Oaxaca: Threats from shock groups in San Dionisio del Mar; alternative plan for wind-energy in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

@ tierrayterritorio.wordpress.com

@ tierrayterritorio.wordpress.com

The Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), the General Assembly of Communards from San Dionisio del Mar, and the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) denounced in a communique published on 14 October that a shock group has threatened to displace the mayor of San Dionisio del Mar.  More, they made public the climate of harassment and death-threats in which they presently find themselves.

The mayoral hall was occupied peacefully by communards of the aforementioned municipality at the beginning of the year as a manifestation of their rejection of the wind-energy park that is planned for construction in the zone.  Against the mayor, they claim that he is “tied together with foreign firms to build the wind project in our territory.”  In accordance with the denunciation, the very day on which the passage of the Caravan of Solidarity with San Dionisio del Mar, “Jorge Castellanos and Ernesto Juárez, ex-delegate and ex-mayor, gave a press-conference in which they expressed that they would impose an ultimatum before the state-government, declaing that if the the problem of San Dionisio cannot be resolved and public forces do not arrive to allow the passage of the workers of the wind-energy firm and liberate the mayoral office […] they will do it themselves on 15 October, without regard to lives or blood spilt.”  They indicated that “these are shock groups that have been identified as paramilitaries, traitors of communities like Juchitan, who are led by PRI officials and those from COCEI-PT […].  Further, there are workers from the CTM union who participate in these aggressions for the promise of a permanent job, given that the work of installing the wind-park now begins.”  It should be mentioned that on 16 October, approximately 200 persons who were involved in blocking the passage of the Caravan on 10 October concentrated themselves in the municipal headquarters toward the end of displacing those who are occupying the mayoral office, but they withdrew at midnight, without any confrontation taking place, in accordance with journalistic information.

In a denunciation published on 14 October, the aforementioned organizations reported on the climate of death-threats and aggressions that has prevailed lately in the zone.  They denounce that on 29 September, Isaúl Celaya was nearly run over as he left the general assembly of the communards of San Dionisio, in the company of Blas Cabrera Rodríguez and Benita Celaya Pablo, injuring his arm.  On 6 October, a march of a PRI group and members of the CTM union made threats against human-rights defenders and those who accompany processes of resistance, specifically against Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Carlos Beas, members of the Assembly of the Peoples of the Isthmus and UCIZONI, respectively.  Beas received a death-threat by phone on 7 October, warning him not to enter San Dionisio del Mar.

Referring to the construction of the wind-energy park, the governor of the state of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, pronounced himself in favor of the project.  In an interview with media, he explained that the wind-energy park would bring important economic benefits, and that with it Oaxaca would become the first state in Latin America to generate wind-energy.  Cué Monteagudo said that the rejection of the project has to do with the “lack of understanding” among the local peoples; he also expressed that “always when there is investment and the possibility of development, interests emerge; for this reason, Oaxaca does not develop.”

In other news, the Oaxacan Congress approved an accord by means of which it will request the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to suspend bidding on a wind-energy park in Ixtepec, so as to allow for a communal project along the same lines that would benefit the local population with 50% of the income received by the sale of the energy.  This project, in accordance with media information, would be carried out in conjunction with the British firm Yansa.  Rosendo Serrano Toledo, federal representative and brother to the mayor of Ixtepec, indicated in a press-conference that the Law for the approval of renewable energy does not allow for communal projects, thus violating the human rights of the possessors of these lands.  He called on the Oaxacan governor to suspend the operation of the plants that have been installed in the Isthmus, given that “they only tricked the communities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado sobre amenazas del grupo de choque (14/10/2012)

Denuncia sobre amenazas de muerte (14/10/2012)

La Jornada: Proponen plan eólico alterno para Oaxaca (19/10/2012)

La Jornada: Prevén ataque a opositores a parque eólico (17/10/2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: entry of Caravan of Solidarity impeded to San Dionisio del Mar (15 October 2012)

Oaxaca: Meeting for resistance in San Dionisio del Mar, and new threats (21 September 2012)

Oaxaca: Ikoots community denounces invasion by private firm and “rigged” assembly in San Dionisio del Mar; invitation to a Meeting for Resistance (19 September 2012)

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)

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