Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cucapá Camp Regulations

The Indigenous Peoples in Defense of Life, Culture and Nature: Below and to the Left

Quilihua youth chillin'

The Cucapás, Quilihuas and Zapatistas have united in defense of indigenous people and Mother Earth. They are calling on their fellow Mexicans and compas from around the world to support two encampments: one on indigenous Cucapá territory in Baja California and the other in indigenous Tzotzil territory in Chiapas. Read the invitation carefully and consider how you may support this latest initiative of the Other Campaign. (Also check out the Zapatista Sixth Commission's website, Enlace Zapatista, to see the wave of communiques and denunciations coming out of the Zapatista communities right now.)

In considering how best to engage with this initiative, it may be helpful to check out some of the articles and resources at Colours of Resistance, a site created by "a grassroots network of people who consciously work to develop anti-racist, multiracial politics in the movement against global capitalism."

And if you are considering physically joining either the Cucapá or Zapatista encampment, its a good idea to get ready now to respect the regulations they've set up for participation. It's one thing to break the rules of a government you disagree with but its another to break those of a people you are visiting and in solidarity with, right?

With that in mind, I've translated here the regulations put out for the Cucapá camp:

Encampment Regulations of the Chapey Seisjhiurra Coappá in Maat'cuoak
(Cucapá Fishermen Camp in El Zanjon)

2007 Fishing Season

First Article: This place, Maat'cuoak, is the land and water that we, the Chapey Coappá (Cucapá), have lived on and fished for thousands of years. This place is sacred to us.

We respect it because it is the place where our ancestors, same as us today, found food for our families. In this place, the Ipaa Gentil (Wild Wheat) is found, with which we have fed ourselves, and we have also encountered Jasreiis Cuoau Llu (Saltwater fish: Curvina), that also helps us to feed ourselves and to survive.

Second Article: Consequently, any person, be they indigenous or not, for their own safety, is obligated when entering and/or staying in the camp, to respect this place (Maat’cuoak), under the terms laid out in the following regulation and to fulfill it in agreement with:

a. Our Rights, Customs, and Traditions,
b. The Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico,
c. Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization,
d. The Political Constitutions of the States of Baja California and Sonora,
e. The Laws and Regulations that have emanated from these legislations, as long as these last ones and the others do not contravene the constituted rights of the indigenous Cucapá people.

Third Article: It is prohibited to use this regulation and the camp itself and any of its installations for electoral political ends or another’s demands of respect for indigenous rights and culture, and above all, prohibited are activities that do not promote the defense and recognition of the history, culture, and rights of the original people of the American continent and the world; the conservation and defense of Mother Earth; and that are not approved by the indigenous Cucapá people. Also prohibited are all actions or omissions that, in the consideration of the Cucapá people, damage the Mother Earth in their territory.

Fourth Article: It is prohibited to use this regulation and the camp itself and any of its installations for religious ends of any nature and, above all, it is prohibited to make within the camp activities for and/or against any church or sect or any religious organization, that contravene our rights, customs and traditions.

Fifth Article: This regulation is to be observed obligatorily by any person that enters the camp, in the three places in which it will be installed, that is to say:

Zone A: Indigenous Cucapá village El Mayor;
Zone B: El Zanjon, East Side (by El Indiviso);
Zone C: El Zanjon, West Side (by El Mayor)

Sixth Article: In regard to the safety and conduct of the people, it is strictly prohibited within this camp:

A. To pass through any part of the camp without carrying your respective accreditation from the Indigenous Cucapá Accreditation Committee.

B. The possession, trafficking and consumption of any substances identified as psychotropic, narcotics, or drugs of any type, and/or the possession, consumption, and/or sale of alcoholic drinks.

C. The use of any weapon, be it a firearm, knife, machete, or blunt or stabbing weapon. The fishing gear that is the property of the Cucapá fishermen (nets, trawling nets, buoys, utensils to remove the insides of the fish, lead weights, cabos, outboard motors, and boats) is not included in this prohibition.

D. The use of explosives of any type.

E. The use of any television and/or music device and of photographic, video, or television cameras that have not been registered with the Accreditation Committee.

F. To utter any type of offense or carry out acts of provocation toward any person.

G. To circulate in the camp after ten at night without the knowledge or authorization of the Indigenous Accreditation Committee.

H. To have, at any time, any sound-making device at high volume.

I. To commit excesses or carry out acts that contravene indigenous Cucapá rights, customs, and traditions.

Seventh Article: In regard to the activity of fishing, it is strictly prohibited within the camp:

A. To enter a boat without authorization from the Cucapá fishermen.
B. To enter a boat without a properly placed life jacket (with the exception of the Cucapá fishermen).
C. To operate a Cucapá fishing boat without their authorization
D. To be in the work area or direct fishing zone of the Cucapá fishermen without their authorization.

Eighth Article: Under no circumstance is a national or international permitted (according to the customs of the Cucapá and Mexican law), to meddle in matters that only concern the Cucapá themselves.

Ninth Article: The violation of any of the rules of this regulation will have, as immediate sanction, the cancellation of accreditation, and the violator will have to leave the camp immediately and without excuse. This without prejudice to the criminal or civil responsibilities the violator incurs.

Tenth Article: Any situation not foreseen in this regulation will be resolved by simple majority of the members of the Indigenous Cucapá Accreditation Committee. The judgments and resolutions that said committee aims to take will be unappealable and are to be immediately fulfilled.


The Accreditation Committee of the Cucapá Camp

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