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)


International/National: national and international warning regarding the increase in the number of aggressions against defenders of the land, territory, and environment

December 16, 2014

index

In observance of the presentation of the report “We no longer fear: Defenders of the land, attacked for confronting savage development,” Mexican civil-society organizations warned of the increase in the number of attacks on defenders of the land, territory, and environment in the country.

In the report that was presented, the International Federation on Human Rights (FIDH) documents 106 cases of harassment against 282 defenders of the land and 19 civil organizations in this line of work throughout the world.  It denounces that 95% of the cases have gone unpunished, due to the “incapacity of the States to hold perpetrators accountable, either through their actions or inaction.”

In the case of Mexico, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) calculates that, from the beginning of 2013 to April 2014, 82 attacks took place on environmentalists, 35 of them in Oaxaca, with 9 in Puebla, 8 in Mexico State, 6 in Morelos and Veracruz, and 3 cases in Chiapas, Mexico City, and Sonora each.

The majority of the registered attacks took place within the context of wind-energy projects (30), mines, dams, highways, public policies, geothermal energy, and aqueducts.

37 of the attacks were perpetrated by authorities; in 30 cases, the perpetrators were unknown; in 5, attacks were carried out by people of the same community (who generally favor the project in question), in 3, organized crime was to blame, while in another 3, the question was related to people associated with firms who promote megaprojects.  Lastly, in 6 cases perpetrators were described as having ties to the authorities.

In the presentation of the FIDH, Adrián Ramírez, from the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (LIMEDDH), warned also of the recently announced 10 points made by President Enrique Peña Nieto, given that these “place emphasis on supporting the states where megaprojects have been attempted to be imposed, amidst strong popular objections.  That is to say, the idea is to provide economic incentives to these megaprojects, as if the problem in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Guerrero has to do with development and not social inequality.”

Axel García, from the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH), noted that for his part the number of documented cases registered by the Observatory “does not reflect all the attacks suffered by defenders.  These are only paradigmatic cases.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe de la FIDH “No tenemos miedo. Defensores del derecho a tierra: atacados por enfrentarse al desarrollo desenfrenado

Informe sobre ataques a personas defensoras ambientales 2014 (CEMDA)

Preocupantes, ataques a defensores del derecho a la tierra por proyectos eólicos (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2014)

106 casos de violencia contra defensores de la tierra en los últimos tres años (Animal Político, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

En 16 meses hostigan y atacan a 82 ambientalistas en México, acusa el Cemda (Sin Embargo, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Aumentan agresiones contra defensores de la tierra y de los pueblos indígenas (Proceso, 2 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)


Oaxaca: Threats from the mayor of Santa María Chimalapa denounced

December 16, 2014

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Miguel Ángel García Aguirre, regional coordinator of the National Committee for the Defense of the Chimalapas, accused Silaín Hernández, mayor of Santa María Chimalapa, of being responsible for the threats he has received if he does not abandon the Zoque zone.  He explained in mid-November that he received phonecalls from at least two numbers from Oaxaca threatening him to leave the community.  He said he had received the call of a person who had refused to identify himself, “but to me it seemed like it was Silaín […] threatening me to leave Chimalapas […] this all in a threatening tone.”  He assured that, though the mayor be responsible for this behavior, he would continue to work in defense of the land in Chimalapa.

For his part, Silaín Hernández accused Miguel Ángel García and Luis Bustamante, also a member of the National Committee for the Defense of the Chimalapas, as well as the ex-secretary of governance Jesús Martínez Álvarez of causing a social destabilization after having released media communiques.  The mayor referred to a case from about two weeks ago, when a document that was firmed by the National Committee was released assuring that its membership along with the ejidal commissioner had not wanted to hold assemblies that would address questions of accountability and the prospect of a dam that would be installed on Zoque territory.

The communique in question distanced itself from the president of the ejidal commission, Ildeberto Mendoza, “for not having demonstrated interest in defending the interests of the people” amidst the permanent aggressions and invasions promoted by corporations and the Chiapas state government.  The document expresses that this decision was taken after the mayor manipulated Ilderberto Mendoza to suspend the general assembly on two occasions during which it had been planned to discuss the constitutional motion that had been interposed by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) regarding the invasion of more than 160,000 hectares of land by people from Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian amenazas de Silaín Hernández (Noticias Net, 19 de noviembre de 2014)

Alcalde de Chimalapas acusa al Comité Nacional para la Defensa de los Chimalapas de desestabilización social (Página 3, 19 de noviembre de 2014)

Desconocen a autoridad comunal por no defender a Chimalapas de invasiones y megaproyectos (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2o14)


National: 10 points from EPN regarding security, and first reactions

December 15, 2014

Enrique Peña Nieto (@Wikipedia)

Enrique Peña Nieto (@Wikipedia)

On 27 November, a day after 2 months had passed since the forcible disappearance of 43 normalist students in Iguala, Guerrero, President Enrique Peña Nieto publicly announced 10 actions to be taken in terms of public security, as well as in prosecution the administration of justice.  These measures include the following:

1. To submit on 1 December a bill against the Infiltration of Organized Crime in the municipal authorities which would allow the federal government to take control of security in municipalities where there are indications of collusion between local authorities and organized crime.

2. An initiative to redefine the competence of each authority with regard to fighting crime.

3. The obligatory creation of state police that will substitute the “more than 1,800 weak municipal police.”

4. A national number for emergencies: 911.

5. A single identification card.

6. A special federal force located in the region of Tierra Caliente that would cover municipalities in Guerrero and Michoacán.

7. A solution for justice “that too often is slow, complex, and costly.”

8. Different actions in terms of human rights that include the following: provide Congress with the ability to expedite the general laws on torture and forcible disappearance; strengthening the protocols and proceedings in cases of torture, forcible disappearance, and extrajudicial executions; creation of a national system to search for disappeared persons, as well as a national genetic information database, and the entrance into law of a General Law on Victims.

9. Support from the federal executive for the National Anti-Corruption System and the Regulatory Law for Constitutional Reforms in terms of transparency that is being discussed in the federal congress.

10. Transparency, accountability, and popular participation.

Beyond the ten points, EPN announced a strategy “for comprehensive development to reduce poverty,marginalization, and inequality in Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca.”

In reaction, the parliamentary groups of the Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the National Action Party (PAN) lamented that the federal executive had not engaged in self-criticism in its transfer of responsibility to the local level, or even really provided a truthful diagnostic of the crisis in the country.

With regards to this latter point, human-rights organizations and victims’ groups denounced that the attention provided to the serious problem of forcible disappearances continues being inadequate.  They recalled that this is not the first time that the present government announces search plans and actions, with no results to date.  They lamented that there has not been any progress in terms of consultation for the construction of the proposal with those who for year have denounced the exponential increase in the number of disappearances in Mexico.   These groups warned furthermore that a large part of the measures that were announced correspond to the legislative branch, and so do not imply immediate actions that would help advance the investigations of thousands of cases of forcible disappearances that have been denounced in recent years.  Specifically, they affirmed that “we consider that, amidst the magnitude of the crisis of disappearances, it is reproachable that the central message today would not be recognition of the magnitude of this crisis but would instead omit immediate and urgent measures to be taken in terms of justice to guarantee that in all cases of disappearances that have been denounced, justice and truth prevail […].  We lament that today, two months following the forced disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa, the president has not revealed any concrete actions to deepen the search for the students, whose whereabouts still to date has not been clarified using scientific evidence.  Neither has there been any pivot to the parents who have experienced rage and negation since 26 and 27 September 2014, amidst the promises of those who to date still have yet to observe them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Estos son los 10 puntos que anunció Peña Nieto en respuesta al caso Ayotzinapa (Animal Político, 28 de noviembre de 2014)

Presenta Peña Nieto nuevo plan de justicia (27 de noviembre de 2014)

Propuesta de 10 puntos de EPN confronta a bancadas en el Senado (La Jornada, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Propone PRD ampliar decálogo de Peña; “insuficiente” el punto de la corrupción, dice (Proceso, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado completo de las OSC (27 de noviembre de 2014)

Ante crisis son insuficientes medidas anunciadas por EPN: derechohumanistas (Radio Fórmula, 28 de noviembre de 2014)


National/Chiapas: Program of the First Global Festival for Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism

December 15, 2014


Imagen @ Mujeres y la Sexta org

Image @ Mujeres y la Sexta org

On 26 November, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced the general program of the forthcoming First Global Festival for Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism, which will begin in the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, in Mexico State, on 20 December, to continue in the state of Morelos in the community of Amilcingo on 22 December, the day that will also commemorate 17 years since the Acteal massacre.

In Mexico City, the Grand Cultural Festival will be held from 24 to 26 December, while the third “sharing” will take place in Monclova, Campeche, on 27 December.  From 31 December to 1 January 2015, the Festival of Anti-Capitalist Rebelliousness and Resistance will be held in the caracol of Oventic in Chiapas.

Lastly, on 2 and 3 January, the plenary of conclusions, agreements, and pronunciations will be held at CIDECI-UniTierra Chiapas in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  In this way, summaries of each sharing will be provided, as will the conclusion.

For more information (in Spanish):

Programa del Primer Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y las Rebeldías Contra el Capitalismo (Enlace Zapatista, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN and members of CNI united against the plundering of their peoples (29 August 2014)


Oaxaca: 344 women killed during the administration of Gabino Cué, according to Consorcio Oaxaca

December 15, 2014

infografía actualizada

To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, Eduardo Liendro Zingoni, director of the Center for the Re-Education of Men, indicated that the “grave situation of gender violence is becoming increasingly obvious over time, as has been demonstrated in an explosion of cases involving extreme violence.”  This center has been working for a year, and it is a dependency of the the state Secretary for Public Security.  Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca (Consorcio Oaxaca) stressed with respect to the Center for Re-Education that “on several occasions, it has been thought that working on violence within couples is the only aspect [worth pursuing], thus leaving to the side another facets of violence, as the state and federal laws stipulate women’s rights to live lives free of violence.”  It added that “from civil society with respect to the question, recognizing that a great step forward was taken with the founding of the center as a means of contributing to eradicating, attending to, and preventing violence against women, though progress should not stop there, given that it is necessary to continue.  From this position we are discussing a mechanism for surveillance of the impacts of this new institution.”

Within the past 10 years, the number of femicides has nearly trebled.  In 2004, 42 femicide cases were registered in Oaxaca, but in 2014, 110 women have been killed, and by mid-November, the Oaxaca State Health Services reported having attended to 541 cases of injuries provoked through domestic violence.  Consorcio Oaxaca has documented 91 cases of femicides and 36 disappearances of women in the state.  These statistics add on to the previous findings to sum a total of 344 femicides and 122 forcible disappearances of women that have not been prosecuted during the four years of the present state government, as Yésica Sánchez Maya has stressed, being the coordinator of Consorcio Oaxaca. Sánchez Maya has noted that in her time as a women’s-rights defender, she has perceived that impunity has led women’s access to justice to be a major obstacle.  “The frequent accusations make it seem that the only question is to simply attend to femicide, but this is just the maximum expression of the situation of violence suffered by women in their everyday lives.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Un feminicidio cada 3 días (Noticias Net, 24 de noviembre de 2014)

Llegan al hospital 541 mujeres agredidas (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Reeducan a 129 hombres violentos (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Ponencia “Los retos y desafíos del centro de reeducación para hombres en un contexto de agudización de la violencia contra las mujeres y niñas”en el “Foro: Reeducación de los hombres, un aporte para prevenir, atender y erradicar la violencia contra las mujeres” (Consorcio Oaxaca)

Infografías sobre el Feminicidio en México del Observatorio Ciudadano Nacional del Feminicidio (Las Caracolas, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: State complicity in femicide is denounced (2 May 2014)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Commemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)


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