Oaxaca: 3 years after the murder of Bernardo Vásquez, Fortune Silver forecasts large profits

April 21, 2015


3rd Infographic regarding mineral extraction @ Educa

Three years after the murder of Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, spokesperson for the Coordination of the United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (COPUVO), who was ambushsed on 15 March 2012, COPUVO members held a peaceful protest outside the Cuzcatlán mine in San José del Progreso for the anniversary of the attack, demanding that the intellectual author of the murder be revealed.  “There is still no justice for those who have been attacked.  On the contrary,  Fortune Silver Mines has announced its expansion.  This is the result of the authorities ignoring the case, which has significantly affected the human rights of the community,”  said a relative of the slain activist.

This declaration makes reference to the fact that Fortune Silver has reported that, for 2016, the Cuzcatlán mine will become one of the 15 most productive mines of Latin America, due to the investment of $30 million that will be made in 2015 to improve infrastructure and equipment, so as to increase daily production by 50%.  The firm indicated that it presently produces about 2,000 tons of silver and gold daily, placing it among the 20 most exploited regions in the country.  For 2016, the vision is that this number rise to 3,000 daily tons.

Nonetheless, Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA) has published three infographics regarding the establishment of mineral firms in Mexico, toward the end of sharing data about the problem that leads to mineral extraction in the country.  EDUCA documents that the governments of Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón sold off 52 million hectares to mining firms, corresponding to 26% of the national territory.  According to the General Coordination on Mining, a branch of the Economy Ministry, 870 mining projects are currently registered.  Oaxaca finds itself in 8th place.  The top three slots are for Sonora, Chihuahua, and Guanajuato states, which have 210, 113, and 95 mining projects, respectively.  Beyond this, EDUCA indicates that the profits seen by the San José del Progreso municipality amount to 1% of the 1.7 billion pesos that the Canadian firm Fortune Silver Mines expects to gain through its exploitation of silver and gold.  The conditions under which such concessions have been granted have involved the death of 4 individuals and the degradation of the social fabric of the local community.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ver la infográfica 1 (Educa)

Ver infografía 2 (Educa)

Datos de extracción minera alertan sobre pérdida de territorio nacional(Educa, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Oaxaca, en el top 15 de productores de oro y plata en AL; meta para el 2016 (Noticias Net, 13 de marzo de 2015)

Pedirán antimineros de Ocotlán diálogo con el gobierno local (Noticias Net, 16 de marzo de 2015)

Marchan por líder antiminero asesinado (Noticias Net, 14 de marzo de 2015)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: presentation of report “Justice for San José del Progreso” (16 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Murder of the spokesperson of the Coordination of the United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (25 March 2012)

Oaxaca: Two opponents of mining in San José del Progreso are fired on (8 February 2012)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Coordination of United People of the Ocotlán Valley close entrance to silver mine in San José del Progreso (14 March 2011)

Oaxaca: Civil Mission of Observation “Water is Life; Let us Defend its Existence” (8 September 2010)


Chiapas/National: EZLN communique, “When the dead cry aloud (Rebobinar 1)”

January 1, 2014


On 28 December, mere days before the anniversary of the insurrection undertaken by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), Subcomandante Marcos released a new communique entitled “When the dead cry aloud (Rebobinar 1).”  In this essay, he notes that “rebelliousness is not the exclusive patrimony of the neo-Zapatistas.  It belongs to humanity, and  so is something to celebrate everywhere, at all times.  Rebellion itself is a celebration.”

Marcos challenges the truthfulness of biographies and denounces that, given the Internet and social media, “biographical myths revolve their fallacies around, and voilá, the history of one’s life (or part of it) is reconstructed, having little to nothing to do with actual history.  But this does not matter, because the biography is published, printed, circulated, read, re-read… just as lies are.”  As illustration of his point, Marcos recalled the things which could be read about ex-presidents Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón, and current president Enrique Peña Nieto.  He stressed that the “criminals of the Mexican political class who have so badly governed these lands will continue to be criminals who enjoy impunity for those who have suffered their outrages.”  He concluded by saying that “with all this and what is coming, am I saying that one should not write or read biographies?  No, because that which drives the old wheel of history are collectives, not individuals, whether male or female.  Historiography develops through individuals; history learns from the people.”

In a large post-script, Marcos challenged the commercial media and a number of articles which have been published in anticipation of the anniversary of the armed uprising: “if the conditions of the Zapatista indigenous communities are the same as they were 20 years ago and no living conditions have improved, why is the EZLN opening its escuelita so that people from below see it and come to know it directly, without intermediaries? […] You ask what the EZLN has done for indigenous communities.  And we are responding with the direct testimony of tens of thousands of our comrades.”  It should be recalled that, just earlier, Subcomandante Moisés announced that the press will not be invited to the Zapatista celebrations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Rebobinar 1: Cuando los muertos callan en voz alta (Subcomandante Marcos, 28 de diciembre de 2013)

La rebeldía, patrimonio de la humanidad; hay que celebrarlo siempre: vocero del EZLN (La Jornada, 30 de diciembre de 2013)

Lanza EZLN comunicado “hace frío como hace 20 años” (El Universal, 29 de diciembre de 2013)

“Hace frío como hace 20 años”: ‘Subcomandante Marcos’ (Aristegui Noticias, 29 de diciembre de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses” (1 January 2014)

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: 30 August, International Day for Victims of Forced Disappearance

September 16, 2013

© www.sinembargo.mx

On 30 August, there was commemorated the International Day for Victims of Forced Disappearance.  In observance of this day, there were held several protests as led by relatives of victims of said crime to demand justice in states such as Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Michoacán, Morelos, and Chiapas.  For its part, Amnesty International (AI) publicly asked with regard to Mexico the following: “When will the promises of President Enrique Peña Nieto to not tolerate disappearances and find the victims become reality?”  AI noted that “the cases are not being resolved, either recent ones or ones dating back decades.”  Such failures are due, in AI’s analysis, to “a lack of will on the part of the authorities at different levels to act, investigate, and carry out justice against those responsible for such crimes.”

On 26 August, the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) reported on a program of compensation for persons who provide information regarding the whereabouts of disappeared persons.  In these terms, AI declared that “it is not a bad idea to offer cash prizes, as there may be powerful interests offering more or less the same money to guard silence, but if there are no effective investigations of cases, and if evidence is not collected or the testimony or participation of relatives of victims is not taken into account, cases will proceed little or none at all.”

In May 2013, the federal government released a list of more than 26,000 persons reported as disappeared, kidnapped, or lost between 2006 and 2012.  The authorities still have yet to revise this information to update who it is that remain disappeared, whether through the direct or indirect work of the State or organized crime.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Peña sin respuesta al problema de los desaparecidos: Amnistía, Proceso, 30 de agosto de 2013

Recuerdan a víctimas en el día internacional de las desapariciones forzadas, La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2013

Incompetencia deliberada del Estado para investigar y responder a la grave situación de la desaparición de personas en México (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 30 de agosto de 2013)

México: Familiares de víctimas de desaparición forzada aún no ven resultados (artículo, Amnistía Internacional, 30 de agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Insufficient attention to human rights on the part of EPN (20 March 2013)

National: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)

National: International judges report on conclusions of the observation of state of justice in Mexico (12 October 2012)

Mexico: the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained ends (9 June 2011)

Mexico: National Day against Forgetting and Impunity by the FNLS (8 June 2011)


Mexico: EPN dismisses Calderón’s motion against the General Law on Victims

December 7, 2012

(@Vivir México)

Among his first acts as president, Enrique Peña Nieto decided to suspend the motion that Felipe Calderón had interposed before the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) against the General Law on Victims on 19 July 2012, a move that would have frozen its possible entrance into law.

The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD), which was the principal platform from which the struggle for its implementation was coordinated, noted in a communique published on 4 December that “This new administration is obligated to respond to the pain and the demands of right and truth, justice, and the guarantees of non-repetition that are needed and demanded by the more than 80,000 dead, more than 20,000 disappeared, and more than 250,000 displaced during the war unleashed by Felipe Calderón in 2006.”  The MPJD recalled that the General Law on Victims is necessary, just as a radical change in security strategy is so: “we have insisted since spring 2011, when we took the streets, that there be a radical change in the national-security strategy, that there begin a national and regional debate regarding the prohibitionist anti-drug policy, and that a security model be adopted that is more humane and friendly to the citizenry, so as to advance in the construction of a peaceful society with justice and dignity.  Without a change in the security security, there will be more victims, and with this, there will not be conditions for peace.”

For more information (in Spanish):

ONG lo consideran un triunfo (El Universal, 6 de diciembre de 2012)

Peña Nieto retira recurso contra la ley de víctimas (Milenio, 6 de diciembre de 2012)

Retira EPN controversia contra la Ley General de Víctimas (Proceso, 5 de diciembre de 2012)
Ley de Víctimas tan necesaria como el cambio de la estrategia de seguridad (Pronunciamiento del MPJD, 4 de diciembre de 2012)

Activistas celebran las medidas para la atención a víctimas de Peña Nieto (CNN México, 3 de diciembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: MPJD criticizes presidential “veto” of Law on Victims (10 July 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)

National: Week of protests to “dismiss” Felipe Calderón

December 7, 2012

Memorial de víctimas (@kaosenlared)

Several organizations of relatives of the disappeared and victims of violence carried out protests throughout the country and abroad from 25 November to 1 December, the latter being the day of transition of power from Felipe Calderón (PAN) and Enrique Peña Nieto (PRI).

On 25 November, mothers who are members of the organization United Strength for our Disappeared of Mexico (Fundem) in Coahuila, the Human Rights Centers for Women of Chihuahua and Victoria Díez (Guanajuato), as well as the Committee “Until We Find Them,” from Guerrero and Michoacán, held a protest in front of the Museum of Fine Arts (Bellas Artes) in Mexico City.  They demanded justice and presented an exposition of more than 100 photographs of some of the thousands of the victims of the war against organized crime.  On this same day, in different cities of the country and in Central America, mothers of those disappeared in Mexico carried out parallel public acts.

On 26 November, there was held a protest against the monument to the victims of the previous six-year term, which was constructed on the orders of Felipe Calderón.  Its inauguration was one of the final acts the ex-president performed at the end of his term.

On 28 November, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) organized another protest to dismiss the “six-year term of death.”  The day coincided with the anniversary of the death of one of its members, Nepomuceno Moreno, who was killed while seeking out his disappeared son a year ago.

On 1 December, the last day of the Calderón administration, the Movement of Collectives for Peace in Mexico held expositions in different countries in the country and abroad to demonstrate hundreds of scarfs to which were added the names of those who were murdered, disappeared, and threatened with death during the past six years.

For more information (in Spanish):

…Y víctimas lo despiden: “¡Te vas y no estarás en paz jamás!” (Proceso, 28 de noviembre de 2012)

Pronunciamiento del MPJD Balance de un sexenio de muerte, guerra y traición (MPJD, 28 de noviembre de 2012)

Con protesta, familiares de desaparecidos dicen adiós al presidente Felipe Calderón (la Jornada, 26 de noviembre de 2012)

Protestan contra memorial a víctimas de la violencia (Proceso, 26 de noviembre de 2012)

Familiares de desaparecidos bordan para Calderón pesadilla que vivieron en su sexenio (Proceso, 25 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Mothers of the disappeared on hunger strike before Segob (16 November 2012)

Mexico: Caravan of mothers of Central American migrants seeking out their children (2 November 2012)

National: “March for National Dignity, mother seeking out their children and justice” (18 May 2012)

Mexico: Report of the UN Work Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)

Mexico: the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained ends (9 June 2011)

National: Mothers of the disappeared on hunger strike before Segob

November 16, 2012


Mother of disappeared person on hunger strike in front of Segob @ Proceso

Since 6 November, members of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) have installed a sit-in before the Ministry of Governance (Segob) to demand that the head of this institution, Alejandro Poiré, resolve their cases. Margarita López, Julia Alonso, Malú García, and Paz Duarte have initiated a hunger-strike because to date they have met only omission and impunity on the part of the government of Felipe Calderón.  The cold night of 13 November became the eighth consecutive day of strike and sit-in on the street for the group of mothers who struggle against impunity in Mexico, given that their family members were kidnapped or murdered months or even years ago, and they have not received justice.  The long wait has reduced them.  Julia awoke ill, feeling very weak.  The headaches suffered by Margarita are ever-more frequent.  Regardless, and despite the cold weather, the dizziness, and their impotence, their love for the children keep them going.

“I gave [the authorities] all the investigations that I did myself; I spent all my savings paying investigators and paying fees to the government,” noted Margarita López.  “It is lamentable that while we have given them all our evidence and told them where to go to find our children, they do not lift a finger,” added the woman, very weakened by lack of food, whose daughter was taken by a commando-group of men in April 2011 in southern Oaxaca.  On 9 November, Poiré received Julia Alonso and Malú García expressing “good intentions but no solution” for their cases.  “Unfortunately, we fear what happened when we went to Maricela Morales [Attorney General]: their subordinates did not follow up with the indications we had given them.  The orders that Poire is giving were handed down by Morales a year ago, and nothing has happened,” noted Margarita López.  They have resorted to this desperate means because they fear the change of government to Enrique Peña Nieto, which will take place on 1 December, will signify the total closure of these cases, still resting in impunity.

The sit-in will be held indefinitely, “until they solve each one of our cases,” assured Alicia Trejo, one of the dozens of mothers whose children are disappeared who arrived from all over the country to be together with the three mothers who began the hunger-strike.

It should be noted that the daily newspaper Excelsior published an investigation that finds 14,300 disappeared persons in Mexico between the years 2008 and 2011, with an impunity rate of 87%, according to information received from 23 of the 32 state governments.  For its part, the UN Committee on Forced Disappearance finds that there exist 3,000 disappeared persons in Mexico whose cases have not been resolved.  Amnesty International  claims that local NGOs speak of tens of thousands of disappeared.

For more information (in Spanish):

Madres del MPJD realizan huelga de hambre frente a Segob (Proceso, 7 de noviembre de 2012)

Comunicado de Malú García Andrade, Defensora de Derechos Humanos (Facebook, 6 de noviembre de 2012)

Desaparecidos, el vergonzoso saldo de Calderón (Proceso, 12 de noviembre de 2012)

Impunidad en México lleva a madres a una huelga de hambre (Terra Noticias, 12 de noviembre de 2012)

Madres hacen huelga de hambre contra la impunidad de crímenes (El Nuevo Diario, 12 de noviembre de 2012)


Julia, Margarita, Malú y Bárbara, madres de desaparecidos en la llamada guerra contra el narco de Calderón llevan tres días en huelga de hambre frente a Gobernación (Reporte Indigo, 13 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Caravan of mothers of Central American migrants seeking out their children (2 November 2012)

National: “March for National Dignity, mother seeking out their children and justice” (18 May 2012)

Mexico: Report of the UN Work Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)

Mexico: the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained ends (9 June 2011)

National: Communiqué by the All Rights for All Network on the occasion of its 44th National Assembly

October 19, 2012

On 13 and 14 October, the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” carried out its 44th National Assembly in Tlapa de Comomfort, Guerrero, in which participated representatives from 73 organizations hailing from 21 states of the country.

Upon concluding the meeting, participants published a pronunciation to condemn the federal government of Felipe Calderón for “60 thousand deaths, a number that by ratio is larger than that which occurred during the Guatemalan civil war, in addition to thousands of disappeared which surpass the number from the Dirty War, thousands of internally displaced by violence; a massive increase in torture as method of investigation and punishment; attacks on the human rights of women and increasing feminicide; a policy of security that on the one hand criminalizes migration, thus generating large dividends for the trafficking of persons and exacerbating insecurity throughout large regions, and that on the other has created a siege and civil war throughout many parts, on the parts of soldiers and criminal groups, that lacks any sense of rationality and that has no end in sight.”

The document also criticizes the coming administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, because “he should be facing criminal charges at the least for the events of Atenco in 2006.  He is two months from taking office, thanks to the irresponsibility of the judicial power and the submission of the administration of justice to political power.”

Regardless, against this threatening panorama, the Network recognized the organizational efforts of different groups from civil society which would build a more democratic and just country.  Lastly, the Network confirmed its commitment to continuing the work of defending and promoting human rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento completo de la RedTdT en la marco de su XLIV Asamblea (Red Tdt, 14 de octubre de 2012)