Cumbre de los Pueblos :: The People's Summit

(This was originally scheduled to be posted on 6/26/2012.)

Government and business leaders from the world’s 20 wealthiest and most influential countries in the world met in Los Cabos, Baja last week (June 18-19th) for the G20 Summit.

Readers may recall the protests that took place at the last couple of G20 summits; last year in Cannes, France and the year before that in Toronto.  There are many who feel the power-brokers of the world don’t have the best interests of the rest of us in mind and that these get-togethers are primarily a vehicle in which business and government further deepen their incestuous ties.

On their end, organizers of this year’s G20 meeting were hopeful that a secluded bit of desert located at the southern tip of Baja, Mexico, would prove a quieter location, thus giving the most privileged a chance to conduct business transactions in relative peace and quiet.  It appears their plan worked since heavy security prevented large groups of protesters from getting any closer than La Paz, almost 100 miles northeast of Los Cabos.


The People’s Summit

Not to be forgotten or left unheard (despite that US Media Talk Trivialities While Activists Protest), the people of the world held their own summit (the People’s Summit) the same week in Mexico City and then in La Paz, Baja California Sur from June 16th through the 19th. 

In marked contrast to the objectives planned for the G20, the people met and discussed ways to ensure economic, environmental and social justice for all people of the world, including those most vulnerable, and to resoundingly reject the legitimacy of the G20.

The Statement of the Peoples Summit against the G20

and our video capturing the activism we witnessed in La Paz:

(Special Thanks to friend, Sichem Rizo, for helping to translate portions of this video.)


About the Song in the Video :: “Malinche’s Curse”

The song translated in this video is “Malinche’s Curse” or “Maldición de Malinche”.  Lyrics found here.  More information about La Malinche is found at Wikipedia.  My short summary about Malinche, based upon what I’ve learned to date:

Malinche was born into nobility but, to ensure her brother ruled the Paynala people instead of her, she was sold by her parents as a slave at the age of eight.  Sold to the Culua-Mexica, she learned how to speak Nahuatl, which was not her native Mayan dialect.

When the Spaniards arrived, she was given to them as a slave (along with twenty other women).  Because she was multi-lingual she became a valuable interpretor for Cortez.  Eventually she had Cortez’s child, which many credit as being the first symbolic mestizo (of mixed indigenous and Spanish origin).

Cortez, and many others, credited her for helping the Spainards conquer Mexico.  Because of this, there is a legend/myth that Melinche cursed the land.  She has been labeled a traitor. The term “malinchista” is used to describe those who have been corrupted by foreign influences.

Obviously, Malinche was a victim of slavery, violence and sexism.   To add insult to injury, Cortez gave the child she bore him to his cousin, preventing her from raising her own child.  Having no choice but to do the bidding of her owners, whether of indigenous or Spanish descent, she overcame much adversity.  Instead of seeing her as traitor, many see her as the mother of the mestizo nation and a leader.  Some feminists claim her as part of the “women’s resistance to violence and oppression”, a survivor.


Other Articles or Websites of Interest surrounding the G20, The People’s Summit and Rio+20 People’s Summit:

Coverage of Protest in Mexico City by Democracy Now (at minute 7:13)

The Mexican Coalition against the G20

Rio + 20 People’s Summit (very much related to the G20)

Michael Sitow’s Coverage of the People’s Summit March in La Paz (too bad we missed this!)


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