Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration; organizations express concern for disqualification of defenders from Guerrero; HRW considers Tlatlaya and Ayotzinapa to be “State crimes”

November 13, 2014

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March in solidarity with Ayotzinapa in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 22 October (photo @SIPAZ)

At a press-conference on 7 November, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam reported that the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa were presumed to have been incinerated and their remains thrown into the Cocula river, in accordance with information provided by three members of the “United Warriors” drug cartel.  The remains that have been found will be sent to an Austrian university for a process that will take some time, for, given “their high grade of decomposition, it will be difficult to extract DNA for identification,” argued Murillo Karam.  “We do not accept” the PGR’s conclusions, as it “is attempting to close the case” of the 43 disappeared students, claimed a parent of one of the students, who insisted that “our sons are still alive.”  “Today they want to surprise us saying that they made ashes of our children, so that we could not recognize them,” observed another.  The parents claimed that the intention of this information was to “allow President Enrique Peña Nieto to go on tour and say that everything has been resolved.”  On 9 November, Peña Nieto began a trip to China and Asia, where he will participate in the meeting of the Forum for Asia-Pacific Cooperation and also attend the G-2o summit.

Beyond this, organizations that have followed the fate of the Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists expressed their concern for the declarations and information that come out in recent days against members of the social organizations who work in Guerrero state.  Their concern was directed in particular against the accusation of the interim governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez, who called into question the work of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, and against the report of the Mexican intelligence report that was leaked by media, which accuses the technical secretary of the Guerrero Network of having ties with a guerrilla group.  In a document signed by dozens of human-rights organizations, they note that “the recent declarations by the governor […] are immensely worrying, since, amidst this human-rights crisis, he calls on the director of Tlachinollan to join the state government.  It should be stressed that both the José María Morelos Pavón Regional Center as well as Tlachinollan form a part of the ‘All Rights for All’ National Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations, and are organizations that have been recognized for their dedication to the strengthening of social leaders that are so lacking in the region, as for their juridical defense in cases of serious human-rights violations.”

In a press-conference, José Miguel Vivanco, representative of Human Rights Watch (HRW), claimed the disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa as well as the murder of 22 persons in Tlatlaya, Mexico state, to have “dragged” the name of Peña Nieto and his government “through the mud” in the international arena.  He mentioned that the federal executive had wanted to show the world a “Mexico that is fictitious,” and that he withdrew from considering questions of human rights and security, holding them to be “toxic” for his international image.  The HRW representative stressed that both cases are “crimes of State” to which the judicial authorities have reacted tardily and inefficiently.  The extrajudicial execution of at least 12 people at Tlatlaya by Army units and the forcible disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa must be included within the “gravest” cases of violence “in the contemporary history of Mexico and Latin America in recent years.”  He added, however, that these are not isolated events, but rather form part of an atmosphere of impunity and corruption.

For more information (in Spanish):

“No aceptamos” la hipótesis del asesinato de los normalistas, sostienen padres de desaparecidos (Desinformémonos, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

La desaparición de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa pudo evitarse, dice el Frayba (La Jornada de Guerrero, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Video: Los quemaron 15 horas, con leña, diesel, llantas, plástico.- PGR(Aristegui Noticias, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Desaparición de normalistas deja “por los suelos” imagen del gobierno, a nivel internacional: HRW (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Comienza Peña Nieto su gira de trabajo en China y Australia (Milenio, 9 de noviembre de 2014)

Inaceptable la postura del gobernador y la del gobierno federal, dicen defensores (La Jornada de Guerrero, 10 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Actualización en el caso Ayotzinapa (5 de noviembre de 2014)

Guerrero: Actualización caso Iguala: Detienen ex edil de Iguala; Renuncia Gobernador de Guerrero; Parlamento Europeo se divide por Ayotzinapa (24 de octubre de 2014)

Guerrero: Versiones contradictorias sobre fosas en Iguala a tres semanas de la desaparición forzada de 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa – Radicalización de las protestas (17 de octubre de 2014)

Nacional/Internacional: Múltiples movilizaciones y marchas por el “Dolor” y la “Rabia” de Ayotzinapa (9 de octubre de 2014)


Oaxaca: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán

November 13, 2014

(@cipamericas.org)

On 5 November, three members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) received threats by phone from a local number telling them “what have you been doing at the forum?  You have no reason to be there” and to “be careful of the consequences; we will meet.”  A fourth person from the same group did not take the call upon identifying the same number.  On 4 November, they also noticed surveillance in the place where the APPJ was holding a meeting with people linked to the Bii Hioxo wind-energy plant owned by Fenosa Natural Gas.  The APPJ members identified these surveillers as being the material authors of the harassment and threats made against the APPJ.

These threats come within the context of the first phase of agreements for a consultation that is being carried out in Juchitán, Tehuantepec Isthmus, regarding a new wind-energy project impelled by Wind-Energy of the South (formerly Mareña Renewables) that would install 132 towers in the region.

In an Urgent Action regarding these threats, the organization Código DH denounced that “[t]he violation of the rights of those participating in the consultative process imperils the security of persons.  It is a way of attempting to silence the critical voices and to reduce the participation of the citizenry within a process that should be open and broad.  It is unacceptable that this is a question of guaranteeing rights by violating those of others, either by action or omission.  The existence of these new threats against members of the [APPJ] who find themselves participating in this exercise shows this to be true.  It not only violates the right to participation by a specific group that has denounced the installation of the Bii Hioxo wind-energy park on communal lands and been critical of the process, denouncing death-threats and harassment on multiple occasions, but also taints the first phase of this consultative process, which should guarantee the participation of all those who are interested in participating.”

The APPJ together with other collectives and social organizations has questioned the consultation that has been initiated in Juchitán as a “joke” and a “circus,” given that it only began once 13 wind-energy parks and more than 800 wind-towers had been installed in the region.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuevas amenazas a integrantes de la APPJ en el marco de la consulta que se realiza en Juchitán (Acción Urgente de CODIGO DH, 6 de noviembre de 2014)

Hostigamiento y amenazas obstaculizan el debido desarrollo de consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán, Oaxaca (CODIGO DH, PODER, PRODESC, 6 de noviembre de 2014)

Es viciada e ilegítima consulta sobre instalación de parque eólico en Juchitán (La Jornada, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

Es una burla consultar después de invadirnos de aerogeneradores: juchitecos (Página3.mx, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

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: Mayor of Chichicápam orders shooting of residents: 17 injured and 3 arrested

November 13, 2014

Foto @ Noticias Net

Photo @ Noticias Net/Iván Flores Noriega

On 6 November, Carlos Vásquez Rebollar, the mayor of San Baltazar Chichicápam, located in the Ocotlán district, ordered three people to fire against residents who were cleaning the streets of the community.  The bullets fired from rifles atop the roof of the house of Carlos Vásquez injured 17 persons, including women and children, one of them gravely.  These people were working in the street where the mayor lives.  The community had withdrawn its recognition of the mayor in the latest communal assembly held on 5 October; it is speculated that this was the reason for the ordered shooting.  During this assembly, residents nominated a commission of 15 governmental representatives because the mayor had not presented himself, given that he was occupied in accounting tasks following the accusation of embezzlement of public funds.  The three persons who opened fire on the crowd, cousins of the mayor, were arrested by the Staet Agency of Investigation (AEI) in an operation.  Vásquez Rebollar fled, and his whereabouts are currently unknown.

For more information (in Spanish):

Alcalde priista de Oaxaca ordena disparar contra pobladores; reportan 17 heridos (Proceso, 8 de noviembre de 2014)


Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Father Tomás González

November 13, 2014

© Amnestía Internacional

Fray Tomás González © Amnesty International

In a communique published on 7 November, Father Tomás, founder of the migrant home “La 72″ in Tenosique, Tabasco, denounced the persecution and criminalization carried out by the National Migration Institute (INM) against him.

An INM agent notes that “upon cordially greeting Fray Tomás González, who was in his car, the priest grabbed his hand and started the engine, thus dragging him for more than 100 meters,” with this being the reason that he demands prosecution of Fray Tómas.

The communique from the migrant home categorically denied the INM’s claim: “This false denunciation is part of the alarming increase in the persecution and violent criminalization of the INM toward migrants and those who assist them in humanitarian terms at the ’72’ migrant home.  The attacks began in 2011, when the home was founded, and today they reach the extreme of using the penal system against the director of this center, thus criminalizing our work in defense of human rights.

For ten years, the systematic participation of INM agents in criminal enterprises has been documented, including extortion, robbery, assault, and other crimes against migrants committed by the very officials themselves in actions that have greatly threatened the life and integrity of those who cross through this country.  These actions have worsened following the implementation of the Southern Border Plan by the federal government.”

Dozens of national and international civil organization have expressed their solidarity with Fray Tómas and  warned that “just in 2014, there have been no fewer than five attacks on ‘La 72.'”

For more information (in Spanish):

Agente del INM demanda al defensor de migrantes Fray Tomás González, Proceso,  5 de noviembre de 2014

Comunicado de solidaridad con Fray Tomás y el albergue de La 72 frente al intento de criminalizar su labor de defensa de derechos humanos, Voces MesoAmericanos,  6 de noviembre de 2014

OSC se solidarizan con Fray Tomas; exigen cese de hostigamiento y ataques contra la 72 (Sididh, 11 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):


Chiapas: Mutiny at Migrant Center in Tapachula “a reflection of policies of control that do not guarantee human rights,” claim civil society organizations

November 13, 2014

Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI (@presidencia.gob.mx)

Migratory Station XXI Century (@presidencia.gob.mx)

On 29 October, close to 300 Honduran migrants engaged in a mutiny at the Century XXI Migrant Station (EMSXXI) located in Tapachula. Fifteen migrants succeeded in escaping, but 10 were captured in an operation carried out by different security forces, while five escaped the police siege.

Jazmin Yaneth Cabrera Lopez, regional director of the National Migration Institute (INM) at the XXI Migrant Station, reported that the mutiny had to do with the fact that the migrants had been held for more than 10 days, given that the Honduran consulate was on vacations, thus making impossible progress in terms of documents needed for their return.

In a communique released on 30 October, the Fray Matía de Córdoba Center for Human Rights indicated that “the event that took place last Wednesday within the detention center for migrants in Tapachula […] shows the consequences generated by the repressive policy of control, detention, and deportation that the Mexican State has implemented in recent months.  It confirms that the kidnapping of migrants, instead of protecting them and guaranteeing their basic rights, affects their physical and emotional integrity and the basic rights of men, women, children, and adolescents.”  The Center also noted that “the strengthening at the border, that is to say the armor and application of strategies for security and militarization under the Southern Border Plan, as implemented by the federal government, is causing backup at the EMSXXI, the principal center for deportation in Latin America.  This comes in addition to the poor living and hygienic conditions inside and the lack of protective consular assistance, which are the principal demands of those who rose up, who clearly are deprived of their liberty, without having committed any crime.  They were also confined to cells and had their food rationed.  This is a clear manifestation of what happens when the social reality of migrants is addressed only with the focus of criminalization and control, without consideration that the causes of migration are multiple and complex.  Many are fleeing the social and political violence that exists in their countries.  They require true protection.”

For more information (in Spanish):

MOTÍN EN EL CENTRO DE DETENCIÓN “ESTACIÓN MIGRATORIA SIGLO XXI”, REFLEJO DE UNA POLÍTICA DE CONTROL QUE NO GARANTIZA DERECHOS HUMANOS FUNDAMENTALES (Boletín del CFH Fray Matía de Cordobá, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Huyen 15 hondureños de estación migratoria en Chiapas (El Universal, 29 de octubre de 2014)

Motín en estación migratoria de Tapachula; hay 5 prófugos (OEM, 29 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: creation of mechanism for human-rights observation amidst the militarization of the Southern Border (2 September 2014)


Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case

November 12, 2014

Acciones globals por Ayotzinapa (@CENCOS)

Global actions for Ayotzinapa (@CENCOS)

On 5 November, in solidarity with the 43 students from the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, who have been disappeared for over 40 days now, students from at least 70 colleges and universities throughout the country organized a third global day of action for Ayotzinapa.

The previous day, the former mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife María de los Ángeles Pineda were arrested in Mexico City.  They are considered to be the intellectual authors in the case.  With these arrests, a total of 59 have now been arrested, including police and members of the “United Warriors” drug cartel.  Regardless, there still has been little progress in terms of actually locating the disappeared students.

The interim governor of Guerrero, Rogelio Ortega, has on several occasions called on the “United Warriors” group to negotiate for the release of the students, given his view that it is probable that they are still alive.

On 29 October, relatives of the students from Ayotzinapa met with President Enrique Peña Nieto, stressing the lack of results from investigations.  Some of them publicly declared that two weeks after the disappearance of the students, the Guerrero state government offered 100,000 pesos per student to the parents, so that maintain silence and cease their searches.

For more information (in Spanish):

Universitarios inician tercer paro nacional por Ayotzinapa (Animal Político, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

59 detenidos por el caso Ayotzinapa, pero… ¿y los 43 normalistas? (CNN México, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

Llama Ortega a Guerreros Unidos a pactar liberación de los normalistas; “están vivos” (La Jornada de Guerrero, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

A horas de su detención, el exalcalde de Iguala declara en la SEIDO (Animal Político, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

El gobierno quiso comprar el silencio de los padres de los normalistas desaparecidos (Aristegui Noticias, 1 de noviembre de 2014)

Padre de normalista denuncia que gobierno de Guerrero ofreció $100 mil para que callaran (Proceso, 1 de noviembre de 2014)

Padres de normalistas desaparecidos reclaman a Peña falta de resultados (CNN México, 29 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

Guerrero: Contradictory versions regarding findings from graves in Iguala three weeks after the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa – Protests are radicalized (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)

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

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


Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace

November 12, 2014

Peregrinación en Simojovel, octubre de 2014 (@Koman Ilel)

Pilgrimage in Simojovel, October 2014 (@Koman Ilel)

In a communique published on 29 October, members of the Believing People from the parish of San Antonio de Padua in Simojovel denounced that after the pilgrimage they held on 18 October to demand greater security in the region, they repeatedly warned with death-threats and threats of kidnapping on the part of the authorities and arms- and drug-traffickers who operate in the city.  The threats are directed at Father Marcelo Peréz Peréz, as well as at other members of the parish council.

The members of the Believing People expressed however that they would continue demanding justice and security in the region.  “We cannot be indifferent in light of the situation experienced by the people of Simojovel.”  They noted: “We ask ourselves about what is happening in Simojovel, if this is the fifth pilgrimage of the Believing People involving more than 12,000 persons, why have no firm decisions been made by the state and federal governments to return peace to Simojovel.  What are they awaiting?  Another massacre?  That the priest be killed?  That ten members of the parish council and representatives of the Believing People be killed?  Are they hoping that the 2015 elections will take place with another wave of violence?”

For more information (in Spanish):

DESPUES DEL 18 DE OCTUBRE EN SIMOJOVEL, EL PUEBLO CREYENTE ESTÁ EN MAS PELIGRO (Pueblo Creyente, 29 de octubre de 2014)

Denuncian nuevas amenazas contra clérigos y religiosos de Simojovel en Chiapas (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel (20 July 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel for the closure of “cantinas” and the end of violence; parish priest receives threats (June 13, 2014)

Chiapas: Believing People holds pilgrimage in Simojovel to denounce the increase in violence in the municipality (October 26, 2013)


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