dorset chiapas solidarity

November 19, 2016

Indigenous begin a 12-day pilgrimage against mega-projects in Chiapas.

 

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Indigenous begin a 12-day pilgrimage against mega-projects in Chiapas.

 

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TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas

By: Isaín Mandujano

More than a thousand indigenous Choles, Tseltales and Tsotsiles left this Tuesday morning from Salto de Agua, in a pilgrimage that will tour 11 municipalities (municipios) to denounce and protest against the mega-projects that threaten their lands and the life of their communities.

Throughout 12 days, the indigenous will be added to in each one of the municipios through which the march will travel until arriving in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Today, they left Salto de Agua for Tumbalá where a traditional celebration will be held. They will spend Wednesday night in Yajalón, where they will hold the forum “The Original Peoples’ Fight” from the experience of Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel.

 On Thursday they will be in Chilón, where they will participate in the forum “The fight for the defence of water.” On Friday, the caravan will depart for Ocosingo, where the forum “Care of Mother Earth” will be held. On Saturday, they will be in Altamirano where they will hold the forum “Alcoholism in the indigenous communities.” On Sunday, November 20, the marchers will spend the night in Oxchuc where they will hold the forum “Community Governments.”

On Monday the 21st, they will be in Cancuc, where a traditional indigenous ceremony will be celebrated. On Tuesday the 22nd they will arrive in Tenejapa, where the auxiliary bishop of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Diocese, Enrique Díaz Díaz, will head a traditional religious ceremony. On Wednesday the 23rd they will be in Huixtán to celebrate the forum “Government projects in the indigenous communities.”

On November the 24th, they will arrive in La Candelaria, a rural community within the municipio of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where they will celebrate another traditional indigenous ceremony and dialogue about the situations that threaten their community life. On Friday the 25th, they will finally arrive in the central plaza of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where the gathering of thousands of marchers that have added themselves to movement is expected.

The Movement in Defence of Life and Territory (Modevite) called for this march and pilgrimage, composed of 10 parishes of 11 municipios. For the las four years, the Pueblo Creyente of the Diocese of San Cristóbal have organized in defence of their territory. They have achieved the stopping of the construction of the Palenque-San Cristóbal superhighway, which would have crossed through their territory. Their objective now is to decide the use and destiny of their territory, principally in the face of threats from the extractive industry and the mega-projects.

“We know our rights as original peoples. We seek to unify our voices and our efforts against the ambition of the impresarios and the government that covet our natural resources,” says Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez.

“We are in a strategic place for the mega-projects. This territory is one the objectives of extractivism,” he added.

For example, Father Marcelo says, in the Tulijá (River) Valley they plan to construct an artificial lake that will flood 396 square kilometres of forests and indigenous lands. The lake would have the capacity of 24 billion 540 million cubic meters, which contemplates the construction of “modern industrial, small farming and aquifer population centres” on the sides of the dam.”

“We don’t want projects that only benefit some, we don’t want projects without consulting us, we don’t want improvements for the rich while the poor continue in the same condition,” another indigenous Ch’ol speaker said today before departing for Tumbalá.

“We seek to organize the peoples to construct our autonomy; that our right as original peoples to the life that we want is recognized. We need to join our voices in defence of our forests, our rivers. We demand the governments stop the extractive industry and the mega-projects that are being imposed without consulting us,” Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez stated.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com.mx

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

http://www.proceso.com.mx/462639/indigenas-de-chiapas-inician-peregrinacion-de-12-dias-contra-megaproyectos

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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November 1, 2016

Mexico Clash Over Pipeline Leaves 1 Dead in Yaqui Community

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:46 pm

 

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Mexico Clash Over Pipeline Leaves 1 Dead in Yaqui Community

Published 22 October 2016

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The community of Loma de Bacum opposes the pipeline over safety and environmental concerns.

An Indigenous leader accused “provocateurs” of inciting violence in a Yaqui community in the northern Mexican state of Sonora that is at the heart of a conflict over the construction of a hydrocarbon pipeline that will cross their territory.

Teodulo Gonzalez, commissioner for the defense of land, water and human rights of the Yaqui tribe, said a group of people descended on a site where land defenders have set up a camp to prevent the construction of the pipeline and started a physical confrontation.

The clash reportedly lasted three hours and ultimately left one dead and eight injured. AP reported the man was killed as a result of gunfire.

“It was a provocation by the state government and the IENova company to finish with the defense of the territory,” Gonzalez told Proceso magazine.

State security officials descended on the community but according to witnesses did nothing to contain the violence.

Adolfo Garcia Morales, head of public security in Sonora, said the clash, involving a total of 400 people, was between members of the Yaqui people.

Mario Luna, a spokesman for the Yaquis, told AP that disagreements within the tribe have been ongoing, with some communities refusing to allow the pipeline to cross their territory.

“They have the agreement from the majority of the towns. However, here the decisions are not made by a majority, but rather by consensus,” Luna told AP.

The clash took place in Loma de Bacum, one of the holdout communities, where leaders have opposed the pipeline over safety and environmental concerns.

The concession to build the pipeline was granted by the Mexican government in 2012.

The proposed pipeline, being built by IENova for Mexico’s Federal Electric Commission, is designed to bring natural gas from across the border in Arizona to the Mexican states of Sonora and Sinaloa.

 

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mexico-Clash-Over-Pipeline-Leaves-1-Dead-in-Yaqui-Community-20161022-0015.html

 

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One dead and 8 injured in a fight between residents of Sonora

By: Cristina Gómez Lima, correspondent

lomas-de-bacum

 Hermosillo, Sonora. One dead, eight injured and twelve vehicles burned was the result of a confrontation between residents of the Lomas de Bácum and Lomas de Guamúchil communities, who disagree over construction of the Northwest gas pipeline, which is projected to cross territory that the Yaqui tribe inhabits in southern Sonora.

The Secretary of state Public Security, Adolfo García Morales reported that municipal, state and federal agents cordoned off the zone of the confrontations, as well as members of the Secretariat of National Defense, who activated the code red in the southern community of Sonora.

“Armored vehicles entered conflict zone and through loudspeakers they ordered them to put down their weapons, we are going to be very alert in order to avoid new confrontations now that the security bodies are there, as well as the Mexican Army and the Federal Police,” García Morales stated.

For their part, leaders of the Lomas de Bácum Tribe assured that there were two confrontations, one after the arrival of members of the Army; in their numbers they count 7 indigenous Yaquis dead, 30 injured and their governor José Bacaumea and their secretary Martín Valencia disappeared.

The TransCanada Corporation is in charge of the project.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, October 21, 2016

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2016/10/21/un-muerto-y-8-heridos-en-rina-entre-pobladores-de-sonora/

 

 

 

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October 15, 2016

The CNI and the EZLN convoke “the awakening of a great force,” after the fifth National Indigenous Congress.

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:35 pm

 

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The CNI and the EZLN convoke “the awakening of a great force,” after the fifth National Indigenous Congress.

 

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San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. October 13. “The CNI showed us that we are not alone. They have taught us to listen to each other, to recognize each other,” said the peoples, tribes and nations of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), at the close of their fifth national congress and the celebration of their twentieth anniversary in the facilities of Cideci Unitierra.

For four days the original peoples of the CNI shared not only the different problems they face in their territories, but also how they have organized to resist the dispossession and repression, coming as much from the government as from private, national and international companies.

The congress was attended by the General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), who today recalled the background to the founding of the CNI, when the indigenous peoples began to dialogue during the San Andres Accords, in 1995. “Since then we have been thinking of you,” said the Zapatistas to their indigenous brothers and sisters.

Communities in northern, central and southern Mexico, listed in detail the discrimination, dispossession and repression that they are subjected to every day, either through the design and implementation of megaprojects such as mining, dams or highways without their consent; or through the damages suffered by their crops due to the planting of GMOs, deforestation or fracking. Similarly, they denounced the threats and attacks suffered from organized crime, under the complacency of the three levels of government.

In the same way, original peoples shared their experiences of struggle and resistance in the areas of health, education, food, security and communication, among others; all this by making use of their free determination, according to their customs and traditions.

The event was also attended by a delegation of parents of the disappeared normalistas of Ayotzinapa, who continue their relentless pursuit, this despite the fact that “the government is accustomed to disappearing people,” they said. “Our children are priceless. We are not powerful, but we do not forget,” they said about the presidential message which they already knew about.

“We must listen to those who we have not heard,” agreed the attendees at the indigenous gathering in San Cristobal, in the sense of strengthening and growing the CNI, which is why they will consider their next steps to be taken by consulting the bases, in order to “awaken a great force” nationally, because “it is the time of the peoples” they shared, “so that the centres of the earth will tremble.”

 

Photo: Radio Zapatista

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13850

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September 19, 2016

The Impacts of Megaprojects in Chiapas

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

 

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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.

 

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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).

 

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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.

 

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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.

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(1) México: Empresas y Derechos Humanos. 29 de agosto de 2016. Available at: https://businesshumanrights.org/sites/default/files/documents/Informe_Mx_Empresas_DDHH_68_0.pdf

(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: http://www.frayba.org.mx/archivo/acciones_urgentes/151023_au_05_chicosen.pdf

Source: http://www.frayba.org.mx/archivo/boletines/160905_boletin_17_empresas.pdf

 

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

 

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13682

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September 13, 2016

The Impacts of Megaprojects in Chiapas

Filed under: Dams, Frayba — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:40 am

 

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The Impacts of Megaprojects in Chiapas

 

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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

Information 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: lack of access to 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 is 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 is 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 is 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: https://businesshumanrights.org/sites/default/files/documents/Informe_Mx_Empresas_DDHH_68_0.pdf

(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: http://www.frayba.org.mx/archivo/acciones_urgentes/151023_au_05_chicosen.pdf

Source: http://www.frayba.org.mx/archivo/boletines/160905_boletin_17_empresas.pdf

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service for Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13682

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August 4, 2016

World Day Against Opencast Mining

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

 

 

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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

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/nationaloaxaca-world-day-against-opencast-mining/

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July 12, 2016

Mining Giants Rob Water From Millions of Mexicans Every Year

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

 

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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.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mining-Giants-Rob-Water-From-Millions-of-Mexicans-Every-Year-20160711-0010.html

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May 19, 2016

Joint CNI-EZLN communique on aggression against community of Álvaro Obregón, Oaxaca

Filed under: CNI, Corporations, Human rights, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:34 am

 

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Joint CNI-EZLN communique on aggression against community of Álvaro Obregón, Oaxaca

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MAY 18, 2016

 

JOINT COMMUNIQUE BY THE CNI AND EZLN ON AGGRESSION AGAINST THE COMMUNITY OF ÁLVARO OBREGÓN, OAXACA

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONGRESS

ZAPATISTA ARMY FOR NATIONAL LIBERATION

To the media

To the solidarity organizations

To the Human Rights organizations

To the dignified Binizza community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca

Sisters and Brothers

Our peoples, tribes, communities, organizations, and neighbourhoods see with rage and indignation how the bad government boasts its total lack of shame, through its political parties of every colour, as it continues to attack our peoples and its political parties continue trying to divide our communities. Our voice will not tire of denouncing and shouting, Enough!

On May 14, brutally and shamelessly, the police and bodyguards of the PAN-PRD candidate Gloria Sánchez López dared to aim their murderous weapons at the dignified community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, injuring the six compañeros who were in an assembly, defending their physical and political territory from deadly wind energy projects, whose “clean” energy is filthy with blood, corruption, and death. The candidates from all of the political parties—who even though they are only candidates feel they can already benefit from the impunity they are granted for belonging to the band of criminals badly governing the state of Oaxaca and the country—believe that with bullets they will manage to change the conscience and kill the dignity of the Binizza people.

National politics makes it increasingly clear that the political class has no shame. They believe that they can attack, threaten and intimidate the dignified struggle of the people. With aggressions and violence they try to sow fear in the dignified hearts that defend the land, the water, and the wind. From the four cardinal directions of our indigenous territories we say to them: you cannot! You cannot stop the rage in our hearts from turning into solidarity; you cannot strip us of the dignity of struggling to defend our territories and the life of our peoples; you cannot intimidate the dignified struggle of the Binizza people, who have honored the National Indigenous Congress by being a member for many years now.

 

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Therefore, brothers and sisters of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca, from the four directions of our territories we say to you, you are not alone! You are not alone! We declare ourselves against the acts that the bad government of Mexico and Oaxaca, through their henchman Saúl Vicente Vázquez, municipal president of Juchitán, carry out against the rights to self-determination and autonomy of the people of Álvaro Obregón.

We denounce that the cowardly aggressions made with firearms on May 14 and the ongoing threats. These are an attempt to intimidate the community of Álvaro Obregón, which opposes the installation of wind energy projects in their territory. The politicians get angry when they cannot make their profits by installing these projects of death and who believe that by intimidating the people they will be able to. They are mistaken!

Because of all of this we declare that:

We hold the government of Gabino Cue and Saúl Vicente Vázquez responsible for the aggressions that have occurred and continue to occur against the assembly of the community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitan, Oaxaca.

We demand the investigation and punishment of those responsible for the shots fired by the municipal police of Juchitán and the bodyguards of Gloria Sánchez López.

[We demand] the cancellation of the wind energy projects that they are trying to impose on the territory of the Álvaro Obregón community.

We demand that Gloria Sánchez López and all of the candidates stop trying to impose their party system on the community of Álvaro Obregón.

We demand that they respect the legitimate rights of the Binizza people to elect their own authorities in an autonomous manner.

To the community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca, we say, you are not alone; as the CNI we will be vigilant to make sure these events do not happen again and we will make our voice heard from every corner of our blood-soaked country.

For the full reconstitution of our peoples!

Never again a Mexico without us!

National Indigenous Congress

Zapatista Army for National Liberation

 

cni

 

 

 

COMUNICADO CONJUNTO CNI-EZLN SOBRE LA AGRESIÓN AL PUEBLO DE ÁLVARO OBREGÓN, OAXACA

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April 29, 2016

Las Abejas de Acteal, in support of Xochicuautla, denounce the great capitalist megaprojects

Filed under: Acteal, Corporations, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, La Sexta — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:06 pm

 

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Communiqué from Las Abejas de Acteal, April 22, 2016

 

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Civil Society Organization Las Abejas of Acteal,
Sacred Land of the Martyrs of Acteal,
Chenalhó, Chiapas, Mexico

To the independent organizations, movements, and collectives of the world

To the independent defenders of human rights

To the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)

To the national and international Sexta

To the councils of good government (JBG)

To the free, alternative, and autonomous media or whatever they are called

To los Tercios Compas

To the national and international media

To the national and international civil society

 

Brothers and sisters

The shadow of darkness is marked in the history of the people. All that bears fruit is planted and harvested, in the long, short and medium term. Thus we have protested before and after the massacre of Acteal, and until now violence has dominated in our municipality, but the majority of men and women of our population do not know where the violence, corruption, discrimination, incarceration, injustice and death comes from.

Sisters and brothers, the civil society organization Las Abejas is concerned and saddened for the uncertainty and violence generated in our municipality at least during the last couple of weeks results from ideological differences and the people are becoming very confused.

A state government can allocate a great deal of support and projects but that is not the solution when the people are not in agreement. It can generate more violence and death, but we as people of god and a peaceful organization, our commitment, our mission, and our vision is to announce the truth, and denounce the injustices and the violence because the governors are not willing to give a prompt and equitable solution so that peace can be established. They can only deceive the people to gain more time to bring violence.

And it is when we do not allow ourselves to be directed and used by the projects of the bad government, because the root of evil is money, because everyone wants to earn like the high officials, because ambition brings us to wickedness, as Pope Francisco says.

“We speak of the earth, of work, of homes…we speak of work for peace and care for the environment…but why are we instead accustomed to see the destruction of dignified work, the eviction of many families, the expulsion of campesinxs, the making of war and the abuse of the environment? This is because this system has taken the man, the human being, from the centre, and replaced him with something else. Because there is a worship of money, because all that matters is the logic of profit.”

And not only in the pueblos neighbouring Chenalhó and Chiapas do we see this destruction, but also in other parts of our country like what is happening in the indigenous Otomí community of San Franciso Xochicuautla, state of Mexico, where the machinery of the rich in alliance with the government has entered to continue the construction of a highway megaproject destroying the houses of campesinos.

How many compañeros suffer today through the total destruction of their homes and the plundering of their territories by the megaprojects of the great capitalists who have attempted to destroy our mother earth!

It is urgent to address the demands of the people, because in our constitution are enshrined the right and the individual and social guarantees, and also the convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (OIT) of the right to land and territory.

Compañeras and compañeros, it is necessary to be attentive and to stand in solidarity with our brothers who have suffered so much through displacement, incarceration, violence, and dispossession from their lands. We also have the cases of the compañeros of the community “Primero de Agosto” in the municipality of Las Margaritas who have already completed a year of forced displacement, and the case of those unjustly imprisoned from the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, the repression against the teachers’ movement in Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal. Beyond the borders of Mexico is the case of Berta Cáceres assassinated in Honduras, her relatives were in April 7th of San Cristóbal on their way to the United Nations to present their demands and petitions. The people in general are tired of so much violence and injustice.

Sisters and brothers we must have love for our people and be aware in our peaceful struggle. Because justice doesn’t come from above but is constructed by the people from below. It is necessary to maintain unity and harmony so that the future of our children will be one of peace that they can enjoy, as well as remembering the great heroes who defended our land, like Emiliano Zapata, whose birthday we remembered on April 10, who struggled and gave his blood so that we the campesinos can have “land and liberty.”

 

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Justice for the Acteal Case!

No more crumbs to deceive the people!

No to the megaprojects that destroy the environment and displace the campesinos!

Freedom to the prisoners of Bachajón and all of the political prisoners

No more massacres and persecutions of our people!

Justice in the case of Berta Cáceres!

Love live resistance and autonomy!

ACTEAL, SITE OF CONSCIENCE AND HOUSE OF MEMORY AND HOPE!

Sincerely,

The voice of the civil society organization of Las Abejas!

For the board of directors:

Sebastián Pérez Vásquez José Ramón Vásquez Entzin

Mariano Jiménez Gutiérrez Vicente Sánchez Ordóñez

Juan Pérez Gómez

 

Based on a translation by Palabras Rebeldes

http://komanilel.org/2016/04/23/comunicado-de-las-abejas-de-acteal-22-de-abril-de-2016/

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April 17, 2016

Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón in solidarity with the pueblo of San Francisco Xochicuautla

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:54 am

 

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Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón in solidarity with the pueblo of San Francisco Xochicuautla

 

bachajon

 

FROM EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJÓN, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO. 16 APRIL 2016.

To the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee – General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Good Government Juntas

To the Indigenous National Congress

To the compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the mass and alternative media

To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

Today on this day we express our solidarity with the compañeros from san francisco xochicuautla in the situation of risk they are taking and facing these days due to acts of the bad government, and we point directly to the government as responsible for the repression which they have been doing to the people of san francisco xochicuautla; we are already fed up that they do whatever they want with us, the government always wants to get away with it, to use our natural resources for projects for super-highways to make themselves rich, they order the repression of the peoples who defend the mother earth; the government is nothing more than a figure which comes to destroy the natural assets and get the benefit from them, but we will not allow this because the land belongs to those who work and care for it, not to those who destroy it; so let us join forces to end this injustice committed by the same narco government, which has a habit of sending forces to attack and repress the peoples so they will no longer defend their land, but they are wrong because we are many who want to join forces and put an end to the narco-government.

So we want to tell the compañeros from san francisco xochicuautla that they are not alone, because their struggle is our struggle and we lift up our hands to support them, we will continue in the front and in resistance, to defend ourselves and each other from the acts of the bad government, we join their struggle and raise our voice in solidarity so that in this way we can construct a better world where there is peace and justice, not super-highways that benefit only a few or the bad government itself.

So we express all our solidarity and support to the people of san francisco xochicuautla in their struggle, we want to tell you that our organization is with you, your struggle is ours and we will remain on alert for any act by the narco-government.

We also demand the immediate release of our imprisoned compañeros who have spent years in prison without having committed any crimes, but the government takes it as a crime to demand that the territory be respected, to have the commitment to struggle and defend the mother earth which is being plundered by the government for use for business purposes, they make up crimes to imprison people, they send their minions to repress and intimidate people so they will no longer continue fighting and defending the mother earth, we demand the release of our prisoners Esteban Gómez Jiménez imprisoned in Cintalapa de Figueroa, Chiapas (amate # 14), Santiago Moreno Perez and Emilio Gómez Jiménez prisoners in Playas de Catazajá, Chiapas (CERSS # 17) and well as the freedom of other political prisoners in Mexico and the world.

From the northern zone of the state of Chiapas the women and men of San Sebastian send militant greetings to all the compañeros, communities and peoples of Mexico and the world who are resisting.

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and Freedom

Zapata Vive!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No dispossession of indigenous territories!

The state police out of our indigenous territory!

Immediate presentation of the disappeared and assassinated compañeros from the Normal School Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa!

Long live the dignified struggle of our Chol compañeros y compañeras from the ejido Tila!

Long live the dignified struggle of our compañeros and compañeras from San Francisco Xochicuautla!

Long live the peoples who struggle for their autonomy and freedom!

JUSTICE FOR AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ABC, ATENCO!

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April 15, 2016

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/national-disturbances-in-indigenous-territories-over-the-implementation-of-megaprojects-san-francisco-xochicuautla-and-atenco/

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April 13, 2016

Chiapas meeting vows to stop 5 dam projects

Filed under: Corporations, Dams, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:48 am

 

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Chiapas meeting vows to stop 5 dam projects

Megaprojects seen as offering few benefits to indigenous communities

 

dams

Dam protesters hold a ritual to safeguard the river.

 

Mexico News Daily | Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The indigenous people of Chiapas continue to speak out against the construction of hydroelectric power generation plants on the Usumacinta River.

A Mexico-Guatemala bilateral project, the Boca del Cerro dam is the first of five that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) plans to build on the river in the next four years.

The dam at Boca del Cerro will raise water levels by 55.5 meters and create a reservoir that extends over a 1,799-hectare area in the municipalities of Tenosique and Palenque on the Mexican side.

Social advocacy and indigenous groups met in San Cristóbal de las Casas on the weekend to form a common front against the project and denouncing what they claim are abuses by government authorities.

Citizens fear that the Tenosique town of San Carlos Boca del Cerro will “immediately disappear” after it is taken over by the offices and camp of the company in charge of building the dam.

In addition to concerns over ecological damage residents are worried that “the government won’t compensate [for the loss of] our lands, the cost of living will increase and the Chole and Tzetzal people will disappear from the region.”

In a communiqué issued after the meeting, the organizations stated that the Boca del Cerro dam was being imposed by the federal government “in clear violation of the second article of the constitution,” which grants indigenous people autonomy and the right to be consulted before any major public works project takes places on their lands.

The more than 300 people at the meeting concluded that they will stop, by all available means, the construction of all five dams because of their effect on the customs and traditions of residents and the area’s geography.

“The [existing] dams at Chicoasén, La Angostura, Malpaso and Peñitas have brought development and well-being, but not locally. In all of those cases, broad arable lands, dwellings, and even complete villages were sacrificed, sunk, all to guarantee the country’s power supply . . . why should we believe it will be different this time?”

The imposition of dams and other large projects is seen as a reality throughout the country, according to the social organization Serapaz, or Services and Consultancy for Peace.

“Each year,” said Serapaz executive director Alberto Solís Castro, “we advise about 25 cases on average, all about indigenous people defending their territory from megaprojects, be it natural gas pipelines, thermoelectric power plants, dams, highways or mines.”

“[The promoters of these developments] act much like organized crime. They impose themselves in the villages, buying off local authorities, particularly those in charge of the land . . . a dynamic of harassment and pressure then begins, forcing the communities to yield and accept the project.”

“Once these projects get the go-ahead, indigenous communities are displaced and their lands subjected to pressures that inevitably have negative consequences for the environment and strategic natural resources, like water,” said Claudia Campero of the Mexican Alliance Against Fracking.

Serapaz and indigenous groups in Sonora have halted the first of six planned mining projects in the northern state.

“Energy reform makes these impositions easier for projects that involve power generation or extraction of hydrocarbons; they’re trying to overhaul the legal system to favor these kinds of projects,” said Campero.

Source: La Jornada (sp),  El Sie7e (sp), Reforma (sp)

http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/chiapas-meeting-vows-to-stop-5-dam-projects/

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April 11, 2016

Pilgrimage in defence of Mother Earth denounces dispossession in Chiapas

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:06 pm

 

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 Pilgrimage in defence of Mother Earth denounces dispossession in Chiapas

Desinformémonos
NO-a-la-construcción-de-Boca-del-Cerro-1

 

The pilgrimage in defence of Mother Earth and in Memory of the Massacre at Viejo Velasco, arrived on 5th April at Pamalhá, Chiapas, as part of its aim to denounce the territorial dispossession suffered by communities and indigenous peoples.

During the pilgrimage they witnessed deforestation “caused by the ambition of the chiefs and the government” which destroys the hills, for the past three years they have been dedicated to selling off all the natural resources in the region.

One of the objectives of the pilgrimage is to set a precedent for the defence of and struggle for our Mother Earth, which is constantly being threatened by already-planned megaprojects which will affect the peoples of the area, as in the case of the 30 communities around the Usumacinta river, who have not been consulted about the construction of the Boca del Cerro hydroelectric dam.

Neverthless, the pilgrimage is moved forward with solidarity, joy and motivation, looking to win the struggle in favour of all forms of life in this country.

 

http://desinformemonos.org.mx/peregrinacion-en-defensa-de-la-madre-tierra-denuncia-despojo-por-megaproyectos/

 

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Dam Threatens to Displace 60 Communities in Mexico and Guatemala

Filed under: Displacement, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:29 am

 

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Dam Threatens to Displace 60 Communities in Mexico and Guatemala

 

chiapas.jpg_1718483346The Boca del Cerro dam threatens communities in Mexico and Guatemala. | Photo: EFE

 

Communities from both sides of the Mexico-Guatemala border are saying “No” to the mega-project that violates their Indigenous land rights.

More than 60 communities spanning across the southern Mexican state of Chiapas and Guatemala have voiced outrage over a hydroelectric project that threatens to displace them, the Mexican daily La Jornada reported Saturday.

The Boca del Cerro dam is one of five hydroelectric projects planned for the waterway that straddles the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Leaders from community organizations, including groups in Chiapas aligned with the Zapatista army, have spoken out against the dam that is already under construction on the Usumacinta River.

At a forum for resistance and community alternatives in Chiapas on Saturday, community leaders warned that the dam threatens to “immediately disappear the community of San Carlos Boca del Cerro,” La Jornada reported.

“The government will not compensate us for our land, it will increase the cost of living, and it will disappear us as Chol and Tzeltal Indigenous people of the region,” movement representatives added in a statement about their concerns over the impending but unwanted development.

Without the approval of local affected communities, the Boca del Cerro project violates the International Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, known as ILO 169, which enshrined the right of Indigenous peoples to free prior and informed consent for all development on their traditional territories.

Representatives said that their communities will fight to stop the construction of the dam, to halt a possible eviction from their land and to protect their right to self-determination against the whims of corporate interests.

The groups gathered also expressed solidarity with Honduran movements in mourning over the assassination of environmental activist Berta Caceres, renowned for her resistance against unwanted hydroelectric projects on Indigenous land, and reiterated demands for her murderers to be brought to justice.

According to researchers, some 200,000 people have been displaced by the construction of dams across Mexico, while advocacy groups warn that the country’s new water law will only continue to make the situation worse. Many of Mexico’s 4,462 dams registered in official records are in Indigenous and campesino communities.

Resistance against dam projects also takes a heavy toll. Since 2005, over 40 activists fighting to defend rivers have been killed in Mexico, Central America and Colombia, according to GeoComunes.

Among those killed in connection with dam projects in the past decade, at least eight were killed in Mexico and 13 in Guatemala.

 

 

“http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Dam-Threatens-to-Displace-60-Communities-in-Mexico-Guatemala–20160410-0023.html”

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