Mexico: National caravan by Indigenous Yaqui in defence of water, land, work and life

Anticapitalist Youth await Yaqui caravan.

Article and photos by Nevin Siders, Mexico City

May 26, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The indigenous Yaqui people held a caravan that crisscrossed the country to defend of water, land, work and life. It culminated in Mexico City on May 21. I participated in one of the welcoming ceremonies that day, in Tlalpan district in the south of the city.

The Yaqui people have been dispossessed by degrees over the centuries since the Spanish conquest, which has only increased since domination by the United States. They organised the caravan as a step toward increasing unity among those who resist neoliberalism and its predatory practices.

As the photos attest, solidarity in the Tlalpan ceremony was organised by the People’s and Worker’s Political Organization (OPT), the Anticapitalist Youth (JA) and the Mexican Electricians’ Union (SME). Use of the caravan bus was donated by the Union of Passenger Transportation Workers in Mexico City (STTP-DF).

While the Yaqui people have their reasons for protesting the depletion of water in their region, Mexico City likewise has reason to protest creeping privatisation of water. Until the 1990s most neighbuorhoods received water most of the time. That has gradually decreased, now the water department only pumps it in once a week — which is to say that households have to save it in tanks six days of every seven. If it runs out in between, a load in a water truck costs anywhere from US$20 to $67. A full day’s pay at the minimum wage is about $4.50.

Commonsense tells everyone that that trucked water comes from the same sources as the city’s. So this is becoming a major source of aggravation for Mexico City residents, and even more so with recent congressional bills to privatise water.

Ecosocialist banner welcomes Yaqui caravan to Mexico City.

Juan José Gómez Beristain chaired on behalf of the Mexican Electrician’s Union (SME).

On behalf of the caravan, Sandra Carmona (holding microphone) explained its purpose. The Yaqui flag flies behind her.

Yaqui tribe's Agustín Molina Mesa (holding microphone) explained the need for unity among resisters.