Dolores of CIPO-RFM addresses the media.
The press conference took place in Oaxaca City.
Also in attendence were many of thier indigenous supporters.
From the village of San Isidro Aloapam.
The village is threatened by paramilitaries protecting loggers.
“Yesterday we contacted the media to invite you to this press conference programmed for today at 9.30 am -summer time. Thanks to all of you who have responded and are here with us now. Our companero Cristolo Calleja Hernantes is going to read a document to also announce an “Encuentro” – meeting – that is going to take place during these days at the community of San Isidro Aloapam. I leave you now with the words of my companero Cristolo Calleja Hernantes.”
. - “Santa Lucia del Camino 3rd of August 2007. Brothers and Sisters, we are here, we are the enemies of injustice. In April 2003 in this same community of San Isidro Aloapam, Itzlan – Oaxaca, Mexico – we elected the representatives of the Indigenous Popular Council of Oaxaca – CIPO-RFM. We agreed to seek for and join other movements in the struggle. That’s why we would like to say that in this encounter, the old rule is paramount, so that we get together and think, talk and share, as we will do – to defend our communities and life in general, because we are not just fighting for us or the forest. We fight for everyone.
At this time, when the murderous government of Ulises Ruiz continue to violate our collective and human rights at the same time that we are told to vote and choose – and at the same time that we are being killed - to legitimize with our vote those that will be seeking our end.
In these hard times, political parties and governments keep a nice face to get our votes, and after they’ve been elected they continue steeling and lying to the people. That is why the communities and those of us, who belong to CIPO-RFM and are also part of the National Indigenous Council, The Other Campaign, and the APPO, we talk to your hearts so that resisting hand in hand indigenous and non-indigenous peoples can fight against the oblivion in which we have been left by the governments of Oaxaca, Mexico and the World, and fight for our forest, mother nature and communitarian life.
Indigenous peoples have always nurtured our traditions within our communities and our territories, and we have learnt a different world view. All our achievements have been the result of collective participation, that’s why we still maintain about 6000 hectares of virgin forest that provides water and gives life to animals and plants that sustain our communities. These forests help attract rain and produce the water we consume in the country and the city. This achievement has upset the powerful that have been hurting our people, selling, exploiting and plundering everything they could find in its womb [the forest’]. The bad governments, principally those of Idioro Carrasco?,Jose Morat and Ulises Ruiz have mistreated all Oaxacans and specially those of us who belong to CIPO-RFM. They sent us paramilitaries the “Antorcha Campesina” from San Miguel Aloapam who in August 2002 injured 42 women from San Isidro Aloapam causing 2 of them to miscarriage and unfairly sending to jail 5 comuneros. They [the powerful] also send the CROCUT in October 2003 to assassinate Bartolome Salas leaving 9 brothers and sisters from Javiche with gun injuries.
In September 2004, all police forces participated on our eviction from the square of Oaxaca and jailed for a year 14 members of CIPO-RFM, minors among them. In 2005, the paramilitary group from San Cristobal “Zola de Vega”, attacks the community of La Soledad in June. Facing certain dead, our brother Raul Gatica Bautista - a teacher in section 22 and persecuted by the bad governments - has to go on exile.
On the 18 on June 2007 San Miguel Aloapam enters the forest to start logging and when we peacefully tried to prevent them, “Antorcha Campesina” paramilitaries from San Miguel Aloapam, shot against us with guns, killing two of their own and putting the blame on us.
They also kidnapped and tortured our brothers Guana, Morales, Perez and five more people currently jailed accused of crimes they haven’t committed.
In the face of all these, justice do not come to our communities, just forgetfulness and a voting post in time of elections.
From the community of San Isidro Aloapam, we call on all the brothers and sisters who care about life in any part of the world. We call on you to join us and be welcomed to this “encuentro”, there we shall talk and join our words and actions to let know -to all of those that want to steel our lands and natural resources- that indigenous and non-indigenous peoples continue the walk in the fight for our right to leave in peace, being who we are and the way we are.
For fighting for our communitarian way of life and against the big capital we are being persecuted, incarcerated and murdered. They sent to us paramilitary and police forces, while every single one of the culprits still free to continue to harm our people.
In this Encuentro we shall talk and discuss about resistance alternatives and how to preserve our communitarian life as the main tool we have to face the great money lords that want to eat the world.
At present the bad governments - federal, state and council – in complicity with paramilitaries, have closed access routes to our villages jailed our people and have orders to arrest many of us. This is why the aim of this Encuentro is to find within all our words a way to face this injustice and a way to finally leave in peace. We have asked the National Commission for Human Rights for cautelary measures to guarantee our right of free transit and being able to realize this Encuentro without the threat of aggression. We demand the freedom of our companera Juana Morales Perez, recognition of our communal rights, a stop to the illegal exploitation from the loggers and the Mexican government, guarantees for the return of the exiled- among them the teacher Raul Gatica Bautista- a stop to the repression against our communities, companeros and the organising committee. Freedom for all prisoners from Oaxaca, Atengo and the world. Punishment for the president of the municipal council of San Miguel Aloapam, Fidel Alejandro Pablo Cruz.”
For the reconciliation and free association of the peoples
Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca – Ricardo Flores Magon
Images and words © the authors. Please contact to reproduce.
GS & JNP