On the Ulises Ruiz – Felipe Calderón visit at La Ventosa
The same winds that softly blow through the graceful, green grasses of this Zapotec land on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are the very ones that move the cogs of the windmills, while the electricity that they generate, in turn, moves the perverse machinery of the world capitalist system.
The same winds that fuel the ambition of government rulers and transnational companies and brought the voracious, destructive advance of the capitalist, neoliberal North to these lands has also brought forth the millennial resistance of this deep, spiritual, communal, indigenous South ––the winds of resistance of the peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
On January 22, while Ulises Ruiz and Felipe Calderón attended the inauguration of one of many projects that make up the mega project for wind-based electrical energy generation, two rages –maybe more– came together in a repudiation and protest action on the Trans-Isthmic Highway, the narrow waistline of this region.
Section 22 teachers of the Isthmus region and farmers of the Binni zaa and Ikoots regional peoples participated in the action. The teachers were there because of their 2006 commitment to repudiate any public appearance in any part of the state by the criminal governor Ulises Ruiz, responsible for more than 26 murders of social activists in 2006. The farmers of the region were there to oppose the construction of the mega wind project in their territory after they were deceived and their lands plundered by foreign transnational companies, with the unconditional complicity of government officials at all levels and of all political parties.
There, far away, behind an impenetrable police and military cordon, the bad government leaders spoke of the marvelous progress, development, and well-being that this project will bring before a crowd of national and local businessmen, politicians from all the parties, corrupt resistance movement leaders, and representatives of social organizations that traffic in resistance or, as they themselves say, sell themselves at a high price ––the usual few beneficiaries of these neoliberal projects.
Here, on the Trans-Isthmic Highway, they had set up an implausible roadblock impeding the free circulation of people and vehicles, constituting an “attack on a major thoroughfare” by the very forces of state repression that never hesitate to use clubs, teargas and tanks to violently clear highways and press charges against people who take the streets in protest actions.
Here, some of the teachers spoke out against the Alliance for Quality Education, a measure clearly aimed at the privatization of public education, the training of students to be peons and workers in the huge transnational corporations, and the loss of labor rights for educational workers. The Binni zaa and Ikoots farmers spoke about the plunder and deceptive practices of the big energy corporations, mainly from Spain, that plan to take over their lands where, for centuries, they and their families have produced food for the sustenance of their own original peoples.
And as men and women spoke, all the pain and suffering, grievances and injustices, both ancestral and modern, came together, and the voices became one, the voice of those who are always excluded. Those men and women who, for centuries, have put their lands, hands, backs, knowledge, sweat, and blood into the development of a country whose benefits are unknown to them and that belongs to a small minority of oligarchs. Those men and women who, due to the robbery and undervaluation of the products of their labor, have in fact subsidized the development of a national industry whose corporate leaders have no ethics, no morals, and whose grandeur has only served to heighten their urge for pillage and plunder, now reinforced by competition with big transnational companies, mainly Spanish, in this new war for the reconquest of our country.
In the middle of the Trans-Isthmic Highway, one of many frontiers of resistance that divides the capitalist, Western, neoliberal North from the deep, communal, indigenous South, the only two truly antagonistic forces of humanity lined up on each side of the border fence ––the only two sides of the world that are truly different and that sooner rather than later will engage in a definitive clash, the oppressors and the exploited.
On one side, criminal government officials and their clique of foreign and local businessmen, politicians of all parties, leaders of corrupt social organizations, and news media gloated over their grandeur and power. On the other side of the fence, this side, indigenous people, teachers, farmers, young people, students, workers, all joined voices and wills together in anti-capitalist resistance, with the joyful faces that come from recovering dignity and hope.
Winds of resistance on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, winds that come to strengthen the whirlwind of resistance that is slowly but surely taking shape in the state of Oaxaca and the whole country, one that will uproot the windmills of capitalism in this region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and sweep away the bad governments, states and the predatory capitalist system in its revolutionary whirl towards freedom.
David Venegas Reyes “alebrije”
Oaxaca de Magon, City of Resistance.
January 23, 2009