Chiapas: Amidst increase in femicide and impunity, civil organization proclaims permanent Gender Alert

March 30, 2014

Marcha del 8 de Marzo en San Cristóbal de las Casas. Foto (@Sipaz)

March on 8 March in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Photo (@Sipaz)

Due to the increase in femicides and the impunity that prevails in the state of Chiapas, the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas, a civil organization based in San Cristóbal de las Casas, has proclaimed a permanent Gender Alert.

In November 2013, the Center started a petition to the National System to Prevent, Attend, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women (SNPASEVM) calling on it to declare a gender alert in the state.  However, in January of this year, SNPASEVM rejected the petition, claiming that the murders of women does not threaten the social peace in the state, and adding that many of these deaths have not been recognized as femicides.

“How many women must die before the State considers there to exist a pattern of violence against women in Chiapas?” asks the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas.

According to Alma Padilla, director of the Center, “the Mexican State is not willing to declare a gender alert because it has instituted programs to prevent femicide and violence against women.  However, these [programs] have had no result.  On the contrary, both the numbers of femicides and cases of violence against women are on the rise.”

Official information presented by the Center shows that between January and October of last year, 84 murders of women were documented, 52 of which have been categorized as femicides.  An investigation has been requested to determine if those remaining also qualify as such.

In parallel terms to the proclamation of the permanent Gender Alert, the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas has indicated that it will continue to demand that the authorities declare an alert and combat the crime of femicide.

For more information (in Spanish):

Aumentan feminicidios en Chiapas asegura ONG (Milenio, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Mujeres de Chiapas deciden levantar su propia alerta de género por feminicidios (Animal Político, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Web del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Conmemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)


Chiapas : Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico”

March 15, 2014

foro-infancia

On 1 March, Melel Xojobal A.C., REDIM (Network of the Rights of the Child in Mexico), and REDIAS (Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas) organized the first regional forum of NGOS on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico.”  The forum intended to create space for analysis and dialogue toward the end of joining together the work of civil organizations which labor in favor of the rights of children, so that there be greater efficiency and cooperation in this struggle.

Despite representing 35% of the national population (more than 40 million persons), children control only 6% of the country’s budget, with only a small portion of this going toward their protection. Juan Martín Pérez García, director of Redim, recalled that the rights of the child “are human rights and not small rights,” adding that adolescents comprise a full 50% of all femicides committed in the country.  The doctor denounced that Mexico “is not implementing conditions to observe the rights of children.”  It should be noted that, among the 176 recommendations made to Mexico by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), just 7 refer to children and adolescents.

Children make up a third of Mexico’s population and 40% of the population of Chiapas.  Lamentably, the situation of children in the latter context is very difficult: Chiapas is one of the places with the fewest legal tools enshrined into public policy, and the statistics for children in the state are among the worst in the country, always below the national average.  Chiapas has the least percentage of school attendance in Mexico and the lowest average number of years spent in formal education, but the majority of the population aged 12-17 is economically active.  Chiapas occupied third place in the number of adolescent pregnancies (15-19 years), and it is retrograde in terms of health-care access (42% of children lack such access, vs. 32% nationally); infant mortality reaches 19.5/1000 in the state, with 14.2/1000 being the national ratio.

In November, for the first time, Mexico will attend the VI Global Congress for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, which will coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Mexico in 1990.  This may be an opportunity to make visible the rights of youth, and to make them a reality….

For more information (in Spanish):

Llaman a trabajar por derechos de los niños (La Jornada, 2 de marzo de 2014)

Foro regional en atención a los derechos de niños y niñas (Cuarto Poder, 1 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: denunciation of acts of “social cleansing” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: Justice is demanded in the case of the feminicide of the youth Itzel Yanet Méndez Pérez (16 May 2012)

Chiapas: XV Aniversario de Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Chiapas: Body of campesino leader of the National Organization for Popular Power is found

March 1, 2014

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On Tuesday 18 February, the lifeless body of the regional leader of the National Organization for Popular Power (ONPP) was found near Teopisca, Chiapas.

The corpse, found in the municipal dump of the city, showed signs of torture, according to relatives and friends of the former leader.

Manuel de Jesús Vázquez disappeared on Saturday 15 February after leaving his home to visit his father, resident of the same community.  Due to his disappearance, relatives of the victim denounced the act before the Public Ministry,a nd the ONPP released a communique demanding to know the whereabouts of its member, and to wish him luck: “Who has kidnapped our brother Manuel?  Today we fear for his life, because he could have been kidnapped and tortured in clandestine security houses, or even murdered, with his body then appearing afterward as that of a common criminal.”

According to the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, in the course of the recovery of the body of the dead, officials from the State Attorney General’s Office committed violations to individual rights, given that they failed to observe the basic standards for investigative work in the field.

ONPP-Chiapas defines Manuel as having been a key political and regional leader who defended the rights of his people and land for many years.

For more information (in Spanish):

Hallan en basurero el cadáver de líder campesino en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de febrero de 2014)

En Teopisca, hallan muerto a líder indígena desaparecido desde el sábado (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de febrero de 2014)

Encuentran cuerpo de dirigente en basurero de Chiapas (Milenio, 19 de febrero de 2014)

Hallan muerto a líder de la ONPP (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 19 de febrero de 2014)

Procuraduría de Justicia viola derecho a las garantías judiciales en el caso de la muerte sospechosa de líder de la ONPP (Frayba, 20 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: teacher Adela Gómez regains her freedom (12 November 2013)

Chiapas: AI concerned for security and health of imprisoned activist Adela Gómez (25 October 2013)

Chiapas: State police arbitrarily arrest ONPP members (16 September 2013)


Chiapas/National: 2000 indigenous prisoners to be released in 2014. Will Alejandro Díaz be one of them?

March 1, 2014

Foto @ Especial / Am

The National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI) seeks to release 2,000 indigenous prisoners in 2014 by means of the Excarcelation of Indigenous Persons Program, which has a budget of 50 million pesos.  The reason is that there are more than 9,000 indigenous people incarcerated in Mexico, due to lack of translators and other failures to due process. Nuvia Mayorga, director of the CDI, explained that most cases are found in states such as Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, and Sinaloa, thus reflecting that poverty continues to be a factor perpetuating this phenomenon.

Alejandro Díaz Santis, prisoner held in the Cereso No. 5 San Cristóbal de Las Casas and a member in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, expressed in an interview with SIPAZ that a representative from the CDH had visited the prison to ask him, among other things, if he were indigenous.  Alejandro is Tsotsil, from the Highlands of Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Alejandro Díaz (Koman Ilel, 14 de febrero de 2014)

Buscan excarcelar a 2 mil indígenas (Am, 6 de febrero de 2014)

Buscan excarcelar a 2 mil indígenas (El Universal, 6 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Santis announces fast to demand freedom (15 January 2014)

National: Patishtán requests that Peña Nieto release all prisoners who are unjustly imprisoned (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)

 


Chiapas: Rejection of gender alert without prior investigation

January 15, 2014

Manta en San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Banner in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

On 10 January 2013, the National System to Prevent, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women (SNPASEVM) refused to undertake an investigation into the violent context suffered by women in Chiapas, which would lead most likely to the declaration of a gender alert in the state.  The request for investigation was made on 25 November 2013 by the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas and the Women’s Collective of San Cristóbal de las Casas (COLEM), among other civil society organizations.

The National Citizens’ Observatory on Femicide has denounced that the request which was presented sought to render visible the lack of prevention in the cases of femicides in the state.  An example of this are the 1,077 acts of violence registered from January 2007 to June 2013, with only 3% of these cases leading to the provision of a protection order lasting for 72 hours.

For more information (in Spanish):

Niegan en Chiapas alerta de género sin previa investigación (Milenio, 10 de enero de 2014)

Niegan alerta de género para Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de enero de 2014)

Niegan alerta de género sin previa investigación (Noticias Net, 12 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)


Chiapas: Manuel Velasco presents his first Governmental Report

January 1, 2014

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Photo @La Jornada

On 19 December, Manuel Velasco Coello, governor of Chiapas, presented his first government report before the state congress.  At the Mesoamerican Poliforum located in the state’s capital, Velasco Coello alluded to the challenges that had marked the beginning of his term, and he recalled that a year ago the state of Chiapas faced the worst financial crisis in its history.  He recognized that the debts owed by the Chiapas state governments to indigenous communities has yet to be resolved.  “I here repeat that my administration will retain its commitment to respecting Zapatismo and to resolving conflicts peacefully.  My position has been and remains clear: we have a moral debt with the indigenous peoples of Chiapas and Mexico which we should resolve with justice and dignity.”  He also mentioned that work is being done to release two prisoners who pertain to San Sebastián Bachajón.

In a communique, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) criticized the public budget outlined by the governor in his first Governmental Report.  The EZLN notes that Velasco repeats and builds upon the strategy of former Governor Juan Sabines to spend greatly on communication media.  “Over $10 million have been spent on a national promotional campaign which is no less ridiculous… or illegal for being massive and expensive.”  Journalist Carmen Aristegui strongly criticized Manuel Velasco ‘s media campaign on radio, denouncing the campaign which seeks to promote Velasco’s image as governor and future politician for spending so many public funds.  Similar views were expressed on a program in Univisión News on 20 December.

For more information (in Spanish):

Critica EZLN gasto de gobernador (AM, 23 de diciembre de 2013)

Discurso de Manuel Velasco en su primer informe de gobierno (Chiapas Paralelo, 19 de diciembre de 2013)

Manuel Velasco presenta hoy su primer Informe (El Universal, 19 de diciembre de 2013)

Escándalo envuelve a gobernador de Chiapas (Noticias Univisión, 21 de diciembre de 2013)

Aristegui se le va a la yugular a Manuel Velasco Gobernador de Chiapas(TVNWS, 19 de diciembre de 2013)

La seguridad y el tráfico de armas y drogas, temas que vinculan a Chiapas y Chihuahua (La Jornada, 20 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: accession of Manuel Velasco Coello to governorship (10 de diciembre de 2013)

Chiapas: elections in Chiapas; PRI-Green alliance wins (10 July 2012)


Chiapas: Presentation of legal initiative for gay marriage

December 17, 2013

Foto @ cronicadesociales.org

The State Council on Human Rights (CEDH) has sent to the local Congress of Chiapas a proposal to legalize marriages between persons of the same sex.

The proposal, entitled “Initiative for marriage rights without discrimination to different sexual preferences,” calls for the concept of matrimony to be considered “a free union of two persons to carry out a life in common using a contract in which the two parts commit themselves to respect and mutually support each other.”

In parallel terms, civil organizations and activists are developing the campaign “Same rights, same names” with the aim of supporting the initiative.  In this sense, José Eliecer Esponda Cáceres, president of the Open Network Collective, noted that “The Initiative before us is not to change families but rather to change the way in which the law sees us, to put an end to legal discrimination.  By denying us the right to marry, they are saying that we are second-class citizens who do not have the right to marry the person we love.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Turnan al Congreso de Chiapas iniciativa para legalizar los matrimonios gay (Proceso, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Piden en Chiapas legalizar el matrimonio gay (Excelsior, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Homosexuales exigen mismos derechos y mismos nombres (Noticias, 10 de noviembre de 2013)


Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment on the part of CFE in El Limar

December 17, 2013

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Photo @SIPAZ

On 7 December, the United People in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE) published a denunciation regarding harassment targeting members of this movement in El Limar, Tila municipality, on the part of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).  The members of PUDEE protest the high electricity prices which they receive–from 5,000 to 10,000 per month–and so refuse to pay.  The public denunciation notes that ‘THE FEDERAL ELECTRICITY COMMISSION (CFE) HAS PRESSURED US TO PAY THE HIGH PRICE OF ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION.  WHEN THERE ARE PROBLEMS OF SUPPLY OF ELECTRICITY, THEY BLAME US.  THEY DO NOT ATTEND TO PROBLEMS OF SUPPLY OR CHANGE OUR THE FLAWED TRANSFORMERS; THEY OFFER BAD SERVICE.  ON 13 AUGUST 2013, PERSONNEL FROM THE CFE ARRIVED TO THE COMMUNITY TO INSTALL NEW MEASUREMENT DEVICES WITHOUT OUR CONSENT.  THEY ARRIVED SCARED, REQUESTED THE SUPPORT OF THE EJIDAL COMMISSIONER AND DESIRED THAT MUNICIPAL POLICE ACCOMPANY THEM IN THE COMMUNITY TO PERFORM THE INSTALLATION.  BUT THE AUTHORITIES ABSTAINED.  THEY HAVE CAUSED US TO PROTEST, WE WHO RESIST PAYING FOR ELECTRICITY.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia pública del PUDEE (7 de diciembre de 2013)

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/Oaxaca: Commemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead

November 13, 2013

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Photo @Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas

Due to the alarming number of femicides that has taken place in the state, activists and different organizations which form part of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas organized different activities and set up an altar in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. On the altar was collected white crosses made of paper to denounce the violent deaths and femicides of more than 80 women this year, a statistic that places the state of Chiapas fifth among other Mexican states in terms of the number of femicides.

In Oaxaca City, there was offered bread, fruit, flowers, liquor, and candles on an altar that was installed aside a Oaxacan university to commemorate the women who have been killed in Oaxaca and throughout the country.  Prayers were offered for female victims of violence, “recalling their names, their ages, their work, their successes, who it was who attacked them, and what the status is of their legal processes,” as Daniela Ramírez explained, a member of the International Diplomat in Studies of Women and the Group on Femicide in the Republic.

Presented just a few days ago, the report “From survivors to defenders: Women who confront violence in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala,” as compiled by the Initiative of Nobel Prize Winning Women, warns that the problem of femicide and violation of human rights in Mexico has reached “crisis” levels.  The report notes that in Mexico 6.4 women are killed per day, with 95% of these crimes going unpunished, according to data from the report and the UN.

For more information (in Spanish):

Recuerdan a mujeres víctimas de feminicidio en Chiapas (Reporte ciudadano, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

En recuerdo de las muertas por la barbarie de los machos en Oaxaca (NSS Oaxaca, 1 de noviembre de 2013)

Exigen “ni una muerta más” en el país (Educa Oaxaca, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

Crecen 40% feminicidios en México (Diario de Oaxaca, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

Feminicidios alcanzan nivel de “crisis” en México: Informe de premios Nobel; cada día asesinan a 6.4 mujeres (Sin Embargo, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Marches against violence against women and femicide (26 October 2013)

Chiapas: Careful, patriarchy kills! Presentation of the “Campaign against violence against women and femicide in Chiapas” (3 October 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Increase in feminicide and State Accord for Gender Equality (22 April 2013)

Chiapas: Colem Group of Women take action against feminicide (19 October 2012)

 


Chiapas: After 13 years of unjust incarceration, freedom for Patishtán

November 13, 2013

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Alberto Patishtán, photo @Marco Peláez, La Jornada

On 31 October, after 13 years of unjust imprisonment, Alberto Patishtán was released and celebrated his freedom with his family, friends, and comrades, after having received an official pardon from President Enrique Peña Nieto.  After receiving the document notifying him that he would benefit from this measure, the Tsotsil indigenous man left the clinic in which he found himself at the time.  Gabriela Patishtán Ruiz, Patishtán’s daughter, said that “the struggle which many different organizations and persons have carried out since his unjust arrest has borne fruit.”  Accompanied by his children and grandchildren, the professor in a press-conference declared that “They wanted to close off my light, make it rest–but what happened is that it was multiplied, though they wanted to cover it up.  My struggle illuminated.”

Following the release of the Tsotsil professor, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights released a press-bulletin expressing that the pardon is not sufficient justice for Patishtán.  Among other things, the document demands a public apology from the State and comprehensive reparations for the damages incurred by the Tsotsil professor and his family.  During the afternoon of the same day, there was held a protest in Mexico City to publicly recognize the innocence of Alberto Patishtán.

Patishtán had spent 13 years and four months imprisoned as part of a 60-year sentence after he was accused of participating in the killing of six police during an ambush which took place in El Bosque municipality, Chiapas, in 2000.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ordenan libertad inmediata de Alberto Patishtán (Proceso, 31 de octubre de 2013)

Salí a defender a mi pueblo y me mandaron a la cárcel: Patishtán (La Jornada, 31 de octubre de 2013)

Video: Fui encarcelado por defender a mi pueblo: Alberto Patishtan (Telesur)

Lucha de organizaciones por libertad de Patishtán dio frutos, asegura su hija (La Jornada, 30 de octubre de 2013)

Boletín Centro de derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (31 de octubre de 2013)

Los riesgos en el indulto de Patishtán (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de noviembre de 2013)

Blog de Alberto Patishtán

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Legal initiative for Amnesty for Alberto Patishtán (4 October 2013)

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


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