Archive for protest

Abejas to march on International Women’s Day

Posted in Announcement, comunicado, Event, News, noticias, protesta with tags , , , on March 3, 2010 by floweroftheword

On February 12 the Abejas Civil Society Organization of Acteal extended an invitation to a march they are organizing to mark International Women’s Day on March 8.

The Abejas commemorate the Acteal massacre on the 22nd of each month. This past February 22, the Abejas published a press release in which they shared their analysis of the current situation in their municipality, in light of the recent release of several prisoners accused of the massacre. They also remarked on conflicts taking place in other parts of the state.

read the rest here

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Action Alert: Violent Evictions in Chiapas

Posted in Announcement, denuncia, News, noticias, protesta with tags , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by floweroftheword

Elder Indigenous woman takes part in march for world peace in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico. The Indigenous Peoples’ march was led by Bishop Felipe Arizmendi on March 14, 2003, days before the U.S. began its “official” bombing of Iraq.

Chiapas, Mexico 2003

photo: Langelle/GJEP

This photo is relevant today for many reasons. Next month is the 7th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and even though that war has slowed down, the attack on Afghanistan intensifies. This photograph was also taken just after an emergency delegation went to Chiapas regarding forced evictions of Indigenous communities from the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in the Lacandon jungle. Today in Chiapas, there are violent evictions taking place in the Lacandon jungle–this time to make room for oil palm plantations.

In 2003:

In March 2003 Orin Langelle travelled to Chiapas on an emergency investigative delegation to look into threatened evictions of Indigenous communities from the Lacandon jungle, and to examine the level of ecological destruction there. Some communities were already relocated. The delegation, including journalists, photographers and organizers, visited threatened communities in the Lacandon, met with organizations working in the region and conducted overflights of the jungle, documenting the ecological damage.

Why the evictions? Conservation International (CI) teamed up with the Mexican government to declare that Indigenous communities, including Zapatista support base communities living in the Monte Azules Integral Biosphere Reserve were destroying it. This provided a supposedly ecological pretext–protection of the Monte Azules–as the reason for evicting these communities.

Our delegation proved that most of the communities had been conducting sustainable organic agriculture in the jungle for years. They outlawed slash and burn farming and practiced regular crop rotation to protect the soil. In fact, we found that it was the military that was causing massive destruction of the rainforest–which we witnessed on our overflight of the jungle.

This developed during the Mexican government’s thrust to push the Plan Puebla Panama mega-development scheme. One of the PPP plans calls for the establishment of new timber plantations in the region.

Now in 2010:

México: Violent evictions in Chiapas for establishing oil palm monocultures

from World Rainforest Movement Bulletin, February 2010, http://www.wrm.org.uy

What follows is a communiqué from the Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations (RECOMA) reporting on the violent situation that local communities and Indigenous Peoples of the Lacandona forest in Chiapas are presently going through.

Appeal to international solidarity to protect the Lacandona Forest in Chiapas (Mexico), February 2010.

The Latin American Network against Monoculture Tree Plantations (RECOMA) is hereby denouncing the arbitrary treatment suffered by various communities in the Lacandona forest, in the area declared as the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, in the State of Chiapas, Mexico.

Last January, the Chiapas State Congress approved funding for the construction of a palm oil processing plant. Shortly afterwards, dozens of families from the Municipality of Ocosingo were evicted from their territory, in order to give way for the expansion of monoculture oil palm plantations.

Dozens of heavily armed police arrived in helicopters and with aggressive violence evicted men, women and children from their homes, which they then burnt down and with no explanation, removed the community to the city of Palenque.

While the government talks about conservation and protection of the zone, it evicts those who have been truly responsible for making this conservation possible. At the same time, it replaces local ecosystems by oil palm monocultures.

Oil palm plantations are being promoted under an “ecological” mask, as if the production of agrofuels based on palm oil could be a solution to climate change. Apart from the falsehood of these affirmations, no mention is made of the serious negative impacts they generate such as violation of the local population and indigenous peoples’ human rights, as is presently the case in Chiapas.

Furthermore, monoculture oil palm plantations are one of the main causes of deforestation and therefore contribute to climate change through the release of carbon stored in the forests, while destroying the means of subsistence and food sovereignty of millions of small farmers, Indigenous and other communities, and generating serious negative environmental impacts. The plantations require agrochemicals that poison the workers and local communities and contaminate soil and water. Monoculture oil palm plantations eliminate biodiversity and deplete fresh water sources.

In sum, monoculture plantations for the production of paper and agrofuels (such as in the case of oil palm) worsen the living conditions and opportunities for survival of the local population and are only beneficial to a small handful of companies that become rich at the expense of social and environmental destruction.

For this reason, we are appealing to the international community to condemn the plans for the expansion of monoculture oil palm plantations in Mexico, denouncing this situation by all means at your disposal.

To Protest these evictions, contact:

Physical address:

187 Featherston Street

Level 2, AMP Chambers

Wellington 6011

New Zealand

Postal address:

PO Box 11-510, Wellington 6142, New Zealand

Phone: +64-4-472-0555

Fax: +64-4-496-3559

Email: mexico@xtra.co.nz

(or your local Mexican Embassy)

Support the work of Global Justice Ecology Project for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Forest Protection

For ongoing updates on the progress of Global Justice Ecology Project, please visit our Website: http://www.globaljusticeecology.org

Climate Connections blog: http://www.climatevoices.wordpress.com

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hinesburg-VT/Global-Justice-Ecology-Project/64140857165?ref=ts

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Climatejustice1.

Thanks for all your support.

From the staff at GJEP,

Anne Petermann, Executive Director

Orin Langelle, Co-Director/Strategist

Camila Moreno, Lawyer/Researcher (Porto Alegre, Brazil)

Hallie Boas, New Voices on Climate Change Coordinator (Berkeley, CA)

Aja Lippincott, Assistant to the Directors

3 years since Atenco and innocent people are still imprisoned – Let’s take action!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by floweroftheword

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the Mexican State’s brutal violence towards the people of Atenco. Please read below for more information and contact the Mexican Embassy to demand freedom for the political prisoners and justice for all those terrorised by state forces.

If enough of us make a short phone call or send an email, the Mexican Government will get the message that the world knows about their atrocious actions.

In solidarity,

Wellington Zapatista Support Group

Contact details for the Mexican Embassy in Wellington, NZ

Level 8, Perpetual Trust House

111-115 Customhouse Quay

PO Box 11-510, Manners Street

Wellington, New Zealand

Telephone (+64) 4 472 0555

Fax (+64) 4 496 3559

E-mail mexico@xtra.co.nz

Website http://www.mexico.org.nz

Office Hours Mon – Thurs 0900 -1600, Fri 0900 – 1500

Consular: 0900 – 1400

FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ATENCO

By Heriberto Salas and Salvador Díaz

On May 3, 2006, the sun rose with a dark stain around the Belisario Dominguez market in Texcoco: the state and local police had posted a guard around the spot where flower growers had sold their flowers for as long as we can remember. The Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT), which had participated in a dialogue with Enrique Peña Nieto’s government had counseled and defended the flower growers. The day before, the state government had promised them and the FPDT that they would withdraw their police forces.

At 6 o’clock in the morning, when we met up with men, women, and children carrying baby’s breath, chrysanthemums, and spikenards, joined in their chants, and helped them set up their stands on the curb, we never imagined that we would go through some of the cruelest, most ferocious and heartless repression unleashed in the contemporary history of Mexico.

Yet the flower growers, the FPDT, and the people fell into a shameless trap of the so-called “golden boy,” who in fact is a true Caligula or “golden tyrant,” Enrique Peña Nieto, supported by then prosti-president Vicente Fox Quezada, and the complicity of the PRD lapdogs of Texcoco, all defenders of a barbarous State whose enemies are the most defenseless people.

As everyone knows, the outcome of the repression of May 3 and 4 was two comrades murdered, Javier Cortés and Alexis Benhumea; 207 arrested, including 47 women; and dozens of people wounded, pursued, and disappeared. But that wasn’t all. Our small community, San Salvador Atenco, like the Gaza Strip, Tikrit, or Kabul, was militarily occupied by thousands of vicious police who crudely profaned the peaceful streets of our beloved land just as they raped our comrades, sisters, daughters, and relatives on the road to the Santiaguito prison in those dreadful days.

They were like hordes of beasts who stopped at nothing to bring their brutality down on everyone. Consider the images: A Mazahua indigenous woman covering her legs as she was viciously beaten by the killers; an elderly paraplegic dragged by two buzzards in uniform; a dog beaten by a policeman; 10, 15, 20, 30 police monstrously beating a committed Zapatista militant; warrantless house searches; an elderly woman crying because her three sons were carried away; a barefoot Atenco man forced to his knees in the middle of a new Tlatelolco Plaza de las Tres Culturas; hooligans climbing up on top of the church and searching water tanks for Zapatista militants and Atenco community people. These are the indisputable testimonies that will never be erased from the memory of Mexican people.

From there on…a journey through hell. From the persecution of militants to the torturous process of winning the freedom of our prisoners. From our initial denunciation of the outrageous violation of the supposed State of Law and the smashing of our individual guarantees to the interminable trials with all its delays. The government and its front men have twisted the laws with the same impunity that existed during the Inquisition, charging us with crimes that we never committed, issuing arrest warrants for our most visible comrades, and subjecting our peoples to close-up, unyielding police vigilance. The names of those responsible for the military occupation by the federal and state police are well known: Vicente Fox, Enrique Peña Nieto, ex Director of the State Security Agency (ASE) Wilfrido Robledo Madrid, current Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora, then State Attorney Abel Villicaña, ex Under Secretary of National Security Miguel Angel Yunes, among others.

Along this thorny path, we’ve relied on the support and solidarity of the Zapatista comrades of the Other Campaign, who have shown their goodwill and courage from the very beginning in the camp outside the prisons where our comrades have been held. Other workers, farmers, indigenous, popular, and even international organizations have also walked along beside us in this heroic effort. But of special importance is the honorable role played by the group of lawyers who have advised us all through the trials as we’ve fought against an invisible enemy embedded in the institutions of the State itself, one that plays by the same rules and exhibits all the official aberrations and inconsistencies. This united effort has made it possible to get most of our prisoners out of jail.

Needless to say, this State violence responds to the same logic of the finance capital that rules the world. It’s the same violence used on all five continents to snatch peoples’ natural resources from them, from oil to water, corn to rice, mines to forests, rivers to seas, in other words, to seize the wealth of the whole planet.

This war declared on the peoples of the world struggling to conserve their natural resources has reached our town Atenco, because we’ve defended our territory, and the communities in Chiapas who struggle against oblivion; the peoples of Oaxaca, for autonomy; the people of Guerrero, for their rivers and mountains; the peoples of San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas, against the predatory mining companies –all of these places where levels of organization and social consciousness have gained such force that they’ve become a real danger to the government and the transnational companies.

This, and no other, was the main reason for the State offensive against the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land: a high level of organization. A triumphant social movement that was not absorbed by the political parties, a radical, horizontal, anti-establisment, solidarity organization that grew along with its social demands, going beyond the initial struggle in defense of the land.

So an intricate network of relationships was woven along with other movements in the country and other parts of the world. But it reached its peak with the bond formed with the Zapatista movement and the Front’s adherence to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Selfa and The Other Campaign. The April 25, 2006 visit to Atenco by the Sixth Commission headed by SubComandante Marcos was tremendous. The tie between macheteros and zapatistas put the government on alert. And the answer came a week later with the attempt to pulverize the FPDT.

Today the federal and state governments of Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto are still holding twelve of our kidnapped comrades, nine of them in the Molino de Flores prison in Texcoco, with sentences of 31 years, 10 months, and 15 days, and three others in the maximum security Altiplano prison at Almoloya, State of Mexico, two of them sentenced to 67 years in prison (Felipe Alvarez and Héctor Galindo), and one, Ignacio del Valle sentenced to 112 years, accused of being the intellectual author of the events of May 3 and 4. The federal and state governments have relied on the complicity of all the political parties and all the institutions of justice in the country, and even though the Supreme Court found in their investigation that the authorities did indeed commit Crimes against Humanity, it didn’t identify the responsible parties and instead, absolved them.

Faced with this ignominious exoneration on February 12, 2009, by the devious Ministers of Calderon’s Supreme Court, which allows presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and his accomplices to maintain their impunity, the FPDT along with human rights and independent organizations, have drawn many outstanding personalities like Eduardo Galeano, Bishop Samuel Ruíz, Manu Chao, and Adolfo Gilly into a current aimed at building the Committee for Freedom and Justice for Atenco, whose aims are the same as those upheld in 2002, when we defeated the expropriation decree––the incorporation of the civil society into the struggle, now oriented towards winning the freedom of our brothers held prisoner and the strict application of the law against those who massacred our people.

In support of these demands on the third anniversary of this attempt against the people of Atenco, we call on all national and international social and political organizations to join in the demand for the freedom of the political prisoners of Mexico and the world on May 3 and 4.

———-

Once again, please contact the Mexican Embassy to demand freedom for the political prisoners and justice for all those terrorised by state forces.

If enough of us make a short phone call or send an email, the Mexican Government will get the message that the world knows about their atrocious actions.

Contact details for the Mexican Embassy in Wellington, NZ

Level 8, Perpetual Trust House

111-115 Customhouse Quay

PO Box 11-510, Manners Street

Wellington, New Zealand

Telephone (+64) 4 472 0555

Fax (+64) 4 496 3559

E-mail mexico@xtra.co.nz

Website http://www.mexico.org.nz

Office Hours Mon – Thurs 0900 -1600, Fri 0900 – 1500

Consular: 0900 – 1400

Zapatista Supporters Challenge Mexican Ambassador, Highlight Human Rights Violations

Posted in Event, News with tags , , on June 18, 2008 by floweroftheword

On Wednesday 18 June, 15 people gathered outside the Mexican Embassy in central Wellington to denounce the Mexican government’s violent repression of Zapatista communities. Wellington Zapatista supporters held banners reading “For a world where many worlds fit” and “Justice for the Zapatistas and for all indigenous peoples”, drawing attention to the location of the Mexican Embassy, distributing information and inviting passers by to talk about the issues.

In the last month, there has been an alarming escalation of military and paramilitary harrassment of Zapatista indigenous communities in Mexico. Troops have invaded several communities, destroying food crops, cutting off electricity supplies and attacking and intimidating people – some of whom subsequently needed to be hospitalised. After being driven from communities in the caracol of La Garrucha on Wednesday 4 June, the Mexican army threatened to return today, June 18.

For those who would like some background on current events in Mexico, the Wellington Zapatista Support Group will screen two films made by Zapatista communities next Tuesday 24 June at Happy, corner of Vivian and Tory streets. ‘We Speak Against Injustice’ and ‘The Silence of the Zapatistas’ tell the story of the popular struggle for the rights of indigenous peoples in Mexico. Military and paramilitary violence against Zapatista communities is seen in the context of globalisation: The state and federal government uses violence to pressure Zapatista communities to leave their land, so that natural resources can be exploited.

Entry to the film night is by koha/donation. All proceeds go towards the provision of health care in Zapatista communities in the caracol of La Garrucha, one of the areas affected by the recent military and paramilitary attacks.

TO SEE PHOTOS VISIT: http://chiapas.indymedia.org/article_157122

Wellingtonians Take Action to Expose Mexican State Violence

Posted in Event, News with tags , on June 17, 2008 by floweroftheword

At 12 noon on Wednesday 18th June 2008, people concerned about the recent military harrassment of indigenous communities in Mexico will stage a demonstration outside the Mexican Embassy (111 Customhouse Quay, Wellington).

In the last month, there has been an alarming escalation of military and paramilitary harrassment of Zapatista indigenous communities in Mexico. Troops have invaded several communities, destroying food crops, cutting off electricity supplies and attacking and intimidating people – some of whom subsequently needed to be hospitalised. After being driven from communities in the caracol of La Garrucha on Wednesday 4 June, the Mexican army has threatened to return tommorrow, June 18.

Therefore members of the Wellington Zapatista Support Group (a group which fundraises to support community health services in La Garrucha) and others have organised this action to denounce the violence of the Mexican Government, to inform members of the public, and to express their solidarity with the affected communities.