Oaxaca: “The Isthmus is Ours” Campaign Rejects Integration of “Tehuantepec Isthmus Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention”

May 19, 2020


In a statement published on May 15th, the organizations that are part of the “The Isthmus is Ours” campaign rejected the integration of the ” Isthmus of Tehuantepec Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention” initiated at the beginning of the month, an act that they called “a stab in the back to their own peoples.”

“A supposed regional committee [was formed] to guarantee the installation of the set of mega-death projects called the Program for the Integral Development of the Isthmus-Interoceanic Corridor. Municipal presidents, the Oaxaca state government and the federal government are offering our lands and invaluable natural assets to large companies. and transnational corporations, without informing and, much less, consulting their councils, communities, neighborhoods, colonies and inhabitants of the Tehuantepec Isthmus region”,they denounced.

They considered the fact “a mockery and a flagrant violation of the collective human rights of Indigenous Peoples”. They affirmed that it is “highly negative for our peoples that, abusing the context of a health emergency, the imposition of this neoliberal project continues, which, if implemented, would mean billions of dollars for private and multinational benefits, at the expense of nature, the culture and ways of life of the peoples. This, when there are not even basic supplies for patient care and for the protection of workers in hospitals and health centers in the area. In addition, the installation of this Committee continues to ignore the observations and complaints of various communities and organizations in the region and the country, regarding the Environmental Impact Statement for the modernization of the current railroad, instead extending said EIR, for the section La Mata – Salina Cruz.”

They confirmed their position: “All these megaprojects have only generated belts of misery; have forced populations to migrate out of the region, polluting and degrading the environment as well as local ecosystems, seriously affected the health of the local population, induced social pathology (alcoholism, drug addiction, intra-family violence, femi-homicides) destroying the tissue social-community. On the other hand, they have only created precarious, temporary jobs, without job benefits, through companies that subcontract our countrymen to avoid responsibilities. In addition, it is noteworthy that, with regard to the increasingly intense wave of poor migrant families, with this “Integral Development Program”, the 4T government plans to build a “green” wall without partitions, to contain the migrant advance towards the United States and make the region a militarized barrier to hyper-precarious employment, with over-exploited migrant labor.”

It should be noted that in the event in which the Committee was formed, Rafael Marin Mollinedo, general director of the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CIIT), asked the councilors present to see to the demands of the citizens, having learned of “some situations adverse to the project”: “If people show disagreement this work will not be done; Everyone’s participation is important and you have to be and have leaders who help minimize complaints; unfortunately old demands are coming to light, they are taking advantage of the moment to be seen to, so I ask for your support.”

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones indígenas y comunitarias, rechazamos la integración del llamado Comité Regional para la Atención Social del Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec (OSC, 15 de mayo de 2020)

Instalan Comité Regional de Atención Social del Corredor Interoceánico (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2020)

Instalan Comité Regional para la Atención Social del Corredor interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Istmopress, 1ero de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Organizations, Communities and Movements Demand Suspension of Trans-Isthmus Project (May 2, 2020)

Oaxaca: Illegal Start on Trans-Isthmus Corridor without EIR Denounced (April 28, 2020)

Oaxaca: Assembly of Isthmus Peoples in Resistance to Megaprojects Formed (March 19, 2020)

https://www.sipaz.org/focus-the-trans-isthmus-corridor-a-not-so-new-project-of-the-new-government/?lang=en (March, 2020)


National: Numerous Collectives Call National and International Communities to Back Urgent Action against Maya Train

May 14, 2020


@ Enlace Zapatista

On May 11th, different groups made a call to support an urgent action against the Maya Train project, since, despite the injunctions filed by the communities of Ocosingo, Palenque and Salto del Agua and the COVID-19 pandemic, work has not been suspended, thus violating the “Right to Health, life and active participation in the defense of their rights.”

It is expected that on May 14th, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) will resolve the definitive suspension of this project, which had been provisionally done by a Federal Judge in previous weeks.

Added to this is the decree published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, where the government announced that it will have the Armed Forces carry out public security tasks, which represents for indigenous peoples and communities not only “unleashing a war against the drug cartels, which impose dispossession of forests, waters, minerals, wood and facilitate the entry of business and government megaprojects, but also face corruption, the links it has with organized crime, its complicity with fuel theft, the acts of repression and dispossession of indigenous peoples and communities, the use of public force to impose megaprojects, the forced displacement that they cause in the communities, according to them to bring order, as well as the murders, rapes and the criminalization of social protest social.”

Given what is happening and could happen, it seeks to promote knowledge and resistance against the project in civil society through actions such as concentrating information on the subject for its dissemination; share the existing poster (s) and/or design new ones that denounce the project and its damages; write and disseminate pronouncements in this regard; identify campaign initiatives by existing Mexican citizen groups to support them, or launch one; promote saturation of phone calls or emails to SCJN, FONATUR, CNDH, etc., speaking out against the project; and, invite networks, groups, contacts, to join in the campaign tasks.

For more information in Spanish:

Diversos colectivos promueven acción virtual contra el proyecto de despojo nombrado tren maya (Enlace Zapatista, 11 de mayo 2020)

Urgen intervención de la CNDH para frenar obras del Tren Maya (Aristegui Noticias, 11 de mayo 2020)

¿Por qué decir ¡NO! al “Tren Maya”? (Los Hijos del Maíz- Tlax, 11 de mayo 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Armed Forces Decreed Public Security Duties for Five Years; “Militarism Came out of the Closet” – CSO(May 14, 2020)

Chiapas: Federal Court Orders Suspension of Palenque Section of Maya Train; FONATUR Considers Injunction “Unfair” (May 13, 2020)

National: Online Forum “No to the Misnamed Maya Train”(May 5, 2020)


Oaxaca: Organizations, Communities and Movements Demand Suspension of Trans-Isthmus Project (May 2, 2020)

Oaxaca: Illegal Start on Trans-Isthmus Corridor without EIR Denounced (April 28, 2020)

National: Almost 200 Organizations Demand Halt to Maya Train Works During Emergency; AMLO Confirms Megaprojects Will Continue (April 25, 2020)


Chiapas: Injunction Granted to Protect Life, Integrity and Security of Displaced Tsotsil Communities in Aldama

May 4, 2020

Aldamaamparo© Frayba

On April 28th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) published a bulletin in which the injunction granted to communities of the Maya Tsotsil people in forced displacement from Aldama is disclosed, this as a result of the petition filed by representatives of communities in said municipality on March 27th.

The third district court, based in Tuxtla Gutierrez, granted an injunction to protect the life, integrity and security of the Aldama communities. This request was made for the “definitive suspension of violence by armed paramilitary civilian groups who act with the acquiescence and tolerance of State officials.” In this sense, the omission of the responsible authorities was denounced in view of compliance with this resolution.

In addition to the aggravation of violence in this area, the communities of Original Peoples are highly vulnerable to the health emergency caused by COVID-19 and the recently announced Phase Three. On the one hand, the population faces attacks with firearms, and on the other, contracting the virus and not having, in any case, guarantees of adequate medical attention. From this perspective, the United Nations Essential Guidelines establish the need to protect the most vulnerable populations, such as communities in forced displacement: “States must apply additional measures in order to address the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 may have on minorities, because of the remote areas where they live, where there is limited access to essential goods and services.”

For this reason, Frayba demanded that the President of the Republic, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the Governor of the state of Chiapas, Rutilio Cruz Escandon Cadenas, comply with the judicial mandate and also:

  • Guarantee security to “protect the life of the population of the Maya Tsotsil people in the municipality of Aldama, from armed aggressions that intensified since March 24th, 2020.”
  • The investigation of the armed aggressions registered since March 2018 that caused the forced displacement of these communities.
  • Provide humanitarian care, housing, health, adequate and dignified food for the victims of these forced displacements and in greater vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information in Spanish:

Otorgan amparo a comunidades del Pueblo Maya Tsotsil en Desplazamiento Forzado(Frayba, 28 abril 2020)

Otorgan amparo a indígenas de Chiapas en desplazamiento forzado (Contralínea, 28 abril 2020)

Indígenas de los Altos de Chiapas, entre el acoso del gobierno y el Covid-19 (La Jornada, 28 abril 2020)

Otorgan amparo para proteger a comunidades de Aldama (Prensa Libre, 29 abril 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “ Not Only COVID Threatens Life” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society (April 25, 2020)

Chiapas: Attacks against Tsotsil Communities in Aldama Continue (April 16, 2020)

Chiapas: Authorities in Santa Martha and Aldama Denounce New Attacks (March 5, 2020)

National: CNDH Requests Cautionary Measures for Cristobal Santiz Jimenez (March 30, 2020)

Chiapas: Por tercera vez en plantón, desplazados de Ejido Puebla, Chenalhó

Chiapas: Death of Displaced Baby Girl from Rio Jordan, Chenalho (February 28, 2020)


Chiapas: “ Not Only COVID Threatens Life” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society

April 25, 2020

pozol@Radio Pozol

On April 22nd, within the framework of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, Chenalho municipality, in which 45 people died in December 1997, the Civil Society Organization issued a statement in which it denounced that the context of the pandemic due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the “official plea to “stay home”, did not prevent feminicides from happening this month, it did not prevent violations of the human rights of migrants who cross our country; forced displacement continued in the case of Aldama, Chiapas, fellow Tsotsil Cristobal Santiz de Aldama was unjustly imprisoned.”

It warned that, in this same context, “what neoliberal governments have done together with the powerful in both Mexico and Latin America, is to take advantage of the COVID-19 emergency, for example they have made laws to reduce sentences in favor of the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, as in Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Guatemala.”

It also denounced that, in Mexico, the government “has taken advantage of the pandemic to advance the construction of its “Maya Train”, despite the fact that hundreds of social organizations and indigenous communities demand to cancel it.”

For this reason, Las Abejas considered that the Covid-19 virus “is not life-threatening”. “It is useless for us to take care of the malignant disease if there are people who continue to be manipulated by the caciques and politicians who only think of their own interests and monetary gains at the cost of innocent lives,” they added.

Finally, they proposed that “this health situation we are going through is a message that makes us talk and think with our hearts and leads us to carry out new and healthy actions for us humans and for Mother Earth; because the way of life that the neoliberal capitalist system and colonialism have imposed on us, is useless, it is rubbish.”

For more information in Spanish:

«No sólo el Covid-19 amenaza la vida» (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de abril de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society Denounces Persecution and Murder of Human Rights Defenders and Protectors of Mother Earth and other Violent Situations (February 25, 2020)


Chiapas: “This year begins with a lot of violence and it is increasing” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society (January 28, 2020)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Hold Commenoration 22 Years after Acteal Masacre (January 13, 2020)

National/International: HRW Asks Mexico for “Immediate” Release of All Detained Immigrants Due to Coronavirus

April 19, 2020

tenosique-1-870x522@ INM

In a bulletin published on April 14th, the international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) asked Mexico for the “immediate release of migrants if they can no longer be deported to their countries of origin or if they are in arbitrary detention,” given the border closures and to prevent outbreaks of coronavirus (Covid-19) in detention centers.

HRW considered that this measure is “crucial to reduce the risk faced by migrants in detention centers that are not in a position to prevent the transmission of the new coronavirus.”

It denounced that “thousands of migrants are being held in Mexico in inhumane and unhealthy conditions, amid a global pandemic” so it is not surprising that since March 23rd “people detained in five migrant detention centers in Mexico have started protests and they have demanded to be released” for fear of contracting COVID-19. The protests have provoked “clashes in which there were dozens of wounded and at least one dead; in some cases, the migrants reported that security officials made excessive use of force”, it added.

“In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 inside and outside Mexican detention centers, it is absolutely imperative that the Mexican government act immediately to free or find alternatives to detention for all those migrants to whom it cannot repatriate, at least for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic”, it stressed.

“President Lopez Obrador cannot maintain that his government respects the human rights of the ‘migrant brothers’ and, at the same time, put into practice policies that manifestly violate the international legal obligations assumed by Mexico to protect the human rights of migrants. This shows an absolute disregard for their health and dignity”, HRW stated.

For more information in Spanish:

México debe liberar a los migrantes detenidos en el contexto de la pandemia (HRW, 14 de abril de 2020)

México debe liberar a migrantes detenidos para prevenir Covid-19: HRW (Aristegui Noticias, 15 de abril de 2020)

Mantener privados de la libertad a migrantes “demuestra desprecio por su salud y dignidad”: HRW (Proceso, 15 de abril de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Migrant Dies in Protest at Migrant Center in Tabasco; INM Blamed (April 5, 2020)

International/National: USA Closes Southern Border to Asylum Seekers Due to Coronavirus (March 25, 2020)

Chiapas: National Guard and Police Oppression of Migrants Protesting over COVID-19 Fears (March 30, 2020)

Chiapas: Attacks against Tsotsil Communities in Aldama Continue

April 16, 2020

Aldama© Índice político

The conflict between the communities of Aldama and Santa Martha that has threatened the security and life of people for several years continues to intensify. This conflict, caused by the distribution of plots of land and the use of a water well in Aldama, has caused “intermittent” displacement of the inhabitants of that municipality and a wave of violence that worries residents and civil organizations.

Armed paramilitary groups attack the houses of the inhabitants with firearms, but also shoot at vehicles that carry wounded and peasants that go to their plots. On April 13th, an attack was registered by an armed group against the indigenous Tsotzil communities, setting fire to an important wooded area in the vicinity of Aldama and Chenalho.

However, according to Cristobalia del Campo, “although they are tired of pleading, demanding and begging for the armed groups operating in that area to be arrested and dismantled, they will continue with the proposal to seek peace and reconciliation to avoid spilling blood”,  the Quadratin Agency published.

On March 14th, the spokesman for the displaced communities of Aldama and whoever was the victim of violations of their rights, Cristobal Santiz Jimenez, was detained and is being held incommunicado and criminalized for the work he is doing on behalf of these people.

The Standing Committee of the 115 community members of Aldama called again for the immediate intervention of the United Nations (UN), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights/IACHR, and the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) so that the precautionary measures that have been issued to prevent a possible massacre such as the one registered in Acteal, Chenalho in 1997 become effective.

For more information in Spanish:

Grupo armado quema zona boscosa entre Aldama y Chenalhó, Chiapas (Agencia Quadratin, 13 abril 2020)

Cafeticultores bajo ataque, en los altos de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 12 abril 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

Chiapas: Authorities in Santa Martha and Aldama Denounce New Attacks (March 5, 2020)

National: CNDH Requests Cautionary Measures for Cristobal Santiz Jimenez (March 30, 2020)

Chiapas: Detienen a defensor comunitario de derechos humanos por presunto homicidio (March 17, 2020)

Chiapas: CNDH emite recomendación al gobierno del estado en caso de Aldama/Chenalhó


Guerrero: Urgent Action for Centro Morelos Defenders

April 5, 2020

Tlachinollan© Tlachinollan

On April 2nd, the Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center published a statement on its website in which it denounces, in conjunction with the All Rights for All Network (Red TdT), the risks that Teodomira Rosales and Manuel Olivares face, defenders from Centro Morelos and compañeros of the victims of internal forced displacement from the Leonardo Bravo Municipality (Chichihualco). This is a result of the smear campaign against them and their work published on social networks on March 22nd and 26th.

This statement traces the situation of people who have been displaced from their communities since 2018 due to violence carried out by armed civilian groups, the breach of the agreements signed with the Ministry of the Interior regarding the return of these families to their communities as well as the sexual assault on Teodomira Rosales and the physical assault of Manuel Olivares perpetrated by an elite group of the State Police in December 2019.

In this context, Tlachinollan and the Red TDT demand:

  • not criminalize or disqualify the work carried out by the defenders of the Morelos Center;
  • investigate the elite group that committed the attacks against Teodomira Rosales and Manuel Olivares;
  • and that federal authorities “comply with the commitments assumed to guarantee the return to their communities, as well as to establish order and security in the region.”

For more information in Spanish:

COMUNICADO | En alto riesgo la vida y la seguridad de los defensores y defensoras del Centro Morelos de Chilapa (Tlachinollan, 2 abril 2020)

Campaña de desprestigio pone en riesgo a defensores del Centro Morelos, denuncian Tlachinollan y Red TDT (El Sur, 3 abril 2020)

Policía de Guerrero no garantiza seguridad y viola derechos de víctimas y defensores de DH (Red TDT, 8 enero 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Forced Displacements Continue to Increase in Sierra (March 30, 2020)

Guerrero: Desplazados preocupados por interrupción de grupos armados en Chichihualco (March 20, 2020)

Guerrero: Desplazados de Leonardo Bravo y Zitlala aún sin seguridad, y ya tampoco con apoyo para su renta y alimentación (February 28, 2020)

Guerrero: Visita SIPAZ a desplazados de Leonardo Bravo y Zitlala (May 2, 2019)