From the November-December 2022 issue of News & Letters
“A people cannot exist without territory and its memory, and from experience we learned that it is impossible to continue without defending ourselves.”
—Xonacatlan Indigenous Council
Mexico—Editor’s note: The Xonacatlan Indigenous Council (Juanacatlán, Jalisco State) issued a declaration establishing their territory “free of industry, free of megaprojects, free of mining and material banks.” Below is a translated excerpt, published originally in the Local Ecological Planning Program (POEL).
“With regard to Oct. 12, the Day of Indigenous Resistance, we want to celebrate the struggle that, as Indigenous people, we have undertaken to defend our territory in different ways against the attacks of businessmen and governments who want to make Juanacatlán an extension of the industrial corridors and big cities.
“Since 2019, we residents who say no to this way of life, have come not only opposing megaprojects such as the thermoelectric plant and the gas pipeline, but also to try to organize ourselves in the face of any threat we see. We as well want to learn about our territory, recognize it, record the damage and identify its perpetrators.
“It is important that we celebrate life and achievements in the defense of our territory that, no matter how small, give us encouragement and tools to continue in that work. The POEL declares that Juanacatlán is free of industry, free of megaprojects, free of mining and material banks. This document does not solve our problems, but it is an important tool to put a definitive stop to the thermoelectric plant and the gas pipeline’s other uses.
“But the struggle and the organization must continue to make it count and not just be a dead letter.”