Oaxaca: Conflicts over extraordinary elections in San Dionisio del Mar

December 30, 2014


images

On 5 December, two persons were injured after a confrontation in San Dionisio del Mar, Tehuantepec Isthmus, including members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and of the Peoples’ Assembly (ADPSM) of this community.  The ADPSM group had established a blockade to inhibit entry of personnel of the National Electoral Institute (INE) who had sought to organize extraordinary elections programmed for 14 December.  Six persons were injured by gunfire and stones, including a man and a pregnant woman.

On 6 December, the Peoples’ Assembly marched through the principal streets of the community to denounce the head of the Oaxacan State Electoral Institute, Gustavo Meixueiro Nájera, for being responsible for these violent acts, “given that it was anticipated that the conditions do not exist to carry out municipal elections due to the sequelae left by our recent struggle against the wind-energy firm Mareña Renewables, and in light of the post-electoral conflict which consequently degraded the social fabric.  The federal and state governments seek to install functionaries in the municipality so as to open the door to these firms.”

On 12 December, 500 elements of the state police and the State Agency of Investigations (AEI) were deployed to San Dionisio to re-establish public order.  Somewhat earlier, members of the General Assembly of the Ikojts People of San Dionisio protested before the National Electoral Institute in Juchitán and burned a municipal police patrol-car in one of the principal access-points to the community, where they had maintained checkpoints.  The State Electoral Institute for Citizens’ Participation in Oaxaca has suspended the mayoral election, without setting a new date.

For more information (in Spanish):

Después de agresión, la ADPSM denuncia a ex-candidato priista de ser responsable (Voces de Oaxaca, 6 de diciembre de 2014)

Boletín de la Samablea de Pueblos de San Dionisio del Marc sobre la marcha el 6 de diciembre (ADPSM, 6 de diciembre de 2014)

ASAMBLEA GENERAL DE SAN DIONISIO DEL MAR RECHAZA ELECCIÓN EXTRAORDINARIA MUNICIPAL : Policía estatal irrumpe en San Dionisio del Mar (ADPSM, 14 de diciembre de 2014)

Cancelan elección de hoy en San Dionisio del Mar (La Jornada, 14 de diciembre de 2014)

ACCIÓN URGENTE: SAN DIONISIO DEL MAR REFUERZA SU DECISIÓN DE LUCHAR HACÍA LA AUTONOMÍA..

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Mareña Renewables to cancel wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (15 January 2014)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)

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Oaxaca: Consultative process in the Tehuantepc Isthmus challenged on several fronts

December 16, 2014

La Ventosa, Istmo de Tehuantepec @SIPAZ

La Ventosa, Tehuantepec Isthmus @SIPAZ

After the beginning of the consultation process began in November regarding the implementation of a wind-energy project by the Wind-Energy Firm of the South in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Tehuantepec Isthmus, a number of acts of intimidation and harassment against members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) have been reported.  Once the session from which they had been barred and insulted upon questioning the information provided by the firm had ended, three APPJ members were followed by a white truck, and they heard gunfire as they entered their homes.

For its part, the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTyt) denounced that the conditions under which the process were progressing are incorrect: “As seen in the screams and insults and harassment by armed men, as was seen on 11 November, the events confirm that this is not a free consultation.  Instead, it is proceeding under conditions of coercion and assault.”  Furthermore, they indicated with respect to the second phase of the consultation, which was “approved despite the grave irregularities,” that “the meeting was held in a different place from the beginning, despite the fact that there was little diffusion of this information, with the result that the majority of those who attended were Coce groups, city hall workers, landowners who have signed contracts with the firm, and lawyers who are committed to the corporation.”

Beyond this, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, mayor of Juchitán, assured that in case the “representative institutions” of the communards and the people of Juchitán decide not to build the wind-energy park on the land, City Hall “will respect this decision totally.”

Beyond this, the announcement by President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) regarding the creation of an exclusive economic zone for Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Chiapas to catalyze development, with the creation of an industrial inter-oceanic corridor in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, “is a double discourse, because on the one hand it speaks of combating corruption and not having nefarious ties with firms, but on the other it is saying to corporations that they have all the support.  They come once again to speak to us of development but without taking into account us indigenous people, our human rights, or the decisions of the people regarding our resources,” stressed an APPJ member.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de la APIIDTyT (6 de diciembre de 2014)

Misión de Observación presenta Reporte del proceso de consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán, Oaxaca (Prodesc, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Rechazan juchitecos tiempos de la consulta para el parque eólico (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

Preocupantes violaciones en consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán; genera confrontación (Página 3, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado: APIIDTT hace entrega de observaciones y propuestas al protocolo de consulta previa, libre e informada en Juchitán (Educa, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Violan derecho de consulta en plan eólico de Oaxaca: ONG (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Ignora DH de pueblos indígenas zona económica propuesta por Peña: juchitecos (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán(13 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)


Oaxaca: Civil Mission reports violation of right to consultation; APIIDT shares views

December 6, 2014

Consulta en Juchitán (@CODIGO DH)

Consultation in Juchitán (@CODIGO DH)

Three non-governmental organizations-the Project for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC); the Project for Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER); and the Gobixha AC Committee for Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH)-were present during the preliminary accords for the consultation process regarding the installation of a wind-energy project in Juchitán, Oaxaca.  In a first report, they reported that there were “violations against the basic principles of the right to consultation, including that it be prior informed, culturally adequate, transparent, free, and in good faith try to accord with the highest international standards on human rights.”  They indicated furthermore that clear and transparent mechanisms were lacking during the decision-making process, leading to “an antagonistic environment among the parties.”  They denounced as well “security incidents against participants represent one of the gravest aspects seen in this first phase of the consultation.”  They mentioned concretely that “members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), from the the Assembly of the Indigenous People of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), as well as a communal radio denounced that during the sessions they were subjected to harassment, direct threats, and security problems related to the consultation process.”

For this reason, they made the following recommendation: “That translation and interpretation be carried out by certified translators and interpreters during all stages of the consultative process; that the participants be assured of having sufficient information regarding the breadth, limits, and implications of the consultative process in an adequate, complete, and consistent manner during each of the sessions; that clear, explicit mechanisms of participation be established; that these conditions of participation be ensured for all those in attendance; that security measures be adopted to guarantee the security of participants, so that the consultation progress in a free manner and in good faith, without harassment or intimidation.”

Members of the APIIDT also presented a document including observations and proposals to the techincal committee of the consultative process.

For more information (in Spanish):

Violan derecho de consulta en plan eólico de Oaxaca: ONG (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Preocupantes violaciones en consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán; genera confrontación (Pagina3.mx, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Reporte completo de la Misión de Observación (12 de noviembre de 2014)

Solicita Educa garantizar proceso de consulta en Juchitan (El Libertador de Oaxaca, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Entrega APIIDTyT propuestas para protocolo de consulta en Juchitán(Pagina3.mx, 14 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado completo de la APIIDT (APIIDT, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán (13 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)


Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz

October 1, 2014

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archivo)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archive)

In a press conference held on 23 September, federal legislators called on the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to stop the looming incarceration of Oaxacan rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez, who presently free faces accusations of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and national wealth.

It bears mentioning that on 22 February 2012, the defender was detained and incarcerated, accused of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and the national wealth, though she only participated in a protest a year previous opposing high electricity prices in Oaxaca.  On 24 February 2012 she posted bail and was released, but the legal process against her continues.

The legislators in question affirm that they “consider that the moves and process against Bettina represent acts of criminalization of social protest, illustrating the risky situations faced by persons who work to defend human rights.  Through this process, it has become clear that the justice system has deviated greatly against them, particularly those who work in defense of the land amidst the imposition of megaprojects.”

Beyond this, in a communique published on 25 September, Amnesty International (AI) warned that, if the judiciary power decided to imprison the rights-defender, it would “consider nominating her as a prisoner of conscience.”  AI stressed that the obligation of the Mexican authorities “is to guarantee that the justice system does not work in favor of the persecution of those who defend human rights, as revenge against their legitimate actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden legisladores a PGR evitar encarcelamiento de activista (Cimac Noticias, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Carta completa de los legisladores (23 de septiembre de 2014)

No a la persecución judicial de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

Campaña en twitter: etiqueta #JusticiaparaBettina

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: Protests rage in Juchitán, like in 1886

September 16, 2014

Marchan en Juchitán (@EDUCA)

On 5 September, members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) marched to commemorate the battle of 1886 in which Zapotecos defeated the Imperial French Army.  In this sense, they demanded that the authorities respect their rights as indigenous peoples given that, as they say, their rights have been violated by the installation of wind-energy parks in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  Mariano López Gómez, APPJ director, accused the leaders of the Worker-Campesino-Student Coalition of the Isthmus (COCEI) of attempting to support and manipulate a referendum to support the installation of new wind-energy parks in the region.

Another group of Zapotec indigenous peoples from Unión Hidalgo, Juchitán, Xadani, and Álvaro Obregón who are associated with the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory also protested in the same place to similarly demand respect of their sovereignty as indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan opositores eólicos para exigir respeto a sus derechos indígenas(Pagina3.mx, 6 de septiembre de 2014)

Comunicado de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT, 5 de septiembre de 2014

Comunicado de la APPJ (APPJ, 5 de septiembre de 2014)

En conmemoración a los héroes Juchitecos, antieólicos marcharon a favor de los derechos de la tierra y el territorio (Realidades de Oaxaca, 8 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (December 9, 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: Various denunciations in theTehuantepec Isthmus from Community Assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories

September 6, 2014
Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ)

In recent weeks, the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT) made public several complaints regarding the situation of resistance against mega-projects of wind farms in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

On August 22, they informed that “members of the Attorney General’s Office, detained the Zapotec Indian José Ángel López Vásquez in the community of Santa Maria Xadani”. They added that “the PGR called him to tell him that a prior inquiry was opened against him due to a complaint of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). H3 was maintained in solitary confinement and denied the right to have an interpreter.” The community of Santa María Xadani is struggling against high electricity tariffs imposed by the CFE. The APIIDTT expressed that it’s “ironic that in a region where our air is producing more than 1,600 megawatts of electricity per hour, we have to fight and be criminalized for demanding low electricity rates.”

On the other hand, they reported that on August 17, the mayor of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Saul Vicente Vasquez, “simulated an election for the second time to impose Jorge Alonso Santiago as authority in our community Binnizá of Gui’xhi ‘Ro’ – Alvaro Obregón […] whose election was previously not acknowledged to the Electoral Court of the State of Oaxaca”. They also mentioned an aggression on the Community Police “General Charis” which protect the Permanent Assembly installed in the town square: “they were attacked by about 20 armed people.” They finally mentioned that “Saul Vicente and COCEI continue with their intention to impose at all costs a manipulable authority according to their interests and permit the entry of the wind project.”

Regarding the situation of defender Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, a member of the APIIDTT, the National Network of Human Rights Women Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM) demanded the end of the persecution: the defender is on trial on charges of illegal deprivation of freedom, as well as crimes against consumption and national wealth. a sentence is to be issued in the days following. The RNDDHM reminded that the legal demands against Bettina Cruz derived from the APIITDTT peaceful demonstration held on April 13, 2011 outside the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in Juchitan. On February 22, 2012, Bettina Cruz was arrested by members of the Federal Ministerial Police, and released two days later. The 168 members of the RNDDHM expressed they will alert to the resolution to be issued in the coming days and to be sure that “the sentence is not used as an act of coercion against the defender.”

As regards to the fight against the wind farms in the Isthmus region, it is also worth mentioning that the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) recently reported that “the Secretary of Energy implements a simulation of consultation more to keep up the appearances than to comply with a legal ruling or to respect the right of indigenous peoples.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen justicia para activista indígena bajo proceso penal desde 2012 en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Exige RNDDHM cese criminalización vs defensora Bettina Cruz (Diario Oaxaca, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Comunicado segunda elección de autoridad impuesta AO (APIIDTT, 22 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (December 9, 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: Resurrection of the Tepeyac Center for Human Rights in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

September 2, 2014

Foto @ Juchitan InformaArturo Lona Reyes (Foto @ Juchitan Informa)

On 17 and 18 August, Arturo Lona Reyes, bishop emeritus of the Tehuantepec diocese, reinitiated the work of the Tepeyac Center for Human Rights (CDHT), given that “we are concerned by the difficult realities experienced by the peoples and organizations of the Isthmus” and “so as to share and generate orientations and lines of work to strengthen our processes and struggles for life.” The CDHT, which Arturo Lona originally founded in March 1992, “is committed to beginning a new phase of work, orientated to accompany and encourage the spirit of organization and articulation among the peoples and communities who defend their cultures, lands, territory, resources, and rights.”

The first activity the CDHT held was a workshop on human rights which featured the experiences and knowledge of Sara Méndez, coordinadator of the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código-DH), and of Miguel Álvarez, president of the Services for Peace Center for Human Rights (Serapaz). During the event, indigenous persons from San Dionisio del Mar denounced that six concessions have been granted to mining companies which threaten the life of the Ikoots people, while Zapotec indigenous persons from Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán municipality, stressed that they would maintain the defense of their autonomy.

Beyond this, fatehr Lucio Santiago declared that, “as a diocese, the Church should intervene more in the realities of our indigenous peoples and prophetically denounce all that which threatens their lives. As parish priests, we must advocate changes which favor human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del CDHT: Pronunciamiento a los pueblos y organizaciones del Istmo (Educa, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Relanza Lona Reyes Centro de DH Tepeyac (Blog Juchitan Informa, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Asume el Obispo Emérito Lona Reyes la coordinación de CDHT (Agencia Quadratín, 18 de agosto de 2014)

Comienza nueva etapa Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac (Noticias Net, 19 de agosto de 2014)