Thursday, June 11, 2015

Indigenous Peoples of Mexico target of US Army plan to privatize their lands

By: Emma Martinez

La Niña, La Pinta, La Santa Maria, the Mayflower: The NAFTA and the NARCO -  plus the TPP

(Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement)
The Indigenous Peoples of Mexico have been the target for government policies of reduction for centuries, but since shortly before 2005 a new phase of intervention by the US military began with a new project designed with the help of geographers from the University of Kansas. The national government along with international investors are intent on privatizing and exploiting by commodification the colective lands and territories of the original nations of Indigenous Peoples of Mexico. 

As a result, the Original Nations are facing violent dispossession from their communities because they refuse to be accomplices of the investment projects that promote the production of biofuels, the granting and exploitation of mining projects, the construction of dams, and the reviving infrastructure plans under the Project Mesoamerica which are promoted as reform of the national energy platform but in reality are attempts to legalize the theft of territory and the destruction of human and biological diversity of ancestral territories, according to information from the Civil Movement Faces of Dispossession. 

The government policies of forced dispossession of recent decades which have targeted the privatization of the natural resources of the territories of indigenous peoples are part of the historic refusal of the Mexican state to respect the full recognition of collective rights of the Indigenous Peoples.

Mexican indigenous communities have suffered these assaults for many decades, but since shortly before 2005 the US military joined in with the help of geographers from the University of Kansas. In that year, the Department of Geography at the University of Kansas received $500,000 from Defense Department funds to map communally held indigenous lands in the Mexican states of San Luis Potosi and Oaxaca, explains Simon Sedillo activist and economist.

Through the Office for Foreign Military Studies of the United States (FMSO, for its acronym in English), professors Peter Herlihy and Jerome Dobson constructed since that year, the "Mexico Indigena" project. 
OK deal! You guys keep putting the weapons, we'll keep putting the bodies! Done deal!
The FMSO investigator was assigned Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey B. Demarest, who explained that the only way to 'progress and security' in Latin America is the privatization of communal lands of the indigenous peoples. Demarest assured "the informal and unregulated land ownership favors illicit use and violence," and that the only solution for these fields of crime and insurgency is privatization and land titling, " Sedillo said. 

Demarest said in an essay "the primary mission of the FMSO is to assess asymmetric and emerging threats to the national security of the United States, i.e. guerrilla armies and terrorist organizations. Moreover, the FMSO is evaluating social movements influenced by indigenous, and emerging security threats of political and economic interests in Mexico." 

The 'Mexico Indigena' project is described as a political-military strategy, which began when Mexico was granted a package of military funding from the United States, known as the Merida Initiative. "The control and displacement of indigenous communities intends to remove potential political hot spots, contribute to military control of the region and finally 'free' natural resources for the benefit of the government and, in turn, its transnational allies," said Sedillo. 

Demarest, upon taking on the project of the mapping of indigenous communities, claimed that it was necessary to identify indigenous peoples and groupings, as it was from these areas where was to be found the greatest resistance to the neoliberal world order in Mexico, being zones where indigenous autonomy and self-determination is in effect. 

"The Indigenous Peoples have always been willing to die fighting for their land, and have withstood the efforts of any government willing to kill them and displace them from their territories. For the indigenous communities in Mexico, the claims of autonomy and territory are therefore the most urgent claims of their collective identity," said Sedillo. 
Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio

Up until 2010, in Mexico just over 170,000 indigenous peoples had been displaced from their homelands, putting the country in second place in terms of the number of people affected by the construction of mega- development projects in Latin America. Today the numbers may have increased by up to another 10%. 

According to the federal government, Baja California, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco and Veracruz, are the states where foreign corporations have projects impacting indigenous territories. 

Speaking out on the issue, Bishop Raul Vera Lopez commented: "Militarization is not a question just of Latin America, it is a situation that occurs worldwide, and is the reality in Mexico, where communities of the Original Nations are displaced to locations where they had no means of subsistence, nor were development processes available to enable to them to be subjects of their own history, yet with effort and suffering they have managed to survive and live." 

"However, today the new satellite technologies have localized resources that can generate large sums of money if exploited, and which are found in indigenous territories. This has been the main reason for the invasion suffered by those who have lived in relative peace in areas with few roads, no media contact, and with many other material shortcomings, but they persisted. Now others have discovered these diverse areas possess petroleum deposits and water resources, igniting the development of new extractive industries and open competition that has led to big business and large consortia of industrialists to venture into operations which never before were of interest to them, until they discovered that could make big profits through exploitation,” says Vera Lopez. 

Protesta Internacional y SOLIDARIDAD con AYOTZINAPA en Arizona

According to the Human Rights Center Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez, "public works projects and large-scale resource extraction initiatives (called megaprojects) such as dams, roads and mines, they are multiplying in Mexico. While the Mexican government claims that these development projects are carried out for the benefit of the population, megaprojects have devastating consequences for local communities and the environment, and tend to benefit the powerful at the expense of the poorest rural and indigenous communities". 

Bishop Vera Lopez says these companies, in collusion with the government, have developed strategies that allow them to obtain benefits and facilities for the exploitation of natural resources through mechanisms that have led to penetrate the lands of indigenous peoples, causing again that such groups are displaced to make way for mega projects ranging from the aqueducts, oil pipelines and gas pipelines, not to account for the impacts of the building of the industrial corridors that are part of the plans. 

"A prime example is the industrial corridor that the North Americans have been wanting to open for years, via Mexico-Central America, initially through the infamous Puebla Panama Plan (PPP).  Another of the main reasons why the Indigenous Peoples are subjected to terrible attacks and human displacement, is the illicit appropriation of their aquifers; foreign corporations conspire with the government to deprive the owners in those areas, bringing physical and moral damage them, in order to steal their water systems for use by the large hydroelectric plants." states Vera Lopez. 

Attacks against Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, who are in a life and death struggle to block the exploitation of their territories, according to Bishop Raul Vera, have been strengthened by a strategy of territorial control by the federal military, who have penetrated indigenous communities to oppress and attack them, even to the point of homicide, which is why "the communities are rising up and are gathering strength, defending their collective property rights and physical integrity." 

In judgment, Vera Lopez states "the dehumanization process against the most vulnerable groups is the product of the materialistic ambition that exists today, and is triggered by an uncontrolled market calling itself 'free market' that moves in sync with the new methodologies of neoliberal capital, where the largest traders in the world, along with the large producers and consortia of corporations have the politicians on their knees, bought outright and corrupted to provide security for their projects." 

Pointing out that "The extractive industry is the enemies of indigenous peoples. Mexico has more than a third of its territory occupied in this activity, and now with the Energy Reform legislation, foreign corporations will be able to engage in extractive mining of metals, and will obliterate all that they find in their path. This will affect not only the legitimate indigenous owners of the land, but also contributing to climate change and the infamous global warming scenario caused by overexploitation of the land." 

Market sociologist Jorge Mondragon statement that "the absence of a national mechanism to objectively quantify the number of displaced indigenous peoples is undoubtedly one of the most significant challenges in Mexico to visualize this problem, and amounts to the explicit non-recognition by the Mexican State of the existence of a significant number of displaced people in the country". 

"The Mexican government must give attention to this situation before it becomes a humanitarian crisis of unusual scope, as it appears to be heading, where it seems that money is the most important," he says. 

"The Mexican government is responsible for violations of human rights of indigenous peoples, but so are the Canadian, American and European companies who invest in projects in Mexico.  They are also complicit, taking advantage of the willingness of the Mexican government to ignore the problems caused by their representatives, implementing in the country operations that would be unacceptable because of the harmful nature to the environment and constituencies in their countries of origin. Worse, some employees of these companies have been involved in the physical attacks and assassination attempts directed against indigenous and social and environmental justice activists ... but justice by the state authorities never presented itself." said the PRODH Center.
Translation: TONATIERRA

Indígenas mexicanos acosados por Ejército de EU como parte de un plan para privatizar sus tierras

Este contenido ha sido publicado originalmente por teleSUR bajo la siguiente dirección: Si piensa hacer uso del mismo, por favor, cite la fuente y coloque un enlace hacia la nota original de donde usted ha tomado este contenido.

Indígenas mexicanos acosados por Ejército de EU como parte de un plan para privatizar sus tierras

Este contenido ha sido publicado originalmente por teleSUR bajo la siguiente dirección: Si piensa hacer uso del mismo, por favor, cite la fuente y coloque un enlace hacia la nota original de donde usted ha tomado este contenido.
Indígenas mexicanos acosados por Ejército de EU como parte de un plan para privatizar sus tierras

Este contenido ha sido publicado originalmente por teleSUR bajo la siguiente dirección: Si piensa hacer uso del mismo, por favor, cite la fuente y coloque un enlace hacia la nota original de donde usted ha tomado este contenido.

Indígenas mexicanos acosados por Ejército de EU como parte de un plan para privatizar sus tierras
This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: If you plan to use it, please cite the source and place a link to the original note of where you have taken this content.

NAFTA and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Open Letter to the Ministers of State and the Public Societies of Canada-US-Mexico

Protesta Internacional y SOLIDARIDAD con Ayotzinapa en Phoenix, Arizona 
January 1, 2015
Los Comités de Defensa de Barrio
Human Rights Commission
Invoke the Leahy Amendment in Mexico


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