National: 20,390 Forcibly Displaced in 2017 – Over 329,900 in the Last 12 Years

May 11, 2018

Displaced(@CMDPDH)

On May 2nd, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH in its Spanish acronym) published a report on forced internal displacement in Mexico that indicated that in 2017, the climate of violence that prevails in the country caused 25 internal forced mass displacement events in nine states of the Republic, which affected 20,390 people. In the last 12 years at least 329,917 people have had to flee their homes, a figure that is “extremely conservative” as it only includes the cases in which entire communities have had to move. The CMDPDH estimates the figure could exceed one million people, although it affirms that the government has not published figures due to not wanting to “recognize the scale of the problem and the existence of an armed conflict.”

The report states that the states of Guerrero (seven cases), Sinaloa (five), Chihuahua (three), Chiapas (three) and Oaxaca (three) concentrated practically all mass displacement episodes registered in 2017. Chiapas was the entity where the phenomenon affected the largest number of people: 6,090, most of them originating in the municipalities of Altos de Chalchihuitan and Chenalho. 60.44% of the people affected were indigenous and the vast majority lived in rural areas

Of all the factors that led to forced displacement, the majority of them were caused by armed organized groups. Other causes were political violence, social conflict and territorial disputes and, to a lesser extent, the implementation of extractive mining projects.

The CMDPDH regretted that in Mexico the issue of forced internal displacement remains an issue without diagnosis, without public policies or official responses: “Internally displaced people do not have a framework of protection, they are like a kind of legal limbo where nobody confers them rights. The displaced people are left at the mercy of the will of local governments.” In addition, although it acknowledged the existence are two local laws, in Chiapas and in Guerrero, lack of regulations has prevented their proper enforcement to date.

For more information in Spanish:

Informe 2017 : Desplazamiento interno forzado en México (CMDPDH, informe completo, 2 mayo de 2018)

La violencia provocó el desplazamiento forzado de 20 mil 390 personas en 2017: CMDPDH (Proceso, 2 de mayo de 2018)

Más de 20 mil desplazados en México durante 2017; la mayoría, indígenas: Informe (Aristegui Noticias, 2 de mayo de 2018)

En 12 años, 329.9 mil víctimas de desplazamiento forzado en el país (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2018)

Los conflictos territoriales y la violencia llevan al éxodo a más de 12.000 indígenas en México (El País, 3 de mayo de 2018)

Por la violencia, más de 325 mil personas han dejado sus hogares a la fuerza en México (Animal Político, 3 de mayo de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Persiste riesgo a la vida de indígenas tsotsiles en Aldama, denuncia el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (26 de abril de 2018)

Chiapas: SIPAZ visitó a personas desplazadas de Chalchihuitán (20 de abril de 2018)

Guerrero: De la civilidad truncada a la desaparición de la razón, informe final de la Misión de Observación al Estado de Guerrero (16 de abril de 2018)

Chiapas: Plantón desplazados ejido Puebla, Chenalhó (10 de abril de 2018)

Chiapas: Otro conflicto agrario en los límites de Chenalhó provoca desplazados en el municipio de Aldama [blog incluye antecedentes] (27 de marzo de 2018)

Chiapas: desplazados de Chalchihuitán denuncian condiciones en las que se siguen encontrando(23 de marzo de 2018)

Chiapas : sin condiciones de seguridad regresan a casa más de 4000 desplazados en Chalchihuitán (4 de enero de 2018)

SIPAZ: BOLETÍN URGENTE – Reactivación del conflicto agrario entre Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán : violencia generalizada e impunidad (16 de diciembre de 2017)

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National/International: Actions for International Day against Dams and in Defense of Rivers and Water

March 28, 2018

Dam.pngAction in Chenalho for International Day against Dams (@Otros Mundos)

Since 1997, in the framework of the first International Meeting of People Affected by Dams held in Curitiba (Brazil), representatives of 20 countries declared March 14th as the Day of Action against Dams to denounce water management projects and demand equitable and sustainable management of rivers.

On March 14th and in this context, Intercultural Dialogue Days for the Territory and in Defense of the Rio Verde in the community of Paso de la Reyna, Jamiltepec, were held. There, a regional territorial organization process has been established since 2006 that brings together Peoples and Communities in the United Peoples Council for the Defense of the Rio Verde (COPUDEVER in its Spanish acronym) to face the Paso de la Reina Multiple Use Hydroelectric Project.

In Chiapas, the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas de Acteal carried out an action within the municipality of Chenalho, making flyers, painting on light poles and on walls along the roads “with the aim of informing and making the population aware of the projects of death that bad governments and capitalist companies introduce without consent in our territories.” In a statement, they ratified “before all the threats of the death projects that the big national and foreign capitalists want to introduce into our lands and territories, we tell them that they will not happen and hope their brain has the capacity to reflect that their ambitions and extractive dreams are mere projects of destruction and that have caused massacres and genocides, in order to forcefully impose their projects, hiring assassins such as: paramilitaries, gunmen, assassins and even soldiers themselves.”

Several organizations in Chiapas and Mexican and Latin American networks also spoke out against “the unlimited multiplication of dams of all sizes, from large scale works to so-called ‘mini-hydroelectric’ [dams], driven by the policies of the World Bank and other alleged “cooperation” and “development” international financial institutions, by the neoliberal structural reforms of the corporatized states, the discourse of “sustainable energy” and the creation of “clean development mechanisms.”” They spoke out against the almost 100 dam projects that exist in the state of Chiapas, including, among others, the expansion of the Chicoasen II and Angostura projects in the Zoque area, 19 mini-hydroelectric projects and the reactivation of the Itzantun project. They also spoke against the new draft General Water Law that “deepens the inequality between the population and the private sector in terms of access to water in the country, by putting the State at the service of [private] companies.”

For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento de Las Abejas de Acteal en Día Internacional de Acción contra las Presas y por los Ríos, el Agua y la Vida (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 14 de marzo de 2018)

Día Internacional de Acción Contra las Represas: Celebramos los ríos de Chiapas y del mundo (OCS de Chiapas y redes mexicanas y latinoamericanas, 14 de marzo de 2018)

Celebran 14 comunidades la vida y la riqueza biocultural del Río Verde en Oaxaca (Vínculo informativo, 15 de marzo de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : CEMDA publica informe 2017 que indica incremento de la vulnerabilidad de defensores ambientalistas (7 de marzo de 2018)

Oaxaca: Amenazan a la entidad 67 proyectos hidroeléctricos (12 de septiembre de 2016)


National: CEMDA 2017 Report Shows Increase in Vulnerability of Environmental Defenders

March 26, 2018

CEMDAPress conference for CEMDA 2017 report (@CEMDA)

On March 5th, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA in its Spanish a acronym) publicly presented its “Annual Report on the Situation of Defenders of Environmental Human Rights in Mexico, 2017”. In it, it denounced the increase in attacks and the “absence to date of an integral and effective preventive protection on the part of the Mexican State, which has been indicated as the main generator of the attacks against the defenders” (with 36% of the attacks). The same organization reported that from 2010 to 2017, there have been 391 cases of assaults.

The report documents that in the period from July 2016 to December 2017, there were 88 cases of attacks against human rights defenders in Mexico. It highlights the increase in the number of homicides that in this period reached 29, in comparison with the previous period, where only one murder was recorded. The state that continues with the highest numbers of attacks is the State of Mexico followed by Oaxaca, Puebla, Chiapas and Sonora. The projects or activities most frequently related to the attacks are the dispossession of land/territory and mining, both with 17 cases. Next are infrastructure projects (14 cases), hydroelectric projects (eight cases); those of public works and/or public policies in water administration (seven cases); real estate projects (five cases); renewable energy (four cases); sowing of GMOs (four cases) and illegal logging (three cases).

The Cemda Report concludes that “the situation of risk and threat to environmental defenders in Mexico continues to be increasingly worrying and the Mexican State is not taking the necessary, forceful, or relevant actions to generate a comprehensive policy of protection for defenders, as the capabilities of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (Mechanism) of the Ministry of the Interior are limited and do not solve the underlying problem that causes social conflict and risk.”

The following recommendations are found in the report:

“a) Align and harmonize the legal framework, as well as the public policies of the agricultural, environmental, water and indigenous peoples sectors, with a focus on human rights and the pluricultural State;

b) Implement the gender perspective in environmental legislation and public policies;

c) Guarantee timely compliance with the right to free, prior and informed consent of the peoples and communities and indigenous people;

d) Suspend development projects when there is evidence of attacks and aggressions against environmental defenders;

e) Carry out, on the part of the corresponding authorities, the social and environmental impact assessments in the first stages of the project to be able to know the level of risks and challenges existing in the region;

f) Strengthen the Mechanism, granting it, among other things, sufficient budget for its operation and;

g) Guarantee the right to full reparation of damages.”

For more information in Spanish:

Boletín de prensa en el marco de la presentación del informe (CEMDA, 5 de marzo de 2018)

Informe anual sobre la situación de personas defensoras de los derechos humanos ambientales en México, documento completo (CEMDA, marzo de 2018)

Suman 29 activistas ambientales asesinados en México: informe (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2018)

El Cemda registra 342 ataques contra defensores del medio ambiente en el sexenio de Peña (Proceso, 5 de marzo de 2018)

29 asesinatos en año y medio: el riesgo de ser ecologista en México (El País, 6 de marzo de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Nacional: alertan nacional e internacionalmente sobre el aumento de agresiones a personas defensoras de la tierra, el territorio y el medio ambiente. (8 de diciembre de 2014)


Guerrero: Conflict at Mine of Canadian Company Torex Gold Resources

February 17, 2018

GoldPhoto @ Proceso

Since November 3rd, 2017, according to information from Proceso, a group of workers of the Media Luna mining company, part of the Canadian company Torex Gold Resources, have been on strike to “demand the change of ownership of their collective work contract, which is currently held by the Confederation of Workers of Mexico (CTM in its Spanish acronym).” The dissatisfied workers would like to join “the Napoleon Gomez Urrutia Union.”

Several newspapers reported that due to the problem that exists between the quarry workers and the mining company, three murders of employees of the mining company Media Luna have occurred to date. First on November 18, 2017 “Victor and Marcelino Sahuanitla were murdered and on January 24, Quintin Salgado, one of the leaders of the strike against the mining company Media Luna, was assassinated when he left his house in Nuevo Balsas, municipality of Cocula in Guerrero.”

According to the newspaper La Jornada de Guerrero, the national leaders of the National Mining Union, Sergio Beltran Reyes and Benito Melo Gonzalez, later denounced Salgado’s murder; “Comrade Quintin Salgado of the Media Luna mine, was cowardly murdered by the CTM of Guerrero and organized crime and we hope that the government of Canada, which is more interested in solving this situation, can put a stop to this company which, in addition to allowing them to take away our wealth, our authorities also allow you to assault, murder and violate the rule of law in our country, our workers and our organization Miners of Mexico.”

On January 27th, state and federal agents as well as soldiers took control of the facilities of the Canadian mining company Media Luna and practically broke the strike that the workers held. The military operation resulted in “the release of the security chief of the mining company Media Luna and seven workers who had allegedly been retained by the workers,” Proceso reported.

In a statement, the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) mentioned that “this problem has a framework, and it is the current federal and state policy of delivery of resources and unrestricted and servile support to domestic and foreign companies that impose this type of exploitation, affecting the territories irreversibly in environmental, social and health terms. Once installed, the companies, as part of the multiple devastation they generate, place their local workers in conditions of intensive exploitation, violating their rights with government support. It is important to point out that the above once again highlights:

  1. The clear link between these companies and the criminal groups’ “gunmen” that they finance for their protection, and
  2. That at the request of a transnational company, the state sends its army and its police not to put the project at risk with greater direct foreign investment in the state of Guerrero.”

It should be recalled that, since March 2016, “Proceso warned about the risk of mining projects promoted by the government of Hector Astudillo in a strip of the state where the narcos [drug cartels] control everything.”

For more information in Spanish:

Quintín Salgado Salgado fue ultimado a balazos en las inmediaciones de su casa en Cocula, Guerrero. (Regeneración, 24 de enero de 2018)

Empleados de firma canadiense, hermanos asesinados en Guerrero: Sindicato Minero (La Jornada, 23 de noviembre de 2017)

Asesinan a prestador de servicios de Media Luna que simpatizaba con los paristas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 25 de enero de 2018)

Rescatan 8 personas privada de su libertad en Minera Media Luna (Debate, 27 de enero de 2018)

Ejército y agentes toman el control de minera Media Luna en Guerrero (Proceso, 27 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: ONG emite Acción Urgente para proteger Evelia Bahena García, Diana Coralina Brito y Félix Rodríguez Navarrete (10 de agosto de 2015)

Guerrero/México/América Latina: Graves cuestionamientos a Goldcorp y empresas mineras canadienses (29 de abril de 2014)

Chiapas/México/América Latina: Violación de derechos por empresas mineras (25 de abril de 2012)


Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination

November 24, 2017

MODEVITEAuthorities from La Candelaria, Municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas. Photo @: SIPAZ

On November 20th, thousands of indigenous people grouped in the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (Modevite in its Spanish acronym) mobilized in 11 municipalities and an ejido of Chiapas in defense of Mother Earth, for a dignified life and to demand respect for the free self-determination of indigenous peoples. In a statement, they explained: “We are one people who today want to express ourselves in each of the 12 fronts where we are. We denounce the constant threat of transnational extractive megaprojects and demand our right to the self-determination of peoples, in order to change the outdated and oppressive system that governs us.”

The event was called on 107 years of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, and stressed that “the marginalization and misery of our peoples persist; violence is the daily bread and insecurity is what is breathed in the environment. Coupled with this, the colorful circus of political parties divides us, and they take advantage of our poverty” while governments at all levels “are accomplices of dispossession, abuses, violence and injustice.”

For this reason they propose “creating another system that promotes the community rather than individuality, that looks at the earth as a Mother and not as merchandise, that embraces the cultural diversity rooted in the spirituality of our ancestors to make way for the reconstruction of the fabric of social community”. They intend to promote “community governments that renew social relations among indigenous peoples, mestizos, diverse religions, adults and youth; community governments that renew politics by exercising the right to elect the authorities according to the indigenous normative systems of each people, to combat corruption and division of bad governments and thus ensure the defense of our Mother Earth and community harmony.”

More specifically, they asked the authorities to respond positively to the requests presented by the Community Government Commissions of the municipalities of Chilon and Sitala to the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute (IEPC in tis Spanish acronym) of Chiapas, on November 17th for that they can govern themselves according to their own indigenous normative system.

For more information in Spanish:

Indígenas de Chiapas denuncian amenaza constante de megaproyectos y ambición de trasnacionales (Proceso 20 de noviembre de 2017)

MODEVITE se expresa en sus 12 frentes y afirma su apoyo a los municipios de Chilón y Sitalá en su búsqueda del gobierno comunitario (MODEVITE 20 de noviembre de 2017)

Pronunciamiento de las Comisiones de Gobierno Comunitario de Chilón y Sitalá (Boletín de prensa del MODEVITE 18 de noviembre de 2017)

Comisiones de Sitalá y Chilón exigen al IEPC respetar su derecho al Gobierno Comunitario, sin partidos políticos (Anuncio de Conferencia de prensa del MODEVITE 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pronunciamiento de MOVEDITE ante las campañas políticas anticipadas (22 de agosto de 2017)

Chiapas : Culmina peregrinación de 12 días del Movimiento de Defensa de la Vida y el Territorio en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (29 de noviembre de 2016)


Chiapas/International: The Zoque Believing People to Receive 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

October 28, 2017

ZoquePhoto:@Chiapas Denuncia Pública

On October 18th, 2017, a press conference was held in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, to announce that the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth (ZODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) will receive the 2017 International Peace Prize. from the hands of the international organization Pax Christi, on October 29th in Rome, Italy.

In its press release the Zoque Believing People recognized that this peaceful movement is a call to stop the crisis of our civilization that threatens our world: “The Zoque peoples have declared themselves in permanent defense of our territories so that the different ways of life (human, animal and nature) are respected and revalued for the survival of humanity “

Their way of seeing this reality has been worthy of this award: “extractive megaprojects represent death and devastation for land and life, which is generated from above, that is, by the interests of transnational companies in their desire to accumulate material riches that only bring environmental, economic and political problems.”

They pointed out that: “For a decade now, have been trying to install mining, hydroelectric, geothermal and hydrocarbon extraction projects our Zoques in Chiapas that threaten to destroy a large part of the biocultural heritage, especially symbolic places such as the Chichonal Volcano – the house of the Piogba chuwe – and the mist mountains of Rayon and Tapalapa, but mainly large areas of corn crops, where the Zoques sustain their life, their cosmovision and love for the land are at risk because of the tender and concession of more than 160,000 hectares of land to private and foreign companies from several countries “.

This award “represents an encouragement in our journey and recognition of children, women, men and elderly Zoques who have decided to raise their voices to show the world their indignation and deep love for the land, which commits us to continue building the resistance of indigenous peoples, but it is also a message of peace and hope for all those peoples of Latin America who fight for life, water, land and territory.”

For more information in Spanish:

El Premio Internacional de Paz representa un aliento en nuestro caminar: Pueblo Creyente Zoque. (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 18 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Zoque en Defensa de la Vida recibirá Premio Internacional de Paz. (CDH fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 5 de octubre de 2017)

Por qué el Pueblo Creyente Zoque marcha a favor del Agua, la Tierra y la Vida. (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 19 de junio de 2017

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: El pueblo Zoque se está movilizando contra los mega-proyectos en Chiapas. (29 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos. (3 de mayo de 2017)

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez. (4 de julio de 2017)


Chiapas: 5,000 Men and Women on Pilgrimage against Mining in Chicomuselo

October 17, 2017

Chicomsuelo.pngPhoto @ SIPAZ

On October 1st, in the municipality of Chicomuselo, a meeting was held in Grecia ejido to analyze the threats posed by the mining concessions for the towns of Chiapas. The following day, the pilgrimage called “Movement against Mining and the Depletion of the Earth”, called by the parishes San Pedro and San Pablo and the “Samuel Ruiz” Committee for the Promotion and Defense of the Life of Chicomuselo, took place The march-procession was accompanied by Father Marcelo Perez, parish priest of Simojovel, several other religious leaders and human rights organizations, such as the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights and the Chiapas Women’s Rights Center.

The inhabitants of the ejidos of Ricardo Flores Magon and Grecia was supported by men and women of several communities of Chiapas, some that faced a trip of twelve hours to attend the event, in its fight against projects of mining companies in the municipality of Chicomuselo. At the end, according to Proceso, 5,000 participants raised their voices and walked with banners and signs denouncing the damages caused by mining companies. The same media reported that at the end of the pilgrimage the participants concluded that: “Having heard the problems of different communities and organizations in resistance, we coincide in that our struggle in defense of Mother Earth has brought us as a consequence, omission, repression, intimidation, threats, persecution, imprisonment and killings of human rights defenders in Chiapas and other parts of the country and the world.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunidad chiapaneca repudia operación de minera (Video) (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de octubre del 2017)

“Defensa de la tierra nos ha traído represión, amenazas, asesinatos”, denuncian en Chiapas (Proceso, 2 de octubre del 2017)

Empresas mineras provocan división comunitaria en Chicomuselo (CDH Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 26 de septiembre del 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Conferencia de prensa – NO A LA MINERÍA (28 de septiembre del 2017)

Chiapas: Comunidades de Chicomuselo denuncian incursiones de empresas mineras (25 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncian reinicio ilegal de actividades mineras en Chicomuselo (29 de enero de 2014)

Chiapas: marchan 2 mil personas al finalizarse el “Encuentro Chiapaneco en Unidad contra el Modelo Extractivo Minero” en Frontera Comalapa (1 de diciembre de 2012)

Chiapas: poder judicial exige que mina explotada por Blackfire permanezca clausurada (26 de octubre de 2010)

Chiapas: Amenaza de muerte al párroco de Chicomuselo (11 de octubre de 2010)

Chiapas: delegación canadiense investiga abusos de explotaciones mineras (2 de abril de 2010)

Chiapas: Matan a Mariano Abarca líder opositor a la operación en una mina (28 de noviembre de 2009)