National: “National Meeting against High Electricity Prices” in Las Choapas, Veracruz ends with the arrest of two participants

October 15, 2012

On 8 October, human-rights organizations sent an urgent action to denounce the arrest of Onésimo Hidalgo, from the Organization for Civil Resistance “Light and Strength of the People,” state of Chiapas, by public forces of the state of Veracruz, at the close of the “National Meeting against High Electricity Prices” held in Las Choapas, Veracruz, on 6 and 7 October.

In a press-release, it was informed that public police forces repressed and encircled those who were participating in a peaceful march and rally following the end of the meeting organized by the National Network of Civil Resistance against High Electricity Prices.  They affirmed that during the entirety of the rally, the participants were intimidated by officials from City Hall, while municipal and state police took photos and video of the activists.  On social networks it was denounced that during these acts the human-rights defender Jazmín Hernández (Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center in Tonalá, Chiapas) and her three-year old daughter were arrested for three hours.  Participants noted that “no participant robbed or assaulted the officials; they only want to fabricate crimes to affect the groups that still remain in Las Choapas.”

For this reason, on 9 October, groups for civil resistance against high electricity prices carried out mobilizations on the highways that connect the south of Veracruz with Oaxaca and Chiapas to denounce the arrests.

For more information (in Spanish):

Detienen a Onésimo Hidalgo (Cuarto Poder, 8 de octubre de 2012)

AU: Detención arbitraria, lesiones e intimidación al C. Onésimo Hidalgo de la Red Nacional de Resistencia Civil contralas Altas Tarifas de Luz (CENCOS, 8 de octubre de 2012)

Piden a CFE y PGR cesar acoso a ‘activistas de la luz’ (El Universal, 9 de octubre de 2012)

Movilizaciones en vías de comunicación, en protesta por la detención de activista (La Jornada Veracruz, 9 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)

Campeche: Arrest of activist campaigning against high electricity prices (26 May 2010)

Mexico: AI Declares Activists against High Electricity Tariffs Prisoners of Conscience (10 March 2010)


Mexico: National day of protests against high electricity prices

April 4, 2012

Marcha en la Ciudad de México el 29 de marzo @ La Jornada

March in Mexico City, 29 March @ La Jornada

On 29 March, in different states of the Mexican Republic were held protests by social organizations against high electricity-prices.  In the states of Campeche, Chiapas, and Oaxaca were carried out road-blocks, while in Guerrero were taken the installations of the parastatal firm, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).  In Mexico City, members of the National Network of Civil Resistance against High Electricity Prices from the National Assembly of Electricity Users and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME) marched from Ángel de la Independencia to the Secretary of Governance (Segob), where they carried out a sit-in until they were granted ana udience.  In a press-conference, they reported that there are 6 million electricity users who do not pay for it, while the complaints against the CFE for excessive bills is more than 70,000.  Furthermore, they denounced arbitrary electricity-cuts and the criminalization of resistance, given that there exist several criminal proceedings against members of several social organizations in resistance to high electricity prices.  According to journalistic sources, the protestors succeeded in agreeing to several accords with representatives of the Segob.  The majority of these agreements were related to legal processes.

For more information (in Spanish):

Convocatoria a la movilización del 29 de marzo

La Jornada: Marcha y plantón en Bucareli contra las elevadas tarifas y cortes de luz (30/03/2012)

La Jornada: Marchas en varios estados contra altos precios de CFE(30/03/2012)

La Jornada: Firmas privadas generan más de la mitad de la electricidad producida por CFE (30/03/2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)


Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez

March 7, 2012

Bettina Cruz Velásquez @ Oaxaca Digital

On 22 February 2012, the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) detained the human-rights defender Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, member of the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory, in the Santa María Xadani municipality, Tehuantepec Isthmus, Oaxaca.  Cruz Velázquez, who is also a member of the movement of Civil Resistance against High-Electricity Prices, was accused by the Federal Public Ministry of the crimes of kidnapping CFE workers as well as a charge against “consumption and national wealth,” supposedly committed last April during a protest outside the Ministry’s offices to demand the release of one of her comrades.  Cruz Velázquez was released on bail after paying this on 23 February; the judicial investigation is still proceeding.  It should be noted that in response to her detention, many social and civil organizations released communiqués demanding her immediate release, alleging that the true reason for her detention was the criminalization of the work of human-rights defenders.

Cruz Velázquez enjoys precautionary measures awarded b the Office for the Defense of Human Rights from the Oaxaca state-government since 14 November 2011 for her having been assaulted by state police during her work of informing indigenous communities regarding their rights to property of land.  According to Alejandra Ancheita, director of the Project for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), the Spanish firm Wind Development in Mexico (Demex) had made communities sign contracts for rental of lands without having informed them in their proper languages of the conditions this would imply–even if these might include outright displacement.  Bettina Cruz was a member of a resistance committee to help with the termination of the contracts.  On 8 February 2012 a work-table was agreed to for dialogue to demand the end of rental contracts signed by residents of Unión Hidalgo with DEMEX.  That day it was agreed that there would be a second meeting on Saturday 25 February in Oaxaca de Juárez so as to hear the formal response of the firm to the petition for the cancellation of contracts.

For more information (in Spanish):

Liberan a Bettina Cruz Velázquez, defensora de derechos humanos(Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 24 February 2012)

Sale libre bajo fianza la defensora de derechos humanos Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez (Boletín de prensa de ProDESC, CRPEUH, APIITDTT y Poder, 24 February 2012)

Detuvieron por orden federal a Bettina Cruz, opositora a los parques eólicos de Oaxaca (La Jornada, 24 February 2012)

Acción Urgente: La PGR detiene a defensora de derechos humanos Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez (Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 23 February 2012)

Detienen en Oaxaca a la activista Lucila Cruz (La Jornada, 23 February 2012)

PGR detiene a defensora de los derechos humanos (El Universal, 22 February 2012)

Maestros de Oaxaca piden liberación de activista (Milenio, 23 February 2012)

La PGR detiene a defensora de DDHH Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez en Santa María Xadani, Oaxaca (Cencos, 23 February 2012)

Libertad para Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, defensora de derechos humanos (Red todos los derechos para todas y todos, 22 February 2012)

EDUCA EXIGE LA LIBERACIÓN INMEDIATA DE LA ACTIVISTA BETTINA CRUZ VELASQUEZ (Educa, 22 February 2012)

DETENCIÓN DE LUCILA BETTINA CRUZ VELÁZQUEZ (ProDESC, 23 February 2012)

Libertad para Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, defensora de derechos humanos en Oaxaca, México (Pozol Colectivo, 23 February 2012)

Acción Urgente: Libertad para Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, defensora de derechos humanos (Chacatorex, 22 February 2012)

Detienen a la activista y defensora de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas BETTINA CRUZ VELÁSQUEZ (Kaos en la Red, 23 February 2012)

Integrantes del Movimiento de Resistencia Civil Contra las Altas Tarifas de la CFE se movilizan (NSS Oaxaca, 23 February 2012)

Maestros de Oaxaca piden liberación de activista (NSS Oaxaca, 23 February 2012)

“Hartos de abusos y amenazas”, comuneros oaxaqueños buscan anular parque eólico en Unión Hidalgo (Educa, 16 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Communards of San Dionisio del Mar revoke contract for wind-farm (9 February 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)

Oaxaca: Indigenous individuals from the Isthmus denounce threats by Spanish firm in response to their opposition to planned construction of wind-plants (5 July 2011)

Oaxaca: Possible conflict regarding wind-energy projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (18 January 2011)


Chiapas: Protests against high electricity prices

September 23, 2011

On 8 September, responding to a call from the national network, there were held marches and manifestations in different parts of the country.  In Mexico City, members of the National Assembly of Users of Electrical Energy and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME) carried out a march.

In Chiapas, on 7 September, the Other Campaign called for a forum of its adherents in San Cristóbal de las Casas “to make common the denunciations that share the situations of looting that are lived when [people] are in organized resistance.  Situations that are lived in the city and outside of it.”  This gave rise to begin a campaign under the title “Halt the War against Mother Earth and her Peoples.”  Participants also carried out a march in the Cathedral plaza on the 8th.

The autonomous Council of the Coast of Chiapas realized another protest “No to the privatization of electrical energy, and we claim this as a human right and not a commodity; that looting and privatization of natural resources stop, and that the lands of organized peoples in resistance be respected; just prices for electricity for all Mexicans; an end to repression, persecution, and criminalization of social activists, human-rights defenders, journalists, and activists.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marcha por las Altas Tarifas de Luz, Consejo Autónomo de la Costa de Chiapas, 8 September 2011

Campaña Alto a la Guerra Contra la Madre Tierra y sus Pueblos, 9 September 2011

Marchan grupos sociales de Guerrero y SME contra cobros excesivosde CFE (La Jornada, 9 September)

Protestan por las altas tarifas de energía eléctrica de la CFE, Cuarto Poder, 9 September 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Campeche: Arrest of activist campaigning against high electricity prices (26 May 2010)

Mexico: AI Declares Activists against High Electricity Tariffs Prisoners of Conscience (10 March 2010)

Campeche: National Meeting for the Liberation of Political Prisoners of Candelaria, Campeche (27 October 2009)


Mexico: Pronunciation of the National Network of Civil Resistance to High Electricity Prices

July 29, 2011

On 23 and 24 July, in the community of El Naranjo, municipality of Palenque (Chiapas), there was held a meeting of the National Network of Civil Resistance to High Electricity prices.  In the meeting participated organizations and communities from the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz that have organized themselves in civil resistance in light of the high electricity prices, opting to not pay given prices, given that the costs are considered excessively high.

In their communiqué, the participants of the meeting denounced that “We see and suffer in alarm, but also with anger and impotence given how they repress us and subject us to judicial process, this just for raising our voices.  They seek to sap us of our strength and will, subjecting us to a justice that denies us the most fundamental human rights and which criminalizes our struggles and our comrades.”  They expressed their solidarity with the National and International Campaign against Judicial Harassment and the Criminalization of Human-Rights Defenders and Social Activists of Mexico, initiated by the Regional Autonomous Council of the coastal zone of Chiapas and the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights A.C. from Tonalá (Chiapas), due to the judicial investigations targeting Nataniel Hernández Núñez, ex-director of the Center, which have been considered legal harassment.  Among other demands, they call for the cancellation of arrest-orders, investigations, and penal processes targeting several members of the National Network of Civil Resistance to High Electricity Prices.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de la Red Nacional de Resistencia Civil a las Altas Tarifas de la Energía eléctrica (24 July 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Campeche: Arrest of activist campaigning against high electricity prices (26/05/2010)

Mexico: AI Declares Activists against High Electricity Tariffs Prisoners of Conscience (10/03/2010)

Campeche: National Meeting for the Liberation of Political Prisoners of Candelaria, Campeche (27/10/2009)


Oaxaca: Activist who struggles against high electricity prices is detained and later released with a fine

April 24, 2011

On 12 April, Filiberto Vicente Aquino was violently detained.  Aquino is part of the movement against the commodification of electricity that has some strength in a number of populaces of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

Aquino was arrested violently in his community, Santa María Xadani, Juchitán, by units of the state police and taken to the State Attorney General’s office in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca. He was there convicted on the charge of “stealing electricity,” which is considered a federal crime.

It should be remembered that the movement of resistance against high electricity prices charged by the Federal Commission of Electricity bases itself within the southeastern region of the country in opposition to the abusive prices charged by the parastatal firm to the residents of the area, which is the most-productive in terms of electricity generation in the country.

Following a number of mobilizations, Vicente Aquino was released on 14 April after having to pay a fine of 28000 pesos.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen liberación de Filiberto Vicente Aquino, integrante del Movimiento de Resistencia Civil contra las Altas Tarifas eléctricas del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Enlace Zapatista, 14 April 2011)

Detienen a activista por luchar contra cobro de tarifas de luz en Xadani(Ciudadania-express, 13 April 2011)

Oaxaca, México: Continúa preso Filiberto Vicente Aquino. Movilizaciones por su libertad (Kaosenlared, 13 April 2011)

Liberan en Oaxaca a opositor dela CFE (NSSOaxaca, 14 April 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Possible conflict regarding wind-energy projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (18 January 2011)


Campeche: National Meeting for the Liberation of Political Prisoners of Candelaria, Campeche

October 27, 2009

Imagen de la conformación de la Red Nacional de Resistencia Civil a las Altas Tarifas de la Energía Eléctrica, mayo de 2009

On September 13th, 14th, and 15th, the National Meeting for the Liberation of Political Prisoners of Candelaria was held in Campeche, in the capital of the same state, in solidarity with the five prisoners of Candelaria and the villagers of San Antonio Ébula, all from the state of Campeche. The five detainees from the “Movement in opposition to high electrical energy prices” in Candelaria who had been violently detained this past July 10th, accused of kidnapping, among other crimes, were freed on bail on September 23rd.

The meeting, in which six national organizations and twenty-eight organizations from nine Mexican states participated, among them several from the state of Chiapas, also brought solidarity with the villagers of San Antonio Ébula, who have been deprived of their own land by people contracted by the local businessman Eduardo Escalante with the complicity of the state government.

In the public pronouncement made at the end of the meeting, they emphasized that the encarcerated of Candelaria are “political prisoners of conscience because they have been deprived of their freedom for defending the rights of the people,” since they demand a just rate for electrical energy service. Moreover, the participants of the meeting denounced the conduct of the law enforcement authorities who, “have violated the human rights of our ‘compañeros’ . . . and, above all, have been clear in criminalizing civil disobedience and any other kind of organization that tries to defend the rights of the people.” They announced that they will take action to pressure and demand the freedom of the detainees. This means that a large part of the organizations participating in the meeting will become part of the National Network of Civil Resistance to High Electrical Energy Prices, which was formed last May in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, and who have made mutual solidarity one of their principles in the vein of “One for all and all for one.”

In this context, Elmer Castellanos Velázquez and Guadalupe Lizcano Gómez were freed on bail due to the resolution of their legal defense’s appeal. Sara López González, Joaquín Aguilar Méndez and Guadalupe Borjas Contreras are still in jail, each of whom are from the Candelaria “Movement in opposition to high electrical energy prices.”

For more information (in Spanish)

PRONUNCIAMIENTO POLITICO DEL ENCUENTRO NACIONAL POR LA LIBERACION DE LOS PRESOS POLITICOS DE CANDELARIA

Acción Urgente: Libertad inmediata e incondicional a l@s pres@s políticos de Candelaria, Campeche

 


Chiapas: National Network of Civil Resistance against the High Prices of Electricity is formed

May 20, 2009

On May 16 and 17, a meeting of organizations from 7 Mexican states took place in order to organize a National Network of Civil Resistance against the High Prices of Electricity. This meeting took place in CIDECI- University of the Earth in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, and representatives of 20 organizations from Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, the Federal District, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Veracruz attended in order to organize a united front against the privatization and high prices of electricity.

After a short recuperation of the history of civil resistance and the struggle against electricity prices in various parts of Chiapas since the Zapatista uprising in 1994, the representatives of each organization shared their experience of struggle and the situations they are dealing with. In addition, the organization analyzed the government policy regarding electrical energy, and that during two decades there have been various legal reforms which helped the process of privatization of electricity, which in Mexico is administered by the state.

The objectives of the National Network of Civil Resistance against the High Prices of Electricity are to: “Strengthen our processes of resistance against the high prices of electricity through coordination at a national level which implies: organization and co-ordination, communication, solidarity, sharing of experiences, learning, widening of the network. Struggle for the respect and compliance with the San Andres Accords. Struggle against the privatization of electrical resources.”

The Network will be run under the following principals: “Independent of the government and political parties, democratic and militant; in Solidarity: `if one is attacked, they attack all of us’; non-negotiation with the government except involving prisoners: recognize and respect our differences and diversities. Reclaim the electrical energy for the people”.

For More Information:

DECLARACIÓN POLÍTICA DE LA RED NACIONAL DE RESISTENCIA CIVIL A LAS ALTAS TARIFAS DE LA ENERGÍA ELÉCTRICA (In Spanish)

Artículo de La Jornada sobre la Conformación de la Red Nacional de Resistencia Civil a las Altas Tarifas de la Energía Eléctrica (In Spanish)

Refusing to Pay for the Lights: Local Struggle against Privatization – SIPAZ Report, December 2004


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