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Take a stand against the unjust prosecution of activists in Mexico

December 2008

Families in Campeche, Mexico are being pushed to the edge of desperation. Privatization schemes and mega-projects – like the construction of large hydroelectric dams and massive agrofuels plantations – threaten their access to basic food and water resources.  Now, simply for opposing the policies that jeopardize their livelihoods, activists face increasing repression and unjust prosecution, often without access to legal resources for their defense.  Please lend your voice now to call on Mexican authorities to stop the unjust prosecution and repression of resource rights activists.

Activists recently targeted include Sara López, Joaquín Aguilar and their organization, Civil Resistance in Non-Payment to the Federal Electric Company. Based in Candelaria Municipality, Campeche, this organization is a member of Grassroots International’s long-time ally, the Mexican Alliance for People’s Self-Determination (AMAP).

Sara and Joaquín are being prosecuted for opposing an increase in the price of electric service, which has sky-rocketed alongside climbing oil prices and the construction of a hydroelectric dam.  While the government subsidizes the cost of electric power for large, energy-dependent agribusiness corporations, the people are left to foot the bill.  At the same time, privatization of land and water reserves to produce agrofuels and hydropower diminishes the capacity of rural families to produce food and income.  As one member of AMAP put it:

“First, our land is invaded by large dams to produce energy. Second comes an electric bill that few can afford to pay. Third, those who demonstrate against the high cost of electric service are violently repressed. Fourth, organizers of demonstrations are arrested and charged with terrorism and formation of gangs. With no resources to pay for a lawyer or find a pro-bono one, working families and indigenous people in Mesoamerica are facing trumped-up charges and harsh sentences for their ultimate decision to defend their resources rights.”

Help stop government repression of peaceful protesters like Sara and Joaquín – send a powerful message to Mexican authorities now.

Without resources to pay for legal defense, organizations are reaching out to their allies for help. The first step has been mobilizing friends to send letters to the Mexican authorities. Grassroots International has sent its letter. We hope you join us and our friends in Mexico in solidarity with Sara and Joaquin.

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