Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel

July 20, 2014

Foto (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

Photo (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

On Saturday 12 July, the Believing People of Simojovel carried out a fourth “Pilgrimage for peace.”  Thousands of persons marched to highlight the increase in violence in the municipality due to alcoholism, drug-trafficking, prostitution, and arms trading, and to denounce the death-threats received by the priest Marcelo Pérez and other members of the Council of Parishes of San Antonio de Padua.  On the same occasion, they accused municipal authorities of being corrupt and of favoring this situation which undermines peace and security for the people of Simojovel.  In a communique, the Believing People declared that “Amidst these death-threats, we cannot be silent or be indifferent; we cannot simply cross our arms while seeing so much suffering caused by the corruption of the authorities.”

Furthermore, they publicly demanded that the corresponding authorities re-establish peace and tranquility for the people by closing places for drug and alcohol sales, prostitution centers, and repressing the traffic in weapons.  In this way, they specified that “We demand security for our people; enough of violating our rights.  We demand liberty and justice.”  They added: “This is our action so that peace be restored in this community.  We will not tire; if we see that there is no result, we will take other measures in the coming days and months.  The people must continue raising their voice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ante amenazas de muerte no podemos callar: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 12 de julio de 2014)

En Chiapas el Pueblo Creyente peregrina por la Paz (Frayba, 12 de julio de 2014)

Peregrinan por la paz en Simojovel (Cuarto Poder, 13 de julio de 2014)

En Simojovel, Chiapas la delincuencia manda, controla y amenaza(Proceso, 12 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel for the closure of “cantinas” and the end of violence; parish priest receives threats (June 13, 2014)

Chiapas: Believing People holds pilgrimage in Simojovel to denounce the increase in violence in the municipality (October 26, 2013)


Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace, we will find truth”

July 19, 2014


140702_TTP_limonar_cartel

On 18 July will be held the pre-audience of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP) “With justice and peace, we will find truth” in the El Limonar community, Ocosingo municipality.  The invitation made to “all popular, social, political, and human-rights organizations, as well as all families, friends, and persons in solidarity with the victims of the counterinsurgent war in the state of Chiapas” was made within the Dirty War, impunity, and lack of access to justice track covered by the TPP’s Mexico Chapter.  The idea is to address the case of Poblado Viejo Velasco which on 13 November 2006 experienced a massacre that left four executed, another four forcibly disappeared, and thirty-six displaced.
The invitation indicates that “this massacre took place within the context of counter-insurgent war as designed and implemented by the Mexican State by means of the Chiapas Campaign Plan ’94, which had the result that the paramilitary group Peace and Justice engaged in the following crimes: 85 executions, 37 forcible disappearances, and more than 12000 people forcibly displaced in the northern Zone, and the Acteal massacre in the highlands, when PRI paramilitaries murdered 45 persons, the majority of whom were women and infants–4 of them yet to be born–as well as provoking the forced displacement of more than 6000 persons.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Con tu firma, súmate a la Preaudiencia “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad” (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 de marzo de 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)


National: Activists denounce increase in violence against women

July 19, 2014


Foto (@SiPaz)

Photo (@Sipaz)

Between 9 and 10 July, there was held a meeting in Mexico City among civil-society organizations seeking to relieve the situation of violence and discrimination experienced by women in Mexico, analyze the work that these organizations have carried out in recent years, and above all examine the challenges faced by the State still in advancing toward the guarantee of the full recognition and exercise of women’s rights.

Participants in the event included the UN Expert of the Work Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, Alda Facio, and Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women, the latter operating in a non-official capacity.  Eight years since the publication of their report “Integration of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Perspectives: Violence against Women, Mexico Mission,” the representatives of the Associates for Justice (JASS) stressed that, “If some reforms have been adopted in law, these have not resulted in structural changes, both in terms of prevention through investigation and sanctioning as well as access to a life free of violence.”  In effect, on this occasion it was recalled that Mexico has ratified the “Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women” (CEDAW), an international instrument to recognize the human rights of women, while there remain “many practices and policies that in effect favor and even deepen discrimination,” noted the JASS activists.

Finally, those at the event denounced the increase in violence against women in all their manifestations: impunity, the gravity of forced disappearance, sexual crimes, attacks against female human-rights defenders and journalists, the generalized increase in gender discrimination and inequality, particularly for poor, indigenous, and migrant women.  In this way, conference-goers called on the Mexican State forthrightly to adopt comprehensive policies to arrest the structural violence experienced by women.

In light of this context, the Special Rapporteur declared that gender violence is “the most generalized violation of human rights that we confront today,” explaining that “the lack of comprehension of gender violence is a barrier to the exercise of all human rights by women themselves.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 8 años de publicado informe sobre derechos humanos de las mujeres en México, regresa Relatora Especial sobre la Violencia contra la Mujer de la ONU (PRODESC, 8 de julio de 2014)

Responsabilidad del Estado Mexicano ante la CEDAW (JASS, 7 de julio de 2014)

La violencia hacia las mujeres “es la violación a DH más generalizada”: Relatora ONU (Sididh, 10 de julio de 2014)

Integración de los Derechos Humanos de la Mujer y la Perspectiva de Género: la violencia contra la mujer. Misión a México (CINU, 13 de enero de 2006)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: the Mexican government does not comply with the recommendations of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (23 June 2014)

Oaxaca: Every other day a woman is killed in the state (12 June 2014)

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

Guerrero: Harassment and attacks on individuals and organizations in favor of the decriminalization of abortion and the right to decide (12 June 2014)


Chiapas: Denunciation of attacks on Primero de Agosto community

July 19, 2014


Foto @ Blog Centzuntli

Photo @ Blog Centzuntli

On 27 June, the Primero de Agosto community (Las Margaritas municipality) denounced provocations, attacks, death-threats, and attempted murders on the part of members of the Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) and the Alliance of Social Organizations and Left Unions (ASSI) from the Miguel Hidalgo ejido.

The Tojolabal indigenous in question are children of the ejidatarios of Miguel Hidalgo who in 2011 requested land from the assembly given that, according to their denunciation, “there is a tract of land amounting to approximately 73 hectares that was recovered by the EZLN which no one is working.”  In 2011, the Miguel Hidalgo ejido entered the official Fund of Support for Non-Regularized Agrarian Nuclei (FANAR), but this institutional arrangement “excluded said hectares of land on which we are living now with our families.”  From December 2011 to March 2013, a dialogue process had been maintained which culminated on 9 May “with a machete attack to the neck of our comrade within our own community” and with the threat “that they are planning to kill four of our comrades,” following different attacks documented in the denunciation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pobladores de Primero de Agosto denuncian agresiones, amenazas e intentos de muerte por integrantes de la CIOAC Histórica del Ejido Miguel Hidalgo (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 30 de junio de 2014)

NF: Amenazas e intento de muerte a campesinos en las Margaritas Chiapas (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de julio de 2014)

Audio:

NF: Amenazas e intento de muerte a campesinos en las Margaritas Chiapas (Frayba Derechos Humanos, 3 de julio de 2014)


Chiapas: 13 days of fastng and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santis to demand his release

July 14, 2014

Imagen (@CGT Chiapas)

Image (@CGT Chiapas)

On 3 July, Alejandro Díaz Santis, a prisoner in solidarity with “La Voz del Amate” and an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration who is being held in Cereso no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, has announced that he will hold a 13-day fast and prayer “to call on God to give me the strength to continue demanding true justice,” given that a year ago, Chiapas state governor Manuel Velasco Coello “committed himself to finding means or ties with the authorities of Veracruz” to help with his release.  “Once again, I ask the governor to observe his word.”

In this way, the prisoner also called on Enrique Peña Nieto to pressure the governor of Veracruz, the state in which he was judged, given that he has sent more than 15 years imprisoned “for a crime I never committed,” as he claims in the communique.

Para más información:

Alejandro Díaz, preso indígena, inicia ayuno de 13 días por su libertad(Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz announces 10-day hunger strike to protest 15 years’ imprisonment (May 16, 2014)

Chiapas: day of fasting and prayer for Alejandro Díaz on International Political Prisoners’ Day (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from Alejandro Díaz Santis from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas jail (30 March 2014)


Oaxaca: Civil organizations denounce attack on female human-rights defender

July 14, 2014

Foto (@EDUCA)

Photo (@EDUCA)

During the early morning of 4 July 2014, a female activist and human-rights defender was sexually assaulted by a soldier in the Mexican Army.  The defender, member of the organization Union of Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) and the Network of Female Defenders, whose name has not been disclosed for security reasons, was en route to Oaxaca City from Matías Romero to attend the “Communication in Defense of Land” conference in the School for Communal Human-Rights Defenders.  The assault took place on an ADO bus in which she was traveling.

The victim attempted to denounce the abuse, firstly to the bus driver and then at a military checkpoint that halted the bus in San Pedro Totolapan, but on both occasions she was ignored.  On the contrary, since the case involved a high-level military man, she was told that nothing could be done.

The next day, close to 20 civil organizations published a letter denouncing the aggression, stressing that “beyond constituting a crime stipulated in article 241 of the Penal Code of Oaxaca as well as a clear human-rights violation, this is a very serious act in terms of the security of users of the system maintained by the firm, and even graver still because it involves an assault perpetrated by a high-ranking military official.”  The organizations added that the lack of response “shows the abuse of power and discrimination engaged in by the members of the armed forces.”

Lastly, in the letter the organizations demanded that the ADO bus firm “immediately respond to the complaint made by the human-rights defender, that it provides the corresponding authorities with the details of the aggressor soldier, that it guarantee reparations, and that it provide a public response regarding security policies for their users.”

Sadly, the case of 4 July is no isolated case.  Between 2011 and 2013, according to the Network All Rights for All, there were 409 assaults committed against human-rights defenders in Mexico.  Included within these aggressions most commonly are harassment, surveillance, robbery, kidnapping, forced disappearance, arbitrary arrests, death-threats, and torture, as well as murders.  27 human-rights defenders have been killed between 2011 and 2013: 16 men and 11 women, the majority of them in Guerrero, Michoacán, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, and Puebla.

For more information (in Spanish):

Militar agrede sexualmente a defensora de derechos humanos en autobus de empresa ADO (EDUCA, 7 de julio de 2014)

Militar ebrio abusa sexualmente de una activista en Oaxaca (Proceso, 7 de julio de 2014)

ONG´s denuncian irresponsabilidad del ADO; activista fue agredida a bordo de autobús (Página3, 7 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

National: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM (30 March 2014)
Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (2 May 2013)


National: Social organizations carry out “Disjointed National Mobilization” to demand release of political prisoners

July 14, 2014

movilizacion8julio

Photo (@EDUCA)

On 8 July, members of 38 social organizations organized a “Disjointed National Mobilization” involving roadblocks and protests in Mexico City, Yucatán, Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Morelos, and Chihuahua. The mobilization was organized to demand the release of Juan Carlos Flores Solís, Enedina Rosas Vélez, and Abraham Cordero Calderón, who have been imprisoned in Puebla state since April of this year for their opposition to the Comprehensive Morelos Project (PIM).

PIM, which is overseen by the Federal Electricity Commission, seeks to build two geothermal plants as well as an aqueduct and a gas pipeline to supply these plants; the additional infrastructure would cross the states of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala.  The construction works are being conceded to transnational firms, both Spanish and Italian.

Also during the mobilization, organizations demanded the release of Marco Antonio Suastegui, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), who was detained in the state of Nayarit on 17 June.  The member organizations note in a communique that “we cannot allow the bad governments to continue imprisoning members of our people so that the conquistadores of today who own the large transnational corporations have all the ability to continue looting us of our land, polluting our nature, threatening our life, destroying our culture, and violating our rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado Mobilización Dislocada Nacional 8 de julio 2014 (Alianza Única del Valle, 26 junio 2014)

Exigen liberación de activistas y cancelación de megaproyectos (EDUCA, 8 de julio de 2014)

Protestas en 8 estados por el Proyecto Integral Morelos (La Jornada, 8 de julio de 2014)

Campesinos de Ixtapa anuncian movilización (Reporte Ciudadano, 7 de julio de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: 13 días de ayuno y oración de Alejandro Díaz Santis para pedir por su liberación (8 de julio de 2014)

Guerrero: Organizaciones exigen la inmediata liberación del vocero del CECOP, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (27 de junio de 2014)

Guerrero: Operativo policial detiene a opositor de la presa de La Parota(17 de junio de 2014)


Chiapas: New communique, “Accounts of reconstruction”

July 14, 2014

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, 24 mayo 2014 @ SIPAZ

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, 24 May 2014 @ SIPAZ

On 7 July, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) released a communique expressing gratitude for the support that has been provided for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic that were destroyed in the La Realidad caracol.  Within a month, since the announcement of the need for financial support for reconstruction, the EZLN had obtained more than it needed, “because we asked for $200,209.00 and we succeeded in receiving $365,336.50.”  The remainder will be used for equipment and medicines.

With regard to the Compañero David Ruiz García” Meeting between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatistas which will be held in La Realidad from 4 to 8 August, a page was created on the Enlace Zapatista website to announce the conference and arrange housing or transport for participants.

The comrades from “free, alternative, autonomous, or however-you-call-them media” are also invited on 9 August, at the end of the conference, so that they “carry the words of indigenous peoples far from those who participate.  And thus maybe that way we will be able to make a press conference, or whatever it is called, as we had promised to do last time.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Cuentas de la reconstrucción (Enlace Zapatista, 7 de julio de 2014)

Apoyo a CNI (Enlace Zapatista, 8 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (June 12, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (June 10, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (June 10, 2014)


Chiapas: Congress approves electoral reform. It establishes formal gender equality, but with exceptions

July 7, 2014
Congreso del estado de Chiapas (@chiapas.gob.mx)

Chiapas State Congress (@ chiapas.gob.mx)

On June 30, the Chiapas State Congress approved reforms and additions to the Code of Elections and Citizen Participation by majority. Such changes allow the approval of the federal political and electoral reform at the state level.

The most controversial points include that of gender equality for candidates for elected office, but the reform allows for the rule to be suspended, for, if the candidate comes from a democratic process of internal election within a party, it is conceivable that equality not be observed in such a case.

As part of the discussion, Alejandra Soriano Ruíz (Party of the Democratic Revolution, PRD), president of the Commission on Gender Equality of the state Congress, asked the lawmakers to remove this exception, but the proposal was rejected. Congresswoman Rosa Alma Siman (Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI) said in reply that women in Chiapas do not want to participate in politics, and that there are not enough women interested to ensure gender equality.

The delegate of the National Electoral Institute (INE) in Chiapas, Edgar Arias, announced that he will promote the challenging of these reforms before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), explaining that “on the subject of gender they should retain an exception to the constitutional obligation of parties to observe equality when nominating candidates.”

As for other changes, it is worth mentioning that campaign times were shortened in comparison with the times proposed at a federal level. For the governor it will be 63 days and for Congress and municipal government, 33 days.

For more information (in Spanish):

Impugnarán ante la Corte la reforma electoral aprobada en Chiapas (Proceso, 1ero de julio de 2014)

Congreso de Chiapas homologa reforma electoral (El Universal, 1ero de julio de 2014)

Aprueba Chiapas paridad de género… pero con “candado” (CIMAC Noticias, 2 de julio de 2014)


Chiapas: Resurgence of conflict between Catholics and Evangelicals in Mitzitón

July 7, 2014
Tala de árboles en los Altos de Chiapas(@cgt)

Photo @ CGT Chiapas

On 29 June, inhabitants of the community of Mitzitón, in the municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle announced that the community assembly of this town has taken “the decision to act against the criminals who operate in Mitzitón and who will be subjected to the sanctions agreed by our assembly, which are that from this moment they lose any land or community rights and therefore they should leave our area immediately.”

They explained: “Our community is divided by external economic interests, which have been harming our forests through the excessive logging of pine trees. And even though we have filed many complaints with the General Prosecutor of Justice of the state, they have not arrested anyone for the crime.”

After a community trial, eight people were detained.  Inhabitants of Mitzitón destroyed and burned about 25 homes of evangelicals belonging to a group that is known as “The Shrimps,” who they identify as logging trees illegally. Afterwards, the group whose houses were destroyed blocked the road from San Cristóbal to Comitán to seek the intervention of the authorities.

On June 30, the police unblocked this road, displacing nearly 100 indigenous evangelicals who were demanding the release of their arrested compañeros, after the Catholics handed them over to the State Police.

It should be remembered that since October 2013, the authorities in Mitzitón who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle have not recognised the land rights of 23 families allegedly engaged in illegal logging.

The evangelical pastor Esdras Alonso González, leader of the grouping Wings of the Eagle, said in an interview with La Jornada that the families whose homes were destroyed have received more than three million pesos from the previous government since 2011 to relocate to another location, but their leaders “kept the money.”

Meanwhile, the Prosecutor General of Justice of the State reported that it “issued an arrest warrant against seven” people from Mitzitón accused of kidnapping, for events that occurred on September 11, 2013 in the same area. One of the detainees was released.

For more information (In Spanish):

Denuncia del pueblo de Mitzitón, Chiapas (Enlace zapatista, 29 de junio de 2014)

Católicos retienen a 8 evangélicos en Mitzitón, Chiapas (El Universal, 29 de junio de 2014)

Desbloquean la carretera Panamericana, tomada por indígenas evangélicos de Chiapas (Proceso, 30 de junio de 2014)

Acusa pastor a líderes evangélicos de quedarse con el dinero para la reubicación de 25 familias (la Jornada, 1ero de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (In English):

Chiapas: people of Mitzitón recognize errors and name new authorities (April 3, 2012)

Chiapas: 2 prisoners who carried out hunger strike in Chiapas are released (November 26, 2011)

Chiapas: Death-threats and aggression in Mitzitón (May 31, 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (February 10, 2011)

Chiapas: violence continues in Mitzitón (October 25, 2010)


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