dorset chiapas solidarity

July 31, 2015

DF: Xochicuautla and Ostula Solidarity March

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:51 pm


DF: Xochicuautla and Ostula Solidarity March


x carolina

A sacred ceremony performed by the authorities of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla set the tone for a march to the Ministry of the Interior in Mexico City on Tuesday, July 28. There, speakers demanded the repeal of an order for the expropriation of the ancestral lands of the Otomí-Ñatho communities of Xochicuautla in Mexico State and an end to the war against the Nahua indigenous community of Santa María Ostula in Michoacán.

Demonstrators also demanded freedom for Cemeí Verdía ––the Commander of the Ostula Community Police and Coordinator of the Self-Defence Groups of Aquila, Coahuayana and Chiniquila, Michoacán–– and punishment for those responsible for the murder of 12-year-old Hidelberto Reyes in Ostula territory. In an operation carried out by a joint command of more than 1000 agents of the Mexican Navy, Army and Federal Police, officers sprayed teargas and opened fire on the people, killing Hidelberto and wounding 6-year-old Yeimi Nataly Pineda Reyes, and 9 more people last July 19. The following videos taken by the people of Ostula and compiled by Agencia SubVersiones dispute government versions of what happened there that day.

This latest attack against Ostula is yet another reprisal against a town courageous enough to recover more than a thousand hectares of Nahua land at the site named Xayakalan on June 29, 2009, and organize their community police force as protection from organized crime and state violence.


During the Mexico City march, speakers denounced the tremendous escalation in the plunder of indigenous lands and resources in Mexico and in efforts to subdue all who resist these abuses.

Last June 9, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed an order authorizing the expropriation of almost 40 hectares of communal use lands in the Otomí forest lands of Xochicuautla. According to plans laid by the government and private industry, the forests and water will be sacrificed so that Grupo Higa can build the Toluca-Naucalpan Toll Highway, a Project resisted by community people for the last eight years. Xochicuautla has experienced the destruction of trees, plants and animals; the arrival of heavy machinery; the invasion of police squadrons; and the arrests of dozens of people. It’s important to note that the destruction of these forest lands also means the plunder of water from the springs and subterranean rivers found there, which are a major source of the vital liquid for the entire region and Mexico City, as well. This is not going to happen, says Xochicuautla, as the resistance continues.


Young people from Huitzizilapan also marched in the Federal District on Tuesday. In their communities near Xochicuautla in the Lerma municipality of Mexico State, they are resisting the extension of the same Toluca-Naucalpan toll highway being constructed by Grupo Higa. In their case, Peña Nieto signed an expropriation order for six additional hectares in May 2014. During the past year, thousands of riot police have invaded Huitzizilapan to impose illegitimate assemblies for the purpose of changing the soil use from communal to private. People have successfully mobilized to block these assemblies four times and vow that the expropriation order will not stand.

A contingent from San Pedro Tlanixco in the municipality of Tenango del Valle, Mexican State, also marched in Mexico City. Due to their defence of the water and forests of Tlanixco, they were labelled a “terrorist town” by the terrorist government of Mexico State at the beginning of the last decade. Since 2003, they are also demanding the release of six political prisoners and the cancellation of charges against two politically persecuted leaders, all accused of killing a business agent who died in an accident in their town. In truth, they are being punished with false charges for resisting the plunder of their resources by voracious flower-producing corporations closely linked to ex-governor Arturo Montiel. The political prisoners are Pedro Sánchez Berriozábal , Teófilo Pérez Gonzales, Rómulo Áreas Mireles, Lorenzo Sánchez Berriozábal, Marco Antonio Pérez González, and Dominga González Martínez. The politically persecuted comrades are Santos Alejandro Álvarez Zetina and Rey Pérez Martínez.

The Peoples Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) of San Salvador Atenco also showed their solidarity with Xochicuautla and Ostula in the Mexico City march. They themselves are once again under attack, as well. After having defeated state plans to build an international airport on their lands in 2001, the Peña Nieto government has revamped and amplified these plans that threaten the existence of Atenco and surrounding towns. The FPDT calls for people throughout Mexico to unite in order to be able to build effective resistance.


During the march, it was announced that a federal judge had signed an order for the release of Cemeí Verdía after finding insufficient evidence of possession of illegal arms to continue to hold him in the maximum security prison in Tepic, Nayarit. Nevertheless, upon being released, he was arrested on totally false state charges and transferred to the Mil Cumbres prison in the city of Morelia, Michoacán, where he is being illegally deprived of his freedom.

Several of the groups that marched in Mexico City had come together in a gathering with comrades and families of disappeared and murdered Ayotzinapa students on July 19-20 in Mexico State and continue to mobilize against the plunder of their lands and resources and the war waged against their peoples. On Saturday March 8 there will be a bike ride and motorized caravan that leaves for Xochicuautla from the Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico City by the Tlaloc statue at 8 am.



CNI and EZLN Support for Xochicuautla

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:55 am


CNI and EZLN Support for Xochicuautla


JULY 30, 2015

To the people of Mexico and the World

To the National and International Sixth

To the Ñätho indigenous community of San Francisco Xochicuautla

Faced with the dignified struggle that the Ñätho community of San Francisco Xochicuautla has maintained for the last eight years against the Toluca-Naucalpan toll road project which threatens the destruction of their sacred forest in order to connect the wealthy zones of Interlomas to the Toluca airport, the bad government, led by the murderer Enrique Peña Nieto, signed a decree of expropriation with which it intends to snatch up the communal territory of San Francisco Xochicuautla.

Throughout the years we have seen which interests the bad governments respond to, given that their security forces escort the Autovan machinery, a company belonging to the Higa Group, with which they plan to destroy the Ñätho forest. They believe that with this decree of expropriation they can impose plunder and destruction. Today we say that we know that the bad government has always trampled our rights as indigenous peoples, that they despise us, and that they may go to every corner of Mexico to impose their death projects, but they won’t be able to do so in San Francisco Xochicuautla.

The community has carried out a legal battle, appealing to different courts and agencies of the Mexican bad government, but most of those have proven partial to protecting the powerful.

We know that San Francisco Xochicuautla has defended and will defend their territory, as well as having accompanied many peoples and communities in their struggles.

So today we call upon the people of Mexico and the World, on the brothers and sisters of the National and International Sixth, to be attentive to what happens in the struggle of San Francisco Xochicuautla.

To San Francisco Xochicuautla, we say that you are not alone in this shared journey of indigenous peoples’ resistance.


Never again a Mexico without us

National Indigenous Congress

Democracy, Liberty, and Justice

Zapatista Army for National Liberation

July 2015



July 30, 2015

Cemeí Verdía is accused of committing four murders

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:42 pm


Cemeí Verdía is accused of committing four murders

   Cemeí Verdía, June 2014 Photo: Guillermo Sologuren

Cemeí Verdía, June 2014
Photo: Guillermo Sologuren

Ernesto Martínez Elorriaga

La Jornada, 30th July 2015
Morelia, Michoacán – In the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning, as he was leaving the federal maximum security prison in Tepic, Nayarit, Cemeí Verdía Zepeda, commander of Community Police in Ostula, municipality of Aquila, was again arrested by ministerial police

Ignacio Mendoza Jiménez, the Nahua leader’s lawyer, announced that Cemeí Verdía Zeped, was arrested for the alleged crimes of homicide, injuries and aggravated robbery. Mendoza Jiménez stated that at 4:00 a.m. yesterday, Verdía Zepeda was informed of the new arrest and his transfer to the David Franco Rodríguez Prison, known as Mil Cumbres, located 12 kilometres from Morelia.

Cemeí Verdía had left the federal prison in Nayarit after the Third District Court, seated in Morelia, issued a release order on the grounds that there was no evidence to assume his responsibility in the crime of violating the federal firearms and explosives law.

Criminal Charges

The [Michoacán] State Attorney General reported that two arrest warrants, issued by two different state courts, against Verdía Zepeda as allegedly responsible for the crimes mentioned above were carried out.

Regarding the charge of theft, Semeí Verdía would have committed it on May 30 by seizing coils of wire owned by the municipality of Aquila and stored in a building. According to testimonies collected by the ministerial authority, the indigenous leader arrived with others who made use of the material.

During the investigation, evidence was found to prove Verdía Zepeda’s probable participation in the May 26 murder of four men, outside the village of Barranca del Seco, municipality of Aquila.

Verdía Zepeda is also charged with firing against and injuring three members of a family on December 16, 2014, near the Ostula intersection. Additionally, the family accused Verdía Zepeda of trying to strip them of a property.
Governor Weighs In

Michoacán Governor Salvador Jara Guerrero asserted that Verdía Zepeda will receive a fair judicial proceeding, and he called that the issue not be politicized. Maintaining that “there is no political persecution by the state government” against the Nahua leader, the Governor indicated that the reports against Cemeí go back more than two months, so it’s not anything invented. The Governor declared: “We are not interested in having any innocent person, if and when [innocence] is proved, remain in prison.”

Translated by Jane Brundage



Mexicans Protest Land Evictions and State Violence

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:13 pm


Mexicans Protest Land Evictions and State Violence


Social and rural organizations against Mexico’s policies of eviction, militarization, and criminalization of community police marched in Mexico City. The march was originally called by San Francisco Xochicuautla commune members (comuneros) to express their opposition to the national government’s decision to destroy 37 hectares of forest and indigenous communities’ homes. Residents of Xochicuautla denounced that the land eviction benefits real estate company Grupo Higa, and other properties negotiated by members of the government. However, other groups joined the mobilization, protesting the murder of a 12 year old child from Michoacan state, and the arrest of self defense leader Cemei Verdia Zepeda.




EZLN: Special Cases

Filed under: Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:18 pm


EZLN: Special Cases


JULY 29, 2015


If you have not received an email with a “pass” to the second grade, it could be because…

…the email address you used to register for first grade has expired, or was erased, or you have forgotten your password.

…you have the same email but you haven’t received a “pass” because we got mixed up and we need your information again…or because you didn’t pass to second grade. If after following the instructions we detail below you don’t receive a “pass” email within a month, then it’s because you didn’t pass first grade.

In either case, the way to resolve the issue is simple: it is sufficient to send a new email to this, from a new email account with the following information:

–your full name and date of birth

–where you live

–your registration code if you remember it or have it

–the dates in which you went to first grade

–the place where you went to first grade (if you went to a community, the name of the community and the caracolit corresponds to); (if it was by videoconference, the name of the place, neighborhood, city, country, and continent where you had the videoconference)

–the name of your Votán.




July 29, 2015

Indigenous peoples in Chiapas are in favour of life and peace and against violence and dispossession.

Filed under: Frayba, Indigenous — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:18 pm


Indigenous peoples in Chiapas are in favour of life and peace and against violence and dispossession.


Las Margaritas, Chiapas. 28th July. Tojolabal, Tseltal, Tsotsil and mestizo peoples are in favour of life and peace and against violence and dispossession of the original peoples in Chiapas.

By means of a pilgrimage, which started from the Ignacio Zaragoza community, heading to the municipal capital of Las Margaritas, indigenous from Los Altos and the Jungle-Border area demonstrated their support to families who have experienced “forced displacement and who resist dispossession and destruction of their land and territory.”

The parishioners, from different communities of Chiapas, especially expressed their solidarity with the families of the village “Primero de Agosto” who were displaced from their community last February 23 by members of the Independent Central of Agricultural and Campesino Workers-Historic CIOAC, the same organization which in May 2014 killed the Zapatista teacher José Luis Solís “Galeano”.

The pilgrimage was a long journey, between landscapes of mountains and small villages, where the faces of the people watching reflected their surprise to see many people shouting slogans in favour of justice and peace. About four thousand people filled the roads with singing.

Upon arrival at the municipal headquarters of las Margaritas the sharing of the word began in the central square, with a Mass and communications from civil society.

“The path is made in community, if there is no justice we must walk making it,” shared the parish priest of las Margaritas, José de Jesús Landín García, in the central square in front of the indigenous and mestizo communities who participated in the pilgrimage. “What is necessary is a proposal for a new life, with respect, organization, discipline, dialogue and agreements, not the vices of the system,” said the priest who is also member of the board of directors of the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Centre.

For their part, the Network for Peace gave evidence that the case of the displaced families from Primero de Agosto is not an isolated one, while they reinforced their solidarity with the evicted Tojolabal families. “It is a privilege to go on pilgrimage with you,” they added.

From the highlands of Chiapas the civil organization Las Abejas of Acteal also joined in, with their word and their walk, they reiterated their support both for the displaced families of Primero de Agosto, and those from the community of Banavil, municipality of Tenejapa, for the believing people from the municipality of Simojovel and for communities from the jungle border area who “resist against the imposition of megaprojects.”

Tomorrow, July 29, it is planned to continue the journey towards the city of Comitan, where a meeting will take place at the barrio of San Sebastian.



July 28, 2015

EZLN: Second Grade of the Zapatista Little School

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:00 pm


EZLN: Second Grade of the Zapatista Little School




July 27, 2015

To the National and International Sixth:

To the former students of the Zapatista Little School:


The date for the second grade (only for those who passed the first) of the Zapatista Little School is approaching.

As we had previously announced, the dates are July 31 and August 1 and 2 of 2015.

No, don’t rush. This time it isn’t about coming to Zapatista territory. Rather, this time it is about not coming here, at least not for the Little School. The second grade will be everywhere, outside of Zapatista territories.

Let us explain:

As we have already said, we see that the economic situation is really difficult. Well, not just the economic situation. The government repression against the originary peoples, including the Yaquis (in Sonora) and Nahuas (in Santa María Ostula, Michoacán, and in Ayotitlán, Jalisco), and against the democratic teachers union (first in Oaxaca, later it will come in other states) reminds us all that those above do not honor their word and betrayal is part of the way they do politics.

With respect to the economic situation, we know that it is not easy to get together the money for daily things, much less for frequent travel to spend a few days here.

We Zapatistas know very well that if we say come to the Little School to continue learning how to really see us, well there will be people who can.

But the majority of those who passed the first grade are compas who do not have the money to do so or have to comply with work responsibilities in the geographies where they struggle. That is, they can’t just be coming here every so often. This isn’t because they don’t want to, but because they can’t. There are those who did everything they could to get here for the seminar/seedbed this past May, and it’s really difficult for them to come again this year.

And the Little School should not be only for those who don’t have problems with the calendar or the funds for travel. What we Zapatistas want is for our compas of the Sixth to see us directly, to see us and hear us and, as it should be, take what they think will be useful to them and leave aside what isn’t useful or is bothersome.

Taking all these things into account, we have to think about how to continue talking to you and mutually learning from each other.

So we have organized the next grade levels (2 through 6) so that you don’t have to come so frequently, but rather let’s say once a year. Of course, we will give you sufficient notice when there are possibilities to receive you here.

Given that, we want to let you know that for Second Grade there are no classes in Zapatista territory. Of course, if you want to come to the festivals in the Caracoles,[i] that’s fine. But you don’t have to come for class.

But there is going to be class, and of course, exams.

This is how it will work:

  1. Those who passed the first grade will receive, as of July 30-31 and August 1 of 2015, an email (if you have email that is; if not, we’ll send notice via the person who contacted you for the first grade). This email will have a link to a site with a video. In this video, a group of special Zapatista teachers will explain what is to be explained. In order to see this video you will need a password, as they call it, which will be included in the email. Now, the video doesn’t have to be viewed alone. You can get your collectives, groups, or organizations together to watch it. You can do this in the spaces that the EZLN’s Sixth Commission Support Teams have across Mexico, or in spaces belonging to the groups, collectives, and organizations of the Sixth throughout the world. There is no problem with any of that. Be it individually or collectively, you will see and hear our compañeras and compañeros explain to you a part of the genealogy of the Zapatista struggle. You all have already heard, seen, and even lived with Zapatista bases of support, with your Votanes,[ii] with your families. But this is just one part of the struggle for freedom according to Zapatismo. There are others.
    It is as if we had only given you one part of the puzzle. Or as if, as they say, what is missing is yet to come.
    You will also have to study Chapter 1 of the book “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra,” the sections titled: “Some of what has changed”; “Toward a Genealogy of the Zapatista Struggle”; and “Notes on Resistance and Rebellion.” Don’t worry if you don’t have the book, because these sections are already on the Enlace Zapatista webpage, but it’s better to get the book because that’s where you get the whole picture.
  2. After you see, hear, and study what our compañeras and compañeros say in the video, and after studying those parts of the book, you will INDIVIDUALLY write 6 questions. You will send these 6 questions to an email address that will be included in the email that you receive. The date for sending your questions can be any day and time between August 3, 2015, and October 3, 2015.
  3. We will not respond to your questions individually, but rather collectively. That is, we are going to put all of the questions together here and then create texts, videos, and recordings where we respond. When you read a text from the [EZLN] Comandancia or listen to a recording from the votanes, you will know that they are answering your questions. If you don’t hear a response to your question, don’t despair, that just means that there are more words coming that will respond to you. There won’t be any individual answers, only general and collective ones.
  4. The questions are important. As is our way as Zapatistas, the questions are more important than the answers. And it is the questions that will be evaluated to decide whether you pass and move on to the third grade.
  5. The idea is that you realize that what interests the Zapatistas is not the certainties, but rather the doubts. Because we think certainties immobilize; that is, they leave one content, satisfied, sitting still and not moving, as if one had already arrived at or already knew the answers. In contrast doubts—questions—make one move or search. They don’t leave one at peace, but rather non-compliant and dissenting, as if there were neither night nor day. And the struggles below and to the left, compas, are born in disagreement, in doubts, in restlessness. If one is satisfied and in agreement it is because they are waiting to be told what to do or they have already been told what to do. If one is discontent, it is because they are searching for what to do.
  6. So we’re telling you right now what we are going to use in order to decide if you proceed to the third grade: the 6 questions that you put forward individually. This is what the votanes will evaluate to see whether to put you on the list for “Continues on to Third Grade.”

Well compas, that is all we wanted to tell you for now. In any case, through the Little School and everything else, we will continue supporting each other and supporting those who struggle for truth and justice, like the Nahua people of Ostula who demand justice for the attack on their community in which the child EDILBERTO REYES GARCÍA was murdered by the federal army; like the Nahua people of Ayotitlán, attacked by guardias blancas[iii]and police working for the transnational mining company Ternium; like the families of the 47 absent students of Ayotzinapa; like the families of the children of the ABC Daycare (just because the media doesn’t report on them doesn’t mean they no longer struggle for justice); like the families of the political prisoners and the disappeared all over the world; like the rebellious teachers’ union; like the Greece from below and to the left that never bought into the story of the referendum; like the prisoners that continue to challenge Power and the State even from behind bars; like those who challenge Power from the streets and countryside in all geographies; like the originary peoples who keep up their defense of the Mother Earth; like those who do not sell out, do not give in, and do not give up.

Because resistance and rebellion are what break the geographies and calendars above. Because when above they predict defeat, discouragement, and surrender, there is always one [uno, una, unoa] who says “NO.” Because, look at how things are, at the roots of freedom there is always a “NO” that clings to the earth, nourishes itself and grows from her.

Okay then. And let’s not forget today nor yesterday, so that tomorrow we will remember what’s yet to come.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Little School Director

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

Little School Concierge


July 2015

[i] Anniversary parties for the Good Government Councils, usually celebrated between August 8 and 10.

[ii] “Guardians” assigned to each student of the Little School during the First Grade in Zapatista territory.

[iii] Armed private militias.

Colectivo Pintar Obedeciendo.

Colectivo Pintar Obedeciendo.



July 27, 2015

Communique from some communities of the CNI in Chiapas in solidarity with Ostula and Xochicuautla

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:40 pm


Communique from some communities of the CNI in Chiapas in solidarity with Ostula and Xochicuautla


To the EZLN
To the CNI
To the alternative media
To civil society
To the national and international Sixth

Compañeros and compañeras of the EZLN and the CNI, we are communities of the CNI from the state of Chiapas, and organizations and collectives adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. We send a combative embrace with which we say that here we continue organizing ourselves from our respective trenches.

We want to share with you that it hurts us very much that the bad government is cutting down the sacred forests of our brothers and sisters of the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla for their capitalist interests, but we say that while we are far away and cannot follow the call they made ​​to come to the camp, from here we will take care of our mother earth and remain aware of your struggle.

Brothers and sisters of the rebel community of Santa Maria Ostula, the news has come to us of what is happening in your recovered lands, it fills us with rage that they have killed our son Idilberto Reyes Garcia, and our compañeros who resist the many heads of capitalist hydra, and that they have taken prisoner our compañero Cemei Verdía, commander of the community police of Ostula, we tell you not to be discouraged, you are not alone and from here you have our support.

Compas from la Garrucha, communities in resistance, we know what it is like to live with harassment in our daily life and the anger that it gives you when they do not let you live in peace.

Compañeros and compañeras of the EZLN and the CNI, from our communities we say that we will continue to organize together and to walk together towards the freedom of autonomy, we reaffirm ourselves as indigenous peoples defenders of the mother earth who we will continue to protect from the mega-projects that see her as something you can sell and plunder and destroy without any respect for life. We continue resisting so as to remain who we are and to improve our ways of organising to build a world fit for our children who are the future of our indigenous cultures.

Step by step we work towards a society where there are no more prisons and there is true justice and consciousness of building for life and not for death, and if we work together we will achieve freedom for all our brothers kidnapped by the state.

Brothers and sisters of the EZLN and the CNI, we feel proud and happy to form part of this collective dream, we embrace each and every one of your struggles and resistances which are our example and hope to continue resisting, so we do not feel alone and it motivates us to fight when we think of you who are our mirrors and as such we are reflected in you and feel your joys and sorrows and make them ours, and from pain comes struggle and resistance to keep walking together, more united despite the distance to achieve respect for our rights and indigenous cultures.

We know that the companies and megaprojects are not acting alone, but with the complicity of the 3 levels of the bad government.


– We denounce the decree issued by Enrique Peña Nieto to expropriate the land of our brothers from San Francisco Xochicuautla, ignoring convention 169 of the ILO, thus violating the right to prior and informed consultation of the indigenous peoples of Mexico.

– We denounce the complicity between drug traffickers and the government.

– We demand respect for Mother Earth.

– We demand the immediate release of our compañero Cemeí Verdía.

– We demand justice for the murder by the Mexican army of Idilberto Reyes García.

– We demand an end to the harassment by paramilitaries and the 3 levels of bad government of the Zapatista autonomous municipalities and communities in resistance.

– We demand the immediate release of our Yaqui compañero Mario Luna.

– We demand the live appearance of our 43 missing compañeros from Ayotzinapa and justice for our 3 compañeros massacred by the state on the night of September 26, 2014 in Iguala Guerrero.

– We demand respect for the Community police of Ostula


The communities of:

-Civil-Society Las Abejas of Acteal. 

-Ejido Tila. 

-Semilla Digna.



Classic ancient Maya “collapse” not caused by overpopulation and deforestation, say researchers

Filed under: Archaeology / Maya — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:27 pm


Classic ancient Maya “collapse” not caused by overpopulation and deforestation, say researchers

The Maya practised sustainable agriculture that supported dense populations well beyond the Classic period.

For years, archaeologist Anabel Ford has been arguing the case that the ancient Maya knew well how to manage their tropical forest environment to their advantage, eventually sustaining large populations even beyond the time when many archaeologists suggest the Maya declined and abandoned their iconic Classic period pyramidal and temple constructions and monumental inscriptions during the 8th and 9th centuries CE.  She challenges the popular theories long held by many scholars that the Maya declined because of overpopulation and deforestation from increased agricultural production, perhaps aggravated by draught and climate change.

“In the past there was no extensive deforestation,” states Ford.

At the base of her reasoning stands years of research related to the ancient practice of the Maya in cultivating ‘forest gardens’, a method of sustainable agro-forestry that employs an agricultural methodology called the Milpa Cycle—the creation of a poly-cultivated, tree-dominated, biodiverse landscape by dispersed smallholder farmers, employing natural cycles and maximizing the utility of the native flora and fauna. Having its roots even before the rise of the Peclassic Maya, it worked by sequencing an area from a closed canopy forest to an open field. When cleared, it was dominated by annual crops that transformed into a managed orchard garden, and then back to a closed canopy forest in a continuous circuit. “Contrary to European agricultural systems developed around the same period, these fields were never abandoned, even when they were forested,” says Ford. “Thus, it was a rotation of annuals with succeeding stages of forest perennials during which all phases received careful human management.”

She explains the process and its implications in detail in her new book,The Maya Forest Garden: Eight Millennia of Sustainable Cultivation of the Tropical Woodlands, co-authored with Ronald Nigh, a professor at the Centro Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) in Chiapas, Mexico. The book summarizes years of research evaluating archaeological, palaeoenvironmental, agricultural, botanical, ecological and ethnographic and historical data from Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize, including a focus on the large Maya centre of El Pilar.

“Ecological, agricultural, and botanical research on the Maya forest demonstrates that it is in fact a variegated garden dominated by plants of economic value, and thus highly dependent on human interaction,” says Ford. Thus, “the co-creation of the Maya and their forest environment was based on a strategy of resource management that resulted in a landscape called the Maya “forest garden.”


A Maya forest garden. Courtesy BRASS/El Pilar


The Milpa Cycle, from maize field to perennials and back to the forest.Courtesy BRASS/El Pilar

Moreover, Ford points to the Milpa Cycle as being responsible for producing much of the visible fabric of the ancient Maya jungle ‘backdrop’, including the Maya landscape of today—a forest that is in a real sense itself a creation and ‘monument’ of the Maya people.  “The Maya forest, once thought to be a wild, pristine jungle, is, in reality, the result of prehistoric, colonial, and recent human activities,” write Ford and Nigh in their book.*



Exploring Solutions Past: The Maya Forest Alliance

In other words, by managing and shaping the forest landscape elements through the Milpa Cycle into a human-sculpted environment beneficial in terms of the food, shelter, medicinal and other material needs for sustaining ever-increasing populations, the Maya became the actual creators of their tropical environment—in essence, the architects of the jungle itself. Most significantly, because of its sustainable, renewing techniques, the Milpa Cycle became a key to the longevity of the Maya civilization long after the Classic period ‘collapse’. Ford and Nigh conclude: “When political crises struck Classic Maya society, the population largely retired to the forest garden, leaving elite centres abandoned.”


*Ford, Anabel and Nigh, Ronald, The Maya Forest Garden: Eight Millennia of Sustainable Cultivation of the Tropical Woodlands, Left Coast Press, June 2015.



Pilgrimage for peace and for life and against violence and dispossession

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:51 pm


Pilgrimage for peace and for life and against violence and dispossession


We are fighting for life and for the building of hope, to become aware, organize, coordinate our forces, care for the land, for food sovereignty, to fend for ourselves and defend Mother Earth.

On 28 and 29 July 2015, the believing communities of Margaritas inspired by faith and from the pain and suffering which we experience, we walk to express our disagreement, to join forces, to build hope and to pray to God to help us care for our heritage through Peace for life and against violence and dispossession.

We unite our sorrows, we come out to shout them aloud and therefore we ask you to join us for a great pilgrimage from Ignacio Zaragoza- Margaritas- Comitan , to all the peoples who suffer from great injustice and violence, such as Primero de Agosto, displaced by social organizations controlled by the governmentAyotzinapa, Acteal, Banavil, Chicomuselo. People who suffer from the high electricity rates, from the imposition of hydroelectric dams, oil exploration, megaprojects that they want to impose, threats to our territories from the structural reforms, against our native maize; Also we are concerned about violence against women and so much discrimination, divisions in families, so many murders and abductions, poor medical care, increased number of bars (cantinas), repression, corruption and impunity.

We are in solidarity with the struggle undertaken by the pueblo creyente of Simojovel, accompanied by their parish priest.

We are fighting for life and for the building of hope, to become aware, organize, coordinate our forces, care for the land, for food sovereignty, to fend for ourselves and defend Mother Earth.

“Ts’omanotik Sok Jun Kójoltil”

United with other hearts

Route of Pilgrimage

July 28, 10:00 am: We start on the bridge of the Zaragoza community near Gabino Vazquez, to walk to Las Margaritas.

July 29, 6:00 am: We start in the central park of Las Margaritas, to walk to the barrio of San Sebastian in Comitan.

Convoked by:

The pastoral team, deacons and coordinators of the Tojolabal Mission, united with the Mission of Guadalupe, parish of Santa Margarita de Antioquía



“The Mexican state is governed by political and narco-criminal mafia” – Abejas of Acteal.

Filed under: Acteal — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:55 pm


“The Mexican state is governed by political and narco-criminal mafia” – Abejas of Acteal.


“Memory is therefore essential: Because memory is justice, because memory is a denouncement against any impunity, against any state crime committed in this beautiful but sadly-bleeding-and-dying country.”

Civil Society Organization Las Abejas
Sacred Land of the Martyrs of Acteal
Acteal, Ch’enalvo ‘, Chiapas, Mexico.

July 22, 2015

Brothers and sisters:

With our hearts and minds moved by memory, by justice and by not forgetting the Acteal massacre, today we return here to be in the Acteal House of Memory and Hope; on December 22, 1997, 49 of our brothers and sisters were massacred; 45 people, plus 4 not yet born, were killed by paramilitaries of PRI and cardenista affiliation on the orders of Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León and others. That’s why we are here to remember through this celebration and remembrance, and to hope that when we return to our homes, our spaces, to our places of origin, we will work to demand justice and to build a true justice so there will never be another Acteal, because we are aware that the Mexican State has already shown that the non-repetition of another Acteal cannot be guaranteed, because we are aware that the Mexican state is governed by political and narco-criminal mafia.

It is true that the Mexican State never guaranteed there would not be a repeat massacre in Mexico like that of Acteal, a matter we will discuss in a few moments.

Tomorrow marks a month since the murder of our compañero Manuel López Pérez, ambushed in the municipality of Pantelhó, Chiapas, by a group of 7 people. We denounce again the bad government authorities, for the “Prosecutor for Indigenous Justice” and the Agrarian Prosecutor, the president and municipal judge of Pantelhó, had been informed that the life of our compañero Manuel was at risk, since his own son Alonso López Guzmán has repeatedly threatened to kill him, we denounced this crime on 25th June last and this can be seen on our website: .

We emphasize that nearly 18 years after the massacre at Acteal, in the Mexican state, far from ensuring the non-repetition of another Acteal, allows another murder of a member of our organization; but the impunity paid for by the Mexican government through the so-called “Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation”, is actually a Supreme Court made up of wealthy criminals, who allowed another crime to be committed against us. Because this so-called Supreme Court, by freeing the paramilitary perpetrators of the Acteal massacre, sent a clear message that killing innocent people will not be punished; rather it will be rewarded by this same State with money, houses and land.

So memory is essential: Because memory is justice, because memory is a denouncement against any impunity, against any state crime committed in this beautiful but sadly-bleeding-and-dying country.

With respect to what we said, that the Mexican State has not guaranteed the non-repetition of another Acteal, we are not the only witnesses, but also millions of women and men in Mexico and the world, to the fact that in our country the crimes are constant. For example: the massacres, forced disappearances, feminicides, extrajudicial killings and other heinous crimes committed by the Mexican State, are now, in this century, our daily bread or tortillas.

How can we not be outraged? But, most of all, how can we remain indifferent to such ignominy in Mexico?

We have much to denounce today. And today, as always, our word will be constant like the wind. So: while Peña Nieto has the luxury of traveling and doing absurd and dirty business in France; while the bad Mexican government tries to offer the theatre of the escape of “Chapo”; while political parties have elections for so-called “democracy,” for so-called “change” for supposed other lies, the Mexican Federal Army kills children in Santa Maria Ostula, Michoacan.

In Mexico there is no longer the freedom to live. In Mexico we survive. In Mexico we live by chance. In Mexico we live and walk on a time bomb. Mexico is bleeding. Mexico is dying.

Despite so much cruelty by the Mexican State in betraying and murdering its own people, as at Ayotzinapa, Tlatlaya, our compañero Manuel murdered in Pantelhó and other crimes:

As members of the organization Las Abejas of Acteal, despite the war and policies of counterinsurgency by the bad government against us as organized people, we continue working on the construction from below of another justice, another truth and we do not forget. We will be, in spite of everything, the Guardians of Memory and Hope.

Neither Zedillo nor Peña Nieto, nor the evil capitalist hydra will succeed against the Acteal House of Memory and Hope.


The Voice of Civil Society Organization Las Abejas of Acteal.

For the Board of Directors:

José Jiménez Pérez Juan Vázquez Luna

Oscar Hernández Gómez Pedro Ortiz Gutiérrez

Lisandro Sántiz Hernández Amado Sánchez Díaz



July 23, 2015

The national and international community, in solidarity with the Zapatista support bases under attack in Chiapas

Filed under: Paramilitary, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:52 pm


The national and international community, in solidarity with the Zapatista support bases under attack in Chiapas


Chiapas, Mexico, July 20. “Here below, where our voices are born, we respond and we raise our voices and our solidarity against the death that threatens us. Here below, we know that we only have our solidarity to confront political and economic power and its violence,” stated members of the campaign against political repression and sexual torture, in the context of a week of solidarity with the Zapatista support bases (BAEZLN), who were attacked on 24th June in the community of El Rosario, official municipality of Ocosingo.

In the Week of Solidarity organized by the Network against Repression, from 13th to 19th July, the following were carried out: radio programmes, political-cultural gatherings, seminars (or seedbeds), informative and denunciatiory actions, solidarity rallies, painting, information tables, banners, stencils, leafleting and brigades, both in northern, central and southern Mexico, and in countries in solidarity.

“We are still uniting in a cry though which we can awaken solidarity and awareness, knowing that no one is alone while their struggle is that for a truly just world,” express adherents and sympathizers to the Sixth from Madrid in a communique.

Meanwhile the Plataforma Vasca (Basque Platform) communicates to the BAEZLN: “We know that the bad governments will not be able to prevent the autonomy of indigenous peoples from continuing to grow and develop. As a show of support, on 2nd July more than thirty people rallied in the streets to express our solidarity.”

From Dusseldorf in Germany they say: “You are not alone! You are not alone, you whose dreams are like ours – you are not alone with your struggles, which are linked with ours – you are not alone with your energy that is repeated in ours.” And from Wuppertal they say “The Mexican State continues to hinder through its armed groups, military, police and paramilitary forces, all persons and groups who are fighting for a dignified life.”

“This is the third denouncement made by the Zapatista authorities, since in August 2014 and in May 2015, similar attacks occurred made by the same group of people. The bad government tries to portray them as conflicts between indigenous, when actually they are actions prepared, financed and protected by the Mexican authorities, which aim to destabilize the just Zapatista struggle,” say La Adhesiva from Barcelona.

Caracol Zaragoza, the Network of People for Zapatista Autonomy, from Aragon, Spanish State, said: “We do not tire of denouncing and shouting out loud that the war criminals Enrique Peña Nieto and Manuel Velasco Coelho are waging war against the Zapatista communities in resistance, using any means, including the funding, training and protection of paramilitary groups.”

“The continued aggression against our compañer@s and brothers and sisters, the Zapatista support bases from the village El Rosario, in the autonomous municipality of San Manuel, committed by paramilitary groups from the ejido El Pojkol, shows that the peace of the Mexican government and its masters, shoots to kill,” say anarchists, libertarians and anti-authoritarians in solidarity from Greece.

“Members of the counter-cultural scene, Punx and redskins, support the BAEZLN in the construction of their autonomy. The rulers of Mexico, the bad government and their shock troops, better known as paramilitaries, wanted to destroy the work they have been building for more than 20 years,” they said from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

“Women, alternative groups, and those of us who choose to act or be different from the establishment, are resisting the storm spoken of recently by our Zapatista compañeros and  which is manifested in repression, selective assassinations and forced disappearances” say adherents and sympathizers to the Sixth from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. “We ask NOTHING from Peña Nieto and Velasco Coello, one of the heads of capitalist hydra, for to ask or demand true justice goes against their criminal and repressive nature,” they added.

“So the first thing I want to tell the brothers and sisters around the world in their languages, dialects, ways, times and geographies, is thanks, really. They have given a beautiful lesson, not only to those people up above who distribute alms, but to the governments who abandon their obligations and promote destruction”, said Subcomandante Galeano, on 10th August, 2014, in La Realidad Chiapas, about the support for the reconstruction of the school and autonomous clinic, destroyed after the attack by Cioac-h, who also kidnapped, tortured and murdered the Zapatista teacher Galeano, as the Chiapas insurgents promptly denounced.



Joint CNI and EZLN-CG communiqué on the attack by federal forces against the indigenous community of Santa María Ostula

Filed under: CNI, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:19 am


EZLN-CNI: Federal Forces Attack Santa María Ostula

Joint CNI and EZLN-CG communiqué on the attack by federal forces against the indigenous community of Santa María Ostula

Don't shoot us, we are children

Don’t shoot us, we are children

To the Nahua Indigenous Community of Santa María Ostula, Aquila, Michoacán:

To the National and International Sixth:

To the people of Mexico and the World:

July 21, 2015

Given the violent events perpetrated against the indigenous community of Santa María Ostula on July 19, 2015 by a large commando made up of members of the Federal Preventative Police, the Secretary of National Defence, and the Secretary of the Navy, in which Ostula community police commander Cemeí Verdía Zepeda was detained, in which federal soldiers murdered, WITH A BULLET TO THE FACE, THE 12-YEAR-OLD CHILD EDILBERTO REYES GARCÍA, and in which the following people were injured: the child Yeimi Nataly Pineda Reyes, 6-years-old; Edith Balbino Vera; Delfino Antonio Alejo Ramos, 17-years-old; Horacio Valladares Manuel, 32-years-old; José Nicodemos Macías Zambrano, 21-years-old; and Melesio Cristino Dirzio, 60-years-old…


The criminal behaviour of the above listed military and police bodies and their complicity with organized crime, in this case the Knights Templar, enacted in order to escalate the war of conquest that has been waged for years now against the Nahua indigenous community of Santa María Ostula. The goal of this war of conquest is to occupy the community’s territories in favour of mining and transnational tourist interests, and to punish this community for having dared to take back the land from which they had been displaced and for having defended themselves—by putting into practice their right to live—from organized crime, which today serves as the paramilitary branch of the Mexican State.

The motive for these criminal acts is none other than to advance of the war of capitalist conquest against Ostula and against the originary peoples and indigenous and non-indigenous communities in this country.

Given this, WE DEMAND:

  3. Respect for Santa María Ostula’s community lands which foreign mining companies like Ternium—with the support of the bad government in collusion with organized crime—intend to take over, dispossessing the community.
  4. The reappearance, alive and well, of the 6 disappeared community members, and the punishment of the intellectual and material authors of the murders of the 33 Ostula community members who have been killed over the last four years in their struggle to defend their land and freedoms.
  5. Respect for and guarantee of the continued functioning of the community police of the indigenous community of Santa María Ostula.

Finally, we call upon the international community and the brothers and sisters of the national and international Sixth to stay alert to any happenings that may occur in the territory of the Indigenous Community of Santa María Ostula, joining in solidarity with their struggle and their demands.


July 2015

Never Again a Mexico Without Us

National Indigenous Congress

Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command of the EZLN.

What was Hidilberto's crime?

What was Hidilberto’s crime?



July 22, 2015

Global Days of Solidarity with Zapatista communities

Filed under: Paramilitary, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:07 pm


Global Days of Solidarity with Zapatista communities

(@Network against Repression and for Solidarity)

(@Network against Repression and for Solidarity)

Following the attacks denounced by the La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) on 25 June, several letters of rejection and demonstrating solidarity with the Zapatista communities were released. These letters originated from different parts of Mexico, and beyond: Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Colima, Distrito Federal, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Zacatecas, and Germany, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Catalunya, Colombia, Spain, USA, France, the UK, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

In this way, the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR) organized the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and the students of the Escuelita Zapatista as well as social and political organizations to participate in a global day of action,“THE ZAPATISTAS ARE NOT ALONE!” The same action was organized to carry out decentralized actions between 12 and 19 July 2015, and actions were taken in places including Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Tampico. Whatever action that may be taken can be communicated to the following e-mail addresses: and

It should be mentioned that on 19 July, elections were held for the mayorships of Chiapas. The RvsR declared itself on alert for whatever act of provocation could take place within the electoral context that could in turn “worsen the climate of harassment against the Zapatista communities.”



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