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: 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: Conflictivity increases over wind-energy parks in the Isthmus

April 8, 2013

Parque eólico en el Istmo de Tehuantepec @ Proceso

The tensions related to the intention to build a wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, have increased in recent days due to different events that have led to confrontations between opponents to the wind-energy park and its proponents.  On different occasions, several journalists have been arrested, and some local residents have also been detained, only to be subsequently released with signs of torture.  Beyond this, on 26 March public security forces were used in a failed attempt to displace a roadblock maintained by opponents to the project in the Playa Vicente community, leaving several injured.

Both the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTyT) and the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) have denounced that 4 communards “were taken in the middle of the day from the Juárez neighborhood on 18 March and released the next day with signs of torture.”  The two organizations have denounced that on 21 March there were arrests of several hours of “journalists from La Jornada, Rosa Rojas and Francisco Olvera, [and of] David Henestrosa from the Regional Weekly from Salina Cruz; Ignacio Garrido, Karina Martínez, and Eliseo Ramírez from Ucizoni, as well as Eleazar Infante, an Ikoots communard from San Mateo del Mar as prosecuted by a group […] which serves Francisco Valle Piamonte, the ex-mayor of San Mateo del Mar.

While the journalists and UCIZONI members were released the same day, Eleazar Infante was not freed until the midnight of the following day.  The communiques have indicated that Valle Piamonte had been rejected as mayor for having negotiated a deal with the Spanish firm Mareña Renewables for the rental of lands to construct the wind-energy park in the region.

Beyond this, on 26 March, there were confrontations between Zapotec indigenous members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchitec People (APPJ) with the State Police as the latter attempted to displace a roadblock that the APPJ had maintained on the road between the community of Playa Vicente and the state capital.  In accordance with journalistic information, the residents installed barricades to impede the construction of the wind-energy park Fuerza y Energía Bii Hioxho, the project of the Spanish firm Fenosa Natural Gas.  Some 140 state police had been sent to the site to remove the opponents to the wind-energy park using tear gas and live fire, but regardless, the communards defended themselves with rocks and sticks, forcing the state police to retreat.  According to the press, 6 Navy units also participated in the operation.  The confrontation left 32 police injured, three of them gravely, and 11 injured on the side of the APPJ.  Following the confrontation, which resulted in the arrest of 5 Zapotec indigenous persons and the taking of a female police officer, representatives of the state government and the protestors agreed to a cease-fire.  The Ministry for the Defense of Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO), for its part, has requested precautionary measures from the Oaxaca General Secretariat of Governance and Public Security to resolve the conflict by means of dialogue and negotiation.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Gente vinculada a edil priísta oaxaqueño retiene a dos periodistas de La Jornada (22/03/2013)

Quadratin: Siete policías heridos luego de intento de desalojo en Juchitán (26/03/2013)

La Jornada: Se enfrentan policías e indígenas en Juchitán (27/03/2013)

El Universal: Manifestantes liberan a policía retenida en Oaxaca (27/03/2013)

Comunicado de la APIIDTyT

Comunicado de Ucizoni


Página3: Vientos del Istmo ponen al descubierto mitos y mentiras de proyectos eólicos en la zona Huave

Página3: Dan más de 3mdeuros al proyecto eólico Bii Nee Stipa II; huaves, sin beneficios

Proceso: Pese a la oposición, empresa española construirá parques eólicos en Oaxaca y Puebla

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Red alert for communities in the Isthmus and for civil society (5 February 2013)

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)