Chiapas Support Committee

The Morelos “consulta” was not legal

November 2018: Residents of Puebla communities stopped the installation of the Morelos gas pipeline. Members of the Peoples Front in Defense of Land and Water warned that they would continue with their struggle until the Morelos Integral Project is cancelled. Photo: José Castañares / La Jornada de Oriente

By:Yadira Llaven, La Jornada de Oriente

Puebla, Puebla

The first and second collegiate tribunals in administrative matters found in favor of eight communities of Puebla, Morelos and Tlaxcala that are opposed to the Morelos Integral Project (Proyecto Integral Morelos, PIM) and ordered the [lower court] judges to accept the protective order (amparo) requested last February against the citizen referendum (consulta) that the federal government carried out to resolve the viability of the PIM, given the possibility that their rights may have been violated. [1]

According to members of the Peoples Front in Defense of Land and Water (Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y el Agua), the act the communities complained about is President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s instruction to make decisions about the project by means of a public referendum (consulta).

The previous Tuesday the federal tribunals resolved complaints 62/2019 and 55/2019 filed by the towns of Huexca, Jantetelco, Amayuca, Amilcingo, Santa María Zacatepec, San Damián Texoloc, San Jorge Tezoquipan and San Vicente Xiloxochitla against the dismissal of the amparos that they requested last February 18.

The case of guarantees, they said, was presented two days before the murder of the activist Samir Flores, in Huexca, Morelos. In that case they denounced the violation of indigenous peoples’ right to consultation and free determination about the functioning of a gas pipeline, a thermoelectric plant and an aqueduct as part of the PIM, which would affect more than 60 communities in the three states mentioned.

The first and second collegiate tribunals (higher courts) determined that: “the criteria issued by judges of the first and fourth district [lower courts] located in Puebla erred by dismissing amparos 199/2019 and 209/2019 and permitting the holding of the referendum, despite the fact that it did not comply with the law.”

Puebla’s lower court judges considered that the referendum (consulta) was not an authoritative act and that the peoples affected did not have a legitimate interest in the referendum or in the project.

“That lets us see a watchword of federal judges about denying access to justice to indigenous peoples affected by the PIM, and that no independence of powers exists in this new administration,” accused the Peoples Front.

It pointed out that the second collegiate tribunal determined that: “the merit consulta and its resulting approval by the majority of those polled open the door to the imminent concretion of the PIM, with which it is patent that the legal situation of the complainants would be unilaterally modified with respect to their right to special protection as indigenous peoples and communities.”

The magistrates recognized that: “the peoples must be guaranteed effective participation in administrative measures that can impact their environment or habitat, such as the construction of a thermoelectric plant, an aqueduct and a gas pipeline.”

In a communiqué, the aggrieved communities expressed their “deception” and “courage” and accused the federal government of “betraying” its promise to recognize the Accords of San Andrés Larráinzar and to respect indigenous peoples’ rights.

They said that the federal tribunals determined last Tuesday that the figure of the popular referendum convoked by the Executive “is not found legally regulated in national normative standards.”

They said that the tribunals also recognized that there was no consultation with the peoples affected for the purpose of obtaining their consent about the PIM that: “affects their right to self-determination and a free, prior, informed, good faith and culturally adequate consultation.”

The communities argued that: “it’s inequitable and unjust that the results of a general vote determine the decision of the authorities responsible for finishing the project and its functioning, as happened after the complaint was thrown out.”

They reiterated that the referendum did not comply with Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and asked that that the criteria of the second collegiate tribunal on the PIM set a precedent for confronting megaprojects like the Trans-Isthmus and Maya Trains.

[1] This article is based on a press release from the Peoples Front in Defense of Land and Water. The entire press release can be found on the website of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI):

https://www.congresonacionalindigena.org/2019/05/16/tribunales-federales-admiten-que-la-consulta-publica-de-obrador-pudo-haber-violado-el-derecho-a-la-consulta-de-los-pueblos-indigenas-afectados-por-el-pim/

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, May 17 2019

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2019/05/17/estados/025n1est

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

EZLN-CNI-CIG: Stop the narco-paramilitary war against the CIPOG-EZ!

Urgent Comunicado from the CNI-CIG and the EZLN

“Our struggle is not for power. Our struggle is to save Mexico.”

Today, with indignation and pain we denounce a new and artful crime against our compañeros of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ).

Around 1:30 pm on May 23, near Chilapa, Guerrero, our compañeros Bartolo Hilario Morales and Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote were deprived of their freedom. Both were members of the Community Police in the Nahua communities of Tula and Xicotlán, the first of them a comandante, both promoters of the CIPOG–EZ and members of the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI), who were found dead and dismembered yesterday, May 24.

This cunning crime is added to the recent murder of the compañeros Lucio Bartolo Faustino and Modesto Verales Sebastián, a CNI-CIG councilor and delegate, because of which we denounce the policy of terror that the narco-paramilitaries, with shameless help from the three levels of bad government, are implementing against the brothers of the CIPOG-EZ and all the indigenous territories of Mexico. In the present case the perpetrator of this terrible crime was the Peace and Justice Group (Grupo Paz y Justicia), linked to Los Ardillos, who count on the complicity of the Federal Army.

The indigenous peoples, nations, tribes and barrios are resisting not only the megaprojects with which the owners of the power appropriate nature and land, but also against death, fear and the desolation that their armed groups impose throughout the country. Although they have the t-shirt of Los Rojos, Los Ardillos or the repressive forces of the bad government, the power of money and ambition to profit based on the suffering of the peoples, makes them the very same. Constructing that peace and autonomy for the peoples of Chilapa and the region is the horizon for which our brothers murdered by neoliberal capitalism fight.

That’s why our compañeros continue struggling, because their seed germinates in the determination of the peoples, who together with our Mother Earth, don’t surrender, don’t sell out or give up in the battle to not disappear from history in the midst of total destruction. Their fight, their word and their determination will make it grow in the collective conscience of those of us who dream and struggle for a new world.

We demand that the repression against the CIPOG-EZ stop, justice for our brothers Bartolo Hilario Morales, Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote, Bartolo Faustino and Modesto Verales Sebastián, justice for the dignified peoples of Guerrero.

Attentively,

May 2019

For the full reconstitution of our peoples!

Never more un Mexico without us!

National Indigenous Congress

Indigenous Government Council

Zapatista National Liberation Army

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2019/05/25/alto-a-la-guerra-narcoparamilitar-contra-el-cipog-ez-comunicado-urgente-del-cni-cig-y-el-ezln/

 

 

 

2 More Indigenous leaders murdered in Guerrero!

COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE INDIGENOUS and POPULAR COUNCIL OF GUERRERO – EMILIANO ZAPATA (CIPOG-EZ) ON THE RECENT MURDER OF OUR BROTHERS BARTOLO HILARIO MORALES AND ISAÍAS XANTECO AHUEJOTE

Members of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Peoples Founders (CRAC-PF) in a November 2018 assembly, in Rincón de Chautla, municipality of Chilapa de Álvarez, Guerrero.

Twenty days after the cowardly murder of our brothers Lucio Bartolo Faustino and Modesto Verales Sebastián, a crime that remains in complete impunity on the part of the three levels of government. With the pain and rage that invade the hearts of the Nahua peoples of the low mountains of the state of Guerrero, we make public the artful murder of our brothers Bartolo Hilario Morales and Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote. Both were indigenous Nahua and local promoters of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero–Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ). Those who consummated this atrocious murder are professionals of para-militarism and extrajudicial murder who are agreeable to taking lives. They denigrated and enraged them, dismembered and bagged the compañeros’ bodies, and with this vile act they thought that they could also denigrate their history, and denigrate their life. They were wrong.

Not only were they wrong, but also the dignity of their lives contrasts more and more with the cowardice of their murders. The peoples of the CIPOG-EZ and the CNI of Guerrero, Mexico have guarded the memory if the men and women who have given their lives in the struggle for the reconstitution of collective rights. So, we ask the dignified peoples of Mexico and the world to protect and grow the names, the history and the struggle of our brothers murdered for defending life; Bartolo Hilario Morales and Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote. Lucio Bartolo Faustino and Modesto Verales Sebastián.

The responsibility of los three levels of government, the federal government in charge of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the State government of Héctor Astudillo Flores and the municipal government of Jesús Parra García, is complete. Each level of government has done nothing more than give continuity to impunity, passing the ball to one another, by saying that the problems are inherited from past governments, that is the PRI attitude that has submerged us in the blood bath that our country has become and doesn’t see any transformation that wants to change things. It seems that important changes only occur in the spheres above, below our lives continue without mattering to the powerful.

Different narco-paramilitary groups have operated in complicity with the Mexican State for more than 25 years in the Chilapa region and today is no exception. The state regime has attempted the disarticulation of our peoples again and again, and we have resisted the war of extermination for more than 500 years. Our crime has been defending our territory from the extraction of what they call natural resources and for us are sacred hills or springs of water and life. We fight to maintain the principle that our grandparents left us, called by us uses and customs, a world very different from the one the Mexican State has constituted and that doesn’t match our way of community government.

Our peoples are suffering a systemic violence in which they disappear or murder our women, children and men, and it would seem like nothing is happening. Everything remains in complete impunity because of this bad government, in which one of the state’s strategies is generating terror in the heart of our people. Using torture, psychological warfare, death threats and persecution against all the members that serve as promoters of community development.

As indigenous people we ask ourselves again and again: Why is there so much dehumanization? Why is human life no longer worth more? Why are some lives worth less than others? And it rather seems that they see those below as merchandise. We ask ourselves again and again: How would they, the powerful, the governments with more than 30 million votes, react if this violence happened to one of their relatives? Or perhaps disappearance, torture and vile murder are only reserved for us?

As a national indigenous movement we fight to reconstitute the social fabric of our peoples, we fight to re-establish our communities in peace, and we seek the recognition and reconstitution as indigenous peoples of our languages, our culture and the thinking of our peoples that is interwoven with Mother Earth.

On May 23, 2019 around 1:30 pm, our brothers Bartolo Hilario Morales and Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote disappeared near Chilapa de Álvarez. On May 24 in the morning we knew the terrible news, their dead bodies were found. Today we denounce it publicly and we ask the honest and dignified compañeros and compañeras of Mexico and the world: no matter how much they wanted to destroy their bodies, let’s embrace today their history of struggle, which is the history of struggle of the indigenous peoples of Mexico and the world.

We demand justice for our murdered brothers: Bartolo Hilario Morales and Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote, Lucio Bartolo Faustino and Modesto Verales Sebastián. That the pain that today besets the family members, friends and compañer@s of struggle, does not remain unpunished, or in oblivion!

FRATERNALLY:

Justice for Bartolo Hilario Morales and Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote, members of the CNI!

Justice for Lucio Bartolo Faustino and Modesto Verales Sebastián del CIPOG-EZ, ex member of the CIG and the CNI!

Justice for Gustavo Cruz Mendoza, murdered indigenous communicator of the CIPO-RFM!

Justicia para Samir Flores Soberanes, murdered indigenous communicator!

Stop the counterinsurgency war against the EZLN!

Freedom for Fidencio Aldama of the Yaqui tribe!

Never more a Mexico without us!

Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ)

Regions: Costa Chica, Coastal Mountains, High Mountains and Low Mountains of Guerrero

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Originally Published in Spanish by the Congreso Nacional Indígena

Saturday, May 25, 2019

https://www.congresonacionalindigena.org/2019/05/25/comunicado-del-concejo-indigena-y-popular-de-guerrero-emiliano-zapata-cipog-ez-por-el-reciente-asesinato-de-nuestros-hermanos-bartolo-hilario-morales-e-isaias-xanteco-ahuejote/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

The San Cristóbal-Palenque highway is back and so is the resistance

Temple of the Inscriptions, Palenque, Chiapas

By: Mary Ann Tenuto-Sánchez

The San Cristobal-Palenque highway is key to an elaborate tourism development plan, the Palenque Integral Center (CIP, its initials in Spanish), which includes a lush green jungle area in the northern zone of Chiapas, the Agua Azul Cascades, the Misol Ha waterfall and the magnificent archaeological site of Palenque. The highway faced a setback several years ago, perhaps causing some to think the government had abandoned plans for a superhighway and would just improve the existing highway connecting the colonial tourist mecca of San Cristóbal de las Casas to the archaeological site of Palenque and the city of Palenque. Recent news articles, however, indicate that rather than abandoning the highway, the government opted to re-route it through San Juan Cancuc. [1]

The San Cristóbal-Palenque highway and the Palenque Integral Center are part of a regional development plan for Mesoamerica, originally known as the Plan Puebla-Panamá (PPP). [2] The PPP included numerous infrastructure projects that prompted strong opposition from social, environmental and human rights organizations, as well as academics and organized indigenous communities. That led governments and planners to silence the most controversial projects contained in the plan and to re-name it the Mesoamerica Project. In Chiapas, at least up to now, the most controversial projects within the Mesoamerica Project have been the San Cristobal-Palenque highway and the Palenque Integral Center. They go together; the CIP needs the highway to facilitate tourism.

Residents of the areas affected by these projects have had two general concerns: 1) dispossession of the lands of indigenous communities of subsistence farmers through which the highway would pass and the effects on those communities and 2) the massive amount of tourism envisioned in the Palenque Integral Center. Perhaps the best articulation of why the Zapatista communities and other pro-Zapatista indigenous communities oppose and resist the superhighway and the Palenque Integral Center may be in the words of Miguel Vazquez Moreno, a Zapatista supporter from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, who was briefly a political prisoner as a result of resistance to the superhighway and the tourism megaproject.

“I am a native of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido and I am part of the EZLN’s support base, an organization that defends its right to exercise autonomy and self-determination as indigenous peoples, its right to territory and to natural resources. They [the federal and state governments] want to impose neoliberal economic projects on our autonomous territory. As indigenous people, the land is our life, we eat from it, we work, our children grow and it is something sacred, therefore we consider that the land is not for sale but to work and care for. Our territory is rich in water, animals and natural resources. They want to make it into a ‘Chiapas Cancun’ by plundering the indigenous of our life, that is, the land, just so that foreign and national companies can become richer, as well as the government officials that benefit from these projects. They want to cross through our autonomous territory without respecting our rights. They want to impose these projects on indigenous peoples without giving importance to our word, and with discrimination they want to remove us from our lands for tourist purposes and only to benefit rich developers and the federal and state government, putting us aside because to them we give a bad appearance to those eco-tourist centers, being that we are original peoples, descendants of the peoples that have lived on these lands since before anything like an official government existed.” [3]

The San Cristóbal-Palenque highway would pass through small rural indigenous communities, both Zapatista and non-Zapatista, thus dispossessing each community of some of its land and, possibly, dividing those lands in two. It would also alter animal habitats, endanger animal species and cause air pollution from the giant tourist buses. This is not a highway to facilitate local traffic between one town and the next. It’s a superhighway (toll road) to facilitate international mega-tourism arriving by both airplane and cruise ship. Cruise ships dock at Puerto Chiapas and from there passengers can then board giant tourist buses to visit the world-famous Palenque archaeological site and other sites, such as the Agua Azul Cascades, within the mega tourism project that the CIP envisions. Imagine the volume of tourism a completed San Cristóbal-Palenque superhighway and CIP would bring when combined with a completed Maya Train station in Palenque bringing tourists to Palenque from Cancun! It would transform life and culture, as we now know it in that area of Chiapas. Like Miguel Vazquez Moreno above, some have dubbed the CIP “the new Cancun.” [4]

The CIP contains an elaborate plan to convert the area surrounding the Agua Azul Cascades into a “world-class resort destination.” The government plan includes a Boutique Hotel, a European 5-Star Hotel, a Conference Center with golf course, and a Lodge overlooking the waterfall at Bolom Ajaw, a Zapatista community on land reclaimed in the 1994 uprising. Luxury tourists would have to helicopter into the Lodge at Bolom Ajaw due to its remoteness, so plans for the lodge include a helipad!

Agua Azul Cascades

The Agua Azul area has been a flashpoint of conflict between pro-government communities (in favor of luxury tourist development because the government has promised them a cut of the income) and pro-Zapatista communities (opposed to development based on luxury tourism). The controversial project proposed for Agua Azul, of which a superhighway is key to attracting large numbers of tourists, has already generated three pro-Zapatista deaths (one in Mitzitón and 2 in San Sebastián Bachajón), numerous violent conflicts, serious bodily injuries, political prisoners, death threats, torture and the death of at least one government supporter in Bolom Ajaw. The San Sebastián Bachajón ejido includes the entryway to the Agua Azul Cascades.

The government argues that these tourist projects will bring jobs and income into a very poor state, while Zapatista supporters, their sympathizers and allies argue that the volume of tourism envisioned will damage the environment, their food security, their autonomy and their way of life; that is, their culture. Government planners envision converting autonomous subsistence farmers, who believe that the land is sacred, into busboys, maids and bellhops.

The Los Llanos court decision

The Los Llanos ejido is located on the current highway to Palenque, close to where the new highway was originally supposed to start. It is across the highway from the Mitzitón ejido, near the intersection where the current highway to Palenque forks off from the Pan American Highway. In January 2014, the Los Llanos ejido filed for an injunction against the new superhighway crossing through their lands, based on their right to a prior, free and informed consultation (consulta) about the project. [5] The government had not followed the United Nations protocol for consulting with Los Llanos before starting construction. A temporary injunction against highway construction was in place while the case was pending. Two years later, in January 2016, the court granted an amparo (permanent injunction) to Los Llanos, ruling that the government failed to conduct the required consultation with the affected communities. [6] The court decision prevented construction of the superhighway, but only in the municipalities of San Cristóbal de las Casas and Huixtán, where Mitzitón and Los Llanos are located, leaving open the possibility of either re-routing the controversial superhighway or improving the existing highway.

Approximately 9 months after Los Llanos filed its court case, opposition to the San Cristóbal-Palenque superhighway emerged again and it was from La Candelaria ejido in the Chiapas municipality of San Juan Chamula. More than 2,000 representatives, including people of faith belonging to Pueblo Creyente, attended this meeting at La Candelaria’s sacred site of Laguna Suyul and vowed to resist the highway. [7] The clear implication of this important meeting was that government planners intended to re-route the superhighway to begin in San Juan Chamula, a municipality bordering on San Cristóbal de las Casas, and pass close to the sacred Laguna Suyul site. A map of the route is shown in the article. The recent news article about resistance in San Juan Cancuc means that the new route remains pretty much the same as that shown at the time of the La Candelaria meeting and would pass through San Juan Cancuc over the mountains in the direction of the Agua Azul Cascades. Many of the municipalities and organizations represented in La Candelaria have joined San Juan Cancuc in resisting the new route for the superhighway. They issued a statement as members of the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite). [8] The list of municipalities signing the statement is a good indicator of the superhighway’s new route and the municipalities that would be affected.

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[1] https://chiapas-support.org/2019/04/11/residents-of-san-juan-cancuc-reject-san-cristobal-palenque-superhighway-construction/

[2] https://chiapas-support.org/2014/03/25/the-plan-puebla-panama-is-changing-chiapas/

[3] Chiapas Update, August 2009, pp. 3-4

[4] https://expansion.mx/obras/pulso-de-la-construccion/chiapas-se-perfila-como-el-nuevo-cancun

[5] https://chiapas-support.org/2014/01/25/indigenous-file-lawsuit-against-san-cristobal-palenque-toll-road/

[6] https://chiapas-support.org/2016/05/30/indigenous-win-lawsuit-against-the-san-cristobal-palenque-superhighway/

[7] https://chiapas-support.org/2014/09/22/opposition-to-chiapas-super-highway/

[8] https://chiapas-support.org/2019/04/30/8-more-municipalities-reject-the-san-cristobal-palenque-highway/

 

Venezuela, the puppet and the puppeteer

“We were deceived. They told us that we would participate in another operation,” the soldiers (in the image) denounced who initially joined in yesterday’s skirmish against the government of Venezuela. Photo: Afp

By: Luis Hernández Navarro

The scenography

One word sums up the attempted State coup against President Nicolas Maduro on this April 30: failure. Boasting, the Venezuelan opposition gambled on overthrowing the president. It lost. After some skirmishes, their call quickly deflated.

Beyond the set designed for the occasion and the deafening shouting of those who fantasize about the end of the Bolivarian Revolution, the day’s result is clear. On the one hand, commanders of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana, FANB) remained loyal to the Venezuelan president and tens of thousands of Chavistas guard the Miraflores Palace. On the other hand, the visible head of the operation, opposition leader Juan Guaido, is on the run, while the fugitive Leopoldo López and his wife had to take refuge in the Embassy of Chile and then in the Embassy of Spain.

The bluff began early in the morning. It was more a propaganda presentation that a military action in form. Posing for the video cameras on the Superhighway of the East, next to the Altamira traffic distributor, surrounded with a small group of military deserters, mostly low-ranking, and police, with the La Carlota military base behind them, Juan Guaido called to the Venezuelan people to take to the streets, to start the definitive phase of Operation Liberty and to make the “definitive cessation of the usurpation” a reality.

Proclaiming himself chief of the Armed Forces, the president of the National Assembly harangued his imaginary soldiers: “Today I call on the soldiers, and all the military families to accompany this feat […] There are a lot of soldiers that join in […] The time is now.”

A general without troops, Guaido issues orders, not through his high command, but on Twitter: “People of Venezuela, we need to go out in the streets together. Organized and together let’s mobilize the main military units. People of Caracas, everyone to La Carlota,” he wrote in one tweet.

“At this moment –he lied in another tweet– I’m with the principal military units of our armed forces beginning the final phase of Operation Liberty.” Now on track, he fantasized in one more: “The streets of Venezuela continue filling up with more and more people!”

With the surprise factor on their side, the rebels achieved an ephemeral early success: liberating Leopoldo López, who was serving his sentence under house arrest. And, before colliding head-on with reality, accompanied by armed protesters with pistols, they lived a few minutes of glory. It didn’t last long. With eight tanks, four 7.62 machine guns and high-power rifles, they blocked the road and attempted to advance on La Carlota. They couldn’t take it.

They were deflated more quickly than slowly. Soldiers and police that initially participated in the skirmish withdrew. “We were deceived. They told us that we were going to participate in another operation,” they denounced. The ear of corn was gradually shelled. It was not yet noon, when 80 percent of the military personnel that formed part of the attempt abandoned the leaders of the plot. One-by-one, the eight tanks were taken to their places de origin.

Dislodged from the freeway, the coup plotters tried to march towards the Miraflores Palace. They were not successful. The offices of the president were surrounded with thousands miles of Chavista sympathizers. They had to retreat towards the Altamira neighborhood.

Chavistas gather to protect the government palace.

Even less successful was Guaido’s call for citizens to take over the streets. Not even in the neighborhoods that they historically control were the anti-Chavistas able to mobilize the number of sympathizers that have traditionally supported them in all these years of opposition struggle.

US Senator Marco Rubio was also disappointed. He announced on Twitter: “On May 1, Juan Guaido headed what would potentially be the definitive moment in the struggle against the Maduro regime in Venezuela. The leaders of the FANB must defend the Constitution and protect the demonstrators from attacks of Maduro’s armed gangs.”

The interminable coup

The collapse of the anti-Chavistas is the last link in a long chain of failed coups. As recently as August 4, 2018 there was an attempt to assassinate President Maduro with a drone attack. The attempt was planned in Colombia, under the direction of the opposition politician Julio Borges and the support of the financier Osmán Alexis Delgado.

Borges is a Venezuelan politician and lawyer that in 2018 participated as a representative of the opposition in the peace talks held in Santo Domingo, and simultaneously in the organization of the attempt against Maduro. Together with the businessman Parsifal de Sola, he played a key role in the failed Operation Jericó in 2014-15, which attempted another State coup.

Shortly afterwards, at the beginning of 2019, retired Colonel Oswaldo Valentín García Palomo coordinated another failed attempted State coup against Maduro. Entrepreneurs, politicians and CIA agents participated in the action. According to the retired colonel’s testimony, he contacted a CIA official in Colombia. And in that country he also met with the Venezuelan businessman “Parsifal de Sola and a national police agent of that country, who gave me support.” According to Minister Jorge Rodríguez, the Colombian police are the coup leaders’ link with ex president Juan Manuel Santos.

García Palomo was arrested last January 31, when he entered Venezuela for the coup, thanks to the work of the local intelligence services. The retired colonel was led to believe coronel that a military uprising was underway in Caracas, and a vehicle was placed at his disposition so that he would move inside the country.

Starting last January 10, when Nicolás Maduro began another term as president, a new script was launched from Washington. The deputy Juan Guaido proclaimed himself president in charge of Venezuela. Threatening and arrogant, Donald Trump put his cards on the table: in the course of 2019 he would be able to concretize his country’s military intervention in Venezuela.

It is well known that the empire is accustomed to wrapping its colonial aggressions with oratorical games in favor of human rights, democracy and wellbeing. On this occasion, the intimidating discourse against the Bolivarian Revolution was no exception. It only added an ingredient to the interventionist script: a nonexistent humanitarian crisis.

They are not words in the wind. Trump’s discourse and that of his expeditionary friends walk hand in hand with the declarations and maneuvers of their Venezuelan puppets. Like a wooden doll that moves its lips to pretend to speak, through the mouth of Guaido is heard the barely dissimulated voice of the imperial ventriloquist. The bravado and self-proclaimed rebuffs have transported the Venezuelan opposition to times of its worst abjection and submission.

On that route, with the pretext of food aid, last February 23, the puppeteer and the puppets gambled on trying to promote, from the Colombian border, the rupture of the FANB, the desertion of high commanders, civilian overflow and the action of paramilitary groups, to attempt to occupy “liberated” territory, in which to install the government of the self-proclaimed Guaido. Unfortunately for them, la attack failed. To the opposition’s disenchantment, the Bolivarian military did not split; they contained the onslaught of anti-Chavismo and maintained control of the territory. The civic-military union was maintained. The alleged food aid to Venezuelan territory (that included material for street fighting and installation of protesters), brought to Colombia by the United States and Chile, was not able to cross the border blockade.

It has been more than 20 years ago that the Venezuela of Hugo Chávez gave the history of our continent a radical turn and put socialism once again at the center of its horizon. Neither the empire nor its creole vassals have ever forgiven him. Nor do they dispense with President Maduro, democratically elected by a majority of the people, not having abandoned that route and not having delivered them a power that they have not been able to win at the polls.

This April 30, the Bolivarian Revolution and President Maduro suffered another imperial onslaught, one more of a long chain of attacks. Puppets and puppeteers crashed head on with a people that have a sea of oil under their feet refuse to submit to the whims of the most pedestrian colonialism, which is determined to try to conquer the sky by assault.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2019/05/01/politica/008a1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

 

US dollars in exchange for containing migrants in Chiapas

Anti-migrant raid in Pijijiapan dismantles caravan. Photo: Isaín Mandujano

By: Angeles Mariscal

A basic argument that without being new, is open and public for the first time, puts the migratory issue on the table: strengthening the economic relationship of Mexico with the United States, in exchange for containing thousands of migrants in Chiapas.

Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, said it openly in the joint press conference he gave with officials from the Ministry of the Interior and the National Institute of Migration (INM), regarding migrant containment operations that since last February have sharpened in the state of Chiapas, Mexico’s southern border.

His first argument was: “to locate where we are in the relationship between Mexico and the United States. Well, first we should take into account that for the first time according to the official figures in January and February of this year, Mexico is the number one trading partner of the United States. ”

Then the numbers followed: in the first quarter of 2019 trade between both countries grew 3.4 percent. It is 97,418 billion dollars (…) new jobs and new investments and the support of American private sectors.

As another element, he referred to the meeting he held in Mérida with US businessmen, called CEO Dialogue, where according to Ebrard, the attendees said that they received “with great optimism the clear signals sent by the Government of Mexico to work decidedly to provide certainty, both legal and economic, that guarantees a healthy environment for investments,” which translates into 500 million dollars as an immediate investment.

“As you will understand, that relationship, if we are the main trading partner of the United States, far from being increasingly conflictive tends or should be or has to find a way to have a consistency as productive as possible (…) going against this relationship is very costly for Mexico and the United States,” Ebrard concluded.

And although later he wanted to clarify saying that there are “different points of view on several matters, one of them is immigration,” the fact is that the economic relationship with the United States is the decisive factor in the immigration policy of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

At the conference, Alejandro Celorio Alcántara, deputy legal consultant of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the free movement of migrants is not a condition to which Mexico must adhere.

“The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, adopted in December in Marrakech, Morocco, December 2018, is what inspires the new migration policy”, and that would be ruled by “a safe, orderly and regular migration (… ) but also the sovereign right of states to define their immigration policy in accordance with their current domestic legislation. ”

To show flexibility to the 300,000 migrants from Central America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa, who in the first quarter of 2019 entered the country through the southern border, federal government officials announced that they will expand, at least for all of Central America, the possibility of obtaining Regional Visitor cards, previously only reserved for migrants from Belize and Guatemala.

Olga Sánchez Cordero, Secretary of the Interior, warned that: “the orderly registration of migrants that enter our territory, is a precondition for the government to protect their human rights.

She detailed the unprecedented behavior in the migratory flow, of minors especially from Honduras. She said there are about a thousand Cubans in Chiapas, and hundreds from Africa and Asia, “who have also arrived in our country in unusual numbers.” All of them, she warned, must “respect our laws and our authorities (…) maintaining control of our southern border is not an option, it is an obligation of the Mexican State. We are doing it with order and in adherence to the law.

Tonatiuh Guillén López, INM Commissioner, also acknowledged that the Mexican Foreign Ministry made a regional socio-economic development agreement with the government of the United States and the countries of Northern Central America as a tool for the mobility of people, to occur in conditions of very personal decisions and not forced by external factors.

In fact, it is to establish an immigration containment center in Chiapas, it is to extend the United States border to this state, and therefore the operations to prevent the passage of migrants and prevent them from reaching the north.

One of them happened last Monday in the Pijijiapan municipality, where among the 371 people arrested were mostly women and children. “I really regret that there were many children, a third of the migratory flow is now made up of children, that is very worrying. It is not the responsibility of the Mexican State that the migration has that composition “said Guillén López.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/opinion/2019/04/los-dolares-de-estados-unidos-a-cambio-de-contener-a-migrantes-en-chiapas-reconoce-gobierno-mexicano/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

EZLN and CNI-CIG denounce the kidnapping and murder of 2 CNI members

COMMUNIQUE FROM THE CNI-CIG AND THE EZLN ON THE COWARDLY KIDNAPPING AND MURDER OF COMPAÑEROS FROM THE EMILIANO ZAPATA POPULAR INDIGENOUS COUNCIL OF GUERRERO

The National Indigenous Congress [CNI], the Indigenous Governing Council [CIG], and the Zapatista National Liberation Army [EZLN] condemn with pain and rage the kidnapping and murders of José Lucio Bartolo Faustino, CIG council member from the Nahua indigenous community of Xicotlán, and Modesto Verales Sebastián, National Indigenous Congress delegate from the Nahua indigenous community of Buenavista. Both were part of the Emiliano Zapata Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero [CIPOG-EZ], which is a member organization of the CNI-CIG. Narco-paramilitary groups who operate in the municipality of Chilapa de Álvarez and who are protected by the Mexican Army as well as by municipal and state police carried out this crime.

At 3pm yesterday, May 4, our compañeros were attending a meeting with other members of the CIPOG-EZ in Chilpancingo, Guerrero. On their way back to their communities they were kidnapped and murdered by these narco-paramilitary groups that operate with total complicity and protection from all three levels of the bad government, which pretend to address the indigenous communities’ demands for security and justice. The indigenous communities have repeatedly denounced to the federal government the impunity with which the criminal Celso Ortega wages violence against them. It is important to mention that our murdered compañeros and their communities have for years been organizing their own Community Police in order to resist the violence, extortion, and poppy cultivation imposed by two criminal groups in the area, Los Ardillos and Los Rojos. These two groups control municipal presidencies across the region and are protected by the Mexican army and the municipal and state police. At one point they even managed to get one of their leaders named president of the Guerrero State Congress.

We hold all three levels of bad government responsible for this cowardly crime, as they have been complicit in repressing our peoples’ organization in defense of their territories. We also hold the bad government responsible for the safety and security of our brothers and sisters of the CIPOG-EZ.

As the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council and the Zapatista National Liberation Army, we send our collective embrace and solidarity to the family members and compañeros of José Lucio Bartolo Faustino and Modesto Verales Sebastián, and we share with them our commitment to continue this path of autonomy and dignity for which our fallen compañeros provide a light and an example.

We denounce the intensification of neoliberal repression against the original peoples, nations, and tribes who do not consent to these death projects in Guerrero and in all of Mexico, nor to the violence which is used to impose these projects and to repress, kidnap, disappear, and murder those of us who have decided to sow a new world from the indigenous geographies that we are.

We demand justice for our compañeros.

Attentively

May 2019

For the Full Reconstitution of Our Peoples

Never Again a Mexico Without Us

National Indigenous Congress

Indigenous Governing Council

Zapatista National Liberation Army

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2019/05/05/comunicado-del-cni-cig-y-el-ezln-ante-el-cobarde-secuestro-y-asesinato-de-los-companeros-del-concejo-indigena-y-popular-de-guerrero-emiliano-zapata/

Frayba denounces militarization in Zapatista Territory

THE MEXICAN STATE INCREASES THE MILITARIZATION IN ZAPATISTA TERRITORY

Zapatistas gather in La Realidad to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Uprising.

Five years after the unpunished extrajudicial execution of José Luis Solís López, teacher Galeano, during an attack on the autonomous Zapatista project, in the community of La Realidad, the Mexican State reaffirms its bet for war in a region where the Original Peoples construct a Dignified Life.

Since December 2018, the Mexican State increased the militarization in territories of the Original Peoples Bases of Support of the EZLN (Bases de Apoyo del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, BAEZLN) especially in the Lacandón Jungle region, as part of the continuation of the counterinsurgency strategy for eroding autonomous projects in Chiapas, Mexico.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), through the documentation that the Civilian Observation Brigades (BriCOs) carry out, documented that since the end of 2018, the number of Mexican Army incursions into the seat of the Good Government Junta (JBG) Towards Hope, in the Caracol of La Realidad (Official municipio of Las Margaritas) doubled. The BriCos observed 19 land patrols, (with soldiers armed with machine guns) and 5 flyovers from helicopters, from January to April 2019. The regularization of the flyovers of the communities and the increase of military movements in the last month is worrisome.

The military incursions constitute acts of intimidation and harassment against the Original Zapatista Peoples in resistance, signify an attack on their right to autonomy and represent a risk to the life, integrity and security of the entire population: “We observed that many times the military vehicles pass through the communities at high speed, without any concern for people, children or animals on the road.”

In the first four months of this year, the Frayba documented two acts of espionage against the BriCos, in the international observation camp located in La Realidad. This action harms the personal integrity and security of those who carry out the monitoring of human rights violations in the region and whose work is based on the Declaration On the Right and the Duty of Individuals, Groups and Institutions to Promote and Protect the Human Rights and the Universally Recognized Fundamental Freedoms of the United Nations Organization.

The Frayba confirms with data the BriCos collected the denunciation that the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) published in its communiqué last April 10: “In our mountains and valleys the presence of military, police, paramilitary, and spies, ears and informants has increased. The flyovers of military planes and helicopters, as well as artillery vehicles have reappeared.”

The militarization that persists in the new federal government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and state government of Rutilio Escandón Cadenas attempts against the life of the communities of Original Peoples that, in Chiapas, defend their right to autonomy, self-determination and territory.

It’s appropriate to remember that on May 2, 2014, during the same action in which José Luis Solís López was extra-judicially executed, members of the Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos-Historical destroyed the autonomous school and clinic, as well as threaten to dismantle the Caracol “Mother of the Caracoles of the Sea of Our Dreams. The act was a pretext so that the National Defense Ministry could intensify the militarization, which the Frayba pointed to as an act of intimidation, instead of seeking justice and the means for solving the conflict in a civil and peaceful manner.

Therefore, we make a call to national and international solidarity to strengthen the path of peace and respect for human rights given the risk of a new military offensive against Zapatista territories.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Frayba Communication

Thursday, May 2, 2019

https://frayba.org.mx/estado-mexicano-incrementa-militarizacion-a-territorios-zapatistas/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social control, the 21st Century thinking

Oakland police clash with Occupy Oakland.

By: Raúl Zibechi

When the social control that states and corporations exercise becomes a mesh so fine that it traps and subjects all manifestations of daily life, is it important who governs? The concept of government (state national, federal or municipal institutions) is absolutely insufficient for understanding what’s happening day-to-day in our societies.

Last week in Bogotá, I listened in amazement to stories about the level that application of the Police Code is reaching. A young 22-year old man, a worker and university student, was punished with a fine of $280 dollars (more than $5,000 Mexican pesos) for buying an empanada on the street. The vendor also was fined.

In just two years of the code going into effect 400,000 fines were imposed, for everyday situations like running in a bus station, buying from street venders or defending someone who suffer a police fine, or for “obstructing” police work.

The Police Code was approved in 2017, while peace was being negotiated with the FARC. The objective is evident: plugging the pores through which the popular and youth culture breathes, since habits such as drinking in the plazas, juggling, circus attitudes towards the police, among many others, are punished. For those below, the new code implements the “permanent state of emergency” that Walter Benjamin talked about, which makes up part of the everyday life of oppressed peoples.

In China the State’s control of society is much stricter. The system of “social credit” grants or takes away points from people that, for example, smoke in prohibited places, and get on those that have condescending attitudes. All behaviors of people enter the point system, even some intimate ones, like the consumption of “erotic” films or books, or speaking rudely with anyone.

The control modes combine video surveillance cameras (China has almost half of the existing ones in the world) with artificial intelligence and facial recognition. In that way, the State is able to know how many trips you have made in a taxi and to where, what you buy, your medical bills and even your “generosities” with others, as highlighted in the Le Monde Diplomatique report entitled “Good Chinese and bad Chinese” (January edition).

As an example of the scores that are imposed on citizens, the monthly report emphasizes: one point for helping an elderly person get to a hospital; minus five points and a fine for throwing garbage in the river. But for placing a sticker against the government, they take away 50 points and a thousand mil yuan fine. As in good authoritarian regimes, everything comes mixed: the punishment of dissidents with the aid of others and bad habits.

But that’s where the real problems begin. Those who behave well receive gifts on Chinese New Year’s Day or have the ability to obtain credit for trips or studies. Those with few points can’t apply for certain jobs, take vacations, get on fast trains for a year, reserve a room in a hotel or enroll their child in a good school.

Black lists go hand in hand with public humiliations, since the data are published on web pages, but in some towns “the bad scores and the name of their holders are repeated through a loudspeaker on Friday night,” in a way that the system converts your neighbors into sentinels, according to Le Monde Diplomatique.

The Amnesty International researcher for China, Patrick Poon, considers that the system of giving rewards and punishments is a “large-scale social control practice that legitimizes the hierarchical classification of citizens” (https://bit.ly/2G1diaz).

When important political events take place, like the National Popular Assembly, the regime imposes “forced vacations” on the dissidents, obliging them to leave the city, accompanied by police agents, to be lodged in remote hotels and tourist complexes with all expenses paid (https://bit.ly/2Z3cRp4).

There are many more examples of social control. Reality is getting closer and closer to the concept of the “totalitarian democracy,” of the Portuguese writer João Bernardo. In his forthcoming book in Spanish, he discusses the tight relationship between entrepreneurial and governmental authoritarianism, since workers spend a good part of their life submitted to the strict discipline prevailing during work hours.

He wonders what democracy means, in our societies where the omnipotent power of the corporations prevails. “The neoliberal society reached a point in which it’s very difficult to apply the old definitions of the rule of law that until recently distinguished democracies from the regimes where political arbitrariness prevails,” Bernardo continues. The task of tracing the paths for changing the world in the face of these systemic mutations is left to us.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, April 12, 2019

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2019/04/12/opinion/020a2pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 more municipalities reject the San Cristóbal-Palenque Highway

Movement for Defense of Life and Territory: Absolute rejection of the superhighway and the mega-projects, rejection of transgenic seeds.

By: Chiapas Paralelo

The Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite), which is composed of believing people in the parishes of Yajalón, Candelaria, Huixtán, Oxchuc, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Chilón, Sitalá and Chicomuselo, unite in rejection of the construction of the San Cristóbal de las Casas-Palenque Highway, because it signifies a destruction of Mother Earth.

More than 20 days after the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite) of San Juan Cancuc stated a series of points in which they expressed their rejection to carrying out the project, 8 more municipalities and 1 locality have currently added on.

The communities that make up the Modevite questioned this project in a communiqué by asking: “who benefits from the megaproject of destruction that is the San Cristóbal-Palenque superhighway?”

Based on the fact that this project would bring about dispossession of indigenous territory and the destruction of Mother Earth, they denounced that the state and federal governments promote deception by conditioning economic resources and government programs upon rejecting [or accepting] this highway.

“We say to the state government, which Rutilio Escandón Cadenas represents, to the federal government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and to the national and transnational corporations that THE LAND IS NOT FOR SALE, IT IS LOVED AND DEFENDED.”

They added that the path of the imposition and the fake consultations destroy the life of the communities, that’s why they don’t want the destruction of Mother Earth for the more than 185 kilometers that the construction requires.

“The plunder is disguised as the construction of a superhighway, saying it will be a benefit to the peoples, but it really has a harmful effect on our brothers and sisters who depend directly on Mother Earth,” they warned.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Monday, April 29, 2019

https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2019/04/8-municipios-se-unen-y-rechazan-construccion-de-carretera-san-cristobal-de-las-casas-palenque/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

 

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