Oaxaca: Attack on members of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT) by construction workers tied to the Wind-Energy Firm of the South

May 14, 2015

índice

In a communique published on 4 May, members of the Mesoamerican Initiative of Human-Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras), which is comprised of more than 690 human-rights defenders from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua denounced that the activists Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Rodrigo Peñaloza from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT) were persecuted and intimidated by armed men who work in construction for the Wind-Energy Firm of the South on 16 April.

The events took place as Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Rodrigo Peñaloza were heading home after participating in a meeting with the Council that was being held in Juchitán, where Katia Puga was also present, being a representative from the Energy Secretariat (SENER).  The activists were verbally attacked and followed by a group of construction workers linked to the Wind-Energy Firm of the South.

The communique stresses that “these events took place even as Bettina Cruz is a beneficiary of the precautionary measures awarded by the Mechanism for Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists, as put on by the Governance Ministry (SEGOB), and which, according to Bettina Cruz herself, failed her, for she pressed the ‘Panic Button’ provided by the Mechanism during the confrontation, but it malfunctioned […].  We should also not forget that Bettina Cruz has just finished with a prolonged process of criminalization on the part of the State, during which she was accused of fabricated charges for the sole reason of punishing and making difficult her work in defense and promotion of human rights in the communities of the Tehuantepec Isthmus that resist the imposition of the wind-energy megaproject that threatens their lands.”

The rights-defenders demanded that authorities “guarantee the security and physical and moral integrity of Bettina Cruz Velázquez and other members of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory; prevent, prosecute, and sanction dutifully all acts of aggression, coercion, and threats directed against members of the Assembly; and guarantee the observance of free, prior, and informed consent to the indigenous peoples of Juchitán with respect to the institution of the wind-energy project being advanced by the Wind-Energy Firm of the South according to established international standards.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Eolica del sur, con hombres armados intimida a opositores (Regeneración, 6 de mayo de 2015)

Nueva agresión a defensora tensa conflicto con empresa eólica (CIMAC Noticias, 5 de mayo de 2015)

Defensoras de Derechos Humanos condenan agresión de activista a manos de empresa eólica (Oaxacatrespuntocero, 4 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Activist Bettina Cruz is exonerated from federal charges (1 March 2015)

Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz (26 de septiembre de 2014)

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

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


Oaxaca: Civil Mission reports violation of right to consultation; APIIDT shares views

December 6, 2014

Consulta en Juchitán (@CODIGO DH)

Consultation in Juchitán (@CODIGO DH)

Three non-governmental organizations-the Project for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC); the Project for Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER); and the Gobixha AC Committee for Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH)-were present during the preliminary accords for the consultation process regarding the installation of a wind-energy project in Juchitán, Oaxaca.  In a first report, they reported that there were “violations against the basic principles of the right to consultation, including that it be prior informed, culturally adequate, transparent, free, and in good faith try to accord with the highest international standards on human rights.”  They indicated furthermore that clear and transparent mechanisms were lacking during the decision-making process, leading to “an antagonistic environment among the parties.”  They denounced as well “security incidents against participants represent one of the gravest aspects seen in this first phase of the consultation.”  They mentioned concretely that “members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), from the the Assembly of the Indigenous People of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), as well as a communal radio denounced that during the sessions they were subjected to harassment, direct threats, and security problems related to the consultation process.”

For this reason, they made the following recommendation: “That translation and interpretation be carried out by certified translators and interpreters during all stages of the consultative process; that the participants be assured of having sufficient information regarding the breadth, limits, and implications of the consultative process in an adequate, complete, and consistent manner during each of the sessions; that clear, explicit mechanisms of participation be established; that these conditions of participation be ensured for all those in attendance; that security measures be adopted to guarantee the security of participants, so that the consultation progress in a free manner and in good faith, without harassment or intimidation.”

Members of the APIIDT also presented a document including observations and proposals to the techincal committee of the consultative process.

For more information (in Spanish):

Violan derecho de consulta en plan eólico de Oaxaca: ONG (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Preocupantes violaciones en consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán; genera confrontación (Pagina3.mx, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Reporte completo de la Misión de Observación (12 de noviembre de 2014)

Solicita Educa garantizar proceso de consulta en Juchitan (El Libertador de Oaxaca, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Entrega APIIDTyT propuestas para protocolo de consulta en Juchitán(Pagina3.mx, 14 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado completo de la APIIDT (APIIDT, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán (13 November 2014)

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)

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: Various denunciations in theTehuantepec Isthmus from Community Assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories

September 6, 2014
Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ)

In recent weeks, the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT) made public several complaints regarding the situation of resistance against mega-projects of wind farms in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

On August 22, they informed that “members of the Attorney General’s Office, detained the Zapotec Indian José Ángel López Vásquez in the community of Santa Maria Xadani”. They added that “the PGR called him to tell him that a prior inquiry was opened against him due to a complaint of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). H3 was maintained in solitary confinement and denied the right to have an interpreter.” The community of Santa María Xadani is struggling against high electricity tariffs imposed by the CFE. The APIIDTT expressed that it’s “ironic that in a region where our air is producing more than 1,600 megawatts of electricity per hour, we have to fight and be criminalized for demanding low electricity rates.”

On the other hand, they reported that on August 17, the mayor of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Saul Vicente Vasquez, “simulated an election for the second time to impose Jorge Alonso Santiago as authority in our community Binnizá of Gui’xhi ‘Ro’ – Alvaro Obregón […] whose election was previously not acknowledged to the Electoral Court of the State of Oaxaca”. They also mentioned an aggression on the Community Police “General Charis” which protect the Permanent Assembly installed in the town square: “they were attacked by about 20 armed people.” They finally mentioned that “Saul Vicente and COCEI continue with their intention to impose at all costs a manipulable authority according to their interests and permit the entry of the wind project.”

Regarding the situation of defender Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, a member of the APIIDTT, the National Network of Human Rights Women Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM) demanded the end of the persecution: the defender is on trial on charges of illegal deprivation of freedom, as well as crimes against consumption and national wealth. a sentence is to be issued in the days following. The RNDDHM reminded that the legal demands against Bettina Cruz derived from the APIITDTT peaceful demonstration held on April 13, 2011 outside the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in Juchitan. On February 22, 2012, Bettina Cruz was arrested by members of the Federal Ministerial Police, and released two days later. The 168 members of the RNDDHM expressed they will alert to the resolution to be issued in the coming days and to be sure that “the sentence is not used as an act of coercion against the defender.”

As regards to the fight against the wind farms in the Isthmus region, it is also worth mentioning that the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) recently reported that “the Secretary of Energy implements a simulation of consultation more to keep up the appearances than to comply with a legal ruling or to respect the right of indigenous peoples.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen justicia para activista indígena bajo proceso penal desde 2012 en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Exige RNDDHM cese criminalización vs defensora Bettina Cruz (Diario Oaxaca, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Comunicado segunda elección de autoridad impuesta AO (APIIDTT, 22 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

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: Opponents to wind-energy projects threatened with death in the Isthmus

March 2, 2014

apii-dtt-jpegThe Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepc Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT) has denounced the death-threat received by relatives of one of its members, Pedro Martínez Guerra, on 28 February.

Pedro Martínez and his relatives have spent several days now protecting their property to avoid the passage of workers from Fenosa Natural Gas, who have built a path and a wind-tower without the consent of the communards of the land.  For this reason a penal denunciation for looting has been submitted to the Public Ministry.

The multinational Fenosa Natural Gas is building a wind-energy park in the Juchitán municipality which has provoked a strong opposition movement from residents of the zone who denounce the construction of the park on communal lands and the lack of previous, free, and informed consent, which should be secured in these types of projects that affect indigenous peoples, according to international laws signed by Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgente. Amenazan de muerte a compañero de la APIIDTT, que está resguardando sus tierras de la entrada de la empresa Gas Natural Fenosa (APIITDTT, 28 de febrero de 2014)

Empresa Gas Natural Fenosa, quien construye el parque eólico “BII HIOXHO”, despoja a comunero indígena zapoteca (APIITDTT, 22 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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: 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: Protests continue in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 November 2012)


Oaxaca: Communal Organizations and Assemblies denounce attempted arrest of anti-wind energy activist

December 7, 2013

apii-dtt-jpeg

Communal organizations and assemblies of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in defense of the land and opposed to the construction of wind-energy megaprojects in the region have denounced that, on 16 November, Alejandro López López, member of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of the Land and Territory (APIIDTT) and of Section 22, was subjected to an attempted arrest on the part of police from the State Agency for Investigation, as he was walking through the streets of central Oaxaca City.  Following a confrontation with police, the latter desisted with their plans to arrest him.

In this sense, in a communique of denunciation, the communal organizations and assemblies warned that the wind-energy corporation Mareña Renewables has attempted once again to enter the Barra de Santa Teresa, a territory shared by Ikots and Binnizá indigenous peoples on which the firm seeks to build a wind-energy park.  This project has been delayed, however, due to a motion interposed by the community of San Dionisio del Mar.

It should be mentioned that Alejandro López López had previously suffered death-threats due to his commitment to the peoples who find themselves in opposition to the construction of large wind-energy parks on their lands and territories.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado urgente 16-nov: Policía Estatal intenta detener al compañero profesor alejandro López López, miembro de la asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio y de la Sección 22 (Tierra y Territorio, 17 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: New motion detains construction of wind-energy park, while harassment against land-defenders continues

November 12, 2013

San Dionisio del Mar. Foto @Sipaz

On 9 October, the judge of the 7th District declared a new motion in favor of the communards of San Dionisio del Mar ordering the temporary suspension of the construction of the wind-energy park being promoted by the multinational consortium Mareña Renewables in the Barra de Santa Teresa, land which belongs to the municipality in question.

According to declarations from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), “[t]his is a victory which corresponds to the struggle for the respect of the land and the rights of indigenous peoples.  We demand that all authorities involved in the wind-energy project San Dionisio del Mar and the Mareña Renewables consortium observe with the suspension that has been ordered.”

In other news, the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco Peoples (APPJ) has newly denounced the constant climate of aggressions, death-threats, and intimidation suffered by its members at the hands of persons linked to the Fenosa Natural Gas corporation.  “Armed types keep circling the homes of APPJ comrades,” notes Mariano López, spokesperson for APPJ.

Furthermore, reported Mariano López, members of Peace Brigades International (PBI) have visited the locale and assessed the damages suffered by the resistance camp erected by the APPJ against the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park of Fenosa Natural Gas; this camp was burned down on 15 October.  According to the profile of the Juchitán Assembly on Facebook, on 27 October, members of the APPJ began work to rebuild the camp which had been devastated by flames.

For more information (in Spanish):

Continúa la defensa vs eólicas (Tiempo en Línea, 19 de octubre de 2013)

Brigadas Internacionales constatan intimidación a activistas en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 22 de octubre de 2013)

Grupos opositores a parque eólico en Oaxaca denuncian acoso de pistoleros (La Jornada, 23 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Red alert for communities in the Isthmus and for civil society

February 5, 2013

apii-dtt-jpeg

According to information from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), since 30 January the secretary of governance of the state of Oaxaca (SEGEGO) has sent delegates to negotiate the situation of blockade that has been seen since 29 October in the Álvaro Obregón community so as to inhibit the entrance of Mareña Renewables into Barra Santa Teresa, given that a court order exists which prohibits its entry.  These officials from the SEGEGO have been accompanied by state police.  The response, as related by an APIIDTT communique, was that “if they wanted dialogue, that Gabino Cue or the head of SEGEGO come to negotiate, for they will not accept representatives, because everything that would be signed and discussed would merely be rubbish.”  The APIIDTT denounced that on the night of 1 to 2 February there were seen several confrontations between the more than 400 armed state police and the communards from Álvaro Obregón and other communities in the region.  The last confrontation had to do with the fact that “later the state police arrested three fishermen who were on their way to go fish.”  These fishermen were then released on 3 February.

For his part, Jonathan Davis Arzac, president of the Council of Administration of the Mareña Renewables firm, warned that the wind-energy project for San Dionisio del Mar would merely move itself to another state if guarantees were not secured for the investment.

The most recent APIIDTT communiques have denounced the situation of some human-rights defenders who oppose the wind-energy park, “such as Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Rodrigo Flores Peñaloza, who have had to leave the region given that the hired killers have been harassing their homes, but they nonetheless continue actively to resist.  Mareña and the state government attempted directly to buy off the integrity of different people in the movement, as with the fisherman Jesús Gutiérrez.”

It should be mentioned that the communards from San Dionisio del Mar have obtained a motion from the Seventh Judge of the District (headquarters in Salina Cruz) that demands the suspension of all activity undertaken by Mareña Renewables in the Barra Santa Teresa community.  It should also be noted that Mareña has complained about this decision, claiming that it had been overruled now twice by a local judge.  Similarly, the communities of Santa María Xadani, San Mateo del Mar, Colonia Álvaro Obregón, San Francisco del Mar, San Dioniso del Mar, Juchitán de Zaragoza and Unión Hidalgo have submitted a complaint before the Independent Mechanism for Consultation and Investigation (MICI) against the Mareña Renewables wind-energy project, which is financed by the Inter-American Development Bank, among other sources.

For more information (in Spanish):

COMUNICADO URGENTE: Triunfo de la Dignidad Indígena de los Pueblos del Istmo frente a la Violencia y Corrupción suscitadas por Mareña Renovables y Gabino Cué (Frontera Sur, 4 de febrero de 2013)

Disuelven con violencia asamblea de opositores a parque eólico en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 3 de febrero de 2013)

Reprimen bloqueo en Álvaro Obregón, urge solidaridad con los pueblos ikoot y binniza (Frontera Sur, 1 de febrero de 2013)

México: Álvaro Obregón y San Dionisio del Mar se encuentran rodeadas de policías (Kaos en la Red, 1 de febrero de 2013)

Mareña Renovable anuncia posible cancelación del proyecto eólico en San Dionisio del Mar (NSS Oaxaca, 31 de enero de 2013)

Boletín de la Oficina Ecuménica por la Paz y la Justicia sobre situación en el Istmo (Frontera Sur, 1 de febrero de 2013)

Video-Audio:

Testimonio de compañera de álvaro obregón (Blog de la APIIDTT, 4 de febrero de 2013)

Mareña Renovables y gobierno de oaxaca: represión policial en Alvaro Obregon 2.2.2013 (Blog de la APIIDTT, 4 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

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

Oaxaca: confrontations between PRI militants and opponents to wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (7 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Threats from shock-groups in San Dionisio del Mar (26 October 2012)

Oaxaca: entry of Caravan of Solidarity impeded to San Dionisio del Mar (15 October 2012)

Oaxaca: Meeting for resistance in San Dionisio del Mar, and new threats (21 September 2012)

Oaxaca: Ikoots community denounces invasion by private firm and “rigged” assembly in San Dionisio del Mar; invitation to a Meeting for Resistance (19 September 2012)

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

Oaxaca: Communards of San Dionisio del Mar revoke contract for wind-farm (9 February 2012)