National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues

May 16, 2014

Foto @ Regeneración Radio

Photo @ Regeneración Radio

8 years ago, on 3 and 4 May 2006, residents of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco suffered a strong repression when Enrique Peña Nieto, the current president of Mexico, was governor of the state of Mexico.  As a result of this, 47 women were sexually assaulted by police, two youth were killed, and 207 were arrested.

On 5 May, the Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights presented the campaign “Breaking the silence: all together against sexual violence.”  The objective of the campaign is to make visible the torture–principally sexual–exercised systematically against women by security forces after these were arrested for protesting; the campaign also seeks to accompany these women and to continue denouncing the government’s strategy to see these women as “war booty.”  Norma Jiménez noted that nothing has been easy since they undertook this struggle to denounce the acts which took place 8 years ago, given that they were sexually tortured, but she observed that people in solidarity have given them the strength to carry on, though now they think that it is is important to express solidarity with other women, because “it seems that all of us are in a similar situation, as though they had arrested us all–that is because this is all a conscious strategy.”  For this reason, other women who have joined the campaign include Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, Me’phaa indigenous women from Guerrero who in 2002 began another struggle to denounce the rights-violations and sexual torture to which they were subjected by soldiers in the Mexican Army.

Beyond this, the Front for Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT) recently accused the municipal government of San Salvador Atenco of organizing assemblies in which representatives of federal authorities have attempted to convince ejidatarios from Atenco and Texcoco to sell their lands for the construction of a new international airport for Mexico City.  Jesús Adán Espinoza noted that the federal government would face serious opposition if it attempted to carry out its urbanization plans for “Future City” and “Rescue of the Former Texcoco Lake,” as such works would only reactivate the project to build the new airport.  “These projects will only bring the further degradation of our traditions, customs, and our lands if we allow them to pass,” he declared.

For more information (in Spanish):

“Rompiendo el silencio:Todas juntas contra la tortura sexual”(Regeneración Radio, 6 de mayo de 2014)

Acusan a autoridades de Atenco de convencer a ejidatarios para aceptar construcción de aeropuerto (La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2014)

A 8 años. Atenco no olvidamos: una mirada desde La Sexta (Coordinador Valle de Chalko, 8 de mayo de 2014)

“No insistan, no vamos a desistir en abandonar nuestras tierras y viviendas” (Reporteros en Movimiento, 5 de mayo de 2014)

Carta de Solidaridad con Atenco: ¡No olvidamos lo que pasó los 3 y 4 de mayo, tampoco la lucha en contra del aeropuerto! (Enlace Zapatista, 8 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)


Chiapas: Las Abejas lament release of yet another of those charged for Acteal massacre

March 27, 2013

(@actealblogspot.com, foto de archivo)

During the religious celebration performed in the most recent monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society lamented that the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has released another indigenous person who had been incarcerated on the charge of having participated in the 22 December 1997 massacre in Acteal.  Las Abejas affirmed that “What we are now living here in Mexico confirms what we Abejas have always said: the organisms of the Mexican justice system do not serve justice but rather the interests of the powerful.”

“As in the case of the paramilitaries released previously, we are told that the reason for his release had to do with failures and violations to ‘due process.’  We think and denounce that this is nothing more than a pretext on the part of the authorities to twist justice in the way that is most convenient to them.”  Demonstrating this claim, Las Abejas indicated that the SCJN had denied review of the case of Alberto Patishtán, given that that case is marked by irregularities; moreover, the SCJN attended to the case of Florence Cassez, who had claimed failures to due process and was so released.  Another example that was mentioned was the “‘false Abejas’ who are playing with Salinas de Gortari so as to avenge Ernesto Zedillo, and a collegiate court immediately grants the motion to permit the continuation of the case against Zedillo in the U.S.”

Las Abejas assert that “the lack of justice and the means in which the authorities use law only for their benefit have resulted in the fact that throughout Mexico, some communities organize themselves for armed self-defense, as in the case of our friends from the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities of the Mountain and Costa Chica of Guerrero.”  Distinguishing their perspective from that of many authorities and media, Las Abejas noted that “One thing is that people amidst total impunity organize themselves to apply justice according to their own methods, and another very different thing is seen when the government, unsatisfied with using its own repressive apparatus, resorts to using a part of the people who are tricked into repressing their own brothers.”

Finally, Las Abejas closed with saying that they are “seeking other means to obtain the justice that is denied us by the government, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  But for now we will say that we reject the ‘friendly’ calls made by the Mexican government through the IACHR to our brothers and sisters in Atenco, who have rejected these proposals with the same dignity we shall employ.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de marzo de 2013)

Los grupos de autodefensa, resultado de la impunidad en el país, aseguran Las Abejas (La Jornada, 26 de marzo de 2013)

Confían en nuevo Papa (Cuarto Poder, 23 de marzo de 2013)

Abejas lamentan más liberaciones por Acteal (Noticiasnet.mx, 25 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas de Acteal (24 January 2013)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)

Chiapas: Survivor of Acteal massacre dies (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society denounces reactivation of paramilitaries in its community (12 October 2012)

National-International: Zedillo obtains immunity for the Acteal case(19 September 2012)

 


Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice

May 6, 2011

Photo: Centro-Prodh

Five years after the police incursion in Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco on 3 and 4 May 2006, women who have denounced their sexual torture firmly maintain their demands for justice.  Civil organizations indicate that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the State Attorney General’s Office of Mexico have impeded advances in the path toward justice for these women, and that due to the inefficacy of the internal institutions the case of 11 women finds itself presently before the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

The police operative implemented in the state of Mexico in 2006 against the Popular Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) in its struggle against the construction of an airport in Texcoco left two youth dead and 207 detained, of whom 47 were women.  Of the 47 women who were attacked, the National Commission on Human rights (CNDH) noted rape in 26 cases.  On this the fifth anniversary of the Atenco events, the Movement of Peoples in Defense of the Land, Amnesty International, and SME protested in front of the offices of the PGR to demand justice.

For more information (in Spanish):

Atenco, cinco años de resistencia frente a la tortura sexual, Cencos, 3 May 2011)

Atenco, a 5 años no se olvidan los excesos en el uso de la fuerza pública, El Universal, 3 May 2011

Víctimas de violación en Atenco se resisten a quedar en el olvido, cimacnoticas, 3 May

En Atenco prevalecen 5 años de impunidad, todotexcoco, 3 May 2011

A un lustro de hechos en Atenco, activistas exigen justicia frente a PGR, La Jornada, 2 May 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples Build Justice and Truth” (25 March 2011)


Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples build Justice and Truth”

March 25, 2011

Forum “With Memory, the Peoples build Justice and Truth” (@SIPAZ)

On 16 and 17 March, in observation of the 22nd anniversary of the founding of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), there was held the meeting “With Memory, the Peoples build Justice and Truth” at the Indigenous Center for Integral Traning (CIDECI-Unitierra) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Some 150 women and men attended the event, hailing from different social and civil organizations from several states of the country, including Chiapas, Guerrero, Chihuahua, and Mexico City. The common thread of the event was the subject of the construction of memory, a process that according to those who participated should be carried out in a collective fashion so as to counter the false versions of history propagated by the economic and political elite of the country. “The construction of memory helps us to understand our journey from the past, to locate our presen tasks, and to define as to where we would like to go in the future,” explained one participant.

On the first day were held several panels dealing with different questions: impunity and new forms of constructing justice (Communal Police of Guerrero and the Civil Society Las Bejas of Acteal, from the highlands of Chiapas); the defense of Mother Earth (ejidatar@sfrom Atenco, state of Mexico; ejidatar@s from San Sebastián Bachajón, Northern Zone of Chiapas); concrete experience in the work of historical memory (community of Masojá Shucjá, Northern Zone of Chiapas); defenders of the right to expression (Center for the Rights of Women, state of Chihuahua and members of the Coordination of Women in Resistance in Jotolá, Chiapas).

There was also read a communiqué by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, in which he greeted in the CDHFBC for its 22nd anniversary and manifested his indignation as regards the behavior of “some idiots” (government functionaries) with regard to the burial of Samuel Ruiz García in January. Moreover he expressed his concern for the integrity and life of human-rights defenders in Mexico as well as respect for the members of the CDHFBC, who despite the risks implied by their work, nonetheless continue: “You could have been others, but you chose to be that which now brings you together.”

The final pronouncement, signed by the organizations and movements present, stresses the importance of memory in light of the tasks handed down by the past so as to maintain hope for the future: “Memory helps us to remember, brings to the present the disappeared, those who have been murdered, imprisoned, exiled. We do not forget the dirty war, State terrorism, or the counter-insurgency war; nor do we forget who it is that is responsible for impunity. Regardless, also in our memory are those individuals, peoples, and organizations who never give up, and it is this memory that converts itself into hope for future generations.” The organizations that signed the pronouncement proposed the following, among other things: “In light of the generalized violence imposed by the State, let us generate movements for peace and against war, and let us expand and recognize the participation of women, children, youth, and the elderly in the decisions governing collective life.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del encuentro “CON LA MEMORIA, LOS PUEBLOS CONSTRUIMOS JUSTICIA Y VERDAD” (17 March 2011)

Hermann Bellinghausen: “Empezó en Chiapas encuentro de activistas y defensores de derechos de todo el país” (17 March)

Palabras del EZLN a la XLI Asamblea Nacional de la Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles “ Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos” (March 2011)


Mexico: National Meeting of members of The Other Campaign in Atenco

November 29, 2010

@FTDP

Between the 12th and 14th of November 2010, a National Meeting of Organizations and Struggles of the Other Campaign took place in San Salvador Atenco (Mexico State), convoked by the Movement for Justice en El Barrio, United States and the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land of Atenco, the latter being the host organization.

The invitation to the meeting noted: “While in the Other Campaign we have strengthened ourselves, we have extended more and have gone deeper in the way we work, the reaction from the capitalist system and from the ‘bad government’ has been to try and crush us where our roots are deep and our resistance is fierce. From the other side of the border, in New York, the movement for Justice in El Barrio strongly felt the chill first and then the anger that emerged from the repression that swept the country during the first phase of the Other Campaign. “ They argue: ” We hope to raise all our differences as flags and walk together to defend our lands, our cultures, our identities, our loves, our autonomy. “

According to press reports, the event was attended by over 70 organizations and groups. During the three days of the meeting there were different workshops, addressing issues such as repression, political prisoners, the defense of land and autonomy, among others, as well as an open forum on “The worthy struggles of Women , Indigenous Peoples, Lesbian, Gay and Transgender. ” In addition, there were screenings of documentaries on different actors and stages of the Other Campaign, as well as on the Zapatista struggle in Chiapas.

For more information (in Sanish):


Mexico: Atenco prisoners released

July 12, 2010

On June 30th, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation ordered the immediate release of  the 12 members of the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land of Atenco, who faced sentences of 31 to 112 years in prison, and had been taken into custody by police in May of 2006 during the protests against the displacement of flower vendors in the state of Mexico.

The decision of the court was made finding that the Attorney General of the State of Mexico (PGJEM) brought charges against the detainees stemming from shaky and false premises. Prosecutors also used illegal evidence to impute the crime of kidnapping. Additionally, the minister Juan Silva Meza affirmed that the sentences could have been “a form of institutional makeup to criminalize social protest, a way to punish the opposition”.

In the case of nine of the people from Atenco held in the Molino de Las Flores state prison, with lesser penalties, the release was immediate. On the other hand, in the case of the three leaders held in the federal prison of Altiplano, by the 1st of July, the federal Secretary of Public Security (SSP) stated that Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Álvarez y Héctor Galindo, will remain in prison facing still four more criminal proceedings for the crimes of aggravated robbery, injury and damage to public property, looting, and attacks on roads and transportation.

Finally they were liberated and arrived in Atenco on July 2nd, where some 500 people were awaiting their arrival, accompanied by the other newly released members of the FPDT who had been liberated on the 30th. The daughter of Ignacio del Valle, América del Valle – who just last June 24 left for the Embassy of Venezuela to seek political asylum from the two arrest warrants against her for the same offense in 2006 –  did not attend.

The Governor, Enrique Peña Nieto, said that his administration will have “absolute respect” for the resolution of the court to liberate the prisoners of Atenco. In an interview afterward, he rejected that it was a setback for his government and added that the interest “was none other than the restoration of order and peace… and therefore, the sanctions against those who participated in terms of the law and in conformity with the law acted, and under the law was passed.”

Furthermore, Amnesty International (AI) demanded a thorough investigation into the officials involved in the investigations related to the Atenco case, to be in accordance with the decision of the Court, who improperly used the justice system and thus caused the violation of due process for the 12 detainees at those events.

For more information (in Spanish):

12 Atenco prisoners released (La Jornada, 1 July)

Court orders liberty for Atenco prisoners (El Universal, 2 July)

SSP: three Atenco leaders will continue imprisoned (Proceso, 1 July)

AI demands punishment of functionaries for Atenco case (Proceso, 1 July)

Released leaders of the FPDT are received in Atenco (La Jornada, 2 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico City: Second Phase of Our Prisoners First campaign launched (13 May 2010)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)


Mexico City: Second phase of Our Prisoners First campaign launched in Mexico City

May 13, 2010

On the 3rd and 4th of May, people from organizations and groups adhering to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle gathered in Mexico City’s Zócalo to  demand the “immediate freedom” of political prisoners across the country, thus launching the second phase of the Other Campaign’s Our Prisoners First project.

This stage of the campaign’s protest and educational actions commenced on May 3rd, a date selected to coincide with the fourth anniversary of violent state repression in San Salvador Atenco. Regarding the significant date, Our Prisoners First stated in a communique that they sought to bring attention to “the crimes of physical, psychological and sexual torture committed against our compañeros in Atenco in 2006″ and repeated “every day” against those who are “unjustly imprisoned.”

On their list of political prisoners from the Other Campaign, Our Prisoners First identified a total of 32 people from Campeche, Mexico City, Mexico state, Guerrero, Nayarit, Oaxaca, and Chiapas – including Alberto Patishtán Gómez, who is a member of the Chiapas-based Voice of Amate (La Voz de Amate in Spanish).

Participants in the Mexico City actions included people from Mitzitón, The Bees, San Sebastian Bachajon, Molino de los Arcos, Voces Inocentes and Costa in Chiapas.

In a statement issued by the Bees (Las Abejas in Spanish) from Mexico City’s  Zocalo on the 3rd of May, the group said they “reaffirmed” that “here in Mexico there are two types of justice: one for the rich and one for the poor and below. When politicians, the powerful, public officials and policies that serve the bad government and commit crimes against humanity, they never set foot in jail. Instead they are rewarded with houses and everything they need…However when we raise our voices against any injustice, violation of human rights, in defense of Mother Earth, and so on., The consequences are serious, we are repressed, imprisoned and even  killed.”

In a message from Altiplano, political prisoner Felipe Alvarez thanked the campaign for their solidarity and commented on the struggle of political prisoners in Mexico stating, “Compañeros, we need to do many things. We all know that the task is not easy” because “the enemy is big, but we also know that however big, it is not invincible … The dignity of our fighting spirit is stronger than the blows that the enemy deals us. We must not let up in jail. We must not let up in the streets or any place in our country. We can not keep quiet about what is happening in our country.”

Other actions in the Zócalo during the two days included movies, music and conferences.

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración política del 3 y 4 de mayo (Colectivos, Organizaciones e Individuos de la Otra Campaña en el marco de la Campaña Primero Nuestrxs Presxs; Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad)

Blog de la Campaña Primero Nuestros Presxs

Comunicado de las Abejas sumándose a la Campaña

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