Chiapas: Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center denounces harassment

June 18, 2009

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights (CDHFBC) center has been added to the list of the many state and national organizations denouncing the criminalization of social movements and social action by the Mexican government. On June 16th, CDHFBC release a communiqué denouncing the continuing harassment of Center employees. On June 14th and 15th, a car without plates carrying two people was seen outside the home of the Center’s director, Diego Cardenas Gordillo, and again a street away from the Center’s office. At this latter sighting, the Director approached the car (which he identified as the one he had seen outside his house the day before) and asked: “Why are you following me?”. The passenger of in the car responded: “I am not following you, I am waiting for my sister.” Diego then asked: “Are you from the CISEN [Center for Investigation and National Security]?” to which the passenger laughed and said “no.” Diego Cadenas and another employee of CDHFBC “tried to take pictures with their cell phones of the three men in the car who then covered their faces with their hats while the driver took out his camera and started taking pictures as well.”

This harassment takes place directly after CDHFBC received the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Award in Spain and during the meeting of the Directive Council of the same. We remind our readers that harassment of human rights workers is a grave violation of human rights and that several international organizations are following these violations. For many years, Mexico has received observation commissions to document the political climate, the criminalization of social protest, the state of human rights, and the culture of peace that should flower in a nation that truly respects its national and international responsibilities.

For more information, please visit:

Vigilancia a integrantes del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (16/06/2009)

Chiapas: Denuncian hostigamiento contra director del Centro Fray Bartolomé, La Jornada (17/06/2009)


Oaxaca: Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala attacked

June 18, 2009


In a June 15th communiqué the authorities from the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copola in the lower Triqui region in the state of Oaxaca denounced an attack by paramilitaries that left a 13-year-old boy dead and his 16 year-old sister gravely injured. The attack occurred June 13th in the afternoon when “paramilitary groups” opened fire using high-caliber guns in the center of the municipality. The attack lasted two hours.

This is the first attack the autonomous municipality has experienced since the communities in the Triqui region decided to create the municipality three years ago. Authorities in the autonomous municipality suspect that this attack “was supported” by the state and municipal government. In their communiqué the authorities signaled that for days before the attack there had been intents to “provoke and divide the region because the people living in the municipality did not allow voting booths to be installed in their territory.” The communiqué further explained that at the time of the attack, some of the members of the municipality were accompanying “the family members of the ‘Loxicha brothers’ in their march to Mexico City.” The communal police is currently searching for those responsible for the attack in order to bring them to justice.

For more information, please visit:

Atacan alcaldía en Oaxaca; un muerto, La Jornada (16/06/2009)

Comunicado del Municipio Autónomo  de San Juan Copala, CENCOS (16/06/2009)

Oaxaca: MOCRI-CNPA-MN caravan attacked on its way to Mexico City

June 16, 2009

On June 5th, the caravan of the Regional Independent Campesino Movement—National Coordinator of the Plan of Ayala—National Movement (MOCRI-CNPA-MN) was attacked by men with firearms as they reached the state of Oaxaca. Three members of the caravan were injured by shots that were fired by the Municipal Police in Tuxtepec.

The caravan to Mexico City started on June 1st from various points in Chiapas to demand the release of 14 members of their organization who are currently imprisoned in Amate and Copainalá  (both of which are in Chiapas), and to call attention to the repression that MOCRI-CNPA-MN has received at the hands of government of Chiapas. When they arrived in Oaxaca, they began to march through Tuxtepec but were attacked soon after the march started by the Municipal Police and people dressed in civilian clothes. During the confrontation, Cristóbal Méndez López, Remigio Jiménez Morales, and Enrique López Hernández, all from different communities in Chiapas, were wounded. They were taken to “Dr. Victor Manuel Pitalua González” hospital in Cosamaloapan, Veracruz. The caravan has decided to withdraw from Oaxaca and continue their journey to the capital.

For more information, please visit:

Denuncia del MOCRI-CNPA-MN

Nota informativa del Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas”

La Jornada: Policías de Tuxtepec balean a campesinos del Mocri que marchaban al DF; 3 heridos

La Jornada: Integrantes del Mocri acusan a alcalde de Tuxtepec de instrumentar agresión armada

Página web del MOCRI-CNPA-MN


Chiapas: Forum on graffiti: Youth and the re-signification of public space

June 16, 2009


On March 30th 2009, the town council of San Cristóbal de Las Casas established new anti-graffiti measures: a 20,000 peso fine for being caught in the act, a 5,000 peso reward for people who turn in graffiti artists, and the prohibition of sales of aerosol to minors. In response to these repressive measures, the Initiative for Identity and Inclusion, A.C. and Melel-Xojobal A.C. convened a forum on Friday June 5th to not only talk about graffiti but also about the rights of youths and the ways in which these are being limited by the interest San Cristóbal has in satisfying the tourism sector.

The tragic death of Victor Penagos Estrada, a sixteen-year old who was killed on May 27th by a hotel guard who saw him painting graffiti on the hotel wall pulled people to this event: over 150 people came to the event to share there thoughts and outrage.

The “graffiti writers” (as they call themselves) presented themselves as a cultural, political, and artistic movement that offers an alternative form of expression to that of an “intolerant society, authoritarian, and exclusive”. The speakers talked about the history of the movement, re-appropriation of public space in the face of the “esthetic of power” and the hegemony of money; its festivals, and its objective to generate thought vis-à-vis questions painted on walls in the city.  The subversive character of these practices was debated along with legal and illegal graffiti. Moreover, the speakers reflected on the counter-productive effect that is produce when the authorities designate space for their art in order to better control them. This the graffiti artists called “the hypocrisy of authority”.

The forum was quite interactive and the voices of many young people were heard. Some spoke on the ineffectiveness of Council’s measures: “I am not afraid of a 20,000 peso fine!” Others expressed their indignation at the death of their peer: “Does a wall count more than a life?”, and a deep sense of exclusion: “What do we have to do to not be repressed? Watch t.v. 8 hours a day? Vote for the PAN?” Many of the youth who spoke had prepared notes and demonstrated a political astuteness that goes against the often maligned image of youth as vagabonds passing the time by making trouble: “Young people who think are a threat a system like the one in which we live.” Other concerned citizens and parents of youths also spoke out: “I stand with these young people who want to express themselves. I also stand with those who will criticize me for this because I know I will learn a lot from them.  I have learned a lot from my son.”

For more information, please visit:

Pronunciamiento del foro

Artículo: “Asesinan a joven escritor de graffiti en San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.” Blog de Michael W. Chamberlin de INICIA

Artículo: “Sobre la muerte de un Graffitero” y comentarios. La neta Chiapas

Oaxaca: People march for the “liberation of the 12 political prisoners in Loxicha”

June 16, 2009

The “Liberation of the 12 political prisoners of Loxicha” march began on June 8th with family and friends of the prisoners directing towards Mexico City to demand the release of the “12 prisoners unjustly held without charges or evidence of their supposed involvement with the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR).” The march, which began in Loxicha, Oaxaca, is made up of the family and friends of the 12 prisoners which are being accompanied by organizations that adhere to the Other Campaign and other organizations, collectives, and groups that stand in solidarity with their cause. During their march they will pass through the cities of Miahuatlán, Ocotlán, residential developments outside of Oaxaca, Nochixtlán Tlaxiaco, Hujauapán de Leon, Izucar de Matamoros, Puebla, and Mexico City.

It has been twelve years sine the indigenous Zapotecs from San Agustín Loxicha were jailed and accused of being part of the EPR along with other federal offenses such as terrorism, sabotage, conspiring, and murder—trumped up charges according to many people. All were sentenced to between 13 and 32 years in prison. Along with “the misery they feel for being officially abandoned to the system, the prisoners also experience repression from the authorities in the form of arbitrary detention” according to the communiqué issued by the National Center for Social Communication (CENCOS). Because of the supposed presence of the EPR in the region, more than 130 villagers have been detained and about 200 remain in hiding due to arrest warrants that have been issued for them. Many families chose to migrate “due to the fear of being arbitrarily detained” according to this same communiqué.

The twelve “prisoners of conscience from Loxicha, Oaxaca” are:

Álvaro Sebastián

Estanislao Martínez Santiago

Fortino Enríquez Hernández

Abraham García Ramírez

Agustín Luna Valencia

Cirilo Ambrosio Antonia

Ricardo Martínez Enríquez

Mario Ambrosio Martínez

Urbano Ruiz Cruz

Justino Hernández José

Eleuterio Hernández García

Zacarías P. García López

For more information, please visit:

Familiares de los 12 presos políticos de la región Loxicha iniciarán marcha hacia la Ciudad de México; MAIZ/Cactus/APIM (04/06/2009)

Movilización por los presos de Loxicha, CENCOS (06/06/2009)

Movilización por la libertad de los presos de Loxicha, CENCOS (06/06/2009)

Carta de los 12 presos políticos y de conciencia de la Región Loxicha (01/06/2009)

Loxicha: 8 de junio inicia una Marcha Caravana, carta de los presos en coordinación con el Colectivo Zapatista de Oaxaca (08/06/2009)

Chiapas: Las Abejas in a Period of Action for Justice and Truth

June 15, 2009

During their Period of Action for Justice and Truth entitled “11 years of impunity in Acteal: how many more?,” the Civil Society of Las Abejas called upon the national press, the Other Campaign, and other organizations to participate in a period of fasting and prayer on June 9th “at 7:00am in from the of the Supreme Court of the Nation” (SCJN). On June 7th, members of Las Abejas caravanned to Mexico City to fast and pray in denouncement of the possible release of 14 persons tried and convicted on charges that they participated in the December 22nd, 1997 massacre in Acteal. In addition, Las Abejas demanded the punishment of the ex-federal officials Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, Emilio Chauyfet Chemot y general Enrique Cervantes, among others.

The women of Las Abejas spoke of Acteal as “the seed of consciousness to work for peace” in a communiqué. They continued that those detained have still not recognized that they were “guilty and accomplices”. It was they who “stole, burnt houses, and took corn and coffee, everything from out houses. They carried weapons, were accomplices to the massacre by helping buy the weapons that would kill our sisters.” Emphasizing the pain and suffering they have experienced as a result of the massacre, the women concluded their communiqué by reiterating their opposition to the liberation of the 14 paramilitaries because “we do not want them to kill us or anyone else again, because we have only spoken the truth and nothing more, and we will keep talking and demanding justice.”

Information circulating in the press indicates that the Supreme Court is going to announce its verdict concerning 12 of the inmates accused of participating in the Acteal massacre. A communiqué by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC) said that “it is absurd that due to the inefficiency of the justice system they will release the people responsible for this crime of the state.” Eleven years after the massacre, CDHFBC asserted that the tensions and the level of impunity in the Highlands of Chiapas have not gotten better—quite the contrary. Since 2008 the political climate in the Highlands has been building towards fear that a another Acteal [massacre] could happen.

For more information, please visit:

Por la Verdad y la Justicia “Acteal 11 años 5 meses y 17 días de impunidad ¿Cuántos más?” , Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (08/06/2009)

Pronunciamiento por la Justicia y la Verdad en relación a la masacre de Acteal, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (08/06/2009)

Palabra de las mujeres de la sociedad civil de Las Abejas (08/06/2009)

Fotos de la conferencia en la Ciudad de México (08/06/2009)

Comunicado ante la SCJN, la sociedad civil Las Abejas (09/06/2009)

Escrito ante la SCJN, sociedad civil Las Abejas (09/06/2009)

Escrito a la Presidencia, sociedad civil Las Abejas (09/06/2009)

Mensaje a los ministros de la SCJN, sociedad civil Las Abejas (09/06/2009)

Carta de la Diocesis de SCLC a Las Abejas en la Ciudad de México (09/06/2009)

Fotos – Jornada de Las Abejas de Acteal ante la SCJN, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (09/06/2009)

Accion Urgente: Riesgo de que liberen a paramilitares responsables de la masacre de Acteal, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (20/04/2009)

Exigen que no haya impunidad para responsables de la matanza de Acteal, La Jornada (10/06/2009)

More information from  SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Preocupación ante fallo de la SCJN en el caso Acteal (21/04/2009)

Chiapas: Tzajalchen denounces health clinic

June 9, 2009

On June 4th the Civil Organization of the Las Abejas from the community of Tzajalchen in the municipality of Chenalhó denounced for the second time “the lies and falsities of the medical directors of health clinics here in Chiapas”. This denouncement, which takes place in the middle of the swine flu pandemic in Mexico, condemns the situation in rural Mexico where people do not have access to healthcare as is common in cities. The denouncement specifically targets the “false promise” that was given in 2005 assuring “a clinic which would serve the surrounding communities” would be built in Tzajalchen. As the state government has yet to fulfill this promise, the community opted for this denouncement saying that “here in our state, promises continue to be Words without Actions”. We remind our readers that the Mexican Constitution, along with various other international treatises, single out health care as being essential to development and a life with dignity.

For more information, please visit:

“Segunda denuncia contra las mentiras de los médicos”, comunidad de Tzajalchen, (04/06/2009)