Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018

June 4, 2019

Frayba

On May 27th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a bulletin warning that, “aggressions against peoples, communities and organizations have intensified as part of a strategy to contain civil and peaceful resistance in defense of territory.” Two years after the Constituent Assembly of the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym), of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym).

It illustrated the statement by referring to the six indigenous defenders who have been murdered so far in 2019, as well as mentioning the CNI’s own denunciations since December 2018 with situations of “dispossession, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, threats, harassment, criminalization and attempts of executions.”

Frayba denounced that “this logic of war against the peoples that build autonomy, is reproduced in the increase of militarization of Zapatista territories, especially the incursions, flights and espionage of the Mexican Army to the headquarters of the Junta de Buen Government Toward Hope, in La Realidad Caracol (Official Municipality of Las Margaritas). This containment is deepened by the presence of the National Guard in the region, which increases risks to the integrity and security of the population.”

In this context, Frayba demanded that the Mexican State: “Cease the attacks against peoples, communities and organizations that make up the National Indigenous Congress; justice for the defenders and communicators murdered in the country; and high militarization in Chiapas and Mexico.”

For more information in Spanish:

Contrainsurgencia a Pueblos Originarios que construyen la vida digna (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 27 de mayo de 2019)

Las agresiones contra pueblos originarios se intensifican: Frayba (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Two Members of CRAC-PF and CIPOG-EZ Murdered (May 28, 2019)

Guerrero: CNI Denounces Kidnapping and Murder of Two Members (May 11, 2019)

Chiapas: denuncian dos comunidades choles de Salto de Agua amenazas, persecución y hostigamientos (El 22 de abril de 2019)

National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City (March 14, 2019)

Chiapas : CNI denuncia amenazas y agresiones en la zona Norte (El 16 de agosto de 2018)

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National: Bidding Process Begins for Maya Train without Previous Consultation with Indigenous Peoples

May 10, 2019

Train.png@CC News

On April 30th, the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (FONATUR in its Spanish acronym) published the bidding rules for the contracting of services for the basic engineering of the Maya Train, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government project that will connect several tourist sites of the southeast of the country. The tender published in Compranet is national and aims to contract the basic engineering of the seven railway sections that make up the 1,525 km of the project, Fonatur said.

It was opened without having carried out an environmental impact study or consultations with nearby indigenous populations as proposed by both national legislation and several other international treaties signed by Mexico, including Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In press conference, AMLO affirmed, however, that it is valid to begin this process, without taking into account these factors. He declared “that there is no problem because citizens want the train to be built” and that “of course there is dissidence and it must be respected, but in democracy it is the majority that decides, minorities are respected, but it is the majority opinion that should have the ability to decide at the end. That is what is being done”, he emphasized. In this same conference, AMLO also explained that the Maya Train, the Trans-isthmus corridor, among other “regional development projects” will serve as “curtains” to “capture the migratory flow in transit” to the United States and “anchor those fleeing from the poverty” in these regions.

A week before, Josefa Gonzalez Blanco, head of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT in its Spanish acronym) acknowledged that the projects of the Mayan Train, the Trans-isthmus Train, the Dos Bocas Refinery in Tabasco and the New Mexico International Airport in Santa Lucia, still do not have environmental impact studies.

For more information in Spanish:

Fonatur lanza licitación para diseño del Tren Maya (La Jornada, 30 de abril de 2019)

Válido proceso de licitación aún sin consulta : AMLO (El Universal, 1ero de mayo de 2019)

AMLO defiende licitación del Tren Maya sin consultar a pueblos indígenas (El Sol de México, 1ero de mayo de 2019)

Abren licitación del tren maya, sin previa consulta a pueblos indígenas (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13th, 2018)

National: AMLO Announces Consultation for the Construction of the Maya Train (November 14th, 2018)

Mexico: proposal from future AMLO government – Mayan Train to tour the southern states of the country and attract more tourism  (September 15th, 2018)


Oaxaca: Rights Defender Shot Dead in Center of Capital

May 9, 2019

Shot(@MX Politico)

On April 12th, Juan Quintanar Gomez, 53, a lawyer and human rights defender who advised indigenous communities in various agrarian conflicts (including Villa Sola de Vega), was shot dead near his office in the center of Oaxaca City.

The Center for Human Rights and Advice to Indigenous Peoples (CEDHAPI in its Spanish acronym) reported that Quintanar was transferred to a hospital in the capital in serious condition after receiving at least eight bullet wounds. It noted that in recent days he had received death threats.

CEDHAPI demanded an immediate investigation of the attack and identification of those responsible. It also demanded from the authorities the immediate protection of the life and physical integrity of the lawyer, and other people from his work and family environment. It finally demanded that the government of Oaxaca guarantee the work of the human rights defenders in the state.

For more information in Spanish:

Intentan asesinar a abogado y defensor de derechos humanos (NSS Oaxaca, 12 de abril de 2019)

Atacan a balazos a defensor de derechos humanos en Oaxaca (El Universal, 12 de abril de 2019)

Condena Cedhapi agresión a defensor (NVI Noticias, 13 de abril de 2019)

Balean a Juan Quintanar, defensor de derechos humanos en Oaxaca (SDP Noticias, 14 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: asesinan a defensor del territorio e integrante de Corriente del Pueblo Sol Rojo (12 de abril de 2019)

Oaxaca: COOA inicia jornada de lucha ante “graves atropellos del Estado” contra los pueblos y organizaciones indígenas (9 de abril de 2019)


National: Multiple Mobilizations on Centenary of Death of Emiliano Zapata

April 15, 2019

ZapataCNI march in Chiapas (@SIPAZ)

On April 10th, as part of the centenary of Emiliano Zapata’s death, indigenous people, campesinos and teachers mobilized in seven states: Chiapas, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Michoacan, Guerrero, Aguascalientes and Morelos.

In Chiapas, approximately 3,000 members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym) marched in San Cristobal de Las Casas. They denounced that the president’s development plan “brings dispossession and the destruction of our territories”, with projects such as the Maya Train, which, they warned, “will not happen, whatever the cost, we will not allow their rotten ideas, with their megaprojects, enter and strip us of our territory, because the bad government will not come to command, to silence or to intimidate in our houses, even if they are thinking of doing it with their national Guard.” In a pronouncement they stated that, “those who dressed up as the left have only put on masks of good faces, but of very bad intentions. They wear clothes of other colors and call themselves by other names, but they do not deceive us the original peoples in struggle and resistance, because they are the same foremen who want to impose plans of death with their lying and rigged consultations.” They also said that the government “does not ask us in their consultation if we want to live, but in what way we want to die. There are many wars that we face, but we are not afraid of them.”

Although it was not present here or in Morelos, where the CNI also called a march, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) published a statement in which he explained that his absence has a “simple” reason: “in our mountains and valleys the military presence has increased, police, paramilitary, and spies, ears and informants (…), the threat of death travels by air and land to indigenous communities who have decided to remain in resistance and rebellion to defend the land.” Although it noted a continuity with the previous governments, it pointed out that “today the persecution, harassment and attack against our communities is “for the good of all” and is done under the banner of the supposed “IV Transformation.” The EZLN also said that the new government seeks to appropriate the image of Zapata “so that, with his death, the defense of the land also dies.” However, “the original peoples will continue in rebellion and resistance,” it said.

In Morelos, social organizations from various states of the Republic arrived in Chinameca, where Zapata was murdered, and criticized President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for “the incongruity with which he seeks to legitimize his government by trampling on the rights of the people.” Jorge Zapata Garcia, grandson of the revolutionary, said that “100 years ago Madero betrayed Zapata and now 100 years later, the same government again betrays the ideals of Zapata. For me it is a mockery what he did to decree 2019 the year of General Emiliano Zapata and to commemorate it by handing over the water of the ejidos to the transnational companies. In addition, it is a provocation because the peoples have already shown that the thermoelectric plant is not going to be allowed.” For its part, the People’s Front in Defense of the Land and Water for Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala denounced the lack of action in the case of the murder of Samir Flores on February 20th, and demanded that Lopez Obrador announce the suspension and cancellation of the gas pipeline in Morelos.

The members of the CNI present at the event declared themselves on alert to the megaprojects that the federal government intends to impose on their territories and against the criminalization of social protest. They warned that “today 100 years after the betrayal and the lie that cowardly ended life of General Emiliano Zapata, that lie and betrayal returned with a supposed face of democracy, but, as then, that word, when it comes from above, only means war, impersonation and deception of the whole nation.” They announced that they would continue an organizational process that articulates the different expressions of struggles and agreed on a second national assembly on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, with a date to be defined.

In Veracruz, the demonstrations also denounced the projects of transnational companies, in particular Nestlé, which intends to grow coffee for a plant it wants to establish in the state. In Oaxaca, professors of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE in its Spanish acronym) demanded the abrogation of the educational reform. They also raised demands regarding reconstruction after the 2017 earthquakes and rejection of the federal megaprojects based on the Special Economic Zones and the Program for the Isthmus of the Tehuantepec Region. In Michoacan, the teachers also marched. In Guerrero, teachers and students of Ayotzinapa marched and took over highway tollbooths and reiterated their request that their 43 disappeared in Iguala in 2014 companions reappear. Finally, in Aguascalientes, the offices of the Welfare Secretariat were occupied to demand the delivery of programs.

For more information in Spanish:

PRONUNCIAMIENTO DE LOS PUEBLOS DEL CONGRESO NACIONAL INDIGENA, CONCEJO INDIGENA DE GOBIERNO EN CHIAPAS (CNI Chiapas, 10 de abril de 2019)

Mensaje del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional en los 100 años del asesinato del General Emiliano Zapata (EZLN, 10 de abril de 2019)

Recuerdan a Zapata con protestas contra autoridades en seis estados (La Jornada, 11 de abril de 2019)

El gobierno actual quiere secuestrar la imagen de Zapata: EZLN (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

Más de 3 mil indígenas marchan en Chiapas en memoria de Zapata (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

“Así como Madero quiso comprar a Zapata, el mal gobierno quiso comprar a Samir y a los pueblos que resisten”: EZLN a cien años del asesinato de Emiliano Zapata (Desinformémonos, 10 de abril de 2019)

Entre consignas contra el “mal gobierno”, lanzan vivas a Zapata en Chinameca (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

Congreso Nacional Indígena, en alerta contra los megaproyectos del gobierno de AMLO (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

En ceremonia por Zapata, Blanco justifica consulta de AMLO sobre termoeléctrica en Huexca (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

En ceremonia por Zapata, Blanco justifica consulta de AMLO sobre termoeléctrica en Huexca (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

Con ausencia de nieto de Zapata “decepcionado” de la 4T, AMLO conmemora centenario luctuoso del caudillo (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: CNI, EZLN y organizaciones indígenas convocan a las jornadas de lucha “Zapata vive, Samir vive, la lucha sigue” (19 de marzo de 2019)

Nacional: Se lleva a cabo la tercera asamblea del Congreso Nacional Indígena y el Concejo Indígena de Gobierno (CNI-CIG) en la Ciudad de México (8 de marzo de 2019)


National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico

April 11, 2019

UNHCHR.pngMichelle Bachelet (@CINU)

At the end of her official visit to Mexico, which took place between April 5th and 9th, the United Nations Organization High Commissioner of the for Human Rights (UN-DH), Michelle Bachelet, said she was surprised by the levels of violence and the dimension of the human rights crisis in the country. “It was a surprise to me what I found. Without a doubt, the case of Ayotzinapa is well known by the press, but the 40 thousand disappeared was not something that was so clear, of the 26 thousand bodies without identification (in the forensic services). Or ten women murdered a day. I knew very well about the violence, but I had no idea of ​​the dimension (…) The data are terrifying.” She pointed out that Mexico has figures for violent deaths equivalent to a country at war: 252,538,000 since 2006.

She highlighted outstanding human rights issues in different areas, in particular regarding forced disappearances, femicides, violence against defenders and journalists, torture, abuses against migrants, as well as high poverty rates -especially in indigenous communities- and the need to carry out consultations in accordance with international standards, among others, in order to undertake megaprojects.

The High Commissioner also signed a collaboration agreement on the National Guard and another on the collaboration of the agency in charge of the investigation of the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014).

The former president of Chile stressed that the new authorities of the country “have recognized that Mexico has a human rights crisis,” that there is political will to move forward with the pending issues and that “President Lopez Obrador has expressed his willingness to implement a change of paradigm.” She stressed that in the case of the National Guard, the Mexican government is talking about “accountability, transparency, human rights indicators that allow us to see if the National Guard is indeed going in the right direction or is deviating.” “The office will not hesitate to raise the alarm if it sees that there is any type of situation that does not correspond to the spirit of what is sought and the spirit of the agreement”, she said.

In the Ayotzinapa case, she said: “My office will be an ally that will not hesitate to contribute to progress and at the same time will raise the alarm in case of non-compliance. We request to know the whereabouts of the boys”, she added.

For more information in Spanish:

Enfrentar las desapariciones forzadas es el problema central en México, insta Michelle Bachelet (ONU México, 9 de abril de 2019)

México tiene cifras de muertes violentas propias de un país en guerra: Bachelet (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

La ACNUDH asesorará la creación de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet defiende a la sociedad civil: Es importante para la democracia, le dice al gobierno de México (Animal Político, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet se va desolada de tanto horror en México: “No sabía de todo lo que me he encontrado…” (Sin Embargo, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet: como una guerra, las muertes violentas en México (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018

September 21, 2018

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018 (September 21, 2018)


Oaxaca: Consultation Takes Place in Tehuantepec Isthmus Amidst Doubts from Various Social and Civil Players in the Region

April 4, 2019

Isthmus.jpn@Página3.mx

On March 30th and 31st, consultations were held by the Government of Mexico, through the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP in its Spanish acronym) and the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI in its Spanish acronym). They were directed to indigenous peoples to pronounce themselves on the “Integral Development Program of the Tehuantepec Isthmus”, a development project that would include the modernization of the ports of Salina Cruz, in Oaxaca, and Coatzacoalcos, in Veracruz, and that aims to recover the railway of around 300 kilometers between both points.

Seven Regional Consultative Assemblies were held. On March 30th, 501 representatives were prsent in Jaltepec de Candayoc; in Santiago Laollaga, 479; in Salina Cruz, 183 (headquarters established at the last moment because the community of San Mateo del Mar – where it would originally have taken place – announced its rejection of the program); and in San Pedro Huamelula, 275. The following day more than a thousand people were in Santa María Chimalapa; in Oteapan, Veracruz, 549 and in Uxpanapa there were 705 representatives.

The process has been questioned by several indigenous groups, including the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym), which said in a statement: “We reject and ignore any simulation that proposes the imposition of megaprojects of death, as is the supposed consultation that the bad governments intend to carry out in various communities of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec on March 30th and 31st. We denounce the corrupt practices that bad governments through the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples have been carrying out in order to divide, deceive and intimidate our communities, where they offer programs and projects in exchange for saying ‘yes’ in their supposed consultations, as if territory and natural resources were not at stake.”

Several civil and social organizations of Oaxaca also strongly rejected the holding of the Assemblies and the haste with which they have been organised from a way unrelated to “the times, uses, customs and forms of decision making of the communities, as well as their representative representatives.” They considered that “Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the general comments and recommendations emanating from the universal system of human rights” are not being respected. They stressed in particular that “indigenous consultation processes are not a single punctual act, but must be carried out in all phases of planning and implementation; we observed and denounced the violation of the prior nature of the consultation and consent, as it was reported in December 2018 when presenting the project in reference to investments that were already contemplated for this project of the Tehuantepec Isthmus, which confirms that the regional consultative assemblies are a simple formality for projects that have already been begun to be implemented.”

Participation in the Forums did not imply a necessary endorsement of the project. For example, in Santa Maria Chimalapa, the representatives asked that their old agrarian conflict be resolved in the border between Oaxaca and Chiapas, and that a program of attention to their demands and needs be incorporated before considering this Program. For their part, members of the Network of Community Defenders of the Peoples of Oaxaca (REDECOM in its Spanish acronym) were present during the consultations, denouncing that it was an express consultation and in the manner of governmental interests.

For his part, the head of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, Adelfo Regino Montes said in the media that the statutes of ILO Convention 169 were respected and said that “in a second stage specific consultation processes will be carried out in cases of direct effect to the lands and other fundamental aspects of the life of the indigenous communities of the region. “

For more information in Spanish:

Programa del Istmo, de la mano con indígenas (NVI Noticias, 28 de marzo de 2019)

Denuncia el PCI-UCIZONI Oaxaca violación a derechos de los pueblos indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec por parte del INPI (PCI-Ucizoni, 28 de marzo de 2019)

Cambian de sede la consulta sobre proyecto del Istmo (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2019)

Cumplimos convenio de la OIT en consulta del Istmo de Tehuantepec: Adelfo Regino (Aristegui Noticias, 29 de marzo de 2019)

CONSULTA EN EL ISTMO DE TEHUANTEPEC, GRAVE SIMULACIÓN DEL ESTADO MEXICANO (OSC, 29 de marzo de 2019)

Comunicado del CNI-CIG y el EZLN ante nueva situación de consulta para imponer mega proyectos en el Istmo de Tehuantepec (CNI/EZLN, 29 de marzo de 2019)

Organizaciones indígenas rechazan Consulta Istmo (La Jornada, 30 de marzo de 2019)

Pide CNDH proteger a pueblos indígenas por proyecto del Istmo (La Jornada, 30 de marzo de 2019)

Baja participación en primer día de consulta en el Istmo (Pie de Página, 31 de marzo de 2019)

Mínima participación en Asambleas de consulta sobre Programa de Desarrollo del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Página 3.mx, 31 de marzo de 2019)

Miles participan en la segunda jornada de la consulta sobre el Programa de Desarrollo del Istmo (Sin Embargo, 31 de marzo de 2019)

Baja participación en foros de consulta del plan de desarrollo del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Video; Aristegui Noticias, 1ero de abril de 2019)

For more informatio from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: New Consultations in Tehuantepec Isthmus Questioned (March 28, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Ruling on Revocation of Mandate and Consultations (March 21, 2019)

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)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13, 2018)

 


Oaxaca: Ten Ejido Members and Landlords to “Grupo Mexico” Arrested in Ventosa

April 4, 2019

Ejido.pngPhoto @ El Imparcial de Oaxaca

On April 1st, ten ejido members and landlords to the “Grupo Mexico” company, which runs “El Retiro” wind farm on these lands, “were arrested and evicted with violence by elements of the state police and taken to unknown destinations family members and the other landowners reported”, according to La Jornada.

The same source reports that the events occurred after “a roadblock on the access to the wind power station began on March 27th to demand an urgent meeting with senior management of this company because agreements of the contract signed five years ago, especially in the area of ​​employment and security, have not been respected.”

Due to this, the relatives of the victims and other ejidatarios assume that this operation was requested by the directors of Grupo Mexico to put an end to the uccupation of the wind farm. They denounced the disproportionate use of force and violence during the operation, the absence of arrest warrants against the detainees and demanded that the authorities ascertain their whereabouts. As a result, they maintain the Pan American federal highway blocked.

For more information in Spanish:

Diez detenidos por bloquear un parque eólico de Grupo México en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 2 de abril de 2019)

Policías retienen con violencia a diez ejidatarios en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 1 de abril de 2019)

Bloquean carretera para exigir liberación de detenidos en parque eólico. (Romonoticias, 1 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: German Trasnational Siemens Building New Wind Farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio (March 26, 2019)

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)