Chiapas: “The people’s patience has run out”, Pueblo Creyente express solidarity with the teachers
published by the Pozol Collective, 18 July 2016
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Pozol, 18 July. Thousands of parishioners from 52 parishes of the dioceses of San Cristobal de las Casas pilgrimaged in solidarity with the teachers and to commemorate the 25 years since the establishment of the Pueblo Creyente movement, which began in 1991 “to seek justice and respect for the most basic rights of being human” stated the pilgrimage organisers after a long walk.
Among the participants in this massive pilgrimage were members from the groups in the Highlands, Lowlands, Cho’l, Southeast, South, Tsotsil, Tzetzal and the Centre. They delivered food supplies to the teachers’ picket in Tuxtla, who have been there since 15 May, protesting the self-styled “education reform”. “We demand an alternative education project”, stated the protesters, among whom are teachers from the trade union sections 7 and 40, which belong to the “Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE – or National Coordinator of Education Workers).
The parishioners from Chiapas expressed via a communique their disdain of the political class in Mexico, its corruption, and the fact that they use laws and the police and military forces to their advantage. “It’s necessary to reorient politics to benefit the most vulnerable,” they emphasised, and to this “it’s necessary to look for alternative and autonomous routes.”
“The people’s patience has run out,” said the indigenous communities and campesino pilgrims categorically. “Enough! We’ve had it with so many lies and tricks; with the exploitation of the poor, and with the manipulation of laws and use of violece,” they stated.
The spokesperson for the Pueblo Creyente Joel Padron asked that the CNTE teachers “don’t get up from the table of dialogue with the Government until we have achieved a Mexico that we want.” This pilgrimage will not finish until we have achieved justice,” added the priest who had been imprisoned in 1991 and for whom the indigenous communities went on pilgrimage to demand his freedom.
Father Marcelo from the parish of Simojovel said that if the government continues to insist on imposing this education reform, we don’t discard the possibility of walking from Chiapas to Mexico City. “A pilgrimage is to liberate people through walking, yelling, and telling the truth,” said the pastor. “If the government imposes these reforms by force, it will do so only by making our blood run,” warned the priest from Chiapas.
Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service
Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity