Oaxaca: Residents of Juchitan win motion to suspend construction of wind-energy park

October 25, 2015

Conferencia de prensa @ Cencos

Press-conference @ Cencos

On 12 October, representatives from the indigenous Binni’zaa (Zapotec) community from Juchitán de Zaragoza reported that, due to the legal motion they had submitted against the construction and the operation of the megaproject advanced by the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation on their lands, a judicial order has been made to suspend all the authorizations, permits, approvals, licenses, and land-use changes awarded by local and federal officials. The demand for the motion had been presented by 1,166 Binni’zaa indigenous people, and the suspension was approved on 30 September 2015.

“We demand that all the authorities and firms involved in the Southern Wind-Energy project observe with the demand made by the judge to suspend this work, meanwhile we wish to denounce that as a consequence of this judicial resolution, harassment has increased against the people who had advanced the legal motion,” they indicated in a press-conference. Beyond this, they added that “there was no public consultation, given that last January the project had been approved by the Regulatory Commission on Energy and the Environmental and Natural Resources Ministry, but it was not until June of this year that the consultation was carried out. In any case, it was mere simulation.” Beyond this, it was recalled that the Southern Wind-Energy Firm belongs to the same groups of capitalists that in 2012 comprised the Mareña Renewables firm, against which the indigenous had won a different legal motion two years ago. But it has returned now with another name.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pueblo indígena detiene megaproyecto eólico en Istmo de Tehuantepec (Cencos, 13 de octubre de 2015)

Ordena juez frenar obras de megaproyecto eólico en Oaxaca (Proceso, 12 de octubre de 2015)

Logran amparo para evitar construcción de parque eólico en Juchitán (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 13 de octubre de 2015)

Análisis de la Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental y del Resolutivo del Proyecto “Eólica del Sur” (Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad, agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation (11 September 2015)

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)

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Oaxaca: Second Day for the People, Water, Life, and Land

April 23, 2015

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In observance of the Second Day for the People, Water, Life, and Land on 10 April, there was held a Meeting of Experiences for Consultation amidst Infrastructural and Developmentalist Projects in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez.  Representatives from indigenous and campesino peoples and members and organizations of civil society hailing from the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Chiapas, Tabasco, Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Veracruz, and Distrito Federal met “to discuss and analyze the exercise of our right to decide about legislative and administrative measures as well as ‘developmental’ projects which affect our lands and territories, putting at risk our ways of life.”

At this meeting, the organizations and social processes defending land and territory shared their experiences, including the use of “closed season” for the use of water in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca; the El Zapotillo dam in Jalisco; the wind-energy projects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus; the Las Cruces (Nayarit) and Paso de la Reyna (Oaxaca) dam projects and the “Independence Aqueduct” in Sonora; the hydroelectric dams in Puebla and Veracruz; and the Plan for Territorial Exploitation on the Usumacinta River in Chiapas and Tabasco. As a central question, the great difficulty of implementing consultative processes vis-a-vis megaprojects was debated, given that “the Mexican State is promoting a series of consultations that do not respect international standards, but rather lead to a climate of harassment against communal defenders who oppose these projects,” as participants expressed in a final document.  They added that the “information we receive is only partial and distorted; it does not allow us to have a clear understanding of what the impacts are of said projects.  Furthermore, the process that continues is rigged, as there is no guarantee of impartiality.  The result is a number of simulated consultations.  In this way, we denounce the interference of power-groups and armed bands that are allied to the firms within this consultative process.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del Encuentro de Experiencias de Consulta ante Proyectos de Infraestructura y Desarrollo (Educa, 10 de abril de 2015)


Oaxaca: Third anniversary of movement against wind-energy projects in San Dionisio del Mar

February 8, 2015

© SIPAZ;  Parque eólico en el Istmo de Oaxaca

On 29 January, the Huave people of San Dionisio del Mar commemorated the third anniversary of their wind-energy resistance.  In this sense, there was held a march in which 500 people participated.  During a political act in the municipal auditorium, protestors reiterated their opposition to wind-energy projects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  Arturo Lona Reyes, bishop emeritus of the Tehuantepec Isthmus and a representative of the Tepeyac Center for Human Rights, celebrated a mass and affirmed that “the communal assemblies are the light in the darkness.”  Members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), the Revolutionary Popular Front (FPR), CIARENA, the Network Organization of Young Indigenous Women, the 21 June Mareños Mototaxi group, and the Mugier Ndyuck Civil Association were present at the action.

It should be recalled that in January 2012, following debate regarding the conditions under which a contract had been signed with the Preneal firm in November 2004, the communal assembly agreed to censure the mayor Miguel López Castellano after it was revealed that he had received 20 million pesos from the firm in exchange for an authorization of change in land use.  For the same reason, protestors decided to occupy the municipal palace.

An Ikjoot communard said in an interview with La Jornada that “the threat against our territory persists because the concession for the wind-energy park has no end-date.  Beyond this, now the PRI would like to open the door to more mining.  We know that there are six mining concessions for gold, salt, and other metals in San Dionisio, in the La Riqueza park, where they are attempting to build an open-pit mine.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pueblos impulsan su autonomía tras evitar construcción de parque eólico en Oaxaca (La Jornada 28 de enero de 2015)

Lucha por la autonomía en San Dionisio del Mar (Video Subversiones, 28 de enero de 2015)

Frente al extractivismo capitalista, San Dionisio del Mar lucha por la autonomía (Subversiones, 29 de enero de 2015)

Las asambleas comunitarias son esperanza en el Istmo: Lona Reyes(Quadratin Oaxaca, 29 de enero de 2015)

Cumple San Dionisio tres años de resistencia (Noticiasnet.mx, 29 de enero de 2015)

Huaves conmemoran tres años de “resistencia eólica” en el Istmo de Tehuantepec (La Jornada, 30 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Conflicts over extraordinary elections in San Dionisio del Mar (30 December 2014)

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)


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: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán

November 13, 2014

(@cipamericas.org)

On 5 November, three members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) received threats by phone from a local number telling them “what have you been doing at the forum?  You have no reason to be there” and to “be careful of the consequences; we will meet.”  A fourth person from the same group did not take the call upon identifying the same number.  On 4 November, they also noticed surveillance in the place where the APPJ was holding a meeting with people linked to the Bii Hioxo wind-energy plant owned by Fenosa Natural Gas.  The APPJ members identified these surveillers as being the material authors of the harassment and threats made against the APPJ.

These threats come within the context of the first phase of agreements for a consultation that is being carried out in Juchitán, Tehuantepec Isthmus, regarding a new wind-energy project impelled by Wind-Energy of the South (formerly Mareña Renewables) that would install 132 towers in the region.

In an Urgent Action regarding these threats, the organization Código DH denounced that “[t]he violation of the rights of those participating in the consultative process imperils the security of persons.  It is a way of attempting to silence the critical voices and to reduce the participation of the citizenry within a process that should be open and broad.  It is unacceptable that this is a question of guaranteeing rights by violating those of others, either by action or omission.  The existence of these new threats against members of the [APPJ] who find themselves participating in this exercise shows this to be true.  It not only violates the right to participation by a specific group that has denounced the installation of the Bii Hioxo wind-energy park on communal lands and been critical of the process, denouncing death-threats and harassment on multiple occasions, but also taints the first phase of this consultative process, which should guarantee the participation of all those who are interested in participating.”

The APPJ together with other collectives and social organizations has questioned the consultation that has been initiated in Juchitán as a “joke” and a “circus,” given that it only began once 13 wind-energy parks and more than 800 wind-towers had been installed in the region.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuevas amenazas a integrantes de la APPJ en el marco de la consulta que se realiza en Juchitán (Acción Urgente de CODIGO DH, 6 de noviembre de 2014)

Hostigamiento y amenazas obstaculizan el debido desarrollo de consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán, Oaxaca (CODIGO DH, PODER, PRODESC, 6 de noviembre de 2014)

Es viciada e ilegítima consulta sobre instalación de parque eólico en Juchitán (La Jornada, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

Es una burla consultar después de invadirnos de aerogeneradores: juchitecos (Página3.mx, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: 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: New threats to Código DH due to its accompaniment of processes in the Isthmus

July 19, 2014


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The Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH) denounced that on 8 July it received a telephone call to its office threatening personnel from the organization for having accompanied penal processes that continue in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  In a second call, made just minutes later, threats were made against members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), who have been accompanied by Código DH for their opposition to the construction of wind-energy plants.

It should be mentioned that both Código DH and the APPJ have been the object of physical attacks, death-threats, harassment, and intimidation; the state of Oaxaca is one of the most dangerous in which to work for the defense of human rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

CODIGO DH recibe nuevas amenazas (Código DH, 8 de julio de 2014)

104 casos, 171 personas defensoras y 409 agresiones (Animal Político, 7 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón leave 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: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Oaxaca: new intimidation directed at Alba Cruz (18 January 2011)

Oaxaca: attack on union leader Marcelino Coache (20 May 2010)

 


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)