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

 

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

 

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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

https://atencofpdt.blogspot.mx/2017/01/el-fpdt-denuncia-nueva-incursion-de.html?m=1

https://palabrasrebeldes.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/the-fpdt-again-denounces-the-intrusion-of-machinery-with-support-of-the-army-and-federal-police/

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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.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/10/05/politica/003n1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted with minor amendments by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

 

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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:

  • http://ciudadposibledf.org/registro/Folleto.pdf
  • 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

 

https://elsalinerodenexquipayac.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/el-aeropuerto-de-pena-nieto-en-territorios-de-atenco-y-texcoco-grave-amenaza-de-inundacion/

 

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October 4, 2016

International communique against the New Mexico City Airport

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:25 am

 

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International communique against the New Mexico City Airport

EMERGENCE OF A BROAD NON-PARTY FRONT AGAINST THE NEW AIRPORT AND OTHER MEGAPROJECTS IN THE VALLEY OF MEXICO BASIN

Mexico City, 4 February 2016

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In response to the announcement by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto to reactivate the construction of a new airport for Mexico City, more than 70 organizations of organized society in the East of the State of Mexico, Hidalgo state, the Federal District and the rest of the country during the Forum “All Voices against New Airport” and the Constituent Assembly on 10 and 11 November 2015 at the Ché Guevara Auditorium located next to the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UNAM, agreed to the creation of a Broad Front with a horizontal and inclusive structure, with an autonomous and self-managed character, whose main objectives are to defend the territory and to prevent the construction of the New Mexico City International Airport (NAICM), which would seriously affect about 30,000 hectares, thereby facilitating the death of Lake Texcoco (symbol of our nation) and the destruction of historic, cultural, natural heritage and desertification of the Valley of Mexico basin; they also aim to stop the advance of mega-projects based on exploitation of human and natural resources, environmental degradation, changes in land use, displacement of popular neighbourhoods and local trade, favouring excessive economic growth by large national and transnational companies, whose capitalist logic seeks to convert everything into commodities.

The foundation of the Broad Front is to integrate the social and ideological diversity of its members and reject violence as the main element of struggle. We declare that the institutions of state power, the repressive apparatus (the army, police and paramilitary groups), especially political parties and their leaders in the current context, operate according to the interests of big business; therefore their recruitment and partisan propaganda activities do not fit in this authentic and legitimate effort of organized society; they always divide, create defeatism and unleash violence against the population which resists the predatory policy of profit.

We emphasise that our struggle is not for a short-term issue, but will continue long-term until we achieve our objectives and those arising in this organizational process.

We invite all sections of the people of Mexico and the world who sympathise with this cause, to join together to strengthen this movement which is emerging at national and international level to prevent the construction of a new airport and associated megaprojects.

We declare that this Broad Front joins all the struggles and resistance of the country and the world against Big Capital.

BROAD NON-PARTY FRONT AGAINST THE NEW AIRPORRT AND OTHER MEGAPROJECTS IN THE VALLEY OF MEXICO BASIN

Signed:

Coordinadora de Pueblos y Organizaciones del Oriente del Estado de México en Defensa de la Tierra, el Agua y su Cultura; Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra-FPDT; TTO-Asociación Mexicana de Turismo para el Desarrollo de la Región Oriente del Estado de México, A.C.; Defensa Regional Ciudadana Texcoco; Ejido Axotlán II de Tepotzotlán, Estado de México; Frente Popular 9 de Junio en Defensa de los Recursos Naturales de Coyotepec, Estado de México, A.C.; Sistema de Agua Potable Autónomo de San Pablo Tecalco, Tecámac, Estado de México; Tecalco, Aguas Obras y Eventos, A.C.; Brigada Comunitaria en Resistencia contra el Urbanismo Salvaje de San Pablo Tecalco, Tecámac, Estado de México; Comité Acolhuacan de Acolman, Estado de México, Pobladores Originarios de Acolman, Estado de México; Movimiento en Defensa de los Recursos Naturales de Tepetlaoxtoc, Estado de México; Pobladores Originarios de Tepetlaoxtoc, Estado de México; Pobladores Originarios de Tlapacoya, Ixtapaluca, Estado de México; Pobladores Originarios de Chimalhuacán Atenco, Estado de México; Colectivo Zapatista Neza de Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México; Asamblea Ciudadana de Ecatepec, Estado de México; Unión Popular Independiente del Valle de México; Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra de San Francisco Xochicuautla, Lerma, Estado de México; Defensores de la Vida y del Agua de San Pedro Tlanixco, Tenango del Valle, Estado de México.

Asamblea de Vecinos en Defensa del Parque Reforma Social; Asociación de Tecnología Apropiada, A.C.; Pacto de Grupos Ecologistas; Comunidad Terapéutica Madreselva; Ecoactivistas de la Magdalena Mixiuhca, A.C.; La Casa de la Chinampa de San Gregorio Atlapulco, Xochimilco; MUP-FNAMUP -UPREZ Benito Juárez, Prepa Popular Tacuba, UPREZ Centro, Siervos de la Nación, Colectivo Rosario Castellanos, A.C., Tonantzin, A.C., Cañadas del Sur, A.C., Movimiento Habitacional Torres Frente 10, SACLAN, A.C., Miramón 48, Sociedad Cooperativa Trabajo, Esfuerzo y Realidad, “Más hechos, menos palabras”-; Colectivo de Telefonistas Zapatistas Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona; Sector Trabajadores Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona; Frente de Trabajadores Activos Jubilados y Pensionados del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social; La Otra en Coyoacán, Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona; Colectivo Azcapotzalco Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona; Chanti Ollin Casa en Movimiento; Comité de Vecinos Iztapalapa, D.F.; Encuentro de Autonomías; Autogestival; Frente de Pueblos, Barrios, Colonias y Vecinos por la Defensa del Agua y el Territorio; Colectivo GeoComunes; ¡Salir del Petróleo!; Revolución Internacional / World Revolution; Vecinos Unidos Santa Fé, Movimiento de Barrios en Defensa de los Pedregales, Coyoacán, D.F.; Colectivo de Mujeres en Defensa de los Pedregales de Coyoacán; Deprimido Mixcoac; Pueblo Originario de Churubusco, D.F.; Bloque Libertario Autónomo de Quintana Roo; Bloque Libertario Prepa 9; ; Comité Editorial “Revuelta Epistémica”; Ruptura Colectiva (RC).

Padres de los estudiantes desaparecidos de la Normal Rural “Raúl Isidro Burgos” de Ayotzinapa, Estado de Guerrero; Movimiento Tlaxiaca Despierta y Colectivo Zapotlán de Juárez del Estado de Hidalgo; Comité de Defensa Ecológica de Michoacán; Comunidades Autónomas de Copala, Estado de Oaxaca; Colectivo Barro Negro, Estado de Oaxaca; Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y Agua de la Zona Oriente de Ayala, Estado de Morelos; Movimiento de Unidad y Resistencia Ciudadana de Poza Rica, Estado de Veracruz.

Dr. José Arias Chávez (Cambio Climático); Dr. Eduardo Rincón Mejía (Energía Renovable y Fuentes de Energía); Dra. María Fernanda Campa Uranga (Tectónica de Placas y Ciencias de la Tierra); Dr. Samuel I. Brugger Jakob (Economía y Sustentabilidad); Dr. Álvaro E. Lentz Herrera (Ingeniería en Energía, Fuentes Renovables de Energía y Eficiencia Energética); Mtra. en Arq. y D.I. Ma. del Carmen Buerba Franco (Eco-arquitectura y Urbanismo Sustentable); Rafael Huizar Álvarez (Geología y Agua Subterránea) Jean Robert Jeannet (Arquitectura, Urbanismo, Defensa Agrícola y Derechos de los Pueblos); Lic. Juan de Dios Hernández Monge (Abogado Zapatista Adherente a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona y Representante común de la Defensa del caso Atenco); Gustavo Esteva Figueroa (Activista, Asesor EZLN-1996, Centro de Encuentros y Diálogos Interculturales y Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca, Méx.).

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August 22, 2016

Communiqué from the FPDT against Provocation by Companies and a Shock Group in the Ejido of Tocuila

Filed under: Repression — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:27 am

 

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Communiqué from the FPDT against Provocation by Companies and a Shock Group in the Ejido of Tocuila

 

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To organizations in solidarity

To the people of Mexico

We denounce the federal government for insisting on invading and plundering the lands of our peoples. Today they returned in violation of the suspension order resulting from the judgement of amparo no. 349/2016- III dated July 26th, 2016. As the ejido members of Tocuila we oppose, as do many of the dignified campesinxs, the sale and plundering of our land. We denounce the following:

Since a very early hour we were aware of the presence of heavy machinery in the ejidos of Tocuila which remained inactive until a few hours ago. Around four in the afternoon our compañerxs alerted us to the advance of the machinery along with a microbus full of unknown people, in the majority young, and to our surprise led by the ejido commissioner of Tocuila, Humberto Elizalde.

The compañerxs who were in the encampment from a considerable distance away tried to explain to them that they could not advance since the land is not for sale and because it is protected by an injunction (amparo) (349/2016-III). However, the explanation didn’t have any effect, and the group advanced further and further. When they arrived at the encampment, the ejidal commissioner, Humberto Elizalde, gave the order for the compañerxs to abandon the place showing some papers that they presumed were the cheques paid for the sale of the land which he himself had promoted. The youth who made up the shock group got off the microbus (as well as being violent, they were also under the influence of drugs) and immediately destroyed and took down the tarps and the truck cab that has served as refuge and the point of resistance since April 11 intensifying the threat of dispossession. The machine also advanced and began to tear into the earth as if they were leaving a warning in the eyes of our compañerxs who until the last moment remained cautious. It is obvious that the federal government would have liked a provocation to take place to give justification for repression, but the whole time the people that were defending the land remained contained.

It should be noted that after more than two hours of provocation, the shock group and the machinery were removed and positioned in the highway Peñon-Texcoco. As such, the compañerxs could return to and rebuild the encampment.

In addition to this act, we add two notes that are important to consider:

  • On Sunday August 14, an ejidal assembly took place in the community of Tocuila. This was imposed on the community similarly to what occurred in Atenco on June 1, 2014. As on that occasion, the commissioner Humberto Elizalde, manipulated the participants, transporting people in, not permitting the compañerxs who defend the land to talk. In these conditions of heavy tension and pressure, he approved the sale of the communal land (roads and bridges) for 1000 pesos per square metre.
  • On Wednesday August 17th, the Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México (GACM) and the Cámara Mexicana de la Industria de la Construcción (CMIC) announced an agreement to create jobs in the construction phase of the airport, addressed to the inhabitants of the municipalities of Atenco and Texcoco.

Faced with this emergency situation and the government threat through the escalating provocative actions and repression:

We call on all our brother peoples, solidarity organizations, collectives and media, to come to the press conference that will take place in the reconstructed encampment. The date will be Friday August 19th to begin at 9 in the morning in the Plaza of Tocuila, to go to the camp and begin at 10am.

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

Peoples Front in Defence of the Land -Tocuila

From a translation by Palabras Rebeldes

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

 

http://atencofpdt.blogspot.mx/2016/08/comunicado-del-fpdt-ante-provocacion-de.html

 

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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

 

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

 

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Desinformémonos

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.

 

IMG_20160814_095131

 

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.

 

IMG_20160814_095118

 

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

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May 30, 2016

The Community of Tocuila Continues in Resistance in Defence of the Earth

Filed under: Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:10 am

 

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 The Community of Tocuila Continues in Resistance in Defence of the Earth

 

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The Community of Tocuila Continues in Resistance in Defence of the Earth

Communiqué of San Miguel Tocuila, read in a press conference that took place on May 25th, 2016 in the Museum of Mamut.

The communiqué that we present here is meant to denounce the bad governments that continue dispossessing the people from their territories, continue making unjust laws to legalize the looting, destruction, and appropriation of the land and all of the resources it contains. The grand capitalists continue monopolizing the territories of our people creating misery and oppression.

Across the entire country resistances are surging against the unjust grabbing of their natural resources and their territories, like in Xochicuautla and Cherán that defend their forests, Coyotepec that defend their right to water, Tajamar that hold back the destruction of their mangroves, and San Mateo Chipiltepec that defend their hill Tezontlalli, just to mention a few.

The people that are on the edge of the ex-lake Texcoco have continued in resistance since 2001, when we raised our voice and our machetes opposing the megaproject of death and dispossession of our lands.

This resistance has continued despite the events that took place 10 years ago when we were brutally repressed. Furthermore, we have been constantly harassed and intimidated by the government and businesses that purchase the wills of the people, destroying our social fabric because the government works with its dependents: the Agrarian Office, the National Agrarian Registry, CONAGUA, SEMARNAT, the courts, and in complicity with the ejidal commissions, they defend the interests of the oligarchy leaving the people immersed in hunger and misery.

On April 23, our struggle continued against the company CYPSA VISE, when their workers began the construction of the highway PEÑON-ECATEPEC in the ejidos of San Miguel Tocuila and the neighborhoods of Santa Cruz de Abajo and San Felipede. These works were carried out in an illegal manner that violates the protection granted on April 12 of this year by the Ninth District Court of the State of Mexico: 349/ 2016-III. Because of this it was decided that we would install an encampment to block the entry of machines into the territory, organizing committees of surveillance day and night to safeguard the ejidos because the workers of CYPSA VISE had already advanced 1 km filling the ejidos with materials like rock, plastic, and geotextile. Thus, the ejido members and the community decided to flood the ejido with residual water and carry out reforestation in the zone, in order to stop the passage of the company CYPSA VISE.

Once more is has became evident that the laws are only applied to the people who are organized while the companies remain unpunished because they work in complicity with the government while the people are repressed.

Our struggle is not only for the land, but also for the water, our traditions, our culture, our identity, the environment, our history, and the future of our families.

How is it possible that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto assumes that the construction of the new airport will be sustainable, when they have violated the international agreements that protect the habitat that is home to endemic and migratory birds?

How is it possible that Enrique Peña Nieto wants to lower pollution levels, when with this project they will increase toxic emissions?

How is it possible that the government talks of human rights, when in this country they disappear students, kill journalists, beat teachers, and take the right of a dignified life from us, incarcerate people that defend their land and let free rapists, narco-traffickers, and corrupt politicians?

No government in any another country has scrapped its original airport plan only to carry out another and we are convinced that our demand is just and our struggle is necessary. We will not negotiate, not even 5 centimeters of our territory, because we are not willing to sell our dignity. The slogan is clear: the land is not for sale, it is loved and defended. We will not step down. We already know the methods of repression, intimidation and harassment. We cannot be surprised. We are convinced that the organized and united people will never be defeated, and this motto is more than a slogan but is part of our reality.

For this we call on all social organizations and the people in general to join this struggle, to inform and to organize.

Never more the dispossession of our people, never more the barbarism in our territories!

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

Atenco lives, the struggle continues!

Toquila lives, the struggles continues!

Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra

Poorly translated from the original here: http://atencofpdt.blogspot.mx/2016/05/la-comunidad-de-tocuila-sigue-en.html

 

by https://palabrasrebeldes.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/the-community-of-tocuila-continues-in-resistance-in-defense-of-the-earth/

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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

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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Edited version of a translation by Palabras Rebeldes

http://atencofpdt.blogspot.mx/2016/05/comunicado-del-fpdt-atenco-ante-nueva.html

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HANDS OFF ATENCO NOW

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

 

Petitioning Mexican President Peña Nieto 

HANDS OFF ATENCO NOW!

 

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KEEP YOUR BLOODY HANDS OFF ATENCO NOW!

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.

WE DEMAND HANDS OFF ATENCO IMMEDIATELY. PRESIDENT PEÑA NIETO: WE DON’T WANT TO USE AN AIRPORT BUILT OVER SO MUCH BLOOD, SUFFERING, SEXUAL TORTURE AND UNJUST YEARS IN PRISON. WE WON’T LET PEOPLE FORGET THE PRICE OF THIS AIRPORT.

ARCHITECTS FOSTER AND ROMERO: WE WON’T WANT TO USE YOUR BLOODY AIRPORT AND WON’T LET PASSENGERS TO FORGET THE HUMAN PRICE. DESIST NOW!

 

Sign the petition here

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May 12, 2016

Planting trees to prevent the highway being built in Atenco

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

 

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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.

 

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http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2016/05/11/siembran-arboles-para-evitar-autopista-en-atenco

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May 8, 2016

Red May: 10 years later, Atenco resists plunder again

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

 

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Red May: 10 years later, Atenco resists plunder again

 

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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!
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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.
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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.”
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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.
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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”.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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!”
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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.”

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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.”

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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’!”
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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.”
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Red May: 10 years later, Atenco resists plunder again

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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

 

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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.

 

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/05/04/estados/025n1est

 

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

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May 6, 2016

New Airport construction threatens the water supply to the City of Mexico

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, water — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:11 pm

 

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New Airport construction threatens the water supply to the City of Mexico

 

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Eliana Gilet

Desinformémonos, 19/4/2016

The construction of a new airport for Mexico City has been in the pipeline for over 15 years, and has been resisted throughout that time, but the current project took shape in September 2015, when it was presented to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).

Despite being one of the biggest megaprojects it has had to study, the process was rushed through: at the end of the year, when people are thinking more about family and holidays than changes to their immediate environment, the Environmental Impact Report was approved by the General Directorate of Environmental Impact and Risk (DGIRA) of the above-mentioned Secretariat.

“The project should be rejected by the DGIRA because there are many uncertainties about it, arising from the deliberate failure to provide information; these do not allow a proper assessment of the potential environmental impact of the work.” This was the analysis of the project made by the Union of Socially Engaged Scientists, once they could get hold of it.

The group has been involved for 5 years in the analysis of megaprojects, with the aim of producing information that is independent, or at least as unbiased as possible, in order to generate real debate about the projects that should or should not go ahead.

“Our vision is to act as a counterweight to official information, to search for and point out shortcomings in the processes for the approval of megaprojects, and especially in them [the megaprojects], because they always tend to involve conflicts of interest. Our purpose is to generate independent information, which, in many cases, has served the peoples to strengthen their demands or legal appeals.” This gives people more arguments when facing legal proceedings, or for public statements. Fernando Córdova Tapia is a young biologist and coordinator of the group, who talked with Desinformémonos about this work and gave details of the dangers posed by the construction of the New Airport of Mexico City.

“We have been analysing megaprojects for 5 years now. In other cases, in the public hearing provided for under the law, there is an opportunity to generate discussion, but the intention of this project was to get rapid approval, and that was what happened.”

In this regard, the Regional Citizens’ Observatory for Sustainable Development in Texcoco indicated that, for the airport project, what took place was a “travesty of public consultation in the municipality of Ecatepec, and so far there has been no public meeting in the municipalities which are directly affected, territorially speaking, as in the case of Texcoco and Atenco.”

In any case, the processes provided are extremely demanding for anyone who wants to participate. It is envisaged that once a project is presented for study by SEMARNAT, civil society has 20 working days in which to analyse it and be ready to participate, in an informed way, in the public consultation.

 

The project.

The consultancy in charge of producing the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Mexican government is called “Environmental Development Specialists S.A. of C.V.” and one of its founding members is Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo, who is currently employed as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Environmental Policy at – wait for it! – SEMARNAT.

“We came across this company in other controversial projects, such as the Southern Wind Farm, in Juchitán, Oaxaca.”

Despite this participation on both sides of the table by Lacy Tamayo, this conflict of interest is not the worst aspect of the environmental report which led to the approval of the construction of the planned new airport, but rather the fact that “it is neither objective nor technically robust.”

The team of scientists reports that as soon as SEMARNAT published the approval of the draft project in express-quick time, without any discussion about it, they drew up a plan of work, whose main aim was to determine whether SEMARNAT’s approval was legal or not.

“A double analysis is required. On the one hand, to know whether the information presented in the study is reliable, if it was collected following international and local planning and land use criteria; and secondly, to assess the viability of measures for mitigating the impact that the work will cause in the affected territories ”

That is to say, on the one hand, to check that the information presented is faithful, accurate and not false; and secondly, if the full effects are declared or if things are omitted. In fact, shortcomings were found, some very serious, in the study in which the New Airport of Mexico City was proposed. This violated previous territorial planning regulations, and left huge information gaps, like blank cheques to be filled in during the construction – a big blank cheque. Is this carelessness on the part of SEMARNAT common when approving any megaproject? “We find these problems when the promoter is the government itself. If it is an individual, it depends. But never have we seen it behave as it behaved with this project.”

 

The shortcomings

One. The construction of the airport violates the territorial organization of Texcoco. More precisely it violates the Regional Urban Development Plan for the Cuautitlan-Texcoco Valley and the Municipal Urban Development Plan of Texcoco. According to the Municipal Plan, the area of the basin of the former Lake Texcoco is an area designated as not for building, and is considered a Protected Natural Area, because it is one of the areas with most environmental value in the municipality. For that reason, the plan establishes a “strict control of urban growth, as well as promoting and boosting agricultural activities, discouraging human settlements.”

“When reviewing the resolution of SEMARNAT, we found that the division in charge of the study had not raised any objection to this violation, that there was no issue with the location of the projected airport even though violating land use plans is completely illegal, and, as can be seen, the land use plans explicitly prohibit the continued increase in the density of the population in the Lake Texcoco basin.”

The scientists have pointed out that these plans are in the process of “updating”, which very probably implies an amendment to this prohibition so there is no longer any conflict with the airport, although they do not know for sure because they have not had access to the new plans submitted by the authorities of the State of Mexico and the municipality of Texcoco.

“This is another front that is being opened and it would be helpful to have access to the draft that is being produced whic has to go through public consultation. Until then we cannot know the intention behind this amendment, but we can sense it.”

 

Two. In addition to building the runways and the terminal, they are planning to build the Aerotropolis, a new city linked to the airport, about which there are no further details. “When SEMARNAT accepts the project, it does so including these 3 components, and we do not even know how they will be. It is one of the major concerns, it is a blank cheque.”

The Environmental Impact Assessment, when describing the impacts of the new construction, does not even include the size of the Aerotropolis, but scientists estimate that there will be 3.7 million square metres of pure new city, in an area that, as the above-mentioned Land Use Plan states, cannot support any more people.

“What they are planning is a small city linked to the airport, so that travelers do not have to go out of it, which will have hotels, convention centres and they will not get any closer to the country than here. It is the largest part of the new airport project and they barely mention what it consists of.”

According to scientists, this mechanism is the symptom that reveals the mechanism: the intention from above is to hide the impacts that may occur, simply not to mention them, like whistling in the air, to see if they get through.

“The new airport has been promoted as one that will not waste much water, that will be super-sustainable, but how much water will that Aerotropolis need? We made an estimate based on the limited data available and we estimate that it would need about 23 million cubic metres a year just for that city ”

The airport and related city will be connected to the municipal water network, in the “overexploited” zone of Texcoco, so that the priority for drinking water, scientists point out, will be the Aerotropolis and not the people of the area, who are already suffering shortages.

 

Three. For most of the proposed compensation measures, it is not clear how they will be carried out and some of them are simply ludicrous.

Such is the case, for example, with the generation of new bodies of water. As “mitigation” for drying up Lake Texcoco, the government proposes to create “new bodies of water”; it does not specify the depth or size or anything about these. “SEMARNAT accepts this without technical information, without any scientific rigour to certify that what is proposed will be achieved. We believe that it is the same with the Aerotropolis mentioned above: if you do not commit to anything, there is nothing to check to see if it has been fulfilled.” There is nothing to be held accountable for, then.

The other compensation measure is planting 260,000 Tamarisk (cedro salado – salt cedar) trees, an invasive species, which is one of the main threats to the country’s flora and fauna. “We are fighting against the invasion of this species on all sides and yet here it is proposed as the magic remedy to compensate for the damage caused by the construction of the airport to the only hope the city of Mexico has of having water in the future,” the biologist Cordova explained to Desinformémonos.

“Besides, these trees have highly inflammable leaves, and being in such a large area, they are very likely to end up on fire. These trees are a plague because they end up doing what no other species can, living in these conditions, without access to water. It is a plague that does not allow anything else to grow.” He explained that this type of tree makes the groundwater salty, and with rain and falling leaves, which settle on the ground, the salt can infiltrate the aquifer beneath it. That or the deep roots that they grow.

“What they are trying to do is change a lake into a forest. From a scientific point of view, it is the worst [possible] decision. We should not even be trying. The Lake Texcoco basin is the hope for having water in the not too distant future, and on top of it you’re going to put a sheet of concrete, runways, a city and open spaces planted with a species that is a plague?”

 

Four. The area of Texcoco is the part of the city and state of Mexico which is sinking the fastest, between 30 and 40 centimetres a year; it is therefore one of the areas at the most at risk of flooding, as water always ends up in the lowest areas. Cordova says that since the 70s, the only hope for Mexico City to return to its original vocation as a lake was to solve the problem of recharging the aquifers. Also, as a way to alleviate the crisis in access to potable water, which was already latent even then.

“There was a plan to recover the Texcoco basin as a lake, which would facilitate the infiltration of the area and would operate as a buffer against flooding. The areas of the water table that have been overexploited are where the buildings are sinking the fastest.”

Despite knowledge of all these serious problems, indicating that the work is neither suitable nor desirable at that location (nor anywhere else it might be said by members of the Front of Peoples in Defence of the Land, the principal resistance to the megaproject) the Ministry of the Environment gave the green light to the project with all its shortcomings. However, so far, the work has not advanced beyond levelling the ground and the budget cuts to the work for 2015 are estimated at 70% of the originally designated amount.

“The official government version maintains that the New Airport of Mexico City will be sustainable, and will recycle water, but the truth is that they have not analysed the real impact that the work will have, trying to divert attention from the important to the superficial. They are not declaring impacts in order to not have to pay compensation. This project is a headache whichever way you look at it.”

 

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

http://desinformemonos.org.mx/la-construccion-del-nuevo-aeropuerto-pone-en-riesgo-el-abastecimiento-de-agua-para-la-ciudad/

 

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May 1, 2016

Atenco: Residents remove construction materials from ejido lands

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

 

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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

http://somoselmedio.org/article/lo-%C3%BAnico-que-hacemos-es-defender-nuestra-tierra-atenco

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