Statement from the Gathering of Resistances and Rebellions, which took place on June 19 in the community of El Rebollero, Cuatro Venados, Oaxaca
To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Indigenous Governing Council
To the Squadron 421
To the Free and Independent Media
Gathered in El Rebollero, the lands of resistance in the municipality of Cuatro Venados, Oaxaca, as communities, organizations, collectives and individuals, we greet you and share our thoughts.
Concerned by the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the limitations to carry out our community and regional assemblies, the silent advance of capitalist megaprojects, and the reorganization of our mobility and our territories, we announce:
Those of us present this June 19 reaffirm our categorical rejection of the advance in mining projects throughout the state of Oaxaca. We know that there are at least 355 mining concessions approved up until this year of 2021. In these lands of El Rebollero, there are at least three concessions covering more than 6000 hectares to extract gold and silver. We call on all of the communities to be alert. In San Pablo Cuatro Venados, we also denounce the constant aggressions from armed groups, who have fired high-caliber weapons, and through acts of violence seek to dispossess us of our territory to give way to the exploitation of the three mining concessions.
In the community of San José del Progreso and surrounding communities, the Cuzcatlán mining company, which has 31 concessions that cover 64,000 hectares, is advancing in the exploitation of gold and silver. Furthermore, the Assembly of the Chontal people denounce the Zapotitlan mining concession, which is threatening the region. Also in the Southern Sierra, more than 120,000 hectares are concessioned to the company, Altos Hornos de Mexico, in an area inhabited by different communities, considered the second largest iron ore deposit in the world.
In addition to the mining concessions, there is also so-called “clean energy” projects which are causing death and destruction. For example, the hydroelectric project “Paso de la Reyna” in the Southern Sierra, and others in Rio Cajonos, in the Chinantla region, where six hydroelectric dams are projected, with nine more in the La Lana Rivera.
Other communities are facing the same threats from other projects, like the exploration and practice of biopiracy by multidisciplinary research teams who arrive to the communities to appropriate ancestral knowledge. This is the case in the Sierra Mazateca where different foreign groups have been present. The Mazateca region is also on high alert due to the presence of paramilitary organizations that function as the armed wings of certain political party interests in the region.
We also want to share that the entire state of Oaxaca and the country is suffering a process of territorial reorganization through programs of land regularization like PROCEDE, FANAR, and RRAJA, as well as protected natural areas and reserves where often times our communal statutes remain invalid.
In the case of the Istmo de Tehuantepec, different communities who at first accepted the wind turbine projects, have been forced into agrarian conflicts. In this region, grand capital is advancing forcefully. The Interoceanic Train, which connects the ports of Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos, is only part of it. Beyond that, they have projected at least ten industrial parks, more wind farms, and the reorganization of our communities to march at the speed of the market and capital. From this space, we denounce the four arrest warrants emitted against our compañeros who have resisted the imposition of an industrial park in the community of Puente Madera, San Blas Atempa. We demand these arrest warrants be removed. We also demand the end to the harassment against other brothers who resist the imposition of megaprojects in Oaxaca and the rest of the country.
Those of us participating in this assembly sharing our pain and resistance, we pertain to the following language groups: Chatino, Chinanteco, Chontal, Mazateco, Mixteco, Triqui, Zapoteco de Valle and Zapateco del Istmo. We join the process of resistance maintained by the Indigenous peoples of Mexico and the world, and we salute the grand journey that our Zapatista brothers and sisters have begun in the Europe of below, who carry our word and our heart. We reject the institutional racism and contempt of those who have denied passports to our Zapatista brothers and sisters and of the National Indigenous Congress.
Freedom for political prisoners!
Free Fidencio Aldama and Fredy Garcia!
End the militarization and paramilitarization of the Indigenous Communities!
Never more a Mexico without us!
Assembly of Resistances and Rebellions of Oaxaca in the community of El Rebollero