October 15, 2017
Well, we’ve just heard from some of our compañeras who are part of Indigenous Governing Council and before I begin I wanted to let you know that as of now we have 141 members of the council, who are members of 35 different indigenous peoples, and represent 62 different regions of the country. That’s out of 93 different regions from which we had originally thought there could be members of the council, so this is still in process. There are still a number of different indigenous peoples that are working so that we can complete this great Indigenous Governing Council.
Also, brothers and sisters, we want to thank you for all the organization this welcoming event must have taken, it is so beautiful. As I walked into the community I was looking at the mountains, at the rivers, the trees, and I said to myself, “It’s great that they haven’t been able to contaminate these rivers. It’s so great that you haven’t let them cut down the trees. It’s so wonderful that here you are organized.” And I can see all the work that it takes and that’s the work that we are trying to highlight and circulate in the different regions across the country in the fashion that each indigenous peoples sees fit, in accord with their forms and style, each one has to organize so that we can care for what our ancestors have left us, so that we can care for what they struggled for so many years and what others tried so hard to take away.
In some places this has cause people to be killed, to be incarcerated, disappeared, repressed. But it doesn’t matter, I think all of us in the National Indigenous Congress know what awaits us but we are going to move forward regardless. And it is only the organization of all the indigenous peoples that will be able to show power, to show capitalism that we can defeat it, that we can pull it out from its roots. It is the one that is trying to steal our wealth; it is the one that is making us fight amongst one another, so that it can take advantage of our natural resources. It is the one that is scheming to find a way to kick us out of our own communities so that it can access all the wealth that we have there.
We have said, “we will not let this happen!” But we will not be able to do this alone, just the indigenous peoples, which is why we have decided to walk and visit all of Mexico, so that we can also invite our brothers and sister in the cities, all our brothers and sisters in civil society, all those brothers and sisters who are fighting in these other places. We want to do this so that we can extend our hands to each other and together get rid of this system that wants to destroy us all. It has particularly targeted our people, our communities, the residents of our towns. They are trying to impose government programs on us, and these programs divide our communities, they bring death, they bring contamination for our waters, and that’s why we as indigenous peoples of the National Indigenous Congress are against these programs.
We want to walk together with all our brothers and sisters from all the different peoples of Mexico. We have to join hands so that, as Comandanta Miriam stated, we can defend ourselves. We have to have that level of trust with our brothers and sisters who are here so that together we can uncover that great monster that wants to destroy us. And that monster is not only in Mexico, it is everywhere. That’s why we have to join hands, that’s why we have to struggle together. We have to think of how we will protect our children. All women, men, and all of us together have to see how we can protect this land that was handed down to us by our grandparents.
We have to put an end to that monster. But we’re going to have to do it all together and in an organized fashion. If we do join hands, I am certain we can achieve our goal. We can do it brothers and sisters. We have to trust that our voice will be heard, that our organization will be seen even far from here and when that happens the powerful are going to shake when they see all of us indigenous peoples throughout this country united, organized, and ready to defend this country of ours, because we were here first. We have to recuperate this country and we have to reorganize it because we can see clearly that the way it is organized now does not work, it only produces death, destruction, divisions, and conflicts. All of us who believe in a dignified life must join hands so that we can pass this dignified life onto those who will come after us.
That is what we will have to do brothers and sisters on this journey, we will have to do it together with all the indigenous peoples, with all the communities, with all the brothers and sisters in the city and with those in civil society who also are already thinking through how it is that we can bring together all of these forces…together we are going to achieve it.
Long Live The National Indigenous Council!
Long Live The Indigenous Peoples of Mexico!
Long Live The Indigenous Peoples of The World!
Thank you Brothers and Sisters!