Zapatista News Summary for November 2016

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A. Zapatista and CNI News

1. Santa Maria Ostula: The EZLN and CNI issue a joint communique in solidarity with the indigenous community of Santa Maria Ostula in Michoacan which is resisting the fabrication of criminal charges against those who struggle to defend their land and territory.

2. The fifth Indigenous National Congress (CNI) is meanwhile conducting a consultation with all its communities as to whether the fifth CNI will name an indigenous government council whose word will be materialised by an indigenous woman who will be an independent candidate, in the names of the CNI and EZLN, in the 2018 elections for the president of Mexico. This decision is a response to “the corporate globalisation which affects all of us.”

3. ‘It is not the Decision of One Person’ is the title of a communique, signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, released on 16th November in response to criticism and misunderstanding of the EZLN’s proposal, without waiting to see what transpires. He explains that they are waiting for the decision of the CNI, which is a collective and that the proposal will lay bare the sexism and racism inherent in the electoral process.

4. 33rd Anniversary. 17th November marks the 33rd anniversary of the foundation of the Forces of National Liberation (FLN,) seed of the EZLN.

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5. A Story to Try to Understand: Also on November 17th, Subcomandante Galeano releases a very long communique of explanation, giving further details about the proposal for consultation with the peoples of the CNI about naming an indigenous council and an indigenous woman candidate for the presidential elections in 2018. He clarifies that the CNI will make the decision, that the EZLN will not be supplying the candidate, nor do they seek to take power. What matters is not who wins, but that “their daring would make the whole political system vibrate.”

6. The Convocation for the Second Phase of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress is released next, on 26th November, giving the dates and timetable of the events to be held in the caracol of Oventik. “It is urgent to struggle, to take serious steps and go on the offensive alongside the peoples of the countryside and the city, indigenous and nonindigenous, to construct a new nation from below.” The congress will decide on the proposal made and the next steps to be taken.

B. Other

1. Displaced families from Banavil, Tenejapa, return to their lands to remember their dead daughters for the Day of the Dead.

2. Melel Xojobal hold a demonstration in San Cristobal to highlight the fact that In Chiapas, one in every 10 children between the ages of one and four dies from preventable gastrointestinal diseases.

3. Residents Of The Lacandon Jungle Reject The Presence Of Environmental Police: Thousands of Mayan residents of the Lacandon Jungle, along with social organisations, local authorities and indigenous communities declare their opposition to the Mexican government’s policies of militarisation. They are particularly opposed to the recent formation of the Environmental Police, backing hydroelectric projects and expansion of African palm plantations. “The real intention behind the formation of the Environmental Police is “to put biodiversity, medicinal plants, water and other natural resources of the area into private hands.”

4. Viejo Velasco. On 13th November the tenth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco massacre is commemorated. The case remains unpunished.

5. Indigenous hold a 12-Day Pilgrimage against Mega-Projects in Chiapas. On 15thNovember, more than 1000 indigenous people embark on a 15 day pilgrimage through 11 municipalities denouncing and protesting the megaprojects which threaten their lands and life. The Movement in Defence of Life and Territory (Modevite) called for this pilgrimage, which “shows the so-called ‘green government’ how to care for the earth.”

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6. San Sebastián Bachajón: The Tseltal ejidatarios, adherents to the Sixth, from San Sebastián Bachajón, denounce acts of deception, harassment, violence and intimidation made against them by the officialist ejidal commissioner and his supporters in order to get control of the toll-booth to the Agua Azul waterfalls. Community leader and human rights activist Domingo Pérez Alvaro is detained for 3 hours and savagely beaten. In response to this aggression, an international coalition of writers, thinkers, intellectuals and solidarity activists convoke a week of worldwide action in solidarity with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, from 4th to 10th December 2016. 10th December is International Human Rights Day.

7. Roberto Paciencia Cruz. On 24th November, the indigenous Tsotsil prisoner is freed after 3 years and 4 months of unjust imprisonment. “This was another case of the racist and classist state justice system for which being poor and indigenous is a crime sufficient to be incarcerated. But also, it is an example of how prison can be another trench of struggle, where one can continue the work of those who have struggled before, and set an example for those that continue struggling for their freedom.”

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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