Oaxaca: Geopolitics and the Earthquake

“The heart aches, but it is of utmost importance that in the face of this tragedy we do not cease to observe the geopolitical context of the Ithmus region.”

By: Griselda Sánchez
Photos by: Marisol Balbuena Delgado y brigada médica y solidaria.

The people of Oaxaca have had a difficult week. First came President Enrique Peña Nieto’s visit to the capital on Thursday, September 7th for the inauguration of a Cultural and Convention Center, on the occasion of the 24th Conference of the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE). It was evident that the conference was the main motive for Peña’s presence at the event, since he was joined by Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, the Mexican Secretary of Economy, and Valentín Diez Morodo, the President of COMCE, as well as businessmen from important national and international companies; ambassadors and their commercial counselors from the diplomatic corps; the secretaries of the federal government, and the Director of Trade Negotiations of the World Trade Organization.

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Rebel Oaxaca kicks out Peña Nieto

Oaxaca says Go Home.

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Up until now, Enrique Peña Nieto hasn’t been able to make a public visit to the city of Oaxaca because too many people have come out against it. But last September 7th, the chief executive took advantage of the inauguration of the Cultural and Convention Center to make a brief surprise visit.  His stated goal was to attract big investments from the 900 businessmen attending Mexico’s 24th Foreign Trade Conference.  And in order to attract those investments, he planned to show that the rebel city has become a stable place, where all protests are under control and a state of law prevails.

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Indigenous Communities in Oaxaca Resist Megaprojects

“The struggle isn’t for a piece of land, it is the struggle for the life of the native people who have every right to decide how they want to live.”

By Renata Bessi and Santiago Navarro F for Avispa Midia
Translated by Xiadani Yaremi Gutiérrez for It’s Going Down

The Chinantec people, inhabitants of the Cajonos River basin in the north of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, are carrying out an organizational process throughout their entire territory, the Chinantla, against economic projects that seek to commodify nature as a whole. They are megaprojects such as mining, hydroelectric dams, highways, conservation projects, and, more recently, hydrocarbons. It is not a coincidence Chinantla is considered a priority of economic interest for the Mexican government. It houses the third largest tropical rainforest in Mexico. After the Lacandona jungle in Chiapas, and the Chimalapas in Oaxaca, it is the best preserved and one of the richest in biodiversity.

“The Chinantla is a priority area for exploitation because of its wealth, its diversity. It’s part of a strategic Mesoamerican plan that comprises all that is Veracruz, the Chinantla zone, Chiapas and Central America in the so-called Plan Mérida and Mesoamerica Project. The objective of the Mexican government and businesses is to create a corridor for the exploitation of water, minerals, coal reserves, and electricity-generating projects. Here are the plants, bacteria, mushrooms that heal, and these are all things they also want to take away,” explained biologist Patricia Mora, from the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Integral Regional Development – Oaxaca Unit of the National Polytechnic Institute (CIIDIR Oaxaca).

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In February 2017, elenemigocomun.net celebrates its 12 year anniversary. I say celebrate but we don’t really celebrate as we are not the celebrating type. So in fact our 12 year anniversary will pass unannounced. For 12 years we have been churning out independent media from Mexico in English and Spanish. For 12 years our independent journalists have published investigative articles that continue to be relevant today. For 12 years elenemgocomun.net has not asked our readers for any direct monetary support. All we asked was that you read us, reference us, repost us, and use our work to call out and counter the often-disgraceful corporate journalism about Mexico and the Mexican people.

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New Documentary: Oaxaca Ingobernable

With this documentary, we want to make public what took place between June and August of 2016, through the voices of the citizens, teachers, mothers, and municipal authorities of Oaxaca.

Since June of 2016 — ten years since the uprising that for more than six months this state in the south of Mexico participated in — professors and communities from the eight regions of Oaxaca returned to the streets.

Their main demand is the repeal not only of the educational reform, but also of the whole package of structural reforms better known as the “Pact for Mexico,” which the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto—under the influence of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank—has been trying to impose since 2013.

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