Acteal, Chiapas: “In the face of threats and aggression, we are alert and united”
The Civil Society Organisation Las Abejas from Acteal
The Sacred Ground of the Acteal Martyrs
Chenalho municipality, Chiapas, Mexico
22 February 2017
To Social and Political Organisations
To Human Rights Defenders
To the Alternative Media
To the National and International Press
To National and International Civil Society
To the Councils of Good Government
To the National Indigenous Congress
And to the General Public
Sisters and Brothers:
We thank you from our hearts to all of you who physically or spiritually accompany us on this day, when we hold in memory and justice our 45 sisters and brothers, and the 4 others not yet born, so they never are forgotten.
We, the women and men of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas from Acteal, together with the survivors and victims of the Acteal massacre, view with great sadness and indignation how the bad government of Mexico, represented by Enríque Peña Nieto, continues to violate Mexicans’ human rights in different ways. We see it all as a way to serve the neoliberal capitalist system, clearly demonstrated by the subordination to the government of the tyrannical and racist Donald Trump.
These days a lot of things are happening, like the violation of human rights in Mexico as well as in the United States, and things like President Trump’s decision to deport immigrants living there. And another one of his decisions is the construction of a wall on the border between Mexico and the United States. We, as a pacifist organisation, condemn these policies which violate human rights, because no one is illegal in this world.
We know that the United States and its racist government are the creators and perpetrators of many crimes committed in many countries throughout the world through their wars of invasion and dispossession in many places on planet earth. The United States is one of the heads of the capitalist monster that kills and destroys humanity and Mother Earth.
We have to be alert and united in the face of the threats and latent aggression that the United States government, or those rich people sick with power and greed, make against us.
The neoliberal capitalist system must be destroyed, because otherwise the greed and venom of this capitalist monster will kill us. It has no scruples and will stop at nothing to grab our lands and territories. We have seen how this killer monster – in the guise of the Bad Government, paramilitaries, the police, the federal army, the Marines, assassins hired by organised crime – murder women and men social justice fighters, the women and men of Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE as its known by its acronym in Spanish), migrants, young people, students, farmers, workers.
This year, the Bad government and organized crime have intensified their harassment and murder of environmental activists, the women and men defenders of life and the territory. We refer to the recent murders of our brothers Juan Ontiveros Ramos and Isidro Baldenegro from the Rarámuri community in Chihuahua. They were killed by assassins with links to organised crime, but we also know that here in Mexico, corrupt politicians collude with the drug traffickers.
Murders of environmental activists and defenders of life and the territory, don’t just happen in Chihuahua state, but in many parts of Mexico. We remember the murders of our compañeros Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, both Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido in Chiapas. They gave their lives in defense of the land and territory, keeping it from the clutches of the transnational companies, with the complicity of the Bad Government in Chiapas and Mexico. As well the murder of our compañero Mariano Abarca in Chicomuselo, Chiapas who was also murdered for defending life and the territory against an Canadian mining company.
And the capitalist monster doesn’t only kill in Mexio, but also kills environmental activists and defenders of the life and the territory in other parts of the Americas, such as the case of our compañera Berta Cáceres, from the Lenca community in Honduras. For opposing the construction of a dam that they were going to build in her community, she was murdered.
And we could continue with an endless list of compañeras and compañeros who have been murdered for fighting against the capitalist system devouring Mother Earth.
So we see the objective of the capitalist system, or whoever is rich and sick with power and greed, is to take over of our lands and territory. Their objective is to plunder Mother Earth’s wealth, such as water, gold, silver, petroleum, wood, animals and other resources.
If we make a brief analysis of the history of the looting and plunder of our lands and territories since the Spanish invasion, we realize that this history is being repeated these days, only that the current invasion and dispossession are more modern, and more cynical. This time they do it “legally” through structural reforms and, with more sophisticated weapons, which they use against those who oppose us this looting and dispossession: spoils.
So, as we confront this barbaric policy, we think that it is urgent to stop this criminal capitalist system. We reinforce our struggles, our organizations, our movements to defend our forests, rivers, lakes, sacred hills, territories and our own lives.
Although the capitalist monster and the rich people sick on power and greed may have a lot of money and weapons, but there are also a lot of communities and while we may not have sophisticated weaponry, we have something much more powerful than the rich will ever have: dignity, organisation and collectivity. This collectivity and organisation are in a lot of movements, and organisations, such as the National Indigenous Congress, the Pueblo Creyente from the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the Parish of Simojovel (as Pueblo Creyente), the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE as its known by its Spanish acronym), the CNTE (Education Workers Union), student movements, conscious women and men academics, intellectuals, scientists, farmers, workers, religious men and women, feminists and many other sectors of society.
Sisters and brothers, we stress that the struggle and the defense of Mother Earth is indispensable. The earth is the source of our existence on this planet, it gives us everything, so the rich people sick with power and greed want to take possession of it. So between Mother Earth and women and men there must be balance and mutual respect. Let us be clear: we are the guardians of Mother Earth and we have an obligation to care for and defend it.
Sisters and brothers, the struggle and defense of life and Mother Earth has no timetable or expiration date. It is all the time. Let us always be alert and aware so that we are not distracted by Bad Government with its policies of deception and death.
Fraternity, unity and solidarity are the basis of our strength and ways to do away with the capitalist monster. And one of the paths that can be seen on the horizon is the proposal from the National Indigenous Congress to appoint an independent indigenous candidate for President of our country in 2018. Only then can we live free in harmony with Mother Earth, and together with all the women and men in Mexico and on our planet.
For now, that’s all we have to say, and we anticipate that the compañeras from the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas from Acteal will soon send a call-out for an action which will take place next March 8th. This important event is organised to mark International Women’s Day and will raise awareness and denounce all types of violence suffered by women.
Because for a fair and dignified Mexico, there should be no discrimination, no violence against women and no more femicides.
Stop the femicides in Chiapas and Mexico!
No more murders of men and women environmental activists!
Punishment for the intellectual authors of the Acteal massacre: Ernesto Zedillo, Emilio Chuayfet, General Enríque Cervantes, General Mario Renán Castillo, Julio César Ruiz Ferro and their accomplices!
Justice for the 43 students from Ayotzinapa!
Total rejection of the rise in petrol prices!
Total rejection of the tyrannical and racist Donald Trump and his wall!
From Acteal, House of Memory and Hope,
The Voice of the Civil Society Organisation Las Abejas from Acteal
The Board of Directors
Desde Acteal, Casa de la Memoria y de la Esperanza.
Vicente Jiménez Sántiz Antonio Ramirez Pérez
Sebastian Pérez Pérez Javier Ruiz Hernández
Reinaldo Arias Ruiz Sebastián Cruz Gómez