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

January 4, 2019


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)

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

October 16, 2018

On October 11 and 12, in the City of Oaxaca, 50 indigenous communities and civil organizations submitted national and international extractive companies, as well as the Mexican State to a “Popular Community Trial”, for 22 cases of human rights violations in the framework of the 322 concessions granted for 41 mining projects covering a total area of ​​462 thousand 974 hectares in Oaxaca.

The denunciations included situations of murders, assaults and criminalization of human rights defenders; deception and conditioning to get the consent of indigenous communities in violation to their right to a free, prior and informed consultation; as well as contamination of common property and community divisions as a result of mining activity. They were presented to a jury composed of international experts.

In the pre-verdict, the jury requested the adoption of measures and policies that fully and effectively guarantee the exercise of self-determination, autonomy, forms of government and relationship with indigenous territories, lagoons, rivers, mountains and seas, as well as the strict respect of their normative systems; the immediate suspension of new mining concessions (as long as a new legal framework is not drawn up that fully and effectively respects the indigenous peoples rights ); the abrogation of the current Mining Law and the approval of a new law that respects the rights of indigenous and peasant peoples, one that will tend to fully repair the human rights violations that have occurred so far. The final verdict will be handed over to community, state and national authorities as well as to human rights organisations at a national and international level in early December.

For more information (in Spanish):

Realizan juicio popular comunitario contra el Estado y empresas mineras en Oaxaca (Proceso, 12 de octubre de 2018)

Minería fuera de Oaxaca, exigen en juicio popular (NVI Noticias, 12 de octubre de 2018)

Someten a juicio a empresas mineras por 22 casos de violaciones a derechos de los pueblos indígenas (Página 3,mx, 12 de octubre de 2018)

Oaxaca: exigen cancelar concesiones mineras (La Jornada, 13 de octubre de 2018)

Programa de trabajo del Juicio Popular #OaxacaVsMineria

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Here we say “Yes to Life, No to Mining” – Magdalena Teitipac is still fighting for its territory April 7, 2018

National/International: REMA Questions Report of UN Working Group on Corporations and Human Rights in Mexico June 28, 2017

National/International: Organizations and Defenders Take Urgent Action June 14, 2017

Oaxaca: COPUVO Denounces Harassment by Municipal Authorities and Mining Company May 15, 2017