National: Mexico Sixth Most Dangerous Country for Environmentalists According to Global Witness; 12 Activists Killed in 2019

October 13, 2019

Environment@Cuartoscuro

According to data from the human rights organization Amnesty International, at least 12 environmental activists were killed in Mexico since the beginning of the year to date. Seven of those murders were carried out in the month of January alone. With five attacks in Oaxaca and four in Chiapas, these two states have become the most dangerous regions for environmentalists.

A similar process can be observed worldwide. After the Philippines (30 defenders killed in 2018), Colombia (24), India (23), Brazil (20) and Guatemala (16), Mexico with 12 is the sixth most dangerous country in the world for environmental defenders, according to Global Witness NGO reports. In 2017, 15 defenders were killed and in 2018 another 14.

The first victim of the year was Sinar Corzo Esquinca, a water, housing and health rights activist, who also defended the victims of the 2017 earthquake in Oaxaca and Chiapas. He died on January 3rd from gunshot wounds in Arriaga, Chiapas, after he was shot.

Among the other victims were the environmentalists Noe Jimenez Pablo, Jose Santiago Lopez, Rafael Murua Manriquez, Gustavo Cruz Mendoza, Samir Flores, Eulalia Lilia Diaz, Luis Armando Fuentes, Telosforo Santiago Enriquez, Jose Luis Alvarez Flores and the human rights lawyer Juan Quintanar Gomez, who was killed in the center of the city of Oaxaca on the way to his office.

“These attacks (against indigenous people) are almost 80% of the cases. In the case of Oaxaca, Puebla and Michoacan, 100% of those attacked are indigenous,” said Gustavo Sanchez, the director of the Mexican Network of Forest Farmers Organizations (MOCAF in its Spanish acronym).

Of the 14 activists killed in 2018, eleven were people from native villages according to Antonio Medina, representative of the Indigenous Tourism Network of Mexico (RITA in its Spanish acronym), given that 50% of Mexican territory belongs to indigenous peoples, meaning that a large part of the mines, material banks, water reserves and biodiversity of the country are part of their heritage and they are particularly affected by the megaprojects of the Mexican State.

In the face of the great aggression against environmentalists, the NGO Amnesty International recently launched the “No More Murders: Raise your Voice for Environmentalists in Mexico” campaign. According to its website, “it will be based on petitions, events and the dissemination of information and audiovisual materials through social networks, to denounce the murders of environmental defenders in Mexico.”

“This campaign is our way of highlighting the violence faced by environmental defenders in Mexico and recognizing their invaluable contribution to the health of the planet and the wellbeing of its inhabitants given the the disastrous effects of extractive exploitation, industrial pollution and climate change,” explained Erika Guevara Rosas, Director for the Americas of Amnesty International.

For more information in Spanish:

12 ambientalistas y defensores han sido asesinados este año; Oaxaca y Chiapas, los estados más peligrosos (Animal Político el 7 de octubre de 2019)

El 80 % de los activistas ambientales asesinados en México son indígenas (Infobae el 1 de agosto de 2019)

México, el sexto país más peligroso para defensores del medio ambiente; hubo 14 asesinatos en 2018 (Animal Político el 29 de julio de 2019)

México: Amnistía Internacional lanza campaña para urgir al Estado que proteja a las personas defensoras del medio ambiente (Amnistía Internacional el 1 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Environmentalist Nora Lopez Murdered in Palenque (August 27, 2019)

Chiapas: denunciation of criminalization against environmental activists in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (January 4, 2019)

Chiapas/Tabasco: Ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores Murdered (June 17, 2019)

Chiapas: Denuncian ataque contra defensor de los derechos humanos en San Cristóbal de las Casas (10 de junio de 2019)

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

National: CEMDA 2017 Report Shows Increase in Vulnerability of Environmental Defenders (March 26, 2018)


National: CNI Invitation to “SAMIR FLORES LIVES” Global Day of Struggle, October 12, 2019

September 29, 2019

CNI@samirfloresvive.wordpress.com

At the National and International Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) / Indigenous Government Council (CIG), Resistance and Rebellion Networks, Organizations and Collectives “The Isthmus Is Ours” in Juchitan, Isthmus of Tehunatepec, in Oaxaca on the 6th, 7th and 8th of September, the “SAMIR FLORES LIVES” Global Day for the Struggle in Defense of Life and Our Territories was announced, which will take place on October 12th this year.

The event that bears the name of delegate Samir Flores, environmental activist and promoter of organic agriculture for ten years and who was killed on February 20th, 2019 by unknown individuals, intends to be “a dislocated and forceful mobilization, throughout the country, against the megaprojects of death, of an anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal character.” The CNI called on the peoples, organizations and people of Mexico and the World to carry out coordinated actions that show “art, music, creativity from below.”

In the closing declaration of the assembly that took place at the beginning of September, the CNI also denounced the megaprojects planned by the Mexican government such as the Maya Train, the Dos Bocas Refinery, the Inter-Oceanic Isthmus Corridor, the Morelos Integral Project, the new airport and its associated works such as the Mexico-Tuxpan Highway as well as “a monstrous set of environmental depredation projects”, that includes, mining, hydroelectric, agro-industry, industrial corridors, gas pipelines, oil pipelines, fracking, wind farms, solar panels businesses.

In the call released in mid-September, the CNI requested that, “the activities that each organization defines must be registered no later than October 1st at the email samirflores.vive@gmail.com.”

For more information in Spanish:

Declaratoria de la Asamblea Nacional e Internacional del CNI

Samir Flores, símbolo de la resistencia antigobiernista (Proceso el 28 de febrero de 2019)

Convocatoria a la Jornada global de lucha en defensa de la vida y de nuestros territorios “SAMIR FLORES VIVE” el 12 de Octubre de 2019 (CNI, 18 de septiembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: CNI Holds “The Isthmus is Ours” National Assembley in Juchitan (September 22, 2019)

Oaxaca: Defensores comunitarios Ayuuk interponen amparo contra Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Theuantepec (12 de julio de 2019)

Oaxaca: Es publicado el decreto del decreto del Corredor Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec; se movilizan para detener su instrumentación (15 de junio de 2019)

Oaxaca: de gira en el estado, AMLO declara que las comunidades indígenas avalan la realización del corredor transístmico (4 de mayo de 2019)

Oaxaca : lanzan pronunciamiento « El Ismo es nuestro » en rechazo al Proyecto Transístmico (25 de abril de 2019)

Oaxaca: Consultation Takes Place in Tehuantepec Isthmus Amidst Doubts from Various Social and Civil Players in the Region (April 4, 2019)

Oaxaca: New Consultations in Tehuantepec Isthmus Questioned (March 28, 2019)


Oaxaca: Ten Ejido Members and Landlords to “Grupo Mexico” Arrested in Ventosa

April 4, 2019

Ejido.pngPhoto @ El Imparcial de Oaxaca

On April 1st, ten ejido members and landlords to the “Grupo Mexico” company, which runs “El Retiro” wind farm on these lands, “were arrested and evicted with violence by elements of the state police and taken to unknown destinations family members and the other landowners reported”, according to La Jornada.

The same source reports that the events occurred after “a roadblock on the access to the wind power station began on March 27th to demand an urgent meeting with senior management of this company because agreements of the contract signed five years ago, especially in the area of ​​employment and security, have not been respected.”

Due to this, the relatives of the victims and other ejidatarios assume that this operation was requested by the directors of Grupo Mexico to put an end to the uccupation of the wind farm. They denounced the disproportionate use of force and violence during the operation, the absence of arrest warrants against the detainees and demanded that the authorities ascertain their whereabouts. As a result, they maintain the Pan American federal highway blocked.

For more information in Spanish:

Diez detenidos por bloquear un parque eólico de Grupo México en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 2 de abril de 2019)

Policías retienen con violencia a diez ejidatarios en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 1 de abril de 2019)

Bloquean carretera para exigir liberación de detenidos en parque eólico. (Romonoticias, 1 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: German Trasnational Siemens Building New Wind Farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio (March 26, 2019)

Oaxaca: Asesinan a defensor quien se opuso contra un proyecto de la empresa Eólica del Sur (25 de julio de 2018)

Oaxaca : Emiten Alerta Temprana a favor de indígenas zapotecas de Unión Hidalgo (22 junio de 2018)

Oaxaca : Suspenden la construcción de un parque eólico en Unión Hidalgo (24 de mayo de 2018)

Oaxaca : comuneras y comuneros de Unión Hidalgo rechazan consulta indígena (18 de abril de 2018)

Oaxaca: Eviction and Arrests at Bií Hioxo Wind Farm (July 25, 2017)

Oaxaca: Eleven Ejidatarios Arrested in Eviction of French EDF Wind Farm (May 4, 2017)


Oaxaca: German Trasnational Siemens Building New Wind Farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio

March 26, 2019

SiemensTehuantepec (@Noe Pineda Arredondo)

In mid-March, the secretary of the Environment, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development of Oaxaca, Jose Luis Calvo Ziga, announced that soon the German transnational Siemens will start building another wind farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio, La Minuta reported.

This announcement causes concern and the development of wind farms in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec has often been pointed out as a source of violations of human rights, corruption and violence in this region.

For more information in Spanish:

Pese a estela de corrupción y violaciones a los derechos humanos, anuncian nuevo parque eólico en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 20 de marzo de 2019)

La eólica más grande de AL la tiene Oaxaca (NVI Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Beneficiadas por eólicas en el Istmo más de 400 empresas (El Universal, 26 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: SCJN avala consulta indígena realizada en Juchitán (16 de noviembre de 2018)

Oaxaca: SCJN is called to protect the collective rights of the Zapotec community and to cancel the permits of the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation

(November 2, 2018)

Oaxaca: Asesinan a defensor quien se opuso contra un proyecto de la empresa Eólica del Sur (25 de julio de 2018)

Oaxaca : Emiten Alerta Temprana a favor de indígenas zapotecas de Unión Hidalgo (22 junio de 2018)

Oaxaca : Suspenden la construcción de un parque eólico en Unión Hidalgo (24 de mayo de 2018)

Oaxaca : comuneras y comuneros de Unión Hidalgo rechazan consulta indígena (18 de abril de 2018)

Oaxaca: Eviction and Arrests at Bií Hioxo Wind Farm (July 25, 2017)

Oaxaca: Eleven Ejidatarios Arrested in Eviction of French EDF Wind Farm (May 4, 2017)


Chiapas: Chiapaneco Group against the extractive model pronounces against dispossession

November 3, 2018
pronun-27-oct-pt

Meeting of the Chiapaneco Group against the extractive mode, october 2018 (@Otros Mundos)


On October 27, at the end of a two-day meeting that took place in San Cristobal de las Casas, the peoples and organizations that make up the Chiapaneco Group against the extractive model declared themselves “in resistance” to this capitalist model that “seeks commercialize the energy that life gives us, which comes from rivers, sea, sun, wind, forests and volcanoes. We do not agree with the fact that large national and transnational companies come to strip us of our lands and territories with extractive projects such as oil wells, geothermal energy, hydroelectric dams, mines and wind farms, to produce energy that feeds their polluting industries and the model of capitalist life of the big cities ».

They denounced that “companies do not ask for permission from Mother Earth or even the people of Chiapas, when they want to extract the natural commons of our territories, with the complicity of the three levels of government, of the military, paramilitary and police apparatus” . They affirmed that, unlike what entrepreneurs want us to believe, “an energy that displaces peoples can not be green or clean”.

They rejected different projects that are being implemented or that could be implemented in the Costa, Sierra, Zoque, Altos, Selva zones, which “violate our rights as peoples (…). They move us, flood our lands (…). They steal our water and pollute our sources of life “, as well as generate “militarization for the control of the territory and the protection of private projects, not only through the presence of the Mexican army but also of paramilitaries and private guards. “

They finally indicated that “all these projects do not leave any economic, social or cultural development in our communities. The only path that they open for us is that of death. (…) We want to continue with strength and for this we need to be able to continue living in our communities, with our ways of life, with respect and care for our lands and territories. We want the collective rights of peoples to be respected and recognized. “

For more information (in Spanish) :

Pueblos organizados de Chiapas nos declaramos en resistencia ante el modelo energético capitalista (Grupo Chiapaneco contra el Modelo Extractivo, 27 de octubre de 2018)

Pueblos organizados detendrán el avance de proyectos extractivistas en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 28 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: FDPS Suspends Dialogue with Government until El Puntal Is Closed and Other Concessions Repealed March 1, 2017

Chiapas: nine municipalities declare their lands free of mining and dams December 26, 2015


Oaxaca: SCJN is called to protect the collective rights of the Zapotec community and to cancel the permits of the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation

November 2, 2018
cuartooscuro

Juchitán (@Cuartooscuro)


In a statement published on October 25, organizations that defend human rights and the environment called on the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) to
“strictly adhere to the highest standards of prior consultation in its sentence, to protect the Collective rights of the Zapotec community, and to order the cancellation of the permits granted to the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation (Eólica del Sur) for the construction of a wind turbine park in Juchitán, Oaxaca, as well as to impose fair reparation measures for the community. ” Next October 31, the highest judicial body will decide whether the human rights of the Zapotec community in the case were violated or not.

It is worth remembering that last May the SCJN attracted the actions for legal protections (amparos) filed by more than a thousand members of the Zapotec community of Juchitán regarding the consultation that was carried out to implement the project of the subsidiary of the transnational Mitsubishi, which, despite the pending litigation, has continued to advance in the construction of the megaproject.

The organizations expressed great concern about the draft resolution that the SCJN intends to present because they fear that a “decision that supports bad practices in indigenous consultations” could be enlisted.

At the press conference in which the statement was presented, Betina Cruz, representative of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of Land and Territory, recalled that since 2014 they oppose this wind farm, “the largest of its kind in Latin America”, since the consultation of the affected communities was given once the company had already obtained the government permits. She noted that currently the Isthmus of Tehuantepec has 1,915 wind turbines, in 24 parks, none installed with prior, free and informed consultations, as established by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For their part, members of the Zapotec community have denounced “that they have been criminalized and threatened before, during and after the consultation because of their opposition to the project, so it was never a free process or one done in good faith. Nor was complete information provided on the impacts of the project and its alternatives for the communities. Even the responsible authorities, like the Sener, sought to accelerate the process to endorse the project, in violation of the uses and customs of the community, and leaving pending issues for discussion ».

The organizations encouraged the SCJN “not to discard this unique opportunity to generate a historical precedent in favor of the effective protection of the indigenous peoples rights within the framework of the Energy Reform and to establish clear rules for the government on how to comply with its obligation to consult peoples and communities. Failure to correct its course, would be deepening the serious situation of discrimination experienced by indigenous communities in Mexico and would allow the reform to be implemented in clear violation of human rights.

For more information (In Spanish):

Opositores a Eólica del Sur, en Oaxaca, alertan por posible decisión de la Corte contra derecho de consulta indígena (Proceso, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Solicitan activistas a SCJN cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur (La Jornada, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Piden a la SCJN cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur (El Imparcial, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Piden a la Suprema Corte cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur por violar derechos humanos de comunidades indígenas (OSC, 25 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Residents of Juchitan win motion to suspend construction of wind-energy park (October 25, 2015)

Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation (September 11, 2015)

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)