Ten Years After the Repression: When Oaxaca’s Gold and Silver was Handed to Canada’s Fortuna Mines

On May 6, 2009, 3,500 Federal and State Police descended upon the Valley of Ocotlán, Oaxaca, and occupied the territory of the municipality of San José del Progreso, handing over the gold and silver to the Canadian mining company Fortuna Silver Mines.

By Daniel Arellano Chávez, Regeneración Radio

“It was 9 a.m., we did not open the curtains or windows of the house because they were already firing tear gas. The helicopters were circling low; only briefly did we leave the house to see what was going on. We saw the people of my village running along the streets as the Federales arrived,” those, who at the time were six-year-old kids, remember. “We heard sirens, a lot of noise, fireworks, shouting, vehicles racing along the streets”.

The 3,500 combined troops of Federal and State Police came with military boots, bulletproof vests, clubs, shields, grenade launchers for tear gas, pistols and rifles as they descended upon the Valley of Ocotlán, Oaxaca on May 6, 2009, and occupied the territory of the municipality of San José del Progreso. This also meant handing over the gold and silver, which can be found in the Valley of Ocotlán to the Canadian mining company Fortuna Silver Mines for the next 10 years.

Continue reading “Ten Years After the Repression: When Oaxaca’s Gold and Silver was Handed to Canada’s Fortuna Mines”

The Neoliberalism of Mexico’s New Government Continues to Dispossess and Kill

Two members of the National Indigenous Congress kidnapped and murdered by narco-paramilitaries who receive government backing.

Following the article is a statement from the Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ) on the assassination of two of its members.

By Ñaní Pinto, Avispa Midia
Translated by Scott Campbell

For the indigenous peoples of Mexico, the winds of war today seem to be the same as those of previous governments. Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) government has been in power just four months and the imposition of development projects, dispossession, persecution, harassment, forced disappearances, and murders continue as before.

On May 4, in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, indigenous Nahuas belonging to the Popular Indigenous Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG-EZ), held a meeting to coordinate actions at state and federal agencies to pressure them into meeting their social and political demands that had been rejected by the three levels of government. At the end of the meeting, at approximately 6pm, an armed group in Chilapa, Guerrero, kidnapped and later murdered José Lucio Bartolo Faustino and Modesto Verales Sebastián, both members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI).

On more than one occasion, members of CIPOG-EZ informed the Mexican president that they had been under “siege by criminal organizations tolerated by the three levels of government,” reported members of the Indigenous Governing Council (CIG). The indigenous groups are unequivocal in asserting that AMLO had information about the situation in these communities and therefore cannot say that “he did not know.”

For their part, in a joint statement, the CNI-CIG and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) said that the indigenous men were killed by narco-paramilitaries who receive government backing. “It is important to mention that our murdered compañeros and their communities have for years been organizing their own Community Police in order to resist the violence, extortion, and poppy cultivation imposed by two criminal groups in the area, Los Ardillos and Los Rojos. These two groups control municipal presidencies across the region and are protected by the Mexican army and the municipal and state police. At one point they even managed to get one of their leaders named president of the Guerrero State Congress,” the statement asserted.

Continue reading “The Neoliberalism of Mexico’s New Government Continues to Dispossess and Kill”

Samir Didn’t Die! He Multiplied!

Samir lives on and the struggle goes on!

With sorrow and rage, thousands of Mexican people are mourning the assassination of Samir Flores Soberanes and promising to carry on on his commitment to the defense of the land, water, education, grassroots communication and autonomy of the people.

On February 20th at 5 o’clock in the morning, Samir Flores was killed just outside his front door in Amilcingo, state of Morelos. “Around 5 o’clock in the morning, two carloads parked outside his house and began to call him until Samir went out; four shots were heard and two of them hit him in his head, killing our comrade,” says a statement released by the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land and Water in Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala.

People immediately began to arrive in his town for the wake that was held with much love and affection.

A message from the Assembly of the Peoples of Morelos (APPM), which Samir founded, says: “We have no more boys, girls, sons, daughters, wives,  husbands, sisters, brothers, fathers or mothers to sacrifice…We have no more tears to cry.”

Samir was then sown in the earth, from which many more forms of struggle will surely spring.  Since then, there have been protests and acts of solidarity in Amilcingo, Huezca, Puebla and Mexico City, and messages of support have arrived from different parts of Mexico and the world.

“Cheerful, brave, untiring, solidary and committed, with clear ideas, Samir was an example of struggle for all of us,” say his comrades in the Front.

They highlight the fact that this Nahuatl indigeonous man was the founder of the Amiltzinko Community Radio100.7 FM, and that he worked with the children in the community “teaching them to know and love their territory.” He also belonged to the Parents’ Committee of the school in Amilcingo.

For many years, Samir has also been a member of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI). A communiqué from the  CNI-CIG-EZLN reads: “We hold the bad government and its bosses—corporations and armed groups that operate both legally and illegally—responsible for this crime, through which they intend to rob us blind, kill us off, and extinguish the glimmers of light that give us hope, which is what our compañero Samir was to us.”

For almost a decade, Samir Flores Soberanes  fostered resistance to an energy project proposed by the Felipe Calderón regime, with no free, prior, informed consent as required in  the  International Labor Organization  Convention No. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal People, and other international accords.

The project consists of two thermoelectic power plants in the nearby town of Huexca, to be fueled with gas from the state of Puebla, by means of a gas pipeline that would run along the outskirts of the Popocatépetl volcano, affecting the mainly indigenous communities in the states of Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos, including the town of Amilcingo. The Statement of Environmental Impact revealed the dangers involved in having a gas pipeline in the area of the volcano.

A gas pipeline that goes right up to the volcano? Isn’t that crazy? asked a 10-year-old.

Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador said the same thing in 2014, when he visited Huexca during his campaign for the presidency of Mexico and vowed to cancel the project. Now that he is President, everything’s changed, and the interests of the huge multinational corporations rule.

Last February 10th, in a rally held in the city of Cuautla, the President announced a consultation that is illegal, illegitimate and unequal, and accused opponents of the Huexca project of being “leftist radicals” who are also “conservatives” for not favoring the “change” that he is proposing. During the rally,  Samir and his comrades denounced the damage that the project would do in their communities.

On February 11th, the Front sent a letter to Lopez Obrador, warning him that  his “consultation”  could lead to violence in the affected communities.

On February 19th, the delegate of the federal government in Morelos, Hugo Erick Flores, participated in an “informative assembly” in Jonacatepec, near Amilcingo. There, Samir Flores received applause for his arguments against the megadeath project, including a reduced supply and lower quality of water in the affected communities, as well as the production of acid rain caused by the gas from the power plant.

On both occasions, Samir denounced the “consultation” planned by López Obrador throughout the state of Morelos, ignoring the long struggle in the communities directly affected by the project. The president said that he’s sorry about Samir’s death but that the consultation will go on as planned.

Today, February 23rd, the first day of the consultation, there have been ballots burned at polling points and arrests of comrades who were handing out information about the risks of the power plant.

Samir lives on and the struggle goes on!

CODEDI Demands Justice for Assassination of Abraham Hernández Gonzales

CODEDI holds Governor Alejandro Murat responsible for assassination of Abraham Hernández

TO THE PEOPLES OF OAXACA

TO THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS

TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS

TO INDEPENDENT AND COMMERCIAL NEWS MEDIA

Today Tuesday 17th of July at 11:30 AM, a group of armed men with ski masks dressed in military style uniforms broke into Abraham Hernández Gonzales’ home in Salchi, Pochutla, and they violently took the compañero from his home. They later transported him in a gray pick-up truck with license plate number RH-70-92 along with motorcycles which escorted the truck.

Immediately after Hernandez Gonzales was picked up several police agencies were notified and none of them made any effort to find the compañero, who after five hour was found dead near the same community.

Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat is directly responsible for this kidnapping and assassination of our compañero Abraham Hernández, who carried out the important job of local coordinator for the community of Los Ciruelos. The government’s lack of interest in solving cases like this one demonstrates its complicity with criminal organizations that operate in the region and the state. Allowing these organizations to operate freely at all hours of the day without being detained by anyone illustrates the farce that is the government operation “Safe Beach”; in reality these are the places with the greatest degree of insecurity, and even more so with the return of the PRI to Oaxaca’s state government, whom we know are connected to narcotics trafficking.

Continue reading “CODEDI Demands Justice for Assassination of Abraham Hernández Gonzales”

On 8th anniversary Xayakalan inspires defense of land and life

“We want to tell the world that we’re resisting, come what may.”

x carolina

Under heavy rains, two busloads of people and dozens of others traveling in cars or public transportation came together in the community of Xayakalan in Ostula, Michoacán, on June 29, 2017. There, the compañeras welcomed us with steaming coffee, tortillas and a delicious stew.

The purpose of the trip?  The celebration of the eighth anniversary of one of the most amazing things that’s happened in Mexico in many years ––the recovery of 3000 acres of land stolen from Ostula half a century ago, and the construction of a community where resistance is part of its identity.

A bit of history

In a brief history of the defense of the lands of Santa María Ostula and the founding of Xayakalan, the lawyer Carlos Gonzalez told us that for centuries, including the entire twentieth century, the community had constant border conflicts. When a presidential decree issued in 1963 certified that the communal lands rightfully belonged to Ostula, small landowners in La Placita took advantage of errors in the decree to take over thousands of acres. In 2008, they won a court case that took land away from Ostula precisely in the area where they’d obtained concessions from the transnational mining company Termium.   Continue reading “On 8th anniversary Xayakalan inspires defense of land and life”