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)


Oaxaca: Repeated aggressions against Communal Police of Álvaro Obregón

April 23, 2014


binni-guiapa

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


72-camina-con

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

April 10, 2014


DSCF0271

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)


Guerrero: ejidatarios of Los Filos close gold mine in Carrizalillo

April 10, 2014

El Carizalillo, Guerrero (@subversiones.org)

El Carizalillo, Guerrero (@subversiones.org)

On 31 March, the five-year convention for the exploitation of the Carrizalillo gold mine expired, having been signed between ejidatarios and the Canadian firm Gold Corp (by means of its subsidiary Desarrollos Mineros de San Luis SA de CV). To date, no negotiations for a renewal of contract have been undertaken.

The ejidatarios are disposed to extend the convention, but they request that the ejido receive the majority of the profit, and that the firm resolve the health and environmental problems it has generated.  These are possibilities that have not been resolved at the negotiation table since January.  They question that the mining company has failed to observe social accords: for example, in 2009, during the negotiation of the previous convention, it promised to provide them with potable water, but it has not done so.

On 1 April, the ejidatarios decided to close the access roads to the mine toward the end of coming to a new agreement.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la mesa ejidal del Carrizalillo (31 de marzo de 2014)

Devastadora fiebre de oro: ejidatarios frenan labores en minas de Guerrero(Proceso, 1ero de abril de 2014)

Entre estira y afloja, ejidatarios paralizan las actividades en la mina de Carrizalillo (La Jornada de Guerrero, 2 de abril de 2014)

Cierran ejidatarios la mina de Carrizalillo; exigen aumento a la renta de tierras y parte de ganancias (El Sur, 2 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

In Focus: The unsustainability of the Extractive Mineral Model (May 2013)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: mobilization of the Communal Police against mining (8 September 2011)


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)


Oaxaca: “We agree to organize ourselves at the regional level to resist wind-energy projects, mines, and other megaprojects”: CNI Isthmus

April 10, 2014

Foto @ APIITD

Photo @ APIITDTT

On 29 March there was held the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) in the community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality, where the primary theme for discussion was the organization of communities to resist wind-energy projects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  National and international organizations and persons from the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz, and Mexico City were received by the communal council, the council of the elderly, and the communal police of Álvaro Obregón, “who continue stronger than ever despite the constant harassment we have suffered in recent months at the hands of the municipal and state governments, as well as due to the leaders of the COCEI-PRD-PT and the PRI of Juchitán,” as the closing statement notes.

During the meeting there was a discussion of challenges and commitments: “New constitutional reforms are coming in terms of agrarian matters, and there will be other laws to prohibit protests and social mobilizations.  They threaten us, they imprison us, they repress us [...].  We commit ourselves to struggle for the strengthening of our autonomy as indigenous peoples, campesinos, and mestiz@s [...].  We commit ourselves to the struggle of our  grandfather, comrade Ta’ Pedro Martínez Guerra, a communard from Juchitán, to recover his lands which find themselves being invaded by the Fenosa Natural Gas firm.”

Participants also made reference to other projects they are resisting, such as “the invasion and extraction of minerals for construction on the mountain of Santa Cruz Igú, a sacred site, historical and communal, that is part of the communal goods of Juchitán, and we pronounce ourselves against the construction of the mining project in Ixtepec, which will have strong negative consequences in terms of health, environment, and the way of life our all our communities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del Congreso Nacional Indígena CNI – Istmo (Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo de Tehuantepec en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio – APIITDTT, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Rechazo a proyectos eólicos, tema central en congreso de comunidades del istmo (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2014)

El paso de la resistencia a la autonomía en el Istmo de Tehuantepec(Desinformémonos, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Nuevo ataque de las eólicas en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 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)


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)


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