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

July 19, 2014

índice

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)


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

movilizacion8julio

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)


Chiapas: New communique, “Accounts of reconstruction”

July 14, 2014

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, 24 mayo 2014 @ SIPAZ

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, 24 May 2014 @ SIPAZ

On 7 July, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) released a communique expressing gratitude for the support that has been provided for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic that were destroyed in the La Realidad caracol.  Within a month, since the announcement of the need for financial support for reconstruction, the EZLN had obtained more than it needed, “because we asked for $200,209.00 and we succeeded in receiving $365,336.50.”  The remainder will be used for equipment and medicines.

With regard to the Compañero David Ruiz García” Meeting between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatistas which will be held in La Realidad from 4 to 8 August, a page was created on the Enlace Zapatista website to announce the conference and arrange housing or transport for participants.

The comrades from “free, alternative, autonomous, or however-you-call-them media” are also invited on 9 August, at the end of the conference, so that they “carry the words of indigenous peoples far from those who participate.  And thus maybe that way we will be able to make a press conference, or whatever it is called, as we had promised to do last time.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Cuentas de la reconstrucción (Enlace Zapatista, 7 de julio de 2014)

Apoyo a CNI (Enlace Zapatista, 8 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 (13 June 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: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (June 10, 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)


Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror”

July 3, 2014
Presentación Informe, 25 de junio 2014 @ SIPAZ

Press Conference, June 25, 2014 @ SIPAZ

On June 26, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was commemorated. In this context, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (CDHFBC) presented the Special Report on Torture in Chiapas: Torture, mechanism of Terror.

Relatives of victims, psychologists, and specialised experts in the investigation of torture took part in the presentation, along with members of CDHFBC. Gabriel García Salyano noted that torture is a systematic and systemic event, since it has been naturalized in everyday life. He said that he sought a testimony from someone; he asked whether they had been tortured and they replied, “no, they just beat me a little,” making reference to the normalisation of violence.

Jorge Hernández, member of CDHFBC, said that “there is no justification for the practice of torture.” And he added that “torture occurs frequently in Mexico; it is a method of police investigation, of control, of terror: a product of the violence engendered by the political system, exerted by those from the government who represent power.”

The Special Report has recorded 17 events where at least one act of torture was performed. The towns where these acts were recorded are: Tuxtla Gutiérrez (6), Tapachula (2), Chenalhó (2) and one case each in Simojovel, Maravilla Tenejapa, Arriaga, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Palenque, Sabanilla, and Acala.

For more information (In Spanish):

Report: La tortura, mecanismo de terror Informe Especial sobre Tortura en Chiapas (CDHFBC, 25 de junio de 2014)

Presentación Informe Especial La tortura, mecanismo de terror (CDHFBC, 25 de junio de 2014)

Frayba: Presentación de Informe Especial sobre la Tortura en Chiapas (Radio Zapatista, 25 de junio de 2014)

Presentación Informe Especial La tortura, mecanismo de terror (Colectivo Pozol, 26 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (In English):

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (May 16, 2014)

Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state (April 29, 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and killing of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces (March 18, 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and kidnapping of youth Hiber Audentino García Villafuerte (January 1, 2014)


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