The tensions related to the intention to build a wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, have increased in recent days due to different events that have led to confrontations between opponents to the wind-energy park and its proponents. On different occasions, several journalists have been arrested, and some local residents have also been detained, only to be subsequently released with signs of torture. Beyond this, on 26 March public security forces were used in a failed attempt to displace a roadblock maintained by opponents to the project in the Playa Vicente community, leaving several injured.
Both the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTyT) and the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) have denounced that 4 communards “were taken in the middle of the day from the Juárez neighborhood on 18 March and released the next day with signs of torture.” The two organizations have denounced that on 21 March there were arrests of several hours of “journalists from La Jornada, Rosa Rojas and Francisco Olvera, [and of] David Henestrosa from the Regional Weekly from Salina Cruz; Ignacio Garrido, Karina Martínez, and Eliseo Ramírez from Ucizoni, as well as Eleazar Infante, an Ikoots communard from San Mateo del Mar as prosecuted by a group […] which serves Francisco Valle Piamonte, the ex-mayor of San Mateo del Mar.”
While the journalists and UCIZONI members were released the same day, Eleazar Infante was not freed until the midnight of the following day. The communiques have indicated that Valle Piamonte had been rejected as mayor for having negotiated a deal with the Spanish firm Mareña Renewables for the rental of lands to construct the wind-energy park in the region.
Beyond this, on 26 March, there were confrontations between Zapotec indigenous members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchitec People (APPJ) with the State Police as the latter attempted to displace a roadblock that the APPJ had maintained on the road between the community of Playa Vicente and the state capital. In accordance with journalistic information, the residents installed barricades to impede the construction of the wind-energy park Fuerza y Energía Bii Hioxho, the project of the Spanish firm Fenosa Natural Gas. Some 140 state police had been sent to the site to remove the opponents to the wind-energy park using tear gas and live fire, but regardless, the communards defended themselves with rocks and sticks, forcing the state police to retreat. According to the press, 6 Navy units also participated in the operation. The confrontation left 32 police injured, three of them gravely, and 11 injured on the side of the APPJ. Following the confrontation, which resulted in the arrest of 5 Zapotec indigenous persons and the taking of a female police officer, representatives of the state government and the protestors agreed to a cease-fire. The Ministry for the Defense of Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO), for its part, has requested precautionary measures from the Oaxaca General Secretariat of Governance and Public Security to resolve the conflict by means of dialogue and negotiation.
For more information (in Spanish):
La Jornada: Gente vinculada a edil priísta oaxaqueño retiene a dos periodistas de La Jornada (22/03/2013)
Quadratin: Siete policías heridos luego de intento de desalojo en Juchitán (26/03/2013)
La Jornada: Se enfrentan policías e indígenas en Juchitán (27/03/2013)
El Universal: Manifestantes liberan a policía retenida en Oaxaca (27/03/2013)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Oaxaca: Red alert for communities in the Isthmus and for civil society (5 February 2013)
Oaxaca: Threats from shock-groups in San Dionisio del Mar (26 October 2012)
Oaxaca: entry of Caravan of Solidarity impeded to San Dionisio del Mar (15 October 2012)