On April 17 and 18 the “Forum Building Resistance in Defense of Our Territory” took place in the municipality of San Pedro Apóstol, Ocotlán, Oaxaca, which convoked more than 400 people. Indigenous communities in Oaxaca and from other states, as well as state, national, and international organizations (including SIPAZ) met together to discuss and reflect on “the government attempts to promote megaprojects involving “development”, inversions, and politics which try to exploit our territory and natural resources”. From Chiapas, members of the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, as well as members of the communities of Cruztón, Comalapas, and San Cristóbal attended.
In the Political Declaration from the Forum, the communities and organizations stated that “in the face of this threat, organizing processes on a local and regional level must be improved to defend our territory. In this National Forum, we declare ourselves against these government actions as well as against private companies which try to exploit our wealth.”
In the discussion tables, the participants discussed and reflected on the conditions in communities and in various states; they agreed “not only to deal with one issue, but with all”. The recognized problems included the privatization of land and natural resources, environmental contamination, the construction of dams, the contamination of the corn, and privatization of water. They emphasized that “the water is sacred, one should not have to ask to have it, it belongs to everyone, and we cannot privatize it”.
Finally, the Political Declaration declared itself “against all megaprojects and government politics which attack our territories, community institutions, and natural resources” and in particular in favor of the permanent suspension of the Mining Exploitation Project of San José Progreso, Ocotlán; the Hydroelectric Dam Project Paso de la Reina in the coast of Oaxaca, the Dam El Zapotillo, and the Hydroelectric Dam of La Parota, Guerrero.
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