BIENVENID@S! * * This space is intended for people to connect and to know each other through our work, our resistance and our struggles. * This website will allow us to relate to one another by building networks so we can continue to walk together. * 1. To work towards presenting our work en La Otra Campaña. * 2. But more importantly, to continue our work at home, respectively in a more connected manner. * We invite you to share your experiences so that we can continue this process.
Worldwide Declaration in Support of the Indigenous Tseltal Peoples of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, Adherents of The Other Campaign
Within the context of the “5 MORE Days of Worldwide Action for the Bachajón 5” campaign, which will take place from the 24 to the 28 of April, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center and Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York, have written the following declaration with the goal of collecting signatures of support. We ask that you please send the signatures, with the name of your organization or collective and country, no later than April 28, 2011, to this address:firstname.lastname@example.org
After this date, we will send you the declaration with all the signatures, so that together we can circulate them widely and demand the release of the five political prisoners of Bachajón.
Worldwide Declaration in Support of the Indigenous Tzeltal Peoples of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, Adherents of The Other Campaign
In Chiapas, Mexico, the investment in eco-tourism and infrastructure, in the logic of governmental “development” via the “Palenque Integrally Planned Center” (CIPP), which is also part of another more ambitious project called “Mesoamérica” (previously known as Plan Puebla Panamá), remains a central dispute against the construction of alternatives ways of life offered by the native peoples of Chiapas.
They have for many years sought the recognition of their autonomy as indigenous peoples within a framework of “free determination” and in practice are exercising their autonomy. These are peoples who have historically conserved their natural resources and territory in equilibrium with humane and rational relationships. The civil resistance of the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón (SSB), adherents to The Other Campaign (TOC) in the Agua Azul region can be found within this struggle for survival.
People who fight in defense of their rights face numerous forces, emanating from the neoliberal governments, which seek to destroy the organization and efforts to build other possible worlds. Today, the government of Chiapas continues to arbitrarily detain five ejidatarios of SSB of TOC, who are subjected to endless harassment and threats.
Innocent of their accused crimes, these ejidatarios are victims of the corrupted Mexican justice system, which obeys the interests of national and international investment. This system works to repress and destroy the communities, organizations, and individuals who do not coincide with the neoliberal government’s interests – interests that ravage and bring death to those who strive for a life where human rights are fully developed and lived.
The most recent repression that the ejidatarios have faced occurred on April 9, 2011, when around 800 agents of state, federal, and military police forces displaced roughly 126 ejidadatrios of SSB and TOC who just hours earlier had regained control of the tollbooth. It was, moreover, this same tollbooth that was seized from them on February 2, as part of a concerted effort by the Chiapas government and “officials” of the ejido. The Agua Azul region has become a perfect example of how state and federal governments exercise the full force of the State towards the historical displacement of indigenous peoples from their territory.
Due to the innumerable violations of human rights committed against the ejidatarios of SSB of TOC, the collectives, committees, social organizations and civil society, we pronounce the following:
1. Respect for the right of the Tseltal people of San Sebastián Bachajón to free determination and to exercise their autonomy as stipulated in the Agreement (No. 169) regarding indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries; United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the San Andrés Accords, Document 1, 3. 1. Document 2, II, IV (2. 3.); Document 3.1 (c, d); Document 1, Principle of the New Relationship 5.
2. Respect for the right to use and enjoy their natural resources, which as indigenous peoples they have protected for centuries, as referenced in the Agreement (No. 169) regarding indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries: art. 13.2; United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. San Andrés Accords, 1.4 B. 2.; Document 1, Principle of the New Relationship 2.
3. The immediate release of Jerónimo Guzmán Méndez, ejidatario of TOC; Domingo Pérez Álvaro, member of the Commission to Promote TOC; Juan Aguilar Guzmán, head cashier of TOC; Domingo García Gómez, member of the Human Rights Defense Committee; Mariano Demeza Silvano, adolescent member of TOC.
4. The immediate withdrawal of the police and military entities that maintain under siege the area of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, concretely, from the entrances to the Agual Azul resort that is presently administered by the state and federal governments.