Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Father Tomás González

November 13, 2014

© Amnestía Internacional

Fray Tomás González © Amnesty International

In a communique published on 7 November, Father Tomás, founder of the migrant home “La 72″ in Tenosique, Tabasco, denounced the persecution and criminalization carried out by the National Migration Institute (INM) against him.

An INM agent notes that “upon cordially greeting Fray Tomás González, who was in his car, the priest grabbed his hand and started the engine, thus dragging him for more than 100 meters,” with this being the reason that he demands prosecution of Fray Tómas.

The communique from the migrant home categorically denied the INM’s claim: “This false denunciation is part of the alarming increase in the persecution and violent criminalization of the INM toward migrants and those who assist them in humanitarian terms at the ’72′ migrant home.  The attacks began in 2011, when the home was founded, and today they reach the extreme of using the penal system against the director of this center, thus criminalizing our work in defense of human rights.

For ten years, the systematic participation of INM agents in criminal enterprises has been documented, including extortion, robbery, assault, and other crimes against migrants committed by the very officials themselves in actions that have greatly threatened the life and integrity of those who cross through this country.  These actions have worsened following the implementation of the Southern Border Plan by the federal government.”

Dozens of national and international civil organization have expressed their solidarity with Fray Tómas and  warned that “just in 2014, there have been no fewer than five attacks on ‘La 72.’”

For more information (in Spanish):

Agente del INM demanda al defensor de migrantes Fray Tomás González, Proceso,  5 de noviembre de 2014

Comunicado de solidaridad con Fray Tomás y el albergue de La 72 frente al intento de criminalizar su labor de defensa de derechos humanos, Voces MesoAmericanos,  6 de noviembre de 2014

OSC se solidarizan con Fray Tomas; exigen cese de hostigamiento y ataques contra la 72 (Sididh, 11 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):


Chiapas: Mutiny at Migrant Center in Tapachula “a reflection of policies of control that do not guarantee human rights,” claim civil society organizations

November 13, 2014

Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI (@presidencia.gob.mx)

Migratory Station XXI Century (@presidencia.gob.mx)

On 29 October, close to 300 Honduran migrants engaged in a mutiny at the Century XXI Migrant Station (EMSXXI) located in Tapachula. Fifteen migrants succeeded in escaping, but 10 were captured in an operation carried out by different security forces, while five escaped the police siege.

Jazmin Yaneth Cabrera Lopez, regional director of the National Migration Institute (INM) at the XXI Migrant Station, reported that the mutiny had to do with the fact that the migrants had been held for more than 10 days, given that the Honduran consulate was on vacations, thus making impossible progress in terms of documents needed for their return.

In a communique released on 30 October, the Fray Matía de Córdoba Center for Human Rights indicated that “the event that took place last Wednesday within the detention center for migrants in Tapachula […] shows the consequences generated by the repressive policy of control, detention, and deportation that the Mexican State has implemented in recent months.  It confirms that the kidnapping of migrants, instead of protecting them and guaranteeing their basic rights, affects their physical and emotional integrity and the basic rights of men, women, children, and adolescents.”  The Center also noted that “the strengthening at the border, that is to say the armor and application of strategies for security and militarization under the Southern Border Plan, as implemented by the federal government, is causing backup at the EMSXXI, the principal center for deportation in Latin America.  This comes in addition to the poor living and hygienic conditions inside and the lack of protective consular assistance, which are the principal demands of those who rose up, who clearly are deprived of their liberty, without having committed any crime.  They were also confined to cells and had their food rationed.  This is a clear manifestation of what happens when the social reality of migrants is addressed only with the focus of criminalization and control, without consideration that the causes of migration are multiple and complex.  Many are fleeing the social and political violence that exists in their countries.  They require true protection.”

For more information (in Spanish):

MOTÍN EN EL CENTRO DE DETENCIÓN “ESTACIÓN MIGRATORIA SIGLO XXI”, REFLEJO DE UNA POLÍTICA DE CONTROL QUE NO GARANTIZA DERECHOS HUMANOS FUNDAMENTALES (Boletín del CFH Fray Matía de Cordobá, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Huyen 15 hondureños de estación migratoria en Chiapas (El Universal, 29 de octubre de 2014)

Motín en estación migratoria de Tapachula; hay 5 prófugos (OEM, 29 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: creation of mechanism for human-rights observation amidst the militarization of the Southern Border (2 September 2014)


Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace

November 12, 2014

Peregrinación en Simojovel, octubre de 2014 (@Koman Ilel)

Pilgrimage in Simojovel, October 2014 (@Koman Ilel)

In a communique published on 29 October, members of the Believing People from the parish of San Antonio de Padua in Simojovel denounced that after the pilgrimage they held on 18 October to demand greater security in the region, they repeatedly warned with death-threats and threats of kidnapping on the part of the authorities and arms- and drug-traffickers who operate in the city.  The threats are directed at Father Marcelo Peréz Peréz, as well as at other members of the parish council.

The members of the Believing People expressed however that they would continue demanding justice and security in the region.  “We cannot be indifferent in light of the situation experienced by the people of Simojovel.”  They noted: “We ask ourselves about what is happening in Simojovel, if this is the fifth pilgrimage of the Believing People involving more than 12,000 persons, why have no firm decisions been made by the state and federal governments to return peace to Simojovel.  What are they awaiting?  Another massacre?  That the priest be killed?  That ten members of the parish council and representatives of the Believing People be killed?  Are they hoping that the 2015 elections will take place with another wave of violence?”

For more information (in Spanish):

DESPUES DEL 18 DE OCTUBRE EN SIMOJOVEL, EL PUEBLO CREYENTE ESTÁ EN MAS PELIGRO (Pueblo Creyente, 29 de octubre de 2014)

Denuncian nuevas amenazas contra clérigos y religiosos de Simojovel en Chiapas (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel (20 July 2014)

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/International: Spanish journalists leave the country amidst threats of extortion and disappearance

November 12, 2014

Melchor Miralles (@Wikipedia)

Melchor Miralles (@Wikipedia)

On 1 November, Melchor Miralles, the ex-director of Mundo TV (Spain) and present director general of Atar Productions, received several calls threatening him with extortion and kidnapping.  He was located in Tapachula, Chiapas, with five other Spanish journalists to collect information regarding the migration of Central Americans toward the U.S. on the southern Mexican border.  They have all decided to leave Mexico.  The Federal Police and agents from the Special Prosecutorial Office for Crimes Committed against Migrants from the Chiapas state Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) provided a security escort for their departure.

In an article entitled “Hell” published in his column “On the sidewalk” on the Spanish daily Republica.com, Miralles noted that “It is no consolation, but the corruption in this country is a joke compared with the processes that have converted Mexico not into a failed state, but rather into a comatose state that has been taken over or handed over entirely to organized crime.”

En un artículo titulado “El Infierno” publicado en su columna denominada “En el andén” del diario español Republica. com, Miralles expresó: : “No consuela, pero nuestra corrupción es una broma si la comparamos con la que ha convertido a México no en un Estado fallido, sino en un Estado comatoso en el que los tres poderes están tomados, o entregados, al crimen organizado que todo lo puede”.

For more information (in Spanish):

El infierno (En el Anden, Reforma.com, 2 de noviembre de 2014)

Periodistas españoles huyen del país tras recibir amenazas de secuestro (Proceso, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Periodistas españoles salen de Chiapas ante amenazas (Milenio, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Españoles dejan el país ante amenaza (El Universal, 4 de noviembre de 2014)


National/International: civil organizations and Mexican State before the IACHR

November 12, 2014

 índice

During the last week of October, at least 20 Mexican civil organizations testified at five audiences before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C., to denounce past cases of impunity as well as current human-rights violations and the criminalization of social protest in the country.

The first audience had been requested by the Mexican government to present the National Program on Human Rights.  At the doors of the hall where the audience was to be held, dozens of protestors were assembled, holding photos of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa.  They received the Mexican governmental delegation with the slogan, “Alive you took them; alive we want them back!”  Lía Limón García, subsecretary on Juridical Affairs and Human Rights from the Secretary of Governance (SEGOB), recognized that Mexico is experiencing a time that challenges the normative advances made by the country’s government in recent years, and she affirmed that “the Mexican State will not rest until we find the normalist students.”

The Mexican civil-society organizations denounced for their part that “the humanitarian crisis confronting the country due to testimonies and denunciations of the disappeared, murdered, displaced, tortured, and injured have been ignored, covered up, and reduced to mere statistics by the government.”  They indicated that “the government’s efforts are focused on demonstrating the ‘Mexican moment’ of supposed progress and welfare.”  They also accused the State of “being responsible for the perpetration and perpetuation of grave, generalized, and systematic human-rights violations.”

Cases of disappearances and execution of persons from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s were also discussed, with this period of time being stressed as featuring “the connection between impunity for crimes committed during the badly named Dirty War and what is now happening in Mexico.”

The executive secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Álvarez Icaza (Mexican), lamented that the forcible disappearances recur as practices in the country, and he affirmed that “the events of Ayotzinapa, Tlatlaya, and Puebla are lamentable, but so is the fact that these types of crimes took place previously.  This is a worrying sign.”

Another audience addressed the restrictions on protest made by legislation and the human-rights violations associated with repression of protest-actions.  10 federal and local bills were discussed that would regulate and constrain mobilizations.

For more information (in Spanish):

El Estado mexicano presume avances en la CIDH, y ONG’s reviran: el país está en crisis (Sin Embargo, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

México solicita ayuda a la CIDH por Ayotzinapa (El Universal, 31 de octubre de 2014)

Plantea la CIDH dar asistencia técnica a México para buscar a los 43 desaparecidos (La Jornada, 31 de octubre de 2014)

No sólo es en Ayotzinapa, Tlatlaya y Puebla, es en todo el país, advierte la CIDH (Sin Embargo, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Abuchean a delegación mexicana en la CIDH por caso Iguala: “Regrésalos EPN” (Sin Embargo, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Posicionamiento de organizaciones de la sociedad civil sobre las graves violaciones de derechos humanos y la falta de respuestas del Estado mexicano (OSC, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Informe completo “Derechos Humanos y Protesta Social en México” (Frente por la libertad de expresión y la protesta social, octubre de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Nacional: piden ONG a visita oficial de la CIDH a México ante la “crisis en derechos humanos” (14 de agosto de 2014)


International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements at the Vatican

November 12, 2014

Internacional: Encuentro Mundial de Movimientos Populares en el Vaticano (@Via Campesina)

International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements at the Vatican (@Via Campesina)

From 27 to 29 October, more than 150 leaders from different labor, migrant, campesino, and indigenous organizations and processes participated in the “International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements” that was held at the Vatican.  Among the participants present were the Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas de Chiapas Center for Human Rights, and the Mexican Electricians’ Union.

Pope Francis (an Argentinian) noted that “[t]his meeting responds to a very concrete desire [...] that should be accessible to all, because today we see with sadness that land, shelter, and work is evermore out of grasp for the majority.  It is strange, but if I speak of this, for some it means that the Pope is a communist.”

The Pope recognized the struggle of grassroots movements that “do not rest content with illusory promises, excuses, or alibies.”  “The scandal of poverty cannot be addressed through the promotion of contention strategies that only tranquilize the poor, converting them into domesticated and neutral beings,” he warned.

He stressed that “the poor do not simply wait with their arms crossed for the solutions that never arrive; now, the poor seek to be protagonists to find their own solutions to their problems.”  The poor, in this sense, “are not resigned, but rather they protest,” and this protest “bothers” those in power.  He expressed in addition that he hopes that “the wind of protest becomes a gale of hope.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Discurso del Papa Francisco a los Participantes en el Encuentro Mundial de Movimientos Populares

Resumen del Encuentro Mundial de Movimientos Populares (Minga Informativa)

Impresiones de una jornada histórica (Ignacio Ramonet, Rebelión, 30 de octubre de 2014)

El papa Francisco rinde homenaje a los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos (La Jornada, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Papa pide “tierra, techo y trabajo ” para los pobres (Milenio, 28 de octubre de 2014)

Discuten en el Vaticano sobre marginación (El Universal, 28 de octubre de 2014)

Movimientos populares del mundo, con el Papa (La Jornada, 25 de octubre de 2014)


Chiapas: “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” event in Masoja Shucjá, Tila

November 12, 2014

“Corazón de memoria, sembrando en nuestro territorio”, octubre de 2014 (@CDHFBC)

“Heart of memory, sown on our lands.” October 2014 (@CDHFBC)

On 24 October, the “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” event was held in the Masojá Shucjá community, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, to remember the victims of execution, forcible disappearance, and forced displacement in this region between the years 1995 and 1999.  Those present demanded justice in these cases and expressed their solidarity with the families of the normalist students of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, present at this event, stressed that “in the zone below Tila, [the paramilitary group] Paz y Justicia committed at least 37 forcible disappearances, 85 executions, and displaced more than 4500 persons, who also suffered harassment, intimidation, destruction of property, torture, sexual abuse, and arbitrary arrests, among other human-rights violations [...].  Lamentably, these great human-right violations have continued to enjoy impunity, given that the material and intellectual authors have not been truly investigated or sanctioned in accordance with their involvement in these crimes against humanity.  This situation has been broadly denounced, and it has been taken to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  There have been eight cases that reflect the atrocities experienced in the region.  There are 122 cases documented by this Center of Human Rights in the northern zone.  They are examples of the counter-insurgent strategy that has been implemented by the federal and state authorities, following the Plan for the Chiapas Campaign [...].  Neither forgiveness nor forgetting.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 18 años de impunidad, en Masojá Shucjá Tila Chiapas, exigen justicia por desapariciones y ejecuciones a sus integrantes (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de octubre de 2014)

Boletín del CDHFBC Ni perdón, ni olvido (CDHFBC, 28 de octubre de 2014)

A 18 años de impunidad, en Masojá Shucjá Tila Chiapas, exigen justicia por desapariciones y ejecuciones a sus integrantes (Radio Pozol, 25 de octubre de 2014)

Castigo a autores de ejecuciones, desapariciones y desplazamientos forzados en Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil (Comunicado de las y los desplazados de Banavil en el evento de Masoja Shucjá, 24 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 18 years since the disappearance of Minerva Pérez, her case remains unpunished (25 June 2014)

Chiapas: 17 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, her case is taken up at the IACHR (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)


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