Oaxaca: Law on indigenous and Afromexican peoples “tied up” in the state congress

October 1, 2014

Evento de organizaciones Civiles sobre la Ley Indígena y Afromestiza (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Event with civil organizations regarding the Indigenous and Afromestizo Law (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Six months after Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo sent the bill regarding Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples to the state congress, it still has yet to be approved.  It bears mentioning that the project of this initiative was submitted to the state congress on 21 March 2014, following two years of preparation via a series of forums and consultations.

On 22 September, the Consultative Council of Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples of Oaxaca called on the congress to approve this reform during the current period of meetings, “taking into consideration that today, in New York, the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples has begun, with this being a high-level plenary session of the sixty-ninth period of sessions of the UN General Assembly, which seems to promote the implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples.”  Indeed, President Enrique Peña Nieto attended said meeting.

The secretary for Indigenous Affairs, Adelfo Regino Montes, has assured that, were the Decree Project to be approved as a reform, it would add and require a number of changes to the Oaxacan state constitution in terms of indigenous and Afromexican affairs, and thus would constitute an “unprecedented and historic” change.

Civil-society organizations have denounced that the initiative finds itself tied up in the congress due to “fear, prejudice, and ignorance.”  They have expressed that, if the initiative in question were not to be approved, social organizations and indigenous movements would take other means.  In a press-conference, Gustavo Esteva from Unitierra affirmed that Oaxaca could come to be a global model of legislative harmonization of this dimension and thus help bring about a more inclusive, democratic, and just society, precisely through attending comprehensively to the rights of indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ley sobre Pueblos Indígenas: vanguardista pero ‘atorada’ en el Congreso(Noticiasnet.mx, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

Por doble ignorancia Congreso local no aprueba reforma constitucional indígena (E-Oaxaca, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo e ignorancia impiden ley indígena (Noticiasnet.mx, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo, prejuicio e ignorancia, frenan Ley Indígena (Adiario, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Comunicado del Consejo Consultivo de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicano de Oaxaca


Chiapas/National: Issue 3 of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” magazine, “Beyond Sharing”

September 29, 2014

Portada de la Revista

Cover of issue 3 of Rebelliousness Magazine

On 19 September, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés published a new communique announcing the publication of issue 3 of the Zapatista Rebelliousness Magazine, the EZLN’s word.  The first part of the issue provides part of the content of the “sharing” that took place between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista peoples at the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting, and the second half provides interviews with “comrades of free, alternative, autonomous, or however-you-call-them media.”

In said communique, signed as having been written in August 2014, it is expressed that, “[i]n La Realidad,” where the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting took place, “we discussed how capitalism has us and why it is that it has us [so], and what it is that will happen to us, if we continue in the way that the capitalists have us.”  It continues: “Peoples, nations, tribes.  Poor people, the poor exploited workers of the countryside and city are those who know what a new world should be like, with a new system of governance.  Why?  Because they have suffered injustice, poverty, inequality.  They have suffered sadness, pain, bitterness, loneliness.  They have suffered imprisonment, torture, forcible disappearance.  They have suffered centuries of lies and tricks, discrimination, very horrible things–inhumane cruelties, humiliations; they have suffered looting and displacement.  It has been centuries and centuries of insults and lives without peace, because of those from above, the capitalist system.”

Furthermore, it was recalled that from 22 December 2014 to 3 January 2015, there will be held the “First Global Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Editorial 3. Más allá de la compartición (Enlace Zapatista, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Second issue of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” released (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 2014)


Chiapas: Mobilizations against the planned San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque highway

September 29, 2014

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ SIPAZ

On 16 and 17 September, there were held new mobilizations against the planned construction of a highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque, both in the Tseltal ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón, Chilón municipality, as in the Tsotsil ejido of La Candelaria, San Cristóbal municipality.  The Movement in Defense of Life and Territory was created through the mobilizations organized against this project.

On 16 September, banners and signs were raised in communities and parishes to express popular opposition to the highway project.  On 17 September, ejidatarios from San Jerónimo Bachajón blockaded the Temó crossways en route to Palenque to demand “the cessation of harassment and threats against our ejidal authorities and other comrades, in light of the decisive defense of our territory and our disagreement with the highway project.”

Furthermore, on 17 September there was held in Laguna Suyul, La Candelaria ejido, a ceremony and joint declaration of more than 2,000 Tsotsil, Tseltal, Ch’ol, and Tojolabal persons from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Zinacantán, San Juan Chamula, Huixtán, San Pedro Chenalhó, San Pablo Chalchihuitán, San Juan Cancuc, Tenejapa, Amatenango, Chilón, Tila, Salto de Agua, Comitán, and Las Margaritas municipalities expressing opposition to the highway project.  In the declaration of Laguna Suyul, considered sacred land of the peoples of the Highlands of Chiapas, the writers indicate that “we will defend the environment, the fabric and veins of mother earth: rivers, lakes, springs, mountains, caves, and hills.  We will defend the lives of animals, sacred places, the ecosystem of Mother Nature, and the lives of human beings.”

Also, on 21 September, some 3000 Ch’ol indigenous persons from the Tila parish carried out a pilgrimage in the municipal center against the planned highway projects between San Cristóbal and Palenque as well as between Villahermosa and Palenque, as against the plundering of lands for mineral extraction, and they denounced the increase in drug addiction rates, alcoholism, and prostitution.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acciones de protesta contra la Autopista Sancris-Palenque (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de septiembre de 2014)
Anuncian nuevas protestas contra construcción de supercarretera San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque (La Jornada, 14 de septiembre de 2014)
Casi 3000 personas rechazan la autopista y organizan la resistencia a la autopista. + historia de Suyul(Espoir Chiapas, 18 de septiembre de 2014)
Chiapas: Desde Laguna Suyul indígenas manifestan su rechazo a la Supercarretera San Cristóbal – Palenque (Pozol Colectivo, 17 de septiembre de 2014)
Denuncian en Bachajón acoso y persecución judicial por protestar contra autopista (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de septiembre de 2014)
Peregrinación en Tila contra autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque, megaproyectos y cantinas (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

Audio-Video:

Ejido La Candelaria: “No a la autopista San Cristóbal – Palenque (Koman Ilel, 12 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Candelaria express their opposition to the construction of the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: An assembly of Tzeltal communities from Chilón municipality reject the SCLC-Palenque highway (9 September 2014)

Chiapas: Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir reject passage of highway from San Cristóbal to Palenque through their communities (14 February 2014)


Chiapas: Presentation of tool for greater corporate transparency in Chiapas, the “Who is Who?” Wiki

September 29, 2014


images

On 17 September, in a press-conference held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Benjamin Cokelet, Executive Director of Projects on Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER), and Fernanda Hopenhaym, coordinator of the “Who is Who?” Wiki, presented this latter platform, defined as a “technological tool that, by means of monitoring firms, corporate elites, and their governmental counterparts, will allow for transparency to advance and will contribute to corporate accountability.”

Benjamin Cokelet indicated that “the firms in many countries such as Mexico are like a black box [...].  The information that impacts society is hidden, or one must go to many different places to learn–for example–about [a firm's] administrative councils, its negotiations with the government, the form and type of permits it has been given, as well as demands or denunciations from regulatory bodies, etc.”  He explained that the “Who is Who” Wiki is a page, “the first of its type in Latin America, that helps to open this box, because it allows for the concentration, systematization, and organization in a single place of information that different firms release, not just in their own countries, but throughout the world [...].”

It should be added that “Who is Who?” is a collaborative tool; that is to say, if one person or an organization wishes to contribute to the information that has been gathered about one company, they can do so insofar as such information be true and verifiable.

For more information (in Spanish):

Plataforma accesible en: www.rindecuentas.org

Boletín de prensa de Poder (Poder, 17 de septiembre de 2014)

Quién es quién Wiki (La Tribuna de Chiapas, 17 de septiembre de 2014)

Crean herramienta de acceso a la transparencia en el sector empresarial(El Universal, 13 de mayo de 2014)


National/Chiapas: CNI and General Command of the EZLN demand release of Mario Luna

September 16, 2014

Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

On 14 September, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee-General Command of the EZLN publicly pronounced themselves in favor of the release of Mario Luna, a spokesperson from the Yaqui people in the state of Sonora, who was arrested on 11 September, “falsely accused of crimes that were fabricated [against him]; with this, they seek to arrest the very struggle of the Yaqui tribe to defend the waters that in 1940 were recognized as theirs by Lázaro Cárdenas following a long war, and that since 2010 owners of capital have sought to take away from them by means of the Independence aqueduct.”  The two groups denounced that said aqueduct “is said to be constructed so that the poor have water and progress, as those from above call it, but [in fact] it is so that the rich take away the water that for centuries has belonged to the Yaquis.  Instead of irrigating crops, they want to take it for the large industries in Sonora.”

For the CNI and the General Command, the developmentalist megaprojects are a threat to the lives of indigenous peoples, given that “they want to kill us with wind-energy plants, highways, mines, dams, airports, and drug-trafficking; today, above all, it hurts us that they want to kill us in Sonora with aqueducts.”  For this reason, they demanded “the immediate release of Mario Luna; we call for the cancellation of all arrest-orders against him and the fabrication of charges against members of the Yaqui tribe and, together with this, we demand the release of all our prisoners and particularly that of our Nahua brothers Juan Carlos Flores Solís and Enedina Rosas Vélez, who have been imprisoned by the bad government since April, similarly accused falsely of fabricated crimes, toward the end of halting the struggle of the Front of Peoples in Defense of Water and Land in Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala against the comprehensive infrastructural project for Morelos.”

Beyond this, the Network against Repression and for Solidarity identified Sonoran Governor Guillermo Padrés and President Enrique Peña Nieto as responsible for the health and safety of Mario Luna: “We hold them responsible for any repressive act that is taken against the Yaquis.  Above all, we call on our comrades from this network, the Sixth, who feel this attack as your own to express your solidarity by protesting and pronouncing yourselves according to your means and forms in favor of the liberty of our comrade Mario Luna and against this attack on the Yaqui people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del CNI y el EZLN por la libertad de Mario Luna, vocero de la tribu yaqui (Enlace Zapatista, 14 de septiembre de 2014)

RvsR: ¡Libertad a Mario Luna! (Enlace Zapatista, 13 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN and members of the CNI united against the plundering of their peoples (29 August 2014)


National: Lack of confidence and strong criticisms of the Second Governmental Report presented by EPN

September 15, 2014

Foto @ Cuartoscuro

On 1 September, President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) presented to the Congress his second governmental report after 21 months of management that have seen the approval of 11 structural reforms and negative results in terms of security, economic growth, and employment rate, according to official statistics and experts.

The Movement More than 131 together with Youth Amidst the National Emergency, Migration Table 132, Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ), the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, and Article 19 launched a video to expose “the questions that President Enrique Peña Nieto’s report omitted” using the hashtag #MexicoHasNoPresident.  SERAPAZ warned that, two years into his administration, more than 23,640 murders have been registered, in addition to 22,322 victims forcibly disappeared.  For its part, Migration 132 stressed that the Southern Border Strategy recently launched by EPN’s government “seeks only to militarize the border.”  Furthermore, Mexico has no official data regarding disappeared migrants. Article 19 reported that during EPN’s government, seven journalists have been murdered, possibly due to the exercise of their profession; that in 2013, 330 attacks on the press were observed in Mexico, with more than 150 journalists assaulted during the first half of 2014.  It noted that “public resources of the State are used to control the editorial line of the communication media.”

Édgar Cortez, from the Mexican Institute on Human Rights and Democracy, indicated that the content of the governmental report is poor, because “it only presents a series of laws and programs as successes, when these are not translated into concrete actions and results” that would result in the observance of these guarantees.  “Neither does it say anything about the great question which has existed since the beginning: impunity.  Nor does it present any strategy for how to combat it,” adding that “it does not deal with serious problems that continue to present themselves in the country,” such as the practice of torture as a means of investigation.  He said that there still are no indications that the government has an effective policy in terms of human rights. José Antonio Lara Duque, coordinator of the Zeferino Ladrillero Center for Human Rights, noted that cases of forcible disappearances, extrajudicial executions, and other human-rights violations continue unabated, since the government has not modified its strategy against organized crime.  Lara Duque observed in addition that, following the approval of the energy reform, a policy will be applied for the imposition of megaprojects that will degrade the rights of ejidtarios and indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Documento: 2º Informe de Gobierno 2013-2014 (septiembre 2014)

EPN habló más de promesas que de logros en 2do informe: PAN y PRD(Aristegui Noticias, 3 de septiembre de 2014)
Muestra Segundo Informe retrocesos en procuración de justicia(Quadratín Oaxaca, 2 de septiembre de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Nacional: Submission of First Governmental Report amidst protests and mass-disturbances (13 September 2013)

National: Polemical ascension of EPN (7 December 2012)


National: XI National Meeting of the Mexican Movement of Those Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (MAPDER) in Olintla, Puebla

September 15, 2014

Marcha en Olintla, Puebla (@Boca de Polen)

From 29 to 31 August, the XI National Meeting of the Mexican Movement of Those Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (MAPDER) took place in Olintla municipality, Puebla, with the participation of more than 600 persons pertaining to 80 organizations hailing from the states of Puebla, Chiapas, Tabasco, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Mexico City, Mexico State, and Coahuila, as well as other countries.  At the event, participants share their experiences, struggles, and dreams.

In the final Declaration, conference-participants denounced that, “since the [time of the] approval of the structural reforms promoted by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, [...] we have confronted a meticulous and systematic dismantling of all the legal mechanisms used by the people in defense of their lands.  The right to consultation, communal property in land, free municipalities, the–already weak–environmental regulations: all of this has been weakened so as to open the door to investment in megaprojects.”  They warned that “to close the pincer-grasp of the counter-reforms that have battered the country for three decades, the government of Peña Nieto is preparing to place the cherry on the cake with the announced agrarian reform, which seeks to consolidate the plan to plunder campesino lands begun in 1992 by Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Amidst this latest attempt to attack our rights, they have said that they come for our lands and territories.  We tell them: ‘Here we await you.  You will not pass!'”

Conference-goers also indicated that the government “employs all power in the security forces and military to repress communal defenders and to demobilize struggle by criminalizing social protest [...].  The murder of Noé Vázquez, the illegal arrest of our comrade in struggle Marco Antonio Suástegui (CECOP), [and] the imposition of arrest-orders against dozens of MAPDER members are demonstrations of the war strategy to loot our peoples.”

They closed by stressing that “we will continue to advance our own communal ways of life, and we struggle for an alternative energy project in Mexico and Latin America.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración de Olintla y Acuerdos del XI Encuentro Nacional del MAPDER(MAPDER, 31 de agosto de 2014)

El rechazo a reformas, entre las demandas del Mapder (La Jornada de Oriente, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Audio de Boca de Polen: http://bocadepolen.org/web/?p=12994

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Murder of MAPDER member in Veracruz (20 August 2013)

National: IX National Intercultural Meeting of MAPDER in Presidio de los Reyes (15 October 2013)

Chiapas: Regional Forum in Defense of the Land, the Territory and Natural Resources held in Ejido Costa Rica, frontier municipality of Comalapa (9 March 2011)

Chiapas: pilgrimage against “death projects” (3 December 2010)


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