Oaxaca: Campaign against SEZ Announced

July 4, 2017

SEZ.pngSpecial Economic Zones (@Proceso)

On June 22nd, during the forum “Special Economic Zones and Implications in Community Life and the Environment”, about 250 participants from 50 civil and social organizations expressed their rejection of “the implementation of the SEZs in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca and elsewhere in the state.”

Participants pointed out that SEZs are intended to generate employment but through the implementation of mining, wind, and gas mega-projects, among others, which would end the communal life of indigenous peoples. Furthermore, they denounced that they promote extralegal and paramilitary violence and are the spearhead of the extractive and predatory industries that today are covered under the laws of the SEZs that benefit them.

They also pledged “to implement a massive campaign of counter information on SEZs and megaprojects, and to hold regional and state forums to strengthen the defense of our territories.”

For more information in Spanish: 

Anuncian campaña contra las ZEE (El Sol del Istmo, 28 de junio de 2017)

Advierten “nueva oleada de devastación” en Oaxaca con la creación de las Zonas Económicas Especiales (Proceso, 27 de junio de 2017)

Declaratoria del foro: “Zonas Economicas Especiales y las implicaciones en la vida comunitaria y al medio ambiente” (EDUCA, 26 de junio de 2017)

Con las Zonas Económicas Especiales se avista una nueva devastación para Oaxaca (Regeneración, 28 de junio de 2017)

El capital internacional y la élite política mexicana se ciernen sobre el territorio Oaxaqueño con avaricia, avidez y rapacidad (Activista, 28 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: El Senado aprueba la Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales (ZEE) (15 de abril de 2016)

México / Nacional: Diputados aprueban Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales (18 de diciembre 2015)

Oaxaca: comunidades del Istmo presentan amparo ante la ZEE (noviembre de 2016)


Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas

July 3, 2017

Zoque1.pngThe movement declared itself against extractivist projects, “which put the social, environmental and cultural life of the 60,000 Zoque speakers at risk.” Photo: @Sipaz

On June 22nd, the indigenous movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth organized a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutierrez, in which about six thousand people from 3 zones, members of civil society as well as priests of the Archdiocese of Tuxtla Gutierrez and the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas participated, according to La Jornada.

Participants denounced that the energy reform approved in 2013 along with ten other constitutional reforms “constitute a serious threat of dispossession of indigenous peoples’ lands”, as only their proponents would benefit from them.

In this case, the International Public Bidding known as Round 2.2 involves “the concession of 12 natural gas and oil extraction wells in the coastal states of the Gulf of Mexico and Southeastern Basin, which is composed of 12 blocks, two of which have an impact on the state of Chiapas. A total of 84,500 hectares of land in nine municipalities in northern Chiapas would be used for the extraction of natural gas through dispossession and environmental contamination of Zoque territory.”

Blocks 10 and 11 in Chiapas would affect the municipalities of Tecpatan, Francisco Leon, Ostuacan, the town of Chapultenango, Ixtacomitan, Ixtapangajoya, Pichucalco, Solosuchiapa, Sunuapa and even Teapa (Tabasco) in order to obtain moist gas, light oil and super light oil.

Zoque2.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

In March 2017, representatives of the movement reported a series of irregularities in the bidding process awarded by the Federal Government’s Energy Secretariat (SENER in its Spanish acronym), because all the affected communities were not consulted and there were no translators in their maternal Zoque language and neither has an Environmental Impact Statement been presented as required by law.

According to the movement, the specific risks would be “excessive use of water, migratory movements, contamination of soil, air and springs, loss of biodiversity, environmental imbalance, reduction of food production, damage to property and public health.”

 The movement stated that they are proceeding “to make the corresponding complaints before the national and international courts over omission in the absence of the presentation of the corresponding Environmental Impact Statement, as well as by the faults that are being committed in the process prior, free and informed consultation.”

Equally, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) said that “we salute the mobilization and organization undertaken from below for respect for what is theirs … to resist and to repudiate in an organized manner the so-called Round 2.2 on their ancestral territory with which the capitalists plan the extermination of the peoples of the north of Chiapas.”

Zoque3.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

For more information in Spanish:

Pagina facebook del movimiento

Comunidades zoques resisten a proyectos de despojo (Chiapas Denuncia, a 22 de Junio 2017)

Marchan 6 mil personas en Chiapas en rechazo a explotación de hidrocarburos (La Jornada, a 23 de Junio 2017)

“Alto al despojo, destrucción y muerte”: Pueblo Zoque ante Ronda 2.2 de la SENER que ofrece su territorio al mejor postor (Desinformémonos, a 23 de Junio 2017)

Pronunciamiento del Congreso Nacional Indígena en apoyo y solidaridad con la lucha del pueblo Zoque y por la libertad de Luis Fernando Sotelo (Enlace Zapatista, a 23 de Junio 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque

Chiapas : comunidades zoques se oponen a extracción de hidrocarburos en el norte de Chiapas

 


National/International: REMA Questions Report of UN Working Group on Corporations and Human Rights in Mexico

June 28, 2017

REMA

In a statement published on June 19th, the Mexican Network of Workers Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) claimed that the report presented by the United Nations Working Group on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations after its visit to Mexico in September 2016 is “condescending”, “insulting”, “onerous” and “overlapping” government bodies.

REMA stated: “Certainly we did not expect a strong and categorical report that was in line with the very serious human rights violations that we have suffered in Mexico for several years, but we were surprised by such a level of diplomatic and condescending delicacy, overlooking repression and forgetting the disappeared, murdered and sick inhabitants, as well as to the ecosystems ruined by the companies and overlapped by the instances of government. In contrast, in their analysis it is practically concluded that the causes of this disaster are lack of consultation and non-alignment or, as they say, “harmonization” of laws.”

It claimed on the contrary: “Our denunciations and indications expressed the lack of respect of our right to the consent or not of their projects that seek the dispossession of our natural assets, but this does not mean that we were requesting the consultation from them as a solution, on the contrary, we emphasized that we have assumed what our constitution, the laws and international conventions and declarations say: the full exercise of our right to self-determination, therefore, we are the ones who are conducting our consultations, our assemblies, just to avoid that now, with fashion and the auspices of the guiding principles, these governments and companies violating rights, impose mechanisms and procedures as already happens in many countries, in addition to what has already been experienced in some places in our country.”

It indicated that the UN has “ceased to be a small hope for the people, while governments and companies are mocking their conclusions because they know that – even when fully applied – looting, dispossession, displacement of populations and the diversity of crimes inherent in all this will remain unpunished and legitimized because they fully complied with the recommendations of the UN Working Group.”

For all of the above, REMA concluded “THE PEOPLES AND MEMBERS OF REMA NEITHER NEED OR NEEDED OR REQIRED “APPROPRIATE MECHANISMS OF CONSULTATION”, BECAUSE WE OPPOSE THE IMPOSITION OF AN EXTRACTIVE MODEL THAT WORKS AGAINST LIFE. REMA DEMANDS TOTAL RESPECT FOR THE FREE DETERMINATION, AUTONOMY AND SELF-GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLES, ALL RECOGNIZED IN OUR MAGNA CARTA AND IN THE INTERNATIONAL TREATIES.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Informe del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos acerca de su misión a México (8 de junio de 2017)

Señalan en la ONU a empresas por atropellar los derechos humanos en México (Educa, 9 de junio de 2017)

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA “EL RELATO DE LOS RELATORES DE LA ONU” (REMA, 19 de junio de 2017)

Afectados por la minería cuestionan informe de relatores de la ONU (Contralínea, 19 de junio de 2017)

Informe de la ONU es “condescendiente” y “solapa” al gobierno: Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería (Desinformémonos, 20 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Nacional/Internacional: Organizaciones civiles llaman a tomar acciones urgentes ante informe del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Derechos Humanos y Empresas (14 de junio de 2017)

Nacional: Visita oficial del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos a México (21 de septiembre de 2016)


International: OAS Agrees to Launch American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

June 26, 2017

OAS.png(Photo @OAS)

The 47th regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) was held in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, on June 19th-21st, under the theme “Strengthening Dialogue and Prosperity.” Within this framework, the Plan of Action on the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted (which was approved in June of last year).

This plan will be implemented by the states over the next four years, in order to “contribute to the full recognition, exercise and enjoyment of the rights of indigenous peoples at national and hemispheric levels through the support of the Organization of American States and other instances of the inter-American system.

Animal Politico website said that before the discussion indigenous peoples “urged OAS member states to ‘respect for the self-determination and autonomy of our peoples over our territories and natural assets’, and the implementation of free, prior and informed consent over any matter that affects them. They also request that consultations not be made when there are already ‘agreements, permits, licenses and previous contracts because these consultations are part of a simulation'”.

For more information in Spanish:

Aprueban poner en marcha la declaración sobre derechos indígenas (La Jornada, 21 de junio de 2017)

El tema indígena en la cumbre de la OEA (Animal Político, 23 de junio de 2017)

PLAN DE ACCIÓN SOBRE LA DECLARACIÓN AMERICANA SOBRE LOS DERECHOS DE LOS PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS (2017-2021), OEA, junio de 2017

For more information from SIPAZ:

La ONU aprueba la Declaración de los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas (13 de septiembre de 2007)


Oaxaca: Fourth Encounter of Women Activists and Human Rights Defenders in Oaxaca

June 23, 2017

IMD.pngPhoto @: SIPAZ

On June 15TH and 16TH, the Fourth Encounter of Women Activists and Human Rights Defenders of Oaxaca took place in the capital city of the state. About 70 women from different regions of the state of Oaxaca, the Mixteca, the Sierra Norte, the Isthmus, the Cañada, the Coast, the Sierra Sur and the Central Valleys, as well as representatives of international support organizations and a representative of the European Union in Mexico were present. The meeting aimed at the design of a comprehensive feminist protection strategy promoted by the Oaxaca Consortium for the Parliamentary Dialogue and Equality (Consortium) and various organizations that are part of the Mesoamerican Women Defenders Initiative (IM-Defensoras in Spanish), under the premise of strengthening the defense of the human rights of the various feminist, civil and social movements as well as strengthening alliances between the different struggles of women. They are currently involved in a variety of struggles, ranging from the defense of Earth and Territory, water, migrants, rejection of “death” mega-projects of and high electricity charges to requests for freedom for political prisoners and those unjustly imprisoned.

According to IM-Defensoras, the context in the state of Oaxaca is “adverse and dangerous for the defense of human rights where attacks have risen alarmingly, where impunity and the acquiescence of the state are a pattern.” In 2012, for example, the Consortium registered a total of 48 attacks against defenders in Oaxaca, while in 2016, that number rose to 320. The attacks are of different types: assaults, harassment, threats, slander, defamation and feminicides.

 For more information in Spanish :

Se consolidan procesos de articulación de mujeres defensoras en Oaxaca (Educa, 16 de junio de 2017)

Inicia el 4º Encuentro Estatal de Mujeres Activistas y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos de Oaxaca (Iniciativa Mesoamericana de mujeres defensoras de derechos humanos, 16 de junio de 2017)

 


National: “The Offensive of Those Above against the Movement from Below”, CNI Communiqué Reports Intensification of Repression

June 21, 2017

CNI

On June 12th, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) published a new communiqué titled “The Offensive of Those Above against the Movement from Below” “to repudiate the repressive escalation against compañeros from our peoples where they have been nominating councilors for integration of the Indigenous Council of Government for Mexico, which represents for us an attack against the CNI and our proposal that we have launched throughout the nation.”

It denounced threats, attacks, arrests and a murder in four communities in Chiapas, a community in Queretaro, one in Morelos, one in the State of Mexico, one in Michoacan, one in Campeche, and the situation of Mayan indigenous people in Guatemala who are displaced in Campeche.

The CNI identified these events as part of “the intensification of the war against our peoples, the storm that flashes across the sky and now seeks to end hope for all Mexicans represented by the Indigenous Council of Government and our spokeswoman, of the use of attack groups and paramilitaries to strike at the struggle of the peoples that make up the CNI, of the criminalization and persecution of those who fight for a just world, from below and to the left.”

 For more information in Spanish:

La ofensiva de arriba, ante el movimiento de abajo (CNI, 12 de junio de 2017)

“Escalada represiva” contra pueblos del Congreso Nacional Indígena (Contralínea, 12 de junio de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Aumenta tensión en Tila (9 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas : Allanamiento y robo de información a integrante de Semilla Digna, parte del CNI (8 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: Asesinan a Rodrigo Guadalupe Huet Gómez(6 de junio de 2017)

Nacional / Chiapas : El CNI conforma su Concejo Indígena de Gobierno y elige a su vocera (31 de mayo de 2017)


National/International: Organizations and Defenders Take Urgent Action

June 14, 2017

UN.pngPhoto: https://contactohoy.com.mx/onu-mexico-rechaza-reforma-por-derecho-a-la-vida-desde-concepcion-en-veracruz/

Civil society organizations and environmental advocates called for urgent action to be taken by companies and the State following the report presented by the UN Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations.

The organizations recalled that “companies do not report what they do to detect and prevent the negative consequences of their actions on human rights” and the Government “has not yet set clear guidelines nor set definite expectations for companies in relation to their responsibility to respect human rights in all their activities.” This is exemplified, among others, in the case of Rio Santiago River, which, according to the organizations, the companies “throw whatever they want and in whatever quantities they want” with impunity, complicity and protection of the authorities; they recalled that in the area of ​​Rio Santiago, where around 300 industries operate, more than 600 people have died from industrial pollution.

The UN report demands that the right to prior, free, informed and culturally appropriate consultation, in accordance with ILO Convention 169, be respected, stating that “consultations should be carried out as early as possible in the process of designing the projects and should leave open the possibility that some projects are not viable.” Against this, Civil Society reported that 32 of the 68 documented cases of abuse by companies violated the right to land and territory and in 28 cases, access to information.

The UN Working Group also denounced that, “too often attacks on human rights defenders go unpunished, without investigations or effective sanctions being applied.” From the civil society they denounced that the existence of hired assassins and paramilitary forces on the payroll of companies that harass and fracture communities were ignored. Mario Luna, spokesperson for the Yaqui community of Sonora and opponent to the Independencia aqueduct, explained that, “we, in the exercise of our rights, have been criminalized, demonized.” Facing this, defenders and civil society demanded that both the State and the companies carry out the recommendations of the UN Working Group and that “the highest government officials and CEOs should make it very clear that intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

CSO members and defenders pointed out that the UN report addressed very few cases and that it could talk more about how companies and authorities relate, labor rights, tourism projects, environmental impacts and the rights of indigenous peoples, in most cases defenders and guarantors of the environment.

For more information in Spanish:

Urge que Estado y empresas acaten informe sobre derechos humanos realizado por ONU: OSC (CentroProdh, a 13 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Visita oficial del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos a México