National: Multiple Mobilizations on Centenary of Death of Emiliano Zapata

ZapataCNI march in Chiapas (@SIPAZ)

On April 10th, as part of the centenary of Emiliano Zapata’s death, indigenous people, campesinos and teachers mobilized in seven states: Chiapas, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Michoacan, Guerrero, Aguascalientes and Morelos.

In Chiapas, approximately 3,000 members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym) marched in San Cristobal de Las Casas. They denounced that the president’s development plan “brings dispossession and the destruction of our territories”, with projects such as the Maya Train, which, they warned, “will not happen, whatever the cost, we will not allow their rotten ideas, with their megaprojects, enter and strip us of our territory, because the bad government will not come to command, to silence or to intimidate in our houses, even if they are thinking of doing it with their national Guard.” In a pronouncement they stated that, “those who dressed up as the left have only put on masks of good faces, but of very bad intentions. They wear clothes of other colors and call themselves by other names, but they do not deceive us the original peoples in struggle and resistance, because they are the same foremen who want to impose plans of death with their lying and rigged consultations.” They also said that the government “does not ask us in their consultation if we want to live, but in what way we want to die. There are many wars that we face, but we are not afraid of them.”

Although it was not present here or in Morelos, where the CNI also called a march, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) published a statement in which he explained that his absence has a “simple” reason: “in our mountains and valleys the military presence has increased, police, paramilitary, and spies, ears and informants (…), the threat of death travels by air and land to indigenous communities who have decided to remain in resistance and rebellion to defend the land.” Although it noted a continuity with the previous governments, it pointed out that “today the persecution, harassment and attack against our communities is “for the good of all” and is done under the banner of the supposed “IV Transformation.” The EZLN also said that the new government seeks to appropriate the image of Zapata “so that, with his death, the defense of the land also dies.” However, “the original peoples will continue in rebellion and resistance,” it said.

In Morelos, social organizations from various states of the Republic arrived in Chinameca, where Zapata was murdered, and criticized President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for “the incongruity with which he seeks to legitimize his government by trampling on the rights of the people.” Jorge Zapata Garcia, grandson of the revolutionary, said that “100 years ago Madero betrayed Zapata and now 100 years later, the same government again betrays the ideals of Zapata. For me it is a mockery what he did to decree 2019 the year of General Emiliano Zapata and to commemorate it by handing over the water of the ejidos to the transnational companies. In addition, it is a provocation because the peoples have already shown that the thermoelectric plant is not going to be allowed.” For its part, the People’s Front in Defense of the Land and Water for Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala denounced the lack of action in the case of the murder of Samir Flores on February 20th, and demanded that Lopez Obrador announce the suspension and cancellation of the gas pipeline in Morelos.

The members of the CNI present at the event declared themselves on alert to the megaprojects that the federal government intends to impose on their territories and against the criminalization of social protest. They warned that “today 100 years after the betrayal and the lie that cowardly ended life of General Emiliano Zapata, that lie and betrayal returned with a supposed face of democracy, but, as then, that word, when it comes from above, only means war, impersonation and deception of the whole nation.” They announced that they would continue an organizational process that articulates the different expressions of struggles and agreed on a second national assembly on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, with a date to be defined.

In Veracruz, the demonstrations also denounced the projects of transnational companies, in particular Nestlé, which intends to grow coffee for a plant it wants to establish in the state. In Oaxaca, professors of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE in its Spanish acronym) demanded the abrogation of the educational reform. They also raised demands regarding reconstruction after the 2017 earthquakes and rejection of the federal megaprojects based on the Special Economic Zones and the Program for the Isthmus of the Tehuantepec Region. In Michoacan, the teachers also marched. In Guerrero, teachers and students of Ayotzinapa marched and took over highway tollbooths and reiterated their request that their 43 disappeared in Iguala in 2014 companions reappear. Finally, in Aguascalientes, the offices of the Welfare Secretariat were occupied to demand the delivery of programs.

For more information in Spanish:

PRONUNCIAMIENTO DE LOS PUEBLOS DEL CONGRESO NACIONAL INDIGENA, CONCEJO INDIGENA DE GOBIERNO EN CHIAPAS (CNI Chiapas, 10 de abril de 2019)

Mensaje del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional en los 100 años del asesinato del General Emiliano Zapata (EZLN, 10 de abril de 2019)

Recuerdan a Zapata con protestas contra autoridades en seis estados (La Jornada, 11 de abril de 2019)

El gobierno actual quiere secuestrar la imagen de Zapata: EZLN (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

Más de 3 mil indígenas marchan en Chiapas en memoria de Zapata (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

“Así como Madero quiso comprar a Zapata, el mal gobierno quiso comprar a Samir y a los pueblos que resisten”: EZLN a cien años del asesinato de Emiliano Zapata (Desinformémonos, 10 de abril de 2019)

Entre consignas contra el “mal gobierno”, lanzan vivas a Zapata en Chinameca (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

Congreso Nacional Indígena, en alerta contra los megaproyectos del gobierno de AMLO (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

En ceremonia por Zapata, Blanco justifica consulta de AMLO sobre termoeléctrica en Huexca (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

En ceremonia por Zapata, Blanco justifica consulta de AMLO sobre termoeléctrica en Huexca (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

Con ausencia de nieto de Zapata “decepcionado” de la 4T, AMLO conmemora centenario luctuoso del caudillo (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: CNI, EZLN y organizaciones indígenas convocan a las jornadas de lucha “Zapata vive, Samir vive, la lucha sigue” (19 de marzo de 2019)

Nacional: Se lleva a cabo la tercera asamblea del Congreso Nacional Indígena y el Concejo Indígena de Gobierno (CNI-CIG) en la Ciudad de México (8 de marzo de 2019)

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