Harsh pressure against ejidatarios from San Sebastian Bachajon.
After having been evicted from the Agua Azul tollbooth on 2nd February 2011, adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastian Bachajon made an urgent call on 4th March for“solidarity on the 7th and 8th March, when we are going to carry out activities in San Jose en Rebeldia, at the crossroads of the Agua Azul section on the Palenque-Ocosingo highway. Here we will block the road indefinitely (…) and at the same time we will be fasting and praying, to demand the freedom of our compas who are imprisoned unlawfully in the Cereso No.17 “playas de Catazaia”, and of an under-age compa [also imprisoned]. At this time we inform you that “we know that the so called ‘dialogue committee’ of the secretary of governmentof Juan Sabines, has pressurised our compas in jail saying that if they would sign an agreement, then they would be free”.
Following this action, on the 10th March the [adherents] denounced that “during the blockade that we were holding in San Jose en Rebeldia at the crossroads for Agua Azul, our compas were threatened and intimidated by police from different areas and by agents of the bad government”.
On the 18th March it was reported “because of what was performed in the past, in March ejidatarios from San Sebastian Bachajon, adherents to the Other Campaign, sought a legal injunction against the construction of the [new] tollbooth which would go under the administration of the state government. The construction of the tollbooth is the result of an agreement signed by both parties, the government and the ejidal authorities from Tumbala and Bachajon; in this agreement the compas from the Other Campaign didn’t take part because it was made after the kidnap of some of our compas, in order to create pressure for us to sign the agreement, as we, as ejidatarios, have already said”. “This injunction was denied on the 9th March, without any consultation with the ejidatarios about the way they want to speak and make their decisions.
01.03- Stonil Naj Mixed Maya Cooperative Society of Public Auto Transport reaffirms its right to free determination at the end of a year’s work.
05/03- Final declaration of the third Forum in Defence of the Land, Territory and Natural Resources, which took place in Costa Rica ejido, on the borders of Comalapa county.
08/03- From Motozintla ejido, the final declaration of the first Forum against the Exploitation and Exploration of open-cast Mining demands the cancellation of permits and concessions to mining companies in Chiapas.
11/03-Maya Mam people from Guatemala and Chiapas work together for the conservation and defence of the land, against mining exploration and exploitation, hydroelectric plants and ‘mega’ projects.
13/03-“Emiliano Zapata Salazar” secondary school, Indigenous Intercultural Education Project of the Guaquitepec community, Chilon, reports invasion of the school grounds since January, and no solution yet given by the government.
17/03- The people, communities and organizations that took part in the “Con la Memoria” meeting.
19/03- The organizationLuz y Fuerza del Pueblo, from the Frontier Region, defends its community technicians. They had taken the electricity transformer down from the pole where it was, because the Federal Commission of Electricity had not taken care of it.
18/03- Tzeltal Women from the Ejido Cintalapa, Municipality of Ocosingo who were on hunger strike for 24 days, reaching the point when they became critically ill, continue organising to demand the freedom of their compas who remain in prison.
22/03- From prison No 15 in Copainala, Altos region, “the Voice of Amate” reports a massive forcible transfer [of prisoners], on the 16th March, to prison N.6 in Motozintla. The [prisoners] were abused and mistreated [at this time].
25/03- The FNLS announce a teachers’ demonstration in Chiapas against anti-democratic policies from all the [levels of] government.
30/03- The ‘Save San Cristobal!’ movement’s civil society network protests against the re-closure of 3 sand mines on 13th March, located on Comaleras street, Barrio San Diego, in this city.
Through Memory, the People Build Justice and Truth
The recent assembly “The People building Justice and Truth” made the following statement: “we have seen them coming to pollute our water, lands and mountains, to fill them with enormous commercial complexes in their search for gold and silver. They want us to negotiate away our dreams, to displace and divide us, to sow conflicts amongst us; but the exercise of autonomy and the free determination of the people are not up for negotiation. The capitalist political parties divide us, and want to make us depend on them and work for their interests. For this reason we organise ourselves and fight to build alternatives to the neo-liberal system; we ourselves know how manage our own affairs.”
They continued: “Neo-liberalism seeks to destroy everything: the roots of our peoples, our history, our Mother Earth, to take away our identity, pillage our sacred places… We can only ensure respect for our human rights through the struggle; if we don’t no-one will respect us. We see that development projects are used as tools for counter-insurgency, to divide people, to control people and to silence voices demanding their rights.”
With regard to historical memory it was stated: “this is something that we live daily: those acts of resistance and the construction of autonomy that today occur among our peoples are the product of memory”. They added “we have lived through counter-insurgent violence; we remember the repression that our grandmothers and communities suffered, and that is the guide for the steps that we take on the road towards the construction of a just and dignified world”.
“We don’t forget that we are one humanity, promoting the spirit of community and solidarity, working collectively, being united. Creating assembly spaces to share experience and struggles and to affirm that the exercise of our rights takes many different forms in the construction of a just and dignified world.”
What they want: “to strengthen solidarity and unity between organisations, peoples and struggles in order to build alternatives and autonomy in the face of the neo-liberal system; to strengthen the internal organisation of the community, to look after our native seeds, to defend our language and culture as part of our identity.”
Letter from Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos to the 41st National Assembly of the National Network of Civil Society Organisations
Nuevo Montes Azules, Palenque
Members of the Ejido of Nuevo Montes Azules in Palenque, re-located from the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in 2005, complained in a communiqué on 19th March of the government’s broken promises: poor conditions for housing, cultivation and health, as a result of being settled in swampy lands. In addition, failure to regularise land holdings, to provide schools, health facilities or electricity. In light of this they have decided to organise “in a movement, to demand that the Federal and Chiapas State governments fulfil their responsibilities to our community and guarantee our rights”.
Gratitude and clarification in the Coastal Zone
Comrades from the Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone denounced the presence of officials and intelligence agents, which is so frequent “that if they’re not around, the landscape just doesn’t seem like the landscape”. They expressed gratitude for support in securing the freedom of their compas and stated: “they [the government] thought that getting rid of the messenger would get rid of the problem, but we now feel stronger, and our determination has grown… we want to say to the government that there will be no dialogue: we just don’t believe what they say” They ended: “our leader has not yet been born – it is called the future”.
3 March: paramilitaries fabricate crimes to implicate members of the Other Campaign in Mitziton in relation to the events of 28th February.
4 March: The anniversary of the heroic 73 day strike to democratise the Jacinto Canek Indigenous Bilingual Intercultural School and to demand the infrastructure that the state is obliged to provide in public schools.
14 March: It turns out that the skeletons from the Viejo Velasco massacre, analysed by the Argentinian Team for Forensic Anthropology, do not match the remains recovered by the Chiapas Government’s Prosecutor for the Rainforest Zone in July 2007.
22 March: Communiqué released by the Las Abejas Civil Society, 13 years and 3 months after the Acteal Massacre of 22nd December 1997
23 March: Members of the Tila Ejido ask for the return of 130 hectares of land and denounce threats against their Vigilance Council and against the Frayba Centre for Human Rights.
8th March, International Women’s Day
Thousands of women and men from various organisations and groups marched on 8 March for International Women’s Day. The main demands were the end of violence against women and their murders, the end of the criminalisation of protest, troops out of the communities and freedom for political prisoners.
-More than 500 women from Las Abejas read their communiqué in front of the military camp at Majomut, Chenalho
-Women from San Cristobal de Las Casas brought the situation of women to public attention and denounced the structural violence of the patriarchal system towards [women]
-Women comrades from San Sebastian Bachajon blockaded the road in Agua Azul to protest against harassment
-Women from the organised people of Mitziton sent cordial greetings to all organised women in struggle for the respect of their human rights throughout the world
-Political prisoners from ‘the Voice of El Amate’ demanded the right to live in dignity, and equality for women
-MOCRI-CNPA MN celebrates 8 March as a historical date full of heroism and struggle and demand satisfaction of the demands of working people
-The FNLS celebrates the national day of socialist women against violence and state terrorism in Mexico
-Laklumal Ixim demands an end to violence and the murder of women in Chiapas by organising a regional women’s meeting
Occupation of El Zapotillo dam, Temacapulin, Jalisco
El Zapotillo, Cañadas de Obregón, Jalisco, México, 28 March, 2011.
Various organisations took the dam at Temacapulin, to show their opposition to it. “In a community consultation, 98% of Temacapulin rejected the construction of the dam, we reject the plan to relocate us. We have not had any specific or detailed information about the project which aims to flood us out,” they said in their speech. “The State Commission for Human Rights confirms that various constitutional guarantees have been violated: the right to legality and judicial security, to property, to the conservation of the environment, and the historical and cultural heritage of the nation.”
The reported, “We have documents and studies and understand that dams are not sustainable projects but damage the environment, affect people for life by displacing them and wipe out cultural history.” Temacapulin raises its voice today and uses its strength to call for the Revolution of Water in Mexico. We call for our legitimate right to speak out and act as necessary to prevent them destroying our past, present and future.”
“We demand that the Mexican Government CANCELS THE EL ZAPOTILLO DAM ONCE AND FOR ALL, in respect for our position and opposition.”
Committee to Save Temacapulín Acasico and Palmarejo
Movement of People Affected by Dams and in Defence of Rivers (MAPDER)
Allied social organisations
13 March- Demand for the cancellation of two hydroelectric dam projects in Chiapas
30 March- Las Abejas declare their opposition to the El Zapotillo Dam and demand dialogue not repression from CONAGUA.
NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS
29TH FULL MEETING OF THE CENTRAL PACIFIC REGION
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY OF NURIO, MICHOACAN, MEXICO
5 and 6 March- “Indigenous delegates from different peoples, nations, communities, tribes and neighbourhoods in Mexico, gathered in the community of Nurío, present[ed] the following Manifesto”: “Ten years after the 3rd National Indigenous Congress in Nurío, the seed of dignity and resistance in the March of the Colour of the Earth led by the EZLN and the peoples, tribes and nations of Mexico, remains as valid today as it has been for over 500 years.” “We ratify the recognition [of the San Andres Accords] 15 years ago and their signing as the Supreme Law of our peoples, and we continue to construct our autonomy.”
They declared: “The National Indigenous Congress, the House of All, independent and autonomous, space of solidarity, meeting and reflection, where our word comes and goes” but also “the house where we have shared experiences, sadness and happiness. There we have build our brotherhood and rebellion. Our movement continues.”
“This 29th meeting of the NIC addressed in a serious way the participation of women in popular liberation. In the liberation struggle, there are not only men, women or young people, but we all go forward together.” In addition they declared: “Difficulty and defeat for any movement has its roots in the exclusion of women. Our Law, the San Andres Accords, can only be realised with the participation of women.”
They demanded: “that the paramilitaries leave Chiapas, that the brothers of Santa Maria Ostula, Michoacan, be released alive, respect for forms of organisation and the right to autonomy for the communities, release of political prisoners, cancellation of mining allocations, respect for the Purepecha territory, opposition to violence and the recognition of our right to land and water”.
NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT US!