Oaxaca: Ejidos and communities from the Central Valleys declare their territories free of mining operations

December 26, 2015

Conferencia de prensa declarando territorios libres de minería Foto: @EDUCA

Press-conference declaring territories liberated from mining
Photo: @EDUCA

On 8 November, 9 ejidos and communities from the Central Valley region of Oaxaca declared ta ban on mining operations in their territories. These communities and ejidos of the Ejutla, Ocotlán, and Tlacolula communities committed themselves to “organized regional defense of our lands using peaceful legal means from our ejidal lands and communities, declaring it prohibited in this land conduct mining operations.”

Through this declaration, they demanded that the state and federal government cancel the 18 mining projects, because, as they claimed these projects pollute their cultivated lands. The same document estimates that 90% of the concessions that the government has given to mining companies in the last 10 years have been “conducted without any consultative process incorporate free prior and informed consent in good faith with us peoples who live here.” To support this declaration the peoples called on Convention 169 of the ILO, the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights, the Mexican Constitution, and communal assemblies, exercising their right to autonomy.

The communities agreed to promote peaceful actions to respect the accord to free their lands of mining operations. The undersigning authorities rejected the violence which took place in San José del Progreso between 2010 and 2012, in which 4 people were killed, 8 injured, and 5 others facing arrest-orders.

For more information (in Spanish):

9 ejidos y comunidades de Ejutla, Ocotlán y Tlacolula declaran su territorio prohibido para la minería (EDUCA, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Emiten declaratoria sobre “territorios libres de minería” en Oaxaca (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunidades del los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca no dejarán entrar a mineras (DesInformémonos, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

DECLARACIÓN DE TERRITORIO PROHIBIDO PARA LA MINERÍA (Radioteca, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunidades exigen parar la minería en sus territorios (Despertar de Oaxaca, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Declaration of rejection of hydroelectric and mining projects in the Coastal region (21 November 2015)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (28 March 2014)

Mexico: Murder of MAPDER member in Veracruz (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)

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Chiapas: Denunciation of military harassment of the Zapatista Good-Government Council in La Realidad

March 21, 2015

Homanaje a Galeano, La Realidad, agosto de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Homage to Galeano, La Realidad.  May 2014 (@SIPAZ)

In a communiqué released on 12 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced harassment by the Mexican Army against the Zapatista Good-Government Council of La Realidad, where a new school and clinic were recently inaugurated.  It should be recalled that on 2 May 2014, members of the Independent Historical Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) attacked support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), leading to the death of José Luis Solís López, “Galeano.”  The attack also caused the destruction of the installations that have just been rebuilt.

The CDHFBC reported that members of the Civil Observation Brigades (BriCO), made up of activists in solidarity who find themselves in the community, have reported “incursions using convoys of trucks, Hummers, Jeeps, and other motorized equipment containing between 4 and 30 Mexican soldiers each.  There have also been continuous overflights by planes and helicopters that capture images and film the BriCO members, the EZLN support bases, and the JBG offices.  Since July 2014, these actions have been on the rise, both in terms of total number of soldiers involved, as well as in the frequency of events.”

For this reason, the CDHFBC expressed its concern, “given that these constitute acts of provocation and assault that violate the rights to autonomy and self-determination as stipulated in the Mexican Constitution, the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights, Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the San Andrés Sacamchem de los Pobres Accords.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín: Ejército mexicano hostiga a la Junta de Buen Gobierno Zapatista de La Realidad (CDHFBC, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Denuncian zapatistas incursión militar en una junta de buen gobierno(Proceso, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Denuncian bases de apoyo zapatistas hostigamiento del Ejército Mexicano (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new communiques from the EZLN (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)


National: Secondary laws on telecommunications approved, despite protests

July 19, 2014


Monterrey, abril 2014 Foto @ Gabriela Pérez Montiel / Cuartoscuro.com

Monterrey, April 2014 Photo @ Gabriela Pérez Montiel / Cuartoscuro.com

On 9 July, the Mexican Congress approved the secondary laws contained within the telecommunications reform.  Some of the main points of these laws are to allow firms to be declared preponderant by sector rather than by given services, thus ensuring the predominance of the TV duopoly (Televisa and TV Azteca) in the telecommunications market, and that providers are required to retain histories of the communications engaged in by users so that these can be consulted for security reasons.  Furthermore, other controversial points included the possibility that authorities could plant a listening device whenever and wherever they choose in the supposed investigation of a crime or for “security reasons”; also, the State would be allowed the right to block telecommunications traffic in a predetermined geographical area.

The corresponding legal process was marked by numerous irregularities, beginning with the participation of legislators who have labor, capital, or family ties with media corporations (“telebancada”) who had to excuse themselves from the congressional debates due to a possible conflict of interests.  The PRD Secretary General said that “this is not a PRD vote,” making reference to the three PRD senators from Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Morelos who voted in favor of the bill; these elements belong to the New Left current and are better known as the “Chuchos,” a group led by Jesús Ortega Martínez that counts as its member the national president of political power, Jesús Zambrano Grijalva.  This law, in accordance with those who oppose it, is qualified as a “Televisa-Peña Law” and a “gift” to the television corporations to thank them for their support during the presidential campaign, as the PAN Senator Javier Corral Jurado argued.  “It is a true disgrace; those who have voted for this article are giving money to Enrique Peña Nieto to allow him to pay back past campaign favors, or even to finance future ones (2015 and 2018),” noted Jurado, who is secretary of the Commission on Radio, Television, and Film.

In other news, due to the limitations imposed on communal and indigenous radios in the new law, the International Agency for Indigenous Press (AIPIN) has been studying the possibility of requesting a juridical motion to arrest the approval of this law, considering it to amount to violations of the rights of indigenous peoples to engage in communication.  Besides, the law has not been consulted with indigenous communities, as is required by the Constitution and Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

For more information (in Spanish):

Telecomunicaciones: legislativo claudicante (La Jornada, 4 de julio de 2014)

Frente por la Comunicación Democrática Capítulo Oaxaca Pronunciamiento ante la Ley Telecom (Educa, 2 de julio de 2014)

La Ley de Telecomunicaciones debe proteger plenamente los derechos humanos: AI (Amnistía Internacional, 3 de julio de 2014)

Audio:

Consejo Consultivo de Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicanos de Oaxaca(Colectivo Buen Vivir, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Protests on the rise against Law on Telecommunications (3 May 2014)


Oaxaca: Assembly in Unión Hidalgo defines its position regarding the effects of wind-energy parks

May 3, 2014

Tehuantepec (@zapateando.wordpress.com)

Wind-energy towers (@zapateando.wordpress.com)

On 23 April, communards from the community of Unión Hidalgo, organized by the the mayor, representatives of the Communal Goods, and the pro-works committee, carried out a general assembly to address the issue of the repercussions imposed on the local population by the Piedra Larga I and II wind-energy parks owned by Mexican Wind Development (DEMEX), a subsidiary of Renovalia Energy.

According to the Asamblea of Indigenous Peoples from the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), in 2011 DEMEX began its construction of the Piedra Larga I wind-energy park without having the necessary permits that would follow the prosecution of studies regarding environmental and urban impacts of said project.  Neither did DEMEX provide free, prior, and informed consent to the local community, as is stipulated by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Persons in Independent Countries, signed by Mexico, an accord that outlines the obligation to report and consult to the population before taking any legislative or administrative measure which could affect them

The construction of the wind-energy park, which the assembly says was imposed using tricks such as contracts and pressure from trade unionists and hitmen, has generated different impacts on the community, including socio-economic ones which have affected the agro-fishing activity in the zone.

At the end of 2013, the installation of 65 wind-energy towers was confirmed as pertaining to the construction works in Piedra Larga II, which is located less than 500 meters from the urban zone of Unión Hidalgo, in violation of international norms and laws.

Amidst this situation, the General Assembly of the community has outlined the measures it will take, and it warns that if DEMEX does not agree to a dialogue, it will consider blockading the wind-energy parks from the community.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asamblea general y marcha silenciosa del pueblo binniza de Unión Hidalgo, en resistencia contra la empresa eólica DEMEX (Renovalia energy) (Tierra y Territorio, 23 de abril de 2014)

Definirán rumbo de empresa Demex en Unión Hidalgo (El Imparcial, 23 de abril de 2014)

Realizaron comuneros, primera asamblea municipal para fijar postura sobre eólica DEMEX (Página 3, 24 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Communards from Unión Hidalgo request that the TUA totally nullify Demex contracts (24 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of People in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepc 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)