(Chiapas, México) Statement from the Third Regional Gathering “Land, Territory and the Current Situation Before the Elections”

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(This communique comes from the third regional gathering regarding land, territory and the current situation before the elections, which took place on June 21st, in Ranchería Santa Anita, Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas. The communique addresses the negative impacts of political parties, specifically on women and children, along with the ongoing struggles to live self-determined and dignified lives in the region. The original communique in Spanish was published by Territorio Chiapas and can be found here).

Ranchería Santa Anita, Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas
June 21st, 2018

To the People of Mexico and the World
To the National and International Press
To the Civil Society Organizations
To the Human Rights Organizations
To the Alternative Media

Sisters and brothers, greetings from the communities and organizations of the upper, central and valley regions, reunited in the Ranchería Santa Anita in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza. There, we carried out our third regional gathering to analyze and share information, reflect on and denounce the situation that as women and Indigenous peoples we are living due to the electoral process.

In this gathering, we reflected on the destruction of the campesino economy, the migration of our youth to large cities abandoning the rural areas and the low prices of our harvests such as corn, beans, sugar and other products. These characteristics add to poverty and marginalization, which the state seeks to mitigate with their assistance programs.

As Indigenous peoples, we denounce that they continue displacing us of our territories for the execution and operation of extractive projects like mines, hydroelectric dams, and other projects promoted by transnational corporations and the bad government.

As is custom, now that the political parties are in their campaigns, they arrive to our communities with their lies trying to convince us with the same promises that we hear in each electoral period. However, they only create division, disintegration and conflicts within our families and communities. We know that they only seek to conserve their power and not truly help the people.

Many women, boys and girls are utilized and controlled through the assistance programs like Prospera, Salario Rosa, Canasta Basica to coerce votes in favor of certain political parties. To everyone, we make clear our rejection of these programs because they violate our rights, invade our family space, divert resources to buy votes and take advantage of our poverty caused by inequality and social injustice.

Amidst this context, we pronounce and denounce that:

– As women, we feel denigrated by the manner in which the political parties use us while violating our rights.
– We denounce the death of women and children that has occurred in the political acts where thousands of women are forced to gather and are manipulated just to receive economic “support”.
– We denounce the way in which Manuel Velasco, the current governor of Chiapas, has offended and humiliated women with his discourses and forms of treatment, making evident his machismo.
– Even when the vote is voluntary, we know that there will not be the real changes that are needed to live with dignity.

From the reflection in this gathering, we propose:

– As women, we will remain united and organized so as not to allow ourselves to be used by the political parties and government.
– We will share with our families, authorities, organizations and in other spaces all the information obtained in our regional gatherings.
– We will spread information through statements and communiques regarding the context of violence that is generated on behalf of the political parties.
– We will analyze together the situation that we are living through as women and people, to develop more knowledge and wake up from the deception of the governments.
– We will not vote for political parties because they are enemies of our people.
– We will resist, struggle and demand respect for our rights.

Sincerely,

Participating men and women in the Regional Gathering in Ranchería Santa Anita, Venustiano Carranza

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