Oaxaca: German Trasnational Siemens Building New Wind Farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio

March 26, 2019

SiemensTehuantepec (@Noe Pineda Arredondo)

In mid-March, the secretary of the Environment, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development of Oaxaca, Jose Luis Calvo Ziga, announced that soon the German transnational Siemens will start building another wind farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio, La Minuta reported.

This announcement causes concern and the development of wind farms in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec has often been pointed out as a source of violations of human rights, corruption and violence in this region.

For more information in Spanish:

Pese a estela de corrupción y violaciones a los derechos humanos, anuncian nuevo parque eólico en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 20 de marzo de 2019)

La eólica más grande de AL la tiene Oaxaca (NVI Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Beneficiadas por eólicas en el Istmo más de 400 empresas (El Universal, 26 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: SCJN avala consulta indígena realizada en Juchitán (16 de noviembre de 2018)

Oaxaca: SCJN is called to protect the collective rights of the Zapotec community and to cancel the permits of the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation

(November 2, 2018)

Oaxaca: Asesinan a defensor quien se opuso contra un proyecto de la empresa Eólica del Sur (25 de julio de 2018)

Oaxaca : Emiten Alerta Temprana a favor de indígenas zapotecas de Unión Hidalgo (22 junio de 2018)

Oaxaca : Suspenden la construcción de un parque eólico en Unión Hidalgo (24 de mayo de 2018)

Oaxaca : comuneras y comuneros de Unión Hidalgo rechazan consulta indígena (18 de abril de 2018)

Oaxaca: Eviction and Arrests at Bií Hioxo Wind Farm (July 25, 2017)

Oaxaca: Eleven Ejidatarios Arrested in Eviction of French EDF Wind Farm (May 4, 2017)

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National: No Cancellations but No More Mining Concessions in Mexico – AMLO

March 24, 2019

Mining.pngPhoto @ Desinformemonos

In a press conference, the president of the republic Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said “that the Federal Government will respect all the mining concessions in the country and the permits will not be revoked.” He announced that during his government no more agreements of this type will be signed, since more than 25% of the national territory has been given over in the past 36 years. He said that since his campaign he had made the commitment that the concessions would not be revoked. AMLO guaranteed however that the communities where mining is carried out will benefit from the taxes paid by the mining companies.

He also mentioned that “it will seek that mining companies, particularly those of Canadian origin, carry out clean exploitation and act as they are obliged to do in their country.” “That the miner is paid well, that they pay the amount of taxes they pay there, and that they do not pollute.”

The statements contradict others issued by AMLO, in the municipality of Minatitlan, state of Colima, in 2014, which were published through the official website of the president through which he said that when the National Regeneration Movement triumphed, the concessions would be thoroughly reviewed for the mining exploitation that had been given to foreign companies. That wasbecause, he said, the riches of Mexico would have to be for the benefit of Mexicans, not foreigners.

Several newspapers also stressed that in February, during the Mexico Mining Forum 2019, the Undersecretary of Mining of the Ministry of Economy reported that “the cancellation of more than five thousand mining concessions in the country is being analyzed.”

Meanwhile, Miguel Mijangos Martínez, spokesman for Mexican Network of Those Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) stated that “the policy of the federal government has very mild nuances. If we see the problem of the extractive model as a whole, mining, water, biodiversity, fracking (hydraulic fracturing), gas … there are no significant changes. In REMA we think that the positions of power were reinforced, because now there are former entrepreneurs in public positions, (and that is) a position of advantage against the communities”, according to La Jornada. It stated that more than teo thousand rural communities in about 50 municipalities of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, Guerrero, Chihuahua and San Luis Potosi have declared themselves free of mining through legal actions.

Many of these communities continue with their demands for the cancellation of concessions in their territories, among them the Zapotec peoples of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca and the Wixarikas of San Luis Potosi. The latter hope to be able to engage in dialogue with the president on a final judgment given the injunctions that were processed in 2012 against the 78 concessions granted to two Canadian mining companies during the Felipe Calderon administration, which cover 70% of the 140,000 hectares of the protected natural area of Wirikuta.

For more information in Spanish:

Prevén otra ola de despojos de mineras y petroleras en México (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Al triunfo de MORENA, se revisarán las concesiones de explotación minera en México, asegura AMLO (Lopez Obrador, 21 de marzo de 2014)

No se otorgarán nuevas concesiones mineras: AMLO (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Impuestos por extracción minera llegarán a comunidades, asegura AMLO (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Wixárikas esperan diálogo con AMLO para proteger su territorio de mineras (Vanguardia, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Exigen a AMLO la cancelación inmediata y definitiva de las concesiones mineras en Oaxaca (El Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusco “20 de junio” (FPDS) exige que se decalre el municipio de Acacoyagua “Territorio Libre de Minería” (26 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Zoque People’s Assembly against extractivism (September 20, 2018)

Oaxaca: Here we say “Yes to Life, No to Mining” – Magdalena Teitipac is still fighting for its territory (April 7, 2018)

Chiapas: No to Mining Press Conference (September 30, 2017)

 


National/International: UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples Calls on AMLO Government to Comply with International Standards on Indigenous Consultation for Megaprojects in their Territories

March 19, 2019

UN.pngVictoria Tauli Corpuz (@UNO)

In her “Technical Note on Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico” published on March 5th, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, called on the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to comply with the international standards of the indigenous consultation regarding megaprojects in their territories. Given the “investment projects announced by the Government that could affect the rights of indigenous peoples and in particular, the intention to conduct citizen consultations to gather the opinion of the national population in general on the execution or not of those projects”, she said, “there is a lack of clarity on how the planned consultations will take into account the obligations of the Mexican State to implement specific processes of prior consultation with the potentially affected indigenous peoples in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent.” She stressed that “the processes of citizen consultation designed for the national population in general do not guarantee the safeguards of the rights of the indigenous peoples enshrined in the international standards of rights of the indigenous peoples”; specific rights “that derive from the distinct nature of the cultural models and histories of indigenous peoples, and because current democratic processes are usually not enough to address the particular concerns of peoples, who are generally marginalized in the political sphere.”

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz added that “through the publication of the technical note, I would like to contribute to the understanding and due implementation, by representatives of the State and indigenous peoples, of the international standards of human rights contained in the Declaration of the United Nations on the rights of indigenous peoples, whose adoption in 2007 was decidedly driven by Mexico, Convention No. 169 of the International Labor Organization and other international instruments and jurisprudence regarding the rights of indigenous peoples to consultation and prior informed consent that bind the State of Mexico.”

She said she would visit Mexico from March 11th to 16th, and that she was willing to meet with representatives of the federal government to address the issue.

For more information in Spanish:

Nota técnica sobre la consulta y el consentimiento libre, previo e informado de los pueblos indígenas en México (ONU, 28 de febrero de 2019)

Relatora de la ONU recuerda al gobierno federal que consulta indígena es obligatoria (Desinforménonos, 16 de marzo de 2019)

Consultas ciudadanas de Federación no garantizan derechos de pueblos: ONU (Ángulo 7, 14 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Presents Report in Mexico City One Year after her Visit (October 22nd, 2018)

National / International: Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations presents report on Mexico in Geneva, Switzerland (25/09/2018)

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Publishes Report after Visit to Mexico (21/08/2018)

National/International: Visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Mexico Ends (23/11/2017)

National–Mexico: Visit of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (12/11/2017)

 


National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City

March 14, 2019

CNI.png

On the first weekend of March, the third assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym) took place in Mexico City, with 288 participants among delegates, councilors and guests from various towns in Campeche, Mexico City, Chihuahua, Chiapas, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Sonora, Tabasco and Yucatan.

In the final pronouncement, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym), the CNI and the CIG considered that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is nothing more than the “continuity” of the neoliberal governments that have held power since Miguel de la Madrid. They even stated that the current government “deepens neoliberalism”, even “with more brutality and cynicism if possible.”

They also denounced that “the neoliberal government led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has its sights set on our towns and territories, where, with the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, a network of co-optation and disorganization is laid, opening the way to a war that has an industrial name, made up of projects and violence, which, together with the other wars and war networks, spread a dark web of death in the original peoples of the country.”

They said that, with their “simulated consultations”, the new government only intends to impose megaprojects throughout the country. They made it clear that “our people, in exercise of their fundamental rights of autonomy and territory say NO to policies and megaprojects of dispossession, death and destruction, as well as to the consultations organized by bad governments to obtain the consent of our peoples to said policies and said megaprojects.” They said that, “in the exercise of our territorial rights and autonomy, we say that these megaprojects will be faced with the will of our peoples.”

They affirmed that the supposed transformations are taking place “in function of the interests of the oligarchies and those that have the power, which are increasingly smaller and bigger, that do not cease to live off the oppression, exploitation, and destruction of the same ones as always.” Instead, they stressed that “for the indigenous peoples the only ‘true change’ is the increase in lies, deceit, persecution, threats, imprisonment, dispossession, assassinations, ridicule and contempt, human exploitation and the destruction of nature; in sum: the annihilation of the collective life that we are.”

Among other more specific denunciations, they condemned the murder of Samir Flores in Morelos who was fighting against the Huexca thermoelectric plant: “Samir was killed by the neoliberal regime; we do not know if the government, if the entrepreneurs, if their criminal cartels, or, if the three together. The offers made by AMLO, not to those below, but to the owners of money and power, the veiled threats against those who defend life, laid the foundations of the murderous assassination.”

They finally expressed that “below, in all the geographies that the original peoples are, we continue to sow autonomy, we build and deploy power from below in what are also networks of networks, but of resistance and rebellion, which are also the mirrors not only of the peoples that we are the CNI – CIG and the EZLN, but many others that sow the hope and of which this is our mirror, our third national assembly.”

For more information in Spanish:

La Cuarta Transformación es más brutal que los anteriores gobiernos: EZLN (Radio Formula, 8 de marzo de 2019)

El gobierno de AMLO “profundiza” el neoliberalismo, acusan el EZLN y el CNI (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2019)

Megaproyectos se toparán con voluntad de pueblos: EZLN y Congreso Nacional Indígena (El Universal, 7 de marzo de 2019)

¡SAMIR VIVE, LA LUCHA SIGUE! PRONUNCIAMIENTO DE LA TERCERA ASAMBLEA NACIONAL DEL CONGRESO NACIONAL INDÍGENA, EL CONCEJO INDÍGENA DE GOBIERNO Y EL EZLN (Comunicado CNI y EZLN, 6 de marzo de 2019)

El Congreso Nacional Indígena: balances y desafíos (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Controversy between EZLN and AMLO Supporters Floods Social Networks    (January 18th, 2019)

Oaxaca : CODEDI denuncia hostigamiento militar ; CNI exige que cese la represión en su contra (1 de noviembre de 2018)

Chiapas: Second Assembly of National Indigenous Congress (CNI) (October 22nd, 2018)

Chiapas/Mexico: Invitation to the Second National Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG) (September 18th, 2018)


Guerrero: Urgent Action “No Dam, No Prisoners”, Demands Release of 16 Indigenous CECOP Members

March 14, 2019

cecop

On March 8th, more than 2,000 people had already demanded “the immediate release of the 16 indigenous members of the Council of Ejidos and Opposition Communities to the Presa la Parota (CECOP), whose crime was to defend their lands and natural assets against the La Parota Dam”, through the Avaaz petition website. This is due to the multiple violations of due process, torture and the arbitrary and illegal circumstances of the arrests, which “demonstrate that there are political and economic interests against the communities that oppose the dam.” They also requested that harassment and arbitrary arrests of the inhabitants of the community of Cacahuatepec, municipality of Acapulco, stop.

In the same case, on March 5th, members of CECOP, the Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPPEG in its Spanish acronym) and the Montaña Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights held a meeting with the Governor of Guerrero, Hector Astudillo Flores, to follow up on the tables established to review the cases of these same prisoners, as well as to demand the cessation of harassment against the members of CECOP. The MOLPPEG reported that, “it filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission (CODDEHUM in its Spanish acronym), to intervene and no longer continue to pressurize the comrades of the communal property of Cacahuatepec, in the municipality of Acapulco, as well as the Zapata Vive collective.” He explained that the State and Ministerial police have been raiding computers to identify comrades who have an arrest warrant.

For his part, the Tlachinollan lawyer, Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, reported that through this meeting he was following up a dialogue path begun in December, with a view to solving the problem of political prisoners in the state, mainly those of CECOP. He stated that the government authorities have said that it will be resolved according to law and that the legal route will be that which is privileged.

A day earlier, Tlachinollan listed 8 reasons why it considers that the 16 CECOP prisoners should be granted freedom:

“• They were arbitrarily detained on January 7th, 2018 in a violent operation where the police murdered three CECOP campesinos.

  • On the way to the Prosecutor’s Office they were tortured and given cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to force them to plead guilty. • During their detention, they were held incommunicado for more than 48 hours, preventing their relatives and lawyers from being interviewed.
  • During their solitary confinement, the Public Ministry obtained evidence in an unlawful manner to indict them for homicide.
  • The weapons allegedly obtained by the police were obtained from illegal searches carried out at the houses of the CECOP community members.
  • The CECOP detainees were not at the scene when the confrontation took place between those who were killed on both sides. They were arrested in the place when they went to the Sunday Assembly of the CECOP.
  • There is an onslaught to dismantle the CECOP and the resistance against the La Parota hydroelectric project.
  • Gravel workers who irrationally exploit the gravel and sand of the Papagayo River have organized the villagers to confront CECOP.

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente en línea “Ni presa ni presos” (marzo de 2019)

Se reúne ONG con Héctor Astudillo para pedir la libertad de 16 miembros del Cecop (La Jornada de Guerrero, 6 de marzo de 2019)

Denuncian en Guerrero acoso de policías contra opositores a La Parota (LA Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2019)

Se reúne Astudillo con Tlachinollan, Cecop y Molppeg (Quadratin, 5 de marzo de 2019)
8 Razones para la libertad de los presos políticos del CECOP (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 4 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Liberan bajo fianza a dos integrantes de la CECOP (28 de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero/Internacional : Europarlamentarios y organizaciones internacionales expresan su preocupación por criminalización de integrantes de CECOP; marchan en Acapulco a favor de la liberación de sus presos (7 de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero : Siguen exigiendo la libertad de 19 presos detenidos por oponerse a la construcción de la Presa La Parota (1ero de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero: Piden la liberación de 19 presos políticos (10 de enero de 2019)

Guerrero: organizaciones nacionales e internacionales visitan a presos del CECOP y la CRAC-PC (6 de octubre de 2018)

Guerrero: 50 órdenes de aprehensión contra comuneros del CECOP (17 de septiembre de 2018)


National: Map of over 800 Environmental Conflicts Caused by Megaprojects in 12 Years

March 12, 2019

map.png(@Heinrich Böll Foundation)

On February 27th, the academics Gisela Zaremberg (FLACSO Mexico) and Valeria Guarneros-Meza (De Montfort University), as members of the project “Speaking with Goliath: Participation, Mobilization y Repression Regarding Neo-extractivists and Environmental Conflicts”, presented a map of 879 conflicts that resulted from the implementation of 304 megaprojects, during the administrations of presidents Felipe Calderon Hinojosa (2006-2012) and Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018). The 304 works identified were related to mining, wind, hydroelectric, oil and gas pipeline infrastructure industries.

Their main findings, based on journalistic notes, reveal that the states with the most violent acts associated with mining are Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Zacatecas, Puebla, Coahuila, Sonora, Durango and Michoacan; while oil fields have caused conflicts in Tabasco, Chiapas and Veracruz. Regarding gas pipelines, the sections with the most reported violent events are Puebla-Tlaxcala-Morelos, Sonora-Sinaloa and Chihuahua-Sinaloa. Hydroelectric installations generated violence in Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Guerrero; and wind projects, in Oaxaca and Yucatan.

Gisela Zaremberg explained that in “absolute terms”, the data analyzed show that mining is the activity that causes the greatest number of conflicts, followed by the extraction of hydrocarbons (oil fields and gas pipelines), hydroelectric projects and finally wind.

The data collected show that, contrary to what is usually thought, the communities that oppose a megaproject resort mainly to “institutionalized” action (such as injunction and law suits). However, those that combine this type of actions with other “non-institutionalized” ones (taking over facilities, public offices or companies, retention of officials) are the communities that seek to negotiate benefits. For their part, government players, in combination with companies, are those that are most frequently mentioned in relation to informal and illegal actions.

The journalistic notes compiled in the database were written by a total of 373 journalists. 18% of them have received threats or attacks. However, it is not possible to establish if the threats had to do with their coverage of socio-environmental conflicts or other matters. The main states where threats or aggressions were reported to communicators in the investigation were Puebla, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Mexico City, Chiapas and Veracruz.

For more information in Spanish:

Minería y energía detonan 879 conflictos en México; los ligan al crimen, empresas y gobiernos (Sin Embargo, 2 de marzo de 2019)

Oaxaca, entre los estados con más violencia por conflictos medioambientales (El Universal, 2 de marzo de 2019)

Más de 800 conflictos socioambientales por megaproyectos mineros y energéticos (Contralínea, 27 de febrero de 2019)

Identifican más de 800 conflictos socioambientales generados por proyectos mineros y energéticos en los últimos 12 años (Fundación Heinrich Böll, 27 de febrero de 2019)

Presentación Powerpoint (FLACSO México, 27 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Verdict of the Popular Community Trial against the Mexican State and the mining companies (January 4th, 2019)

Guerrero/National: 13th Meeting of MAPDER in Cacahuatepec (December 12th, 2018)

National/International: Global Witness Publishes “At What Price? Irresponsible Business and the Murder of Land and Environment Defenders 2017”
(August 6th, 2018)

National: CEMDA 2017 Report Shows Increase in Vulnerability of Environmental Defenders (March 26th, 2018)

 


International/National/Chiapas: Women of the World Express their Support for Zapatista Women

March 5, 2019

Zapwomen.png“Forward Women of the World”, Morelia Caracol (@SIPAZ)

On February 11th, nearly 900 organizations, collectives, networks and people from Mexico and other countries sent a letter to the women of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) who had just announced that they canceled the “Second International Meeting of Women who Struggle” in Zapatista territories, which was planned for the month of March, due to the risks of dispossession of their lands and territories by megaprojects.

Those in solidarity with them warned that they would not allow “bad governments to strip them of their territories that give root, heartbeat and direction to what they are and what they dream. And we are going to protest in different ways, so that the resistance practices of the peoples are not used to folklorize the ancestral cultures, to justify the initiatives of death and illness that the patriarchal capitalist system is.”

In the letter, the signatories repudiated “from the multiple geographies to which we belong, the concession, extraction and exploitation practices of our Mother Earth”. They ratified that “against the interests of earning more and more money, we are going to fight for the life of the people and the living beings that inhabit the territories.” They committed themselves to continue “with the light that you shared with us in our meeting, with the light that you are for us. We continue to take care of that little light to be, walk and fight together.”

For more information in Spanish:

Colectivos expresan apoyo a mujeres del EZLN contra megaproyectos (La Jornada, 13 de febrero de 2019)

“No vamos a permitir que los malos gobiernos las despojen de sus territorios”: mujeres del mundo a las zapatistas (Desinformémonos, 11 de febrero de 2019)

CARTA A LAS MUJERES ZAPATISTAS DE LAS MUJERES QUE LUCHAMOS EN MÉXICO Y EL MUNDO (11 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

Chiapas: Second Encounter in Zapatista Territory of Women who Struggle Cancelled
(February 13th, 2019)

Chiapas: First International Gathering for Politics, Art, Sport and Culture for Women in Struggle (March 27, 2018)

Oaxaca: Fourth Encounter of Women Activists and Human Rights Defenders in Oaxaca (June 23, 2017)