The below is a press release from the National Caravan in Defense of Water and Life, Against Capitalist Disposession, Mexico, reproduced in full here.
The Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero- Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ), since the 27th August 2015, has been organising itself in defense of its communities' waters, territories and lives, against transnational mining projects, forced displacement and insecurity fostered by narco-paramilitary groups in the Montaña Baja region of Guerrero, Mexico. Here the Indigenous communities, Mee´pha, Ñoomnda, Na Savi, Nahua, Ñamnkué and Afro-decendent communities have built the House of the People, where collectively they build their autonomy through an assembly processes which has removed political parties from their communities and that continues to challenge the capitalist system.
Narco-paramilitary groups like Los Ardillos, Los Rojos and Guerreros Unidos, have for 30-years operated in this region, working as an armed wing of the government. Los Ardillos in the municipalities of Atlictac, Tixtla, Quechultenango, Citlala, Chilpancingo, Ecatepec and Chilpa de Alvarez, control the local governments, the municipal police, the state police and the army. They regularly use torture, homicides, disappearances, and the displacement of whole indigenous communities to spread fear amongst the population and to quash resistance to mega-projects, like mining.
The 26th January of this year, two members of the CIPOG-EZ, Pablo Hilario Morelos and Samuel Hernández, were disappeared in the municipality of Atlictac by the municipal police and to this day they remain disappeared. Because of this escalation of violence, the communities have taken up arms as an act of self defence. However they have always revindicated that what they want more than anything is peace, justice and autonomy. Since 2015 they have 19 people disappeared and 36 murdered.
Today, 2nd April, the National Caravan in Defense of Water and Life, Against Capitalist Disposession, arrived to the CIPOG-EZ community of Alozacán, Chilapa, Guerrero with the intention of sharing struggles, and denouncing violations committed in territories both across Mexico and internationally. Many of those that participated are part of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the National Indigenous Congress (CIG). After the activities finished, the presence of 50 armed vans and 20 motorbikes from the narco-paramilitary group Los Ardillos were seen organizing themselves in Colotepec, Chilapa, a community that the caravan is destined to run through.
In a comunique put out by the CNI, the Caravan calls on Human Rights organizations to accompany it, to be on high alert, and to carry out any actions of incidence with the authorities, as well as activate the monitoring and security protocols to strengthen the safety of those participating in the Caravan as well as those that live in the CIPOG-EZ communities.CIPOG-EZ members denounce that everytime the community holds events or publicizes human rights violations at the hands of organized crime, Los Ardillos host shootings around CIPOG-EZ communities even shooting at houses with children, women and elders, in order to again break down resistance and scare people from visiting these communities and sharing their stories.