SIPAZ Activities (Beginning of January to end of March 2016)


January 11: a group of armed persons take the leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) in the Triqui region, Julian Gonzalez Dominguez, from his home and murder him. The leader had received threats over an agrarian conflict in the region and his wife has precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (CIDH).

January 21: four years and seven months after the murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, killed during a humanitarian caravan to the San Juan Copala in the Triqui region, the alleged killer is captured: Elias Cruz Merino, leader of the Movement of Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and current agent of San Juan Copala.

January 27: despite having protective measures, the human rights defender of the indigenous in Matias Romero, Silvia Pérez Tinder, from the Indigenous Women for Conservation, Research and Development of Natural Resources (CIARENA) organization, receives new threats. Other members of the same organization also report incidents.

January 28: the sit-in at the Antonio Dovalí Jaime refinery in Salina Cruz port by members of the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (Ucizoni) and other social organizations is violently evicted. The sit-in demands negotiations over the Jáltipan pipeline form Veracruz to Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, and the payment of damages for oil spills over the last 20 years.

January 29: third anniversary of resistance to wind megaprojects by the Huave people, San Dionisio del Mar, is commemorated with a march.

February 4: members of organizations working for the rights of women deliver a Legislative Agenda to Congress to promote gender equity, consisting of amendments to the Criminal and Civil Codes and the State Law on Access of Women to a Life Free of Violence.

February 8: at an assembly of representatives of 25 villages, intimidation and threats by Pemex workers who prepare land for the construction of the Jáltipan pipeline, Veracruz-Salina Cruz, are reported.

February 11: threats by members of the Social Welfare Unit of the Triqui Region (Ubisort) against two female witnesses to the murder of the activists Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, killed in April 2010 during a humanitarian caravan to San Juan Copala Triqui region, are denounced at a press conference.

February 12: defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez, a member of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), is cleared of federal charges following a complaint by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) for allegedly having prevented the entry and exit of a group of workers during a protest against facilities of the company.

February 13: attempted eviction of the barracks of the Ministry of Public Security (SSP) in Santa Maria Coyotepec, in which the state police are on strike since January 30, demanding the resignation of the Secretary of Public Security, the reinstatement of policemen suspended for forcing their way into the appearance of the Secretary and for better working conditions. It leaves a toll of ten wounded and five detained policemen, subsequently exchanged.

Mid-February: members of the European Parliament (MEPs) point out the slowness and selectivity of justice in Mexico, given that the Copala case has enforced only two arrest warrants with 11 still pending, according to public servants.

March 3: harassment and threats against social activists during the implementation of the second stage of wind farm consultation in Juchitan de Zaragoza, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

March 15: peaceful protest demanding justice for the third anniversary of the murder of Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, spokesperson for the Coordinator of United Peoples of Ocotlán Valley (COPUVO) in resistance to Fortuna Silver Mines mining company in San José del Progreso .

March 31: arrival of Migrant’s Stations of the Cross to Oaxaca, after government attempts to stop it.

April 8: foundation of Migrants’ and Refugees’ Defenders Collective (Codemire), composed of 28 houses and hostels for migrants located in southern, central and northern Mexico.

April 10: Oaxaca City holds the Encounter on Experiences of Consultation on Infrastructure and Development Projects within the framework of the second Day Of People, Water, Life and the Earth for the right to decide on the development projects that affect their lands and territories.

16 April: attacks by the Eólica del Sur company on Bettina Cruz Velázquez and Rodrigo Peñaloza, members of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT).

18 April: following the Migrants’ Stations of the Cross, 30 arrests are made of migrants in transit, despite having an injunction against arrest or deportation.

April 21: Oaxaca Truth Commission press conference denouncing threats against members.

April 27: commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the murder of human rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola during a humanitarian caravan to San Juan Copala in the Triqui region.

May 2-3: fifth Indigenous, Campesino and Popular Encounter is held in Juchitan, with analysis and proposals against megaprojects.

May 18: confrontation between residents of San Antonio Chimalapa agency of the municipality of San Miguel Chimalapa, and inhabitants of the state of Chiapas, leaves two injured and four detained.

Early June: Omar Esparza Zarate, widower of Bety Cariño, assassinated in 2010 along with Jyri Jaakkola in a humanitarian caravan to San Juan Copala, denounces threats to lawyers in the case and the existence of group willing to kill, allegedly hired by the leader of the Triqui Movement for Unification and Struggle (MULT) along with with the Triqui Region Social Welfare Unit (Ubisort).

June 4: some 7,000 members of the Federal Police, Gendarmerie and Army begin to arrive to prevent roadblocks the dissident teachers against the midterm elections. Popular rejection of militarization and criminalization of social protest and holding Oaxaca in a “state of siege”.

June 7: hectic election day in the midterm elections with 440 incidents, 92 arrested, wounded, missing and one dead.

June 14: on the ninth anniversary of the attempted eviction of the teachers’ sit-in in 2006, about 10,000 teachers march in Oaxaca City. The Oaxaca Truth Commission (CVO) also held a public meeting with the inclusion of testimonies of imprisonment and relatives of victims of forced disappearance during the repression of the Oaxaca Popular Peoples’ Assembly (APPO) in 2006.

June 30: Rocío María Olivera Toro Maya, Technical Secretary of the Oaxacan Water Forum and member of the Institute of Nature and Society of Oaxaca (INSO), is attacked in a protest against the construction of the Cultural and Convention Center of Oaxaca (CCCO) on Cerro el Fortin.

July 2: Radio La Favorita de Miahuatlan broadcaster, Filadelfo Sanchez Sarmiento, is murdered.

July 11: celebration of the eighth anniversary of the Council of Peoples United in Defense of Rio Verde (COPUDEVER), in resistance to the construction of two dams in the community of Paso de la Reyna, municipality of Santiago Jamiltepec.

Mid-July: Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OPDDH) requests an urgent intervention after the attempted murder of the defender Rocio Maria Olivera Toro Maya.

July 18:  state government takes control of the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca (IEEPO), traditionally administered by Section 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE). The change of direction occurs in a climate of intense militarization.

August 20: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) and non-governmental organizations interpose an injunction for serious violations of the right to consultation.

September 28: state government does not receive MEPs in relation to the murder of Jiry Jaakkola and Bety Cariño in a humanitarian caravan to San Juan Copala in the Triqui zone in April 2010.

October 2: in the march commemorating October 2, there are 52 arbitrary arrests, some of them of social activists.

October 12: Indigenous from Juchitan de Zaragoza win an injunction for the suspension of works against the Energia Eolica del Sur wind farm on its territory.

October 21: cancellation of the construction of the Cultural and Convention Center of Oaxaca (CCCO) in Cerro el Fortin. After extensive popular mobilization, the project will be relocated to another site.

October 27: discovery of the dead body of Professor Marjorie Xolio Melendez, in Jalapa del Marques.

October 29: arrest of four teachers’ leaders of Section 22 of the CNTE: Juan Carlos Orozco Matus, Othon Nazariega Segura, Picaso Efrain Perez and Roberto Abel Jimenez Garcia are transferred to the maximum security prison of Altiplano, Mexico State.

November 8: in a regional assembly meeting, nine ejidos and communities of the Central Valleys declare their territories free from mining.

November 14: Celebration of the Regional Forum “Endangered Rivers and Mountains” in Tataltepec de Valdes. The participating communities and organizations declare themselves against hydroelectric and mining projects.

November 28: Low participation in the evaluation of teachers’ performance, with a high level of police presence and protests by Section 22 of the dissenting teachers.