dorset chiapas solidarity

March 20, 2013

Solicitud desde el Reino Unido sobre Alberto Patishtán

Filed under: Political prisoners — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:14 pm

 

 

 

Adelante con la libertad de Patishtán

Una solicitud la Red de Solidaridad Zapatista del Reino Unido sobre cartas exigiendo la liberación de Alberto Patishtán Gómez

Compañeras y Compañeros,

La siguiente carta, exigiendo la liberación de Alberto Patishtán Gómez, puede ser imprimida y enviada por grupos, colectivos o’ individuos. Al final se encuentran las direcciones de unos funcionarios de gobierno. Sólo es necesario cambiar el destinatario y añadir el nombre y algunos datos de contacto.

También pueden enviarlo a su propia embajada o consulado del gobierno de México, y a los medios de comunicación y otras organizaciones.

Les enviamos abrazos calurosos.

Red de Solidaridad Zapatista del Reino Unido

Aqui va la carta:

Marzo de 2013

Estimado………

Por medio de esta carta quisiéramos exigir libertad y justicia para el profesor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, muy bien conocido preso político y defensor de derechos humanos, que el Estado mexicano ha mantenido injustamente en prisión durante casi 13 años.

Nosotros que firmamos esta carta hemos seguido de cerca las acciones por la libertad del Sr. Patishtán, indígena tsotsil y profesor de educación básica, originario del municipio de El Bosque, Chiapas, quien se encuentra detenido actualmente en el Centro Estatal para la Reinserción Social de Sentenciados No 5, (Cerss No. 5), en San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México.

El Sr. Alberto Patishtán está injustamente sentenciado a 60 años de prisión, por lo ocurrido el 12 de junio de 2000, en el municipio de El Bosque, Chiapas. Hechos que claramente Patishtán no cometió. Muchos testigos afirman su presencia a muchos kilómetros del lugar al momento del incidente.

Según información de organizaciones de derechos humanos y abogados expertos en la materia, la sentencia conferida al profesor tsotsil fue el culmen de una serie de violaciones a las garantías judiciales y al proceso judicial, que se dieron durante el proceso de procuración y administración de justicia. Durante su estancia en la cárcel, sus derechos humanos, especialmente con relación a su estado de salud, han sido muchas veces violados.

La Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación ha decidido a no reasumir su competencia en el caso, y por lo tanto ha dejado la responsabilidad al Primer Tribunal Colegiado del Vigésimo Circuito con sede en Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, por hacer la decisión histórica de impartir justicia y libertad a esto preso político y defensor de derechos humanos.

Apelamos a los magistrados del Primer Colegiado de Distrito a que cumplan con su deber jurídico, poniendo en libertad a Patishtan inmediatamente. Apelamos y exigimos también al Estado Mexicano que se haga justicia.

La inocencia de Patishtán provoca que preguntemos ¿Por qué los culpados verdaderos se quedan impunes? ¿Porque hay tanto impunidad en México? Su culpabilidad fue fabricada, pero la muerte de siete policías no ha sido investigada, y los criminales responsables queden libres.

Reiteramos nuestra petición por la libertad incondicional del preso político encarcelado injustamente, Alberto Patishtán Gómez.

Atentamente……….

Lic. Enrique Peña Nieto

Presidente de la República

Residencia Oficial de los Pinos

Casa Miguel Alemán

Col. San Miguel Chapultepec,

C.P. 11850, México DF

Tel: (52.55) 2789.1100 Fax: (52.55) 5277.2376

Lic. Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong

Secretario de Gobernación

Bucareli 99, 1er. Piso, Col. Juárez,

Del. Cuauhtémoc,

C.P. 06600 México D.F.

Fax: (52 55) 50933414;

Correo: secretario@segob.gob.mx

Lic. Manuel Velasco Coello

Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas

Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 1er Piso
Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México

Fax: +52 961 61 88088 – + 52 961 6188056

Extensión 21120. 21122;

Correo: secparticular@chiapas.gob.mx

Dr. Noé Castañón León

Secretario General de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas

Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 2do Piso

Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México

Conmutador: + 52 (961) 61 2-90-47, 61 8-74-60

Extensión: 20003;

Correo: secretario@secgobierno.chiapas.gob.mx

Lic. Raciel López Salazar

Procuraduría General de Justicia de Chiapas

Libramiento Norte Y Rosa Del Oriente, No. 2010, Col. El Bosque

C.P. 29049 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

Conmutador: 01 (961) 6-17-23-00. Teléfono: + 52 (961) 61 6-53-74, 61 6-53-76, 61 6-57-24,

61 6-34-50

Correo: raciel.lopez@pgje.chiapas.gob.mx

 

 

********************************************************************************************************

 

”Justice is upside down”

Filed under: Political prisoners — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:02 pm

 

”Justice is upside down” says the indigenous man

It seems that you have to kill to get out of jail, he laments

Elio Henríquez

Correspondent

La Jornada
Friday March 15, 2013, p. 12

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas., March 14.

proferetrat_0-normal“Justice is upside down, since those who have committed a crime, like those who are charged in the Acteal case, are released, and the government keeps those who, like myself, are innocent, imprisoned”, said the indigenous Alberto Patishtán Gomez, imprisoned for over 12 years, accused of participating in an ambush in the municipality of El Bosque in June 2000, which left seven dead.

“I am left with no option but to continue fighting for my release through political and legal means”, he said in an interview in the San Cristobal prison, where he is serving a sentence of 60 years in prison.

“It seems that you have to kill to get out of jail”, the Tzotzil teacher repeated, referring to the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), which yesterday agreed the release of Marcos Arias Perez, accused of involvement in the massacre of 45 Indians in Acteal on Dec. 22, 1997. He recalled that in contrast, by three votes against and two in favour, the Court decided on March 6th not to resume their jurisdiction to review the case, and instead agreed that it will be the first appellate court, based in Tuxtla Gutierrez, which will decide whether to proceed with the appeal by his lawyers.

Patishtán said he does not know the date when the proceedings will take place in the state capital.

 

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/03/15/index.php?section=politica&article=012n2pol

 

 

**********************************************************************************************

March 19, 2013

Dates and other Details for the Little Zapatista School

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:01 am

Dates and other Details for the Little Zapatista School

MARCH 18, 2013

ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR  NATIONAL LIBERATION

MEXICO.

March, 2013.

Compañeras and compañeros, brothers and sisters of the Sixth:

Regarding visits, caravans, and projects.

zapatistas ninios en escuelaAs you all know, we are preparing our classes for the little schools; that is what we will be focusing on for now so that they turn out well and make for good students.

And we, together with the [autonomous] authorities, think that there are things that we will not be able to attend to so as not to distract ourselves from this task, for example: agreeing to do interviews, or exchanging experiences, or receiving caravans, or work teams, or discussing ideas for a project. So please don’t make a trip here for nothing, because neither the Junta de Buen Gobierno [Good Government Council]the autonomous authorities, nor the project commissions will be able to attend to you in these matters.

If a person, group, or collective is thinking of bringing a caravan with some kind of support for the communities, we ask you to please wait for the appropriate time, or if you have already arranged the trip, then please leave whatever you bring in CIDECI, with Doctor Raymundo, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

We aren’t saying that caravans of support can never come, but they CAN’T come now, because we want to focus on the little school. We want to let you know this, so that you don’t misunderstand why you are not attended to.

We want to let you know this so that you don’t plan trips that require conversations with our authorities; we won’t be able to attend to you for the simple reason that all of our efforts will go toward our little school, which is for you, for Mexico and the world, and that is why we are directing all our efforts there.

So while we will be in the Juntas de Buen Gobierno of the 5 caracoles; we won’t be able to attend to you, but you can visit the caracoles.

The same goes for ongoing projects in the 5 Juntas, there are things that we won’t be able to attend to, we can only do what is within our ability and which does not require consultations or a lot of movement for our people. If something does require these things, it will be tended to at another time.

We want you to understand us; for us, it is not the time for caravans, projects, interviews, exchanges of experiences, or other things. For us Zapatistas (women and men), it is time to prepare for the little school. We WON’T have time for other things, unless the bad government wants to really mess with us and then yes, that would change things.

We believe that you, compañeras and compañeros, brothers and sisters, understand us.

Regarding the School

Here we will give you the first details about the little school, so that those of you who will take classes can begin to make preparations.

1. Everyone who feels convoked is invited to the fiesta of the Caracoles. The fiesta will be in all 5 caracoles, so you can go to whichever you want. The arrival date will be August 8th, the fiesta will be on the 9th and 10th, and the return date will be the 11th. Note: The fiesta to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Caracoles is not the same thing as the little school. Don’t confuse them.

2. With this fiesta, the Zapatista bases of support celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Juntas de Buen Gobierno, but not only that.

3. These days will be the beginning of our little school, which is very other, where our bosses—that is to say, the Zapatista bases of support—will give classes on their thought and action on liberty according to Zapatismo: their successes, their failures, their problems, their solutions, the things which have moved forward, the things that have gotten bogged down, and the things that are missing, because what is missing is yet to come.

4. The first course (we will have many, depending on when those who attend are able), of the first level is 7 days long, including the arrival and departure time. The arrival date will be August 11th, the class begins on August 12th, 2013 and ends on August 16th, 2013. And the departure date will be August 17th, 2013. Those who finish the course and would like to stay longer can visit the other caracoles outside of where they had their course. The course is the same in all of the caracoles, but people can visit caracoles different from the one they were assigned, but at that point they will be on their own.

5. Little by little, we will explain how registration works for the little school of liberty according to the Zapatistas, but we will let you know now that it is laic and free of cost. The pre-registration will be with the Support Teams of the Sixth Commission, national and international, on the Enlace Zapatista web page, and by email. Students will then register at CIDECI, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. We will begin sending the invitations, according to our capacities, as of March 18, 2013.

6.  The school is not open to anyone who wants to come; rather, we will invite people directly. We will take care of these compas who we invite, we will give them food, a place to sleep that is clean and satisfactory, and we will give each of them a guardian (or guardiana), their own “Votán,[i] who will make sure that they are well and that they don’t suffer too much in the class, only a little, but always, yes, some.

7. The students will need to study very hard. The first level has 4 themes: Autonomous Government I, Autonomous Government II, Participation of Women in Autonomous Government, and Resistance. Each theme has its own textbook. The textbooks have between 60 and 80 pages each, and the parts that SupMarcos already gave you to look at are only a tiny part of each book (3 or 4 pages). Each textbook costs 20 pesos, which is what we calculated as the cost of production.

8. This first level of the course lasts for 7 days and/or however much time a compa has available, because we know people have their work, their family, their struggle, their commitments, that is to say, their own calendar and geography.

9. The first course is only first grade, there is still much more to come, meaning that the school isn’t finished quickly; it will take a long time. Whoever passes the first level can go on to the second one.

10. Regarding costs: each compa has to cover their own costs to get to CIDECI, in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, and to get back to their corner of the world. From CIDECI they will go to the little school to which they are assigned and when they finish, they will return to CIDECI and from there each one will go home. In the school, which is in the village, they won’t want for anything; it may be beans, rice, or vegetables, but their table will not be lacking. There the costs for each student will be covered by the Zapatistas. Each student will live with an indigenous Zapatista family. During the days that they are in school this will be the student’s family. They will eat, work, rest, sing, and dance with this family, who will also walk them to their assigned school, to the education center. And the “Votán,” the guardian or guardiana, will always accompany them. That is, we will watch out for each student. If they get sick we will cure them, or if it is serious we will take them to a hospital. But whatever is in their head when they arrive and when they leave, well, we can’t do anything about that; what each compañero or compañera does with what they see, hear, or learn, is their responsibility. That is, we will teach them the theory; the practice they will see about themselves in their own corner of the world.

11. The costs of the school we will figure out ourselves. Maybe we’ll have a festival of music and dancing, or some paintings or artisanal goods, but don’t worry, because we will find a way and in any case, there are always good people who support good things. For those who would like to make a donation to the school, we will leave a jar in the student registration area at CIDECI, with the compas from the University of the Earth, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Whoever wants to donate some money can put it in the jar, no one will know who gave money or how much they gave; this way those who gave a lot won’t think too much of themselves and those who gave a little won’t feel sad. We will not allow gifts of money or other things to be given in the schools, Caracoles, or families to which you are assigned. This is to avoid an unfair situation where some people receive things and others do not. Whatever people would like to donate should be left at CIDECI, with the compas from the University of the Earth, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. They will collect it all and then we will divide it evenly among everyone later, that is, if there is anything. If not, it doesn’t matter, what matters is you.

12.- There are other ways of taking the course at the little Zapatista school. We are going to ask for support from the compas of the free, independent, libertarian, and autonomous media, and from those who know about this thing called videoconferencing. Because we know that many people will not be able to come because of work issues, or personal issues, or family. We also know that there are people who don’t understand Spanish but do want to learn how the Zapatistas have done what they have done and undone what they have undone. So we are going to have a special course that one can take via video camera wherever there is a group of willing students who are ready with their textbooks, and that way, over internet, they will be able to see the course and ask questions of the teachers—the Zapatista bases of support. In order to plan this, we will invite some alternative media to a special meeting in order to come to an agreement on how to do the videoconferences and also so that they can photograph and videotape the places that we will talk about in the classes, so that everyone can verify if what the professors (men and women) say is true or not.

Another form by which people can take the class is with the DVDs we will make of the course, for those who can’t go anywhere and can only study in their house, so that they can also learn.

13. In order to attend the little Zapatista school, you will have to take a preparatory course where the life of the Zapatista communities and their internal rules will be explained. So that you don’t commit any infractions. And also so you know what you need to bring. For example, you shouldn’t bring those things called “tents” that aren’t good for anything anyway; we are going to provide you accommodations with indigenous Zapatista families.

14. Once and for all we want to make it clear that the production, commercialization, exchange, and consumption of any kind of drugs or alcohol is PROHIBITED. The carrying or use of any kind of weapon, loaded or unloaded, is also prohibited. Whoever asks to join the EZLN or anything militarily related will be expelled. We are not recruiting nor promoting armed struggle, but rather organization and autonomy for liberty. Any kind of propaganda, political or religious, is also prohibited.

15. There is no age limit to attend the little school; but any minors should come with an adult who is responsible for them.

16. When you register, after having been invited, we ask you to clarify if you are a man, woman, or other, in order to accommodate you, as every one is an individual (individuo, individual, or individuoa)[ii] and will be respected and cared for. Here we do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of gender, sexual preference, race, creed, or nationality. Any act of discrimination will be punished with expulsion.

17. If anyone has a chronic illness, we ask you to bring your medicine and let us know about it when you register so that we can keep an eye out for you.

18. When you register, after being invited, we ask that you make clear your age and health condition so that we can accommodate you in one of the schools where you won’t suffer more than necessary.

19. If you are invited and you can’t attend at this first date, don’t worry. Just let us know when you can attend and we will do the course for you when you can come. Also, if someone can’t finish the whole course or can’t come after having registered, no problem, you can finish or make it up later. Remember though you can also attend the videoconferences that will be given outside Zapatista territory.

20. In other writings I will continue explaining more things and clearing up any doubts you might have. But what I have said here are the basics.

That’s all for now.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Rector of the Little Zapatista School.

Mexico, March 2013.

P.S. I put SupMarcos in charge of adding some videos to this text that relate to our little school.

Francisco Gabilondo Soler, Cri Cri, with a track that is now a classic: “Caminito de la escuela” (The Path to School).

————————————————————————————-

The Little Squirrels of Lalo Guerrero with “Vamos a la escuela” (Let’s go to school) and Pánfilo’s excuses not to go to school.

————————————————————————————-

School squabbles to the rhythm of ska, with Tremenda Korte and this track “Por Nefasto”.


[i] In the lexicon of the EZLN, Votán is usually used in reference to the legendary  Votán – Zapata, in which the spirit of Zapata lives as “the guardian and heart of the people.” See “Closing Speech to The National Indigenous Forum,” EZLN, January 9, 1996.

[ii] The EZLN often uses the suffix –oa (individuoa, compañeroa) to provide a noun form that is not strictly feminine or masculine.

***********************************************************************************************************

March 18, 2013

EZLN announce fiesta to celebrate 10 years of autonomy

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:34 pm

The EZLN announce the fiesta for their 10 years of self-government

and the little school

Desinformemonos, March 17, 2013

moreliaIn a recent communiqué, the Zapatistas announced that on 9 and 10 August they will celebrate the tenth anniversary of their Good Government Juntas, and explained that all the efforts of the people and the authorities will be concentrated on the organization of a school where they will offer their experience of self-government to civil society.

In the communiqué, signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, the new Zapatista political initiative, which began on December 21, 2012 with the silent mobilization of tens of  thousands of support bases in five municipal centres in Chiapas, sets out the dates, modes and geographies for the party and the teaching – learning about autonomy: 9 and 10 August for the birthday (which is available to all those who feel called to attend) and 12-16 August for a school that will allow prospective students to be housed and cared for by a rebel family.

Unlike the celebrations, for the Zapatista school, “we are going to invite you directly,” says, Moisés, also the principal of the school, who states that this is only the first level because this learning “takes time”. Each student will be cared for and fed by the communities, because this school will be “free and secular”, guaranteed the insurgent commander.

The rebels, who rose up on January 1, 1994 in the municipal seats of Chiapas (San Cristobal de las Casas, Altamirano, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo, Oxchuc, Huixtán and Chanal), established the “Aguascalientes” for their meetings (encuentros) with civil society. With the advancement of their autonomy, in 2003 they became the Caracoles and Good Government Juntas.

Through many gatherings in Zapatista territory and statements, the rebels have shown civil society their way of defining the new world, which they said, in the first years of the uprising, that they sought to build. After a period with no public appearances by the General Command, the Zapatistas showed their strength with a silent demonstration on the morning of December 21 in Ocosingo, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Palenque, Altamirano and Las Margaritas. On that occasion, the Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Chol, Tojolabal, Zoque, Mam and mestizos raised their fists at the government palaces while they looked below at the bases who support the movement every day.

It is these bases who will support and teach the students the theory and practice, methods and achievements of the political movement which has revolutionized the politics of below, but [the course] can also be studied from a distance with the support of the independent media. The recently presented Subcomandante Moisés says “it will be up to the compañero or compañera what they do with what they see, hear and learn”; acts of discrimination will not be tolerated; also students will have to take a course so that “no crime will be committed” through their ignorance of the customs of the communities.

The people and the authorities, the communique says, will not be addressing other matters, because they will be concentrating on moving the school forwards. Registration is called for from 18 March.

********************************************************************************************

March 17, 2013

Zapatistas frente al desplazamiento forzado

 

Esperanza ante el riesgo inminente de desplazamiento forzado de zapatistas

Publicado originalmente en Desinformemonos: http://desinformemonos.org/2013/03/pesadilla-interminable-la-amenaza-de-desplazamiento-forzado-contra-zapatistas/

by Jessica Davies

Organizaciones de derechos humanos y activistas solidarios advierten del peligro de que los tzeltales de San Marcos Avilés sean desplazados, al igual que en 2010.

 

sma1Para las bases de apoyo zapatistas de San Marcos Avilés, la pesadilla del desplazamiento no termina. Cuando terminó la campaña internacional que puso el foco sobre la amenaza y la paró, el gobierno y los partidos volvieron al ataque y se teme un desplazamiento forzado inminente.

El ejido San Marcos Avilés se ubica en el municipio oficial de Chilón, en la región de los Altos, al norte de Chiapas. La población, de alrededor de 140 familias tzeltales, cultiva maíz, frijol, café, caña de azúcar y plátanos, y cuenta con un poco de ganado: vacas, caballos, cerdos y pollos. En la comunidad viven familias bases de apoyo zapatistas (BAZ), junto con simpatizantes de los partidos políticos Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) y Partido Verde Ecologista de México (PVEM).

La mañana del sábado 23 de febrero de 2013 llegó el mensaje más preocupante para los compañeros solidarios con los zapatistas en todo el mundo: “Urgente: riesgo de desplazamiento forzado a bases de apoyo del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional en San Marcos Avilés”. En este artículo se explican los antecedentes de la pesadilla soportada por estas BAZ desde el 2010, y se muestra la diferencia que puede hacer la solidaridad internacional en un momento de resurgimiento del movimiento zapatista.

El desalojo

En agosto de 2010, como parte del Sistema de Educación Rebelde Autónomo Zapatista y la lucha por la dignidad, libertad y justicia, las BAZ de San Marcos Avilés construyeron su escuela autónoma, “Emiliano Zapata”. La educación es uno de los pilares principales de la autonomía y autodeterminación zapatista, ya que es completamente independiente del Estado. Sus escuelas autónomas operan de forma anti-jerárquica y se basan en la cultura  indígena local y su cosmovisión. La educación se considera como un derecho fundamental de la gente y como una forma de resistencia.  “Queremos una buena educación para nuestros niños, un buen aprendizaje, un buen ejemplo. Vemos que el gobierno tiene sus escuelas, pero no es buena educación ni les enseñan bien a nuestros hijos; no brindan buen aprendizaje, y lo que enseñan no tiene nada que ver con nosotros. Por eso abrimos nuestra escuela”, se señaló a propósito de la apertura de la escuela.

Los actos de agresión, acoso e intimidación por parte de un grupo partidista de la comunidad, en conjunto con las policías y las autoridades locales, siguieron a la construcción de la escuela. Entre los actos están el robo y destrucción de alimentos y pertenencias, amenazas físicas y de muerte y el saqueo de sus tierras. En sólo unos días, 29 hectáreas de tierra y cultivos de las BAZ les fueron robados. Menos de tres semanas después de la construcción de la escuela, 30 hombres, fuertemente armados, y afiliados a PRI, PRD y PVEM, irrumpieron en las casas de los zapatistas, y trataron de violar a dos mujeres. En seguida, 47 hombres, 50 mujeres y 77 niños fueron desplazados, y, para no dar respuesta a esta agresión, se refugiaron en el monte, donde se quedaron sin comida ni refugio durante 33 días, aguantando el frío, lluvia, hambre, y durmiendo en el barro debajo de unas láminas de plástico. “Nos tratan como animales, como perros. Esto es lo que sentí cuando mi hijo nació en la montaña”, señaló una mujer.

El regreso

En respuesta al desalojo, simpatizantes de todo el mundo se movilizaron rápidamente y una caravana de solidaridad se organizó para llevarles alimentos, ropa, mantas y medicinas a los desplazados. Después de un regreso acompañado a la comunidad, el 12 de octubre de 2010, las BAZ encontraron sus casas saqueadas y sus pertenencias robadas, sus tierras ocupadas, sus vallas rotas, sus animales sacrificados y sus cultivos quemados. Además de esto, no habían cesado las amenazas de muerte, intimidación y hostigamiento por parte de los partidistas,  interfiriendo con la realización de sus actividades cotidianas y socavando gravemente su salud mental y física. Estos ataques se pueden ver claramente como otro intento de parar el proceso autonómico zapatista, y de obligar a las BAZ a que abandonen su lucha y se sometan a los proyectos del mal gobierno.

La Junta de Buen Gobierno (JBG) de Oventic, en el Caracol II, hizo una declaración: “Si algo les pasa a nuestros compañeros y compañeras que ya están en su comunidad, los responsables son los gobiernos municipales, estatales y federales que asesoran, financian y arman paramilitares y manipulan a la gente pobre y miserable.

“Los zapatistas no molestamos a nadie, no desalojamos a nuestros hermanos de los partidos, no perseguimos a nadie, no robamos las tierras de nuestros hermanos campesinos ni cualquier otra pertenencia de otros hermanos pobres, solo defendemos lo que es nuestro, lo que son nuestro derechos; nosotros vivimos y comemos de nuestro propios sudor y trabajo, pero sí queremos luchar por la verdadera democracia, libertad y justicia para todos. Y estos son nuestros delitos como zapatistas.”

Una pesadilla sin fin

newsmapic7En los meses de agosto y septiembre de 2011, la Brigada de Observación y Solidaridad visitó ésta y otras comunidades amenazadas, e informó de la desnutrición aguda y de un brote de fiebre que resultó en la muerte de un niño. “Las mujeres, en particular, expresan el sufrimiento como resultado de su desplazamiento, y el dolor causado por no tener seguridad de ningún tipo, ya sea para sí mismos y, sobre todo, para sus hijos. Como resultado directo de hacer valer su legítimo derecho a la educación, no tienen comida, refugio o agua para sus hijos”, informó la Brigada.

Sin embargo, también comentó: “Vemos que, de hecho, el proyecto de autonomía zapatista afirma los derechos que están consagrados en las declaraciones, convenciones y tratados relativos a los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, en particular los relacionados con la autonomía y la libre determinación. Fuimos testigos de los humillaciones terribles perpetradas por el mal gobierno, pero también hemos visto con nuestros propios ojos que a pesar de las amenazas de represión, el sufrimiento, el dolor y la pobreza, ninguno de los compañeros quiere darse por vencido. Esta creencia en el proceso de liberación significa que el movimiento zapatista es más fuerte que nunca”.

¿Un segundo desplazamiento?

Han existido amenazas recurrentes de otro desplazamiento. Por ello, en noviembre de 2011, el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casa (Frayba) y el Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio, una organización de migrantes mexicanos que lucha por la dignidad y en contra del desplazamiento en el este de Harlem, Nueva York, emitieron la “Declaración mundial en apoyo a las Bases de Apoyo Zapatista de San Marcos Avilés”, que fue firmado por grupos, individuos y organizaciones de todos los rincones del mundo. El Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio también difundió una declaración adicional de apoyo, firmada por más de mil manifestantes de ‘Ocupa Wall Street.

En 2012, la situación de amenazas y agresiones se intensificó tanto que las BAZ enviaron a la comunidad nacional e internacional un llamado urgente de ayuda.  El Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio respondió de nuevo, en julio de 2012, enviando un mensaje urgente a los “compañeros del mundo”, junto con un vídeomensaje  conmovedor y poderoso proveniente de los propios BAZ.  “En este videomensaje, que envían los compañeros zapatistas de San Marcos Avilés a todo el mundo… Nuestros hermanos hacen un llamado a que se movilice la solidaridad y apoyo nacional e internacional en su pro, ya que siguen aumentando las amenazas y agresiones de modo alarmante… por parte del grupo de choque de partidistas locales. Este grupo dijo que secuestrará a las autoridades comunitarias zapatistas, y así, desplazará a la fuerza de bases de apoyo del ejido…. Por todo esto, se teme un pleno desalojo forzado de la comunidad, al nivel del de 2010.”

Las BAZ explican en dicho videomensaje que: “No podemos gozar del fruto de nuestro trabajo con nuestros hijos, ya que los que lo consumen son ellos, los partidos políticos…… por órdenes del mal gobierno…Los partidos no quieren la organización zapatista en el ejido San Marcos. Según ellos dan mal ejemplo. Mostraron que quisieron desaparecer de una vez la organización. Vamos a seguir con nuestra lucha, no hay de otra, porque no estamos cometiendo ningún delito… porque tenemos derecho a luchar para que nos tomen en cuenta. Libertad, justicia, y paz eso es lo que estamos pidiendo. No tenemos miedo porque sabemos con claridad lo que estamos buscando y como queremos vivir.”

La Campaña Eco

SMAphoto3Después de haber llamado la atención al mundo entero sobre la situación vigente de las BAZ de San Marcos Avilés, el Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio lanzó una campaña internacional llamada “Eco Mundial en Apoyo a Los Zapatistas”, con una convocatoria difundida el 27 de julio de 2012. Esta iniciativa se desarrolló en dos etapas: la primera, llamada “Caminando la Palabra Verdadera”, se enfocó en la educación popular y sensibilización comunitaria;  y la segunda, “De la Verdad a la Acción, Parando la Represión”, se enfocó en realizar protestas dirigidas por las mismas comunidades que se educaron y sensibilizaron durante la etapa anterior. Desde el inicio, en la convocatoria se propuso que estas comunidades, organizaciones, y personas se organizaran en  “Comités de la Palabra Verdadera”. Al final se habían formado comités en apoyo a los zapatistas en 29 países, muchos de ellos compuestos por personas que previamente desconocían la lucha zapatista.

Aunque la campaña brindó solidaridad a todos los pueblos zapatistas amenazadas y al recién liberado preso político Francisco Sántiz López, la confluencia de la constante difusión de información mediante vídeomensajes, eventos, declaraciones, cartas, artículos, declaraciones de apoyo de pensadores reconocidos, y una gran variedad de actividades y acciones, logró mantener a San Marcos Avilés en el ojo público. Los dos sitios web que se hicieron, uno en español y otra en inglés, para compartir  información actualizada en 11 idiomas, fueron  llamados por este ejido.

“Estos ataques”, escribió el  luchador social peruano Hugo Blanco, en apoyo a la Campaña Eco,  “constituyen la punta de lanza del ataque para aplastar a la zona liberada del neoliberalismo, donde se gobierna la gente a sí misma a través de las Juntas de Buen Gobierno. Ellas son vistas como un gran enemigo por las empresas transnacionales pues son una muestra viva de que ‘Otro Mundo es Posible’, ‘Un mundo donde quepan muchos mundos’…. Es de interés directo para la humanidad defender la isla de libertad, que es la zona zapatista”. La campaña no dejó ninguna duda de que los ataques son parte de una guerra integral de desgaste que el Estado mexicano ha llevado a cabo en contra de los zapatistas desde 1995, con el objetivo de extirpar todo el movimiento de la faz de la tierra, y la esperanza que encarna.

En su segunda carta de apoyo a la Campaña, la feminista mexicana Sylvia Marcos elaboró las razones detrás de los ataques de los paramilitares. “¿A qué le temen como para que desplieguen tanta fuerza destructiva? ¿Cuál es el peligro de la propuesta, la resistencia y la supervivencia zapatista para el orden capitalista imperante? ¿Será porque demuestran positivamente que otras formas de vida en justicia y dignidad son posibles? ¿Que las satisfacciones de la vida y la alegría de ser no tienen que regirse por el consumismo y la mercantilización? ¿Que se puede “vivir bien”, como lo aseguran las comunidades andinas en Suramérica, con otras formas de organización, de gobierno y de producción campesina en las que la mejor forma de vivir no es la acumulación de bienes materiales, sino la solidaridad comunitaria y el compartir lo que hay?”

Las mujeres del grupo Filipinas por los Derechos y Empoderamiento (FiRE) agregaron su perspectiva. “Estas comunidades indígenas son el blanco del gobierno de México porque los zapatistas están construyendo otra forma de vivir en donde la gente tenga soberanía sobre la tierra y busque la justicia para los pueblos indígenas. A nuestras compañeras y compañeros de San Marcos Avilés, quienes fueron desplazados de su comunidad por más de un mes: nosotras nos solidarizamos con ustedes en su lucha contra el gobierno corrupto que impone tal crueldad.” Mientras tanto, miembros del movimiento de base comunitaria más grande de Sudáfrica, el Abahlali baseMjondolo, o Movimiento de Habitantes de Casas de Cartón, señalan que hay que mantenernos unidos y firmes en nuestros compromisos y metas, y darnos cuenta de que todas nuestras luchas se basan en una sola, ya que la meta principal de la represión es la de destruir nuestros vínculos como movimientos y comunidades.

A lo largo de este período intenso de organización, inspiración y  concienciación, ocurrido de julio a noviembre del 2012, la situación en San Marcos Avilés permaneció relativamente tranquila, sin intentos de desplazamiento. Los agresores se dieron cuenta de que la situación era observada. Esto puede darnos esperanza a todos y mostrarnos que la organización nacional e internacional puede ayudar activamente a evitar la represión, que podemos hacer el cambio, y que  el trabajo duro sí vale la pena. Además, estas campañas ayudan a que se den cuenta nuestros compañeros zapatistas de que no están solos, que cuentan con aliados en todas partes, y desde luego, que el conocimiento y la comprensión de su lucha se extiende ampliamente. A nosotros ellos nos ayudan a encontrarnos todos.

Las nuevas amenazas de desplazamiento

Desde febrero de 2013 la represión en San Marcos Avilés se intensificó, aumentando las preocupaciones de un nuevo ataque. Ahora se teme que otro desplazamiento de las BAZ sea inminente, después de una demanda de las autoridades y la policía de la comunidad por el pago del impuesto predial de las BAZ. Éstos  respondieron: “Hemos sufrido mucho por todas las agresiones por parte de estos grupos partidistas y el gobierno no ha hecho nada. Ahora no es el momento de pagar, pues estamos en resistencia y exigimos el respeto a nuestro derecho a nuestras tierras; si no recibimos nada del gobierno, no vamos a pagar impuestos”.

Los partidistas amenazaron con detener a las BAZ y llevarlos a las autoridades, así como cortarles la luz y el agua. Después, pusieron en marcha el proceso de desalojo con el respaldo del presidente municipal de Chilón, Rafael Leonardo Guirao Aguilar, y la Procuraduría Agraria en Ocosingo, encabezada por Luis Demetrio Domínguez López. La amenaza parece inminente, y el ejido se llena de terror creciente.

En las palabras del Frayba, “este Centro de Derechos Humanos manifiesta su preocupación por el inminente riesgo a la vida, integridad y seguridad personal que sufren las BAEZLN, habitantes del ejido San Marcos Avilés, derivado de las amenazas de muerte y hostigamientos que han aumentado en el curso de las últimas semanas; además del desplazamiento forzado y despojo de sus tierras de sustento que desde el 9 de abril de 2010 no pueden trabajar, situación que los ha llevado a una crisis alimentaria y de amenazas constantes contra su proceso de autonomía. Hacemos notar la responsabilidad del gobierno de Chiapas que por omisión deliberada, no han actuado para garantizar la integridad y seguridad personal de las BAEZLN y el acceso a la tierra a pesar de las diversas intervenciones enviadas.”

Resurgimiento zapatista

86Una gran señal de esperanza que puede impactar la situación en San Marcos Avilés es la reaparición pública de los zapatistas después de un período largo de silencio. Una marcha masiva silenciosa de unas 50 mil BAZ enmascaradas se llevó a cabo durante un día muy significativo, el 21 de diciembre de 2012, el final del Baktun 13. Según el calendario maya, este día marca el fin de un ciclo  y el comienzo de otro, un momento en que tradicionalmente se cambian los mundos y se transforma el poder. “¿Escucharon?” escribió el Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos: “Es el sonido de su mundo derrumbándose. Es el del nuestro resurgiendo. El día que fue día, era noche. Y noche será el día que será el día. ¡Democracia! ¡Libertad! ¡Justicia!”. Desde entonces, se han publicado 24 comunicados, y la palabra zapatista volvió a nacer.

Cultivando la esperanza y la acción

Recientemente se vio que la campaña de solidaridad contribuyó de manera importante a la liberación del preso político zapatista Francisco Sántiz López. Como resultado de la organización muy eficaz, el nombre de San Marcos Avilés ahora es bien conocido. Hay personas que, sin haber visitado a dicho ejido, se preocupan por lo que ocurre allí. Aunque la Campaña Eco se haya terminado, los Comités de la Palabra Verdadera siguen activos. Cuando el Frayba lanzó su Acción Urgente, produjo una respuesta inmediata de informes, cartas, declaraciones y artículos. Cualquier desalojo no podrá hacerse en silencio, sin que sea notado o’ protestado en su contra. Se anima a que la gente le escriba inmediatamente al presidente municipal de Chilón, así como al gobernador de Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, y al presidente de México, Enrique Peña Nieto, haciéndoles responsables de las agresiones que puedan ocurrir.

Urge no bajar la vigilancia, mantener las acciones de organización, escribir cartas y difundir información. Hay que mantener el nombre de San Marcos Avilés, nuestra solidaridad con las BAZ, y, por supuesto, la esperanza, vivos.

El presidente municipal de Chilón:

Lic. Rafael Leonardo Guirao Aguilar

Presidente Municipal

Domicilio Conocido S / N, CP Presidencia Municipal 29943

Chilón, Chiapas, México

Teléfonos: (01 919) 67101156710230,67101166710030Fax: 6710034

Correo: presidenciachilon@hotmail.com

 

************************************************************

THEM AND US VII. The Smallest of Them All, 7th and Final Part

Filed under: La Sexta, Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:26 am

THEM AND US VII.

The Smallest of Them All, 7th and Final Part

7. On Doubts, Shadows, and A One-Word Summary

March 2013

Doubts

If after reading the excerpts from the compañeras and compañeros of the EZLN you still think that the indigenous members of the Zapatistas are manipulated by the perverted mind of Supmarcos (and now by Subcomandante Insurgente Moíses) and that nothing has changed in Zapatista territory since 1994, then there’s no hope for you.

I wouldn’t recommend that you turn the television off or that you stop regurgitating the circular arguments that tend to be circulated by the intellectuals and their followers, because if you did so your mind would be empty. Go ahead and keep thinking about how the recent telecommunications law will democratize information, that it will increase the quality of programming, and that it will make cell phone service better.

But if you thought this way, you would never have made it to this part of “Them and Us,” so let’s just take it as a hypothetical that you are a person with an average IQ and immersed in progressive culture. With these characteristics, it is very probable that you practice constant doubt in the face of just about everything, so it’s only logical to assume that you doubt what you have read here in the previous pages. To doubt is not something that should be condemned, it is one of the healthiest (and most forgotten) intellectual exercises available to humanity—especially if it is exercised with respect to a movement like the Zapatista or neo-Zapatista movements, about which so many things have been said (the majority of which do not even come close to what we are).

Let’s leave to one side the fact that it was undeniable even to the mainstream press that tens of thousands of indigenous Zapatistas simultaneously took 5 municipal seats in the Southeast states of Chiapas [a reference to the events of December 21, 2012].

Let’s leave that aside and deal head on with doubts: if nothing has changed in the Zapatista indigenous communities, why have they grown? Weren’t they saying that the EZLN was history? That the ezln’s errors (okay, okay, Marcos’ errors) had come at the cost of their existence (their “media” existence, but they never mentioned that part)? Wasn’t the Zapatista leadership disbanded? Hadn’t the EZLN disappeared and all that remained of them was the vague memories of those outside of Chiapas who feel and know that struggle isn’t something that can be subject to the comings and goings of fads?

Ok, let’s ignore this fact (that the EZLN grew exponentially during these times when they had fallen out of fashion) and abandon any attempt to raise these concerns (concerns that will only lead to the editing of your comments on articles in the national newspapers or your banning from these sites, “for ever more”).

Lets return to methodical doubt:

What if the words that appeared in the previous pages that were supposedly from indigenous Zapatistas (men and women) were actually written by Marcos?

That is, what if Marcos just simulated that others were the ones that wrote and felt those words?

What if the autonomous schools don’t actually exist?

What if….the hospitals and the clinics, and the accountability process, and the indigenous women in leadership positions, and the productive lands, and the Zapatista air force, and…..?

Seriously, what if none of the things that those indigenous people talk about exist, what if those indigenous people don’t exist?

In sum, what if everything is just a monumental lie created by Marcos (and Moíses since that’s the process we’ve now begun) in order to console those leftists (don’t ever forget that they’re dirty, ugly, bad, irreverent) who are always present and who are always just a few, very few, a tiny minority, with mere illusion? What if the Supmarcos made all that stuff up?

Wouldn’t it be good to place your doubts side by side with reality?

What if it was possible for you to see for yourself those schools, the clinics, the hospitals, those projects, those women and men?

What if you could listen directly to those Mexican, indigenous, Zapatista men and women, making an effort to speak in Spanish so that they could explain, so that they could tell you their history, not to try to convince or recruit you, but just so that you could understand that the world is very big and it has many worlds inside itself?

What if you could concentrate on observing and listening, without talking, without giving your opinion?

Would you take up that challenge? Or would you continue taking refuge in your cynicism, that solid and wonderful castle of reasons not to do anything?

Would you ask to be invited? Would you accept that invitation?

Would you come to a little school in which the professors (women and men) are indigenous and whose mother tongue is considered a mere “dialect”?

Would you be able to contain your desire to study them as if they were anthropological, psychological, legal, esoteric, or historiographic objects? Would you hold back your desire to interview them? To tell them your opinion? To give them your advice? To give them orders?

Would you look at them? That is, would you listen to them?

-*-

Shadows.

On one side of this light that now shines you can’t see the form of the strangely shaped shadows that have made it all possible. Because another of the paradoxes that characterize Zapatismo is that it is not light that creates the shadows, rather, it is from these shadows that light is born.

Women and men from corners near and far across the planet made possible what we will show you, but they also enriched, with their gaze, the path of these indigenous Zapatista men and women who today once again raise the banner of a dignified life.

Individuals (women and men), groups, collectives, all types of organizations, and at all different levels, contributed so that this small step of the very smallest could be taken.

From all five continents arrived gazes that, from below and to the left, offered their respect and support. And with this respect and support not only schools and hospitals were built, but we also the indigenous Zapatista heart that, through those gazes, through those windows, were able to look out to all of the corners of the world.

If there is a cosmopolitan place on Mexican lands it is certainly Zapatista territory.

In the face of all this support nothing but an effort of equal magnitude would have sufficed.

I think, we think, that all those people from Mexico and the world can and should share in this small joy that today walks through the mountains of Southeastern Mexico and has an indigenous face.

We know, I know, that you are not expecting, that you are not asking for, that you do not demand this great embrace that we send you. But this is the way that the Zapatistas (men and women) thank our companer@s (and we especially thank those who knew how to be nobody). Perhaps without intending to, you were and are for us (women and men) the best school. And it goes without saying that we will not spare any effort to assure that, regardless of your calendars and geographies, you will always respond affirmatively to the question of whether it was worth it.

To all (women) (I apologize from the depths of my sexist essence, but women are a majority both quantitatively and qualitatively) and to all (men): thank you.

(….)

And, well, there are shadows and then there are shadows.

The most anonymous and imperceptible [of these shadows] are some short-statured women and men whose skin is the color of the earth. They left behind everything that they had, even if it wasn’t much, and they became warriors (women and men). In silence, in darkness, they contributed and continue to contribute, like no one else, so that all of this could be possible.

And now I am referring to the insurgents (women and men), my compañer@s.

They come and go, they live, they struggle and die in silence, without making any fuss, and without anyone, besides ourselves, noticing them. They have no face and no life to themselves. Their names, their stories. may only come to mind after many calendars have come and gone. Maybe then around a fire, while the coffee is at a boil in an old pewter pot and the fire of the word has been ignited, someone or something will toast to their memory.

Regardless, it won’t matter much because what this has been about, what it is about, what it has always been about, is to contribute in some way to build those words with which the Zapatista stories, anecdotes, and histories, real and imaginary, begin. Just like how what is today a reality began, that is, with a:

“There Will Be a Time…”

Vale. Health, and let there always be listening and the gaze.

(this will not continue)

In name of the women, men, children, elderly, insurgents (men and women) of

The Zapatista Army for National Liberation.

From the Mountains of Southeastern Mexico.

Subcomandante Insurgent Marcos.

Mexico, March 2013.

An Anticipatory P.S.: There will be more writings, don’t get happy ahead of yourselves. They will be primarily from Subcomandante Insurgent Moíses regarding the little school: the dates, the places, the invitations, the sign-up, the propaedeutics, the rules, the grade levels, the uniforms, the school supplies, the grades, the extra help, where you can find the exams with all the answers etc… But if you ask us how many grade levels there are [in our little school] and how much time it will take until graduation, we will answer: we (women and men) have been here for more than 500 years and we are still learning.

P.S. That Gives Some Advice Regarding Attendance at the Little School: Eduardo Galeano, a sage in that difficult art of observing and listening, wrote the following in his book, “ The Children of the Days,” on the March calendar:

“Carlos and Gudrun Lenkersdorf were born and had lived in Germany. In 1973 these illustrious professors arrived in Mexico. They entered the Mayan world, a Tojolobal community, and they introduced themselves with the following words:

‘We came to learn.’

The indigenous people were silent. Later someone would explain the silence:

‘This is the first time that someone has said that to us.’

Learning, they stayed there for years and years.

From the indigenous languages they learned that there is no hierarchy that separates the object from the subject, because I drink the water that drinks me and I am observed by everything I observe, and they learned how to greet people in the following way:

‘I am another you.’

‘You are another me.’ “

Take heed of Don Galeano, because it is only by knowing how to observe and listen that one learns.

P.S. That Explains Something About Calendars and Geographies: Our dead say that we have to know how to observe and listen to everything, but that in the south there will always be a special richness. As you may have noticed from watching the videos (there are many videos still left over, perhaps for another time) that accompanied the communiqués in this “Them and Us” series, we tried to thread together many calendars and geographies, but we dug into our much respected southern region of Latin America. This was not only because of Argentina and Uruguay, lands wise to rebellion, but also due to the fact that according to us (women and men), there exists in the Mapuche people not only pain and rage, but also an impeccable integrity in the struggle and a profound sagacity for those who know how to observe and listen. If there is a corner of the world toward which bridges must be built, it is Mapuche territory. It is thanks to those people and to all the disappeared and all the imprisoned of this pained continent that our memory still lives. I’m not sure about the other side of these words, but I know that from this side of these words, “Neither forgive nor forget!”

A Synthetic P.S.: Yes, we know that this challenge has not been and will not be easy. Great threats and blows of all types will come from all directions. That is how our path has been and will be. Terrible and marvelous things make up our history. It will continue to be this way. But if you were to ask us how we would summarize all of this in one word: the pain, the sleepless nights, the deaths that hurt us, the sacrifices, the continual effort to swim against the tide, the loneliness, the absences, the persecution, and, above all, the stubborn memory of those who came before us and are no longer here, it would be something that unites all the colors that exist below and to the left no matter what their calendar or geography. More than a word, it is a cry:

Liberty…………Liberty!……………LIBERTY!

Vale de Nuez.

The Sup putting away his computer and walking, always walking.

——————————————————————————

A poem by Mario Benedetti (which responds to the question of why, despite everything, we sing), put to music by Alberto Favero. Here performed by Silvana Garre, Juan Carlos Baglietto, Nito Mestre.  ¡Ni perdón ni olvido!

——————————————————————————

Camila Moreno performs “De la tierra,” dedicated to the Mapuche warrior of struggle, Jaime Mendoza Collio, shot in the back by police.

——————————————————————————

Mercedes Sosa, ours, everyone’s, of all times, singing Rafael Amor’s “Corazón Libre.”  The message is terrible and wonderful: never give up.

—————————————————————————

*****************************************************************

March 16, 2013

THEM AND US VII – The Smallest of Them All – 6. The Resistance.

Filed under: La Sexta, Marcos, Women, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:31 pm

THEM AND US VII – The Smallest of Them All – 6.  The Resistance.

 

March of 2013.

NOTE: The following fragments talk about the resistance of the zap… wait! There’s a Zapatista Airforce?! The Zapatista health system is better than the health system of the bad government?! For over 20 years, the Zapatista communities have resisted, with their own ingenuity, creativity, and intelligence, all of the various counter-insurgency efforts waged against them. The so-called “Crusade against Hunger”[i] of the current Priistaoverseers does nothing but reiterate the fallacy that all that indigenous people want is a hand-out rather than Democracy, Liberty, and Justice. This counter-insurgency campaign does not come alone, but is accompanied by a media campaign (the same type of media campaign that today in Venezuela once again shows its desire for a coup against a people that will know how to gain strength from their pain), the complicity of the political class as a whole (in what should be called the “Pact against Mexico,”[ii]) and, of course, a military and police escalation: in Zapatista territories the paramilitaries are emboldened (with the consent of the state government), federal troops intensify their provocations during patrols “to locate the Zapatista leadership,” the “intelligence” agencies are reactivated, and the justice system reiterates its ridiculousness (which rhymes with Cassez[iii]) in denying freedom to teacher Alberto Pathistán Gómez, thus condemning him for being indigenous in Mexico in the 21st century. But the teacher resists, not to mention the Zapatista indigenous communities…

For the full version, please see our Communiques page: https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/communiques/

*********************************************************

March 15, 2013

From London: Message to politicians of Mexico and in Support of the Zapatistas

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, San Marcos Aviles, Zapatista — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:28 pm

From London: Message to politicians of Mexico and in Support of the Zapatistas

“STOP THE TERROR ON ZAPATISTA COMMUNITIES”, was the message written on the posters clearly displayed at a talk regarding the “Pacto por México”, at the London School of Economics on Tuesday 12th March, referring to the recent attacks on the autonomous community of San Marcos Avilés, Chiapas, Mexico. Leaflets telling the story, which the media has kept silent about, were also handed out to the listening audience, as well as to the infamous speakers.

The talk was meant to be hosted by Senators from the PRI, PAN and PRD, the three dominant parties in Mexican politics. These political parties have all shared a role in the repression, harassment, and denial of basic human rights to Zapatista communities, not to mention the continuous process of dispossession, loss of identity, and deprivation the indigenous peoples of Mexico have had to endure for the last 500 years due to the negligence, racism and economic interests of the people who govern.

As is common with Mexican bureaucracy, the incompetence and mediocrity of the people who lead the country was evident before the talk even started. The senators of the PRI and PAN were both absent for this session, allegedly due to internal disputes between the two parties. Therefore, the “Pacto por México” became destined to be spoken of by the PRD alone, with boring and hollow rhetoric about how “great” the country will be under these new legislative reforms.

One of the aims of the “Pacto por México”, is to “modernize” the south of the country. Well, “modernize” is probably a polite word to describe what their obscure agenda really implies.

Learn about what they are doing to the Zapatistas in San Marcos Avilés, Chiapas:

  • First and foremost, the attacks on the Zapatistas are part of the PAN-PRI-PRD coalition’s plan to “modernize the south”, established in their “Pacto por México”.
  • According to the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, there is an imminent risk of forced displacement of the Zapatista Support Bases by people affiliated to the PRI, PRD and PVEM in San Marcos Avilés. Just because they don’t want to pay tax for living on lands that belong to them.
  • Recent weeks have witnessed widespread death threats and harassment of Zapatista Support Bases.
  • Forced displacement and eviction from their lands since 2010 means they cannot work them, resulting in the current alimentary crisis, and threats to their process of autonomy.
  • Many fear, according to a declaration made by party supporters during an assembly in the municipality on the 23rd of February, that attacks and repression are imminent under this new government.

We, as conscious Mexicans and Internationals from all around the world:

– Demand an end to the harassment and terrorising of people’s rights to their own land.

– Demand diligent investigation and corresponding sanctions of those responsible for forced eviction, threats and harassment of the Zapatista Support bases.

– Demand the Mexican government respect and guarantee the process of autonomy that the Zapatistas have been building, established in the San Andrés accords and in the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People.

We greet our Zapatista compañer@s, and express our most sincere solidarity and affection.

Para todos la luz, para todos todo.

Por una democracia auténtica,

Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex

#Yosoy132 – Londres

***************************************************************

Desde Londres: Mensaje a los políticos de México y en Apoyo a l@s Zapatistas

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Repression, San Marcos Aviles, Zapatista — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:23 pm

 

Desde Londres: Mensaje a los políticos de México y en Apoyo a l@s Zapatistas

Vean una foto aquí:

http://sanmarcosaviles.wordpress.com/fotogaleria/

“ALTO AL TERROR EN LAS COMUNIDADES ZAPATISTAS”, fue el mensaje escrito en los carteles desplegados el martes 12 de marzo en una conferencia abierta al público sobre el “Pacto por México” en la Escuela de las Ciencias Económicas de Londres, refiriéndose a los ataques recientes en contra de la comunidad autónoma de San Marcos Avilés, Chiapas. Folletos sobre lo que los medios de comunicación han guardado en silencio fueron entregados a los asistentes que escuchaban, así como a los oradores.

La conferencia estaba planeada ser presentado por senadores del PRI, del PAN y del PRD, los tres partidos dominantes de la política mexicana. Todos estos partidos han compartido un papel en la represión, el hostigamiento y la negación de los derechos humanos básicos a las comunidades zapatistas. Ni hablar del proceso continuo del despojo, de la pérdida de la identidad, y de la privación que los pueblos indígenas de México han tenido que soportar durante 500 años, debido a la negligencia, el racismo y el interés económico de las personas que gobiernan.

Como es común en la burocracia mexicana, la incompetencia y la mediocridad de las personas del mal gobierno del país, era evidente antes del comienzo de la presentación. Ambos senadores del PRI y del PAN estuvieron ausentes en esta sesión. Al parecer, debido a las disputas internas entre los dos. Por lo tanto, la presentación sobre el “Pacto por México” se convirtió en una retórica sólo del PRD; el discurso fue aburrido y vacío, hablando de que tan “grande” el país estará bajo las nuevas reformas legislativas.

Dentro de este paquete de reformas legislativas llamado el “Pacto por México”, se incluye el objetivo de “modernizar” el sur del país. Bueno, “modernizar” es probablemente una palabra muy bonita para describir lo que su agenda oscura realmente implica.

Aprenda lo que están haciendo con los zapatistas en San Marcos Avilés, Chiapas:

· En primer lugar, los ataques hacia los zapatistas son un parte del plan de la coalición PAN-PRI-PRD para “modernizar el sur”, establecido en el “Pacto por México”.

· Según el Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas”, hay un riesgo inminente de un desplazamiento forzado en contra de las bases de apoyo zapatistas por parte de los partidistas afiliados al PRI, PRD y PVEM en San Marcos Avilés. Solamente porque no quieren pagar los impuestos para vivir en las tierras que les pertenecen.

· En las recientes semanas han sido testigos a amenazas de muerte y actos de hostigamiento generalizados en contra de las Bases de Apoyo zapatistas.

· El desplazamiento forzado y el desalojo de sus tierras desde el año 2010 significa que no pueden trabajarlas, lo que resulta en una crisis alimentaria actual que amenaza a su proceso de autonomía.

Muchas personas temen, según información de una declaración de los partidistas, que se hizo durante una asamblea en el municipio, el día 23 de febrero, que los ataques y la represión son inminentes en virtud de este nuevo gobierno.

Nosotros, como mexicanos conscientes e internacionales de todo el mundo:

Exigimos el cese del hostigamiento y terror en contra de los derechos de un pueblo a su propia tierra.

Exigimos una investigación diligente y sanciones correspondientes a los responsables por los desalojos forzados, las amenazas y el hostigamiento hacia las bases de apoyo zapatistas.

Exigimos del gobierno mexicano: respetar y garantizar el proceso de autonomía que los zapatistas han sido construyendo, que es establecido en los Acuerdos de San Andrés y en la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas.

Saludamos a nuestros compañeros zapatistas, y expresamos nuestra solidaridad muy sincera y afectuosa.

Para todos la luz, para todos todo.

Por Una Democracia Auténtica,

Grupo de Solidaridad con l@s Zapatistas de Essex

# Yosoy132 Londres

 

 

**************************************************************

March 14, 2013

Declaration in support of the Zapatistas of San Marcos Avilés from the Committees of the True Word of Kolkata, India, Western Colombia and South-West England

Declaration in support of the Zapatistas of San Marcos Avilés from the Committees of the True Word of Kolkata, India, Western Colombia and South-West England

We wish to express our profound concern for the lives and safety of the Zapatista support bases (BAZ) living in the ejidal community of San Marcos Avilés, in the official municipality of Chilón, Chiapas. As a result of their ongoing construction of autonomy, especially the construction of their own autonomous school, named in honour of Emiliano Zapata, they have been subjected to a second nightmare campaign of violence and intimidation, culminating in imminent threats to displace them from their homes.

We recognize that these actions are part of the counterinsurgency strategy, or war of attrition, being conducted by the three levels of government in Mexico against the whole Zapatista movement. Nevertheless, the Zapatistas remain an inspiration to many people throughout the world; they have been in resistance for nearly twenty years and are currently undergoing a resurgence. One part of the government strategy is the use of paramilitary style groups, armed and funded by the state, to attack and undermine the organization’s support base. In San Marcos Avilés, the attacks come from members of the political parties, in this case the PRI, PRD and PVEM. The result of their continual acts of aggression and harassment is that the BAZ do not have access to all their lands, and some of their crops and food plants have been stolen or destroyed, as have most of their belongings. The women are threatened with assault and rape, the livestock are killed, and the children are threatened.

Recent events suggest that an imminent displacement of the BAZ is very likely. On 19th February a group of community ejidal authorities and police came and aggressively demanded payment of the predial taxes, saying this was on the orders of the municipal president and treasury secretary. The BAZ explained that they take nothing from the government, and so do not pay taxes. The reply was “If you do not pay, you will be displaced. We ourselves will arrest you and take you to the authorities. We are going to cut your light and water”. The following day, the party supporters met to discuss how to displace the BAZ, and on February 21st went to meet with the local authorities to advance the plan, and ask for an eviction order. They have since again threatened the BAZ with displacement.

The previous displacement was in September 2010, when 170 women, children and men spent 33 days, during which time two women gave birth, in the open without food or shelter. After an accompanied return they found their homes ransacked, and the threats and intimidation as strong as ever. All this because they want to live with dignity and freedom, and, as indigenous Zapatistas, to struggle for justice, liberty and democracy.

None of the governing authorities have taken any measures to resolve the situation; in fact they have encouraged it, in the hopes that the BAZ will either be provoked to respond aggressively, or will give up the struggle. Their human rights are ignored and violated.

At this time it is more essential than ever for people of good heart throughout the world to express our solidarity with the BAZ of San Marcos Avilés, to raise our voices together to tell them that they are not alone, and to tell their repressors that we are watching them. For much of the last year an international campaign, “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas”, was rolled out in support of the Zapatistas of San Marcos Avilés and other threatened communities, and the strength of its activities put a halt to threats of imminent eviction in the community last summer. Committees of the True Word such as ourselves were set up in response to this great organizing effort. All those who took part in this campaign will not only be alarmed at the new developments in San Marcos Avilés, but will also feel the need to mobilize global solidarity once again to try to prevent the displacement of the BAZ. We call on you all to take action urgently.

For further information, please see this article: https://nacla.org/Zapatista-Displacement-and-Solidarity

Watch the video message: http://www.youtube.com/watHYPERLINK “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY-8CBt3Vkg”cHYPERLINK “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY-8CBt3Vkg”h?v=rY-8CBt3Vkg

Visit the website: http://sanmarcosavilesen.wordpress.com/latest-news/

With embraces of solidarity

Committees of the True Word from Kolkata, India, Western Colombia and South West England

*********************************************************************************************

Declaración de los Comités de la Palabra Verdadera de Kolkata, India, Oeste de Colombia, y Sur-oeste de Inglaterra en Apoyo a l@s Zapatistas de San Marcos Avilés

Filed under: Displacement, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Paramilitary, Repression, San Marcos Aviles, Zapatista — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:58 pm

Declaración de los Comités de la Palabra Verdadera de Kolkata, India, Oeste de Colombia, y Sur-oeste de Inglaterra en Apoyo a l@s Zapatistas de San Marcos Avilés

Queremos expresar nuestra profunda preocupación por la vida e integridad de las bases de apoyo zapatistas (BAZ) que viven en la comunidad ejidal de San Marcos Avilés, municipio oficial de Chilón, Chiapas. Como resultado del proceso de construcción actual de su autonomía, y especialmente después de la construcción de su escuela autónoma, llamada Emiliano Zapata en su honor, ellos han sido objeto de una pesadilla por segunda vez, una campaña de violencia y de intimidación, que culminó en amenazas inminentes de desalojo de sus hogares.

Reconocemos que estas acciones son parte de la estrategia de contrainsurgencia o’ guerra de desgaste, en contra de todo el movimiento zapatista, que se lleva a cabo por parte de los tres niveles de gobierno de México. Sin embargo los zapatistas son inspiración para muchas personas de todo el mundo, estando en resistencia durante casi veinte años y ahora están nuevamente resurgiendo. Una de las estrategias de los gobiernos es el uso de grupos de corte paramilitar, armados y financiados por el Estado, para atacar y socavar la base de apoyo de la organización. En San Marcos Avilés, los ataques vienen de miembros de los partidos políticos, en este caso del PRI, PRD y PVEM. El resultado de sus actos continuos de agresión y hostigamiento es que las BAZ no tienen acceso a todas sus tierras, y algunos de sus cultivos y cosechas han sido robados o destruidos, al igual que mucha de sus pertenencias. Las mujeres están en peligro de asalto y violación, los animales están siendo sacrificados, y los niños son amenazados.

Los acontecimientos de los últimos días sugieren que un desplazamiento inminente de las BAZ es muy probable. El 19 de febrero un grupo de autoridades ejidales y policías de la comunidad llegaron agresivamente exigiendo el pago del impuesto predial, diciendo que esto era por orden del presidente municipal y de la secretaría de Hacienda. Las BAZ explicaron que no pagan impuestos porque no reciben nada del gobierno.  La respuesta fue “Si no pagan serán desalojados. Los vamos a detener nosotros mismos y los llevaremos con las autoridades. Les vamos a cortar la luz y el agua”. Al día siguiente, los simpatizantes de los partidos se reunieron para discutir la manera de desplazar a las BAZ; y el 21 de febrero se reunieron con las autoridades locales para avanzar en el plan y solicitar una orden para el desalojo. Desde entonces, las BAZ han sido amenazadas con un desplazamiento.

En septiembre de 2010 se produjo el primer desplazamiento: 170 mujeres, niños y hombres pasaron 33 días en el monte, tiempo durante el cual dos mujeres dieron luz, en la intemperie sin comida ni refugio. Después de un retorno en grupo, encontraron sus casas saqueadas y las amenazas e intimidaciones continuaron como siempre. Todo esto porque quieren vivir con dignidad y libertad y luchan por la justicia, dignidad, libertad, y democracia como indígenas zapatistas que son.

Ninguna de las autoridades gubernamentales ha tomado medidas para resolver la situación, de hecho lo han alentado, con la esperanza de que las BAZ se vean ante la situación de responder agresivamente, o de renunciar a la lucha. Sus derechos humanos están siendo ignorados y violados.

En este momento es más importante que nunca que las personas de buen corazón en todo el mundo expresen su solidaridad con las BAZ de San Marcos Avilés, y eleven sus voces para decirles que no están solos, e informarles a los represores que estamos vigilándolos.

Durante un gran parte del año pasado una campaña internacional, “Eco Mundial en Apoyo a l@s Zapatistas”, se puso en marcha en apoyo a los zapatistas de San Marcos Avilés y de otras comunidades amenazadas, y la fortaleza de sus actividades puso un alto a las amenazas de desalojo en la comunidad. Además, se crearon ‘Comités de la Palabra Verdadera’ en respuesta a este gran esfuerzo de organización. Todos l@s que participaron en esta campaña no sólo se alarman de los nuevos desarrollos en San Marcos Avilés, sino que también se sienten ante la necesidad de movilizar la solidaridad mundial una vez más para tratar de evitar el desplazamiento de las BAZ. Hacemos un llamado a todos ustedes para tomar medidas con urgencia.

Para más información, vean este artículo:

http://desinformemonos.org/2013/03/pesadilla-interminable-la-amenaza-de-desplazamiento-forzado-contra-zapatistas/

Para ver el mensaje de video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY-8CBt3Vkg

Visite el sitio web aquí:

http://sanmarcosaviles.wordpress.com/ultimas-noticias/

Reciban abrazos solidarios,

Los Comités de la Palabra Verdadera de Kolkata, India, Sur-oeste de Inglaterra, y Oeste de Colombia

 

 

****************************************************************************************************

Solidarity with the women of Atenco

Filed under: Human rights, Women — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:08 pm

 

Statement in Solidarity with the women filing charges for the Atenco case before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights

Seven years have gone by since the 3rd and 4th of May, 2006, when in the streets of Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco, the three levels of government, together with the three main political parties, and the whole apparatus of the Mexican State, unleashed their violence and brutality by means of their police and judicial forces against men and women who defended their right to work and solidarity among those at the bottom. During the police operation, 207 people were violently arrested and tortured physically, psychologically, and sexually during the the time they were taken from the town to the Santiaguito and La Palma prison. Afterwards they were dragged through judicial processes for years, inside and outside of prison.

In those days of 2006, solidarity between those at the bottom and to the left rose up throughout Mexico. From the rebellious dignity of the Mexican southeast, to the painful border in the north, it rose above borders, throughout the entire planet. That solidarity, that pain and rage that is born down below makes us never forget those days, that violence, the torture, the prison. We will not forget the inherent stupidity of the State and its violence, nor the dignity that challenged it, the dignity that rose up from the prisons. We down below and to the left, do not forget those days, that violence, nor those signs of solidarity and dignity.

Following those repressive days, a group of women who had been arrested and tortured by the Mexican State decided to file charges against the government for the sexual torture they were forced to suffer. The charges began in the national courts where, as expected, they were silenced and forgotten. This paved the way to file charges in international bodies such as the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. In these seven years, these women have pushed forth the international court case with strength and dignity, bringing the Mexican State to court and making evident the nature of the capitalist system as well as the role of the State itself.

This Thursday, March 14th, 2013, the women will appear before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, and in response we raise our voices, our solidarity with them and with their dignity. We send them the message that they are not alone in the struggle against the State who imposes oblivion of the violence and torture they inflict. We say to the women: we are with you, from whichever corner of the Earth in which we stand. We raise all of our solidarity with you, to accompany you in this struggle that you took on.

The women declaring to the CIDH have made it clear that their struggle is to achieve reparation for their lives, and that reparation is not limited to legal spaces, but rather is built, that reparation is made from below and to the left, reclaiming their lives, and making it clear that the State violence could not break them, that they, together with their collectives, their organizations, have become stronger on this path, and not due to the application of the law, but rather to the solidarity and dignity that comes from the very bottom.

This is why we call upon collectives, organizations, family members, peoples, and individuals to make a public statement using all the media that is within our reach, in solidarity with the women filing charges in the CIDH in the case of Atenco, so that they know they are not alone, we are at their side, just like we have been all these years, and we will continue to accompany them throughout the trial, we will continue to be present, with all the solidarity and the dignity they bring out in us.

Long live women who struggle for justice!

Long live women with rebellious dignity!

Memory against oblivion!

Against displacement and repression:

Solidarity!

Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad
(Network Against Repression and for Solidarity)

 

Urgent Action: Campaign “A photo for the Women of Atenco”

 

Mujeres Atenco mural Take the picture alone or in a group, spread it around in social networks online, and make sure to send a copy by email to:
comunicacion@centroprodh.org.mx

On the 3rd and 4th of May 2006, during the police operations in Texcoco and Atenco (Mexico), the Mexican State (the 3 levels of government and the three central police agencies) tortured 207 people who they arrested, and sexually tortured the women who were captured that day.

From that day on, the women who were arrested began a legal process against the Mexican State, which has reached international courts.

This Thursday, March 14, 2013, The Inter-American Comission for Human Rights (IACHR) will hold a hearing in which a team of women will give their testimony.

We must stand in solidarity with these women!

 

Proposal:

Take a picture, with a message of solidarity “Together we stand with the women of Atenco before the CIDH” and other messages in the same vein. Circulate the image around the internet and send a copy to the Human Rights Center Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez: comunicacion@centroprodh.org.mx

Make sure to visit and spread the word in all the media outlets you can reach (websites, press, independent media, organize photo exhibits, radio programs, cultural weeks, etc) about the project Mirada Sostenida (Sustained Gaze) by Liliana Zaragoza: www.miradasostenida.net

 

 

 

 

***********************************************************************************************************

 

 

Amazon Indians unite against Canadian oil giant

 

The abundant resources of their forest home provide the Matsés with a rich and varied diet.

The abundant resources of their forest home provide the Matsés with a rich and varied diet.
© James Vybiral/Survival

 

Amazon Indians from Peru and Brazil have joined together to stop a Canadian oil company destroying their land and threatening the lives of uncontacted tribes.

Hundreds of Matsés Indians gathered on the border of Peru and Brazil last Saturday and called on their governments to stop the exploration, warning that the work will devastate their forest home.

The oil giant Pacific Rubiales is headquartered in Canada and has already started oil exploration in ‘Block 135’ in Peru, which lies directly over an area proposed as an uncontacted tribes reserve.

In a rare interview with Survival, a Matsés woman said, ‘Oil will destroy the place where our rivers are born. What will happen to the fish? What will the animals drink?’

MatsésMatsés woman Antonina Duni Goya Nesho talks about her son’s future

The Matsés number around 2,200 and live along the Peru-Brazil border. Together with the closely-related Matis tribe, they were known as the ‘Jaguar people’ for their facial decorations and tattoos, which resembled the jaguar’s whiskers and teeth.

The Matsés were first contacted in the 1960s, and have since suffered from diseases introduced by outsiders. Uncontacted tribes are also at extreme risk from contact with outsiders through the introduction of diseases to which they have little or no immunity.

Despite promising to protect the rights of its indigenous citizens, the Peruvian government has allowed the $36 million project to go ahead. Contractors will cut hundreds of miles of seismic testing lines through the forest home of the uncontacted tribes, and drill exploratory wells.

The government has also granted a license for oil explorations to go ahead in ‘Block 137’, just north of ‘Block 135’, which lies directly on Matsés land. Despite massive pressure from the company, the tribe is firmly resisting the oil company’s activities in their forest.

Two Matsés men inhale potent tobacco snuff. The cuts on the man's arm indicate where frog poison has been applied – a traditional Matsés practice to aid hunting skills.

Two Matsés men inhale potent tobacco snuff. The cuts on the man’s arm indicate where frog poison has been applied – a traditional Matsés practice to aid hunting skills.
© James Vybiral/Survival

The effects of oil work are also likely to be felt across the border in Brazil’s Javari Valley, home to several other uncontacted tribes, as seismic testing and the construction of wells threaten to pollute the headwaters of several rivers on which the tribes depend.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, ‘The Canadian state was founded on the theft of tribal land. When Europeans invaded Canada, they introduced alien diseases, seized control of natural resources, and brought about the extinction of entire peoples. It’s a great irony that a Canadian company today is poised to commit the same crimes against tribes in Peru. Why doesn’t the Peruvian government uphold its own commitments to tribal rights? History tells us that when uncontacted peoples’ land is invaded, death, disease and destruction follow.’

Read this online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/9023

 

 

**************************************************************************************************

 

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:50 pm

Them and Us VII.  The Smallest of Them All 5: The Money

March 2013

Note: Money, cash, bills, benjamins, clams, dinero, the economy, the finances, etc.  The economic question isn’t only about where the resources come from (some people’s morbid curiosity about this will be satisfied in the little school, don’t worry), but also how they are managed (do the authorities get paid? nobody’s sticking their hand in the cookie jar for personal gain? etc.), and, above all, how do we keep track of everything? Wait a second! The Zapatistas have a banking system?! Well, continue to be scandalized because, as we have said, this is what the Zapatistas do, unsettle “decent people’s consciences.” The following are fragments from the “sharing” on the economies of the Juntas de Buen Gobierno [Good Government Councils].

For the full text, see our communiques page: https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/communiques/

********************************************************************************************************

March 11, 2013

San Marcos Avilés: Forced Displacement and the Hope of Solidarity

Filed under: Movement for Justice in el Barrio, San Marcos Aviles, Zapatista — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:59 pm

San Marcos Avilés: Forced Displacement and the Hope of Solidarity

Human rights organizations and solidarity activists warn that the Tzeltales of San Marcos Avilés are at risk of a displacement equivalent to that of 2010.

Published by Nacla: https://nacla.org/Zapatista-Displacement-and-Solidarity

For the Zapatista support bases of San Marcos Avilés, the nightmare of displacement has no end. After the end of the international campaign which had prevented the evictions, the government and the political parties renewed the threat, and there are now again fears of an imminent displacement.

The ejido San Marcos Avilés is located in a mountainous region of the official municipality of Chilón, in the Highland region in the north of Chiapas. The population of around 140 families of indigenous Tzeltales grows maize, beans, coffee, sugar cane, and bananas, and keep a few cattle, horses, pigs, and chickens. Within the community live families of Zapatista bases of support (BAZ) alongside supporters of the Mexican political parties of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the Green Party of Mexico (PVEM).

On the morning of Saturday February 23, 2013 came the news those in solidarity with the Zapatistas throughout the world had feared to hear again: “Urgent: Imminent risk of forced displacement of the support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in the San Marcos Avilés ejido.” This article will try to give the background to the nightmare situation which has been endured by the BAZ of this community since 2010, and to show the difference that international solidarity can make at a time of a resurgence of the Zapatista movement.

The eviction

In August 2010, as part of the Zapatista Autonomous Rebel Education system and their fight for dignity, freedom, and justice, the BAZ of San Marcos Avilés constructed their own autonomous school, “Emiliano Zapata.” Education is one of the main pillars of Zapatista autonomy and self-determination, since it is completely independent from the state. Their autonomous schools are non-hierarchical and rooted in local indigenous culture and worldviews. Education is seen as a fundamental right of the people and a form of resistance. “We want a good education for our children,” say the BAZ about the foundation of the school, “good learning, a good example. We see that the government has its schools, but it is not good education, nor do they teach our children well; they do not provide good learning, and what they teach has nothing to do with us. So we opened our school.”

1611

A group of the political party supporters in the community, in conjunction with the local police and authorities, began acts of aggression, harassment, and intimidation as soon as the building of the school started. These acts included the theft and destruction of food and belongings, physical and death threats, and land grabs. Within days 29 hectares of land and crops had been stolen from the BAZ. Less than three weeks after the construction of the school, 30 heavily armed men affiliated with the PRI, PRD, and PVEM broke into the houses of the Zapatistas and attempted to rape two women. They displaced 47 men, 50 women and 77 children who, so as not to respond to this aggression, took refuge in the woods and in the mountains, where they remained without food or shelter for 33 days—enduring cold, wet, and hunger, forced to sleep in the mud under plastic sheeting. “They treat us like animals, like dogs. This is what I felt when my son was born on the mountain,” said one of the women.

The return

Supporters from throughout the world mobilized quickly in response to the eviction and organized a solidarity caravan to bring food, clothing, blankets, and medicine to the displaced people. After an accompanied return to the community on October 12, 2010, the BAZ found that the aggressors had looted their homes and stolen their possessions, taken over their lands, broken down their fences, killed their animals, and burned their crops. Moreover, the death threats, bullying, and harassment from the political party supporters continued, preventing members of the community from performing their daily activities, and severely undermining their mental and physical health. The attacks can be clearly seen as another attempt to put an end to the Zapatista autonomous process and force the BAZ to give up the struggle and submit to the projects of the “bad government.”

The JBG of Oventic, Caracol II made a statement: “If anything happens to our brothers and sisters now that they are back in their community, it will be the municipal, state, and federal governments who are responsible, by advising, financing, and arming paramilitaries and manipulating the poor and miserable.

“We the Zapatistas do not bother anybody, we do not evict our compas from the political parties, we do not persecute anyone, we do not steal the land of our brother and sister farmers, nor do we take any other property from other poor people; we only defend what is ours, what are our rights; we live and eat through our own work and sweat, and we want to fight for true democracy, freedom, and justice for everyone. These are our crimes as Zapatistas”.

An enduring nightmare

In August and September 2011, an Observation and Solidarity Brigade visited this and other threatened communities and reported acute malnutrition and an outbreak of fever which took the life of a child. One member of the brigade explained, “The women in particular express the suffering resulting from their displacement, and the pain caused by having no security of any kind, either for themselves, or, above all, for their children. As a direct result of asserting their legitimate right to education, they do not have food, shelter, or water for their children.”

However, they also commented: “We see that, in fact, the Zapatista autonomy project asserts the rights that are enshrined in the declarations, conventions, and treaties relating to the rights of indigenous peoples, especially those relating to autonomy and free determination. We witnessed terrible humiliations perpetrated by the bad government, but we also saw with our own eyes that despite the threats of repression, suffering, pain, and poverty, not one of the compañeros wants to give up. This belief in the process of liberation means that the Zapatista movement is stronger than ever.”

A second displacement?

Threats of another displacement, by the same armed actors, remained recurrent. As a result, in November 2011, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), in conjunction with Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio, an organization of Mexican migrants struggling for dignity and against displacement in New York, issued the “Worldwide Declaration in Support of the Zapatista Support Bases of San Marcos Avilés,” which groups, individuals, and organizations from all corners of the world signed. Over 1,000 protestors from Occupy Wall Street signed a further Declaration of Support.

Then, in 2012, the situation of threats and aggressions intensified to the point that the BAZ sent out an urgent call for help to the national and international community. Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio again responded, sending out an urgent message to the “Compañeros of the world” in July 2012, along with an extraordinarily moving and powerful video message from the BAZ themselves. “In the video message, our Zapatista comrades from San Marcos Avilés send special messages to the world…. They issue an urgent call for national and international support and solidarity with their community, in light of the alarming escalation of threats and hostility…. The culprits remain an attack group of political party members, who have stated that they will kidnap authorities of the Zapatista community, and in this way, forcefully displace the support base members from the ejido…. It is feared that another wholesale displacement of the community, similar to the one that took place in 2010, will occur.”

The BAZ explain, “We cannot enjoy the fruits of our labor with our children, because members of the political parties are eating them on the orders of bad government….The parties do not want the Zapatista organization in the ejido San Marcos. According to them, we set a bad example. They showed they want the organization to disappear. We will continue our struggle … because we have the right to be taken into account. Freedom, justice, and peace are what we are asking for. But we are not afraid because we know quite clearly what we are looking for and how we want to live”.

The Echo Campaign

Having grabbed attention from all corners of the world to the situation of the BAZ of San Marcos Avilés, Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio went on to launch the campaign “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas,” on July 27, 2012. This initiative was in two phases—the first, “Walking the True Word,” was one of education and awareness-raising, and the second, “From Truth to Action: Stopping the Repression,” focused on holding protests led by the same communities who learned and became aware during the previous stage. As a result of this effort, “Committees of the True Word” began organizing in support of the Zapatistas in 29 countries, many of them composed of people who were new to the Zapatista struggle.

Although the Campaign was one of solidarity with all the Zapatista communities under threat and their political prisoners, the continual dissemination of information through video messages, events, declarations, letters, articles, statements of support from well-known thinkers, and a great range of activities and actions, combined to keep San Marcos Avilés in the public eye.

1610

“These attacks,” wrote the Peruvian fighter for social justice, Hugo Blanco, in support of the Echo Campaign, “are the spearhead of the attempt to crush the zone liberated from neoliberalism, where the people govern themselves through the Good Government Juntas. These are seen as the great enemy by the transnational corporations…as they are a living example of the fact that Another World is Possible, A World where Many Worlds Fit….It is in the direct interests of humanity to defend the island of freedom that is the Zapatista area.” The Campaign left no doubt that the attacks are part of the war of attrition that has been conducted by the Mexican state against the Zapatistas since 1995, with the aim of eradicating the whole movement and the hope it embodies, from the face of the earth.

In her second letter of support for the Campaign, the great Mexican feminist Sylvia Marcos explored further the reasons behind the paramilitary attacks, “What are they afraid of to make them deploy such destructive force? What is the danger from the proposal, the resistance and the survival of the Zapatistas for the prevailing capitalist order? Is it because they show positively that other forms of life, in justice and dignity, are possible? That the satisfactions of life and the joy of being need not be governed by consumerism and commodification? That we can “live well,” as they say in the Andean communities of South America, with other ways of organization, government, and campesino production, in which the best way of living is not the accumulation of material goods, but community solidarity and sharing what there is?”

The women of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) added their own insights, “The Mexican government targets these indigenous communities because Zapatistas are building an alternative form of living where people have sovereignty over the land and pursue justice for indigenous people. To our compañeras and compañeros of San Marcos Avilés who were displaced for over a month from their community, we stand together with you in your fight against the corrupt government that imposes such cruelty.” Meanwhile, members of South Africa’s largest grassroots movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Shack Dwellers Movement, pointed out that the primary goal of all repression is to break our bonds as movements and communities, so we must stay united and firm in our commitments and see our struggles as one.

Throughout the duration of this intense period of organizing, inspiration and awareness-raising, from July to November 2012, the situation in San Marcos Avilés remained relatively quiet and no attempts at displacement were made. The aggressors knew the situation was being watched. This can give us all hope that national and international organizing can actively help to prevent repression, that we can make a difference, and that all the hard work is worth it. Most importantly, these campaigns help the Zapatista compañer@s to know that they are not alone, that they have allies everywhere, and what is more, knowledge and understanding of their struggle is spread more widely. They help us find one another.

The new threats of displacement

There has been an intensification of the repression in San Marcos Avilés since February 2013, raising concerns about a new attack. There are now fears that another displacement of the BAZ is imminent, following a demand from the authorities and police of the community for the BAZ to pay the local (predial) tax. They replied, “We have suffered very much as a result of all these aggressions from groups of (political) party members, and the government has done nothing. Now is not the time to pay, because we are in resistance and we demand respect for our right to our lands. If we do not receive anything from the government, we are not going to pay taxes.”

The party supporters threatened to arrest the BAZ, take them to the authorities, and cut off their light and water. They then put in motion the process of eviction in conjunction with the Municipal President of Chilón, Leonardo Rafael Guirao Aguilar, and the Agrarian Procurator in Ocosingo, Luis Demetrio Domínguez López. The threat is imminent, and the ejido is filled with growing terror.

In the words of Frayba, “This Center for Human Rights expresses its concerns about the imminent risk to life, personal integrity, and security faced by the BAEZLN, inhabitants of the ejido San Marcos Avilés, stemming from the death threats and harassment which have increased during recent weeks. In addition, their forced displacement and dispossession from their lands, which are their means of subsistence, and which they have not been able to work since April 9, 2010, has led to a food crisis and constant threats against their process of autonomy. We point out the responsibility of the government of Chiapas who, by deliberate omission, has not acted to ensure the integrity and personal security of the BAEZLN and their access to the land, despite several interventions submitted.”

Zapatista resurgence

1612

A great sign of hope that may affect the situation in San Marcos Avilés is the recent re-emergence of the Zapatistas from a period of silence. A massive silent march of as many as 50,000 masked BAZ took place on a highly significant day, December 21, 2012, the end of Baktun 13. This day marked the end of one cycle of the Maya calendar and the beginning of another—a time when traditionally worlds change and power is transformed. “Did you hear?” wrote Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, “It is the sound of your world crumbling. It is the sound of our world resurging. The day that was day, was night. And night shall be the day that will be day. Democracy! Liberty! Justice!” Since then, 25 communiqués have been released (to date), and the Zapatista Word has been reborn.

Cultivating hope and action

Recently, solidarity campaigning has been seen to have contributed significantly to the release of the Zapatista political prisoner, Francisco Sántiz López. As a result of very effective organizing, the name of San Marcos Avilés is now well-known. There are people who have never visited the ejido who care about what happens there. Although the Echo Campaign may be over, the Committees of the True Word are still active. Frayba’s release of the Urgent Action brought a rapid response in the form of reports, letters, statements, and articles. Any eviction could not happen quietly, without being noticed and protested against. People are urged to write to the Municipal President of Chilón immediately, as well as the governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, and the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, holding them responsible for any aggressions that may occur.

It is essential to remain vigilant, to keep organizing actions, writing letters, and spreading information, while we make sure we keep the name of San Marcos Avilés, our solidarity with the BAZ, and, of course, hope, alive.


**********************************************************************************************

Urban Zapatismo, from East Harlem to Chiapas

Those from below are organizing………

Zapatistas in New York?  Another way of doing politics

The Zapatista movement isn’t only growing in Chiapas. Its example and its ways are contagious, and they even reach places as inhospitable to non-capitalist ways as New York. There, Mexican migrants are organizing from building to building. This is their powerful story.

The Movement for Justice in El Barrio (MJB) has 750 members and 72 committees, one per building. It is an adherent to the Zapatista Sixth Declaration

 

Marta Molina, March 7, 2013

A young girl breaking the "neoliberal piñata" at the end of one of the Movement for Justice in El Barrio's encuentros, gatherings that were inspired by the Zapatistas. (Flickr / Michael Gould-Wartofsky)A young girl breaks the “neoliberal piñata” at the end of an encuentro hosted by the Movement for Justice in El Barrio. (Huffington Post / Michael Gould-Wartofsky)Listening is an essential skill for an organizer. In 2004, a group of migrant Mexican women began listening to their neighbors in the New York City neighborhood of East Harlem, more commonly known as El Barrio. The women went door to door, building by building, listening to people’s problems and thinking together about ways they could be solved.

These women had never participated in social struggles in Mexico, and they did not speak English. But they did know that a great many of their neighbors were in the same situation, and their act of listening created the Movement for Justice in El Barrio, which now has 750 members and 72 committees — one per building. Eight years later, these women are still fighting for dignified housing and against displacement, so that they won’t be forced — like they were in their home countries — to leave.

The Movement for Justice in El Barrio is focused on local housing issues, but it identifies itself as part of a much larger movement across international borders. The group defines its struggle as urban Zapatismo, drawing inspiration from the Zapitista movement in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

“In 2005, the Movement for Justice in El Barrio decided to adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, written by our Zapatista brothers and sisters,” explained Juan Haro, an organizer who traveled to Chiapas, Mexico, in February to speak at an international conference on social movements and Zapatismo. “We did so because after understanding [the declaration], we saw ourselves in it. We saw that the Sixth Declaration is the option of making a new world for everyone.”

In 2005, when the Zapatista National Liberation Army released the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, which invited people from around the world to join the movement to value humanity over money, the document was read in East Harlem. The Movement for Justice in El Barrio decided to ask to become a part of the Other Campaign, a Zapatista initiative to connect the movement in Chiapas to other resistance groups throughout Mexico.

To Haro and other members of the Movement, Zapatismo is not something that is specific to a particular struggle in Mexico. Instead, he sees it as a vehicle for all of those from below — those who have been hurt most by the capitalist system and by their governments — to achieve dignity in their communities.

Sharing stories internationally

Members of the Movement for Justice en El Barrio see the present as a moment for exchange, an opportunity to create a different means of political engagement, and a time for groups to share their struggles and learn from each other. At the conference in February, Oscar Flores and Diana Morales, two Mexican migrants now living in East Harlem and organizing with the Movement, shared their experiences through online testimonies.

“They want to take us out of our housing in El Barrio,” said Flores. “We are the most screwed over, and we are tired of living in these conditions, with broken windows, collapsing roofs, leaking kitchens and bathrooms, without heat or hot water in the winter. The property owners and the local government force us to live so poorly until we get desperate and move elsewhere, so that then the landlords can renovate their buildings and rent them to rich people.”

The group is not only organizing against bad housing conditions, but for an entirely new idea of housing that does not depend on profit.

One of the slogans of the Movement is, “We fight so that the hills and mountains belong to those who live in them and care for them. Similarly, housing should be for those who inhabit and care for the space. No one should own more housing than what they can inhabit.”

At the conference, Haro made the connection between migration from Mexico to the United States and housing discrimination inside U.S. cities. Both, he said, were caused by the same forces.

“Being immigrants, we know that the political and economic system that forced us from our country is the same one that now wants to displace us from our homes, and we will fight against multinational corporations, against politicians and those ‘from above,’” said Haro. “We will organize so that we won’t be displaced.”

Inspiration from the Zapatistas

One of the inspirations for the Movement for Justice in El Barrio was the struggle of the Young Lords, a movement of Puerto Ricans living in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City who organized against poverty, racism and indecent housing throughout the late-1960s and 1970s. The group’s other organizing inspiration, of course, was Zapatismo.

Through Zapatista-style consultations — gatherings where problems are discussed and are made based on consensus — the main problems in the neighborhood are discussed, and these discussions create the basis for all of the group’s strategies.

“We are practicing real democracy,” said Haro. “Our form of struggle is based on the decisions made by the people, and it is the community that has the final word.”

The Zapatistas taught them how to work at the local level with their neighbors while also looking beyond their community. The group began to carry out a series of encounters with other collectives that work for justice, dignity and democracy, an organizing model that was inspired by the Zapatistas’ Interncontinental Encounters for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism.

“For us it is essential to know our neighbors, to unite and fight together, to make decisions horizontally,” said Haro. “But it’s also essential to create bridges with other marginalized communities of migrants, women, gays, lesbians, transsexuals, people of color, and to build relationships with those organizations.”

At these encounters in East Harlem, everyone participates, including the children, who end the encounters with the symbolic act of breaking the “neoliberal piñata.

Victories motivate the struggle

4_MJB

Member of El Barrio protest against displacement in East Harlem in 2010. (WNV / Movement for Justice in El Barrio)

When a social movement wins a battle, it gains the respect and trust of others who also want to win their own battles. This happened for the Movement for Justice in El Barrio in 2006, when a large landowner tried to displace hundreds of low-income renters from their apartments in order to rent them at a higher rate. The group struggled over the course of two years, and it finally forced the landowner to sell his 47 properties instead of forcing the renters out of their homes.

The victory gained the Movement recognition in the city, and energized the members of the group to keep fighting, as Haro said, “against neoliberalism, multinational corporations and capitalist property owners.”

But the first landowner was replaced by an British corporation that specialized in flipping buildings in gentrifying neighborhoods. The sale sparked another intense campaign during 2008. Drawing on the group’s international perspective, the movement organized a delegation to five countries in Europe to meet with more than 30 local groups that also worked on housing justice. These groups put local pressure on the company, which crumbled as the economic recession set in.

The Movement for Justice in El Barrio doesn’t only win battles; it also wins committed organizers, such as Diana Morales, an indigenous Mixteca who now organizes in East Harlem. Originally from Guerrero, Mexico, she explained, “Because of bad government, I had to leave my country. Now in New York, I face daily discrimination for being a migrant. That’s why I decided to join my neighbors and fight for justice.”

Her story demonstrates the global nature of both capitalism and anti-capitalist resistance. Morales moved from Mexico to New York City after her mother explained that a corporation was trying to displace her and her neighbors from their homes in East Harlem. Upon arriving in New York, she joined the struggle, and she learned for the first time about the Zapatistas fighting in her own country.

“During our first meeting with El Barrio, I heard our companions speak about the Zapatistas, and I learned that they continue their struggle, and that they live autonomously, without depending on the government,” she said.

She was surprised not only about the movement in her own country, but also by the fact that Mexican migrants would dare to protest on the streets of New York City. She became a spokesperson for the Movement for Justice in El Barrio.

“I never imagined that one day I would fight alongside my community, but now I’m doing it. Collective struggle is the way we will be heard and the way we will change the world,” said Morales.

The Movement for Justice in El Barrio also carries out solidarity campaigns to support struggles in Mexico and beyond. In 2006, the group organized against violent repression in San Salvador Atenco, using the slogan “We are all Atenco.” The Movement also helps spread the word about Zapatismo by organizing groups in dozens of countries that educate the public about the situation of the Zapatistas. Last year, the group organized campaigns to demand freedom for political prisoners in Chiapas. 

Continuing to listen

Today, the neighbors in the Movement for Justice in El Barrio are still fighting displacement. It is their daily struggle.

“When you organize, you realize very quickly that you have a whole family, so if one is affected, all of us are affected,” said Haro.

The group is currently in the process of forming new committees in three apartment buildings that want to join the movement. The only criterion for membership is that people first organize their entire building. Haro explains how people can often feel uncomfortable knocking on doors, so more experienced members of the Movement often go and accompany these newcomers to help them become organizers.

We asked Juan Haro what the recent Zapatista communiqués and the silent Zapatista march on Dec. 21, 2012, meant to members of the Movement.

“It was a show of dignity from our compañeros,” he said. “They showed their moral and organizational capacity, their ability to do. We still haven’t met with them to talk about it, but we will in good time. Those of us in El Barrio listened, and we are waiting for what’s next.”

*******************************************************************************************************
« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.