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)


Oaxaca: Low participation in teachers’ performance evaluation

December 26, 2015

Foto @NVI noticias

Photo @NVI noticias

On 28 November was held the performance evaluation of Oaxacan educators, a process characterized by strong militarization of the state, with 8,000 to 10,000 elements involved. The statistics regarding teachers who participated in the evaluations are not clear: according to the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca (IEEPO), 2,981 participated, while the Secretary for Public Education (SEP) claimed 2,600 participants. It bears noting that the higher estimate would only represent about 60% of the 4,900 initial registrations among the 6,000 who had been invited, as compared with the approximate 60,000 teachers in the state. Beyond this, the head of the SEP, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, declared that “the most important thing is that we had the participation of teachers from Oaxaca who slowly are beginning to overcome the pressure and yoke that Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) had had, and instead they increasingly join the educational reform that favors the development of children in Mexico.”

In parallel terms, there was a protest march against the evaluation that incorporated around 20,000 people. Using slogans like “if evaluation is necessary, it must begin with Peña,” the dissident magisterium showed the strength it still has in the state. It should be mentioned that two confrontations between teachers and police took place, with Section 22 distancing itself from these acts, claiming them to have been the work of infiltrators. For the past six months there has been worsening persecution of the dissident teachers, incorporating actions like the deep reforms to the IEEPO, which traditionally had been managed by the CNTE, and the arrest of 4 teacher leaders from Section 22, who were transferred to a maximum-security prison in Altiplano, Mexico State. Beyond this, there still remain about thirty arrest-orders against other teachers that are still to be completed. In this way, members of Section 22 announced that they would continue with their actions in opposition to the evaluation.

It also should be noted that the body of the teacher Marjorie Xolio Meléndez, from Jalapa del Marqués and an affiliate of Section 22, has recently been found. In response, residents and teachers protested before the Municipal Palace and carried out a roadblock, demanding a forthright investigation of the feminicide and punishment of those responsible. “We demand before the authorities justice for this crime, because there is more concern for saving the head and protecting Peña Nieto and the federal police behind an evaluation, rather than the truth of the people,” declared protestors.

The performance evaluations have been held in all states of the Republic other than Chiapas, where it is expected that they will be carried out in the next few days. In this way, one can expect the implementation of special security operations to prevent the dissident teachers from inhibiting the evaluation as a means of blocking implementation of the educational reform.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a profesora en Oaxaca; maestros exigen cese a feminicidios (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Repudian la prueba maestros de Oaxaca (La Jornada, 29 de noviembre de 2015)

En medio de protestas, 60% de maestros de Oaxaca que se registraron fueron evaluados (Sin Embargo, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Sección 22 reporta “infiltrados” en marcha a Ciudad Administrativa (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

La SEP presume buena convocatoria a la evaluación docente en Oaxaca (CNN México, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Protestas en DF, Edomex y Chiapas en apoyo a maestros de Oaxaca (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Aprehenden a 4 maestros de la CNTE y los trasladan al penal del Altiplano (Animal Político, 29 de octubre de 2015)

Cué cede educación de Oaxaca a la federación: desaparece el IEEPO; PF vigila instalaciones (Sin Embargo, 21 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Teachers in Acapulco successfully sabotage educational evaluation (26 December 2015)

Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police (10 March 2015)

National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform (4 October 2013)


Mexico/National: Deputies approve Federal law on Special Economic Zones (SEZs)

December 26, 2015

Ubicación de las Zonas Económicas Especiales. Imagen: @Dinero en Imagen

Location of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Image: @Dinero en Imagen

On 14 December the Chamber of Deputies approved the initiative to legalize Special Economic Zones (SEZ) which had been presented to the federal Congress in September of this year. These SEZs will be regions in which investors face financial benefits, particularly in terms of “flexible labor.” In this sense, the SEZs serve foreign economic interests and would institute a special customs regime, all of this toward the end, as the government claims, of promoting development in southern Mexico by means of attracting foreign investment.

In accordance with information from the president’s office, there are plans to build infrastructure projects using an initial investment of nearly 115 billion pesos, including new gaseoducts, railroads, highways, ports, and airports. According to Chiapas Paralelo, this investment would come from public coffers but is “designed for by by private capital, in a mercantile logic […] whereby the people of Chiapas is present only as labor, leaving to the side the question of who owns the natural resources.” In this way, the projects are expected to create 115,000 jobs over the next 10 years, though analysts indicate that it will attract specialists from elsewhere in the country, leaving the most precarious jobs for locals.

The planned SEZs include the “Lázaro Cárdenas” port, incorporating municipalities straddling Michoacán and Guerrero toward the end of exploitation; the “Interoceanic Corridor of Tehuantepec,” which will affect Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Salina Cruz, and Oaxaca, and will permit commercial transit between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico; and lastly, the “Chiapas Port” which would facilitate exports to Asia. The permits to construct and administer a zone can be granted for up to 40 years.

It bears mentioning that organizations like the Indigenous and Campesino Front of Mexico (FICAM) have expressed their rejection of the SEZ initiative, given that “it is a new embestida against the peoples and communities of this country” which “seeks to legalize the plundering of lands of the people” and that “it is the complement to the energy reform, which aimed at reassuring transnational firms juridically.”

FICAM members opined that the SEZs will worsen levels of social marginalization, only “make the rich richer,” and will take advantage of cheap labor in these zones, precisely among those which experience the highest levels of poverty in the country. Lastly, they shared that “the proposal for the [SEZs] instead of being accompanied by public policies to transform the country, but only represents the presentation of the wealth of the country to grand capital on a silver platter.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Diputados aprueban ‘zonas económicas especiales’ en México (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2015)

Aprueban diputados ley para crear Zonas de “Explotación” Especial (EDUCA, 15 de diciembre de 2015)

Prevé expropiar terrenos el plan de zonas económicas especiales (La Jornada, 1 de octubre de 2015)

Zonas Económicas Especiales, una iniciativa para el despojo (Chiapas Paralelo, 30 de septiembre de 2015)

Zonas Económicas de EPN legalizarán despojo de tierras; complementan la energética para dar certeza a empresas: FICAM (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 17 de octubre de 2015)

México en el giro de tuerca mundial: Zonas Económicas Especiales (Parte I) (Subversiones, 20 de noviembre de 2015)

Otro eslabón para el despojo (La Jornada, 6 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Mining reactivation is denounced in the state (3 March 2015)

Chiapas: popular rejection of dams and mining projects in the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huixtla, and Huehuetán region (December 17, 2014)

 


Chiapas: nine municipalities declare their lands free of mining and dams

December 26, 2015

Lectura del pronunciamiento. Foto: @DesInformémonos

Public reading of the declaration
Photo: @DesInformémonos

Nine municipalities of the Sierra Madre and the Soconusco in Chiapas state have ratified the declaration that their lands have been freed of mining operations and dams. Using the III Declaration of Tapachula for Lands Freed of Dams and Mining in the Sierra Madre and Llanura Costera of Chiapas, some 40 indigenous and campesino ejidos, communities, and social organizations reaffirmed their commitment (adopted in 2013) to the defense of their territories against plundering as carried out by transnational corporations. The municipalities of Tuzantan, Huehuetan, Motozintla, Tapachula, Escuintla, Acacoyagua, Chicomuselo, and Comalapa denounced the collusion of municipal and state governments with the firms to obtain permits for the exploitation of lands and rivers. They also rejected the models of development, water management, and energy policy that have been imposed in Mexico by structural reforms, particularly the energy reform.

“In light of the opposition against extractive projects on our lands, we propose to organize and link ourselves with other struggles that seek to defend their rights and the natural resources of water and land.” In this way, the representatives of the municipalities affirmed that they have ties with other movements, especially in Jalisco, Nayarit, Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Veracruz. These are alliances with other struggles over the right to decide what happens on their lands, in favor of living well and strengthening oneself amidst the repression meted out toward defenders of the Earth.

It bears recalling that on 30 November the Union of Campesinos and Fisherfolk of the Sierra and Coast of Chiapas also declared their municipalities free of dams and mining operations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaran libre de minería y represas a nueve municipios de la Sierra , Costa y Soconusco (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de diciembre de 2015)

TERCERA DECLARACIÓN DE TAPACHULA, POR TERRITORIOS LIBRES DE REPRESAS Y MINERÍA EN SIERRA MADRE del SUR Y LLANURA COSTERA DE CHIAPAS (Luna Sexta, 9 de diciembre de 2015)

40 ejidos de Chiapas se declaran libres de minería e hidroeléctricas (DesInformémonos, 11 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Movilización 30 de Noviembre por la defensa de la tierra y el territorio (Otros Mundos, 29 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Mining reactivation is denounced in the state (3 March 2015)

Chiapas: popular rejection of dams and mining projects in the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huixtla, and Huehuetán region (December 17, 2014)

Chiapas: 5 years since the murder of mining critic Mariano Abarca (December 15, 2014)

Chiapas: Third Forum for the Defense and Care of Mother Earth in Chicomuselo (December 6, 2014)


Chiapas/National: National and international day for political prisoners, from 6 to 13 December

December 26, 2015

baner1

From 6 to 13 December was held a national and international action in solidarity with political prisoners in Mexico and the world. In recent dates, the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR) called for a national meeting with adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, students from the Zapatista Escuelita, communities, groups, and organizations in solidarity, toward the end of developing accords and tasks to “continue the struggle for the freedom of our comrade political prisoners.” From this National Meeting of the RvsR for Our Political Prisoners and the Eurozapatista Meeting of Barcelona came the call for this week of action that seeks to build bridges of dialogue with all those who “also build from their spaces places for struggle, because the struggle for our comrade political prisoners is not something to forget, but instead is a basic act of justice.” The action called on adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, students from the Zapatista Escuelita, communities, groups, and organizations in solidarity to carry out actions “in solidarity and camaradery with our friends taken by power.”

The action served to commemorate the men and women who have been politically imprisoned in Chiapas, Mexico City, Tlanixco (Mexico State), Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, and the U.S. whom the “capitalist system seeks to eliminate, using tools of isolation and forgetting.” This was accomplished through different events, meetings, expositions, murals, chats, flyers, performances, and conferences throughout Mexico and the world.

Presently, Chiapas has four political prisoners who adhere to the Sixth Declaration: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, Emilio Jiménez Gómez, Esteban Gómez Jiménez, and Santiago Moreno Pérez. The families, ex-prisoners, friends, and comrades of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, a Tsotsil indigenous man and a “struggling prisoner” who adheres to the Sixth Declaration, held a press-conference on 14 December regarding his case and transfer on 10 September to the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (CEFERESO) in Villa de Comamtitlán, Chiapas. At the press-conference, which took place at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, the relatives, “ex-prisoners, friends, and comrades” of Alejandro denounced that “he finds himself in isolation, with a very limited ability to communicate with the outside […]. He is held all day in his cell, with only 30 minutes outside, without access to readings, photographs, and much less correspondence. Neither does he enjoy any right to an education, nor does he have access even to paper and pencils.”

In its communique, the RvsR reaffirmed its “commitment to not giving up the struggle for a world without political prisoners, repression, marginalization, exploitation, or plundering: in sum, for a world that is just, free, and democratic.” Besides, amidst the power of the “Capitalist Hydra that uses repression as one of its basic pillars, we are not intimidated, but rather we will learn how to respond with organization, rebellion, and resistance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

JORNADA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL POR NUESTR@S PRES@S DEL 6 AL 13 DE DICIEMBRE (Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Jornada Nacional e Internacional por Nuestr@s Pres@s del 6 al 13 de diciembre (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de diciembre de 2015)

Presos Políticos (Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad)

Jornada por Nuestr@s Pres@s: Audios y Videos (Radio Zapatista, 8 de diciembre de 2015)

Red Contra la Represión: Actividades dentro de la Jornada Nacional e Internacional por Nuestr@s Pres@s y pláticas con familiares de Nuestr@s Pres@s (Enlace Zapatista, 12 de diciembre de 2015)

“No olvidamos a los hombres y mujeres que el sistema capitalista pretende eliminar, bajo sus instituciones de aislamiento y de olvido”, jornada x pres@s polític@s. (Radio Pozol, 14 de diciembre)

Los presos del Ejido de San Sebastián Bachajón, del municipio de Chilón. (6 de diciembre, Kolectivo Zero)

Alejandro Díaz Santiz (Kolectivo Zero, 8 de diciembre de 2015)

Sin acceso a lecturas, imágenes, correspondencia y con visitas cada 15 días, mantienen preso injustamente a indígena tzeltal en Chiapas. (Radio Pozol, 15 de diciembre de 2015)

Pronunciamiento de Solidaridad y comunicado de los familiares y amigxs de Alejandro Diaz Santiz (Espoir Chiapas, 15 de diciembre de 2015)

Álvaro Sebastián (8 de diciembre de 2015, Subversiones)

Audio del mitin de solidaridad con Ostula y por la Libertad de Semei Verdia Comandante Comunitario.Casa de Michoacan en DF (Noticias de Abajo ML, 14 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)


Oaxaca: Creation of tool for monitoring and denunciation about territorial rights

December 26, 2015

 

obs

At the beginning of December was made public the creation of the Observatory of Territorial Rights, an initiative that has been promoted by Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA A.C.), “focused on the monitoring, investigation, analysis, diffusion, and denunciation of violations of popular and communal rights to territories at the hands of transnational corporations, the State, and other power-groups.”

As EDUCA’s website notes, “the Observatory has as its general objective to influence State policies and public opinion so as to guarantee respect for the rights of the peoples and communities of Oaxaca by means of the monitoring of specific cases, the systematization of information, sessions of analysis with different sectors of society, and bulletins and journalistic information.” During this year, the Observatory will monitor the projects of “Paso de la Reina,” the construction of two dams in the Paso de la Reyna community; “San José,” or the construction of a subterranean mine in San José del Progreso; and “the Doctor,” for exploratory mining work in Magdalena Teitipac.

It bears mentioning that the attacks on environmental defenders has been on the rise during the past five years at least. According to the Second Annual Report on Attacks against Environmental Defenders, as compiled by the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA), the attacks have worsened during the reign of Enrique Peña Nieto. In accordance with a proper media registry, 240 cases of attacks on environmental defenders have been observed, nearly half of which have taken place between April 2014 and May 2015, with the states of Sonora, Oaxaca, Mexico, and Guerrero being those with the highest number of incidents.

For more information (in Spanish):

Observatorio de Derechos Territoriales

Inicia Observatorio de Derechos Territoriales a partir de procesos de defensa en Oaxaca (8 de diciembre de 2015)

El Topil. Observatorio de Derechos Territoriales (Septiembre 2015)

Con EPN crecen agresiones contra defensores ambientalistas;“en el último año 109 ataques y una tendencia preocupante a la criminalización” (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 9 de diciembre de 2015)

Oaxaca, primer lugar en agresiones a defensoras de derechos humanos (Sididh, 14 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Detained and disappeared, anti-mining activists from San José del Progreso (12 December 2013)

Oaxaca: New death-threats directed against members of the CPUVO in San José del Progreso (7 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Civil Observation Mission to San José del Progreso (30 November 2012)

Oaxaca: access to the Cuzcatlán mine is blocked in San José el Progreso (16 May 2012)

Oaxaca: Actions, denunciations, and mobilizations in the case of San José del Progreso (3 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Murder of the spokesperson of the Coordination of the United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (25 March 2012)

 


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)


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