If the Repression Continues, “All the People of God Will Rise Up,” warns the Pueblo Creyente
The Pueblo Creyente in Chiapas march in support of the teachers
Religious leaders from the region of Los Bosques, at the front of the Pueblo Creyente (Believing People)
By Isaín Mandujano
Chiapas Parallelo, 9th June 2016
Thousands of indigenous Tsotsiles from the different communities in the municipalities of Simojovel, El Bosque, Huitiupán, Amatán and Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán took part in a procession on Wednesday (8th June) in the state capital of Chiapas to demonstrate their support for the teachers’ movement in against the education reform.
Led by the parish priest of the Church of Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez Pérez, the men, women and children left their communities, came down from the Highlands of Chiapas and started a pilgrimage from the east side of Tuxtla; they walked for several kilometres to the central plaza where the teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) have their encampments.
With the music of drums and whistles, with the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the hands of Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez and with the Mexican flag carried by an indigenous woman at his side, the indigenous left their communities to come to this city and take part in the procession in the midst of a human wall of teachers who welcomed them with applause and placards on which they gave thanks for their support.
All along the route, the teachers, like the neighbours from houses in the city centre, were giving fresh water and sandwiches to the indigenous. Some teachers wept with emotion as the march passed by.
When they reached the central square, the Pueblo Creyente (Believing People) were received by the CNTE leaders Alberto Mirón and Pedro Gómez Bámaca who thanked the over 4,000 indigenous, who come from the region also called Los Bosques, for this gesture of support.
Father Blas Alvarado from the parish of Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán and Father Gustavo Andrade from the Venustiano Carranza parish were beside Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez.
In the message read to the teachers, Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez asked the federal government, President Enrique Peña Nieto and Aurelio Nuño for: “no more repression, because that generates revolution.”
“If you continue to send the police to repress the people, not only will the representatives of the church communities come on pilgrimage again, but we will inspire all the people of God to rise up,” he said in the letter which was read out.
He demanded that a proper, dignified dialogue be set up between the teachers and the federal government, with the mediation of some of the groups in society who have moral authority.
As a church they came here not to generate violence, but they rather came peacefully to demand peace, but a peace founded on truth, justice, freedom and love as Pope John XXIII described it.
“We say “No” to the mass dismissal of the teachers, because this is would violate the labour rights they have spent so many years fighting for. We demand that the deputies do not pass laws which create institutionalized violence. Today, the deputies have a crisis of credibility and of being representatives of the people, because they are not passing laws in response to the true principles and needs of the people, but rather in response to the stimulus of the money which the President of the Republic gives them to approve what he wants, and the legal initiatives that he sends to the Congress which are in the interests of foreign investors, making them treason to the Homeland,” he said.
The priest sent a message to the police forces: “You come from simple families, you are also poor, you are human, every teacher who you hit with your clubs, with your rubber bullets, who you hurt with your tear gas, you are injuring your brothers and sisters, because we are all children of God; if you receive an order to repress your brothers from your bosses, you are not obliged to obey that order.”
“The teachers are not criminals, they are not kidnappers, they are not drug traffickers, or murderers or traitors to their country; we see that the government sends police to repress the innocents, but the real criminals are those who traffic arms and drugs, and they don’t say anything to them, even though they find them with drugs and arms; the government responds to them with stopping any criminal action, as with the Gómez Family of Simojovel, who have stolen so much from the people,” he added.
“Brother police officers, you have relatives in the teaching profession, you have been to classes thanks to the teachers, you got your job because of the studies that you received from the teachers. Brothers, you are protectors not repressors” he emphasized.
“And if the repression doesn’t stop, Pope Francisco tells us: “A Christian, if he or she is not a revolutionary at this time, is not a Christian! We must be revolutionary for grace!” he concluded.
Based on an English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee