INDIGENOUS PEOPLES MEETING AT THE UNITED NATIONS IN GENEVE: DEMANDING URGENT PROTECTION FOR THE OTOMI TOLTEC CULTURAL HERITAGE AND NATURAL SACRED SITES
To: The United Nations (UN).
FROM: The Otomi Toltec Nation & the International Committee in Solidarity of the Otomi People from the Toltec-Olmec and Teotihuacan Lineage
SUBJECT: Urgently requesting support against acts of genocide and ecocide from the Mexican Government.
Our survival and our future as Otomi Toltec People from Mexico is once again in danger!
Concerned by recent events, we denounce the acts of ethnocide and ecocide, which are being committed right now by the current leaders who exercise in a vicious way neo-colonial power.
The Mexican Government, the establishment, the oligarchic state have imposed us a culture of discrimination, racism, violence, pollution, sicknesses, destruction and extermination. They invade, expropriate and steal our lands through a racist and corrupt legal system, anti democratic, authoritarian and fascist practices. They impose us their death projects such as dams, industrial parks, malls, residential complexes, airports, railways and highways.
Like their political and economic predecessors of colonial groups, they once again put our Otomi Toltec People in a situation which threatens the integrity of our lands our territories and our ethnic and social cohesion. They trample the dignity of our families and communities, they jeopardize our tangible and intangible culture, the ancestral spirituality and our vision of the cosmic world.
This is an emergency call and a complaint against Enrique Peña Nieto (President of Mexico) and Eruviel Ávila Villegas (Governor of the State of Mexico). They seek to impose the construction of highways at all costs under the guise of so “called” legal strategies in an authoritarian and violent way. They violate our human and indigenous rights, they just declare a war to us, killing thousands of trees, destroying the biodiversity in our forests, crashing our houses and polluting our springs. They don’t care to destroy our natural and cultural sacred sites. They commit ecocide and ethnocide against the Otomi Toltec people, affecting communities as Xochicuauhtla.
Their sole purpose is to benefit a monopolistic political and economic mafia, linked to multinationals and corrupt Banks. They protect interests of friends and accomplices of the government, such as Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantú (Entrepreneur, owner of Higa Group, who is also involved in the global scandal of alleged tax evaders in Tax havens of “Panama Papers”).
All of them, have declared to wage a kind of low intensity war, a terrorism inflicted by the government against the Otomi Toltec People. This is a neo-colonial and discriminatory campaign with racist and violent actions, which constitute crimes against humanity.
Last Monday 11 April 2016, the government under the rule of Ávila Villegas and Peña Nieto, invaded the ancestral territory of the Otomi people in the Community of Xochicuauhtla, municipality of Lerma by surprise at 9 AM, destroying our homes and leaving our sacred land devastated. Over 1,000 riot police, assigned by the Secretary of Security for Citizens (SSC) and the Forces of Action and Reaction (FAR), infiltrated the community strategically on three fronts.
The purpose of the police was to protect the heavy machinery bulldozers that came in the community to demolish the homes of the people. They were from the Autovan Constructions of Teya Higa Group, their mandate was to destroy the houses, raping Mother Nature and sweeping away everything in its path, to make place for this private highway project of Juan Rodolfo Cantu Hinojosa.
As an act of solidarity in this emergency, about 25 neighbors banded together to defend the family of Armando Garcia Salazar, one of the leaders of the Otomi Toltec Community. His house was completely raided and with that his whole life sullied. The repressive groups of Eruviel Avila and his boss Enrique Peña came order to evict the Otomi with great violence, mostly women, children and grandmothers. The grenadiers entered the family property by force, smashing the door with pipes and firing tear gas into the houses, kicking, dragging, pushing and pulling our Grand Mother Isabel Hernandez with her little grandchild in her arms. Isabelle is also a traditional authority and member of the Indigenous Supreme Council of Xochicuauhtla.
After this brutal attack on the Otomi Toltec Community on 11 April 2016 destroying our homes, polluting our land and exterminating our people and culture, we demand the immediate intervention of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice in The Hague for Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the Republic of Mexico and Eruviel Avila Villegas, Governor of the State of Mexico.
We demand that they are tried for crimes against humanity and nature, namely ecocide and genocide against the Otomi Toltec People and also for the violation of human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples and rights of nature as it is contained in the International declarations, conventions and agreements.
We demand the immediate intervention of the United Nations Organization and all national and international bodies to stop the police occupation and invasion by the Mexican government against our Otomi Toltec people in the communities such as San Francisco Xochicuauhtla, municipality of Lerma, State of Mexico. To stop this war of extermination, ecocide, genocide and crimes against sacred territories and humanity, which is happening right now. We demand justice! The leaders responsible for these crimes must be judged, they must pay for every abuse of power.
We demand from the Mexican government, the final, immediate and unconditional cancellation of the Decree of Expropriation of 33.5 Hectares in the Sacred Forest of Xochicuauhtla. This was imposed illegally on all the Otomi people, by government of Enrique Peña Nieto and Eruviel Avila Villegas. WE demand the unconditional suspension of the highway toll from Toluca-Naucalpan, in Xochicuauhtla Territory, by the Autovan Constructora Teya of the Higa Group. The immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal of the police force, bulldozers and staff of the company.
We demand the immediate resignation of Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico and Eruviel Ávila. This government of Mexico is directly responsible for ecocide and genocidal war, using state terrorism; applying systematic violence, series of environmental crimes in the Otomi Toltec Territory, for grave violations against Mother Nature, a Human Rights.
We demand the UN, UNESCO, ILO, OAS and the International Community to pressure the Mexican government (executive, legislative and judicial branches of the Federal Government and the Government of the State of Mexico), to fully implement the international conventions and treaties adopted and ratified by the Mexican Government.
a) the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations Organization (UN) in 2007;
b) the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2006;
c) Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (ILO) in 1990;
d) Conventions, Treaties and International Agreements signed by Mexico to the UN Human Rights that protect and promote the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples;
e) The National Legislation and COCOPA Law on Indigenous Rights and Cultures of the Commission of Concord and Pacification appouved by the Mexican Congress in 2006.
Most importantly we demand the unconditional respect of all our rights as indigenous people, including the rights to self-determination, sovereignty and independence of our lands and territories, the free management of our environment, housing, social, cultural and spiritual.
We demand the end of this war of this insidious extermination in the name of so-called progress and economic development, the end of terrorism by the Government of Mexico and the State of Mexico, the end of all forms of discrimination, racism and violence against our people.
We appreciate the immediate solidarity with the Otomi Toltec people, to have the respect and be able to fully exercise their inalienable right of self-determination and as an expression of this, the Political, Territorial and Cultural Autonomy. To have the respect for all its historical and collective rights, to defend the integrity of their ancestral lands and territories, to have a harmonious land, healthy environment, water, life and happiness.
We want to live in peace, justice and dignity for all peoples and in perfect harmony with nature.
Otomi Toltec Olmec Teotihuacan People & International Committee in Solidarity of the Otomi Toltec Olmec Teotihuacan People