Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre

September 2, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 August, at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communiqué to commemorate the five years since the beginning of the release of the formerly imprisoned persons who had been considered responsible for the Acteal massacre of December 1997. Since August 2009, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has allowed 54 of the 70 who were sentenced to be released in this sense. Some of those who have been released were allowed to go freely without warning the public about this, as in the case of Roberto Méndez Gutiérrez, a “paramilitary commander and confessed patricipant in the Acteal massacre.” Amidst this tendency, members of Los Abejas declared that “our memory tells us that this Supreme Court has been converted for us into the ‘Supreme Court for the rich and criminals of the Nation'; this court is the expression of the justice system in Mexico, which is rotten.”

The Acteal massacre and the impunity that prevails in the case to date, stressed Las Abejas, form part of the low-intensity warfare being promoted in the region by the “bad government.” Las Abejas indicated furthermore that the repression, murders, and massacres are a consequence fo the “commercial traties” which Mexico has signed with rich countries, toward the end of “exterminating the Zapatista people and other organized peoples,” given that “if the indigenous peoples had control of their land, NAFTA would not be able to function in Mexico, the U.S., or Canada, for this way they could not extract and steal all the wealth possessed by our Mother Earth.”

In light of this “death culture,” Las Abejas declare that “We are aware that justice will not come from above,” and for this reason “our search for justice for the Acteal massacre we call the construction of ‘Another Justice,’ one that is conceptualized and constructed from the organized peoples, women and men of Mexico who also seek a dignified and true justice, as we do. This other justice, this dignified and true justice, is now being built in the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP), in meetings and fora of organized peoples and communities in Mexico […]. We in the Las Abejas Civil Society will not resign ourselves but will instead continue building our ties with brothers and sisters who struggle each and every day against this oppressive capitalist system.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 5 años de la excarcelación de los paramilitares (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de agosto de 2014)

Libres, 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 23 de agosto de 2014)

La “Suprema Corte de ricos y criminales de la Nación” ha liberado a 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada de Oriente, 24 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


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


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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

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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)

 


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