Sisters and Brothers:
On September 15, 2001, the researchers Quist and Chapela of the University of Berkeley discovered the presence of genetically modified strains of corn within the native corn areas of the Sierra Juárez of Oaxaca. By January 2002, in a meeting convened by civil society organizations, the National Institute of Ecology (INE) and the National Commission for the Understanding and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), contamination by genetically modified species was confirmed not only in communities of Sierra Juárez but also in the Central Valleys, the Mixteca, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and two communities in Puebla. As a result, diverse participant organizations in the Network in Defense of Corn, within Oaxaca as well as within other provinces of Mexico, took on the task of disseminating and discussing the problem in Sierra Juárez and other parts of the country.
For the last 12 years, state, national and international organizations have undertaken diverse efforts to inform society, especially the small farmers who grow and live off of corn. Each time the struggle is more difficult because not only are transgenic plants endangering our native corn and our food sovereignty and independence, but also there are monocultures, the planting of hybrid corn and technological bundles, food aid, the “PROCAMPO”, “OPPORTUNITIES”, Agricultural Restructuring, the Environmental Services, and the imposition of agrofuels, among a large list promoted by the government in favor of the corporations.
We are working on an informational campaign and we assist communities interested in knowing more about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the harms they occasion. At the end of the year, there was a red alert at the national level because the Mexican government was on the verge of issuing permits for legally planting GMOs in the states of Sinaloa and Tamaulipas. As a result, we decided to declare “2013, the year of the defense and resistance of native corn in Oaxaca and in the entire Mexican territory”.
In the face of the emergency and red alert regarding the possibility that the commercial planting of transgenic corn may be authorized in our country, the Oaxacan organizations have agreed to host a national hearing in Oaxaca within the framework of the Permanent People’s Tribunal. In this event the Government of Mexico will be tried for ACTIONS AND OMISSIONS THAT HAVE CREATED CONDITIONS FOR IMPOSING TRANSGENIC CORN IN PLAIN AGGRESSION AGAINST OUR NATURAL CORN. It is fitting to mention that in addition to the Oaxacan organizations and communities, delegates from other states of the Republic of Mexico will also participate in this hearing and will bring their specific charges and claims regarding transgenic contamination. Harms have especially been generated against the identity, cultural diversity and ancient livelihoods of the villages and people who live and are constituted by Corn.
As a result of the foregoing, we request you to join in the defense of corn in Mexico. We invite you to adopt in your work the legend, “2013, Year of the defense and resistance of native corn in the entire Mexican territory”. Likewise, we request your assistance, collective preparation and support (economic, in kind, material and human) in the hearing that will take place on the 26th and 27th of April of the current year, in the room CBTIS 26 of San Felipe del Agua, in the city of Oaxaca.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 55-36018 (in Oaxaca, Mexico). Without further ado, we thank you for your attention to these matters.
In the interest of the environment, we ask that you bring your own plate, cup and spoon to the event.
“THE DEFENSE OF CORN IS THE DEFENSE OF OUR COMMUNITIES, MOTHER EARTH, AND OUR TERRITORY”
Comisión de seguimiento del primer encuentro estatal en defensa del maíz
Comisiones regionales de Oaxaca en Defensa del maíz
Colectivo Oaxaqueño en defensa de los territorios
Organizaciones y comunidades de Oaxaca