Xochicuautla community condemns highway project and expresses its solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Chiapas who face eviction
@Resistencia indígena otomí (Miguel Ángel Xenón)
On 12th January, 2016, at a press conference at the offices of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba), authorities of the Otomí-Ňätho indigenous community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, located in Mexico State, and members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Front in Defence of Mother Earth condemned the “illegal imposition of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway project by Enrique Peña Nieto and the Higga Group.”
They stated that the project would destroy 3,900,000 square meters of Bosque Sagrado. Xochicuautla community, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and part of the National Indigenous Congress, also condemned the constant aggression suffered by the community “from the State: political prisoners, persecution, attacks, death threats, military encircling of the community and the continuation of works in spite of the protection orders that oblige the company to stop.”
They also expressed their solidarity with various struggles in defence of land and territory in Chiapas. They condemned “the murders of indigenous Tsotsils and Tseltals in Bachajon”, in Chilon municipality, “with the objective of imposing a tourist complex” at Agua Azul waterfalls. Moreover, they demanded the immediate release of Santiago Moreno Pérez, Emilio Jiménez Gómez y Esteban Gómez Jiménez from San Sebastián Bachajón, “political prisoners” and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. They recalled that San Isidro Los Laureles community, in Venustiano Carranza municipality, that decided to reclaim some 165 hectares of their land “as is their right, in accordance with that stipulated” under Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries of the International Labour Organization.
They greeted Las Abejas de Acteal, who were recently victims of an ambush against three of its members in San Joaquin community, Pantelhó municipality, on December 29, 2015, and the attack resulted in the murder of Manuel López Pérez. “The thirst for justice of our people is a channel that waters and keeps our hearts moist”, they added. Finally, they acknowledged “the efforts for autonomy” of “our sisters and brothers in Tila”, who in their search for freedom had decided on the autonomy of their ejido and “their right to govern themselves.”
They called on “indigenous and campesino communities, students, teachers, feminist organizations, and in general, the collectives of Mexico and the world to declare themselves against the ecocide in San Francisco Xochicuautla.”
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