Chiapas Support Committee

A Municipal agent, his daughter and son disappear, 300 meters from a military post in Chiapas

The Sinaloa Ejido, Frontera Comalapa municipality, Chiapas, Mexico, where everyone is afraid.

By: Isaín Mandujano

In the ejido Sinaloa, municipality of Frontera Comalapa, fear is lived, terror is breathed. irst it was the Ejidal Commissioner, Rolando Rodríguez Molares kidnapped and disappeared in September 2022; seven months later they came for the municipal agent, but now with his two children. They were taken and disappeared. Just 300 meters from a military garrison!

On April 27, around 9 pm, a group of armed men arrived in several vans and violently entered the home of the municipal agent of the Sinaloa ejido, Roberto Gómez Hernández, who was beaten and butted into one of the trucks.

Nobody knows anything about the municipal agent.

Along with him they also took his two children, Josefa Gómez Cruz and Aric Adonay Gómez Cruz -both of legal age-, after both opposed the taking of their father.

It took 11 days for one of their relatives to file a complaint with the authorities; they were afraid to do so. Because in that community it has been recorded that demanding justice and the appearance of their relatives can also cost their lives.

Just this Monday, May 8, the State Commission for Searches for Persons (CEBP) opened file 231/2023 and issued the official file to try to find the whereabouts of the municipal agent and his two children.

Everyone in that community is afraid, everyone lives in terror. There are already nine people who have disappeared, including the ejido commissioner Rolando Rodríguez Morales, on September 20, 2022.

In fact, Roberto Gómez Hernández, as a municipal agent, had led a protest movement to demand the appearance alive of Commissioner Rolando Rodríguez Morales. But after everyone in that community being threatened, they stopped the protests and the relatives of the disappeared had to leave the community; now they live in forced displacement.

Last September, the municipal agent demanded that the ejido commissioner, Rolando Rodríguez Morales, appear alive.

There are many families in that community who have had to leave their homes, their farm animals, their land and everything, in order to look for a safe place away from that community, in which organized crime reigns.

What most outrages the community is that the kidnapping and disappearance of the municipal agent and his two children occurred just three blocks away from where there is a military regiment that the disappeared municipal agent had just demanded its installation to guarantee the safety of the population. But that night of April 27, they saw nothing or did nothing to prevent them from taking the three people.

Like the Sinaloa ejido, many other communities in that region live under the same terror, breathe the same fear, suffer murders, forced disappearances, forced displacements and opt for silence, having to silence all the atrocities they face.

Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo, Monday, May 8, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

The CIOAC attacks state police offices in Pichucalco

Chaos and panic Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in Pichucalco, Chiapas.

On Tuesday night, members of the Independent Central of Agricultural and Campesino Workers (CIOAC) [1], shot up and burned the offices of the state police and the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) in Pichucalco, to protest the arrest of one of its members. A uniformed man was injured and a campesino apparently died in the scuffle. [2]

The version of the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) is that through the Northern District Prosecutor’s Office, they began the corresponding investigations into the events that occurred on the night of this May 1, 2023 in the facilities of the Command of the FGE’s Investigative Police, with sub-headquarters in the municipality of Pichucalco,  where an agent was injured, after a group of people identified as members of the organization called CIOAC, attacked the aforementioned place with firearms.

They pointed out that around 10:00 pm on Monday, the group of people carrying long and short weapons, entered the parking lot of the Command of the FGE’s Investigative Police with sub-headquarters in the municipality of Pichucalco, beginning to shoot at the staff of said offices, demanding the release of a detainee, who responds to the name of Rafael “N,” who had just been apprehended for his probable responsibility in the crime of Danger of Contagion and Spread of Diseases.

After this attack, an agent of the Investigative Police was injured, who has still not received medical attention, because the attackers are preventing the wounded from accessing medical personnel.

Elements of the Investigative and State Preventive Police went to the scene for the purpose of restoring order.

These incidents caused chaos and panic in the municipality, because in addition to the peasants, transporters adhered to this peasant organization were mobilized.

Unofficially, Floriberto Gómez Sánchez, a CIOAC leader in Pichucalco, was shot dead in the scuffle, and another person nicknamed El Pato was wounded.

Followers of the organization attempted to rescue a member, arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant. Photo: Diario de Chiapas.

In response to these actions attributed to the police, they gathered to attack and burn the headquarters of the state investigative police and the state police in Pichucalco.

In addition to the National Guard, members of the Mexican Army mobilized tonight to Pichucalco to restore order and guarantee peace and security to the general population.

[1] For more information on Chiapas violence involving the CIOAC, click here.

[2] A day after this report, several local newspapers confirmed that Floriberto Gómez Sánchez died in the attack, as well as another CIOAC member, Ramón Trinidad, alias “El Pato,” with the same surnames as Floriberto. All articles confirm that a state police agent was injured, while one states that the CIOAC attacked with AR-15s.

Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo, Tuesday, May 2, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

U.S. Cartels control the fentanyl business

The majority of the profits from the sale of fentanyl stays in the U.S.

In 2016, when executing a search warrant in two buildings located in Garcia municipality, Nuevo León, members of the FGR secured a warehouse probably used as a lab for making fentanyl.

By: Jim Cason and David Brooks, Correspondents
Washington and New York

Reducing the epidemic of fentanyl addiction in the United States through a strategy focused on interdiction of drug trafficking from Mexico ignores that the business is controlled by US criminal groups within their own country, and distribution is carried out by local criminal groups in various cities, experts conclude and even federal government investigations in Washington.

The current public narrative nurtured by various media, federal authorities, legislators and other politicians is that Mexico is almost exclusively to blame for the more than 70,000 fentanyl overdose deaths, but Mexican cartels are only one part of an illicit fentanyl trade that is controlled, in large part, by Americans in charge of distribution networks in cities and regions, and who keep the vast majority of the profits.

No one doubts that reducing the supply of fentanyl crossing the border from Mexico into the United States could have some impact on the severe problems caused by the substance, but experts conclude that would not be enough to deal with the crisis.

“My research leads me to understand that this (fentanyl) is still a system in transition,” explains Peter Reuter, distinguished professor at the School of Criminology at the University of Maryland, in an interview with La Jornada.

Reuter, a well-known authority who has written extensively on illicit drug markets, warned that much remains unknown about the illicit fentanyl trade.

“What I do know is that for some years, heroin imported from Mexico was distributed in the United States by organizations with close ties to Mexican drug trafficking groups. The Sinaloa Cartel made money from wholesale within the United States and sometimes even approaching the retail market in some cities,” he said in the interview. “With fentanyl, I think there’s more distance; in other words, they (Mexican cartels) sell to the U.S. market from across the border and then they’re no longer involved.”

This analysis appears to have been confirmed by US Attorney General Merrick Garland himself this month when he announced indictments against 28 drug traffickers (including Los Chapitos), almost all linked to the Sinaloa cartel. “The traffickers of that criminal group move fentanyl from Mexico to the United States where it is sold wholesale to other organizations” within this country, he said.

The Sentencing Commission, an independent federal agency, reported in 2022 that 86.2 percent of those arrested for illegal fentanyl sales were U.S. citizens.

In his research, Reuter has found that fentanyl trafficking in the United States varies greatly by city. In some cities, local criminal gangs that used to sell heroin are now engaged in the fentanyl trade, while in others they are new traffickers. Moreover, indicating that there are different criminal organizations in this US market, fentanyl has replaced heroin in the country’s east, but much less in the west.

The Commission to Combat Trafficking in Synthetic Opioids, an official federal entity chaired by ultraconservative Republican Senator Tom Cotton and Democratic Representative David Trone, along with representatives from Congress, the DEA, the Pentagon, the intelligence community and many other federal agencies, concluded in a 2022 report that many of the profits from the sale of fentanyl in the United States do not return to the cartels in Mexico.  Rather, it remains in the hands of local U.S. criminal organizations. “The total revenue from the export of fentanyl to the United States is likely between $700 million and $1 billion,” the authors of the commission’s report estimate. To put that in context, the market for all illicit drugs in the United States – including fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and others – is estimated at more than $100 billion a year.

On the other hand, it is very difficult to monitor fentanyl trafficking. The commission calculated that only three to five metric tons of pure fentanyl are required to satisfy illicit opioid use in the United States — an amount that fits in a shipping container. As Reuter notes, the United States imports more than one million metric tons of avocado from Mexico each year, and therefore, the commission “recognized the impossibility of reducing the availability of illegal synthetic opioids through supply-side efforts only.”

Photo of seized fentanyl, weapons and other illicit drugs displayed in Nogales, Arizona in February. Credit: Kitra Cahana for The Washington Post via Getty images.

Reuter and his colleague, Professor Jonathan Caulkins of Carnegie-Mellon University, wrote an article in Scientific American this month concluding: “We need to reconsider enforcement goals in the fentanyl age.” They assess that the current strategy only leaves “compliance with the law to failure.” While there are calls to intensify maximum sentences for fentanyl supply and border control, it is hard to imagine these measures succeeding in reducing supply in the long run.”

Instead, they argue for measures to reduce corruption generated by the drug trade, go after Internet sellers, who often reach inexperienced users, and suppress ” dealers and open-air markets” that are directly responsible for this fentanyl crisis.

The two experts emphasize that: “re-imagining narcotics law enforcement in the fentanyl age should be a collective discussion conducted with open minds and few preconditions.”

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada, Friday, May 5, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Pronouncement of the International Gathering El Sur Resiste May 7, 2023



       “Global corporate capitalism, Planetary patriarchy, Autonomies in rebellion”

May 7, 2023
To the General Command of the EZLN
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Indigenous Government Council
To the national and international organizations that struggle and resist
To the free, alternative, independent communications media or whatever they are called
To the peoples of Mexico and the world

From the Heart of the land where dignified rage was born, grew up and reproduces, the rebellious peoples of the geographies of the South-Southeast that walk the caravan El Sur Resiste/The South Resists 2023, Binnizá, Ayuuk, Nahua, Nuntajiyi (Nuntajuyi), Maya, Chol, Zoque, Tzeltal, Tojolabal, Tsotsil and mestizo peoples, convened by various organizations of this geography and by the National Indigenous Congress, toured the territories affected by the interconnected military megaprojects, the misnamed Maya Train and the Interoceanic Corridor. We arrived at the Zapatista territory of CIDECI-UNITIERRA / Caracol Jacinto Canek in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, where we met with many other peoples and organizations of the original peoples and urban areas of the south southeast of the country and many other regions of our Mother Earth to share the pains, hopes and strategies of articulation, to learn from the struggles of other geographies and to continue weaving solidarity networks of resistance and planetary rebellion.

From April 25 to May 4, members of the El Sur Resiste Caravan traveled through communities and towns in eight states of the Mexican Republic; starting from the community of El Progreso, municipality of Pijijiapan, with a stopover in Tonalá, we toured the coast of Chiapas and crossed the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, from the Binniza community in resistance of Puente Madera, municipality of San Blas Atempa, passing through the rebel camp “Tierra y Libertad” in the place of the Aayuuk community of Mogoñe Viejo,  municipality of San Juan Guichicovi both communities of the state of Oaxaca and reaching the Nahua community of Oteapan in southern Veracruz. From there, we started the journey towards the Maya territories of the Yucatan Peninsula, crossing the State of Tabasco through Villahermosa and the coastal community of El Bosque, devoured by the sea due to global warming, arriving at Candelaria, Campeche, and following the route to the community of Zakí, today named Valladolid in Yucatan and the community of Noj Kaaj Santa Cruz,  today Felipe Carrillo Puerto in Quintana Roo, returning through Xpujil again in Campeche territory to return to Chiapas and meet the Zoque, Chol, Tsotsil, Tojolabal and Tzeltal peoples, with a stop in Palenque, crossing the region of Los Altos to reach our final destination, Jovel, today San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Throughout this journey, our hearts, feelings and thoughts were opened to listening and observing the multiple pains and destruction caused by the voracity of great world capitalism that we feel in our own body through the constant harassment of our caravan by the police and military bodies of the Mexican State.

In these times of global geopolitical re-arrangements where the big capitals of the Western and Asian blocs accelerate the process of this new stage of colonization war, disputing the territories of our planet, destroying Mother Nature, dispossessing, exploiting and expelling the peoples and murdering and disappearing those who oppose them, we see the complicity of states and organized crime in its various forms, all of them bloodthirsty.

We affirm that we are facing the greatest expression of the patriarchal power system inherited from thousands of years ago and installed in our lands for more than 500 years with the genocidal European invasion. We witness its devastating effects on our territories but we also feel with great force the resistance of our peoples, who have safeguarded our very existence as indigenous peoples.

In Cideci’s Assembly Hall, Zapatista Caracol 7, Jacinto Canek.

In this global re-arrangement, the Mexican Southeast and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, play a strategic role in the interests of global corporations to link by land in just 200 kilometers the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic and facilitate the transport of goods, hydrocarbons and other resources from the subsoil. The interoceanic corridor has been a place of transit since ancestral times of the commercial routes of the peoples, but in times of the colony and the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, as well as during the governments of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries they have tried to appropriate it without success, this by the historical resistance of the peoples of the region.

This self-appointed government of the fourth transformation is no different, since it contemplates the modernization of the ports of Coatzacoalcos and Salina Cruz, the construction of a highway and the modernization of the railroad for freight trains that will not only connect the two ports but also with the train they call Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula.

That is why we say that the Interoceanic Corridor, the misnamed Maya Train and the Morelos Integral Project in the center of the country are part of an interconnection and energy supply network for corporations that will operate in the south of the country and Central America, most of them with private and foreign capital.

A high voltage line will be installed and the expansion of the isthmus gas pipeline that they intend to connect with the new maritime pipeline that will bring fracking gas from Texas to our lands. This project will be built along the Veracruz coast, in the vicinity of the reef system, from Tuxpan to Coatzacoalcos and with another maritime branch to the new Dos Bocas refinery, also part of this megaproject.

This infrastructure reflects the deepening of a model, based on the extraction of fossil hydrocarbons, which accelerated during the twentieth century, in a way never seen before, the indicators of pollution and global warming, reinforced by supposedly clean energies in the hands of big foreign capital that does not represent any just energy transition for the peoples.

Indeed, the project not only contemplates the construction of these infrastructures but also the opening of new territories for the extraction of hydrocarbons, mining and the implementation of industrial and wind farms as well as the construction of new urban centers for workers semi-enslaved nationals, but mostly migrants who by order of the master of the North will be detained at the Isthmus, making this territory a new wall of human containment.

The Isthmus is ours! Resistance to the Interoceanic Corridor.

In the Maya territories on the Yucatan Peninsula and the states of Chiapas and Tabasco, a new territorial reorganization is developing to be placed at the service of the big tourism capital and big capital for industrial developments. 

The Caravan witnessed the devastation of the jungle to make way for train tracks, hundreds of miles and millions of felled trees where deer and jaguar once walked. The flows of the sacred water are being modified with catastrophic consequences for the peoples who will be named in the future as natural disasters. 

In Maya territories that were victims in the beginning of the 20th century of the Genocide promoted by the State during the Maya Social War, today the train and the megaprojects that are illegally imposed are part of the new genocidal practices.

The construction of that train, is accompanied by the installation of 21 stations and tourist development zones, photovoltaic wind parks, thermo-electric dams, breweries, pig farms, cultivation of palm, soy and other mono-crops, as well as big real estate developments, hotel complexes, shopping centers, casinos, restaurants and everything that’s necessary for the large masses of tourists that they expect will arrive on the peninsula, provoking dispossession, voracious extractivism and the destruction of the ways of life of the Maya peoples.

Both in the peninsula and in the Isthmus, through misinformation and false promises of well-being linked to the deceptive handling of concepts such as progress and development where social programs have played a fundamental role, due to fear of violence, separation from the community and the possible loss of social programs many people remain silent and do not organize, even knowing and seeing the growing violence and destruction of territories.

But the evils that come with these megaprojects of death are becoming more evident every day.  All these infrastructure projects represent the dispossession of our territories for the benefit of big capital as part of a project operated by the Mexican armed forces (army, navy and national guard), in coordination with the police and migratory bodies and in collusion with the organized crime cartels and the consequent expansion of capitalist and patriarchal criminal economies.

We hear and testify that the first of the spoils is that of ancestry and communality, because when they strip us of the sense of belonging to Mother Earth, we stop feeling it, listening to it and feeling its pains. First, they strip us of our memory and our spirituality in order to be able to strip us of our way of life, our roots and the land, because whoever no longer sees in it a mother, but a commodity that can be bought and sold, gets rid of it without thinking about what those who only want to exploit it will do to it.  They uproot their trees and poison them without caring about the destruction of our communities and our ceremonial centers, the pollution of the air, land and waters, springs, rivers, lagoons, seas and cenotes that are the waters of the bowels of our mother.

We saw how the sea is literally and tragically swallowing the community of El Bosque in Tabasco, as a consequence of climate change caused by global mega pollution, particularly by the energy model based on the extraction of hydrocarbons, which this government and big capital reinforce.

We also note the terrible increase of a culture of violence that has permeated the entire society from the communities to the neighborhoods of the cities with drug trafficking, extortion, the collection of floor rights (fees for protection), particularly affecting youth, women, migrants and defenders of the environment and human rights.

More and more young people from indigenous communities and poor neighborhoods of cities fall victim to drug trafficking networks, as one of the few “alternatives” to overcome in the midst of this disaster, self-destruct their brains with cheap drugs like crystal, become hitmen and end up murdered.

Particularly, we note the increase in gender violence from family violence to femicides with the terrifying figure of 13 women murdered daily in our country and a clear increase in repression against those who oppose megaprojects, defend the territory and denounce impunity and chains of complicity, repression ranging from threats, forced displacement, imprisonment, disappearances and killings.  

More and more young people from indigenous communities and poor neighborhoods in cities fall victim to drug trafficking networks, as one of the few “alternatives” to overcome in the midst of this disaster, self-destruct their brains with cheap drugs like crystal, become hitmen and end up murdered.

Particularly, we note the increase in gender violence from family violence to femicides with the terrifying figure of 13 women murdered daily in our country and a clear increase in repression against those who oppose megaprojects, defend the territory and denounce impunity and chains of complicity and repression, ranging from threats, forced displacement, imprisonment, disappearances and killings.

We identified the racist policies, persecution strategy and stigmatization of the National Institute of Migration against our migrant sisters and brothers. Our compañeras and compañeros from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador were denied entry to the country.

Attendees at the El Sur Resiste International Gathering 2023.

We note the systematic violation of the rights of indigenous peoples and particularly the right to self-determination and autonomy whose exercise is essential to rebuild from our ancestral cultural roots a free and dignified life based on communality from decision-making in assemblies, with full respect for women, LGBTQ+, for youth, children and the elderly and in harmony with nature.

We note the pressure of all government agencies, starting with the agrarian prosecutor’s office, so that the agrarian nuclei and indigenous communities pass to full control and thus end the social ownership of the land that represents the strength of our struggles.

But in contrast to all these calamities, the Caravan also allowed us to travel through hope and life, to encounter the countryside and its native seeds that are being protected by peasant hands. Feel the joy of rebellious music that excites hearts and inspires resistance. We enjoy art as a front of struggle that with its colors, sounds and excitement allows us to continue in the joyful rebellion.

The Caravan allowed us to meet the jungle that resists. Where the trees are cut down, life springs up again. We listened to the birds and their messages, drank the crystal-clear water from the wells and breathed the clean air of the countryside. We find peoples and communities that organize, resist and do not allow the dispossession or even the entry of companies into their territories. They also take measures to recover ways of life that build hopeful autonomies for humanity. On the other hand, we find rebellious cities that build collectivity and autonomy in the midst of urban monsters, where the love for land and territory flourishes again.

We offer to Mother Earth, we invoke the spirit of fire, water and air, recognizing that long struggles are sustained by the spirituality linked to territory and our ancestry. Knowing that we do not seek a final victory but that we fight just like our grandfathers and grandmothers did and before them, our ancestors and as our children and grandchildren will continue to do. As we reaffirmed in the 10 working groups of the South/Southeast meeting on May 5, we build other possible worlds by celebrating what we are harvesting and recognizing that our strength comes from memory and wisdom as struggling peoples. We have reflected that we resist through embracing the values of full and dignified life close to the land, such as the cultivation of our food, traditional medicine and the protection of our peoples through community guards.

We recognized that even in the midst of all the destruction of the capitalists there are many achievements that we are reaping: The first and most important thing is that after 500 years of attempts to exterminate us, we continue the organization from the community against dispossession, in the same way the lands recovered in different towns, the struggle of women for the recognition and exercise of their rights,  the struggle for water, the release of political prisoners, the relocation of train stations in Mérida and Campeche, the establishment of zones free of extractive projects, the conservation of languages and traditional festivals and the construction of autonomies.

After the caravan and our internal gathering, 940 people from 40 indigenous peoples of the world, from 27 states of the Republic, from 30 countries and 10 autonomous regions gathered in the International Meeting “World Corporate Capitalism, Planetary Patriarchy, Autonomies in Rebellion.”  We listened to the word of 5 speakers to analyze and study the geopolitical situation of the world, of Mexico, specifically of the south-southeast and the global south. We also heard the sharing of experiences of struggle from all these regions as well as proposals to continue the construction of autonomy.

The sisters and brothers of Abya Yala from Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, shared with us the situation they have to face and we verified that this predatory capitalist system is acting in the same way in all geographies where peoples still protect nature, culture and life itself. But in the same way we see the joy, strength and living organization of organized peoples.


We denounce the violent eviction of the Tierra y Libertad camp as well as the imprisonment of 6 compañer@s perpetrated by the navy and state police on April 28, one day after the passage of our caravan. We demand that the government of Oaxaca and the federal government immediately cease the harassment against these defenders of land and territory and particularly in the case of the Tierra y Libertad camp on the Isthmus and the withdrawal of the arrest warrants against 17 members of the community of Puente Madera, San Blas Atempa, and the acquittal of compañero David Salazar linked to process.

We repudiate the racist immigration policy and violation of the rights of this government that prevented the entry of the daughter of comrade Berta Cáceres prohibiting her from flying to Mexico City, despite having all her papers in order, as well as the harassment against 7 Central American comrades at the border post of Tapachula, Chiapas.

We demand that the illegal assembly of March 5, 2023 in the Nicolás Bravo ejido, Quintana Roo, in which the final stop of the train misnamed Maya was illegally approved in favor of the Azcarraga group, owners of Televisa, and that will damage more than 100 Maya ceremonial centers be revoked!

We demand the cancellation of the eviction order of the community of Emiliano Zapata III, in the municipality of Candelaria, Campeche, promoted by the alleged owner Fernando Oropeza Arispe and ordered by a civil judge of first instance of the state of Campeche. In the same way, the cancellation of the arrest warrants of the community’s comrades.

Immediate cancellation of work on the train misnamed Maya, especially the illegal construction of section 7, the installation of the military casino and the tourist development in the community of Xpujil since despite the definitive suspension granted by a federal judge, SEDENA continues its construction in contempt of the federal order.

Stop the Agrarian Prosecutor’s pressure on communities and ejidos to convert socially owned lands to full domain, ending the collective lands of the country’s indigenous communities.

Urgent and immediate relocation of the El Bosque community in the municipality of Centla, Tabasco, who are environmentally displaced victims of global warming produced by the voracious extractive system that continues to plunder and deforest the territories.

We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in this country, political prisoners in solidarity with the voice of El Amate, Fidencio Aldama, the prisoners of Eloxochitlan de Flores Magón, Oaxaca, all those unjustly incarcerated for defending water and territories, and the compañero support base of the EZLN, Manuel Gómez Vázquez and, the revocation of the 50-year sentence against comrade Miguel Peralta Betancourt, persecuted politicians of Eloxochitlan.

We accompany and firmly join the demand of the relatives of victims of femicidal violence in Mexico to achieve truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition, not only for women who have been abused but particularly for children (daughters, sons, sisters and brothers), collateral victims of this infamous violence in this country that sows fear, Death and impunity. Neither forgiveness nor forgetfulness! Punishment of the guilty! (Facebook: @FeminicidiosCrimenesdelesahumanidad, @FatimaVariniaEnTuHonorYRecuerdo, @JusticiaParaLupitaBastida).

In the case of the Tila ejido, in Chiapas, we demand the execution of the sentence of the RAN favorable to the recovery of the 130 hectares that have been taken from them by the municipality.

We demand a presentation alive for the thousands of disappeared in the country, the community member Antonio Díaz Valencia and the lawyer Ricardo Lagunes Gasca who were disappeared due to a conflict between the community of Aquila, Michoacán and the Canadian mining company Ternium.

Justice for the 43 students disappeared in Ayotzinapa. Because they were taken alive, we want them back alive!

We affirm loud and clear and from our hearts to struggle and organize, that we will continue to meet and articulate with other struggles around the world.

Neither with the National Guard, nor with the navy, nor with the army. They will not stop us!

While you destroy, we construct.

El Sur Resiste Caravan and International Gathering


Originally Published in Spanish by El Sur Resiste, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

José Luis and César sentenced to 2 years in prison for defending their territory from militarization

This is one of several events that occurred during the El Sur Resiste | The South Resists Caravan and International Gathering and, thus delayed our reporting.

José Luis Gutiérrez Hernández and César Hernández Feliciano. Photo: Frayba

By: Yessica Morales

Both human rights defenders were repressed by state police, tortured and held incommunicado. In addition, eleven more people were injured during the peaceful demonstration.

Last April 24, 2023, began the oral trial of César Hernández Feliciano and José luis Gutiérrez Hernández, arrested October 15, 2020, for a peaceful demonstration against the construction of the National Guard (GN) barracks in San Sebastián Bachajón.

During the development of the different hearings, they tried to demonstrate the lack of solid elements to prove the crime of mutiny (rioting) for which the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) of Chiapas has accused them since 2020.

In addition, the witnesses presented did not prove that they belonged to the State Police or their participation during the events of the October 15, 2020 protest, when the Ejidos of San Sebastián Bachajón and San Jerónimo Bachajón opposed the construction of a GN barracks in their indigenous territory without having been consulted beforehand.

Similarly, the Prosecutor’s Office did not demonstrate the quality of experts and legal experts in their field within the investigation that supported the proving of the elements of the case against the community defenders.

For this reason, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center A.C. (Centro Prodh), the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT),expressed their solidarity and regretted the decision of Agustín López Martínez, Trial Judge of Region Three, of the Judicial District of Ocosingo.

The judge, for having issued a conviction and 2-year prison sentence that criminalizes the defense of land and territory to the detriment of the rights to autonomy and self-determination of indigenous peoples.

We call on the Government of the State of Chiapas to stop the criminalization and judicialization of human rights and life defenders, the organizations said.

Liberty and Justice

Families United Against Torture for the Freedom of César and José Luis. Photo: Frayba

It should be recalled that on April 20, the Organization “Families United against torture and in defense of human rights“, requested support from state, national and international solidarity, human rights organizations, civil society, media and journalists, to continue demonstrating in favor of both defenders and against the perpetration of human rights violations that the Mexican State has caused them and the situation of supposed justice that occurs in Chiapas, with the permissibility of torture and fabrication of guilt.

Likewise, they mentioned that the two Tseltals faced the process under conditional freedom since 2020: which has caused a rupture of the family fabric. In addition to this, the imprisonment in Chilón has caused the families suffering, expenses to go to sign in at the Ocosingo Court for more than 2 years, where they have had to sell the fruits of their labor, such as corn and beans, [to pay for transportation].

Finally, they asked civil society, human rights and national and international solidarity organizations, media and journalists to pronounce on this case. In addition, they demanded that the Judiciary of the State of Chiapas be an entity that respects human rights of defenders.

Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo, Thursday, May 4, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

El Sur Resiste 2023 International Gathering begins in Chiapas, Mexico

Inside Cideci, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, where Zapatista Caracol 7 Jacinto Canek is also located.

The “El Sur Resiste | The South Resists 2023” International Gathering began Saturday, May 6 in the CIDECI, University of the Earth Chiapas, where more than 700 people have met in order to make visible the dispossession of territories nationally and globally by capitalist and extractive companies and projects; the violence experienced by Indigenous Peoples, women, children as a result of wars and the violence of organized crime; and the imposition of environmentally destructive megaprojects around the world.

Members of the Indigenous Peoples, Bari; Cabécares; Chamula; Chanal; Chol; Chontal; Lenka; Masewal Maya; Peninsular Maya; Misak; Fish trap; Ayuuk; Mixtec; Nahua; Nuntayi; Ñuu Savi; Otomi; Tzotzil; Bribi; Tiouka; Tojolabal; Totonac; Zoque; Zapotec; among others, attended the gathering.

People from different countries such as El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Cyprus, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Italy, France, Finland, Switzerland, Greece, Honduras, Germany Kurdistan, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and presence of collectives and organizations throughout the Mexican territory including Mexico City, Puebla,  Morelos, Guerrero, Querétaro, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Estado de México, among others, also attended.

The meeting began with a summary of some of the most important effects on the territories of the Indigenous Peoples that have been identified during the El Sur Resiste | The South Resists Caravan and the meetings to take stock of them, including:

1. Penetration of drug trafficking and organized crime in all the territories.
2. Recruitment of young people and children by organized crime groups.
3. Agrarian authorities and ejido members who do not have the vision of protecting and caring for the land.
4. Assistance programs such as Sembrando vida and pensions for the elderly that divide community organization.
5. Deterioration of land by monocultures, fumigation and contaminated bodies of water.
6. Water is destined for big companies and not for the communities.

    They identified the kinds of victories that have been achieved through organization among the Peoples and collectivities that must be strengthened to continue the defense of life, these types of actions include:

    1. Gatherings among peoples and the hope of walking together
    2. Recovering land and bringing down megaprojects
    3. The struggle of women in all territories
    4. Direct actions such as breaking pipes, seizing plants, legal processes and injunctions won
    5. Recovery of traditional plants
    6. Networks between caracoles, adherents and organizations in support of the EZLN.
    7. Autonomous schools and other spaces that strengthen the processes of autonomy.

    The meeting continued with presentations by comrades who have accompanied and are part of struggles for autonomy, life, justice and freedom for years. Here we include short summaries of the shared presentations.

    Raúl Zibechi

    Raúl Zibechi, center, at the table with other speakers. To the right is Vilma Rocío Almendra Quiguanás.

      “We experience wars of dispossession, it has been revealed that 4 out of every 10 hectares are not in the hands of the oligarchy or big capital, as in Brazil that these lands belong to agrarian lands, lands in the hands of black communities, natural parks and conservation, as well as small and medium campesinos.

      These are the lands in which capital is advancing, the dispossession still has a long way to go. The war for dispossession is just beginning. Today, capitalism cannot live without wars of dispossession, it cannot act without wars with violence, that is, without murdering, disappearing, displacing.

      Another factor of this new present is that every government, including progressive left-wing governments, supports militarization. This is a pattern that came to stay, as in Mexico with López Obrador, as the progressive government in Argentina where extractive projects were militarized, as in Chile in the Walmapu in Mapuche territory that today there are more military than during the neoliberal governments there could even be the same number as in the Pinochet dictatorship. The analysis of the EZLN in the 4th world war made 20 years ago is more than true: we are in a war of dispossession to obtain territories for big capital.

      Also, we have to look at drug trafficking as the perfect symbol of capital, what it represents: dispossession through violence, accumulation of capital. It is very difficult to draw a line on drug trafficking and power because there is an alliance between these drug trafficking groups, the oligarchies, and big business.

      Faced with this panorama of dispossession, we must also recognize that there is a pattern of growth and multiplication of the Autonomies throughout Latin America. Autonomy has felt like a common goal For many peoples; this is a victory, giant steps. A common sense of the peoples, and also very rich in diversity and forms, based on their traditional ways and what they can create.

      These models of autonomy also have this characteristic pillar of self-defense as a fundamental tool. Many defend themselves with community guards, others with balaclavas, others with ski masks, or with bandanas.

      Finally, spirituality must be recognized as a fundamental element that sustains resistance; Spirituality is talking about women and that link of woman-life-mother- earth. Spirituality is what allows us to sustain ourselves for a long time in these struggles that have no end, because they are an eternal circle, without objectives of taking power; Spirituality around there, is a pillar to follow.”

      Vilma Rocío Almendra Quiguanás from the Cauca, Colombia

      Vilma Rocío Almendra Quiguanás speaks.

      “Everywhere it’s difficult, in all the nation-states where they wanted to crush those who inhabited us, they wanted to tear away everything beautiful like spirituality.

      We are critical of peace processes if they come from those who live from power, from those who have the weapons. What we said before those agreements were signed is that this was a neoliberal peace, a peace with capital that was going to allow us to enter our territories.

      They deceived us with those promises of peace, while they continue to kill those who defend everything, land, water, and territory.

      They have killed thousands of compañeros, the most rebellious, the most revolutionary people, they have killed those who truly believe in Mother Earth, people who know how to read birds, who know how to be in contact with the wind. The people who continue to kill are not the most visible people who are negotiating, it is those who put their chests in the territories.

      It must be said that the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca, until 2009 was the indigenous movement best known for its resistance, for its way of questioning the state. The largest Mingas became up to 80,000 people marching to Bogotá, thousands of comrades who are willing to die for the territories.

      Until those years, 2008-2009 we had territorial control of Cauca, the government saw the strength of the resistance and said, “we have to break it,” that’s where this cancer that is drug trafficking began to enter the communities.

      They began to co-opt leaders; today, the authorities no longer have control of the territory, the armed actors have control. They have killed 10 Indigenous authorities in the last 3 years. We see the recruitment of our youth and children who fall prey to easy money because the state structure impoverishes you.

      What do young people prefer?  7 dollars as a day laborer for 10 hours of work picking coffee, or thousands of pesos for being with these drug trafficking groups: they give you a motorcycle, they give you a cell phone, they pay you well, you just have to kill and kill your own.

      But it must be made clear, the narco-paramilitary states are the ones that take all the profits, this death suits them; on the other hand, those who recruit are the most enslaved and the most murdered within these crime and drug trafficking groups.

      She concluded with that there are very beautiful things, such as flowers that break the cement, in Cauca we have managed to liberate mother earth, sow with the cycles of the moon, sow everything organic, we have achieved non-patriarchal, colonial, and non-state relations. If we achieve this relationship with the land, we also achieve it with the daughter, with the son, with the compañera, with the compañero.”

      Dilda – Women of Kurdistan

      “Until women are liberated, peoples will not be liberated. Women were the first colonies.

      Democratic Confederalism, is the hope for the Kurdish people and all the peoples of the world, is a way to preserve Mesopotamia and the ancient peoples of the earth. The way of creating life in Rojava shows the world that the nation state is not the only option, there is another way and it is possible to govern oneself.  This is the main reason why they are afraid of us and attack us.

      For us, the relationship between mother earth and mother woman is fundamental, that intimate relationship between women and nature, we seek to destroy the dominant male way of thinking. Fight with ourselves to transform ourselves to remove that system of domination of man, our motto is woman, life and freedom.

      Our strength does not come from the states, but from the beautiful solidarity between the peoples, their presence strengthens us, our fellow guerrillas from the mountains of Kurdistan are generating hope.

      We need to unite wisdom, hopes, dreams, experiences of peoples, women and dissidents who fight against the system. To defend the Kurdistan revolution is to defend the women’s revolution.”

      Ana Esther Ceceña

      Ana Esther Ceceña, second from left, speaks.

      “What is at stake is seeing who gets the power in this world, the rules of the game and the way of life, the biggest dispute is between the United States and China.

      The southeast of Mexico has characteristics within this geopolitical rearrangement that interests these powers that want to control territories to create competitive strength. A key piece for the United States, is the rearrangement of North America and the union of these zones, the attempt to control these territories will be stronger and stronger due to the threat of China and these alliances; It is sharpened in the economic field – they seek more supplies of productivity, territory and culture.

      We see this with the United States visiting the Mexican southeast, their advocacy groups are watching, seeing. They assure their companies that their investments are safe, that they are already opening up territory.

      It is not a way to be overwhelmed, it is to understand and from there start strategies, to ask ourselves how we raise these disputes for territories between powers, how we defend our lives, forms, ways and what is the one that has to prevail.

      There is also a strategy of stripping everything symbolic, spiritual, cultural; An example is all this destruction of archaeological treasures on the route of these trains, the trans-excavator breaks them, destroys them and those who do not, take them, steal them. All this that is found, is history, and that’s being destroyed, for the sake of a progress that is not such.

      The questions are how to rebuild the territory, how to rebuild our culture and way of life while still recognizing the roots, history and geography where we belong.”

      Carlos González

      Carlos González, center with microphone, speaking.

      “Capitalism is experiencing a deep crisis in several ways that deepened after the pandemic, we are talking about a pre-pandemic world and a post-pandemic world. The pandemic exploited the crisis of the capitalist system: unemployment, inflation, crisis of food networks, new recession in the United States.

      We are talking about a civilizational crisis worldwide that forces us to have the integrity of something not small, which is the destruction of that patriarchal and capitalist system. We can no longer propose policies, government proposals or legislative reforms that are left in the middle.

      That happened with the Mining Law, the House is sent with important elements to reduce mining activity, to take away control of water, and reduce the immense wealth produced by the mining company.  It reaches the Chamber of Deputies and they start negotiations with companies, with Canadian companies, and change the initiative. The president did not defend that law.

      We are not served by half-measures. We need commitment, because what is at stake is life.

      The Trans-Isthmus Corridor, the Maya Train, the Morelos Integral Project, and the Santa Lucia Airport are all united projects. And the final purpose of this project is to reorder borders, they will be curtains for migration, they will be projects of complete territorial development.

      We must recognize two lights of current hope; The struggle of women in all its forms, although men are worried that they break glass and scratch monuments, insignificant things in the face of the violence they experience. The other light is the light of the Indigenous Peoples who fight to defend the territory; You have to feed these two lights, make them grow and put them together.”

      Sharing between different struggles and movements

      After the main presentations, the members were divided into various groups that could listen in more depth to the struggle and resistance of many other communities, collectives, as well as share experiences from autonomous organization, self-management, and art and culture to build other worlds.

      These are some of the topics that were included in the meeting:

      1. Report on the observation mission in Guerrero, CIPOG-EZ and La Montaña of Guerrero

      2. Xenophobia and discrimination in El Salvador

      3. Indigenous and tortured prisoners

      4. UCIZONI Tierra y Libertad camp

      5. Context in Kurdistan

      6. Popular Education in Ecuador

      7. Articulation in Yucatán against the “Maya” Train

      8. The struggle of the Native Peoples in Colombia

      9. Stop Cop City in Atlanta

      10. Femicides in Mexico 

      11. Community economy and feminism

      The gathering will continue on Sunday, May 7, in which we plan to articulate struggles in defense of life.

      Photographs: Juan Valeiro

      Originally Published in Spanish by El Sur Resiste, Sunday, May 7, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

      Raúl Zibechi on the importance of the El Sur Resiste Caravan

      El Sur Resiste | The South Resists

      By: Raúl Zibechi

      On Thursday, May 4, the tour of the El Sur Resiste | The South Resists caravan, organized by local groups of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), concluded. After touring seven states and dozens of spaces that resist extractivism and the megaprojects of capital, listening to hundreds of voices of indigenous peoples and popular sectors, it arrives in San Cristóbal de las Casas, where an international forum will be held on the 6th and 7th of this month.

      It is a huge effort by each organization to move, receive, house and feed about 300 people, some of them European, American and Latin American, in the 10 days of the caravan. It began with just over a hundred members on the coast of Chiapas, but along the way members of the organizations that support the caravan were added.

      It was encouraging to see that there are still many small and medium-sized resistances with strong local roots, despite the combination of social policies and repression with which governments often weaken popular movements. Hence its importance: to make visible the resistances, to build bridges between them to overcome isolation and, above all, to strengthen them, because the arrival of hundreds of people from the most diverse geographies stimulated each of the struggles, something evident in the warm gratitude in particular of women.

      Police repression in Mogroñé Viejo, Oaxaca.

      The repression was both ruthless and disguised from the general public. The violent eviction of the camp in Mogroñé Viejo, which stopped construction of the interoceanic train for two months, was the most evident, with the kidnapping of several of the people who supported the protest. The stops at each checkpoint for hours and the tracking of vehicles without license plates, were modes of harassment that only managed to temper the spirits of the participants although it delayed arrival at destinations.

      One of the interesting results was to see how in all geographies of the planet, both in the North and in the South, capital and states behave similarly: the voracity and violence of the accumulation of wealth have no limits; militarization is a global reality even if it manifests itself in different ways; Governments of any color merely facilitate dispossession, either by legal or military means; A vast alliance is woven between multinationals, organized crime and states for the control of territories.

      I would like to highlight some aspects of the role of this and previous caravans, provisionally for further discussions.

      The first is that initiatives such as El Sur Resiste | The South Resists are important to open spaces in the midst of so many difficulties, to prevent the isolation of resistance from drying them up due to fatigue and lack of perspectives. You have to put yourself in the shoes of those who live in remote rural areas, surrounded by extractivist works such as the Maya Train and the Trans-Isthmus Corridor, as well as caciques and aggressive armed herds to understand the devastating role of isolation.

      The second aspect is to corroborate the place of women in the resistance and in the construction of other worlds. They were the ones who sustained the caravan, cooking, organizing, taking care of the health and spirits of those who arrived tired at each destination. Women from indigenous peoples, from popular neighborhoods and also women with studies, combined in their diversity of knowledge and working collectively.

      Women in resistance carry the Indigenous Government Council banner.

      Women and communities are realities that touch each other, that dialogue and complement each other. When a collective subject resists attacks from outside, it territorializes and becomes a community to continue being, almost naturally. These are the processes that continue to resist, that did not surrender to the logic of individual benefit proposed by social programs.

      It could be heard everywhere that resistance is necessary, but that it’s not enough. Simultaneously, the collectives are building ways of life (from agroecological crops to health spaces) that allow them to live as autonomously as possible, gradually approaching the world they want to build.

      There is a profound interaction between resistances and other worlds. The construction of realities different from the hegemonic ones feeds resistance, because in these spaces the peoples find oxygen and at the same time project the type of society in which they wish to live. The interesting thing is that this double dynamic of resistance and construction of the new has become common sense of the peoples.

      The caravan must be inserted in the long time of the resistances from below. Nothing is going to be achieved in a short time, nor in the calendars marked by the system, such as electoral calls. The times of the peoples are similar to the cycles of nature, those that teach us the circularity of life that has no other objective than to remain alive. Today, that’s revolutionary.

      Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada, Friday, May 5, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

      The Caravan arrives in San Cristóbal after touring six states

      By: Elio Henríquez, Correspondent

      San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

      Members of the caravan called El Sur Resiste | The South Resists, organized by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), arrived in San Cristóbal, after touring the states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatán.

      The group of about 250 people, which traveled in three buses, arrived on Thursday at 11 p.m. from Palenque, where in the morning they held a march and a rally in which a representative of the CNI said that “we are resisting the onslaught of capital that has declared a war of extermination of the original communities.”

      He said: “We know that this traitorous government is protected as a Good Samaritan with gifts and support of the misery that it is giving to our people and so, when we walk with the caravan they turn to say: ‘Long live the Mayan Train’ and that is very serious, brothers.”

      “But we also know that there are many of us who are fighting indignantly and demanding that capital get away from here, that it leaves us in peace, that the original peoples are worthy and we also defend the lives of those bastards.”

      Zapatista Caracol 7 Jacinto Canek.

      “Megaprojects don’t mean progress”

      He added: “Our children are at risk of living in misery. They tell us that (projects like the Maya Train) are progress and that is a lie. They poison our land, pollute the water, plunder it and turn the territory into merchandise.”

      He called on civil society to unite “because we cannot move forward alone in the face of this war declared on indigenous peoples,” while calling on the government to “stop militarization throughout the country.”

      An Otomi from Querétaro who participates in the caravan, said: “we are the voice of the peoples who fight, who tell the government that we do not want to be killed (…) We want to live. “

      The caravan’s journey began on April 25 in the Progreso ejido, municipality of Pijijiapan, Chiapas, and after 10 days arrived in San Cristóbal on Thursday, at 11 pm, accompanied by observers from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), the International Service for Peace (Sipaz) and the Swedish Movement for Reconciliation, among other NGOs.

      The caravan stayed at the Cideci / Zapatista Caracol Jacinto Canek, where this Saturday the international meeting El Sur Resiste 2023 will be held.

      Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada, Saturday, May 6, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

      Day 10 – Palenque, Chiapas: First health, food and justice, not a train that is not Maya

      The El Sur Resiste | The South Resists Caravan arrived at its last stop, Palenque, Chiapas, before the start of the “International Gathering El Sur Resiste 2023,” which will take place on May 6 and 7 in the Jacinto Canek Caracol. In Palenque, we held a march and rally against the discrimination, criminalization, and imposition of megaprojects on the Indigenous Peoples in Chiapas.

      The march had the broad participation of compañeros and compañeras from several communities in the region, who carried banners and signs demanding respect for the right to land and territory of Indigenous Peoples, and denouncing the imposition of megaprojects in the region.

      Upon arriving at the main esplanade of Palenque, the rally begins in which the organizations Coordinator of Indigenous Social Organizations CDLI-Xinich; Relatives of victims, survivors and disappeared of the Viejo Velasco massacre in the Lacandón Jungle; Toblej Yu’un Wokoltik; UCISECH; Maya Autonomous Villages “OPAM”; National Network of Civil Resistance POMACA; SADEC; CAM; CNI-Palenque; Pakal-Na National Network; IXIM Ansetik; among others, share their word and testimony about the violence and discrimination they suffer from the Mexican State, and about the resistance of their communities.

      Complete impunity in the Viejo Velasco Massacre

      The relatives and victims of the Viejo Velasco massacre, in the municipality of Ocosingo, which occurred in 2006, denounced that the investigations during these 16 years have been completely “inefficient and ineffective” and that two of their compañeros, Antonio Peñate López and Mariano Pérez Guzmán, remain missing to this day.

      The massacre of Viejo Velasco ended in the murder of 6 people extrajudicially executed, one of them, María Núñez González was pregnant, plus 2 people disappeared and 36 forcibly displaced people.

      To this day, the Government of Mexico has refused to acknowledge the massacre despite the fact that it was perpetrated by the paramilitary group Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Campesino Rights (OPDDIC), accompanied by State Police and other public servants.

      Currently, 36 people from the Viejo Velasco community are in forced displacement without any guarantee for their return and four members of the Committee for the Defense of Xinich Indigenous Freedoms have pending arrest warrants, unjustly accused of committing the massacre.

      “They mercilessly killed our sisters and brothers; others took them away tied up and dragged them like animals in the middle of the night in the Lacandón Jungle.”

      Photography: Gabriela Sanabria.

      Resounding rejection of the Maya Train

      During the rally, the organizations expressed their rejection of the works of the Maya Train that are planned in this region.

      The Palenque station is part of Section 1, which will reach Escárcega, Campeche. The latest reports from the Mexican authorities in charge of construction, have announced 80% progress in this section, including the train station in Palenque and a center around it inspired by the mask of Pakal.


      The complex will have an area of one thousand 112 meters of boulevard, which will have six lanes, a pedestrian walkway and bicycle path. It will have a new long-distance train, operated by Alstom Mexico with a capacity of 260 passengers.

      During the rally, the Mayan and Zoque organizations present expressed the following reasons for rejecting the project, some of which include violations of their rights as Indigenous peoples:

      1. The Native Peoples were not consulted in accordance with the law, thus violating the law of consultation with Indigenous Peoples and international treaties.
      2. The real owners of the Maya Train are big foreign economic powers and transnational corporations.
      3. The Maya Train will bring poverty, dispossession of lands and territories, and when we defend our land, we end up in prison or dead.
      4. Because the project will make our children and grandchildren leave the villages to work in exploitive jobs, for a miserable wage and without social security.
      5. Because of the pollution and destruction of all living things, water, plants, forests and animals.
      The sign reads: “The People united will never be defeated. It’s a time for struggle, It’s time to continue the path, it’s our time. Photo: Gabriela Sanabria.

      The Maya and Zoque Peoples also mentioned the lack of health services, hospitals and other services in the region. They pointed out as hypocrisy and discrimination that trains are built for tourists before health services for communities.

      Be a little ashamed Mr. President López Obrador, the only thing you could think of is a train and not a hospital for the peoples, which is a historical requirement.”

      They demand Freedom for Political Prisoner of Manuel Gómez Vázquez

      The Ajmaq Network of Resistances and Rebellion participated in the Palenque forum, with the reading of a statement on the situation of arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Manuel Gómez Vásquez, a young Maya-Tseltal peasant of 22 years, who was a support base of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional).

      On December 4, 2020, Manuel was arrested by an armed civilian group, which tortured him physically and psychologically to deliver him the next day to the Prosecutor’s Office to incriminate him for a crime he did not commit, to date he has been deprived of his liberty for 2 years and 3 months, without a sentence or a fair process.

      Manuel is originally from the Ricardo Flores Magón Autonomous Rebel Zapatista Municipality, Caracol IX, in Ocosingo, Chiapas. He is currently being held at the State Center for the Social Reintegration of Sentenced Persons No. 16.

      The Good Government Junta and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center have indicated that his imprisonment is due to his work as a Zapatista support base, since the Prosecutor’s Office lacks evidence to accuse him.

      In a public complaint, the Good Government Junta stated the following:

      “For bad governments, being Zapatista is a crime punishable by slander, persecution, jail and death.”

      The call is for national and international solidarity to join the demand for freedom for Manuel Gómez Vázquez.

      “Immediate liberty for Manuel Gómez Vázquez.” Photo: Gabriela Sanabria.

      At the end of the day, we leave for San Cristóbal de las Casas to prepare the “International Gathering El Sur Resiste | The South Resists 2023”, where communities from all over the Mexican southeast and throughout the country, as well as independent media, civil society and human rights organizations, will take stock of all the testimonies, evidence and information obtained during the El Sur Resiste | The South Resists Caravan. The objective will be to articulate actions and strengthen networks to confront the policy of death and megaprojects of the bad Mexican government.

      Originally Published in Spanish by El Sur Resiste, Friday, May 5, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

      Day 9: Xpujil, Campeche – The Army reconfigures Maya territory illegally

      On day 9 of the El Sur Resiste | The South Resists caravan, we visited the Xpujil [1] community, Calakmul, Campeche; one of the places where section 7 of the Maya Train project is being built and has one of the development poles that includes the train station, a military base, nine military barracks, six material banks, a hotel, a casino and a deep well.

      The day begins with a ritual of gratitude to Mother Earth in the center of the Regional Indigenous Council of Xpujil (CRIPX), in which words of gratitude for the lives of all those present are shared and the call is made to continue fighting for life.

      After the ritual, we start the march along the road, the sun burns the skin, you can feel the lack of trees and the drought that this generates. After more than 20 minutes, we arrive at the construction zone of a casino that is planned to be built together with the station and the train tracks.

      The work is controlled by the Mexican Army, which also has a base in that area. The construction is monstrous, thousands of trees have been cut down in this area turning it into a desert area full of dust and stones; Bulldozers and trailers with material work non-stop while dozens of soldiers guard the construction.

      Later, in the heart of the Maya jungle and the Calakmul biosphere reserve, it has been announced that the Mexican Army will build a hotel with more than 100 rooms. Activities in that area have begun without any kind of legal permit, environmental impact statement, or any consultation with the native peoples of the area.

      An illegal project

      Faced with the mega construction that is being carried out, colleagues from the community of Xpujil, begin to talk about the illegality of the project since the community of Xpujil has a definitive order of suspension issued by the Collegiate Court.

      The amparo (suspension) was entered in 2019, first a provisional suspension was received, and then the order was ratified by a Collegiate Court, thus granting the definitive suspension that indicates that only research and administrative work can be done in the area.

      Xpujil is located near the Maya archaeological site of Calakmul.

      Although the judge’s order was ratified after the Mexican Army challenged the order, the federal government has ignored the judge’s order, and the destruction of this part of the Maya jungle has continued totally unpunished.

      After explaining the legal process that they have carried out and how the judicial sentence has been disregarded, the compañero proceeds to deliver the judge’s order to one of the military commanders in charge of the construction.

      “FONATUR and you, SEDENA, are committing a disregard and should be prepared to face legal charges, and we have the right to stop the work. You’re violating a court order, that’s a felony, a federal crime.”

      The compañero indicated that the community will return with an actuary so that the work stops immediately.

      We will defend the territory with our lives

      The march returns to the center of the Xpujil community, where one of the main roads is closed for a political and cultural rally. There, the compañeros of the Regional Indigenous Council of Xpujil explain how the Maya Train project has deepened colonization in the more than 89 indigenous communities with more than 10 languages that inhabit this part of the territory, since they impose ways of life alien to the communities, thus violating laws and international treaties on the right of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination.

      The compañeros also exposed then discrimination to which they are subjected by the three levels of government, since, while the original communities have been denied the right to land with the argument of reclassifying their territory as a nature reserve; They open the door to the army to do all kinds of constructions.

      During the rally, the testimony of comrades of the El Sur Resiste Caravan was also presented. They spoke about how in other communities, assemblies have been illegally and illegitimately held to sell land rights to the Maya Train.

      On the Nicolás Bravo stretch in Quintana Roo alone, the government has denied all the ejido members the right to make collective agreements. The 35,000 hectares of virgin forest that the ejido had voluntarily allocated to conservation were privatized in order to hand them over to big capital such as the Cancun hotel consortium and the Azcárraga family of the Televisa group.

      A member of the Emiliano Zapata indigenous community in Candelaria, Campeche, a Chol speaker and member of the Regional Civil Resistance Organization, denounced the threats they have suffered about being evicted from their home and their territory.

      According to the testimony, a person named Fernando Humberto Oropeza has promoted the eviction order and presented himself to the inhabitants of these lands where families have cultivated for years.  Faced with this situation, the member of the Emiliano Zapata community made it clear that the peoples will defend their territory against this policy of dispossession.

      “As Indigenous people we need a piece of land in order to support our families and we are going to defend it at all costs, whatever the cost. We are tired of so many injustices on the part of the state and federal government. If they touch one they touch all, we are not going to die at the foot of the government; we will die fighting.”

      After the rally, we returned to the center of the Indigenous Regional Council of Xpujil (CRIPX) to share food and start our journey to Palenque, Chiapas, the last stop of the Sur Resiste caravan before starting the International Gathering of Resistances of the Mexican Southeast, which will be held at CIDECI on May 5 and 6.  and in which indigenous peoples from all over the country, as well as organizations, collectives and activists, will unite to work on unified responses to the war machine of the Mexican State and its megaprojects of death.

      Translator’s Note

      [1] Xpujil – The pronunciation is Shpooheel, a community near the Calakmiul archaeological site and protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Mexican state of Campeche.


      Originally Published in Spanish by El Sur Resiste, Thursday, May 4, 2023, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee