Statement from the Communal Autonomous Council of San Juan Copala

We hold the Mexican government, MULT, and UBISORT responsible for any aggression against our compañeras and compañeros in San Juan Copala

June 2, 2011

Translated by Scott Campbell

To the indigenous peoples and peoples of the world

To the honest, independent and alternative media

To the international, democratic, solidarity and revolutionary social organizations

To the struggles built from below and whose origin is to the left, committed to the emblematic changes to which we are all dedicated and are a fundamental part of changing the world.

To the women and men of this country who carry the world on their backs, the weight of a history plagued by injustice imposed by power.

To those who dream of a great homeland, free and without any more blood, with which the poorest always pay, we who have decided to march to liberate our peoples at the cost of our lives, so that tomorrow our history has a future.

Sisters and brothers:

Our history is not only like the mature fruit which falls from a tree when we became aware that is was time to walk together as a people, nor like the spring of our grandparents when times were good, or the times to plant and to see our lands full of life and our people walking without being afraid, our history is more than the branches which create shade in a patriarchal and dominating system, it is more than the trunk which is the unity of our peoples and their thousand-year old forms of organization which have always allowed us to sustain ourselves, it is the deep ancestral roots which teach us that we have to defend our culture in the face of invasions; we are the Triqui people, the inheritors of lightning, we come from the earth, we are one of the guardians of the history which we have lived, at many times facing colonization, the nation-state and wars of extermination.

Our land, as in all of our continent called America, has been filled with innocent blood, women, children, elders, youth and men who sought to live well; that has been sowed with the pain, rage and hate that condemns many innocents, honest leaders with an unquestionable human quality, martyrs of our struggle; like many indigenous peoples we have had to confront death, the destiny that many politicians and governments force upon us, the only way to survive was to defend ourselves, this political class created conflict amongst our families and brothers, fathers against children, to divide us and in this way to defeat our peoples and our resistances, trying to submit us and take from us our dignity and our rights, however they weren’t able to because we are in the struggle and we are alive.

Today, as they force us to mobilize in a caravan and they want to impose on us a destiny that is not ours, we have decided to renounce this path of death, we built the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala and we reassert it in order to give our families and people an alternative way of life, those who contemptuously and radically call us violent, barbarians, are wrong, the violence came from those who sought to enslave us, to submit us and to seize our lands and territories, the political class who does not care about the lives it must claim in order to stay in power, and the political parties, representatives, senators, army and governors who all want to use our people as a political tool.

Therefore, today our intention to recover our community, the MARCH OF THE COLOR OF BLOOD is the cry of our peoples and the ¡ENOUGH! which we attentively hear and see being shouted by each of the struggles of women, men, organizations, peasants, workers and youth, towns such as Atenco, Cherán, the mountains of Guerrero, THE AUTONOMOUS MUNICIPALITIES IN CHIAPAS, among many, many more manifestations which arise every day to transform pain into hope. Therefore, the Communal Autonomous Council, which came about through the agreement of our towns as a way to create a consensus-based process that helps us make collective decisions in order to guarantee the security of these communities, has decided to place as a demand and a condition before the State the dismantling of the groups who attacked the caravan on April 27, 2010, where Bety and Jyri lost their lives.

The COMMUNAL AUTONOMOUS COUNCIL decided not to enter San Juan Copala and to postpone the return for a few days, given that the conditions of the State are not guarantees, this agreement among our communities responds to the danger that our brothers and sisters from our communities face, the criminal groups who caused so much damage to our movement continue to intimidate and threaten our brothers and sisters from different communities, for this reason the state government, aware of our intention to recover our town, let us know that the security conditions in order to enter to recover our land were not the best and they asked us for an acceptable amount of time with the only intention of avoiding the deaths of more of our compañeros and compañeras.

We therefore confide:

Our process of autonomy was born of the commitment to cease being an organization and to the bring together the Triqui communities and people tired of being used by the State only during elections, tired as well of this situation of those who enrich themselves at our expense and through the spilling of innocent blood seek to continue manipulating our pain, one of the reasons why they repress us with such cruelty for only wanting to be free and to create an autonomous municipality where we all make decisions for the good of our indigenous people.

The decision to return to San Juan Copala was made not because we are provocateurs as those who beg for peace by praying with bullets would have people believe, nor are we interested in displacing our Triqui nation from its ceremonial center, another lie which prepares the ground for an armed attack, we simply decided to recover what belongs to us because it is a legitimate right for our children and the inheritance from our parents and grandparents.

Similarly, we affirm that when justice is applied to a criminal, that is not a reason for violence to reemerge in our region, even when that person is a “social leader” as some like to see Rufino Juárez because it suites their interests, because it hides the truth and conceals his true face: Who is Rufino Juárez? Isn’t he the one who threatened and carried out the attack on the caravan, as well as attacks against our people: rapes, kidnappings and murders, like that of Bety and Jyri?

On the other hand, we make clear to those who accompany us who are not from the region, that no one makes decisions on behalf of our peoples, that the decisions of our movement, were made previously through the consultation of the bases of our COMMUNAL AUTONOMOUS COUNCIL. We will not make the same mistake twice, as those of us who at one time belonged to MULT, we are convinced that when one leads our people without deeply knowing its culture and history, what one obtains is a deep division which only generates rancor amongst our people, we therefore call on you to be consistent with us.

Similarly, we point out that those from the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI) sought to strengthen UBISORT because their interests are in line with the PRI and with those relationships they only seek to fill their coffers, which is why we demand the federal government keeps its hands out and detains once and for all the murderers of our compañeros Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola. There exists the right to consultation, which so many acclaim, and no one came to us to ask our opinion, therefore we demand the immediate removal of Concepcion Rueda for wanting to generate more violence, we hold her responsible if that happens, conscience cannot be bought with resources.

We demand justice for Timoteo Alejandro and once and for all the solving of this crime, justice can’t just be for some, as such we demand the detention of the murderers of Teresa and Felicitas, those responsible are known, as such we ask the State to act against these murderers.

Finally, we want to say to those who at one time walked alongside us as compañeros: Isn’t defending Rufino Juárez an act of betrayal? Aren’t you the ones who are in the struggle because justice, democracy and freedom are your flags? Aren’t you part of the Other Campaign, to which our sister Bety Cariño belonged? You throw stones and then hide your hand.

We call on everyone, our sisters and brothers of Mexico and the world to stay attentive to our actions which we postponed, because we are going to Copala, our path is for a world in which many fit, we are the Triqui people who today have stopped complaining and decided to walk, we make a call to the peoples to accompany our path, transformations are not made with violence, but with will power and We are going to San Juan Copala.

We demand justice for our compañero, brother, friend and Triqui leader Timoteo Alejandro Ramirez and his wife!

We hold the Mexican state and governments responsible for any aggression against our compañeras and compañeros, we hold the organizations who call themselves “social” in the Triqui region responsible for any aggression in San Juan Copala!

Justice for the Triqui people!

Justice for Teresa and Felicitas!

Justice for Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola!



Never again a homeland without use!

Jail Antonio Cruz Garcia and his paramilitaries!

For the autonomy of the Triqui people!

Communal Autonomous Council

June 2, 2011