dorset chiapas solidarity

March 12, 2017

Bachajón Ejido closes Palenque-Ocosingo road and demands freedom for political prisoners

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, Political prisoners, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:17 am

 

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Bachajón Ejido closes Palenque-Ocosingo road and demands freedom for political prisoners

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Published by Pozol Collective, 6th of March 2017, Chiapas.

Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.

Compañeros and compañeras, this communication comes from the adherents to the Sixth Declaration from the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, with greetings of struggle for your organisations and peoples in resistance.

In this communique, we raise our voice to demand justice and the immediate freedom of our three compañeros imprisoned in different detention centres.

Today the compañeros who are adherents to the Sixth, of the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, find ourselves in Nahilte, on the road between Palenque-Ocosingo, holding a road block. We are from the three centres that make up the Ejido, and we are determined to carry out this peaceful direct action, to demand the freedom of our unjustly imprisoned compañeros with immediate effect; prisoners of conscience Esteban Gómez Jiménez, imprisoned in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, (CERSS #5), and Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, imprisoned in Playas de Catazaja, Chiapas (CERSS #17). They were arbitrarily detained, their crimes were fabricated and they were imprisoned following false accusations for crimes they never committed, simply because they were committed to fight for and defend Mother Earth. This was their crime, speaking up and defending natural resources, territory and life.

We also denounce the actions of official ejidal commissioner Manuel Guzmán Alvaro to promote, together with the Agrarian Commission the advancement of PROCEDE and FANAR, to parcel off our land with the aim of privatising it and stripping our people of it, in the interest of Big Business (megaproyectos). We reject the ejidal commissioner’s work for the Bad Government and beseech the people of San Sebastián Bachajon not to be taken in by the lies of the commissiones and the Bad Government. We do not need PROCEDE or FANAR, because as peoples, we have learned how to defend our land and see autonomy as the solution to all problems within the community.

From the northern part of Chiapas, men and women of San Sebastián Bachajón send greetings of struggle to all the compañeros and compañeras, communities and peoples, of Mexico and the world, who fight and resist bad governance.

Never again a Mexico without us
Land and freedom

Long live Zapata!
Ever onward to victory!
Freedom for political prisoners!
Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, Bachajón struggles on!
Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano lives, Bachajón struggles on!
No to the eviction of indigenous lands!
State police out of our indigenous territory!
Immediate presentation of the compañeros disappeared and assassinated in the normal school Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa!
¡JUSTICE FOR OUR COMPAÑERO JUAN VAZQUEZ GUZMAN, AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ABC, ATENCO!

 

 

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The San  Sebastián Bachajón Ejido:  6 years after the police operation to evict and dispossess us of our ejido land

 6 years after the dispossession of their land, Bachajón community members keep up the struggle

 

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THE SAN SEBASTIÁN BACHAJÓN EJIDO, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 8 FEBRARY 2017

To the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Councils of Good Government

To the National Indigenous Congress

To Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the media

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

 

Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.

Compañeros and compañeras, the Adherents of the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón send you, your organisations and your communities in resistance combative greetings.

In this month of February 2017, we remember that 6 years have gone by since the operation ordered by Juan Sabines Guerrero and Noé Castañón León to evict and dispossess us of our territory was carried out by more than 800 agents from different state and federal police forces.

This violent, abusive and invasive police operation into our indigenous territory was with the clear objective of definitively appropriating our land for their economic gain. Among other consequences were the persecution of Sixth Bachajón comrades, the arbitrary arrest and unjust imprisonment of more than 100 of our comrades, who were separated from their families and deprived of their freedom. All on the whim of the bad government because we did not obey its order to release control of the collection booth and access to the Agua Azul Waterfalls, which we had built on our ejido lands. This access point is strategically located. The Bad Government seeks control of the booth to serve interests completely indifferent to the social benefits and the collective indigenous community of the ejido.

This mega police operation was being schemed and prepared since the end of 2010 in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas by Noé Castañón León and the San Sebastián Bachajón PRIist ejido commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez also known as ‘el Goyito’. ‘El Goyito’ is also the same person who threatened to kill our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán before his actual murder on 24 April 2013. For approximately a year before this operation was carried out, our organisation had maintained a land defense camp on the road that leads up to the Agua Azul Waterfall. This was done through collective training, organisation and work, we also charged tourists for the entry to our lands on the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, and this was for the general benefit of all the ejido and not just our organisation.

The operation took place then because the Bad Government took advantage of the moment  to repress, persecute and violate the human rights of our people. This was when Tatik Samuel Ruiz passed on to a better life and the director of the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Diego Cadenas Gordillo went to work with the Bad Government alongside Juan Sabines Guerrero in the State Human Rights Council just a few days after the death of Tatik Samuel. This is what the former director of Frayba Marina Patricia Jiménez Ramírez also did, and she earns approximately 100 thousand pesos per month. The death of Tatik Samuel created conditions which allowed the Bad Government to intensify attacks on indigenous communities living in resistance in Chiapas, including the defense of the land of San Sebastian Bachajón and all of this contributed to the chain of events that have so far occurred.

Our organization continues to stand up and defend our territory. We are more aware of our rights as an indigenous people, we seek to build an autonomy as an organization and as human beings. We support all people who live any injustice, whether you belong to the Sixth or not, Zapatista or not Zapatista, Catholic or non-Catholic. If you are a person who lives injustice as we do, we will do what we can to support you.

 

We also continue to fight for our prisoners who belong to everyone, not just us. And all other prisoners too; these prisoners can count on San Sebastian Bachajón’s word of solidarity and unselfish interests. It takes a lot of organization, coordination and solidarity to liberate our compañeros who have been in prison for many years, and becoming poorer, sicker and less hopeful. Despite our economic poverty we are full of pride and enthusiasm to provide legal and political accompaniment to our our compañeros and to contribute something to their freedom. We humbly ask for your support in your own way that allows them to get out of the Bad Government’s dungeon and to free other fellow prisoners in Mexico and the world.

 

Santiago Moreno Pérez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, is originally from La Pimienta and was serving as an Adviser to the Sixth’s Autonomous Security Council in 2009 when a serious problem occurred in the community. He and his son Sebastian were accused of murdering another La Pimienta resident. The community gathered to lynch them, but then decided not to kill them and turned them over to jail, but they also took all of their possessions before doing so. Some days later Santiago’s wife died and his children were orphaned. Apprehension orders have also been issued for the children accusing them of the same crime as Santiago. The compañero’s current situation is that he is still on trial. Many of his rights have been violated, and they rescheduled his case once, and that is why he has been unjustly detained for almost 8 years.

Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, originally from Xanil, Chilón, Chiapas, is accused of assaulting an Italian tourist who was passing through Xanil community. Emilio, along with his father, were detained without an apprehension order by PRIista residents of the community. His father was released by the Palenque Public Prosecutor’s Office, but Emilio has been jailed since 2014. The compañero is awaiting sentencing and we expect that it may happen any day soon.

Esteban Gómez Jiménez, prisoner in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison in Chiapas. He is originally from Salto de Tigre, Chilón, Chiapas, and he is accused of several serious crimes, like felony homicide, two violent assaults on tourists, and possession of a weapon of exclusive use to military. So far, he has been cleared of the charge of murder and possession of the military weapon, but the two charges of assault are still pending. Because he was attacked by other prisoners when he was in El Amate Prison, he asked to be transferred to the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison, which is where he is at the moment.

Considering the local and the national situation, we reaffirm our commitment and belief in the preparatory work that we are carrying out alongside the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The work is urgent and necessary in order to transform the reality of the country. Dispossession, repression, and contempt of the Bad Government is what will continue to be our reality unless we but brakes to their injustices.

From the Northern Zone in the state of Chiapas, the women and men of San Sebastián, we send you combative greetings.

 

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and freedom

Long live Zapata!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Long live Juan Vázquez guzmán, and Bachajón’s struggle!

Long live Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, and Bachajón’s struggle!

No to the dispossession of indigenous lands!

State police, Out of indigenous lands!

Immediate return of the disappeared and murdered “compañeros” from the teachers’ school  Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa!

Justice for our compañero Juan Vazquez Guzman, Ayotzinapa, Acteal, ABC, Atenco!

 

 

 

https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/ejido-san-sebastian-bachajon-a-seis-anos-del-operativo-de-desalojo-y-despojo-de-nuestras-tierras-ejidales /

 

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March 7, 2017

Tarahumaras faced with violence from organized crime seek asylum in US

Filed under: CNI, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Mining, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:20 pm

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Tarahumaras faced with violence from organized crime seek asylum in US

 

agonicc81a-infantilChildren in the Sierra Tarahumara. Photo: Eduardo Miranda

 

By: Patricia Mayorga

CHIHUAHUA, Chih. (apro). – The Rarámuri, Santiago Cruz Castillo, 26, requested political asylum in El Paso, Texas, after organized crime took away his lands in La Laguna de Aboreachi, municipality of Guachochi, like hundreds of indigenous and mestizos of the Sierra Tarahumara.

Another family from the La Trinidad ejido, in Guadalupe y Calvo municipality arrived before Santiago Cruz to request asylum. After five months, they are still holding David Ríos Laija, one of the members of that family, in custody.

Santiago Cruz arrived alone; he is single and his parents stayed in the Sierra. “I arrived in the United States on November 24 because of the violence that exists in the communities. Many people have gone away because they started to take the land away through criminal activity, through violence; they kill and disappear us and no one gives us protection. We have to leave.”

The young Tarahumara says that they snatched their small parcels of land and their houses to plant poppies and marijuana.

He opted to travel to Juárez, they invited him, they contracted with him and they took him to that border. He worked on a ranch close to Ciudad Juárez, but they were paying him very little and he worked a lot and he became discouraged. “I wasn’t comfortable, I worked long hours, they paid very little and I wasn’t treated well.”

On November 24 he decided to cross into the United States, he was in the detention centre and afterwards made contact with the expert immigration lawyer, Carlos Spector, who took his case and is in the process of requesting political asylum.

Santiago Cruz’ wish is to help his people from there, because he is convinced that he can denounce the situation and is confident that the authorities will do something.

“I want to help my people, so that the government will let them work, I want to help from here. The truth is that the violence is strong, I know how it is, don’t tell me,” he insists.

Carlos Spector said that six months ago the Rios family arrived from Guadalupe y Calvo, after an armed group disappeared the father, who was the community’s commissioner.

“The widow Aureliana Leija and her two sons came in September. David Ríos Leija, 22, is a student of Medicine; they are Christians, it is a clean family and they are mestizos. The other son that came is Elías Ríos, 19.

“They fled due to the father’s political situation, they began to seek it and they (the criminals) tell him that they will leave him in peace, that they won’t look for him and they leave seeking asylum. That is part of the press communication, they let the mother go later, Elías 2 months after the credible fear test,” the lawyer detailed.

Nevertheless, David is still detained and Spector denounced that they don’t want to release him despite the fact that he already passed the credible fear test, because the criteria hardened with the Donald Trump government.

“It’s a case of immigration abuse. There exists a bi-national policy of persecution and the incarceration of poor Mexicans, human rights defenders or people that complain and ask for asylum. They incarcerate them or separate them from their family. After being detained for 5 months, there is no possibility of closing the case quickly; that’s the point of prolonged detention. It’s a political kidnapping to discourage strong political asylum cases,” Carlos Spector said.

The lawyer said that in the Barack Obama government and in other administrations, when they ask for political asylum like is done at the international bridge, they would detain them for two months until they passed the credible fear test and then release them if they showed that they didn’t represent threats to the community and if they guaranteed that they would attend all the hearings.

Before, he said, the local “Migra” signed the conditional release, the conditional freedom, but now they decided that the national assistant director of immigration in Washington must approve those requesting political asylum to be released.

“It’s a democratic way to not grant asylum to anyone. That is the new policy and a formula for repression and mass deportation, applying the law in an extremely rigid and repressive way. The family wants to leave because the young man wants to leave, but he has to appear in court on March 8. Now they have undertaken a campaign to free him.”

This Monday, Spector announced, they have an appointment with the archbishop for the area, who has spoken out against the criminalization of political asylum.

The lawyer announced that the authorities are going to build more detention centres because soon the people aren’t going to fit in those that exist and he reproached that when people ask for political asylum at the bridge, they are entering legally, in accordance with the laws of the United States and with international laws, therefore he reproached the repressive measures, which he compared to those for the Japanese.

Spector reported that Santiago Cruz is the first Rarámuri to request political asylum, but there are another 300 Tarahumaras that are in prisons in the Southwestern United States, who are without defence because they don’t have translators.

Saúl Bustamante has finally helped them. He is mestizo and was raised in a cave in the Tarahumara by an indigenous family, because of which he is a firm defender of his people and principally of those who don’t have access to justice. He has organized events to promote Tarahumara culture in El Paso, like (running) races, and hopes to achieve the freedom or the just defence of indigenous Chihuahuans.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com

Friday, February 24, 2017

http://www.proceso.com.mx/475704/tarahumaras-piden-asilo-en-eu-ante-la-violencia-crimen-organizado

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

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March 5, 2017

Zapatista News Summary for February 2017

Filed under: CNI, Corporations, Dams, Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:29 pm

 

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Zapatista News Summary for February 2017

 

Zapatista News:

The main Zapatista news for February is the issuing of more communiqués, or translations of communiqués issued previously, and information about dates for forthcoming events. The need for an independent indigenous candidate, and a parallel independent indigenous government, remain subjects for profound discussion.

 

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1.“The Cat-Dog and the Apocalypse,” a talk by Sup Galeano from December, with a section by the Cat-Dog, is translated in early February. “Zapatista Alchemy” Is released at in translation at the beginning of February as more of the Sup Moisés and Sup Galeano talks and communiqués from the gathering “The Zapatistas and ConSciences for Humanity” keep being published, and translations come out.“Zapatista Alchemy” is a talk about science by Sup Galeano delivered at the beginning of January and includes philosophy, the Cat-Dog’s notebook and a comment on Artificial Intelligence versus Zapatista Intelligence.

 

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2.What Comes Next? Two extremely important communiqués are read on January 3rd, and translated in February. These are “What’s Next? I Then And Now,” by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, and “What’s next? II The urgent and the important,” by Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. They tell stories and asks scientific questions, how did it used to be and how is it now? In terms of the the arts and science in the days of clandestinity and in the present time, how hugely things have changed, from when “Do not die” was the only order that they were to follow, and “if it wasn’t possible to do so in this world, then we would make another world, a bigger one, a better one, one where all the possible worlds fit, the ones that already exist and the ones we still haven’t imagined but that can already be found in the arts and sciences.” The little girl, Zapatista Defence, realises that the biggest problem we face is ‘patriarchiality’.

 

 

3.An important communiqué: “The Walls Above, The Cracks Below (And to the Left)” by Subcomandantes Moises and Galeano is released on February 14th’ “the day of our dead”, “We always resist.” Walls above, cracks below, capitalism, immigration. The EZLN convoke a “global campaign for organization and global resistance in the face of the aggressiveness of big money and its respective overseers on the planet, to resist and rebel against persecutions, detentions, and deportations…. Every human being has the right to a free and dignified existence in the place that they deem best, and has the right to fight to stay there.” They call on groups to offer solidarity to each other, creating solidarity committees to help those who are deported, and they propose their forthcoming calendar for the year ahead.

Like many of the communiqués this one contains the words of both SCI Moisés and SCI Galeano, which are factual, humorous and also give insight into the advances in the communities.

 

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4. Zapatista Calendar 2017: The EZLN invite all of the Sixth and anyone who is interested to the seminar of critical reflection, “THE WALLS OF CAPITAL, THE CRACKS OF THE LEFT,” to be celebrated April 12-15, 2017, at the CIDECI-UniTierra facilities in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Many speakers have already confirmed their participation. More details are to follow.

They also convoke all artists for the second edition of “CompArte for Humanity” with the theme: “Against Capital and its Walls: All of the Arts” to be celebrated around the world and in cyberspace. The “real” part will take place between July 23-29, 2017, in the caracol of Oventik and at the CIDECI-UniTierra. The virtual edition will be August 1-12, 2017, on the web. More details soon. They also ask that people be on the lookout for the activities to be convoked by the National Indigenous Congress as part of its process of formation of the Indigenous Council of Government.

Finally, they convoke the scientists of the world to the second edition of “ConCiencias for Humanity” with the theme: “The Sciences Against the Wall,” to be celebrated December 26-30, 2017, at CIDECI-UniTierra, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico and in cyberspace.

“That is not all. It is necessary to resist, it is necessary to rebel, it is necessary to struggle, it is necessary to get organized.” They advise people to remain alert to all EZLN activities.

 

5. On 4th February the CNI and EZLN: issue a joint communiqué in solidarity with the Raramuri (Tarahumara) people, denouncing the 2 recent murders of indigenous Rarámuri defenders of Native territory in Chihuahua, making a total of 18 homicides since 1973, four in the last year. The CNI and EZLN issue an urgent call to action to protect the safety and integrity of members of the Choreachi community following the murder of indigenous leader Juan Ontiveros Ramos, 15 days after the murder of Isidro Baldenegro, another indigenous leader from the same municipality.

 

 

Other Chiapas News

 

1.Indigenous gather: The Pueblo Creyente are supporting the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) decision to form an autonomous parallel government. And North American representatives attend an indigenous summit in Puebla. “Trump’s “xenophobic and aggressive policy against Mexico” has placed the Native peoples of the United States and Mexico on alert. They declared that: “there will be no wall!””

 

 

2. Roberto Paciencia Cruz: The working group No Estamos Todxsand the Centre for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas AC, reiterate their concern regarding the risk to the freedom of Roberto Paciencia, a recently released political prisoner, indigenous Tsotsil and adherent to the Sexta. An appeal is being made against his acquittal.

 

 

3. The Adherents of the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón release a communiqué to commemorate six years since the government’s attempt to evict them from their territory. They also appeal for one of their prisoners, Santiago Moreno Perez.

 

 

4. The community Cinco de Marzo celebrate 23 years of autonomy. Indigenous Tseltal, Tsotsil And Chol Mayans from The 5 De Marzo Neighbourhood In San Cristobal, say: “We’ve Decided: That’s Enough!” The Cinco de Marzo neighbourhood, in the southern half of San Cristobal de Las Casas in Chiapas, is deemed “recovered land”, after the area was squatted during the 1994 uprising.

 

5. Ejido Tila: On February 6, Tila Ejido published a communiqué denouncing: “a group of inhabitants of the Cantioc community annex organized by members of the green party and the city council attempted to kidnap the President of the Ejidal Commissariat.

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February 28, 2017

Chicoasen Ejido Denounces “Conflict Creation” for Those Who do not Support Project

Filed under: Dams, Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:50 am

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Chicoasen Ejido Denounces “Conflict Creation” for Those Who do not Support Project

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On February 10, the Ejido Committee of the Basic Ejidatarios Commodities of Chicoasen Ejido denounced that “ON FEBRUARY 01 (…) THE TRUCKERS GROUP AGAIN … WANTED TO RECOVER THE ROADS WHERE THE CHICOASEN HYDROELECTRIC WORK HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FOR 8 MONTHS. THIS RESULTED IN A CONFRONTATION WITH A GROUP OF WORKERS WHO HAVE BLOCKED THE ROADS, WHO ARE ASKING FOR RECOGNITION OF  LABOUR RIGHTS, AN INCREASE IN SALARY AND WORK FOR CHICOASEN, AMONG OTHER DEMANDS, AS THE OMEGA COMPANY WAS CONTRACTING OUTSIDERS”(sic).

“AS THE EJIDAL COMMITTEE OF BASIC, POSITIONAL AND EXECUTIVE JUDICIALS, WE DENOUNCE THAT SENATOR LUIS ARMANDO MELGAR ON FEBRUARY 3 ONCE AGAIN CALLED FOR RENEWAL OF THE WORK AT CHICOASEN II HYDROELECTRIC DAM” despite the fact that “THE CFE HAS NOT FULFILLED ITS AGREEMENT FROM THE CREATION OF THE FIRST HYDROELECTRIC DAM (…) AND THEY TOOK AWAY OUR WATER FROM MANANTIALES (…) A LIQUID THAT IS VITAL FOR ALL PEOPLE “

They assured that their fight “REMAINS FIRM” and assured the Mexican State that “WE WILL CONTINUE TO REMIND YOU OF THE LACK OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE AGREEMENTS SINCE THE FIRST CONSTRUCTION OF THE MANUEL MORENO TORREZ HYDROELECTRIC DAM.”

They demand the “A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEMS, THE SUSPENSION OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CHICOASEN II HYDROELECTRIC DAM BECAUSE IT DIRECTLY AFFECTS US AND HAS VIOLATED OUR AGRICULTURAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS AS EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE EJIDAL COMMITTEE” and also request the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR), “TO CONTINUE TO FOLLOW UP OUR CASE BECAUSE IT IS A MATTER WHERE THE INTEREST IS THE DISPOSSESSION AND VIOLATION OF OUR HUMAN RIGHTS BY THE MEXICAN STATE TOGETHER WITH OMEGA AND ASSOCIATED COMPANIES.”

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February 24, 2017

EZLN: What’s Next II. The Urgent and the Important

Filed under: Autonomy, CNI, Displacement, gal, Indigenous, Maize, Marcos, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:32 pm

 

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EZLN: What’s Next II. The Urgent and the Important

 

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January 3, 2017

I’ve been listening to you. Sometimes when I’m here with you all, sometimes via the CIDECI stream, sometimes via what your Zapatista students mention to me.

I always try to get a grasp on the meaning of your presentations, the path and direction of your words. We have heard brilliant presentations, some didactic, some complex, the majority polemical, but on and about things that can be debated. And we think you should do so, among yourselves. For that discussion, perhaps it would help you to first clarify the confusion that exists between science and technology.

With regard to the rest, we are as surprised as you are. This interest [of the Zapatista students] in science is not something we ordered or imposed, but rather something that was born from inside [of the Zapatista communities].

Twenty-three years ago, when feminism came to demand that we order women’s liberation, we told them that wasn’t something that can be ordered, because it belongs to the compañeras. Freedom is not ordered, it is conquered. Two decades later, what the compañeras have achieved would put to shame those who at that time claimed to be the vanguard of feminism.

It’s the same now. Science is not imposed. It is the product of a process of the peoples, exactly as Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés explained.

I’ve told you that we thought the majority of your presentations were good, but there were some, just a few, that, well I don’t know what to tell you.

One of them said admiring things about me; I listened with attention and waited for the moment when he would say: “everything I have just said is a fraud, I presented it to you so you would see what pseudo-science is and so that you don’t trust the principal of authority; just because someone has a formal education doesn’t mean that what they say is scientific.” But no, that moment never came.

I scrutinized his face to see if he was smiling maliciously, but no. He was sincerely convinced of the barbarities he was presenting, and appreciatively received the applause of his buddies in the crowd and others he had managed to sweet-talk.

When a compañera insurgenta heard that thing about not needing to make babies, that it’s better to adopt because there are a lot 15941338_1341911112495607_3922665712756661550_nof people on the planet already, she said to me: “so that’s how they get rid of people, the Hydra isn’t even necessary, that idea is sufficient. That’s the idea of rich people; even if there are only one or two of them, they are the ones who are in the way and of no use. That idea that was presented tells us there is no need to struggle to make another world, we just need to take contraceptives.”

 

I’m going to tell you what someone once told me about the time when the world was like an apple, waiting for the bite of original sin.

This man was explaining to me how he made a living. He used the “Boa Constrictor” method, as he called it. He had a helper, and together they would put vaseline into small jars and make labels that read “Balm for Absolutely Everything.” The small print told you that this balm could cure everything from Alzheimers to a broken heart, including along the way polio, typhoid fever, hair loss, evil eye, toothache, foot odour, bad breath, and some other ailments that I don’t remember.

This is what this person would do: stand on a corner and begin to rail against zoos and circuses, that oh the poor little animals, locked up like that. And he would announce: “That is why we are going to show you a boa constrictor, 7 meters long, that we found in the sewer and rescued and now take care of, and right here and now we are going to show it to you, madam, sir, young man, young lady, child, the public in general.”

People would gather around curiously, mostly because the boa constrictor was nowhere in sight, just an old suitcase full of small jars of a balm called “Absolutely Everything.

When he decided there were enough people around, he would turn to his helper and say loudly, “Secretary! Brrrrrinnnnnngg me the boa!” The accomplice would nod and run off to who knows where.

The man would watch his helper move into the distance. Picking at random, he would comment to someone close: “It seems like a lie, but just a few weeks ago that boy couldn’t move, not even with a cane, only in a wheelchair. And just look at him now. It seems like a miracle, but no, that’s not it. What happened was, luckily, I found the scientific formula for a medicine that cured him. Here, I’ll show you.”

Of course, the “innocent” comment that was supposedly aimed at one person was said in such a way for several to hear. The man would then go to the suitcase and take out a jar and tell the first person to whom he had directed the comment: “Look, this is what I was telling you about.” The person would take the jar and read the label while the man would pretend indifference, rearranging the little jars and looking in the direction the assistant had gone and commenting as if to himself, “why is that boy taking so long? I hope the boa constrictor hasn’t escaped on him, because if it has, we’ll see it in the news tomorrow, poor animal, they might cage it or turn it into bags and shoes.”

In the meantime, the innocent person who received the jar would be showing it to the person beside them, commenting on what had happened to the boy who went to get the boa. In a few minutes the jar had been passed through some 10 people, and the man would say then: “Okay now, give the medicine back to the madam, the gentlemen, the young man, young woman,” accordingly, and then to that person would add, “you keep it, as a gift, try it, you’ll see.

Others would then come up asking for their free sample too and the man, apologetically, would explain: “No, I’m sorry, I can’t give them to everyone, it’s a special order from the Secretary of Health. But, not that I think about it, it’s better for you all to have a chance to try it instead of those government scoundrels. Just give me 10 pesos each so I can replace the government order.”

It was enough that 5 or so people would come up for others to join in, and soon he would have around him a decent number of people. The people would comment among themselves what the balm was all about and the man, pretending indifference, would merely charge for each jar while lamenting the delay of his “secretary” and and the cursed boa.

In a matter of minutes, the helper would come back all agitated and worried and whisper something to the man. The man would answer “My god, really? Are you sure?” Then he would quickly pick up the now empty or almost empty suitcase and, addressing the people gathered there, proclaim: “Run! The boa escaped and the police and patrols are on their way.” He and the helper would take off with alarm and as the word of warning spread the people would scatter also.

I asked him how much the cursed medicine cost. He told me he pulled the little jars out of the trash and the vaseline, well that came out to about a peso per jar. So this method earned him some 100 pesos a day, at a time when the minimum wage was 8 pesos a day.

Anyway, I just wanted to say to those who tried to apply that method in this gathering that even if you have an academic degree, we’re not buying your little jars. You’ll have to look for another corner from which to hock your quack commodities.

-*-

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Perhaps somebody out there still has the image in mind of the ignorant and naive indigenous, and thought they could tell us they were going to talk about one thing knowing full well that they were going to talk about something else that had nothing to do with science. Hell, it doesn’t even manage to be pseudoscience. I’ve read better developed, more original, and equally false things on social media.

Let me tell you: if you complain that the science departments in academia don’t take seriously what is pure existential nonsense, well, here we don’t either.

If in academia they don’t take your political activism in account, well we don’t either. But I can tell you where they do: on the institutional left. There, yes, you can go and say: I’m a doctorate in who knows what and I’ve participated in this many marches, rallies, and classes, and indeed they will give you some leadership position in something, anything, as advisors or coordinators.

Here, if you came because you know mathematics, then we want to hear you talk about mathematics, even if you don’t know what surplus value or class struggle is, even if you don’t know if “The International” is a song of struggle, an opera, or the name of a corner store. As Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés already told you, science is science, whether you are a partidista [associated with a political party] or a Zapatista.

It’s also not worth your time to come here and fawn over or court us, although I think that does work in academic institutions.

Neither are we interested in being manipulated around skin colour, sexual preference, or religious belief. You either know what you’re talking about or you don’t; it doesn’t matter if you are dark-skinned, white, red, yellow, black, or mixed; it doesn’t matter if you are a man, woman, homosexual, gay, trans, or whatever; it doesn’t matter if you are Catholic, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, Mohammedan, or whatever; if you’re going to do science, then you do science, not religion, philosophy, or the quackery currently trending on social media.

So here we don’t discriminate. Here differences aren’t a demerit, but they aren’t a merit either. With respect to the personal sufferings or dramas you may have, fine, we understand. But you should understand that we are a very poor audience from which to expect pity. With everything you have suffered and continue to suffer, it could not compare with what it has been, and is, to be what we are.

But I understand what’s going on with you, everyone gets off with what they can. However, it doesn’t seem honest to us to come here and lie, saying you came to talk about science and not your existential lashings.

But the compañeros and compañeras are noble and understanding. We invited you to talk to us and we have honoured that; we have listened with respect, which isn’t the same as saying that we have swallowed all your tall tales. We honoured the agreement. Those people did not.

Imagine that this is an assembly in one of the Zapatista communities, and you go up to present one of your projects. You have said you are going talk about biology, medicine, laboratory work, clinical analysis, agroecology, engineering, or pharmaceuticals, and the assembly says, yes, go ahead, these things are urgent. Or you are coming to talk about physics, chemistry, math, volcanology, astronomy, and other sciences, and the assembly says yes, go ahead, these things are important.

But if someone comes who says they are going to tell us that science needs to do postmodern philosophy and take the existential variables of each person into account, well, the assembly is going to listen to you, but they aren’t going to tell you to go ahead. They are going to propose that you infiltrate Skynet and convince Artificial Intelligence to accept your scientific proposal. I’m sure that it would collapse in no time, which would relieve the duality suffered by John Connor, and humanity as a whole would be liberated from the Terminator sequels.

Of course, I recommend that you truly study and realize that you are closer to Aristotle and Ptolemy than to Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler.

-*-

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The Apocalypse According to Defensa Zapatista

The mountains of the Mexican Southeast. Territory in resistance and rebellion. There is an autonomous school. A classroom. There, the education promotora is talking to the Zapatista girls and boys:

Before we leave I’m going to tell you a story. You have to think about it and respond to the question I ask at the end.”

On one of the benches at the back, a little girl stops drawing complicated diagrams in her notebook which, although they appear to be flowcharts, are really diagrams of soccer tactics. At the margin of the lines and arrows one can read “when we fill up the team.” At the little girl’s feet there is a ball, frayed and full of lumps, and on her laps sleeps a kind of cat…or a dog… or something.

It’s not just the little girl, but the whole class that’s hanging on the words of the promotora, who says:

There is a voice that tells us what it sees. It says to realize that the world is going to end once and for all, and that we can see that there are only two men left. The two are standing face to face; they aren’t talking to each other, but you can tell they are very angry. They are the only men left, everyone else has died already. They are the last men on Earth. These two men don’t talk to each other or look at each other, but they are arguing angrily. And they aren’t talking to or looking at each other because they are sending each other messages on their phones. That is, as they say, they are fighting as if their cellphones were weapons, the only ones left because the world is ending. They are scolding each other harshly, as only the two of them can see. One is saying to the other, that is, he is sending him a text message:

It is all your fault because with science you created destruction.” (send)

The other looks at the message on his phone, gets angry and answers:

No, it is your fault because instead of science, you starting saying we should do what the ancient primitives did and not use technologies.” (send)

The first really gets mad now and you can see in his eyes that it’s like he wants to burn up the screen of his phone. He writes:

No, it’s your fault because with your science and technology you created the weapons that killed off everything, including the poor little animals.” (send)

The other looks at the message and you can see in his eyes he’s thinking “you’ll see, you bastard,” and he responds:

No, it’s your fault because you said that we shouldn’t learn science because science is bad because it doesn’t respect Mother Earth and does her harm.” (send)

The other looks with hate at the screen and types out:

No, it’s your fault because you think you know so much with your science and you don’t take the people’s needs into account and you go around with a big head thinking nobody can match you and all that shit you talk.” (send)

The first reads and gets so furious you wouldn’t believe it. He looks at the other and in his eye you can see “you’re going to die, bastard.” So he writes:

No, it’s your fault because you criticized science out of pure laziness, you don’t want to study or learn because it’s clear that you’re just slothful and trifling.” (send)

The two men go on like this for awhile, fighting angrily over their cellphones. They don’t know it, but this is the last day; as soon as night falls, everything is over. But because they were fighting and looking at their cell phones, they didn’t realize when the sun hid itself in the mountains and the land fell dark.”

The education promotora who has used everything she learned in her education preparation courses in order to tell the story, concludes:

Okay, so this is the story the voice has narrated. So, the question you must answer is: “Which of the men survived the end of the world?

The children stay quiet, thinking.

In the first row of the classroom sits Pedrito. He says it’s so that he can pay close attention, but we all know it’s because he’s totally in love with the promotora, but we’re not going to publish that because it’s his secret.

Pedrito raises his hand, asking to be called on.

The promotora is about to say, “Let’s see, Pedrito, what do you think,” when from the back of the classroom a little girl’s voice says:

Well that’s easy.”

Everyone, including the promotora, turns to look at the little girl who has stood up and already has her bag over her shoulder with her notebook and pen inside. In her little hands she holds the frayed ball, while the Cat-dog stretches at her feet. The teacher says resignedly:

Okay Defensa Zapatista, tell us what you think.”

The little girl is already moving toward the door of the classroom as she announces:

The answer is easy, because it’s clear that it’s the fucking men’s fault that the world is ending because they’re so terrible with that patriarchality of theirs which is just impossible to believe in anymore. And they didn’t study the fucking Hydra which has been consuming and screwing over the whole planet earth. So there they are, all macho, fighting with their cell phones and their songs about horses and love and then about lost love, I mean why can’t they just decide already.

Anyway, teacher, so that you understand as the women that we are, I’m going to explain the word “patriarchality” which is like where the men rule and they want us women to just be waiting on them hand and foot, and then later they tell us how much they love us and how we have very pretty eyes, as if they were looking at our eyes, no, they’re looking at something else. I don’t know what it is that they’re really looking at because I’m not grown up yet, but that’s what my moms told me the fucking men do. When I grow up, they better not even think about it, I’m going to give them their slaps upside the head and a few kicks if they look at me wrong. So, the “patriarchality means that the fucking men just want us to make them their pozol and then are always pestering us for a kiss. Do you think we’re just going to give them a kiss, just like that? Oh no, I don’t think so, maybe instead of a kiss a knock on the head. And then they think they’re going to convince us with their songs about horses. They’re just so dumb, let’s see if they can find a horse to make them their pozol, what are they going to come up with then, never ever…”

The teacher knows the little girl very well already, so she interrupts:

Okay, Defensa Zapatista, answer the question.”

The little girl is already at the door. As the Cat-dog wags its tail happily at her feet, she responds:

Look, it’s easy. Neither of the two men live; they both die because they were stupid. Clearly it’s the fault of the patriarchality that the world is going to end, but it doesn’t, because it turns out there is someone who lives which is the compañera who is telling the story. Because if it’s not a compañera who tells the story then there’s no story. And the compañera who tells the story carries her little baby on her back in her shawl and is giving what you might call political lessons to the baby, so that the baby learns that we have to support each other as the women that we are.”

The little girl didn’t wait to see what the education promotora would say, and accepting as a given that her answer was correct, ran out of the classroom yelling “Let’s play!” as the Cat-dog and the rest of the class followed her out the door.

The education promotora smiles as she puts away her notebooks and books, one of which reads across the cover, “Twentieth Anniversary Anthology. National Indigenous Congress. Never Again a Mexico Without Us.” Ready to leave, the teacher notices that not all the children have left.

On the front bench sits Pedrito, looking all sad and defeated. The promotora goes over and sits down beside him asking,

What’s wrong Pedrito, why are you sad?”

Pedrito sighs and answers, “Because I didn’t get to answer the question because Defensa Zapatista spoke first.”

Ah,” the teachers says, “don’t worry Pedrito, what was your answer?”

Pedrito explains with a tone of the obvious:

Well I was going to answer that the story doesn’t hold up, because if there are only two men left, arguing over their cell phones, then who is working so that there’s a cell signal? This means that there are others who continue working, that is, that there can’t just be two left. So you see what I’m saying teacher, your story lacks logic, coherence in the argument. So the answer is that the very premise is faulty and for that reason, the conclusion, whatever that may be, is false. This would have been understood if critical thinking was applied to the analysis.” (trust me, that’s how Pedrito talks, if you get to meet him some day you’ll see I’m not making things up).

Pedrito, after finishing talking, returns to his posture of sorrow and sadness.

The education promotora is thinking about what the words “coherence” and “premise” mean, and that this is always the case with Pedrito, that he uses words that challenge even the Comandancia. The promotora isn’t embarrassed to ask Pedrito what those words mean, but she sees that Pedrito is sad so she hugs him and says:

Don’t worry Pedrito, your answer is good, too.”

Pedrito, upon being hugged, turns all shades of red and puts on his “no one has ever hugged me before” face, just like the deceased SupMarcos taught him. Letting himself be loved on, Pedrito thinks that it turned out well after all that Defensa Zapatista answered first, because this was why the promotora was hugging him and from within the embrace, Pedrito understands that no, the world is not going to end, that as long as the embrace lasts the world will keep giving opportunity to life, because that is what life is, an embrace.

Pedrito is reflecting on this when the little girl appears in the doorway and says to him, “Hurry up Pedrito, we have to fill up the team so we can bring a challenge.”

Pedrito separates himself from the embrace of the promotora as if tearing his heart out, but he goes over to the little girl because he is, in addition to a little boy, a Zapatista, and a Zapatista can’t allow the team to be let down on their account. Before leaving the room Pedrito says to the little girl: “But I’m telling you straight-up right now that I’m not playing goalie anymore, put the one-eyed horse on goalie, I want to play forward.”

Defensa Zapatista is not going to let a boy have the last word in this story, so she says:

Forward? Puh-leeze. SupGaleano showed me some videos and now I have a new plan. Now we are going to play according to the science of ‘total soccer’ like those Dutch orange ones. Don’t you know you have to study for that? You do. Both things, science and art. Later I’ll explain it to you. Just as soon as we fill up the team you’ll see, don’t worry, there will be more of us, it might take awhile, but there will be more.”

The little boy and the little girl leave. It is only then that we can see that the little girl has on an orange t-shirt that hangs nearly to her heels and taped on the back are crooked letters that spell “Cruyff”i and below them: “Resistance and Rebellion.”

Off to the side of the pasture waits a motley crew including: a old horse leisurely chewing on a empty tobacco bag; a short man with gray hair shivering despite his coat; and a tall, thin man who stands out for his height and the strange hat he is wearing. He is using his magnifying glass to study with great interest a small strange animal that, at a distance seems to be a dog… or a cat.. or a cat-dog.

Nearby, where the community has been working to deepen the scratches in the wall, anonymous hands have written, below and to the left, a graffiti that is bursting in colour. It reads:

We are the National Indigenous Congress and we are going for everything, and it will be for everyone.”

In a bunker far away, alarms are going off and the earth is trembling. Above, brother John Berger, smiling, has drawn a question in the clouds, for whoever looks high: “Y tú qué?”

-*-

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The Urgent and the Important

The story I’m going to tell you is a little bit sad.

It’s sad because it includes the tears of a little Zapatista girl. But despite this, or precisely because of it, I’m going to tell the story because after hearing you speak, present, reflect, and try to respond and teach, I’ve been thinking about what’s next. I don’t know if you all have thought about it. If not, I recommend that you do—think about what’s next.

I’ve imagined that we’re in another time, further ahead. Here goes:

This time, without being announced by a soccer ball rolling in, “Defensa Zapatista” has arrived at my hut. It’s clear that she’s been crying, and a few tears still glow on her cheeks. “Defensa Zapatista” maintains that little girls don’t cry, that that’s for men, and that women are stronger. So I understood why the little girl had come to my hut, where there are only ghosts and silences. Here she is safe, here she can cry without anyone, except me, seeing her. Here she can put her strength away in a box and let feelings fill her gaze and sorrow become liquid.

I didn’t say anything. I acted like I didn’t see her and that I was busy sweeping tobacco and crumpled up papers off the floor around the table.
Finally, she wiped her tears with a red handkerchief, sighed, and cleared her throat in order to ask me:

Hey Sup, do you know what it’s like to have a bad dream?”
“I sure do,” I responded, “bad dreams are called nightmares [pesadillas].”

She looked intrigued and asked, “And what’s the purpose of those quesadillas, why do they exist and who made them? Because they’re beastly.”

They’re called “pesadillas,” not “quesadillas.” Quesadillas are good because they have cheese. Pesadillas aren’t good. But why do you ask?”

I had a really bad dream and I woke up with something like a stomach ache, like something wasn’t okay, something was hurting,” she said.

Tell me about it,” I encouraged her and lit my pipe.

“Well, I dreamed we were in the community assembly and as it turns out the situation is really rough because of the bad system. And a lot of people are coming here and asking to stay in the community because other places have become unliveable, and so the people come here because we Zapatistas did in fact prepare.

But the people are coming from other countries, as far away as goodness knows where.

So there isn’t enough food and the community has to make the land produce more, because as Zapatistas we have to support other peoples of the world because we’re, as they say, compañerismos. So in the assembly they’re looking at how to organize to be able to give food to those brothers and sisters.

So then someone in the assembly says that we have to find more terrain where we can plant.

And then someone else says what about in the pasture where we play soccer, the Petumax flowers are already blooming, like white, but not, sort of gray but not, I think cream-colored or whatever you call that colournn.

And they say the saw the Chene’k Caribe flower too, which is true because I play with those flowers and pretend they’re little baby chicks.

And that they also saw the “Sun” flower which seems like a sunflower, but isn’t.

So then that compañero said that means that the soil is good in the pasture, that we can plant corn and beans there. And then I got, as they say, worried because there in the pasture is where the one-eyed horse lives and where we play soccer. Well, we don’t exactly play because we haven’t completed the team yet, but we practice and we train really hard.

So then the authority asks the assembly if there’s agreement that we’ll plant in the pasture and make a milpa [corn field] there, and if there’s anyone who disagrees they should say their piece so we can figure out what to do.

So then the whole assembly is silent and nobody asks to speak. And I want to talk to say that we shouldn’t plant in the pasture because then we won’t be able to play, or train that is. But I don’t know how I’m going to say it, because I can see that we do need food to support those other sisters and brothers.

And I’m really upset because nobody says anything and I don’t have the thinking to convince the assembly, and I can see in the authority’s eye that they’re about to say that if nobody has any other comments, that they’ll approve the proposal to plant in the pasture.

And there I am, looking for a good thought and I can’t find one, and I get mad that I can’t find the right words and with the anger the tears come out, and it’s not that I’m crying, it’s just the anger of not knowing what to say.

And right there I woke up and I came running. And on the way I got even madder because of that stinking bad dream, and who sent it or why they’re doing that.”

As she’s been talking, “Defensa Zapatista’s” face is reproducing her pain and desperation.

I remained quiet, but the little girl kept looking at me as if waiting for what I was going to say.

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Even though I realized that “Defensa Zapatista” hadn’t come to sit on the [psychiatrist’s] divan, nor just to vent, I was looking for the right words. I understood that the girl hadn’t come just to hide, she was also looking for answers, and me, well I’m the Subcomandante of stainless steel, the one who, according to “Defensa Zapatista’s” criteria, has the grave defect of being a man. But nobody’s perfect, and besides, I let the Cat-Dog climb up on the keyboard and ruin the texts, and sometimes I have cookies to share (which, for Defensa Zapatista means that she and her little animal gobble up all the ones I like and the ones I don’t, too, and they just leave me the empty package), and I tell stories where she and her gang get into mischief and come out triumphant.

So I’m presenting with you all with the, as they say, context, so you understand that the girl had not really come to tell me a bad dream, but rather to present me with a problem.

When I had been looking through the trunk of memories that the deceased SupMarcos left in my custody, I remembered having seen something that could be useful. I gestured to “Zapatista Defense” that she should wait and I started looking. Under some drawings that John Berger made when he was in Cideci, I found what I was looking for. The papers were shabby, stained with tobacco and humidity, but the clumsy handwriting of the deceased was still legible.

I picked my pipe back up and lit it. I read almost in silence, only making a few gestures and emitting incomprehensible grunts. The girl watched me in suspense, waiting. The Cat-Dog had left the computer mouse in peace and, its ears perked, remained expectant.

After acting all important for a few minutes, I told her:

There it is, there’s no problem. I’ve found the solution to your nightmare. It turns out that in this writing by the deceased SupMarcos (may baby Jesus keep him in holy glory and may the dear Virgen fill him with blessings) explains that nightmares are problems and that they can be alleviated if you resolve the problem of the nightmare.

Then he says that dreams are the solution to nightmares.

That what you have to do is find the solution and then the good dream comes out.

That way you save a ton of money on psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and antacids. Okay, that’s not related.

And in this other writing, he says that the problem isn’t just knowing what’s urgent and what’s important.

What’s urgent is what you have to do right now, and what’s important is, for example, what you know you must do.

For example, in the case of the bad dream you’re telling me about, what’s urgent is that the compas have to increase food production; and what’s important is not to lose the space where you play.

In which case it’s a big problem, because if you protect the place to play, well, then they won’t plant there and there will be hunger; and if they plant there, well then there won’t be any more place to play.”

Defensa Zapatista” nodded, convinced of what I was saying to her. I continued:

So the deceased says here that that’s called ‘exclusive options,’ which is to say that you do one thing or the other, but you can’t do both. SupMarcos says that this is almost always false, which is to say that it’s not necessarily one or the other, but rather that something different can be imagined. And he gives the example of the originary peoples, which is to say the indigenous.

He says: ‘For example, the originary peoples, going back centuries, have always done two things at the same time: what’s urgent and what’s necessary. What’s urgent is to survive, which is to say to not die, and what’s important is to live. And they resolve this with resistance and rebellion, which is to say that they resist dying and at the same time they create, with their rebellion, another way of living.’ So he says that whenever possible, it’s necessary to think about creating something else.”

I put down the papers and I turned to “Zapatista Defense”:

So I believe what you can do with the problem of your bad dream is explain to the assembly what’s urgent and what’s important.

Which is to say that both parts have good thought behind them, but if you pick one, well, you’ve screwed the other.

So explain to the assembly that it doesn’t necessarily have to be one thing or the other, but rather that it’s necessary to think of something else, something different but so that both objectives are met.

And then it’s not that the assembly’s problem is getting resolved nor that your problem is getting resolved, but rather that it’s a different problem altogether.

And it’s the new problem that you both have to think about, that is, you and the assembly.”

The whole time the girl had been sitting quietly with her chin in her little hand, paying attention.

Contrary to his usual habits, the Cat-Dog had also been still.

Zapatista Defence” stayed silent, looking fixedly at the floor.

I don’t know much about what happens in the head of a little girl. Of a boy, sure, perhaps because I haven’t matured despite the many kilometres I’ve covered. But girls, whatever their age, continue to be a mystery that perhaps science will one day be able to solve.

Suddenly, “Zapatista Defence” turned to look at the Cat-Dog, and he in turn looked at her.

The mutual glance lasted only a few seconds, and the Cat-Dog began to jump, bark and meow. The girl’s little face lit up and she practically shouted: “Yes, the Cat-Dog!” and she began to jump and dance together with the animal.

I didn’t just put on my confused face, in fact I didn’t understand what all this was about. But, resigned, I waited for ““Zapatista Defence” and the Cat-Dog to calm down, which didn’t happen for several more minutes that seemed eternal to me. Finally the commotion died down and, still excited, the girl explained:

It’s the Cat-Dog, Sup! I have to bring the Cat-Dog to my bad dream and I have to bring him to the assembly and he’s going to help me and so then it’ll be a good dream.

The solution to the problem was right here but I hadn’t studied it.

It’s the Cat-Dog, it’s always been the Cat-Dog.”

I think that my “What?!” face must have been very obvious, because “Defensa Zapatista” felt obliged to clarify:

Look I’ll explain it to you Sup: the Cat-Dog, is he a cat? No. Is he a dog? Not that either. So then he’s neither one thing nor the other, but rather something else, he’s a Cat-Dog. If I show the Cat-Dog to the assembly, obviously they’re going to see that we have to do something else, so both sides can happily be in mutual agreement.”

I couldn’t understand how the assembly was going to make the, as they say, “epistemological leap” from that thing, that is to say the Cat-Dog, to the disjuncture between the pasture for playing soccer or the pasture for planting. But it seems that “Defensa Zapatista” wasn’t worried about that.

The next day, on the way to town, I passed by the pasture. Night was already beginning to fall and the sound of those who were scratching at the wall continued. There was still enough light, because “Zapatista Defence” was on the field, together with a group in which I recognized the old one-eyed horse that accompanies her sometimes, the Cat-Dog, and Pedrito. There were also two men, one short and one tall, whom I didn’t recognize and I assumed that they were from the Sixth and that the girl was trying to incorporate them into her perpetually incomplete team.

The girl saw me from afar and greeted me with an energetic wave of her hand. I returned the greeting, realizing that “Zapatista Defence” had resolved the problem because she laughed and ran from one side to the other, showing the group where they should position themselves in some sort of formation that looked to me to have the shape of a snail.

I continued on my path, remembering the ending to that day of tears, when “Defensa Zapatista,” then smiling and with her face lit-up, said goodbye: “I’m leaving now Sup, I’ve got to go.”

And what are you going to do?” I asked her.

She was already gaining distance when she shouted: “I’m going to dream.”

While I waited for the compañeros and compañeras to whom I had to give a talk, the night arrived with its own steps and sounds.

I thought then that perhaps the deceased SupMarcos would have liked to have been present for “Defensa Zapatista’s” dream to know how she made her argument and what the decision of the assembly was. Or perhaps he was in fact there. Because, at least in these lands, the dead walk around. They laugh and cry with us, they struggle with us, they live with us.

Thank you very much.

From the CIDCI-Unitierra, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

SupGaleano.

Mexico, January 2017.

iHendrik Johannes “Johan” Cruyff, a Dutch professional soccer player and coach famous for promoting the philosophy known as “Total Football.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_Cruyff

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/02/02/que-sigue-ii-lo-urgente-y-lo-importante/

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“There will be no wall:” Sioux, Yaqui and Tohono O’odham Indigenous struggles unite from Standing Rock to the Sierra Norte of Puebla

Filed under: Corporations, Dams, Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:52 am

 

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“There will be no wall:” Sioux, Yaqui and Tohono O’odham

Indigenous struggles unite from Standing Rock to the Sierra Norte of Puebla

 

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Photos by Diógenes Rabello / Hijos de la Tierra

From the Editors of Desinformémonos

 February 20, 2017

Trump’s “xenophobic and aggressive policy against Mexico” has placed the Native peoples of the United States and Mexico on alert. They declared that: “there will be no wall!” The struggle of indigenous peoples is added to on both sides of the border, and in Cuetzalan, in the Sierra Norte of Puebla, with the presence of representatives of indigenous peoples from New Mexico and Dakota, who all ratify the defence of their lands and territories.

Tohono O’odham, Sioux and different indigenous tribes are against the policies of Donald Trump and they promise to go as far as the ultimate consequences in defence of their territory.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its defenders have pledged to resist Donald Trump’s executive order that authorizes the construction of an oil pipeline in Dakota and they are thinking about using legal measures, calling for civil disobedience and installing a resistance camp to protect the river water.

“President Trump has the legal obligation to respect the rights that the treaties recognize and guarantee that the whole process for the construction of the oil pipeline is fair and reasonable,” explains Dave Archambault, chief of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Others have promised that they will express their solidarity with protests throughout the country. “We need a massive civil disobedience movement and citizens expressing their solidarity with Standing Rock,” explains Kandi Mossett, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes.

 

“The Trump administration is provoking a revolution that will make us stronger than ever.”

 

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The Sioux peoples already faced the Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who they classify as “the lord of drones and wars.” The Sioux, together with the Mdewakanton Dakota and Dine peoples, achieved a victory in 2016 when they obtained the cancellation of Obama’s decree to construct an oil pipeline in Dakota. However, last month Trump decided to revive the decree with which is approved the construction of this work that they consider predatory to the environment and destructive to its ancient habitat.

Now, the Sioux once again reject the measure and make a call to mobilize, not just against the oil pipeline, but also against the “border wall” that Donald Trump wants to construct.

The Tohono O’odham tribe of Arizona, which controls more than two and a half million acres, in part bordering with Mexico, expressed its absolute rejection of the wall that Trump seeks to construct because it goes against ancestral customs.

This nation currently has 28,000 members. Prior to the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo that provoked the loss of more than half of Mexican territory to the United States in the 19th Century, the Tohono O’odham moved freely between the states of Sonora and Arizona. Now, they denounce that United States immigration police have unleashed a war against them, therefore they warned that they would mobilize against the border wall they want to construct.

The Yaqui Tribe shares territory in the state of Sonora in Mexico and in Arizona, in the United States. It was also recognized as a nation in 1978, and they have shown their support for the “anti-wall” movement. “Over my dead body,” is one of the slogans of the border tribes that share territory with Mexico. ”It divides our ancestral land and families that have crossed freely since before the borderline was drawn.”

“We arrived before nations and borders divided us,” an indigenous leader pointed out after Trump insulted members of the Hopi tribe with the title of “Pocahontas.”

Against the Donald Trump government, the wall, forced deportations and other xenophobic policies, Mexican and American workers must unify their demands with those of the Sioux and Tohono O’odham peoples. Bring down the wall by constructing resistance with workers, indigenous peoples and women on both sides of the border.

From Standing Rock to the Sierra Norte of Puebla: indigenous peoples join together in defence of territory

The campesino, indigenous and mestizo peoples of the Northeast Sierra of Puebla have demonstrated, once again, their capacity for organization and self-determination.

As is now the custom in this region, every other month, and now on February 18, hundreds of people came from 173 towns and 16 municipalities to gather together in the 18th Assembly in Defence of Territory to reaffirm the power to decide on their lives and the destiny of their territories.

The meeting was held in the municipal capital of Cuetzalan, [1] where its residents wage an important fight against the imposition of an electric substation and high-tension wires. According to what the web page Hijos de la Tierra has reported, those installations are destined to favour mining megaprojects, fracking and hydroelectric dams in la region.

Representatives of social movement struggles were present from the Indigenous Peoples Front in Defence of Mother Earth, of San Francisco Xochicuautla community, the Maya community of Hopelchén, Campeche that struggles against the planting of transgenic seeds, students from the rural teachers colleges, mothers from Ayotzinapa and two representatives of the Native peoples of New Mexico and South Dakota in the United States, who organize and defend their Standing Rock territory and rivers against the “Dakota Access” pipeline impelled once again by Donald Trump.

The municipal presidency of Cuetzalan and representatives of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE, its initials in Spanish) were invited to the meeting so that they could provide information about the motive and objectives of the electric project that they want to develop at that place. They did not attend however and therefore the assembly decided to continue stopping the construction work and to maintain the encampment installed since the month of November.

[1] Cuetzalan, Puebla is one of Mexico’s “magical towns.” See: http://www.visitmexico.com/en/magicaltowns/center-region/cuetzalan

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Originally Published in Spanish by Desinformémonos

Monday, February 20, 2017

https://desinformemonos.org/no-habra-muro-sioux-yaquis-tohono-oodham-las-luchas-indigenas-se-unen-desde-standing-rock-la-sierra-norte-puebla/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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February 20, 2017

The announcement of the creation of an Indigenous Council of Government (CIG)

Filed under: CNI, Displacement, Ethics, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatista — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:16 pm

 

 

.The announcement of the creation of an Indigenous Council of Government (CIG)

 

Ruby Zajac

UK Zapatista Translation Service

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The announcement of the creation of an Indigenous Council of Government (CIG), on the 1st of January this year, has generated a great deal of debate in the Mexican Left and excitement in the international ranks of the Sexta. Indeed, the debate has been underway, in parallel to the consultations in 523 indigenous communities, since the proposal was first made by EZLN and the CNI (National  Indigenous Congress) during the first half of the 5th CNI, in October last year. Here, we consider some of the reactions to the proposal and its implications in the wider context of the Mexican left. In order to locate the proposal in the broader landscape of political struggle in Mexico, we must first establish the historic relationship between the CNI and EZLN.

The CNI is a transitory body; it has never existed permanently, but rather in the moments its delegates have come together. The first National Indigenous Congress took place in 1996, when, in the midst of debating the San Andrés Accords, with Zedillo’s government, the Zapatistas called the different indigenous peoples of the country together to share the progress of this crucial dialogue with the State about indigenous rights. It enabled the revolutionary group to adopt a more representative posture, in so far as they were arguing for indigenous rights, not Zapatista rights. Ten years later, in 2006, the CNI met for the 4th time, in San Pedro Atlapulco, State of Mexico, where it announced its affiliation to the Sexta. The Sextathe colloquial name for the extended community of Zapatista supporters and associates in Mexico and the across the world, which originated in 2005 with the release of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. The San Andrés Accords remained, and remain, unfulfilled.

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In October 2016, ten years after they joined the Sexta, the CNI met once more. Again, the Zapatistas would play an important role. On the 13th of October, the congress decided to adopt the Zapatistas’ proposal to form an Indigenous Council of Government, led by an indigenous woman, who would run as an independent candidate in the 2018 presidential elections. Between October and December last year, the proposal was up for debate in indigenous communities across Mexico, before delegates met again to report back. The significance of EZLN for the CNI and the over 60 indigenous peoples in Mexico can be summed up in the words of Álvaro Sebastián Ramírez, a political prisoner who wrote in an open letter to the CNI and EZLN, that the colonisers “may have chopped down the trunk of our tree, but they couldn’t pull out its roots, and it began to sprout again with the Indigenous Uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation”.

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So, it’s the eve of 2017, Trump is soon to be inaugurated and Brexit is on its way; from where we’re sitting in the UK it seems this year is already destined to turn politics as we know it on its head. With that in mind, this unprecedented event in Mexican politics doesn’t seem quite so incredible. The so-called ‘post-truth’ age might actually just be the revealing in the West of “Democracy’s” longstanding shortcomings, which in Mexico they know only too well. Indeed, that is part of the drive for this new strategy of those from below; Trump was hardly mentioned while I was at the Zapatista science conference ‘ConCiencias’ and surrounded by supporters of the Zapatistas and the CNI over Christmas, which I think says something about the distance of the alternative left from mainstream Mexican politics and the absence of the state. The moment was marked by the oppression of indigenous environmental defenders, the eviction of autonomous cultural centre Chanti Ollin in Mexico City and the challenging, inspiring dialogue between the Zapatistas and academics like Kirsten Vogeler and Pablo González Casanova, and community science projects like Colectivo Alterius, in ConCiencias. On the 1st of January 2017, with all of this and more in the background, the CNI took centre stage and voted in the proposal.

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For those who followed the Otra Campaña (Other Campaign) in 2005/6 (the first call for Mexicans to think outside the political box, embodied in a nationwide consultation by the Zapatistas that ran parallel to the 2006 general elections), this new proposal will set some bells ringing. It will also flag up some pretty fundamental differences. Didn’t EZLN always claim to be against participating in the electoral process? Didn’t they adopt the poignant slogan of a collective of the Sexta, ‘Our dreams don’t fit in your urns’? Haven’t they always insisted that they will not become a political party?

Yes, all of this is still true (although John Gibler writes that the Zapatista position on abstention has been treated with carefully chosen words). That’s why it is so important to recognise the germination of this proposal as a collaborative effort “EZLN–CNI”, which is ultimately to be spearheaded by the CNI not EZLN. Members of the collective Indigenous Council of Government will be elected through a consultation in all of the communities who send delegates to the CNI, including the female spokesperson. She will run as candidate in the elections because the system demands individual candidacy, but ultimately, and crucially, she will be representing the collective body; and if elected, Gustavo Esteva writes, the council as a whole must undertake the mammoth task of dismantling the state apparatus.

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But the proposal is about more than the 2018 presidential elections. It is challenging Mexicans to come together and struggle for freedom side by side with the 16 million indigenous people of their society, giving them a bastion around which to organise, a common purpose that will unite them, a purpose that neither beings nor ends in those urns, but which, as Josefa Contreras so astutely points out, is a “direct confrontation with an asymmetric political logic” (Ojarasca, La Jornada).

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Or as Subcomandante Galeano, the Zapatista spokesperson-come-double translator, put it in a November communiqué: “We told them that it didn’t matter if they won the presidency of the Republic or not, that what mattered was the challenge, the irreverence, the revolt, the total rupture with the image of the indigenous as object of pity and charity […] What mattered was that their audacity would shake the entire political system and that they would hear echoes of hope not from one but from many of the Mexicos below… and the belows of the world.”

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Of course, the leader of recently-formed leftist party MORENA, the Movement for National Renewal, the self-professed ‘hope of Mexico’, born out of the 2006 left-wing coalition for the presidency, isn’t a fan. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, quickly denounced the proposal, accusing EZLN and the CNI of playing the government’s game, and highlighting their inconsistency, since they detracted from his campaigns in 2006 and 2012, encouraging abstention from what, despite the end of single-party rule in 2000, is still widely considered to be the electoral farce.

But since the last general elections, Ayotzinapa has shaken civil society to its core and put a spotlight on the chronic, systematic human rights abuses of the Mexican state. Political observers said it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, causing the Mexican public to explode out onto the streets in protests that reached the 10,000s in November 2014.

But it didn’t, and the impunity has continued.

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The teachers’ strikes against the supposed ‘educational reform’, which many maintain is really a neoliberal and neocolonial labour reform led, in June 2016, to the death of at least ten people (although some sources say eleven) in a confrontation between police and protesters in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, reminiscent of the oppression of mass protests in the same state in 2006. Three months before Ayotzinapa, 22 civilians were victims of extrajudicial execution by members of the army in Tlatlaya. The community of Atenco, where 2 young men were killed, 27 women raped and over 200 locals injured and arrested in 2006 continues to resist the building of a new airport on their land and state actors continue to commit acts of sexual violence. This incident was what put the breaks on the Other Campaign, as adherents rushed to protect the community in resistance.

 

Political commentators reason that the new proposal will undermine Obrador and MORENA. The counterargument, of course, is that any change brought about through MORENA would be superficial. For various historical reasons including the collaboration of the institutional leftist party the PRD with the PRI and PAN in governorship coalitions and corruption scandals, most activists I’ve come across from within the alternative left consider all professional politicians to be as bad as each other. An esteemed Mexican intellectual from the Sexta told me the same, that to save the future of the country the people must look towards a completely new avenue of change, one that comes from their millenary cultural heritage.

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Seemingly embodying a middle ground, the poet and activist Javier Sicilia recently called for a Popular Front for 2018; the coming together of various leftist elements in Mexico ranging from the solidly institutional (Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas – first leader of the ‘leftist’ institutional party, the PRD, in 1989) to the openly anti-systemic (EZLN) and including potential brokers between these two poles such as migrant advocate Father Alejandro Solalinde. Obrador would neither lead nor not be excluded from this front, Sicilia insisted, tapping into concerns about Obrador’s charismatic leadership. The charismatic leader model of populist leftism has come under significant critique recently, in cases like Venezuela and Bolivia, and it is important to recognise just how much the EZLN-CNI collective governance proposal veers away from this path, proposing a much more fundamental change to the system than MORENA does. But although Sicilia evoked similar collective ideals, he made no explicit mention of the EZLN-CNI proposal.

It may be early days to be analysing the response to the EZLN-CNI proposal; the candidate to lead the CIG is to be chosen and announced in May, which I imagine will provoke further comment and debate. One thing that did jump out at me while researching this article was the lack of coverage of this historic event in the English speaking international press (the Guardian, BBC, NY Times and Washington Post haven’t run articles on it for a start) – everyone’s news on Mexico has been Trump-related. The EZLN-CNI proposal is a world away from mainstream politics; will it galvanize interest and support from across the political spectrum or remain in the network of resistance from below? We will have to wait and see.

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The San Sebastián Bachajón Ejido: 6 years after the police operation to evict and dispossess us of our ejido land

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta, Lacandon/ montes azules, Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:27 am

 

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The San  Sebastián Bachajón Ejido:  6 years after the police operation to evict and dispossess us of our ejido land

 6 years after the dispossession of their land, Bachajón community members keep up the struggle

 

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THE SAN SEBASTIÁN BACHAJÓN EJIDO, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 8 FEBRARY 2017

To the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Councils of Good Government

To the National Indigenous Congress

To Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the media

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

 

Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.

Compañeros and compañeras, the Adherents of the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón send you, your organisations and your communities in resistance combative greetings.

In this month of February 2017, we remember that 6 years have gone by since the operation ordered by Juan Sabines Guerrero and Noé Castañón León to evict and dispossess us of our territory was carried out by more than 800 agents from different state and federal police forces.

This violent, abusive and invasive police operation into our indigenous territory was with the clear objective of definitively appropriating our land for their economic gain. Among other consequences were the persecution of Sixth Bachajón comrades, the arbitrary arrest and unjust imprisonment of more than 100 of our comrades, who were separated from their families and deprived of their freedom. All on the whim of the bad government because we did not obey its order to release control of the collection booth and access to the Agua Azul Waterfalls, which we had built on our ejido lands. This access point is strategically located. The Bad Government seeks control of the booth to serve interests completely indifferent to the social benefits and the collective indigenous community of the ejido.

This mega police operation was being schemed and prepared since the end of 2010 in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas by Noé Castañón León and the San Sebastián Bachajón PRIist ejido commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez also known as ‘el Goyito’. ‘El Goyito’ is also the same person who threatened to kill our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán before his actual murder on 24 April 2013. For approximately a year before this operation was carried out, our organisation had maintained a land defense camp on the road that leads up to the Agua Azul Waterfall. This was done through collective training, organisation and work, we also charged tourists for the entry to our lands on the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, and this was for the general benefit of all the ejido and not just our organisation.

The operation took place then because the Bad Government took advantage of the moment  to repress, persecute and violate the human rights of our people. This was when Tatik Samuel Ruiz passed on to a better life and the director of the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Diego Cadenas Gordillo went to work with the Bad Government alongside Juan Sabines Guerrero in the State Human Rights Council just a few days after the death of Tatik Samuel. This is what the former director of Frayba Marina Patricia Jiménez Ramírez also did, and she earns approximately 100 thousand pesos per month. The death of Tatik Samuel created conditions which allowed the Bad Government to intensify attacks on indigenous communities living in resistance in Chiapas, including the defense of the land of San Sebastian Bachajón and all of this contributed to the chain of events that have so far occurred.

Our organization continues to stand up and defend our territory. We are more aware of our rights as an indigenous people, we seek to build an autonomy as an organization and as human beings. We support all people who live any injustice, whether you belong to the Sixth or not, Zapatista or not Zapatista, Catholic or non-Catholic. If you are a person who lives injustice as we do, we will do what we can to support you.

 

We also continue to fight for our prisoners who belong to everyone, not just us. And all other prisoners too; these prisoners can count on San Sebastian Bachajón’s word of solidarity and unselfish interests. It takes a lot of organization, coordination and solidarity to liberate our compañeros who have been in prison for many years, and becoming poorer, sicker and less hopeful. Despite our economic poverty we are full of pride and enthusiasm to provide legal and political accompaniment to our our compañeros and to contribute something to their freedom. We humbly ask for your support in your own way that allows them to get out of the Bad Government’s dungeon and to free other fellow prisoners in Mexico and the world.

 

Santiago Moreno Pérez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, is originally from La Pimienta and was serving as an Adviser to the Sixth’s Autonomous Security Council in 2009 when a serious problem occurred in the community. He and his son Sebastian were accused of murdering another La Pimienta resident. The community gathered to lynch them, but then decided not to kill them and turned them over to jail, but they also took all of their possessions before doing so. Some days later Santiago’s wife died and his children were orphaned. Apprehension orders have also been issued for the children accusing them of the same crime as Santiago. The compañero’s current situation is that he is still on trial. Many of his rights have been violated, and they rescheduled his case once, and that is why he has been unjustly detained for almost 8 years.

Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, originally from Xanil, Chilón, Chiapas, is accused of assaulting an Italian tourist who was passing through Xanil community. Emilio, along with his father, were detained without an apprehension order by PRIista residents of the community. His father was released by the Palenque Public Prosecutor’s Office, but Emilio has been jailed since 2014. The compañero is awaiting sentencing and we expect that it may happen any day soon.

Esteban Gómez Jiménez, prisoner in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison in Chiapas. He is originally from Salto de Tigre, Chilón, Chiapas, and he is accused of several serious crimes, like felony homicide, two violent assaults on tourists, and possession of a weapon of exclusive use to military. So far, he has been cleared of the charge of murder and possession of the military weapon, but the two charges of assault are still pending. Because he was attacked by other prisoners when he was in El Amate Prison, he asked to be transferred to the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison, which is where he is at the moment.

Considering the local and the national situation, we reaffirm our commitment and belief in the preparatory work that we are carrying out alongside the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The work is urgent and necessary in order to transform the reality of the country. Dispossession, repression, and contempt of the Bad Government is what will continue to be our reality unless we but brakes to their injustices.

From the Northern Zone in the state of Chiapas, the women and men of San Sebastián, we send you combative greetings.

 

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and freedom

Long live Zapata!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Long live Juan Vázquez guzmán, and Bachajón’s struggle!

Long live Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, and Bachajón’s struggle!

No to the dispossession of indigenous lands!

State police, Out of indigenous lands!

Immediate return of the disappeared and murdered “compañeros” from the teachers’ school  Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa!

Justice for our compañero Juan Vazquez Guzman, Ayotzinapa, Acteal, ABC, Atenco!

 

https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/ejido-san-sebastian-bachajon-a-seis-anos-del-operativo-de-desalojo-y-despojo-de-nuestras-tierras-ejidales /

 

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February 8, 2017

Believing People Pilgrimage

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:44 pm

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Believing People Pilgrimage

believing-popleBelieving People Pilgrimage in San Cristóbal, 2016 Photo: El Heraldo de Chiapas

On January 25, members of Believing Peoples of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas held a pilgrimage on the fifth anniversary of the death of Jtatik Samuel Ruíz and also for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Diocesan Coordination of Women (CODIMUJ).

About 4,000 people came from the municipalities of Comitan, Frontera Comalapa, Chicomuselo, Altamirano, Tila, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo, Chilon, La Trinitaria, La Independencia, San Cristóbal, Chenalho, San Juan Chamula, Larrainzar, Oxchuc, among others. They met in the Cathedral Square of San Cristobal de las Casas to remember Jtatik Samuel in prayer.

As Believing Peoples, they proposed building autonomy in the communities, recovering the structure of government, resisting the projects and recovering the autonomous and community governments, facing the 2018 elections, as the political parties are already controlling and organizing their people in communities.

Believing Peoples denounce “the poverty that is increasing through the rise of [the price of] gasoline, gas, electricity, tortilla, transportation and everything. We denounce the nationalist egotism of the new government in the United States, which excludes emigrants and who only look out for their economic interests, without solidarity with less developed countries. 

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/chiapas-believing-people-pilgrimage/

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Urgent Action: Rarámuri Indigenous Leaders Murdered

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:22 am

 

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Urgent Action: Rarámuri Indigenous Leaders Murdered

Sign the urgent action here on-line:  http://redtdt.org.mx/?p=7884

 

juanontiverosramos_isidrobaldenegro

 

The National Network of Civil Society Human Rights Groups, All Rights for Everyone (in Spanish:  ‘Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos, Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos’ and known by the acronym Red TDT)

2 February 2017

  • This is an urgent call to action to protect the safety and integrity of members of the Choreachi community following the murder of indigenous leader Juan Ontiveros Ramos, 15 days after the murder of Isidro Baldenegro, another indigenous leader from the same municipality.
  • We demand that the investigation begun into these events be diligently integrated into this case, in order to identify, prosecute and punish all those responsible; and to ensure the non-repetition of similar events.

 

Recent Events Prior to the Murder

Red TDT has received information from the Alianza Sierra Madre A.C. and the Women’s Human Rights Centre about the murder of the human rights defender Juan Ontiveros Ramos.

On February 1, 2017, Juan Ontiveros Ramos was found dead after he and his brother Isidro were attacked the day before by armed individuals. On January 20, Juan took part in a meeting with personnel from the Human Rights Section of the Ministry of the Interior and other authorities. There were two rounds of analysis discussing the community’s security situation and dispossession of their territory.

 

In October 2015 Juan Ontiveros had also presented his testimony about the local problems in a video that was given to the IACHR (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights) in a meeting implementing precautionary measures. The aggressions suffered by the communities and human rights defenders of the region have been a trend identified by organizations working in the region.

What happened

The Choréachi community in the municipality of Guadalupe and Calvo, Chihuahua has a grave history of attacks on human rights defenders, as well as general harassment of villagers. This is due to the approximately 40 years of occupation of their territory by groups of organized crime and others. In such a context of reoccurring serious violence, it is imperative to issue an emergency call to protect the life and integrity of the rest of the inhabitants of the Choréachi commuinty.

The homicide of Juan Ontiveros Ramos took place 15 days after Isidro Baldenegro, another indigenous leader from the same municipality, was also assassinated. These two cases bring to 18 the total number of homicides that the community has suffered since 1973. Four of these murders took place last year, and this reveals that territorial dispossession in the Tarahumara Sierra continues without being addressed.

The aggressions against the Choréachi community are a longstanding problem. Since two years ago, an emergency situation had already been reported. On 20 February 2014 several organizations in the region sent a request for precautionary measures to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in support of Prudencio Ramos Ramos and Ángela Ayala Ramos and their respective families. After determining the seriousness of the case, the commission requested Mexico to take the necessary measures to preserve life and to enable them to carry out their human rights defence work without being subjected to violence. It also requested that the facts of the case be investigated so as to avoid the situation repeating.

Again, we value the words Rapporteur Forst delivered in his report on the closure of his mission of January 24:

‘During my visit to Chihuahua, I became familiar with the situation faced by human rights defenders protecting the rights of the Rarámuri indigenous people, in particular the risks posed by organized crime and the lack of protection by the authorities.’ For these reasons, the expert ‘Call[ed] on the federal and state authorities to ensure that all crimes against the defenders of the rights of the Sierra Tarahumara peoples are properly investigated.’ The signatory organizations of this communiqué make the same call as Michel Forst and urge the state and federal authorities to act accordingly.

Given these facts we demand the following:

  1. Protect the Choréachi community and provide security for the life and natural and cultural heritage of the Rarámuri people.
  2. Guarantee the physical and moral integrity of Juan Ontiveros Ramos’s family.
  3. Follow through and act on the arrest warrants pending in connection with the murder of Jaime Zubías and Socorro Ayala as they relate to these events.
  4. That the investigation initiated by these events be diligently integrated, in order to identify, prosecute and punish all those responsible; and to ensure similar events do not happen again.
  5. That the agreements adopted at the different rounds of meetings be complied with and result in both the guarantee that the community recovers its territory, and the compliance of the precautionary measures adopted by the IACHR result in the safety of those who are under the protective mechanisms of human rights defenders and journalists.
  6. That the contingency plan drawn up from the preventive alert, to support human rights defenders and journalists in Chihuahua, and adopted by the government representatives of the protective mechanisms be put into action.

 

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

https://www.centrodemedioslibres.org/2017/02/04/accion-urgente-ante-asesinatos-de-lideres-indigenas-raramuri/

 

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February 7, 2017

CNI/EZLN in Solidarity with Rarámuri People

Filed under: CNI, Corporations, Dams, Displacement, Ethics, Frayba, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:05 am

 

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CNI/EZLN in Solidarity with Rarámuri People

 

Joint Communique from the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation in Solidarity with the Rarámuri People

Stop the assassinations of Rarámuri Indigenous Compañeros Defending Their Territory!raramuri

Indigenous Territories of Mexico

February 4, 2017

To the people of Choreachi,

To all of the Rarámuri People,

To the Indigenous Peoples,

To the people of Mexico,

To the peoples of the world,

We learned today of the murders of Indigenous Rarámuri compañeros Juan Ontiveros Ramos and Isidro Baldenegro, both of the community of Choreachi in the municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, yesterday February 2, and 15 days ago, respectively.

We urgently denounce these new acts of barbarity against compañeros known for their commitment to the struggle of their people for the recuperation of their territory, which was taken over 40 years ago by large landowners/ranchers and organized crime.

As the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, we are in solidarity with the Rarámuri People who have been so hurt by these murders, now totaling 18 homicides committed against their communities since 1973, four of them in the last year.

Compañeros and compañeras, you are not alone! We accompany you in your pain, we open our hearts to the tireless struggle you are waging against organized crime and the landowners backed by the bad governments, and we offer you our support as indigenous peoples of this country who are organizing ourselves to defend our lives and our territories.

 

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STOP THE ASSASSINATIONS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN STRUGGLE!

NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT US!

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS

ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION

 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/02/05/comunicado-conjunto-del-congreso-nacional-indigena-y-el-ejercito-zapatista-de-liberacion-nacional-en-solidaridad-con-el-pueblo-raramuri/

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January 27, 2017

The FPDT Again Denounces the Intrusion of Machinery with Protection of the Army and Federal Police

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, Women — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:29 am

 

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The FPDT Again Denounces the Intrusion of Machinery with Protection of the Army and Federal Police

 

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Today, January 22, crews of workers from the companies CIPSA and Pinfra entered the ejido of Atenco with two bulldozers intent on carrying out the construction of the highway Pirámides-Texcoco. With the protection of a military tank and federal police, the companies again violated the definitive suspension awarded against this project that is part of the new airport of Mexico City. This took place one day after sharing testimony of human rights violations against members of the FDPT and of the habitants of the communities on the Eastern shore of Lake Texcoco with a special reporter of the UN.

The ejido members and habitants of the communities went to the place of intrusion to demand the fulfilment of the suspension and the respect of their human rights. They talked with the workers to remove the machinery. The machine returned to the company with the condition that the land would be restored to its place and the policemen would not be involved.

We call on all social organizations, media, and people in solidarity with our cause in defence of mother earth to be alert to the continued provocations, actions of intimidation, and aggressions against our communities. These actions operate in complicity with businesses and local, state and federal authorities to impose the plundering involved in the new airport project of Mexico City. We appeal to the respect of our human rights and to the respect of due process in each one of the different cases of appeals and denunciations that we have opened against these abuses.

Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra

https://atencofpdt.blogspot.mx/2017/01/el-fpdt-denuncia-nueva-incursion-de.html?m=1

https://palabrasrebeldes.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/the-fpdt-again-denounces-the-intrusion-of-machinery-with-support-of-the-army-and-federal-police/

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January 1, 2017

CNI releases map showing locations of aggression against indigenous peoples

Filed under: CNI, Displacement, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:30 am

 

Indigenous conflicts number 202 in MX

Congress releases map showing locations of aggression against indigenous peoples

 

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Mexico News Daily | Saturday, December 31, 2016

Just over 200 indigenous communities in Mexico are victims of aggression of some sort, according to the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI).

The two organizations, meeting in Chiapas for the fifth national indigenous congress, issued a map indicating the locations of conflicts affecting Mexico’s indigenous peoples.

The document indicates that 202 indigenous municipalities suffer some kind of aggression, including the dispossession of their land, the effects of mining activities or the presence of organized crime groups.

Among the cases cited:

  • Toxic spills in Veracruz that have devastated water sources and the occupation of lands belonging to the Wixárika people of Jalisco, Nayarit and Durango.
  • Communities in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca face the dispossession of their land in favor of industry while the creation of natural protected areas has had the same effect on the territory of indigenous peoples elsewhere in the state.
  • A new highway between Toluca and Naucalpan threatens a 23-kilometer stretch of forested area in the State of México and communal indigenous lands in Morelos face a similar threat due to the construction of the Pera-Cuautla highway.
  • The Cerro Grande forests of Colima, the only source of water for the state, are currently under threat by a mining entrepreneur.
  • Organized crime and government are both a threat to Nahua communities in Michoacán.

“In the Nahua communities of Santa María Ostula, Coibe and Pomaro, part of the coastal Aquila municipality of Michoacán, organized crime and the government have killed 34 of their members, including two children, while six more remain disappeared,” said a speaker at the congress, being held in San Cristóbal de las Casas.

To face these attacks, say the EZLN and the CNI, communities have had to develop autonomous forms of government and defense.

Indigenous peoples from across Mexico are participating in the meeting, one of whose outcomes is expected to be the designation of an indigenous woman as an independent candidate for president in the 2018 election.

While the Zapatista movement has stated its support of the candidacy, it has made it clear that the nominee will not be a Zapatista.

Source: Reforma (sp)

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/indigenous-conflicts-number-202-in-mx/?utm_source=Mexico+News+Daily&utm_campaign=2222324af4-December+31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f1536a3787-2222324af4-347992809#sthash.1rGpWuxT.d

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December 25, 2016

Final report on the Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with the the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, Displacement, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:04 pm

 

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Final report on the Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with the the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, held from 4th to 10th December, 2016.

 

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To our sisters and brothers of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón

To our compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle throughout the world

To our Zapatista compañer@s

To the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)

To the people of Mexico and the world

 

Compañeras and compañeros, We send you combative greetings and thanks for your participation in the Week of Worldwide action in solidarity with the the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, which took place from Sunday 4th to Saturday 10th December, 2016, International Human Rights Day.

The words of our compañero the indigenous activist Hugo Blanco Galdos from Peru give echo to all our efforts of solidarity during this week: “The attack on compañero Domingo Pérez Álvaro from San Sebastián Bachajón is a sign that the oppressive system headed by Peña Nieto intends to crush the community of San Sebastián Bachajón. We must all raise our voices in protest so that the oppressors know that the brothers and sisters of that community are not alone.”

With the full support of the compas of la Sexta Bachajón, including Domingo Pérez Álvaro, and the family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, who sent a videomessage in support, activities took place in Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Spain, the United States and Uruguay. These included demonstrations, talks, exhibitions, pronouncements, discussions and the screening and production of videos, in which we all made a global echo of the following demands:

 

  • Respect for the fundamental human rights of the indigenous Tseltal peoples of San Sebastián Bachajón, and guarantees for their security and integrity
  • Respect and guarantees for their right to the full use and enjoyment of their territory and to self-determination and the construction of their autonomy
  • An end to the plunder and dispossession and the theft of commons,
  • An end to the permanent police presence and the militarisation of the area, and to the threats and violence which are being experienced
  • A full and fair investigation into the material and intellectual authors of the assassinations of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano and a comprehensive investigation into the savage attack on Domingo Pérez Álvaro, and punishment of those responsible
  • Freedom and justice for Esteban Gómez Jiménez, prisoner in Cintalapa de Figueroa, and for Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoners in Playas de Catazaja.

We thank you for your solidarity and support, and ask you all to remain alert and aware and responsive as to what may take place in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, and to hold the three levels of government and their lackeys responsible for any acts of aggression.

 

Land, Freedom and Justice for the Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón!

State police out of indigenous territory!

Stop the Aggressions against the Adherents to the Sexta!

Freedom and Justice for prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

Long Live the EZLN! Long live the CNI!

 

With embraces of Love and Solidarity,

 

Hermann Bellinghausen, Mexico

Movement for Justice in el Barrio, United States

Raúl Zibechi, Uruguay

Sylvia Marcos, Mexico

Jean Robert, Mexico

Gustavo Esteva Figueroa, Mexico

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, England

Hugo Blanco Galdos, Peru

Malú Huacuja del Toro, United States

Circulo de las Primeras Naciones de l’UQAM, Canada

John Gibler, Mexico

 

For further information see the Bachajón website: https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

 

Video message of thanks from La Sexta Bachajon:

 

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