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Autonomy Culture Indigenous Land Defense

On the Coast of Oaxaca, Afro and Indigenous Tribes Fight for Water Autonomy

By Samantha Demby

At dawn on March 14—celebrated internationally as the Day of Action against Dams and in Defense of Rivers—Afro-Mexican, Indigenous, and mestizo peoples met on the shores of the Río Verde to participate in a ritual of gratitude and resistance.

They were gathered for the Río Verde Festival, organized each March by the Consejo de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa del Río Verde (Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Río Verde, COPUDEVER). This water protector movement was formed in 2007 when dozens of communities organized to stop the Federal Electricity Commission from building a hydroelectric dam on their river, which they say would flood their homes and contaminate their only source of water.

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Autonomy Indigenous Land Defense Media Solidarity

Support an Independent Journalism Collective in Latin America

For the past four years, Avispa Midia has provided in-depth coverage of events throughout Latin America, from risky situations like the 2016 teachers’ protests in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, where federal police assassinated 8 people, to catastrophes like the major earthquakes that devastated Mexico in September 2017. They have also worked throughout Central America and Brazil to investigate how military and police forces collude with organized crime to control populations and protect corporate interests.

Today, this independent journalism collective — which has made the best of limited resources in the absence of stable funding — is asking for your solidarity so that it can continue to visit and document resistance movements and fix and replace basic equipment.

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