Oaxaca: Detained and disappeared, anti-mining activists from San José del Progreso

December 8, 2013

Mina Cuzcatlán en San José del Progreso. Foto @SIPAZ

Cuzcatlán mine in San José del Progreso. Photo @SIPAZ

The Oaxacan Collective in Defense of Territory denounced the detention at 5pm on 5 December of Olegario Víctor Ruiz Martínez and his wife Salomé García López, opponents of the mining project in San José del Progreso and members of the Coordination of United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley, as carried out by the Federal Agency for Investigation.

According to Marcos Leyva Madrid, representative of one of the comprehensive organizations of the Oaxacan Collective, after 12 hours since the arrest, the whereabouts of the detained was still unknown: “they continue to be disappeared, because no one knows anything about them, nor of what they are being accused.”

The collective has requested the immediate intervention of Defense for the Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca and of the commissioner for human rights of the Oaxacan state government, Eréndira Cruz Villegas, so as to contribute to the finding of the disappeared.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín Informativo: Detienen arbitrariamente a miembros de la CPUVO(Colectivo Oaxaqueño en Defensa de los Territorios, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

Detienen y desaparecen a pareja opositora a proyecto minero en Oaxaca(Proceso, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

La CPUVO Exige la Presentación con Vida de Olegario Ruiz y Salomé García, miembros de la resistencia contra la Minería en Oaxaca (Colectivo Oaxaqueño en DefeColectivo Oaxaqueño en Defensa de los Territorionsa de los Territorios, 6 de diciembre de 2013)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Canadian and U.S. trade unionists demand laws and sanctions against mining firms

February 26, 2013

Conferencia de prensa de sindicalistas de Estados Unidos y Canada, Oaxaca (@Quadratin)

On 15 February, representatives of metallurgical workers in Canada and the U.S. demanded that the Mexican and Oaxacan state governments establish laws to sanction and prevent abuses on the part of mining firms.  They made these calls at the end of a visit to the state, principally to the Capulálpam de Méndez and San José del Progreso municipalities, which are two communities that have been affected by mining projects.  In both spaces they could confirm that mineral exploration and exploitation have been prosecuted without respect for the free self-determination and autonomy of local communities, and without any sort of study of environmental impacts that could result from these projects.  They affirmed that the introduction of mining has provoked a destruction of the social fabric as well as situations of violence against opponents to mining.“Federal and state authorities have acted irresponsibly in providing 344 concessions for mineral exploitation in Oaxaca between 2002 and 2011,” noted Laura Ramírez, representative of the United Steelworkers organization.
Marcos Leyva Madrid, general coordinator of Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA), detailed that between January 2002 and June 2011, the SE handed over 344 mining concessions in Oaxaca for the exploitation of gold, silver, lead, zinc, and copper over 742,791 hectares, an area equivalent to 7.78% of the state territory.  He noted that the 344 concessions, distributed over the eight regions of the state, pertain principally to 13 Canadian firms and two U.S. ones.  Some concessions will retain their validity until 2023, 2039, 2059, 2060, or 2062.

For more information (in Spanish):

Irresponsable actuación oficial en concesiones mineras: Steelworkers (La Jornada, 19 de febrero de 2013)

Dio Economía 344 concesiones mineras en Oaxaca, en 9 años (La Jornada, 16 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Close of meeting “Yes to Life, No to Mining” with declaration (24 January 2013)

Oaxaca: Forum “Yes to Life, No to Mining” from 17 to 20 January (15 January 2013)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Civil Mission of Observation “Water is Life; Let us Defend its Existence” (8 September 2010)

Oaxaca: Creation of the Citizens’ Space for Justice and Truth

September 22, 2011

Representatives of civil organizations @ Enfoqueoaxaca.com

A group of civil and social organizations, collectives, and citizens created on 15 August the citizens’ Space for Justice and truth in Oaxaca as an autonomous effort on the part of civil society.  As they declared in a press-conference, the idea is to have a large space that is plural and diverse, independent of political parties and public power that would be open to dialogue with these, and that would resort to all forms of citizens’ mobilizations, including direct action, to impel its political agenda.

At the event participated Gustavo Esteva (Unitierra), Sara Méndez (CODIGO-DH), and Isaac Torres (Limeddh), among others, together with the director of Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA), Marcos Leyva Madrid, who explained that the commission seeks truth and justice for the peoples of Oaxaca, given that the present government, despite its campaign promises and commitment to the mission of the Inter-American Commission on Human rights and the European Union, has not attended to this demand of diverse social sectors in light of the events of 2006, during the repression carried out by the government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.

He stressed that if it the grand importance of the creation of the Prosecutorial Office of Investigation on Crimes of Social Importance, the state administration should observe its word and send an initiative to the Congress or release a decree for the immediate creation of the Truth Commission. This Commission should guarantee “the active participation of the survivors of repression, victims and relatives, from civil organizations and society in general; as well as an independent investigation that would promote justice, reconciliation, recuperation of historical memory and the reconstruction of the social fabric; the analysis of social, political, and cultural conditions that have propelled authoritarianism, violence, and impunity in Oaxaca, particularly after 1996,” he emphasized.

One of the primary activities of the Space will be had on 11 September in the capital of the state, when it receives the Caravan to the South, from the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, which will meet with representative groups of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca, particularly those communities in resistance to defend their territory.  These meetings will attempt to show that, in the case of Oaxaca, the violence caused by criminals is much less grave than the violence of the three levels of government.

For more information (in Spanish):


Surge en Oaxaca “espacio ciudadano” por la verdad y la justicia, Proceso.com.mx, 30 August 2011

ONG de Oaxaca crean grupo para promover comisión de la verdad, La Jornada, 30 August 2011

Exigen organizaciones a Cué cumplir con creación de Comisión de la Verdad, Enfoque Oaxaca, 29 August 2011

Retornan a PGJE 15 expedientes del año 2006, Noticiasnet.mx, 30 August 2011

Crean Espacio Ciudadano por la Justicia y Verdad en Oaxaca, Oaxaca Libre, 30 August 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)