Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel

July 20, 2014

Foto (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

Photo (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

On Saturday 12 July, the Believing People of Simojovel carried out a fourth “Pilgrimage for peace.”  Thousands of persons marched to highlight the increase in violence in the municipality due to alcoholism, drug-trafficking, prostitution, and arms trading, and to denounce the death-threats received by the priest Marcelo Pérez and other members of the Council of Parishes of San Antonio de Padua.  On the same occasion, they accused municipal authorities of being corrupt and of favoring this situation which undermines peace and security for the people of Simojovel.  In a communique, the Believing People declared that “Amidst these death-threats, we cannot be silent or be indifferent; we cannot simply cross our arms while seeing so much suffering caused by the corruption of the authorities.”

Furthermore, they publicly demanded that the corresponding authorities re-establish peace and tranquility for the people by closing places for drug and alcohol sales, prostitution centers, and repressing the traffic in weapons.  In this way, they specified that “We demand security for our people; enough of violating our rights.  We demand liberty and justice.”  They added: “This is our action so that peace be restored in this community.  We will not tire; if we see that there is no result, we will take other measures in the coming days and months.  The people must continue raising their voice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ante amenazas de muerte no podemos callar: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 12 de julio de 2014)

En Chiapas el Pueblo Creyente peregrina por la Paz (Frayba, 12 de julio de 2014)

Peregrinan por la paz en Simojovel (Cuarto Poder, 13 de julio de 2014)

En Simojovel, Chiapas la delincuencia manda, controla y amenaza(Proceso, 12 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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 (October 26, 2013)


Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace, we will find truth”

July 19, 2014


140702_TTP_limonar_cartel

On 18 July will be held the pre-audience of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP) “With justice and peace, we will find truth” in the El Limonar community, Ocosingo municipality.  The invitation made to “all popular, social, political, and human-rights organizations, as well as all families, friends, and persons in solidarity with the victims of the counterinsurgent war in the state of Chiapas” was made within the Dirty War, impunity, and lack of access to justice track covered by the TPP’s Mexico Chapter.  The idea is to address the case of Poblado Viejo Velasco which on 13 November 2006 experienced a massacre that left four executed, another four forcibly disappeared, and thirty-six displaced.
The invitation indicates that “this massacre took place within the context of counter-insurgent war as designed and implemented by the Mexican State by means of the Chiapas Campaign Plan ’94, which had the result that the paramilitary group Peace and Justice engaged in the following crimes: 85 executions, 37 forcible disappearances, and more than 12000 people forcibly displaced in the northern Zone, and the Acteal massacre in the highlands, when PRI paramilitaries murdered 45 persons, the majority of whom were women and infants–4 of them yet to be born–as well as provoking the forced displacement of more than 6000 persons.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Con tu firma, súmate a la Preaudiencia “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad” (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 de marzo de 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)


National: Activists denounce increase in violence against women

July 19, 2014


Foto (@SiPaz)

Photo (@Sipaz)

Between 9 and 10 July, there was held a meeting in Mexico City among civil-society organizations seeking to relieve the situation of violence and discrimination experienced by women in Mexico, analyze the work that these organizations have carried out in recent years, and above all examine the challenges faced by the State still in advancing toward the guarantee of the full recognition and exercise of women’s rights.

Participants in the event included the UN Expert of the Work Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, Alda Facio, and Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women, the latter operating in a non-official capacity.  Eight years since the publication of their report “Integration of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Perspectives: Violence against Women, Mexico Mission,” the representatives of the Associates for Justice (JASS) stressed that, “If some reforms have been adopted in law, these have not resulted in structural changes, both in terms of prevention through investigation and sanctioning as well as access to a life free of violence.”  In effect, on this occasion it was recalled that Mexico has ratified the “Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women” (CEDAW), an international instrument to recognize the human rights of women, while there remain “many practices and policies that in effect favor and even deepen discrimination,” noted the JASS activists.

Finally, those at the event denounced the increase in violence against women in all their manifestations: impunity, the gravity of forced disappearance, sexual crimes, attacks against female human-rights defenders and journalists, the generalized increase in gender discrimination and inequality, particularly for poor, indigenous, and migrant women.  In this way, conference-goers called on the Mexican State forthrightly to adopt comprehensive policies to arrest the structural violence experienced by women.

In light of this context, the Special Rapporteur declared that gender violence is “the most generalized violation of human rights that we confront today,” explaining that “the lack of comprehension of gender violence is a barrier to the exercise of all human rights by women themselves.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 8 años de publicado informe sobre derechos humanos de las mujeres en México, regresa Relatora Especial sobre la Violencia contra la Mujer de la ONU (PRODESC, 8 de julio de 2014)

Responsabilidad del Estado Mexicano ante la CEDAW (JASS, 7 de julio de 2014)

La violencia hacia las mujeres “es la violación a DH más generalizada”: Relatora ONU (Sididh, 10 de julio de 2014)

Integración de los Derechos Humanos de la Mujer y la Perspectiva de Género: la violencia contra la mujer. Misión a México (CINU, 13 de enero de 2006)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: the Mexican government does not comply with the recommendations of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (23 June 2014)

Oaxaca: Every other day a woman is killed in the state (12 June 2014)

Oaxaca: the Mexican state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists (10 June 2014)

Guerrero: Harassment and attacks on individuals and organizations in favor of the decriminalization of abortion and the right to decide (12 June 2014)


Chiapas: 13 days of fastng and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santis to demand his release

July 14, 2014

Imagen (@CGT Chiapas)

Image (@CGT Chiapas)

On 3 July, Alejandro Díaz Santis, a prisoner in solidarity with “La Voz del Amate” and an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration who is being held in Cereso no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, has announced that he will hold a 13-day fast and prayer “to call on God to give me the strength to continue demanding true justice,” given that a year ago, Chiapas state governor Manuel Velasco Coello “committed himself to finding means or ties with the authorities of Veracruz” to help with his release.  “Once again, I ask the governor to observe his word.”

In this way, the prisoner also called on Enrique Peña Nieto to pressure the governor of Veracruz, the state in which he was judged, given that he has sent more than 15 years imprisoned “for a crime I never committed,” as he claims in the communique.

Para más información:

Alejandro Díaz, preso indígena, inicia ayuno de 13 días por su libertad(Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz announces 10-day hunger strike to protest 15 years’ imprisonment (May 16, 2014)

Chiapas: day of fasting and prayer for Alejandro Díaz on International Political Prisoners’ Day (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from Alejandro Díaz Santis from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas jail (30 March 2014)


Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Perez, the priest of Simojovel

June 28, 2014
Father Marcelo Perez (@ acteal.blogspot.com)

Father Marcelo Perez (@ acteal.blogspot.com)

In an Urgent Action issued on June 19, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (CDHFBC) expressed concern for the death threats and harassment which threaten the life and integrity of the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez and other members of the Parish Council of the municipality of Simojovel. For several months, the parish has been particularly active in seeking the decommissioning of bars, nightclubs, and centers of prostitution in the municipality.

During the last pilgrimage organized in this context, on June 6, board members heard: “This fucking father who keeps on fucking, what he wants is a beating or a bullet.” Other people during the pilgrimage were defaming the cleric through flyers accusing him of being a “subversive apostate,” “false prophet,” and “social destabiliser of the region,” among other insults about his work.

The CDHFBC demands from the State that it protect and ensure the life, personal integrity, and security of Father Marcelo and those who make up the Parish Council; that it investigate and put an end to the acts of death threats, harassment, assault, defamation, and criminalization against Father Marcelo and those who make up the Parish Council; and that it guarantee and respect the right to freedom of thought and free expression in the region.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: Riesgo a la integridad y la vida del sacerdote Marcelo Pérez e integrantes del Consejo Parroquial en Simojovel (CDHFBC, 18 de junio de 2014)

Teme Frayba por párroco de Simojovel (La Jornada, 20 de julio de 2014)

Temen por vida de padre que pidió cerrar bares en Chiapas (Milenio, 20 de julio de 2014)

For more information in English:
http://www.frayba.org.mx/archivo/acciones_urgentes/140619_au_2_marcelo_ingles.pdf

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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 (October 26, 2013)


Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel for the closure of “cantinas” and the end of violence; parish priest receives threats

June 13, 2014
Pilgrimage in Simojovel, June 2014 (@Frayba)

Pilgrimage in Simojovel, June 2014 (@Frayba)

On June 6, a pilgrimage of about 3,500 people from the Parish of San Antonio de Padua and villagers from Simojovel was held to pray for peace and to end violence. They asked the authorities “to close the bars, nightclubs, prostitution and vice centres which are damaging families.”  They also sent a letter to the mayor of the municipality, Javier Guzman Hernandez, to explain the problems generated by alcoholism among the families in Simojovel, because “we have all been victims of robberies, assaults and murders in broad daylight as a result of all evil.”

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre joined the pilgrimage “in the face of the social discontent due to the excessive amount of alcohol outlets, tolerated by the local authorities. They have resulted in increased domestic violence, extreme poverty in entire families, serious impacts on public health and social injustice in community life”, said the Centre in a statement. It added that “a cause which favours the existence and proliferation of bars and purchase of alcohol in communities is the economic resources that are channelled through social programmes, such as Procampo and Opportunidades.”

Moreover, the bishop of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, said that the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Perez Perez, has received threats linked to the protests to close bars and cantinas. The bishop noted that “some people whose interests are affected (owners of bars, people selling drugs or organizing murders), are obviously not very happy with the church’s position and the organization of protests about these things.” On the threats against Father Marcelo, he said: “The father is not organizing paramilitary groups or other violent actions; he is organizing people so that they realize they cannot live in a climate of violence.” He also commented that these threats could have been made ​​by people in political campaigns.

For more information (in Spanish):

Mensaje a quienes peregrinan por justicia social en Simojovel, Chiapas (Boletín Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 6 de junio de 2014)

Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel peregrinó para exigir: seguridad, libertad y justicia (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 6 de junio de 2014)

Piden se detenga venta de drogas, armas y alcohol, en Simojovel (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de junio de 2014)

Amenazan a párroco por oponerse a las cantinas (Noticias Net, 6 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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


Chiapas: Vatican lifts ban to ordain deacons in the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas

June 9, 2014
(@SIPAZ)

(@SIPAZ)

On May 24, Pope Francis, through the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, overturned the prohibition to ordinate permanent deacons in the Diocese of San Cristobal de la Casas, Chiapas. During the pontificate of John Paul II, 14 years ago, such ordinations had been prohibited.

Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel celebrated this news, acknowledging that “taking into account the shortage of priestly vocations, deacons are a good choice for the Catholic Church because they can perform marriages, baptisms, proclaim the Gospel, preside at funerals, although they are not authorized to forgive sins and to consecrate. Deacons are not priests, so they can be married or unmarried; priests on the contrary commit to celibacy. Vatican II restored the diaconate ministry in the Catholic Church. “

Bishop Arizmendi recalled that in 2000 the Vatican prohibited the Diocese of San Cristobal to order more permanent deacons, “because it had serious reservations about the large number of them, compared with the relatively small number of priests. It was feared that to have many deacons and few priests did not correspond to a more comprehensive ecclesiasticism, as proposed by the Second Vatican Council. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Arizmendi: Roma autorizó ordenar más diáconos permanentes, La Jornada, 25 de mayo de 2014

Levanta el Papa prohibición de ordenar diáconos en San Cristóbal de las Casas, La Jornada, 26 de mayo de 2014

Santa Sede levanta prohibición de ordenar diáconos permanentes a la diócesis de San Cristóbal de Las Casas, El Observador, 28 de mayo de 2014

Vaticano aprueba “Directorio del Diaconado Permanente de los Pueblos Indígenas”, chiapasparalelo, 13 de diciembre de 2013


Chiapas: Sewing to denounce increase of femicides in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

June 2, 2014

A sewing voice that is not silenced (photo @ Sipaz)

On 19 May, there was held a new type of meeting in San Cristóbal de las Casas to denounce and make-visible the increase in femicide in the state.

As an initiative of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas and the Art Action and Red Sources collectives, activists and family-members joined up to embroider in Resistance and Peace Plaza after setting up an altar with flowers and candles.  Sewing Femicide is part of the Sewing for Peace initiative, and it has its origins in the end of the prior presidential administration of Felipe Calderón, when the idea was to sew a handkerchief for each person killed in the drug war.  This project, begun in Mexico in 2012, now has support from other countries, given that embroidery for resistance has been taking place also in Guatemala, Argentina, and even Europe.

This type of protest seeks to call attention to a peaceful and unique action in public space.  It also seeks to personalize and give voice to women who have victimized by femicide, so that they do not remain in anonymity: in the sewn handkerchiefs, all have a proper presence, with their name, age, and date of death sewn in.  Finally, the sewing has therapeutic function for family-members of those killed by femicide.  By engaging in embroidery, they have an intimate moment with their lost ones and can share their pain and memories with others who have experienced the same as they pass through the space in downtown San Cristóbal.  Tourists also can approach these women to learn about what they are doing.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: Commemoration of the murder of Itzel Janet Méndez-Pérez and other victims of femicide (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Amidst increase in femicide and impunity, civil organization proclaims permanent Gender Alert (30 March 2014)

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


Chiapas: youth denounce rights-violations, impunity, and lack of justice in Puebla

May 3, 2014

@chiapasdenuncia

@chiapasdenuncia

On 26 April, youth from the Chenalhó parish carried out a pilgrimage in solidarity with the formerly displaced members of the Puebla Colony who recently returned to their community, these being the same ones who spent 9 months in Acteal; the mobilization was taken also to denounce the violence that is increasing in general terms.

In their communique, the youth confessed their concern for the “violence and insecurity that we experience in Mexico and in the world,” rejecting the prevailing impunity in the country.  They demanded justice for those returned from Puebla and denounced that justice “is not applied” and that those returning from the Puebla ejido continue to suffer from intimidation.

Finally, addressing themselves to the state and federal governments, the youth emphasized that they hold them responsible “for whatever might happen in the Puebla Colony if justice is not done to those who are truly responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de los jóvenes de la parroquia de San Pedro Apostol(Chiapas denuncia pública, 29 de abril del 2014)

Peregrinan contra la violencia (Diario de Chiapas, 27 de abril del 2014)

Peregrinación de jóvenes creyentes, de la parroquia de San Pedro Chenalhó, contra la violencia y la impunidad (Chiapas denuncia pública, 25 de abril del 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community (26 April 2014)

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

Chiapas: Arrest of those presumed responsible for the burning of a house in the Puebla Colony an “insult to the displaced” (Las Abejas Civil Society) (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: House of displaced family is burned down in Puebla Colony, Chenalhó. Two are arrested (16 March 2014)


Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice

May 2, 2014

Retorno de desplazados en Colonia Puebla (@SIPAZ)

Return of the displaced to Puebla Colony (@SIPAZ)

On 22 April, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society challenged the Mexican justice system by calling into question the responsibility of the two persons arrested in the Puebla Colony on the charge of burning the home of one of the ejidal members who were at that time displaced in Acteal.  Referring to the case of the three prisoners who were recently released, they affirmed that “we think that the government is acting in the same way as with the three persons from Simojovel [...].  The three were accused of fabricated charges and were tortured as though they weren’t human [...].  They were unjustly punished.  Would this be because as indigenous persons they discriminate against us and insult us with all these cruel and inhuman acts, treating as though we were not human.”  They remarked that “indeed, they have not arrested those who kidnapped Father Manuel Pérez Gómez” in Puebla in August of last year.  They asked, “Would this be because this is the custom of the government, to arrest rapidly those who are innocent and do nothing to those who are in fact culpable?”

With regard to the return of the displaced from the Puebla Ejido on 14 April, the Las Abejas Civil Society denounced that “this was a return without justice, a return lacking the security conditions so that they could return to their homes; this return does not imply that the problem has now been resolved.  It is only because it was very difficult to live in camps that our brothers decided to return.  These 17 families now returned have experienced displacement twice,” previously in 1997.  The Las Abejas indicated that in this sense, the Secretary General of Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, warned that, if problems continued, “what will follow will not be dialogue but instead application of the law.”  The spokesperson added that Las Abejas would not accept “this climate of injustice” and would continue denouncing and seeking “true Justice and Peace.”  The Society requested that the ejidal commissioner of the Puebla ejido “build peace and unity among all members of the community without regard to religion or political organization, because we are all children of God.  Those who recognize God’s word should not be violent with their brothers or make false accusations; they should instead love all and respect their human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de abril de 2014)

Abejas de Acteal denuncia prefabricación de “culpables” en el caso de agresiones contra desplazados (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community (26 April 2014)

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

Chiapas: Arrest of those presumed responsible for the burning of a house in the Puebla Colony an “insult to the displaced” (Las Abejas Civil Society) (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: House of displaced family is burned down in Puebla Colony, Chenalhó. Two are arrested (16 March 2014)


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