Chiapas/Mexico/Latin America: Rights-violations by mining firms

April 27, 2012

Photo:@ M4

On 24 April in a press-conference held in the cultural space El Paliacate, Gustavo Castro from the organization Other Worlds Chiapas AC and Luis Hernández from the Digna Ochoa base Committee for Human Rights read a communiqué from the Mesoamerican Movement against the Extractive Mining Model (M4).

The communiqué notes that “Mining firms invade our territories, the majority of them Canadian, and they violate all our basic rights.  Throughout the Mesoamerican region they have caused displacement from people’s lands and livelihoods, generating grave impacts on health, as in the case of Valle de Siria in Honduras, San Miguel Ixtahuacán in Guatemala, and Carrizalillo in Mexico.”

The communiqué notes as well that “In their passage through our territories they have left aquifers poisoned, communities and families divided; they have provoked deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and loss of food sovereignty for campesino and indigenous regions.  They have contributed to the corruption of the local and national authorities in our countries, and they are principal actors in the growing repression and criminalization to which we have been subjected by our governments, when we demand respect for our rights or denounce the environmental injustices they carry out.  As a result of this, activists, human-rights defenders from Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico have been incarcerated, threatened with death, injured, and even murdered.”

In light of this context, they enumerated a series of demands and announced several initiatives that the M4 suggests be carried out against mining extraction, including a campaign against the ColdCorp transnational firm.

For more information (in Spanish):


Otros Mundos Chiapas (minería)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Actions, denunciations, and mobilizations in the case of San José del Progreso (3 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Murder of the spokesperson of the Coordination of the United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (25 March 2012)

Oaxaca: Two opponents of mining in San José del Progreso are fired on (8 February 2012)

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

Oaxaca: Coordination of United People of the Ocotlán Valley close entrance to silver mine in San José del Progreso (14 March 2011)

Oaxaca: Civil Mission of Observation “Water is Life; Let us Defend its Existence” (8 September 2010)


Oaxaca: Harassment by wind-energy firm against residents of San Dionisio del Mar is denounced

April 27, 2012

On 19 April, the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory denounced in a press release that on 18 April, workers from the Eólica Mareña Renovable firm and from subcontracted firms carried out topographical and preparatory work on land to construct the “Barra Santa Teresa” Wind-Energy park, in the Isla Barra Santa Teresa, which pertains to the San Dionisio del Mar community.  According to the denunciation, the workers “attempted to harass our observation commission by photographing them and asking for the names of the ‘leaders.’  Theyu were left clear that as legitimate owners of the Isla we have the right to demand that they immediately leave our Isla.”  In a press-release, the Assembly warns that if the workers “return the people will take the necessary measures to make the decision of the Assembly be respected.  We will not allow the Wind Park to be installed on our Isla because it endangers our forms of life.  We will defend our rights using all possible means.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (19/04/2012)

Noticias Voz e Imagen: Implementan huaves vigilancia para impedir proyecto eólico (21/04/2012)

Noticias Voz e Imagen: Alistan en Oaxaca el mayor proyecto eólico(23/04/2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (7 March 2012)

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)

Oaxaca: Francisco Toledo denounces death-threats

April 27, 2012

Francisco Toledo (@ciudadanía-Express)

In a press conference on 23 April, the famous Oaxacan painter Francisco Toledo affirmed that he had received death-threats via e-mail presumably sent by members of the criminal group Los Zetas, to the e-mail address of the Institute of Graphical Arts of Oaxaca.  He explained that the message sent on 14 April indicated to the authors of the message that they had been contracted by someone to assassinate him, without offering any reason or motive.  He presented a penal denunciation before the Federal Attorney General’s Office due to these happenings.  Toledo said that he is worried in light of the death-threat against him but also because of the various death-threats that are being directed against human-rights defenders in general, given that his case joints that of death-threats against the coordinator of Social Pastoral Work for Human Mobility, Alejandro Solalinde, of the Diocene Commission for Peace and Justice, Francisco Wilfrido Mayrén Peláez and from the Gobixta Committee for Defense of Human Rights (CODIGO-DH), Alba Cruz Ramos, as well as to the family of the former political prisoner Marcelino Coache. For his part, the State Attorney General, Manuel de Jesús López López, has said that the PGR has decided to grant Toledo protection, in light of the threats against him.

It should be recalled that on 29 February, the Twitter user @veritas_lex published a note indicating that “we offer Oaxacan citizens 10 million pesos for the hired killing of the retrograde  Francisco Toledo.”  Some days later, the user of that account was identified as Jorge Hugo Hernández Hernández,  militant of the National Action Party.

For more information (in Spanish):

Francisco Toledo denuncia ante la PGR amenazas de muerte (La Jornada, 24 de abril de 2012)

Francisco Toledo teme por su vida (El Universal, 24 de abril de 2012)

Denuncia el pintor Francisco Toledo amenazas de Los Zetas (Proceso, ‎23 de abril de 2012‎)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Urgent Actcción Urgente para garantizar la protección del Padre “Uvi”, defensor de derechos humanos (21 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against rights-defender Alba Cruz and wife of Marcelino Coache (19 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Urgent Action in the case of Padre Uvi (13 August 2010)

National: use of public force is regulated

April 27, 2012

(@ SIPAZ, archived photo)

Six months before ending his presidential term, Felipe Calderón on 23 April called for changes to be made to the legitimate use of force, detention of persons, chain of command, and investigation in which will participate the police, the armed forces, and governmental justice institutions.  Accompanied by the leaders of the ministries that drew up the accords, Calderón argued that with these instruments will be guaranteed the rights of the innocent and those victimized by crimes having to do with human rights.  He assured that these documents respond to the necessity of “having much more clear orders,” and they make precise the circumstances under which the State can use force.

According to the president, the reforms are a response to recommendations made by the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) and other international human-rights organs that seek to “strengthen the overall protection of human rights as regards the actions of authority.”  In any case, the content of these indications reflects that “security forces now have a much more solid legal basis to continue with their tasks as they have to date performed them: with respect for the law and with respect for the right of persons.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Regulan el uso de la fuerza pública (El Universal, 24 de abril de 2012)

Gobierno regula uso de la fuerza por parte de sus cuerpos de seguridad (CNN México, 23 de abril de 2012)

Presenta Calderón protocolos de seguridad (Proceso, 23 de abril de 2012)

Presenta Calderón protocolos de seguridad para fuerzas federales(Milenio, 23 de abril de 2012)

Protege nuevo protocolo derechos de inculpados y víctimas: Calderón(La Jornada, 23 de abril de 2012)

Video completo del evento (Presidencia de la República, 23 de abril de 2012)

Chiapas: Violence against member of Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights is denounced

April 27, 2012

Photo:@ CDMCH

The Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights (CDMHC) and the Peace Network have denounced a new case of violence and discrimination suffered by one of its members in San Cristóbal de Las Casas due to her condition of “gender, class, and ethnicity, for being a woman, indigenous and poor.”  On 12 April, at 5:15am, of the CDMHC’s members was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver, to which she responded by defending herself and succeeding in escaping.  The woman had been going to the transport hub that goes to Ocosingo so as to arrive at the offices of the CDMHC in the Yajalón municipality, where she works.

The CDMHC denunciation adds that “It is also clear that in light of events such as this that has happened to our comrade with the complicity and responsibility of the Mexican State, which bears the burden for all acts of violence against women in its failure to guarantee their security and respect their basic rights, not to take the proper measures to eliminate discrimination against women, and taking on adequate means to modify or change laws, rules, uses, and pracitces that constitute discrimination against women.”

The members of the Peace Network support the demands of the Women’s Center, demanding that “Action be taken–political, social, economic, and legal–that will guarantee the rights of women to lives free of violence.  Down with IMPUNITY, which reproduces violence against women.  We call for an investigation of the events that have been denounced and punishment for those responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian violencia y acoso hacia mujeres, Cuarto Poder, 19 de abril de 2012

Denuncia Red por la Paz Chiapas, 20 abril de 2012

Oaxaca: Meeting in front of the PGR against impunity in the case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, nearly two years after their murders

April 21, 2012


On 17 April, members of different civil and social organizations carried out a meeting in front of the headquarters of the Federal Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City to demand the clarification of the murder of the human-rights defenders Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola that occurred on 27 April 2010 when they were attempting to bring humanitarian support to the community of San Juan Copala in the Triqui region of the state of Oaxaca.  Protestors demanded that authorities conclude with their investigations, “given that they now have all the necessary evidence and testimony, and it is just a question of political will to resolve it.”

They announced that they will submit an international criminal denunciation against the Oaxacan ex-governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (2004-2010).  Beyond this, the Cariño family declared that it will next week visit Finland, Jaakkola’s country of origin, to officially submit the denunciation against Ruiz for his responsibility for the crime.  “Yes, it is necessary to go to the other side of the world to find justice, so that is how we will do it,” signaled Omar Esparza, Bety Cariño’s husband.

In the protest participated organizations like the Zapatista Indigenous Agrarian Movement, the Mexican Alliance for the Self-Determination of Peoples, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, and Campesino and Urban Communities in Solidarity with Alternatives, among others.

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden aclarar asesinato de Cariño y Jaakkola (La Jornada, 18 de abril de 2012)

OSC anuncian denuncia penal internacional contra Ulises Ruíz a dos años del asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Boletín de Prensa MAIZ  / Alianza Mexicana por la Auto Determinación de los Pueblos, 17 de abril de 2012)

Convocan a protesta para exigir detención de homicidas de activistas (Proceso, 30 de marzo de 2012)

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca: Triquis return to their communities after 16 months of sit-in (8 February 2012)

Oaxaca: justice demanded for San Juan Copala (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño and Jaakkola (17 October 2011)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)

Oaxaca: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 April 2010)

Chiapas: Motion is requested to demand the return of Alberto Patishtan, and support activities are called for

April 21, 2012

Patishtan’s children speaking with their father @

Alberto Patishtan, completing 41 years of age, has received notice from the Federal Secretary for Public Security has challenged the motion that was in process of examination which would have returned him to the CERSS 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.  Both his blog as well as that of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) note that “On 29 February 2012, the fifth judge of the district with headquarters in Tuxtla Gutiérrez resolved the motion, demanding the return of professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez to Chiapas, but nonetheless Felipe Calderón by means of the Federal Secretary for Public Security on 3 April 2012 submitted a motion to retract or annul Alberto’s return to Chiapas.”

In relation and support for Patishtán, several actions are being carried out to call for his return to Chiapas and his release altogether.  The Network against Repression and Solidarity (Network vs. Repression) has called for a Forum against political imprisonment and for the release of Alberto Patishtán which is to be held on 12 and 13 May 2012 in the Indigenous Center for Integral Training (CIDECI-Unitierra) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.  From the Movement for Justice in the Barrio in New York, adherents to the Other Campaign, and supported by the Patishtán family, there has been a call made for a “Week of Global Struggle for the Release of Patishtán and Sántiz López: To Break down the Walls of the Dungeon” for May 15 to 22.  It should be noted that Francisco Sántiz López, Zapatista support-base, has been held for 5 months in the CERSS 5, even though witnesses affirm that he was not physically present at the site of the crime for which he is accused.

For more information (in Spanish):

Llamada a Alberto por su 41 cumpleaños (20 de abril de 2012)

¿Por qué la libertad de Patishtán? (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 20 de abril de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Assembly is held in El Bosque to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán (25 March 2012)

Chiapas: Demand for release and return of Alberto Patishtan (22 March 2012)

Mexico: Denunciation by Alberto Patishtán from prison in Sinaloa (7 March 2012)