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 installs sit-in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 10, 2014

100_2449

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)


National: Activities held to observe the third anniversary of the Movement for Peace

April 10, 2014

Tercer Aniversario del MPJD, Ciudad de México (@Uriah Samuel)

Third anniversary of the MPJD, Mexico City (@Uriah Samuel)

At the end of March, there were held several activities to commemorate the third anniversary of the emergence of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD, which brings together victims and relatives of the disappeared and murdered by organized crime and State security forces). At the Monument of Light–or the Monument to Peace–in Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, relatives of victims carried banners with the names of their loved ones which they then put on display at the monument.  “For historical and moral reasons,” the MPJD changed the name of the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Boulevard to 28 March Boulevard.

It should be recalled that the MPJD was created on this day following the murder of the son of the poet Javier Sicilia, the founder of the MPJD.  Since then, the writer has led several caravans in Mexico and the United States together with relatives of victims.

On this third anniversary, Sicilia assured that despite the government’s promises, “we continue in the middle of a war, with the disappearances, the murders, the kidnappings, the extortion, and the memory of the victims totally erased.”  He furthermore denounced that the State criminalizes self-defense groups: “The form in which they have been managing Michoacán is a true travesty.  I ask the authorities: whom do you serve? Because to us it is far from clear.  It seems to us to be the criminalization of people they had previously recognized; now they betray them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El Movimiento por la Paz acusa que el gobierno criminaliza a autodefensas(CNN México, 27 de marzo de 2014)

Conmemoran aniversario de multihomicidio en Morelos (El Universal, 28 de marzo de 2014)

Movimiento por la Paz: terco como la memoria (Desinformémonos, marzo de 2014)

Galería de fotos (marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Commemoration of two years of the MPJD (8 April 2013)


Chiapas: Adherent to the Sixth Declaration shot to death in Chilón

March 30, 2014

images

On 21 March, Carlos Gómez Silvano, a Tsotsil indigenous man of 22 years of age and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, was ambushed and murdered on a dirt road in the Chilón municipality.  His body showed 23 gunshot wounds from firearms of different calibers.  Gómez Silvano formed part of the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle who maintain possession of the land known as Virgen de Dolores.  The Public Ministry was prevented from confirming the acts and taking the body of the deceased, given that his comrades decided to take him to the place of his origin for burial.

“Shortly after a year since the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, the bad government sends its hitmen to harm our Virgen de Dolores community which has been born with much effort and sacrifice,” noted a communique from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido.  It should be stressed that several murders have been observed in the Chilón municipality that to date have not been clarified.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón sobre asesinato del compañero Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano (Koman Ilel, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Emboscan y acribillan de 23 tiros a indígena prozapatista en Chiapas (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2014)

Emboscan a líder tseltal (Cuarto Poder, 22 de marzo de 2014)

Acribillan a dirigente zapatista en Chiapas (Milenio, 22 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Close of global campaign “¡Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the struggle of Bachajón continues!” (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios recall Juan Vázquez Guzmán, murdered in April (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: Week for Global Action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Struggle of Bachajón Continues!” (7 June 2013)

Chiapas: ejidatario adherent to the Sixth Declaration murdered by gunfire in San Sebastián Bachajón (29 April 2013)

Chiapas: Adherents to the Other Campaign in San Sebastián Bachajón denounce looting and impunity (22 April 2013)

 


Guerrero: Police operation provokes confrontations and new arrest of member of CRAC-PC in Tixtla

March 30, 2014

Miembros de las CRAC-PC. Foto (@Sipaz)Members of CRAC-PC. Photo (@Sipaz)

During the morning of 19 March, a police operation carried out by federal and state units took place in the municipal head of Tixtla.

The police intervention had the objective of observing five search-orders and several arrest-orders against members of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) from the El Paraíso Justice House, Ayutla de los Libres municipality, which had been indicated by the state governor Ángel Rivero as having links with guerrilla movements.

The operation resulted in the arrest of Aurora Molina González, sister to Gonzalo Molina, leader of the communal police who was arrested last October, accused by the state and municipal governments of terrorism and links to guerrilla movements.  According to official reports, Aurora Molina had taken control of the communal police of Tixtla following her brother’s arrest.

During the departure of the police convoy, several confrontations took place between police and youth from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, which lies adjacent to Tixtla.

In the afternoon, there was held a march to the Tixtla City Hall to demand the release of Aurora Molina and 12 others detained from the CRAC, whom the protestors qualified as political prisoners.

In the past year, there has developed a crossfire of accusations between the Communal Police and the Tixtla mayor, Gustavo Alcaraz (PRD), whom the former accuse of being allied with organized crime, while the latter accuses the Communal Police of being a destabilizing force linked to guerrilla movements and directed by persons from outside the region.

Beyond this, during the night of 19 March, there was produced an armed confrontation between members of the Communal Police pertaining to the group of coordinator Eliseo Villar Castillo and members of the CRAC, who accuse Villar Castillo of embezzling 740,000 pesos.  What is more, they sought to take the San Luís Acatlán House of Justice unarmed.

The confrontation ended with the intervention of the Army, which entered the CRAC offices to disarm the followers of Villar Castillo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se enfrentan policías de Guerrero y comunitarios en El Fortín (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

La Policía Federal detiene a una dirigente de la guardia comunitaria de Tixtla de Guerrero (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Chocan miembros de la CRAC con policía y Ejército en Guerrero (El Financiero, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Chocan en Guerrero la CRAC y policías (El Universal, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Autodefensas disidentes atacan a comunitarios (Crónica, 20 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Ministerial Police detain Gonzalo Molina, CRAC promoter, en Tixtla (14 November 2013)

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

Guerrero: Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) pronounces itself against state decree (26 February 2013)

Guerrero: Authorities linked to the UPOEG occupy the House of Justice of the CRAC in San Luis Acatlán (26 February 2013)

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


National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists

March 30, 2014

imagesNearly two years after its creation, the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico finds itself in a delicate moment, in light of the resignation of its head, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Contreras, on 15 March, a situation has led to multiple questionings regarding its efficacy.  On 24 March, civil councilors of the Mechanism retired from the Governmental Council headed by the subsecretary for Governance, Lía Limón García, given their view that there do not exist adequate conditions for its functioning.

Since June 2013, civil-society organizations have presented a diagnostic regarding deficiencies within the Mechanism.  At present they identify structural failures: the impossibility of having a stable and qualified team due to constant firings, the fact that the full budget set aside for the organism is not yet accessible, and a delay in attending to cases.  Edgar Córtez, one of the civil councilors, detailed for example that until February of this year, the mechanism had received 152 petitions for aid, of which 22 were rejected, 89 were pending, and only 41 had been reviewed and discussed.  This implies that at least 70% of the requests have not yet been considered.

In a communique, civil society called on the Secretary of Governance “to assure in the coming election of the next Executive Coordination of the Mechanism that the designated person have proven experience in human rights, as national and international civil society organizations and journalists have noted in recent days, that a labor policy be established so that those who work for the Mechanism have their rights respected, and that [the Mechanism] work urgently to develop a priority means of responding to the problems identified with the mechanism with defined actions and results to achieve.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de OSC sobre las fallas del Mecanismo de Protección a Personas Defensoras de DH y periodistas (OSC, 27 de marzo de 2014)

Mecanismo de protección a periodistas falla y sus deficiencias no son atendidas: defensores (Animal político, 27 de marzo de 2014

Fallas estructurales en el Mecanismo de Protección de Defensores de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas (La Jornada, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Crece inconformidad contra Lía Limón; consejeros civiles la dejan sola (Proceso, 24 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: launching of Consultative Council of Mechanism for Protection of Journalists and Rights-Defenders (26 October 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)


National/Internacional: Mexico accepts 166 of the 176 recommendations released by the United Nations

March 30, 2014

índiceOn 20 March, the Mexican government presented in an addendum its observations regarding the 176 recommendations it had received in October 2013 during its evaluation before the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which took place during the 25th period of sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.  The UPR is a mechanism of periodic evaluation of the UN HRC, created in 2006 to consider the situations that prevail on the question in each of the 193 member-nations.

The Mexican State affirmed that “there has been a large acceptance of the recommendations made by the member-nations.”  It added that the federal government would design a mechanism coordinated with governmental institutions that would guarantee the participation of civil organizations to evaluate progress on the recommendations.  It noted that said recommendations were taken into account for the construction of the National Program in terms of human rights that will soon be presented.

Regardless, civil-society organizations lamented that Mexico has rejected observations on questions “such as the elimination of ‘community control’ and the recognition of the competence of the Committee on Forced Disappearance to receive individual complaints.”  They noted that, the optimistic view of the authorities notwithstanding, the human-rights situation in Mexico continues to be grave.

They added that “in accordance with the information provided by the Mexican government, it is from now that the national process to design a mechanism to observe and follow the received recommendations,” a process which they will follow closely to assure that “the commitments do not remain only on paper, but rather that they be translated into true changes for human rights in the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Respuesta de México a las recomendaciones del Mecanismo de Examen Periódico Universal del Consejo de Derechos Humanos(Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, marzo de 2014)

Defiende México ante la ONU la figura del arraigo (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Acepta México 166 de 176 recomendaciones de la ONU en derechos humanos (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado conjunto: Esencial que compromisos asumidos en el Examen Periódico Universal se traduzcan en cambios reales en México (OSC, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Tres recomendaciones de ONU omitirá México (El Universal, 21 de marzo de 2014)

Sesión completa de México ante el Consejo DDHH: Mexico, UPR Report Consideration (61 min.).

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: 176 recommendations for Mexico during the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (13 November 2013)

Mexico: Mexico undergoes the Universal Periodic Review (13 February 2009)

Mexico: The Mexican republic rejects recommendations made by the UPR (16 July 2009)


Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba”

March 30, 2014

25 Aniversario del Frayba, marzo de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

25th anniversary of Frayba, March de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 19 March, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba) celebrated 25 years since its founding.  Created in 1989 through the invitation of the then bishop of the the San Cristóbal de San Cristóbal diocese, Samuel Ruíz García, it in time passed into becoming a key reference for the defense of human rights, particularly of indigenous peoples, at the local, national, and international levels.

Part of the celebrations included the organization of an “International forum on human rights: from memory to hope,” which was attended by more than 350 persons, nationals and internationals.  On 18 March, the book The Social Evangelism of Bishop Raúl Vera was presented by the very bishop himself, who previously had worked with Samuel Ruiz in Chiapas and who now holds the presidency of the CDHFBC.

At the press-conference and ceremony which closed the events, the members of the CDHFBC recognized the difficulties and challenges implied for example by the advance of extractive industry and touristic projects in Chiapas, ina ddition to the attempts to loot territory, but they stressed that “it is the people who guide our path, in a positive feedback loop.”

For more information (in English):

Destaca obispo Raúl Vera, la creación del Frayba por don Samuel Ruiz(Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Sin traicionar el legado de Samuel Ruiz, celebra el Frayba su 25 aniversario(Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

El Frayba celebra su 25 aniversario (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

“Lo que no se vale aquí es no caminar… caminemos”: Samuel Ruiz García(Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Sitio Web del 25 aniversario: http://yorailmaya.wordpress.com/

Facebook: frayba.derechoshumanos

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)


National/International: Mexico confronts a “humanitarian crisis” amidst context of violence and impunity, denounces civil society in Brussels

March 30, 2014

Seminario sobre Derechos Humanos en Bruselas, marzo de 2014 (@CADHAC)

Seminar on human rights in Brussels, March 2014 (@CADHAC)

On 18 March, during the seminar on human rights that was held to observe the Fourth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between Mexico and the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Belgium, 32 organizations denounced that in Mexico “there is experienced a context of violence and impunity that has led the country to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”

In a joint pronunciation, Mexican and European civil organizations stressed that “the lack of professional investigation signifies that the structures of violence, looting, and discrimination operate in Mexico unchecked, this being a country where the rate of impunity is 98-99% [...].  The statistics on abuse speak of a systematic and generalized violation of human rights hailing from the police, soldiers, and public officials, who commit arbitrary arrests, torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions, among other violations; public and private actors commit acts of violence and discrimination against women; and Mexican and transnational corporations pollute, displace, and exploit natural resources without consulting the affected peoples and communities.”

After presenting a lengthy diagnostic, the civil organizations released a series of recommendations to the Mexican government and the EU, which included placing the question of human rights at the center of the bilateral agenda, suspending support for megaprojects that affect communities, designing a new strategy for public security, and eradicating violence against women.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de la sociedad civil en el marco del Diálogo de Alto Nivel en Derechos Humanos entre México y la Unión Europea (OSC, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Alertan ONG sobre la crisis humana sin precedente que enfrenta México (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Tendrán México y Unión Europea encuentro sobre derechos humanos (El Universal, 16 de marzo)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: civil-society organizations call on European Union to address deterioration of human rights in Mexico (26 October 2012)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 66 other followers