Love and Power: The Ballad of Oso Blanco Revisited

..By     Anonymous Contributon   … shared via It’s Going Down

“It’s a long way to Nottinghamshire,
Or to Chiapas, Mexico,
But you can’t tell me that Robin Hood ain’t real
Since the Feds caught up with Oso Blanco!”
– The Martyr Index, by “Oso Blanco”

“I hope to inspire people to have courage beyond their daily understanding. As we truly have endless love and power within.”
– Letter from Oso Blanco, 6/4/2019

by Clayton P

Official sources say that Oso Blanco, to whom the State refers by his birth name, Byron Shane Chubbuck, is responsible for about 20 bank robberies from 1998-1999, all undertaken for the express purpose of aiding the EZLN (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional/Zapatista National Liberation Army) in Chiapas. Oso Blanco himself puts the number of “robberies” at closer to 50.

“The bankers got bailed out. Oso Blanco went to prison.”

There’s a satisfying symmetry—I won’t call it poetic justice—in using money from banks to fund revolutionary struggle. Banks are in the business of burying people’s hopes and of destroying their dreams. But the goals of freedom-fighters like the Zapatistas—and like Oso Blanco himself—are to keep hope alive, to nurture the revolutionary dream of a world free from oppression and exploitation. Continue reading “Love and Power: The Ballad of Oso Blanco Revisited”

Zapatistas resisting ecocidal Highway and Luxury Hotels

#Chiapas: The San Cristóbal-Palenque highway is back and so is the resistance

Chiapas, Mexico:
The highway is heating up conflicts in the region.
Originally published by Chiapas Support.
The San Cristobal-Palenque highway is key to an elaborate tourism development plan, the Palenque Integral Center (CIP, its initials in Spanish), which includes a lush green jungle area in the northern zone of Chiapas, the Agua Azul Cascades, the Misol Ha waterfall and the magnificent archaeological site of Palenque.
Agua Azul Cascades. [1]The San Cristóbal-Palenque highway and the Palenque Integral Center are part of a regional development plan for Mesoamerica, originally known as the Plan Puebla-Panamá (PPP). [2]The PPP included numerous infrastructure projects that prompted strong opposition from social, environmental and human rights organizations, as well as academics and organized indigenous communities.
That led governments and planners to silence the most controversial projects contained in the plan and to re-name it the Mesoamerica Project.
In Chiapas, at least up to now, the most controversial projects within the Mesoamerica Project have been the San Cristobal-Palenque highway and the Palenque Integral Center. They go together; the CIP needs the highway to facilitate tourism.
 

Residents of the areas affected by these projects have had two general concerns: 1) dispossession of the lands of indigenous communities of subsistence farmers through which the highway would pass and the effects on those communities and 2) the massive amount of tourism envisioned in the Palenque Integral Center.

Perhaps the best articulation of why the Zapatista communities and other pro-Zapatista indigenous communities oppose and resist the superhighway and the Palenque Integral Center may be in the words of Miguel Vazquez Moreno, a Zapatista supporter from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, who was briefly a political prisoner as a result of resistance to the superhighway and the tourism megaproject.

“I am a native of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido and I am part of the EZLN’s support base, an organization that defends its right to exercise autonomy and self-determination as indigenous peoples, its right to territory and to natural resources.

They [the federal and state governments] want to impose neoliberal economic projects on our autonomous territory. As indigenous people, the land is our life, we eat from it, we work, our children grow and it is something sacred, therefore we consider that the land is not for sale but to work and care for. Our territory is rich in water, animals and natural resources.

They want to make it into a ‘Chiapas Cancun’ by plundering the indigenous of our life, that is, the land, just so that foreign and national companies can become richer, as well as the government officials that benefit from these projects. They want to cross through our autonomous territory without respecting our rights.

They want to impose these projects on indigenous peoples without giving importance to our word, and with discrimination they want to remove us from our lands for tourist purposes and only to benefit rich developers and the federal and state government, putting us aside because to them we give a bad appearance to those eco-tourist centers, being that we are original peoples, descendants of the peoples that have lived on these lands since before anything like an official government existed.” [3]

The San Cristóbal-Palenque highway would pass through small rural indigenous communities, both Zapatista and non-Zapatista, thus dispossessing each community of some of its land and, possibly, dividing those lands in two.

It would also alter animal habitats, endanger animal species and cause air pollution from the giant tourist buses. This is not a highway to facilitate local traffic between one town and the next. It’s a superhighway (toll road) to facilitate international mega-tourism arriving by both airplane and cruise ship.

Cruise ships dock at Puerto Chiapas and from there passengers can then board giant tourist buses to visit the world-famous Palenque archaeological site and other sites, such as the Agua Azul Cascades, within the mega tourism project that the CIP envisions. Imagine the volume of tourism a completed San Cristóbal-Palenque superhighway and CIP would bring when combined with a completed Maya Train station in Palenque bringing tourists to Palenque from Cancun!

Stop the war against the Zapatistas

It would transform life and culture, as we now know it in that area of Chiapas. Like Miguel Vazquez Moreno above, some have dubbed the CIP “the new Cancun.” [4]

The CIP contains an elaborate plan to convert the area surrounding the Agua Azul Cascades into a “world-class resort destination.” The government plan includes a Boutique Hotel, a European 5-

Star Hotel, a Conference Center with golf course, and a Lodge overlooking the waterfall at Bolom Ajaw, a Zapatista community on land reclaimed in the 1994 uprising.

Luxury tourists would have to helicopter into the Lodge at Bolom Ajaw due to its remoteness, so plans for the lodge include a helipad!

The Agua Azul area has been a flashpoint of conflict between pro-government communities (in favor of luxury tourist development because the government has promised them a cut of the income) and pro-Zapatista communities (opposed to development based on luxury tourism).

The controversial project pAgua Azul, of roposed for which a superhighway is key to attracting large numbers of tourists, has already generated three pro-Zapatista deaths (one in Mitzitón and 2 in San Sebastián Bachajón), numerous violent conflicts, serious bodily injuries, political prisoners, death threats, torture and the death of at least one government supporter in Bolom Ajaw. The San Sebastián Bachajón ejido includes the entryway to the Agua Azul Cascades.

The government argues that these tourist projects will bring jobs and income into a very poor state, while Zapatista supporters, their sympathizers and allies argue that the volume of tourism envisioned will damage the environment, their food security, their autonomy and their way of life; that is, their culture.

Government planners envision converting autonomous subsistence farmers, who believe that the land is sacred, into busboys, maids and bellhops.

The Los Llanos court decision

The Los Llanos ejido is located on the current highway to Palenque, close to where the new highway was originally supposed to start. It is across the highway from the Mitzitón ejido, near the intersection where the current highway to Palenque forks off from the Pan American Highway.

In January 2014, the Los Llanos ejido filed for an injunction against the new superhighway crossing through their lands, based on their right to a prior, free and informed consultation (consulta) about the project. [5]

The government had not followed the United Nations protocol for consulting with Los Llanos before starting construction. A temporary injunction against highway construction was in place while the case was pending. Two years later, in January 2016, the court granted an amparo (permanent injunction) to Los Llanos, ruling that the government failed to conduct the required consultation with the affected communities. [6]

The court decision prevented construction of the superhighway, but only in the municipalities of San Cristóbal de las Casas and Huixtán, where Mitzitón and Los Llanos are located, leaving open the possibility of either re-routing the controversial superhighway or improving the existing highway.

Approximately 9 months after Los Llanos filed its court case, opposition to the San Cristóbal-Palenque superhighway emerged again and it was from La Candelaria ejido in the Chiapas municipality of San Juan Chamula. More than 2,000 representatives, including people of faith belonging to Pueblo Creyente, attended this meeting at La Candelaria’s sacred site of Laguna Suyul and vowed to resist the highway. [7]

The clear implication of this important meeting was that government planners intended to re-route the superhighway to begin in San Juan Chamula, a municipality bordering on San Cristóbal de las Casas, and pass close to the sacred Laguna Suyul site.

A map of the route is shown in the article. The recent news article about resistance in San Juan Cancuc means that the new route remains pretty much the same as that shown at the time of the La Candelaria meeting and would pass through San Juan Cancuc over the mountains in the direction of the Agua Azul Cascades.

Many of the municipalities and organizations represented in La Candelaria have joined San Juan Cancuc in resisting the new route for the superhighway. They issued a statement as members of the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite). [8]

The list of municipalities signing the statement is a good indicator of the superhighway’s new route and the municipalities that would be affected.


[1] https://chiapas-support.org/2019/04/11/residents-of-san-juan-cancuc-reject-san-cristobal-palenque-superhighway-construction/

[2] https://chiapas-support.org/2014/03/25/the-plan-puebla-panama-is-changing-chiapas/

[3] Chiapas Update, August 2009, pp. 3-4

[4] https://expansion.mx/obras/pulso-de-la-construccion/chiapas-se-perfila-como-el-nuevo-cancun

[5] https://chiapas-support.org/2014/01/25/indigenous-file-lawsuit-against-san-cristobal-palenque-toll-road/

[6] https://chiapas-support.org/2016/05/30/indigenous-win-lawsuit-against-the-san-cristobal-palenque-superhighway/

[7] https://chiapas-support.org/2014/09/22/opposition-to-chiapas-super-highway/

[8] https://chiapas-support.org/2019/04/30/8-more-municipalities-reject-the-san-cristobal-palenque-highway/

Members of the Mexican Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) during the celebration act of the New Year in the community of La Garrucha,PHOTO /BERNARDO DE NIZ

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018

Frayba

On May 27th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a bulletin warning that, “aggressions against peoples, communities and organizations have intensified as part of a strategy to contain civil and peaceful resistance in defense of territory.” Two years after the Constituent Assembly of the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym), of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym).

It illustrated the statement by referring to the six indigenous defenders who have been murdered so far in 2019, as well as mentioning the CNI’s own denunciations since December 2018 with situations of “dispossession, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, threats, harassment, criminalization and attempts of executions.”

Frayba denounced that “this logic of war against the peoples that build autonomy, is reproduced in the increase of militarization of Zapatista territories, especially the incursions, flights and espionage of the Mexican Army to the headquarters of the Junta de Buen Government Toward Hope, in La Realidad Caracol (Official Municipality of Las Margaritas). This containment is deepened by the presence of the National Guard in the region, which increases risks to the integrity and security of the population.”

In this context, Frayba demanded that the Mexican State: “Cease the attacks against peoples, communities and organizations that make up the National Indigenous Congress; justice for the defenders and communicators murdered in the country; and high militarization in Chiapas and Mexico.”

For more information in Spanish:

Contrainsurgencia a Pueblos Originarios que construyen la vida digna (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 27 de mayo de 2019)

Las agresiones contra pueblos originarios se intensifican: Frayba (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Two Members of CRAC-PF and CIPOG-EZ Murdered (May 28, 2019)

Guerrero: CNI Denounces Kidnapping and Murder of Two Members (May 11, 2019)

Chiapas: denuncian dos comunidades choles de Salto de Agua amenazas, persecución y hostigamientos (El 22 de abril de 2019)

National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City (March 14, 2019)

Chiapas : CNI denuncia amenazas y agresiones en la zona Norte (El 16 de agosto de 2018)

Paula Rosero, 596th Human Rights Defender Killed in pro-US Colombia

…” if Venezuela falls to the US capitalist onslaught it will be a new Colombia, with profits for the rich, a genocide against the poor and indigenous and a 50 year long civil war..”
shared from TeleSur English, with thanks
  • featured image above: Murdered human rights defender Paula Andrea Rosero Ordóñez. | Photo: Facebook /

According to a recent count, just since the signing of the peace agreements in Colombia, in November 2016, 596 social leaders have been killed.

Ordóñez was murdered Monday night by a group of strangers in the department of Nariño, in southwestern Colombia, official sources said.

Rosero Ordóñez, 47 years old, was the representative of the Public Ministry of the town of Samaniego, in Nariño, and had previously warned she was receiving threats against her life.

According to a police report, the lawyer was approached by two hit men, who shot her at close range.

Although she was given first aid almost immediately, it was impossible to save his life, the reports said. The Attorney General of the Nation and the Ombudsman of Colombia, in a joint statement, lamented the crime.

“@PGN_COL and @DefensoriaCol condemn the crime against the person from Samaniego, Nariño. Statement attached”

Both institutions demanded that the government of Colombian President Ivan Duque “take urgent measures” to guarantee the lives of human rights defenders, as well as all social leaders.

Luis Eduardo Dagua, his body was found with clear signs of torture;

According to a recent count made last week, after the signing of the peace agreements in Colombia, in November 2016, there 139 former guerrilla fighters were killed. Also 31 relatives of ex-rebels have been killed, while 596 social leaders and 119 Indigenous people were murdered.

According to the non-governmental organization Programa Somos Defensores, from January to March, 25 more human rights defenders in Colombia were killed.

shared from TeleSur English, with thanks



The US is blockading and subverting Venezuela to control it like Colombia. Plan Colombia was a counter narcotics and counter insurgency military aid package launched in 2000 by then U.S. President Bill Clinton to put down leftwing resistance to the oligarchy, the ‘Mafia of the Rich’  who have long plagued Colombia, and indeed Latin America, …

COLOMBIA’S WOMEN: VICTIMS OF A COERCIVE PEACE

Plan Colombia Has Been a Nightmare for Women  Six women were raped every hour in Colombia during the first nine years of Plan Colombia. That figure was taken from a joint survey done by women’s rights organizations, which include Oxfam and other Colombian based groups. The study revealed that some 489,678 women were victims of some type of sexual violence, while 7,752 had been forced into prostitution between 2000-2009—what were integral years for the controversial deal.

As one more example, Colombian Indigenous and campesino leader Alicia Lopez Guisao was killed in Medellin

Opinion

Decolonial feminists in Abya Yala: we are anti-racist, anti-capitalist and anti-sexist.

Why Decolonial Feminism: New Possibilities from Abya Yala (Latin America)*

It is no longer accurate to speak of one feminism, encapsulating the experiences of white women in the west and laboring women in the global south, for example.

Rather, today, we speak about feminisms, different branches fighting in the cause of women’s freedom, and created by women from the so-called ‟third world” – women of color, black women, and indigenous women.

These feminisms were brought into being when women from around the world began to critique the limitations of the sort of universal feminism that come from the white bourgeois women in the West to explain our own realities. Continue reading “Decolonial feminists in Abya Yala: we are anti-racist, anti-capitalist and anti-sexist.”

Victory: HSBC Climate Criminals vow to Ditch Fossil Fuels

Bolsonaro and Sons in Brazilian Death Squads 

”Extensive, direct, multilayered, and deeply personal ties to the paramilitary gangs and militias responsible for Brazil’s most horrific violence”.

This 18 March 2019 video speaks for itself:

Investigations now point to President Bolsonaro as a Death Squad promoter and paymaster. The evidence so far is enough to convict in many countries, but the corrupt Brazilian judges support him.

Jair Bolsonaro’s Close Family Ties to Paramilitary Gangs Drew Scrutiny Ahead of White House Visit

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is in Washington and met U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday. While the trip officially is focused on the joint efforts of the U.S. and Brazil to change the government of Venezuela, it is being billed by the Bolsonaro government as a “restart” of his presidency and image after multiple, serious scandals crippled the first three months of his presidency.

But when it comes to recreating his image, the timing of this trip could hardly be worse. Key news events of the last several weeks — including the arrests of two former Rio de Janeiro police officers for the March 2018 assassination of Rio City Council Councilor Marielle Franco — have highlighted the most damaging and, to many, most terrifying revelations  ..about Bolsonaro and his three politician sons –

 – Their extensive, direct, multilayered, and deeply personal ties to the paramilitary gangs and militias responsible for Brazil’s most horrific violence. Continue reading “Bolsonaro and Sons in Brazilian Death Squads “

EZLN warns Zapatistas will not permit ‘Maya Train’ mega Rail project

By: Elio Henríquez    via Chiapas Support Committee

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

The Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) has said that it would not permit President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Maya Train project of death and dirty tricks to happen.

It described López Obrador as “crazy” and “crafty,” and therefore, it said, it will defend what it has constructed in the past 25 years.

On Monday, López Obrador arrived in Villahermosa to attend the swearing-in of Adán Augusto López as governor of Tabasco. Upon asking him about the resistance announced by the EZLN to some of his projects, he answered: “They are within their rights, how good that they are going to do it, and many congratulations to everyone.”

In the voice of Subcomandante Moisés, during an event held in the community of La Realidad, municipality of Las Margaritas, in the Lacandón Jungle, the EZLN stated: “Think about how crazy it is that he says he is going to govern for rich and poor. Only a crazy person that is sick in the head can say that; his mind doesn’t work, he is braindead (…).

“He doesn’t know nor understand what he’s saying, and he doesn’t understand because his boss dictates to him what he has to say. It’s simple: you can’t support the exploited and the exploiter, you have to choose one of the two,” he said.

The EZLN criticized, without mentioning him by name, that Lopez Obrador “is very tricky, because (he says) that he is with the people of Mexico and continues deceiving the original peoples, demonstrating that he thrusts himself on the land asking for permission and saying that all the original peoples believe him, but we say that we don’t believe him.”

Masked Zapatista rebels participate in a protest against violence in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas state, Mexico.  The Zapatistas staged a brief armed uprising for greater indigenous rights in southern Chiapas state in 1994.

Upon referring to the ceremony held on December 1 in Mexico City’s Zócalo, where López Obrador received the staff of command from the indigenous peoples, the EZLN expressed: “Only because Mother Earth doesn’t speak, if she did she would say: fuck your mother; she would say: go to hell!”

In the context of the 25th anniversary of the January 1, 1994 Zapatista Uprising, he added: “We’re not going to allow them to come to destroy us,” and he warned: “We’re not afraid of their Nacional Guard, which changed their name in order to not say Army, but they are the same.”

He maintained that López Obrador “is going to destroy the people of Mexico, but principally the original peoples; they’re coming for us, especially for the EZLN.” He reiterated that they are not afraid of the new federal government. “We’re going to fight and we’re going to confront it.”

He remarked: “They’re coming for us, the original peoples. The consulta (vote) that they make is to manipulate the people. They are asking permission to attack us with votes. They are consulting so that they can come to confront us with that dirty trick of the Maya Train” (Tren Maya),” but “if they provoke us, we are going to defend ourselves. We’re not going to allow anyone to come to establish themselves in this territory in rebellion.”

He asserted that the so-called Fourth Transformation “is nothing of a fourth. Those of the third confronted him with facts. (López Obrador) says, for example, that he is going to forgive all the criminals. Like the one who says that he won’t do anything to the murderers of our Compañero Galeano,” murdered in the community of La Realidad in May 2014.

 

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

25 años del movimiento insurgente

Advierte el EZLN que no permitirá que pase el proyecto del Tren Maya

Está en su derecho de oponerse, señala López Obrador

▲ El comandante Pablo Contreras (Pablo González Casanova) en el segundo Encuentro de Redes de Resistencia en apoyo al Congreso Nacional Indígena y al Concejo Indígena de Gobierno.Foto Mariana Gutiérrez

Elio Henríquez
Corresponsal
Periódico La Jornada
Miércoles 2 de enero de 2019, p. 4

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., El Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) afirmó que no permitirá que pase el proyecto de muerte y porquería del Tren Maya del presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a quien calificó de loco y mañoso, por lo que, dijo, defenderá lo que ha construido en los pasados 25 años.

El lunes, López Obrador llegó a Villahermosa para asistir a la toma de protesta de Adán Augusto López como gobernador de Tabasco. Al preguntarle sobre la resistencia anunciada por el EZLN a algunos de sus proyectos, respondió: Están en su derecho, qué bueno que lo van a hacer, y muchas felicidades a todas y todos.

En voz del subcomandante Moisés, durante un acto realizado en la comunidad de La Realidad, municipio de Las Margaritas, en la selva Lacandona, el EZLN manifestó: “Figúrense cómo está de loco que dice que va a gobernar para ricos y pobres. Sólo un loco que está mal de su cabeza puede decir eso; no trabaja su mente, es descerebrado (…).

No sabe ni entiende lo que está diciendo, y no lo entiende porque su patrón le dicta lo que tiene que decir. Es sencillo: no se puede apoyar al explotado y al exolotador, se tiene que escoger a uno de los dos, expuso.

Mural painting near La Realidad symbolizing the Zapatista uprising on 01-01-1994
South of the Border: The indigenous people in Chiapas have defended the Zapatista free area for a generation, with a communal, feminist, non-hierarchical and non-tribal culture that has inspired the world.

El EZLN criticó, sin mencionarlo por su nombre, que Lopez Obrador es muy mañoso, porque (dice) que está con el pueblo de México y sigue engañando a los pueblos originarios, demostrando que se hinca en la tierra pidiéndole permiso y diciendo que todos los pueblos originarios le creen, pero nosotros le decimos que no le creemos.