On 8th anniversary Xayakalan inspires defense of land and life

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

x carolina

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”

Interventions by the United States in Mexico and Central America: The continuation of the war economy

The Northern Command (NORTHCOM) is responsible for the internal defense of the United States, and covers Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean.

By Santiago Navarro F. of Avispa Midia
Translated by El Enemigo Común

While the leaders of the Southern and Northern Command of the United States carried out a tour of strategic locations in Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala early in 2017, the recently elected president of the United States, Donald Trump, threatened Enrique Peña Nieto, president of Mexico, over a possible military intervention in the event that the drug trafficking situation remained unresolved.

The Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) is one of six Unified Combat Commands of the U.S. Department of Defense, and is responsible for U.S. military operations as well as cooperation and the creation of military ties in a region that includes 31 countries and 10 territories in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

The Northern Command (NORTHCOM) is responsible for the internal defense of the United States, and covers Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean, including Cuba.

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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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U.S. Army Operations to Advance in Mexico

With U.S. Military support, the Mexican and Guatemalan armed forces created a Task Force to carry out operations on the Mexico and Guatemala border.

By Santiago Navarro F
Avispa Midia
April 27, 2017
Translated by El Enemigo Común

With the support of the Southern and Northern Commands of the U.S. Military, the Mexican and Guatemalan armed forces have begun the creation of a new elite group, a Task Force that will carry out joint operations on the border shared by Mexico and Guatemala. This elite group is added to the seven Task Forces created and formed by the government of the United States together with Central American governments.

According to General Juan Manuel Pérez Ramirez, Chief of the Guatemalan Defense Staff, this Task Force will carry out reconnaissance work, including aerial and ground patrols, sharing information and intelligence to combat transnational organized crime. In February of 2017, a special report by Avispa Media documented the Southern and Northern Commands’ visit to Mexican territory, as well as to Honduras and Guatemala, where participants requested anonymity.

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Mesoamerican Caravan to Publish Collaborative Book on Land Defense

The book will feature insight into the strategies corporations use to impose projects, as well as the strategies communities use to defend their land.

These mountains are not for sale. Photo by Caravana Mesoamericana.

This month, the Mesoamerican Caravan launched a community fundraiser to support the publication of “Mesoamerica Rising: A book from Peoples in Resistance, for Peoples in Resistance,” which aims to compile the stories, lessons, and autonomous alternatives shared by land and water protectors from Mexico to Costa Rica. Members of the project hope that the book, which grew out of the caravan’s collaboration with indigenous and campesino communities that oppose megaprojects like mines, pipelines, and dams, will serve as a practical tool “from and for peoples everywhere that are working to knock down the extractive industry and create something more just in its place.”

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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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Self Defense Against White Supremacy: Finding a path towards community-based self-determination

One of the greatest barriers to community-based self-defense has been a very powerful shift towards pacifism and non-violence as a primary means of political expression in Europe and the USA.

By: el pinche simón

January 30th, 2017

Patriarchy and white supremacy have been the forerunners and continue to be the underpinnings of the economic, military and political system of U.S. imperialism, which is devoted to making money by any means necessary, including brute force and the legitimized use of violence. Its imposition is exposed by a glance at those who have money, power, and influence and those who do not. The price of things, places, food, labor, and people are all glaring pieces of evidence exposing the cruelty of a failed global economic model and the decline of the U.S. Empire.

We live in a military-political economy that has consistently overvalued the lives of white men above all other lives. As a matter of fact, the natural resources that are extracted from this earth to maintain white and male dominance over the planet, are considered more valuable than all lives. Most human life has become just another disposable variable in this economic equation.

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