The social activist Juan Vázquez Guzmán is remembered in Latin America and Europe, three years after his assassination.
Chiapas, Mexico. “The family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and the members of the Sexta Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón thank you for having attended and participated by written letter” said the Tzeltal indigenous, adherents to the Sexta, from the jungle area (zona selva) of Chiapas.
Juan Vázquez Guzmán was assassinated in front of his home on April 24, 2013, “by a group of hitmen from the bad government,” national and international social organizations have denounced since that date. Today he was remembered at this same house in San Sebastián Bachajón, where they received demonstrations of national and international solidarity with the cause of the ejido in resistance which Juan belonged to.
“To keep on, despite all the difficulties, resisting and challenging the powerful from our collective dignity, is the only way we have to keep being who we are: peoples who struggle and work for another world where the Juans do not have to give their life for something as basic as life with dignity,” said the writer Raúl Zibechi from Uruguay in a letter.
“Thanks to you, compañero, the Bachajón struggle became ours. We are not going to give up. It is the fight back we are giving everywhere against criminal governments and against those who own them, who maintain a war of plunder and aggression against the people and use all means at their disposal to oppress and take away what is ours. It is they who have been destroying Mother Earth, causing damage that can no longer be tolerated,” said the researcher and social activist Gustavo Esteva from Oaxaca, Mexico.
“Juan Vázquez Guzmán is a symbol of the defence of the indigenous community, of the defence of life and nature against the large transnational corporations that rule the world, killing nature and humanity, with the only sacred goal they have: ‘to make as much money as possible in the shortest time possible,’ said the social activist Hugo Blanco from Peru.
“We honour his memory and remember his dignified struggle for his people and the land. Juan is a light of hope and dignity accompanying all our struggles, and we know that he continues to live in the hearts of all his compañeras and compañeros in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón. Those who give their lives for the land do not die, but live on in every act of freedom and resistance,” shared the Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group from England.
“This week in Canada, we will have an event in commemoration of Juan Vásquez Guzmán where we will share the dignified struggle that you continue to carry out. We also continue to demand the punishment of those responsible for the death of compa Juan, so his death does not go unpunished,” he said Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York in their letter.
The ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, is located in the northern jungle region of Chiapas, where the tourist attraction the waterfalls of Agua Azul are located, which are part of a comprehensive mega tourist plan that includes projects such as luxury hotels, an airport and golf courses. This is why arbitrary detentions of indigenous have become a resource used frequently by the three levels of government, comments the “Working Group No Estamos Todos” (GTNET), which supports indigenous peoples and campesinos in the region.