Guerrero: Injunction Granted to Me’Phaa Community against Mining in Guerrero

July 25, 2017

GuerreroMembers of the San Miguel de Progreso Commission. Photo@: Tlachinollan

On June 28th, the Me’Phaa community of San Miguel del Progreso – “Juba Wajiín” – were granted an injunction against the Declaration of Land Freedom, which considered their territory free for mining activity. According to the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center (Tlachinollan), the injunction and protection by Federal Justice were granted to the Community of San Miguel del Progreso, as there was essentially foundation for the claim of violation, and therefore non-compliance with the constitutional and conventional obligation of the Mexican State to respect the rights of this indigenous-agrarian community Me’phaa de La Montaña de Guerrero was demonstrated.

It should be remembered that this is the second injunction granted to the community of San Miguel del Progreso – “Juba Wajiín” – against the mining threat in their territory. The first judgment of injunction against mining concessions was notified on February 12th, 2014. The challenge of that historic ruling brought the case before the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN in its Spanish acronym).

Tlachinollan considers that this injunction “is an unprecedented achievement for the indigenous community and a recognition of the tireless and millennial struggle of the Me’phaa community of San Miguel del Progreso and the Regional Council of Agricultural Authorities of Montaña de Guerrero in the defense of their territory and their life in the face of the threat posed by open pit mining, which also encourages them to continue to organize locally and regionally.”

For more information in Spanish:

Júba Wajiín: Un rayo contra las mineras (Centro de derechos Humanos de la Montaña, a 17 de julio de 2017)

Otorgan amparo a comunidad Me’Phaa contra la explotación minera en Guerrero (Proceso, a 11 de julio de 2017)

Comunidad Me’Phaa de San Miguel del Progreso gana amparo contra Declaratoria de Libertad de Terrenos (Centro de derechos Humanos de la Montaña, a 11 de julio de 2017)

Otorgan amparo a comunidad me´phaa ante explotación minera (La Jornada, a 11 de julio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: San Miguel del Progreso exige resolución del amparo 429/2016 (24 de abril de 2017)

Guerrero: San Miguel del Progreso exige se determine inconstitucionalidad de Ley Minera (20 de mayo de 2016)

Guerrero: Comunidad indígena pide a la SCJN revisión de la Ley Minera (2 de julio de 2014)


Oaxaca: Campaign against SEZ Announced

July 4, 2017

SEZ.pngSpecial Economic Zones (@Proceso)

On June 22nd, during the forum “Special Economic Zones and Implications in Community Life and the Environment”, about 250 participants from 50 civil and social organizations expressed their rejection of “the implementation of the SEZs in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca and elsewhere in the state.”

Participants pointed out that SEZs are intended to generate employment but through the implementation of mining, wind, and gas mega-projects, among others, which would end the communal life of indigenous peoples. Furthermore, they denounced that they promote extralegal and paramilitary violence and are the spearhead of the extractive and predatory industries that today are covered under the laws of the SEZs that benefit them.

They also pledged “to implement a massive campaign of counter information on SEZs and megaprojects, and to hold regional and state forums to strengthen the defense of our territories.”

For more information in Spanish: 

Anuncian campaña contra las ZEE (El Sol del Istmo, 28 de junio de 2017)

Advierten “nueva oleada de devastación” en Oaxaca con la creación de las Zonas Económicas Especiales (Proceso, 27 de junio de 2017)

Declaratoria del foro: “Zonas Economicas Especiales y las implicaciones en la vida comunitaria y al medio ambiente” (EDUCA, 26 de junio de 2017)

Con las Zonas Económicas Especiales se avista una nueva devastación para Oaxaca (Regeneración, 28 de junio de 2017)

El capital internacional y la élite política mexicana se ciernen sobre el territorio Oaxaqueño con avaricia, avidez y rapacidad (Activista, 28 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: El Senado aprueba la Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales (ZEE) (15 de abril de 2016)

México / Nacional: Diputados aprueban Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales (18 de diciembre 2015)

Oaxaca: comunidades del Istmo presentan amparo ante la ZEE (noviembre de 2016)


Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas

July 3, 2017

Zoque1.pngThe movement declared itself against extractivist projects, “which put the social, environmental and cultural life of the 60,000 Zoque speakers at risk.” Photo: @Sipaz

On June 22nd, the indigenous movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth organized a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutierrez, in which about six thousand people from 3 zones, members of civil society as well as priests of the Archdiocese of Tuxtla Gutierrez and the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas participated, according to La Jornada.

Participants denounced that the energy reform approved in 2013 along with ten other constitutional reforms “constitute a serious threat of dispossession of indigenous peoples’ lands”, as only their proponents would benefit from them.

In this case, the International Public Bidding known as Round 2.2 involves “the concession of 12 natural gas and oil extraction wells in the coastal states of the Gulf of Mexico and Southeastern Basin, which is composed of 12 blocks, two of which have an impact on the state of Chiapas. A total of 84,500 hectares of land in nine municipalities in northern Chiapas would be used for the extraction of natural gas through dispossession and environmental contamination of Zoque territory.”

Blocks 10 and 11 in Chiapas would affect the municipalities of Tecpatan, Francisco Leon, Ostuacan, the town of Chapultenango, Ixtacomitan, Ixtapangajoya, Pichucalco, Solosuchiapa, Sunuapa and even Teapa (Tabasco) in order to obtain moist gas, light oil and super light oil.

Zoque2.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

In March 2017, representatives of the movement reported a series of irregularities in the bidding process awarded by the Federal Government’s Energy Secretariat (SENER in its Spanish acronym), because all the affected communities were not consulted and there were no translators in their maternal Zoque language and neither has an Environmental Impact Statement been presented as required by law.

According to the movement, the specific risks would be “excessive use of water, migratory movements, contamination of soil, air and springs, loss of biodiversity, environmental imbalance, reduction of food production, damage to property and public health.”

 The movement stated that they are proceeding “to make the corresponding complaints before the national and international courts over omission in the absence of the presentation of the corresponding Environmental Impact Statement, as well as by the faults that are being committed in the process prior, free and informed consultation.”

Equally, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) said that “we salute the mobilization and organization undertaken from below for respect for what is theirs … to resist and to repudiate in an organized manner the so-called Round 2.2 on their ancestral territory with which the capitalists plan the extermination of the peoples of the north of Chiapas.”

Zoque3.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

For more information in Spanish:

Pagina facebook del movimiento

Comunidades zoques resisten a proyectos de despojo (Chiapas Denuncia, a 22 de Junio 2017)

Marchan 6 mil personas en Chiapas en rechazo a explotación de hidrocarburos (La Jornada, a 23 de Junio 2017)

“Alto al despojo, destrucción y muerte”: Pueblo Zoque ante Ronda 2.2 de la SENER que ofrece su territorio al mejor postor (Desinformémonos, a 23 de Junio 2017)

Pronunciamiento del Congreso Nacional Indígena en apoyo y solidaridad con la lucha del pueblo Zoque y por la libertad de Luis Fernando Sotelo (Enlace Zapatista, a 23 de Junio 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque

Chiapas : comunidades zoques se oponen a extracción de hidrocarburos en el norte de Chiapas

 


National/International: REMA Questions Report of UN Working Group on Corporations and Human Rights in Mexico

June 28, 2017

REMA

In a statement published on June 19th, the Mexican Network of Workers Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) claimed that the report presented by the United Nations Working Group on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations after its visit to Mexico in September 2016 is “condescending”, “insulting”, “onerous” and “overlapping” government bodies.

REMA stated: “Certainly we did not expect a strong and categorical report that was in line with the very serious human rights violations that we have suffered in Mexico for several years, but we were surprised by such a level of diplomatic and condescending delicacy, overlooking repression and forgetting the disappeared, murdered and sick inhabitants, as well as to the ecosystems ruined by the companies and overlapped by the instances of government. In contrast, in their analysis it is practically concluded that the causes of this disaster are lack of consultation and non-alignment or, as they say, “harmonization” of laws.”

It claimed on the contrary: “Our denunciations and indications expressed the lack of respect of our right to the consent or not of their projects that seek the dispossession of our natural assets, but this does not mean that we were requesting the consultation from them as a solution, on the contrary, we emphasized that we have assumed what our constitution, the laws and international conventions and declarations say: the full exercise of our right to self-determination, therefore, we are the ones who are conducting our consultations, our assemblies, just to avoid that now, with fashion and the auspices of the guiding principles, these governments and companies violating rights, impose mechanisms and procedures as already happens in many countries, in addition to what has already been experienced in some places in our country.”

It indicated that the UN has “ceased to be a small hope for the people, while governments and companies are mocking their conclusions because they know that – even when fully applied – looting, dispossession, displacement of populations and the diversity of crimes inherent in all this will remain unpunished and legitimized because they fully complied with the recommendations of the UN Working Group.”

For all of the above, REMA concluded “THE PEOPLES AND MEMBERS OF REMA NEITHER NEED OR NEEDED OR REQIRED “APPROPRIATE MECHANISMS OF CONSULTATION”, BECAUSE WE OPPOSE THE IMPOSITION OF AN EXTRACTIVE MODEL THAT WORKS AGAINST LIFE. REMA DEMANDS TOTAL RESPECT FOR THE FREE DETERMINATION, AUTONOMY AND SELF-GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLES, ALL RECOGNIZED IN OUR MAGNA CARTA AND IN THE INTERNATIONAL TREATIES.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Informe del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos acerca de su misión a México (8 de junio de 2017)

Señalan en la ONU a empresas por atropellar los derechos humanos en México (Educa, 9 de junio de 2017)

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA “EL RELATO DE LOS RELATORES DE LA ONU” (REMA, 19 de junio de 2017)

Afectados por la minería cuestionan informe de relatores de la ONU (Contralínea, 19 de junio de 2017)

Informe de la ONU es “condescendiente” y “solapa” al gobierno: Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería (Desinformémonos, 20 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Nacional/Internacional: Organizaciones civiles llaman a tomar acciones urgentes ante informe del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Derechos Humanos y Empresas (14 de junio de 2017)

Nacional: Visita oficial del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos a México (21 de septiembre de 2016)


National/International: Organizations and Defenders Take Urgent Action

June 14, 2017

UN.pngPhoto: https://contactohoy.com.mx/onu-mexico-rechaza-reforma-por-derecho-a-la-vida-desde-concepcion-en-veracruz/

Civil society organizations and environmental advocates called for urgent action to be taken by companies and the State following the report presented by the UN Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations.

The organizations recalled that “companies do not report what they do to detect and prevent the negative consequences of their actions on human rights” and the Government “has not yet set clear guidelines nor set definite expectations for companies in relation to their responsibility to respect human rights in all their activities.” This is exemplified, among others, in the case of Rio Santiago River, which, according to the organizations, the companies “throw whatever they want and in whatever quantities they want” with impunity, complicity and protection of the authorities; they recalled that in the area of ​​Rio Santiago, where around 300 industries operate, more than 600 people have died from industrial pollution.

The UN report demands that the right to prior, free, informed and culturally appropriate consultation, in accordance with ILO Convention 169, be respected, stating that “consultations should be carried out as early as possible in the process of designing the projects and should leave open the possibility that some projects are not viable.” Against this, Civil Society reported that 32 of the 68 documented cases of abuse by companies violated the right to land and territory and in 28 cases, access to information.

The UN Working Group also denounced that, “too often attacks on human rights defenders go unpunished, without investigations or effective sanctions being applied.” From the civil society they denounced that the existence of hired assassins and paramilitary forces on the payroll of companies that harass and fracture communities were ignored. Mario Luna, spokesperson for the Yaqui community of Sonora and opponent to the Independencia aqueduct, explained that, “we, in the exercise of our rights, have been criminalized, demonized.” Facing this, defenders and civil society demanded that both the State and the companies carry out the recommendations of the UN Working Group and that “the highest government officials and CEOs should make it very clear that intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

CSO members and defenders pointed out that the UN report addressed very few cases and that it could talk more about how companies and authorities relate, labor rights, tourism projects, environmental impacts and the rights of indigenous peoples, in most cases defenders and guarantors of the environment.

For more information in Spanish:

Urge que Estado y empresas acaten informe sobre derechos humanos realizado por ONU: OSC (CentroProdh, a 13 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Visita oficial del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos a México

 

 

 


National: UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Concludes Visit to Mexico

May 21, 2017

Water.pngChildren transporting water in an indigenous community in Oaxaca. Photo: @Jose Luis de la Cruz

From May 2nd to 12th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, Leo Heller, visited Mexico.

Various social organizations exposed inequality in access to water, as they said in a statement: “Notably, these policies have promoted their monopoly, privatization and unsustainable management, including the overexploitation and contamination of water resources on which rural and urban communities depend to live with dignity, leading to multiple and repeated violations of human rights to drinking water and sanitation and other related human rights such as health, by the actions and omissions of both public and private players.”

One of the places visited by the Rapporteur is Chiapas, where he held meetings with state officials, as well as with activists and non-governmental organizations who denounced that FEMSA’s Coca-Cola bottling plant “is obliterating large amounts of water from the inhabitants of San Cristobal de Las Casas, in Chiapas, and the amount left available for the inhabitants has no quality, Dr. Marcos Arana Cedeño, director of the Ombudsman’s Office for the Right to Health in the state claimed. (…) The last problem noted, he stressed, is of particular concern and claimed that the Coca-Cola plant extracts 6,112 cubic meters of water every day; that is to say, 16 million liters of the vital liquid in the municipality, a sufficient quantity to supply 200,000 inhabitants with 80 liters per person daily during a year.”

The Rapporteur publicly presented his preliminary impressions and conclusions on May 12th. He said that in Chiapas he observed indigenous women collecting water “from sources clearly hazardous to their health.” He said: “Indigenous people I spoke to denounced the lack of services and pollution of the water sources on which they depend due to the largely unregulated activities of mining, industry and hydrocarbon extraction companies. Therefore, I call on the Mexican government to urgently expand and improve access to water and sanitation, because despite advances in this area, there is no real provision of such services in homes and in the most marginalized communities, such that it is necessary to give the highest priority to this strategic sector and to guarantee the necessary resources to expand and improve the service for all, including numerous communities in a situation of abandonment. “

The rapporteur was struck by the situation in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where untreated sewage flows into the irrigation canals that supply water to vegetable and fruit crops, which are sold in the city’s markets. “It is really shocking. I went to visit the final discharges of the sewage and is very worrisome, (…) the population consumes the pollutants that the city has generated,” he protested.

Even so, the Mexican government boasts that infrastructure provides access to water and sanitation to more than 90% of the population.

In September, the Rapporteur will submit the complete Mission report with recommendations for the Mexican State to the United Nations Human Rights Council .

For more information in Spanish:

En Chiapas, se violenta el Derecho Humano al Agua Potable y al Saneamiento (OSC, 15 de mayo de 2017)

El agua en México, un “problema crónico”: relator de la ONU (Proceso, a 12 de mayo de 2017)

Comunidades indígenas, víctimas del insuficiente sistema nacional de agua: ONU (Desinformemonos, a 12 de mayo de 2017)

Relator de la ONU para el Derecho al Agua inicia visita en Chiapas (Proceso, a 10 de mayo de 2017)

Evaluarán acceso al agua y saneamiento en México (Centro de Información de las Naciones Unidas, a 26 de abril de 2017)

El acceso a servicios de agua y saneamiento asequibles (Leo Heller, marzo de 2017)

Coca-Cola se bebe el agua de 200 mil habitantes de San Cristóbal de las Casas, acusa especialista (SinEmbargo, a 6 de mayo de 2017)

Las etnias de Chiapas casi sin agua pero ahogadas en Coca-Cola (Proceso, a 5 de febrero de 2016)

“El ataque que ahora nos hace el mal gobierno es el corte de agua y luz eléctrica que hicieron a nuestros compañeros”: Las Abejas de Acteal (Centroprodh, a 10 de mayo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Foro “Servicios de Agua en Tuxtla Gutiérrez” denuncia el “deficiente servicio que se brinda por parte del SMAPA”

Chiapas: Ciudadanxs de Tuxtla Gutiérrez están preocupados por el tema del agua potable

Chiapas: Zinacantán contra la privatización de su agua y el despojo de su manantial

Nacional: Relator Especial de la ONU visita a México para evaluar la situación de Derechos Humanos

Nacional: Visita no oficial del relator especial de la ONU sobre la Situación de las y los defensores de Derechos Humanos


Oaxaca: COPUVO Denounces Harassment by Municipal Authorities and Mining Company

May 15, 2017

COPUVO.pngValle Ocotlan (Photo @COPUVO)

In a statement issued on May 9th, the Coordinator of the United Nations Ocotlan Valley United Peoples Coordinator (COPUVO in its Spanish acronym) reported harassment and threats when it sought to hold a regional meeting against mining in San Jose del Progreso, “where for eight years [the inhabitants] have defended their territory against the “San Jose” mining project, promoted by the Cuzcatlan company, a subsidiary of the Canadian Fortuna Silver Mines.

It said that prior to this meeting, the current mayor of San Jose del Progreso, Servando Daaz Vasquez, “publicly threatened our organization, communities in the region and civil organizations” proposing “not to allow the population to enter to hold a forum.” He added that Diaz Vasquez asked the state and federal police “to place a ring of officers and a filter at the check point at the town so as to prevent the entrance of the organizations the following Mat 7th…”

Accordingly, the Ombudsman’s Office for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DPHPO in its Spanish acronym) requested precautionary measures in favor of human rights defenders from the various civil and community organizations that would attend said meeting “for which there was State Police Agents presence during May 6th and 7th in the community; it is important to note that the State Police was also protecting the mining project with security forces during these dates.”

COPUVO denounced that “behind the campaign of threats and harassment of our movement, the mining company Fortuna Silver Mines is involved, who in its intent to expand to other ejidos and communities in the region has criminalized and violated our rights to autonomy, to the territory, to the freedom of protest, among the most important. This company has irrationally extracted our common goods and caused violence, destroying the peace and harmony that existed among our peoples.”

 For more information in Spanish:

COPUVO denuncia amenazas por parte de empresa minera y autoridades de San José del Progreso (COPUVO, 9 de mayo de 2017)

Mineras generan conflictividad en Oaxaca y Chiapas (Contralínea, 11 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Se exige justicia para el defensor comunitario Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, asesinado hace 5 años (23 de marzo de 2017)

Oaxaca: Comunidades afectadas por el proyecto minero “San José” toman oficinas de SEMARNAT (1 de marzo de 2017)