Oaxaca: More harassment and threats during the second phase of the wind-energy consultation in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

March 22, 2015

Juchitán de Zaragoza, foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Juchitán de Zaragoza, @ SIPAZ archive

Mariano López Gómez, member of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), Héctor and Gloria Sánchez López, directors of civil and political organizations from Juchitán, and David Henestrosa, a columnist covering the Tehuantepec Isthmus, have denounced that they have suffered harassment and threats during the second phase of the wind-energy consultation, which began on 3 March in Juchitán de Zaragoza.  They claimed that they were booed and insulted by people in attendance, but they indicated in particular Eduardo Centeno, the legal representative of the Southern Wind-Energy firm (previously, Mareña Renewables Capital), such that they will submit a penal denunciation holding the wind-energy firm responsible for whatever could happen to them and their families.  Mariano López added that the CTM construction union is bringing “yes-men” to the forum who “obey the interests of the PRI, some PRI property-owners, and other abusers.  They are not taking into account the women’s groups, artisans, or fisher-people.”

The consultation process for the installation of the wind-energy park has been gravely challenged since its start in November 2014.  The Assembly of Indigenous People of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), in a letter written to the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, affirmed that it does not oppose wind-energy, “but its use should be based in the form and means of life of the indigenous peoples and communities, promoting communal control,” as has been ignored byt he government and the firms that have installed 21 wind-energy parks by means of “injustice, abuse, and the illegal occupation of our communal lands.”

Beyond this, the organizations Project for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), the Project on Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER), and the Gobixha A.C. Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH) documented in a second report from the Observation Mission the “worrying procedural vices” related to the observance of the right to consultation and free, prior, and informed consent, as well as the rights to participation and information on the part of indigenous peoples.  They detected more than 20 security incidents, including threatening phone-calls and text messages, vigilance, and acts of intimidation in homes, verbal aggressions, and threatening actions taken by armed persons.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian asistentes a consulta eólica hostigamiento de empresa eólica Del Sur (Página 3, 4 de marzo de 2015)

Foro de consulta indígena en Juchitán con tintes violentos (Romo Noticias, 4 de marzo de 2015)

Vicios procesales y violaciones a derechos humanos caracterizan consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Oaxaca (Prodesc, 23 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Consultative process in the Tehuantepec Isthmus challenged on several fronts (16 December 2014)

Oaxaca: Mareña Renewables to cancel wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (15 January 2014)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


Chiapas/International: Grave situation of defenders denounced before the UN Human Rights Council; “We Are All Female Defenders” gives presentation

March 21, 2015

Foto @  RIDH | Panorama diplomático

Photo @RIDH | Panorama diplomático

In observance of the twenty-eighth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Consorcio for Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca (Consorcio Oaxaca), the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra, and the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) denounced the climate of hostility and violence in which they carry out their work in defense of human rights in Mexico.  “We are here to denounce that the Mexican government is failing to protect human-rights defenders,” noted Yésica Sánchez, director of Consorcio Oaxaca. For her part, Norma Mesino, a member of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS), indicated that the goal of the visit was to raise awareness about “the Mexican government denies us the right to justice” as female human-rights defenders.  In her case, the precautionary measures needed to protect her life were only granted after being ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  “We want the international community to focus itself on Mexico and demand that the government observe human rights,” she added.

These defenders participated together with the UN Special Rapporteur on human-rights defenders during the event, and the CMDPDH campaign called “#MakeThemVisible” was launched, toward the end of sharing the life-stories of 40 female human-rights defenders in Mexico.

Beyond this, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the report “We Are All Female Rights-Defenders” wa presented.  This provides a national diagnostic regarding the situation of attacks on female human-rights defenders and the type of violence they have suffered–in the majority of cases, at the hands of State agents.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defensoras de derechos humanos mexicanas denuncian en la ONU falta de garantías para ejercer su labor (RIDH – Panorama diplomático, 9 de marzo de 2015)

La lucha de las mujeres defensoras en un México de violencia e impunidad (Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Participa Consorcio Oaxaca en Diálogo “Contexto de la violencia en México y su impacto en las mujeres defensoras de DH” frente al Relator de la ONU (Consorcio Oaxaca, 9 de marzo de 2015)


Oaxaca: Two female witnesses threatened in the murder case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

March 1, 2015

Conferencia de prensa ante amenazas (@CENCOS)

Press-conference regarding threats (@CENCOS)

In a press-conference, members of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD) denounced the threats received by two female witnesses in the case of the murders of the activists Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (Finnish) in San Juan Copalá, a Triqui region of Oaxaca, in 2010.  Karla Michel Salas of ANAD explained that after the arrest of Elías Cruz Merino, “on 25 January the UBISOR leader, Antonio Cruz García, the father of Elías, who is also a municipal authority in Juxtlahuaca, arrived with a truck and armed men to the homes of the witnesses and he told them that they were coming to take them to Oaxaca City so that they would renounce their accusations against Elías, who until 31 December had acted as the Minister of Education for the municipality.”  The women resisted “in light of the risk of being forcibly disappeared.”  Michel Salas added that “the federal and state authorities know that there is great risk.  The risk is so great, in fact, that during the latest audiences that have been carried out, the judge has been strongly protected by more than 30 fully armed investigative police.”

Amidst the lack of protection and effective responses on the part of the authorities, the ANAD reported that it had decided to protect them itself with its own resources in a safety-house and request that Finland grant them asylum for humanitarian reasons.

Omar Esparza, the widower of Bety Cariño, indicated that the father of Elías Cruz Merino returned thereafter to threaten the entire community, that if “these women testified, he would do something to them with his own hands.”  The ANAD lawyers in the end denounced the intimidation and harassment of the judge and prosecutor who are elaborating the case against the UBISORT group, in addition to indirect threats against ANAD and relatives of Bety and Jyri.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acoso contra testigos del homicidio de un defensor y una defensora de los derechos humanos (Acción Urgente, Amnistía Internacional, 12 de febrero de 2015)

Denuncian amenazas de paramilitares a testigos del asesinato de activistas (La Jornada, 12 de febrero de 2015)

Testigos del crimen de los activistas Cariño y Jaakkola pedirán asilo político en Finlandia (Proceso, 11 de febrero de 2015)

En riesgo, mujeres testigos del caso Bety Cariño (CIMAC Noticias, 11 de febrero de 2015)

Denuncian amenazas a testigos del caso de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola(CENCOS, 11 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: 4 years and 7 months later, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola is apprehended (8 February 2015)

Oaxaca: Parents of Jyri Jaakkola visit Mexico for fifth time to demand justice (7 December 2014)

National/Oaxaca: Mothers of the disappeared express solidarity with Omar Esparza and his family on hunger strike (18 May 2014)

Oaxaca: In response to 4 years of impunity, hunger strikes and protests taken to resist murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (2 May 2014)


Oaxaca: Activist Bettina Cruz is exonerated from federal charges

March 1, 2015

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archivo)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archive)

In a press-conference, civil organizations reported that Bettina Cruz Velázquez, a human-rights defender who works with organizational processes opposed to the wind-energy megaprojects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus of Oaxaca, was exonerated of the charges that she had faced after a complaint submitted by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

In 2012, she was arrested for having participated in a protest in front of a CFE installation, this being the institution which accused her of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and national wealth.  The charges were based on her supposed blockading of the entrance and exit to a group of CFE workers during a protest in front of one of the firm’s buildings.

While celebrating the resolution of this case, Santiago Aguirre, subdirector of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights, emphasized that this is an emblematic case of harassment that many other defenders suffer from in Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exoneran de cargos penales a la activista Bettina Cruz (La Jornada, 13 de febrero de 2015)

Absuelven a defensora de derechos humanos en Oaxaca (Milenio, 12 de febrero de 2015)

Absuelven de dos cargos a la activista Bettina Cruz (Ciudadanía Express, 12 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz (26 de septiembre de 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (7 March 2012)


Oaxaca: in assembly, peoples of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus denounce threats from PEMEX

March 1, 2015

(@romanoticias)

(@romanoticias)

On 8 February, representatives from 25 communities associated with the communities of San Juan Guichicovi, Asunción Ixtaltpec, Matías Romero, Santa María Petapa, and El Barrio de la Soledad met in an assembly with members of the Union of Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI).   They jointly denounced intimidation and threats made by PEMEX workers who had been preparing the land for the construction of the natural gas pipeline spanning Jáltipan, Veracruz to Salina Cruz, Oaxaca.   They warned that they would prevent workers from the state firm and their subcontracotrs from entering their lands and ejidos.

It should be noted that this new pipeline will occupy 315 kilometers of land within these communities in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  Those affected have denounced that the state firm has entered their lands without their permission to carry out topographical surveys.  To date there exist more than 500 who have displaced by works and disasters in these municipalities, and they indicate that PEMEX has “acted very irresponsibly in the face of oil spills, like the one that occurred on 31 December.  The victims still have not been compensated.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Pemex reprime y despoja a a comunidades istmeñas (Comunicado de prensa de UCIZONI, 8 de febrero de 2015)

Piden resultados creíbles de estudio sobre incendio en pozo de Tabasco(La Jornada, 10 de febrero de 2015)

Pueblos de la zona norte del Istmo, denuncian intimidación de Pemex(Página3, 10 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Violent displacement of UCIZONI members for blockade of refinery in Salina Cruz (8 February 2015)


Oaxaca: organizations submit to Congress a legislative agenda to support gender equity

February 10, 2015

Manifestación contra los feminicidios en Oaxaca (@SIPAZ archivos)

Protest against femicide in Oaxaca (@SIPAZ archivos)

On 4 February, members of organizations that work in favor of the human rights of women, such as Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity, submitted to the state congress a legislative agenda that would permit the development of gender equity.  This agenda consists of a package of initiatives that would modify the penal and civil codes and have impacts on the State Law of Access for Women to Lives Free of Violence.  It would allow the prevention of violence against women, and it reaffirms the recommendations of the Commitee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Among the proposals is stressed the call to document obstetric and political violence, within the mandate of the State Law of Access for Women to Lives Free of Violence.  The question of arrest-orders is also advanced in the agenda.  With regard to the penal code, the proposal is to broaden the category of domestic violence and to increase punishment for offending males.  Another component is to sanction those who refuse to provide child support.

“This congress has a very clear debt to women, as seen in its legislative exercise.  We will be vigilant and announce that we will accompany the discussion that will revolve around these initiatives that promote the well-being and security of women in Oaxaca,” noted Consorcio.

For more information (in English):

Presentan Agenda Legislativa para la equidad de género en Oaxaca(Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la equidad Oaxaca, 4 de febrero de 2015)

Iniciativas en pro de la mujer, en la ‘congeladora’ del Congreso: IMO(NoticiasNet, 4 de febrero de 2015)

Confían que Congreso responda a demandas de justicia de las mujeres(NoticiasNet, 5 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Commemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Oaxaca: March of relatives of victims of feminicide and members of human rights organizations for women (22 April 2013)

Oaxaca: More feminicides under Gabino Cué than in the final years of Ulises Ruiz (24 January 2013)


Oaxaca: Third anniversary of movement against wind-energy projects in San Dionisio del Mar

February 8, 2015

© SIPAZ;  Parque eólico en el Istmo de Oaxaca

On 29 January, the Huave people of San Dionisio del Mar commemorated the third anniversary of their wind-energy resistance.  In this sense, there was held a march in which 500 people participated.  During a political act in the municipal auditorium, protestors reiterated their opposition to wind-energy projects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  Arturo Lona Reyes, bishop emeritus of the Tehuantepec Isthmus and a representative of the Tepeyac Center for Human Rights, celebrated a mass and affirmed that “the communal assemblies are the light in the darkness.”  Members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), the Revolutionary Popular Front (FPR), CIARENA, the Network Organization of Young Indigenous Women, the 21 June Mareños Mototaxi group, and the Mugier Ndyuck Civil Association were present at the action.

It should be recalled that in January 2012, following debate regarding the conditions under which a contract had been signed with the Preneal firm in November 2004, the communal assembly agreed to censure the mayor Miguel López Castellano after it was revealed that he had received 20 million pesos from the firm in exchange for an authorization of change in land use.  For the same reason, protestors decided to occupy the municipal palace.

An Ikjoot communard said in an interview with La Jornada that “the threat against our territory persists because the concession for the wind-energy park has no end-date.  Beyond this, now the PRI would like to open the door to more mining.  We know that there are six mining concessions for gold, salt, and other metals in San Dionisio, in the La Riqueza park, where they are attempting to build an open-pit mine.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pueblos impulsan su autonomía tras evitar construcción de parque eólico en Oaxaca (La Jornada 28 de enero de 2015)

Lucha por la autonomía en San Dionisio del Mar (Video Subversiones, 28 de enero de 2015)

Frente al extractivismo capitalista, San Dionisio del Mar lucha por la autonomía (Subversiones, 29 de enero de 2015)

Las asambleas comunitarias son esperanza en el Istmo: Lona Reyes(Quadratin Oaxaca, 29 de enero de 2015)

Cumple San Dionisio tres años de resistencia (Noticiasnet.mx, 29 de enero de 2015)

Huaves conmemoran tres años de “resistencia eólica” en el Istmo de Tehuantepec (La Jornada, 30 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Conflicts over extraordinary elections in San Dionisio del Mar (30 December 2014)

Oaxaca: Mareña Renewables to cancel wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (15 January 2014)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


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