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)