With religious images, flowers, wooden crosses and accompanied by traditional music , over a thousand indigenous Tzotiles from the Highlands of Chiapas made a pilgrimage through the streets of San Cristobal de las Casas last Friday. “We can live without gold, without water we die”; “we can live without dams, we can not live without land, we can not live without trees” or “no prisoners, no mine” were part of the slogans that were heard.
On November 19, Catholics from 11 municipalities from the Highlands of Chiapas made a pilgrimage in San Cristobal de las Casas to show their opposition to mining and to the construction of dams or “Rural cities” (Ciudades rurales), which they considered “death projects”.
During the Mass that concluded the pilgrimage in the Cathedral Plaza, Auxiliary Bishop Enrique Diaz Diaz, expressed the support of the Diocese to the pilgrims and asked the authorities to take into account the voice of indigenous peoples and communities, before realizing building works or before implementing projects that affect them. In an interview, he mentionned “From our indigenous peoples we are committed to caring for nature; we demand not to destroy it, and that companies do not come to destroy it.” He highlighted that since the Diocesan Assembly last May they have agreed to implement social ministries for the care of nature (pastoral de la tierra).
For more information (in Spanish):
Marchan para exigir cuidar de la naturaleza en Chiapas (Cuarto Poder, 20 de noviembre de 2010)
Comunicado de denuncia del equipo tsotsil (19 de noviembre de 2010)
Peregrinación contra proyectos de muerte: minas, represas, ciudades rurales… (CIEPAC 20/11/2010)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: new public letter from the Chenalhó parish (September 20, 2010)
Chiapas: Death-threat directed against the Chicomuselo parish (October 13, 2010)