National: thousands march in Mexico City to demand agrarian reform

July 28, 2014

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On 23 July, between 25,000 (according to the government of Mexico City) and 35,000 campesinos (according to organizers of the action) marched in Mexico City to demand a comprehensive agrarian reform, in repudiation of the reform laws on energy, and in favor of respect for the rights of peoples and communities.

Protestors presented a document with their proposals for agrarian reform, to be taken into account at the national Congress, which is about to address the matter in response to a proposal made in March by President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The slogans that were uttered at the protest spoke to the principal grievances: for example, “Hunger is not combated with handouts but rather through food production in communities,” or “Mexico demands food and energy sovereignty.”

Organizations that covered the whole spectrum of politics in Mexico, including some groupings allied to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which is at present in power.

For more information (in Spanish):

Campesinos exigen una reforma integral para el agro; repudian leyes energéticas (La Jornada, 24 de julio de 2014)

Marchan hoy miles de campesinos en rechazo a las leyes de energía (La Jornada; 23 de julio de 2014)

Venimos a detener el despojo de tierras y a defender el agua”, anuncian campesinos; planean hoy megamarcha en DF (Sin Embargo, 23 de julio de 2014)


Guerrero: Communal Police prisoners are “political prisoners,” declares General Gallardo

July 20, 2014

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Photo @Desinformémonos

The six communal police from the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC) incarcerated in the Las Cruces jail are political prisoners, noted the retired Army General Francisco Gallardo, who himself is considered a former prisoner of conscience due to his past struggles for human rights within the armed forces.  He declared that “they were imprisoned for defending a cause; a political prisoner should not break under the circumstances, nor should those who are fighting for his or her liberation.  I hope to see them released very soon.”  Within the context of a visit from the general to the prisoners, the Network Decade against Impunity (led by Bishop Raúl Vera) announced the beginning of its international campaign for the liberation of the communal police members.

Nestora Salgado, a commander of the Commuanl Police in Olinalá who was arrested together with other communal police yet transferred to a maximum-security prison in Tepic, Nayarit, declared in a telephone interview that “The government is bothered that we exist; we only request security for our people.  We have debts to no one but our people.”  In the Mountain and Little Coast regions of Guerrero, criminalization, incarceration, and the buying off of social activists has been on the rise since different groups organized themselves to impede the entrance of mining firms to the area.

As part of the repressive climate experienced in Guerrero, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, member of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP) and of the communal police which adheres to the CRAC-PC, has been arrested. He was detained and tortured on 17 June by the Ministerial Police, accused of attempted murder.  He has been incarcerated in the same location as Nestora Salgado.

For more information (in Spanish)

Gobierno de Guerrero, fabricador de delitos: Nestora Salgado(Desinformémonos, julio de 2014)

Anuncian campaña por la libertad de los comunitarios (La Joranda de Guerrero, 16 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Several injured after atttack on communal police of CECOP near Acapulco (23 April 2014)

Guerrero: CRAC accepts 48 new communities from Acapulco (16 March 2014)


Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz

July 20, 2014

On 13 July, to mark the eleventh anniversary of the founding of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), members of this group and at least 14 other social organizations from Guerrero held a march on the Acapulco-Pinotepa national highway to demand the release of the CECOP spokesperson, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, who has been incarcerated since mid-June.  Another reason for the protest was to reject the La Parota hydroelectric dam project, which is to be constructed near Acapulco.  Lastly, protestors expressed their support for the release of all political prisoners in the state.  At least a thousand persons participated in the event.

At the beginning of the march, protestors faced Navy personnel, but there were no confrontations or attacks; some protestors expressed their desire that the soldiers abandon the zone.  In the community of Las Chanecas, there was a patrol of the Ministerial Police with five agents who withdrew upon arrival of the protest.

Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, lawyer for the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, noted that the march demonstrated the capacity of response from CECOP and other organizations to prevent the construction of the La Parota dam.

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan al menos 14 organizaciones con el Cecop por la liberación de Suástegui (La Jornada de Guerrero, 14 de julio de 2014)

Marchan el Cecop y organizaciones para exigir la libertad de Suástegui y de líderes sociales (El Sur de Acapulco,

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Several injured after atttack on communal police of CECOP near Acapulco (23 April 2014)

Guerrero: CRAC accepts 48 new communities from Acapulco (16 March 2014)

Guerrero: Sympathizers of the La Parota dam injure two CECOP members with machetes (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: CECOP on red alert after invasion by Army (5 March 2013)

Guerrero: Governor Aguirre Rivero will not support construction of La Parota (27 August 2012)

Guerrero: Federal tribunal confirms end to La Parota dam project (20 July 2012)


National: Activists denounce increase in violence against women

July 19, 2014


Foto (@SiPaz)

Photo (@Sipaz)

Between 9 and 10 July, there was held a meeting in Mexico City among civil-society organizations seeking to relieve the situation of violence and discrimination experienced by women in Mexico, analyze the work that these organizations have carried out in recent years, and above all examine the challenges faced by the State still in advancing toward the guarantee of the full recognition and exercise of women’s rights.

Participants in the event included the UN Expert of the Work Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, Alda Facio, and Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women, the latter operating in a non-official capacity.  Eight years since the publication of their report “Integration of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Perspectives: Violence against Women, Mexico Mission,” the representatives of the Associates for Justice (JASS) stressed that, “If some reforms have been adopted in law, these have not resulted in structural changes, both in terms of prevention through investigation and sanctioning as well as access to a life free of violence.”  In effect, on this occasion it was recalled that Mexico has ratified the “Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women” (CEDAW), an international instrument to recognize the human rights of women, while there remain “many practices and policies that in effect favor and even deepen discrimination,” noted the JASS activists.

Finally, those at the event denounced the increase in violence against women in all their manifestations: impunity, the gravity of forced disappearance, sexual crimes, attacks against female human-rights defenders and journalists, the generalized increase in gender discrimination and inequality, particularly for poor, indigenous, and migrant women.  In this way, conference-goers called on the Mexican State forthrightly to adopt comprehensive policies to arrest the structural violence experienced by women.

In light of this context, the Special Rapporteur declared that gender violence is “the most generalized violation of human rights that we confront today,” explaining that “the lack of comprehension of gender violence is a barrier to the exercise of all human rights by women themselves.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 8 años de publicado informe sobre derechos humanos de las mujeres en México, regresa Relatora Especial sobre la Violencia contra la Mujer de la ONU (PRODESC, 8 de julio de 2014)

Responsabilidad del Estado Mexicano ante la CEDAW (JASS, 7 de julio de 2014)

La violencia hacia las mujeres “es la violación a DH más generalizada”: Relatora ONU (Sididh, 10 de julio de 2014)

Integración de los Derechos Humanos de la Mujer y la Perspectiva de Género: la violencia contra la mujer. Misión a México (CINU, 13 de enero de 2006)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: the Mexican government does not comply with the recommendations of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (23 June 2014)

Oaxaca: Every other day a woman is killed in the state (12 June 2014)

Oaxaca: the Mexican state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists (10 June 2014)

Guerrero: Harassment and attacks on individuals and organizations in favor of the decriminalization of abortion and the right to decide (12 June 2014)


Oaxaca: Civil organizations denounce attack on female human-rights defender

July 14, 2014

Foto (@EDUCA)

Photo (@EDUCA)

During the early morning of 4 July 2014, a female activist and human-rights defender was sexually assaulted by a soldier in the Mexican Army.  The defender, member of the organization Union of Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) and the Network of Female Defenders, whose name has not been disclosed for security reasons, was en route to Oaxaca City from Matías Romero to attend the “Communication in Defense of Land” conference in the School for Communal Human-Rights Defenders.  The assault took place on an ADO bus in which she was traveling.

The victim attempted to denounce the abuse, firstly to the bus driver and then at a military checkpoint that halted the bus in San Pedro Totolapan, but on both occasions she was ignored.  On the contrary, since the case involved a high-level military man, she was told that nothing could be done.

The next day, close to 20 civil organizations published a letter denouncing the aggression, stressing that “beyond constituting a crime stipulated in article 241 of the Penal Code of Oaxaca as well as a clear human-rights violation, this is a very serious act in terms of the security of users of the system maintained by the firm, and even graver still because it involves an assault perpetrated by a high-ranking military official.”  The organizations added that the lack of response “shows the abuse of power and discrimination engaged in by the members of the armed forces.”

Lastly, in the letter the organizations demanded that the ADO bus firm “immediately respond to the complaint made by the human-rights defender, that it provides the corresponding authorities with the details of the aggressor soldier, that it guarantee reparations, and that it provide a public response regarding security policies for their users.”

Sadly, the case of 4 July is no isolated case.  Between 2011 and 2013, according to the Network All Rights for All, there were 409 assaults committed against human-rights defenders in Mexico.  Included within these aggressions most commonly are harassment, surveillance, robbery, kidnapping, forced disappearance, arbitrary arrests, death-threats, and torture, as well as murders.  27 human-rights defenders have been killed between 2011 and 2013: 16 men and 11 women, the majority of them in Guerrero, Michoacán, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, and Puebla.

For more information (in Spanish):

Militar agrede sexualmente a defensora de derechos humanos en autobus de empresa ADO (EDUCA, 7 de julio de 2014)

Militar ebrio abusa sexualmente de una activista en Oaxaca (Proceso, 7 de julio de 2014)

ONG´s denuncian irresponsabilidad del ADO; activista fue agredida a bordo de autobús (Página3, 7 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: One of the most violent and dangerous states for the exercise of journalism (May 16, 2014)

National: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM (30 March 2014)
Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (2 May 2013)


National: Social organizations carry out “Disjointed National Mobilization” to demand release of political prisoners

July 14, 2014

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Photo (@EDUCA)

On 8 July, members of 38 social organizations organized a “Disjointed National Mobilization” involving roadblocks and protests in Mexico City, Yucatán, Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Morelos, and Chihuahua. The mobilization was organized to demand the release of Juan Carlos Flores Solís, Enedina Rosas Vélez, and Abraham Cordero Calderón, who have been imprisoned in Puebla state since April of this year for their opposition to the Comprehensive Morelos Project (PIM).

PIM, which is overseen by the Federal Electricity Commission, seeks to build two geothermal plants as well as an aqueduct and a gas pipeline to supply these plants; the additional infrastructure would cross the states of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala.  The construction works are being conceded to transnational firms, both Spanish and Italian.

Also during the mobilization, organizations demanded the release of Marco Antonio Suastegui, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), who was detained in the state of Nayarit on 17 June.  The member organizations note in a communique that “we cannot allow the bad governments to continue imprisoning members of our people so that the conquistadores of today who own the large transnational corporations have all the ability to continue looting us of our land, polluting our nature, threatening our life, destroying our culture, and violating our rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado Mobilización Dislocada Nacional 8 de julio 2014 (Alianza Única del Valle, 26 junio 2014)

Exigen liberación de activistas y cancelación de megaproyectos (EDUCA, 8 de julio de 2014)

Protestas en 8 estados por el Proyecto Integral Morelos (La Jornada, 8 de julio de 2014)

Campesinos de Ixtapa anuncian movilización (Reporte Ciudadano, 7 de julio de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: 13 días de ayuno y oración de Alejandro Díaz Santis para pedir por su liberación (8 de julio de 2014)

Guerrero: Organizaciones exigen la inmediata liberación del vocero del CECOP, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (27 de junio de 2014)

Guerrero: Operativo policial detiene a opositor de la presa de La Parota(17 de junio de 2014)


Guerrero: Indigenous community requests that the SCJN review the Mining Law

July 14, 2014

Conferencia de prensa en el Centro Prodh Foto (@Alina Vallejo, Sididh)

Press conference at the Prodh Center
Photo (@Alina Vallejo, Sididh)

On 29 June in Mexico City, representatives of the Me’phaa indigenous community of San Miguel del Progreso-Júba Wajiín (Malinaltepec municipality), organized a press conference together with the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights at which they requested that the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) “analyze for the first time if the Mining Law which exists is compatible with the Constitution and international human-rights treaties.”  It is important to recall that on 12 February 2014, the community was granted a court case against two mining concessions that had been awarded to transnational firms without any sort of prior informed consent within at least 84% of the affected territory.  The victory represented a historical moment for the rights of indigenous peoples.

At the conference, the San Miguel del Progreso-Júba Wajiín community recalled that on 13 March 2014, the Economy Minister presented the Resource for Review through which the federal government has tried to overturn said sentence by appealing to the existing mining law to claim that the human rights of the community have in no case been violated, given that the legislation does not demand free prior and informed consent in the case of mining concessions.

Lastly, the representatives of the Me’phaa community stressed the need for and importance of reviewing the Mining Law, not only for their own community, but also for all the communities that have been affected by the awarding of mining concessions on their lands.  In this way, they indicated that it could provide the Supreme Court another chance to limit the looting of land by clearly establishing the rights of peoples and of indigenous communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunidad me’phaa llama a SCJN a revisar Ley Minera (Sididh, 30 de junio de 2014)

Obtiene comunidad indígena Me’phaa amparo inédito contra concesión minera (NAR, 29 de junio de 2014)

Indígenas Me’phaa de Guerrero ganan histórico amparo contra mineras(Entresemana, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/Mexico/Latin America: Grave challenges to Goldcorp and other Canadian mining firms (May 3, 2014)

Guerrero: Ejidatarios from Carrizalillo to sue mining company before the Agrarian Tribunal (29 April 2014)

Guerrero: ejidatarios of Los Filos close gold mine in Carrizalillo (10 April 2014)

In Focus: The unsustainability of the Extractive Mineral Model (May 2013)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)


Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam

June 23, 2014
Marco Antonio Suategui Muñoz, spokesman of Cecop (@Proceso)

Marco Antonio Suategui Muñoz, spokesman of Cecop (@Proceso)

In a police raid on June 17, in the city of Acapulco, state ministerial police arrested the spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (Cecop), Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz.

According to the State Attorney General (PGJE), there was a warrant for the arrest of Marco Antonio Suástegui for his presumed involvement in various crimes. The suspect faces about 15 criminal investigations for various suspected crimes linked to his struggle against the construction of the La Parota dam and the removal of gravel and sand from the Papagayo riverside.

The Cecop has announced that it would submit the case to the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, for it to conduct the defense of the detainee.

As reported by the weekly magazine Proceso, “the arrest of the leader of the peasants in opposition to the La Parota dam occurs in a context of reactivation of the hydroelectric project promoted by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and supported by the administration of Aguirre,” the state governor.

For more Information (in Spanish):

 Detienen en Guerrero a dirigente opositor de la presa La Parota (La Jornada, 17 de junio de 2014)

Detienen al dirigente opositor al proyecto La Parota (Proceso, 17 de junio de 2014)

Capturan a promotor de la Policía Comunitaria en Acapulco (Milenio, 17 de junio de 2014)

Detienen a opoditor de La Parota en Guerrero (El Universal, 17 de junio de 2014)

Detienen a líder comunitario en Acapulco (AM, 17 de junio de 2014)

Detienen ministeriales al vocero del Cecop, informa la PGJE (La Jornada de Guerrero, 18 de junio de 2014)

Detienen al vocero del Cecop; lo llevan golpeado a la cárcel de La Unión (El Sur, 18 de junio de 2014)

Llevan policías adolorido y esposado de pies y manos al vocero del Cecop a la cárcel de La Unión (El Sur, 18 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Several injured after attack on communal police of CECOP near Acapulco (April 23, 2014)

Guerrero: CECOP announces creation of Communal Police in Cacahuatepec communities (22 January 2014)

Guerrero: Sympathizers of the La Parota dam injure two CECOP members with machetes (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: CECOP on red alert after invasion by Army (5 March 2013)


Guerrero: Hundreds of people leave their communities due to the action of organized crime

June 14, 2014
San Miguel Totolapan Municipality (@www.inafed.gob.mx)

San Miguel Totolapan Municipality (@www.inafed.gob.mx)

Over 250 people have left three communities from Tierra Caliente of the Sierra Madre del Sur, municipality of San Miguel Totolapan, fleeing the violent actions of drug trafficking groups in the region. Most displaced people took refuge in the neighboring municipality of Ajuchitlán del Progreso, where authorities set up a temporary shelter in the central park which is guarded by soldiers from 41 Infantry Battalion.

According to official sources, the communities from where the displaced fled are in a narcotics transit and production area that is disputed by delinquents of the organized crime group La Familia and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Since last year, the struggle for control of this area has led to the displacement of more than 2000 people. “People cannot leave their villages due to insecurity. There is a group (of crime) that is coming from the coast (Grande) to displace the people of Tierra Caliente,” expressed a professor of the region.

Organizations have denounced the lack of interest from the governor Angel Aguirre Rivero to solve the problem in the region controlled by crime. According to Rigoberto González Acosta, director of the Regional Council of the Sierra de Guerrero (Cresig), “the government should be concerned by the insecurity in these villages, where violence has caused murder, extortion and other crimes.”

Rigoberto Acosta confirmed that inhabitants of 14 municipalities of the Sierra Madre del Sur are disconnected due to the effects of organized crime and the fear when performing daily activities.

For more information (in Spanish)

Narcoviolencia desplaza a más de 250 habitantes de la sierra de Guerrero (Proceso, 6 de junio de 2014)

Desplazados de San Miguel Totolapan buscan refugio en Tecpan e Iguala (La Jornada Guerrero, 10 de junio de 2014)

Huyen más de 250 personas de la violencia en San Miguel Totolapan (La Jornada, 10 de junio de 2014)

Acciones del narcotráfico incomunican a 14 municipios de la sierra, acusa el Cresig (La Jornada Guerrero, 12 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: Aggresions against displaced, and newly displaced in Tierra Caliente (August 4, 2013)

Guerrero: new displacement of families from La Laguna to Puerto de las Ollas (7 December 2012)


Guerrero: commemoration of the 16th Anniversary of the El Charco Massacre in demand of justice

June 13, 2014
@CIMAC Noticias

@CIMAC Noticias

On June 7, various social organizations marched to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the El Charco Massacre, near Ayutla de Los Libres, where on June 7, 1998, eleven people were killed by soldiers of the Mexican Army.

Jose Rosario Marroquin, director of the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center (PRODH), said that “impunity prevails in this case, there is no advance, only two or three spectacular actions, but in the end there is nothing concrete although justice has been demanded for several years. There is nothing that clarify the facts; there is no will from the government to do it. “

Eleven people were killed in the massacre among a group of 70 Mixteco indigenous persons who met in the elementary school in El Charco to discuss the situation of marginalization and poverty in their communities. Mario Palma, one of the survivors of the massacre explained “We had asked commissioners and representatives of the peoples of the region to organize and develop productive projects because we couldn’t endure much more poverty and marginalization provoked by the government. There were no health centers, doctors, schools, or field support. That’s what we were talking about when the people of the government arrived.”

Efren Chavez Cortes, another survivor, said, “Nothing has changed in El Charco in 16 years. There remains the same poverty, the same neglect of Mixteco indigenous peoples and, worse, governor Angel Aguirre Rivero has divided the CRAC- PC. In conclusion, there has been no justice (…) The government only gives pure palliatives. There is no development strategy in the communities.” He added that “the case was presented to other institutions such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), for the summary execution of the compañeros, because they had surrendered. Here the people who were murdered had surrendered and were unarmed.”

“[The] person who is guilty of all is Angel Aguirre Rivero, who was governor at that time as he is today. Therefore, he should be in jail,” said Nazario Gatica, one of the survivors.

During the march, the cartels also demanded the release of the members of the Community Police-Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC-PC), who are imprisoned at present.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen ONG y personalidades a la Coidh atender ya el caso de matanza de El Charco (La Jornada, 6 de junio de 2014)

En la matanza de El Charco murieron 100 militares, dicen (La Jornada, 7 de junio de 2014)

Sobreviviente de El Charco desmiente versión oficial; murieron 10 militares, dice (La Jornada Guerrero, 7 de junio de 2014)

En El Charco se asesinó a la gente rendida y desarmada, narra uno de los sobrevivientes (La Jornada, 8 de junio de 2014)

A 16 años, en El Charco lo único que cambió es el partido en el poder: Cortés (La Jornada Guerrero, 8 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: Presentation of the Observation Mission Report “A light against impunity” (April 10, 2014)

Guerrero: 18th anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre (July 19, 2013)

Guerrero: 14th anniversary of the El Charco massacre (June 17, 2012)


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