National: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM

March 30, 2014

Foto @ Zapateando

Photo @ Zapateando

Fray Tomás González Castillo, director of the migrant home “La 72,” denounced that on 10 March a truck belonging to the National Institute on Migration (INM) from the Tenosique delegation stopped before several migrant persons.  “They took them into the vehicle and transferred them to a place very close to the jungle.  There, they released two persons, threatened them, took the only money they had (2700 pesos), threatened them once again, tortured them psychologically, and finally released them,” as the public denunciation notes.

He added that “this description is of a kidnapping comparable with the kidnappings carried out by organized crime in the zone, given that they deprive migrants of their liberty, take them to the jungle, extort them, torture them verbally, psychologically, and physically, and finally charge them for letting them go.”

It should be noted that two months prior, the federal police “arrested, beat, and threatened two migrants staying in ‘La 72′ with death.”  It should also be stressed that “La 72″ is a beneficiary of the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights-Defenders and Journalists, in addition to precautionary measures awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Agentes del INM en Tenosique, secuestran migrantes (Frontera Sur, 24 de marzo de 2014)

También INM secuestra migrantes: La 72 (Noticias sin Fronteras, 25 de marzo de 2014)

Agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración secuestran, extorsionan y amenazan de muerte a dos personas migrantes en Tenosique, Tabasco (Centro de Medios Libres México, 24 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Collaborators of the “72″ migrant home abandon work due to threats (24 June 2013)

National: New death-threats directed against Fray Tomás, director of “La 72″ (27 March 2013)

Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)

 


Chiapas: Arrest of those presumed responsible for the burning of a house in the Puebla Colony “an insult to the displaced” (Las Abejas Civil Society)

March 30, 2014

Casa de familia desplazada quemada en Colonia Puebla (@Koman Ilel)

House of displaced family burned in the Puebla Colony (@Koman Ilel)

In observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre in the Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique referring to the context in the Puebla Colony which pertains to this municipality: “although they arrested two persons as the presumed responsible [ones] for the burning of the house of our brother Macario Arias Gómez, it is very clear that it is a move to merely cover up the shame of the bad government of Manuel Velasco Coello, because those displaced from Puebla clarified that those two persons have never entered the conflict of the Catholic land in the community in mention.”

They stressed that “We members of the civil and peaceful organization qualify this type of ‘justice’ applied by the bad government of Manuel Velasco with the arrest of 2 persons as those presumed responsible for the burning of the house as being an insult to the displaced Catholics from the Puebla Colony, who since August 2013 have sought justice, compensation, and return.”

It should be recalled that since 12 March, Maximiliano Sántiz Cruz and Domingo Cruz Méndez have been held by the Special Prosecutorial Office on Indigenous Justice for the crime of arson.  Stressing their “opportune attention to the case,” the state government stressed that the ejidal authorities of Puebla “assisted with the identification and arrest of those presumed responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de marzo de 2014)

Atención oportuna al ejido Puebla: ERA (Cuarto Poder, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Detienen a dos tzotziles por quemar casas en Chiapas (El Universal, 12 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: House of displaced family is burned down in Puebla Colony, Chenalhó. Two are arrested (16 March 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony once again postpone possible return following new aggression (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Authorities hand over land in dispute to Catholics in Puebla Colony.  ”This is not the priority solution for the displaced,” note Las Abejas (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal (13 February 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla ejido do not find conditions for return (3 February 2014)

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community to harvest coffee (22 January 2014)

 


National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists

March 30, 2014

imagesNearly two years after its creation, the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico finds itself in a delicate moment, in light of the resignation of its head, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Contreras, on 15 March, a situation has led to multiple questionings regarding its efficacy.  On 24 March, civil councilors of the Mechanism retired from the Governmental Council headed by the subsecretary for Governance, Lía Limón García, given their view that there do not exist adequate conditions for its functioning.

Since June 2013, civil-society organizations have presented a diagnostic regarding deficiencies within the Mechanism.  At present they identify structural failures: the impossibility of having a stable and qualified team due to constant firings, the fact that the full budget set aside for the organism is not yet accessible, and a delay in attending to cases.  Edgar Córtez, one of the civil councilors, detailed for example that until February of this year, the mechanism had received 152 petitions for aid, of which 22 were rejected, 89 were pending, and only 41 had been reviewed and discussed.  This implies that at least 70% of the requests have not yet been considered.

In a communique, civil society called on the Secretary of Governance “to assure in the coming election of the next Executive Coordination of the Mechanism that the designated person have proven experience in human rights, as national and international civil society organizations and journalists have noted in recent days, that a labor policy be established so that those who work for the Mechanism have their rights respected, and that [the Mechanism] work urgently to develop a priority means of responding to the problems identified with the mechanism with defined actions and results to achieve.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de OSC sobre las fallas del Mecanismo de Protección a Personas Defensoras de DH y periodistas (OSC, 27 de marzo de 2014)

Mecanismo de protección a periodistas falla y sus deficiencias no son atendidas: defensores (Animal político, 27 de marzo de 2014

Fallas estructurales en el Mecanismo de Protección de Defensores de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas (La Jornada, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Crece inconformidad contra Lía Limón; consejeros civiles la dejan sola (Proceso, 24 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: launching of Consultative Council of Mechanism for Protection of Journalists and Rights-Defenders (26 October 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)


Chiapas: Organizations denounce uses and customs of indigenous peoples that limit women’s rights

March 30, 2014

Marcha del 8 de marzo en San Cristóbal. Foto (@Sipaz)

March on 8 March in San Cristóbal. Photo (@Sipaz)

The Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas has denounced the discrimination exercised against a female child on 9 March in the San Juan Chamula municipality, Chiapas.  The case has to do with the sale and forced marriage of the minor on the part of her family as well as the arrest of the girl on the part of traditional authorities of the community following her abandonment of her husband.

For the Popular Campaign, this is an example of violence directed against women consented to by the State, given that the sale of women in indigenous communities is a practice that has been denounced for decades.  For this reason, different non-governmental organizations have indicated since 2012 the existence of uses and customs of indigenous peoples which limit the rights of women and result in gender inequalities that affect all aspects of life.

Experts who comprise the Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) note their concern for the situation, “given that such practices perpetuate discrimination against indigenous women and children, we call on the State to draw up a general strategy to eliminate said practices, particularly through carrying out campaigns of awareness-raising directed at indigenous communities to reinforce a positive and non-stereotypical image of women, without having this serve as a pretext that would rationalize the State’s violation of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chamula, encarcelan a niña de 14 años por abandonar a su marido (Chiapas Paralelo, 12 de marzo de 2014)

“Estuve detenida 29 horas en San Juan Chamula entre ‘basura y mierda’”: Niña tzotzil de 14 años (Vanguardia, 13 de marzo de 2014 ¿)

Sí estuvo presa, confirma menor indígena de Mitontic, y fueron 29 horas entre la pestilencia, el frío y la basura (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Niña toztzil vendida a los 11 años, huyó de su concubino a los 14 (Sipse, 15 de marzo de 2014)

La venta de niñas y las bodas arregladas son comunes en Chiapas: ONG; el Estado le incumple a mujeres, dice (Sinembargo, 17 de marzo de 2014)

La Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas ratifica la declaratoria de Alerta Popular Permanente contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio (Campaña Popular, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Ha cambiado mentalidad de los indígenas (Es!, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Venta de niñas, práctica recurrente en comunidades de los Altos (Mirada Sur, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Chiapas: XV Anniversary of Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Oaxaca: 162 normalists detained in displacement by State Preventive Police

March 30, 2014

Foto @ Página3Detained normalists @ Página3

On 21 March, the State Preventive Police (PEP) proceed to displace the normalists from the State Coordination for Education in Oaxaca (CNEO) who had installed themselves in front of the State Institute for Public Education (IEEPO), thus protesting in defense of education in Oaxaca.  The PEP used tear gas while the normalists responded with small rockets.  The outcome was that 162 were arrested, with 25 normalists and 3 journalists injured, as well as a vehicle set to fire.

A total of 13 persons were charged as suspects for vandalism.  Ten are normalist students and another 3 are individuals claimed to be “provocateurs.”

Organizations such as the Center for Justice, Peace, and Development A.C. (CEDAP) and Services for an Alternative Education A.C. (EDUCA) called on the Public Security Services (SSP) to respect the physical and psychological integrity of the arrested normalists.  EDUCA called on the state authorities to “restart dialogue with normalist students to find a solution to the educational conflict.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Procuraduría de Oaxaca consignará ante Juez Penal a 10 normalistas y 3 “infiltrados” (Página3, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Acusa Alberto Salinas a Fredy Gil de vínculos con infiltrados en desmanes de normalistas el pasado viernes (La Onda Oaxaca, 24 de marzo de 2014)

Oaxaca: policías repliegan a normalistas con gas lacrimógeno; hay 162 detenidos (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2014)

Normalistas se enfrentan a Policías en el IEEPO. Queman un camión; 162 detenidos y 25 heridos (Revista Tucán, 21 de marzo de 2014)

CEDAP Y EDUCA llaman a la SSP a que respete la integridad física y psicológica de los normalistas detenidos (Revolucionemos Oaxaca, 21 de marzo de 2014)


Oaxaca: Members of the communal police of Álvaro Obregón detained

March 30, 2014

Policía Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón. Foto (@Sipaz)Communal police of Álvaro Obregón. Photo (@Sipaz)

According to a denunciation from the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), on 22 March 12 members of the communal police and the communal authorities of Álvaro Obregón were arrested by units of the municipal police of Juchitán. Those arrested in the Zapata ejido were transferred by Navy units and handed over to the Public Ministry of Juchitán. During the early morning of 23 March, all those arrested were released, given that, as APPIITDTT notes, “there existed no type of charge that would justify their detention.”

On this same 22 March, unknown persons set fire to part of the communal police camp in the ex-hacienda of General Heliodoro Charis in Álvaro Obregón.

The APPIITDTT has denounced Saúl Vicente Vásquez, mayor of Juchitán, as the principal instigator of the acts, a week before the first Session of the National Indigenous Congress, Isthmus of Tehuantepec Region, in Álvaro Obregón.

For more information (in Spanish):

Liberan a compañeros detenidos de la Policía Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón pues no existía ningún tipo de cargo (Tierra y Territorio, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Integrantes de la Asamblea Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón fueron puestos a disposición del Ministerio Público de Juchitán (Tierra y Territorio, 22 de marzo de 2014)

Continúan ataques contra asamblea comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón, policía municipal detiene a elementos de la policía comunitaria Gral. Charis sin motivo (Tierra y Territorio, 22 de marzo de 2014)

Video: Bandidos queman barricada del Ex-general Heliodoro Charis Castro (Gubidxa Guiní, 23 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region (28 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: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

 


National/Internacional: Mexico accepts 166 of the 176 recommendations released by the United Nations

March 30, 2014

índiceOn 20 March, the Mexican government presented in an addendum its observations regarding the 176 recommendations it had received in October 2013 during its evaluation before the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which took place during the 25th period of sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.  The UPR is a mechanism of periodic evaluation of the UN HRC, created in 2006 to consider the situations that prevail on the question in each of the 193 member-nations.

The Mexican State affirmed that “there has been a large acceptance of the recommendations made by the member-nations.”  It added that the federal government would design a mechanism coordinated with governmental institutions that would guarantee the participation of civil organizations to evaluate progress on the recommendations.  It noted that said recommendations were taken into account for the construction of the National Program in terms of human rights that will soon be presented.

Regardless, civil-society organizations lamented that Mexico has rejected observations on questions “such as the elimination of ‘community control’ and the recognition of the competence of the Committee on Forced Disappearance to receive individual complaints.”  They noted that, the optimistic view of the authorities notwithstanding, the human-rights situation in Mexico continues to be grave.

They added that “in accordance with the information provided by the Mexican government, it is from now that the national process to design a mechanism to observe and follow the received recommendations,” a process which they will follow closely to assure that “the commitments do not remain only on paper, but rather that they be translated into true changes for human rights in the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Respuesta de México a las recomendaciones del Mecanismo de Examen Periódico Universal del Consejo de Derechos Humanos(Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, marzo de 2014)

Defiende México ante la ONU la figura del arraigo (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Acepta México 166 de 176 recomendaciones de la ONU en derechos humanos (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado conjunto: Esencial que compromisos asumidos en el Examen Periódico Universal se traduzcan en cambios reales en México (OSC, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Tres recomendaciones de ONU omitirá México (El Universal, 21 de marzo de 2014)

Sesión completa de México ante el Consejo DDHH: Mexico, UPR Report Consideration (61 min.).

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: 176 recommendations for Mexico during the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (13 November 2013)

Mexico: Mexico undergoes the Universal Periodic Review (13 February 2009)

Mexico: The Mexican republic rejects recommendations made by the UPR (16 July 2009)


Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba”

March 30, 2014

25 Aniversario del Frayba, marzo de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

25th anniversary of Frayba, March de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 19 March, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba) celebrated 25 years since its founding.  Created in 1989 through the invitation of the then bishop of the the San Cristóbal de San Cristóbal diocese, Samuel Ruíz García, it in time passed into becoming a key reference for the defense of human rights, particularly of indigenous peoples, at the local, national, and international levels.

Part of the celebrations included the organization of an “International forum on human rights: from memory to hope,” which was attended by more than 350 persons, nationals and internationals.  On 18 March, the book The Social Evangelism of Bishop Raúl Vera was presented by the very bishop himself, who previously had worked with Samuel Ruiz in Chiapas and who now holds the presidency of the CDHFBC.

At the press-conference and ceremony which closed the events, the members of the CDHFBC recognized the difficulties and challenges implied for example by the advance of extractive industry and touristic projects in Chiapas, ina ddition to the attempts to loot territory, but they stressed that “it is the people who guide our path, in a positive feedback loop.”

For more information (in English):

Destaca obispo Raúl Vera, la creación del Frayba por don Samuel Ruiz(Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Sin traicionar el legado de Samuel Ruiz, celebra el Frayba su 25 aniversario(Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

El Frayba celebra su 25 aniversario (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

“Lo que no se vale aquí es no caminar… caminemos”: Samuel Ruiz García(Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Sitio Web del 25 aniversario: http://yorailmaya.wordpress.com/

Facebook: frayba.derechoshumanos

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)


National/International: Mexico confronts a “humanitarian crisis” amidst context of violence and impunity, denounces civil society in Brussels

March 30, 2014

Seminario sobre Derechos Humanos en Bruselas, marzo de 2014 (@CADHAC)

Seminar on human rights in Brussels, March 2014 (@CADHAC)

On 18 March, during the seminar on human rights that was held to observe the Fourth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between Mexico and the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Belgium, 32 organizations denounced that in Mexico “there is experienced a context of violence and impunity that has led the country to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”

In a joint pronunciation, Mexican and European civil organizations stressed that “the lack of professional investigation signifies that the structures of violence, looting, and discrimination operate in Mexico unchecked, this being a country where the rate of impunity is 98-99% [...].  The statistics on abuse speak of a systematic and generalized violation of human rights hailing from the police, soldiers, and public officials, who commit arbitrary arrests, torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions, among other violations; public and private actors commit acts of violence and discrimination against women; and Mexican and transnational corporations pollute, displace, and exploit natural resources without consulting the affected peoples and communities.”

After presenting a lengthy diagnostic, the civil organizations released a series of recommendations to the Mexican government and the EU, which included placing the question of human rights at the center of the bilateral agenda, suspending support for megaprojects that affect communities, designing a new strategy for public security, and eradicating violence against women.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de la sociedad civil en el marco del Diálogo de Alto Nivel en Derechos Humanos entre México y la Unión Europea (OSC, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Alertan ONG sobre la crisis humana sin precedente que enfrenta México (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Tendrán México y Unión Europea encuentro sobre derechos humanos (El Universal, 16 de marzo)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: civil-society organizations call on European Union to address deterioration of human rights in Mexico (26 October 2012)


Chiapas: Amidst increase in femicide and impunity, civil organization proclaims permanent Gender Alert

March 30, 2014

Marcha del 8 de Marzo en San Cristóbal de las Casas. Foto (@Sipaz)

March on 8 March in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Photo (@Sipaz)

Due to the increase in femicides and the impunity that prevails in the state of Chiapas, the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas, a civil organization based in San Cristóbal de las Casas, has proclaimed a permanent Gender Alert.

In November 2013, the Center started a petition to the National System to Prevent, Attend, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women (SNPASEVM) calling on it to declare a gender alert in the state.  However, in January of this year, SNPASEVM rejected the petition, claiming that the murders of women does not threaten the social peace in the state, and adding that many of these deaths have not been recognized as femicides.

“How many women must die before the State considers there to exist a pattern of violence against women in Chiapas?” asks the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas.

According to Alma Padilla, director of the Center, “the Mexican State is not willing to declare a gender alert because it has instituted programs to prevent femicide and violence against women.  However, these [programs] have had no result.  On the contrary, both the numbers of femicides and cases of violence against women are on the rise.”

Official information presented by the Center shows that between January and October of last year, 84 murders of women were documented, 52 of which have been categorized as femicides.  An investigation has been requested to determine if those remaining also qualify as such.

In parallel terms to the proclamation of the permanent Gender Alert, the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas has indicated that it will continue to demand that the authorities declare an alert and combat the crime of femicide.

For more information (in Spanish):

Aumentan feminicidios en Chiapas asegura ONG (Milenio, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Mujeres de Chiapas deciden levantar su propia alerta de género por feminicidios (Animal Político, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Web del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Conmemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)


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