National: Deployment of elements of the Gendarmerie Division in 6 states of Mexico

September 9, 2014
(@cuartooscuro)

(@cuartooscuro)

On September 1, the National Safety Commission (CNS) reported that elements of the Gendarmerie Division, the new agency of the Federal Police (FP), were deployed to the states of Baja California, Chiapas, Guanajuato, Jalisco and Tamaulipas to “strengthen territorial control”. Without specifying the number of troops, it informed that the deployment of elements began on August 30. The first mobilization occurred in the town of Valle del Bravo, State of Mexico, with the entry of 350 gendarmes to combat kidnapping and extortion. Within this context, Manelich Castilla Cravioto was presented as head of the Gendarmerie Division. A year ago, he had been replaced from his position as an officer of the Federal Police (FP). His dismissal was never clarified, but occurred after a failed FP drug raid at the International Airport of Mexico City (AICM).

The National Gendarmerie is an elite corps trained by the Ministry of Defense and international police commanders. They are considered civilian elements with military training. According to defenders of human rights organizations, the National Gendarmerie confirms that the security strategy of President Enrique Peña Nieto favors militarization of the country, since a police force is created with military training but without training on the protection of freedom and citizenship human rights.

As for Chiapas, one hundred officers of the National Gendarmerie arrived at Tapachula to participate in security operations along the border with Guatemala, with the aim to avoid the transit of migrants who enter the country irregularly in an intent to cross Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Despliegan a la Gendarmería Nacional en 5 estados más (Animal Político, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Gendarmería Nacional arriba a Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de septiembre de 2014)

Despliegan a la Gendarmería en otros cinco estados (Proceso, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Dan la Gendarmería a mando destituido hace un año (Proceso, 27 de agosto de 2014)

Reforzarán la vigilancia en Valle de Bravo 350 agentes de la Gendarmería (La Jornada, 28 de agosto de 2014)


Chiapas: An Assembly of Tzeltal communities from Chilón municipality reject the SCLC-Palenque highway

September 9, 2014
Assembly in San Jeronimo Bachajón (@SIPAZ)

Assembly in San Jeronimo Bachajón (@SIPAZ)

On August 30, a special meeting was held in the community of Guadalupe Paxilá which belongs to the ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón, municipality of Chilón. About 1,800 members of this Tzeltal ejido, representing 192 of the 206 communities that belongs to it, rejected the construction of the San Cristobal-Palenque highway, the most ambitious project that President Enrique Peña Nieto and the governor Manuel Velasco Coello have announced for Chiapas.

The communal landowners said that they were not consulted for the construction of the highway and that they will not sell their lands. They informed that the ejido has been harassed and pressured to sign the authorization for the highway: the Commisioner of Communal Lands’ son was fired from his job at a state government office arguing that he could return to his post until his father signs a document permiting the highway to pass by San Jerónimo Bachajón. One of his daughters was also threatened with being fired from a high school where she works and they affirmed that the threat have to do with the position of his father.

The communal landowners demanded the end of harassments, persecutions and threats against our ejido authorities by federal, state and municipal governments that are acting in a repressive way.” They demanded that the son of the commissioner might be “reinstalled in his post”. They also reported that the mayor of Chilón, Leonardo Guirao Aguilar, does the dirty work for the state and federal governments, persecuting, threatening and harassing indigenous people opposed to the highway.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se oponen comunidades tseltales de Chiapas a súper autopista (Proceso, 31 de agosto de 2014)

Indígenas tzeltales se oponen a la construcción de la autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque (De Facto, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Chiapas: ejidatarios rechazan construcción de autopista (La Jornada, 31 de agosto de 2014)

Rechazan indígenas de municipio de Chilón, Chiapas, construcción de carretera (La Jornada, 11 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir reject passage of highway from San Cristóbal to Palenque through their communities (February 14, 2014)


National: Report on human rights in Mexico (from June 2013 to May 2014)

September 6, 2014

portada-informe-webOn August 30, the Report “Defending human rights in Mexico: A struggle against impunity (from June 2013 to May 2014)” was presented in Mexico City. It’s based on the work of documentation of Urgent Action for the Defense of Human Rights (ACUDDEH AC), Comité Cerezo Mexico and the National Campaign Against Enforced Disappearances.

The report recorded that since the beginning of Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) Presidency, 669 arbitrary political arrests were registered, of which 412 were documented in the report. 25 extrajudicial executions against human rights defenders were also documented (23 are in the report). As for the forced disappearance, during the administration of EPN, 29 occurred, of which 16 are included in the report. Not including arbitrary arrests in Mexico City, the most dangerous states for the work of human rights defenders are Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero.

The press release highlighted: “We remain convinced that to sum up the information that has been documented with respect to cases of political imprisonment, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances, help to get a much more comprehensive picture of the strategies of social control, political repression and counter-insurgency that the state uses in its quest to impose to the Mexican population a series of reforms that deepen neoliberal policies, or what is the same, that deepen dispossession and plunder in the conditions of a worthy life for people in general.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: La defensa de los derechos humanos en México: una lucha contra la impunidad Junio de 2013 a mayo de 2014 (Comité Cerezo México, 30 de agosto de 2014)

La defensa de los DDHH en México: una lucha contra la impunidad‏. Junio de 2013 a mayo de 2014 (Kaos en la Red, 28 de agosto de 2014)

PRESENTACIÓN INFORME: LA DEFENSA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS EN MÉXICO DE 2013 A 2014 (Protection Line, 26 de agosto de 2014)

La defensa de los derechos humanos en México: una lucha contra la impunidad Junio de 2013 a mayo de 2014 (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos  “Todos los derechos para todas y todos”)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Publication of report “Human rights in Oaxaca 2009-2013. Citizens’ report: a pressing debt” (August 20, 2013)

National: 176 recommendations for Mexico during the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (November 13, 2013)


National / International: Actions taken on the International Day of the Detained and Disappeared

September 6, 2014

epr-hasta-encontrarlos-635x330
Various events were held in different parts of the Mexican Republic, the United States and in Central America on August 30, on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, which is also called the Day of the Detained and Disappeared. That day, a march was held in Mexico City organized by members of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD).

The National Front of Struggle for Socialism – FNLS also held “a day of national struggle demanding the safe return of the disappeared”, as it expressed in a public report. Furthermore, it demanded the “presentation alive of two social activists, Edmundo Reyes Amaya and Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez”. Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya were detained and disappeared on May 25, 2007 in the state of Oaxaca. Since their disappearances, the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared “Until we Find Them” was created.

It should be noted that on June 19 a collegiate court issued an order requiring various governmental bodies (such as the Army, the Federal Police and the government of Oaxaca) to explain their actions in these cases and demanding the integration of a special commission to find the whereabouts of Reyes Amaya and Cruz Sanchez. The Civil Commission for Monitoring and Research consists of the legal representatives of the families of the missing, families’ members, persons of social authority and civil organizations. They stated that if they don’t get satisfactory results from the Mexican justice system, they will go to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Chiapas, boletín de prensa: La detención desaparición de los luchadores sociales, Edmundo Reyes Amaya y Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez, se enmarca dentro del terrorismo de Estado que implementa el Estado mexicano en contra todo el pueblo (Frente Nacional de Lucha por el Socialismo, 25 de agosto de 2014)

Caminata por el Día Internacional del Detenid@-Desaparecid@ (Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad, 28 de agosto de 2014)

Exigen cumplimiento de la sentencia de buscar a Reyes Amaya y Cruz Sánchez (La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2014)

Desaparición Forzada de Edmundo Reyes Amaya y Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez. 7 años de impunidad (Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos Hasta Encontrarlos, mayo 2014)

Avala EPR comisión para localización de eperristas desaparecidos en Oaxaca (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: International Week of the Detained and Disappeared concludes in Mexico (June 10, 2014)

National: 30 August, International Day for Victims of Forced Disappearance (September 16, 2013)


Oaxaca: Various denunciations in theTehuantepec Isthmus from Community Assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories

September 6, 2014
Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ)

In recent weeks, the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT) made public several complaints regarding the situation of resistance against mega-projects of wind farms in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

On August 22, they informed that “members of the Attorney General’s Office, detained the Zapotec Indian José Ángel López Vásquez in the community of Santa Maria Xadani”. They added that “the PGR called him to tell him that a prior inquiry was opened against him due to a complaint of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). H3 was maintained in solitary confinement and denied the right to have an interpreter.” The community of Santa María Xadani is struggling against high electricity tariffs imposed by the CFE. The APIIDTT expressed that it’s “ironic that in a region where our air is producing more than 1,600 megawatts of electricity per hour, we have to fight and be criminalized for demanding low electricity rates.”

On the other hand, they reported that on August 17, the mayor of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Saul Vicente Vasquez, “simulated an election for the second time to impose Jorge Alonso Santiago as authority in our community Binnizá of Gui’xhi ‘Ro’ – Alvaro Obregón [...] whose election was previously not acknowledged to the Electoral Court of the State of Oaxaca”. They also mentioned an aggression on the Community Police “General Charis” which protect the Permanent Assembly installed in the town square: “they were attacked by about 20 armed people.” They finally mentioned that “Saul Vicente and COCEI continue with their intention to impose at all costs a manipulable authority according to their interests and permit the entry of the wind project.”

Regarding the situation of defender Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, a member of the APIIDTT, the National Network of Human Rights Women Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM) demanded the end of the persecution: the defender is on trial on charges of illegal deprivation of freedom, as well as crimes against consumption and national wealth. a sentence is to be issued in the days following. The RNDDHM reminded that the legal demands against Bettina Cruz derived from the APIITDTT peaceful demonstration held on April 13, 2011 outside the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in Juchitan. On February 22, 2012, Bettina Cruz was arrested by members of the Federal Ministerial Police, and released two days later. The 168 members of the RNDDHM expressed they will alert to the resolution to be issued in the coming days and to be sure that “the sentence is not used as an act of coercion against the defender.”

As regards to the fight against the wind farms in the Isthmus region, it is also worth mentioning that the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) recently reported that “the Secretary of Energy implements a simulation of consultation more to keep up the appearances than to comply with a legal ruling or to respect the right of indigenous peoples.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen justicia para activista indígena bajo proceso penal desde 2012 en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Exige RNDDHM cese criminalización vs defensora Bettina Cruz (Diario Oaxaca, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Comunicado segunda elección de autoridad impuesta AO (APIIDTT, 22 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (December 9, 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: New attacks on journalists

September 2, 2014

 (@ChiapasParalelo)(@ChiapasParalelo)

Organizations as well as nearly 30 female journalists and photojournalists have energetically condemned the criminal acts committed against Carina García Sosa, correspondent of MVS Radio; Jazmín Gómez Ortega, president of the Oaxaca Press Group (GPO), and Saraí Jiménez, journalist for ADN Sureste, who were assaulted and robbed of their work implements in the months of July and August. They have called on Governor Gabino Cué and Secretary for Public Security Alberto Esteva Salinas to provide the necessary guarantees for communicators to continue developing their work in the state. These journalists have been following the teachers’ movement, documenting the series of mobilizations carried out by Section 22 as well as the destruction of the offices of Section 59 of the SNTE, or the National Educational Workers’ Union.

The communicators and organizations stressed in their communique that “the insecurity which we experience in the state of Oaxaca has placed female journalists in a state of defenselessness, such that we are not only denied the conditions for the exercise of our work, but neither does there exist a mechanism to ensure that these acts do not repeat themselves.” They added that “we cannot leave aside the context faced by Oaxacan journalists in their work. The report ‘Impunity. Violence against female journalists. Legal analysis’ which was put together by Communication and Information for Women (CIMAC) shows that Oaxaca, just like Chiapas and Puebla, shares the fourth-highest national level of attacks on female protests. This means that the violence is worse than that registered in very conflictive areas controlled by drug-traffickers, such as in Tamaulipas.”

On 19 August, the day on which was registered 2 of the attacks just mentioned against women journalists, the graphical journalist Vico Miravete was subjected to assault and robbery by police as he was covering a social protest outside the Del Carmen neighborhood in Tuxtepec city. The previous day, a member of the municipal police decided to photograph and intimidate a reporter from Noticias as he was investigating the case of someone who had been detained by the police patrol.

For more information (in Spanish):

Inseguridad vulnera a mujeres periodistas de Oaxaca (Noticias.net, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Repudian agresiones a comunicadoras en Oaxaca (Proceso, 20 de agosto de 2014)

Boletín de las organizaciones sobre los hechos (20 de agosto de 2014)

A mujeres reporteras 75% de medidas cautelares en Oaxaca (Noticias.net.mx, 16 de agosto de 2014)

Oaxaca, cuarto lugar por agresiones a mujeres periodistas (Noticias.net.mx, 15 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: new journalist’s murder (30 August 2014)

Oaxaca: the Mexican state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists (10 June 2014)

Oaxaca: One of the most violent and dangerous states for the exercise of journalism (16 May 2014)


Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release

September 2, 2014

Foto (@SIPAZ)Photo (@SIPAZ)

A year ago, on 21 August 2013, Nestora Salgado García, member of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC-PC) in Olinalá, Guerrero, was arrested and accused of aggravated kidnapping and organized crime. She was then transferred to the maximum-security prison in Tepic, Nayarit, where she has been held to this day. From prison, she has written, “Remember, my beautiful people, that I am imprisoned.” The last time that her daughter Saira Rodríguez Salgado visited her was on 2 August, when she reported that she found her mother desperate due to the inhumane treatments she received. Saira Rodríguez reported that “this is a punishment against my mother for fighting for her people.”

On the occasion of the first anniversary of her arrest, the National Network of Defenders of Human Rights in Mexico (RNDDHM) published a communique to demand her transfer to a jail in Mexico City as well as adequate attention to her health, in addition to demanding the “immediate and unconditional release of the human-rights defender.” The RNDDHM declared that “we call on the authorities of the federal government and the Guerrero state government to provide security guarantees for human-rights defenders, and we demand the cessation of the impunity of murders and forced disappearances of rights-defenders. We have had quite enough of the criminalization of human-rights defenders and of the social movement in Guerrero.”

The Committee of Women #NestoraLibre initiated the campaign “We are all Nestora,” toward the end of expressing solidarity toward her. In this way, both organizations demanded the release of other political prisoners: 9 members of the CRAC-PC and Marco Antonio Suástegui, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP). These arrests, according to the RNDDHM, “evince the political character of penal persecution and the illegal use of federal prisons, using the complicity of the federal government, from which no human-rights defender in Guerrero is exempt.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Me quieren matar o enloquecer, acusa Nestora Salgado; cumple un año en prisión (La Jornada, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa: RNDDHM exige libertad inmediata de Nestora Salgado (RNDDHM, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Mujeres crean frente por la libertad de presos políticos (Cimacnoticias, 20 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: Emergence of Committee of Women for the Liberty of Nestora Salgado (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on (29 August 2014)

Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (20 July 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (23 June 2014)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC en Olinalá (13 September 2013)


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