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By Gustavo Castro Soto
The Tzotziles, the batmen, call the devil "Pukuj". He intended to steal plants and genetic material as he has done for many years.
The Tzotziles, the batmen, call the devil "Pukuj". He intended to steal plants and genetic material as he has done for many years. Hundreds of samples now adorn the laboratories of the University of Georgia in the United States and of Big Pharma. Brent Berlin deceived the Indian peoples and in exchange for glass beads received genetic material from the rich regions of Chiapas. But he also received thousands of dollars from abroad for his service. But the fighting brought the ICBG Maya project to a halt, at least apparently, because pirates and corsairs once again revived. In the Blue Mountains the spirit of the Pukuj is still present. Television Azteca and Conservation International also intensify their campaign in their newscasts against the Zapatista populations that live in the Montes Azules, but remain silent about the theft of genetic material, the intentions of the Ford Motor Company, and the interests of Coca-Cola on the water, from Monsanto and the thousands of tons of wood that leave in large trucks with the support of the military and corrupt authorities that are destroying the Lacandon Jungle.
Miguel Ángel García, General Coordinator of Maderas del Pueblo de Sureste, confirms that the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve has been carrying out for years "a systematic effort to extract strategic natural resources -as, without a doubt, genetic resources - by foreign corporations and governments, without neither the governments - federal and state - nor public or political opinion doing anything to stop this looting. " For García, this work is carried out daily and silently under supposed "ecotourism" or "adventure tourism" activities, which facilitates generic mapping and looting; and "under the legal protection of the unconstitutional regulation of Protected Natural Areas (ANPs) -issued at the end of Ernesto Zedillo's administration, which allows the actions and results of" scientific "investigations carried out within the ANPs to be kept secret. it is covered over by the scientist discourse that in any case, all this research, collections and looting of jungle flora and fauna is carried out by dedicated academics. "
The central objective of the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and agri-food transnationals such as Pfizer, Pharmacia, Monsanto, Coca Cola, Syngenta, Glaxo, Dupont, Ford Motors Co., and General Motors, among others, is to "seize the mega diverse territories -as their character of immense gene banks - and of the large volumes of fresh water, still existing in poor countries ", according to García who adds that these corporations" have the conscious or unconscious complicity - for the case and results, it doesn't matter. of local partners and counterparts, such as Ecosur-type research centers and, above all, of "conservationist" pseudo ngos such as "Natural Spaces and Sustainable Development, AC" (ENDESU) or those directly and openly linked to multinational companies, especially North American, such as Conservation International (CI). "
Water and biodiversity are now at the center of the agenda of the neoliberal circuit composed of its main subject (transnational companies); its representatives and alliances (such as the G-7); its operating instruments (multilateral banks such as World Bank, IDB, IMF and commercial banks); and its negotiation-imposition scenarios such as (such as the WTO, FTAA, PPP, etc.). Corporations assault state power structures and disguise themselves in civil society. Curiously, the fourth country with the greatest water stress in the world is Israel, which has not only offered scholarships to Chiapas to study in their country, but has also shown interest in the state's water. As explained by Miguel Ángel García with the rally called "adventure tourism" called "Izuzu Challenge-Ruta Maya 2002", held in November of that year, which began in the "ecotourism" center "La Esmeralda" located in front of the military zone from Toniná in Ocosingo. This rally that surrounded the Blue Mountains Reserve was made up of 38 Izuzu jeeps (now owned by General Motors of Israel), all with an Israeli flag and sophisticated computer equipment that they deployed at the foot of all the sources and flows of water they found. in its wake: rivers, waterfalls and lagoons. According to García, "who commanded the" rally "was the Israeli Major General Avihu Ben Num, doctor in political science, expert in war telecommunications, who was commander-in-chief of Israel's air defense system during the Persian Gulf War (1991 -1993) and later, president -among others- of the Disk company, with headquarters in California, in charge of developing and supplying the North American and Israeli armies with technology and software for war telecommunications. "
For the Coordinator of Maderas del Pueblo del Sureste, it is important to analyze this in the context of the "pseudo NGO" Natural Spaces and Sustainable Development, AC "(ENDESU), which was founded by the biologist Javier de la Maza, who was Director General of Protected Natural Areas of SEMARNAP ", and with the support of Julia Carabias who was president of the National Institute of Ecology during the six-year term of President Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994), and then Secretary of the Environment in the six-year term of Ernesto Zedillo (1994-2000). According to Miguel Ángel García, "ENDESU operates and manages since the end of 1999, what was the UNAM Biological Station located in Boca de Chajul, in the southern portion of the Reserve."
The ex-biological station located on the banks of the Chajul and Lacantún rivers near the border with the Ixcán, Guatemala, and which outside of public investigation, "has been converted by ENDESU into a private high-rise scientific tourism hotel, where, through the payment of at least 90 dollars a day and prior reservation via the Internet, researchers from foreign private universities are hosted to carry out collection and bioprospecting actions of the rich Mexican jungle flora and fauna, without any control, let alone by the communities, but the government of our country. " This hotel uses 80 hectares of high jungle that the so-called ‘Lacandones’ concessioned to ENDESU for 25 years, "in exchange for a payment of 65 thousand pesos a year," says Miguel Ángel García.
To avoid conflicts with the ejidatarios of Chajul, the station has agreements with state universities to offer medical and dental care to the residents of the ejido; and at the same time, justifying that jobs and benefits are granted to the community, children have been paid for each living butterfly they deliver. Either way, not just anyone can cross the river to the station without the consent of its staff.
According to Maderas del Pueblo, in 1999 a Technical Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Mexican government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for the amount of $ 7,427,700 (seven million four hundred twenty-seven thousand seven hundred pesos), for La Selva Lacandona. Carabias and De la Maza give themselves all these resources, transferring them to ENDESU "to rehabilitate the existing infrastructure in the Chajul biological station and begin the construction of another station on the Tzendales river" and increasing the big 'conservationist' business, concludes Maderas from town.
Later, in 2002, another agreement was signed between ENDESU-PROFEPA- SEMARNAT / CONANP by means of which the federal government authorized ENDESU to build, operate and manage another new Biological and Surveillance Station (or tourist-scientific hotel) where the Tzendales river flows into the Lacantún river in the heart of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA), "with additional millionaire resources granted by the multinational company Ford Motors Company (in exchange for which this company received from the hands of of the environmental authorities, the "National Conservation Award 2001" and the right to place panoramic signs with their logo within the territory of the Reserve) ".
Maderas del Pueblo de Sureste also documents that in a PROFEPA-SEMARNAT text entitled "Priority Actions to be carried out in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve. January 2004", on page 7 of which it is stated: "On January 5, 2004, PROFEPA met at the Chajul Biological Station with ENDESU, agreeing that the necessary steps be taken before the General Staff of the Mexican Navy, in order to authorize the following:
a) Continuation of the fluvial, inspection and surveillance tours of the Lacantún River, in the sections: Chajul Biological Station, Colorado Canyon and Lacanjá River Mouth.
b) Daily transfers of elements of the Mexican navy from the ENA in Flor de Cacao to Chajul to carry out surveillance river tours.
c) That the seafarers spend the night every third day at the Ixcán station facilities.
d) That when the routes are not carried out, the elements of the Navy establish a checkpoint on the Lacantún River in front of the Ixcán station. "
This business of the tiny ‘lacandón’ indigenous group of concessioning protected natural areas to private hands is one of the causes that explains the violence against indigenous Zapatista communities settled in the place, accompanied by intense disinformation campaigns by Televisión Azteca. In this regard, Miguel Ángel García points out that "10 days after PROFEPA presented this document to Secretary Alberto Cárdenas, the eight Ch'ole indigenous families were surgically evicted from the Nuevo San Rafael town, located about ten kilometers upriver. from the scientific tourism hotel in Chajul. "
The General Coordinator of Maderas del Pueblo del Sureste concludes: "Mexico is fifth in the world in terms of biological diversity, at the same time that it occupies second place in the world with respect to its cultural diversity. And this biodiversity-indigenous culture relationship is not accidental. Yes We still have -in spite of everything- rich and varied natural ecosystems, it is precisely because the vast majority of these are found in indigenous territories, whose ancestral knowledge regarding the use of said biodiversity is equally aspired, looted and expropriated by multinationals through the worldwide patent system, known worldwide as TRIPs. "
THE LEGAL EMBESTY
In this context, the proposed Law for the Conservation of Biodiversity and Environmental Protection in the State of Chiapas proposed by the government of Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía (can be consulted at
PROTEST AGAINST STATE LAW
To the People of Mexico
To the People of the federative entity of Chiapas
To the peasants and Indian peoples in Chiapas
To the State deliberative bodies
Participants in the 3rd Chiapaneco meeting against Neoliberalism held in Huitiupán, after analyzing and discussing the proposed Law for the Conservation of Biodiversity and Environmental Protection in the State of Chiapas made by the Government of Chiapas through the Institute of Natural History and Ecology, we agree by consensus its total rejection on the basis that:
1. It violates various principles and substantive constitutional provisions to our Nation project but also to Convention 169 of the O.I.T., the Convention on Biological Diversity and the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection;
2. He uses and abuses the peasants, neglects the Indians and disregards women;
3. Imposes sanctions on Indians and peasants at the discretion and convenience of the interests of the government and for the benefit of large companies that destroy the environment or greed for our natural resources, leaving the authorities unpunished, without sanction or co-responsibility;
4. Promotes representation outside our peoples and their own forms of election for decision-making about the resources in our lands;
5. It does not impose any restrictions on trafficking and open experimentation with genetically modified organisms;
6. Proposes the privatization, paramilitarization, and foreignization of protected areas;
7. Orders at the discretion of the authority and convenience of large companies all resources and all actions and all the words that there are, they will have to be done and said in the lands of the peasants and even about them;
We ask that, as citizens representing the Mexican People and Chiapas, carry out in a responsible and serious manner a deep and serious analysis of the social, environmental, economic and cultural implications and of the constitutional violation in which the proposed Law for the Conservation of Biodiversity and the Environmental Protection in the State of Chiapas. That it is the Indian and peasant peoples who are legally responsible for first discussing, defining and approving the content of any law, measure or government action that affects or could affect the use, enjoyment and exploitation of the resources that are in their lands
We remain from you,
CAREFULLY: (state) assistants to the 3rd Chiapaneco meeting against Neoliberalism.
Little House of Peace; The bees; Civic Alliance; AMAP; Aric Independent and Democratic; Antzetik yu-un Cañadas; Muleteers of Chalchihuitán; Chiapas Interdisciplinary Association; Pollen Mouth; CAPISE; Human Rights Center "Digna Ochoa"; Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center; Santa María de Guadalupe Educational Center, CEDIAC; CEPACOMAC; CEPAZ; CIAM; CIEPAC; CIRSA; CLAEES; COCIDEP; CODIMUJ; CODICH; Colectivo Femenino-UNACH; Huitiupán Civil Society; COMPITCH; Altos Coordinator; CORECO; DESMI; Awakening Maya; Jitotol Region Diakonia; Diaconia San José Buena Vista; Diaconia San Juan Chamula; EDUPAZ; Tzotzil D. H. Chenalhó Team; Chiapaneco Front Against Dams Border Region; Indigenous Ecological Federation of Chiapas; Feminary; Flower of Pantelhó; Flor de los Altos, Food Firts, Mayan Woman Fortress, Popular Struggle Front September 15, Youth Students Union Front, Forum for Sustainable Development; Mayan Woman Fortress; León XIII Foundation; Group of Indigenous Communicators; INESIN; Jolo´m Mayaetic; Jlumaltic; Kinal Antzetik, Lunatik; Maderas del Pueblo Del Sureste; Mayavinic; MELEL XOJOBAL; Independent Movement of Women; Kölping work; OMIRS; San Andrés Parish; Santo Domingo Parish; Huitiupán Parish; Pastoral Social Chenalhó; Pastoral Social Tuxtla Gutiérrez; Altamirano Parish; Santo Tomás Apóstol Parish; Pastoral Social Chenalhó; Peace and the Third World; Believing People; National Gender and Economy Network; Sna Tzibajom; Tzeltal-Tztotzil Producers Cooperative Society; Mayan Winic Cooperative Society; Tzotzil Union for Productive Diversification; Witzilton Community; Yamtel Ach Winik; YOMBLEJ; Minas de Ambar, Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts, Mission of Guadalupe, Mission of San José, ODEMICH, Organization of Biological Farmers, Democratic Block of the Magisterium of Section VII of the SNTE-CNTE and students of the Rural Normal School MACTUMACTZA, OCEZ, CIOAC and Democratic CNC. Members, activists of political parties and / or organizations and institutions of CIESAS, university students from UNAM and UNACH, from the PRD, PT and PRI also sign participants on an individual basis.
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!
* Gustavo Castro Soto
Center for Economic Research and Community Action Policies
NEWSLETTER "CHIAPAS AL DÍA" No. 409
CIEPAC; CHIAPAS, MEXICO