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Maya banned from performing ceremonies at ancestral temples in Mexico

Note: The Mexican government’s denial of the right of Maya spiritual leaders to perform these cultural ceremonies must be viewed in tandem with its efforts to expel Maya campesino communities from resource-rich territories such as the Lacandon Jungle.  Communities like Amador Hernández are being forcibly displaced from their lands to make way for logging, mining, eco-tourism, bio-prospecting, and increasingly,  through programs like REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), to provide carbon offset credits for carbon markets in the US and elsewhere.

Global Justice Ecology Project recently travelled to Amador Hernandez to document this process, some of which is featured in our  film A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests.  -The GJEP Team

By John Ahni Schertow, December 6 2012. Source: Intercontinental Cry

Chichen Itza, Mexico.  Photo: Flickr

Chichen Itza, Mexico. Photo: Flickr

Mexican authorities have banned Maya spiritual leaders from performing ceremonies at their ancestral temples, which are about to be overrun by a curious assortment of conspiracy theorists, dooms-dayers, new-agers and well-intentioned tourists who just want to be apart of the festivities.

The Ceremonies are meant to mark the end of the Maya long-count calendar, which began 13 Baktun (cycles) ago. Under the Greco-Roman Calender, that’s about 3112 BC.

Contrary to popular (mis)belief, the end of the long-count calendar is being viewed as something positive. As Mayan priest Jose Manrique Esquive recently pointed out, the current Baktun, which began around 1618, has been drenched by a continuous reign of misery that included the introduction of European disease, culture and language being erased and entire populations being extinguished. Continue reading

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Filed under Chiapas, Commodification of Life, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression