dorset chiapas solidarity

June 30, 2013

From London: In memory of Juan Vázquez Guzmán: Uniting our struggles at the People’s Assembly

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:50 pm

From London: In memory of Juan Vázquez Guzmán: Uniting our struggles at the People’s Assembly

IMGP5842IMGP5799 (1)IMGP5847 (1)IMGP581720130624105323 (1)

IMGP4436 (1)Over 4,000 people from a wide variety of groups and organizations gathered in Westminster Central Hall, London, on Saturday June 22nd for the first People’s Assembly against Austerity. One of the main messages from this event was the need for groups to unite in the struggle against capitalism, and the suffering, destruction and displacement it causes. This made it an ideal location to spread awareness of the assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán as a result of his tireless dedication to the defense of our Mother Earth and the land, territory and rights of his people from the indigenous Tzeltal community of San Sebastián Bachajón. This is honored in the Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!” taking place from June 25th to July 2nd.

IMGP4642 (1)While the main purpose of the People’s Assembly was the struggle against the politics of austerity and endless war, it is all part of the same struggle against injustice, inequality, exclusion, and for dignity, freedom and true democracy. The starting point for all these struggles is from the local, the community of neighbourhood, sowing the seeds of peace and justice from the grassroots. The Assembly called for a programme of resistance and solidarity, and so do the people of Bachajón. Juan Vázquez Guzmán loved to visit compas in other locations, and to learn of and share their struggles. “We are fighting for an alternative future for this generation and for those that come after us,” says the declaration from the Assembly; this statement applies to both movements, to all our resistances.

IMGP4362 (1)“It is possible”, wrote political analyst Raúl Zibechi in support of the Week of Worldwide Action, “to weave bridges between those who are different if we recognize their differences…. If we mix the resistances, making the cause of each one into our cause… We invite you to continue building a new and different world, one with room for all…”

Juan Vázquez Guzmán gave his life for the land. May we all remember him and keep in him our hearts in whatever place or struggle we may be. Hasta la Victoria siempre.

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Wellington group takes part in the “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:34 pm

 

 

Wellington group takes part in the “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

By Julie Webb-Pullman

NZAt lunchtime today members of the Wellington Zapatista Support held a candlelight vigil outside the Mexican Embassy in Wellington as part of the “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

After constructing a small shrine with flowers and candles in remembrance of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, an indigenous community leader assassinated in April, the group hand-delivered a letter to the Mexican Ambassador to New Zealand, demanding that Guzman’s killers be brought to justice, and an end to the blatant abuses of rights of the Tzeltal communities of San Sebastián Bachajón.

 

The text of the letter is as follows:

Her Excellency Ms Rosaura Leonora Rueda Gutierrez

Ambassador

Embassy of Mexico

Wellington

NEW ZEALAND

27 June 2013

Dear Madam

We, the Wellington Zapatista Support Group, have been following with concern Mexican Federal, State and Municipal responses to the civil resistance in defence of their land by the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to The Other Campaign in the Agua Azul region of Chiapas.

Since 2007, the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón have suffered violence and repression at the hands of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)-backed authorities and paramilitary organizations. Their resistance to the take-over of Tzeltal traditional lands for transnational projects, particularly the site of the Agua Azul waterfalls which the ejidatarios have been responsibly and sustainably managing for many years, has placed them squarely in the firing line of those who seek to dispossess them of their lands for commercial gain.

Concerted attempts to break up the community and its resistance began in 2009, with the detention of eight ejidatarios and adherents to the Other Campaign by state and federal police, and the arrest and vicious assault of Ricardo Lagunes at a PRI paramilitary checkpoint after he left a meeting in Bachajón. Two years later in 2011, 117 ejidatarios were arbitrarily detained by police during an eviction attempt at the toll booth at the entrance to the Agua Azul area. Ten, including Pérez Álvaro, remained political prisoners for an extended period of time.

Physical violence and repression have been coupled with legal and judicial abuses, including court decisions denying the rights of ejidatarios, and their arrests and eviction in 2011 enabling authorities to take control of the collectively-owned lands.

The ongoing assaults on Bachajón autonomy culminated on the night of April 24, 2013 in the assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán in the doorway of his home.

Guzmán, Secretary General of the three centres of the ejido since April 2010, was riddled with six bullets after answering his door – the assailant fled the scene in a red pick-up, and no-one has yet been charged with his murder.

Hugo Blanco, director of Peruvian magazine Lucha Indígena, this week noted the participation of the rogue state of Israel, notorious for its impunity for 65 years of crimes against humanity and human rights abuses of Palestinians, in assisting the Mexican state to repress its indigenous peoples in Chiapas. “So far there has been no progress in the investigations into the perpetrators of the crime; on the contrary, harassment and persecution are constant.  A few days after the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, Secretary of Security and Civil Protection in the State of Chiapas, announced the training that the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Mexico will provide for the local police,” he wrote.

This does not augur well, either for the bringing before justice of the killers of Juan Guzmán, or for the protection of the collectively-owned lands of the indigenous Tzeltal from the ‘tourarism’ being practised by transnational business interests.

In this, the “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vazquez Guzman Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!” the Wellington Zapatista Support Group adds its voice to the international chorus demanding justice for  Juan Vázquez Guzmán, and in support of the struggle of the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón for their rights.

We demand:

1.       a full investigation into the assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán in the doorway of his home on the evening of April 24, 2013, and punishment of those responsible;

2.       The release of ejidatarios Antonio Estrada Estrada (prisoner in CERSS 17, Playas de  Catazajá, Chiapas), Miguel Vázquez Deara (prisoner in CERSS 16, Ocosingo, Chiapas) and Miguel Demeza Jiménez (prisoner in CERSS 14, El Amate);

3.       Respect for the right of the Tzeltal people of San Sebastián Bachajón to self-determination and to exercise their autonomy as stipulated in Agreement No. 169 regarding indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the San Andrés Accords, Document 1, 3. 1. Document 2, II, IV (2. 3.); Document 3.1 (c, d); Document 1, Principle of the New Relationship 5;

4.       Respect for their right to use and enjoy their natural resources, which as indigenous peoples they have protected for centuries, as referenced in Agreement No. 169 regarding indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries, pursuant to article 13.2 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and San Andrés Accords 1.4 B. 2.; Document 1, Principle of the New Relationship 2; and

5.       The immediate withdrawal of all military, paramilitary, and police forces from the entire region, such that the natural and national treasure of Agua Azul is returned to the common ownership from which it has been wrested, and the rights of the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón are upheld.

Sincerely,

The Wellington Zapatista Support Group

“¡Juan Vázquez Guzmán Vive!”

“¡La Lucha de Bachajón Sigue!” 

 

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Classmates V. The Students

Filed under: Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:28 am

 

Classmates V.
The Students.

June 2013.

To the adherents of the Sexta in Mexico and in the world:

To the Little Zapatista School invitees:

Compañeros, compañeroas, compañeras:

education_autonomousSchools2Here we are posting some data to give you an idea of the type of plebes…err, that is, people, who will be your classmates, or compañeros in study, at the Little Zapatista School. Here you go:

.-Invitations sent: about 3,000.

.-Invitations accepted: about 2500.

.-Not yet responded: about 500.

.-Invitations rejected: 1.

.-Of those who have already completed the registration form, a bit more than half are men and a bit fewer than half are women (that is to say, we men are winning – note from SupMarcos contributing “a gender perspective” as they say), in addition to an indefinite number who identify themselves as others [otr@s].

.-There are 1500 students who will attend the little school in the communities during the scheduled dates in August 2013. More than half are men (ahem, ahem), less than half are women, and nine identify as “others” [otr@s].

Of these 1,500 students, more than 60 are children younger than 12 years of age. Of these 60 plus children, 19 are younger than four years old. Note the following statistic: for every one girl that is coming, there are two boys coming. That is to say, among the minors we are also winning – another commentary from “a gender perspective” by Supmarcos.

Of the more than 1400 adults that are coming to the communities, more than 200 are over 50 years old.

.-Around 200 people will attend the course at CIDECI in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas in August 2013.

.-More than 200 people will take the [little school] course via videoconference.

.-More than 130 people have asked for the materials because they cannot attend the course in the communities.

.-More than 500 people have asked to register for the course for next December-January. Note: if you did not receive an invitation it was because of the lack of available space, but you will be invited. Simply send an email to the webpage, and if we missed you this time around, we will put you on the list for the next course.

.-There will be students from 5 continents. Some of the countries of origin of the students in the course, Freedom according to the Zapatistas, include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, the United States of America, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Venezuela, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovenia, the Spanish State, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, the Basque Country, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea, India, Iran, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Canary Islands.

The furthest point of origin of students is Sri Lanka, which is more than 17 thousand kilometers from Zapatista territory. Then follows India (more than 15 thousand kilometers away), Australia (more than 13 thousand kilometers away), and new Zealand (more than 11 thousand kilometers away).

.-The oldest students are more than 90 years old.

.- The youngest students will be 11 months old in August 2013. And they are, of course [original in English], male. Their names are Brian and Eduardo.

.-Among the little school students, at least 34 have PhDs in diverse areas including: Philosophy, Sociology, History, Anthropology, Literature, Political Science, Physics, Mathematics, Psychology, Economy, Urban Studies, and Theology.

.-More than 50 students are professors and researchers in universities.

 

The above is an extract. The communique can be read in full here: https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/communiques/

 

 

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June 29, 2013

Miguel Vázquez Deara, adherent to the Sexta from San Sebastián Bachajón is free!

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:58 pm

 

Miguel Vázquez Deara, adherent to the Sexta from San Sebastián Bachajón is free!

IMG00311-20130626-1539

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The Case of Alberto Patishtán: Mexico Justice System Again Put to the Test

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:27 pm

 

 

The Case of Alberto Patishtán: Mexico Justice System Again Put to the Test

La Jornada: José Gil Olmos

Mexico City – Alberto Patishtán was arrested in El Bosque, his village, located in The Highlands of Chiapas. He was accused of involvement in an ambush that killed seven state police and wounded two others. The incident occurred several miles from his community, in a place known as Las Lagunas de Las Limas, in the municipality of Simojovel.
The Chiapas government accused Patishtán of organized crime, homicide, possession of weapons for exclusive Army use and aggravated assault. It pronounced a sentence of sixty years. In a trial full of irregularities, in which it was demonstrated that the main witness in the case, the son of the mayor of El Bosque, Manuel Gómez Ruiz, lied in his statement.
Paradoxically, prison has not impeded Patishtán from becoming a leading figure, but quite the opposite. The injustice displayed in his  case has been recognized in many parts of the world. In support of his freedom, the teacher Patishtán has received letters and signatures from people and organizations from different countries: France, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, United States, Greece, Argentina, Norway, Italy, Canada, New Zealand, Belgium, Sweden, South Africa, Japan, The Netherlands and Occitania.

He has also been recognized as a human rights defender, after creating the group “La Voz del Amate” that on February 25, 2008, organized a hunger strike for 41 days, which served to obtain release for several prisoners in that jail–with the exception of Patishtán, who as punishment was transferred to CERESO No. 15 in the municipality of Copainalá, which is known as a “punishment prison”.

After a second demonstration, this time for his freedom, but also for the defense of human rights, on October 20, 2011, he was transferred to the Federal Rehabilitation Center in Guasave, Sinaloa [in northwest Mexico], where he remained for several months away from his family, over two thousand kilometers [1,250 miles] away. Shortly thereafter, they returned him to the prison in Chiapas.

After the release of the Frenchwoman Florence Cassez [freed because due process was violated in her arrest and trail], Patishtán’s lawyers saw a possibility for his release and succeeded in bringing the case to the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Nation. However, on March 6, five justices rejected hearing the case and turned it over to the Appellate Court based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.

On Wednesday, June 19, the Tzotzil teacher Alberto Patishtán completed thirteen years in prison. His innocence has been tested and proven. There is not a single shred of evidence to support the allegations of witnesses induced to lie.
His case is emblematic of those of many men and women who remain unjustly imprisoned, but also of the absence of justice for punishing others who have committed acts of corruption, money laundering, murder, disappearances, pedophilia and rape. They remain on the streets enjoying impunity.
In the coming weeks the First Collegiate Court of the Twentieth Circuit, based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, will decide if the teacher remains in prison to complete the sentence of sixty years, or is awarded the recognition of innocence, which would involve his immediate release.

Once again the Mexican justice system is being tested. Hopefully, the balance is tilted in favor of the indigenous Tzotzil.

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June 28, 2013

Videos from San Sebastián Bachajón: Remembering our beloved compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:57 pm

 

Worldwide Campaign:

“Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives!

The Bachajón struggle continues!”

http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/en-ingles/

Videos from San Sebastián Bachajón: Remembering our beloved compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán

Words in Tseltal, and translated into Spanish:

 

“It is very sad, but the struggle is alive and will continue, and Juan is still here among us”. These two new videos share a few of the moving words, in Tseltal and in Spanish, of the adherents to the Sexta from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, on the occasion of the homage paid to their murdered leader on June 24th, 2013.

Compañera Jerónima accompanied Juan Vázquez Guzmán when he travelled to share the word of his people. Here she gives tribute to his life and work. Her words are translated into Spanish by one of the ex-political prisoners to whom Juan gave so much support. “Together, we will struggle in the defense of our Mother Earth. Compa Juan is here with us giving us encouragement”.

We give many thanks to our compas of Koman Ilel for sending us these two videos.

 

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Public forum to be held in Berlin, Germany

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:48 pm

 

Worldwide Campaign:

“Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives!

The Bachajón struggle continues!”

http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/en-ingles/

Public forum to be held in Berlin, Germany

Click here to watch the trailer of the new film featuring Juan Vázquez Guzmán:

WHEN THE EARTH BECOMES A COMMODITY

 

As part of the Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”, a public forum with a lecture and film, will be held in Berlin on Friday, June 28th. The event follows the murder of activist Juan Vázquez Guzmán on April 24th. The film, Wenn das Land zur Ware wird, about the destruction of the livelihoods of the indigenous peoples in southern Mexico, shows how land has been turned into a commodity. In it, Juan talks movingly about how the land is our mother, and the source of life.

 

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Tributes to Juan Vazquez Guzman from Colombia and England

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:33 pm

 

Tributes to Juan Vazquez Guzman from Colombia and England

“Your life is like a seed of hope and rebellion that is growing in the hearts of every child, woman and man from San Sebastian Bachajon and in the hearts of compañeros and compañeras from around the world.”

???????????????????????????????Groups in England and Colombia chose Tuesday the 25th of June to hold special events in tribute to Juan Vázquez Guzmán, the assassinated activist and much-loved defender of the human rights, land and territory of his community of San Sebastián Bachajón. The day marks both Juan’s birthday and the start of the Week of Worldwide Action “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!” in support of San Sebastián Bachajón and in honour of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

The Committees of the True Word from Southwest England and Western Colombia have maintained the links developed between them during the Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas Campaign, and agreed to both hold a similar session on this day, aiming to remember and honour Juan, his dignified life and work, and to disseminate information about the struggle of the adherents to the Sixth Declaration from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, Mexico.

The Colombian group started their session with a minute’s silence in memory of Juan, before sharing information about him, and then, as well as possible with a faltering electricity supply, watching him speak on screen through some of the videomessages sent from the community. This was followed by studying and discussing the violent and repressive attempts by the Mexican government to displace the residents of this indigenous community from their ancestral lands, in order to further the profit of transnational hotel groups wanting to develop an expensive resort complex at the waterfalls there. The group used materials from the campaign websitehttp://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/en-ingles/.

The English Committee joined with members of the Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group for their meeting, which followed a similar programme of remembering and honoring Juan and discussing and sharing the history of his struggle. The Dorset group made use of materials they have prepared to use for a presentation about San Sebastián Bachajón at a Latin America forum on Thursday.

They read the words of Juan’s compas: “Beloved Compañero Juan, you are the heart of the people and you live within every woman and child who defends their people and fights for justice. You gave your life for the Mother Earth….your word will be etched in our minds and we will follow your example in our lives.”

All three groups wish to send words of solidarity to the compañeras and compañeros of Bachajón, and of encouragement to others to continue with mobilisations throughout the week.

 

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Classmates IV. Our Teachers Will Not be Present

Filed under: Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:25 pm

 

CLASSMATES IV.
OUR TEACHERS WILL NOT BE PRESENT.

June 2013.

To the adherents of the Sexta in Mexico and in the world:
To the students of the Little Zapatista School:

Compañeros, compañeroas, compañeras:

The truth is that I think you will find, in your classmates at the little school, something of the best of this world.

wikirutaBut you will also miss, once you are in these lands of resistance, the presence of others who are and have been very important for us as Zapatistas. They are those who have always accompanied us, guided us, and taught us with their example, but who are not, just like many others in every corner of the world, from the EZLN. Some are part of the Sexta, some part of the National Indigenous Congress, and many more have built their own “houses” (organizations) but nevertheless walk the same path that we do. All of them are, in some way or another, participants in our advancements, as great or modest as these may be.

Only we are responsible for our errors and failures, which have not been small or few, .

We tell you this because perhaps you have asked yourself how or by whom we were taught to resist, to struggle, to persevere.

And most importantly, perhaps you will ask yourself why, at the little school, the native peoples of Mexico and the world—particularly those of Latin America—will not be at your side as fellow students.

The answer is simple: because they are and have been our teachers.

Thus those who came first, whose blood and pain built the modern world, the originary peoples, will not be present.

Neither the indigenous peoples nor their most representative organizations will be your classmates.

We didn’t invite them to the little school

Perhaps you are asking yourselves if we have gone crazy, or if this is some kind of dirty trick—politician-style—to supplant the Indian peoples and present ourselves as THE indigenous people par excellence.

But no, we simply didn’t invite them because we have nothing to teach them.

Could we teach the Indian peoples what it means to be treated as a stranger in these lands that were ours long before the world would begin that twisted telling of history from above, and where they imposed, in our skies, foreign flags?

Could we teach them what it means to be the object of ridicule for our clothing, our language, our culture?

Could we teach them what it means to be exploited, dispossessed, repressed, and disdained for entire centuries?

What could we teach to the brothers of the Yaqui tribe and the Mayo Yoreme about the theft of natural resources and what its necessary resistance means?

What could we teach to the Kumiai, the Cucapá, the Kikapú, the Pame, about what it is to be persecuted almost to extermination and nevertheless persist?

What could we teach to the Nahua, whose lands have been invaded by mining companies and corrupt government officials but who, without regard for the persecution and death that they suffer, continue their struggle to throw out those invaders who come under the flag of money?

What could we teach to the Mazahua and the Ñahñu about how it feels to be ridiculed for their dress, their color, their way of speaking, and instead of being shamed, paint the wind with sound and color?

What could we teach the Wixaritari about the destruction and dispossession of culture under the banner of “progress,” or about resisting under the guidance of their elders?

What could we teach to the Coca, the Me´hpaa, or the Teneke about not surrendering?

What could we teach to the Amuzgo about fighting for their rights?

What could we teach to the Maya about the violent imposition, theft, and criminalization by a foreign culture subjugating their original one?

What could we teach to the Purépecha about the value of the life in indigenous culture?

What could we teach to the Popoluca, Zapoteco, Mixteco, Cuicateco, Chinanteco, and Chatino about what it means to keep fighting even though everything is against them?

What could we teach to the Rarámuri about a quiet hunger and an invincible dignity?

And in the greatly pained Latin America:

Could we teach anything to one of our older brothers, the Mapuche people, about what it means to resist the continuous war of dispossession and extermination? About how to survive a long list of lies, aggressions, and ridicule painted all of the colors of the politicians above?

What could we, the Zapatistas, the smallest of them all, teach any of the originary peoples of Mexico, of the Americas, of the world?

What are they going to learn from us?

To resist?

Their very existence demonstrates that they should give classes in the great school that is the world, not receive them.

So no, we didn’t not invite the originary peoples to the little school for the simple reason that, in our history, we have been the clumsy students of these giants.

Of course we will send them the materials. But…

Are we going to teach them what it is to live in a community, to feel what it is to have another culture, another language, another way?

To struggle?

To imagine and create resistances?

Unthinkable.

In any case, we the Zapatistas still have much to learn from the Indian peoples.

So they will come after, and we will go learn from them.

And when the special gathering with them takes place [the Seminar Tata Juan Chávez Alonso scheduled for August 17-18], our best sounds will be played, the most vivid and diverse colors will adorn their path, and our heart will open once again to embrace them, our older brothers, the biggest and the best.

Because to honor those who teach is to honor the earth.

They will come to our homes, and with them we will share food and memory.

We will lift them above us.

Standing on our shoulders, they will rise even higher.

And we will ask them what they see.

We will ask them to use their eyes to teach us to look further, wider, deeper, higher.

To give us their word and let us drink from it.

To help us grow and be better.

We have always and will always offer them our greatest embrace.

So, our teachers will not be at the little school.

But don’t be sad. We are sure that these peoples, who have resisted until now every possible kind of attack, will know how to be generous and, when the time comes, will open their hearts to you, as we do now.

Because they taught us not to look at the noise that deafens and blinds.

Because they taught us not to listen to the colors of trickery and money.

Because they taught us to look at them and look at ourselves, to listen to them and listen to ourselves.

Because they taught us that to be indigenous was to have dignity as a home and a destiny.

Because they taught us not to fall but to rise up.

Because they who taught us the value of being the color of the earth.

Because they taught us not to be scared.

Because they taught us that to live, we must die.

Vale. Cheers, and silence so as to listen to the step that comes from deepest point of the world that the world is and has been.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

SupMarcos.

Mexico, June 2013

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Watch and listen to the videos that accompany this text.

Sub-verso, with Portavoz, with the track, “Lo que no voy a decir” (what I’m not going to say), with honor and greetings. Long live the Mapuche People.

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In memory of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, tzeltal indigenous member of the CNI and adherent of the Sexta, murdered in April of 2013 in Chiapas, Mexico. Here remembered by his compañeras and compañeros of the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, and by all of us.

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Aho Colectivo, with Venado Azúl, Rubén Albarrán (Café Tacvba), Poncho Figueroa (Santa Sabina), Roco Pachukote (Sonidero Meztizo), Lengualerta, Hector Guerra (Pachamama Crew), Moyenei Valdés (Sonidero Meztizo), Valle González-Camarena, Memo Méndez Guiu and Moi Gallo in the musical part, Marcoatl, el Gallo, Benjamin Ramauge, Gaby Fuchs, Damian Mendoza and Jose Matiella, making it clear that WIRIKUTA DOES NOT SELL OUT, WIRIKUTA DEFENDS ITSELF!

 

 

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June 27, 2013

The Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!” has begun

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:40 pm

To our sisters and brothers adherents to the Sexta of the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón:

To our Zapatista sisters and brothers:

To our compañer@s of the Sexta:

To the Committees of the True Word throughout the world:

To the adherents to the International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio and our allies everywhere:

To civil society in Mexico and the world:

To the independent, free and autonomous media

Compañeras and compañeros:

Please receive many embraces from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, the Committee of the True Word from Kolkata, India and the Committee of the True Word from Alisal.

The Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!” began on June 25th, the birthday of our beloved compa Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

 

To our sisters and brothers adherents to the Sexta of the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón:

To our Zapatista sisters and brothers:

To our compañer@s of the Sexta:

To the Committees of the True Word throughout the world:

To the adherents to the International Campaign in Defense of El Barrio and our allies everywhere:

To civil society in Mexico and the world:

To the independent, free and autonomous media

Compañeras and compañeros:

Please receive many embraces from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, the Committee of the True Word from Kolkata, India and the Committee of the True Word from Alisal.

The Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!” began on June 25th, the birthday of our beloved compa Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

We want to share with you the wonderful response we have received from throughout the world to our convocation in in honor of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and in support of San Sebastián Bachajón, a response which has truly touched our hearts.

Groups and collectives from in all five continents have now confirmed their participation.

Activities will take place in Mexico, South Africa, India, the Philippines, Peru, Australia, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, England, Scotland, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Austria, New Zealand and the United States during the Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, The Bachajón Struggle Continues!” from Tuesday, June 25 to Tuesday, July 2, 2013.

IMG00308-20130625-1649The events scheduled include street stalls, video conferences, information sessions, protests, presentation of letters and pronouncements, celebrations of mass and other gatherings in honour of Juan’s life, presentations at forums, street theatre, publication of articles, reflections, reports and translations, distribution of leaflets, creation of artistic works, musical performances and video screenings.

From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank these compas from different corners of the planet for joining the campaign to spread awareness of the dignified struggle of our beloved compas from San Sebastián Bachajón, and to honor the memory of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

To our beloved compa Juan Vázquez Guzmán, we embrace you, knowing that you will always be with us. We will always be thankful to you for having given so much inspiration to each of us in our own struggles.

The seed of resistance you nourished in these indigenous soils will continue to grow and flourish watered by the love and the passion for struggle you have given us.

You will never be alone.

We believe that everyone should know of your dignified life and of the dignified resistance of your people.

We demand a full investigation of your assassination, and punishment of those responsible.

Your voice will not be silenced, nor will the work of your heart be ended.

Juan Vázquez Guzmán, compañero, we will remember you on June 25th, the day of your birthday. We call on all people of good heart to celebrate your life and your dignified struggle.

Juan Vázquez Guzmán, beloved compa and brother, guardian of the land, the struggle continues.

Land, Freedom and Justice for the Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón!

Freedom and Justice for Antonio Estrada Estrada and Miguel Demeza Jiménez from San Sebastián Bachajón!

With embraces of Love and Solidarity,

Movement for Justice in El Barrio

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, England

Committee of the True Word from Kolkata, India

Committee of the True Word from Alisal, US

 

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The Mexican state turns life into death to accumulate wealth: Zibechi

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:15 am

 

The Mexican state turns life into death to accumulate wealth: Zibechi

The writer says that the murder of Juan Vázquez is a punishment for defending the land

Hermann Bellinghausen

La Jornada, Wednesday June 26, 2013

juan-y-sus-plantas-de-cafeThe murder in April of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, representative of the adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon jungle in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, is “is a punishment of the community for defending the waterfalls of Agua Azul from tourist speculation”, said the Uruguayan writer and journalist Raúl Zibechi in a message to the international organizers of the  week of worldwide action in support of the struggle of the Tzeltal people, which began today.

“The goal of capital and of the Mexican state is to use the gifts of nature to accumulate wealth, or to turn life into death. The war against the peoples to appropriate nature is turning the population of San Sebastian Bachajón into military targets. Juan was one of them, for having been prominent in the defense of the community”, emphasised Zibechi, and drew a revealing parallel with the African-American poet Audre Lorde.

“Death also has a color, a class and a geographical location. Like life. Like pain. When I was looking for what to say to the compas who are organizing the week of action in tribute to Juan Vázquez Guzmán, I found the testimony of an African American woman, black and, therefore, poor, who was born in Harlem in the terrible decade of the1930s, when the rich offloaded the crisis on to those from below.

This woman was called Audre Lorde, she was a poet and, among many other things, she said: ‘For us, the whole of life is tinged with violence. We not only face it in the front line, or at midnight in dark alleys, or in places where we dare to express our resistance. Violence is the very fabric of our lives.’ ”

Zibechi considers Lorde and Vázquez Guzmán “siblings in blood who became brother and sister five centuries ago somewhere in this world, while the Juans were resisting the conquistadores and the Audres were seeking to escape from the slaveholders. The resistances united and continue to unite the people of the color of the earth. Juan and Audre send us, from somewhere, the message that it is possible to unite the resistances, to weave bridges between Indians and blacks, between men and women, between people who live in the North and people who live in the South.”

Joining in solidarity with the ejidatarios of the Sixth along with other committed intellectuals, like the Peruvian Hugo Blanco, the analyst said: “It is possible to weave bridges between those who are different if we recognize their differences. If we do not judge them. If we mix the resistances, making the cause of each one into our cause. Audre defined herself as “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet”. Juan’s smile and his love for the people of his community, San Sebastián Bachajón, represents a program for life which he adhered to strictly until his final day.”

Addressing those who are “not Tzeltal like Juan, or black like Audre”, he said that “we can join together in fellowship with them in multiple resistances, and that from this fellowship, and only from it, a new, different world will be born, one with room for all the colors, from the distinct and intense colors of the earth to the pale colors of the cold lands. And that in this fellowship there will be a heart with the name of Juan; and with Juan we will name the heart of all.”

Meanwhile, Alberto Patishtán and the other prisoners from the Voice of el Amate and Solidarity with the Voice of el Amate in the San Cristobal de las Casas prison, remembered the murdered leader, who on Tuesday would have reached his 33rdbirthday: “He was and is a brave and exemplary man who fought for the wellbeing of his people defending the land that belongs to Bachajón. Our brother always accompanied us and will accompany us to demand our freedoms stolen by the bad system.”

 

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/06/26/index.php?section=politica&article=018n1pol

 

 

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Bachajón ejidatarios declare themselves in struggle to defend their lands

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:11 am

 

Bachajón ejidatarios declare themselves in struggle to defend their lands

** They pay homage to Juan Vázquez, the leader assassinated two months ago

** They accuse the Chiapas Secretary of Government and “his gang” of participating in the conflict

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

ssb5“Here we continue in struggle, resisting with hope to defend our mother land from dispossession by this accursed government which only wants to sow terror and destruction in our communities. The bad governments kill and imprison those who struggle for better living conditions for their people. For this reason, two months ago they ordered the assassination of our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán by their hired assassins while he was resting quietly at home; the treacherous government wickedly ordered his murder to put an end to our struggle.

But they were wrong, because we are here, we are staying here and we are not going to leave our land which is the birthplace of our mothers and fathers, our grandfathers and grandmothers who also fought and gave their lives for the mother earth.”

With these words, San Sebastián Bachajón residents sent a message from Cumbre Nah Choj, headquarters of the adherents to the Sixth in this ejido in the municipality of Chilón, Chiapas. They paid homage there, with prayers and traditional music, to their fallen compañero, and placed responsibility on the Secretary of Government for the state, Noé Castañón León, for the aggressions and dispossessions which they have suffered since 2010.

“But we already know the perverse game the bad governors will play, because they are going to say they will give justice to Juan Vázquez Guzmán , that they will make investigations and that those responsible will be apprehended; but are they going to put Noé Castañon Leon and his crew in prison for what they did to Juan Vázquez Guzmán and for the plundering of San Sebastián Bachajón?

They are quietly doing their dirty deeds, abusing their power and money, buying judges like José del Carmen Constantino Avendaño from the seventh district of tuxtla, so he will throw out our amparo 274/2011, ridiculing our people.”

They pointed out that the Secretary of Government, whose action in this conflict has been very direct, and “his gang,” “are a bunch of freeloaders who live off public money”.

This government, they accused, “is corrupt and mediocre because they came to power through buying votes, taking advantage of the poverty of the people, for the bad government it is a blessing that we are poor; their programs – crusades against hunger, Opportunities, Procampo –are crumbs to keep us in misery and so we have no autonomy to be able to decide what is best for our peoples.”

“They bought ejido authorities”

They denounced the “buying” of the ejido authorities, like Francisco Guzmán Jiménez (alias Goyito) “who betrays his people just to eat the crumbs thrown to him by his boss the government (which) also fraudulently imposed the new commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez and uses the indigenous brothers of Agua Azul as paramilitaries to strike blows at the resistance in San Sebastián and at the (Zapatista) compañeros in Bolom Ajaw.”

The ejido owners demanded the immediate liberation of their “political prisoners” Antonio Estrada Estrada, Miguel Vázquez Deara and Miguel Demeza Jiménez. The first two –imprisoned in Playas de Catazajá and Ocosingo respectively– “were identified by people close to the ex-commissioner Guzmán Jiménez: Carmen Aguilar Gómez Primero, Juan Álvaro Moreno, Manuel Jiménez Moreno and Miguel Ruiz Hernández.” This allowed them to be “taken by the State and Federal Police to be tortured and to fabricate the crimes of robbery with violence and carrying a firearm.” They have been prisoners since 2011.

Demeza Jiménez, held in the El Amate Prison since 2010, “was tortured and held without charges by the specialized office against organized crime, falsely accused of robbery and kidnapping”.

Recently, as a result of their appeal, they reviewed the proceeding and on June 26 their legal situation should be resolved, while on June 20 the authorities “cancelled” Estrada Estrada’s face-to-face meetings with the state police who detained him illegally, “because there was no Tzeltal translator or public defender, (thus) violating his rights” once again.

—————————————————

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/06/25/politica/016n1pol

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the: International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the: Chiapas Support Committee, California, Wellington Zapatista Support Group, UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

 

 

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From Peru: Letter from Hugo Blanco regarding “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:46 am

 

From Peru: Letter from Hugo Blanco regarding “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

______Hugo-Blanco_Peru_cumpaCompañeros and compañeras, a request comes from Peru from our compañero Hugo Blanco, Director of the publication “Lucha Indígena”, (“Indigenous Struggle”) to make us part of the campaign “In defense of our Mother Earth. In defense of the beautiful waterfalls of Agua Azul. In tribute to Juan Vázquez Guzmán…” or perhaps, rather, it is a plea for us all to join together in the“Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

Compañero Hugo shows us two opposing worlds: the world of so-called “civilization” which, with its “attacks on nature”, is every day sowing the extermination of human beings, and the world of those who are defending our “Mother Earth” in order to finally harvest the survival of humanity. Without any doubt, “the indigenous peoples of the 5 continents” and the “defenders of nature”, like Juan Vázquez Guzmán, belong to the second group.

Communities like San Sebastián Bachajón, which defend the natural world, and compañeras and compañeros like the adherents to the Sixth are the ones who become part of and strengthen the world of the defenders of our “Mother Earth.” This is the world which Hugo is inviting us to join.

Here is Hugo’s letter:

Why our Tzeltal brothers and sisters from San Sebastián Bachajón fight

Human beings, like all living things, depend on nature, we are part of her. An attack on her is also an attack on humanity.

Unfortunately, so-called “civilization” is leading to the attacks on nature increasing all the time. In the name of “progress” and “development”, neoliberal capitalism is taking this aggression to a level which is leading to the extinction of our species. The aggression takes many forms, I will mention just a few: global warming caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, deforestation of rainforests, open cast mining which robs water from small-scale agriculture, hydroelectric plants which flood large areas to build dams, agribusinesses which kill the soil with monocultures and chemicals, in order to poison us with GMOs.

Even though this is an attack against all humanity, much of humanity does not feel this way, and even supports the attack, calling the defenders of nature “ignorant people” who are “against development and progress”.

Those who do feel it very deeply and who struggle in defense of their Mother Earth, even sacrificing their lives, are the indigenous peoples of the 5 continents.

An example of this are the Tzeltal communities of San Sebastian Bachajón, fighting in defense of their land, their territory and the beautiful waterfalls of Agua Azul, against the aggression of transnational tourist hotel companies.

The attacks in this case began with Governor Juan Sabines (who inherited a debt of 40 million dollars and was charged with several offenses, including conspiracy, organized crime, illicit enrichment, torture and solitary confinement) and are continued by the current Governor Manuel Velasco Coello, of the Green Ecological Party (this is not an irony, it really is the name of the party of this fierce attacker of nature). The favored transnationals would include: Norton Consulting INC and EDSA Construction.

The luxury hotels would have, among other things, golf courses, and charge from 300 to 800 U.S. dollars per night. This is why the aggression from the state and national government is so intense.

In early February 2011, the Agua Azul ticket booth which had been installed by the community to defend the waterfalls was evicted by means of a paramilitary operation headed by Juan Álvaro and Miguel Ruiz Hernández, leaders of the PRI and the Green Ecological party in the region. The following day 117 indigenous were arrested, ten of them on fabricated charges for crimes they did not commit, such as illegal deprivation of liberty, wounding, homicide, damage to roads and breach of the peace.

CONANP (the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas) is also participating in this business: it literally erased from the map the strip of land which is part of the ejido of San Sebastián.

Paramilitary groups from the PRI, PRD and PVEM have undertaken attacks against Zapatista support bases, and also against San Sebastián Bachajón.

Antonio Estrada, Miguel Vázquez and Miguel Demeza were imprisoned and tortured to make them plead guilty to crimes they did not commit. They remain imprisoned.

As part of the resistance, on February 19, 2011 a women’s caravan, consisting of members of different communities and social and civil organizations, went to the Agua Azul area“with the aim of observing the situation of the compañeros and to see and accompany the compañeras of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, (…) and to give voice to the women who are affected by the conflict which exists in the area and whose word also needs to be heard”.

The assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán

Juan Vazquez Guzman, former Secretary General of the adherents to the Other Campaign (La Sexta) in the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, was murdered on Wednesday April 24th. At eleven o’clock that night unknown persons attacked him, firing the six bullets which took his life, according to the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center.

Neighbors in the region say that the attackers were waiting for Juan in front of his home aboard a double cab red pickup truck; after the crime they took the road leading to the municipal headquarters of Sitalá, which also gives access to the road to the municipalities of Ocosingo, Cancúc and Chilón.

So far there has been no progress in the investigations into the perpetrators of the crime; on the contrary, harassment and persecution are constant. A few days after the murder of Juan Vazquez Guzman, Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, Secretary of Security and Civil Protection in the State of Chiapas, announced the training that the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Mexico will provide for the local police.

Ricardo Lagunes Gasca, legal representative of the ejidatarios, states: “No one has been arrested for the killing of Juan Vázquez Guzmán. The government is responsible, the government ordered his death. The three levels of government wanted to stop the compañero from doing his job. There is an ongoing criminal investigation, but there have been no arrests. The perpetrator escaped, it was planned. They were people who knew the place, they had planned their escape route. They killed him in the doorway of his house with six shots, one in the chest, three in the abdomen and one in each arm.”

Juan Vázquez Guzmán was born on the 25th of June. Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York and other organizations have agreed that on this day a week of actions of commemoration and protest will start, named: “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues”.

In defense of our Mother Earth; in defense of the beautiful waterfalls of Agua Azul; in tribute to Juan Vázquez Guzmán. We join this campaign.

Hugo Blanco

Director of “Lucha Indigena” Peru

 

 

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June 25, 2013

From Uruguay: Letter from Raúl Zibechi

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:48 pm

 

Worldwide Campaign:

“Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives!

The Bachajón struggle continues!”

http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/en-ingles/

From Uruguay: Letter from Raúl Zibechi about the “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!”

raulFor all the sons, daughters and children of the Mother Earth, as our compa Raúl Zibechi suggests, it “is possible to weave bridges between those who are different if we recognize their differences … We invite you to continue building a new and different world, one with room for all the colors, from the distinct and intense colors of the earth to the pale colors of the cold lands.” Thank you, Compañero Raúl Zibechi.

Here is our compa’s letter:

To the Week of Worldwide Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!”

To the compañeros and compañeras from: Movement for Justice in El Barrio, Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, England, Committee of the True Word from Kolkata, India, and Committee of the True Word from Alisal.

Death also has a color, a class and a geographical location. Like life. Like pain.

When I was looking for what to say to the compas who are organizing the week of action in tribute to Juan Vázquez Guzmán, I found the testimony of an African American woman, black and, therefore, poor, who was born in Harlem in the terrible decade of the1930s, when the rich offloaded the crisis on to those from below.

This woman was called Audre Lorde, she was a poet and, among many other things, she said: “For us, the whole of life is tinged with violence. We not only face it in the front line, or at midnight in dark alleys, or in places where we dare to express our resistance. Violence is the very fabric of our lives.”

I feel that Audre Lorde and Juan Vázquez Guzmán are siblings in blood who became brother and sister five centuries ago somewhere in this world, while the Juans were resisting the conquistadores and the Audres were seeking to escape from the slaveholders. The resistances united and continue to unite the people of the color of the earth. Juan and Audre send us, from somewhere, the message that it is possible to unite the resistances, to weave bridges between Indians and blacks, between men and women, between people who live in the North and people who live in the South.

It is possible to weave bridges between those who are different if we recognize their differences. If we do not judge them. If we mix the resistances, making the cause of each one into our cause. Audre defined herself as “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet”. Juan’s smile and his love for the people of his community, San Sebastián Bachajón, represents a program for life which he adhered to strictly until his final day.

The death of Juan, the murder of Juan, is a punishment of the community for defending the waterfalls of Agua Azul from tourist speculation. The goal of capital and of the Mexican state is to use the gifts of nature to accumulate wealth, or to turn life into death. The war against the peoples to appropriate nature is turning the population of San Sebastian Bachajón into military targets. Juan was one of them, for having been prominent in the defense of the community.

I want to say to those who live in New York, in California, in England, India or anywhere in the world, or to those who live in Montevideo and Buenos Aires, and who are not Tzeltal like Juan, or black like Audre, that we can join together in fellowship with them in multiple resistances, and that from this fellowship, and only from it, a new, different world will be born, one with room for all the colors, from the distinct and intense colors of the earth to the pale colors of the cold lands. And that in this fellowship there will be a heart with the name of Juan; and with Juan we will name the heart of all.

Health and a good week of fellowship,

Raul Zibechi

Montevideo

June 23, 2013

 

 

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