The Maya people of Yucatán consider AMLO’s apology is “false” and “cynical”
Cancun, Quintana Roo.- Communities, groups, organizations, and individuals that make up the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) rejected the pardon offered on May, 3rd, by the Mexican State to the Maya people in a symbolic act officiated in Tihosuco, municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, considering that it is “false” and “cynical” since it is accompanied by the imposition of megaprojects such as the Mayan Train.
In a statement, the U Jeets’el le Ki’ki Kuxtal Campaign, which is part of the CNI, stated that the Train was placed in the hands of the military, allegedly symbolizing “progress” from the neoliberal vision, but in reality, this project will just imply “wealth for a few ”, the probable dispossession, the destruction of life forms and the disqualification of the native peoples who oppose the so-called“ death projects ”of the Fourth Transformation.
“What is the use of asking for forgiveness from the Maya people, when whoever asks for forgiveness represents, like Porfirio Díaz, an open alliance with large companies and the military, the continuation of the devastation of the forests that surround us and that grant us the lifetime; the contamination of the waters that we can no longer consume; the dispossession of the territory that we have inhabited for centuries and that they want to take away from us.
“And the terrible exploitation of our people through the so-called‘ development that enslaves and kills the Maya. ” What is the use of asking forgiveness from the Maya when whoever asks for forgiveness perpetuates racism, discrimination and contempt for the indigenous peoples; that he treats us as if we were people without emotions, without reason, without intelligence, without thought, without the possibility of deciding for our own future and that of our peoples collectively, horizontally and from below ”, they questioned.
The position, established in connection with the presence of the president and members of his cabinet, including governors of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatán – the Maya Train Project – highlights that the project represents a new way of colonizing the territories. of the Maya indigenous peoples.
The letter affirms that it is intended to take away their tranquility in exchange for the “terror and environmental destruction” that is taking place in tourist centers such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and now Bacalar, “regional and even global headquarters of labor exploitation, generalized insecurity, femicides, murders, drug trafficking, and prostitution”.
“What is the use of asking Mother Earth for forgiveness when the jungles are literally being devastated by agribusiness, the real estate and tourism industries; by wind and photovoltaic parks that only produce energy for large companies; for the great project called Sowing Life, which does nothing but sowing death, ”they reproached.
Asking for forgiveness would make sense -they remarked- if the damages to the Maya people were repaired and compensated for the errors of the present, for the current decisions that are causing environmental disasters in indigenous territories, such as the deforestation of the jungle, the massive death of bees and native insects (like the Meipona Bee), contamination of the groundwater table and the land with fertilizers and transgenics, among others.
“No, Mr. President: We do not accept your forgiveness. Not a cynical and tricky pardon, ”they stressed when demanding that the rights of indigenous peoples must be respected and put a stop to the mega-project Tren Maya, on the planting of monocultures of transgenic agriculture; to the pig farms that pollute the water tables; to the wind and photovoltaic companies that dispossess the land; to the real estate industry and mass tourism that devastate nature.
“We demand that capitalist development be stopped in our Maya territories. We, from the U Jeets’el le Ki’ki ’Kuxtal Campaign (the establishment of the good life/autonomy), propose ways of life, and we do not propose one, but many of those.
“What we want are autonomies that allow us to live well, in tranquility with nature. A dignified life. We don’t want them to ask us for forgiveness. We demand respect for the right to exercise our autonomies ”, they maintained.
Separately, from Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the chronicler of Noj Kaaj, Carlos Chablé Mendoza, joined in the criticism for the type of the act led by López Obrador and said that “it is incomprehensible” that the last sections of the Maya Train that will pass through the Maya territory is being built precisely by the Army, which will manage it as well as the International Airport that will be built in Tulum, benefiting the military with the administration of profits, instead of the Maya People of the region.
“I must tell you, president, that the memories of the Caste War are still present in the mind of the Maya grandparents and grandmothers, they did not forget the persecution and extermination they suffered, it was the Huaches, soldiers, who killed the Maya under the orders of cruel military chiefs, including the jackal Victoriano Huerta, ”he stated in an open letter addressed to the president.
By directing these lines to you, it inevitably comes to my memory that between 1992 and 2016, three heads of the Vatican asked forgiveness in different countries for the sins committed against the original peoples, including the Maya of the Peninsula, during the invasion, conquest and evangelization. Despite this, the indoctrinations, of the Catholic Church as well as of other Christian churches, continue to be done until now without respect for the indigenous worldview and spirituality.
“The debt of the Mexican State is enormous and is still pending to be paid (…) it is not enough for the Mexican State to ask for forgiveness, since there are still consequences of the invasion, conquest and colonization that must be repaired, including the damages suffered by the Maya during the so-called Caste War.
“It is necessary to restore, compensate the natural, material and human resources of which the peninsular Maya people were deprived because thanks to that dispossession and the ethnocide suffered by the Maya, several regional, national and foreign elites still live in criminal opulence”, he pointed out.
Chablé Mendoza added that the construction of the Train in Maya territory, and other similar megaprojects, imposed in other regions of the country such as Oaxaca, go in the same direction of invading, dispossessing, and destroying natural resources that belong to the indigenous territories.
“I will conclude by demanding that the projects in which, as in the case of the Maya Train, are invested millionaire resources that are necessary to vaccinate the entire population of the country sooner, to sufficiently promote indigenous and peasant sustainable agriculture, strengthen the systems of health, supply of medicines and goods, indigenous intercultural education, to solve housing problems and address urgent issues such as femicides and insecurity, ”he concluded.