On 17 and 18 August, Arturo Lona Reyes, bishop emeritus of the Tehuantepec diocese, reinitiated the work of the Tepeyac Center for Human Rights (CDHT), given that “we are concerned by the difficult realities experienced by the peoples and organizations of the Isthmus” and “so as to share and generate orientations and lines of work to strengthen our processes and struggles for life.” The CDHT, which Arturo Lona originally founded in March 1992, “is committed to beginning a new phase of work, orientated to accompany and encourage the spirit of organization and articulation among the peoples and communities who defend their cultures, lands, territory, resources, and rights.”
The first activity the CDHT held was a workshop on human rights which featured the experiences and knowledge of Sara Méndez, coordinadator of the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código-DH), and of Miguel Álvarez, president of the Services for Peace Center for Human Rights (Serapaz). During the event, indigenous persons from San Dionisio del Mar denounced that six concessions have been granted to mining companies which threaten the life of the Ikoots people, while Zapotec indigenous persons from Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán municipality, stressed that they would maintain the defense of their autonomy.
Beyond this, fatehr Lucio Santiago declared that, “as a diocese, the Church should intervene more in the realities of our indigenous peoples and prophetically denounce all that which threatens their lives. As parish priests, we must advocate changes which favor human rights.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Comunicado del CDHT: Pronunciamiento a los pueblos y organizaciones del Istmo (Educa, 19 de agosto de 2014)
Relanza Lona Reyes Centro de DH Tepeyac (Blog Juchitan Informa, 19 de agosto de 2014)
Asume el Obispo Emérito Lona Reyes la coordinación de CDHT (Agencia Quadratín, 18 de agosto de 2014)
Comienza nueva etapa Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac (Noticias Net, 19 de agosto de 2014)