Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies Held

October 16, 2018

On October 11 and 12, in the City of Oaxaca, 50 indigenous communities and civil organizations submitted national and international extractive companies, as well as the Mexican State to a “Popular Community Trial”, for 22 cases of human rights violations in the framework of the 322 concessions granted for 41 mining projects covering a total area of ​​462 thousand 974 hectares in Oaxaca.

The denunciations included situations of murders, assaults and criminalization of human rights defenders; deception and conditioning to get the consent of indigenous communities in violation to their right to a free, prior and informed consultation; as well as contamination of common property and community divisions as a result of mining activity. They were presented to a jury composed of international experts.

In the pre-verdict, the jury requested the adoption of measures and policies that fully and effectively guarantee the exercise of self-determination, autonomy, forms of government and relationship with indigenous territories, lagoons, rivers, mountains and seas, as well as the strict respect of their normative systems; the immediate suspension of new mining concessions (as long as a new legal framework is not drawn up that fully and effectively respects the indigenous peoples rights ); the abrogation of the current Mining Law and the approval of a new law that respects the rights of indigenous and peasant peoples, one that will tend to fully repair the human rights violations that have occurred so far. The final verdict will be handed over to community, state and national authorities as well as to human rights organisations at a national and international level in early December.

For more information (in Spanish):

Realizan juicio popular comunitario contra el Estado y empresas mineras en Oaxaca (Proceso, 12 de octubre de 2018)

Minería fuera de Oaxaca, exigen en juicio popular (NVI Noticias, 12 de octubre de 2018)

Someten a juicio a empresas mineras por 22 casos de violaciones a derechos de los pueblos indígenas (Página 3,mx, 12 de octubre de 2018)

Oaxaca: exigen cancelar concesiones mineras (La Jornada, 13 de octubre de 2018)

Programa de trabajo del Juicio Popular #OaxacaVsMineria

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Here we say “Yes to Life, No to Mining” – Magdalena Teitipac is still fighting for its territory April 7, 2018

National/International: REMA Questions Report of UN Working Group on Corporations and Human Rights in Mexico June 28, 2017

National/International: Organizations and Defenders Take Urgent Action June 14, 2017

Oaxaca: COPUVO Denounces Harassment by Municipal Authorities and Mining Company May 15, 2017

Oaxaca: NGOs present their diagnosis of human rights work

October 31, 2009


On October 14th, several human rights organizations presented a report on the situation of human rights workers in Oaxaca. The document contained information compiled in 2008 and the first half of 2009, and highlighted that fact that human rights work is criminalized and subject to persecution.


The report called “A Diagnosis of the Situation of Human Rights Workers in Oaxaca” was released with a press communiqué that denounced “the increase in abuse against human rights workers registered by NGOs, with more frequent cases of intimidation and harassment, as well as an increase in more serious crimes like assault, threats to personal safety, illegal detentions, defamation, discrediting, legal persecution, and others, with the goal of preventing the work of human rights workers to defend and promote human rights and report infringements on those rights.”


Written by Peace Watch Switzerland, the report is based on interviews with 17 organizations working in the defense and promotion of human rights. The report covers subjects such as Impunity, Criminalization of Social Protest, Militarization, Rupture of the Social Fabric, Agricultural Conflict, the Defense of Natural Resources as well as the Electoral Process Leading to 2010. In addition, the report reveals the need for coordination between human rights organizations in order to create “a ‘Working Space for Human Rights Defenders’ where they can share intervention methods as well as monitor the pattern of attacks against human rights workers who promote, defend or organize to demand the validity of human rights.” So far this space is made up of the Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue A.C., Bartolome Carrasco Briseno Human Rights Center A.C., the Mexican Human Rights League A.C., Alternative Education Services A.C., the 25th of November Committee A.C., and the Miguel Agustin Pro Human Rights Center A.C.

For more information (in Spanish):

Mexico: “Protest is a Right, Repression is a Crime.” Statement from Edgar Cortez (Red TDT)

August 19, 2008

Edgar Cortez presents the “Protest is a Right, Repression is a Crime” campaign at Centro Prodh

Edgar Cortez, Executive Secretary of the National Network of Civil Organizations for Human Rights ‘All Rights for All’ (Red TDT, Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos), spoke on the organization’s national campaign “Protest is a Right, Repression is a Crime” at the First National Meeting of Human Rights Defenders and Family Members of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience which took place July 24 through 26 in Mexico City.

The introduction to his comments touched on the poverty in Mexico as well as the lack of human rights vigilance stating that “there is not only an economic inequality, but rather this inequality is translated into an inequality of the possibility of enjoying all of one’s rights.” His remarks revolved around the recent constitutional reforms of the Mexican judicial system which were approved on June 18 of this year. While Cortez admits that there are some good changes made in the reform, the definition of “organized crime” has been extended so broadly that it may very well be applied to social protest and social activists. His presentation refers to the fact that “the full weight of the law” is used against social protest without evidence or the guarantee of due process.” The presentation also claims that “in Mexico, rights are used to ‘mistreat those they should care for, persecute those they should protect, ignore those they should pay more attention to and serve those they should control.’”

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