Oaxaca: Bounty placed on head of female rights-defender for 100,000 pesos

September 2, 2014

Foto @ Voces de OaxacaPhoto @Voces de Oaxaca

On 19 August, the indigenous human-rights defender Silvia Pérez Yescas, member of Conservation, Investigation, and Exploitation of Natural Resources (CIARENA), received notice that in the community of San José Río Manzo, unknown persons had placed a bounty on her head amounting to 100,000 pesos, this following a long absence of hers from her home. On 16 January 2013, a group of twenty armed men irrupted into the defender’s home, threatening and intimidating her. She and her son escaped unharmed, but following the attack they did not return to their home, for security reasons.

It should be mentioned that in recent years, Silvia Pérez has received more than ten death-threats against her person due to her work with CIARENA. Furthermore, she has been awarded precautionary measures by the Oaxaca state government, though “these have never been completely implemented,” as Front Line Defenders has stated. She also forms a part of the National Mechanism for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists, though “the measures that have been taken have proven insufficient for her security guarantees.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ponen precio a vida de defensora de derechos Oaxaqueña (Voces de Oaxca, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Mexico: Amenazas en contra de Silvia Pérez Yescas, defensora de derechos humanos de CIARENA (Frontline Defenders, 26 de agosto de 2014)

En inglés: Mexico: Threats against Silvia Perez Yescas, human rights defender from CIARENA (Frontline Defenders)

Acción Urgente: Amenazan a Silvia Pérez Yescas, defensora de DH de CIARENA (Educa, 26 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Armed men threaten human-rights defender (29 January 2013)


Oaxaca: Resurrection of the Tepeyac Center for Human Rights in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

September 2, 2014

Foto @ Juchitan InformaArturo Lona Reyes (Foto @ Juchitan Informa)

On 17 and 18 August, Arturo Lona Reyes, bishop emeritus of the Tehuantepec diocese, reinitiated the work of the Tepeyac Center for Human Rights (CDHT), given that “we are concerned by the difficult realities experienced by the peoples and organizations of the Isthmus” and “so as to share and generate orientations and lines of work to strengthen our processes and struggles for life.” The CDHT, which Arturo Lona originally founded in March 1992, “is committed to beginning a new phase of work, orientated to accompany and encourage the spirit of organization and articulation among the peoples and communities who defend their cultures, lands, territory, resources, and rights.”

The first activity the CDHT held was a workshop on human rights which featured the experiences and knowledge of Sara Méndez, coordinadator of the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código-DH), and of Miguel Álvarez, president of the Services for Peace Center for Human Rights (Serapaz). During the event, indigenous persons from San Dionisio del Mar denounced that six concessions have been granted to mining companies which threaten the life of the Ikoots people, while Zapotec indigenous persons from Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán municipality, stressed that they would maintain the defense of their autonomy.

Beyond this, fatehr Lucio Santiago declared that, “as a diocese, the Church should intervene more in the realities of our indigenous peoples and prophetically denounce all that which threatens their lives. As parish priests, we must advocate changes which favor human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del CDHT: Pronunciamiento a los pueblos y organizaciones del Istmo (Educa, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Relanza Lona Reyes Centro de DH Tepeyac (Blog Juchitan Informa, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Asume el Obispo Emérito Lona Reyes la coordinación de CDHT (Agencia Quadratín, 18 de agosto de 2014)

Comienza nueva etapa Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac (Noticias Net, 19 de agosto de 2014)


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)


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