Guerrero: Indigenous community requests that the SCJN review the Mining Law

July 14, 2014

Conferencia de prensa en el Centro Prodh Foto (@Alina Vallejo, Sididh)

Press conference at the Prodh Center
Photo (@Alina Vallejo, Sididh)

On 29 June in Mexico City, representatives of the Me’phaa indigenous community of San Miguel del Progreso-Júba Wajiín (Malinaltepec municipality), organized a press conference together with the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights at which they requested that the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) “analyze for the first time if the Mining Law which exists is compatible with the Constitution and international human-rights treaties.”  It is important to recall that on 12 February 2014, the community was granted a court case against two mining concessions that had been awarded to transnational firms without any sort of prior informed consent within at least 84% of the affected territory.  The victory represented a historical moment for the rights of indigenous peoples.

At the conference, the San Miguel del Progreso-Júba Wajiín community recalled that on 13 March 2014, the Economy Minister presented the Resource for Review through which the federal government has tried to overturn said sentence by appealing to the existing mining law to claim that the human rights of the community have in no case been violated, given that the legislation does not demand free prior and informed consent in the case of mining concessions.

Lastly, the representatives of the Me’phaa community stressed the need for and importance of reviewing the Mining Law, not only for their own community, but also for all the communities that have been affected by the awarding of mining concessions on their lands.  In this way, they indicated that it could provide the Supreme Court another chance to limit the looting of land by clearly establishing the rights of peoples and of indigenous communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunidad me’phaa llama a SCJN a revisar Ley Minera (Sididh, 30 de junio de 2014)

Obtiene comunidad indígena Me’phaa amparo inédito contra concesión minera (NAR, 29 de junio de 2014)

Indígenas Me’phaa de Guerrero ganan histórico amparo contra mineras(Entresemana, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/Mexico/Latin America: Grave challenges to Goldcorp and other Canadian mining firms (May 3, 2014)

Guerrero: Ejidatarios from Carrizalillo to sue mining company before the Agrarian Tribunal (29 April 2014)

Guerrero: ejidatarios of Los Filos close gold mine in Carrizalillo (10 April 2014)

In Focus: The unsustainability of the Extractive Mineral Model (May 2013)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

Nationa: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico

May 16, 2014


Upon completing his visit of 12 days to the country, Juan E. Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishments, affirmed that torture is a “generalized phenomenon” in Mexico.  He recognized that the statistics on the prevalence of torture are on the decline, but he doubted that this in fact means that torture as practiced has similarly declined.  He located impunity and the regular use of torture as a “means of criminal investigation” as great problems in this sense.

In a press conference held on 2 May, Méndez presented the preliminary conclusions of his visit, stressing the numerous denunciations he received.  He also recognized progress on the question, for example on the use of military tribunals and a handful of the sentences handed down by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN).  He expressed his worry for the continued militarization of various regions of the country, in addition to the persistent participation of military commanders in civilian security forces.

As part of his preliminary recommendations, Méndez proposed a decrease in the resort to the use of “community control,” comprehensive reparations by those affected by torture, expeditious investigations into presumed human-rights violations, the standardization of torture at the national level with international standards, and the regulation of the use of legitimate public force.

For more information (in Spanish):

La tortura está “generalizada” en México: ONU (entrevista CNN México, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Generalizada en México, la tortura como medio de investigación: relator de la ONU (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2014)

Para erradicar la tortura hay que suprimir la idea de que es normal: relator de la ONU (La Jornada, 4 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de organizaciones chiapanecas por visita del Relator Especial sobre la Tortura de la ONU (2 de mayo de 2014)

Presentarán a relator de la ONU 18 casos de tortura en Chiapas(Proceso, 28 de abril de 2014)

Informe sobre Tortura en Guerrero (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan)

Tortura, “práctica terriblemente cotidiana en México”, acusan ONG ante relator de la ONU (Proceso, 22 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Special rapporteur on torture begins visit to Mexico (29 April 2014)

National: International organizations conclude observation mission on torture in Mexico (10 June 2013)

Mexico: UN Committee against Torture expresses grave concern for the practice of torture in Mexico (9 November 2012)

National: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Aggressions continue in the Chimalapas conflict

March 1, 2014


Imagen @ Página 3

The website of Noticias Net has published a note saying that the Chiapas cattle rancher Jorge Humberto Luna Salinas (Tito Luna) invaded the territory of San Miguel Chimalapas in mid-February to destroy the installations of a camp exploiting pine sap, beyond setting fire to 2500 receptacles, according to a denunciation made by communards from the congregation of San Antonio, Chimalapa. They stressed that the fire spread from the exploitation camp to the rest of hte forest of La Hondonada and still remains live.

It should be recalled that the Oaxaca state government in January published a map of Los Chimalapas recognizing Chiapas as the owner of 50% of the communal lands under dispute before the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN).

For more information (in Spanish):

Destruye e incendia Tito Luna campo de resina de Chimalapa (Noticias Net, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Comuneros de Chimalapa denuncian otra presunta invasión de Chiapas (Quadratín, 21 de enero de 2014)

Da Oaxaca 80 mil hectáreas de Chimalapas a Chiapas “en papel” (Página 3, 25 de enero de 2014)

Oaxaca publica controvertida cartografia de Chimalapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/Chiapas: meeting among governors in Governance regarding Chimalapas case (18 May 2012)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Possible “electoral fraud” is denounced in the Chimalapas region (3 April 2012)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Update in the Chimalapas case (6 March 2012)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Zoques present case before the SCJN regarding Chimalapas; Army installs base in zone of conflict (8 February 2012)


Mexico: Human-rights organizations call on Senate to reform military justice system

October 5, 2013

Audiencias públicas sobre justicia militar en el Senado (@PAN)Within the context of the public audiences regarding military courts carried out between 24 and 27 September 2013 in the Senate of the Republic, national human-rights organizations called on the present legislature to pass reforms as soon as possible to restrict the use of military tribunals in accordance with international standards.  By means of a communique, these organizations indicated that said reform should observe the four sentences emitted by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) and the recommendations made by different international human-rights mechanisms affiliated with the United Nations, as well as those advanced by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN).

Amnesty International (AI) publicly expressed its support for the Mexican organizations, claiming that “due to its lack of impartiality and independence, military justice has proven to be an obstacle in the struggle to put an end to the impunity of human-rights violations committed by armed forces.”

With regard to the public audiences, Javier Hernández Valencia, representative of the UN High Commissioner’s Office for Human Rights, stressed that “the military courts should be limited, that is, the human rights violations committed by soldiers should be judged in civilian tribunals.”  Valencia questioned the senators why it is that “there has been excluded the term human rights or persons within the proposed reform, for it is important that this definition be included in the changes that you will carry out.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de organizaciones civiles: Reformas al Código de Justicia Militar deben ser conformes con las obligaciones de México: organizaciones de derechos humanos (27 de septiembre de 2013)

Pide AI a Senado reformar justicia militar (El Universal, 27 de septiembre de 2013)

Emplazan al Senado a reformar justicia militar (Proceso, 27 de septiembre de 2013)

El fuero militar debe ser acotado ante violaciones a civiles: ONU (La Jornada, 25 de septiembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Civil society calls on SCJN to consolidate restriction of military tribunals (28 September 2012)

Guerrero: SCJN orders that the Bonfilio Rubio case be tried in civil court (27 August 2012)

National: NGOs request that SCJN resolve affairs relating to military tribunals in 32 cases (17 June 2012)

National: Activists criticize attempt by Court to limit reach of international treaties

September 16, 2013


Photo @Carlos Ramos Mamahua

The attempt by some justices of the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) to constrain the place of international human-rights agreements when they contradict the Magna Carta is an regressive attitude that practically could serve to nullify the advances seen in the constitutional reforms of June 2011, social activists have warned.  On 1 September, Edgar Cortez, investigator for the Mexican Institute on Human Rights and Democracy (IMDHD) indicated that if the highest court in the country limits the reach of international treaties, “we will regress to a time before the constitutional reforms on human rights, such that the conventions would be subordinated to the Constitution.”  Raúl Ramírez Baena, director of the Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights in the Northeast, said that “the call to control conventionality obligates all the authorities of the countries, particularly judges, to find the broadest legal protection for human rights, including that for international agreements, but this attempt would effectively cause all to be nullified.  Litigants would be able to refer only to the text of the Constitution.”

In terms of this discussion, persons and human-rights organizations have stressed in an open letter that “the resolution adopted by the Court will directly impact the consolidation of the constitutional reform of 2011, in terms of hte system of protection of basic rights in the country and thus the lives of millions of Mexicans.”  As the letter mentions, “We make an energetic call to the Supreme Court justices to recognize that all persons enjoy the human rights recognized at the national and international levels, and we call on them to take an appropriate position with the object and text of the human-rights reform in mind, thus avoiding a restrictive or regressive interpretation.  From the decision of the SCJN will depend the advance of the effective realization of basic rights in Mexico.”
Similarly, Amnesty International in its web page calls on “the justices to guarantee that their decision accord with the reform of the first article of the Constitution which took place in 2011, thus confirming the place of the principle pro persona, that is to say, the application of the norm which will be most favorable to the protection of the person in case of a conflict between the Constitution and international human-rights treaties.”
For more information (in Spanish):

Critican activistas intento de la Corte de limitar convenios internacionales (La Jornada, 31 de agosto de 2013)

La Suprema Corte debe reafirmar los avances constitucionales en la protección de los derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 2 de septiembre de 2013)

Llaman a la SCJN a confirmar el sentido original de la reforma en DH (Centro ProDH, 2 de septiembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Constitutional reform on human rights approved (2 June 2011)

Chiapas: Believing People demand recognition of innocence of Alberto Patishtán

September 13, 2013

Las Abejas de Acteal, 21 de agosto de 2013 @ SIPAZ

Las Abejas de Acteal, 21 August 2013 @ SIPAZ

On 21 August, close to 1500 persons pertaining to the Las Abejas Civil Society, the Movement of El Bosque for the Release of Alberto Patishtán, the Committee for the Freedom of Alberto Patishtán from Mexico City, and national and international organizations engaged in a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to demand the justices of the First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit to immediately release Alberto Patishtán Gómez.   In parallel terms, there was organized another march in Mexico City this same day toward the same end.

Similarly, the National indigenous Congress (CNI), which had been meeting in the Tata Juan Chávez Lecture, included the immediate liberation of Patishtán and all other political prisoners at the very top of its list of 29 demands.

It should be noted that, following several appeals and resolutions on the case of Patishtán Gómez, the Supreme Court for Justice in the nation (SCJN) transferred the case to the justices of the First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit of Chiapas, who on 5 September will debate and resolve the question of whether to release Alberto Patishtán or to ratify his sentence.  Until 5 September, the indigenous prisoner will be fasting and praying for 17 days.

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas en Chiapas marchan por la liberación de Patishtán (El Universal, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Marchan tzotziles en Chiapas para exigir a magistrados liberación de Patishtán (Proceso, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Demanda CNI respeto al modo ancestral de vida de los indios (La Jornada, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Exigen a la Judicatura reconocer fallas en proceso contra el maestro Patishtán (La Jornada, 22 de agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Forum “justice for all” pronounces itself in favor of the release of Alberto Patishtán.  Amnesty International joins the call (13 September 2013)

Chiapas: Global action to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán and justice for political prisoners (20 August 2013)

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)


National: Suprema Corte presents protocol to judge gender crimes

September 13, 2013


On 26 August, the head justice of the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), Juan Silva Meza, presented the Protocl to Judge with Gender Perspectives, which he claimed to respond to the constitutional mandate obliging judges to promote and respect the right to gender equality and non-discrimination.  The justice commented that this document, which does not represent a violation of judges’s autonomy, is the result of a reform in terms of human rights, the international treaties signed by Mexico in these terms, and particularly represents a result of the resolutions made by the Inter-American Court on Human RIghts in the cases of cotton agriculture (due  to the lack of interest of the government in doing justice for the thousands of females killed in Ciudad Juárez) and that of the indigenous females Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Protocolo para Juzgar con Perspectiva de Género

Presenta la SCJN protocolo para juzgar con perspectiva de género (La Jornada, 27 de agosto de 2013)

Chiapas: Press-conference by Las Abejas, 4 years after the beginning of the release of those incarcerated for the Acteal massacre

August 21, 2013


On 12 August, 4 years after the beginning of the release of indigenous people who had been charged and convicted of having participated in the Acteal massacre due to a decision by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), members of the Las Abejas Civil Society, to which the 45 victims of 1997 pertained, held a press-conference.  They affirmed that “for us it is the ‘Supreme Court of the rich and the criminals,’ which has since 12 August 2009 released 69 paramilitary members (including several who have confessed to their crimes), with only 6 remaining imprisoned.”  They denounced that the released persons have returned to their communitie, that “the paramilitaries of Chenalhó have now been reactivated, firing their guns and causing displacement, just as in 1997.”  They indicate that “one of the recent violent activities taken by the paramilitaries is taking place now in the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó municipality, with the pretext of a dispute over land belonging to the Catholic Church.”  They added: “in light of the lack of justice and truthful investigation by the Mexican government in the Acteal case, the released paramilitaries and above all those who never went to jail in the first place today attack and harass with impunity, because they have seen that to massacre women, men, and children, they will receive prizes from the Mexican government rather than be punished.”  Las Abejas also warned the intellectual authors of the massacre that “although justice protects you and you believe that you cannot be judged, you will not be free, wherever you go.  Our memory and that of the people of Mexico and the world will judge you forever.  You will in your conscience carry the blood of Acteal.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian la reactivación de paramilitares en Chenalhó (La Jornada, 13 de agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society warns of violence in Chenalhó “reminiscent of the year 1997″ (4 August 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society, “the government is using two weapons in its strategy, lead bullets and sugar bullets” (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas denounce lack of justice in the Acteal case (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas lament release of yet another of those charged for Acteal massacre (27 March 2013)

Chiapas: March and rally in Tila to commemorate the founding of the Tila ejido 79 years ago

August 20, 2013

mujeres del ejido en la marcha en Tila @ Simón Hernández/CentroProDH

On 28 July, thousands of indigenous Ch’oles, ejidatarios from Tila, and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle recalled the legal founding of the Tila ejido 79 years ago with a march and rally in the cener of the ejido, which is also the city that bears the name of the ejido.  The march began at the ejidal house and ended in the central plaza, where women from the ejido placed containers of fruit and vegetables from the ejidal lands to demonstrate the diversity of products that the ejido provides, for the life of the people.  There was also celebrated a traditional ceremony.In a report on the march and rally, published on 30 July, the ejidatarios indicate that “we have traveled as thousands of people–men, women, elderly, children–who are the legitimate owners of the totality of our territory in which is located the 130 hectares that they want to take from us, so as to remove power from the general assembly and so control City Hall.”  They indicate that “our general assembly of ejidatarios agreed to recognize the possession of homes of neighbors and residents who live within the nucleus of the ejidal population.  At no time will we seek a confrontation with these people.  What we do request is that the relocation of the offices of this City Hall which has only served to loot and provide permits for cantinas, bars, grocery stores, and liquors stores, which promote alcohol use among the youth and the prostitution of young girls who come from communities.  This City Hall has been a disease for our people.”

It should be recalled that since 2012 there has been pending the resolution from the Supreme Court of Justice in the Nation (SCJN) regarding the return of 130 hectares to the ejidatarios of Tila, who were expropriated illegally by the state government of Chiapas in 1980.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe de los ejidatarios de Tila sobre la marcha-mitin del 28 de julio (30/07/2013)

Centro ProDH: Cada consigna fue un grito en defensa del territorio: ejido Tila (30/07/2013)

Radio Zapatista: Lo que la madre tierra nos da. Celebración de la cultura y resistencia de las mujeres Ch´oles de Tila (29/07/2013)

Radio Zapatista : Ch’oles de Tila celebran 79 años de resistencia (Audio) (14:45 minutos)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones decision on case of the Tila ejidatario (16 August 2012)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios march in Tila and Mexico City (16 August 2012)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila announce schedule of march to the SCJN in Mexico City (31 July 2012)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios de Tila announce a caravan and march against the SCJN in defense of their land and territory (25 July 2012)

Guerrero: Martínez Garnelo named as new Secretary of Governance

July 20, 2013


Jesús Martínez Garnelo, photo

On 8 July, Jesús Martínez Garnelo was named as the new government secretary of Guerrero, to replace Florentino Cruz Ramírez, after having requested permission to leave his charge as head of the judiciary.  The new naming of the secretary of government took place seven days after Cruz Ramírez presented his resignation (1 July).  Among the antecedents of the case highlighted by Martínez Garnelo, there is the fact that he was accused of having released the kidnapper Alberto Castro El Calilla, a case for which a trial was begun against him, ending in his forced resignation in 1999, when he was banned from holding public office for 2 years.  However, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation subsequently exonerated him in these terms.

The new secretary for government said that he would analyze the social phenomenology of the state and act to prevent crime through unitary control of the police.  He promised that arrives with a social perspective, and that his proposal to combat violence would be supported by different prevention programs which, he said, he would soon reveal.  Cruz Ramírez resigned, according to his collaborators, because he was not allowed to function either politically or economically, and also because Humberto Salgado Gómez was named as coordinator of the executive branch.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nombran a Martínez Garnelo como el nuevo secretario de Gobierno (La Jornada de Guerrero, 8 de julio de 2013)

Nombra Aguirre a nuevo secretario de Gobierno (8 de julio de 2013)

Jesús Martínez, secretario de Gobierno de Guerrero (El Economista, 8 de julio de 2013)

Ángel Aguirre acepta renuncia de secretario de Gobierno (14 de mayo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Governor announces new General Secretary of Governance (20 July 2013)


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