Jun 12, 2011

Movement for Peace with Justice: Another voice from the Caravan for Peace with Justice

Here is the voice of one participant in the Caravan for Peace with Justice, led by Javier Sicilia during the past week. The writer is Don LeBaron, a member of the LeBaron family from Chihuahua which has lost several family members because they sought to oppose the drug cartels. (See Laura Carlsen's interview with Julian LeBaron, given during the May Marcha por la Paz from Cuernavaca to Mexico City.)

Sr. LeBaron says, "I am plenty grateful that there was a caravan of peace with justice and dignity. It is one of the best things happening. I have cried, I have felt the pain and loss others have suffered. That is why I write. That is why I will never stop looking for a real and effective solution."

Here, Mr. LeBaron talks of the centuries-long conflicts over land ownership in Mexico. To understand his argument requries some background regarding this history.

First, a geographic fact: Land good for farming is very scarce in Mexico. Only 13% of the land is arable and only a small percentage of the arable land is irrigated. Because of the long winter dry season, despite mild temperatures, only one crop a year can be planted in much of the country.

Before the arrival of the Spanish in 1519, land was held communally by the indigenous people. The Spanish crown declared all land to be its possession. The king then granted "communero," communal, titles to some indigenous groups but also granted "encomiendas," huge areas of land, to the conquistadores. These were grants of land use, together with control of the labor of the indigenous residents, but not outright ownership.

During the Era of Reform, (1855-76) under President Benito Juarez - himself an indigenous Zapotec - "corporate" land ownership was outlawed. This was particularly aimed at eliminating ownership by the Catholic Church, but it also sought to eliminate indigenous communal ownership. This position was part of the reformers' ideas modeled on the French and U.S. Jeffersonian model of a republic based in private land ownership.

During the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz (1876 - 1911) much communero land was taken from the indigeous people. The government put it up for sale to the highest bidder. Indigenous people did not have the money to buy their own land, so it was taken by "hacendados," wealthy criollos (Mexicans of pure Spanish blood) and mestizos (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood persons). 

During the Mexican Revolution (1910 - 1920), Emiliano Zapata, a mestizo with strong indigenous roots, led a rebellion in the state of Morelos to retake communal lands that had been sold by the government. The Constitution of 1917 attempted to address this land issue by establishing ejido ownership, which is a communal title held by indigenous communities. President Lázaro Cárdenas (1934 - 40) implemented large returns of land to ejidos. 

In 1994, as part of the requirements of the U.S. - Mexico North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) the Mexican Constitution was amended to make it possible for members of ejido communities to sell their land to private owners. 
Much good agricultural land has been sold to large agri-businesses. 

The Zapatista uprising--which took its name from Emiliano Zapata--occurred in the southern state of Chiapas, which has a large indigenous Mayan poputlation. The uprising coincided with the implementation of NAFTA in January 1994. The San Andres Accords, to which Sr. LeBaron refers, were an agreement between the Mexican government and the Zapatistas and included granting communal rights to disputed lands. These accords were never fully implemented.

Where this editor lives, in the state of Michoacán, there are both communero lands, held by indigenous communities with titles signed by the Spanish viceroy in the 16th century, and ejido lands, held by virtue of the Constitution of 1917 and granted by Lázaro Cárdenas, who was from Michoacán. 

For more on Mexican history, see: "Our Common Land: Mexico & the U.S."

Sr. LeBaron speaks:

Since returning home from the Caravan for peace, deeply I process what I saw and felt. Above all I realize none of this is getting down to the core of the problem. I say that knowing that this protest is probably the most important thing happening anywhere to even begin to effectively address the present tyranny. Still this is an effort in futility in terms of stopping the criminal activity in Mexico. The government is locked into an agenda backed by corrupted powers that are clearly underestimated and not enough understood.

In 1994 Mexico changed the constitution to allow private property. This was the death blow to liberty and the Republic of Mexico. If the ejido system still existed the tyranny could be stopped, no other way. The corrupted system that has taken hold of Mexico can only exist if a private property system is in place. This was the crucial piece of the puzzle that had to fall in place for false Imperialistic World System to take hold. Once that was in place the rest of the program also fell in place like clockwork. Now, nothing will stop short of complete revolution to restore lawful government.

Those who rule in Mexico, the Bankers, the Corporations, and the sort of secret societies that control them are hardly impressed with this effort. If the President does not placate the people through phony dialogue or some other means, no matter. There are plenty of other ways to subdue the people who not longer have lawful means to address the problem, (let alone knowledge of how to do so.)

The civil law is tied to the land always. Private property is held in trust with the government as owner who issues the phony deed fully under control of the government. In the ejido system the people, collectively in respect to those who inhabit it, own the land. They have the power to invoke the civil powers that will supplant any civil authority of the State and National government.

The present system of property, real and personal, demands big government as it over Lord. That big government will be the Corportacracy that dominates virtually all other nations. The only other possibility is the ejido system substantiated diligently by those who inhabit and have stewardship. Do you think you will stop the police state in any other way. Think again. You will not!

The workings of the Zapatista movement are not enough appreciated nor understood. They are the only ones in the ball park of substantiated liberty. Turn your eyes, Mexico, to them and what they are doing. They, along with the indigenous people, understand government by and for the people. The rest of us are too involved with personal and real property to understand and act according to the true law of property. Now we will have a civil system where private property sustains the private economic system of law that accommodates our economic slavery and a police force that sees to it we comply. NAFA, the Merida Initiative, the laws now being passed, are all aspects of this private civil law system.

My suggestion to Javier Sicilla is that he insist the government first comply with San Andres Accords before dialogue with the government proceeds. If they will not keep their agreement to ratify that, what is the point of the present pacts that will never be kept.

I am plenty grateful that there was a caravan of peace with justice and dignity. It is one of the best things happening. I have cried, I have felt the pain and loss others have suffered. That is why I write. That is why I will never stop looking for a real and effective solution.

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