Otomí Community of San Francisco Xochicuautla Demands the Fulfillment of the Decision of the Judicial Authority to Suspend the Highway Toluca-Naucalpan
Municipal, State and Federal Authorities should fulfill the suspension of the highway project Toluca-Naucalpan and de-occupy the Otomí territory of San Francisco Xochicuautla
Mexico, March 9, 2016
On the 11th and 18th of February, el Juez Quinto de Distrito en materia de Amparo y Juicios Federales en el Estado de México, granted the definitive suspension of the construction project of highway Toluca-Naucalpan
For ten years, members of the Otomí community of San Francisco has defended the communal territory that has been in grave danger by the construction and operation of the highway Toluca-Naucalpan, beginning in 2006 by the then governor of the state of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto. The territory of the indigenous people was expropriated by the current president of the republic in favor of Sistema de Autopistas, Aeropuertos, Servicios conexos, y Auxiliares del Estado de México (SAASCAEM) in 2015.
The highway is being constructed by Autopistas de Vanguardia S.A. de C.V. pertaining to the Grupo Higa and affects different communities and municipalities of the state of Mexico, including the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, and at least 12 other communities, like San Lorenzo Huitizizilapan and Santa Cruz Ayotuzco.
They have intervened in the project using a variety of judicial resources: injunctions, criminal denunciations, and complaints to the commission of human rights, agrarian judges, among others. In two of the injunctions, the court ordered the suspension of the expropriation decree. The first of them on December 4, 2015, and the second, by the Municipal Deputy, the Supreme Indigenous Council, community members and indigenous peoples of San Francisco Xochicuautla, the collective of lawyers in solidarity CAUSA, and the Mexican Commission of Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, A.C., ordered the definite suspension the 11 and 18 of this February.
The suspensions by the Judicial Authority of the Federation is meant to protect the human rights of the indigenous peoples, like the right to territory, to self-determination, to water, to culture, to the freedom of worship, and the to the natural resources, among others. The above mentioned implies that the community has the legal possession of the expropriated territory and in consequence, neither the company nor the state authorities involved have any legal basis to continue the construction of the highway for this stated period.
The suspensions are a large step to protect the rights of the communities and the indigenous peoples, the defense of life, of water, of the forest, and the rural areas. The resistance will continue until the highway project is canceled in a definite manner and the rights of the Otomí indigenous communities as peoples are fully respected.
We solicit the civil society to be aware of the possible reprisals that these suspensions can generate against the defenders of the sacred forest. On previous occasions, the Center of Human Rights Zeferino Ladrillero has documented different threats and aggressions against those that resist the construction of the highway Toluca-Naucalpan.
The undersigned organizations demand that the state, federal and municipal authorities, comply with the suspension of the project by the judicial authority, and therefore SAASCAEM, the company Autopista de Vanguardia, S.A. de D.V., immediately vacate the territory of San Francisco Xochicuautla removing machinery, workers and the state police that often accompany their work.
Indigenous Community of San Francisco Xochicuautla
Supreme Indigenous Council of San Francisco Xochicuautla
Poorly translated from the original here: http://frentedepueblosindigenas.org/noticias/comunidad-otomi-de-san-francisco-xochicuautla-exige-cumplimiento-de-decision-del-poder-judicial-de-suspender-la-autopista-tolucanaucalpan/