Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike

April 29, 2013


On 16 April, approximately 20 activists and migrants began a march of 290 kilometers from the Suchiate river, following the route taken by the undocumented, to denounce the sexual and labor exploitation to which many Central American migrants are subjected within the southern border region of Mexico.  The march was to end two days later in Arriaga, where the migrants often take the freight train toward the center of the country.

However, the following day, the protest ended in Tapachula, due to the fact that its members had received death-threats “by phone and in person, though we do not know from whom they originate,” declared the organizers.  Ramón Verdugo Sánchez, member of the organization “All for all” to assist street children and migrants, explained that “due to the fact that the security of those who were marching could not be assured, we decided to change the action into a hunger strike, which is something that is more drastic and sacrificial, given that it can exert the same pressure on the authorities so that they fulfill their responsibilities.  We are not asking for the impossible, given that it is their obligation to show that they are working to protect minors in the streets and migrants in transit.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Caminata desde el Suchiate para denunciar abusos contra migrantes(La Jornada, 17 de abril de 2013)

Por amenazas, deciden activistas concluir en Tapachula y no en Arriaga caminata (La Jornada, 17 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Organizations present report on migration during Sabines’ six-year reign (21 December 2012)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children (2 November 2012)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: #WeMigrantsAre132 (20 June 2012)

Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)

Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)


Chiapas: Peaceful march for the release of opponent to wind-energy park in Arriaga

February 5, 2013

Imagen @ Escrutinio Público

On 30 January close to a hundred residents of the Arriaga community, led by Heymán Vázquez Medina, a priest and director of the migrant home Place of Mercy, and members of non-governmental organizations like Pro-Migrant, marched to demand the release of the owner of the land known as El Brillante, César Octavio Blanco García.  On El Brillante are located nine of the sixteen wind-energy plants that were closed down on 14 January by ejidatarios who have been affected by the wind-energy park that is the property of the Dragón firm, a subsidiary of the Salinas Group.

Blanco García has been held in prison no. 13 in Tonalá since 22 January, accused of the crime of looting, after he and twenty others closed down the wind-energy park to protest the violation of contract and environmental damage suffered by ejidatarios and small property owners.

Heymán Vázquez requested that the state governor, Manuel Velasco Colleo, respect the state of right and that the authorities not act in the interests of the powerful.  During the rally at the end of the march, the priest said that Blanco García was no paratrooper but rather owner of land where new wind-energy plants have been installed to produce electricity, and that he was merely exercising his rights.  The priest also added that the Catholic church, social organizations, and the people of Arriaga demanded his immediate release, given that working people cannot be held behind bars.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Heymán Vázquez Medina (30 de enero de 2013)

Exigen libertad de líder que se opuso a empresa eólica de Grupo Salinas en Arriaga (Blog Escrutinio Público, 30 de enero de 2013)

Exigen liberar a opositor a la empresa Dragón, en Chiapas (Milenio, 30 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Displacement of campesinos who were protesting a wind-energy park in Arriaga (29 January 2013)

Chiapas: Judicial Harassment of Human-Rights Defender

June 21, 2010

Manifestación Consejo Autónomo dela Costa (@CDH Digna Ochoa)

On 18 June, the Observation-Institution for the Protection of Human Rights, which is associated with the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requested the intervention of the Mexican government in light of acts of judicial harassment against Nataniel Hernández, director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, in the coastal region of Chiapas.

On 11 June, Nataniel Hernández was called before the Public Ministry; he arrived on the 15th, there to be informed that an investigation had been undertaken into his participation in a road-block in the municipality of Pijijiapan in April.  This road-block had been organized by several community organizations engaging in civil resistance against high electricty-prices; they form the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas.  During the interrogation that lasted three hours, Hernández admitted having been presented at the road-block, given that “in his capacity as director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, [...] his presence as an observer had been requested, so that he could document any rights-violation that could occur during the event”.

In a joint communiqué, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human-Rights Center and the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center find that “the investigations of the Federal Attorney General’s Office in the city of Arriaga, Chiapas, constitute acts of harassment against Mr. Nataniel, linked to his work in defense and promotion of human rights.  We fear that the Federal Public Minister Angel Sandoval Lara turn the case over the corresponding judge and concurrently request an arrest-order against the director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Joint bulletin Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human-Rights Center (16 June)

Urgent Action from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH, 17 June)

Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center Blog


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 79 other followers