San José del Progreso (@Proyecto ambulante)
From 19 to 21 November, 19 national and international organizations carried out an observation mission in the community of San José del Progreso, Oaxaca, toward the end of making visible the human-rights violations committed against members of the Coordination of the United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (CPUVO), who since 2007 have resisted the activities of the Cuzcatlán mining firm, which is a subsidiary of the Canadian corporation Fortune Silver Mines. It should be remembered that in the year 2012 there have been registered four attacks against CPUVO members and that, as a result of these attacks, two opponents of the mine have died.
At the conclusion of its visit and its presentation of a preliminary report, the civil observation mission “Justice for San José del Progreso” declared in a press-conference that is had observed the systematic violation of human rights in the region, together with a climate of insecurity, fear, and strong division as following from mining operations. Spokespeople affirmed that the project had been imposed without the consultation of the local population, and they denounced the harassment directed against opponents of the mine, in addition to the existence of a strong relation between the mining company and municipal authorities.
For this reason, the mission called for the cancellation of the project and immediate exit of the firm, demanding that the federal government push for these steps as soon as possible, in addition to reparation for the social, environmental, and cultural damages incurred by these operations. The mission also called on the state government to initiate an urgent process of reconciliation to evade future confrontations; it requested the state office for the Defense of Human Rights to publish a recommendation to protect human-rights defenders; and of the Cuzcatlan mining firm it asked that it change the location of its office for communal relations so as to avoid the traffic of heavy trucks through the municipality.
For more information (in Spanish):
Misión civil exige cancelar proyecto minero en Oaxaca (Proceso, 22 de noviembre de 2012)
Minera provoca inseguridad y violación a los derechos en Progreso, Oaxaca: misión civil (La Jornada, 24 de noviembre de 2012)
Video de la conferencia de prensa en el D.F.: Misión Civil de Observación“Justicia para San José del Progreso” (40 min.). Informe preliminar en español y en inglés.
Reporte del segundo día de actividades de la misión civil de observación “justicia para San José del Progreso” (Colectivo Oaxaqueño por la Defensa de los Territorios, 20 de noviembre de 2012)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Oaxaca: Arrest of two presumed murderers of Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez (19 October 2012)
Oaxaca: Two opponents of mining in San José del Progreso are fired on (8 February 2012)