Atenco Farmers March for Land and Justice
Published 8 September 2014
They reject new government plan to build airport on their lands.
Early Monday, members of the Peoples’ Front for the Defense of the Land of San Salvador Atenco (FPDT) again took to the streets to demand the overturning of a decision allowing for private land sales.
According to an article in Somos el Medio, the farmers are fighting the imposition of an international airport on their lands and have announced a new stage in their struggle for the Defense of the Land, Water and Life.
They have invited sympathizers to join them in a march to the local courts in nearby Texcoco.
In a statement they said, “We have struggled for 13 years against the expropriation of our lands …Since 2006, we have struggled in favor of reason and justice and against the consequences of the repression orchestrated by [current President of Mexico] Enrique Peña Nieto, and also against land speculation, government intervention, and the purchase of people’s free will. We know that we alone cannot free ourselves from the infamy perpetrated against us and refute the lies told by Enrique Peña Nieto …and that is why we ask your solidarity with our peoples and communities."
Since 2008, the FPDT have denounced the use of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) to acquire lands.
The Atenco farmers insist that “Enrique Peña Nieto proved what we’ve said all along, when he announced the construction of the airport, saying that it will be in a Federal Zone under the jurisdiction of CONAGUA. The lands that he mentions are in the old Lake Texcoco area, to the east of Mexico City, in the municipalities of Atenco, Ecatepec and Texcoco, in the State of Mexico. Their use, as we have stated, was supposed to be for a project that would better the regional environment.”
For years the FPDT has opposed the change in land use and the pressure tactics used to convince people to sell their lands.
On August 22, when the hearing on the change of land use was originally scheduled, the FPDT was physically attacked by hired thugs, resulting in fifteen people being wounded. For this reason the hearing was rescheduled for September 8.