Communities in Chiapas Say No to the Environmental Gendarmerie
They consider it a strategy to destroy their communities.
Mario Marlo, Noe Pineda
Ocosingo, Chiapas, 8th of December 2016.
As a result of the Forum for the Defence of the Earth, Life and Territory, which took place on the 5th of December 2016, communities of the Lacandon Jungle and Montes Azules rejected the introduction of the Environmental Gendarmerie in their territory, as they consider it to be just another way Transnational companies are trying to make an inroad into the area. The communities Amador Hernández, Galilea, Benito Juárez, Pichucalco, Chapultepec, Candelaria, San Gregrorio, Betania, Santa Lucía, Nueva Ibarra, San Jacinto, San Francisco, San Salvador, Israel, Barrio Guadalupe and representatives of the 23 regions of the municipality of Ocosingo argued that the real objective of this security force is the destruction of their communities, cultures and organisations, as well as the violation of their rights and the beginning of the destruction of the Lacandon Jungle and Montes Azules.
They say that the Gendarmerie allow entry into the area to Transnational companies whose principal objective is the extraction of natural resources for the benefit of big business. They explained that the real contamination that exists on the planet comes from the world’s big cities, because of vehicle pollution, chemical substances, forestry exploitation and big monopolies that produce on an irrational scale.
In light of this, they questioned the step taken by the Government since they explained that the activities that they carry out in this area simply obey the subsistence needs of the people who live there. “Since the foundation of each of the communities located in the Lacandon Jungle and Montes Azules, we have created our own means of environmental conservation, such as the implementation of rules that include fines for those residents who cause unjustifiable harm to the ecosystem.”
They suggested that if the authorities concerned do not take their inconformity into consideration, they will take action against the Environmental Gendarmerie until they are heard.
The Gendarmerie plans to set up in 61 locations throughout the country, including the Lacandon Jungle, the reserves at Montes Azules and of the Monarch Butterfly, the Pico de Orizaba (the highest mountain in Mexico), the Nevado de Toluca (the largest stratovolcano in central Mexico) and Tulum.
Translated by Ruby Zajac for the UK Zapatista Translation Service