Oaxaca: Declaration of rejection of hydroelectric and mining projects in the Coastal region

November 21, 2015

Durante el Foro @ SIPAZ

During the Forum @ SIPAZ

On 14 November, some 400 people representing 51 communities of the coastal and southern mountainous regions of Oaxaca as well as civil organizations met for the regional forum “Imperiled Rivers and Mountains” – Peoples and their Right to Land, held in Tataltepec de Valdés, Juquila. During the Forum, a declaration was developed that denounces the existence of “at least 14 hydroelectric projects in the coastal region of Oaxaca, as well as several mining projects. Many of these we reject in unison, but now they have been relaunched by federal authorities together with the Oaxacan state government.” Beyond this, they indicated “in a unanimous voice” their repudiation of the “projects of hydroelectric dams and mines that threaten our indigenous lands,” given that “new risks have been reactivated” following the “energy reform approved by the local and federal governments.”

Lastly, they concluded that “the dam- and mining-projects create great damages in our territories and environments by devastating the water supplies and thus putting at risk the continued existence of our lives as peoples. They also create social and cultural problems by dividing us over the question of whether to invite transnational corporations in. They further destroy the environment as they seek to flood our lands, and they use chemicals that contaminate the water, the land, the soils, and even the very air we breathe.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Declaratoria del Foro Regional “Ríos y Montañas en Peligro” – Los Pueblos y su Derecho al Territorio (Educa, 14 de noviembre de 2015)

Nuevos proyectos mineros e hidroeléctricos amenazan la Costa de Oaxaca (Educa, 10 de noviembre de 2015)

Al menos 14 proyectos hidroeléctricos en la Costa oaxaqueña; ONGs se oponen (NSS Oaxaca, 16 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: IX National Intercultural Meeting of MAPDER in Presidio de los Reyes (15 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Cancellation of construction of CCCO on the Fortín Mountain

October 25, 2015

Francisco Toledo, opositor al CCCO en el Cerro el Fortín, colocando una manta de rechazo. Foto: @Óscar RodríguezFrancisco Toledo, opponent to CCCO on the Fortín Mountain, exhibiting a protest banner Photo: @Óscar Rodríguez

On 21 October, the governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué, announced the relocation of the construction project of the Cultural and Convention Center of Oaxaca (CCCO), which will no longer be built on the Fortín Mountain. According to an official communique, this decision was made to “guarantee the unity of Oaxacan society,” though the construction that has already begun for a parking complex to hold 600 vehicles will nonetheless continue.

It bears mentioning that by means of marches, fora, and expositions, there has been a large movement against this project, which was presented behind closed doors by the local Minister of Tourism, José Zorrilla de San Martín Diego, who was supposed to benefit by being a shareholder in a hotel close to the Fortín Mountain. Similarly, there was strong opposition condemning the harassment and attacks against people linked to the opposition of the building. It also should be noted that a public consultation was organized, which saw more than 96% of votes in favor of construction, though there are accusations that this process was manipulated.

In a communique, members of the Front in Defense of the Fortín Mountain observed that, though it took a while, the decision “is a triumph for organized civil society, and the Front can do no less than welcome the news.” In the same document, they demanded the cancellation of the parking lot project, the realization of an investigation into the process of construction, the immediate suspension of the campaign of harassment against activists, punishment of violence and threats and, lastly, the resolution of the legal demands that have been submitted and that they do not plan to cancel.

For more information (in Spanish):

Reubicación del CCCO; una decisión tardía de Cué: Defensores del Fortín (Uno Oaxaca, 22 de octubre de 2015)

Ganó Oaxaca: Cué cancela construcción del CCCO en el Cerro del Fortín (Educa, 22 de octubre de 2015)

La construcción del CCCO en el Fortín queda suspendida (La Jornada, 22 de octubre de 2015)

Toledo celebra “a medias” cancelación de construcción en el Fortín (Proceso, 22 de octubre de 2015)

Consulta favorece construcción de Centro de Convenciones de Oaxaca: Cué; Toledo acusa manipulación (Sin Embargo, 4 de octubre de 2015)

Gobierno de #Oaxaca pretende desaparecer el Cerro del Fortín (Más de 131, 8 de julio de 2015)

Oaxaca: Residents of Juchitan win motion to suspend construction of wind-energy park

October 25, 2015

Conferencia de prensa @ Cencos

Press-conference @ Cencos

On 12 October, representatives from the indigenous Binni’zaa (Zapotec) community from Juchitán de Zaragoza reported that, due to the legal motion they had submitted against the construction and the operation of the megaproject advanced by the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation on their lands, a judicial order has been made to suspend all the authorizations, permits, approvals, licenses, and land-use changes awarded by local and federal officials. The demand for the motion had been presented by 1,166 Binni’zaa indigenous people, and the suspension was approved on 30 September 2015.

“We demand that all the authorities and firms involved in the Southern Wind-Energy project observe with the demand made by the judge to suspend this work, meanwhile we wish to denounce that as a consequence of this judicial resolution, harassment has increased against the people who had advanced the legal motion,” they indicated in a press-conference. Beyond this, they added that “there was no public consultation, given that last January the project had been approved by the Regulatory Commission on Energy and the Environmental and Natural Resources Ministry, but it was not until June of this year that the consultation was carried out. In any case, it was mere simulation.” Beyond this, it was recalled that the Southern Wind-Energy Firm belongs to the same groups of capitalists that in 2012 comprised the Mareña Renewables firm, against which the indigenous had won a different legal motion two years ago. But it has returned now with another name.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pueblo indígena detiene megaproyecto eólico en Istmo de Tehuantepec (Cencos, 13 de octubre de 2015)

Ordena juez frenar obras de megaproyecto eólico en Oaxaca (Proceso, 12 de octubre de 2015)

Logran amparo para evitar construcción de parque eólico en Juchitán (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 13 de octubre de 2015)

Análisis de la Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental y del Resolutivo del Proyecto “Eólica del Sur” (Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad, agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation (11 September 2015)

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Chiapas/National: Barometer presented as a measurement of state of human rights in the southern border of Mexico

October 10, 2015

@ fronterasurmx.wordpress.com

@ fronterasurmx.wordpress.com

The Social Observatory on Human Rights and Migration at the southern border of Mexico has presented a new means of contributing to the analysis of social organizations and the citizenry in general regarding the situation of permanent conflict that is lived in the zone of the southern border of Mexico: that is, in Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

This barometer is a monthly tool of information and analysis regarding human-rights violations committed against people and social organizations in the region of the southern border. The barometer examines public denunciations and communiques that have been organized by the Observatory on the southern border. The objective is to contribute to the construction of an early warning system on human-rights violations and to strengthen the protective mechanisms for human-rights defenders in the area.

For more information (in Spanish):

EL BARÓMETRO (Observatorio Social de Derechos Humanos y Migraciones en la Frontera Sur de México)

Oaxaca: State government fails to meet with Euro-deputies due to “lack of will” to deal with case of Bety and Jyri

October 10, 2015

Foto @ Página 3Photo @ Página 3

During an official visit from the deputies from the European Parliament who have been following the case of the murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, which took place in April 2010 on a humanitarian caravan en route to the Triqui region, no representative of the government of Gabino Cué Monteagudo or even the commissioner for human rights, Eréndira Cruz Villegas, received the Eurodeputies Satu Hassi and Ska Keller. The member of the Finnish Parliament, Satu Hassi, clarified that they had decided to come to Oaxaca “because there have been no advances; there is nothing; nothing has happened. For this reason, my conclusion is that there is a total lack of will” to arrest the perpetrators of these crimes. She stressed that they held meetings with the federal government but not with the Oaxacan state government, as the latter indicated that it was not the right time. Hassi mentioned that although there are accords written and signed between Omar Esparza, the widower of Bety Cariño, the Finnish embassy, and the European Union, as well as between lawyers of the families of the activists and the Oaxacan state authorities, nothing has happened, such that there is no other explanation than lack of interest.

She added that “we see a very similar pattern between the case of Jyri Jaakkola and Bety Cariño and that of the 43 disappeared from Ayotzinapa, because there are large gaps in time before investigations are launched, and the authorities hide evidence or even deliberately destroy it.” She concluded that the cases of the 43 and that of Bety and Jyri are symptoms of the same disease—impunity—such that it is not judicial officials but others who document evidence.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gabino Cué le cierra las puertas a eurodiputadas por caso de Jyri Jaakkola y Bety Cariño; no las recibe (Página 3, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Diputada finlandesa cuestiona a EPN por no resolver asesinato de activistas en Oaxaca por grupo ligado al PRI (Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO, 29 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: 5 years since the murder of human rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (28 April 2015)

Oaxaca: Two female witnesses threatened in the murder case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (1 March 2015)

Oaxaca: 4 years and 7 months later, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola is apprehended (8 February 2015)

National: Several criticisms of the presentation of Peña Nieto’s Third Report of Government

September 13, 2015

Enrique Peña Nieto during the presentation of the Third Report of Governance. Photo: @cnn méxico

Under the slogans “Mexico at peace,” “inclusive Mexico,” “Mexico with quality education,” “prosperous Mexico,” and “Mexico with global responsibility,” President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) presented his Third Governance Report on 2 September. During the presentation made at the National Palace in Mexico City, EPN made public his evaluation of the first half of his presidency, noting that he would not change the path of the reforms he had promoted, but rather accelerate this. “We will continue to build on the base we have established during the first half,” he expressed.

EPN discussed the previous year (September 2014-August 2015) as “difficult.” “Our country was profoundly hurt by a series of lamentable cases: the events of Iguala and the escape of a criminal recall the situations of violence,” he noted. According to La Jornada, the president’s comments alluded to the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa and the escape of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, “el Chapo.” Beyond this, he recognized the indignation and social rejection of both acts due to “indications of conflicts of interest that even involved the Executive branch.”

EPN also announced that there would be no new taxes or increases on those already existing, despite the decline in income from the petroleum sector. He also reported the fall in impactful crimes and the increase in poverty rates, according to the Measurement of the National Council for the Evaluation of the Policies of Social Development (CONEVAL). Beyond this, he declared that the changes to the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca (IEEPO) were oriented toward the “liberation of public education in Oaxaca, the particular interests that have maintained it captive for decades,” beyond ratifying the progression of the Educational Reform: “For our children and youth in Oaxaca—and throughout Mexico—the law will be applied. There will no retreat: despite the difficulties, the Educational reform will reach the last corner and school of the country.” He also warned of the risk of “believing in demagoguery, intolerance, and populism” in these moments during which there reigns “frustration and pessimism.” At the end of the report, he presented a new decalogue called “10 measures for new challenges.”

The Third Report received many criticisms by national and international organizations that believe Mexico is passing through a severe human-rights crisis that they feel was ignored in the presidential report.

For more information (in Spanish):

3r Informe de Gobierno 2014-2015 (Presidencia de la República)

El Tercer Informe de Peña Nieto en 10 frases (Animal Político, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

Iguala perturbó a México, reconoce Peña Nieto (La Jornada, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

Al dar un balance de su mandato, EPN reconoce hechos que causaron desconfianza e incertidumbre (Animal Político, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

A casi 1 año de Ayotzinapa, EPN no ha cumplido decálogo en seguridad (SinEmbargo, 7 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Nacional: Lack of confidence and strong criticisms of the Second Governmental Report presented by EPN (15 September 2014)

National: Submission of First Governmental Report amidst protests and mass-disturbances (13 September 2013)

National: Polemical ascension of EPN (7 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Multiple protests and demands that Oaxaca overcome “state of siege”

September 11, 2015

Foto @ Página 3Photo @ Página 3

Since 4 June, units from the Federal Police, the National Gendarmerie, and the Army have occupied Oaxaca due to the possibility that the teachers of this state would impede the electoral day that was held on 7 June, according to official sources. On 18 July, the security forces were reinforced after the state government assumed control of the State Institute of Public Education, an administrative entity that was previously overseen by the Section 22 of the teachers’ union. To date, over seven thousand forces have been involved in the operation.

Human-rights defense groups and social organizations from the state have called on the governor, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, to press for the immediate withdrawal of the policial and military forces from the state, following their warning that such a presence provides “evidence of the criminalization of social protest.” “In Oaxaca is lived an undeclared state of emergency,” warned several civil organizations in a public declaration.

Beyond this, the president of the Council for Political Coordination of the LXII state legislature, Jesús López Rodríguez, declared it as being unnecessary that the federal forces remain after Section 22 announced it would not boycott the beginning of the school year. “We point out to the state executive that if we could come to an agreement of peaceful coexistence with the teachers’ movement and the social movement, it would not be necessary for the federal forces to stay,” López Rodríguez observed. Beyond this, he assured that the governor went over the authority of the state congress in requesting the presence of federal forces directly from Enrique Peña Nieto, and the legislator added that there is no evidence of social instability. In his opinion, the militarization of the state only provokes fear and psychosis because “it would seem that Oaxaca is living a stage of long-term instability, and this is untrue.” He further noted that “the fear that the teachers would paralyze the state is unjustified because they are returning now to their classes. We support this move.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen organizaciones retirar de Oaxaca a militares y agentes de Policía Federal (Educa, 13 de agosto de 2015)

La militarización de Oaxaca y el magisterio (La Jornada, 18 de agosto de 2015)

Líder del Congreso pide desmilitarizar Oaxaca (Proceso, 19 de agosto de 2015)

Fuerzas federales cumplen más de un mes en Oaxaca a petición de Cué y su estancia no ha sido oficializada (Página 3, 19 de agosto de 2015)

La tentación autoritaria (Noticias Net, 19 de agosto de 2015)


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