17th anniversary of the Tlachinollan Mountain CDH (@SIPAZ)
On 1 and 2 July was celebrated in Tlapa de Comonfort in Guerrero’s La Montaña the 17th anniversary of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, days on which were held a “Forum in Defense of Land,” a subject around which many peoples have been organizing themselves. The forum was attended by nearly 200 individuals from different social and civil organizations from Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and other places.
During the first day of the forum were had presentations by activists of different municipalities in Guerrero and Oaxaca who are opposed to mineral exploration and exploitation and the construction of hydroelectric dams in their territories. On the second day, participants met in three work-groups (Defense of Territory, Right to Consultation, and Defense against Dams) where they could share their experiences and seek out ways in which to unite their efforts. A common theme at the forum was the right to consultation. Different speakers emphasized its importance and the fact that several different interpretations of the concept could be had, depending on the party in question and his or her interests in a given project.
In spite of the reduced presence of women in the panels on the first day, many participated actively in the plenary sessions and in the work-groups. In the group on Defense against Repression, several women emphasized the importance of women’s participation in struggle. They mentioned that it is often women who lead struggles of resistance against the exploitation of land.
Abel Barrera, director of Tlachinollan, celebrated that by means of the Forum there had been promoted a dialogue among communities, and he hopes that a communication network among the communities themselves and between communities, universities, and civil organizations continues to expand. In other news, one of the participants at the Forum, a comunero from the community of La Montaña, stressed the importance of the daily work of Tlachinollan regarding the education of peoples. “Before we didn’t know why to defend our lands against mining, but Tlachinollan has told us many things. The mining companies just tell us what they are going to do, but they do not count the costs.”
The celebration of the 17th anniversary ended with a mass in the Catholic church of Tlapa, celebrated in honor to Tlachinollan, as well as with a festival of presentations of traditional and modern cultures.
For more information (in Spanish):
Pronouncement of the Forum in Defense of the Land (in spanish) (2 July 2011)
Se recrudece la criminalización de la lucha social: Tlachinollan (La Jornada de Guerrero, 3 July 2011)
Llama Tlachinollan a las autoridades a no manosear asambleas comunitarias (El Sur de Acapulco, 3 July 2011)
Para más información de SIPAZ: