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Palabra del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional

Feb052021

DECLARATION OF THE FIFTH ASSEMBLY OF THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS AND THE INDIGENOUS GOVERNING COUNCIL

DECLARATION OF THE FIFTH ASSEMBLY OF THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS AND THE INDIGENOUS GOVERNING COUNCIL

 

January 28, 2021      

TO THE ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION

TO THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD

TO EVERYONE ON THE FIVE CONTINENTS WHO STRUGGLES

COMPAÑER@S, BROTHERS AND SISTERS 

Greetings, brothers and sisters of the world from the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indigena-CNI). We are Peoples and communities that have inhabited our lands and territories since before they imposed the so-called Mexican State. We not only have our own language and clothing, but our own forms of government; we see, understand and live the world differently from the capitalist world where everything is a commodity. We are people who love the land, the mountains, the water, the forests, the birds and every living being that inhabits our Mother Earth. For us life is sacred, we venerate it. For a long time the bosses, whose goal is to dominate and exploit, have wanted to wipe us out, to destroy our culture, our territory. Our history is one of dispossession, resistance and rebellion and today, after more than five hundred years of conquest and war, we are in danger of extinction, along with the entire world.

Zapatista brothers and sisters, our big brothers and sisters, as always your words and initiatives shine a light of hope and illuminate a path for our Peoples. The megaprojects, the transnational corporations and organized crime coordinate with the government and increasingly invade our lands in order to exploit our territory, to destroy it and to end life. The lying words of López Obrador and his so-called Fourth Transformation1 seek to build a wall behind which to hide the war that is raging against the Peoples and the life of Mother Earth. They try to isolate us, claiming that we are opponents of progress. Previous governments have done the same thing, but today this is taking an even greater toll. Our word, our reality, the war that we experience, do not reach all the hearts that they should be reaching: we are not only defending our territory, we are defending the life of Mother Earth and therefore the future of humanity. The full force of Capital, the State and organized crime is bearing down upon our Peoples, dividing us, dispossessing us, threatening us, imprisoning and murdering us.

We, the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y el Agua Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala-FPDTA-MPT (Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land and Water Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala), who are part of the CNI-CIG , are experiencing the same megaprojects war as many of our brothers and sisters throughout the national territory. The so-called Morelos Integral Project, which is really the Integral Project of Death, will primarily benefit the mining companies. Its construction proceeds, over and above the law, in violation of the injunctions against it. They are deploying the National Guard to construct the aqueduct, and imposing Indigenous consultations that violate our fundamental rights. The investigations of Samir´s murder, far from solving the crime, actually reveal the connections between the State Prosecutor’s Office and organized crime. In short, we experience the same war of extermination as the rest of our compañeros from the CNI and other Peoples, cities and communities. However, the attack by big Capital and the government, and the murder of our brother Samir, do not kill our resistance, on the contrary, we will continue fighting with our most powerful weapons: dignity, resistance and rebellion, until life triumphs over death.

The Maya Train project includes the construction of 15 urban centers, the Salina Cruz-Coatzacoalcos Interoceanic Corridor includes 10 urban-industrial corridors. Along with the Mexico City International Airport-Lago de Texcoco Ecological Park, and the Morelos Integral Project, the goal is to restructure the country according to the economic interests of big Capital. Other seriously dangerous projects designed to benefit foreign companies include three thermoelectric plants -one of which has already been completed-, a gas pipeline network, and a mega-plant to store fuels in the Santiago River basin south of Guadalajara (a region which is already one of the most polluted in the country). Also on the list of megaprojects is the Canal Centenario project in Nayarit,which is designed to divert the San Pedro and Santiago rivers, and is being constructed by the National Guard. Open pit mining similarly threatens hundreds of Indigenous Peoples’ territories, using the same old tactics of division, dispossession and destruction of our communities.

All these projects are preceded by the construction of roads, hydraulic infrastructure, numerous wind farms and solar power farms, as well as hydroelectric, thermoelectric and gas pipelines that illegally invade the territories of our Peoples. Many of these projects do not even have environmental impact studies, and yet they already plan the occupation of thousands upon thousands of hectares of Indigenous lands. This requires changing the land use-rights of ejidos2, Indigenous communities and towns, and ignores the Peoples’ rights to self-determination over their territory.

These large megaprojects, and all the dispossession and exploitation caused by the extractivist model embraced by the federal government, are protected through the militarization of the entire country, including the militarization of public safety. Behind the false words of López Obrador, they have advanced compared to previous governments, when a large part of society opposed them. We can’t forget the antecedents and the real situation that the military forces systematically violate human rights and readily collude with organized crime. The deployment of the military to construct megaprojects that we strongly oppose, such as the Maya Train and the Santa Lucía Airport, makes it clear that this is a war against the Peoples.

Throughout this process of recolonization of our territories, the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples3, one more imposition of the bad government of the Fourth Transformation, has been fulfilling the tasks formerly carried out by the old indigenism of the PRI regime: mediatize, manipulate, fragment, divide our Peoples and communities. The Institute serves the foreman on duty to validate his megaprojects, facilitating fake official ceremonies that offend our Mother Earth and participating in counterinsurgent strategies and so-called “conflict engineering”. In response, the Otomí community that resides in Mexico City has taken over the facilities of this Institute to demand, beyond a legitimate right to housing, the respect and recognition of the People’s right to self-determination on their territory.

For the lying government of Lopez Obrador, the Covid-19 pandemic, which has demobilized most of the population, has come at an opportune moment for the imposition of megaprojects and the militarization of the country. Moreover, the pandemic contributes to the war of extermination against our Peoples, whose access to health services and economic means are very scarce and in many cases, nonexistent.

We are dealing with an unprecedented global and civilizational crisis that requires all of humanity to destroy the current capitalist and patriarchal system responsible for the destruction of nature and based on the increasing exploitation and dispossession of millions and millions of human beings. A system that relies on organized crime, wars, epidemics and pandemics to generate profit and wealth.

That is why, as the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council (CNI-CIG) and as the People’s Front in Defense of the Land and Water Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, gathered in this FIFTH ASSEMBLY BETWEEN THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS AND THE INDIGENOUS GOVERNING COUNCIL, we agree to the following: 

Agreements

One.– We endorse the Declaration For Life, signed by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, Peoples, organizations, collectives and individuals around the world, thereby committing ourselves to strengthen our struggles in defense of life in our territories, as well as opening up avenues to listen, to organize and to communicate with our sisters and brothers in Mexico and the world who fight against this capitalist and patriarchal system, with the goal of making it disappear. 

Two.- We will participate directly with the EZLN, following the criteria agreed upon in this assembly, in a CNI-CIG/ FPDTA-MPT delegation for the tour through Europe and the world proposed by our Zapatista sisters and brothers from July to October 2021 and, later, according to our possibilities, in tours to Asia, Africa, Oceania and America.

Three.– We will organize actions for life and against the megaprojects, and commemorating our brother Samir Flores Soberanes on February 19 to 21, two years after his cowardly murder. We call on our sisters and brothers in Mexico and the world to take action on these dates.

Four.– We demand an end to the attacks and harassment against Zapatista communities, and freedom for our brothers Fredy García Ramírez, spokesman of the CODEDI, organization of Oaxaca, and of Fidencio Aldama, member of the Yaqui tribe; as well as freedom for our brothers, Adrian Gomez jimenez, German López Montejo and Abraham López Montejo, members of the organization La Voz Verdadera del Amate (the true voice of the Amate), Marcelino Ruiz Gomez, member of Viniketik en Resistencia, as well as Osman Alberto Espinales Rodríguez and Pedro Trinidad Cano Sanchez, who are unjustly imprisoned in the prison centers of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Comitán, Chiapas. Stop the murder of our CIPOG-EZ brothers. We demand the appearance with life of our brother Sergio Rivera Hernández, member of MAIZan organization from Sierra Negra, Puebla, of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa, and of all the missing men and women.

Sincerely,

January 2021.

For the Integral Reconstitution of Our Peoples

Never Again a Mexico Without Us

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS / INDIGENOUS GOVERNING COUNCIL

PEOPLES’ FRONT IN DEFENSE OF THE LAND AND WATER MORELOS, PUEBLA, TLAXCALA

1López Obrador refers to the political movement under his administration as the Fourth Transformation or “4T” following other so-called transformations of Mexican politics: the War of Independence from Spain (First Transformation), the Reforms Period under Benito Juarez (Second Transformation), and the Mexican Revolution (Third Transformation).

2Communally held land. The ejido system was an important aspect of land distribution programs in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. Until the Mexican Constitution was changed in 1992, ejidos could not be divided or sold.

3Obrador’s government created the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples to replace the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples as the government entity overseeing Indigenous affairs. Obrador’s new Institute was supposed to be more favorable to Indigenous Peoples.

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