Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held

IMG-20200224-WA0020@Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas

On February 20th and 21st, the “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum was held at the CIDECI-Unitierra facilities in San Cristobal de Las Casas. More than 120 people from the Highlands, Plains, Jungle and North of Chiapas regions participated

In a final pronouncement, the participants commented that during the Forum they analyzed “the situation that we live in our territories against the implementation of megaprojects undertaken by the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in complicity with the large transnational companies.” They expressed that they managed to “map the military presence in the territories, the social programs present, the arrival of officials in search of information about our families: number of children, amount of land, number of young people in our homes, among others; which puts us in a situation of uncertainty because we don’t know the purpose of that data.”

They expressed their “total rejection of the megaprojects of destruction and death such as the San Cristobal-Palenque super highway, the privatization of water, mining, as well as the hydroelectric plant, the Maya Train, agricultural programs such as Sembrado Vida that combined with other social programs and the militarization of Chiapas, aim to break the social fabric, divide communities, families and weaken social movements that fight and resist in defense of life, land and territory.”

Women denounced that “assistance programs and projects are reaching our communities, specifically agroindustrial projects aimed mostly at men, excluding us for the simple fact of being women,” in particular the Sembrando Vida Program and other programs aimed at the countryside. “They grant financial support only to men and do not solve family needs; On the contrary, they strengthen male chauvinism, the consumption of alcohol and drugs, generating a significant increase in violence against women and the abandonment of family plots. By prioritizing the programs of the countryside that submit, control, manipulate and decide for the lives of the people, the government manipulates the situation of poverty experienced by hundreds of indigenous and campesino families, turning them into slaves and waiters of the capitalist government. In this way we see how neoliberalism is disrupting community structures, breaking the processes of self-determination and autonomy of the original peoples,” they declared.

They concluded by telling the government that “we are not afraid of their military, that we declare our territories free of megaprojects and military. Despite the criminalization of our partners and social advocates, we will not abandon our struggle, quite the opposite, we will unite our voice, our resistance and rebellion, our anger and our hearts in our struggle that is for life.”

For more information in Spanish:

PRONUNCIAMIENTO EN EL MARCO DEL FORO: “Hablemos sobre los programas de gobierno, megaproyectos y los efectos que tienen en la vida de las mujeres campesinas indígenas y en las comunidades” (23 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : se lleva a cabo la asamblea Nacional en Defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio, en la comunidad de Amilcingo, Morelos (February 24, 2020)

National: EZLN and CNI Hold Events on the First Anniversary of the Murder Samir Flores (February 25, 2020)

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN, CNI and CIG Convene Actions in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth “We Are All Samir” (January 14, 2020)

Chiapas/National: Fourth Assembly of CNI-CIG Held in San Cristobal de Las Casas (January 13, 2020)

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