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: A year of resistance is celebrated in the Álvaro Obregón community

February 13, 2014

Mujeres de Gui’xhi’ ro’ @ Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio

Women of Gui’xhi’ ro’ @ Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory

On 2 February in the Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality (Tehuantepec Isthmus), there was celebrated one year of resistance against the wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar, given the strategic location of the community, which connect to the Barra de Santa Teresa, pertaining to San Dionisio.  As a result of the resistance movement, the proposed project has been cancelled, and moreover the residents of the community have decided to revoke official governmental representatives in favor of a Council of the Elderly and a Communal Police.

Due to the ultimatum sent by Jonathan Davis, president of the Administrative Council of Mareña Renewables, the state government of Oaxaca and the State, Ministerial, and Banking Police “were sent to violate the rights of indigenous and fishing communities of the Isthmus on 2 February 2013.  By invading this territory, they violated the judicial order to suspend the works in the Barra de Santa Teresa, as dictated by the seventh federal judge of Salina Cruz on 7 December 2012, according to the public communique written by the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory.  Meanwhile, Samuel Gurrión Matías, the federal PRI deputy and member of the Commission on Energy and Renewables, rejected the idea that the Mareña Renewables firm had indefinitely retired its investments in Oaxaca and noted that they are seeking other communities in the region in which to install themselves.  In this way, he declared that “what the State and Federal governments should do is to punish those who led the charge against these investments and indeed throw them in jail.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Celebración del Primer año de Resistencia de la Colonia Álvaro Obregón(Blog de la Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 1 de febrero de 2014)

Mareña Renovable no ha dicho que se va de Oaxaca: Gurrión (Página 3, 3 de febrero de 2014)

Álvaro Obregón y el gran dilema (Romo Noticias, enero de 2014)

1 año de resistencia, 1 año en Álvaro Obregón (Oaxaca Tres Punto Cero, 4 de febrero de 2014)

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)


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)