Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation

September 11, 2015

La Ventosa. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

La Ventosa. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 20 August, the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), together with the organizations Project for Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH), the Project on Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER), and the National Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (Red TdT) made public a communique in which they reported a legal motion regarding grave violations to the right to consultation. This motion was carried through following the announcement by the Secretary for Energy (SENER) on 4 August that the wind-energy park owned by the Southern Wind-Energy corporation would begin to be built in the communities of Juchitán and El Espinal in the Tehuantepec Isthmus. SENER awarded the concession for construction of the park after a consultative process was effected.

In this consultation, the organizations that signed the communique, which formed part of the Civil Observation Mission reviewing the process, detected several irregularities such as the awarding of permits and contracts before the consultation was even carried out; more than 30 security incidents; 75 requests for information that went unheeded; a lack of certified translators; the development of sessions without considering the community’s traditions; and generally, a context of insecurity, coercion, violence, and lack of transparency. Furthermore, they indicated that “This is the first time that the authorities have developed a consultation with indigenous people as based on national legislation (the Law on Electrical Industry […] modified to conform with the Energy Reform). The consultation in Juchitán, in accordance with the authorities, will be the precedent to follow for projects derived from this reform, and it is for this reason that the grave human-rights violations we have documented during this process take on a national relevance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Zapotecas se amparan por violación al derecho a la consulta ante el inicio de proyecto eólico anunciado por la SENER (Prodesc, 20 de agosto de 2015)

Estado mexicano valida simulación de consulta indígena para aprobar megaproyecto de energía eólica (Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 31 de julio de 2015)

Sólo el 1% aprobó el parque eólico en Juchitán y no la mayoría como dijo Sener, acusa ONG (Sin embargo, 19 de agosto de 2015)

Reportes de la consulta sobre la construcción del parque de Eólica del Sur en Juchitán, Oaxaca (Prodesc, 8 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

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Oaxaca: Declaration of the Forum in Defense of Land and Territory

March 15, 2014

foro_san_francisco

Between 28 February and 1 March, there was held in the Isthmus community of San Francisco del Mar, Oaxaca, the Regional Forum in Defense of Land and Territory, We Struggle against the Caciques.

Various representatives of the people, assemblies, collectives, organizations, and municipal and communal authorities participated in the event, denouncing and raising different cases of rights-violations, such as those which have to do with the acts of transnational firms engaged in the wind-energy megaprojects that have been developed in the Isthmus region.  “We have met to exchange the words of our brothers and sisters who defend the land and their rights amidst the invasion we suffer on the daily due to the large firms from other places of the world and their accomplices from the bad governments.”

In the final manifesto final of the forum, “Declaration of San Francisco del Mar,” participants made a call to defend the land and the rights of communities: “We in this act say that we will continue together to defend the rights of our peoples.”

In this way, participants expressed their total rejection of the Energy Reform advanced by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, which is “only a means of privatizing the resources that are the property of our nation, to benefit foreign firms; this reform signifies greater looting and violence for the indigenous peoples of Mexico and the Isthmus.”  They demand respect for the right to free, prior, and informed consent and consultation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Manifiesto del Foro Regional En Defensa de Nuestra Tierra y Territorio(Proyecto Ambulante, 4 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 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)


National: Popular Congress symbolically revokes energy reform and announces mobilizations

February 13, 2014

@www.congresopopular.org

@www.congresopopular.org

On 5 February, there was held a Popular Congress at the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City, to mark the 97th anniversary of the promulgation of the revolutionary Constitution of 1917.  2652 persons participated, being accepted as “popular representatives” independent of all political parties, government institutions, and firms.  The initiative was organized by means of social networks on the part of intellectuals, artists, and activists to promote a unifying process and to condemn the structural reforms that have recently been approved at the federal level.

The Popular Congress approved an initiative to revoke the energy reform passed in December 2013, and it called for peaceful actions of civil resistance for 18 March, to mark the 76th anniversary of the expropriation of foreign petroleum firms.

For more information (in Spanish):

www.congresopopular.org

“Revoca” Congreso Popular la reforma energética (Proceso, 5 de febrero de 2014)

‘Deroga’ Congreso Popular la reforma energética (La Jornada, 5 de febrero de 2014)

Congreso Popular ‘revoca’ reforma energética (Milenio, 5 de febrero de 2014)

Congreso Popular: que se vayan todos (La Jornada, 3 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Nacional: Approval of energy reform (17 December 2013)


Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On death and other excuses”

January 1, 2014

(@archivos SIPAZ)

(@SIPAZ archive)

On 22 December there appeared a new communique from Subcomandante Marcos, spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), entitled “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses,” which criticizes the recently approved structural changes in Mexico, particularly with regards to energy and education.  He assured that the “modern golden liquid, water and petroleum, have been stolen without a mention from the massive media.”  Marcos challenged the energy reform, indicating it as being “dressed up looting” and “treason to the Nation.”

Furthermore, in a PS, he criticized the wastefulness of promotional media campaigns spent by the present Chiapas state governor (more than $10 million) by calling it “ridiculous” and “illegal”; Marcos sees it as an attempt to hide “misery, the paramilitaries, and the crime rates in the main Chiapas cities” from tourists: “the so-called governor of Chiapas, Mexico, has solemnly declared that his administration ‘has tightened its belt’ by means of austerity programs.  As an illustration of this decision, more than $10 million have been spent on a national publicity campaign that… is ridiculous and illegal.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Rebobinar 2: de la muerte y otras coartadas (Subcomandante Marcos, 22 de diciembre de 2013)

El despojo se cubre con mentiras como las mal llamadas reformas (La Jornada, 24 de diciembre de 2013)

La reforma energética es un “despojo disfrazado”: Marcos (Proceso, 23 de diciembre de 2013)

Subcomandante Marcos publica comunicado a 20 años del alzamiento en Chiapas (BBC Mundo, 23 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Marcos, Rebobine 3 (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN criticizes structural reforms (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN denounces nocturnal military overflights above Zapatista caracoles (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista caracoles(21 August 2013)


National: Approval of energy reform

December 17, 2013

Senadores contrarios a la reforma. Foto @EFE

Following a 20-hour session, the Mexican Senate has approved the polemical energy reform which would allow for national and foreign private corporations to invest in the hydrocarbon industry.

The 95 votes in favor from representatives of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) joined with those from the Green Party and the National Action Party (PAN) to oppose the 28 in opposition coming from representatives of the Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Labor Party (PT), the Citizens’ Movement, and two PAN senators.

Functions reserved to date for the State such as exploration and exploitation of petroleum, its industrialization, and the generation of electricity will now be opened to private capital, given the approval of the reform.

Though the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto affirms that petroleum will continue to be the property of the nation, Senator Luis Sánchez Jiménez (PRD) noted that “the contract license is the same as a concession.  Property of petroleum has been ceded.”

Following the approval of the reform, hundreds of protestors amassed outside the Senate to express their opposition to the handing-over of the natural resources to international capital, as they claimed.

For more information (in Spanish):

México abre el petróleo a la inversión privada y extranjera (El País, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Aprueba Senado reforma energética en lo general, con 95 votos a favor y 28 en contra (Proceso, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Mineras extranjeras podrían entrar a la explotación de petróleo y gas (La Jornada, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Los 25 puntos finos de la Reforma Energética (Excelsior, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Siguen protestas en México contra Reforma Energética (Telesur, 11 de diciembre de 2013)