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)