photo: Orin Langelle

Amador Hernadez, Lacandon Jungle, Chiapas, Mexico: Women prepare their traditional medicines, which they harvest from the jungle. The Mexican government wanted the community to leave the jungle so they could sell the forests for “carbon offsets.”  To accomplish this, the government suspended medical support to the village. There are no roads to or from Amador Hernandez and horseback is one of the few ways to travel the fifteen kilometers out of the community.

When this photo was taken, the Mexican military was scheduled to arrive in four days to forcibly remove the community.

At the UN Climate Conference (UNFCCC) in Cancún, Mexico in 2010, California’s then-Governor Arnold Swarzenegger penned an agreement with Chiapas, Mexico’s Governor Juan Sabines and the head of Acre, Brazil to use the carbon stored by the forests of Mexico and Brazil to supposedly “offset” emissions from polluters in California.  In order to ensure the carbon contained in the forests was protected for these offsets, the people living in the forest would be forcibly removed—if necessary.

The people of Amador Hernandez refused to leave and were not relocated.