Oaxaca: State meeting of communities and organizations in resistance to mining projects

February 6, 2016

Mining resistance.png

Authorities of the communities that attended the meeting @ SIPAZ

On January 29 and 30, representatives of 48 communities, 30 social organizations, two research centers, and three community radio stations took part in the State Encounter of Communities and Organizations against Mining (Encuentro Estatal de Comunidades y Organizaciones contra la Minería), in Cerro de Las Huertas community, in the municipality of Ejutla de Crespo. The meeting had the aim of generating a space for reflection at a state level on the advances and challenges of movements against mining, strengthening the resistance and defense of communities and organizations in Oaxaca, analyzing how to improve movements in struggle against mining projects, and the coordination of activists to confront foreign companies. In a statement agreed by the participants in the event, they demanded the cancellation of all mining projects in state by the state and federal governments. There are more than 400 mining concessions in the territory of Oaxaca, “none of which was subjected to consultation.” They recalled that apart from environmental violations and effects, the companies create internal conflicts in each location. The participants in the encounter showed the close relationship that exists between mining magnates and federal and state government representatives to strip the peoples and indigenous communities of their territories.

In their statement they emphasized that, “They are violating the people’s right to information as there are already mining concessions given by the government without the consent of our community assemblies. The mining companies violate our rights using a range of strategies and mechanisms to divide and confront communities, while on the other hand the federal and state governments make legislative and institutional changes to benefit the interests of the transnational companies, such as Fondo Minero, and these changes have as their aim taking territories away from the indigenous peoples and communities. At the same time, the work of defenders of territory is criminalized, they are persecuted, imprisoned, and in the worst of cases their lives are taken away.”

Those gathered called on communities, peoples and organizations to defend land and territory against “death projects” and declared July 22 of each year as “State Day of Resistance against Mining”.

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen cancelación de 400 concesiones mineras en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 2 de febrero de 2016)

La Minuta de EDUCA con audios del evento (EDUCA, 2 de febrero de 2016)

Comunidades y organizaciones exigen cancelar proyectos mineros en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 1 de febrero de 2016)

DECLARATORIA DE CERRO DE LAS HUERTAS EJUTLA DE CRESPO OAXACA (EDUCA, 30 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Encuentro Chiapaneco de afectadas y afectados por represas y minería (2 de febrero de 2016)

Oaxaca: Ejidos y comunidades de Valles Centrales declaran sus territorios libres de minería (4 de diciembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: En la Costa declaran el rechazo a proyectos hidroeléctricos y de minería (18 de noviembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: A 3 años del asesinato de Bernardo Vásquez, Fortuna Silver espera mayores ganancias (26 de marzo de 2015)

 


National/Guerrero: Unfavorable reports about corruption and human rights in Mexico

February 5, 2016

CNDH

Luis Raúl González Pérez, CNDH president. Photo: @CuartOscuro

Two reports on human rights in Mexico coincided in that there is little progress in the areas of human rights and combatting corruption. In one report, the president of the National Commission for Human Rights (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos – CNDH), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, declared that Guerrero is the state with most complaints, followed by Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz. According to Aristegui Noticias news outlet, forced disappearances have risen to 26 thousand since the beginning of the “war against drugs” in 2006 to the present. During the presentation of the Commission’s (CNDH) annual report to the Permanent Commission of the General Congress, Gonzalez Perez highlighted that “the problem of disappearances challenges and questions the abilities and resources of the Mexican State to respond to a situation that, we the passage of time, we have not been able to overcome.” Likewise, he added that “the Chalchihuapan, Tlatlaya, Iguala, and Apatzingán cases had altered the general and historical perception of human rights in our country, testing its institutions.” As regards the violation of human rights, Chiapas is the sixth state with the highest frequency of reports, and Oaxaca eighth.

In another report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) noted in its 2015 annual report that “members of the Mexican security forces have participated in numerous forced disappearances. […] Since 2006, the CNDH received approximately 9,000 complaints of abuses committed by members of the army – including 1,700 during the [term of office] of the current government.” The same organization highlighted that the executive has made little progress in sanctioning members of the military implicated in cases of human rights violations as they are under the jurisdiction of military courts. Added to this, Alejandro Salas, director of Americas of International Transparency (Americas de Transparencia Internacional), noted that ‘in countries like Mexico where the police are at the service of local ‘caciques’, or at the service of mayors, of provincial governors, the police is not doing its professional and independent work, but instead responding to the interests of certain groups, often illegal groups, such as drug traffickers.”

For more information in Spanish:

Guerrero, Tamaulipas y Veracruz, los estados con más denuncias por desapariciones: CNDH (Eme Equis, 27 de enero de 2016)

Ni combate a la corrupción, ni avances en DDHH, coinciden dos reportes globales sobre México (Sin Embargo, 27 de enero de 2016)

Autoridades, incapaces de responder a casos de desaparición forzada: CNDH, en su informe 2015 (Animal Político, 27 de enero de 2016)

Escasos avances para castigar a militares violadores de derechos humanos en México: Human Rights Watch (Sididh, 28 de enero de 2016)

Impunidad enmarca desapariciones en México, denuncia Cadhac ante la ONU (Proceso, 27 de enero de 2016)

Informe anual de actividades 2015 (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Padres y madres de Ayotzinapa van a la Corte, a 16 meses de la desaparición de sus hijos (27 de enero de 2016)

Guerrero: ONG y expertos en derechos humanos respaldan labor del GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (25 de enero de 2016)

Guererro: Se cumplen 4 años de desaparición forzada de campesinos ecologistas de la Costa Grande (8 de diciembre de 2015)

Nacional/Internacional: Ejército y fuerzas de seguridad involucradas en asesinatos extrajudiciales, tortura, desaparición forzada: EU (10 de julio de 2015)

 


Oaxaca: Oaxaca Truth Commission announces the prompt publication of its final report

February 5, 2016

 

Fox

Ex-president Vicente Fox giving evidence before the Truth Commission. Photo@CVO

The Oaxaca Truth Commission (Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca – CVO) announced through its Facebook account on January 25 that “it is in the final draft stage of its report on the events that brought about the violations of the human rights of the people of Oaxaca in 2006.” This autonomous organism was founded in 2013 to investigate possible violations of human rights during the repression in Oaxaca in 2006 and 2007, mainly directed against the National Coordination of Education Workers (Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación – CNTE) and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca – APPO). In the post, they included a photo of ex-president Fox, giving evidence to the Commission as ex-head of state during the time of the events under investigation.

In the same vein, the Truth Commission reported mid-January through one of its members, Father Alejandro Solalinde, that deputies of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional – PRI), in complicity with the National Action Party (Partido de Acción Nacional – PAN) and the Mexican Green Ecologist Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de México – PVEM) attempted to protect the ex-governor of the state, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, preventing the mission of the Truth Commission through a budgetary cutback of two million pesos. As a result, the Federal Electricity Commission (Comisión Federal de Electricidad – CFE) cut off the electricity supply at the offices of the Truth Commission. In spite of this, “this document that seeks to propel truth, justice and reparation and not repeat the events of Oaxaca ten years ago, will be ready in a few weeks”, they declared.

For more information in Spanish:

Fox declara ante la Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca (Foto) (Aristegui Noticias, 25 de enero de 2016

PRONUNCIAMIENTO ANTE DECISIÓN DEL CONGRESO DE RECORTAR PRESUPUESTO (Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca, 19 de enero de 2016)

Diputados locales de PRI, PAN y PVEM protegen a Ulises Ruiz, acusa Solalinde (Proceso, 14 de enero de 2016)

Por nulo presupuesto, cortan luz en oficinas de la Comisión de la Verdad (Ciudadanía Express, 1 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Más de 500 casos de tortura y 26 ejecuciones: Comisión de la Verdad (16 de junio de 2015)


National: Federal police deployed to states that reject the the performance evaluations; activities to repudiate the educational reform are announced

December 27, 2015

Foto @ Página 3

Photo @ Página 3

On 14 and 15 November, there was held the national exam on teachers’ knowledge, abilities, and competencies that forms part of the performance evaluation.  According to the Teachers’ Professional Docent, 40,303 teachers participated in 25 states of Mexican, comprising almost 97.8% of all teachers.  Following this first performance evaluation, protests raged in at least 10 states, and the Minister for Public Education (SEP), Aurelio Nuño Mayer, decided to dismiss the state delegates from Durango, Tlaxcala, Sonora, Zacatecas, and Morelos, after carrying out the first assessment of the evaluation.

In Chiapas, teachers affiliated with the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) mobilized from 13-15 November in marches wherein more than 30,000 teachers participated.  The CNTE teachers indicated that their demands are very clear: “suspension of the educational reform, rejection of punitive evaluations, and liberation for our political prisoners.”  With this last comment, they made reference to the 4 Oaxacan teachers who were arrested and transferred to the Federal Center for Social Readaptation in Altiplano, Mexico State, in October.  Amidst these protests, the evaluations were pushed back until December in Chiapas.

In Michoacán, 5,000 police arrived to the capital Morelia to guarantee that the exam take place on 21-22 November.  It was reported that the federal agents came prepared with anti-riot equipment, shields, and helmets, beyond their weapons.

In Oaxaca, Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo sent his general secretary of governance, Alfonso Gómez Sandoval Hernández, to present the V Report of the State Government to the congress.  The absence of the governor had to with the fact that Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE-CNTE) planned to mobilize at the site where the report was to be presented.  As such, it was surrounded by nearly 2,000 state and federal police.

In other news, Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE made public the agreements it had made at the Broad National Representative Assembly (ANRA) on 18 November in Mexico City.  Representatives declared that on 26 November, in observance of a global day of action for Ayotzinapa and Mexico, the teachers participated in a march in the city, at the end of which they installed an indefinite sit-in for the relatives of the 43 student-teachers from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, to pressure the government to implement the recommendations made by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR).  Beyond this, on 14 and 15 November they plan to march in the national caravan to Altiplano to demand the release of the politically imprisoned teachers.  Lastly, they called on the secretary of public education, Aurelio Nuño, to hold a public debate with the CNTE.

For more information (in Spanish):

Maestros se manifestaron el fin de semana (Chiapas Paralelo, 16 de noviembre de 2015)

Cué termina como Ulises Ruiz: acorralado por el magisterio y blindado por fuerzas estatales y federales (Página 3, 16 de noviembre de 2015)

Acuerdan maestros movilizaciones y debate con la SEP (Libertad Oaxaca, 19 de noviembre de 2015)

Remueve la SEP a 5 delegados (Reforma, 18 de noviembre de 2015)

Arriban a Michoacán 5 mil policías para garantizar evaluación docente (Proceso, 19 de noviembre de 2015)

Acuden a evaluación más de 40 mil maestros de 25 entidades (Proceso, 16 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Low participation in teachers’ performance evaluation (26 December 2015)

Guerrero: Teachers in Acapulco successfully sabotage educational evaluation (26 December 2015)

Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police (10 March 2015)

National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform (4 October 2013)


Oaxaca: Ejidos and communities from the Central Valleys declare their territories free of mining operations

December 26, 2015

Conferencia de prensa declarando territorios libres de minería Foto: @EDUCA

Press-conference declaring territories liberated from mining
Photo: @EDUCA

On 8 November, 9 ejidos and communities from the Central Valley region of Oaxaca declared ta ban on mining operations in their territories. These communities and ejidos of the Ejutla, Ocotlán, and Tlacolula communities committed themselves to “organized regional defense of our lands using peaceful legal means from our ejidal lands and communities, declaring it prohibited in this land conduct mining operations.”

Through this declaration, they demanded that the state and federal government cancel the 18 mining projects, because, as they claimed these projects pollute their cultivated lands. The same document estimates that 90% of the concessions that the government has given to mining companies in the last 10 years have been “conducted without any consultative process incorporate free prior and informed consent in good faith with us peoples who live here.” To support this declaration the peoples called on Convention 169 of the ILO, the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights, the Mexican Constitution, and communal assemblies, exercising their right to autonomy.

The communities agreed to promote peaceful actions to respect the accord to free their lands of mining operations. The undersigning authorities rejected the violence which took place in San José del Progreso between 2010 and 2012, in which 4 people were killed, 8 injured, and 5 others facing arrest-orders.

For more information (in Spanish):

9 ejidos y comunidades de Ejutla, Ocotlán y Tlacolula declaran su territorio prohibido para la minería (EDUCA, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Emiten declaratoria sobre “territorios libres de minería” en Oaxaca (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunidades del los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca no dejarán entrar a mineras (DesInformémonos, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

DECLARACIÓN DE TERRITORIO PROHIBIDO PARA LA MINERÍA (Radioteca, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunidades exigen parar la minería en sus territorios (Despertar de Oaxaca, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Declaration of rejection of hydroelectric and mining projects in the Coastal region (21 November 2015)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (28 March 2014)

Mexico: Murder of MAPDER member in Veracruz (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)


Oaxaca: Low participation in teachers’ performance evaluation

December 26, 2015

Foto @NVI noticias

Photo @NVI noticias

On 28 November was held the performance evaluation of Oaxacan educators, a process characterized by strong militarization of the state, with 8,000 to 10,000 elements involved. The statistics regarding teachers who participated in the evaluations are not clear: according to the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca (IEEPO), 2,981 participated, while the Secretary for Public Education (SEP) claimed 2,600 participants. It bears noting that the higher estimate would only represent about 60% of the 4,900 initial registrations among the 6,000 who had been invited, as compared with the approximate 60,000 teachers in the state. Beyond this, the head of the SEP, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, declared that “the most important thing is that we had the participation of teachers from Oaxaca who slowly are beginning to overcome the pressure and yoke that Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) had had, and instead they increasingly join the educational reform that favors the development of children in Mexico.”

In parallel terms, there was a protest march against the evaluation that incorporated around 20,000 people. Using slogans like “if evaluation is necessary, it must begin with Peña,” the dissident magisterium showed the strength it still has in the state. It should be mentioned that two confrontations between teachers and police took place, with Section 22 distancing itself from these acts, claiming them to have been the work of infiltrators. For the past six months there has been worsening persecution of the dissident teachers, incorporating actions like the deep reforms to the IEEPO, which traditionally had been managed by the CNTE, and the arrest of 4 teacher leaders from Section 22, who were transferred to a maximum-security prison in Altiplano, Mexico State. Beyond this, there still remain about thirty arrest-orders against other teachers that are still to be completed. In this way, members of Section 22 announced that they would continue with their actions in opposition to the evaluation.

It also should be noted that the body of the teacher Marjorie Xolio Meléndez, from Jalapa del Marqués and an affiliate of Section 22, has recently been found. In response, residents and teachers protested before the Municipal Palace and carried out a roadblock, demanding a forthright investigation of the feminicide and punishment of those responsible. “We demand before the authorities justice for this crime, because there is more concern for saving the head and protecting Peña Nieto and the federal police behind an evaluation, rather than the truth of the people,” declared protestors.

The performance evaluations have been held in all states of the Republic other than Chiapas, where it is expected that they will be carried out in the next few days. In this way, one can expect the implementation of special security operations to prevent the dissident teachers from inhibiting the evaluation as a means of blocking implementation of the educational reform.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a profesora en Oaxaca; maestros exigen cese a feminicidios (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Repudian la prueba maestros de Oaxaca (La Jornada, 29 de noviembre de 2015)

En medio de protestas, 60% de maestros de Oaxaca que se registraron fueron evaluados (Sin Embargo, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Sección 22 reporta “infiltrados” en marcha a Ciudad Administrativa (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

La SEP presume buena convocatoria a la evaluación docente en Oaxaca (CNN México, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Protestas en DF, Edomex y Chiapas en apoyo a maestros de Oaxaca (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Aprehenden a 4 maestros de la CNTE y los trasladan al penal del Altiplano (Animal Político, 29 de octubre de 2015)

Cué cede educación de Oaxaca a la federación: desaparece el IEEPO; PF vigila instalaciones (Sin Embargo, 21 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Teachers in Acapulco successfully sabotage educational evaluation (26 December 2015)

Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police (10 March 2015)

National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform (4 October 2013)


National: XI Caravan of Mothers of Central American Migrants seeking out their sons in Mexico

December 26, 2015

@ Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano

@ Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano

On 30 November 39 mothers of disappeared Central Americans migrants began their XI caravan through Mexico. Using slogans like “We are missing everyone” and “A mother never tires of looking,” these women from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua left from the “72” migrant home in Tenosique, Tabasco, for Villahermosa. Subsequently they were received in Palenque, from where they continued to Veracruz and Puebla before arriving to Mexico City. From there they continued on to Oaxaca, concluding their caravan on Saturday 18 December in Hidalgo, Chiapas. Dressed with shirts that identify the caravan and showing photos of their lost relatives, they demanded “Not another disappearance!” and held expositions in public plazas, visiting different migrant homes, prisons, and hospitals, among other sites. Accompanied by human-rights defenders and civil national and international organizations, they followed migratory routes, performed ceremonies on railways, and consulted officials from the three levels of government to request their assistance in the search. All of this they expressed with the hope of finding their sons. According to the coordinator of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement and of the caravan itself, Martha Sánchez Soler, this caravan is “something special” because it is the first time that they have submitted denunciations before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) against the Mexican State for forcible disappearance. For her, the phenomenon is that “migrants arrive in Mexico, disappear, and the authorities make no investigations. It’s a perfect crime.” Another participant in the caravan demanded that the Mexican government not discriminate or stigmatize migrants, for this is a demand that they have made “each year we have visited Mexico. We seek our sons and we are gladdened whenever one of us does find her loved one.” During the last 10 years of caravans, there have been more than 200 reunions between mothers and sons. In the caravan of this year a mother has found her sound in Tabasco. It is because of such experiences that the women continue to search with hope.

It bears mentioning that Mexico is considered one of the countries in which the question of migration is especially complicated. It has high internal migration and besides that, it is crossed by migrants emanating from Central America en route to the U.S. Although there are no official statistics, the United Nations International Organization for Migration said that “every year some 150,000 people cross the southern border of Mexico illegally.” A 2011 report from the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) indicates that there at least 20,000 kidnappings of Central American migrants in Mexico every half-year.

These data strengthen the women from the caravan to continue with their search. For the priest Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, founder of the migrant home “Brothers on the Path” in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, “this struggle is the work of women who for 11 years have been seeking out their children. Some of them have not known about their fate for the past 20 years, and still they have not tired of looking for them. It is a great hope that this caravan represents.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Entregar vivos a sus hijos, exigen madres centroamericanas al gobierno mexicano (La Jornada, 14 de diciembre de 2015)

Mujeres centroamericanas que buscan a sus hijos visitan penales del Istmo (La Jornada, 13 de diciembre de 2015)

Madres de migrantes centroamericanos inician búsqueda de desaparecidos (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Inicia la XI Caravana de Madres Migrantes Centroamericanas (El Economista, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA – INICIA LA XI CARAVANA DE MADRES CENTROAMERICANAS #NosHacenFaltaTodos (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Columna: La dolorosa travesia de la caravana de madres centroamericanas (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children(2 November 2012)

Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)


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