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)

 

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Oaxaca: Opponents to the Paso de la Reina dam denounce pressure

July 20, 2014

Foto (@SiPaz)

Photo (@Sipaz)

In a press conference held on 15 July, members of the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) accused the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and the local PAN deputy Sonia López of having pressured local authorities and residents of the region to accept the construction of the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric dam.  According to the protestors, pressure has increased since Enrique Peña Nieto released details some weeks ago about the National Infrastructure Program (PNI), which means to build 189 projects in the southern and southeastern regions of the country, including the Paso de la Reina dam.  COPUDEVER declares that “Outside of all democratic and legal processes, the hydroelectric project and the infrastructure plan constitute a public policy that is contrary to the right to autonomous development.”

On the same occasion, the CFE’s attempt to pressure local communities by promising them public-works projects was also denounced, including plans for electrification, drinking water, and education: “This action represents an undue use of resources which violates the collective rights of communities, as the support and projects are conditional upon acceptance of said megaproject.”  They furthermore warned that “the Mexican Army has been presenting itself in the territory to be affected by the project, toward the end of intimidating the people using the pretext of improving local security.”

Lastly, they recalled that the project is also opposed by the diocese of Puerto Escondido which, by means of a pastoral letter signed by more than 30 parishes, it has pronounced itself openly against the dam and denounced the pressure exercised by the CFE against local communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

CFE Y PAN PRESIONAN A COMUNIDADES A ACEPTAR PROYECTO “PASO DE LA REINA” (EDUCA, 15 de julio de 2014)

CFE y PAN presionan a comunidades oaxaqueñas a aceptar proyecto “Paso de la Reina”(Sididh, 16 de julio de 2014)

Denuncian intimidación del Ejército por proyecto de presa Paso de la Reina (EDUCA, 16 de julio de 2014)

Más información de SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Communities opposed to the Paso de la Reina report harassment and intimidation by Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) (28 June 2014)

Oaxaca: The Diocese of Puerto Escondido expresses its full support to the communities in resistance to hydro project Paso de la Reina (June 13, 2014)

National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace (May 16, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (March 28, 2014)

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


Oaxaca: Communities opposed to the Paso de la Reina dam report harassment and intimidation of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE)

June 28, 2014
Demostration against the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric Dam (@SIPAZ)

Demonstration against the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric Dam (@SIPAZ)

Representatives of 42 communities in the coastal region of Oaxaca who oppose the construction of the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric dam have met with the Ombudsman of the Office for the Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO) in Puerto Escondido.

The purpose of the meeting was to inform him of the harassment and intimidation from the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) against the people and communities who are opposed to the construction of the dam.

Although the hydroelectric project is a federal one, community representatives consider that municipal and state governments should get involved to promote, protect, and ensure the human rights of the population that could be affected. They have denounced that the communities have been deceived by the CFE since the latter has concealed the consequences the construction of the dam might have, among them forced displacement, disruption of the water supply, damage to the Lagunas de Chacahua National Park, and so on. All this would jeopardize the lives of Mixteco, Zapoteco, Chatino and Afro-mestizo groups in the region.

Meanwhile, the DDHPO committed himself to follow up on the complaints and to take up actions to protect the rights of the people and communities who would be affected.

For more information (in Spanish):

Preocupa a Consejo de la DDHPO, proyecto de la presa Paso de la Reina (NSS Oaxaca, 15 de junio de 2014)

CFE intimida a comunidades opositoras a Presa Hidroeléctrica (Voces Oaxaca, 16 de junio de 2014)

Preocupan a Consejo Ciudadano de la Defensoría comunidades afectadas por presa Paso de la Reina (Noticias, 16 de junio de 2014)

Hostiga CFE a comunidades por oponerse a la presa Paso de la Reina, denuncian ante DDHPO (Entidad, 16 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: The Diocese of Puerto Escondido expresses its full support to the communities in resistance to hydro project Paso de la Reina (June 13, 2014)

National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace (May 16, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (March 28, 2014)

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


Oaxaca: The Diocese of Puerto Escondido expresses its full support to the communities in resistance to hydro project Paso de la Reina

June 13, 2014
Demostration form COPUDEVER (@SIPAZ)

Demostration form COPUDEVER (@SIPAZ)

Coinciding with International Environment Day, the Bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Escondido, Pedro Vasquez Villalobos, conducted a Mass in which he expressed the full support of the diocese to the community of Paso de la Reina and other communities organized in the Council of Peoples United for the Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER). In relation to their resistance to the construction of the Paso de la Reina Hydroelectric Dam, in the Municipality of Jamiltepec, Oaxaca, he stressed: “I say to those who live here and are striving to protect this river and the land, feel our support … our spiritual presence and strength of will because we are united to you, saying NO to the construction of the dam at Paso de la Reina … We are united with you, it is an union of the Church with you … “.

The bishop noted that the project violates the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people and stressed the importance of the river to the lives and development of communities that benefit from it: “You are the guardians of water, plants, animals, and the land they inhabit,” said the bishop in reference to the Indians, “rightful owners of these lands and territories”. 3.100 hectares of 40 villages from six municipalities would be affected by the dam.

About the smear campaign undertaken by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) against the Diocesan Church of Puerto Escondido, the bishop said: “It has made serious disqualifications against our work saying that we come from outside the region and accuses of misinforming and confusing public opinion. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento diocesano (Diócesis de Puerto Escondido, 5 de junio de 2014)

La Iglesia se opone a proyecto hidroeléctrico en Oaxaca (Proceso, 5 de junio de 2014)

CFE desprestigia a Diócesis de Puerto Escondido por oponerse a Presa Paso de la Reina (Página 3, 5 de junio de 2014)

La Diócesis de Puerto Escondido y agentes de pastoral reiteran su apoyo al Consejo de Pueblos Unidos en defensa del Río Verde (Fé y resistencia, 6 de junio de 2014)

Respalda obispo lucha de pueblos contra Paso de la Reina (Noticias, 6 de junio de 2014)

Reitera Diócesis de Puerto Escondido oposición a hidroeléctrica Paso de la Reyna (E-Oaxaca, 6 de junio de 2014)

CFE desprestigia a Diócesis de Puerto Escondido por oponerse a Presa Paso de la Reina (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace (May 16, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (March 28, 2014)

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


National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace

May 16, 2014

Protesta contra el proyecto hidroeléctrico de Paso de la Reina. Foto (@Sipaz)

Protest against the hydroelectric dam Paso de la Reina. Photo (@Sipaz)

During the last week of April, the office of the President of Mexico published its decree to approve the National Program on Infrastructure (PNI) for 2014-2018 through the Housing Ministry.

According to President Enrique Peña Nieto, the PNI “is the general strategy for the construction of works and projects that will contribute importantly to liberating the potential of our country.”

The Program, which is backed by 7.7 billion pesos from public and private funds, comprises six strategic sectors (communication and transport, energy, hydraulics, health, tourism, and urban development and housing) contemplated for 25 strategies and 23 lines of action.

In the presentation of the PNI, it was announced that the program would have presence primarily in the south and southeastern regions of the country, where 189 projects are sought to increase touristic, agro-fishing, energy, and industrial potential.

Some of the projects announced within the PNI that are to be implemented by 2018 have generated a great deal of rejection from the populations that will be affected by their development, such as, among others, the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam in Oaxaca and Chicoasén II in Chiapas, the highway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Palenque, and the Sureste II-V wind-energy plants in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  These projects have been rejected by local communities and organizations due to the grave impacts they could have on local peoples, such as loss of lands, environmental degradation, or displacement, given the lack of observation of the rights of local peoples to be informed and consulted previously about any administrative or legislative decree that could affect them, as is stipulated by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, which has been signed by Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Enfocan obras en el sur-sureste (Am, 28 de abril de 2014)

Publican decreto para el Programa Nacional de Infraestructura 2014(Excelsior, 29 de abril de 2014)

Cinco entidades dominan el programa de infraestructura (El Economista, 05 de mayo de 2014)

Documento: Programa Nacional de Infraestructura  2014-2018

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: International socio-environmental seminar, the Open Veins of Contemporary Chiapas (12 November 2013)

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

Chiapas: the International Day against Dams is celebrated (24 March 2012)


Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life”

March 28, 2014

Protesta en Jamiltepec. Foto (@Sipaz)

Protest in Jamiltepec. Photo @Sipaz

On 14 March, to mark the “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life,” the Council of Peoples United for the Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) carried out a “funerary march” and peacefully occupied the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in the Santiago Jamiltepec municipality to protest the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam.  Another 16 communities from the Coast and union delegations from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) also participated in the action.  With the slogan “Enough of imposing projects against the will of the people,” they denounced that the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric project will negatively affect indigenous peoples and their territory, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices, due to the formation of the reservoir the dam would imply.  Moreover, they have reported as having their right to consultation violated in the process to date.

This same day there were carried out actions against dams and for rivers, water, and life in other parts of the republic and the world.  Furthermore, other cases such as the dams in Chicoasén II (Chiapas), Las Cruces (Nayarit), Atoyac (Veracruz), and Zapotillo (Jalisco) were similarly denounced.

For more information (in Spanish):

Copudever insiste en cancelación del proyecto “Paso de la Reina”; atenta vs los pueblos (Página3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Con “marcha fúnebre” inicia Copudever toma simbólica de CFE en Jamiltepec (Diario Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Celebran en Oaxaca día en Defensa del Agua (NSS Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Marchan en Jamiltepec contra la presa Paso de la Reina (Pinodebate, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Elevado riesgo para la fauna de Nayarit con presa Las Cruces (La Jornada, 12 de marzo de 2014)

El agua del río Atoyac no se negocia (Zapateando, 25 de febrero de 2014)

En Chiapas se declaran territorios libres de represas y mineras (Derecho a la Consulta Previa, 3 de enero de 2014)

Municipios afectados por hidroeléctricas, sin riqueza ni prosperidad garantizada (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de diciembre de 2013)

http://pasodelareina.org/

EDUCA: Galería de fotos y los videos: En Río Verde, Oaxaca, otra batalla por el agua (7 min.) y Presa Paso de la Reina ¿Desarrollo para Quien? (6 min.)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

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


Oaxaca: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER on “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life”

March 16, 2014

Protesta en Jamiltepec, marzo de 2014 (@EDUCA)

Protest in Jamiltepec, March 2014 (@EDUCA)

On 14 March, in observance of the “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life,” the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) carried out a “funerary march” and peacefully occupied the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in the Santiago Jamiltepec municipality to protest the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam.  Another 16 communities from the coastal region and union delegations from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) also participated.  With the slogan “Enough of imposing projects against the decision of the peoples,” protestors denounced that the Paso de la Reina project would negatively affect indigenous peoples, their territory, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices due to its creation of a reservoir.  Moreover, they have already seen how their rights to consultation have been violated.

Para más información:

Copudever insiste en cancelación del proyecto “Paso de la Reina”; atenta vs los pueblos (Página3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Con “marcha fúnebre” inicia Copudever toma simbólica de CFE en Jamiltepec (Diario Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Celebran en Oaxaca día en Defensa del Agua (NSS Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

http://pasodelareina.org/

EDUCA: Galería de fotos y los videos: En Río Verde, Oaxaca, otra batalla por el agua (7 min.) y Presa Paso de la Reina ¿Desarrollo para Quien? (6 min.)