On April 28th, the European Commission announced the conclusion of negotiations surrounding the EU-Mexico Global Agreement, following a phone call between commissioner Phil Hogan and the Mexican Economic Minister, Graciela Márquez Colín.1 This commercial agreement, whose negotiations had been on hold since part way through 2018, was finalized in a moment in which civil society’s attention centers on responding to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, with limited capacity for reaction and oppositio
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”
“Pasta de Conchos is very important because it will set a precedent for how mining should operate, how workers should be treated, and [show] that companies should think twice before opening mines”, Cristina Auerbach.
For more than a decade, totonaca indigenous communities in the Sierra Norte de Puebla have fought for the survival of their traditions and the defense of their territory. In January of this year, they won an important legal battle against the building of a hydroelectric dam with the local municipality revoking the permits for Puebla 1 to be built, due to illegal activities in the administrative processes.
Photo credits: Reforma
During the past few months, PBI along with other national and international organisations, has called attention to the extraordinary risk people defending their territory against economic projects are living through in Mexico and across the whole region of Latin America. During the past weeks these warning have become a reality in Mexico, and unfortunately, the situation we foresaw is beginning to take place.
Crédito de la foto: Reforma
Durante los últimos meses, PBI junto con varias otras organizaciones nacionales e internacionales, hemos llamado la atención sobre el riesgo extraordinario en que viven las personas quienes defienden su territorio en contra de proyectos económicos en México y por toda la región de América Latina. Durante las últimas semanas en México estas advertencias se han convertido en realidad, y lamentablemente, la situación que prevenimos se ha empezado a llevar a cabo.
"Whenever a Pasta de Conchos memorial comes up, people seek me out to speak to me and I tell them again why I collect rubbish... As if I did it for fun. My son lived with me and was the one who sustained me... Because of the authorities, I have been working in a rubbish tip since my son died. I leave at six in the morning after drinking a cup of coffee with biscuits. I take a tin of tuna, tortillas or whatever I can eat in the rubbish tip... I get home in the afternoon...
Pasta de Conchos Family Organization (OFPC) focuses its fight against coal extraction activities carried out under irregular conditions, or where relevant legislation has not been properly applied.
PBI interviewed ProDESC to learn more about consultation processes. Alejandra Ancheita is a lawyer, founder and Executive Director of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project (ProDESC), an organization that defends human rights, specifically the right to land, territory and natural resources of agrarian communities, indigenous peoples, and labor rights.
The Focal Group on Business and Human Rights in Mexico is a group of civil society organizations that seek to ensure respect, promotion and protection of human rights by the government and national and transnational corporations, through the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.