Chiapas: Press Conference – Crises of Health and Violence against Women

May 25, 2017

Women.pngPress conference – Crises of healthe and violence against women (Photo: @Sipaz)

On May 23rd, a press conference was convened by the People’s Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas, in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

Members of the convening group explained that they were present at the third regular meeting of the Inter-institutional and Multidisciplinary Group (GIM in its Spanish acronym), held in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez on May 18th and 19th, to follow up the Declaration of an Alert on Gender Violence (AVG in its Spanish acronym) against women in the state. They explained that three working groups were held: one to coordinate and implement the AVG in localities declared on alert (some of the municipal mayors were present); a health group with officials of the state health secretariat and a justice group where representatives of district attorneys and specialists for the state of Chiapas were present. The meetings were coordinated by Maria de los Angeles Aguilar on behalf of the National Commission for the Prevention and Eradication of Violence against Women (CONAVIM in its Spanish acronym) and on behalf of the Chiapas government, Pedro Villafuerte, Undersecretary of Political Operation of the General Secretariat of Government, was present.

The campaign noted “some urgent comments to address as the increase in violence against women and femicide in different regions of the state continues to indicate the lack of capacity of institutions in the state to react and address the urgent measure of the Alert.” It denounced the “inability of state government institutions to address the AVG”, the “absence of progress and setbacks in AVG implementation”, the “lack of accountability and transparency”, and the “lack of political will and absence of governability.”

Maria de Jesus Espinosa de los Santos, spokeswoman for the protest movement of the Rafael Pascacio Gamboa Women’s Hospital in Tuxtla Gutierrez was present at the same press conference. She noted the seriousness of the “health crisis in the state” and called on society to stand in solidarity with the nurses who were on hunger strike as of May 23rd.

Women2.pngMaria de Jesus Espinosa de los Santos: spokesperson for the protest movement at the Women’s Hospital (Photo: @Sipaz)

At the end of the conference they called for a mobilization in Tuxtla Gutierrez on May 26th “to demand that the state government comply with the obligation to guarantee the right to health and life, given the imminent health risk at the beginning of the season of heat and rain, such omission may lead to a significant increase in infant, maternal and deaths in the general population.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Incumple gobierno de Chiapas Declaratoria de Alerta de Violencia de Género (Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas, a 23 de mayo de 2017)

Convocatoria a Marcha Estatal por el Derecho a la Salud en Chiapas (Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas, a 10 de mayo de 2017)

Garantizar la vida de las mujeres (Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres cuestiona falta de avances de Alerta de Violencia de Género

Chiapas : Enfermeras retoman huelga de hambre y denuncian incumplimiento de acuerdos por parte del gobierno del estado

Chiapas : Enfermeras levantan huelga de hambre tras llegar a acuerdos

Chiapas : Siguen en huelga de hambre ocho enfermeras en Tuxtla Gutiérrez

Chiapas: Leader of CIAOC-H Executed in Comitan de Dominguez

May 25, 2017

CIOAC-H.pngLuis Hernandez Cruz, ex-federal deputy for the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) (Photo@Alfaro Noticias)

On May 4th, 2017, one of the leaders of the Historical Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H in its Spanish acronym) was assassinated in Chiapas. His name was Luis Hernandez Cruz, who was a federal deputy for the PRD.

The campesino leader was executed by gunmen in a van in front of his home in the Magueyes neighborhood of the city of Comitan de Dominguez.

CIOAC-H, an organization to which Luis Hernandez Cruz belonged, is linked to different conflicts in the area, including clashes with the EZLN and the assassination of Jose Luis Solis Lopez (the Zapatista Galeano), in May 2014. “In particular, Luis Hernandez had had political differences with other campesino groups who singled him out for financing armed groups to dispute land in the Las Margaritas region,” Proceso highlighted.

The investigation continues.

For more information in Spanish:

Ejecutan a exdiputado federal del PRD en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Matan a ex diputado del PRD en Chiapas; investiga Fiscalía (El Universal, 5 de mayo de 2017)

Asesinan a dirigente de la Cioac Comitán en Chiapas (La Jordana, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Asesinan a líder de la CIOAC a balazos (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Ejecutan a ex diputado del PRD en Chiapas (El Milenio, 4 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “Grupo armado de la CIOAC-Histórica atacó” a comunidad en el municipio de Las Margaritas (26 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Desplazados del Poblado Primero de Agosto denunciaron escalamiento de hostigamiento, amenazas de muerte y desalojo (7 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncian hostigamiento militar a la JBG zapatista de La Realidad (13 de marzo de 2015)

Chiapas: Agresión contra Bases de Apoyo del EZLN deja un muerto y 15 heridos zapatistas (6 de mayo de 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration in Defense of Mother Earth in San Cristobal de Las Casas

May 24, 2017

San Cris.png

Photo@ Cuarto Poder

On May 20th, Ecclesial Base Communities (CEB in its Spanish acronym), in coordination with the pastoral ministry of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas and various organizations of the city, made a pilgrimage, for the care of Life and Mother Earth in the Jovel Valley.

They walked from the La Kisst wetland to Cuxtitali square, stood in front of Na Bolom and Pronatura, to exhort them to work for the good of Mother Earth and “called on them not to deviate from their goals and their ideals.”

They also expressed concern about the health situation in Chiapas and expressed their solidarity with the nurses on hunger strike.

 For more information in Spanish:

Realizan celebración por la Madre Tierra, Cuarto Poder, 22 de mayo de 2017

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos humanos al agua y el saneamiento concluyó visita a México, (16/04/2017)

Chiapas : llevan a cabo II Foro en defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio, (17/04/2017)

Chiapas : Peregrinación de unos 400 católicos en defensa de los pueblos, la Madre Tierra y por la liberación de presos, (06/09/20

National/Guerrero: Attacks and Murders of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders Continue

May 21, 2017

Journalists.pngPhoto @ InfoLibre

In the month of May, just as in April, several journalists and human rights defenders were victims of attacks and murders for their activities.

On May 10th, Mothers’ Day, Miriam Elizabeth Rodriguez Martinez, was gunned down by gunmen at her home. After the kidnapping of her daughter, she had founded a group to search for missing persons in Tamaulipas.

On May 13th, seven journalists were ambushed by a group of about 100 armed men. They covered the operation that federal and state authorities initiated in San Miguel Totolapan, in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero. They were stripped of their work equipment, cell phones and one of their units by the gunmen, who according to La Jornada, beat them and warned that if they did not hand over their belongings they would burn them with along with everything and their vehicles.

On May 15th, journalist Javier Valdez, a correspondent for La Jornada, was murdered in the capital of Sinaloa. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Edison Lanza, demanded concrete results from the Special Prosecutor’s Office Of Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE in its Spanish acronym) on the investigations into the murder of Javier Valdez.

In his preliminary report, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Defenders and Journalists said that Mexico has become one of the most dangerous countries to practice journalism.

For more information in Spanish:

ONU y CIDH urgen a México frenar ataques a periodistas (Milenio, 18 de mayo de 2017)

La violencia que no cesa, la protección que no alcanza(La Jornada, 16 de mayo 2017)

Grupo armado ataca a siete periodistas en Guerrero (La Jornada, 13 de mayo 2017)

Autoridades dejaron a su suerte a activista ejecutada en Tamaulipas (La Jornada, 12 de mayo 2017)

Hombres armados atacan a periodistas y les quitan su equipo de trabajo en Guerrero (Animal politico, 14 de mayo 2017)

Carta urgente para la protección de los periodistas en Guerrero (Centro de derechos humanos de la montaña Tlachinollan,18 de mayo 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero : asesinan al periodista Cecilio Pineda (6 de marzo de 2017)

Guerrero: Asesinaron a periodista en Taxco (26 de abril de 2016)


National: UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Concludes Visit to Mexico

May 21, 2017

Water.pngChildren transporting water in an indigenous community in Oaxaca. Photo: @Jose Luis de la Cruz

From May 2nd to 12th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, Leo Heller, visited Mexico.

Various social organizations exposed inequality in access to water, as they said in a statement: “Notably, these policies have promoted their monopoly, privatization and unsustainable management, including the overexploitation and contamination of water resources on which rural and urban communities depend to live with dignity, leading to multiple and repeated violations of human rights to drinking water and sanitation and other related human rights such as health, by the actions and omissions of both public and private players.”

One of the places visited by the Rapporteur is Chiapas, where he held meetings with state officials, as well as with activists and non-governmental organizations who denounced that FEMSA’s Coca-Cola bottling plant “is obliterating large amounts of water from the inhabitants of San Cristobal de Las Casas, in Chiapas, and the amount left available for the inhabitants has no quality, Dr. Marcos Arana Cedeño, director of the Ombudsman’s Office for the Right to Health in the state claimed. (…) The last problem noted, he stressed, is of particular concern and claimed that the Coca-Cola plant extracts 6,112 cubic meters of water every day; that is to say, 16 million liters of the vital liquid in the municipality, a sufficient quantity to supply 200,000 inhabitants with 80 liters per person daily during a year.”

The Rapporteur publicly presented his preliminary impressions and conclusions on May 12th. He said that in Chiapas he observed indigenous women collecting water “from sources clearly hazardous to their health.” He said: “Indigenous people I spoke to denounced the lack of services and pollution of the water sources on which they depend due to the largely unregulated activities of mining, industry and hydrocarbon extraction companies. Therefore, I call on the Mexican government to urgently expand and improve access to water and sanitation, because despite advances in this area, there is no real provision of such services in homes and in the most marginalized communities, such that it is necessary to give the highest priority to this strategic sector and to guarantee the necessary resources to expand and improve the service for all, including numerous communities in a situation of abandonment. “

The rapporteur was struck by the situation in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where untreated sewage flows into the irrigation canals that supply water to vegetable and fruit crops, which are sold in the city’s markets. “It is really shocking. I went to visit the final discharges of the sewage and is very worrisome, (…) the population consumes the pollutants that the city has generated,” he protested.

Even so, the Mexican government boasts that infrastructure provides access to water and sanitation to more than 90% of the population.

In September, the Rapporteur will submit the complete Mission report with recommendations for the Mexican State to the United Nations Human Rights Council .

For more information in Spanish:

En Chiapas, se violenta el Derecho Humano al Agua Potable y al Saneamiento (OSC, 15 de mayo de 2017)

El agua en México, un “problema crónico”: relator de la ONU (Proceso, a 12 de mayo de 2017)

Comunidades indígenas, víctimas del insuficiente sistema nacional de agua: ONU (Desinformemonos, a 12 de mayo de 2017)

Relator de la ONU para el Derecho al Agua inicia visita en Chiapas (Proceso, a 10 de mayo de 2017)

Evaluarán acceso al agua y saneamiento en México (Centro de Información de las Naciones Unidas, a 26 de abril de 2017)

El acceso a servicios de agua y saneamiento asequibles (Leo Heller, marzo de 2017)

Coca-Cola se bebe el agua de 200 mil habitantes de San Cristóbal de las Casas, acusa especialista (SinEmbargo, a 6 de mayo de 2017)

Las etnias de Chiapas casi sin agua pero ahogadas en Coca-Cola (Proceso, a 5 de febrero de 2016)

“El ataque que ahora nos hace el mal gobierno es el corte de agua y luz eléctrica que hicieron a nuestros compañeros”: Las Abejas de Acteal (Centroprodh, a 10 de mayo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Foro “Servicios de Agua en Tuxtla Gutiérrez” denuncia el “deficiente servicio que se brinda por parte del SMAPA”

Chiapas: Ciudadanxs de Tuxtla Gutiérrez están preocupados por el tema del agua potable

Chiapas: Zinacantán contra la privatización de su agua y el despojo de su manantial

Nacional: Relator Especial de la ONU visita a México para evaluar la situación de Derechos Humanos

Nacional: Visita no oficial del relator especial de la ONU sobre la Situación de las y los defensores de Derechos Humanos

Oaxaca: Civil Society Organizations Denounce Safety Levels in State

May 17, 2017


In a statement issued on May 9th, more than 50 civil society organizations (CSOs) strongly urged the federal and state governments of Enrique Peña Nieto and Alejandro Murat Hinojosa to act against increased insecurity in the state : “We note with concern this situation of insecurity that according to the National Survey of Urban Public Security conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, notes that the percentage of people over the age of 18 that considers living in Oaxaca to be dangerous rose from 68.6 in March to 82.6 in December last year. The same survey indicates that 85% of Oaxacans think that the government was inefficient in dealing with problems of crime such as robbery, extortion, kidnapping, fraud, among other issues.”

They also pointed out that the official figures do not reflect the extent of the problem, since “most citizens do not report incidents of insecurity, according to a research study of the Center for Social Studies and Public Opinion (CESOP in its Spanish acronym) of the Chamber of Deputies. In 2015, the “black figures” of unreported crimes increased by 94.8% as they consider going to report it as a waste of time and they distrust authority.”

Furthermore, they indicated that “According to the National Citizen’s Observatory earlier this year it was reflected that in Oaxaca the crimes that registered increases were kidnapping, robbery with violence, vehicle theft, business theft and robbery. This reality sharpens the social and structural problems of the population through having economic and material losses, stops investment in the state and increases the closure of businesses that brings as a consequence job losses. Unfortunately, these events have become normal in Oaxacan society, a context that highlights the vulnerability in which we find ourselves, without the presence of a clear integral strategy from the different levels of government to improve the conditions of life of the population.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Urgente Mejorar las Condiciones de Seguridad que vivimos en el Estado de Oaxaca (OSC, 9 de mayo de 2017)

OSC de Oaxaca llaman a Peña y a Murat a garantizar seguridad ante alza de delitos (Proceso, 9 de mayo de 2017)

Violencia, un monstruo que crece en Oaxaca: ONG (NVI Noticias, 5 de mayo de 2017)

Con 211 homicidios dolosos, Oaxaca registra el primer trimestre más violento en siete años (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Registra Oaxaca 500 mujeres asesinadas durante el sexenio de Gabino Cué Monteagudo (12 de septiembre de 2016)

Oaxaca: Aumentan homicidios en Oaxaca (22 de abril de 2016)

National/International: Mexico Second Most Violent Country World (IISS)

May 16, 2017

Death toll.png

On May 9th, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) published the results of its 2017 Armed Conflict Study, which places Mexico as the second country with the highest number of deaths (23,000 counted in 2016) after Syria (50,000), and before Afghanistan (17,000) and Iraq (16,000). Mexico is the only country in America in the top ten.

The IISS claims that the levels violence coming from the fight against organized crime in Mexico reached those of a country in open war. “It is very unusual for criminal violence to reach a level similar to an armed conflict. But it happened in the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) and especially in Mexico”, the IISS warned.

 The Mexican Interior Ministry (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym) and Ministry for Foreign Affairs (SRE in its Spanish acronym) criticized the report questioning both the figures that it uses for being “unlikely” and “lacking technical rigor”; such as the fact that “Organized crime violence is a regional phenomenon that goes beyond the borders that Mexico shares with the United States, Guatemala and Belize, among many other countries. The challenges Mexico faces in this area cannot be isolated from related phenomena in other jurisdictions, such as arms trafficking and drug demand. The fight against transnational organized crime must be analyzed in an integral way.”

For more information in Spanish:

México es el segundo país del mundo con más muertos por “guerra”, según estudio (SDP Noticias, 9 de mayo de 2017)

México alcanzó los niveles de violencia de un país en guerra abierta: IISS (Proceso, 9 de mayo de 2017)

México, el segundo país más violento del mundo: IISS (La Jornada, 9 de mayo de 2017)

La SRE y Segob niegan que haya un conflicto armado en México; Trump retuitea encuesta inglesa (Sin Embargo, 10 de mayo de 2017)

Reporte del IISS sobre la violencia en México “carece de rigor técnico”: Segob y SRE (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : Pobres resultados diez años después de iniciar la guerra contra el crimen organizado ; El Ejército seguirá en las calles, EPN (16 de diciembre de 2016)