Oaxaca: 16 months after the imprisonment of Damián Gallardo, and following call from the UN, there is no response from the Mexican State

October 12, 2014

Foto @ Front Line Defenders

Photo @ Front Line Defenders

The Committee of Relatives and Friends of Damián Gallardo, the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (LIMEDDH-Oaxaca), Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA), Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca, the New Woman Collective, and the Oaxaca Citizens’ Initiative denounced that 16 months after the incarceration of teacher Damián Gallardo Martínez, who has been accused of participating in the kidnapping of children, the Mexican State has provided no response to the calls from the international community and the UN regarding the human-rights violations experienced during his imprisonment.  In a press-conference, Idolina Gallardo Martínez, Damián’s sister, said that 6 months after UN institutions called on the Mexican government to provide evidence for the charges on which the teacher has been incarcerated, “there is silence from the authorities in question.”

Beyond this, the representative of LIMEDDH-Oaxaca mentioned that international organizations like Front Line Defenders and the Observatory for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders have published urgent actions to manifest their concern for the well-being of Gallardo Martínez and to call on the Mexican State to release him immediately, in accordance with its international obligations to protect human rights and carry out an expeditious investigation regarding the acts that have been denounced.

For more information (in Spanish):

Estado mexicano no ha respondido a ONU por caso Damián Gallardo (Noticias Net, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Exigen familiares de Damián Gallardo respuesta a exigencias (Tiempo en Línea, 5 de octubre de 2014)

Comunicado Caso Damián Gallardo (Ciudadanía Express, 5 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: Assault on teacher Damián Gallardo in a prison of Jalisco (13 June 2014)


Oaxaca: 75 arrests following march on 2 October

October 11, 2014

Foto @ Noticias Net

Photo @ Noticias Net

Like similar actions taken throughout Mexico, the 2 October march in Oaxaca was made to commemorate the 46 years since the Tlatelolco massacre and to express rejection of the grave murders and disappearances of students from Ayotzinapa in Iguala, in addition to other situations of violence experienced in Mexico.  The march in Oaxaca resulted in the arrest of 75 persons (44 females and 31 males), the majority of whom were minors.  It was also reported that members of the Indigenous Organization for Human Rights in Oaxaca (OIDHO) and of Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) were arrested.  The press bulletin released by OIDHO details that “at the bus stop to return home, eight members of the youth commission of our organization, one of them being a minor and several of the others being communal human-rights defenders, were victimized by an arbitrary arrest by the municipal and state police [...].  After subjecting the youth in question to a brutal beating which angered neighbors and other passersby on the same street, they were carried off to two police trucks, and under constant physical and psychological abuse were transferred to the offices of the Secretary for Public (In)Security in San Bartolo Coyotepec.”

Norma Cruz Vázquez, the regional representative of Section 22 of the SNTE, confirmed the release of the 57 normalist students of the Normalist Student Coordination of Oaxaca (CENEO) who had been arrested as the presumed perpetrators of the destruction and vandalizations committed by a group of “anarchists” against at least 8 commercial establishments, an ATM, the offices of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), and the Palace for Governance.

For more information (in Spanish):

Policía en Oaxaca detiene a estudiantes normalistas (Sección 22, 2 de octubre de 2014)

Liberan a normalistas tras detención ‘arbitraria’ por disturbios en marcha; ningún ‘anarquista’ detenido (Noticias Net, 3 de octubre de 2014)

Saldo de la marcha conmemorativa del 2 de octubre en Oaxaca: 75 personas detenidas (Kaos en la Red, 2 de octubre de 2014)

Con 37 marchas, bloqueos y daños a comercios se conmemoró la matanza del 2 de octubre de 1968 (Página 3, 2 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: More confrontations and repression against social movement, 2 October (25 October 2013)


Oaxaca: Two dead and one seriously injured, in a “worrying increase of police violence” (EDUCA)

October 11, 2014

Imagen @ OIDHO.org

Image @ OIDHO.org

On 22 September, the communal leader Jaime López Hernández, member of the Indigenous Organization for Human Rights in Oaxaca (OIDHO), was killed by a shot in the back in the San Andrés Lovene community, San Juan Ozolotepec municipality, as he was visiting his mother’s gravesite. Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA) manifested its energetic rejection of the act, condemning the murder of Jaime López, and it noted that “[we are] concerned by the increase in police violence in Oaxaca and the impunity in which attacks against [social] leaders and human-rights defenders remain.  Jaime López’s murder [...] joins in a long chain of attacks committed against human-rights activists.  Organizations such as Peace Brigades International and the National Network of Human Rights ‘All Rights for All’ have located Oaxaca as one of the states in which is observed the most attacks on human-rights defenders.  We call on the state authorities to act immediately in this case, to engage in a lawful investigation, and to commit themselves seriously to protecting the work of defenders in Oaxaca.”

Beyond this, on 26 September, two teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) were fired upon from a vehicle as they were walking in the street.  Of the two teachers, both of whom worked in a high school in San Mateo del Mar, one died–Shamir Jonatán Osorio Gallegos–while the other, Manuel Reyna Osorio, was seriously injured.

Lastly, reflecting on the numerous violent acts that have been seen in different parts of Mexico of late, an opinion article in La Jornada expressed that “Despite the official efforts to minimize the impacts of insecurity in the social perception, violence and criminal anarchy continue to affect the people in many regions of the national territory, giving the impression that the attempt to deviate attention from these problems does nothing more than exacerbate them [...].  The armed forces continue to be employed in police tasks that are distinct from their constitutionally defined role; the country lacks social, political, educational, and health policies that would be able to act as a preventive factor against organized crime; impunity prevails in nearly all the crimes committed by the previous administration; the reform of police bodies at the three levels [of government] continues to be a pending task; the observance of human rights experiences serious factical and institutional regression, and, above all, an economic policy that provokes social anomie, unemployment, and marginalization, that obliges large segments of the population to work in the informal sector and that, ultimately, ends up feeding criminality continues and is made yet more profound.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de Prensa: Asesinan a Jaime López, integrante de OIDHO(OIDHO, 23 de septiembre de 2014)  

Líder de OIDHO fue asesinado frente a la tumba de su madre en San Andrés Lovene (Página 3, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

RvsR: Ante el asesinato de Jaime López Hernández, de la OIDHO (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de octubre de 2014)

Violencia imparable (La Jornada, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Condena Sección 22 asesinato de profesor (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Atacan a balazos a 2 intendentes (El Imparcial Oaxaca, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Tirotean a maestros de la @SECCIONXXII en Oaxaca; Un muerto (E-Consulta Oaxaca, 27 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Concern for the alarming increase in murders in the state (26 April 2014)


Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz

October 1, 2014

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archivo)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archive)

In a press conference held on 23 September, federal legislators called on the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to stop the looming incarceration of Oaxacan rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez, who presently free faces accusations of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and national wealth.

It bears mentioning that on 22 February 2012, the defender was detained and incarcerated, accused of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and the national wealth, though she only participated in a protest a year previous opposing high electricity prices in Oaxaca.  On 24 February 2012 she posted bail and was released, but the legal process against her continues.

The legislators in question affirm that they “consider that the moves and process against Bettina represent acts of criminalization of social protest, illustrating the risky situations faced by persons who work to defend human rights.  Through this process, it has become clear that the justice system has deviated greatly against them, particularly those who work in defense of the land amidst the imposition of megaprojects.”

Beyond this, in a communique published on 25 September, Amnesty International (AI) warned that, if the judiciary power decided to imprison the rights-defender, it would “consider nominating her as a prisoner of conscience.”  AI stressed that the obligation of the Mexican authorities “is to guarantee that the justice system does not work in favor of the persecution of those who defend human rights, as revenge against their legitimate actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden legisladores a PGR evitar encarcelamiento de activista (Cimac Noticias, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Carta completa de los legisladores (23 de septiembre de 2014)

No a la persecución judicial de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

Campaña en twitter: etiqueta #JusticiaparaBettina

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Oaxaca: New attack on members of the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec

October 1, 2014

Foto @ Albergue Hermanos en el Camino

On 18 September, agents of the National Institute on Migration (INM) and the Mexican Army physically and verbally assaulted members and human-rights defenders associated with the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, as the latter were carrying out their work in the Chivela community, located in the northern zone of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  The attacks took place as the workers were traveling in the train that leaves Ixtepec for Medias Aguas, Veracruz.  In response to the attacks, the workers submitted a penal denunciation before the Ixtepec Prosecutorial Office on Migrants against the INM and also submitted complaints to the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH).  They indicated that while they were documenting attacks against migrant persons, they observed the presence of three INM vehicles and three Army convoys.

It should be noted that, following the federal government’s implementation of the Southern Border Plan (PFS) two months ago, 57 persons have been victims of grave crimes, such as robbery, extortion, rape, and assault, according to the findings of the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home.  Attacks on migrants have increased 90% during this period.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Albergue Hermanos en el Camino (19 de septiembre de 2014)

INM y Ejército agreden a defensores de migrantes; les decomisan material documentado (Centro ProDH, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

Agrede INM a defensores de Derechos Humanos (Noticias Net, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

Testimonio narra agresiones de agentes del INM a activistas en Oaxaca(Animal Político, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

El Plan Frontera Sur: violencia institucionalizada (Más de 131, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM (30 March 2014)

National: Collaborators of the “72″ migrant home abandon work due to threats (24 June 2013)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)


Oaxaca: State police strike leads to 153 officers being fired

September 29, 2014


Protesta con el lema "Basta de política" @ Enfoque Oaxaca

Banner at protest: “Enough of politics” @ Enfoque Oaxaca

Since 14 September, some 600 state police officers of Oaxaca have been on strike to demand the resignation of the Secretary for Public Security, Alberto Esteva Salinas, and the commissioner of the State Preventive Police, Cuauhtémoc Zúñiga Bonilla, in addition to other police chiefs, whom they accuse of corruption and of embezzlement of public campaign funds.  Based in the barracks of Santa María Coyotepec, they denounced that 2.5 million pesos worth of travel allowances had yet to be paid, and they manifested being tired of arbitrary actions, demanding an increase in salary, the provision of uniforms twice a year, and an eight-hour workday.  Similarly, the coastal region saw a similar police strike, while in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, police were arrested by Mexican Army units as they traveled to the capital city to support the action.

On 16 September, half a hundred state police invaded the end of the commemorative march to march the 204th anniversary of the beginning of (formal) independence for Mexico, an event which was not attended by Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo.  Using the slogans “Enough of politics” and “Out with the corrupt [ones] Alberto Esteva and Cuahutemoc Zuñiga (sic),” among others, police demonstrated their repudiation of the situation and showed the bad state of the equipment they use, in addition to uniforms, which were shown to have damaged logos, discoloration, and other damages.

On 18 September, the president of the Permanent Commission for Citizens’ Protection and Security from the local congress affirmed that an initial agreement had been made to pay the travel allowances in arrears, as well as to provide uniforms and boots to police.  Nonetheless, other media mentioned that Esteva Salinas, Secretary of Public Security, fired 153 members of the State Preventive Police, who are presumed to have initiated the strike.

It should be recalled that this is the second police strike this year.  The first took place in March, when police in revolt also requested ameliorative reforms and resignations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Policías de Oaxaca permiten acceso a personal administrativo (Milenio, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Paro de policías desnuda corrupción en SSP, les adeudan 2.5 mdp solo de viáticos (Página 3, 16 de septiembre de 2014)

‘Desaira’ Cué el desfile; policías lo utilizan para protestar (Enfoque Oaxaca, 16 de septiembre de 2014)

Gabino Cué da ultimátum a policías en rebeldía e ignora sus demandas(Página 3, 17 de septiembre de 2014)

Despiden a 153 policías que “instigaron” al paro laboral en Oaxaca(Proceso, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Audio-Video:

En paro de labores contradesfiló la SSP en #Oaxaca (Voces de Oaxaca, 17 de septiembre de 2014)


Oaxaca: march to demand investigation of new femicide

September 29, 2014


images

On 15 September, a group of students from the Normal School of Preschool Education of Oaxaca (ENEPO) and teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) marched in Oaxaca City to demand the clarification of the murder of the 21-year old student Karen González Reyes, whose body was found in the metropolitan region of the capital with signs of violence, sexual assault, and gunshot wounds.  Protestors challenged the lack of advance in the case and the wave of insecurity against women in the state.

Thereafter, two persons were arrested: Benito Hernández, a state police officer, and Silverio Benítez, partner of the deceased.  Both have been charged with the crime of homicide.

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden normalistas castigo a homicidas de Karen en Oaxaca (Radio Fórmula, 15 de septiembre de 2014) Marchan para pedir esclarecimiento de feminicidio (E Consulta, 15 de septiembre de 2014)

Detienen a presuntos homicidas de normalista (Milenio, 17 de septiembre 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)


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