Chiapas: Press-conference on present situation of the affected by the blocking of the Grijalva River

July 25, 2011

On 20 July in the cultural center Tierradentro in San Cristóbal de Las Casas was held a press-conference regarding the present situation of those affected by the blockage of the Grijalva River in November 2007.  The victims denounce that the government has not attended to their case fairly and that it has used their situation of vulnerability to implement its own agenda.  Furthermore they denounce the repression of the social movement, referring to the arbitrary detention of several comrades during a protest on 4 July last.

The press-conference mentions that “there have passed more than three years of disaster that caused the the community of Juan de Grijalva to disappear entirely, and until now, beyond giving the state-government the perfect opportunity to launch the ambitious Rural Cities project, confrontations have been generated among the affected communities in place of resolving problems.  Residents have been dispersed and the repression of social movements continues, as does the situation of prisoners […].  On 4 July 2010 in light of the social mobilizations carried out in the municipalities of Tecpatán and Frontera Comalapa, the authorities responded brutally, utilizing the repressive apparatus they have available.  In these arbitrary preventions prevailed the excessive use of force, abuse of authority, and torture.  The most representative cases of both operations is that of Messrs. Juan JIMÉNEZ LÓPEZ and Santos SALAS VÁZQUEZ.  Vázquez was burned on both elbows with a lighter by his captors; no advance has been had in the investigation currently carried out by the Prosecutor on Crimes Related to Public Servants.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Invitación a rueda de prensa (LIMEDDH)

Audios de la rueda de prensa (Radio Zapatista)

Desplazados del tapón de Grijalva, víctimas de inseguridad alimentaria (La Jornada del Campo, 16 de julio)

Comunicado de prensa (19 de junio)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Campesinos from Nuevo Juan de Grijalva are released (25 de junio)

Chiapas: Nuevo Juan de Grijalva denounces repression and harassment (8 June 2011)


Chiapas: Denunciation by La Voz del Amate; health status of Alberto Patishtán worsens

July 25, 2011

On 21 July, professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, the last member of the prisoners’ organization “La Voz del Amate” (adherent to the Other Campaign) who finds himself incarcerated, denounced that his health-situation is worsening.  According to the denunciation, he suffers from second-stage glaucoma, with the risk that he become blinded.  Signing his name “political prisoner of ‘La Voz del Amate,'” Patishtán Gómez demands that the President release him, given that Juan Sabines, governor of the state of Chiapas, has “publicly recognized” his innocence.  He calls for the urgent intervention of the international community, mentioning Amnesty International and the International Red Cross, among other organizations, given the injustice he lives.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de La Voz del Amate (21 July 2011)

Women of the left call for the creation of a Movement of Women of the Left in light of national emergency

July 25, 2011

Mujeres de Izquierda

On 16 and 17 July 716 women of the left from 29 states of the Republic met in the Deportivo Villa Olímpica, Tlalpan, in Mexico City, to initiate a process of organization of women that would strengthen the political, economic, and cultural change needed in the country.

As they mention in the Final Declaration: “In Mexico [the crisis of capitalism], worsened by the policies of Felipe Calderón, have provoked a series of converging crises of social, political, economic, environmental, security character, which have generated a profound deterioration in the living and work conditions of the population as well as more inequality and social exclusion.  Without a doubt one of the worst aspects of this situation is violence and the feminization of poverty.”

The women of the left called for the “creation of a Movement of Women of the Left in light of the National Emergency which is inclusive, democratic, horizontal, and plural.”  The movement will struggle among other things for “a life free of violence, respect for sexual diversity and for lesbian women, respect for intercultural diversity, particularly for indigenous women.”  The demands are among other things and going beyond respect for the rights of women “the immediate appearance with life of all those persons who have been disappeared, a cessation to impunity and corruption, and justice for female victims of feminicidal violence.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración Final del Encuentro de Mujeres de Izquierda (17 July)

Encuentro de mujeres de izquierda pide cambios en la estrategia oficial(La Jornada, 17 July)

Mexico: SCJN determines that human-rights violations committed by soldiers are to be judged by civilian tribunals; judges will have to base all sentences in conformity with international agreements

July 25, 2011

On 12 July, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) determined unanimously that the human-rights violations committed by soldiers will have to be sanctioned by civilian tribunals.  The decision by the maximum tribunal of justice was had within the context of the continuation of the sentence by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) against the Mexican State in the case of Rosendo Radilla, a sentence that requires Mexico to reform its Code of Military Justice so as to harmonize it with international human-rights agreements.  Both representatives of political parties as well as of civil-society organizations celebrated the decision as ‘historical.’  With this was ended the divergence in legal matters, given that Article 13 of the Mexican Constitution establishes that in crimes committed by soldiers in which is involved a civilian, such will be judged not by military tribunals; regardless, Article 57 of the Code of Military Justice contradicts this constitutional directive.  Olga Sánchez Cordero, minister of SCJN, affirmed in media that the IACHR sentence is “obligatory” for the Mexican State, thus opposing an “orienting” interpretation, as has been expressed by the voices of the Ministries of Governance (Segob), National Defense (Sedena) and Navy (Semar).  There still remains to be had a reform of the Code of Military Justice to observe the IACHR sentence, a task that corresponds to the legislative branch.

In the same session of the SCJN, in a 6 to 3 vote, the court declared that all Mexican judges can analyze and interpret the laws applicable to concrete cases so that their sentences do not contradict the Constitution or international human-rights conventions.  With this they are obligated to analyze the compatibility of a given norm with respect to the constitutional dispositions and of international agreements signed and ratified by the Mexican State.

For more information (in Spanish):

Más información de SIPAZ:

Guerrero – briefs: Military incursion into Xochistlahuaca; feminicide increases in Guerrero; invitation for the Seventh National Assembly of the Environmentally Affected in Acapulco

July 25, 2011

On the morning of 7 July there was reported the presence of soldiers from the 35th Military Zone in the community of Suljaa’, municipality of Xochistlahuaca.  According to the denunciation, close to 50 soldiers entered the community in which they asked residents regarding the location of the autonomous radio Ñomndaa and carried out several patrols.  They manifested that their presence had to do with efforts to make a map of the community.  The day of the military incursion  coincided with the reinitiation of the transmissions of Radio Ñomndaa, which had been off-air for a month.  In light of this situation, on 8 July, independent and organized human-rights defenders demonstrated their concern and demanded among other things “the cessation of harassment directed against Radio Ñomndaa; that the authorities who attempt to make an operation in Suljaa’ […] punctually inform regarding the objectives that motivate the deployment of these units; and that all harassment against efforts for popular communication and communal organization among the indigenous peoples of the country cease.”

Radio Ñomndaa was born out of the struggle against cacique governments of Suljaa’.  Since its birth to now it has been persecuted and criminalized.  Since 2005 have taken place acts of harassment against its members and collaborators, via fabricated charges, intimidation, death-threats, arrest-orders, and detentions, which are related to the constant presence of soldiers and federal and state police.

In other news, the investigator of the International Institute of Advanced Political Studies (IIEPA) from the Autonomous University of Guerrero and coordinator of the Hannah Arendt Observatory on Violence against Women, Rosa Icela Ojeda Rivera, revealed that from 2010 to 2011, feminicide in Guerrero has increased some 40 to 50 percent and that 85 women have been murdered violently in the state in what has passed to date of this year.  The degree of impunity in Guerrero has been catalogued as being high, due to the fact that only 30 percent of feminicides are resolved.

Lastly, members of the Council of Representatives of the Assembly, the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), and the community of Salsipuedes, Acapulco, have invited civil society to attend the Seventh Assembly of the Environmentally Affected taht will be held on 30 and 31 July in the community of Salsipuedes, one of the communities that pertains to CECOP.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sufre asedio y presencia militar, radio comunitaria de Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero (7 July)

Acoso militar contra La palabra del agua, radio comunitaria de Xochistlahuaca, Gro. (9 July)

Comunicado de defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos (8 July)

Ojeda Rivera: suben feminicidios a pesar de ser delito grave en Guerrero; van 85 (La Jornada, 12 July)

Guerrero subió en feminicidios al tercer lugar; sólo está abajo de Chihuahua y Baja California (El Sur de Acapuco)

Convocatoria, cartel, croquis y solicitud de apoyo para la séptima Asamblea Nacional de Afectados Ambientales (10 July)

Asamblea Nacional de Afectados Ambientales

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Guerrero – briefs: Indigenous person murdered by Army in Tlacoachistlahuaca (11 April)

Oaxaca: Lizbeth Caña Cadeza renounces public charges; trial is demanded against her for events of 2006/7

July 24, 2011

Lizbeth Caña Cadeza

On 8 July, Rosa Lizbeth Caña Cadeza presented her resignation for the charge of superior auditor of the state of Oaxaca.  According to journalistic sources, the resignation has to do with personal reasons.  Human-rights defenders from civil organizations in the state have demanded that the Public Ministry investigate Caña Cadeza now that she has lost the constitutional protection given her by the public charge regarding her role as head of the State Attorney General’s Office in the administration of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (2004-2010).  Alba Cruz Ramos, member of the Committee for Wholesome Defense of Human Rights Gobixha (CODIGO-DH) and human-rights lawyer for 29 activists associated with the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) who were illegally detained and tortured in 2006, indicates that initial investigations show Caña Cadeza to be responsible for torture in the case of César Mateos Benítez who had denounced her for being present during his torture.  For his part, Isaac Torres Carmona, member of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (Limeddh), claims that there is sufficient information and evidence to prosecute Caña Cadeza, who was associated with arbitrary detentions, torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions during the social conflict of 2006.

For more information (in Spanish):

Chiapas: Electricity-cut to 10 families that belong to the Las Abejas Civil Society. Tension in community

July 24, 2011

On 8 July, the Las Abejas Civil Society denounced in a communiqué that two days earlier, the Federal Commission on Electricity (CFE) arrived to the community Nuevo Yibeljoj, Chenalhó, to cut the light to 10 families belonging to the organization who have been in resistance to the paying of electricity-prices for several years.  In the same document, Las Abejas indicate that this action was carried out “in accordance with the owners of electricity in Nuevo yibeljoj, who call themselves ‘Las Abejas, A.C.,’ which in the year 2008 separated itself and left the path of struggle for justice in the Acteal massacre and of resistance in light of the neoliberal projects of hte bad government.  We see that this is part of the counter-insurgency war that is not lived just here in our lands.  The government of Juan Sabines and Felipe Calderón is increasingly worsening the situation to make difficult the construction of our autonomy and of peace with justice and dignity as originary peoples.”

Members of the ownership of electricity in Nuevo Yibeljoj express in a 10 July declaration for their part that there exists an agreement to “continue paying for the services in accordance with electrical consumption.  For this reason we have a commitment with our comrades in Santo Ch’en, neighbors of the community, to continue demanding that the CFE change all the wooden [electricity] posts.  We now have an advance of 50%.”  They affirmed that in a meeting held on 10 July, there was defined that which all members of the community must pay and that “absolutely no one will be able to violate the internal rules.”  Absent from the meeting were the 10 families from Las Abejas, with whom no agreement was reached.

For more information (in Spanish):

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Communiqué by Las Abejas Civil Society distances itself from Las Abejas Chiapas (4 May 2011)