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)


Oaxaca: Threats from the mayor of Santa María Chimalapa denounced

December 16, 2014

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Miguel Ángel García Aguirre, regional coordinator of the National Committee for the Defense of the Chimalapas, accused Silaín Hernández, mayor of Santa María Chimalapa, of being responsible for the threats he has received if he does not abandon the Zoque zone.  He explained in mid-November that he received phonecalls from at least two numbers from Oaxaca threatening him to leave the community.  He said he had received the call of a person who had refused to identify himself, “but to me it seemed like it was Silaín […] threatening me to leave Chimalapas […] this all in a threatening tone.”  He assured that, though the mayor be responsible for this behavior, he would continue to work in defense of the land in Chimalapa.

For his part, Silaín Hernández accused Miguel Ángel García and Luis Bustamante, also a member of the National Committee for the Defense of the Chimalapas, as well as the ex-secretary of governance Jesús Martínez Álvarez of causing a social destabilization after having released media communiques.  The mayor referred to a case from about two weeks ago, when a document that was firmed by the National Committee was released assuring that its membership along with the ejidal commissioner had not wanted to hold assemblies that would address questions of accountability and the prospect of a dam that would be installed on Zoque territory.

The communique in question distanced itself from the president of the ejidal commission, Ildeberto Mendoza, “for not having demonstrated interest in defending the interests of the people” amidst the permanent aggressions and invasions promoted by corporations and the Chiapas state government.  The document expresses that this decision was taken after the mayor manipulated Ilderberto Mendoza to suspend the general assembly on two occasions during which it had been planned to discuss the constitutional motion that had been interposed by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) regarding the invasion of more than 160,000 hectares of land by people from Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian amenazas de Silaín Hernández (Noticias Net, 19 de noviembre de 2014)

Alcalde de Chimalapas acusa al Comité Nacional para la Defensa de los Chimalapas de desestabilización social (Página 3, 19 de noviembre de 2014)

Desconocen a autoridad comunal por no defender a Chimalapas de invasiones y megaproyectos (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2o14)


Oaxaca: 8 years after the conflict of 2006, impunity prevails. Truth Commission is founded

December 15, 2014

Imgagen @ Código DH

Image @ Código DH

On 25 November, eight years were commemorated since the confrontation between civil society and the police that took place in 2006, including 25 killed, around 500 arrested, 380 tortured, and 5 disappeared.  Though the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has found that “there were serious generalized and particular violations of individual rights” and the recommendation released by the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), these have proven inadequate for the tasking of punishing those responsible.  The Commission of Relatives of the Disappeared, Murdered, and Political Prisoners of Oaxaca (COFADAPPO) demanded that the recently founded Truth Commission (comprised of Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, Diego Osorno, and Mariana Patricia Jiménez) provide real results to the members of Section 22 of the National Educational Workers’ Union (SNTE) and to the people of Oaxaca, who were brutally repressed  in 2006.  Porfirio Domínguez, who was arrested by the federal police on 25 November 2006 during the final confrontation between the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) and the PFP (federal police), also demanded that the SCJN’s report be heeded.

For its part, the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH) indicated that “Oaxaca experienced on 25 November 2006 one of the most brutal repressive episodes in the history of the state […].  Today we see the same practice exercised against those arrested on 20 November in Mexico City, as they were taken to federal prisons without respecting habeas corpus, as the law establishes.  Arbitrarily violating the legal rights of these persons demonstrates that the justice institutions have not changed.”  In a press-bulletin, Código DH indicated ex-governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz as the principal responsible party, and that “despite the existing documentation, basically the grave rights-violations we have seen this committed this year continue in impunity.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca 2006: 8 años de impunidad (Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha – Código DH, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Los días de infierno pretenden ser enterrados con un silencio cómplice; Ulises Ruiz y camarilla gozan de impunidad (Página 3, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Reprocha Cofadapo trabajo de Cué sobre 2006 y piden resultados ‘reales’ a la Comisión de la Verdad (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

‘Insuficiente la Comisión de la Verdad para castigar a culpables de 2006’: LIMEDDH (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: March-meeting of Section 22 of the SNTE in commemoration of 25 November (28 November 2012)

Oaxaca: March of teachers and social organizations in observance of the repression of 25 November 2006 (28 November 2011)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Urgent Action for new harassment against Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno (30 September 2010)

 


Oaxaca: 344 women killed during the administration of Gabino Cué, according to Consorcio Oaxaca

December 15, 2014

infografía actualizada

To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, Eduardo Liendro Zingoni, director of the Center for the Re-Education of Men, indicated that the “grave situation of gender violence is becoming increasingly obvious over time, as has been demonstrated in an explosion of cases involving extreme violence.”  This center has been working for a year, and it is a dependency of the the state Secretary for Public Security.  Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca (Consorcio Oaxaca) stressed with respect to the Center for Re-Education that “on several occasions, it has been thought that working on violence within couples is the only aspect [worth pursuing], thus leaving to the side another facets of violence, as the state and federal laws stipulate women’s rights to live lives free of violence.”  It added that “from civil society with respect to the question, recognizing that a great step forward was taken with the founding of the center as a means of contributing to eradicating, attending to, and preventing violence against women, though progress should not stop there, given that it is necessary to continue.  From this position we are discussing a mechanism for surveillance of the impacts of this new institution.”

Within the past 10 years, the number of femicides has nearly trebled.  In 2004, 42 femicide cases were registered in Oaxaca, but in 2014, 110 women have been killed, and by mid-November, the Oaxaca State Health Services reported having attended to 541 cases of injuries provoked through domestic violence.  Consorcio Oaxaca has documented 91 cases of femicides and 36 disappearances of women in the state.  These statistics add on to the previous findings to sum a total of 344 femicides and 122 forcible disappearances of women that have not been prosecuted during the four years of the present state government, as Yésica Sánchez Maya has stressed, being the coordinator of Consorcio Oaxaca. Sánchez Maya has noted that in her time as a women’s-rights defender, she has perceived that impunity has led women’s access to justice to be a major obstacle.  “The frequent accusations make it seem that the only question is to simply attend to femicide, but this is just the maximum expression of the situation of violence suffered by women in their everyday lives.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Un feminicidio cada 3 días (Noticias Net, 24 de noviembre de 2014)

Llegan al hospital 541 mujeres agredidas (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Reeducan a 129 hombres violentos (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Ponencia “Los retos y desafíos del centro de reeducación para hombres en un contexto de agudización de la violencia contra las mujeres y niñas”en el “Foro: Reeducación de los hombres, un aporte para prevenir, atender y erradicar la violencia contra las mujeres” (Consorcio Oaxaca)

Infografías sobre el Feminicidio en México del Observatorio Ciudadano Nacional del Feminicidio (Las Caracolas, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: State complicity in femicide is denounced (2 May 2014)

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

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

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


Oaxaca: Parents of Jyri Jaakkola visit Mexico for fifth time to demand justice

December 7, 2014

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ Cencos

Starting on 5 November, Eve y Raimo Jaakkola, parents of the Finnish activist Jyri Jaakkola, carried out their fifth visit to Mexico to meet Mexican authorities and demand punishment for those responsible for the murder of their son and of Bety Cariño, who died in an ambush in April 2010 conducted by a paramilitary group in San Juan Copala, Oaxaca.  Since then, 4 and a half years have passed, and though an agreement was made between relatives and lawyers on the one hand and the federal government on the other, impunity persists for the murders of Bety and Jyri, and the existing arrest-orders have yet to be implemented.  These agreements were made on 14 May of this year, after Omar Esparza Zárate, widower of Bety Cariño, launched a hunger strike of 16 days in front of the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to demand that the institution sign a list of agreements to guarantee justice in the case.

Furthermore, Jyri’s parents reported that they would newly request that the European Parliamentary Subcommittee on Human Rights demand the Mexican government to provide a report on the case.  “For me it is impossible to understand that in the first few weeks, we already knew who were the probable suspects, and they still have yet to be arrested […].  There are municipal authorities who are possibly responsible.  They go to Oaxaca to work, and there are arrest orders against them, but nothing happens,” noted Jyri’s mother.  She added that “the Eurodeputies see a connection between our case and that of Ayotzinapa.  They know that impunity exists behind these acts, and that this makes it likely that things like this will recur.”

Regarding the delay in arrests, Karla Michel Salas, lawyer with the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD), noted that the authorities have claimed that those responsible live in San Juan Copala and environs, where the group Unity and Social Welfare for the Triqui Region (UBISORT) holds power and “has arms and is dangerous.”  She added: “With this, the federal authorities accept that there is a region where the State cannot intervene, and where extra-legal groups terrorize the people.”

Para más información:

Padres de Jyri Jaakkola exigen justicia por asesinato de su hijo y Bety Cariño (Cencos, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Ningún avance para dar justicia por el asesinato de Bety Cariño (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Tras acuerdo con autoridades finaliza huelga de hambre por los asesinatos de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (16 de mayo de 2014)

Oaxaca: A 4 años de impunidad, huelga de hambre y protestas por los asesinatos de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (28 de abril de 2014)

Oaxaca: Continúa impunidad a tres años de los asesinatos de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (30 de abril de 2013)


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)

Mexico/Chiapas: National Brigade for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa

December 7, 2014

©SIPAZ Marcha en San Cristóbal de las Casas de la Brigada Nacional por los desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa

March in San Cristóbal de las Casas by the National Brigade for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa @ SIPAZ

On 12 November, in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, relatives of the disappeared students and the student committee reported on the activities of the National Brigade regarding the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa.

The brigade was organized into three branches, one towards the north (passing through the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Jalisco, and Michoacán); one toward the south (visiting the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Morelos, and Tlaxcala), and another state brigade in Guerrero, which visited the municipalities of Tlapa, San Luis Acatlán, Ayutla, Tecoanapa, Zihuatanejo, Atoyac, and Acapulco.  The three caravans met in Mexico City on 20 November to conclude their work with a mass-march and rally in the Zócalo.  The objective of the Brigade was to collect direct information regarding the acts of 26 and 27 September, the investigative process, and the search for the 43 disappeared students, beyond making proposals for the elaboration of a program for struggle and action that would transform the causes led to the events seen in Iguala.

The “Daniel Solís Gallardo” Brigade arrived to Chiapas on 14 November, being named for one of the normalist students who was killed on 26 September, and it led a march through the streets of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, to the applause of onlookers.  “Alive they took them; alive we want them,” “Ayotzinapa, hold on; Chiapas is rising” together with other slogans were heard until the march reached the Cathedral Plaza.

At the rally, two women spoke, being the mothers of two of the disappeared.  They said that they no longer have fear, and that they are prepared to give their lives to find their sons, because though the government says they are dead, they believe in their hearts that they are still alive.

On 15 November, the members of the Brigade visited the Zapatista caracol of Oventik, where they met with the high command of the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and the EZLN expressed its sympathy for the pain, rage, and powerlessness of the parents who still have yet to find their sons.

The activities in San Cristóbal de Las Casas concluded with a press-conference during which Brigade members noted that the EZLN had suggested that they “visit those who like us have suffered forcible disappearances or extrajudicial executions–who are not few in number in this country–because it is only they who will understand us and accompany us in our pain and struggle.  It is they with whom we can articulate a movement, a larger and more powerful nucleus with all the social organizations that would like to join,” following their return through Oaxaca.

For more information (in Spanish):

Expresa el EZLN total apoyo a familias de normalistas desaparecidos, La Jornada, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Caravanas por Ayotzinapa llegan a Chiapas y Chihuahua, Proceso, 14 de noviembre de 2014

Concluye visita a Chiapas de la caravana de Ayotzinapa, Proceso 16 de noviembre de 2014

Palabras del Comandante Tacho en el inicio del encuentro del EZLN con la caravana de Ayotzinapa, el 15 de noviembre del 2014, Enlace Zapatista, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Palabras de la Comandancia General del EZLN en voz del Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, Enlace Zapatista, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Palabras del Comandante Javier, dando la bienvenida en el caracol de Oventik a la caravana de Ayotzinapa, el 15 de noviembre del 2014, Enlace Zapatista, 15 de noviembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

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


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