The Neoliberalism of Mexico’s New Government Continues to Dispossess and Kill

Two members of the National Indigenous Congress kidnapped and murdered by narco-paramilitaries who receive government backing.

Following the article is a statement from the Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ) on the assassination of two of its members.

By Ñaní Pinto, Avispa Midia
Translated by Scott Campbell

For the indigenous peoples of Mexico, the winds of war today seem to be the same as those of previous governments. Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) government has been in power just four months and the imposition of development projects, dispossession, persecution, harassment, forced disappearances, and murders continue as before.

On May 4, in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, indigenous Nahuas belonging to the Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ), held a meeting to coordinate actions at state and federal agencies to pressure them into meeting their social and political demands that had been rejected by the three levels of government. At the end of the meeting, at approximately 6pm, an armed group in Chilapa, Guerrero, kidnapped and later murdered José Lucio Bartolo Faustino and Modesto Verales Sebastián, both members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI).

On more than one occasion, members of CIPOG-EZ informed the Mexican president that they had been under “siege by criminal organizations tolerated by the three levels of government,” reported members of the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG). The indigenous groups are unequivocal in asserting that AMLO had information about the situation in these communities and therefore cannot say that “he did not know.”

For their part, in a joint statement, the CNI-CIG and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) said that the indigenous men were killed by narco-paramilitaries who receive government backing. “It is important to mention that our murdered compañeros and their communities have for years been organizing their own Community Police in order to resist the violence, extortion, and poppy cultivation imposed by two criminal groups in the area, Los Ardillos and Los Rojos. These two groups control municipal presidencies across the region and are protected by the Mexican army and the municipal and state police. At one point they even managed to get one of their leaders named president of the Guerrero State Congress,” the statement asserted.

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Samir Didn’t Die! He Multiplied!

Samir lives on and the struggle goes on!

With sorrow and rage, thousands of Mexican people are mourning the assassination of Samir Flores Soberanes and promising to carry on on his commitment to the defense of the land, water, education, grassroots communication and autonomy of the people.

On February 20th at 5 o’clock in the morning, Samir Flores was killed just outside his front door in Amilcingo, state of Morelos. “Around 5 o’clock in the morning, two carloads parked outside his house and began to call him until Samir went out; four shots were heard and two of them hit him in his head, killing our comrade,” says a statement released by the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land and Water in Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala.

People immediately began to arrive in his town for the wake that was held with much love and affection.

A message from the Assembly of the Peoples of Morelos (APPM), which Samir founded, says: “We have no more boys, girls, sons, daughters, wives,  husbands, sisters, brothers, fathers or mothers to sacrifice…We have no more tears to cry.”

Samir was then sown in the earth, from which many more forms of struggle will surely spring.  Since then, there have been protests and acts of solidarity in Amilcingo, Huezca, Puebla and Mexico City, and messages of support have arrived from different parts of Mexico and the world.

“Cheerful, brave, untiring, solidary and committed, with clear ideas, Samir was an example of struggle for all of us,” say his comrades in the Front.

They highlight the fact that this Nahuatl indigeonous man was the founder of the Amiltzinko Community Radio100.7 FM, and that he worked with the children in the community “teaching them to know and love their territory.” He also belonged to the Parents’ Committee of the school in Amilcingo.

For many years, Samir has also been a member of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI). A communiqué from the  CNI-CIG-EZLN reads: “We hold the bad government and its bosses—corporations and armed groups that operate both legally and illegally—responsible for this crime, through which they intend to rob us blind, kill us off, and extinguish the glimmers of light that give us hope, which is what our compañero Samir was to us.”

For almost a decade, Samir Flores Soberanes  fostered resistance to an energy project proposed by the Felipe Calderón regime, with no free, prior, informed consent as required in  the  International Labor Organization  Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal People, and other international accords.

The project consists of two thermoelectic power plants in the nearby town of Huexca, to be fueled with gas from the state of Puebla, by means of a gas pipeline that would run along the outskirts of the Popocatépetl volcano, affecting the mainly indigenous communities in the states of Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos, including the town of Amilcingo. The Statement of Environmental Impact revealed the dangers involved in having a gas pipeline in the area of the volcano.

A gas pipeline that goes right up to the volcano? Isn’t that crazy? asked a 10-year-old.

Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador said the same thing in 2014, when he visited Huexca during his campaign for the presidency of Mexico and vowed to cancel the project. Now that he is President, everything’s changed, and the interests of the huge multinational corporations rule.

Last February 10th, in a rally held in the city of Cuautla, the President announced a consultation that is illegal, illegitimate and unequal, and accused opponents of the Huexca project of being “leftist radicals” who are also “conservatives” for not favoring the “change” that he is proposing. During the rally,  Samir and his comrades denounced the damage that the project would do in their communities.

On February 11th, the Front sent a letter to Lopez Obrador, warning him that  his “consultation”  could lead to violence in the affected communities.

On February 19th, the delegate of the federal government in Morelos, Hugo Erick Flores, participated in an “informative assembly” in Jonacatepec, near Amilcingo. There, Samir Flores received applause for his arguments against the megadeath project, including a reduced supply and lower quality of water in the affected communities, as well as the production of acid rain caused by the gas from the power plant.

On both occasions, Samir denounced the “consultation” planned by López Obrador throughout the state of Morelos, ignoring the long struggle in the communities directly affected by the project. The president said that he’s sorry about Samir’s death but that the consultation will go on as planned.

Today, February 23rd, the first day of the consultation, there have been ballots burned at polling points and arrests of comrades who were handing out information about the risks of the power plant.

Samir lives on and the struggle goes on!

Nationwide Strike Targets U.S. Prisons

Nationwide strike calls for end to prison slavery and inhumane conditions

by carolina saldaña

 The Nationwide Prison Strike throughout the United States began on August 21, 2018, the anniversary of the assassination of George Jackson in San Quentin Prison in California and ended on September 9th, 47 years after the rebellion in Attica prison, NY. Two historic dates in the revolutionary movement inside the country’s prisons.

On July 17th of this year, the artist, analyst and organizer Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson, of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party, wrote an article that places this strike in the context of several years of resistance in the prisons of Texas, Georgia, Alabama, California and Florida as of 2010. Rashid argues that a new movement is on the rise against slavery and the inhuman conditions in prisons, which is eroding the structures of isolation imposed almost half a century ago to put an end to the prison movement that existed in the 60s and 70s.

During the Nationwide Prison Strike of 2018, there were actions in at least 36 institutions in 17 states.

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Boycott Driscoll’s! Global Action on September 29, 2018

The National Democratic Independent Farm Workers Union (SINDJA) is calling upon all sister organizations to participate in the International Global Action against the transnational corporation Driscoll’s — one of the most exploitive agricultural companies in the San Quintín Valley, Baja California. Workers are demanding:

  1. Freedom to unionize
  2. Collective contract with SINDJA
  3. No more sexual harassment
  4. Daycare centers
  5. Fair wages

Driscoll’s, and the companies which supply them berries, such as BerryMex, Moramex, Santo Domingo, Martín Reyes, Munguia, etc, besides paying miserable wages, they deny unions free access to their employees. In contrary, all their workers that organize or affiliate with another independent union are fired. And also workers are only hired under the condition that they are not affiliated with the Regional Confederation of Mexican Workers (CROM).

For this and many more abuses, we invite everyone to shout with one united voice, on September 29.

BOYCOTT DRISCOLL’S
BOYCOTT DRISCOLL’S

Cherán Names its Third Council of Elders to Their Communal Government

On Sunday May 27, 2018, the indigenous Purépecha municipality of Cherán, Michoacán, named its Third Council of Elders (Consejo Mayor, Consejo de Keris) to their communal government.

By TV Cherán

On Sunday May 27, 2018, the indigenous Purépecha municipality of Cherán, Michoacán, named its Third Council of Elders (Consejo Mayor, Consejo de Keris) to their communal government.

Cherán has been practicing a traditional form of self-government for seven years. Earlier this year, on April 15, 2018, the community celebrated the seven-year anniversary of its uprising against what they all call today “the narco government.”

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