Filed under: Community Organizing, Indigenous, Land, Mexico
The Indigenous Tepehuano and Wixaritari community of San Lorenzo Azqueltán, Jalisco, Mexico, launches the National and International Campaign for Justice and Territory in Azqueltán
Brothers and sisters of the world.
From this sacred fire we speak to our deities who tell us we should continue the struggle, which through sacrifice we have maintained for hundreds and thousands of years, to pay our mother earth, who like us is alive. From this sacred fire we direct ourselves to the world to say the following:
We make a humble call to all of the Tepehuana and Wixaritari families, to continue forward in the efforts of our ancestors to heal our land. This is the land that our grandparents defended. We must be united and together to take the necessary steps that our gods have entrusted in us.
We must fast and walk the sacred hills. These hills are the corners that limit our viceregal title, where we bless the ancient sites with the blood of a bull, a turkey, a chicken, a sheep, and a deer. We make pilgrimages to the sacred sites with the help of our elders, to bring blessed water. We dance the dances of our Tepehuano and Wixaritari ancestors. Today, together, we are the autonomous community of San Lorenzo Azqueltán.
We turn to the powers of the earth, which are great in the face of the corrupt powers of those who govern, and of the rich who seek to take our lands. The powers of the earth are greater than those who pretend not to see or hear us, even while we stand in front of them trying to make them listen to the pain of our people.
The judges imprison our community members for raising their voices against caciques. They shamelessly release the caciques when they attempt to assassinate us, seeking to violently take our land which is the livelihood of hundreds of families. They pretend that we do not exist and they laugh at our suffering.
There is no difference between the different political parties that today come to shamelessly ask for our vote. It is not about colors or parties, but about converting mother earth into a commodity in benefit of those who have money. What they do not know is that this money is worth nothing to our ancestors, and that what they are doing is called robbery.
That is why today, in order to see if they see us, we cover our faces. Face to face they don’t want to see us. It is not convenient for them because we defend life, which is priceless. We call on the Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to be attentive to our word, to the actions of the judges and magistrates, of the landowners and capitalists.
Now that the powerful have begun with their vulgar political campaigns, we decided to carry out our own campaign, inviting the world to accompany us in the National and International Campaign for Justice and Territory in Azqueltán. We will carry out this campaign starting today, and lasting until August 24th of 2021. We will be announcing updates on our website https://www.comunidadazqueltan.org/ where we will be calling for different actions to achieve what mother earth and our Patron Saint San Lorenzo has asked of us, which we summarize in the following points:
- We demand punishment for those responsible for the aggressions and dispossessions that have been carried out against our Tepehuano and Wixaritari community.
- We demand full respect for our community government, both traditional as well as agrarian. Furthermore, we demand that the governments guarantee the protection of our communal lands and security for our authorities and community members of Azqueltán.
- We demand full respect and legal recognition for our communal territory.
Lastly, we say to the world, that with the blessing of our gods, we are ready to continue forward, not taking one step back in the recuperation of our invaded lands and the struggle for legal agrarian recognition.
From the bottom of the Bolaños Canyon.
April 25th, 2021
Long live Mother Earth
Autonomous community of San Lorenzo de Azqueltán, Municipality of Villa Guerrero, Jalisco