dorset chiapas solidarity

July 13, 2015

Mexican President Expropriates Indigenous Land for Highway

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:15 pm

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Mexican President Expropriates Indigenous Land for Highway

Trucks, protected by police, entered an indigenous community’s territory, after a presidential decree was passed in favour of a construction company.

 “Let’s strengthen Otomi resistance vs. the expropriation decree of [President Enrique Peña Nieto]”

“Let’s strengthen Otomi resistance vs. the expropriation decree of [President Enrique Peña Nieto]”

Activists expressed outrage, launching an online campaign, after government trucks and construction vehicles entered protected lands of one of Mexico’s indigenous communities July 12-13, in order to build a highly controversial highway.

Mexicans used the hashtag #XochicuautlaNoEstaSolo (Xochicuautla is not alone) to tweet in solidarity after the recent attempt to begin construction on a new section of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway on the land of the Otomi community in the town of San Francisco Xochicuautla, just west of Mexico City.

This is the latest attempt by Grupo Higa S.A. to build on the land, and it came a day after President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a presidential decree July 9 that cancelled a 1954 order guaranteeing Otomi indigenous community land rights in San Francisco Xochicuautla.

The private construction company is owned by Juan Armando Hinojosa, who is believed to have close ties to Peña Nieto, and its trucks were accompanied on to Otomi land by police vehicles.

The new decree, on the grounds of “public interest” and the need for “easy transport” between Mexico City and the suburbs, stripped 38 acres of land from the Xochicuautla community. Officials claim the private highway will deliver huge financial returns to the community, something critics say is untrue.

According to a report by Proceso magazine, the act was labelled as “plunder” by community leaders, including Supreme Council member Lucas Josefa Hernandez, Xochicuautla community chief Armando Garcia and Otomi spokesman Jose Luis Fernandez Flores, who also said the move violates the ethnic rights granted to them by the state.

They added that they were not consulted about the new decree and thus they had not given any approval for giving up the lands.

“We defend life, we defend our land.” “No, it's not called dispossession. It's called expropriation by presidential decree.”

“We defend life, we defend our land.”
“No, it’s not called dispossession. It’s called expropriation by presidential decree.”

Furthermore, many local residents accuse the government of expropriation and say the plan will destroy the Xochicuautla forests and natural resources. Some activists cut the water line to prevent the construction from taking place.

The villagers also said that they would challenge the new presidential decree and that they had submitted a new complaint to the national human rights commission.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mexican-President-Expropriates-Indigenous-Land-for-Highway-20150713-0005.html.

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