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

March 27, 2019


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)


National: Second National and International Encounter of Women Held in Mexico City

March 26, 2019


On March 8th, 9th and 10th, 2018, the Encounter of Women Who Struggle was held in the Morelia Caracol, official municipality of Altamirano, convened by the Zapatista women in the context of the International Women’s Day. It is estimated that some 10,000 women from different Zapatista caracoles arrived from the state of Chiapas as well as women from 27 states of the Republic and from at least 34 countries of the world. One of the final agreements was to hold a Second Encounter of Women in Zapatista territory in March 2019. However, in a communiqué in February, Zapatista women announced that this possibility was canceled, among other reasons, given the risk that implies its fight against the “megaprojects” of the new government: “The truth is that they go for everything against the original peoples, their communities, their lands, their mountains, their rivers, their animals, their plants and even their stones. That is, not only are the Zapatistas against us, but against all the women who call themselves indigenous. And therefore also against men.” Their letter concluded with the question: “Where is your little light that we gave you?”

The organization of several women’s encounters during the days of March planned for the original event was the response that several women tried to give to that question. In particular, on March 16th and 17th, 2019 around 1,300 women participated in the National and International Women who Struggle that took place in Mexico City in coordination with other meetings of women in different parts of the republic. Several activities were carried out simultaneously including “artistic, productive, personal defense workshops, even music, embroidery, natural medicine, dance, performance, painting, capoeira, sexual health, stencil, in addition to various spaces to share the pain and rage, facing them the experiences of struggle and resistance (Crack).” It was organized in this way as “more than massive events, the approach was based on dialogue and construction on a small scale.”

Among the most popular events was the discussion on the defense of territory with Councilors Bettina Cruz and Marichuy Patricio Martinez. Marichuy explained that, “we have to agree on how to strengthen our struggles, how to strengthen among us all so that they do not impose those death projects on us”, “the struggle will be built between all, men and women.”

For more information in Spanish:

“No están solas. No estamos solas”. Luces para las zapatistas (Radio zapatista, 20 de marzo de 2019)

“Aquí está la luz que nos dieron”: Encuentro Nacional e Internacional de mujeres que luchan (Grieta, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Encuentro nacional e internacional de las mujeres que luchan (Audios, Huelga Radio, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Inicia el Segundo Encuentro Nacional e Internacional de Mujeres que Luchan (plumas atómicas, 16 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National/Chiapas: Women of the World Express their Support for Zapatista Women  (March 5th, 2019)

Chiapas: Second Encounter in Zapatista Territory of Women who Struggle Cancelled (February 13th, 2019)

Chiapas: First International Gathering for Politics, Art, Sport and Culture for Women in Struggle (March 27, 2018)

Oaxaca: Fourth Encounter of Women Activists and Human Rights Defenders in Oaxaca (June 23, 2017)

Oaxaca: German Trasnational Siemens Building New Wind Farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio

March 26, 2019

SiemensTehuantepec (@Noe Pineda Arredondo)

In mid-March, the secretary of the Environment, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development of Oaxaca, Jose Luis Calvo Ziga, announced that soon the German transnational Siemens will start building another wind farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio, La Minuta reported.

This announcement causes concern and the development of wind farms in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec has often been pointed out as a source of violations of human rights, corruption and violence in this region.

For more information in Spanish:

Pese a estela de corrupción y violaciones a los derechos humanos, anuncian nuevo parque eólico en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 20 de marzo de 2019)

La eólica más grande de AL la tiene Oaxaca (NVI Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Beneficiadas por eólicas en el Istmo más de 400 empresas (El Universal, 26 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: SCJN avala consulta indígena realizada en Juchitán (16 de noviembre de 2018)

Oaxaca: SCJN is called to protect the collective rights of the Zapotec community and to cancel the permits of the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation

(November 2, 2018)

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: No Cancellations but No More Mining Concessions in Mexico – AMLO

March 24, 2019

Mining.pngPhoto @ Desinformemonos

In a press conference, the president of the republic Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said “that the Federal Government will respect all the mining concessions in the country and the permits will not be revoked.” He announced that during his government no more agreements of this type will be signed, since more than 25% of the national territory has been given over in the past 36 years. He said that since his campaign he had made the commitment that the concessions would not be revoked. AMLO guaranteed however that the communities where mining is carried out will benefit from the taxes paid by the mining companies.

He also mentioned that “it will seek that mining companies, particularly those of Canadian origin, carry out clean exploitation and act as they are obliged to do in their country.” “That the miner is paid well, that they pay the amount of taxes they pay there, and that they do not pollute.”

The statements contradict others issued by AMLO, in the municipality of Minatitlan, state of Colima, in 2014, which were published through the official website of the president through which he said that when the National Regeneration Movement triumphed, the concessions would be thoroughly reviewed for the mining exploitation that had been given to foreign companies. That wasbecause, he said, the riches of Mexico would have to be for the benefit of Mexicans, not foreigners.

Several newspapers also stressed that in February, during the Mexico Mining Forum 2019, the Undersecretary of Mining of the Ministry of Economy reported that “the cancellation of more than five thousand mining concessions in the country is being analyzed.”

Meanwhile, Miguel Mijangos Martínez, spokesman for Mexican Network of Those Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) stated that “the policy of the federal government has very mild nuances. If we see the problem of the extractive model as a whole, mining, water, biodiversity, fracking (hydraulic fracturing), gas … there are no significant changes. In REMA we think that the positions of power were reinforced, because now there are former entrepreneurs in public positions, (and that is) a position of advantage against the communities”, according to La Jornada. It stated that more than teo thousand rural communities in about 50 municipalities of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, Guerrero, Chihuahua and San Luis Potosi have declared themselves free of mining through legal actions.

Many of these communities continue with their demands for the cancellation of concessions in their territories, among them the Zapotec peoples of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca and the Wixarikas of San Luis Potosi. The latter hope to be able to engage in dialogue with the president on a final judgment given the injunctions that were processed in 2012 against the 78 concessions granted to two Canadian mining companies during the Felipe Calderon administration, which cover 70% of the 140,000 hectares of the protected natural area of Wirikuta.

For more information in Spanish:

Prevén otra ola de despojos de mineras y petroleras en México (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Al triunfo de MORENA, se revisarán las concesiones de explotación minera en México, asegura AMLO (Lopez Obrador, 21 de marzo de 2014)

No se otorgarán nuevas concesiones mineras: AMLO (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Impuestos por extracción minera llegarán a comunidades, asegura AMLO (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Wixárikas esperan diálogo con AMLO para proteger su territorio de mineras (Vanguardia, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Exigen a AMLO la cancelación inmediata y definitiva de las concesiones mineras en Oaxaca (El Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusco “20 de junio” (FPDS) exige que se decalre el municipio de Acacoyagua “Territorio Libre de Minería” (26 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Zoque People’s Assembly against extractivism (September 20, 2018)

Oaxaca: Here we say “Yes to Life, No to Mining” – Magdalena Teitipac is still fighting for its territory (April 7, 2018)

Chiapas: No to Mining Press Conference (September 30, 2017)


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

UN.pngVictoria Tauli Corpuz (@UNO)

In her “Technical Note on Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico” published on March 5th, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, called on the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to comply with the international standards of the indigenous consultation regarding megaprojects in their territories. Given the “investment projects announced by the Government that could affect the rights of indigenous peoples and in particular, the intention to conduct citizen consultations to gather the opinion of the national population in general on the execution or not of those projects”, she said, “there is a lack of clarity on how the planned consultations will take into account the obligations of the Mexican State to implement specific processes of prior consultation with the potentially affected indigenous peoples in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent.” She stressed that “the processes of citizen consultation designed for the national population in general do not guarantee the safeguards of the rights of the indigenous peoples enshrined in the international standards of rights of the indigenous peoples”; specific rights “that derive from the distinct nature of the cultural models and histories of indigenous peoples, and because current democratic processes are usually not enough to address the particular concerns of peoples, who are generally marginalized in the political sphere.”

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz added that “through the publication of the technical note, I would like to contribute to the understanding and due implementation, by representatives of the State and indigenous peoples, of the international standards of human rights contained in the Declaration of the United Nations on the rights of indigenous peoples, whose adoption in 2007 was decidedly driven by Mexico, Convention No. 169 of the International Labor Organization and other international instruments and jurisprudence regarding the rights of indigenous peoples to consultation and prior informed consent that bind the State of Mexico.”

She said she would visit Mexico from March 11th to 16th, and that she was willing to meet with representatives of the federal government to address the issue.

For more information in Spanish:

Nota técnica sobre la consulta y el consentimiento libre, previo e informado de los pueblos indígenas en México (ONU, 28 de febrero de 2019)

Relatora de la ONU recuerda al gobierno federal que consulta indígena es obligatoria (Desinforménonos, 16 de marzo de 2019)

Consultas ciudadanas de Federación no garantizan derechos de pueblos: ONU (Ángulo 7, 14 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

National / International: Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations presents report on Mexico in Geneva, Switzerland (25/09/2018)

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Publishes Report after Visit to Mexico (21/08/2018)

National/International: Visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Mexico Ends (23/11/2017)

National–Mexico: Visit of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (12/11/2017)


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

March 14, 2019


On the first weekend of March, the third assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym) took place in Mexico City, with 288 participants among delegates, councilors and guests from various towns in Campeche, Mexico City, Chihuahua, Chiapas, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Sonora, Tabasco and Yucatan.

In the final pronouncement, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym), the CNI and the CIG considered that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is nothing more than the “continuity” of the neoliberal governments that have held power since Miguel de la Madrid. They even stated that the current government “deepens neoliberalism”, even “with more brutality and cynicism if possible.”

They also denounced that “the neoliberal government led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has its sights set on our towns and territories, where, with the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, a network of co-optation and disorganization is laid, opening the way to a war that has an industrial name, made up of projects and violence, which, together with the other wars and war networks, spread a dark web of death in the original peoples of the country.”

They said that, with their “simulated consultations”, the new government only intends to impose megaprojects throughout the country. They made it clear that “our people, in exercise of their fundamental rights of autonomy and territory say NO to policies and megaprojects of dispossession, death and destruction, as well as to the consultations organized by bad governments to obtain the consent of our peoples to said policies and said megaprojects.” They said that, “in the exercise of our territorial rights and autonomy, we say that these megaprojects will be faced with the will of our peoples.”

They affirmed that the supposed transformations are taking place “in function of the interests of the oligarchies and those that have the power, which are increasingly smaller and bigger, that do not cease to live off the oppression, exploitation, and destruction of the same ones as always.” Instead, they stressed that “for the indigenous peoples the only ‘true change’ is the increase in lies, deceit, persecution, threats, imprisonment, dispossession, assassinations, ridicule and contempt, human exploitation and the destruction of nature; in sum: the annihilation of the collective life that we are.”

Among other more specific denunciations, they condemned the murder of Samir Flores in Morelos who was fighting against the Huexca thermoelectric plant: “Samir was killed by the neoliberal regime; we do not know if the government, if the entrepreneurs, if their criminal cartels, or, if the three together. The offers made by AMLO, not to those below, but to the owners of money and power, the veiled threats against those who defend life, laid the foundations of the murderous assassination.”

They finally expressed that “below, in all the geographies that the original peoples are, we continue to sow autonomy, we build and deploy power from below in what are also networks of networks, but of resistance and rebellion, which are also the mirrors not only of the peoples that we are the CNI – CIG and the EZLN, but many others that sow the hope and of which this is our mirror, our third national assembly.”

For more information in Spanish:

La Cuarta Transformación es más brutal que los anteriores gobiernos: EZLN (Radio Formula, 8 de marzo de 2019)

El gobierno de AMLO “profundiza” el neoliberalismo, acusan el EZLN y el CNI (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2019)

Megaproyectos se toparán con voluntad de pueblos: EZLN y Congreso Nacional Indígena (El Universal, 7 de marzo de 2019)


El Congreso Nacional Indígena: balances y desafíos (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Oaxaca : CODEDI denuncia hostigamiento militar ; CNI exige que cese la represión en su contra (1 de noviembre de 2018)

Chiapas: Second Assembly of National Indigenous Congress (CNI) (October 22nd, 2018)

Chiapas/Mexico: Invitation to the Second National Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG) (September 18th, 2018)

Guerrero: Urgent Action “No Dam, No Prisoners”, Demands Release of 16 Indigenous CECOP Members

March 14, 2019


On March 8th, more than 2,000 people had already demanded “the immediate release of the 16 indigenous members of the Council of Ejidos and Opposition Communities to the Presa la Parota (CECOP), whose crime was to defend their lands and natural assets against the La Parota Dam”, through the Avaaz petition website. This is due to the multiple violations of due process, torture and the arbitrary and illegal circumstances of the arrests, which “demonstrate that there are political and economic interests against the communities that oppose the dam.” They also requested that harassment and arbitrary arrests of the inhabitants of the community of Cacahuatepec, municipality of Acapulco, stop.

In the same case, on March 5th, members of CECOP, the Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPPEG in its Spanish acronym) and the Montaña Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights held a meeting with the Governor of Guerrero, Hector Astudillo Flores, to follow up on the tables established to review the cases of these same prisoners, as well as to demand the cessation of harassment against the members of CECOP. The MOLPPEG reported that, “it filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission (CODDEHUM in its Spanish acronym), to intervene and no longer continue to pressurize the comrades of the communal property of Cacahuatepec, in the municipality of Acapulco, as well as the Zapata Vive collective.” He explained that the State and Ministerial police have been raiding computers to identify comrades who have an arrest warrant.

For his part, the Tlachinollan lawyer, Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, reported that through this meeting he was following up a dialogue path begun in December, with a view to solving the problem of political prisoners in the state, mainly those of CECOP. He stated that the government authorities have said that it will be resolved according to law and that the legal route will be that which is privileged.

A day earlier, Tlachinollan listed 8 reasons why it considers that the 16 CECOP prisoners should be granted freedom:

“• They were arbitrarily detained on January 7th, 2018 in a violent operation where the police murdered three CECOP campesinos.

  • On the way to the Prosecutor’s Office they were tortured and given cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to force them to plead guilty. • During their detention, they were held incommunicado for more than 48 hours, preventing their relatives and lawyers from being interviewed.
  • During their solitary confinement, the Public Ministry obtained evidence in an unlawful manner to indict them for homicide.
  • The weapons allegedly obtained by the police were obtained from illegal searches carried out at the houses of the CECOP community members.
  • The CECOP detainees were not at the scene when the confrontation took place between those who were killed on both sides. They were arrested in the place when they went to the Sunday Assembly of the CECOP.
  • There is an onslaught to dismantle the CECOP and the resistance against the La Parota hydroelectric project.
  • Gravel workers who irrationally exploit the gravel and sand of the Papagayo River have organized the villagers to confront CECOP.

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente en línea “Ni presa ni presos” (marzo de 2019)

Se reúne ONG con Héctor Astudillo para pedir la libertad de 16 miembros del Cecop (La Jornada de Guerrero, 6 de marzo de 2019)

Denuncian en Guerrero acoso de policías contra opositores a La Parota (LA Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2019)

Se reúne Astudillo con Tlachinollan, Cecop y Molppeg (Quadratin, 5 de marzo de 2019)
8 Razones para la libertad de los presos políticos del CECOP (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 4 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Liberan bajo fianza a dos integrantes de la CECOP (28 de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero/Internacional : Europarlamentarios y organizaciones internacionales expresan su preocupación por criminalización de integrantes de CECOP; marchan en Acapulco a favor de la liberación de sus presos (7 de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero : Siguen exigiendo la libertad de 19 presos detenidos por oponerse a la construcción de la Presa La Parota (1ero de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero: Piden la liberación de 19 presos políticos (10 de enero de 2019)

Guerrero: organizaciones nacionales e internacionales visitan a presos del CECOP y la CRAC-PC (6 de octubre de 2018)

Guerrero: 50 órdenes de aprehensión contra comuneros del CECOP (17 de septiembre de 2018)