Chiapas: The EZLN announces new activities, meeting of indigenous peoples, and “Ethics amidst looting”

April 10, 2014


DSCF0271

In a March 2014 communique, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a series of activities for the months of May and June.

From 26 to 30 May will take place the meeting of indigenous peoples: “At this meeting we will exchange our thought and history of struggle and resistance as indigenous that we are.”  Some 30 peoples have been invited, including the Wixárika, Nahua, Zoque, Purépecha, Mazahua, Afromestizo, Triqui, Peninsular Maya, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol, Zoque, and migrants.  The letter stresses that the “invitation is closed and is ONLY for the indigenous peoples invited during this first round.  Those who are not invited will not be allowed to enter.”

In other news, “On Saturday 31 May 2014 in the Oventik caracol, we will announce together with our brothers and sisters from other indigenous communities our conclusions and a declaration for future plans in terms of resistance against the looting which we suffer, as well as our rights and indigenous culture.”

Furthermore, “Sunday 1 June 2014, also in the Oventik caracol, we will make a simple homage to our fallen comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This event is open and all are invited to attend.  The event will take place at approximately 2pm, and female and male commanders from the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee-General Command of the EZLN, the writer Juan Villoro, and Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés will participate.”

In the end will be held a final activity: “From Monday 2 June 2014 until Sunday 8 June of this year, there will be held in the Oventik caracol and at CIDECI in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, a seminar on the question of ‘ETHICS AMIDST LOOTING,’ which will also commemorate our comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This seminar is open and all are invited.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Anuncia EZLN encuentro de pueblos; irá ‘Marcos’ “si su salud se lo permite”, La Jornada, 1 de abril de 2014

EL EZLN ANUNCIA ACTIVIDADES CON PUEBLOS ORIGINARIOS, HOMENAJE A DON LUIS VILLORO Y SEMINARIO SOBRE “ÉTICA FRENTE AL DESPOJO”, ASÍ COMO NUEVA INICIATIVA PARA LA SEXTA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL, Enlace Zapatista, 31 de marzo de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses” (1 January 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Marcos, Rebobine 3 (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN criticizes structural reforms (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities (27 December 2012)


Guerrero: ejidatarios of Los Filos close gold mine in Carrizalillo

April 10, 2014

El Carizalillo, Guerrero (@subversiones.org)

El Carizalillo, Guerrero (@subversiones.org)

On 31 March, the five-year convention for the exploitation of the Carrizalillo gold mine expired, having been signed between ejidatarios and the Canadian firm Gold Corp (by means of its subsidiary Desarrollos Mineros de San Luis SA de CV). To date, no negotiations for a renewal of contract have been undertaken.

The ejidatarios are disposed to extend the convention, but they request that the ejido receive the majority of the profit, and that the firm resolve the health and environmental problems it has generated.  These are possibilities that have not been resolved at the negotiation table since January.  They question that the mining company has failed to observe social accords: for example, in 2009, during the negotiation of the previous convention, it promised to provide them with potable water, but it has not done so.

On 1 April, the ejidatarios decided to close the access roads to the mine toward the end of coming to a new agreement.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la mesa ejidal del Carrizalillo (31 de marzo de 2014)

Devastadora fiebre de oro: ejidatarios frenan labores en minas de Guerrero(Proceso, 1ero de abril de 2014)

Entre estira y afloja, ejidatarios paralizan las actividades en la mina de Carrizalillo (La Jornada de Guerrero, 2 de abril de 2014)

Cierran ejidatarios la mina de Carrizalillo; exigen aumento a la renta de tierras y parte de ganancias (El Sur, 2 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

In Focus: The unsustainability of the Extractive Mineral Model (May 2013)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: mobilization of the Communal Police against mining (8 September 2011)


National: Activities held to observe the third anniversary of the Movement for Peace

April 10, 2014

Tercer Aniversario del MPJD, Ciudad de México (@Uriah Samuel)

Third anniversary of the MPJD, Mexico City (@Uriah Samuel)

At the end of March, there were held several activities to commemorate the third anniversary of the emergence of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD, which brings together victims and relatives of the disappeared and murdered by organized crime and State security forces). At the Monument of Light–or the Monument to Peace–in Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, relatives of victims carried banners with the names of their loved ones which they then put on display at the monument.  “For historical and moral reasons,” the MPJD changed the name of the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Boulevard to 28 March Boulevard.

It should be recalled that the MPJD was created on this day following the murder of the son of the poet Javier Sicilia, the founder of the MPJD.  Since then, the writer has led several caravans in Mexico and the United States together with relatives of victims.

On this third anniversary, Sicilia assured that despite the government’s promises, “we continue in the middle of a war, with the disappearances, the murders, the kidnappings, the extortion, and the memory of the victims totally erased.”  He furthermore denounced that the State criminalizes self-defense groups: “The form in which they have been managing Michoacán is a true travesty.  I ask the authorities: whom do you serve? Because to us it is far from clear.  It seems to us to be the criminalization of people they had previously recognized; now they betray them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El Movimiento por la Paz acusa que el gobierno criminaliza a autodefensas(CNN México, 27 de marzo de 2014)

Conmemoran aniversario de multihomicidio en Morelos (El Universal, 28 de marzo de 2014)

Movimiento por la Paz: terco como la memoria (Desinformémonos, marzo de 2014)

Galería de fotos (marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Commemoration of two years of the MPJD (8 April 2013)


Oaxaca: “We agree to organize ourselves at the regional level to resist wind-energy projects, mines, and other megaprojects”: CNI Isthmus

April 10, 2014

Foto @ APIITD

Photo @ APIITDTT

On 29 March there was held the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) in the community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality, where the primary theme for discussion was the organization of communities to resist wind-energy projects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  National and international organizations and persons from the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz, and Mexico City were received by the communal council, the council of the elderly, and the communal police of Álvaro Obregón, “who continue stronger than ever despite the constant harassment we have suffered in recent months at the hands of the municipal and state governments, as well as due to the leaders of the COCEI-PRD-PT and the PRI of Juchitán,” as the closing statement notes.

During the meeting there was a discussion of challenges and commitments: “New constitutional reforms are coming in terms of agrarian matters, and there will be other laws to prohibit protests and social mobilizations.  They threaten us, they imprison us, they repress us [...].  We commit ourselves to struggle for the strengthening of our autonomy as indigenous peoples, campesinos, and mestiz@s [...].  We commit ourselves to the struggle of our  grandfather, comrade Ta’ Pedro Martínez Guerra, a communard from Juchitán, to recover his lands which find themselves being invaded by the Fenosa Natural Gas firm.”

Participants also made reference to other projects they are resisting, such as “the invasion and extraction of minerals for construction on the mountain of Santa Cruz Igú, a sacred site, historical and communal, that is part of the communal goods of Juchitán, and we pronounce ourselves against the construction of the mining project in Ixtepec, which will have strong negative consequences in terms of health, environment, and the way of life our all our communities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del Congreso Nacional Indígena CNI – Istmo (Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio – APIITDTT, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Rechazo a proyectos eólicos, tema central en congreso de comunidades del istmo (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2014)

El paso de la resistencia a la autonomía en el Istmo de Tehuantepec(Desinformémonos, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Nuevo ataque de las eólicas en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Members of the communal police of Álvaro Obregón detained (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region (28 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)


Guerrero: Police operation provokes confrontations and new arrest of member of CRAC-PC in Tixtla

March 30, 2014

Miembros de las CRAC-PC. Foto (@Sipaz)Members of CRAC-PC. Photo (@Sipaz)

During the morning of 19 March, a police operation carried out by federal and state units took place in the municipal head of Tixtla.

The police intervention had the objective of observing five search-orders and several arrest-orders against members of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) from the El Paraíso Justice House, Ayutla de los Libres municipality, which had been indicated by the state governor Ángel Rivero as having links with guerrilla movements.

The operation resulted in the arrest of Aurora Molina González, sister to Gonzalo Molina, leader of the communal police who was arrested last October, accused by the state and municipal governments of terrorism and links to guerrilla movements.  According to official reports, Aurora Molina had taken control of the communal police of Tixtla following her brother’s arrest.

During the departure of the police convoy, several confrontations took place between police and youth from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, which lies adjacent to Tixtla.

In the afternoon, there was held a march to the Tixtla City Hall to demand the release of Aurora Molina and 12 others detained from the CRAC, whom the protestors qualified as political prisoners.

In the past year, there has developed a crossfire of accusations between the Communal Police and the Tixtla mayor, Gustavo Alcaraz (PRD), whom the former accuse of being allied with organized crime, while the latter accuses the Communal Police of being a destabilizing force linked to guerrilla movements and directed by persons from outside the region.

Beyond this, during the night of 19 March, there was produced an armed confrontation between members of the Communal Police pertaining to the group of coordinator Eliseo Villar Castillo and members of the CRAC, who accuse Villar Castillo of embezzling 740,000 pesos.  What is more, they sought to take the San Luís Acatlán House of Justice unarmed.

The confrontation ended with the intervention of the Army, which entered the CRAC offices to disarm the followers of Villar Castillo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se enfrentan policías de Guerrero y comunitarios en El Fortín (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

La Policía Federal detiene a una dirigente de la guardia comunitaria de Tixtla de Guerrero (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Chocan miembros de la CRAC con policía y Ejército en Guerrero (El Financiero, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Chocan en Guerrero la CRAC y policías (El Universal, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Autodefensas disidentes atacan a comunitarios (Crónica, 20 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Ministerial Police detain Gonzalo Molina, CRAC promoter, en Tixtla (14 November 2013)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC in Olinalá (13 September 2013)

Guerrero: Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) pronounces itself against state decree (26 February 2013)

Guerrero: Authorities linked to the UPOEG occupy the House of Justice of the CRAC in San Luis Acatlán (26 February 2013)

Guerrero: CECOP announces creation of Communal Police in Cacahuatepec communities (22 January 2014)


National/Internacional: Mexico accepts 166 of the 176 recommendations released by the United Nations

March 30, 2014

índiceOn 20 March, the Mexican government presented in an addendum its observations regarding the 176 recommendations it had received in October 2013 during its evaluation before the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which took place during the 25th period of sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.  The UPR is a mechanism of periodic evaluation of the UN HRC, created in 2006 to consider the situations that prevail on the question in each of the 193 member-nations.

The Mexican State affirmed that “there has been a large acceptance of the recommendations made by the member-nations.”  It added that the federal government would design a mechanism coordinated with governmental institutions that would guarantee the participation of civil organizations to evaluate progress on the recommendations.  It noted that said recommendations were taken into account for the construction of the National Program in terms of human rights that will soon be presented.

Regardless, civil-society organizations lamented that Mexico has rejected observations on questions “such as the elimination of ‘community control’ and the recognition of the competence of the Committee on Forced Disappearance to receive individual complaints.”  They noted that, the optimistic view of the authorities notwithstanding, the human-rights situation in Mexico continues to be grave.

They added that “in accordance with the information provided by the Mexican government, it is from now that the national process to design a mechanism to observe and follow the received recommendations,” a process which they will follow closely to assure that “the commitments do not remain only on paper, but rather that they be translated into true changes for human rights in the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Respuesta de México a las recomendaciones del Mecanismo de Examen Periódico Universal del Consejo de Derechos Humanos(Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, marzo de 2014)

Defiende México ante la ONU la figura del arraigo (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Acepta México 166 de 176 recomendaciones de la ONU en derechos humanos (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado conjunto: Esencial que compromisos asumidos en el Examen Periódico Universal se traduzcan en cambios reales en México (OSC, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Tres recomendaciones de ONU omitirá México (El Universal, 21 de marzo de 2014)

Sesión completa de México ante el Consejo DDHH: Mexico, UPR Report Consideration (61 min.).

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: 176 recommendations for Mexico during the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (13 November 2013)

Mexico: Mexico undergoes the Universal Periodic Review (13 February 2009)

Mexico: The Mexican republic rejects recommendations made by the UPR (16 July 2009)


National/International: Mexico confronts a “humanitarian crisis” amidst context of violence and impunity, denounces civil society in Brussels

March 30, 2014

Seminario sobre Derechos Humanos en Bruselas, marzo de 2014 (@CADHAC)

Seminar on human rights in Brussels, March 2014 (@CADHAC)

On 18 March, during the seminar on human rights that was held to observe the Fourth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between Mexico and the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Belgium, 32 organizations denounced that in Mexico “there is experienced a context of violence and impunity that has led the country to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”

In a joint pronunciation, Mexican and European civil organizations stressed that “the lack of professional investigation signifies that the structures of violence, looting, and discrimination operate in Mexico unchecked, this being a country where the rate of impunity is 98-99% [...].  The statistics on abuse speak of a systematic and generalized violation of human rights hailing from the police, soldiers, and public officials, who commit arbitrary arrests, torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions, among other violations; public and private actors commit acts of violence and discrimination against women; and Mexican and transnational corporations pollute, displace, and exploit natural resources without consulting the affected peoples and communities.”

After presenting a lengthy diagnostic, the civil organizations released a series of recommendations to the Mexican government and the EU, which included placing the question of human rights at the center of the bilateral agenda, suspending support for megaprojects that affect communities, designing a new strategy for public security, and eradicating violence against women.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de la sociedad civil en el marco del Diálogo de Alto Nivel en Derechos Humanos entre México y la Unión Europea (OSC, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Alertan ONG sobre la crisis humana sin precedente que enfrenta México (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Tendrán México y Unión Europea encuentro sobre derechos humanos (El Universal, 16 de marzo)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: civil-society organizations call on European Union to address deterioration of human rights in Mexico (26 October 2012)


National: Harassment of home of director of Article 19 shortly before publication of report “Dissent in silence: violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013)

March 28, 2014

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

On 16 March, the home of the General Director of the Mexico and Central American Office of Article 19 belonging to Darío Ramírez was harassed.  Work documents as well as other valued objects and computers were stolen, according to a denunciation submitted to the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City (PGJDF).  The press release distributed by Article 19 after the act stressed that this is “the fifth security incident that personnel from the organization have faced [...] since April 2013.”  Beyond this, the acts took place two days before the organization released its report “Dissent in Silence: Violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013.”  In this sense, the bulletin expressed that “we are concerned that the harassment of the home would be a message of intimidation for those who seek to inhibit our work in favor of freedom of expression.”

On 18 March, however, there was held an event to present the 2013 report as planned, which indicates that each 26.5 hours a journalist is attacked in Mexico.  In 2013, Article 19 documented 330 aggressions against journalists and media institutions (59% more than in 2012), including 59 against women.  These statistics are the highest since 2007, though in 2013 five journalists died, two fewer than in 2012.  More than 60 attacks on journalists took place during protests, in a way that the report indicates as showing the “authorities choosing for the path of repression and direct confrontation.”  In 59.3% of the cases, a public official has been responsible.  Although the problem revolves around states already noted in the country (such as Veracruz, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas), Article 19 notes that the documented attacks allow one to see a “pattern of dissemination toward other states” such as, for example, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Baja California, and Zacatecas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Funcionarios públicos y crimen organizado, principales agresores de periodistas (Analisis Centro Prodh, 19 de marzo de 2014)

2013, el año más violento para la prensa en México: Artículo 19 (Animal político, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Primer año de Peña, el más violento para la prensa desde 2007: Artículo 19(Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Informe completo 2013 (Artículo 19, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Allanan la casa del Director de Artículo 19; solicita protección (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de Artículo 19 (Artículo 19, 17 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Article 19 receives death-threats (23 April 2013)


Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region

March 28, 2014

Rancho ardiendo del agente comunitario de Álvaro Obregón. Foto (@ APIITDTyT)

Burning ranch of the communal agent of Álvaro Obregón. Photo (@ APIITDTyT)

The Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTyT) has denounced continued attacks that the community of Álvaro Obregón has suffered in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

According to recent denunciations made by the Assembly, on 10 March the ranch belonging to the communal agent Odelio López Vicente was burned.  Similarly, they mention other aggressions suffered by members of the communal assembly, such as the case of the communard Pedro Martín Guerra, who, together with his family, has suffered harassment and death-threats since deciding to denounce the Public Ministry for the looting of lands as prosecuted by the Fenosa Natural Gas company, so as to progress with the construction of the Bií Hioxho wind-energy park.

Besides this, the APIIDTyT and the communal council of Álvaro Obregón have announced the realization of the first session of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) in the Tehuantepec Isthmus region, which is to be held in the community of Álvaro Obregón on 29 March 2014.  The organizational call includes invitations to communal assemblies of the Isthmus who resist wind-energy parks as well as to the Regional Council of Nahua and Totoluca indigenous peoples from southern Veracruz, among others.

For more information (in Spanish):

Aumentan ataques y amenazas contra comunero indígena zapoteco que defiende su terreno de la empresa Gas Natural Fenosa (APIIDTyT, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Denunciamos agresiones y hostigamientos contra integrantes de la Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT) (APIIDTyT, 17 de marzo de 2014)

Realizarán antieólicos Congreso Nacional Indígena (Noticias,16 de marzo de 2014)

Anuncian zapotecas Congreso Nacional Indígena en Álvaro Obregón (Página 3, 16 de marzo de 2014)

Convocatoria al Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI) Región Istmo de Tehuantepec en Gui’xhi’ Ro’ – Álvaro Obregón (APIIDTyT, 15 de marzo de 2014)

Afectados de eólica Gas Natural, continúan denunciando intimidación(Página 3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Confrontation in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leaves several people injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)


Oaxaca: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER on “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life”

March 16, 2014

Protesta en Jamiltepec, marzo de 2014 (@EDUCA)

Protest in Jamiltepec, March 2014 (@EDUCA)

On 14 March, in observance of the “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life,” the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) carried out a “funerary march” and peacefully occupied the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in the Santiago Jamiltepec municipality to protest the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam.  Another 16 communities from the coastal region and union delegations from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) also participated.  With the slogan “Enough of imposing projects against the decision of the peoples,” protestors denounced that the Paso de la Reina project would negatively affect indigenous peoples, their territory, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices due to its creation of a reservoir.  Moreover, they have already seen how their rights to consultation have been violated.

Para más información:

Copudever insiste en cancelación del proyecto “Paso de la Reina”; atenta vs los pueblos (Página3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Con “marcha fúnebre” inicia Copudever toma simbólica de CFE en Jamiltepec (Diario Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Celebran en Oaxaca día en Defensa del Agua (NSS Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

http://pasodelareina.org/

EDUCA: Galería de fotos y los videos: En Río Verde, Oaxaca, otra batalla por el agua (7 min.) y Presa Paso de la Reina ¿Desarrollo para Quien? (6 min.)


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