Breaking: Indigenous Mayans Beaten Just South of Cancun

November 25, 2009 - The following is a translation of a press release I received from contacts in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It describes the situation that began when the government promised to reimburse farmers for crops lost due to the lack of rains during the monsoon season this year. The government lowered the reimbursement to 50%, prompting the farmers to block the main highway leading to Cancun in protest. Police then went through town and apparently beat and detained anyone who looked like an indigenous farmer. This is exactly the sort of situation that is becoming more and more common as climate change leads to conflict. The original document is attached.

Why are the Indigenous Mayans of Quintana Roo being Beaten and Detained?

    Through this medium we want to inform of the arbitrary detentions that have been suffered by the ejidatarios (communal landowners - editor's note) of the Mayan communities of the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. Given the events that took place on the highway from Felipe Carrillo Puerto to Cancun the past night of November 24 where various groups of ejidatarios took the aforementioned highway in protest of the insufficient pay of 50% offered by the SEDARI (The state Secretariat of Agricultural and Indigenous Development - ed.) due to failure of farmer's crops from [this year's] lack of monsoon rains.

    Following these events state and federal police officers have taken illegal actions beating, abusing and encarcelating the ejidatarios; it is worth mentioning that these acts were realized in the interior of the city, in the streets, and even in the central park on the 24th and towards people who because of their simple appearance were considered to be ejidatarios, detaining in this matter 228 campesino farmers.

    We mention also that these actions of the peasantry are a product of the evident inequality and the contrasts that exist in the state of Quintana Roo[, Mexico] which receives a great deal of investment in the north, in the turist zones and we see that there are no development projects for the mayan communities that live in the same conditions as they did five hundred years ago while these communities are owners of the natural resources of the state.

    For these reasons we demand the liberation of the 228 citizens who are imprisoned.

For the prompt and immediate liberty of the 228 imprisoned indigenous mayans of Felipe Carrillo Puerto! 

Ejido commissioners and Municipal delegates of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo

Felipe Carrillo Puerto, on the 25 of November of 2009

* Original Document can be downloaded here.

**Click here for a good history on ejidos and ejidatarios. 


Cithla said...

Estuve una noche antes en el palacio municipal cuando se manifestaban. El presidente Municipal no acudio y mando a su representante, no llegaron a nada. Estoy muy enojada por el abuso de autoridad!!! Lo peor de todo es que el pueblo carrilloportense le da la razon al gobierno, What to do?

Tala Woodward said...

Andon, I'm trying to think of a way this could be heard by more people...i did a (very precursory) media browsing, cause i wanted to know more about the background of the situation, and there's nothing. its not even here -
and i dont know enough about mexican politics to know if this is just common enough to not merit media coverage...or?

Lisa McBride said...

Hello, I'm Lisa McBride and I work with Axis of Logic. I am posting this story there, as found on Intercontinental Cry. A reference to your page/post is included.
We would like to help get the word out. Feel free to send me stories to be considered for republication.
This is the link to the Axis page

ANDON said...

Update: The detained campesinos have been released, although the formal complaints will continue since the detentions were illegal. There were several people injured who were checked by doctors. Apparently some of the detainees were without shirts or shoes for days, but received them in time for pictures when they were released.

Here's the note I received in Spanish:

Ayer estuvimos en chetumal todo el día en la POLICIA ESTATAL PREVENTIVA porke ahi estaban los compas. Estuvimos hablando con derechos humanos del estado y nos informaban que hay algunos golpeados y con heridas, pero los revisaron los médicos, algunos no tenían camisa o zapatos hasta ayer en la noche. Aparentemente les dieron ropa para que en la liberación, en la foto no salieran encuerados.

Según la visitadora estatal de Derechos Humanos de Quintana Roo, Laura Brito ayer en la noche salieron todos los detenidos, pero vamos a seguir con las quejas que se interpusieron en Derechos Humanos pues las detenciones fueron ilegales ya que la mayoria de los ejidatarios estaban en el pueblo, en otras actividades, la mayoría de los detenidos eran simples trabajadores o gente que venía a FCP para comprar cosas o a trabajar aquí y no tenían nada que ver con la situación de la carretera.