PBI Annual Report 2019

Within the framework of our 20 years as a project in Mexico, we are pleased to share our Annual Project Report. The report recalls outstanding moments that have marked the history of PBI in the country, as well as the important events that 2019 has left us, accompanying the work of human rights defenders in Mexico.

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The Isthmus of Tehuántepec: Accompaniment in territory under dispute from “clean” energy

Located in the south of Mexico, the Isthmus of Tehuántepec crosses both Oaxaca and Veracruz. The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are divided by only around 200km, making this Mexico’s narrowest point. Development projects have been operating in the area since the early 20th century, and PBI has accompanied human rights defenders protecting land and territory – and facing threats for their opposition to such projects – since 2011.

“The isthmus, commercial route for the world”

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“I always told the men, ‘You shouldn’t fight with your wives – fight the government!’”: Obtilia Eugenio Manue

Obtilia Eugenio Manuel defends the rights of the Tlapanec people in the state of Guerrero and founded the Organisation of the Me'phaa Indigenous People (Organización del Pueblo Indígena Me’phaa, OPIM). In November 2019 she received Mexico’s National Human Rights Prize in recognition of her “significant trajectory in effectively promoting and defending” basic human rights. PBI accompanied Manuel between 2005 and 2011.

How and when did you start defending human rights?

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“Yes to life, no to mining”

On June 22, 2019, PBI accompanied EDUCA (Servicios para una Educación Alternativa) at Oaxaca’s first ever “Guelaguetza” against mining, in the municipality San Martín de los Cansecos. Various communities from the Valles Centrales in Oaxaca joined together to commemorate the state’s annual “Rebellion Against Mining Day” and to reaffirm “¡Sí a la vida, no a la minería!”(Yes to life, no to mining!)

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The Rosendo Radilla Case: excavations in Atoyac de Álvarez

Enclaved between the Sierra Madre del Sur and the Costa Grande, in the state of Guerrero lies the Atoyac de Álvarez municipality, a place where wounds from the “Dirty War” of the 70s have still not healed.

Between 25 and 27 March, 2019, by request of Tita Radilla, PBI accompanied the Asociación de Familiares de Detenidos, Desaparecidos y Víctimas de Violaciones a los Derechos Humanos en México (AFADEM), as the sixth stage of excavations commenced in the search of numerous disappeared persons.

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