On the Coast of Oaxaca, Afro and Indigenous Tribes Fight for Water Autonomy

In southern Mexico, a multi-ethnic network of towns has halted the construction of a mega-dam. Now they are organizing to manage their own natural resources and revitalize their culture as native water protectors.

By Samantha Demby

At dawn on March 14—celebrated internationally as the Day of Action against Dams and in Defense of Rivers—Afro-Mexican, Indigenous, and mestizo peoples met on the shores of the Río Verde to participate in a ritual of gratitude and resistance.

They were gathered for the Río Verde Festival, organized each March by the Consejo de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa del Río Verde (Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Río Verde, COPUDEVER). This water protector movement was formed in 2007 when dozens of communities organized to stop the Federal Electricity Commission from building a hydroelectric dam on their river, which they say would flood their homes and contaminate their only source of water.

Continue reading “On the Coast of Oaxaca, Afro and Indigenous Tribes Fight for Water Autonomy”

Solidarity with Radio Totopo in Oaxaca, Mexico

In Oaxaca, México, Radio Totopo is raising funds to rebuild their community radio station following September’s devastating earthquakes.

Radio Totopo is a community radio that has transmitted from the city of Juchitán in Oaxaca, Mexico for more than 10 years. Totopo’s work in the community has earned it the respect and backing of local residents, who recognize the radio as a space that uses their diidxazá language to reflect their ancestral culture as Binnizá, or Zapotec, people. Totopo has also established itself as a vital cultural and community space that serves as a physical meeting point for community members. There children take academic classes; a gallery space features paintings and photographs, documentary screenings, concerts, and the sale of traditional food; and the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People holds regular meetings.

DONATE HERE

Continue reading “Solidarity with Radio Totopo in Oaxaca, Mexico”

Chanti Ollin Denounces Violent Eviction

In Mexico City, the autonomous cultural space Chanti Ollin withstands a violent eviction and continues in resistance.

x carolina

Have you ever visited a community space in Mexico City called the Chanti Ollin? Its name means “House in Movement,” and there’s always movement of different kinds here: workshops on urban agriculture, bici-machines, alternative health, massage, video creation, painting, theater, production of educational and artistic materials, and transmission of free and alternative media collectives. It’s a space for playing and enjoying great music and painting incredible murals, for baking bread and giving classes on vegetarian cooking, for screening documentaries and organizing forums on past history and current reality. Members of collectives and peoples in struggle from communities like Atenco, Xochicuatla and Ayotzinapa are invited to tell about their resistance against the plunder of their lands and efforts to eliminate their people. And ongoing resistance is organized at the Chanti Ollin. Maybe you’ve had the good fortune to participate in some of these activities, or if you come from another city or country, maybe you’ve found a place to stay for a while.

Continue reading “Chanti Ollin Denounces Violent Eviction”

In self-defense, in defense of memory

When the word justice loses meaning, all that remains for us is the defense of Memory, of self-defense.

[ Nadia Vera ]

By Mirtha Luz Pérez Robledo
From Somos El Medio
July 28, 2016
Translated by Scott Campbell

On July 31, 2015, Nadia Vera Pérez, Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro, Mile Virginia Martin, Alejandra Negrete Avilés, and Rubén Espinosa Becerril were murdered in a Mexico City apartment. Nadia, a social justice activist and human rights defender, and Rubén, a photographer and journalist, had both fled Veracruz after receiving death threats for their work. Before her murder, Nadia stated that if anything should happen to her, it would be Javier Duarte who was responsible. Duarte is the governor of Veracruz, renowned for his corruption and human rights abuses, including the deaths of 17 journalists during his rule. The state’s investigation into the murders has been condemned as full of irregularities. Nadia’s mother, Mirtha Luz Pérez Robledo, wrote this on the eve of the one year anniversary of her daughter’s murder.

In self-defense, in defense of memory

When they wrest what we love most from us, the possibility of justice no longer exists.

When the word justice loses meaning, all that remains for us is the defense of Memory, of self-defense.

Continue reading “In self-defense, in defense of memory”

La OkupaChe: Defending an autonomous space

OkupaChe defines itself as an autonomous space for self-organized work, a space for the people, one that is made up of different collectives and individuals.

x carolina

There’s a liberated territory on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico – UNAM). It’s called the Che Guevara Auditorium. Known as the Justo Sierra Auditorium half a century ago, its name was changed by students in the 1968 strike, and three decades later, it was taken over in the 1999-2000 student strike. Briefly lost when 2,500 federal militarized police invaded the campus on February 6, 2000, the auditorium was recovered a few months later. Since then, several different groups have taken responsibility for maintaining the space at different times.

The auditorium now named the OkupaChe defines itself as an autonomous space for self-organized work, a space for the people, one that is made up of different collectives and individuals.

Here you can enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal, find something interesting to read in the zine/fanzine library, listen to the latest news on Radio Desobediencia, watch a play put on by the Ollin Company, learn about alternative medicine, debate a socially relevant issue, help paint one of the murals that adorn the walls, grow organic vegetables, take part in an assembly, go to a good concert, or sign up for workshops on free software, dance, drumming, independent media, graphic design, street theater, crafts, or languages, among many other options. Here libertarian and anarchist activities are organized, as well as events in support of the struggles of indigenous peoples, Zapatismo, political prisoners, student struggles and autonomous projects.

Continue reading “La OkupaChe: Defending an autonomous space”