August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Monday, June 20, 2016

Zapatistas 'Notes on the War Against the Teachers in Resistance'

Notes on the War Against the Teachers in Resistance (The Hour of the Police 3)

Notes on the War Against the Teachers in Resistance

(The Hour of the Police 3)

Italian, German, Spanish and Portuguese translations at Enlace Zapatista

June 2016
From the notebook of the cat-dog:
—We don’t know about the rest of the country, but in Chiapas those above are losing the media war.
We have seen entire families support the teachers, in the rural areas as well as the urban. And we aren’t talking about support of the “we see your raised fists” type, or that of “the people united will never be defeated” and other slogans that continue to be the same despite distances in calendar and geography because below solidarity continues to be a basic principle. But if in previous mobilizations among the rebellious teachers, the “citizens” (a term that hides inequality) were bothered and fed up, now things have changed.
There are more and more families helping the teachers, donating support for their trips and marches, becoming anxious when they are attacked, offering food, drink, and refuge. They are families who, according to the taxonomy of the electoral left, have been “dumbed down” by television, or are “sandwich-gobblers,”(i) “deranged,” “sheep,” “people without conscience.” But it seems that the outsized media campaign against the teachers in resistance has failed.
The resistance movement against the education reform has become a mirror for more and more people-people (meaning, not social and political organizations, but ordinary people). It is as if the resistance has awoken a collective sense of urgency in the face of the coming tragedy. It is as if every swing of a police baton, every canister of tear gas, every rubber bullet, and every arrest warrant were eloquent slogans: “today I attack her, him; tomorrow I’m coming for you.” Perhaps that is why, behind every teacher there are entire families that sympathize with their cause and their struggle.
Why? Why does a movement that has been fiercely attacked on all sides continue to grow? If they are “vandals,” “slackers,” “terrorists,” “corrupt,” and “opposed to progress,” then why do so many people below, no small number in the middle, and even a few above salute the teachers, even if sometimes in silence, for defending what anyone would defend?
—“Reality is a lie.” That could have been the headline of the article published in the badly named Chiapan newspaper “Cuarto Poder” [Fourth Estate] (a press outlet nostalgic for the era of the haciendas and the gentlemen carrying pitchforks and knives) when it “denounced” that the street party celebrated in support of the teachers in resistance on June 9 in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, capital of the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, was a sham. Parachicos,(ii) dancers, musicians, [the use of] traditional dress, people in wheelchairs, marimbas, drums, whistles and flutes, the best of Zoque art, and thousands of people paid respect to the teachers’ resistance. The so-called “success” of the media war against the CNTE [National Coordinating Committee for Education Workers] can be summed up in a poster that read: “Thank you teacher, for teaching me how to struggle.” Another said, “I’m not a teacher, but I am Chiapan and I’m against the education reform.”
But what bothered the executives at “Cuarto Poder” was the one that said, in so many words, “If you made the güero Velasco (iii) governor of the desert, in a few months sand would be scarce.”
—After more than three years of promoting the supposed “education reform,” Mr. Nuño (iv) still cannot present any argument even minimally related to education in favor of what is really his “payroll adjustment program.” His arguments have been, up to this point, the same as any overseer during the era of Porfirio Diaz: hysterical screaming, blows, threats, firings, and imprisonments—the same things employed by any sad and mediocre candidate that aspires to play the role of postmodern police.
—They have beat them, gassed them, imprisoned them, threatened them, fired them unjustly, slandered them, and declared a de facto state of siege in Mexico City. What’s next? Will they disappear them? Will they murder them? Seriously? The “education” reform will be born upon the blood and cadavers of the teachers? Are they going to replace the teachers’ encampments with police and military encampments? Are they going to substitute the protest blockades with those of tanks and bayonets?
—Lessons for Nuño on terrorism: the taking of hostages (which is what the detention of members of the CNTE leadership is), for whatever kind of terrorism (by the state as well as by its fundamentalist mirrors) is a mechanism to force dialogue and negotiation. We don’t know if there above they realize it, but it turns out that the other side (the teachers) is the one seeking dialogue and negotiation. Or did the SEP (Department of Education) affiliate with ISIS and start taking hostages just to sow terror?
—There is an anecdote that circulated among the government intelligence services of the great powers. It is said that in order to win the media battle during the Vietnam War, the North American intelligence services created—that is the word specifically—scenes of resounding victories, of the growing weakness of the enemy, of the moral and material strength of the US troops. As it turns out, the strategy called “winning hearts and minds,” initially destined to be waged in Vietnam, instead had to be waged in the streets of the big cities of the United States. After that April of 1975—which echoed back to another defeat at Playa Girón [Bay of Pigs] in dignified Cuba the same month, but in 1961—a North American official said: “the problem is that we fabricate so many lies for the media that we end up believing them ourselves. We created a staging for victory that hid our defeat. Our own stridency kept us from hearing the noise of our own collapse. It’s not bad to lie; the bad thing is to believe one’s own lies.” Anyway, clearly we Zapatistas don’t know much about the media, but in our humble opinion, it’s bad business to head up a press campaign for a shameless privatization with a sad, mediocre overseer who wants to be a policeman.
—What the teachers [maestros, maestras, maestroas] do is start children off in the first steps of science and art.
I testify.
i. A derogatory term referencing those who accept gifts or handouts—often a sandwich at a rally—from the political parties in return for support.
ii. Traditional dancers from Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas.
iii. Manuel Velasco Coello is the governor of Chiapas, nicknamed el güero Velasco for his whiteness.
iv. Aurelio Nuño Mayer is Secretary of the Department of Education.

Three Stories: Native Americans Planting as Resistance

Photo Poncas planting resistance corn. Photo by Bold Nebraska.
By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

Censored News is happy to share with you these three stories of planting as resistance. First, the resistance to the Utah tarsands mine, where 20 people have been arrested while sowing seeds for the next generation. Then, there are the Poncas, planting resistance to the Keystone XL Pipeline. Finally, Western Shoshone searched for places to plant willow saplings on their walk to Yucca Mountain, now targeted with high level nuclear storage that would be hazardous for a million year. The sacred mountain is at the Nevada Test Site, where the scars and radiation remain of the US reckless atomic bomb testing on Western Shoshone land.

Canyon Country Rising Tide reports 20 people have been arrested sowing seeds for a new generation, resisting the tarsands mine in Utah on the Colorado Plateau.
"Kim, Nihigaal Bei Iina said, “We must remember that if we do not fight we cannot win, we don’t even have a chance of winning. By planting seeds we have a chance of winning another round for mother earth, we still have more battles to fight within us. These seeds planted will harvest another generation of fighters and warriors.”

Poncas are planting the Seeds of Resistance corn in the path of the Keystone XL Pipeline, reports Bold Nebraska.
“Once again we made the journey to the Tanderup farm from Oklahoma to Nebraska on the Ponca Trail of Tears to plant the sacred Ponca seeds of resistance,” said Mekasi Camp Horinek, son of Native American activist Casey Camp. “Not only in the soil of our ancestors’ homeland, but also in the hearts and minds of all the people that honor, respect and protect Mother Earth as the roots of these resistance seeds spread across the continents. So does the awareness of fight to stop keystone XL pipeline and protect mother earth for our future generations.”
Peace and Friendship Walk May 2016
Photo by Long Walker Carl Bad Bear Sampson, Western Shoshone
Western Shoshone and Northern Paiute plant saplings as a blessing and to heal the land
During the walk to the Nuclear Test Site and Yucca Mountain in May, Buck Sampson, Northern Paiute, described how walkers searched for places to pray and plant willow saplings as a blessing and healing for the land. 
Buck Sampson said they are sending a strong message to the employees at Yucca Mountain.
"Our Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863 didn't say squat on our land and put radioactive waste here to store. They contaminated the underground water and desecrated Native burials and artifacts that were there a long time before the white immigrants came to Nevada 160 years ago."
"We Natives are still here with our culture and Native values on the land. We are still Trustees of the land," Sampson told Censored News.
Photos by Buck Sampson's son, long walker Carl 'Bad Bear' Sampson, Western Shoshone.

Where does the media excel in covering Indigenous Peoples? Not in the United States

News for a New Generation
The late Vernon Bellecourt of the American Indian Movement, shown with Robert Free Galvan, who was at
Wounded Knee and whose tipi was at the Occupation and Alcatraz. The photo was taken during a trade
delegation to Libya.
Media based in London, South America and Qatar excel at covering Indigenous Peoples

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans, at NAIS

The Guardian, TeleSur and Aljazeera actually have reporters out covering the news of Indigenous Peoples. The United States, however, is completely failing.
The Guardian, based in London, TeleSur based in Venezuela, and Aljazeera, based in Qatar on the Persian Gulf, excel at covering Indigenous Peoples news. TeleSur is sponsored by the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Bolivia.
Currently, the United States has no media that is out covering Indian country nationally with staff reporters.
Don't be deceived by stay-at-home re-writers, like those used by Indian Country Today for the past 10 years, or copy and paste operations like indianz.
Copying others work without permission is a copyright violation. When it is done repeatedly on a large scale for profit, it is fraud and violates the ethics of journalism.
In Indian country, there is a type of fraud and deception that has become common place used by paid 'reporters.' They sit at home, or at an office desk, and steal content from the Internet. They plagiarize it, or rewrite it, and add a brief phone call interview to deceive readers into believing they are actually out covering the news.
If you are a photographer, demand payment for your photos. Don't let the thieves make money off of your work.
On Facebook, beware of the click bait. A large number of websites steal the content of hard working reporters, and then place it with ads for illegal profiteering. Don't be fooled by the names like "Free Thought Project," and look closely at those using the words "Native American" in their links.
Every time you click on the links of click bait frauds, these thieves make money from others hard work.
The news profiteers let others take the risks, do the work, and pay the costs, while they stay home and profit.

Breaking News


Police kill 9 in Clashes with Striking Teachers in Oaxaca, including journalist:
Oaxaca Journalist Covering Teachers Strike Shot Dead
Oaxca Governor at party while teachers shot dead

The Guardian
Environmental Activists Murders set Record as 2015 becomes deadliest year:

Brazil's Fundao Dam Collapse: The Silence after the Mud
 On November 5, 2015, the Fundao dam burst in the inland municipality of Mariana in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The Brazilian mining company Samarco, owned by two of the world's biggest mining corporations, Vale SA and BHP Billiton, operated the dam.

UA: Civil Society of Oaxaca emits humanitarian alert due to armed attack of the State against civilians

Today, June 19th, we have been witnesses of the extremely violent actions of the Mexican State repressing the teachers and the organized civil society in resistance in different areas of the State of Oaxaca including the Istmus of Tehuantepec, Nochixtlán and the city of Oaxaca.
As a result of the excessive use of force, at least six persons have lost their lives and dozens have been injured and arrested. At this moment there is no information about the whereabouts of the arrested persons neither there is an exact total number of injured and killed persons. Medical attention was not guaranteed and civil society had to create points of emergency medical attention to injured persons without being able to cope with the demand.
There are happening particularly violent actions in the city of Oaxaca tonight. We have witnessed the arrival of a large number of airplanes of the Federal Police and the Gendarmerie in the city throughout the day as well as we witness that the tension is increasing every minute.
Previous events:
In the State of Oaxaca people live in a context of generalized violence in which repression and criminalization of the social movement and particularly against the teachers who belong to the Sección 22 aggravated in a particularly severe way linked to their fight against the implementation of the educational reform. By today, organizations from civil society and Human Rights organizations reported at least 75 Human Rights defenders imprisoned as political prisoners.
Within the events of criminalization of the Oaxacan teacher´s union stand out the following:
  • May 2013, detention of five teachers in Oaxaca: Damián Gallardo Martínez, Lauro Atilano Grijalva Villalobos, Mario Olivera Osorio, Sara Altamirano Ramos and Leonel Manzano Sosa.
  • In 2015, media campaigns of defamation and criminalization against the teachers increased permanently side by side with the process of dismantling of the IEEPO (State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca) which took place in July leaving therefore thousands of teachers in a particular vulnerability due to not receiving payment for their work.
  • October 2015: Detention of Juan Carlos Orozco Matus, Othón Nazariega Segura, Efraín Picazo Pérez and Roberto Abel Jiménez García and emisión of dozens of arrest warrants against members of the Sección 22.
  • In April 2016, Aciel Sibaja Mendoza, financial secretary of the Sección 22 was arrested.
  • In May 2016 Heriberto Magariño López, another leader of the Sección 22 was arrested.
  • At last, June 11th Francisco Villalobos Ricardéz, leader of the Sección 22 was arrested and only hours afterwards June 12th Rubén Núñez Ginez, general secretary of the Sección 22 was arrested as well.
It is important to mention that arrest warrants are issued against teachers of intermediate authority, that means against teachers who coordinate and drive the teacher´s movement. This strategy is meant to disassemble the movement.
The same way diverse relators of the United Nations made urgent calls to the Mexican authorities expressing their concerns about the violations of Human Rights reported in some cases, in particular detentions without arrest warrant and without investigation, the use of torture during the posterior period of the arbitrary detention and other violations of the guarantees of the arrested persons[1].
The use of detentions, campaigns of defamation and repression against the Sección 22 have the clear aim to lessen the teacher´s movement which plays historically an important role in the social movement of Oaxaca. Dissembling the teacher´s movement impacts directly the work which all the persons and organizations of Human Rights are realizing in the State of Oaxaca and in Mexico.
We, the signing organizations, request that organisms, which are represented by you, are on the alert regarding this particularly violent situation which exists right now and that you join us in the following demands towards the federal government as well as the government of Oaxaca:
  • Cease of the wrongful and disproportionate use of force and repression against the teachers and the civil society who make use of their legitimate right of expression and free protest.
  • Immediate establishing of a round table for dialogue with the teachers of Oaxaca.
  • Immediate medical attention for all injured persons result of the violent acts of the State.
  • Cease of the criminalization of the teachers, cancelation of arrest warrants against members of the teacher´s union of Oaxaca and immediate liberation of all teachers which have been arrested in an arbitrary and illegal way.
  • Punishment of all persons responsible for arbitrary detentions, torture and other violations of Human Rights against members of the teacher´s union of Oaxaca.
Civil Society of Oaxaca
  1. Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en la Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio.
  2. Asamblea Popular del Pueblo Juchiteco APPJ.
  3. Asesoría Integral y Litigio Estratégico a Pueblos Originarios, A.C. ASER-LITIGIO
  4. Centrarte, A.C.
  5. Centro Antonio de Montesinos A.C.
  6. Centro Comunal de Salud y Tecnologías Integrales, A.C.
  7. Centro de Acompañamiento a Migrantes Caminos, A.C.
  8. Centro de Apoyo al Movimiento Popular Oaxaqueño, CAMPO, A.C.
  9. Centro de Apoyo para la Educación y Creatividad Calpulli, A.C.
  10. Centro de Atención Infantil Piña Palmera, A. C.
  11. Centro de Atención para el Desarrollo, CODICE, A.C.
  12. Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac, A.C.
  13. Centro de Derechos Indígenas Flor y Canto, A.C.
  14. Centro de Desarrollo Comunitario Centéotl, A.C.,
  15. Centro de Encuentros y Diálogos Interculturales, A.C.
  16. Centro para los Derechos de la Mujer Naaxwiin, A.C.
  17. Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos “Bartolomé Carrasco Briseño”, A.C.
  18. Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos de la Costa, A.C.
  19. Circulo Profesional por la Formación con Equidad de Género, A.C.
  20. CODICE, A.C.
  21. Colectiva Mujeres Lilas.
  22. Colectivo Bolivariano Oaxaca.
  23. Colectivo Conserva A.C.
  24. Colectivo Mujer Nueva.
  25. Colectivo Musiquero “Tapacamino”
  26. Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha, Código DH, A.C.;
  27. Comité de Familiares y Amigas/os de Damián Gallardo Martínez.
  28. Comité por la Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas (CODEDI).
  29. Comunidades Campesinas y Urbanas Solidarias con Alternativas, CONCAUSA, A.C
  30. Consejo Indígena Popular “Ricardo Flores Magón”, CIPO-RFM
  31. Conservación, Investigación y Aprovechamiento de los Recursos Naturales. CIARENA, A.C.
  32. Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la Equidad Oaxaca, A.C.
  33. Defensoría para la Igualdad, A.C.
  34. Defensores Oaxaqueños por los Derechos Humanos “Isabel” A.C.
  35. Diversidades y No Discriminación, A.C.
  36. Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación, A.C.
  37. Enlace de Pueblos y Organizaciones Costeñas Autónomas, EPOCA, A.C.
  38. Espacio Alternativo, YUNHITZ
  39. Esperanza Mixe, A.C.
  40. Feminismo Comunitario Tejido Oaxaca.
  41. Foro Oaxaqueño del Agua.
  42. Fundación Comunidad, A.C
  43. Fundación Ikoots, A.C.
  44. Grupo de Mujeres 8 de Marzo, A.C
  45. Grupo de Mujeres la Palma. NDACUKO, A.C.
  46. Herramientas para el Buen Vivir A.C.
  47. Ideas Comunitarias, A.C.
  48. Iniciativa Ciudadana Oaxaca, A.C.
  49. Iniciativas para el Desarrollo de la Mujer Oaxaqueña, A.C., IDEMO
  50. Instituto de Comunicación y Cultura, S.C.
  51. Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos LIMEDDH-OAXACA
  52. Lunas del Sur, A.C.
  53. Manapaküy, A.C.
  54. Mie Nillu Mazateco, A.C.
  55. Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista, A.C.
  56. Mungier Ndyuc Defensores del Mar A.C.
  57. Ojo de Agua Comunicación, A.C.
  58. Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos en Oaxaca (OIDHO), A.C,
  59. Palabra Radio
  60. Planeta Inclusión, A.C
  61. Planeta Rock Oaxaca.
  62. Promotora de Servicios para el Desarrollo, S.C.
  63. Radio Nahndia.
  64. Red de Análisis Multidisciplinario y Cooperación Económica Solidaria, Raíces, A.C.
  65. Red de Cafeticultores 5 de Diciembre, A.C.
  66. Red de Mujeres Activistas y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos de Oaxaca.
  67. Red por los derechos sexuales y reproductivos. DDSER Oaxaca.
  68. Seminario Mundos Rurales Tierra Territorio y Territorialidades UAM UACM ENAH.
  69. Servicios para una Educación Alternativa, EDUCA, A.C.
  70. Servicios Universitarios y Redes de conocimiento en Oaxaca, SURCO, A.C.
  71. Sinergia, A.C.
  72. Taller de Lecto-escritura Zapoteca Uken Ke Ujen A.C.
  73. Tequio Jurídico, A.C.
  74. Tianguis Indígena Multicultural del Istmo, A.C
  75. Tianguis Popular Itinerante.
  76. Unión Cívica Democrática de Barrios, Colonias y Comunidades, UCIDEBACC
  77. Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo, UCIZONI, A.C.
  78. Unión de Comunidades y Ejidos de Yautepec, para la Conservación de la Flora y Fauna, A.C.
  79. Unión de Organizaciones de la Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca, UNOSJO, SC.
  80. Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca, A.C.
  81. ¡¡¡Si no están ellas,…. No estamos todas!!!
[1] UA 13/2015: In the cases of Juan Carlos Orozco Matus, Othón Nazariega Segura, Efraín Picaso Pérez and Roberto Abel Jiménez García (Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions; Special Relator on promotion and protection of the right of freedom of opinion and expression; Special Relator Especial on the right of freedom of pacific assembly and association; and Special Relator on the situation of Human Rights defenders)
UA /2014 In the case of Damián Gallardo Martínez (Special Relator on torture and other cruel, inhumane treatments or cruel, inhumane or degrading punishment, Special Relator on the situation of  Human Rights defenders, Special Relator on promotion and protection of the rights of freedom of pacific assembly and association).  Available:
It should be pointed out that the arbitrary character of the detentions as well as the their focus on Human Rights defenders were recognized by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions of the United Nations[1].
[1] Opinion num. 23/2014 in the case of Damián Gallardo Martínez y Opinión num. 56/2015 in the case of Nestora Salgado García issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions of the United Nations.

Utah: Seed Sowers arrested on United States First Tar Sands Mine


By Canyon Country Rising Tide
Censored News
Dutch translation by Alice Holemans at NAIS

SUNDAY JUNE 19, PR SPRINGS, UTATH: Thirty people walked onto the country’s first
tar sands mine and sowed seeds to regrow land destroyed by tar sands – a fossil
fuel more polluting than coal and oil. With butterfly puppets, songs, and banners,
protesters trespassed onto the mine site and took the remediation of the
stripped land into their own hands with shovels, pick axes and seed balls.
Evidently displeased with the sowing of native grasses and flowers, law
enforcement intervened to arrest 20 of the planters, who banded together and
sang until arrest.
The action was planned by the Tavaputs Action Counil, a coalition of grass roots
social justice groups of the Colorado Plateau, and came as the conclusion to a 3-
day event dedicated to celebrating land and biodiversity. Over 100 people
participated, camping on public land next to the tar sands mine and attending
workshops, panels, and music shows. People came together to hear about
indigenous resistance to fossil fuels and colonialism, and to imagine a more
equitable future together.
Canadian mining company US Oil Sands has leased 32,005 acres of public lands
for oil shale development. In the future, 830,000 acres of B land could be at risk
of irreversible tar sandsstrip mining in the western United States. Tar sands
requites large quantities of water for processing into crude oil, putting extra
pressure on a water system already under threat of running dry.
Kate Savage, Tavaputs Action Council: “By taking action today, we are creating in
the present the future we are dreaming of. This means trespassing against US Oil
Sands and other fossil fuel companies that want to make our future unlivable.”
Raphael Cordray, Tavaputs Action Council: “We took action today to tell US Oil
Sands that we are here to stay and will not be intimidated by oppressive law
enforcement and corrupt companies. Tar sands spells disaster for people and
planet, and today we said: not in our name.”
Kim, Nihigaal Bei Iina: “We must remember that if we do not fight we cannot win,
we don’t even have a chance of winning. By planting seeds we have a chance of
winning another round for mother earth, we still have more battles to fight
within us. These seeds planted will harvest another generation of fighters and
Media Contact: Natascha Deininger, Wasatch Rising Tide, Tavaputs Action
Council; Tel: 435-414- 9299; Email:
Secondary Media Contact: Lauren Wood 801-647-1540

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