Guerrero: update in the Ayotzinapa case

December 17, 2014

San_Cristobal

Photo @SIPAZ

The parents and relatives of the disappeared normalist students have rejected the version presented by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) that the youth were burned and reduced to ashes in the garbage-dump of Cocula, Guerrero.  The families held that the remains of Alexander Mora Venancio, the only one of the 43 students who has been identified, were provided by the government to maintain the version of the three narco-hitmen who confessed to burning the remains of the students after killing them.  “The Argentinian investigators cannot confirm that these remains were found in Cocula, because they were not present at the time of the discovery of the remains [of Alexander Mora], such that the black bags containing the remains were open,” said a representative.  The director of the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Innsbruck, Austria, affirmed that expectations are “very low” that the laboratory will be able to identify the human remains that were presumably found in Cocula, because the conditions to which they were consciously exposed converted them to a “very challenging” state.

Beyond this, civil-society organizations have defended the legal representatives of the families of the 43 students disappeared by the police in Iguala, after it was reported that the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN), associated with the Secretary of Governance, had qualified them as a “danger for governance,” making reference to members of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights.  In a communique, 19 human-rights organizations denounced and lamented that the government would try to discredit human-rights defenders and use public resources to weaken the movement for the disappeared in place of employing the capacities of intelligence agencies to combat the infiltration and corruption of the “narco-State” and ensure that grave human-rights violations do not remain in impunity.

On 3 December, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OACNUDH) visited the Rural Normal school of Ayotzinapa to meet with relatives and friends of the disappeared students.  The visit was part of a follow-up campaign that the OACNUDH has provided in the case.  The Office reiterated its solidarity and energetic denunciation of the events of Iguala.

In a communique from 10 December, the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico demanded that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto clarify the role played by the Mexican Army and federal police in the disappearance of the 43 students.  In this way, it also demanded that Angela Merkel’s government suspend negotiations regarding security agreements with Mexico until the latter government provides a report on the general situation of human rights in Mexico.  On 10 December, the German daily Tages Zeitung reported that at least 36 of the weapons presumably used against the normalist students of Ayotzinapa were G-36 German assault rifles, produced by the Heckler & Koch corporation.  A day previous, on 9 December, deputies of the green parties in the European Parliament protested inside the parliament building in Brussels, demanding that the Mexican government use all possible means of finding the disappeared students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School alive.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defienden 19 ONG a Vidulfo Rosales y Abel barrera ante ataques del CISEN (El Sur de Acapulco, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa – ONU-DH visita a familiares y compañeros de los normalistas en Ayotzinapa y reitera su respaldo a sus demandas de justicia (Tlachinallon, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Defendamos a Tlachinollan ante ataques del Cisen (EDUCA, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Son “muy bajas” las expectativas para identificar los restos de Cocula, dice la universidad de Austria (El Sur de Acapulco, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Ayotzinapa: Vivos los queremos (El Topil, diciembre de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa (Coordinación alemana, 10 de diciembre de 2014)

Acuerdo de seguridad Alemania-México: inminente y poco transparente(Deutsche Welle, 10 de diciembre de 2014)

Se utilizaron armas alemanas en ataque a normalistas (Proceso, 10 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: approval of law on social movement that some have characterized as an “anti-protest law”

December 17, 2014

Movilización en la Ciudad de México, 20 de noviembre de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Mobilization in Mexico City, 20 November 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 2 December, deputies from the PRI, PAN, PVEM, and PANAL parties approved a bill on “social movement,” or constitutional changes that some NGOs and analysts worry could allow the authorities to suppress protests and more broadly restrict freedom of expression, reunion, and petition.  This comes within the context of multitudinous mobilizations against the government of Enrique Peña Nieto over the case of the disappeared 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa.

Some PRD, PT, and Citizens’ Movement legislators have qualified this bill as an “anti-protest law.”  Yet it still was approved 292 to 100, and thus will proceed to the Senate.  Once approved by the Senate, it must be approved by at least 17 state congresses.

Those comprising the front for the Liberty of Expression and Social Protest and Greenpeace Mexico have made an energetic call on the federal congress to avoid instituting any disposition that would seek to restrict the rights to freedom of expression, meeting, and association.  These groups indicated that it is alarming that the reform take place “within a context of enormous social discontent and public mobilizations against which public force has used disproportionate force, leading to violations of the freedom of expression, meeting, social protest, and even health.”  It is for these reasons that the General Law on Movement may seek to further restrict the right to social protest.

For more information (in Spanish):

Aprueban diputados ley antimarchas en medio de protestas por Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 2 de diciembre de 2014)

PRI y PAN buscan aprobar reforma que reglamente las manifestaciones(La Jornada, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

 ¿Ley antimarchas? Puntos clave de lo aprobado por diputados (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

El PRD condena Ley Antimarchas, pero en el DF la impulsa, acusan activistas (Sin Embargo 4 de diciembre de 2014)

ONG se declaran en alerta por eventuales intentos de cercar la libertad de expresión (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: State congress approves initiative on “legitimate use of force” (18 May 2014)

National: Creation of the Front for the Freedom of Expression and Social Protest (26 April 2014)


Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN to cede its place to relatives and disappeared students of Ayotzinapa

December 17, 2014


índice

In a communique signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés on 14 December, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) reports that it will cede its place to the relatives and disappeared students from Ayotzinapa during the First Global Festival for Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism, to be held from 21 December to 3 January in different places in Mexico, though it clarified that it still will participate in the work.

The EZLN calls for a commission comprised of 10 persons, 10 male and 10 female, who are relatives or comrades of the murdered and disappeared normalist students of Ayotzinapa, because “we said that the first and most important or urgent matters is to listen to the relatives and comrades of the disappeared and murdered [students] from Ayotzinapa.  It is these voices that have touched the hearts of millions in Mexico and throughout the world.”

Subcomandante Moisés added that the “nightmare of Ayotzinapa is neither local, state, or national.  It is instead global […] because this is not just against the youth or males.  It is a war within many wars: the war against the other, the war against indigenous peoples, the war against youth, the war on those who in their work make the world run, and the war against women.”

Yet this, as he notes, “was already [clear] from different calendars and geographies.  What places Ayotzinapa on the world map is the dignity of the relatives and comrades of the murdered and disappeared youth: their tenacity and intransigent insistence on the search for justice and truth.”

For more information (in Spanish):

De Ayotzinapa, del Festival y de la histeria como método de análisis y guía para la acción. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, Enlacezapatista, 14 de diciembre de 2014

El EZLN invita a padres de normalistas a participar en el Festival Mundial de las Resistencias, Proceso, 15 de diciembre de 2014

Cede EZLN lugar a normalistas de Ayotzinapa en Festival Mundial de Resistencia, La Jornada, 15 de diciembre de 2014


National: “To Defend Human Rights Is Necessary, Legitimate, and Dangerous” – Amnesty International

December 17, 2014

AI

On 9 December, day for human-rights defenders, Amnesty International (AI) presented the document “To Defend Human Rights Is Necessary, Legitimate, and Dangerous” regarding the work of human-rights observers and journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report notes that journalists and rights-defenders risk their lives and liberty to struggle for human rights, and continue to suffer from intimidation, assault, and other forms of violence.

The document stresses the “high levels of violence and repression” against those who work in questions having to do with the land, territory, and natural resources, as well as the rights of women and children, migrants, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans* and intersexual persons, in addition to journalists and trade-unionists who defend human rights.

“The saddening reality is that many of these persons who defend human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean suffer constant persecution and attacks as revenge for their efforts.  In different countries we have observed a disquieting and lamentable increase in the levels of violence and repressions suffered by these persons just for defending human rights and justice,” noted Erika Guevara Rosas, director of the American Program with AI.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defender Derechos Humanos en las Américs: Necesario, Legítimo y Peligroso, Amnestía Internacional, 9 de diciembre de 2014

Denuncia AI aumento de violencia contra defensores de Derechos Humanos en Latinoamerica, SDPNoticias, 9 de diciembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries for environmental defenders (12 June 2014)


International/National: IACHR presents report regarding right to truth which includes the case of the “Dirty War” in Mexico

December 16, 2014

index

At the end of November, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a report regarding the right to truth in Latin America “in light of the enormous challenges that many States of the region confront with regard to guaranteeing the rights of thousands of victims after periods of dictatorship, armed internal conflicts, and generalized violence.”

The report analyzes several cases, emphasizing “the obligations that the States have in reagrd to the objective of guaranteeing the right to truth in terms of grave human-rights violations.”  In the specific case of Mexico, the report makes reference to the creation of a Special Prosecutorial Office for Past Social and Political Movements (FEMOSPP), which seeks to investigate what happened in 532 cases of disappeared and arrested individuals.  It recalls that “on 15 December 2005, a group of investigators submitted a draft of the report.  However, to date, the report has not been made public, and it can only be found online, as published by the National Security Archive.”

In observance of the presentation of the report, Emilio Alvarez Icaza, Executive Secretary for the IACHR, stressed that “this report is a contribution that compiles the jurisprudence of the Inter-American legal system regarding the obligations States have in terms of truth, justice, and compensation for victims of past [crimes].  But it is not a report which deals only with the past, for it is also a contribution to the present, so as to assist from our place and mandate the democracies of today to advance with their pending debts.  It is also a contribution to the future.  The guarantee to the right to truth permits the construction of a future exempt from these types of abuses.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Derecho a la verdad en América: Informe Completo (CIDH)

Urge CIDH a erradicar desapariciones forzadas en América (El Universal, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

CIDH presenta informe sobre el Derecho a la Verdad en América (Boletín de prensa de la CIDH, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

CIDH presenta informe sobre el derecho a la Verdad; retoma el caso de la FEMOSPP en México (Centro Prodh, 2 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Guerrero: Death-threats directed against two activists with the Truth Commission (7 February 2013)

 


Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal

December 16, 2014

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Banner from the mothers’ caravan.  Photo@Voces Mesoamericanas

On 3 December, the “Bridges of Hope” Tenth Caravan of Central American Mothers passed through San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  From Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, the mothers are carrying out this journey on migrant routes to seek out their disappeared migrant children.  On their trajectory through 10 Mexican states, the caravan succeeded in reuniting 3 mothers with their families: one woman found her brother after 17 years, and two mothers found their children after 15 and 10 years, respectively.  In San Cristóbal a Mayan ceremony was held, in addition to a march during which the mothers demanded truth, justice, and respect for the human rights of migrants.  Furthermore, they denounced what is happening in Europe with migrants from Africa and the Middle East, and they expressed their solidarity with the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa and their families: “Mexico is full of clandestine graves, but there are not just migrants there; instead they are full of Mexicans.  It is not just a question of 43.  There are many more who have been disappeared.”

The caravan has been supported by organizations based in San Cristóbal like Mesoamerican Voices – Action with Migrant Peoples and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights.  Though the Mexican government officially counts only 157 foreigners as disappeared, the civil organizations estimate at least 70,000 disappeared migrants in Mexico.  As the migrants traverse the country toward the end of arriving in the U.S., the criticism goes beyond just Mexican migratory policy: “the worst thing is that it is these same countries repressing migrants that have created the conditions for which there now is brutal forcible displacement in Central America.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Las políticas económicas y de seguridad nacional sacrifican a miles de migrantes: 10a Caravana “Puentes de Esperanza” en San Cristóbal(Voces Mesoamericanas, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

“Puentes de Esperanza”: Caravana de Madres Centroamericanas, transformando el coraje (Koman Ilel, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Madres de migrantes centroamericanos exigen detener plan Frontera Sur(La Jornada, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

Caravana de madres de migrantes halla a tres desaparecidos (Excelsior, 1 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children(2 November 2012)

Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)

 


Oaxaca: Consultative process in the Tehuantepc Isthmus challenged on several fronts

December 16, 2014

La Ventosa, Istmo de Tehuantepec @SIPAZ

La Ventosa, Tehuantepec Isthmus @SIPAZ

After the beginning of the consultation process began in November regarding the implementation of a wind-energy project by the Wind-Energy Firm of the South in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Tehuantepec Isthmus, a number of acts of intimidation and harassment against members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) have been reported.  Once the session from which they had been barred and insulted upon questioning the information provided by the firm had ended, three APPJ members were followed by a white truck, and they heard gunfire as they entered their homes.

For its part, the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTyt) denounced that the conditions under which the process were progressing are incorrect: “As seen in the screams and insults and harassment by armed men, as was seen on 11 November, the events confirm that this is not a free consultation.  Instead, it is proceeding under conditions of coercion and assault.”  Furthermore, they indicated with respect to the second phase of the consultation, which was “approved despite the grave irregularities,” that “the meeting was held in a different place from the beginning, despite the fact that there was little diffusion of this information, with the result that the majority of those who attended were Coce groups, city hall workers, landowners who have signed contracts with the firm, and lawyers who are committed to the corporation.”

Beyond this, Saúl Vicente Vázquez, mayor of Juchitán, assured that in case the “representative institutions” of the communards and the people of Juchitán decide not to build the wind-energy park on the land, City Hall “will respect this decision totally.”

Beyond this, the announcement by President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) regarding the creation of an exclusive economic zone for Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Chiapas to catalyze development, with the creation of an industrial inter-oceanic corridor in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, “is a double discourse, because on the one hand it speaks of combating corruption and not having nefarious ties with firms, but on the other it is saying to corporations that they have all the support.  They come once again to speak to us of development but without taking into account us indigenous people, our human rights, or the decisions of the people regarding our resources,” stressed an APPJ member.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de la APIIDTyT (6 de diciembre de 2014)

Misión de Observación presenta Reporte del proceso de consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán, Oaxaca (Prodesc, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Rechazan juchitecos tiempos de la consulta para el parque eólico (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

Preocupantes violaciones en consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Juchitán; genera confrontación (Página 3, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado: APIIDTT hace entrega de observaciones y propuestas al protocolo de consulta previa, libre e informada en Juchitán (Educa, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Violan derecho de consulta en plan eólico de Oaxaca: ONG (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Ignora DH de pueblos indígenas zona económica propuesta por Peña: juchitecos (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Threats against APPJ members in terms of consultation regarding wind-energy project in Juchitán(13 November 2014)

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)


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