Via Red Abya Yala
With exhibitions, music, dance, paintings, cinema and talks, the Yaqui tribe expressed their rejection of the operation of the Independencia aqueduct
The Yaqui people point out that the Independencia aqueduct was built without consulting the Indigenous Peoples
Vícam Pueblo: “We exist”.
The Independencia Aqueduct operates illegally and causes irreversible damage to the Yaqui Nation, according to traditional authorities of the Yaqui Tribe during the Festival of Existence held in the town of Estación Vícam, [Sonora, Mexico]. Among the supporters of the traditional authorities who participated in the Festival of Existence included the organization Indigenous Peoples Rights International (IPRI).
The traditional authorities also demanded that the Mexican federal government include the cancellation of the Independence aqueduct in the “Justice Plan for the Yaqui Tribe” being promoted under the administration of current Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO).
With exhibitions, music, dance, paintings, cinema and conversations, the Yaqui tribe expressed their rejection of the operation of the Independencia Aqueduct, which was built without informing or consulting the Indigenous Peoples, and which has caused damage to ancestral Yaqui sites in the territory, causing obstructions to Yaqui ceremonial ritual practices and desecrations in the worldview of the Yoeme (Yaqui).
The Yaqui Sewa Tomteme school hosted the meeting in Vicam, with in-person invited guests and other individuals connected through digital platforms such as the engineer Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solorzano, as a special guest.
During his presentation in the Festival of Existence, which was promoted by live stream across the internet, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solorzano exhorted respect for the presidential decrees established between the federal government and the Yaqui Tribe in 1937 and 1940 by his father, then President Lazaro Cardenas, and to cancel the operation of the Independencia aqueduct. He also called for justice and accountability for the murders of indigenous leaders in Sonora over last six months.
“It is essential that the provisions of the 1940 decree be respected in order to fully restitute the Yaqui territorial rights, but above all so that the Yaquis can manage and dispose of the water rights which they legitimately possess, specifically 50 percent of the volumes of water from the Rio Yaqui stored in the Angostura dam. I believe the cancellation of the so-called Independencia aqueduct is essential, as I said a few days ago before current Mexican president AMLO, not only because the Aquaducto Independencia project was constructed in violation of established legal provisions, but also because these violations of law have been allowed impunity with the complicity of government authorities,” said Cárdenas Solorzano.
Mario Luna Romero, spokesman for the Yaqui tribe, pointed out as unforgivable that neither the National Institute for Indigenous Peoples (INPI), nor the Federal Government included in the recently announced Justice Plan for the Yaqui Tribe, the cancellation of the Independencia aqueduct, after the Yaqui have dedicated enormous efforts in their struggle to defend the Rio Yaqui over recent years. He gave as evidence to this struggle the many resolutions and judicial orders affirming the demands by the Yaqui including from the Supreme Court of Justice for the Nation and the United Nations that have been ignored by the federal government.
“Within the Yaqui tribe, decisions are made by consensus, in the plaza of the Traditional Guard where everyone participates, and this absence of a culturally appropriate decision-making is what has prevented the Yaqui Justice Plan from progressing and having better results. That is why it has had serious omissions such as the fight for the defense of the Yaqui River, which has been excluded from the plan due to pressure from economic interests and the abuse of power that does not contribute to the unity of the Yaqui tribe”, stated Mario Luna, who was a political prisoner during the administration of Guillermo Padrés for opposing the Aquaducto Independencia.
October 8, 2021
Message to the Pueblo Yaqui