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)


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)


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)


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)


Chiapas: EZLN and members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) united against the plundering of their peoples

August 29, 2014
(@ SIPAZ)

(@ SIPAZ)

Between August 4 and 9, there was held in La Realidad, municipality of Las Margaritas, the “First Exchange between the Zapatista Peoples and the Native Peoples of Mexico”. 1,300 Zapatista delegates and over 300 indigenous representatives from different groups of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) participated. On Saturday 9, they issued a declaration regarding the agreements of the Exchange to national and international adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle and a new Declaration on the plundering of indigenous peoples was read. It is signed by the EZLN and 28 groups of the CNI that participated in the meeting.

In the act of closure, they emphasized that: “the current political leaders are delivering territories and assets designated for the nation to the large domestic and foreign companies, seeking the death of all the peoples of Mexico and of Mother Earth”. The enemy, they reported, is the dispossession “that has a single name, and that name is capitalism.”

At the same time, through the reading of “29 Mirrors”, different situations of dispossession of indigenous peoples from across the country, as well as their experiences of struggle, rebellion and resistance were shared. In addition, they said: “These are the plunders that we suffer, we know ourselves in an emergency that threatens our lives. So today we say to the powerful, to the companies and bad governments led by the criminal supreme leader of the paramilitaries Enrique Peña Nieto that we won’t surrender, we won’t sell out, and we won’t give up. […] Like the corn, today we will renew ourselves in our decision to build from below and to the left a world where there is room for many worlds”.

Finally they informed that between December 2014 and January 2015 they will organize the “First World Festival of Resistance and Rebellions against Capitalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración de la Compartición entre el CNI y el EZLN sobre el Despojo contra Nuestros Pueblos (Radio Zapatista, 11 de agosto de 2014)

Primera Declaración de la compartición del Congreso Nacional Indígena y el Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional sobre Represión en contra de nuestros pueblos (Radio Zapatista, 11 de agosto de 2014)

EZLN a Peña: “No nos rendimos, no nos vendemos y no claudicamos” (Proceso, 10 de agosto de 2014)

EZLN invita al Festival Mundial de Las Resistencias y las Rebeldias contra el Capitalismo “Donde Los De Arriba destruyen Los de Abajo Reconstruimos” (Pozol Colectivo, 10 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (June 12, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (June 10, 2014)


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