Indigenous leaders from all over Guatemala also joined the Day of Dignity activities in solidarity with the Ixil people. In addition, an assembly of indigenous authorities formed in Nebaj to concretely plan activities for August 9, the International Day of Indigenous Peoples. Together, the authorities drafted a declaration based on their meetings. Below we share our translation of the declaration. Read the Spanish version here.
The Ancestral Indigenous Maya and Xinka Authorities of the 48 Communities of Totonicapán, the Mam Nation, the Xinka People, the Pokoman, Kaqchikel, Uspanteko, and Ixil Peoples
We are gathered together in the heart of the Ixil region, specifically in Nebaj, first to commemorate the 1936 uprising of the principal leaders of the Ixil people, of which 7 were shot by the Jorge Ubico dictatorship, and then to share our experiences, our struggles, our resistance and resilience, our joys, our sadness, our laughing, our weeping, our dreams, our frustrations, our past and our future:
WE HAVE AGREED TO CARRY OUT THE FOLLOWING DECLARATION FROM NEBAJ
To reaffirm that we are not the descendants of defeated or subjected people and heroes. Throughout the last five centuries, thousands of uprisings in defense of life and territory have been recorded, such as those of our ancestors Atanasio Tzul, Lucas Akiral, Aj Poop B’atz’, Manuel Tot, and the principal leaders of the Ixil people in 1936, among many others.
To value the struggle, resistance and participation of women, rural farmworkers, students, professionals, people defending their rights, their natural resources and territories in the face of extractive policies such as those in San José El Golfo, San Pedro Ayampuc, Rio Hondo Zacapa, the Chorti People, among others.
To continue the resistance of our people and communities based on our common history, looking towards the future in the construction of the good life in a plurinational, democratic and just state.
To celebrate the International Day of Indigenous Peoples on August 9 of the present year, together with the rest of the Guatemalan people and as peoples with the same past, present and future.
To strengthen our community authorities, our processes of organizing, our thoughts, feelings and community decision-making practices and to act in a collective manner for the satisfaction of our needs and defense of our rights.
To call on all of Guatemala’s ancestral indigenous authorities and social organizations that already participate in defense of our rights and territory, as well as the Garífuna people to participate in the celebration on the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, and to support other actions that our peoples’ authorities put forward.
We reject all resolutions, attempts, proposals or initiatives that attempt to declare invalid, or try to regulate from a Western viewpoint, the community consultations which have been carried out, are carried out, and will continue to be carried out by our peoples.
We reject any measure stemming from the government which exclude and repudiate our right to decide over the future of our peoples and our country.
“May the dawn break, may the first light arrive,
may the people have life and useful existence”
Council of Maya Ixil Authorities, Board of Directors of the Communal Mayors of the 48 Communities of Totonicapán, the Council of the Maya Mam Nation, Xinka Parliament, Kaqchikel, Uspanteka and Pokomam Indigenous Authorities, and the National Council of Ancestral Authorities.
Nebaj, waq’ib’ aq’b’al, junab’ jun iq’, jun katún, kajlajuj b’aqtun
Nebaj, June 22, 2013