DF: Xochicuautla and Ostula Solidarity March

March against the plunder of indigenous communities

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A sacred ceremony performed by the authorities of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla set the tone for a march to the Ministry of the Interior in Mexico City on Tuesday, July 28. There, speakers demanded the repeal of an order for the expropriation of the ancestral lands of the Otomí-Ñatho communities of Xochicuautla in Mexico State and an end to the war against the Nahua indigenous community of Santa María Ostula in Michoacán.

Demonstrators also demanded freedom for Cemeí Verdía ––the Commander of the Ostula Community Police and Coordinator of the Self-Defense Groups of Aquila, Coahuayana and Chiniquila, Michoacán–– and punishment for those responsible for the murder of 12-year-old Hidelberto Reyes in Ostula territory.

In an operation carried out by a joint command of more than 1000 agents of the Mexican Navy, Army and Federal Police, officers sprayed teargas and opened fire on the people, killing Hidelberto and wounding 6-year-old Yeimi Nataly Pineda Reyes, and 9 more people last July 19. The following videos taken by the people of Ostula and compiled by Agencia SubVersiones dispute government versions of what happened there that day.

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Cherán K’eri: Political parties are dead to us in this town

In April, the Purépecha municipality of Cherán K’eri, Michoacán is celebrating four years of its uprising to end organized crime in its territory.

By Niñx Salvaje

In April of this year, the Purépecha municipality of Cherán K’eri, Michoacán is celebrating four years of its uprising to end the presence of organized crime in its territory. Following the uprising, indigenous women and men not only managed to throw out to the narco cartel, but also expelled all authorities (police, local government and political parties) that supported the illegal activities in the community. They decided to retake their traditional forms of self government to start a long process of building their autonomy. A few months back they inaugurated a new weapon to continue defending their traditions and reaffirm their rejection of the institutional political method: a communal television.

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SOA Graduate Takes Control of Security in Michoacán, Mexico

General Pedro Felipe Gurrola, a US Army School of the Americas graduate has taken control of security for the state of Michoacan, Mexico.

[ WHINSEC/SOA Logo ]

by Simón Sedillo

Alfredo Castillo, the federal envoy in charge of security for the State of Michoacán since January 2014 has stepped down and is being replaced by General Pedro Felipe Gurrola Ramírez, a US Army School of the Americas (SOA) graduate. The School of the Americas is notorious for training a wide variety of infamous military officials from all over Latin America in strategies and tactics which include but are not limited to torture, coercion, kidnapping, rape, murder, mutilations, massacres, mass media manipulation, political manipulation, and paramilitarism. In 1989, religious based faith groups and concerned individuals created the School of the Americas Watch, an organization that has outspokenly opposed the SOA, demanded the release of the names of individuals trained at the school, and exposed a number of atrocities and crimes committed by SOA graduates throughout Latin America.

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Communal Lands: Theater of Operations for the Counterinsurgency

US mapping expeditions in indigenous lands in Mexico conceal strategic US military economic and geopolitical goals … of particular interest for the United States.

[ Juchitán Oaxaca: Zapotec Indians show solidarity with resistance to building one of the largest wind farms in Latin America, despite death threats from paramilitary groups paid by companies and protected by the government. (Photo: Santiago Navarro F.) ]

By Renata Bessi, Santiago Navarro F. and Translated by Miriam Taylor, Truthout

In 2006, a team of geographers from the University of Kansas carried out a series of mapping projects of communal lands in southern Mexico’s Northern Sierra Mountains. Coordinated by Peter Herlihy and Geoffrey B. Demarest, a US lieutenant colonel, the objective was to achieve strategic military and geopolitical goals of particular interest for the United States. The objective was to incorporate indigenous territories into the transnational corporate model of private property, either by force or through agreements. Demarest’s essential argument is that peace cannot exist without private property.

“The Bowman Expeditions are taking places with the counterinsurgency logic of the United States, and we reported them in 2009. These expeditions were part of research regarding the geographic information that indigenous communities in the Sierra Juarez possess. The researchers hid the fact that they were being financed by the Pentagon. And we believe that this research was a type of pilot project to practice how they would undertake research in other parts of the world in relation to indigenous towns and their communal lands,” said Aldo Gonzales Rojas in an interview with Truthout. A director for the Secretary of Indigenous Affairs in the state of Oaxaca, Rojas ensures that indigenous laws are being instituted and applied correctly in the state.

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Breaking the Curse of Forgotten Places

On the Ground Analysis and Reflections from the Comunitario Movement in Michoacán, Mexico.

By Simón Sedillo

The first successful strategy for community based self-defense against the Knights Templar cartel in Michoacán came about on April 15th, 2011 in the indigenous Purépecha community of Cherán, Michoacán.  The implications of the success of this original uprising against the Knights Templar and the narco-government are immeasurable; however, what is evident today is that the strategy has spread contagiously throughout the state and has now even inspired non-indigenous mestizo communities to replicate it.  Since February of 2013 a variety of communities, both indigenous and mestizo, have risen up in arms, evicted municipal police from their municipalities, have evicted the Knights Templar cartel from their territories, and have begun to engage in self-governing strategies founded upon a consensus-based general assembly model.  Most non-indigenous mestizo communities in the state of Michoacán have been known to be racist towards indigenous peoples and communities of the state.  To now see these mestizo communities exercise indigenous strategies for community liberation is truly historic and ground breaking.

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