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)


Chiapas/National: Issue 3 of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” magazine, “Beyond Sharing”

September 29, 2014

Portada de la Revista

Cover of issue 3 of Rebelliousness Magazine

On 19 September, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés published a new communique announcing the publication of issue 3 of the Zapatista Rebelliousness Magazine, the EZLN’s word.  The first part of the issue provides part of the content of the “sharing” that took place between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista peoples at the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting, and the second half provides interviews with “comrades of free, alternative, autonomous, or however-you-call-them media.”

In said communique, signed as having been written in August 2014, it is expressed that, “[i]n La Realidad,” where the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting took place, “we discussed how capitalism has us and why it is that it has us [so], and what it is that will happen to us, if we continue in the way that the capitalists have us.”  It continues: “Peoples, nations, tribes.  Poor people, the poor exploited workers of the countryside and city are those who know what a new world should be like, with a new system of governance.  Why?  Because they have suffered injustice, poverty, inequality.  They have suffered sadness, pain, bitterness, loneliness.  They have suffered imprisonment, torture, forcible disappearance.  They have suffered centuries of lies and tricks, discrimination, very horrible things–inhumane cruelties, humiliations; they have suffered looting and displacement.  It has been centuries and centuries of insults and lives without peace, because of those from above, the capitalist system.”

Furthermore, it was recalled that from 22 December 2014 to 3 January 2015, there will be held the “First Global Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Editorial 3. Más allá de la compartición (Enlace Zapatista, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Second issue of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” released (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 2014)


Chiapas: Large increase in femicides; monument to be built to honor victims

September 15, 2014

Foto @ Chiapas Paralelo

Photo @ Chiapas Paralelo

On 1 October, relatives of victims of femicide and women’s human-rights defenders will construct a monument to commemorate femicide victims in Chiapas at the bridge in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, from where the body of Viridians Flores Martínez was thrown in June 2013.

At this bridge on 1 September, some 200 persons–including relatives, friends, and activists–held a mass and made floral offerings to honor the memory of Viridians Flores, who was killed by Omar Fernando Rosales Toledano, a former secteary of the PVEM Senator Luis Armando Melgar Bravo.

Beyond this, the relatives of a youth of 21 years rejected the mandated reconstruction of events ordered by a judge in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, which would involve the use of a pig, as this would be a moral outrage; besides, as they say, all the evidence points to Fernando Rosales as the confessed murderer of Viridians Flores.  For this reason, judicial efforts were canceled after it was denounced that these would violate the Law on Victims, which establishes that victims must be treated with humanity, respecting their humanity.  Juan Carlos Flores Santiago, father of the murdered youth, mentioned that it is presumed that the judge is trying to find ways to bring evidence to light that favors the suspect and in this way to nullify any possible sentence against him.  He also declared that the witnesses are retracting the statements they provided in June 2013, when the body of his daughter was found.

Chiapas has become one of the top ten states in the Republic with the highest number of femicides.  However, no protocols exist to investigate this type of crime, nor are there adequate personnel who are trained to attend to such victims and provide justice.  As evidence of this trend, one could consider the release in 2014 of two confessed murderers of women.  Not a single perpetrator of femicide in Chiapas has faced the maximum sentence of 60 years.  In the state, the increase in violence against women has become increasingly visible in the last three years: in 2010, 22 femicides were registered; in 2012, this number climbed to 97, while in 2013 83 cases were registered, and from January to September 2014, 41 cases have been documented, in accordance with the statistics provided by the Group of Women of San Cristóbal (COLEM).

For more information (in Spanish):

Construirán monumento contra el feminicidio para honrar la memoria de las víctimas (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Reclaman justicia por caso de feminicidio en Chiapas (Proceso, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Realizan ceremonia religiosa en memoria de Viridians Flores (Reporte Ciudadano, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Familiares de Viridians Flores rechazan peritaje (Noticias, Voz e Imagen de Chiapas, 30 de agosto de 2014)


Oaxaca: New attacks on journalists

September 2, 2014

 (@ChiapasParalelo)(@ChiapasParalelo)

Organizations as well as nearly 30 female journalists and photojournalists have energetically condemned the criminal acts committed against Carina García Sosa, correspondent of MVS Radio; Jazmín Gómez Ortega, president of the Oaxaca Press Group (GPO), and Saraí Jiménez, journalist for ADN Sureste, who were assaulted and robbed of their work implements in the months of July and August. They have called on Governor Gabino Cué and Secretary for Public Security Alberto Esteva Salinas to provide the necessary guarantees for communicators to continue developing their work in the state. These journalists have been following the teachers’ movement, documenting the series of mobilizations carried out by Section 22 as well as the destruction of the offices of Section 59 of the SNTE, or the National Educational Workers’ Union.

The communicators and organizations stressed in their communique that “the insecurity which we experience in the state of Oaxaca has placed female journalists in a state of defenselessness, such that we are not only denied the conditions for the exercise of our work, but neither does there exist a mechanism to ensure that these acts do not repeat themselves.” They added that “we cannot leave aside the context faced by Oaxacan journalists in their work. The report ‘Impunity. Violence against female journalists. Legal analysis’ which was put together by Communication and Information for Women (CIMAC) shows that Oaxaca, just like Chiapas and Puebla, shares the fourth-highest national level of attacks on female protests. This means that the violence is worse than that registered in very conflictive areas controlled by drug-traffickers, such as in Tamaulipas.”

On 19 August, the day on which was registered 2 of the attacks just mentioned against women journalists, the graphical journalist Vico Miravete was subjected to assault and robbery by police as he was covering a social protest outside the Del Carmen neighborhood in Tuxtepec city. The previous day, a member of the municipal police decided to photograph and intimidate a reporter from Noticias as he was investigating the case of someone who had been detained by the police patrol.

For more information (in Spanish):

Inseguridad vulnera a mujeres periodistas de Oaxaca (Noticias.net, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Repudian agresiones a comunicadoras en Oaxaca (Proceso, 20 de agosto de 2014)

Boletín de las organizaciones sobre los hechos (20 de agosto de 2014)

A mujeres reporteras 75% de medidas cautelares en Oaxaca (Noticias.net.mx, 16 de agosto de 2014)

Oaxaca, cuarto lugar por agresiones a mujeres periodistas (Noticias.net.mx, 15 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: new journalist’s murder (30 August 2014)

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

Oaxaca: One of the most violent and dangerous states for the exercise of journalism (16 May 2014)


Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release

September 2, 2014

Foto (@SIPAZ)Photo (@SIPAZ)

A year ago, on 21 August 2013, Nestora Salgado García, member of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC-PC) in Olinalá, Guerrero, was arrested and accused of aggravated kidnapping and organized crime. She was then transferred to the maximum-security prison in Tepic, Nayarit, where she has been held to this day. From prison, she has written, “Remember, my beautiful people, that I am imprisoned.” The last time that her daughter Saira Rodríguez Salgado visited her was on 2 August, when she reported that she found her mother desperate due to the inhumane treatments she received. Saira Rodríguez reported that “this is a punishment against my mother for fighting for her people.”

On the occasion of the first anniversary of her arrest, the National Network of Defenders of Human Rights in Mexico (RNDDHM) published a communique to demand her transfer to a jail in Mexico City as well as adequate attention to her health, in addition to demanding the “immediate and unconditional release of the human-rights defender.” The RNDDHM declared that “we call on the authorities of the federal government and the Guerrero state government to provide security guarantees for human-rights defenders, and we demand the cessation of the impunity of murders and forced disappearances of rights-defenders. We have had quite enough of the criminalization of human-rights defenders and of the social movement in Guerrero.”

The Committee of Women #NestoraLibre initiated the campaign “We are all Nestora,” toward the end of expressing solidarity toward her. In this way, both organizations demanded the release of other political prisoners: 9 members of the CRAC-PC and Marco Antonio Suástegui, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP). These arrests, according to the RNDDHM, “evince the political character of penal persecution and the illegal use of federal prisons, using the complicity of the federal government, from which no human-rights defender in Guerrero is exempt.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Me quieren matar o enloquecer, acusa Nestora Salgado; cumple un año en prisión (La Jornada, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa: RNDDHM exige libertad inmediata de Nestora Salgado (RNDDHM, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Mujeres crean frente por la libertad de presos políticos (Cimacnoticias, 20 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: Emergence of Committee of Women for the Liberty of Nestora Salgado (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on (29 August 2014)

Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (20 July 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (23 June 2014)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC en Olinalá (13 September 2013)


Guerrero: 40 years since the forced disappearance of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco

September 2, 2014

imagesOn 25 August 1974, Rosendo Radilla Pacheco was illegally arrested at a military checkpoint. He was last seen alive in the Military Barracks of Atoyac de Álvarez, Guerrero. Rosendo Radilla was a celebrated social activist from the Atoyac municipality who worked for the health and education of his people and acted as mayor.

For the executive secretary of the Association of Relatives of the Detained, Disappeared, and Victims of Human-Rights Violations in Mexico (AFADEM), Julio Mata Montiel, the lack of political will from the federal government, “be from whichever [party] it may be,” is the principal cause for the continued impunity in the case. He assured that “on 25 August will have passed 40 years since the forced disappearance of Rosendo Radilla, one of 470 disappearances in Atoyac which took place during this time, despite the recommendations from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and a sentence that was handed down five years ago by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) against the Mexican State. However, the State still refuses to reveal the whereabouts of Rosendo Radilla, such that the Mexican government is not concerned by international condemnation.”

It should be mentioned in these terms that on 22 August ended the excavations which the Guerrero Truth Commission (Comverdad) carried out for three days in Atoyac in an attempt to seek out possible clandestine burial sites associated with the 49th Infantry Batallion. Nicomedes Fuentes García, Comverdad member, reported that they had found bones which will be analyzed to determine their origins. Tita Radilla Martínez, daughter to Rosendo Radilla, has insisted that it is necessary that this labor be carried out by specialized experts. She announced that no public act would be taken to commemorate the anniversary of her father’s disappearance.

For more information (in Spanish):

Más elementos sobre el caso Rosendo Radilla Pacheco (CMDPDH)

Al reanudar excavaciones, la Comverdad encuentra osamenta en Atoyac (La Jornada de Guerrero, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Sugieren familiares a la Comverdad parar las excavaciones hasta que lleguen especialistas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 23 de agosto de 2014)

Concluye la Comverdad las excavaciones en Atoyac; esperan que se reanuden con peritos (El Sur de Acapulco, 24 de agosto de 2014)

No le importa al gobierno aclarar crímenes: Afadem (La Jornada de Guerrero, 24 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Mexican State is denounced for failing to observe its obligations in the Rosendo Radilla Pacheco case (2 June 2014)

Guerrero: Homage to Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, disappeared by the Army (15 March 2014)

Guerrero: Soldiers harass Tita Radilla in Atoyac (7 December 2013)

Guerrero/National: SCJN affirms observance of IACHR sentences in Radilla and Cantú cases (28 September 2012)


Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre

September 2, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 August, at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communiqué to commemorate the five years since the beginning of the release of the formerly imprisoned persons who had been considered responsible for the Acteal massacre of December 1997. Since August 2009, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has allowed 54 of the 70 who were sentenced to be released in this sense. Some of those who have been released were allowed to go freely without warning the public about this, as in the case of Roberto Méndez Gutiérrez, a “paramilitary commander and confessed patricipant in the Acteal massacre.” Amidst this tendency, members of Los Abejas declared that “our memory tells us that this Supreme Court has been converted for us into the ‘Supreme Court for the rich and criminals of the Nation'; this court is the expression of the justice system in Mexico, which is rotten.”

The Acteal massacre and the impunity that prevails in the case to date, stressed Las Abejas, form part of the low-intensity warfare being promoted in the region by the “bad government.” Las Abejas indicated furthermore that the repression, murders, and massacres are a consequence fo the “commercial traties” which Mexico has signed with rich countries, toward the end of “exterminating the Zapatista people and other organized peoples,” given that “if the indigenous peoples had control of their land, NAFTA would not be able to function in Mexico, the U.S., or Canada, for this way they could not extract and steal all the wealth possessed by our Mother Earth.”

In light of this “death culture,” Las Abejas declare that “We are aware that justice will not come from above,” and for this reason “our search for justice for the Acteal massacre we call the construction of ‘Another Justice,’ one that is conceptualized and constructed from the organized peoples, women and men of Mexico who also seek a dignified and true justice, as we do. This other justice, this dignified and true justice, is now being built in the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP), in meetings and fora of organized peoples and communities in Mexico […]. We in the Las Abejas Civil Society will not resign ourselves but will instead continue building our ties with brothers and sisters who struggle each and every day against this oppressive capitalist system.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 5 años de la excarcelación de los paramilitares (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de agosto de 2014)

Libres, 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 23 de agosto de 2014)

La “Suprema Corte de ricos y criminales de la Nación” ha liberado a 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada de Oriente, 24 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


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