Guerrero: Conflict at Mine of Canadian Company Torex Gold Resources

February 17, 2018

GoldPhoto @ Proceso

Since November 3rd, 2017, according to information from Proceso, a group of workers of the Media Luna mining company, part of the Canadian company Torex Gold Resources, have been on strike to “demand the change of ownership of their collective work contract, which is currently held by the Confederation of Workers of Mexico (CTM in its Spanish acronym).” The dissatisfied workers would like to join “the Napoleon Gomez Urrutia Union.”

Several newspapers reported that due to the problem that exists between the quarry workers and the mining company, three murders of employees of the mining company Media Luna have occurred to date. First on November 18, 2017 “Victor and Marcelino Sahuanitla were murdered and on January 24, Quintin Salgado, one of the leaders of the strike against the mining company Media Luna, was assassinated when he left his house in Nuevo Balsas, municipality of Cocula in Guerrero.”

According to the newspaper La Jornada de Guerrero, the national leaders of the National Mining Union, Sergio Beltran Reyes and Benito Melo Gonzalez, later denounced Salgado’s murder; “Comrade Quintin Salgado of the Media Luna mine, was cowardly murdered by the CTM of Guerrero and organized crime and we hope that the government of Canada, which is more interested in solving this situation, can put a stop to this company which, in addition to allowing them to take away our wealth, our authorities also allow you to assault, murder and violate the rule of law in our country, our workers and our organization Miners of Mexico.”

On January 27th, state and federal agents as well as soldiers took control of the facilities of the Canadian mining company Media Luna and practically broke the strike that the workers held. The military operation resulted in “the release of the security chief of the mining company Media Luna and seven workers who had allegedly been retained by the workers,” Proceso reported.

In a statement, the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) mentioned that “this problem has a framework, and it is the current federal and state policy of delivery of resources and unrestricted and servile support to domestic and foreign companies that impose this type of exploitation, affecting the territories irreversibly in environmental, social and health terms. Once installed, the companies, as part of the multiple devastation they generate, place their local workers in conditions of intensive exploitation, violating their rights with government support. It is important to point out that the above once again highlights:

  1. The clear link between these companies and the criminal groups’ “gunmen” that they finance for their protection, and
  2. That at the request of a transnational company, the state sends its army and its police not to put the project at risk with greater direct foreign investment in the state of Guerrero.”

It should be recalled that, since March 2016, “Proceso warned about the risk of mining projects promoted by the government of Hector Astudillo in a strip of the state where the narcos [drug cartels] control everything.”

For more information in Spanish:

Quintín Salgado Salgado fue ultimado a balazos en las inmediaciones de su casa en Cocula, Guerrero. (Regeneración, 24 de enero de 2018)

Empleados de firma canadiense, hermanos asesinados en Guerrero: Sindicato Minero (La Jornada, 23 de noviembre de 2017)

Asesinan a prestador de servicios de Media Luna que simpatizaba con los paristas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 25 de enero de 2018)

Rescatan 8 personas privada de su libertad en Minera Media Luna (Debate, 27 de enero de 2018)

Ejército y agentes toman el control de minera Media Luna en Guerrero (Proceso, 27 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: ONG emite Acción Urgente para proteger Evelia Bahena García, Diana Coralina Brito y Félix Rodríguez Navarrete (10 de agosto de 2015)

Guerrero/México/América Latina: Graves cuestionamientos a Goldcorp y empresas mineras canadienses (29 de abril de 2014)

Chiapas/México/América Latina: Violación de derechos por empresas mineras (25 de abril de 2012)

Advertisements

National: Biodiversity Law – Protection for Megaprojects (Greenpeace)

February 17, 2018

GreenpeacePhoto @ Greenpeace México

Civil society groups and experts have expressed their grave concerns about the Biodiversity Law, which, according to Sin Embargo MX, was approved “in a rush” by 88 senators on December 15th, “in the middle of another controversial discussion: the Law of Internal Security.” The unexpected and surprising approval of the said Law has caused controversies in several points highlighted in multiple public denunciations by civil society.

In the first place, Greenpeace Mexico strongly criticized the fact that “this approval was carried out in a surprising manner and without the broad consultation demanded by society, as mandated by human rights standards.” In addition, the representative in Mexico of the Center for Biodiversity, Alejandro Olivera Bonilla, highlighted that the main promoter of the Biodiversity Law, Senator Ninfa Salinas Sada, of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), is responsible for the promotion of extractive projects throughout the country. He stated in an interview with Sin Embargo MX that, “we detected that there is a conflict of interest, given that Senator Ninfa Salinas Sada has an interest in open-pit metallurgical mining projects in Mexico. Based on the contents of the initiative, such as the weakening of protected natural areas (PNA) to allow this type of activities that are the most destructive, this conflict of interest is evident.”

Greenpeace Mexico identified four key points as to why this new law would not represent protection, but rather a threat to biodiversity in Mexico:

  • “The limited protection of genetic resources and their commercialization, which could exacerbate conflicts associated with the access and distribution of benefits to local communities or indigenous peoples;
  • The lack of clarity in terms of consultation and citizen participation, because the spaces proposed in this sense are poorly designed and do not fulfill the function of being real mechanisms of deliberation;
  • That in its transitory articles there are exceptions that open the possibility for the commercial use of marine mammals;
  • In addition, the prohibition of high-impact activities, such as mining and power generation is not established in protected natural areas, so that the new law, instead of protecting biodiversity, protects the interests of the proponents [of megaprojects].”

For more information in Spanish:

Ley de Biodiversidad es un regalo para la minería y el fracking, y un atentado a la ecología, alertan (SinEmbargo MX, 5 de febrero de 2018)

Biodiversidad o minería, ¿dilema? (El Universal, 3 de febrero de 2018)

Madrugan Grupo Salinas y Partido Verde con Ley de Biodiversidad (Greenpeace México, 19 de diciembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Acacoyagua prohibe la actividad minera en su territorio (22 de enero de 2018)

Nacional: Más aprobaciones controvertidas de Leyes Mexicanas (20 de dieciembre de 2017)

Nacional: Senado aprueba Ley de seguridad interior (16 de diciembre de 2017)


Oaxaca/Chiapas: SEZ Exclusive Jurisdiction of Federal Powers

February 17, 2018

SEZPhoto @ El Universal

On October 20th, 2017, several newspapers reported that the real estate of the Special Economic Zone of Puerto Chiapas, passed into the Federation.

The same thing has happened in the case in Oaxaca after the LXIII Legislature of the State Congress approved by majority vote the decree requested by Governor Alejandro Murat such that “consent is granted so that houses, buildings or any other construction (the real estate) that will be part of the special economic zone of Salina Cruz, be considered exclusive jurisdiction of the federal powers.” According to NVI News this means that the SEZ will be “protected by the Army or the police federal.”

On January 31st, Governor Alejandro Murat, the municipality of Salina Cruz and the Head of the Federal Authority for the Development of Special Economic Zones signed the Collaboration Agreement for the Operation of the SEZ of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca at a meeting.

For more information in Spanish:

Recibe Congreso del Estado decreto del Ejecutivo Estatal para ZEE (Congreso del Estado de Oaxaca, 31 de enero de 2018)

Desde hoy, inmuebles de la ZEE a manos de la Federación (Oaxaca Político, 20 de octubre de 2017)

Plantean aprovechar Zonas Económicas Especiales (Cuarto Poder, 5 de febrero de 2018)

Firma de Convenio de Colaboración para la Operación de la ZEE de Salina Cruz, Oaxaca. (Autoridad Federal para el Desarrollo de las Zonas Económicas Especiales, 31 de enero de 2018)

Meade promete impulsar Zonas Económicas Especiales de Oaxaca (Excélsior, 2 de febrero de 2018)

A manos de la Federación inmuebles de la ZEE (Diario de Chiapas, 20 de octubre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: EPN declara Zonas Económicas Especiales en Oaxaca y Yucatán (20 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas: Otros Mundos alerta sobre los riesgos que implicará la ZEE de Puerto Chiapas (7 de diciembre de 2017)

Nacional/Chiapas: Más Zonas Económicas Especiales (4 de septiembre de 2017)

Oaxaca: Anuncian campaña contra las ZEE (30 de junio de 2017)

Oaxaca: Se amparan pueblos del Istmo contra Zona Económica Especial (ZEE) (23 de marzo de 2017)

Oaxaca: comunidades del Istmo presentan amparo ante la ZEE (17 de noviembre de 2016)

Nacional: Nombran a titular de Zonas Económicas Especiales (15 de julio de 2016)

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)


Chiapas: 4000 Displaced Return Home in Insecure Conditions n Chalchihuitan

January 22, 2018

ChenalhoDisplaced Chalchihuitan (@Sin Embargo)

On December 2nd, nearly four thousand indigenous people from Chalchihuitan returned to their communities of origin after almost two months of forced displacement, despite not having secure conditions to do so due to the presence of groups that have not been disarmed, so they blamed the state and federal governments for what might happen to their families. 1,165 people refused to leave Kanalumtik camp where they are located for the same reason.

According to the parish priest of Chalchuitan, those who returned did so because of the conditions of forced displacement that caused the death of 11 people due to hunger and cold in this region of the Highlands of Chiapas.

Municipal, state and federal authorities met in this framework and agreed to continue with humanitarian aid, maintain close public security with the participation of state and federal forces, and continue to seek lasting solutions that guarantee peace in the region.

It should be recalled that there has been an agrarian conflict over boundaries between the two municipalities of Chalchihuitan and Chenalho since 1973, as a result of the works of recognition and titling of communal property by the extinct Secretariat of Agrarian Reform. They have resulted in a dispute over more than 900 hectares located between the two places.

For more information in Spanish:

Segob establece tres acuerdos con representantes de desplazados de Chalchihuitán (Aristegui Noticias, 4 de enero de 2018)

Peligroso retorno a Chalchihuitán (La Jornada, 3 de enero de 2018)

Segob refuerza ayuda en el regreso de desplazados a Chalchihuitán (La Jornada, 3 de enero de 2018)

Retornan a sus comunidades casi 4 mil indígenas desplazados de Chalchihuitán (Proceso, 2 de enero de 2018)

Sin condiciones de seguridad, desplazados en Chiapas retornan a sus casas (Regeneración, 2 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

SIPAZ: BOLETÍN URGENTE – Reactivación del conflicto agrario entre Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán : violencia generalizada e impunidad (16 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas : Conflicto agrario: fallo en favor del municipio de Chenalhóc(13 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas: últimos acontecimientos del conflicto agrario entre Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán (8 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas: Urge ayuda humanitaria para personas desplazadas (29 de noviembre de 2017)

Chiapas: Otra vez resurgió el conflicto agrario entre los municipios de Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán (14 de noviembre de 2017)


National/International: PBI Publishes “Defending Life” Report

December 28, 2017

PBI.jpg(@PBI)

Peace Brigades International (PBI) published a new publication “Defending Life: People who Defend Land, Territory and the Environment at Risk”, which collects testimonies and analysis that highlight the same reality: the extreme vulnerability of the defenders of the land and the environment in Mexico and the world.

For more information in Spanish:

Defender la Vida: personas defensoras de la tierra, el territorio y el medioambiente en riesgo (PBI, noviembre de 2017)

Defensor ambiental, labor de alto riesgo (El Universal, 6 de diciembre de 2017)

México debe actuar urgentemente para proteger a las personas defensoras del medio ambiente (Global Witness, 6 de diciembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

Oaxaca: V Encuentro de defensores y defensoras Comunitarias (29 de noviembre de 2017)

Nacional : informes de organizaciones de derechos humanos contrastan con avances señalados en el Quinto Informe de Gobierno (7 de septiembre de 2017)

México: Amnistía Internacional presenta nueva campaña mundial en contra de la ola de ataques a defensores y defensoras (30 de mayo de 2017)

Nacional: Relator Especial de la ONU visita a México para evaluar la situación de Derechos Humanos (1 de febrero de 2017)


Chiapas: Otros Mundos Warns about the Risk Implications of the SEZ for Puerto Chiapas

December 27, 2017

SEZ.png

In an article published on December 1st, the civil organization Otros Mundos shared information on the implications and risks that would result from the imposition of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on the Chiapas coast, describing it as a “kind of walled city, liberated territory to transnational companies.” Among other elements to take into account, they denounced that “the companies that are installed in the SEZ will not pay taxes and will not do so for the use, enjoyment or exploitation of public domain assets of the Federation, which will mean decreasing public revenues that could be destined to education, health, among other issues. Poverty will increase and the cost of living of the region will become more expensive. Its operation will involve an excess of energy consumption and also water that will compete with the communities and the surrounding region. Their solid and liquid waste will place in crisis not only the local fishing activity but La Encrucijada Reserve that aims to protect the mangrove forest.”

For more information in Spanish:

La Zona Económica Especial de Puerto Chiapas (Otros Mundos, 1ero de diciembre 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)

 


Chiapas: Humanitarian Aid for Displaced Demanded

December 4, 2017

Chenalho.png(@ Chiapas Paralelo)

On November 27th, Civil Society organizations, including SIPAZ, issued an Urgent Action for the risk to life, security and integrity of communities in the Altos region due to an agrarian conflict between the municipalities of Chenalho and Chalchihuitan, which has been going on for more than 40 years without a solution.

The document reports that there are more than 5000 displaced people today. It details that the displaced communities of Chalchihuitan are: a) Ch’en Mut 700 people, 120 families, 8 pregnant women; b) Pom more than 2000 people, 436 families, 100 pregnant women; c) Tzomolton 800 people, 107 families, 6 pregnant women; d) C’analumtic 600 people, 191 families; e) Bejelton 150 people, 30 families; f) Tulantic 350 people, 50 families; g) Vololch’ojon. 150 people, 40 families; e) Cruz c’ac’al nam 200 people; f) Cruzton 73 people, 20 displaced families. Also affected by the situation of violence are the communities of Balunac’o, Cotolchij, Lobolaltic, Pacanam, Pat C’anteal, Chiquin xulum, Saclum.

From Chenalho, 300 people from Majompepentik and Fraccion Polho moved, in addition to Las Limas and other communities that sleep outside their homes such as Yabteclum, Campo Los Toros, Tsabalho, among others.

In the communique, the organizations urge the Mexican State to respond promptly and expeditiously to this situation of violence that may lead to greater violations of human rights. They request:

“First – The necessary and pertinent precautionary measures are urgently implemented in order to respect, guarantee and protect the life and integrity of the families of Chalchihuitan and Chenalho.

 Second – The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of the United Nations Organization will be applied to protect the hundreds of families who have fled from the generalized violence and who are in total vulnerability, as well as the affected families who are living in a situation of terror due to the armed actions in the region that are also at risk of increasing the number of forced displacements.

 Third – Free transit and social peace in the communities of Chalchihuitan and Chenalho municipalities are guaranteed, prioritizing the dialogue between the parties under the essential respect of human rights.

Fourth – The murder of Samuel Perez Luna is investigated, those responsible are punished, and armed groups that act with impunity under the permissiveness of the government of Chiapas are disarmed.

 Fifth – In the face of the humanitarian crisis, international and national solidarity is necessary, due to the inefficiency and inability to address this emergency situation on the part of the federal and state governments. Humanitarian aid is urgent for the displaced communities: Food, medicines, blankets, cold clothes, doctors. Contact Caritas de La Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas at the telephone number: 9671203722.”

For its part, the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas issued a statement on November 28 where it expressed its surprise “at the impunity with which the armed groups act to the extent that neither the police nor the Army have been able to be present to prevent the violence, nor to disarm those who impose their control oon the territory and the population through fear.” It also requested actions from the State and called for solidarity to address the humanitarian crisis in which the displaced are.

For more infoemation in Spanish:

Alto al Fuego: Organizaciones urgen ayuda humanitaria para personas desplazadas (CDHFBC, 27 de noviembre de 2017)

Acción Urgente: Violencia generalizada en los municipios de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (CDHFBC, 21 de noviembre de 2017)

Acusan a Velasco de encubrir a alcaldesa de Chenalhó y proteger a grupo armado que provocó desplazamiento (Proceso, 28 de noviembre de 2017)

Escalan violencia y desplazados por conflicto agrario en Chiapas (Proceso, 27 de noviembre de 2017)

Entran comuneros de Chenalhó a terreno en disputa con vecinos de Chalchihuitán (La Jornada, 15 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento de la diócesis de San Cristóbal de Las Casas (28 de noviembre de 2017)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Otra vez resurgió el conflicto agrario entre los municipios de Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán (14 de noviembre de 2017)

Chiapas: Resurgimiento del conflicto agrario entre los vecinos municipios de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (29 de mayo de 2014)