National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues

May 16, 2014

Foto @ Regeneración Radio

Photo @ Regeneración Radio

8 years ago, on 3 and 4 May 2006, residents of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco suffered a strong repression when Enrique Peña Nieto, the current president of Mexico, was governor of the state of Mexico.  As a result of this, 47 women were sexually assaulted by police, two youth were killed, and 207 were arrested.

On 5 May, the Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights presented the campaign “Breaking the silence: all together against sexual violence.”  The objective of the campaign is to make visible the torture–principally sexual–exercised systematically against women by security forces after these were arrested for protesting; the campaign also seeks to accompany these women and to continue denouncing the government’s strategy to see these women as “war booty.”  Norma Jiménez noted that nothing has been easy since they undertook this struggle to denounce the acts which took place 8 years ago, given that they were sexually tortured, but she observed that people in solidarity have given them the strength to carry on, though now they think that it is is important to express solidarity with other women, because “it seems that all of us are in a similar situation, as though they had arrested us all–that is because this is all a conscious strategy.”  For this reason, other women who have joined the campaign include Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, Me’phaa indigenous women from Guerrero who in 2002 began another struggle to denounce the rights-violations and sexual torture to which they were subjected by soldiers in the Mexican Army.

Beyond this, the Front for Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT) recently accused the municipal government of San Salvador Atenco of organizing assemblies in which representatives of federal authorities have attempted to convince ejidatarios from Atenco and Texcoco to sell their lands for the construction of a new international airport for Mexico City.  Jesús Adán Espinoza noted that the federal government would face serious opposition if it attempted to carry out its urbanization plans for “Future City” and “Rescue of the Former Texcoco Lake,” as such works would only reactivate the project to build the new airport.  “These projects will only bring the further degradation of our traditions, customs, and our lands if we allow them to pass,” he declared.

For more information (in Spanish):

“Rompiendo el silencio:Todas juntas contra la tortura sexual”(Regeneración Radio, 6 de mayo de 2014)

Acusan a autoridades de Atenco de convencer a ejidatarios para aceptar construcción de aeropuerto (La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2014)

A 8 años. Atenco no olvidamos: una mirada desde La Sexta (Coordinador Valle de Chalko, 8 de mayo de 2014)

“No insistan, no vamos a desistir en abandonar nuestras tierras y viviendas” (Reporteros en Movimiento, 5 de mayo de 2014)

Carta de Solidaridad con Atenco: ¡No olvidamos lo que pasó los 3 y 4 de mayo, tampoco la lucha en contra del aeropuerto! (Enlace Zapatista, 8 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)

Chiapas/National: Lawyers for Patishtán and communal police of Michoacán denounce death-threats and harassment

March 28, 2014

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archivo)

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archive)

In an Urgent Action published on 14 March, Amnesty International (AI) denounced the death-threats and harassment suffered by the lawyers of the Strategic Defense for Human Rights, Leonel Rivero Rodríguez and Augusto César Sandino Rivero Espinoza.  These lawyers are known for their interventions in cases such as that of now ex-prisoner Alberto Patishtán, those arrested from the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land from San Salvador Atenco, and communal police from Michoacán.

On 17 January, Rivero Rodríguez received a threatening telephone call and then presented a denunciation before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), though the perpetrator of the action has not yet been identified.  Indeed, the PGR has now informed her that it plans to place the affair in the archive.

On 4 March, “three unknown persons invaded a hotel in which Leonel Rivero Rodríguez was meeting with members of communities from Michoacán state to address delicate issues,” regarding a case that she was covering together with Sandino Rivero Espinosa.  On 10 March, the office that Leonel Rivero Rodríguez has in her home in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas was harassed.

AI has called on the authorities to guarantee the security of the lawyers of Strategic Defense for Human Rights, to undertake an impartial investigationi into the telephone threats made on 17 January, and the harassment of 10 March, as well as to guarantee that “the lawyers who work on potentially delicate affairs be allowed to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of suffering repression.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente de Amnistía Internacional, 14 de marzo de 2014

Amnistía Internacional denuncia amenazas contra abogados de Patishtán(Proceso, 17 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncia Amnistía Internacional hostigamiento contra abogado de Patishtán (La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2014)

 Los abogados de Alberto Patisthán denuncian amenazas y hostigamientos(CNN México, 18 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)

National: Actions to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán, 13 years after his arrest

June 25, 2013

Acción afuera del CERSS 5 @ SIPAZ

On 19 June, 13 years after his arrest, at least two events were held to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a Tsotsil professor from the El Bosque community who is presently being held in the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced (CERSS) No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Chiapas). Outside this prison, there was a mass offered by the priests of El Bosque, Magdaleno Sánchez Ruiz, and Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez Pérez.  Once the religious act ended, messages in solidarity were read, and hundreds of protestors held a march to emphasize their demand.  In Mexico City, there was organized a political-cultural event with the same demand, which was attended by members of different groups, including the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT) from San Salvador Atenco, and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME).  Different persons, such as the former rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Pablo González Casanova, and the local deputy for the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD), Carlos de Jesús Alejandro, expressed their support and demanded the release of Patishtán Gómez, member of the Voz del Amate and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the EZLN.  The PRD representative did not discard the possibility of requesting presidential pardon as a final gesture, in case of a failure from the federal tribunal in Tuxtla Gutiérrez in its decision on Alberto Patishtán, which is expected in the coming weeks.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Exigen liberación de Patishtán con marcha en torno a penal (20/06/2013)

La Jornada: Podría quedar libre pronto: ONG (20/06/2013) “No tomaron en cuenta mis derechos”: Patishtán, a 13 años de encarcelado (20/06/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pilgrimage by the Believing People for the release of professor Alberto Patishtan (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Petition from the CDHFBC to release Alberto Patishtán (15 April 2013)

Chiapas: Forthcoming actions for the release of Alberto Patishtán (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: “Justice is its opposite,” declares Alberto Patishtán (20 March 2013)


Mexico: IACHR admits case of 11 women victimized by physical and verbal violence

November 26, 2011


Three years after having been presented, the case of 11 women who were victimized by sexual and verbal violence on the part of police after been arrested in San Salvador Atenco, state of Mexico, in May 2006 was accepted on 4 November by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  They were part of the 47 arrested women (out of a total of 207) in the operations ordered by the then PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto.  At the time, there were denounced 26 rapes, but only 14 were denounced before the Special Prosecutorial Office for Attention to Crimes Related to Acts of Violence against Women (Fevim).  In light of the lack of results in the demand for justice, only 11 requested that the IACHR admit the case, as it finally did.

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Prodh Center), legal representative with the Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil) of those attacked, celebrated the decision of the IACHR.  It denounced that “the admission of the case represents a substantive advance in the large path national and international taken by those victimized by sexual torture.  Doubtless, the national and international solidarity that has been expressed over more than 5 years has allowed that these women continue resisting in light of the sexual torture used by the State as a strategy to demobilize and generate fear.  The case is paradigmatic of the institutional violence exercised by the Mexican state, and the struggle for justice is for all women.”

The IACHR decision opens the possibility that the case pass eventually to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Admite la CIDH caso de las mujeres agredidas en Atenco (9 November 2011)

CIDH admite el Caso de las Mujeres que sufrieron Tortura Sexual de Atenco (Boletín de prensa, CentroProDH, 8 November 2011)

Admite la CIDH caso de mujeres ultrajadas en Atenco (Proceso, 8 November 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples Build Justice and Truth” (25 March 2011)

Chiapas: Celebration of the release of prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón

September 22, 2011

Photo @Zapateando

On 3 September, members of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala, San Salvador Atenco, and members of the Sector of Workers from the states of Veracruz, Mexico state, and Mexico city responded to the call from the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Other Campaign, to celebrate the release of the prisoners of San Sebastián Bachajón in the same community.  There were also present ejidatarios from Tila (northern zone of Chiapas) and from communities close to San Sebastián Bachajón.  The authorities of the ejido gave their word, as did the ex-prisoners, who declared themselves in favor of continuing to struggle.  They thanked those present and invited them to continue working together in struggle.  The women of the ejido shared the difficulties of their struggle and how they are participating.

It should be remembered that at the end of the month of July were released all the prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón who had been incarcerated for 5 months.  On 5 February, the State Attorney General’s Office of Chiapas had detained 10 ejidatarios, including a minor, following a confrontation with militants from the Institutional Revolutionary Party for the control of an entrance-point located in the touristic center of the Agua Azul waterfalls.

For more information (in Spanish):

A defender San Sebastián Bachajón (Zapateando, 7 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The four prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón are released (18 August 2011)

Chiapas: Facing police repression, adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón abandon control-post they had taken the previous day (24 April 2011)

Chiapas: Press conference by ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón (20 March  2011)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: The Peace Network visits prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: detentions vis-a-vis blockade of road Tonala-Pijijiapan during action of the Other Campaign (26 February 2011)

Chiapas: Caravan of women to San Sebastian Bachajón (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: Agua Azul, new happenings and denunciations (17 February 2011)

Chiapas: update in the Agua Azul case (14 February 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (10 February 2011)

Chiapas: confrontation over control point at Agua Azul leaves one dead and several injured (7 February 2011)

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice

May 6, 2011

Photo: Centro-Prodh

Five years after the police incursion in Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco on 3 and 4 May 2006, women who have denounced their sexual torture firmly maintain their demands for justice.  Civil organizations indicate that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the State Attorney General’s Office of Mexico have impeded advances in the path toward justice for these women, and that due to the inefficacy of the internal institutions the case of 11 women finds itself presently before the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

The police operative implemented in the state of Mexico in 2006 against the Popular Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) in its struggle against the construction of an airport in Texcoco left two youth dead and 207 detained, of whom 47 were women.  Of the 47 women who were attacked, the National Commission on Human rights (CNDH) noted rape in 26 cases.  On this the fifth anniversary of the Atenco events, the Movement of Peoples in Defense of the Land, Amnesty International, and SME protested in front of the offices of the PGR to demand justice.

For more information (in Spanish):

Atenco, cinco años de resistencia frente a la tortura sexual, Cencos, 3 May 2011)

Atenco, a 5 años no se olvidan los excesos en el uso de la fuerza pública, El Universal, 3 May 2011

Víctimas de violación en Atenco se resisten a quedar en el olvido, cimacnoticas, 3 May

En Atenco prevalecen 5 años de impunidad, todotexcoco, 3 May 2011

A un lustro de hechos en Atenco, activistas exigen justicia frente a PGR, La Jornada, 2 May 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples Build Justice and Truth” (25 March 2011)

Mexico: National Meeting of members of The Other Campaign in Atenco

November 29, 2010


Between the 12th and 14th of November 2010, a National Meeting of Organizations and Struggles of the Other Campaign took place in San Salvador Atenco (Mexico State), convoked by the Movement for Justice en El Barrio, United States and the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land of Atenco, the latter being the host organization.

The invitation to the meeting noted: “While in the Other Campaign we have strengthened ourselves, we have extended more and have gone deeper in the way we work, the reaction from the capitalist system and from the ‘bad government’ has been to try and crush us where our roots are deep and our resistance is fierce. From the other side of the border, in New York, the movement for Justice in El Barrio strongly felt the chill first and then the anger that emerged from the repression that swept the country during the first phase of the Other Campaign. “ They argue: ” We hope to raise all our differences as flags and walk together to defend our lands, our cultures, our identities, our loves, our autonomy. “

According to press reports, the event was attended by over 70 organizations and groups. During the three days of the meeting there were different workshops, addressing issues such as repression, political prisoners, the defense of land and autonomy, among others, as well as an open forum on “The worthy struggles of Women , Indigenous Peoples, Lesbian, Gay and Transgender. ” In addition, there were screenings of documentaries on different actors and stages of the Other Campaign, as well as on the Zapatista struggle in Chiapas.

For more information (in Sanish):

Chiapas: Frayba: Annual Assessment of Human Rights 2008

June 1, 2009

Don Samuel Ruiz, obispo emérito y presidente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, C. González Rosas y M.T. Ramirez Vázquez, del FPDT de San Salvador Atenco

On Thursday, May 28th, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) presented their “Annual Assessment of the situation of Human Rights in Chiapas for 2008” at CIDESI-University of the Land in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Their assessment of the Human Rights situation from March 2008 to March of this year explored the themes of Land and Territory, Criminalization of Social Protest, Armed Internal Conflict, and Historical Memory. During a slide show that evidenced concrete projects in support of Human Rights, Frayba invited representatives from different Mexican movements and organizations to speak and give testimony to the defense of Human Rights and communities. More than 100 people attended the Assessment, including various representatives from indigenous communities in Chiapas.

Catalina González Rosas and María Trinidad Ramirez Vázquez of the Front for Communities for the Defense of the Land (FPDT) from San Salvador Atenco in the State of Mexico described the repression they experienced at the hands of the state in 2002 and again in 2006. They spoke of their resistance and the fear and repression that they experienced, but more importantly, of their process of organization and the message of hope. Alejandro Cerezo Contreras of the Cerezo Committee spoke of the growing criminalization of social protest as a serious violation of Human Rights. As evidence of this, three representatives of the Regional Independent Campesino Movement-The Ayala Plan-National Movement (MOCRI-CNPA-MN) talked about their organization’s fight and the repression that they suffered in November 2008 in the neighborhood of Emiliano Zapata, in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. After this presentation, the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center presented a comparison between the Human Rights situation in Chiapas and Guerrero—a comparison which revealed similar strategies of repression by both the federal and state governments in both states. The presentation portion of the meeting was wrapped up by Estela Barco from DESMI who used the forced disappearances in the North Zone of Chiapas in the 1990s (that remain unsolved) to remind those present of the importance of historical memory “when one cannot expect justice from official authorities.”

Final comments were given by Don Samuel Ruiz, the founder and current president of Frayba. In his comments, he painted a frightening picture: even though the defenders of human rights wish that there would not be a shortage of human rights workers in Chiapas, the truth of the matter is that Frayba has more work every day. Nevertheless, he emphasized that in the 20 years of its existence, Frayba has become the Human Rights center of the indigenous communities that defend their rights.

For more information, please visit:

Balance 2008 del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas

La Jornada: Reportan 675 abusos de autoridades en Chiapas (29/05/09)

Atenco: the Campaign “Liberty and Justice for Atenco” begins

February 24, 2009

On February 17 the National and International Campaign for “Liberty and Justice for Atenco” was initiated with the objective of the liberation of the 13 prisoners of San Salvador Atenco and the end of political persecution against three more people. This campaign began this week with forums of analysis, discussions, events, and visibility for the permanent sit-in which was set up in the prison Molino de las Flores. It also plans to organize visits with all the prisoners and publish interviews with them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mexico: Mexico undergoes the Universal Periodic Review

February 13, 2009

On February 10, for the first time, Mexico underwent the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) in Geneva. The UPR is a mechanism of the UN whose objective is to examine the achievement of human rights agreements and obligations in each member State. The critics of the presentation given by the Mexican government have been many and vocal. Jose Luis Soberanes, the Mexican ombudsman, stated that “the issues have been badly presented” and the results “have been manipulated”. He also expressed that in Mexico “the problem that we have is that what is resolved in the international bodies, such as the Human Rights Council, later is not implemented. There is a gap between what happens in the international bodies and what happens internally”.

The government stated in its report the proposal to withdraw the military from the fight against organized crime in the long term and support the establishment of a National Program of Human Rights. This plan has been questioned by organizations for being proposed solely for the UPR and without the intention of actually implementing it.

In addition two other reports were presented: the first compiled by agencies of the UN and the other by NGOs. While the Mexican state presented its report, the Mexican and international NGOs were allowed to be present but were not allowed to talk.

The report of the organizations from civil society, which was presented in September of 2008, showed a different reality with regard to human rights in Mexico. It criticized that the militarization and the fight against organized crime has focused entirely on questions of security and has sacrificed respect for human rights. It stressed that criminalization of social protest continues along with aggression and hostility towards human rights defenders, violations of fundamental guarantees by the military, feminicide, torture, and arbitrary detentions.

International organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch strongly emphasized problems of impunity in Mexico. They pointed to “the hundreds of homicides and the 700 forced disappearances which took place between the 1960s and 1980s” and that it still continues by not giving sentences according to the facts in San Salvador Atenco and in Oaxaca in the last few years. “The agents of the federal, state, and municipal police of Mexico are implicated in grave human rights violations; such as torture, violations, and homicide, especially the actions committed during the civil disturbances in San Salvador Atenco and the City of Oaxaca in 2006, which have still not been brought to justice”.

Friday, February 13, the countries carrying out the review on February 10, South Africa, Pakistan, and Nicaragua, will present their report to the public. The government of Mexico will show in the document if it accepts, rejects, or waits to decide on the criticisms and proposals which the Council formulated in the session on Tuesday.

More Information:

Highlights of the Univeral Periodic Review of Mexico – UNHCHR (10/02/09)

Reports by the Government, Civil Society, and the UN- UNHCHR

Press Release by the Human Rights Center PRODH on the UPR (10/02/09)

More Information in Spanish:

ONG mexicanas ante el Examen Periódico Universal de México, Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos (10/02/2009)

Article 19 coincide con el Consejo de Derechos Humanos sobre las agresiones a periodistas en México (10/02/2009)

Acusan ONG ante la ONU impunidad en la violación a DH en México, La Jornada (07/02/2009)


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