dorset chiapas solidarity

February 24, 2017

“There will be no wall:” Sioux, Yaqui and Tohono O’odham Indigenous struggles unite from Standing Rock to the Sierra Norte of Puebla

Filed under: Corporations, Dams, Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:52 am



“There will be no wall:” Sioux, Yaqui and Tohono O’odham

Indigenous struggles unite from Standing Rock to the Sierra Norte of Puebla



Photos by Diógenes Rabello / Hijos de la Tierra

From the Editors of Desinformémonos

 February 20, 2017

Trump’s “xenophobic and aggressive policy against Mexico” has placed the Native peoples of the United States and Mexico on alert. They declared that: “there will be no wall!” The struggle of indigenous peoples is added to on both sides of the border, and in Cuetzalan, in the Sierra Norte of Puebla, with the presence of representatives of indigenous peoples from New Mexico and Dakota, who all ratify the defence of their lands and territories.

Tohono O’odham, Sioux and different indigenous tribes are against the policies of Donald Trump and they promise to go as far as the ultimate consequences in defence of their territory.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its defenders have pledged to resist Donald Trump’s executive order that authorizes the construction of an oil pipeline in Dakota and they are thinking about using legal measures, calling for civil disobedience and installing a resistance camp to protect the river water.

“President Trump has the legal obligation to respect the rights that the treaties recognize and guarantee that the whole process for the construction of the oil pipeline is fair and reasonable,” explains Dave Archambault, chief of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Others have promised that they will express their solidarity with protests throughout the country. “We need a massive civil disobedience movement and citizens expressing their solidarity with Standing Rock,” explains Kandi Mossett, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes.


“The Trump administration is provoking a revolution that will make us stronger than ever.”




The Sioux peoples already faced the Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who they classify as “the lord of drones and wars.” The Sioux, together with the Mdewakanton Dakota and Dine peoples, achieved a victory in 2016 when they obtained the cancellation of Obama’s decree to construct an oil pipeline in Dakota. However, last month Trump decided to revive the decree with which is approved the construction of this work that they consider predatory to the environment and destructive to its ancient habitat.

Now, the Sioux once again reject the measure and make a call to mobilize, not just against the oil pipeline, but also against the “border wall” that Donald Trump wants to construct.

The Tohono O’odham tribe of Arizona, which controls more than two and a half million acres, in part bordering with Mexico, expressed its absolute rejection of the wall that Trump seeks to construct because it goes against ancestral customs.

This nation currently has 28,000 members. Prior to the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo that provoked the loss of more than half of Mexican territory to the United States in the 19th Century, the Tohono O’odham moved freely between the states of Sonora and Arizona. Now, they denounce that United States immigration police have unleashed a war against them, therefore they warned that they would mobilize against the border wall they want to construct.

The Yaqui Tribe shares territory in the state of Sonora in Mexico and in Arizona, in the United States. It was also recognized as a nation in 1978, and they have shown their support for the “anti-wall” movement. “Over my dead body,” is one of the slogans of the border tribes that share territory with Mexico. ”It divides our ancestral land and families that have crossed freely since before the borderline was drawn.”

“We arrived before nations and borders divided us,” an indigenous leader pointed out after Trump insulted members of the Hopi tribe with the title of “Pocahontas.”

Against the Donald Trump government, the wall, forced deportations and other xenophobic policies, Mexican and American workers must unify their demands with those of the Sioux and Tohono O’odham peoples. Bring down the wall by constructing resistance with workers, indigenous peoples and women on both sides of the border.

From Standing Rock to the Sierra Norte of Puebla: indigenous peoples join together in defence of territory

The campesino, indigenous and mestizo peoples of the Northeast Sierra of Puebla have demonstrated, once again, their capacity for organization and self-determination.

As is now the custom in this region, every other month, and now on February 18, hundreds of people came from 173 towns and 16 municipalities to gather together in the 18th Assembly in Defence of Territory to reaffirm the power to decide on their lives and the destiny of their territories.

The meeting was held in the municipal capital of Cuetzalan, [1] where its residents wage an important fight against the imposition of an electric substation and high-tension wires. According to what the web page Hijos de la Tierra has reported, those installations are destined to favour mining megaprojects, fracking and hydroelectric dams in la region.

Representatives of social movement struggles were present from the Indigenous Peoples Front in Defence of Mother Earth, of San Francisco Xochicuautla community, the Maya community of Hopelchén, Campeche that struggles against the planting of transgenic seeds, students from the rural teachers colleges, mothers from Ayotzinapa and two representatives of the Native peoples of New Mexico and South Dakota in the United States, who organize and defend their Standing Rock territory and rivers against the “Dakota Access” pipeline impelled once again by Donald Trump.

The municipal presidency of Cuetzalan and representatives of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE, its initials in Spanish) were invited to the meeting so that they could provide information about the motive and objectives of the electric project that they want to develop at that place. They did not attend however and therefore the assembly decided to continue stopping the construction work and to maintain the encampment installed since the month of November.

[1] Cuetzalan, Puebla is one of Mexico’s “magical towns.” See:


Originally Published in Spanish by Desinformémonos

Monday, February 20, 2017

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



February 7, 2017

CNI/EZLN in Solidarity with Rarámuri People

Filed under: CNI, Corporations, Dams, Displacement, Ethics, Frayba, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:05 am



CNI/EZLN in Solidarity with Rarámuri People


Joint Communique from the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation in Solidarity with the Rarámuri People

Stop the assassinations of Rarámuri Indigenous Compañeros Defending Their Territory!raramuri

Indigenous Territories of Mexico

February 4, 2017

To the people of Choreachi,

To all of the Rarámuri People,

To the Indigenous Peoples,

To the people of Mexico,

To the peoples of the world,

We learned today of the murders of Indigenous Rarámuri compañeros Juan Ontiveros Ramos and Isidro Baldenegro, both of the community of Choreachi in the municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, yesterday February 2, and 15 days ago, respectively.

We urgently denounce these new acts of barbarity against compañeros known for their commitment to the struggle of their people for the recuperation of their territory, which was taken over 40 years ago by large landowners/ranchers and organized crime.

As the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation, we are in solidarity with the Rarámuri People who have been so hurt by these murders, now totaling 18 homicides committed against their communities since 1973, four of them in the last year.

Compañeros and compañeras, you are not alone! We accompany you in your pain, we open our hearts to the tireless struggle you are waging against organized crime and the landowners backed by the bad governments, and we offer you our support as indigenous peoples of this country who are organizing ourselves to defend our lives and our territories.










February 5, 2017

The gasolinazo and the protests

Filed under: Corporations, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:19 am



The gasolinazo and the protests


010marcha_chiapas_gasolinazo_1Banner in a Chiapas march: “We are fed up with: 1. the hikes in fuel prices; 2. the cost of electricity; and 3. the price of gas. But we’re more fed up with the coward who does nothing. Wake up mother fucker!


By: Luis Hernández Navarro

The image has been reproduced a thousand times as a symbol of the times. At the exit of a department store sacked by a plebeian multitude, a young man carries an enormous new screen on his back.

With that screen, he recovers from the offence of being needy in a country in which being so is not only a material tragedy but also the symbol of social defeat.

Installed in the perpetual fiesta of consumption, the lords of money exhibit their fortune without modesty. They exhibit their luxuries without any modesty, as material evidence of their success in life. And, the pariahs, without an entry pass to the spectacle of extravagance, watch the ostentation and opulence of the powerful from their humble homes through the window of television programmes, until the opportunity arrives to take their revenge.

With that screen, its new owner has the illusion that he has achieved slipping into the banquet of the wealthy. The robbery’s harvest, two or three times larger than the almost 10 million television sets that the federal government gave away with the pretext of the 2015 analogue blackout, doesn’t commit either his vote or his loyalty, as happened during that year’s elections.

That television is also his personal retaliation to the politicians’ endless swindles. If the ex- governors of Veracruz, Chihuahua, Quintana Roo, Coahuila and Nuevo León embezzled from state coffers without suffering any punishment, why not keep an item without having to pay for it?

He obtained that screen by breaking the law. But perhaps those above don’t do it like that? He snatched it in a strike of luck and audacity, in an act of rage and rancour accumulated for years, which the gasolinazo took the lid off.

That is an explanation for the waves of looting that have shaken several regions of the country, like the state of Mexico, Veracruz, Hidalgo and Nuevo León. However there are those who put that explanation in doubt and offer another: that of a plot. Some say that public functionaries organized the pillage as part of a variant of the shock doctrine to justify the intervention of public force against those in disagreement with the increase in gas prices, and to discourage the popular protests.

This strategy of fear combines disinformation campaigns in the social networks, public calls to rob warehouses, the absence of public force guarding businesses, government agents and police that offer money and impunity for committing robberies, and the action of provocateurs like Antorcha Campesina.

Abundant testimony and evidence have been published in the social networks that seem to corroborate this hypothesis, above all in the state of Mexico and in Puebla. In more than one video police can be seen stealing merchandise.

Has this strategy had success? Yes and no. Yes, because in different sectors of the population a climate of fear and uncertainty has been created, which has inhibited their incorporation into the protests. Yes, because groups of impresarios that were opposed from the beginning to the gasolinazo now demand a heavy hand for calming down the protests.

No, because, despite everything, far from diminishing, the social discontent continues expanding and shows no signs of weakening in the short-term. The relationship between the number of protests and looting is, according to a recap of journalistic notes, at least five to one. And no because the pillage has expanded beyond the control of its hypothetical sponsors: more than 800 businesses according to the Concanaco (Mexico’s National Chamber of Commerce).

Then, are the robberies of large warehouses actions orchestrated by government actors or are they expressions of social rancour? They are probably both. Although in the beginning they may have been induced from some sphere of power, they are also an expression of a genuine and accumulated social discontent.

Looting is the most visible face of the popular insurrection under way, but it’s far from being the only one. Meetings, marches, liberation of toll booths on superhighways and blockages of gas stations, highways, railroads and centrals of Pemex have been carried out all over the country. Expressions of solidarity abound. The big rig drivers that in Chihuahua obstructed vehicle movement say, half in jest half seriously, that they had never eaten as well as they do now because of the popular support: meat at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The protest against the gasolinazo is an unprecedented act, generalized, amorphous, spontaneous, lacking set direction and organizational centre. In the acts, we’re dealing with multiple regional protests, each one different than the others.

In the first line of opposition are big rig drivers, transport drivers, taxi drivers, all those whose work is directly associated with the consumption of fuel. They are the ones who have organized many of the roadblocks. They have paid a high price. Many of their compañeros have been arrested.

But, irrigation farmers, campesinos, self-convoked citizens, housewives, professionals, parish priests and teachers also participate in the days of struggle. The gasolinazo hit a part of the “middle class” at the waterline and launched it into the public squares. The awesome Monterrey demonstration tells the story.

The block in power is fractured. The governors of Sonora, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas ask to reconsider the increase in gas prices. The governor of Jalisco went even further and reached an agreement with Enrique Alfaro [1] and Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizen Movement). [2] With an even more energetic tone, the Conference of Mexican Bishops (Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano, CEM) did the same thing. And just in case something is missing, in what is the cherry on the cake on the cake of this rupture, Coparmex (Mexican Employers Association) rejected Peña Nieto’s proposed economic package.

Disconcerted, a good part of the traditional opposition leaders, social leaders as well as political leaders, have been bypassed. Their astonishment comes from the hand of the governmental inability to comprehend what it has in front of it. New popular local leaderships have emerged in the heat of the fight.

The January 7 marches, in at least 25 states, would seem to be an indicator of the advance of national protest. In them, it went from the demand to lower the price of fuels to the demand for the President’s resignation. Those demonstrations, some large and others small, could be a point of inflection in the ability to organize resistance.

[1] Enrique Alfaro is the Mayor of Guadalajara, Jalisco and a member of Movimiento Ciudadano.

[2] Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizen Movement) is a registered political party in Mexico.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, January 10, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




January 27, 2017

The FPDT Again Denounces the Intrusion of Machinery with Protection of the Army and Federal Police

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, Women — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:29 am



The FPDT Again Denounces the Intrusion of Machinery with Protection of the Army and Federal Police




Today, January 22, crews of workers from the companies CIPSA and Pinfra entered the ejido of Atenco with two bulldozers intent on carrying out the construction of the highway Pirámides-Texcoco. With the protection of a military tank and federal police, the companies again violated the definitive suspension awarded against this project that is part of the new airport of Mexico City. This took place one day after sharing testimony of human rights violations against members of the FDPT and of the habitants of the communities on the Eastern shore of Lake Texcoco with a special reporter of the UN.

The ejido members and habitants of the communities went to the place of intrusion to demand the fulfilment of the suspension and the respect of their human rights. They talked with the workers to remove the machinery. The machine returned to the company with the condition that the land would be restored to its place and the policemen would not be involved.

We call on all social organizations, media, and people in solidarity with our cause in defence of mother earth to be alert to the continued provocations, actions of intimidation, and aggressions against our communities. These actions operate in complicity with businesses and local, state and federal authorities to impose the plundering involved in the new airport project of Mexico City. We appeal to the respect of our human rights and to the respect of due process in each one of the different cases of appeals and denunciations that we have opened against these abuses.

Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra



December 15, 2016

From the Northwest of England: Pronouncement of Manchester Zapatista Collective in support of the Sexta Bachajón

Filed under: CNI, Corporations, Displacement, La Sexta, Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:07 pm



From the Northwest of England: Pronouncement of Manchester Zapatista Collective in support of the Sexta Bachajón


Week of Global Action in Solidarity with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón from the 4th to the 10th of December, 2016.



From northwest England we send love, solidarity, rage, respect, tenderness and strength to the companions of the Sexta Bachajón. Since the 4th of December we have posted daily news on the struggle of the Sexta Bachajón and the week of solidarity through the Facebook network of the Manchester Zapatista Collective. Following a call from the MZC, these posts were re-sent by many people connected to this page.

On 10th December the Anarchist Book Fair was held in Salford and Manchester, sister cities in North-West England. Individuals and collectives from throughout the North-Western region, including the cities of Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Bradford, and Liverpool, and the Welsh region, all came to the fair. Leaflets were distributed on the situation faced by the compass of the Sexta Bachajón, the case was reported in a talk given by MZC on the current situation of the Sixth and the Zapatista communities, and the creation of a poster was encouraged, using the materials available (that is, paper and coloured pens …) where people and groups who participated in the fair left their messages of solidarity for the Sexta Bachajón.


Land, justice and freedom for the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

No more aggression against adherents to the Sexta!

Freedom and justice for the prisoners of the Sexta Bachajón

Long live the EZLN! Long live the CNI! Long live the autonomous Zapatista communities!


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



December 14, 2016

Communities in Chiapas Say No to the Environmental Gendarmerie.



Communities in Chiapas Say No to the Environmental Gendarmerie.



They consider it a strategy to destroy their communities.

Mario Marlo, Noe Pineda

Ocosingo, Chiapas, 8th of December 2016.

As a result of the Forum for the Defence of the Earth, Life and Territory, which took place on the 5th of December 2016, communities of the Lacandon Jungle and Montes Azules rejected the introduction of the Environmental Gendarmerie in their territory, as they consider it to be just another way Transnational companies are trying to make an inroad into the area. The communities Amador Hernández, Galilea, Benito Juárez, Pichucalco, Chapultepec, Candelaria, San Gregrorio, Betania, Santa Lucía, Nueva Ibarra, San Jacinto, San Francisco, San Salvador, Israel, Barrio Guadalupe and representatives of the 23 regions of the municipality of Ocosingo argued that the real objective of this security force is the destruction of their communities, cultures and organisations, as well as the violation of their rights and the beginning of the destruction of the Lacandon Jungle and Montes Azules.

They say that the Gendarmerie allow entry into the area to Transnational companies whose principal objective is the extraction of natural resources for the benefit of big business. They explained that the real contamination that exists on the planet comes from the world’s big cities, because of vehicle pollution, chemical substances, forestry exploitation and big monopolies that produce on an irrational scale.

In light of this, they questioned the step taken by the Government since they explained that the activities that they carry out in this area simply obey the subsistence needs of the people who live there. “Since the foundation of each of the communities located in the Lacandon Jungle and Montes Azules, we have created our own means of environmental conservation, such as the implementation of rules that include fines for those residents who cause unjustifiable harm to the ecosystem.”


They suggested that if the authorities concerned do not take their inconformity into consideration, they will take action against the Environmental Gendarmerie until they are heard.

The Gendarmerie plans to set up in 61 locations throughout the country, including the Lacandon Jungle, the reserves at Montes Azules and of the Monarch Butterfly, the Pico de Orizaba (the highest mountain in Mexico), the Nevado de Toluca (the largest stratovolcano in central Mexico) and Tulum.


Translated by Ruby Zajac for the UK Zapatista Translation Service



From Mexico City, Mexico: Pronouncement From John Gibler In Support Of The Sexta Bachajón

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, Corporations, Displacement, Tourism, water — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:49 pm


From Mexico City, Mexico: Pronouncement from John Gibler in support of the Sexta Bachajón 

Week of Worldwide Action in Solidarity with the Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, from 4th to 10th December 2016



Capitalism and its bad governments, as is well-known, have an infamous ability to turn beauty into destruction and pain. Murder, displaced communities, fallen trees, and poisoned water and land, all for so called “luxury hotels”. Everything just to be able to sell tickets to a parade of tourists who will pay to take their picture in front of Agua Azul waterfalls, beneath the subjective gaze that seeks conquest, and further disconnection from natural life.

Also well-known is the strength of the people’s ability to live among beauty, plant their cornfield beside the waterfalls, enjoy and care for life, water, and land with the work and affection typical of farming life.

And there is the struggle. The women and men, compañeras and compañeros, from San Sebastián Bachajón, are there resisting invasion, struggling against displacement, while taking care of life.

I send you all my respect and hugs, compañeros and compañeras.

The struggle continues!

John Gibler



November 2, 2016

Coca Cola is killing indigenous people

Filed under: Corporations, Indigenous, water — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:44 pm



Coca Cola is killing indigenous people



By Administrador Regeneración on 5 October, 2016

An alarming epidemic of overweight and obesity is causing serious illness among indigenous populations. Big soft drinks companies like Coca Cola-Femsa and Pepsi-Pesico – with their junk food products – are the cause.

This September, a group of students studying nutrition at the Tec de Monterrey university have been carrying out blood tests among the indigenous Mazahua inhabitants from San Jose del Rincon, in Mexico State.

While there are houses in this town without a supply of drinking water, you can still find a red soft drink bottle on their table. Guadalupe Sanchez provides an example of the resulting problem. At 47 years old, the glucose level in her blood is already twice the safe limit, a common occurrence in this town.

“We find high levels of hyperglycaemia. It’s a result of the high consumption of sweet drinks and processed food, and the lack of necessary nutrients” says Yaremi Gutierrez, the professor leading the study. The Mazahua people of Mexico State are abandoning their millennia-old diet, based on vegetables and plants, in favour of junk food. This marriage of poverty, exclusion and junk food is lethal. “It affects children in particular. What we’re finding here is are two causes of illness: malnutrition combined with overweight.

Mexico is experiencing an epidemic of fat and sugar. Seven out of ten adults are overweight or obese, as are one in three children. It is the second most overweight country in the world, exceeded only by the United States. According to OMS, Mexicans consume more soft drinks than any other country – 163 litres per year – and have the highest mortality rate from diabetes in Latin America.

“Diabetes used to be a rare disease which only affected those with genetic disposition to it, and older people”, says Abelardo Avila, a doctor at the Salvador Zubiran National Institute for Medical Science and Nutrition. “But in the last 30 years, cases have grown explosively, to the extent that half a million Mexicans have died from diabetes in the last six years. Within this overall panorama, the indigenous population is the most vulnerable, and presents one of the highest incidences of the disease. Previously, they were protected by their poverty, because it meant they had to feed themselves from what they could grow. From 2010 however the soft drink companies expanded, with the aim of placing refrigerators in villages where there is electricity, and by encouraging the use of public subsidies to promote consumption of these products.”

In the small convenience shops, which are found in every village street, a litre of milk – when it’s available – costs sixteen pesos. A three litre bottle of Coca Cola costs thirty-five pesos, and unbranded soft drinks cost twenty pesos. Diabetes in turn unleashes a series of other maladies. These include blindness, caused by diabetic retinopathy, and, kidney malfunction, leading to what is known as “elephant’s foot”– where a glut of glucose affects the nerves, leading to a loss of feeling in the joints. This latter illness has led to 75,000 amputations in the last year, according to Consumer Power, an NGO.

“The worst of it is that while diabetes is a controllable illness, lack of access to medical services leaves this population very exposed” says Yaremi Gutierrez from the Tec de Monterrey. A group of women have walked an hour down the mountain from their village to reach the only clinic in the area, but the doctor isn’t there. The nearest hospital is another hour’s drive by car. Furthermore, dialysis isn’t covered by Seguro Popular, the government health insurance programme for informal workers such as peasants. Paying privately costs between 2,000 and 6,000 pesos [i.e. beyond the means of the poor].

Ildefonso Alvarez has worked for two years with communities through his NGO, Concreta. “It’s easier to find Coca Cola here than it is to find medical services, clean water or good health” he says. Oliver de Schutter, the UN’s envoy on the Right to Food has spoken of the cocacola-isation of consumption habits in Mexico. “In 2017, public services will need to spend 5.6 billion US dollars a year to treat diabetes. This is the result of public policies that have failed to address the seriousness of this problem” he said in a recent documentary produced by NGOs in Mexico.

Last year the government introduced a special tax on sugary drinks, following the example of other countries. Though this has generated resources, consumption has barely fallen.

There’s no drinkable water in the house of Tomasa Rodriguez and Hilario Cruz. They buy a 20 litre container of water from the shop each week. They have asked the mayor to build a well for years, as other communities in the area have these. Cruz has just come out of hospital: “I was in a very bad state, I could hardly eat” he says. “He has soft drinks, and also pulque and beer” says his wife. He had to have his intestines cleaned after suffering severe constipation. He has been forbidden from drinking soft drinks or alcohol, and only drinks water and a herb known as Donkey’s Leaf. Eaten raw or taken as an infusion, its bitterness invades the mouth, and is more effective than kryptonite.



September 19, 2016

The Impacts of Megaprojects in Chiapas

Filed under: Corporations, Dams, Displacement, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:28 am



The Impacts of Megaprojects in Chiapas

Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México

5 September 2016
Bulletin Number: 17


The impacts of megaprojects in Chiapas, a report to the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights


no_represasInformation submitted to the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Business and Human Rights included the responsibility of businesses and the Mexican State in the violation of human rights in communities and towns in Chiapas. This UN body made an official visit to Mexico from 29 August to 7 September 2016 (1).

The Businesses and Human Rights Report, written by a coalition of more than 100 organisations, communities and civil society networks includes documentation of the case of the Chicoasen II hydroelectric dam. This project affects the indigenous Zoque community who were previously displaced and stripped of their communal land in the 1980s by the dam Manuel Moreno Torres, which is better known as Chicoasen I.

The ejido committee representing the Chicoasen communal landowners and the neighbouring landholders (the Ejido Chicoasen Committee from Chiapas) reported to the UN human rights abuses in terms of a prior and informed consultation, with culturally appropriate information, and abuse of land and territory. The accused are the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE as it’s known by its Spanish initials) and the companies Sinohydro Costa Rica, Omega Construction, Urban Development and Construction and Infrastructure Caabsa. This has been the case since the hydroelectric dam project Chicoasen II began in 2012.





The company Sinohydro Costa Rica, with the parent company headquartered in Beijing, has a history of human rights abuses for its involvement in the hydroelectric dam project Agua Zarca. The Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (COPINH as it’s known by its Spanish initials) denounced the company for the same strategies used in Chicoasen:  forging signatures, imposing ejido commissioners, harassing, attacking and threatening local farmers with the complicity of the local authorities. It’s also worth remembering that  Bertha Cáceres, environmentalist, COPINH leader, human rights defender and winner of the Goldman prize, an environmental award, was killed in March 2016 in the context of the Lenca people’s struggle against the dam. This event raised alarm about the serious risk people defending land face in Latin America.

The criminalisation of human rights defenders was documented as another violation of human rights as in the case of the construction of the hydroelectric dam Chicoasen II. Between 2010 and 2016 the members of the the Ejido Chicoasen Committee have been the subject of threats, attempted arbitrary deprivation of life, arbitrary deprivation of freedom, prosecution, criminalisation of protest and they have had to struggle with internal community divisions. The ejido’s lawyer Arturo Luna Ortega was detained by state police and accused of inciting rioting and held in prison from 21 October 2015 for three months because of a complaint made by the CFE. Further, there are arrest orders for other members of the resistance (2).





Owing to the risks to life, the integrity and security of people opposing the Chicoasen II project, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre maintains a request for precautionary measures with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Frayba demonstrated that the megaprojects in Chiapas, in the majority mining, hydroelectric, tourism and plantations follow a strategy of dispossession:  implementation of authoritarian processes, lack of a prior and informed consultation with the communities affected, conspiracy between the three levels of government, modification of rules and laws, violence, criminalisation and prosecution for those who resist or oppose their plan.




Historically and in the present, indigenous communities are subject to serious human rights violations. Dispossession has affected community life and the cultural heritage of indigenous communities. Further, the environment in indigenous territory in Chiapas is being affected by the large proportion of the state being held in concession for exploration and exploitation for extractive projects. Therefore the Ejido Chicoasen Committee and Frayba attended the meeting of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights held on 4 September 2016 in the community of San Francisco, Xochicuatla, Mexico state. There we reiterated the obligation of the Mexican State to ensure the protection of human rights globally and universally, including those related to land, territory and the environment. In particular, we want the Mexican State to strengthen and comply with the regulatory framework and control of all business sectors, with an emphasis on those related to large-scale projects and the extractive industry in order to ensure the protection of human rights. The State and companies must comply and respect collective rights, like autonomy and the right to land and territory of the indigenous peoples and communities of African heritage.


(1) México: Empresas y Derechos Humanos. 29 de agosto de 2016. Available at:

(2) Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas A.C. Acción Urgente: Detienen al abogado del Comité Ejidal de afectados por la presa Chicoasen II. 23 de octubre de 2015. Available at:



Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



August 4, 2016

World Day Against Opencast Mining

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, Indigenous, Mining, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:06 am




World Day Against Opencast Mining


mining.pngPoster for international day of struggle against mega-mining in defence of life and water. (Photo:@OtrosMundos)


In the framework of World Day Against Opencast Mining, which is commemorated on July 22, several events were held in different parts of the country. In Oaxaca, for example, groups in the isthmus region took part in the forum for “Strategies of Struggle for the Defence of Mother Earth and Territory” in the capital of Oaxaca. This event was part of the national campaign in defence of Mother Earth, which gives voice to the experience of hundreds of people preyed upon by mining projects in Mexico. Other collectives, the Lawyers and Defenders of Public Interest Collective, Common Borders and Greenpeace Mexico presented the manual “Protection of Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (PESCER) of Peoples and Communities Against Mining Megaprojects in Mexico” as a tool to address the abuses of mining projects throughout the country.

One day before, in the framework of resistance, communal and agricultural authorities, communities and organizations in Oaxaca and other Mexican states, met in Oaxaca to launch the State Rebellion Against Mining Day. They released a statement in which they expressed their “decision to fight together to stop these abuses and to affirm our own ways of living and governing ourselves.” They were worried “because these violations cause immense damage to Mother Earth and rip apart the social fabric of communities causing divisions and confrontations.”

In accordance with data published in El Universal in 2014, it is currently estimated that at state-level there is a concession of an area for 793,525 hectares for metal mining. As such, a fifth of Mexico has been given over to the mining sector. Marisa Jacott, Common Borders director, explained that “the massive destruction of natural resources caused by mining activities are manifold, such as air, water and soil pollution on a large scale; violent dispossession, repression and crime against forms of territorial defence and community organization; deteriorating health of local residents of mines; as well as the impact suffered by miners for working in high-risk conditions and the intensive use of dangerous materials and chemical substances.”

Due to this, the PESCER manual deals with the relationships and tensions caused by mining, and proposes that it is “from overexploitation, deterioration and allocation of natural resources that the Mexican State favours the profit of private and foreign interests over social [interests] and in this way breaks collective rights.” However, the manual proposes the use of legal and non-legal tools for communities to strengthen their struggle for the defence of their territory, heritage and health from the increase of predator mining in Mexico.

Posted on 4/8/16 by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



July 19, 2016

Head of Special Economic Zones Appointed

Filed under: Corporations, sipaz, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:26 am



Head of Special Economic Zones Appointed


sezMap of zones affected by SEZ. Photo: @EDUCA Oaxaca


On July 8, “while public attention was focused on the teachers’ problem and its political and social consequences, Enrique Peña Nieto openly confirmed the intention to privatize much of the ‘backward’ south when he appointed Gerardo Gutierrez Candiani head of the Federal Authority for the Development of Special Economic zones (AFDZEE).”

The new official presided over the Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex) from 2009 to 2011 and the Business Coordinating Council (CCE) from 2012 to 2015. Julio Hernández López ffom La Jornada said that Gutierrez Candiani “ran a pre-campaign for the title citizen seeking Los Pinos [the presidency] and that the PRI made him candidate for governor of his native Oaxaca (which failed)”. He also said that “the handing over of the delicate project of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to a representative of businessmen means an open conflict of interest and a threat to the legitimate interest of the nation, especially if you take into account that the plan may make domestic and foreign businesses virtual executive authorities in certain regions, politically above state and municipal governments.”

Gustavo Castro, from Otros Mundos, Chiapas, explains in an interview the workings of the so-called of SEZ, which are “like a country within a country, breaking and crumbling national sovereignty”. The purpose of the SEZ, according to Castro, is “to ensure the transnationals have everything they need for extraction; for example, from Mexico, a special visa will be required to enter the SEZ, they will have their own structure, their own laws, their own autonomy.”



Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



July 12, 2016

Mining Giants Rob Water From Millions of Mexicans Every Year

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, Mining, water — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:40 am



Mining Giants Rob Water From Millions of Mexicans Every Year


mexico_contamination_water_mining.jpg_1718483346Greenpeace activists kayak in front of the El Salto waterfall in Juanacatlan, Mexico, to protest contamination and promote water conservation, March 22, 2012. | Photo: EFE


While nearly 14 million Mexicans do not have taps in their home, transnational mining corporations suck up billions of gallons of the precious resource.

Over 400 mines in Mexico use enough water to meet the annual needs of 3.2 million people, more than one-fifth of the Mexican population without running water in their homes, according to an investigation reported by local media Monday.

With a whopping 115.3 billion gallons (436.6 million cubic meters) of annual water used annually by 417 mining companies doing business in the state, researchers are increasingly concerned about rising water scarcities, not to mention the water rights of 13.8 million people across the company without access to running water in their homes.

What’s more, transnational companies, mostly based in North America, are the biggest beneficiaries of Mexico’s mining industry.

Water shortages are particularly felt in the northern part of the country, where the state of Sonora sees the largest volume of water go towards mining, at about 28.5 billion gallons per year. The smaller states of Zacatecas and Michoacan, divert about half as much water to mining as does Sonora.

Together, the three states—which are dominated by mining projects by Canadian companies, according to data from Mexico’s Interior Ministry—account for half of the total annual water use by mining companies in the country, according to the study.

And the mining corporations in Zacatecas use more water than the entire local population. The Canadian mining giant Goldcorp, through its local subsidiary Peñasquito, is far and away the biggest water consumer in the region with a total of nearly 12 million gallons of groundwater use every year.

The main researcher in the new study, Manuel Llano, stressed that the industry impacts both water availability and quality due to high consumption, contamination, and destruction of important water sources through mining activities in the country, the Mexican daily La Jornada reported.

According to public data from Mexico’s Interior Ministry, the country is home to 926 transnational and local mines in various stages of exploration, development, and production. A total of 293 foreign-owned mining companies operate in the country, many with multiple projects. Canadian transnationals make up the vast majority with 205 of the foreign companies operating in the country, followed by the United States with 46, China with 10, and smaller numbers from other countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, and Peru.

Canadian mining corporations have a notorious record in Latin America and Africa. Earlier this year, over 200 environmental, Indigenous, and human rights organizations petitioned Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make Canadian mining corporations more accountable for human rights violations and environmental destruction caused in overseas operations, scores of cases of which have long gone unpunished.



June 21, 2016

CNI-EZLN: From Within the Storm

Filed under: CNI, Corporations, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, La Sexta, Repression, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:36 pm



CNI-EZLN: From Within the Storm






Joint Communique from the National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN on the cowardly police attack against the National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers and the indigenous community of Nochixtlán, Oaxaca.

June 20, 2016

To the People of Mexico:

To the peoples of the World:

Faced with the cowardly repressive attack suffered by the teachers and the community in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca—in which the Mexican state reminds us that this is a war on all—the peoples, nations, and tribes who make up the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation say to the dignified teachers that they are not alone, that we know that reason and truth are on their side, that the collective dignity from which they speak their resistance is unbreakable, and that this the principal weapon of those of us below.

We condemn the escalation of repression with which the neoliberal capitalist reform, supposedly about “education,” is being imposed across the entire country and principally in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Michoacán. With threats, persecutions, beatings, unjust imprisonments and now murders they try to break the dignity of the teachers in rebellion.

We call on our peoples and on civil society in general to be with the teachers who resist at all times, to recognize ourselves in them. The violence used to dispossess them of their basic work benefits with the goal of privatizing education is a reflection of the violence with which the originary peoples and rural and urban peoples are dispossessed.

Those who delight in power decided that education, health, indigenous and campesino territories, and even peace and security are a commodity for whoever can pay for them, that rights are not rights but rather products and services to be snatched away, and they dispossess, destroy, and negotiate according to what big capital dictates. And they intend to impose this aberration through bloody means, murdering and disappearing our compañer@s, sending our spokespeople to high security prisons, making shameless torture into government marketing, and with the help of the paid press, criminalizing the bravest part of Mexican society, that is, those who struggle, who do not give in, who do not sell out, and who do not give up.

We demand a halt to the repression against the teachers in struggle and the immediate and unconditional liberation of ALL political prisoners.

We invite all of the peoples of the countryside and cities to be attentive and in solidarity with the teachers’ struggle, to organize autonomously in order to remain informed and alert in the face of the storm that is upon all of us, knowing that a storm, in addition to its turmoil and chaos, also makes the ground fertile where a new world is always born.

From the mountains, countryside, valleys, canyons, and barrios of the originary peoples, nations, and tribes of Mexico.

Never Again a Mexico Without Us!

National Indigenous Congress.

Zapatista Army for National Liberation

Mexico, June 20, 2016


May 21, 2016

Mining companies are continuing to threaten projects in Chicomuselo

Filed under: Corporations, Mining — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:43 pm



Mining companies are continuing to threaten projects in Chicomuselo





Faced with the intention of several mining companies to install their projects in the communities of the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, residents have requested urgent intervention by the state and federal authorities to prevent the corporations getting their work projects accepted in exchange for money and by means of deception and division of the peoples.

On May 17th, residents of the communities of Chicomuselo arrested four people who identified themselves as being from mining companies and who came to the region to promote one of their projects in the ejido Grecia.

The four detainees are being guarded by the communities, who have been in resistance since the murder of Mariano Abarca Roblero, who defended their natural resources against mining exploitation by the Canadian company BlackFire.

Similarly, since 2014 several agreements have been signed with representatives of the state government and environmental authorities, where the position of non-exploitation of mineral resources in Chicomuselo and the Sierra de Chiapas region was ratified. Moreover, several “minutes of work” were agreed between communities and the current city council and government delegation of Frontera Comalapa.

Despite this, mining companies continue to offer large amounts of money to convince the people and governments to enable them to set up their projects in the region, leading to the destruction of nature and of the resources for the livelihood of the communities.

The people of Chicomuselo have asked the government to intervene urgently to solve the problem, in order to prevent possible action by the companies in communities which have been in resistance for many years.






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