Guerrero: The case of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo to be held in civil courts

August 19, 2011

Valentina Rosendo @Tlachinollan

On 12 August, the Military Attorney General’s Office (PGJM) notified Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo that the investigations regarding the rape and torture committed against them by members of the Mexican Army in 2002 have been transferred to the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR).  This act is the result of the denunciations that have been presented, but also of that which is stipulated by the recent constitutional reform on human rights and above all the sentence handed down by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case.

In a communiqué released by several organizations, including the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, and the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), who have litigated the case, it was remembered that on 18 July the two Me’phaa indigenous women had made a direct request before the PGJM and the PGR for their case to be handed over to civilian jurisdiction, following he resolution of the Supreme Court of Justice in the Nation, stating that the military court should not investigate soldiers accused of having violated human rights.  The bulletin mentions that “the resolution is the consequence of the nine years of struggle bravely undertaken by Inés and Valentina, accompanied as they have been by organizations dedicated to the defense and promotion of human rights as well as by hundreds of persons around the world who individually and collectively have responded to the call to demand from the Secretary of National Defense that human-rights violations committed by Army units should not be judged in military courts.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado CEJIL, Tlachinollan, OPIM, entre otras (16 August)

Fiscalía militar mexicana pasa caso de indígenas violadas a fuero civil (EFE America, 17 August)

PGJM remite al fuero civil investigaciones de los casos de Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (Cencos, 16 August)

Tras 9 años, el caso de Inés y Valentina se juzgará en el Fuero Civil (Sididh, 17 August)

Weblog de los casos de Valentina Rosendo y Inés Fernández

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: briefs: Inés and Valentina demand that their cases be investigated in civil courts (18 August)

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina (February 4, 2011)


Chiapas: End of sit-in and return to Las Conchitas (FNLS)

August 19, 2011

FNLS members in the Plaza Catedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 15 August @SIPAZ

In a 15 August press-conference in the Plaza Catedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the National front of Struggle for Socialism (FNLS) reported that the residents of the ranch “Las Conchitas,” municipality of Salto de Agua, decided to suspend their sit-in and return to their community following 42 days of having been robbed of their lands, 34 of which they spent in front of the offices of the CNDH and the San Cristóbal cathedral.

The 33 Ch’ol indigenous individuals, presumably evicted by armed men on 3 July, installed the protest in both sites to demand guarantees for their return, compensation for damages incurred, and regularization of the lands to which they were relocated in 2002 when they were voluntarily evicted from the Montes Azules Reserve.

They assured that after several meetings with authorities they came to no agreement for the observance of their demands, and so they return to Las Conchitas “without guarantees” for their safety.  Before boarding the two buses given to them by the CEDH for their return, their representatives proclaimed that “We want to clarify that on the part of the FNLS there was political will for dialogue, but the only audience granted by the secretary of Government […] made no serious commitment to our demands for the generation of the conditions of a dignified return, much less reparation for the damages and punishment of the aggressors.”

For this they invited human-rights defenders, both national and international, to accompany their return: “with their support and solidarity we can make known to the public our suffering […], given that certain media are controlled by the budget of this government, thus closing off such spaces.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Fin del plantón, retorno y solicitud de garantías: FNLS (Boletín de Prensa FNLS, 15 August 2011)

Exiliados vuelven a Conchitas (Cuarto Poder, 16 August 2011)

Desalojan plantón de la CNDH y de la Plaza Catedral en SCLC (El imparcial de Chiapas, 17 August 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: protests regarding displacement of 5 families of Ranchería Las Conchitas, municipality of Salto de Agua (27 July 2011)

Mexico: National Day against Forgetting and Impunity by the FNLS (8 June 2011)


Guerrero – briefs: Conflict continues in the Sierra de Petatlán; displaced in the sierra de Coyuca de Catalán return to La Laguna; pressure to retire the Communal Police from several communities

August 19, 2011

Javier Torres Cruz @ Viento de Libertad

On 27 July, the youth Natalia Ruiz Martínez, who has found the Torres family from the community of La Morena in the Sierra de Petatlán responsible for the murder of her brother, Zenaido Ruiz Martínez, has reported that two armed persons entered her house in Zihuatanejo, breaking the door so as to enter.  They threatened Natalia and her two children with death and pressured her to declare that her denunciation against the Torres family was false and that she instead say that those who killed her brother are the members of the Organization of Ecologist Campesinos in the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán (OCESP), Servando Bautista, Jesús Bautista, and Hilario Espinoza.

The governor of the state, in accordance with an investigation being held to determine the causes that drive the violence in this zone, reports that it could be that a conflict of consideration dimensions take place in said region due to the confrontation among these groups.  The coordination of the OCESP for its part said that the problem of the Sierra de Petatlán is not a dispute among groups of organized crime, but rather that they are murders and death-threats against the civil population, in light of which governmental authorities do nothing.  It added that it is this type of impunity which has provoked the exodus that is seen in these days.

In other news, the 177 displaced individuals from La Laguna who find themselves taking refuge in Puerto de Las Ollas, Sierra de Coyuca de Catalán, have decided to return to their lands, and they ask that the state government provide protective measures for the return journey.  It is known that on 27 July there was an interview held with the Secretary General of government and with the Secretary of Public Security and Protection, from whom representatives of the displaced requested that the police protection they currently have in Puerto de Las Ollas also be had in La Laguna, Hacienda de Dolores, and Los Huajes de Ayala, communities to which the displaced pertained before the murder of three youth on 17 April.

Lastly, the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC-Communal Police) has reported that citizens of the municipality of Marquelia have pressured mayor Jesús Rico Santana to retire the communal police who are providing their services in several communities of this municipality by 30 July.  The CRAC notes in a communiqué: “Our Communal Police is of the people and for the people.  The only commands our communal institution take are made in the assembly of each community, which decides and names its group of security, in such a way that only the communities decide whether to receive the services of the institution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazan a la joven que denunció un crimen en la sierra de Petatlán(El Sur de Acapulco, 28 July)

Piden desplazados en Las Ollas condiciones de paz y seguridad para regresar a su comunidad (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 July)

El gobierno del estado es responsable del éxodo en la sierra, dice la Organización Ecologista (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 July)

Presión para eliminar policía comunitaria (La Jornada Guerrero, 28 July)

Rechaza la CRAC presión para que retire de Marquelia a la Policía Comunitaria (El Sur de Acapulco, 29 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: briefs : incursion of Navy forces in La Morena community (27 July)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)

Guerrero: National Meeting for the Justice and Security of the People–15 years of the CRAC-PC (21 October 2010)


Mexico: March “Steps for Peace”

August 19, 2011

@SIPAZ

On Sunday 14 August in Mexico City the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity carried out a silent march called “Steps for Peace.”  According to different sources, some 3,000 individuals left the Museum of Anthropology at 11:30am carrying banners that denounced the excesses of the war on drugs launched by President Calderón.  A bit before 1pm, they arrived at the official residence of Los Pinos, this being the first stop to demand that the National Security Law not be approved.  In front of the new headquarters of the Senate of the Republic, Julián le Barón gave a speech emphasizing that one cannot wait for government to change society, but rather that the people themselves must take this initiative.  Touching on Mexican identity, he noted that we “are all Quetzalcóatl,” and in this sense requested a larger citizens’ participation to halt violence.  Later the poet Javier Sicilia stressed that “our movement is for peace, and this is not possible without dialogue.”  For this reason, he announced that “in light of the reason and simulations of the legislators,” dialogue will be opened with the Legislative Branch on 17 August.

For more information (in Spanish):

Reinicia el miércoles diálogo con Congreso: Sicilia (La Jornada, 14 August)

Reanudará Sicilia el miércoles diálogo con legisladores (La Jornada, 14 August)

Movimiento por la Paz reúne a mil 800 en el Senado (El Universal, 14 August)

Encabeza Sicilia “Marcha Silenciosa por la Paz” hacia Los Pinos (Proceso, 14 August)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal welcome Javier Sicilia’s Pact for Peace (1 July 2011)

Mexico: The Citizens’ Pact is signed in Juarez (21 June 2011)

Mexico: Beginning of the caravan for peace from Cuernavaca to Ciudad Juárez (9 June 2011)

Mexico: Marches for Peace and Justice with Dignity (12 May 2011)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives (15 April 2011)

Mexico: National march “We are fed up” (14 April 2011)


Chiapas: JBG of La Garrucha denounces armed aggression on August 16, 2011

August 19, 2011

In its most recent communiqué, the Zapatista Good-Government Council (JBG) El camino del futuro, from the caracol La Garrucha, denounced armed attacks on the part of members of the Regional Organization of Coffee-cultivators of Ocosingo (Orcao), whom it describes as “paramilitaries” who are supported by state and municipal police.  The denunciation affirms that the aggressors originate from the ejidos Guadalupe Victoria and Las Conchitas (Ocosingo), as well as from Pojcol (Chilón), who have attempted to invade the lands of EZLN support-bases in the autonomous municipality of Francisco Villa.

They detail that on 12 August, groups organized and armed from Orcao fired on support-bases who were going to carry out communal labor in recovered territory.  “Orcao men and women from Guadalupe Victoria impeded the pass of a Zapatista comrade, threatening to burn his vehicle with all the possessions he was carrying inside,” claimed the JBG.  Another person sought to take film but had his camera taken by the Orcao group.  When other Zapatistas approached, the JBG notes that the Orcao member José Alfredo Peñate Gómez too out a .22 caliber pistol and began firing, injuring Manuel Hernández López.  At that moment, the Zapatistas chose to retreat.  The communiqué notes that a bit later, another vehicle from the autonomous municipality that was carrying more Zapatistas toward their communal plots was also fired upon “by an armed group of Pojco”; the vehicle was hit with two bullets of .22 caliber.

According to the JBG, “On 12 August it was clearly seen that this has been prepared, directed, and supported by the bad governments, because on that day as night fell a state and municipal police car entered with two ambulances that went to Guadalupe Vistoria.  We believe that they went to provide more bullets and to support them so that they continue with their death-threats by firing.”  The JBG concludes its communiqué by stating that “this is our denunciation and we will be alert and ready for whatever the bad governments want.”

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Celebration of the Fourth Meeting of Human-Rights Defenders

August 19, 2011

@SIPAZ

On Friday 12 August and Saturday 13 August, human-rights defenders and journalists met to hold the Fourth National Meeting, which was originally called for by the Solidarity Network Decade against Impunity, the Program of Human Rights of the Ibero-American University of Mexico City and the ProDH Center.  In the declaration of the meeting, participants recalled that all persons who either individually or collectively promote and request the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental rights whether nationally or internationally are to be considered human-rights defenders.  For this reason, one’s professional experience or degree of pertenance to a given civil-society organization does not matter, insofar as the methods employed to defend human rights are to be found compatible with the same.

Participants also expressed their concern for the situation of human rights in Mexico.  They indicated that the situation has suffered a grave relapse in light of the context of violence that prevails under the so-called war on drugs.  Alejandro Nuño, director of the Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil), noted it was an advance that “the agreement for the creation of the mechanism of protection of defenders be published in the Official Daily of the Federation (DOF); regardless, it should be required that organizations be consulted so that there be a real instrumentation of the mechanisms and so that the investigation of aggression and death-threats be considered an indisputable part of protection.”  Cuahthémoc Ramírez, secretary of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM), denounced that on Wednesday 10 August at midnight, some seven armed men identified as informants for the Army attempted to harass the offices of his organization.  Magdalena López Paulino, from the Solidarity Network Decade against Impunity, indicated that in Los Pinos more excuses are sought so as not to observe the orders of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), as in the cases of the ecologist campesinos Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera.

For more information (in Spanish):

Video de la rueda de prensa (Centro Prodh, 13 August)

El mecanismo de SG en pro de activistas, posible plan para lavar la cara al gobierno (La Jornada, 13 August)

Defensores de Derechos Humanos exigen a Calderón garantías para su labor (Proceso, 14 August)

Grave retroceso en derechos humanos: ONG (La Jornada, 14 August)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Accord to establish a Mechanism for Protection of Human-Rights Defenders; campaign “Declare yourself” is launched (20 July 2011)


Chiapas: Campaign for the release of Alberto Patishtán

August 19, 2011

María Gabriela, daughter of Professor Patishtán, and wife of Rosario, member of la Voz del Amate @ SIPAZ

Several collectives and civil and social organizations, both national and international, have joined the campaign for the release of the political prisoner Alberto Patishtán, who was detained in 2000 and sentenced to 60 years’ imprisonment.  His case is relevant as a symbol of the movement for freedom gibven that he was one of those who founded la Voz del Amate.  With his hunger-strike of 41 days in 2008, he allowed for the release of nearly all of the members of the Voz del Amate and others imprisoned elsewhere in Chiapas.

“The challenges that I have experienced are the reprisals of authorities, forced transfers, and the diseases we suffer and I suffer.  The tasks to do are the following: to continue raising awareness among all aspects of the interned comrades, to continue holding reading and writing workshops, exposition of themes of reflection of personal transcendence based in spirituality, fasting, and prayer for strengthening,” says Patishtán himself, referring to the inspiration and teaching that he has brought to other prisoners who have declared themselves as being in solidarity with la Voz del Amate.

For more information (in Spanish):

Campaña Nacional e Internacional por la libertad del compañero Alberto Patishtán, preso político en Chiapas!, Zapateando, 15 August 2011

Campaña de firmas por la libertad de Alberto Patishtán. Actualización, Radio Proletaria Chiapas, 9 August 2011

Campaña por la libertad del compañero Alberto Patishtan, Enlace Zapatista, 14 August 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Fifth anniversary of the “Voz de Amate” (8 January 2011)

- Chiapas: the case of Alberto Patishtán Gómez presented before the IACHR, and denunciation by la Voz de Amate (10 August 2010)

- Chiapas: visit to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied (30 July 2010)

Chiapas: prisoner Alberto Patishtán Gómez’s latest communiqué and its coverage by La Jornada (19 July 2010)

Chiapas: medical neglect in the case of Alberto Patishtán (25 March 2010)

Chiapas: Presentation of the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor (26 January 2010)


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