Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Tlahtol Macehualli: Ayotzinapa - 62 Meses de Crimen de Estado(s)


Ahora Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador salió con que la desaparición de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotinapa “no es crimen de estado.”

Porque ahora es el comandante en jefe, quiere revertirlo a un simple crimen individual. Aun si participaron todas las dependencias del gobierno anterior, ahora solamente se procesara, si se encuentran, como simple violadores de la ley individuales. Y esta ofreciendo garantías a aquellos que denuncien si saben quien participo.

Nos tenemos que preguntar, ¿Que sombras se mueven detrás de los matorrales? ¿Deslindar al estado de cualquier responsabilidad a quien benefician en realidad?

Para eso tenemos que ver que uno de los principales involucrados fue el ejercito mexicano. AMLO depende totalmente del ejercito para poder sobre vivir y no sufrir la suerte de Evo Morales. El ejercito no le conviene que sus altos mandos sean inmiscuidos en participar directamente bajo las ordenes del narco o en conspiración con los capos de la droga.

Otro participante de acuerdo a las investigaciones de Anabel Hernandez es el crimen organizado que se ha penetrado hasta la medula de la política, como lo vimos en el caso del juicio del Chapo Guzman que sobornaba hasta el presidente.

Los estudiantes en su inocencia tomaron camiones para ir al 2 de octubre en Mexico para conmemorar los caídos del 2 de octubre sin saber que ellos mismos caerían al tomar autobuses cargados de drogas para Chicago y puntos de estados unidos. Es imposible pensar que en un operativo tan complejo no salgan testigos a decir donde están los jóvenes. Solo que haya protección oficial del gobierno o aun peor amenazas.

Antonio Tizapa, padre de uno de los 43, nos dijo en nuestro programa de radio que cuando AMLO andaba en campaña AMLO se molesto porque le pregunto que si donde estaban los jóvenes, y  AMLO le contesto después de acusarlo de agitador que le preguntara al ejercito.

Ahora que es presidente Lopez Obrador, es el comandante en jefe del ejercito, y ¿ahora no le puede decir al ejercito que contesten?

Ahora si alguien es encontrado culpable con el grado de soldado raso, sargento, capitán, coronel o general no sera el ejercito mexicano el culpable sera un pobre diablo que sera el chivo expiatorio de un narco gobierno disfrazado de democracia, con el mismo cuerpo militar, policiaco y corrupto pero con la cara de San Andrés que le lava todos sus pecados anteriores puesto que ya no es la misma cara pero sigue siendo la misma burra nomas que revolcada.

La desaparición de los estudiantes de Ayotzinapa sigue siendo crimen de estado, puesto que fue el estado que lo perpetro.

El viraje por parte de Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador apunta con el dedo hacia donde va la investigación. Y la investigación no va a las administraciones del estado pasadas. La investigación apunta hacia individuos en calidad de criminales individuales.

En verdad son criminales asociados con el estado mexicano. Lopez Obrador por protección a su persona, o protección a su administración, quiere aislar las instituciones corruptas bajo su mando. Están instituciones son desde el ejercito, la policía federal, la policía municipal y reflejan el crimen que AMLO quiere ahora santificar como el elegido para salvar a Mexico con una varita mágica.


Salvador Reza
 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

TONATIERRA: Ayotzinapa 62 Meses - 26 de noviembre, 2019

Community Development Institute
PO Box 24009
Phoenix, AZ 85074
www.tonatierra.org
tonal@tonatierra.org

26 noviembre, 2019

Cónsul General de México en Phoenix,
Sr. Jorge Mendoza Yescas
302 N. McDowell
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Estimado señor cónsul:

Hoy se cumplen 62 meses desde la desaparición forzada de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa, normalistas de la Escuela Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos, en la noche del 26 de septiembre de 2014 en Iguala, Guerrero, México.

Es indefendible e inaceptable que después de más de cinco años, el gobierno de México aún no haya proporcionado a los padres y la comunidad de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa la información contenida en las entrañas de la burocracia del estado y los registros militares de los datos e informes reales sobre paradero de Ayotzinapa 43. Observamos con gran preocupación e indignación que, según informan en La Jornada, los familiares de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa han marchado una vez más para exigir justicia y rendición de cuentas, declarando hoy en la Ciudad de México que:

"Muchas personas creen que el caso de Ayotzinapa se ha resuelto, pero estamos aquí para decir que no hemos abandonado nuestra búsqueda, estamos aquí todavía porque no ha habido avances definitivos en la investigación oficial del caso".

Sr. Cónsul, hace dos meses, el 26 de septiembre de 2019, la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio a través de nuestra Secretaría de TONATIERRA se reunió personalmente con usted en sus oficinas en Phoenix, Arizona.  Posteriormente, la carta de registro adjunta que conmemora los problemas discutidos se presentó al gobierno mexicano por correo electrónico y entrega directa a su oficina.  También presentamos el registro de nuestra reunión con la Relatora Especial de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas. 

No hemos recibido ninguna respuesta hasta la fecha a las preguntas formuladas en nuestro comunicado.

Tupac Enrique Acosta

TONATIERRA

chantlaca@tonatierra.org

****************

TONATIERRA

Community Development Institute

PO Box 24009
Phoenix, AZ 85074
www.tonatierra.org
tonal@tonatierra.org

November 26, 2019

Cónsul General de México en Phoenix,
Sr. Jorge Mendoza Yescas
302 N. McDowell
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Dear Sir Consul,

Today marks 62 months since the forced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students of the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural School on the evening of September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico.

It is indefensible and unacceptable that after more than five years the government of Mexico has yet to provide to the parents and community of the 43 Ayotzinapa students the information held within the bowels of bureaucracy of the state and military records the actual data and reports regarding the whereabouts of the Ayotzinapa 43.  We note with great concern and outrage that according to reporting in La Jornada, the relatives of the 43 Ayotzinapa students have once again marched to demand justice and accountability, pronouncing in Mexico City that:

Many people believe that the case of Ayotzinapa has been resolved, but we are here to say that we have not abandoned our searching, we are here still because there have not been definitive advances in the official investigation of the case.”


Sr. Consul, two months ago on September 26, 2019 the Human Rights Commission of Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio via our Secretariat of TONATIERRA took a meeting in person with you in your offices in Phoenix, Arizona. Subsequently the attached letter of record memorializing the issues discussed was presented to the Mexican government via email and direct delivery to your office.  We also submitted the record of our meeting with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We have received no response to date to the inquiries advanced in our communique.

Tupac Enrique Acosta
TONATIERRA

***************** 


Clarificaciones: 


En consideración de lo anterior, y reevaluando la personalidad internacional colectivo de los Pueblos Originales y Constituyentes Mexicanos al norte de la frontera actual entre México y EE.UU., quienes desde 1848 hemos tenido que enfrentar el racismo institucional de la sociedad Anglo-Americana y sus políticas de persecución racial como la AZ SB1070 en Arizona, exigimos el reconocimiento oficial del gobierno Mexicano de nuestros Pueblos Originales en los Territorios del Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo en cumplimento de su deber como gobierno de mantener la Paz entre Pueblos con los criterios siguientes:Iniciando con la repuesta definitiva del gobierno de México a esta pregunta:


¿Con cual justificación el gobierno mexicano de 1848 presumió negociar por los derechos territoriales y derechos humanos de los Pueblos Indígenas del territorio que nunca dieron su consentimiento a tal acuerdo de representación en las negociaciones del Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)?


 

Monday, November 25, 2019

TONATIERRA: Ayotzinapa 61 Meses - October 26, 2019

Community Development Institute
PO Box 24009
Phoenix, AZ 85074
www.tonatierra.org
tonal@tonatierra.org


26 Octubre, 2019

Cónsul General de México en Phoenix,
Sr. Jorge Mendoza Yescas
302 N. McDowell
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Estimado señor cónsul:

Hoy se cumplen 61 meses desde la desaparición forzada de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa, normalistas de la Escuela Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos, en la noche del 26 de septiembre de 2014 en Iguala, Guerrero, México.

Es indefendible e inaceptable que después de más de cinco años, el gobierno de México aún no haya proporcionado a los padres y la comunidad de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa la información contenida en las entrañas de la burocracia del estado y los registros militares de los datos e informes reales sobre paradero de Ayotzinapa 43. Observamos con gran preocupación e indignación que, según informan en La Jornada, los familiares de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa han marchado una vez más para exigir justicia y rendición de cuentas, declarando hoy en la Ciudad de México que:

"Muchas personas creen que el caso de Ayotzinapa se ha resuelto, pero estamos aquí para decir que no hemos abandonado nuestra búsqueda, estamos aquí todavía porque no ha habido avances definitivos en la investigación oficial del caso".

Sr. Cónsul, hace un mes, el 26 de septiembre de 2019, la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio a través de nuestra Secretaría de TONATIERRA se reunió personalmente con usted en sus oficinas en Phoenix, Arizona.  Posteriormente, la carta de registro adjunta que conmemora los problemas discutidos se presentó al gobierno mexicano por correo electrónico y entrega directa a su oficina.  También presentamos el registro de nuestra reunión con la Relatora Especial de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas. 

No hemos recibido ninguna respuesta hasta la fecha a las preguntas formuladas en nuestro comunicado.

Tupac Enrique Acosta

TONATIERRA

chantlaca@tonatierra.org

****************

TONATIERRA

Community Development Institute

PO Box 24009
Phoenix, AZ 85074
www.tonatierra.org
tonal@tonatierra.org

October 26, 2019

Cónsul General de México en Phoenix,
Sr. Jorge Mendoza Yescas
302 N. McDowell
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Dear Sir Consul,

Today marks 61 months since the forced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students of the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural School on the evening of September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico.

It is indefensible and unacceptable that after more than five years the government of Mexico has yet to provide to the parents and community of the 43 Ayotzinapa students the information held within the bowels of bureaucracy of the state and military records the actual data and reports regarding the whereabouts of the Ayotzinapa 43.  We note with great concern and outrage that according to reporting in La Jornada, the relatives of the 43 Ayotzinapa students have once again marched to demand justice and accountability, pronouncing in Mexico City that:

Many people believe that the case of Ayotzinapa has been resolved, but we are here to say that we have not abandoned our searching, we are here still because there have not been definitive advances in the official investigation of the case.”


Sr. Consul, one month ago on September 26, 2019 the Human Rights Commission of Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio via our Secretariat of TONATIERRA took a meeting in person with you in your offices in Phoenix, Arizona. Subsequently the attached letter of record memorializing the issues discussed was presented to the Mexican government via email and direct delivery to your office.  We also submitted the record of our meeting with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We have received no response to date to the inquiries advanced in our communique.

Tupac Enrique Acosta
TONATIERRA

*****************

26 de septiembre de 2019

 

Clarificaciones: 


En consideración de lo anterior, y reevaluando la personalidad internacional colectivo de los Pueblos Originales y Constituyentes Mexicanos al norte de la frontera actual entre México y EE.UU., quienes desde 1848 hemos tenido que enfrentar el racismo institucional de la sociedad Anglo-Americana y sus políticas de persecución racial como la AZ SB1070 en Arizona, exigimos el reconocimiento oficial del gobierno Mexicano de nuestros Pueblos Originales en los Territorios del Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo en cumplimento de su deber como gobierno de mantener la Paz entre Pueblos con los criterios siguientes:Iniciando con la repuesta definitiva del gobierno de México a esta pregunta:


¿Con cual justificación el gobierno mexicano de 1848 presumió negociar por los derechos territoriales y derechos humanos de los Pueblos Indígenas del territorio que nunca dieron su consentimiento a tal acuerdo de representación en las negociaciones del Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)?


 


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Plan Merida: AMLO y la Tranza de Trump


Comites de Defensa del barrio Press Release
Contact:          Salvador Reza 602 446-9928
Date:               Noviembre 5, 2019
Phoenix Aztlan, (Donde vive el espíritu de la verdad)
“….monstruos, los Estados Unidos está listo, dispuesto y capaz de involucrarse para hacer el trabajo rápido y efectivo. El gran nuevo Presidente de México ha hecho de esto un gran tema, pero los carteles se han convertido tan grandes y poderosos que a veces necesitas un ejército para derrotar un ejército!”  Tweet de Donald Trump 6:25 am – Noviembre 5, 2019 
Este es parte de unas series de tweets de Donald Trump después de la emboscada en Chihuahua, donde varios miembros de una familia mormona fueron acribillados cerca de Nuevo Casas Grandes. Es el preludio a una intervención directa de estados unidos en México. Esto no se veía desde la invasión del General Pershing buscando a Pancho Villa en la expedición punitiva fallida donde el General Pershing fue humillado, antes de recuperar su nombre como el General al mando de las tropas aliadas en la primera guerra mundial.
Ya Andrés Manuel López Obrador dio su brazo a torcer dedicando 25 mil soldados a frenar el éxodo de desamparados de Honduras, Guatemala, y El Salvador a cambio de que no le impusiera aranceles a los productos mexicanos. Es cuestión de tiempo para que lo vuelvan amenazar y entonces si permitir la ocupación militar de estados unidos en México. Eso sería la vergüenza más grande que México ha tenido desde la entrega del suroeste, desde California hasta Texas, desde Nuevo México hasta Utah.
Y es que la guerra contra las drogas es un negocio redondo para estados unidos. No solo se beneficia dictando la política interna de todo el continente desde Colombia hasta la Patagonia, desde la frontera mexicana hasta Panamá, sino que el comercio de las armas le trae tremendas ganancias. Le venden a los malos y les venden a los buenos. Arman los ejércitos y arman el narcotráfico. Eso se vio claramente en la operación Rápido y Furioso donde del mercado de armas de Arizona se enviaban rifles a los carteles que terminaron con la vida de un agente de ICE en México. Y es que no solo la DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) está en México sino asesores de la FBI, La CIA, y el ejército mexicano.
La estrategia mexicana en contra del narcotráfico es financiada en parte por el Plan Mérida donde millonadas de dólares entran en equipo, entrenamiento, y control de la guerra contra el narco. Es una extensión de la política doméstica de estados unidos donde se utilizó para derrocar los movimientos afroamericanos, Xicano, y Puerto Roqueño. La manera que trabaja está bien documentada en los testimonios del Coronel Oliver North. Donde la guerra contra las drogas se utilizó para embrutecer las comunidades afroamericanas, mexicanas, y puertorriqueñas desviándolos de sus objetivos de cambios sociales pero de paso encarcelo a líderes desde Hewey Newton de las panteras negras, a matar a Malcom X. Las ganancias de la epidemia de drogas se utilizaban para financiar la guerra contra el FMLN en EL Salvador y el Ejército Sandinista en Nicaragua.
México está maduro para una intervención directa en donde un gobierno supuestamente de izquierda es amansado y controlado por las corporaciones bajo la intervención directa del ejército de estados unidos. No por nada Trump le dice a AMLO “el gran nuevo presidente.” Es su manera de alabarlo porque está por quedarse con todo la mercancía, toda la tienda, todos los clientes y todas las Plazas. Trump le dice “The Art of the Deal,” yo le digo, El Arte de la Tranza.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

TONATIERRA: Ayotzinapa 61 Meses


TONATIERRA
Community Development Institute
PO Box 24009
Phoenix, AZ 85074
www.tonatierra.org
tonal@tonatierra.org

October 26, 2019

Cónsul General de México en Phoenix,
Sr. Jorge Mendoza Yescas
302 N. McDowell
Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Dear Sir Consul,

Today marks 61 months since the forced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students of the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural School on the evening of September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico.

It is indefensible and unacceptable that after more than five years the government of Mexico has yet to provide to the parents and community of the 43 Ayotzinapa students the information held within the bowels of bureaucracy of the state and military records the actual data and reports regarding the whereabouts of the Ayotzinapa 43.  We note with great concern and outrage that according to reporting in La Jornada, the relatives of the 43 Ayotzinapa students have once again marched to demand justice and accountability, pronouncing in Mexico City that:
“Many people believe that the case of Ayotzinapa has been resolved, but we are here to say that we have not abandoned our searching, we are here still because there have not been definitive advances in the official investigation of the case.”
Sr. Consul, one month ago on September 26, 2019 the Human Rights Commission of Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio via our Secretariat of TONATIERRA took a meeting in person with you in your offices in Phoenix, Arizona. Subsequently the attached letter of record memorializing the issues discussed was presented to the Mexican government via email and direct delivery to your office.  We also submitted the record of our meeting with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We have received no response to date to the inquiries advanced in our communique.

Tupac Enrique Acosta
TONATIERRA
*****************

26 de septiembre de 2019

TONATIERRA: Carta al Consul General de Mexico - Phoenix, Arizona

Clarificaciones: 

En consideración de lo anterior, y reevaluando la personalidad internacional colectivo de los Pueblos Originales y Constituyentes Mexicanos al norte de la frontera actual entre México y EE.UU., quienes desde 1848 hemos tenido que enfrentar el racismo institucional de la sociedad Anglo-Americana y sus políticas de persecución racial como la AZ SB1070 en Arizona, exigimos el reconocimiento oficial del gobierno Mexicano de nuestros Pueblos Originales en los Territorios del Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo en cumplimento de su deber como gobierno de mantener la Paz entre Pueblos con los criterios siguientes:Iniciando con la repuesta definitiva del gobierno de México a esta pregunta: ¿Con cual justificación el gobierno mexicano de 1848 presumió negociar por los derechos territoriales y derechos humanos de los Pueblos Indígenas del territorio que nunca dieron su consentimiento a tal acuerdo de representación en las negociaciones del Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo?


 



Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Tlahtol Macehualli:

Al ver un documental sobre Dolores Huerta y la lucha de Union de Campesinos encabezada por Dolores y Cesar Chavez, me lleva a una reflexión sobre las ansias de justicia cuando se enfrenta ante un sistema capitalista brutal. Me recuerda de una canción del 68 en Mexico. “Mi padre fue peon de hacienda, yo fui un revolucionario, mis hijos pusieron tienda y mi nieto es funcionario. Grito Emiliano Zapata, quiero Tierra y Libertad, y el gobierno se reía cuando lo iban a enterrar.”
 
Es francamente triste ver como poco a poco se acaba la llama de resistencia de aquellos que dieron todo para cambiar la explotación para convertirse en administradores de la pobreza con la ilusión de que estas haciendo algo por la comunidad. 

Y francamente no pienso que aquellos que se lanzaron en el movimiento Xicano/a o el movimiento campesino y penetraron y se adaptaron al sistema piensan que se vendieron. Ellos piensan que al penetrar el sistema ayudaran a su pueblo y ayudaran el movimiento. Ahora son o fueron oficiales electos como Antonio Villaraigosa, Raul Grijalba, Javier Becerra, inclusive politicos de peso como Kevin de Leon en California y Fabian Nunez, Art Torres, Michael Nowakoski, localmente, y últimamente Carlos Garcia. La lista es larga y puse esos nombres como ejemplos de personas que en su juventud fueron luchadores por el pueblo y en su madurez trabajan dentro del mismo sistema que juraron combatir.

Instituciones que los lanzaron en los tiempos de lucha como la UFW, Arizona Farmworkers Union, CASA Hermandad General de Trabajadores desaparecieron o se transformaron en La Fundacion Cesar Chavez, Xicanos Por La Causa, Raza Development Fund, National Council for La Raza (Unidos USA).

Los que sobrevivieron se han convertido en herramientas del sistema que administran gigantes cantidades de dinero en prestamos, construcción de vivienda, salud mental, etc. Sin embargo dado las restricciones muy pocas veces pueden ayudar al indocumentado, y aun lo que es peor no pueden utilizar su fuerza económica para influir elecciones políticas. Muchos están limitados a apoyar campañas para registrar el votante.


Los intereses adquiridos los amordazan, los atan de pies a cabeza como títeres colgando de hilos que los hacen bailar al son de las corporaciones que imponen mega proyectos que destruyen las mismas comunidades que les dieron sus primeros pasos, que los amamantaron y los educaron y que al final los vieron darles la espalda para servir “al patron que los mando llamar ante ayer.”   Una canción donde una joven deja a su amor para ir a servirle al patron. Y en los tiempos de la pernada servirle al patron significaba servirle en todo.

Es tiempo de perder las esperanzas de que el sistema se puede penetrar y volver a los principios de nuestros antepasados y construir comités autónomos de los pueblos con sus propios recursos y sus propios usos y costumbres tratando con el sistema de igual a igual pero no bajo sus reglas y control. Confrontarlo desde afuera es lo que nos abrió las puertas.

Lo malo es que entraron y se sentaron en la silla del patron y ahora solo pueden ver a través de los ojos corporativos de sus amos.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Flowers in the Desert: Women of the Indigenous Governing Council of Mexico

by  Gloria Muñoz Ramírez  
Desinformémonos



SARA LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ

It took Sara a long time to forget the sounds of prison, the banging on the door, and the blows that made her jump from fright during those eleven months she was locked up for her fight against high electricity rates. The first time she heard the prison bars close, she felt “anger, rage, helplessness” of knowing she was put there unjustly. She was freed thanks to national and international pressure and then immediately rejoined the fight, not only against unfair rates, but also for the defense of the Maya territory. And now, she is also a member of the Indigenous Governing Council for Campeche.

Sara López González was born in the municipality of Candelaria 52 years ago. Sitting in the middle of the flowers adorning the front patio of her house, she recalls the moment in which, together with her collective, she decided to get involved in the initiative of the National Indigenous Congress and become part of a proposal that aims to “organize the people.” In 2006, she participated in the Other Campaign, an initiative of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) that, outside of political parties and the electoral structure, traversed the Mexico from below in order to call the people to organize, just like today, against the dispossession, exploitation, contempt, and repression capitalism metes out.

The Indigenous Governing Council (CIG), Sara explains, “does not call to take the presidential chair, but for the self-government and organization of the communities themselves. And just as we’re organized in a community, we want to do it at the state level, at the Yucatan Peninsula level, and at the national level.” The work that corresponds to her as Councilor, she says, “is to travel the region and explain the proposal.” She insists that, in reality, “We don’t want the presidency or to become a political party. We don’t want to be like a party. We’re not those corrupt ones who live off of others.” And it’s precisely her task to explain the differences.

There are eight other Councilors for Campeche and among them, “Two compañeros who live near the border with Guatemala, who have a specific job in defense of the land.” The three are asked by the Maya communities what solutions they offer to the problems of the region, and the anti-climactic answer is that the CIG does not offer solutions “...because solutions are built together with the people, and there is no recipe for how to govern.” The example that’s dissected is that of the Zapatista’s Good Government Councils, which also do not offer a manual but are a real possibility. “Neither MariChuy, who is the spokeswoman, nor the CIG are going to say, ‘We’re going to give you all of these projects to solve your problems.’ That's not the way because then we would fall into the same game of government and political parties.”

Right as Sara is explaining the difficulties in organizing, her grandchildren return from school playing with walkie-talkie radios. Upon entering, one of them stops in their tracks. “Breaker 1-9, my grandmother is being interviewed, over and out.” Their little sister approaches immediately and jumps in surprise. They hug Sara, fill her with kisses, and keep playing and running around the house they share together.

“It’s for them, for the children and grandchildren that we fight for,” says Sara. She then continues sharing her opinion about the political parties, which “divided us,” she says. Its propaganda “enters the towns and communities, and we’re going against the tide; we don’t have the means to change the ideology of the people. It’s very hard, it takes very strong work for people to see things differently.” The Maya Councilor insists that the CIG proposal does not end with the electoral process, “because it is a very long process and fight, which we will continue on after 2018, win or not win, vote or not vote. The objective is to organize this country, the indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, those in the countryside and those in the city. At least we already started it, and we will finish it when we go to the next life.”

The initiative of the CIG has a woman as its spokesperson, and it is women who generally participate in the tour that María de Jesús Patricio, better known as MariChuy, is currently undergoing throughout the Mexico from below.  Sara explains that, with a woman as an indigenous spokesperson, “We want to tell the world that we are here and what we want is life for everybody. She is an indigenous woman who takes the word of all communities and women, to tell this capitalist system that we exist and that we say, “Enough is enough!’”

We women are chingonas (badasses)
 

Sara thinks that there’s still only a few women who freely decide to go out to the struggle and make a commitment to the people. Or they may not be only a few, she clarifies, but they aren’t seen. And this, she says, “Is also due to the violence that exists against them in many ways. With the simple fact that they yell at you that the food is hot or cold, or that they didn’t like the coffee—that’s already violence.”

In Maya culture, as in most cultures of the world, there exists machismo and violence against women. “We are all exploited, men and women from all over the world, but the woman is exploited more and is relegated more. They tell her that she’s only good for the house, for making tortillas, for washing, ironing, all the domestic work.” And we, says Sara, “we are much more than that.”

Women “are a thousand things because we have the capacity to do many things. But we want the space that corresponds to us, in the struggle and in everything, both locally and nationally. We don’t want the system to relegate us neither in the house nor in the struggle. We don’t want to be more, rather we want our Word to be heard. It’s not that we want to go up ahead, but rather be side by side with our partner, because in this way we will rebuild this country. We want to show our compañeros that we aren’t trying to feel like we are more than they are, but that we want to be recognized and respected, in the struggle and in everything.”

For example, “When we organize workshops in Xpujil, it’s almost only men who attend. In the meeting of delegates of the Indigenous Regional Council of Xpujil, there are only two or three women. Women participate in their communities, but not yet as representatives. It’s complicated. The men in the struggle will hold me accountable because we’ll regularly see each other, but their partners can’t; they will be taking care of the children. It’s something different from what the Zapatista men do, because there the men already stay to take care of the children and cook for them.”

In everyday life, both in the villages and in the towns, the Councilwoman continues, “You cannot smile if a compañero or a man passes by because they immediately say you’re flirting. If you’re a man, then you can. And nationally and internationally the violence is against women, who are the ones being raped and killed. I’m not saying that men aren’t murdered, but those who are at risk are young women, ladies, old women. That is to say, the violence is lived at home as well as outside, in society and in the streets.”

When she was imprisoned, Sara read literature by the Zapatista women. “I remember it a lot because it made me laugh to recognize the situation. A Zapatista woman said, ‘I told the male compañeros that we invite them to organize themselves well because it’s their fault we don't move forward. Women are always moving, but if we don't advance it’s because of our male compañeros.” Nothing has been better put, says Sara. We, she insists, “are faster, more agile in doing things. We are strong, valuable, and with great capabilities. We can do many things at the same time. We are mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, fighters, organizers. We are chingonas (badasses).”

“We women want to have the space that corresponds to us, in the struggle and in everything, both locally and nationally. We don’t want the system to relegate us neither in the house nor in the struggle.”

The Maya, life and current resistance, and not museum pieces



The Maya is one of Mesoamerica’s most well-known cultures throughout the world, and therefore, one of the most exploited by tourism and the cultural industry. Commodified by charlatans who study its “supernatural” mysteries and corporations that overexploit its natural resources and archaeological remains, this millenary culture is alive and in resistance. The history books separate the glorious past from a present that refuses to cease to exist and continues to reclaim its sacred sites, even though for governments and corporations, the sites are only stages for trendy concerts.

Descendant of the culture that invented the zero, of astronomers, hunters, and men and women who raised architectural wonders, Sara has to pay a fee to enter the archaeological site of El Tigre, located a few kilometers from her home. It is said that in this imposing place, the probable capital of the Acalan people, Hernán Cortés murdered Cuauhtémoc. Sara walks haughtily through the buildings. The people here are heirs of the Chontales who grew up on the banks of the Candelaria River and although her mother is from Tabasco, she was born here and recognizes herself as Maya.

As a child, Sara ran about through the forest, grinded the corn, and made tortillas. She remembers when she got older, she played marbles, tops, hopscotch, and soccer, as she was always hanging out with just males. She never played house or played with dolls because her dad, she says, “I think he wanted a boy.”

Her political background began with the Jesuits. Liberation theology opened other worlds to her when she was just 14 years old and she grew up with workshops on faith and politics. “At that time, I tried to capture the ideas and then, at the youth meetings, I spread the lessons I learned without knowing how far I was going to go.” In the church, Father José Martín del Campo put her to pray, but told her that the true Christian work was outside.

“We started summoning the people of Candelaria who had problems with their bills, and 80 people got together. This is how we began the struggle”

Then Sara went to Xpujil and in there, she fully engaged in the work of the grassroots ecclesial communities and organized a workshop on cooperativism with a group of young women. They also worked with soybeans, at that time not genetically modified, and their forms of processing, beekeeping, and shopkeeping.

The young Sara began to leave Campeche to do community work and went to Sandinista Nicaragua to cut coffee. She also worked with Guatemalan refugees who arrived in Campeche and Quintana Roo, to whom she gave herbalism and dentistry workshops.

The word tenacity is the one that best represents this woman Councilor who only finished elementary school as a child, but insisted on finishing high school at the National Institute of Adult Education. Then, she took workshops in dentistry and general medicine with students from UAM Xochimilco and with doctors from other countries who came to Campeche to provide training so that she and her compañeras could later enter the communities unreached by health services.

Always out and about like no other, she made her mother an accomplice for the excursions that her father prevented, as tradition dictated that she could only leave her parents’ house after marrying. She and her mother managed to not let this stop her. She didn’t date, so she married her first love and stayed together for 16 years. She had four children with him, all of them today over 30. Then she remarried and from that relationship her fifth son was born 20 years ago. And between one and the other she never stopped struggling. She was breastfeeding at the same time as she was involved in the defense of the community’s human rights and in the defense of their territory.

Divorce in a community is neither simple nor common. Sara confronted it and left her house with her four children at the time. Back then, she had an arrest warrant out on her, so hers was a double escape, as her ex-husband was threatening to hand her over. She had participated in a two-week-long road blockade because of the lack of water in Xpujil and was persecuted. Her compañeros in the struggle hid her out in the mountains and her husband came looking for her, threatening to hand her over. This forced her to leave the community, where she left all her belongings. With her four children and a few items of clothing, she returned to Candelaria. And she started all over again.

At that time people were very angry about the high electricity rates. Sara set up a pharmacy in the center of town and received the bill for a thousand pesos, but the rate began to triple and she could no longer pay. Then with her family, she installed a water purifier, but they practically had to work just to pay for the electricity. “We started summoning the people of Candelaria who had problems with their bills and 80 people got together. That’s how we began the struggle.” It was she, her new partner, and her brother-in-law who summoned the meeting. The same people who would later become part of the Zapatista movement of the Other Campaign.

Eleven months behind bars
 

It was years of struggle and organization in which thousands of people formed a resistance movement and refused to pay excessive rates. In 2009, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) sued her for the invented crime of illegal deprivation of liberty to a government official. She and her partner received citations and two lawyers were provided by the then-Senator Rosario Ibarra de Piedra, who joined the defense headed by David Peña, of the National Network of Civil Resistance against High Electric Rates (Red Nacional de Resistencia Civil contra las Altas Tarifas Eléctricas).

The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) would follow her and dialogue tables were established whose agreements were not fulfilled. The movement agreed to allow the installation of polling booths for municipal and state elections in exchange for giving up their demands. “The minutes were signed and we let the booths be installed, but before that there was a massive power outage, which violated the agreement with the government. It wasn’t just about them not arresting us, but also that they wouldn’t mess with the service. Many of us went to the head of the CFE to demand they reinstall the service. He said he would go with us, but in reality he was only taking notes of who among us was participating.

The CFE representative told them that he had no van to accompany them and asked if he could go with Sara. And she, with a certain level of naivety, said yes. “I was driving and next to me sat the representative of the CFE, and that’s how they accused me of illegal deprivation of liberty.” The government had everything planned out. They waited for the elections and then immediately arrested her and four other compañeros. That was July 9, 2009.

At five o'clock in the morning, she was awakened by bangs on her door. Sara heard her children’s screams and sat up “not knowing what the hell to do.” She took her cell phone to protect her contacts list. They entered. “I didn't feel fear, but hate, anger, helplessness.”  She and her partner were taken in a van where they rode with their heads between their legs for three and a half hours.

“In jail, Sara brought herself back and, despite the fear, rebelled against the ill-treatment. They were undoubtedly the most difficult eleven months of her life.”

“We arrived at the PGR in Campeche and I was sore everywhere, with swollen eyes and feverish. When we went down, I saw the other three compañeros in the struggle also detained, including the one in charge of making moves in case they arrested us. The other compañera was crying and crying. I felt responsible because we invited them to join the resistance and they had accepted. I tried to be strong. After they took photographs of us in different poses, they put us in the San Francisco Kobén prison.” And there, right as they were separating the five activists between the men and the women, the detainees hugged and said goodbye. They were accused of illegal deprivation of liberty of a government official and of obstruction of a public service.

In jail, Sara brought out her personality and, despite the fear, rebelled against the ill-treatment she faced with the guards as with the warden. Those were, without a doubt, the most difficult eleven months of her life. The lawyers managed to keep them all together and in a safe place to safeguard their integrity. “There’s no safe place here, but I will send them to the clinic, and all five will be together,” the director told them.

Sara wove over a hundred tablecloths during those months and read every book that came near her. She also began to write part of her life story, her everyday moments in prison, the rage and pain she felt when she learned of the murder of her friend, the activist and defender Beatriz Cariño Trujillo, the fall her son took that caused him memory loss, among other anxieties that were mitigated by writing  about them. Outside, things were no better. Police followed their children and even helicopters flew over their house. “It was a tremendous hunt, there were 36 orders out for the compañeros”. A situation that didn’t allow her much time for sadness. From prison, she held meetings with people from the movement and developed strategies. On the day she had been arrested, she had seen the lists with the names of her compañeros with arrest warrants, memorized those she could, and as soon as she had the opportunity she got word out so they could flee.

A national and international campaign was organized around her confinement demanding her release. The five of them went on a hunger strike for 15 days and Amnesty International dealt with the case. The pressure grew until they were released on bail. Processing their release took more time than it took for them to give continuity to the organizational work that even prison couldn’t prevent them from.

Eleven years have passed since the movement against the service and the fees imposed by the CFE began. The demands of the movement are that electricity be considered a human right and that they have a bimonthly rate “that can actually be paid.” Refusing to pay was the first act of peaceful resistance. Around 80 people began to organize, but in a span of two or three months, it grew to more than 3,000 people from the 30 Campeche communities. One of the most representative protests was when the CFE went to install new meters. The people then uninstalled them “because they only served to steal, since the CFE manages them however it wants.”

Repression is the response when people demand a fair rate. A few days before the interview, they arrested one of her compañeros. Sara went to see him in jail and, along with his family, processed his release. The CFE “advances in its work of imposing digital meters. We oppose it and then what comes back at us is harassment and repression. On Thursday they arrested compañero José Alberto Villafuerte García without an arrest warrant. They took him saying that they would ask him some questions in court, and then took him to the Cerezo Francisco Kobén, asking us for a deposit of 250,000 pesos.” Villafuerte was accused of stealing electricity, despite the agreements signed with the Ministry of the Interior and with representatives of the CFE nationwide. “That is the current situation of the movement,” she summarizes.

The devastating African palm, dispossession, and exploitation
 

The road to Candelaria is a patchwork of African palm plantations, a crop that destroys the environment and cultural diversity. The researchers Agustín and León Enrique Ávila Romero have documented that, in Campeche, the crops are planted by new actors with large capital and great areas of land, using practices similar to those in Africa, South America, and Asia. The business model that it promotes is based on contract agriculture, explain the Ávila brothers. “It encourages farmers to disassemble the forest to plant palm, which commercializes the peasant economy and deteriorates the cultural practices of peasant and indigenous groups with the arrival of external agents.” The transnational corporations, they explain, see in this crop “a niche opportunity” to supply oil to the food and cosmetics industries and convert the paste byproduct into biodiesel.

Sara López warns of the Campeche government’s announcement of 120 thousand more hectares of African palm in the state, between Candelaria, Palizada, and Escárcega. “In many communities they’re rejecting it, but in others they’re seeing it as a means of subsistence because they don’t know the problem of devastation and of soil and air pollution.” The monoculture of African palm, continues the Councilor, consumes a lot of water and gradually dries up “our river, our streams, the springs that are in some communities.” In fact, she says, “in the Pedro Baranda community they planted it many years ago and the spring dried up.”

Another consequence of the crop is that “where the palm is sown, it won’t be possible to sown anything else because the land becomes infertile. And something else is the contamination of land, water, and air from all the pesticide use.” Sara explains that it’s a vicious cycle because the contamination of the water increases the mortality of the fish. As an example: there’s an African palm oil processor at the height of the Candelaria River, and this year with the floods, the plant began to spill a lot of oil directly into the river, which caused the death of marine fauna.


“Where the palm is sown, nothing else can be sown because the land becomes infertile. And something else is the contamination of land, water, and air from all the pesticide use.”

With the rent or sale of their land for palm monoculture, she explains, the land is becoming impoverished and the farmer can no longer sow beans or corn, not even peppers. So then came the government with a credit program for farmers to devote themselves to livestock. “They got into debt, fell into an overdue portfolio, and could no longer recover,” so many decided to migrate to the United States or to the tourist centers of the peninsula, where they work as construction workers or waiters. San Antonio and Florida are two of the cities with groups of people from Campeche offering their labor, including Sara’s son who goes out to work for two-year-long periods.

Campeche also suffers from the invasion of genetically modified crops that came from the Mennonites. The area known as the Chenes is the most affected, but very close to Candelaria, on the road to Chetumal, “You can see the Mennonites sowing genetically modified soy.”  On the way to Hopelchén, east of the capital of Campeche, the invasion of sorghum and soybeans begins. From there, businessmen distribute the seed of the transnational corporation Monsanto, the mother of all evils.

Another example of the current onslaught against the Maya communities is in the Ch’ol town of Xpujil, the community in which Sara lived for many years. Here, the original villagers have been displaced by the imposition of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve decree, which restricts their access to their territory. The Councilor explains that “when they declared it a reserve, they evicted several communities and many that are within the core of the reserve now cannot grow food. If they want to build a house and cut a palm, they can't because they are inside the reserve and they can get thrown in jail.” Just a few days ago, a woman with her firewood was arrested by the soldiers, “because they can’t cut firewood in the reserve because the army stops them, but the businessmen come in and do whatever they want."
 

And to the list of grievances is the invasion of tourist projects in the paradisiacal beaches of Ciudad del Carmen or Champotón, among others, where the lands are being taken from them based on deceptions promoted by the government. It’s the privatization of natural resources, Sara explains, and her work as an advocate leads her to give information to the people and warn them that if they permit the concession of the Candelaria river, “they will soon be luggage handlers in their own lands”.

The conclusion is clear, Sara says. “If we don’t organize, they will take away what’s ours.”

It has all been worth it
 

She is 52 years old and, without hesitating says that “it has all been worth it,” including her children’s’ complaints for leaving them alone for a long time, such as when she went to cut coffee in Nicaragua. “They have been with me before jail, while in jail, and after jail. They support, they agree with the struggle, and now they’re grown and have to work. That’s why I’m the one out and about and the only crazy one in the family.”

With long, black, and curly hair, beautiful, tall and with a serene smile, Sara López rebuilds her life with a new partner. She enjoys life and the struggle, and dancing is her passion, so much that “if there were a dance every day, I would go dancing every day.” She equally enjoys cumbia, salsa, and rock. She never stops listening to Silvio Rodríguez, music from the 80’s, from Los Ángeles Negros, or musical trios. And she checks her phone before, during, and after the interview, which never stops ringing. She stays updated on social media and through it she keeps in touch with the other Councilors.

“In the CIG nothing is pre-set, rather we have to keep learning and doing. It is living practice and theory, doing it ourselves without relying on anyone.”

She has held the press commission within the Indigenous Governing Council, so she has had to deal with the urgencies of journalists. “In the CIG nothing is pre-set, rather we have to keep learning and doing. It is living practice and theory, doing it ourselves without relying on anyone.”

Her current partner demands time, but “the movement, the struggle, it’s my life. That’s how he met me, and it’s very difficult for me to leave it.” Although sometimes, she acknowledges, she needs the affection and the company, especially on days like this one when a compañero is arrested and the sadness eats at her. “As a person and as a woman, you need support, too,” she says with a smile.



Originally published in Spanish as part of the compilation, Flowers in the Desert by Gloria Muñoz Ramírez, which profiled a total of ten Councilwomen from the Indigenous Governing Council:

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