National: Activities held to observe the third anniversary of the Movement for Peace

April 10, 2014

Tercer Aniversario del MPJD, Ciudad de México (@Uriah Samuel)

Third anniversary of the MPJD, Mexico City (@Uriah Samuel)

At the end of March, there were held several activities to commemorate the third anniversary of the emergence of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD, which brings together victims and relatives of the disappeared and murdered by organized crime and State security forces). At the Monument of Light–or the Monument to Peace–in Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, relatives of victims carried banners with the names of their loved ones which they then put on display at the monument.  “For historical and moral reasons,” the MPJD changed the name of the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Boulevard to 28 March Boulevard.

It should be recalled that the MPJD was created on this day following the murder of the son of the poet Javier Sicilia, the founder of the MPJD.  Since then, the writer has led several caravans in Mexico and the United States together with relatives of victims.

On this third anniversary, Sicilia assured that despite the government’s promises, “we continue in the middle of a war, with the disappearances, the murders, the kidnappings, the extortion, and the memory of the victims totally erased.”  He furthermore denounced that the State criminalizes self-defense groups: “The form in which they have been managing Michoacán is a true travesty.  I ask the authorities: whom do you serve? Because to us it is far from clear.  It seems to us to be the criminalization of people they had previously recognized; now they betray them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El Movimiento por la Paz acusa que el gobierno criminaliza a autodefensas(CNN México, 27 de marzo de 2014)

Conmemoran aniversario de multihomicidio en Morelos (El Universal, 28 de marzo de 2014)

Movimiento por la Paz: terco como la memoria (Desinformémonos, marzo de 2014)

Galería de fotos (marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Commemoration of two years of the MPJD (8 April 2013)


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: Adherent to the Sixth Declaration shot to death in Chilón

March 30, 2014

images

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)

 


National: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM

March 30, 2014

Foto @ Zapateando

Photo @ Zapateando

Fray Tomás González Castillo, director of the migrant home “La 72,” denounced that on 10 March a truck belonging to the National Institute on Migration (INM) from the Tenosique delegation stopped before several migrant persons.  “They took them into the vehicle and transferred them to a place very close to the jungle.  There, they released two persons, threatened them, took the only money they had (2700 pesos), threatened them once again, tortured them psychologically, and finally released them,” as the public denunciation notes.

He added that “this description is of a kidnapping comparable with the kidnappings carried out by organized crime in the zone, given that they deprive migrants of their liberty, take them to the jungle, extort them, torture them verbally, psychologically, and physically, and finally charge them for letting them go.”

It should be noted that two months prior, the federal police “arrested, beat, and threatened two migrants staying in ‘La 72′ with death.”  It should also be stressed that “La 72″ is a beneficiary of the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights-Defenders and Journalists, in addition to precautionary measures awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Agentes del INM en Tenosique, secuestran migrantes (Frontera Sur, 24 de marzo de 2014)

También INM secuestra migrantes: La 72 (Noticias sin Fronteras, 25 de marzo de 2014)

Agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración secuestran, extorsionan y amenazan de muerte a dos personas migrantes en Tenosique, Tabasco (Centro de Medios Libres México, 24 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Collaborators of the “72″ migrant home abandon work due to threats (24 June 2013)

National: New death-threats directed against Fray Tomás, director of “La 72″ (27 March 2013)

Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)

 


National/Internacional: Mexico accepts 166 of the 176 recommendations released by the United Nations

March 30, 2014

índiceOn 20 March, the Mexican government presented in an addendum its observations regarding the 176 recommendations it had received in October 2013 during its evaluation before the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which took place during the 25th period of sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.  The UPR is a mechanism of periodic evaluation of the UN HRC, created in 2006 to consider the situations that prevail on the question in each of the 193 member-nations.

The Mexican State affirmed that “there has been a large acceptance of the recommendations made by the member-nations.”  It added that the federal government would design a mechanism coordinated with governmental institutions that would guarantee the participation of civil organizations to evaluate progress on the recommendations.  It noted that said recommendations were taken into account for the construction of the National Program in terms of human rights that will soon be presented.

Regardless, civil-society organizations lamented that Mexico has rejected observations on questions “such as the elimination of ‘community control’ and the recognition of the competence of the Committee on Forced Disappearance to receive individual complaints.”  They noted that, the optimistic view of the authorities notwithstanding, the human-rights situation in Mexico continues to be grave.

They added that “in accordance with the information provided by the Mexican government, it is from now that the national process to design a mechanism to observe and follow the received recommendations,” a process which they will follow closely to assure that “the commitments do not remain only on paper, but rather that they be translated into true changes for human rights in the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Respuesta de México a las recomendaciones del Mecanismo de Examen Periódico Universal del Consejo de Derechos Humanos(Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, marzo de 2014)

Defiende México ante la ONU la figura del arraigo (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Acepta México 166 de 176 recomendaciones de la ONU en derechos humanos (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado conjunto: Esencial que compromisos asumidos en el Examen Periódico Universal se traduzcan en cambios reales en México (OSC, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Tres recomendaciones de ONU omitirá México (El Universal, 21 de marzo de 2014)

Sesión completa de México ante el Consejo DDHH: Mexico, UPR Report Consideration (61 min.).

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: 176 recommendations for Mexico during the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (13 November 2013)

Mexico: Mexico undergoes the Universal Periodic Review (13 February 2009)

Mexico: The Mexican republic rejects recommendations made by the UPR (16 July 2009)


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)


Chiapas: Amidst increase in femicide and impunity, civil organization proclaims permanent Gender Alert

March 30, 2014

Marcha del 8 de Marzo en San Cristóbal de las Casas. Foto (@Sipaz)

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

Due to the increase in femicides and the impunity that prevails in the state of Chiapas, the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas, a civil organization based in San Cristóbal de las Casas, has proclaimed a permanent Gender Alert.

In November 2013, the Center started a petition to the National System to Prevent, Attend, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women (SNPASEVM) calling on it to declare a gender alert in the state.  However, in January of this year, SNPASEVM rejected the petition, claiming that the murders of women does not threaten the social peace in the state, and adding that many of these deaths have not been recognized as femicides.

“How many women must die before the State considers there to exist a pattern of violence against women in Chiapas?” asks the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas.

According to Alma Padilla, director of the Center, “the Mexican State is not willing to declare a gender alert because it has instituted programs to prevent femicide and violence against women.  However, these [programs] have had no result.  On the contrary, both the numbers of femicides and cases of violence against women are on the rise.”

Official information presented by the Center shows that between January and October of last year, 84 murders of women were documented, 52 of which have been categorized as femicides.  An investigation has been requested to determine if those remaining also qualify as such.

In parallel terms to the proclamation of the permanent Gender Alert, the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas has indicated that it will continue to demand that the authorities declare an alert and combat the crime of femicide.

For more information (in Spanish):

Aumentan feminicidios en Chiapas asegura ONG (Milenio, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Mujeres de Chiapas deciden levantar su propia alerta de género por feminicidios (Animal Político, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Web del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Conmemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)


Chiapas/National: Lawyers for Patishtán and communal police of Michoacán denounce death-threats and harassment

March 28, 2014

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archivo)

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archive)

In an Urgent Action published on 14 March, Amnesty International (AI) denounced the death-threats and harassment suffered by the lawyers of the Strategic Defense for Human Rights, Leonel Rivero Rodríguez and Augusto César Sandino Rivero Espinoza.  These lawyers are known for their interventions in cases such as that of now ex-prisoner Alberto Patishtán, those arrested from the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land from San Salvador Atenco, and communal police from Michoacán.

On 17 January, Rivero Rodríguez received a threatening telephone call and then presented a denunciation before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), though the perpetrator of the action has not yet been identified.  Indeed, the PGR has now informed her that it plans to place the affair in the archive.

On 4 March, “three unknown persons invaded a hotel in which Leonel Rivero Rodríguez was meeting with members of communities from Michoacán state to address delicate issues,” regarding a case that she was covering together with Sandino Rivero Espinosa.  On 10 March, the office that Leonel Rivero Rodríguez has in her home in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas was harassed.

AI has called on the authorities to guarantee the security of the lawyers of Strategic Defense for Human Rights, to undertake an impartial investigationi into the telephone threats made on 17 January, and the harassment of 10 March, as well as to guarantee that “the lawyers who work on potentially delicate affairs be allowed to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of suffering repression.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente de Amnistía Internacional, 14 de marzo de 2014

Amnistía Internacional denuncia amenazas contra abogados de Patishtán(Proceso, 17 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncia Amnistía Internacional hostigamiento contra abogado de Patishtán (La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2014)

 Los abogados de Alberto Patisthán denuncian amenazas y hostigamientos(CNN México, 18 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


National: Harassment of home of director of Article 19 shortly before publication of report “Dissent in silence: violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013)

March 28, 2014

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

On 16 March, the home of the General Director of the Mexico and Central American Office of Article 19 belonging to Darío Ramírez was harassed.  Work documents as well as other valued objects and computers were stolen, according to a denunciation submitted to the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City (PGJDF).  The press release distributed by Article 19 after the act stressed that this is “the fifth security incident that personnel from the organization have faced [...] since April 2013.”  Beyond this, the acts took place two days before the organization released its report “Dissent in Silence: Violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013.”  In this sense, the bulletin expressed that “we are concerned that the harassment of the home would be a message of intimidation for those who seek to inhibit our work in favor of freedom of expression.”

On 18 March, however, there was held an event to present the 2013 report as planned, which indicates that each 26.5 hours a journalist is attacked in Mexico.  In 2013, Article 19 documented 330 aggressions against journalists and media institutions (59% more than in 2012), including 59 against women.  These statistics are the highest since 2007, though in 2013 five journalists died, two fewer than in 2012.  More than 60 attacks on journalists took place during protests, in a way that the report indicates as showing the “authorities choosing for the path of repression and direct confrontation.”  In 59.3% of the cases, a public official has been responsible.  Although the problem revolves around states already noted in the country (such as Veracruz, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas), Article 19 notes that the documented attacks allow one to see a “pattern of dissemination toward other states” such as, for example, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Baja California, and Zacatecas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Funcionarios públicos y crimen organizado, principales agresores de periodistas (Analisis Centro Prodh, 19 de marzo de 2014)

2013, el año más violento para la prensa en México: Artículo 19 (Animal político, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Primer año de Peña, el más violento para la prensa desde 2007: Artículo 19(Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Informe completo 2013 (Artículo 19, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Allanan la casa del Director de Artículo 19; solicita protección (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de Artículo 19 (Artículo 19, 17 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Article 19 receives death-threats (23 April 2013)


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