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Mexico’s human rights record raises questions for California REDD policy

Mexico’s human rights record raises questions for California REDD policy

As President Obama meets in Washington, D.C., today with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña-Nieto, human rights organizations are demanding that Obama press President Enrique Peña Nieto to address Mexico’s failure to investigate and prosecute egregious abuses by Mexican security forces — specifically the disappearance of 43 students in the hands of Mexican police last September which led to the discovery of numerous mass graves through southern Mexico. An article published in the Mexican journal El Proceso last month reveals that Mexican federal police were directly responsible for the students’ disappearance and presumed killing, despite President Peña-Nieto’s claims to the contrary.

Given the emergent partnership between Mexico and California on climate policy, as well as California’s agreement with the state of Chiapas to develop a program of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, known as REDD, linked to California’s cap-and-trade program, Friends of the Earth Mexico and Friends of the Earth U.S. sent a letter to California officials yesterday, urging them to forego any joint agreement with Mexico on climate change, carbon trading and REDD until the Mexican government proves itself capable of guaranteeing the security of the population.

The letter was signed by social movement networks and organizations throughout the country including the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mines, and the Mexican Network of People Affected by Dams, which represent rural social organizations in the states of Sonora, Colima, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Veracruz, Puebla, Chiapas, Nayarit, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Jalisco and Oaxaca.

The full letter follows, in English and Spanish:

Re: Should the government of California do business with the government of Mexico?

Dear Governor Brown,

Since July, 2014, when the government of California signed a historic agreement for international collaboration on climate change with the government of Mexico seeking to build collaboration in carbon markets, in the struggle against deforestation and for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), the administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has borne witness to the discovery of dozens of clandestine mass graves filled with tortured and burned human remains; targeted killings of journalists; kidnappings; and systematic violations of human rights. As if that were not enough to demonstrate crimes of the State, the 43 university students from Ayotzinapa recently disappeared by the police now join the thousands upon thousands of Mexicans murdered and disappeared over the past several years.

The government of Mexico has not managed to guarantee security, stability, or peace in the nation. If the administration cannot protect the people of Mexico, there is no reason to believe that it can protect the environment.

To the contrary, in the midst of this wave of violence, the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto has delivered ongoing deforestation of territories, forests, jungles, natural protected areas, mangroves, and other terrestrial and marine ecosystems to predatory mining concessions, dams, wind energy parks, industrial developments, gas pipelines, oil and gas extraction, and fracking, among other projects which, far from demonstrating a commitment to protect the environment and to reduce deforestation, have accelerated the growing wave of extractivism and depredation, putting in doubt the validity of the commitments it has made to the government of California.

In seeking to develop international agreements to protect the environment and to confront the climate crisis, the government of California would do well to begin by collaborating with those that value life and respect human rights.

We respectfully urge the state of California to forego any joint agreement with Mexico on climate change, carbon trading and REDD until the Mexican government proves itself capable of guaranteeing the security of the population and demonstrates an ability to respond to the needs of its citizens.

Justice for Ayotzinapa first!

Signatories

  • Otros Mundos, A.C./Friends of the Earth, México
  • Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería (REMA), México
  • Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Represas (MAPDER), México
  • Acción Colectiva Socio Ambiental AC, Guanajuato
  • Bios Iguana AC, Colima
  • Procesos Integrales para la Autogestión de los Pueblos AC, Guerrero
  • Frente Estudiantil Popular (FEP), Chiapas
  • Red de Acompañamiento Popular (RAP), Chiapas
  • Red Magisterial Popular, Chiapas
  • Movimiento Unidad Popular de Izquierda (MUPI-Tapachula), Chiapas
  • Red de Pueblos Zoques-Chapultenango, Chiapas
  • Cooperativas de la Unión de Cafeticultores de la Sierra-Jocoltenango de la Paz, Chiapas
  • Mesoamérica sin Fronteras-Región Mam, Chiapas
  • Mocho-Cachiquel (Mazapa-Motozintla-Tapchula), Chiapas
  • Movimiento Campesino Regional Independiente – Coordinadora Nacional Plan de Ayala Movimiento Nacional (MOCRI CNPA MN), Chiapas
  • Consejo de Autoridades Agrarias en Defensa del Territorio de la región Montaña-Costa Chica del Estado de Guerrero, Guerrero

 

¿EL GOBIERNO DE CALIFORNIA (USA), NEGOCIA CON EL GOBIERNO DE MEXICO?

Al Gobernador de California, Edmund Gerald Brown,

Mientras el gobierno de California firma un acuerdo histórico de colaboración internacional sobre el clima con el gobierno mexicano, en julio del 2014, sobre mercados de carbono, la lucha contra la deforestación y REDD, durante el gobierno del presidente mexicano Enrique Peña Nieto aparecen decenas de fosas clandestinas de restos humanos quemados y torturados; se registran asesinatos de periodistas, secuestros, violaciones sistemáticas a los derechos humanos; y por si fuera poco el crimen de Estado de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa desparecidos por la policía que se suman a los miles de desaparecidos y asesinados en los últimos años.

El gobierno mexicano no ha logrado garantizar la seguridad, la estabilidad ni la paz en el país. Y si no puede proteger al pueblo mexicano, mucho menos el medio ambiente.

En medio de toda esta violencia el gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto ha entregado a la deforestación los territorios, los bosques, las selvas, las áreas naturales protegidas, los manglares, entre otros ecosistemas terrestres y marinos a la depredación de los proyectos mineros, de represas, de parques eólicos, de parques industriales, de gasoductos, de extracción de gas y petróleo, de gas fracking, entre otros megaproyectos que lejos de cuidar y mantener un compromiso con el medio ambiente y contra la deforestación, crece la ola de la depredación y el extractivismo acelerado, poniendo en duda su capacidad con los compromisos asumidos con el gobierno de California.

Antes de elaborar acuerdos de compromisos por el medio ambiente y el cambio climático, el gobierno de California debiera impulsar primero un compromiso con aquellos que respetan la vida y los derechos humanos. Al fin, solicitamos con todo respeto al estado de California que abandona cualquier acuerdo con Mexico sobre cambio climatico, mercados de carbono, y REDD hasta que el gobierno de Mexico demuestra su capacidad de garantizar la seguridad de la población, y demuestra su habilidad de responder a las necesidades de sus ciudadanos.

¡PRIMERO, JUSTICIA PARA AYOTZINAPA!

Photo courtesy of Roar Magazine.

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