Chiapas: mining reactivation is reported in the state

March 3, 2015
Demonstration against mining activities, Pantelho, February 2015 (@Espoir Chiapas)

Demonstration against mining activities, Pantelho, February 2015 (@Espoir Chiapas)

In a statement released on February 14, the Human Rights Committee Digna Ochoa in Chiapas affirmed that it had received a copy of a letter addressed to the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Perez Perez, which was signed by Dr. Juan Carlos Salinas Prieto representative of the Mexican Geological Service and of the firm Geochemistry and Drilling Company SA de CV (GYMSA). In this letter, the priest was asked to intercede with the representations of the indigenous communities “to access their private and communal territories, and where, in a period of time of three months, he “has programmed to carry out geological mapping of the region comprised of the municipalities of Jitotol de Zaragoza, Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán, Bochil, San Andrés Duraznal, El Bosque, Simojovel, Huitipán, Tapilula, Rayon, Pantepec, Allende Esquipulas, Las Maravillas, Union Zaragoza, Carmen Zacatal,Álvaro Obregón, Rincon Chamula, Competition, El Bosque, Sabanilla, Tila, Tumbalá, Yajalón, Sitalá, San Juan Cancuc, Pantelhó and Chalchihuitán”.

The Committee Digna Ochoa expressed that it “confirms that the government of Chiapas and mining companies are going for more territories and municipalities in the Northern region and Highlands of Chiapas and that the threat of looting and plunder is at the door of peasants and indigenous territories’ lands. (…) A door is opened to legalize the dispossession of land and resources belonging to hundreds of communities and indigenous and peasants peoples without an effective tool of legal defense such as the community consultation supported by ILO Convention 169”.

On February 11, the Believing People of the parish of Santa Catarina Pantelho organized a demonstration in the county seat of this municipality to announce its total rejection of the company GYMSA arrival.

In the last three governments in Chiapas, 144 mining concessions for exploration or exploitation have been granted (some of them for up to 50 years). Recently, in the natural reserve “El Triunfo”, municipality, and after months of opposition, the landowners gave up some plots to a Chinese company it is said for three million pesos per hectare.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se reactiva amenaza minera en municipios del norte de Chiapas, denuncian (Chiapas Paralelo, 16 de febrero de 2015)

Pantelho se moviliza en contra de los proyectos de minas (Espoir Chiapas, 12 de febrero de 2015)

Amenaza la minería a Chiapas; más de un millón hectáreas concesionadas (Reporte Ciudadano, 10 de febrero de 2015)

Tras meses de oposición labriegos de Chiapas aceptan vender parcelas a una minera china (La Jornada, 8 de febrero de 2015)

Carlos Slim, empresarios extranjeros y presta nombres, los dueños de concesiones mineras en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 5 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Chiapas: popular rejection of dams and mining projects in the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huixtla, and Huehuetán region (December 17, 2014)

Chiapas: 5 years since the murder of mining critic Mariano Abarca (December 15, 2014)

Chiapas: Third Forum for the Defense and Care of Mother Earth in Chicomuselo (December 6, 2014)


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Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán

November 12, 2014

Consulta en Juchitán (@Gobierno del estado de Oaxaca)

Consultation in Juchitán (@state-government of Oaxaca Oaxaca)

On 3 November, a consultative process was launched in Juchitán de Zaragoza in comformity with the stipulations of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).  This process will involve five phases to allow for the population to accept or reject a proposed project for 132 wind-energy plants that would be installed on a territory of 5,332 hectares in their jurisdiction.  This project would be owned by the Wind-Energy Firm of the South (formerly Mareña Renovables).  This is the same project that was rejected by the Ikojts people in San Dionisio del Mar and the Binnizá from Álvaro Obregón, near Juchitán.

For the present, the form of the consultative process is being defined.  The question has unleashed a number of reactions regarding the validity of said mechanism between those who believe it be a genuine and historical process, being the first consultation that is carried out, while others feel it is mere pretense.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se inicia en Juchitán consulta pública sobre parque eólico (La Jornada, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Inicia en Juchitán proceso de consulta previa sobre proyecto eólico (Radio Formula, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Modifican procedimiento del Protocolo de consulta eólica (Romonoticias, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Protocolo para la Consulta en Juchitán

El parque eólico juchiteco: participación y preguntas(Quadratin Oaxaca, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Bodas de plata del Convenio 169 de la OIT: lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo (El periódico, 26 de octubre de 2014)

La consulta previa y los malabares del gobierno (Animal Político, 16 de octubre de 2014)


Oaxaca: Protests rage in Juchitán, like in 1886

September 16, 2014

Marchan en Juchitán (@EDUCA)

On 5 September, members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) marched to commemorate the battle of 1886 in which Zapotecos defeated the Imperial French Army.  In this sense, they demanded that the authorities respect their rights as indigenous peoples given that, as they say, their rights have been violated by the installation of wind-energy parks in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  Mariano López Gómez, APPJ director, accused the leaders of the Worker-Campesino-Student Coalition of the Isthmus (COCEI) of attempting to support and manipulate a referendum to support the installation of new wind-energy parks in the region.

Another group of Zapotec indigenous peoples from Unión Hidalgo, Juchitán, Xadani, and Álvaro Obregón who are associated with the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory also protested in the same place to similarly demand respect of their sovereignty as indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan opositores eólicos para exigir respeto a sus derechos indígenas(Pagina3.mx, 6 de septiembre de 2014)

Comunicado de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT, 5 de septiembre de 2014

Comunicado de la APPJ (APPJ, 5 de septiembre de 2014)

En conmemoración a los héroes Juchitecos, antieólicos marcharon a favor de los derechos de la tierra y el territorio (Realidades de Oaxaca, 8 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (December 9, 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: third attack on the Communal Police of Álvaro Obregón in April

April 26, 2014

Policía Comunitario agredido. Foto (@Tierra y Territorio)

Assaulted communal police. Photo (@Tierra y Territorio)

On 13 April, yet another attack took place against the Communal Police of the Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán municipality.  The target of the attack, Nibardo Toledo Vicente, was assaulted by 7 individuals from the Zapata ejido.  According to the denunciation from the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), one of his assailants attempted to cut his throat using a broken bottle.  Protecting himself from this attack by using his arm, he suffered an cut of 8 centimeters in length.

This is the third case of an attack suffered by members of the Communal Police during the month of April.  According to the APIITDTT, “These acts seek to intimidate the comrades who find themselves building their autonomy and self-determination, using attacks that seek to take their lives,” and they demand that the authorities respect the Communal Council of Álvaro Obregón, which is a “legitimate institution elected under laws made by the Communal Assembly.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuevo atentado contra compañero de la Policía Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón, intentan degollarlo (Tierra y Territorio, 14 de abril de 2014)

Denuncian nuevo atentado contra policía comunitario en Juchitán, Oaxaca(La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Members of the Communal Police of Álvaro Obregón detained (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region (28 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)


Oaxaca: Repeated aggressions against Communal Police of Álvaro Obregón

April 23, 2014


binni-guiapa

Over the course of only ten days, two attacks were denounced against members of the “General Charis” Communal Police (Binni Guiapa Guidxi) in the Binnizá (Zapotec) indigenous community of Álvaro Obregón, in the Juchitán municipality of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

On 31 March, four units from the Communal Police were stoned by persons identified as being members of the official police overseen by the  mayor of Juchitán, Saúl Vicente Vázquez.  As a result of the attack, the window of the Communal Police’s vehicle was broken and an agent was injured in the neck.

Beyond this, on 9 April, the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT) denounced that gunmen dressed in civilian clothes fired on a member of the Communal Police on eight occasions from an official police vehicle.  The attacks did not, however, succeed in injuring the intended target.

The APPIITDTT indicated that there exists a tense environment in the Álvaro Obregón community amidst the possibility of new attacks.

It should be recalled that, also on 22 March, 12 members of the Communal Police and of the communal authorities of Álvaro Obregón were arrested by the municipal police of Juchitán.

For more information (in Spanish):

 Atentan contra la vida de integrante de la policía Comunitaria de álvaro Obregón (Tierra y Territorio, 9 de abril de 2014)

Nuevamente atacan a compañeros de la Policía Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón y médicos abandonan la unidad de consulta externa rural de la comunidad (Tierra y Territorio, 1 de abril de 2014)

Continúan ataques contra asamblea comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón, policía municipal detiene a elementos de la policía comunitaria Gral. Charis sin motivo (Tierra y Territorio, 22 de marzo de 2014)

Video: La Resistencia; Álvaro Obregón, una localidad en pie de lucha(Voces de Oaxaca, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Members of the communal police of Álvaro Obregón detained (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region (28 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)


Oaxaca: “We agree to organize ourselves at the regional level to resist wind-energy projects, mines, and other megaprojects”: CNI Isthmus

April 10, 2014

Foto @ APIITD

Photo @ APIITDTT

On 29 March there was held the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) in the community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality, where the primary theme for discussion was the organization of communities to resist wind-energy projects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  National and international organizations and persons from the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz, and Mexico City were received by the communal council, the council of the elderly, and the communal police of Álvaro Obregón, “who continue stronger than ever despite the constant harassment we have suffered in recent months at the hands of the municipal and state governments, as well as due to the leaders of the COCEI-PRD-PT and the PRI of Juchitán,” as the closing statement notes.

During the meeting there was a discussion of challenges and commitments: “New constitutional reforms are coming in terms of agrarian matters, and there will be other laws to prohibit protests and social mobilizations.  They threaten us, they imprison us, they repress us […].  We commit ourselves to struggle for the strengthening of our autonomy as indigenous peoples, campesinos, and mestiz@s […].  We commit ourselves to the struggle of our  grandfather, comrade Ta’ Pedro Martínez Guerra, a communard from Juchitán, to recover his lands which find themselves being invaded by the Fenosa Natural Gas firm.”

Participants also made reference to other projects they are resisting, such as “the invasion and extraction of minerals for construction on the mountain of Santa Cruz Igú, a sacred site, historical and communal, that is part of the communal goods of Juchitán, and we pronounce ourselves against the construction of the mining project in Ixtepec, which will have strong negative consequences in terms of health, environment, and the way of life our all our communities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del Congreso Nacional Indígena CNI – Istmo (Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio – APIITDTT, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Rechazo a proyectos eólicos, tema central en congreso de comunidades del istmo (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2014)

El paso de la resistencia a la autonomía en el Istmo de Tehuantepec(Desinformémonos, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Nuevo ataque de las eólicas en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Members of the communal police of Álvaro Obregón detained (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region (28 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)


Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region

March 28, 2014

Rancho ardiendo del agente comunitario de Álvaro Obregón. Foto (@ APIITDTyT)

Burning ranch of the communal agent of Álvaro Obregón. Photo (@ APIITDTyT)

The Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTyT) has denounced continued attacks that the community of Álvaro Obregón has suffered in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

According to recent denunciations made by the Assembly, on 10 March the ranch belonging to the communal agent Odelio López Vicente was burned.  Similarly, they mention other aggressions suffered by members of the communal assembly, such as the case of the communard Pedro Martín Guerra, who, together with his family, has suffered harassment and death-threats since deciding to denounce the Public Ministry for the looting of lands as prosecuted by the Fenosa Natural Gas company, so as to progress with the construction of the Bií Hioxho wind-energy park.

Besides this, the APIIDTyT and the communal council of Álvaro Obregón have announced the realization of the first session of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) in the Tehuantepec Isthmus region, which is to be held in the community of Álvaro Obregón on 29 March 2014.  The organizational call includes invitations to communal assemblies of the Isthmus who resist wind-energy parks as well as to the Regional Council of Nahua and Totoluca indigenous peoples from southern Veracruz, among others.

For more information (in Spanish):

Aumentan ataques y amenazas contra comunero indígena zapoteco que defiende su terreno de la empresa Gas Natural Fenosa (APIIDTyT, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Denunciamos agresiones y hostigamientos contra integrantes de la Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT) (APIIDTyT, 17 de marzo de 2014)

Realizarán antieólicos Congreso Nacional Indígena (Noticias,16 de marzo de 2014)

Anuncian zapotecas Congreso Nacional Indígena en Álvaro Obregón (Página 3, 16 de marzo de 2014)

Convocatoria al Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI) Región Istmo de Tehuantepec en Gui’xhi’ Ro’ – Álvaro Obregón (APIIDTyT, 15 de marzo de 2014)

Afectados de eólica Gas Natural, continúan denunciando intimidación(Página 3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Confrontation in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leaves several people injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)