The Indigenous communities of the Emiliano Zapata Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero have been under attack from paramilitary forces and need your solidarity.
A message from the CNI, CIG and EZLN
We write to inform you that Mexico’s National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG), and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) have put out a joint urgent call for actions to take place July 12-14. These actions will serve as a strong show of solidarity with the indigenous communities of the Emiliano Zapata Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero (CIPOG-EZ) who have been attacked and surrounded by narco-paramilitary groups in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Four CIPOG-EZ members — Bartolo Hilario Morales, Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote, Lucio Bartolo Faustino, and Modesto Verales Sebastián — have been killed since May of this year.
The urgent call by the CNI-CIG-EZLN also requests both supplies (from people in Mexico) and funds (from those in Mexico or around the world) that will be delivered directly to these communities via a caravan on the same dates as the days of action. We encourage everyone to join these actions and fundraising efforts however you can in your city or neighborhood and to inform others about the ongoing militarization of and unjust attacks on the indigenous communities of the CNI-CIG-EZLN across Mexico. (Read more about this situation in detail in the summary and articles linked below.) We cannot allow these attacks to continue!
Where can I report back on actions organized in my city?
National Indigenous Congress: email@example.com
Where can I send funds?
Account name: Alicia Castellano Guerrero,
BBVA Bancomer Bank, account number: 0471079107,
Standardized Bank Code (clabe bancaria): 012540004710791072,
Swift Code: BCMRMXMM,
Routing number (ABA): 021000128.
The CNI and EZLN also request that you send a copy of the deposit slip with your name, telephone number, and address to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org; with a note that you would like your donation to be directed to the communities that belong to the Emiliano Zapata Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero (CIPOG-EZ).
Important Summary Background
Thanks to an unprecedented corporate and media blitz designed to give Mexico’s neoliberal project a much needed facelift, and despite the fact that none of the neoliberal “structural reforms” imposed by previous administrations have been reversed and that the new presidential administration of Andrés Manual López Obrador (AMLO) has promised “to make Mexico a paradise for investment”, many in Mexico and around the world today live under the illusion that AMLO’s government constitutes a progressive brake on the forces of international capital.
On the contrary, since the arrival of this new administration, indigenous peoples of Mexico have been forced to deal with a very different and immediate reality, one that the rest of Mexico will without a doubt also suffer but which today many still close their eyes to.
First, the privatization of collective lands has continued unabated since the late 1980s and has found new energy in legislative initiatives from MORENA (AMLO’s party) to extend the privatization of ejidal lands to “bienes comunales” lands upon which the majority of Mexico’s indigenous peoples still live. Alongside this catastrophic initiative, and in the name of “development,” the López Obrador administration has been ruthlessly promoting a panoply of capitalist megaprojects across southern Mexico that by definition imply the loss of community control over land as well as the displacement of masses of indigenous peoples.
Even more concerning has been the militarization of indigenous communities that has accompanied the installation of the López Obrador government. Already human right centers and the Zapatista communities themselves report greater military presence and harassment inside Zapatista territory at levels not seen since the mid 1990s.
In addition, the López Obrador administration has pushed through constitutional reforms allowing for the creation of a “National Guard” which effectively legalizes the presence of the army in the streets of Mexico. Despite the fact that the government itself admits that Zapatista territory has some of the lowest rates of crime in all of Mexico, and that previous forms of autonomous collective governance in the indigenous communities of Guerrero had reduced crime to virtually zero, AMLO’s plans place the National Guard presence heavily and disproportionately within these very communities.
This can only lead us to conclude that far from an initiative against violent crime, this “National Guard” will serve as a counter-insurgency measure to forcefully guarantee there can be no possibility for opposition to the displacement and marginalization brought by the megaprojects mentioned above.
Despite this, and as has been the case for the last four decades, these much-touted megaprojects have come up against the fiercely organized resistance of indigenous peoples across Mexico. More specifically, the National Indigenous Congress, the Indigenous Governing Council, and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (CNI-CIG-EZLN) have raised their voice at the community and national level against what they see as the destruction of the capacity to reproduce their very existence as a people.
Since 1996, 116 members of the National Indigenous Congress have been murdered with another 11 disappeared. It is no coincidence then that the “second wind” the AMLO administration has given the neoliberal project has been accompanied by the murder of 10 additional members of the CNI just since January 2019 (including the four members of the CIPOG-EZ in Guerrero for which this urgent call has gone out), the deadliest start to a presidential administration since the CNI was founded in 1996.
If we do not stand up now and build an international campaign to oppose the deadly dispossession and repression of the CIPOG-EZ and the indigenous communities of Mexico as a whole, this situation will undoubtedly worsen and the consequences will be devastating for them as well as for all of us who have depended so much on the inspiration that the CNI-CIG-EZLN has provided the world.
Let’s show the Mexican government and the forces of capital behind these destructive projects that we will not sit in front of our screens and watch war be waged on our brothers and sisters in struggle. Together we can continue to create and protect that other world that the Zapatistas and other organized indigenous communities have been building and sharing with us.
For more information regarding each of these situations (land dispossession, megaprojects, militarization, and political assassinations), please see the translated articles below:
Informative Articles and Communiques
- Communique from the Zapatistas and the CNI convoking solidarity actions and aid for the Guerrero communities under siege (in English) (Original Spanish)
- Documentation from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center on the increase in military incursions and surveillance of Zapatista territories since AMLO took office (in English) (Original Spanish)
- Article on AMLO’s constitutional reforms to legalize the presence of the army throughout Mexico and the subsequent plans for the rollout of the “National Guard” in Zapatista territory and other organized indigenous territories (in English) (Original Spanish)
- “Why Today’s Indigenous Struggle May be the Last,” an interview with CNI representative Carlos Gonzalez Garcia (in English) (Original Spanish)
- “AMLO in office: from megaprojects to militarization” by Caitlin Manning (ROAR Magazine)
- “Zapatistas take on President AMLO at 25th anniversary” by Jérome Baschet (ROAR Magazine)
More solidarity actions around the world
- Information on the ongoing “Jornadas por la vida” campaign convoking and documenting solidarity actions all over the world for CNI-CIG-EZLN and the communities of Guerrero (in Spanish)
- June 2019 Letter Against Militarization and in Solidarity with the EZLN and Mexico’s Indigenous Peoples
This post was originally published at solidarityfrombelow.org
Source URL — https://roarmag.org/2019/07/03/call-for-solidarity-with-the-indigenous-council-of-guerrero/