CNI/EZLN Denunciation of Attack Against Yaquis and Land Invasion Against Ñatho Community

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2014 by floweroftheword

OCTOBER 30, 2014

To the Ñatho Indigenous Community of San Francisco Xochicuautla

To the Yaqui Tribe

To the National and International Sixth

To the Peoples of the World

DSC0250Once more we express our pain and rage as the peoples in rebellion and resistance who make up the National Indigenous Congress. We unite our voices, our rage, and our pain in response to what is happening in the Ñatho Indigenous Community of San Francisco Xochicuautla and to the members of the Yaqui Tribe who are defending their water source.

Our brothers and sisters of Xochicuautla have defended their forests against the construction of the private highway between Toluca and Naucalpan, because they know that life itself emerges from these trees, mountains, and waters. They were granted legal protection prohibiting this work on communal lands, but since October 8 of this year, workers from the construction company under the protection of public “Citizen Security” Forces of the State of Mexico have been invading their lands and cutting down hundreds of trees. The bad government doesn’t care if we below use their laws to defend ourselves; they break those laws themselves in order to destroy us. They made them for the same reason.

There are currently acts of provocation, persecution, harassment, as well as illegal invasion of communal territory in this community. The construction company Autovan S.A. of C.V. run by one Fernando Ambriz invaded their territory, circulating the rumor that anyone attempting to obstruct their work would be arrested. But the company does not have legal authorization for its presence in that territory, as there is a court injunction (48/2014) nullifying the assemblies held to grant “permission” to the project and invalidating the previous permit and any other matters related project permission. This injunction was issued by Judge Jorge J. de Silva Cano of the Agrarian Tribunal headquartered in Toluca.

Once again the Mexican state, through governor Eruviel Ávila Villegas, is in flagrant violation of our rights and of the judicial orders handed down from the courts, constituting yet another misuse of power. They are against us as indigenous peoples because we pose an obstacle to their plans—plans that favor companies and capitalism but go against life.

10417019_10154596095045117_1842159451655718814_nWe are also pained by what is happening to the ancient and heroic Yaqui Tribe, which is also defending life and water. There has now been an attack on the life of Lauro Baumea; two cars parked at his house were set on fire, and the attackers said that the next time it would not be cars that they set alight.

These attacks on life and against our lives happen throughout this country, because the dangerous mafias that compose the Mexican State are against all of us who defend the land and its resources. They employ fear and terror because they think this will paralyze us, that it will keep us from organizing. But this war that we suffer will not annihilate us. Rather, the pain and rage that we feel unites us, feeding our construction of rebellion and resistance and the dignity that nourishes our struggle.

We demand respect for the Otomí-Mexica Forest and the Ñatho Indigenous Community of San Francisco Xochicuautla!

We demand the cancellation of the Private Highway Project between Toluca and Naucalpan, and compliance with the injunction that protects Ñatho territory!

We demand safety for Lauro Baumea and the liberation of Mario Luna and Fernando Jiménez, our brothers of the Yaqui Tribe!

Never Again a Mexico Without Us

October 28, 2014

National Indigenous Congress

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

Originally Published in Spanish by Enlace Zapatista

October 29, 2014

Translation by El Kilombo Intergaláctico

Ayotzinapa and the Strength of the Rural Normal School Community

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31, 2014 by floweroftheword

Luis Hernández Navarro

La Jornada, 28th October, 2014

Translated by Sally Seward


One, two, three, four, the crowd calls out, not stopping until they reach number 43, and then demanding at the top of their voices: "Justice!"

"Felipe Arnulfo Rosa", reads out a voice. "Present!" respond hundreds of angry voices. "Benjamín Ascencio Bautista", it asks again. "Present!" answer the demonstrators. "Israel Caballero Sánchez"…

These are the names of the students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa who were disappeared by the municipal police of Iguala and Cocula. They are the same people whose faces appear by the thousands on the banners and pieces of canvas that students and citizens carry at all kinds of protests, demanding that the authorities return them alive.

What strange irony. After being separated from national public life for years and appearing from time to time in the media as an educational vestige of the past that needed to be eradicated, the rural normal schools are right in the middle of the debate today. The tragedy of Ayotzinapa, a rural normal school, has shaken the national conscience, taken students from public and private universities out into the streets in almost the entire country, and brought about the most serious political crisis in a long time.

The demonstrations that show solidarity with the normal school students never stop. Every day new forces join: religious representatives, artists, intellectuals, athletes and unions. The attempt of the broadcast media to contain, minimize and distort the meaning of the protests has failed.

Why has this particular tragedy brought about such feelings of indignation? Because it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as was the murder of poet Javier Sicilia’s son, at a different time and on a different scale. On this occasion, both the stories of police brutality against a group of poor boys, harassed and unarmed, and the image of the pained parents have touched other parents, who see in these events something that could have happened to their children. This creates instant identification and works as a linking element for the social discontent that up until now has been scattered.

The suffering and agony of those parents brings together the uncertainty and insecurity that many citizens experience in many regions. In the story of the normal school students, we discover the feeling of vulnerability brought about by being a young person in a country where young people are recurring victims of the violence of the government. In the story of a mayor who was allowed to escape, we see evidence of the pact of impunity that protects the political class.

But that pain and that rage, that fear and that longing for the young people to return alive has its hard nucleus, its source of legitimacy, and its network of protection in a community fabric that is elusive to the techno-bureaucracy leading the country. That network is the one that gives the social mobilization the source of moral authority currently expanding throughout the society.

Yes, they are not just 43 missing young people. Behind them are more than forty hurting parents and their extended families, mostly with very few resources, who spend their nights awake waiting for their children to appear. Alongside them are many communities, almost all rural, begging for the safe return of their neighbours. Shoulder to shoulder, about 500 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School march, awaiting the return of their schoolmates, whom they sit by and share dormitories with. As if they were an army, thousands of graduates, who are deeply committed to the school that allowed them to get ahead in their lives, accompany them, many of them working in the most remote towns of Guerrero. These graduates take what has been done to the young people as a personal attack. At the forefront are about 8,000 students from other rural normal schools, connected to them long before tragedy arrived in their lives.

The rural normal schools make up an imaginary community, comprised not only of the students that study in their classrooms and live in their dormitories, but also of the students’ towns, the agricultural worker groups they work with in school internships and the communities where their graduates go to work. The current teachers who graduated from within their walls are an important part of it. For all these people, what happens there concerns them.

The rural normal schools are one of the few means of social mobility that young people in rural areas have. The future they make for themselves thanks to their studies has an impact on the lives of the communities. What happens there is important to them. They are theirs: they are a living legacy of the Mexican Revolution, an inheritance of the rural school and the [Lázaro] Cárdenas presidency [1934-40], which they are not willing to give up.

The students who are taught in those schools are also part of one of the oldest student organizations in the country: the Federation of Rural Socialist Students of Mexico (FECSM). Founded in 1935, it has played a fundamental role in the survival of the rural normal schools, which are pestered relentlessly by educational authorities and local governments. Its directors are students with good behaviour and an average grade of no less than eight [out of ten]. Only the best students represent their classmates. The leaders are young people with political training, analytic abilities, organizational skills and a vision.

That community, made up of many different generations and communities, is the one that has kept the rural normal schools from being closed in the past. It is the one that has resisted the aggressions against it. It has made the survival of the project possible.

In the disappearance of the 43 normal school students from Ayotzinapa at the hands of the police, that community sees a serious affront that requires a response. It takes as mockery the fact that the government is not making the location of the young people clear. It becomes indignant before the attempt of the authorities not to make the legal truth coincide with the historical truth. It, with all of its moral authority, calls on the rest of society to join the fight. It demands, with never-ending rage and determination, that its children appear alive.


Posted in Uncategorized on October 29, 2014 by floweroftheword


Gustavo Esteva, La Jornada, 27 October, 2014

Protego ergo obligo, Hobbes wrote. In nation-states, the protection governments give to citizens creates citizen obligations.

No one today would argue that the Mexican government is protecting its citizens. It is the opposite; it even robs them of their autonomous protections. Despite their cynicism, officials are being forced to disguise with all sorts of euphemisms their failure to perform their principal function.

Noncompliance is not exemption. The fact that the government does not fulfil its obligations does not mean that we cannot, indeed, we must, continue demanding that it do so. The current slogan of the demonstrations includes the increasingly faint hope that they must return them [43 students disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero] alive, but it is above all a denunciation: we know that they took them. They must accept the consequences.

There are solid grounds behind the general desire to see the mayor of Iguala, his wife and the governor in jail. But the federal government is using these legitimate and well-founded sentiments as an excuse to avoid its own responsibility. Raúl Zibechi is right: "The state has become an institution where the narco criminal and politician merge to control society" (ALAI Amlatina, 24/10/14).

There was both action and neglect by the federal government in the crimes of Ayotzinapa, and it is complicit in many of the crimes that have been committed in Guerrero and the rest of the country. Whether or not this is legally shaky ground is the responsibility of the established authority. But instead of legal instruments suitable for revoking the mandates of elected or appointed government officials and terminating their impunity, they formulate and implement laws to protect themselves and to control and punish citizens.

Having become an entrepreneur of violence, the government is now the principal source of what is spreading across the country. Again, I quote Foucault: "The arbitrariness of the tyrant is an example for potential criminals and in its fundamental illegality, even a license for crime. Indeed, who will not be allowed to break the law when the sovereign who should promote, implement and enforce it, claims the ability to distort or suspend the law or, at the very least, not apply it to himself? Therefore, the more power is despotic, the more numerous criminals will be. The strong power of a tyrant does not make evildoers disappear; rather, it multiplies them."

This is about something even worse. There is a moment, Foucault believes (Abnormalities, FCE, 2006, pp. 94-95), in which the roles are reversed:

"A criminal is one who breaks the covenant, who breaks it occasionally when he needs or desires something, when his interests call for it, i.e., when in a moment of violence or blindness, he makes prevail the reason of his interest, despite the most basic calculation of reason. [The criminal is] A transitory despot, a dazzling despot, a despot out of blindness, fantasy, fury, it matters little. In contrast to the criminal, the despot exalts the predominance of his interest and his will; and he does it permanently … The despot can impose his will on the entire social body by means of a state of permanent violence. He is, therefore, the one who permanently … exercises and exalts his interests criminally. He is outside the permanent law."

Foucault carefully carves out the profile of the legal monster that "is not the murderer, not the rapist, not the one who breaks the laws of nature; he is the one who breaks the fundamental social pact."

Make no mistake. As Javier Sicilia said long ago, we are as completely fed up with government officials as with the criminals. As he also says, and as Francisco Toledo repeats, we are left speechless before the level of degradation that has now arrived. We are before the mystery of Evil, which cannot be reduced to sociological or psychological causes.

But we cannot close our eyes. The fact is that we are suffering all sorts of crimes and a growing barbarism, such that it is no longer possible to distinguish [barbaric acts] committed by career criminals and amateurs from those that are the direct responsibility of government functionaries at all levels. This is the state at which we have arrived.

Let us say it clearly. And let us recognize with integrity that this is the nature of the struggle we need to engage in. This is about transforming the pain that overwhelms us in this infamous time into the dignified rage that will lead us to rebellion and liberation. We just remember the Zapatistas:

"It is with rage and rebellion, not with resignation and conformity, that we below take offence."

Translated by Jane Brundage



Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2014 by floweroftheword

1779940_282319408626642_2194137591798540780_nGiven the gravity of the events surrounding the government/cartel killings and forced disappearances of students and civilians in Iguala, Mexico, on September 26 and 27 of this year, Frontera NorteSur is devoting special coverage to the growing repercussions of the Iguala Massacre, which some observers now compare in its possible impact on Mexican society to the 1968 student movement and Tlatelolco Massacre. Below is a summary of some of this week’s major developments.

Special Report

Public outrage over the police murders of six people and forced disappearances of 43 students from the Atoytzinapa rural teachers’ college in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero continued to snowball this week.

Parts of the Mexican Republic were virtually paralyzed by a 48-hour protest convened October 22-23 by student, labor, farmer, and social organizations. Significantly, actions ranging from the shut-down of university campuses and the takeover of government offices to the blockade of highways and international border crossings extended from the traditionally "politicized" zones of Mexico City and southern Mexico to many nooks and crannies of the country.

The Mexican press reported actions in at least 18 of the nation’s 32 states, including usually less politically active entities like Colima and Nuevo Leon.

On the evening of October 22, and for the third time this month, hundreds of people temporarily blockaded the Bridge of the Americas between Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas.
In a march that wound from Borunda Park to the border crossing, protesters shouted out the names of the 43 disappeared students and plastered pictures of the missing young men at the local headquarters of the federal attorney general’s office.

"To seek a better education is not a crime" and "There are not enough bullets to kill us all" were among the messages spotted on signs. Young people formed the vanguard of the protest, with participating students from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Technological Institute of Ciudad Juarez and the Ricardo Flores Magon Rural Teachers College of Saucillo, Chihuahua, a sister institution of the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College in Ayotzinapa. The women students from the Saucillo school have been at the forefront of advancing the cause of the Guerrero students in Ciudad Juarez and other parts of Chihuahua state.

10533841_10152864258997146_6244173270852004874_nAmong numerous actions, an estimated 15,000 people demonstrated in Guadalajara, Jalisco, while 40,000 students joined in shutting down institutions of higher learning in the neighboring state of Zacatecas. For the first time in its 180-year history, students shuttered the University of Guanajuato Law School in protest. Meanwhile, in the southern border state of Chiapas, indigenous Zapatista communities lit candles for the Ayotzinapa students.

In Mexico City, tens of thousands of students from public and private universities made up huge sections of a march through the capital city. "No violence, no violence," chanted students from the University of Chapingo.

"We’re witnessing the largest march of recent years, perhaps since the university movement of 1968," wrote political analyst and Proceso columnist Jenaro Villamil. "It’s one without party affiliation, without electoral slogans and with a great indignation that is visible on faces, on banners, on placards, in spray paintings, and with slogans that channel the anger in the direction of (President) Enrique Pena Nieto."

Interviewed prior to the march, an activist involved in the massive student strike for institutional democracy and accountability, public education and professional integrity still underway at Mexico City’s National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), voiced the heart-felt burst of solidarity with the Ayotzinapa students that is sweeping Mexican university campuses.

"The rural teachers’ colleges and the IPN are sisters. What is happening to the (Ayotzinapa students) hits us in the guts; it’s family from the other side. We are linked. We were born as institutions for small farmers and workers. We share the same father, (President) Lazaro Cardenas," said a female student identified as Magali. "One cannot think of these as isolated events. There are connections between the student teachers and the struggle of the PolytechnicŠ"

In Guerrero the movement got a jump-start on the rest of the country as teachers, students and the citizenry in general began occupying nearly two dozen city halls in different regions of the state early in the week. In Tixtla, thousands of people supported by armed members of the indigenous-led community police effectively took over the small city located near Ayotzinapa. By week’s end, protesters led by the Guerrero State Coordinator of Education Workers and Popular Guerrero Movement occupied Acapulco’s city hall for an "indefinite" time.

On October 22, between 10,000 and 20,000 people demonstrated in Iguala, the scene of the September 26 crime, garnering enthusiastic support from the residents. A small group of young people broke away from the crowd and set Iguala’s city hall ablaze.

10305039_10205006981755067_6419276660992916611_nAcross Guerrero protesters demanded the safe return of the Ayotzinapa 43, punishment for the authors of killings and disappearances, medical attention for victims wounded in the September 26-27 attacks, and the ouster and trial of Guerrero Governor Angel Aguirre, whom protesters hold responsible for the violent circumstances prevailing in their state, now considered as the most violent place in the country.

As the week drew to a close, the protesters got part of their wish: Governor Aguirre announced he was requesting a leave of absence from office, in a move just short of outright resignation.

"In this tragic scenario, I reject that the public debate should center on whether I remain as the governor in charge," Aguirre said late Thursday, October 23. "The priority should be on continuing with the search for the missing young people."

Internationally, members of Mexico’s vast diaspora and supporters staged demonstrations for justice in London, Paris, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Madrid, Barcelona, Florence, Bogota, La Paz, Los Angeles, and other cities in at least 15 countries. On October 24, activists in Santa Cruz, California, plan a vigil for Ayotzinapa.

But nearly a month after last month’s violence, it is still not confirmed if the dozens of charred corpses subsequently discovered in multiple, so-called "narco-graves" on the outskirts of Iguala belong to the missing Ayotzinapa students.

Pushed by Federal Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam and other government officials, several versions exist (disputed in part by Atoytzinapa attorney Vidulfo Rosales Sierra) of why the students, who were in Iguala collecting monetary donations from the public in order to be able to attend the annual commemoration of October 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico City, were so viciously targeted by municipal police and Guerreros Unidos cartel gunmen in the first place.

Implicated as the authors of the violence, now-fugitive Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, who has been identified as the sister of founding members of Guerreros Unidos, were reportedly incensed at the Ayotzinapa students’ presence in Iguala while a ceremony and dance attended by the couple was in progress on September 26.

Consequently, either Abarca or his wife- or both- ordered that a harsh lesson be given to the young people.

A related explanation for the mass abduction that climaxed the police shootings of the students and passing members of the public is that corrupt city officials and Guerreros Unidos made a monstrous misjudgment in confusing the students with "Los Rojos," a rival organized crime group.

So far, more than 50 people have been detained in connection with the violence, including Iguala policemen and alleged Guerreros Unidos members, according to Attorney General Murillo. In comments about this week’s political upheaval, President Pena Nieto reiterated his government’s commitment to locating the missing students and applying justice.

"The President of the Republic makes the sentiment of indignation his ownŠ," Pena Nieto said.

While the Iguala atrocities are far from unique in Mexico, the September 26-27 violence has perhaps no better exposed in one fell swoop the collusion of government and organized crime, the criminal infiltration and corruption of political parties, the cold hand of official repression, and the incapability or disinterest of the state in guaranteeing the security of its civilians.

A central message of protesters this week: Iguala was a crime against humanity committed by the state. Analysts and commentators of all stripes weighed in on the turmoil.

10305039_809640072410653_8825579480362741047_n"Preceded by the scandal around the (June 30) firing squad execution of 22 people by the army in the Mexico state village of Tlatlaya, the case of the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students turned on its head the government of Enrique Pena Nieto, which was acting triumphant because of its structural reforms- especially the energy one- and that were displayed abroad as a modern and vanguard government," wrote Proceso’s Jose Gil Olmos.

"Nonetheless, Pena Nieto’s government is completely overwhelmed by a social, political and economic crisisŠ"

Columnist Jorge Ramos, the star broadcaster of the Spanish-language television network Univision that is beamed into millions of U.S. households, was no less poignant in a column this past week.

"The dead of Mexico can no longer be hidden. The massacres of Tlatlaya and Iguala show the worst of the country: the army massacring civilians and the police murdering students. This is Barbarous Mexico. And the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto is almost deaf, paralyzed and overwhelmed, as if the fault was not its own," Ramos wrote.

"Mexico smells rotten; it smells of the old PRI (President Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party). Students the country over, with marches and protests, no longer swallow the old (government) tale that we will search and punish. The lines are drawn: the government, its army and police are not with the students, with the victims of violence, or their families. Mexico was broken in IgualaŠ"

Ironically, the outcomes of the massacre in Iguala, the very place where Mexico’s independence from Spain was formalized in 1821, could well lead to a new day for the nation-or its demise. As one Ciudad Juarez activist remarked to FNS, the great challenge of the youth and popular uprising of October 2014 will be to maintain the grassroots momentum while organizing and articulating the movement in a way so genuine, lasting changes result.

Source: Frontera NorteSur: 10/24 via cisdc

Web of testimonial of four indigenous prisoners in Chiapas

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2014 by floweroftheword

October 24, 2014

By: Aldabi Olvera


A heavy blanket of fog and rain densely covers the valleys, canyons and mountains of Chiapas. It seems that the strong threads of heaven are gradually forming a wall to convert the territory into a giant prison of the mind,



Travelling these roads, with compañeras and compañeros I visited four prisoners in a week:

Alejandro, indigenous Tsotsil, is imprisoned unjustly in CERESO 5 in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Mario, Juan Antonio and Roberto, Tseltal indigenous, are prisoners for political reasons. "Revenge of the police", say his family. They have just been transferred to CERESO 12 in Yajalón.

A heavy blanket of fog and rain drowns the mountains from the north to the highlands of Chiapas. Despite the heaviness with which the huge threads of nature tie the soul, the walls raised by humans are more terrible. However, a profound word is emerging from the voice or the pen of the prisoners, and there is no density or wall that can stop this voice.

The letters of Alejandro

"I demand the freedom of all political prisoners and those imprisoned unjustly throughout the world…"

Two years ago he could not speak Spanish. Now, as we have documented in Másde131, the indigenous Tsotsil Alejandro Díaz Sántiz is responsible for publishing reports on the situation of the inmates of CERESO 5.

"I’m fine, I feel good," says Alejandro smiling. At the time of the visit, he has been fasting for 16 days. He shows me his notebook where he has written that he will lift his fast on October 20th. His letters are clear, neat:

"Those who govern in our country and state, peoples, have governed backwards, as they have only caused harm to the rights of human beings, such as disappearances, unfair imprisonments, among others."

"Do you write this for the students of Ayotzinapa?" I ask.

"The government itself does that," he replies.

His words are like a complex textile leading into a deep freedom. When I watched him write, he does it slowly, carefully, like a craftsman. I remember when he told me months ago: "If I had not ended up in prison, I would be dead. I did not know how to speak or write, but I learned it through the struggle."

"Today my lawyers, Sandino Rivero and Leonel Rivero requested remission of sentence from the governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte Ochoa, and Manuel Velasco Coello, governor of Chiapas."

Remission of sentence is one of the last tools that Alexander has to obtain his release. His lawyers filed on October 16 that the government of Veracruz accept and order his release on account of his work and conduct in prison. He now has to wait for that information from the state government of Chiapas. The answer could take two weeks after it was filed for legal recourse.

On 11 May, Sántiz Diaz completed a period of 15 years in different prisons, from Veracruz, where he allegedly committed the crime of murdering his own daughter, to now in CERESO 5.

He finished reading his communiqué:

"Together we can win true justice. Alejandro Diaz Santiz, Solidarity with the Voice of el Amate, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle."

I keep thinking about what Alejandro said on a previous visit, that he always wanted to struggle, that he wanted to be Zapatista since childhood, that now he can be an adherent to the Sixth in prison. He fulfilled his dream overcoming his fear of speaking, writing, expressing himself.

A compañera brings him a song. I tell Alejandro that now we are going to leave him a letter to set to music. He smiles and says yes, if he can.

"Why do not you weave hats and bracelets, Alex?" I asked a month ago.

"I do not have time, now I have to write a lot," he replies.

Neatly, slowly, he begins to write a few lines for me to take out of prison. Then, he accompanies us to the exit. We learn that this October 24th he will spend another birthday in prison. All have gone, I stay until the end. I raise my left arm, close my fist, show him what it says in my notebook. Alejandro Diaz Santiz also raises his left arm and makes a fist, a ritual that we have woven without talking since I first met him, a series of words between the eyes and hands to be repeated until I see him get out of prison.


Threads and torture

The road to CERESO 12 Yajalon, where the three Tzeltal prisoners from San Sebastian Bachajón are held, is steep and curving. In Ocosingo, where there was heavy fighting between the EZLN and the army in 1994, the water forms small streams on the pavements. This does not erase our memory, in contrast, it reawakens it.

The journey is expensive. Sixty pesos from San Cristobal; another sixty from Ocosingo. The whole situation has a high cost for the families of the prisoners who we meet after entering the prison.

"This is costing us a lot, compañeros. It is costing us a lot. Sometimes we despair. We have the idea, but we do not know if we can do it," they say when thinking what the possibilities are to get their three prisoners out of jail.

"Let’s go in, compañeros."

"Today is only the day for family visits, but as you have come from far away we will let you in," says the man in charge of the visitor’s book. This is extremely unusual, usually the watchword of the wardens and directors is to hinder visits to political prisoners.

Juan Antonio, Roberto and Mario, sitting in that order, are on a bench in the courtyard of the prison, full of looms for weaving hammocks. The first thing that strikes you is something that a compañera had told me: "They are very young".

Nineteen, twenty and twenty-three, surrounded by their families, they look down. We do too. It is hard to know what to say, even when it is already agreed that each will make a presentation. That is why I am here.

"Help me to get my freedom. I have a wife and son, I cannot support them in here," says Roberto. He cannot explain in a way other than with anger and powerlessness. His tears appear, want to fall and then pass.

Roberto is the best speaker of Spanish. He translates what the others say:

Mario is still in pain from the blows he received. He points to his ribs. He was kicked hard in the torso. He has a scar on his right eyebrow. He still feels dizzy. They put a bag on his head and threatened him if he did not incriminate his compañeros. The prosecutor from Chilón, Rodolfo Jiménez Pérez, said: "If you do not say that you were there, I’ll kill you, shoot you with a bullet and throw you in the river."

Juan Antonio, Roberto and Mario tell how they were at the celebration of September 15, when early in the morning they and other young people from Bachajón were stopped by members of the police from Chilón who pointed out Juan Antonio. They went against the three of them, detained and tortured them.

Mario looks up suddenly, sadly. I notice a huge scar above his lip. We are left again not saying anything. It is as if we were all under sentence. Not shame, but a punishment that can hardly be expressed in words. Meanwhile, the other prisoners carry on weaving, looking at us sideways curiously.

They dragged Juan Antonio along the ground. His face is still scraped. They kicked him hard on the head. Blood came out of his ear. He has a headache.

He is the brother of Juan Carlos Gomez Silvano, who was a coordinator of the adherents of the Sixth until he was assassinated last March by the Chilón police. According to the three young men, their families and various communiqués released by the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, the arrests were made in retaliation for the capture and subsequent imprisonment of the police officer Sebastián Méndez Hernández in the prison of El Amate.

Roberto explains:

"They accused us of aggravated assault. As we did not know, we signed it. Bail was 300 thousand pesos. The public defender told us to sign. The witnesses are both police officers."

An order of imprisonment for attempted homicide was the verdict of Omar Eleria Reyes, mixed trial judge in Ocosingo, issued on September 24 against Juan Carlos, Mario and Roberto, reclassifying the crime and leaving them no possibility of bail.

"My vision is dark, my sight is cloudy and I have to wait. Afterwards I recover," says Roberto. The health situation of the three concerns their family members, they may have internal injuries.

Juan Antonio remains silent. He does not want to talk. "He has no means to work to support his family," says Roberto, "we weave hammocks, but in here the ball of thread costs thirty pesos. There is little profit."

The cost of weaving each hammock is 500 pesos. If the thread is bought in prison it is not worth doing. We talked about the urgent economic need and how they can get out of prison:

"Yes we knew Patishtan, we knew he got out. After all the years that he had done. So they tell us: Yes you will get out. But we are afraid that they will move us to el Amate (the prison far away where the indigenous Tsotsil Professor Alberto Patishtan was held.)"

"Here it is quiet," says Roberto.

Juan Antonio, Roberto and Mario continue to rest on their arms. We ask what colour thread they need to start weaving: green, blue, red, yellow.

At one point, the families say:

"They cannot not stay like this. They will be ill."

On leaving we look at their faces. My hand just touches the arm of Roberto. Again there are unshed tears, we look away. A tangle of wires spills water over the hills of Yajalon. We say goodbye. It has started to rain. Outside the prison is a sign that says, "Movement for the Defence of Territory: No to the Highway from San Cristobal to Palenque". We are charged with bringing in threads to weave, and bringing out their own fabric of woven words.

A light blanket of fog and rain begins to cover the valleys, canyons and mountains of Chiapas. It seems that the water from the sky gradually forms a wall to make the territory into a giant prison of the mind. However, we carry on single sheets the way to climb over any wall: The woven fabric of the word.


Guerrero and Narco-Politics

Posted in Uncategorized on October 25, 2014 by floweroftheword

By: Luis Hernández Navarro

A two metre long narco-banner was found in the early hours of October 16. It appeared on the rear fence of secondary school number 3 in Iguala, Guerrero, less than one kilometre from the 27th infantry battalion. On it, in a message written with letters printed in red and black paint, El Choky asks President Peña Nieto for justice. He denounces, with (first) names, last names and pseudonyms, those responsible for the murder and disappearance of the Ayotzinapa students.

The state’s attorney general, Iñaky Blanco, recently pointed to El Choky as chief of the Guerreros Unidos (Warriors United) gunmen, and the one responsible for ordering the massacre and disappearance of the youths last September 26, after the attack on them from police and gunmen.

The list of those associated with the criminal group and denounced in the banner is long: eight mayors, directors of Public Security, the Secretary of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development’s delegate and different personages. According to the denouncer, “they are the ones who the government allows to walk around free and committing so much crime against the population.” Finally it clarifies: “I don’t have all the blame.” He signs: “Sincerely: Choky.”

The criminal climate denounced in the narco-message is not exclusive to Iguala and to seven municipal presidencies of Tierra Caliente. The kind of relationship between Mayor José Luis Abarca, his local police and organized crime, uncovered with the massacre of last September 26, is present in many Guerrero municipal governments. We’re dealing with a relationship that also involves important local politicians, state and federal legislators, party leaders, police chiefs and military commanders. Thus, we are able to characterize the existing political regime in the state as a narco-state.

Denunciations like El Choky’s run from mouth to mouth among Guerrerans. Business leaders, social leaders and journalists have documented this nexus. Part of the local and national press has published it. In some cases, like in Iguala with the assassination of the Popular Union’s three leaders, formal accusations have even been presented to the relevant authorities. Everything has been in vain.

Those who have warned of the extent and depth of the narco-politics in the state have been eliminated and threatened. When the businessman Pioquinto Damián Huato, the leader of the Canaco in Chilpancigo, accused Mario Moreno, the city’s mayor, of having ties with the criminal group (called) Los Rojos, he was the victim of an attack in which his daughter-in-law died and his son was injured.

The politicians pointed to have invariably denied the accusations and have explained them as the result of political quarrels, or that they are not responsible for the behaviour of their friends or relatives. They have said that the authorities ought to investigate them and that they are in the most willing to clarify things. But nothing has been done. The pact of impunity that protects the political class has acted together time after time.

According to Bishop Raúl Vera, who headed the Diocese of Ciudad Altamirano [1] between 1988 and 1995, impunity is the most lacerating characteristic of Guerrero and its most important challenge. Its extent and persistence –he points out– encourages crime and the violation of human rights and dignity.

But the violence is not only an issue of disputes between political-criminal groups for production centres, routes and plazas. It is also the result of the decision of the behind-the-scenes powers to get rid of opposition social leaders and to offer protection from (State) power to those who liquidate or disappear them.

The victims of forced disappearance and extrajudicial executions during the government of Ángel Aguirre are many. The correlation of murders and the detained-disappeared during his administration is enormous.

Among many others, the ecologists Eva Alarcón Ortiz and Marcial Bautista Valle; the students Jorge Alexis Herrera and Gabriel Echeverría; the leaders of the Emiliano Zapata Revolutionary Agrarian League of the South, Raymundo Velázquez and Samuel Vargas; the environmentalist Juventina Villa and his son Reynaldo Santana; the Iguala council member, Justino Carbajal; members of the Popular Union Arturo Hernández, Rafael Banderas and Ángel Román; Rocío Mesino, who was the face of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra; campesinos Juan Lucena and José Luis Sotelo, promoters of a self-defence group in Atoyac; the campesino organizers José Luis Olivares Enríquez and Ana Lilia Gatica Rómulo all make up part of it.

The narco-politics is not an issue exclusive to the old PRI. Members of various currents within the PRD have been pointed out as part of it. A member of the New Left [current] and president of the state Congress, Bernardo Ortega, has repeatedly been pointed to as the boss of the Los Ardillos group. His father was in prison for the murder of two AFI agents and was executed on being released.

Servando Gómez, La Tuta, revealed in a video that Crescencio Reyes Torres, brother of Carlos, state leader of the Aztec Sun [meaning the PRD] and part of Grupo Guerrero [2], led by David Jimenez, is one of the principal “owners” of laboratories for the manufacture of synthetic drugs, allied with the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel.

At the same time, Governor Aguirre has repeatedly been linked with the Independiente de Acapulco Cartel. It is said that its leader, Víctor Aguirre, is the governor’s cousin. Of course, the governor, as well as the rest of those accused, have emphatically rejected the links with criminal groups.

Despite the multitude of denunciations against mayors and state officials, arrests have been scarce. Feliciano Álvarez Mesino, mayor of Cuetzala del Progreso, was arrested for kidnapping and organized crime. He was freed from blame as part of Grupo Guerrero. The official PRI mayor of Chilapa, Vicente Jiménez Aranda, was put in prison for kidnapping.

The murder and forced disappearance of the Ayotzinapa students has uncovered the sewer of Guerreran narco-politics. It remains to be seen whether they can put the lid back on.

[1] Ciudad Altamirano is a large city on the Guerrero side of the border with the state of Michoacán.

[2] Grupo Guerrero is a current, or faction, within the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in the state of Guerrero.

Zapatistas Illuminate Paths of Chiapas for Ayotzinapa

Posted in Uncategorized on October 25, 2014 by floweroftheword

October 23, 2014

Research conducted collectively by Koman Ilel, Kolectivo Zero, Radio Ñomdaa and Más de 131.

Polhó, Chiapas. With candles, in silence, men, children and women of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) mobilized again for the students, families and teachers of the rural Raúl Isidro Burgos normal school in Ayotzinapa.


Photo: @Aldabi

As they said in the communiqué released on 19 October, they were "illuminating" the paths, standing on the hillsides in communities in the five regions in which the Zapatistas caracoles are located.

When travelling the roads of the region of Los Altos, groups of at least hundred people could be seen in Oventic, Polhó, Acteal and Yabteclum.

"Presentation alive of the 43 missing students, punishment of those responsible for the killings and the enforced disappearances," read one of the banners raised in front of the church at Polhó.

"We support the students, teachers and relatives of the Raúl Isidro Burgos normal school in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico," read another banner.

Photo: @Aldabi

Photo: @Aldabi

In addition, the Zapatistas also demanded the "unconditional release" of Mario Luna and Fernando Jiménez, indigenous Yaqui prisoners in Sonora opposed to the operation of the Independence Aqueduct, who were arrested in September.

In the communiqué of August 19, signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, the Zapatistas said:

"Although small, our light will be a way to embrace those who are missing today and whose absence hurts. Let this light show that we are not alone in the pain and anger which is seen in the lands of the Mexico of below."

"The rich man dreams of extinguishing the first light. It is useless, now there are many lights and they are all the first" says the Fourth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, issued by the EZLN in 1996.



Photo: @Aldabi

Photo: @Aldabi

The Zapatista mobilisation was carried out at the same time, responding to the call of thousands of people who demonstrated in Mexico. From the Federal District panoramic pictures showed a huge slogan in white painted on the ground of the plaza of the Zocalo saying: "It was the state."

Members of the Indigenous National Congress read a declaration in the Zocalo, which was also signed by the EZLN, warning that they will continue mobilizing until the students of the normal school are found and the Yaqui Indians are freed. They branded the Mexican government as a "Narco State" and accused them of using "terrorism" against the population.

Also in San Cristobal de las Casas eight thousand people with candles mobilized demanding the safe return of the normal school students.

Meanwhile, Las Abejas de Acteal, Tsotsil indigenous adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, mobilized and issued a communiqué on 22nd October in which they compared the disappearance of the normal school students and the massacre of October 2nd, 1968, with the death of the children from the ABC nursery and the massacre of 45 people who lived among them on December 22, 1997, during the presidency of Ernesto Zedillo.

"We know the pain, we have lived it," their communiqué says, "we say again, with all respect, that today more than ever, we will not allow any more deaths, more massacres, more disappeared people in our Mexico."



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