Oaxaca: One year after the 7S earthquake “much remains to be done” regarding reconstruction, CODIGO-DH

September 20, 2018


One year after the earthquake of September 7, 2017, which caused serious damage in the state of Oaxaca, mainly in the regions of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Sierra Mixe, the civil association Committee for the Integral Defense of Human Rights Gobixha (CODIGO DH) published a report on the progress and pending
issues in the reconstruction and the situation of the victims in the same state.

The report highlights that “since the days after the earthquake, the state and federal governments were overwhelmed by the emergency situation (…) and although there were advances in the collection of information for the allocation of resources for reconstruction, the earthquake of 19 September, diverted their attention to the center of the country”. It highlights that “with the aftershocks of September 23 homes with serious damage in the Isthmus ended collapsing, homes that were not counted or had a minor damage when the census was made”.

According to CODIGO DH, the reconstruction was seriously delayed due to the “collapse of the educational, health, banking, commercial and municipal institutions.” It also deepened the inequalities between larger population centers and small communities.

Its follow-up document on “Monitoring the problems of reconstruction in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec”, annexed to the report, emphasizes the irregularities in the management of the funds as well as the lack of transparency in the allocation of resources and the delivery of supports to the victims by the government. He also criticized the census prepared by the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU).

The organization reported that “during this year, we allocated 110 days to various activities, during which we physically stayed in the towns of Juchitán, San Dionisio del Mar, Union Hidalgo, Ixtepec, Ixhuatán, Jalapa del Marqués on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and Yaveloxi in the Sierra Mixe; with the presence of 2-3 people every day”. The tasks developed were: Delivery of food; support for community kitchens; delivery of traditional tarpaulins and cots; medical care brigades; psychosocial brigades; delivery of supports for the reconstruction of houses; monitoring of school reconstruction; reactivation of the local economy.

CODIGO DH concluded that “in spite of all the activities undertaken there is still a lot to be done, especially in the reconstruction of housing, in access to educational services, health, repair of roads and drainages, work and recreation of the people who were affected during the 8.2 earthquake of September 7, 2017 and its subsequent aftershocks “.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fallas y retrasos en la reconstrucción a un año del sismo del 7 de septiembre en Oaxaca (CNN Español, 8 de septiembre de 2018)

A un año del terremoto, informe sobre avances y pendientes en la reconstrucción: CODIGO DH (CODIGO-DH, 7 de septiembre de 2018)

BREVE INFORME DE INTERVENCIÓN EN EL SISMO 8.2: Avances y pendientes. (CODIGO-DH, 6 de septiembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Civil Observation Mission to the Coast one year after the earthquake of September 7, 2017 September 18, 2018

Oaxaca / National: 8th National Meeting of victims of the earthquakes of September 2017 in Juchitán September 16, 2018

Oaxaca: “Caravan of the Forgotten” to Mexico City Denounces Government Inaction for Earthquake Victims April 30, 2018

Oaxaca: September Earthquake Victims Block Highways on the Isthmus and Coast December 28, 2017

Oaxaca: NGOs denounce “inadequate and insufficient response from the three levels of government” to earthquake disaster September 21, 2017

Chiapas: Resurgence of the agrarian conflict between the neighboring municipalities of Chenalhó and Chalchihuitán

June 10, 2014

Recently, the territorial and agrarian conflict between the municipalities of Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó has worsened once again. It’s linked to a dispute over more than 900 hectares located in the boundaries between the two entities. It’s an old conflict that started in 1973 with the work of recognition and certification of the common lands of both villages by the former Department of Agrarian Reform–at present, the Ministry for Agricultural, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU). When the measurements were made, the limits respected by both villages (the river as a natural boundary) were not taken into account. As a result, and intermittently, tensions have appeared, some that the populations attempted to resolve in court, others that led to theft, destruction of crops, land invasions, and even murder (2008).

On May 13, officials of the state government and of SEDATU decided that Chenalhó should receive a compensation of 15 million pesos in exchange for giving the lands in dispute to Chalchihuitán. On May 15, the residents of the municipality of Chenalhó rejected the payment. They entered the disputed land and destroyed several landmarks marking the boundaries. Several witnesses report that shots were heard, although no injuries were reported. Both sides accuse each other of using firearms.

On May 28, the Parish Council of Chenalhó called on the parties “to put aside every word and every action that can lead to violence and to realize that this conflict between brothers should be resolved through peaceful dialogue.” They asked the three levels of government to recognize that “this problem is due largely to their own irresponsibility.” They invited them to realize “that not everything can be fixed with money as they think. The authorities must understand what justice should be the first to respect the laws so as to set an example for the people. They should be open to respectful dialogue and should be aware that they can not solve any problem if they do not allow free and responsible participation of the people.”

On May 22, the Las Abejas Civil Society also referred to the land problem between Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó, noting: “If the called Agrarian Reform (now defunct), had not made a bad execution in defining the territorial limits, there wouldn’t be problems between the two Tzotzil peoples. We regret that this old conflict has not been resolved to date, because, sadly, political and economic interests of the same agrarian and municipal authorities and of some private individuals interfere to do so. Instead of resorting to wisdom and the ancestral mode of dialogue to solve problems between brothers, they have chosen the path of institutional dialogue that always end up manipulated politically and economically. Hopefully someday those who still believe in evil government will understand that the conflicts and political differences that have led to killings and massacres in our villages have been planned and fostered from above, by the bad government itself. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Conflicto territorial Chenalho – Chalchihuitan, retroceso de 7 años (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Iglesia llama a privilegiar el diálogo (Cuarto Poder, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento de la parroquia de Chenalhó (28 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de mayo de 2014)

Entran comuneros de Chenalhó a terreno en disputa con vecinos de Chalchihuitán (La Jornada, 15 de mayo de 2014)

Chiapas: Residents of the Lacandona Jungle on alert in light of advancing delimitation work

March 16, 2014

Selva Lacandona (@Koman Ilel)

Lacandona Jungle (@Koman Ilel)

Residents of the Lacandona Jungle from the communities of Benito Juárez, Galilea, Pichucalco, Amador Hernández, Plan de Guadalupe, Guanal, Ranchería Aurora, and Rancho Alegre have suspended the work of the Secretary for Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (SEDATU) to delimit territory in their region.  They denounced that this action seeks to steal the land, a situation “which generated an alert in the communities in the region.”

Media reported that the “SEDATU requires the delimitation of this land so as to finally legalize the polygon of more than 520,000 hectares for the Lacandona community zone.  This would imply suspending the rights of a dozen communities that have found themselves in the region since before the presidential decree of 1972.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pobladores de la Selva Lacandona denuncian que el gobierno les pretende arrebatar su tierra (Proceso, 11 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncian que el gobierno pretende arrebatarles sus tierras (Diario Contra Poder en Chiapas, 11 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (11 de mayo de 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)

Chiapas: Next hotel mega-project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (22 September 2011)

Chiapas: a large hotel complex to begin to be constructed in Montes Azules (Laguna Miramar) (1 July 2011)

Chiapas: La Realidad JBG claims more evictions to come in Zapatista territories (5 May 2010)