Filed under: Community Organizing, Indigenous, Land, Southern Mexico
Two years since an eviction attempt, the communities of El Rebollero, Los Arquitos, and Rio Minas, in the municipality of Cuatro Venados, Oaxaca, continue their resistance against land dispossession and extractive industries
To the Indigenous Governing Council
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
To the Free and Alternative Media
Sisters, Brothers, and Others
Two years have passed since May 31, 2019, when a group of people with high caliber weaponry, assaulted our communities, inhabitants of “El Rebollero,” “Los Arquitos,” and “Rio Minas,” in the municipality of San Pablo Cuatro Venados, located just 45 minutes from Oaxaca City. More than 500 people entered our community with two backhoes, destroying our homes. From unofficial sources, we found out that the majority of them were funded by politicians in the region, the same politicians who gave them guns and ammo. These people have an interest in our lands, the forest, and the water that springs from our mountains. Above all, they have an interest in our territory because there are at least three mining concessions to exploit gold and silver without our consent.
Once again, they are back, circling like vultures over the mining concessions. For a while now, we have known that those who are interested in mining exploitation have turned to the municipal authorities to sign new deals. We have also seen, at different moments, armed groups shooting into the air in attempts to intimidate us.
In the same way, the authorities of San Pablo Cuatro Venados, who are connected to the legal representatives of the concessions, have been deceiving the people of the municipality, arguing that mining will bring employment, and attempting to undermine the resistance against mining.
As part of the communities of “El Rebollero,” “Los Arquitos,” and “Rio Minas,” we maintain in maximum alert. We reaffirm our posture of not wanting any extractive project in our region. We are fully aware that the mining projects already in operation in Oaxaca, have caused groundwater and air pollution, along with complaints directly from the communities. We also know that these companies have links with organized crime and have fragmented community ties.
We make it known that, with diverse attacks, the only thing that has been achieved is the strengthening of our community organization. We will not stop struggling for our ancestral lands, and the natural resources that we are conserving, as they are the basis to sustain our families. We hold responsible the municipal authorities of San Pablo Cuatro Venados, the municipal authorities of Cuilápam de Guerrero, the state government of Oaxaca, and the federal government, for any aggression against our communities. We appeal to our self-determination and our autonomy to govern ourselves and care for our ancestral lands.
We make a call out for solidarity from all of our neighbors, all of our sisters, brothers, and others, to remain attentive to the situation. Also because we will soon inaugurate our house of healing, which is part of the reconstruction of our community.
The mining concessions are:
Title 217598, issued in 2002, located in Cuatro Venados.
Title 227548, issued in 2006, located in Cuatro Venados.
Title 242664, issued in 2013, covering the municipalities of Cuatro Venados and San Miguel Peras.
Communities of El Rebollero, Los Arquitos, and Rio Minas