Zapatista women in southern Mexico say they will not hold the II International Meeting of Women Who Fight that was set to take place in March in Chiapas.
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The women collective of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) say they are “saddened” by the decision, but say it’s a necessary protest to the “new, bad government (that is) doing the capitalist's megaprojects.”
Though the women never explicitly mention any state leader, they say: “From his Mayan Train, from his plan for the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, (Oaxaca) from planting trees for wood and fruit merchandise,” as the main reasons why the EZLN women members will not hold the event this year.
The Zapatistas and other Indigenous groups in southern and eastern Mexico have previously come out against President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) administration for not holding comprehensive community consultations regarding the construction of the ‘Mayan Train’, a large-scale 1,500km infrastructure and rail project proposed by AMLO and already underway, set to run across the entire Yucatan Peninsula for tourism, transportation and economic purposes.
“They don’t want our lands to be ours but for tourists to come and have their big hotels and their great restaurants,” state the women.
The EZLN women say they are also against “mining companies and large food companies” that are entering Mexico. “And (the government) also has an agrarian plan that … looks to destroy us as original peoples, in the way of converting our lands into merchandise,” say the women leaders.
The women state that “these projects are destruction. It does not matter how much they want to cover it with their lies. ... The truth is that they go for everything of the original peoples. … They want our lands to become farms that produce precious woods (and) fruits.”
Since his campaign, Lopez Obrador has promised to create a project to plant some one million fruit and lumber trees in southern Mexico for farming and logging.
The Zapatista women’s letter, addressed to other women, says that if they decide to hold the event in a different region then tell the attendees “the truth,” that the Zapatista women aren’t coming because they are “fighting ... for their freedom.”