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)


National: creation of mechanism for human-rights observation amidst the militarization of the Southern Border

September 2, 2014

(@fronterasurmx.wordpress.com)On 19 August, organizations from southeastern Mexico decided to “launch coordinated actions for monitoring, so as to demand the observance of responsibilities amidst the possible increase in human-rights violations” due to the “Southern Border Program” which was announced by the federal government on 7 July. These organizations foresee the program as including “the construction of more border infrastructure. Beyond this, there will be greater border control due to increased coordination among authorities of different State agencies, in addition to a greater presence of Army and Navy units. There will also be founded Centers for Comprehensive Attention to Border Transit.”

The organizations denounced that “this plan contains numerous ambiguities and retains a vision of natural security, prioritizing the control and flow of migration above human security” as well as the “lack of a Mexican migratory policy based in human rights that promotes the non-discrimination and multiculturalism implied by migratory flows.”

These organizations affirm that “since 2013 there have been observed numerous movements along the southern border which seek to increase its militarization, augment the presence of federal police, and re-enforce customs and biometrical controls. This militarization continues apace today, whether with the Southern Border Program or not, as we see in the constant and violent operations suffered by migrants in Tabasco and the coastal region of Chiapas.”

The organizations which are participating in this initiative include the following: the Migrant Home “la 72” in Tenosique, Tabasco; the San Francisco de Asís Migrant Home in Huixtla, Chiapas; the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas; the Fray Matías de Córdova Center for Human Rights in Tapachula, Chiapas; and Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación in Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Instalan mecanismo de observación con visión de derechos humanos ante la militarización de la Frontera Sur (boletín del Observatorio, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Estas son las principales acciones del Programa Frontera Sur para proteger a migrantes (Animal Político, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Critican Plan Frontera Sur; ven riesgos para migrantes (El Universal, 26 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Four years after the San Fernando massacre, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants (26 de agosto de 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)


Oaxaca: Bounty placed on head of female rights-defender for 100,000 pesos

September 2, 2014

Foto @ Voces de OaxacaPhoto @Voces de Oaxaca

On 19 August, the indigenous human-rights defender Silvia Pérez Yescas, member of Conservation, Investigation, and Exploitation of Natural Resources (CIARENA), received notice that in the community of San José Río Manzo, unknown persons had placed a bounty on her head amounting to 100,000 pesos, this following a long absence of hers from her home. On 16 January 2013, a group of twenty armed men irrupted into the defender’s home, threatening and intimidating her. She and her son escaped unharmed, but following the attack they did not return to their home, for security reasons.

It should be mentioned that in recent years, Silvia Pérez has received more than ten death-threats against her person due to her work with CIARENA. Furthermore, she has been awarded precautionary measures by the Oaxaca state government, though “these have never been completely implemented,” as Front Line Defenders has stated. She also forms a part of the National Mechanism for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists, though “the measures that have been taken have proven insufficient for her security guarantees.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ponen precio a vida de defensora de derechos Oaxaqueña (Voces de Oaxca, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Mexico: Amenazas en contra de Silvia Pérez Yescas, defensora de derechos humanos de CIARENA (Frontline Defenders, 26 de agosto de 2014)

En inglés: Mexico: Threats against Silvia Perez Yescas, human rights defender from CIARENA (Frontline Defenders)

Acción Urgente: Amenazan a Silvia Pérez Yescas, defensora de DH de CIARENA (Educa, 26 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Armed men threaten human-rights defender (29 January 2013)


National: Four years after the San Fernando massacre, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants

September 2, 2014

Albergue "La 72", Tenosique (@SIPAZ)Migrant Home “La 72″, Tenosique (@SIPAZ)

At the end of August, there was a commemoration held of the four years since the San Fernando massacre (August 2010), which took place in Tamaulipas. A group of armed persons belonging to the Zetas cartel kidnapped and murdered 72 migrants (58 men and 14 women), most of them originally from Central or South America. It is suppsoed that the kidnapped migrants were executed because they did not pay extortion fees and refused to join the criminal group. In Tenosique, Tabasco, the following year, to commemorate the 72 who were murdered, the “La 72” Migrant Home was established, being a center that offers hospitality and rest to migrants en route to the United States.

Members of “La 72” denounced that on 12 August, the National Institute on Migration (INM) and the federal police carried out an operation at the Tenosique station against migrants who had crossed into Mexico through the Tabasco border. Once the train arrived, “72” staff report that approximately 20 federal police and 10 INM agents “attacked many verbally and others were followed on the train tracks,” adding that that a half hour later, they saw INM patrols full of “arrested” migrants in the cabs. In light of this incident, the staff of “La 72” declared that “we newly repudiate the return by the INM and federal police to these sorts of detention operations, since rather than provide security to migrants, they expose fleeing migrants to risk of mutilation and death by passing trains. The so-called ‘rescues’ of migrants that the INM likes to say it carried out are in reality bold persecutions in which there is extreme verbal and psychological violence.” Furthermore, they stressed that in the INM operations the Beta group had also participated, having changed from its previous role of “protector of migrants […] into a type of intelligence [agency] for the INM delegation in Tabasco.”

On 15 August, Fray Tomás González Castillo, director of “La 72,” declared that a permanent operation had been activated in Tenosique, and he denounced the attempt by the INM (with assistance from the federal police) to dismantle the refuge by means of “comfort” operations in the migrants’ home and in the city, instead of targeting areas in which criminal groups act. These operations are “comfortable,” says Fray Tomás, because “the INM does not carry out its operations in rural areas, there where the human-traffickers are capturing migrants. These are practically the bases on which the groups work with impunity to ‘cross’ Central Americans from Guatemala to Mexico.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alerta urgente: Operativos INM y PF en Tenosique (“La 72″, 13 de agosto de 2014)

Federales y Migración aniquilarán refugio La 72 (Proyecto Ambulante, 18 de agosto de 2014)

De la fosa clandestina a la fosa común (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de agosto de 2014)

Impunidad, a cuatro años de la masacre de San Fernando (Red Política, 25 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)


Oaxaca: Resurrection of the Tepeyac Center for Human Rights in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

September 2, 2014

Foto @ Juchitan InformaArturo Lona Reyes (Foto @ Juchitan Informa)

On 17 and 18 August, Arturo Lona Reyes, bishop emeritus of the Tehuantepec diocese, reinitiated the work of the Tepeyac Center for Human Rights (CDHT), given that “we are concerned by the difficult realities experienced by the peoples and organizations of the Isthmus” and “so as to share and generate orientations and lines of work to strengthen our processes and struggles for life.” The CDHT, which Arturo Lona originally founded in March 1992, “is committed to beginning a new phase of work, orientated to accompany and encourage the spirit of organization and articulation among the peoples and communities who defend their cultures, lands, territory, resources, and rights.”

The first activity the CDHT held was a workshop on human rights which featured the experiences and knowledge of Sara Méndez, coordinadator of the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código-DH), and of Miguel Álvarez, president of the Services for Peace Center for Human Rights (Serapaz). During the event, indigenous persons from San Dionisio del Mar denounced that six concessions have been granted to mining companies which threaten the life of the Ikoots people, while Zapotec indigenous persons from Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán municipality, stressed that they would maintain the defense of their autonomy.

Beyond this, fatehr Lucio Santiago declared that, “as a diocese, the Church should intervene more in the realities of our indigenous peoples and prophetically denounce all that which threatens their lives. As parish priests, we must advocate changes which favor human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del CDHT: Pronunciamiento a los pueblos y organizaciones del Istmo (Educa, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Relanza Lona Reyes Centro de DH Tepeyac (Blog Juchitan Informa, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Asume el Obispo Emérito Lona Reyes la coordinación de CDHT (Agencia Quadratín, 18 de agosto de 2014)

Comienza nueva etapa Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac (Noticias Net, 19 de agosto de 2014)


Chiapas: Communique from PUDEE regarding structural reforms

September 2, 2014

 Imagen @ PUDEE

Image @ PUDEE

On 19 August, the organizational process Peoples United for the Defense of Electricity (PUDEE) which adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle published a communique in which its members analyze and criticize the impacts of the newly approved structural reforms. The communique describes the “ways in which they will steal from us: first, they will demand that we accept PROCEDE or FANAR, and if we do not, they will deny us access to governmental programs such as Procampo, productive aid, social support—all this for accepting PROCEDE. This step opens the door to the privatization of lands; it would cancel the documents that ejidos possess as presidential resolutions, in addition to the founding charter and the plan governing the distribution of ejidal lands […]. Those who accept PROCEDE would supposedly have the chance to take out loans from the banks, like Azteca Bank, Prendamex, etc. But when one takes out these loans, they will charge you super-high interest rates, and you will not be able to pay back the capital amount. Once you have defaulted, they will sell your lands—that is to say, they will loot you. There will be no one to help you, because with the PROCEDE program there will no longer be an Ejidal Commissioner, nor will there be ejidal meetings. If you have problems, you are obliged to hire a lawyer, if you have money, but if you don’t, other people will come for your land, because that surely has money.”

The communique continues: “They will pay you 7 pesos per hour, for precisely that was it that the deputies and senators approved the labor reform […]. It is true that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto constantly travels to the U.S., Europe, and Asia to offer up our natural resources: they make deals with the big banks, transnational corporations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization […]. On our lands will they come to establish tourist centers, large hotels, large commercial centers, and they will open highways and build airports and trainways, as they exist in the U.S. and Japan. This will all be done to extract the natural resources they desire.”

With regard to the defense of electricity, PUDEE mentions that “they will come to loot the ejidal lands to build the dams that will generate much energy, and then we will export this to Central America, the U.S., and Canada. The energy that we will consume will be very expensive for us. They will install digital monitors so that we cannot know how much we are consuming; they steal from us shamelessly; they will change the electricity cables, transformers, and everything, resulting in the pollution of the land, because when these are heated by the sun, they produce radiation that can cause cancer or otherwise harm our health […]. It is calculated that each commercial center will use more than 1000 lightbulbs, as for example in Elektra, Soriana, Aurrera, Coopel, etc. These corporations consume electricity 365 days a year; they never turn off their lights, not even for a second, because then they would lose profits. They are not worried whether or not we have electricity; instead, they are planning so that their business does not lack electrical inputs.”

The communique ends with the following thought: “This is all taken toward the end of converting us into isolated individuals without any social ties at all, without land or a neighborhood—dependent [upon the State] for food and work, so that in this way we are left without an alternative to becoming cheap and fungible labor.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La intención de Las Reformas es el despojo: PUDEE (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 19 de agosto de 2014)

PUDEE exige justicia por asesinato de José Luis Solís López (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 19 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces “climate of violence” generated by the CFE in the zone below Tila (15 April 2013)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)


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