Chiapas: End of Mother Earth Congress

Peregrinación Congreso de la Madre Tierra. Foto @SIPAZ
Pilgrimage for Mother Earth Congress. Photo @SIPAZ
In observance of the third anniversary of the death of bishop Samuel Ruíz García and the commemoration of the 40 years since the founding of the Indigenous Congress in 1974, in San Cristóbal de las Casas from 22 to 24 January took place the Pastoral Diocene Mother Earth.  At the event close to a thousand people participating, hailing from different parishes of the state of Chiapas, as well as guests invited from other parts of the continent.

Among the principal goals of the Congress were to address the present environmental situation and to “propose agreements and actions to promote her defense and care.”

Among the agreements taken by those participating in the Congress were the work of raising awareness among families and communities regarding the existing problems, to organize communities to care for and defend Mother Earth, to pursue unity among political, ideological, and religious, differences, and to articulate and reorganize all the parishes to observe the agreements taken at the Congress.  In this way, it was decided to block mining operations and governmental policies which negatively affect the interests of communities: “We oppose mega-projects and devastating mineral exploitation.  We oppose the structural reforms proposed by the government to promote the interests of the dominant classes, in opposition to the people.  We pronounce ourselves in resistance to these more than 20 years of neoliberal agrarian reform which has ignored us completely as indigenous peoples, campesino communities, and Mexicans […].  Given the power of the transnational firms and their accomplice governments and allies, who seek to accumulate land and the resources of the air, soil, and subsoils, given to us by God, it is necessary that we realize the importance of resisting them…”

Lastly, on 25 January, the diocene organization the Believing People carried out a pilgrimage in the streets of San Cristóbal de las Casas that ended with a homily in the Peace Plaza, as presided over by the bishops Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel and Enrique Díaz Díaz.  Those present recalled the work of Samuel Ruiz and expressed their concern for the problems affecting Mother Earth.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se inicia en Chiapas Congreso diocesano sobre la madre tierra (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2014) Más de mil 200 indígenas y mestizos en el Congreso Pastoral Diocesano de la Madre Tierra (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de enero de 2014) Cierran filas pueblos indígenas tras concluir Congresode la Madre Tierra en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de enero de 2014) Marchan y recuerdan al obispo Samuel Ruiz (Noticias, 25 de enero de 2014) Primer Congreso de la Madre Tierra en San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas (Pozol Colectivo, 27 de enero de 2014) Comunicado final del Congreso Diocesano Pastoral de la Madre Tierra (Otros Mundos, 27 de enero de 2014) A 40 años del”Primer Congreso Indígena de Chiapas Bartolomé de las Casas” (Koman Ilel, enero de 2014)

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