National/Oaxaca: Father Solalinde declares that migrant flows will not diminish amidst imposition of new federal measures

August 5, 2014

Padre Alejandro Solalinde (@MPJD)

Padre Alejandro Solalinde (@MPJD)

If the number of undocumented migrants who have boarded the “Beast” (this being the train that travels from Arriaga, Chiapas, to Ixtepec, Oaxaca) seems to have diminished since the declarations made by the federal Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, that migrants would not be allowed to travel this way, Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, priest and recognized rights-defender for migrants, assured for his part that said policy would only increase the risks of travel without inhibiting migratory flows.

According to a report in La Jornada, Solalinde denounced that “Osorio Chong seeks to suppress the human rights of migrants; he is digging their graves even before they leave their countries.  He will be the only one responsible for whatever happens to the Central Americans.”

For his part, Alberto Donis Rodríguez, who heads the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, affirmed that the number of migrants continues steady, as train travel has now been replaced by overland routes on the highways.

Carlos Bartolo Solís, director of the Migrant Home of Compassion in Arriaga, Chiapas, affirmed that according to testimony from Central American migrants, masked armed men dressed in civilian clothes (presumably federal police) travel on the trains to persecute and detain migrants.

For more information (in Spanish):

Cava Osorio Chong tumbas de migrantes al impedirles viajar en La Bestia: Solalinde (1ero de agosto de 2014)

Sacerdote mexicano critica decisión contra viajes en la Bestia (Prensa Latina, 1ero de julio de 2014)

Flujo migratorio continuará pese a amenazas de Osorio Chong, asegura Solalinde (Página3.mx, 31 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)


Guerrero: Tlachinollan celebrates 20 years of struggle in defense of human rights

August 5, 2014

Foto @SIPAZ

In Tlapa de Comofort, Guerrero, on 25 and 26 July, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights celebrated its XX anniversary, with these twenty years being characterized by struggle besides indigenous peoples in defense of their rights.   More than 400 representatives from 85 communities of the Mountain region, together with different organizations and social movements from various states and representatives of international institutions, arrived to attend the forum “From the communal heart of resistance.”  On this occasion Abel Barrera Hernández, director of Tlachinollan, declared that “the criminalization of indigenous peoples has risen, and so has the threats against their lands.  There are attempts to loot [these lands] by means of mining concessions and attempts to build hydroelectric dams.  The situation of life in these communities is worsening due to abuse, looting, and the complacence of the authorities in the face of organized crime.”  Furthermore, he stressed the inequity and lack of attention from the government for indigenous peoples in the region.

At the end of the forum, a march was held toward the city center to demand the release of representatives of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) and of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP), including Nestora Salgado García, Arturo Campos, Gonzalo Molina, and Marco Antonio Suástegui.  Furthermore, members of the Council of Victims of the Mountain of Guerrero demanded that the state government observe its promises to support communities that were affected by the storms that destroyed crops and homes last September.

During the event itself, the importance of collective work was recognized as fundamental for the defense of human rights in the Mountain region, and Abel Barrera Hernández expressed his gratitude to indigenous peoples: “They gave us tortilla, coffee, petate, and shade, and they showed us how to sow communal justice.  For this reason, these twenty years have no sense without you, because you are the fathers, mothers, and founders of Tlachinollan.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Festeja Tlachinollan sus 20 años con una marcha en Guerrero (La Jornada, 27 de julio de 2014)

Reconocen 20 años de Tlachinollan, trabajo que busca justicia social para las comunidades (Sididh, 28 de julio de 2014)

Tlachinollan, 20 años de defensa de los derechos humanos en la Montaña(Sin Embargo, 28 de julio de 2014)

OPINIÓN: 20 años por los derechos humanos (Tlachinollan, 23 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Celebration of the 19th anniversary of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights (4 August 2013)

Guerrero: 18th Anniversary of Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights (20 June 2012)


Chiapas: South-Southeast Forum on analysis and construction of alternatives: Land Tenancy, Use, and Usufruct of land for women in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

August 5, 2014

Foro Sur-Sureste de análisis y construcción de alternativas: Tenencia, Uso y Usufructo de la tierra para las mujeres (@pozol.org)

From 24 to 26 July there was held the “South-Southeast Forum for analysis and construction of alternatives: Land tenancy, use, and usufruct of land for women in Chiapas,” which counted with the participation of approximatey 300 indigenous and campesina women from Chiapas and other states, as well as researchers and female human-rights defenders.  Upon conclusion of the event, participants expressed their opposition to policies that seek to deprive them of their natural resources by means of oil, mining, eco-tourist, wind-energy, hydroelectric, highway, and airport-seaport construction projects and by denying their traditional knowledges.  Participants denounced that these projects are being carried out without any sort of consultation or authorization from indigenous peoples themselves, but are instead blessed by governmental institutions.

Participants demanded, among other things, that the political and agrarian policies at the federal, state, and community levels respect their rights to land tenancy, use, and usufruct, as well as to their right to participate in decisions regarding land use and territory, without the denial of such using the argument of traditional uses and customs.

Lastly, they reported that they would seek to organize a broad movement of women to unite their strength with the people in resistance to demand their rights as women to land.  They affirmed that “we also call on the populace at large to also affirm our demands, to organize, and unite forces to arrest the offensive being waged by neoliberal patriarchal capitalism which, with the support of the government, threatens to remove campesino peoples from our natural and cultural goods to benefit national and transnational corporations, which threaten all forms of life.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Mujeres en Chiapas y otros estados, reivindican su derecho al uso y usufructo de la tierra (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de julio de 2014)

Realizan foro por derechos de mujeres indígenas y campesinas (CIMAC Noticias, 28 de julio de 2014)

Pronunciamiento final (28 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pronouncement  from the women’s gathering “Saving Our Mother Earth” (20 June 2014)


Chiapas: regression in law on “legitimate use of force”

August 4, 2014

congreso

On 30 July, the Permanent Commission of the Chiapas state Congress welcomed the entry into law of the bill proposed by state governor Manuel Velasco Coello to overhaul the Code on the Legitimate Use of Force, otherwise known as the Chiapas Bullet Law or the Garrote Law.  This was proposed and approved by the Congress on 15 May before being published in the Official Periodical on 4 June.  Criticisms of said law include that it would allow police to dismantle protests when they consider these to represent threats to state security.  It should also be mentioned that the Article 19 organization intervened with a nullification measure before the federal judiciary, using the claim that the law was unconstitutional.

Manuel Velasco Coello took the decision in favor of the bill after the Puebla state governor, Rafael Moreno Valle, decided to retire his “bullet law” following the death of a youth due to a police shooting on 9 July.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobernador de Chiapas da marcha atrás a “ley garrote” que criminalizaba las protestas (Proceso, 30 de julio de 2014)

Reculan Ley Bala chiapaneca, dos meses y medio después de haberse aprobado (Chiapas Paralelo, 30 de julio de 2014)

Fracasó #LeyBala en Puebla; atrás #LeyGarrote en Chiapas (Sopitas, 31 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: State congress approves initiative on “legitimate use of force” (18 May 2014)

National: Creation of the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest (26 April 2014)


Guerrero: three opponents of the La Parota dam project arrested

August 4, 2014

CECOP-flyer

One day after the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), on 29 July, three CECOP members were arrested, including a coordinator who had succeeded the former spokesperson Marco Antonio Suástegui, who in turn was arrested in mid-June.  The arrested inlude the coordinator of the Committee of Peoples of CECOP, Maximino Solís Valeriano, as well as Julio Ventura Ascencio and Emilio Hernández Solís. Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, director of juridical affairs for the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, reported that in the case of Maximino Solís, the penal case he confronts began in 2005, such that the timeframe for prosecuting the crime has already passed.  In the cases of Ventura Ascensio and Hernández Solís, the charges for which they are being held is attempted murder.  Similarly, José Palma Tornez and Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz were charged for the same crime, though this was then reclassified to aggravated assault.  Palma Tornez was released after having paying a bail of 146,000 pesos, while Suástegui Muñoz continues incarcerated in Nayarit, where he confronts other charges as well.  The three newly incarcerated persons are being held in the Acapulco jail.

Regarding this new case, the victims accused CECOP members of having injured them in April, following the attack with firearms undertaken by their relatives against communal police in Cacahuatepec.  At this time, CECOP member Lorenzo Ángel Lázaro and ex-ejidal commissioner Nemesio Valeriano Moreno were injured.  There have been no arrests in the case of the attack on CECOP.

For more information (in Spanish):

Detienen ministeriales a tres integrantes del Cecop; un coordinador, entre ellos (La Jornada de Guerrero, 29 de julio de 2014)

Detienen a tres integrantes del Cecop acusados de tentativa de homicidio(El Sur de Acapulco, 29 de julio de 2014)

La Parota, la cuenta regresiva (La Jornada de Guerrero, 29 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (20 July 2014)

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)


Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

July 28, 2014

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés (@SIPAZ)

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés (@SIPAZ)

In a new communique published on 25 July, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés reported that the support-bases from the La Realidad caracol have decided to share 59,000 pesos that have been collected for the reconstruction of the autonomous clinic and school that were destroyed in May to support the transportation of members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) which is soon to be held in Chiapas.  It should be recalled that from 4 to 9 August, this meeting between Zapatistas and other indigenous peoples belonging to the CNI will take place in La Realidad.

Subcomandante Moisés explained that this decision has been made public “because we cannot be like the bad governments, which say that money is dedicated to one thing but ends up being moved elsewhere.”  He expressed furthermore that “the construction of the accommodations for our indigenous brothers and sisters has now been completed, and we are finishing the last details so that everything will be ready with joy in our hearts to receive our guests.  The construction of the new school and clinic continues, also with joy.  Because while those from above destroy, we from below rebuild.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado “Para que sepan” (Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, 25 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (June 13, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (June 12, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (June 10, 2014)


Chiapas: denunciation of threats of possible attack on Migrant Home in Arriaga

July 28, 2014

Albergue “Todos por Ellos”, en Tapachula (@Centro PRODH)

Migrant home “All for All” in Tapachula (@Centro PRODH)

On 21 July, Carlos Bartolo Solís, director of the Migrant Home “House of Compassion” in Arriaga on the coast of Chiapas denounced that he had received a threat from organized crime groups dedicated to the trafficking in migrants against the center.  That same day, a migrant warned him that an attack was being prepared, as led by someone known as Simón N.

Bartolo Solís mentioned that police surveillance of the trains have diminished over the past several months, and that fewer and fewer patrols are seen.  He announced that he would contact federal authorities and the National Commisson on Human Rights (CNDH) so that they intervene to guarantee the protection and security for the migrant home.  At present, the local authorities do nothing more than “provide promises and speeches.”

Some weeks ago, Father Ramón Verdugo, from the Migrant Home “All for All” in Tapachula, also denounced death-threats and persecution for his work as a defender of the rights of migrants.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian supuestas amenazas contra albergue de migrantes en Arriaga (Proceso, 21 de julio de 2014)

El ‘invisible’ tráfico de miles de niños migrantes en la frontera sur (CNN México, 21 de julio de 2014)

Acción Urgente por amenazas en contra de integrantes del albergue para personas migrantes Todos por Ellos de Tapachula (Amnistía Internacional; 26 de junio de 201)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (May 3, 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (May 2, 2014)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (April 29, 2013)


Oaxaca: indigenous organizations and peoples challenge federal reforms, considering them to be “a legalized land grab”

July 27, 2014

(@Otros Mundos Chiapas)

(@Other Worlds Chiapas)

On 14 July, upon the close of the “Water and Energy” seminar held in Oaxaca de Juárez, civil organizations and communities pertaining to the Mixteco, Chatino, Zapotec, and Mixe peoples of the state of Oaxaca as well as organizations from Chiapas and Mexico City issued a communique denouncing the reforms being implemented in the country.  They indicated that said reforms betray a lack of respect for humanity rights and represent “a legalized land grab,” given that they were approved to favor national and international firms.

The authors of the communique explained that the laws on Hydrocarbons, National Waters, Mining, Public Service of Electricity, Geothermal Energy, Housing, Foreign Investment, Expropriation, National Goods, Labor, Regulation of Energy, Public and Private Associations, the National Agency on Industrial Security, Protection of the Environment, Education, and Telecommunications “have been presented and approved without the participation of the communities and citizenry in general who live in the country.”

They denounced that “they have found the three levels of government to lie, trick, threaten with death, repress, arbitrarily arrest, forcibly disappear, and even execute communal human-rights defenders,” and they affirmed that they will continue defending their lands and territories amidst this new attempt at looting.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de organizaciones y pueblos indígenas (14 de julio de 2014)

Pueblos de Oaxaca repudian despojo de Peña Nieto con Ley Energética(Ciudadanía Expres, 17 de julio de 2014)

Rechazan comunidades las reformas de EPN (Noticias.net, 18 de julio de 2014)

Reforma Energética legaliza el despojo territorial a pueblos indígenas: ONG´s (Página3.mx, 18 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English): 

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)


Chiapas: new communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society

July 27, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)

Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 July, during the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre of 1997, the Las Abejas Civil Society released a new communique positioning itself on several prevailing realities, “because it is our responsibility to say the truth and condemn lies, violence, and war.”  Las Abejas denounced that the “bad government of Mexico has coordinated with large neoliberal-capitalist interests to create plans to extract the riches of our Mother Earth.  These plans criminalize social movements; they imprison women and men who criticize the rotten system in Mexico.”  They gave as examples of such tendencies the murders of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano from the San Sebastián Bachajon ejido, who adhered to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, in addition to the Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN) Galeano in La Realidad.

Las Abejas indicated that “we are saddened that still many of our brothers and sisters who do the dirty work of the government see us as enemies, insulting us and claiming us to be provocateurs.  All these thoughts that they have are the result of the crumbs given in the ‘Procampo,’ ‘Opportunities,’ and other welfare programs.”  They stressed the role of the “so-called leaders of a community or an organization”: “the bad government seeks to create divisions in a community or organization in resistance by offering a bit of money or a public office in exchange for providing information on what the organizations are doing.”  To illustrate this point, Las Abejas made reference to the “present conflict between the neighboring communities of Ch’enalvo’ and Chalchihuitan regarding the land dispute that has gone on for 40 years.”  They reiterated the call to dialogue “both to the peoples of Ch’enalvo’ and of Chalchihuitan and not to take up arms.”

Lastly, they shared a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo Comunicado en rechazo de los megaproyectos en territorios de pueblos originarios y de la guerra contra el Pueblo Palestino (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity

July 27, 2014


Foto (@SIPAZ)

Photo (@SIPAZ)

On 18 July in El Limonar, Ocosingo municipality, there was held the pre-audience for the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), “With Justice and Peace We Shall Find Truth.”  As part of the work on “Dirty War as violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice” covered by the Mexican chapter of the TPP,  the Viejo Velasco massacre was addressed.  This atrocity, which took place on 13 November 2006, resulted in the execution of four persons and the disappearance of four others.  Two of the disappeared were found dead some months later.  Furthermore, 37 residents of the community were forcibly displace, seeking refuge in the neighboring community of Nuevo Tila.

Aftr having reviewed the relevant documents and the declarations of victims and witnesses, the judges declared that the “The fact that these acts of violence from the State did not solely target combatants but also the civilian, non-combatant population–including boys and girls–shows that the only common factor among the victims was that they pertained to certain ethnic groups and social organizations.  It also shows that said acts were committed ‘with the intention of destroying’ these groups ‘totally or in part,’ thus qualifying these as crimes against humanity.”  For this reason, they judged the Mexican State to be culpable of having violated the rights to life and personal integrity as well as the right not to experience forced disappearance in the cases of Viejo Velasco and Acteal in the Northern Zone of Chiapas.

In conclusion, the tribunal declared that “the State must use the appropriate means to observe its obligation to investigate the acts that have been denouned, as well as to identify, judge, and sanction those responsible and the beneficiaries of these crimes.”  It stressed that “the Mexican State is obliged to comprehensively compensate the damages caused by these crimes against humanity.”  Lastly, it recalled that the cycle of the Mexican chapter of the TPP will end in November 2014, a time in which the “grave human-rights violations committed by the Mexican State that to date enjoy impunity” will be denounced and made visible before the national and international public.

For more information (in Spanish):

Dictamen Preaudiencia “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad” (TPP blogspot capítulo México, 19 de julio de 2014)

Estado mexicano, culpable en masacre de Viejo Velasco: TPP (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de julio de 2014)

BOLETIN DE PRENSA “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad”(Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 16 de julio de 2014)

Ante la falta de justicia del Estado familiares de víctimas de la masacre de Viejo Velasco exigen verdad (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 16 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace we will find truth” (19 July 2014)

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 de marzo de 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)


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