Chiapas: March in Palenque to defend Mother Earth and territory

October 25, 2013

Marcha 10 octubre 2013 @ Centro DH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas

March on 10 October 2013 @ Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights

On 10 October in Palenque there was held a march in defense of territory and Mother Earth that was organized in part by the indigenous organizations Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Freedom (CDLI), Tsoblej Yu’un jWocoltic, Xí’inich, and the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Jungle of Chiapas (UCISeCH).  Some 700 persons participated in the march, being from different communities and civil and social organizations.  They carried palm branches and banners, crying out that “Government, understand, the land is not for sale!”  In a press-release, the organizations noted that “we are tired of being tricked by governments and firms with their programs, such as FANAR (previously PROCEDE) and the Crusade against Hunger, by means of which they have invested money into the communities, provoking division in place of promotion of economic and social development.  With the entrance of such money, those with weak hearts are encouraged, because they are led to think that this will make everything easier, but in reality it makes us less useful still, given that we buy their seeds which destroy our lands, we buy their poisons which create more pests, and we open the door to their educational system.  With such education, our children would no longer desire to work as we have.”

The theme of the march was the defense of territory and Mother Earth.  For this reason participants declared that “it is the land where maize and beans are born, where our feet dance during parties, where we launch our prayers, where we are born, where we die, where we eat.  The land sustains us and gives us to eat.  To remove ourselves from the land is to eliminate our knowledge and fragment our community.”  With this they made reference to the “modification of article 27 of the Constitution, carried out during the presidential term of Carlos Salinas de Gortari. We do not want a change in ejidal lands becoming small properties; we continue to believe in communal territory.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado en defensa de la madre tierra y el territorio (CDLI, Tsoblej, Xí’inich y UCISECH, 10 de septiembre de 2013)

Realizarán marcha para “la madre naturaleza” (Cuarto Poder, 3 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organizations XI’NICH (25 February 2011)

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