“For us, air not only represents life, it also carries loved ones who have died. When one dies, their spirit becomes air and returns to the people.”
By Jaime Quintana Guerrero
January 20, 2016
Translated by Scott Campbell
Bi, in the Binnizaá or Zapotec language, means “air”, means “spirit.” “For us, air not only represents life, it also carries loved ones who have died. When one dies, their spirit becomes air and returns to the people.”
The struggles against the wind farms that abound throughout the state also, then, contain this element: “They want to change the path of the wind, of the air, of our spirits, of our loved ones.”
Carlos Martínez Fuentes, a member of Radio Totopo in Juchitán, Oaxaca, is the one who explained the above. Radio Totopo, with its nine years transmitting together with the spirits in the air, also belongs to the Popular Assembly of the Juchitecan People.
Continue reading “Oaxaca, the fight for the air”
On March 2, community members assembled in Álvaro Obregón to defend the decisions of their general assembly. Around 2:15 PM, gunmen opened fire.
By Scott Campbell
For more than a year, the indigenous Binnizá community of Álvaro Obregón, in the Isthmus of Oaxaca, have defended their lands against the imposition of a wind park by the multinational Spanish firm Mareña Renovables. As part of that struggle, “the community became aware that the parties and political leaders have only used them for political and personal ends.” In August of 2013, the community held an assembly and decided to return to the traditional indigenous usos y costumbres form of governance, where community leaders are selected via general assembly, without the participation of political parties.
With 1,236 people participating, the general assembly to select the community’s leaders was held on December 8, 2013. Yet on February 8, 2014, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, the Municipal President of Juchitán, which includes Álvaro Obregón, announced that new elections, involving political parties, would be held in Álvaro Obregón on March 2, ignoring the popular and expressed will of the people. Ironically, Vicente Vázquez until recently served as an expert on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Continue reading “Gunmen attack assembly in Álvaro Obregón”
Strengthening the Struggle to Defend Territory on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
[ March in Álvaro Obregón. February 10, 2013 ]
by Daniel Arellano Chávez
Today, February 10, 2013 is certainly a watershed in the struggle for the defense of the land and territory on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. After the successful resistance against the repression ordered by Oaxaca state governor Gabino Cué to shield Mareña Renovables, the peoples of the Isthmus are at a decisive moment in their struggle to defend their territory. The Assembly held today and the sizeable march in Álvaro Obregón has provided the ideal setting for announcing townspeople’s decisions, expelling false political leaders and their political parties, and beginning the construction of a Community Police.
At the old General Charis military quarters, the scene of the historic resistance of February 2, men and women from San Dionisio del Mar, San Mateo del Mar, Xadani, Emiliano Zapata, San Blas Atempa, Unión Hidalgo, and Juchitán, among other communities, came together in the morning to ratify their total rejection of the wind projects in the region and demand the immediate expulsion of Mareña Renovables from the territories of the Isthmus.
Continue reading “Constructing a community police in the town of Álvaro Obregón”
by Scott Campbell
December 30, 2010
On December 16, a freight train left Arraiga, Chiapas, with 300 migrants from Central America riding on top of it. While passing through Oaxaca the train was stopped twice. First, around 100 people were detained at an immigration checkpoint. Twenty minutes later, those remaining on the train were attacked by a gang of armed men, presumably Zetas or Maras, two groups known for preying on migrants and robbing or kidnapping them. Kidnapped migrants are usually held for ransom or forced to become gunmen or drug mules. The Zetas are likely responsible for the massacre of 72 Central American migrants in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas on August 24 of this year.
During the attack, at least 40 migrants were kidnapped and have not been heard from since. Of the 300 people to depart from Chiapas, only 20 made it to Ixtepec, Oaxaca, a common layover stop where a Catholic-run migrant shelter is located. A short video with testimonies from some of those who survived the events is posted on YouTube. I translated it and added the subtitles, so any errors in those departments are mine.
Continue reading “Dozens of migrants attacked and kidnapped in Oaxaca”
Wind power projects on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southeastern Mexico harm land of Zapotecan farmers.
During the months of November and December 2009, journalists from the Netherlands traveled for a project called LA Ruta. The intent of the project is to report on the Millennium Development Goals from the perspective of the civil society and social movements.
In this important video, LA Ruta visited Juchitán, Oaxaca on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southeastern Mexico to report on the conflict between Zapotecan farmers and wind energy firms.
Continue reading “Wind industry takes over Zapotecan lands”