Guerrero: Indigenous from the Mountain region request legal motion against British mining corporation

December 7, 2013


Landscape of the Mountain region. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 14 November, campesinos from the Mountain region of Guerrero demanded the cancellation of mining concessions, given that they violate the rights of indigenous peoples to be consulted regarding projects that affect their territory and culture.  Represented by the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, residents of the community of San Miguel El Progreso, Malinaltepec municipality, appealed for the protection of federal justice, given that the mining concessions which allow the Hoshschild Mining firm to extract gold and silver “contradict the Constitution and international accords which the Mexican State has ratified.”

The concern for the lack of consultation originates in the information that the campesinos have obtained regarding the presence of 42 mines in the Mountain and Costa Chica regions of Guerrero, in addition to the 30 further concessions the federal government has provided for the carrying out of mineral exploration and exploitation for the next 50 years.  Hoshchild Mining, a Peruvian firm which functions by means of British capital, has been granted concessions in more than 59,000 hectares of the Mountain region.  This general project (known as the “Heart of Darkness”) will affect ten agrarian communities, including  San Miguel El Progreso.

In a 14 November 2013 communique, Tlachinollan denounces that the “awarding of concessions for mineral exploration and exploitation in indigenous territory violates international accords ratified by the Mexican State, and the constitutionality of the Mining Law must be analyzed by the judiciary power of the federation.”  The communique notes furthermore that “the indigenous and campesino communities that carry out acts of resistance against mining projects which alter their territories in different regions of Guerrero are not rejecting so-called ‘development’ but on the contrary are defending themselves from the megaprojects which threaten their lands and natural settings, given that these plans directly threaten the physical space where the identity and survival of these peoples is constructed: on the land.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian abuso de mineras en la Montaña de Guerrero (Proceso, 14 de noviembre de 2013)

Indígenas de Guerrero piden amparo contra minera de GB (La Jornada, 15 de noviembre de 2013)

Demanda comunidad indígena al Ejecutivo Federal por entrega de concesiones mineras en su territorio (Tlachinollan, 14 de noviembre de 2013)
FICHA Defensa del Territorio contra la minería (Tlachinollan, noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: mobilization of the Communal Police against mining (8 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Tlachinollan requests support in the case of Radio Ñomndaa; Invitation to a workshop against mining in the Montaña and Costa Chica regions (18 March)

Guerrero – briefs: Mining exploration continues in the Montaña region without permission from communities; reinstallation of the blockade against La Parota (January 13, 2011)

Guerrero: Thirteenth Anniversay of the Community Police

October 20, 2008

On October 14 and 15, the community police of the Costa Chica and the Montaña regions of Guerrero celebrated its thirteenth anniversary in the community of Tilapa, municipality of Malinaltepec. The community police began in 1995 in 8 communities in 2 different municipalities. Today they maintain a presence in 72 communities in 10 municipalities.

According to Martín Candia Galindo, one of the founders of the community police, “In territories under the influence of the community police there are no drug traffickers or any drug cartels present; our youth are free of that terrible [presence].” The Regional Council of Community Authorities (CRAC Consejo Regional de Autoridades Comunitarias) has achieved this success despite the fact that they do not have access to many resources, their members do not receive a salary and according to the denunciations they have made on more than one occasion, the government continues to harass the community police in an attempt to disqualify their work.

In addition to being an autonomous movement in implementing justice, the CRAC insists that their social project is one that encompasses many facets of daily life in the Costa Chica and Montaña regions of Guerrero. Among other things they have started plans for a community radio station and as of last year they have initiated the University of the Peoples of the South (Universidad de los Pueblos del Sur), a project that continues to grow.

During the anniversary, the CRAC put forward several themes for discussion including: the increasing insecurity of the nation, the militarization of the country, the lack of legitimacy on the part of official policing systems, the campaign of fear driven by mass media and the criminalization of social movements. Mario Campos, parish priest from the municipality of Xalpatláhuac, in the Montaña Alta added at the opening of the celebrations, “There are alternatives in solving the problems of insecurity related to drug trafficking and assaults. To serve is not a crime; it is for this reason that we ask the officials of the region to support the CRAC.”

More information:

The Community Police in the State of Guerrero (SIPAZ, 15/09/05)

More information in Spanish:

Página Web de la Policía Comunitaria

Trece años. La policía comunitaria de Guerrero no deja de crecer (Ojarasca, 20/10/08)

Policías comunitarias de Guerrero dicen haber acabado con el narco (La Jornada, 17/10/08)