Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 29, 2016

Galeano (Marcos) 'And in the Zapatista Communities?'


And in the Zapatista Communities?
Zapatista Army for National Liberation
To the compañer@s of the Sixth:
To whom it may concern:
Compañeroas, compañeros and compañeras:
Now we are going to tell you a little bit about the Zapatista communities, where the bases of support resist and struggle.
What we are going to share with you now comes from reports by the Zapatista compañeras and compañerosin the communities who are coordinators for their commissions (for example, health, education, young people, etc), autonomous authorities, or other organizational coordinators. But along with the compas of theComité [CCRI] we checked to make sure this information wasn’t a lie, that things hadn’t been altered so that the good things would appear and bad things would remain hidden. The work of these writings is not to lie to our compas of the Sixth nor to those who support us and are in their solidarity. We won’t lie to you, to them, nor to anyone else.
If things are going badly we will tell you so clearly, but not so that you feel even more sad on top of everything that is happening in your own geographies and calendars. We tell you because it is our way of being accountable, of letting you know what’s happening and so that you know if we are on the path we said we were on or if we have wandered off that path, perhaps repeating the same vices we criticize.
But if we are on the right track, well we want you to know that too in order to bring joy to the collective heart that we are.

McCarthyism: The new face of journalism

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The McCarthyism that destroyed careers and lives of filmmakers, writers and journalists, is the same as what is happening today, just in a different form. 
The truth-tellers are being silenced. Whether it is done with an economic torch, forcing journalists into unemployment and poverty, or whether it is done by billionaires or the casino industry purchasing and controlling the media that once gave them a voice, the truth tellers are vanishing.
On Facebook, the financial profiteers are scamming readers by seizing real journalists content and placing it on webpages loaded with advertising. This violates copyrights and is illegal profiteering from others hard work. It is part of the dissolving of real journalism and the diluting of truth.
The pullout of Al-Jazeera America, which was broadcasting some good coverage in Indian country, was said to be for financial reasons. Well, for whatever reasons the plug was pulled, it was one of the few media outlets that was actually showing up in Indian country, instead of staying home and plagiarizing.
Casino-funded media has proven to be the death of real journalism in Indian country.
Corporate billionaires have proven they can take control of any existing media.
Where does this leave us all? Looking for a new form, a new way for truth telling.

February 28, 2016

Photos Wounded Knee Liberation Day 2016

Photo copyright Violet Bear Runner. Thank you for sharing with Censored News.

Photo copyright Jean Roach. Thank you for sharing with Censored News.

Photo above and photos below copyright Jean Roach.

Liberation Day Wounded Knee 2016

Check back today for more photos.

February 26, 2016

Zapatistas Galeano (Marcos) responds to Mexico's expiration of his arrest


Subcomandante Marcos, now Galeano, responds to the Mexican government's statement
that charges against him have expired

Why don’t you self-prescribe this?[i]
Zapatista Army for National Liberation
To the Federal Judiciary Council of Mexico:
The whole time the only terrorists have been those who for more than 80 years have so badly governed this country. You are simply the sink where the genocidaires go to wash their hands and together you have converted the judicial system into a poorly built and clogged latrine, the national flag in a reusable roll of toilet paper, and the national shield into a logo made of undigested fast food. Everything else is pure theater in order to simulate justice where there is only impunity and shamelessness, feigning “institutional government” where there is nothing more than dispossession and repression.
So, prescribe yourselves this: [IMAGE]
From 6 feet under.
The deceased and sorely missed (ha!) SupMarcos
Why so serious?
I adhere and subscribe (not prescribe/expire):
Authorized by the General Command of the EZLN
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés
February 2016
P.S. So, does this mean the Tampiqueño[ii] is now free to leave community and go for some stuffed crabs? He’ll have to pick up the tab, of course, otherwise forget it. So he is free now to do what any other Mexican can do? That is, now he’s free to be exploited, mocked, defrauded, humiliated, disrespected, spied on, extorted, kidnapped, murdered, disappeared, and to suffer all those insults to his intelligence from those who say they govern this country? I mean, I’m asking because this is the only thing the “institutions” guarantee any citizen in this country who isn’t above.
[i] This communiqué is a response by the EZLN to the recent pronouncement by the Federal Judiciary Council of Mexico that concluded that the warrant out for the arrest of (then) Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos for actions stemming from the uprising of January 1, 1994, had expired (“se prescribe” in Spanish), due to the fact that 20 years exceeds the statute of limitations on the crimes for which he was accused. (The charges were terrorism, sedition, mutiny, rebellion, and conspiracy). The EZLN here plays with the double meaning of “prescribirse” (expire and prescribe). The Mexican judiciary says his arrest warrant “se prescribe” (has expired) and the EZLN answers, “why don’t you “autoprescribirse” (self-prescribe)….this.”
[ii] “El Tampiqueño” is the name given by the EZLN to the person who the Mexican government claimed in 1995 was the man behind Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Photos Apaches Oak Flat Memorial March 2016

The Oak Flat Memorial Walk 2016 Begins!
Thank you to Center for Apache Stronghold and Center for Biological Diversity for sharing photos!
Friday, Feb. 26, 2016
More weekend events at Oak Flat at:

VIDEO: Apache Oak Flat: Year in Review 2015--2016

Now! Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, Anniversary Walk to Oak Flat! Weekend Campout and Events!

Rally for Oak Flat: Photo Sandra Rambler, San Carlos Apache

Mohawk Nation News 'Earth Song'

 Earth Song
Please post & distribute.
MNN. Feb. 26, 2016. Song is our existence. Earth gave life to every natural living thing. She takes us back when we die. All of ono’ware:keh is sacred. We are here to keep it unscarred. To wound our mother is to wound ourselves. People on earth are all spirit beings having a human experience.batman
We sing our song as soon as we are born. We all take a ritual journey walking on our ancestor’s footsteps recreating creation through song. Our land is the first concept in our mind, then a song, then pictures which show us our existence. Our languages are seen and sung.
Land-less clan-less corporate chief.
Land-less clan-less corporate chief.
We connect through our clan to the spirit of mother earth and the natural world. All living beings feel our connection as we become one with them. The first people here on earth needed to connect to the spirit of the earth and needed to get clan to do that. Those that did not get clan perished. We remain connected to the spirit of the earth as long as we continue to communicate with all living things on earth, through the ohenton kariwa’tekwen.
Clan-less bsand & tribal chiefs in Isle of Man office.
Clan-less band & tribal chiefs in Isle of Man office.
If any of us go down to any pond at dusk, we will hear creation singing the notes of creation in their frequencies. The ancient Hebrews called these notes solfaggio, a coded version of the 13 notes of creation.
Every frequency works together to heal earth. In the natural world when one of the creatures is absent, earth will naturally provide another creature to cover that frequency.
Every animal, plant, rock, creek or brook has a note that they sing. The kanion’ke:haka come from the bear, turtle and wolf. The whole of great turtle island is a musical score.
Clan-less corporate council.
Clan-less corporate council.
Those without clan here on earth are destroying earth in the name of economy. They kill her spirit by trying to play ‘god’, trying to replace her spirit through the banks. We are seeing the end of this cycle while witnessing the financial “restructuring”. We onkwe’hon:weh of the world are here to help these clan-less people to connect to the spirit of mother earth.
Jimi Hendrix was the only popular musician to understand the solfaggio frequencies. That is why he tuned his guitar to A417hz, which is listed as one of the frequencies in the Old Testament. Jimi was trying to teach us more as he sings: “if you can just get your mind together, then come across to me. We’ll hold hands and we’ll watch the sunrise from the bottom of the sea. I know, I know, you’re probably going to scream and cry that your little world won’t let you go. But who in your measly little world are you trying to prove that you’re made out of gold and can’t be sold. Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have.”

MNN Mohawk Nation News or more news, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to More stories at MNN Archives. Address: Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L or original Mohawk music visit

Life of Resistance and Caring: Dine' Lenny Foster accepting award for Peltier in Paris

Lenny Foster, Dine', with Cuny Dog, Lakota, at the Peltier Tribunal
in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo Brenda Norrell, Censored News.

Censored News shares this biography of Lenny Foster, Dine', who will be accepting the Frantz Fanon Award on behalf of Leonard Peltier, for Revolutionary Thinking, in Paris on March 6, 2016

Life of Resistance and Caring: Dine' Lenny Foster
Read more about the Frantz Fanon Award at Censored News

"Spirituality is the foundation of American Indian culture–the root of a traditional way of life. If American Indian peoples are denied the right to exercise their spirituality, we're talking about a denial that borders on cultural genocide." —Lenny Foster, 1997

In May of 1972, a group of spiritual leaders involved in the American Indian Movement (AIM) went to Minnesota’s Stillwater prison to perform a traditional Native American Pipe Ceremony. For 23-year-old Lenny Foster, one of the youngest AIM participants, this powerful experience would set the direction for his life’s work. “It had a profound impact on me,” he says. “I could see the hope on [the prisoners’] faces. I felt so good that I could pray in my native tongue. That was fate. Destiny.” Recognizing the importance of traditional Native American religious practice as a source of strength and a necessary means of cultural preservation, Lenny has spent the last 28 years fighting to ensure that incarcerated Native Americans have the right to worship with access to their traditional ceremonies.
Lenny grew up in Fort Defiance, Arizona, with his mother and his father, a Navajo code talker during World War II. Lenny attended an Indian school as a day student and lived with his grandparents on a traditional Navajo sheep camp over the summers. “This traditional upbringing serves as a foundation of who I am today,” he says. “I’ve made it my calling to go to institutions where Native Americans are incarcerated and share it with those who didn’t have the opportunity to learn the traditions and to draw strength from their spiritual heritage.”
After trying out unsuccessfully for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm team, Lenny went to Arizona Western Junior College and then to Colorado State University. In college, he had his first exposure to the civil rights movement. “People were talking about riots in Detroit and Malcolm X and Martin Luther King,” Lenny says, “and I was wondering—where do I fit in?” Lenny joined the American Indian Movement.
In 1970, he was involved in the occupation of Alcatraz and, in 1972, in the Trail of Broken Treaties Caravan and the Bureau of Indian Affairs take-over in Washington, D.C. He took part in the 71-day protest at Wounded Knee in 1973. In 1978, he participated in the Longest Walk, a seven-month journey from Alcatraz to Washington, D.C., to protest proposed legislation that would eliminate the federal government’s fiduciary responsibilities to American Indian nations.
In 1981, as a graduate student in public administration, Lenny volunteered in the Arizona State prisons, where he constructed the first prison sweat lodge in the Southwest. Eventually he realized that his heart lay in this work, and he left his graduate program to pursue it full time. In 1983, the Navajo Nation tribal government began to support his efforts to provide spiritual counsel to incarcerated Native Americans. Today, as the Spiritual Advisor and Director of the Navajo Nations Corrections Project, he is responsible for the traditional spiritual guidance of 1500 inmates in 89 state and federal penitentiaries. “Many prison administrators don’t want Indian people to succeed. They are threatened by the return to spiritual beliefs and want to deny Indians the right to rehabilitate themselves through spirituality,” he says. He is troubled by the high rate of suicide among Native American prisoners, especially juveniles. “We’ve been made to feel ashamed—our long hair has been cut, our sweat lodges have been bulldozed, our eagle feathers have been broken—this results in so much pain and anger.”
Lenny draws strength from the growing support of the outside world for his cause. “I was overwhelmed to hear that Petra Shattuck, a German-American from the East Coast, was working for American Indian rights. I can say this much better in Dine,” he says, “but to be, through her life, drawn into a warrior society that believes in peace and dignity—for the red nations to join in this arena and share this solidarity means a great deal to me.”
Lenny has authored and co-authored legislation protecting the rights of incarcerated Native Americans in four states in the Southwest. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on several occasions. He has been a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council since 1992. In January, 1998, Lenny’s testimony on the overlooked rights of American Indian prisoners was accepted by the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Later that same month, the Association of State Correctional Administrators accepted his proposal to develop standards for American Indian religious freedom within all correctional facilities.
A member of the Grand Council of AIM since 1992, a member of the Native American Church and an active Sundancer, Lenny is active in the protest of the forced relocation of the Dine people in Big Mountain, Arizona.
Lenny Foster is concerned that today’s American Indian youth are less exposed to the traditions that gave him strength. “The responsibility we have as Indian people to teach our children and youths is great—alcoholism, drugs, broken homes are everywhere—you don’t have the role models my generation had.” By offering those most in need of support the kind of spiritual guidance he had as a boy, Lenny Foster shoulders his responsibility to pass on tradition and, in so doing, to pass on strength.


Liste interne du CSIA - Comité de solidarité avec les Indiens des Amériques (CSIA-Nitassinan)
Message sur la liste : (envois restreints aux abonnes)
contact :


« La Spiritualité est le fondement de la culture des Amérindiens – la racine d’un mode de vie traditionnel. Si les peuples Amérindiens se voient nier le droit d’exercer leur spiritualité, il s’agit d’un dénie qui frise le génocide culturel » - LennyFoster, 1997

En mai 1972, un groupe de guides spirituels impliqués dans le Mouvement Indien Américain (AIM) est allé à la prison de Stillwater, dans le Minnesota, pour célébrer une Cérémonie de la Pipe Amérindienne traditionnelle. Pour le jeune Lenny Foster, alors âgé de 23 ans et un des plus jeunes participants de l’AIM, cette expérience puissante devait déterminer la direction de l’œuvre de sa vie. « Ça a eu un impact profond sur moi » dit-il. « J’ai pu voir l’espoir sur les visages [des prisonniers]. Je me suis senti si bien que j’ai pu prier dans ma langue autochtone. C’était le destin. La Destinée. » Prenant conscience de l’importance de la pratique religieuse Amérindienne comme source de force et comme moyen nécessaire de préservation culturelle, Lenny a passé les 28 dernières années à combattre pour que les Amérindiens emprisonnés aient le droit de pratiquer leur religion et aient accès à leurs cérémonies traditionnelles.

Lenny a grandi à Fort Defiance, en Arizona, avec sa mère et son père, un Navajo qui codait les messages pendant la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale. Lenny allait dans une école Indienne comme externe et vivait avec ses grands-parents dans un pâturage traditionnel pour les moutons pendant l’été. « Cette éducation traditionnelle constitue le fondement de ce que je suis aujourd’hui » dit-il. « J’ai fait ma vocation d’aller dans les institutions où des Amérindiens sont incarcérés et de la partager avec ceux qui n’ont pas eu l’occasion d’apprendre les traditions et de tirer de la force de leur héritage spirituel. »

Après avoir essayé sans succès l’équipe agricole des Los Angeles Dodgers, Lenny est allé à l’école pré-universitaire de l’Ouest, en Arizona, puis à l’Université d’Etat du Colorado. A l’école, il a eu son premier contact avec le mouvement des droits civiques. « Les gens parlaient d’émeutes à Detroit, de Malcolm X et Martin Luther King », dit Lenny, « et je me demandais – comment est-ce je me situe là dedans ? » Lenny devint membre de l’American Indian Movement.

En 1970, il a participé à l’occupation d’Alcatraz et, en 1972, à la Caravane de la Piste des Traités Violés, et à l’occupation du Bureau des Affaires Indiennes à Washington D.C. Il a aussi participé aux 71 jours de protestation à Wounded Knee, en 1973. En 1978, il a participé à la Longue Marche, un voyage de sept mois, d’Alcatraz à Washington D.C., pour protester contre un projet de loi qui aurait mis un terme aux responsabilités fiduciaires du gouvernement fédéral vis-à-vis des Nations Amérindiennes.

En 1981, diplômé en administration publique, Lenny s’est porté volontaire dans les prisons de l’état d’Arizona, où il a construit la première ‘sweat lodge’ [cabine de sudation] du Sud-ouest. Il s’est finalement rendu compte que c’est dans ce travail qu’était son cœur, et a abandonné ses études pour le faire à plein temps. En 1983, le gouvernement tribal de la Nation Navajo a commencé à soutenir ses efforts pour fournir des conseils spirituels aux Amérindiens incarcérés. Maintenant, en tant que Conseiller Spirituel et Directeur du Projet de Questions Correctionnelles de la Nation Navajo, il est responsable de l’assistance spirituelle traditionnelle à plus de 1500 prisonniers dans 89 pénitenciers d’états ou fédéraux. « Beaucoup d’administrateurs de prison ne veulent pas que les Indiens réussissent. Ils se sentent menacés par le retour des croyances spirituelles et veulent refuser aux Indiens le droit de se réhabiliter par la spiritualité, » dit-il. Il est choqué par le fort taux de suicides parmi les prisonniers Amérindiens, spécialement les jeunes. « On nous a forcés à avoir honte de nous-mêmes – nos cheveux longs ont été coupés, nos ‘sweat lodge’ ont été détruites par des bulldozers, nos plumes d’aigle ont été brisées – cela mène à beaucoup de souffrance et de colère. »

Lenny tire son énergie du soutien grandissant du monde extérieur pour sa cause. « J’ai été confondu quand j’ai entendu que Petra Shattuck, Américaine d’origine Allemande de la Côte Est, travaillait pour les droits des Amérindiens. Je peux le dire beaucoup mieux en Diné, » dit-il, « mais qu’elle soit, par sa vie, menée vers une société de guerriers qui croit en la paix et la dignité – que les nations rouges rejoignent ce terrain et partagent cette solidarité signifie beaucoup pour moi. »

Lenny est auteur et co-auteur d’une législation qui protège les droits des Amérindiens incarcérés dans quatre états du Sud-ouest. Il a témoigné devant le Comité des Affaires Indiennes du Sénat Américain à plusieurs reprises.
Il est membre du conseil d’administration du Conseil Indien International des Traités depuis 1992. En janvier 1998, le témoignage deLenny sur les droits niés des prisonniers Indiens a été accepté par la Commission des Droits de l’Homme des Nations Unies. Le même mois, l’Association des Administrateurs d’Etablissements Correctionnels de l’Etat ont accepté sa proposition de développer des directives pour la liberté religieuse des Amérindiens dans les établissements correctionnels.

Membre du Grand Conseil de l’AIM depuis 1992, membre de la Native American Church et danseur actif de la ‘Danse du Soleil’,Lenny participe activement aux protestations contre la déportation forcée des Diné de Big Mountain, dans la Réserve Navajo, en Arizona.

Lenny Foster s’inquiète de ce que la jeunesse Amérindienne d’aujourd’hui soit beaucoup moins en contact avec les traditions qui lui ont donné sa force. « La responsabilité que nous avons en tant qu’Indiens d’enseigner à nos enfants et à nos jeunes est énorme – l’alcoolisme, la drogue, les foyers brisés existent partout – il n’y a plus de modèles tels que ma génération en a eu. »  En offrant à ceux qui en ont le plus besoin le genre de soutien spirituel qu’il a eu quand il était enfant, Lenny Foster se charge de la responsabilité de transmettre la tradition, et, ce faisant, de transmettre de la force.

Traduction Christine Prat

Zapatistas: 'Meanwhile, in the Partidista Communities'

MEANWHILE… in the partidista communities

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés  Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.

MEANWHILE… in the partidista [political party affiliated] communities

February 2016.
To the compañer@s of the Sixth:
To whom it may concern:
To our compas and those who aren’t compas:
What we are going to relate to you here comes from the indigenous partidistas that live in various zones of the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas. Although they are active in, supportive of, or work directly for different institutional political parties (PRI, PAN, PRD, PVEN, PMRN, PANAL, PT, PES, PFH… in addition to any others that join the crowd between now and 2018), what they share is having received aid programs from the bad government, as well as serving as the human component for votes and for earthly and heavenly herding. This in addition, of course, to being indigenous and Mexican.
What you are about to read has not appeared, does not appear, nor will it appear in the local, national, or international paid media. It also directly contradicts the government’s propaganda and the praises sung by its media (badly, of course).
In sum, it is evidence of a crime: the “legal” dispossession of lands, history, and the culture of indigenous communities who believed that the bad governments and partidista organizations were there to help them. We have omitted the real names of these communities and persons at their explicit request, as in some cases they fear retaliation and in others they feel shame and expect mockery for the affront they have suffered.
The protagonists here are only a small portion of the victims of a war, the most brutal, terrible, bloody, and destructive war in the history of the world: a war against Humanity.
We are including here just a few examples, though there are many and the lies and suffering are equally prevalent in all of them. Here goes:
What we write here is what is happening in the partidista communities.
It may be hard to believe but what we tell you here is fact, exactly as the compañer@s bases of support have recounted to us, and exactly what those in the communities who are not Zapatistas say about what is happening in their villages. This is in addition to what the compañeros and compañeras of the National Indigenous Congress are suffering in their communities across the country, something that is little known because there is no press that reports on it, as the majority of the existing press is paid press.
This, what we write here, is what has happened just in the last year.
We will look in as if we were in a subterranean Drone to see how the partidistas from below are doing, far from the governmental statistics and paid ‘news’ inserts in the media.
Near La Realidad, there is a community—well, they will remain a community if they defend themselves, you’ll see what happened there—where the people are not Zapatistas, but rather partidistas.
The bad government offered its livestock project there. They gave cattle to all the ejidatarios, not to hold in common but to hold individually. Each one got their cow, their own horse, saddle, corral, wire fence, and salt, and they got a veterinary medicine kit to share.
People were very pleased. They even had posters and t-shirts praising the government for fulfilling its promises. The governing officials got their photos taken and paid the paid media to publish the big news: “the partidista communities are improving; the Zapatistas are the same or worse off than in 1994.” The officials wrote in their accounting ledgers that they had spent a lot in order to hide what they stole: a portion for themselves, another portion for the government, another bit for the paid media.
But it turns out that the news media run around like chickens with their heads cut off, not knowing where to go: to the story of El Chapo who escaped for the second time and who was captured for the third, to the story of the pope who has just arrived, or of the pope who has just left, and meanwhile in whatever corner of Mexico or the world you peer into, they have beat-raped-jailed-murdered-or-disappeared-who-knows-who. And the news is just part of the system, just one more commodity. In this case it sells if it is reported and it sells if it is silenced. So the media get paid to report it… and paid even more to keep it quiet.
But only a short time had passed when the ejidatarios [collective land holders] of the community receiving governmental support had to cover “a need” and sold a cow. When we say “a need” it means they had an urgent problem, like a serious illness. When the project inspector came and began to count the cows, one by one, that had been given to the community, one was missing. The inspector asked the ejidatario whose cow was missing and what happened and the man answered: “I sold it because I had a need.” The inspector said,“you can’t sell it, why didn’t you ask permission first? You will have to buy a replacement, of the same size and breed.” And the ejidatorio said to the inspector: “but how, sir, if I already spent the money on the urgent need I had, where am I going to get the money for the replacement?” And the inspector replied, “That’s not my problem, that’s your problem. Buy the replacement, that’s all there is to it, and if you don’t, we’re going to take everything else away.”
Not even a month had passed and the damned inspector came back. He got all the ejidatarios together and got out a bunch of papers and showed them to the people saying, “all these papers are the lists, receipts, and invoices for everything you have received from the government. That is why this land is no longer yours, you will have to leave, and it’s better for you to go voluntarily, because if not you will go by force. If you go willingly, the place where you will go to live is ready for you: it will be in Escárcega, state of Campeche, or else you will go to Los Chimalapas”.
So what had been happening all this time was that while the people were feeling happy with the support of the bad government, what they were actually doing was taking care of cattle that wasn’t even theirs, like peons. And what they were really signing for, with their ejidal accords and voter credentials, was the selling off their lands, cheap, without realizing it.
Right there the smiles stopped and the shame, sadness, pain, and rage started.
Because that area is a tourist zone. That is where the Jataté river has left a few islands that are very beautiful. And that is what these men who live for money want. This is happening in community X, official municipality of Maravilla Tenejapa, along the border with Guatemala.
Do you know where Los Chimalapas is? Yes, bordering the state of Oaxaca. Do you know that there are frequently conflicts there, land problems, between Oaxacan and Chiapan campesinos? Well, those are going to increase. The federal and state governments are using that place as a relocation site for those who are kicked off their lands. This is what governmental populism does: it doesn’t resolve problems, what it does is make them bigger and then transfer them to other geographies so that they explode on other calendars.
The needs of the people do not matter to the bad governments and the partidistas above. All of their campaigns and social programs are not only an enormous lie and a source of self-enrichment, but also a means of dispossession.
But let’s keep listening to and seeing the partidistas:
In the zone of the caracol of Garrucha (but also in other zones), this is what happened: the communities W,X, and Y, have received the “Pro Arbol” project. There are other communities who also have received it, but we didn’t hear about them. But these three communities did give this account from the partidistas in the official municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas.
The government prohibited all of these communities from cutting down trees to meet their needs, like firewood to cook, or wood for the construction of their houses. The people are saying that they are afraid of what will happen to them, that they were only given a small slice of grassland to plant their cornfields, and if they cut down the medium-height brush around there they are fined. So if they have to repair a piece of wood from their small shacks, they have to buy a wood plank from the sawmills. The sawmills belong to large companies and these companies can cut down trees, all the trees they want, there exactly where the campesinos can’t cut anything. If the campesinos need firewood to cook, then they have to buy it somewhere and carry loads of wood to their houses. There they go with their firewood on their backs, walking the same highway as the big trucks that are transporting gigantic tree trunks cut from the same community land whose inhabitants are prohibited from cutting firewood in order “to protect the ecology.”
Where do the campesinos get the money to buy the wood plank they need for their house or firewood for cooking? From governmental programs. What do they have to do in order to receive government handouts? Present the assembly agreement, identity card, the CURP, and all of those papers that tag people just like they tag cattle and trees. These tags are supposed to give people identity but what they actually do is take it away; now they are not so-and-so person, they are such-and-such number.
And why do the bad governments want these papers? To demonstrate that the campesinos sold their land legally, so that they can evict them legally, and legally displace them to other lands, which are illegally settled. And so on.
But, what is the situation of the women in the partidista families? Well, we’ll tell you what the partidistas themselves say.
In 2 communities, X and Y, the women went to collect the [government] project handouts, but the government told them that the girls of the community should accompany them as well and that they had to go to Tuxtla Gutierrez, capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas, where the governor and his officials live. It turns out that, upon arriving in Tuxtla, they took the girls in one direction and the grown women in another. But among the girls, by mistake, was one grown woman. And it was this woman who communicated with her husband and said that they had been locked up in a house for 3 hours, and the girls said they had been forced to have sexual intercourse. And now the community is saying that what the officials are actually doing is requiring sexual relations in exchange for project handouts. For example, one girl was having problems because she had been forced to have sexual intercourse, and she asked her mother if that’s what happens the first time, if sexual intercourse is in fact painful. And her mother asked her, “why daughter, what’s wrong? Why do you ask this?” And the girl had to explain what happened in Tuxtla.
So the bad government is re-imposing the “right of the first night” (where when a girl was going to get married, the ranch or hacienda owner had the right to rape her first) in the partidista communities. That is how they govern, acting just like the ranch and hacienda owners from before. And also like before, they have the blessing of the High Clergy who opens the doors of the cathedrals for them so that (for a payout) they receive the sacraments, are absolved of their crimes and rapes, and once again pose, pure and smiling, in photos for the paid press and on television. This is who those governors and officials who pray with devotion and are first in line for ecclesiastic blessings really are.
That is how hell is brought forth with a blessing on earth.
And the partidista young people?
We can’t say in which community or communities what we are going to tell you about now happened. But two mestizo men showed up there saying that they worked with some major businessmen and that they were looking for workers. They said that they knew there were people who wanted to go work in the north but that it’s difficult to get there, and that they were willing to take them directly to the work sites. These 2 guys ended up recruiting 9 young people. A few months later, one of those young people managed to communicate with his family and that’s how they found out that he had been shot because he had fled the place where they were locked up. It turns out that the work was planting marijuana and poppy, that they weren’t allowed to leave, that they had been told clearly, “you will never leave here,” and he didn’t know if the others would be able to get away but their families should know how things were where they were taken.
And in another partidista village: a family made deals with narcotraffickers. Something went wrong because the father got a message, “if you don’t pay, your family will pay.” And that’s what happened, he received a cell phone image of his daughter’s head cut off, saying that if he wanted to bury her he would find her at such-and-such place. Other relatives went to pick up the body of the girl. But before that tragedy the family had been very pleased that they had good pay without having to work much.
In another village, in the northern zone of Chiapas, some people from the government came to offer “projects” for coffee, corn, school, medical clinics, churches, and highways, and the people accepted. They were happy because they could live well. Later the government officials came back to tell them that they would have to leave that place because there was uranium there, which was very toxic, and they’d have to leave their homes and lands willingly or by force. And if they left willingly they could go to Escárcega or Chimalapas.
They showed them the invoices and receipts from all of the expenses of the projects. And there were their names, their pictures, their ejidal assembly accords, everything that legally demonstrated that they were not in fact receiving aid but rather selling their lands.
In another zone, in a village in the municipality of Simojovel, there is amber and the people work in amber extraction in order to survive. Well, when there was that campaign to privatize the ejidos, some communities fell into the trap [of privatization]. So the owners of the [ejido] land then started selling it off piece by piece, meter by meter, and people from around there bought it up to see if there was amber there they could sell. But one day they were all run off because a Chinese businessman arrived to extract the amber. The foreign capitalist had all of the legal papers in order, thanks to the signatures of the people who thought they were signing to receive government aid and projects.
In other partidista villages strange people have shown up and the community has caught and fined them for entering their lands without permission. One community charged 300,000 pesos and the strangers paid it, even offering a little more, saying “we have come for what is now the first phase; there will be a second and third phase, and you all are going to have a lot of work, that is, good jobs with the new landowner.” Another community also caught some strangers who arrived by boat and charged them 100,000 pesos. The strangers paid the fine and said they had come to research the place because there were sulfur and other mines there, and that this was also just a first phase and there would be second and third phases.
In another community, close to the Miramar lagoon, a partidista commented that what they had received from governmental programs at the beginning of December (2015) was the last they would receive because it completed payment for the land and that the owner was going to come live on his land, that is, the new Japanese owner of that land. The thing is that these communities had everything they needed, they were well attended to, they even had an incubator for raising chickens. They received all the governmental aid programs and it turns out that what they had done, unknowingly, was sell their lands to a foreigner.
Another governmental program is PROSPERA, which used to be called Oportunidades. Women who sign up for this program receive aid for each child that they have in school. But this program has conditions, and what we know about these conditions is the following: the women are obligated to see a doctor frequently and forced to have pap smears. If they refuse the exams, they lose their aid. This program also prohibits the community from using some traditional communal health services, such as midwives. Now the women have to go to the city to give birth in the hospitals. If they are allowed in, that is.
Another issue is the question of the digital televisions. The government is handing out televisions to all of the partidistas. On December 22 and 23 of 2015, people from all of the communities in the municipality of Las Margaritas gathered at the sports center of Comitán. People began lining up to receive their television at 12 midnight, and really a lot of people came. What happened there was that 2 people died, a child and a woman: the child died because people were pushing in the crowd and the child was crushed as the mother couldn’t defend him; the woman was murdered when, upon arriving home, her husband took out a pistol and shot her for not having protected their child. A partidista gave us this account.
A few days after the people got their televisions, the partidista women said that many of the TVs were broken, many of them short-circuited when they were connected and burned out. Others turned on but didn’t show anything; apparently now they have to buy some additional device in order to see anything. The partidistas say that it is a business that Peña Nieto made with a Japanese company.
Well, those were just a few examples. There are many more, and they are equally or more chilling and infuriating as the ones we recounted here.
We are not lying or inventing things.
These are the words of the partidistas who, in their shame and rage, have come to us, as Zapatistas, to ask for advice and support.
We Zapatistas listen respectfully.
We don’t scold them for their betrayals, attacks, and slander.
We don’t throw in their faces the fact that they have aided our persecutors in the past and many times helped those above attack us.
We don’t mock their tragedies and shame.
We do not take joy from their pain.
Nor do we tell them that they should become Zapatistas, because we know well that it is difficult to be a Zapatista.
This has been, is, and will be our life and death: as Zapatistas.
This is what we told them:
“We Zapatistas have nothing to offer, not paid projects, not money, not earthly or heavenly promises. We only have our example. Organize yourselves, don’t let anyone tell you what to do or how or when to do it, defend what is yours. Resist, struggle, live.”
Now perhaps you are asking yourselves what the partidistas do in the face of these aggressions, evictions, and impositions. And the answer is very simple: they pass themselves off as Zapatistas.
One partidista said: “That’s the only way we are respected. So we hide our papers and we change our names. Because of the ignorance imposed upon us by the government, we thought that the Zapatistas were bad people. We see now that’s not the case.
We hope that the same thing does not happen again, that we will no longer be spies and traitors. We see now that one who betrays will be betrayed. And the truth is that we are very ashamed and enraged that we have been mocked once again, as always.
We thought that we were doing well, and we were only awaiting the worst.
We thought that we had so much, and now we have nothing.
We were blind and now we are naked.
We made fun of you, calling you “fucking Indians,” and it turns out that you are much better off than we are because you have your organization that does not abandon you, that does not detour from its path, that does not sell out, does not give up.
That’s what they told us.
The Zapatista that was listening to the partidista responded:
“Change our path, sell out, give up? Never.”
From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés  Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano.
Mexico, February 2016
NOTICE FOR THE SIXTH AND THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS: In the next few days we will convoke a series of activities. Be alert.
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