<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Declaration of the Fourth National Indigenous Congress, in San Pedro Atlapulco

“For real autonomy and indigenous resistance”

May 10, 2006

Declaración del IV Congreso Nacional Indígena San Pedro Atlapulco,
May 5th – 6th, 2006. Mexico.

Declaration from N’DONHUANI

For real autonomy and indigenous resistance

In the indigenous community of N’donhuani-San Pedro Atlapulco, State of México, delegates representing the indigenous peoples nahua, zapoteca, wixárika, mazahua, amuzgo, cuicateco, kumiai, kikapu, purhépecha, tlahuica, chocholteco, chinanteco, ñu saavi, hñahñu, tenek, maya, totonaco, mayo, tlapaneco, coca, trique, tepehua, rarámuri, ch’ol, tzeltal, guachichil, chichimeca, zoque, matlatzinca, mixe y popolucas, from 25 different states, came together to celebrate the 4th National Indigenous Congress, and declared the following…

Since the three powers of the state betrayed us in 2001, when it refused to recognize the rights of indigenous peoples, we came to understand that we are on our own, and that we have to exercise our own rights and our own autonomy in our daily lives.

Echoing the agreements of the 3rd National Indigenous Congress, we have begun regionalizing the people’s house.

Not every region has been able to do so.

Peoples and communities have been fragmented by the war of extermination waged against them, and repression and appropriation have dismantled many spaces.

Nevertheless, they have not succeeded in exterminating us. They have beaten us, but we are still here, we carry on. We meet here and bring together the words and histories of many, so that the powerful, the corporations, and the politicians will hear our cry – they will never defeat us. Our light is alive.

Today we understand that our heart beats in every corner of the country, and that from San Pedro Atlapulco, in this 4th National Indigenous Congress, we condemn, with all our energy and rage, the repression, murder, and imprisonment of our peoples and communities, carried out with the simple and vile desire to take away our resources, kick us off of our lands, and convert us into cheap labor, far from our communities, futureless ghosts in the city.

In this sense, San Salvador Atenco is a mirror. Atenco’s problems are our problems. Because they are also defending their land, they are also campesinos, they are also defending their crops; because they are also committed to defending their lives and their rights, their wisdom and their destiny against the large corporations who want to do away with us.

Just like the compañeros in San Salvador Atenco, in many regions in the country, the people are living their autonomy.

We hold meetings, workshops, and gatherings, but we also strengthen our assemblies and our agrarian and traditional authorities, in our fight to defend our corn, our forests and water; in our fight against the regulation of our land and our environment, every day making our education more and more autonomous.

This is what we are doing in Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán, Guerrero, Yucatán, Puebla, Oaxaca, the State of México, Sinaloa, Sonora, Chihuahua, Veracruz, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Durango, Nayarit, Baja California, Morelos, Coahuila, Chiapas, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí and even in Mexico City.

This is how we fight against mines, timber companies, and land thieves; against greedy chains like WalMart; against the privatization of our water; against state laws that try to legitimize the anti-reform of 2001. In the practice of autonomy and the defense of our rights, we have learned that the interests dominating the world today have bought out the political parties and the politicians, imposing their agendas and plundering all that belongs to the people.

Witnessing the Mexican state’s submission to capitalist interests, we have come to the conclusion that we can’t ask for the recognition of our rights by a state that, in our eyes, has lost all legitimacy. Here, today, we raise our voices to tell the state that we challenge their corruption, their political party system, and all their laws that aren’t beholden to the interests of the people; that we question their development model, their racist and discriminatory system; and that we reject their policy of extermination and repression of peoples, communities, and any person whose only crime is defending their way of life.

As such, we declare:

  1. We will continue living and practicing our autonomy.
  2. We ratify the Sixth Declaration of the Lancandon Jungle and we reclaim the Other Campaign as a space for articulating indigenous struggle together with other sectors who continue to resist the neoliberal model and its policy of extermination. We demand the immediate release of all political prisoners, and especially those arrested in San Salvador de Atenco and the region of Texcoco.
  3. We demand the immediate withdrawal of all police and other repressive state forces from the region of San Salvador de Atenco, but also from all other regions in the country where military and police presence maintains a climate of harassment and intimidation over the peoples and communities who fight in defense of their territory and their ways of life.
  4. We denounce the murders of our compañeros Javier Cortes, dead at the hands of the police who attacked the community of San Salvador de Atenco; of Concepción Gabino, from the indigenous community of Cuzalapa, who fought in defense of the land, in the region of Manantlán, Jalisco; and of Faustino Acevedo, from San Blas Atempa, in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, murdered while he was on his way here to participate in the congress.
  5. We also denounce the rape of the women who were arrested in San Salvador de Atenco, by members of the police force, and the systematic, fascist violence carried out by the state against all women who, with their work, are strengthening resistance struggles for dignity across the country.
  6. We call for the strengthening of all the regions of the National Indigenous Congress and for frequent gatherings where we can reflect, act, and agree on proposals.
  7. We reject all laws with which the state strips us of everything we have; legitimates the selling off of the country; imposes control over the actions of our people and communities; and gives free reign to the transnational corporations who destroy and grow rich off of the material and spiritual wealth of our peoples and of all Mexicans.
  8. We reject the government programs that the state uses to enforce the above-mentioned laws and to divide our communities.
  9. We will strengthen the avenues of communication between the different regions and communities that make up the National Indigenous Congress.
  10. We will strengthen and make more efficient the means by which we show our solidarity and commitment to all struggles and with each and every community, organization, and indigenous people.
  11. Finally, we challenge the Mexican state and call on all indigenous peoples, communities and organizations, and on all oppressed sectors, to come together in a broad, anti-capitalist front to foment the drafting of a New Constitution and another form of government that allows for the recognition of our rights and for a just, free, and democratic society.

N’Donhuani-San Pedro Atlapulco, hñahñu territory in the Alto Lerma, May 6th, 2006.

FOR THE FUNDAMENTAL REBUILDING OF OUR PEOPLES.

NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT US.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America