dorset chiapas solidarity

October 9, 2016

Atenco women’s case will finally reach the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Coridh)

Filed under: Repression, Women — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:55 am


Atenco women’s case will finally reach the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Coridh)


women-of-atencoPatricia Torres, Ana María Velasco, Claudia Hernández, Yolanda Núñez, Italia Méndez, Norma Jiménez, Stephanie Brewer and Araceli Olivos during the press conference held at the Centro Pro. Photo: Jesús Villaseca


By: José Antonio Román

  • Activists deny that the government has proposed to bring the case to the agency
  • They had to spend 10 years in impunity; the issue could represent the eighth sentence against the Mexican state, say human rights advocacy groups

The Mexican government not only lied when it asserted that it was the one that proposed taking the case of the Atenco women to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Coridh, its initials in Spanish), but also that it “surprisingly advanced” to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) making this decision public.

This case, which arrives at the Coridh after 10 years of impunity in the country, could represent the eighth sentence against the Mexican State, in which 11 women of San Salvador Atenco denounced sexual torture and other human rights violations by state of Mexico police and federal police in May 2006.

Stephanie Erin Brewer, lawyer for the victims and coordinator of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centre’s international area, explained that it was “very strange” to find out about the federal government taking the case to the Court rather than the IACHR taking it, as regularly happens in these cases.

But she also clarified that the State not only didn’t ask to send the case to the court, but rather “did everything possible to delay it, and avoid the case reaching that body,” as it has neither had reparation measures for the victims nor funds nor help actions, which have been repeatedly rejected.

‘‘There’s no dialogue either, as the government says. That dialogue is broken because of the repeated lack of fulfilment, the lack of advance and the absence of a showing of the will to reach a conclusion. No dialogue is underway: what is underway is a litigation,” the director from Centro Prodh clarified.

In a press conference that six of the 11 women complainants attended, accompanied by their legal advocates from the Centro Prodh and the collective for Justice and International law (Cejil), it was pointed out that the case reaching the Coridh is a historic achievement in the search for truth and justice, which was impossible to access on the national level.

The lawyers Brewer and Marcia Aguiluz, from Cejil –connected via Internet from Costa Rica–, explained that since last December the IACHR adopted the background report that contains its conclusions about the case and that it gave reason to find that the complainants suffered unlawful and arbitrary detention, diverse acts of physical, psychological and sexual torture, a lack of due process and denial of justice, violations to which the Mexican State will have to respond.

A decade after the acts of May 3 and 4, 2006, [1] there is not one single firm criminal sentence and the criminal processes underway are limited to state protection and are developed starting with accusations against four dozen agents with a low rank, without touching the chain of command and other spheres and levels of responsibility. At the time that the acts occurred, the governor of the state of Mexico was Enrique Peña Nieto, now president.

And although the Coridh does not impose individual criminal responsibilities, in the background report it gives an account of the responsibility of some individuals, and mentions the necessity of investigating on two levels the responsibility of the governor of the state of Mexico. “The first is around the possible emission of statements that promised the independence and autonomy of the investigations, and the second is because of the absence of an in-depth investigation about the chain of command,” explained Santiago Aguirre, assistant director of the Centro Prodh.

[1] On May 3 and 4, 2006, state and federal police terrorized the town of San Salvador Atenco right after Subcomandante Marcos spoke at a rally in the town as part of the EZLN’s “Other Campaign.” 2 people died and approximately 150 were arrested and taken to jails.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted with minor amendments by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




October 8, 2016

Peña Nieto’s airport in Atenco and Texcoco poses Serious Threat of Flooding

Filed under: water — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:19 pm


Peña Nieto’s airport in Atenco and Texcoco poses Serious Threat of Flooding


dsc_0570Flooded communal land in the Ejido Nexquipayac, Atenco. Photo: Sergio Grajales Ventura


By Sergio Grajales Ventura

The construction of the New International Airport of Mexico City (or as known by its initials in Spanish – NAICM) in the towns of Atenco and Texcoco poses a great risk of flooding, not just for the communities in the area, but for all of the eastern part of the Valley of Mexico. Additionally, land subsidence will accelerate, surface run-off will increase and the region’s most important regulatory reservoir, the former Lake Texcoco, would be destroyed.

I. Over-exploitation of water and subsidence

In a previous issues of El Salinero, we reported that in 2001 the Autonomous National University of Mexico’s PUMA programme (the University Programme for the Environment or in Spanish, “Programa Universitario de Medio Ambiente”) predicts that as early as 2020 the new airport and the related urban development in the area will significantly increase the extraction of the groundwater to 50.5 million cubic metres a year (2001:1), which is 23 times more than the amount the Federal Government claims the airport will actually consume. All this despite the fact the Texcoco aquifer is located in an area with strict controls and is considered a priority source of water for the region.

The over-exploitation of the aquifer will not only worsen the shortage of potable water available for our communities, but it will also cause greater subsidence of the ground. The increasing extraction of water from the aquifer causes dehydration of the surface strip of soil (called the aquitard), which consists of a thick layer of clay. This causes a reduction of the volume of the aquitard, in other words, it causes it to compact and therefore the ground sinks.

It is calculated that in the whole of the Valley of Mexico the ground sinks approximately 10 cm each year. In the eastern area, where the former Lake Texcoco is located, the subsidence is even faster, running between 25 and 40 cm annually. This means that every ten years Mexico City sinks a metre and a half on average, and the regulatory reservoir of the former Lake Texcoco sinks between 2.5 and 4 metres (Luege, 2014: 2-3).

This accelerated subsidence causes the drains (which make up Mexico City’s system of surface drainage) to lose their slant, whereas ordinarily the drains’ slant or inclination along with gravity would move large volumes of water from one point to move to another.

This is what has happened to the Churubusco, La Piedad, and Los Remedios Rivers. Previously the rain runoff flowed from the western part of the Valley towards Lake Texcoco, and that flow now only carries a small volume of sewage. Other rivers, like the Río de la Compañía, show such pronounced subsidence that water can only be extracted through the use of an expensive pumping system (Luege, 2014: 5).

Besides these rivers in the West, 11 more rivers flow into the former Lake Texcoco from the East. But since with the over exploitation of the aquifer is causing the ground to sink, ground which is covered with asphalt, this further prevents the replenishment of the aquifer, leading to further sinking.


II. Growing urban sprawl and water runoff

The chaotic development of the Valley of Mexico’s metropolitan area has meant that large areas of agricultural land, forest and flood plains have been covered with an enormous layer of asphalt. What before were areas where rain water could penetrate the ground and recharge the aquifer, now are large expanses of urban areas, waterproofed with asphalt, and where an increasing volume of water flows.

In addition to this, due to the uneven ground, runoffs are directed towards the centre of Mexico City, which has meant that the drain is mainly dependent on costly deep drainage systems.

Considering how urban growth has tended to happen and all that is attributable to the construction of an airport, it is estimated that there will be a significant increase in the total ground area covered by asphalt. This will increase the average annual runoff between 15 and 25% due to the new urban areas (PUMA:1).


III. The importance of preserving the regulatory reservoir of the former Lake Texcoco

When prolonged and heavy storms hit, Mexico City’s pumping system and deep drainage collapse. It is unable to cope with the drainage flow, and various parts of the metropolitan area flood.

The long and heavy rain of tropical storm Arlene at the end of June 2011 exceeded the capacity of the drainage and pumping systems, and caused severe flooding in the eastern part of Mexico City. The only way to prevent catastrophic flooding for the residents of Ecatepec and Nezahualcoyotl was to flood the regulatory reservoir of former Lake Texcoco.

To avoid tragic flooding, the Constitution protects the floodplains of lakes and lagoons as “inalienable and imprescriptible” and the National Water Act declares “natural reservoir of national waters” and prohibits construction or any change to how the area is used.


dsc_0558Ponds, Ejido Nexquipayac, Atenco. Photo: Sergio Grajales Ventura


The federal government has turned a blind eye to all of this. The environmental impact report for the airport project completely omits consideration of environmental risks associated with the possibility of flooding due to wet weather.

And as if this were not enough, the “Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad” states that the report also lacks the technical know-how to demonstrate that the hydraulic works being done to divert the runoff will be enough to prevent the flooding in the area of the new airport and the surrounding communities (UCCS) (UCCS: 11).

In conclusion, building the New International Airport of Mexico City in Atenco and Texcoco will increase the area’s vulnerability to flooding. This will be caused by the rising volume of runoff water, as well as a quickening rate of subsidence, while the regulatory capacity of the reservoir will shrink.


Sources cited:

  • Córdova-Tapia F., Straffon-Díaz A., Ortiz-Haro G. A., Levy-Gálvez K., Arellano-Aguilar O., Ayala Azcárraga C., Zambrano L., Sánchez-Ochoa D. J. y Acosta-Sinencio S. D. 2015. Análisis del resolutivo SGPA/DGIRA/DG/09965 del proyecto “Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México, S. A. de C. V.” MIA-15EM2014V0044. Grupo de Análisis de Manifestaciones de Impacto Ambiental. Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad. México.
  • Programa Universitario de Medio Ambiente (PUMA), UNAM, 2001. Estudios específicos: Descripciones y predicciones ambientales. Evaluación ambiental comparativa de dos sitios considerados para la ubicación del Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México (NAICM).


Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service




August 15, 2016

“The project of the NAICM will lead to water shortage” Vandana Shiva in Atenco

Filed under: Displacement, water — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:49 pm



“The project of the NAICM will lead to water shortage” Vandana Shiva in Atenco




Mexico City. 14 August 2016. “At some point it will lead to a water shortage” said Vandana Shiva and Sebastiao Pinheiro during their visit to Atenco yesterday.   With members of the Peoples Front in Defence of Land (FPDT) they toured the lands of Atenco that the government intends to dispossess in order to be part of the new airport in Mexico City (NAICM).  They arrived early in the camp that is located in the area where they intend to build one of the access roads.

Vandana, winner of the alternative Nobel prize for the environment, asked Mexicans not to allow life to be exterminated and to come to support the movement of the FPDT and all those who oppose the construction of the airport in these lands.

Meanwhile, members of the FPDT told the environmentalists that in these lands they grow crops of pumpkins, olives, corn and rosemary, among other products that represent their subsistence and survival.




Sebastiao Pinheiro said that the cause of FPDT is a common cause because, both in Brazil and Mexico they are destroying the environment: “We live together, we die together.”

Vandana Shiva and Pinheiro and were invited to Mexico by the Department of Agroecology of the Univeristy of Chapingo (Uach) and by the environmental organizations Karen Hansen of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and Without Corn there is no Country.




With their symbolic machetes of the members of FPDT led by Ignacio del Valle and Trinidad Ramirez, held high, Vandana Shiva cried “Zapata Lives!”


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 15/08/2016

“El proyecto del NAICM implicará falta de agua”: Vandana Shiva en Atenco



May 27, 2016

Communiqué from the FPDT of Atenco Against the New Illegal Incursions into Our Communities

Filed under: Repression — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:22 pm



Communiqué from the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land from Atenco Against the New Illegal Incursions into Our Communities

The Earth is not for sale, it is Loved and Defended




We denounce that today, May 23, 2016, around 8 am, workers of the airport group illegally entered the territory of Nexquipayac, escorted by more than 200 members of the federal, marine, state and municipal police. This was carried out with the intention of marking out the perimeter fence of the airport which the government of Enrique Peña Nieto is trying to impose, flagrantly violating the court-ordered injunction (amparo) brought by the communities affected. We express our total rejection of this work of death, as well as the damages to the ecosystem of the Bank of former lake Texcoco.

Also taking part in this new illegal incursion were ejidal representatives of Ixtapan, Nexquipayac, Atenco, La Colonia Francisco I. Madero and Tocuilo who without consulting their assemblies nor their respective peoples, gave consent for this advancement of dispossession being carried out.

We also denounce the presence of the group of thugs made up mostly of people affiliated with the PRI, the same that participated in the destruction of the mural in Atenco, symbol of the struggle and defence of the land, and also in the ejidal assembly of June 1st, 2014 and in the Agrarian Tribunal of Texcoco; all of these were led by Andrés Ruíz Méndez, who serves as municipal president of Atenco and at the same time as de facto commissioner of the ejido of Atenco, and also by Alejandro Santiago López, alias “the Oaxacan.”

These illegal incursions are acts of provocation that the government is mounting to stir up he tempers of the people and justify the repression against the communities and members of the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land.

With these actions, the lie of Enrique Peña Nieto is reiterated, for since he reactivated the construction of the airport in September of 2014, he gave assurances that our lands would not be taken. nevertheless, the perimeter of lake Texcoco, that today they call federal zone, is also part of our territory which they are already devastating.

The utilization of workers for the airport who come from our own peoples is being used as a tactic to divide the people and make us fight amongst each other, something that we have pointed out and constantly rejected.

In this situation we call firstly on the National Commission of Human Rights, and also on the national and international independent organizations for human rights, both independent and official, to stand up for the respect for life, which we are defending and safeguarding in our territory.

We demand the cancellation of the new international airport of Mexico City and respect for the will of our people to exercise their right to self-determination.

We demand the withdrawal of all types of police bodies, military, federal and marine from our territories.

We hold the three levels of government—federal, state, and municipal—responsible for the wrongdoings that continue against our community life, and the new risk they have imposed on us of being criminalized and repressed, they are the first to trample our human rights.
We call on national and international media to attend tomorrow, Tuesday, 24th May at 10:30 am in the central square of the community of San Cristobal Nexquipayac, to head later to Cerro de Tepetzingo where the press conference will be held.


The earth is not for sale, it is loved and defended!

Zapata lives, the Struggle Continues!

Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land.




Edited version of a translation by Palabras Rebeldes




Filed under: Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:49 am


Petitioning Mexican President Peña Nieto 





Atenco farmers have been defending their lands for a decade against Enrique Peña Nieto’s attempts to forcefully take their lands and build an airport designed by British architect Norman Foster’s and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s son-in-law, Fernando Romero.

These lands are under a collective rural landholding system established in the early 20th century. Atenco farmers were first offered by former president Vicente Fox (with Peña Nieto being State Governor) a pittance in compensation, and then brutally attacked by militarized police when they refused to sell their lands. During their protests, 2 protesters were killed, 26 women were raped by federal police officers, and their leaders were arrested, then condemned by corrupted judges to unsubstantiated sentences (up to 112 years in prison to one of them). They spent 5 years in prison and were finally freed thanks to public pressure.

As if all such suffering were not enough, now the Atenco people is under Peña Nieto’s attack . . . again. Clash groups have been created (affiliated to the PRI political party) to invade their lands, provoke the farmers and justify police force’s intervention. These are the same clash groups who vandalized Atenco’s iconic mural and provoked the farmers during the undemocratic vote assembly in 2014.

If and when this airport is effectively built pitting the local farmers to justify military police actions we won’t forget Atenco’s history.




Sign the petition here



May 12, 2016

Planting trees to prevent the highway being built in Atenco

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:31 pm




Planting trees to prevent the highway being built in Atenco

By Javier Salinas Cesáreo, correspondent

La Jornada, 11th May 2016


árbolesfpdtA member of the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT), along with the planted trees. Photo Javier Salinas


Texcoco, Mexico. Campesinos from the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) of Atenco and Tocuila have begun to plant dozens of trees on their farmland to form a green barrier, as part of their efforts to prevent the construction of the Pyramids-Texcoco highway for the new Mexico City International Airport (NAICM) which is invading their hectares.

The ejidatarios of Tocuila have, since 23rd April last maintained a sit-in occupation and stopped the construction of this highway. They also have the protection of amparo 349-2016-III so that they cannot be deprived of the possession of their plots of land nor can any works be built on their lands; this was given to them by the Ninth District Court of the State of Mexico.

The comuneros, using picks and shovels, have begun to form brigades to plant trees, just opposite the place where they are holding up the works. The trees are small pines.

“This is more of a symbolic action, because by planting trees we are telling the world that these lands are cultivated and their vocation is completely organic and to benefit the environment, and to build an airport here, as well as a highway and the necessary infrastructure for a project of that kind would put an end to this vocation of our land.”

“They must understand that we do not want an airport project in our lands and that we will carry out all possible actions and mobilizations because our right to preserve our lands must be respected. We also want to emphasize that the construction company and the government have violated the amparo we have which the judge gave us,” said Ignacio del Valle Medina, leader of FPDT.

The pyramids-Texcoco highway is planned to connect the highways Mexico-Piramides and Peñón Texcoco as well as the Mexico-Tuxpan corridor with the NAICM.

The federal government began the construction of the highway almost two years ago and in September 2015 opened to traffic the first four kilometre stretch linking Acolman and Tezoyuca; to build this they used the expropriation of land and demolished several houses.

However, 13 kilometres, which is yet to be built, is expected to pass through the ejidos of Tocuila, San Felipe, Santa Cruz de Abajo, Magdalena, Francisco I Madero, Atenco, Acuexcomac, and Nexquipayac.





May 8, 2016

Red May: 10 years later, Atenco resists plunder again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:49 am



Red May: 10 years later, Atenco resists plunder again



x carolina
Sky-rockets blast off. Machetes gleam. Atenco is in town to head up a march from the Independence Angel to the Mexico City Zocalo. More than a thousand people join in. Chants ring out: Atenco lives! The struggle continues!
The march brings two days of activities to a close –– activities organized by the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) to mark the brutal repression of May 3 – 4, 2006, in San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco, where a struggle in support of local flower vendors was in full swing. The aim of the police terror, incited by the news media, was to punish campesinos who had succeeded in stopping the most important project of the Vicente Fox administration in 2002 ––an airport that would have robbed them of their lands.
Just a few days before, in a visit to the town of Atenco, Subcomandante Marcos of the EZLN had said: “We’ve come to recognize you as our older brothers because you’ve shown us how to defy the powerful, confront them, and with our own hands, defend what they want to take from us: land, liberty and life. This noble land of Atenco has much to teach, not only to us as Zaptatistas, but to all people in struggle.”
This is why so many groups and organizations all over the country have invited the Atenco comrades to visit their communities and explain how they were able to defeat Fox’s number one project. And when solidarity is called for, Atenco is always there.



A voice comes over the sound truck:
“Let no one forget the invasion of 3,500 state and federal police in our town, the violent house searches, the bloody beatings, the murders of young Alexis Benhumea and Javier Cortés, the arrests of 207 comrades, and the sexual torture of at least 26 women, 11 of whom have brought international court action against the State”.
The Red May repression was ordered by then Governor of the State of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, now President of the country. He’s proud of it. He brags about it. That repression is cloaked in impunity.
“But even with everything they did to us, we don’t come here today as martyrs. We don’t come to cry. We’re now facing a new effort to dispossess us of our lands, a new plan to build an airport on our territory. And we’ve come here to say NO to Enrique Peña Nieto’s airport. NO to this death project. And NO to the new Eruviel Law, enacted by State of Mexico governor Eruviel Ávila, to legalize repression,” says América del Valle.
The same thing was said at the cultural event the day before in Atenco. When we were assaulted by the horrendous noise of an adjacent event organized by the local PRI government, obviously designed to ruin our activity, we went right ahead with our program, urged on by Cayo Vicente’s fiery music, a spontaneous march with machetes held high led by Alicia, jokes told by Mastuerzo, and the danceable sounds of the Mexican Sound System. “They want to see us sad and disheartened,” said Gabo Revueltas, “but let’s not give them that satisfaction! Dancing is resistance, too!” And we danced.



Different contingents of peoples, students and workers join the march. Banners and posters bear the names of Ayotzinapa, Xochicuautla, Coyotepec and Zapatista collectives. There’s also a banner in support of the San Quintin day laborerers with a call to boycott the Driscoll company. A comrade says a few words over the loud speaker about that situation.




In the march we run into old and new friends, including comrades who were always present in the actions to free the Atenco political prisoners. And thanks to a constant struggle with national and international support, they all walked free. Even when Ignacio del Valle and Felipe Álvarez were sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison, they got out in four years, at the same time politically pursued people were able to come home.When the march passes by the monument to the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students, the FPDT takes a moment to express solidarity with the parents. They chant “They took them away alive. We want them back alive!”
In the Zócalo, a call goes out to support resistance to the incursions of the Mexican Army and construction companies trying to take machinery and materials into the lands of the peoples of Atenco and Texcoco. The FPDT Atenco blog reports that just a few days ago in the community of Tocuila, it was necessary to expel the invaders and burn some of their materials for the construction of the Pyramids–Texcoco Toll Road, which is part of the airport project. And the next day, campesinos dug ditches to divert a stream of water and flood their lands in order to prevent more incursions.
 .Felipe Álvarez notes that all the communities have protective orders against the construction, but these have not been respected. “The news media smear us as rabble rousers,” he says, “but we have the right to defend our lands and that’s what we’re going to do.”


A comrade with years of experience speaks to us. She’s 86 years old. “We don’t want that airport and we don’t want so many streets….The President of Atenco is handing out money to buy people’s votes, but that’s not going to save him….We won 15 years ago and we’re going to win now….Why do we need so many highways? We’re just fine the way we are. If they build a highway here, where are we going to walk? This is a town, not a city. Let us live the way we want to. Peña Nieto has lots of money. Apparently, he’s well off….We don’t have money, but we know how to defend what’s ours.”




Two comrades from the town of Xochicuautla recall the state terror in Atenco in 2006. They tell how they, too, have been dispossessed of their lands and repressed, just like people in Chiapas, Guerrero, Ostula and so many other places. Together with other peoples, they’re getting organized in the National Campaign in Defense of Mother Earth and the Territories. We have to join together, they say. “NO to the ‘Eruviel law’!”
A comrade from Tocuila reports that the construction company continues to send people to try to invade their lands and introduce machinery and materials. As a strategy to be able to keep up resistance, the people of Tocuila have decided to plant trees. They ask our help. “To confront this death project, give us a piece of life,” says the comrade. “Donate a tree.”“Today we know we’re not alone,” says Trinidad Ramerez of the FPDT. “We’re not going to lose this struggle if the students, teachers and everyone else are with us.”




Red May: 10 years later, Atenco resists plunder again



San Salvador Atenco commemorates 10 years since the repression against opponents to the airport

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:09 am



San Salvador Atenco commemorates 10 years since the repression against opponents to the airport


  • Two murders, torture, harassment of women and other abuses by the authorities remain unpunished
  • The FPDT movement is a symbol of the defence of human rights, say Miguel Concha Malo and Gilberto Lopez y Rivas



atenco-1Father Miguel Concha Malo officiated at a mass in memory of the individuals who died on May 3 and 4, 2006, in the repression against the San Salvador Atenco ejidatarios who opposed the construction of an airport. Photo: Javier Salinas


By: Javier Salinas Cesáreo, Correspondent

San Salvador Atenco, Mexico, 4th May, 2016

Yesterday, the Peoples Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) commemorated the tenth anniversary of the repression and occupation of the community of San Salvador Atenco by federal forces. On that occasion they arrested more than 200 campesinos, dozens of women suffered sexual abuse and two young men were murdered.

The FPDT confirmed that they would continue fighting until the project for a New Mexico City International Airport (NAICM) is cancelled.

“The torture that we experienced during the long night of May 3 to 4, 2006, is still fresh in our memory. Saying that 10 years have passed is only a reference for not forgetting all the pain and aggravation that we still have and relive today. The repression and political vengeance to which they subjected us still makes us angry,” said Adela Romero Núñez, a member of the FPDT.

On May 3, 2006, state police beat up campesinos from the Frente who defended a group of flower vendors from eviction from the Texcoco municipal market. Their leader, Ignacio del Valle Medina, was arrested during that action.

Hundreds of residents and ejidatarios blocked the Texcoco-Lechería Highway and police arrested dozens. In the early morning of May 4, thousands of police agents burst into the community. They threw tear gas, broke into houses and arrested hundreds of ejidatarios from the FPDT, who five years earlier had succeeded in achieving the suspension of construction of the airport.

The Atenco campesinos demanded that the material and intellectual authors of the repression be punished, as well as those responsible for the murder of the Autonomous National University of Mexico student, Ollín Alexis Benhumea Ramírez, and of the youth Francisco Javier Cortés. They warned that those who ordered the repression now occupy high positions, among them President Enrique Peña Nieto, then governor of the state of Mexico.

For the last 15 years, they added, they have faced the threat of the dispossession of their lands for the construction of the airport. “The Mayo Rojo (Red May) of 2006 was a cruel and condemnable revenge. Now, in 2016, the government insists on constructing its air terminal on our lands,” they said.

They warned that they will not allow “more humiliation” and they will fight legally and with mobilizations to defend their lands against “the project of death.”

The commemoration started with a mass officiated by the priest Miguel Concha Malo and with a press conference by the Atenco residents. Among those in attendance were the mothers of Martín Getsemany Sánchez, Jorge Antonio Tizapa and Abel García, three of the 43 Ayotzinapa students disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero.

Miguel Concha stated that the FPDT has shared for a decade “hope and the fight for the defence of territories,” and is a symbol of “human rights defence in the face of violent repression” against the community.

“We don’t forget those who try to grab our land and also our hope; they have made and continue to use State forces for repression. We don’t forget that now justice must exist for the two murdered youths, the more than 30 sexually abused women and the hundreds of people who suffered repression; we cannot forget and that is why we are here today,” he said.

Gilberto López y Rivas also participated in the name of the Committee in Defence of Mother Earth. He considered that the FPDT has become an “example of all the struggles in the country which are defending nature, land and all forms of life; and also, Atenco has been a symbol in defence of human rights.”

At the same time, he warned that the work of the Cypsa Vise company is causing tension and polarization in Tocuila, Texcoco municipality, where a superhighway to the airport is being built.

The commemoration continued in the afternoon with cultural and musical activities that the local PRI municipal council sought to boycott with an activity to celebrate the “Day of the Child,” for which it placed dozens of horns at full volume and a boxing ring on the esplanade.


Based, with thanks, on an English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



May 4, 2016

Mexico Remembers 2006 Atenco Tragedy When Police Raped, Killed

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:36 pm



Mexico Remembers 2006 Atenco Tragedy When Police Raped, Killed


atenco_10-10.jpg_1718483346Farmworkers from San Salvador Atenco commemorate 10 years since police violently attacked community.


On May 3 and May 4 of 2006, police displayed brutal violence killing two people, injuring 50 and raping 26 women, while also arresting 200.

In the first day of two days of events, members of the grassroots organizations People’s Front in Defence of the Land, or FPDT, as well as other residents of the semi-rural community of San Salvador Atenco, commemorated 10 years since police violently carried out a 10-hour operation that left more than 200 arrested, 50 injured, 2 dead and 26 women raped.

In the town square of San Salvador Atenco, the FPDT held a mass to remember the victims of the 3,000-member police operation ordered by then Mexico State Governor Enrique Peña Nieto, who is now the president, to detain members of the FPDT after they organized protests to defend local flower vendors facing evictions in early May of 2006.

“It was ugly and horrible, I was left with swelling around the brain, broken ribs, and later I had to hide in the community as they sought to arrest me,” Edan Espinoza, active member of the FPDT and victim to the excessive police violence carried out on both traffic days, told teleSUR.

Adan, as well as the other FPDT spokesperson, argued that the degree of violence displayed by the authorities was a sign of their disdain towards the community’s resistance to state sponsored public-private infrastructure projects, such as a 2001 decree by former President Vicente Fox to usurp the collectively owned lands — known as ejidos in Mexico — of San Salvador Atenco to build a new international airport.

“Although they have tried to enter our lands, including being accompanied by the army to build their projects, we are organized and implement our ‘uses and customs’ and communal practices to halt the project, to say enough!” said Marta Lopez, long-time member of the FPDT.

On Sept. 2, 2014, during his second state of the union speech, Peña Nieto, announced renewed plans to build a new and larger international airport on the federal lands adjacent to Salvador Atenco.

In fear of their lands being affected or the community being evicted in its entirety, 27 farmworkers from Atenco filed an injunction that was granted by the Ninth District Court in the State of Mexico last week that the initial highways and roads being built for the new airport project must be suspended until guarantee is given that this project will not directly affect the ejidal lands of the community.

While the community members of San Salvador Atenco continue to resist incursions on their land from urbanization or mega-projects they also say their activities to commemorate 10 years since the police repression is also to protest a recently approved Mexico State law.

Dubbed by activists as the Eruviel Law, named after the current state governor, Eruviel Avila, the law grants state authorities the use of lethal force, electrical discharges, and unrestricted discharges of aerosols or pepper sprays when the authorities consider a protest to be illegal or ‘dangerous’.

Many activists and members of the FPDT, believe the implementation of the law is to repress activists and social protest as well as to legitimate the unmeasured use of force by the authorities.

They believe the measure is being implemented now as protests against the construction of the airport near San Salvador Atenco increase, as well as other protests in other parts of the state where farmworkers or Indigenous communities seek to peacefully defend their territory from large scale infrastructure projects.–20160503-0041.html



May 1, 2016

Atenco: Residents remove construction materials from ejido lands

Filed under: Autonomy, Displacement, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:18 pm



Residents remove construction materials from ejido lands 

“All we are doing is defending our land”


Atenco Francisco Navarro_Somoselmedio 

Ricardo Ortiz

Somos el Medio

On Saturday 23 April at about 11 in the morning, residents from San Salvador Atenco and members of the Community Front in Defence of the Land (or in Spanish “Frente del Pueblo en Defensa de la Tierra” FPDT) went to ejido lands to denounce the arrival of heavy machinery with which to begin building the new airport, the so-called “Future City”.

Prior to this, residents had removed construction materials from the ejido San Miguel Tocuila, as well as digging up pipes which were marking out the area where a road paved with volcanic rock was to be built. This road would have facilitated the access for vehicles delivering construction materials despite a protection order for the area.

“All we are doing is defending our land, … And let us be clear:  we’re not going to give them a bloody metre,” stated an Atenco resident as the vehicles with building material were arriving.

At the same time, residents declared their rejection of the “Eruviel Law” which permits the police to use fire arms during public assemblies, meetings or demonstrations which might become violent. The law is named for the PRI governor Eruviel Ávila.

The airport project includes building new runways each with capacity to handle 300,000 flights a year, and a transportation hub for mainly transnational passengers and goods.


Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service



April 15, 2016

Army Invades the Ejidal Lands of San Salvador Atenco

Filed under: Corporations, Human rights, Indigenous, Repression — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:47 pm



Army Invades the Ejidal Lands of San Salvador Atenco


atenco invade


In the morning of April 12, while the police forces of the State of Mexico continued advancing at the other end of the state, in San Francisco Xochicuautla, a convoy of military entered the ejidal lands of the community of San Salvador Atenco to escort a gang of workers from one of the private companies in charge of the construction of the new airport in Mexico City.

Community members who have resisted the expropriation of their lands for more than ten years told Desinformémonos that the day before, April 11, an official of the company had already arrived in the communal lands, at the base of Cerro Huatepec, with the intention to “carry our measurements.” Facing the intrusion, villagers moved in and responded.

“The compañerxs told them that they could not be on communal lands because we are in litigation, which does not allow them to enter the land. They said that we must understand that they are workers and have nothing to do with the conflict, but I order to stay out of the conflict, we asked them to leave, and they did.”

When they returned at noon on Tuesday, April 12, army personnel escorted them.

Does this intrusion have anything to do with the advance of the resistance in Xochicuautla?

“Yes, that is how we understand it. The highway project is part of the communication link that they expect will lead to the airport that they want to build here. They know that in Atenco we will always give a response, to this intrusion like we did to the attack in Xochicuautla. The reaction of the people here was that they were troubled by the imposition of one of the most unpopular projects of Enrique Peña Nieto. We do not want them here.”

Like the Otomí community, the Peoples Front in Defence of the Earth (FPDT) that Atenco gave birth to at the beginning of the struggle, are participating in the Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth that was launched last Sunday and are a key part of the group Fire of Dignified Resistance (Fuego de la Digna Resistencia) which coordinates the struggles in the state of Mexico that are resisting the recently approved “Eruviel Law” that “regulates” the use of lethal force in public demonstrations. It furthermore allows other elements that until now were prohibited (such as appliances to give an electric shock) whose use will depend solely on the police hierarchies carrying out the operation, leaving political power in the shadows, which always has a to pay cost when ordering repression against a public demonstration.

In the case of Atenco, they have also won an injunction (amparo) that stops the construction on the disputed lands. But neither are they ignoring what is happening at the moment in Xochicuautla: the Otomí community has spent two days resisting the police attack, led by the department of highway systems of the State of Mexico and members of the business HIGA, that entered into the communal lands, violating the judgment of protection (amparo) filed by the indigenous community against the presidential decree of July 2015. The judgment won in March of this year ordered the retraction of the expropriation of the lands to construct part of the route of the highway between Toluca and Naucalpan, “until the underlying conflict is solved” between the community and the government.

With that violation in mind, the community of Atenco this afternoon began daily patrols, to prevent further intrusions into the ejido lands. “We call for solidarity organizations to join the actions like this and others that we will communicate later.”

The Centre of Human Rights Zeferino Ladrillero is already present in both towns, where they are analysing the situations, “it is no coincidence that these events occurred on successive days. The military presence in Atenco demonstrates that the federal government is also participating in the coordination of the repression. This is an attempt to legitimize by means of force, the imposition of the Eruviel Law in the State of Mexico.”

The Mexican Commission for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights brought the “incident” that took place in Xochicuautla before a judge who ruled a suspension of the project in order to seek resolution of the matter.

Meanwhile, the Zeferino Ladrillero sent an urgent communication to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights asking them to issue precautionary measures in favour of the indigenous population of San Francisco Xochicuautla and also sent them a reminder note that this had already been requested for San Salvador Atenco.

“From Zeferino Ladrillero we estimate that these attacks are a shift in the strategy of the government of the state of Mexico to bring about the imposition of the “Eruviel Law”, within the 90 days they have a legal deadline to do so. What they are looking for is a physical confrontation between the people and the organizations of the state in order to gain favourable arguments for the need for a law like this that violates human rights, that allows an attack with live ammunition on an unarmed civil population. We warn that, just like Xochicuautla and Atenco they will target the communities of Tecámex, Coyotepec and San Francisco Magú. We remain alert.”



 Photos: FPDT

From a translation by Palabras Rebeldes



Disturbances in Indigenous Territories over the Implementation of Megaprojects: San Francisco Xochicuautla and Atenco

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, Human rights, sipaz — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:46 am



Disturbances in Indigenous Territories over the Implementation of Megaprojects: San Francisco Xochicuautla and Atenco


Unrest.pngDemolition of one of the homes in Xochicuautla protected by the riot police. Photo: @FJXochicuautla.


In recent days there have been at least two major disturbances in indigenous territories to allow the entrance of megaprojects.

In one case, some 700 members of the police forced entrance into the Otomi-Ñatho community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, in the municipality of Lerma, Mexico State, to permit the entrance of bulldozers of a construction company. This community has been resisting the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway and through popular mobilization and the granting of two legal decisions won the definitive suspension of a presidential decree to expropriate almost 38 hectares of their lands. Despite this, the police force entered the community offering protection to the company, which demolished the Peace and Dignified Resistance Camp and a number of houses which were on the planned highway route. According to statements from the spokesperson of the community, Jose Luis Fernandez, 25 people were evicted and beaten, among them a woman who is almost 80 years old.

As Proceso pointed out, the work “is carried out by Autovan-Teya, a subsidiary of Grupo Higa, which belongs to Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantu, one of the main contractors of the Federal Government and whose financial dealings in tax havens were uncovered through the investigation of the Panama Papers.” Furthermore, the corporate group has been identified by various media sources as the main contractor of Mexico State since it was governed by the current President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, and as the “supplier of the luxury residences of the leader’s wife and of Luis Videgaray Caso, Minister of Finance and Public Credit”, according to La Jornada.

In another case, the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land (Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra – FPDT) reported the forced entrance of an army tank into the communally owned lands of Atenco, Mexico State, escorting a group of workers “from a private company that carried out studies for the construction of the new airport. This was all done illegally and intimidating the inhabitants who had met on becoming aware of the incursion. Nevertheless, we managed to expel them pacifically.”

Due to this, Jose Antonio Lara Duque, general director of Zeferino Ladrillero Centre for Human Rights (Centro de Derechos Humanos Zeferino Ladrillero – CDHZL) stated: “We believe that, given the facts, the local government is trying to justify the Eruviel Law. That is to say, provoke the peoples who have been defending their land, territory and natural resources. If anybody falls into [the trap of] provocation, it would legitimize the use of lethal force to control the people who are defending themselves.” It should be remembered that the struggle of the people of Atenco against the construction of an airport on their lands was violently repressed. In the protests, two youths lost their lives, more than 200 were arrested, and at least 26 women were sexually tortured by the police.



March 25, 2016

Pronouncement Against the New “Atenco Law”

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:24 pm



Pronouncement Against the New “Atenco Law”

Declaration against the new “Ley Atenco” (Atenco Law) which violates the right to freedom of expression and free social protest

22nd March, 2016


The Digna Fuego states its position about the ‪#‎LeyAtenco

Faced with the approval of so-called ‪#‎LeyAtenco the people, towns and organizations that make up el Fuego de la Digna Resistencia (the Fire of Dignified Resistance), declare the following:

We denounce the opacity with which the local congress of the State of Mexico conducts itself. No political party dared to make the bill public until the very moment of its approval, just before the Easter holidays. This initiative was kept secret to try, naively, to stop anyone from doing anything to counterbalance the law.

It is clear that the object of this absurd law is to repress with impunity the peoples, towns, and organizations of the State of Mexico who are defending the land, territory, natural resources like the water and the forest, indigenous autonomy, and human rights in general against the structural reforms and the megaprojects. However, it should also be clear that we are those who, while continuing to defend what we defend now, will do away with these authoritarian and repressive attacks.

We have asked the Zeferino Ladrillero human rights centre to carry out a detailed study of the #leyatenco to enable a better understanding of its scope and our denunciation of what it implies. We know that if we let such a law pass in the State of Mexico, it would permit its introduction across the entire country.

We will hold a consultation and internal discussion about this new law in our decision-making spaces, but we announce now that it will be Monday March 28th, 2016 when we make public our overall position, as well as legal, political and social actions that we plan to carry out in the future. Therefore, we ask the mass media and the free and alternative media to remain attentive as to the place and time of the press conference we will carry out.

El Fuego de la Digna Resistencia

Twitter:@DignoFuego Facebook: Fuego de la Digna Resistencia


Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra – Atenco
Administración Autónoma del Agua Potable de Coyotepec A. C.
Alianza Única del Valle
Apaxco Comunidades por la Vida
Coordinación de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa de la Energía Eléctrica
Delegación Indígena Otomí San Francisco Magú
Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra San Francisco Xochicuautla
Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan
Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra San Lorenzo Ayotuxco
Frente Popular 9 de Junio en Defensa de los Recursos Naturales A. C.
Magisterio Mexiquense Contra la Reforma Educativa – CNTE
Sistema de Agua Potable de Tecámac A. C.
Vecinos Unidos del Poniente


Translated by Palabras Rebeldes




May 6, 2015

Atenco Victims of Police Abuse Seek Truth and Justice, Again Reject Government Payment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:45 pm


Atenco Victims of Police Abuse Seek Truth and Justice, Again Reject Government Payment

Gloria Leticia Díaz

Proceso, 4th May, 2013

Nine years after the repression in San Salvador Atenco [State of Mexico, near Mexico City], 11 women who are litigating the case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reported that Enrique Peña Nieto’s government is slowing the process and trying to mislead members of the Commission.

At a press conference, three of the victims and their representatives from the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centre (PRODH Centre) announced that in the past few days, the State of Mexico government stated that it had established a trust to cover compensation for the 11 women who reported sexual assault to the IACHR.

Following this, Mario Patrón Sánchez, director of the PRODH Centre, and Stephanie Brewer, the lawyer of the case, indicated that the announcement from [Governor] Eruviel Ávila’s government intends to convince IACHR members of the State of Mexico’s supposed disposition to reach an amicable settlement with the victims.

Not only that, it also aims to avoid submitting an in-depth report that shows the operational chain of command in which Peña Nieto’s responsibility could rise to the surface. MV Note: Peña Nieto was governor at the time and has acknowledged he gave the order for the state police action.

Since 2008, when they lodged their complaint with the IACHR, Bárbara Italia Méndez, Edith Rosales Gutiérrez, and Norma Jiménez Osorio, three of the women who were assaulted in May 2006, have made public their decision to reject a negotiated solution. In March 2013, they reaffirmed their position before the Commission at a public hearing in Washington.

Brewer stated that despite the women’s position, representatives of the Mexican government continued to approach their lawyers, sent letters to the IACHR insisting on an amicable settlement, and “repeatedly asked not to submit the in-depth report because the State was going to solve the case internally.”

The lawyer emphasized that the state government announced the establishment of an “ad hoc compensation fund for the women reporting the case through the Institute for the Assistance of Victims in the State of Mexico, which we consider to be pressuring and harassment.”

On page 21 of the State of Mexico Government Gazette, dated March 19, an edict was published to notify the 11 women and PRODH Centre of an “assistance fund created by the Government of the State of Mexico for the victims of the events that occurred on May 3 and 4, 2006, in San Salvador Atenco.”

The fund, whose amounts have not been disclosed, “is available (to the victims) at the offices of the Institute for Victims of Crime of the Attorney General of the State of Mexico” in Metepec. The edict is signed by its Director General, Marcela Mora Córdoba.


Edith Rosales considered the edict “offensive”, not to mention, threatening to the women by making the public think they are going to receive funds.

“Their intention is to pay in order to end the process of struggle. We will not sell our dignity; they must provide real justice and define where the chain of command is. It must reach he who boasted [Peña Nieto] about having implemented the operation, because until now no one in the chain of command has been arrested or prosecuted,” she emphasized.

In March 2013, Bárbara Méndez was responsible for reading the letter signed by 11 women at the Washington hearing, which repeated to the Mexican State that “there will be no amicable or negotiated settlement.”

“It’s not about money; rather it is about dignity and justice. We will not stop moving forward until we get both. Already there are more than 11; in this fight, we have managed to strengthen our side with other women who were sexually assaulted by members of the military, police and navy,” she said.

Additionally, Norma Jiménez indicated that even though all the complainants could not attend the press conference, there is an agreement between the 11 to continue with the proceedings before the IACHR. They will continue “despite having received blows for nine years from the Mexican State, who have wanted us to give up.”

According to Stephanie Brewer, the intention behind publishing the edict was to “put pressure on the women, delay the process before the IACHR and confuse them. They expect to convince the IACHR that there is a dialogue and negotiation in order to block the in-depth report.”

The lawyer stated that one of the women’s objectives is that in the in-depth report, guidelines for achieving “structural changes to end sexual assault” be included, and that the IACHR may decide to bring the case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, if the recommendations issued in its resolution are not met.

Noting that it is likely that the conclusions of the agency will be made public in either of the two sessions to be held this year (in July and October), Mario Patron indicated that in the report of the UN rapporteur on torture, Juan Méndez, he recognized that in Mexico, “the degree of impunity for sexual assault is even higher than that used to incriminate people in crimes.”

Similarly, he noted that during the operation in May 2006, 47 women were arrested: 26 of them reported sexual assault, but only 11 decided to continue the fight for the punishment of those responsible.

According to the director of PRODH Centre, “the State of Mexico is not interested in justice, truth or reparations. It is only interested in dismissing a case in which the president and former governor is involved. This campaign to delay the proceedings revolves around the logic of trying to buy the victims’ silence.”

Translated by Amanda Coe



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