PBI-Mexico signs accompaniment agreement with CONTEC who support Indigenous struggles in the Sierra Tarahumara

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 24, PBI-Mexico tweeted: “In recognition of the danger it faces, but especially for the valuable work in defense of indigenous rights and with the communities of the Sierra Tarahumara that @CONTECAC carries out, we have signed an accompaniment agreement.”

On Facebook, PBI-Mexico also further noted: “In the report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the situation in Mexico, it was recognized that the situation of violence in the Sierra Tarahumara implies a serious risk for the indigenous communities and the defenders who accompany them in the region.”

PBI-Mexico also points to this article that explains: “The Community Technical Consultancy, A.C. (CONTEC) has been working for more than 20 years with indigenous communities in the Sierra Tarahumara, which have been denouncing abuses related to the exploitation of their lands and natural assets.”

That article also notes: “PBI has been providing punctual accompaniment to CONTEC since 2015; in February 2022 PBI expands and formalizes the accompaniment due to the increase in the level of risk faced by the organization.”

Last year, PBI-Mexico posted: “On Sunday, August 8, Peace Brigades International (PBI) accompanied the organization Consultoría Técnica Comunitaria AC (CONTEC) in the peaceful mobilization convened by the Raramuri forest community of San Elias Repechique, to which members of the communities of Mogotavo, Cuiteco and Tewerichi also came.”

We gave more context to that August 2021 accompaniment in this article: PBI-Mexico accompanies CONTEC at blockade as Indigenous community seeks recognition of ancestral territory.

We have also highlighted that CONTEC accompanied the San Elías Repechique Forests community in 2014-15 when it opposed Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. (now TC Energy) building the Encino-Topolobampo gas pipeline on the ancestral territories of the Rarámuri in the Sierra Tarahumara without free, prior and informed consent.

In a report about a consultation that eventually happened, CONTEC commented: “The logic of the state is to impose the project at the lowest social cost possible. That’s how the consultation is used as rhetoric, as discourse, without its real meaning.”

More on this at TC Energy and the Encino-Topolobampo pipeline on Rarámuri ancestral territory in Mexico.

We look forward to organizing a webinar with PBI-Mexico and CONTEC, hopefully as soon as next month. More details to come!

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