Eleven years ago, Enrique Peña Nieto, then governor of the state of Mexico, ordered the barbarous acts against the people of Atenco with the consent of Vicente Fox and Nazario Gutierrez. The three levels of government, each with their own political party affiliations, honored the horror unleashing more than 3500 uniformed beasts under the command of Wilfrido Robledo Madrid y Ardelio Vargas Fosado, among others soulless policemen. They acted surgically to disappear from the face of the earth the group Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra. Only like that—thought the executioners—could they plant terror and death, making sure that struggle was the worst crime that someone could ever carry out in a country where only a few corrupted governors, lovers of power and money, should continue to enjoy such impunity.
They viciously designed every last detail: to shoot at close-range, to take women as bounty, to rape and torture them; to plunder, to flatten houses and souls, to leave a trail of terror and nightmare; to take anyone that seemed to have dignity down to the dungeons, to expel from the country those whom looked like “foreigners”, not because of their nationality, but for sharing solidarity and life; to chase like rabid dogs everything that could be reborn from somewhere, from some trench, and to finish them off with shameful prison sentences that can only be paid with life. All of this and more just to give an exemplary punishment, to take revenge, to subdue dignity.
Definitively, May 3 and 4, 2006 in Mexico opened the doors to escalate repression and criminalization to a level that one thought unimaginable, acts previously thought to belong to the past. Bloodied Atenco was the trophy, and in order to keep the trophy high, they needed to keep pulling their triggers, setting their sights on those who could spread their dangerous dignity. Consequently, the beasts went against everything and everyone. The State repression as a whole has perhaps been their best democratic achievement as there is no people, no organization, no neighborhood, no dignified people in struggle, that are safe from beatings, tear gas, killer bullets, forced disappearances, political revenge and the humiliation that is happening right now, and which they try to hide with their servile disinformation media.
Like that, we have arrived after eleven years to where we are now, with the weight of almost a century of PRI impunity. Criminalization is legal; here we have the Eruviel Law in the birthplace of PRI corruption that is the state of Mexico. The impunity and the applause are for those who steal the most, for those who disappear and murder the most students to journalists and women. Between detestable but free Duartes, between unpunished Peña Nietos, more will crown the vileness in a country that survives. However with the force that still remains in the men and women, youth and children, we will rise up as many times as is necessary because this is the only life we have and we are responsible to the future generations.
Everywhere, we remain on guard against the assault. Some of us are fighting for the land, for our tiny bit of space to which we cling in order to see it free from the capitalist brush and for the right to continue existing. Others struggle to defend education for everyone, and this is a pathway toward freedom. Others make their trenches from their occupations, like the nurses of Chiapas on a hunger strike, like some dignified workers who still have class-consciousness and know that the struggle is not in the cushy jobs or in a few cents to earn as slaves. Towns like Arantepacua who know that the future is in the struggle in spite of the death, or like Cherán that shelters us with their bonfires and signals to us the way forward. Many mothers and fathers found their struggle in the constant search for their disappeared daughters or sons, in every breath, every day.
In Atenco we began the 21st century with our heads up. History put us to the test, and we still have a long road ahead. We decided to fight for life. We decided not to bow our heads. We decided not to betray our children and their children… The price has not been little or pleasant. There is not one day when we do not long for peace in our homes amongst our brothers and sisters. And in the midst of the greed and forgetfulness with which the PRI poisons our peoples, they know that from this side, we will continue sowing seeds to return the dignity and love for life.
Their war of extermination has not been able to destroy our trenches. “We will be more…”, continues the echo of Tupac Amaru with the perseverance of a young Nezahualcoyotl, chased but never defeated.
The trenches arise beyond Atenco, and settle in the foothills: in Acolman, Santa Catarina, Tezoyuca, San Luis Tecuautitlan-Temascalpa, Ocopulco-Chiautla, San Miguel Atepoxco-Nopaltepec, Chipiltepec, San Martin de la Pirámides, Chimalpa Tepexpan, San Pablo Tecalco, Chapingo, and all those who join and build a force capable to expel the dispossession.
The rumbling of the planes of death, is forcing us to wake up more every day with other brotherly peoples because it is not only the ejido and the communal land, but also the hills and the natural riches. They are sources of water, the springs, they are our people and their communal life that has been cultivated for centuries. And from one day to another, they want to bury them in a tomb of neoliberal progress.
After the last PRI fraud they imposed a month ago, to honor the submissive people with the representation of the ejidal commission, we are even more obliged to review and rethink “what we have done, what we have not done and what we are going to do”. Because giving up the land, allowing them to invade us and resigning ourselves to extermination, will never be an option.
We know that is not easy, quite the opposite. No one will give us a victory. We will have to build it. We will have to be audacious and learn from the pathway we are walking, from the tracks, from the returns and from the dead ends.
We are going to need, as always, tools from your hands, from your accompaniment and solidarity, from your experience, from those of you that struggle from knowledge to practice.
From this land that struggles, from Atenco we embrace the dignified Venezuelan people that resist the voracious American imperialism. Like Cuba, their steady flag harbors our hope and fosters more rage to believe that another world is possible.
We have not been defeated. We have not given up.
Men of money: in Atenco, the people are those who decide the future, not your servants.
Enrique Peña Nieto: the day that he ordered to take our bloody Atenco as a trophy: he condemned himself to the same.
Translated from the original here: https://www.centrodemedioslibres.org/2017/05/09/comunicado-a-11-anos-del-mayorojo-en-atenco/