Guerrero: Presentation of the Observation Mission Report “A light against impunity”

April 10, 2014

Misión de Observación a Guerrero, febrero de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Observation mission to Guerrero, February 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 2 April, members of the Observation Mission on human rights that was carried out in Guerrero last February presented a report at a press-conference which details the main results of the mission.  The members recalled that Guerrero finds itself in a phase of social disaster and that 13 social activists were murdered in 2013, without a single one of these cases being clarified to date.  The report indicates that “passing through the state of Guerrero, where there is a permanent persecution of human-rights defenders, social activists, and those who have the courage to denounce and to defend, confirms that the Mexican State criminalizes action that expresses solidarity with victims of injustice, [that] makes denunciations, and that defends just causes.”

During the presentation of the report, José Rosario Marroquin, director of the Prodh Center, stressed that although a handful of cases have had media coverage, the general situation in the state is a “palpable demonstration of the great lack which Mexico suffers from in terms of human rights.”

The members of the Mission made eight recommendations to the Mexican State, including the “cessation of security policies based in the militarization of public and communal spaces,” as well as putting an end to the policies of criminalization of communal police, social activists, and human-rights defenders.  The Mission also demanded respect for international agreements such as Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and called for social demands to be attended to and resolved by the authorities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden respeto a los derechos humanos en comunidades guerrerenses(Centro ProDH, 3 de abril de 2014)

Piden a Peña no criminalizar a policías comunitarias de Guerrero (Proceso, 2 de abril de 2014)

Piden cesar la criminalización de los disidentes sociales en el estado (La Jornada de Guerrero, 2 de abril de 2014)

Informe de la Misión de Observación a los Derechos Humanos al estado de Guerrero (abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Caravan “A light against impunity” ends in Acapulco after visiting Ayutla de Los Libres (14 February 2014)

Guerrero: Beginning of Civil Observation Mission “A light against impunity”(14 February 2014)

Guerrero/National: Network Solidarity Decade against Impunity denounces intimidation against two members days before Observation Mission to Guerrero (5 February 2014)


National: Harassment of home of director of Article 19 shortly before publication of report “Dissent in silence: violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013)

March 28, 2014

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

On 16 March, the home of the General Director of the Mexico and Central American Office of Article 19 belonging to Darío Ramírez was harassed.  Work documents as well as other valued objects and computers were stolen, according to a denunciation submitted to the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City (PGJDF).  The press release distributed by Article 19 after the act stressed that this is “the fifth security incident that personnel from the organization have faced [...] since April 2013.”  Beyond this, the acts took place two days before the organization released its report “Dissent in Silence: Violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013.”  In this sense, the bulletin expressed that “we are concerned that the harassment of the home would be a message of intimidation for those who seek to inhibit our work in favor of freedom of expression.”

On 18 March, however, there was held an event to present the 2013 report as planned, which indicates that each 26.5 hours a journalist is attacked in Mexico.  In 2013, Article 19 documented 330 aggressions against journalists and media institutions (59% more than in 2012), including 59 against women.  These statistics are the highest since 2007, though in 2013 five journalists died, two fewer than in 2012.  More than 60 attacks on journalists took place during protests, in a way that the report indicates as showing the “authorities choosing for the path of repression and direct confrontation.”  In 59.3% of the cases, a public official has been responsible.  Although the problem revolves around states already noted in the country (such as Veracruz, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas), Article 19 notes that the documented attacks allow one to see a “pattern of dissemination toward other states” such as, for example, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Baja California, and Zacatecas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Funcionarios públicos y crimen organizado, principales agresores de periodistas (Analisis Centro Prodh, 19 de marzo de 2014)

2013, el año más violento para la prensa en México: Artículo 19 (Animal político, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Primer año de Peña, el más violento para la prensa desde 2007: Artículo 19(Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Informe completo 2013 (Artículo 19, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Allanan la casa del Director de Artículo 19; solicita protección (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de Artículo 19 (Artículo 19, 17 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Article 19 receives death-threats (23 April 2013)


Guerrero: Attack on members of the Truth Commission (Comverdad)

February 7, 2014

índice

On 29 January, the president of the Truth Commission (Comverdad), Enrique González Ruiz, denounced that the human-rights defender Pilar Noriega García and the ex-guerrillero Nicomedes Fuentes García, both of themmembers of the Comverdad, were subjected to an attack on 28 January on the federal highway between Iguala and Chilpancingo, on the outskirts of the latter city.

Two trucks carrying armed men approached the Comverdad vehicle in which Fuentes and Noriega were traveling, and the former requested the latter to stop.  They stopped in a hilly region and then abandoned the vehicle, fleeing into nature until the following day.  A penal denunciation was submitted to the Guerrero State Attorney General’s Office.

In light of these acts, the Commission for Human Rights of Mexico City demanded that the federal and Guerrero state governments to create the necessary conditions for rights-defenders like Pilar Noriega and Nicomedes Fuentes to be able to continue their work securely.

The Comverdad has as its mission “the elaboration of a report of those persons affected during the period of the Dirty War of the twentieth century (1969-1979), [...] so as to provide recommendations for the justice system in relation to the offended victims and families.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Sufren atentado Comisionados de la Comisión de la Verdad de Guerrero(Boletín de prensa, Comverdad. 29 de enero de 2014)

Atentado contra dos miembros de la Comisión de la Verdad de Guerrero (La Jornada, 30 de enero de 2014)

Hombres armados intimidan a integrantes de la Comverdad en carretera, denuncian (La Jornada de Guerrero, 30 de enero de 2014)

Pide CDHDF seguridad para defensores de Comisión de la Verdad (Milenio, 30 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Death-threats directed against two activists with the Truth Commission (7 February 2013)


Guerrero: harassment by soldiers and police denounced in communities of Costa Chica

February 5, 2014

Policías comunitarias (@cgtChiapas)

Communal police (@cgtChiapas)

In a public communique released on 28 January, civil human-rights organizations and parishes denounced that “one year after the communities and peoples of the Costa Chica and central regions of the state of Guerrero organized themselves to re-establish security and peace in their communities, they now face harassment, intimidation, and abuse of authority on the part of the Mexican Army and the federal and state police.”

They affirmed that “in just one day 7 military checkpoints were installed” beyond those already existing, and these “military checkpoints are not allowing the movement of civilians either by automobile or foot from one community to the other; military vehicles and tanks threaten the people by aiming directly at them.”

The organizations noted that “the point of the federal security forces should not be to harass the communities that adhere to the Citizens’ System for Security and Justice.  In acting this way, the Army is failing to observe its function of defending the integrity, independence, and sovereignty of the country” and they demanded that the Army and the federal and state police respect the human rights and integrity of the people, including their right to free movement, self-determination, and peaceful association.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian acoso de fuerzas federales a pueblos y comunidades guerrerenses (La Jornada, 30 de enero de 2014)

Comunidades de 5 municipios de la región Costa Chica del estado de Guerrero son hostigadas por el ejército (OSC de derechos humanos, 28 de enero de 2014)


Guerrero: Organizations clarify that they have no relationship with guerrilla movements

January 22, 2014

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On 13 January, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Prodh) affirmed its support for the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), which faces criminalization due to its work for human rights.  This criminalization was revealed on 7 January on the electronic news page Milenio.com, which published an article referring to State intelligence reports from the federal and Guerrero state governments.  This article observes that “the social groups which in 2013 were very active in the state (such as the teachers’ movements and the communal police) had been assessed and infiltrated by guerrilla movements or members of insurgent groups that work in the region.”

In light of this, the CCTI clarified to Milenio that it has no relationship or tie with any guerrilla groups, whether state or national, and it stressed that the published article threatens the physical and psychological integrity of Dr. Raymundo a human-rights coordinator for CCTI in Guerrero; Bertoldo Martínez Cruz, member of the Front of Organizations of Guerrero State (FODEG); Minervino Morán Hernández, memember of the State Coordination of Education Workers in Guerrero (CETEG); Bernardino García Francisco, survivor of the El Charco massacre; Manuel Olivares Hernández, from the Guerrerense Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations; Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer in defense of human rights from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights; and Javier Monroy, from the Workshop for Communal Development (Tadeco).

Para más información:

COMUNICADO DEL COLECTIVO CONTRA LA TORTURA E IMPUNIDAD ANTE DIFAMACIONES DE INTELIGENCIA DEL ESTADO MEXICANO (CCTI, 10 de enero de 2014)

Centro Prodh repudia la criminalización contra organizaciones guerrerenses(Centro Prodh, 13 de enero de 2014)

Guerrilla “mueve” a grupos de autodefensa y maestros (Milenio, 7 de enero de 2014)


Guerrero: Beginning of legal processes against soldiers presumed as responsible in the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo

January 15, 2014

(@justiciaporinesyvalentina.wordpress.com)

(@justiciaporinesyvalentina.wordpress.com)

During the final third of 2013, the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) arrested four soldiers from the Mexican Army who in February and March 2002 presumably raped the Guerrerense indigenous women Valentina Rosendo Cantú and Inés Fernández Ortega.  In both cases, the Mexican State was judged and found guilty by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in August 2010.  Three of the four subjects remained as soldiers at the time of their arrests.

In a 9 January 2014 press release, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights announced the beginning of the legal processes on the charges of rape, torture, and abuse of authority, among others.  The bulletin emphasized that “this decisive step toward justice for Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, nearly twelve years since the occurrence of the acts, would have been impossible without the resolve of the two Me’phaa women.  In this sense, it is an emblematic triumph for all women who, despite the obstacles and adversities, raise their voices and denounce violence.”  Tlachinollan demanded that “the security and integrity of both women, their families, and their representatives be guaranteed.  Toward this end, it will be indispensable that national and international public opinion continue following the course of the trials which have just begun.

For more information (in Spanish):

COMUNICADO | Comienzan procesos penales contra probables responsables de las violaciones graves de Derechos Humanos cometidas contra Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (Tlachinollan, 9 de enero de 2014)

Capturan a militares por violar a indígenas hace 12 años (Animal político, 6 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (5 February 2013)

Guerrero: Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández receive recognitions of their struggle (16 November 2012)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)


Guerrero: Emergence of new guerrilla group

December 8, 2013

Guerrilleros de las FAR-LP. Foto @Excelsior

Guerrillas from the FAR-LP. Photo @Excelsior

“The return to armed struggle is essential: if now you are quiet, that you be heard among the people and in the cities, on the coasts and through the valleys, on the pathways of the south and throughout the world,” said the new guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces-Liberation of the People (FAR-LP) on 2 December, when it announced its public presence to the world from Guerrero.

The new insurgent group calls for armed struggle in light of the violence and repression exercised by the federal and state governments against the social movement and the imposition of reforms that violate the rights and interests of society.  “What more should we expect from these governments, than that they will annihilate us?  The war against the people as a State policy has resulted in a repressive offensive based in its counter-insurgent bias against social activists, popular organizations, human-rights defenders, journalists, communal leaders, women’s rights activists, student representatives, and all those who raise their voices in defense of the people become the enemy of the State.”

The FAR-LP affirms having a presence in the Guerrero regions of the Mountain, Costa Chica, and Acapulco.

For more information (in Spanish):

Surge guerrilla en Guerrero; acusa a Peña de represión y “robo sistemático” (Proceso, 2 de diciembre de 2013)

Surge nuevo grupo guerrillero en Guerrero, las FAR-LP (Excelsior, 2 de diciembre de 2013)

FAR-LP, nuevo grupo guerrillero en México (El economista, 2 de diciembre de 2013)


Guerrero: Warning of risk of famine in rural zones

December 8, 2013

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Photo @Eduardo Miranda

Human-rights groups from Guerrero have warned of the risk of a “famine” in light of the scarcity of food and the abandonment of residents of the indigenous regions of the Mountain and Coast after the passing of the storms which recently devastated the state.  Leopoldo Soberanis Hernández, president of the Alliance for Human Rights United Guerrero, and Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights, denounced by phone to the Proceso magazine that the Plan DN-III is not being applied in the rural zones of the state, thus aggravating the situation for residents of isolated communities.

“In the isolated communities, the situation is worse because their isolation is essentially total, due to the fact that the roads have been destroyed.  The people are leaving on foot or on animals, as happened a century ago, and they sit down where the roads used to exist to await assistance.  The damage to the infrastructure is so serious that much time will be needed to repair it,” observed Barrera Hernández.  From the Costa Grande, Leopoldo Soberanis Hernández denounced that despite the permanent presence of troops in the region, in this time of suffering “the soldiers are not entering communities but are only continuing their patrols on what remains of the highway, and that bothers us greatly.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alertan sobre riesgo de hambruna en zona rural de Guerrero (Proceso, 19 de septiembre de 2013)

Viene hambruna en La Montaña, alertan (El Universal, 27 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Victims of storms migrate to survive (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: The situation continues to be dramatic for storm victims in Guerrero (4 October 2013)

Guerrero: Deaths and victims of tropical storm Manuel (4 October 2013)


Guerrero: Indigenous from the Mountain region request legal motion against British mining corporation

December 7, 2013

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Landscape of the Mountain region. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 14 November, campesinos from the Mountain region of Guerrero demanded the cancellation of mining concessions, given that they violate the rights of indigenous peoples to be consulted regarding projects that affect their territory and culture.  Represented by the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, residents of the community of San Miguel El Progreso, Malinaltepec municipality, appealed for the protection of federal justice, given that the mining concessions which allow the Hoshschild Mining firm to extract gold and silver “contradict the Constitution and international accords which the Mexican State has ratified.”

The concern for the lack of consultation originates in the information that the campesinos have obtained regarding the presence of 42 mines in the Mountain and Costa Chica regions of Guerrero, in addition to the 30 further concessions the federal government has provided for the carrying out of mineral exploration and exploitation for the next 50 years.  Hoshchild Mining, a Peruvian firm which functions by means of British capital, has been granted concessions in more than 59,000 hectares of the Mountain region.  This general project (known as the “Heart of Darkness”) will affect ten agrarian communities, including  San Miguel El Progreso.

In a 14 November 2013 communique, Tlachinollan denounces that the “awarding of concessions for mineral exploration and exploitation in indigenous territory violates international accords ratified by the Mexican State, and the constitutionality of the Mining Law must be analyzed by the judiciary power of the federation.”  The communique notes furthermore that “the indigenous and campesino communities that carry out acts of resistance against mining projects which alter their territories in different regions of Guerrero are not rejecting so-called ‘development’ but on the contrary are defending themselves from the megaprojects which threaten their lands and natural settings, given that these plans directly threaten the physical space where the identity and survival of these peoples is constructed: on the land.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian abuso de mineras en la Montaña de Guerrero (Proceso, 14 de noviembre de 2013)

Indígenas de Guerrero piden amparo contra minera de GB (La Jornada, 15 de noviembre de 2013)

Demanda comunidad indígena al Ejecutivo Federal por entrega de concesiones mineras en su territorio (Tlachinollan, 14 de noviembre de 2013)
FICHA Defensa del Territorio contra la minería (Tlachinollan, noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: mobilization of the Communal Police against mining (8 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Tlachinollan requests support in the case of Radio Ñomndaa; Invitation to a workshop against mining in the Montaña and Costa Chica regions (18 March)

Guerrero – briefs: Mining exploration continues in the Montaña region without permission from communities; reinstallation of the blockade against La Parota (January 13, 2011)


Guerrero: Soldiers harass Tita Radilla in Atoyac

December 7, 2013

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AFADEM, photo @SIPAZ

Tita Radilla Martínez, vice president of the Association of Relatives of the Detained, Disappeared, and Victims of Human-Rights Violations in Mexico (AFADEM), has denounced acts of intimidation exercised by the Army on 8 November, when soldiers presented themselves to her home, revising and frightening children and one of her grandchildren.  She noted that this day, for no apparent reason and without providing any explanation, the soldiers inspected youth who were present in the area, while she was with her grand-daughter and a neighbor during a time she referred to as being “high-tension.”  She added that the inspection was arbitrary and that the soldiers were present in front of her house for at least 10 minutes, thus qualifying as an act of harassment.

On 14 November, Tita Radilla said that she did not present a denunciation before the Public Ministry because she has no faith in the State Attorney General (PGJE), given her past experiences which indicate to her that “that would lead nowhere.”  Interviewed after offering a press-conference together with relatives and victims of forced disappearances, Tita Radilla noted that the situation is “highly grave,” especially for social activists and human-rights activists.  “The truth is that it is very grave and there is much fear among the social groups and organizations for this reason, because we do not really know where all this is coming from; we believe that the State has the responsibility of protecting human-rights defenders, but they have instead been killed,” she asserted.  Radilla criticized that no crimes against activists have been clarified.

Tita Radilla is the daughter of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, a campesino disappeared by the Army in Atoyac in 1974, a case in which the Mexican State has been found guilty of crimes against humanity, in the opinion of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR).  The sentence was published on 23 November 2009, and it obliges the federal government to abolish military courts and find the remains of Radilla Pacheco, among other stipulations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Hostigan militares a Tita Radilla en Atoyac; se mantiene el terrorismo de Estado, denuncia (El Sur de Acapulco, 13 de noviembre de 2013)

Militares allanaron mi casa: Radilla (La Jornada de Guerrero, 12 de noviembre de 2013)

Tita y la guerra sucia (Proceso, 14 de diciembre de 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: SCJN affirms observance of IACHR sentences in Radilla and Cantú cases (28 September 2012)

Guerrero briefs: The PGR should report on the Radilla case (13 December 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: government announces installation of Commission of Truth and Tita Radilla receives recognition (28 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: State accepts responsibility in Radilla case in absence of relatives (27 November 2011)


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