Oaxaca: COPUDEVER celebrates its eighth anniversary

July 23, 2015

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

On 11 June, the Council of United Peoples in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER) observed the eighth anniversary since its founding in favor of the defense of land and life. The Council struggles for the cancelation of the “Paso de la Reina Project for Hydroelectric Exploitation,” which consists in the construction of an installation comprised of two dams being built by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). This project has been rejected by local people, “who have realized that the government seeks to allow foreign investment on their lands to appropriate natural resources,” members affirmed.

This anniversary commemorates also the sixth year of the existence of the El Zanate block, a strategy of non-violent resistance to impede CFE workers’ access to the Paso de la Reyna community, Santiago Jamiltepec municipality, in the coastal region of Oaxaca, which would be the most affected, as it is located between the two planned dams.

We will not countenance the environmental devastation that the government seeks to promote. As indigenous peoples we have the right to defend our land and to decide what we want to have happen on our ejidos, and what we do not want,” said Eloy Cruz Gregorio, a resident of the Paso de la Reyna community and member of COPUDEVER. “The Paso de la Reina hydroelectric project threatens indigenous peoples, their lands, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices, thus threatening their right to consultation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

COPUDEVER conmemora ocho años “defendiendo la vida y el territorio” (video) (Educa, 10 de julio de 2015)

Comunidades de la costa de Oaxaca dieron su “no” rotundo a hidroeléctrica Paso de la Reina y se niegan a la consulta(DesInformémonos, 16 de julio de 2015)

Comunidad de Paso de la Reina celebra 6 años de organización y 8 de la fundación de COPUDEVER (Boca de Polen, 16 de julio de 2015)

Mantienen rechazo contra presa Paso de la Reyna (NoticiasNet, 12 de diciembre de 2014)

This is Not Development – The Story of Paso de la Reina (YouTube, 4 de junio 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)

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

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER mobilizes in defense of the Río Verde (20 March 2011)


Oaxaca: Radio-show host murdered in Miahuatlán

July 21, 2015

@e_oaxaca

Photo @ E_oaxaca

Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento, a radio-show host for La Favorita, was killed on 2 July in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, located in the southern sierra of Oaxaca state. According to the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE), Filadelfo was intercepted by two individuals who were awaiting him at the exit of the radio-station where he worked, and they shot him to death. He has the brother of the journalist Misael Sánchez Sarmiento.

According to several media sources, the governor has ordered that the PGJE carry out an investigation to arrest the radio-show host’s murderers. A search operation was then launched.

It should be mentioned that, according to the organization Journalists without Borders, Mexico is the couintry with the sixth-highest number of murders of journalists. In the past 15 years, 103 journalists have been killed, with 25 others disappeared, according to the statistical report of the Special Prosecutorial Office for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression, affiliated with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a tiros a locutor en Oaxaca (Proceso, 2 de julio de 2015)

Asesinan a un locutor de radio y a un reportero (La Jornada, 3 de julio de 2015)

Asesinan a locutor en Oaxaca; hermano de periodista (Página3, 2 de julio de 2015)

En 15 años, 103 periodistas asesinados y otros 25 desaparecidos: informe de la PGR (La Jornada, 24 de febrero de 2015)

México, sexto país con más periodistas asesinados y quinto en secuestros (México CNN, 16 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists (30 March 2014)

National: launching of Consultative Council of Mechanism for Protection of Journalists and Rights-Defenders (26 October 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)


Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission

June 29, 2015

(@ADN Sureste)

(@ADN Sureste)

On the ninth anniversary of the attempt to displace the teachers’ sit-in at the zócalo in Oaxaca de Juárez in 2006, on 14 June there was held a public session at the Oaxaca Truth Commission (CVO). 14 witnesses presented testimony, while members of the CVO, including its president Alejandro Solalinde, as well as the journalist Carmen Aristegui and the Mexican representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Javier Hernández Valencia, were also present.

The CVO is an autonomous organization that seeks to clarify the repressive historical events that took place in Oaxaca between 14 June 2006 and 30 May 2007, the time period covering the displacement of the teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) from the sit-in they had undertaken to demand better working and educational conditions. This police operation was ordered by the then governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and gave rise to the creation of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), a social movement that opposed the PRI-led government.

According to an advance copy of the CVO’s report, there were at least 500 cases of torture and 26 executions of social activists and those connected to the struggle. The public session gave voice to the testimony of women who lost their husbands, families that continue to seek out their disappeared, and political prisoners. According to Solalinde, the gravity of the acts is reflected well in the various testimonies that were presented, even if many other victims did not share their experiences out of fear. The public audience, which Javier Hernández Valencia understood as “a first step toward justice,” affirmed words such as those of Carmen Aristegui: “What should happen in the near future must incorporate the truth and memory, but above all justice, as Oaxacan society has sought out now for nearly a decade.” The CVO will put together a final report, to be presented before the judiciary in March 2016. The aim is to pressure authorities to put an end to the impunity of the acts, which represent crimes against humanity, in the view of Solalinde and his lawyer and assessor, Cuauhtémoc Ruiz.

On the same day of the public audience, a march organized by the CNTE took place, with the participation of 10,000 people. Protestors sought to commemorate the attempted displacement of 2006 and repeated their call for justice, the cancellation of articles 3 and 73 of the Constitution, and the cancellation of the educational reforms. They also protested in favor of boycotting the assessment exams for teachers that have been announced by the Secretary for Public Education (SEP).

For more information (in Spanish):

Hubo 500 casos de tortura y 26 ejecuciones en Oaxaca: Comisión de la Verdad (La Jornada, 12 de junio de 2015)

Ciudadanos de Oaxaca exigen justicia por el desalojo policial de 2006(CNN México, 14 de junio de 2015)

Confirman 26 ejecuciones y 500 torturados durante movimiento magisterial en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 15 de junio de 2015)

Sesión Pública de Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca, ejercicio inédito e importante: Aristegui (Educa, 15 de junio de 2015)

CNTE rememoró intento de desalojo del zócalo en el 2006 (e-Consulta, 14 de junio de 2015)

Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca (16 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Commemoration of seventh annivesary of APPO (24 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Sixth anniversary of the beginning of the 2006 social conflict (20 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)


Oaxaca: Violent election day: 440 incidents, 92 arrests, injured, disappeared, and one killed

June 25, 2015

Foto @ Educa

Photo @ Educa

Election day on 7 June in Oaxaca ended with 440 incidents, 92 arrests, injured, disappeared, and one killed. 283 electoral booths were burned down, 26 robbed, 56 left uninstalled, and 75 suspended operations. Given these conditions, close to 300,000 votes were nullified.

The murder of José Alfredo Jiménez Cruz, brother to the former PRI mayor of San Miguel Chimalapa, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus was confirmed. He died after being shot outside an electoral booth. The Communal General Assembly of Álvaro Obregón denounced another shooting incident, while the General Assembly of Juchitán de Zaragoza denounced the invasion of an armed group that open fired, leaving six injured, three of them gravely. In Tuxtepec, relatives of the teacher Sandra Dianelle Herrera Castro, a union leader, denounced her forcible disappearance at the hands of the Secretary for National Defense (SEDENA). She is not listed in the official registry of the arrested.

Furthermore, during the early morning of 6 June, federal security forces displaced teachers’ occupations in the cities of Huajuapan de León, Tlaxiaco, Pinotepa Nacional, Tuxtepec, and Salina Cruz. Previously, the deployment of federal forces in the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, and Oaxaca had been announced, “to guarantee the citizens’ right to vote,” amidst the possibility of violent acts. Official reports indicated the arrival of 600 soldiers to Oaxaca. For this reason, 56 civil-society organizations called on the international community, given that “the violence seen in the electoral process, including 21 political assassinations during the campaigns, is worse than prior elections at the national level, being the product of impunity, corruption, violence, and collusion with organized crime, both on the part of the political parties and the three levels of government.” In another public communique, civil-society organizations from Oaxaca denounced the “climate of terror imposed by the Mexican State by means of the Army, the Federal Police, the Gendarmerie, and the Navy.” Lastly, some 24 electoral advisors from Oaxaca demanded that the president of the National Electoral Institute, Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, postpone the elections due to the “military siege,” and as long as political and economic conditions do not improve.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Prensa de OSC de Oaxaca (Consorcio para el Diálogo y la Equidad de Género de Oaxaca, 6 de junio de 2015)

56 OSC hacen un llamamiento a la comunidad Internacional desde Oaxaca (Servicios para una Educación Alternativa, 7 de junio de 2015)

Un muerto y 440 incidentes enmarcaron elección en Oaxaca (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2015)

El diálogo fracasó, no puede haber elección en Oaxaca con cerco militar: Consejeros (Sin embargo, 6 de junio de 2015)

México: Atacan a balazos a la comunidad Gui´xhi´ro´- Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca (Kaos en la Red, 7 de junio de 2015)

Desaparecen a lideresa magisterial (Noticias Net, 8 de junio de 2015)

Maestros y activistas sabotean comicios en Oaxaca; 88 detenidos por quemar urnas (La Jornada, 8 de junio de 2015)


SIPAZ: Documenting 20 years of peacebuilding in Mexico

June 23, 2015

DSCF4824

SIPAZ is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

Support our crowdfunding campaign

SIPAZ was founded in 1995 as an international team of volunteers to reconstruct peace in the communities in the mountains of Chiapas. Today, we want to share the fruits of our work through a documentary film that showcases our experiences of 20 years of active non-violence in the south of Mexico. The women and men who appear in the film are indigenous campesinos from the southern states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero who share their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the difficulties they face as peacemakers in their rural communities. The film will be showcased during a day of celebrations in November.

Click here to learn more about the makings of the film and get enthusiastic to support us financially!

You can also contribute your donation:

– Through Indiegogo by creditcard (Visa/Mastercard)
– Through Paypal:
http://sipaz.org/en/what-is-sipaz/how-can-you-help-us.html
– Or by sending a cheque (mentioning “crowdfunding campaign”) to:
SIPAZ INC
P.O. BOX 20067
STANFORD, CA 94309, EEUU


Oaxaca/Chiapas: new confrontation in the Chimalapas region leaves two injured and four arrested

June 9, 2015

Los Chimalapas (@Radiozapatista)

Los Chimalapas (@Radiozapatista)

On 18 May, a confrontation between residents of San Antonio Chimalapa, pertaining to San Miguel Chimalapa, and residents from Chiapas state left two injured and four arrested.

In mid-April, it had been agreed in a meeting with federal authorities that within a month’s time, there would held another meeting between both state governments at the Secretary for Governance. It should be noted that following a presidential decree in 1967, the communards of Santa María Chimalapas were granted thousands of hectares of land by the federal government on the border between Chiapas and Oaxaca, leading to conflicts regarding previous resolutions and previously existing land-management systems.

For more information (in Spanish):

Una vez más los Chimalapas (NSS Oaxaca, 20 de mayo de 2015)

Piden a Manuel Velasco mediar por 4 detenidos por disputa en Chimalapas(Proceso, 19 de mayo de 2015)

Edil de Chimalapas pide que Ejército detenga invasión de comuneros de Chiapas (Página3, 19 de mayo de 2015)

Enfrentamiento en Chimapala deja dos heridos y 4 chiapanecos retenidos(Noticiasnet, 18 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Aggressions continue in the Chimalapas conflict (1 March 2014)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: meeting among governors in Governance regarding Chimalapas case (18 May 2012)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Possible “electoral fraud” is denounced in the Chimalapas region (3 April 2012)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Update in the Chimalapas case (6 March 2012)


Oaxaca: Fifth Indigenous, Campesino, and Popular Meeting held in Juchitán

May 16, 2015

Quinto Encuentro Indígena, Campesino y Popular (@CODEP)

Fifth Indigenous, Campesino, and Popular Meeting (@CODEP)

On 2 and 3 May, the Fifth Indigenous, Campesino, and Popular Meeting was held in Juchitán City.  Approximately 500 members of more than 20 social organizations from Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Chiapas, Ciudad de México, Morelos, Michoacán, and Quintana Roo participated in the event, which was organized by the Campesino-Worker-Student Coalition of the Isthmus (COCEI), the Council in Defense of People’s Human Rights (CODEP), and the Committee for Popular Defense (CODECI).

Participants at the meeting analyzed the “death projects” implemented by transnational corporations and strategized about resistance to such.  At the close of the event, those in attendance demanded the appearance with life of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa who were forcibly disappeared on 26 September 2014, and they expressed their utter rejection of transnational projects.  They called for the construction of a large popular bloc that “will avert looting and accumulation by dispossession; arrest the barbarism and death-projects that that brings with it; unlearn the culture of being servile and overcome fear.  From our quantitative majority, let us become a political and counter-hegemonic majority that builds social and popular power from autonomy, making good laws, a new economy, and a new culture so that the people of Mexico win the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

5° Encuentro Nacional Indígena, Campesino y Popular Por las Resistencias, los Derechos y las autonomías ( Declaración final, 3 de mayo de 2015)

Quinto Encuentro nacional indígena-campesino en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2015)

No a proyectos trasnacionales y sí a la aparición con vida de los 43 normalistas: Quinto Encuentro Nacional Indígena (Página3, 5 de mayo de 2015)


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