Threat of Genocide: US Military Mapping Against Mexico’s Indigenous

Originally published in Left Turn July/Aug 2009
By Simon Sedillo

The facts are clear: indigenous communities in Mexico are being preyed upon by the US military with the help of Kansas University geographers. In 2005, the Department of Geography at Kansas University received $500,000 in Department of Defense funds to map communally-held indigenous land in the Mexican states of San Luis Potosi and Oaxaca. With the help of the US Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), located at Fort Leavenworth Army base in Leavenworth, Kansas, geography professors Peter Herlihy and Jerome Dobson ploughed ahead with the “Mexico Indigena” project, a part of the larger mapping project, the Bowman Expeditions.

Translations: Spanish | French | Italian

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FIOB’s Statement on the Case of Marcelino De Jesus Martinez

Los Angeles, California, January 14, 2009

Gaspar Rivera-Salgado (FIOB) Phone: (310) 206-3910 (Los Angeles)
Rufino Dominguez-Santos (CBDIO) Phone: (559) 499-1178 (Fresno)


The Indigenous Front of Binational Organizations (FIOB) and the Binational Center for the Development of Indigenous Oaxacans (CBDIO) join forces to inform the media and the general public about their position towards the case of the indigenous Triqui Marcelino de Jesús Martínez.

1. One of the hardships of living in a multicultural country like the United States is being able to understand the multiple cultural practices that are brought by the various migrant groups. It is imperative, both for the FIOB and the CBDIO, that there is a broad understanding of the diverse cultural practices and customs of the indigenous communities.

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NAFTA and Biotech: Twin Horsemen of the Ag Apocalypse

The Last Days of Mexican Corn

November 21, 2007 – John Ross writes from Mexico City: The single, spindly seven foot-tall cornstalk spiring up from the planter box outside a prominent downtown hotel here was filling out with new “elotes” (sweet corn) to the admiration of passer-bys, some of whom even paused to pat the swelling ears with affection. Down the centuries most of the population of this megalopolis migrated here from the countryside at one time or another over the course of the past 500 years and inside every “Chilango” (Mexico City resident) lurks an inner campesino.

But the solitary stalk, sewn by an urban coalition of farmers and ecologists under the banner of “No Hay Pais Sin Maiz” (“There Is No Country Without Corn”) in planter boxes outside the downtown hotels, museums, government palaces and other historical monuments can just as easily be seen as a signifier for the fragile state of survival of Mexican corn.

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EZLN Communiqué suspending the second phase of the Other Campaign

Communiqué from the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation.

September 22, 2007

To the People of Mexico:
To the adherents of the Sixth Declaration and the Other Campaign:

Brothers and Sisters:
Compañeros and Compañeras:
The EZLN communicates to you the following reflections and decisions we have made:

I. Reflections


At this time, the state government of Chiapas and the federal government (of the PRD-PRI and the PAN respectively) are waging a campaign against the Zapatista communities. “Official” evictions, paramilitary attacks, invasions sponsored by officials, persecutions and threats, have become once again part of the surroundings of the indigenous communities, the Zapatistas, who have set upon constructing their own destiny and improving their living conditions, always without losing their indigenous identity.

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Coordinación Oaxaca Magonista Popular Antineoliberal (COMPA)

COMPA, the Oaxacan Anti-neoliberal Popular Magonista Coordination, is an indigenous farmworkers rights group in Oaxaca, Mexico composed of over 300 communities around the state.

COMPA has been under constant attack by successive Institutional Revolutionary Party or P.R.I. governors determined to uproot an entire population. In 2004, Oaxacan Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz took office and outlawed most forms of political protest and freedom of press, detaining hundreds and murdering others.

On February 3rd, 2005, at an agenda setting meeting with the secretary of governance, everything felt fine until three COMPA leaders left the meeting and were detained by state police in the parking lot. Two of the three were released and a third remains in prison. Hours later, militarized state police entered the COMPA office in Oaxaca City and arrested another two COMPA members, one of which has been released due to international pressure.

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