Chiapas: Third Forum for the Defense and Care of Mother Earth in Chicomuselo

December 6, 2014

(@Koman Ilel)

(@Koman Ilel)

From 10 to 12 November, in the Chicomuselo municipality, different activities were organized to protest mineral exploitation and to organize in defense of life.  At the end of a march held on 10 November, Chicomuselo was declared a “municipality free of mining.”  On 12 November, the Third Forum for the Defense and Care of Mother Earth took place, with the participation of 3,500 persons.

At the close of the event, participants declared their opposition to mineral exploration and exploitation operations, as well as wind-energy plants, natural gas ducts, hydroelectric dams, and superhighways sought to be imposed on their lands.  They noted that the structural reforms advanced by the federal government “in no way benefit the campesino and indigenous peoples of our country but instead seek to facilitate once again the looting of our common goods and to impoverish us evermore with policies that would have us depend on the large firms of the country, as well as transnationals.”  They affirmed that they would continue to resist the government “and its predatory policies,” and they called on Mexican society to unite to the cause against megaprojects, to educate itself, and to act “amidst a system that oppresses, imposes, and violates human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaran a Chicomuselo territorio libre de minería (Chiapas Paralelo, 10 de noviembre de 2014)

Chicomuselo, libre de explotación minera (Koman Ilel, incluyendo materiales audiovisuales y declaración final, 11 de noviembre de 2014)

“Megaproyectos despojan y saquean a la Nación”, denuncian comunidades campesinas e indígenas (Sididh, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Acuerdan ejidatarios que Sierra Madre de Chiapas estará libre de minería(Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

A 5 años del asesinato de Mariano Abarca por su resistencia contra la minera Blackfire, demandamos justicia (Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo Extractivo Minero, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of renewal of mining activities in Chicomuselo (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Self-defense brigades against looting by mining corporations (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: two thousand march at the close of the “Chiapan Meeting of Unity against the Extractive Mining Model” in Frontera Comalapa (7 December 2012)

Chiapas: Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” (21 September 2012)

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

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)

National: Approval of energy reform

December 17, 2013

Senadores contrarios a la reforma. Foto @EFE

Following a 20-hour session, the Mexican Senate has approved the polemical energy reform which would allow for national and foreign private corporations to invest in the hydrocarbon industry.

The 95 votes in favor from representatives of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) joined with those from the Green Party and the National Action Party (PAN) to oppose the 28 in opposition coming from representatives of the Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Labor Party (PT), the Citizens’ Movement, and two PAN senators.

Functions reserved to date for the State such as exploration and exploitation of petroleum, its industrialization, and the generation of electricity will now be opened to private capital, given the approval of the reform.

Though the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto affirms that petroleum will continue to be the property of the nation, Senator Luis Sánchez Jiménez (PRD) noted that “the contract license is the same as a concession.  Property of petroleum has been ceded.”

Following the approval of the reform, hundreds of protestors amassed outside the Senate to express their opposition to the handing-over of the natural resources to international capital, as they claimed.

For more information (in Spanish):

México abre el petróleo a la inversión privada y extranjera (El País, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Aprueba Senado reforma energética en lo general, con 95 votos a favor y 28 en contra (Proceso, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Mineras extranjeras podrían entrar a la explotación de petróleo y gas (La Jornada, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Los 25 puntos finos de la Reforma Energética (Excelsior, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Siguen protestas en México contra Reforma Energética (Telesur, 11 de diciembre de 2013)