National/Chiapas: EPN in Navenchauc, Zinacantán launches actions for the National Crusade against Hunger

April 22, 2013

Enrique Peña Nieto y Da Lula Silva (@Animal Político)

Enrique Peña Nieto and Da Lula Silva (@Animal Político)

On 19 April, accompanied by the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto visited the community of Navenchauc in the Zinacantán municipality in the Highlands of Chiapas, where he launched actions for the National Crusade against Hunger.  In January of this year, the Las Margaritas municipality in Chiapas had been selected for the inauguration site of this campaign.

In his comments, EPN defended the Crusade against Hunger and called on Rosario Robles Berlanga, Secretary for Social Development, to “weather” the criticisms of those who “only concern themselves with elections.”  He added that “for us, for this government, we have a clear objective, a task of commitment to Mexicans, which is to put an end to hunger.”  It should be recalled that the previous day, Robles Berlanga fired a delegate of this institution in Veracruz, Ranulfo Márquez, so that he could be investigated for the presumed utilization of the resources of the Crusade to the benefit of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the upcoming state elections.  On 23 April, he will present testimony before the federal Senate regarding the supposed advances of this program.

At the event was also present Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, former president of Brazil and initiator of the program “Zero Hunger” which allowed 33 million people to leave poverty and another 40 million to ascend to the middle class of Brazil.  Lula noted that the “Zero Hunger” program gave rise to many criticisms: “They said that the program had welfare characteristics.  They said it was populist, that it thought nothing more than of elections.  They said that this program was merely to give handouts to the people, and that people would then become lazy.”  He assured on the other hand that “Hunger does not exist because of lack of money, agricultural production, or technology.  It exists due to the lack of shame on the part of the authorities in this world […].  So for this reason, President, the poor do not have reason to have patience, but instead should be present and trust in their government.  They have you; do not fail them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Hay hambre por falta de vergüenza de gobernantes”: Lula (Proceso, 19 de abril de 2013)

Lula acompañará a Peña en Cruzada contra el Hambre (El Universal, 19 de abril de 2013)

Espaldarazo de Peña a Rosario Robles: hay que aguantar (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2013)

EPN: nos critican los que sólo piensan en elecciones (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2013)

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Chiapas: Indigenous Ch’oles block highway in north of the state

February 7, 2013

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Photo @Laklumal Ixim

On 5 February, in observance of the 96th anniversary of the Mexican Constitution, approximately 450 Ch’ol women and men who pertain to the organization Laklumal Ixim (Our People of Maize) initiated a highway blockade on the Yajalón-Tila route so as to demonstrate that nearly two months into the administration of the new state government, “the communities and peoples continue to experience abandonment, misery, and looting.”  In the communique participants denounce that “the ‘National Crusade against hunger’ is a farce that seeks merely to share crumbs to our communities that experience poverty, while our natural resources are handed over to foreign firms for exploitation.  This is all a part of a strategy of counter-insurgency.”  Furthermore, the members of the organization demand “that the Chiapas state-government cease this strategy of looting and abandonment toward the indigenous and campesino communities of the state, and that they instead attend to our demands and needs: a just price for electricity in accordance with the poverty of our people, quality healthcare and education, dignified infrastructure (homes, works, and roads), support for coffee-growers, projects and programs of support for the countryside to help women and men of indigenous communities, respect for our rights–ejidal, communal, and indigenous–cessation of the strategy of division and confrontation among communities as promoted by the FANAR (previously PROCEDE) that is being promoted above all by the agrarian governmental agency.”

For more information (in English):

Comunicado Laklumal Ixim (5 de febrero de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Choles block highway in the Northern Zone (13 April 2012)


Chiapas: Communique and pilgrimage of the Believing People

January 29, 2013

Misa del Pueblo Creyente en Plaza de la Paz @ SIPAZ

On 25 January the Believing People, an organizational process associated with the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, carried out a pilgrimage in this city in Chiapas to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of bishop Samuel Ruiz García, the twenty-fifth anniversary of bishophood for Raúl Vera López, and the fifteenth anniversary of the Acteal massacre.  The pilgrimage of some 10,000 people demonstrated their concern regarding “the launching of the National Crusade against Hunger, precisely in the municipality of Las Margaritas, given that with this action the federal government’s strategy of not attending to the structural necessities of the people is shown clearly,” as they declared in a public communique.

In their message, the Catholics demanded “the release of many unjustly imprisoned persons, including our brother Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a prisoner of conscience and an inspiration to all those who have suffered in the jails where he has been held,” beyond welcoming “the peaceful mobilization of the EZLN on 21 December, which unequivocably shows their desire for peace.”  Similarly, they denounced “the concessions for mineral exploitation that the federal government has awarded, particularly to foreign firms, thus totally violating the peoples’ fundamental right to prior informed consent,” among other demands.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Pueblo Creyente 25 Enero 2013 (Koman Ilel, 25 de enero de 2013)

Desconfían indígenas católicos en Chiapas de cruzada contra el hambre (La Jornada, 26 de enero de 2013)

Agrupación católica de Chiapas critica la cruzada de Peña Nieto contra el hambre (La Jornada, 27 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People call for invitation to join the Great Pilgrimage – 25 January (24 January 2013)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage of the Believing People in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: pilgrimage against “death projects” (3 December 2010)