National: Lack of confidence and strong criticisms of the Second Governmental Report presented by EPN

September 15, 2014

Foto @ Cuartoscuro

On 1 September, President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) presented to the Congress his second governmental report after 21 months of management that have seen the approval of 11 structural reforms and negative results in terms of security, economic growth, and employment rate, according to official statistics and experts.

The Movement More than 131 together with Youth Amidst the National Emergency, Migration Table 132, Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ), the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, and Article 19 launched a video to expose “the questions that President Enrique Peña Nieto’s report omitted” using the hashtag #MexicoHasNoPresident.  SERAPAZ warned that, two years into his administration, more than 23,640 murders have been registered, in addition to 22,322 victims forcibly disappeared.  For its part, Migration 132 stressed that the Southern Border Strategy recently launched by EPN’s government “seeks only to militarize the border.”  Furthermore, Mexico has no official data regarding disappeared migrants. Article 19 reported that during EPN’s government, seven journalists have been murdered, possibly due to the exercise of their profession; that in 2013, 330 attacks on the press were observed in Mexico, with more than 150 journalists assaulted during the first half of 2014.  It noted that “public resources of the State are used to control the editorial line of the communication media.”

Édgar Cortez, from the Mexican Institute on Human Rights and Democracy, indicated that the content of the governmental report is poor, because “it only presents a series of laws and programs as successes, when these are not translated into concrete actions and results” that would result in the observance of these guarantees.  “Neither does it say anything about the great question which has existed since the beginning: impunity.  Nor does it present any strategy for how to combat it,” adding that “it does not deal with serious problems that continue to present themselves in the country,” such as the practice of torture as a means of investigation.  He said that there still are no indications that the government has an effective policy in terms of human rights. José Antonio Lara Duque, coordinator of the Zeferino Ladrillero Center for Human Rights, noted that cases of forcible disappearances, extrajudicial executions, and other human-rights violations continue unabated, since the government has not modified its strategy against organized crime.  Lara Duque observed in addition that, following the approval of the energy reform, a policy will be applied for the imposition of megaprojects that will degrade the rights of ejidtarios and indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Documento: 2º Informe de Gobierno 2013-2014 (septiembre 2014)

EPN habló más de promesas que de logros en 2do informe: PAN y PRD(Aristegui Noticias, 3 de septiembre de 2014)
Muestra Segundo Informe retrocesos en procuración de justicia(Quadratín Oaxaca, 2 de septiembre de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Nacional: Submission of First Governmental Report amidst protests and mass-disturbances (13 September 2013)

National: Polemical ascension of EPN (7 December 2012)


Oaxaca: Consorcio Oaxaca completes 10 years working for a free life for women

September 15, 2014

header-10

To observe its tenth anniversary of work, Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca (Consorcio Oaxaca) has published the book Lines toward New Geographies: Ten Years of Feminist Construction.  Since Consorcio Oaxaca emerged in 2003, with the goal of promoting respect for and exercise of the human rights of women and gender equality, it has been struggling against the criminalization of abortion, denouncing femicide and violence against women, and constantly criticizing racism, injustice, and inequality.  It also has insisted on public policies incorporating gender perspectives and has contributed to the training of judicial officials and public servants.

The book presents personal reflections of Consorcio members regarding their experiences, such as “when we fight against injustice it is impossible to separate this from our emotions,” and they called for a “will to actively participate and not allow oneself to be defeated, though it may seem that the fight has already been decided.”  For the female authors, the daily work of each woman is the first step to achieving change, given that the “struggle begins the life of each person.”

For more information (in Spanish):

10 años de Consorcio Oaxaca: “Mujeres que rompen el silencio” (30 de agosto de 2014)

Libro: Trazos hacia Nuevas Geografías. Diez años de construcción feminista (Consorcio Oaxaca)

Mujeres que rompen el silencio (E-Oaxaca, 31 de agosto de 2014)

Van 74 feminicidios en ocho meses (Noticias Net, 31 de agosto de 2014)

Trazos hacia nuevas geografías: Consorcio Oaxaca 10 años de construcción feminista (Las Caracolas, 4 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Oaxaca: new intimidation directed at Alba Cruz (18 January 2011)

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)


Chiapas: Large increase in femicides; monument to be built to honor victims

September 15, 2014

Foto @ Chiapas Paralelo

Photo @ Chiapas Paralelo

On 1 October, relatives of victims of femicide and women’s human-rights defenders will construct a monument to commemorate femicide victims in Chiapas at the bridge in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, from where the body of Viridians Flores Martínez was thrown in June 2013.

At this bridge on 1 September, some 200 persons–including relatives, friends, and activists–held a mass and made floral offerings to honor the memory of Viridians Flores, who was killed by Omar Fernando Rosales Toledano, a former secteary of the PVEM Senator Luis Armando Melgar Bravo.

Beyond this, the relatives of a youth of 21 years rejected the mandated reconstruction of events ordered by a judge in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, which would involve the use of a pig, as this would be a moral outrage; besides, as they say, all the evidence points to Fernando Rosales as the confessed murderer of Viridians Flores.  For this reason, judicial efforts were canceled after it was denounced that these would violate the Law on Victims, which establishes that victims must be treated with humanity, respecting their humanity.  Juan Carlos Flores Santiago, father of the murdered youth, mentioned that it is presumed that the judge is trying to find ways to bring evidence to light that favors the suspect and in this way to nullify any possible sentence against him.  He also declared that the witnesses are retracting the statements they provided in June 2013, when the body of his daughter was found.

Chiapas has become one of the top ten states in the Republic with the highest number of femicides.  However, no protocols exist to investigate this type of crime, nor are there adequate personnel who are trained to attend to such victims and provide justice.  As evidence of this trend, one could consider the release in 2014 of two confessed murderers of women.  Not a single perpetrator of femicide in Chiapas has faced the maximum sentence of 60 years.  In the state, the increase in violence against women has become increasingly visible in the last three years: in 2010, 22 femicides were registered; in 2012, this number climbed to 97, while in 2013 83 cases were registered, and from January to September 2014, 41 cases have been documented, in accordance with the statistics provided by the Group of Women of San Cristóbal (COLEM).

For more information (in Spanish):

Construirán monumento contra el feminicidio para honrar la memoria de las víctimas (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Reclaman justicia por caso de feminicidio en Chiapas (Proceso, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Realizan ceremonia religiosa en memoria de Viridians Flores (Reporte Ciudadano, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Familiares de Viridians Flores rechazan peritaje (Noticias, Voz e Imagen de Chiapas, 30 de agosto de 2014)


Chiapas: Communique from PUDEE regarding structural reforms

September 2, 2014

 Imagen @ PUDEE

Image @ PUDEE

On 19 August, the organizational process Peoples United for the Defense of Electricity (PUDEE) which adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle published a communique in which its members analyze and criticize the impacts of the newly approved structural reforms. The communique describes the “ways in which they will steal from us: first, they will demand that we accept PROCEDE or FANAR, and if we do not, they will deny us access to governmental programs such as Procampo, productive aid, social support—all this for accepting PROCEDE. This step opens the door to the privatization of lands; it would cancel the documents that ejidos possess as presidential resolutions, in addition to the founding charter and the plan governing the distribution of ejidal lands […]. Those who accept PROCEDE would supposedly have the chance to take out loans from the banks, like Azteca Bank, Prendamex, etc. But when one takes out these loans, they will charge you super-high interest rates, and you will not be able to pay back the capital amount. Once you have defaulted, they will sell your lands—that is to say, they will loot you. There will be no one to help you, because with the PROCEDE program there will no longer be an Ejidal Commissioner, nor will there be ejidal meetings. If you have problems, you are obliged to hire a lawyer, if you have money, but if you don’t, other people will come for your land, because that surely has money.”

The communique continues: “They will pay you 7 pesos per hour, for precisely that was it that the deputies and senators approved the labor reform […]. It is true that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto constantly travels to the U.S., Europe, and Asia to offer up our natural resources: they make deals with the big banks, transnational corporations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization […]. On our lands will they come to establish tourist centers, large hotels, large commercial centers, and they will open highways and build airports and trainways, as they exist in the U.S. and Japan. This will all be done to extract the natural resources they desire.”

With regard to the defense of electricity, PUDEE mentions that “they will come to loot the ejidal lands to build the dams that will generate much energy, and then we will export this to Central America, the U.S., and Canada. The energy that we will consume will be very expensive for us. They will install digital monitors so that we cannot know how much we are consuming; they steal from us shamelessly; they will change the electricity cables, transformers, and everything, resulting in the pollution of the land, because when these are heated by the sun, they produce radiation that can cause cancer or otherwise harm our health […]. It is calculated that each commercial center will use more than 1000 lightbulbs, as for example in Elektra, Soriana, Aurrera, Coopel, etc. These corporations consume electricity 365 days a year; they never turn off their lights, not even for a second, because then they would lose profits. They are not worried whether or not we have electricity; instead, they are planning so that their business does not lack electrical inputs.”

The communique ends with the following thought: “This is all taken toward the end of converting us into isolated individuals without any social ties at all, without land or a neighborhood—dependent [upon the State] for food and work, so that in this way we are left without an alternative to becoming cheap and fungible labor.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La intención de Las Reformas es el despojo: PUDEE (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 19 de agosto de 2014)

PUDEE exige justicia por asesinato de José Luis Solís López (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 19 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces “climate of violence” generated by the CFE in the zone below Tila (15 April 2013)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)


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

April 26, 2014


sinembargo

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)


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