From 24 to 26 July there was held the “South-Southeast Forum for analysis and construction of alternatives: Land tenancy, use, and usufruct of land for women in Chiapas,” which counted with the participation of approximately 300 indigenous and campesina women from Chiapas and other states, as well as researchers and female human-rights defenders. Upon conclusion of the event, participants expressed their opposition to policies that seek to deprive them of their natural resources by means of oil, mining, eco-tourist, wind-energy, hydroelectric, highway, and airport-seaport construction projects and by denying their traditional knowledges. Participants denounced that these projects are being carried out without any sort of consultation or authorization from indigenous peoples themselves, but are instead blessed by governmental institutions.
Participants demanded, among other things, that the political and agrarian policies at the federal, state, and community levels respect their rights to land tenancy, use, and usufruct, as well as to their right to participate in decisions regarding land use and territory, without the denial of such using the argument of traditional uses and customs.
Lastly, they reported that they would seek to organize a broad movement of women to unite their strength with the people in resistance to demand their rights as women to land. They affirmed that “we also call on the populace at large to also affirm our demands, to organize, and unite forces to arrest the offensive being waged by neoliberal patriarchal capitalism which, with the support of the government, threatens to remove campesino peoples from our natural and cultural goods to benefit national and transnational corporations, which threaten all forms of life.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Mujeres en Chiapas y otros estados, reivindican su derecho al uso y usufructo de la tierra (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de julio de 2014)
Realizan foro por derechos de mujeres indígenas y campesinas (CIMAC Noticias, 28 de julio de 2014)
Pronunciamiento final (28 de julio de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):