On December 21st and 22nd, the Forum in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth was held in the new Jacinto Canek caracol, at the Cideci/Unitierra facilities in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Convened by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), it was attended by more than 900 people from 25 Mexican states and 24 countries.
The welcome was given by the former candidate for the presidency and spokesperson of the CIG, María de Jesus Patricio Martinez, Marichuy. During the event, presentations and testimonies were made by peoples and organizations in Mexico, as well as of indigenous peoples of Colombia, the Mapuche people of Chile and Kurdish women, with an emphasis on the impacts that megaprojects have on the territory and Mother Earth. We also heard stories of struggle and resistance to continue defending life through organization, collectivity, autonomy, legal action, direct action or the strengthening of one’s own cultures.
It is also worth mentioning the participation of 20 men and women from the Zapatista support bases that explained how for more than 20 years they have made progress in consolidating their own forms of government without omitting the difficulties they have encountered along the way. “The ‘Fourth Annihilation’ will destroy everyone, there will be a lot of sadness, but it gives us courage and anger to see how they continue to deceive our brothers, the situation that comes with the new government that is dispossession. Therefore, given this, we can only resist and face the war of the Fourth Annihilation,” said one of the Zapatista delegates. He also said that “to fight or organize you do not need to be a Zapatista, the important thing is to fight and face the bad system, let’s carry out a great task and take you to work with other colleagues, that is the only way to defend what we have.”
At the end of the event, some agreements were made among which is the convening of Days in Defense of the Territory and Mother Earth “Samir Somos Todxs”, for February 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2020.
The next day, the Jacinto Canek caracol was formally inaugurated, in the facilities of the Cideci/Unitierra, in San Cristobal de Las Casas, from where the Good Government Council will work as “Flower of our word, light of our peoples that reflects for all”.
For more information in Spanish:
Foro en Defensa del Territorio y la Madre Tierra [audios y fotos] (Radio zapatista, 24 de diciembre de 2019)
Indígenas acuerdan conformar modelo económico paralelo al capitalista (Aristegui Noticias, 23 de diciembre de 2019)
Bases del EZLN advierten que seguirán resistiendo la “Cuarta Aniquilación” (Proceso, 23 de diciembre de 2019)
EZLN: al capitalismo no le importa destruirnos; no lo permitamos (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2019)
PROGRAMA DEL FORO EN DEFENSA DEL TERRITORIO Y LA MADRE TIERRA (Enlace zapatista, 20 de diciembre de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas/Nacional: se lleva a cabo 4ª Asamblea del CNI-CIG en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (21 de diciembre de 2019)
Chiapas: EZLN – Una Ballena en las montañas del sureste mexicano: Segundo Festival de Ciné zapatista (18 de diciembre de 2019)