National: Creation of the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest

April 26, 2014


On 9 April, there was presented the report “Control of Public Space: Report on Regressions in Freedom of Expression and Association in the Present Government” which was carried out at the Agustín Pro Center for Human Rights (Prodh Center) in Mexico City.  During this presentation, there were analyzed 11 legislative initiatives and reforms “which would lead to the restriction and criminalization of social protest.”

For this reason, civil organizations announced the creation of a Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest and the launch of a social-network campaign #Don’tGetTurnedOff.  They seek to raise awareness among the citizenry of its right to dissent and to continue following the legislative proposals that would limit the freedom of expression of protestors.

Dolores González Sarabia, from Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ), indicated the “disproportionate repression targeting social protest and a tendency to penalize social groups using criminalization from the vantage point of controlling delinquency.”  Miguel Concha Malo, director of the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Center for Human Rights, condemned the “legal tendency to criminalize social protest, the legal form of expressing dissent.”  Other speakers stressed the role of the mass-media in reporting on protests by deliberately omitting certain facts, and they expressed their concern for the “siege on democratic freedoms in the streets and now also on the Internet.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Impulsan ONG frente común contra la criminalización de la protesta(Proceso, 9 de abril de 2014)

Nuevas legislaciones criminalizan protesta e inhiben libertad de expresión: Frente (Radio Formula, 10 de abril de 2014)

Crean frente en defensa de la protesta pública (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2014)

ONGs van a la Corte contra SLP, QRoo, DF y Jalisco por leyes contra la protesta social, y lanzan #QueNoTeApaguen (Sin Embargo, 10 de abril de 2014)

Informe sobre criminalización de la protesta social: Control del Espacio Público : informe sobre retrocesos en las libertades de expresión y reunión en el actual gobierno

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Harssment of home of director of Article 19 shortly before publication of report “Dissent in silence: violence against the press and criminalization of proetest, Mexico 2013″ (28 March 2014)

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)

Oaxaca: Launch of campaign to advance Article 1 of the Constitution on human rights

March 2, 2014

Presentación de la campaña en Oaxaca. Foto (@Códices Oaxaca)

On 25 February, there was presented in Oaxaca City the campaign for the #constitutionalarticle1, supported by 30 organizations at the national level and organized in the state of Oaxaca by the Código DH human-rights group.

The Campaign, launched by the Mexican Institute for Human Rights and Democracy, has as its end the advancement of the implementation of the constitutional reform regarding human rights, as approved by the federal congress in 2011, which stipulates a change in Article 1 of the Constitution that prohibits all discrimination motivated by ethnic or national origin, gender, age, or ability, among other things.

For the organizations behind the campaign, “the transcendental modification that the reform brought to Article 1 has represented a unique opportunity to advance the demand and observance of human rights.  Perhaps for that reason the State has been reticent to make known the contents of the reform, so that society could come to know them, defend them, and distribute them.”

The organizations which adhere to the campaign invite the citizenry to join the initiative under the slogan “All rights for all persons and all obligations for all the authorities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Lanzamiento de la campaña por el #articulo1constitucional (Código DH, 25 de febrero de 2014)

Arranca campaña artículo primero constitucional (NSS Oaxaca, 25 de febrero de 2014)

Organizaciones lanzan campaña para difundir el Artículo 1 Constitucional (RI Oaxaca, 25 de febrero de 2014)

#DDHHhoy! (Código DH, 26 de febrero de 2014)

Guerrero: Impunity prevails against human-rights defenders

December 18, 2013

120306 Obtilia Eugenio Manuel OPIM

Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, human-rights defender. Photo @SIPAZ

In observation of the International Human Rights Day (10 December), the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (TDT Network) sent a letter to the state governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, to warn that the state is one of the most dangerous places for journalists, activists, and human-rights defenders.  Different civil organizations have urged the governor to provide instructions to guarantee their security and protection.  In the public letter are recalled aggressions, murders, and disappearances of activists such as Eva Alarcón y Marcial Bautista (whose whereabouts have been unknown since 7 December 2011) and Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino and Gabriel Echeverría de Jesus, students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa (murdered on 12 December 2011), among others.

On 23 October, the UN Human Rights Council showed in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that Mexican women who advance social causes and engage in journalist are attacked with insufficient attention being provided to the question by authorities.  In accordance with data from the TDT Network, from 2010 to 2012 there were registered 25 murders of human-rights defenders, with 118 attacks and seven murders of such workers in 2012 alone.  In 99% of the denounced cases there have been no arrests, and for this reason impunity prevails.  The TDT Network is comprised of 74 organizations from 20 states, including the Migrant Home of Saltillo, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights, and the National Center for Social Communication (Cencos), among other groups.

For more information (in Spanish):

Prevalece impunidad en Guerrero contra defensoras de DH (CIMAC Noticias, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Urgen ONG’s seguridad y justicia para defensores a gobierno de Guerrero(Noticias MVS, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Exigen 97 organizaciones al gobernador seguridad para los defensores de los derechos humanos (El Sur de Acapulco, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (2 May 2013)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO demands that Calderón observe sentence in case of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández (28 November 2011)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologist are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Intermediary state elections, with violence

July 21, 2013


On 7 July in Oaxaca, there were held elections for the state congress and mayorships.  According to the Program for Preliminary Electoral Results (PREP), the “United for Development” coalition, comprised of the National Action Party (PAN), the Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the Labor Party (PT), won deputyships in 14 of the 25 electoral congressional districts of the state.  The coalition also won the majority of mayorships under dispute, but regardless, it lost the mayorship of the state capital, which was taken by Javier Villacaña Jiménez, representative of the “Committed to Mexico” alliance (Institutional Revolutionary Party and Green Ecological Party of Mexico).  It should also be noted that both during the run-up to the elections as on the very election day itself, several violent incidents were seen, connected to the electoral process, including a burning of ballots.  In Álvaro Obregón, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, the carrying out of elections was blocked; in several locations, ballots were burned by protestors.

For more information (in Spanish):

Página del Programa de Resultados Electorales Preliminares (PREP)

El Universal: Elecciones 2013 Oaxaca: Aventaja coalición PAN-PRD-PT (08/07/2013)

Noticias Voz e Imagen: Se declara Villacaña virtual presidente (08/07/2013)

Proceso: Cerrada disputa por Oaxaca entre el PRI-PVEM y PRD-PAN-PT (08/07/2013)

Proceso: Por 825 votos, PRI recupera la alcaldía de Oaxaca (08/07/2013)

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca: Coalition “United for Peace and Progress” defeats PRI in state elections (12 July 2012)

Guerrero: Martínez Garnelo named as new Secretary of Governance

July 20, 2013


Jesús Martínez Garnelo, photo

On 8 July, Jesús Martínez Garnelo was named as the new government secretary of Guerrero, to replace Florentino Cruz Ramírez, after having requested permission to leave his charge as head of the judiciary.  The new naming of the secretary of government took place seven days after Cruz Ramírez presented his resignation (1 July).  Among the antecedents of the case highlighted by Martínez Garnelo, there is the fact that he was accused of having released the kidnapper Alberto Castro El Calilla, a case for which a trial was begun against him, ending in his forced resignation in 1999, when he was banned from holding public office for 2 years.  However, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation subsequently exonerated him in these terms.

The new secretary for government said that he would analyze the social phenomenology of the state and act to prevent crime through unitary control of the police.  He promised that arrives with a social perspective, and that his proposal to combat violence would be supported by different prevention programs which, he said, he would soon reveal.  Cruz Ramírez resigned, according to his collaborators, because he was not allowed to function either politically or economically, and also because Humberto Salgado Gómez was named as coordinator of the executive branch.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nombran a Martínez Garnelo como el nuevo secretario de Gobierno (La Jornada de Guerrero, 8 de julio de 2013)

Nombra Aguirre a nuevo secretario de Gobierno (8 de julio de 2013)

Jesús Martínez, secretario de Gobierno de Guerrero (El Economista, 8 de julio de 2013)

Ángel Aguirre acepta renuncia de secretario de Gobierno (14 de mayo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Governor announces new General Secretary of Governance (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Governor announces new General Secretary of Governance

July 20, 2013

Velasco Coello y Ramírez Aguilar @ Twitter

On 3 July, the state governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, announced that Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar would be his new General Secretary of Governance. Ramírez Aguilar will replace Noé Castañón León in this charge, who had served in this role during the majority of the tenure of the previous governor, Juan Sabines Guerrero (2006-2012). Eduardo Ramírez, member of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), was the mayor of Comitán de Domínguez from 2008-2010, and during the past elections of 1 July 2012 was elected as a federal deputy of this party.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Designa gobernador de Chiapas a Eduardo Ramírez como secretario general de gobierno (03/07/2013)

Proceso: Velasco Coello releva a secretario de gobierno sabinista (03/07/2013)

Chiapas: Enrique Peña Nieto’s visit creates conflict in Zinacantán

May 17, 2013


The residents of the Navenchuac community (Zinacantán municipality), where President Enrique Peña Nieto led an act on 19 April for the so-called Crusade Against Hunger, recalled the municipal agent Antonio Pérez Gómez by means of popular assembly, with his having been accused of not having reported on the destination of the economic resources received for the transport of persons and works.

“The problem began when the people asked the municipal agent where he had left the money he had received to feed the residents during the president’s visit, and since he denied having received any such money, the assembly decided to call the mayor, José Sánchez de la Cruz, who confirmed that Pérez Gómez had received ten thousand pesos, and that he would also give another ten thousand,”  noted the residents of the community.

The protestors say it is necessary that the governor call the mayor to accounts, given that he has not reported on the amount of resources received by President Enrique Peña Nieto following his visit to the Navenchuac community.  They indicated that “what is known in the community is that the mayor and his agent have received much money [unclear how much] so as to give to the people of the communities during the act, but the only actual beneficiaries were members of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico, who received 200 pesos cash each, as well as chicken to eat,” but others “did not even receive soda.”

“We know that the President left money after his visit [...] which was only received by those who are close to him, a total of 1.2 million pesos, also for productive projects that were advanced in a very discreet and personal manner.  There supposedly are agents who had access to this reunion which had 16 million at its disposal, and this has not been reported either to the municipality or to municipal agents,” noted the protestors.

For more information (in Spanish):

Dinero dejado por Peña Nieto para obras y acarreo, genera pleito en Navenchauc, Mirada Sur, 7 de mayo de 2013

Acusan a edil de Zinacantán, Diario de Chiapas, 7 de mayo de 2013

Presidente de Zinacantán se quedó con toda la paga, Noticias, 2 de mayo de 2013

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: EPN in Navenchauc, Zinacantán launches actions for the National Crusade against Hunger (22 April 2013)

National: Communiqué by the All Rights for All Network on the occasion of its 44th National Assembly

October 19, 2012

On 13 and 14 October, the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” carried out its 44th National Assembly in Tlapa de Comomfort, Guerrero, in which participated representatives from 73 organizations hailing from 21 states of the country.

Upon concluding the meeting, participants published a pronunciation to condemn the federal government of Felipe Calderón for “60 thousand deaths, a number that by ratio is larger than that which occurred during the Guatemalan civil war, in addition to thousands of disappeared which surpass the number from the Dirty War, thousands of internally displaced by violence; a massive increase in torture as method of investigation and punishment; attacks on the human rights of women and increasing feminicide; a policy of security that on the one hand criminalizes migration, thus generating large dividends for the trafficking of persons and exacerbating insecurity throughout large regions, and that on the other has created a siege and civil war throughout many parts, on the parts of soldiers and criminal groups, that lacks any sense of rationality and that has no end in sight.”

The document also criticizes the coming administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, because “he should be facing criminal charges at the least for the events of Atenco in 2006.  He is two months from taking office, thanks to the irresponsibility of the judicial power and the submission of the administration of justice to political power.”

Regardless, against this threatening panorama, the Network recognized the organizational efforts of different groups from civil society which would build a more democratic and just country.  Lastly, the Network confirmed its commitment to continuing the work of defending and promoting human rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento completo de la RedTdT en la marco de su XLIV Asamblea (Red Tdt, 14 de octubre de 2012)

Chiapas: protests in several municipalities against the taking of office by new commissioners

October 12, 2012

Motozintla (

On Sunday 30 September, the mayors who were elected on 1 July were to take office, though this transition did not occur without incident in Motozintla, Chicomuselo, Bejucal de Ocampo, Frontera Comalapa, Mazapa de Madero, Villacorzo, Cintalapa, Tila, and Las Rosas.

The situation of violence took place in the Motozintla municipality where sympathizers of the PRD-PT-Citizens Movement coalition set fire to public buildings (including the City Hall and prison), beyond attacking patrols to protest the failure of the Electoral Tribunal of Judicial Power, which ruled in favor of Oscar Galindo (PVEM).  They also released 80 prisoners from the jail, although 40 of these were subsequently recaptured, many of them of their own volition.  The Chiapas state-government detained 31 persons after the disturbances.  Milenio journalists denounced on their part that they were attacked by 10 state police after taking photos of the burning city hall in Motozintla, as of other buildings.

In the nearby municipality of Chicomuselo, where the Trife handed victory to the PVEM candidate when the Institute for Elections and Citizen Participation in Chiapas had already recognized the victory of the PRD candidate, another patrol was set alight.  The mayor was kidnapped by sympathizers of the PRD candidate.  In Frontera Comalapa and Bejucal de Ocampo the mayors were also taken forcibly by left-wing militants.

In San Fernando, PRI militants kidnapped the mayor to protest against the mayor-elect (PVEM), whom they accuse of pertaining to a family that has been in power from one election to the next.  These militants were met with tear gas.

On the Petalcingo highway, a roadblock was maintained, and PRI members set fire to the home of Limberg Gutiérrez, the father of the mayor-elect of Tila, Limberg Gregorio Gutiérrez Gómez (PVEM), who is to take power from his wife, Sandra Luz Cruz Espinosa.

Another series of conflicts and blockaders occurred to protest the exiting administrations.  In Villacorzo, the mayor was taken in a home together with some of her assistants by municipal workers who demand that their wages and benefits be paid.  In Tapachula, the PAN official Karla Selene de la Cruz denounced that she was assaulted by the secretary of city hall, following her demand that her salaries in arrears be paid.  On 28 September, indigenous persons from San Juan Chamula blockaded the highway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Tuxtla Gutiérrez to demand the payment of debt in their municipality, as well as the ending of different work-projects.  Municipal and transit police as well the Civil Protection force of Teopisca went on strike, blockading the highway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Comitán for eight hours, to protest their not being paid.

For more information (in Spanish):

Opositores a edil electo de Motozintla provocan incendios y liberan presos (La Jornada, 2 de octubre de 2012)

Presidencia en ruinas (Cuarto Poder, 2 de octubre de 2012)
Chiapas: queman alcaldía y 2 patrullas por conflicto electoral en Motozintla (la Jornada, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Conflicto poselectoral en Chiapas: toman alcaldías, queman patrullas y liberan a reos (Proceso, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Recapturan a 40 reos liberados en Motozintla (El Universal, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Al menos 31 detenidos por disturbios: secretario de Gobierno de Chiapas (Milenio, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Chiapas: incendian casa del padre de edil electo (La Jornada, 30 de septiembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: elections in Chiapas; PRI-Green Alliance wins (10 July 2012)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 79 other followers