By Emilio Godoy, May 13 2013. Source: Inter Press Service
Sea turtles are among the larger animal species whose reproduction was hurt by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Credit: Mauricio Ramos/IPS
MEXICO CITY – A group of Mexican citizens are preparing the first civil lawsuit in the Mexican courts against British oil company BP for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The plaintiffs are bringing the class action lawsuit under a 2011 reform of the Mexican constitution that allows a large number of people with a common interest in a matter to sue as a group.
The civil lawsuit encompasses “damages to people living in the area or who own residential and commercial property along the coast, and people indirectly affected” by the spill, lawyer Óscar Preciado, with the law firm Rincón Mayorga Román Illanes Soto y Compañía, told IPS.
“Without a doubt, this will set an important precedent. Class action lawsuits have been brought, but in questions relating to consumer, rather than environmental, rights,” said the lawyer, whose firm is representing the plaintiffs. Continue reading
Note: Brad Will: ¡Presente!
-The GJEP Team
May 7, 2013. Source: Friends of Brad Will
President Obama has returned from Mexico having doubled down on the same policies that have created suffering for reporters and civilians in Mexico, ignoring the pleas of Friends of Brad Will (friendsofbradwill.org), Brad Will’s family, and Reporters without Borders (en.rsf.org).
The family of slain reporter Brad Will have issued a statement that, “Freedom of the press and a strong independent system of justice are policy pillars that the new Mexican administration must pursue in order for a new Mexico to emerge.” Christophe Deloire, the General Director of the press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders wrote an op-ed which states, “Mexico has become the western hemisphere’s most dangerous country for journalists, with 86 killed and 17 missing. They include Brad Will, a U.S. cameraman working for the Indymedia agency, who was gunned down in Oaxaca on October 27, 2006. Justice has not been properly rendered in any of these cases.”
Upon Obama’s return, Nick Cooper, Border States Congressional Liaison with Friends of Brad WIll said, “The war on drugs in Mexico has created suffering not only for journalists, but also for all members of civil society, while enriching narco-traffickers and corrupt government agencies. U.S. aid for these programs is not only a waste of money, but, as the GAO has noted, it seems intent to fail as it repeats a failed prohibitionist model and lacks any benchmarks for “success” in the implementing legislation.”
Note: After Obama’s visit to Mexico last week, we can rest assured that him and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto discussed sweeping 21st Century energy reform: Privatize the state owned oil company so multinationals can drill the living hell out of the land and the sea, all the while ensuring American corporations will have access to every last drop of oil and gas on the planet. Now that is some drastic energy reform!
-The GJEP Team
By Nick Miroff and William Booth, May 7, 2013. Source: Washington Post
An engineer opens valves on the Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Bicentennial deep sea crude oil platform in the waters off Tamaulipas, Mexico. Photo: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg
It has been 75 years since President Lázaro Cárdenas seized the country’s foreign-dominated petroleum industry and placed every drop of oil under the everlasting domain of the Mexican people.
But while it once was a source of national pride, the state-run monopoly he created — known as Pemex — has become a dinosaur, sapped by debt, sagging output and dated technology. The Mexican government siphons off the company’s revenue to cover about one-third of the federal budget, leaving insufficient funds for what has become a critical task: finding more oil.
Mexico remains the third-largest source of foreign oil for the United States after Canada and Saudi Arabia. But the country’s easy-pump crude is quickly running dry, and the company lacks the technology and know-how to drill for the vast stores of tougher-to-reach deposits that are thought to exist beneath Mexico’s deserts and seas.
Fixing the company, Petroleos de Mexico, has become a top priority for Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto. With an overhaul plan expected by late summer, U.S. and other global energy companies are waiting to see whether Mexico will once more give outsiders a crack at the country’s hydrocarbon treasures, including the massive, virtually untapped beds of shale gas south of the Texas border.
Translated by Scott Campbell, May 3, 2013. Source: El Enemigo Común
TO THE PEOPLE OF OAXACA
TO CONSCIOUS PEOPLE AND STUDENTS
TO THE COLLECTIVES AND ORGANIZATIONS IN STRUGGLE AND RESISTANCE
TO ALL THOSE WHO CARRY A NEW WORLD IN THEIR HEARTS
With profound indignation we denounce the aggression we were subjected to this May Day by the state and municipal police in the service of the rich and the state government, under the command of the criminal, murderer, and fascist Gabino Cué Monteagudo (which has been called the “government of change”), showing again the repressive policies guiding the repressive forces of the state and capital, in coordination with the murderer and oppressor of Atenco, Enrique Peña Nieto, not caring that all kinds of people had been participants in the demonstration, from children, elderly, even mothers. This is the change that we have received during the three years of his government, though his actions follow the same repressive policies of the tyrant Ulises Ruiz, without forgetting Peña Nieto who now sitting in the presidential chair continues his dirty, repressive and murderous policies. Today, as yesterday, we remain oppressed, just like the compañeros in Guerrero, Michoacán, DF and other geographic locations and resistance groups.
This aggression was carried out while we participated in the May Day march, sincerely and honestly protesting against the structural reforms driven by the capitalist state and neoliberal policies.
By Dawn Paley. Source: Watershed Sentinel
Even in the quiet of late afternoon, the market down the street from my apartment in Mexico City is a hive of activity. Dozens of butchers cut up all kinds of meat and make sausages. Women display whole chickens, and offer to prepare them according to what a passing customer desires. There’s homemade ice cream for sale across from a fish stand, and a tortilla stand that always seems to have a line-up. I buy my vegetables from a man who stands at the top of a pyramid of lettuces, tomatoes, avocados, carrots, potatoes, and whatever happens to be in season. While heweighs and bags the veggies I select, he often talks about how good Mexican food is, but how so many people don’t eat the healthy and tasty things he offers for sale. Before I started working on this story, I assumed he was just talking up his business.
As I began to research for this article, I realized something: he’s right.
People’s diets in Mexico have changed drastically over the past decades, in tandem with the transformation of the country’s agricultural sector spurred by the North America Free Trade Agreement, signed in 1994.
According to Simon Fraser University professor Gerardo Otero, in 1985 Mexicans were consuming more food than Canadians on a per capita basis. From the mid-1980s on, “Canada started to surpass Mexico on a per capita intake of calories, and then the composition completely changed, Mexicans stayed with a very flat consumption of fruits and vegetables, Canadians and Americans started to increase fairly dramatically the intake of fruit and vegetables,” Otero told Watershed Sentinel. “The other interesting trend is that Mexicans started to consume a lot more meat… It’s a type of North American diet that is becoming generalized throughout the world actually, I mean if you look at figures in many, many countries in the world, that kind of diet based on milk and meat is being generalized.”
By Rodrigo Soberanes and Galia Garcia Palafox, April 28, 2013. Source: The Miami Herald
“No more blood of journalists” Photo: Felix Marquez / AP
Officials in Veracruz state say they know who killed Regina Martinez. The muckraking reporter, found beaten and suffocated in her house, was just the victim of a robbery, according to prosecutors and a local court.
But many of her colleagues don’t believe it. The man convicted of the crime was tortured into a confession, they allege. And the magazine she works for says state officials discussed sending police across the country in an attempt to hunt down and seize another reporter who raised questions about the death, which is one of a growing list of killings that have put Mexico among the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist.
Some 400 people gathered Sunday in the center of Veracruz’s state capital, Xalapa, for a march to demand justice in the Martinez case and an end to attacks on the press. Many held up posters suggesting the government had a hand in the case, some describing it as “a state killing.” Dozens also protested in Mexico City.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a February report that 12 Mexican journalists went missing in 2006-2012 and 14 were killed because of their work. Mexico’s federal Human Rights Commission lists 81 journalists killed since 2000.
By Andalusia Knoll, April 23 2013. Source: Real News Network
After two years of resisting illegal logging and organized crime, indigenous people in the town of Chéran Mexico demand justice for their assassinated community members and respect for their autonomous government.
Note: Martha Pskowski is a PopDev Political Research Fellow, as well as a Global Justice Ecology Project Researcher focusing on domestic and international forest carbon offsets.
–The GJEP Team
By Martha Pskowski, April 8 2013. Source: PopDev
Negotiators, big NGOs, and companies In U.N. environmental summits are promoting the “Green Economy” as a win-win-win for people, the environment and business interests. Yet global South social movements denounce the Green Economy for serving the interests of transnational corporations and wealthy nations, and for stomping on the rights of those most impacted by climate change and environmental degradation. At the heart of the dispute is one big question– can capitalism solve the climate crisis? In January 2013 I traveled to Chiapas, Mexico to learn about the impacts of one Green Economy program, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), on local communities. In PopDev’s latest DiffernTakes article I describe the Green Economy and the dangers of REDD+.
Negotiated in the U.N. climate change summits, REDD+ is a mechanism to transfer funds from Northern countries to forested countries in the global South for forest conservation. The U.N. wants to make this a global market, where Northern countries would buy carbon credits from countries in the global South who commit to forest conservation, buying the right continue emitting carbon domestically. Rather than wait for a binding U.N. program to start REDD projects, the Chiapas government entered into an agreement with the state of California through the Governors Climate and Forest Taskforce (GCF). California hopes use carbon credits from REDD in Chiapas in the new California carbon market. A California company could buy the right to emit carbon, because it is “offset” by forest conservation in Chiapas. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Forests and Climate Change, Pollution, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, Energy, Carbon Trading, False Solutions to Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Chiapas, Land Grabs, Green Economy, Commodification of Life, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Forests
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project stands in solidarity with Popular Communicators for Autonomy (COMPPA), and their efforts to amplify the voices of women in Mesoamerica. Please consider contributing to this effort to lift up the voices of Indigenous, Garifuna and campesina women. You can donate here: http://bit.ly/ZfdeH0
-The GJEP Team
March 21, 2013. Source: Popular Communicators for Autonomy (COMPPA)
Please consider donating to this important effort here: http://bit.ly/ZfdeH0
By Dawn Paley, March 14, 2013. Source: Upside Down World
Photo: Upside Down World
URIQUE, CHIHUAHUA – Cold air cuts through the meeting hall, drafting in through a gap between the corrugated roof and the adobe walls. Women sit on one side of the room in sandals or vintage Nike runners and long skirts, their heads covered by kerchiefs. On the other side sit the men, in slacks and shirts and vests. Children kick around a soccer ball outside, and from the kitchen wafts the smell of chili and beans.
This gathering, held in Bakajípare, deep in the highlands of Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountain range, was a strategy session for an upcoming meeting between members of Rarámuri (Tarahumara) communities and the state government of Chihuahua. The encroachment of tourism projects, the difficulty of accessing health services, problems in schools and with waste management dominated the discussion, which was sometimes in Spanish but mostly in Rarámuri. Continue reading