Chiapas: Freedom and Justice for Zapatista Communities


Call for Solidarity: The Zapatista community of San Marcos Avilés, composed of Tzeltal indigenous people, calls for international solidarity in their struggle for autonomy and natural resource protection from oppressive and violent forces of Mexico’s entrenched neoliberal economy.

Message from the Zapatistas of San Marcos  Avilés – In Tzeltal with English and Spanish subtitles, by The Other Campaign (La Otra Campaña) from their base of support in New York.

The Other Campaign: Indigenous Rights, Freedom from Oppression

Chiapas indigenous resistenceThe Zapatista ejido and community of San Marcos Avilés, composed of Tzeltal indigenous people, has been terrorized repeatedly since 2010. At that time, the community constructed the autonomous school, “Emiliano Zapata,”–part of the Zapatista Rebel Education System—constituting a major step forward in the community’s advance towards autonomy. Since then, this community has suffered various forms of extreme violence, including death threats, harassment, plunder, sexual aggression (including attempted rapes), forced displacement, and others, at the hands of members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the Green Ecological Party (PVEM) of Mexico, and their armed attack groups. The National Action Party (PAN), that of the outgoing President Felipe Calderon, is also guilty of collusion with the other groups, ensuring impunity to the oppressors.

Similarly, compañero Francisco Sántiz López, also an indigenous Tzeltal-speaker and Zapatista from Chiapas, has remained imprisoned since December 4, 2011, for false crimes he never committed. His only “crime” constitutes membership in the Zapatista support base. Today he remains a hostage of the rogue government of Mexico in its war against all Zapatistas.

The objectives of this war have been and remain to continue the colonial project and destroy at any cost indigenous autonomy and resistance, and take over their ancestral lands, and in this way, exploit for the exclusive benefit of those from above the natural resources with which our Mother Earth provides us.

Repression, violence, and death are meted out by the rogue government of Mexico to those who resist this, who defend their lands, their identities, their cultures, and autonomy – their very existence.

It is clear that the violence exercised against both San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López stems from that same source.

Recently, community members of San Marcos Avilés have reported that the threats against them have spiked at an alarming rate during the past few days.

In light of these acts of violence and aggression, we would like to propose solidarity with the struggle, as part of the “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas: Freedom and Justice for San Marcos Avilés and Sántiz López.”

Please contact The Other Campaign at their base of support in New York:

For more information:

The Other Campaign of Mexico: Zapatista Army of National Liberation

screenshot from videoWhile the #YoSoy132 Movement advocates for democratization of Mexico’s political institutions and media, as well as decrying the illegitimacy of the recent election of PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto as president, another campaign continues in the highlands of Chiapas along the southern border with Guatemala. Initiated by Subcomandante Marcos prior to the 2006 election as a way to concentrate solidarity between marginalized populations, labor organizers, human rights and environmental groups, indigenous leaders, intellectuals, and students.

Conceived to fight against neoliberalism and capitalism, the Zapatistas hope to eliminate these practices in the Mexican federal government in order to protect the livelihoods of those citizens who are exploited economically by these institutions. Based on the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, the Other Campaign’s ultimate goal was to force the Mexican government to agree to a convention which would rewrite the national constitution to include protection of indigenous rights and autonomy and exclude elements of neoliberal capitalism.

H-T Intercontinental Cry

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