Chiapas: 5 years since the murder of mining critic Mariano Abarca

December 15, 2014

Mariano Abarca (@Frontline Defenders)

Mariano Abarca (@Frontline Defenders)

In a communique published on 27 November, 5 years since the murder of the anti-mining activist from Chicomuselo, Mariano Abarca Roblero, his family, organizations, and networks such as the Mexican Network of Those Affected by Mining (REMA) and the Mesoamerican Movement against the Mining Extractive Model (M4) once again demanded justice.  They affirmed again that Abarca’s “murder was motivated by his struggle against the Canadian mining firm Blackfire due to its extraction of barite, and the social and environmental consequences this has had in the Chicomuselo municipality.”

The groups reported that they had sent a letter to Mexican and Canadian authorities, which has been supported by 266 persons and organizations from 27 countries calling for justice.

They denounced that “those who had been imprisoned for Mariano’s murder have been released from prison, while the responsibilities of others linked to the firm and state who may have been involved were never seriously investigated.”

In light of this situation, they call for “a response from the Mexican and Canadian authorities to exercise justice for the murder of Mr. Mariano Abarca Roblero, and to deal with the corruption of the Chicomuselo mayor”; and that “the Canadian government abandon its policy of ‘economic diplomacy’ which leads 100% of the Canadian diplomatic corps to promote private interests.  Instead, we favor the adoption of policies based in respect for indigenous and human rights, and protection of human-rights defenders and the environment.”

They reported lastly that they will take the case before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR).

For more information (in Spanish):

A 5 años del asesinato de Mariano Abarca Roblero por su resistencia contra la minería  canadiense en Chiapas (Familia Abarca Montejo, Fundación Ambientalista Mariano Abarca Roblero (FAMA), Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería (REMA), Otros Mundos A.C. y el Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo extractivo Minero (M4), 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Exigen justicia a cinco años del asesinato de activista en Chiapas(Proceso, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Tercer Foro por la Defensa y Cuidado de la Madre Tierra en Chicomuselo (14 de noviembre de 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation of renewal of mining activities in Chicomuselo (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Self-defense brigades against looting by mining corporations (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: two thousand march at the close of the “Chiapan Meeting of Unity against the Extractive Mining Model” in Frontera Comalapa (7 December 2012)

Chiapas: Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” (21 September 2012)

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

Chiapas: two thousand march at the close of the “Chiapan Meeting of Unity against the Extractive Mining Model” in Frontera Comalapa (7 December 2012)

Chiapas: Canadian delegation investigates mining abuses (2 April 2010)

Chiapas: Anti-mining activist Mariano Abarca killed (1 December 2009)


Chiapas: Third Forum for the Defense and Care of Mother Earth in Chicomuselo

December 6, 2014

(@Koman Ilel)

(@Koman Ilel)

From 10 to 12 November, in the Chicomuselo municipality, different activities were organized to protest mineral exploitation and to organize in defense of life.  At the end of a march held on 10 November, Chicomuselo was declared a “municipality free of mining.”  On 12 November, the Third Forum for the Defense and Care of Mother Earth took place, with the participation of 3,500 persons.

At the close of the event, participants declared their opposition to mineral exploration and exploitation operations, as well as wind-energy plants, natural gas ducts, hydroelectric dams, and superhighways sought to be imposed on their lands.  They noted that the structural reforms advanced by the federal government “in no way benefit the campesino and indigenous peoples of our country but instead seek to facilitate once again the looting of our common goods and to impoverish us evermore with policies that would have us depend on the large firms of the country, as well as transnationals.”  They affirmed that they would continue to resist the government “and its predatory policies,” and they called on Mexican society to unite to the cause against megaprojects, to educate itself, and to act “amidst a system that oppresses, imposes, and violates human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaran a Chicomuselo territorio libre de minería (Chiapas Paralelo, 10 de noviembre de 2014)

Chicomuselo, libre de explotación minera (Koman Ilel, incluyendo materiales audiovisuales y declaración final, 11 de noviembre de 2014)

“Megaproyectos despojan y saquean a la Nación”, denuncian comunidades campesinas e indígenas (Sididh, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Acuerdan ejidatarios que Sierra Madre de Chiapas estará libre de minería(Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

A 5 años del asesinato de Mariano Abarca por su resistencia contra la minera Blackfire, demandamos justicia (Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo Extractivo Minero, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of renewal of mining activities in Chicomuselo (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Self-defense brigades against looting by mining corporations (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: two thousand march at the close of the “Chiapan Meeting of Unity against the Extractive Mining Model” in Frontera Comalapa (7 December 2012)

Chiapas: Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” (21 September 2012)

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


Mexico/Latin America: The TPP prosecutes Canadian mining companies

June 12, 2014

tpp-canadaFrom May 29 to June 1, the first meeting of the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP) on the Canadian mining industry was held in Montreal (Canada). The TPP is a mechanism that was created in Italy in 1979. In the light of international laws on human rights violations, it examines cases that have exhausted traditional and national mechanisms.

In Latin America, more than 200 social conflicts can be attributed to mining industry. 75% of the mining companies in the world are Canadians. At the hearing, these companies were “accused of violating the fundamental rights of peoples in Latin America.” The Canadian government was criticized for “contributing (…) to the violation of indigenous peoples’ human rights in Latin America, by supporting the mining industry and favoring those companies in a context of impunity.” The TPP stressed that the Canadian government “tolerates or covers up violations of human rights perpetrated by these companies. “

In particular, five companies operating in Latin America, including Blackfire Exploration and Excellon Resources, have been prosecuted for their activities in Mexico.

The Tribunal found that the expansion of Canadian mining in Latin America has been favored both by Canada (using diplomatic pressure on the countries whose resources are exploited), as well as by the governments of those same countries (that facilitate investment and allow corruption and violations of human and environmental rights). Local authorities are accused of being accomplices “when they grant concessions and operating licenses without taking into account the impact that these activities may have on human rights,” and “when they increase the flexibility of their labor, environmental and tax regulations to promote the interests of mining companies,” responding to the “undue influence on the reform of the mining and environmental legislation” by the Canadian state.

The Tribunal noted that among the rights violated almost systematically by Canadian mining companies are found the following: the right to water, health, a healthy environment, the right to security and physical integrity, the right to self-determination, the right to participation, consultation and prior consent, the right to expression and protest, the right to fair and just working conditions, and freedom of association.

The TPP’s preliminary verdict stressed the responsibility of mining companies “for human rights violations (…), as well as the responsibility of the Canadian State and of countries where the natural resources are exploited by these companies because they haven’t prevented or have facilitated, tolerated and covered up such violations.  In practice, too, they have prevented victims’ access to justice for such violations. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Veredicto preliminar del TPP (1er de junio de 2014)

Piden justicia en Canadá por asesinato de Mariano Abarca (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de junio de 2014)

Del total de conflictos mineros en América Latina, 90% son con empresas canadienses (La Jornada, 24 de mayo de 2014)

Empresas mineras al banquillo de los acusados por generar 200 conflictos sociales (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero/Mexico/Latin America: Grave challenges to Goldcorp and other Canadian mining firms (May 3, 2014)

Guerrero: Ejidatarios from Carrizalillo to sue mining company before the Agrarian Tribunal (29 April 2014)


Chiapas: Presentation of report “Justice for San José del Progreso”

April 26, 2014

Presentación del informe en san Cristóbal de las Casas. Foto (@Sipaz)

Presentation of report in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Photo(@Sipaz)

Between 11 and 13 April was presented in San Cristóbal de las Casas and the Chicomuselo municipality the report “Justice for San José del Progreso,” the fruit of a Civil Mission of Observation held in November 2012 according to the call of the Oaxacan Collective in Defense of Land.

In the press-conference and activities of presentation for the report, organized by the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ), were present Neftalí Reyes, member of the Oaxacan organization Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA), which forms part of the Collective; Gustavo Castro, member of the Chiapas-based group Other Worlds A.C., and Roberto Ortiz, from the “Samuel Ruiz” Committee for the Promotion and Defense of Life in Chicomuselo.

In the presentation, beyond presenting the results of the report and the specific case of San José del Progreso, a Oaxacan community that has suffered numerous rights-violations as a consequence of the imposition in the community of the mining project owned by Canadian firm Fortune Silver Mines, the case of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, was also raised, this being a site since 2008 where communities have been organizing against mining exploitation as overseen by the Canadian company Blackfire Exploration.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe sobre afectaciones mineras en Oaxaca se presenta en San Cristóbal (Radio Zapatista, 12 de abril de 2014)

Minera canadiense y gobierno violan DH de habitantes en San José del Progreso, Oaxaca (Chiapas Paralelo, 12 de abril de 2014)

Justicia para San José del Progreso; Informe de la Misión Civil de Observación (Koman Ilel, 14 de abril de 2014)

Audios (Radio Zapatista):

Gustavo Castro (Otros Mundos Chiapas) – Contexto de la minería en México

Neftalí Reyes (Servicios para una Educación Alternativa – EDUCA) – Sobre el caso de San José del Progreso, Oaxaca

Roberto Ortiz (Comité para la Promoción y Defensa de la Vida en Chicomuselo “Samuel Ruiz”) – Sobre el caso de Chicomuselo, Chiapas

Informe: Misión Civil de Observación: Justicia para San José del Progreso

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation in San Cristóbal de Las Casas of report “Justice for San José del Progreso” (23 April 2014)

Oaxaca: presentation of report “Justice for San José del Progreso” (16 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Organizational call to the presentation of the Report of the Civil Mission of Observation: Justice para San José del Progreso (18 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Civil Observation Mission to San José del Progreso (30 November 2012)


Chiapas: Denunciation of illegal reactivation of mining operations in Chicomuselo

February 5, 2014


Foro antiminería en Chicomuselo, sept 2012 @ Foto de archivo (SIPAZ)

Civil organizations denounced that on 19 January six heavy-machinery trucks arrived to Chicomuselo and then headed to the Santa María ejido, where the barite mine La Pera is located, having been closed months ago by the Federal Prosecutorial Office for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) for having violated environmental standards.  The organizations added that to date, six trucks have left the mining site full of barite, despite the fact that they are “working the mine illegally.”  For this reason they call on state and federal authorities to suspend the work, affirming that “the companies which exploit minerals in the zone have delineated a new strategy: to foment mining cooperatives” and to convince ejidatarios to take on this form, so as to authorize the entry into the communities of their exploration and exploitation operations.

To avoid the possibility that the residents perceive the presence of the vehicles and come to protest the mines, the trucks are not passing through the main street of Chicomuselo itself, which was closed by the anti-mining movement led by Mariano Abarca, assassinated in November 2009 during his struggle against the Canadian mining firm Blackfire.

For more information (in Spanish):

Reinician actividades en las minas de Chicomuselo (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 24 de enero de 2014)

Empresas mineras reanudaron ilegalmente trabajos en Chiapas (La Jornada, 24 de enero de 2014)

Reactivan, de manera ilegal, extracción minera en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of renewal of mining activities in Chicomuselo (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Self-defense brigades against looting by mining corporations (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: two thousand march at the close of the “Chiapan Meeting of Unity against the Extractive Mining Model” in Frontera Comalapa (7 December 2012)

Chiapas: Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” (21 September 2012)

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


Chiapas: Mobilization of 56 communities in Tapachula against mines and dams

December 17, 2013

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On 10 December, 56 communities, ejidos, and organizations from the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huehuetán, Cacahoatán, Mazapa, Comalapa, Chicomuselo, and Tuzantán municipalities marched in Tapachula to declare their lands free of mining and dam megaprojects.  They demanded that the three levels of government respect their decision and demanded that they be provided with information regarding the advances and intentions on the part of any firm or governmental institution to intervene in the region to begin mining operations.

Through the Declaration on Rivers and Lands Free of Dams and Mining Exploitation in the Southern Madre Sierra and Coastal Plan of Chiapas, the groups affirmed that “we declare our rivers and lands free of mining exploitation and hydroelectric dams, and we declare the corresponding authorities responsible for whatever conflict arises due to the continuation of intentions to impose these looting projects.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración de ríos y territorios libres de represas y explotación minera de la sierra madre y llanura costera de Chiapas (10 de diciembre de 2013)

Municipios de Chiapas se manifiestan contra represas y mineras (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

56 comunidades de 17 municipios de Chiapas se declaran libres de minería y represas (Centro de Medios Libres, 10 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: International socio-environmental seminar, the Open Veins of Contemporary Chiapas (12 November 2013)


Chiapas: Denunciation of renewal of mining activities in Chicomuselo

August 21, 2013

(@chacatorex)

In a communique published on 12 August, the Committee for the Promotion and Defense of Life Samuel Ruiz García reported that residents of the Monte Sinaí ejido, Chicomuselo municipality, had denounced the offers of workers from the Montecristo mining firm, which had promised “social projects such as roads and clinics, in addition to their commitment not to pollute the environment of local communities.”  The Human Rights Committee reminded “the different levels of government that since 14 May 2009, these communities have decided by majority not to allow the entrance of mining firms which seek to destroy their lands and put the lives of local residents at risk.  Furthermore, they have expressed that they would defend their lands, even if that costs them their lives.”  The Committee warned that “for this reason, the presence of miners in the communities is a provocation for these communities, which may lead to a major conflict.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Comité para la Promoción y defensa de la Vida “Samuel Ruíz García” (12 de agosto)

Rechazan pobladores de Chicomuselo, Chiapas, proyectos mineros en la zona (La Jornada, 15 de agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Self-defense brigades against looting by mining corporations (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: two thousand march at the close of the “Chiapan Meeting of Unity against the Extractive Mining Model” in Frontera Comalapa (7 December 2012)

Chiapas: Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” (21 September 2012)

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

Chiapas: Death-threats directed against the Chicomuselo parish (13 October 2010)

Chiapas: the Peace Network presents report on Chiapas’ border zone(13 October 2010)

Chiapas: Canadian delegation investigates mining abuses (2 April 2010)

Chiapas: Anti-mining activist Mariano Abarca killed (1 December 2009)

 


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