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CAPÍTULO VIII VIOLENCIA FEMINICIDAAs the United Nations prepares to review Mexico’s human rights recordin November, civil societyorganizations in Oaxaca publish their own evaluation,from one of the states with the highest number of violations in the country. In the following series Educa, a contributor to the report, summarizes its main findings:

In Oaxaca, femicide—the killing of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender—is constantly on the rise. From 2013 to 2017, 475 femicides were committed, 67% more than the cases documented when the UN last reviewed Mexico’s human rights record in 2013.

There is a lack of political will to carry out the UN recommendations for guaranteeing women’s rights.The impunity rate for these types of crimes is 99%, and the previous government left 8,500 unattended inquiries into crimes against women.Leadership of the Secretary of Oaxacan Women has changed three times from December 2016 to February 2018, which has prevented the development of public policiesthat meet women’s needs. Moreover, the Prosecutor specializing in crimes against women resigned after one year, citing a lack of trained staff, infrastructure and budget.

Femicide violence in Oaxaca impacts girls and young people more and more frequently. In 2013 there were 35 cases of disappeared young women, while in 2017 the number of cases rose to 78—an increase of 123%. During this same period, resources to combat gender violence were reduced, with the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for Attention to Gender Violence being demoted to a Special Prosecutor’s Office. There is still no state shelter for victims of violence.

In spite of legislation protecting their political participation, many women whoassume decision-making roles suffer threats, smear campaigns, attacks and even femicide that prevent them from performing their duties. From December 2016 to date there were 21 attacks of this type.

In terms of health, between 2015 and 2017, 2,666 pregnancies in girls and adolescents under the age of 15 were registered in Oaxaca.Legal abortion is only permitted in cases of rape, risk to the mother’s life, accidents and malformations, and each year approximately 9,200 abortions occur in secret.

 

 Download: Under attack. Human Rights in Oaxaca 2013-2018. Citizen report (PDF, 32 pp.)

EPUAs the United Nations prepares to review Mexico’s human rights recordin November, civil societyorganizations in Oaxaca publish their own evaluation,from one of the states with the highest number of violations in the country. In the following series Educa, a contributor to the report, summarizes its main findings:

While Oaxaca does not provide concentrated, precise and transparent information on the situation of the rights of children and adolescents as required by state law, official datashows that this sector of the population suffers from insufficient access to the education, health, food and welfare resources to which they are entitled.

According to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy, Oaxaca is one of four Mexican states with the largest proportion of children and adolescents livingin poverty—over 70% in 2014. In extreme cases, the right to life is not guaranteed:36.1% of the population under 18 lives in food poverty and 1 of every 3 children is susceptible to malnutrition, leading to 51 deaths from 2016 – 2017. The situation is most direin marginalized municipalities, where 9 out of 10 people from 0 to 17 years old find themselves in situations of poverty, and half in extreme poverty.

This translates into a significant gap in social development: In 2016, 27.3% of the population of Oaxaca had an educational lag. 3 of every 10 girls and boys in Oaxaca have no guaranteed access to education. For decades the lack of educational infrastructure in rural municipalities has violated young peoples’ right to live with their families.

In order to exercise their right to education, many children and adolescents must leave their families to live in accommodations operated by the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples. There they often live in deteriorated facilities where food quality is poor, medical care is lacking, and they are more likely to suffer physical and psychological violence. The Commission documented violations of the fundamental rights of 559 children in such facilities.

Oaxaca’s Local System for the Integral Protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents (SIPINNA) has no clear budget or work plan, and has repeatedly failed to denounce serious violation of children’s rights.

 

 

 Download: Under attack. Human Rights in Oaxaca 2013-2018. Citizen report (PDF, 32 pp.)

Affected communities joined allied organizations in demanding the cancellation of mining permits and the creation of a new Mining Law that respects Indigenous autonomy

Of the 41 active mining projects in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, not one passed through a consultation process with local Indigenous communities, as required by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, an international treaty of which Mexico is a signatory.

juiciopopularThe failure to consult with native peoples is just one of 22 violations of Indigenous and human rights identified by expert jurors at the first "People’s Trial against the State and Mining Companies," which took place in Oaxaca City from October 11 - 12.

Mexican authorities, along with mining companies from Canada, the United States, Australia, Peru, and Mexico, were also charged with environmental contamination, the fracturing of community institutions, and the criminalization and murder of human rights defenders.

The political tribunal, organized by affected communities in conjunction with local and international organizations including EDUCA A.C., sought to create a space not only for denunciation but also for the autonomous exercise of justice, given that legal institutions have failed to hold most corporations accountable.

Authorities and members of the Chatino, Chontal, Cuicateco, Ikoots, Mixe, Mixteco, Zapoteco and mestizo peoples presented evidence of the way mining projects have contaminated their sources of water, destroyed planting areas, weakened traditional forms of organization such as community assemblies, and caused the deaths and disappearances of human rights defenders. These harms correspond to the violation of Indigenous Peoples' rights to territory and preferential access to natural resources, their right to self-development and cultural identity, and the right to technically and culturally appropriate information.

Indigenous and farming communities say Vancouver-based Fortuna Silver Mines is responsible for environmental contamination and increased violence in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Heavy rains caused the overflow of a tailings dam operated by Canadian company Fortuna Silver Mines in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca on Sunday, October 7, contaminating the Coyote Creek and threatening the primary source of water for farming communities in the Central Valleys region.

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Authorities of the Indigenous Zapotec town of Magdalena Ocotlán informed that on the morning of October 8, residents observed a stream of white water in the tributary of the Coyote Creek that passes through their community, located 5 kilometers downriver from the “San José” gold and silver mine in the neighboring community of San José del Progreso. Local officials insist that the source of contamination is a tailings dam where the Vancouver-based precious metals producer stores waste from its underground mine, in commercial production since 2011.

The affected creek passes no more than ten meters from the primary drinking water well in Magdalena Ocotlán, and ultimately flows into the Atoyac River, the most significant tributary in Oaxaca City. Agrarian and municipal authorities of Magdalena Ocotlán, where the majority of residents earn a living through agriculture and cattle-raising, expressed alarm at the possible environmental and health impacts of the spill.

On Monday they presented water samples and photographs to Mexico’s Federal Bureau of Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) in the hopes of initiating an investigation, and on Tuesday the Bureau sent a “verification brigade” to assess possible contamination. Local officials say the brigade met with management of the Cuzcatlán mining company, Fortuna Silver’s 100%-owned Mexican subsidiary, but did not seek out a meeting with representatives of the community. On Friday, PROFEPA confirmed that mud and fine mining waste from the San José tailings dam had overflowed directly into the Coyote Creek.

THE NEWlawyers 2As the United Nations prepares to review Mexico’s human rights record in November, civil society organizations in Oaxaca publish their own evaluation, from one of the states with the highest number of violations in the country. In the following series Educa, a contributor to the report, summarizes its main findings:

Between 2016 and 2017, the UN argued that Mexico’s legal, political and institutional framework was not sufficient for the protection of Indigenous rights, including land rights, access to justice, and the rights to free determination, political participation and consultation.

This is certainly the case in Oaxaca, where violations of Indigenous peoples’ rights have intensified alarmingly in recent years, primarily due to the imposition of extractive, energy and infrastructure projects, as well as the implementation of the Special Economic Zone in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

In terms of energy projects, in Oaxaca there are plans for 68 hydroelectric projects, with some riverbeds facing the construction of up to 14 dams. One example is the “Paso de la Reina”

hydroelectric project on the Coast of Oaxaca, which would affect over 1,097 members of the Mixtec, Chatino, Afro-Mexican and Mestizo communities.

Between 2006 and 2013, 24 wind farms were installed in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. These projects have been detrimental to landowners, since contracts grant companies ownership of the land for 30 years, with the possibility of renewal for another 30.

In the case of extractive projects, 322 mining concessions have been documented in 90 municipalities. These permits—which are valid for up to 50 years and cover a surface of nearly 463 hectares, or almost 5% of state-owned territory—have resulted in 41 mining projects, two of which are at the commercial exploitation stage. In the case of the “San José” project operated by Fortuna Silver Mines, conflicts related to the mine caused four murders and eight firearm injuries between 2010 and 2012.

The main impacts of these projects include the dispossession of land, environmental degradation, social conflicts, and the criminalization of land defenders. Mexican laws on energy, mining, hydrocarbons and the Special Economic Zones have favored industrial land use while failing to provide affected communities with adequate information about the scale and possible impacts of projects. The consultation processes established in Oaxaca have not taken international standards into account and have only served to legitimate projects.

 

 Download: Under attack. Human Rights in Oaxaca 2013-2018. Citizen report (PDF, 32 pp.)

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