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)


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