On 12 May the National Caravan for the Defense of Water, Land, Work, and Life arrived in San Cristóbal de las Casas Chiapas, having been organized by the Yaqui people of Sonora, Mexico. Via three different routes (northern, northwestern, and southern), Yaquis have been touring the country to raise awareness about their struggle against megaprojects.
About 50 members of the Southern Caravan marched in San Cristóbal de las Casas, together with constituent members of other social processes in favor of the right to water, neighbors from Cuxtitali, defenders of wetlands, and female members of the Movement in Defense of Land and Territory, which struggles for the participation of women and their recognition within decision-making processes, among other goals.
It should be stressed that the indigenous Yaqui people, who have for 3 centuries striven to defend their autonomy, territory, and right to water, have two of its members politically imprisoned: Mario Luna and Fernando Jiménez, both of whom are charged with kidnapping and robbery during the protests against the Independence Aqueduct, which transfers water from the Yaqui River to Hermosillo. This outcome was based on the violation of the indigenous peoples’ right to prior consultation.
The three routes of the caravan will continue their paths toward the Mexican capital, where they plan to arrive on 22 May in a joint concluding action.
For more information (in Spanish):
En defensa de nuestros territorios: Pronunciamiento de la Caravana Yaqui en San Cristóbal (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 12 de mayo de 2015)
Continúan caravanas de yaquis en defensa del agua, el territorio el trabajo y la vida (La Jornada, 13 de mayo de 2015)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):