dorset chiapas solidarity

November 28, 2016

Chiapas: Indigenous Pilgrimage shows the “Green” Government how to care for the Earth

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:09 pm

 

Chiapas:  Indigenous Pilgrimage shows the “Green” Government how to care for the Earth

 

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Chiapas, México. 18 November. “We invite children, young people to teach them how to plant corn, beans, everything that we have in our lands. So that we don’t forget the Mayan altar which is all we have. At the Mayan altar we can thank God. We are millionaires because of the riches from our seeds and our lands.” These are the words of the original people from Tseltal, Tsotsil and Ch’ol communities as they arrived in the city of Ocosingo. on the fifth day of their pilgrimage

“We have to care for our lands, and no longer use agrochemicals because they kill everything which is in the land. Our grandparents did not use agrochemicals, they worked and it was their sweat of their labour that bore fruit, and that is what we must show young people, that it still can be done that way today,” shared Maria, a member of “Canan Lum Qu’inal” (The Carers and Protectors of Mother Earth) from the community of Bachajon.

Ana, also from “Canan Lum Qu’inal”, talked about some of the work she does in her village:  “I don’t know how to read or write, and I buy nothing. With my sweat, and alongside my husband, I work, and we have everything.” I grow 4 types of beans. My children study, and they like to work the land. They have their own corn and beans, which they plant themselves. They are on a diploma-course. From the very beginning they have been taught that we must work the land. Although I don’t know how to read, I understand what we’ve been told, what we’ve been given, and I am grateful to God. Now we continue with the other diploma-students, we are teaching them to plant and grow food.”

This pilgrimage of indigenous peoples denounces the extractive mega-projects in Chiapas just as the state executive Velasco Coello from the “Ecologist ‘Green’ party” delivered a letter of intention that “Puerto Chiapas be established as a Special Economic Zone. According to social researcher Mateo Crossa, “Big foreign and national capital are already in the southern part of the country. They over-exploit the labour force, strip the indigenous people of their lands.”  The Special Economic Zones serve to rejuvenate this model, and add fuel to the motor of exploitation and dispossession.

Pilgrims from the the parish of San Jacinto de Polania in Ocosingo said in a statement.“We denounce the influence of government agencies such as CONAFOR, FANAR (RAJAS at present) and in general of all government projects in the indigenous communities of the jungle. The end result is serious confrontation and irreparable division among the inhabitants, and this causes misery in our communities. The indigenous peoples of this area are once again demonstrating for the non-eviction of our communities of the Lacandon Jungle,” they added.

The pilgrimage in Defense of Life and our Land, which is taking place from 15 to 25 November isn’t the only signal of people’s actions demonstrating opposition to the extractive mega-projects in the state. In the past month of October, the Zoque community held mega-marches in town centre of Tecpatan, the administrative head town of the municipality. Similarly since the 26th of September coastal communities in Chiapas are occupying Acacoyagua to stop the operation and continuing work of new mining projects.

This Saturday the 19th the pilgrimage will arrive in the city of Altamirano, where a public meeting about the situation of alcoholism in indigenous communities will be held and, on Sunday the 20th in Oxchuc, the administrative head town, an exchange of community government experiences will be held.

Ocosingo, Chiapas, 18 November 2016: Statement from the “pueblo creyente” of the Parish of San Jacinto de Polonia, Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas.

 

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

http://www.pozol.org/?p=14051

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July 6, 2016

Zibechi: Communities stand up for life

 

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Zibechi: Communities stand up for life

The National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory

 

 

dsc0018_550The campfires in Cherán, Michoacán, Mexico.

 

By: Raúl Zibechi

Dozens of communities in resistance from 17 states of Mexico have started a long campaign that seeks to coordinate struggles, denounce extractivism and offer a space for mutual aid among those who are being attacked by capital and the State.

“The campaign seeks a dialogue and common actions that construct a fabric,” explains Gerardo Meza of the Acapatzingo Housing Community, in Mexico City. “Because the State takes advantage of the lack of information about what happens to the megaprojects it impels against the peoples. Therefore, we seek to construct non-organic organizational spaces for generating identity in the neighbourhoods and to weave a process of autonomy in Mexico City.”

Gerardo refers to the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory that started on April 10 and will culminate on November 20, two dates with deep rebel content in Mexico. The Francisco Villa Popular Organization of the Independent Left participated in it along with 180 organizations from 17 states, grouped into nine regions. A Committee for Mother Earth made up of 40 musicians, actors, religious men and women and professionals supports the campaign, which at each activity united hundreds and thousands of people: from the 1,500 that went to the launch in Mexico City on April 10, to the hundreds who mobilized in support of Xochicuautla, where the community resists the construction of a superhighway in the State of Mexico.

“The spearhead of the extractive model is mining,” Meza reasons, “levelling entire communities, taking territory away from them and destroying their identities.” The campaign places affected communities in a relationship with other affected communities in a direct, horizontal relationship, not mediated by representatives but rather of people to people. Of the campaign signers, 97 communities and barrios have conflicts with extractivist capital and the State, and resist often with very high human costs.

In the Mexican capital, for example, the barrios are being affected by urban infrastructure and communication projects, through the construction of metro lines, inter-urban trains and real estate speculation, one of the most destructive and least analysed facets of the extractive model. We’re able to talk about an “urban extractivism,” which is connected with the general model and in many cases acts to complement the mode of accumulation, since the enormous profits from mono-crops and mining are apt to be invested in urban speculation, which results in the gentrification of the cities and the expulsion of the poorest inhabitants.

From Norte to South: young and brave women

The Campaign reports that the most of the conflicts are produced by the construction of hydroelectric dams and other energy generation projects (34%), followed closely by mining projects (32%). Transportation projects like highways and trains (12%) and urbanization (11%) appear at more distance. The privatization of water embraces 15% of the conflicts, but many mining and energy projects also appropriate the commons, like water, therefore this must be one of the principal motives for the community resistances.

In the north, in the state of Sonora, the Comcáac Nation resists the destruction of 100 kilometres of Pacific littoral, where fisherpeople seek to save their sources of work from the La Peineta mining project. Gabriela Molina, of the Comcáac Territory Defenders organization, assures that half of his peoples’ territory has been conceded to a mining company that seeks to extract iron, copper and silver at sites that are sacred to his nation. “The nation is a place where deer and bighorn sheep reproduce, because of which we don’t want an extractive activity on our territory, which is also very close to the Canal del Infiernillo, where there are plants that we use for our artesanía, like jojoba and elephant tree (torote), and it is thus a site of material spiritual importance for the survival of our people.”

As happens all over the world, mining succeeded in dividing the Comcáac people with promises and a few resources. “Our group is made up of 22 women who organize against mining and we are dedicated to informing the peoples of the Sonora Sierra who are not familiar with what mining is,” Gabriela says. As Comcáac Nation, they are supported with the Traditional Guard, armed self-defence that was born in 1979 for the protection of autonomous territory. The guard is elected by the council of elders and the traditional governor and is composed as much by men as women.

“Until we added ourselves to the campaign our people were invisible,” Gabriela finished; she also denounces hydric extractivism that diverts water for business production and tourist projects in zones her people inhabit.

Since 2008, the town of San José del Progreso, in the state of Oaxaca, has opposed the arrival of a mining company in a campesino population that cultivates corn, beans and garbanzos. According to official data of the Secretariat of the Economy, since the approval of the 1992 Mining Law, Mexico delivered 31,000 concessions on almost 51 million hectares to more than 300 companies that manage around 800 projects. Rosalinda Dionisio, who is a member of the Coordinator of United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley, suffered an attack when members of the organization were ambushed for opposing the mining Cuzcatlán, a subsidiary of the Canadian Fortuna Silver Mines, which exploits 700 hectares for extracting uranium, gold and silver.

The mine is located near the San José del Progreso municipality, one of the three poorest in the state. Although the better part of its six thousand inhabitants reject mining, the mayor supports it and heads a group that attacks members of the Coordinator. In February and March 2012, the activists were attacked, in one case by the municipal police and in another by unknown persons, with a result of two dead and various injured, among them Rosalinda. That was the reaction to the community protests, when tubes were installed to carry water to the mine, diverting it away from the campesinos’ crops.

A monster that is called the State

“With the campaign we seek to speak clearly with other communities, since we must redouble in the face of repression, and be able to inform other peoples about what is happening to us,” Rosalinda explains. “We have a monster State that has hit us very hard, with disappearances, with repression, and therefore we need a network to support each other, based on mutual aid, for confronting the monster that takes life away from us,” says this young and brave woman, survivor of the war against the peoples. She has still not completely recovered her mobility after various surgeries, but she shows an admirable combative spirit.

The resistance of the community of Cherán doesn’t need presentation, because since 2011 it has been an example for peoples who resist the extractive model and the armed groups (state or paramilitary) that promote and protect it. Severiana Fabián, a member of the High Council of the P’urhépecha indigenous community of Cherán, also forms part of the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory. Her community rose up to expel the criminal woodcutters supported by local caciques.

“We fight to defend a commons that is Mother Earth,” explains Severiana. The key to the success of this community is its organization, extensive and profound, which reaches all corners, is open and transparent, solid and convincing. “We are organized by uses and customs (traditional indigenous governing practices) and we have attained that Cherán is calm and secure by the force of our community organization,” says a woman who feels proud of the work accomplished in five years, which she considers an example for Mexicans.

The form of organization, from below to above, begins by the campfires. There are four barrios (neighbourhoods) and in each one there are between 50 and 60 campfires (fogatas), at the rate of one per block. There are 53 campfires in Severiana’s barrio, which speaks of a way of outdoor organization, in which families can participate, from the children to the elderly. Each barrio elects three individuals to the High Council, in which there are currently three women.

Cherán has a population of 20,000 inhabitants and in each one of the 240 campfires installed on each corner there are some one hundred people. “This organization is the key to everything,” exclaims Severiana. The campfires are meeting places among neighbours, spaces where the community is re-created, but they are also organs of power in which collective decisions are made and where the participation of women is decisive.

As the synthesis of these years of struggle, Severiana assures that in Cherán “courage overcame fear.” Maybe it will be the legacy of this community that it can gather and expand the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Rebelión

Saturday, June 25, 2016

 

http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=213817

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Minor edits for UK audience by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

 

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June 3, 2016

First World Forum for Rights of Mother Earth Opens in Mexico City

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:52 pm

 

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First World Forum for Rights of Mother Earth Opens in Mexico City

 

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A Ceremony of Thanksgiving was part of the opening of the  World Forum for the Rights of Mother Earth (Pachamama) Photo: Guillermo Sologuren

 

La Jornada, 2nd June, 2016Angélica Enciso L.
The World Forum for the Rights of Mother Earth* opened yesterday [June 1, 2016, in Mexico City] with a ceremony of thanksgiving to the Pachamama. In his opening remarks, Luis Raúl González Pérez, president of Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and national [human rights] ombudsman, said that “Poverty, social exclusion and prevailing levels of inequality are realities that transgress all logic of democratic rule of law and violate the dignity of those who suffer.”

With international activists Vandana Shiva from India and Leonardo Boff, Brazilian theologian, in attendance, the ombudsman pointed out that in the course of almost 26 years, the CNDH has issued 15 environmental recommendations. The environmental issue, moreover, has also been addressed in general recommendations; the most recent regarding Natural Protected Areas.

 

Earth Is a Subject of Rights: Leonardo Boff

Speaking before hundreds of people, Leonardo Boff gave a lecture in which he said that the Earth, which gives what is necessary for life, “is threatened, super-exploited and now no longer tolerates it.”

The Earth also has rights, he added, and it must be respected; “each being has value and must be respected because it has a place in the universe.”

Boff emphasized that anthropocentrism must be overcome: “in order to realize that we are part of an occasion of life. We know that all living beings have the same genetic code. We all have the blocks for constructing the building of life. We have the same base and biological foundation.”

The Earth, he said, has dignity and is a subject of rights. Unscrupulous exploitation of the Earth cannot continue without giving the Earth time to rest. We have extracted from the Earth many goods and services. Now the Earth is sick, with “fever, the heat is the visible sign.”

 

Protecting the Earth Protects Human Species: Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva also participated in the opening ceremony, observing that the present moment is an era when we are able to know [in advance] that the Earth’s duress will result in the inability to support the human species. Therefore, she said, protecting the Earth protects human beings. She concluded, “It would be wonderful, if next year on the Day of Mother Earth, every inch of this planet might take part.”

Disrespecting the Earth Is to Disrespect Ourselves: González Pérez 

In turn, González Pérez considered that if we do not respect the Earth, we are not respecting ourselves as human beings. He added that it is our decision “to undertake a change to begin acting for life or to continue on the path of ignorance, destruction and damage to the environment. This change implies creating a new paradigm that rethinks many of our values and causes us to revise our habits and lifestyles.”

González Pérez emphasized that in Mexico human activity affects biodiversity and sidesteps the opportunity to make sustainable use of natural resources. Given the weakness of our rule of law, such practices as illegal logging or the intentional destruction of forests [i.e., via ‘wild’ fires set intentionally] to justify land use changes—these have become widespread in some regions, causing severe damage to the natural environment.
Among the dozens of organizations participating in the forum are Seeds of Life [Semillas de Vida], Serepaz, Without Corn There Is No Country [Sin maíz no hay país] and Pachamama Alliance.

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/06/02/sociedad/034n1soc

 

 

VME Note: The Forum’s Vision:

“It is time to globalize legislation for the Rights of Mother Earth and establish a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Nature, to recognize her as a living being—the biggest of all—to protect her, restore her, and link her to humanity by way of respect and preservation of all her species. Only this action can stop the irrational exploitation and the utilitarian view that today drives the relationship between mankind and Nature. Therefore, this declaration is the first step to ensure the future of the innumerable forms of existence, including the human species, on our planet.”

Forum activities will culminate in celebration of World Environment Day on June 5, 2016.

Leonardo Boff (Brazil) Philosopher, theologian and member of the international initiative of the Earth Charter. He has received awards in Brazil and abroad. In 2001, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (the Alternative Nobel Prize) in Stockholm, Sweden. His work has had much influence on the liberation theology movements since the seventies and, currently, in movements that have adopted eco-theology as an active expression for the defence of the rights of Mother Earth. He was consulted by Pope Francisco to draft a proposal for integral ecology.

Vandana Shiva (India) Physicist, philosopher, environmental activist, ecofeminist and writer. She received the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1993 and is one of the leaders and board members of the International Forum on Globalization. In 1973, she participated in the Chipko movement, formed by women to prevent the logging of forests in the Himalayas. In 1982, she created the Foundation for Scientific, Technological and Ecological Investigation, which has generated several initiatives that link women and the Earth. In 1993, she won the Global 500 Roll of Honour of the United Nations Environmental Programme and the United Nations Earth Day International Award.

http://voicesmotherearth.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/first-world-forum-for-rights-of-mother.html

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April 16, 2016

Launch of National Campaign in Defense of Mother Earth and Territory

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:49 am

 

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Launch of National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory

EarthNational Campaign in Defence of Mother earth and Territory. @defensamadretierra

 

On April 10, the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory was launched in Mexico City to defend territory and combat the disinformation that exists in the country as regards dispossession. This campaign, made up of 179 organizations, collectives and associations, has three objectives for November 20 of this year: share struggles and stories of defence of Mother Earth to show how it is being destroyed and the importance of defending it; denounce how the destruction “is giving profits to the men of money, Mexican and foreign, and they call this predatory profit development and progress”; and also to make known alternative ways of life and government to show that “another way of life in society respecting Mother earth and our brothers” is possible.

The members of the campaign call on all towns, communities, neighborhoods and suburbs that suffer dispossession, destruction of Mother Earth caused by mining, petrol, and forestry projects, or that make water a merchandise; that struggle against agrochemicals, mono-cultivation, and preserve native seeds; that are being affected by pollution; that struggle against the privatization of beaches, mangrove swamps, lakes, forests and protected natural areas, to carry out actions as part of this campaign.

 

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/national-launch-of-national-campaign-in-defense-of-mother-earth-and-territory/

 

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April 13, 2016

179 peoples, communities, barrios and organizations say: ¡State police out of Xochicuautla! ¡Stop the destruction of forest and homes!

 

 

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#XochicuautlaAlert

Published on April 12, 2016 in State of Mexico 

 

179 peoples, communities, barrios and organizations say: ¡State police out of Xochicuautla! ¡Stop the destruction of forest and homes!

 

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On Monday, April 11, 2016, around 800 State of Mexico riot police at the service of Grupo Higa laid siege to the Otomí community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, destroyed the camp set up in defence of the forest, used heavy machinery to illegally tear down the house of Dr. Armando García Salazar, and violently dragged out at least 25 men, women and children who were inside the house, including 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla.

During the past decade, the Xochicuautla community has struggled against the destruction of this forest–– one of the country’s most important lungs –– a forest threatened by the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan Toll Highway by the Autovan company, affiliated with shady businessman Juan Armando Hinojosa.

Community people finally achieved the suspension of the highway construction and were granted a writ by a federal judge that protected them against an expropriation decree for 37 hectares issued in 2015 by Hinojosa’s intimate friend Enrique Peña Nieto.

The violent eviction took place just after the approval of state legislation dubbed “The Atenco Law,” promoted by Governor Eruviel Ávila, which gives the police almost unlimited powers to trample on human rights in their drive to eliminate resistance movements. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the federal protection granted to the Xochicuautla community has been scorned by Grupo Higa and its shock troops, which have indicated that they will be committing even more atrocities in the days to come.

Nevertheless, this new attack against the Otomí community and its forest has already aroused widespread repudiation. It comes only two days after the founding of the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and the Territory, made up of 179 peoples, communities, barrios and organizations in an effort to confront the massive plunder of their territories and the destruction of land, water, air and life itself. In the following statement, the Campaign responds to this new offensive against the Xochicuautla community.

Statement on San Francisco Xochicuautla

April 11, 2016, Editorial Committee

To the federal government of Enrique Peña Nieto,
To the state government of Eruviel Ávila Villegas,
To all peoples, barrios and communities,
To the organized and non-organized civil society,
To the news media,
To all who defend life and struggle against injustice:

The 179 peoples, communities, barrios and organizations that make up the National Campaign in Defense of Mother Earth and the Territory, raise our voices against the actions taken today in the San Francisco Xochicuautla community.

At around 10 o’clock in the morning, April 11, more than 800 state police forces laid siege to the community, blocking the entrance or exit of any person whatsoever. They then began to attack the community members by tearing down the encampment set up in 2015 to protect and defend the forest. Once the camp was dismantled, the police went for the houses located within Grupo Higa’s Toluca– Naucalpan highway project area.

Without presenting valid documentation, Luis Enrique García, head of the State of Mexico highway system, informed Dr. Armando García and his family that a valuation of their home would be conducted. Dr. García cited the existence of a protective writ that grants the provisional suspension of the project and invalidates the eviction of his family and the destruction of his home.

Comrades who were inside the house to prevent its destruction were beaten and dragged out. Among them was 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, who was knocked down along with her baby granddaughter, only to be kicked and beaten by the police. It’s important to note that Isabel is a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla. All of the family’s belongings were taken away by state agents, and a bulldozer began to destroy the house.

These actions taken by the government of the State of Mexico are an example of the politics of plunder being carried out nationally against peoples, communities and barrios in order to implement any number of megaprojects without consulting the people who live in the coveted territories. Such projects systematically violate the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination and are clearly projects of destruction and ecocide.

This morning’s actions of the government of the State of Mexico are not only an attack on the will of the people of San Francisco Xochicuautla, but also violate the state’s own laws. They fail to respect protective order #1123/2015- V issued by the Second District Judge and Federal Courts in the State of Mexico, which grants the provisional suspension of the highway project. These actions also reveal the absence of access to justice and the politics of terror and criminalization against indigenous peoples in the State of Mexico.

Despite the fact that the community has been granted legal measures to stop further construction of the highway, and precautionary measures by the National Human Rights Commission to protect the population, the government of the State of Mexico is using the state police to impose the highway project, destroy homes and provoke the imminent devastation of the ancestral forest.

The peoples, communities, barrios and organizations that make up the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and the Territory emphatically reject the abuses and acts of violence employed against San Francisco Xochicuautla, which violate their collective rights as an indigenous Otomí people and the individual guarantees of women and men, through the plunder of their forest and their homes.

We hold the federal government of Enrique Peña Nieto and the state government of Eruviel Ávila Villegas responsible for any and all damages to the physical and psychological integrity of the comrades in the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla. We condemn the criminalization and repression of the legitimate defence of the forest of San Francisco Xochicuautla.

¡We demand that they respect their own laws and the protective orders issued in favour of the people of Xochicuautla and that they suspend the highway project!
¡We demand an end to repression and the immediate exit of the armed forces of the State!
¡We demand reparations for the damages suffered by the affected families!
¡We demand respect for the self-determination of the people of San Francisco Xochicuautla!

WE are the ones who live on these lands, waters, mountains and hills. We are the guardians of our Mother Earth, and we will not permit her destruction.

 

National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and the Territory
Centre [Estado de México, Hidalgo, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala]: Asamblea Permanente de los Pueblos de Morelos (Defensa del río Cuautla), Asamblea Permanente en Defensa de los Pueblos Unidos de Morelos, Comité Ciudadano Xinantécatl, Comunidad Agraria Indígena Tezontepec, Comunicadores Populares e Indígenas, Consejo de Defensa del Territorio Tiyat Tlalli, Cholula Viva y Digna, Defensa del Patrimonio de San Andrés Cholula; Fuego de la Digna Resistencia: (Administración Autónoma de Agua Potable de Coyotepec, Alianza Única del Valle, Apaxco Comunidades por la Vida, Centro de Derechos Humanos Zeferino Ladrillero, Coordinación de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa de la Energía Eléctrica, Comités de Usuarios de Energía Eléctrica En Resistencia Civil de Nezahualcóyotl, Delegación Indígena Otomí San Francisco Magú, Frente Popular 9 de Junio en Defensa de los Recursos Naturales, Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra, (San Salvador Atenco), Frente de los Pueblos en Defensa de la Madre Tierra. [San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan, Santa Cruz Ayotuxco, San Francisco Xochicuautla-Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra. Lucha contra la construcción de la Autopista Toluca-Naucalpan.] Magisterio Mexiquense Contra la Reforma Educativa, Sistema de Agua Potable de Tecámac, Temascalapa,Vecinos Unidos del Poniente). Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y el Agua. Puebla, Morelos y Tlaxcala, Frentes Unidos en Defensa de Tepoztlán, Lucha por la recategorización del Xinantécatl,Makxtum Kalaw Chuchutsipi-Organización de los Pueblos Totonacos para la Defensa del Territorio, Movimiento Juvenil Huitzizilapan; Mexico City: Centro Cultural La Calaca, Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos,Colectivos Ajusco Medio (Tlalpan, Magdalena Contreras), Comité Estudiantil Metropolitano, Comunidad Pedregales por Ayotzinapa, Habitat International Coalition América Latina (HIC AL), Frente de Pueblos del Anáhuac (Tláhuac), GeoComunes,jóvenes en resistencia alternativa-comunidad, autonomía y libertad (COMUNAL), Laboratorio Multimedia para la Investigación UNAM, Lucha por el hábitat y la cultura (Álvaro Obregón), Movimiento de Aspirantes Excluidos de la Educación Superior (MAES),Movimiento Popular de Pueblos y Colonias del Sur,Observatorio Latinoamericano de Geopolítica (OLAG),Organización Popular Francisco Villa de la Izquierda Independiente, Perspectivas Críticas, Tejiendo Organización Revolucionaria (TOR), Unión Popular José María Morelos y Pavón (Edo.mex.), Vecinos y Vecinas de las Colonias Carrasco (Isidro Favela, Cantera Puente de Piedra y Pueblo Quieto y Periódico Cacomixtle (Tlalpan), Tonelhuayotzin Nuestra Raíz A.C., Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos Todos los Derechos para Todas y todos, Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz, Telar de Raíces; Chiapas: Asociación Rural de Interés Colectivo A.C ARIC, Asociación Rural de Interés Colectivo de la Coalición de Organizaciones Autónomas de Ocosingo, Asociación Rural de Interés Colectivo Histórica, Barrios y sectores de los Altos de San Cristóbal, Bienes Comunales de la Zona Lacandona (Palestina Frontera corozal Mayas), Casa dela Mujer Ixim, Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa, Comités Eclesiales de Base, Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas. Cedemech, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, Colectivo de Educación para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos (CEPAZDH), Comité Ciudadano para Defensa Popular (Cocidep), Comité de derechos Humanos “Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada” AC, Comunidad 20 de junio, Comunidad Banavil, Comunidad Barrio Agua Azul, Comunidad Barrio Guadalupe, Comunidad Barrio San Jacinto, Comunidad Candelaria, Comunidad Carranza, Comunidad Colonia Virginia, Comunidad Chicosen, Comunidad Ejido Naranjo 2, Comunidad Jerusalén, Comunidad Poblado Victoria, Comunidad Quiniches, Comunidad San Rafael, Comunidad Sibacá, Consejo Autónomo Regional de la Zona Costa de Chiapas, Coordinación Diocesana de Mujeres Codimuj AC, Defensores de los Humedales de los Altos, Desarrollo Económico Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, A.C. (Desmi), Ejido patiwits, Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación AC, Frente Campesino y Popular 10 de Abril (FCP-10Abril), Frente Cívico Ejido Nicolás Popular y las anexo Emiliano Zapata, Tonalteco y Ciudadanos de Tonalá, Juventudes indígenas de Jitotol, Tenejapa, Margaritas, Coco Sur, La Voz del Pueblo, Movimiento de la Vida Tierra y Territorio, Movite., Movimiento en Defensa de la Vida y del Territorio, Otra campaña de Ocosingo, Pastoral de la Tierra, Pastoral JRFP Tuxtla Gtz. Diócesis de Tuxtla/Construcción de la Paz, Pastoral Penitenciaria de Ocosingo, Pastoral Región San Pedro Toniná, Proyecto de vida, hermandad y solidaridad, Pueblo Creyente, Representantes de Pueblos y comunidades de chimalapas Oaxaca, Representantes Parroquiales de Ocosingo, San Caralampio, Unión de Campesinos de la Sierra, Unión de Campesinos y Pescadores de la Sierra y Costa de Chiapas, Guerrero: Casa de Justicia de San Luis Acatlán Coordinadora Regional de Autoridades Comunitarias-Policía Comunitaria, Comité en Defensa del Río San Luis Acatlán, Consejo de Autoridades Agrarias Tlapanecas, Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositores a la Presa La Parota (CECOP);
North: Autoridades Tradicionales de la Tribu Yaqui, Bienes Comunales Isla Tiburón, Comité De Defensa por Los Derechos Indígenas de Sinaloa, Consejo de Ancianos de Hant Comcáac, Desemboque Del Rio San Ignacio,Sonora /Grupo Defensores del Territorio Comcáac, Gobierno Tradicional Mayos/Yoreme de Sinaloa, Mayos/Yoreme de Sinaloa y Sonora, No a la minería en Hant Comcáac/No A Los Megaproyectos, Pueblo Guarijio Proyecto Presa Bicentenario Los Pilares, Tohono O’odham; Oaxaca: Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, Centro Prodh A.C., Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac del Istmo de Tehuantepec, Centro de Derechos Indígenas Flor y Canto A.C., Cerro de las Huertas, Colectivo Oaxaqueño en Defensa de los Territorios, Comité por la Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas (CODEDI),Consejo de Organizaciones Oaxaqueñas Autónomas (COOA), Coordinadora de Pueblos Unidos del Valle de Ocotlán (CPUVO), Espacio Alternativo Yunhiz, Espacio Estatal en Defensa del Maíz Nativo de Oaxaca, Jaltepec de Candayoc, Magdalena Teitipac, Monte del Toro, Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista-Mixteca, Ojo de Agua, Comunicación y Capacitación A.C., Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos (OIDHO), Red de Defensoras y Defensores Comunitarios de los Pueblos de Oaxaca, San José del Progreso, San Juan Cacahuatec, San Miguel Panixtlahuaca, Santa María Magdalena Tiltepec, Santiago Xanica, Santo Domingo Teojomulco, Servicios del Pueblo Mixe, Ser Mixe A.C., Servicios para una Educación Alternativa A.C., Servicios Universitarios y Redes de Conocimiento en Oaxaca (SURCO) A.C., Tequio Jurídico A.C., Unión Campesina Indígena de Oaxaca “Emiliano Zapata” (UCIO-EZ), Unión de Organizaciones de la Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca S.C. (UNOSJO), Universidad de la Tierra Oaxaca, Voces Oaxaqueñas Construyendo Autonomía y Libertad (VOCAL),; EAST: Asociación un Salto de Vida, Bios Iguana, A.C., Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), Colectivo de Abogadxs, Colectivo de Organizaciones Ciudadanas por el Agua (COLOCA), Comité de Mujeres Ecologistas de La Huizachera – Río Santiago, Comité Salvemos Temacapulín Acasico y Palmarejo – Presa El Zapotillo, Comunidad Acasico, Comunidad de Zacualpan, Comunidad El Salto, Comunidad Indígena Purépecha Cherán Keri, Comunidad La Huizachera, Comunidad Mesa del Nayar, Comunidad Palmarejo, Comunidad Rosarito, Comunidad Santa Teresa, Comunidad Saycota, Comunidad Temacapulín, Consejo Indígena Nayheri, Consejo Indígena por la Defensa del Territorio de Zacualpan, Frente en Defensa del Agua y contra su Privatización (FADAP), Grupo Ecológico Manglar, Instituto Mexicano para el desarrollo Comunitario AC, Salvemos Temacapulin y Palmarejo, Tómala un golpe a la conciencia;Peninsula: Colectivo Apícola de los Chenes., Educación Cultura y Ecología A.C (Quintana Roo), Indignación Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos A.C., Tonelhuayotzin Nuestra Raíz A.C, Unión de Pobladores y Pobladoras de Chablekal;Veracruz: Amatlán ya despierta, Colectivo Defensa Verde Naturaleza para siempre, Comité Ciudadano por un Veracruz Limpio A.C.
Photo: Frente Juvenil Xochicuautla

 

http://elenemigocomun.net/2016/04/xochicuatlaalert/

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April 11, 2016

Pilgrimage in defence of Mother Earth denounces dispossession in Chiapas

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:06 pm

 

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 Pilgrimage in defence of Mother Earth denounces dispossession in Chiapas

Desinformémonos
NO-a-la-construcción-de-Boca-del-Cerro-1

 

The pilgrimage in defence of Mother Earth and in Memory of the Massacre at Viejo Velasco, arrived on 5th April at Pamalhá, Chiapas, as part of its aim to denounce the territorial dispossession suffered by communities and indigenous peoples.

During the pilgrimage they witnessed deforestation “caused by the ambition of the chiefs and the government” which destroys the hills, for the past three years they have been dedicated to selling off all the natural resources in the region.

One of the objectives of the pilgrimage is to set a precedent for the defence of and struggle for our Mother Earth, which is constantly being threatened by already-planned megaprojects which will affect the peoples of the area, as in the case of the 30 communities around the Usumacinta river, who have not been consulted about the construction of the Boca del Cerro hydroelectric dam.

Neverthless, the pilgrimage is moved forward with solidarity, joy and motivation, looking to win the struggle in favour of all forms of life in this country.

 

http://desinformemonos.org.mx/peregrinacion-en-defensa-de-la-madre-tierra-denuncia-despojo-por-megaproyectos/

 

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National Campaign “In Defence of Mother Earth and Territory” Launched on Sunday in Mexico City

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:07 am

 

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National Campaign “In Defence of Mother Earth and Territory” Launched on Sunday in Mexico City

 

Cartel10Nosotros-c-702x468

We defend Mother Earth

 

Proceso: Judith Amador Tello

Mexico City – On Sunday, April 10, at noon, the national campaign “In Defence of Mother Earth and Territory” will be launched and its action plan announced at an event held at the Monument to the Revolution. Taking part in the launch will be actresses Ofelia Medina, Julieta Egurrola and Sophie Alexander, joined by musician Roco Pachukote (Maldita Vecindad, Cursed Neighbour), the group Pantheon Rococo, Fernanda Paz (Regional Centre for Multidisciplinary Research at the UNAM) and researcher Adolfo Gilly.

The campaign is organized by Services and Consulting for Peace (Serapaz), a non-profit, independent agency that assists in the construction of peace and the transformation of social conflict through the promotion and coordination of civil processes and initiatives, according to information on its website.
In a communiqué, SERAPAZ states that the national campaign is a response to the national emergency, the: “consequence of projects of pollution, exploitation and destruction of territories and natural resources, the same ones that put at risk hundreds of pueblos communities, neighbourhoods and districts throughout the country.”

The communiqué adds: “Those affected [by these projects] decided to join forces and present this initiative.”

It is anticipated that representatives from more than 120 pueblos from various parts of the country will take part, including Xochicuatla [construction of Toluca-Nacualpan Highway is set to cross their lands in State of Mexico, which borders Mexico City, horseshoe-like], Yaqui Pueblo [Independence Aqueduct draws water from Sonora River in violation of their hereditary rights], the Purépecha indigenous community of Cherán K’eri [Michoacán], the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam [Guerrero], and the Peoples Front in Defence of the Land (San Salvador Atenco), and others whose communities have suffered the plunder of their territory in the interest of projects that also affect the environment.

Since its inception in 1996, SERAPAZ took over the functions formerly performed by the National Mediation Commission (CONAI), presided over at the time by Samuel Ruiz García, bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas.

To date SERAPAZ has worked on various social processes in several parts of the country, including Oaxaca, Guerrero, State of Mexico, Mexico City, Hidalgo, Morelos, Michoacán, Ciudad Juárez and Jalisco.

Translated by Jane Brundage

http://www.proceso.com.mx/436447/acto-en-defensa-la-tierra-en-monumento-a-la-revolucion

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February 13, 2016

Pope Francis and Indigenous Peoples: Together in Defence of the Earth

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:49 pm

 

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Pope Francis and Indigenous Peoples: Together in Defence of the Earth

 

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La Jornada: Angélica Enciso L.

Cándido Mezúa, member of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (Red MOCAF), suggested that given the agreement between Pope Francis and indigenous peoples in defending Madre Tierra, Mother Earth, or the “common home”, there should be recognition of the contribution made by indigenous peoples to the conservation of natural resources.

In an interview, Mezúa pointed out that over the last ten years, indigenous defence of their resources has left at least 60 of their leaders dead. “Every indigenous person who goes out to defend their rights, their lands, is threatened. There have been victims in different communities. There are cases, the same as in Colombia, where they are displaced by drug traffickers.”

On Saturday and Sunday, in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, the Alliance will hold the Latin American Meeting with the encyclical Laudato sí, for defending the forests, land and territory. Attending the meeting will be 120 leaders from 17 countries bringing at least five years of putting together actions by campesinos with rights—of ownership or use—to the land. Participants also include indigenous and campesinos from autonomous regions of Panama, Mexico and Red MOCAF.

Cándido Mezúa explained that the approach of indigenous peoples is consistent with the encyclical Laudato sí, which values ​​the role of indigenous peoples, recognition of our common home, and the spiritual link with the Earth: “The Pope tells how this Mother Earth is plundered and beaten, by nature’s climate actions and the irresponsibility of men who plunder her resources.”

In Nayarit, indigenous and river communities wrote a letter asking the Pope to intercede with President Enrique Peña Nieto to prevent construction of the Las Cruces hydroelectric dam on the San Pedro Mezquital River.

Translated by Jane Brundage

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/02/12/sociedad/046n1soc

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December 27, 2015

Nine municipalities declare their lands free of mining and dams

Filed under: Mining, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:42 pm

 

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 Nine municipalities declare their lands free of mining and dams

 

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Public reading of the declaration
Photo: @DesInformémonos

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Nine municipalities of the Sierra Madre and the Soconusco in Chiapas state have ratified the declaration that their lands have been freed of mining operations and dams. Using the III Declaration of Tapachula for Lands Freed of Dams and Mining in the Sierra Madre and Llanura Costera of Chiapas, some 40 indigenous and campesino ejidos, communities, and social organizations reaffirmed their commitment (adopted in 2013) to the defence of their territories against plundering as carried out by transnational corporations. The municipalities of Tuzantan, Huehuetan, Motozintla, Tapachula, Escuintla, Acacoyagua, Chicomuselo, and Comalapa denounced the collusion of municipal and state governments with the companies to obtain permits for the exploitation of lands and rivers. They also rejected the models of development, water management, and energy policy that have been imposed in Mexico by structural reforms, particularly the energy reform.

“In light of the opposition against extractive projects on our lands, we propose to organize and link ourselves with other struggles that seek to defend their rights and the natural resources of water and land.” In this way, the representatives of the municipalities affirmed that they have ties with other movements, especially in Jalisco, Nayarit, Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Veracruz. These are alliances with other struggles over the right to decide what happens on their lands, in favour of living well and strengthening oneself amidst the repression meted out toward defenders of the Earth.

It bears recalling that on 30 November the Union of Campesinos and Fisherfolk of the Sierra and Coast of Chiapas also declared their municipalities free of dams and mining operations.

 

 

 

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/chiapas-nine-municipalities-declare-their-lands-free-of-mining-and-dams/

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December 14, 2014

Chiapas: Third Forum for the Defence and Care of Mother Earth in Chicomuselo

Filed under: Mining — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:54 pm

 

Chiapas: Third Forum for the Defence and Care of Mother Earth in Chicomuselo

by SIPAZ

dsc5121 

From 10 to 12 November, in the Chicomuselo municipality, different activities were organized to protest mineral exploitation and to organize in defence of life.  At the end of a march held on 10 November, Chicomuselo was declared a “municipality free of mining.”  On 12 November, the Third Forum for the Defence and Care of Mother Earth took place, with the participation of 3,500 persons.

At the close of the event, participants declared their opposition to mineral exploration and exploitation operations, as well as wind-energy plants, natural gas ducts, hydroelectric dams, and superhighways sought to be imposed on their lands.  They noted that the structural reforms advanced by the federal government “in no way benefit the campesino and indigenous peoples of our country but instead seek to facilitate once again the looting of our common goods and to impoverish us evermore with policies that would have us depend on the large firms of the country, as well as transnationals.”  They affirmed that they would continue to resist the government “and its predatory policies,” and they called on Mexican society to unite to the cause against megaprojects, to educate itself, and to act “amidst a system that oppresses, imposes, and violates human rights.”

http://sipazen.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/chiapas-third-forum-for-the-defense-and-care-of-mother-earth-in-chicomuselo/

 

 

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March 21, 2014

Pastoral Congress for Mother Earth

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:27 pm

Pastoral Congress for Mother Earth

SIPAZ

“Amidst the power of the transnational firms and the governments allied and complicit with these, […] it is necessary that we have the courage to stand up to them […].”

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“DREAM, THAT WITH LOVE

WE CARE FOR THIS EARTH

DREAM THAT IN THE END WE WILL STOP

DESTROYING HER

DREAM THAT A NEW WORLD IS POSSIBLE

DREAM A NEW CREATION.

STRUGGLE SO THAT FINALLY THE POWERFUL

OF THE WORLD UNDERSTAND, STRUGGLE

LIFE MATTERS MORE THAN DOES MONEY,

STRUGGLE SO THAT WE BE PART OF THIS LAND,

STRUGGLE, BECAUSE IF SHE DIES SO WILL YOU.”

Song at the Congress for Mother Earth

In January 2014 there was celebrated the Pastoral Congress for Mother Earth as organized by the San Cristóbal de las Casas diocese in Chiapas. This congress was held to commemorate the Indigenous Congress of 1974, which carried with it both a past and a future for the diocese, as for the lives of the indigenous peoples of the region. The Congress for Mother Earth also coincided with the third anniversary of the death of jTatik Samuel Ruiz García.

Altar at the Diocene Congress for Mother Earth, January 2014 © Diócesis de San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Altar at the Diocene Congress for Mother Earth, January 2014

The Indigenous Congress was held on 14 October 1974 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas towards the end of celebrating the 500 years since the birth of Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, the first Catholic bishop in the zone who is known as a “defender of the Indians.” In that time, the Congress was organized for and by indigenous peoples. An estimated 250,000 indigenous people participated, under the guidance of jTatik Samuel (or “Father Samuel” in the indigenous languages), bishop of the San Cristóbal diocese. For the first time, Tsotsil, Tseltal, Tojolabal, and Ch’ol individuals met each other and realized that they faced very similar problems in terms of economic, political, and social marginalization. The meeting gave rise to the birth of different indigenous and campesino organizations such as Quiptik, the Rural Association of Collective Interest (ARIC), the Independent Centre of Agricultural and Campesino Workers (CIOAC), the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization (OCEZ), and also the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).

The land was a central theme in both congresses, given that, though some aspects of the lives of indigenous communities have changed in these 40 years, many problems continue. The objective of this year’s congress was described in these terms: “Amidst the increasing aggression and destruction directed against our Mother Earth; and inspired by the word of God , the leadership of the Church, the diocene pre-Congresses, and the Indigenous Congress, we [seek to] share the situation and reality of our Mother Earth today and the experiences that are being taken to care and defend for her, to identify the challenges that this reality is presenting to us, and to suggest agreements and actions to promote the defence and care of our Mother Earth, who gives life in abundance.”

At the event more than a thousand persons participated, coming from different parishes in the state of Chiapas, in addition to those invited from other countries of the continent, such as the bishop of Patagonia, Argentina, who shared his reflection regarding the theme of “Energy resources, megaprojects, and water.” Álvaro Ramassini, bishop of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, spoke of the movement against mining in his pastoral zone.

Pilgrimage of the Believing People at the close of the Diocene Congress for Mother Earth, San Cristóbal, January 2014 © SIPAZ

Pilgrimage of the Believing People at the close of the Diocene Congress for Mother Earth, San Cristóbal, January 2014 © SIPAZ

The analysis of reality allowed for the identification of new environmental problems such as deforestation, soil erosion,forest fires, the drying-up of rivers and arroyos, mining projects, and above all the construction of highways. In the communities, governmental assistance projects and megaprojects are often considered as death projects due to their impacts on communal life, unity, and organizational processes. Moreover, it was denounced that the indigenous are rarely consulted in accordance with international law, such as Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as the government is obligated to do. It was also noted that gender equality has progressed little if at all. Some participants noted that “We also have the task of constructing the reign of God.” Furthermore, it was stressed that generational problems have been exacerbated, thus limiting the participation of youth. Specific work-tables were arranged for these two groups, considered vulnerable for multiple reasons.

The document arranged for the pre-congresses held last year in the pastoral zones notes that “The crisis situation we are experiencing we could compare with a large fire. Given the measures that have been taken during these five years (billions of dollars invested to rescue the banks and large firms), these have served only to try to put out a fire that rages everywhere. But later it will become necessary to review the house and take account of the damages caused, to see what will be needed for reconstruction, and to analyse if the existing structures will function adequately or if they will need to be remade from the ground up. We must think hard on how to rebuild this house.”

Among the agreements made by those participating in the Congress are found those of raising the consciousness of families and communities regarding existing problems, organizing communities to care for and defend Mother Earth, pursuing unity among political, ideological, and religious differences, and articulating and reorganizing all the parishes to observe the agreements taken at the Congress. In this way, it was decided to block mining operations and governmental policies which negatively affect the interests of communities: “We oppose megaprojects and devastating mineral exploitation. We oppose the structural reforms proposed by the government to promote the interests of the dominant classes, in opposition to the people. We pronounce ourselves in resistance to these more than 20 years of neoliberal agrarian reform which has ignored us completely as indigenous peoples, campesino communities, and Mexicans.”

http://www.sipaz.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=481:article-pastoral-congress-for-mother-earth&catid=119:informe-sipaz-vol-xix-no-1-febrero-de-2014&Itemid=54&lang=en

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September 29, 2013

Because this Land is Ours: The Rights of Mother Earth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:13 am

 

Because this Land is Ours: The Rights of Mother Earth 
Written by Beverly Bell and Tory Field
The hip-hop group Kunarevolution celebrate the Kuna Yala nation’s recent rejection of carbon trading. (Photo: Beverly Bell)Inatoy Sidsagi and his cousin Esteban Herrera, from the indigenous Kuna Yala (also known as Guna Yala) nation in Panama, make up the indigenous rap group Kunarevolution. They rap about Mother Earth and the Kuna’s inalienable right to protect their lands and waters.

The Kuna Yala people recently prevailed over a threat to their lands, in the form of carbon trading. REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a global program promoted by the U.N., industrialized nations, and international financial institutions like the World Bank. REDD allows countries and corporations to buy “clean-air” credits from countries with undeveloped forests. In exchange, governments, indigenous nations, and other groups agree to preserve areas of their forests, with the rationale that the trees’ absorption of carbon, the element that causes global warming, will counteract damage done by industrial polluters.

In October 2011, the US-based Wildlife Works Carbon presented a REDD proposal to the Kuna Yala. The fifty-one communities spent a year and a half in consultation. In June 2013, the Kuna Yala general congress voted to reject the corporate proposal. They declared, further, their complete withdrawal “from all discussions at the national and international level on the REDD issue” and a prohibition on “organizing events, conferences, workshops and other activities on the issue.”

We interviewed the hip-hop artist Inatoy Sidsagi from a liberated territory of the Lenca indigenous people of Honduras, in a building plastered with stickers reading, “REDD: No capitalism in our forests.” Inatoy told us, “The rejection of REDD is for the patrimony. Having accepted it would have complicated life for future generations. Why? Because the land is ours. We are bound and obliged to leave it for perpetual use. REDD would have been a betrayal for the long-term, with many consequences – cultural ones, but even more, our possibility to be a people, to be a nation. It would have been the end of us as a people.”

Because indigenous nations and communities have preserved their forests so well, they are everywhere being targeted by REDD projects. What may sound like dry policy is in fact a contest in who has control over the land, the air, and future: those who have stewarded the earth for millennia, or those who want to buy and sell it as merchandise.

First among the problems of REDD is that it allows industries to pay to continue polluting. When corporations can buy the right to contaminate the air instead of changing their destructive practices, everyone and everything suffers.

Second, REDD’s very premise – attaching a monetary value to the ecological role of forests – commodifies what indigenous peoples say should never be commodified. Gustavo Castro Soto, co-coordinator of Otros Mundos in Chiapas, Mexico, said, “When a natural function like forest respiration becomes a product with a price, it’s easy to see who’s going to end up with control of the forests.”

Third, the market-based approach raises questions about who “owns” the forests in the first place. Agreements made with local or national governments, or with some indigenous “leaders” who may falsely claim to represent their people, cannot be trusted to protect the communities that live in the areas affected, or the earth itself.

The fourth problem concerns the kind of activities REDD allows. Tree plantations, vast fields of a single variety like oil palm or eucalyptus, are planted for quick harvest and large profit. By the U.N.’s definition, these ecologically destructive plantations can be counted as forests. This means that corporations and governments can log biologically diverse jungles and ancient woods, create plantations in their place, and collect REDD payments.

Fifth, REDD regulations can prohibit traditional indigenous agricultural practices and cause indigenous communities to be evicted. For an excellent analysis of even more dangers of REDD, please see “No Rights of Nature, No Reducing Emissions” by Jeff Conant and Anne Petermann.

Indigenous nations and social movements around the world have been denouncing REDD. To amplify their dissent, they have been forming alliances, gathering at international climate talks, and protesting. They insist on upholding an old concept which has recently been gaining currency as Mother Earth rights. This means that rights of the earth are intrinsic, and cannot be given or taken away by governments or international institutions. The framework is being used both to spread the worldview that the riches of nature should not be considered commodities to be bought and sold, and to mobilize people to unified action.

Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network and Dr. Daniel Wildcat of Haskell Indian Nation University wrote, “Our Indigenous lifeways are the original ‘green economies.’ This is more than an abstract philosophy. Our Mother Earth is the source of life. Water is her lifeblood. The well-being of the natural environment predicts the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual longevity of our Peoples. Mother Earth’s health and that of our Indigenous Peoples are intrinsically intertwined. When our homelands are in a state of good health our Peoples are truly healthy. This inseparable relationship must be respected for the sake of our future generations and for the well-being of the Earth herself.”

Goldtooth and Wildcat continued, “As Indigenous Peoples, we are accepting the responsibility designated by our prophecies to tell the world that we must live in peace with each other and the Earth to ensure harmony within Creation.”

At the December 2011 UN Conference in South Africa, a new coalition, the Global Alliance of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities against REDD and for Life, called for a moratorium on REDD. “We are here to express our concern about the false solutions that have made a business out of climate change,” said Marlon Santi, former president of the National Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador.

 

Source: Upside Down World

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