Oaxaca: Assembly in Unión Hidalgo defines its position regarding the effects of wind-energy parks

May 3, 2014

Tehuantepec (@zapateando.wordpress.com)

Wind-energy towers (@zapateando.wordpress.com)

On 23 April, communards from the community of Unión Hidalgo, organized by the the mayor, representatives of the Communal Goods, and the pro-works committee, carried out a general assembly to address the issue of the repercussions imposed on the local population by the Piedra Larga I and II wind-energy parks owned by Mexican Wind Development (DEMEX), a subsidiary of Renovalia Energy.

According to the Asamblea of Indigenous Peoples from the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), in 2011 DEMEX began its construction of the Piedra Larga I wind-energy park without having the necessary permits that would follow the prosecution of studies regarding environmental and urban impacts of said project.  Neither did DEMEX provide free, prior, and informed consent to the local community, as is stipulated by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Persons in Independent Countries, signed by Mexico, an accord that outlines the obligation to report and consult to the population before taking any legislative or administrative measure which could affect them

The construction of the wind-energy park, which the assembly says was imposed using tricks such as contracts and pressure from trade unionists and hitmen, has generated different impacts on the community, including socio-economic ones which have affected the agro-fishing activity in the zone.

At the end of 2013, the installation of 65 wind-energy towers was confirmed as pertaining to the construction works in Piedra Larga II, which is located less than 500 meters from the urban zone of Unión Hidalgo, in violation of international norms and laws.

Amidst this situation, the General Assembly of the community has outlined the measures it will take, and it warns that if DEMEX does not agree to a dialogue, it will consider blockading the wind-energy parks from the community.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asamblea general y marcha silenciosa del pueblo binniza de Unión Hidalgo, en resistencia contra la empresa eólica DEMEX (Renovalia energy) (Tierra y Territorio, 23 de abril de 2014)

Definirán rumbo de empresa Demex en Unión Hidalgo (El Imparcial, 23 de abril de 2014)

Realizaron comuneros, primera asamblea municipal para fijar postura sobre eólica DEMEX (Página 3, 24 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Communards from Unión Hidalgo request that the TUA totally nullify Demex contracts (24 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of People in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepc 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)

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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: Members of the communal police of Álvaro Obregón detained

March 30, 2014

Policía Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón. Foto (@Sipaz)Communal police of Álvaro Obregón. Photo (@Sipaz)

According to a denunciation from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), on 22 March 12 members of the communal police and the communal authorities of Álvaro Obregón were arrested by units of the municipal police of Juchitán. Those arrested in the Zapata ejido were transferred by Navy units and handed over to the Public Ministry of Juchitán. During the early morning of 23 March, all those arrested were released, given that, as APPIITDTT notes, “there existed no type of charge that would justify their detention.”

On this same 22 March, unknown persons set fire to part of the communal police camp in the ex-hacienda of General Heliodoro Charis in Álvaro Obregón.

The APPIITDTT has denounced Saúl Vicente Vásquez, mayor of Juchitán, as the principal instigator of the acts, a week before the first Session of the National Indigenous Congress, Isthmus of Tehuantepec Region, in Álvaro Obregón.

For more information (in Spanish):

Liberan a compañeros detenidos de la Policía Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón pues no existía ningún tipo de cargo (Tierra y Territorio, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Integrantes de la Asamblea Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón fueron puestos a disposición del Ministerio Público de Juchitán (Tierra y Territorio, 22 de marzo 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: Bandidos queman barricada del Ex-general Heliodoro Charis Castro (Gubidxa Guiní, 23 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: 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: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

December 9, 2013

Bettina Cruz. Foto @Sipaz

Bettina Cruz. Photo @Sipaz

The National Network of Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM), made up of 135 human-rights defenders from 20 states in the Republic, has in a communique expressed its concern for the attacks and acts of harassment that Oaxacan defenders of indigenous and land rights have recently faced.  This is particularly the case for Bettina Cruz Velázquez, member of the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), Sara Bartolo López, and María del Carmen Sánchez Martínez, members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ).

Since the year 2007, these human-rights defenders have together with others been carrying out a struggle in defense of the rights of indigenous peoples and their rights in light of the attempts by large multinational corporations (such as Fenosa Natural Gas and Mareña Renewables) to build large wind-energy parks on communal lands, without providing for free, prior and informed consent to the Ijkoots and Binnizá indigenous peoples who have been affected by the projects–as corresponding laws mandate.

The Network has demanded that Oaxacan state governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo guarantee the work of these rights-defenders free from harassment, reprisals, and death-threats by establishing and applying the necessary means to achieve this end.

In this way, the Network calls for guarantees for “members of the APIITDTT and the APJJ to have security measures to protect their lives and territory.  The rights of the people to defend their land and to decide not to allow the construction of wind-energy parks on their communal territory [must also be guaranteed].  [Moreover,] the rights of the people to free, prior, and informed consent [must be respected].”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian campaña de hostigamiento contra defensoras de derechos humanos en el Istmo (Ciudadanía Express, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Denuncian campaña de intimidación en contra de indígena de Tehuantepec (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

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)