Call for the Global Campaign: The Isthmus is Ours

From El Istmo Es Nuestro
Translated by Scott Campbell

Isthmus of Tehuantepec
June 2019

The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is a region of Mexico shared by the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz. It is the narrowest part of the country between two oceans: the Pacific to the south and the Atlantic to the north (better known as the Gulf of Mexico), and a meeting point between flora and fauna from the north and south. These characteristics make the Isthmus the most biologically diverse area of the country, an invaluable richness of life concentrated on the territories of 11 different Indigenous peoples. Eight with ancestral lands (Zapotec, Mixe, Ikoots, Zoque/Chimalapa, Zoque Popoluca, Chontal, Chochoco and Nahua) and three peoples who migrated due to displacement and forced relocation (Chinanteco, Mixtec, and Tsotsil). Indigenous peoples who to this day have resolutely protected the natural wealth of our territories.

Facing the imminent threat of the Fourth Transformation government and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to impose on the peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the people of Mexico, and the nation itself, the so-called “Integral Development Plan for the Isthmus of Tehuantepec – Interoceanic Train” (popularly known since 1996 as the “Isthmus Megaproject”), and considering that:

  • The aforementioned Isthmus Megaproject is nothing but a monstrous, multimodal dry canal, an alternative to the Panama Canal, for the benefit of corporate global commerce between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans;
  • Has as its central features: a cargo bullet train, the widening and modernization of the Trans-Isthmus Highway as well as the ports of Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos;
  • Accompanied by the plundering and privatization of the invaluable natural wealth of Indigenous and campesino territories in 80 Oaxacan and Veracruzano municipalities located in the most biodiverse area of Mexico for an industrial and agroindustrial corridor for maquiladora, shipping and extractivist companies (mining, petroleum, wind farms, dams, tourism, etc.);
  • All in the service of the interests and for multimillions in profit for multinational companies and the most powerful governments in the world;
  • An investment of this magnitude would involve the complete militarization of the entire Isthmus, putting at risk the most geostrategic region of our nation.

For these reasons, we publicly state that this Isthmus Megaproject – Interoceanic Train, constitutes a serious attack against: 

  • Mother Nature
  • The rights of the peoples of the Isthmus
  • The rights of the entire Mexican people; and
  • National sovereignty

For all these reasons, we call on:

  • The People of Mexico
  • The Indigenous Peoples, the Black Afro-Mexican People, and the Campesino Communities of Oaxaca, Veracruz, Mexico and the World
  • The People of the Isthmus (of Oaxaca and Veracruz)
  • All social movements and organizations committed to the defense of Mother Earth and the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico and the World.
  • All Mexican citizens interested in defending national sovereignty and integrity
  • The local, national, and international media
  • Local, national, and international public opinion

That, from this moment – taking up the experience lived through “The Isthmus is Ours” national movement of 1995-1998 and in alliance with all those movements and organizations that consistently fight for the same objectives, we are initiating the rebuilding of a broad and diverse movement and an intense global campaign called:


For the Indigenous peoples,

For the Mexican people,

Not for companies,

Nor for governments

A movement and campaign that is a combative instrument to deeply inform, reflect, analyze and dialogue about the true risks and dangers this monstrous megaproject of death brings for the Isthmus of Tehuantepec – the geopolitical midsection of our nation – and to massively and pluralistically mobilize ourselves, not just to stop and reverse its implementation, but to:

Collectively build an alternative proposal for sustainable, communal, and popular development for the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

We invite you to sign on to the current call as well as join and support all the activities carried out through this campaign and movement, starting today,

No to the Isthmus Megaproject!

Yes to life!


To sign on to the call, please send the name of your community/people/organization/collective to:

Or on Facebook at:

Follow the global campaign at:

F R A T E R N A L L Y:

Acción por la Biodiversidad (Argentina)

Articulación de Pueblos Originarios del Istmo Oaxaqueño en Defensa del Territorio (APOYO)

Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT):

(Asamblea de Comuneros de Santa María Xadani, Asamblea Comunitaria, Concejo de Ancianos, Cabildo Comunitario, Concejo de Mujeres Autónomas y Policía Comunitaria del Pueblo de Gui’ Xhi’ Ro’, Álvaro Obregón – Juchitán, Concejo de Mujeres Autónomas “Guie Sicarú” de Santa Rosa de Lima (CoMAA), Concejo de Mujeres Autónomas de Chicapa de Castro (CoMAA), Asambleas de Comuneros y asamblea de Resistencia de La Ventosa. Asambleas de Resistencia de: Juchitán. San Francisco del Mar. Reforma Integral – Ixhuatán. Reforma de Pineda. Huanacastal, El Jícaro – Zanatepec. Tapananetepec. Pesquería Trejo – Chahuites Radio Comuntaria Stidxa Guidxi)

Brigadas Emiliano Zapata de México (BEZ-MÉX)

Café Zapata Vive (Cd Mx)

Centro de Derechos Humanos Espacios para la Defensa, el Florecimiento y Apoyo Comunitario, A.C. (Juchitán, Oaxaca)

Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac del Istmo de Tehuantepec, A.C.

Centro de Estudios para el Cambio del Campo Mexicano, A.C. (CECCAM)(Cd Mx)

Colectivo Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas)

Colectivo de Grupos de la Asamblea de Barrios de la Ciudad de México (CG-ABCM)

Comité Nacional para la Defensa y Conservación de los Chimalapas
(CNDyCCh) (Cd Mx) (Red de la sociedad civil, integrada por más de un centenar de redes de la sociedad civil, movimientos sociales académicos, artistas, ongs y ciudadan@s)

Comité por la Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas (CODEDI)

Concejo de Organizaciones Oaxaqueñas Autónomas (COOA)

Congregación Comunal, La Libertad (Sta. María Chimalapa, Oax.)

Congreso Nacional Indígena y Concejo Indígena de Gobierno (CNI-CIG)

Coordinadora de Pueblos y Organizaciones del Oriente del estado de México en Defensa de la Tierra, el Agua y su Cultura

Cooperativa Autónoma Cimarronez Anticapitalismo Organizado (C.A.C.A.O.)

Coordinación de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa de la Energía Eléctrica (CPUEDEE: Edomex, Puebla y CDMX)

Craneoscopio Editorial (CDMX)

Difunto Acústico – Cantaautor (Riverside CA)

Editorial Ce-Acatl (Cd Mx)

Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y Agua Morelos, Puebla y Tlaxcala (FPDTA)

Huerto Roma Verde (Cd Mx)

Heriberto Rodríguez – Fotógrafo, Colectivo Radio Zapatista

Ik Balam – Agencia de Noticias Ambientales (Cd Mx)

José María León Villalobos – Investigador, Centro Geo

La Coperacha – Información Cooperativa

La Cuadra A.C. (Cd Mx)

Laboratorio Popular de Medios Libres (Cd Mx)

Maderas del Pueblo del Sureste, A.C. (Chimalapas, Oaxaca)

Movimiento Regional Indígena en Defensa y Respeto por la Vida (Veracruz)

Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos en Oaxaca (OIDHO)

Pacto de Grupos Ecologistas (PGE) (Cd Mx)

Proceso de Articulación de la Sierra de Santa Marta del Sur de Veracruz

Proyecto Carta Mesoamericana (Cd Mx)

Semillitas Zapatistas

Servicios para una Educación Alternativa A.C. (EDUCA) (Oaxaca)

Unión de Lucha Anticapitalista, integrante del Encuentro Nacional por la Unidad del Pueblo Mexicano (Cd Mx)

Yunhiz Espacio Alternativo (Oaxaca)