Oaxaca: State meeting of communities and organizations in resistance to mining projects

February 6, 2016

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Authorities of the communities that attended the meeting @ SIPAZ

On January 29 and 30, representatives of 48 communities, 30 social organizations, two research centers, and three community radio stations took part in the State Encounter of Communities and Organizations against Mining (Encuentro Estatal de Comunidades y Organizaciones contra la Minería), in Cerro de Las Huertas community, in the municipality of Ejutla de Crespo. The meeting had the aim of generating a space for reflection at a state level on the advances and challenges of movements against mining, strengthening the resistance and defense of communities and organizations in Oaxaca, analyzing how to improve movements in struggle against mining projects, and the coordination of activists to confront foreign companies. In a statement agreed by the participants in the event, they demanded the cancellation of all mining projects in state by the state and federal governments. There are more than 400 mining concessions in the territory of Oaxaca, “none of which was subjected to consultation.” They recalled that apart from environmental violations and effects, the companies create internal conflicts in each location. The participants in the encounter showed the close relationship that exists between mining magnates and federal and state government representatives to strip the peoples and indigenous communities of their territories.

In their statement they emphasized that, “They are violating the people’s right to information as there are already mining concessions given by the government without the consent of our community assemblies. The mining companies violate our rights using a range of strategies and mechanisms to divide and confront communities, while on the other hand the federal and state governments make legislative and institutional changes to benefit the interests of the transnational companies, such as Fondo Minero, and these changes have as their aim taking territories away from the indigenous peoples and communities. At the same time, the work of defenders of territory is criminalized, they are persecuted, imprisoned, and in the worst of cases their lives are taken away.”

Those gathered called on communities, peoples and organizations to defend land and territory against “death projects” and declared July 22 of each year as “State Day of Resistance against Mining”.

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen cancelación de 400 concesiones mineras en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 2 de febrero de 2016)

La Minuta de EDUCA con audios del evento (EDUCA, 2 de febrero de 2016)

Comunidades y organizaciones exigen cancelar proyectos mineros en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 1 de febrero de 2016)

DECLARATORIA DE CERRO DE LAS HUERTAS EJUTLA DE CRESPO OAXACA (EDUCA, 30 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Encuentro Chiapaneco de afectadas y afectados por represas y minería (2 de febrero de 2016)

Oaxaca: Ejidos y comunidades de Valles Centrales declaran sus territorios libres de minería (4 de diciembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: En la Costa declaran el rechazo a proyectos hidroeléctricos y de minería (18 de noviembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: A 3 años del asesinato de Bernardo Vásquez, Fortuna Silver espera mayores ganancias (26 de marzo de 2015)

 


Chiapas: Meeting of those affected by dams and mining

February 4, 2016

On January 21 and 22, more than 70 delegates from 20 municipalities, representatives of 12 organizations, movements and parishes of the state met in Boca del Cielo, Tonala, Chiapas, at the seat of the Regional Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas to share experiences in the “Chiapas Meeting of the Affected by Dams and Mines.” At the meeting, called by the Mexican Movement of the Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Presas y en Defensa de los Ríos – MAPDER) and the Mexican Network of the Affected by Mining (Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería – REMA), they defined a strategy of common defense in the face of the multiplication of mining projects, dams and other infrastructure projects imposed in the state “without consulting the people.”

In the declaration that the participants produced, they voiced their analysis of the “grave situation that the country and the campesino communities, fishermen and indigenous of Chiapas are passing through due to the imposition of a development model and projects that threaten land and territory.” They denounced, “the advance of mining projects, with irreversible costs to the environment and the health of the people, imposed by cheating, buying out authorities, community division, among other tactics.” On another note, they condemned “the imposition of green capitalism which is reflected in wind farm projects, projects of Reduction of Emissions caused by Deforestation and Destruction of Forests (REDD) and payment for environmental services.” They assured the strengthening of “the organization and resistance proposing alternatives to the model of commercialization of life and corporate appropriation, despite the criminalization and persecution experienced by the defenders of land, territory and human rights” of the peoples, ejidos, organizations and movements who were present.

They called on the people to participate in a state-wide campaign in defense of water, against the privatization of water and dams, and for free rivers which will be held from March 14 to 22 under the banner “Rivers for life, not for companies.” They also invited people to “continue to create local and regional organization processes to confront the imposed projects, inform about the consequences of the model, protect land and territory, and defend all those forms of life which continue to give us sustenance and permanence on Mother Earth.” According to Otros Mundos A.C., “the role which violence plays is fundamental to understanding the imposition of mining projects and the control of territory.” In an interview, Gustavo Castro, a member of Otros Mundos, explained the complexity of extensive mining in Chiapas, saying that, “violence increases in the measure that communities decide to defend their territories […] movements in defense of territory not only have to confront the state or the companies, but they also have to deal with drug traffickers. It appears that we are in an armed dispute for territory.”  

For more information in Spanish:

Declaratoria del Encuentro Chiapaneco de Afectad@s por Represas y Minería (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 25 de enero de 2016)

Declaratoria del Encuentro Chiapaneco de Afectados y Afectadas por Represas y Minería (Centro de Medios Libres, 26 de enero de 2016)

“En minería, la utilidad pública es un título perverso porque esconde la utilidad privada” (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 27 de enero de 2016)

Declaratoria del Encuentro Chiapaneco de Afectad@s por Represas y Minería (MAPDER, 28 de enero de 2016)


Chiapas: “Armed group of CIOAC-H attacked” community in the municipality of Las Margaritas

January 29, 2016

 

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@Periódico Enfoque

On January 15, members of the Historical Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H), led by Andulio Hernandez Hernandez, son of the leader of CIOAC-H, Luis Hernandez Cruz, entered the November 20 ejido in the municipality of Las Margaritas. According to sources, “The events occurred due to the non-fulfillment of agreements by a minority group of women from CIOAC-H, who refused to carry out health-related activities, included in the ‘Prospera’ program of SEDESOL, resulting in the application of a sanction used in the community as practices and customs.” The residents of the ejido specified that, “some hundred members of CIOAC-H from the village of Justo Sierra entered on November 20 in Toyota trucks with firearms […] They fired their weapons in the attack and Aquiles Jiminez Luna was shot down.” Ten other people were injured, seven of them seriously, who had to be transferred to the public hospital in Altimirano, a neighboring municipality of Las Margaritas. Another of the wounded died on Saturday as a result of the violent incidents.

It is noteworthy that for a number of decades CIOAC-H was a campesino organization that fought for the rights of this sector. Now the organization “has split, and it violently disputes transport rights and social programs with other social groups.” The National Committee of the Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos Jose Dolores Lopez Dominguez (CIOAC-JDLD) condemned the actions and demanded in its statement “respect for the agreements, for practices and customs, we reject any intervention by violent groups and murdering leaders in the communities and ‘ejidos’ of the state of Chiapas and the country in general.” Finally, members of CIOAC asked the authorities for the immediate installation of a dialogue table to deeply revise and solve the persistent problems in a number of communities, as is the case in the November 20 ejido.

For more information in Spanish:

Responsabilizan a CIOAC por los hechos violentos en Las Margaritas (Péndulo de Chiapas, 20 de enero de 2016)

Condena CIOAC-JDLD irrupción de grupo armado en Chiapas (Chiapas sin censura, 17 de enero de 2016)

Se enfrentan militantes del EZLN y la Cioac-H, un muerto (Oro Negro, 17 de enero de 2016)

Grupo armado de la Cioac ataca comunidad en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas: Desplazados del Poblado Primero de Agosto denunciaron escalamiento de hostigamiento, amenazas de muerte y desalojo (7 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncian hostigamiento militar a la JBG zapatista de La Realidad (13 de marzo de 2015)

Chiapas: Agresión contra Bases de Apoyo del EZLN deja un muerto y 15 heridos zapatistas (6 de mayo de 2014)


Chiapas/National: Xochicuautla community condemns highway project and expresses its solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Chiapas who face eviction

January 24, 2016

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@Resistencia indígena otomí (Miguel Ángel Xenón)

On February 12 at a press conference at the offices of Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba), authorities of the Otomí-Ňätho indigenous community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, located in Mexico State, and members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Front in Defense of Mother Earth condemned the “illegal imposition  of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway project by Enrique Peña Nieto and the Higga Group.” They stated that the project would destroy 3,900,000 square meters of Bosque Sagrado. Xochicuautla community, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and part of the National Indigenous Congress, also condemned the constant aggression suffered by the community “from the State: political prisoners, persecution, attacks, death threats, military encircling of the community and the continuation of works in spite of the protection orders that oblige the company to stop.”

They also expressed their solidarity with various struggles in defense of land and territory in Chiapas. They condemned “the murders of indigenous Tsotsisl and Tseltals in Bachajon”, in Chilon municipality, “with the objective of imposing a tourist complex” at Agua Azul waterfalls. Moreover, they demanded the immediate release of Santiago Moreno Pérez, Emilio Jiménez Gómez y Esteban Gómez Jiménez from San Sebastián Bachajón, “political prisoners” and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. They recalled that San Isidro Los Laureles community, in Venustiano Carranza municipality, that decided to reclaim some 165 hectares of their land “as is their right, in accordance with that stipulated” under Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries of the International Labour Organization.The greeted Las Abejas de Acteal,  were recently victims of an ambush against three of its members in San Joaquin community, Pantelhó municipality, on December 29, 2015, and the attack resulted in the murder of Manuel López Pérez. “The thirst for justice of our people is a channel that waters and keeps our hearts moist”, they added. Finally, they acknowledged “the efforts for autonomy” of “our sisters and brothers in Tila”, who in their search for freedom had decided on the autonomy of their ejido and “their right to govern themselves.”

They called on “indigenous and campesino communities, students, teachers, feminist organizations, and in general, the collectives of Mexico and the world to declare themselves against the ecocide in San Francisco Xochicuautla.

 For more information in Spanish:

Comunidad de Xochicuatla se solidariza con pueblos indígenas de Chiapas que enfrentan despojo (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 13 de enero de 2016)

Exigen indígenas suspender autopista Naucalpan-Toluca (La Jornada, 13 de enero de 2016)

Xochicuautla, en solidaridad con los pueblos indígenas de Chiapas (Desinformémonos, 14 de enero de 2016)

Xochicuautla, pronunciamiento por la memoria, verdad y territorio (Ke Huelga Radio, 13 de enero de 2016)

Comunidad de Xochicuautla denuncia proyecto carretero y se solidariza con las luchas en Chiapas (Radio Zapatista, 13 de enero de 2016)

 

 


Chiapas/Oaxaca: Caravan of Civil Observation and Solidarity for Chimalapas

January 15, 2016

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@Desinformémonos

Between January 10 and 11, agrarian authorities, communities and non-government organisms made the Caravan of Civil Observation and Solidarity for Chimilapas to San Francisco de La Paz community, in the municipality of Santa Maria Chimilapa, Oaxaca. Those present noted the repeated incursions against communal territory, particularly on the property of San Isidro la Gringa. They were also witnesses to the “call for justice and respect for human rights of the town and the indigenous families who live there.”

Based on what they observed, the visitors asked the Federal Government and the state governments of Oaxaca and Chiapas to carry out immediate joint peaceful operations to vacate the three locations currently invaded (Reforma-Pescaditos, Arroyo la Gringa-Emanuel I and Arroyo Zapote-Emanuel II); that David Vega, indicated as the material and intellectual author of the kidnapping and disappearance of comunero Pablo Escobedo be brought to justice; for a thorough investigation to locate the whereabouts of the remains of said comunero; and permanent federal supervision and surveillance “to prevent and avoid new invasions and looting of communal territory, as well as any act of harassment, provocation or violence.”

The Caravan of Civil Observation and Solidarity for Chimalapas declared its support for the call for justice for the people of Chimalapa and also its rejection of government attempts to silence this resistance. By the same token, it asks the people of Mexico and the world join the call for the defense of this territory, “the most biodiverse in Mexico and Mesoamerica.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado de la Caravana de Observación Civil y Solidaridad por los Chimalapas (EDUCA, A.C, 11 de enero de 2016)

Concluye caravana de Observación Civil y Solidaridad por los Chimalapas (Desinformémonos, 13 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/Chiapas: nuevo enfrentamiento en los Chimalapas deja dos heridos y 4 detenidos. (21 de mayo de 2015)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Continúan agresiones en conflicto Chimalapas (19 de febrero de 2014)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: reunión de gobernadores en Gobernación por caso Chimalapas (10 de mayo de 2012)


Chiapas: San Isidro Los Laureles Community reclaims lands that “our grandfathers, grandmothers and parents worked as serfs”

January 4, 2016

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Members of the community of San Isidro Los Laureles, municipality of Venustiano Carranza, decided to reclaim “about 165 hectares from various properties: “Tres Picos” (property of Octovín Albores, owner of 30 hectares), “Las Delicias” (property of Francisco Javier Ruíz, owner of 60 hectares), and “El Refugio’ estate (property of Rodrigo Ruíz, owner of 75 hectares)” on December 20th. The members of the community declared that, “our grandfathers, grandmothers and parents who were serfs worked these lands. Since 1940 they have worked on minimum wage and have never received loans or bonuses. We reclaim these lands for our families because we no longer have anywhere to live or work for the livelihood of the families as indigenous people.”

They also mentioned that in 1994 they had already used these lands after a failed attempt to reclaim them in which they were evicted “with convoy, the marine and helicopter,” and explained that “today the need has arisen for the families that have nowhere to live of work, nor livelihood for the family, where they can have beans to eat.”

In a communiqué issued after December 29th, ten days after reclaiming the lands, they reported they could be evicted between January 2nd and 5th from the lands that “legitimately belong to us, by those who say they are the owners, Francisco Ruíz, Rodrigo Ruíz, Octovin Albores, along with Jesus Orantes Ruíz, and other smallholders, from the three properties we have reclaimed.” Furthermore “we fear that the same eviction could occur with excessive violence as happened in 1994 when we decided to reclaim the same properties when the state intervened unleashing repression, violently evicting our people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Para inicios de enero, amenazan de desalojo a campesinos de Chiapas que recuperaron las tierras de sus ancestros (Colectivo Pozol, 30 de diciembre de 2015)

Comunidad de San Isidro Los Laureles, se pronuncia por recuperación de tierras en municipio de Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas (Koman Ilel, 20 de diciembre de 2015)

Recuperan tierras comunales en Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas (Desinformémonos, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

Tsotsiles adherentes a La Sexta recuperaron tierras de manos de caciques priístas en Carranza, Chiapas (Más de 131, 27 de diciembre de 2015)


Chiapas: 18 years since the Acteal massacre

December 27, 2015

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Acteal, 22 December 2015 (@SIPAZ)

On 22 December 2015, 18 years since the massacre of 45 indigenous persons in Acteal, Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society (organization to which the victims had pertained) carried out a pilgrimage and a commemoration of the events to denounce the impunity that continues to prevail in the case. In a communique, Las Abejas stressed that, “the bad government investigating the intellectual authors of this crime through the badly named ‘Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation,’ that is to say, the ‘Supreme Court for the Rich and Criminals,’ has ordered the massive release of the paramilitaries who performed the massacre. As far as we can tell, only 2 are left incarcerated, and at any moment will they also be released. Thus it remains clear to us that justice will not be granted by the government, because the Mexican State is the one that gave the order for the massacre, such that it is a criminal party and cannot rightfully be judge in the case. The Mexican justice system is expired and rotten. It is very clear that, if we wish to have true justice, we organized peoples of Mexico must construct a true, dignified, thorough, and humane justice.” Las Abejas ended the communique stressing that “Memory is an act of Justice!”

For his part, the director of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), Pedro Faro Navarro, denounced that in the Acteal case, “there has been no justice, and the wall of impunity persists.” He added that “state officials, including Ernesto Zedillo, clearly knew what was happening in Chenalhó, in terms of the precedents and the moment at which the massacre was happening, due to reports from the Mexican Army which had been deployed in the Highlands region, thus confirming the direct participation of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre. The national context shows us that justice will not come from above, nor from those in power or those who administer the State, let alone the existing power-groups or anyone who manipulates and corrupts [the people], who are the owners of the justice system in Mexico.” He noted that for this reason, the Las Abejas Civil Society “is building through its steadfastness another justice,” such that “one possible conclusion is that the future of the people who have been degraded and discriminated against will need no justice from the State.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La memoria es un acto de Justicia – XVIII Conmemoración de la masacre de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

Boletín 18 aniversario de la masacre de Acteal (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

Impune, el “crimen de Estado” en Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

Acteal: 18 años de violencia (La Jornada, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

Conmemoran 18 años de matanza de Acteal (El Universal, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

Acteal: 18 años de impunidad (Desinformemonos, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

A 18 años de la matanza de Acteal persiste la impunidad: Frayba (Proceso, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas reject ‘friendly solution’ with Mexican State (25 October 2015)

Chiapas: Monthly commemoration by Las Abejas de Acteal (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce 6 years of release of paramilitaries (10 September 2015)

Chiapas: A member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

 


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