National: XI National Meeting of the Mexican Movement of Those Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (MAPDER) in Olintla, Puebla

Marcha en Olintla, Puebla (@Boca de Polen)

From 29 to 31 August, the XI National Meeting of the Mexican Movement of Those Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (MAPDER) took place in Olintla municipality, Puebla, with the participation of more than 600 persons pertaining to 80 organizations hailing from the states of Puebla, Chiapas, Tabasco, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Mexico City, Mexico State, and Coahuila, as well as other countries.  At the event, participants share their experiences, struggles, and dreams.

In the final Declaration, conference-participants denounced that, “since the [time of the] approval of the structural reforms promoted by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, […] we have confronted a meticulous and systematic dismantling of all the legal mechanisms used by the people in defense of their lands.  The right to consultation, communal property in land, free municipalities, the–already weak–environmental regulations: all of this has been weakened so as to open the door to investment in megaprojects.”  They warned that “to close the pincer-grasp of the counter-reforms that have battered the country for three decades, the government of Peña Nieto is preparing to place the cherry on the cake with the announced agrarian reform, which seeks to consolidate the plan to plunder campesino lands begun in 1992 by Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Amidst this latest attempt to attack our rights, they have said that they come for our lands and territories.  We tell them: ‘Here we await you.  You will not pass!'”

Conference-goers also indicated that the government “employs all power in the security forces and military to repress communal defenders and to demobilize struggle by criminalizing social protest […].  The murder of Noé Vázquez, the illegal arrest of our comrade in struggle Marco Antonio Suástegui (CECOP), [and] the imposition of arrest-orders against dozens of MAPDER members are demonstrations of the war strategy to loot our peoples.”

They closed by stressing that “we will continue to advance our own communal ways of life, and we struggle for an alternative energy project in Mexico and Latin America.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración de Olintla y Acuerdos del XI Encuentro Nacional del MAPDER(MAPDER, 31 de agosto de 2014)

El rechazo a reformas, entre las demandas del Mapder (La Jornada de Oriente, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Audio de Boca de Polen: http://bocadepolen.org/web/?p=12994

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Murder of MAPDER member in Veracruz (20 August 2013)

National: IX National Intercultural Meeting of MAPDER in Presidio de los Reyes (15 October 2013)

Chiapas: Regional Forum in Defense of the Land, the Territory and Natural Resources held in Ejido Costa Rica, frontier municipality of Comalapa (9 March 2011)

Chiapas: pilgrimage against “death projects” (3 December 2010)

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