At 1:20am this morning around 300 National Guard and state security officers entered an Indigenous community centre in Puebla, Mexico and violently removed the environmental activists from the space. Known as Altepemecalli, the buildings were previously owned by Bonafont, a water bottling company that was stealing local water. French transnational Danone is the parent company of Bonafont.
Below, a translation of the statement from the activists:
The United Peoples of the Cholulteca Region denounce that today, 15 February, at 1:20am, security forces from the National Guard and state police invaded the Altepelmecalli facilities – the House of the Peoples.
Yet again government security forces are dispossessing and repressing people who almost a year ago closed the water bottling plant, Bonafont, owned by Danone.
This criminal company was stealing millions of litres of water a day in our region; drying up our wells and rivers.
After we kicked out Bonafont, we had started to build a life on its ruins, with healthcare, education, communication, agriculture, justice, and cooperative projects.
Now the government has responded by defending the interests of this company and supporting the resumption of plundering our water.
We denounce such governments that repress the people and protect big business. For them, money comes before life.
We demand the armed forces leave Altepelmecalli and return the facilities to the people.
We call on all peoples, sister organisations, human rights organisations, media, and all those who have accompanied us in this process, to support our demands and to be alert to any further attempt to persecute and supress us.
We remain on high alert.
Original in Spanish: here.
For background on this, in English, see:
Mexico: Indigenous communities take over water-bottling plant to use as a social centre