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Sep 6, 16

Statement in Defense of the Territory of the Sierra de Santa Marta, Veracruz



Translated and Submitted to It’s Going Down

On August 28th, 2016 we gathered in the Popoluca community of Amamaloya. We were 150 people, amongst them authorities and community members of the 33 communities inhabited by Popoluca, Nahuas and Mestizos that live together in the municipalities of Soteapan, Mecayapan, Tatahuicapan and Pajapan in the south of Veracruz. We gathered to celebrate the first meeting for the defense of the territory of Santa Marta. We were accompanied by inhabitants of the communities of the municipality of Cosoleacaque, of the neighboring cities of Minatitlán and Acayucan, as well as members of diverse organizations including el Proceso de Articulación de la Sierra de Santa Marta, el Centro de Derechos Humanos Bety Cariño, la resistencia civil contra las altas tarifas de luz, la pastoral social de la Iglesia Católica, Fomento Cultural y Educativo AC, el consejo comunitario nahua de Coacotla, el colectivo de música tradicional Son Altepee, el Movimiento Independiente de la Sierra de Soteapan, “Gente sustentable AC”, Jovenes en CEBs de Zatagoza y estudiantes de la UVI.

We also received a visit from the compañerxs of the autonomous Chol community of the Ejido Tila, Chiapas, of the autonomous Zapoteca community Álvaro Obregon, Oaxaca and of the northern Sierra Mountains of Puebla. We salute the compañerxs of the organization LAVIDA and of the movement of the river basin of Bobos in our state of Veracruz.

After carrying out an offering to mother earth and presenting the community participants, we began to share experiences that we are constructing in each community in defense of our territory. We watched the first presentation of the video “Sierra de Santa Marta, Manatial de Vida”, we listened to some rap songs called “fracking”, “Kebueno” and “Mokui” which means corn in mixe-popoluca. The compañerxs from Puebla, Oaxaca, and Chiapas shared their experiences and successful strategies in defense of their territory as well as their exercise of autonomous government and community security.

Afterwards, in a participatory manner with reflection groups, we came up with concrete strategies to defend ourselves against the businesses that intend (with the support of the bad government, political parties and their structural reforms) to plunder our territory with mines, fracking, wind farms and other projects. These projects will only pollute us, make us sick, and dispossess us of our waters of life. We arrived at the following agreements by consensus:

We declare that we will not allow the entrance of companies that want to dispossess us of our territories. As communities, women and men, we will continue organizing and preparing, without joining our struggles to any political party or governmental program. We will continue research and diffusing information about these corporate projects of death, with the support of the youth that have access to new technologies of communication. We will develop the procedures of our assembly and refresh our internal regulations to legally defend ourselves against the businesses and to strengthen ourselves internally. We will recuperate our forms of autonomous government without political parties as well as our forms of producing our own necessities and caring for our mother earth.

We denounce the agrarian department that works in favor of the businesses promoting the privatization of the land. We declare that we will not allow “unmasked domination” in our communities.

We will not allow the entrance of the businesses, we will defend our territories and we will reconstruct our autonomies and own forms of government and life!


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