Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


The Mexican state turns life into death to accumulate wealth

The Mexican state turns life into death to accumulate wealth: Zibechi

"The murder of Juan Vázquez is a punishment for defending the land."

by Hermann Bellinghausen
La Jornada, June 26, 2013

The murder in April of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, representative of the adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon jungle in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, is “is a punishment of the community for defending the waterfalls of Agua Azul from tourist speculation”, said the Uruguayan writer and journalist Raúl Zibechi in a message to the international organizers of the week of worldwide action in support of the struggle of the Tzeltal people, which began today.

“The goal of capital and of the Mexican state is to use the gifts of nature to accumulate wealth, or to turn life into death. The war against the peoples to appropriate nature is turning the population of San Sebastian Bachajón into military targets. Juan was one of them, for having been prominent in the defense of the community”, emphasised Zibechi, and drew a revealing parallel with the African-American poet Audre Lorde.

“Death also has a color, a class and a geographical location. Like life. Like pain. When I was looking for what to say to the compas who are organizing the week of action in tribute to Juan Vázquez Guzmán, I found the testimony of an African American woman, black and, therefore, poor, who was born in Harlem in the terrible decade of the1930s, when the rich offloaded the crisis on to those from below.

This woman was called Audre Lorde, she was a poet and, among many other things, she said: ‘For us, the whole of life is tinged with violence. We not only face it in the front line, or at midnight in dark alleys, or in places where we dare to express our resistance. Violence is the very fabric of our lives.’ ”

Zibechi considers Lorde and Vázquez Guzmán “siblings in blood who became brother and sister five centuries ago somewhere in this world, while the Juans were resisting the conquistadores and the Audres were seeking to escape from the slaveholders. The resistances united and continue to unite the people of the color of the earth. Juan and Audre send us, from somewhere, the message that it is possible to unite the resistances, to weave bridges between Indians and blacks, between men and women, between people who live in the North and people who live in the South.”

Joining in solidarity with the ejidatarios of the Sixth along with other committed intellectuals, like the Peruvian Hugo Blanco, the analyst said: “It is possible to weave bridges between those who are different if we recognize their differences. If we do not judge them. If we mix the resistances, making the cause of each one into our cause. Audre defined herself as “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet”. Juan’s smile and his love for the people of his community, San Sebastián Bachajón, represents a program for life which he adhered to strictly until his final day.”

Addressing those who are “not Tzeltal like Juan, or black like Audre”, he said that “we can join together in fellowship with them in multiple resistances, and that from this fellowship, and only from it, a new, different world will be born, one with room for all the colors, from the distinct and intense colors of the earth to the pale colors of the cold lands. And that in this fellowship there will be a heart with the name of Juan; and with Juan we will name the heart of all.”

Meanwhile, Alberto Patishtán and the other prisoners from the Voice of el Amate and Solidarity with the Voice of el Amate in the San Cristobal de las Casas prison, remembered the murdered leader, who on Tuesday would have reached his 33rdbirthday: “He was and is a brave and exemplary man who fought for the wellbeing of his people defending the land that belongs to Bachajón. Our brother always accompanied us and will accompany us to demand our freedoms stolen by the bad system.”


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Moving On: Tributes To Scoop's Editor And Co-Founder Alastair Thompson

Jeremy Rose: I've been trying to recall when I first met Al: Was it before or after Bob Jones punched him? I remember bumping into a senior Dominion journalist, just after the pugnacious millionaire had added Alastair to the list of journalists he had lashed out at, and asking: What happened? "I don't know," he replied, "but he probably deserved it the cheeky little bastard." More>>

Werewolf: In A New York Groove

Right now, there’s a thing about downtown Manhattan in the 1970s and ‘80s, a lot of talk about an era that still resonates powerfully. Plenty of people in this city, still walking around and breathing in and out, were very involved in the world below 14th Street. More>>


Keith Ng On Public Address: Why The Police And The PM Are Wrong About Rawshark

On 2 October 2014, the Police raided Nicky Hager’s home... During the search, they found a piece of paper... “We considered [the document] was of interest to the investigation because of information we had already obtained”. That piece of paper was seized and designated NH025... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Islam And The Paris Attacks

Presidential contender Ben Carson for instance, wants it to be made illegal for a Muslim to be elected as President of the USA. For the Republican Party at least, freedom of religion in America extends only to tolerating many ways of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal saviour. In reality of course, treating Islamic State as the essence of Islam makes about as much sense as treating the Ku Klux Klan as the essence of Christianity... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news