Oaxaca: The Diocese of Puerto Escondido expresses its full support to the communities in resistance to hydro project Paso de la Reina

June 13, 2014
Demostration form COPUDEVER (@SIPAZ)

Demostration form COPUDEVER (@SIPAZ)

Coinciding with International Environment Day, the Bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Escondido, Pedro Vasquez Villalobos, conducted a Mass in which he expressed the full support of the diocese to the community of Paso de la Reina and other communities organized in the Council of Peoples United for the Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER). In relation to their resistance to the construction of the Paso de la Reina Hydroelectric Dam, in the Municipality of Jamiltepec, Oaxaca, he stressed: “I say to those who live here and are striving to protect this river and the land, feel our support … our spiritual presence and strength of will because we are united to you, saying NO to the construction of the dam at Paso de la Reina … We are united with you, it is an union of the Church with you … “.

The bishop noted that the project violates the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people and stressed the importance of the river to the lives and development of communities that benefit from it: “You are the guardians of water, plants, animals, and the land they inhabit,” said the bishop in reference to the Indians, “rightful owners of these lands and territories”. 3.100 hectares of 40 villages from six municipalities would be affected by the dam.

About the smear campaign undertaken by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) against the Diocesan Church of Puerto Escondido, the bishop said: “It has made serious disqualifications against our work saying that we come from outside the region and accuses of misinforming and confusing public opinion. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento diocesano (Diócesis de Puerto Escondido, 5 de junio de 2014)

La Iglesia se opone a proyecto hidroeléctrico en Oaxaca (Proceso, 5 de junio de 2014)

CFE desprestigia a Diócesis de Puerto Escondido por oponerse a Presa Paso de la Reina (Página 3, 5 de junio de 2014)

La Diócesis de Puerto Escondido y agentes de pastoral reiteran su apoyo al Consejo de Pueblos Unidos en defensa del Río Verde (Fé y resistencia, 6 de junio de 2014)

Respalda obispo lucha de pueblos contra Paso de la Reina (Noticias, 6 de junio de 2014)

Reitera Diócesis de Puerto Escondido oposición a hidroeléctrica Paso de la Reyna (E-Oaxaca, 6 de junio de 2014)

CFE desprestigia a Diócesis de Puerto Escondido por oponerse a Presa Paso de la Reina (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace (May 16, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (March 28, 2014)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (July 19, 2013)


Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad

June 13, 2014
Zapatista Women (@SIPAZ)

Zapatista Women (@SIPAZ)

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, spokesperson of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), reported that at a meeting was held with “Zapatista comrades from La Realidadwho agreed to ask to “the comrades of the Sixth Declaration in Mexico and the world” to organize and try to get some money for the purchase of construction materials with which a new autonomous school and clinic could be built in the caracol.

The Zapatista facilities were destroyed last May 2 by members of the Historical Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H), who also assaulted several Zapatista support bases, and killed the Zapatista support base José Luis Solis Lopez (“Galeano”).

The total cost for the building, which will be a two-story building both for the school and the clinic, is 200,209 pesos. Apart from building materials, “health equipment, the thermometer, baumanometer, auriscope, etc., and also the medicine are needed.”

Subcomandante Moisés concluded: “Well compas of the Sixth, that is what I wanted to tell you. You see if you are able to gather any money together”.

In response to the request made by the EZLN, individuals and organizations in Mexico and the world have organized the “Global Campaign for the reconstruction of the school and clinic in La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico”, in order to collect the necessary funds.

For more information (in Spanish):

Una reunión en La Realidad zapatista hace unos pocos días. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés (Enlace Civil, 8 de junio de 2014)

Circular informativa Campaña mundial para la reconstrucción de la esculea y clínica de La Realidad, chiapas, México (Enlace Civil, 8 de junio de 2014)

Pide EZLN 200 mil pesos para obras en La Realidad (El Universal, 8 de junio de 2014)

EZLN llama a La Otra Campaña a reunir 200 mil pesos para construir escuela y clínica en La Realidad (SDP Noticias, 8 de junio de 2014)

“Con ley o sin ley” practicaremos autonomía en derechos y cultura: EZLN (La Jornada, 9 de junio de 2014)

EZLN reconstruirán escuela y clínica en La Realidad, pide solidaridad de adherentes (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (June 12, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (June 10, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (June 10, 2014)


Guerrero: Harassment and attacks on individuals and organizations in favor of the decriminalization of abortion and the right to decide

June 12, 2014
Womens' Rights are also Human Rights

Women’s Rights are also Human Rights

Organizations and human rights organizations have denounced the harassment, insults, and aggressions suffered by feminist groups, activists, and government agencies that have positioned themselves in favor of the proposed initiative to decriminalize abortion in the state of Guerrero. This initiative was sent by Governor Angel Aguirre to the local Congress in May.

The director of the Guerrero Institute of Human Rights, Silvia Castillo, explained that women who defend their right to decide have been physically and verbally attacked by conservative groups. For example, at a recent forum, one female member of the Institute was beaten for expressing her support to the initiative.

Moreover, Rosario Herrera Ascencio, Secretary for the Women in Guerrero (Semujer), reported having been threatened by local members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the National Action Party (PAN), who have also disqualified the Secretariat: “There is a struggle against the secretariat both by Congress members and people of Provida (…) They can not silence our voices with their threats; I will be very respectful of the decisions of the Congress, but I will defend the initiative that aims to ensure equality, life, and safety for all the women of the entity whom I represent. “

Finally, local media reported that workers at the service of PRI and PAN deputies have impeded interviews with activists and experts who attended the forums in the framework of the Congress debates, so as to prevent the spreading of information about the importance of decriminalizing abortion.

For more information (in Spanish)

Amenazan a promotores de la despenalización del aborto en Guerrero (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2014)

Hostigan PRI y PAN a quienes apoyan despenalización de aborto (CIMAC Noticias, 4 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: State government presents initiative to legalize abortion (May 18, 2014)


Guerrero: murder of a social activist from the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra

November 12, 2013

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Sepelio de Rocío Mesino Mesino in the zócalo of Atoyác de Álvarez, photo @Javier Verdín

On 19 October, Rocío Mesino Mesino was murdered in the Mexcaltepec community, which pertains to the Atoyac de Álvarez municipality.  According to the story told by her relatives, the rights-defender found herself supervising the construction of a provisional bridge in this community, when a man arrived who shot her several times and then rode away on a motorcycle which had been awaiting him.

Iñaki Blanco Cabrera, State Attorney General, has said that different lines are being pursued for investigating this murder of the leader of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS), including the participation of organized crime syndicates which operate in the region of the Grand Coast of the state.  In a press-conference, the Guerrero state official said that the campesino leader had been shot six times by pistol.  Blanco Cabrera noted that her killers have not yet been identified, despite the fact that the crime took place in the middle of the day and in the presence of several witnesses.  It is understood that many are afraid of reprisals if they were to provide testimony.

The Guerrero Network for Human Rights (Redgro), the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the Front of Democratic Organizations of the State of Guerrero (Fodeg), the Regional Center in Defense of Human Rights José María Morelos and Pavón, and the Society of Students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, among others, demand an investigation into the crime.  Furthermore, they denounced that 10 homicides have been committed against social activists in the state of the PRD governor Ángel Aguirre, and that not one has yet been resolved.

For more information (in Spanish):

PGJE investiga el asesinato de dirigente de la OCSS (El Universal, 21 de octubre de 2013)

Impunes, muertes de 10 activistas en el gobierno de Ángel Aguirre (La Jornada, 20 de octubre de 2013)

Frente de Organizaciones Democráticas del Estado de GuerreroCondenan asesinato de la luchadora social Rocío Mesino (Centro Prodh, 21 de octubre de 2013)

PGJ-Guerrero investiga crimen de dirigente de la OCSS (Milenio, 20 de octubre de 2013)

CONDENAMOS EL ASESINATO DE LA LUCHADORA SOCIAL ROCÍO MESINO MESINO, INTEGRANTE DE LA OCSS (20 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Murder of leader of the Organization of Ecologist Campesinos of the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán (7 December 2012)

Guerrero: two nephews of ecological leadership are murdered (16 November 2012)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists (8 February 2012)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)


Oaxaca: New motion detains construction of wind-energy park, while harassment against land-defenders continues

November 12, 2013

San Dionisio del Mar. Foto @Sipaz

On 9 October, the judge of the 7th District declared a new motion in favor of the communards of San Dionisio del Mar ordering the temporary suspension of the construction of the wind-energy park being promoted by the multinational consortium Mareña Renewables in the Barra de Santa Teresa, land which belongs to the municipality in question.

According to declarations from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), “[t]his is a victory which corresponds to the struggle for the respect of the land and the rights of indigenous peoples.  We demand that all authorities involved in the wind-energy project San Dionisio del Mar and the Mareña Renewables consortium observe with the suspension that has been ordered.”

In other news, the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco Peoples (APPJ) has newly denounced the constant climate of aggressions, death-threats, and intimidation suffered by its members at the hands of persons linked to the Fenosa Natural Gas corporation.  “Armed types keep circling the homes of APPJ comrades,” notes Mariano López, spokesperson for APPJ.

Furthermore, reported Mariano López, members of Peace Brigades International (PBI) have visited the locale and assessed the damages suffered by the resistance camp erected by the APPJ against the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park of Fenosa Natural Gas; this camp was burned down on 15 October.  According to the profile of the Juchitán Assembly on Facebook, on 27 October, members of the APPJ began work to rebuild the camp which had been devastated by flames.

For more information (in Spanish):

Continúa la defensa vs eólicas (Tiempo en Línea, 19 de octubre de 2013)

Brigadas Internacionales constatan intimidación a activistas en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 22 de octubre de 2013)

Grupos opositores a parque eólico en Oaxaca denuncian acoso de pistoleros (La Jornada, 23 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 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: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)


Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente

October 25, 2013

Foto @ Red Betances

Photo @ Red Betances

The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) denounced on 23 September that the Spanish firm Fenosa Natural Gas and the Constructoral S.A. de C.V. have threatened to displace the peaceful camp which had been installed in the highway to the municipal agency Playa Vicente, in opposition to the construction of the wind-energy park on communal lands.

An APPJ spokesperson said that a representative from the Spanish corporation and one from the construction firm attended the protest to attempt to convince participants to suspend the blockade, but when they received no response, they threatened to displace them by force the following Monday, 30 September.

In a communique, the APPJ demanded that the construction at the Bii Yoxho wind-energy park be suspended until the legality of the work be established.  Similarly, it reported that the homes of residents of Playa Vicente still find themselves flooded by the rains which took place 15 days previously; no governmental authority has come to attend to the victims.

It should also mentioned that Fenosa Natural Gas has been accused of intimidation, harassment, death-threats, and murder of communal leaders in Guatemala.

For more information (in Spanish):

Eólicas amenazan con desalojar a opositores (Noticias Net, 29 de septiembre de 2013)

Comunicado de los habitantes de Playa Vicente ante las recientes amenazas de la empresa Gas Natural Fenosa (Chacatorex, 27 de septiembre de 2013)

Comunicado de prensa del centro de Justicia y Derechos Humanos Robert F. Kennedy que envia una carta al Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto por la ola de violencia a los Defensores y Defensoras de los DDHH en el estado de Oaxaca (Blog Tierra y Territorio, 1 de octubre de 2013)

El Grupo Gas Natural-Unión Fenosa atropella y asesina a dirigentes comunitarios en Guatemala (Red Betances, 3 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists(21 July 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)


National: Civil society pronounces itself on International Day of Support for Torture Victims

July 19, 2013

(@zapateando)

(@zapateando)

Several civil-society organizations pronounced themselves on 26 June, in observance of the International Day against Torture, regarding the practice of torture by Mexican authorities.  The National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” emphasized that “if the Mexican State has signed the principal international accords regarding torture and subjected itself to periodical evaluations by human rights mechanisms [...], the recommendations released by said mechanisms must be implemented [...].  There is seen an increase in the practice of torture in our country, as well as of impunity which continues in terms of the cases that have been denounced before the corresponding authorities.”

For their part, several civil organizations, including the Miguel Augustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (PRODH) and the Cerezo Committee, jointly declared that “torture is a grave and inexcusable violation, whose commission and toleration cannot and should not have any social or legal basis in any democratic society [...].  In this sense, we consider it fundamental that ministerial and judicial authorities throughout the government take political will to break the present cycle of impunity for this crime [...].  We emphasize that the procedural guarantees of presumption of innocence and due process are incompatible with torture as a legitimate act for the extraction of confessions and clarification of juridical truth, given that its criminal nature violates the very ends of justice and damages the aspirations of the State to be constitutional and democratic.”

A bulletin released by several organizations from Chiapas, Mexican and international, indicated that “in Chiapas, acts of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishments have been converted into a ‘normal’ and accepted practice by the authorities of procuration and administration of justice and the carceral system.  It is moreover tolerated by the governor of Chiapas.”

In Guerrero, there was held the forum “Torture from Yesterday to Today, Impunity Forever,” as organized by the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI).  At the forum, members of organizations of human-rights defense stressed that the situation of violation of individual rights in Guerrero has not changed with regard to the situation which prevailed at the end of the 1960’s.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sigue aumentando en México la tortura, advierten ONG y Amnistía Internacional (La Jornada, 27 de junio de 2013)

Boletín completo de Amnistía Internacional: Las víctimas de tortura merecen justicia pronta y efectiva (AI, 26 de junio de 2013)

OSC denuncian la persistencia de la tortura en México y exigen justicia para todas las y los sobrevivientes (RedTdT, 26 de junio de 2013)

Declaración con motivo del Día Internacional en Apoyo a las Víctimas de la Tortura (PRODH, 26 de junio de 2013)

Comunicado de la Red por la Paz de Chiapas y organizaciones internacionales (26 de junio de 2013)

El Estado no reconoce que hay torturados y desaparecidos, por eso no se les atiende, reprochan expertos, (El Sur de Acapulco, 26 de junio de 2013)

No ha prosperado ninguna de las 56 quejas por tortura en el estado, revela la Codehum (El Sur de Acapulco, 26 de junio).

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: International organizations conclude observation mission on torture in Mexico (10 June 2013)

Mexico: UN Committee against Torture expresses grave concern for the practice of torture in Mexico (9 November 2012)

National: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)

National: International judges report on conclusions of the observation of state of justice in Mexico (12 October 2012)

Chiapas: Presentation of report on torture in Chiapas “From Cruelty to Cynicism” (2 July 2012)

The OMCT condemns torture in Chiapas (18 August 2011)


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