National: Process of “Free, Prior and Informed Consultation” on Constitutional and Legal Reform of Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples Begins

June 27, 2019
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Photo @ Alcaldes de Mexico

According to the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI in its Spanish acronym) and the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym) “there is a need to harmonize and reform the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, in accordance with the various international and national legal instruments on human rights of the indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples, as well as in the jurisprudential criteria and in the recommendations of various bodies of the United Nations Organization and the Inter-American Human Rights System.”

For this reason, on June 21st, the Mexican government began “the free, prior and informed consultation of the indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples and communities, “which will aim to “receive opinions, and proposals on the principles and criteria that will sustain the Constitutional Reform Initiative and the corresponding regulatory laws on the rights of indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples.” There will be 54 Regional Consultation Forums, 53 in Mexican territory and one last forum on August 4th in Los Angeles, California, USA specifically for the indigenous migrant population.

In the regional forums indigenous municipal authorities; community authorities, delegates, agents, curators, heads of tenure, site authorities, assistantships, among others, depending on what the federative entity may be; traditional indigenous and Afro-Mexican authorities; indigenous and Afro-Mexican agrarian authorities (communal and from ejidos); organizations, institutions and citizens belonging to indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples, and academic and research institutions related to indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples, may participate.

In a first informative stage, the subjects consulted must be informed through a wide dissemination of information on the subjects to be consulted. “For this, the document “Principles and Criteria for Constitutional and Legal Reform” has been prepared with the topics and their possible contents that encourage reflection, debate and consensus of proposals.” In addition, “community assemblies, discussion groups, workshops, among others, will take place in indigenous and Afro-Mexican communities and communities, as well as in academic institutions specialized in the investigation of indigenous problems.” In accordance with the consultation protocol, these actions will be done from the issuance of the convocation and up to one day before the Regional Consultation Forums.

The consultation focuses on the following topics:

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With the purpose of generating the greatest possible consensus in the different subjects subject to consultation, a National Forum will be held in Mexico City on August 7th, 8th and 9th. In this National Forum representatives will participate, who must be indigenous authorities who were elected in the regional forums.

“For the follow-up of the agreements and consensus reached in the consultation process, in the National Forum, among the participants, a Follow-up Commission will be chosen that will have the objective of establishing dialogues with the national debate and decision-making bodies, as well being in charge of promoting the deliberation and analysis of the Constitutional Reform proposals and, where appropriate, the reforms to the corresponding secondary laws. Said Commission shall be composed of an equal number of men and women.”

For more information in Spanish:

Pueblos indígenas y afromexicano inician consultas para fortalecer sus derechos (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de junio de 2019)

Publica DOF protocolo de consulta para reforma sobre derechos indígenas (La Jornada, 21 de junio de 2019)

CONVOCATORIA al proceso de consulta libre, previa e informada para la Reforma Constitucional y Legal sobre Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicano. (Secretaría de Gobernación, 13 de junio de 2019)

PROTOCOLO DE LA CONSULTA LIBRE, PREVIA E INFORMADA PARA EL PROCESO DE REFORMA CONSTITUCIONAL Y LEGAL SOBRE DERECHOS DE LOS PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS Y AFROMEXICANO (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, 3 de junio de 2019)

PUBLICACIÓN DE LOS DOMICILIOS EN QUE SE REALIZARÁN LOS FOROS REGIONALES DE CONSULTA (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples Calls on AMLO Government to Comply with International Standards on Indigenous Consultation for Megaprojects in their Territories, March 19th, 2019

Oaxaca/National: Federal Government Presents National Program for Indigenous Peoples December 28th 2018

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Presents Report in Mexico City One Year after her Visit (October 22nd, 2018)

 

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National: Mexico International Airport in Texcoco is canceled after consultation

November 3, 2018

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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)

COMUNICADO CONJUNTO DEL CNI, EL CIG Y EL EZLN EN RECHAZO AL MEGAPROYECTO DEL NAIM Y EN APOYO Y SOLIDARIDAD CON LAS POBLACIONES MIGRANTES (CNI/EZLN, 26 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)


Chiapas: Forum in Amparo Agua Tinta rejects the Santo Domingo dam project in the Border Zone

September 18, 2018
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First Forum Against Hydroelectric Dams, Amparo Aguatinta (@SIPAZ)


On September 4, the nearly 800 participants of the First Forum Against Hydroelectric Dams in the Border Zone rejected the completion of the Hydroelectric Project for the Generation of Renewable Energy Santo Domingo that is intended to be built in the communities of Loma Bonita and Las Nubes of the municipality of Maravilla Tenejapa. They considered that if built, “the territories of the original peoples are to be invaded, the ceremonial centers to disappear and the historical memory of our peoples to be buried, causing massive displacements and the rupture of traditional structures and organizational forms”. They also denounced that this project is based “on the interests of a few on the lives of our peoples” and that it “covers a large part of the protected natural reserves of the region.”

For this reason they demanded the definitive cancellation of the Project and “respect for our mother earth and the territory and our peoples” based on the fullfillment of Constitutional Article 2, the San Andrés Accords on Indigenous Rights and Culture, the Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (OIT) and of “all the International Agreements and Treaties signed and ratified by the Mexican Government that protect our territories, native peoples and our cultures”.

They also asked for access to “clear and timely informations from institutions such as the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) regarding the Santo Domingo project. Finally, they demanded to have a binding consultation that should be clean, transparent, informed and ratified by our peoples and communities ».

For more information (in Spanish) :

En foro rechazan proyecto hidroeléctrico y tren maya (NVI Noticias, 6 de septiembre de 2018)

La “mini represa” Santo Domingo, un proyecto inviable (Otros Mundos, 6 de septiembre de 2018)

Asamblea en Amparo Agua Tinta rechaza proyectos hidroeléctricos (Declaración final, 5 de septiembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas: Hydroelectric Dam Canceled in the Lacandon Jungle September 16, 2018

National/International: Actions for International Day against Dams and in Defense of Rivers and Water March 28, 2018

Chiapas: Meeting of those affected by dams and mining February 4, 2016


Oaxaca: Second Day for the People, Water, Life, and Land

April 23, 2015

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In observance of the Second Day for the People, Water, Life, and Land on 10 April, there was held a Meeting of Experiences for Consultation amidst Infrastructural and Developmentalist Projects in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez.  Representatives from indigenous and campesino peoples and members and organizations of civil society hailing from the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Chiapas, Tabasco, Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Veracruz, and Distrito Federal met “to discuss and analyze the exercise of our right to decide about legislative and administrative measures as well as ‘developmental’ projects which affect our lands and territories, putting at risk our ways of life.”

At this meeting, the organizations and social processes defending land and territory shared their experiences, including the use of “closed season” for the use of water in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca; the El Zapotillo dam in Jalisco; the wind-energy projects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus; the Las Cruces (Nayarit) and Paso de la Reyna (Oaxaca) dam projects and the “Independence Aqueduct” in Sonora; the hydroelectric dams in Puebla and Veracruz; and the Plan for Territorial Exploitation on the Usumacinta River in Chiapas and Tabasco. As a central question, the great difficulty of implementing consultative processes vis-a-vis megaprojects was debated, given that “the Mexican State is promoting a series of consultations that do not respect international standards, but rather lead to a climate of harassment against communal defenders who oppose these projects,” as participants expressed in a final document.  They added that the “information we receive is only partial and distorted; it does not allow us to have a clear understanding of what the impacts are of said projects.  Furthermore, the process that continues is rigged, as there is no guarantee of impartiality.  The result is a number of simulated consultations.  In this way, we denounce the interference of power-groups and armed bands that are allied to the firms within this consultative process.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del Encuentro de Experiencias de Consulta ante Proyectos de Infraestructura y Desarrollo (Educa, 10 de abril de 2015)


Oaxaca: Consultative process in the Tehuantepc Isthmus challenged on several fronts

December 16, 2014

La Ventosa, Istmo de Tehuantepec @SIPAZ

La Ventosa, Tehuantepec Isthmus @SIPAZ

After the beginning of the consultation process began in November regarding the implementation of a wind-energy project by the Wind-Energy Firm of the South in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Tehuantepec Isthmus, a number of acts of intimidation and harassment against members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) have been reported.  Once the session from which they had been barred and insulted upon questioning the information provided by the firm had ended, three APPJ members were followed by a white truck, and they heard gunfire as they entered their homes.

For its part, the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTyt) denounced that the conditions under which the process were progressing are incorrect: “As seen in the screams and insults and harassment by armed men, as was seen on 11 November, the events confirm that this is not a free consultation.  Instead, it is proceeding under conditions of coercion and assault.”  Furthermore, they indicated with respect to the second phase of the consultation, which was “approved despite the grave irregularities,” that “the meeting was held in a different place from the beginning, despite the fact that there was little diffusion of this information, with the result that the majority of those who attended were Coce groups, city hall workers, landowners who have signed contracts with the firm, and lawyers who are committed to the corporation.”

Beyond this, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, mayor of Juchitán, assured that in case the “representative institutions” of the communards and the people of Juchitán decide not to build the wind-energy park on the land, City Hall “will respect this decision totally.”

Beyond this, the announcement by President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) regarding the creation of an exclusive economic zone for Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Chiapas to catalyze development, with the creation of an industrial inter-oceanic corridor in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, “is a double discourse, because on the one hand it speaks of combating corruption and not having nefarious ties with firms, but on the other it is saying to corporations that they have all the support.  They come once again to speak to us of development but without taking into account us indigenous people, our human rights, or the decisions of the people regarding our resources,” stressed an APPJ member.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de la APIIDTyT (6 de diciembre de 2014)

Misión de Observación presenta Reporte del proceso de consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán, Oaxaca (Prodesc, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Rechazan juchitecos tiempos de la consulta para el parque eólico (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

Preocupantes violaciones en consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán; genera confrontación (Página 3, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado: APIIDTT hace entrega de observaciones y propuestas al protocolo de consulta previa, libre e informada en Juchitán (Educa, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Violan derecho de consulta en plan eólico de Oaxaca: ONG (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Ignora DH de pueblos indígenas zona económica propuesta por Peña: juchitecos (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán(13 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)


Oaxaca: Civil Mission reports violation of right to consultation; APIIDT shares views

December 6, 2014

Consulta en Juchitán (@CODIGO DH)

Consultation in Juchitán (@CODIGO DH)

Three non-governmental organizations-the Project for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC); the Project for Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER); and the Gobixha AC Committee for Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH)-were present during the preliminary accords for the consultation process regarding the installation of a wind-energy project in Juchitán, Oaxaca.  In a first report, they reported that there were “violations against the basic principles of the right to consultation, including that it be prior informed, culturally adequate, transparent, free, and in good faith try to accord with the highest international standards on human rights.”  They indicated furthermore that clear and transparent mechanisms were lacking during the decision-making process, leading to “an antagonistic environment among the parties.”  They denounced as well “security incidents against participants represent one of the gravest aspects seen in this first phase of the consultation.”  They mentioned concretely that “members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), from the the Assembly of the Indigenous People of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), as well as a communal radio denounced that during the sessions they were subjected to harassment, direct threats, and security problems related to the consultation process.”

For this reason, they made the following recommendation: “That translation and interpretation be carried out by certified translators and interpreters during all stages of the consultative process; that the participants be assured of having sufficient information regarding the breadth, limits, and implications of the consultative process in an adequate, complete, and consistent manner during each of the sessions; that clear, explicit mechanisms of participation be established; that these conditions of participation be ensured for all those in attendance; that security measures be adopted to guarantee the security of participants, so that the consultation progress in a free manner and in good faith, without harassment or intimidation.”

Members of the APIIDT also presented a document including observations and proposals to the techincal committee of the consultative process.

For more information (in Spanish):

Violan derecho de consulta en plan eólico de Oaxaca: ONG (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Preocupantes violaciones en consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán; genera confrontación (Pagina3.mx, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Reporte completo de la Misión de Observación (12 de noviembre de 2014)

Solicita Educa garantizar proceso de consulta en Juchitan (El Libertador de Oaxaca, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Entrega APIIDTyT propuestas para protocolo de consulta en Juchitán(Pagina3.mx, 14 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado completo de la APIIDT (APIIDT, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán (13 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 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)


National/International: Mexico confronts a “humanitarian crisis” amidst context of violence and impunity, denounces civil society in Brussels

March 30, 2014

Seminario sobre Derechos Humanos en Bruselas, marzo de 2014 (@CADHAC)

Seminar on human rights in Brussels, March 2014 (@CADHAC)

On 18 March, during the seminar on human rights that was held to observe the Fourth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between Mexico and the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Belgium, 32 organizations denounced that in Mexico “there is experienced a context of violence and impunity that has led the country to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”

In a joint pronunciation, Mexican and European civil organizations stressed that “the lack of professional investigation signifies that the structures of violence, looting, and discrimination operate in Mexico unchecked, this being a country where the rate of impunity is 98-99% […].  The statistics on abuse speak of a systematic and generalized violation of human rights hailing from the police, soldiers, and public officials, who commit arbitrary arrests, torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions, among other violations; public and private actors commit acts of violence and discrimination against women; and Mexican and transnational corporations pollute, displace, and exploit natural resources without consulting the affected peoples and communities.”

After presenting a lengthy diagnostic, the civil organizations released a series of recommendations to the Mexican government and the EU, which included placing the question of human rights at the center of the bilateral agenda, suspending support for megaprojects that affect communities, designing a new strategy for public security, and eradicating violence against women.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de la sociedad civil en el marco del Diálogo de Alto Nivel en Derechos Humanos entre México y la Unión Europea (OSC, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Alertan ONG sobre la crisis humana sin precedente que enfrenta México (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Tendrán México y Unión Europea encuentro sobre derechos humanos (El Universal, 16 de marzo)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: civil-society organizations call on European Union to address deterioration of human rights in Mexico (26 October 2012)