National: CNDH Requests Cautionary Measures for Cristobal Santiz Jimenez

March 30, 2020

Cristobal Santiz Jimenez@ Frayba

On March 26th, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) requested that the Governor of Chiapas, the Secretary General of the Government and the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection of the state implement precautionary measures for Cristobal Santiz Jimenez, who has been deprived of his liberty since last March 14th at the State Center for Social Reintegration (CERSS) Number 14 “El Amate”. It should be noted that Cristobal Santiz Jimenez is a Tzotzil indigenous originating from the municipality of Aldama and a community defender and representative of the Permanent Commission of Communal and Displaced Peoples.

In this sense, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) reported the defender’s human rights abuses and violations and requested, after the arrest, precautionary measures before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to protect the life and safety of Cristobal Santiz Jimenez and his family. Likewise, Frayba explains that his arrest “occurs in the context of criminalization and threats to his life, liberty, security and integrity due to the constant denunciations of the omission of the Mexican State in the escalation of violence in the Chiapas Highlands region”, and he has faced threats “from the Mexican State that demanded his silence in exchange for his freedom; as well as death threats by the armed paramilitary group of Santa Martha, Chenalho,” said Frayba on its NotiFrayba news site.

According to the CNDH press release, measures are requested “with respect to acts or omissions that could constitute violations of the victim’s human rights, including protection of life, integrity, personal security and health.”

For more information in Spanish:

Solicita CNDH a autoridades de Chiapas, medidas cautelares en favor del señor Cristóbal Sántiz Jiménez (CNDH, 26 marzo 2020)

CNDH solicita al gobierno de Chiapas medidas cautelares a favor del activista Cristóbal Sántiz (Proceso, 26 marzo 2020)

Urgimos la libertad de Cristóbal Sántiz Jiménez
(Frayba, 15 marzo 2020)

Exhorta CNDH al gobierno de Chiapas a salvaguardar la vida, integridad personal y seguridad de las comunidades indígenas en conflicto por la disputa de tierras
(CNDH, 26 marzo 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Detienen a defensor comunitario de derechos humanos por presunto homicidio (March 17, 2020)

Chiapas: Authorities in Santa Martha and Aldama Denounce New Attacks (March 5, 2020)

Guerrero: Forced Displacements Continue to Increase in Sierra

March 30, 2020

pic-2603202005371Photo @Sur de Acapulco

On March 24th, residents of 16 communities, including victims of forced internal displacement, from the Leonardo Bravo municipality armed themselves with “low-caliber rifles, sticks and machetes” to defend themselves against criminal groups.

“The armed civilians remain posted at entrances and exits of the town of Chichihualco, the municipal seat of Leonardo Bravo, as well as in 15 other communities that remain on high alert in the face of constant shootings,” the newspaper El Proceso reported.

Around the same date, hundreds of people from the communities of Balsamar, El Naranjo and Tepozonalco fled their communities due to alleged fighting to take refuge in Chichihualco. They stressed that they asked for help and protection from the security forces, but it never came.

In response to insecurity, in recent days, residents of Chichihualcho, along with the mayor, marched for peace and to demand that the federal and state governments guarantee security given the situation in the area.

For more information in Spanish:

Refuerzan seguridad en sierra de Guerrero tras presuntos enfrentamientos (Televisa News, 27 de marzo de 2020)

Acuerdan desplazados mantenerse en plantón para evitar la entrada de la comunitaria a Chichihualco (El Sur de Acapulco, 26 de marzo de 2020)

Desplazados en Guerrero: “Aquí el virus que está matando a la gente es la violencia” (Proceso, 25 de marzo de 2020)

Irrumpen en Guerrero y sacan a pobladores Reforma, 25 de marzo de 2020.

Marchan el alcalde y vecinos en Chichihualco para pedir paz ante amenaza de la comunitaria de Tlacotepec (El Sur de Acapulco, 21 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Desplazados preocupados por interrupción de grupos armados en Chichihualco (March 20, 2020)

Guerrero: Desplazados de Leonardo Bravo y Zitlala aún sin seguridad, y ya tampoco con apoyo para su renta y alimentación (February 28, 2020)

Guerrero: Visita SIPAZ a desplazados de Leonardo Bravo y Zitlala (May 2, 2019)

National/Guerrero: Federal Judge Gives Prison Sentences to Three Accused of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case

March 30, 2020


On March 26th, three former security officials were sent to prison for their alleged participation in the torture of detainees in the investigation of the case of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School who disappeared in Iguala in 2014.

Different sources reported that the Special Investigation and Litigation Unit for the Ayotzinapa case obtained a formal prison order against the officials “Isidro Junco Barajas, who currently served as Deputy Director of Operational Control of the Security Directorate of the Chamber of Deputies (…) Ezequiel Peña Cerda, now area director at the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) and the marine Ariel Agustin Castillo Reyes.”

“According to judicial sources, Ezequiel Peña Cerda and Ariel Agustin Castillo Reyes, in addition to the crime of torture, were charged with the crime against the administration of justice and abuse of authority,” the media reported.

On March 17th, the three former officials were detained by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) for their involvement in the arrest of Carlos Canto, who was allegedly involved in the disappearance of the missing students, who was tortured to force his confession.

For more information in Spanish:

Juez dicta prisión a tres acusados de tortura en el caso Ayotzinapa (Política Expansión, 26 de marzo de 2020)

Dictan formal prisión por tortura a tres implicados en el caso Ayotzinapa (El Proceso, 26 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: First Legal Actions against Officials in Ayotzinapa Case Investigation (March 24, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Meeting on New Evidence in Ayotzinapa Case (March 9, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)

Chiapas: National Guard and Police Oppression of Migrants Protesting over COVID-19 Fears

March 30, 2020

gobierno-desvanece-la-promesa-de-migracin-ordenada-y-segura-organizaciones@Conexion Migrante

On March 23rd, between 50 and 70 migrants, mainly from Central American countries, clashed with Federal Police and National Guard agents inside the Siglo XXI Migration Center in Tapachula.

Given the worldwide spread of COVID-19, Guatemala closed its borders on March 17th and asked Mexico to end the deportations of Central American migrants. For this reason, many find themselves unable to return to their countries of origin or continue their journey through Mexico to the United States. They are trapped in Tapachula.

In addition to that, at least two shelters on the border between Guatemala and Mexico stopped their service due to the pandemic meaning that migrants who have not been detained by elements of the National Guard are in a high risk situation as they have no place of refuge.

Information on the events of last Monday at the immigration station was obtained through interviews with witnesses and victims.

They reported that there was a protest by a group of migrants in the courtyard of the men’s module at around 5 pm to express their fear in the context of COVID-19 and demand their release or return to their countries of origin. Previously, they had repeatedly denounced the conditions in the migration station, which has severe overcrowding, food and water shortages, and limited medical care.

In response to the protest, a brigade of Federal Police and some 20 National Guard agents entered, who dispersed the group using pepper spray and water jets. According to what was documented by the Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Collective, they dragged the protesters to the bathrooms, a place without surveillance cameras, to punish them with kicks and punches, as well as Taser devices for electric shocks.

They then led people by bus to an unknown location. “It is urgent to find out how many people were removed from the Migration Center, where they are and what the current physical and mental health situation is,” said Conexion Migrante.

In a statement, the Collective for Observation and Monitoring of Human Rights in Southeast Mexico and the Driving Group against Immigration Detention and Torture expressed that they condemn “energetically all acts of violence and the use of disproportionate force against people, men, women and adolescents in immigration detention.” They demand “that the facts be clarified, those responsible be punished and that the physical and mental integrity of all persons who are in immigration detention or other forms of deprivation of liberty be guaranteed.”

They also pointed out that according to Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment “the term ‘torture’ shall be understood as any act by which serious pain or suffering is intentionally inflicted on a person; whether physical or mental, in order to obtain information or a confession from her or from a third party.”

For its part, the National Institute of Migration (INM) published a statement stating that “it seeks to implement actions so that migrants of Central American origin, housed in migratory centers and provisional stays of the institute, can return safely to their places of origin.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado de las organizaciones de derechos de migrantes (25 de marzo de 2020)

Guardia Nacional reprime violentamente protesta de migrantes en Tapachula, Chiapas (Conexión Migrante el 25 de marzo de 2020)

Activistas mexicanos denuncian violencia contra inmigrantes que protestan por temor a coronavirus (Infobae el 26 de marzo de 2020)

Migrantes quedan atrapados en México por COVID-19 (Chiapasparalelo el 25 de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: Caravan of 4,000 Reaches Southern Border – Stopped by National Guard (January 21, 2020)

Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula (October 17, 2019)

Chiapas: African Migrants Clash with National Guard in Tapachula

(October 8, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula (September 2, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Human Rights Organizations Demand End to Child and Adolescent Migrant Detentions (May 26, 2019)

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

National: National Network of Farm Laborers (REJJA) Calls for More Information and Support about Risks of Coronavirus for Workers

March 26, 2020


On March 18th, the National Network of Farm Laborers (REJJA), which represents workers in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, Mexico City, Sinaloa, and Sonora, called authorities to disseminate reliable information to farm laborers about the risk of contagion of coronavirus and the precautions they may take.

They stressed that if the authorities and employers do not take measures to protect the day laborers, the situation could escalate to a public health crisis quickly, since there are nine million people with this type of employment.

Farm laborers in Mexico are a group that has historically seen their labor rights systematically violated, a vulnerability that has become the norm.

The statement calls on the authorities of the three levels of government and employers who employ farm laborers to take the following five steps:

  1. Take the necessary measures to protect the health of the farm laborer population, including the design and implementation of an emergent comprehensive plan or protocol of health care for agricultural workers in contexts of mobility and outside of it in the face of a health emergency context due to Coronavirus (Covid-19).
  2. Provide guarantees of information, prevention and health protection for migrant, local and settled farm laborers through health brigades to homes or agricultural fields with an intercultural perspective.
  3. That the municipal authorities of the states of attraction, reception and settlement of the farm laborer population implement informative, preventive and monitoring actions to the state of health of the farm laborer population.
  4. That the municipal authorities of the states of attraction, reception and settlement of the farm laborer population guarantee sanitation conditions in the shelters and in the work spaces, providing running water and soap for hand hygiene and in general.
  5. That the municipal authorities of the states of attraction, reception and settlement of the farm laborer population generate mechanisms to verify the sanitary and health conditions of hostels, school classrooms and children’s centers for the farm laborer population and their families, with the purpose of guaranteeing compliance with the minimum standards that the federal government is mandating.

For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento: Un llamado emergente en atender la vulnerabilidad de la población jornalera en México ante el Coronavirus Red Nacional de Jornaleros y Jornaleras (REJJA), 18 de marzo de 2020.

Ante coronavirus COVID-19 Red Nacional de Jornaleros y Jornaleras llaman a atender a esta población Somos el Medio, 20 de marzo de 2020.


For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: Forum regarding discussion of human rights of agricultural day laborers within the Senate (July 19, 2013)

Guerrero: la larga marcha de los jornaleros 3 de noviembre de 2007

Chiapas: IEPC Approves Regulations to Deal with Indigenous Consultations in Electoral Matters

March 25, 2020

unnamedPhoto @ Bajo Palabra

On March 20th, the General Council of the Institute of Elections and Citizen Participation (IEPC) of Chiapas announced that they approved the regulation to meet requests that are submitted to their institution that are submitted to their institution for indigenous consultations on electoral matters.

They reported that the regulation establishes the requirements that the citizens interested in requesting a consultation must determine to determine the origin of the change in the electoral system, which may be political parties or internal regulatory systems. “In order to guarantee that the request for consultation has the support of a significant part of the citizens of the municipality, the request must be endorsed by at least 25 percent of the communities that make up the municipality and that, in turn, represent the same percentage of the citizenship registered in the nominal list of the municipal district.”

They consider that the “regulatory attribution guarantees the right to consultation and self-determination of indigenous peoples and communities (…) complies with the principles established in Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries: endogenous, free, peaceful, informed, democratic, equitable, socially responsible, self-managed and prior.”

They highlighted that “among the actions carried out to comply with the aforementioned principles, consultation forums were held in the municipalities of Ocosingo and San Cristobal de Las Casas, on November 28th and December 5th, 2019, in which the the opinion of authorities and citizens of indigenous peoples and communities was recorded, to include it in the construction of the regulation.”

For more information in Spanish:



For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Gobiernos Comunitarios de Chilón y Sitalá denuncian obstaculización de su derecho a la libre determinación (21 de noviembre de 2019)

Chiapas: Creciente polarización en Chilón ante posible cambio de modo de elección, del sistema oficial al por usos y costumbres (15 de agosto de 2019

Chiapas: Inicia INAH estudio cultural en Sitalá y Chilón para determinar posibilidad de pasar a elecciones municipales por la vía de los usos y costumbres (11 de mayo de 2019)

International/National: USA Closes Southern Border to Asylum Seekers Due to Coronavirus

March 25, 2020

merlin_147497259_5b459f8d-d2a3-4a2b-aa17-6c8d62a74ef4-superJumbo (1)@New York Times

On March 24th, the United States government closed access to any asylum application on its border with Mexico. According to the New York Times, analysts say this is the first time since the current asylum system began that the United States has closed the asylum program on its border.

The US government has also postponed appointments for asylum seekers, who are thousands waiting in Mexico, some for months. In addition, the government has announced that all foreigners found crossing the Mexican border without documents will be returned to Mexico.

One justification given for returning everyone to Mexico is that there are many people in detention centers in the United States, and that if someone with coronavirus enters, it could quickly spread inside. On the Mexican side of the border, there is also a coronavirus-related health risk for migrants.

In Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, where there are more than 1,300 migrants from various countries in shelters, there is concern regarding coronavirus for migrants who are waiting there, not only because they are a transitional group by definition, but also because they have underlying health issues, and because there is a lack of personal space, basic cleaning supplies and personal care.

Critics of the Trump government accuse him of taking advantage of the cornavirus pandemic to intensify his anti-immigration policies, while the people of the country are preoccupied with their own economic and health concerns.

For more information in Spanish:

El cierre de la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México frustra la esperanza de los solicitantes de asilo New York Times, 23 de marzo de 2020.

Migrantes, desamparados frente al coronavirus Educa, 23 de marzo de 2020.

EEUU pospone todas las audiencias de solicitantes de asilo devueltos a México debido al coronavirus Univision, 24 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Mexico and US Reevaluate Migration Agreement after Three Months; Disagreement over Desired Outcomes (September 23, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Acuerdo sobre migración entre EUA y México cancela imposición de aranceles al segundo (June 8,2019).

Mexico – National/International: Latest Amnesty International Report on the Deadly Return of Central American Asylum Seekers from Mexico (February 15, 2018)