Chiapas Support Committee

7 Zapatistas will set sail on May 3 for Europe

Readying for the voyage to Europe: the Zapatista maritime fraction aboard the Comandanta Ramona Seedbed. From Enlace Civil.

By Desinformémonos

México City | Desinformémonos Marijose, a 39-year-old Tojolabal, will be the first Zapatista to disembark in Europe next June. The EZLN presents her as a she-him-they delegate, that is, the first trans Zapatista to be an official part of a delegation. With she-him travels a message of openness and inclusion. “She-he speaks Spanish fluently. She-he knows how to read and write… Maritime experience: canoe and boat. She-he prepared for six months to be a delegate. She-he volunteers to travel by boat to Europe. She-he has been designated as the first Zapatista to disembark and, with that, begin the invasion… ok, the visit to Europe,” Subcomandante Galeano explained in a statement today.

The delegation is also made up of two female commanders, two male commanders, a member of the “tercios compas” [“comrade thirds”] who will be the communication team, an education promoter, a member of one of the Good Government Boards and an education trainer. The delegation’s languages ​​are Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabal, Chol.

This “maritime fraction of the delegation” bears the name of 421 (four women, two men and one other), and is already quartered in the so-called “Zapatista Maritime-Terrestrial Training Center”, located in the Comandanta Ramona Seedbed, Tzotz Choj zone.

“It was not easy. Rather, it has been tortuous. To reach this calendar, we had to face objections, advice, discouragement, calls to think about it and prudence, frank sabotage, lies, foul-mouthed, detailed accounts of difficulties, gossip and insolence, and a phrase repeated with disgust: ‘that what they want to do is very difficult, if not impossible.’ And, of course, telling us, ordering us, what we should and should not do. All this, on this and the other side of the ocean,” the Zapatistas pointed out.

The maritime fraction is made up of:

Lupita. 19 years. Mexican by birth. Tzotzil from the Highlands of Chiapas. Volunteer to travel by boat to Europe. She will serve as the Tercia Compa on the sea crossing.

Carolina. 26 years. Mexican by birth. Originally Tzotzil from  the Highlands of Chiapas, now a Tzeltal of the Lacandón jungle. She is currently a Comandanta in the Zapatista political-organizational leadership.

Ximena. 25 years. Mexican by birth. Cho´ol from the north of Chiapas. She speaks her native language, Cho’ol, and Castile fluently. She has been a youth coordinator and is currently a Comandanta in the Zapatista political-organizational leadership.

Yuli. 37 years. She will turn 38 years old in May at sea. Originally from the Tojolabal jungle on the border, now a Tzeltal from the Lacandón jungle. She has been an education promoter, an education trainer (they prepare education promoters) and a local collective coordinator.

Bernal. 57 years. Tojolabal from the border jungle area. He speaks his native language, Tojolabal, and Castile fluently. He has been a militiaman, a local leader, a teacher at the Zapatista little school and a member of the Junta de Buen Gobierno.

Darius. 47 years. Cho´ol from the north of Chiapas. He speaks his native language, Cho’ol, and Castile fluently. He can read and write. He has been a militiaman, a local responsable (person in charge), a regional responsable and is currently a Commander in the Zapatista political-organizational leadership.

Marijosé. 39 years. Tojolabal from the border jungle area. She-he speaks Spanish fluently. She-he has been a militia member, a health promoter, an education promoter and an education trainer.

The maritime fraction at the helm of the Comandanta Ramona Seedbed. From Enlace Civil.

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Translated by the Chiapas Support Committee.

Published originally by Desinformémonos in Spanish on April 17, 2021, here:

https://desinformemonos.org/seran-7-zapatistas-los-que-se-zarpen-el-3-de-mayo-rumbo-a-europa/

The EZLN prepares to tour Europe; the journey starts April 26

EZLN Banner

By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas (apro)

The Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) set a date for the tour that it will take to Europe in order to extend processes of reflection and analysis about how different organized groups have dealt with the inequality derived from the capitalist economic and social system.

In an official communiqué sent from the heart of the mountains of the Mexican southeast, Insurgent Subcomandante Moisés said that, as they have explained at different times over the last 27 years, they have constructed independent (autonomous) alternatives to the Mexican State to access education, health, food, justice and government that represent their interests and respond to their needs.

Beginning Monday, April 26, EZLN representatives will begin the journey to various countries in Europe, starting with Spain, to learn about other experiences.

The delegation that will participate has begun a quarantine to guarantee that they are not carriers of Covid-19.

In his communiqué “Journey to Europe,” directed at the individuals, groups, collectives, organizations, movements, coordinators and Native peoples in Europe who await the EZLN’s visit, Moisés mentioned that last Saturday, April 10, the Zapatistas who make up part of the first group of delegates on the “Journey For Life, Europe Chapter,” got together in the “Comandanta Ramona Seedbed.”

This is, well, a “maritime delegation,” he pointed out.

After a small ceremony, according to the uses and customs of Native peoples, on Saturday, April 10, the delegation received the mandate of the Zapatista peoples to carry afar their rebel thought, in other words, the heart of the masked ones.

“Our delegates carry a big heart, not only to embrace those on the European continent who rebel and resist, but also for listening and learning from their histories, geographies, calendars and methods,” Moisés said.

He specified that 0n Monday, April 26, they will head for a port in the Mexican Republic. They will arrive no later than Friday the 30th and will board the ship baptized as “La Montaña” (“The Mountain”).

For two or three days and nights, they will stay on board the ship, and on May 3, Holy Cross Day, the ship will set sail for the European Coasts, on a trip that is supposed to take from six to eight weeks. They estimate that they will be in front of the European Coasts in the second half of June.

Prior to that departure, starting on Thursday, April 15, the EZLN support bases will carry out activities in the 12 Zapatista caracoles to say goodbye to the delegation that will travel by sea and air to the geography called “Europe.”

“This part of what we have called the ‘Journey For Life. Europe Chapter’, the Zapatista delegates will meet with those who have invited them to talk about their mutual histories, pains, rages, successes and failures.” So far, they have received and accepted invitations from: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Catalonia, Sardinia, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovenia, Spanish State, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, Basque Country, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Rumania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.

Starting that day, Moisés pointed out, Insurgent Subcomandante Galeano will publish a series of texts in which he will chat those who make up the Zapatista maritime delegation, the work that they have carried out and some of the problems they have faced.

—–Ω—–

Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso on April 13, 2021 and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

Armed group releases Frayba human rights defenders

 

 

liberadosBy: Chiapas Paralelo

The human rights defenders from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), Lázaro Sánchez Gutiérrez and Victórico Gálvez Pérez, were released early this morning, after being kidnapped for more than 40 hours.

The work that the Frayba carries out in the Ocosingo area where they were kidnapped, is to make visible the situation of harassment, kidnapping, torture, dispossession of lands and of water sources that armed groups of people carry out against communities in the region.

 In November 2020, the communities denounced the actions of those who held the Frayba defenders hostage: “a few meters from where previously burned and looted our cooperative store in Cuxuljá (…) around 3:30 pm, 20 paramilitaries kidnapped and beat up our compañero support base Félix López Hernández.”

On that occasion they presented evidence of the actions their aggressors carry out, bullet casings, some of a heavy caliber, which were left on the floor after the attack, which also included the theft and burning of the installations of the New Dawn of the Rainbow Commercial Center, owned by support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) and located at the site known as the Cuxuljá crossroads, Lucio Cabañas Autonomous Zapatista Municipality, inside the official municipality of Ocosingo.

In January of this year, also through Frayba, the communities that form the EZLN’s support bases in Ocosingo again denounced that for the next three days the Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers (ORCAO) attacked them with shots from firearms.

The attacks were directed at Moisés Gandhi community, which is in Lucio Cabañas autonomous Zapatista municipality, Caracol 10 “Flourishing the Rebel Seed” Cabañas. There were “around 170 large-caliber shots and 80 shots from small-caliber weapons,” they explained on that occasion.  

This same group was the one that intercepted and kidnapped Lázaro Sánchez Gutiérrez and Victórico Gálvez Pérez last April 12, when they were crossing through the Ocosingo region.

The Chiapas government has not reported the result of the investigation into the kidnapping of the two defenders, nor into the denunciations of prior attacks.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

JOURNEY TO EUROPE…

 

 SIXTH COMMISSION OF THE EZLN, MEXICO
April 10, 2021

To the individuals, groups, collectives, organizations, movements, coordinators, and Native peoples in Europe who await our visit:


To the National and International Sixth:


To the networks in resistance and rebellion:


To the National Indigenous Congress:


To the peoples of the World:

Sisters, Brothers and Compañer@s (Comrades):

TODAY, APRIL 10, 2021, the comrades who make up part of the first group of delegates on our “Journey for Life, the Europe chapter,” are gathered together in the “Comandanta Ramona Seedbed.” It’s about the seafaring delegation.

With a small ceremony, according to our ways and customs, the delegation received the mandate of the Zapatista peoples to carry our thoughts, that is, our hearts, far away. Our delegates carry a big heart. Not only to embrace those on the European continent who rebel and resist, but also to listen and learn about their histories, geographies, calendars and ways.

This first group will remain in quarantine for 15 days, isolated in the seedbed, to guarantee that they are not infected with what’s called COVID-19 and so that they are prepared for the time that their journey by sea takes.  During those two weeks, they will be living inside the replica of the ship we built for that in the Seedbed.

On April 26, 2021, they will leave for a port on the Mexican Republic. They will arrive no later than April 30 and will board the ship that we have baptized “La Montaña” (The Mountain). For two or three days and nights, they will stay on board the ship and, on May 3, 2021, the day of the Holy Cross, Chan Santa Cruz, the ship “La Montaña” will set sail with our compañer@s (comrades) with destination to the European coasts, on a trip that is supposed to take from six to eight weeks. It is calculated that they will be off the European shores in the second half of June 2021.

Starting this April 15, 2021, from the 12 Zapatista caracoles, our base of support comrades will carry out activities to bid farewell to the Zapatista delegation that, by sea and air, will travel to the geography they call “Europe.”

IN THIS PART of what we have called “Journey For Life. The Europe Chapter,” the Zapatista delegates will meet with those who have invited us to talk about our mutual histories, pains, rages, achievements and failures. So far, we have received and accepted invitations from the following geographies:

Germany

Austria


Belgium


Bulgaria


Catalonia


Sardinia


Cyprus


Croatia

Denmark


Slovenia


Spanish State


Finland


France


Greece


Holland


Hungary


Italy


Luxemburg


Norway


Basque Country


Poland


Portugal


United Kingdom


Rumania


Russia


Serbia


Sweden


Switzerland


Turkey


Ukraine

-*-

Starting today, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano will be publishing a series of texts in which he will speak with you about those who make up the Zapatista seafaring delegation, the work that they have carried out, some of the problems we have faced and so on.

IN SHORT: We are now on our way to Europe.

That’s all for now.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast,

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Sixth Commission of the EZLN


Mexico, April 2021

___________________________________________________________________

Translated by the Chiapas Support Committee. Read the original in Spanish here:

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2021/04/12/camino-a-europa/

View a short video clip of the building of “La Montaña” ship here: https://vimeo.com/535714831

View an eight minute, 27 second video of the EZLN ceremony giving the word to the Zapatista delegation sailing to Europe here: https://vimeo.com/535712413

A Tour from Below and to the Left

By: Raúl Zibechi

In a way, on one hand there are the platforms, the social networks, and the “masses” piled up; on the other the formation of collectives that embody the most diverse oppressions in the most distant geographies.

If there is something Zapatismo cannot be accused of, it is not being coherent. For a long time now they have designed a politics of alliance among those from below, which they will now deploy during the tour on European soils that begins in June.

The Second Declaration of La Realidad for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism, released in August 1996, says it with clarity and transparency when it states: “We will make a collective network of all of our particular struggles and resistances. An intercontinental network of resistance against neoliberalism, an intercontinental web of resistance for humanity.”

The objective of this network is for the resistances of the world to find one another, to support one another mutually. And they clarify that the network is “not an organizational structure, it has no guiding or decision-making center, nor a central command nor hierarchies. The network is all of us who resist.

I believe that this declaration, that is now more than a quarter century old, illuminates what the Zapatistas want to do wherever they go. First they did it in Mexico, and went about weaving resistances of the indigenous peoples that gave life to the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), formed in 1996, and later to the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG), which was created in 2016.

The CNI adopted the 7 principles that the EZLN defined as the way to do politics; serve and not serve oneself; construct and not destroy, lead by obeying and not command, propose and not impose, convince and not conquer, to work from below, not seek to rise, and to represent and not replace.

The CIG is made up of 523 communities from 25 states of the country and 43 indigenous peoples. They affirm that “our struggle is not for power,” but to “strengthen ourselves in our resistances and rebellions, which is to say in the defense of every person, every family, collective, community or neighborhood.” (https://bit.ly/3rLJeWl).

The bearing of the EZLN, the CNI and the CIG is the construction of autonomies that collectively self-govern, based on another way of doing politics according to the above-mentioned principles.

It is important to point out that when they go on tour, as they always do, they are going to find the collectives that struggle, without importance to how many are involved, whether they appear in the mainstream media, or if they have more or less of an audience. It’s not about great acts with an illuminated platform for well-known people to go up and speak for the audience to listen, but rather to open spaces to talk amongst equals, to listen and learn, to say how each one is resisting, not to set a course for anyone.

Zapatismo embodies new forms of doing politics, below and to the left, ways that don’t have precedent in the anti-systemic movements of the 20th century. María de Jesus Patricio, Marichuy, spokeswoman for the CIG always says that, “when we are together, we are an assembly, and when we are apart, we are a web.”

María de Jesus Patricio (Marichuy)

In a gathering of women in February of 2018, Marichuy explained the campaign for the collection of signatures that they were conducting, as an excuse to dialogue with the people. “It was necessary to create a space, not so much an organization, so that there wasn’t someone leading and another obeying, but that we all felt we were part of this house.” The objective always consists of organizing from below, because in this way, “we can achieve the dismantling of power for those who hold power and money, those from the bad governments.” (https://bit.ly/3ulJk8R).

While traditional politics, as much on the right as on the left, directs itself to the great “masses” (a terrible word), to isolated individuals, the politics of the Zapatistas seeks to nest in organized collectives that resist the system.

While the dominant forms of doing politics, focused on elections, tend to dis-organize existing collectives, or at least weaken them, the EZLN, CNI and CIG seek the complete opposite: to motivate people to organize themselves, as a way of collectively confronting the evils of the system.

It is a politics that looks from below, not from above, but rather horizontally, below with below, among equals, to share, learn, and chart courses, respecting the ways and rhythms of each.

In traditional politics, big hierarchical organizations are created, in which a small group commands and the rest obey. Pyramids on whose summits are generally installed men trained in academia who speak but don’t listen, who make decisions without consulting, who claim to speak in the name of people that they don’t even know.

In Zapatista politics, each collective speaks with its own voice, no one interprets nor represents it. The women and men who participate listen, ask, and try to learn.

In a way, on one hand there are the platforms, the social networks, and the huddled “masses”; on the other the formation of collectives that embody the most diverse oppressions in the most distant geographies. Media visibility, that does not move the system a single hair, as opposed to the patient and slow organization from below, that bets on containing the oppressions in order to dismantle them in an undetermined period, which in fact, has already begun.

In history, as capitalism was implanted in all of the pores of society, the political culture from below (which always existed, as the Paris Commune demonstrates) was cornered, but it emerges again with strength each time the people stand up.

I am speaking of the territorial assemblies of Chile; of the Ecuadorian indigenous and popular parliament; of the Mapuche organizations and communities; of the Nasa and Misak councils in the south of Colombia; of the guards of self-defense that begin to populate our geographies in the Andes and the Amazon; of the hundreds of popular schools, of the community kitchens and health posts born during the pandemic.

These are the collectives that inspire us and from which we learn. The Zapatistas propose that we connect up and listen to one another to face the system together.

——————-

Originally Published in Spanish by Naiz on April 5, 2021 and Re-Published by the Chiapas Support Committee with English interpretation by Schools for Chiapas

A repressor of indigenous people, the Morena candidate for mayor of Comitán

San Carlos Hospital in Altamirano, Chiapas.

[Admin: Mexico holds mid-term elections during 2021, so there’s lots of news about the candidates.]

From the Editors

The Morena party nominated former PRI member Jorge Constantino Kánter for municipal president of Comitán, Chiapas. He is one of the most belligerent leaders of the cattlemen and ranchers opposed the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) in 1994 and indigenous populations, against which he headed violent operations.

Constantino Kánter was the mayor of Comitán during the 2005-2007 term for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) from which he was expelled a little after finishing his term. He was accused of supporting the Party of the Democratic Revolution Party (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD) in the 2006 elections for governor.

The politician became notorious, among other episodes, for discriminatory phrases, like what he said to TV UNAM journalists who in that year were preparing the documentary The Deepest Root, for TV UNAM: “If the Indians want to live may they live, but not in our state.”

At the front of cattlemen and ranchers in Ocosingo, Altamirano and Las Margaritas, mainly, he headed protests against the EZLN and to demand that the Mexican Army enter the jungle to fight the rebels who had taken possession of their properties, which converted him into one of the principal anti-Zapatista leaders in Chiapas. [1]

His nomination as candidate for mayor surprised Morena militants committed to the project of the Fourth Transformation. “Constantino Kánter is a reactionary, an anti-Zapatista conservative who promoted violence against the indigenous peoples, which does not represent the ideological and political proposal of Morena,” a founder of the PRD and Morena reproached, someone who for more than two decades has worked together with now President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and asked to remain anonymous.

Constantino Kánter’s motto was era:  “In Chiapas a chicken is worth more than an indigenous person” and he organized attacks against thousands of those who fought for the elimination of political bossism (Caciquismo) and the restitution of their lands.

He was a staunch enemy of Bishop Samuel Ruiz and the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas. He harassed and sought to expel Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, who since 1976 took care of the San Carlos Hospital in Altamirano, which gave service to poor campesinos at no charge.

Constantino Kánter made his political career under the former PRI governor Roberto Albores Guillén and his son, Roberto Albores Gleason. Many considered him the representative of the most backward sector of Chiapas finqueros (estate owners), who until a few years ago asserted the right of pernada [1], abused women and had to be carried in chairs by the indigenous peoples.

Notes

[1] Constantino Kánter was also featured with members of his family in Nettie Wilde’s “A Place Called Chiapas,” a film about the Zapatista Uprising.

[2] The right of pernada refers to the right of feudal lords to rape their female servants. In Chiapas, that right accrued to the estate owners.

Originally published in Spanish by La Jornada on April 1, 2021 and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Militarization, the highest phase of extractivism

CSC note: In 2019, to address the devastating narco war, Mexico consolidated it security and police forces and renamed the new formation “Guardia Nacional,” the National Guard, further militarizing policing, using the GN to patrol its northern and southern borders against migrants. Above: Mexico’s Guardia Nacional action, on the border with Guatemala, attacking Honduran migrants fleeing the ravages of capitalist extractivism and narco-neoliberalism.(Photo: Cambio16)

By Raúl Zibechi

The growing militarization of our societies is a clear sign of the autumnal phase of the patriarchal capitalist system. The system gave up on integrating the popular classes, and no longer even aspires to dialogue with them, but limits itself to surveilling and controlling them. Before this militaristic period, the “misguided” were locked up in order to set them straight. Now it is a matter of open-air  surveillance of entire social layers making up the majority of the population.

When a system needs to militarize daily life to control the majority, we can say that its days are numbered. Although in reality those days would have to be measured in years or decades.

A good example is the legacy of the Pinochet regime in Chile, in particular the central role played by the military and the militarized police, the Carabineros, in social control.

One of the legacies is that  armed forces control the   surpluses of the state copper company. Copper is Chile’s main export.

The Restricted Law on Copper   was approved in the 1950’s, in the midst of rampant mobilizations of   workers and the poor in the city and the countryside. 

During the military dictatorship, this secret law was modified seven times.

Only in 2016, thanks to a leak from the digital newspaper El Mostrador, was it revealed that 10 percent of the profits of the state copper company are transferred directly to the armed forces. (https://bit.ly/3tNDa0S).

The  secret law was not repealed until 2019, (https://bit.ly/2OUAiAJ), when the streets of Chile began to burn with a string of protests and uprisings that started in 2011 with the resistance of students and the Mapuche people, and later the feminists.

The damage that the military regime inflicted on society can be seen in the fact that more than half of Chileans do not vote, when before, the vast majority voted; there is  tremendous delegitimization of political parties and state institutions.

It is not the only case, of course. The Brazilian military played a prominent role in Lula’s imprisonment, the removal of Dilma Rousseff, and the election of Bolsonaro.

In all cases, militarization violates the so-called “rule of law,” the legal norms that society has adopted, often without being duly consulted.

CSC note: The military forces, as essential to capitalist state power, in Latin America have evolved to meet the coercive needs of capitalism. (Photo from Americas Quarterly)

Militarization comes hand in hand with the imposition of a model of society that we have called extractivism, a mode of capital accumulation by the 1% based on the theft and dispossession of the peoples, which entails a true military dictatorship in the areas and regions where it operates.

Militarism is subordinated to this logic of accumulation through violence, for the simple reason that people’s goods cannot be stolen without pointing weapons at them.

Militarism comes with violence, forced disappearances, femicides and rapes. Besides that, it always encourages the birth of paramilitary groups, which always accompany large extractive works. And though they are considered illegal, the paramilitaries are trained and armed by the armed forces as we see in Mexico and Colombia. 

Now we know that the great beneficiary of the Mayan Train will be the armed forces. The López Obrador government has given them  all the sections of the train, adding that it is “an award” to that institution (https://bit.ly/ 39aURjh).

There is more than one similarity with the case of copper in Chile.

The first is the direct delivery of benefits, which is how the government gains the loyalty of the uniformed, to whom, in reality, it is subordinate.

The second is the “national security” argument used by the governments. In Chile it was the fight against communism. In Mexico it is the southern border, with arguments about migration and trafficking.

The third is that militarization is both a project and a way of governing. It is followed by airports, internal order and the most varied aspects of life. By force, they manage to subvert legality at will, such as budgetary regulations.

We observe processes of militarization from the United States, Russia and China, to all the Latin American countries. It consists in the control of rural and urban geographies by armed men at the service of capital, in order to control the peoples who resist dispossession.

It is not about a president or a government being evil. Not that I doubt it, but that’s not the point. We are facing a system that, to stretch its agony, needs to implement figures born in the twentieth century, which are the themes of Giorgio Agamben: the state of exception as a form of government, the legal civil war against the “non-integratable” and the open air concentration camps guarded by paramilitaries.

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The original was published by La Jornada, click here https://www.jornada.com.mx/notas/2021/03/26/politica/la-militarizacion-fase-superior-del-extractivismo/

Translation provided by the Chiapas Support Committee.

Militarizing the Maya Train

Indigenous people reject the Maya Train.

Profits and sections of the Maya Train will go to the military

  • The almost 1,500 kilometers of railroad will become the patrimony of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) and the money obtained from the project will go to the Army.

The Maya Train, [supposedly] a project to improve the quality of people’s lives, care for the environment and detonate sustainable development, will run a distance of around 1,500 kilometers (km) and will pass through the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo.

However, the environmental impact of phase 1, which will go from Palenque, Chiapas to Izamal, Yucatán, points to the loss of vegetation cover of 800.95 hectares, “affecting the forest mass that will contribute to the emission of carbon, considered one of the causes of climate change.”

Added to that, “right of way” became the words most feared for the residents who are settled along the 232 kilometers of what is known as the First Section of the Maya Train.

Said context is added to the fact that the military will own totality of the Maya Train. The military will obtain profits for the transportation of passengers and cargo to feed the pension funds that depended on the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP, its initials in Spanish).

In an interview with El Financiero, Rogelio Jiménez Pons, director general of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur, its Spanish acronym) detailed that all the resources, including profits related to the railroad’s operation in the southeast, will benefit the military.

Specifically, the profits will be for the military, not for the treasury. Pensions and other things will no longer depend on the treasury. The ownership is going to remain; we are going to concede all the sections to the Army, remarked the general director of Fonatur.

Jiménez Pons said that the entry of the armed forces as owners of the megaproject would prevent the railroad from beingprivatized like other projects in previous governments.

It’s perfect that it’s an award to the armed forces. If we have a long-term nationalist vision of heritage, which this business is, but the State’s, we’re going to try to make this a business for the benefit of the greatest number of Mexicans, who better than the Army to be in charge of this business, to guaranty us many things and especially to guaranty us that it is not privatized, Jiménez Pons added.

He said that the Maya Train has a “security national” aspect because there are conflict zones in the country’s southeast, where there are [drug] cartels, human trafficking groups and the illegal sale of livestock.

Because of that, the military’s participation would diminish the impact that said activities would have on the project.

When you insert an institution with certain values, with certain discipline, with rigor and knowledge that it will never be privatized, because it will belong to the Army, well going forward with that, then you create a solid institution that can see the project long-term. And we already see separate merchandizing, the Fonatur already sees that, Jiménez Pons said.

The Maya Train stumbles

The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) affirmed that no deforestation is authorized to make way for the construction of the Maya Train.

It’s of importance to point out that the Highest Auditor of the Federation (ASF) released a report on the Maya Train work, in which it questions the profitability, lack of feasibility studies, of consultation with residents and environmental impact, among others.

The ASF made public the federal government’s 2019 report of the Public Account, in which it points out that the project presents risks of not being profitable, was not consulted in a way owed to the indigenous population, has little interest in environmental protection and isn’t very transparent in the award of public contracts.

In the rubric of profitability, the audit numbered 1384-DE highlighted that the project’s operator, Fonatur, used assumptions that “were not reasonable,” in relation to the use of cargo and of passengers that it could operate between 2023 y 2053.

In other words, it made projections that are “a risk to the financial viability of the project, since the overestimation in demand could have repercussions in significant variations with respect to the estimated profitability of the project in the pre-investment stage.”

The ASF also reported that Fonatur paid cost overruns, awarded contracts directly in an unjustified way, did not have “an administrative structure for carrying out the project” or have completed studies; among them social feasibility, “like a diagnosis in which it foresees the possible effects and social risks its construction and operation would cause,” the audit explains.

The irregularity that the ASF most encountered refers to the environmental impact and points to: “the destruction of natural habitats; soil characteristics; damages to local wildlife; damages to species of flora, and the existence of critical ecosystems and damage to biological corridors,” according to audit 1386-DE.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo on March 16, 2021 and re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee.

Zapatista women’s March 8 message

Elio Henríquez, La Jornada correspondent

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. On International Women’s Day, Indigenous women from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) transmitted a text titled “Those Who Are Not Here.”

The text, transmitted by the EZLN’s official page, Enlace Zapatista, is the following:

For the Women Who Are Not Here

Those who are not here.

Their histories.

Their joy and their sadness.

Their pain and their rage.

Their oblivion and their absences.

Their hearts.

Their hopes.

Their dignity.

Their calendars.

Those who came through.

Those who were left behind and to whom we are indebted.

Their cries.

Their silence.

Especially their silences.

Whoever it is, do you hear them?

Who doesn’t see themselves in them?

Women who struggle.

Yes, us.

But most of all, those women.

Those who are not here anymore.

And despite everything, are with us.

Because we don’t forget,

because we don’t forgive,

for them and with them, we fight.

Indigenous Zapatista women,

March 8th, 2021.

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The original published by La Jornada is available here: https://www.jornada.com.mx/notas/2021/03/08/politica/mujeres-zapatistas-envian-mensaje-por-el-8m/

Translated by Clara Martinez Dutton for the Chiapas Support Committee.

Frayba makes an urgent call for solidarity

Women and children displaced from Aldama due to paramilitary attacks.

 

THEY DENOUNCE PRESENCE OF NATIONAL GUARD IN ARMED ATTACKS ON ALDAMA COMMUNITIES

From the Editors

Mexico City | Desinformémonos

The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) reported more than 40 attacks with high-caliber firearms against the Tsotsil communities of Aldama, “caused by the paramilitary group in complicity with the municipal government” of Chenalhó, in Chiapas.

In regard to the March 20 and 21 attacks, the Frayba reported: “While the armed attacks were taking place, the National Guard and State Preventive Police were on the side of Santa Martha-Miguel Utrilla, Chenalhó,” which is where the shots came from.

It said that the government’s actions to address the conflict and the attacks on Aldama communities: “have been insufficient, ineffective and simulated, since they do not guarantee the safety and integrity of the population.”

Faced with the armed attacks that have kept the population “in a context of terror,” since November 2020, the Frayba demanded that the Mexican State investigate, identify and punish the paramilitary group in Santa Martha, Chenalhó, and “put an end” to the violence against the communities in Aldama.

The complete communiqué follows:

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center, A.C. (Frayba), has received information from the Permanent Commission of the 115 comuneros and displaced persons of Aldama, Chiapas, México that during the days of March 20 and 21, 2021, the communities of Aldama have been attacked with shots from high-caliber firearms coming from different points located in Santa Martha-Miguel Utrilla, Chenalhó municipality, in Chiapas, acts provoked by the paramilitary group in complicity with the municipal government.

The armed attacks against the Tsotsil Maya population of Aldama have not stopped since November 2020, when the Frayba registered the greatest number of attacks to date. Armed attacks have continued towards the population that lives subjected to a context of terror, where children, women and the population in general survive in a torturous environment. Government actions have been insufficient, ineffective and simulated since they do not guarantee the safety and integrity of the population.

On March 20, 2021, from 2:00 pm to 11:30 pm, residents of the Stzelejpotobtic, Coco, Juxton, Yeton, San Pedro Cotzilnam and Tabac communities received 21 attacks from firearms. There were more than 9 hours of aggression! The Stzelejpotobtic community received 11 armed attacks. Shots came from the following points: K’ante’, Pajaltoj, Tok’oy-saclum, Puente Caridad, Vale’tik, Chuch te’, El Puente and T’elemax, all in Chenalhó municipality.

On March 21, 2021, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, residents of the Ch’ivit, Yeton, Tabak, Coco and Xuxch’en communities experienced 9 attacks with firearms. Workers from a company that were working on the Tabac-San Pedro Cotzilnam highway stretch were also under attack. While the armed attacks were taking place, the National Guardia and State Preventive Police were on the side of Santa Martha-Miguel Utrilla, Chenalhó. The attacks came from the El Ladrillo attack points, which are located inside the 60 hectares in dispute. The attacks also came from Vale’tik, T’elemax, Tojtic, Slumka and Yocventana, in Santa Martha.

The Frayba states its concern over the acts of armed aggression that the population of Aldama municipality experiences constantly. These acts are part of a persistent violence with psychological impact that the population is now experiencing and it leads to a deep fracture of the social fabric.

We urge the Mexican State to investigate, identify and punish the paramilitary group in Santa Martha, Chenalhó, and thereby put an end to the violence against Aldama communities.

We call on national and international solidarity to sign this urgent call available on the www.frayba.org.mx page and write to the Mexican authorities so that they commit to implementing more appropriate measures that guarantee the life, safety and physical and psychological integrity of the population under constant siege.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Desinformemonos

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

https://desinformemonos.org/denuncian-presencia-de-guardia-nacional-en-ataques-armados-contra-comunidades-de-aldama/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee