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)

 


Chiapas: Self-defense brigades against looting by mining corporations

March 5, 2013

mex__chiapas_mapamineria

On 26 February, campesinos and indigenous persons pertaining to 78 ejidos from 11 municipalities of the Sierra and Coast of Chiapas founded a “Civil Guard for Self-Defense” toward the end of putting a halt to the looting undertaken by mining firms in the state.  During a meeting celebrated in the El Carrizal community (Motozintla municipality), at which participated more than 2000 campesinos, it was agreed that the Civil Guards will be comprised by groups of 20 persons who will patrol zones to prevent the operation of mining firms and to arrest any transport vehicle in said zone.  They indicated that they saw themselves as obligated to opt for this route in light of the indifference of the local and federal authorities and their outright collaboration with the companies that loot and pollute the state.

The 78 communities that participated are located in the Bella Vista, Bejucal de Ocampo, La Grandeza, Mazapa de Madero, Escuintla, Acacoyagua, Siltepec, Frontera Comalapa, El Porvenir, and Chicomuselo municipalities.

The next day, the Chiapas state-government expressed its rejection of the operation of armed self-defense groups in the state, clarifying that the development has to do with civil ecologists who have been protesting mineral exploitation for more than five years in municipalities such as Chicomuselo: “They have nothing to do with the civil armed groups that have arisen in other states, because in Chiapas security and social peace are guaranteed by the institutions of local public security and the federal security forces present in the state.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Campesinos crean en Chiapas ‘guardias civiles’ para frenar a mineras (Proceso, 26 de febrero de 2013)

Amagan con más autodefensas, ahora en Chiapas (El Universal, 26 de febrero de 2013)

Chiapas descarta presencia de autodefensa armada (El Universal, 27 de febrero de 2013)

Aparecen grupos de autodefensa en Chiapas (Animal Político, 27 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


Chiapas: protests in several municipalities against the taking of office by new commissioners

October 12, 2012

Motozintla (@chacatorex.com.mx)

On Sunday 30 September, the mayors who were elected on 1 July were to take office, though this transition did not occur without incident in Motozintla, Chicomuselo, Bejucal de Ocampo, Frontera Comalapa, Mazapa de Madero, Villacorzo, Cintalapa, Tila, and Las Rosas.

The situation of violence took place in the Motozintla municipality where sympathizers of the PRD-PT-Citizens Movement coalition set fire to public buildings (including the City Hall and prison), beyond attacking patrols to protest the failure of the Electoral Tribunal of Judicial Power, which ruled in favor of Oscar Galindo (PVEM).  They also released 80 prisoners from the jail, although 40 of these were subsequently recaptured, many of them of their own volition.  The Chiapas state-government detained 31 persons after the disturbances.  Milenio journalists denounced on their part that they were attacked by 10 state police after taking photos of the burning city hall in Motozintla, as of other buildings.

In the nearby municipality of Chicomuselo, where the Trife handed victory to the PVEM candidate when the Institute for Elections and Citizen Participation in Chiapas had already recognized the victory of the PRD candidate, another patrol was set alight.  The mayor was kidnapped by sympathizers of the PRD candidate.  In Frontera Comalapa and Bejucal de Ocampo the mayors were also taken forcibly by left-wing militants.

In San Fernando, PRI militants kidnapped the mayor to protest against the mayor-elect (PVEM), whom they accuse of pertaining to a family that has been in power from one election to the next.  These militants were met with tear gas.

On the Petalcingo highway, a roadblock was maintained, and PRI members set fire to the home of Limberg Gutiérrez, the father of the mayor-elect of Tila, Limberg Gregorio Gutiérrez Gómez (PVEM), who is to take power from his wife, Sandra Luz Cruz Espinosa.

Another series of conflicts and blockaders occurred to protest the exiting administrations.  In Villacorzo, the mayor was taken in a home together with some of her assistants by municipal workers who demand that their wages and benefits be paid.  In Tapachula, the PAN official Karla Selene de la Cruz denounced that she was assaulted by the secretary of city hall, following her demand that her salaries in arrears be paid.  On 28 September, indigenous persons from San Juan Chamula blockaded the highway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Tuxtla Gutiérrez to demand the payment of debt in their municipality, as well as the ending of different work-projects.  Municipal and transit police as well the Civil Protection force of Teopisca went on strike, blockading the highway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Comitán for eight hours, to protest their not being paid.

For more information (in Spanish):

Opositores a edil electo de Motozintla provocan incendios y liberan presos (La Jornada, 2 de octubre de 2012)

Presidencia en ruinas (Cuarto Poder, 2 de octubre de 2012)
Chiapas: queman alcaldía y 2 patrullas por conflicto electoral en Motozintla (la Jornada, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Conflicto poselectoral en Chiapas: toman alcaldías, queman patrullas y liberan a reos (Proceso, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Recapturan a 40 reos liberados en Motozintla (El Universal, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Al menos 31 detenidos por disturbios: secretario de Gobierno de Chiapas (Milenio, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Chiapas: incendian casa del padre de edil electo (La Jornada, 30 de septiembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: elections in Chiapas; PRI-Green Alliance wins (10 July 2012)


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

September 21, 2012

Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” (@SIPAZ)

On 15 September, the Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” was held in the Santa María ejido, Chicomuselo municipality, located in the border region with Guatemala.  The objective of this forum was to “inform, share, and analyze the present situation that grips our country regarding mineral exploitation, as well as to come up with actions that seek to care for and defend our Mother Earth and land.”  The forum was part of the activities of the national and international day organized by the Chiapas Platform of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity.

In the final declaration, the participants at the Second Forum made a call to the ejidatarios and persons who have agrarian rights not to cede their territory for open-pit mining purposes.  They affirmed that “We are angered that in light of the poverty and lack of information our communities suffer, they must accept these projects that imperiled their own lives, as has happened in the Grecia and Nueva Morealia ejidos (located in Chicomuselo), where the scarcity of water in the spring is obvious, and the irreparable damage to the environment that occurs with the destruction of trees.”

They expressed that “we are worried that newly the rights of the people be violated by means of the most devastating actions taken against our mother earth, like open-pit mining, which affects our communities in different ways–in terms of health, the environment, and the degradation of the social fabric.”  This is the reason they have asked different levels of the government “to respect the human rights recognized in national and international instruments like the Federal Law for Ecological Equilibrium and Protection of the Environment.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Llaman a ejidatarios de Chiapas a no ceder terrenos a mineras (la Jornada, 17 de septiembre de 2012)

Pronunciamiento del 2do. Foro por la defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio (Radio proletaria, 15 de septiembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


Chiapas: MOVIAC meeting in Acteal on climate change

August 27, 2012

Worktable on sustainable rural cities @SIPAZ

From 9 to 11 August, in the Acteal community, the Mexican Movement for Alternatives to Environmental Effects and Climate Change (MOVIAC-Chiapas) carried out the “Meeting of Alternatives to Environmental Destruction and Climate Change.”  Close to 300 members of the Las Abejas Civil Society, the Campesino Regional Independent Movement (MOCRI), the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights, MOVIAC El Salvador, and MOVIAC Guatemala, among many others, participated for three days in the event that included 5 worktables.  The questions that were examined in these tables were sustainable rural cities, defense of land and territory, megaprojects, food sovereignty, and environmental degradation.

MOVIAC-Chiapas is a social movement comprised at the base of indigenous and campesino individuals, peoples and communities, collectives, civil orgainzations, academics, artists, communicators, activists, and human rights defenders who find the climate crisis to be a result of the depradatory models of extraction of natural resources such as water, land, minerals, forests, and jungles.  During the meeting, the groups exchanged informed regarding different environmental impacts and human-rights violations associated with mining projects, such as in Chicomuselo, the rural sustainable cities like Nuevo Juan de Grijalva, and planned dams such as that of San Juan Cancúc.  The meeting also served as a preparatory space for a subsequent MOVIAC forum that will be held in November in El Salvador.

Those who signed the final declaration of the event demand among other things the immediate cancellation of all megaprojects and projects (dams, mining, wind parks, extraction of gas and petroleum, rural cities, etc.) that negatively impact Mother Earth and her peoples, in addition to calling for the cancellation of all permits and cultivation of transgenic seeds.

For more information (in Spanish):

DECLARACION DE ACTEAL MOVIAC

Nace en Chiapas nuevo Movimiento en Defensa de la Madre Tierra.(Proyecto Ambulante, 8 de agosto de 2012)

http://moviacchiapas.blogspot.mx/

http://otrosmundoschiapas.org


Chiapas: Regional Forum for the Defense of Human Rights

December 14, 2011

Press conference @ SIPAZ

Following the Regional Forum for the Defense of Human Rights carried out in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 8 and 9 December, rights-defenders who participated released a pronunciation calling attention to campesino and indigenous communities, given that in their view these face several threats in light of the deterioration and looting of their lands and natural resources, a process that generates more poverty and destruction of the social fabric which is then translated into increased migration and unhappiness.

They expressed their concern regarding the potential reactivation of the mine in Chicomuselo.  The operation of this mine has affected the environment of neighboring communities and has not respected the right of consultation on the part of residents, and for this reason “we join the local organizations that demand the cancellation of the permits for exploitation.”

In the document that was put together following a day of work with five tables regarding questions relevant to Chiapas, the assembled pronounced themselves against “the continuation of the policy of construction of rural cities, as this affects the traditional forms of production and modes of life of local populations, in addition to not presenting possibilities for improvements in access to services, as has been the pretext.”  They indicated that this policy of relocation that is done with rural cities “is merely a masked form of forced displacement in favor of economic interests that are foreign to the communities.”

Regarding migration, their diagnosis is that “the restrictive policies of migration generate on our southern and northern borders conditions of grave violations to fundamental rights, attempts on life and the physical integrity and liberty of migrant persons on the part of state agents or criminal groups supported by the state.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del Foro Regional por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (9 December 2011)

Gobiernos de Chiapas y federal amagan la integridad de pueblos indígenas: ONG (La Jornada, 12 December 2011)

Foro Regional de Derechos Humanos. Iniciativas para la Identidad y la Inclusión AC (Escrutinio Público, 9 December 2011)

Piden atención a pueblos indígenas y campesinos (Cuarto Poder, 11 December 2011)

Señalan amenazas a formas de vida (Cuarto Poder, 10 December 2011)

Lanzan pronunciamiento tras Foro (Cuarto Poder, 10 December 2011)

Audio:

Pronunciamiento del Foro Regional por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (Radio Zapatista, 9 December 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forum for the defense of rights-defenders (18 October 2011)

Mexico: Growing insecurity for the work of human-rights defenders–denunciations from Washington, Brussels, and Chiapas (31 March 2011)

México: Pronunciations and actions as regards the situation of human-rights defenders in the country and southeastern Mexico (25 March 2011)

Chiapas: 3 human-rights defenders from the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights released from El Amate (8 March 2011)

Mexico: Accord to establish a Mechanism for Protection of Human-Rights Defenders; campaign “Declare yourself” is launched (20 July 2011)


Chiapas: Denunciation of militarization in Chicomuselo

November 14, 2011

Residents of Chicomuselo denounced attacks on their rights on the part of soldiers during events that occurred on 24 and 26 October, as related by a communiqué published on 31 October by the “Samuel Ruiz García” Regional Committee for the promotion of and defense of life.  The affected note that Mexican army units who have been temporarily deployed in the Ejidal Commissary of Chicomuselo entered specific homes “without judicial orders and without the consent of their owners, entering violently and causing fear, harassing and psychologically damaging the most vulernable persons.”  Met with requests for orders, the federal soldiers responded that they were fulfilling the orders of the mayor of Chicomuselo.  Those attacked indicate that 2 heavily armed commandos participated in addition to between 20 and 30 soldiers.  The forces asked about hidden weapons and they decommissioned some .16 and .22 arms, in accordance with the federal law on firearms and explosives.  These weapons they had to protect their lives and possessions.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia del Comité Regional para la promoción y defensa de la vida “Samuel Ruiz García” (31 October)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


Chiapas: Search by police of the offices of the mining firm Blackfire in Canada

September 22, 2011

Manifestation against mining activities by Blackfire in Chicomuselo, 2009. Photo @Reuters

The November 2009 murder of Mariano Abarca Roblero, leader of the anti-mining movement in Chicomuselo, Chiapas, once again came up in the news recently.  On 20 July, the Royal Mounted Police searched the central offices of the Blackfire Exploration Ltd., following investigations regarding a denunciation that revealed that this mining firm regularly paid the mayor of Chicomuselo, Julio César Velázquez Calderón (PRD), in exchange for his guaranteeing security and the control of residents critical of the presence of the firm.

The organizations Mining Alert Canada, Common Frontiers, the United Steelworkers, and the Council of Canadians welcomed the news.  “We are glad to see that the operations of Blackfire are being investigated, in accordance with the Law of Corruption of Foreign Public Officials,” said Jamie Kneen, spokesperson for mining Alert Canada.  “This is the only law that holds Canadian companies accountable for their actions outside the country.  We hope that it will bring some sort of justice for this case.”  Mark Rowlinson, lawyer for the United Steelworkers, said that “Blackfire should leave Chiapas altogether and publicly apologize to the communities.  We ourselves [during an investigative delegation] have seen the impacts of the company on human life and the environment in Chicomuselo.  The costs for the community have been excessively high.”

For more information (in Spanish and English):

RCMP raid Calgary miner over bribery allegations (The Globe and Mail, 29 August)

Policía Montada de Canadá persigue a la Blackfire (Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería, 29 August)

La sociedad civil canadiense expresa su agrado ante el allanamiento de las oficinas de Blackfire Exploration(Cencos, 30 August)

Stop Canadian mining companies’ rights abuses (Embassy, 29 September 2010)

Delegación investigadora canadiense descubre comunidad mexicana devastada por las actividades mineras de Blackfire Exploración (21 April 2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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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