August 6, 2023
30 years after the Zapatista compañeras achieved the approval of their Revolutionary Women’s Law, which has allowed them to put into daily practice a world free of machismo and violence, and together with our compañeros, in autonomy, to participate in the construction of a dignified life, which is a source of inspiration for our struggle in our territories. On August 5 and 6, 2023, we gathered, in the First Internal Meeting of Women of the National Indigenous Congress. This unique gathering took place inside the building recovered by the Otomi Community Residents in Mexico City and converted into the “House of Indigenous Peoples and Communities Samir Flores Soberanes.” There were 181 women delegates and council women of the CIG-CNI, 27 girls and boys from 1 to 12 years old, 14 compañeras and 7 support comrades.
Our participants are from the Afro-Mestizo, Afro-Mexican, Binni Zaa, Chol, Chontal, Coca, Kora, Guarijío, Kumiai, Maya, Mazahua, Mazateca, Mepha, Mestizo, Na savi, Nahua, Nayerí, Nuntajiyi, ñhañhu, Odame, Otomi, Purépecha, Rarámuri, Tojolabal, Totonaco, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Wixárika, Yaqui, Jalisco, Michoacan, and Yoreme peoples coming from the states of Baja California, Campeche, Mexico City, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Colima, Mexico State, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Michoacan, Wixárika, Yaqui and Yoreme from the states of Baja California, Campeche, Mexico City, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Colima, State of Mexico, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Sonora, Tlaxcala, Veracruz and Yucatán.
We are the women who fight, who organize ourselves, who learn to say NO to mistreatment, NO to silence, NO to war; we learn to take care of ourselves, to respect each other, to motivate ourselves; we invite ourselves to participate in the struggle for the defense of the territory and of all life. We call ourselves Hope because we take it as our responsibility to ensure the tomorrows of the future generations.
We offer our energies to the four cosmic points, we remember our history as women of the CNI and we recognize the system of capitalist, racist and colonial patriarchal power behind the megaprojects, mining concessions, logging, repression, water overexploitation, pollution, and persecution. This power also takes its form when the military, the cartels, the megaproject companies arrive, like the inter-oceanic corridor, the Mayan Train and the Morelos Integral Project, which are accompanied by multiple forms of dispossession of ejidos and communal property, destruction of life and territories with industrial parks, development poles, toxic waste dumps and energy projects like gas pipelines; exploitation of hydrocarbons in our territories. As a result, we lose peace, increasing violence against us, against our daughters and sons, against people of sexual diversity and against our partners; they turn us into sexual objects, they disrespect us, they kidnap us, they sell us, they rape us, they beat us, they kill us. We – women defenders of Mother Nature and the rights of our peoples, and who stand up against these megaprojects we are criminalized, harassed, discredited, slandered, slandered, imprisoned, tortured and assassinated.
They destroy the Mother Earth that feeds us, they contaminate the air we breathe and the water we drink. They drive us out of our own territories, force us to take refuge in the mountains or to migrate to the cities. We get sick but in the health centers, we are not treated with any quality, we are discriminated against; they use obstetric violence against us, there are no medicines nor supplies; we have to buy everything ourselves but we have no money.
They destroy the Mother Earth that feeds us, they contaminate the air we breathe and the water we drink. They drive us out of our own territories, force us to take refuge in the mountains or migrate to the cities. We get sick and in the health centers, we are not treated with any quality, we are discriminated against, they use obstetric violence against us, there are no medicines or materials; we have to buy everything ourselves and do not have any money. In the schools, our cultures continue to be marginalized; the majority of the teachers despise peasant life and our ancestral knowledge; they instill in our daughters and sons the false ideas of progress instead of love for the land and our cultures. Many of these kids and youngs are carried away by the attraction of easy money and succumb to the networks of all kinds of illicit trafficking.
They try to control our peoples with their scraps of projects, with fear or division.
The maximum expression of this patriarchal and colonial capitalist system is the permanent war, in Mexico, against the Zapatista Peoples and the National Indigenous Congress, which at this moment keeps us in a state of alert due to the intensification of harassment and attacks against our peoples and in other places in the world, like Kurdistan. Attempts are being made to eliminate these sources of hope for the women and peoples of the world who struggle for a world of peace, justice, freedom and joy.
But we are resisting and we are going to resist in order to advance against the current. We women and men are defending and resisting from the strength of our assemblies, from our spirituality and ancestral medicine, from the knowledge of our grandmothers and grandfathers and from ourselves – those who are constructing, from the healing spaces we are recovering, from the networks we are building among our peoples and with fellow peoples in other regions on the planet and with sisters and brothers of solidarity in the cities.
We are also aware that the patriarchy is very powerful and that it descends and inhabits us, hurts us, and that we are struggling to eradicate it. We can see that it is urgent to strengthen the struggle that we have already undertaken from our bodies and our territories. For this reason we demand:
Stop the imposition of mega-projects of death such as the Mayan Train, Interoceanic Corridor and the Morelos Integral Project!
Stop the war against the Zapatista peoples and communities and the National Indigenous Congress!
From this meeting of women we call for:
- Continuing to organize ourselves as women to continue with the struggle and to maintain the hope that, in a few years, girls and boys will see the war and violence against women as a simple memory that will never be repeated since this is what we envision on our horizon.
- Continuing to participate in the assemblies, in the leadership positions, in the decision making based on our way of being women and to invite other compañeras to join the struggle.
- The National Indigenous Congress to get together to prepare the actions around October 12 for our 27th anniversary.
- The communities, organizations, collectives and civil society in general to remain attentive to what is happening in Zapatista territory and to generate actions in our geographies that demand a halt to the war against Zapatista communities and peoples.
To continue consolidating networks and bridges between us women and with the peoples of the world who resist against this system of death, because this struggle is for life.
FOR THE INTEGRAL RECONSTITUTION OF OUR PEOPLES
NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT US
NEVER AGAIN A MEXICO WITHOUT US WOMEN WHO STRUGGLE
WOMEN’S MEETING OF THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS/INDIGENOUS COUNCIL