Date: Fri, 12 Jul 1996 17:03:33 -0500
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To: Haines Brown <BROWNH@CCSUA.CTSTATEU.EDU>
> S * IN ACTIV-L
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> print 06899
>>> Item number 6899, dated 96/07/10 04:03:28 -- ALL
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 04:03:28 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Rich Winkel <email@example.com>
Subject: Gathering Of Indigenous Peoples Of Northern Mexico Announced
/** headlines: 73.0 **/
** Topic: Gathering Of Indigenous Peoples Of Northern Mexico Announced **
** Written 8:59 PM Jun 30, 1996 by econet in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 2:47 PM Jun 26, 1996 by sierrarg in en.alerts */
Native Gathering in Chihuahua ---------- */
INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS URGENTLY NEEDED!
The idigenous peoples of Chihuahua's Sierra Madre will be gathering for a celebration of community and solidarity in the village of Baborigame, Chihuahua, Mexico from July 26 through July 29, 1996. The event is sponsored by CASMAC (Consejo Asesor Sirra Madre, A.C., the Advsisory Coucil for the Sierra Madres, NGO). CASMAC is an indigenous rights organization that was been working for 5 years to help protect the native peoples and forests of the Sierras from the encroachment of increasing narcotics trafficking and illegal logging.
For several years, a serious situation has been brewing in the narco-trafficante boomtown of Baborigame. An unholy alliance of heroin traffickers and their allies in the timber industry are systematically violating the human rights of the indigenous Tepehuans and laying ruin to their land (a world-class bio- region).
The area has become the center for opium poppy cultivation in the Sierras. Narcos and loggers are stripping the mountains of their forests; the logging provides ideal cover for growers who use the companies for logistical support and the transport of raw opium gum. The gum is later processed into heroin in the larger regional cities.
The Sierra's forests are considered to be a botanical and zoological treasure of global importance, containing a incedible variety of trees and wildlife. The Tepehuan peoples have lived in the region for centuries, cultivating small farms. Little by little, through violence and intimidation, the loggers and narcos have displaced a significant amount of native peoples from their land.
The situation has recently come to a head when a coalition of meztizos (supported by the narcos and loggers) stole the regional election for sectional president by setting up a situation in which only the 150 meztizos voted...the polling place was kept secret from the majority population of Tepehuans. The meztizos voted in Manuel Rubio (a convicted herion trafficker) as sectional president. Over 500 of the Tepehuan (organized by CASMAC), presented a petition to the state and federal governments protesting this fraud. The petition was ignored. Many of the Tepehuans wanted to respond by violence, but were dissuaded by their leaders who opted for a show of strength. This event is to be that show of strength.
CASMAC has invited other native groups of Mexico to join them in solidarity and strength in Baborigame. Included in the invitation are representatives of the Ejercito Zapatista Liberation Nacional (the Zapatista National Liberation Army) of Chiapas.
CASMAC cordially invites representatives of the international community to join them in Baborigame. Especially welcome would be Native American, enviornmental and human rights activists. The presence of international observers would serve a two-fold purose of helping protect the Mexican participants as well as getting the word out to the world community about the situation in the Sierra.
The limiting factor on how many observers can be accomodated will be the problem of transport to the area. There is no public transport to Baborigame other than a few small Cesnas owned by small airlines. Private vehicles (high-clearance or 4X4's) need two days over bad road to reach the village from Chihuahua City. For this reason, it would be best to contact CASMAC's director, Edwin Bustillos directly to work out logistics if you are interested in going. (Edwin speaks English)
Calle 30, #1409
Colonia Santa Rita
CP 30210 Mexico
TelFAX: From US: 011-52-14-155912 home, 103732 office
From Mexico: 91-14-155912
Cell Phone: From US: 011-52-90-280276
From Mexico: 90-14-280276
Sierra Madre Alliance
PO Box 41416
Tucson, AZ 85717-1416
Tel/FAX (520) 326-2511
WE HOPE THAT YOU CAN JOIN US IN THIS CELEBRATION OF NATIVE CULTURE AND POWER TO PROTECT THE SIERRA AND IT'S NATIVE PEOPLES! EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org