This is a communiqué from the Southern Sierra Peasant Organization (Organización Campesina de la Sierra del Sur (O.C.S.S.) released on February 24, 2021, from Tepetixtla, Coyuca de Benítez,Guerrero, Mexico. Translation by Shantal Monserrat Lopez Victoria from Pozol.org.
Originally published by Voices in Movement.
“The new Mexican government is an effort to revitalize capitalism,” O.C.S.S. Guerrero, Mexico
O.C.S.S. TO THE CIPOG-EZ, CIN-CIG AND THE CRAC-PC-PF.
To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional)
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Indigenous Council of Government
To the people of Mexico and the world
We men and women of the rural towns of the Costa Grande of the state of Guerrero, were raised and taught the history of dignity by Generals Morelos, Guerrero, Zapata and our unforgettable compas and teachers Lucio Cabañas Barrientos and Professor Genaro Vázquez.
Twenty-six years after the bad governments murdered 17 peasants in Aguas Blancas, impunity and corruption continue with all political parties who always promise profound change, justice, and environmental protection, but we continue to wait. There are very few benefits from this system as the logic of oppression and exploitation do not change.
No dent has been made in social injustice or in the decay and plundering of nature. Neoliberalism is officially over, but big businesses continue exploiting.
The State is becoming smaller and some things are being done to fight institutional corruption. Budgets have also been reduced with very little investments being made in scientific research, culture, arts and the fight against poverty and inequality. Companies are grateful as the institutional apparatus will be more flexible and less costly.
There are talks about peace but violence has neither ceased nor diminished. Down here, we feel they are mocking peace as the daily war against the poorest continue.
Militarization is growing. And while social spending decreases, institutional participation and militarization increase. In Guerrero, the military continues to work with criminals as they currently protect the lumber industry.
Some of the former drug traffickers have diversified their operations and have added to their list of “activities”: kidnapping, the sale and trafficking of drugs, collection of illegal “use rights”and “protection”. They have expanded their businesses nationally and internationally and are now selling wood, iron, avocados, water (from the rivers), services (in some places they charge for the use of drainage, electricity, water, paving of highways), among others.
Furthermore, they are now working for repressive organizations at various levels (federal, state or municipal), repressing those who organize and/or oppose the neoliberal megaprojects. Tomorrow they will be compensated through protection, information, “turning a blind eye”, resources, or other forms of complicity. We can confirm this is true and we see that repression has been outsourced. The government determines how “the narcos” will carry out and execute repressive acts, and the government washes its hands.
In Chiapas, the paramilitaries who were once PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) supporters, now belong to Morena. In Guerrero, groups of drug traffickers also call themselves “Morenistas” and from time to time a representative of the government is seen in their houses, or in their territories “socializing” with them, just as before. These groups also “work” for the mining companies. They dispossess, threaten, disappear or murder, whatever the boss needs.
Nature is considered a product. Illegal and indiscriminate logging continues, clandestine or not, whoever opposes it is in danger of being killed or disappeared.
In Costa Grande-Sierra and Tierra Caliente, drug traffickers are destroying the forest, while threatening, murdering, or expelling anyone who opposes them from the communities. Our compañeros are living on the run, fleeing from bullets that may be waiting for them on some road, highway or in the city, while the official discourse speaks of democracy, protection of nature, and a decrease in violence. Tomorrow they will say that they killed us because of land conflicts or other issues.
They attempt to solve the old capitalist problem of generating huge profits without reinvesting but find it difficult because the market is saturated with an excess of unemployment. So politicians look for other ways that capitalist can obtain benefits. Thus, land, water, forests, beaches, knowledge, biodiversity, cultural assets and rights are taken away.
They build large infrastructure projects, they call it tourism, progress, development, megaprojects. Jobs are immediately available but in the long run benefits are for big business people. As is the case with the wrongly named “Mayan Train,” which aims to rearrange Mayan territory to give new profit to business people, providing temporary jobs while in the long run the main benefit is for big business.
Not to mention the so-called Morelos Integral Plan (El Proyecto Integral Morelos, PIM). Those with memory loss, can watch the video where the candidate made the following statement in Yecapixtla, Morelos in 2014, “we will defend the communities with full force, we do not want that gas pipeline, we do not want that thermoelectric plant…to build a thermoelectric plant in the land of Zapata is like going to Jerusalem to build a garbage dump, a nuclear plant”. When the canditate began to work in the government, a rigged vote was carried out and he supported the project, overriding the interests of the people.
And what happened with justice in the murder of Samir Flores?
Once again, profits are reaped at the expense of the people.
For this reason we see the so-called 4T (the new government in power has self proclaimed that their government will be the “4th transformation” of profound social change in the history of Mexico) as an effort to revitalize capitalism. This is needed as the previous method of accumulating superprofits has been exhausted and the discontent towards the authorities and politicians are increasing. They could no longer govern as before, so a relief pitcher appeared, with curves and smoke balls. At the beginning it seemed he had a good shot, but little by little “from the mound”, we see the same pitches as before, demagogy, propaganda, conservative policies, avoiding and fighting against independent popular organizations, in short, reinforcing a system of inhuman and predatory exploitation. To us it seems to be nothing more than a recycled “echeverrismo“. Despite our natural distrust, we approached them and talked.
They promised us safety and justice but then what happened? Murderers go unpunished, and they are looking to kill us. Thus, the National Guard and the state police are spectators of the aggressions that “Los Ardillos” carry out against the comrades of CIPOG-EZ-CNI, in the region of La Montaña.
The trick about corruption is that it is dormant. That is why we support the comrades of CRAC-PC-PF, in denouncing and expulsing David and Bernardino Sánchez Luna, who did not respect the agreements and regulations of the people. At one time CRAC-PC-PF trusted them but they persisted in training children in the self-defense “community police” and holding CRAC-PF responsible. They were able to obtain resources from the pain of the relatives of murdered comrades.
What was once critcized by the governement, is now applauded. We can only continue fighting, resisting, and calling out the demagogy and living by the phrase “only the people can save the people.”
Unity to workers, small farmers and indigenous peoples.
Southern Sierra Peasant Organization (Organización Campesina de la Sierra del Sur)