Document - Mexico: Community activists in Mexico receive threats

URGENT ACTION

UA: 28/13 Index: AMR 41/004/2013 Mexico Date: 5 February 2013

URGENT ACTION

community activists in mexico receive threats

Community activists opposing the construction of wind farm turbines in Oaxaca State, Mexico have received threats. Members of the protest camp opposing the construction of the turbines were confronted by police on 2 February.

On 3 February, Mariano López Gomez, a community activist opposing the construction of wind farm turbines near the towns of Álvaro Obregón and San Dionisio del Mar on the pacific coast of Oaxaca state, received a threatening telephone call. The call was believed to be a local “gunman” (pistolero), who told Mariano López Gomez to stop going to the town of Álvaro Obregón.

On 2 February, Oaxaca state police attempted to break up a protest camp, maintained by members of the Álvaro Obregón community, which is blocking access to the strip of land where a private company is seeking to build 132 wind turbines. The police operation was carried out without a judicial order and in apparent contravention of a legal decision (amparo de suspensión) on 4 December, which suspended the construction works and access of the private company to the site pending the resolution of a legal challenge. Community members and police reported minor injuries as a result of the confrontation. The police have since remained in the area, and members of the community believe that the police may seek to use excessive force again in order to remove the protestors.

Amnesty International has also received further reports of threats against Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez. In November 2011, the Ombudsman for Human Rights of Oaxaca State issued precautionary measures to protect Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, in the light of threats and attacks that she suffered as a result of her human rights work in October and November 2011.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Urging the authorities to guarantee the safety of Mariano López Gomez, Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, members of the communities of Alvaro Obregón and San Dionisio del Mar in Oaxaca state, and local human rights defenders protesting against the construction of wind farms;

Urging them to carry out a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the attacks and intimidation, and bring those responsible to justice;

Urging them to ensure that the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous communities affected by the wind farm is obtained on the basis of reliable and accurate information on the impacts of the project, that the existing legal order suspending construction is upheld, and that police respect the rights of the communities to protest peacefully.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 MARCH 2013 TO:

Minister of the Interior

Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong

Secretario de Gobernacion

Bucareli 99, col. Juárez, Cuauhtemoc, Distrito Federal, México, C.P. 6600

Fax: +52 55 5093 3414

Email: secretario@segob.gob.mx

Salutation: Dear Minister/Sr. Secretario

Governor of Oaxaca State�Lic. Gabino Cué Monteagudo

Plaza de la Constitución, Centro Histórico

Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, C.P. 68000

Fax: +52 95 1501 8100, ext. 40068�Email: spagoboaxaca@gmail.com

Salutation: Dear Governor/Sr. Gobernador

And copies to:

Local NGO: Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha, CODIGO DH A.C.

Email: juridico@codigodh.org

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

community activists in mexico receive threats

ADditional Information

Some members of the indigenous communities living in Oaxaca State are opposed to the wind farm being built on their land. They argue that there has not been an adequate consultation process to obtain their free, prior and informed consent in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and they are concerned about the impact of the construction on their agriculture and land. As a result of their opposition, they have been subject to threats and intimidation for several months.

Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez is a member of the People’s Assembly of the Isthmus in Defence of Land and Territory (Asamblea de los Pueblos del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y Territorio) – a group which has protested against the construction of the wind farms in Oaxaca without effectively consulting the local indigenous people.

For more information, please see: FU UA 62/12 (Index: AMR 41/013/2012), http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR41/013/2012/en/03349cf0-bee8-48cd-ad07-c700f9af0d7b/amr410132012en.html

and FU UA 315/11 (Index: MR 41/069/2011), http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR41/069/2011/en

Name: Mariano López Gomez (m), Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez (f), Álvaro Obregón community, San Dionisio del Mar community, and other activists carrying out work against the proposed wind farm.

Gender m/f: both

UA: 28/13 Index: AMR 41/004/2013 Issue Date: 5 February 2013

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