Guerrero: Tlachinollan celebrates 20 years of struggle in defense of human rights

August 5, 2014

Foto @SIPAZ

In Tlapa de Comofort, Guerrero, on 25 and 26 July, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights celebrated its XX anniversary, with these twenty years being characterized by struggle besides indigenous peoples in defense of their rights.   More than 400 representatives from 85 communities of the Mountain region, together with different organizations and social movements from various states and representatives of international institutions, arrived to attend the forum “From the communal heart of resistance.”  On this occasion Abel Barrera Hernández, director of Tlachinollan, declared that “the criminalization of indigenous peoples has risen, and so has the threats against their lands.  There are attempts to loot [these lands] by means of mining concessions and attempts to build hydroelectric dams.  The situation of life in these communities is worsening due to abuse, looting, and the complacence of the authorities in the face of organized crime.”  Furthermore, he stressed the inequity and lack of attention from the government for indigenous peoples in the region.

At the end of the forum, a march was held toward the city center to demand the release of representatives of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) and of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP), including Nestora Salgado García, Arturo Campos, Gonzalo Molina, and Marco Antonio Suástegui.  Furthermore, members of the Council of Victims of the Mountain of Guerrero demanded that the state government observe its promises to support communities that were affected by the storms that destroyed crops and homes last September.

During the event itself, the importance of collective work was recognized as fundamental for the defense of human rights in the Mountain region, and Abel Barrera Hernández expressed his gratitude to indigenous peoples: “They gave us tortilla, coffee, petate, and shade, and they showed us how to sow communal justice.  For this reason, these twenty years have no sense without you, because you are the fathers, mothers, and founders of Tlachinollan.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Festeja Tlachinollan sus 20 años con una marcha en Guerrero (La Jornada, 27 de julio de 2014)

Reconocen 20 años de Tlachinollan, trabajo que busca justicia social para las comunidades (Sididh, 28 de julio de 2014)

Tlachinollan, 20 años de defensa de los derechos humanos en la Montaña(Sin Embargo, 28 de julio de 2014)

OPINIÓN: 20 años por los derechos humanos (Tlachinollan, 23 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Celebration of the 19th anniversary of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights (4 August 2013)

Guerrero: 18th Anniversary of Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights (20 June 2012)


Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam

June 23, 2014
Marco Antonio Suategui Muñoz, spokesman of Cecop (@Proceso)

Marco Antonio Suategui Muñoz, spokesman of Cecop (@Proceso)

In a police raid on June 17, in the city of Acapulco, state ministerial police arrested the spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (Cecop), Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz.

According to the State Attorney General (PGJE), there was a warrant for the arrest of Marco Antonio Suástegui for his presumed involvement in various crimes. The suspect faces about 15 criminal investigations for various suspected crimes linked to his struggle against the construction of the La Parota dam and the removal of gravel and sand from the Papagayo riverside.

The Cecop has announced that it would submit the case to the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, for it to conduct the defense of the detainee.

As reported by the weekly magazine Proceso, “the arrest of the leader of the peasants in opposition to the La Parota dam occurs in a context of reactivation of the hydroelectric project promoted by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and supported by the administration of Aguirre,” the state governor.

For more Information (in Spanish):

 Detienen en Guerrero a dirigente opositor de la presa La Parota (La Jornada, 17 de junio de 2014)

Detienen al dirigente opositor al proyecto La Parota (Proceso, 17 de junio de 2014)

Capturan a promotor de la Policía Comunitaria en Acapulco (Milenio, 17 de junio de 2014)

Detienen a opoditor de La Parota en Guerrero (El Universal, 17 de junio de 2014)

Detienen a líder comunitario en Acapulco (AM, 17 de junio de 2014)

Detienen ministeriales al vocero del Cecop, informa la PGJE (La Jornada de Guerrero, 18 de junio de 2014)

Detienen al vocero del Cecop; lo llevan golpeado a la cárcel de La Unión (El Sur, 18 de junio de 2014)

Llevan policías adolorido y esposado de pies y manos al vocero del Cecop a la cárcel de La Unión (El Sur, 18 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Several injured after attack on communal police of CECOP near Acapulco (April 23, 2014)

Guerrero: CECOP announces creation of Communal Police in Cacahuatepec communities (22 January 2014)

Guerrero: Sympathizers of the La Parota dam injure two CECOP members with machetes (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: CECOP on red alert after invasion by Army (5 March 2013)


Guerrero: Hundreds of people leave their communities due to the action of organized crime

June 14, 2014
San Miguel Totolapan Municipality (@www.inafed.gob.mx)

San Miguel Totolapan Municipality (@www.inafed.gob.mx)

Over 250 people have left three communities from Tierra Caliente of the Sierra Madre del Sur, municipality of San Miguel Totolapan, fleeing the violent actions of drug trafficking groups in the region. Most displaced people took refuge in the neighboring municipality of Ajuchitlán del Progreso, where authorities set up a temporary shelter in the central park which is guarded by soldiers from 41 Infantry Battalion.

According to official sources, the communities from where the displaced fled are in a narcotics transit and production area that is disputed by delinquents of the organized crime group La Familia and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Since last year, the struggle for control of this area has led to the displacement of more than 2000 people. “People cannot leave their villages due to insecurity. There is a group (of crime) that is coming from the coast (Grande) to displace the people of Tierra Caliente,” expressed a professor of the region.

Organizations have denounced the lack of interest from the governor Angel Aguirre Rivero to solve the problem in the region controlled by crime. According to Rigoberto González Acosta, director of the Regional Council of the Sierra de Guerrero (Cresig), “the government should be concerned by the insecurity in these villages, where violence has caused murder, extortion and other crimes.”

Rigoberto Acosta confirmed that inhabitants of 14 municipalities of the Sierra Madre del Sur are disconnected due to the effects of organized crime and the fear when performing daily activities.

For more information (in Spanish)

Narcoviolencia desplaza a más de 250 habitantes de la sierra de Guerrero (Proceso, 6 de junio de 2014)

Desplazados de San Miguel Totolapan buscan refugio en Tecpan e Iguala (La Jornada Guerrero, 10 de junio de 2014)

Huyen más de 250 personas de la violencia en San Miguel Totolapan (La Jornada, 10 de junio de 2014)

Acciones del narcotráfico incomunican a 14 municipios de la sierra, acusa el Cresig (La Jornada Guerrero, 12 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: Aggresions against displaced, and newly displaced in Tierra Caliente (August 4, 2013)

Guerrero: new displacement of families from La Laguna to Puerto de las Ollas (7 December 2012)


Guerrero: commemoration of the 16th Anniversary of the El Charco Massacre in demand of justice

June 13, 2014
@CIMAC Noticias

@CIMAC Noticias

On June 7, various social organizations marched to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the El Charco Massacre, near Ayutla de Los Libres, where on June 7, 1998, eleven people were killed by soldiers of the Mexican Army.

Jose Rosario Marroquin, director of the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center (PRODH), said that “impunity prevails in this case, there is no advance, only two or three spectacular actions, but in the end there is nothing concrete although justice has been demanded for several years. There is nothing that clarify the facts; there is no will from the government to do it. “

Eleven people were killed in the massacre among a group of 70 Mixteco indigenous persons who met in the elementary school in El Charco to discuss the situation of marginalization and poverty in their communities. Mario Palma, one of the survivors of the massacre explained “We had asked commissioners and representatives of the peoples of the region to organize and develop productive projects because we couldn’t endure much more poverty and marginalization provoked by the government. There were no health centers, doctors, schools, or field support. That’s what we were talking about when the people of the government arrived.”

Efren Chavez Cortes, another survivor, said, “Nothing has changed in El Charco in 16 years. There remains the same poverty, the same neglect of Mixteco indigenous peoples and, worse, governor Angel Aguirre Rivero has divided the CRAC- PC. In conclusion, there has been no justice (…) The government only gives pure palliatives. There is no development strategy in the communities.” He added that “the case was presented to other institutions such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), for the summary execution of the compañeros, because they had surrendered. Here the people who were murdered had surrendered and were unarmed.”

“[The] person who is guilty of all is Angel Aguirre Rivero, who was governor at that time as he is today. Therefore, he should be in jail,” said Nazario Gatica, one of the survivors.

During the march, the cartels also demanded the release of the members of the Community Police-Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC-PC), who are imprisoned at present.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen ONG y personalidades a la Coidh atender ya el caso de matanza de El Charco (La Jornada, 6 de junio de 2014)

En la matanza de El Charco murieron 100 militares, dicen (La Jornada, 7 de junio de 2014)

Sobreviviente de El Charco desmiente versión oficial; murieron 10 militares, dice (La Jornada Guerrero, 7 de junio de 2014)

En El Charco se asesinó a la gente rendida y desarmada, narra uno de los sobrevivientes (La Jornada, 8 de junio de 2014)

A 16 años, en El Charco lo único que cambió es el partido en el poder: Cortés (La Jornada Guerrero, 8 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: Presentation of the Observation Mission Report “A light against impunity” (April 10, 2014)

Guerrero: 18th anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre (July 19, 2013)

Guerrero: 14th anniversary of the El Charco massacre (June 17, 2012)


Guerrero: Solidarity Network Decade against Impunity takes over the case of the 6 community police prisoners in Acapulco

June 12, 2014
Bishop Raul Vera, president of the Solidarity Network Decade against Impunity with CRAC policemen (@SIPAZ)

Bishop Raul Vera, president of the Solidarity Network Decade against Impunity with CRAC policemen (@SIPAZ)

At the request of their family and the community police from the House of Justice of El Paraiso, Ayutla municipality, that belongs to the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC), the Solidarity Network Decade Against Impunity has taken over the legal defense of six community policemen who are held prisoners in Acapulco.

The policemen were arrested on August 21, 2013 by elements of the Army and the Federal Police. They were formally arrested on the charges of kidnapping. Ángel García García, one of the arrested policemen, said that they signed a statement under torture: “we never knew what we were signing.”

Yesenia Bolaños, the mother of the girl allegedly abducted by community police, stated that she willingly took her daughter to the House of Justice in El Paraiso “to be reeducated for being rebellious.”

José Sánchez Sánchez, defense attorney in the case, considered that the process in course is due to a political context in which the state government wants to “annihilate” the community police system. According to Magdalena Lopez Paulino, secretary of the Solidarity Network Decade Against Impunity, the six detainees are accused of unproven crimes. She demanded the process be carried out as stated by the American Convention on Human Rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Raúl Vera López y defensores de derechos humanos visitarán a policías comunitarios presos en Guerrero (Kaos en la Red, 04 de junio de 2014)

Declararon bajo tortura, dicen los presos de la CRAC en Acapulco; niegan las acusaciones de secuestro (El Sur, 6 de junio de 2014)

Visita obispo Raúl Olvera a policías comunitarios en penal de Acapulco (Milenio, 6 de junio de 2014)

Injusto y contradictorio, que el gobierno aprese a quienes buscan paz: Vera López (La Jornada Guerrero, 7 de junio de 2014)

For more information (in Spanish)

Guerrero: Communities support new CRAC coordinator and announce rescue of communal system of justice (May 2, 2014)

Guerrero: CRAC makes announcement in favor of release of arrested coordinators (September 16, 2013)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC in Olinalá (13 September 2013)


Guerrero: Harassment and attacks on individuals and organizations in favor of the decriminalization of abortion and the right to decide

June 12, 2014
Womens' Rights are also Human Rights

Women’s Rights are also Human Rights

Organizations and human rights organizations have denounced the harassment, insults, and aggressions suffered by feminist groups, activists, and government agencies that have positioned themselves in favor of the proposed initiative to decriminalize abortion in the state of Guerrero. This initiative was sent by Governor Angel Aguirre to the local Congress in May.

The director of the Guerrero Institute of Human Rights, Silvia Castillo, explained that women who defend their right to decide have been physically and verbally attacked by conservative groups. For example, at a recent forum, one female member of the Institute was beaten for expressing her support to the initiative.

Moreover, Rosario Herrera Ascencio, Secretary for the Women in Guerrero (Semujer), reported having been threatened by local members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the National Action Party (PAN), who have also disqualified the Secretariat: “There is a struggle against the secretariat both by Congress members and people of Provida (…) They can not silence our voices with their threats; I will be very respectful of the decisions of the Congress, but I will defend the initiative that aims to ensure equality, life, and safety for all the women of the entity whom I represent. “

Finally, local media reported that workers at the service of PRI and PAN deputies have impeded interviews with activists and experts who attended the forums in the framework of the Congress debates, so as to prevent the spreading of information about the importance of decriminalizing abortion.

For more information (in Spanish)

Amenazan a promotores de la despenalización del aborto en Guerrero (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2014)

Hostigan PRI y PAN a quienes apoyan despenalización de aborto (CIMAC Noticias, 4 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: State government presents initiative to legalize abortion (May 18, 2014)


National: Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries for environmentalists

June 12, 2014
Demostration against the Paso de la Reina Dam in Oaxaca (@SIPAZ)

Demostration against the Paso de la Reina Dam in Oaxaca (@SIPAZ)

The Mexican Environmental Law Center (CEMDA) announced that, between 2009 and 2012, 51 environmental activists were attacked in Mexico. 23 of those cases were murders and two are of forced disappearance.

Andrea Ulisse Cerami, responsible for Defense and Public Policy at CEMDA, also mentioned: “We have a record of cases but we believe there might be many more of them, because several defenders do not even report those aggressions. We believe that there are more; there are cases of persons that come to us and express that they are afraid to denounce. “

These attacks occur when communities oppose development projects of different types. The projects are imposed in their territories without consulting them, although they may imply the sale or abandonment of their lands.

According to Andrea Ulisse Cerami, Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for environmental defenders, and it is among the 5 countries that have received the most complaints. The states with the highest number of reported assaults are Guerrero and the state of Mexico. The cases of Oaxaca and Chiapas, both rich in natural resources, are also notable. “There has been a number of complaints, mainly related to mining. The case of Mariano Abarca Romero, defender of indigenous peoples and anti-mining activist who was killed [in Chiapas], is one of them.”

Finally, the representative of CEMDA emphasized the failure to investigate and punish the perpetrators, “which is the main preventive measure that can be given.” “In the case of murders in recent years, none of them has been clarified. There is the problem of access to justice for environmental defenders. In fact the lack of punishment of those responsible is another measure that encourages new attacks because nobody seems to mind about them.”

For more information (in Spanish)

El CEMDA reporta 51 ataques a activistas del medio ambiente en tres años; hay 23 asesinados y dos desaparecidos (Sinembargo, 5 de junio de 2014)


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