On 8th anniversary Xayakalan inspires defense of land and life

“We want to tell the world that we’re resisting, come what may.”

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Under heavy rains, two busloads of people and dozens of others traveling in cars or public transportation came together in the community of Xayakalan in Ostula, Michoacán, on June 29, 2017. There, the compañeras welcomed us with steaming coffee, tortillas and a delicious stew.

The purpose of the trip?  The celebration of the eighth anniversary of one of the most amazing things that’s happened in Mexico in many years ––the recovery of 3000 acres of land stolen from Ostula half a century ago, and the construction of a community where resistance is part of its identity.

A bit of history

In a brief history of the defense of the lands of Santa María Ostula and the founding of Xayakalan, the lawyer Carlos Gonzalez told us that for centuries, including the entire twentieth century, the community had constant border conflicts. When a presidential decree issued in 1963 certified that the communal lands rightfully belonged to Ostula, small landowners in La Placita took advantage of errors in the decree to take over thousands of acres. In 2008, they won a court case that took land away from Ostula precisely in the area where they’d obtained concessions from the transnational mining company Termium.   Continue reading “On 8th anniversary Xayakalan inspires defense of land and life”

Letter from Kurdish Women’s Movement to Spokeswoman of Indigenous Governing Council

For María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, representative of the indigenous people of Mexico and the National Indigenous Congress #CNI.

Posted by  Centro de Medios Libres 
Translated by El Enemigo Común

First of all, we want to send our deepest respect and revolutionary greetings to our Mexican sister, from the mountains of Kurdistan to the Sierra Madre mountain range beyond the oceans. Despite the rivers, mountains, deserts, valleys, canyons and seas that separate us, we are indigenous sisters and brothers, no matter what part of the world we are in.

With you, we share our struggle, our resistance against occupation and colonialism, and our dream of a free life, and in this sense, we who belong to the Kurdish Liberation Movement declare that we consider the struggle for self-determination, self-administration and self-defense of the indigenous peoples of Mexico organized in the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) as our own struggle, and we support you on the basis of principles of revolutionary solidarity.

Indigenous peoples are the veins through which the most important social and cultural values of humanity have been transmitted, from the first moments of socialization until our times. Without a doubt, no people is superior to another, but at a time when capitalist modernity is trying to destroy every communal value, indigenous peoples are the safeguard of the social fabric of all humanity. Thousands of years of collective memory resurge in our songs, our rituals, our prayers, our tattoos, our dances and our traditions. And so the struggle for our own identity against the efforts of capitalist modernity to erase the roots and the memory of our peoples becomes the most meaningful of all forms of resistance.

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Indigenous Communities in Oaxaca Resist Megaprojects

“The struggle isn’t for a piece of land, it is the struggle for the life of the native people who have every right to decide how they want to live.”

By Renata Bessi and Santiago Navarro F for Avispa Midia
Translated by Xiadani Yaremi Gutiérrez for It’s Going Down

The Chinantec people, inhabitants of the Cajonos River basin in the north of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, are carrying out an organizational process throughout their entire territory, the Chinantla, against economic projects that seek to commodify nature as a whole. They are megaprojects such as mining, hydroelectric dams, highways, conservation projects, and, more recently, hydrocarbons. It is not a coincidence Chinantla is considered a priority of economic interest for the Mexican government. It houses the third largest tropical rainforest in Mexico. After the Lacandona jungle in Chiapas, and the Chimalapas in Oaxaca, it is the best preserved and one of the richest in biodiversity.

“The Chinantla is a priority area for exploitation because of its wealth, its diversity. It’s part of a strategic Mesoamerican plan that comprises all that is Veracruz, the Chinantla zone, Chiapas and Central America in the so-called Plan Mérida and Mesoamerica Project. The objective of the Mexican government and businesses is to create a corridor for the exploitation of water, minerals, coal reserves, and electricity-generating projects. Here are the plants, bacteria, mushrooms that heal, and these are all things they also want to take away,” explained biologist Patricia Mora, from the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Integral Regional Development – Oaxaca Unit of the National Polytechnic Institute (CIIDIR Oaxaca).

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Members of CNI & Sexta condemn ambush and death of comrade

By Espoir Chiapas
Translated by El Enemigo Común

Cruztón, Chiapas, June 1, 2017

To the Good Government Council of Oventic
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Indigenous Government Council
To the National and International Sixth
To the news media

Compañeros, compañeras, our pain, rage, death and dignity now urge us to make our word known.

The Adherents to the Sixth in the community of Cruzton, municipality Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, state the following: Last May 22, at 4:20 in the morning we were ambushed in our community cemetery by a heavily armed group from Nuevo Guadalupe Victoria, which started an armed attack that lasted four and a half hours. We had to take refuge behind the rocks in a grove of trees to protect our lives.

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The Time Has Come

So then, we do not seek to administer power; we want to dismantle it from within the cracks from which we know we are able.

To To the People of Mexico,
To the Peoples of the World,
To the Media,
To the National and International Sixth,

We send our urgent word to the world from the Constitutive Assembly for the Indigenous Governing Council, where we met as peoples, communities, nations, and tribes of the National Indigenous Congress: Apache, Amuzgo, Chatino, Chichimeca, Chinanteco, Chol, Chontal of Oaxaca, Chontal of Tabasco, Coca, Cuicateco, Mestizo, Hñähñü, Ñathö, Ñuhhü, Ikoots, Kumiai, Lakota, Mam, Matlazinca, Maya, Mayo, Mazahua, Mazateco, Me`phaa, Mixe, Mixe-Popoluca, Mixteco, Mochó, Nahua or Mexicano, Nayeri, Popoluca, Purépecha, Q´anjob´al, Rarámuri, Tének, Tepehua, Tlahuica, Tohono Odham, Tojolabal, Totonaco, Triqui, Tseltal, Tsotsil, Wixárika, Xi´iuy, Yaqui, Binniza, Zoque, Akimel O´otham, and Comkaac.

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State of Mexico Manifesto: The Burning Voice of Those Who Resist on the Periphery

Here, in the State of Mexico, all the factors that define the periphery come together. Our gender, our empty pockets, our scorched skin color are denied, spit upon and vilified.

Somos el medio
Translated by Scott Campbell

April 10, 2017

Today we say: Enough!

Beyond the last metro station the buses depart for the end of the world…

We are from that horseshoe that surrounds Mexico City; that blankets it, gives it food, water and air to live.

We are the ones who work in the big corporations, in the gentrified and commercially valuable neighborhoods; who clean homes, offices, who make food sprout from the fields.

We are those people whose right to walk is an obligation and the bicycle a source of work; who see half our lives ground away in the guts of public transportation.

We are those who live behind the contaminated river, among massacred trees and under an enormous haze of filth.

We are those who are offered egg shells as homes and shopping malls as the only place to expand the spirit.

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San Quintín farm workers take demands to Mexico City

Caravan for a Fair Wage and Decent Life sets out

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Last March 4th, the Caravan for a Fair Wage and Decent Life began with a blockade of the Transpeninsular Highway by the day laborers from the fields of the San Quintin Valley. The workers then went on to cover 3,000 kilometers, arriving in Mexico City on March 17th.

Two years ago, the strike of thousands of farm workers brought to light the appalling conditions in which at least 80,000 men, women and children toil as day laborers in Baja California agribusiness. The hours are long, up to 14 hours a day with no rest on the weekends at a deplorable wage, with no vacations, no social security and no decent housing with basic services.  Striking workers denounced human rights violations, and especially sexual abuse and harassment of the mainly indigenous women workers by the foremen.

In response to a call sent out by the National Democratic Independent Farm Workers Union  (SINDJA) and the Alliance of National, State and Municipal Organizations for Social Justice, this year’s Caravan was organized to protest non-compliance of agreements reached with federal and state government officials in Baja California. The struggle continues for decent wages and benefits, the right to social security and an end to the sexual harassment of women.

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