Originally published in Spanish on Viento de Libertad by the Comité Cerezo México.
January 16th 2018
To the citizens of Mexicali, Baja California and México,
To the regional, national and international media,
To the three powers of the government of Baja California and the municipality of Mexicali
Today’s events are a sign of how far our government is willing to go when the interests of our supposed representatives are put at risk. Because it is not our interests which are in danger when the construction of an aqueduct is detained which would bring 7, 20 or even up to 30 million cubic meters of water for the production of a foreign and multinational factory. When it comes to our interests, to be precise, the interests of the Mexicali families which want peace, health, education, housing, land and freedom, our interests are doubly trampled upon, when besides constructing business projects which serve to rob us our suppose representatives do so with public money (over time the lands which we won in 1937 will be taken away.
A few hours ago there were the fiercest clashes which the Mexicali resistance has had up to now. By 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the municipal and state police, supposedly at the service of the CESPM [local water treament plant] and the Mexicali municipality but obviously at the service of Constellation Brands [a Fortune 500 company, international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits seeking to gain Mexicali’s water], arrested Jorge Benítez, Javier Guillén, José Luis Pozos and two up-to-now unidentified women and as of 6PM we do not know where they have been taken. Further, both men and women of the resistance have suffered both head and bodily injuries, including Tania Gallaga, José Fierro, Carlos Bernal, among others. Today we saw our blood run in defense in what belongs to us, our children and our grandchildren.
Due to these clashes more than just protesters were injured. There was also a fellow journalist who received a blow by a rock in the morning. After they received this hit, there were some who affirmed that protesters were attacking the press (furthered by some media outlets), to the point where radio announcer, Cosme Collignon, said: “the people of Mexicali do not need [the press].” Nothing could be further from the truth. We are a peaceful movement and although some protesters do not agree with some of the media and let them know as much with their words, no protester has physically confronted any media representative while performing their journalistic duties.
We have stated that we are a peaceful movement, but we are not going to let ourselves be taken advantage of, to have our dignity trampled; nor will we allow for the police or the money of a group of multimillionaires to do what they want with us. This is why we are also a Resistance movement. We hold close in our hands and in our hearts our rage and revolt. May the government know that we shall not allow this injustice to befall us without consequence. What a betrayal is being committed by Francisco Vega, Gustavo Sánchez, Francisco Rueda among others; the same betrayal which [Emiliano] Zapata and [Pancho] Villa suffered; the same betrayal which went back against the values of our [Mexican] Revolution and our Constitution; the same betrayal which killed the students of 1968; the same betrayal which is now selling off México and Baja California bit by bit to foreign interests. This is to say we will hold responsible those in power for whatever may befall our comrades in the resistance, namely Francisco Vega, Francisco Rueda, Gustavo Sánchez, Ulises Méndez (chief of police) and Hugo Tafoya (lackey of Ulises Méndez).
Evening has come on January 16th. We shall continue to remain here in Rancho Meno, in the ejido of El Choropo, at the 8th kilometer mark of the San Felipe highway, protecting water for all, something which every human being deserves by simple virtue of being born. They have left us with no other option.
Down with the bad government!
Desde los años 50's el valle de Mexicali ha sido una de las principales zonas productoras de hortalizas en México. La explotación acumulada de agua se agravará por el abuso que pretende hacer la cervecera ConstellationsBrands. Pero, ¿saben qué?: #MexicaliResiste #GuerraDelAgua pic.twitter.com/aRmLzlPlaS
— NoticiasDeLaRebelión (@kontrakapital_) January 17, 2018