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
cuartooscuro

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)

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

September 16, 2018
asimismo

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: Attack on members of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT) by construction workers tied to the Wind-Energy Firm of the South

May 14, 2015

índice

In a communique published on 4 May, members of the Mesoamerican Initiative of Human-Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras), which is comprised of more than 690 human-rights defenders from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua denounced that the activists Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Rodrigo Peñaloza from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT) were persecuted and intimidated by armed men who work in construction for the Wind-Energy Firm of the South on 16 April.

The events took place as Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Rodrigo Peñaloza were heading home after participating in a meeting with the Council that was being held in Juchitán, where Katia Puga was also present, being a representative from the Energy Secretariat (SENER).  The activists were verbally attacked and followed by a group of construction workers linked to the Wind-Energy Firm of the South.

The communique stresses that “these events took place even as Bettina Cruz is a beneficiary of the precautionary measures awarded by the Mechanism for Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists, as put on by the Governance Ministry (SEGOB), and which, according to Bettina Cruz herself, failed her, for she pressed the ‘Panic Button’ provided by the Mechanism during the confrontation, but it malfunctioned […].  We should also not forget that Bettina Cruz has just finished with a prolonged process of criminalization on the part of the State, during which she was accused of fabricated charges for the sole reason of punishing and making difficult her work in defense and promotion of human rights in the communities of the Tehuantepec Isthmus that resist the imposition of the wind-energy megaproject that threatens their lands.”

The rights-defenders demanded that authorities “guarantee the security and physical and moral integrity of Bettina Cruz Velázquez and other members of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory; prevent, prosecute, and sanction dutifully all acts of aggression, coercion, and threats directed against members of the Assembly; and guarantee the observance of free, prior, and informed consent to the indigenous peoples of Juchitán with respect to the institution of the wind-energy project being advanced by the Wind-Energy Firm of the South according to established international standards.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Eolica del sur, con hombres armados intimida a opositores (Regeneración, 6 de mayo de 2015)

Nueva agresión a defensora tensa conflicto con empresa eólica (CIMAC Noticias, 5 de mayo de 2015)

Defensoras de Derechos Humanos condenan agresión de activista a manos de empresa eólica (Oaxacatrespuntocero, 4 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Activist Bettina Cruz is exonerated from federal charges (1 March 2015)

Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz (26 de septiembre de 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (7 March 2012)


Oaxaca: Consultative process in the Tehuantepc Isthmus challenged on several fronts

December 16, 2014

La Ventosa, Istmo de Tehuantepec @SIPAZ

La Ventosa, Tehuantepec Isthmus @SIPAZ

After the beginning of the consultation process began in November regarding the implementation of a wind-energy project by the Wind-Energy Firm of the South in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Tehuantepec Isthmus, a number of acts of intimidation and harassment against members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) have been reported.  Once the session from which they had been barred and insulted upon questioning the information provided by the firm had ended, three APPJ members were followed by a white truck, and they heard gunfire as they entered their homes.

For its part, the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTyt) denounced that the conditions under which the process were progressing are incorrect: “As seen in the screams and insults and harassment by armed men, as was seen on 11 November, the events confirm that this is not a free consultation.  Instead, it is proceeding under conditions of coercion and assault.”  Furthermore, they indicated with respect to the second phase of the consultation, which was “approved despite the grave irregularities,” that “the meeting was held in a different place from the beginning, despite the fact that there was little diffusion of this information, with the result that the majority of those who attended were Coce groups, city hall workers, landowners who have signed contracts with the firm, and lawyers who are committed to the corporation.”

Beyond this, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, mayor of Juchitán, assured that in case the “representative institutions” of the communards and the people of Juchitán decide not to build the wind-energy park on the land, City Hall “will respect this decision totally.”

Beyond this, the announcement by President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) regarding the creation of an exclusive economic zone for Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Chiapas to catalyze development, with the creation of an industrial inter-oceanic corridor in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, “is a double discourse, because on the one hand it speaks of combating corruption and not having nefarious ties with firms, but on the other it is saying to corporations that they have all the support.  They come once again to speak to us of development but without taking into account us indigenous people, our human rights, or the decisions of the people regarding our resources,” stressed an APPJ member.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de la APIIDTyT (6 de diciembre de 2014)

Misión de Observación presenta Reporte del proceso de consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán, Oaxaca (Prodesc, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Rechazan juchitecos tiempos de la consulta para el parque eólico (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

Preocupantes violaciones en consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán; genera confrontación (Página 3, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado: APIIDTT hace entrega de observaciones y propuestas al protocolo de consulta previa, libre e informada en Juchitán (Educa, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Violan derecho de consulta en plan eólico de Oaxaca: ONG (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Ignora DH de pueblos indígenas zona económica propuesta por Peña: juchitecos (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán(13 November 2014)

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: Protests rage in Juchitán, like in 1886

September 16, 2014

Marchan en Juchitán (@EDUCA)

On 5 September, members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) marched to commemorate the battle of 1886 in which Zapotecos defeated the Imperial French Army.  In this sense, they demanded that the authorities respect their rights as indigenous peoples given that, as they say, their rights have been violated by the installation of wind-energy parks in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  Mariano López Gómez, APPJ director, accused the leaders of the Worker-Campesino-Student Coalition of the Isthmus (COCEI) of attempting to support and manipulate a referendum to support the installation of new wind-energy parks in the region.

Another group of Zapotec indigenous peoples from Unión Hidalgo, Juchitán, Xadani, and Álvaro Obregón who are associated with the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory also protested in the same place to similarly demand respect of their sovereignty as indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan opositores eólicos para exigir respeto a sus derechos indígenas(Pagina3.mx, 6 de septiembre de 2014)

Comunicado de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT, 5 de septiembre de 2014

Comunicado de la APPJ (APPJ, 5 de septiembre de 2014)

En conmemoración a los héroes Juchitecos, antieólicos marcharon a favor de los derechos de la tierra y el territorio (Realidades de Oaxaca, 8 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (December 9, 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


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: threats and attempted kidnapping against communal defender of the Isthmus

April 26, 2014

Población junto a parque eólico en el Istmo de Tehuantepec. Foto (@Sipaz)

Populace next to wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus. Photo (@Sipaz)

The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) has denounced that on 10 April, the communal defender and APPJ member Carmen Ruiz Martínez was followed and restrained by two women dressed in dark uniform wearing books from whom she succeeded nonetheless in escaping.  While fleeing, Carmen could observe that her assailants boarded a taxi that came to pick them up, with a man inside who opened the doors for them to enter.

According to Carmen’s testimony, these women are the same ones who, together with two men in a vehicle, were seeking her out on 4 April in the space where she does business in downtown Juchitán; they are also the same persons who attempted to kidnap her in May.

That same day, two members of the APPJ received threatening phone calls in which a feminine voice warned them of the impending kidnapping of Carmen.

For the APPJ, “these attacks while daily worsen have to do with the struggle that the APPJ has undertaken to recover our communal territory which is being invaded by wind-energy generators–these neoliberal wind-energy projects that are taking our Zapotec land from us.”

The Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH) has expressed its concern for the situation of harassment suffered continuously by members of the APPJ, and specifically it worries for the physical integrity of Carmen Ruíz.  It claims the three levels of government will be responsible for any attack suffered by APPJ members.

According to Código DH, “What has happened to Carmen is not an isolated act, and it is just another event on a long list of intimidatory actions that campesinos and fisherpeople of the zone have been suffering by persons who are employed by the firms that are building the Bíi Hioxo wind-energy park in lands that the population has identified as being communally owned […].  We demand an unrestricted respect for the rights of the indigenous peoples and communities and a peaceful resolution to the conflict seen in Juchitán.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado urgente de la Asamblea Popular del Pueblo Juchiteco (APPJ, 11 de abril de 2014)

Código DH: Preocupación por la integridad física de integrante de la APPJ(Igabe, 11 de abrilde 2014)

Preocupación por defensora y activista por la defensa del territorio en el Istmo de Tehuantepec y parte de la Asamblea del Pueblo Juchiteco (APPJ) (Red TdT, 11 de abril de 2014).

Continúan agresiones contra opositores a construcción de parque eólico en Juchitán (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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