Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held

February 28, 2020

IMG-20200224-WA0020@Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas

On February 20th and 21st, the “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum was held at the CIDECI-Unitierra facilities in San Cristobal de Las Casas. More than 120 people from the Highlands, Plains, Jungle and North of Chiapas regions participated

In a final pronouncement, the participants commented that during the Forum they analyzed “the situation that we live in our territories against the implementation of megaprojects undertaken by the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in complicity with the large transnational companies.” They expressed that they managed to “map the military presence in the territories, the social programs present, the arrival of officials in search of information about our families: number of children, amount of land, number of young people in our homes, among others; which puts us in a situation of uncertainty because we don’t know the purpose of that data.”

They expressed their “total rejection of the megaprojects of destruction and death such as the San Cristobal-Palenque super highway, the privatization of water, mining, as well as the hydroelectric plant, the Maya Train, agricultural programs such as Sembrado Vida that combined with other social programs and the militarization of Chiapas, aim to break the social fabric, divide communities, families and weaken social movements that fight and resist in defense of life, land and territory.”

Women denounced that “assistance programs and projects are reaching our communities, specifically agroindustrial projects aimed mostly at men, excluding us for the simple fact of being women,” in particular the Sembrando Vida Program and other programs aimed at the countryside. “They grant financial support only to men and do not solve family needs; On the contrary, they strengthen male chauvinism, the consumption of alcohol and drugs, generating a significant increase in violence against women and the abandonment of family plots. By prioritizing the programs of the countryside that submit, control, manipulate and decide for the lives of the people, the government manipulates the situation of poverty experienced by hundreds of indigenous and campesino families, turning them into slaves and waiters of the capitalist government. In this way we see how neoliberalism is disrupting community structures, breaking the processes of self-determination and autonomy of the original peoples,” they declared.

They concluded by telling the government that “we are not afraid of their military, that we declare our territories free of megaprojects and military. Despite the criminalization of our partners and social advocates, we will not abandon our struggle, quite the opposite, we will unite our voice, our resistance and rebellion, our anger and our hearts in our struggle that is for life.”

For more information in Spanish:

PRONUNCIAMIENTO EN EL MARCO DEL FORO: “Hablemos sobre los programas de gobierno, megaproyectos y los efectos que tienen en la vida de las mujeres campesinas indígenas y en las comunidades” (23 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : se lleva a cabo la asamblea Nacional en Defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio, en la comunidad de Amilcingo, Morelos (February 24, 2020)

National: EZLN and CNI Hold Events on the First Anniversary of the Murder Samir Flores (February 25, 2020)

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN, CNI and CIG Convene Actions in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth “We Are All Samir” (January 14, 2020)

Chiapas/National: Fourth Assembly of CNI-CIG Held in San Cristobal de Las Casas (January 13, 2020)


Chiapas: First State Assembly in Support of AMLO’s National Project Held in San Cristobal de Las Casas

February 28, 2020

image_largeElio@Elio Enriquez

On February 22nd, more than 700 people gathered in what they called the First State Assembly in support of the nation and state project headed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the Casa Mazariegos convention center in San Cristobal de Las Casas. As reported, the participants included “representatives of all indigenous ethnic groups (Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tojolabal, Chol and Lacandon, among others) and Afro-Mexicans from Chiapas, religions, campesinos, social leaders of the different ideological currents of the state, entrepreneurs, free thinkers and citizens.”

The act began with an indigenous ceremony led by a speaker of the Mam language and then a statement signed by the group “Chiapanecos for Peace and Development” was read, first in Spanish and then in the indigenous languages ​​represented in the meeting.

They expressed their “total and unconditional support for all social programs and projects such as the Dos Bocas refinery, the Trans-Isthmus Corridor, the Maya Train and the long-awaited Pijijiapan-Palenque road section, which as a whole will, without a doubt, achieve the development that our state longs for and deserves so much, since, as it has always said, for the good of all, first for those who have less through the construction of the Palenque-San Cristobal-Pijijiapan highway.”

Finally, they invited the President to “on the date he decides be an honorary witness of a work group in which all those convinced in Chiapas will smoke the pipe of peace and sign the social reconciliation and pacification of our beloved state.”

For more information in Spanish:

Expresan en Chiapas apoyo incondicional a proyectos de AMLO (La Jornada, 24 de febrero de 2020)

Chiapanecos, a favor de programas sociales y proyectos de AMLO (La Voz del Sureste, 24 de febrero de 2020)

Realizan Primera Asamblea Estatal en apoyo al proyecto de nación que encabeza López Obrador (Prensa Libre, 25 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : se lleva a cabo la asamblea Nacional en Defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio, en la comunidad de Amilcingo, Morelos (February 24, 2020)

National: EZLN and CNI Hold Events on the First Anniversary of the Murder Samir Flores (February 25, 2020)

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN, CNI and CIG Convene Actions in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth “We Are All Samir” (January 14, 2020)

Chiapas/National: Fourth Assembly of CNI-CIG Held in San Cristobal de Las Casas (January 13, 2020)


Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecs from San Pedro Quiatoni also Win Injunction against Mining Project

February 18, 2020

claim-map-2014-02-520Photo @Gold Resource Corp

Indigenous Zapotec people from San Pedro Quiatoni won an injunction that they brought in defense of their territory against mining companies. This occurred when “the First District Court in the state granted a flat suspension to the indigenous community of San Pedro Quiatoni against the companies Don David Gold, Minerales El Prado and Desarrollos Mineros San Luis, subsidiaries of the US mining company Gold Resource Corp (GRC).”

The Oaxacan Zapotecs celebrated the decision and “marked that day as a historic date because, they stressed, the people of Pedro Quiatoni woke up to start a fight against the giant and in defense of their rights as native peoples and their natural resources.”

According to the newspaper NVI news, neither “the right to the territory, nor the right to free and informed prior consent and consent” of the affected Zapotecs were respected.

With the suspension granted by the Federal Judicial Power, the mining companies will not be able to carry out works of “excavation, drilling, opening of tunnels and exploitation of mineral resources on the surface and subsoil (…) of El Aguila or El Aguila III mine.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunidad de Oaxaca gana suspensión contra subsidiarias de minera estadunidense (El Proceso, 17 de febrero de 2020)

Cancela juzgado operación de mina de San Pedro Quiatoni (NVI Noticias, 17 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca : Semarnat niega la autorización de la Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental (MIA) a la compañía minera Cuzcatlán (February 13, 2020)

Oaxaca: Zapotecs from Capulalpam de Mendez Win Injunction against Two Mining Projects in their Territory (February 15, 2020)

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 22, 2019)

Oaxaca: Close of Meeting “Yes to Life, No to Mining” with declaration (January 24, 2013)


Oaxaca: Zapotecs from Capulalpam de Mendez Win Injunction against Two Mining Projects in their Territory

February 15, 2020

capu-conferencia-400x300@EDUCA

Authorities from the Zapotec municipality of Capulalpam de Mendez announced At a press conference that took place on February 12th that they won an injunction filed in February 2015 against the Canadian mining company Continuum Resources LTD and the Mexican mining company Minera Natividad y Anexas, which suspended their respective concessions to operate in their territory.

They had denounced that “the General Directorate of Mining Regulation of the Ministry of Economy assigned these concessions to the miners mentioned for the exploration and exploitation of gold, silver and other minerals without consulting the indigenous agrarian community of Capulalpam de Mendez.”

After a long litigation of almost five years, the Third Court in the state of Oaxaca issued a ruling in October 2019 canceling “all the mining concessions that were granted to the mining companies mentioned in the ancestral territory of the indigenous agrarian community of Capulalpam as it was granted without the Free and Informed Prior Consultation established by ILO Convention 169” and doing “justice to the indigenous communities and peoples of Oaxaca who have historically suffered discrimination and racism in the delivery of justice.”

However, the authorities remain concerned as “the Ministry of Economy filed a challenge with the objective of reversing the injunction, while Continuum Resources LTD initiated a separate legal process.”

For more information in Spanish:

Frenan zapotecos dos proyectos de mineras en Capulálpam de Méndez (La Jornada, 12 de febrero de 2020)

Gana Capulálpam de Méndez juicio para expulsar a mineras (SDP Noticias, 12 de febrero de 2020)

Tras 5 años de litigio, Capulálpam gana batalla para expulsar a mineras (El Universal, 12 de febrero de 2020)

Triunfa Capulálpam de Méndez en la defensa de su territorio ancestral: Juez ordena cancelar concesiones mineras (Autoridades de Capulálpam, 11 de febrero de 2020)

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” (22 de mayo de 2019)

Oaxaca: Close of Meeting “Yes to Life, No to Mining” with declaration (January 24, 2013)


Chiapas: Bishop of San Cristobal Proposes Need to Stop Dispossession and Continue “Weaving Together” to Build a “New Life”

February 4, 2020

obisporecibepcDon Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, Bishop of San Cristobal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

On February 2nd, in a pastoral letter entitled “Let us walk together in the light of the Lord,” the bishop of the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, stated that in Chiapas there are megaprojects “some already in progress and others in program, such as the San Cristobal-Palenque highway, the Maya Train, mining, hydroelectric dams, wind farms, ecological-tourist reserves, the exploitation of sandbanks, springs and wetlands, which are affecting the indigenous and urban peoples.”

In it, he asked “these megaprojects mean development, but I ask myself the following: what to do so that they do not alter the ecology? What to do so that they do not mean enormous benefit for some and dispossession for others? What to do to integrate development – always with human and ecological criteria – to the most disadvantaged populations?”

Aguilar Martínez said that the “rich and beautiful” land of Chiapas “has been mistreated by mining, immoderated logging and pollution of rivers, lakes and the environment.” He added that “the dispossession is also present through the loss of cultural roots that is caused by racism and discrimination, and government policies that do not take into account the word of the native peoples, nor their right to self-determination and autonomy, to live according to their own normative system.”

He said that the security project at the national level “may be very well thought out and planned, but intermediate, and especially final, instances often result in the dispossession of territories, which is achieved through various strategies such as forced displacement, threat, deception in the purchase of land, pressure with social programs, coercion through laws that favor the powerful, and violence that occurs through federal, state and municipal police, the Army, the Navy and the National Guard, as if by shock, paramilitary or drug trafficking groups.”

He added that “organized crime occupies more and more spaces in the Chiapas territory; painfully it adds to the national situation and there is a struggle between competing groups at the state and local levels.”

In this context, he said that “it is important to continue weaving together, because we cannot transform reality alone, or a single community, a single area, an organization”, but “it is our task to weave alliances with those people, communities, areas, organizations that are in a real struggle building that new life.”

For more information in Spanish:

Obispo de San Cristóbal critica impacto de obras en la región (La Jornada, 2 de febrero de 2020)

Envía obispo de San Cristóbal “Carta Pastoral” (Reporte Ciudadano, 2 de febrero de 2020)

Envía carta pastoral (Diario de Chiapas, 3 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Believing People Hold Pilgrimage for Ninth Anniversary of jTatic Samuel (January 29, 2020)

Chiapas: Mons. Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez Becomes New Bishop of San Cristobal (January 22, 2018)


Chiapas: Believing People Hold Pilgrimage for Ninth Anniversary of jTatic Samuel

January 29, 2020

DSCF5612@SIPAZ

On January 25th, the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas made a pilgrimage to honor jTatic Samuel Ruiz Garcia, former bishop of this diocese who died nine years ago and to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Third Diocesan Synod.

Thousands of Catholics from the 57 parishes of San Cristobal marched that day from outside the city to Resistance Square in the center shouting “Long live the jTatik Samuel”, “Long live the church that walks with the people” or “Long live Mother Earth”.

During the pilgrimage they distributed a statement expressing their “fraternal and sororal solidarity […] with the peoples, groups and organizations that seek life and defend it when women’s rights and gender equity are at risk”.

They also stand in solidarity “with the builders and of community reconciliation, with the families of thousands of missing persons victims of violence, with young people who risk their faith and ideals, with the pain of displaced sisters and brothers.”

DSCF5609@SIPAZ

DSCF5617@SIPAZ

The parish priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Perez Perez, reported that the pilgrimage participants spoke against the megaprojects planned by the federal government in southern Mexico and also against hydroelectric and mining projects.

To close the pilgrimage the bishop of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, officiated a mass commemorating his predecessor.

For more information in Spanish:

Conmemorarán el aniversario luctuoso de Samuel Ruiz García (NVI Noticias el 21 de enero de 2020)

Conmemoran al obispo Samuel Ruiz en su noveno aniversario luctuoso (El Universal el 25 de enero de 2020)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage on Eighth Anniversary of Jtatic Samuel Ruiz (January 31, 2019)

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente organize a pilgrimage on the seventh anniversary of jTatik Samuel Ruiz (February 3rd, 2018)

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage (February 5th, 2017)

 


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)