Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of female human-rights defender

October 25, 2014

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The Network of Female Activists and Human-Rights Defenders of Oaxaca denounced that on 8 October, the home of defender Silvia Gabriela Hernández Salinas, a member of the Oaxacan Voices Building Autonomy and Freedom (VOCAL) collective, was forcibly entered to remove her personal computer and two external hard drives.  Despite the fact that the house contained other valuable items, only the digital materials in question were stolen, such that the Network believes that the robbery is associated with her work in favor of the defense of human rights.

In Oaxaca, mobilizations were undertaken on 2 and 8 October to demand the presentation of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa alive.  It should be mentioned that Silvia Gabriela participated in both such protest-actions.  Furthermore, she indicated that months previously, she had been confronted by members of the State Preventive Police and was arrested on 6 July 2007, when supporters of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) clashed with police following the procession of the popular Guelaguetza in Oaxaca City.

This case adds to the list of 59 attacks against 22 human-rights defenders, 3 journalists, and 6 collectives and organizations in the state of Oaxaca that have been committed in the first half of 2014.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian allanamiento y robo defensora de los DH (Noticias Net, 10 de octubre de 2014)

Allanan domicilio de defensora de DH; suman 60 ataques en Oaxaca solo en 2014 (Página 3, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Oaxaca: Primer lugar en ataques a mujeres defensoras de DH y periodistas (Consorcio Oaxaca, 23 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Attempted murder against a member of VOCAL (12 January 2009)


National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa

October 12, 2014

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EZLN march in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

On 8 October, in at least 25 states of the Mexican Republic and in different cities of the U.S. and Europe, millions of persons marched to demand the appearance with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students of Ayotzinapa, and to demand justice for the 6 who were murdered and more than 20 who were injured during the events of 26 and 27 September.  Following these acts, 22 municipal police were arrested by the authorities in Guerrero, in addition to four suspected members of the United Warriors cartel.  Federal and state experts are analyzing if the 28 recently identified corpses from mass-graves correspond to those who have been disappeared.

Marcha

March in SCLC @ SIPAZ

In Chiapas, more than 60,000 mobilized in seven regions of the state.  Indeed, approximately 20,000 members of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) marched in rigorous silence, carrying signs with messages like “your pain is ours” and “your rage is ours.”  Furthermore, members of section 7 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE), social organizations, students, and citizens marched as well, with the most popular slogan that was heard being “You took them alive; we want them back alive!”

Beyond this, the Revolutionary Army of the Insurgent People (ERPI) announced the creation of a “justice brigade” to confront drug-trafficking organizations in Guerrero, particularly the “United Warriors” cartel, who are presumed as being responsible for the violence seen in Iguala.

Para más información:

Ayotzinapa convoca a la solidaridad ciudadana (Más de 131, 7 de octubre de 2014)

15,000 personas exigen a Peña hallar a normalistas desaparecidos en Iguala (CNN México, 8 de octubre de 2014)

Marchas en 25 estados para pedir justicia por Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Marcha silenciosa de unos 20 mil zapatistas por Ayotzinapa(Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Se movilizan miles en Chiapas para exigir justicia para Ayotzinapa (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de octubre de 2014)

RvsR: Ante los asesinatos y desapariciones de Ayotzinapa (Enlace Zapatista, 7 de octubre de 2014)

Video: ERPI declara la guerra a “Guerreros Unidos” (Aristegui Noticias, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Sign the Amnesty Internacional petition: Ayotzinapa Justicia

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


Oaxaca: 16 months after the imprisonment of Damián Gallardo, and following call from the UN, there is no response from the Mexican State

October 12, 2014

Foto @ Front Line Defenders

Photo @ Front Line Defenders

The Committee of Relatives and Friends of Damián Gallardo, the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (LIMEDDH-Oaxaca), Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA), Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca, the New Woman Collective, and the Oaxaca Citizens’ Initiative denounced that 16 months after the incarceration of teacher Damián Gallardo Martínez, who has been accused of participating in the kidnapping of children, the Mexican State has provided no response to the calls from the international community and the UN regarding the human-rights violations experienced during his imprisonment.  In a press-conference, Idolina Gallardo Martínez, Damián’s sister, said that 6 months after UN institutions called on the Mexican government to provide evidence for the charges on which the teacher has been incarcerated, “there is silence from the authorities in question.”

Beyond this, the representative of LIMEDDH-Oaxaca mentioned that international organizations like Front Line Defenders and the Observatory for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders have published urgent actions to manifest their concern for the well-being of Gallardo Martínez and to call on the Mexican State to release him immediately, in accordance with its international obligations to protect human rights and carry out an expeditious investigation regarding the acts that have been denounced.

For more information (in Spanish):

Estado mexicano no ha respondido a ONU por caso Damián Gallardo (Noticias Net, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Exigen familiares de Damián Gallardo respuesta a exigencias (Tiempo en Línea, 5 de octubre de 2014)

Comunicado Caso Damián Gallardo (Ciudadanía Express, 5 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: Assault on teacher Damián Gallardo in a prison of Jalisco (13 June 2014)


Oaxaca: Two dead and one seriously injured, in a “worrying increase of police violence” (EDUCA)

October 11, 2014

Imagen @ OIDHO.org

Image @ OIDHO.org

On 22 September, the communal leader Jaime López Hernández, member of the Indigenous Organization for Human Rights in Oaxaca (OIDHO), was killed by a shot in the back in the San Andrés Lovene community, San Juan Ozolotepec municipality, as he was visiting his mother’s gravesite. Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA) manifested its energetic rejection of the act, condemning the murder of Jaime López, and it noted that “[we are] concerned by the increase in police violence in Oaxaca and the impunity in which attacks against [social] leaders and human-rights defenders remain.  Jaime López’s murder [...] joins in a long chain of attacks committed against human-rights activists.  Organizations such as Peace Brigades International and the National Network of Human Rights ‘All Rights for All’ have located Oaxaca as one of the states in which is observed the most attacks on human-rights defenders.  We call on the state authorities to act immediately in this case, to engage in a lawful investigation, and to commit themselves seriously to protecting the work of defenders in Oaxaca.”

Beyond this, on 26 September, two teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) were fired upon from a vehicle as they were walking in the street.  Of the two teachers, both of whom worked in a high school in San Mateo del Mar, one died–Shamir Jonatán Osorio Gallegos–while the other, Manuel Reyna Osorio, was seriously injured.

Lastly, reflecting on the numerous violent acts that have been seen in different parts of Mexico of late, an opinion article in La Jornada expressed that “Despite the official efforts to minimize the impacts of insecurity in the social perception, violence and criminal anarchy continue to affect the people in many regions of the national territory, giving the impression that the attempt to deviate attention from these problems does nothing more than exacerbate them [...].  The armed forces continue to be employed in police tasks that are distinct from their constitutionally defined role; the country lacks social, political, educational, and health policies that would be able to act as a preventive factor against organized crime; impunity prevails in nearly all the crimes committed by the previous administration; the reform of police bodies at the three levels [of government] continues to be a pending task; the observance of human rights experiences serious factical and institutional regression, and, above all, an economic policy that provokes social anomie, unemployment, and marginalization, that obliges large segments of the population to work in the informal sector and that, ultimately, ends up feeding criminality continues and is made yet more profound.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de Prensa: Asesinan a Jaime López, integrante de OIDHO(OIDHO, 23 de septiembre de 2014)  

Líder de OIDHO fue asesinado frente a la tumba de su madre en San Andrés Lovene (Página 3, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

RvsR: Ante el asesinato de Jaime López Hernández, de la OIDHO (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de octubre de 2014)

Violencia imparable (La Jornada, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Condena Sección 22 asesinato de profesor (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Atacan a balazos a 2 intendentes (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Tirotean a maestros de la @SECCIONXXII en Oaxaca; Un muerto (E-Consulta Oaxaca, 27 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Concern for the alarming increase in murders in the state (26 April 2014)


Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz

October 1, 2014

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archivo)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archive)

In a press conference held on 23 September, federal legislators called on the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to stop the looming incarceration of Oaxacan rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez, who presently free faces accusations of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and national wealth.

It bears mentioning that on 22 February 2012, the defender was detained and incarcerated, accused of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and the national wealth, though she only participated in a protest a year previous opposing high electricity prices in Oaxaca.  On 24 February 2012 she posted bail and was released, but the legal process against her continues.

The legislators in question affirm that they “consider that the moves and process against Bettina represent acts of criminalization of social protest, illustrating the risky situations faced by persons who work to defend human rights.  Through this process, it has become clear that the justice system has deviated greatly against them, particularly those who work in defense of the land amidst the imposition of megaprojects.”

Beyond this, in a communique published on 25 September, Amnesty International (AI) warned that, if the judiciary power decided to imprison the rights-defender, it would “consider nominating her as a prisoner of conscience.”  AI stressed that the obligation of the Mexican authorities “is to guarantee that the justice system does not work in favor of the persecution of those who defend human rights, as revenge against their legitimate actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden legisladores a PGR evitar encarcelamiento de activista (Cimac Noticias, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Carta completa de los legisladores (23 de septiembre de 2014)

No a la persecución judicial de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

Campaña en twitter: etiqueta #JusticiaparaBettina

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: Law on indigenous and Afromexican peoples “tied up” in the state congress

October 1, 2014

Evento de organizaciones Civiles sobre la Ley Indígena y Afromestiza (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Event with civil organizations regarding the Indigenous and Afromestizo Law (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Six months after Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo sent the bill regarding Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples to the state congress, it still has yet to be approved.  It bears mentioning that the project of this initiative was submitted to the state congress on 21 March 2014, following two years of preparation via a series of forums and consultations.

On 22 September, the Consultative Council of Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples of Oaxaca called on the congress to approve this reform during the current period of meetings, “taking into consideration that today, in New York, the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples has begun, with this being a high-level plenary session of the sixty-ninth period of sessions of the UN General Assembly, which seems to promote the implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples.”  Indeed, President Enrique Peña Nieto attended said meeting.

The secretary for Indigenous Affairs, Adelfo Regino Montes, has assured that, were the Decree Project to be approved as a reform, it would add and require a number of changes to the Oaxacan state constitution in terms of indigenous and Afromexican affairs, and thus would constitute an “unprecedented and historic” change.

Civil-society organizations have denounced that the initiative finds itself tied up in the congress due to “fear, prejudice, and ignorance.”  They have expressed that, if the initiative in question were not to be approved, social organizations and indigenous movements would take other means.  In a press-conference, Gustavo Esteva from Unitierra affirmed that Oaxaca could come to be a global model of legislative harmonization of this dimension and thus help bring about a more inclusive, democratic, and just society, precisely through attending comprehensively to the rights of indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ley sobre Pueblos Indígenas: vanguardista pero ‘atorada’ en el Congreso(Noticiasnet.mx, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

Por doble ignorancia Congreso local no aprueba reforma constitucional indígena (E-Oaxaca, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo e ignorancia impiden ley indígena (Noticiasnet.mx, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo, prejuicio e ignorancia, frenan Ley Indígena (Adiario, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Comunicado del Consejo Consultivo de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicano de Oaxaca


Oaxaca: State police strike leads to 153 officers being fired

September 29, 2014


Protesta con el lema "Basta de política" @ Enfoque Oaxaca

Banner at protest: “Enough of politics” @ Enfoque Oaxaca

Since 14 September, some 600 state police officers of Oaxaca have been on strike to demand the resignation of the Secretary for Public Security, Alberto Esteva Salinas, and the commissioner of the State Preventive Police, Cuauhtémoc Zúñiga Bonilla, in addition to other police chiefs, whom they accuse of corruption and of embezzlement of public campaign funds.  Based in the barracks of Santa María Coyotepec, they denounced that 2.5 million pesos worth of travel allowances had yet to be paid, and they manifested being tired of arbitrary actions, demanding an increase in salary, the provision of uniforms twice a year, and an eight-hour workday.  Similarly, the coastal region saw a similar police strike, while in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, police were arrested by Mexican Army units as they traveled to the capital city to support the action.

On 16 September, half a hundred state police invaded the end of the commemorative march to march the 204th anniversary of the beginning of (formal) independence for Mexico, an event which was not attended by Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo.  Using the slogans “Enough of politics” and “Out with the corrupt [ones] Alberto Esteva and Cuahutemoc Zuñiga (sic),” among others, police demonstrated their repudiation of the situation and showed the bad state of the equipment they use, in addition to uniforms, which were shown to have damaged logos, discoloration, and other damages.

On 18 September, the president of the Permanent Commission for Citizens’ Protection and Security from the local congress affirmed that an initial agreement had been made to pay the travel allowances in arrears, as well as to provide uniforms and boots to police.  Nonetheless, other media mentioned that Esteva Salinas, Secretary of Public Security, fired 153 members of the State Preventive Police, who are presumed to have initiated the strike.

It should be recalled that this is the second police strike this year.  The first took place in March, when police in revolt also requested ameliorative reforms and resignations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Policías de Oaxaca permiten acceso a personal administrativo (Milenio, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Paro de policías desnuda corrupción en SSP, les adeudan 2.5 mdp solo de viáticos (Página 3, 16 de septiembre de 2014)

‘Desaira’ Cué el desfile; policías lo utilizan para protestar (Enfoque Oaxaca, 16 de septiembre de 2014)

Gabino Cué da ultimátum a policías en rebeldía e ignora sus demandas(Página 3, 17 de septiembre de 2014)

Despiden a 153 policías que “instigaron” al paro laboral en Oaxaca(Proceso, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Audio-Video:

En paro de labores contradesfiló la SSP en #Oaxaca (Voces de Oaxaca, 17 de septiembre de 2014)


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