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Bachajón, a chronicle of destruction at the hands of the Chiapas government

Bachajón, a chronicle of destruction at the hands of the Chiapas government

On March 21, 600 members of the public security forces burned down the regional headquarters of our compañeros, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, from the rebel ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, located a few meters from the toll booth of the National Commission for Protected Natural Areas for the Agua Azul waterfalls, in the northern jungle of the state of Chiapas. That same day, in the afternoon, compañeros from the free media collectives Kolectivo Zero and Koman Ilel were attacked while doing documentation work about the events, by ejidatarios who are affiliated to political parties, in the presence of the security forces.

This is a clear strategy of the capitalist system, to plunder the land to satisfy its economic interests. The government of Mexico has sold its territory piece by piece to transnationals, and we see clearly their ways of carrying out these projects of death in three stages, which are: the sale of land, dispossession and plunder.

The sale of Mexican territory has been going on for a long time through their meetings, summits and forums, such as NAFTA, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change or the Mesoamerica Project, where despite their various masks and speeches about development and progress, all they do is to share out the natural resources of the earth.

The dispossession of territory is applied through different strategies such as the welfare programmes of the bad governments which seek to destroy in all areas their worst enemy, which is “Autonomy;” a first step in this plan of dispossession is to parcel out ejido land won in the Mexican Revolution, through plans of counterinsurgency and paramilitaries; this immediately breaks the traditional organising customs of the original peoples, turning them towards individual rather than communal ways of life, or through means of an education that is based on preparing children and young people to serve the capitalist system. In the countryside, these programmes which are provided firstly involve GMOs, making the land in the best cases become dependent on these chemicals, and in the worst cases become infertile, thus transnationals or to give a more specific example, Monsanto, can afford to hoard, patent and control the production of food; it is important to mention that this is a circular deal because these chemicals cause diseases that force people to consume pharmaceutical drugs, moving away more and more from their traditional medicines such as herbal treatments, which connect directly with Mother Earth and often have a lot to do with their cosmology.

These are just some very general examples of the attack from the capitalist system towards indigenous peoples, it is necessary to dig deeper into each of these projects of death to identify a better collective resistance strategy for the salvation of the original peoples, who are the foundation of the existence of mankind in terms of living well. In our history we can see that if people become aware and resist all this, the state’s response is immediate repression, imprisonment, torture and death. Those from above do not care about the existence of peoples who resist and defend their traditional ways of life, uses and customs, and they make every effort to hand over the natural resources to extractive transnationals, so that later they can plunder freely, so as to destroy all autonomy and reduce human beings to just being a workforce in the service of big capital.

San Sebastián Bachajón, also a member of the Indigenous National Congress, like many other peoples, is aware of this situation of dispossession and death, so they have resisted and continue to resist, our compañeros do not need anyone to come from outside to tell them how to care for the mother earth, they have done so throughout history, and therefore they have been a target of interest for the bad governments who only look to the earth for its monetary value; our Tseltal compañeros work every day not only to maintain their autonomy, but also to build a world where many worlds fit, the Spanish name of our compañeros’ destroyed headquarters is “Where those from above destroy, those from below reconstruct” (the name of the first international festival of rebellion and resistance against capitalism, convened by the EZLN and CNI), a name that is entirely in accord with their history of struggle.