Chiapas/National: Lawyers for Patishtán and communal police of Michoacán denounce death-threats and harassment

March 28, 2014

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archivo)

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archive)

In an Urgent Action published on 14 March, Amnesty International (AI) denounced the death-threats and harassment suffered by the lawyers of the Strategic Defense for Human Rights, Leonel Rivero Rodríguez and Augusto César Sandino Rivero Espinoza.  These lawyers are known for their interventions in cases such as that of now ex-prisoner Alberto Patishtán, those arrested from the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land from San Salvador Atenco, and communal police from Michoacán.

On 17 January, Rivero Rodríguez received a threatening telephone call and then presented a denunciation before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), though the perpetrator of the action has not yet been identified.  Indeed, the PGR has now informed her that it plans to place the affair in the archive.

On 4 March, “three unknown persons invaded a hotel in which Leonel Rivero Rodríguez was meeting with members of communities from Michoacán state to address delicate issues,” regarding a case that she was covering together with Sandino Rivero Espinosa.  On 10 March, the office that Leonel Rivero Rodríguez has in her home in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas was harassed.

AI has called on the authorities to guarantee the security of the lawyers of Strategic Defense for Human Rights, to undertake an impartial investigationi into the telephone threats made on 17 January, and the harassment of 10 March, as well as to guarantee that “the lawyers who work on potentially delicate affairs be allowed to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of suffering repression.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente de Amnistía Internacional, 14 de marzo de 2014

Amnistía Internacional denuncia amenazas contra abogados de Patishtán(Proceso, 17 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncia Amnistía Internacional hostigamiento contra abogado de Patishtán (La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2014)

 Los abogados de Alberto Patisthán denuncian amenazas y hostigamientos(CNN México, 18 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


National: Harassment of home of director of Article 19 shortly before publication of report “Dissent in silence: violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013)

March 28, 2014

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

On 16 March, the home of the General Director of the Mexico and Central American Office of Article 19 belonging to Darío Ramírez was harassed.  Work documents as well as other valued objects and computers were stolen, according to a denunciation submitted to the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City (PGJDF).  The press release distributed by Article 19 after the act stressed that this is “the fifth security incident that personnel from the organization have faced [...] since April 2013.”  Beyond this, the acts took place two days before the organization released its report “Dissent in Silence: Violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013.”  In this sense, the bulletin expressed that “we are concerned that the harassment of the home would be a message of intimidation for those who seek to inhibit our work in favor of freedom of expression.”

On 18 March, however, there was held an event to present the 2013 report as planned, which indicates that each 26.5 hours a journalist is attacked in Mexico.  In 2013, Article 19 documented 330 aggressions against journalists and media institutions (59% more than in 2012), including 59 against women.  These statistics are the highest since 2007, though in 2013 five journalists died, two fewer than in 2012.  More than 60 attacks on journalists took place during protests, in a way that the report indicates as showing the “authorities choosing for the path of repression and direct confrontation.”  In 59.3% of the cases, a public official has been responsible.  Although the problem revolves around states already noted in the country (such as Veracruz, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas), Article 19 notes that the documented attacks allow one to see a “pattern of dissemination toward other states” such as, for example, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Baja California, and Zacatecas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Funcionarios públicos y crimen organizado, principales agresores de periodistas (Analisis Centro Prodh, 19 de marzo de 2014)

2013, el año más violento para la prensa en México: Artículo 19 (Animal político, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Primer año de Peña, el más violento para la prensa desde 2007: Artículo 19(Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Informe completo 2013 (Artículo 19, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Allanan la casa del Director de Artículo 19; solicita protección (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de Artículo 19 (Artículo 19, 17 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Article 19 receives death-threats (23 April 2013)


Oaxaca: Denunciation of new attacks in Álvaro Obregón and organizational call for National Indigenous Congress in the Isthmus Region

March 28, 2014

Rancho ardiendo del agente comunitario de Álvaro Obregón. Foto (@ APIITDTyT)

Burning ranch of the communal agent of Álvaro Obregón. Photo (@ APIITDTyT)

The Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTyT) has denounced continued attacks that the community of Álvaro Obregón has suffered in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

According to recent denunciations made by the Assembly, on 10 March the ranch belonging to the communal agent Odelio López Vicente was burned.  Similarly, they mention other aggressions suffered by members of the communal assembly, such as the case of the communard Pedro Martín Guerra, who, together with his family, has suffered harassment and death-threats since deciding to denounce the Public Ministry for the looting of lands as prosecuted by the Fenosa Natural Gas company, so as to progress with the construction of the Bií Hioxho wind-energy park.

Besides this, the APIIDTyT and the communal council of Álvaro Obregón have announced the realization of the first session of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) in the Tehuantepec Isthmus region, which is to be held in the community of Álvaro Obregón on 29 March 2014.  The organizational call includes invitations to communal assemblies of the Isthmus who resist wind-energy parks as well as to the Regional Council of Nahua and Totoluca indigenous peoples from southern Veracruz, among others.

For more information (in Spanish):

Aumentan ataques y amenazas contra comunero indígena zapoteco que defiende su terreno de la empresa Gas Natural Fenosa (APIIDTyT, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Denunciamos agresiones y hostigamientos contra integrantes de la Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT) (APIIDTyT, 17 de marzo de 2014)

Realizarán antieólicos Congreso Nacional Indígena (Noticias,16 de marzo de 2014)

Anuncian zapotecas Congreso Nacional Indígena en Álvaro Obregón (Página 3, 16 de marzo de 2014)

Convocatoria al Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI) Región Istmo de Tehuantepec en Gui’xhi’ Ro’ – Álvaro Obregón (APIIDTyT, 15 de marzo de 2014)

Afectados de eólica Gas Natural, continúan denunciando intimidación(Página 3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Confrontation in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leaves several people 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: 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)


Chiapas: Torture and kidnapping of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces

March 28, 2014

Acala, marzo de 2014 (@Mundo Veracruzano)

Acala, March 2014 @Mundo Veracruzano)

On 1 March, José Rolando Pérez de la Cruz (21 years of age) was arrested by municipal police in Acala without any stated reason and has been held in the local jail since that time.  He was last seen there alive by his grandmother, who arrived when the youth was transferred to the hospital for injuries and a bleeding face.

The police action resulted in the release of a denunciation of homicide holding the local police responsible.  After the arrest, relatives and residents of Acala mobilized to mourn his death outside City Hall, assuring that they would remain there until actions would be taken to punish those responsible for his death.

On 15 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced that “the acts remain in impunity and the municipal authorities claim that the youth committed suicide by hanging, though there are witnesses describing that the body showed signs of beatings and injuries.”  The CDHFBC continues: “The corpse showed signs of injuries received from beatings including bruises on the ribs and on the left check, as well as on the eyebrows, in addition to a bloody nose.  It remains crucial to determine the reasons for his death; after death, his body went to autopsy.  The results of the autopsy claim that the ’cause of death of José Rolando Pérez de la Cruz was MECHANICAL ASPHYXIATION FROM HANGING, and that the body presented no injuries, whether external or internal.’  This account clearly contradicts that of the witnesses who saw the dead body.”

For this reason, the CDHFBC manifested “its concern and indignation regarding the disproportionate action of municipal police of the state of Chiapas, who instead of acting with respect for human rights, as based in established protocols and manuals, exercise arbitrary force by using torture which then leads to death.”  It added furthermore that it “has knowledge of other cases of death while in custody in 2014 on the part of municipal police, as took place in the Tapachula jail: one on 7 January, the other on 1 March.  This shows the recurring pattern of police action.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Muere joven de 21 años, según en manos de policías (Cuarto Poder, 3 de marzo de 2014)

Boletín: Policías municipales de Acala privan arbitrariamente de la vida al joven Rolando Pérez (CDHFBC, 15 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

National: International organizations conclude observation mission on torture in Mexico (10 June 2013)

Mexico: UN Committee against Torture expresses grave concern for the practice of torture in Mexico (9 November 2012)

National: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)


Chiapas: the European Union and state government sign accord to promote development activities in communities

March 28, 2014

(@gobierno de Chiapas)

@Chiapas state government

On 10 March, Chiapas state governor Manuel Velasco and Andrew Standley, European Union (EU) ambassador to Mexico, signed an agreement for the execution of the “Integral Program of Social Cohesion Mexico-European Union” to promote social development and productive programs in the state, as well as to further conservation in indigenous communities.  They reported that this program, which will have a budget of 6 million euros, seeks to benefit more than 340,000 residents of 922 communities pertaining to eight municipalities of the Mountain region and 830 communities associated with seven municipalities in the Jungle region.

The EU ambassador stressed that this agreement represents a greatly important step in defining the bases of cooperation in key sectors so as to support development projects in the state.  He emphasized that the questions like social cohesion, sustainability, and the permanent focus of attention on human rights are themes of concern for the state government, and form the basis of this planned program of cooperation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa del gobierno del estado: Unión Europea impulsa el desarrollo sostenible y sustentable en Chiapas (10 de marzo de 2014)

Boletín de la Unión Europea (11 de marzo de 2014)

Impulsan proyectos Chiapas y la UE (El Universal, 11 de marzo de 2014)

El gobierno de Chiapas y la UE firman convenio en beneficio de comunidades (La Jornada, 11 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ambassadors from the Union European visit the state (9 November 2007)


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

March 28, 2014

Protesta en Jamiltepec. Foto (@Sipaz)

Protest in Jamiltepec. Photo @Sipaz

On 14 March, to mark the “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life,” the Council of Peoples United for the Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) carried out a “funerary march” and peacefully occupied the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in the Santiago Jamiltepec municipality to protest the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam.  Another 16 communities from the Coast and union delegations from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) also participated in the action.  With the slogan “Enough of imposing projects against the will of the people,” they denounced that the Paso de la Reina hydroelectric project will negatively affect indigenous peoples and their territory, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices, due to the formation of the reservoir the dam would imply.  Moreover, they have reported as having their right to consultation violated in the process to date.

This same day there were carried out actions against dams and for rivers, water, and life in other parts of the republic and the world.  Furthermore, other cases such as the dams in Chicoasén II (Chiapas), Las Cruces (Nayarit), Atoyac (Veracruz), and Zapotillo (Jalisco) were similarly denounced.

For more information (in Spanish):

Copudever insiste en cancelación del proyecto “Paso de la Reina”; atenta vs los pueblos (Página3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Con “marcha fúnebre” inicia Copudever toma simbólica de CFE en Jamiltepec (Diario Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Celebran en Oaxaca día en Defensa del Agua (NSS Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Marchan en Jamiltepec contra la presa Paso de la Reina (Pinodebate, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Elevado riesgo para la fauna de Nayarit con presa Las Cruces (La Jornada, 12 de marzo de 2014)

El agua del río Atoyac no se negocia (Zapateando, 25 de febrero de 2014)

En Chiapas se declaran territorios libres de represas y mineras (Derecho a la Consulta Previa, 3 de enero de 2014)

Municipios afectados por hidroeléctricas, sin riqueza ni prosperidad garantizada (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de diciembre de 2013)

http://pasodelareina.org/

EDUCA: Galería de fotos y los videos: En Río Verde, Oaxaca, otra batalla por el agua (7 min.) y Presa Paso de la Reina ¿Desarrollo para Quien? (6 min.)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

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


National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day

March 16, 2014

Marcha-peregrinación en Chenalhó para el Día Internacional de la Mujer (@SIPAZ)

Pilgrimage-march in Chenalhó for International Women’s Day (@SIPAZ)

Multiple activities were organized in Mexico on 8 March for International Women’s Day.  More than a celebration, these actions became platforms for denunciation: as Amnesty International has stressed, “on International Women’s Day, there is little to celebrate and many challenges to face.”  AI indicated that “in Mexico and the rest of Latin America, women confront a reality of discrimination and injustice every day, including the threat of death for merely belonging to the feminine sex.”  AI added that “the Mexican government should act now to arrest the epidemic of violence that women must face.”

In Chiapas, hundreds of women marched in the Teopisca and San Cristóbal de las Casas municipalities to demand a cessation of violence and discrimination against them.  The organizations and individual members of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas asked “How many more women will die for the State to consider there to be a wave of violence against the women of Chiapas? [...] Of the 51 deaths that the State Attorney General’s Office has registered as violent, it recognized only 47 as femicides and clarified that 37 of them had led to penal action, though only 2 cases have ended in condemnatory sentences [implying incarceration].  The efficacy presumed in Chiapas is shameful, for it recognizes that in reality there has been no resolution of the more than 90% of cases of femicidal violence.”  In light of the official rejection of a request for a gender violence alert, as presented on 25 November 2013, these women declared a “POPULAR PERMANENT ALERT.”

In Chenalhó, the Las Abejas Civil Society organized a pilgrimage-march.  In a communique, women from this organization emphasized that “More than 16 years since Acteal, we have not forgotten that our female comrades were murdered by the bad government.  This massacre brought us great sadness, fear, and illness; our pain has been great, but greater still are our memory and hopes.  Our massacred female comrades died organized; they died saying the truth; they died rejecting the violence sowed by the bad government in our community of Ch’enalvo´.  Now we will continue this brave and dignified example of our massacred sisters.”

In Oaxaca, Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE and social organizations held a march; the declaration of a gender alert for the state is another demand made by civil society in the state.  In what has passed of the administration of Gabino Cué Monteagudo, there have been seen a total of at least 268 femicides and 734 cases of gender violence in Oaxaca.

In Guerrero, Rosario Herrera Ascencio, head of the Ministry for Women (SEMUJER) in the state, stressed the need to legalize the decriminalization of abortion because many women die annually performing this in a clandestine manner.  With the slogan “without memory there is no justice; they will die when we give up struggle; let us honor them,” the social organizations of Atoyac commemorated International Women’s Day, reporting that the state occupies the eighth most violent state in terms of gender in the country.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado: “!En el Día Internacional de la Mujer hay poco que celebrar y muchos retos por enfrentar(Amnistía Internacional , 8 de marzo de 2014)

Frenar epidemia de violencia contra las mujeres, exige Amnistía Internacional(La Jornada, 8 de marzo de 2014)

Nada que festejar, dicen mujeres en su día; feminicidios, violencia, partos mal atendidos(La Jornada, 9 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Campaña contra los feminicidios: “Nos declaramos en alerta popular de género (8 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de las mujeres de Las Abejas en el Día Internacional de la Mujer (8 de marzo de 2014)

Reclaman ONG que Aguirre no cumpla su promesa de lograr la igualdad de género (La Jornada de Guerrero, 8 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Oaxaca: March of releatives of victims of feminicide and members of human rights organizations for women (22 April 2013)

Oaxaca: More feminicides under Gabino Cué than in the final years of Ulises Ruiz (24 January 2013)


Oaxaca: 7 persons detained in the “violent” displacement of Cacalotillo beach

March 16, 2014

Imagen @ OIDHO.org

Image @ OIDHO.org

The Indigenous Organizations for Human Rights in Oaxaca (OIDHO) has denounced that on 11 March a police operation entered “with an excess of force” to the land belonging to the Cacalotillo Cooperative for Aquaculture and Fishing, San Pedro Tututepec municipality, Juquila, to displace the community, leaving seven members of the Cooperative arrested.

OIDHO also denounced the organization that “attacked and threatened residents of the communities with death [...].  Women and female children were threatened with rape if they did not leave the land.”  OIDHO affirmed that the police were acting on the orders of Francisco Gil, “a rich and powerful man who would like to have the land for himself.  Residents of the beach community yelled at them [the police] that their arrest-orders had been fabricated,” noted the press release.

It should be noted that the Cacalotillo Cooperative recovered the land “using juridical means and legal possession for more than a year, thus founding the community and resisting the caciques of the region” who have interests in the beach for touristic purposes.  In this way, “the residents of the community and Cooperative members have been subjected to death threats,” and the Judicial Police has arrived to intimidate and sow fear, as indicated in the denunciation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de OIDHO (11 de marzo de 2014)

Realiza Policía Estatal desalojo violento en Cacalotillo, Tututepec; denuncian abusos (Página 3, 12 de marzo de 2014)

Desalojo violento en la playa Cacalotillo, Costa de Oaxaca (CML Luna Sexta, 11 de marzo de 2014)

Cooperativa Cacalotillo, en pie de lucha a seis meses de la toma de la playa Barra Prieta (Mexico Nomads Network, 31 de julio de 2013)


Oaxaca: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER on “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life”

March 16, 2014

Protesta en Jamiltepec, marzo de 2014 (@EDUCA)

Protest in Jamiltepec, March 2014 (@EDUCA)

On 14 March, in observance of the “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life,” the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Verde River (COPUDEVER) carried out a “funerary march” and peacefully occupied the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in the Santiago Jamiltepec municipality to protest the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam.  Another 16 communities from the coastal region and union delegations from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) also participated.  With the slogan “Enough of imposing projects against the decision of the peoples,” protestors denounced that the Paso de la Reina project would negatively affect indigenous peoples, their territory, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices due to its creation of a reservoir.  Moreover, they have already seen how their rights to consultation have been violated.

Para más información:

Copudever insiste en cancelación del proyecto “Paso de la Reina”; atenta vs los pueblos (Página3, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Con “marcha fúnebre” inicia Copudever toma simbólica de CFE en Jamiltepec (Diario Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Celebran en Oaxaca día en Defensa del Agua (NSS Oaxaca, 14 de marzo de 2014)

http://pasodelareina.org/

EDUCA: Galería de fotos y los videos: En Río Verde, Oaxaca, otra batalla por el agua (7 min.) y Presa Paso de la Reina ¿Desarrollo para Quien? (6 min.)


Chiapas: Residents of the Lacandona Jungle on alert in light of advancing delimitation work

March 16, 2014

Selva Lacandona (@Koman Ilel)

Lacandona Jungle (@Koman Ilel)

Residents of the Lacandona Jungle from the communities of Benito Juárez, Galilea, Pichucalco, Amador Hernández, Plan de Guadalupe, Guanal, Ranchería Aurora, and Rancho Alegre have suspended the work of the Secretary for Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (SEDATU) to delimit territory in their region.  They denounced that this action seeks to steal the land, a situation “which generated an alert in the communities in the region.”

Media reported that the “SEDATU requires the delimitation of this land so as to finally legalize the polygon of more than 520,000 hectares for the Lacandona community zone.  This would imply suspending the rights of a dozen communities that have found themselves in the region since before the presidential decree of 1972.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pobladores de la Selva Lacandona denuncian que el gobierno les pretende arrebatar su tierra (Proceso, 11 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncian que el gobierno pretende arrebatarles sus tierras (Diario Contra Poder en Chiapas, 11 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (11 de mayo de 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)

Chiapas: Next hotel mega-project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (22 September 2011)

Chiapas: a large hotel complex to begin to be constructed in Montes Azules (Laguna Miramar) (1 July 2011)

Chiapas: La Realidad JBG claims more evictions to come in Zapatista territories (5 May 2010)


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