In this city of Oaxaca de Juarez, city of resistance, these 27th and 28th days of September of 2019, we, men and women, indigenous farmers of the state of Oaxaca, are gathered together at the statewide Symposium, “Maíz communal para el mundo,” in order to reflect upon the challenges presented by the recent biopiracy of the so-called “Sierra Mixe” corn from a Oaxacan indigenous community by a transnational corporation and a renowned U.S. university, and to analyze public policies of the present government for rural “campesino” Mexico. Furthermore, we gather together, in the face of the attacks on our native varieties of corn, and to the rural campesino and indigenous countryside in general, to   discuss and propose alternative solutions.

Under the guise of science and development, from 2005 until 2019, a group of North American scientists conducted a series of offenses against Mesoamerican indigenous communities, culminating in an application to the U.S. Patent office for [intellectual] property rights over germplasm derived from varieties of “oloton” corn taken from the Mixe community of Totontepec de Morelos, Oaxaca, and whose existence [as a landrace] has been documented since the decade of the 1950´s in both Guatemala and Mexico.

“Quetzalcóatl placed corn on the lips of the first people, Oxomoco and Cipactónatl, ancient couple of the human family, cultivators of corn, so that eating it they would become strong.”