Translation of original statement from https://atencofpdt.blogspot.mx/2018/04/carta-abierta-del-frente-de-pueblos-en.html
April 29th, 2018
Open Letter from The People’s Front in Defense of the Land to Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Mr. Andrés Manuel:
You know who we are. Don’t ignore our history. You and vast sectors of the society who support you, like academics, intellectuals, and the people who surround them, know perfectly well that we have faced three sexenios [six-year presidential terms] of horror and tragedies, from October 22, 2001, when [President] Vicente Fox declared the dispossession of our lands to build the International Airport.
You know it well, because since then, the people affected have had to go with machetes in hand to the capital, which in those years you governed, to protest and denounce that today [the airport] continues to be the most cunning violation of the right to live in peace in our communities.
Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón, Enrique Peña Nieto, el PRI, el PAN, el PRD, and their puppets – those who you call “the mafia of power” – have wanted to dispossess our lands. During the long seventeen years of blood, fire, and enormous sums of money, they have tried to take our history, our life. They have beaten us with unprecedented viciousness. For denying them our lands, we have suffered death, prison, persecution, and sexual violence. This way they attempted to defeat us, to humiliate us, to tear us apart. The only thing they have achieved, we repeat one more time, is to strengthen our love for the land and our conviction to defend it. The price that we have had to pay for it, Mr. Andrés Manual, is very high; you know it.
To this “mafia of power,” one can add the insatiable greed of others, like the businessman Carlos Slim, who sees in the new airport a way to multiply his bank accounts, already full of millions of dollars, in the world and in a country of grotesque inequality. Slim ordered the movement of all the resources so that nothing nor anyone would impede the construction of the airport of death. This magnate believes himself to be the government and feels that it is in his right to decide about our lives!
Immediately, the “mafia of power” obeyed the order, and in unison, demanded that the will of their master Slim be fulfilled. This “mafia of power” is, for the communities that have fought against it, the mafia of dispossession. To them, with the machete of dignity raised high, we say: we will not hand over our lands! Understand this: OUR LANDS DO NOT HAVE A PRICE! SLIM IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT!
Mr. Andrés Manuel:
What is at stake is, no more or less, than our life. You should understand that for us this is not about an airport project, but about the life and the history of our communities from time immemorial. This is about us not being displaced from our lands. The core of the conflict is the place that has been invaded to try to impose a great business, without care for the affronts and damages to our communities, and without care for the environmental and social catastrophe that their ambition is causing. This is about an airport that will not be built in Texcoco, for the good of our communities and such that money will not govern. This is the point!
Our dilemma is not in deciding who will deprive us from our life, or how they will do it. Our dilemma is not in whether it is done with public or private money. It is not about knowing whether businessmen are “honest” or “corrupt,” or if there will be honest tenders or no open bidding. None of that.
WHAT WE DEMAND IS THAT THEY RESPECT OUR LIVES, OUR LANDS, OUR HISTORY AND OUR RIGHT AS MEXICANS TO THE COMMON GOOD.
The real struggle, Mr. Andrés Manuel, is that of the Mother Earth against the God of Money. In this struggle, we will not tire of repeating it, we opt for the Mother Earth. For us, the God of Money – whether he has a Mexican last name or a Lebanese origin – is synonymous with death and plunder. It does not matter if one calls it “good,” “bad,” “transparent,” or “corrupt”: the construction of the new airport deprives us of our life.
The airport in Texcoco is inappropriate because the lands where they will build are an area of aquifer recharge, with risks of subsidence and flooding; because their construction will spell the end for the lives of plants and animals in the zone, causing an ecological catastrophe, because this construction is an environmental crime that extends to the territories of many other communities where they are destroying mountains to take material or dumping waste, killing the life and drastically reducing the catchment of water; and because that construction destroys an archaeological zone.
This has been demonstrated by the Union of Scientists Committed to Society (Unión de Científicos Compremetidos con la Sociedad). This organization knows that the “corrupt” or “honest” capital, whether private or public, will damage in an identical way the air, the soil, and all the species that inhabit the area.
We firmly reiterate, without ambiguity or doubt: No to the airport! You, Mr. Andrés Manuel, should know that the only option that we have are our lands. For us, poor farmers opposed to death, there is no alternative. You have said that, for the good of all, “first the poor.” Here we are, the poor, resisting. Choose a side!
Mr. Andrés Manuel:
You have met with business leaders, with bankers, with students from private universities. How great! You have heard them and have gone to where they are.
Can you hear our words? Can you come to our lands? Can you come to San Salvador Atenco? Can you open your eyes to us? Can you open your ears and your heart even if we are only poor farmers who deny plunder and death? Can you listen to us even though we are not bankers or business leaders? Can you? We hope so.
Here, regardless, we will continue to stand strong, resisting.
Here, machete in hand, we will continue fighting against the mafia of plunder.
Here we will continue, with the example of Zapata as our guide.
People’s Front in Defense of the Land
[Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra]
ZAPATA LIVES! THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES!