Oaxaca: More harassment and threats during the second phase of the wind-energy consultation in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

March 22, 2015

Juchitán de Zaragoza, foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Juchitán de Zaragoza, @ SIPAZ archive

Mariano López Gómez, member of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), Héctor and Gloria Sánchez López, directors of civil and political organizations from Juchitán, and David Henestrosa, a columnist covering the Tehuantepec Isthmus, have denounced that they have suffered harassment and threats during the second phase of the wind-energy consultation, which began on 3 March in Juchitán de Zaragoza.  They claimed that they were booed and insulted by people in attendance, but they indicated in particular Eduardo Centeno, the legal representative of the Southern Wind-Energy firm (previously, Mareña Renewables Capital), such that they will submit a penal denunciation holding the wind-energy firm responsible for whatever could happen to them and their families.  Mariano López added that the CTM construction union is bringing “yes-men” to the forum who “obey the interests of the PRI, some PRI property-owners, and other abusers.  They are not taking into account the women’s groups, artisans, or fisher-people.”

The consultation process for the installation of the wind-energy park has been gravely challenged since its start in November 2014.  The Assembly of Indigenous People of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), in a letter written to the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, affirmed that it does not oppose wind-energy, “but its use should be based in the form and means of life of the indigenous peoples and communities, promoting communal control,” as has been ignored byt he government and the firms that have installed 21 wind-energy parks by means of “injustice, abuse, and the illegal occupation of our communal lands.”

Beyond this, the organizations Project for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), the Project on Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER), and the Gobixha A.C. Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH) documented in a second report from the Observation Mission the “worrying procedural vices” related to the observance of the right to consultation and free, prior, and informed consent, as well as the rights to participation and information on the part of indigenous peoples.  They detected more than 20 security incidents, including threatening phone-calls and text messages, vigilance, and acts of intimidation in homes, verbal aggressions, and threatening actions taken by armed persons.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian asistentes a consulta eólica hostigamiento de empresa eólica Del Sur (Página 3, 4 de marzo de 2015)

Foro de consulta indígena en Juchitán con tintes violentos (Romo Noticias, 4 de marzo de 2015)

Vicios procesales y violaciones a derechos humanos caracterizan consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Oaxaca (Prodesc, 23 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Consultative process in the Tehuantepec Isthmus challenged on several fronts (16 December 2014)

Oaxaca: Mareña Renewables to cancel wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (15 January 2014)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec 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)


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: New harassment and threats over construction of wind-energy park denounced

February 14, 2014

(@La Voz del Anahuac)

(@La Voz del Anahuac)

The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) has denounced that, on 9 February, a group of masked persons, some of them carrying handguns, impeded passage to several neighbors from Juchitán who were traveling to the parcel of land on which is located the Guela Be’ñe’ temple, where local indigenous persons often go to worship.  The masked persons were indicated as being construction workers from the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park, which pertains to the the multinational energy firm Fenosa Natural Gas.

In this way was denounced the work of topographical measurement being carried out on what are claimed as communal lands on which are being built the wind-energy park.

On 10 February, the APPJ indicated also that workers from Fenosa Natural Gas had threatened the members and spokespeople of their organization Mariano López Gómez and María Isabel Jiménez Salinas by phone.

Given all this, the APPJ demands the cancellation of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park, punishment of the Fenosa Natural Gas and Constructoral firms (the latter being a Mexican company which is engaged in the construction works), and it holds the Oaxaca state government responsible for the death-threats and rights violations that the firms have been committing against the APPJ and the indigenous territory of Juchitán.

For more information (in Spanish):

APPJ: Gas Natural Fenosa se apropia de sitios de pesca de indígenas zapotecas y amenaza a defensores comunitarios (Kaos en la Red, 11 de febrero de 2014)

Rechazamos actos de intimidación hacia la APPJ (Código DH, 11 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: A year of resistance is celebrated in the Álvaro Obregón community (13 February 2014)

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 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)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


Oaxaca: Activists opposed to wind-energy denounce new attack from Fenosa Gas Natural

September 13, 2013

Parque eólico en el Istmo de Tehuantepec @ La Jornada

Wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus @ La Jornada

On Sunday 25 August, members and sympathizers of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) who were carrying out a survey of communal lands in Juchitán de Zaragoza to assess the damages caused by the construction of the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park in the area were attacked by firearms by a group of men identified as hitmen hired by the Fenosa Natural Gas corporation to protect the construction works.  During the incident, beyond opening fire, the armed group threatened the group members with death and took their photographs.  Sara López, one of the members of the assaulted group and a member of the APPJ, succeeded in repelling an attempted stabbing thanks to the rapid intervention of those who were accompanying her.

According to denunciations made by APPJ members, patrols of the State Police and the Auxiliary, Banking, Industrial, and Commercial Police (PABIC) joined the group of hitmen to pursue and attempt to capture those they had attacked.  After a period of high tensions, the observers luckily managed to retire from the region with no injuries or arrests.

Mariano López Gómez, member of the APPJ, accused the Spanish firm Fenosa Natural Gas of the violence that is gripping the region, and she requested that the construction works of the wind-energy park be suspended until it is clarified whether the lands on which the works are being performed are in fact communal.

In a communique regarding the acts, the APPJ demands an investigation of the acts and punishment for the aggressors.  Moreover, it holds the municipal, state, and federal governments and the corporation responsible for whatever could take place during the subsequent days to the members and sympathizers of the organization.

For more information (in Spanish):

Activistas de Oaxaca denuncian agresiones de empresa eólica (La Jornada, 25 de agosto de 2013)

Ante asedio anti eólicos se enfrentan con “sicarios” de Gas Natural Fenosa en el paraje “Chigueeze” (Realidades, 26 de agosto de 2013)

Comunicado urgente de la APPJ: Sicarios de la empresa Gas Natural Fenosa agreden a balazos a integrantes de la APPJ que realizaban un recorrido por tierras comunales (Tierra y Territorio, 26 de agosto de 2013)

Exigimos seguridad para integrantes de la APPJ ante nuevas agresiones (Código DH, 26 de agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy park promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists (21 July 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec 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)


Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

August 4, 2013

Encuentro del CNI en el Istmo de Tehuantepec en 2011 @ archivo SIPAZ

Tensions in the Tehuantepec Isthmus continue, given the positions presented by local authorities and wind-energy companies on the one hand, and those opposed to the wind-energy parks on the other.  The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) denounced that “on 21 July at approximately 3pm, the state police invaded the APPI camp […] where some comrades decided to retreat in light of the presence of two police patrol cars, so as not to fall into the trap of provocation, given that the police were carrying large firearms.  Later, in Colony 17 July at 9:10pm, the state police together with landlords, some of them with covered faces, serving the Fenosa Natural Gas Company as coordinated by the landowner Francisco López Chente (‘Chicu Chente’) attacked and shot three APPI sympathizers who were located in this colony.”

In the communique, the APPJ claims that the aggression may have been a result of a protest it carried out before the offices of the Public Ministry in Juchitán on 17 July to demand the resignation of José Matus Cruz, regional subprocurator of the State Attorney General for the Isthmus.  In a communique released after the protest, the APPJ denounced that he had “coordinated a series of harassments and persecutions together with the State Police, fabricating crimes against us.”  The APPI noted that after the action before the Public Ministry, unknown armed persons in vehicles approached the home of Mariano López Gómez, APPJ member, and that at the same time others intimidated the family of Carmen Ruiz Martínez, also a member of the APPJ, in front of her house.  The APPJ demands “the expulsion of the transnational wind-energy companies FENOSA NATURAL GAS S.A. OF C.V. and ZAPOTEC ENERGY S.A. OF C.V. from the communal Juchiteco territory, due to its fomenting of corruption, violating the land rights of the people, and rendering violent the communal life in Juchitán.” It should be noted that in previous days, the APPJ and Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) had demanded that the state government guarantee the protection and physical integrity of López Gómez, who, among other things, has received death threats lately.

For more information (in Spanish):

APPJ: COMUNICADO URGENTE : AGREDEN A BALAZOS A TRES SIMPATIZANTES DE LA APPJ. (22/07/2013)

APPJ: FUERA JOSÉ MATUS CRUZ, LIBERTAD A NUESTROS DETENIDOS, CANCELACIÓN DE ORDENES DE APREHENSIÓN, FUERA LAS EMPRESAS EÓLICAS DE NUESTRAS TIERRAS COMUNALES. (18/07/2013)

La Jornada: Demandan acciones cautelares para opositores a parques eólicos en Oaxaca (19/07/2013)

Proceso: Con sicarios se busca imponer proyecto eólico en Oaxaca, denuncian (22/07/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists (21 July 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec 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)

Oaxaca: confrontations between PRI militants and opponents to wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (7 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Threats from shock-groups in San Dionisio del Mar (26 October 2012)

 


Oaxaca: Harassment of the offices of Código DH and repression of rights-defenders and communal radios in the Isthmus

April 8, 2013

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During the early morning of 3 April, the offices of the Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights Gobixha (Código DH) were harassed, with clear signs of informational materials having been removed.  It should be recalled that Alba Cruz Ramos, who is responsible for the juridical sphere of this organization, enjoys precautionary measures granted her by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) due to her having received a nu number of death-threats.

Código DH has indicated the repression and harassment suffered by communal human-rights defenders in the state of Oaxaca by means of various Urgent Actions released in recent weeks.  One of these communiques notes “our concern for this new wave of aggression against human-rights defenders.  In Oaxaca for several months there has been the generation of a climate of intimidation and harassment against communal human-rights defenders whom we have been accompanying, some of them having been recently arrested.”  Among those they accompany is found Mariano López Gómez, an activist for the defense of territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus and a member of the Assembly of the Juchiteco People and of the Assembly of the Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus, who was arrested on 2 April and released two days later due to lack of evidence against him.

The harassment of different communal radios in the Isthmus has been notorious; these together with social organizations have made pronouncements against the recent aggressions targeting Radio Huave, Radio Xadani, Radio Voces de los Pueblos, and Radio Totopo, noting that “In light of the repressive wave that the communal radios of the Isthmus have been suffering, we make an urgent call for solidarity and call on the Marena Renewables and Fenosa Nautral Gas firms and the state government of Oaxaca to halt harassment against these communal communication media.”  For its part, the Consultation Council of Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples of Oaxaca denounced that “we consider the persecution and criminalization of indigenous communicators of the ‘Radio Totopo’ communal radio to be an attack on cultural diversity and a violation of basic rights and collective rights.”

For their part, a dozen social and human rights organizations, including the IACHR and Amnesty International, have demanded urgent actions and precautionary measures from the federal government for the representatives of communal radios in the zone of the Isthmus.  The organizations have denounced harassment and arbitrary detention suffered by representatives of the communal radios, such as with Mariano López Gómez and Carlos Sánchez of Radio Totopo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Allanan oficinas de ONG en Oaxaca (Proceso, 3 de abril de 2013)

Exigimos garantías para las defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos (CodigoDH, 3 de abril de 2013)

AU por la libertad inmediata de Mariano López Gómez (CodigoDH, 3 de abril de 2013)

Acción Urgente a favor de comunicador de Radio Xadani (CodigoDH, 29 de marzo de 2013)

Denuncian ONG en Oaxaca represión dirigida a radios comunitarias (Milenio, 3 de abril de 2013)

Se rompe el diálogo entre gobierno de Oaxaca y opositores a parque eólico (La Jornada, 3 de abril de 2013)

Pronunciamiento del Consejo Consultivo de Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicanos de Oaxaca (La Luna de Oaxaca, 4 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Oaxaca: new intimidation directed at Alba Cruz (18 January 2011)

Oaxaca: attack on union leader Marcelino Coache (20 May 2010)