The Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal condemns Mexican State for crimes against humanity

October 11, 2014

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Testimony from a survivor of the Viejo Velasco massacre during the TPP in El Limonar, Chiapas, July 2014. Photo@Sipaz

From 25 to 27 September in the indigenous community of Santa Fe de la Laguna, Quiroga municipality, Michoacán state, there was held the final audience on “The right to life, against violence and State terrorism” contained within the “Dirty War” Axis of the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP), Mexico Chapter.  16 cases were presented, covering the year 1960 to present, “by means of which was shown the systematic violation of human rights as a policy of the Mexican State against social movements, the defense of human rights, and the people in general.”  The international jury was lead by Alberto León Gómez Zuluaga (Colombia) and comprised of Marcelo Ferreira (Argentina), Marusia López Cruz (JASS Mexico), Beatriz Torres Abelaira (CaMeNA-UACM), Soila Luna Pineda (Don Sergio Méndez Arceo Foundation), Jtatic Juan Méndez Gutiérrez (Center for Indigenous Rights, CEDIAC AC-Chiapas), and Carlos Núñez Ruiz (Center for Indigenous Rights, CEDIAC AC-Chiapas).

In its ruling, the TPP condemned the Mexican State “for its direct and indirect participation, for action and omission, in the commission of crimes against humanity, as seen in the following: murder; extermination; deportation or forcible transfer of population; incarceration or other grave deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental international human rights law; torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment; rape and sexual abuse; persecution of groups and collectives for political and ethnic motives; forcible disappearance of persons and attacks against human-rights and environmental defenders.”

Beyond this, the TPP formulated recommendations to the Mexican United States, international organizations, social communication media, Mexican society, social organizations, and victims.  The tribunal closed its ruling by expressing its solidarity with the people’s struggles.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fallo del TPP Audiencia Guerra sucia (29 de septiembre de 2014)

Guerra Sucia como violencia, impunidad y falta de acceso a la justicia(Subversiones – Agencia Autónoma de Comunicación, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in Englsih):

Chiapas: TPP preaudience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

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

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

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


Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died

October 11, 2014

Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Archive photo @ SIPAZ

On 26 and 27 September, municipal police from Iguala, Guerrero, together with an armed commando group that has yet to be identified, opened fire at several coordinated events against students, athletes, and other civilians, leaving six dead, 25 injured, and more than 50 students disappeared.

Since the morning of Friday 26 September, close to 150 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa had arrived to Iguala to carry out a fundraising activity: they had planned to raise money to finance a march on 2 October, which was the forty-sixth anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre.  Police intercepted the caravan comprised of three buses and two SUVs, demanding that the vehicles stop, but the youth resisted arrested.  On Saturday 27 September, the students from Ayotzinapa organized a press-conference at the location of the first police attack.  There, they secured the zone using stones to prevent the loss of evidence, particularly the bullet casings left behind by police.  The students were speaking with journalists from different media groups when an unknown group suddenly appeared, opening fire with weapons of different calibers.

The State Attorney General’s Office of Guerrero has arrested 22 members of the State Preventive Police of Iguala who have been indicated as prime suspects in the crime.  On 1 October, though the statistics varied according to the source in question, there were more than 30 persons who continued to be disappeared.  At the same time, it was reported that the PRD mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca Velázquez, had also disappeared after having received authorization to investigate the crimes.

For more information (in Spanish):

Enfrentamientos entre policías y normalistas dejan 6 muertos (Milenio, 27 de septiembre de 2014)

ACCIÓN URGENTE | Permanecen desaparecidos 55 normalistas agredidos en Iguala (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Violaciones de DH cometidas en contra de estudiantes de la normal rural Raúl Isidro burgos, en Iguala, Guerrero (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos “Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos”, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Solicita licencia el alcalde de Iguala por el caso de los asesinados el fin de semana (la Jornada de Guerrero, 1ero de octubre de 2014)

Iguala evidencia que policía municipal está infiltrada por la delincuencia, acusa gobernador (Animal Político, 1ero de octubre de 2014)

Localizan a 19 normalistas (El SUr de Acapulco, 1ero de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Impunity continues in the Ayotzinapa case (17 May 2013)

Guerrero: Release of police charged for the murder of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (29 April 2013)

Guerrero: CNDH confirms serious rights-violations against students of Ayotzinapa (16 January 2012)

Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (21 December 2011)


Chiapas: Families from Banavil, two years and ten months following their forcible displacement

October 11, 2014

Niña desplazada de Banavil (@CDHFBC)

Girl displaced from Banavil (@ Koman Ilel)

In a communique published on 3 October, two years and 10 months after their forced displacement, sympathizers of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, called on the state government and the State Attorney General’s Office to investigate and punish those responsible for the firearm attack that led to their displacement as well as the forcible disappearance of Alonso López Luna.

They denounced that the state and federal governments “have done nothing,” nor has the Special Prosecutorial Office for Indigenous Justice.  They indicated furthermore that the federal judge of the Fifth Circuit in Tuxtla Gutiérrez had allowed for the release of Alonso Gusmán López, whom they consider to have been responsible for the death of Alonso López Luna.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias desplazadas de Banavil a dos años y diez meses exigiendo justicia (3 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Those displaced from Banavil continue demanding justice (9 de septiembre de 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from and announcement of action on part of the displaced from Banavil and the Aurora Ermita ejido(10 April 2014)

Chiapas: Two years after the attack in Banavil, displacement and forced disappearance live on,” CDHFBC (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)


Chiapas: Prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis fasting to demand justice

October 11, 2014

©www.cgtchiapas.org

©www.cgtchiapas.org

Starting on 1 October, Alejandro Díaz Santís, an indigenous man who has been unjustly imprisoned in CERESO 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, began a daily 12-hour fast that will last an indeterminate amount of time.  In his denunciation, he explains that “it is a protest against the injustice that we are suffering here in Mexico.  This action I am taking jointly with other prisoners in different prisons of the country, with some of them carrying out indefinite hunger strikes to demand true justice and liberty for all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.”  Díaz Santis has directed his demand to Chiapas state governor Manuel Velasco Coello, who on 4 July 2013 committed himself to advancing the cause of his liberty before the Veracruz authorities.  He has yet to keep his word, one year on.

For more information (in Spanish):

Alejandro Díaz Santís inicia ayuno por la libertad de presos políticos y de conciencia, chiapas denunica, 2 de octurbre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 13 days of fasting and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santís to demand his release (14 July 2014)

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: Two dead and one seriously injured, in a “worrying increase of police violence” (EDUCA)

October 11, 2014

Imagen @ OIDHO.org

Image @ OIDHO.org

On 22 September, the communal leader Jaime López Hernández, member of the Indigenous Organization for Human Rights in Oaxaca (OIDHO), was killed by a shot in the back in the San Andrés Lovene community, San Juan Ozolotepec municipality, as he was visiting his mother’s gravesite. Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA) manifested its energetic rejection of the act, condemning the murder of Jaime López, and it noted that “[we are] concerned by the increase in police violence in Oaxaca and the impunity in which attacks against [social] leaders and human-rights defenders remain.  Jaime López’s murder [...] joins in a long chain of attacks committed against human-rights activists.  Organizations such as Peace Brigades International and the National Network of Human Rights ‘All Rights for All’ have located Oaxaca as one of the states in which is observed the most attacks on human-rights defenders.  We call on the state authorities to act immediately in this case, to engage in a lawful investigation, and to commit themselves seriously to protecting the work of defenders in Oaxaca.”

Beyond this, on 26 September, two teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) were fired upon from a vehicle as they were walking in the street.  Of the two teachers, both of whom worked in a high school in San Mateo del Mar, one died–Shamir Jonatán Osorio Gallegos–while the other, Manuel Reyna Osorio, was seriously injured.

Lastly, reflecting on the numerous violent acts that have been seen in different parts of Mexico of late, an opinion article in La Jornada expressed that “Despite the official efforts to minimize the impacts of insecurity in the social perception, violence and criminal anarchy continue to affect the people in many regions of the national territory, giving the impression that the attempt to deviate attention from these problems does nothing more than exacerbate them [...].  The armed forces continue to be employed in police tasks that are distinct from their constitutionally defined role; the country lacks social, political, educational, and health policies that would be able to act as a preventive factor against organized crime; impunity prevails in nearly all the crimes committed by the previous administration; the reform of police bodies at the three levels [of government] continues to be a pending task; the observance of human rights experiences serious factical and institutional regression, and, above all, an economic policy that provokes social anomie, unemployment, and marginalization, that obliges large segments of the population to work in the informal sector and that, ultimately, ends up feeding criminality continues and is made yet more profound.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de Prensa: Asesinan a Jaime López, integrante de OIDHO(OIDHO, 23 de septiembre de 2014)  

Líder de OIDHO fue asesinado frente a la tumba de su madre en San Andrés Lovene (Página 3, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

RvsR: Ante el asesinato de Jaime López Hernández, de la OIDHO (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de octubre de 2014)

Violencia imparable (La Jornada, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Condena Sección 22 asesinato de profesor (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Atacan a balazos a 2 intendentes (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Tirotean a maestros de la @SECCIONXXII en Oaxaca; Un muerto (E-Consulta Oaxaca, 27 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Concern for the alarming increase in murders in the state (26 April 2014)


Chiapas: Communique from Las Abejas in commemoration of the Acteal massacre

October 1, 2014

Capilla de Acteal (@acteal.blogspot.com)

Acteal chapel (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 September 2014, in commemoration of the anniversary of the Acteal massacre (1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society released a new communique entitled “For neoliberal capitalism to die, this depends on us organized peoples.”  In the essay, Las Abejas assure that “for this monstrous beast neoliberal capitalism to die, it does not depend on the bad governments, the rich, or the powerful, but instead on us the people.  We only need to say to them, ‘your hour has come!'”

Las Abejas denounced that “the death-projects that have been imposed by Manuel Velasco, Enríque Peña Nieto, and others in our lands are developments and rackets for the powerful countries and a few [individuals] who are ill with ambition and greed [...].  Manuel Velasco Cuello [sic] y Enríque Peña Nieto, the respective lackeys of neoliberal capital, have deepended their policies of persecution, criminalization, and killing of social protest.”  Las Abejas cited as examples the incarceration of their comrade Mario Luna Romero, secretary of the traditional authority of the Yaqui people.  They stressed however that people resist, such as “our brothers and sisters” in the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT), the Otomí San Francisco Xochicuautla community, and all those who oppose the construction of the highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque.  They also acknowledged similar processes of struggle in other countries, such as in Testet, Tarn, France.

Las Abejas called in the end for “the unification of our struggles, and never to give up, regardless of where we find ourselves, from whichever corner of the planet Earth.  We must not be afraid to denounce and protest.  Though the police, the military, the judges, the murderers of neoliberal capital would like to sow terror among us and create psychological fear, we know that we are an overwhelming majority.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Para que se muera el capitalismo-neoliberal; depende de nosotros los pueblos organizados (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas. 22 de septiembre de 2014)

“A pesar de la persecusión y la muerte, está claro y decidido que hay que resistir y defender la Madre Tierra”, mensaje de las Abejas de Acteal(Pozol Colectivo, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: nuevo comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal (25 de julio de 2014)

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

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

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


Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz

October 1, 2014

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archivo)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archive)

In a press conference held on 23 September, federal legislators called on the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to stop the looming incarceration of Oaxacan rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez, who presently free faces accusations of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and national wealth.

It bears mentioning that on 22 February 2012, the defender was detained and incarcerated, accused of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and the national wealth, though she only participated in a protest a year previous opposing high electricity prices in Oaxaca.  On 24 February 2012 she posted bail and was released, but the legal process against her continues.

The legislators in question affirm that they “consider that the moves and process against Bettina represent acts of criminalization of social protest, illustrating the risky situations faced by persons who work to defend human rights.  Through this process, it has become clear that the justice system has deviated greatly against them, particularly those who work in defense of the land amidst the imposition of megaprojects.”

Beyond this, in a communique published on 25 September, Amnesty International (AI) warned that, if the judiciary power decided to imprison the rights-defender, it would “consider nominating her as a prisoner of conscience.”  AI stressed that the obligation of the Mexican authorities “is to guarantee that the justice system does not work in favor of the persecution of those who defend human rights, as revenge against their legitimate actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden legisladores a PGR evitar encarcelamiento de activista (Cimac Noticias, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Carta completa de los legisladores (23 de septiembre de 2014)

No a la persecución judicial de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

Campaña en twitter: etiqueta #JusticiaparaBettina

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón 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: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


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