Chiapas: SIPAZ event – 20 years accompanying lights of hope

December 26, 2015

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SIPAZ Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope”

Photo @SIPAZ

On 27 and 28 November was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas the Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope” to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ). Those participating in the event included women and men from communities, organizations, human-rights centers, the academy, as well as activists, both from Mexico and other countries. By means of panels, the invited speakers shared reflections regarding their experiences, situating them also within an historical analysis incorporating the principal tendencies, challenges, and obstacles. The event stressed concern for the present situation in the country, given that participants agreed that we are in a war situation.

Two media based in the lessons learned through SIPAZ’s years of work in Mexico were presented at the event. One was a documentary, entitled “That the Heart Not Break. Non-Violent Struggles for Justice and Defense of Land,” produced in collaboration with the Koman Ilel community media collective. The video was presented with the participation of the involved communities and organizations: communities displaced below Tila and the Las Abejas Civil Society, based in Chiapas, along with the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER), from Oaxaca. In parallel, the book Struggle with a Woman’s Heart: The Situation and Participation of Women in Chiapas (1995-2015), was presented and discussed. This volume brings together the major experiences and lessons from women’s struggle to participate and for gender equality.

For more information (in Spanish):

SIPAZ: 20 años acompañando luces de esperanza (EDUCA, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

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Oaxaca: COPUDEVER celebrates its eighth anniversary

July 23, 2015

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

On 11 June, the Council of United Peoples in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER) observed the eighth anniversary since its founding in favor of the defense of land and life. The Council struggles for the cancelation of the “Paso de la Reina Project for Hydroelectric Exploitation,” which consists in the construction of an installation comprised of two dams being built by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). This project has been rejected by local people, “who have realized that the government seeks to allow foreign investment on their lands to appropriate natural resources,” members affirmed.

This anniversary commemorates also the sixth year of the existence of the El Zanate block, a strategy of non-violent resistance to impede CFE workers’ access to the Paso de la Reyna community, Santiago Jamiltepec municipality, in the coastal region of Oaxaca, which would be the most affected, as it is located between the two planned dams.

We will not countenance the environmental devastation that the government seeks to promote. As indigenous peoples we have the right to defend our land and to decide what we want to have happen on our ejidos, and what we do not want,” said Eloy Cruz Gregorio, a resident of the Paso de la Reyna community and member of COPUDEVER. “The Paso de la Reina hydroelectric project threatens indigenous peoples, their lands, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices, thus threatening their right to consultation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

COPUDEVER conmemora ocho años “defendiendo la vida y el territorio” (video) (Educa, 10 de julio de 2015)

Comunidades de la costa de Oaxaca dieron su “no” rotundo a hidroeléctrica Paso de la Reina y se niegan a la consulta(DesInformémonos, 16 de julio de 2015)

Comunidad de Paso de la Reina celebra 6 años de organización y 8 de la fundación de COPUDEVER (Boca de Polen, 16 de julio de 2015)

Mantienen rechazo contra presa Paso de la Reyna (NoticiasNet, 12 de diciembre de 2014)

This is Not Development – The Story of Paso de la Reina (YouTube, 4 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (28 March 2014)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER mobilizes in defense of the Río Verde (20 March 2011)


Oaxaca: Opponents to the Paso de la Reina dam denounce pressure

July 20, 2014

Foto (@SiPaz)

Photo (@Sipaz)

In a press conference held on 15 July, members of the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) accused the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and the local PAN deputy Sonia López of having pressured local authorities and residents of the region to accept the construction of the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric dam.  According to the protestors, pressure has increased since Enrique Peña Nieto released details some weeks ago about the National Infrastructure Program (PNI), which means to build 189 projects in the southern and southeastern regions of the country, including the Paso de la Reina dam.  COPUDEVER declares that “Outside of all democratic and legal processes, the hydroelectric project and the infrastructure plan constitute a public policy that is contrary to the right to autonomous development.”

On the same occasion, the CFE’s attempt to pressure local communities by promising them public-works projects was also denounced, including plans for electrification, drinking water, and education: “This action represents an undue use of resources which violates the collective rights of communities, as the support and projects are conditional upon acceptance of said megaproject.”  They furthermore warned that “the Mexican Army has been presenting itself in the territory to be affected by the project, toward the end of intimidating the people using the pretext of improving local security.”

Lastly, they recalled that the project is also opposed by the diocese of Puerto Escondido which, by means of a pastoral letter signed by more than 30 parishes, it has pronounced itself openly against the dam and denounced the pressure exercised by the CFE against local communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

CFE Y PAN PRESIONAN A COMUNIDADES A ACEPTAR PROYECTO “PASO DE LA REINA” (EDUCA, 15 de julio de 2014)

CFE y PAN presionan a comunidades oaxaqueñas a aceptar proyecto “Paso de la Reina”(Sididh, 16 de julio de 2014)

Denuncian intimidación del Ejército por proyecto de presa Paso de la Reina (EDUCA, 16 de julio de 2014)

Más información de SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Communities opposed to the Paso de la Reina report harassment and intimidation by Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) (28 June 2014)

Oaxaca: The Diocese of Puerto Escondido expresses its full support to the communities in resistance to hydro project Paso de la Reina (June 13, 2014)

National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace (May 16, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (March 28, 2014)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (July 19, 2013)


Oaxaca: Communities opposed to the Paso de la Reina dam report harassment and intimidation of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE)

June 28, 2014
Demostration against the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric Dam (@SIPAZ)

Demonstration against the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric Dam (@SIPAZ)

Representatives of 42 communities in the coastal region of Oaxaca who oppose the construction of the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric dam have met with the Ombudsman of the Office for the Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO) in Puerto Escondido.

The purpose of the meeting was to inform him of the harassment and intimidation from the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) against the people and communities who are opposed to the construction of the dam.

Although the hydroelectric project is a federal one, community representatives consider that municipal and state governments should get involved to promote, protect, and ensure the human rights of the population that could be affected. They have denounced that the communities have been deceived by the CFE since the latter has concealed the consequences the construction of the dam might have, among them forced displacement, disruption of the water supply, damage to the Lagunas de Chacahua National Park, and so on. All this would jeopardize the lives of Mixteco, Zapoteco, Chatino and Afro-mestizo groups in the region.

Meanwhile, the DDHPO committed himself to follow up on the complaints and to take up actions to protect the rights of the people and communities who would be affected.

For more information (in Spanish):

Preocupa a Consejo de la DDHPO, proyecto de la presa Paso de la Reina (NSS Oaxaca, 15 de junio de 2014)

CFE intimida a comunidades opositoras a Presa Hidroeléctrica (Voces Oaxaca, 16 de junio de 2014)

Preocupan a Consejo Ciudadano de la Defensoría comunidades afectadas por presa Paso de la Reina (Noticias, 16 de junio de 2014)

Hostiga CFE a comunidades por oponerse a la presa Paso de la Reina, denuncian ante DDHPO (Entidad, 16 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: The Diocese of Puerto Escondido expresses its full support to the communities in resistance to hydro project Paso de la Reina (June 13, 2014)

National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace (May 16, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (March 28, 2014)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (July 19, 2013)


Oaxaca: The Diocese of Puerto Escondido expresses its full support to the communities in resistance to hydro project Paso de la Reina

June 13, 2014
Demostration form COPUDEVER (@SIPAZ)

Demostration form COPUDEVER (@SIPAZ)

Coinciding with International Environment Day, the Bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Escondido, Pedro Vasquez Villalobos, conducted a Mass in which he expressed the full support of the diocese to the community of Paso de la Reina and other communities organized in the Council of Peoples United for the Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER). In relation to their resistance to the construction of the Paso de la Reina Hydroelectric Dam, in the Municipality of Jamiltepec, Oaxaca, he stressed: “I say to those who live here and are striving to protect this river and the land, feel our support … our spiritual presence and strength of will because we are united to you, saying NO to the construction of the dam at Paso de la Reina … We are united with you, it is an union of the Church with you … “.

The bishop noted that the project violates the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people and stressed the importance of the river to the lives and development of communities that benefit from it: “You are the guardians of water, plants, animals, and the land they inhabit,” said the bishop in reference to the Indians, “rightful owners of these lands and territories”. 3.100 hectares of 40 villages from six municipalities would be affected by the dam.

About the smear campaign undertaken by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) against the Diocesan Church of Puerto Escondido, the bishop said: “It has made serious disqualifications against our work saying that we come from outside the region and accuses of misinforming and confusing public opinion. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento diocesano (Diócesis de Puerto Escondido, 5 de junio de 2014)

La Iglesia se opone a proyecto hidroeléctrico en Oaxaca (Proceso, 5 de junio de 2014)

CFE desprestigia a Diócesis de Puerto Escondido por oponerse a Presa Paso de la Reina (Página 3, 5 de junio de 2014)

La Diócesis de Puerto Escondido y agentes de pastoral reiteran su apoyo al Consejo de Pueblos Unidos en defensa del Río Verde (Fé y resistencia, 6 de junio de 2014)

Respalda obispo lucha de pueblos contra Paso de la Reina (Noticias, 6 de junio de 2014)

Reitera Diócesis de Puerto Escondido oposición a hidroeléctrica Paso de la Reyna (E-Oaxaca, 6 de junio de 2014)

CFE desprestigia a Diócesis de Puerto Escondido por oponerse a Presa Paso de la Reina (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace (May 16, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (March 28, 2014)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (July 19, 2013)


Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life”

March 28, 2014

Protesta en Jamiltepec. Foto (@Sipaz)

Protest in Jamiltepec. Photo @Sipaz

On 14 March, to mark the “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life,” the Council of Peoples United for the Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) carried out a “funerary march” and peacefully occupied the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in the Santiago Jamiltepec municipality to protest the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam.  Another 16 communities from the Coast and union delegations from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) also participated in the action.  With the slogan “Enough of imposing projects against the will of the people,” they denounced that the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric project will negatively affect indigenous peoples and their territory, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices, due to the formation of the reservoir the dam would imply.  Moreover, they have reported as having their right to consultation violated in the process to date.

This same day there were carried out actions against dams and for rivers, water, and life in other parts of the republic and the world.  Furthermore, other cases such as the dams in Chicoasén II (Chiapas), Las Cruces (Nayarit), Atoyac (Veracruz), and Zapotillo (Jalisco) were similarly denounced.

For more information (in Spanish):

Copudever insiste en cancelación del proyecto “Paso de la Reina”; atenta vs los pueblos (Página3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Con “marcha fúnebre” inicia Copudever toma simbólica de CFE en Jamiltepec (Diario Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Celebran en Oaxaca día en Defensa del Agua (NSS Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Marchan en Jamiltepec contra la presa Paso de la Reina (Pinodebate, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Elevado riesgo para la fauna de Nayarit con presa Las Cruces (La Jornada, 12 de marzo de 2014)

El agua del río Atoyac no se negocia (Zapateando, 25 de febrero de 2014)

En Chiapas se declaran territorios libres de represas y mineras (Derecho a la Consulta Previa, 3 de enero de 2014)

Municipios afectados por hidroeléctricas, sin riqueza ni prosperidad garantizada (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de diciembre de 2013)

http://pasodelareina.org/

EDUCA: Galería de fotos y los videos: En Río Verde, Oaxaca, otra batalla por el agua (7 min.) y Presa Paso de la Reina ¿Desarrollo para Quien? (6 min.)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)


Oaxaca: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER on “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life”

March 16, 2014

Protesta en Jamiltepec, marzo de 2014 (@EDUCA)

Protest in Jamiltepec, March 2014 (@EDUCA)

On 14 March, in observance of the “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life,” the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) carried out a “funerary march” and peacefully occupied the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in the Santiago Jamiltepec municipality to protest the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam.  Another 16 communities from the coastal region and union delegations from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) also participated.  With the slogan “Enough of imposing projects against the decision of the peoples,” protestors denounced that the Paso de la Reina project would negatively affect indigenous peoples, their territory, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices due to its creation of a reservoir.  Moreover, they have already seen how their rights to consultation have been violated.

Para más información:

Copudever insiste en cancelación del proyecto “Paso de la Reina”; atenta vs los pueblos (Página3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Con “marcha fúnebre” inicia Copudever toma simbólica de CFE en Jamiltepec (Diario Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Celebran en Oaxaca día en Defensa del Agua (NSS Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

http://pasodelareina.org/

EDUCA: Galería de fotos y los videos: En Río Verde, Oaxaca, otra batalla por el agua (7 min.) y Presa Paso de la Reina ¿Desarrollo para Quien? (6 min.)