The Chiapas-based, libertarian socialist-inspired movement is marching against poverty, drug wars which have ravaged the nation, and the failure to act of “left-wing” president Obrador.
The Zapatistas, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of its original uprising last year, expanded recently with the declaration of seven new caracoles (organising regions) and four new autonomous municipalities in late 2019. These zones of control reject entry by Mexican armed forces and operate independently of state interference.
In a statement, the CIPOZ-EZ, FNLP, OCSS and four other regional groups said:
To the Women that Struggle for Life
To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
To the Zapatista Communities
To the National Indigenous Congress—Indigenous Governing Council
To the Networks of Support
To the National and International Sixth
To the Honest Journalists
To the Free and Autonomous Media
We are men, women, boys, girls, grandfathers and grandmothers of the Indigenous Communities: Ñu Savi, Me’Phaa, Nahua, Ñamnkué, mestizo and Afro-Mexican of the state of Guerrero. We are organized in the Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero—Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ), and we are part of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Governing Council (CNI-CIG). Our brothers and sisters from the National Front for the Liberation of the People (FNLP) and the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS) are accompanying us.
Today we begin this national caravan for a dignified life for Indigenous people. Stop the narco-paramilitary war against the Indigenous people of Mexico! We are here at one of the toll booths near the port of Acapulco. A tourist zone where historically a few businessmen and politicians have enriched themselves at the cost of the hunger of thousands of men and women who continue poor and abandoned. We come here so that the tourists, media, and the people of Mexico can see us. While we are dying of malnutrition in our communities, no one pays attention, nobody cares to see us, because we don’t matter.
We want to make clear to the media once again that we did not come here to represent any political party. We are not conservatives nor neoliberals. We have very little to eat. What’s more, many of us here voted because we believed in change, but it’s been two years of this government, and our people have not seen any transformation, or anything at all.
Our situation is the same as always with poverty that is slowly killing us because of malnutrition. There are hundreds of boys and girls that only eat beans, tortillas and chile every day of their lives. There aren’t any vegetables. There isn’t any fruit. Here, we only know from books what a balanced diet is. Little by little we see our children get rashes and other sicknesses. Many of them die because when they get one of those diseases which supposedly have a cure, they can’t survive. Others can’t learn, nor concentrate in school, because of hunger. Can you imagine the pain of seeing your children die of poverty and malnutrition? And we ask, how much does the government spend a day on food for its officials?
In our villages, doctors arrive every month, but only one or two general practitioners arrive at the most. These doctors must attend to hundreds of malnourished people, or those with chronic illnesses. We know that it is not the doctor’s fault. We know that they have very few resources. But when we pass in front of the military barracks, there you see that the government has enough resources to move quickly, and it is well-equipped with a lot of technology. Worst of all is that they are not even stopping crime. Rather, crime is increasing every day more and more. They fuck us over. They force us to work to commit their crimes, they threaten us, they subjugate us.
And when we decide to get rid of the criminals and confront them, because the government doesn’t do its job, then they again turn against us. That is what happened with the murders of 18 of our councilors, delegates, organizers, compañeros and compañeras, members of CIPOG-EZ and CNI-CIG. A year and four months after the assassinations began, and they continue in complete impunity. And it is not that they don’t know who killed our compas, but that the federal government maintains a pact of impunity with narco-paramilitary groups in the state of Guerrero.
To demonstrate what we are saying is true, and that it happened beneath the command of the current federal government, we present a document as an annex to this press release, dated August 19, 2019, with the title: REQUEST FOR INFORMATION MC-691-19 POPULAR INDIGENOUS COUNCIL OF GUERRERO-EMILIANO ZAPATA (CIPOG-EZ) AND ITS COMMUNITIES. OBSERVATIONS OF THE MEXICAN STATE REGARDING THE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION MADE ON JULY 26, 2019
In this document, the Mexican state solicits the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to dismiss the request for precautionary measures presented by CIPOG-EZ. It takes the time to reiterate in paragraph II, section 9, “In a parallel manner, it is reported that the Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ) is an organization that doesn’t have official recognition from the government of the state of Guerrero.”
Furthermore, in paragraph III, clause 14, it says: “The Mexican state denies the existence of narco-paramilitary groups as well as the fact that these supposed groups of armed civilians maintain a struggle for control of the area. However, the state of Guerrero, through the Secretary of Public Security, in coordination with federal authorities, has implemented operations to provide security to the inhabitants and, in this way, inhibit crime.”
For all the above reasons, we conclude that the war of extermination against Indigenous people has not ended, and that the current federal government led by Mr. morning press conference, is continuing this war of extermination. We do not see another explanation for so much abandonment, and so much obstinacy in favor of megaprojects. We see that this government prioritizes the continuity of the so-called Plan Puebla-Panama of the 90’s. We know that since those years, we have been in the way of its implementation, and today they are using narco-paramilitaries to displace and terrorize us, giving free passage to its realization.
- Consejo Indígena Popular de Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ)
- Regions: Costa Chica, Costa Montaña, Montaña Alta, and Montaña Baja of Guerrero
- Frente Nacional por la Liberación de los Pueblos (FNLP)
- Organización Campesinos de la Sierra del Sur (O.C.S.S.)
Stop the narco-paramilitary war against the Zapatista communities of the EZLN!
Stop the narco-paramilitary war against the Indigenous communities of the CNI-CIG!
Justice for all our prisoners, as well as those murdered and disappeared of the CNI!
Never more a Mexico without us!