Defending Their Lands, the Only Crime of Bachajón Ejido Members in Prison: Zibechi

** “They are victims of the political class that works for the transnationals”

By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., 3 de mayo.

“The only crime that the San Sebastián ejido members committed is wanting to live on their lands, the lands of their grandparents, of their more remote ancestors, that they now want to be appropriated by the multi-nationals of money and death. The five ejido members that have been prisoners since February 3, as well as Patricio Domínguez Vázquez, detained the middle of April in Monte Redondo ejido in Frontera Comalapa municipio, are victims of the political class that works for the multi-nationals.”

The political analyst Raúl Zibechi stated this in a message sent from Montevideo, Uruguay, with which he adds himself to the international demand for the liberation of the five Bachajón prisoners, Other Campaign adherents, and of Domínguez Vázquez, Zapatista support base from Tierra y Libertad autonomous municipio, which in recent days demonstrated in 33 cities, just in France, and in 20 cities of other countries.

“The war today is for the land, for appropriating the life that it shelters and reproduces, and for that the indigenous and campesinos are mere obstacles that must be discarded. Ever since capital decided that everything is merchandise, no space of corner on the planet remains that can be free of that ambition.

“To appropriate the land for themselves, they unleashed what the Zapatistas call the Fourth World War (WW IV), which in Latin America passes for expelling millions of people from more than 100 million hectáreas in dispute. The big projects of open sky mining, monocrops of sugar cane, corn and soybeans for producing gasoline, and tree plantations for manufacturing cellulose, are killing the life and the people from south to north.”

In some cases, he points out, “as happened to Patricio, not only are they incarcerated, but they burn their homes because in reality they want them to abandon their land.” That war “has lasted sixty years in Colombia,” where it has permitted more than four million hectáreas “to pass from campesinos to paramilitaries, since they offer themselves as security for the multi-nationals.” A war that seeks to expel campesinos, “more than three million in the past 20 years,” and clear territories for the speculation of capital.

“In Colombia, the war's territories coincide exactly with those that the mining companies and infrastructure megaprojects covet.”

The same thing is happening now on the rest of the continent, the Uruguayan write adds: “the government of Brazil is converting the Amazon's rivers into sources of cheap energy for the big corporations,” with gigantic dams “on whose construction work 10, 15 and up to 20, 000 poorly paid and even more poorly housed, new slaves at the service of the governments submissive to capital, and when they rebel, as happened in Jirau ( Roraima state) in March, they are accused of being ‘bandits.’

“What hurts the most, and what teaches the most, is how the political class that was once said to be the Left joins together with the political class that was always the right to expel and incarcerate campesino and indigenous peoples, demonstrating that they are all the same when they're dealing with attacking those from below to make business for those from above. And they use 'ecological' arguments because they learned the politically correct excuses for falsely representing the dispossession.”

Directing himself to the Movement for Justice in El  Barrio, of New York, “from this corner of the continent,” Zibechi adds himself to the campaign “for the freedom of the Bachajón 5 and for Patricio,” and expresses that “solidarity and fraternity among the peoples knows no borders, nor can it expect anything from those above of from the institutions. We only depend on ourselves. ”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

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