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Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 00:33:36 -0400
Sender: Taino-L Taino interest forum <TAINO-L@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU>
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Subject: TAINO-L Digest - 21 Jan 1998 to 22 Jan 1998

Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 09:13:11 -0500
From: Taino Tribal Council of Jatibonuco <torresp@ALGORITHMS.COM>

-----Original Message-----
From: netwarriors@hookele.com <netwarriors@hookele.com>
To: netwarriors@hookele.com <netwarriors@hookele.com>
Date: Thursday, January 22, 1998 2:10 AM

Netwarriors Report I:
The Declaration of San Cristobal

National Congress of Indigenous Peoples,
10 and 11 January 1998

TO: Netwarriors Network (ENGLISH)
RE: Congreso Nacional Indi`gena Reporting; NATIONAL CONGRESS OF INDIGENOUS
Content: 1 of 2 Reports; (1) DECLARACION DE SAN CRISTOBAL

To Follow 22 January 1998; 2 of 2 Reports

(2) Jornada Nacional e Internacional de Lucha y Movilizacio'n en Alerta Ma'xima

The Continuation Committee extension of the National Congress of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), which met from the 10th to the 12th of January in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, elaborated the following Political Declaration right after the recent incidents that aggravated the situation of indigenous peoples of Chiapas, and it was affirmed that indigenous peoples from other regions of Mexico are suffering the same situation.

There were close to one hundred delegates at this meeting, coming from 14 States of the Mexican Republic, and there were members of the ten Working Groups of the Continuation Committee of the NCIP.

In the face of the latest incidents against the indigenous brothers and sisters of Chiapas, peoples and organizations integrating the National Congress of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), representing the indigenous independent movement, we speak our word.

The policy of the National State of Mexico to exterminate indigenous Peoples has not been successful. After 500 years of stealing indigenous lands and natural resources, after the marginalization, exploitation, and poverty, after all the persecutions and harassment, indigenous peoples have maintained and continue to maintain a process of historical struggle and resistance against the oppressors, against the invaders, and today against the neoliberal capitalist system that excludes us as Peoples, and attempt to exterminate us. At the bottom of all this, are two projects: the exclusive neoliberal project, and the inclusive project where all the Mexican people can participate.

The neoliberal politics of the present regime responds to the interests of international capitalism (privatizations, reduction of the social budget, increase of foreign debt, TLC), and the generalized crisis that the country is living in. These interests have generated intractable disagreements among the popular sectors, including indigenous peoples. This is clear from the last mobilizations of civil insurgencies, expressed during electoral campaigns, those against the privatization of communal lands and (ejidos), to the appearance of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, which remakes the historical demands of our peoples.

Before the legitimate demands of Indigenous Peoples and Mexican civil society, the Federal Government translates State politics, into lack of fulfilment of its agreement and to further dividing our peoples.

The[-] has not respected its agreement since signing the San Andres Accords two years ago, in February 16, 1996. It has only created excuses without foundations of a supposed fragmentation of the country, reflecting a lack of juridical technique; has not respected nor fulfilled the Covenant 169 of the ILO; has violated the Federal Constitution (articles 16, 76 sec. III, and article 89, sec. VI) through militarization; is now violating the law of Concordance and Pacification signed on March 11, 1995 with indiscriminated shootings of indigenous peoples.

Militarization is, after all, an armed invasion of the Indigenous territories of Chiapas, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Puebla, Veracurz, Nayarit, Jalisco, etc. The persecution of the communities of Lochixas, Oaxaca, is systematic. But the extremity of the Federal Government's action has been the barbaric killings at Acteal, which have generated national and international condemnation against the Governments of Mexico and Chiapas.

Our hearts are saddened, with a sadness that does not end, by the great calamities suffered by men, women, and children in Acteal, and also because the government has poisoned the hearts of indigenous peoples by putting genocidal arms in their hands.

The impudence and cynicism of the Federal Government and the government of Chiapas has no limit, for they pretend to the national and international opinion, that it's just a local and isolated incident. With this idea they wish to evade something that is clear to us all: the crime of Acteal is not only a crime against indigenous peoples of Mexico, but a crime against all the peoples of the world. This is what international law qualifies as a crime against humanity. Furthermore, as part of its strategy of low-intensity warfare, they try to involve members of CONAI. They try to directly relate CONAI with the EZLN, presenting some publications of the Dioceses of San Cristobal and the team of Ce-Acatl, as evidence of this relationship. This dirty strategy only serves the enemies of peace, for its only purpose is to discredit the labor of Monseņor Samuel Ruiz, head of CONAI. These activities makes us think that the Federal Government and the Government of Chiapas plan to use para-military groups against indigenous peoples, and generate more divisions in the communities, through the selective financing of projects based on production and services that will lead to the direct confrontation between our brothers and sisters. The genocide that the State commits against indigenous peoples, not only kills with bullets, but with malnutrition, extreme poverty, illiteracy, and illness. The aggression only reveals the inability of Zedillo's government to govern the country.

All this escalation of violence must be stopped. The responsibility lies not only in the hands of indigenous peoples and organizations, but with the whole national and international civil society, on COCOPA, on Non-Governmental Organizations, and all the men and women of good will. Our near-term proposal is not only to re-establish the peace talks, but to achieve a true and lasting peace.

We must respond to the blood shed in Acteal, Chiapas, not only with the mockery of the government of merely replacing functionaries, but to urge a new relationship between the National State and Indigenous Peoples, within a framework of respect and equality, and a change of politics in Chiapas. These are the minimum implications for the fulfillment of the San Andres Accords. The government is not keeping its word, and therefore it betrays not only indigenous peoples, but all the Mexican people. Our word is sacred when it is written and spoken. This is our word:

We Demand:

1. That Mr. Ernesto Zedillo demonstrates clearly his willingness to create peace, because for so long there have been only lies from him, and there he must tell the nation that he is willing to renew the dialogue for peace with the EZLN.

2. That Mr. Enesto Zedillo withdraw his anti-proposal to open a space for the fulfillment of the San Andres Accords in the terms of the Constitutional Reform Initiative proposed by COCOPA in November, 1996, which includes self-determination for Indigenous Peoples in a framework of autonomy, as an inalienable right of our peoples.....

3. That Mr. Ernesto Zedillo, as Supreme Chief of the Arm Forces, order the Mexican Army to retire to their headquarters, and immediately demilitarize the indigenous zones of the country.

4. Respect the Law of Concordance and Pacification signed on March 11, 1996.

5. Punishment of the material and intellectual authors of the killing at Acteal.

6. Stop the harassment and persecution of Zapatista bases, leaders, and indigenous communities in all the country.

7. Stop the harassment and persecution of indigenous peoples, their autonomous municipalities and communities around the country.

8. Disarmament and disintegration of para-military groups, servicing 'caciques' (wealthy landowners) and the PRI government.

9. Freedom to all the indigenous political prisoners of the country.

10. Direct and decisive participation of COCOPA in the peace-making at Chiapas and the rest of the country.

11. Respect and guarantees for the daily labor of inter-mediation of CONAI, as the only agency for mediating the conflict.

12. Stop the harassment of witnesses to the killings and the communities of Chenalho, by PGR agents, in a nonsense task of investigating procedure violations of the Constitution and the Law..

13. We call: To the Federal Government and COCOPA to renew the dialogue for peace, once the minimum conditions of the EZLN have been fulfilled, and to return to the table of dialogue. . . To the national and international civil society, for a wide mobilization in support of our brothers and sisters from Chiapas, and for the building of a true and lasting peace with justice and dignity... To all the political, social, and civil forces, and public celebrities, to contribute their best efforts to build a new Nation which includes all indigenous peoples, and all Mexicans. To the international community to investigate the killings at Acteal, and the genocide ignited by the government against indigenous peoples.

NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT OUR PARTICIPATION! Continuation Committee extension of the National Congress of Indigenous Peoples