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)

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Oaxaca: Assembly in Unión Hidalgo defines its position regarding the effects of wind-energy parks

May 3, 2014

Tehuantepec (@zapateando.wordpress.com)

Wind-energy towers (@zapateando.wordpress.com)

On 23 April, communards from the community of Unión Hidalgo, organized by the the mayor, representatives of the Communal Goods, and the pro-works committee, carried out a general assembly to address the issue of the repercussions imposed on the local population by the Piedra Larga I and II wind-energy parks owned by Mexican Wind Development (DEMEX), a subsidiary of Renovalia Energy.

According to the Asamblea of Indigenous Peoples from the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), in 2011 DEMEX began its construction of the Piedra Larga I wind-energy park without having the necessary permits that would follow the prosecution of studies regarding environmental and urban impacts of said project.  Neither did DEMEX provide free, prior, and informed consent to the local community, as is stipulated by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Persons in Independent Countries, signed by Mexico, an accord that outlines the obligation to report and consult to the population before taking any legislative or administrative measure which could affect them

The construction of the wind-energy park, which the assembly says was imposed using tricks such as contracts and pressure from trade unionists and hitmen, has generated different impacts on the community, including socio-economic ones which have affected the agro-fishing activity in the zone.

At the end of 2013, the installation of 65 wind-energy towers was confirmed as pertaining to the construction works in Piedra Larga II, which is located less than 500 meters from the urban zone of Unión Hidalgo, in violation of international norms and laws.

Amidst this situation, the General Assembly of the community has outlined the measures it will take, and it warns that if DEMEX does not agree to a dialogue, it will consider blockading the wind-energy parks from the community.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asamblea general y marcha silenciosa del pueblo binniza de Unión Hidalgo, en resistencia contra la empresa eólica DEMEX (Renovalia energy) (Tierra y Territorio, 23 de abril de 2014)

Definirán rumbo de empresa Demex en Unión Hidalgo (El Imparcial, 23 de abril de 2014)

Realizaron comuneros, primera asamblea municipal para fijar postura sobre eólica DEMEX (Página 3, 24 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Communards from Unión Hidalgo request that the TUA totally nullify Demex contracts (24 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Meeting of People in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepc 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)


Oaxaca: Communards from Unión Hidalgo request that the TUA totally nullify Demex contracts

June 24, 2013

Foto @ La Jornada

Members of the Zapotec indigenous community of Unión Hidalgo, located in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, have publicly announced the presentation of their case before the Agrarian Unitary Tribunal (TUA) to absolutely nullify the rent contracts they had signed with the wind-energy firm Mexican Wind Developments (Demex), which is a subsidiary of the Renovalia Energy firm from Spain.

Demex first approached the Unión Hidalgo community at the beginning of 2007, expressing its desire to rent their lands for the development of a wind-energy park called Piedra Larga I.  The rent proposal promised large benefits and the possibility of continuing to utilize the lands for day labor of agriculture and pastoralism.  However, the community was not informed of the precise magnitude of the wind-energy park, nor of the implications that this would have in terms of the development of their everyday lives.

Such was the report made by Guadalupe Ramírez Castellanos and Esteban López Sánchez, members of the Committee of Resistance to the Piedra Larga Wind-Energy Project, who indicated that they within a period of two weeks the TUA would order a suspension of the project to protect their agrarian and collective rights as indigenous peoples, “in light of the violation against these that is perpetrated by the firm, the lies, criminalization of protests, pollution of lands and waters, together with the deaths of birds and land animals that the first stage of Demex’s wind-energy park which is already operating.”  They also noted that “it was overlooked that the land is collective property and, as such, demands prior informed consent, beyond the assemblies which are carried out to approve change in use of land.  Instead, there were created false small properties so as to sign individual contracts, changing the collective nature of these lands.”

López Sánchez added that “Demex raised the land to install the wind-energy generations, and this causes the water to pool, thus leading the maize and sorghum crops to spoil.  For this reason, wind-energy is not clean energy for us; instead, it is an energy of death.”a

It should be noted that other communities in the Isthmus, such as San Dionisio, Álvaro Obregón, and Playa San Vicente among others, have initiated a series of legal resistance actions to denounce the practices of violation that are being imposed by renewable-energy plans.

For more information (in Spanish):

La comunidad indígena zapoteca de Unión Hidalgo, Oaxaca, presenta demanda agraria en contra de la empresa eólica española Demex (PRODESC, 12 de junio de 2013)

Zapotecos presentan recurso contra proyecto eólico (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2013)

Zapotecos buscan anular contrato de tierras con empresa eólica (Milenio, 12 de junio de 2013)

Empresas eólicas en México desoyen sus propias recomendaciones (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Meeting of People in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepc 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)

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


Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

May 17, 2013

Foto @ La Jornada

During 4 and 5 May, there was held the Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in Juchitán de Zaragoza, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, where there was popular agreement to block the construction work of the wind-energy park Bi Hioxio (Strong Wind) being advanced by the transnational Spanish firm Fenosa Union-Natural Gas (UFGN), located within communal Juchiteca lands.  As was confirmed by physical examination, UFGN has continued its work on the side of the highway toward Unión Hidalgo, where the foundations for several wind-energy installations have already been installed.

Beyond this, Eurodeputies Ska Keller (Germany) and Satu Hassi (Finland) visited the Isthmus region to learn more about the problems of wind-energy parks that are being installed, some of them with European capital, so as to make recommendations in this regard before the European parliament.  They also visited the Piedra Larga site, owned by the Demex firm in Unión Hidalgo, where they observed wind-energy generators leaking oil.

Furthermore, during the Meeting agreement was had to carry out a campaign in the communities of the Tehuantepec Isthmus to abstain from state elections for 7 July, as well as strengthen the creation of communal police units where they do not exist, toward the end of advancing the right to self-determination and self-defense of indigenous communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acuerdo comunitario para frenar parque eólico en el área de Juchitán (La Jornada, 5 de mayo de 2013)

Pactan en el Istmo oaxaqueño campaña de abstención para los comicios de julio (La Jornada, 6 de mayo de 2013)

Audio:

Primer día del Encuentro de Pueblos en Resistencia por la Defensa del Territorio, Istmo de Tehuantepec (Radio Zapatista, 4 de mayo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

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: Meeting for resistance in San Dionisio del Mar, and new threats (21 September 2012)

Oaxaca: Communards of San Dionisio del Mar revoke contract for wind-farm (9 February 2012)


Oaxaca: March against wind-energy megaproject in Juchitán

February 12, 2013

© Zapateando

On 10 February, Ikojts and Binniza peoples marched in the Juchitán municipality in response to the declarations of Gabine Cué, governor of Oaxaca, in previous days: “we are not 20 drunks; we are peoples in resistance, defending our territory.”

On this same day was celebrated a Communal Assembly in Álvaro Obregón, in which participated people from San Dionisio del Mar, San Mateo del Mar, San Francisco del Mar, Santa María Xadani, Unión Hidalgo, Santa Rosa de Lima, San Blas Atempa, and Juchitán, among other places.  The people reaffirmed in this assembly their opposition to the wind-energy megaproject and called on the governor to listen to the reasons for which the people are opposing this project.  Furthermore, they announced the creation of a communal police in Álvaro Obregón, thus demanding the departure of the state, municipal, and federal police from Col. Álvaro Obregón, as well as the military.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acuerdan autodefensa en Juchitán; van contra empresa, El Universal. 10 de febrero de 2013

Reafirman con megamarcha oposición al proyecto eólico, Zapateando, 11 de febrero de 2013

Para más información de SIPAZ:

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: Red alert for communities in the Isthmus and for civil society

February 5, 2013

apii-dtt-jpeg

According to information from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), since 30 January the secretary of governance of the state of Oaxaca (SEGEGO) has sent delegates to negotiate the situation of blockade that has been seen since 29 October in the Álvaro Obregón community so as to inhibit the entrance of Mareña Renewables into Barra Santa Teresa, given that a court order exists which prohibits its entry.  These officials from the SEGEGO have been accompanied by state police.  The response, as related by an APIIDTT communique, was that “if they wanted dialogue, that Gabino Cue or the head of SEGEGO come to negotiate, for they will not accept representatives, because everything that would be signed and discussed would merely be rubbish.”  The APIIDTT denounced that on the night of 1 to 2 February there were seen several confrontations between the more than 400 armed state police and the communards from Álvaro Obregón and other communities in the region.  The last confrontation had to do with the fact that “later the state police arrested three fishermen who were on their way to go fish.”  These fishermen were then released on 3 February.

For his part, Jonathan Davis Arzac, president of the Council of Administration of the Mareña Renewables firm, warned that the wind-energy project for San Dionisio del Mar would merely move itself to another state if guarantees were not secured for the investment.

The most recent APIIDTT communiques have denounced the situation of some human-rights defenders who oppose the wind-energy park, “such as Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Rodrigo Flores Peñaloza, who have had to leave the region given that the hired killers have been harassing their homes, but they nonetheless continue actively to resist.  Mareña and the state government attempted directly to buy off the integrity of different people in the movement, as with the fisherman Jesús Gutiérrez.”

It should be mentioned that the communards from San Dionisio del Mar have obtained a motion from the Seventh Judge of the District (headquarters in Salina Cruz) that demands the suspension of all activity undertaken by Mareña Renewables in the Barra Santa Teresa community.  It should also be noted that Mareña has complained about this decision, claiming that it had been overruled now twice by a local judge.  Similarly, the communities of Santa María Xadani, San Mateo del Mar, Colonia Álvaro Obregón, San Francisco del Mar, San Dioniso del Mar, Juchitán de Zaragoza and Unión Hidalgo have submitted a complaint before the Independent Mechanism for Consultation and Investigation (MICI) against the Mareña Renewables wind-energy project, which is financed by the Inter-American Development Bank, among other sources.

For more information (in Spanish):

COMUNICADO URGENTE: Triunfo de la Dignidad Indígena de los Pueblos del Istmo frente a la Violencia y Corrupción suscitadas por Mareña Renovables y Gabino Cué (Frontera Sur, 4 de febrero de 2013)

Disuelven con violencia asamblea de opositores a parque eólico en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 3 de febrero de 2013)

Reprimen bloqueo en Álvaro Obregón, urge solidaridad con los pueblos ikoot y binniza (Frontera Sur, 1 de febrero de 2013)

México: Álvaro Obregón y San Dionisio del Mar se encuentran rodeadas de policías (Kaos en la Red, 1 de febrero de 2013)

Mareña Renovable anuncia posible cancelación del proyecto eólico en San Dionisio del Mar (NSS Oaxaca, 31 de enero de 2013)

Boletín de la Oficina Ecuménica por la Paz y la Justicia sobre situación en el Istmo (Frontera Sur, 1 de febrero de 2013)

Video-Audio:

Testimonio de compañera de álvaro obregón (Blog de la APIIDTT, 4 de febrero de 2013)

Mareña Renovables y gobierno de oaxaca: represión policial en Alvaro Obregon 2.2.2013 (Blog de la APIIDTT, 4 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

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: Meeting for resistance in San Dionisio del Mar, and new threats (21 September 2012)

Oaxaca: Ikoots community denounces invasion by private firm and “rigged” assembly in San Dionisio del Mar; invitation to a Meeting for Resistance (19 September 2012)

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

Oaxaca: Communards of San Dionisio del Mar revoke contract for wind-farm (9 February 2012)


Chiapas: fourth denunciation from Roberto Barrios regarding the situation in Comandante Abel and Unión Hidalgo

November 2, 2012

On 29 October 2012, the “New Seed that will Produce” Good-Government Council of Caracol V that speaks for all in Roberto Barrios published a new denunciation (the fourth that has been released since September on the case) that seeks an update to “the death-threats, displacements, robbery, intimidations, and presence of public security suffered and experienced by out peoples in the Comandante Abel New Community and Union Hidalgo.”

The JBG reports in its communique that on 21 October, the group of invaders who occupied recuperated lands starting on 6 September finished measuring the lands in which they have installed themselves; that the harvest of 11 hectares of maize belonging to the Zapatista support-bases from Comandante Abel New Community has been stolen, and that 24 more persons have arrived from Unión Hidalgo to reinforce the invading group.  In Unión Hidalgo the communique notes that on 16 October at 1a.m. shots were fired from a high-caliber weapon, and this has recurred several times since then, in particular for a total of 2 hours the following night.  On 17 October, 15 members of public security arrived to Unión Hidalgo.

The JBG also denounces that on 25 October, the invaders “made military movements in three groups of 6×6 carrying high-caliber weapons […].  The public-security police daily patrols from Sabanilla to San Patricio and during the afternoon and nights makes its movements from San Patricio to the space where the paramilitaries have occupied the lands and to Unión Hidalgo.  When the invaders make their movements, the police also mobilize themselves; it is clearly seen that between the police and the paramilitaries there is one force, and they are commanded by one leadership, who directs them to carry out warlike actions.”

The JBG refers to a note published in the media on 9 October which affirms that “the groups in San Patricio and Unión Hidalgo both have agreed to request police presence from the state government toward the end of maintaining order and peaceful co-existence.  They also indicate that at all times they will respect the rights of the EZLN militants.”  With regard to this note, the JBG asks: “What need is there for a police presence in the place where the paramilitaries have their own presence, carrying out their actions of intimidation, death-threats, and war-like provocations?  […]  It should clear state that the police has been sent to protect the paramilitaries so that they displace, loot, and rob the belongings and harvest of our Zapatista support-base comrades.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo de la JBG de Roberto Barrios (29 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: report of the Mission for solidarity and documentation to Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel (28 September 2012)

Chiapas: Attacks, forced displacements, and disappearances of Zapatistas in the Comandate Abel community (21 September 2012)

Chiapas: Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community (19 September 2012)

Chiapas: visit by governor to San Patricio, northern zone; challenge to official strategy by OSC (4 November 2011)