National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico”

September 15, 2014

(@Amnistía Internacional)

On 4 September, Amnesty International published a new report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico.”  The organization affirms that “torture and other abuses are out of control in Mexico.  In 2013, the number of denunciations (1505) increased 600 per cent with respect to 2003, according to the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH).  However, the real statistics may be well higher.”

Speakers at the public presentation of the report indicated that torture lives on due to the unwillingness of national authorities to admit that it exists, not only because it a structural part of the justice system, but also because to eradicate it would require the unmasking of high-ranking officials implicated in the practice.

Furthermore, with regard to the mechanisms designed to avoid this type of situation, Rupert Knox, an AI special investigator, noted that the CNDH “does not act in favor of victims,” and especially in terms of torture, it is “part of the problem and not the solution.”

The document covers a ten-year period during which the CNDH registered 7,164 complaints, with 275 in 2003 and 1,505 last year.  All these denunciations led to nothing more than 4 recommendations from the CNDH.  “If it is not recognized that there is a truly persistent and generalized problem here; if one speaks, as the subsecretary of Governance did, of only four cases from the CNDH and claims that they [the CNDH] has no greater mandate, it is easy for the government, and all is lost, because the CNDH does not mandate the needed mechanisms to receive complaints, quantify them, and later investigate them as they should be investigated,” Knox said in an interview with media.

For more information (in Spanish):

La tortura en México: 14 datos (Amnistía Internacional, 4 de septiembre de 2014)

“Fuera de control: Tortura y otros malos tratos en México” (Amnistía Internacional, 4 de septiembre de 2014)

Peña debe comprometerse a abordar la cuestión de la tortura (Salil Shetty, Secretario General de Amnistía Internacional, CNN México, 5 de octubre de 2014)

CNDH, “parte del problema en casos de tortura”: Amnistía Internacional(Proceso, 4 de septiembre de 2014)

Tortura, parte estructural del sistema judicial del país: ONG (LA Jornada, 7 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and killing of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and kidnapping of youth Hiber Audentino García Villafuerte (1 January, 2014)


National: FPDT of Atenco initiates mobilizations following announcement of new airport

September 15, 2014

Foto @ Blog del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) de San Salvador Atenco

Photo @ Blog del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) de San Salvador Atenco

The Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT), based in the ejidos of San Salvador Atenco, started mobilizations on 2 September against the construction of a new airport in the Texcoco zone, as announced by President Enrique Peña Nieto in his second government report.  The mobilizations included marches, roadblocks, and other protests, beyond the request for judicial support to nullify the authorization of change of use of land, as approved by ejidal groups in assembly on 1 July.  Said assembly, according to the FPDT, was carried out “illegally, because it was manipulated; the necessary quorum was not observed.”

The first action was taken with the symbolic occupation of construction machinery belonging to the Virgo form as hired by the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), which carries out work to maintain a canal that moves waste-water.  These works were being performed within the ejidal zone, thus constituting a “provocation.”  The FPDT assured that the lands in question had been taken by CONAGUA “illegally, by coopting the [ejidal] commisisoners and carrying out fraudulent assemblies.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Con “toma” de maquinaria, Atenco inicia protestas contra aeropuerto(Blog del Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) de San Salvador Atenco, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Habitantes de San Salvador Atenco inician movilizaciones contra el nuevo aeropuerto (La Jornada, 4 de septiembre de 2014)

Rechaza el FPDT que se erija el nuevo aeropuerto en Texcoco (La Jornada, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Tema ambiental, la parte débil del nuevo AICM (El Economista, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues (16 May 2014)

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)


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)


Chiapas: Possible attempt to remove ejidal commissioner, claim ejidatari@s of Tila

September 15, 2014

Ejido-Tila_sexta_baner1240

The ejidatari@s of Tila, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, denounced that on 31 August a meeting was held between former ejidal commissioners and a group of approximately 150 others, toward the end of deposing the present ejidal commissioner.

In a communique, the ejidatari@s indicated that the reason for the deposition of the commissioner has to do with the organizers’ position of “not accepting dialogue or coordinating with the City Hall, and renouncing struggle for the land.”  They declared that one of the former commissioners reported “that at the meeting three talks have been had with the agrarian procurator based in Palenque,” and that “they made a deal with the [Tila] City Hall so that when we definitively win our case against City Hall for the land, they would receive money in exchange for land, but they do not realize that the assembly has already rejected the government’s plans to offer 40 million pesos [in exchange for settling the court case].”

The ejidatari@s continued: “We publicly denounce the agrarian ministry based in Palenque, Chiapas, and the Subsecretary of Governance in the city of Yajalon who are coordinating with these troublemakers, with the participation of the Tila City Hall, which always hides behind these people and cheers them on.  These groups are mafiosos; with them, the governmental structures works to destabilize the social peace.”  Furthermore, the ejidatari@s recalled that in the Tila ejido “there exists no legal fund and the municipality has no authority over our lands.  The presidency is illegal within the ejido, and only the forms of organization of ejidatarios based on uses and customs should prevail, as supported by the ILO’s Convention 169.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia sobre los planes del mal gobierno y caciques para destituir a nuestras Autoridades ejidales (Blog del Ejido Tila, 2 de septiembre de 2014)

Ejido Tila en Chiapas, denuncia hostigamiento y posible confrontación(Sistema Integral de Información en Derechos Humanos – Centro Prodh, 3 septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (January 22, 2014)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)


National: Deployment of elements of the Gendarmerie Division in 6 states of Mexico

September 9, 2014
(@cuartooscuro)

(@cuartooscuro)

On September 1, the National Safety Commission (CNS) reported that elements of the Gendarmerie Division, the new agency of the Federal Police (FP), were deployed to the states of Baja California, Chiapas, Guanajuato, Jalisco and Tamaulipas to “strengthen territorial control”. Without specifying the number of troops, it informed that the deployment of elements began on August 30. The first mobilization occurred in the town of Valle del Bravo, State of Mexico, with the entry of 350 gendarmes to combat kidnapping and extortion. Within this context, Manelich Castilla Cravioto was presented as head of the Gendarmerie Division. A year ago, he had been replaced from his position as an officer of the Federal Police (FP). His dismissal was never clarified, but occurred after a failed FP drug raid at the International Airport of Mexico City (AICM).

The National Gendarmerie is an elite corps trained by the Ministry of Defense and international police commanders. They are considered civilian elements with military training. According to defenders of human rights organizations, the National Gendarmerie confirms that the security strategy of President Enrique Peña Nieto favors militarization of the country, since a police force is created with military training but without training on the protection of freedom and citizenship human rights.

As for Chiapas, one hundred officers of the National Gendarmerie arrived at Tapachula to participate in security operations along the border with Guatemala, with the aim to avoid the transit of migrants who enter the country irregularly in an intent to cross Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Despliegan a la Gendarmería Nacional en 5 estados más (Animal Político, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Gendarmería Nacional arriba a Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de septiembre de 2014)

Despliegan a la Gendarmería en otros cinco estados (Proceso, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Dan la Gendarmería a mando destituido hace un año (Proceso, 27 de agosto de 2014)

Reforzarán la vigilancia en Valle de Bravo 350 agentes de la Gendarmería (La Jornada, 28 de agosto de 2014)


Chiapas: An Assembly of Tzeltal communities from Chilón municipality reject the SCLC-Palenque highway

September 9, 2014
Assembly in San Jeronimo Bachajón (@SIPAZ)

Assembly in San Jeronimo Bachajón (@SIPAZ)

On August 30, a special meeting was held in the community of Guadalupe Paxilá which belongs to the ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón, municipality of Chilón. About 1,800 members of this Tzeltal ejido, representing 192 of the 206 communities that belongs to it, rejected the construction of the San Cristobal-Palenque highway, the most ambitious project that President Enrique Peña Nieto and the governor Manuel Velasco Coello have announced for Chiapas.

The communal landowners said that they were not consulted for the construction of the highway and that they will not sell their lands. They informed that the ejido has been harassed and pressured to sign the authorization for the highway: the Commisioner of Communal Lands’ son was fired from his job at a state government office arguing that he could return to his post until his father signs a document permiting the highway to pass by San Jerónimo Bachajón. One of his daughters was also threatened with being fired from a high school where she works and they affirmed that the threat have to do with the position of his father.

The communal landowners demanded the end of harassments, persecutions and threats against our ejido authorities by federal, state and municipal governments that are acting in a repressive way.” They demanded that the son of the commissioner might be “reinstalled in his post”. They also reported that the mayor of Chilón, Leonardo Guirao Aguilar, does the dirty work for the state and federal governments, persecuting, threatening and harassing indigenous people opposed to the highway.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se oponen comunidades tseltales de Chiapas a súper autopista (Proceso, 31 de agosto de 2014)

Indígenas tzeltales se oponen a la construcción de la autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque (De Facto, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Chiapas: ejidatarios rechazan construcción de autopista (La Jornada, 31 de agosto de 2014)

Rechazan indígenas de municipio de Chilón, Chiapas, construcción de carretera (La Jornada, 11 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir reject passage of highway from San Cristóbal to Palenque through their communities (February 14, 2014)


National: Report on human rights in Mexico (from June 2013 to May 2014)

September 6, 2014

portada-informe-webOn August 30, the Report “Defending human rights in Mexico: A struggle against impunity (from June 2013 to May 2014)” was presented in Mexico City. It’s based on the work of documentation of Urgent Action for the Defense of Human Rights (ACUDDEH AC), Comité Cerezo Mexico and the National Campaign Against Enforced Disappearances.

The report recorded that since the beginning of Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) Presidency, 669 arbitrary political arrests were registered, of which 412 were documented in the report. 25 extrajudicial executions against human rights defenders were also documented (23 are in the report). As for the forced disappearance, during the administration of EPN, 29 occurred, of which 16 are included in the report. Not including arbitrary arrests in Mexico City, the most dangerous states for the work of human rights defenders are Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero.

The press release highlighted: “We remain convinced that to sum up the information that has been documented with respect to cases of political imprisonment, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances, help to get a much more comprehensive picture of the strategies of social control, political repression and counter-insurgency that the state uses in its quest to impose to the Mexican population a series of reforms that deepen neoliberal policies, or what is the same, that deepen dispossession and plunder in the conditions of a worthy life for people in general.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: La defensa de los derechos humanos en México: una lucha contra la impunidad Junio de 2013 a mayo de 2014 (Comité Cerezo México, 30 de agosto de 2014)

La defensa de los DDHH en México: una lucha contra la impunidad‏. Junio de 2013 a mayo de 2014 (Kaos en la Red, 28 de agosto de 2014)

PRESENTACIÓN INFORME: LA DEFENSA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS EN MÉXICO DE 2013 A 2014 (Protection Line, 26 de agosto de 2014)

La defensa de los derechos humanos en México: una lucha contra la impunidad Junio de 2013 a mayo de 2014 (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos  “Todos los derechos para todas y todos”)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Publication of report “Human rights in Oaxaca 2009-2013. Citizens’ report: a pressing debt” (August 20, 2013)

National: 176 recommendations for Mexico during the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (November 13, 2013)


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