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)


Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas against the “Proposed Hydrocarbons Law”

June 28, 2014

 

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

On June 22, the Las Abejas of Acteal Civil Society denounced another effort by the government to promote “constitutional reforms [...] not for the benefit of the Mexican people, but for a few people who are sick with ambition and greed,” expressing their opposition to the “proposed hydrocarbons law,” defining it as “a project of theft and plunder of the peoples” to “legalize the theft of our lands and the invasion of our territory,” and also a “death sentence for millions of men, women, and children who [live] from Mother Earth.”

In their latest communiqué, they stated that: “We, the women and men, or the campesinos and campesinas, who work the land, we say we CAN LIVE WITHOUT GOLD; CAN LIVE WITHOUT OIL; but we CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT WATER!, CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT CORN.” They also addressed the senators and the president of Mexico, accusing them of being “traitors to the motherland,” stressing that “what they have done is succintly called a crime and betrayal of the motherland.” They pointed out that the hydrocarbons law states that “in 90 days the campesinos who own land on which there are presumed to be hydrocarbon deposits will come to an agreement with companies such as Shell, British Petroleum … etc,” and added that “here in our country their laws and their reforms of death and dispossession have no worth. They must know that we will defend Mother Earth, just like our brothers and sisters who were massacred at Acteal defended peace and justice, at all costs.”

Las Abejas continued to denounce the neoliberal capitalist system as “a machine of terror and inhumanity which represses, imprisons, dispossesses, and massacres the peoples who resist and build their autonomy.” Therefore, they continued to demand that their brothers and sisters of the organized peoples of Mexico “unite to defend our mother earth and territory, until the laws of plunder and dispossession of the Mexican political mafia are cast down.”

Finally, they expressed their solidarity with the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez, who has received threats, the director of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, Victor Hugo López, who has suffered harassment, and the family of David Ruiz, a member of the Indigenous National Congress (CNI), who was killed in a motor accident.

For more information (in Spanish):

Su “proyecto de ley de hidrocarburos”, significa, la sentencia de muerte (La Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de Junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (June 9, 2014)

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

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community (26 April 2014)


Chiapas: 18 years since the disappearance of Minerva Pérez, her case remains unpunished

June 25, 2014
Aniversario luctuoso en Mashojá Chucjá 2011 @ SIPAZ

Anniversary of her death, Mashojá Shucjá, 2011 @ SIPAZ

 June 20 is the 18th anniversary of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, an indigenous Ch’ol and native of the community of Masojá Shucjá, in the municipality of Tila, who in 1996, at the age of only 19, “was disappeared by members of the then paramilitary group Development Peace and Justice,” as it says in the bulletin of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (CDHFBC). In addition, the CDHFBC has evidence of persistent “impunity for the gross and systematic violations of the human rights to truth and justice in five unresolved cases of forced disappearance of women, victims of internal armed conflict in Chiapas.”

It should be noted that Minerva was tortured and gang-raped for three days; even today her whereabouts are unknown, according to testimony gathered by the CDHFBLC. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is currently studying the cases of the disappearance of 37 persons, 85 executions, and forcible displacement of more than 12 thousand people in the lower area of ​​Tila during the years of armed conflict.

For more Information (in Spanish):

18 años de exigencia de justicia, 18 años de impunidad. 18 años de no cansarse de buscar a Minerva hasta encontrarla (CDHFBLC, June 20, 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 17 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, her case is taken up at the IACHR (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)

 

 

 


National: UN report highlights impunity and high number of homicides in Mexico

June 23, 2014
United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns (@Proceso)

United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns (@Proceso)

Christof Heyns, United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, has presented the report of his visit to Mexico in April and May 2013, where he collected information on violations of the right to life and individual integrity, as well as on torture and forced disappearances.

The report highlights the high number of homicides in Mexico (100,000 since 2006), 70 percent of which are drug-related. Among the social groups that have suffered most homicides are women, migrants, journalists, and human rights defenders. According to the rapporteur, “the numbers show that levels of violence levels are far worse compared to the ones that I have seen in the other countries I have visited in the four years of my term.”

According to Heyns, impunity in terms of homicides in Mexico is due, in many cases, to inadequate investigations, improper handling of the crime scenes, and lack of coordination in the forensic service, often leading people to be processed and accused erroneously.

The report also recommends a security system focused on human rights, rather than on militarism. It urges a halt to the military role in public security, since the preparation and mode of action of the armed forces is not adequate for civilian purposes.

An improvement in forensic and investigative services, greater powers for public bodies in defense of human rights, and more independence for the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) with respect to the federal government are also encouraged.

On violence against women, the rapporteur noted that this often results from the impunity enjoyed by the aggressors. He recommended that femicide should be classified in all relevant criminal codes and that specific protocols for investigations in those case should be created.

Finally, Heyns concluded that in Mexico, “what is required is a systematic, comprehensive and exhaustive strengthening of the rule of law.”

For more information (In Spanish):

Impera en México la impunidad en asesinatos de mujeres: ONU (Cimac, 12 de junio de 2014)

Violencia en México, mucho más grave que en otros países: ONU (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2014)

Amenazado en México el derecho a vivir: ONU (La Prensa, 13 de junio de 2014)

México: Desaparición forzada a la orden del día (Argenpress, 13 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (In English):

Mexico: Preliminary conclusions from the UN relator regarding extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions in the country (May 17, 2013)


National: the Mexican government does not comply with the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

June 23, 2014

2013-01-30-lyric-375x250-300x200

Representatives of the National Network of Women Human-rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM), which is comprised of 83 non-governmental organizations, have met with Silvia Pimentel and Line Bareiro, experts of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), to address the situation of female human-rights defenders and female journalists in Mexico. At the meeting, the RNDDHM reported that the Mexican state has failed to respect the recommendations of the CEDAW. Numerous testimonies and examples of this situation were provided.

Referring to femicide, it was reported to the CEDAW experts that despite the recommendation to operationalize the Gender Violence Alert (AVG) made in 2012, the mechanism has not been implemented yet. Similarly, the recommendation to regulate crimes considered to be femicide has similarly failed to be implemented.

Other issues were also reported, such as the existing backlog in the figures and actual information on disappearances and murders of women, the lack of access for women to health services and information on sexual and reproductive health, and the increased criminalization of women who abort or have positioned themselves in favor of the right to decide on abortion.

Atiziri Avila, coordinator of RNDDHM, warned that the failure of the Mexican government to protect women has caused this responsibility to fall on female human-rights defenders, who in in turn are exposed to a climate of hostility and aggression.

The increase in violence directed against female journalists and the impunity surrounding these attacks was also noted by RNDDHM representatives. Silvia Pimentel, from the CEDAW, said that Mexico is a country that has ratified the CEDAW Convention. Therefore, it must comply with the recommendations of the Committee, “since that implies the compliance with the Convention.” She added that there exists a “patriarchal resistance to consider women as subjects of rights. “

For more information (In Spanish):

Acusan a México ante Comité de la CEDAW (Cimac, 16 de junio de 2014)

Mecanismos y noormas son insuficientes ante violencia: Llaman a México a dejar discursos y cumplir con CEDAW (Argenpress, 16 de junio de 2014)

Incrementan las agresiones contra las defensoras de derechos humanos y mujeres periodistas (Ciudadanía Express, 16 de junio de 2014)

Incrementan agresiones contra defensoras de derechos humanos y periodistas (Yancuic, 16 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

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


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

June 13, 2014
@CIMAC Noticias

@CIMAC Noticias

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information (in Spanish):

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

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

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

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

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

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

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

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

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


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