Land Defenders

Cochimí people say that mining companies “are hitting us in the mother.”

Our compañero Águila of the Cochimí people of Baja California tells of their struggle against the mining companies that contaminate and steal their water and food sources, and dispossess them of their land.

“But we have to be aware that Mother Earth is a living being and we should affect her as little as possible. “We see Zapatismo as a philosophy of the indigenous peoples, which has come to sow the seed of resistance and teaches us to seek good living, to take care of the earth, fight for life, that is why we say that we are against capitalist development, but we want the best for the next generations.”

United Nations Human Rights Office Recalls Killings and Disappearances of 46 Indigenous Human Rights Defenders in Mexico

“In Mexico, in addition to the structural challenges that have affected indigenous peoples, generating significant gaps regarding inequality, marginalization and access to their rights, indigenous peoples also face violence from different actors, including organized crime groups, who dispute the control of their territory. Leaders of these peoples are particularly exposed to reprisals or violent actions due to their visibility when defending their territory and way of life. Their assassinations or disappearances have a chilling effect on all indigenous people…”

Five Tseltal Defenders in Chiapas Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

The Judiciary of the State of Chiapas sentenced to 25 years in prison the Tseltal defenders Manuel Sántiz Cruz, Juan Velasco Aguilar, Agustín Pérez Velasco, Martín Pérez Domínguez and Agustín Pérez Domínguez, who were arbitrarily detained for defending their territory in 2022.The sentence was issued by the Chiapas judge despite the fact that last May 3 three of the five Tseltales declared that, after their arbitrary detention at the hands of the San Juan Cancuc municipal police, the National Guard and the army on May 29, 2022, they were handed over to the Indigenous Justice Prosecutor’s Office, “who first fabricated the crime of drug possession and then involved them in the homicide for which they were sentenced,” explained the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba).

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