Solidarity with Radio Totopo in Oaxaca, Mexico

In Oaxaca, México, Radio Totopo is raising funds to rebuild their community radio station following September’s devastating earthquakes.

Radio Totopo is a community radio that has transmitted from the city of Juchitán in Oaxaca, Mexico for more than 10 years. Totopo’s work in the community has earned it the respect and backing of local residents, who recognize the radio as a space that uses their diidxazá language to reflect their ancestral culture as Binnizá, or Zapotec, people. Totopo has also established itself as a vital cultural and community space that serves as a physical meeting point for community members. There children take academic classes; a gallery space features paintings and photographs, documentary screenings, concerts, and the sale of traditional food; and the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People holds regular meetings.

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Support Autonomous Brigades from Oaxaca Bringing aid to the Areas Affected by the Earthquakes

All funds collected will be delivered equally to two different autonomous brigades. One of the brigades is comprised of collectives and organizations that work directly with affected communities, taking aid and supporting the community in alternative healing practices. The other brigade is composed of 2 doctors and other volunteers taking aid and engaging in medical assistance and now setting up two community kitchens feeding approximately 13 – 15 families.

The Most Devastated Zones

Two strong earthquakes battered Mexico this September. The first, with a magnitude of 8.1 degrees, hit the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca on September 7th; the second arrived on September 19th with a magnitude of 7.1 degrees, affecting areas in Puebla, Morelos, Mexico City, and Mexico State. In Oaxaca in the South of Mexico, two of the most devastated zones were the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the neighboring Sierra.

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Oaxaca: Geopolitics and the Earthquake

“The heart aches, but it is of utmost importance that in the face of this tragedy we do not cease to observe the geopolitical context of the Ithmus region.”

By: Griselda Sánchez
Photos by: Marisol Balbuena Delgado y brigada médica y solidaria.

The people of Oaxaca have had a difficult week. First came President Enrique Peña Nieto’s visit to the capital on Thursday, September 7th for the inauguration of a Cultural and Convention Center, on the occasion of the 24th Conference of the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE). It was evident that the conference was the main motive for Peña’s presence at the event, since he was joined by Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, the Mexican Secretary of Economy, and Valentín Diez Morodo, the President of COMCE, as well as businessmen from important national and international companies; ambassadors and their commercial counselors from the diplomatic corps; the secretaries of the federal government, and the Director of Trade Negotiations of the World Trade Organization.

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Rebel Oaxaca kicks out Peña Nieto

Oaxaca says Go Home.

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Up until now, Enrique Peña Nieto hasn’t been able to make a public visit to the city of Oaxaca because too many people have come out against it. But last September 7th, the chief executive took advantage of the inauguration of the Cultural and Convention Center to make a brief surprise visit.  His stated goal was to attract big investments from the 900 businessmen attending Mexico’s 24th Foreign Trade Conference.  And in order to attract those investments, he planned to show that the rebel city has become a stable place, where all protests are under control and a state of law prevails.

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On 8th anniversary Xayakalan inspires defense of land and life

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

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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”