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Indigenous Resistors to Wind Farm Project in Mexico Facing Violent Threats

4 Sep

???????????????????????????????from CODIGODH

The Gobixha Committee for the Integral Defense of Human Rights (CODIGO DH) would like to express concern for the lack of institutional attention to the conflict generated by the construction of the wind farm Strength and Energy Bií Hioxo, owned by the Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) Company. This situation has generated a wave of violence against supporters of the Popular Assembly of the People of Juchitán (APPJ). We are concerned about the indifference of the authorities and their lack of action during the last eight months.

The last act of violence against members of the APPJ took place on Sunday, August 25, when they where attacked by gunshots at the summit of the place named Chigueeze, inside the area of the Bií Hioxo park. These actions took place approximately at noon when APPJ members were walking on communal lands to document the effects of the wind farm project. At this time they were stopped by armed men in a white suburban who threatened them with death, took their pictures, and shot at them. The men briefly held Sara Lopez prisoner and tried to stab her, but she was defended by the people who were with her, and was able to escape. The armed men also tried to run over another person with their vehicle.

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Cattle Auction Website Hacked

22 Aug

from Bite Back

received anonymously (translation – seguir adelante para español):

“In these images you can see the before and after of our visit, you can see a small modification. Similarly other modifications were made to the website which, though not visible on the main page, surely will take them a few hours to return to how they had it, if they can. On the page, all references to the sale of cattle were removed. All the orders, auctions, types of animals auctioned and some news.
The hacked website is http://www.unionganadera.com and although our way to enter it was with tools to get user names and passwords, the lack of security on the page was surprising. The user name was ‘Admin’ (without quotes) and the password was ‘123456’ (again without quotes).

While there are those who benefit from suffering, we’ll be there.
We will not allow the torture and murder to happen freely.
FLA”

before

after

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New Opportunity to Join the Zapatista Freedom School

9 Aug

from Occupy Wall Street

zapatista-womenA few days ago, Zapatista Subcomandante Moises sent a communiqué with updates about the upcoming Zapatista Freedom School, to be held from August 12-16 in the Zapatista Autonomous Communities (“caracoles”, which is the Spanish name of “snails’ conchs” referring to the spiral of History). A total of 1,700 students from across all the continents will be attending, from South Africa to Canada, as far away to Brazil or Germany. Due to the high demand, new School cycles will be opened in December.

To the ones who cannot travel to Chiapas, the Freedom School Workshops will be globally broadcasted by their special team of Zapatista sisters and brothers of independent media who will be responding your questions via “chat”, but you must have an invitation and a key number. There will be at least two different schedules, one for the Americas time zones and another one for the other sides of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. “We did it this way thinking that in the evening you will arrive home from work and can take the class, or you can take it during the day if you work at night,” they say.

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Argentina: Natural Gas Leak Causes Deadly Residential Blast

7 Aug

argentinagasleak

by Jonathan Gilbert / NY Times

Twelve people died and at least 60 more were injured, officials said Tuesday, in an explosion in the center of Rosario, Argentina’s third largest city, with 1.2 million people. A gas leak from the ground floor of a residential building caused the blast on Tuesday morning, Mónica Fein, the mayor of Rosario, confirmed. Witnesses said it felt like an earthquake. “I woke up and there were no walls,” said Franco Járiton, who lived on the seventh floor. News channels showed that the middle block of the building, which was nine stories tall, had collapsed. There are fears that two adjoining blocks, which are badly damaged, will also fall. Fifteen people were missing. Neighbors said they had called the provincial gas company hours before the explosion, warning of a strong gas smell. The company, Litoral Gas, said it had not received any calls.

Honduras: Where the blood flows and the rivers are dammed

7 Aug

by Lauren Carasik / Al Jazeera

People protest against violence in HondurasIt is all too easy for one’s eyes to glaze over at the headlines of yet another murder in Honduras, the country that earned the dubious moniker of the world’s murder capital. Forty-nine year-old Tomas Garcia was shot dead on July 15, just one of thousands of victims. Violence marches on unabated as observers become desensitised to the mounting human toll, comforted by the illusion that the carnage is associated with, and perhaps even justified by anti-social behaviour, a convenient misconception that provides a buffer between us and the grief for the fallen.

Yet Garcia’s murder is not the result of unrestrained gang or narcotrafficking violence, corruption or random crime, and its inclusion as a statistic obscures his murder’s political motivation and the tragedy it leaves in its wake. The unarmed Lenca indigenous community leader was shot at close range in front of a crowd of witnesses. Garcia’s 17-year-old son Allan was seriously injured. The act was not random but was instead part of a pattern of systematic and calculated repression by Honduran authorities.

Garcia was killed because he stood at the front of a peaceful protest against the Agua Zarca hydro-electric dam, which is largely financed by foreign investors and threatens the cultural heritage and livelihood of his community.  Well aware of the danger he faced but unable to turn away from his community’s struggle, Garcia’s courageous stand leaves his widow to care for their seven children. 

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Wealthy Nations Thwart Hopes of World’s Landless Peoples

29 Jul

United States and EU nations frustrate Peasants’ Rights Declaration

by Gustavo Capdevila / Common Dreams

campesinaGENEVA – Staunch opposition by the U.S. delegation and, to one extent or another, by European countries has blocked the approval this year of a draft multilateral declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, which is backed by the developing world.

Bolivian diplomat Angélica Navarro, chair of the intergovernmental working group tasked with drafting the declaration, recommended that it meet again in mid-2014.

Navarro said that in the meantime, she would hold consultations with representatives of governments, civil society and the United Nations, which is promoting the initiative through its Human Rights Council.

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Community Justice vs. Minas Conga Mine

30 Jun
Local indigenous farmers on horseback form part of a protest against the Minas Conga gold mine, June 17, 2013

Local indigenous farmers on horseback form part of a protest against the Minas Conga gold mine, June 17, 2013

From Root Force:

A recent Reuters article examines the role that community justice institutions have played in the struggle against the Minas Conga mine in Peru, which would be the country’s largest gold mine. The indigenous- and peasant-led resistance movement has already led to the project being placed on hold once and the President’s cabinet being reshuffled twice.

Although the article quotes several people who are obviously deeply uncomfortable with the traditional, indigenous-influenced rondero justice model due to its failure to place all authority in the hands of the state, it obviously strives to paint a fair picture. The article seems relevant not just for its relation to the Minas Conga struggle in particular, but also for expanding our frame of reference in regard to models of community justice and organizing.

For those of you who are skimmers, don’t deprive yourself of the pleasure of the article’s concluding quote:

Ronderos in Cajamarca say they stopped carrying guns years ago. Punishments they mete out draw on traditional Andean practices, ranging from push-ups to lashings with cow whips. [NOTE:  Peruvian cow whips are thick, not thin like the “Indiana Jones”-style whip that is designed to draw blood. Not that it necessarily feels good to be hit with one. —Root Force]

One of the most severe sentences is the “rondero chain” that requires offenders to toil in fields by day and parade barefoot through frigid villages by night, some ronderos said. It can go on for days or weeks as people are handed off from one village squad to another.

Referring to Mines and Energy Minister Jorge Merino, a laughing Ponce said: “We would make Merino carry out a rondero chain for three or four months. [Peruvian President Ollanta] Humala would get six months.”

Peru peasant squads rally against U.S. firm’s $5 billion gold mine

(Reuters) – Forty years ago, peasants in rural Peru banded together as “ronderos” – Spanish for “people who make the rounds” – to curb cattle rustling.

Today, squads of these ronderos are working toward a different aim – thwarting an American mining company’s planned $5 billion gold mining project that they contend would spoil lakes vital to the local population high in the Andes.

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