To the people of the valley of Tlacolula and the eight regions of Oaxaca
To the free and autonomous media
To the collectives and social organizations
Amidst the latest development in the valley of Tlacolula, we want to share the following information:
On March 5th, 2017, a community assembly took place in San Mateo Macuilxóchitl, Oaxaca, one of the communities of the district of Tlacolula de Matamoros.
The assembly was organized by the municipal authority in order to address issues in the community, where the Municipal Agent made note that the Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA) has been recently pressuring him to “donate” 34 hectares of communal land—land that borders San Juan Guelavia.
The intention of the petition of SEDENA is to install part of a military base in this community—a base that would house nearly 5000 soldiers of the Mexican Army. Furthermore, the petition seeks to construct a military hospital to which the civil population of San Mateo Macuilxóchitl would not have access. It is important to mention that San Mateo Macuilxóchitl has nearly 2600 inhabitants.
The issue was discussed in the community assembly, the population concluded: “If we permit the installation of this military base, we would lose decision-making power over what is ours”.
Likewise, in the neighboring community of Teotitlán del Valle, SEDENA approached the community with the intention to solicit the donation of nearly 300 hectares of their territory for the installation of the mentioned military zone. In a general assembly organized specifically around this issue, the community agreed to a resounding NO to the donation and/or sell of their communal property.
Against these two rejections, in recent days—from testimony of habitants of the municipal head of Tlacolula de Matamoros—we have learned of the presence of representatives of the General Secretary of Government (SEGEGO). In meetings with ejido members of the areas where they intend to construct the project—the parcels neighboring Tanivet—SEGEGO has offered large sums of money to each ejido member for the sell of their land.
To understand the necessity of the state to install a military zone in the district of Tlacolula, we must take note of the following information:
In the Tlacolula district alone, 39 mining concessions have been distributed, seven more that due to their location and extension occupy part of the district. Furthermore, the installation of high power electric towers for the energy project “Ixtepec—Yautepec Morelos.”
We thus understand the urgency of the state to control the territory that is widely concessioned for megaprojects, which together with foreign and national companies, have plans for the regions of Oaxaca. By control, we mean the complete militarization of the region in order to give access to corporate interests of the extractive and energy industries. This will only result in more violence and repression in the communities that have committed to defend their territory against the imminent plundering.
Since governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo took power, his administration has approved a series of megaprojects for Oaxaca. In turn, the Economic Secretary gave 344 mining concession titles in the state for the exploitation of gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper. All of this without consulting the respective assemblies of the people where they intend to exploit the minerals, which will result in contamination, leaving unusable the water that supplies all of the state of Oaxaca.
We invite to the assemblies the 258 communities that make up the district, and the 25 municipal heads, to begin the organization necessary to confront the advancement of the control and destruction of our territory.
As a Network of Forces in Defense of the Territory (REDT):
We roundly reject the installation of the military zone.
We reject the 39 mining concessions distributed in the district of Tlacolula.
March 23, 2017
Red de Esfuerzos Defensa del Territorio (REDT) Oaxaca – Valles Centrales:
Grupo de Investigación- Acción Autónoma.
Colectivo Quiyehuixitao – Sn Mateo Macuilxochitl
Espacio Kruz – San Juan Chilateca
Pobladores de San Juan Guelavia, Santiago Matatlan, San Francisco Lachigolo, San Baltazar Guelavila.
Profesores de base de la Sección XXII SNTE-CNTE
Translated from Proyecto Ambulante