Chiapas: 4 prisoners are freed in Chiapas

February 25, 2009

On February 23, 3 prisoners, who are members of the “Voz de los Llanos”, and 1 prisoner from “La Voz de Amate” were liberated. According to the communiqué released by the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolome de las Casas (Frayba), which has worked on the case of the prisoners, Agustín Rodríguez Jímenez and Diego Rodríguez Hernández, who were incarcerated in the State Center for the Social Rehabilitation of Prisoners (CERSS) No. 5, were liberated under early release, while Tiburcio Gómez Pérez remains under house arrest waiting the final judgment. José Pérez Pérez, member of the organization “La Voz de Amate” in the CERSS No. 14 in the municipality of Cintalapa, was freed by having his sentence suspended.

Only days earlier, on February 18 Miguel Gómez Gómez, member of “La Voz de Amate”, was liberated after his innocence was proved in civil court, and his sentence was absolved.

It is important to remember that professor Alberto Patishtan Gómez (member of “La Voz de Amate” and incarcerated since June of 2000) remains in prison in the CERSS No. 14. Because his case is in federal court, his legal situation will have to follow a different process. Alberto Patishtan remains in fasting and prayer demanding that he be liberated and his innocence recognized.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Obtienen su libertad cuatro personas presas, boletín, Frayba (24/02/2009)

Miguel Gómez Gómez demuestra su inocencia en juicio y obtiene su libertad, boletín, Frayba (18/02/2009)

Guerrero: the bodies of two mixteco leaders, reported dissapeared since February 13, are found

February 24, 2009

On February 22, 2009, the bodies of two members of the Organization for the Future of the Mixteco People (Organización para el Futuro del Pueblo Mixteco, OFPM), who had been reported disappeared, were discovered. On February 13, Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, president and secretary of the OFPM, were forcibly abducted by 3 armed men who were presumed to be agents of the Ministerial Investigative Police (PIM). These armed men arrived at a public event taking `place in the town of Ayutla de los Libres, they threatened Ponce Rosas and Lucas Lucía, and forced them into a car without license plates.

According to the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CDHM Tlachinollan), “Participating at the same event was the director of Public Security of Ayutla, an ex-military member, Luis José Sánchez Hernández who along with police escorts left the event just minutes before Raúl Lucas and Manual Ponce were abducted in a car without license plates and taken to an unknown location”.

On Sunday morning, February 22, the wives of Lucas Lucía and Ponce Rosas identified their husbands’ bodies in the Forensic Medical Center in Acapulco. The bodies were found buried 80 centimeters underground in plastic bags. Their bodies showed clear signs of torture and execution.

The two members of the OFPM had worked for many years as human rights defenders for indigenous peoples in the mixteco region. Amnesty International, in an urgent action report on the February 16, stated that “the disappearance of Manuel Ponce Rosas and Raúl Lucas Lucía could have been motivated by the work that both have done promoting human rights of the indigenous mixteco people of the region”.

In its communiqué on February 22, the CDHM Tlachinollan stated: “As Human Rights Center we are convinced that the killing of these indigenous human rights defenders is a “crime of the state”, because it has not made guarantees for the safety of human rights defenders so that they can carry out their work, in addition it has failed to ensure that they are not the target of attacks, threats, forced disappearances, and assassination as a consequence of their work”.

For More Information:

Mexico: Alleged enforced disappearance of indigenous rights defenders, Mr Manuel Ponce Rosas and Mr Raúl Lucas Lucía (Frontline Defenders, 2/17)

Urgent Action from Amnesty International “Mexico: Further Information on Fear for safety” (2/25)

More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado del CHDM Tlachinollan (22/2/09)

AU de Amnestia Internacional “Posible desaparición / temor por la seguridad” (16/2/09)

Crimen de Estado, la doble ejecución de líderes mixtecos, asegura ONG: La Jornada (23/2/09)

El doble homicidio, un crimen de Estado, acusa Tlachinollan: La Jornada Guerrero (23/2/09)

Oaxaca: the II Congress of the APPO takes place

February 24, 2009

Between February 16 and 19, the First Cultural Week of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) took place in Oaxaca City. The participants included members from a variety of social organizations which make up the APPO. Forums, conferences, debates, and other cultural events dealt with issues like journalism, human rights, and the various perspectives of the APPO.

Following the Cultural Week, on February 20, the Second Ordinary Statewide Congress of the APPO began. After an inauguration open to the press, in the afternoon the organizations that make up the APPO met behind closed doors to discuss the various positions, beliefs, and proposals present in the Assembly.

Two members of SIPAZ were present at the Congress and interviewed various counterparts in the City of Oaxaca. A number of the counterparts stressed that the challenges for the delegates participating in Second Congress of the APPO will be to search for common ground, the acceptance of diversity, and the tolerance of different ideas and many different voices.

The objectives of the Congress included how to continue the politicization of the people of Oaxaca, as well as incorporate new movements which were born out the violence and repression of 2006-2007 and continue to function as neighborhood groups outside of the structure of the APPO. According to a number of actors, another of the challenges of the Second Congress is the need to reorganize the leadership and create a more transparent structure.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Convocatoria a la Semana Cultural de la APPO

Sitio oficial de la APPO

Blog del II Congreso Estatal Ordinario de la APPO

Atenco: the Campaign “Liberty and Justice for Atenco” begins

February 24, 2009

On February 17 the National and International Campaign for “Liberty and Justice for Atenco” was initiated with the objective of the liberation of the 13 prisoners of San Salvador Atenco and the end of political persecution against three more people. This campaign began this week with forums of analysis, discussions, events, and visibility for the permanent sit-in which was set up in the prison Molino de las Flores. It also plans to organize visits with all the prisoners and publish interviews with them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mexico: the brothers Antonio and Hector Cerezo are freed

February 24, 2009

Click on the photo to see more photos of the liberation

On August 13, 2001, Pablo Alvarado, Antonio, Héctor, and Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, and Sergio Galicia were detained and accused of belonging to the Armed Revolutionary Forces of the People (FARP) and being responsible for the explosion of homemade bombs in three banks in the Federal District in the that year. They were convicted of being involved in organized crime.

According to various human rights organizations, the detentions presented many irregularities: their arrest and illegal detention, torture, holding them incommunicado, incarceration in the maximum security prison “La Palma”, as well as being accused of being terrorists.

Out of their detention was born the Cerezo Committee, which is an organization dedicated to the defense of the human rights of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Its work has included documentation, denunciation, diffusion, and accompaniment in a number of cases.

On February 16 at noon, the last two prisoners, the brothers Antonio and Héctor Cerezo Contreras were freed, ending their sentence of seven and a half years. They managed to reduce the original sentence of 75 years for all the detained. Two years ago, Alejandro Cerezo Contreras was freed and exonerated of all crimes.

The Cerezo Committee, in spite of having been the object of hostility, surveillance, and death threats since the first two years of its existence, stated that it would continue to work for the defense of human rights of other political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. “Our love has grown to involve not only Antonio and Héctor, but all people who are suffering”, said one of the members of the Committee minutes before the liberation of the brothers.

Interview with Francisco Cerezo (In Spanish)

For More Information:

Ordeal Ends for Sons of Alleged Guerrillas, Global Issues (2/17/09)

Information about the case and the Cerezo Committee (Peace Brigades International, PBI)

More Information in Spanish:

La pagina web del Comité Cerezo, con varias entrevistas, artículos e imágenes

Antonio y Héctor Cerezo, libres tras más de siete años de cárcel, La Jornada (17/02/2009)

Threats against Member of CIEPAC, San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

February 24, 2009

On February 12 threats which occurred on December 2, 2008 against Norma Iris Cacho Niño, Coordinator of CIEPAC (Center of Economic and Political Investigations and Community Accion) were made public.

From November 25th to December 2nd a Caravan from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas was organized as a part of the activities in the Worldwide March of Women against the violence against women.

Norma Iris Cacho Niño actively participated as a member of the organizing commission of the Caravan in Chiapas as well as participating as a public figure during the activities which took place in San Cristobal de las Casas.

At 11:15 at night on December 2, Norma Cacho received a call on her cell phone. Upon answering, she heard a recording of the march which took place the same day, with her own voice speaking into a megaphone. After looking at the call record, she found it completely erased, leaving no record of any call entering or leaving.

CIEPAC wants the public to know that has not sought precautionary legal measures on the part the government in this case. Faced with many recent repressive actions, we ask that the organizations, collective, and communities be aware of the growing repressive tendency being carried out by the groups in power and the diverse government institutions.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Chiapas: hostilities against members of “La Voz de Amate”

February 24, 2009


On February 13, the Committee of ex-prisoners and family of political prisoners “Voces Inocentes” (Innocent Voices) denounced that members of the “Voz de Amate”, an organization of political prisoners and adherents of the Other Campaign in a prison in Cintalapa, Chiapas had received a “series of hostilities”. They denounced that the authorities are “preventing … them from carrying out their sacrifices as part of lent” because since February 10 they have been in a period of fasting and prayer as part of “a sacrifice devoted to their rights and religious beliefs in search of their liberty which they deserve”.

Of the prisoners who began a hunger strike in March of 2008, there remain Aberto Patishtán Gómez, Miguel Gómez Gómez, and José Pérez Pérez in the prison Amate and Tiburcio Gómez Pérez, Agustín Rodríguez Jiménez, and Diego Rodríguez Hernández in the prison CERSS 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas.

For More Information (in Spanish):

Denuncian hostigamiento contra los compañeros presos de la Voz de El Amate, a quienes les impidieron realizar una jornada de ayuno y oración, denuncia, Comité de Ex presos y familiares de Presos Políticos “Voces inocentes” (13/02/2009)

Mexico: Mexico undergoes the Universal Periodic Review

February 13, 2009

On February 10, for the first time, Mexico underwent the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) in Geneva. The UPR is a mechanism of the UN whose objective is to examine the achievement of human rights agreements and obligations in each member State. The critics of the presentation given by the Mexican government have been many and vocal. Jose Luis Soberanes, the Mexican ombudsman, stated that “the issues have been badly presented” and the results “have been manipulated”. He also expressed that in Mexico “the problem that we have is that what is resolved in the international bodies, such as the Human Rights Council, later is not implemented. There is a gap between what happens in the international bodies and what happens internally”.

The government stated in its report the proposal to withdraw the military from the fight against organized crime in the long term and support the establishment of a National Program of Human Rights. This plan has been questioned by organizations for being proposed solely for the UPR and without the intention of actually implementing it.

In addition two other reports were presented: the first compiled by agencies of the UN and the other by NGOs. While the Mexican state presented its report, the Mexican and international NGOs were allowed to be present but were not allowed to talk.

The report of the organizations from civil society, which was presented in September of 2008, showed a different reality with regard to human rights in Mexico. It criticized that the militarization and the fight against organized crime has focused entirely on questions of security and has sacrificed respect for human rights. It stressed that criminalization of social protest continues along with aggression and hostility towards human rights defenders, violations of fundamental guarantees by the military, feminicide, torture, and arbitrary detentions.

International organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch strongly emphasized problems of impunity in Mexico. They pointed to “the hundreds of homicides and the 700 forced disappearances which took place between the 1960s and 1980s” and that it still continues by not giving sentences according to the facts in San Salvador Atenco and in Oaxaca in the last few years. “The agents of the federal, state, and municipal police of Mexico are implicated in grave human rights violations; such as torture, violations, and homicide, especially the actions committed during the civil disturbances in San Salvador Atenco and the City of Oaxaca in 2006, which have still not been brought to justice”.

Friday, February 13, the countries carrying out the review on February 10, South Africa, Pakistan, and Nicaragua, will present their report to the public. The government of Mexico will show in the document if it accepts, rejects, or waits to decide on the criticisms and proposals which the Council formulated in the session on Tuesday.

More Information:

Highlights of the Univeral Periodic Review of Mexico – UNHCHR (10/02/09)

Reports by the Government, Civil Society, and the UN- UNHCHR

Press Release by the Human Rights Center PRODH on the UPR (10/02/09)

More Information in Spanish:

ONG mexicanas ante el Examen Periódico Universal de México, Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos (10/02/2009)

Article 19 coincide con el Consejo de Derechos Humanos sobre las agresiones a periodistas en México (10/02/2009)

Acusan ONG ante la ONU impunidad en la violación a DH en México, La Jornada (07/02/2009)

Atenco: The case of Atenco before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation

February 9, 2009

Source. El Porvenir

Source: El Porvenir

On January 21 of this year Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) released the “Public version of the report evaluating the constitutional investigation carried out by a special committee in their report on 3/2006”. In this document they present the results of an investigation into the events that occurred in Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco, in Mexico State, on May 3 and 4. On February 9 the findings will be reviewed by the full court.

The investigation indicates that the police operation demonstrated “negligence and lack of professionalism” and that resulted in “abuses, cruel and inhumane treatment, the use of excessive force, rape, and torture”. It concludes that “it is necessary that in the discussion and the final conclusion it is established that very grave violations occurred including torture and sexual violations against women”. The Collective against Torture and Impunity in Mexico, the Human Rights Center Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez, and the Network of Rights for Everyone commented that the report “is a step towards justice for Atenco”, but that it lacked the clear conclusion that there was “torture and sexual violations of women”.

Only days after the publication of the provisional report, Amnesty International (AI) stated that “the investigation carried out by the Supreme Court brings to light a long list of human rights violations that have remained un-addressed” and that it is “essential” that the highest Mexican court “decide on a positive resolution, based on international statutes signed by Mexico”. It also asked the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) to support the report written by the investigative commission into the abuses committed in the police operation so that impunity could be stopped.

The police operation, in which more that 4 thousand members of the Department of Federal Public Security (SSPF) and the Agency of State Security of the State of Mexico (ASEEM) participated, left of toll of 207 detained, two youths killed, and around 50 women who suffered violations, sexual abuse, torture, and illegal searches.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Versión pública del dictamen que valora la investigación constitucional realizada por la comisión designada en el expediente 3/2006, Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (21/01/2009)

Atenco y la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, La Jornada (24/01/2009)

Las agresiones en Atenco, alentadas por superiores: dictamen de la Corte, La Jornada (29/01/2009)

Difunde Corte dictamen sobre caso Atenco, El Universal (03/02/2009)

México: La Corte Suprema debe apoyar el informe sobre Atenco y abrir la puerta a la justicia, Amnistía Internacional (06/02/2009)

Ante la discusión del dictamen sobre Atenco de la SCJN: Justicia o impunidad: Comisión Civil Internacional de Observación por los Derechos Humanos, Boletín 38 (07/02/2009)

Pide Amnistía Internacional a la Corte respaldar el informe sobre el caso Atenco, La Jornada (07/02/2009)

Pide América del Valle a los ministros no prolongar injusticia e impunidad en Atenco, La Jornada (09/02/2009)

El proyecto de la Corte sobre Atenco puede otorgar impunidad a funcionarios, La Jornada (09/02/2009)

Guerrero: Members of the OPIM request another appeal

February 5, 2009

On January 21, five members of the Indigenous Mphaa People´s Organization (OPIM) requested an appeal of the arrest warrants which led to their incarceration by a federal judge. The 5 members, who are human rights defenders, were detained on April 18, 2008 and accused of killing Alejandro Feliciano on January 1, 2008.

On October 15, 2008, the Eighth District Judge in Acapulco, Livia Lizbeth Larumbe Radilla, granted an appeal to 4 of the 5 detainees. However they were not freed and on November 3 the Federal Public Prosecutor submitted an appeal which overturned the decision without presenting new evidence in the case.

In their press release the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CHDM Tlachinollan) stated that “As a Human Rights Center we hope that the Eighth District Judge grants the appeal to the five accused because it has become evident that there does not exist sufficient evidence to continue the investigation and maintain the arrest warrants, all of which is corroborated by the appeal granted on October 15 of last year”.

The CDHM Tlachinollan also added that there are 10 other people, the majority of whom belong to the OPIM, who are accused of the same crime and that they will be submitting an appeal within the next few days.

More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado del CHDM Tlachinollan (20/1/09)

Miembros de la OPIM interponen un amparo (La Jornada, 22/1/09)

More Information From SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Federal government overturns appeal granted to 4 of the 5 detained members of OPIM (SIPAZ, 11/6/08)

Guerrero: prisoners of the OPIM are released (SIPAZ, 10/22/08)

Guerrero: Human rights defenders in Ayutla held in prison for nearly two months (SIPAZ, 6/13/08)

SIPAZ Website- Civil Society: OPIM


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