Oaxaca: Conflict in Mixe Region between Inhabitants of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla and Tamazulapam del Espiritu Santo Continues

July 31, 2019

MixePhoto @ Red TdT

Last June, in the framework of the commemoration of the second anniversary of the armed attack, perpetrated against residents of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla, the Gobixha Human Rights Integral Defense Committee (Codigo DH in its Spanish acronym) and the National Network of Civil Organizations All Rights for Everyone (Red TdT in its Spanish acronym) visited the affected area.

The “attack” occurred on June 5th, 2017, the result of an agrarian conflict between the people of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla and Tamazulapam del Espiritu Santo. During the conflict “Luis Juan Guadalupe lost his life. In addition, six people were injured by gunfire and four women were held and tortured by local authorities.”

Through a statement, the organizations announced that: “Two years after these events, we found that Ayutla Mixes do not have a connection to their spring (Jënanyëëj), because their water and pipe system was destroyed, causing lack of the vital fluid, mainly affecting children and older adults, who have consistently presented profiles of gastrointestinal diseases.” According to the statement, also, “attacks and disqualifications against defenders have been present, including Elena Gil, academic and defender of the Ayuuk language and culture, who has repeatedly received death threats, as well as other people in  the community who have been victims of aggressions and intimidation in order to silence them, details of which we reserve because of the fear they show.”

They mentioned that according to official documents “27 families of the community have been stripped of their homes and land by an agrarian invasion of more than 200 hectares that seeks to cross the boundaries recognized by both communities.”

In addition, they informed that, in the disputed spring “an installation has been built unilaterally by the state authorities, according to the complaint of the local authorities, to replace the one that was allegedly dynamited on August 25th, 2017 by Tamazupalam and that may collate with archive photos. Given these facts, the state authorities such as the Secretary General of Government (SEGEGO) and the Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca, have ignored and progress is unknown on the complaints filed, violating the right to security and physical integrity of the residents of Ayutla, and her access to justice, with investigations related to the law.”

Currently, Ayutla is still without water despite more than 30 meetings and a “historic agreement” between the two communities [which was denied by the Ayutla authorities]. Also, it should be remembered that recently, the General Secretary of Government (SEGEGO) sent the State Water Commission (CEA in its Spanish acronym) to reconnect the water to Ayutla.

Codigo DH and the Red TdT called:

  • “To the State Government to give priority to the solution to the agrarian conflict and guarantee at all times access to justice for victims, security against the risk of violence and new dispossession, as well as respect for the history and documents that keep the memory of the boundaries between both communities.
  • To the General Secretary of Government, we demand that you adhere to the agreements signed and recognized by both communities, including May 2018, to avoid new acts of violence and dispossession towards settlers who have suffered repeated violations of their human rights. We also demand the cessation of attacks and disqualifications against defenders.
  • To the State Water Commission to guarantee the completion of water reconnection works for Ayutla. It has been more than two years without a drinking water service that violates their human right to water and health, mainly for children and the elderly.
  • To the Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca, to continue with the investigations for the clarification and punishment of those responsible for the acts perpetrated on June 5th, 2017, guaranteeing at all times free access to their victims’ information.
  • To the Secretary of Public Security of the State of Oaxaca, to guarantee the security and help the population of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla given the risk of future aggressions.
  • To national and international Human Rights organizations to be aware of the events that may arise in the following weeks.”

For more information in Spanish:

Para Ayutla no hay fiesta, ni agua; solo duelo, injusticia y riesgo de más violencia ante la inacción gubernamental (Codigo DH, 18 de julio de 2019)

Sin solución conflicto por agua en zona mixe (Imparcial Oaxaca, 26 de julio de 2019)

Justicia y agua, para Ayutla (NVI Noticias, 26 de julio de 2019)

Denuncian inacción gubernamental en Ayutla (Red TdT, 18 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Enfrentamiento entre pobladores en la región Mixe. (June 8, 2017)

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International/National/Chiapas: Director of Internal Displacement Monitoring Center Highlights Problem in Mexico

July 31, 2019

DisplacementCamp for displaced persons from Colonia Puebla in SCLC @AlexandraBilak

On July 24th, Alexandra Bilak, director of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC in its Spanish acronym), visited displaced people from Puebla ejido in the municipality of Chenalho.

The IDMC is an internationally recognized organization that publishes figures and analysis on internal forced displacement (FID). This organization visited the camp where FID victims are currently living in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

Excelsior newspaper reported that during her visit Bilak “heard testimonies of women and men who are going through this process, as part of a global report. She also noted the conditions in which these families are, in order to know the methodology with which they are cared for and to support the states that are engaged in the matter.”

On the visit, Bilak highlighted that it is a great injustice that they have been displaced for three years “with limited services and under constant threat of new violence.”

During her visit to Mexico, she also met with the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym), the Mexican Commission for Assistance to Refugees (COMAR in its Spanish acronym), the United Nations and other international organizations. She stressed that a first step to address internal displacement in Mexico is to have reliable figures on the phenomenon, which currently do not exist. Without these figures, Bilak pointed out that the magnitude of the problem is not known, nor how it affects children, or is related to sexual violence.

In addition, she drew attention to the lack of an official government authority to monitor internal displacement and attend to those affected. In her presentation, Bilak also posed challenges and advances on the adoption of a general law on the subject that could be based on the experience of other countries, and request the support of organizations for the elaboration of this.

The coordinator of COMAR, Andres Ramirez Silva, “stressed that the institution in charge, for example, serves foreigners who request shelter, but there is no institution that cares for the internally displaced in Mexico (…) emphasized that the general law in the matter, will have to create the budget and the structures that see to the phenomenon, as well as clarify the role that COMAR will play in the issue of internal displacement, since its operational capacity has been limited to foreign flows.”

For more information in Spanish:

“Crimen Desplazó en México a 380 mil personas” El Universal, 24 de julio de 2019.

Realiza IDMC informe de desplazados en Chiapas Excelsior, 25 de julio de 2019.

Urgen en México leyes y recursos para atender desplazamiento forzado Mi Punto de Vista, 23 de julio de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Interceptan hombres armados a integrantes del CDH Ku’untik y un desplazado del ejido Puebla. (June 24, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Piden CIDH y ONU crear ley para atender a víctimas de desplazamiento forzado (April 18, 2019)

National: Deputies Declare Forced Displacement a Crime (April 15, 2019)

Nacional/Chiapas: la Comisión de Pueblos Indígenas de la Cámara de diputados exhorta a diversas autoridades a resolver la problemática causada por el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (February 19, 2019)

Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas (October 30, 2018)

Chiapas: Nace la organización “Coordinadora de Personas Desplazadas del Estado de Chiapas” (July 25, 2018)


Oaxaca: Indigenous Communities Celebrate “Guelaguetza” against Extractivism

July 29, 2019

Guela1

On July 23rd, 2019, several Zapotec communities of the Central Valleys, members of the “Non-Mining Front, for a Future of All”, organized an alternative Guelaguetza in San Martin de los Cansecos, Oaxaca. This was the first Guelaguetza of the Peoples of Oaxaca against mining that began with a traditional ritual of gratitude to Mother Earth.

“What they are looking for in this event is to recover the essence of the Cerro Mondays Festival, where with cooperation, love of neighbor and an attitude of sharing nature and life, they seek to reinforce the social fabric that unite us as indigenous communities.”

Marcos Leyva Madrid of the organization Services for Alternative Education (Educa in its Spanish acronym) mentioned that during the event “the towns and communities affected by mining projects and concessions celebrate life, autonomy, resistance processes and community alternatives that they are exercising within their territories.”

Guela2Photo @ SIPAZ

People and agricultural authorities from nine municipalities participated in the alternative Guelaguetza. The program included a forum, spaces for reflection for the communities about the defense of their lands against extractivism, and there were also cultural spaces.

It should be remembered that there are more than three hundred mining concessions in Oaxaca, which represent five percent of the state territory. Communities and civil organizations attribute damage to the environment and the social fabric of the communities to the extractivist model, among other consequences. In addition, they highlight the criminalization of defenders of the land, by extractive companies and the government, with the aim of protecting their economic interests.

According to the magazine Proceso, the Cuzcatlan mining company which is three kilometers away in San Jose del Progreso, also organized a Guelaguetza to “justify that it promotes traditions, gives employment and generates development.” The company is related to the Canadian company Fortuna Silver Mines.

For more information in Spanish:

Celebran comunidades indígenas la Guelaguetza antiminera en Oaxaca (EDUCA, 23 de julio de 2019)

Realizan en Valles Centrales la primera Guelaguetza de los Pueblos de Oaxaca contra la Minería (Proceso, 22 de julio de 2019)

Con Guelaguetza alternativa, protestan en Oaxaca contra mineras (La Jornada, 22 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: “Negamos el desarrollo que nos niega a nosotros”: Concluye Tercer Encuentro Estatal de Pueblos, Comunidades y Organizaciones “Aquí Decidimos Sí a la Vida No a la Minería” (May 22nd, 2019)

Oaxaca: Cabildo municipal anuncia el territorio de Magdalena Ocotlán prohibido para minería (April 11th, 2019)

National: No Cancellations but No More Mining Concessions in Mexico – AMLO (March 24, 2019)


National/Chiapas: Forums on Process of Free, Prior and Informed Consultation for Constitutional and Legal Reform of Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples Go Ahead

July 29, 2019

Forums.pngPhoto @ INPI

On July 20th and 21st, in the framework of the Free, Prior and Informed Consultation Process for the Constitutional and Legal Reform on the Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples, several regional consultation forums were held in the territory of Chiapas.

In San Cristobal de Las Casas, Copainala, Palenque, Ocosingo and Comitan de Domínguez “the voices of the Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Totonaco, Chinanteco, Ch’ol, Zoque, Lacandon, Chuj, Maya, Q’eqchi’ and of the indigenous migrant population settled in the Highlands, North and Lacandon Jungle regions came together”, the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI in its Spanish acronym) said.

During his participation in the forum in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the indigenous poet Irma Pineda, member of the Committee of Experts and representative of the indigenous peoples before the United Nations, mentioned that “the peoples themselves must decide what they want from their culture and life forms. We are in a historical moment and we must make our voices resonate in the laws.”

One of the approaches in which the voices of the participants in Chiapas coincided was that “their autonomy and free self-determination to be governed under their own organizational systems be respected (…) that their full right to use and exploitation of their lands, territory and natural resources be recognized in the Constitution.” These are requirements that were raised by other peoples of the nation in previous weeks.

In Copainala, they highlighted “the requirement to modify Article 27 of the Constitution to recognize full ownership over their lands and territories; in addition, guarantee the participation of translators and interpreters in government institutions to guarantee access to justice in their own languages.”

In Ocosingo they asked for “the laws to be modified and the judicial and criminal system to be harmonized to recognize their regulatory systems, as well as access to justice while respecting their human rights. The presence of experts and speakers of indigenous languages ​​in the corresponding institutions is considered fundamental to improve legal procedures.” The women asked for the right to land tenure.

From the beginning, the INPI free consultation process was criticized by different organizations and individuals. They criticized “that there was no participation of the players consulted in its elaboration (…) the rush with which the consultation was made (…) that the assemblies [of the communities and peoples] had not been taken into account.”

For more information in Spanish:

Cumplimiento de los Acuerdos de San Andrés, asignatura pendiente del Gobierno de México: Regino Montes. (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, 21 de julio de 2019)

Más de dos mil autoridades y representantes indígenas de Oaxaca participan en foro de consulta para reforma constitucional (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, 13 de julio de 2019)

Se cumplirán acuerdos de San Andrés: INPI (La Jornada, 23 de julio de 2019)

Acerca de la Consulta para el proceso de reforma constitucional sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas y afromexicanos (La Jornada, 14 de julio de 2019)

Reprograman autoridades indígenas de la Sierra Juárez mesa “Territorio” de consulta del INPI (EDUCA, 19 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Process of “Free, Prior and Informed Consultation” on Constitutional and Legal Reform of Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples Begins (June 27, 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 19th, 2019

Oaxaca/National: Federal Government Presents National Program for Indigenous Peoples December 28th 2018

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

Oaxaca/National: Federal Government Presents National Program for Indigenous Peoples (January 14, 2019)

Chiapas: 18 años years after the signing of the San Andrés Accords on Indigenous Rights and Culture, these continue not to be recognized by the State (March 1, 2014)

Chiapas: new governor calls for observance of San Andrés Accords (January 8, 2013)

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


Chiapas: AMLO Announces Modernization of SCLC – Palenque Highway

July 14, 2019

AMLOPhoto @ Tabasco Hoy

On July 6th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the modernization of the San Cristobal de Las Casas – Palenque highway at a public meeting in Ocosingo during a work tour.

He mentioned “we are going to look for nothing more than to modernize it, to expand it” which means the cancellation of the infrastructure work of a new super highway; an old plan that for years received a strong rejection, especially by the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym).

In response to the cancellation, the Business Center of Chiapas (CECH in its Spanish acronym) “asked the state and federal governments to make all the pertinent considerations before truncating a work whose need has been demonstrated over the years.”

For more information in Spanish:

En Ocosingo, presidente López Obrador anuncia ampliación de carretera Palenque-San Cristóbal (Presidencia de la República, 7 de julio de 2019)

“Llegó la hora de invertir en sureste de México”, dice AMLO (Milenio, 6 de julio de 2019)

Pide Cech reconsiderar posible cancelación de autopista SCLC-Palenque (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 10 de julio de 2019)

8 municipios se unen y rechazan construcción de carretera San Cristóbal de las Casas-Palenque (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Expresiones de solidaridad y preocupación ante los hostigamientos a integrantes del CEDIAC y de la Misión Jesuita de Bachajón (20 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Agentes municipales de Chilón toman acciones para socavar las posibilidades de pasar a un sistema por Usos y Costumbres. (11 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Modevite ratifica su rechazo a la construcción de la super carretera entre San Cristóbal de las Casas y Palenque (2 de mayo de 2019) Chiapas: New meeting in Los Llanos against the planned SCLC-Palenque highway (October 25, 2014)

 


National/International: “Government Should Halt Abuses of Public and Private Companies”: Civil Society Focal Group on Companies and Human Rights

July 12, 2019

CompaniesPhoto @ Animal Politico

On July 4th, 2019, the Civil Society Focal Group of on Companies and Human Rights, which is made up of different national and international organizations, among others, Oxfam Mexico and Services and Consultancy for Peace (SERAPAZ in its Spanish acronym), published a statement in which it demands that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) “attends to human rights violations committed by companies” in Mexico.

It specifies that given the human rights crisis and omnipresent impunity in the country, the government has the obligation to “act with consistency and ensure respect for individual and collective guarantees also in their commitment to megaprojects and all collaboration agreements it makes with large Mexican and foreign companies.”

The Group identifies as a fundamental point that the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights are respected, in addition to international agreements, such as the Escuazu Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, be ratified and put into action. Manifesting that “the balance between development projects and respect for the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples over their territories and natural commons is necessary, particularly as regards megaprojects such as the Dos Bocas Refinery, the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus corridor, roads and dams, among others, without neglecting campesino communities and respect for labor and union rights.”

They conclude that government strategies, such as the National Human Rights Program, should contemplate “a discussion on the responsibility of companies in the matter”, in addition to promoting solid public policies incorporating a human rights approach. This is necessary so that the ten billion dollars of foreign direct investment entering the country are applied coherently between economic interests and the aforementioned rights.

For more information in Spanish:

México: Grupo Focal de Empresas y Derechos Humanos recuerda al gobierno que está pendiente atender a violaciones de derechos humanos cometidos por empresas (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 4 de julio de 2019)

Atender violaciones a derechos humanos cometidas por empresas, otra tarea pendiente de la 4T (Comunicado del Grupo Focal en CEMDA, 4 de julio de 2019)

Gurría pide congruencia a AMLO en megaproyectos; “no tiene autoridad moral”, le responde (El Sol de México, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Ante los megaproyectos, el mega-reproche: AMLO no cumple (Proceso, 9 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Cuarto aniversario del Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusno en Acacoyagua (June 24th, 2019)

Oaxaca: Es publicado el decreto del decreto del Corredor Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec; se movilizan para detener su instrumentación (June 15th, 2019)

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


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)