Residents of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Lerma municipality, Mexico State, mobilized themselves on 28 July in Mexico City of defend their sacred forest Otomí. The action was organized to protest the expropriatory decree imposed by the federal government that removes part of their territory from their control in favor of the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway.
Present at the march were many representatives from other social processes, including from the Nahua community of Ostula, Michoacán; Ayotzinapa, Guerrero; and San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State, among others. The march expressed its solidarity with the Santa María Ostula community, which is struggling to exercise its right to autonomy as an indigenous population, and who have recently suffered an attack on the part of the Army that killed a girl and left ten others injured. There were also demonstrations of solidarity with the demand for justice for Ayotzinapa.
It should be recalled that San Francisco Xochicuautla is an Otomí-ñatho community that for eight years has resisted the planned construction of the highway in question. Recently, the central government published a decree expropriating 37 hectares to carry out the project, which would plunder the locals’ land. The concession for the construction and maintenance of the highway was made in 2009 by the former Mexico State governor and current president, Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN), to a firm associated with the Higa group. The clear links between the head of state and this corporation have been made clear, as the firm has carried out projects involving millions of pesos during EPN’s administration in Mexico City. In this way have been clarified its links with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), for it also built the polemical “White House” in the Chapultepec hills in Mexico City.
The expressions of support for the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla have been forthcoming through pronunciations and events. In San Cristóbal de Las Casas there was planned an event to raise awareness and express solidarity to include projections of videos and talks about the attacks on the Xochicuautla and Ostula communities, as well as against the Autonomous Rebel Zapatista Municipalities (MAREZ). As organized by adherents to the Sixth Declaration, it was to take place on 31 July in El Paliacate Espacio Cultural, starting at 5pm.
For more information (in Spanish):
Realizan manifestación en defensa de Xochicuautla (SIDIDH, 29 de julio de 2015)
Comuneros se movilizan en el DF contra “el despojo” de tierras para autopista Higa (Sin Embargo, 28 de julio de 2015)
Xochicuautla Abraza y Convoca a Marchar por sus Hermanos Indígenas de Ostula. (Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en defensa de la Madre Tierra, 27 de julio de 2015)
Embestida del ejército contra la comunidad nahua de Santa María Ostula (SubVersiones, 20 de julio de 2015)
Pobladores de Xochicuautla rechazan decreto expropiatorio por construcción de autopista (Aristegui Noticias, 10 de julio de 2015)
La casa blanca de Enrique Peña Nieto (investigación especial) (Aristegui Noticias, 9 de noviembre de 2014)
Para más información de SIPAZ: