International/National: national and international warning regarding the increase in the number of aggressions against defenders of the land, territory, and environment

December 16, 2014

index

In observance of the presentation of the report “We no longer fear: Defenders of the land, attacked for confronting savage development,” Mexican civil-society organizations warned of the increase in the number of attacks on defenders of the land, territory, and environment in the country.

In the report that was presented, the International Federation on Human Rights (FIDH) documents 106 cases of harassment against 282 defenders of the land and 19 civil organizations in this line of work throughout the world.  It denounces that 95% of the cases have gone unpunished, due to the “incapacity of the States to hold perpetrators accountable, either through their actions or inaction.”

In the case of Mexico, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) calculates that, from the beginning of 2013 to April 2014, 82 attacks took place on environmentalists, 35 of them in Oaxaca, with 9 in Puebla, 8 in Mexico State, 6 in Morelos and Veracruz, and 3 cases in Chiapas, Mexico City, and Sonora each.

The majority of the registered attacks took place within the context of wind-energy projects (30), mines, dams, highways, public policies, geothermal energy, and aqueducts.

37 of the attacks were perpetrated by authorities; in 30 cases, the perpetrators were unknown; in 5, attacks were carried out by people of the same community (who generally favor the project in question), in 3, organized crime was to blame, while in another 3, the question was related to people associated with firms who promote megaprojects.  Lastly, in 6 cases perpetrators were described as having ties to the authorities.

In the presentation of the FIDH, Adrián Ramírez, from the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (LIMEDDH), warned also of the recently announced 10 points made by President Enrique Peña Nieto, given that these “place emphasis on supporting the states where megaprojects have been attempted to be imposed, amidst strong popular objections.  That is to say, the idea is to provide economic incentives to these megaprojects, as if the problem in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Guerrero has to do with development and not social inequality.”

Axel García, from the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH), noted that for his part the number of documented cases registered by the Observatory “does not reflect all the attacks suffered by defenders.  These are only paradigmatic cases.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe de la FIDH “No tenemos miedo. Defensores del derecho a tierra: atacados por enfrentarse al desarrollo desenfrenado

Informe sobre ataques a personas defensoras ambientales 2014 (CEMDA)

Preocupantes, ataques a defensores del derecho a la tierra por proyectos eólicos (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2014)

106 casos de violencia contra defensores de la tierra en los últimos tres años (Animal Político, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

En 16 meses hostigan y atacan a 82 ambientalistas en México, acusa el Cemda (Sin Embargo, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Aumentan agresiones contra defensores de la tierra y de los pueblos indígenas (Proceso, 2 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries for environmental defenders (12 June 2014)


Guerrero: 2 months after the disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, more cases of forced disappearances and violence emerge

December 15, 2014

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Photo @SIPAZ

On 26 November, French television channel France 24 reported that two months after the case of the disappearance of 43 normalist students in Iguala, another 31 youth from the neighboring municipality of Cocula were disappeared by organized crime.  The high-school students have been missing since 7 July, though the case was not well-known due to the fear of the locals in light of the death-threats issued by those who carried out the disappearances.  The final day of classes before the start of summer vacations, masked men dressed in marine blue, seemingly riding in police vehicles, kidnapped the youth as they were leaving the Justo Sierra high school.  The school is located just by the mayor’s hall of Cocula.  Local police have also been implicated in the Ayotzinapa case.  National and international journalistic coverage of the 43 normalists from Ayotzinapa motivated the mother of one of the disappeared youth to break the silence.  Other off-camera testimonies confirmed the kidnapping of the youth.  However, the Office for National Security (CNS) reported that no denunciation exists, nor is there any report from the educational authorities, regarding the missing 30 students.  Beyond this, units from the federal police visited the Justo Sierra high school, and the vice principal claimed not to know anything about the disappearance of any students attending the school.  The governor of Guerrero, Rogelio Ortega, indicated that the disappearances of the youth of Cocula took place between 2 and 3 July.  He mentioned that this was documented on the Guerrero state-government’s web page, even though “there was no denunciation made.”

It must be stressed that, in the first 10 months of 2014, at least 12 cases of collective disappearances have been seen in Mexico.  Cases similar to that of Ayotzinapa, even including the same number of victims, have been presented in seven other states.  In the month before the events in Iguala, 199 persons were disappeared.  The states with the highest number of victims have been Puebla, Tamaulipas, and Guerrero.  A year before the disappearance of the 43 Mexican students in Iguala, there was another night of terror in a neighboring community, where residents relate that an armed commando group invaded various houses and forcibly took groups of people, in their majority youth.  Cocula is one of the municipalities of Guerrero where violence has most acutely affected the population.  At least 82 have been disappeared, murdered, or kidnapped in the past 3 years.

Another case of extreme violence in the state took place on 27 November: at least 11 burned and decapitated bodies were found on a path by the community of Ayahualulco in Chilapa. In a communique, the State Prosecutorial General’s Office (FGE) reported that the 11 males killed lost their lives due to gunfire and were then semi-burned.  Their corpses appeared ridden with gunshot wounds emanating from high-caliber firearms.  Beside the bodies, there was a note left that was directed to a criminal group known as “The Squirrels” saying: “There you go, trash.”  Chilapa de Álvarez has been the site of other violence episodes this year.  Between 8 and 10 July, confrontations were registered between presumed criminals and police that left 14 dead.  A day later, six more bodies were found.  It was reported that these persons died after a confrontation between two organized-crime gorups.

For more information (in Spanish):
11 decapitados en Guerrero; PGR atrae investigación (Aristegui Noticias, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Reportan desaparición de otros 31 estudiantes en Cocula (Proceso, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

France 24 revela nuevo secuestro masivo de estudiantes en Guerrero (VIDEO) (SDP Noticias, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

Confirma gobernador de Guerrero desaparición de jóvenes en Cocula (La Jornada, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Afirman autoridades que no hay denuncia sobre secuestro en Cocula (La Jornada, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

La noche olvidada de Cocula (El Faro, 23 de octubre de 2014)

Desaparecen 5 al día tras caso Ayotzinapa (Excelsior, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

Cocula: 82 desaparecidos, asesinados o secuestrados en los tres últimos años (El Sur de Acapulco, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Day of actions for Ayotzinapa to observe the Mexican Revolution (7 December 2014)

Mexico/Chiapas: National Brigade for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protest for Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)


Guerrero: TADECO denounces harassment directed at Javier Monroy

December 15, 2014

IMG-20141128-WA0002[2]-1Photo @TADECO

On 28 November, the team of the Workshop for Communal Development (TADECO) was threatened by a note that was left in the morning on the automobile belonging to director Javier Monroy Hernández outside his home in Chilpancingo, Guerrero.  TADECO detailed that the anonymous message, written on carton using blue ink, says the following: “Fucking little guerrilla of Marxist-Leninist orientation…  my balls.  FJ. MONROY HDZES… OF THE EZLN.  FOR EACH COMRADE MARINE, SOLDIER, POLICE WHO FALLS, YOUR LIFE WILL BE CUT SHORT BY A YEAR. REGARDS, DEFENDERS OF THE COUNTRY.”  The message on the back carries a type of signature with different Mexican and international security agencies, including some that do not even exist: “ANTI-TERRORIST AND ANTI-SUBVERSION INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, CISEN, SEDENA, SEMAR, AND STATE DEPT OF NSA.  ISRAEL, ITALY, GERMANY, AND FRANCE.  MOSSAD, POLICE, SURETEE.  POL NAC.  SPAIN.  CARABINIERIS.”  The message concludes: “WE ARE WATCHING YOU… together with the female bigot and “Comandanta Isabel.”  E.A…” 

The organization could not tell if this was a joke, but it is not the first time that its member receive threats of this sort, as accompanied by actions and slanderous charges against the activists.  Beyond this, it stresses the type of support it has provided to the parents and students of the Raúl Isidro Burgos rural normal school of Ayotzinapa, and the accompaniment it has given to the victims of social violence from the Committee of Relatives and Friends of Kidnapped, Disappeared, and Murdered in Guerrero for seven years.  TADECO recalls that in 2009 there was a similar campaign of death-threats and harassment communicated by telephone that was resolved with the support of other organizations, in light of the incompetence of the State Attorney General’s Office.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia Tadeco amenazas contra Javier Monroy; responsabiliza al gobierno del estado (El Sur de Acapulco, 29 de noviembre de 2014)

COMUNICADO AMENAZAS AL TADECO NOV 2014-2

Recibe amenazas “puto guerrillerito” de Tadeco (Pueblo Guerrero, 30 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: TADECO continues without module in the Civic Plaza of Chilpancingo, as one of its members remains disappeared for 5 years (13 April 2012)

Guerrero – briefs: TADECO module and space for artisans in Plaza Cívica of Chilpancingo forcibly evicted (9 March 2011)

Guerrero: Uncertainty over future of TADECO module at Chilpancingo Civic Square (24 February)

Guerrero: Reactivation of arrest-orders against members of CETEG; social organizations meet before the Inter-American Commission; Mexican State violating sentence, it is accused; homage to Comandante Ramiro (11 November 2010)


Oaxaca/Guerrero: Walmart closes 17 stores due to teachers’ protests

December 7, 2014

Foto @ Zócalo Saltillo

Foto @ Zócalo Saltillo

Following the blockade of commercial plazas as engaged in by teachers belonging to Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE-CNTE) from 14 to 17 November, taken as a measure to demand that the government present the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa with life, Walmart decided to suspend operations in 17 stores, 16 in Oaxaca and 1 in Guerrero, on 17 November.

This is the first time that the corporation carries out a mass-shuttering of its chains, and Oaxaca is the first state to see this.  In Guerrero, due to recent protests, only one store was closed down.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se va Walmart de Oaxaca, cierra 16 tiendas ante constantes cierres por maestros (Evolución México, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

Walmart se va de Guerrero y Oaxaca (La Razón de México, 23 de noviembre de 2014)

Maestros de Oaxaca toman ocho plazas comerciales en solidaridad con normalistas (Proceso, 14 de noviembre de 2014)

Cierra Walmart 8 tiendas en Oaxaca por bloqueos (Quadratín Oaxaca, 17 de noviembre de 2014)

Walmart invertirá 414 mdp en Oaxaca (Sin embargo, 27 de agosto de 2014)

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protests for Ayotzinapa

December 6, 2014

Manifestación en Guerrero (@transfondoinformativo.blogspot.com)

Manifestation in Guerrero (@transfondoinformativo.blogspot.com)

On 11 November, Guerrero state police beat the journalist Carlos Navarrete Rubio from the Diario El Sur, beyond physically and verbally attacking at least 10 journalists who were documenting the violent displacement of at least 500 teachers from the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) at the state offices of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Chilpancingo.  These teachers were protesting the disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa.

The next day, media workers protested at the Guerrero Palace of Governance and at the CETEG sit-in to demand guarantees for their journalistic work.  The reporter from El Sur who had been attacked publicly read aloud a letter in which he affirms that “the lack of protocols to dissuade social protests and the lack of training in terms of human rights on the part of state police is now evident, as has been reflected during protests that have taken place in recent days in Acapulco and Chilpancingo (…).  We are clear that we will not allow any other attacks against our media representatives.  Indeed, if this is repeated, we will react using all means we have at our disposal.”

Article 19, an organization that protects the right to freedom of expression, noted that the Guerrero state police must adopt the necessary measures to guarantee effective protection of this right “within contexts of manifestations or public protests, as in the adoption of protocols that are to guide security forces and other authorities in such contexts, toward the end of having them observe their tasks of preventing and protecting against any attacks directed at journalists and those who assist with the realization of coverage of protests, including the mobilization of emergency medical aid in safe conditions rather than criminalization.”

For more information (in Spanish):

ALERTA: Policías de Guerrero golpean a periodistas durante manifestación (Artículo 19, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Reporteros agredidos por policías reclaman al gobierno garantías para su trabajo (El Sur de Acapulco, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Llama EU a ‘‘mantener la calma’’ mientras se investigan los hechos ocurridos en Iguala (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)


Guerrero: Attack on CECOP members leaves 5 dead

December 6, 2014

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Photo @SIPAZ (archive from 2011)

On Saturday 15 November, members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP) were attacked by armed men.  The assault left five dead and seven women injured in the community of La Concepción.  The communards called this “a planned act” and stressed that they would defend their lands.  “This is a demonstration of how we are prepared to die for our land,” said one of the CECOP leaders at the wake for Celerino García Hernández in La Concepción, who died after being shot by construction workers and neighbors close to the extraction company Kimbar.  The confrontation took place in front of the justice house of the communal police which has been appropriated by opponents to La Parota in the community, resulting in the death of one CECOP member.  The attackers, from La Concepción and Aguacaliente, also lost three to the attack.

One of the CECOP members indicated that the attack was planned with anticipation, for it included four trucks, two of which were stationed just behind the attackers, so as to protect their rear.  This CECOP member emphasized that the church bell was dismantled, such that when communal police and women were to the temple to organize the people, who on that day were celebrating the patron-saint of La Concepción, “the ball was missing, and it could not make sound.”  They later found the ball in the white truck wherein one of the attackers died, the member explained.  According to State Attorney General’s Office of Guerrero, the Special Prosecutorial Office of the State (FGE) began its investigations into the confrontation that very same day, 15 November.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fue un acto planeado, el ataque a los del Cecop, afirman campesinos (La Jornada de Guerrero, 17 de noviembre de 2014)

Inicia Fiscalía General investigación en torno al homicidio de 3 comuneros de Cacahuatepec (Portal Oficial del Gobierno del Estado de Guerrero, 15 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Arrest of María de la Cruz Dorantes, CECOP member (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: demand for release of political prisoners in observance of the eleventh anniversary of CECOP (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on(August 29, 2014)

Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (July 20, 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (June 23, 2014)


Guerrero: Discourse of the interim governor of Guerrero puts at risk the work of human-rights defenders, Tlachinollan

November 13, 2014

Abel Barrera, director del CDH Tlachinollan (@Tlachinollan)

On 3 November, the interim governor of Guerrero, Rogelio Ortega Martínez, assured before media that he had sought out closeness with the relatives of the students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa who have been disappeared for 40 days, but he opined that groups like the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights and the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) have inhibited this dialogue.  He criticized radical groups for using recent events to carry out graffiti, arson, and vandalism rather than prioritizing the search for the disappeared.

In response to this challenge, Abel Barrera Hernández, director of Tlachinollan, lamented the slanderous claims against Tlachinollan, claiming that is puts at risk the labor carried out by the human-rights workers who work at the Center.  He clarified that they have been respectful and that the parents of the disappeared “are the ones who decide, and it has been a complex learning process, in light of this atrocious act, and they feel they have been cheated.”  He added that the authorities must come to understand that there is a marked lack of trust toward the government, and that “it is not enough to call for a mere sit-down chat.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Tlachinollan evita encuentro con padres de normalistas: Gobernador(Quadratin de Guerrero, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Propone el gobernador diálogo con grupos subversivos, incluyendo encapuchados (La Jornada de Guerrero, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Es importante la detención de Abarca para padres: activista (Milenio, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Con su ataque a Tlachinollan Rogelio Ortega pone en riesgo a defensores, advierte Abel Barrera (El Sur de Acapulco, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Guerrero: Contradictory versions regarding findings from graves in Iguala three weeks after the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa – Protests are radicalized (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)


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