Chiapas: OCEZ-RC installs sit-in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 10, 2014

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On 31 March, some 200 members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) held a march and installed an indefinite sit-in in downtown San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  They demand that the state authorities respond to their series of demands, denouncing “the politics of closure to dialogue on the part of the government led by Manuel Velasco Coello.”

Said demands include among others the regularization and redistribution of 1000 hectares of land from the Venustiano Carranza municipality; the cancellation of arrest-orders; the “retirement of nocturnal patrols of the specialized forces of the Army and Navy in our communities, as well as overflights performed by airplanes and even drones as well as helicopters belonging to the security forces and the Army”; the regularization of transport concessions from MOTO-TAXI, in addition to several productive, educational, and health projects.

Mariano Díaz Ochoa, subsecretary for Governance in the highlands region, has signed a document in which he committed himself to a dialogue between an OCEZ-RC commission with governmental authorities, to take place in Tuxtla Gutiérrez on 7 April.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la OCEZ-RC al instalar su plantón (OCEZ-RC, 31 de marzo de 2014)

OCEZ instala plantón en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Se plantan ocesistas en la plaza de la paz (Noticias.net.mx, 3 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)


Chiapas: The EZLN announces new activities, meeting of indigenous peoples, and “Ethics amidst looting”

April 10, 2014


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In a March 2014 communique, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a series of activities for the months of May and June.

From 26 to 30 May will take place the meeting of indigenous peoples: “At this meeting we will exchange our thought and history of struggle and resistance as indigenous that we are.”  Some 30 peoples have been invited, including the Wixárika, Nahua, Zoque, Purépecha, Mazahua, Afromestizo, Triqui, Peninsular Maya, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol, Zoque, and migrants.  The letter stresses that the “invitation is closed and is ONLY for the indigenous peoples invited during this first round.  Those who are not invited will not be allowed to enter.”

In other news, “On Saturday 31 May 2014 in the Oventik caracol, we will announce together with our brothers and sisters from other indigenous communities our conclusions and a declaration for future plans in terms of resistance against the looting which we suffer, as well as our rights and indigenous culture.”

Furthermore, “Sunday 1 June 2014, also in the Oventik caracol, we will make a simple homage to our fallen comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This event is open and all are invited to attend.  The event will take place at approximately 2pm, and female and male commanders from the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee-General Command of the EZLN, the writer Juan Villoro, and Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés will participate.”

In the end will be held a final activity: “From Monday 2 June 2014 until Sunday 8 June of this year, there will be held in the Oventik caracol and at CIDECI in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, a seminar on the question of ‘ETHICS AMIDST LOOTING,’ which will also commemorate our comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This seminar is open and all are invited.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Anuncia EZLN encuentro de pueblos; irá ‘Marcos’ “si su salud se lo permite”, La Jornada, 1 de abril de 2014

EL EZLN ANUNCIA ACTIVIDADES CON PUEBLOS ORIGINARIOS, HOMENAJE A DON LUIS VILLORO Y SEMINARIO SOBRE “ÉTICA FRENTE AL DESPOJO”, ASÍ COMO NUEVA INICIATIVA PARA LA SEXTA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL, Enlace Zapatista, 31 de marzo de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 2014)

Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses” (1 January 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Marcos, Rebobine 3 (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN criticizes structural reforms (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities (27 December 2012)


Chiapas: Denunciation from and announcement of action on part of the displaced from Banavil and the Aurora Ermita ejido

April 10, 2014

Conferencia de prensa, 31 de marzo de 2014 (@CDHFBC)

Press conference, 31 March 2014 (@CDHFBC)

On 31 March there was held a press conference which featured the displaced from Banavil (Tenejapa municipality) and from the Aurora Ermita ejido (Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán municipality), as well as representatives from the Coordination Table for the Defense of Human Rights.  They denounced the conditions of displacement which they currently suffer, and in light of the lack of responses from the authorities, they reported that on 4 April 2014 they would hold a march in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to demand their rights.

In the Banavil case, they denounced that “nearly a month after Alonso Guzmán López was imprisoned, the PRI is threatening relatives of the displaced by fabricating crimes so as to return them to prison because they supposedly have contact with governmental officials who sell themselves to incarcerate innocent persons.  Meanwhile, ten arrest orders have yet to completed against the aggressors of 4 December 2011.”  In the case of the Aurora Ermita ejido, they noted that “there are nine arrest-orders against the aggressors; two are imprisoned, so seven are left.”

They called on the government to soon return the displaced from Banavil and Aurora Ermita; to apply justice against those who have arrest-orders against them; to guarantee their security upon their return, so that these acts not recur; to clarify the disappearance of Alonso López Luna, an EZLN sympathizer from Banavil; and to comprehensively compensate the two groups of displaced, as mandated by the United Nations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Crean en Chiapas ONG en defensa de desplazados (La Jornada, 1ero de abril de 2014)

Comunicado de la Mesa de Coordinación por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en contra del desplazamiento forzado de las personas desplazadas de Banavil (31 de marzo de 2014)

Video de la conferencia de prensa (Koman Ilel, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Audio de la conferencia de prensa (Radio Pozol, 31 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Two years after the attack in Banavil, displacement and forced disappearance live on,” CDHFBC (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: CDHFBC published more information on the Banavil case, Tenejapa (9 February 2012)


Chiapas: Denunciation by Alejandro Díaz Santis from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas jail

March 30, 2014

alejandro.normal

On 18 March, Alejandro Díaz Santis, a member in solidarity with the “Voz del Amate” and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle of the EZLN who is held in CERESO no. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, denounced abuse directed against prisoners as administered by the new director of the prison, Juan Jose Trujillo Cruz.

He mentioned in particular that visits by relatives and friends have been denied, “that the medical area lacks medications and even basic goods such as alcohol for sterilizing purposes,” and that corruption has been rampant since the new director’s arrival.

Para más información:

Denuncia Alejandro Díaz Santiz al director del Ceress5 (CGT, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Empeora el trato dado a los internos de la cárcel estatal de San Cristóbal de Las Casas (La Jornada, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Santis announces fast to demand freedom (15 January 2014)

National: Patishtán requests that Peña Nieto release all prisoners who are unjustly imprisoned (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)


Chiapas: Adherent to the Sixth Declaration shot to death in Chilón

March 30, 2014

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On 21 March, Carlos Gómez Silvano, a Tsotsil indigenous man of 22 years of age and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, was ambushed and murdered on a dirt road in the Chilón municipality.  His body showed 23 gunshot wounds from firearms of different calibers.  Gómez Silvano formed part of the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle who maintain possession of the land known as Virgen de Dolores.  The Public Ministry was prevented from confirming the acts and taking the body of the deceased, given that his comrades decided to take him to the place of his origin for burial.

“Shortly after a year since the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, the bad government sends its hitmen to harm our Virgen de Dolores community which has been born with much effort and sacrifice,” noted a communique from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido.  It should be stressed that several murders have been observed in the Chilón municipality that to date have not been clarified.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón sobre asesinato del compañero Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano (Koman Ilel, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Emboscan y acribillan de 23 tiros a indígena prozapatista en Chiapas (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2014)

Emboscan a líder tseltal (Cuarto Poder, 22 de marzo de 2014)

Acribillan a dirigente zapatista en Chiapas (Milenio, 22 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Close of global campaign “¡Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the struggle of Bachajón continues!” (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios recall Juan Vázquez Guzmán, murdered in April (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: Week for Global Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Struggle of Bachajón Continues!” (7 June 2013)

Chiapas: ejidatario adherent to the Sixth Declaration murdered by gunfire in San Sebastián Bachajón (29 April 2013)

Chiapas: Adherents to the Other Campaign in San Sebastián Bachajón denounce looting and impunity (22 April 2013)

 


Chiapas: Arrest of those presumed responsible for the burning of a house in the Puebla Colony “an insult to the displaced” (Las Abejas Civil Society)

March 30, 2014

Casa de familia desplazada quemada en Colonia Puebla (@Koman Ilel)

House of displaced family burned in the Puebla Colony (@Koman Ilel)

In observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre in the Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique referring to the context in the Puebla Colony which pertains to this municipality: “although they arrested two persons as the presumed responsible [ones] for the burning of the house of our brother Macario Arias Gómez, it is very clear that it is a move to merely cover up the shame of the bad government of Manuel Velasco Coello, because those displaced from Puebla clarified that those two persons have never entered the conflict of the Catholic land in the community in mention.”

They stressed that “We members of the civil and peaceful organization qualify this type of ‘justice’ applied by the bad government of Manuel Velasco with the arrest of 2 persons as those presumed responsible for the burning of the house as being an insult to the displaced Catholics from the Puebla Colony, who since August 2013 have sought justice, compensation, and return.”

It should be recalled that since 12 March, Maximiliano Sántiz Cruz and Domingo Cruz Méndez have been held by the Special Prosecutorial Office on Indigenous Justice for the crime of arson.  Stressing their “opportune attention to the case,” the state government stressed that the ejidal authorities of Puebla “assisted with the identification and arrest of those presumed responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de marzo de 2014)

Atención oportuna al ejido Puebla: ERA (Cuarto Poder, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Detienen a dos tzotziles por quemar casas en Chiapas (El Universal, 12 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: House of displaced family is burned down in Puebla Colony, Chenalhó. Two are arrested (16 March 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony once again postpone possible return following new aggression (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Authorities hand over land in dispute to Catholics in Puebla Colony.  ”This is not the priority solution for the displaced,” note Las Abejas (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal (13 February 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla ejido do not find conditions for return (3 February 2014)

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community to harvest coffee (22 January 2014)

 


National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists

March 30, 2014

imagesNearly two years after its creation, the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico finds itself in a delicate moment, in light of the resignation of its head, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Contreras, on 15 March, a situation has led to multiple questionings regarding its efficacy.  On 24 March, civil councilors of the Mechanism retired from the Governmental Council headed by the subsecretary for Governance, Lía Limón García, given their view that there do not exist adequate conditions for its functioning.

Since June 2013, civil-society organizations have presented a diagnostic regarding deficiencies within the Mechanism.  At present they identify structural failures: the impossibility of having a stable and qualified team due to constant firings, the fact that the full budget set aside for the organism is not yet accessible, and a delay in attending to cases.  Edgar Córtez, one of the civil councilors, detailed for example that until February of this year, the mechanism had received 152 petitions for aid, of which 22 were rejected, 89 were pending, and only 41 had been reviewed and discussed.  This implies that at least 70% of the requests have not yet been considered.

In a communique, civil society called on the Secretary of Governance “to assure in the coming election of the next Executive Coordination of the Mechanism that the designated person have proven experience in human rights, as national and international civil society organizations and journalists have noted in recent days, that a labor policy be established so that those who work for the Mechanism have their rights respected, and that [the Mechanism] work urgently to develop a priority means of responding to the problems identified with the mechanism with defined actions and results to achieve.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de OSC sobre las fallas del Mecanismo de Protección a Personas Defensoras de DH y periodistas (OSC, 27 de marzo de 2014)

Mecanismo de protección a periodistas falla y sus deficiencias no son atendidas: defensores (Animal político, 27 de marzo de 2014

Fallas estructurales en el Mecanismo de Protección de Defensores de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas (La Jornada, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Crece inconformidad contra Lía Limón; consejeros civiles la dejan sola (Proceso, 24 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: launching of Consultative Council of Mechanism for Protection of Journalists and Rights-Defenders (26 October 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)


Chiapas: Organizations denounce uses and customs of indigenous peoples that limit women’s rights

March 30, 2014

Marcha del 8 de marzo en San Cristóbal. Foto (@Sipaz)

March on 8 March in San Cristóbal. Photo (@Sipaz)

The Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas has denounced the discrimination exercised against a female child on 9 March in the San Juan Chamula municipality, Chiapas.  The case has to do with the sale and forced marriage of the minor on the part of her family as well as the arrest of the girl on the part of traditional authorities of the community following her abandonment of her husband.

For the Popular Campaign, this is an example of violence directed against women consented to by the State, given that the sale of women in indigenous communities is a practice that has been denounced for decades.  For this reason, different non-governmental organizations have indicated since 2012 the existence of uses and customs of indigenous peoples which limit the rights of women and result in gender inequalities that affect all aspects of life.

Experts who comprise the Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) note their concern for the situation, “given that such practices perpetuate discrimination against indigenous women and children, we call on the State to draw up a general strategy to eliminate said practices, particularly through carrying out campaigns of awareness-raising directed at indigenous communities to reinforce a positive and non-stereotypical image of women, without having this serve as a pretext that would rationalize the State’s violation of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chamula, encarcelan a niña de 14 años por abandonar a su marido (Chiapas Paralelo, 12 de marzo de 2014)

“Estuve detenida 29 horas en San Juan Chamula entre ‘basura y mierda’”: Niña tzotzil de 14 años (Vanguardia, 13 de marzo de 2014 ¿)

Sí estuvo presa, confirma menor indígena de Mitontic, y fueron 29 horas entre la pestilencia, el frío y la basura (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Niña toztzil vendida a los 11 años, huyó de su concubino a los 14 (Sipse, 15 de marzo de 2014)

La venta de niñas y las bodas arregladas son comunes en Chiapas: ONG; el Estado le incumple a mujeres, dice (Sinembargo, 17 de marzo de 2014)

La Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas ratifica la declaratoria de Alerta Popular Permanente contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio (Campaña Popular, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Ha cambiado mentalidad de los indígenas (Es!, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Venta de niñas, práctica recurrente en comunidades de los Altos (Mirada Sur, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Chiapas: XV Anniversary of Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba”

March 30, 2014

25 Aniversario del Frayba, marzo de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

25th anniversary of Frayba, March de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 19 March, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba) celebrated 25 years since its founding.  Created in 1989 through the invitation of the then bishop of the the San Cristóbal de San Cristóbal diocese, Samuel Ruíz García, it in time passed into becoming a key reference for the defense of human rights, particularly of indigenous peoples, at the local, national, and international levels.

Part of the celebrations included the organization of an “International forum on human rights: from memory to hope,” which was attended by more than 350 persons, nationals and internationals.  On 18 March, the book The Social Evangelism of Bishop Raúl Vera was presented by the very bishop himself, who previously had worked with Samuel Ruiz in Chiapas and who now holds the presidency of the CDHFBC.

At the press-conference and ceremony which closed the events, the members of the CDHFBC recognized the difficulties and challenges implied for example by the advance of extractive industry and touristic projects in Chiapas, ina ddition to the attempts to loot territory, but they stressed that “it is the people who guide our path, in a positive feedback loop.”

For more information (in English):

Destaca obispo Raúl Vera, la creación del Frayba por don Samuel Ruiz(Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Sin traicionar el legado de Samuel Ruiz, celebra el Frayba su 25 aniversario(Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

El Frayba celebra su 25 aniversario (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

“Lo que no se vale aquí es no caminar… caminemos”: Samuel Ruiz García(Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Sitio Web del 25 aniversario: http://yorailmaya.wordpress.com/

Facebook: frayba.derechoshumanos

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)


National/International: Mexico confronts a “humanitarian crisis” amidst context of violence and impunity, denounces civil society in Brussels

March 30, 2014

Seminario sobre Derechos Humanos en Bruselas, marzo de 2014 (@CADHAC)

Seminar on human rights in Brussels, March 2014 (@CADHAC)

On 18 March, during the seminar on human rights that was held to observe the Fourth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between Mexico and the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Belgium, 32 organizations denounced that in Mexico “there is experienced a context of violence and impunity that has led the country to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”

In a joint pronunciation, Mexican and European civil organizations stressed that “the lack of professional investigation signifies that the structures of violence, looting, and discrimination operate in Mexico unchecked, this being a country where the rate of impunity is 98-99% [...].  The statistics on abuse speak of a systematic and generalized violation of human rights hailing from the police, soldiers, and public officials, who commit arbitrary arrests, torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions, among other violations; public and private actors commit acts of violence and discrimination against women; and Mexican and transnational corporations pollute, displace, and exploit natural resources without consulting the affected peoples and communities.”

After presenting a lengthy diagnostic, the civil organizations released a series of recommendations to the Mexican government and the EU, which included placing the question of human rights at the center of the bilateral agenda, suspending support for megaprojects that affect communities, designing a new strategy for public security, and eradicating violence against women.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de la sociedad civil en el marco del Diálogo de Alto Nivel en Derechos Humanos entre México y la Unión Europea (OSC, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Alertan ONG sobre la crisis humana sin precedente que enfrenta México (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Tendrán México y Unión Europea encuentro sobre derechos humanos (El Universal, 16 de marzo)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: civil-society organizations call on European Union to address deterioration of human rights in Mexico (26 October 2012)


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