On 31 August, the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous people (OPIM) and the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, in coordination with Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, initiated a new campaign named “Observe the Sentences of the [Inter-American Court on Human Rights] to Break the Wall of Impunity.” The objective is to bring together persons and organizations to demand that President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa make the implementation of the sentences a priority for his government, such that the work tables be carried out in conformity with the agreement presented by Inés and Valentina until it reach the observation of each and every one of the resolutions mandated by the sentnces. On 1 October 2010, the IACHR presented two sentences against the Mexican State, released in the cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú which determined that both Me’phaa indigenous women were sexually violated and tortured by units of the Mexican Army in 2002.
In other news, on 1 September in Chilpancingo, during a press conference, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity in Guerrero called ont he people of Guerrero to support the Caravan to the South, led by the poet Javier Sicilia, which will begin on 8 September in Mexico City en route to Morelos and Guerrero. The press bulletin notes that “we call on the people of Guerrero […] to welcome, accompany, and strengthen this movement, which largely corresponds to the aspirations of justice that our people claim, at least since the Dirty war, when more than 600 citizens of Guerrero were disappeared, as similarly the relatives of the kidnapped, disappeared, and murdered of the state do so today. [The caravan to the South] will leave on 8 September from Mexico city toward the state of Morelos, to continue on toward our state of Guerrero on 9 September, when it will arrive to the city of Iguala de la Independencia, passing on day 10 through the capital Chilpancingo de los Bravos and concluding that same day in Acapulco de Juárez, so as to continue on to Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guatemala, Veracruz, Puebla, and Mexico City. […] To the families of the victims of violence, we call on you to express yourselves, to break the silence that fear, terror, powerlessness, and pain have imposed on you; we call on you to participate int he activities of the Caravan.”
Lastly, on 26 August, in the context of the 37th anniversary of the disappearance of the Guerrero activist Rosendo Radilla–which occurred at the hands of the Army on 25 August 1974–the executive secretary of the Association of Relatives of the Detained, Disappeared, and Victims of Human Rights Violance in Mexico (AFADEM), Julio Mata Montiel, noted that although the absence of justice int he country has been amply demonstrated, it has not been sufficient to find the remains of Radilla. While questioning the government’s continued complicity in impunity, and although no announcement has been made regarding the whereabouts of the disappeared, Mata noted that new excavations int he military barracks of Atoyac de Álvarez, slated to begin in October or November, could prove productive.
The Workshop for Communal Development (TADECO) and the Committee of Relatives and Friends of the Kidnapped, Disappeared, and Murdered in Guerrero, in a 30 August press-bulletin, speak of the disappeared: “It pains us to tell you that we have not achieved much, particularly in the most important aspect that is finding them and providing them justice. We would like you to know that we continue promoting search plans to create a tactical group of the State that would find them and reopen the investigations, to continue with the leads we have come up with so as to find their location. We would like to contribute as organizations in the investigations, regardless of the risks that this implies, but the government refuses; it insists in keeping us isolated, separated, ignorant, and quiet.”
At the national level, on 30 August was celebrated the first anniversary fo the national campaign against forced disappearance in Mexico. The campaign has documente dfrom 2005 to date 28 cases of forced disappearance against human-rights defenders. The demands of the campaign are, among others, that the State, with the active participation of society, promote a General Law against the Forced Disappearance of Persons, and that the State observe its obligations with regard to the investigation, persecution, and sanction of cases of forced disappearance of whiever person so as to effectively combat the impunity of these cases. Javier Hernández Valencia, representative of the Office in Mexico of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted that forced disappearances in the country happen not only for political reasons, and he lamented that it is the families of victims who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of justice, rather than the juridical institutions so responsible.
For more information (in Spanish):
Inicia Campaña “Cumplir con Sentencias para Romper el Muro de la Impunidad”: Tlachinollan (Zapateando, 1 September)
Llamamiento al pueblo de Guererro con motivo de la caravana hacia el sur del movimiento por la paz con justicia dignidad (La Nueva República, 1 September)
El gobierno sólo finge que le interesa el caso Radilla: Afadem (La Jornada, 26 August)
Desaparecidos, más de 5 mil en este sexenio con pretexto de la lucha antinarco: activistas (La Jornada, 31 August)
Para más información de SIPAZ: