Indigenous Community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Lerma, State of Mexico, February 22, 2016

Indigenous Community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Lerma, State of Mexico, February 22, 2016

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the national indigenous congress

To the national and international sixth

To all of the brothers and sisters that struggle to defend mother earth

To all of those who accompany our struggle with dignity

To the means of communication

For nine years of struggle and resistance in the indigenous communities of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Santa Cruz Ayotuxco and San Lorenco Huitzizilapan, we have met in our path, many men and women that said to us that our struggle is worthy. Thus, we say that it is not bad what we are doing, because we know that we are defending the land of girls, boys, men, and women, and that this, not only pertains to our communities, but to all of those that live in the cities that surround the principle valley of Mexico. We defend forests, water, and all of mother earth, because to defend her is to defend life, and this is not a crime like the government and those that accumulate capital want to make us believe.

We are three communities located to the west of the valley of Mexico, between the city of Mexico and Toluca. We formed part of the last indigenous pueblos that struggle to stay in our territories, with our ancestral form of life. From time immemorial, we have been guardians of the sacred forest of water.

The government has called our territories natural protected areas and named them sanctuaries of water. However, they have violated the laws that they created by saying “protect and preserve” what it ours forever. It is thus no coincidence, that a large part of the indigenous territories in our country, at this moment, are preyed upon by companies who are backed and protected by the three levels of government, as well as by the institutions of the state to rob, loot, carry out ecocide and cause irreversible damage to our mother earth.

In our sacred forest of water, the vital liquid supports the habitants of the delegations of Álvaro Obregón, Azcapotzalco, Benito Juárez, Coyoacán, Cuajimalpa, Cuahtémoc, Iztacalco, Iztapalapa, Magdalena Contreras and Miguel Hidalgo of Mexico City as well as Toluca, Atizapán de Zaragoza, Coacalco, Cuautitlán, Izcalli, Ecatepec, Huixquilucan, Naucalpan, Nezahualcoyotl, Nicolás Romero and Tlalnepantla, in the state of Mexico. Here in the heart of our territory and our natural springs, nine years ago, the government of the state of Mexico, then headed by Enrique Peña Nieto, now president of Mexico, leased to the company Teya S.A of C.V., subsidiary of Grupo Higa de Juan Armando Honojosa Cantú, the toll road project called Autopista Toluca-Naucalpan.

The work of the company in our territory began in 2007, without previously consulting or informing our communities, as is demanded in the laws of Mexico and international treaties that out country has subscribed to. Since then, they have systematically violated our human rights through the incarceration of 22 of our comrades; repression on part of the hundreds of municipal, state and ministerial police that have appeared in the community on different occasions; persecutions, threats of death and hostages.

We have demonstrated the illegality of the actions that the government and company have used to displace us, as is the case of the annulment of judgment 647/2011, which we filed with respect to the misleading of community members on August 14th of the same year, which illegally approved the highway project, as well as the agreement of previous occupation, this judgment we finally won. On November of 2014, we filed the criminal complaint AV/ PGR/ MEX/ TOL-IV/4870/2014, in the Attorney General’s Office, for theft and illegal logging. It has been over a year since then and still, with all of the evidence presented, the PGR has said that the complaint is in the integration stage. Also in November of 2014, we filed complaints with the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection, as well as the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, both institutions did not respond and we were not assigned a docket number. Following this, we sent allegations and complaints to the Office of the Presidency of the Republic, the government of the State of Mexico, the Local Congress of the State of Mexico, the Senate, the Congress of the Union and the Human Rights Commission of Mexico. In all of these institutions, silence is the only response that we have obtained.

When we expose the lies of Grupo Higa and the government of Eruviel Ávila Villegas, who always act as an employee of Honojosa Cantu, they couldn’t do anything more than solicit the help of Enrique Peña Nieto who used the executive federal power, in August 2015, emitting a illegal decree of expropriation, that newly violated the laws, our rights and lied, when he said in a letter that there doesn’t exist any opposition to the project. Furthermore, he said to have carried out a consultation in June of 2005 which never took place. Similarly, he signaled that the expropriated land, is pastures, when in reality, the land is of great biodiversity, like forest and fauna, some endemic species in danger of extinction. There are also medicinal plants and comestibles as well as cultivated land that nurture the habits of our families from ancestral times.

In respect to the decree of expropriation, we filed judgments of indirect appeals, in the constitutional rights of indigenous peoples, numbers: 1167/2015, Fourth Court; 771/2015, Fifth Court; and 1117/2015, Third Court based in the second circuit. On the other hand, we have the resolution of indirect jurisdiction, in the constitutional rights of indigenous peoples, number 1123/2015, second court of the second circuit, whose resolution gives definitive suspension. With this projection, we were granted definitive legal suspension of the work of the company, in the first three, we only got omission and partiality of the responsible judges.

Before the national commission of human rights, we exhaustively documented all of the violations of our rights through the complaint number CNDH/4/2015/i300/Q. Even the commission itself, when issuing the first injustices for the community in July of 2015, recognized that “with the information that is available, it was identified that there is risk to human rights to life and physical integrity of the inhabitants of the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla and the civil defenders of human rights that represent them.” In means that unlike other institutions, the CNDH has shown interest and promise to analyze and issue a recommendation attached to the principles of justice, legality, transparency, and the defense of human rights. Therefore, we expect a recommendation, claiming the most basic human rights of our indigenous communities that does not intend to legitimate the illegalities in the decree of expropriation, to justify the taking of our land.

Brothers and sisters of the communities of Mexico and the world, we reaffirm that our struggle and resistance, as well as our hearts remain steadfast to defend what belongs to all of you and what is ours by inheritance from our grandmothers and grandfathers.

Never more a Mexico without us!

Alive they were taken, alive we want them back!

Liberty to commander Nestora Salgado!

Liberty to the political prisoners of Tlanixco and all of the country!

Long live the resistance and autonomy of the communities!

Our mother earth is not for sale!

Frente de Pueblos Indigenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra

Poorly translated from the original here:

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