Oaxaca: San Dionisio del Mar marks four years in resistance against wind farm

February 9, 2016

San Dionisio.png

(@Noticiasnet)

On January 29, the community of San Dionisio del Mar on the Tehuantepec Isthmus, Oaxaca, marked four years of resistance in its struggle against the installation of a wind farm on its territory. Pedro Orozco, member of the People’s Assembly of San Dionisio del Mar (Asamblea del Pueblo de San Dionisio del Mar – APSDM), stressed that they celebrated this day because they managed “to stop the wind farm at Mareñas. The achievement of this resistance was that public opinion could clearly see that it was not a political conflict between the PRI and PRD but that it was resistance against the pillage of territory; that we were an assembly of campesino fishermen citizens who were defending their lands. We managed to break the media siege.”

San Dionisio del Mar was the first indigenous community on the Tehuantepec Isthmus that achieved the suspension of the wind farm project. Orozco also mentioned that the wind farm companies on the Isthmus “advanced for a long time without any resistance, the people didn’t know about consultation – which should be prior – that’s why the companies could buy land rights.” The APSDM representative, Elmi Gallegos, recalled that four years ago the then municipal president Miguel Lopez Castellanos tried to cheat them by giving the use of the land over to the company Mareña Renovables. “Then the general assembly of communal landholders decided not to allow this deceit and we began a campaign of struggle which led us to investigate everything related to this kind of project to defend our territory.” He lamented the fact that the company Mareña Renovables had divided the community in San Dionisio. “There are families, relatives, godparents who are in conflict; in these three years the municipal authority hasn’t been designated, there is a tense calm in the municipality, but the majority is convinced that our struggle is just and is for our children.”

During the planning of the fourth anniversary of their struggle, they confirmed in their assembly that neither money, nor political pressure, nor corruption of the authorities will change them. “We don’t want a free, prior and informed consultation to which we are entitled, because we know that the businessmen will buy the people’s votes, so, no to wind farms, to mining and to consultation.”

For more information in Spanish:

“¡Sí! a mar y tierra; ¡no! a eólicas en Oaxaca” (Noticiasnet, 8 de febrero de 2016)

San Dionisio del Mar celebra 4 años de resistencia (Código DH, 1 de febreo de 2016)

San Dionisio del Mar, Oaxaca, festejará el triunfo contra parque eólico que afectaría a pescadores (Desinformémonos, 26 de enero de 2016)

Cumple San Dionisio del Mar 4 años en resistencia (Noticiasnet, 25 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Oaxaca: Pobladores de Juchitan ganan amparo para suspensión de obras de parque eólico (14 de ocutbre de 2015)

Oaxaca: Tercer aniversario del movimiento contra los proyectos eólicos en San Dionisio del Mar (30 de enero de 2015)

Oaxaca: Conflictos por elecciones extraordinarias en San Dionisio del Mar (19 de diciembre de 2014

 


Oaxaca: State meeting of communities and organizations in resistance to mining projects

February 6, 2016

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Authorities of the communities that attended the meeting @ SIPAZ

On January 29 and 30, representatives of 48 communities, 30 social organizations, two research centers, and three community radio stations took part in the State Encounter of Communities and Organizations against Mining (Encuentro Estatal de Comunidades y Organizaciones contra la Minería), in Cerro de Las Huertas community, in the municipality of Ejutla de Crespo. The meeting had the aim of generating a space for reflection at a state level on the advances and challenges of movements against mining, strengthening the resistance and defense of communities and organizations in Oaxaca, analyzing how to improve movements in struggle against mining projects, and the coordination of activists to confront foreign companies. In a statement agreed by the participants in the event, they demanded the cancellation of all mining projects in state by the state and federal governments. There are more than 400 mining concessions in the territory of Oaxaca, “none of which was subjected to consultation.” They recalled that apart from environmental violations and effects, the companies create internal conflicts in each location. The participants in the encounter showed the close relationship that exists between mining magnates and federal and state government representatives to strip the peoples and indigenous communities of their territories.

In their statement they emphasized that, “They are violating the people’s right to information as there are already mining concessions given by the government without the consent of our community assemblies. The mining companies violate our rights using a range of strategies and mechanisms to divide and confront communities, while on the other hand the federal and state governments make legislative and institutional changes to benefit the interests of the transnational companies, such as Fondo Minero, and these changes have as their aim taking territories away from the indigenous peoples and communities. At the same time, the work of defenders of territory is criminalized, they are persecuted, imprisoned, and in the worst of cases their lives are taken away.”

Those gathered called on communities, peoples and organizations to defend land and territory against “death projects” and declared July 22 of each year as “State Day of Resistance against Mining”.

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen cancelación de 400 concesiones mineras en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 2 de febrero de 2016)

La Minuta de EDUCA con audios del evento (EDUCA, 2 de febrero de 2016)

Comunidades y organizaciones exigen cancelar proyectos mineros en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 1 de febrero de 2016)

DECLARATORIA DE CERRO DE LAS HUERTAS EJUTLA DE CRESPO OAXACA (EDUCA, 30 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Encuentro Chiapaneco de afectadas y afectados por represas y minería (2 de febrero de 2016)

Oaxaca: Ejidos y comunidades de Valles Centrales declaran sus territorios libres de minería (4 de diciembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: En la Costa declaran el rechazo a proyectos hidroeléctricos y de minería (18 de noviembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: A 3 años del asesinato de Bernardo Vásquez, Fortuna Silver espera mayores ganancias (26 de marzo de 2015)

 


Chiapas: Meeting of those affected by dams and mining

February 4, 2016

On January 21 and 22, more than 70 delegates from 20 municipalities, representatives of 12 organizations, movements and parishes of the state met in Boca del Cielo, Tonala, Chiapas, at the seat of the Regional Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas to share experiences in the “Chiapas Meeting of the Affected by Dams and Mines.” At the meeting, called by the Mexican Movement of the Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Presas y en Defensa de los Ríos – MAPDER) and the Mexican Network of the Affected by Mining (Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería – REMA), they defined a strategy of common defense in the face of the multiplication of mining projects, dams and other infrastructure projects imposed in the state “without consulting the people.”

In the declaration that the participants produced, they voiced their analysis of the “grave situation that the country and the campesino communities, fishermen and indigenous of Chiapas are passing through due to the imposition of a development model and projects that threaten land and territory.” They denounced, “the advance of mining projects, with irreversible costs to the environment and the health of the people, imposed by cheating, buying out authorities, community division, among other tactics.” On another note, they condemned “the imposition of green capitalism which is reflected in wind farm projects, projects of Reduction of Emissions caused by Deforestation and Destruction of Forests (REDD) and payment for environmental services.” They assured the strengthening of “the organization and resistance proposing alternatives to the model of commercialization of life and corporate appropriation, despite the criminalization and persecution experienced by the defenders of land, territory and human rights” of the peoples, ejidos, organizations and movements who were present.

They called on the people to participate in a state-wide campaign in defense of water, against the privatization of water and dams, and for free rivers which will be held from March 14 to 22 under the banner “Rivers for life, not for companies.” They also invited people to “continue to create local and regional organization processes to confront the imposed projects, inform about the consequences of the model, protect land and territory, and defend all those forms of life which continue to give us sustenance and permanence on Mother Earth.” According to Otros Mundos A.C., “the role which violence plays is fundamental to understanding the imposition of mining projects and the control of territory.” In an interview, Gustavo Castro, a member of Otros Mundos, explained the complexity of extensive mining in Chiapas, saying that, “violence increases in the measure that communities decide to defend their territories […] movements in defense of territory not only have to confront the state or the companies, but they also have to deal with drug traffickers. It appears that we are in an armed dispute for territory.”  

For more information in Spanish:

Declaratoria del Encuentro Chiapaneco de Afectad@s por Represas y Minería (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 25 de enero de 2016)

Declaratoria del Encuentro Chiapaneco de Afectados y Afectadas por Represas y Minería (Centro de Medios Libres, 26 de enero de 2016)

“En minería, la utilidad pública es un título perverso porque esconde la utilidad privada” (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 27 de enero de 2016)

Declaratoria del Encuentro Chiapaneco de Afectad@s por Represas y Minería (MAPDER, 28 de enero de 2016)


Guerrero: 4 communal police killed in El Fortín, Tixtla

December 26, 2015

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Image of the funeral of one of the murdered communal police

Photo @Sergio Ocampo

On 27 November were buried the four members of the justice house La Patria es Primero (“The Nation First”), affiliated with the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC), who were killed the previous Thursday in Tixtla by presumed members of organized-crime groups.  The prosecutorial office of Guerrero state released a communique reporting that it will “investigate the aggression perpetrated against seven members of the CRAC-PC’s justice house […] in which four of these agents lost their lives in the Tixtla municipality.”  According to the representatives of the justice house in question, behind the execution of their comrades the responsibility likely belongs to the organized-crime groups Los ardillos and Los rojos that are battling over control of the Tixtla plaza.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sepultan a 4 policías comunitarios asesinados en El Fortín, Guerrero (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Matan en Tixtla a 4 integrantes de la policía comunitaria (La Jornada, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Asesinato de cuatro policías comunitarios en Tixtla es una declaratoria de guerra: CRAC (Cambio de Michoacan, 27 de noviembre de 2015)


Oaxaca: Ejidos and communities from the Central Valleys declare their territories free of mining operations

December 26, 2015

Conferencia de prensa declarando territorios libres de minería Foto: @EDUCA

Press-conference declaring territories liberated from mining
Photo: @EDUCA

On 8 November, 9 ejidos and communities from the Central Valley region of Oaxaca declared ta ban on mining operations in their territories. These communities and ejidos of the Ejutla, Ocotlán, and Tlacolula communities committed themselves to “organized regional defense of our lands using peaceful legal means from our ejidal lands and communities, declaring it prohibited in this land conduct mining operations.”

Through this declaration, they demanded that the state and federal government cancel the 18 mining projects, because, as they claimed these projects pollute their cultivated lands. The same document estimates that 90% of the concessions that the government has given to mining companies in the last 10 years have been “conducted without any consultative process incorporate free prior and informed consent in good faith with us peoples who live here.” To support this declaration the peoples called on Convention 169 of the ILO, the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights, the Mexican Constitution, and communal assemblies, exercising their right to autonomy.

The communities agreed to promote peaceful actions to respect the accord to free their lands of mining operations. The undersigning authorities rejected the violence which took place in San José del Progreso between 2010 and 2012, in which 4 people were killed, 8 injured, and 5 others facing arrest-orders.

For more information (in Spanish):

9 ejidos y comunidades de Ejutla, Ocotlán y Tlacolula declaran su territorio prohibido para la minería (EDUCA, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Emiten declaratoria sobre “territorios libres de minería” en Oaxaca (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunidades del los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca no dejarán entrar a mineras (DesInformémonos, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

DECLARACIÓN DE TERRITORIO PROHIBIDO PARA LA MINERÍA (Radioteca, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunidades exigen parar la minería en sus territorios (Despertar de Oaxaca, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Declaration of rejection of hydroelectric and mining projects in the Coastal region (21 November 2015)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (28 March 2014)

Mexico: Murder of MAPDER member in Veracruz (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)


Guerrero: 4 years since the forcible disappearance of ecologist peasants from the Costa Grande

December 26, 2015

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Photo @EDUCA Oaxaca

On 7 December, four years passed since the forcible disappearance of the leaders of the Organization of Ecologist Peasants from Sierra of Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán, Eva Alarcón Ortiz and Marcial Bautista Valle. The daughter of Eva, Coral Rojas Alarcón, said, “I am convinced that they have been killed, but they deserve a burial. I want to find my mother and Marcial.” Marcial Bautista and Eva Alarcón were forcibly disappeared on 7 December 2011 in the Grand Coast of Guerrero by a group of armed men that according to eyewitnesses were being protected by the Army and agents from the ministerial police. The activists had dedicated themselves to the management, conservation, and sustainable use of the forests. The defense of the forests led them to denounce abuses committed by the Army and the illegal work in which police had been involved.

Since the disappearance of her mother, Coral has sought justice and become a human-rights defender, collaborating with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the federal police (PF) to seek out clandestine graves and to identify victims. She reported that they had found bodies in Michoacán and Guerrero, “and I believe that each identified person is a triumph.” She shared that the judicial process in the case of Eva and Marcial continues, with the last “declaration saying that they were killed. This is the only line of investigation from the PGR.” She refers to the declarations made by a hitman who was arrested by the Army in February 2012 in Tecpan de Galeana, who supposedly confessed to his participation in the forcible disappearance of the social activists. According to unofficial information obtained in recent days, the hitman José Jhonny López Galván, “El Güero,” had made these statements to the federal public ministry and had driven the soldiers to the site where the burned remains of the community leaders were found. According to preliminary investigation, these remains did not belong to Eva or Marcial, and to date, “there is no scientific evidence showing they have been killed.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Autoridades apuestan al olvido” en desaparición de campesinos activistas ¨(La Jornada, 3 de agosto de 2013)

La única línea en el caso de los dirigentes ecologistas, desaparecidos hace 4 años, es que los mataron (Sur Acapulco, 3 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: two nephews of ecological leadership are murdered (16 November 2012)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists (8 February 2012)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: violence in the Sierra de Petalán (17 October 2011)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July 2011)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June 2011)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)


Mexico/National: Deputies approve Federal law on Special Economic Zones (SEZs)

December 26, 2015

Ubicación de las Zonas Económicas Especiales. Imagen: @Dinero en Imagen

Location of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Image: @Dinero en Imagen

On 14 December the Chamber of Deputies approved the initiative to legalize Special Economic Zones (SEZ) which had been presented to the federal Congress in September of this year. These SEZs will be regions in which investors face financial benefits, particularly in terms of “flexible labor.” In this sense, the SEZs serve foreign economic interests and would institute a special customs regime, all of this toward the end, as the government claims, of promoting development in southern Mexico by means of attracting foreign investment.

In accordance with information from the president’s office, there are plans to build infrastructure projects using an initial investment of nearly 115 billion pesos, including new gaseoducts, railroads, highways, ports, and airports. According to Chiapas Paralelo, this investment would come from public coffers but is “designed for by by private capital, in a mercantile logic […] whereby the people of Chiapas is present only as labor, leaving to the side the question of who owns the natural resources.” In this way, the projects are expected to create 115,000 jobs over the next 10 years, though analysts indicate that it will attract specialists from elsewhere in the country, leaving the most precarious jobs for locals.

The planned SEZs include the “Lázaro Cárdenas” port, incorporating municipalities straddling Michoacán and Guerrero toward the end of exploitation; the “Interoceanic Corridor of Tehuantepec,” which will affect Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Salina Cruz, and Oaxaca, and will permit commercial transit between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico; and lastly, the “Chiapas Port” which would facilitate exports to Asia. The permits to construct and administer a zone can be granted for up to 40 years.

It bears mentioning that organizations like the Indigenous and Campesino Front of Mexico (FICAM) have expressed their rejection of the SEZ initiative, given that “it is a new embestida against the peoples and communities of this country” which “seeks to legalize the plundering of lands of the people” and that “it is the complement to the energy reform, which aimed at reassuring transnational firms juridically.”

FICAM members opined that the SEZs will worsen levels of social marginalization, only “make the rich richer,” and will take advantage of cheap labor in these zones, precisely among those which experience the highest levels of poverty in the country. Lastly, they shared that “the proposal for the [SEZs] instead of being accompanied by public policies to transform the country, but only represents the presentation of the wealth of the country to grand capital on a silver platter.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Diputados aprueban ‘zonas económicas especiales’ en México (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2015)

Aprueban diputados ley para crear Zonas de “Explotación” Especial (EDUCA, 15 de diciembre de 2015)

Prevé expropiar terrenos el plan de zonas económicas especiales (La Jornada, 1 de octubre de 2015)

Zonas Económicas Especiales, una iniciativa para el despojo (Chiapas Paralelo, 30 de septiembre de 2015)

Zonas Económicas de EPN legalizarán despojo de tierras; complementan la energética para dar certeza a empresas: FICAM (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 17 de octubre de 2015)

México en el giro de tuerca mundial: Zonas Económicas Especiales (Parte I) (Subversiones, 20 de noviembre de 2015)

Otro eslabón para el despojo (La Jornada, 6 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Mining reactivation is denounced in the state (3 March 2015)

Chiapas: popular rejection of dams and mining projects in the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huixtla, and Huehuetán region (December 17, 2014)

 


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