Community well-being, human rigths & the environment vs internationa mining companies in Chiapas and Oaxaca

SURCO and Otros Mundos invite you to join an:

EDUCATIONAL / SOLIDARITY DELEGATION

TO CHIAPAS & OAXACA, MÉXICO

July 28-August 5, 2012

DEFENSE OF INDIGENOUS TERRITORIES:

COMMUNITY WELL-BEING, HUMAN RIGHTS & THE ENVIRONMENT

versus

INTERNATIONAL MINING COMPANIES IN CHIAPAS AND OAXACA

CONTEXT:

SURCO (University Services and Knowledge Networks of Oaxaca) and Otros Mundos (Other Worlds) in Chiapas invite you to join this trip that will investigate human rights violations and other social, environmental and economic violence caused by large-scale “mega-development” projects — particularly gold, silver and barite and mining in Oaxaca and Chiapas.

In Oaxaca, two activists have been killed recently for their resistance to Canadian mining operations (see links below).  Another anti-mining activist was killed in 2009 in Chiapas, and repression of those resisting mining and other large-scale “development” business in both States is ongoing.

These and other connected events will be explored within the context of resistance to international and other “development” projects threatening indigenous territories, and the related dynamics of impunity, corruption, exploitation and poverty, and lack of justice and democracy.

DELEGATION:

Over 7 days (& 8 nights) delegation members will meet with indigenous, human rights, development and environmental activists and experts.  The delegation will have opportunities to hear from people directly affected by mining projects about the diverse, violent effects of mining in their communities.

The delegation will also explore recent, hopeful examples of dynamics of resistance based on ongoing popular education and activism, and the forming and strategic alliances with local, national and international social movements.

Participants will also explore options for activism in Canada and the U.S. to hold international mining companies accountable, and to support of Mexican social movements to promote human rights, social and environmental justice, cultural preservation and the maintenance of healthy communities.

DATES:

Arriving in Oaxaca City on Saturday, July 28; departing from Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas on Sunday August 5. (There are no delegation activities planned for these dates).

The group will travel by van and spend several nights visiting: Zapotec communities in Oaxaca and Mayan communities in Chiapas suffering human rights and environmental violations related to Canadian gold and silver and barite mines (Fortuna Silver Inc., Continuum Resources and Blackfire Exploration, Ltd).

TRIP COORDINATORS:

The delegation will be led by Jonathan Treat, SURCO in Oaxaca, and Gustavo Castro, Otros Mundos in Chiapas.  Treat is Delegation Director for SURCO, a non-profit organization based in Oaxaca, Mexico that works to promote human and environmental rights, social justice and through diverse alternative education and community-based projects.  In 2006 Treat founded the Oaxaca Solidarity Network (ROSOL), which partnered with Rights Action to offer emergency human rights delegations during the 2006 conflict and government repression in Oaxaca, México.  Castro is Director of Otros Mundos, a non-profit organization in Chiapas, México that promotes human rights and environmental rights through popular education and national/international activism.  He has worked extensively in resistance to mega-development projects threatening indigenous and other communities in Chiapas and throughout México.

COST: US$850

This covers:  8 nights of hotel; 3 meals a day for 7 days (a few days, there will only be 2 meals covered); transportation in-country; trip organization, guiding, translation; honorariums for people and communities we meet with, etc.  (Participants pay for their own travel to and from Mexico.)

FOR WHOM:

Citizens and activists, professors and educators, and media, health, environment and legal professionals who are concerned about issues related to: global exploitation-poverty-“development”; defense of indigenous territories, government repression; environmental destruction; and about inspiring and growing community-based, popular movements for equality, justice and locally controlled development and environmental well-being.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Article, “Blood for Silver, Blood for Gold”, by delegation co-director Jonathan Treat:http://upsidedownworld.org/main/mexico-archives-79/3545-mexico-blood-for-silver-blood-for-gold

Al Jazeera article, “The Significance of Indigenous Mobilizations”: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/2012414153214644564.html

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Jonathan Treat: jonathantreat@surcooaxaca.org; [011] 52 951 144 7971