession committed against our compañeros and compañeras of the Otomi indigenous community residing in Mexico City who were violently evicted by shock groups at the service of the bad government and the real estate companies, together with hundreds of grenadiers at the service of Néstor Núñez, Mayor of Cuauhtémoc, last May 30 at 11:00 am in the camp that they maintained on London Street No. 7, Colonia Juárez, from where the Otomi community has maintained temporary camps since the earthquake that occurred on September 19, 2017.

We condemn the narco-paramilitary circle that criminal groups, given cover and supported by the three levels of bad government and all the political parties, maintain against communities of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero- Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ) in the municipalities of Chilapa and José Joaquín de Herrera, which autonomously construct peace with their struggle.

We make a call to the peoples of Mexico and the world to be attentive and in solidarity with the struggle of the peoples of Guerrero, to break the circle that imposes violence for the capitalist appropriation of indigenous territories, which limits the entry of foods and medications.

We call for supporting the collection of provisions that will be destined to the affected communities, and that will receive products such as corn, rice, beans, cans of chiles, sugar, sardines, tuna, toilet paper diapers and medications on the premises of UNIOS, located at Dr. Carmona & Valle Street No. 32, Colonia Doctores, in Mexico City.

We reiterate that our Mother Earth is not for sale to big capital or to anyone, our existence is not negotiable and therefore neither is the resistance of our peoples.

Attentively,

June 2019

For the full reconstitution of our peoples

Never more a Mexico without us

National Indigenous Congress

Indigenous Government Council

Zapatista National Liberation Army

 

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2019/06/04/comunicado-del-cni-cig-y-el-ezln-ante-la-violencia-desatada-contra-los-pueblos-originarios/

 

Conference on Cuba, faced with renewal of Helms-Burton

Carlos Fazio, Pablo González Casanova and Pedro Núñez during the debate in the UNAM.

By: Arturo Sánchez Jiménez

“Cuba’s dilemma is independence or annexation to the United States; that’s the way it has been for 200 years and the Cuban people resolved it positively with the revolution that triumphed on January 1, 1959,” Pedro Núñez Mosquera, the Cuban ambassador to Mexico, said yesterday.

In a conference at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the diplomat spoke of the Helms-Burton law, whose Title III was activated in April by President Donald Trump. This law, he said, “seeks to suffocate the island, but the people of Cuba will not let their homes and hospitals be snatched away, just as we have not allowed ourselves to be stripped of our conquered independence.”

In the gathering Cuba frente a la ley Helms-Burton, the former rector of UNAM Pablo González Casanova, said that at this moment, the government of Mexico, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, “can represent a very positive element” for the island. “We have to support measures to support the brother country” taken by the federal administration.

He asserted that Mexico’s aid to the Caribbean country vis-a-vis the United States is a “possibility that did not exist in previous [presidential] mandates. He added that the left must be very precise “not to be in favor or against, in absolute terms”, of the government’s positions, but “to recognize that there are measures that even make it very difficult for many people to take positions”, and invited everyone to adopt the position that they believe is best, “without thinking that everyone should have that because it is perfect. I would say that is the way to reason, although it is very difficult.”

The Helms-Burton Act was passed by Bill Clinton in 1996 to sanction the Havana government for shooting down two US planes. The third title allows its citizens to sue against nationalized or confiscated properties in Cuba in the 1960s. [1]

Núñez Mosquera pointed out that the historical conditions that Cuba has faced are similar to those of Puerto Rico, but with different results. While the first is an independent state, the second is “a colony of the United States euphemistically called Commonwealth.”

He said that after the revolution, all nationalizations of the government of Havana were made with compensation. “All were resolved with other countries, such as Spain, except the United States, which did not accept them because they already had plans to do the same as in Guatemala, where in 1954 they sent a group of mercenaries. And they did it in 1961, but they were defeated. ”

He argued that Title III of Helms-Burton “is something incredible in terms of extraterritoriality. No country that respects itself and that has sovereignty can accept similar pretension. ” He pointed out that this law has provoked international rejection since its creation, such as that of the European Union, Mexico, Canada and other countries.

He explained that in 59 years, the economic blockade imposed by the United States has left losses for Cuba for $933.678 billion dollars.

The academic Carlos Fazio pointed out that the law seeks to erase Cuba’s sovereign right to nationalization and expropriation of property of foreigners and nationals with the terms of compensation that for the purposes are considered in accordance with international law.”Because of its extraterritorial nature, the legislative monster -which has no jurisdiction in Cuba- violates the recognized principles that the ownership of a property is established in accordance with the laws of the country where it is located, the freedom of financing and investment, and the subordination of subsidiary companies to the laws of the resident nation. ”

[1] In April, the Trump administration announced that starting May 2, 2019 U.S. citizens (a great many of them of Cuban origin) who had their property in Cuba confiscated after the 1959 Revolution may sue in U.S. courts any foreign company that benefits from their property, under Title 3 of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act. That announcement is what occasioned the gathering reported above. Title 3 has been suspended by previous presidents due to strenuous objections from the European Union.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, May 24, 2019

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2019/05/24/politica/012n1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

Marichuy: Militarization, to assure dispossession against indigenous peoples

Marichuy, in Zapatista Territory

 May 7, 2019

The deployment of the National Guard throughout the country, ordered by López Obrador, has as its principle objective assuring the imposition of megaprojects and the subjection of the peoples that resist, points out the spokeswoman of the Indigenous Government Council, María de Jesús Patricio. The peoples will give their lives, if necessary, but will not give up, she warns.

By: Zósimo Camacho

Abasolo, Guanajuato, Mexico

No president prior to Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered a military deployment throughout the country like the one that has now been put into effect. The nations, tribes, peoples and communities glued together in the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI) are clear. They consider that the new government acquired compromises with big capital that it cannot avoid, among them the Maya Train, the Trans-Isthmus Corridor and the Morelos Integral Plan. The new administration will be obliged to impose these “deadly megaprojects” at any cost.

María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, a traditional Nahua doctor, a native of the Tuxpan, Jalisco community, is the spokeswoman for the Indigenous Government Council (Consejo Indígena de Gobierno, CIG), an initiative of the CNI to construct a government for Mexico, “from below and to the left.”

While the arrival of a supposed leftist to the Presidency of the Republic, with Andrés Manuel López Obrador, “confused many indigenous brothers” –as María de Jesús recognizes–, it’s also true that the CNI grew like it never had before. Today it has a presence in 25 states of the Republic, in 60 peoples, tribes and nations and in 89 indigenous regions with hundreds of communities.

The CNI, openly anticapitalist, is one of the frontal oppositions against the new government from the left. In a prominent way, the support base communities of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) are founding members of the organization.

The voice of the Indigenous Government Council is heard sweet, slow, clear and simple. There is no stridency, affectation of tone or pompousness. But she is clear, coherent and unequivocal. She receives Contralínea in a pause in the awe-inspiring tour that she makes through the communities most separated from the country’s metropolis. A tour without cameras, microphones or communications media, which has not stopped since she was named spokeswoman and candidate of the indigenous peoples to the Presidency of the Republic for the last electoral process.

The indigenous peoples “don’t see the change that was announced,” María de Jesús points out, who her compañeros of struggle affectionately call Marichuy and, her closest circle, simply Chuy.

“We see that it is the same thing that previous governments have left. Everything that was announced that was going to be changed, like first the poor and then the rich, is not true. We are seeing that everything is a simulation; that there are agreements that [López Obrador] has to continue.”

Small, with skin the color of the earth and 55 years of age, she considers that the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is not a rupture with the Mexican political system, but rather one of continuity. She reproaches the misrepresentation that the new government employs with some of the principles of the indigenous and Zapatista struggle and, especially, the simulation of indigenous consultations for imposing a decision previously made.

María de Jesús refers to the “approval” of three projects: the Maya Train, the Trans-Isthmus Corridor and the Morelos Integral Plan. Referendums (“consultas”) are organized for those three that don’t even have the characteristics of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which obliges governments to hold free and informed consultations, prior to making any decision that would involve the territories of the original communities and that attempt against their cultures.

“Then we don’t see change. We are seeing continuity. We are seeing that it is the same and, perhaps, a little worse because the forms that they are using are some forms that we have use, and that they are using against our peoples.”

—Like which ones?

—Some comments that talk about “to govern by obeying” or about that we are going to consult the communities. And it’s not true. They are spurious consultations. They are deceiving people, people who dreamed that a change was coming and that maybe now there would actually be a reality that would take the peoples into account, because we see that it doesn’t no. We have analyzed it in this [CNI] assembly and we feel that this situation is the same. It is disguised now as “the left,” but it is the same one that has already been working.

Faced with the López Obrador government, the response of the indigenous peoples “is clear,” says María de Jesús: “The peoples who have walked in the National Indigenous Congress are going to continue organizing. We are going to continue resisting. We are going to continue preventing them from ending life, with the existence of our communities, from continuing to finish off our territory, from continuing to killing off the forests, with our own forms of organizing. And then, well, the Resistencia will follow.”

But also, she assures, they see clearly the government’s “response” to this resistance. She cites the assassination of “our compañero Samir [Flores],” which occurred last February 20 after he stated his community’s opposition to the Morelos Integral Plan, now promoted by the López Obrador administration.

Another two murders would occur after the interview: those of the Nahua councilor from the Indigenous Government Council, José Lucio Bartolo Faustino, and the CNI delegate Modesto Verales Sebastián. Both are from indigenous communities in Guerrero.

But, “the communities are going to continue organizing –María de Jesús reiterates–; they are going to continue resisting, our brothers of the Ejército Zapatista National Liberation Army were clear. They are part of the National Indigenous Congress. And they were clear and said: the Maya Train is not going to pass through here.”

And given the efforts of the federal government and the state governments, “there is nothing left than to resist, to continue opposing these megaprojects that are death projects and that only benefit the one that has money, capital. It’s only going to bring the communities destruction, dispossession, poisoning of lands, more poverty, division and confrontation. And maybe that’s why the militarization is coming into the communities: to impose those megaprojects.”

—Is there the capacity to resist? –the reporter asks her–. López Obrador always wields that he won with 30 million votes. And, according to the polls, he maintains very high approval ratings, above 70 percent.

—The capacity is clear. It’s been more than 500 years and the peoples are still resisting, despite the fact that throughout that time they have been massacred, divided, all the evil that comes from above… But the peoples continue existing. It is a sign, then, that in the communities there is that ability. Why? It’s because it is something collective. It is not about a person, they are complete communities where they decide what is done with the community. They are the guardians of that sacred territory, which is given sacred value, not a peso value. So, there are the communities. Yes there is capacity because they are complete communities and they are going to continue resisting until the ultimate consequences.

As the most urgent matters for the CNI’s attention, she points to four megaprojects that the federal government promotes at this time and that, upon concretion, would imply the amputation of indigenous territories: the Maya Train (in the five states of the Yucatán Peninsula), the Trans-Isthmus Corridor (from the Oaxacan coast to the coast of Veracruz); the installation of wind farms and hydroelectric dams in Oaxaca and Puebla, and the Morelos Integral Plan, which implies the installation of a thermoelectric plant in that state and gas pipelines and other affectations also in Puebla and Tlaxcala.

“We see it as a danger and a form of direct aggression against the peoples who are going to be affected by the implementation of these megaprojects.”

—With the National Guard there will be a military deployment like never before seen in the country. Is there a risk of some kind of confrontation with the indigenous communities?

—There has always been that protest of the communities [with militarization]. It’s because what the soldiers have done in the communities is simply to arrive and repress; they rape the women, they rob… It has not brought benefits. So, what is expected with this National Guard, which is the militarization of all the communities, is that they will work to implement the megaprojects. What these [soldiers] are going to do is serve the master; they are not going to serve the community. It’s clear. We have seen it. We have experienced it. Since he arrives [the president] we are seeing that the word that he said and pledged is not being fulfilled, which is expected with what he wants to develop through the Guard. What we believe is that he is going to militarize in order to ensure the dispossession of the communities.

—After having taken possession in the National Palace, López Obrador made a supposed indigenous ceremony in which he received a staff of command. Was division generated in the communities or within the National Indigenous Congress?

—There was a confusion of some communities, or members, of some indigenous brothers that considered: “Well, perhaps there’s really going to be that change that they are telling us.” Yes there were some who left with the idea that the change already took place: “What are we doing here, let’s go there.” Others, well, grabbed the leaders, which is the way the government has been acting: to grab some leaders who perhaps may not be very clear and who don’t know what this brings. Then, well it’s normal. Always in these processes, in this journey of an organization from below, there are always going to be people who leave with the idea that help will come from the power. And it’s not true, because already being there, well you already have a boss and now they are going to give you orders about what you must do. Then yes, it affected a few, but we believe that those of us who are and continue, we are the ones who have clarity that only organization and being firm in our communities, about what we want, is what will make us move forward.

But, on the other hand, since the beginning of the tour through the indigenous communities more communities have been adding themselves to the CNI. María de Jesús Patricio points out that it was always clear that: “this journey was a call.” It never had collecting votes for the last electoral process as its main objective. “A principle was to denounce all the la problems that exist in the villages. And that’s why our idea was to arrive in all the communities, especially the most distant ones and those that had not been in the National Indigenous Congress.”

She points out that the purpose was always to listen to them and to make them aware of what the CNI consists: “Inviting them to the fact that we had to get organized in the face of all that: the dispossession that is taking place; and that we must unite to, together, stop precisely all this dispossession that capitalism is causing.”

Marichuy visited 29 states on that first tour. She went to towns that were mostly indigenous and that had no relationship to the CNI. That tour was interrupted after an accident in Baja California, in which she was injured together with other indigenous councilors and in which the activist Eloísa Vega died. Days before, in Michoacán, an armed group had intercepted and intimidated the caravan in which she was traveling. In addition, the collection of signatures required by the National Electoral Institute (INE, its initials in Spanish) so that the spokeswoman of the Indigenous Government Council could appear on the electoral ballot advanced slowly. The foregoing because in the majority of the indigenous communities visited there were no voting credentials or smart phones or Internet coverage for “capturing” the signatures.

It was not a defeat at all, María de Jesús points out. “It was a win for us to have visited sister communities that we would never have visited if we didn’t take that initiative, to go and tour the country with this proposal, which was clear to us: not so much about looking above but rather about listening to the people below, making that problem visible and to invite that we have to organize because it is the only thing that can stop all this dispossession.”

—In all of the country’s history the CNI is the organization that has assembled the largest number of indigenous communities. Which peoples lack incorporating?

—Well it has always taken us a little more work with the indigenous brothers that are in Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí and Veracruz, who we consider are important peoples. All that part, which is where they are generally more repressed, dispossessed and which we consider it important that they walk together with us. A few have come close and we believe that it is a first initiative of walking. The most important thing is that they are the engine over there in those regions so that they can join and walk together with us, because our struggle is at the national level, it is not for just a few, but rather for everyone: as our Chiapas brothers have said. We believe that that is our struggle: to integrate the majority of our peoples of Mexico. Let’s walk, because only together will we stop this. We are brothers although we are in different regions. We are brothers and we have that commitment of caring for what our ancestors have left to us to be left to those who come after us.

—How far does the resistance reach? How far to say: no longer?

—No, our position is clear for me. To reach to where our ancestors give us life. That’s where we are going to reach. There is a big commitment, we have said, and we must follow it while we are alive. If we don’t fulfill what we say, we would also be just simulating. We are clear, convinced, that our struggle is going to be as long as we are alive. And those that come afterwards will see that example that they must follow, to where they must fight. Because this dispossession is not going to stop right now and we have to be prepared for whatever.

About the next steps that the CNI and the Indigenous Government Council will take, María de Jesús points out that both bodies will seek to incorporate more communities.

With respect to the Council: “the principal task is to take the word that we gave, that we committed and that we said that we were going to continue working on behalf of our peoples. So it is continuing in that, in the articulation of the other communities and to continue supporting each other to make us strong; to make us strong in order to stop all this dispossession and all the evil that is coming to our peoples.”

For its part, the CNI will continue: “integrating new indigenous brothers of other peoples and continue to strengthen these struggles in the regions where we see that there is more fear of being more repressed and even exterminated. That is our struggle. That is our work. It was said in the Assembly that we are going to continue strengthening this space as the house of everyone. There we are going to continue to strengthen it from the communities, from the regions and at the national level. In that way we would be strengthening the National Indigenous Congress.

—About the Indigenous Government Council, it had been commented that it would not be only indigenous or only national –it is asked.

—It is still being analyzed how to do this, because it’s not that the CNI decides or that the networks decide, but rather that it must be questioned and consulted, and among everyone see what the way is. Yes, of course, it is thought that it must not only be the Indigenous Government Council, but rather that it has to have more forces, that it is broader, where it brings together other brothers who also struggle and who feel part of this struggle. That was clear after the collecting of signatures ended. We saw that there were many people who are willing to continue working and to continue strengthening from where they are. That’s why it is believed that the Indigenous Government Council could be expanded and more would fit there: other brothers that organize from the cities, from organizations and who also feel the need to be articulating those forces to jointly be able to make a face all this dispossession of the countryside and the city, because the workers are also suffering those dispossessions and I believe that way we would be congruent with what we said on that walk, that this struggle is a struggle of all the workers: of the countryside and of the city.

As spokeswoman for the Indigenous Government Council, María de Jesús Martínez Patricio has some words for the president of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador: “Respect the communities: their way of life! Stop imposing other external forms of protection for the capitalists. First, listen to the voice of two, three and of the entire communities, to everything they say. Don’t just listen to what’s convenient for you; don’t just listen to those who come to dispossess. Listen to those who have been in the communities for years, who are caring for them and who love the land.”

Marichuy points out that: “respecting those collectives, those communities, those territories, those waters, those forests, is respecting the life of everyone, because they don’t belong only to the communities, but rather they belong to everyone.”

She doesn’t hesitate, she barely stops to demand: “Respect for the communities! Stop plundering our territories, because the communities are going to continue resisting.”

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Originally Published in Spanish by Contralinea

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

https://www.contralinea.com.mx/archivo-revista/2019/05/07/militarizacion-para-asegurar-despojo-contra-los-pueblos-indigenas-marichuy/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

The CRAC-PF goes after the killers from Los Ardillos

Members of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Founding Peoples (CRAC-PF) guard the headquarters of that organization in the community of Rincón de Chautla, municipality of Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero, where they’re holding three subjects accused of having delivered two of their compañeros that were murdered to a criminal group. Photo: Sergio Ocampo

By: Sergio Ocampo

Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero

Members of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities-Founding Peoples (CRAC-PF, its initials in Spanish) are going to capture 100 hit men at the service of the Los Ardillos criminal group in at least 17 communities of that area of the Montaña Baja (Low Mountains), David Sánchez Luna, regional coordinator of that security system, announced.

He warned that they will not turn over the three people that they have been holding since May 25, among them a woman, who the CRAC-PF accuses of having turned Bertoldo Hilario Morales and Isaías Xantenco Ahuejote, the two community police agents that were found dead May 24, over to their executors.

One of them, he pointed out, is the nephew of Tranquilino Palatzin Tranquero, one of the leaders of the Paz y Justicia group, linked to Los Ardillos. “They are halcones at the orders of Tranquilino. One of the detainees told us that he no longer wants to return to his town because they are going to kill him. He also told us that that person charges 1,500 pesos to those who don’t attend his meetings.”

Sánchez Luna explained that: “they were detained for complicity and the state government has not pressured us to release them. That seems strange to us because a state police commander was traveling with Tranquilino and others in several trucks to Rincón de Chautla to get the detainees, but they couldn’t.”

On May 25, municipal authorities offered one million pesos to the residents of Xicotlán –where the murdered community police agents were from– to that they would release those held, who would later be moved to Rincón de Chautla.

He added that the three people held do community work and will stay 15 days in each one of the 17 communities in the region. “Only one of them belongs to Los Ardillos; the other two are accomplices, who traffic drugs. The assembly will decide on their release based upon their behavior.”

Sánchez Luna explained that the community police are ready to enter the Nahua towns of Tula, Zacapexco, Ayahualtempa, Paraíso de Tepila, Alcozacan, Xicotlán, San Jerónimo Palantla, Ahuixtla, Xochitempa and Ahuehueitec, among others, to detain lookouts and other members of organized crime.

He also said that the CRAC- PF would continue training the women and children learn how to defend themselves from the criminals and to detain their accomplices. In the communities of Rincón de Chautla, Ayahualtempa and Zacapexco women were already integrated into the community police.

In mid-May a group of children with apparent military training announced that they would defend themselves from criminal groups. A week later, several women did the same.

Interviewed in Rincón de Chautla, Sánchez Luna lamented that for the third time the attorney general of Guerrero, Jorge Zuriel de los Santos, had left them in the lurch, despite the fact that they were going to explain to him issues related to the insecurity and violence in the region.

He warned that as long as the three levels of government don’t arrest those responsible for the violence in Guerrero, the CRAC-PF will continue strengthening the community system.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, May 31, 2019

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2019/05/31/estados/029n1est#

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee