Guerrero: Release of the CECOP spokesperson, Marco Antonio Suastegui

September 11, 2015

Marco Antonio Suástegui (Tlachinollan, archivo)Marco Antonio Suástegui (Tlachinollan)

On 21 August, the spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, was released after having been incarcerated for fourteen months. He had been arrested on 17 June 2014 on the charge of having participated together with eight other opponents to the La Parota dam project in a shootout and attempted murder.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, which provides him counsel, reiterated in this sense that “the case of Marco Antonio Suástegui is a clear example of how the ministerial power strives to fabricate charges and act swiftly to criminalize him. This they have done also with Nestora Salgado, Gonzalo Molina, Arturo Campos, and the communal police of Ayutla.”

On various occasions after his release, Marco Antonio Suástegui expressed his gratitude for the support he received, even though “justice is still pending.” He also affirmed that the struggle against the La Parota dam will continue, and he pronounced himself before the media in favor of the release of all political prisoners: “We will struggle for Nestora, Gonzalo, Arturo, and all those communal guardians who are unjustly imprisoned. I believe that CECOP has three objectives at this time. The first is the definitive cancellation of the La Parota dam, the second to request release of political prisoners, and the third to promote development in our communities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Sale de la cárcel Marco Antonio Suástegui; la lucha sigue, declara el líder del Cecop (El Sur de Acapulco, 22 de agosto)

Demanda Suástegui Muñoz liberar a los presos políticos (La Jornada de Guerrero, 22 de agosto de 2015)

Lo reciben en Salsipuedes con lágrimas, aplausos y consignas por la continuación de la lucha contra la presa (El Sur, 22 de agosto de 2015)

La apuesta por la justicia (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña, Tlachinollan, 24 de prestezaagosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Marco Antonio Suastegui, opponent to the La Parota dam, is ordered to return to a Guerrero prison (8 February 2015)

Guerrero: The Navy has tried to arrest him, denounces brother of CECOP spokesperson (30 December 2014)

Guerrero: Attack on CECOP members leaves 5 dead (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (23 June 2014)

Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation

September 11, 2015

La Ventosa. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

La Ventosa. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 20 August, the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), together with the organizations Project for Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH), the Project on Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER), and the National Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (Red TdT) made public a communique in which they reported a legal motion regarding grave violations to the right to consultation. This motion was carried through following the announcement by the Secretary for Energy (SENER) on 4 August that the wind-energy park owned by the Southern Wind-Energy corporation would begin to be built in the communities of Juchitán and El Espinal in the Tehuantepec Isthmus. SENER awarded the concession for construction of the park after a consultative process was effected.

In this consultation, the organizations that signed the communique, which formed part of the Civil Observation Mission reviewing the process, detected several irregularities such as the awarding of permits and contracts before the consultation was even carried out; more than 30 security incidents; 75 requests for information that went unheeded; a lack of certified translators; the development of sessions without considering the community’s traditions; and generally, a context of insecurity, coercion, violence, and lack of transparency. Furthermore, they indicated that “This is the first time that the authorities have developed a consultation with indigenous people as based on national legislation (the Law on Electrical Industry […] modified to conform with the Energy Reform). The consultation in Juchitán, in accordance with the authorities, will be the precedent to follow for projects derived from this reform, and it is for this reason that the grave human-rights violations we have documented during this process take on a national relevance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Zapotecas se amparan por violación al derecho a la consulta ante el inicio de proyecto eólico anunciado por la SENER (Prodesc, 20 de agosto de 2015)

Estado mexicano valida simulación de consulta indígena para aprobar megaproyecto de energía eólica (Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 31 de julio de 2015)

Sólo el 1% aprobó el parque eólico en Juchitán y no la mayoría como dijo Sener, acusa ONG (Sin embargo, 19 de agosto de 2015)

Reportes de la consulta sobre la construcción del parque de Eólica del Sur en Juchitán, Oaxaca (Prodesc, 8 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Guerrero: Representatives of municipalities in the Mountain and Costa Chica regions reject mining exploitation

September 10, 2015

2862421_n_vir1Photo @WRadio

The representatives of the Regional Council of Agrarian Authorities in Defense of Land (CRAADT) of the Mountain and Costa Chica regions of Guerrero have mobilized themselves for the definitive cancellation of the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources by transnational corporations, considering that instead of benefiting local communities, they damage the latter’s health. Beyond this, mining presents serious threats of pollution by cyanide to the Balsas and Papagayo rivers. In a press-conference on 22 July at the offices of the Prodh Center in Mexico City, attended by more than 15 commissioners from communities in the Mountain and Costa Chica Region, the region was declared as being free of mineral exploitation, and those present stressed that, if the planned project would be carried out, it would affect more than 187,000 hectares and more than 100,000 people.

They explained that, this same day, they would submit a manifesto to President Enrique Peña Nieto and the national congress that requests the cancellation of the mining project, beyond demanding respect for the human rights of the peoples who have historically cared for and preserved nature. They express that the struggle will continue, and they denounced that the National Agrarian Registry denies having recognizing the representative nuclei that by law correspond to it, according to the Constitution.

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaran comisariados La Montaña y la Costa Chica territorio libre de minería (La Jornada de Guerrero, 23 de julio de 2015)

Carta abierta a Jaime Martínez Veloz (22 de julio de 2015)

Rechazan trabajos de minería en Guerrero (WRadio, 22 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Self-defense brigades against looting by mining corporations (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: two thousand march at the close of the “Chiapan Meeting of Unity against the Extractive Mining Model” in Frontera Comalapa (7 December 2012)

Chiapas: Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” (21 September 2012)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: NGO releases Urgent Action to protect Evelia Bahena García, Diana Coralina Brito, and Félix Rodríguez Navarrete

September 10, 2015

P1010904Landscape of the Mountain region of Guerrero. Photo @SIPAZ archive

On 2 August, the José María Morelos y Pavón Human Rights Center (Morelos Center) released an Urgent Action (UA) to protect the life of the Iguala activists Evelia Bahena García, Diana Carolina Brito Bahena, and Félix Rodríguez Navarrete, who have been threatened with death after having led a struggle against the Media Luna mining corporation in defense of the territory on which the Tlachinollan community finds itself located.  The communique incorporating the UA establishes that in 2007, Bahena García undertook together with her father a struggle against the Media Luna company in the communities of Real de Limón and La Fundación, Cocula municipality, for which she received death-threats, with three of her comrades being imprisoned.  On 30 July, close to 7:30pm, she received a threatening phonecall during which a man warned her that she, her comrade Diana Carolin, and the lawyer for the Morelos Center, Félix Rodríguez Navarrete, needed to “leave this place” or, if not, “I will split you in two.”  After she hung up on the call, she received a text message telling her that they know of her husband and family, insisting that she should abandon the place.

The Morelos Center considers it to be evident that Evelia Bahena García, Diana Carolina Brito Bahena, and Félix Rodríguez Navarrete are at risk of losing their lives or being attacked.  For this reason, its UA demands the respect of the lives and physical integrity of Evelia Bahena García, Diana Carolina Brito Bahena, Félix Rodríguez Navarrete, calls on the Mexican State to respect, observe, and implement all the mechanisms and actions related to the precautionary measures to protect the physical and psychological integrity of Evelia Bahena García, Diana Carolina Brito Bahena, and Félix Rodríguez Navarrete, and demands that the Guerrero State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) launch a timely and exhaustive investigation to arrest and punish those responsible for these threats.

For more information (in Spanish):

AU_Centro_Morelos (2 de agosto de 2015)

Pide ONG al gobierno proteger a activistas de Iguala amenazados de muerte (La Jornada, 5 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Indigenous from Mountain region request legal motion against British mining corporation (7 December 2013)

Guerrero: PGR’s investigation into Iguala case continues to be lacking: CNDH (10 September 2015)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER celebrates its eighth anniversary

July 23, 2015

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

On 11 June, the Council of United Peoples in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER) observed the eighth anniversary since its founding in favor of the defense of land and life. The Council struggles for the cancelation of the “Paso de la Reina Project for Hydroelectric Exploitation,” which consists in the construction of an installation comprised of two dams being built by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). This project has been rejected by local people, “who have realized that the government seeks to allow foreign investment on their lands to appropriate natural resources,” members affirmed.

This anniversary commemorates also the sixth year of the existence of the El Zanate block, a strategy of non-violent resistance to impede CFE workers’ access to the Paso de la Reyna community, Santiago Jamiltepec municipality, in the coastal region of Oaxaca, which would be the most affected, as it is located between the two planned dams.

We will not countenance the environmental devastation that the government seeks to promote. As indigenous peoples we have the right to defend our land and to decide what we want to have happen on our ejidos, and what we do not want,” said Eloy Cruz Gregorio, a resident of the Paso de la Reyna community and member of COPUDEVER. “The Paso de la Reina hydroelectric project threatens indigenous peoples, their lands, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices, thus threatening their right to consultation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

COPUDEVER conmemora ocho años “defendiendo la vida y el territorio” (video) (Educa, 10 de julio de 2015)

Comunidades de la costa de Oaxaca dieron su “no” rotundo a hidroeléctrica Paso de la Reina y se niegan a la consulta(DesInformémonos, 16 de julio de 2015)

Comunidad de Paso de la Reina celebra 6 años de organización y 8 de la fundación de COPUDEVER (Boca de Polen, 16 de julio de 2015)

Mantienen rechazo contra presa Paso de la Reyna (NoticiasNet, 12 de diciembre de 2014)

This is Not Development – The Story of Paso de la Reina (YouTube, 4 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER mobilizes in defense of the Río Verde (20 March 2011)

Guerrero: Murders and death-threats against candidates for June elections

May 17, 2015

Instituto Nacional Electoral (

National Electoral Institute (

On 1 May, a group of hitmen murdered Ulises Fabián Quiroz, the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s (PRI) candidate for the mayorship of Chilapa in the forthcoming elections planned for 7 June.  José Santos Valdivia, the substitute choice for the PRI-Green alliance for the same office, refused to continue with the electoral campaign.  The candidate for the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA), Laura Patricia Hernández Carrillo, had just announced days before that she would be suspending her candidacy for security reasons.

On 31 April, the New Alliance Party (PANAL) reported the murder of four of its members as they were returning from a campaign rally in Ixcapuzalco, the municipal center of Pedro Ascención, in the north of the state

Also in April, the gubernatorial candidate for the Citizens’ Movement (MC), Luis Walton Aburto, cancelled his proselytizing tour in the Mountain region, after he had been intercepted together with his cabinet by an armed group in the municipal center of Chilapa de Álvarez.

In mid-March, Aidé Nava González, candidate of the Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD) for the mayorship of Ahuacuotzingo, located below the Mountain region, was found dead in the surroundings of the Tecoanapa community, near where she had been taken by armed subjects days prior.

To date, the authorities believe these violent acts to be localized, and that there still exist the adequate conditions for elections next month.

In a communique published at the beginning of May, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights warned that the “violence has no limits, and the lack of capacity of the authorities to confront it is evident.  The political class finds itself trapped within its own labyrinth.  It fell into the same claws of the crow that gave birth to it, and it has had to submit itself to the very laws of barbarism which it has itself imposed.  Guerrero is a territory mined by violence.  There is no place there that escapes control by organized crime […].  The weakness of State institutions contrasts with the strength of criminal organizations, whose power has been demonstrated as being capable of executing local and state authorities.  This monster has set down its roots within the very same State structures.  It is a central part of the way in which power is exercised, and in which politics take place […].  Violence traps us, and what has disrupted the electoral process is what the authorities have not desired to see and address.  They prefer to focus their attention on the social organizations that openly have called for there not to be elections.  The State dismisses them for being bold enough to call into question the carrying-out of said elections.  It views them as a great threat, and among the most dangerous groups within this electoral situation.  The State has not attended to their demands in a profound way: that is, the situations that truly imperil the lives of the people.  Nor has it paid attention to the claims that within the political parties candidates develop which respond above all to the interests of organized crime.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Candidatos temen por su seguridad; suplente del PRI-Chilapa rehúye postulación (Excelsior, 5 de mayo de 2015)

Guerrero, en medio de la tormenta. (Centro de derechos humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 5 de mayo de 2015)

Nueva Alianza lamenta el asesinato de cuatro miembros en Guerrero (CNN México, 4 de mayo de 2015)

Sicarios preguntaron por líder criminal antes de ejecutar a candidato en Guerrero (Proceso, 4 de mayo de 2015)

La violencia del narco amenaza las elecciones al sur de México (El País, 4 de mayo de 2015)

“Violencia en Guerrero, focalizada”, Ortega descarta crisis en elecciones(CNN México, 2 de mayo)

Grupo armado intercepta y encañona a Luis Walton en Chilapa (Proceso, 25 de abril de 2015)

Hallan decapitada a precandidata perredista a edil de Ahuacuotzingo (La Jornada, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Guerrero: political prisoner Nestora Salgado, Communal Police Commander from Olinalá, begins hunger strike

May 16, 2015



On 5 May, Nestora Salgado García, commander of the Communal Police from Olinalá, who has been imprisoned in a federal institution in Tepic, Nayarit, since August 2013, began a hunger strike amidst the lack of progress in her legal case.  She expressed that she was prepared to die to demand that this process advance: “I do not believe it is just that I will now have spent two years here, with my legal case arrested.  I have never been had the chance to make a broad statement, nor have my accusers ever presented their charges against me.  They have done nothing with me.  I am losing my life and health.”  Her husband, José Luis Ávila Báez, reported that he would sent a report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to denounce that the precautionary measures which were awarded to Nestora Salgado on 28 January still have not been implemented.

Leonel Rivero Rodríguez, Nestora’s counsel, has pressed the federal government to transfer the prisoner somewhere where she can have her health managed and develop the necessary meetings for her legal case to progress.

Meanwhile, governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez affirmed once again that he has newly requested that the state prosecutor review the case for its nullification.  He added that another step could be taken, as the Popular Movement of Guerrero (MPG) had suggested: that is, to say, an amnesty law.

For more information (in Spanish):

Está Nestora Salgado en huelga de hambre en la cárcel de Tepic; su proceso no avanza, se queja (El Sur, 8 de mayo de 2015)

Nestora Salgado, en huelga de hambre (Proceso, 8 de mayo de 2015)

Mantiene Nestora Salgado huelga de hambre; exigen cambiarla de penal (La Jornada, 10 de mayo de 2015)

El agobio en la prisión orilló a Nestora Salgado a ponerse en huelga de hambre (La Jornada, 10 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR calls on Mexican government to guarantee medical attention to Nestora Salgado (8 February 2015)

Guerrero: Delay in release for Nestora Salgado; her daughter claims to have been threatened by phone (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: Death-threat directed against Nestora Salgado’s daughter and Communal Police commander from Olinalá (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release (2 September 2014)


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