25th Anniversary of the Pueblo Creyente in Chiapas: “We intend to build autonomy in our communities”
Published by: POZOL COLECTIVO 25 January 2017
Communiqué from the Pueblo Creyente on the sixth anniversary of Jtatik(*) Samuel’s death
“We denounce the projects of death”
Popol Vuh: Dawn came upon all the tribes together. The face of the earth was immediately cleansed by the sun (33). Dawn came to all the peoples who again and again have walked through different periods of history’s darkness and ignorance.
To the general public
To people of different religious beliefs
To the State and Federal Governments
To the mass media
To men and women who build peace
We greet and congratulate our sisters of CODIMUJ(**) who celebrate 25 years of their journey.
Aware of our reality, we, the Pueblo Creyente, are builders of alternatives, we are role models and we organise and demonstrate this by defending Mother Earth.
We, the Publo Creyenete, are in motion in many places and in many ways. There is agreement that Pueblo Creyente is for people of faith. Our greatest desire is to fight for the freedom and an economy that will benefit our communities and we are united together in a shared struggle. For 25 years we have been putting our prophetic voice into action.
We are encouraged by Father Francisco’s words in San Cristobal:
“The law of the Lord is perfect and comforting to the soul, it is a law that would help God’s people to live in the freedom to which they had been called. A law that wanted to be the light for their footsteps and to accompany the pilgrimage of His people. People who had lived through slavery and the Pharaoh’s despotism, people who had lived suffering and abuse, until God said enough, until God said: No more! We have seen sorrow, I have heard the cry, I have known their anguish (cf. Ex 3, 9).
We denounce the projects of death:
The violence, the dispossession of our land, the territory and the natural resources. Cutting down trees. Mega-projects: super highways, eco-tourism projects, mining, dams, wind turbines, gas, petroleum, destruction of the ecosystem. Privatisation of natural resources. The cost of electricity and petrol. Agro-chemicals. Pollution, particularly of the water. Genetically modified seeds. Agricultural reform. Single-crop farming.
In the political realm we denounce: The trickery of the political parties. The disease of power. The government’s projects. Structural reforms. Corruption and impunity. The government’s failure to listen to social demands. The authorities’ oppression and repression. We are not consulted when they make laws. “Public servants”, not servants of their own interests. Structural reforms, the free trade agreement, legalisation of dispossession, violence and impunity. We are opposed to the “PROCEDE” programme which will be the end of our ejidos.
In the social realm: The divisions. Machismo. Violence against and exploitation of women. Improper use of the Internet. The use of pharmaceutical medicines, rather than the use of traditional medicine. The sale and consumption of alcohol and drugs. We denounce the government’s strategy which has used young people for drug trafficking and the consumption of drugs. Junk food. The water shortages caused by the privatisation of water. The projects and reactivation of hydroelectric dams. Infiltration and creation of groups to disrupt the people’s struggle. The oil wells. Physical illness.
Social ills, violence in the family, prostitution. Organised crime. Hunger. The violation of migrants’ human rights, and the abuse and extortion carried out by migration officials, and the police and army because they have links to organised crime. Religious divisions. Militarisation of the territory, infiltration by powerful groups, organised crime. Lack of employment and public services, the dismantling of the health services and the shortage of medicine in hospitals. We also denounce those who use our sisters and brothers as cheap labour in their companies in the north of the country, working as they do in slave-like conditions.
As Pueblo Creyente we intend:
To build autonomy in our communities, recovering our structures of governance. As Pueblo Creyente, we are not a specific organisation, as Mexican citizens, we have the experience and legal space to build our alternative political and economic systems. We need to keep up our resistance to these projects of death and recover our autonomous governments, our communities.
Already in the run up to the 2018 elections, political parties are already controlling and organizing their people in communities, and we urge people not to sell out. Let us fight for our dignity and for the truth, let’s not be sell-outs. Oxchuc is an example of a community undergoing this process of recovery.
As Pueblo Creyente we are defending Mother Earth and the territory through our way of life and pilgrimages and prayers. We are self-organised, and we keep ourselves informed through the alternative media. These are processes of becoming aware of reality.
The projects in favour of life that we are building are:
Unity, Conscious raising, Dignified Lives, Autonomy, Self-government, Fraternity, Self-expression, Alternative social structures, Native Seeds, Autonomous food security. A government for the community, Freedom, Resistance, our Ancestors´ Wisdom, True Life, People Power, Community halls, Care for all the plants, animals and other species, and Justice.
We express our solidarity with:
collectives and organisations that defend life. Those who defend the rights of women, like CODIMUJ. We share the CNI’s objective of the desire to strengthen the voices of our communities and create our autonomy. We express our solidarity with the families of the thousands of disappeared people.
We urge other communities to unite because it is necessary to unite our people and our territory, do not be afraid to join us. Fear is a tool Big Money uses to paralyse us. We are encouraged by the words of Pope Francisco: “now is the time to mobilise”.
May the Heart of Heaven and the Heart of the Earth, owner and creator of man, woman and nature, enlighten us and strengthen us in our walk.
Pueblo Creyente from the Dioceses of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas
25 January 2017
Photos: Frayba and the Abejas of Acteal Communication Team.
(*) “Jtatik” is a Tzeltal word of respect and means “our father”
(**) CODIMUJ is the Spanish acronym for “Coordinación Diocesana de Mujeres” or the Women’s Organisation of the Diocese
Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service h