Bettina Cruz Velzquez, center (Photo@tierrayterritorio.wordpress.com)
The Human Rights Defenders Rodrigo Flores Peñaloza and Bettina Cruz Velazquez, members of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of the Land and Territory (APIIDTT in its Spanish acronym) and the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of the Territory (APOYO in its Spanish acronym), denounced a series of threats against them in recent months.
In the case of Rodrigo Peñaloza Flores, he has experienced surveillance on more than five occasions, a firearm assault while leaving work on February 10th, the arrival of an armed man to the same place repeatedly asking for him on February 24th, and on April 26th, he found a death threat on the windshield of his vehicle on leaving his home.
In the case of Bettina Cruz Velazquez, she also reported surveillance on at least two occasions and both were verbally assaulted last April 19th in a program broadcast by Juchitan radio station.
In a call for Urgent Action to guarantee their lives and physical integrity, there are several antecedents that could explain this series of threats and harassment: “[this] coincides with the intense mobilizations carried out to demand the clarification of the murder of Jose Alberto Toledo Villalobos from Chahuites, defender of the human right to electrical energy and ex- compañero of Rodrigo and Bettina; also active support for the defense of Cerro Iguú carried out by the Zapotec indigenous communities of Puente Madera, Rancho Llano and Loma Bonita de San Blas Atempa, before the construction of the electrical substation of SEDENA. It is also worth noting the recent presentation of the collective injunction filed before the Sixth District Court against the designation of the region as Special Economic Zone, the second phase of wind projects and mining concessions; and the recent fact that a minister has shown interest in taking the case of Eolica del Sur to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.”
For more information in Spanish:
En Oaxaca, denuncian hostigamiento contra activistas que se oponen a Zona Económica Especial (Revolucion 3.0, 2 de mayo de 2017)
Ong denuncia amenazas en contra de defensor de la tierra y territorio en el Istmo (Istmo Press, 29 de abril de 2017)
Defensor de Derechos Humanos en el istmo es amenazado por la defensa del territorio (IstmoPress, 28 de abril de 2017)
DENUNCIA URGENTE. Amenazan al compañero Rodrigo Flores de la APIIDTT, APOYO y de la Red Nacional de Resistencia Civil. (APIIDTT, 27 de abril de 2017)
For more information from SIPAZ :
Oaxaca: Se amparan pueblos del Istmo contra Zona Económica Especial (ZEE) (23 de marzo de 2017)
Oaxaca: Agresión contra integrantes de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT) a manos de constructores ligados a la Empresa Eólica del Sur (8 de mayo de 2015)