Oaxaca: “We agree to organize ourselves at the regional level to resist wind-energy projects, mines, and other megaprojects”: CNI Isthmus

April 10, 2014



On 29 March there was held the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) in the community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality, where the primary theme for discussion was the organization of communities to resist wind-energy projects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  National and international organizations and persons from the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz, and Mexico City were received by the communal council, the council of the elderly, and the communal police of Álvaro Obregón, “who continue stronger than ever despite the constant harassment we have suffered in recent months at the hands of the municipal and state governments, as well as due to the leaders of the COCEI-PRD-PT and the PRI of Juchitán,” as the closing statement notes.

During the meeting there was a discussion of challenges and commitments: “New constitutional reforms are coming in terms of agrarian matters, and there will be other laws to prohibit protests and social mobilizations.  They threaten us, they imprison us, they repress us [...].  We commit ourselves to struggle for the strengthening of our autonomy as indigenous peoples, campesinos, and mestiz@s [...].  We commit ourselves to the struggle of our  grandfather, comrade Ta’ Pedro Martínez Guerra, a communard from Juchitán, to recover his lands which find themselves being invaded by the Fenosa Natural Gas firm.”

Participants also made reference to other projects they are resisting, such as “the invasion and extraction of minerals for construction on the mountain of Santa Cruz Igú, a sacred site, historical and communal, that is part of the communal goods of Juchitán, and we pronounce ourselves against the construction of the mining project in Ixtepec, which will have strong negative consequences in terms of health, environment, and the way of life our all our communities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del Congreso Nacional Indígena CNI – Istmo (Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio – APIITDTT, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Rechazo a proyectos eólicos, tema central en congreso de comunidades del istmo (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2014)

El paso de la resistencia a la autonomía en el Istmo de Tehuantepec(Desinformémonos, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Nuevo ataque de las eólicas en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Members of the communal police of Álvaro Obregón detained (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region (28 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

National: Harassment of home of director of Article 19 shortly before publication of report “Dissent in silence: violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013)

March 28, 2014

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

On 16 March, the home of the General Director of the Mexico and Central American Office of Article 19 belonging to Darío Ramírez was harassed.  Work documents as well as other valued objects and computers were stolen, according to a denunciation submitted to the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City (PGJDF).  The press release distributed by Article 19 after the act stressed that this is “the fifth security incident that personnel from the organization have faced [...] since April 2013.”  Beyond this, the acts took place two days before the organization released its report “Dissent in Silence: Violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013.”  In this sense, the bulletin expressed that “we are concerned that the harassment of the home would be a message of intimidation for those who seek to inhibit our work in favor of freedom of expression.”

On 18 March, however, there was held an event to present the 2013 report as planned, which indicates that each 26.5 hours a journalist is attacked in Mexico.  In 2013, Article 19 documented 330 aggressions against journalists and media institutions (59% more than in 2012), including 59 against women.  These statistics are the highest since 2007, though in 2013 five journalists died, two fewer than in 2012.  More than 60 attacks on journalists took place during protests, in a way that the report indicates as showing the “authorities choosing for the path of repression and direct confrontation.”  In 59.3% of the cases, a public official has been responsible.  Although the problem revolves around states already noted in the country (such as Veracruz, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas), Article 19 notes that the documented attacks allow one to see a “pattern of dissemination toward other states” such as, for example, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Baja California, and Zacatecas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Funcionarios públicos y crimen organizado, principales agresores de periodistas (Analisis Centro Prodh, 19 de marzo de 2014)

2013, el año más violento para la prensa en México: Artículo 19 (Animal político, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Primer año de Peña, el más violento para la prensa desde 2007: Artículo 19(Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Informe completo 2013 (Artículo 19, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Allanan la casa del Director de Artículo 19; solicita protección (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de Artículo 19 (Artículo 19, 17 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Article 19 receives death-threats (23 April 2013)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day

March 16, 2014

Marcha-peregrinación en Chenalhó para el Día Internacional de la Mujer (@SIPAZ)

Pilgrimage-march in Chenalhó for International Women’s Day (@SIPAZ)

Multiple activities were organized in Mexico on 8 March for International Women’s Day.  More than a celebration, these actions became platforms for denunciation: as Amnesty International has stressed, “on International Women’s Day, there is little to celebrate and many challenges to face.”  AI indicated that “in Mexico and the rest of Latin America, women confront a reality of discrimination and injustice every day, including the threat of death for merely belonging to the feminine sex.”  AI added that “the Mexican government should act now to arrest the epidemic of violence that women must face.”

In Chiapas, hundreds of women marched in the Teopisca and San Cristóbal de las Casas municipalities to demand a cessation of violence and discrimination against them.  The organizations and individual members of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas asked “How many more women will die for the State to consider there to be a wave of violence against the women of Chiapas? [...] Of the 51 deaths that the State Attorney General’s Office has registered as violent, it recognized only 47 as femicides and clarified that 37 of them had led to penal action, though only 2 cases have ended in condemnatory sentences [implying incarceration].  The efficacy presumed in Chiapas is shameful, for it recognizes that in reality there has been no resolution of the more than 90% of cases of femicidal violence.”  In light of the official rejection of a request for a gender violence alert, as presented on 25 November 2013, these women declared a “POPULAR PERMANENT ALERT.”

In Chenalhó, the Las Abejas Civil Society organized a pilgrimage-march.  In a communique, women from this organization emphasized that “More than 16 years since Acteal, we have not forgotten that our female comrades were murdered by the bad government.  This massacre brought us great sadness, fear, and illness; our pain has been great, but greater still are our memory and hopes.  Our massacred female comrades died organized; they died saying the truth; they died rejecting the violence sowed by the bad government in our community of Ch’enalvo´.  Now we will continue this brave and dignified example of our massacred sisters.”

In Oaxaca, Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE and social organizations held a march; the declaration of a gender alert for the state is another demand made by civil society in the state.  In what has passed of the administration of Gabino Cué Monteagudo, there have been seen a total of at least 268 femicides and 734 cases of gender violence in Oaxaca.

In Guerrero, Rosario Herrera Ascencio, head of the Ministry for Women (SEMUJER) in the state, stressed the need to legalize the decriminalization of abortion because many women die annually performing this in a clandestine manner.  With the slogan “without memory there is no justice; they will die when we give up struggle; let us honor them,” the social organizations of Atoyac commemorated International Women’s Day, reporting that the state occupies the eighth most violent state in terms of gender in the country.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado: “!En el Día Internacional de la Mujer hay poco que celebrar y muchos retos por enfrentar(Amnistía Internacional , 8 de marzo de 2014)

Frenar epidemia de violencia contra las mujeres, exige Amnistía Internacional(La Jornada, 8 de marzo de 2014)

Nada que festejar, dicen mujeres en su día; feminicidios, violencia, partos mal atendidos(La Jornada, 9 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Campaña contra los feminicidios: “Nos declaramos en alerta popular de género (8 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de las mujeres de Las Abejas en el Día Internacional de la Mujer (8 de marzo de 2014)

Reclaman ONG que Aguirre no cumpla su promesa de lograr la igualdad de género (La Jornada de Guerrero, 8 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Conmemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

Oaxaca: March of releatives of victims of feminicide and members of human rights organizations for women (22 April 2013)

Oaxaca: More feminicides under Gabino Cué than in the final years of Ulises Ruiz (24 January 2013)

Oaxaca: Harassment and death-threats directed against members of the Democratic Civic Union of Neighborhoods Colonies and Communities (UCIDEBACC)

March 1, 2014

Denuncia púbica sobre las agresiones a integrantes de Ucidebacc. Foto (@Kaos en la Red)

On 15 February, Eva Lucero Rivero Ortiz, a human-rights defender and spokesperson for the Democratic Civic Union of Neighborhoods Colonies and Communities (UCIDEBACC), received two death-threats to her cell phone after having participated in a meeting with Oaxaca state officials.

The previous day, other members of UCIDEBACC, María Dolores Merino Ortiz, Reina Clavel Tapia, Cinthia Narciso Bernal, and a minor, were injured as a result of beatings received by the State Preventive Police during a peaceful protest they were carrying out in Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca.

According to the urgent action released by Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca A.C., “These acts take place within a context of constant and systematic attacks against the rights-defender Eva Lucero Rivero Ortiz and her organization,” which since June 2013 has suffered multiple acts of intimidation, death threats, defamation, harassment, and arbitrary arrest.

Though the case has been presented before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Defense Institute for the Human Rights of the Oaxacan People (DDHPO), the security of neither the defender nor the other members of the organization has been maintained.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian ataque de la Secretaría de Seguridad a organización UCIDEBACC (NSS Oaxaca, 16 de febrero de 2014)

Policía Estatal agrede a manifestantes de la Ucidebacc en Pinotepa Nacional (Diario Oaxaca, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Denuncia pública de la represión policial contra Ucidebacc (Kaos en la Red, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Preocupación por la vida e integridad física de Defensoras de DH integrantes de la UCIDEBACC (Consorcio Oaxaca, 18 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Communique by Consorcio in light of multiple attacks by the State (2 July 2012)

Oaxaca: Camp on communal lands of Juchitán once again destroyed

February 5, 2014

Foto @ APPJ

Photo @ APPJ

The Popular Assembly of the Juchitán People (APPJ) has denounced that during the early morning of 28 January, “hitmen” from the Fenosa Natural Gas company burned down the resistance camp in opposition to the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park for the second time, located on the communal lands of Juchitán de Zaragoza in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  According to the APPJ, these acts were performed “on the orders of Óscar Toral, Héctor Guillén, and Ricardo Morales,” all involved in the construction project.  The first attack took place on 15 October 2013.

In other news, the priest Alejandro Solalinde, a mediator among the APPJ, the Energy Ministry (Sener), Fenosa Natural Gas, and the Oaxaca state government, has warned that there could be a “bloodbath” resulting from the “aloofness” carried out by the firm and official authorities, given that the APPJ Zapotec indigenous people will defend their lands with their lives, given that even the state government representative, Javier Jiménez, has requested that agrarian conflict not be brought up in the negotiations.  Solalinde noted that Javier Jiménez, whom the APPJ does not recognize as a mediator, has a “conflict of interest” because he was an official under Ulises Ruiz, while he also “legalized the change in the status of communal lands to being private property, even though he had no jurisdiction to do so [...].  Fenosa Gas has now called itself the owner of the land and with this has justified all that it has done, without consultation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Incendian por segunda vez campamento de opositores a eólica en Juchitán, Oaxaca (La Jornada, 29 de enero de 2014)

AU Exigimos seguridad para la APPJ ante la quema de su campamento en Juchitán (Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha – Código DH, 29 de enero de 2014)

Nota y comunicado de la Asamblea Popular del Pueblo Juchiteco – APPJ(Kaos en la Red, 29 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

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: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Persons displaced from San Francisco del Mar Pueblo Viejo, Tehuantepec Isthmus

December 9, 2013


Photo @ Chiapas Denuncia Pública

On 30 November, persons who were expelled from the community of San Francisco del Mar Pueblo Viejo, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, held a press-conference to relate their experiences with displacement starting on 14 November: “The conflict began when in an Assembly we were pressured to vote for the PRI and we did not want to, because we think differently.  There is also the fact that we wanted a school [for our children] separate from the one run by Section 59.  Slowly, we were termed ‘the problematic ones.’  By means of different strategies, we progressively lost the ability to enjoy a dignified life in the community.  We were forbidden from fishing in the shrimp areas, our pastures were destroyed, we were cut off from the water supply for our homes, and our children were not allowed in the community’s school [...].  We took a position of opposition to the construction of the wind-energy project on our lands, and for this reason our own authorities are persecuting us.”  Furthermore, more than 8 months ago, one of those who was displaced was severely beaten and thereafter incarcerated when he was going to fish.  His injuries left him in the hospital with broken ribs.

Eleven persons, the majority of them men, have been displaced, and the threat that more expulsions will follow is a real one.  The displaced, who are all fisherfolk, say that for months they have been receiving letters signed by the Municipal Agent mandating their “peaceful” expulsion from the community.

According to the media who arrived at the scene, the community find itself virtually under siege: access-points are controlled by the gruop in power, led by the Municipal Agent, who is in turn supported by PRI representative-elects.  The fisherfolk, for their part, have said that other members of the community do not agree with what is happening, but they fear punishment if they were to rebel.  The prohibition on fishing results in economic strangulaion in a community which depends on that activity for practically all its income and sustenance.

For more information (in Spanish):

Conferencia de Prensa sobre agresiones, violaciones de derechos humanos y desplazamiento forzado a miembros de comunidad Huave (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 29 de noviembre de 2013)

Expulsados de su comunidad por no votar por el PRI y oponerse a proyecto eólico (Pozol Colectivo, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Exigimos a los políticos que no vengan a dividir nuestras comunidades para imponer proyectos como el eólico: Desplazados de Pueblo Viejo (Pozol Colectivo, 30 de noviembre de 2013)

Desplazamiento forzado para imponer proyecto eólico a comunidad indígena en el Istmo de Oaxaca (Pozol Colectivo, 22 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Protests continue in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 November 2012)

Oaxaca: After 7 years, Section 22 recalls the 25 of November

December 8, 2013

Mitin de la Sección 22, 25 noviembre 2013 @ SIPAZ

Section 22 rally, 25 November 2013 @ SIPAZ

After 7 years, on 25 November 2013, Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) once again recalled the confrontation that took place between police and civil society in 2006 and repudiated the repression experienced in that year to demand punishment of those responsible.  The teachers marched to the zócalo of Oaxaca City, where they held a rally.

For more information (in Spanish):

Maestros exigen castigo para los responsables de la represión de 2006(Proceso, 25 de noviembre de 2013)

Boletín de prensa: “Conmemora Sección XXII represión del 25 de Noviembre de 2006″ (25 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: March-meeting of Section 22 of the SNTE in commemoration of 25 November (30 November 2012)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)

Oaxaca: March of teachers and social organizations in observance of the repression of 25 November 2006 (28 November 2011)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Commemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead

November 13, 2013


Photo @Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas

Due to the alarming number of femicides that has taken place in the state, activists and different organizations which form part of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas organized different activities and set up an altar in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. On the altar was collected white crosses made of paper to denounce the violent deaths and femicides of more than 80 women this year, a statistic that places the state of Chiapas fifth among other Mexican states in terms of the number of femicides.

In Oaxaca City, there was offered bread, fruit, flowers, liquor, and candles on an altar that was installed aside a Oaxacan university to commemorate the women who have been killed in Oaxaca and throughout the country.  Prayers were offered for female victims of violence, “recalling their names, their ages, their work, their successes, who it was who attacked them, and what the status is of their legal processes,” as Daniela Ramírez explained, a member of the International Diplomat in Studies of Women and the Group on Femicide in the Republic.

Presented just a few days ago, the report “From survivors to defenders: Women who confront violence in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala,” as compiled by the Initiative of Nobel Prize Winning Women, warns that the problem of femicide and violation of human rights in Mexico has reached “crisis” levels.  The report notes that in Mexico 6.4 women are killed per day, with 95% of these crimes going unpunished, according to data from the report and the UN.

For more information (in Spanish):

Recuerdan a mujeres víctimas de feminicidio en Chiapas (Reporte ciudadano, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

En recuerdo de las muertas por la barbarie de los machos en Oaxaca (NSS Oaxaca, 1 de noviembre de 2013)

Exigen “ni una muerta más” en el país (Educa Oaxaca, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

Crecen 40% feminicidios en México (Diario de Oaxaca, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

Feminicidios alcanzan nivel de “crisis” en México: Informe de premios Nobel; cada día asesinan a 6.4 mujeres (Sin Embargo, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Marches against violence against women and femicide (26 October 2013)

Chiapas: Careful, patriarchy kills! Presentation of the “Campaign against violence against women and femicide in Chiapas” (3 October 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Increase in feminicide and State Accord for Gender Equality (22 April 2013)

Chiapas: Colem Group of Women take action against feminicide (19 October 2012)


Chiapas/Oaxaca: Marches against violence against women and femicide

October 26, 2013

Marcha en Oaxaca. Foto @Subversiones

March in Oaxaca. Photo @Subversiones

Marches against violence against women and femicide took place during the weekend of 12-13 October in Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca state, and in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.

The march in San Cristóbal, included within a “Campaign against violence against women and femicide in Chiapas,” had as its objective to show the relationship which exists between the violence exercised against women and the prevailing patriarchal-capitalist system, which has in fact been strengthened by the neoliberal policies imposed by the federal government in the country.

In a communique released for the occasion, there is indicated that the structural reforms promoted by the government worsen poverty for the majority of families, women, and men of the country.  The economic crisis modifies the patriarchal model of the man as provider and chief of the family, thus implying a crisis in the traditional gender and power relations which leads to an increase in violence on the part of men against women as a means of maintaining traditional relations of power and subordination.  The synergization of the structural factors which incentivize violence, the construction of new forms of personal relations, and the demand on the State to govern for all the people (rather than a small group of large firms) and to guarantee the right to life and the rights of women are all important means by which to eradicate violence against women and femicide, notes the communique.

In Oaxaca dozens of women marched through the center of the city, this being the main action carried out by the collective “Radical Antipatriarchal Action.”

“We have decided to organize ourselves, being women of different sectors, ages, and places of origin, but we all share this common lack of conformity, anger, and rage toward the violence we experience,” noted members of the women’s collective.

“Radical Antipatriarchal Action” seeks to demonstrate all types of violence which are exercised against women, whether they be physical, psychological, symbolic, economic, structural, or what have you, and they propose self-defense and autonomy as means of changing the situation of subjugation, oppression, and violence which they suffer: “Solely through ourselves will we be able to create change, only through ourselves will we exit and raise our voices to be heard [...].  In light of this all, we say ‘basta,’ we rebel, and we decide to organize ourselves outside of institutions like political parties, NGOs, and governmental agencies, given that these in their majority reproduce the same logic of the patriarchal system which oppresses us.  We believe in our own capacity to act collectively.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado 12 de Octubre: Campaña contra la violencia hacia las mujeres y el feminicidio en Chiapas (Observatorio Frontera Sur de México, 12 de octubre de 2013)

Mujeres conforman frente “anti-patriarcal” contra violencia feminicida en Oaxaca (NSS Oaxaca, 13 de octubre de 2013)

Oaxaca: “¡No somos pobres mujeres, sino mujeres fuertes, que no se conforman, no callan y luchan!” (Subversiones, octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Careful, patriarchy kills! Presentation of the “Campaign against violence against women and femicide in Chiapas” (3 October 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Increase in feminicide and State Accord for Gender Equality (22 April 2013)

Chiapas: Colem Group of Women take action against feminicide (19 October 2012)

National: During mobilization on 12 October, the teachers’ movement announces maintenance and increase in protests

October 26, 2013

Mitin de la CNTE en el Hemiciclo a Juárez.  Foto  @Cuartoscuro

CNTE rally in Hemiciclo to Juárez.
Photo @Cuartoscuro

After a march carried out through the streets of Mexico City, the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) announced, before the Hemiciclo to Juárez, that it would maintain the protests it has engaged in against educational and other reforms imposed by the federal government.  It was noted that the teachers’ movement find itself in a phase of reorganization during which it seeks to include new actors in their demands.

Rubén Nuñez, General Secretary of Section 22 of Oaxaca, proclaimed that mobilizations will also increase in Mexico City and different states of the Republic, in light of the lack of action on the part of the federal government to negotiate and reach accord.  He also observed that, starting on 12 October, the CNTE sit-in held at the Monument to the Revolution would be re-enforced, given the arrival of new contingents from the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Michoacán, Guerrero, and Mexico City, totaling some 6000 teachers.  He did not deny a plan to retake the Zócalo, though so far no date for this action has been decided upon.

For more information (in Spanish):

Continuarán las protestas en el DF: CNTE (Animal Político, 12 de octubre de 2013)

Intensificará la CNTE protestas en el país contra las reformas (La Jornada, 13 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Violent displacement of protest sit-ins held by the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) (4 October 2013)

National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform (4 October 2013)


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