Mexican Justice approves land grab in Chiapas
Injustice and impunity continues against the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajon, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), who have been fighting a legal battle over the last four years, after the Mexican government transferred the ownership of the ejido lands.
The Third Collegiate Tribunal in Tuxtla Gutierrez referred the case to the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), but the minister Beatriz Luna proposed to the court to return the case to the Tribunal. In recent days this body of justice denied the ejido’s amparo, and, although this was derived from the amparo, the Third Tribunal ordered all the government authorities of Chiapas not to continue the acts of dispossession; the decision to recuperate the land on 21st December last was due in part to the legal foundation that was given them in advance of the judgement on their rights.
Despite the strong repression and harassment, the ejidatarios maintain their position of continuing with their actions. On 9th January at least 900 members of the federal and state police evicted them from the lands which had been recovered since 21st December. On 19th March, ejidatarios adherents were victims of dispossession and the burning down of the offices where they shared information, taught workshops for the community and collected contributions from tourists entering the waterfalls of Agua Azul.
San Sebastián Bachajón is one of the largest ejidos in Mexico with 70,000 hectares, it is an area of high biodiversity and natural beauty, where political interests have looked for tourism investment. This land is rich in natural resources, green forest, wildlife and water. The waterfalls of Agua Azul are among the greatest attractions of Chiapas state; in certain seasons they acquire a turquoise hue that makes them even more attractive for foreign tourists.
In 2007, the ejidatarios became part of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, and made the decision to exercise their right to self-determination as a people. They then erected a tollbooth on their territory, so that tourists who wanted to visit the waterfalls of Agua Azul would pay a fee. With the money collected, they decided in assembly, they would support sick ejidatarios and the most needy families, explains the journalist Gloria Muñoz in her opinion column in the newspaper La Jornada.
In March 2011, Juan Sabines Guerrero, former governor of Chiapas, put on the table the representatives of the ejido Bachajón, those from the area of Agua Azul and his entire government Cabinet, and signed agreement no 274 whereby the two peoples supposedly pledged to donate the lands to the state to establish a single toll booth. This left the state as administrator of the road through the Ministry of Finance of Chiapas and the Commission of Natural Protected Areas of the federal government, when the surface area of Agua Azul was not even in this category.
After more than four years of tireless struggle to defend their territory, the San Sebastián Bachajon ejidatarios have resisted even though two of their main leaders were assassinated, many of its inhabitants have been imprisoned and tortured; and six of them are still deprived of their freedom.
THE DESPISED LOST THEIR BEST NARRATOR
By: Raúl Zibechi
Those who listen to the beat from below harbor their sorrows and share their laughs and weeping. Those who make an effort to understand them without interpreting them, by accepting them without judging them, can win a place in the hearts of those below. Eduardo Galeano toured the most diverse Latin American geographies on trains, on the back of a mule and on foot, traveling in the same ways as those below. He wasn’t seeking to imitate, but something better: feeling in his skin the feelings of others to make them come alive in his texts, to help them leave anonymity.
Eduardo was a simple man, committed to the common people, to the nobodies, to the oppressed. His was a commitment to the people of flesh and bone, to men and women living and suffering; much deeper than the adhesion to ideologies that always can be corrupted according to the interests of the moment. The pains of those below, he taught us, cannot be negotiated or represented, not even explained by the best writer. That’s equal to stopping their hopes.
Among his many teachings, it’s necessary to rescue his punctilious attachment to the truth. But he finds those truths far from the mundane noise of the media, in the hungry eyes of the Indian child, in the cut feet of the campesinos, in the candid smile of the sellers, there where the scorned tell their truths every day, without witnesses.
He never had the slightest hesitation in pointing towards those responsible for the poverty and hunger, like these chronicles about the crisis of Uruguayan industry, when at the age of 20 he was the editorial chief of the weekly Marcha, one of the first and best exponents of the critical and committed the press. In them he denounced the powerful with first names, last names and properties, without deviations. Because, as he liked to say: “the media prostitute the words.”
But it was his reports about the struggles and resistances of those below that left an early and indelible impression. Like the one he titled: “From rebellion henceforth,” in March 1964, relating the second “cañera” march (sugar cane workers’ march). His gaze stopped on the more than 90 boys that participated, on Doña Marculina Piñeiro, so old that they had forgotten their age and for whom he seemed to feel a special admiration. “They wanted to conquer us with hunger. But because of hunger what were we going to lose? We are accustomed,” the woman told him, a mother and granddaughter of cañeros.
His pen gave form to the everyday life of the disinherited, but it wasn’t made up of portraying their pain. He toiled at painting –with live colors– the dignity of their steps, their rage capable of overcoming the repression and torture. In first place would appear, always and in each one of his notes, the people that embodied sufferings and resistances. Perhaps because he was obsessed by the indifference of others, which he considered “a lifestyle” whose protective covering we should destroy, that’s why he wrote his articles.
Among the much homage that he received in life, he had the privilege of the teacher at the Little Zapatista School, José Luis Solís López, adopting Galeano as his pseudonym. It is very probable that the teacher was not referencing the writer. Anyhow, Eduardo and Zapatismo knew and recognized each other at once. As if they had been waiting all their lives. Neither a program nor a list of demands called him, but rather the ethics of being below and to the left.
Eduardo Galeano was in La Realidad in August 1996. He participated in one of the tables at the Intercontinental Meeting for Humanity and against Neoliberalism. He talked a little, was clear and said a lot. In those days, and in many more, he planted Galeanos, he infected Galeanos; Galeanos that now walk hoisting their dignity and their Galeano rage. The forever despised carry him in their hearts.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
|Route of EuroCaravana43|
A committee from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School is touring Europe between April 16 and May 19 to inform the European community about the continuation of the struggle of the fathers and mothers for the live presentation of the 43 missing students, despite the Mexican government insisting that student teachers were incinerated, without evidence to prove it, said the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center .
The brigade, consisting of a parent, a student and a human rights defender, will travel to thirteen countries in Europe for meetings with student communities, groups, social organizations and union members.
“With marches, rallies in front of Mexican Embassies and Consulates, lectures at universities and meetings with organized communities, the Ayotzinapa Brigade will share the meaning of seven months of struggle and organization against the forced disappearance of 43 students that occurred in Iguala, Guerrero, on September 26, 2014,” a statement of human rights centre announced.
“Among the objectives of the brigade to Europe is supporting the demands of parents and mothers for opening lines of investigation into the responsibility of the Mexican Army and the Federal Police in the forced disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School,” it explained.
Os invitamos a compartir con nosotrxs la experiencia de varias personas como brigadistas en comunidades zapatistas en resistencia. Cómo vivieron situaciones bien diferentes y sus impresiones allá y a la vuelta. Daremos el valor que tienen las brigabas de DDHH en Chiapas.
Las charradas serán los días:
Martes 28 de abril, a las 20h en Treziclo
Miércoles 29 de abril, a las 19h en la Universidad de Zaragoza
La entrada es libre hasta completar aforo
Vendredi 17 avril & Samedi 18 avril 2015
34 rue Daubenton, Paris 5e
Métro : Censier-Daubenton (L7)