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

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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: 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)