Chiapas Support Committee

The Maya Train would threaten Palenque because of tourist overpopulation

Temple of the Inscriptions, Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico.

By: Andrés Domínguez

“The maximum capacity is 700,000 visitors, but we will adhere to our management program, which has already happened in other areas where the buffer capacity is exceeded and that has put the area at risk” Julio César Romaní Cortés said, National Director in charge of Palenque for the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP, its acronym in Spanish), regarding the 8 million tourists estimated to visit Palenque annually thanks to the Maya Train project.

Romani Cortés, also the director of the Agua Azul Cascades flora y fauna protection area, indicated that a management program already exists, in which are defined what extractive and non extractive activities can be carried out, besides the support capacity that the area to not be affected could have.

Also, the director indicated that as of now they don’t know much about the Maya Train, to the extent that they have not even approached them or delivered studies about the impact that the influx of tourists in the natural protected areas of Palenque and the Agua Azul Cascades could have.

Therefore, he stated that inside the public use areas of Palenque 450,000 people are received annually, with support of up to 700,000. Given that, the Maya Train project, which according to estimates from the National Tourism Fund (Fonatur, its Spanish acronym) would bring more than 8 million visitors, “beyond what can be done,” he added.

The director of one of the zones of the most national and international tourist attraction in the country, he communicated that there have already been cases of overpopulation of tourists in a natural protected area, which have put the areas at risk, closing them and therefore the authorities seek more controls for regulation.

With respect to the projection that the State Secretary of Tourism, Katyna de la Vega, will make about the creation of 9 eco-tourist centers close to the Maya Train, he said: “I have no qualms about whether they create one or ten, you just have to consider the sites to visit, since they all have a limit of acceptable exchange, because upon it being exceeded the place and its environment could be at risk.”

Romani Cortés, insisted on saying that the capacity that the Palenque area can support is 700,000 people and that: “those will be the ones they allow to pass.” However, he did not rule out the opening of new spaces that would undoubtedly benefit the local and national economy, through the new attractive places, which diversifies the offer.

However, he urged respect for the normative system that already exists, like the management system, which will be the one they will follow and apply for the purpose of not affecting the biodiversity present inside of a protected area.

“If there is a path that accepts the visitation of 200 people per day, but then they ask us to let 1,000 enter, the contamination and support would reach its limit. Therefore, we have to talk to the population, since that would harm a place, under a strict norm and geographic, faunal, spatial y floristic analysis” he said.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


Evangelical power against feminism

Brazilian women take to the streets to protest the election of Jair Bolsonaro.

By: Raúl Zibechi

At some point in the next few years, the evangelical wave will reach all the Latin American countries because it’s growing exponentially and it’s becoming a social and political tsunami capable of modifying the scenarios to which we are accustomed. So we should learn something about what is happening where that wave has been imposed.

Brazil is the most symptomatic case of Evangelical and Pentecostal growth. The studies that are appearing show that the victory of Jair Bolsonaro was possible thanks to the Evangelical electorate. ( Among the Catholic population there was a tie between Bolsonaro and the PT’s candidate, Fernando Haddad. Among other religions, as well as among atheists and those who don’t profess any religion, there was a slight majority in favor of the candidate of the left.

But the difference was overwhelming among the Evangelical population, among which it got more than double the votes and obtained a difference of 11 million votes, which marked his triumph. Other analyses estimate that he obtained the greatest difference among poor and Evangelical women, where the difference in favor of the extreme right would be even greater.

The change in religious tendencies is very important in Brazil, although other countries in the region seem to be producing a similar although more attenuated process. In 1950, Catholics represented 93.5 percent of the population and Evangelicals 3.4 percent. In 2010 the Catholic population had fallen to 64 percent and the Evangelical climbed to 22 percent.

In 2017, an investigation carried out by a foundation linked to the PT, showed that among residents of the urban peripheries of large cities individualist values were advancing that favored conservative behaviors (

One of the most interesting works, because of its qualitative character, was carried out in Morro da Cruz, the largest poor periphery of Porto Alegre, which had stood out since 1990 because of its increasing politicization through the participatory budget that the PT implemented in that city. The neighborhood voted massively for Lula, but in 2018 it turned over massively for Bolsonaro.

The first conclusion of the anthropologist Rosana Pinheiro, one of the study’s organizers, says that: “it’s impossible to separate Bolsonaroism from anti-feminism” ( Observing the changes in the same population over a decade, allowed them to understand with greater detail the deep motivations of those who turned to the extreme right. Their conclusions are tremendous, although they contradict other studies.

Since 2014, the economic crisis, has dramatically affected the peripheries that felt the political system abandoned them. In parallel, since the June 2013 protests a new popular mobilization of women, blacks and LGBT was born. “For teenagers from the periphery, Bolsonaroism was a reaction to the new generation of feminist girls, which was unprecedented in Brazil,” the investigator concludes.

Many husbands supported Bolsonaro “as a way of attacking women, who are now more empowered,” she adds. Among other reasons, it’s because it’s impossible to separate the “macho crisis” from the economic crisis, since both feed each other.

The struggle for the recognition of black minorities, LGBT and women was deployed in Brazil just in the last five years. According to Pinheiro, a large part of the population experiences tension and insecurity with their identity, “divided between the role of the oppressed and the desire to be on the side of the oppressor.” She concludes: “As a consequence of colonization, there is also a constant struggle to be/ to seem part of the elite. That explains why so many poor people, blacks, women and LGBT supported Bolsonaro.”

I believe that these analyses illuminate some problems that we have in the antisystemic movements to confront the new right.

The first problem is that there is no other path than territorial work with the popular sectors, direct, without shortcuts, institutions or social policies. Only a militant presence in the territory can allow us to reverse this situation. We cannot attribute our failures to either the social networks or to the media (which do their part), but rather to our abandonment of the popular territories.

The second is that it’s urgent to address the place of men, in general, and that of poor young men, in particular. In a broader work, Pinheiro and her colleague Lucia Mury Scalco, maintain that one of the decisive factors in the formation of “Bolsonaro youth” was “the loss of social leadership and the sensation of the destabilization of hegemonic masculinity” (

We have become badly accustomed to the fact that macro policies, inspired in the World Bank, can solve political problems. The social technologies of above cannot substitute for organization and militancy that, like popular education, are the only ones capable of modifying the realities of below.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, March 15, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



98 dams threaten water and life in Chiapas

Zoque peoples declare their territory a safeguard zone

Dams in Chiapas would fundamentally be to provide water and electricity to mining and oil extraction projects that exist in the state. There is resistance because of human rights violations.

Some 79 dam projects are planned in the state, proposed by the Federal Electricity Commission, plus the state government’s 19 mini-hydroelectric dams, projects that in sum threaten the life and territory of nearby communities, according to organizations and academics, because of their relationship to the operation of mining and oil projects that already violate rights to water and life.

Antonino García, a research professor at the Autonomous University of Chapingo with offices in San Cristóbal de las Casas, indicated that operation of the 98 hydroelectric projects would not benefit the communities at all; to the contrary, their ecological consequences would be fatal.

Within the framework of the Day of Global Action against Dams and in Defense of Rivers, organizations spoke out against the realization of such projects and, therefore, demanded a new alternative energy and water management model from the Mexican State.

The researcher said that the most advanced project is the one for 4 hydroelectric dams on the Usumacinta River, which the then Water Resources Ministry, now known as the National Water Commission (Conagua), first proposed decades ago; however, a lack of planning and the corruption caused the projects to break down and not advance.

García mentioned that the 4 hydroelectric plants that currently operate in a 100,000-hectare area don’t bring any benefit to Chiapanecos, since the electricity was sent to the north and center of the country.

Additionally, García pointed out that the implementation of activities for a dam in Chiapas would serve to accompany mining activities, since dams provide the water and electricity for mining. He added: “for example, if the 142 mining projects that exist in the state and that encompass 1,121,000 hectares were put into operation, the amount of water and electricity needed would be unimaginable because the dams would serve the mining operations.”

The consequences of the implementation of those projects on the environment would be to leave the hills without biodiversity, perforated wells and also wells fractured because of fracking, the rivers dammed and the water contaminated by mining. He added: “the construction of a mining company cannot happen without the construction of a dam.”

“If the welfare period, which dates from 1950 to 1982, didn’t bring any benefit, the construction of the 4 big hydroelectric dams in Chiapas won’t bring it now. The government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is between a rock and a hard place because there are many international interests involved, with multimillionaire oil, mining and construction entrepreneurs,” he said.

Finally, the teacher said that the resistance of the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite), is the strongest example of opposition to the dams, since their human rights have been threatened by the implementation of oil extraction projects, plus a geothermic plant in the Chichonal Volcano, therefore the construction of a dam, would be used to feed those projects, which would increase the damage.

For its part, the Otros Mundos A.C organization and the Movement of those Affected by Dams in Latin America (MAR) expressed that it is regrettable that as of today the large, medium and mini companies for the production of energy and the dams for the supply of water continue being part of the water and energy management model in Chiapas, without taking into account the complaints about damages.

In addition, they demanded an alternative energy and water management model because as long as plans and development of projects for large companies to generate electricity and offer water for the mining companies, they will continue being [projects] “of death” and they would violate the human right to water and life.

Therefore, they asked the three levels of government for training, analysis and discussion of the current energy model, since an improvement is needed in the strategies for the defense of rivers and territory.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, March 15, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


CNI-CIG-EZLN: A Call to Days of Struggle






Considering that the neoliberal regime killed our brother Samir Flores Soberanes; we don’t know if it was the government, the entrepreneurs, their criminal cartels or, the three together;

Observing that the self-named “Fourth Transformation” started with Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, was deepened with Carlos Salinas de Gortari, continued its war of conquest with Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, Vicente Fox Quezada, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and Enrique Peña Nieto; and it now continues with the cross-term project of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the Partido Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (National Regeneration Movement Party).  For the original peoples the only “real change” is the increase of lies, deceits, persecutions, threats, incarcerations, dispossession, murders, trickery and contempt, human exploitation and the destruction of nature; in sum: the annihilation of the collective life that we are;

Assuming that the neoliberal government that Andrés Manuel López Obrador heads has its sight set on our peoples and territories, where, with the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, it extends a network of cooptation and disorganization, which opens the way to a war that has an industrial name, made of projects and violence, which, supported in the military corporations and in the coming National Guard, expands a dark web of death and destruction into the country’s original peoples;

Reiterating our firm opposition to the neoliberal policies of the old and new governments, our opposition to the consultations, whatever they’re called, which have no other purpose than the dispossession of our territories; our opposition to mining, to the damming of our rivers, to the construction of superhighways, to the accelerated real estate speculation of our lands, to the neoliberal death megaprojects like the Morelos Integral Project, the Trans-Isthmus Corridor or the Maya Train;

Remembering that the struggle headed by General EMILIANO ZAPATA SALAZAR and the Liberation Army of the South and Center represented and continue representing the interests and aspirations of our peoples and of millions of exploited in Mexico and in the world; and that this coming April 10 completes 100 YEARS OF THE COWARDLY ASSASSINATION OF GENERAL EMILIANO ZAPATA SALAZAR on the part of the political regime that, despite its “transformations,” continues governing us to this day:



To be held on April 09 of this year in the indigenous community of Amilcingo, municipality of Temoac, Morelos, from 10:00 in the morning to 6:00 pm.

As well as the:


The program of activities will be published soon.


March 2019

For the Integral Reconstitution of Our Peoples

Never More A Mexico Without Us





By agreement of the Emerging National Assembly in the face of State Violence and the Self-Determination of the Peoples, held in the community of Amilcingo, Morelos, on March 9 of this year, this call is being promoted together with the following organizations:

Huexca en Resistencia, Asamblea Permanente de los Pueblos de Morelos, Red de apoyo al CIG-Morelos, Organización Popular Francisco Villa de Izquierda Independiente, Trabajadores de Morelos, UPCI, Cholultecas Unidos en Resistencia-CHUR, Nodorolidente, MOPIM-CNPA-MN, Instituto Cultural Autónomo Rubén Jaramillo, UPVA 28 de octubre, Red contra la Represión, Red Coyoacan, Praxis en América Latina, CNI Tepoztlan, CNI Puebla, Colectivo Resistrenzas, Red de Resistencia y Rebeldía Cineteca, Red de Rebeldías y Resistencias, UPCD, EPM, Colectivo Obrero, JEN, Comunidad de Huazulco, Zapatistas del sur de Morelos, UCIZONI, MAIZ, Integrantes UAM-Azcapozalco, Solidaka, Unión por la Soberanía Popular, Escuela Normal Rural Popular Mactumactzá, Ejido Tenextepango, Ruacig, Rebelión, Hecho en Tlalpan, Colectivo El Zurdo, Mov. por la libertad de los defensores del agua Tlanixco Edo. Mex., San Miguel Cajono Oaxaca, Universidad de Chapingo, Libertad bajo Palabra, Flor de la Palabra, Organización Nacional del Poder Popular.

 En español:









The peoples will continue in struggle against the Morelos Integral Project

[This struggle in the Mexican state of Morelos has become the CNI’s (National Indigenous Congress’) focal point for resistance to the government’s megaprojects.]

Protest against the Huexca thermoelectric plants.

By: Gilberto Lopez y Rivas

Manipulated consultations, marked by a political crime, like the one that took place on February 23 and 24 [1] in some arbitrary chosen or vetoed places in Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala, are not enough to bend the people’s will to stand against the death projects, like the one that it intends to impose in these three states with a thermoelectric plant, gas pipeline and aqueduct, whose fundamental purpose is to benefit the existing industrial enclaves and those to be built.

In the following days, representative organizations of the struggle against the PIM (Proyecto Integral Morelos, Morelos Integral Project) made public their decision to continue their resistance by legal, political and peaceful ways, as they have been doing over seven years, suffering the state’s institutional and clandestine violence, at the service of capitalist corporations, whose  last victim was Samir Flores Soberanes, outstanding communicator and indigenous leader, murdered February 20, a day after he questioned the federal delegate, Eric Flores, at an event in support of the PIM. February 19, people and citizens representatives of the three states. asked the CNDH (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, National Human Rights Commission) for precautionary measures for the PIM opponents, in ratification of a complaint regarding the fundamental human rights and collective indigenous rights that the PIM violates. Nothing stopped the henchmen.

The state attorney general, Uriel Carmona Gándara, a few hours after the attack, re-victimized Samir and his family, by declaring that it was an execution related to organized crime and to venture an unusual line of investigation that directs responsibility for this death to his movement´s compañeros!

On February 28, the Asamblea Permanente de los Pueblos de Morelos (Permanent Assembly of Morelos Peoples) disclosed their word and their decision to struggle, talking to the almost 20,000 people of that state that voted NO to the Huexca thermoelectric plant, facing the disinformation and manipulation of a consultation that violates the constitution and international jurisprudence regarding indigenous rights, in which the government was both judge and jury, and without an independent body that monitored the “democratic” exercise, in which not more than one percent of the electorate participated.

Even in these conditions, the Assembly highlights: “The results of the simulated, illegal and illegitimate poll are clear, the municipalities near the thermoelectric plant: Yecapixtla, Ocuituco, Tetela del Volcán, Hueyapán, Xacualpan, Temoac, Jantetelco, Ayala and Cuatla, aware that what´s at stake is the future of the territory and life itself, said a resounding NO: 11,409 to the thermoelectric and only 4,975 said yes. The dignified and rebellious town of Tepoztlán was forceful with it’s NO vote. The indigenous communities of Huexca and Hueyapan municipality with widespread community assemblies have joined the NO vote, as is it the way that the indigenous peoples and communities have to decide the path we want, which is recognized in the ILO-Convention 169, that the government disowns.”

Therefore, the Permanent Assembly of the Peoples of Morelos (Asamblea Permanente de los Pueblos de Morelos) addresses president Andrés Manuel Lópex Obrador to communicate that he disclaim the “supposed democratic exercise”; it also points out that he not trust his delegate in Morelos “because of his right-wing background and defense of murderers in Chiapas and the person towards whom they point lines of investigation for the murder of our brother Samir Flores Soberanes.” They also demand that the federal prosecutor´s office accept the case and remove the state attorney general. Based on the polling results from the affected municipalities, they demand the definitive cancellation of the Huexca thermoelectric plant and an end to the criminalization of social struggle.

Juan Carlos Flores Solis, a lawyer from the Peoples Front in Defense of Land and Water of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala, jailed for ten months due to his activism against the PIM, made known the protections filed by the communities of Huexca and Anenecuilco and others ejidos of this region in order to make the Federal Electricity Commission abstain from disposing of contaminated waters into the Cuatla River and to stop using the water for their crops. Also, they made known the protections won in Puebla State against the gas pipeline and the interposition of new protections against the February consultation. The indigenous people know very well the limits of the judicial realm if it’s not accompanied by political mobilizations.

Tomorrow, March 9, Amalcingo will welcome delegates from all over the country, to agree on a plan of struggle against the megaprojects of the capitalist fourth transformation, and on April 10 there will be political acts all over the country in defense of life, autonomy, territories and against the official manipulation of Emiliano Zapata.

Zapata and Samir are alive, the struggle continues!


[1] The results of the consultation on the PIM and the Huexca thermoelectric plant were that 55,715 citizens participated; 59.5% voted Yes, 40.1% voted No and 0.1 votes were void. As López y Rivas points out, the communities close to the project voted overwhelmingly NO, while towns and communities farther away from the project voted Yes.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, March 8, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee






The 4T: politics for life or death?

The mural portrays Antonio Esteban, an environmentalist in Puebla, murdered in 2014.

By: Víctor M. Toledo

The classic distinction in conventional politics between “lefts” and “rights” is being undrawn to give way to a new dilemma. Now it’s increasingly necessary and adequate to speak of “politics for life” and “politics for death.” As we saw in a previous installment, the devastating attack of a transnational oligarchy that barely reaches one percent of the human population extends and intensifies throughout the planet, destroying nature and humans alike. The ecological depredation and exploitation of human labor continues as corporate capital bends governments of all kinds to put them at their service, giving rise to what we have named “black holes of modernity.” This displacement of the old political geometry by a challenge of greater transcendence results from globalization and from the impact that industrial societies have on the balance of the planetary ecosystem. The conjunct of these politics for death leads to a collapse of civilization, as is analyzed and discussed with more intensity and frequency in innumerable circles (think tanks) of the world.

As has been confirmed by comparison to the Latin American “progressive governments” or [governments] of the left, this dilemma between eco-politics (or bio-politics) and necro-politics, upon being ignored, became a time bomb that ended up exploiting them, united in various cases into the corruption of leaders and parties. What are in dispute are the territories and their rich visible and hidden resources. In the Mexico of today, the sparks that generate the fires are precisely the conflicts that emerge from the clash (of civilizations?) between the projects of death of the private and state corporations, and the projects of life woven and long-held by the human communities, their natures and their regions. We’re talking about 560 socio-environmental conflicts, according to our sources, which have already left a trail of violence and death: 503 cases of community defenders attacked between 1995 and 2015 (threats, illegal detentions, physical attacks, criminalization), according to the thesis of the UNAM researcher Lucía Velázquez Hernández, and that reaches 125 activists murdered (data from Global Witness and the Mexican Environmental Law Center:

Estelina López Gómez

The murder of Samir Flores (2/20/19), an indigenous Nahua and one of the principal leaders of the opposition to the Morelos Integral Project (gas pipeline and two thermoelectric plants), is only one of the four environmental defenders murdered since the change of government. Those murdered before Samir Flores were: Estelina López Gómez (01/23/19) from the la Santo Tomás community of Amatenango del Valle [Chiapas]; Rafael Murúa Manríquez (01/20/19), director of the Radiokashana community radio, and Manuel Martínez Bautista (12/24/18), from Yahualica, Hidalgo.

As we pointed out in a previous text (“Will the new government conquer neoliberal fantasies?”, the new government is obliged to confront and take a diaphanous position on these territorial battles. Each concession (tactic?) that the Fourth Transformation (4T) makes to the “industrial ogre’s” projects of death in both its corporate and state versions, reveals a lack of long-term visualization, because we are already facing a challenge on a civilizational scale in which not only are the destinies of a social system being played out social, but a “way of conceiving the world” and of the human species itself. Therefore, the traditional communities cannot be sacrificed, once again for the sake of “progress” and “development” of the nation (which is the litany of neoliberals), and much less in the name of a consultation imposed and oriented beforehand by the state power.

Why does the new government start to repeat the errors of the progressive regimes in Latin America? Behold, here the question leads to a greater imbroglio, to a supreme lack: no theoretical clarity exists and, therefore, tactics and strategy in the 4T, because this nation, as an electoral slogan, from the visionary head, brilliant and pragmatic, but also solitary and limited as a leader, and not from collective discussion that is from a political program. There are thus only immediate reactions to each problem, whose repetition will be irremediably marking a vague, confusing, contradictory and, therefore, erratic policy. Until a political program that gives corpus to the 4T is collectively analyzed and clarified, the current government will go on inexorably diluted until, once again, the right reaches us.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, February 26, 2018

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



I prefer life

Juan Carlos Solís

By: Juan Carlos Flores Solís *

After nine years of the peoples of the Popocatépetl Volcano saying no to the Morelos Integral Project (Proyecto Integral Morelos, PIM), of experiencing incarcerations, judicial persecutions, torture, defamation, militarization, community radio closings, division of communities, purchase of consciences, deception, the formation of shock groups, the population’s confrontations with the police, CNDH recommendations and protective orders won, now they tell us that they are going to consult us about whether the PIM is carried out, that the people will be taken into account to decide. But, what people; the people affected or the people in general? The consultation about the PIM is the first official consulta (consultation or referendum) that the new government promotes and the third citizen consulta after those on the NAICM and the Maya Train, where the opinion of AMLO about the project coincided with the results of the consulta.

Violation of the right to information

 Now the President says “yes to the PIM, but I’m going to submit it to a consulta,” and “but it won’t affect the environment and it’s only lacking 100 meters to be connected,” as well as an infinity of arguments that are refutable by the peoples affected and specialists knowledgeable about the PIM. But, our voice doesn’t have the same echo that AMLO’s has, the peoples that have reasons for legitimately opposing don’t have 40 minutes at a press conference where they can expose why the PIM does affect the communities. That’s why the citizen consulta is inequitable, because the population doesn’t have the same means that the authority has for spreading la information and there is no serious and public debate between the disagreeing parties. The express period of 13 days to apply the consulta violates the principle of the right to information, because it’s not enough time for the peoples, organizations, environmentalists, human rights defenders and scientists that have compiled hundreds of documents about the PIM to synthesize and report to all the populations. Thirteen days is not enough for the people to know about the project and resolve their questions. Nine years seeking justice and 13 days to report to millions of people in the three states, with the opinion of the president loading the dice for the consulta.

This consulta is unconventional because it violates the right of self-determination of the indigenous subject that inhabits the territory through which the project crosses, because the decision of the people affected is replaced by a regional poll of outside people that don’t live in the indigenous territory affected. Regarding the PIM, the theme must not be reduced to a question of a public poll, but rather be the beginning of the recognition of the rights of the indigenous peoples affected by a megaproject, because justice must prevail over any economic interest. A consulta about the PIM must be indigenous, community by community, each one with its times and rhythms, a binding consulta, where if a community says no to the gas pipeline, it must change it’s course on that stretch and withdraw its tubes from that community, because that is recognizing indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination in their territory. A poll cannot supplant the substantive right of the indigenous peoples to be consulted about the projects that affect their territory and traditional way of life, because it would violate Articles 6, 7, 13, 14 and 15 of Convention 169 of the ILO and the rights expressed in Constitutional Article 2 and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples.

What can be consulted about and what cannot? Can one consult about living without adequate civil protection measures? Living in a polluted environment so that money isn’t thrown away? Permitting conditions that prejudice public health due to the emission of nitrogen oxides? The evacuation routes from the Popocatépetl Volcano were not consulted about whether they were made, they were made because it’s necessary to protect the populations. Before taking the PIM to a consulta, it must be determined whether or not the project places the communities that inhabit the zone of the dangerous volcano at greater risk, the main risk of the megaproject, which the Morelos federal super-delegate omitted completely in the presentation of the project’s impact.

Saying yes to the PIM, is deciding that the communities close to the volcano will live at greater risk; saying yes to the PIM is impelling change in the use of the soil and water from agricultural to industrial; it’s saying yes to environmental and health impacts so that corporations don’t lose their investment. That’s why: “I prefer life: water for life, land to work and the security to live without fear.” The time bomb is installed, the thing is to light it; it’s the real problem inherited from the previous two six-year presidential terms.

* Juan Carlos Flores Solís is a lawyer and ex political prisoner because of the Morelos Integral Project.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee




To the peoples of the world

To the organizations and collectives in resistance and rebellion

To the networks of resistance and rebellion

To the national and international Sixth

To the communications media

Almost 100 years after the assassination of General Emiliano Zapata, the Ayuuk, Binizza, Chinanteco, Chol, Chontal, Guarijío, Maya, Mayo, Mazahua, Mazateco, Mixteco, Nahua, Nayeri, Otomí, Popoluca, Purépecha, Raramuri, Tepehuano, Tlapaneco, Tojolabal, Totonaco, Tzeltal, Tsotsil, Wixárika, Yaqui, Zoque and Quichua (Ecuador) peoples being together to celebrate the Third National Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Government Council, we are in pain and rage faced with the war against our peoples, the murder of Compañero Samir, dead for defending the land and his people.  From our national assembly we send a combative embrace in solidarity with his family and the community of Amilcingo, Morelos. We send a solidarity embrace from the CNI-CIG and the EZLN, where the compañero will always be a lighted candle.

The neoliberal regime killed Samir; we don’t know if it was the government, the impresarios, their criminal cartels, or if it was the three together.  The offerings that AMLO made, not to those below, but rather to the owners of money and power, the veiled threats against those who defend life, laid the foundation for the basis of the murderous assassination. It is, in the case of the new head of the federal executive, the promise of delivering to the entrepreneurs and the top military men what neoliberal capitalism and its bad governments that come and go have not been able to take away from us.  He offers the entrepreneurs putting land at their disposal with the supposed new Agrarian Development Law, to finish dismantling collective property and collective organization, calling shameless robbery and destruction “development,” militarily threatening our peoples with his National Guard and reconfiguring our country.

What those above call “transformations” have always meant to our peoples that we put up the deaths in function of the interests of the oligarchies and of those who have the power, which are each time smaller and larger, who don’t stop living from the oppression, exploitation and destruction as always.

The so-called “Fourth Transformation” follows the same path as its 3 predecessors, although with more brutality and cynicism, if possible.

In the War of Independence it was the local exploiters, the children of the European invaders, who took power and distributed our lands, trying to make the existence of our peoples invisible on the basis of the liberal discourse that is the discourse of Power until this very day.

In the Reform our communal lands, sacred to us, were proscribed to deliver them to the same looters, the Reform laws and the subsequent laws about uncultivated lands and colonization promoted the growth of the big haciendas under the regime of Porfirio Díaz. [1]

During the Mexican Revolution, while political power was distributed above, those of us below defended and watered the land with our blood. While Madero and Carranza were betraying and assassinating Zapata, our peoples were demanding a radical and profound social and agrarian transformation that never came.

Thus, in each “transformation” the exploitation, dispossession, discrimination and contempt against our peoples increased and recurred.

We have no doubt that this new stage of government deepens neoliberalism and the forced integration of our country into the imperial orbit of the United States, therefore, it has faithfully committed to give continuity to the macroeconomic policies of the previous governments, establishing an austerity and fiscal restrictions that have not been seen since the government of Miguel de la Madrid: guarantying the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico, respect for foreign investments and the promotion of free trade. It goes against us and against our territories; it goes in favor of extermination of our peoples in every corner, and for that it tends a war that we suffer today with mourning and courage. We see ourselves in this general assembly and in the conjunct of our sorrows we see that it’s a war made of many wars functioning together, as if it were one.

Today it is Francisco I. Madero, who betrayed Zapata, the greatest inspirer of the discourse of the new federal executive, admirer of liberal and neoliberal development that is exterminating our peoples.

In reality, the self-named “Fourth Transformation” started with Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, deepened with Carlos Salinas de Gortari, his war of conquest continued with Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, Vicente Fox Quezada, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and Enrique Peña Nieto; and now it continues with the term of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the Movement of National Regeneration Party. For the original peoples the only “true change” is the increase in lies, deceptions, persecutions, threats, incarcerations, dispossession, murders, ridicule and contempt, human exploitation and the destruction of nature; in sum: the annihilation of collective life that we are.

What those who orchestrate the destruction of the world need is what the peoples have, and we are going to defend it from their capitalist transformation with our resistance and rebellion, although, as we are seeing, we face the military scheme of domination and repression that capital has as a standard, and that the same applies to police bodies, the military, shock groups, drug cartels and paramilitaries.

The bad federal government stands upon the ravages left by decades of neoliberalism, deepening the contempt and racism in order to be able to dispossess the original peoples. It looks for indifference and directs itself to such indifference to ask if you are in agreement or not with the destruction that is seen as “progress.” In other words, its supposed consultas are no more than the harvest of hatred and fear left by neoliberal capitalism. That harvest is called “democracy.”

Faced with all the projects aimed at the dispossession and destruction of our territories and cultures, we state that the citizen and popular consultas, and even those that are organized under the protection of Convention 169 of the ILO, have as the purpose validating said megaprojects and dress them up with a false legitimacy. We denounce that the consultas that the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples currently organize around the 2018-2024 Nacional Development Plan, the Maya Train or the Trans-Isthmus Corridor are a simulation for its validation. Our peoples, in the exercise of their fundamental rights of autonomy and territory say NO to the policies and the megaprojects of dispossession, death and destruction, as well as the consultas that the bad governments organizes to obtain the consent of our pueblos to said policies and said megaprojects.

The neoliberal government that Andrés Manuel López Obrador heads has its sights set on our peoples and territories, where, with the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, a network of cooptation and disorganization is extended, which opens the path to a war that has an industrial name, made of projects and violence, which, together with the other wars and war networks, spread a dark web of death on the country’s original peoples of the country.

The Morelos Integral Project, for example, consists of 2 thermoelectric plants, gas pipelines and aqueducts that seek to dispossess the indigenous Nahua peoples of the Popocatépetl Volcano of the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala of land, water, security, health, identity and campesino life. The force of the State and of the Elecnor, Enagas, Abengoa, Bonatti, CFE, Nissan, Burlington, Saint Gobain, Continental, Bridgestone and many more companies, has imposed this project by means of public state, federal and army violence, infusing terror in the pueblos through torture, threats, incarceration, legal persecution, closing community radio stations, and now the murder of our brother Samir Flores Soberanes.

The neoliberals, first with the criminals Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto and now with Andrés Manuel López Obrador, they seek to finish off the resistance of the peoples that with right and reason con say NO to the Morelos Integral Project. However, the racism sown by capitalist contempt, disinformation and forgetfulness, criminalize us again. AMLO said in 2014 and 2018 that he would be with the peoples against the thermoelectric plant in Huexca. Now he calls us left radicals and conservatives point out that the money invested in the project is the major reason for not stopping the death that it announces, regardless of the pain and rage of our peoples.Today, the lie that they call the “consulta” is craftily named “democracy,” done within a framework of violence, disinformation and disparagement, without regard to the risk that the Morelos Gas Pipeline implies in the danger zone of the sacred Popocatépetl Volcano, no matter that they will finish off the water for irrigation of the Ayala ejidos and contaminate the Cuautla River. In other words, life has no value when it’s about big capital.

In Mayan towns of the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo, the sacred sites are being snatched from the communities to increase the profits of transnational tourist companies; making a war in which the same train that will transport the fruits of the transgenic agro-industry, will take the meat from the huge pig farms that destroy the sacred waters of the cenotes; the same one that will serve to connect the special economic zones of Puerto Progreso and Campeche on the peninsula, where they also impose wind farms. Also, in the indigenous territories of Tabasco and Chiapas this war becomes a network with repressive military and paramilitary los groups. Later, it becomes a single war with megaprojects deployed in the territory of the original peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

While orchestrating the capitalist transformation against the Maya peoples, the land is being stolen from the peoples, bought for a few pesos and destroyed by exploitation and transgenic contamination in the whole region, strongly affected by agrochemicals.

In the native peoples that inhabit the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the bad capitalist government announces the imposition of the project coveted by big international capital for the transit of its merchandise and the looting of natural and cultural wealth from the south–southeast, where a large number of original peoples live, as well the principal jungles, forests, rivers and the largest area of biodiversity in the country.

The bad capitalist government uses the previous governments’ forms of imposition to impose this mega-project of death that seeks to reactivate the ports of Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos, connecting them by means of a high-speed cargo train for the transport of merchandise from the big capitalists that control the world. It is a “transformed” neo-Porfirismo [2] clothed as “progressive.”

It aims to convert the Isthmus into a containment wall for Central American and national migration to the United States, hiring migrants for precarious and low-wage jobs through the installation of maquila industries (sweat shops), automotive factories, forest exploitation (logging), energy megaprojects, like the wind corridors, hydroelectric dams, as well as the exploitation of hydrocarbons by both conventional methods and fracking, mining exploitation and the transport of merchandise throughout the trans-Isthmus strip.

This project does not benefit the peoples or the country, nor will it transport our local products; rather it’s about the delivery of our territories and our life to international capitalism, led by the United States, from which networks of wars emerge for which there are no walls or containments.

The “Fourth Transformation” version of Trump’s wall is nothing but a multiplication of walls constructed from the border with Guatemala and Belize to the Mexican Isthmus. These walls are built with materials that are the product of the destruction of nature and of the original peoples, and their “glue” is the dispossession, exploitation, contempt and repression.

In the center of the country, industrial developments and agrarian and real estate speculation accompany the savage expansion of Mexico City, which are leading to the destruction and dispossession of a wide zone. With the work in Texcoco for the NAICM, [3] more than 100 hills were destroyed to extract materials with which they intended to kill the lake, thereby provoking the affectation of water sources for the whole region. As an alternative of the new government, the airport on the Santa Lucia Military Base, is accompanied by the same dispossession to the surrounding towns, which they intent to submerge in the misfortune that afflicts us because of big capital.

With concern we observe, on the one hand, that the PINFRA company continues its work on the Mexico Tuxpan-Peñón Texcoco super highway, on land of the Nexquipayac ejido, while several companies intend to continue different work on the NAICM in Texcoco and currently carry out work that is not properly explained; on the other hand, the federal government promises the administration and profits from the new airport in Santa Lucia to the military. Those are the fees in exchange for protecting the power of big capital against the peoples that pueblos organize to stop the war in every corner of the country, always betting on life. That’s why the CNI- CIG, will continue fighting for the cancellation of the NAICM project whether they intend to continue it in Texcoco or in Santa Lucia, as is the decision of the federal executive.

In that sense and in the exercise of our territorial rights and autonomy we say that these megaprojects will meet head-on with the will of our peoples.

The bad capitalist government of López Obrador sharpens the war against the women of our country because, with its redoubled support for the powerful, it leads to an increase in femicides, trafficking in women, torture and exploitation. That’s why we, the National Indigenous Congress, the Indigenous Government Council and the EZLN, think that if we organize the women that struggle in our rural and urban towns, we will undermine that war of capital until it falls.

Below, in all the geographies that are the original peoples, we continue sowing autonomy, we construct and deploy the power of below in what are also networks of networks, but of resistance and rebellion, which are also the mirrors not only of the peoples that we the CNI–CIG and the EZLN are, but also many others that sow hope and of which this, our third national assembly, is the mirror.

Consequently, from here, we denounce the open war against the dignified struggle of the indigenous Nahua community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán, utilizing the bad government’s repressive force at all three levels, as well as organized crime groups, the same a it deploys throughout the country’s territory as an instrument of death against our peoples and as justification for militarization and the creation of the National Guard.

We stand for the full respect for the autonomy of the Tila ejido in the state of Chiapas and we condemn the threats of dispossession and repression made by the spurious ejido commissioner with the support of the bad governments for the formation of shock groups against our compañeros who have given an example of dignity and organization. At the same time, by agreement of our national assembly, we continue demanding the live presentation of our compañero Sergio Rivera Hernández who was disappeared since August 23, 2018 because of his struggle against the Autlán mining company in the Sierra Negra of Puebla.  We demand the cancellation of the Coyolapa-Atzala hydroelectric project and the mining exploitation in the Sierra Negra.

We demand the live presentation of the los 43 Ayotzinapa students and justice for the murdered compañeros.

We demand the cancellation of the mining concessions throughout national territory, which imply destruction in the state of Oaxaca, Sierra Sur, in Chontal territory on the part of the Salamera Company, in the Chimalapas region, where the same Canadian company currently seeks to widen its concessions, in the Wirikuta desert, San Luis Potosí and throughout the country.

We call for redoubling efforts for the freedom of our compañero Fidencio Aldama Pérez, of the Yaqui town of Loma de Bácum, Sonora; and of our compañeros Pedro Sánchez Berriozábal, Rómulo Arias Mireles and Teófilo Pérez González of the Nahua community of San Pedro Tlanixco, in the State of Mexico, as well as all the political prisoners in Mexico.

We demand that they cease the harassment and threats from the three levels of bad government that want to impose the Morelos Integral Project at all costs against our brothers and sisters of the community of Amilcingo, Morelos, from which the light that is our brother Samir shines.

We demand the cancellation of the projected wind park known as Gunaa Sicarú, of the French company EDF, on more than 4,000 hectares belonging to the communal lands of the Binnizá community of Unión Hidalgo and we reject the consulta that the government seeks to carry out in order top obtain the community’s “consent.” At the same time we demand the immediate cancellation of the prospecting studies that speleologists belonging to PESH (Huautla Speleological System) carry out in caves and caverns of the Mazateco town of Huautla without authorization.

We call to the original peoples, to the networks and organizations that have supported the CIG-CNI, as well as the collectives and organizations of workers, students, women, campesinos and youth that struggle against neoliberal capitalism, to grow our resistances and rebellions and to participate in the National Assembly among the peoples of the National Indigenous Congress and the organizations, networks and collectives that in Mexico and the world struggle and organize, and also to the event with the motive of the 100th anniversary of the assassination of General Emiliano Zapata Salazar, on April 9 and 10, 2019 in the state of Morelos, where we will say clearly again:



From the Third National Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Government Council

March 2019

For the Integral Reconstitution of Our Peoples

Never More A Mexico Without Us

National Indigenous Congress

Indigenous Government Council

Zapatista National Liberation Army

[1] Porfirio Díaz was president of Mexico from 1884-1911.

[2] A reference to the policies of the Porfirio Díaz regime

[3] NAICM – Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México (New Mexico City International Airport)


Originally Published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


Puerto Madero, Chiapas, disappears due to climate change

Eroded beach at Puerto Madero

By: Andrés Domínguez

Chiapas would be one of the states most affected due to the increase of the average sea level.

As a consequence, the beaches close to Puerto Madero would disappear due to the increase of the average sea level; additionally, the number and intensity of hurricanes would also increase in that Soconusco area.

San Benito and Villa San José, are beaches located in Puerto Madero, Tapachula, which have lost more than 132.99 hectares of terrain due to erosion and climate change. These are considered one of the first affectations and it’s expected to intensify in the coming years, as Vicente Castro, a researcher at the Natural Resources and Climate Change Unit of the Autonomous University of Chiapas, reported.

The community of Puerto Madero is naturally located in a high risk zone, where the increase in the intensity and number of hurricanes will rise, as well as the increase in the average sea level; these are factors that would considerably increase the danger for the population, the infrastructure, and the productive activities, especially tourism, Castro said.

In his most recent research, Castro estimated a loss in surface terrain of 1 million 329 thousand 918 square meters between the two beaches; therefore, the damage would exceed an economic damage of 500 million pesos, considering the damage to the tourist infrastructure and the work of protection.

In this scenario, the academic mentioned that at the end of the 21st century, the temperature in Mexico will have an increase between 2 and 4 º C, in the particular case of the Soconusco an increase between 2.3 and 2.5 º C towards 2080-2099 is expected, which will bring more severe consequences for the area that may even include the disappearing of population. About this last topic, in 2007 the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) elaborated a scenario of an increase of at least one meter in the middle level of the sea in Mexico in which the most affected states would be Campeche, Chiapas, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Yucatán.

Given this, the academic warned that the beaches of the western sector of Puerto Madero community are strongly eroded beaches; at the same time, the work of building a “height port” [Puerto Chiapas] contributed to the deterioration of the area. [1]

Climate change in Tapachula is already causing economic losses due to infrastructure damage to the community that surely exceeds 500 million pesos, this without counting the proper value of the beaches, Castro communicated.

[1] Puerto Chiapas is a relatively new commercial port built for cruise ships and tourism at Puerto Madero.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

February 26, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee







The National Indigenous Congress: balances and challenges

By: Magdalena Gómez

Last weekend the third assembly of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Government Council (CNI-CIG) was held in Mexico City with 288 participants, among delegates, councilors and invitees, to carry out an evaluation of the peoples of the CNI faced with the neoliberal capitalist attack and, consequently, to agree on the steps to follow.

The presence of members of diverse peoples from Campeche, Mexico City, Chihuahua, Chiapas, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Sonora, Tabasco and Yucatán was very significant. It permitted them to share a wide panorama of threats to their territories both from organized crime and the behavior of companies with projects sponsored or endorsed by the current government. They will now share, if they decide to, the narration of their work and their agreements. For now, I emphasize some personal appreciations. It was reaffirmed, with numerous evidences, the neoliberal continuity of the period opened with the opening of the land market and the successive mining and energy reforms, which now, before questioning them, constitute the basis for the already-announced megaprojects, in times of the badly-named Fourth Transformation.

They also brought up the political situation and the siege of violence and criminalization that exists in regions characterized by the manipulation of forces, those definitely conservative, who are dressed as Morena, now also beneficiaries of the very broad electoral support achieved by the President of the Republic. At the same time, it was clear that the inequality would not be abated with the welfare-like offer of supports to different sectors and, nevertheless, constitutes a patronage-style link that is operating in the imaginary of its beneficiaries.

It was evident in the assembly that the murder of Samir Flores Soberanes is a parting of waters that already marked the current government, and therefore in Amilcingo, Morelos, as well as in numerous towns that do not participate in the CNI-CIG, the consider it a betrayal of the President of the Republic to make decisions like the so-called citizen consulta (consultation or referendum) on the Huexca thermoelectric plant, in contradiction to his campaign offering that was recorded and has been reproduced in social networks.

In that sense, even the obscure investigation into the murder of Samir, emblematic leader of the opposition to the Plan Integral Morelos (PIM), who was at first defamed and now it is said that the evidence was lost. The immediate social reaction of repudiation of the crime in the Mexico City march expresses that the opposition is no longer just to the PIM, the grievance includes the head of the Executive. And that factor will continue to be present in the opponents to other projects like the Maya Train (Tren Maya) or the Trans-Isthmus Corridor.

That meeting of the CNI-CIG was very important and representative, for defining its horizons of anticapitalist resistance.

For now, one should suggest caution to the opponents of the Los Cardones Mine in Baja California Sur, who have just received the presidential offering that he doesn’t support the project and “it will not be “consulted,” under the argument that it isn’t inherited from the previous government, like the airport or the PIM and it is, therefore, within his ability to reject it.

The serious problem that, in my judgment, indigenous peoples face is the continuous nature of the negation and trampling of their collective rights. That is not the horizon of governmental action. The presidential will, in practice, is the one that determines, and for this purpose it has been coated with a supposed citizen consultation of the popular will to pretend to legitimize previous decisions. It’s not about lead by obeying, as has been said, much less can you compare that principle with the constitutional obligations of a head of State, who would have to obey in the first instance the fulfillment of rights.

One hundred days have been enough to give an account of where the priorities are. Nothing new will bring the peoples the consulta that by constitutional mandate must be held with all the citizens about the National Development Plan 2019-24. In the indigenous case for 10 days, from next March 8 to 18, they will hold 25 forums that the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI) convokes directed to: “indigenous municipal authorities; community authorities (delegates, agents, commissioners, chiefs of tenure, site authorities, assistantships, among others); traditional indigenous authorities; indigenous agrarian authorities (communal and ejido); indigenous organizations and institutions; civil society organizations and academic institutions specializing in indigenous questions, and those interested in providing recommendations and proposals.”

It’s obvious that forums lasting a few hours are not the mechanism for consulting based on their own forms, as it’s also that their agenda is not agreed upon with the peoples.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee