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):

Chiapas: Release of Florentino Gómez Girón of the FPRFM

December 17, 2014

PLantón por la liberación de Florentino Gómez Girón (@quadratin.com.mx)

Sit-in for the release of Florentino Gómez Girón (@quadratin.com.mx)

On 6 December, Florentino Gómez Girón, leader of the Ricardo Flores Magón Popular Front (FPRFM) from Ixtapa, was released from prison after his nephew immolated himself before the state congress in Tuxtla Gutiérrez the previous day.  Agustín Gómez Pérez, 21 years of age, doused himself in gasoline and asked one of his friends to light him on fire to demand the release of his uncle who has been held in the Amate prison since 1 May 2014.  His probability of survival is very low.  Following the release of Gómez Girón, those who had maintained the blockade of the state congress since 10 November suspended their sit-in.

Gómez Girón had been charged for the crime of robbery of cattle.  There are still another four arrest-orders against him on the charges of organized crime, kidnapping, use of firearms restricted for the Army, and planned plundering, according to information from the Subsecretary for Human Rights at the Secretary of Governance.  The FPRFM indicates all these charges as having been fabricated.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Liberan a líder en Chiapas luego de que su sobrino se inmoló (Proceso, 6 de diciembre de 2014)

Liberan a líder tras inmolación de seguidor en Chiapas (El Universal, 6 de diciembre de 2014)

Pronunciamiento sobre el caso de Florentino Gómez Girón de la Subsecretaría de Derechos Humanos de la Secretaría de Gobierno de Chiapas (5 de diciembre de 2014)

Se inmola joven de 18 años en Chiapas; exige liberación de líder campesino (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Sit-in, hunger strike, suturing of lips, and simulated crucifixion for the release of Florentino Gómez Girón (15 November 2014)


Guerrero: 2 months after the disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, more cases of forced disappearances and violence emerge

December 15, 2014

20141125_112920

Photo @SIPAZ

On 26 November, French television channel France 24 reported that two months after the case of the disappearance of 43 normalist students in Iguala, another 31 youth from the neighboring municipality of Cocula were disappeared by organized crime.  The high-school students have been missing since 7 July, though the case was not well-known due to the fear of the locals in light of the death-threats issued by those who carried out the disappearances.  The final day of classes before the start of summer vacations, masked men dressed in marine blue, seemingly riding in police vehicles, kidnapped the youth as they were leaving the Justo Sierra high school.  The school is located just by the mayor’s hall of Cocula.  Local police have also been implicated in the Ayotzinapa case.  National and international journalistic coverage of the 43 normalists from Ayotzinapa motivated the mother of one of the disappeared youth to break the silence.  Other off-camera testimonies confirmed the kidnapping of the youth.  However, the Office for National Security (CNS) reported that no denunciation exists, nor is there any report from the educational authorities, regarding the missing 30 students.  Beyond this, units from the federal police visited the Justo Sierra high school, and the vice principal claimed not to know anything about the disappearance of any students attending the school.  The governor of Guerrero, Rogelio Ortega, indicated that the disappearances of the youth of Cocula took place between 2 and 3 July.  He mentioned that this was documented on the Guerrero state-government’s web page, even though “there was no denunciation made.”

It must be stressed that, in the first 10 months of 2014, at least 12 cases of collective disappearances have been seen in Mexico.  Cases similar to that of Ayotzinapa, even including the same number of victims, have been presented in seven other states.  In the month before the events in Iguala, 199 persons were disappeared.  The states with the highest number of victims have been Puebla, Tamaulipas, and Guerrero.  A year before the disappearance of the 43 Mexican students in Iguala, there was another night of terror in a neighboring community, where residents relate that an armed commando group invaded various houses and forcibly took groups of people, in their majority youth.  Cocula is one of the municipalities of Guerrero where violence has most acutely affected the population.  At least 82 have been disappeared, murdered, or kidnapped in the past 3 years.

Another case of extreme violence in the state took place on 27 November: at least 11 burned and decapitated bodies were found on a path by the community of Ayahualulco in Chilapa. In a communique, the State Prosecutorial General’s Office (FGE) reported that the 11 males killed lost their lives due to gunfire and were then semi-burned.  Their corpses appeared ridden with gunshot wounds emanating from high-caliber firearms.  Beside the bodies, there was a note left that was directed to a criminal group known as “The Squirrels” saying: “There you go, trash.”  Chilapa de Álvarez has been the site of other violence episodes this year.  Between 8 and 10 July, confrontations were registered between presumed criminals and police that left 14 dead.  A day later, six more bodies were found.  It was reported that these persons died after a confrontation between two organized-crime gorups.

For more information (in Spanish):
11 decapitados en Guerrero; PGR atrae investigación (Aristegui Noticias, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Reportan desaparición de otros 31 estudiantes en Cocula (Proceso, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

France 24 revela nuevo secuestro masivo de estudiantes en Guerrero (VIDEO) (SDP Noticias, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

Confirma gobernador de Guerrero desaparición de jóvenes en Cocula (La Jornada, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Afirman autoridades que no hay denuncia sobre secuestro en Cocula (La Jornada, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

La noche olvidada de Cocula (El Faro, 23 de octubre de 2014)

Desaparecen 5 al día tras caso Ayotzinapa (Excelsior, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

Cocula: 82 desaparecidos, asesinados o secuestrados en los tres últimos años (El Sur de Acapulco, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Day of actions for Ayotzinapa to observe the Mexican Revolution (7 December 2014)

Mexico/Chiapas: National Brigade for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protest for Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)


Chiapas: Pilgrimages and marches against violence against women, and other demands

December 15, 2014

Peregrinación de Pueblo Creyente en San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

Pilgrimage of the Believing People in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

On 25 November, in observance of the International Day against Violence and Exploitation of Women, thousands of Catholics pertaining to the Believing People from the San Cristóbal diocese engaged in simultaneous pilgrimages in 12 municipalities of Chiapas to demonstrate their opposition to the planned highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque; to demand justice for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa; to oppose violence against women, alcoholism, energy reform, and corruption, among other issues.  Approximately 3500 engaged in the action in San Cristóbal, with 7000 in Ocosingo, 10,000 in Chilón, 1000 in Oxchuc, and 800 in Tenejapa.  Participants indicated that they engaged in the pilgrimage “in a peaceful manner, requesting respect for our constitutional right to protest, be heard, and have our complaints addressed by municipal, state, and federal authorities” and to “express solidarity with the more than 100,000 victims of organized crime and especially the families of the murdered youth and the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, in Iguala, Guerrero, as well as with the victims of Acteal who, nearly 20 years since the massacre, still plead for justice from the government, thus strengthening the impunity that has led 73 of the 75 imprisoned for this crime against humanity to be released.”

Marcha en San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

Beyond this, after the end of the “Forum for Women, Peoples, and Organizations in Defense of the Land and Territory” that was held from 23-24 November, close to 250 women and men marched on 25 November in San Cristóbal, given that they see “with great alarm that big capital is at war with all the peoples of the world because it wants to plunder our lands to make way for investments for mining firms, airports, hotels, highways, seaports, transgenic seeds, monocultures, dams, etc.”  They added in the communique that “another strategy has been to generate conflicts among the people to divide the struggle and so control land.  But the most dangerous thing is to allow the drug-traffickers free reign to convert out land into a crossfire zone, leaving a hundred thousand dead and disappeared.  For this reason we affirm that the firms, the bad government, and the drug-traffickers all seek the same thing: To gain control of our communities, our ancestral resources, our bodies, our lives, and even our future.”

Beyond this, some 500 persons from the Light and Power of the Highlands Region organization, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, marched with banners listing various historical massacres in Mexico.  As one of the banners read, “in the future, the next massacre could involve you or your children.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alto a las distintas formas de corrupción del gobierno y violencia al pueblo Queremos Justicia y Paz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas (25 de noviembre de 2014)

Marchan en Chiapas contra autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque (La Jornada, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Miles marchan en San Cristobal contra los megaproyectos y violencia contra las mujeres (Espoir Chiapas, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel (20 July 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel for the closure of “cantinas” and the end of violence; parish priest receives threats (June 13, 2014)

Chiapas: Believing People holds pilgrimage in Simojovel to denounce the increase in violence in the municipality (26 October 2013)


Mexico: At least 170,000 displaced in Mexico

December 15, 2014

índice

On 26 November in Mexico City, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights presents its book Internal Displacement Induced by Violence: A Global Experience, a Mexican Reality, as written by Laura Rubio Díaz-Leal, an investigator and member of said organization.

The aim of the book is to make visible the victims of displacement and to call on the State to create an assistance program and to take into account this now-ignored phenomenon.

The author of the work commented during her presentation that, in the majority of the country, it was quite impossible to document how many Mexicans have left their homes due to violence, but a very conservative calculation estimates at least 170,000.

In this sense, Esperanza Hernández, the spokesperson for at least 600 families from 40 communities in Sinaloa state that have been displaced by the violence of organized crime in the state, noted that “They [the cartels] patrolled as though they were the government; they threatened us and told us that if we didn’t leave, they would conscript us into their service.  On 10 January 2012, they killed a neighbor of Ocurague and the next day during the night, they killed an entire family.  Maddened by fear, we decided to flee and leave everything behind.”

Ramón Cossío, justice for the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), noted for his part that “this involves not only the act of leaving the place where one would desire to stay, but also it is a question of leaving due to finding oneself in a situation of extraordinary complexity.  The phenomenon of the displaced continues without name in Mexico, and for this reason it is not attended to by the State.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Desdeña el gobierno desplazamientos forzados por la inseguridad: expertos,  La Jornada 30 de noviembre de 2014

Al menos 170 mil personas desplazadas por violencia en México, Diariopresente, 1 de diciembre de 2014

Desplazados por violencia en México, un fenómeno ignorado que afecta al menos a 170 mil personas, Animal Politico, 1 de diciembre de 2014

Desplazados en México son víctimas y requieren tratamiento, CNN, 26 de julio de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas : “return without justice” of those displaced from the Puebla ejido (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)


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)


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