Oaxaca: Verdict of the Popular Community Trial against the Mexican State and the mining companies

January 4, 2019

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On December 10th, on the International Human Rights Day as part of a political act in front of the Government Palace villages in Oaxaca-City, communities and organizations that participated in the “Popular Community Trial against the State and Mining Companies in Oaxaca” last October publicly presented the final verdict.

It should be remembered that in the Popular Community Trial participated 52 communities who presented 22 cases of affectations caused by mining in 5 of the state’s regions including – says the verdict- “irreversible affectations to the ecosystem, river contamination, fractures in the social structure and generalized insecurity in the regions, where those mining projects operate through mining companies, shock groups and state authorities”.

The verdict put forward the necessity to rescind the 322 concessions and the 41 valid mining projects within the State “as those were imposed without previous, free and informed consent by the communities and while violating our right to self-determination and autonomy to our cultural integrity, to administrate and control our territories and to maintain the collective property of our lands and communal natural goods”.

Equally, it demanded the immediate suspension of the issue of quarrying rights “until a new legal framework has been elaborated that fully and effectively respects the indigenous people’s rights as they were established in international treaties and the Constitution, until the repeal of the current mining law and others that protect the relations with that industry”. Likewise, it urged the authorities to pass laws and public policies which protect the indigenous people’s rights, which recognize them as subjects to public rights and include the in effective mechanisms of integral reparations for the caused damage.

The legal judgment also put forward the necessity to protect those who defend their territories so that they can do so in “conditions of liberty and security” and it demanded that “the politics of criminalization against the social protest are stopped, that the people responsible for assassinations are punished and that the disappeared territorial activists are presented alive immediately as well as the suspension of arrest warrants issued for the same reasons, individual and collective threats”.

The political act ended proclaiming “Yes to life, no to mining!” and “Neither gold nor silver, mining kills!”.

The report about the civil trial details that until 2017 there haven been registered 42 mining projects by 38 companies from Canada, the United States, Peru, Australia and Mexico. 36 of them in stage of exploration, 2 in development, one was postponed and 2 are already in the phase of commercial exploitation.

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca territorio prohibido para la minería”: exigencia de pueblos, comunidades y organizaciones frente al nuevo gobierno federal (Pronunciamiento e Informe, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Juicio Popular Comunitario contra el Estado y las Empresas Mineras (Vídeo, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Comunidades indígenas de Oaxaca exigen la prohibición total de la minería en el estado (Animal Político, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Demandan pueblos que Oaxaca sea territorio libre de minería (NVI Noticias, 12 de diciembre de 2018)

Oaxaca, territorio prohibido para la minería”: exigencia de comunidades al nuevo gobierno (Desinformémonos, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Repudian proyectos de mineras en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies Held (October 16th, 2018)

Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies Held

Oaxaca: Anuncian juicio popular contra empresas mineras. (9 de agosto de 2018)

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Oaxaca: CODEDI denounces military harassment; CNI demands that the repression against its members stop

November 4, 2018

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In a statement, the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI) denounced that on the afternoon of October 29,
“another act of aggression was recorded” against its members, “when elements of the Military Navy went up in convoy to the Center of Training of the former Finca Alemania in the Zapotec southern sierra ».

It explained that this “military provocation” took place “while hundreds of members of CODEDI were carrying out a mobilization in front of the Huatulco airport, Oaxaca, to demand justice for the 5 community defenders murdered so far this year and to investigate who is to be held accountable for the death of Mardelia Rocibel Cervantes, 22, deceased due to medical malpractice in the hospital of Huatulco”. The CODEDI considered that these more recent events are “an intimidation against the right of demonstration of the people and makes clear the complicity between the state apparatuses and the hitmen of the organized crime”.

It should be remembered that, just on October 25, Noel Castillo Aguilar, 44, a member of CODEDI and
“defender of the beach in his community against mafia and business interests” became the fifth member of this organization killed in 2018, No progress has been recorded in the investigations in any of the cases.

The National Indigenous Congress (CNI) denounced for its part “the growing repression against our brothers from CODEDI” and condemned the murder of Noel Castillo Aguilar. It demanded that the repression and the imposition of “megaprojects of death” cease.

For more information (for more information in Spanish) :

Comunicado URGENTE: EJÉRCITO HOSTIGA CODEDI (CODEDI, 30 de octubre de 2018)

CODEDI cierra acceso al aeropuerto de Huatulco (El Imparcial, 30 de octubre de 2018)

PRONUNCIAMIENTO DEL CNI-CIG EN CONTRA DE LA REPRESIÓN CONTRA CODEDI Y CONTRA LA SIMULACIÓN DE “CONSULTAS” EN BENEFICIO DE LA EMPRESA EÓLICA DEL SUR (CNI/EZLN, 30 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: fifth member of CODEDI is murdered so far this year November 2, 2018

Oaxaca: CODEDI Denounces Military Harassment and Persecution August 13, 2018

Oaxaca: Three Members of CODEDI Ambushed and Murdered February 26, 2018


National / International: First Migrant Caravan advances in Mexico; a person dies in the second caravan trying to enter; Trump announces operation «Faithful Patriot» to close US border

November 3, 2018
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Migrants Exodus (@SIPAZ)


While the first migrant Caravan that entered Mexico on October 20 continues to advance in Oaxaca, a second caravan was stopped trying to cross the border so as to continue its journey to the United States on October 28. This day, in Tecun Uman, Henry Adalid Díaz Reyes, 26 years old, originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, died after receiving a rubber bullet hit allegedly by the federal police of Mexico, trying to stop the crossing of this caravan. On the Guatemalan side, local media reported that several people were injured during a clash between the National Civil Police of Guatemala and about 2,000 migrants who forcibly broke through the metal fence through which they accessed Mexican territory.

The Secretary of the Interior in Mexico, Alfonso Navarrete Prida, said that the elements of the Federal Police that tried to stop the passage of migrants on the border with Guatemala did not carry weapons: “The Federal Police, as witnessed by the CNDH, did not carry weapons (…) The instruction was clear: unarmed police (…) It has been proven that some of the aggressors who tried to enter the country today carried firearms and the so-called Molotov cocktails “. He affirmed that Mexico has shared information with the governments of Guatemala and Honduras so that the aggressors are detained and made available to the authorities.

It should be noted that on October 29, about 200 people from San Salvador, El Salvador, left their country for the United States. They hope that on the road more people will join them and that in a few days they will be able to cross the border with Mexico.

Likewise, on October 29, the United States announced the start-up of the operation “Faithful Patriot” for the deployment of 5,200 soldiers on the border with Mexico before the arrival of these caravans. “Our message is simple: we will not allow large groups to enter the United States in an unsafe and illegal manner,” told Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, during a press conference. He indicated that the military personnel will cooperate with the more than 1,000 agents of the Customs and Border Protection service and the 2,100 members of the National Guard that have already been distributed in 26 border points, in particular in the states of Texas, Arizona and California.

Hours earlier, President Donald Trump had said on Twitter that “Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!

Of the more than 7,000 who initially entered Mexico, some 4,000 would have voluntarily returned to their country, an official source reported in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

For more information (in Spanish):

Caravana: un segundo grupo de migrantes centroamericanos rompe la valla fronteriza entre México y Guatemala en fuerte enfrentamiento con la policía (BBC Mundo, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Caravana de migrantes: Estados Unidos anuncia el despliegue de 5.200 militares a la frontera con México (BBC Mundo, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Migrantes cruzan a México bajo promesa de pedir refugio pero se rebelan y unen a segunda caravana (Proceso, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Segunda caravana de migrantes intenta entrar a México; policía mata a uno (En el camino, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Segunda caravana intenta entrar a México, muere migrante en el intento (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Muere migrante hondureño en choque con PF (La Jornada, 28 de octubre de 2018)

Hondureño de la #CaravanaMigrante muere en enfrentamiento en México (ADN Político, 28 de octubre de 2018)

Ejército, PNC y Policía Municipal tomarán control de Tecún Umán (Prensa Libre, 28 de octubre de 2018)

Durante tres horas, la Gendarmería impide el tránsito de la caravana migrante en Oaxaca (Proceso, 27 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas / National / International: Migrant Caravan about to enter Oaxaca November 3, 2018

National / International: Caravan of migrants from Honduras arrives in Mexico October 22, 2018

National / International: Mexico, migration filter? September 21, 2018

National/International: OSC Asks for Suspension of Agreement with US to Convert Mexico into “Migration Filter” in Return for Favors in Renegotiation of NAFTA June 25, 2018


Chiapas / National / International: Migrant Caravan about to enter Oaxaca

November 3, 2018
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@Radio Zapatista


On October 27, it is expected that the majority of the Migrant Caravan-Exodus will cover the Arriaga-Juchitán of Zaragoza section, leaving Chiapas to enter Oaxaca. It is estimated that there are still more than 6000 people. “Community support, from civil, grassroots and religious organizations continues to be the main source of life and hope for the people on their journey. Also, some governmental bodies and international organizations continue to follow the Exodus and greater action was observed by the Municipal Councils of Mapastepec, Pijijiapan and Tonalá, providing medical care and food”, said the Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Group in Chiapas. .

In recent days, the reinforcement of immigration and police control in the border area has been confirmed. On October 26, a group of at least 150 migrants (some speak of 300, others of 450), composed of Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans, who walked from the municipality of Suchiate to Tapachula, Chiapas, to join the migrant caravan was detained by the Federal Police and personnel of the National Institute of Migration (INM). They were transferred, in trucks and vans, to the Siglo XXI migration station, located in Tapachula. At the time of the arrest, “panic spread when they were forced to get into the vans; Most people were able to flee in the bushes, but again families, children and adolescents were trapped. On this occasion, different media were witnesses and circulated videos that show the violence of the operation and the separation of children from their parents”, said the Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Group in Chiapas.

For his part, the Ambassador of Honduras in Mexico, Alden Rivera Montes, said that of those who entered the first wave so far, 500 migrants have approached him to be repatriated and that 1,900 submitted their request for refuge before the Mexican Commission of Assistance for Refugees (COMAR).

The Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Group in Chiapas reported that “persons and families who decided to return due to exhaustion, disinformation and the difficult environmental and institutional conditions of the exodus, are exposed to the absence of accompanying protocols for repatriation by town halls, consulates and institutions responsible for the attention to vulnerable groups, as is the case of children. This absence translates into long waits in spaces without guarantee of safety, food and health”.

The same 26, almost a week after the Caravan entered Mexico, the president Enrique Peña Nieto announced a program for the attention to migrants called “You are in your house” that seeks to provide medical care, education, temporary employment and an identification to those who have recently entered the South border. It raised some restrictions to access these benefits: applicants must be in Oaxaca or Chiapas and must have registered their entry or their request for refuge with the INM. The procedures will be free, said the Ministry of the Interior

“Ninety-nine percent of the members of the caravan rejected the offer because it is specific to Chiapas and Oaxaca, states in a similar condition to the countries from which we come,” the organization of Peoples Without Borders told the media.

The migrants have requested a meeting with Peña Nieto and his successor, Andrés Manuel Andrés López Obrador, in Mexico City where the caravan could arrive on November 2. From there, some migrants could choose to stay and work in Mexico, but several continue to pretend to reach the US. The president of this country, Donald Trump, has described the passage of the caravan as a “national emergency” and warned that he will mobilize 800 soldiers to the border along with two thousand elements of the National Guard to contain the Caravan.

For more information (in Spanish) :

Migrantes rechazan oferta de Peña (La Jornada, 27 de octubre de 2018)

Actualización del Éxodo Migrante (OSC, 27 de octubre de 2018)

México ofrece trabajo y atención médica a la caravana migrante para frenar su paso a EE UU (El País, 27 de octubre de 2018)

Peña Nieto trata de evitar que la Caravana de Migrantes llegue a EEUU (El Mundo, 27 de octubre de 2018)

ACCIÓN URGENTE-ÉXODO MIGRANTE (OSC, 27 de octubre de 2018)

Policía Federal y agentes del INM detienen a 150 migrantes en Chiapas; intentaban unirse a la caravana (Animal Político, 26 de octubre de 2018)

Interceptan a hondureños que querían sumarse a la caravana (Proceso, 26 de octubre de 2018)

EPN anuncia plan “Estás en tu Casa” dirigido a migrantes en México (La Jornada, 26 de octubre de 2018)

ACTUALIZACIÓN ÉXODO MIGRANTE (OSC, 26 de octubre de 2018)

Caravana de migrantes a su paso por Pijijiapan y Tonalá, Chiapas (Radio Zapatista, 26 de octubre)

ACTUALIZACIÓN DEL ÉXODO MIGRANTE(OSC, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Pueblos migrantes organizados rompen las fronteras y muros impuestos por los gobiernos (OSC, 25 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National / International: Caravan of migrants from Honduras arrives in Mexico October 22, 2018

National / International: Mexico, migration filter? September 21, 2018

National/International: OSC Asks for Suspension of Agreement with US to Convert Mexico into “Migration Filter” in Return for Favors in Renegotiation of NAFTA June 25, 2018


Oaxaca: SCJN is called to protect the collective rights of the Zapotec community and to cancel the permits of the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation

November 2, 2018
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Juchitán (@Cuartooscuro)


In a statement published on October 25, organizations that defend human rights and the environment called on the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) to
“strictly adhere to the highest standards of prior consultation in its sentence, to protect the Collective rights of the Zapotec community, and to order the cancellation of the permits granted to the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation (Eólica del Sur) for the construction of a wind turbine park in Juchitán, Oaxaca, as well as to impose fair reparation measures for the community. ” Next October 31, the highest judicial body will decide whether the human rights of the Zapotec community in the case were violated or not.

It is worth remembering that last May the SCJN attracted the actions for legal protections (amparos) filed by more than a thousand members of the Zapotec community of Juchitán regarding the consultation that was carried out to implement the project of the subsidiary of the transnational Mitsubishi, which, despite the pending litigation, has continued to advance in the construction of the megaproject.

The organizations expressed great concern about the draft resolution that the SCJN intends to present because they fear that a “decision that supports bad practices in indigenous consultations” could be enlisted.

At the press conference in which the statement was presented, Betina Cruz, representative of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of Land and Territory, recalled that since 2014 they oppose this wind farm, “the largest of its kind in Latin America”, since the consultation of the affected communities was given once the company had already obtained the government permits. She noted that currently the Isthmus of Tehuantepec has 1,915 wind turbines, in 24 parks, none installed with prior, free and informed consultations, as established by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For their part, members of the Zapotec community have denounced “that they have been criminalized and threatened before, during and after the consultation because of their opposition to the project, so it was never a free process or one done in good faith. Nor was complete information provided on the impacts of the project and its alternatives for the communities. Even the responsible authorities, like the Sener, sought to accelerate the process to endorse the project, in violation of the uses and customs of the community, and leaving pending issues for discussion ».

The organizations encouraged the SCJN “not to discard this unique opportunity to generate a historical precedent in favor of the effective protection of the indigenous peoples rights within the framework of the Energy Reform and to establish clear rules for the government on how to comply with its obligation to consult peoples and communities. Failure to correct its course, would be deepening the serious situation of discrimination experienced by indigenous communities in Mexico and would allow the reform to be implemented in clear violation of human rights.

For more information (In Spanish):

Opositores a Eólica del Sur, en Oaxaca, alertan por posible decisión de la Corte contra derecho de consulta indígena (Proceso, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Solicitan activistas a SCJN cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur (La Jornada, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Piden a la SCJN cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur (El Imparcial, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Piden a la Suprema Corte cancelar permisos a Eólica del Sur por violar derechos humanos de comunidades indígenas (OSC, 25 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Residents of Juchitan win motion to suspend construction of wind-energy park (October 25, 2015)

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


Oaxaca: fifth member of CODEDI is murdered so far this year

November 2, 2018

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In a communiqué, the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI) reported that on October 25, 44-year-old Noel Castillo Aguilar, a member of this organization, was assassinated on his way home in the municipality of Santiago Astata.

It affirmed that “this crime is clearly of a political nature since he was a member of the local CODEDI group that is participating in the legitimate struggle to defend its beaches and territory in the region.” It recalled that “this murder is the second attack against the group of that community, since last year one of its representatives was assassinated, and it is also the third attack against compañeros belonging to the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Rights so far this 2018. This is why we consider that the only responsible for this and all the murders, attacks and violence that we have been subjected to, is the government of the State of Oaxaca led by Alejandro Murat Hinojosa for his complicity in obstructing the investigations and in encouraging attacks against us through the powerful device of impunity.”

CODEDI demanded justice in this and in the previous cases in addition to the cessation of violence against the organized peoples of the Southern Highlands of Oaxaca.

For its part, the Consultative Council of the Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists expressed its repudiation of the murders of two human rights defenders and a journalist in the last 24 hours. IT recalled that in the case of CODEDI, on July 17, another of its members, Abraham Hernández González, was assassinated, likewise on February 12 of this year, three persons were murdered: Alejandro Antonio Díaz Cruz (41 years old), Ignacio Basilio Ventura Martínez (17 years old) and Luis Ángel Martínez (18 years old), with no effective investigations or sanctions to those responsible.

For more information (in Spanish) :

Comunicado de CODEDI por el asesinato de un coordinador de la organización (CODEDI, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Intolerable, asesinato de periodistas y defensores bajo mecanismos de protección: ONG (MVS Noticias, 26 de octubre de 2018)

Asesinan a quinto activista del CODEDI en Oaxaca (El Universal, 26 de octubre de 2018)

Espacio Civil de Oaxaca denuncia 5 ejecuciones extrajudiciales, 4 detenciones arbitrarias y 3 allanamientos contra CODEDI en 2018 (Espacio Civil de Oaxaca, 26 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: CODEDI Denounces Military Harassment and Persecution August 13, 2018

Oaxaca: Three Members of CODEDI Ambushed and Murdered February 26, 2018


Oaxaca: Profepa orders Cuzcatlán mining company urgent measures before spill of a mining dam in San Jose del Progreso

November 1, 2018
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@Michoacan Político


Since last October 12, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA) has requested Cuzcatlán Mining Company, SA de CV, a subsidiary of the Canadian company Fortuna Silver Inc., located in the municipality of San José del Progreso, to carry out “measures of urgent application due to the spill of a tailings dam”. This contingency occurred on October 8, after heavy rains. The measures to be taken seek “to guarantee the protection and safeguarding of the environment and to avoid further damage to the natural elements”.

Given the indolence of the company that works in the area since 2011 to comply with these measures, on October 17, PROFEPA notified the company date and time for taking soil samples, an action that was carried out by a company contracted by Minera Cuzcatlán, accredited and approved by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). PROFEPA personnel were present during the procedure. The results to determine the existence or not of contamination with hazardous waste is yet to be received. In case it is accredited, the actions and sanctions that according to law proceed will be applied, the PROFEPA warned in a press release.

Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the community of Magdalena Octotlán still can not use the water for cultivation or to bathe, and they fear the contamination of their drinking water wells, a few meters from the affected stream.

For more information (in Spanish):

El río está blanco y el agua para sembrar ya no sirve. Indígenas de Oaxaca acusan a mina canadiense (Sin Embargo, 23 de octubre de 2018)

Minera de San José del Progreso obligada a atender derrame en presa (El Imparcial de Oaxaca, 23 de octubre de 2018)

PROFEPA ORDENA A MINERA CUZCATLÁN, S.A. DE C.V., MEDIDAS DE URGENTE APLICACIÓN POR DERRAME DE JALES (PROFEPA, 22 de octubre de 2018) 

Solicita Defensoría a Profepa investigar posible contaminación del río Coyote en valle de Ocotlán (Pagina 3.mx, 18 de octubre de 2018)

Piden cancelar el proyecto de la minera Cuzcatlán por contaminación (Contralínea, 18 de octubre de 2018)

Derrame minero en Oaxaca alarma a poblaciones rurales (Rebelión, 17 de octubre de 2018)

La Profepa confirma derrame causado por empresa de filial canadiense en río El Coyote, Oaxaca (Proceso, 15 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies is carried out

October 16, 2018