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.
Continue reading “NAFTA and Biotech: Twin Horsemen of the Ag Apocalypse”
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:
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.
Continue reading “EZLN Communiqué suspending the second phase of the Other Campaign”
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.
Continue reading “Coordinación Oaxaca Magonista Popular Antineoliberal (COMPA)”
by David Bacon
FRESNO, CA (8/4/02) — Indigenous people from Oaxaca have been migrating within Mexico, and to the US, for decades. Many were braceros during that program’s 22-year run from 1942 to 1964. In Mexican agricultural valleys from Sinaloa to Baja California, Oaxacan migrants are the backbone of the labor force which made corporate agriculture possible.
As a result, communities of Oaxacans have settled in a broad swath leading from their state of origin, through Veracruz, where they went first as the labor force in the sugar harvest, through northwest Mexico’s fields of tomatoes and strawberries, into the valleys of California’s San Joaquin and Oregon’s Wilamette Rivers, and to Washington state, Florida and beyond.
Continue reading “International Solidarity — Oaxacan Style: Cross-border Organizing at the Grassroots”