Zapatista News Summary for May 2015
News from Chiapas
- A homage to compañerosDon Luis Villoro Toranzo and Zapatista teacher compañero Galeano takes place in the Caracol of Oventic on Saturday May 2nd. More than five thousand people, EZLN support bases, adherents and sympathizers, attend. Also present are the families of Don Luis Villoro and of teacher Galeano, the parents of one of the students disappeared from Ayotzinapa, and the EZLN General Command. Words of homage are spoken by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés. A homage to Zapatista teacher Galeano is given by Subcomandante Galeano, who also reads words about Luis Villoro which he says were written by the late Subcomandante Marcos.
- The Seminar “Critical Thought against the Capitalist Hydra” is inaugurated on May 3rd in Oventic before moving to CIDECI, University of the Earth, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where it continues until 9th May, with participation from many well-known thinkers, writers, philosophers, activists and analysts, along with the Sixth Commission of the EZLN. An in-depth analysis is shared regarding the future of capitalism and the construction of alternatives to it. 2,600 people register to participate. The Mexican Centre for Free Media says the Seminar can only be compared to the Intergaláctica of 1966 in terms of the birth of new ideas and processes. The contributions from the EZLN are available in written form in English. All the contributions are available in audio form in Spanish, and there is other information here. Also available in English are the contribution from John Holloway and reflections from Gustavo Esteva and Raúl Zibechi.
- Solidarity with the day labourers of San Quintin. During the closing session of the Seminar, Subcomandante Moises says the EZLN are enraged by the police repression against San Quintin agricultural workers earlier that day and calls for solidarity with their ongoing struggle for dignified labour conditions in San Quintin, Baja California. Tens of thousands of farmworkers have been protesting since the launch of a workers’ strike to demand adequate salaries and an end to slave-like working conditions. Since then, a provisional agreement for better conditions has been made.
- The JBG from La Garrucha denounces paramilitary attacks on the Zapatista communities of El Rosario and Nueva Paraíso which took place the day after the seminar ended. At El Rosario shots are fired at a thirteen year old girl, after the attackers have invaded and measured the recuperated land. In Nuevo Paraíso the JBG has initiated mediation, deciding to transfer 21 hectares of land to the paramilitaries to put an end to the threats, but this has not yet resolved the problem.
- Frayba releases a report:“La Realidad, Context of War.” The report highlights new developments in counterinsurgency; the members of CIOAC-H are part of the theatre of war, creating an armed “self-defence” group, allowed, encouraged and strengthened by the structure of municipal government. The Human Rights Centre considers that the Mexican government is responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Zapatista teacher Galeano and the assaults and harassment of BAEZLN. The centre identifies Enrique Peña Nieto and Manuel Velasco Coello as being involved in counterinsurgency policy, and holds the Mexican government responsible for committing of crimes against humanity and “failing in its duty to promote, respect, protect and guarantee human rights, and to prevent, investigate, punish and redress human rights violations, leading to a situation of structural impunity.”
- Two babies dead and others seriously ill in Simojovel. After receiving vaccinations for Tuberculosis (BCG), Rotovirus and Hepatitis B, 31 indigenous children aged under 5 from the rural mining community of La Pimienta in Simojovel municipality have adverse reactions and have to be hospitalized. The immunisations are compulsory for the children of women registered under the government programme Prospera. Two of the babies die, Yadira aged 30 days and Emmanuel Francisco aged 28 days; their births have not yet been officially registered. 93 percent of the people in this area live in poverty, 69 percent in extreme poverty, and the tragedy highlights the lack of healthcare in the region. The Pueblo Creyente convoke a pilgrimage from Simojovel to La Pimienta for 23rd May in demand of justice and decent healthcare. Over 2,000 people participate.
- A report is released on the condition of the forcibly displaced community of Primero de Agosto. On 11th and 12th May, a Civilian Observation Mission from the Network for Peace visits the indigenous Tojolabal families forcibly displaced from Primero de Agosto. Their report reveals a grave humanitarian situation, especially serious for children and pregnant women. 56 people are living under plastic sheets; they suffer malnutrition and acute shortage of water; they fear further attacks and consequently do not sleep. The situation is worsening, with serious consequences for their physical and emotional health. Immediate action for the return of the community to their homes is called for.
The Rest of Mexico
- The National Caravan for the Defence of Water, Land, Work, and Life, organized by the Yaqui people of Sonora, Mexico, tours the country to raise awareness about the struggle against megaprojects, and calling for people to organise. Their specific demands are: the cancellation of all mega-projects that affect life, water, land and air; the cancellation of recently approved neoliberal structural reforms; an end to the militarization of the country; the presentation alive of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students; the recuperation of food and energy sovereignty; and the freedom of political prisoners.
- The Caravan of the Fire of Dignified Resistance tours the state of Mexico. Its aim is the defence of human rights, the creation of alternatives, and the recovery and conservation of their history, culture, and collective organization. The FPDT from Atenco is one of the participants. The caravan also denounces dispossession.
- Eurocaravan 43 for Ayotzinapa finishes its tour of Europe in London. Another caravan of family members starts a tour of parts of South America.