Oaxaca: XXII Extended Plenary Meeting of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)

September 29, 2008

On September 19th, 20th, and 21st of 2008, the extended plenary meeting of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI, Congresso Nacional Indígena) took place in the indigenous community of Cacalotepec, in the municipality of Santos Reyes Pápalo, home to the Cuicateco people, who are located in the highlands of the Región Cañada in the state of Oaxaca.

The meeting, which was organized by the Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca Ricardo Flores Magón (CIPO-RFM, Consejo Indígena Popular de Oaxaca Ricardo Flores Magón), was broken down into plenary meetings as well as four themes of discussion: 1.- Our path as indigenous peoples in the face of capitalist projects; 2.-The strengthening of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI); 3.- The situation of indigenous women in the face of capitalist projects; 4.- The repression of indigenous peoples.

Representatives from the following peoples participated: the Cuicateco people; the Mixteco people from both the coast and the highlands; the Zapoteca people; the Mixe people; the Tsotsil people; the Tseltal people; the Nahua people; the Purhepecha people; the WIX’ARIKA people; the Triqui people; the Chinanteco people. In addition representatives from various NGOs and social organizations participated. Members of SIPAZ attended as international observers.

More Information (In Spanish):

Final Address of the National Indigenous Congress


Oaxaca: National Forum “Building Paths and Developing Plans for Political Transformation”

September 25, 2008

On September 19th and 20th, the National Forum “Construyendo Caminos y Articulando Proyectos para la Transformación Política” (“Building Paths and Developing Plans for Political Transformation”) occurred in Oaxaca. According to the organizers, the meeting was a gathering of 240 people; this included men, women, representatives and members of seventy-three social and civil organizations, including social movements from Chiapas, Morelos, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and the state of Mexico, as well as representatives from Australia and the United States.

The final political declaration emphasized that “this event is occurring within the context of a serious institutional crisis and of a fragile democracy, in which we as a country are immersed; it is occurring within the many experiences of struggle and resistance from many diverse social movements in Mexico and through the necessity of re-articulating the social and political processes of the people of Oaxaca in the face of the authoritarianism of the government”.

The proposed objectives of this event were: to generate a space of discussion for the diverse range of social movements in the country; to identify common elements between the national and local settings, as well as to reach a consensus on the priority courses of action within the social agenda.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Political Declaration of the National Forum “Building Roads and Developing Plans for Political Transformation”

Opening Speech by Dolores Gonzáles (SERAPAZ: Services and Consulting for Peace)

Europe: European Social Forum

September 21, 2008

The European Social Forum (ESF) is a meeting for social movements in Europe, a force of regional coordination integrated in the framework of the Global Social Forums. In the case of Europe, it first took place in Florence, Italy in 2002.

This year, the Forum took place in Malmö, Sweden and according to the organizers 20,000 participants attended and around 200 activities took place, among them seminars, workshops, and debates. Under the slogan “another Europe is possible”, the participants included members of unions, organizations for the environment, women’s rights, the defense of indigenous peoples’ rights and human rights in general, as well as leftist movements linked to political parties as well as independent groups.

SIPAZ participated in two workshops under the theme “Chiapas, 14 years after the Zapatista uprising” as well as a debate about social movements in the south of Mexico
with members of Radio Plantón (a community radio station run by members of the teachers trade union in Oaxaca) and the Finish boat Estelle which works in solidarity with the zapatistas.

Workshop on the Finish Boat Estelle

Among the cultural program, which included more than 400 activities including concerts, movies, and photography exhibitions, one of the exhibitions which was very successful was “la Otra Mirada” (the other vision) which was organized by a group of independent photographers from Mexico. Their exhibition about La Otra Campana (the Other Campaign) and Subcomandante Marcos’ tour in 2006 was very popular.

For More Information about the European Social Forum or the Finish boat Estelle:



Europe: La Otra Mirada- Photography Exhibition at the European Social Forum

September 21, 2008

Photo from the Tour of the Other Campaign

During the European Social Forum, one of the most popular exhibitions was “la Otra Mirada” (the Other Vision) which consisted of 12 photos from the tour of “la Otra Campaña” (the Other Campaign) in Mexico. According to the organizers of this event, this tour “allowed the possibility to make visible the great number of individual and collective struggles; the long list of injustices and robberies perpetrated by small governments or by huge transnational corporations; as well as the great range of willpower fighting to recreate hope, with the firm resolution to never surrender. Struggles which were not aware of each other because of geographical distance, are beginning to discover and become aware of each other”.

In addition they explain that “In this process, the alternative media, also made up of active individuals in the movement, is given the task of recording through reports, sound recordings, photographs, and videos, the testimonies and experiences of all those who have participated, spoken up to denounce, and shown strength during the tour”.

Through this exhibition, the organizers attempted “to portray each of these struggles through alternative means of communication, which later would allow one to get to know them and understand how they feel, how they smell, and to know how they live and struggle in each of the different parts of our country”.

Photographs from the Exhibition of “La Otra Mirada” at the European Social Forum

More Photos from “La Otra Mirada”

Oaxaca: Fifty-one activists from Oaxacan social movement released

September 9, 2008

According to a report from the Oaxacan offices of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (Limeddh, Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos) on September 8, 51 activists within the Oaxacan social movement were released by an order from the Third District Court. All of the activists were detained by agents from the Federal Preventative Police (PFP Policía Federal Preventiva) November 25, 2006 in the Historic Center of Oaxaca City.

In their last communiqué, Limeddh stated that, “The individuals who were illegally arrested on November 25, are a clear example of the victimization that innocent people suffer within a corrupt justice system that acts under orders from the executive branch.”

The Committee of Relatives of the Assasinated, Disappeared and Political Prisoners of Oaxaca (COFADAPPO, Comité de Familiares de Asesinados, Desaparecidos y Presos Políticos de Oaxaca,) circulated a communiqué the same day in which they announce that the former detainees will bring a case against those authorities responsible for the abuses.

More information in Spanish:

Boletín de prensa de la Limeddh (08/09/2008)

Boletín de prensa del COFADAPPO (08/09/2008)

Excarcelan en Oaxaca a 51 seguidores de la APPO (La Jornada, 09/09/2008)

Guerrero: A member of CECOP erroneously detained as the struggle against La Parota continues

September 9, 2008


Members of CECOP in opposition to the hydroelectric dam project La Parota

On September 3, 2008, Jacinto Solís Vázquez, a member of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the dam La Parota (CECOP, Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositores a la presa La Parota), was detained by agents from the Ministerial Police (PIM) who transported him to the Las Cruces detention center in the municipality of Acapulco, Guerrero. Solís was detained under a warrant which had been cancelled in 2004 after an appeal was made. After 20 hours in police custody, he was released despite the fact that the Sixth Court (of the penal branch ascribed to the detention center in Las Cruces) justified the arrest stating that the PIM agents were unaware of the fact that the arrest warrant was no longer valid.

According to the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña (CDHM Tlachinollan, Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña “Tlachinollan”), these events are just one example of how the government continues in its intent to hinder the CECOP movement. It is important to remember that on July 30, during a visit to Acapulco, the Secretary of the Interior, Juan Camilo Mouriño Terrazo, declared that the hydroelectric dam project, La Parota, would continue in force. His comments seem to confirm the fact that neither the federal nor the state governments have taken the position of the CECOP or the recommendations made by the UN to suspend the project, into consideration. The CDHM Tlachinollan considers the arrest of members of CECOP, such as that of Solís, El CDHM Tlachinollan considera que las detenciones de miembros del CECOP, como la de Solís, part of a “strategy that the state government has been following in order to generate an confrontational environment in response to its plan to sujugate, silence and criminalize those in opposition and resistence to the construction of la Parota.”

More information:

CECOP demands authorities respect the agreements reached in assembly on 12th August (CDHM Tlachinollan, 17/08/08)

Mouriño´s declarations on La Parota are without foundation (CDHM Tlachinollan, 01/08/08)

La Parota Dam Project (SIPAZ)

More information in Spanish:

Encarcelan 20 horas a comunero opositor a La Parota (CDHM Tlachinollan, 04/09/08)

CECOP exige a autoridades respeto a los acuerdos de la asamblea del 12 de agosto (CDHM Tlachinollan 17/08/08)

Son temerarias las declaraciones de Mouriño sobre La Parota (CDHM Tlachinollan, 01/08/08)

ONU recomienda detener La Parota (El Univeral, 14/03/08)

Pide ONU suspensión de La Parota: Tlachinollan (SERAPAZ, 13/03/08)

Oaxaca: The state with the highest percentage of indigenous peoples incarcerated, according to the CDI

September 9, 2008

The Director General of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, Luis H. Álvarez

During a scheduled trip to Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, the Director General of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI, Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas), Luis H. Álvarez, stated that the state of Oaxaca has the highest percentage of indigenous people in the prison system in the country (26%).

The Director General of the CDI also reiterated the conclusions outlined in an investigative report carried out by a team commissioned by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico in conjunction with the CDI (Informe del Diagnóstico sobre el acceso a la justicia para los indígenas en México. Estudio de caso en Oaxaca [2007]). The report determined that for every 100 indigenous people in Mexico charged with a crime, 82 do not have access to a interpreter.

More information:

Mexico: Treatment of indigenous people in urban areas; state protection efforts (2005-2007) (UNHCR, 17/01/08)

More information in Spanish:

Visita de trabajo del titular de la CDI al municipio de Juchitán, Oaxaca (CDI, 04/09/2008)