June 16, 2021
From It's Going Down
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The Indigenous P’urhépecha community of Zirahuén, Michoacán, has set up barricades in order to defend their communal territory from tourist megaprojects

In a communique from civil and communal authorities of Zirahuén, Michoacán, accompanied by the signatures of 25 Indigenous communities, the Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán #CSIM announced that the community of Zirahuén has installed barricades in order to defend their communal territory.

In 2004, the first Zapatista Caracol outside of Chiapas was created in Zirahuén, denominated Caracol “Eruption in Rebellion in the Blue Lake of Zirahuén.” Afterwards in April of 2006, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) visited the community and expressed their support for community members in defense of the forests and lake.

Today the community has declared that the struggle for territory, forest, and life carried out by community members of Zirahuén, continues. They have declared that the community possesses the original titles and collective possession of their lands. However, they publicly denounced that certain individuals, in collusion with the Judicial Power of Michoacán, are trying to dispossess them of their community territory known as “Tepamio”—an area that the community has reforested during the last 40 years.

The community revealed that recently the Judical Power decided to provisionally hand over the communal territory of “Tepamio” to individuals, without the community being able to exercise their right to an appropriate and timely legal defense. In response, the community of Zirahuén has maintained in resistance and struggle since this past June 10, setting up barricades in the community to prevent the provisional possession by individuals that seek to impose tourist megaprojects in a communal zone of reforestation.

Finally, the community demanded an end to the criminalization of territorial defense in Zirahuén, and an end to the dispossession of their communal territory. They have made an attentive and respectful call out to the social, union, student, and Indigenous organizations to support and accompany this dignified historical struggle for the defense of territory, forests, and life in Zirahuén.

In a decision made in a general assembly of authorities that make up the Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán, it is foreseen that in the following days, they will set up road blockades on highways throughout the state of Michaocán.

Below is the complete communique:

Long Live the Struggle of Zirahuén for their Communal Territory!

To the Judicial Power of the State of Michoacán

To the National Indigenous Congress

To the Media

To the Indigenous Peoples

To the People of Michoacán

P’urhépecha Communities

June 14, 2021

The meaning of Zirahuén comes from Ts’irauani, which in the p’urhépecha language means: a place of deep waters. This Indigenous community is located on the millenary lake which bears its name, having settled in the zone before the arrival of the Spanish. Today, they struggle to defend their communal territory.

In 2004, the first Zapatista Caracol outside of Chiapas was created in Zirahuén, denominated Caracol “Eruption in rebellion in the blue lake of Zirahuén.” Afterwards in April 2006, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) visited the community and expressed their support for the community members in defense of the forest and lake. In July 2006, the Second National Gathering for the Defense of Land and Territory was held in Zirahuén, with the presence of 70 organizations, ejidos, and communities.

Today, the struggle for territory, forests, and life carried out by community members in Zirahuén, continues. The community maintains its original titles and collective possession of lands. However, individuals, in collusion with Judicial Power of Michoacán, want to dispossess them of their communal territory known as “Tepamio,”—an area that the community has reforested during the last 40 years.

Recently, the Judicial Power has decided to provisionally hand over the communal territory of “Tepamio” to individuals, without the community being able to exercise its right to an appropriate and timely legal defense. In response, the community of Zirahuén has maintained in resistance and struggle since this past June 10, setting up barricades in the community to prevent the provisional possession of individuals who seek to impose tourist megaprojects in the communal zone of reforestation.

With this, we demand an end to the criminalization of territorial defense in Zirahuén, and an end to the dispossession of their communal territory. We make an attentive and respectful call to the social, union, student, and Indigenous organizations to support and accompany this dignified historical struggle for the defense of territory, forests, and life in Zirahuén.

TERUNHASKUA K’ OIA, ECHERI KA JURAMUKUKUA IAMENTU IRETECHANI

Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacán

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Source: Itsgoingdown.org