Chiapas: AMLO Announces Modernization of SCLC – Palenque Highway

July 14, 2019

AMLOPhoto @ Tabasco Hoy

On July 6th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the modernization of the San Cristobal de Las Casas – Palenque highway at a public meeting in Ocosingo during a work tour.

He mentioned “we are going to look for nothing more than to modernize it, to expand it” which means the cancellation of the infrastructure work of a new super highway; an old plan that for years received a strong rejection, especially by the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym).

In response to the cancellation, the Business Center of Chiapas (CECH in its Spanish acronym) “asked the state and federal governments to make all the pertinent considerations before truncating a work whose need has been demonstrated over the years.”

For more information in Spanish:

En Ocosingo, presidente López Obrador anuncia ampliación de carretera Palenque-San Cristóbal (Presidencia de la República, 7 de julio de 2019)

“Llegó la hora de invertir en sureste de México”, dice AMLO (Milenio, 6 de julio de 2019)

Pide Cech reconsiderar posible cancelación de autopista SCLC-Palenque (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 10 de julio de 2019)

8 municipios se unen y rechazan construcción de carretera San Cristóbal de las Casas-Palenque (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Expresiones de solidaridad y preocupación ante los hostigamientos a integrantes del CEDIAC y de la Misión Jesuita de Bachajón (20 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Agentes municipales de Chilón toman acciones para socavar las posibilidades de pasar a un sistema por Usos y Costumbres. (11 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Modevite ratifica su rechazo a la construcción de la super carretera entre San Cristóbal de las Casas y Palenque (2 de mayo de 2019) Chiapas: New meeting in Los Llanos against the planned SCLC-Palenque highway (October 25, 2014)

 

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National: Carlos Manuel Urzua Macias Resigns as Secretary of Finance and Public Credit

July 12, 2019

Finance

On July 9th, the secretary of Finance and Public Credit, Carlos Manuel Urzua Macias, resigned from his post. The ex-secretary announced his resignation through a message on his twitter account.

In the message, addressed to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), Urzua wrote that the “discrepancies in economic matters were many.” “Some of them because in this administration, public policy decisions have been taken without sufficient sustenance. I am convinced that all economic policy must be carried out based on evidence, taking care of the different effects that this may have and free of all extremism, be it from the right or from the left. However, during my administration the previous convictions did not find echo.”

He also reported that he found it “unacceptable to impose officials who have no knowledge of the Treasury. This was motivated by influential figures of the current government with a patent conflict of interest.”

As a new secretary, Arturo Herrera Gutierrez was appointed, who previously served as undersecretary of income for this same agency.

During the first year of the AMLO administration, German Martinez Cazares has also resigned, leaving his position as head of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS in its Spanish acronym) and Josefa Gonzalez Blanco, who was head of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT in its Spanish acronym) .

For more information in Spanish:

5 retos que enfrentará Arturo Herrera como secretario de Hacienda (El Economista, 9 de julio de 2019)

Renuncia el secretario de Hacienda de México, Carlos Urzúa (CNN Español, 9 de julio de 2019)

¿Quién es Arturo Herrera?, el nuevo secretario de Hacienda (Milenio, 9 de julio de 2019)

¿Qué cambiará con el ascenso de Arturo Herrera? (El Economista, 10 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: AMLO firma memorándum que deroga la reforma educativa (24 de abril de 2019)

Nacional: AMLO cumplió 100 días en el poder; revisa avances en compromisos (12 de marzo de 2019)

National: “In democracy, it’s OK to disagree”, CSOs to AMLO (March 12, 2019)


National/International: “Government Should Halt Abuses of Public and Private Companies”: Civil Society Focal Group on Companies and Human Rights

July 12, 2019

CompaniesPhoto @ Animal Politico

On July 4th, 2019, the Civil Society Focal Group of on Companies and Human Rights, which is made up of different national and international organizations, among others, Oxfam Mexico and Services and Consultancy for Peace (SERAPAZ in its Spanish acronym), published a statement in which it demands that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) “attends to human rights violations committed by companies” in Mexico.

It specifies that given the human rights crisis and omnipresent impunity in the country, the government has the obligation to “act with consistency and ensure respect for individual and collective guarantees also in their commitment to megaprojects and all collaboration agreements it makes with large Mexican and foreign companies.”

The Group identifies as a fundamental point that the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights are respected, in addition to international agreements, such as the Escuazu Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, be ratified and put into action. Manifesting that “the balance between development projects and respect for the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples over their territories and natural commons is necessary, particularly as regards megaprojects such as the Dos Bocas Refinery, the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus corridor, roads and dams, among others, without neglecting campesino communities and respect for labor and union rights.”

They conclude that government strategies, such as the National Human Rights Program, should contemplate “a discussion on the responsibility of companies in the matter”, in addition to promoting solid public policies incorporating a human rights approach. This is necessary so that the ten billion dollars of foreign direct investment entering the country are applied coherently between economic interests and the aforementioned rights.

For more information in Spanish:

México: Grupo Focal de Empresas y Derechos Humanos recuerda al gobierno que está pendiente atender a violaciones de derechos humanos cometidos por empresas (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 4 de julio de 2019)

Atender violaciones a derechos humanos cometidas por empresas, otra tarea pendiente de la 4T (Comunicado del Grupo Focal en CEMDA, 4 de julio de 2019)

Gurría pide congruencia a AMLO en megaproyectos; “no tiene autoridad moral”, le responde (El Sol de México, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Ante los megaproyectos, el mega-reproche: AMLO no cumple (Proceso, 9 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Cuarto aniversario del Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusno en Acacoyagua (June 24th, 2019)

Oaxaca: Es publicado el decreto del decreto del Corredor Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec; se movilizan para detener su instrumentación (June 15th, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13, 2018)


International/National: #DefensoresSinMuros-DefendersBeyondWalls Campaign Calls for End to Attacks against Defenders of Migrants’ Rights

July 8, 2019

MigrantsPhoto @ El Heraldo

The National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (Red TDT in its Spanish acronym), the Migration Issues Program (PRAMI in its Spanish acronym) of the Mexico City-Tijuana Ibero-American University and the international non-governmental organization Frontline Defenders launched the #DefensoresSinMuros – #DefendersBeyondWalls campaign. The new campaign aims to “highlight the valuable work of organizations, activists, groups and shelters, in the face of a report (August 2019) that documents and calls for an end to attacks against the defenders of migrants’ human rights along the migratory routes to the United States.”

“In the campaign, defenders who walked alongside the caravans, migrant homes, shelters and organizations that are on the road and carry out humanitarian work and defense of human rights are presented in a context in which criminalization is on the rise. The faces of the campaign are journalists and researchers who document the impacts with a gender approach of displacement and violence against migrants; humanitarian workers offering water and food to families traveling through the deadliest corridors of the Sonoran Desert; queer activists who create communities and physical spaces for undocumented queer and trans communities and attorneys who offer free legal assistance; among many other people who have fighting for a more just world with more solidarity for all in common.”

The new campaign began in the context of a hectic period on migration issues. Amnesty International (AI) reported that, “since 2018, the US government has carried out an illegal and discriminatory campaign of intimidation, threats, harassment and criminal investigations against people who defend the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on the border between Mexico and the United States.”

In relation to the new policy adopted by the US government that specifically returns certain immigrants seeking asylum to Mexico, in recent days the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that “those seeking asylum from Central America, Cuba and Africa – including 4,780 children – face ‘potentially dangerous and unsustainable conditions’ after the US authorities send them back to Mexico.”

“While waiting for the US government to accept their asylum claims, migrants and activists who support them are exposed to harassment, intimidation, insecurity, exploitation and overcrowded conditions, warned the HRW organizations, Amnesty International (AI) and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym).”

The CNDH noted that in Mexico the recent modification of migration policies has generated a greater presence of immigration authorities and security forces in the northern and southern borders of the national territory, as well as the detention of people in the context of migration in different cities of our country. The fifth visitor of the National Commission of Human Rights, Edgar Corzo, said that, “for all the euphemisms to be found, the government detains migrants in centers (…) than what happens with migrants who are taken to the migratory centers, there is deprivation of liberty, where the minimum conditions of survival or a decent treatment are not guaranteed.”

The CNDH said that “it is necessary that organizations and activists receive the full and permanent support of the authorities of the three levels of government and of society as a whole; that it does not discredit or criminalize their work, since contexts that are not conducive to the defense of fundamental rights are generated, and that the intervention of the authorities in the migratory issue does not affect, for any reason, the work of people and organizations dedicated to the defense of people in the context of mobility.”

For more information in Spanish:

Campaña #DefendersBeyondWalls/#DefensoresSinMuros (Frontline Defenders, 3 de julio de 2019)

Amnistía, HRW y CNDH reclaman a gobierno de AMLO trato a migrantes (Expansión Política, 2 de julio de 2019)

CNDH acusa al gobierno de AMLO de privar de la libertad a migrantes (Milenio, 2 de julio de 2019)

Pide CNDH respaldo de gobiernos a defensores de migrantes (La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2019)

La CNDH acusa a la Comar de incumplir con la protección de 112 solicitantes de refugio entre 2017 y 2018 (Sin Embargo, 2 de juliode 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants (July 2, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released (June 17, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture” (June 9, 2019)


Guerrero: New Stage in Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case – Creation of Special Investigation Unit with Omar Gomez Trejo as Head

July 8, 2019

AyotziPhoto @ teleSUR

On June 26th, Agreement A/010/19 was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, with which the Special Investigation and Litigation Unit for the Ayotzinapa case was created.

“The agreement establishes that the Special Unit will be responsible for the investigation and prosecution of the crimes committed in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014, until the conclusion of all the criminal proceedings related to the events that led to the disappearance of the 43 students from the ‘Raúl Isidro Burgos’ Normal School.”

On the same day, the Attorney General’s Office (FGR in its Spanish acronym) reported that the teacher Omar Gomez Trejo would occupy the ownership of the new unit.

“For the relatives of the disappeared students and for the organizations that accompany them, the announcement means the beginning of a new stage in the criminal investigation (…) in particular, the appointment of the new head is a reason for hope.” This is due to his knowledge of the case and his long career in human rights organizations.

As a first initiative, the head of the Special Unit for Investigation and Litigation of the FGR and the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice for the Ayotzinapa case, agreed to design a work plan to guarantee progress such as, “the integration of all the archives of investigation linked to the case and that, depending directly on the Attorney General, would guarantee substantive progress in the investigation and clarification of the Ayotzinapa case”, the Government Secretariat stated.

For more information in Spanish:

Inician nueva etapa en investigación del caso Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 28 de junio de 2019)

Omar Gómez se reúne con unidad especial del Caso Ayotzinapa (Milenio, 28 de junio de 2019)

Comunicado FGR 313/19 Se crea por Acuerdo, Unidad Especial de Investigación y Litigación para el caso Ayotzinapa (Fiscalía General de la República, 26 de junio de 2019)

Familiares y organizaciones saludan inicio de una nueva etapa en la investigación del caso Ayotzinapa (Tlachinollan, 28 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: VIDEO of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case Belies “Historic Truth” (June 27, 2019)

Guerrero: Attorney General and SEDENA Denounced for Lack of Interest in Solving Ayotzinapa Case (May 17, 2019)

Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case (March 15, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in Ayotzinapa Case Set Up. Federal Judge Orders Investigation into Possible Responsibility of Attorney General Employees for Irregularities (January 22nd, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Decree Establishes Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case (December 19th, 2018)

Guerrero/National/International: CNDH and IACHR Ayotzinapa Reports (December 14th, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Ayotzinapa, Four Years On… (October 1st, 2018)


National/International: Mexican Senate Ratifies US-Mexico-Canada Agreement

July 4, 2019

USMCA

On June 19th, the Mexican Senate approved the new trade agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA) with 114 votes in favor, four votes against and three abstentions, turning Mexico into the first country of the three to ratify it. “With this approval, Mexico sends a clear message in favor of an open economy and deepening its economic integration in the region”, the Senate said in a statement.

Signed since last year, it is intended to be an update of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed in 1994. Its elaboration was achieved after a year of tense negotiations between the parties. It must be approved by the legislatures of these countries before it can enter into force.

That is a difficult task, more than anywhere in the US. The agreement has to be approved by both the House, controlled by the Democrats, and by the Senate, controlled by the Republicans, and legislators from both parties have criticized some of its provisions. The Democrats have also expressed their concerns about the application of labor rights and environmental law in Mexico.

In Canada, if the Senate and the House of Representatives are not summoned to an extraordinary session, there is the possibility that it will have to be “discussed under a new government” since Canada will hold elections on October 21st.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that the ratification of the Treaty “is a clear signal that there is unity in the country and that we agree on this Treaty. Above all, because it has a complement: it is not only that a commercial agreement is signed, not only is it commercial economic exchange with the United States and Canada, but also that the agreement is given when productive activities are being promoted in Mexico, jobs are being created, the internal market is strengthened and there is a policy for the well-being for people that has never been seen before “. He also emphasized that this process “would be lame” if it is not served in the south of the country “which is the component that now characterizes the new economic policy and seeks to ensure that development is horizontal and that growth reaches all areas of the country.”

For more information in Spanish:

México espera aprobación de T-MEC en Canadá y EU (La Jornada, 25 de junio de 2019)

3 efectos en México del T-MEC, el tratado que remplaza al TLCAN (Animal Político, 23 de junio de 2019)

T-MEC: al peor postor (La Jornada, 22 de junio de 2019)

Ratificación del T-MEC transmite confianza a inversionistas: AMLO (Proceso, 20 de junio de 2019)

Senado de México ratifica el nuevo tratado de libre comercio con EE.UU. y Canadá, el T-MEC/USMCA (CNN México, 19 de junio de 2019)

México ratifica el T-MEC con Estados Unidos y Canadá (New York Times, 19 de junio de 2019)

El Senado aprueba el T-MEC; es “una buena noticia”: AMLO (Proceso, 19 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: USMCA, New Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada (October 8, 2018)

National/International: SCOs Asks for Suspension of Agreement with US to Convert Mexico into “Migration Filter” in Return for Favors in Renegotiation of NAFTA (June 25th, 2018)

National/International: Mexico – First Country to Ratify TPP-11 (May 8th, 2018)


National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants

July 2, 2019

Migration@Chiapas Paralelo

Since June 14th, the agreement between Mexico and the United States to contain the flow of migrants in recent months has involved a militarization of both borders, according to human rights organizations.

On the southern border, the arrival of six thousand elements of the National Guard (GN in its Spanish acronym) was announced. In addition, “elements of the 101st Infantry Battalion of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) stationed in the Chiapas sierra put on a black armband with the initials GN (National Guard) and began patrolling in the Comalapa Border municipalities and others of the sierra de Chiapas”, this occurring after “the number of migrants using this road multiplied, after the route that starts from the Suchiate River and runs along the coast of Chiapas became more difficult, with the integration of elements of the Military Police and the Marina in the checkpoints”, Chiapas Paralelo reported a few days after the signing of the agreement.

The civil organizations that work on behalf of the migrants expressed their concern about the “double discourse” of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), which changed from a humanitarian policy to a militarist one. They accused the federal government of having let “the administration of Donald Trump, extend its border domain to southern Mexico.” They also indicated that the increase in police and military surveillance will not stop migration but will lead them to resort to more dangerous and risky routes for their security and integrity. They are also concerned about the tendency to stigmatize all civil society organizations, increasing the risks for migrant advocates and closing possible channels of dialogue. They warned that there is little clarity in the functions of the GN: “since March 2011, when migration was decriminalized as a crime, this was left as an administrative fault and the INM (National Institute of Migration) as the only authority empowered to detain migrants. However, now everyone is doing it doing, Marines, Army, Federal Police, state police bodies and even municipal police”, Chiapas Paralelo points out.

Another problem linked to the strategy of containment has to do with the saturation of migratory centers that are exceeded in their capacity by up to 400 percent with “overcrowded conditions, without health or adequate food or sufficient access to health services”. The fifth visitor of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Edgar Corzo Sosa, also pointed out the lack of personnel and infrastructure to process requests for refuge or regulation of migratory stay.

Civil organizations have also reported that the INM has asked transport companies to collaborate to prevent the entry of undocumented persons into their vehicles, which some of them agreed to do when the Institute threatened to sue them for crimes comparable to trafficking in persons, with penalties of between one thousand and ten thousand days penalty or up to 16 years in prison. The CSOs will question that the latter action hinders “free transit, not only for this population, but also for Mexican people” since there are “millions of people living in Mexico -who do not have these documents- and they travel on the roads of the country in different transportation systems: young people, agricultural day laborers -of which, many are indigenous, immigrants with immigration documents, thousands of Mexican returnees or deportees who do not have identity documents, and those who do not have their credentials from the INE because they were stolen, they have not updated it, etc.”

In the Northern Border, “we have a total deployment between the National Guard and army units of almost 15,000 men”, the Secretary of National Defense, Luis Cresentcio Sandoval, acknowledged during AMLO’s morning conference on June 25th. He affirmed that “considering that migration is not a crime, it is an administrative problem, so we only stop them and put them at the disposition of the authorities” of the National Institute of Migration. In this same framework, AMLO confirmed that the National Guard troops do detentions of migrants in aid of the INM authorities. He declared that, “there may be these excesses, but the instruction they all have is that the human rights of migrants be respected and that will continue that way.”

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones, activistas y defensores denuncian doble discurso del gobierno de AMLO en política migratoria (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de junio de 2019)

Por “contingencia migratoria”, personas sin identificación oficial no podrán abordar en ADO y ETN (Proceso, 18 de junio de 2019)

Acciones para contener migración en el país ponen en peligro libertad de tránsito de población mexicana (OSC, 19 de junio de 2019)

Organizaciones denuncian que medidas gubernamentales contra migrantes son anticonstitucionales (Desinformémonos, 20 de junio de 2019)

15 mil elementos de la Guardia Nacional impedirán el cruce de migrantes hacia EU (Animal Político, 24 de junio de 2019)

Puede Guardia Nacional detener a migrantes: López Obrador (Excelsior, 25 de junio de 2019)

For more information SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released (June 17, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture” (June 9, 2019)