National: CEMDA Highlights Continued Danger for Environmental Defenders

March 24, 2020

agresiones-ambientalistas.jpg_1348255499@El Economista

On March 17th, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) presented a report in which it reiterated the danger that environmental defenders face in Mexico.

Entitled “Report on the Situation of Environmental Human Rights Defenders,” the document highlights that between January 2012 and December 2019, there were 499 attacks against environmental defenders and 83 murders.

According to the report, of the violent actions against defenders, the authorities were responsible for 179 of the attacks – 114 by state governments, 42 by municipal authorities, and 22 by the federal government.

Regarding the role of the State and the conditions of danger, the report stresses that: “Despite the measures that the Mexican State has adopted, it is observed that no progress has been made in the country in a structural change that generates the appropriate and safe conditions for the exercise of the right to defend human rights. Currently, we still find discourses and narratives from the government that disqualify and stigmatize the defense of human rights, which polarizes the perception of society, managing to delegitimize and create a hostile environment so that other attacks can be committed against these people.”

29% of all attacks were related to energy projects. Therefore, it is not surprising that Oaxaca was the state with the highest number of attacks, with 79 cases. Sonora was the second with 49 attacks, and the State of Mexico the third, with 48.

During the year of 2019, the first full year of the Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) government, there were 39 attacks against environmental defenders, 15 of them being murders.

The report includes ten recommendations to guarantee the work of environmental defenders. One of them is to ratify the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Affairs in Latin America (Escazu Agreement), an international treaty that seeks to establish rules for the protection of the environment. 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have signed the agreement, including Mexico, but only 6 have ratified it.

For more information in Spanish:

Informe sobre la situación de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos ambientales CEMDA, marzo de 2020.

En México persiste el riesgo para defensores del medio ambiente: Cemda El Proceso, 17 de marzo de 2020.

Hubo 83 asesinatos a defensores ambientales entre 2012 y 2019: Cemda La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Death Threats against Defenders of Life and Territory in Chicomuselo Denounced (February 9, 2020)

Chiapas/International: Urgent Action – Canadian Embassy before Courts for Undue Intervention in Chicomuselo Mining Conflict (March 27, 2019)

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

National: Historic Women’s Day In Mexico

March 11, 2020

a3b2c9e4-esnrmcqxkaa721uPhoto @ Factor Nueve

On March 8th, within the framework of International Women’s Day, in one of the most dangerous countries in the world for their safety and integrity, Mexican women from all over the nation made history by conducting marches and other types of demonstrations, holding a protest the likes of which had never been seen before to protest for greater equality, respect for their human rights and against gender violence and femicides.

In the capital of the country alone in Mexico City, more than a hundred thousand women, girls, adolescents and grandmothers took to the streets with different marches that came together in the main square of the city. The mobilizations were a significant demonstration that women are no longer willing to continue to tolerate abuse and assault. They also consider that the massive response to the calls shows that in recent years there have been significant changes, in particular, participants stressed that “they took everything from us, even fear.”

On the flagpole of the Zocalo (main square), women put up posters with photos and names of victims of femicide, and also accusations against men for rape and harassment.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of speakers come from the largest cities in the country, the same day indigenous women raised their voices in different states. In Oaxaca, “Mixe, Zapotec, Barreña and Mixtec women carried out a road blockade at kilometer 186 of the Trans-Isthmus highway, near San Juan Guichicovi to demand that the federal government listen to the voice and feelings of the women of the Isthmus in relation to the eventual construction of the interoceanic corridor.”

In Chiapas, as announced, thousands of Zapatistas met in the Caracoles and spoke “of the pain and rage” that have been expressed in two encounters of women organized for this purpose.

For more information in Spanish:

“Canción sin miedo”, el himno feminista mexicano contra los feminicidios que retumbó en el Zócalo y en la marcha (CNN Español, 9 de marzo de 2020)

“Nos quitaron todo, hasta el miedo”: así fue la marcha del 8 de marzo en la CdMx (Milenio, 8 de marzo de 2020)

Esta fue la transmisión especial de Aristegui desde la marcha 8M (Aristegui Noticias, 8 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Chiapas: Zapatista Women Will Join National “On the Ninth, No Woman Moves” Strike (March 4, 2020)

National: #UnDíaSinNosotras – National Women’s Strike Convened amid Controversy (February 28, 2020)

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)

Chiapas/International: Second Encounter of Women Who Struggle Held by EZLN (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: First International Gathering for Politics, Art, Sport and Culture for Women in Struggle (March 27, 2018)

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


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)

Oaxaca: Impunity One Year after Murder of Muxe Activist Oscar Cazorla Denounced

February 15, 2020

oaxaca-juchitan-activista-muxe-oscar-cazorla-asesinato-muerte-DianaMAnzo@Diana Manzo

On February 9th, one year after the murder of the muxe activist, Oscar Cazorla, in Juchitan, members of the muxe collective of the “Authentic intrepid seekers of danger” demanded justice and clarification of his death given the total impunity that has prevailed in the case.

Oscar Cazorla was co-founder of this group 44 years ago, which seeks to make visible the inclusion of this vulnerable sector and at the same time eradicate homophobia and discrimination against sexual diversity.

“The justice authorities tell us that they are making progress and everything related to the investigation, but they don’t inform us about anything. We have 365 days since they killed Oscar Cazorla, a person committed to the fight for sexual diversity, always yearning for the well-being of all and seeking support for our events, that’s why we demand that the authorities give results,” said Felina Santiago, one of of the co-founders and friend of the activist. She also stressed that this impunity creates greater vulnerability for other muxes despite the fact that they were given precautionary measures after the murder.

For more information in Spanish:

Impune, asesinato de activista muxe Óscar Cazorla a un año de su muerte (Aristegui Noticias, 10 de febrero de 2020)

Impune asesinato de activista muxe, Oscar Cazorla a un año de su muerte (Página 3, 10 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Muxe Activist Oscar Cazorla Lopez Murdered (February 14, 2019)

Chiapas: alto a la violencia homofóbica (May 17, 2018)

Oaxaca: Mujer transgénero recibe su credencial de elector de una representación del INE (August 8, 2017)

Oaxaca: GesMujer Demands Greater Punishments for Rapists Amidst Rise in Sexual Offenses in the State

February 15, 2020


On February 7th, the Rosario Castellanos Women’s Studies Group (GesMujer) called on the Oaxaca Congress to make modifications to the Criminal Code to prevent potential rapists from being released on bail and penalties according to the harm they cause. This is because said Code does not guarantee that the person accused of attempted rape goes to jail: being a crime that does not mark a minimum penalty of six years, it is considered that it does not merit informal preventive detention. It noted that in most sexual assaults, public ministries minimize the impact of aggressions for women: “although it is true, in some cases the objective of rape is not achieved, but damage to emotions is caused, in personal development, in the right to freedom and a life free of violence”, it emphasized.

According to the figures of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), in 2019, 1,562 sex crimes were reported while, according to statistics from the Oaxaca Public Prosecutor’s Office, only 502 investigation files were opened in this regard (103 of the cases in the capital Oaxaca de Juarez). Sexual violence occupies second place in the most frequent aggressions against women, only after family violence, according to official figures. In addition, it should be taken into account that “sexual violence is much more frequent than what appears in the statistics and this is because in many cases the victims, whether girls, young or adult women, are silent because of shame, fear or because they are made believe that they provoked it,” Parliamentary Consortium for Dialogue and Equity in its Feminicide Counter platform denounced.

For more information in Spanish:

Pide GesMujer castigo más severo para violadores (NVI Noticias, 7 de febrero de 2020)

Al alza delitos sexuales en Oaxaca (NVI Noticias, 31 de diciembre de 2020)

Registran récord de violación equiparada en 2019 ; Oaxaca tiene 202 casos (El Universal, 26 de diciembre de 2019)

Se denuncian en Oaxaca, 4 delitos sexuales al día (El Imparcial de Oaxaca, 9 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Femicide Violence Worsens as Year Begins (February 5, 2020)

Oaxaca: 126 Femicides One Year after Declaration of Gender Violence Alert (September 2, 2019)

Oaxaca: Aprueban la ley contra la violencia digital de género (July 12, 2019)

Oaxaca: Se suman 37 feminicidios en lo que va del año (April 24, 2019)

Oaxaca: Femicide Violence Worsens as Year Begins

February 5, 2020

Violencia-Foto-Miguel-Dimayuga-702x468-702x372-1@Miguel Dimayuga, El Imparcial de Oaxaca

The first month of 2020 was the most violent for women since the beginning of the administration of Governor Alejandro Murat: according to the Documentation “Rosario Castellanos” Center of the Women’s Studies Group (GES Mujer), 19 women were killed by firearm in the period.

GES Mujer also indicated that, according to the statistics of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP) from January to November 2019, 132 murders of women were committed, of which “only 27 deaths are investigated as femicides”. It noted that it is worrisome that gender violence has reached municipalities that had not been considered at risk in the Declaration of Alert for Gender Violence in which, at present, only 42 municipalities of the state’s 500 are included.

“Femicide violence is exacerbated for girls and women in Oaxaca. January 2020 has been the most violent month so far of the administration of Alejandro Murat that goes from December 1st, 2016 to February 1st, 2020. So far we have accounted for 402 cases of murdered women, this is quite a figure High, that is why we demand immediate attention, response, and that the Gender Alert be really applied, that real public policies be applied, we cannot say that they are deaths but give them their real name, feminicides,” it concluded.

For its part, in a press release, the National Citizen Observatory of Femicide (OCNF) expressed concern about the increase and exacerbation of femicide violence in the state of Oaxaca by pointing out the prevalence of impunity, the absence of investigations with gender perspective and lack of updating of the Protocol of Ministerial, Police and Expert Investigation of the Crime of Feminicide. ”Through requests for information made by the OCNF to the State Prosecutor’s Office of Oaxaca, we can see that in the last three years the murders have increased, at the same time that femicides are not investigated. Likewise, there is an absence of sentences related to the crime of femicide, since according to the data obtained, there are only two judicial processes and three are under investigation.” It claimed that, although “the Ministry of the Interior, through the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women (CONAVIM) issued the Gender Violence Alert Against Women in 40 municipalities of Oaxaca on August 31st, 2018 , more than a year after the declaration, the results are almost null and contrary to this, the problem of femicide, adds to the increase in the disappearances of women, girls and adolescents”

Against this background, on January 29th, the deputy of District 13 Oaxaca Sur, Hilda Graciela Perez Luis, presented a constitutional reform initiative and another to the Organic Law of the Office of the Attorney General, so that the head of the Office of the Specialized Prosecutor for Investigation Of the Crime of Femicide is appointed by the State Congress and that it falls on a person who has studies in gender and justice, extensive experience in care, investigation, accompaniment or representation in cases of gender violence against women. The MORENA deputy said that “the LXIV Legislature with a majority of women, cannot continue in the omission and allow acts as reprehensible as femicide remain in impunity”; “It is the opportunity for women to make history and leave the mark of a dignified representation,” she said.

For more information in Spanish:

Preocupa a OCNF agudización de violencia feminicida en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 29 de enero de 2019)

Preocupa agudización de violencia feminicida en Oaxaca: OCNF (SemMexico, 29 de enero de 2019)

19 mujeres perdieron la vida en Oaxaca en este primer mes del 2020 (IstmoPress, 1ero de febrero de 2020)

Al menos 19 mujeres fueron asesinadas en Oaxaca durante enero (Aristegui Noticias, 2 de febrero de 2020)

Durante enero, 19 mujeres asesinadas en Oaxaca (NVI Noticias, 3 de febrero de 2020)

En Oaxaca, imparable violencia feminicida : GESMujer (4 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: 126 Femicides One Year after Declaration of Gender Violence Alert (September 2, 2019)

Oaxaca: Aprueban la ley contra la violencia digital de género (July 12, 2019)

Oaxaca: Se suman 37 feminicidios en lo que va del año (April 24, 2019)

National: Over 424,000 on Mexican #Me Too (May 7, 2019)