From the Second Plenary Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG), held October 11-14 at the CIDECI-UNITIERRA, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, we respectfully address the compañ[email protected] of the CIG Support Networks as well as the peoples of this country and the world in order to discuss and together take new steps toward the construction of the new world that we all need.

We bring you this urgent message because as original peoples our struggle against the profound sickness caused by capitalism means that we must weave life—this is the task given to us by our ancestors. With hope based in memory and in times to come, we sow and grow life everywhere we can, weaving ourselves collectively as a people and thereby weaving ourselves also as persons.

When we agreed during the Fifth National Indigenous Congress to form the Indigenous Governing Council, we did so decisively, without any pretense, without any intent to homogenize, and without any desire to tell anyone what to do, but rather to tell the world that it is not true that government is by nature a destructive force; it should be a constructive force. It isn’t true that government must be a self-serving entity; rather, it must serve its people. Government does not have to be a lie that erases our voice and claims to act in our name as it creates death out of everything it touches; rather, it must be a mirror of what we are when together we dream and decide our destiny.

The Indigenous Governing Council is a way to honor our differences, to seek a voice that reflects what we are, and this makes it a true government. The other option, what from above they call the Mexican State, is just a lie created to impose, repress, and hide the death that now overwhelms us and exposes their deceit. That State is nothing but a band of thieves pretending to be an institution, whether from the right or the left. In any case, they bring war with them however they might try to disguise it, and it is also now out of their hands too because after all, the boss is the boss.

But here below we must defend life, regardless of the lies told by the outgoing or incoming government. Because lies abound with regard to the threats to the Binniza, Chontal, Ikoots, Mixe, Zoque, Nahua and Popoluca peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec brought by the trans-isthmus projects and the expansion of the Special Economic Zones, the threats to the Mayan peoples brought by the capitalist train project that will displace and destroy everything on its path, and the threats to all those who will be affected by the announced plan to plant a million hectares in the south of the country with trees for fruit and lumber production. Lies abound in the illegal and rigged referendum on the construction of the New Mexico City Airport and in the invitation to mining companies to continue to invest in the massive expanses of indigenous territories already conferred them. Lies abound in the incoming administration’s creation—without any consultation with our peoples and via old-fashioned indigenismo—of a National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, led precisely by the deserters of our long struggle of resistance.

To approve the San Andrés Accords in the current context—that is, without reversing the successive reforms to Constitutional Article 27 (reforms that transformed our lands into commodities and put the natural wealth of the earth in the hands of large corporations); without terminating the extensive regime of mining concessions as well as those applying to water, oil and gas, and natural resources; without limiting imperialist power by repealing the current [North American] Free Trade Agreement and severely limiting the power of transnational corporations; without wresting control over our territories from organized crime cartels supported by the armed forces—in this context such an approval would be, in the very best of cases, a crude illusion that would mask money’s assault on our peoples.

As the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council, we have no illusions and will have no part in any exponential capitalist transformation that has its sights set on and its foul tactics aimed at our territories. We will not take part in a lie that is thirsty for our blood and our extermination.

For all of the above reasons we agree to continue to build the kind of organization that becomes self-government, autonomous and in rebellion. We will do this with compañeras and compañeros from other geographies in order to collectively break through the inertia imposed upon us and understand together where the storm comes from. In this midst of that storm we will not cease to weave something else, continuing until our something else is woven into that of others and emerges in every corner of Mexico and the world, forming councils in every location so that we become, together with the CIG support networks, a governing council. For this task, compañ[email protected], double down in your efforts to organize, according to your own ways and identities, across the cities and the countryside with no regard for borders.

Our steps will also depend on what is collectively decided below by others—teachers, students, women, workers of the countryside and city, all those who in the midst of this capitalist war have also decided to weave organization that brings down the death and destruction in which the capitalists see profits. If that is your decision, autonomous and from below, then we call upon you to hold serious and committed discussions within your organizations and collectives as to whether it is necessary or not for you to form your Governing Council.

If that is what you decide, with respect to our call to make the earth tremble with organization from below and to the left, you will always be able to count on our selfless accompaniment, word, and solidarity. Compañ[email protected], the path will be neither easy nor fast, but we are convinced that it will give birth to deep cracks in the structure of power from above.

Sisters and brothers, this is our collective word, which continues to call for organization from below to defend life and to heal ourselves together with our mother earth.