On July 22nd, more than 60 organizations and movements, the Network of Community Defenders of the Peoples of Oaxaca (REDECOM) published the statement “ALARMING INCREASE OF AGGRESSIONS AGAINST DEFENDERS IN MEXICO” in which they demanded justice for defenders murdered and highlighted how these murders illustrate the political crisis in Mexico.
“In Mexico defending human rights is a crime, not a right. The defense of human rights and the territories is increasingly complex in the face of the intervention of faction, caciques and organized crime in the territories and in the absence of a response from the Mexican State. The murders of fellow defenders from Chiapas, Veracruz, Sonora, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Zacatecas and Michoacan are a clear example that we community defenders are totally defenseless. In addition, there is the harassment, violence and displacement of colleagues from their territories due to the lack of response and neglect of the authorities”, they stressed
They commented on how the violence in the country makes human rights work more complex and risky, so they need “immediate response from the autonomous human rights bodies at local and national level, as well as from the law enforcement agencies so that our compañeros do not continue to be harassed and murdered…”
They stressed that “as long as there are business interests in the territories, human rights defenders will continue to be vulnerable and face an alarming risk of being attacked or assassinated.” This is evidenced by the projects imposed in the state of Oaxaca, “such is the case of the Program for the Development of the Tehuantepec Isthmus, a project that has caused the criminalization and threats to the population of Puente Madera; San Blas Atempa, hydroelectric dams, wind projects and mining projects”, they went on to say.
July 22nd is the State Day of Resistance against Mining. They recognized “the peaceful and legal struggle of the communities of Quiatoni, Capulalpam de Mendez, Magdalena Teitipac, Cuatro Venados and the No to Mining for a Future of All Front, who are defending their territory against mining projects in the state.”
They also held responsible “the companies promoting these projects for any aggression against defenders, we also demand that the Mexican State respect the decisions established in community assemblies and guarantees for the protection of defenders of the territories.”
Finally, they demanded justice and clarification for the murdered and disappeared defenders named in the document.
For more information in Spanish:
ALARMANTE INCREMENTO DE AGRESIONES CONTRA PERSONAS DEFENSORAS EN MÉXICO: REDECOM (Educa Oaxaca, 22 de julio de 2021)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Frayba and SweFOR Statement – Concern over Safety of Father Marcelo Perez, Simojovel Parish Priest and HR Defender (July 22, 2021)
(July 7, 2021)