Oaxaca: in assembly, peoples of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus denounce threats from PEMEX

March 1, 2015



On 8 February, representatives from 25 communities associated with the communities of San Juan Guichicovi, Asunción Ixtaltpec, Matías Romero, Santa María Petapa, and El Barrio de la Soledad met in an assembly with members of the Union of Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI).   They jointly denounced intimidation and threats made by PEMEX workers who had been preparing the land for the construction of the natural gas pipeline spanning Jáltipan, Veracruz to Salina Cruz, Oaxaca.   They warned that they would prevent workers from the state firm and their subcontracotrs from entering their lands and ejidos.

It should be noted that this new pipeline will occupy 315 kilometers of land within these communities in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  Those affected have denounced that the state firm has entered their lands without their permission to carry out topographical surveys.  To date there exist more than 500 who have displaced by works and disasters in these municipalities, and they indicate that PEMEX has “acted very irresponsibly in the face of oil spills, like the one that occurred on 31 December.  The victims still have not been compensated.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Pemex reprime y despoja a a comunidades istmeñas (Comunicado de prensa de UCIZONI, 8 de febrero de 2015)

Piden resultados creíbles de estudio sobre incendio en pozo de Tabasco(La Jornada, 10 de febrero de 2015)

Pueblos de la zona norte del Istmo, denuncian intimidación de Pemex(Página3, 10 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Violent displacement of UCIZONI members for blockade of refinery in Salina Cruz (8 February 2015)


Oaxaca: Violent displacement of UCIZONI members for blockade of refinery in Salina Cruz

February 8, 2015


On 28 January, workers from Mexican Petroleum (PEMEX) and the Ica-Fluor union displaced members of the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) and other social organizations who were carrying out a sit-in at the Antonio Dovalí Jaime refinery in the port city of Salina Cruz.  The protestors were demanding negotiations with the Secretary of Governance, Osorio Chong, to negotiate the question of the gas pipeline that will connect Jaltipan, Veracruz, to Salina Cruz, Oaxaca.  UCIZONI president Juana Inés Ramírez observed that the peoples of the Isthmus demand compensation for the pollution caused by the construction works: on 31 December 2014, “there was damage to cattle, rivers, and marine life.”  More broadly, they demand compensation for the more than 30 disasters that have taken place in the past 2 decades, the definition of actions for environmental remediation and development in the region, as well as information and consultation regarding the Transisthmus Corridor Project.

During the displacement operation, dozens of people were beaten.  It is reported that their assailants were wearing the orange PEMEX uniform, armed with machetes and stones.

For more information (in Spanish):

Atacan en Salina Cruz a integrantes de la Ucizoni por bloqueo de refinería (La Jornada, 28 de enero de 2015)

Trabajadores de Pemex desalojan a opositores al gasoducto en el Istmo(Proceso, 28 de enero de 2015)

Desalojan en Salina Cruz a indígenas que exigen indemnización a Pemex(Nss Noticias, 29 de enero de 2015)

Boletín de UCIZONI (28 de enero de 2015)

Oaxaca: Civil organizations denounce attack on female human-rights defender

July 14, 2014

Foto (@EDUCA)

Photo (@EDUCA)

During the early morning of 4 July 2014, a female activist and human-rights defender was sexually assaulted by a soldier in the Mexican Army.  The defender, member of the organization Union of Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) and the Network of Female Defenders, whose name has not been disclosed for security reasons, was en route to Oaxaca City from Matías Romero to attend the “Communication in Defense of Land” conference in the School for Communal Human-Rights Defenders.  The assault took place on an ADO bus in which she was traveling.

The victim attempted to denounce the abuse, firstly to the bus driver and then at a military checkpoint that halted the bus in San Pedro Totolapan, but on both occasions she was ignored.  On the contrary, since the case involved a high-level military man, she was told that nothing could be done.

The next day, close to 20 civil organizations published a letter denouncing the aggression, stressing that “beyond constituting a crime stipulated in article 241 of the Penal Code of Oaxaca as well as a clear human-rights violation, this is a very serious act in terms of the security of users of the system maintained by the firm, and even graver still because it involves an assault perpetrated by a high-ranking military official.”  The organizations added that the lack of response “shows the abuse of power and discrimination engaged in by the members of the armed forces.”

Lastly, in the letter the organizations demanded that the ADO bus firm “immediately respond to the complaint made by the human-rights defender, that it provides the corresponding authorities with the details of the aggressor soldier, that it guarantee reparations, and that it provide a public response regarding security policies for their users.”

Sadly, the case of 4 July is no isolated case.  Between 2011 and 2013, according to the Network All Rights for All, there were 409 assaults committed against human-rights defenders in Mexico.  Included within these aggressions most commonly are harassment, surveillance, robbery, kidnapping, forced disappearance, arbitrary arrests, death-threats, and torture, as well as murders.  27 human-rights defenders have been killed between 2011 and 2013: 16 men and 11 women, the majority of them in Guerrero, Michoacán, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, and Puebla.

For more information (in Spanish):

Militar agrede sexualmente a defensora de derechos humanos en autobus de empresa ADO (EDUCA, 7 de julio de 2014)

Militar ebrio abusa sexualmente de una activista en Oaxaca (Proceso, 7 de julio de 2014)

ONG´s denuncian irresponsabilidad del ADO; activista fue agredida a bordo de autobús (Página3, 7 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: One of the most violent and dangerous states for the exercise of journalism (May 16, 2014)

National: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM (30 March 2014)
Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (2 May 2013)

Oaxaca: 3 days of blockade against high electricity prices in the Isthmus

June 24, 2013

Foto @ Página3

Photo @ Página3

For the third consecutive day, on 10 June, indigenous people from the Tehuantepec Isthmus maintained their blockades in front of the office of the Federal Commission of Electricity (CFE) in the city of Matías Romero and the community of Estación Sarabia, Guichicovi, to denounce the excessive prices charged for electricity.  The Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) reported in a communique that the CFE had suspended services to users, arguing that they are blockading the entrance to their offices, “which is untrue.”  UCIZONI noted that workers of the firm have been carrying out “actions of harassment and threats to those participating in the protest.”  Reportedly, CFE personnel from Juchitán and state police have been taking photos and asking who is at the head of the mobilization.  Furthermore, on 10 June, in the community of Sarabia, CFE personnel threatened the Mixe indigenous person Karina Francisco that she would suffer reprisals if she continued to protest.

The protestors noted that they receive electricity receipts ranging from 600 to 2,500 pesos, while their homes lack all electrical devices.  The electricity users noted their displeasure in light of this situation which predominates throughout the region, given that prices are ever on the rise, while “the services provided by the CFE are terrible.”


UCIZONI has made an urgent call to organizations and peoples who participate in the National Network of Civil Resistance to carry out protest actions against the CFE abuses, given that dialogue has not stopped the arrests, the massive service cuts, or excessive prices.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa (Ucizoni, 10 de junio de 2013)

Indígenas istmeños siguen en plantón para evitar que CFE les quite el dinero con que sobreviven (Página 3, 13 de junio de 2013)

Inicia UCIZONI plantón frente CFE en Oaxaca por altos cobros (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2013)

Se unen indígenas istmeños para luchar contra la CFE ante altas tarifas (Página 3, 11 de junio de 2013)

Se manifiestan contra altas tarifas de la CFE en la zona norte del Istmo (Romo Noticias, junio de 2013)

Urgente negociar tarifas justas de energía eléctrica (Heraldo de Chiapas, 13 de mayo de 2013)

Acusan a CFE de perdonar millonaria deuda a la Pepsi (El Heraldo de Tabasco, 20 de mayo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: National Network of Civil Resistance to High Electricity Prices denounces failures of Governance (20 March 2013)

Chiapas: harassment and threats from the CFE directed at organizations resisting high-electricity prices denounced (5 March 2013)

National: Mobilizations at the national level against high electricity prices (12 February 2013)

Mexico: National day of protests against high electricity prices (4 April 2012)


Oaxaca: Three-year impunity continues in the case of the murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

May 17, 2013


On 27 April, three years passed since the murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, of Finnish origins, who were attacked by an armed group with presumed links to local and state authorities on this day in 2010, as they were traveling in a humanitarian and observation caravan to the Triqui community of San Juan Copala to document the conditions in which dozens of family had been living under conditions of siege.

Members of the Indigenous Zapatista Agrarian Movement (MAIZ), the Revolutionary Popular Front (FPR), and teachers from Section 22 of the Huajuápan chapter of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE), together with other social organizations, on 26 April carried out mobilizations and a march to protest the impunity experienced in the case of these murders.

Omar Esparza Zarate, leader of MAIZ in the Mixteco region and widower of Bety Cariño Trujillo, expressed that “These three years have been difficult, because I not only lost a comrade–the pain is there and will always be there–but also because of all the harassment, intimidation, illegal searches of the office, and sensing that one has to always be on edge due to lack of knowledge of when the aggressors will make good on their death-threats.”  Furthermore, he added that “for three years, we have spoken to the lack of interest on the government’s part to see justice done.  We have not perceived any sort of will to resolve these murders, nor for punishment of those responsible for them, in accordance with the law.”  Finally, Omar Esparza lamented that the state authorities have not observed their commitment, nor have they declared responsibility for the intellectual and material authors of the crimes.  Beyond this, he stressed that the deaths of social activists is certainly a constant feature of life in the country.

For its part, the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) made public that “with relation to these crimes, 12 arrest-orders have been declared against the presumed murderers, among which is included the leaders of UBISORT which one day before the departure of the caravan made serious threats against the physical integrity of our comrades.  We also indicate that ex-governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz should be considered an intellectual author of these bloody acts, given his public recognition of his having financially supported the paramilitary UBISORT group.”Similarly, Amnesty International and Frontline Defenders have reminded the federal and Oaxacan state authorities of their responsibilities to guarantee that these acts not remain in impunity.

For more information (in Spanish):

La herida está ahí y siempre va a estar: Omar Esparza (El Imparcial, 27 de abril de 2013)

UCIZONI: Demandamos castigo para los asesinos de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Kaos en la Red, 26 de abril de 2013)

A 3 años de la muerte de una indígena y un finlandés en Oaxaca (E-Oaxaca, 26 de abril de 2013)

Oaxaca: A tres años del asesinato de defensores de derechos humanos seguimos reclamando justicia (Amnistía Internacional México, 27 de abril de 2013)

México: Se cumple el 3° aniversario del asesinato de la defensora de los derechos humanos Bety Cariño (Frontline Defenders, 27 de abril de 2013)


Entrevista a Bety Cariño: Sembrando sueños, cosechando esperanzas (Código DH, 27 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: 12 arrest-orders released against presumed material authors of the murder of the Mexican defender Bety Cariño and the Finnish observer Jyri Jaakkola (12 October 2012)

Oaxaca: Meeting in front of the PGR against impunity in the case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, nearly two years after their murders (21 April 2012)

Oaxaca: justice demanded for San Juan Copala (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño and Jaakkola (17 October 2011)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)

Oaxaca: Conflictivity increases over wind-energy parks in the Isthmus

April 8, 2013

Parque eólico en el Istmo de Tehuantepec @ Proceso

The tensions related to the intention to build a wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, have increased in recent days due to different events that have led to confrontations between opponents to the wind-energy park and its proponents.  On different occasions, several journalists have been arrested, and some local residents have also been detained, only to be subsequently released with signs of torture.  Beyond this, on 26 March public security forces were used in a failed attempt to displace a roadblock maintained by opponents to the project in the Playa Vicente community, leaving several injured.

Both the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTyT) and the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) have denounced that 4 communards “were taken in the middle of the day from the Juárez neighborhood on 18 March and released the next day with signs of torture.”  The two organizations have denounced that on 21 March there were arrests of several hours of “journalists from La Jornada, Rosa Rojas and Francisco Olvera, [and of] David Henestrosa from the Regional Weekly from Salina Cruz; Ignacio Garrido, Karina Martínez, and Eliseo Ramírez from Ucizoni, as well as Eleazar Infante, an Ikoots communard from San Mateo del Mar as prosecuted by a group […] which serves Francisco Valle Piamonte, the ex-mayor of San Mateo del Mar.

While the journalists and UCIZONI members were released the same day, Eleazar Infante was not freed until the midnight of the following day.  The communiques have indicated that Valle Piamonte had been rejected as mayor for having negotiated a deal with the Spanish firm Mareña Renewables for the rental of lands to construct the wind-energy park in the region.

Beyond this, on 26 March, there were confrontations between Zapotec indigenous members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchitec People (APPJ) with the State Police as the latter attempted to displace a roadblock that the APPJ had maintained on the road between the community of Playa Vicente and the state capital.  In accordance with journalistic information, the residents installed barricades to impede the construction of the wind-energy park Fuerza y Energía Bii Hioxho, the project of the Spanish firm Fenosa Natural Gas.  Some 140 state police had been sent to the site to remove the opponents to the wind-energy park using tear gas and live fire, but regardless, the communards defended themselves with rocks and sticks, forcing the state police to retreat.  According to the press, 6 Navy units also participated in the operation.  The confrontation left 32 police injured, three of them gravely, and 11 injured on the side of the APPJ.  Following the confrontation, which resulted in the arrest of 5 Zapotec indigenous persons and the taking of a female police officer, representatives of the state government and the protestors agreed to a cease-fire.  The Ministry for the Defense of Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO), for its part, has requested precautionary measures from the Oaxaca General Secretariat of Governance and Public Security to resolve the conflict by means of dialogue and negotiation.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Gente vinculada a edil priísta oaxaqueño retiene a dos periodistas de La Jornada (22/03/2013)

Quadratin: Siete policías heridos luego de intento de desalojo en Juchitán (26/03/2013)

La Jornada: Se enfrentan policías e indígenas en Juchitán (27/03/2013)

El Universal: Manifestantes liberan a policía retenida en Oaxaca (27/03/2013)

Comunicado de la APIIDTyT

Comunicado de Ucizoni


Página3: Vientos del Istmo ponen al descubierto mitos y mentiras de proyectos eólicos en la zona Huave

Página3: Dan más de 3mdeuros al proyecto eólico Bii Nee Stipa II; huaves, sin beneficios

Proceso: Pese a la oposición, empresa española construirá parques eólicos en Oaxaca y Puebla

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Red alert for communities in the Isthmus and for civil society (5 February 2013)

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

Oaxaca: confrontations between PRI militants and opponents to wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (7 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Threats from shock-groups in San Dionisio del Mar (26 October 2012)

Oaxaca: entry of Caravan of Solidarity impeded to San Dionisio del Mar (15 October 2012)


Oaxaca: Protest against “Failure of Democratic Transition in Oaxaca”

March 26, 2013

Imagen del cortejo fúnebre @ Quadratin

On 19 March in Oaxaca City there was held a mobilization to observe the “Failure of Democratic Transition in Oaxaca,” as organized by several civil and social organizations.  In accordance with journalistic information, the protest, which began in the “El Llano” park and ended in the Zócalo, was attended by 1000 persons.  In a joint communique, the organizational groups indicated that the “government of Gabino Cue does not represent those of us who seek a real change for our state.  Today Oaxaca is ruled by groups that direct José Murat and Diodoro Carrasco who in the shadow of power have become millionaires, imposing repressive policies in the government through their operators.”

The protestors declared that “In these latest years the conflicts that seemingly had no solution have been exacerbated; this climate of tensions directly affects the indigenous peoples who are no priority for the present government […].  The current government, instead of promoting action for communal development, stimulates looting of our natural resources, with more than 300 mining concessions handed over to the owners of the land as an example.  It has also criminalized and harassed those of us who manifest ourselves to defend our rights.  The brutal police repression suffered by communards in Santa María Chimalapa and Alvaro Obregón are examples of this.”

The organizations, including the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Tehuantepec Isthmus (UCIZONI) and the Zapatista Agrarian Indigenous Movement (MAIZ), warn that there exists a situation of corruption and impunity in the state, referring in this way to the murders of several social activists in recent years.  Furthermore, they demanded the resignation of the state secretaries for Public Security, Finance, Agrofishing Development, and Infrastructure.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado íntegro de las organizaciones

E-Consulta: UCIZONI marcha por “muerte” de la transición democrática en Oaxaca (19/03/2013)

Quadratin: Con cortejo “fúnebre”, declaran “muerta” transición en Oaxaca (19/03/2013)