Oaxaca: SCJN is called to protect the collective rights of the Zapotec community and to cancel the permits of the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation

November 2, 2018

Juchitán (@Cuartooscuro)

In a statement published on October 25, organizations that defend human rights and the environment called on the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) to
“strictly adhere to the highest standards of prior consultation in its sentence, to protect the Collective rights of the Zapotec community, and to order the cancellation of the permits granted to the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation (Eólica del Sur) for the construction of a wind turbine park in Juchitán, Oaxaca, as well as to impose fair reparation measures for the community. ” Next October 31, the highest judicial body will decide whether the human rights of the Zapotec community in the case were violated or not.

It is worth remembering that last May the SCJN attracted the actions for legal protections (amparos) filed by more than a thousand members of the Zapotec community of Juchitán regarding the consultation that was carried out to implement the project of the subsidiary of the transnational Mitsubishi, which, despite the pending litigation, has continued to advance in the construction of the megaproject.

The organizations expressed great concern about the draft resolution that the SCJN intends to present because they fear that a “decision that supports bad practices in indigenous consultations” could be enlisted.

At the press conference in which the statement was presented, Betina Cruz, representative of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of Land and Territory, recalled that since 2014 they oppose this wind farm, “the largest of its kind in Latin America”, since the consultation of the affected communities was given once the company had already obtained the government permits. She noted that currently the Isthmus of Tehuantepec has 1,915 wind turbines, in 24 parks, none installed with prior, free and informed consultations, as established by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For their part, members of the Zapotec community have denounced “that they have been criminalized and threatened before, during and after the consultation because of their opposition to the project, so it was never a free process or one done in good faith. Nor was complete information provided on the impacts of the project and its alternatives for the communities. Even the responsible authorities, like the Sener, sought to accelerate the process to endorse the project, in violation of the uses and customs of the community, and leaving pending issues for discussion ».

The organizations encouraged the SCJN “not to discard this unique opportunity to generate a historical precedent in favor of the effective protection of the indigenous peoples rights within the framework of the Energy Reform and to establish clear rules for the government on how to comply with its obligation to consult peoples and communities. Failure to correct its course, would be deepening the serious situation of discrimination experienced by indigenous communities in Mexico and would allow the reform to be implemented in clear violation of human rights.

For more information (In Spanish):

Opositores a Eólica del Sur, en Oaxaca, alertan por posible decisión de la Corte contra derecho de consulta indígena (Proceso, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Solicitan activistas a SCJN cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur (La Jornada, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Piden a la SCJN cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur (El Imparcial, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Piden a la Suprema Corte cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur por violar derechos humanos de comunidades indígenas (OSC, 25 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Residents of Juchitan win motion to suspend construction of wind-energy park (October 25, 2015)

Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation (September 11, 2015)

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: One year after the 7S earthquake “much remains to be done” regarding reconstruction, CODIGO-DH

September 20, 2018


One year after the earthquake of September 7, 2017, which caused serious damage in the state of Oaxaca, mainly in the regions of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Sierra Mixe, the civil association Committee for the Integral Defense of Human Rights Gobixha (CODIGO DH) published a report on the progress and pending
issues in the reconstruction and the situation of the victims in the same state.

The report highlights that “since the days after the earthquake, the state and federal governments were overwhelmed by the emergency situation (…) and although there were advances in the collection of information for the allocation of resources for reconstruction, the earthquake of 19 September, diverted their attention to the center of the country”. It highlights that “with the aftershocks of September 23 homes with serious damage in the Isthmus ended collapsing, homes that were not counted or had a minor damage when the census was made”.

According to CODIGO DH, the reconstruction was seriously delayed due to the “collapse of the educational, health, banking, commercial and municipal institutions.” It also deepened the inequalities between larger population centers and small communities.

Its follow-up document on “Monitoring the problems of reconstruction in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec”, annexed to the report, emphasizes the irregularities in the management of the funds as well as the lack of transparency in the allocation of resources and the delivery of supports to the victims by the government. He also criticized the census prepared by the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU).

The organization reported that “during this year, we allocated 110 days to various activities, during which we physically stayed in the towns of Juchitán, San Dionisio del Mar, Union Hidalgo, Ixtepec, Ixhuatán, Jalapa del Marqués on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and Yaveloxi in the Sierra Mixe; with the presence of 2-3 people every day”. The tasks developed were: Delivery of food; support for community kitchens; delivery of traditional tarpaulins and cots; medical care brigades; psychosocial brigades; delivery of supports for the reconstruction of houses; monitoring of school reconstruction; reactivation of the local economy.

CODIGO DH concluded that “in spite of all the activities undertaken there is still a lot to be done, especially in the reconstruction of housing, in access to educational services, health, repair of roads and drainages, work and recreation of the people who were affected during the 8.2 earthquake of September 7, 2017 and its subsequent aftershocks “.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fallas y retrasos en la reconstrucción a un año del sismo del 7 de septiembre en Oaxaca (CNN Español, 8 de septiembre de 2018)

A un año del terremoto, informe sobre avances y pendientes en la reconstrucción: CODIGO DH (CODIGO-DH, 7 de septiembre de 2018)

BREVE INFORME DE INTERVENCIÓN EN EL SISMO 8.2: Avances y pendientes. (CODIGO-DH, 6 de septiembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Civil Observation Mission to the Coast one year after the earthquake of September 7, 2017 September 18, 2018

Oaxaca / National: 8th National Meeting of victims of the earthquakes of September 2017 in Juchitán September 16, 2018

Oaxaca: “Caravan of the Forgotten” to Mexico City Denounces Government Inaction for Earthquake Victims April 30, 2018

Oaxaca: September Earthquake Victims Block Highways on the Isthmus and Coast December 28, 2017

Oaxaca: NGOs denounce “inadequate and insufficient response from the three levels of government” to earthquake disaster September 21, 2017

Oaxaca / National: 8th National Meeting of victims of the earthquakes of September 2017 in Juchitán

September 16, 2018

Photo @Asimismo

During the last weekend of Augus, the 8th Meeting of victims of the earthquakes of September 2017 took place in Oaxaca. More than a thousand people from the Isthmus of Tehueantepec, Chiapas, Morelos, Puebla and Mexico City met in the City of Juchitán to demand a decent reconstruction after the earthquakes that occurred during the month of September 2017.

According to the newspaper La Jornada: “one of the main demands is that electric power should be a free right for the affected communities, especially those of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, where 25 wind farms are installed, in spite of which the tariffs are the higher charged nationally. “

“A year after the earthquake that damaged thousands of homes in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, we see that things are going very slowly. Although the network of neighbors affected by the earthquakes and women in resistance have fought and many lawsuits have been resolved , there are still pending issues on part of the state: many people were defrauded by companies and do not have housing, others have not received their support cards and others owe more to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) when they do not even have a house, this is why our struggle and our demand is to have free electricity for all”, said Magali Sánchez Santiago, member of the Network of Women in Resistance.

They point out that reconstruction is also very slow in hospitals, schools, markets and other public spaces. Nearly a year after the September 7 earthquake, they say that they have organized themselves as civil society and “we have overcome government support”. They still demand that the authorities fulfill their commitment with those affected.

For more information (in Spanish) :

Realizan octavo encuentro nacional de damnificados en Juchitán. (La Jornada, 26 agosto de 2018)

Participan damnificados en su 8º encuentro nacional, en Juchitán. (Asimismo, 26 agosto 2018)

Damnificados en el Istmo por terremoto denuncian clonación de tarjetas de ayuda. (La Jornada, 11 de noviembre de 2017)

83% de muertos en sismos, por corrupción (Contralínea, 22 de septiembre 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: “Caravan of the Forgotten” to Mexico City Denounces Government Inaction for Earthquake Victims April 30, 2018

Oaxaca: September Earthquake Victims Block Highways on the Isthmus and Coast December 28, 2017

Chiapas: Coastal Civil Observation Mission Ends Two Months after the 8.2 Earthquake November 23, 2017

National: Mexico Shaken by Two Huge Earthquakes Faces the Shock with a Wave of Solidarity September 30, 2017

Oaxaca: NGOs denounce “inadequate and insufficient response from the three levels of government” to earthquake disaster September 21, 2017


Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán

November 12, 2014

Consulta en Juchitán (@Gobierno del estado de Oaxaca)

Consultation in Juchitán (@state-government of Oaxaca Oaxaca)

On 3 November, a consultative process was launched in Juchitán de Zaragoza in comformity with the stipulations of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).  This process will involve five phases to allow for the population to accept or reject a proposed project for 132 wind-energy plants that would be installed on a territory of 5,332 hectares in their jurisdiction.  This project would be owned by the Wind-Energy Firm of the South (formerly Mareña Renovables).  This is the same project that was rejected by the Ikojts people in San Dionisio del Mar and the Binnizá from Álvaro Obregón, near Juchitán.

For the present, the form of the consultative process is being defined.  The question has unleashed a number of reactions regarding the validity of said mechanism between those who believe it be a genuine and historical process, being the first consultation that is carried out, while others feel it is mere pretense.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se inicia en Juchitán consulta pública sobre parque eólico (La Jornada, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Inicia en Juchitán proceso de consulta previa sobre proyecto eólico (Radio Formula, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Modifican procedimiento del Protocolo de consulta eólica (Romonoticias, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Protocolo para la Consulta en Juchitán

El parque eólico juchiteco: participación y preguntas(Quadratin Oaxaca, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Bodas de plata del Convenio 169 de la OIT: lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo (El periódico, 26 de octubre de 2014)

La consulta previa y los malabares del gobierno (Animal Político, 16 de octubre de 2014)

Oaxaca: “Any consultation to be realized now is illegal”; more than 15 wind farms have already been imposed

June 13, 2014
San Dionisio del Mar (@SIPAZ)

San Dionisio del Mar (@SIPAZ)

“For us, any consultation to be realized now is illegal, because it should have taken place 10 years ago. Now we want respect for our common land, 68,154 hectares that we were recognized by presidential resolution in 1964”, complained Mariano Gómez López, spokesperson for the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ). Currently, there are more than 15 wind farms in the communal lands of Juchitan, La Venta and other municipalities of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, all of them imposed without prior and informed consent, as the Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (that was ratified by Mexico) requires. López Gómez reported that villagers from Juchitán filed a constitution protection demand, asking the companies to justify why they did not conduct prior, free and informed consultation.

For this reason, representatives of the Ministry of Energy, the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and the General Secretariat of the Government of Oaxaca will meet in Juchitán de Zaragoza. The APPJ spokesman expressed that “probably they want to design a strategy on free, prior and informed consultation for the energy reform laws. But for us it does not apply, as the 15 wind farms already installed; or the one that Mareña Renewable (expelled from San Dionisio del Mar), now called “Southeast Wind Power and South Wind-farms” wants to build in Juchitán; or the Bii Hioxio wind farm which Fenosa Natural Gas builds on communal lands in Juchitán and that has continued to be built illegally, when its construction should have stopped. “

Furthermore, a workshop around the theme “What and How is a Consultation?” was held in the city of Juchitan, took place on June 7, because “today we are surrounded by huge fans using wind to generate energy. But do you know where these projects come from and how they affect or benefit us? This huge project of energy production was installed without asking the communities that live in the region and without giving information. People from the Isthmus and from the country have the right to be consulted when a project of this type is to be installed in our territory. “

For more information (in Spanish)

Ahora cualquier consulta sobre parques eólicos en Oaxaca es ilegal: juchitecos (La Jornada, 6 de junio de 2014)

Taller informativo: El Derecho de los Pueblos Indígenas a la Consulta Previa, Libre e Informada (Blog Tierra y Territorio, 4 de junio de 2014)

Escucha en Vivo el Taller informativo El Derecho de los Pueblos Indígenas a la Consulta Previa, Libre e Informada (Blog Tierra y Territorio, 7 de junio de 2014)

For more Information from SIPAZ (in English)

Oaxaca: threats and attempted kidnapping against communal defender of the Isthmus (April 26, 2014)

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: Possible conflict regarding wind-energy projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec

January 18, 2011

The erection of new wind-energy plants in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec could cause more conflicts in the region, Oaxacan activists and academics have warned.  According to information made available by journalists, this year is planned the construction of six wind-energy parks and additional ones in the coming years.  The goal is to have 18 such parks functioning by 2014.  The parks are to be managed by Spanish and French firms that would sell the produced energy to the parastatal Federal Commission of Electricity.

Carlos Beas Torres, fromt he Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, has emphasized the  “right of peoples to be consulted,” given that the planned projects would affect the lands they hold.  He mentioned Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), ratified by the Mexican State, which grants indigenous peoples the right to be listened to and consulted regarding projects that affect them.  Víctor Leonel Juan Martínez, from the Autonomous University Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, pronounced himself similarly in recommending that the state government of Gabino Cué Monteagdo (Convergencia/PRD/PT/PAN) facilitate a reconciliation between investors and affected communities.  For his part, Óscar Cruz López, subsecretary of government, assured that the position of the new state government is to respect communities, while the coordinator of Strategic Projects of the state government warned that all the projects of mass-investment will be subjected to exhaustive analysis.

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca: The Gathering of Our Voices of Struggle and Resistance

November 24, 2008

On Novermber 15 and 16, 2008, SIPAZ attended a gathering titled “Our Voices of Struggle and Resistance” at the Ecological Center in Juchitán de Zaragoza located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. The 200 participants included various organizations such as the the Tepeyac Human Rights Center of the Isthmus of Tehuantpec, the June 14 Educator and Popular Collective, the Assembly for the Defense of Land and Territory, the Solidarity Group of La Venta, the Mexican Alliance for the Self-determination of the People, the Mexican Movement of those Affected by Dams and in Defense of the Rivers (MAPDER), the Mexican Anti-mining Network (REMA), the Union of Indigenous Communities in the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) and Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Liberty (VOCAL), as well as members of various communities in the region.

The themes that were discussed in the meeting included: Struggle and Resistance in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec; The Mesoamerican Project and its components (including the Wind Energy Project and super-highway infrastructure); Agrarian Deregulation such as the Program of Certification of Ejidal Rights (PROCEDE) and the constitutional rights being violated; the Economy of Deprivation and Mega-projects; the Ecological Debt. On the second day of the meeting the participants visited the La Venta II and La Venta IV wind farms.

The meeting ended with a final declaration in which they stated “We pronounce a clear NO to the highway, dam, mine, and transnational wind energy projects, because they do not contribute to the development of our communities, instead they displace us and deprive us of our land … they only bring economic benefit for businesses and the government”.

Below is audio (in Spanish) of Teodosio Ángel Molina of UCIZONI discussing the history of resistance in the area and his analysis to date.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Declaración final del Encuentro de Nuestras Voces de Lucha y Resistencia (16/11/08)

Página web de la UCIZONI