Filed under: Communique, Environment, Indigenous, Southern Mexico
Statement from the Oaxacan Assembly in Defense of Land and Territory to mark 528 years of Indigenous resistance to colonization in the so-called Americas
We are Indigenous peoples, communities, organizations and collectives of Oaxaca. We are a range of mountains that looks to the sky and the sea. We are those who were born here, who know where the wind ends. We are those who construct the word in harmony with life and the living, those who refuse to continue suffering the long night of the 528 years that the Mexican state insists on continuing.
To Those Who Want and Know How to Listen
To the Organizations, Unions, Collectives and Communities of Oaxaca
To the Peoples of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Governing Council
To all the Defenders of Land and Territory of Abya Yala
To the Mothers Who Search for Their Daughters and Sons
Oaxaca, City of Rebellion
Monday, October 12th, 2020
We Celebrate Our Dignified Rebellion
Constructing Comunalidad and Autonomy
We, the Indigenous peoples and communities, the true inhabitants of the lands and territories that today we labor on, care for and defend, since the day we were born. We denounce that the federal and state governments continue representing the same moneyed interests that govern and suppress the will of the world. These moneyed interests continue systematically violating our right to self-determination and autonomy. They continue violating our hopes and dreams, as well as our respectful manner of relating with the earth and territory. Through blood and fire, and with protection of the law, they impose extractivist projects that generate division in the communities, bringing confrontation and death.
Our history as peoples and communities was born in these dignified lands. It is a path of constant rebellion, demanding the construction of an entirely different world. It is permanent because the state does not represent the interests of Indigenous peoples. The state covers for the interests of large capital, its dreams and masters. Thus, today, in spite of the Mexican state, we construct our own autonomy and exercise our self-determination. For that we say, enough already!
We do not want simulation, nor the improper and disrespectful use by the state of our practices, spiritualities and languages. This only generates confusion, confrontation and discrimination, romanticizing our forms of life as Indigenous peoples.
The grand historical debt with our peoples isn’t resolved with a simple, “sorry.” In the face of the crimes of the past, is there justice? There isn’t. But we are women and men of corn, true and honest. We are not inclined to revenge, despite having so much against us. In the face of the crimes of the present, does there exist forgiveness? The Mexican state evades this responsibility, its responsibility.
We Indigenous peoples have forms of co-existence that respect our collective right as people, that effectively guarantee our right to self-determination, autonomy and territory. They guarantee our own form of conceiving development, and the application of our community-based practices grounded in comunalidad and our love of land.
The Mexican state must honestly reconsider a new relation with Indigenous communities and peoples. An act of forgiveness is not enough. This reconsideration should start by eliminating different laws that protect and legalize the dispossession of our territories, such as the energy, mining and water laws.
To our brothers and sisters, we express the importance of continuing to weave and articulate resistance, strengthening our communitarian practices and our own modes of education, which are born from the necessities of our communities. We must continue in the defense of what historically corresponds to our people.
We express our solidarity with the different struggles maintained by the communities and peoples in defense of their territory, autonomy and community life. From here:
WE DEMAND the cancellation of the megaprojects of death that affect our lives.
To our brothers and sisters that struggle against the imposition of the Interoceanic Corridor and the Mayan Train. To the Chimalapas and the Central Valleys of Oaxaca who are in permanent struggle against the mining companies of death. We say that we are together in this struggle because we are clear, we defend the right to life.
As long as the laws don’t respect our people, there will be no peace for the government.
Oaxacan Assembly in Defense of Land and Territory
Statement of Indigenous Peoples, Communities, Organizations and Collectives of Oaxaca