Oaxaca: Consultation Takes Place in Tehuantepec Isthmus Amidst Doubts from Various Social and Civil Players in the Region

April 4, 2019

Isthmus.jpn@Página3.mx

On March 30th and 31st, consultations were held by the Government of Mexico, through the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP in its Spanish acronym) and the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI in its Spanish acronym). They were directed to indigenous peoples to pronounce themselves on the “Integral Development Program of the Tehuantepec Isthmus”, a development project that would include the modernization of the ports of Salina Cruz, in Oaxaca, and Coatzacoalcos, in Veracruz, and that aims to recover the railway of around 300 kilometers between both points.

Seven Regional Consultative Assemblies were held. On March 30th, 501 representatives were prsent in Jaltepec de Candayoc; in Santiago Laollaga, 479; in Salina Cruz, 183 (headquarters established at the last moment because the community of San Mateo del Mar – where it would originally have taken place – announced its rejection of the program); and in San Pedro Huamelula, 275. The following day more than a thousand people were in Santa María Chimalapa; in Oteapan, Veracruz, 549 and in Uxpanapa there were 705 representatives.

The process has been questioned by several indigenous groups, including the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym), which said in a statement: “We reject and ignore any simulation that proposes the imposition of megaprojects of death, as is the supposed consultation that the bad governments intend to carry out in various communities of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec on March 30th and 31st. We denounce the corrupt practices that bad governments through the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples have been carrying out in order to divide, deceive and intimidate our communities, where they offer programs and projects in exchange for saying ‘yes’ in their supposed consultations, as if territory and natural resources were not at stake.”

Several civil and social organizations of Oaxaca also strongly rejected the holding of the Assemblies and the haste with which they have been organised from a way unrelated to “the times, uses, customs and forms of decision making of the communities, as well as their representative representatives.” They considered that “Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the general comments and recommendations emanating from the universal system of human rights” are not being respected. They stressed in particular that “indigenous consultation processes are not a single punctual act, but must be carried out in all phases of planning and implementation; we observed and denounced the violation of the prior nature of the consultation and consent, as it was reported in December 2018 when presenting the project in reference to investments that were already contemplated for this project of the Tehuantepec Isthmus, which confirms that the regional consultative assemblies are a simple formality for projects that have already been begun to be implemented.”

Participation in the Forums did not imply a necessary endorsement of the project. For example, in Santa Maria Chimalapa, the representatives asked that their old agrarian conflict be resolved in the border between Oaxaca and Chiapas, and that a program of attention to their demands and needs be incorporated before considering this Program. For their part, members of the Network of Community Defenders of the Peoples of Oaxaca (REDECOM in its Spanish acronym) were present during the consultations, denouncing that it was an express consultation and in the manner of governmental interests.

For his part, the head of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, Adelfo Regino Montes said in the media that the statutes of ILO Convention 169 were respected and said that “in a second stage specific consultation processes will be carried out in cases of direct effect to the lands and other fundamental aspects of the life of the indigenous communities of the region. “

For more information in Spanish:

Programa del Istmo, de la mano con indígenas (NVI Noticias, 28 de marzo de 2019)

Denuncia el PCI-UCIZONI Oaxaca violación a derechos de los pueblos indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec por parte del INPI (PCI-Ucizoni, 28 de marzo de 2019)

Cambian de sede la consulta sobre proyecto del Istmo (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2019)

Cumplimos convenio de la OIT en consulta del Istmo de Tehuantepec: Adelfo Regino (Aristegui Noticias, 29 de marzo de 2019)

CONSULTA EN EL ISTMO DE TEHUANTEPEC, GRAVE SIMULACIÓN DEL ESTADO MEXICANO (OSC, 29 de marzo de 2019)

Comunicado del CNI-CIG y el EZLN ante nueva situación de consulta para imponer mega proyectos en el Istmo de Tehuantepec (CNI/EZLN, 29 de marzo de 2019)

Organizaciones indígenas rechazan Consulta Istmo (La Jornada, 30 de marzo de 2019)

Pide CNDH proteger a pueblos indígenas por proyecto del Istmo (La Jornada, 30 de marzo de 2019)

Baja participación en primer día de consulta en el Istmo (Pie de Página, 31 de marzo de 2019)

Mínima participación en Asambleas de consulta sobre Programa de Desarrollo del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Página 3.mx, 31 de marzo de 2019)

Miles participan en la segunda jornada de la consulta sobre el Programa de Desarrollo del Istmo (Sin Embargo, 31 de marzo de 2019)

Baja participación en foros de consulta del plan de desarrollo del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Video; Aristegui Noticias, 1ero de abril de 2019)

For more informatio from SIPAZ:

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

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Ruling on Revocation of Mandate and Consultations (March 21, 2019)

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples Calls on AMLO Government to Comply with International Standards on Indigenous Consultation for Megaprojects in their Territories (March 19, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13, 2018)

 

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National: CNI Spokesperson Marichuy Says Asking Spain for Apology is “Simulation”

April 1, 2019

MarichuyMaria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, Marichuy (@SIPAZ)

In the framework of her visit to the mountain communities of Chihuahua at the end of March, the spokesperson for the National Indigenous Council (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and former candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, Marichuy, said that the request for an apology from Spain by the President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) for the grievances to the indigenous peoples during the Conquest of Mexico, is a “simulation.”

She affirmed that with this approach the federal government deceives the citizenship because meanwhile it continues the dispossession and displacement of the indigenous peoples to seize their territories and impose megaprojects on them. Marichuy Patricio Martinez said that the peoples will not stop fighting and will seek an organization from below, against the destructive actions of the megaprojects.

At the beginning of March, in the context of its third Assembly, the CNI stated that “the neoliberal government led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has its sights set on our peoples and territories, where, with the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, a network of cooptation and disorganization, which opens the way to a war that has an industrial name, made of projects and violence, which, together with the other wars and networks of war, spread a dark web of death among the native peoples of the country.”

In the immediate term, the publication of the letter sent by AMLO to Spain has sparked controversy both in Mexico and in Spain with expressions of both support and rejection of the proposal.

For more information in Spanish:

Pedir perdón a España, una simulación, mejor detengan el despojo a comunidades: Marichuy (Proceso, 26 de marzo de 2019)

Lo que AMLO tiene que hacer “es dejar de despojar de la tierra a las comunidades”: Marichuy (Desinformémonos, 27 de marzo de 2019)

Marichuy en desacuerdo con AMLO sobre petición a España (Regeneración, 27 de marzo de 2019)

Marichuy, Vargas Llosa, Pérez-Reverte… llueven críticas a perdón que pide AMLO (ADN Político, 27 de marzo de 2019)

Marichuy a AMLO: carta a España es simulación, mejor detenga despojo (Político.Mx, 27 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Second National and International Encounter of Women Held in Mexico City (March 26, 2019)

National: CNI, EZLN and Indigenous Organizations Announce “Zapata Lives, Samir Lives, The Struggle Continues” (March 21, 2019)

National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City (March 14, 2019)

National: Controversy between EZLN and AMLO Supporters Floods Social Networks    (January 18, 2019)


National: Second National and International Encounter of Women Held in Mexico City

March 26, 2019

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On March 8th, 9th and 10th, 2018, the Encounter of Women Who Struggle was held in the Morelia Caracol, official municipality of Altamirano, convened by the Zapatista women in the context of the International Women’s Day. It is estimated that some 10,000 women from different Zapatista caracoles arrived from the state of Chiapas as well as women from 27 states of the Republic and from at least 34 countries of the world. One of the final agreements was to hold a Second Encounter of Women in Zapatista territory in March 2019. However, in a communiqué in February, Zapatista women announced that this possibility was canceled, among other reasons, given the risk that implies its fight against the “megaprojects” of the new government: “The truth is that they go for everything against the original peoples, their communities, their lands, their mountains, their rivers, their animals, their plants and even their stones. That is, not only are the Zapatistas against us, but against all the women who call themselves indigenous. And therefore also against men.” Their letter concluded with the question: “Where is your little light that we gave you?”

The organization of several women’s encounters during the days of March planned for the original event was the response that several women tried to give to that question. In particular, on March 16th and 17th, 2019 around 1,300 women participated in the National and International Women who Struggle that took place in Mexico City in coordination with other meetings of women in different parts of the republic. Several activities were carried out simultaneously including “artistic, productive, personal defense workshops, even music, embroidery, natural medicine, dance, performance, painting, capoeira, sexual health, stencil, in addition to various spaces to share the pain and rage, facing them the experiences of struggle and resistance (Crack).” It was organized in this way as “more than massive events, the approach was based on dialogue and construction on a small scale.”

Among the most popular events was the discussion on the defense of territory with Councilors Bettina Cruz and Marichuy Patricio Martinez. Marichuy explained that, “we have to agree on how to strengthen our struggles, how to strengthen among us all so that they do not impose those death projects on us”, “the struggle will be built between all, men and women.”

For more information in Spanish:

“No están solas. No estamos solas”. Luces para las zapatistas (Radio zapatista, 20 de marzo de 2019)

“Aquí está la luz que nos dieron”: Encuentro Nacional e Internacional de mujeres que luchan (Grieta, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Encuentro nacional e internacional de las mujeres que luchan (Audios, Huelga Radio, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Inicia el Segundo Encuentro Nacional e Internacional de Mujeres que Luchan (plumas atómicas, 16 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National/Chiapas: Women of the World Express their Support for Zapatista Women  (March 5th, 2019)

Chiapas: Second Encounter in Zapatista Territory of Women who Struggle Cancelled (February 13th, 2019)

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

Oaxaca: Fourth Encounter of Women Activists and Human Rights Defenders in Oaxaca (June 23, 2017)


National: CNI, EZLN and Indigenous Organizations Announce “Zapata Lives, Samir Lives, The Struggle Continues”

March 21, 2019

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In a communiqué published on March 16th, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym), the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) and several indigenous organizations called for days of struggle called “Zapata Lives, Samir Lives, the Struggle Continues” taking place on April 9th and 10th, within the framework of the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Emiliano Zapata “by the political regime that, despite its “transformations “, continues to govern us to this day.”

More specifically, they convened a National Assembly between the Indigenous Peoples of the National Indigenous Congress / Indigenous Council of Government and the adherents of the Sixth, Support Networks for the Indigenous Council of Government and Collectives and Organizations that fight and organize against capitalism, to be held on April 9th in Amilcingo, municipality of Temoac, Morelos. Similarly, they called for a national and international mobilization 100 years after the assassination of General Emiliano Zapata Salazar, in Chinameca, Morelos, on April 10th.

For more information in Spanish:

CONVOCATORIA A LAS JORNADAS DE LUCHA “ZAPATA VIVE, SAMIR VIVE, LA LUCHA SIGUE” A 100 AÑOS DEL ASESINATO DEL GENERAL EMILIANO ZAPATA SALAZAR (CNI, 16 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City (March 14, 2019)

National: Controversy between EZLN and AMLO Supporters Floods Social Networks    (January 18, 2019)

Oaxaca : CODEDI denuncia hostigamiento militar ; CNI exige que cese la represión en su contra (November 1, 2018)

Chiapas: Second Assembly of National Indigenous Congress (CNI) (October 22, 2018)


National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City

March 14, 2019

CNI.png

On the first weekend of March, the third assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym) took place in Mexico City, with 288 participants among delegates, councilors and guests from various towns in Campeche, Mexico City, Chihuahua, Chiapas, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Sonora, Tabasco and Yucatan.

In the final pronouncement, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym), the CNI and the CIG considered that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is nothing more than the “continuity” of the neoliberal governments that have held power since Miguel de la Madrid. They even stated that the current government “deepens neoliberalism”, even “with more brutality and cynicism if possible.”

They also denounced that “the neoliberal government led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has its sights set on our towns and territories, where, with the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, a network of co-optation and disorganization is laid, opening the way to a war that has an industrial name, made up of projects and violence, which, together with the other wars and war networks, spread a dark web of death in the original peoples of the country.”

They said that, with their “simulated consultations”, the new government only intends to impose megaprojects throughout the country. They made it clear that “our people, in exercise of their fundamental rights of autonomy and territory say NO to policies and megaprojects of dispossession, death and destruction, as well as to the consultations organized by bad governments to obtain the consent of our peoples to said policies and said megaprojects.” They said that, “in the exercise of our territorial rights and autonomy, we say that these megaprojects will be faced with the will of our peoples.”

They affirmed that the supposed transformations are taking place “in function of the interests of the oligarchies and those that have the power, which are increasingly smaller and bigger, that do not cease to live off the oppression, exploitation, and destruction of the same ones as always.” Instead, they stressed that “for the indigenous peoples the only ‘true change’ is the increase in lies, deceit, persecution, threats, imprisonment, dispossession, assassinations, ridicule and contempt, human exploitation and the destruction of nature; in sum: the annihilation of the collective life that we are.”

Among other more specific denunciations, they condemned the murder of Samir Flores in Morelos who was fighting against the Huexca thermoelectric plant: “Samir was killed by the neoliberal regime; we do not know if the government, if the entrepreneurs, if their criminal cartels, or, if the three together. The offers made by AMLO, not to those below, but to the owners of money and power, the veiled threats against those who defend life, laid the foundations of the murderous assassination.”

They finally expressed that “below, in all the geographies that the original peoples are, we continue to sow autonomy, we build and deploy power from below in what are also networks of networks, but of resistance and rebellion, which are also the mirrors not only of the peoples that we are the CNI – CIG and the EZLN, but many others that sow the hope and of which this is our mirror, our third national assembly.”

For more information in Spanish:

La Cuarta Transformación es más brutal que los anteriores gobiernos: EZLN (Radio Formula, 8 de marzo de 2019)

El gobierno de AMLO “profundiza” el neoliberalismo, acusan el EZLN y el CNI (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2019)

Megaproyectos se toparán con voluntad de pueblos: EZLN y Congreso Nacional Indígena (El Universal, 7 de marzo de 2019)

¡SAMIR VIVE, LA LUCHA SIGUE! PRONUNCIAMIENTO DE LA TERCERA ASAMBLEA NACIONAL DEL CONGRESO NACIONAL INDÍGENA, EL CONCEJO INDÍGENA DE GOBIERNO Y EL EZLN (Comunicado CNI y EZLN, 6 de marzo de 2019)

El Congreso Nacional Indígena: balances y desafíos (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Controversy between EZLN and AMLO Supporters Floods Social Networks    (January 18th, 2019)

Oaxaca : CODEDI denuncia hostigamiento militar ; CNI exige que cese la represión en su contra (1 de noviembre de 2018)

Chiapas: Second Assembly of National Indigenous Congress (CNI) (October 22nd, 2018)

Chiapas/Mexico: Invitation to the Second National Assembly of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG) (September 18th, 2018)


International/National/Chiapas: Women of the World Express their Support for Zapatista Women

March 5, 2019

Zapwomen.png“Forward Women of the World”, Morelia Caracol (@SIPAZ)

On February 11th, nearly 900 organizations, collectives, networks and people from Mexico and other countries sent a letter to the women of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) who had just announced that they canceled the “Second International Meeting of Women who Struggle” in Zapatista territories, which was planned for the month of March, due to the risks of dispossession of their lands and territories by megaprojects.

Those in solidarity with them warned that they would not allow “bad governments to strip them of their territories that give root, heartbeat and direction to what they are and what they dream. And we are going to protest in different ways, so that the resistance practices of the peoples are not used to folklorize the ancestral cultures, to justify the initiatives of death and illness that the patriarchal capitalist system is.”

In the letter, the signatories repudiated “from the multiple geographies to which we belong, the concession, extraction and exploitation practices of our Mother Earth”. They ratified that “against the interests of earning more and more money, we are going to fight for the life of the people and the living beings that inhabit the territories.” They committed themselves to continue “with the light that you shared with us in our meeting, with the light that you are for us. We continue to take care of that little light to be, walk and fight together.”

For more information in Spanish:

Colectivos expresan apoyo a mujeres del EZLN contra megaproyectos (La Jornada, 13 de febrero de 2019)

“No vamos a permitir que los malos gobiernos las despojen de sus territorios”: mujeres del mundo a las zapatistas (Desinformémonos, 11 de febrero de 2019)

CARTA A LAS MUJERES ZAPATISTAS DE LAS MUJERES QUE LUCHAMOS EN MÉXICO Y EL MUNDO (11 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

Chiapas: Second Encounter in Zapatista Territory of Women who Struggle Cancelled
(February 13th, 2019)

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

Oaxaca: Fourth Encounter of Women Activists and Human Rights Defenders in Oaxaca (June 23, 2017)

 


Chiapas/National: Intellectuals, Artists and Activists Denounce “The Current Campaign of Disinformation, Lies and Slander Against the Zapatismo”

January 23, 2019

Zapatistas.png(@Infobae)

More than 700 intellectuals, academics, artists and activists expressed their solidarity with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) in an open letter, given “the current campaign of misinformation, lies and slander directed against Zapatismo.” The Zapatista struggle represents “a great example of resistance, dignity, congruence and political creativity,” they stressed. They said that the Zapatista “Ya Basta!” Of 25 years ago “was an event of great transcendence and one of the first overwhelming reactions on an international level against neoliberal globalization, which contributed to the rejection and criticism of a model that, at that time, seemed unquestionable. It was also, and continues to be, an expression of the legitimate struggle of the indigenous peoples against the domination and contempt suffered for centuries and even today, as well as in favor of their rights to autonomy.”

They also underlined the achievement of the forms of popular self-government “that the Zapatistas have put into practice with the Good Government Councils in their five caracoles”, constituting in this way “an example of true and radical democracy” in “the constant, honest and critical search for an alternative and emancipatory project of great importance when facing the challenges of a world that seems to sink increasingly into a deep crisis, at the same time economic, social, political, ecological and human.”

They expressed concern about the situation “faced by the Zapatista communities and the indigenous peoples of Mexico, when their territories and communities were attacked by mining, tourist, agro-industrial, and infrastructure projects, (…) especially the huge projects promoted by the new Mexican government, such as the Trans-isthmus Corridor, the million hectares of commercial trees and the so-called “Maya Train”, recently denounced as a humiliation and a provocation by Sub-commander Moises, spokesman of the EZLN.” They affirmed they share the “total rejection expressed by the EZLN facing these and other great projects that seriously affect the autonomous territories and the ways of life of the peoples.”

They denounced “any aggression against the Zapatista communities, either directly by the Mexican state or through groups and organizations of armed or unarmed “civilians”” and blamed the Mexican government “for any confrontation that may arise within the framework of the implementation of these megaprojects, which correspond to a model already exceeded by, unsustainable and devastating “development”, decided by power at the top and shamelessly violating the rights of indigenous peoples.”

For more information in Spanish:

Carta de solidaridad y a apoyo a la resistencia y la autonomía zapatista (Documento completo, 16 de enero de 2019)

Intelectuales apoyan al EZLN y rechazan “calumnias” (La Jornada, 16 de enero de 2019)

Intelectuales y activistas mexicanos y extranjeros firman carta de apoyo al EZLN; rechazan Tren Maya (Proceso, 16 de enero de 2019)

La consistencia del EZLN (Contralínea, 15 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Controversy between EZLN and AMLO Supporters Floods Social Networks
(January 18th, 2019)

Chiapas: Zapatista Mass Meeting in Realidad Caracol 25 Years after Armed Uprising (January 14th, 2019)

Chiapas: Second Assembly of National Indigenous Congress (CNI) (October 22nd, 2018)