Two years after the attempted eviction, we remain in resistance against extractivism. Communities of El Rebollero, Los Arquitos and Río Minas, Cuatro Venados, Oaxaca.
May 25, 2021
To the Indigenous Council of Government
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional)
To the Free and Alternative Media
Sisters, brothers and sisters:
Two years have passed since that May 31, 2019 when a group of people, armed with heavy caliber weapons, took by assault our community that inhabits the places, “El Rebollero”, “Los Arquitos” and “Río Minas”, in the municipality of San Pablo Cuatro Venados, located just 45 minutes from the city of Oaxaca. There were more than 500 people who entered with two trascabos, knocking down our homes. Through unofficial sources we learned that most of them were paid by politicians of the region, the same ones who gave them the weapons and cartridges. These characters have an interest in our lands, the forest and the water that springs from our mountains, but, above all, because at least three mining concessions to exploit gold and silver have been issued in our territory without our consent.
Once again they are once again prowling like vultures after the concessions. Since a few days ago we have learned that those interested in the exploitation of these mines have resorted to the municipal authorities to sign new agreements. We have also seen, at various times, groups of armed people firing shots into the air, as if trying to intimidate.
In the same way, the authorities of San Pablo Cuatro Venados, who have links with the legal owners of the concessions, have been deceiving the people of the municipality by arguing that mining will bring jobs and have tried to undermine the strength of the resistance against mining.
We, as part of the communities of “El Rebollero”, “Los Arquitos” and “Río Minas”, remain on alert and reaffirm our position that we do not want any extractive project in our region. Because we are well aware that the projects that are already in the exploitation phase in Oaxaca have been accumulating complaints about the contamination of groundwater, air and directly to the communities. We also know that these companies have links with organized crime and have fragmented the community fabric.
We make it known that, with the various attacks, the only thing they have achieved is that our organizational process has been strengthened and we will not stop fighting for our ancestral lands and the common goods that we are conserving since they are the basis for sustaining our communities. But yes, we hold the municipal authorities of San Pablo Cuatro Venados, the municipal authorities of Cuilápam de Guerrero, the government of the state of Oaxaca and the federal government responsible for any aggression against any member of our community. We appeal to our self-determination and our autonomy to govern ourselves and take care of our ancestral lands.
We call for solidarity to all neighboring communities, to all our sisters, brothers and brothers to be attentive and attentive. Also because we will soon inaugurate our healing house, which is part of the reconstruction of our community.
The mining concessions are:
Title 217598, issued in 2002, located in Cuatro Venados.
Title 227548 issued in 2006, located in Cuatro Venados.
Title 242664, covers the municipalities of Cuatro Venados and San Miguel Peras, issued in 2013.
Communities of El Rebollero, Los Arquitos and Río Minas.