Filed under: Communique, Indigenous, Land, Southern Mexico
Statement from the Oaxacan Assembly in Defense of Land and Territory denouncing AMLO’s visit to the state
To those with ears who want to listen and act.
From the valleys, mountains and jungles, from the sea and wind of the Isthmus. We are organizations, communities, unions, Indigenous nations and peoples in resistance and in struggle for the defense of land and territory. We want to share our urgent word.
This storm won’t quit.
With the sky cloudy and the earth wet, we see that the storm does not subside. With your visit upon us, we want to raise our voice and remember first whose lands we are on and what times we are in.
We are in the middle of cruel times amidst a health crisis right at the peak of the pandemic with a healthcare system plundered by governments of all political parties. They have turned profit at the expense of everyone’s health, at the cost of our lives. Today, people in Oaxaca are dying in their homes because there are no hospitals nor medicine. You come Mr. President to our home right when more women are being killed for the mere fact of being women in the state and in the country; right when criminal violence is raging against the people of Oaxaca—criminal violence organized under the protection of the Mexican state and in complicity with transnational corporations.
We see again that you are preparing to promote your megaprojects, to inaugurate another train, to sell us your fourth transformation. We are Indigenous peoples who have historically—for more than 500 years—been put to death. We are those who suffer the transformations imposed by the state.
Throughout our history, liberal and neoliberal governments have laid the foundations for dispossession. They have established a regime that favors private property, even betraying the Mexican revolution, which made clear that land belongs to those who work it. This idea was embodied in Article 27 of the Magna Carta after the revolution and betrayed in 1992 by Carlos Salinas. This act has dispossessed Indigenous peoples from their lands and ignored their forms of social and political organization.
Today, the state seeks the same as yesterday. The representative of the fourth transformation goes to Indigenous lands with the intention of promoting the interests of transnational companies allied with organized crime and corrupt politicians and traitors. They are those who continue the dispossession. They are the same mafia of power from yesterday who celebrate the contracts that the fourth transformation is giving them.
With great fanfare, they seek to build a barrier in the Isthmus of Mexico, in its most narrow stretch, to contain migration to the United States. They seek to construct trains, dig mines, establish industrial parks and polluting maquiladoras that only generate slave labor. Train construction is violating the rights of the Indigenous peoples, destroying land and nature, with simulated and rigged consultations. The development projects announced by the government are not what we want for today nor tomorrow. We understand that one of the collateral effects of these projects is the destruction of our ancestral culture—ethnocide—and the destruction of the ecosystems in our territories. The only thing that matters to this insatiable system is profit. The nationalist politics of the new government arrived late; the pandemic has made evident the collapse of the system. Nature claims our lives. The community, collectivity, mutual aid, collective work, real solidarity, are the forms that will move us forward. They are our hope. Our ancestral knowledge will save us.
This is communal and ejidal land which has been taken away from Indigenous communities through legal tricks, deeply saddening us. It is a sign of the racism toward us. The new government has called those that defend the earth radicals of the left. Words have consequences. That is why we say, long live Samir!
This government follows the logic of the previous government, seeing Indigenous territories as lands of conquest. They do not recognize our collective rights, nor the right to self-determination. They pretend to do so, carrying out consultations like the one in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and in the Yucatan Peninsula where they want to impose another train. They use the army and police, and collaborate with organized crime, to assassinate and terrorize the communities and organizations. They want to impose the system of corrupt political parties against our own forms of organization, against our assemblies, and against us. This is what is being done in San Mateo del Mar, a community who continues waiting for justice that will surely never arrive. We do not give up the hope that soon we will see our compañero Fredy García free.
As social organizations, unions, Indigenous communities and peoples, we do not believe in the individualist social policies that rupture the community social fabric. Those policies are not for us. That is why we ask ourselves: why is the last of the dinosaurs coming to our lands?
If we were to allow the powerful of the world to open up the door to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, there would be no human power possible that could make them retreat in their quest for domination. Is that why the representative of the fourth transformation got together with Trump and rich business leaders? President Juarez has been historically questioned for the McLane-Ocampo Treaty, seeking to hand over the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to the imperial power. Mr. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, if this happens during your rule, history will surely judge you.
We, those who love this land which was left to us by our ancestors, call for resistance.
From Oaxaca in Rebellion,
Oaxacan Assembly in Defense of Land and Territory
July 25, 2020