EZLN: Oct 22 actions supporting Ayotzinapa and Yaquis

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2014 by floweroftheword

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OCTOBER 20, 2014

Communiqué from the Revolutionary Indigenous Clandestine Committee—General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

Mexico

October 19, 2014

To the classmates, teachers, and family members of the dead and disappeared of the Escuela Normal[i] “Raúl Isidro Burgos” of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico.

To the Yaqui people:

To the National Indigenous Congress:

To the National and International Sixth:

To the peoples of Mexico and the world:

Sisters and Brothers:

Compañeras and Compañeros:

The Zapatista Army for National Liberation joins the actions slated for October 22, 2014, at 6pm, in demand of safe return for the 43 disappeared students; in demand of punishment for those responsible for the murders and forced disappearances; and in demand of unconditional liberation for our Yaqui brothers Mario Luna Romero and Fernando Jiménez Gutierrez,

As part of this global day of action, the Zapatista people will shine our small light on some of the paths that we walk.

Along the highways, dirt roads, paths and potholes, the Zapatista people will add our outrage to that of our Ayotzinapa brothers and the heroic Yaqui people.

Although small, our light is our way of embracing those who are missing and those who suffer in their absence.

Let this light demonstrate that we are not alone in the pain and rage that blanket the soils of the Mexico below.

Because those of us below hurt with rage and rebellion, not with resignation and conformity.

We call on the Sixth in Mexico and the world and on the National Indigenous Congress to also participate, according to their abilities, in this day of actions.

Democracy!

Liberty!

Justice!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

For the Revolutionary Indigenous Clandestine Committee—General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Mexico, October 2014. In the twentieth year of the war against oblivion.

[i] The Escuelas Normales in Mexico are teaching colleges that principally train rural and indigenous young people to be teachers in their own communities.

Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico: “What I Saw and Heard About Ayotzinapa Massacre ” – Father Alejandro Solalinde

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2014 by floweroftheword

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Proceso: José Reveles

He was a young normal school student from Ayotzinapa, one of the Indigenous who were saved. Suddenly, he broke out weeping inconsolably. Father Alejandro Solalinde recalls:"And I wept with him, we cried together for a long time."

That was on Wednesday, October 15.

Last Sunday, October 12, the priest was able to interview some of the police and people involved in the kidnapping of the 43 students who, supposedly, the government continues "searching for," but they were eliminated in the early hours of September 27: "I cannot tell you who they are, because their lives are in danger. They are full of fear, because they are people of conscience, people of our people who were witnesses of the horror (in truth, they were more than witnesses, he adds). They are people who told me that some of the injured students they burned were not dead."

Solalinde asked one of the informers who communicated the horror directly: "Why didn’t you report it?" "He replied, ”But to whom, if everyone is judge and jury? I cannot go say anything knowing that they are going to kill me first thing. My testimony wouldn’t reach anyone’."

In an interview, Solalinde recapitulates: "It is heartrending information that fills me with sorrow and pain. Its confirmation would reveal not only the viciousness of an entire system, but also its hypocrisy and the mismanagement of the tragedy. Instead of taking a humanitarian approach, they took a political one, as if the tragedy could be a political resource for channeling (advantages) to the political parties."

Proceso: Are you confirming it? Do you have any doubts about these witnesses?

"No. Absolutely not. They gave me details, but they are like police in Oaxaca who did things against their will and were driven nearly mad by their conscience, by remorse. They no longer serve the State."

Proceso: Did you first inform the bishops, the Catholic hierarchy?

"I haven’t spoken with them, but I will. I am a friend of the Bishop of Acapulco and of the others, and I know that the Church has a lot of information, because the people approach their ministers and confide in them what is haunting them inside."

Proceso: Why did you make this massacre public, when the government says that it is continuing to look for the 43 normal school students alive?

"Because my conscience demands it. I cannot remain silent. I am outraged to hear Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero saying that he is hopeful, that he is confident that they are going to find the normal school students alive.

"Why do they manage the truth politically? They knew [the truth] before I and other priests whom people approach. In the government, from the outset, they receive information from everyone; they are only pretending with political opportunism."

The State Shot to Kill and Kidnapped

Proceso: Can you overcome the entire power structure?

"My conscience and my duty as a priest come first, before such considerations. I do not manage myself like the politicians. We have to get to the bottom with the truth and not manipulate it politically."

The well-known defender of migrant rights then adds, "We have to arrive at total transparency," because the State "persecuted the normal school students. It shot them. On two occasions, it shot to kill. It delivered to the criminal gang the survivors they were able to capture and they were burned in a cruel manner."

Proceso: Might they not have wanted to trick you with false or exaggerated information just to make a scandal?

"Everything is possible. Even a trap for me. Except that one knows and has experience with people. I would prefer that they pounce on me rather than continuing to deceive the people with false hope, when the government already has all the information."

Father Solalinde likes to respond with questions: "Oh, how I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think so. Let’s see: if the students from Ayotzinapa were alive, do you think that they [government] would pass up the opportunity to release them so the problem wouldn’t continue to grow? [Failure to do so] is the best confirmation that they were liquidated. This is why the young student burst into tears when I began to talk to him about the other testimonies, because they [government had] raised the hope that they would find the disappeared students alive.

"Clearly, we see that the political parties are making time for everything to remain in doubt and gain time to win the election [midterm Congressional elections in June of 2015]. The government first [PRI, Party of the Institutional Revolution, party in power]. The PRD [left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution] is doing it in order not to lose that important stronghold [Guerrero's Governor is PRD], because it involves political capital.

"The PAN [rightist National Action Party] has never had influence in the southern part of the country because it has not had any interest in poor people; nonetheless, it can also make the most of the two [political parties] that are already stalled, because a third party could possibly make gains in Guerrero society."

The priest says that starting at the federal level, through the state level and, of course, at the municipal level, "everything that happens in Guerrero is a patch. All that is done is a patch, but the same thing happens in Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Michoacán, everywhere.

"What is needed is a reworking of Mexico, the country in which bodies appear everywhere. Mexico is a grave. Why not make a national pact, a national dialogue. Why not take the best that we have and rework the country?"

The priest answers his own question: "Because the authorities invest more in powers for domination, and because they are at the service of other neoliberal, capitalist interests. We do not interest them. They do not care about us."

Politicians "appear on television. The people see them on television, in photographs and in the press. They are people who seem serious, responsible. They seem truly concerned about us. But the truth is that we are alone."

The priest says that in Michoacán, Veracruz, Nuevo León and in other states, only palliatives are implemented. The government does not yet know what to do "and the problem is that the violence is border to border and coast to coast."

The Politically Useful

Another point-blank question is posed by the founder and director of theMigrants on the Road shelter located in Ixtepec, Oaxaca: "Let’s see. Politically speaking, what is least damaging? To say, ‘here are the tortured, burned, buried, destroyed’? Or to manage that they are disappeared?"

He does not wait for the response, which he has himself repeated several times: "For the politicians, the preservation of hope is more useful because, with that, there is no evidence, yet, that [that strategy] exhibits the criminality of the State itself."

Solalinde said that it was providential that he missed the plane that was to take him from Guerrero to Nayarit. Instead, he was given the opportunity to be connected with eyewitnesses who were present at everything.

Proceso: Only eyewitnesses?

Solalinde hesitates for a few seconds, then responds: "Something more than that."

He is not very explicit, because he doesn’t want to jeopardize those people. He knows that the government checks all his movements. By telephone, he prefers not to speak about certain things. But he lets loose: "Obviously, they remain fearful. I cannot say anything more because, believe me, it isn’t just them but also their families who are threatened if they tell what they saw."

Translated by Jane Brundage

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Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico: "The 43 Ayotzinapa students are dead, some were burned alive," Father Alejandro Solalinde

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Proceso, 17th October, 2014

The 43 Ayotzinapa normal school students disappeared from Iguala are dead. There is no hope that they will appear alive and some were burned alive, Father Alejandro Solalinde said today.

In an interview for the Novosti agency and the Austrian daily Der Standard of Vienna, he said: "From Sunday to today, I have had several meetings with witnesses, eyewitnesses, students who suffered the first and second attack, but there are other sources, who are not students, who spoke to us of another time. They talk about some that were wounded, and the wounded were burned alive. They poured diesel fuel on them. That is going to become known. They say that before they put wood over them, some of them were alive, some dead.

"The first direct information I got on Sunday. The second I got yesterday in Mexico City. The first thing I learned is that there are witnesses, but they are afraid to speak. There are witnesses among the police themselves. There is always someone who has a conscience; but if they talk, they fear that they are going to be killed," said the priest.

Solalinde clarified that he doesn’t know whether the young people could be in one of the pits that the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the Union of Peoples and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (UPOEG) found in Iguala.

"We don’t know. If they are in the pits, the Argentine forensic anthropology team doesn’t have the technology to find out. They can work in normal conditions, but it is impossible with charred remains," but, he insisted: "There is no hope that they are alive."

Solalinde, who is the National Human Rights Award winner in 2012, said the Mexican government is managing the case politically rather than as one of justice, and assessing what truth to tell, that with the least political cost.

"What is least painful for the system? To say they were burned up, with all that implies? Or to say that they are missing, and they do not know what happened? Because it is less shocking to say the latter, and also less compromising, but it is more painful for the families to leave them with hope. The government knows many things. If it is withholding the truth, that is its responsibility. I must say, their management is already contaminated and its management is not one of justice. It’s political," he charged.

http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=385089

Translated by Reed Brundage

An urgent message from SIPAZ:

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2014 by floweroftheword

Urgent Action – Case of Ayotzinapa, Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico

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Dear readers of SIPAZ,

We the team-members of The International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) greet you. SIPAZ is an international organization that has worked for over 18 years in favour of peace and human rights in Mexico. It is comprised of a coalition of more than 50 organizations from the U.S. and Europe that share concerns for human rights in Mexico.

As part of its work, SIPAZ has maintained a semi-permanent presence in the state of Guerrero since 2006, accompanying local indigenous and campesino organizations and collectives, men and women, and human-rights defenders who struggle for the good of their communities, respect for their rights, and the protection of their lands.

As you may already know, on 26 and 27 September in Iguala, Guerrero State, Mexico, municipal police as well as members of an unknown armed commando group opened fire at several coordinated events against students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, in addition to athletes and other civilians, leaving six dead (3 of them students from Ayotzinapa), 25 injured, and more than 50 students forcibly disappeared (all of them from the same school in question).

Now three weeks after these events, little progress has been made in the search for the disappeared, although mass-graves containing dozens of bodies have been found. For this reason, and thus echoing the proposals made by several local, national, and international organizations, we urge you to write letters to the Mexican authorities (using list provided below) to demand the following points:

  1. To forthrightly carry out an independent and exhaustive investigation of all the events that took place on 26 and 27 September in Iguala.
  2. To process and punish the municipal police who are responsible for the extrajudicial executions as well as the municipal authorities who omitted and consented to the grave human-rights violations in question.
  3. To launch administrative and judicial processes against state and federal authorities who failed in their duties to reasonably prevent these grave rights-violations from taking place.
  4. To carry out investigations and searches to determine the whereabouts of the disappeared students, to present them with life, and to guarantee access to ministerial investigations on the part of relatives of the victims and their representatives
  5. To implement precautionary measures toward the end of guaranteeing and protecting the physical and psychological integrity of the disappeared students.
  6. To guarantee comprehensive medical and psychological attention to the harmed students.
  7. To establish the truth and comprehensively to compensate the damages to victims and their relatives by means of payment, restitution, rehabilitation, and guarantees of non-repetition.
  8. To guarantee the security and physical integrity of the students who have denounced the acts and of the human-rights defenders who have accompanied the social processes of the students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School, in accordance with the stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding the rights and responsibilities of peoples, groups, and social organizations to promote and protect the human rights and basic freedoms that are recognized universally.

We thank you for your interest and support in responding to these events, which have caused us great alarm.

Regards,

The SIPAZ team

LIST OF AUTHORITIES TO CONTACT:

Lic. Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong
Secretario de Gobernación
C. Abraham González No.48, Col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc C. P. 06600, México, D. F.
Tel. (55) 5728-7400 ó 7300.
secretario

Lic. Jesús Murillo Karam
Federal Attorney General
Paseo de la Reforma 211-213, Piso 16
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06500 México D. F.
Tel: (52.55) 53460000 ext. 0108
Fax: (52.55) 5346.0928
ofproc

Lic. Ángel Aguirre Heladio
Governor of Guerrero State
Palacio de Gobierno, Edificio Centro 2do. Piso, Col. Ciudad de los Servicios,
C.P. 39074 Chilpancingo, Guerrero, México
Fax: +52 747 471 9956
contacto; gobernador

Lic. Jesús Martínez Garnelo
Secretary of Governance for Guerrero State
Palacio de Gobierno, Edificio Norte, 2º Piso.,
Boulevard Lic. René Juárez Cisneros No. 62. Col. Cd, de los Servicios, C.P. 39074, Chilpancingo, Gro.
Tel: (747) 471 9803, 471 9804, 471 9806
contacto, secretariageneral

Lic. Iñaki Blanco Cabrera
State Attorney General of Guerrero
Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Guerrero
Boulevard René Juárez Cisneros S/N, esquina calle Juan Jiménez SánchezCol. El Potrerito,
C.P. 39098, Chilpancingo, Guerrero
.Tel. 01 747 494 29 99
pgj

Dr. Raúl Plascencia Villanueva
President of the National Commission on Human Rights
Edificio "Héctor Fix Zamudio", Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos 1922, 6° piso,
Col. Tlacopac San Ángel, Del. Álvaro Obregón, C.P. 01040, México, D.F.
Tels. y fax (55) 56 81 81 25 y 54 90 74 00
correo, presidencia

Lic. Ramón Navarrete Magdaleno
President of the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights in Guerrero State (CODDEHUM)
Avda. Juárez, Esq. Galo Soberón y Parra
Col. Centro, 39000, Chilpancingo, Guerrero, México.
Teléfono: (+52) (01) 747 471 21 90 Fax: (+52) (01) 747 471 2190
coddehum

Javier Hernández Valencia
United Nations High Commissioners Office
Alejandro Dumas No 165,
Col. Polanco. Del. Miguel Hidalgo. C.P 11560, México D.F.
Tel: (52-55) 5061-6350; Fax: (52-55) 5061-6358
quejasoacnudhmexico ; oacnudh

Dr. Emilio Alvarez Icaza
Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
1889 F Street, N.W. Washington, D.C., 20006 U.S.A.
Tel: 202-458-6002
Fax: 202-458-3992
cidhoea

www.sipaz.org

Global Day of Action for Ayotzinapa: Wednesday 22nd October, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2014 by floweroftheword

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Action in London:

WEDNESDAY 22 OCTOBER, 5PM: DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE NATIONAL GALLERY, TRAFALGAR SQUARE, FOR THE RETURN OF THE 43 DISAPPEARED STUDENTS IN AYOTZINAPA, GUERRERO.

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Action in Edinburgh:

PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE KILLED AND MISSING IN AYOTZINAPA WEDNESDAY AT 12:30 TOP OF MIDDLE MEADOW WALK, NEAR TO LAURISTON PLACE

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Sign the Open Letter from Abroad, to be published on Wednesday:

https://ayotzinapasomostodos.wordpress.com/

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dorsetchiapassolidarity | October 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Tags: Ayotzinapa | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p2oLSE-1VX

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Raúl Vera: Ayotzinapa / Acteal, “a message from the state to intimidate the insurgents”

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2014 by floweroftheword

The massacring of social strugglers is “a habit” in Mexico: Raúl Vera

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By desinformemonos

Mexico. “I don’t believe it is organized crime; it’s something else. This is a message to social strugglers; we have already seen it in many places,” accuses Bishop Raúl Vera [1] –who has carried out his pastoral work in sites of conflict in Mexico, from Coahuila to Chiapas, passing through Guerrero. The massacre of normalistas [2] at the hands of Iguala’s police, on September 26, has a background in other repressions “and the excessive use of force,” he indicates.

Vera compares the attacks on students –that as of today have resulted in six people executed, 43 disappeared and 25 injured, two of them gravely- with the governmental repression in San Salvador Atenco in 2006. “We’re dealing with State terrorism tactics,” he sums up.

Another day of protests took place in 10 Mexican states on Saturday, October 18, demanding the presentation with life of the 43 students detained and disappeared 3 weeks ago. Marchers in Acapulco (above) also demanded the exit of Governor Angel Aguirre Rivero. Photo by Victor Camacho, La Jornada.

Another day of protests took place in 10 Mexican states on Saturday, October 18, demanding the presentation with life of the 43 students detained and disappeared 3 weeks ago. Marchers in Acapulco (above) also demanded the exit of Governor Angel Aguirre Rivero. Photo by Victor Camacho, La Jornada.

Acteal and Iguala: cruelty

The Bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, finds as a coinciding point between the massacre of Acteal, Chiapas, in 1997, and the extrajudicial execution and forced disappearance of students, the cruelty with which it is enacted. In Chiapas, the behaviour towards the murdered Tzotziles–“who had chosen to be pacifists, almost all women and children,” he clarifies – was “Kaibilesque.” [3] The priest insists that it was a message from the State to intimidate the insurgents.

Another similarity between the massacres, which provoked international condemnation of the Mexican government, is in the impunity which surrounds them. In Acteal, although the paramilitaries were captured, they are now free. And in Iguala, the kidnapping in June 2013 of eight activists and the murder of three of them, belonging to Popular Unity, also remains unpunished. According to a survivor, the one directly responsible for the execution was the mayor, José Luis Abarca, now a fugitive. The widow of one of the murdered leaders, Sofía Mendoza, continues to be threatened by the criminals, the Dominican points out.

In Acteal, Raúl Vera insists, there are testimonies that the state police and the Army concealed and covered up the actions of the paramilitaries. “We see this kind of thing in Iguala,” he compares. The Bishop, as part of the organization called Decade against Impunity Network, participated in two human rights observation caravans to Guerrero, one for the Iguala case.

Vera elaborates on the assassination of Arturo Hernández Cardona, leader of Popular Unity, which “disturbed” Abarca because Cardona organized a “strong” demonstration to demand the implementation of government aid. He points out that Cardona was captured, together with the other seven militants, and taken to empty land on the outskirts of Iguala, where the mayor threatened him and killed him, accompanied “by the criminals,” he relates. The survivor gave their statement in March of this year, “and no one has moved a single finger.”

“In these disappearances, another type of body now participates,” the Bishop explains. And he insists that the criminals are the “arms” of the mayor. He classifies as “absurd” the versions that indicate that the normalistas could have disturbed, in any way, the criminals: “That is trying to legitimize what happened.”

“We no longer know where the cartels end and the organized crime begins within the political structure and the apparatus of justice. We are already fed up with this frightening collusion,” he laments.

______________________

Notes:

[1] Raúl Vera is the Catholic Bishop of Coahuila, a state in Mexico. He is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre in Chiapas.

[2] Normalistas are students who attend rural teaching colleges, which principally train campesino and indigenous young people to be teachers in their own communities.

[3] A Kaibil is a member of one of the army’s death squads in Guatemala during its long civil war. The Kaibiles used unusually brutal tactics to terrorize the population.

Words from San Sebastián Bachajón during the gathering celebrating “522 years of indigenous resistance to th e European invasion,” Ejido Los Llanos, 12th October, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2014 by floweroftheword

From the “Day of Race” to the Day Of Resistance: The Harm Caused by the Road from San Cristobal to Palenque. By: Aldabi Olvera

http://www.masde131.com/2014/10/de-la-raza-a-la-resistencia-los-perjuicios-de-la-carretera-san-cristobal-palenque/

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Through the voice of the indigenous Tzeltal and Tzotzil communities, original peoples of Chiapas, the demand to stop the federal project resonates in the Highlands of Chiapas through narratives that describe the harassment and pressure from the government, despite the lands being reclaimed during the Zapatista uprising.

12th October, “Columbus Day”: the commemoration of the “discovery of America”, when 522 years ago sailors arrived from Europe. The discovery turned out to be nothing more than the imposition of a system for the “new” continent.

Since then, dispossessed, persecuted and cornered in the forests and mountains, the indigenous lost part of their lands.

In Mexico, on the first of January 1994, only two years after the five hundredth anniversary of the “Day of the Race”, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) rose up in arms and took back what are now known as the recuperated territories, stolen by the might of the local caciques.

Twenty years after the Zapatista uprising, these same lands are being targeted by entrepreneurs who are looking to build a road…

[…..]

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Domingo Pérez, indigenous Tzeltal from San Sebastián Bachajón, speaks while his compañeros hold up a banner behind him which says: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues.

“We thank you for the opportunity to talk and to speak, and to share with you our experience of struggle and resistance. We are adherents to the Sixth (Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle). We have been in struggle for about eight years and the root of the organization (community) is that the ejido is made up of common lands, the ejidal authorities were only one and they sold out to the bad government and then the bad government with the political parties divided the ejido.”

He relates:

“Many more years ago in San Sebastián Bachajón there is a place called the waterfalls of Agua Azul, part of it belongs to the ejido and the other part to Tumbalá. Since 1980 there has been a nature reserve, but Conagua altered the co-ordinates marked on the previous plan and which affects our territory, they are planning to build hotels, golf courses and others for the benefit of the bad government and big businesses, other countries and transnationals, but the government says it is development for the communities, which is a lie.”

On 24 April, 2013, Juan Vázquez Guzmán, a member of the organization, was murdered. On 21 March, 2014, Juan Carlos Gómez was murdered. On 15 September Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano, Roberto Gómez Hernández, also from Bachajón were arrested accused of the attempted murder of police from the municipality of Chilón.

The banner shines behind him, there are the adherents with a star around an indigenous face: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues.”

“The super highway does not benefit us compañeros, and the bad government goes straight to the Commissioner without consulting with the people and assembly and went to the Ejido of Salto de Agua to sign an agreement to give passage to the super highway but not with the consent of the people.”

192 of the 206 communities of the neighbouring ejido of San Jerónimo Bachajón also declared themselves against the Highway. This decision was taken at a community assembly of nearly two thousand people in the town of Guadalupe Paxilá, on August 30, 2014.

“San Sebastián has three centres of population and 208 communities and the three centres do not know it. A few made ​​this agreement, selling out to the bad government but we are against it because it destroys our resources. There are big mountains, rivers, waterfalls. There are compañeros whose land with their coffee plantations and crops it will cross, and we will not allow it to affect seven municipalities from San Cristobal to Palenque.”

“The government has been doing it with the death of two compañeros and with the imprisonment, but we will keep fighting, as we already said the land is not for sale, it is defended. We are people of corn, we are of the earth. We eat from her and will not allow the highway to pass. As we say in our community, not one step to the super highway.”

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dorsetchiapassolidarity | October 20, 2014 at 9:25 am | Tags: 12, Bachajon, highway, los llanos, Palenque, resistencia, san cristobal | Categories: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta | URL: http://wp.me/p2oLSE-1VM

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Ejidatarios from Los Llanos defend Mother Earth against Megaproject

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2014 by floweroftheword

Source: Espoir Chiapas / Esperanza Chiapas
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On the 12th of October, 900 people came together in the Ejido Los Llanos, in the municipality of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, following the invitation given by the ejidatarios on the 21st of September.

From 8 in the morning normal time, 9 am bad government time, people from different communities, peoples and organizations came together in the community space of the compañeros of Ejido Los Llanos where they have the sacred area with the three crosses, flowers, candles etc. to join a prayer with traditional music.

After the prayer and some more modern music, they began with the 3 moments of traditional dance, which lasted for about 30 minutes.

After this several compañeros gave their word.

We propose in this article to give several summaries of the presentations of each representative, and the entire speech of others.

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Words of the Commissioner of Ejido Los Llanos, municipality of San Cristobal de las Casas.

"Good morning compañerxs

105_5788We are gathered here for one reason, to defend our lands. These lands where we are now were reclaimed in December 94, we do not forget how we reclaimed these lands, there was much sadness, many Zapatista support base compañeros shed their blood, the compañeros came in trucks and gave their lives to keep the land where we are now.

The bad government dispossesses us, we are removed to so they can do their projects without consulting us to see if we like it or not. And this is happening in many municipalities, communities.

This is why we will not give up even one metre of land. This is why we are going to build our strength together. The lands are our mother, here we present the fruits on the platform, as an example of the fruits we get from her such as corn, squash, chilacayote, tortillas, etc. this is our food and we will not feed the rich.

We will defend. The super highway is going to pass through the ejido El Porvenir, we will not sell the lands. Because the land feeds us, it nurtures us, we will not sell it to the rich who come from other nations nor those from the national level.

This is our mother earth, we are hanging on to it tightly and we always will, we will not give up even a metre.

Then the word passed to the compañero from the vigilance council of the ejido of Los Llanos, who insisted on the importance of unity among the people to fight against this megaproject. He recalled the history of his ejido, that in 1994, "we recuperated the blessed land of 2 farms (…) Various people died, 2 minibuses with support bases of the EZLN shed their blood, lost their lives, their women wept, so we value their efforts" (because they left children, wives.)

He said that "the land is not for sale, the mother earth has no price, and should not be sold to the rich and big business." He took a potato from the altar in his hand, and showed it to the whole assembly, saying "we are very wrong to buy our potatoes in OXXO, Walmart and in supermarkets. Because we give away our money to businessmen, even though the earth gives it to us!"
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Then the compañeros of Ejido El Porvenir in the municipality of Huixtán gave their word.

105_5807"Good day compañeras and compañeros

We did not comehere today to celebrate quietly, we came here to defend our rights, to make our struggles against the bad government. It cost lives to recover our lands. It is possible to defend our lands compañerxs, even possibly with our lives.

The fruits we bring are our fuel; we are like cars that need their fuel.

The government, the rich, are very clever, they know how to sell us their ideas, and this is why the reform is happening now, the government clearly wants the ejidos to disappear, it wants to impose the PROCEDE programme, but this is only for the rich capitalists.

They deceive us in many ways, because we do not know our rights, or maybe because it was voted on at election time. The PRI and the other parties only dedicate themselves to violating farmers and orphans.

Truly we have to defend our rights, sisters and brothers, open our eyes, join forces, get together and ask our Lord for more strength.

Much violence is with us, we are in struggle, we are organising well in the places where we come from, we spread the word with our compañerxs. The government is a pure lie, pure deception, so that it tells us "if you don’t sell us your land you will go to prison," but do not be afraid brothers, we will take the word with the others, with our children, because they are the ones who will have to care for the earth after, we are only passing through life, no more.

Some slogans that were used:
East, west, north, south, whatever it takes! Zapata lives, the struggle continues!

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A social struggle, just but also legal!

105_5826The Lawyer Ricardo Lagunes announced that he had also taken the case through the legal route, denouncing that in November 2013 the government threatened to use public force against them if they prevented the passage of the highway.

They therefore used legal means to oppose it, since they were not consulted as the constitution requires. The lawyer said that they cannot impose a project if there is no agreement. The Secretary of Communications and Transport refused to accept that the compas would be affected. He also denounced that for several years the government has attempted to pay the authorities to make the necessary agreements; once they have those agreements, the people cannot do much, so that the Secretary of Government of Chiapas announced that the only two communities which were in resistance to the project are Mitziton and Los Llanos, which is not true.
Then the compañeros from San Sebastian Bachajon occupied the rostrum, installing their banner with the face of Juan Vazquez Guzman, looking at the assembly. The compas, adherents to the Sixth, recalled their struggle, their roots, for 8 years now, against megaprojects like the tourist centre of Agua Azul and now against the highway.

They remembered that at the same time as this event, in San Miguel in the municipality of Salto del Agua, compas were gathering against this megaproject of the highway.

They stated that they have no fear, they already know that the government is ready for anything, sending their paramilitaries, imprisoning more than 117 ejidatarios few years ago and now more recently with the unjust arrest of 3 compañeros.

"We will not remain silent, we will continue the struggle, the land is not for sale, it will be defended, we will not allow the passage of the highway, it is good to be united, this will not be the first nor the last time!"

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Invitation to a pilgrimage on the 25th November in San Cristobal

The Commissioner of the Candelaria community, in the municipality of San Cristobal de las Casas, a community which welcomed nearly a month ago 3000 people in struggle against highway, gave their word and invited people to a pilgrimage on the 25th of November. Here is his speech:

105_5834"Good morning sisters and brothers

I am very happy that our forces are together, we gather, we awaken and gather our thoughts together, let us unite more.

Our Mother Earth feeds us, because of that we unite to defend her, we support, we share, so it is important to get to meetings and assemblies to awaken ourselves, and that we do not stay at home. I very much appreciate your presence, that of many people from different communities, and also the organizers.

Without more ado, we invite you to a pilgrimage that will take place on 25th November, 2014, at 8 am in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas, the gathering place will be at Plaza Soriana. On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Mother Earth.

Women’s Solidarity against the projects of Destruction.

105_5836Then compañeras from the Women’s Law Centre read a statement written by several women’s groups such as the collectives las palomas, las gaviotas, la mujer de grandeza, de Aguacatenango etc…

The statement highlighted "an example of struggle and coexistence." “We are not alone!” "Together we will struggle and defend our land; not only against the highway but against all projects of destruction." “We will join our voices together so the bad government can hear us."

At the end, the compañeras shouted slogans such as: "If Ramona was alive, she would be with us."
Finally the compañero from the vigilance council of the ejido Los Llanos read the comunicado from San Francisco Xochicuautla, sent from the centre of the country, to give some parallels to their struggles, to beware of the promises of the bad government which they never fulfil, “they promised us that we would get bridges for our animals and that we could sell on the bank, but that was just a lie."

Finally they greeted the struggle of their brothers and sisters in Chiapas.

The event ended with music and all the attendees were invited to eat together.

Related Information: Los Llanos se suman al rechazo de la autopista y lanzan una invita

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