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Dec 3, 17

Mexico: Indigenous Water Defenders Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison

Editor’s note: For background on the struggle in San Pedro Tlanixco, see this article.

To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Indigenous Governing Council and our Spokeswoman Marichuy
To the Indigenous Clandestine Revolutionary Committee–General Command of the EZLN
To the Network Against Repression and for Solidarity
To the National and International Sixth
To the Compañeras and Compañeros that Struggle in This World
To the Compañeros of the Free, Autonomous and Alternative Media

The Movement for the Freedom of the Defenders of Water and Life of San Pedro Tlanixco, Tenango del Valle, Mexico State, denounces the sentences given to our indigenous Nahua brothers and sister, Lorenzo Sánchez Berriozábal, Marco Antonio Pérez González and Dominga González Martinez.

As you remember, since 1989, San Pedro Tlanixco has been defending the water that is born from our forests.  We are defending this water against the capitalist hydra, taking shape here as national and transnational flower-growing corporations in Villa Guerrero that have been protected by the bad governments.  We have been defending our territory because they have imposed a private highway that goes from Tenando del Valle to Ixtapan de la Sal, causing our town to be split in half.

On April 1st, 2003, the president of the Texcaltenco river system and representative of flower-growing corporations of Villa Guerrero died due to a fall.  Since this day, our community has lived through constant attacks on the part of the bad governments and the paid media that have spread the false headline that we had lynched this man.  The truth is that he and his people were in our territory because they wanted to take our water.   It was there when, due to not knowing the trails, he fell and lost his life.

Now, 14 years later, it seems that the hatred from above, the contempt, the ambition to dispossess us of our territories, to take over our water and show that justice in this country is sold to the highest bidder, is evident.  They have issued an unjust sentence against our indigenous Nahua compañera and compañeros Dominga González Martínez, Lorenzo Sánchez Berriozábal and Marco Antonio Pérez González.  Their processes were full of irregularities, tricks and mistreatment lasting ten years.  Not happy with that, after the end of that process, we had to wait another year and a half to learn that “they are criminally responsible for the crime of homicide (committed with premeditation and intent) against Alejandro Isaac Basso…”.  It continues: “they are criminally responsible for the crime of the deprivation of freedom, committed against Nazario Baldemar García Sánchez, Felipe Rea Herrera, Gabriel Enríquez García, Adolfo Vázquez Carrasco, Mario Pérez Sánchez, Clemente Cotero Bernal, Raymundo Estrada Arias, Esteban Reyes Vázquez, Moisés Díaz, Solís, Salvatore Brianda Addis and Arsenio Fuentes Guadarrama”.  With this, the judge of the judicial district of Toluca, Maximiliano Vázquez Castañeda, issued a punishment of fifty years of prison and a fine of $40,300 pesos.  Furthermore, the punishment demands $63,729.00 pesos for the supposed reparation of pain and suffering.

We know that this punishment is not only against our compañera and compañeros, but it is a punishment and message for all of those who are committed to defending our territories and water. For those of below, from those that believe they have the power of justice, we only receive contempt and humiliation, absurd and fabricated crimes at the convenience of the public prosecutor and powerful families that seek revenge and never justice.

Today we want to make a call and scream of solidarity to demand the freedom of our indigenous Nahua compañera and our five compañeros.  We do not forget our compañeros Rómulo Arias Mireles (sentenced to 54 years in prison), Pedro Sánchez Berriozábal (sentenced to 52 years in prison) and Teófilo Pérez González (sentenced to 50 years in prison) to whom they carried out the same tricks, whom they treated with the same contempt since their detention.  In the same way, we demand the cancellation of the arrest orders against our two brothers that for 14 years have been unable to come to their community, their territory, their family.

As a movement, Councilors of the Indigenous Governing Council and part of the National Indigenous Congress and Network Against Repression and for Solidarity, we reaffirm: We will not sell ourselves, we will not give up and we will not rest until we see our sister and brothers free and continuing the struggle in defense of our territory and water.

Freedom for Political Prisoners!
For the Full Reconstitution of our Peoples!
Never Again a Mexico Without Us!

Movement for the Freedom of the Defenders of Water and Life of San Pedro Tlanixco
Nahua councilors from central State of Mexico

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