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Defend Indigenous lands!




The transoceanic corrido transforms the lands of Indigenous communities into a new global manufacturing and shipping hub. Indigenous activists from Mexico demand an end to its construction.

civil disobedience - indigenous people - Mexico

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A Mexican megaproject aims to transform the lands of Indigenous communities into a new global manufacturing and shipping hub. Indigenous activists demand an end to the the transoceanic corridor!


Since 2020, Mexico is constructing a 300 km railway in the isthmus of Oaxaca that will connect two port cities: Coatzacoalcos on the Atlantic coast and Salina Cruz on the Pacific coast. This megaproject is accompanied by a gas pipeline and several industrial parks flanking the railway. These parks manufacture products at a low cost for export between the two port cities.

The aim here is obvious: in order to boost Mexico’s economy and to consolidate its place in the global capitalist economy, The Corredor Interoceánico (interoceanic corridor) should transform the isthmus into an international trade hub akin to the Panama canal. The railroad will facilitate transport of goods and products across the strip of land, reducing travel time between the two ports to 24 hours. The intermediary industrial parks will make Tehuantepec a ‘new global factory’. The 300 km trajectory has become a symbol of neoliberal capitalism, destroying nature and livelihoods in order to amass more capital for the lucky few.

Construction workers already blocked access to the supervision site in order to demand better working conditions. The president Manuel López Obrador reacted by stating that the profit generated by the megaproject will serve to finance the pensions of the workers, and for some reason, of the armed forces too.

Indigenous communities are ignored

But there is one group that the authorities refuse to negotiate or cooperate with: the Indigenous communities living on the isthmus. They are now being threatened with eviction, their livelihoods and culture are under attack by the railroad that aims to transform their ancestral grounds in a giant industrial complex. They have been continually misinformed by the authorities about the scope of the project, and are refused an audience to express their concerns. Their rights have been trampled, since they should be consulted on activities taking place on their lands.

The Union de Communidades Indigenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo decided to fight the megaproject with non-violent direct actions. They use sit-ins, blockades, protests and other means to block and impede the construction of the railways. More than a thousand bodies strong, they succeed in hampering the construction schedule for now, but it’s a tough fight. Once again, the rights of Indigenous communities and of the surrounding nature are disregarded when neoliberal elites see a chance to make more money. They even go so far as claiming that the corridor is actually good for the economy of the local villages.

Het Actiefonds is proud to support these Indigenous communities in their struggle against global capital and colonialism. As the Indigenous activist Juana Ramírez Villegas states: I invite my brothers and sisters from different parts of the world to defend their territory, to not be defeated, to organize themselves and to make their struggles visible. It is time to defend our territory that represents the life and the future of our sons and daughters.”