Guerrero: Disappearance of Activist in Tlapa de Comonfort Reported. Member of Regional Council of Agrarian Authorities in Malinaltepec

October 17, 2019

GuerreroPhoto @ Tlachinollan

In the afternoon of October 11th, a member of the Popular Front of La Montaña (FPM in its Spanish acronym) and the Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPEG in its Spanish acronym), Arnulfo Ceron Soriano, was reported missing in Tlapa de Comonfort.

According to a public complaint from the La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, relatives reported that the last information they had about him was when Ceron Soriano “left his home to go to talk at a recovery center for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), located in the Caltitlan neighborhood Tlapa de Comonfort city, Guerrero, where he never arrived.”

On October 12th, the van in which “the activist Ceron Soriano was traveling in the Magisterio neighborhood was found abandoned, even with the keys in it, without any further indication of him. Due to these facts, a complaint was lodged with the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Enforced Disappearance and Search for Missing Persons in the city of Chilpancingo, Guerrero, to which the investigation file number 12022510400165121019 was assigned.”

According to different newspapers 11 social organizations have stressed “that Cerón Soriano accused the mayor of Tlapa of having threatened him because of the defense he made so that street traders were not evicted.”

On October 13th, social and family organizations “took over the town hall of Tlapa to demand the mayor’s presentation of the indigenous leader and demanded that the Ministerial Police, the State, the National Guard begin an operation” to find the missing activist.

For its part, the State of Guerrero Human Rights Commission (CDHEG in its Spanish acronym), urged the corresponding agencies of the state and federal government, to speed up investigations.

During the same weekend, on Friday, Isaias “N”, president of the Commissariat of Paraje Montero Communal Assets, in the municipality of Malinaltepec, was killed, El Sol de Acapulco reported. The victim “had attended meetings in the morning that Friday and in the afternoon on his return he was murdered near the police station.” He was “member of the Regional Council of Agricultural Authorities in Defense of the Territory (CRAADT in its Spanish acronym), which opposes the mining exploitation of the region.”

For more information in Spanish:

ACCIÓN URGENTE: DESAPARECEN AL LUCHADOR SOCIAL DE LA MONTAÑA: ARNULFO CERÓN SORIANO (Tlachinollan, 13 de octubre de 2019)

Exhorta la CDHEG agilizar investigaciones por desaparición de Arnulfo Cerón Soriano (El Sol de Acapulco, 13 de octubre de 2019)

Un defensor de la montaña de Guerrero es asesinado y otro es reportado desaparecido el fin de semana (Sin Embargo, 14 de octubre de 2019)

Identifican a tres hombres asesinados en distintos hechos (El Sol de Acapulco, 14 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Declaran libres de minería los municipios de Malinaltepec y San Luis Acatlán. (October 8, 2019)

Guerrero: Denuncian una “campaña de desprestigio” en contra de una abogada de Tlachinollan y una reportera del El Sur de Acapulco (11 de julio de 2019)


National: Mexico Sixth Most Dangerous Country for Environmentalists According to Global Witness; 12 Activists Killed in 2019

October 13, 2019

Environment@Cuartoscuro

According to data from the human rights organization Amnesty International, at least 12 environmental activists were killed in Mexico since the beginning of the year to date. Seven of those murders were carried out in the month of January alone. With five attacks in Oaxaca and four in Chiapas, these two states have become the most dangerous regions for environmentalists.

A similar process can be observed worldwide. After the Philippines (30 defenders killed in 2018), Colombia (24), India (23), Brazil (20) and Guatemala (16), Mexico with 12 is the sixth most dangerous country in the world for environmental defenders, according to Global Witness NGO reports. In 2017, 15 defenders were killed and in 2018 another 14.

The first victim of the year was Sinar Corzo Esquinca, a water, housing and health rights activist, who also defended the victims of the 2017 earthquake in Oaxaca and Chiapas. He died on January 3rd from gunshot wounds in Arriaga, Chiapas, after he was shot.

Among the other victims were the environmentalists Noe Jimenez Pablo, Jose Santiago Lopez, Rafael Murua Manriquez, Gustavo Cruz Mendoza, Samir Flores, Eulalia Lilia Diaz, Luis Armando Fuentes, Telosforo Santiago Enriquez, Jose Luis Alvarez Flores and the human rights lawyer Juan Quintanar Gomez, who was killed in the center of the city of Oaxaca on the way to his office.

“These attacks (against indigenous people) are almost 80% of the cases. In the case of Oaxaca, Puebla and Michoacan, 100% of those attacked are indigenous,” said Gustavo Sanchez, the director of the Mexican Network of Forest Farmers Organizations (MOCAF in its Spanish acronym).

Of the 14 activists killed in 2018, eleven were people from native villages according to Antonio Medina, representative of the Indigenous Tourism Network of Mexico (RITA in its Spanish acronym), given that 50% of Mexican territory belongs to indigenous peoples, meaning that a large part of the mines, material banks, water reserves and biodiversity of the country are part of their heritage and they are particularly affected by the megaprojects of the Mexican State.

In the face of the great aggression against environmentalists, the NGO Amnesty International recently launched the “No More Murders: Raise your Voice for Environmentalists in Mexico” campaign. According to its website, “it will be based on petitions, events and the dissemination of information and audiovisual materials through social networks, to denounce the murders of environmental defenders in Mexico.”

“This campaign is our way of highlighting the violence faced by environmental defenders in Mexico and recognizing their invaluable contribution to the health of the planet and the wellbeing of its inhabitants given the the disastrous effects of extractive exploitation, industrial pollution and climate change,” explained Erika Guevara Rosas, Director for the Americas of Amnesty International.

For more information in Spanish:

12 ambientalistas y defensores han sido asesinados este año; Oaxaca y Chiapas, los estados más peligrosos (Animal Político el 7 de octubre de 2019)

El 80 % de los activistas ambientales asesinados en México son indígenas (Infobae el 1 de agosto de 2019)

México, el sexto país más peligroso para defensores del medio ambiente; hubo 14 asesinatos en 2018 (Animal Político el 29 de julio de 2019)

México: Amnistía Internacional lanza campaña para urgir al Estado que proteja a las personas defensoras del medio ambiente (Amnistía Internacional el 1 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Environmentalist Nora Lopez Murdered in Palenque (August 27, 2019)

Chiapas: denunciation of criminalization against environmental activists in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (January 4, 2019)

Chiapas/Tabasco: Ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores Murdered (June 17, 2019)

Chiapas: Denuncian ataque contra defensor de los derechos humanos en San Cristóbal de las Casas (10 de junio de 2019)

National: 21 Environmental Defenders Murdered in 2018 (CEMDA) (April 1, 2019)

National: CEMDA 2017 Report Shows Increase in Vulnerability of Environmental Defenders (March 26, 2018)


National: CNI Invitation to “SAMIR FLORES LIVES” Global Day of Struggle, October 12, 2019

September 29, 2019

CNI@samirfloresvive.wordpress.com

At the National and International Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) / Indigenous Government Council (CIG), Resistance and Rebellion Networks, Organizations and Collectives “The Isthmus Is Ours” in Juchitan, Isthmus of Tehunatepec, in Oaxaca on the 6th, 7th and 8th of September, the “SAMIR FLORES LIVES” Global Day for the Struggle in Defense of Life and Our Territories was announced, which will take place on October 12th this year.

The event that bears the name of delegate Samir Flores, environmental activist and promoter of organic agriculture for ten years and who was killed on February 20th, 2019 by unknown individuals, intends to be “a dislocated and forceful mobilization, throughout the country, against the megaprojects of death, of an anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal character.” The CNI called on the peoples, organizations and people of Mexico and the World to carry out coordinated actions that show “art, music, creativity from below.”

In the closing declaration of the assembly that took place at the beginning of September, the CNI also denounced the megaprojects planned by the Mexican government such as the Maya Train, the Dos Bocas Refinery, the Inter-Oceanic Isthmus Corridor, the Morelos Integral Project, the new airport and its associated works such as the Mexico-Tuxpan Highway as well as “a monstrous set of environmental depredation projects”, that includes, mining, hydroelectric, agro-industry, industrial corridors, gas pipelines, oil pipelines, fracking, wind farms, solar panels businesses.

In the call released in mid-September, the CNI requested that, “the activities that each organization defines must be registered no later than October 1st at the email samirflores.vive@gmail.com.”

For more information in Spanish:

Declaratoria de la Asamblea Nacional e Internacional del CNI

Samir Flores, símbolo de la resistencia antigobiernista (Proceso el 28 de febrero de 2019)

Convocatoria a la Jornada global de lucha en defensa de la vida y de nuestros territorios “SAMIR FLORES VIVE” el 12 de Octubre de 2019 (CNI, 18 de septiembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: CNI Holds “The Isthmus is Ours” National Assembley in Juchitan (September 22, 2019)

Oaxaca: Defensores comunitarios Ayuuk interponen amparo contra Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Theuantepec (12 de julio de 2019)

Oaxaca: Es publicado el decreto del decreto del Corredor Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec; se movilizan para detener su instrumentación (15 de junio de 2019)

Oaxaca: de gira en el estado, AMLO declara que las comunidades indígenas avalan la realización del corredor transístmico (4 de mayo de 2019)

Oaxaca : lanzan pronunciamiento « El Ismo es nuestro » en rechazo al Proyecto Transístmico (25 de abril de 2019)

Oaxaca: Consultation Takes Place in Tehuantepec Isthmus Amidst Doubts from Various Social and Civil Players in the Region (April 4, 2019)

Oaxaca: New Consultations in Tehuantepec Isthmus Questioned (March 28, 2019)


National: Concrete Measures Needed to Stop Fracking Despite Government Promises. Foreign Company Drills Oil in Mexico for First Time in 80 Years.

September 2, 2019

Fracking@xataka

On August 27th, the Mexican Alliance against Fracking, composed of more than 40 civil organizations, stressed that, despite the commitment of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to stop the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract hydrocarbons in the country, not enough has been done to achieve this. It pointed out that the Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Business Plan, published in July, indicates that fracking will continue to be used.

For his part, Manuel Llano of the Carto Critica organization noted that “an absolute continuity in the regulatory framework that allows hydraulic fractures in the country is maintained, without any action implemented by the Executive that is within the meaning of the President’s words.”

On another note, AMLO publicly thanked the Italian company Eni, which started to extract oil from the Gulf of Mexico a few months ago, for “trusting in Mexico.” Eni is the first foreign company to do so in 80 years. These activities were possible thanks to the energy reform bill, promoted by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and criticized by AMLO.

For more information in Spanish: 

Más de 40 ONGs exhiben el uso de fracking con AMLO; Pemex, Sener, CNH y ASEA “no tienen estrategia” Sin Embargo, 27 de agosto de 2019.

AMLO agradece a la primera empresa extranjera en extraer petróleo en 80 años Forbes México, 28 de agosto de 2019.

AMLO ha incumplido compromiso de frenar el fracking, exhiben más de 40 ONG’s Espejo, 28 de agosto de 2019.

Más de ocho mil pozos usan fracking para extraer recursos en México Vanguardia, 28 de agosto de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Fracking or not in Mexico? (February 13, 2019)

National: Mexican Alliance against Fracking Urges President Elect to Legally Stop the Activity (August 19, 2018)

Pronunciamiento de la Alianza Mexicana contra el Fracking con respecto a declaraciones recientes de Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMCF, 7 de agosto de 2018)


Oaxaca: Indigenous Communities Celebrate “Guelaguetza” against Extractivism

July 29, 2019

Guela1

On July 23rd, 2019, several Zapotec communities of the Central Valleys, members of the “Non-Mining Front, for a Future of All”, organized an alternative Guelaguetza in San Martin de los Cansecos, Oaxaca. This was the first Guelaguetza of the Peoples of Oaxaca against mining that began with a traditional ritual of gratitude to Mother Earth.

“What they are looking for in this event is to recover the essence of the Cerro Mondays Festival, where with cooperation, love of neighbor and an attitude of sharing nature and life, they seek to reinforce the social fabric that unite us as indigenous communities.”

Marcos Leyva Madrid of the organization Services for Alternative Education (Educa in its Spanish acronym) mentioned that during the event “the towns and communities affected by mining projects and concessions celebrate life, autonomy, resistance processes and community alternatives that they are exercising within their territories.”

Guela2Photo @ SIPAZ

People and agricultural authorities from nine municipalities participated in the alternative Guelaguetza. The program included a forum, spaces for reflection for the communities about the defense of their lands against extractivism, and there were also cultural spaces.

It should be remembered that there are more than three hundred mining concessions in Oaxaca, which represent five percent of the state territory. Communities and civil organizations attribute damage to the environment and the social fabric of the communities to the extractivist model, among other consequences. In addition, they highlight the criminalization of defenders of the land, by extractive companies and the government, with the aim of protecting their economic interests.

According to the magazine Proceso, the Cuzcatlan mining company which is three kilometers away in San Jose del Progreso, also organized a Guelaguetza to “justify that it promotes traditions, gives employment and generates development.” The company is related to the Canadian company Fortuna Silver Mines.

For more information in Spanish:

Celebran comunidades indígenas la Guelaguetza antiminera en Oaxaca (EDUCA, 23 de julio de 2019)

Realizan en Valles Centrales la primera Guelaguetza de los Pueblos de Oaxaca contra la Minería (Proceso, 22 de julio de 2019)

Con Guelaguetza alternativa, protestan en Oaxaca contra mineras (La Jornada, 22 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: “Negamos el desarrollo que nos niega a nosotros”: Concluye Tercer Encuentro Estatal de Pueblos, Comunidades y Organizaciones “Aquí Decidimos Sí a la Vida No a la Minería” (May 22nd, 2019)

Oaxaca: Cabildo municipal anuncia el territorio de Magdalena Ocotlán prohibido para minería (April 11th, 2019)

National: No Cancellations but No More Mining Concessions in Mexico – AMLO (March 24, 2019)


National/International: “Government Should Halt Abuses of Public and Private Companies”: Civil Society Focal Group on Companies and Human Rights

July 12, 2019

CompaniesPhoto @ Animal Politico

On July 4th, 2019, the Civil Society Focal Group of on Companies and Human Rights, which is made up of different national and international organizations, among others, Oxfam Mexico and Services and Consultancy for Peace (SERAPAZ in its Spanish acronym), published a statement in which it demands that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) “attends to human rights violations committed by companies” in Mexico.

It specifies that given the human rights crisis and omnipresent impunity in the country, the government has the obligation to “act with consistency and ensure respect for individual and collective guarantees also in their commitment to megaprojects and all collaboration agreements it makes with large Mexican and foreign companies.”

The Group identifies as a fundamental point that the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights are respected, in addition to international agreements, such as the Escuazu Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, be ratified and put into action. Manifesting that “the balance between development projects and respect for the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples over their territories and natural commons is necessary, particularly as regards megaprojects such as the Dos Bocas Refinery, the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus corridor, roads and dams, among others, without neglecting campesino communities and respect for labor and union rights.”

They conclude that government strategies, such as the National Human Rights Program, should contemplate “a discussion on the responsibility of companies in the matter”, in addition to promoting solid public policies incorporating a human rights approach. This is necessary so that the ten billion dollars of foreign direct investment entering the country are applied coherently between economic interests and the aforementioned rights.

For more information in Spanish:

México: Grupo Focal de Empresas y Derechos Humanos recuerda al gobierno que está pendiente atender a violaciones de derechos humanos cometidos por empresas (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 4 de julio de 2019)

Atender violaciones a derechos humanos cometidas por empresas, otra tarea pendiente de la 4T (Comunicado del Grupo Focal en CEMDA, 4 de julio de 2019)

Gurría pide congruencia a AMLO en megaproyectos; “no tiene autoridad moral”, le responde (El Sol de México, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Ante los megaproyectos, el mega-reproche: AMLO no cumple (Proceso, 9 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Cuarto aniversario del Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusno en Acacoyagua (June 24th, 2019)

Oaxaca: Es publicado el decreto del decreto del Corredor Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec; se movilizan para detener su instrumentación (June 15th, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13, 2018)


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

March 27, 2019

Mining.png

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)