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)

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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)


National: CNI Spokesperson Marichuy Says Asking Spain for Apology is “Simulation”

April 1, 2019

MarichuyMaria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, Marichuy (@SIPAZ)

In the framework of her visit to the mountain communities of Chihuahua at the end of March, the spokesperson for the National Indigenous Council (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and former candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, Marichuy, said that the request for an apology from Spain by the President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) for the grievances to the indigenous peoples during the Conquest of Mexico, is a “simulation.”

She affirmed that with this approach the federal government deceives the citizenship because meanwhile it continues the dispossession and displacement of the indigenous peoples to seize their territories and impose megaprojects on them. Marichuy Patricio Martinez said that the peoples will not stop fighting and will seek an organization from below, against the destructive actions of the megaprojects.

At the beginning of March, in the context of its third Assembly, the CNI stated that “the neoliberal government led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has its sights set on our peoples and territories, where, with the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, a network of cooptation and disorganization, which opens the way to a war that has an industrial name, made of projects and violence, which, together with the other wars and networks of war, spread a dark web of death among the native peoples of the country.”

In the immediate term, the publication of the letter sent by AMLO to Spain has sparked controversy both in Mexico and in Spain with expressions of both support and rejection of the proposal.

For more information in Spanish:

Pedir perdón a España, una simulación, mejor detengan el despojo a comunidades: Marichuy (Proceso, 26 de marzo de 2019)

Lo que AMLO tiene que hacer “es dejar de despojar de la tierra a las comunidades”: Marichuy (Desinformémonos, 27 de marzo de 2019)

Marichuy en desacuerdo con AMLO sobre petición a España (Regeneración, 27 de marzo de 2019)

Marichuy, Vargas Llosa, Pérez-Reverte… llueven críticas a perdón que pide AMLO (ADN Político, 27 de marzo de 2019)

Marichuy a AMLO: carta a España es simulación, mejor detenga despojo (Político.Mx, 27 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Second National and International Encounter of Women Held in Mexico City (March 26, 2019)

National: CNI, EZLN and Indigenous Organizations Announce “Zapata Lives, Samir Lives, The Struggle Continues” (March 21, 2019)

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

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


National: 21 Environmental Defenders Murdered in 2018 (CEMDA)

April 1, 2019

CEDMA.pngPresentation of CEMDA 2018 Report (@MVS Noticias)

On March 25th, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA in its Spanish acronym) presented its report on the situation of Defenders of Environmental Human Rights 2018, in which it reports that there were 21 murders of activists in our country during 2018, maintaining “the lethal trend of 2017 when the country was included in fourth place in the world where there have been most murders of people who defend the environment.”

CEMDA stressed that “homicide was placed first of the aggressions committed against defenders of the environment in Mexico,” 49 attacks being documented in 2018 and acknowledged that “not all aggressions are reported or recorded by public media.” The report details that of these aggressions, 25% were murders; 19%, acts of criminalization; while threats and physical aggression accounted for 17% of the cases. The states most affected by aggressions were Puebla followed by Oaxaca and Chihuahua.

The vast majority of the attacks (37) occurred in a context of dispute over land and territory. The report also emphasizes that, “unfortunately, it is the Mexican State itself – which should be the guarantor of the human rights of environmental defenders – who was identified as one of the main aggressors.”

CEMDA urged the Mexican government to opt “for the consolidation of the pluricultural State” and to ratify the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (The Escazu Agreement, September 2018)) as soon as possible to establish a comprehensive and effective policy for the effective protection of environmental defenders and the prevention of aggressions.

Some recommendations issued by CEMDA in its Report include: “a) Align and harmonize the legal framework and public policies under a human rights approach and the principle of the pluricultural State; b) Implement, in environmental legislation and public policies, the gender perspective; c) Respect the right to autonomy, to the territory and to their own development for the indigenous communities facing development megaprojects; d) Guarantee timely compliance with the right to free, prior and informed consent of the peoples and communities and indigenous peoples, as well as information and participation in development projects that significantly affect their way of life; e) Implement measures such as the temporary suspension of work and activity until the rights of the indigenous communities are guaranteed; f) Review the content of the criminal types that facilitate the criminalization of environmental defenders; g) Suspend the implementation of a development project when there is evidence of attacks and aggressions against environmental defenders; h) Carry out the social and environmental impact assessments in the first stages of the project, before granting concessions or permits for natural resources; i) Strengthen the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, providing sufficient budget and material resources to fulfill its objective; as well as granting protection to groups that defend environmental human rights; j) Guarantee the right to full reparation of damage to defenders for attacks and violations of their human rights “; among others.

For more information in Spanish:

En 2018 fueron asesinadas 21 personas en México por defender la tierra, el medio ambiente y el territorio (CEMDA, boletín de prensa, 25 de marzo de 2019)

Informe sobre la situaciónde las personas defensoras de losderechos humanos ambientales México 2018 (CEMDA, 25 de marzo de 2019)

Defensores ambientales viven una complicada situación: AI (La Jornada, 26 de marzo de 2019)

Advierten tendencia al alza en homicidios de defensores del medio ambiente en 2019 (MVS Noticias, 25 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Map of over 800 Environmental Conflicts Caused by Megaprojects in 12 Years (March 12, 2019)

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)


Oaxaca: New Consultations in Tehuantepec Isthmus Questioned

March 28, 2019

Isthmus.png(@La Cronica)

On March 20th, dozens of organizations and the Security without War Collective (composed of more than 300 organizations and individuals) published a letter addressed to the President of the Republic, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in the framework of his visit on March 21st. March, to the town of Guelatao de Juarez, Sierra Juarez Region, in Oaxaca. In it they raised a series of concerns regarding the rights of indigenous peoples, including the right to consultation and underlining that Mexico “holds 80% of the planet’s biodiversity, the Sierra Juarez shelters seven of the eight national ecosystems national.” They denounced that, “despite the existence of international standards under the guidelines of “free, prior and informed consultation”, there have been no legally adequate mechanisms to guarantee self-determination, autonomy, environmental governance, and transparency in the decision-making process for the native peoples over their territories. On the contrary, as the United Nations pointed out in recent days, the consultations carried out by the federal government would seem to be rituals of political legitimacy, but not a legal act, such that this exercise cannot substitute the right to indigenous consultation in the context of years of resistance to extractivism and dispossession, both in the Sierra Juarez, as well as the Morelos Integral Project, the Maya Train, among others.”

It should be noted that the federal government has already published the call for indigenous consultation on the Program for the Development of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which includes as a priority the so-called Transoceanic or Trans-isthmus Corridor, which proposes, with the Panama Canal as a reference, a connection between the two oceans. If carried out, it would include “the rehabilitation of railways, the Salina Cruz and Minatitlan refineries, the expansion of roads and the modernization of ports and airports“; while “throughout the Isthmus, free zones will be created to attract private sector investments”, according to Rafael Marin Mollinedo, the head of the Federal Authority for the Development of Special Economic Zones (AFDZEE in its Spanish acronym) and Interoceanic Corridor. The consultation on the trans-isthmus corridor and other projects related to the Special Economic Zones of Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos will take place on March 30th, simultaneously in five communities in Oaxaca and in three others in Veracruz on March 31st. The next day, it is expected that a tender will be issued to rehabilitate the railways located between Medias Aguas and Salina Cruz, Marin Mollinedo reported.

On March 22nd, the Network of Defenders and Community Defenders of the Peoples of Oaxaca (REDECOM in its Spanish acronym) and other organizations also expressed their concern for this express method, which could result in a “simulated consultation.” “Due to the urgency with which the federal authorities act, when organizing the consultation forums, it gives the impression that the consultation is a simulation, given that no information is presented in the mother tongue of our communities, besides that in its convocation neither does it raise the exposure of the environmental, cultural and social effects that these projects will bring”, they said.

However, the head of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI in its Spanish acronym), Adelfo Regino Montes, rejected that the consultations will be carried out “Fast Track”: “It is a process, there will be two types of consultation, a general one in relation to the program where seven regional assemblies are summoned with five towns that are in Oaxaca and two in Veracruz. We are talking about seven regional consultative assemblies to consult the program in general terms and others will be held when the lands or territories of indigenous communities are at risk.”

For more information in Spanish:

No hay consulta indígena, sino legitimación política, reprochan a AMLO desde Oaxaca (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Consulta simulada, violenta derechos colectivos en el Istmo (Pronunciamiento completo, organizaciones Civiles y Sociales, 22 de marzo de 2019)

Cuestionan “consultas exprés” del gobierno de AMLO para proyectos en el Istmo, podrían ser “simuladas”: REDECOM (Página3.mx, 22 de marzo de 2019)

AMLO conmemorará en Guelatao el natalicio de Benito Juárez ante indígenas molestos (Proceso, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Sin transformación para pueblos indígenas (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2019)

PROTOCOLO CONSULTA INDÍGENA PROGRAMA DESARROLLO ISTMO TEHUANTEPEC (corredor transoceanico) (pdf, 19 pág.)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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)


Chiapas/International: Urgent Action – Canadian Embassy before Courts for Undue Intervention in Chicomuselo Mining Conflict

March 27, 2019

Mining.png

On March 25th, a hearing will be held in Ottawa, Canada as representatives of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico were sued in an administrative complaint before the Federal Court of Canada “for their dangerous negotiations in a mining conflict,” related to the criminalization and the murder of Mariano Abarca in Chicomuselo, Chiapas in 2009.

It should be remembered that the local leader of the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) was murdered “after an active and peaceful resistance that the villagers carried out against this company that extracted barite ore. All the suspects in the case had links to the mining company Blackfire Exploration, but no one was convicted of the murder. The investigation is still open.” In addition, “until the day of his murder, Mariano suffered threats, intimidation, beatings, arbitrary detention under false accusations made by the mining company, among other abuses.”

In the framework of the hearing, the website #Justicia for Mariano Abarca published an Urgent Action in which it stressed that “documentation obtained through the transparency law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada, shows that, despite the significant knowledge that the Canadian embassy had on the facts between the company Blackfire and Mr. Abarca -including the death threats that he faced- it went to the state government of Chiapas to ask it to control the protests against the Canadian company in the community.”

It also denounced that, “there is no will or legal frameworks, regulations or binding protocols for the personnel of the Canadian embassies in order to ensure human rights.” Therefore the Urgent Action raises the demand for “a full and impartial investigation into the case of Mariano Abarca Roblero, and ensure legal measures to prevent embassies from continuing to intervene to overlap the abuse and violation of human rights that Canadian mining companies commit in other countries.”

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente en línea: Embajada Canadiense a los tribunales por su intervención indebida en conflicto minero en México (#Justicia para Mariano, 19 de marzo de 2019)

“En México, los intereses de Canadá son los de las empresas mineras” (Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros en América Latina, 15 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Chiapas : Interponen solicitud formal ante gobierno de Canadá para investigar a los diplomáticos en este país ante caso de ambientalista asesinado (7 de febrero de 2018)

Chiapas: 5 years since the murder of mining critic Mariano Abarca (December 15, 2014)

Chiapas: 5,000 Men and Women on Pilgrimage against Mining in Chicomuselo (October 17, 2017)

Chiapas: Anti-Mining Activist Mariano Abarca Killed (December 1, 2009)