Oaxaca: Ejidos and communities from the Central Valleys declare their territories free of mining operations

December 26, 2015

Conferencia de prensa declarando territorios libres de minería Foto: @EDUCA

Press-conference declaring territories liberated from mining
Photo: @EDUCA

On 8 November, 9 ejidos and communities from the Central Valley region of Oaxaca declared ta ban on mining operations in their territories. These communities and ejidos of the Ejutla, Ocotlán, and Tlacolula communities committed themselves to “organized regional defense of our lands using peaceful legal means from our ejidal lands and communities, declaring it prohibited in this land conduct mining operations.”

Through this declaration, they demanded that the state and federal government cancel the 18 mining projects, because, as they claimed these projects pollute their cultivated lands. The same document estimates that 90% of the concessions that the government has given to mining companies in the last 10 years have been “conducted without any consultative process incorporate free prior and informed consent in good faith with us peoples who live here.” To support this declaration the peoples called on Convention 169 of the ILO, the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights, the Mexican Constitution, and communal assemblies, exercising their right to autonomy.

The communities agreed to promote peaceful actions to respect the accord to free their lands of mining operations. The undersigning authorities rejected the violence which took place in San José del Progreso between 2010 and 2012, in which 4 people were killed, 8 injured, and 5 others facing arrest-orders.

For more information (in Spanish):

9 ejidos y comunidades de Ejutla, Ocotlán y Tlacolula declaran su territorio prohibido para la minería (EDUCA, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Emiten declaratoria sobre “territorios libres de minería” en Oaxaca (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunidades del los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca no dejarán entrar a mineras (DesInformémonos, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

DECLARACIÓN DE TERRITORIO PROHIBIDO PARA LA MINERÍA (Radioteca, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunidades exigen parar la minería en sus territorios (Despertar de Oaxaca, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Declaration of rejection of hydroelectric and mining projects in the Coastal region (21 November 2015)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (28 March 2014)

Mexico: Murder of MAPDER member in Veracruz (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)


National: Final audience of the Mexican Chapter of the People’s Permanent Tribunal

December 7, 2014

Sobrevivientes de la masacre de Viejo Velasco durante el TPP en El Limonar, Chiapas, julio 2014. Foto@SIPAZ

Survivors of the Viejo Velasco massacre during the TPP session in El Limonar, Chiapas, July 2014. Photo @ SIPAZ

From 12 to 15 November, the final audience of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP) was held, after having begun in October 2011.  After 3 years of collecting information and analyzing the totality of testimonies provided by victims, organizations, and experts regarding 10 thematic questions, the sentence “Free Trade, Violence, Impunity, and Rights of the People in Mexico (2011-2014)” was published.  This sentence concludes that juridical responsibilities exist among four actors: the Mexican State, transnational corporations, other countries (such as the US and Canada, among others), and international institutions (like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, and so on).  The four tiers are assigned varying degrees of responsibility.

The sentence is the culmination of 10 thematic and multidisciplinary audiences, themselves the fruit of 40 preaudiences, as well as the participation of nearly a thousands organizations of diverse character that involved thousands of individuals.  The cases that were presented showed the open violations of individual and collective human rights resulting from economic and commercial treaties.  It was also decided that the Mexican State is the party that “has objective international responsibility for the violation of rights, civil and political, social and cultural, as for the creation of a healthy environment and access to justice.  Such changes presuppose the observance of numerous international laws and of the Mexican Constitution.”

In this way, with regard to the normalist students who were disappeared and murdered in September 2014 in Iguala, it was mentioned “the events in Ayotzinapa constitute yet another chapter in the long list of violations of the rights to dignity and to life among the Mexican people: they are the dramatic expression, both real and symbolic, of present reality, and of the significance of the proposals for the TPP […].  All this that has been meticulously documented for three years was condensed in Iguala in a number of hours of barbarism.  And in this reign of impunity that is Mexico today, there are murders without murderers, torture without torturers, and sexual abuse without rapists.  This is a permanent deviation from social responsibility that has led to thousands of massacres, murders, and systematic violations of collective rights.  [For the State] these are crimes that are always isolated or marginal, rather than true crimes for which the State is responsible.”

The sentence specifies the gravest crimes, including crimes against humanity, that have been committed during the six-year terms of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, Vicente Fox Quesada, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, and Enrique Peña Nieto.  It concludes with a battery of recommendations directed to international groups, Mexican civil society, and international media, calling for a “refoundation of Mexico” to accord with the 20 lines of recommendations, so as to bring the country back from the “deviation of power” it has experienced.

One of the judges at the final audience, Bishop Raúl Vera, affirmed that what took place at the TPP “is a comprehensive study of the unjust system that deliberately has been promoted by the Mexican government”; he indicated the “lack of responsibility on the part of the State” which “is judged principally for its deviation of power to favor transnational corporations; its commitments do not identify with the people in the least.”  “Social discontent prevails because the people feel abandoned,” noted Raúl Vera.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sentencia de la audiencia final del Capítulo México del TPP (TPP México, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

Desde Salinas, gobiernos son “responsables de crímenes de lesa humanidad”: TPP  (Proceso, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

El Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos: a la sombra de Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

Violaciones del Estado, desde Salinas hasta EPN: documento del Tribunal de Pueblos (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

Tribunal establece crímenes de Estado y señala “desviación del poder” en México: Vera (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: TPP preaudience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace we will find truth” (19 July 2014)

National: the Mexican government does not comply with the recommendations of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (23 June 2014)


National: Senate commissions approve law to regulate state of emergency

May 16, 2014


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On 28 April, the Senate approved in commission laws to reform articles 29 and 33 of the Constitution.  Article 29 regulates the process of the declaration of a state of emergency; its third clause establishes the possibility for a suspension of rights and liberties on three grounds: in case of an invasion, an attack on public peace (defined as whatever violent social phenomenon that puts at risk the stability of the country), or a natural disaster, epidemics, lack of basic goods, and so on.  Article 33 for its part regulates the process whereby the Executive can expel foreigners from Mexico.

In light of the new laws, civil organizations that form part of the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest expressed their opposition and rejection: “This should be reviewed and changed, because we are concerned that there is a tendency to legalize repression and to criminalize social protest.  We Mexicans do not want an illusory democratic State.”  They indicated that human-rights organizations were at no point consulted about the suggested changes to the Constitution.

The human-rights reform of 2011 noted that the president can in certain grave cases declare a state of emergency, but the terms for such a declaration had not been defined until now.  This reform must still pass the Senate as a whole and then the House of Deputies.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comisiones del Senado avalan coartar garantías si hay perturbación a la paz(La Jornada, 29 de abril de 2014)

Comunicado: Organizaciones civiles rechazan aprobación de la ley sobre Estado de Excepción en las comisiones del Senado(OSC, 28 de abril de 2014)

Carta pública sobre Estado de Excepción: Frente por la Libertad de Expresión y la Protesta Social (Frente por la Libertad de Expresión y Protesta Social, 29 de abril de 2014)

ONG denuncian inclinación a legalizar la represión y criminalizar la protesta (La Jornada, 29 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Creation of the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest (26 April 2014)


Chiapas: Magistrate involved in homophobic campaign

February 7, 2014

Foto @ La Jornada

Photo @ La Jornada

Social activists and human rights defenders have denounced the Green Chiapas Foundation before the National Commission for the Prevention against Discrimination (CONAPRED) for having launched a campaign against same-sex marriage.

Two public advertisements were installed on 18 and 19 January Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the state capital of Chiapas, emblazoned with the following words: “No to the legalization of initiatives that contradict the orders of God (abortion, gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, etc.).”  On one of the ads comes the signature of the Chiapas Green Foundation AC, led by a magistrate from Chilón, Leonardo Rafael Guirao Aguilar.

The Chiapas delegation from the Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Mexico (DDSSER) has condemned the campaign and requested an investigation to come to know the origins of the economic resources used in this campaign.  Delegate members claim that this campaign violates human rights and the law, given that the Mexican Constitution prohibits discrimination for sexual discrimination.  “Mexico has signed a number of international agreements which commit it to defend the rights of all its citizens,” noted the DDSSER Network.

For more information (in Spanish):

CONAPRED admite queja contra Pastor y Edil de Chilón (Chiapas Informativo, 30 de enero 2014)

Edil de Chiapas financia campaña contra gays (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de enero de 2014)

Edil de municipio paupérrimo financia campaña contra uniones gay(Proceso, 21 de enero de 2014)

Alcalde de Chilón, Chiapas, es acusado de patrocinar campaña contra uniones gay (Proceso, 21 de enero de 2014)

Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, sentencia edil chiapaneco a gays (La Jornada de Oriente, 21 de enero de 2014)

Financia edil de Chiapas campaña contra gays (El Independiente, 21 de enero de 2014)


Mexico: Meeting “Toward a Popular Agreement for the Rescue of the Nation”

March 5, 2013

Nación

On 16 February there was held the Meeting “Toward a Popular Agreement for the Rescue of the Nation” in the Workers’ University of Mexico, with the participation of more than 350 representatives from more than 200 civil and social organizations.  The call for the Meeting had as its antecedent the “Proclamation for the Rescue of the Nation” in March 2012, a document signed by different celebrities, social leaders, and civil and citizens’ social organizations.

The analysis of the context led participants to characterize the situation lived in the country “as a national emergency, that has among its causes the acceleration of the breakdown of the Mexican State and its ruling class.  The corruption and impunity penetrate all state apparatuses and their institutions.  Government officials at the highest levels from all political parties are involved.  The political situation is worsened with the return of the PRI, a party that takes over the government as a result of its illegitimate electoral process.  Violations of the Constitution and the State of Right ar seen, and there a dangerous progression toward the establishment of a State of delinquency and exception, which threatens to nullify political, social, and cultural rights.”To halt the advance of this national emergency, the participants decided to join a national movement with the goal of struggling “for the rescue of the nation, the defense of the Mexican territory and its energy resources, as well as in favor of peace and against neoliberalism,” within “a broad strategic unity for programming and action that develops a movement of movements.”The meeting ended with the expressed need to promote spaces of coordination, organization, communication, and sociability.  The space called for a national consultation and the carrying out of activities and acts to defend sovereignty and Mexico’s oil.  In this sense, participants agreed to support the caravans and actions on 18 March in the public plazas, calling for a defense of oil among other demands.  There was newly made a call for a second meeting on 20 April.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se unen por el rescate de la nación y la defensa del territorio (La Jornada, 22 de febrero de 2013)

Documento de trabajo del Encuentro “Hacia un Pacto Popular por el Rescate de la Nación”. (Proclama por el Rescate de la Nación, 16 de febrero de 2013)

Boletín de prensa (22 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: “In light of the national emergency we unite our voice against the silence of politicians”: Proclamation for the Rescue of the Nation(24 March 2012)


Chiapas: Indigenous Ch’oles block highway in north of the state

February 7, 2013

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Photo @Laklumal Ixim

On 5 February, in observance of the 96th anniversary of the Mexican Constitution, approximately 450 Ch’ol women and men who pertain to the organization Laklumal Ixim (Our People of Maize) initiated a highway blockade on the Yajalón-Tila route so as to demonstrate that nearly two months into the administration of the new state government, “the communities and peoples continue to experience abandonment, misery, and looting.”  In the communique participants denounce that “the ‘National Crusade against hunger’ is a farce that seeks merely to share crumbs to our communities that experience poverty, while our natural resources are handed over to foreign firms for exploitation.  This is all a part of a strategy of counter-insurgency.”  Furthermore, the members of the organization demand “that the Chiapas state-government cease this strategy of looting and abandonment toward the indigenous and campesino communities of the state, and that they instead attend to our demands and needs: a just price for electricity in accordance with the poverty of our people, quality healthcare and education, dignified infrastructure (homes, works, and roads), support for coffee-growers, projects and programs of support for the countryside to help women and men of indigenous communities, respect for our rights–ejidal, communal, and indigenous–cessation of the strategy of division and confrontation among communities as promoted by the FANAR (previously PROCEDE) that is being promoted above all by the agrarian governmental agency.”

For more information (in English):

Comunicado Laklumal Ixim (5 de febrero de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Choles block highway in the Northern Zone (13 April 2012)