Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park

December 9, 2013

Entrada del parque eólico cercado con maya ciclónica. Foto @Tierra y Territorio

Entrance of the wind-energy park. Photo @Tierra y Territorio

Members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) have confirmed that the communal pathway used on 30 November during the annual pilgrimage carried out by the Guela Be’ñe’ chapel has been closed by the Constructoral firm, which is carrying out the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park on the orders of the energy multinational Fenosa Natural Gas.  During the pilgrimage taken on that day–always on communal lands–pilgrims were harassed by state police and the firm’s private security forces, according to a denunciation made by the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH).

“During the pilgrimage that crosses communal pathways from which could be seen the seashore, giant wind-energy towers belonging to the Bii Hioxho project are being built in a polygon of 2000 hectares of communal lands […].  This year, the Constructoral firm which is building Bii Hioxho for Fenosa Natural Gas did not allow the vehicles making up a pilgrimage to pass, […] and the pilgrims were surveilled by the private and state police,” notes the APPJ in the communique released for that occasion.

According to Código DH, the people and communities have a right to their identity, and to “manifest, development, and show their traditions, customs, and spiritual and religious ceremonies, and to protect their religious and cultural spaces,” as is stipulated in article 12 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and it demands “the cessation of harassment, criminalization, and legal accusations against communal defenders and the denial of governments to recognize indigenous lands and territories.  The residents of the Seventh Section of Juchitán have the right to maintain their customs, to say NO to the wind-energy park, and to travel freely through their communal lands.”

In the middle of December, there will be held a new annual pilgrimage to the chapel of Guuze Benda, another sacred place for the residents of Juchitán that is located on the communal lands which the APPJ denounces as having been usurped for the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park.

For more information (in Spanish):

Peregrinación de la Santa Cruz Guela Be’ñe’ (Estero Lagarto) un recorrido por nuestras tierras comunales Binnizá (Tierra y Territorio, 2 de diciembre de 2013)

APPJ en defensa de su identidad y costumbres (Código DH, 3 de diciembre 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)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Disturbances during May Day march; human-rights defender among those arrested

May 17, 2013



On 1 May in Oaxaca City, there was held a commemorative march for International Workers’ Day which resulted in confrontations between protestors and the municipal police, leaving 34 arrested, including 7 minors.   In a communique, the Committee for Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights Gobixha (CODIGO-DH) reported that the police opened fire with live ammunition, firing into the ground before the protestors and the air above them.  Furthermore, Gobixha demanded the liberation of Susana Ramírez Jiménez, a CODIGO-DH member, who was arrested as she was documenting abuses on the part of the police, having identified herself as a human-rights defender; however, this did not prevent her from being arrested.  Due to the context in which her arrest was performed, and given the lack of communication and violation of the right of habeas corpus, an Urgent Action was released demanding her immediate release, as well as that of those who were “arbitrarily arrested.”  On 2 May, in an update on the situation of Ramírez Jiménez, who at that time still was incarcerated, CODIGO-DH indicated that “our fear is that they could fabricate crimes against her, due to her mere presence at the time and space of the protest, so as to systematically criminalize human-rights defenders and social activists.  We denounce the excessive use of public force on the part of the police, who used their firearms to ‘contain the protestors’ by firing high-caliber weapons, including R-15’s, just in front of the protestors, both into the air as into the ground.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: Nuevas detenciones arbitrarias en Oaxaca, entre ellas una integrante de CODIGO-DH (01/05/2013)

CODIGO-DH: Defensora de CODIGO DH sigue detenida (02/05/2013)

Ciudadanía Express: Documentan abusos policiales en detención de manifestantes (02/05/2013)

Quadratín Oaxaca: Liberarán a menores que participaron en disturbios del 1 de Mayo (02/05/2013)

Noticias Oaxaca: Violencia opaca Día del Trabajo (02/05/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Harassment of the offices of Código DH (8 April 2013)

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Oaxaca: new intimidation directed at Alba Cruz (18 January 2011)

Oaxaca: Death-threats directed at two human-rights defenders

May 17, 2013

© frontlinedefenders.org

Two human-rights defenders, both of them members of the Comprehensive Committee for Defense of Human Rights Gobixha AC (CODIGO-DH), suffered harassment and assault on 8 May, reports Amnesty International (AI).

“Alba Cruz Ramos, human-rights defender, received a threatening text message on 30 April.  It was similar to other threats that she had received previously: in this one, she was called ‘mami’ and told that the senders had unresolved business to finish; they did not attempt to repeat the threat, but instead acted on it.  Alba Cruz Ramos, lawyer and coordinator of the Comprehensive Committee for Defense of Human Rights Gobixha AC (CODIGO-DH), has since 2007 been awarded precautionary measured as ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights so that she be afforded protection in light of the threats she has received due to the work for defending human rights,” as the AI Urgent Action notes.

AI continues: “Another human-rights defender who works with CODIGO-DH, Susana Ramírez, was detained and released after having spent 34 hours incarcerated.  She did not suffer abuses, but CODIGO-DH believes that her arrest was revenge for her work in defense of human rights.  As part of her work in the department of communications in CODIGO-DH, Susana Ramirez has been covering a protest in Oaxaca City during which protestors confronted the municipal police.  Susana Ramirez told the police that she had not been participating the protest, but rather documenting it; nonetheless, she was arrested together with 28 others.  She was held incomunicado for several hours, and was denied the right to speak with her lawyer and her family until 14 hours after her arrest.”

For more information (in Spanish):

México: DEFENSORAS DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS, AMENAZADAS, Amnistía Internacional, 8 de mayo de 2013

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Harassment of the offices of Código DH (8 April 2013)

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Oaxaca: new intimidation directed at Alba Cruz (18 January 2011)

Oaxaca: Presentation of the report on human-rights violations against #IAm132 sympathizers

September 19, 2012

Photo @ EDUCA

The civil-society organizations Luna del Sur, Tequio Jurídico, and the Gobixha Committee for Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH),  presented a report regarding the use of public force and investigation of responsibility in the case of the repression that took place during the arrest of youth on 22 July in Oaxaca de Juárez.  The organizations conclude with a series of recommendations for Luis Ugartechea Begué, mayor of Oaxaca, and by challenging the state-government of Oaxaca with regard to its public policy of security and the Defense Organization for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO) regarding the “poor role” it took on that day, given the grave and different human-rights violations, as attested to in the document.  The report also reveals that “the detained were beaten, threatened with death, and tortured in physical and psychological terms, thus amounting to different violations of their human rights.”

It should be remembered that five youth who claim to have been tortured on 22 July after participating in a march organized by #IAm132 have presented a complaint to the DDHPO in which they accuse the mayor of the city and his security cabinet as being responsible for the violation of their basic rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe de Tequio Jurídico, Código DH y Luna del Sur

Denuncian violaciones a sus Derechos Humanos jóvenes de YoSoy132(Código DH, 1 de agosto de 2012)

Presentan informe sobre la criminalización de la protesta de #YoSoy132 Oaxaca(Educa, 11 de septiembre de 2012)ç

Ugartechea viola pactos internacionales de DH y criminaliza la protesta social: OSC (Página 3, 11 de septiembre de 2012)

Juventud y criminalización. Se presenta Informe sobre violaciones a DH vs #YoSoy132 (Código DH, 11 de septiembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Protests against “imposition,” detention, and torture (25 July 2012)

Oaxaca: Creation of the Citizens’ Space for Justice and Truth

September 22, 2011

Representatives of civil organizations @ Enfoqueoaxaca.com

A group of civil and social organizations, collectives, and citizens created on 15 August the citizens’ Space for Justice and truth in Oaxaca as an autonomous effort on the part of civil society.  As they declared in a press-conference, the idea is to have a large space that is plural and diverse, independent of political parties and public power that would be open to dialogue with these, and that would resort to all forms of citizens’ mobilizations, including direct action, to impel its political agenda.

At the event participated Gustavo Esteva (Unitierra), Sara Méndez (CODIGO-DH), and Isaac Torres (Limeddh), among others, together with the director of Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA), Marcos Leyva Madrid, who explained that the commission seeks truth and justice for the peoples of Oaxaca, given that the present government, despite its campaign promises and commitment to the mission of the Inter-American Commission on Human rights and the European Union, has not attended to this demand of diverse social sectors in light of the events of 2006, during the repression carried out by the government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.

He stressed that if it the grand importance of the creation of the Prosecutorial Office of Investigation on Crimes of Social Importance, the state administration should observe its word and send an initiative to the Congress or release a decree for the immediate creation of the Truth Commission. This Commission should guarantee “the active participation of the survivors of repression, victims and relatives, from civil organizations and society in general; as well as an independent investigation that would promote justice, reconciliation, recuperation of historical memory and the reconstruction of the social fabric; the analysis of social, political, and cultural conditions that have propelled authoritarianism, violence, and impunity in Oaxaca, particularly after 1996,” he emphasized.

One of the primary activities of the Space will be had on 11 September in the capital of the state, when it receives the Caravan to the South, from the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, which will meet with representative groups of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca, particularly those communities in resistance to defend their territory.  These meetings will attempt to show that, in the case of Oaxaca, the violence caused by criminals is much less grave than the violence of the three levels of government.

For more information (in Spanish):


Surge en Oaxaca “espacio ciudadano” por la verdad y la justicia, Proceso.com.mx, 30 August 2011

ONG de Oaxaca crean grupo para promover comisión de la verdad, La Jornada, 30 August 2011

Exigen organizaciones a Cué cumplir con creación de Comisión de la Verdad, Enfoque Oaxaca, 29 August 2011

Retornan a PGJE 15 expedientes del año 2006, Noticiasnet.mx, 30 August 2011

Crean Espacio Ciudadano por la Justicia y Verdad en Oaxaca, Oaxaca Libre, 30 August 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Oaxaca: Lizbeth Caña Cadeza renounces public charges; trial is demanded against her for events of 2006/7

July 24, 2011

Lizbeth Caña Cadeza

On 8 July, Rosa Lizbeth Caña Cadeza presented her resignation for the charge of superior auditor of the state of Oaxaca.  According to journalistic sources, the resignation has to do with personal reasons.  Human-rights defenders from civil organizations in the state have demanded that the Public Ministry investigate Caña Cadeza now that she has lost the constitutional protection given her by the public charge regarding her role as head of the State Attorney General’s Office in the administration of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (2004-2010).  Alba Cruz Ramos, member of the Committee for Wholesome Defense of Human Rights Gobixha (CODIGO-DH) and human-rights lawyer for 29 activists associated with the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) who were illegally detained and tortured in 2006, indicates that initial investigations show Caña Cadeza to be responsible for torture in the case of César Mateos Benítez who had denounced her for being present during his torture.  For his part, Isaac Torres Carmona, member of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (Limeddh), claims that there is sufficient information and evidence to prosecute Caña Cadeza, who was associated with arbitrary detentions, torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions during the social conflict of 2006.

For more information (in Spanish):