Chiapas/International: Spanish journalists leave the country amidst threats of extortion and disappearance

November 12, 2014

Melchor Miralles (@Wikipedia)

Melchor Miralles (@Wikipedia)

On 1 November, Melchor Miralles, the ex-director of Mundo TV (Spain) and present director general of Atar Productions, received several calls threatening him with extortion and kidnapping.  He was located in Tapachula, Chiapas, with five other Spanish journalists to collect information regarding the migration of Central Americans toward the U.S. on the southern Mexican border.  They have all decided to leave Mexico.  The Federal Police and agents from the Special Prosecutorial Office for Crimes Committed against Migrants from the Chiapas state Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) provided a security escort for their departure.

In an article entitled “Hell” published in his column “On the sidewalk” on the Spanish daily Republica.com, Miralles noted that “It is no consolation, but the corruption in this country is a joke compared with the processes that have converted Mexico not into a failed state, but rather into a comatose state that has been taken over or handed over entirely to organized crime.”

En un artículo titulado “El Infierno” publicado en su columna denominada “En el andén” del diario español Republica. com, Miralles expresó: : “No consuela, pero nuestra corrupción es una broma si la comparamos con la que ha convertido a México no en un Estado fallido, sino en un Estado comatoso en el que los tres poderes están tomados, o entregados, al crimen organizado que todo lo puede”.

For more information (in Spanish):

El infierno (En el Anden, Reforma.com, 2 de noviembre de 2014)

Periodistas españoles huyen del país tras recibir amenazas de secuestro (Proceso, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Periodistas españoles salen de Chiapas ante amenazas (Milenio, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Españoles dejan el país ante amenaza (El Universal, 4 de noviembre de 2014)


Chiapas: “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” event in Masoja Shucjá, Tila

November 12, 2014

“Corazón de memoria, sembrando en nuestro territorio”, octubre de 2014 (@CDHFBC)

“Heart of memory, sown on our lands.” October 2014 (@CDHFBC)

On 24 October, the “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” event was held in the Masojá Shucjá community, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, to remember the victims of execution, forcible disappearance, and forced displacement in this region between the years 1995 and 1999.  Those present demanded justice in these cases and expressed their solidarity with the families of the normalist students of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, present at this event, stressed that “in the zone below Tila, [the paramilitary group] Paz y Justicia committed at least 37 forcible disappearances, 85 executions, and displaced more than 4500 persons, who also suffered harassment, intimidation, destruction of property, torture, sexual abuse, and arbitrary arrests, among other human-rights violations [...].  Lamentably, these great human-right violations have continued to enjoy impunity, given that the material and intellectual authors have not been truly investigated or sanctioned in accordance with their involvement in these crimes against humanity.  This situation has been broadly denounced, and it has been taken to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  There have been eight cases that reflect the atrocities experienced in the region.  There are 122 cases documented by this Center of Human Rights in the northern zone.  They are examples of the counter-insurgent strategy that has been implemented by the federal and state authorities, following the Plan for the Chiapas Campaign [...].  Neither forgiveness nor forgetting.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 18 años de impunidad, en Masojá Shucjá Tila Chiapas, exigen justicia por desapariciones y ejecuciones a sus integrantes (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de octubre de 2014)

Boletín del CDHFBC Ni perdón, ni olvido (CDHFBC, 28 de octubre de 2014)

A 18 años de impunidad, en Masojá Shucjá Tila Chiapas, exigen justicia por desapariciones y ejecuciones a sus integrantes (Radio Pozol, 25 de octubre de 2014)

Castigo a autores de ejecuciones, desapariciones y desplazamientos forzados en Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil (Comunicado de las y los desplazados de Banavil en el evento de Masoja Shucjá, 24 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 18 years since the disappearance of Minerva Pérez, her case remains unpunished (25 June 2014)

Chiapas: 17 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, her case is taken up at the IACHR (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)


Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society demands justice for Ayotzinapa

November 3, 2014

(@CDHFBC)

(@CDHFBC)

On 22 October, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre of 1997 that left 45 dead, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique condemning the events in Ayotzinapa, highlighting that “to our list of murderers we now add the names of Enrique Peña Nieto, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, José Luis Abarca, and all others involved in the disappearance and murder of the normalist students.” Las Abejas affirmed that it is “a crime of State and a crime against humanity, like what was committed here in Acteal.”

Las Abejas expressed their solidarity with the relatives of the disappeared students, expressing that “We know the pain–we have lived it, because we also lost our children, parents, and siblings.  We know how the parents and relatives of the students of Ayotzinapa feel.  Humbly, and with much respect, we embrace you with our hearts, from Acteal, taking into account our own capacities.  We support you and demand together with you that your children reappear and return home.”

Las Abejas also mentioned in their communique other violent and unjust situations, such as the incarceration in Sonora of Mario Luna, spokesperson for the Yaqui people, and the plundering represented by the highway and mining megaprojects that operate on the lands of indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Justicia por Ayotzinapa, !Vivos los llevaron, Vivos los queremos!(Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de octubre de 2014)

Sobrevivientes de Acteal: exigimos al Estado no permitir otra masacre, y no le importó (SinEmargo, 23 de octubre de 2014)

Realizan paro en 14 normales de Chiapas en apoyo a Ayotzinapa(Proceso, 23 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

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

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

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


Chiapas: SCJN calls on Chiapas state congress to modify electoral reforms to respect gender equity

October 11, 2014

Congreso de Chiapas (@Chiapas Paralelo)

On 2 October, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) released a sentence regarding electoral reform in Chiapas state that requested that the local deputies of the congress eliminate a clause so as to respect gender equity among candidates.  Last June, the Chiapas state congress approved a reform that included an exception to gender equity in the case that a candidate would leave an electoral campaign through a democratic way as determined internally to the party in question.  The Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD) had submitted a motion regarding the constitutionality of this clause, considering it to function to the detriment of women’s political participation.

Beyond this, and for the first time, the SCJN declared that the electoral laws that mandate affirmative action for women are constitutional.  Another article of the electoral code of Chiapas that calls for women to lead the lists of candidates to multiple positions and for the wages for candidates to be represented proportionately had been challenged by the Labor Party (PT), though the Court has decided against this challenge now.

For more information (in Spanish):

Obliga la SCJN al Congreso de Chiapas a respetar paridad de género en candidaturas (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de octubre de 2014)

SCJN invalida reformas electorales de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de octubre de 2014)

Avala Suprema Corte trato preferente no igualitario a mujeres candidatas (Noticias.net, 3 de octubre de 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)


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)


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