Oaxaca: “The Isthmus is Ours” Campaign Rejects Integration of “Tehuantepec Isthmus Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention”

May 19, 2020


In a statement published on May 15th, the organizations that are part of the “The Isthmus is Ours” campaign rejected the integration of the ” Isthmus of Tehuantepec Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention” initiated at the beginning of the month, an act that they called “a stab in the back to their own peoples.”

“A supposed regional committee [was formed] to guarantee the installation of the set of mega-death projects called the Program for the Integral Development of the Isthmus-Interoceanic Corridor. Municipal presidents, the Oaxaca state government and the federal government are offering our lands and invaluable natural assets to large companies. and transnational corporations, without informing and, much less, consulting their councils, communities, neighborhoods, colonies and inhabitants of the Tehuantepec Isthmus region”,they denounced.

They considered the fact “a mockery and a flagrant violation of the collective human rights of Indigenous Peoples”. They affirmed that it is “highly negative for our peoples that, abusing the context of a health emergency, the imposition of this neoliberal project continues, which, if implemented, would mean billions of dollars for private and multinational benefits, at the expense of nature, the culture and ways of life of the peoples. This, when there are not even basic supplies for patient care and for the protection of workers in hospitals and health centers in the area. In addition, the installation of this Committee continues to ignore the observations and complaints of various communities and organizations in the region and the country, regarding the Environmental Impact Statement for the modernization of the current railroad, instead extending said EIR, for the section La Mata – Salina Cruz.”

They confirmed their position: “All these megaprojects have only generated belts of misery; have forced populations to migrate out of the region, polluting and degrading the environment as well as local ecosystems, seriously affected the health of the local population, induced social pathology (alcoholism, drug addiction, intra-family violence, femi-homicides) destroying the tissue social-community. On the other hand, they have only created precarious, temporary jobs, without job benefits, through companies that subcontract our countrymen to avoid responsibilities. In addition, it is noteworthy that, with regard to the increasingly intense wave of poor migrant families, with this “Integral Development Program”, the 4T government plans to build a “green” wall without partitions, to contain the migrant advance towards the United States and make the region a militarized barrier to hyper-precarious employment, with over-exploited migrant labor.”

It should be noted that in the event in which the Committee was formed, Rafael Marin Mollinedo, general director of the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CIIT), asked the councilors present to see to the demands of the citizens, having learned of “some situations adverse to the project”: “If people show disagreement this work will not be done; Everyone’s participation is important and you have to be and have leaders who help minimize complaints; unfortunately old demands are coming to light, they are taking advantage of the moment to be seen to, so I ask for your support.”

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones indígenas y comunitarias, rechazamos la integración del llamado Comité Regional para la Atención Social del Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec (OSC, 15 de mayo de 2020)

Instalan Comité Regional de Atención Social del Corredor Interoceánico (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2020)

Instalan Comité Regional para la Atención Social del Corredor interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Istmopress, 1ero de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Organizations, Communities and Movements Demand Suspension of Trans-Isthmus Project (May 2, 2020)

Oaxaca: Illegal Start on Trans-Isthmus Corridor without EIR Denounced (April 28, 2020)

Oaxaca: Assembly of Isthmus Peoples in Resistance to Megaprojects Formed (March 19, 2020)

https://www.sipaz.org/focus-the-trans-isthmus-corridor-a-not-so-new-project-of-the-new-government/?lang=en (March, 2020)


International/National: USA Closes Southern Border to Asylum Seekers Due to Coronavirus

March 25, 2020

merlin_147497259_5b459f8d-d2a3-4a2b-aa17-6c8d62a74ef4-superJumbo (1)@New York Times

On March 24th, the United States government closed access to any asylum application on its border with Mexico. According to the New York Times, analysts say this is the first time since the current asylum system began that the United States has closed the asylum program on its border.

The US government has also postponed appointments for asylum seekers, who are thousands waiting in Mexico, some for months. In addition, the government has announced that all foreigners found crossing the Mexican border without documents will be returned to Mexico.

One justification given for returning everyone to Mexico is that there are many people in detention centers in the United States, and that if someone with coronavirus enters, it could quickly spread inside. On the Mexican side of the border, there is also a coronavirus-related health risk for migrants.

In Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, where there are more than 1,300 migrants from various countries in shelters, there is concern regarding coronavirus for migrants who are waiting there, not only because they are a transitional group by definition, but also because they have underlying health issues, and because there is a lack of personal space, basic cleaning supplies and personal care.

Critics of the Trump government accuse him of taking advantage of the cornavirus pandemic to intensify his anti-immigration policies, while the people of the country are preoccupied with their own economic and health concerns.

For more information in Spanish:

El cierre de la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México frustra la esperanza de los solicitantes de asilo New York Times, 23 de marzo de 2020.

Migrantes, desamparados frente al coronavirus Educa, 23 de marzo de 2020.

EEUU pospone todas las audiencias de solicitantes de asilo devueltos a México debido al coronavirus Univision, 24 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Mexico and US Reevaluate Migration Agreement after Three Months; Disagreement over Desired Outcomes (September 23, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Acuerdo sobre migración entre EUA y México cancela imposición de aranceles al segundo (June 8,2019).

Mexico – National/International: Latest Amnesty International Report on the Deadly Return of Central American Asylum Seekers from Mexico (February 15, 2018)

National/International: United States Formally Approves USMCA Trade Agreement

February 2, 2020


On January 29th, at a ceremony at the White House with about 400 guests, including officials from Mexico and Canada, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, signed the USMCA Trade Agreement between Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Now Canada is the only one of the three countries that has not yet approved the new trade agreement. It is expected that this government will ratify it in the coming months.

The agreement will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was approved by the three governments in 1993 and came into effect in 1994.

Although most of the new agreement resembles what NAFTA was, there are key changes in what the requirements for the production of cars are, taxes on dairy products in Canada, and labor and environmental protections in Mexico.

Under the USMCA, the percentage of parts of a car produced on the continent will have to be higher than what is currently the rule for not paying tariffs. According to several analyses, other changes in tariffs for car production will increase the price of cars.

The other significant change for Mexico will be the need to improve its labor and environmental protections. Democrats in the United States Congress used their power to integrate these changes, despite President Trump’s position in these areas.

The USMCA was promoted by President Trump, who criticized NAFTA for not being positive for the United States. The first round of negotiations began in 2017, with the three countries signing it in November 2018. Since then, there have been several renegotiations of the agreement.

For more information in Spanish:

Trump promulga T-MEC y ya solo falta Canadá Aristegui Noticias, 29 de enero de 2020.

Firma de T-MEC en EU es una buena noticia para la región, dice Monreal Milenio, 29 de enero de 2020.

Pleno del Senado de EU aprueba T-MEC Milenio, 16 de enero de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Mexican Senate Ratifies US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (July 4, 2019)

National/International: USMCA, New Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada (October 8, 2018)

National/International: SCOs Asks for Suspension of Agreement with US to Convert Mexico into “Migration Filter” in Return for Favors in Renegotiation of NAFTA (June 25th, 2018)

National/International: Mexico – First Country to Ratify TPP-11 (May 8th, 2018)

International/National: Economic Inequality is “Out of Control” – OXFAM Report

January 22, 2020


On January 20th, in the framework of the World Economic Forum that will take place in Davos, Switzerland, in the coming days, Oxfam presented its annual report entitled “Time for Care.” The document focuses on the growing global inequality as well as the differentiated impact it has on women.

This report reports that globally, the 22 richest men have more wealth than all women in Africa, while 2,153 millionaires enjoy more wealth than 60% of the global population that, in total numbers, means 4.600 billion individuals. The organization stressed that “billions of dollars are in the hands of a small group of people, mainly men” adding that “economic inequality is out of control.” The global pattern is also reflected in Mexico, where the six richest people in the country have more than half of the Mexican population that represents 62.5 million people living in poverty or extreme poverty.

In addition, “women and girls are the ones who benefit least from the current economic system,” said Amitabh Behar, head of Oxfam in India. According to the report, the current economic system is “imperfect and sexist”, which is reflected in the unpaid work of women. Such work includes the care of children, elderly or disabled people and / or the maintenance of the home, among other tasks. In Mexico, women do an average of four more hours of this type of work, equivalent to 1.7 billion pesos or “almost twice the annual mining production”. “We are saving the State millions of pesos that it would have to invest in social spending to be able to create better security systems,” said Rocío Stevens, director of campaigns and communication at the Mexican headquarters of Oxfam.

The organization demands a National Care System financed by progressive wealth taxes. Forcing the richest 1% of the country to a 0.5% tax on their assets, which could generate approximately 92 million pesos and double the budget of the Institute of Health for Welfare (INSABI). “Not even by investing all the taxes that the Mexican State collects could we reach a satisfactory level (of social expenditure) because Mexico collects about 16 percent of GDP [gross domestic product],” said Diego Vazquez, the agency’s research manager. Therefore, it is also positioned in favor of a tax reform in the country and criticizes that the policies promoted by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are minimal compared to what is necessary. “We are not against austerity in terms of savings, of avoiding waste, of making the activity of the State and of public spending efficient, but fundamentally women who are in the lowest income are more highly dependent on the services of the State. The women who are in the highest ten percent are not the ones who were affected by the closure of the nurseries of the Mexican Social Security Institute,” Stevens concluded.

The report underlines that “our economic system is built by rich and powerful men,” said Paul O’Brien of the Political and Defense Division of Oxfam, who stressed that “the richest are clearly manipulating our economy by themselves, starting with the US billionaire president.”

For more information in Spanish:

Tiempo para el cuidado (Oxfam el 20 de enero de 2020)

Trabajo no remunerado en mujeres, eleva desigualdad en México: Oxfam ( La Jornada el 20 de enero de 2020)

Seis mexicanos, con más riqueza que 50% de la población (La Jornada el 21 de enero de 2020)

Desde Davos, Oxfam alerta por la situación de la mujer (El Universal el 21 de enero de 2020)

Los multimillonarios son más ricos que la mitad del planeta: Oxfam (Tiempo México el 20 de enero de 2020)

Oxfam: Los 22 más ricos tienen lo que todas las mujeres de África. “La desigualdad está fuera de control” (Sin embargo el 20 de enero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: Rise in World Inequality Crisis – 42 People Have the Same Wealth as 3.7 Billion Poor (Oxfam Report) (February 8, 2018)

Oaxaca/Chiapas/National: Oxfam Presents Inequality Report (April 9, 2016)

Mexico: poverty increases in the country, especially in urban areas. Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Guerrero continue to have the great number of poor. Campaign for the ratification of PF PIDESC (December 14, 2011)

Chiapas/International: Caravan of 4,000 Reaches Southern Border – Stopped by National Guard

January 21, 2020

1F4DB761-05ED-4804-B999-0F5A17AA4AF8@El Universal

On January 20th, a caravan of approximately 4,000 migrants arrived, mainly from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras to the southern border of Mexico. The migrants had left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on January 15th.

Arriving at the Rodolfo Robles International Bridge, which connects Ciudad Hidalgo in Chiapas and Tecún Uman in Guatemala, at 4:30 a.m., they announced in a statement that “we are going to ask the Mexican authorities to give us free passage, we just want to arrive to the United States, we don’t want to stay here, let’s go calmly, without violence.”Upon submitting a formal request for free passage to the National Migration Institute (INM) and receiving a negative response a few hours later, they went to the Suchiate River to cross the border illegally. Agents of the National Guard (GN) were already waiting for them on the other side and the migrants were forced to return. However, some managed to break the fence of the elements of the GN with stones, sticks and pushes. In the chaos that ensued, several mothers lost their children and some people suffered nervous breakdowns. “We are desperate from the heat that is affecting us too much and more than anything else for the children,” said one of the migrants, adding that “I ask Lopez Obrador to listen to his conscience.”

Most of the migrants were already arrested at the border itself or shortly after crossing, but a group of approximately 400 people managed to advance about five kilometers to the Ignacio Zaragoza community, where they were held by another military siege. ”The caravan was mostly contained,” said a Federal Police officer. Due to the use of tear gas and force, several minors and adults were injured and intoxicated. Hostal La 72 in Tenosique, Tabasco, “noted numerous search operations by the INM and the army. We take care of people injured by attacks received by stones thrown by the military.” In addition, the Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Collective of Southeast Mexico documented that the authorities do not make clear the necessary immigration procedures. “They deceive us, they are deporting those who agreed to register,” said one of the migrant women.

In the end, many of the migrants from that caravan returned to the shelter in Tucan Uman, where they stayed before attempting to cross the border with Mexico. They again affirmed their determination to reach the United States: “We are not going to give up, we cannot return to Honduras because the Maras kill us.”

For more information in Spanish:

Frenan a migrantes que intentaron cruzar a México por río Suchiate (Milenio el 20 de enero de 2020)

“No nos vamos a rendir”, advierte Caravana Migrante (El Universal el 21 de enero de 2020)

Caravana migrante espera en frontera de Guatemala; intentarán ingreso masivo a México (Aristegui Noticias el 19 de enero de 2020)

Guardia Nacional impide el paso de caravana migrante en frontera con Guatemala (El Economista el 20 de enero de 2020)

Gobierno mexicano disuelve la caravana migrante, detuvo a más de 400 (Chiapas Paralelo el 21 de enero de 2020)

Tensión en la frontera sur por falta de claridad de las autoridades migratorias: ONGs (La Minuta el 20 de enero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Civil Organizations Report on Observation Mission in Tapachula (November 24, 2019)

Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula (October 17, 2019)

Chiapas: African Migrants Clash with National Guard in Tapachula

(October 8, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula (September 2, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Human Rights Organizations Demand End to Child and Adolescent Migrant Detentions (May 26, 2019)

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

National: Red TdT Publishes Human Rights Balance for 2019

January 13, 2020


On January 1st, the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (TdT Network) published a balance sheet for 2019 and a series of recommendations to address the human rights situation in the country towards “a fair and successful future for everyone.”

It considered that 2019 was an “uncomfortable” year of “high contrasts and confrontations”. As for individuals and groups of human rights defenders, it recalled that 21 of them were killed for their work in the timeframe, demonstrating that “they continue to perform their work in high-risk conditions. (…) With concern, we emphasize that aggressions against defenders of land and territory persist; likewise, this year increased criminalization and aggressions against defenders of migrants and forcibly displaced person.” It denounced that “public officials at all levels of government have mage human rights defenders vulnerable. This includes the highest investitures of the State, but above all, it is at the municipal level where a good part of the perpetrators of the most serious aggressions are found.” It documented that in at least six cases of the 21 murders, “municipal governments were key actors in perpetrating attacks against defenders, serving primarily as intellectual authors.” For 2020, it urged the Mexican State to “generate the conditions to effectively combat aggressions against defenders, specifically murder and extrajudicial execution.”

Regarding violence against women, the TdT Network documented that it persists in the country and has even increased alarmingly in some states. “There are still serious deficiencies in the design and implementation of public policies to ensure a life free of violence for Mexican women,” it said.

In terms of security, democracy and justice, the challenge, the TdT Network stated that “good intentions do not guarantee the consolidation of an adequate model of justice.” “The questioning of the importance of autonomy and independence for a more effective and expeditious justice seems worrying,” it said.

Regarding migration, the TdT Network stated that “during 2019 the Mexican government opted for decisions that have put thousands of people from Central America and the Caribbean at risk, and increasingly from countries in Africa and Asia. With the signing of trade agreements with the United States in June, Mexico agreed to place the lives of migrants in need of international protection as a currency.”

They also “see with concern the increase in forced internal displacement flows to the north, center and south of the country,” it said, calling on the Mexican State to facilitate the on-site visit of the IACHR to the Northern and Southern borders, as well as the visit of that of the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, (…) attending to the reports and recommendations that come out of these visits.

For more information in Spanish:

Van 21 asesinatos de defensores de derechos humanos en gobierno de AMLO: Red TDT (Aristegui Noticias, 2 de enero de 2020)

En 2019, 21 defensores de derechos humanos asesinados (La Jornada, 1ero de enero de 2020)

Mataron a 21 defensores de derechos humanos en 2019, confirma ONG (El Sol de México, 1ero de enero de 2020)

2019 año de contrastes y confrontaciones;2020, año de reconstruirnos desde los DH (Red TdT, 1ero de enero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: 28 activistas asesinados en 2019 por rechazar proyectos del gobierno, según organizaciones civiles.  (2 de diciembre de 2019)

Nacional/Internacional : « Cuando las Palabras No Bastan », informe de Amnistía Internacional a casi un año de la toma de posesión de AMLO (28 de noviembre de 2019)

Nacional: México es el sexto país más peligroso para ambientalistas según Global Witness; al menos 12 activistas asesinados en 2019 7 de octubre de 2019

Nacional: 21 defensores ambientales fueron asesinados en 2018 (CEMDA) 26 de marzo de 2019.

Nacional : 161 defensores y 40 periodistas asesinados en el sexenio que termina, Red TdT 30 de noviembre de 2018.

National: Migrants and Civil Organizations Demand that Mexican Government Respects and Protects Migrant Rights to Mark International Migrants Day

January 4, 2020

6317560D-C57B-4E85-B107-115B8526F762Source: La Opinion de Murcia

On December 18th, within the framework of International Migrants Day, relatives of migrants, migrants and migrant organizations called on the Mexican government to take actions to ensure the well-being and respect for migrants inside and outside the country, and not promote criminalization of migration: “we need a strategy for the defense and protection of Human Rights of migrants, their families, their communities and their organizations. The violence, persecution and criminalization of migrants in the United States, Mexico and the world has reached unthinkable levels that make us the most persecuted, detained and imprisoned heroes globally”, they said in a statement.

In it, they stressed the role of migrant families, especially women and girls and boys. They also stressed that many migrants are from native villages, and that is why they require specific forms of attention. This is true for Mexican migrants as well as those who come from other countries and are in Mexico: “while the Government calls our heroes and our migrants, the “heroes” of other nations that try to enter our country to save themselves from the death, poverty and persecution, their right to mobility is prevented, they are imprisoned and detained … And agricultural laborers are not included in the category of heroism, despite the violations of their labor rights they are equal to or greater than those facing Mexicans abroad, and the pay is much lower,” they stressed.

The statement was written and signed by the Popular Assembly of Migrant Families, The Indigenous Coalition of Migrants of Chiapas and the Indigenous Front of Binational Organizations. Other organizations supported it, including Global Exchange, Mesoamerican Voices/Action with Migrant Peoples, the Institute for Social and Cultural Research and Practice and the Network of Transnational Peoples.

According to the National Institute of Migration (INM), in 2019 the country received more than 42 thousand migrants for humanitarian reasons. After the agreement between the United States and Mexico a few months ago, the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador moved to a containment strategy. According to the statistics of the Office of Customs and Border Protection, from May to November 2019, the migratory flow dropped by 70 percent in the US.

For more information in Spanish:

[COMUNICADO] En conmemoración del Día Internacional del Migrante, las comunidades migrantes hablan. Voces Mesoamericanas, 18 de diciembre de 2019.

México recibió a 42 mil migrantes por razones humanitarias en 2019 Informador, 18 de diciembre de 2019.

Reduce México 70% el flujo migratorio Excelsior, 18 de diciembre de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Chiapas: INM ofrece disculpa pública a 4 migrantes indígenas chiapanecos (8 de noviembre de 2019)

Nacional/Internacional : Esfuerzo para proteger a personas migrantes “duró unos pocos meses”, ONU DH (31 de octubre de 2019)

Chiapas: Autoridades migratorias frenan a caravana de migrantes en Tapachula (14 de octubre de 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: OSC denuncian malas condiciones en estancia provisional migratoria en Chiapas (7 de octubre de 2019)