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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El Enemigo Común is an entirely free, all-volunteer operation. To ensure we continue to be so, please give what you can to help cover our operating expenses.

In February 2017, elenemigocomun.net celebrates its 12 year anniversary. I say celebrate but we don’t really celebrate as we are not the celebrating type. So in fact our 12 year anniversary will pass unannounced. For 12 years we have been churning out independent media from Mexico in English and Spanish. For 12 years our independent journalists have published investigative articles that continue to be relevant today. For 12 years elenemgocomun.net has not asked our readers for any direct monetary support. All we asked was that you read us, reference us, repost us, and use our work to call out and counter the often-disgraceful corporate journalism about Mexico and the Mexican people.

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New Documentary: Oaxaca Ingobernable

With this documentary, we want to make public what took place between June and August of 2016, through the voices of the citizens, teachers, mothers, and municipal authorities of Oaxaca.

Since June of 2016 — ten years since the uprising that for more than six months this state in the south of Mexico participated in — professors and communities from the eight regions of Oaxaca returned to the streets.

Their main demand is the repeal not only of the educational reform, but also of the whole package of structural reforms better known as the “Pact for Mexico,” which the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto—under the influence of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank—has been trying to impose since 2013.

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Anarchist Prisoners in Mexico on Hunger Strike in Solidarity with US Prison Strike

Today we declare an indefinite hunger strike for total liberation as an act of self-determination, of incitement to widespread revolt.

Noticias de Abajo and Anarchist Black Cross – Mexico
September 28, 2016
Translated by Scott Campbell

During a press conference on September 28, anarchist prisoners announced the beginning of an indefinite hunger strike. They are compañeros Fernando Bárcenas and Abraham Cortés, prisoners in North Prison, Luis Fernando Sotelo, prisoner in South Prison in Mexico City, and Miguel Peralta, prisoner in Cuicatlán Prison in Oaxaca. The strike is in rejection of the 33 year and five month sentence given to Luis Fernando Sotelo, to mark three years since the arrest of compañero Abraham Cortés on October 2, 2013, and in solidarity with the prison strike underway in the United States against the exploitation of prisoners’ labor and in support of the revolts against the killings of African-Americans by police in the U.S.

The three compas in Mexico City have gone on hunger strike, while Miguel will go on fasts.

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CNTE: Negotiations or Burnout?

“We know the government’s strategies. They co-opt, they persecute selectively, they harass, they buy off leaders or incarcerate those who won´t sell out.”

By Sare Frabes
Avispa Midia
August 18, 2016
Translated by El Enemigo Común

Oaxacan teachers and community members know that it was the assassination of 10 common citizens during recent mobilizations, primarily in Nochixtlán on the 19th of June, which drew  the attention of national and international press to Oaxaca and the CNTE´s struggle, and which gave way to the re-initiation of dialogue committees and government negotiations with the teachers.

Through several sessions in three different dialogue committees (the political committee, the educational committee, and the social committee), on Tuesday the 16th of August the political committee closed its session with no further solutions resolved between the Secretary of Governance and the CNTE.  Meanwhile the CNTE´s assembly, which took place on the 17th of August in Mexico City, agreed upon the re-activation of blockades of major roadways throughout the state of Oaxaca.  They also agreed to not beginning the new 2016-2017 school year until  their demands are met.

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Resistance from Califas to Oaxaca

People took the streets in San Francisco against state-sanctioned police murders in the US and in solidarity with the rebellion in Oaxaca.

On Friday, July 15, 150 people took the streets in an unpermitted march in San Francisco’s Mission District against state-sanctioned police murders of Black, Brown and poor people in the US and in solidarity with the ongoing rebellion in Oaxaca, Mexico, which has become increasingly radicalized and widespread since it began with the teachers strike on May 15th against a new educational reform. The march highlighted the 14 comrades brutally murdered by the Mexican state and visited the sites of the murders of both Amilcar Pérez-López and Luis Góngora Pat at the hands of the San Francisco police department.

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Oaxaca: The Discourse of Fear, Rumors and Lies

That was the state’s strategy: to create fear, weariness, and paralysis.

By Griselda Sánchez
Desinformémonos
July 14, 2016
Translated by Scott Campbell

June 19, 11:09:01pm – Are you ok?? Rumors are spreading here about a curfew. What do you know? Be careful, ok? We’re here if there’s something we can do to help. And in that way, more than 15 people from Mexico City sent me text messages or called to tell me that they were getting messages saying that there was – or would be – a power cut in the city of Oaxaca, that the police had already entered the main square (Zócalo) to remove the teachers who have had an encampment (plantón) there since May 15. I told them that I was listening to Radio Universidad and Radio Tu’un Ñuu Savi and that they weren’t saying these things. It was a very difficult day…In the morning, the State and Federal Police tried to remove the blockade of federal highway 190 maintained by teachers and parents in Nochixtlán. In that police operation nine people were killed by gunfire and there were dozens seriously wounded. For hours in the afternoon, in Hacienda Blanca and Viguera – the entrance to the state capital – two Federal Police helicopters bombarded with tear gas grenades the people who were resisting on the barricades in order to block the path of the police. These helicopters also fired on houses in the neighborhood and on the school where people had set up a first aid site to treat the wounded. My compañeros with independent media went to cover that location while I went to the Zócalo. I arrived in time to witness an informational meeting given by the teachers. The spokespersons informed us of what was happening a few kilometers from here. They indicated where barricades would be put up to protect the plantón, and also asked for calm and to pay no mind to the rumors. They said that moments before a woman passed by shouting: “They’re coming, the police have arrived!” – placing the plantón on alert, which like an anthill began to mobilize. The businesses abruptly shuttered. Some people approached the main table to deliver bags of medication, food, vinegar. It’s true, that afternoon reeked of uncertainty…and uncertainty and rumors are not a good combination because they spread rapidly, penetrating your skin and paralyzing you. That was the state’s strategy: to create fear, weariness, and paralysis.

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