The Mexican guerrilla group Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, for its acronym in Spanish) and the Native Mexican Culture Congress (CNI) demanded on Monday the release of Mario Luna, leader of the Mexican Yaqui tribe.
Both organizations released a joint statement in which they assert that Luna was arrested for his fight against the Independence Aqueduct, built in the Mexican state of Sonora, and along a vast area that belongs to the Yaqui tribe.
The powerful “have failed in killing our people. Like seeds we keep growing. They tried to kill us with guns and, because they failed, then they tried to kill us with diseases and again they failed. The powerful have used several ways to wipe out indigenous people,” reads the statement.
Last week, the tribe members announced that Luna was detained by several men dressed as civilians and travelling in unidentified cars.
Later, the authorities said the officers who detained him were carrying out an apprehension order that was issued against Luna on June 14, 2013 by the Third Justice of the First Criminal Court of Hermosillo Sonora.
Luna was charged with kidnapping and robbery for a series of events that occurred June 8, 2013 during a roadblock when a person drove through a Yaqui barricade at a Sonora highway to protest the construction of the aqueduct.
However, Luna and the Yaqui tribe denied the charges. After being accused, Luna ran away to Mexico City, but he returned to Sonora several months later.
Luna, according to the EZLN and the CNI, was framed for his fight against the construction of the aqueduct.
Monday’s statement also recalled that the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice said that the Sonora government violated the Yaqui tribe rights and ordered local authorities to compensate the tribe for the damage done over the aqueduct construction.
To the Yaqui Tribe:
To the People of Mexico:
To the National and International Sixth:
To the Governments of Mexico and the World:
“We demand the immediate cancellation of all arrest warrants and fabrication of crimes against members of the Yaqui Tribe, and we condemn the criminalization of their struggle. We say to the bad governments that come from the political parties: the Yaqui River has served as the historical carrier and ancestral continuation of the Yaqui Tribe’s culture and territory. We who make up the National Indigenous Congress reiterate that if you touch any of us, you touch all of us, and we will respond accordingly to any attempt to repress the Yaqui’s dignified struggle or any other struggle (Joint communiqué from the CNI-EZLN, July 7, 2013, Caracol of Oventic).
They have not been able to kill our peoples. Like seeds, we continue to grow. They tried to kill us with guns, and when they couldn’t, they tried to kill us with diseases, and again they failed. The powerful have tried many ways to kill off the indigenous.
Today they want to kill us with wind turbines, highways, mines, dams, airports, and narcotrafficking. Above all, today in particular, we feel the pain of the attempt to kill us in Sonora, with aqueducts.
This past Thursday, September 11, people who apparently belong to the Sonora State Attorney General’s office detained our brother Mario Luna, spokesperson for the Yaqui Tribe, falsely accusing him of crimes that they themselves planted. With this action they intend to imprison the very struggle of the Yaqui Tribe for defending its waters, which, after a long war, were recognized as theirs in 1940 by Lázaro Cárdenas. Since 2010, the money-owners want to again take these waters by way of the Independence Aqueduct, in violation of a resolution emitted by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation and violating all of the rights given us by International Conventions on such matters.
It is a joke to say that the Independence Aqueduct is so that the poor have water and progress, as those above say; it is so that the rich can take possession of the water that for centuries has belonged to the Yaquis. Instead of feeding fields and crops, they want to divert the water to large industrial companies in Sonora.
This plunder has been the banner of progress for the bad governments, with State Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías and Supreme Paramilitary Chief Enrique Peña Nieto at the head of the project. Just as the dictator Porfirio Díaz proclaimed the extermination of our peoples in the name of this kind of progress, in particular the extermination of the Yaqui Tribe, we know that the words of Padrés and Peña Nieto are lies. For these megaprojects to exist, we originary peoples must disappear, and once and for all we tell those above that we have no plans to disappear. They detained our brother Mario Luna because he refused to sell out or give in, because he has been a brother in struggle to all of us who want this world to change below and to the left.
We don’t ask anything of the bad governments, and at this moment we want to tell them clearly one thing: ourcompañero Mario Luna’s freedom does not belong to them and they cannot take it away just like that. We want to make clear that his freedom belongs to him and his people, and that what was taken by force must be returned.
To our compañero Mario we want to say that we have walked together for more than 500 years. His tribe walks the path of struggle; even if the cowardly government sends them as slaves to the other end of the country, the Yaquis return to Vícam, Pótam, Tórim, Bácum, Cocorit, Huiriris, Belem and Rahum, because that is where their blood flows. We want to say that we are Yaquis, even though we might also be Zoques or Mames or Tojolobales or Amuzgos or Nahuas or Zapotecos or Ñahto or we speak any other language, and as the Yaquis that we are we will not let them rob us of our water or our freedom.
We demand Mario Luna’s immediate release, and we demand the cancellation of all arrest warrants and fabrication of crimes against members of the Yaqui tribe. We also demand the freedom of all of our prisoners, in particular our Nahua brothers Juan Carlos Flores Solís and Enedina Rosas Vélez, who were imprisoned by the bad government in April of this year and falsely accused of crimes in order to stop the struggle of the Peoples Front in Defense of Water and Land of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala, organized against the Integrated Morelos Project.
Mexico, September 2014.
Never Again a Mexico Without us.
For the Holistic Reconstitution of our Peoples.
NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS
INDIGENOUS REVOLUTIONARY CLANDESTINE COMMITTEE—GENERAL COMMAND OF THE EZLN
On 11 September 2014 at 9:40 a.m., human rights defender Mr Mario Luna Romero was arrested by a group of men dressed in civilian clothing who were driving 3-4 white pick-up trucks. Though they did not identify themselves at the scene, the men were members of the State Police and escorted the human rights defender to the Ciudad Obregón office of the Attorney-Genreal of Sonora State, where he was held incommunicado until about 3:30 p.m. At around 6:45 p.m., the human rights defender was permitted an hour-long visit by his lawyer. The detention of Mario Luna Romero was confirmed by the Attorney-General of Sonora State who explained at a press conference late on 11 September 2014 that an arrest warrant had been executed against him in connection with the abduction of another Yaquí community leader.
Mario Luna Romero is the Secretary of the traditional authorities of the Vicam town of the Yaqui tribe in Sonora. The human rights defender is also the spokesperson for the Yaqui tribe and others, defending their rights in the context of the construction and operation of the Independence Aqueduct. The community has been working to prevent the diversion of water from the Yaqui river, over which the tribe has 50% ownership, to the Independence Aqueduct.
The arrest warrant issued by the Third Tribunal of the Criminal First Instance Court of Hermosilloes concerns the charges of abduction of a member of the Yaqui community who was detained for committing a crime on the tribe’s territory as an indigenous person. To read more these allegations, please read the Urgent Appeal dated 13 June 2014.
The arrest of Mario Luna Romero follow a Yaqui tribe protest on 28 May 2013 on Federal Motorway 15 to call for compliance with a decision of the Supreme Court when, on 8 May 2013, it found a violation of the tribe’s right to be consulted in the granting of the Environmental Impact Authorisation for the Independence Aqueduct, and ordered that a consultation be held. The consultation process is ongoing and Mario Luna Romero has an important role within it as spokesperson of the community. Between 4 and 6 September 2014, Mario Luna Romero led a delegation of the Yaquí tribe to Washington DC to raise the case and the request for protection measures before the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights (MC452/2013).
According to the constitutional limit, Mario Luna Romero will be released on 17 September 2014 at 12:00 p.m. However, the authorities have requested that he be detained beyond this time so that the authorities can analyse the evidence for longer.
It is believed that the arrest and detention of Mario Luna Romero is part of an ongoing stategy of criminalisation of human rights defenders who are promoting and protecting the rights of the Yaquí tribe in its campaigns against the Independence Aqueduct.
“Le prigioni non servono per “riadattarci alla società”, bensì sono il castigo più disumano e crudele che esiste; a noi prigionieri e prigioniere fanno vivere la crudezza di una realtà assurda e ingiusta, promossa da un sistema marcio dalla radici”
Dopo un processo penale assurdo e un ricorso in appello che ha solo fatto diminuire di 7 mesi la sentenza, a inizio agosto è stato notificato a Mario che il secondo tribunale collegiale in materia penale ha ricevuto la sollecitazione del ricorso contro la sentenza di 5 anni, 1 mese e 15 giorni per il reato di attacco alla pace pubblica che lo mantiene in carcere da quasi un anno. Viste le chiare argomentazioni dei difensori di Mario sulla inconsistenza del reato, la mancanza assoluta di prove ed anche sulla persecuzione verso Mario, sarebbe logico che lo assolvino e liberino appena arrivi la risoluzione; invitiamo ancora una volta ad esprimere collettivamente il nostro rifiuto al sequestro di cui è vittima il nostro compagno e ad esigere la sua libertà, fosse firmando il documento che consegneremo a fine mese al Tribunale e/o partecipando alla giornata che si conclude il 2 ottobre.
Per maggiori informazioni o firmare il documento che sarà consegnato al Tribunale che il 29 settembre risolverà il ricorso presentato dai difensori di Mario, scrivere a: firstname.lastname@example.org o alla pagina Mario Libre (in FB[I]).
Quello che segue è un esempio di lettera che si può mandare al Secondo Tribunale per far pressione ed esigere alle autorità di Città del Messico la libertà di Mario. Specifichiamo che non è la forma che più ci si conface, per dirlo alla buona, ma prendiamo atto che anche la pressione di questo tipo, ancor di più quando è internazionale, spesso ha avuto in suoi effetti in Messico.
Alejandro Gómez Sánchez, Irma Rivero Ortíz y Rosa Guadalupe Malvina Carmona Roig, Magistrados del Segundo Tribunal Colegiado en Materia Penal del Primer Circuito:
Desde ——– (nome del luogo), exigimos a los integrantes del Segundo Tribunal Colegiado en Materia Penal, deje en libertad inmediata a nuestro compañero Jorge Mario González García, detenido de manera violenta y completamente arbitraria el 2 de octubre de 2013 cuando se dirigía a la manifestación de conmemoración de la matanza de Tlatelolco, día emblemático para miles de estudiantes y para el pueblo en general. El compañero no tuvo tiempo de llegar a dicha marcha cuando fue detenido y posteriormente torturado por las autoridades del Gobierno del DF.
Estamos atentos a una resolución pronta y satisfactoria en la que dicten la libertad inmediata e incondicional para Jorge Mario González García, preso político desde hace ya casi 1 año.
(firma della organizzazione, collettivo o persona)
indigenous activist detained, risks unfair trial
Indigenous activist Mario Luna Romero is at risk of unfair trial after being arrested in Sonora State, northwest Mexico. There are concerns that the case against him may be politically motivated due to his leading role in protests against an aqueduct which affects the Yaqui Indigenous community’s access to water.
On the morning of 11 September, Mario Luna Romero, a leading member of the Yaqui Indigenous community in Sonora State, was arrested by state judicial police in Ciudad Obregón. He was denied access to relatives and his lawyers until late afternoon, by which time he had been transferred to a prison outside the state capital, Hermosillo. Mario Luna Romero was detained on the basis of an arrest warrant issued in 2013 for his alleged involvement in the supposed car theft and kidnapping of Francisco Antonio Delgado Romo, a member of the Yaqui community with links to the Sonora State government.
Mario Luna Romero is a translator and spokesperson in the Yaqui Indigenous community based in the town of Vicam and has led protests and legal measures to stop the construction and operation of the Independence Aqueduct which draws water from the Yaqui River at the Novillo damn. The Yaqui community argues that the aqueduct directly places their traditional culture and livelihoods under threat. The state and federal government failed to seek the free, prior and informed consent of the community via a transparent consultation process. On 4 September Mario Luna Romero had travelled to Inter American Commission of Human Rights to highlight the case.
In June 2013 Francisco Antonio Delgado Romo apparently drove his car at demonstrators participating in a roadblock against the aqueduct. He was detained by community members and held for two days before being released. Following a complaint filed by Francisco Antonio Delgado Romo’s wife, the Sonora State public prosecutor filed charges of kidnapping (privación illegal de la libertad) and car theft against Mario Luna Romero and three other community leaders. Amnesty International has reviewed the evidence presented against Mario Luna Romero and is concerned that the case against him is biased and may be politically motivated. He is currently waiting for results of his indictment on 17 September. Mario Luna Romero may be denied his right to a fair trial and, if committed to trial, he will not be eligible for bail and may face prolonged detention, putting his safety at risk.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
Calling for the safety of Mario Luna Romero to be guaranteed while in custody;
Expressing concern at the detention of Mario Luna Romero and urging the authorities to ensure his right to a fair trial, including ensuring the impartiality of all criminal investigations and upholding the right not to be subject to politically motivated criminal charges;
Calling on the authorities to ensure the safety of all members of the Yaqui community and respect their right to peaceful protest against Independence Aqueduct.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 27 OCTOBER 2014 TO:Minister of Interior
Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong
Secretario de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, col. Juárez, C.P. 6600, México D.F., México
Fax: +52 55 5093 3414 (keep trying)
Salutation: Dear Minister / Señor Ministro
Governor of State of Sonora
Guillermo Padrés Elías
Comonfort y Dr. Paliza
C.P. 83260, Hermosillo
Fax: +52 662 212 0001 (keep trying)
Salutation: Dear Governor / Señor Gobernador
And copies to:
Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
On 25 August, Francisco Antonio Delgado Romo, who was reportedly under investigation by the Federal Attorney General’s Office, was reported missing by his family. His remains are believed to have been located near Vicam, a town in Sonora State, but not yet officially identified.
In 2010, the government of Sonora, a drought afflicted state, begun construction of the Independence Aqueduct without consulting Yaqui Indigenous communities that live by the river. Members of the community have sustained protests and legal actions to halt the construction, to ensure full environmental impact assessment and uphold indigenous rights to a transparent consultation process in order to obtain the community’s full prior and informed consent. In 2013, the National Supreme Court recognised the failure of federal and state authorities to meet their obligations to the Yaqui community and required remedial actions, particularly regarding a new environmental impact assessment and a consultation process with the Yaqui community. Despite various judicial orders suspending the project, construction continued allowing the aqueduct to enter operations resulting in a significant drop in water levels. Members of the Yaqui community continue to call for full compliance with the National Supreme Court ruling.
Indigenous activists, such as Mario Luna Romero, have frequently faced spurious criminal charges in order to deter their legitimate human rights demands. The use of politically motivated charges remains relatively common at state level where the public prosecutor’s offices often operate under influence of local political issues.
Name: Mario Luna Romero
Gender m/f: m
UA: 230/14 Index: AMR 41/032/2014 Issue Date: 15 September 2014
Message reçu des participant-e-s à la traduction des matériels de la Petite École zapatiste en français.
Bonjour à toutEs, Nous avons le plaisir de vous annoncer l'ouverture du site :
Par le biais de cet espace, nous partageons avec vous les quatre livres de texte des cours
« La Liberté Selon les Zapatistes », premier degré, traduits en français, et les deux DVDs
sous-titrés en français.
Ces matériels ont été distribués aux élèves lors de la Petite École zapatiste qui a eu lieu
dans les cinq Caracoles zapatistes, au Chiapas, Mexique.
Ce travail de traduction a été fait collectivement par des hommes et des femmes de plusieurs horizons et de plusieurs endroits, non-spécialistes pour la plupart, qui ont traduit, corrigé, relu, homogénéisé les textes des livres, transcrit et sous-titré les DVDs le mieux possible afin de rendre ces matériels accessibles à tous ceux et celles qui ne parlent pas l'espagnol et souhaitent pouvoir les lire et les connaître.
Vous pouvez dès maintenant les consulter, les lire et les partager.
Nous y avons ajouté pour la version française un petit glossaire et un schéma du Gouvernement Autonome Zapatiste. Pour l’élaboration du schéma, nous nous sommes servis des tableaux qui ont été présentés à la Petite École zapatiste.
Pour chaque livre vous trouverez trois versions :
- Une version écran qui vous permet de lire les livres sur un écran.
- Une version imprimable qui est de meilleure qualité pour une impression.
- Une version livret qui est prévue pour une impression en livret sur du A3.
Bonne lecture !
15 septembre 2014.
Les participant-e-s à la traduction des matériels de la Petite École zapatiste en français.
ATTENTION LE SITE INTERNET A QQLES SOUCIS D ACCESIBILITE VOUS TROUVEREZ ICI LES LIENS EN
Gouvernement Autonome I
In 2001, the indigenous common landholders of San Salvador Atenco in Mexico were successful in their fight against the building of a new airport in Mexico City on their ancestral farm lands. The Peoples Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) became emblematic for their highly symbolic machetes, and their determined resistance.-
In May 2006, the government seized its chance to punish the community for defeating this megaproject. Following an attack characterised by extreme police brutality and violent repression, 2 young people were dead, 26 women raped by the military police, many injured, and 217 people arrested. 9 leaders of the Atenco farmers were illegally sentenced to 31 years, 2 for 67 years, and one for 112 years. The people organised, and a national and international campaign for the liberation of the prisoners was launched with the support of the Zapatista-inspired Other Campaign; the prisoners were finally absolved and freed in 2010.
The man responsible for ordering this repression and the rape of the women was the former governor of the State of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto. He is now the President of Mexico, and the Atenco issue was the shame of his presidential campaign. Two years later, on 3 September 2014, he announced the plans for a new, much larger, international airport in the same area to the east of Mexico City. The new airport will have six runways and be able to handle 120 million passengers a year, four times the capacity of the existing airport; it will cost an estimated £5.5 billion, and have an associated large scale urbanisation project, known as Future City.
The people of Atenco have known this was coming for a long time, and were ready to renew the fight in defence of their lands. For years the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) has been using pressure tactics to convince people to sell their lands. The FPDT and their lawyer are currently denouncing the illegal changing of the titles to the lands from social (communal) to private as a means to evict the original inhabitants. The FPDT are currently involved in a legal struggle to reverse this procedure. Members of the group were physically attacked by hired thugs, resulting in fifteen people being wounded.
The violence and the threat to their lands has never gone away. Now they are asking for our help again.
The struggle and resistance of the people of San Salvador Atenco is symbolic of struggles going on throughout Mexico and Latin America, where the indigenous peoples are defending their lands, their mother earth, against megaprojects being set up by their governments for the benefit of transnational corporations. They are struggling for land, life, freedom, for communal and collective values.
“The land is not for sale. She is to be loved and defended.”
They know they succeeded before because they had worldwide support. Again, they say:
“We need the hands of everyone”
The UK Connection:
The architect: The design for the airport has 2 chief architects; one of these is Norman Foster, also known as Lord/Baron Foster of Thamesbank. Norman Foster, as well as being a very famous architect, is British, with his company’s headquarters conveniently situated close to the Thames in Central London:
Foster + Partners, Riverside, 22 Hester Road, London SW11 4AN
T: +44 (0)20 7738 0455
F: +44 (0)20 7738 1107
Perhaps he doesn’t know the history of blood, rape, years of illegal imprisonment and misery; perhaps he doesn’t know how many people the airport will displace. Perhaps we should tell him.
The engineering consultants, supervising the master plan for the airport:
Much of the project is hidden behind government secrecy, but according to El Financiero, the consultants and technical specialists for the new airport are the ARUP Group, whose British CEO is Sir Gregory Hodkinson, and whose headquarters is also conveniently situated in Central London:
13 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BQ,
T+44 (0) 20 7636 1531 email@example.com
They also have offices in many UK cities, including:
225 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4GZ
T+44 (0) 141 332 8534 firstname.lastname@example.org
63 St Thomas Street, Bristol, BS1 6JZ
T+44 (0) 117 976 5432 email@example.com
6th Floor, Three Piccadilly Place, Manchester, M1 3BN
T+44 (0) 161 228 2331 firstname.lastname@example.org
What to do:
*Inform yourselves – see the links below
*Share the news – the situation is urgent – through all your networks
*Contact other groups
*Write to Norman Foster and Gregory Hodkinson
*Organise a protest or an action at one of the offices above. Link up with others!
*Organise a video screening
FPDT blog (in Spanish): http://atencofpdt.blogspot.mx/
Latest information in English: https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/tag/atenco/
Here is a sample letter proposal that you can use, modify, and send to Norman Foster or Gregory Hodkinson etc:
Sir Norman Foster,
Perhaps you don’t know the history of blood, rape, years of illegal imprisonment and misery; perhaps you don’t know how many people the airport will displace and how much and for how long the people of Atenco have been opposing to the construction of the airport you want to build there. In 2001, the indigenous communal landholders of the municipality of San Salvador Atenco in Mexico were issued with an expropriation order to dispossess them from more than 80% of the lands they inherited from their grandparents, in order to build a new airport for Mexico City, in exchange of an inacceptable payment which could only last a few years, to guarantee their silence. They said NO to the displacement and they are still saying so. For the people of Atenco their whole identity, customs, traditions, history and existence are bound up with the land.
The Peoples Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) was formed, with national and international support, and succeeded after 9 months in having the expropriation order withdrawn. In May 2006, the Mexican government seized its chance to punish the community for defeating the megaproject. A government dispute with flower vendors in the nearby town of Texcoco progressed into an attack infamous for the extreme police brutality, as 3500 officers from the local, state and federal police and the army surrounded the town of Atenco. The violent repression resulted in 2 young people dead, 26 women raped by the military police (who were authorized to do so by President Enrique Peña Nieto, as accepted by him, you can see in this video that surely Carlos Slim’s son-in-law did not show you: https://vimeo.com/106107938) many injured, and 217 people arrested. 9 leaders of the Atenco farmers were imprisoned and illegally sentenced for 31 years, 2 for 67 years, and one for 112 years. The people mobilized, and a national and international campaign for the liberation of the prisoners was launched; they were finally absolved and freed after 4 years and 59 days.
We want to let you know that we don’t want more suffering for the people of Atenco. They did not vote in favour of being displaced so that you build an airport there. The elections were rigged. Once again, people were brutally beaten. Do you really think that “the future” in the airport industry is to have poor people displaced, beaten and incarcerated so that you build your “dream”?
The history of how the Atenco people have been beaten will haunt your “dream” airport forever. Do you really want to have that horrible reputation in your career?
You can still do the right thing and stop that nonsense. We, friends of the Mexican people, urge you to do so.
With thanks to OWS Zapatista
Mexican farm laborers earned less than three dollars a day in 2013 in Mexico, according to information released on Friday by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI by its Spanish acronym).
Farmworkers’ wages do not represent any more than 1.5 percent of the earnings of those who work in large corporations in Mexico, according to Inegi.
In fact, the gap between the two sectors is so wide that a corporate executive only needs to work 5.6 days to earn what an agricultural worker earns in a year.
Seventy percent of the field workers earn less than US $2 per day. Ninety-five percent do not enjoy any health or social security benefits. That puts Mexican field workers after China as the most exploited in the world, according to the World Bank.
With conditions like these, it is no wonder that the United States federal minimum wage of US $7.25 is attractive. The National Council on Population (Conapo by its Spanish acronym) indicated that 400,000 people immigrate to the United States per year, many as undocumented workers. While many go to urban centers to work in restaurants and sweatshops, others continue working on farms all over the United States.
Of all farmworkers in the United States, 75 percent were born in Mexico, 53 percent of farmworkers in the United are undocumented (without legal authorization), 25 percent are United States citizens, and 21 percent are legal permanent residents. According to U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, farm work generally pays more than US$9, but due to colder winters, the work is usually seasonal, strenuous and dangerous. And since more than half of the workers don’t have papers, growers can get away with paying less than $9.
Immigration to the United States has markedly increased since the 1994 passing of NAFTA, a free trade agreement that has driven over two million Mexican farmers out of business. And the downward pressure on post-NAFTA real wages for farmers in Mexico will only serve to drive migration numbers up even higher.