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nature, culture, and indygenous struggle for autonomy under threat from road bu

codigo lento | 16.01.2005 19:15 | G8 2005 | Ecology | Social Struggles | Zapatista | London

three recent articles taken and translated from chiapas indymedia which explain the current situation in the mexico- guatemala border area, in the lacantun nature reserve. the governement is building a huge bridge to prepare the way for the transnationals and "progress", perhaps lets call it sustainable development. only that the zapatisas hold autonomous comunities in the area, and that we are resisting everywhere. dissent!g8

pictures to follow

"We think that what they want to do is to go through this jungle with a comb.

it is not the people that are going to benefit but the companies that work with them. comb it then stick some highways in. declared the autonomous authorities of the rebellious municipality of libertad de los Pueblos Mayas - Freedom of the Mayan peoples. "If they really wanted to preserve the riqueza natural - nature's diversity -, why do they spend all that money in a bridge, knowing that there aren't many the people living there, some are already moving out and others are forced to leave? Why are they building highways there? ", declared the Junta de Buen Gobierno Hacia la Esperanza - la Realidad (Counsel of Good Government Towards the Hope (the Reality)

The ecological organization Maderas del Pueblo already denounced
that it is an enormous bridge to support heavy load trucks that will open the door to the devastation of the southern area of the reserve ( monte azul ).

No matter how much the government makes the effort ( not without admitting its own powerlessness ) of saying that it is working (there) to conserve the forest, works such as this one demonstrate once again that the(ir) conservacion policy is nothing else than a smoke screen to expel poor peasants and that way facilitating explotation, "eco"turism ( sometimes concealing biopiracy ), massive forest clearing ... And there is no lack of evidence to demonstrate that it is the same governmental action that causes greater environmental predations, even recently, by
means of fumigation by air.

Collectiu de Solidaritat amb the Rebel.lió Zapatista - Solidarity Kollective with the Zapatista Rebellion - Catalonia -

adds your commentaries/your comments |Expulsions and
expoiling in Blue Mounts, Chiap | Autor(a): rsc Date: 9:05pm 05 December
2004 Category:

The bridge in Amatitlán, to advance control of the Blue Mount,

the Rebellious authorities of Chiapas explain their reasons oppose the project.

they consider, that its construction is not so that the villages ( peoples ? ) benefit, but the companies.


Libertad de los Pueblos Mayas, Chis., 3 of December.

"It is a fact that the government does what it likes, nevermind what we think in the comunities", declared the autonomous council of Libertad de los Pueblos Mayas, the rebellious municipality made up of neighbouring and river side populations of the Jataté and Lacantún rivers, the Miramar lagoon and the south of Montes Azules ...

adds your comments: on the original article
or about "Expulsions and expolio in Blue Mounts, Chiap" |Zapatistas Criticise government actions
zapatistas actions of the governments | Autor(a): rsc Date: 9:07pm 05
December 2004 Category:

the zapatistas denounce the plans of the local and federal (mexican) governments to develop the biosfere of Montes Azules.

Mexico D.F. Sunday 5 of December of 2004

They are building roads towards the protected jungle, fumigating and
contaminating rivers and the land, the zapatista affirm.

They say that they are relocating rebellious communities to conserve
the area.


La Realidad (Zapatista Caracol), Chiapas. 4 of December.

"One of our primary objectives is to maintain and look after the jungles where we live. For that reason, and for their own benefit, we decided to relocate the compañeros who live there. That is why we do not understand the motives of the government, who is building a bridge to cross over and make way to Montes Azules ", declared the Junta de Buen Govierno -JBG- Hacia la Esperanza ( Zapatista Council of Good Government Towards Hope. They declare their rejection to the Amatitlán bridge that the governments federal and local are laying down over the Lacantún river.

"As the authority of the autonomous government ( Caracol ) we can only endorse what our compañeros in the ( local ) municipality Libertad de los Pueblos Mayas says, as we just do not know the official ( exact state ) policies. With the bridges and highways the government is building, it is clear that the real reason isn't to protect the jungle but to start to exploit its natural resources" added a member of the coundil (junta) of La Realidad, in the zapatista territory inside the Lacandon jungle. ( border with Guatemala).

"If they really wanted to preserve nature, why spend that all that
money in a bridge, knowing that there aren't many people living in the other side?, some are already moving out and others are being forced to leave? Why they are building highways there?"

The meeting of good government declared to know that "the government's plan is to build a road to Lake Miramar. they changed the initial plan they had in mind, after they realised that the zapatistas in the Miguel Hidalgo municipality were not going to allow the road, so they are
doing it from Democracia ( a village opposite amatitlan, inside the biosphere, on the other side of the river ) to Plan del Rio Azul and Tierra y Libertad, so that it will pass near Chuncerro and from there to Benito Juárez, until they can connect it with Emiliano Zapata and San Quintín ".

The meeting declares: "We opose the bridge. The government does the opposite of what they say. we do as we said; in contrast, they want the communities out to grab the jungle deeper inside without us hindering them ". And he asks himself: "What (kind of) conservation
is this?".

In the same area that is being affected by the bridges of
Amatitlán ( on the Lacantún river ) and New Sabanilla ( Jataté river ),
as well as by new highways, the EZLN -Zapatista Army for National Liberacion announced the relocation of several rebellious communities, who in their majority will leave Blue Mounts to start new communities on reclaimed land. This is what the indigenous peoples of Nuevo San Isidro already did and soon the communities of Primero de Enero, 8 de Octubre, Santa Cruz and Agua Dulce will do, while Nuevo Lima and 12 de Diciembre will be united, but remaining in Montes Azules.

One of the roads under construction goes to Nueva Argentina - one
of the settlements that the federal government considers illegal -,
in land officially reclaimed by the lacandones. the junta de buen gobierno asks: "they (the government ) put in comunication, thru a road, a village that they say they are going to remove from there? we do not understand that ".

on the other hand, In the Caracol Mother of the Caracoles of the sea of our dreams, the JBG reiterates, their denunciation on the fumigations
both on rebellious and pro-government populations, part of the Moscamed program, in the border strip, in the regions river side regions of the Lacantún rivers, Santo Domingo, Jataté and Perla,
It indicates that the fumigations have destroyed cultures, propagated diseases, contaminated the earth and water springs with chemicals, and generated plagues of rats and worms in several communities of the autonomous municipalities Tierra y Libertad, General Emiliano Zapata, Libertad de los Pueblos Mayas y San Pedro de Michoacán.

And as the autonomous municipal council of Libertad de los Pueblos Mayas
said yesterday, "to finish off the rats we now must spray ' foley'"
(another plague killing substance). With it we start an authentic vicious circle of yatrogénic fumigations (saying thus in reference to
the diseases that cause these biological and chemical "remedies").

Bridges towards the protected jungle, inward roads, fumigations,
contamination of rivers, lagoons and land. Is this how nature's diversity is "defended"? Then as the saying goes: "(thanks but ) do not defend me, compadre".

add your comments: on original article
or on "|La Criticizes zapatistas actions of the governments" work
will allow to the sacking of the reserve | Autor(a): rsc Date: 9:09pm
05 December 2004 Category:

Mexico D.F. Sunday 5 of December of 2004

The project will allow the sacking of the reserve, considers

With the bridge in the Lacantún there will be progress at the
cost of culture: expert


Amatitlan, Chiapas. 4 of December. The engineer from the contruction company, with his baseball cap and plenty of cordiality, confeses: "I dedicate myself to this job. To build bridges ". There is pride in his tone. While we talked, he gives instructionses to five workers who prepare a dangerous operation that the engineer confronts with confidence. We are at the furthest point of the half built bridge . About 20 meters beneath runs to the south east the just born Lacantún river, very near the point where the Jataté and Santo Sunday come together.

They are putting into place a ramp made out of huge iron beams that descends from the bridge to a bank of gravel, half way into the river; there, about 20 workers put stones inside sacks and build dikes ( called "waterguides") to change the course of the water. With the traction of a truck, the beams are being leaned against the unfinished edge of the bridge.

"We needed to lower two retrotrascavos down into the river", explains the
engineer. It trusts that the titánic procedure will be possible that same

Up until now, one of the two concrete columns rising from the bed of the river, and the bridge supports ( also made out of concrete) in both sides of the shore are finished: Amatitlán and Democracia. One third of the asphalt plate and the iron structure that sustains it is alredy finished .

The construction company is Amaya y Cancino Construcciones, LTD
of CV. they own the vehicles, the machinery and the personnel. their engineers say that the bridge could be finished around June 2005.

"Yes, we have worked with PEMEX ( the mexican oil company ), many times, but in this project this is not the case. the client is only the federal and state government"
clarifies the engineer of the concessionary company. he also confirms the version that said that the project contemplates to open a road to Lake miramar. However, he says he doesn't know whether another bridge is being ( going to be ) constructed in Lacanjá

"the highway to Miramar is almost ready, and I understand that the bridge in Nuevo Sabanilla is in a more advanced stage of construction than this one", he comments. The second bridge will allow the crossing of the Jataté north of the river and closes a circle between the roads inside and outside the reserve of the biosphere, mostly in national territory, and only partially in the territorial property of the lacandona community - translators note: in 1972 the then president luis echeverria , made the lacandon indigenous peoples that inhabit the area " absolute owners " of the lancandona jungle, and overnight, he evicted 48 ejidos occupied by farmers, who had settled there and had had their rights to land recognised by previous governements. it benefited the smallest ethnia in chiapas, made out of about just 800 individuals who suddenly became custodians of the most ecologically diverse area of mexico.

The engineer evidently enjoys his work, but that doesn't prevent him
from having his own ideas. in reference to the bridge of Amatitlán, he
admits to have asked himself more than once whether it will benefit or harm the
communities across the river. "and look, i think it's no good for them. they are just going to take their indigenous culture away, and what for? So that progress arrives and shows us that we can buy this", and in a demonstrative way, he picks up a coka-cola bottle from the ground.then, he takes a swig.

"My work is as you see, and I do it well, but if you ask my opinion, I will say to you that I wouldn't build this bridge. With it anyone is going to be able to remove what they like from the reserve ".

one can not resist but to voice over the words of the administrator of a sugar plantation in the semimythical saga of B. Traven in one of the novels in this popular writer's chipaneco period: "Sure, this damn forest is so beautiful, so great and so
rich... well, what I mean to say is that there are many things from
which to take a slice if one knows how to use them and how to disguise
them to sell them ". (Name of the book?: The bridge in the forest).

In the travenian narration, published 70 years ago, a bridge over the
fictitious Huayalexco river summons the indigenous settlers
to celebrate progress, and finishes in a tragedy when a child falls off the new bridge . Neither the anecdote nor the fatalistic tone of the narrator bear relation to the bridge over the Lacantún, but it is metaphor of capitalist advance and the sacking perpetrated by those in power.

To the shores of the Lacantún river, Rubén eats corn in the shade, he works with two motor boats and takes passengers between the towns Amatitlán and San Quintín. The boats, and himself, are from the Plan del Rio Azul company ( Blue River Plan ). Rubén knows the rafts and banks of stone in the
Jataté in detail , but surprisingly, he says he never sailed the Lacantún
further to the south, and to never have gone beyond Maravilla Tenejapa.

"we can hardly notice any tourism project. We haven't formed a cooperative, but they offered us a project to put huts for visitors ", he comments. His community, to the shores of the Jataté river, will be crossed "through the middle of the colony", by the Amatitlán-Miramar highway.

With respect of the alledged passage of illegal Central American people to the reserve, about which there is much talk in the region, he admits that "it could be". Sometimes "we hear noises at night, of people who are crossing the river. They come from Guatemala, and they must want to go to Ocosingo via San Quintín ".

In the "Niños Heroes" community, and old woman sells refreshments. Not far,
a very well constructed pedestrian bridge crosses turquoise waters of the
Santo Domingo river. I ask her if many tourists arrive this way.
"No, not yet", she answers.

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or "the work |muy will allow to the sacking of the reserve" good
work | Autor(a): jose.angel Date: 3:17am Saturday 11 December 2004
Category: Address: they comitan, chiapas Telephone: 63-2-51-87

We are part of a local newspaper that is called Libre Expresion ( free expression ). it circulates in 5 municipalities of the border region, we
have been publishing some articles on these subjects its very important to us
to make them public here in the region. this way we
want like mass media to cause that more people know what she is
happening so near us. On the other hand, hopefully they envien
information to us of other subjects that creates that they are
important to be able to publish them to my personal mail
( greetings.

codigo lento