dorset chiapas solidarity

November 19, 2016

Denouncement from San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration, 17th November 2016

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:27 pm


Denouncement from San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration, 17th November 2016.

Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón Denounces Collaboration of Member of the Political Party MORENA in the Dispossession of Their Territory




Compañeros and Compañeras, receive our combative greetings. Here we want to make the word of our organization known regarding the latest actions of the officialist ejidal commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro. Furthermore, we ask for your help in sharing this message widely.

Since being recognised as taking the position of official authority of San Sebastián Bachajón, Guzmán Álvaro has carried out acts of violence with his people, in order to solicit the intervention of the authorities of the three levels of government. Since then he has been able to bring in the public forces which are today guarding the Indigenous territory of the ejido.




Without the consent and knowledge of the pueblo, he has been utilizing the agreement of 2011 signed by Juan Sabines Guerrero and the ex-commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez. While they were signing the agreement, 117 adherents of the sixth were kidnapped and unjustly incarcerated. A wave of violence and repression was carried out by the bad governors, together with the ex-ejidal commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez. This agreement was not made under orders of the general assembly, but was organized and documented by a few bad leaders in the service of the bad government, and in this way they are utilizing the current ejidal commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro to ask for evictions, a police presence and benefits for themselves from the income of the waterfalls of Agua Azul

What the current ejidal commissioner is doing is deceiving the people, portraying his struggle as a dignified struggle in defence of territory, when he is acting as a servant of the bad government. The ideas they are using today are ideas of Juan Jiménez alias “JIGO” and are the same strategies that they utilized in 2011 in the repression of the compañerxs.




Not only did he deceive the people at that time, but he is also doing the same today. Juan Jiménez participated with the ex-commissioner Pedro Álvaro Hernández who was also acting against the pueblo when he was the agent of Bachajón. This was together with the ex-ejidal commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez, who also participated with the ex-ejidal commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez. Since that time he has been participating in harassment and repression, organizing paramilitary forces to dispossess the compañerxs, ejidatarios and adherents of the sixth.

Now once again they are deceiving the people, the Indigenous people who are not aware of what they are truly trying to do. Juan Jiménez is not only elaborating strategies to dispossess the lands of San Sebastián, but he is also a leader of the political party MORENA and the presidential candidate of Chilón, with the support of other political party members, as well as the advisor of the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia, who today is the sub-secretary of government of the Tzeltal and Chol jungle zone based in Yajalón, Chiapas, Lic. Alpuche. He too, has been carrying out repression and harassment against the compañerxs of the Tila ejido. With this sub-secretary, commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro and his security council have maintained close coordination, as can be seen in the photographs that are published with this note.




During the roadblocks that were carried out in October this year by the ejidal commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro and his people, the money obtained in the roadblocks was put in to the hands of Juan Jiménez alias “JIGO” to finance his campaign to be municipal president of Chilón for the political party MORENA.

This explains how the current commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro is linked to the dispossession of the lands of San Sebastián Bachajón. He is participating with the political party members so that they can easily hand over our natural resources in to the hands of the bad government.




The commissioner has obtained the support of a group of civil organisations, such as a human rights centre, which also accompanies the people but in reality is not doing this, which censors the word of our organisation, but also accompanies the same servants of the bad government, and which is aware of the agreement of 2011 which was falsely elaborated, and still give their support as you can see in the following:  http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspo an-bachajon-exige.html

We share with you the following photos which show the ejidal commissioner participating with political party members; among them the advisor of the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia, today sub-secretary of government for the Tzeltal and Chol jungle zone centred in Yajalón, Chiapas, Lic. Alpuche.

Combative Greetings

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



Indigenous begin a 12-day pilgrimage against mega-projects in Chiapas.



Indigenous begin a 12-day pilgrimage against mega-projects in Chiapas.





By: Isaín Mandujano

More than a thousand indigenous Choles, Tseltales and Tsotsiles left this Tuesday morning from Salto de Agua, in a pilgrimage that will tour 11 municipalities (municipios) to denounce and protest against the mega-projects that threaten their lands and the life of their communities.

Throughout 12 days, the indigenous will be added to in each one of the municipios through which the march will travel until arriving in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Today, they left Salto de Agua for Tumbalá where a traditional celebration will be held. They will spend Wednesday night in Yajalón, where they will hold the forum “The Original Peoples’ Fight” from the experience of Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel.

 On Thursday they will be in Chilón, where they will participate in the forum “The fight for the defence of water.” On Friday, the caravan will depart for Ocosingo, where the forum “Care of Mother Earth” will be held. On Saturday, they will be in Altamirano where they will hold the forum “Alcoholism in the indigenous communities.” On Sunday, November 20, the marchers will spend the night in Oxchuc where they will hold the forum “Community Governments.”

On Monday the 21st, they will be in Cancuc, where a traditional indigenous ceremony will be celebrated. On Tuesday the 22nd they will arrive in Tenejapa, where the auxiliary bishop of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Diocese, Enrique Díaz Díaz, will head a traditional religious ceremony. On Wednesday the 23rd they will be in Huixtán to celebrate the forum “Government projects in the indigenous communities.”

On November the 24th, they will arrive in La Candelaria, a rural community within the municipio of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where they will celebrate another traditional indigenous ceremony and dialogue about the situations that threaten their community life. On Friday the 25th, they will finally arrive in the central plaza of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where the gathering of thousands of marchers that have added themselves to movement is expected.

The Movement in Defence of Life and Territory (Modevite) called for this march and pilgrimage, composed of 10 parishes of 11 municipios. For the las four years, the Pueblo Creyente of the Diocese of San Cristóbal have organized in defence of their territory. They have achieved the stopping of the construction of the Palenque-San Cristóbal superhighway, which would have crossed through their territory. Their objective now is to decide the use and destiny of their territory, principally in the face of threats from the extractive industry and the mega-projects.

“We know our rights as original peoples. We seek to unify our voices and our efforts against the ambition of the impresarios and the government that covet our natural resources,” says Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez.

“We are in a strategic place for the mega-projects. This territory is one the objectives of extractivism,” he added.

For example, Father Marcelo says, in the Tulijá (River) Valley they plan to construct an artificial lake that will flood 396 square kilometres of forests and indigenous lands. The lake would have the capacity of 24 billion 540 million cubic meters, which contemplates the construction of “modern industrial, small farming and aquifer population centres” on the sides of the dam.”

“We don’t want projects that only benefit some, we don’t want projects without consulting us, we don’t want improvements for the rich while the poor continue in the same condition,” another indigenous Ch’ol speaker said today before departing for Tumbalá.

“We seek to organize the peoples to construct our autonomy; that our right as original peoples to the life that we want is recognized. We need to join our voices in defence of our forests, our rivers. We demand the governments stop the extractive industry and the mega-projects that are being imposed without consulting us,” Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez stated.


Originally Published in Spanish by

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




EZLN: 33rd Birthday. GGT: Celebrating Organization and the Fruits of its Labour in Zapatista Territory

Filed under: Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:45 am



GGT: Celebrating Organization and the Fruits of its Labour in Zapatista Territory




To the EZLN

To the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)

To the Sixth

On November 17, 1983, a handful of young members of the now extinct Fuerzas de Liberación Nacional, arrived in the Lacandona Jungle. The unpredictable pathways of struggle brought them from Monterrey to the depths of the Chiapas Jungle. They were few, but had taken the firm decision to struggle. Past failures had still left their spirits intact.

They arrived loaded with theories, influenced by the great thinkers of socialism and of complex political treaties. In the rainy mountains filled with humidity and fog, the theories often became wet paper. However, the Indigenous thought, simple and determined, had for 500 years resisted invasion and dispossession. Daily rebellion is the best treatise to learn. Because for indigenous people, to exist in those days, was already an act of joyful rebellion.

The greatest decision of those guerillas was without doubt to listen to those who were to be the heart, soul, and hands of the future EZLN—to learn the Indigenous thought that the deceased Subcomandante Marcos personified in Viejo Antonio.

Zapatismo would take years to present its covered face to the world. It was on that unforgettable January 1st, 1994, when the Zapatista surprised the world with their unpredictable insurrection. That uprising though, was only possible thanks to a decade of preparation, of learning, of filling the spirit with desires of democracy, freedom, and justice.

From the CGT, we want to celebrate that November 17th, 1983. We want to celebrate the decision that was taken: to organize. That word, like Pandora’s Box, unleashes storms. To organize is to risk suffering repression. But it is also the key to open up pathways where autonomy, dignity and utopia circulate.

We opt for a society of many worlds, based in the permanent construction of personal and collective autonomy. We thus celebrate the organization that began in 1983, as we salute the scream of enough already! Since 1994, that was part and parcel of the internal work and its external presence, and that continues to this day underlying the new world that is the Zapatista Caracoles. We invite all of the people below and to the left to celebrate the organization in the best way possible, putting into practice its rhythms and modes, in whatever geography.

Translated by Palabras Rebeldes

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



November 18, 2016

The Presidential Candidate “Is not the Decision of One Person” (Subcomandante Moises)

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:14 pm



The Presidential Candidate “Is not the Decision of One Person” (Subcomandante Moises)


moiSubcomandante Insurgente Moises (@SIPAZ archives)

On November 11, Subcomandante Insurgente Moises, spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), issued a statement, released the previous day in Tseltal, in response to academics, journalists and people who have criticized the proposal which is being consulted along with the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), to decide whether to form a national council of government and field an indigenous woman as a presidential candidate in 2018.

He labelled the critics as “racists” and stressed that “first you should learn to read, then read it [the proposal] well, then learn to understand what you read.” He emphasized that, “it is not yet known what the result will be”, because “the very decision of whether or not [to field a candidate] hasn’t been made”, but “how many mockeries you have made and how much contempt you have shown to the original peoples and especially to indigenous women.”

He clarified that the result of the consultation “will not be the decision of one person, but of a collective.” He commented “You make fun of the National Indigenous Congress for doing this, for asking first before deciding, because you do what your shepherd tells you, even if it is pure stupidity.”

He said ironically “So it’s all the fault of the SupGaleano who manipulates us and leads us astray? It is laughable how they now say ‘Galeano/Marcos’. You were so in love with SupMarcos that you even came to take photos with him and ask him to sign his autograph, although I saw it because I was there on the sidelines. Also on the sidelines was the deceased teacher Galeano, and you did not even ask his name. And then later you hated SupMarcos so much because he did not obey you, but he obeyed us. He’s already dead now anyway.”

Previously, at the end of October, the EZLN presented the schedule of follow-up activities for the Fifth National Indigenous Congress and the Encounter “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity,” which will be held in Chiapas on from December 25, 2016, to January 4, 2017.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



November 16, 2016

EZLN: It’s Not The Decision Of One Person

Filed under: CNI, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:52 am


EZLN: It’s Not the Decision of One Person



November 2016

For the [l@s] racists:

Well, we’ve been reading and listening to everything you’ve been saying and writing.

We’ve seen all of your mockery, your scorn, the racism that you can no longer hide.

I believe that the compañeros and especially the compañeras of the National Indigenous Congress [CNI] are also reading and listening to what you say.

It’s clear that the CNI was right about what they thought and what they told us, that there is a lot of racism in society.

I imagine you amuse and applaud each other over what a good joke you made with your leftist mockery about the EZLN’s “candigata.[i]

You celebrate your machismo making fun of indigenous women.

You say that we ‘fucking Indians’ let ourselves be manipulated, are unable to think for ourselves, and go like sheep wherever the shepherd points.

But I think when you say this you are actually looking in the mirror.

That’s what you turned out to be: shameless machista racists.

You all talk so much about the racism of the exploitive class and don’t realize you have taken on that racism in body and soul, in your form of thinking, your way of talking, your perspective on life.

Your individualism and egoism doesn’t let you see anything else or any other way, as if you could save yourselves by yourselves, or as if you yourselves could save any other living being.

You don’t realize that you are stuck in your individualism, closed off in your own lives, unable to see that the little that is left is almost gone.

We tell you first to learn to read, then read carefully, then learn to understand what you have read.

Because those who have written in newspapers and social networks are pathetic.

Supposedly some of you have doctorates or honorary doctorates or whatever you call it but it turns out that you don’t know how to read or write; you haven’t understood anything.

Or perhaps you do understand, but you like to create a lie, make it grow, dress it as the truth, repeat it and shout it and spread it around so people don’t realize it’s a lie; or maybe you just don’t know how to read or write.

Thus you mock the decision of the National Indigenous Congress which has gone out to consult the thousands of people in their communities, tribes, nations, and barrios who will decide if they are or are not in agreement [with the proposal].

You make fun of the fact that the National Indigenous Congress functions like that, consulting before making a decision, because you all just do whatever your shepherd tells you, even if it is stupid nonsense.

You claim to be thinkers, critical ones, but you remain silent when your shepherd comes out with his idiocies, because you are just as racist and disparaging as he is.

The National Indigenous Congress is consulting on whether their people will name an Indigenous Governing Council to govern our country of Mexico, a Council be represented by an indigenous woman, delegate of the CNI, who would be candidate for the presidency of Mexico in the 2018 elections.

This is what was announced the morning of October 14, 2016.

That is what was written in the text; it is clear and it is in Spanish so that you all can understand it. The text does not say that the EZLN is going to consult its bases of support as to whether they want to run an independent candidate for the EZLN, an indigenous woman who is a Zapatista base of support, and that they will also consult the National Indigenous Congress about whether they agree with this proposal.

It says nothing of the sort, but you all are lazy and ignorant and don’t want to read or pay attention, so you just swallow what is sold by the paid media.
You purport to be so studious, with so much advanced technology, and you don’t even bother to read. You just grab something from what the paid media puts out and then write about it.

You don’t read the text from its original site, nor what it actually says, but rather become a bunch of gossips that don’t even know how to say “National Indigenous Congress,” substituting instead “National Indigenist Congress” or “National Indigenous Council.”

What a shame that professional writers get paid to be ignorant.

How can you ask that people read or listen to you if you don’t read or listen yourselves?

Or is that you quite simply can’t be bothered to read it?

How can you ask to be respected when you don’t know how to show respect?

How can you expect to be understood if you don’t even understand how we make decisions communally? The results of this decision aren’t even in yet and already you have begun with your insults, lack of respect, mockery, and racism.

What a shame that you are so full of yourselves as lawyers, professionals, university professors, and researchers with awards and titles.

What a shame, because you say you are all these things but you don’t know how to read or write.

And it isn’t that you don’t have the means, because you are well-stocked with cellphones, tablets, computers, and everything else, but apparently you have these things for mere fashion and not for their usefulness. You have them only to show off who has the newest modern models.

But one thing is for sure, you do use these things to publish every racist and disparaging stupidity that occurs to you.

You mock us because there are only a few of us; there’s no need to concern oneself with the Zapatistas, you say.

You say that we Zapatistas are off in our mountains and don’t know anything about the world, that we are ignorant and backward, that we don’t know how politics works, professional politics, things that only educated people from the city know about.

It’s true, there are only a few of us.

Just some thousands of organized people, true.

We are only 23 years old and haven’t gotten far, just a few Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities in Rebellion where we have told the bad government to fuck off like true teachers of disobedience to the bad system and the bad government.

A few Autonomous Municipalities with health care services where one can access free surgery thanks to the support of conscientious doctor comrades who lend a hand.

With a few autonomous schools where one can truly learn to read and write.

With a few radio broadcasters, a few laboratory specialists, a few compañeras who operate the ultrasound equipment, a few dentists.

Where the people rule and the government obeys.

Ah, and one thing for sure: a few hundred thousand rages against the capitalist system in which we live and die.

There’s that, as well as everything we still plan to do, because we have no plans to stop.

Now then, could you tell us what you have done over the last 23 years?

And not that business of sniffing around for some crumbs or for somebody to throw you a bone, that is, a job or a title.

Because what we are doing here is a true demonstration of how to destroy the bad system, what must be destroyed and what must be created, a decision made by thousands and not just a handful of people in an office or on the order of one individual.

While you all in many cases have spent years talking and arguing without even creating a mirror so that you can see what it is that you are constructing.

Because what counts is when you can actually see what you have been talking about, not just hear empty words. What counts is not what just person one has decided, but what has been the decision of thousands.


How should one behave as a writer?

As a commentator or journalist?

Or as a seeker of a cabinet position or job appointment?

I think the answer would be not to criticize when you don’t know the actual situation, because you don’t live with those you are talking about.

It would be to inform yourselves honestly, scientifically, not repeat robotically what you have heard, or poorly read, or what the paid media have said.

It would be to not make fun of the people you are talking about and then later refuse to acknowledge what you said, or insist that wasn’t what you meant and that you have been misunderstood. When you do that it is clear that in addition to being ignorant, you are cowardly.

The answer would be not to assume you know everything if you do not live with the people you are talking about, nor study, nor read carefully, nor experience any of the things they experience.

What’s more, how can you be so smug if you have nothing to show for it?

You can’t even see your own shadow.

You have nothing to show for yourselves that is visible and tangible.

Because a slew of words is not the same as a visible deed, a practice composed of thousands of visions and thoughts.

So why do you mock and scorn?



Ladies and gentlemen, to those who think so highly of themselves for having some organizational leadership position or who are so boastful of their degrees, we want to say:

As indigenous people of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, we feel pity, sadness, and rage because you mock and disrespect us as indigenous people.

But despite this, we will struggle and fight for you too, for this Mexico in which we live.

We have more than 500 years of experience with the poor lives that the rich have inflicted on us, and for more than 500 years we have known how we want a good life to be.

And you?

How many five hundreds of years do you have that you can come mock and scorn us?

We have decided, along with our compañeras and compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress, to consult our communities as to if they are in agreement or not with creating an Indigenous Governing Council that governs all of Mexico, not just the indigenous, and that this Council participates in the 2018 elections through an indigenous woman delegate of the CNI as its representative.

We still don’t have the final decision as to yes or no.

We don’t even know what the decision will be, and look how much the originary peoples, especially the indigenous women, have been mocked and disparaged.

That means that those who attack us are not just those who exploit us. Rather, those who have tried to step on and over us with their critiques include the political parties, even the ones who claim to be on the left, the supposedly great intellectuals, professionals, researchers, commentators, writers, journalists, and university professors.

Who is missing?

Whoever else feels themselves interpolated can add themselves to this list of frauds.

Now even those smug people who treated us like children want to order us around. Let’s hope that someday their work is seen and put up for comparison. Let’s hope someday they tell the truth about why they left.

Let’s see, derisive and disdainful ladies and gentlemen: how many autonomous municipalities have you organized?

In how many of the places where you live do the people rule and the government obeys?

Where in your world are women, children, and the elderly respected?

Where is help given to those who have nothing?

Where do you have freedom, freedom according to you, to go out into the street or countryside without fear that you will be kidnapped, disappeared, raped, murdered?

Where do you have a government that isn’t full of criminals and prisons that aren’t full of innocents?

Did you do the math?

Now respond: why do you turn against the indigenous and treat them as if they have no brains and don’t know what they are doing?

Why, if we aren’t even messing with you?

We don’t even mention you and yet you accuse us of getting paid by the bad government to fuck you over, you accuse us of working for capitalism.

Nobody pays us to be what we are and we don’t work for anybody.

Because no one rules over us.

Perhaps that is why you attack us and disrespect us, because you are in fact ruled over and told what to think, say, and do.

You don’t like freedom because you like to be a slave.

As Zapatistas, we may do things well or we may do them badly, but we do them ourselves.

We don’t do what others, outside of us, tell us to do.

You should study and learn that what is fucking you over is called “capitalism” and not “the indigenous.”

It is fruitless for you to attack and mock us, because one day we will see each other, we will have to.

Who will obligate us to do so?

The system.

Learn this and stop throwing tantrums and fits because to struggle for the world is not a game.



Ladies and Gentlemen who are intellectuals:

How is it that you don’t realize that the capitalists change their ways of thinking, exploiting, stealing, repressing, and disrespecting?

You are supposed to be profound thinkers but you are more like dry old trees that won’t bear any more fruit no matter how long you wait.

Now the land even where you live is contaminated, which is what capitalism is doing to it, and you continue to see and think the same things as if your heads had become deformed in the same process and there was no other way to exercise thought.

Leave your rooms, get up out of your chair, walk, lift your heads, looks for your eyeglasses so that you can see further and better.

Now imagine all of the possibilities of the combinations of what you have seen, and you’ll see that you get new ideas, not the same ones repeating over and over.

And if you didn’t manage to see anything, well then your eyes must be done for.


So now it seems that you want to tell us what SupGaleano should or shouldn’t do.

SupGaleano, just like the rest of the insurgent troops, does what I tell him.

And I do what the people tell me.

In that regard, it is up to me to tell SupGaleano to do what I say because I do what our people say.

If I tell him not to respond [to something someone has said or written], he doesn’t respond, because it isn’t worth the time.

And if I tell him to respond, he has to even if he doesn’t want to, and he has to respond clearly because he must help others understand.

If I tell him to give interviews, he has to give them, even if he doesn’t want to. I can tell him to give everyone an interview or only some people, and he has to do as I say. If I tell him only with the free media, that’s what he does. If I say the paid media also, that’s what he does.

For those who don’t want to understand this, what they will have to do is very simple:

First they will need to be subjected to death, destruction, and humiliation for more than 500 years.

Then they must organize for 10 years, preparing themselves to rise up as we did January 1, 1994. Then they will have to resist for many years, without selling out, without giving up, without giving in. Who knows if they can do it, because it’s one thing to write and another thing to do, that’s why we say theory is one thing and practice is another. This is what teaches you and gives you another vision without losing sight of your principles.

But we’ll see if we don’t get bored waiting for them.

We’ll see if we’re even alive then because what the capitalist beast will do in the meantime is so fucked.

Either they realize their lack of or limited vision or it will lead them down the system’s path toward death, and then there really is no remedy, and no one will even remember the tragic history that they played out.

So it can all be blamed on SupGaleano, who manipulates us and takes us down the wrong path?

It is laughable how now you say “Galeano/Marcos.”

You were so in love with SupMarcos that you came to take photos with him and get his autograph; I know because I was there off to the side.

Also off to the side was the maestro Galeano, whose name you did not even ask.

Then later you so hated SupMarcos because he didn’t obey you, but rather obeyed us.

Well he’s dead now.
Stop acting like his abandoned widows.

He’s dead, get over it.

Now there is a SupGaleano because that’s what we decided. And we put him out there so that you would attack and criticize him and thus reveal who you really are. It doesn’t matter what you say, not even the death threats. It doesn’t matter because that is what we trained him for, that is what we prepared him for and that is his work. And he can take it, not like you all who, after any little thing somebody says to you, cry that the world doesn’t understand you.

If we decide that he dies again, then he dies again.

And if you don’t like the way we do things, oh well. As if we were here to make you happy.

We are here for the people below and to the left, those who struggle, who think, who organize, and who resist and rebel.

We respect those people and they respect us because they know we are equals.

And we are with these people not only in Mexico, but all over the world.

So stop fooling the people in the schools where you give classes. You know nothing.

And the reason that you don’t know anything is because you lack both humility and honesty. You lost both among all of those papers and desks and medals and honours and other bullshit.

If in the end you understand and organize, well then we’ll see if you find yourselves another Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro, or another SupMarcos, because we haven’t found another yet.

But perhaps you will have better luck in finding them.


In the meantime, shut up and listen, read, and learn from the organized peoples, tribes, nations, and barrios of the National Indigenous Congress.

They are our families, and it is their turn to teach us, to show us the way.

It is our job as Zapatistas to learn from them.

Hopefully we all manage to do this, and the world will be more just, more democratic, and more free.

The cadaver of the capitalist Hydra lies beneath the bare feet of the originary peoples.

Not injured, but dead.

Thus we will have to make everything anew, but this time right, without an above or a below, without disrespect, without exploitation, without repression, without displacement.

That world will also be for you, you who are racist and disdainful of what you do not understand.

Because you do not yet understand that you don’t understand.

You don’t understand that you know nothing.

What is going to come out of this is not the decision of one person, but of a collective.


Later we are going to tell the Sixth what happened.

We didn’t tell them before because the National Indigenous Congress asked us to wait until they arrived safely to their communities and began the consultation. They asked us to be their guardian and wait and take the critique and scorn that would have been aimed at them.

So we waited and took it, and now all those we expected have popped up.

The National Indigenous Congress has heard them and read them; they know.

They know where the scorn and the racism comes from.

They know what the professional politicians think.

They know what the Ruler thinks.

They know what those who think they are saviours think.

The CNI’s skin is healthy.

Ours is wounded, but we are used to it and we scar over quickly.


The CNI is clear in its thinking.

Now we must wait for their decision and support it.

We know that the path that they choose for all of us originary peoples, tribes, nations, and barrios will be born of pain and rage.

It will be born of resistance and rebellion.

It will come not from an individual, not from a person.

It will be born of the collective, as indeed those of us who are what we are, are born.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Mexico, November 2016

[i] “Gata” is a derogatory term for domestic workers. The author points to critics’ use of the term “candigata” instead of “candidata” (candidate) as a racial slur.



November 15, 2016

Statement from the Press Conference for the Liberty of Roberto Paciencia Cruz

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:57 pm


Statement from the Press Conference for the Liberty of Roberto Paciencia Cruz




14th November 2016

To the councils of good government

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Sixth

To the free, alternative, and autonomous media

To whoever has a heart that beats below and to the left

Roberto Paciencia Cruz is an Indigenous Tsotsil compañero of 33 years of age. He is from the community of Majompepentic, municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas, and is an adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle.

He was detained on August 7th, 2013 by the preventive or sectorial police in the municipality of Pantelhó, Chiapas and transported to Tuxtla Gutiérrez. There he was deprived of his liberty for three days during which he was physically and psychologically tortured so that he would sign a false declaration of self-incrimination. Afterwards he was moved to the Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados (CERSSS) no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where he is currently being held. He still has not received a sentence.

Roberto is a prisoner of struggle. His case is a living example of the Mexican Judicial System that is racist and corrupt and that fills its prisons with poor and indigenous people. The compañero has utilized his voice to denounce the injustices that are experienced by the incarcerated population where he is being held. For example, the lack of medical attention, the bad water, the scarcity and bad quality of food and the deprivation of their visitors as a form of isolation.

We demand the liberty of Roberto given the approaching verdict of the judge, which has a deadline on the 26th of this month, and being that he has been unjustly incarcerated for three years. The innocence of our compañero has been demonstrated by legal means on various occasions. The only witness has not once appeared to any of the various summonses. On the contrary, there are witnesses who declare that Roberto was not present in the place and time of which the acts that he has been falsely accused were committed. Furthermore, the authorities committed multiple violations of the due process from the moment of his detention. In addition, there was a promise made by the governor Manuel Velasco Coello to liberate compañero Roberto and to move compañero Alejandro Díaz Santís of the CEFERESO of Villa Comaltitlán to the CERRS no. 5. This was in the context of the mobilizations that took place during the visit of Pope Francis.

Because of all of this, we denounce the injustice of the deprivation of freedom of Roberto Paciencia and we call on you to remain attentive to the judicial resolution in the following days, demanding that they finally administer justice for our compañero.


Family of Roberto Paciencia Cruz

Those in Solidarity with the Voz del Amate

Work Group “No Estamos Todos”


Translated by Palabras Rebeldes

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



November 14, 2016


Filed under: news, Zapatistas — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:53 pm


November 8, 2016

Originally published on It’s Going Down
By Scott Campbell


ezln-cni-conferenceZapatistas at the opening of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress.

On October 11, 500 delegates from the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the military command of the Zapatistas (EZLN) met in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the CNI. The opening comments from the Zapatistas were largely a call for indigenous peoples to get organized. It was the closing statement that caught everyone’s attention though. The CNI and EZLN announced they would begin consultations with their communities on the EZLN’s proposal of naming “an indigenous woman, a CNI delegate, as an independent candidate to the presidency of the country under the name of the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation in the electoral process of 2018.”

The reactions were immediate. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the darling of the liberal electorate, was furious. He blames the Zapatistas for his losses in 2006 and 2012, and now they seem poised to interfere again with his presidential plans. Meanwhile, some anarchists pointed out that this proves the Zapatistas aren’t anarchists and that those who support the EZLN have been duped. Never mind that the EZLN has never claimed to be an anarchist group. On the authoritarian left, Mexico’s Socialist Workers Party could barely contain its glee over the news, emphatically endorsing the EZLN’s proposal.

The Zapatistas responded with a defensive and irritated statement largely arguing that this proposal is valid due to the impact it would have on the spectacle of electoral politics in laying bare the racism and sexism inherent in that process. A few days later, another statement communicated that the CNI and EZLN will announce the decision to run a candidate or not on January 1. They also said the “Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity” gathering will begin in Chiapas on December 25.

In reading and discussing these developments with compas in Mexico, the general attitude seems to be to wait and see what happens. Some feel it is a publicity stunt, designed to provoke just the sort of reaction it did, and that this will be made clear on January 1. On the other hand, if a joint CNI-EZLN candidate is put forward, then a re-evaluation by many anti-authoritarians would have to occur. While some of what they are proposing is interesting – to have an indigenous woman as president guided by the decisions of an assembly – to consider entering the electoral arena strikes many as a betrayal and is difficult to reconcile with the EZLN’s strident critiques of the system and power. To flirt with electoral politics even with the goal of détournement is to engage with a system fundamentally opposed to liberation, designed to consolidate power and legitimize repression. Such a move seems more akin to Michael Moore and his ficus plant than the Zapatistas and their uncompromising, decades-long struggle for autonomy and self-determination. Stay tuned.

In related news, a member of the CNI from the autonomous Tzeltal community of San Sebastián Bachajón was detained and severely beaten by a group led by a local government official. Two days later, on October 19, 800 police and 400 paramilitaries positioned themselves on the outskirts of that community. Fearing a raid, the alarm was sounded, but it appeared to just be an intimidation tactic. For other Chiapas news, be sure to check out Dorset Chiapas Solidarity’s Zapatista new summaries for September and October.




Originating from an Argentinian call for a general women’s strike, on October 19 actions occurred all over Mexico to condemn the ongoing crisis of femicide in the country and the system that facilitates impunity in the face of the epidemic murders of cis and trans women. El Enemigo Común has a round-up of the events of that day and provides context on femicide in Mexico. “The State of Mexico registered 1,045 homicides of women between 2013 and 2015, out of a total of 6,488 women killed country-wide, according to government statistics. Next came Guerrero, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Jalisco and Oaxaca, with 512, 445, 402, 335 and 291 homicides of women reported, respectively, in the same period.” Those numbers a likely low, as it is estimated an average of six cis women are murdered in Mexico daily. The actions on October 19 were given additional urgency following the murder of Alessa Flores on October 13. Flores became the third trans woman to be murdered in Mexico in 13 days, and the 22nd to be killed in 2016.

A week later in Oaxaca, women organized a shutdown of a taxi stand following the sexual assault of a woman passenger by a taxi driver. “We’re very angry and outraged by the increase in sexual violence against women in Oaxaca, but above all by the impunity that reigns and continues to get worse,” an organizer said.

Femicide was also the focus of a Day of the Dead march in Mexico City on November 1. With their faces painted like Catrinas, hundreds of people marched through the city centre. Said one of the marchers, “It felt very important for us to come out today to remember all the women killed by femicide in this country. Today we gather here as feminist women, brought together by the wave of femicides happening all over the country. We came out at this time of night because the streets are ours, the city is ours, the spaces are ours, and we came to prove it.”




On September 28, four anarchist prisoners in three different prisons began a hunger strike as an act of rebellion and in solidarity with the prison strike in the US. Throughout the strike, Luis Fernando SoteloFernando Bárcenas and Miguel Peralta wrote various letters, all of which are translated on IGD. Out of concern for deteriorating health and permanent injury, the hunger strike ended after 15 days, though they continue to fast until 1pm each day.

Around the same time the strike ended, a push was underway by liberals in Mexico City to pass an amnesty law for the city’s political prisoners, specifically the anarchists. Instigated by the MORENA party of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, it was an attempt to divert attention from the anarchist prisoners’ strike toward electoral ends and was roundly rejected by the prisoners themselves. Fernando Bárcenas wrote, “We don’t need amnesties because we don’t want or need laws to govern our lives…We want to see the insurrection spread everywhere that destroys centralized power, the common yoke that all of us poor carry on our backs.” And Luis Fernando Sotelo responded with, “I do not want any institution to recognize my freedom if it means that freedom is partial, if not illusionary…I don’t want to be forgiven or redeemed by the machine that torments the people.”

Anarchists in Mexico City expressed their solidarity with the prisoners’ struggle by making it a focus of their annual combative march on October 2, marking the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre – which is distinct from the symbolic, state-facilitated commemorative march on the same day. They also called for militant actions for the following week at two of the Mexico City prisons holding the comrades.

The indigenous Nahua community of San Pedro Tlanixco in the State of Mexico is restarting efforts to fight for the freedom of several of its residents criminalized for their defence of the community’s water. Three are serving sentences of up to 54 years, while three others have been held in prison for ten years without being sentenced. Two more have arrest warrants out against them.

On October 12, hundreds marched in Chilpancingo, Guerrero calling for the release of all political prisoners, in particular the 13 members of the indigenous community police (CRAC-PC) who have been jailed for the past three years on weapons charges. A similar situation is unfolding in the autonomous indigenous Nahua community of Santa María Ostula in Michoacán, where three arrest warrants are out against the commander of their community police. At the same time, drug cartels are reorganizing and threatening the community, who successfully drove the cartels off their lands in 2009. The Zapatistas and National Indigenous Congress also released a statement in solidarity with Ostula.


Students around Mexico continue organizing for a greater role in determining their own education, against state violence, and for access to education and to employment following graduation. As usual, it has been teaching college students (normalistas) who have been taking the lead. In Michoacán, where the state discriminates against hiring normalistas, students have been taking militant actions to demand jobs after they finish school, as well as to fight back against state repression. On September 27, 49 were arrested at a highway blockade in Tiripetío where state police also opened fire on them. In the days that followed, the students escalated their actions to demand freedom for their comrades by blockading train tracks with a burning truck, shutting down the town’s bus station, blockading the highway again, and detaining five police officers. Ultimately they were victorious, as by October 3, all 49 students were released, along with eight who had been imprisoned since August 15.

But events didn’t end there. On October 17, normalistas blockaded another highway, an action that was attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets by police and where 30 students, primarily women, were arrested. They were released shortly after. On October 22 and November 5, normalistas again attempted to blockade the train tracks that run near their school in Tiripetío, only to be repelled by police. Lastly in Michoacán, as of mid-October, aspiring students had occupied Michoacán University in the state capital of Morelia for 50 days, demanding the school accept and enrol more students and reduce application fees.



To the south in Guerrero, two normalistas from Ayotzinapa were murdered on October 4 while traveling on a bus back to the school from the state capital. Gunmen on board killed John Morales Hernández and Filemón Tacuba Castro and wounded three other passengers. The state is saying it was a robbery, though survivors indicate that the gunmen knew the two were Ayotzinapa students. In other Ayotzinapa news, the state announced on October 21 it had arrested Felipe Flores Vázquez, who was the local police chief of Iguala when the normalistas were attacked and disappeared there on September 26, 2014. The lawyers and parents of the normalistas are demanding the right to participate in the legal process against Flores, though the state has rejected this request. The government is playing up the arrest as a chance to learn what really happened that night, belying the fact that for the past two years it has actively worked to conceal the truth.

Since 2014, students at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico City and an affiliated high school, the Scientific and Technological Studies Center 5 (CECyT 5), have been organizing and striking against cuts and attacks on education and pushing for the removal of the university’s director. CECyT 5 students have been on indefinite strike and their encampment was attacked by 40 to 60 porros (paid thugs) on October 7, leaving many students with serious injuries. In response, students installed barricades around campus, condemning not only the attacks and the administration, but expressing solidarity with anarchist prisoners on hunger strike in Mexico and with the prison strike in the US.

After the disappearance and murder of students and an alumnus of Veracruz University on September 29, students there organized a march against violence and impunity in the state, during which an Amnesty representative commented that “Veracruz has a human rights crisis like we’ve never seen before in the history of this state or in Mexico.” And in Chiapas, 28 normalistas also demanding work were arrested on November 5 and hit with federal charges. Fortunately, word spread quickly and people mobilized, leading to their release the next day.


penasquito-blockade-mineBlockade of the Peñasquito gold mine in Zacatecas.

Actions in defence of the land continue around the country. In Acacoyagua, Chiapas, the municipality passed a declaration declaring it “mining free” and residents set up two blockades in early October to shut down the Casas Viejas titanium mine. Mining machinery was also set on fire. Around the same time in Zacatecas, twenty communities impacted by the Peñasquito mine, the largest gold mine in the state, blockaded all nine entrances to the mine. A few days later, police removed them from the main entrance, but the communities still held the eight other positions.

On October 22, the People’s Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) in Atenco, State of Mexico, commemorated 15 years of existence. Formed to resist the construction of Mexico City’s new international airport on their lands, Atenco has come to symbolize militant self-determination and autonomy. “There were only two paths: to hand over the lands like merchandise and survive bent over, or to defend them with our lives if necessary. We decided to fight.” They defeated that attempt to build the airport, though are currently battling another. President Enrique Peña Nieto, who was formerly governor of the State of Mexico and whose police deployed severe violence against Atenco in 2006, including systematic sexual assault, the case of which is now before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, is trying again for an airport. Despite work being ordered suspended by the courts, construction continues in Atenco. On October 5, gunmen opened fire on community members as they tried to halt the project.

Clashes between indigenous Yaqui communities left one dead and eight wounded on October 21. The conflict was instigated by Sempra Energy, a corporation based in San Diego, CA, who through their Mexican proxy company, IENova, is attempting to build a natural gas pipeline through Yaqui lands. One community, Lomas de Bacúm, has installed a blockade to stop the pipeline. They were attacked by communities who support the construction, likely due to the benefits promised if they let it be built on their lands. Following the violence, the Zapatistas and National Indigenous Congress released a statement in solidarity with the pipeline resistance and condemning the internal division and violence caused by the state and multinationals.


Javier Duarte, the former governor of Veracruz who resigned on October 12, and Guillermo Padrés, the former governor of Sonora, are both on the run with warrants out for their arrests for corruption. Duarte fled in a state-owned helicopter, yet the government claims to not know where he is or how he got away. Priest and human rights defender Alejandro Solalinde indicated his likely location in Chiapas, but it has not been followed up on.

As many as 4,000 human bone fragments have been found on a five hectare site in Patrocinio, Coahuila. The state government says not to worry, they all belong to just three people. The group that searched the area begs to differ, as do the neighbors who said that SUVs drove into the site daily and huge fires were often seen burning on the land. PEMEX workers are organizing against the privatization of Mexico’s petroleum industry. A call has gone out among workers to fight back against firings and to take worker control of the Cangrejera plant in Veracruz to prevent its handover to private companies. There’s a good essay, translated into English, examining from a radical perspective the process of gentrification currently underway in Mexico City. In a recent example of that struggle, a group linked to the district government and escorted by police attacked and robbed vendors, who for 111 days had held an encampment in front of a Chedraui in Iztacalco, Mexico City. The vendors were protesting the opening of the big box chain store so close to their market.

That’s all the news for now. Insumisión will be back in about a month but keep an eye on IGD for more translations in the meantime.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

Insumisión: Refusing Fear, Choosing Resistance




Commemoration of 20 Years of Crimes against Humanity in Northern Zone

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:27 pm


Commemoration of 20 Years of Crimes against Humanity in Northern Zone


norteVictims’ relatives continue to seek justice 20 years later. Photo@SIPAZ

On October 22, victims’ relatives and survivors of the “counterinsurgency strategy operated in the northern zone of Chiapas” met in the community of Susuclumil, Tila municipality, to denounce “the lack of justice for crimes against humanity committed by the paramilitary group Peace and Justice (Paz y Justicia), with the complicity and responsibility of the Mexican State.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights, (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) recalls in its press bulletin No. 21 that with the emergence of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), on January 1, 1994, violence increased in the northern zone. It explains that the Mexican State implemented a strategy of counterinsurgency war against the civilian population, through the Chiapas Campaign ’94 plan, with the objective of eliminating support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. From 1995 to 1999, paramilitary groups responsible for crimes against humanity were formed: “In the north of Chiapas, paramilitary groups such as the Peace and Justice Development Organization (Paz y Justicia) appeared, with the training and protection of different levels of government, and who between 1995 and 1999 systematically committed serious human rights violations. “

The CDHFBC recorded a total of “22 cases of serious human rights violations in the north, of which 37 were forced disappearances and 85 extrajudicial executions and more than 4,500 people were forcibly displaced, followed by arbitrary detention, torture, sexual torture, harassment, intimidation, destruction of property, among others, committed by the paramilitary group Peace and Justice.”

Victims’ relatives and survivors continue to denounce, “constant harassment, intimidation and persecution with unjust arrest warrants and subpoenas, with threats of fines, by the justice administration system in Chiapas.” They request that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) continue its monitoring and determine the responsibility of the Mexican State for human rights violations committed in the context of the Internal Armed Conflict.

Posted  by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



November 13, 2016

Residents of the Lacandon Jungle Reject the Presence of Environmental Police

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:53 pm


Residents of the Lacandon Jungle Reject the Presence of Environmental Police




Photo: Cuartoscuro

México City | Desinformémonos. Thousands of Mayan residents of the Lacandon Jungle, along with social organisations, local authorities and indigenous communities declared opposition to the Mexican government’s policies of militarisation. They are particularly opposed to the recent formation of the Environmental Police. The International Mission for the Observation of Human Rights on the Guatemala-Mexico border pointed out that this police body is the result of the 14 April 2016 signing of a collaboration agreement between the The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the National Security Commission (CSN).

ARIC – the Union of Independent and Democratic Unions denounced the hydroelectric projects and the expansion of African Palm plantations in the zone, which have destroyed thousands of jungle hectares in the municipalities of Benemérito de Las Américas and Marqués de Comillas.

ARIC warned that the real intention behind the formation of the Environmental Police is “to put biodiversity, medicinal plants, water and other natural resources of the area into private hands.”  Meanwhile “the real guardians of the jungle’s natural resources, the original communities of the area, face death through displacement and invasion of their territory.”

ARIC offered the example of the hydroelectric dam built in Boca del Cerro, Palenque municipality in Chiapas. Its construction devastated hundreds of hectares of jungle. In addition, in Benemérito and Marqués de Comillas 20 thousand hectares of jungle was destroyed to make way for planting African Palm.

ARIC also adds that State Governor Manuel Velasco authorised various companies to destroy a further 10 thousand hectares of jungle for more African Palm.

Moreover, the past 25th of October, thousands of residents from the Mayan communities in the Lacandon Jungle gathered together in Nueva Palestina and Frontera Corozal in Ocosingo municipality to take a stand in defence of Mother Earth and their territory.

The indigenous communities, authorities and organisations defending the territory and local communities’ rights announced the interest in the region is due to the fact that although it only represents 0.16 percent of the national territory, it contains 20 percent of Mexico’s biodiversity, hydrocarbons, mineral resources and 30 percent of the water resources of the country.

Finally, the communities complained that their request to establish a dialogue with the authorities and government institutions had not been heard, and that the only response has been to send the Environmental Police to repress the communities organising.


Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service



November 9, 2016

La Sexta in San Sebastian Bachajon Receive New Threats

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta, Political prisoners, Repression, sipaz, Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:00 am



 La Sexta in San Sebastian Bachajon Receive New Threats


bachajonEjidatarios from San Sebastian Bachajon at a press conference in El Paliacate, October 27, 2016. Photo@SIPAZ

At a press conference on October 27 last, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, denounced the threats that its authorities have recently been receiving, “including compañero Domingo Perez Alvaro, human rights promoter of La Sexta, ejido Bachajón, and other authorities.” They explained that there are threats of arrest or abduction by the ejidal commissariat C. Manuel Guzman Alvaro’s people, and were informed by third aprties that, “compañero Domingo Perez Alvaro is first on the list of threats and then the other authorities of La Sexta”.

The San Sebastian Bachajon ejidatarios blamed the ejidal commissariat Manuel Guzman Alvaro for these threats. They pointed out that while Guzman Alvaro, as a candidate, had announced that he would defend the village lands and would respect the organization of  La Sexta in Bachajón, “so far [he] has not fulfilled and respected his word, because his actions are the complete opposite.”


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 8/11/2016



November 8, 2016

CNI, All Flying Together

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, La Sexta, Repression, water, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:02 pm



CNI, All Flying Together




Luis Hernández Navarro 

Wine consumption in Mexico has gone up in the last ten years. Its consumers have grown significantly. The sweet nectar has ceased to be the tipple of executives with high purchasing power and more and more women and young people are drinking it. But behind a few of the glasses of wine savoured in this country, lies a bitter tale of dispossession. Nearly 30% of national production comes from Baja California, and there, one of the most important wine companies in the country, LA Cetto, dispossessed and invaded lands belonging to the Kiliwa people. It intends to claim ownership of national lands that do not belong to it.

The Kiliwa are one of the five originary peoples of what is now Baja California. The company LA Cetto intends to claim legal ownership of national lands in possession of the indigenous group. The winemakers are aided by the complicity of the Agrarian Bureau (Procuraduría Agraria), which on two occasions has “lost” the files that show that the native dwellers are in the right.

As the Kiliwa chief Elías Espinoza Álvarez denounced, the agrarian authorities themselves are the ones putting pressure on the indigenous people so that we give in to the businessmen and accept unjust and inequitable conditions in contracts. As if that weren’t bad enough, the National Water Commission (Comisión Nacional del Agua – CONAGUA) gives this company special treatment, having authorised it to dig a well for drinking water, while denying the same for the indigenous people. And on top of that, LA Cetto has blocked right of way on a route the locals have always used.

Something similar is going on with fruit and vegetables for export, cultivated thanks to indigenous labour in Michoacán, Sinaloa and Baja California. Behind the strawberries, cranberries, blackberries and raspberries, the rocket, endives and chicory, the many varieties of tomato that are used to create succulent dishes, lies a long history of grievances.

The names of the companies and businessmen who reap the riches of these feasts are well known. Until a short time ago it was the pleasure of the Secretary of Rural Development of Guanajuato, Javier Usabiaga, nicknamed The Garlic King. Or there’s the transnational Driscolls, who’ve been in and out of the dock thanks to popular boycotts.

The indigenous labourers who plant the seeds of these culinary riches suffer a level of exploitation equivalent to that suffered by their ancestors during the Porfiriato (turn of the century dictatorial regime of Porfirio Díaz). Pitiful salaries and interminable working days are the rule. They have no paid holidays, social security or days off. Instead of going to school, their small children work alongside them in the fields. They normally live packed into huts or in modest houses that lack basic amenities. Clean drinking water tends to be a luxury.

But the inhuman exploitation which the indians suffer goes unnoticed in Mexican society. It’s “normal”. From time to time, as with the strike by agricultural labourers from San Quintín, the world realises they exist. Once in a while, it is reported that Rarámuris or Mixtecos live in conditions comparable to slavery in ranches in Jalisco, Colima or Ensenada. But more often, they are as imperceptible as Garabombo, Manuel Escorza’s famous character.

As in the case of the wine or the blackberries, behind a cup of coffee it’s not unusual to find a story of dispossessed originary peoples. 70% of cultivators of the bean in Mexico are indigenous people, who generally have plots of no more than two hectares. Coffee-growing is their way of life and the backbone of their existence. But transnational companies, colluding with the government, are trying to have these coffee producers abandon their livelihoods, or plant low quality types of coffee.

Recently, Cirilo Elotlán and Fernando Celis, of the National Coordinator of Coffee-Growing Organisations, decried the fact that poor provision of agricultural support is trumped by government and businesses encouraging growers to lose heart and abandon their crops, so that the companies can monopolise production and the market. “We’ve had no end of threats from the big commercial brands”, they explain, “largely because they want production to go up, sacrificing the work of the growers, our fields and biodiversity, to the interests of transnational businesses.”

The old coffee plantations are being flattened by a combination of plagues and voracious businesses. Until recently, coffee plantations were protected by the shade offered by other plants (chalahuites, citrus trees, ixpepeles, gourds, banana plants and jinicuiles). Today they are but a shadow of their former selves.

Amongst others, there are two main big companies involved: Nestlé and Coca-Cola. Apart from coffee, Nestlé sells artificial flavourings and promotes the substitution of arabica for robusta, a poorer quality bean they need for their blends. Coca-Cola, through the brand Andatti, sold in their 10,000 Oxxo shops, has inundated the market with poor coffee.

In the third forum of originary peoples of the Tarahumara sierra in defence of their territories, Rarámuris and Odamis recognised that their main problems are the dispossession of their lands, the exploitation of their natural reserves and the intervention of transnational and local businesses. They agreed the need to all fly together (all the indigenous peoples), to be collectively stronger. The Kiliwas and agricultural labourers have come to similar conclusions, as have the small-scale coffee growers and hundreds of communities all over the country.

Made invisible by the powerful, the organised originary peoples together with the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena; CNI) and EZLN will today discuss whether to support the candidacy of an indigenous woman in the 2018 presidential elections. A candidacy that forces Mexican society to take a look at itself. A candidacy that speaks not only of poverty and inequality, but of exploitation, dispossession and discrimination. A candidacy that allows them all fly together, to be collectively stronger.

Twitter: @lhan55

Translated by Ruby Zazac for the UK Zapatista Translation Servive



November 7, 2016

And it trembled …!

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Repression, Women, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:11 am


And it trembled …!


Female mexican guerilla warfarePHOTO /BERNARDO DE NIZ


By: Gilberto López y Rivas

On October 14th of this year, the National Indigenous Congress [CNI] and the Zapatista National Liberation Army [EZLN] made public an historic document with the prophetic title of: “May the earth tremble at its core,” at the conclusion of the 5th National Indigenous Congress at Cideci-Unitierra, Chiapas. The text is not the product of the occurrence of one person or minority group, but rather the result of six days of gruelling and prolonged work sessions, carried out based on the well-known method of the original peoples of debating until achieving consensus.

In the meeting they celebrated life, at the same time as denouncing the worsening of the dispossession and repression “that have not stopped in the 524 years since the powerful began a war aimed at exterminating those who are of the earth; as their children we have not allowed for their destruction and death, meant to serve capitalist ambition which knows no end other than destruction itself. That resistance, the struggle to continue constructing life, today takes the form of words, learning, and agreements.”

It was emphasized that the peoples are constructing every day in the resistances against capitalism’s offensive which becomes more aggressive all the time, and which has been converted –as was reiterated in the 2015 seminar Critical thought versus the capitalist hydra– into a civilizational threat, “not only for indigenous peoples and campesinos, but rather for the peoples of the cities who must also create dignified and rebellious ways for not being murdered, dispossessed, contaminated, sickened, kidnapped or disappeared. From our community assemblies we have decided, exercised and constructed our destiny since time immemorial, for which reason maintaining our forms of organization and the defence of our collective life is possible only from rebellion in the face of the bad governments, their corporations and their organized crime.”

It is not about a so-called ethnocentrism, self-centred on indigenous peoples, but rather, on the contrary, it is about an exhortation that, starting with a secular form of struggle, rooted in big historic events with a strong indigenous presence –like the wars for Independence and Reform, the fight against foreign invasions, the Revolution against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz–, calls upon all of us to organize collectively in rebellion against the bad government that has delivered the homeland to the corporations and crime.

It denounces –in detail and with multiple testimonies and documented evidence– the process of re-colonization that the different Native peoples, nations and tribes represented at the 5th Congress are suffering in a particularly aggravated way: invasion of forests, sacred communal lands and territories; imposition of highway and super-highway mega-projects, pipelines, aqueducts and thermo-electric dams, an interurban train, airports and shopping centres; the plunder and privatization of natural springs and other natural resources; affectation of lands and territories because of mining, tourist projects, planting of transgenic soy and African palm, besides livestock brokers; commercialization of ancestral knowledge; contamination of rivers through fracking and imposition of bills for environmental services, carbon capture and ecotourism; all of that, accompanied by the criminalisation of struggle and resistance, assassination, incarceration and the forced disappearance of activists; buying consciences, fragmentation of communities, disintegration of the community fabric and contriving of communal assemblies, that “engineering of conflicts” that corporations know well; relentless pursuit from drug trafficking with the complicity of all the government bodies, armed forces and security apparatuses; murders of youth and women and rapes of women; aerial fumigations that produce illnesses; attacks from paramilitary groups and harassment of community authorities. Faced with this storm provoked by new forms of capitalist globalization, participants in the 5th Congress recognize that confronting it is only possible collectively, from anti-capitalism and from decision-making bodies constructed from below: “That is the power from below that has kept us alive, and it is why commemorating resistance and rebellion is also ratifying our decision to continue to be alive constructing hope for a future possible only over the ruins of capitalism.”

For these considerations that, as is observed, are transcendent and profound, the fifth National Indigenous Congress “decided to initiate a consultation in every one of our towns to dismantle from below the power that those above impose on us and that offers us a panorama of death, violence, dispossession and destruction […] we declare ourselves to be in permanent assembly and we will consult in each one of our geographies, territories and directions about the agreement of this 5th CNI to name an indigenous government council whose word will be materialised by an indigenous woman, a delegate from the CNI, as an independent candidate who will contend in the name of the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista National Liberation Army in the 2018 electoral process for the Presidency of this country.”

And, effectively, as was foreseeable, the political class trembled repeatedly… and they didn’t expect the marked reactions of secular racism from those creole-mestizo mentalities that couldn’t conceive of the indigenous thinking for themselves, as well as the ideological-political monologue of a “partyocracy” that considers “unity on the left” with arguments like the “least bad,” or “democratic alternating,” the monopoly of “national and popular representation,” and that has not issued any pronouncement against the real, open and shadow powers that have led Mexico to a humanitarian emergency and, above all, that is not capable of respecting the collective decisions, now in consultation, of the country’s most exploited, discriminated and oppressed sectors.

Welcome to this initiative that makes you think, act and even argue, beyond singular thoughts, personalities and preconceived ideas.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, November 4, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted, with minor edits, by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




November 6, 2016

CNI/EZLN: Solidarity with Santa María Ostula

Filed under: CNI, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:21 am



CNI/EZLN: Solidarity with Santa María Ostula


Joint Communique from the CNI and the EZLN in Solidarity with the Indigenous Community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán



November 4, 2016

To the Nahua community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán:

To the peoples of the world:

To national and international civil society:

To the independent media:

The peoples, nations, and tribes who make up the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation manifest our profound condemnation of the actions carried out in unison by the bad governments and criminal groups against the Nahua indigenous community of Santa María Ostula, municipality of Aquila, Michoacán, in an attempt to crush their dignified and historic struggle.

These governments were not only complicit in the attack against Cemeí Verdía on May 25, 2015, but in fact freed those directly responsible, Juan Hernández Ramírez (then municipal president of Aquila) and José Antioco Calvillo. They [the government] imprisoned Cemeí Verdía on false charges and murdered the young boy Hidelberto Reyes García.

The bad governments now intend to arrest commander Germán Ramírez, fabricating criminal charges against those who struggle to defend the land and their families. At the same time, we see the regrouping of members of the Knights Templar cartel who are already reorganized and heavily armed in the eastern part of the municipality of Aquila.

The crime of the community members, the community police of Ostula, and the self-defence forces of the Sierra Costa of Michoacán was to refuse to accept the death and terror that the bad governments and organized crime in the region offered as the only option. In contrast, Ostula’s resistance and rebellion has not only shown us the dignity of an organized people, but demonstrated to the world that it is possible to build peace and justice in the midst of the destruction wrought by capitalists on this country.

ostula-2-391x269We denounce this new attack on the indigenous community of Ostula and hold responsible the bad governments, Enrique Peña Nieto, and Silvano Aureoles, accomplices of the Knights Templar leaders El Tena, El Tuco, Chuy Playas, and Federico González (Lico), who have been identified by the community on numerous occasions as those culpable of the murder of 34 community members and the disappearance of 6 more. We hold them responsible for the blood they want to see spilled in order to protect their capitalist businesses, for protecting instead of pursuing and arresting the Knights Templar leaders, for guaranteeing impunity to the soldiers who murdered the child Hidelberto, for seeking the dispossession of communal lands and natural resources at all costs, and for attempting to kill off the hope of this country that goes by the name Santa María Ostula.

We express our respect for and solidarity with that community’s mobilizations and want them to know that at the collective heart of the National Indigenous Congress shines an intense light fuelled by Ostula’s dignity. We call on the originary peoples and civil society of Mexico and the world, on the national and international Sixth, and on the honest media to be attentive and in solidarity.

November 2016

For the Full Reconstitution of our Peoples

Never Again a Mexico Without Us

National Indigenous Congress

Zapatista Army for National Liberation



Displaced families will return to remember their dead daughters

Filed under: Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:07 am



Displaced families will return to remember their dead daughters



Mexico City | Desinformémonos. Families who are victims of forced displacement in Chiapas announced that provisionally they will be in Banavil, Tenejapa municipality from 28 Oct to 3 November. They return to remember their deceased loved ones, like Antonia Lopéz Méndez who along with her younger sisters Petrona and María died when the family was displaced. The girls are buried on the land of their grandfather, Alonso López Luna, who “on 4 December 2011 was forcibly disappeared by the PRIistas from the same village Banavil.”

They denounced the authorities’ inaction. Over the past five years they have demanded the Mexican State begin a deep and transparent investigation to ascertain what happened in the case of the forced disappearance of López Luna. Up to now not one inquiry has been made, not even to interrogate Alonso López Ramírez who is being held at the State Centre for Social Reintegration of the Sentenced number 5, as one of the people responsible for the disappearance. They called for the state governor Manuel Velasco and the Chiapas State Attorney General to fulfill their responsibility and goodwill to investigate the whereabouts of Alonso López.

For this reason, they ask that the Chiapas government incessantly search until they find Alonso López Luna. They also demand that they execute the arrest warrants issued for the people responsible for the forced disappearance and the forced displacement of the families. These actions would create the conditions for the immediate and definitive return of these families to Banavil.

In closing, they expressed their solidarity with the families in the Northern Zone, Masojá Shucjá, the Viejo Velasco massacre and the families of the Acteal martyrs, “who like our family also look for truth and justice” while those responsible for the crimes go unpunished.

On 4 December 2011, the families of this village Banavil, Chiapas, were victims of aggression and forcibly displaced from their homes, which were then looted and until today, five years later, they have not been able to return because of their fears about the insecurity and new attacks led by the government.



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