Isthmus: Caravan in Defense of the Land and Territory welcomed in Álvaro Obregón

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Qui ziuu di’tu (You won’t take one step forward!) was the watchword on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec when the festive, combative Caravan in Defense of the Land and Territory got to the Álvaro Obregón community on the afternoon of February 17 in a show of solidarity with the Binnizá (Zapotec) people.

The day before, upon getting a promise from Gabino Cué’s Secretary of Government to respect and abide by the peoples’ decision to stop Mareña Renovables from building a wind park on the communal lands of San Dionisio del Mar, the peoples in resistance on the Isthmus stated that they welcome this advance but in view of a previous betrayal by Cué, they are determined to stay on the alert until Mareña Renovables definitively states that it will “get off our land and never come back.” In a meeting with community members on February 16, Secretary Jesús Martínez Álvarez also promised to refrain from using armed force to repress the peoples in resistance. The Assembly insists that those responsible for “the rest of the wind projects on the Isthmus must also respect the decision of the peoples and honor the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, especially in the case of the three Bii Sti Igu parks scheduled to be built (using the same practices Mareña has used) on the lands of the Binnizá indigenous people of Santa María Xadani. We remain resolute in a state of ALERT and will not take one step back in the defense of our territory.”

The Assembly reports that the Caravana “followed the route of the Binnizá people’s most important ancestral sites on the Isthmus, starting out from Juchitán, making the first stop at Santa María Xadani, crossing through the territory of San Blas Atempa in the Santa Rosa de Lima community where a new contingent joined in along with another from the Ikoots town of San Mateo del Mar, and finally arriving at the heroic town of Gui’xhi’ ro’ (Alvaro Obregón), where the caravan was received by hundreds of women, men and children who applauded and thanked everyone for their support in the struggle against the plundering of the territory by transnational capital. The peoples came together at the regional level in the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of the Land and Territory in the Community Assembly of Gui’xhi’ ro´’, where fishermen, farmers, housewives, students, elders and the townspeople in general joyfully celebrated this gesture of solidarity….”

Carlos Sánchez of Radio Totopo explains in an interview conducted by the Autonomous Paths Collective that “The only access by land to the Barra Santa Teresa is through the Álvaro Obregón community. People there will be the most heavily affected. They traditionally go out to fish from that community, and they’ll no longer have access to the lagoon. The people there are Zapotecs with a long history; they’re the children of revolutionaries, the children of retired soldiers who fought with General Charis Castro, who rose up in arms against the federal government in 1919 and demanded the return of communal lands that were in the hands of local power bosses. The community is opposing the wind park; more than half of the population is against it. What the governor and Mareña Renovables say about us only being 20 people is a lie. Today there was a dialogue table with the Secretary of Government and he could plainly see that we weren’t just 20 drunks; we were more than half the town”.

According to the Assembly’s report, “Once we were in the headquarters where we organize resistance to the wind park, a rally was held in which all the speakers underscored their support and solidarity to this just struggle that we, the indigenous peoples on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec are waging against multinational capital. The corporations have the support of all three levels of government and are trying to divide the movement by offering money to fishermen in different communities on the Isthmus, but they’ve come up against the steadfast, unshakeable decision of organized peoples who are defending our land and territory and our living space. At the same rally support was also shown for the alliance between the Binnizá and Ikoots people in defense of the Laguna Superior.”

“The sweet, melodious sound of our mother tongue, diidxazá, can also be firm, hard, and pointed when we tell Mareña Renovables qui ziuu di’ tu. With that expression we make our position absolutely clear: You won’t take one step forward! We won’t take one step back in this righteous, courageous struggle.”

For more information, visit:
la Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio