Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leaves several injured

March 15, 2014

Foto @ Sol del Istmo

Photo @ Sol del Istmo

On 2 March there occurred a confrontation among residents of Álvaro Obregón, a community pertaining to the Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality.  According to the denunciation of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), “persons linked to the mayor of Juchitán, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, and to COCEI and PRI leaders, attacked the Communal General Assembly of Álvaro Obregón its communal council,” an act that, according to some media, resulted in at least twenty persons injured and one flipped vehicle.

Local elections were held on this day: “they were giving 500 pesos in exchange for election IDs and they were promising $1500 the next day, when they showed up to the event organized by Saúl Vicente on 8 February, where a party leader was to be nominated,” as the public denunciation noted.  Continuing: “after a meeting in a particular house, there was carried out this ‘pretend’ elections.”  On 8 December 2013, the Communal Assembly elected its communal council, communal police, and council of elderly advisors according to its uses and customs.

The Communal General Assembly of Álvaro Obregón affirms that it was meeting in the central plaza, agreeing on the membership of the communal council, when “a group of persons who found themselves in the election held by Saúl Vicente initiated an attack against those who found themselves in the plaza, using gunshots, stones, and sticks.  They attempted to take City Hall by force and a confrontation followed, for the people who were at the General Assembly repelled the attack, leaving several comrades hurt,” they noted in a denunciation.  After the attack, “one of these persons went to the house of the commander of the Communal Police to drench him in gasoline and attempt to set him on fire.  Later, they tried to kidnap the son of the Communal Agent,” notes the communique.  In the end, units from the Navy arrived and performed a search for firearms.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado 04 de marzo: Álvaro Obregón continuará con la defensa y autodeterminación de su territorio, ante cualquiera que la amenace(Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 4 de marzo de 2014)

Acción Urgente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac del Istmo de Tehuantepec (3 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado 02 de marzo de 2014: Con balas, intenta Saúl Vicente imponer autoridad municipal en Álvaro Obregón (Blog de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 3 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa Ucizoni condena agresión contra el pueblo de Álvaro Obregón (Semanario Evidencias, 3 de marzo de 2014)

Aseguran amenazas de muerte de empresa Gas Natural Fenosa (El Imparcial, 1 de marzo de 2014)

Zafarrancho en Álvaro Obregón (Sol del Istmo, 3 de marzo de 2014)

Asamblea general comunitaria no valida resultados de elección de Álvaro Obregón (Página 3, 3 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Oaxaca: A year of resistance is celebrated in the Álvaro Obregón community

February 13, 2014

Mujeres de Gui’xhi’ ro’ @ Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio

Women of Gui’xhi’ ro’ @ Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory

On 2 February in the Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality (Tehuantepec Isthmus), there was celebrated one year of resistance against the wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar, given the strategic location of the community, which connect to the Barra de Santa Teresa, pertaining to San Dionisio.  As a result of the resistance movement, the proposed project has been cancelled, and moreover the residents of the community have decided to revoke official governmental representatives in favor of a Council of the Elderly and a Communal Police.

Due to the ultimatum sent by Jonathan Davis, president of the Administrative Council of Mareña Renewables, the state government of Oaxaca and the State, Ministerial, and Banking Police “were sent to violate the rights of indigenous and fishing communities of the Isthmus on 2 February 2013.  By invading this territory, they violated the judicial order to suspend the works in the Barra de Santa Teresa, as dictated by the seventh federal judge of Salina Cruz on 7 December 2012, according to the public communique written by the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory.  Meanwhile, Samuel Gurrión Matías, the federal PRI deputy and member of the Commission on Energy and Renewables, rejected the idea that the Mareña Renewables firm had indefinitely retired its investments in Oaxaca and noted that they are seeking other communities in the region in which to install themselves.  In this way, he declared that “what the State and Federal governments should do is to punish those who led the charge against these investments and indeed throw them in jail.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Celebración del Primer año de Resistencia de la Colonia Álvaro Obregón(Blog de la Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 1 de febrero de 2014)

Mareña Renovable no ha dicho que se va de Oaxaca: Gurrión (Página 3, 3 de febrero de 2014)

Álvaro Obregón y el gran dilema (Romo Noticias, enero de 2014)

1 año de resistencia, 1 año en Álvaro Obregón (Oaxaca Tres Punto Cero, 4 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

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

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 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)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Death threats directed against member of communal council of Álvaro Obregón

February 3, 2014

Álvaro Obregón. Foto @SIPAZ

Álvaro Obregón. Photo @SIPAZ

The General Assembly of the community of Álvaro Obregón, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, has denounced threats directed at Eduardo Toledo, member of the communal council and opponent to wind-energy parks, on the part of political agents representing the mayor of Juchitán, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, and former mayor Mariano Santana.

The background to this outcome can be found on 18 January, when the communal police of Álvaro Obregón  intercepted several militants from the PT-PRD parties who, on the orders of mayor Saúl Vicente Vázquez, sought to access the community toward the end of meeting to choose the authorities.  The communal police recalled that, according to a decision taken by the general assembly of the community, members of political parties would not be allowed entrance, and no authority not chosen by the citizens’ general assembly, the maximum internal authority, would not be recognized by anyone.

To avenge this ultimatum, Eduardo Toledo was threatened with death on two occasions (20 and 21 January) by the same people who had been denied entry to Álvaro Obregón, including one known to be Economic Minister of the Juchitán Town Hall.

The General Assembly of Álvaro Obregón has demanded in a communique, including other things, that the denounced death-threats be investigated and that the Juchitán Town Hall respect the decisions taken by the people of Álvaro Obregón in their exercise of self-determination.

For more information (in Spanish):

Operadores políticos del presidente municipal de Juchitán, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, y del expresidente Mariano Santana, amenazan de muerte a Eduardo Toledo Orozco, miembro del cabildo comunitario de Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca (APIITDTT, 22 de nero de 2014)

Activista antieólico recibe amenazas de muerte del edil de Juchitán(Página3, 23 de enero de 2014)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar

August 20, 2013

Durante el Seminario en Álvaro Obregón @ SIPAZ

During the seminar in Álvaro Obregón @ SIPAZ

From 26 to 28 July, there was held an international seminar entitled “Energy megaprojects and indigenous territory: The Isthmus at the Crossroads,” which was held in the city of Juchitan de Zaragoza in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, in which participated state, national, and international organizations, all of them committed to the struggle against wind-energy projects in the region.

Bettina Cruz Velázquez, member of the Assembly of Indigenous People from the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory, noted that the objective of the seminar was to create a dialogue between the peoples in resistance and investigators and academics, so as to promote alternatives within this area.  The thematic panels which were held included the following: political and economic reasons for looting megaprojects, human rights and indigenous peoples, indigenous  and popular resistance, and organizations and visions for the future.  The panels had speakers and researchers from Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, and Colombia, including Michael W. Chamberlin, from INICIA, or Initiatives for Identity and Inclusion A.C.; Ramona Margarita Díaz, from the Departmental Assembly for Defense of Popti’ Territory and Linguistic Community, Guatemala; Edmundo del Pozo, from the Foundation Center for Analysis and Investigation; Ricardo Verdum, from the University of Brasilia; and Eckart Boege, from the Network for Ethnoecology and Biocultural Patrimony of Mexico, among others.

During the course of the seminar, participants visited the ex-hacienda of General Heliodoro Charis Castro, located in the municipal agency of Álvaro Obregón, close to the barricade of those opposed to the wind-energy projects.  With the slogan “We are here, we do not sell out, we do not give up: we continue!” the members of the Council of Elderly of Álvaro Obregón, the “General Charis” Communal Police, and the Assembly of Álvaro Obregón sent the message to the state and federal governments that they will continue struggling against the wind-energy projects that are planned to be installed in the Barra of Santa Teresa in the Tehuantepec Gulf.  Representing the Zapotec opponents to this wind-energy project, Pedro Orozco López indicated that the residents do not believe the version presented by the firm Mareña Renewables–that is, that it has suspended its work–given that it has not definitively left the region.  However, it is true that the firm has left the region at least temporarily, but the communards are concerned that it will return under a different name.  In this way, the Assembly of Álvaro Obregón has denounced the harassment suffered during a year of struggle against the federal and state governments, which support the wind-energy projects in the Isthmus region.  They also announced that they would continue having the communal police in the city, so as to protect the population from the invasion by wind-energy corporations.

For more information (in Spanish):


En Juchitán realizan seminario internacional de megaproyectos eólicos (Página3, 28 de julio de 2013)

Aquí seguimos”, opositores eólicos en seminario internacional (Educa, 29 de julio de 2013)

“Aquí seguimos”, opositores eólicos de Álvaro Obregón (Quadratín Oaxaca, 27 de julio de 2013)


Vientos De Juchitan (Ojo de Agua Comunicación)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists (21 July 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Intermediary state elections, with violence

July 21, 2013


On 7 July in Oaxaca, there were held elections for the state congress and mayorships.  According to the Program for Preliminary Electoral Results (PREP), the “United for Development” coalition, comprised of the National Action Party (PAN), the Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the Labor Party (PT), won deputyships in 14 of the 25 electoral congressional districts of the state.  The coalition also won the majority of mayorships under dispute, but regardless, it lost the mayorship of the state capital, which was taken by Javier Villacaña Jiménez, representative of the “Committed to Mexico” alliance (Institutional Revolutionary Party and Green Ecological Party of Mexico).  It should also be noted that both during the run-up to the elections as on the very election day itself, several violent incidents were seen, connected to the electoral process, including a burning of ballots.  In Álvaro Obregón, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, the carrying out of elections was blocked; in several locations, ballots were burned by protestors.

For more information (in Spanish):

Página del Programa de Resultados Electorales Preliminares (PREP)

El Universal: Elecciones 2013 Oaxaca: Aventaja coalición PAN-PRD-PT (08/07/2013)

Noticias Voz e Imagen: Se declara Villacaña virtual presidente (08/07/2013)

Proceso: Cerrada disputa por Oaxaca entre el PRI-PVEM y PRD-PAN-PT (08/07/2013)

Proceso: Por 825 votos, PRI recupera la alcaldía de Oaxaca (08/07/2013)

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca: Coalition “United for Peace and Progress” defeats PRI in state elections (12 July 2012)

Oaxaca: Protest against “Failure of Democratic Transition in Oaxaca”

March 26, 2013

Imagen del cortejo fúnebre @ Quadratin

On 19 March in Oaxaca City there was held a mobilization to observe the “Failure of Democratic Transition in Oaxaca,” as organized by several civil and social organizations.  In accordance with journalistic information, the protest, which began in the “El Llano” park and ended in the Zócalo, was attended by 1000 persons.  In a joint communique, the organizational groups indicated that the “government of Gabino Cue does not represent those of us who seek a real change for our state.  Today Oaxaca is ruled by groups that direct José Murat and Diodoro Carrasco who in the shadow of power have become millionaires, imposing repressive policies in the government through their operators.”

The protestors declared that “In these latest years the conflicts that seemingly had no solution have been exacerbated; this climate of tensions directly affects the indigenous peoples who are no priority for the present government […].  The current government, instead of promoting action for communal development, stimulates looting of our natural resources, with more than 300 mining concessions handed over to the owners of the land as an example.  It has also criminalized and harassed those of us who manifest ourselves to defend our rights.  The brutal police repression suffered by communards in Santa María Chimalapa and Alvaro Obregón are examples of this.”

The organizations, including the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Tehuantepec Isthmus (UCIZONI) and the Zapatista Agrarian Indigenous Movement (MAIZ), warn that there exists a situation of corruption and impunity in the state, referring in this way to the murders of several social activists in recent years.  Furthermore, they demanded the resignation of the state secretaries for Public Security, Finance, Agrofishing Development, and Infrastructure.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado íntegro de las organizaciones

E-Consulta: UCIZONI marcha por “muerte” de la transición democrática en Oaxaca (19/03/2013)

Quadratin: Con cortejo “fúnebre”, declaran “muerta” transición en Oaxaca (19/03/2013)