(55 minutes) 2010. This film is part of an ongoing investigation which has exposed US military mapping of communally owned indigenous land in the Southern Sierra in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The mapping took place under the auspices of the department of geography from Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas in collaboration with the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) at Fort Leavenworth, in Leavenworth, Kansas. The FMSO senior analyst Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey B. Demarest declares in several essays and texts that communal ownership of property, leads to crime and insurgency. The film irrefutably exposes an ongoing military strategy to criminalize indigenous land tenure and identity in order to secure political and economic interests in the region.
Among the invited speakers and plenary participants are Jerome Dobson, president of the American Geographical Society, Miguel Aguilar Robledo, geographer from the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Peter Herlihy, from the Department of Geography at Kansas University, and Lieutenant Colonel Geoff Demarest, of the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office. In 2005, the aforementioned individuals and their respective institutions collaborated in the mapping of communally owned indigenous territory in Mexico. The mapping was conducted without informing the local communities that there was military funding behind the project.
By Oscar Valdivieso
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Translated by Scott Campbell
Oaxaca, Mexico.- Several officials from communities in the Sierra Juárez of Oaxaca condemned the geo-piracy carried out by experts from the U.S. army under the cover of supposed scientific research.
They explained that at the end of 2008 the mapped results of an investigation called México Indígena, started two years earlier by a team of geographers from the University of Kansas, were handed over to two Zapotec communities in the Sierra Juárez. What appeared to be a beneficial project for the communities has now left many of the participants with the feeling of being the victims of an act of geo-piracy.
The Demarest Factor: US Military Mapping of Indigenous Communities in Oaxaca, Mexico
This film and workshop presentation discusses a recent investigation into U.S. military mapping of communally owned indigenous land in Oaxaca, Mexico. Kansas University geography professors presented the mapping project to indigenous communities as a participatory research project intended to benefit the community’s ability to manage their resources and territory. The involvement of the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) based out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and a U.S. Army School of the America’s graduate, Lt. Col. Geoffrey B. Demarest, raised serious suspicions about the true nature of the mapping project known as “The Bowman Expeditions” or “Mexico Indigena”. This film discusses parallels between U.S. political and economic interests within the North American Free Trade Agreement, and a U.S. military strategy to secure those very interests.