“And a sign to them is the dead earth: We give life to it and bring forth from it grain so they eat of it. And We made therein gardens of date-palms and grapes and We made springs to flow forth therein, That they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands made it not. Will they not then give thanks?” –Holy Qur’an, Surah 36, verses 33-35
On May 2nd of this year, three women boarded a plane in Mexico City headed for the southern State of Chiapas on a fact-finding mission to discover for themselves some of the underlying reasons that led to the cancellation of the May 4th concert engagement. The report of our findings was given to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for his assessment and review. Much was revealed of which further details will be shared at a later time.
Basically, a controversy had developed, centering on musical director Federico Alvarez del Toro, for some of his outspoken views on saving the ecology in this region that touched upon this sacred site of the famous Canyon, which he chose for the premiering of this particular concert.
He voiced his views to journalists, which later gave rise to reactions from economic interest groups working with the government in the State of Chiapas with concerns for advancing Tourism and industrial development. I was not made aware of the deepening gulf of invested interests in this situation until late in the day, which placed us in a holding position and caused the ultimate cancellation of the event.
Lloydine Arguelles, president of the Law of Time and the Thirteen Moon Calendar Change and Peace Movement, accompanied me to the site of the controversial Canyon of the Sumidero, along with Mexican journalist Viviana Lerma, to do our own investigation. We were amazed at the natural beauty of this place and the animal, mammal and bird species that live within this vital landscape of such great majesty. We were surprised to find an eco-touristic park in the making.
Already in existence were five hectares sculpted out of 197 hectares of land being leased by economic interest groups, with constructions begun within this biospheric reserve sacred to the Native people which has already won international attention as one of the world’s great heritage sites.
A beautiful outdoor stage, at the edge of the sacred River Grijalva, had already been constructed with an overhanging restaurant, which was inaugurated on April the 8th. Spectacular views of the Canyon and the River surrounded us. We also learned about a great electrical and water recycling plant erected near the site to keep the area clean with recycled water that would return to the sacred River Grijalva. Kayak paddle boats were already in service by visitors, with hiking trails and other land and aquatic sports projected in the planning stage.
The next day, we were joined by a young man from the Nation of Islam in America, named Romanio, who was a classical pianist with a background in Lyric Opera training, who flew in from Detroit, Michigan. He became a part of our investigative team and greatly expanded our perspective while present; and he has added more information to our archives in a photo journal, as he continued his journey to Cancun and the adjoining Islands of Cotzumel and Isla de Mujeres, which lies in the Caribbean Sea to the south of Mexico, near the Yucatan Peninsula.
We came face to face on all sides of the controversy as a result of our investigations and studies in Chiapas with the ecologists and scientists, historians and literary community on one side, the indigenous people and the government policies on the other and in between this mix, the unexpected presence of a musical symphonic theme and voices intended for universal peace and harmony, combined with a youth representative and three mothers in this sacred site, a microcosm of the macrocosm of the world.
“Glory be to Him Who created pairs of all things, of what the earth grows, and of their kind and of what they know not!” –Holy Qur’an, Surah 36, verse 36
To be continued.