Oaxaca: The Isthmus Is Ours: Dispossession, Militarization and Violence from Trans-Isthmus Corridor Denounced

@ Sipaz

This weekend the Meeting in Defense of Our Natural and Communal Assets, The Isthmus Is Ours, took place, convened by the Assembly of Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of the Land and Territory (APIIDTT) and other members of the National Indigenous Council in the community from Jalapa de Marquez on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

During the presentation they talked about the implications of megaprojects in that region, in particular the Interoceanic Corridor – Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CIIT). They mentioned the intensification of violence due to the presence and participation of organized crime in business activities in that region, as well as threats and harassment by companies; the effects on the traditional cultures and cultural identity of the indigenous peoples that live there, among others.

They also said that with the CIIT there is deforestation and the extraction of other resources from rivers and mountains to supply this and other megaprojects, including the Maya Train. Doris Carmona from Services for an Alternative Education, Oaxaca (Educa), said that extractivist projects also contribute to social degradation and increased conflict in communities when companies “use women and mine workers” to defend their projects.

The participants denounced that the Trans-Isthmus Corridor also serves as an invisible barrier for migration because, by joining the Maya Train, it will serve as a containment of the migratory flow. Regarding this, they spoke of the militarization of the territory and said that the Army and National Guard use the migrant caravans to increase their presence in the Isthmus, which has repercussions on the organization for the defense of the territory.

During this meeting, collectives and members of other state organizations participated, including Oaxatrans, a group of trans people and other dissidents who spoke about their fight against discrimination and systemic violence that they experience in the state of Oaxaca, not only from a gender perspective but also from territoriality.

They said that they joined the meeting “to share our experiences and articulate our struggles in defense of our natural and communal assets, territories and life itself” and called to join the global day against the Interoceanic Corridor and the megaprojects from January to April 2022, coinciding with a multilocation action on Friday, April 22nd, 2022. 

For more information in Spanish:

[Vídeo] Encuentro en Defensa de nuestros bienes naturales y comunales(APIIDTT, 13 de noviembre de 2021)

El Corredor Interoceánico, “nudo de proyectos estrella” de la 4T: “El Istmo es nuestro” (Educa Oaxaca, 16 de noviembre de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Muxe’/trans Activists Reveal Discrimination in Tehuantepec Isthmus (October 19, 2021)

Oaxaca: Logro histórico para comunidades zapotecas: otorgan amparo contra eólica en el Istmo. (September 22, 2021)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus Is Ours” Encounter for Life – Peoples and Collectives Reject Interoceanic Corridor (June 22, 2021)

Oaxaca: Isthmus Residents Reject Imposition of Simulated Consultations for Industrial Parks(May 28, 2021)

National: 2022 Budget To Double Resources for 4T Megaprojects and Social Programs(September 19, 2021)

Chiapas: Zoque, Tseltal and Tsotsil Representatives Stand against Megaprojects (April 23, 2021)

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