Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

December 9, 2013

Bettina Cruz. Foto @Sipaz

Bettina Cruz. Photo @Sipaz

The National Network of Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM), made up of 135 human-rights defenders from 20 states in the Republic, has in a communique expressed its concern for the attacks and acts of harassment that Oaxacan defenders of indigenous and land rights have recently faced.  This is particularly the case for Bettina Cruz Velázquez, member of the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), Sara Bartolo López, and María del Carmen Sánchez Martínez, members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ).

Since the year 2007, these human-rights defenders have together with others been carrying out a struggle in defense of the rights of indigenous peoples and their rights in light of the attempts by large multinational corporations (such as Fenosa Natural Gas and Mareña Renewables) to build large wind-energy parks on communal lands, without providing for free, prior and informed consent to the Ijkoots and Binnizá indigenous peoples who have been affected by the projects–as corresponding laws mandate.

The Network has demanded that Oaxacan state governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo guarantee the work of these rights-defenders free from harassment, reprisals, and death-threats by establishing and applying the necessary means to achieve this end.

In this way, the Network calls for guarantees for “members of the APIITDTT and the APJJ to have security measures to protect their lives and territory.  The rights of the people to defend their land and to decide not to allow the construction of wind-energy parks on their communal territory [must also be guaranteed].  [Moreover,] the rights of the people to free, prior, and informed consent [must be respected].”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian campaña de hostigamiento contra defensoras de derechos humanos en el Istmo (Ciudadanía Express, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Denuncian campaña de intimidación en contra de indígena de Tehuantepec (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 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)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


Oaxaca: New motion detains construction of wind-energy park, while harassment against land-defenders continues

November 12, 2013

San Dionisio del Mar. Foto @Sipaz

On 9 October, the judge of the 7th District declared a new motion in favor of the communards of San Dionisio del Mar ordering the temporary suspension of the construction of the wind-energy park being promoted by the multinational consortium Mareña Renewables in the Barra de Santa Teresa, land which belongs to the municipality in question.

According to declarations from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), “[t]his is a victory which corresponds to the struggle for the respect of the land and the rights of indigenous peoples.  We demand that all authorities involved in the wind-energy project San Dionisio del Mar and the Mareña Renewables consortium observe with the suspension that has been ordered.”

In other news, the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco Peoples (APPJ) has newly denounced the constant climate of aggressions, death-threats, and intimidation suffered by its members at the hands of persons linked to the Fenosa Natural Gas corporation.  “Armed types keep circling the homes of APPJ comrades,” notes Mariano López, spokesperson for APPJ.

Furthermore, reported Mariano López, members of Peace Brigades International (PBI) have visited the locale and assessed the damages suffered by the resistance camp erected by the APPJ against the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park of Fenosa Natural Gas; this camp was burned down on 15 October.  According to the profile of the Juchitán Assembly on Facebook, on 27 October, members of the APPJ began work to rebuild the camp which had been devastated by flames.

For more information (in Spanish):

Continúa la defensa vs eólicas (Tiempo en Línea, 19 de octubre de 2013)

Brigadas Internacionales constatan intimidación a activistas en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 22 de octubre de 2013)

Grupos opositores a parque eólico en Oaxaca denuncian acoso de pistoleros (La Jornada, 23 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 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)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)


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

October 26, 2013

Daños en el campamento. Foto @APPJ

Damages at camp. Photo @APPJ

The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) has made public a communique denouncing the attack it suffered at the resistance camp which the organization had maintained since 25 February in Juchitán against the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park.

According to the communique, during the night of 15 October, some infrastructure and materials of the camp were burned.  Eye witnesses affirm that at this time a truck was circulating through the zone, being linked to other acts of harassment and violence perpetrated against opponents to the megaprojects being developed in the Tehauntepec Isthmus region.

Furthermore, the APPJ denounced the attacks and death-threats to which two sympathizers of the organization have been subjected by the multinational firm Fenosa Natural Gas, which is responsible for the development of the Bii Hioxho project.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado urgente APPJ: Gas Natural Fenosa y Constructoral incendian campamento de resistencia de la APPJ y en días pasados intimidan a integrantes de la Asamblea en Juchitán (Proyecto Ambulante, 16 de octubre de 2013)

Atacan campamento de la Asamblea Popular del Pueblo Juchiteco(Revolución tres punto cero, 16 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 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)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)


Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente

October 25, 2013

Foto @ Red Betances

Photo @ Red Betances

The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) denounced on 23 September that the Spanish firm Fenosa Natural Gas and the Constructoral S.A. de C.V. have threatened to displace the peaceful camp which had been installed in the highway to the municipal agency Playa Vicente, in opposition to the construction of the wind-energy park on communal lands.

An APPJ spokesperson said that a representative from the Spanish corporation and one from the construction firm attended the protest to attempt to convince participants to suspend the blockade, but when they received no response, they threatened to displace them by force the following Monday, 30 September.

In a communique, the APPJ demanded that the construction at the Bii Yoxho wind-energy park be suspended until the legality of the work be established.  Similarly, it reported that the homes of residents of Playa Vicente still find themselves flooded by the rains which took place 15 days previously; no governmental authority has come to attend to the victims.

It should also mentioned that Fenosa Natural Gas has been accused of intimidation, harassment, death-threats, and murder of communal leaders in Guatemala.

For more information (in Spanish):

Eólicas amenazan con desalojar a opositores (Noticias Net, 29 de septiembre de 2013)

Comunicado de los habitantes de Playa Vicente ante las recientes amenazas de la empresa Gas Natural Fenosa (Chacatorex, 27 de septiembre de 2013)

Comunicado de prensa del centro de Justicia y Derechos Humanos Robert F. Kennedy que envia una carta al Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto por la ola de violencia a los Defensores y Defensoras de los DDHH en el estado de Oaxaca (Blog Tierra y Territorio, 1 de octubre de 2013)

El Grupo Gas Natural-Unión Fenosa atropella y asesina a dirigentes comunitarios en Guatemala (Red Betances, 3 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists(21 July 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)


Oaxaca: Relaunching of the Totopo Communal Radio and attempted kidnapping of APPJ spokesperson

September 16, 2013

d8b22359365bf39f810ae25d424dcb05_MWithin the mark of the activities being prepared by the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) to observe the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Juchitán against French invaders, on 4 and 5 September was announced the relaunching of the Totopo Communal Radio.  At this event, beyond the participation of different musical groups, the conclusions of investigation “Totopo in the Air: Radio and Communality in Oaxaca, Mexico” were shared, this having been written by anthropologist Dr. Elena Nava.

Totopo Radio, located in the Seventh Section of Juchitán de Zaragoza, a fishing community, has been accompanying since its founding in 2006 the resistance movement against wind-energy projects planned for the Tehuantepec Isthmsu: “Our struggle is for the reappropriation of our word, our spaces, and the defense of our Zapotec culture and the autonomy of our peoples.”

It should be mentioned that on 26 March, following the attempted displacement by police of the sit-in maintained by the APPJ at the access-road to Playa Vicente, where the Fenosa Natural Gas firm seeks to build the Bii Hioxho wind-energy installation, a group of individuals entered the radio’s offices, robbing the transmitter and cutting the electricity cables.

In other news, on 3 September, Mariano López, APPJ spokesperson, suffered an attempted kidnapping in the streets of central Juchitán.  Four individuals in a Nissan truck forced Mariano aboard, who then succeeded in escaping to a local store, where he awaited other members of the APPJ.  Mariano López, like other APPJ members, has been denouncing the numerous acts of intimidation, death-threats, and attacks related to his opposition to the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park in the communal lands of Juchitán.

For more information (in Spanish):
Celebra la Asamblea Popular de Juchitán la reapertura de Radio Totopo (Código DH, 6 de septiembre de 2013)

Intentan levantar a Mariano López en Juchitán, Oaxaca (Centro de Medios Libres, 3 de septiembre de 2013)

Denuncian intento de secuestro contra activista en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 4 de septiembre de 2013)

Video:

¡ Viva Totopo ! relanzamiento de la radio comunitaria en Juchitán (Somos Viento, 8 de septiembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Activists opposed to wind-energy denounce new attack from Fenosa Natural Gas (13 September 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy park promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists (21 July 2013)

 


Oaxaca: Activists opposed to wind-energy denounce new attack from Fenosa Gas Natural

September 13, 2013

Parque eólico en el Istmo de Tehuantepec @ La Jornada

Wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus @ La Jornada

On Sunday 25 August, members and sympathizers of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) who were carrying out a survey of communal lands in Juchitán de Zaragoza to assess the damages caused by the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park in the area were attacked by firearms by a group of men identified as hitmen hired by the Fenosa Natural Gas corporation to protect the construction works.  During the incident, beyond opening fire, the armed group threatened the group members with death and took their photographs.  Sara López, one of the members of the assaulted group and a member of the APPJ, succeeded in repelling an attempted stabbing thanks to the rapid intervention of those who were accompanying her.

According to denunciations made by APPJ members, patrols of the State Police and the Auxiliary, Banking, Industrial, and Commercial Police (PABIC) joined the group of hitmen to pursue and attempt to capture those they had attacked.  After a period of high tensions, the observers luckily managed to retire from the region with no injuries or arrests.

Mariano López Gómez, member of the APPJ, accused the Spanish firm Fenosa Natural Gas of the violence that is gripping the region, and she requested that the construction works of the wind-energy park be suspended until it is clarified whether the lands on which the works are being performed are in fact communal.

In a communique regarding the acts, the APPJ demands an investigation of the acts and punishment for the aggressors.  Moreover, it holds the municipal, state, and federal governments and the corporation responsible for whatever could take place during the subsequent days to the members and sympathizers of the organization.

For more information (in Spanish):

Activistas de Oaxaca denuncian agresiones de empresa eólica (La Jornada, 25 de agosto de 2013)

Ante asedio anti eólicos se enfrentan con “sicarios” de Gas Natural Fenosa en el paraje “Chigueeze” (Realidades, 26 de agosto de 2013)

Comunicado urgente de la APPJ: Sicarios de la empresa Gas Natural Fenosa agreden a balazos a integrantes de la APPJ que realizaban un recorrido por tierras comunales (Tierra y Territorio, 26 de agosto de 2013)

Exigimos seguridad para integrantes de la APPJ ante nuevas agresiones (Código DH, 26 de agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy park promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists (21 July 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy project promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas

August 20, 2013

P1010976

Photo @SIPAZ

Héctor Regalado Jiménez, opponent to the wind-energy projects and sympathizer of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), died on 1 August in the city of Juchitán de Zaragoza as a consequence of the injuries he sustained due to the six gunshot wounds he received on 21 July.

According to a denunciation from the APPJ, Héctor Regalado and other members of the organization were fired upon by hitmen working for the multinational energy firm Fenosa Natural Gas, being accompanied also by units of the Auxiliary, Banking, Industrial, and Commercial Police (PABIC), a police institution that has been contracted by the firm to safeguard the construction work of the wind-energy park Bii Hioxho.

Weeks before the attack, persons identified as hired gunmen threatened Héctor Regalado with death and warned him that they would fire on the APPJ camp on the Playa Vicente access road, which is the location of the site where the multinational is building the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park.  Furthermore, days after being threatened with death, Héctor Regalado warned that representatives of the multinational had attempted to coopt him by offering him work, in exchange for his abandoning the APPJ campaign.On 24 February, indigenous residents and Binniza fisherfolk founded the APPJ in the fishing village near Juchitán de Zaragoza.  This organization asserts as its principal objective the struggle against the construction of megaprojects on their lands and territories.  As a first action, APPJ members blockaded an access road in Playa Vicente so as to impede the movement of workers and vehicles owned by Fenosa.  The residents denounce that the rented lands are of communal use, and that the contract signed between them was illegal.Since its founding, the APPJ has denounced the constant death-threats and attacks suffered by its members at the hands of the state police and private hitmen hired by the firm.The APPJ “holds the state government of Oaxaca and the State Attorney General’s Office responsible for the wave of death-threats and aggressions that we as members and sympathizers of the [APPJ] constantly suffer.”For more information (in Spanish):

Fallece opositor a proyecto eólico que fue baleado por sicarios de Gas Natural Fenosa (Kaos en la Red, 06 de agosto de 2013)

Comunicado Urgente: Sicarios de Gas Natural Fenosa asesinan a simpatizante de la Asamblea Popular del Pueblo Juchiteco (APIITDTT, 05 de agosto de 2013)

Muere simpatizante del movimiento en resistencia de la APPJ (Informativo, 02 de agosto de 2013)

Con sicarios se busca imponer proyecto eólico en Oaxaca, denuncian (Proceso, 22 de julio de 2013)

Comunicado urgente: Agreden a balazos a tres simpatizantes de la APPJ (APIITDTT, 22 de julio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists (21 July 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)