Chiapas: SIPAZ issues an Urgent Action appeal for the detainees on hunger strike

March 28, 2008

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SIPAZ expresses its extreme concern for the risks to the life and personal integrity of the detainees of three Chiapas prisons who have undertaken a hunger strike in order to demand their freedom. The detainees denounce the fact that they have been arbitrarily detained for their political and/or social justice activities. They state that they are facing false accusations, and that their right to due legal process is being violated. Some detainees have been on strike for more than one month.

According to numerous sources, such as the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center, report that at least 45 detainees are maintaining the hunger strike:

  • 27 detainees in the Center for Social Re-adaptation #14 (known as “El Amate”) in Cintalapa. The majority of these detainees began their hunger strike on either February 25 or 26. Others joined them on March 10, 25 and 26.
  • 10 detainees in the Center for Social Re-adaptation #5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, on strike since March 4.
  • 8 detainees in the Center for Social Re-adaptation #17 in Playas de Catazajá, who joined the strike on March 8.

In addition, some 11 detainees maintain daily fasts in support of the hunger strikers: six in the Center for Social Re-adaptation #5, three in the Center for Social Re-adaptation #14 and two in Tacotalpa Prison (in the State of Tabasco).

Beginning on March 24, relatives of 36 of the hunger strikers mentioned above established a picket opposite the Chiapas State Government’s offices in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to demand the freedom of their family members.

Take part in SIPAZ Urgent Action for the detainees on hunger strike (click here)


Guerrero: SIPAZ and Tlachinollan release evaluation to finalize the international delegation

March 15, 2008
In a press conference in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, the twelve members of the international delegation presented their initial evaluation following their week-long journey across the state.
To read the complete text of the bulletin, click here.

Guerrero: SIPAZ and Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña launch international mission to document human rights violations

March 8, 2008

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La Parota: Assembly in Agua Caliente, August 12, 2007 [Source: CDHM Tlachinollan]

On the invitation of International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) and the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña, a delegation of 12 NGO representatives from Austria, the United States, France, England, Sweden, Switzerland and Latin America will visit Guerrero between March 7 and 14. Their aim is to investigate the state’s current human rights situation.

Over the seven day visit, the delegation will visit communities whose rights to land and territory are under threat, as well as those who are organizing in response to the situation of impunity, corruption, discrimination and serious human rights violations which is present in Guerrero.

The delegation will begin with a visit to the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositores a La Parota), to be followed on Saturday March 8 by a midday visit to the strike at Dos Arroyos. They will continue their journey along the Costa Chica and Costa Montaña of Guerrero, where they will hold meetings with indigenous and campesino organizations and victims of human rights violations.

The director of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña, Abel Barrera Hernández, considers that this visit “represents for the victims of human rights violations another opportunity to share their stories at an international level. Their individual cases demonstrate an unchanging, systematic pattern of behavior maintained by the authorities responsible for promoting and administrating justice, as well as guaranteeing the security and physical integrity of individuals, and peace in the impoverished regions of this state.”

For more information:

Web page of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center

Press Release in Spanish “Delegación de SIPAZ visitará Guerrero” (Tlachinollan, 07/03/2008)

SIPAZ webpage: Guerrero


Oaxaca: Human rights organizations report 5 disappeared people linked to social organizations in the last 10 months

March 7, 2008

Various social and human rights organizations report that in the last 10 months in Oaxaca, there have been 5 instances of forced disappearance of people linked to social organizations:

  • Edmundo Reyes Amaya, disappeared May 25, 2007 (Alleged militant of the Democratic Popular Revolutionary Party [Partido Democrático Popular Revolucionario], Revolutionary Popular Army [Ejército Popular Revolucionario])
  • Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez, disappeared May 25, 2007 (Alleged militant of the Democratic Popular Revolutionary Party [Partido Democrático Popular Revolucionario], Revolutionary Popular Army [Ejército Popular Revolucionario])
  • Daniela Ortiz Ramírez, disappeared July 5, 2007 (Relative of members of the Movement for Triqui Unity and Struggle [Movimiento de Unificación y Lucha Triqui])
  • Virginia Ortiz Ramírez, disappeared July 5, 2007 (Realtive of members of the Movement for Triqui Unity and Struggle [Movimiento de Unificación y Lucha Triqui])
  • Lauro Juárez, disappeared December 3o, 2007 (Member of the social organization Union of Poor Campesinos-Popular Revolutionary Front [Unión de Campesinos Pobres-Frente Popular Revolucionario])

In a meeting with SIPAZ, held on February 15, the State Attorney General of Oaxaca, Evencio Martínez Ramírez, affirmed that none of these cases can be considered forced disappearances because there is no implication of the authorities. However, contrary to that which was established by the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons, he also maintained that the responsibility of the state may only be considered in terms of its actions, not its omissions.

Previously, on February 13, SIPAZ carried out an interview with relatives and legal representatives of the disappeared. The video of these interviews may be viewed above.

For more information :

Oaxaca: Suspected disappearance of indigenous leader Lauro Juárez (SIPAZ, 09/02/2008)

Blog of the Commitee “Hasta Encontrarlos” [in Spanish]

Web site of the Limeddh [in Spanish]

Press release on Lauro Juárez (ANDDH, Limeddh, CEDAPHI, 05/03/2008) [in Spanish]

Judicial reference:

Text of the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons (Adopted in Belém do Pará, Brazil, June 9, 1994, at the twenty-fourth regular session of the General Assembly to the Organization of American States)


México: The CCIODH presents the provisional recommendations of their sixth visit to Mexico

March 7, 2008

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After their sixth visit to Mexico and some 280 interviews with 596 people in the country, the International Civil Commission for Human Rights Observation (CCIODH, Comisión Civil Internacional de Observación por los Derechos Humanos) stated that “the human rights situation in Mexico is extremely critical. Independent of their scope, the magnitude of the violations and the lack of concrete responses points to the government of Felipe Calderón as wholly responsible.”

The CCIODH, during the course of their last visit (between February 1 and 16, 2008) followed up their previous reports on Chiapas, San Salvador Atenco (in the state of Mexico) and Oaxaca in order to help develop their new report regarding the human rights situation in those three cases which will be published in the next few months.

On February 20, after publishing their provisional recommendations regarding the three specific locations they visited, the CCIODH presented their general provisional recommendations concerning the visit.

In response to the CCIODH’s visit, the Oaxacan government’s Sub-Secretariat of Human Rights published a piece in the newspaper El Imparcial on Saturday, March 1, 2008. Among other things the agency stated, “We are surprised and note with concern the preliminary results of the civil organization (CCIODH)… We propose that within their conclusions there are statements made without support [or] objectivity and with inaccurate facts and some of the statements do not cite the international instruments used in reference to the criteria through which they construct scales and categories of measurement…”

More information about the CCIODH:

International Civil Commission for Human Rights (CCIODH) website [in Spanish]

Provisional conclusions and recommendations of the Sixth Visit of the CCIODH. México (CCIODH, 20/02/2008) [in Spanish]

Provisional conclusions and recommendations of the Sixth Visit of the CCIODH. Oaxaca (CCIODH, 14/02/2008) [in Spanish]

Provisional conclusions y recommendations of the Sixth Visit of the CCIODH. Chiapas (CCIODH, 09/02/2008) [in Spanish]

The Oaxacan government’s response:

Article from the Sub-Secretariat of Human Rights in response to the CCIODH visit (Published Saturday, March 1, in El Imparcial) [in Spanish]


Guerrero: SIPAZ and CDHM Tlachinollan promote international mission to document human rights violations

March 7, 2008

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La Parota: Assembly in Agua Caliente, August 12, 2007 [Source: CDHM Tlachinollan]

At the invitation of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) and the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Mountain (CDHM Tlachinollan, Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan), a delegation made up of 12 NGO representatives from Austria, the United States, France, England, Sweden y Switzerland will visit Guerrero between March 7 and 14, to observe the human rights situation there.

Over their seven day stay the delegation will visit communities whose rights to land are being threatened as well as villages that are organizing in response to the impunity, corruption and serious human rights violations of the state of Guerrero.

The tour will begin with a visit to the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the Parota (Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositores a La Parota), at noon on March 8, at the Dos Arroyos picket line. They will then visit the Costa Chica and the Montaña de Guerrero where they will participate in internal meetings with indigenous and campesino organizations as well as with victims of human rights violations.

The director of the CDHM Tlachinollan, Abel Barrera Hernández has said he believes that the visit “represents an opportunity for the victims of human rights violations to make public, at an international level, a series of cases which demonstrate a systematic pattern that continues without any sign of change on the part of the authorities that are charged with promoting and administering justice as well as guaranteeing security, physical integrity and peace in impoverished regions.”

For more information:

Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Mountain website

Guerrero section of the SIPAZ website

Press release: “SIPAZ delegation to visit Guerrero” (CDHM Tlachinollan, 07/03/2008) [In Spanish]


Oaxaca: David Venegas Reyes, “El Alebrije”, released from prison

March 6, 2008

David Venegas Reyes after his release on February 3 [Source: Noticias, 06/03/2008]

After almost eleven months in prison, the cousellor of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO, Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca) and member of Oaxacan Voices Creating Freedom and Autonomy (VOCAL, Voces Oaxaqueñas Construyendo Autonomía y Libertad), David Venegas Reyes, “El Alebrije”, left the Santa María Ixcotel Central Penitentiary yesterday afternoon a free man. His release was confirmed after an appeal made to the Third Collegiate Court of the 13th Circuit against his pre-trial detention order (“auto de formal prisión”) as determined by the First Instance Mixed Court of Tlacolula de Matomoros.

David Venegas was detained by Auxiliary Bank, Industrial and Commercial Police (PABIC, Policía Auxiliar, Bancaria, Industrial y Comercial) agents on April 13, 2007. He was later tried for crimes against health (“delitos contra la salud”) at the federal level. Other charges included sedition, conspiracy and arson pertaining to the confrontation between supporters of the popular movement and the federal police (PFP, Policía Federal Preventiva) on November 25, 2006.

According to the Venegas’ sister, Natalia Venegas Reyes, on February 28, 2007, after the First Instance Mixed Court of Tlacolula de Matomoros reclassified the crimes, the Third Collegiate Court of the 13th Circuit ratified an appeal granted by the First Court of the State District against the charges of attacks on transit routes, rebellion, crimes committed against civil servants, dangerous attacks and resisting arrest.

In order to secure his release, while he is being further tried for drug possession, Venegas’ family has paid a bail of 4000 pesos.


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