Oaxaca: The Supreme Court of Justice widens its investigation into the 2006 conflict

November 27, 2007

The National Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) decided to extend its mandate to investigate the possible serious violation of the individual guarantees during the troubles in Oaxaca related to the Guelaguetza celebration in July this year. The period under investigation had previously been restricted to May 2006 to January 2007. The dead-line for the designated commissioners to present their reports was also extended until August 2008.

An investigation of the possible human rights violations during the past months, such as the arbitrary detentions by state agents during the demonstration? on November 2 at the Crucero de Cinco Señores, will however not be incorporated to the SCJN mandate (see previous article in the blog).

In June 2007 the National Supreme Court of Justice (SJCN) decided to initiate an investigation of the happenings in Oaxaca in exercise of its constitutional power order to carry out non-legal ad hoc investigations regarding the grave violations of the individual guarantees. In August the SCJN approved the General Accord 16/2007 which outlines the rules by which the investigating commissions of possible violations of the individual guarantees will have to obey.

After having finished its investigations, the commissioners will deliver a report to the Court which will determine whether there were grave violations of the guarantees and who was responsible. The Minister’s final verdict will nevertheless not have any legal implications nor will it generate any obligations for other authorities.

More information about the SCJN decision in Spanish:

The Court widens the investigation about the conflict in 2006, in Spanish:

Amplia Corte investigación del conflicto en el 2006 (Noticias, 27/11/2007)

More information about the happenings on July 16-17 in Spanish:

Oaxaca, a conflict still open: update. Report on the SIPAZ visit in Oaxaca, August 3-12, 2007 (SIPAZ, October 2007)


Oaxaca: A march not to not forget the police violence of November 25, 2006

November 25, 2007

[Photo: Oaxaca en Pie de Lucha]

Thousands of people, APPO sympathisers and teachers from Section 22 participated in a manifestation today to commemorate November 25 of last year when violent clashes were held between state security forces together with Federal Preventive Forces (PFP) and several demonstrators which led to 149 persons being detained and serious damage to public buildings.

The intervention of more than 4,500 PFP elements had been authorized by the federal government after the violent clashes on November 26, 2006 when American journalist Brad Will was killed (see previous article on this blog). This particular intervention led to numerous detentions and general denouncements for abuse.

With regard to the the people detained on November 25, according to the LIMEDDH, about 54 of them accepted to file an amparo suit (constitutional guarantee for protection of rights) which resulted in the declaration of illegality of their detention.

More information about the happenings on November 24, 2006 in Spanish:

Mexico, Oaxaca: Clamour for Justice, in English: (AI Index: AMR 41/031/2007) http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGAMR410312007

Urgent Actions, Amnesty International, in Spanish: Acción Urgente, Amnistía Internacional (AI: AMR 41/059/2006, 12/12/2006)

Urgent Campaign, OMCT, in English: (MEX 011206 / MEX 011206.VAW, 01/12/2006)

Chiapas: Viejo Velasco, a year after the unjust detention of Diego Arcos Meneses

November 24, 2007

[Source: Enrique Romero, Noticias Palenque]

Diego Arco Meneses, Chol, catequista, and a community leader from Nuevo Tila, municipality of Ocosingo, was arrested on November 14, 2006 a day after an armed attack against the community of Viejo Velasco when four people were killed and four were disappeared.

Regardless of serious faults in the case presented against him by the district attorney, a local judge dictated a court order on formal imprisonment against Diego Arcos in February 2007 even though the defense presented witnesses that were able to corroborate that he was working with them the day of the massacre.

In August he won an appeal where it was confirmed that there did not exist any evidence against him. Nevertheless, Diego Arcos continues imprisoned waiting for the results of the juducial process.

More information in Spanish:

Mexico, one year of injustice for Diego Arcos Meneses, in Spanish: México, un año de injusticia para Diego Arcos Meneses (Índice AI: AMR 41/061/2007)

Amnesty Internation Public Declaration: One year of injustice for Diego Arcos, in Spanish: Declaración pública de Amnistía Internacional México: Un año de injusticia para Diego Arcos (Índice de AI: AMR 41/064/2007)

The Montes Azules Civil Observation Commission’s Pronouncement: Impunity one year after the Viejo velsaco massacre, in Spanish: Pronunciamiento de la Comisión Civil de Observación Montes Azules: Impunidad a un año de la masacre de Viejo Velasco

Chiapas: “Acteal against impunity 10 and 15”

November 22, 2007

Commemoration for the Acteal-massacre, Chiapas, December 22, 2005 [Source: Enrique Carrasco S.J.]

During the last couple of months a campaign commemorating the 10 years of impunity after the massacre in Acteal and the 15 years of resistence of the Civil Organization ”Las Abejas” has been carried out. On December 22, 1997, 45 persons of the tzotzil ethnia belonging to civil organization “Las Abejas” were assassinated while praying for peace in a church in the community of Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó. Community work-shops have been organized in various villages in order to approach the following topics: Inner Peace; Women Participation; Prevention and Solution of conflicts; Social Harmony; Strengthening Culture and Social Transformation. These work-shops will run until mid December.

The second axis of the campaign has as its aim “to give more strength to the communication intercourse with different national and international organizations in order to strength the voice against impunity and put pressure on the authorities to apply justice, guarantee the non-repetition of the happenings and the respect of human rights”. Several encounters, forums and meetings with Human Rights network, universities and social organizations will be carried out. The finale of the campaign will take place on December 21 and 22 with the National Encounter of Social and Popular Organizations “Against the Impunity, in favor of Justice and Peace” in Acteal.

The encounter will deal with the following topics: analysis of the national reality; strategies of resistance against impunity; analysis of the Mexican justice system; the search for forms of guaranteeing access to justice for marginalized peoples and organizations; justice for the assassination of women and the stregthening of the autonomy of peoples and the defense of their territories. Each month a mass is organized ion Acteal commemorating the massacre in 1997.

On November 22 this year, SIPAZ assisted the event. [PHOTOS]

More information in Spanish and English: Bulletin, negating justice, the Acteal case, in Spanish: Boletín: Denegación a la justicia, Caso Acteal (CDH FrayBa, 14/11/2007)

More information in Spanish and English:

Bulletin, denying justice, the Acteal case, in Spanish: Boletín: Denegación a la justicia, Caso Acteal (CDH FrayBa, 14/11/2007)

Other materials about Las Abejas and Acteal on this blog

Chiapas: The Citizens’Front for Justice and Democracy march against the re-election of Mariano Díaz Ochoa as mayor of San Cristóbal de las Casas

November 22, 2007

On November 20 the Citizens’ Front for Justice and Democracy (FCJD) organized a march against the re-election of  Mariano Díaz Ochoa (PRI) as the municipal president of San Cristóbal which accordingto the Front was the outcome of electoral fraud. The elections for 118 municipal presidents and 40 local officials?were held in Chiapas on October 7 of this year.

SIPAZ monitored the march  [VIDEO in Spanish]

Guerrero: 12th anniversary of the Communitarian Police

November 21, 2007

On November 16, 17 and 18 the Communitarian Police celebrated their 12th anniversary in Zitlaltepec, municipality of Metlatónoc (the mountain area in Guerrero). The System of Communitarian Security and Justice extends across an area which includes 53 communities in the Coastal and Mountain area and operates from three headquarters.

 It is estimated that  crimes such as assaults, burglaries, homicides and sexual violations against women have decreased by 90% in the region as a result of the system. According to the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Centre, the failure to address these crimes before the creation of this system in 1995 had generated a climate of injustice and impunity for the indigenous peoples and farmers of the region.

By returning to their traditional forms of conflict resolution, these peoples found not only an efficient means of combating violence but also a way of recovering their own identity.

Nevertheless, since its foundation the System of Communitarian Security and Justice has been persecuted, undermined and criminalized by the Guerrero government. Almost 20 arrest warrants  have been issued against the leaders of the Regional Coordinator of Communitarian Authorities (CRAC) and against the founders of the Communitarian Police,  and investigations have been launched  against several communitarian policemen.

More information in Spanish:

At the 12th anniversary of the Communitarian Police, they  demand unconditional respect for the Communitarian Justice system: En 12 aniversario de la Policía Comunitaria, piden respecto irrestricto a sistema de Justicia Comunitaria (CDHM Tlachinollan, 19/11/2007)

Chiapas: The Caravan of the Other Campaign ends its visit to the Zapatista communities

November 21, 2007

The Caravan of the Other Campaign for the Defense of Human and Collective Rights of the Zapatista Peoples, carried out between 17-20 November 2007, ended its visit to the Zapatista communities. The Caravan, which was  the outcome of  the Second National Forum in Solidarity with the Zapatista Communities in Jojutla, Morelos on October 27 this year, divided itself into four workingbrigades in the Highland, Northern and Jungle zones.

SIPAZ  attended the press conference that was held yesterday, November 20, 2007, in TierrAdentro (SCLC).

Audio recordings from the press conference:

Reading of the press-bulletin,  in Spanish:

Conclusions by Ernesto Ledesma, coordinator of CAPISE