<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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The APPO Grows

The Guelatao Declaration of the Zapoteco, Mixe and Chinanteco Peoples of Oaxaca's Sierra Juárez


By Indigenous Communities
The Other Oaxaca

November 22, 2006

ASSEMBLY OF THE ZAPOTECO, MIXE AND CHINANTECO PEOPLES OF THE SIERRA JUÁREZ

GUELATAO DECLARATION

The municipal and communal authorities, representatives of community and regional organizations, citizen men and women from the communities and municipalites of San Miguel Cajonos, San Francisco Cajonos, Santa Cruz Yagavila, San Baltasar Yatzachi, Villa Hidalgo Yalalag, San Juan Analco, Calpulalpan de Méndez, San Juan Yetzecovi, San Juan Yalahui, San Juan Atepec, San Cristóbal Chichicaxtepec Mixe, San Juan Tabaá, Santa María Yavesía, Ixtlán de Juárez, Tanetze de Zaragoza, Asunción Cacalotepec Mixe, Villa Alta, Macuiltianguis, Ayutla Mixe, Tamazulapan Mixe, San Juan Teponaxtla, San Miguel Tiltepec, Guelatao de Juárez, Santa María Alotepec Mixe, Jaltepec de Candayoc Mixe, Asunción Lachixila, San Mateo Éxodo, Cristo Rey La Selva, Arroyo Macho, Talea de Castro, Santa María Mixistlán Mixe, Chuxnaban Mixe, San Lucas Camotlán Mixe, San Miguel Quetzaltepec Mixe, Totontepec Villa de Morelos, Amatepec Mixe, San Juan Guichicovi Mixe, San Pedro Ocotepec Mixe, Santa Cruz Condoy Mixe, San Isidro Aloapan, Santiago Zoochila and Santa María Tepantlali Mixe belonging to the Zapoteco, Mixe and Chinanteco peoples, met in the municipality of San Pablo Guelatao de Juárez, Oaxaca México; with the goal of analyzing and reflecting on the reality in which our communities are living, and proposing our form of participation in the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca.

WE SAY AND WE DEMAND

That while Mr. Ulises Ruiz continues in his position there will not be peace, governability and harmony in Oaxaca. Therefore we demand his removal through the political and legal pathways which are relevant, since he is the personification of the cacique authoritarian regime.

That we demand a profound transformation of Oaxaca with the goal of resolving the unanswered needs, in which our peoples, marginalized and forgotten, find themselves.

We need a new social pact between the Oaxaqueños, which may be the cement of a new norm for order and a new society which lives in peace, justice and harmony.

We condemn the violence and repression as the way to try to resolve serious social problems that we are living with. Therefore we demand the departure of the federal forces from Oaxaca, the demilitarization of the communities of the Sierra Norte, the release of political prisoners, the return of the disappeared, alive, the cancellation of arrest warrants, respect for the autonomy of the university and the cessation of all kinds of aggression toward the popular movement of Oaxaca.

We demand the removal of the Government Delegations in all the indigenous regions, particularly in the Sierra Norte, since it is they who have promoted division in our communities and it is they who have aggrieved our authorities and community directors. In the same way we demand that the political parties, especially the PRI, stop attacking the political institutions of our communities and municipalities, and that they not interfere in our internal life. If they don’t comply with this demand we will take radical measures for their definitive expulsion from the Sierra.

We call for unity among the authorities and citizens of the Zapoteco, Mixeand Chinanteco peoples to achieve our demands and life aspirations. We know there are persons and institutions who have divide us and who have confronted us. We are not going to permit they continue repressing and manipulating us. For that we should open our eyes and our minds to unify ourselves, to walk together to achieve the fall of the bad governor and achieve the transformations that our State needs.

We indigenous authorities present believe that the problems we live with today in Oaxaca should be resolved by dialogue. Therefore we recognize the “Citizen Initiative for Dialogue for Peace, Democracy and Justice in Oaxaca” and we add ourselves to this aforesaid effort. Our path should be oriented toward the use of the pacific means to achieve conciliation and unity among all the Oaxaqueños.

Given the above, we have DECIDED:

FIRST: We, the Zapotecas, Mixes and Chinantecas authorities and organizations present, have agreed to constitute ourselves in Assembly of Zapoteco, Mixe and Chinanteco Peoples as a regional meeting space for sharing our problems and agreeing on alternative solutions, based on our inalienable right to free determination and autonomy established in the Accords of San Andrés and international law. Therefore in this moment we are declaring the formal installation of the Assembly of Zapoteco, Mixe and Chinanteco Peoples. (Asamblea de los Pueblos Zapoteco, Mixe y Chinanteco)

SECOND: To make possible this grand Asamblea de los Pueblos Zapoteco, Mixe y Chinanteco, we should strengthen and deepen our community, municipal and regional assemblies, as place for debate and decision for all the matters which concern us. In the assembly resides our strength and legitimacy. The assembly is the foundation of indigenous self-government and in it is sustained all the community’s political system, therefore we claim it and place ourselves present in the current struggle of the people of Oaxaca against the bad government.

THIRD: La Asamblea de los Pueblos Zapoteco, Mixe y Chinanteco will be the base for making possible our interrelation with the Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca. In this space we make the decisions and determinations that will guide our works, to achieve the fulfillment of the demands of the peoples of Oaxaca, especially the recognition of the rights and fundamental aspirations of our indigenous peoples.

FOURTH: For our due participation in the Consejo Popular de la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca (APPO), we, the authorities and organizations, have decided to name our representatives in the said instance, under the following criteria:

  1. The Zapoteco, Mixe and Chinanteco peoples should be duly represented in the Popular Council (Consejo Popular), dependiing on the tasks and capacities to implement them.
  2. In it (the council) women should be represented with conditions of equity and equality.
  3. Also an interrelation with groups of Sierran migrants found in Oaxaca, Mexico and the United States should be sought.
  4. The councilors will comply completely with the community principal of serving obeying.

FIFTH: In virtue of the foregoing, we have decided to name the following persons to participate in the Consejo Popular de la APPO:

For the Zapoteco Pueblo:

Teresa Rodríguez Valdivia, Nehemias Pascual Pascual, Oliverio Hernández Chávez, Constantino Martínez Rincón (Municipal President of Lalopa), Olegario Bautista Benítez, Constantino Carrillo Morales, Teódulo Fernández Jiménez, Álvaro Vázquez Juárez, Aldo González Rojas, Isaac García Reyes, Gloria Castillo, Juan Tereso Hernández, Germán Octavio Mayoral, Edita Alavez Ruiz.

For the Mixe Pueblo:

Genaro Rodríguez Rojas, President of the Comisariado de Bienes Comunales de San Miguel Quetzaltepec; Epifania Domínguez Gónzalez, citizen of Cacalotepec; Fortunato Montes Jiménez, President of the Comisariado de Bienes Comunales de San Pedro Ocotepec; Margarita Melania Cortés, citizen of Santa María Ocotepec, Totontepec Villa de Morelos Mixe; Víctor Gutiérrez Contreras, President of the Comisariado de Bienes Comunales de San Cristóbal Chichicaxtepec; Arnulfo Aldaz González, citizen of Santa María Mixistlán; Silvestre Ocaña López, Registrar of Finances of San Juan Guichicovi and Hildeberto Díaz Gutiérrez, citizen of Jaltepec de Candayoc Mixe.

In the case of the Chinanteco People of the Sierra there will be communication and the necessary link so that their authorities, organizations and citizens are part of this process.

SIXTH: We call the authorities and citizens of the Zapoteco, Mixe and Chinanteco peoples to join this process of regional organization. We know that it will not be an easy task, but we all have to make our best effort to achieve unity and the organization we need to resolve our problems and achieve the realization of our objectives. For that reason, we ask a wide diffusion of this Declaration and of the accords emanating from the Asamblea. Especially we ask the community radio broadcasters which exist in the Sierra to spread the plans and aspirations of the peoples.

SEVENTH: In conformity with what was established in the San Andrés Accords, we are demanding the transference of the Radio station XEGLO “The voice of the Sierra” to our Zapotecos, Mixe and Chinanteco peoples, through mechanism which we mutually agree to.

We declare that starting now we are taking the first step for the consolodation of organizations of the indigenous peoples of the Oaxaca Sierra. At the same time we are contributing to the strengthening of our respective processes of autonomy, reconstruction and development as peoples. This is our path and our better dream.

FOR THE FREE DETERMINATION AND AUTONOMY OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Determined in the community of San Pablo Guelatao de Juárez, Oaxaca, México, November 19, of the year 2006.

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