Oaxaca: “The Isthmus is Ours” Campaign Rejects Integration of “Tehuantepec Isthmus Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention”

May 19, 2020


In a statement published on May 15th, the organizations that are part of the “The Isthmus is Ours” campaign rejected the integration of the ” Isthmus of Tehuantepec Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention” initiated at the beginning of the month, an act that they called “a stab in the back to their own peoples.”

“A supposed regional committee [was formed] to guarantee the installation of the set of mega-death projects called the Program for the Integral Development of the Isthmus-Interoceanic Corridor. Municipal presidents, the Oaxaca state government and the federal government are offering our lands and invaluable natural assets to large companies. and transnational corporations, without informing and, much less, consulting their councils, communities, neighborhoods, colonies and inhabitants of the Tehuantepec Isthmus region”,they denounced.

They considered the fact “a mockery and a flagrant violation of the collective human rights of Indigenous Peoples”. They affirmed that it is “highly negative for our peoples that, abusing the context of a health emergency, the imposition of this neoliberal project continues, which, if implemented, would mean billions of dollars for private and multinational benefits, at the expense of nature, the culture and ways of life of the peoples. This, when there are not even basic supplies for patient care and for the protection of workers in hospitals and health centers in the area. In addition, the installation of this Committee continues to ignore the observations and complaints of various communities and organizations in the region and the country, regarding the Environmental Impact Statement for the modernization of the current railroad, instead extending said EIR, for the section La Mata – Salina Cruz.”

They confirmed their position: “All these megaprojects have only generated belts of misery; have forced populations to migrate out of the region, polluting and degrading the environment as well as local ecosystems, seriously affected the health of the local population, induced social pathology (alcoholism, drug addiction, intra-family violence, femi-homicides) destroying the tissue social-community. On the other hand, they have only created precarious, temporary jobs, without job benefits, through companies that subcontract our countrymen to avoid responsibilities. In addition, it is noteworthy that, with regard to the increasingly intense wave of poor migrant families, with this “Integral Development Program”, the 4T government plans to build a “green” wall without partitions, to contain the migrant advance towards the United States and make the region a militarized barrier to hyper-precarious employment, with over-exploited migrant labor.”

It should be noted that in the event in which the Committee was formed, Rafael Marin Mollinedo, general director of the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CIIT), asked the councilors present to see to the demands of the citizens, having learned of “some situations adverse to the project”: “If people show disagreement this work will not be done; Everyone’s participation is important and you have to be and have leaders who help minimize complaints; unfortunately old demands are coming to light, they are taking advantage of the moment to be seen to, so I ask for your support.”

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones indígenas y comunitarias, rechazamos la integración del llamado Comité Regional para la Atención Social del Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec (OSC, 15 de mayo de 2020)

Instalan Comité Regional de Atención Social del Corredor Interoceánico (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2020)

Instalan Comité Regional para la Atención Social del Corredor interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Istmopress, 1ero de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Organizations, Communities and Movements Demand Suspension of Trans-Isthmus Project (May 2, 2020)

Oaxaca: Illegal Start on Trans-Isthmus Corridor without EIR Denounced (April 28, 2020)

Oaxaca: Assembly of Isthmus Peoples in Resistance to Megaprojects Formed (March 19, 2020)

https://www.sipaz.org/focus-the-trans-isthmus-corridor-a-not-so-new-project-of-the-new-government/?lang=en (March, 2020)


National: CSOs Request Dialogue Spaces “Given the Disturbing Vulnerability of [Indigenous] Peoples and Communities” in Coronavirus Pandemic

May 18, 2020


In a statement published on May 14th, a dozen Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center (Guerrero), EDUCA (Oaxaca) and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Chiapas), expressed their “deep concern about the conditions that the pandemic may generate in the communities during the following weeks and months, and we ask that a space for dialogue be opened to build proposals that address their conditions and needs.”

They recalled that these groups “have been historically forgotten by public health institutions, causing the systematic violation of their right to health,” a vulnerability that has been reinforced by the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19)

“In addition to the lack of infrastructure, medical personnel and continuous supply of medicines, institutional discrimination and the lack of a culturally adequate and affordable preventive approach to the communities are added; as well as, in this context, the lack of adequate monitoring and follow-up of migrants who return to their communities, taking care of their dignity”, they denounced.

They also worried about “the economic vulnerability of most of the people in the communities. Lack of access to decent sources of employment in communities makes them dependent on trade and informal employment, as well as remittances from migrants in the United States. In the current context of global economic crisis, both local sources of income and remittances are at risk of declining sharply, without a program to guarantee a basic income.” They are alarmed that the food security of several of these communities is at risk.

On the other hand, CSOs expressed their concern at the fact that “communities face a reduced capacity to defend their territories and the environment, since their spaces for community decision-making are restricted and access to institutions for the provision of justice is limited”, which is why they support “the demand for a moratorium on all large-scale infrastructure projects that are affecting or may affect indigenous territories without their consent, with potential adverse impacts on human rights.”

Finally, they warned about the context of increased violence against women aggravated by the context of a health emergency.

Against this background, the authorities urged “to adopt better actions aimed at this population in matters of health, economy, food, water, sanitation, attention to conflict and security, without prejudice to their self-determination and autonomy.” They also called them “To open a space for dialogue and collaboration with civil society that allows us to face this crisis from multiple places; recognizing the efforts that communities are already making to face the crisis due to the pandemic from their own ways of life and organization.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ante la preocupante vulnerabilidad de pueblos y comunidades frente al COVID-19, organizaciones de la sociedad civil piden espacio de diálogo (OSC, 14 de mayo de 2020)

Comunidades indígenas, en especial vulnerabilidad por Coronavirus advierte ONG (Milenio, 14 de mayo de 2020)

Preocupa a ONG’s vulnerabilidad de pueblos y comunidades frente al Covid 19(El Sie7e de Chiapas, 15 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Cuts for Indigenous Women in Violent Situations(May 15, 2020)

Oaxaca: People of Oaxaca Granted Injunction against Sanctions for Use of Face Masks (May 11, 2020)

National: CNDH Calls for Protection of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Populations against COVID-19 (April 14, 2020)

National: Organizations Denounce Health Neglect in Open Letter to AMLO (April 16, 2020)

National: Numerous Collectives Call National and International Communities to Back Urgent Action against Maya Train

May 14, 2020


@ Enlace Zapatista

On May 11th, different groups made a call to support an urgent action against the Maya Train project, since, despite the injunctions filed by the communities of Ocosingo, Palenque and Salto del Agua and the COVID-19 pandemic, work has not been suspended, thus violating the “Right to Health, life and active participation in the defense of their rights.”

It is expected that on May 14th, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) will resolve the definitive suspension of this project, which had been provisionally done by a Federal Judge in previous weeks.

Added to this is the decree published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, where the government announced that it will have the Armed Forces carry out public security tasks, which represents for indigenous peoples and communities not only “unleashing a war against the drug cartels, which impose dispossession of forests, waters, minerals, wood and facilitate the entry of business and government megaprojects, but also face corruption, the links it has with organized crime, its complicity with fuel theft, the acts of repression and dispossession of indigenous peoples and communities, the use of public force to impose megaprojects, the forced displacement that they cause in the communities, according to them to bring order, as well as the murders, rapes and the criminalization of social protest social.”

Given what is happening and could happen, it seeks to promote knowledge and resistance against the project in civil society through actions such as concentrating information on the subject for its dissemination; share the existing poster (s) and/or design new ones that denounce the project and its damages; write and disseminate pronouncements in this regard; identify campaign initiatives by existing Mexican citizen groups to support them, or launch one; promote saturation of phone calls or emails to SCJN, FONATUR, CNDH, etc., speaking out against the project; and, invite networks, groups, contacts, to join in the campaign tasks.

For more information in Spanish:

Diversos colectivos promueven acción virtual contra el proyecto de despojo nombrado tren maya (Enlace Zapatista, 11 de mayo 2020)

Urgen intervención de la CNDH para frenar obras del Tren Maya (Aristegui Noticias, 11 de mayo 2020)

¿Por qué decir ¡NO! al “Tren Maya”? (Los Hijos del Maíz- Tlax, 11 de mayo 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Armed Forces Decreed Public Security Duties for Five Years; “Militarism Came out of the Closet” – CSO(May 14, 2020)

Chiapas: Federal Court Orders Suspension of Palenque Section of Maya Train; FONATUR Considers Injunction “Unfair” (May 13, 2020)

National: Online Forum “No to the Misnamed Maya Train”(May 5, 2020)


Oaxaca: Organizations, Communities and Movements Demand Suspension of Trans-Isthmus Project (May 2, 2020)

Oaxaca: Illegal Start on Trans-Isthmus Corridor without EIR Denounced (April 28, 2020)

National: Almost 200 Organizations Demand Halt to Maya Train Works During Emergency; AMLO Confirms Megaprojects Will Continue (April 25, 2020)


Chiapas: “ Not Only COVID Threatens Life” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society

April 25, 2020

pozol@Radio Pozol

On April 22nd, within the framework of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, Chenalho municipality, in which 45 people died in December 1997, the Civil Society Organization issued a statement in which it denounced that the context of the pandemic due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the “official plea to “stay home”, did not prevent feminicides from happening this month, it did not prevent violations of the human rights of migrants who cross our country; forced displacement continued in the case of Aldama, Chiapas, fellow Tsotsil Cristobal Santiz de Aldama was unjustly imprisoned.”

It warned that, in this same context, “what neoliberal governments have done together with the powerful in both Mexico and Latin America, is to take advantage of the COVID-19 emergency, for example they have made laws to reduce sentences in favor of the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, as in Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Guatemala.”

It also denounced that, in Mexico, the government “has taken advantage of the pandemic to advance the construction of its “Maya Train”, despite the fact that hundreds of social organizations and indigenous communities demand to cancel it.”

For this reason, Las Abejas considered that the Covid-19 virus “is not life-threatening”. “It is useless for us to take care of the malignant disease if there are people who continue to be manipulated by the caciques and politicians who only think of their own interests and monetary gains at the cost of innocent lives,” they added.

Finally, they proposed that “this health situation we are going through is a message that makes us talk and think with our hearts and leads us to carry out new and healthy actions for us humans and for Mother Earth; because the way of life that the neoliberal capitalist system and colonialism have imposed on us, is useless, it is rubbish.”

For more information in Spanish:

«No sólo el Covid-19 amenaza la vida» (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de abril de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society Denounces Persecution and Murder of Human Rights Defenders and Protectors of Mother Earth and other Violent Situations (February 25, 2020)


Chiapas: “This year begins with a lot of violence and it is increasing” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society (January 28, 2020)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Hold Commenoration 22 Years after Acteal Masacre (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: Organizations Demand Respect for People’s Rights

April 22, 2020


A number of networks and social and civil organizations in Chiapas spoke out in favor of full respect for human rights and for life in a document published on April 20th, seeking to “share information, analyze and generate strategies to jointly face this pandemic COVID 19.”

The statement recalled that “we are in a state that has lived historically and in a particular way exclusion and marginalization, and in contrast with a tremendous organizational power resulting from its long history of struggle and resistance. The pandemic we are experiencing today reiterates that capitalist forms of production, in which violence, inequality and dispossession predominate, make the means for the reproduction of life precarious and diminish the possibility of living a dignified life.”

The signatories asked the three levels of government: “to attend to the social determinations of the pandemic that place the migrant population, boys and girls working in the street, residents of urban peripheries, people in detention, precarious workers as sectors with greater vulnerability to contagion, timely diagnosis and access to treatment.”

In the case of the indigenous peoples, they also demanded “to fully respect the exercise of their right to autonomy and their own models of health care in their territories”, “historical strategies” that are based on the framework of the San Andres Accords , the second article of the Constitution and international instruments such as Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The health emergency “highlights the dismantling of public health systems resulting from the capitalist model and the subordination of people’s health to a model that serves the market and the developmental option as the only valid indicator”, they denounced.

Lastly, they urged that “under no circumstances should force be applied by the police and military forces for the purpose of containing the population that may incur illegal actions and violations of the human rights of the people”, even using the argument of avoiding Covid-19 infections.

For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento conjunto por la vida, Frayba, 20 de abril de 2020

Video:Programa especial sobre Chiapas frente al Covid-19, Rompeviento, 20 de abril de2020

ONG de Chiapas piden al gobierno no reprimir gente por el Covid-19, La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/International: Difficult Situation for Migrants and farm Workers Who Are Stuck or Want to Go Back (April 22, 2020)


National/International: HRW Asks Mexico for “Immediate” Release of All Detained Immigrants Due to Coronavirus (April 19, 2020)


Chiapas: Indigenous Zoque Commits Suicide in Ocosingo after Testing Positive for Covid-19 (April 16, 2020)


National: Organitions Denounce Health Neglect in Open Letter to AMLO (April 16, 2020)

Guerrero/International: Difficult Situation for Migrants and farm Workers Who Are Stuck or Want to Return

April 22, 2020

Community checkpoint (@Tlachinollan)

In a letter dated April 19th and addressed to the President of the Republic and other federal officials, municipal and community authorities, both concerns and proposals were expressed to address the “tragedy” resulting from the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) nationally and internationally.

Although they recognized “the laudable effort that is made in all the municipalities of Guerrero” by the health sector, they called attention to the specific needs of the “indigenous and Afro brothers” not only in this situation of health crisis but for the economic and social consequences that this will have for this vulnerable and marginalized sector in itself.

They asked the federal, state and municipal government to “not only respect community decisions to establish control systems for the entry and exit of many indigenous communities in Guerrero” but also “to explore support mechanisms, because the effort of the peoples is to avoid the spread of the “Coronavirus.”” They stated that “they are drastic measures of protection, but necessary.”

They asked for particular attention for the agricultural day laborers who, “surrounded by hunger and to survive, year after year travel to the northern states of the Republic in search of work on agricultural plantations” but who, in this context, were forced to return without taking “health measures to prevent the spread of the virus that plagues our country.”

They also warned about the migrants who are in the United States, thousands of people from Guerrero who are in particular difficulty in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, at a time when many “have lost their job or stopped working.” They urged that “the consulates and diplomatic missions of our country provide humanitarian aid to our compatriots.”

They proposed a series of measures to address the situation in both the US and Mexico.

In previous days, both the media and the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center reported on the situation of the numerous migrants from La Montaña Guerrero who are in the United States (at least 14 of them have died in New York in recent weeks) and those who tried to return to “face a new obstacle: their communities are closed, even to them, (…) which is why they have stayed in Tlapa, the largest city in La Montaña.”

For more information in Spanish:

Preocupados por los Pueblos Indígenas y Afros de Guerrero y México por el Covid-19 (autoridades y municipales y representantes indígenas y afros, 19 de abril de 2020)

En La Montaña de Guerrero, las comunidades se cierran incluso para recibir a los suyos (La Jornada, 17 de abril de 2020)

Mueren 14 indígenas migrantes en NY por Covid-19 (La Jornada, 17 de abril)

Indígenas en el corazón del Bronx (Tlachinollan, 17 de abril de 2020)

Morir de COVID – 19 en Nueva York (Tlachinollan, 13 de abril de 2020)


For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Danger of Food Shortage in La Montaña Due to Coronavirus (April 19, 2020)

National: Organiaztions Denounce Health Neglect in Open Letter to AMLO (April 16, 2020)

National: CNDH Calls for Protection of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Populations against COVID-19 (April 14, 2020)

National/International: HRW Asks Mexico for “Immediate” Release of All Detained Immigrants Due to Coronavirus

April 19, 2020

tenosique-1-870x522@ INM

In a bulletin published on April 14th, the international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) asked Mexico for the “immediate release of migrants if they can no longer be deported to their countries of origin or if they are in arbitrary detention,” given the border closures and to prevent outbreaks of coronavirus (Covid-19) in detention centers.

HRW considered that this measure is “crucial to reduce the risk faced by migrants in detention centers that are not in a position to prevent the transmission of the new coronavirus.”

It denounced that “thousands of migrants are being held in Mexico in inhumane and unhealthy conditions, amid a global pandemic” so it is not surprising that since March 23rd “people detained in five migrant detention centers in Mexico have started protests and they have demanded to be released” for fear of contracting COVID-19. The protests have provoked “clashes in which there were dozens of wounded and at least one dead; in some cases, the migrants reported that security officials made excessive use of force”, it added.

“In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 inside and outside Mexican detention centers, it is absolutely imperative that the Mexican government act immediately to free or find alternatives to detention for all those migrants to whom it cannot repatriate, at least for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic”, it stressed.

“President Lopez Obrador cannot maintain that his government respects the human rights of the ‘migrant brothers’ and, at the same time, put into practice policies that manifestly violate the international legal obligations assumed by Mexico to protect the human rights of migrants. This shows an absolute disregard for their health and dignity”, HRW stated.

For more information in Spanish:

México debe liberar a los migrantes detenidos en el contexto de la pandemia (HRW, 14 de abril de 2020)

México debe liberar a migrantes detenidos para prevenir Covid-19: HRW (Aristegui Noticias, 15 de abril de 2020)

Mantener privados de la libertad a migrantes “demuestra desprecio por su salud y dignidad”: HRW (Proceso, 15 de abril de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Migrant Dies in Protest at Migrant Center in Tabasco; INM Blamed (April 5, 2020)

International/National: USA Closes Southern Border to Asylum Seekers Due to Coronavirus (March 25, 2020)

Chiapas: National Guard and Police Oppression of Migrants Protesting over COVID-19 Fears (March 30, 2020)