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)


Oaxaca: Opponents to the Paso de la Reina dam denounce pressure

July 20, 2014

Foto (@SiPaz)

Photo (@Sipaz)

In a press conference held on 15 July, members of the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) accused the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and the local PAN deputy Sonia López of having pressured local authorities and residents of the region to accept the construction of the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric dam.  According to the protestors, pressure has increased since Enrique Peña Nieto released details some weeks ago about the National Infrastructure Program (PNI), which means to build 189 projects in the southern and southeastern regions of the country, including the Paso de la Reina dam.  COPUDEVER declares that “Outside of all democratic and legal processes, the hydroelectric project and the infrastructure plan constitute a public policy that is contrary to the right to autonomous development.”

On the same occasion, the CFE’s attempt to pressure local communities by promising them public-works projects was also denounced, including plans for electrification, drinking water, and education: “This action represents an undue use of resources which violates the collective rights of communities, as the support and projects are conditional upon acceptance of said megaproject.”  They furthermore warned that “the Mexican Army has been presenting itself in the territory to be affected by the project, toward the end of intimidating the people using the pretext of improving local security.”

Lastly, they recalled that the project is also opposed by the diocese of Puerto Escondido which, by means of a pastoral letter signed by more than 30 parishes, it has pronounced itself openly against the dam and denounced the pressure exercised by the CFE against local communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

CFE Y PAN PRESIONAN A COMUNIDADES A ACEPTAR PROYECTO “PASO DE LA REINA” (EDUCA, 15 de julio de 2014)

CFE y PAN presionan a comunidades oaxaqueñas a aceptar proyecto “Paso de la Reina”(Sididh, 16 de julio de 2014)

Denuncian intimidación del Ejército por proyecto de presa Paso de la Reina (EDUCA, 16 de julio de 2014)

Más información de SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Communities opposed to the Paso de la Reina report harassment and intimidation by Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) (28 June 2014)

Oaxaca: The Diocese of Puerto Escondido expresses its full support to the communities in resistance to hydro project Paso de la Reina (June 13, 2014)

National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace (May 16, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (March 28, 2014)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (July 19, 2013)


Oaxaca: New threats to Código DH due to its accompaniment of processes in the Isthmus

July 19, 2014


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The Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH) denounced that on 8 July it received a telephone call to its office threatening personnel from the organization for having accompanied penal processes that continue in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  In a second call, made just minutes later, threats were made against members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), who have been accompanied by Código DH for their opposition to the construction of wind-energy plants.

It should be mentioned that both Código DH and the APPJ have been the object of physical attacks, death-threats, harassment, and intimidation; the state of Oaxaca is one of the most dangerous in which to work for the defense of human rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

CODIGO DH recibe nuevas amenazas (Código DH, 8 de julio de 2014)

104 casos, 171 personas defensoras y 409 agresiones (Animal Político, 7 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón leave community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

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

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

Oaxaca: attack on union leader Marcelino Coache (20 May 2010)

 


Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace, we will find truth”

July 19, 2014


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On 18 July will be held the pre-audience of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP) “With justice and peace, we will find truth” in the El Limonar community, Ocosingo municipality.  The invitation made to “all popular, social, political, and human-rights organizations, as well as all families, friends, and persons in solidarity with the victims of the counterinsurgent war in the state of Chiapas” was made within the Dirty War, impunity, and lack of access to justice track covered by the TPP’s Mexico Chapter.  The idea is to address the case of Poblado Viejo Velasco which on 13 November 2006 experienced a massacre that left four executed, another four forcibly disappeared, and thirty-six displaced.
The invitation indicates that “this massacre took place within the context of counter-insurgent war as designed and implemented by the Mexican State by means of the Chiapas Campaign Plan ’94, which had the result that the paramilitary group Peace and Justice engaged in the following crimes: 85 executions, 37 forcible disappearances, and more than 12000 people forcibly displaced in the northern Zone, and the Acteal massacre in the highlands, when PRI paramilitaries murdered 45 persons, the majority of whom were women and infants–4 of them yet to be born–as well as provoking the forced displacement of more than 6000 persons.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Con tu firma, súmate a la Preaudiencia “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad” (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


International: Annulment of planned cancellation of temporary residence of volunteers with PBI Guatemala

July 19, 2014

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On 10 July was nullified the planned cancellation of the temporary residence of two volunteers with the Guatemala chapter of Peace Brigades International (PBI), as the organization previously had been informed on 2 July.  Following a meeting on 10 July between the Minister of Governance in Guatemala, Mauricio López Bonilla, and diplomatic corps from various European embassies, PBI was told that the situation was the result of a misunderstanding.  Following the clarification, it was further informed that the PBI volunteers whose visas were canceled in early July will recover their temporary residence.  This same day, by means of a telephone conversation, Bonilla made contact with the PBI team to present the formal explanation of the incident and to express his support for the work its members are performing in the country, particularly in terms of accompaniment of human-rights defenders.

For more information (in Spanish):

PBI Guatemala: CANCELACIÓN DE RESIDENCIA TEMPORAL A DOS VOLUNTARIA/OS DE PBI (Peace Brigades International, 3 de julio de 2014)

REVOCADA LA DECISIÓN DE CANCELAR LA RESIDENCIA TEMPORAL DE DOS PERSONAS VOLUNTARIAS DE PBI GUATEMALA (PBI, 10 de julio de 2014)

Guatemala: BUENA NOTICIA! Anulación de la cancelación de la residencia temporal a dos voluntarios de Brigadas Internacionales de Paz (PBI)(OMCT, 11 de julio de 2014)

El gobierno de Guatemala expulsa a defensores de DDHH de PBI para proteger a las mineras (Otramérica, 6 de julio de 2014)


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)


Chiapas: Denunciation of attacks on Primero de Agosto community

July 19, 2014


Foto @ Blog Centzuntli

Photo @ Blog Centzuntli

On 27 June, the Primero de Agosto community (Las Margaritas municipality) denounced provocations, attacks, death-threats, and attempted murders on the part of members of the Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) and the Alliance of Social Organizations and Left Unions (ASSI) from the Miguel Hidalgo ejido.

The Tojolabal indigenous in question are children of the ejidatarios of Miguel Hidalgo who in 2011 requested land from the assembly given that, according to their denunciation, “there is a tract of land amounting to approximately 73 hectares that was recovered by the EZLN which no one is working.”  In 2011, the Miguel Hidalgo ejido entered the official Fund of Support for Non-Regularized Agrarian Nuclei (FANAR), but this institutional arrangement “excluded said hectares of land on which we are living now with our families.”  From December 2011 to March 2013, a dialogue process had been maintained which culminated on 9 May “with a machete attack to the neck of our comrade within our own community” and with the threat “that they are planning to kill four of our comrades,” following different attacks documented in the denunciation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pobladores de Primero de Agosto denuncian agresiones, amenazas e intentos de muerte por integrantes de la CIOAC Histórica del Ejido Miguel Hidalgo (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 30 de junio de 2014)

NF: Amenazas e intento de muerte a campesinos en las Margaritas Chiapas (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de julio de 2014)

Audio:

NF: Amenazas e intento de muerte a campesinos en las Margaritas Chiapas (Frayba Derechos Humanos, 3 de julio de 2014)


National: Secondary laws on telecommunications approved, despite protests

July 19, 2014


Monterrey, abril 2014 Foto @ Gabriela Pérez Montiel / Cuartoscuro.com

Monterrey, April 2014 Photo @ Gabriela Pérez Montiel / Cuartoscuro.com

On 9 July, the Mexican Congress approved the secondary laws contained within the telecommunications reform.  Some of the main points of these laws are to allow firms to be declared preponderant by sector rather than by given services, thus ensuring the predominance of the TV duopoly (Televisa and TV Azteca) in the telecommunications market, and that providers are required to retain histories of the communications engaged in by users so that these can be consulted for security reasons.  Furthermore, other controversial points included the possibility that authorities could plant a listening device whenever and wherever they choose in the supposed investigation of a crime or for “security reasons”; also, the State would be allowed the right to block telecommunications traffic in a predetermined geographical area.

The corresponding legal process was marked by numerous irregularities, beginning with the participation of legislators who have labor, capital, or family ties with media corporations (“telebancada”) who had to excuse themselves from the congressional debates due to a possible conflict of interests.  The PRD Secretary General said that “this is not a PRD vote,” making reference to the three PRD senators from Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Morelos who voted in favor of the bill; these elements belong to the New Left current and are better known as the “Chuchos,” a group led by Jesús Ortega Martínez that counts as its member the national president of political power, Jesús Zambrano Grijalva.  This law, in accordance with those who oppose it, is qualified as a “Televisa-Peña Law” and a “gift” to the television corporations to thank them for their support during the presidential campaign, as the PAN Senator Javier Corral Jurado argued.  “It is a true disgrace; those who have voted for this article are giving money to Enrique Peña Nieto to allow him to pay back past campaign favors, or even to finance future ones (2015 and 2018),” noted Jurado, who is secretary of the Commission on Radio, Television, and Film.

In other news, due to the limitations imposed on communal and indigenous radios in the new law, the International Agency for Indigenous Press (AIPIN) has been studying the possibility of requesting a juridical motion to arrest the approval of this law, considering it to amount to violations of the rights of indigenous peoples to engage in communication.  Besides, the law has not been consulted with indigenous communities, as is required by the Constitution and Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

For more information (in Spanish):

Telecomunicaciones: legislativo claudicante (La Jornada, 4 de julio de 2014)

Frente por la Comunicación Democrática Capítulo Oaxaca Pronunciamiento ante la Ley Telecom (Educa, 2 de julio de 2014)

La Ley de Telecomunicaciones debe proteger plenamente los derechos humanos: AI (Amnistía Internacional, 3 de julio de 2014)

Audio:

Consejo Consultivo de Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicanos de Oaxaca(Colectivo Buen Vivir, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Protests on the rise against Law on Telecommunications (3 May 2014)


Chiapas: 13 days of fastng and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santis to demand his release

July 14, 2014

Imagen (@CGT Chiapas)

Image (@CGT Chiapas)

On 3 July, Alejandro Díaz Santis, a prisoner in solidarity with “La Voz del Amate” and an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration who is being held in Cereso no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, has announced that he will hold a 13-day fast and prayer “to call on God to give me the strength to continue demanding true justice,” given that a year ago, Chiapas state governor Manuel Velasco Coello “committed himself to finding means or ties with the authorities of Veracruz” to help with his release.  “Once again, I ask the governor to observe his word.”

In this way, the prisoner also called on Enrique Peña Nieto to pressure the governor of Veracruz, the state in which he was judged, given that he has sent more than 15 years imprisoned “for a crime I never committed,” as he claims in the communique.

Para más información:

Alejandro Díaz, preso indígena, inicia ayuno de 13 días por su libertad(Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz announces 10-day hunger strike to protest 15 years’ imprisonment (May 16, 2014)

Chiapas: day of fasting and prayer for Alejandro Díaz on International Political Prisoners’ Day (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from Alejandro Díaz Santis from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas jail (30 March 2014)


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