AMERICA / MEXICO - "Mexico is a cemetery, and the government only goes to light a candle to the dead", says Mgr. Lona Reyes

Friday, 29 January 2016 indigenous   bishops   human rights  

Oaxaca (Agenzia Fides) - "Mexico is a cemetery, and the government only goes to light a candle to the dead": are the harsh words of His Exc. Mgr. Arturo Lona Reyes, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Tehuantepec (Mexico) with regards to the indigenous territory of Chimalapas invaded by entrepreneurs and loggers from Chiapas and Veracruz, who threaten to destroy the environment.
During the participation of the umpteenth peaceful demonstration of solidarity with the Chimalapas, Mgr. Lona Reyes harshly criticized the central and regional government and even ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), calling them "incapable" of handling the situation. He stressed the dignity of the indigenous Zoque, who struggle to defend their land, while "governments act only when there are deaths and blood".
The note sent to Fides informs that the Bishop must meet the Secretary General of the Government, Carlos Santiago Carrasco, to explain the situation, to ask for food for poor families in the area. The indigenous population, the Chimalapas, together with several NGOs have asked the government to intervene in the region to stop the destruction of the ecosystem, but the government has not responded.
The area of Santa Maria and San Miguel, of 600,000 hectares, has the greatest biodiversity in Mexico and Mesoamerica: at least 146 species of mammals, 140 of reptiles and amphibians, 316 of birds and 900 of butterflies. The land is ancestral property of the indigenous Zoque. Mgr. Lona Reyes, has always worked alongside indigenous peoples (see Fides 15/05/2014) and lives in the forest of the region, in among the Chimalapas population, and more than once has complained publicly the disinterest of the authorities. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 29/01/2016)