And it trembled …!
PHOTO /BERNARDO DE NIZ
By: Gilberto López y Rivas
On October 14th of this year, the National Indigenous Congress [CNI] and the Zapatista National Liberation Army [EZLN] made public an historic document with the prophetic title of: “May the earth tremble at its core,” at the conclusion of the 5th National Indigenous Congress at Cideci-Unitierra, Chiapas. The text is not the product of the occurrence of one person or minority group, but rather the result of six days of gruelling and prolonged work sessions, carried out based on the well-known method of the original peoples of debating until achieving consensus.
In the meeting they celebrated life, at the same time as denouncing the worsening of the dispossession and repression “that have not stopped in the 524 years since the powerful began a war aimed at exterminating those who are of the earth; as their children we have not allowed for their destruction and death, meant to serve capitalist ambition which knows no end other than destruction itself. That resistance, the struggle to continue constructing life, today takes the form of words, learning, and agreements.”
It was emphasized that the peoples are constructing every day in the resistances against capitalism’s offensive which becomes more aggressive all the time, and which has been converted –as was reiterated in the 2015 seminar Critical thought versus the capitalist hydra– into a civilizational threat, “not only for indigenous peoples and campesinos, but rather for the peoples of the cities who must also create dignified and rebellious ways for not being murdered, dispossessed, contaminated, sickened, kidnapped or disappeared. From our community assemblies we have decided, exercised and constructed our destiny since time immemorial, for which reason maintaining our forms of organization and the defence of our collective life is possible only from rebellion in the face of the bad governments, their corporations and their organized crime.”
It is not about a so-called ethnocentrism, self-centred on indigenous peoples, but rather, on the contrary, it is about an exhortation that, starting with a secular form of struggle, rooted in big historic events with a strong indigenous presence –like the wars for Independence and Reform, the fight against foreign invasions, the Revolution against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz–, calls upon all of us to organize collectively in rebellion against the bad government that has delivered the homeland to the corporations and crime.
It denounces –in detail and with multiple testimonies and documented evidence– the process of re-colonization that the different Native peoples, nations and tribes represented at the 5th Congress are suffering in a particularly aggravated way: invasion of forests, sacred communal lands and territories; imposition of highway and super-highway mega-projects, pipelines, aqueducts and thermo-electric dams, an interurban train, airports and shopping centres; the plunder and privatization of natural springs and other natural resources; affectation of lands and territories because of mining, tourist projects, planting of transgenic soy and African palm, besides livestock brokers; commercialization of ancestral knowledge; contamination of rivers through fracking and imposition of bills for environmental services, carbon capture and ecotourism; all of that, accompanied by the criminalisation of struggle and resistance, assassination, incarceration and the forced disappearance of activists; buying consciences, fragmentation of communities, disintegration of the community fabric and contriving of communal assemblies, that “engineering of conflicts” that corporations know well; relentless pursuit from drug trafficking with the complicity of all the government bodies, armed forces and security apparatuses; murders of youth and women and rapes of women; aerial fumigations that produce illnesses; attacks from paramilitary groups and harassment of community authorities. Faced with this storm provoked by new forms of capitalist globalization, participants in the 5th Congress recognize that confronting it is only possible collectively, from anti-capitalism and from decision-making bodies constructed from below: “That is the power from below that has kept us alive, and it is why commemorating resistance and rebellion is also ratifying our decision to continue to be alive constructing hope for a future possible only over the ruins of capitalism.”
For these considerations that, as is observed, are transcendent and profound, the fifth National Indigenous Congress “decided to initiate a consultation in every one of our towns to dismantle from below the power that those above impose on us and that offers us a panorama of death, violence, dispossession and destruction […] we declare ourselves to be in permanent assembly and we will consult in each one of our geographies, territories and directions about the agreement of this 5th CNI to name an indigenous government council whose word will be materialised by an indigenous woman, a delegate from the CNI, as an independent candidate who will contend in the name of the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista National Liberation Army in the 2018 electoral process for the Presidency of this country.”
And, effectively, as was foreseeable, the political class trembled repeatedly… and they didn’t expect the marked reactions of secular racism from those creole-mestizo mentalities that couldn’t conceive of the indigenous thinking for themselves, as well as the ideological-political monologue of a “partyocracy” that considers “unity on the left” with arguments like the “least bad,” or “democratic alternating,” the monopoly of “national and popular representation,” and that has not issued any pronouncement against the real, open and shadow powers that have led Mexico to a humanitarian emergency and, above all, that is not capable of respecting the collective decisions, now in consultation, of the country’s most exploited, discriminated and oppressed sectors.
Welcome to this initiative that makes you think, act and even argue, beyond singular thoughts, personalities and preconceived ideas.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, November 4, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
Posted, with minor edits, by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity