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January 18

Mexico: Statement Demanding Freedom for Indigenous Yaqui Land Defender Fidencio Aldama Pérez

This communiqué comes from the National and International Campaign for the Freedom of the Political Prisoners of Tlanixco and the Yaqui Tribe. The communiqué gives context to the case of Yaqui political prisoner, Fidencio Aldama Pérez, and the ongoing struggle of the community of Loma de Bácum against a gas pipeline from being built in their territory.

Second Statement From the National and International Campaign for the Freedom of the Political Prisoners of Tlanixco and the Yaqui Tribe

January 16th, 2019

To the People of Mexico

To the Media

To the People of the World

Since 2012, the bad government and energy companies have threatened the people of northern Mexico with the construction of the Sonora pipeline—a megaproject designed to move natural gas to the northeast of Mexico, to create energy, and to guarantee favorable conditions for the operation of centers of exploitation.

In order to build their gas pipeline, the owners of money have instigated a war, sowing discord, persecuting, threatening, criminalizing and killing. They want to ensure that those of us who firmly resist with dignity and rebellion will not stop the megaprojects. But as you have already seen, this will not stop our struggle, or any other struggle that fights for life.

For four years our Yaqui brothers and sisters have resisted. The traditional authorities of Loma de Bácum—those recognized by international and constitutional agreements—have given voice to the people, making clear they will not permit the construction of the gas pipeline in their territory. That decision has angered those of above, those who have subjected the defenders of Yaqui life, culture and territory to constant threats and persecution.

In 2016, a group of sympathizers of the gas pipeline tried to forcefully take a traditional space in Loma de Bácum, the place where the community gathers to make their decisions. This triggered a conflict where a man died. While they want us to believe it, the conflict is not internal to the community. It was created by the interests of the owners of money, by the company, Nova Energy Infrastructure (IENOVA).

The war they insist on waging has already generated extensive destruction and has kept our brother, Fidencio Aldama Pérez, imprisoned for two years. He is a land defender who has fought to oppose this project of death. On April 30th of this year, the hatred of capitalist development provoked an attack in which Víctor Adolfo Molina Vázquez was killed. For him, and for the Yaqui people, there is no justice.

Moneyed interests caused this death, yet the bad government always uses these moneyed interests to prevent the struggle of the women and men who remain on their feet. In this way, the government decided that their court in Ciudad Obregón would detain our brother Fidencio Aldama, in spite of the lack of evidence against him. It is evident that our compañero Fidencio is imprisoned for participating in the struggle. He is imprisoned because they have used him to plant fear and demobilize the struggle against the gas pipeline. There is no evidence. Money from above has bought justice. In spite of this, together with our imprisoned brother, we resist. We have decided if they want to try to stop us, they will not succeed.

The sisters and brothers of Loma de Bácum have said no to the gas pipeline. They know that these projects and the possible explosions they generate are dangerous to the population. The infrastructure of capital is neither apt nor compatible with the life and traditions of the Yaqui people. The Yaqui people are not willing to sell their land. It is as simple as that. In Loma de Bácum, the land is not sold.

The tenacity of the powerful to destroy everything has been persistent. During this year, the harassments, threats and attacks have continued against the brothers of Loma de Bácum—the same foolishness that has kept Fidencio Aldama in prison. We thus demand that the Fifth Circuit Third Collegiate Court of Hermosillo, Sonora, hear the case of compañero Fidencio, to recognize his proven innocence and no longer delay his release. We demand the immediate freedom of our compañero, Fidencio Aldama Pérez.

We also demand an end to the harassment in Yaqui territory. We demand that the owners of megaprojects stop killing, criminalizing, and fragmenting the communities that struggle for life and territory.

We demand respect for the autonomy of the Yaqui nation and that the peoples’ lives no longer be exposed to the dangers brought by large-scale gas circulation in our territories. Yes to the end of the megaprojects! Yes to the cancellation of the Sonora pipeline! No to the megaprojects of death!

We demand an end to the war of dispossession against the Yaqui people.

No to the criminalization of the defenders of territory!

Freedom to the political prisoners!



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Written By:

Voices in Movement

Voices in Movement publishes translations and analysis – both contemporary and historical – to share strategy, solidarity and histories of resistance across imaginary divisions of nations and borders, drawing insight from struggles of below and to the left, where the heart is. They also author Revuelta Comunitaria, a semi-regular column on It's Going Down addressing social struggles and political repression in the territory of so-called Mexico.

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