National: Mexico International Airport in Texcoco is canceled after consultation

November 3, 2018

On October 29, the elected president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who will take office on December 1, announced that he will cancel the construction of the New Mexico International Airport (NAIM) in Texcoco and that, instead, it will support the project at the current military base in Santa Lucia, about 40 kilometers north of Mexico City.

He made this decision after a national consultation in which more than one million people participated (a little more than 1% of the electoral register in the country): 29% of them voted to continue the Texcoco airport while 69% voted in favor of Santa Lucia.

Before this announcement, President Enrique Peña Nieto announced that his government will continue with the construction of NAIM in Texcoco until the last day of his term. It is estimated that the current project has an advance of 30%. “If the decision to cancel the work continues, as of December 1, the next government will have to face the payment of commitments, which will probably require the use of fiscal resources in addition to the tax paid by airport users,” he said. .

Businessmen and opposition parties to the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) have questioned the proposal of Santa Lucia and the consultation process that they consider illegal, without binding character and only a montage or a simulation to endorse a decision already taken by AMLO. They believe that it will have a negative impact on the financial markets and that it will generate heavy economic losses. According to the Airport Group of Mexico City, it will cost the country at least 120 billion pesos.

Those who did celebrate the decision were the members of the People’s Front in Defense of the Land of Atenco and the coalition Pueblos Unidos contra el Nuevo Aeropuerto who have been opposing the project in Texcoco since 2001. Before the consultation, they conducted a campaign in social networks labeled #YoPrefieroElLago, expressing that “they prefer to conserve Lake Nabor Carrillo and to avoid environmental damage, instead of continuing the NAIM, which is located in the municipalities of Atenco, Ecatepec de Morelos and Texcoco, in the State of Mexico “.

On the other hand, before the closing of the consultation, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and its Indigenous Council of Government (CIG) as well as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), rejected the construction of a new airport, whatever its location. : “Deciding where to put the new airport should not be what the government ask us, because if they had a bit of shame in front of the millions who suffer from dispossession, poverty, repression, before those who must migrate by thousands before the destruction left in the whole world, before our mother earth that can no longer bear the serious illness caused by capitalism; the question should be whether we agree that they continue or not along that road that is leading us, all of us, to death, to war, to extermination.” They affirmed that “the indigenous peoples can not say yes to their extermination, even if the bad government pretends to make a consultation, even if it falsifies votes, even if it buys them or gets them deceived (…). The attack against the territories that sustain life and against freedom, will not be in our name.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Obras del NAIM continuarán hasta hasta el 30 de noviembre, dice Peña Nieto; afores, sin riesgo (Animal Político, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Nuevo Aeropuerto de México: AMLO confirma que su gobierno cancelará la construcción del aeródromo (BBC Mundo, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Santa Lucía: en qué consiste el proyecto de AMLO para construir un nuevo aeropuerto para Ciudad de México (BBC Mundo, 29 de octubre de 2018)

El caso Santa Lucía: qué nos enseña AMLO sobre el poder (Huffington Post, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Adiós al NAIM en Texcoco: arrasa Santa Lucía en consulta sobre Aeropuerto (Aristegui Noticias, 28 de octubre de 2018)

Adiós al NAIM: La opción de construir pistas en Santa Lucía gana en la consulta convocada por López Obrador (Animal Político, 28 de octubre de 2018)

Consulta tumba el proyecto del NAIM en Texcoco; gana opción de Santa Lucía (Proceso, 28 de octubre de 2018)

Rechazan NAIM en Texcoco, en casilla de Atenco (La Jornada, 28 de octubre de 2018)

El EZLN y el CNI rechazan “aerópolis” en Texcoco o Santa Lucía (Proceso, 27 de octubre de 2018)


For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Disturbances in Indigenous Territories over the Implementation of Megaprojects: San Francisco Xochicuautla and Atenco (April 14, 2016)

National: FPDT of Atenco initiates mobilizations following announcement of new airport (September 15, 2014)

National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues (16 May 2014)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)

National: FPDT of Atenco initiates mobilizations following announcement of new airport

September 15, 2014

Foto @ Blog del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) de San Salvador Atenco

Photo @ Blog del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) de San Salvador Atenco

The Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT), based in the ejidos of San Salvador Atenco, started mobilizations on 2 September against the construction of a new airport in the Texcoco zone, as announced by President Enrique Peña Nieto in his second government report.  The mobilizations included marches, roadblocks, and other protests, beyond the request for judicial support to nullify the authorization of change of use of land, as approved by ejidal groups in assembly on 1 July.  Said assembly, according to the FPDT, was carried out “illegally, because it was manipulated; the necessary quorum was not observed.”

The first action was taken with the symbolic occupation of construction machinery belonging to the Virgo form as hired by the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), which carries out work to maintain a canal that moves waste-water.  These works were being performed within the ejidal zone, thus constituting a “provocation.”  The FPDT assured that the lands in question had been taken by CONAGUA “illegally, by coopting the [ejidal] commisisoners and carrying out fraudulent assemblies.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Con “toma” de maquinaria, Atenco inicia protestas contra aeropuerto(Blog del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) de San Salvador Atenco, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Habitantes de San Salvador Atenco inician movilizaciones contra el nuevo aeropuerto (La Jornada, 4 de septiembre de 2014)

Rechaza el FPDT que se erija el nuevo aeropuerto en Texcoco (La Jornada, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Tema ambiental, la parte débil del nuevo AICM (El Economista, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues (16 May 2014)

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)

National: “National Convention against Imposition” in Atenco

July 25, 2012

Invitación a la Convención @

Invitation to the Convention @

On 14 and 15 July, there was held the first “National Convention against Imposition” in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico state.  Organized by the #IAm132 movement and the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT), among other organizations, the meeting brought together more than 2,600 persons from nearly 500 organizations hailing from 28 states of the Republic, in accordance with information provided by the organizers.   The Convention sought to give space for activities to “impede that Enrique Peña Nieto take up the office of the presidency” of the Republic on 1 December.  Among the proposals discussed toward this end, there is a national march in Mexico City on 22 July, the taking of Televisa on 27 July, as well as a boycott of corporations “that collaborated with the [electoral] fraud.”  Furthermore, it was agreed that there would be held a second convention in Oaxaca on 22 and 23 September.  For their part, members of #IAm132 reported that they would analyze in their local assemblies the actions approved in Atenco and later define their degree participation.  Meanwhile, the national leadership of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) distanced itself from the activities that took place at the convention.

For more information (in Spanish):

Página de la Convención Nacional contra la Imposición

La Jornada: Movilización nacional contra el “fraude”, acuerdan en Atenco (16/07/2012)

La Jornada: Se deslinda el CEN del PRD del plan anunciado en San Salvador Atenco (17/07/2012)

La Jornada: Analizan en asambleas locales acciones aprobadas en Atenco (17/07/2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: In the presidential elections, a controversial electoral process and results (10 July 2012)

Mexico: IACHR admits case of 11 women victimized by physical and verbal violence

November 26, 2011


Three years after having been presented, the case of 11 women who were victimized by sexual and verbal violence on the part of police after been arrested in San Salvador Atenco, state of Mexico, in May 2006 was accepted on 4 November by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  They were part of the 47 arrested women (out of a total of 207) in the operations ordered by the then PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto.  At the time, there were denounced 26 rapes, but only 14 were denounced before the Special Prosecutorial Office for Attention to Crimes Related to Acts of Violence against Women (Fevim).  In light of the lack of results in the demand for justice, only 11 requested that the IACHR admit the case, as it finally did.

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Prodh Center), legal representative with the Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil) of those attacked, celebrated the decision of the IACHR.  It denounced that “the admission of the case represents a substantive advance in the large path national and international taken by those victimized by sexual torture.  Doubtless, the national and international solidarity that has been expressed over more than 5 years has allowed that these women continue resisting in light of the sexual torture used by the State as a strategy to demobilize and generate fear.  The case is paradigmatic of the institutional violence exercised by the Mexican state, and the struggle for justice is for all women.”

The IACHR decision opens the possibility that the case pass eventually to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Admite la CIDH caso de las mujeres agredidas en Atenco (9 November 2011)

CIDH admite el Caso de las Mujeres que sufrieron Tortura Sexual de Atenco (Boletín de prensa, CentroProDH, 8 November 2011)

Admite la CIDH caso de mujeres ultrajadas en Atenco (Proceso, 8 November 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples Build Justice and Truth” (25 March 2011)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on

May 11, 2010

On 3 May, four years passed since the police operations against residents of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco, in the state of Mexico, which took place on 3 and 4 May 2006.  The Supreme Court of Justice for the Nation (SCJN) recognized in February 2009 that grave violations of the basic liberties of the residents of the region had been committed during these acts.  It should be remembered that the police arrested more than 200 people, of whom 12 still remain imprisoned. Indeed, just as the anniversary approached, the three principal leaders of the Popular Front for the Defense of the Land of Atenco (FPDT)–Ignacio del Valle Medina, Felipe Álvarez, and Héctor Galindo, who are being held in the Altiplano prison under 112-year (Del Valle) and 67-year (Álvarez and Galindo) sentences, were notified of new arrest orders filed against them.

On the other hand, the SCJN ruling recognized that police had utilized public force in excessive and brutal fashion in many ways, such as the sexual torture of 28 women.  Accompanied by the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Centro Prodh), 11 women have denounced their being-subjected to sexual torture by means of a petition since April 2008 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  On 10 December 2009, the IACHR presented the petition to the Mexican government, granting them 2 months to present their observations.  To date, the state has failed to produce any sort of response.

During an event held in Mexico City on 3 May, Alberto Herrera, director of Amnesty International-Mexico, claimed that “After four years since the events that took place in San Salvador Atenco, where 240 people were arrested and 28 women raped by police, we are here so as not to forget, to declare that the only way forward is through the realization of justice.” Since 2 May, activities in commemoration of the repression in San Salvador Atenco have been held.  A sit-in was maintained during 3 and 4 May, while other actions took place in Mexico City and other Mexican cities.

Finally, the third phase of the Campaign for Liberty and Justice for Atenco was launched.  The communiqué announcing this initiative emphasizes that “Our 12 prisoners, together with all Mexican political prisoners, are hurt.  Atenco represents an emblematic national case.  It represents the application and creation of new crimes, such as kidnapping, an arbitrary offense that can be employed against social struggle as a tool of control and repression.  The repressive operations in Atenco symbolize, moreover, impunity, tyranny through violence, and illegality practiced by the State.  Atenco represents an open wound for the entirety of the country, all civil society, and all those who sturggle for liberty and justice.”

Beyond demanding that the SCJN rule in favor of the immediate annulment of the sentences of the 12 prisoners, the communiqué calls for actions of information-distribution, mobilization, and non-violent protest as part of a campaign to be held during May and June.  For its part, the organizing community announced multiple activities and called for July 7 to be celebrated as “a global day of action for the liberty of the political prisoners of Atenco.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Amnesty International and other NGOs demand justice and punishment of those responsible for the events in Atenco (La Jornada, 3 de mayo)

New arrest orders for Del Valle, Álvarez, and Galidno are announced (La Jornada, 3 de mayo)

Without justification, three imprisoned from Atenco held in a maximum-security prison (La Jornada, 3 de mayo)

Atenco leaders claimed to be responsible for more crimes (El Universal, 3 de mayo)

Incomplete, an IAHCR petition regarding rape and torture of women of Atenco (La Jornada, 4 de mayo)

Bishop Vera calls on SCJN to free Atenco prisoners (El Universal, 4 de mayo)

Declaration 4 years after the repressive acts in San Salvador Atenco.  Announcement of the third phase of the Campaign for Liberty and Justice for Atenco (Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra, Comité Libertad y Justicia para Atenco)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Atenco: the Campaign “Liberty and Justice for Atenco” begins (24 February 2009)

Oaxaca: Meetings and Accusations

November 30, 2009

On November 13th and 14th the Oaxacan Collective for the Defense of the Land convened a Second National Forum entitled: “Weaving Resistance in Defense of Our Land.” The meeting took place in the Mixe community of San Juan Jaltepec de Candayoc, in the municipality of San Juan Cotzocon. The objectives were to “exchange experiences in defense of land, territory and natural resources of indigenous people and communities, and explore the possibilities of joining forces to create a common defense.”

The final declaration emphasized: “that the lack of recognition of the autonomy over our land and territory, the lack of legal mechanisms for defense, and the false mediation of agrarian requests has resulted in innumerable agrarian conflicts between communities… Today Chiapas and Oaxaca are examples of an experiment in megaprojects and public policies that have only generated conflict, internal division in communities, looting of land and the violation of our rights… From the hearts of our people we declare that our communities and indigenous people are in resistance. We won’t be defeated by this new neoliberal offensive stripping us of our land. We profoundly believe in the value of our collectivity, of exercising authority as a service, of the collective ownership of the earth and the rebuilding of our land as people, as institutions that give us strength.”

In light of these outstanding issues a communiqué denouncing the intimidation of the people of Paso de la Reina was circulated on November 19, a few days before the Forum. The previous day a mass had been held in support of their cause and was presided over by the Bishop of Puerto Escondido.

Before that, on November 18, the “Meeting for Justice and Against Impunity: Cases Before the Supreme Court of Mexico” was held in the city of Oaxaca. The goal of the event was to analyze the Supreme Court’s resolutions in the cases of Lydia Cacho, Atenco, Acteal and Oaxaca, and the implications for the social movement, victims of repression, and defenders of justice and human rights.

The final resolution underlined the fact that in all the cases presented there was a “prevalence of deep-rooted impunity” and pointed out that “Mexican administrative bodies and legal officials are quick and expeditious when it comes to punishing and reprimanding citizens who are defending their rights against government abuses, but they’re slow and inefficient when it comes to correcting an injustice, and are practically powerless when it comes to trying to apply justice to a higher official.”

For more information:

Declaración de Jaltepec, Foro la resistencia por la defensa de nuestros territorios (14 de noviembre)

Denuncia Paso de la Reina

Pronunciamiento final del Foro por la Justicia y contra la Impunidad

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Rechaza asamblea ejidal autorización a la CFE para construcción de presa en Paso de la Reina

Oaxaca: Foro Tejiendo Resistencias por la Defensa de Nuestros Territorios

Chiapas: Second phase of Freedom and Justice Campaign begins in Acteal

September 23, 2009


The second phase of the Atenco Freedom and Justice Campaign officially began on September 11th in Chiapas, where the People for the Defense of the Land (FPDT) chose to announce the beginning of their journey through 12 states. The purpose of the campaign is not only to educate people about Atenco, but also to get to know other struggles and the suffering of the people.

On September 11th the Abejas invited the FPDT to Acteal where they were welcomed with a banner that read “Welcome to the sacred land of Acteal, brothers and sisters of Atenco.” In response the FPDT walked down the stairs chanting, “Acteal, Atenco is here for you.” The FPDT went on to declare “the Supreme Court decision in the case of Acteal caused the same effect” as in many other cases, including Atenco, and “shows that institutions who are in charge of providing justice on all levels fill the role of guaranteeing protection and impunity to the ruling party and its repressive policies instead.”

The words exchanged spoke as much of the determination to keep up the fight as of the warmth between friends. There was dancing, speechmaking, and singing. Damian Camacho of FPDT said, “They want to get rid of this history because it’s not part of the official history… the history of the downtrodden people and their struggles.” The president of the Abejas, Sebastian, said it was a great honor for his organization to have the FPDT starting their campaign in Acteal. Damian replied that the honor was mutual, “You’ve opened paths and roads for us to follow and that’s what we’re doing… After awhile more roads had to be opened so that others could wake up and join us.” As expressed by Trinidad, the wife of Ignacio Del Valle, many agreed, “words are not enough to say thank you for your example of struggle, resistance and dignity. It strengthens us.”  After reading a letter to the Abejas from Ignacio del Valle as well as press releases from both organizations, symbolic gifts were exchanged: a machete to symbolize protecting the land was given to the Abejas by the FPDT, and a white flag symbolizing peace was given to the FPDT by the Abejas.

Within the context of this campaign, the FPDT are demanding “the impartial review of the cases of the nine prisoners in Molino de las Flores, as well as their immediate release for being political prisoners in Mexico; the immediate transfer of Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Alvarez and Hector Galindo to a jail close to their homes; the cancellation of Adan Espinoza’s arrest warrant, the release of 12 political prisoners, the revocation of their sentences; the unrestricted respect for the human rights of those detained and persecuted; the punishment of those materially and intellectually responsible for the repression and violation of human rights; a stop to the political persecution of Adan Espinoza; a stop to the criminalization of social movements in Mexico.” (FPDT press release)

Later the same day the FPDT delegation took part in a forum in San Cristobal de Las Casas where they were able to exchange with local individuals. They met with family members of the Ocosingo prisoners, the daughter of Alberto Patishtan (who is being held in prison CERSS #5), representatives from Innocent Voices, and the public. They also spoke with followers of the Other Campaign from Mitziton, who are presently mounting a campaign of resistance to the government highway project from San Cristobal to Palenque. The FPDT delegation explained their demands and denounced the worsening of prison conditions, contrary to the respect of human rights. They also denounced the degrading treatment of family members who visit their loved ones in prison.

On September 12th the FPDT delegation met with the Good Government Junta in Oventic, where the Zapatistas greeted them with expressions of solidarity. They finished off their tour through Chiapas by taking part in a march to mark the third anniversary of the Northern Region Autonomous Council.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del FPDT

Comenzó en Acteal segunda etapa de Libertad y Justicia para Atenco (La Jornada 12/09/09)

Atenquenses en campaña para la liberación de sus presos se reúnen con la JBG de los Altos (La Jornada 13/09/09)

Abreva el FPDT en la vida zapatista en intenso encuentro en el caracol de Oventic (La Jornada 14/09/09)

El Tercer aniversario del Consejo Autónomo de la Zona Costa participa el Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra de San Salvador Atenco. (Indymedia, 17/09/09)