Luz Rivera Martinez responds to the campaign of harassment and threats that the Tlaxcalan government is making against her and her compañeros.
In January 2011 the Congress of the state of Tlaxcala, one day before the legislators left office, approved the “Agricultural Law of Support and Protection of Corn, our original patrimony, in Constant Diversification and Nourishment, for the State of Tlaxcala.” [more]
This law, veiled by a supposed interest in “defending” native corn, approved the planting of genetically modified corn, without taking into account the wishes of Tlaxcalan farmworkers. After a very long, rhetorical introduction, the law states:
“The municipal authority, within its competence and in accordance with this law, authorizes the storage, distribution, and commercialization of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) of corn, with the purposes of conservation, improvement, and preservation of habitat and the earth.”
It should be mentioned that before occupying his current seat as Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock of the state of Tlaxcala, Jaime Jonatan Bretón Galeazzi, held a position as an executive of Monsanto.
The national press publicized the implementation of the law in the beginning of April, three months after it was published in the national registry, a requirement for any new law. In this way, farmworkers, who would be most directly affected by this law, found out through the press—not from their supposed representatives—about this attack on corn, source of every farmer’s livelihood.
Farm workers quickly mobilized to reject the law. On Friday, April 15, they organized a massive protest in the state capital, led by ejido authorities and the Consejo Nacional Urbano y Campesino (CNUC) [National Urban and Farmworker’s Council]; on April 18th, they mobilized again. After this demonstration, a campaign of persecution began against CNUC, members of La Otra Campaña, an international network of grassroots organizations struggling from below and from the left. Since then, the houses and vehicles of several CNUC coordinating members have been monitored and followed by Tlaxcalan ministerial police. When asked, the surveillance officers claimed that CNUC staff, in particular Luz Rivera Martinez, are under investigation by order of State Prosecutor Alicia Fragoso Sanchez, Office of Tlaxcala.
This harassment clearly demonstrates an effort to criminalize social protest by the Mexican government—an increasingly frequent and serious occurrence in Mexico.
With the intent of stopping these systematic attacks on Tlaxcalan campesinos and the repression of all social movements in Mexico, CNUC is calling for a campaign of solidarity and response starting this Monday, April 25th.
In order to speak out against these actions, we ask that you do one or all of the following:
1. Forward this message to everybody.
2. Copy, paste, and send the following message to the Tlaxcalan governor at his Facebook account:es-es.facebook.com/mariano.gonzalez.zarur
Soy de los Estados Unidos y estoy muy preocupado de lo que usted está haciendo a los campesinos de Tlaxcala con la ! ¡FUERA TRANSGENICOS DE TLAXCALA! ALTO AL HOSTIGAMIENTO CONTRA CAMPESINOS Y LUCHADORES SOCIALES!
3. Copy and paste the message below and tweet at Tlaxcalan Gov. Mariano Gonzalez Zarur:
.@GonzalezZarur ¡FUERA TRANSGENICOS DE TLAXCALA! ALTO AL HOSTIGAMIENTO CONTRA CAMPESINOS Y LUCHADORES SOCIALES!
4. Leave a comment for the State Government of Tlaxcala here.
5. If you speak Spanish and are willing to place an international call, please let these bureaucrats know what you think!
Gobernador C.P. Mariano González Zarur
Tel. 011 52 1 (246) 465-0900 ext. 1160
Secretaría de Fomento Agropecuario
Secretario Ing. Jaime Jonatan Breton Galeazzi
Tel. 011 52 1 (246) 465-0900 ext. 2213
Procuraduría General de Justicia
Procuradora Lic. Alicia Fragoso Sánchez
Tel. 011 52 1 (246) 465-0500 ext. 2