National: Nestora Salgado, communal police officer from Guerrero, and Cherán community are recipients of the “Don Sergio Méndez Arceo 2014″ National Human Rights Prize

April 23, 2014

Entrega del Premio Nacional en Derechos Humanos “Don Sergio Méndez Arceo” 2014 (@losangelespress)

On 3 April were announced the recipients of the “Don Sergio Méndez Arceo 2014″ National Human Rights Prize,” which is awarded each year to recognize, accompany, and promote solidarity with organizations, groups, and persons who have been indicated for their courage in defending and promoting a culture of respect for human rights in Mexico. This year, Nestora Salgado García, a communal police officer from Olinalá, Guerrero, who is at present imprisoned in El Rincón, Tepic, Nayarit, and the Cherán community from Michoacán were awarded the prize.

The selection committee for the XXII National Prize decided to grant the recognition to the Cherán community on the group level given its struggle against logging and in favor of the preservation of the identity and established organizational forms of indigenous peoples.  Nestora Salgado was elected at the individual level for her commitment to the indigenous peoples of Guerrero, particularly the communal police of Olinalá.

For more information (in Spanish):

Cherán, Michoacán, recibirá premio de derechos humanos (Milenio, 3 de abril de 2014)

Dan a Nestora Salgado el premio Sergio Méndez Arceo (La Jornada de Guerrero, 4 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC en Olinalá (13 September 2013)


Chiapas: OCEZ-RC suspends sit-in it had installed in San Cristóbal

April 23, 2014

Plantón OCEZ-RC, abril de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

OCEZ-RC sit-in, April 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 8 April, the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) suspended the sit-in it had installed in San Cristóbal de Las Casas beginning on 31 March.  In a press-conference, members of OCEZ-RC recalled that they had sought to demand a response to their agrarian, justice, and transport demands, among others.  The decision to suspend the sit-in coincided with an agreement made with the authorities to begin negotiations on 22 April.  In a press-release members noted that “we hope that at the 22 April table we will be attended to by functionaries of the government with the capacity to resolve, as led by Secretary General of Governance Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar; we also hope that there will be a serious proposal to resolve all our demands.”  They added that “we have been patient in the search for a solution to our demands, but now we cannot wait any longer, and for this reason we publicly warn Governor Manuel Velasco Coello that, if there is no serious response to our demands, including resolution, we have decided to take other actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

OCEZ retira plantón (Cuarto Poder, 9 de abril de 2014)

OCEZ levanta plantón (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de abril de 2014)

OCEZ-RC levanta plantón(El Independiente de Chiapas, 8 de abril de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: OCEZ-RC installs sit-in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (10 April 2014)


Oaxaca: Repeated aggressions against Communal Police of Álvaro Obregón

April 23, 2014


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Over the course of only ten days, two attacks were denounced against members of the “General Charis” Communal Police (Binni Guiapa Guidxi) in the Binnizá (Zapotec) indigenous community of Álvaro Obregón, in the Juchitán municipality of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

On 31 March, four units from the Communal Police were stoned by persons identified as being members of the official police overseen by the  mayor of Juchitán, Saúl Vicente Vázquez.  As a result of the attack, the window of the Communal Police’s vehicle was broken and an agent was injured in the neck.

Beyond this, on 9 April, the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT) denounced that gunmen dressed in civilian clothes fired on a member of the Communal Police on eight occasions from an official police vehicle.  The attacks did not, however, succeed in injuring the intended target.

The APPIITDTT indicated that there exists a tense environment in the Álvaro Obregón community amidst the possibility of new attacks.

It should be recalled that, also on 22 March, 12 members of the Communal Police and of the communal authorities of Álvaro Obregón were arrested by the municipal police of Juchitán.

For more information (in Spanish):

 Atentan contra la vida de integrante de la policía Comunitaria de álvaro Obregón (Tierra y Territorio, 9 de abril de 2014)

Nuevamente atacan a compañeros de la Policía Comunitaria de Álvaro Obregón y médicos abandonan la unidad de consulta externa rural de la comunidad (Tierra y Territorio, 1 de abril 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: La Resistencia; Álvaro Obregón, una localidad en pie de lucha(Voces de Oaxaca, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Members of the communal police of Álvaro Obregón detained (30 March 2014)

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)


National/International: Organizational call for the migrant crossroads

April 23, 2014


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The Mesoamerican Voices organization, Action with Migrant Peoples, A.C. has published on its new website (vocesmesoamericanas.org/) an invitation to accompany the 2014 Migrant Crossroads.  The invitation notes that it is “a religious act, of course, but it also seeks to be a prophetic denunciation amidst the new wave of violence targeting migrant persons and those who accompany them.

Starting on 15 April, the Crossroads will begin in El Naranjo, Guatemala, where the majority of migrants take a boat to cross the San Pedro river to Tenosique: “we will walk where they walk in the middle of the mountain.  Upon arriving to Tenosique we will await ‘la bestia’ to climb aboard and accompany the migrants at least until Palenque.  Those who would like to continue beyond are invited to do so.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pagnia web de vocesmesoamericanas.org


Chiapas: Presentatation in San Cristóbal de Las Casas of the report “Justice for San José del Progreso”

April 23, 2014

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In observance of the second anniversary of the murder of Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, the Oaxacan Collective in Defense of Land will present its report “Justice for San José del Progreso,” the result of a Civil Observation Mission held in November 2012, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  The event is to take place in CEDUI on Friday 11 April at 12:00, with the participation of the Oaxacan Collective, Other Worlds Chiapas, and the Committee for the Promotion and Defense of Life Samuel Ruiz García from Chicomuselo. There will be another presentation at El Paliacate Cultural Space at 7pm.

The report gives evidence to the systematic violations of human rights produced by the imposition of the mining project developed by the Fortune Silver Mines firm since 2006.  It indicates that since this time, the firm has violated the right to life; to free, prior, and informed consent; to public information; to respect for collective property and integrity of land; to free self-determination; to a clean environment; to communal health; to the rights of children, adolescents, and women; to association and meeting; to freedom and personal integrity; and to the right to the administration of justice and to the work of human-rights violations.  All of these rights are recognizes legally at the national and international level.

The document includes recommendations for the federal, state, and municipal governments, including the observation of the rights of citizens over those of the rights of mining firms, in addition to the guarantee to the right to life and physical and psychological integrity of the people of San José del Progreso.  It also calls on the Canadian government to ensure that Canadian mining firms be called to justice before the judicial system over human-rights violations committed outside the national territory.

For more information (in Spanish):

Demandarán a minera Cuzcatlán ante gobierno de Canadá (Página 3, 11 de marzo de 2014)

Minera canadiense y gobierno violan DH de habitantes en San José del Progreso, Oaxaca (PRODH, 13 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncian a minera canadiense por violar derechos en San José del Progreso, Oaxaca (La Jornada, 13 de marzo de 2014)

Audio: Presentación del Informe en el IAGO, Oaxaca (Internet Archive, 10 de marzo de 2014)

Video: Exigen organizaciones cancelación de mina en San José del Progreso (Noticias, 10 de marzo de 2014)

Descarga el Informe de la Misión Civil de Observación: Justicia para San José del Progreso

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: presentation of report “Justice for San José del Progreso” (16 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Organizational call to the presentation of the Report of the Civil Mission of Observation: Justice para San José del Progreso (18 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Civil Observation Mission to San José del Progreso (30 November 2012)


Guerrero: Several injured after attack on communal police of CECOP near Acapulco

April 23, 2014

Marco Suástegui Muñoz, Cecop (@libertadguerrero.net)

On 4 April, at least five persons were injured during an ambush by armed civilians acting in the interests of gravel companies against communal police associated with the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP): five communal police from Cacahuatepec, a unit that was founded just a month ago, in addition to two aggressors.  Five in total were arrested for the acts.

On 6 April, in an assembly held in La Concepción, CECOP spokesperson Marco Suástegui Muñoz called on the State Attorney General’s Office to carry out a serious, formal, responsible, and profound investigation into the crimes.  He noted to those present that opponents to the CECOP take note, because “war has now been declared.”  He confirmed that the police unit would take out a loan to buy arms and ammunition so as to be prepared if another ambush happens.  The communal police also voted to recover the lands occupied by the Kimbar gravel company on 9 April.

Rogelio Téliz Cruz, lawyer for the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, said that he would be awaiting the investigation taken by the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE), noting that there is enough evidence to convict and imprison the five held in jail.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pide Suástegui a la PGJE pesquisa seria, formal, responsable y a fondo (la Jornada de Guererro, 7 de abril de 2014)

Luchar contra la adversidad en el río Papagayo (El Sur, 7 de abril de 2014)

Pedirá el Cecop un préstamo para armas para defenderse de los gravilleros, dice Suástegui (El Sur, 7 de abril de 2014)

Investiga la PGJE el ataque contra los comunitarios de Cacahuatepec en Parotillas ( El Sur, 6 de abril de 2014)

Grave tras ataque, policía comunitario del Cecop (La Jornada, 5 de abril de 2014)

Crisis de la CRAC-PC, por causas internas e influencia del Estado (La Jornada, 5 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: CRAC accepts 48 new communities from Acapulco (11 de marzo de 2014)

Guerrero: CECOP announces creation of Communal Police in Cacahuatepec communities (22 January 2014)

Guerrero: Sympathizers of the La Parota dam injure two CECOP members with machetes (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: CECOP on red alert after invasion by Army (5 March 2013)


Chiapas: Those displaced from Banavil and Aurora Ermita march in San Cristóbal

April 23, 2014

Manifestación de desplazados en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@CDHFBC)

Protest by the displaced in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@CDHFBC)

On 4 April, approximately 200 members of the Table of Coordination for the Defense of Human Rights which is comprised of 10 organizations from different municipalities in Chiapas marched in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to demand justice in the cases of the displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, and Aurora Ermita, Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan municipality.  Protestors called on the government of Manuel Velasco Coello to ensure their prompt return with adequate guarantees and security, so that attacks do not recur against them.

In a press-conference held in the Cathedral Plaza, the displaced and sympathizers of the EZLN from Banavil denounced that in recent dates they had been attacked with firearms, and that they had not had a response to their demands to date.  The 75 displaced from Aurora Ermita, for their part, indicated that there exist new arrest-orders which were issued in response to their denouncing of death-threats against them.  Two of these orders have been completed, with seven remaining.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de las familias de Banavil a dos años cuatro meses del desplazamiento forzado (4 de abril de 2014)

Piden justicia por casos Banavil y Aurora Ermita (Noticias.net.mx, 4 de abril de 2014)

Desplazados exigen cárcel a los culpables y garantías para su retorno(Diario contrapoder en Chiapas, 4 de abril de 2014)

Marchan para exigir justicia a los desplazados de Chiapas (Reporte Ciudadano, 4 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: CDHFBC published more information on the Banavil case, Tenejapa (9 February 2012)


Chiapas: OCEZ-RC installs sit-in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 10, 2014

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On 31 March, some 200 members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) held a march and installed an indefinite sit-in in downtown San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  They demand that the state authorities respond to their series of demands, denouncing “the politics of closure to dialogue on the part of the government led by Manuel Velasco Coello.”

Said demands include among others the regularization and redistribution of 1000 hectares of land from the Venustiano Carranza municipality; the cancellation of arrest-orders; the “retirement of nocturnal patrols of the specialized forces of the Army and Navy in our communities, as well as overflights performed by airplanes and even drones as well as helicopters belonging to the security forces and the Army”; the regularization of transport concessions from MOTO-TAXI, in addition to several productive, educational, and health projects.

Mariano Díaz Ochoa, subsecretary for Governance in the highlands region, has signed a document in which he committed himself to a dialogue between an OCEZ-RC commission with governmental authorities, to take place in Tuxtla Gutiérrez on 7 April.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la OCEZ-RC al instalar su plantón (OCEZ-RC, 31 de marzo de 2014)

OCEZ instala plantón en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Se plantan ocesistas en la plaza de la paz (Noticias.net.mx, 3 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)


Guerrero: Presentation of the Observation Mission Report “A light against impunity”

April 10, 2014

Misión de Observación a Guerrero, febrero de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Observation mission to Guerrero, February 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 2 April, members of the Observation Mission on human rights that was carried out in Guerrero last February presented a report at a press-conference which details the main results of the mission.  The members recalled that Guerrero finds itself in a phase of social disaster and that 13 social activists were murdered in 2013, without a single one of these cases being clarified to date.  The report indicates that “passing through the state of Guerrero, where there is a permanent persecution of human-rights defenders, social activists, and those who have the courage to denounce and to defend, confirms that the Mexican State criminalizes action that expresses solidarity with victims of injustice, [that] makes denunciations, and that defends just causes.”

During the presentation of the report, José Rosario Marroquin, director of the Prodh Center, stressed that although a handful of cases have had media coverage, the general situation in the state is a “palpable demonstration of the great lack which Mexico suffers from in terms of human rights.”

The members of the Mission made eight recommendations to the Mexican State, including the “cessation of security policies based in the militarization of public and communal spaces,” as well as putting an end to the policies of criminalization of communal police, social activists, and human-rights defenders.  The Mission also demanded respect for international agreements such as Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and called for social demands to be attended to and resolved by the authorities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden respeto a los derechos humanos en comunidades guerrerenses(Centro ProDH, 3 de abril de 2014)

Piden a Peña no criminalizar a policías comunitarias de Guerrero (Proceso, 2 de abril de 2014)

Piden cesar la criminalización de los disidentes sociales en el estado (La Jornada de Guerrero, 2 de abril de 2014)

Informe de la Misión de Observación a los Derechos Humanos al estado de Guerrero (abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Caravan “A light against impunity” ends in Acapulco after visiting Ayutla de Los Libres (14 February 2014)

Guerrero: Beginning of Civil Observation Mission “A light against impunity”(14 February 2014)

Guerrero/National: Network Solidarity Decade against Impunity denounces intimidation against two members days before Observation Mission to Guerrero (5 February 2014)


Chiapas: The EZLN announces new activities, meeting of indigenous peoples, and “Ethics amidst looting”

April 10, 2014


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In a March 2014 communique, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a series of activities for the months of May and June.

From 26 to 30 May will take place the meeting of indigenous peoples: “At this meeting we will exchange our thought and history of struggle and resistance as indigenous that we are.”  Some 30 peoples have been invited, including the Wixárika, Nahua, Zoque, Purépecha, Mazahua, Afromestizo, Triqui, Peninsular Maya, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol, Zoque, and migrants.  The letter stresses that the “invitation is closed and is ONLY for the indigenous peoples invited during this first round.  Those who are not invited will not be allowed to enter.”

In other news, “On Saturday 31 May 2014 in the Oventik caracol, we will announce together with our brothers and sisters from other indigenous communities our conclusions and a declaration for future plans in terms of resistance against the looting which we suffer, as well as our rights and indigenous culture.”

Furthermore, “Sunday 1 June 2014, also in the Oventik caracol, we will make a simple homage to our fallen comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This event is open and all are invited to attend.  The event will take place at approximately 2pm, and female and male commanders from the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee-General Command of the EZLN, the writer Juan Villoro, and Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés will participate.”

In the end will be held a final activity: “From Monday 2 June 2014 until Sunday 8 June of this year, there will be held in the Oventik caracol and at CIDECI in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, a seminar on the question of ‘ETHICS AMIDST LOOTING,’ which will also commemorate our comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This seminar is open and all are invited.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Anuncia EZLN encuentro de pueblos; irá ‘Marcos’ “si su salud se lo permite”, La Jornada, 1 de abril de 2014

EL EZLN ANUNCIA ACTIVIDADES CON PUEBLOS ORIGINARIOS, HOMENAJE A DON LUIS VILLORO Y SEMINARIO SOBRE “ÉTICA FRENTE AL DESPOJO”, ASÍ COMO NUEVA INICIATIVA PARA LA SEXTA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL, Enlace Zapatista, 31 de marzo de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 2014)

Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses” (1 January 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Marcos, Rebobine 3 (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN criticizes structural reforms (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities (27 December 2012)


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