Oaxaca: confrontations between PRI militants and opponents to wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar

December 7, 2012

San Dionisio del Mar (@Quadratin México)

During the morning of 29 November, some 30 PRI militants violently displaced twenty indigenous Ikojts (Huaves) persons who had been occupying the City Hall of San Dionisio del Mar since January, in rejection of the installation of a wind-energy park in San Dionisio, as promoted by the transnational firm Mareña Renewables.  According to the denunciation by the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI), the militants forcibly removed the occupiers, destroying their goods, as well as taking a cement-maker.
Three hours later, opponents of the wind-energy park led by women recovered the vehicle and detained two PRI leaders who had commanded the displacement.  These persons were then handed over to a commission comprised by officials from the General Secretariat for Governance, an agent of the Public Ministry, and state police.Upon establishing a table of dialogue as coordinated by the state government, the release of the two PRI militants who had been detained the previous morning took place this same day.

For more information (in Spanish):

Chocan priístas y opositores a parque eólico en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 30 de noviembre de 2012)

Tras reyerta, logran acuerdo en San Dionisio del Mar, Oaxaca (Milenio, 29 de noviembre de 2012)

Siete heridos tras enfrentamiento en San Dionisio del Mar, Oaxaca (Milenio, 29 de noviembre de 2012)

Denuncian agresiones en contra de comuneros y comuneras en resistencia contra la imposición del proyecto eólico San Dionisio del Mar (OSC, boletín de prensa, 29 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

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Oaxaca: Threats from shock groups in San Dionisio del Mar; alternative plan for wind-energy in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

October 26, 2012

@ tierrayterritorio.wordpress.com

@ tierrayterritorio.wordpress.com

The Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), the General Assembly of Communards from San Dionisio del Mar, and the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) denounced in a communique published on 14 October that a shock group has threatened to displace the mayor of San Dionisio del Mar.  More, they made public the climate of harassment and death-threats in which they presently find themselves.

The mayoral hall was occupied peacefully by communards of the aforementioned municipality at the beginning of the year as a manifestation of their rejection of the wind-energy park that is planned for construction in the zone.  Against the mayor, they claim that he is “tied together with foreign firms to build the wind project in our territory.”  In accordance with the denunciation, the very day on which the passage of the Caravan of Solidarity with San Dionisio del Mar, “Jorge Castellanos and Ernesto Juárez, ex-delegate and ex-mayor, gave a press-conference in which they expressed that they would impose an ultimatum before the state-government, declaing that if the the problem of San Dionisio cannot be resolved and public forces do not arrive to allow the passage of the workers of the wind-energy firm and liberate the mayoral office […] they will do it themselves on 15 October, without regard to lives or blood spilt.”  They indicated that “these are shock groups that have been identified as paramilitaries, traitors of communities like Juchitan, who are led by PRI officials and those from COCEI-PT […].  Further, there are workers from the CTM union who participate in these aggressions for the promise of a permanent job, given that the work of installing the wind-park now begins.”  It should be mentioned that on 16 October, approximately 200 persons who were involved in blocking the passage of the Caravan on 10 October concentrated themselves in the municipal headquarters toward the end of displacing those who are occupying the mayoral office, but they withdrew at midnight, without any confrontation taking place, in accordance with journalistic information.

In a denunciation published on 14 October, the aforementioned organizations reported on the climate of death-threats and aggressions that has prevailed lately in the zone.  They denounce that on 29 September, Isaúl Celaya was nearly run over as he left the general assembly of the communards of San Dionisio, in the company of Blas Cabrera Rodríguez and Benita Celaya Pablo, injuring his arm.  On 6 October, a march of a PRI group and members of the CTM union made threats against human-rights defenders and those who accompany processes of resistance, specifically against Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Carlos Beas, members of the Assembly of the Peoples of the Isthmus and UCIZONI, respectively.  Beas received a death-threat by phone on 7 October, warning him not to enter San Dionisio del Mar.

Referring to the construction of the wind-energy park, the governor of the state of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, pronounced himself in favor of the project.  In an interview with media, he explained that the wind-energy park would bring important economic benefits, and that with it Oaxaca would become the first state in Latin America to generate wind-energy.  Cué Monteagudo said that the rejection of the project has to do with the “lack of understanding” among the local peoples; he also expressed that “always when there is investment and the possibility of development, interests emerge; for this reason, Oaxaca does not develop.”

In other news, the Oaxacan Congress approved an accord by means of which it will request the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to suspend bidding on a wind-energy park in Ixtepec, so as to allow for a communal project along the same lines that would benefit the local population with 50% of the income received by the sale of the energy.  This project, in accordance with media information, would be carried out in conjunction with the British firm Yansa.  Rosendo Serrano Toledo, federal representative and brother to the mayor of Ixtepec, indicated in a press-conference that the Law for the approval of renewable energy does not allow for communal projects, thus violating the human rights of the possessors of these lands.  He called on the Oaxacan governor to suspend the operation of the plants that have been installed in the Isthmus, given that “they only tricked the communities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado sobre amenazas del grupo de choque (14/10/2012)

Denuncia sobre amenazas de muerte (14/10/2012)

La Jornada: Proponen plan eólico alterno para Oaxaca (19/10/2012)

La Jornada: Prevén ataque a opositores a parque eólico (17/10/2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


Oaxaca: Two years after the murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

May 16, 2012

 

On 27 April 2012, 2 years passed since the murder of the human-rights defender Beatriz Cariño and of the Finnish international observer Jyri Jaakkola, an event that took place as they were traveling in a humanitarian caravan toward the community of San Juan Copala in the Triqui region of Oaxaca.

Many civil-society organizations, both national and international, pronounced themselves on the occasion: “During all this time we have observed the weak advance of investigations into the murders.  None of the corresponding institutions have committed themselves seriously to resolving the cases; on the contrary, the investigations are on hold, demonstrating yet again the total lack of political will to resolve the aberrant crimes that were committed against Bety and Jyri.”

The Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) emphasized for its part that “On this 27 of April, two years have passed since the murder of our comrade and friend Alberta Cariño and the Finnish activist Jyri Jaakkola, who died as they were attempting to enter the Triqui community of San Juan Copala on a humanitarian mission.   Despite the fact that the murderers from the UBISORT paramilitary gang have been plainly identified, to date neither the Federal nor State Attorney General’s Offices have proceeded with investigations corresponding to this double homicide.  This has allowed that the material and intellectual authors of the crime continue enjoying impunity.  It would seem that the idea is to protect them.”

The organization Agrarian Indigenous Zapatista Movement (MAIZ) of which Omar Esparza is a part, being the widower of Bety Cariño, has noted that “Because today once again after two years we continue to see how the assassins and tyrants such as Ulises Ruíz Ortiz and all others who decided on the attack on the caravan en route to San Juan Copala on 27 April 2010 are protected and defended.  In light of the absence and incompetence of the Attorney General, it has had to be we the families who have investigated, and we will seek the truth.  On the other hand, in recent days, representatives of the federal government have sought by all means to evade legal actions being taken against Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.”  It should be remembered that just previously to the anniversary of the double murder, the Mexican lawyers for the Jaakkola family, David Peña and Karla Michel Salas, who found themselves in Brussels, Belgium, to report to human-rights organizations and Eurodeputies about the state of the investigations in the case, indicated their surprise at the unexpected presence at the event of Max Diener Sala, subsecretary for Juridical Affairs and Human Rights from the Secretary for Governance.

For more information (in Spanish):

Critican a Calderón por impedir denuncia contra Ulises Ruiz en Finlandia (Proceso, 28 de abril de 2012)

Pronunciamiento nacional e internacional: ¡Justicia para Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola! (OSC, 28 de abril de 2012)

Betty y Jyri, 2 años, Copala, e impunidad (Noticias.net, 27 de abril de 2012)

Comunicado de MAIZ (Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista, 26 de abril de 2012)

Comunicado de Ucizoni en demanda de justicia para Bety Cariño (26 de abril de 2012)

Busca Calderón impedir denuncia contra Ulises Ruiz en Finlandia(Proceso, 25 de abril de 2012)

La ANAD demandará a Ulises Ruiz en Finlandia (La Jornada, 22 de abril de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Triquis return to their communities after 16 months of sit-in (8 February 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: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 April 2010)


Oaxaca: Five members of the Committee of Resistance to Wind Projects from Unión Hidalgo are arrested

April 2, 2012

(@Ciudadanía-Express)

On the afternoon of 22 March, five members of the Committee of Resistance to Wind Projects from Unión Hidalgo who are associated with the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT) were detained by agents of the state police in that community.  They oppose the Piedra Larga wind-energy park that has been developed by the firm Wind-Development in Mexico (Demex), which is a subsidiary of the Spanish company Renovalía Energy.

The APIITDTT communiqué denounced that “Our comrades who are defending human rights are being charged with the crime of ‘opposition to public works,’ when the project is being carried entirely by PRIVATE interests.  The energy that is sought through development in the community of Unión Hidalgo, like all wind-projects in the region, will be to provide energy to another private firm–in this case, the BIMBO corporate group.  It is in no way a public resource or utility.”

Human-rights organizations indicate the following in light of these arrests: “Newly social protest is criminalized, as is the defense of rights to land and territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus,” adding that “Today’s arrest is only the latest in a series of intimidational and violent acts that human-rights defenders from Unión Hidalgo have been subjected to.”  They recall that “One month ago was arrested the defender Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez in an attempt to put a halt to her defense of the land and territory of the small landowners of Unión Hidalgo.”

On 27 March, in a protest regarding arrest without arrest-orders, members of the community of San Dionisio del Mar and San Francisco del Mar, delegates of the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (Ucizoni), as well as of Section 22 of the National Educational Workers’ Union carried out a five-hour blockade of the work carried out by the Demex firm.

For more information (in Spanish):

Bloquean trabajos de Demex en parque eólico Piedra Larga (La Jornada, 27 de marzo de 2012)

Eoloeléctricas, obstáculo mortal para aves viajeras (La Jornada, 25 de marzo de 2012)

Los Ikoojt’s y la invasión transnacional (Noticiasnet.mx, 27 de marzo de 2012)

Boletín de prensa de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIITDTT, 23 de marzo de 2012)

Boletín de prensa de OSC de Derechos Humanos, 23 de marzo de 2012

Detiene la policía del estado a cinco integrantes de la Asamblea de Pueblos de Unión Hidalgo (NSS Oaxaca, 22 de marzo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

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

Oaxaca: Indigenous individuals from the Isthmus denounce threats by Spanish firm in response to their opposition to planned construction of wind-plants (5 July 2011)

Oaxaca: Possible conflict regarding wind-energy projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (18 January 2011)


Oaxaca: Possible conflict regarding wind-energy projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec

January 18, 2011

The erection of new wind-energy plants in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec could cause more conflicts in the region, Oaxacan activists and academics have warned.  According to information made available by journalists, this year is planned the construction of six wind-energy parks and additional ones in the coming years.  The goal is to have 18 such parks functioning by 2014.  The parks are to be managed by Spanish and French firms that would sell the produced energy to the parastatal Federal Commission of Electricity.

Carlos Beas Torres, fromt he Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, has emphasized the  “right of peoples to be consulted,” given that the planned projects would affect the lands they hold.  He mentioned Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), ratified by the Mexican State, which grants indigenous peoples the right to be listened to and consulted regarding projects that affect them.  Víctor Leonel Juan Martínez, from the Autonomous University Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, pronounced himself similarly in recommending that the state government of Gabino Cué Monteagdo (Convergencia/PRD/PT/PAN) facilitate a reconciliation between investors and affected communities.  For his part, Óscar Cruz López, subsecretary of government, assured that the position of the new state government is to respect communities, while the coordinator of Strategic Projects of the state government warned that all the projects of mass-investment will be subjected to exhaustive analysis.

For more information (in Spanish):


Oaxaca: post-electoral conflicts and violence

January 18, 2011

In the last few days were denounced several violent acts in Oaxaca related to the post-electoral context.

On one hand, in the case of the municipaloity of Santiago Yaveo, the State Electoral Institute (IEE) had invalidated the municipal elections governed by the system of uses and customs, because the residents of the agencies (small neighboring villages) had not participated, only those of the city-center.  For this reason, the local congress designated Gerardo Hernández Flores as head of municipal administration for 90 days, while new elections were held.  On 1 January, Flores arrived to Santiago with two aides, and they were all taken prisoner by local residents who demanded that the results of the elections be respected.

On 10 January, the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (Ucizoni) demanded that the state government peacefully resolve the political conflict in Santiago Yaveo and that it not send in police to rescue the kidnapped functionaries.  At the same time the organization signed on to the petition from the Erendida Cruzvillegas Commission for Human Rights which calls for the construction of an accord that would allow a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

In  other news, on 13 January the municipal president of Santiago Amoltepec (a Mixteco indigenous village which is one of the poorest towns of Mexico, located in the region of the Southern Sierra), Luis Jiménez Mata, was killed by unknown assailants after having been shot at least five times.  He had found himself in Oaxaca de Juárez where he had come for his credential as municipal authority before the state government.  Jiménez Mata took up his position on 1 January and claimed to promote a “process of reconciliation” in a zone in which conflicts over land have taken the lives of dozens of people in the last few years.

For more information (in Spanish):

Mayor of Santiago Amoltepec, Oaxaca, is fired on (La Jornada, 13 January)

Murdered mayor had proposed peace accords: Oscar Cruz (Quadratín, 13 January)

Officials continue to be held in Oaxaca (El Universal, 11 January)

Police asked not to be sent to rescue five officials in Santiago Yaveo (La Jornada, 11 January)

UCIZONI demands peaceful resolution to conflict in Yaveo (Oaxaca Libre, 10 January)