Oaxaca: March of teachers and social organizations in observance of the commemoration of the repression of 25 November 2006

November 28, 2011

In commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the repression directed against the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) in 2006, teachers from Section 22 of the SNTE carried out a march in Oaxaca de Juárez on 25 November.  More than 70,000 educational workers marched on that day, according to Section 22, but only 4000 according to police.  Arriving at the zócalo of said city, they carried out a meeting in which they demanded justice and punishment of those responsible for the repression whom they denounced, and who continue to go unpunished, despite the demands of society in this regard.  In accordance with a communiqué of the SNTE, “the present government of the state has not complied with the justice that has been demanded by the people of Oaxaca and all those who suffered the repression ordered by Ulises Ruiz in 2006.”

Members of organizations and the teachers’ movement unveiled a commemorative plaque to remember the resistance of the movement.  It was placed on the side of the Cathedral.  Symbolically, the directors of the social organizations changed the name of the zócalo to the “Plaza of the people in struggle for truth and justice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan maestros de sección 22 en conmemoración a choques en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 25 November)

Maestros de Oaxaca se “suman” al movimiento de “indignados”(Proceso, 25 November)

Se quedan sin clases un millón 300 mil niños en Oaxaca(Milenio, 25 November 2011)

Dejan sin clases a un millón 300 mil en Oaxaca (El Universal, 25 November 2011)

Reprochan activistas del 2006 a Cué incumplimiento de sus promesas de justicia (E-Oaxaca, 25 November)

Boletín de prensa de la Sección 22 (25 November 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Fast for justice, 5 years after the murder of José Jiménez Colmenares (19 August 2011)


Chiapas: activities on the International Day against Violence against Women

November 28, 2011

March on 25 November, San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Foto @SIPAZ

On 24 and 25 November in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, there were held several activities to observe the International Day against Violence against Women.  On Thursday 24 there was held a meeting of indigenous and campesina women in the Indigenous Center for Wholesome Training (CIDECI-UNITIERRA) called for by the Center for the Rights of Women in Chiapas and women’s collectives from the highlands, northern, border mountain, and coastal regions  of the state.  Under the banner “Halt the violence of the neoliberal patriarchal capitalist system” and as part of the campaign “Land is not sold; women and men instead hold it, cultivate, and defend it,” some 100 men and women gathered.  In a plenary there was discussed the struggle for land and against the firms that would displace them from their lands.  As a Tseltal indigenous woman said, “We must care for the land so that we are not left without food.”  Many women pronounced themselves against the introduction of transgenic maize which represents a danger for the survival of existing strains.  The cultivation of transgenic maize implies the need to buy new seeds each year because it does not reproduce, while currently used varieties can be used for many years without the need to buy new seeds.  In work groups there was discussed the reasons why women struggle, which struggles they confront, and how to overcome these.

March 25 November in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

At 10am on 25 November there met some 200 women accompanied by men in the Palace of Justice to undertake a march toward the Cathedral Plaza.  The call was made by the Center for the Rights of Women in Chiapas, together with the Independent Movement of Women.  Prepared with banners and different signs, they denounced violence against women as part of structural violence.  Passing by the military base of zone 31, they demanded the cessation of violence against women on the part of soldiers and police both in communities as at checkpoints.  They continued marching as they sang slogans such as “Chiapas, Chiapas is not a barracks; out the army!” and “For life and for peace, soldiers never again.”

March 25 November, San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

Upon arriving to the Cathedral Plaza there was read a communiqué that was signed by several organizations which focuses on the structural violence suffered by women as exercised by the government as part of neoliberal policy.  “We denounce that the government allows for the establishment, without any limit, of transnational firms that foment and support the looting of the land and territory of indigenous peoples, favoring the privatization of natural resources, the cultivation of transgenic seeds, the internal division of our communities, migration, unemployment, exploitation, inflation, scarcity of goods and worsening of poverty, thus annulling our possibilities for survival, making us increasingly dependent on the market.”  The communiqué also denounces the negative impacts for women for example in support programs such as Oportunidades and Seguro Popular, bad practices of multinational companies, and once again the introduction of transgenic maize.  It finds the different forms of violence against women and feminicide as “social, cultural, and political problems that demand the adoption of concrete and urgent measures in all aspects of public behavior.”

Later there was carried out a “political performance” in the Cathedral Plaza, with the participation of several independent women as called for by the Global March of Women, Hemispheric Center for Performance, and the Autonomous Lesbian Feminist Political Collective LESBrujas.  By means of te same they denounced both the extreme violence exercised against women and feminicide.  Part of the performance was a march with flowers through the ecclesiastical walkway, under the banner “Alive they were taken; alive we want them back!”  The credo of the struggle of the women’s group that denounces feminicide is “End feminicide, end impunity, not one more woman, not one more murdered!”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del CD de la Mujer de Chiapas, MIM, CDHFBC e integrantes de LOC (25 de noviembre)

Convocatoria a Performance Político

Marchan mujeres contra la violencia (Cuarto Poder, 26 November)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs – Tierra Caliente is second-highest national location in number of feminicides; SCJN will analyze recommendations of the Inter-American Court in the case of Radilla (14 September 2010)

Oaxaca: “Totally indignant!” activities in observance of the International Day of Non-Violence towards Women

November 28, 2011

In observation of the International Day of Non-Violence towards Women, the movement “Totally indignant” organized an event in Oaxaca de Juárez to remember the victims of violence and to celebrate life.  Bárbara García Chávez, coordinator of this movement, indicated that for women it is shameful that the state occupies the fourth place in feminicides at the national level, given that in the last 10 years there have been registered 549 murders of Oaxacan women, 91 this year alone.  Only 17 of these have been clarified, with an equal number of cases investigated but with no one sentenced.

To symbolize these victims, 91 black crosses have been installed in the esplanade of the cathedral in Oaxaca, by human-rights activists who urge the government of Gabino Cué to institute public policies to halt feminicide.

For more information (in Spanish):

Protestan por feminicidios en Oaxaca; en NL piden alerta (La Jornada, 25 November 2011)

Recuerdan con cruces a víctimas de feminicidios en Oaxaca (Milenio, 25 November)

Marchan mujeres “Totalmente indignadas” contra los feminicidios(Ciudadania Express, 25 November)

Buscan oaxaqueñas crear conciencia sobre los feminicidios (Milenio, ‎22 November)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO requests that Calderón observe sentence in cases of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández; lawsuit on land between communities of Guerrero and Oaxaca; government announces installation of Commission of Truth and Tita Radilla receives recognition

November 28, 2011

Tita Radilla. Foto @CentroProdh

On 22 November, at least 79 national and international organizations as well as intellectuals demanded that President Felipe Calderón make effective his commitment to observe the sentences of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Valentina Rosendo Cantú and Inés Fernández Ortega, indigenous Guerrero women who were raped by soldiers in 2002.  In their letter to Calderón, the NGOs stress that in accordance with the IACHR ruling in the cases of these women, the act of public recognition of responsibility “is one of the central measures of reparation,” above all for the victims.  It has to do with, they say, a “solemn and public event in which the State would recognize the truth of the denunciation of the victims and reaffirm publicly the commitment of the State to respecting human rights, non-discrimination, and the struggle against violence against women.”  They insist that the sentences of the IACHR must be observed in their totality and, in the case of the act of recognition of responsibility, the tribunal has noted that “the modality and content of the event, the presence of authorities, the space in which it will be carried out and the date of its realization should be agreed to in accordance” previously with the relatives of the victims.

In other news, on 22 November, Carlos Moreno Derbez, president of the Junta for Agrarian Conciliation, reported that the Mexican Army and the state police are patrolling the zone between the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca to avoid that there be new violent events there.  Moreno Derbez noted that the Oaxacan population of Jicaral finds itself settled on the border region with Guerrero, due to “having received authorization to occupy land in the ejidal property of Jicayan de Tovar,” in Guerrero.  The Mixtecos of Jicaral, a community that pertains tot he municipality of Coicoyán de Las Flores, reject the idea that they should have to abandon the land, while the ejidatarios of Jicayán de Tovar–who pertain to Tlacoachistlahuaca, Guerero–reject the sale of these lands and on the contrary seek to recover them.  The conflict between the Mixteco peoples of Jicaral and Jicayán is for the possession of between 100 and 150 hectares, and it has already left 2 dead and 3 injured this year.  The latest killed was a communard from El Jicaral, who was killed during the morning of 21 November in an attack by residents of Jicayán del Tovar.

Lastly, also on 22 November, there was presented in the local Congress the advances of the legal initiative to create a Commission of Truth, and it was announced that this would deal only with the disappearances and executions committed in the state between 1969 and 1979, a period known as the Dirty War, but would exclude the massacre of Aguas Blancas (1995), for which ex-governor Rubén Figueroa Alocer has been found responsible, and that of El Charco (1997), to which the present governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero has been linked, as was announced.  The same day, in a ceremony held in London, Peace Brigades International and the Alliance in Favor of Lawyers at Risk awarded a recognition to Tita Radilla, daughter since 1974 of the disappeared social activist Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, “in recognition of her courage and commitment to human rights in Mexico.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen ONG a Calderón cumplir con sentencias de la CoIDH (Proceso, 21 November)

Carta a Calderón de OSC (Cencos, 22 November)

Militares y policías patrullan zona limítrofe entre Oaxaca y Guerrero(Proceso, 22 November)

Matan a comunero de Oaxaca por tierras (La Jornada, 22 November)

Comisión de la Verdad de Guerrero nacerá acotada, admiten promotores (La Jornada, 23 November)

Tita Radilla recibe reconocimiento internacional (La Jornada, 23 November)

Tita Radilla recibe premio de derechos humanos en Londres (CentroProdh, 23 November)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – briefs: NGO informs US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under Mérida Initiative (26 November)

Guerrero – briefs: State accepts responsibility in Radilla case in absence of relatives (27 November)

Chiapas: Celebration of the Seventh Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation

November 28, 2011

From 21 to 23 November was celebrated the seventh Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation and the XV anniversary of the Commission of Support for Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  The event was organized and facilitated by CORECO.  To the event arrived 65 persons (48 men and 17 women) from 23 communities in 11 municipalities of Chiapas (Ocosingo, Altamirano, El Bosque, Venustiano Carranza, Comitán, Tenejapa, among others).  There also participated representatives from different organizations from Chiapas and Oaxaca.

The event was held with the objective of “making profound and strengthening our being and task as builders of peace, to advance in our path toward unity, peace, and reconciliation.”

In small work-groups there was reflected upon the problems lived by the participants in their communities, zones, and regions: “There are many divisions among organizations and religion.  There are tricks on the part of political parties.  Alcoholism is on the rise due to bars, many youth consume drugs, there is prostitution, adultery increases.  The youth go out to work in other places (migration) and change their cultures, traditions, and language. We are losing our culture as indigenous people.  There is bad information from the media.”

In light of this situation the participants in the forum interchanged their experiences as builders of peace and reflected on the work they are each of them doing in their communities, in addition to the obstacles they confront and the tasks to be realized so as to improve the situation and advance in their work of peace and reconciliation: “As builders of peace we have a great deal of work to do […].  We can construct peace through the defense of natural resources, in the struggle against mining, in efforts to build food sovereignty, in the defense of the rights of women and children […], in the struggle against militarization and paramilitarization, against the privatization of land, against repression […], for health and education.”

There was also reflected upon how it might be that the heart and work of the builders of peace and reconciliation could be strengthened: “In the work of the construction of peace I see only the organization, religion, or party, not the heart.  But if I approach the persons I will see many qualities, many flowers that are in their hearts.  We have not only spines; we must recognize our qualities, our flowers.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Sixth Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation (26 November 2010)

Fifth Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation – Beyond stressing the need for peace, let us construct it! (SIPAZ Report, March 2010)

Chiapas: Meeting of Organization of Relatives of Prisoners of Ocosingo (OFPO) (October 6, 2010)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state”

November 27, 2011

On 22 November, in commemoration of the XXII anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the organization Melel Xojobal indicated that Chiapas is a state in which the rights of children are frequently violated, both in rural and urban zones.  In general terms, they note that “Mexico occupies the first place in physical violence, sexual violence, and homicides directed against minors younger than 14 years of age among the countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Linked to this scenario, since the federal government launched its ‘war’ against organized crime in 2006, violence has taken the lives of thousands of children and has been incorporated as a ‘normal’ aspect of the lives of millions of these.”

In urban zones in Chiapas, the organization details that the types of violence most identified are physical, very common above all within families and in schools, as well as cases of sexual exploitation of infants, above all in border towns.  Melel affirms also that “another expression of violence against children in the cities is social cleansing, or systematic action that consists in assaulting, harassing, and threatening the population that lives and works in the streets, pressing them to leave these public spaces.”

In rural zones, beyond child labor, the organization indicates that “the structural violence suffered by children and adolescents results in deaths from preventable diseases.”  It refers to the “communal conflicts [which] are also a source of violence, be it due to religious intolerance or political confrontations among parties or organizations,” giving the example of this problem in the case of Guaquitepec, municipality of Chilón, where due to communal conflict there were invaded school spaces and some furniture destroyed.

Regarding migration, the organization notes that children and adolescents in Chiapas “have their reasons to flee beatings at home, to stop being a burden on the family and instead find a job or a mother or father who before leaving for the United States promised to return but never did.”

In the case of Zapatista autonomous communities, Melel notes “that the panorama is violent, given that there exist cases of forced displacement due to the harassment of groups opposed to the autonomous organization,” as in the case of San Marcos Avilés, official municipality of Chilón.  The organization denounces also that the war of low intensity and the creation of so-called paramilitary groups “constitute a constant threat to the security, life, and integrity of the communities in resistance and of the children and youth who in part constitute these.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pide ONG protección a infantes trabajadores (Cuarto Poder, 22 November 2011)

Comunicado de prensa completo (Melel Xolobal, 22 November 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)

Oaxaca: violence due to awarding of reparations to victims of 2006

November 27, 2011

A few days before the commemoration of the 25 November 2006 repression, Isaac Torres Carmona, president of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights in Oaxaca (Limeddh), reported that the government of Gabino Cué had committed itself to make available some 11 million pesos to compensate the 64 “survivors and former political prisoners” due to the “moral damage” suffered during the socio-politial conflict of 2006-7.  Torres Carmona noted that on Monday 14 November was awarded “symbolic compensation” (170,000 pesos per affected person) to 44 of the 64 victims who accepted the deal, a fruit of the demand for reparation made through civil methods.

Subsequently, Porfirio Domínguez, director of the Committee of Relatives, Disappeared, Murdered, and Political Prisoners in Oaxaca (Cofadappo), denounced that the present government is attempting to divide the victims of 2006, stressing that “there are more than 400 affected, not only those 50 who have been receiving their money so as not to continue demanding justice, all of this to weaken the movement.”

In response, Limeddh clarified in a communique that “we categorically reject that this has to do with a distribution of resources on the part of the state government to divide the victims, as has been theorized publicly by some dissident voices that seek only to confuse public opinion and contribute to a bad political state, with uncertain ends sought.”  It claims that the act “constitutes a victory in the struggle for the observation of human rights.”  It acknowledged nonetheless that “the question of justice continues to be a task to be fulfilled by the present government,” given that during the magisterial and popular conflicts were committed 26 murders, in addition to 500 arrests and around 380 cases of torture.

Porfirio Domínguez and Isaac Torres engaged with each other on 23 November.  The followers of both accused each other of seeking only economic benefit, not justice for the affected.  In this confrontation many of the expressions were threats.

In a subsequent communiqué, the Citizens’ Space for Truth and Justice in Oaxaca denounced that “These lamentable acts have come about starting from a discretional management of information and a lack of transparency int he process of creating a means that would supposedly attend to the demands of justice of the victims of human-rights violations in 2006.  The aforementioned has brought about a series of rumors, disqualifications, and divisions which far from repairing damages contribute to a new re-victimization.”  The Space advocates a legal and transparent process, as well as the creation of measures for transitional justice, including a Commission for Truth, that “would help to supercede the authoritarian past and the climate of social polarization now lived in the state.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia Cofadappo que gobierno intenta dividir a víctimas(Noticiasnet.mx, 16 November 2011)

Destina Oaxaca 11 mdp para indemnizar a 64 víctimas del conflicto de 2006 (Proceso, 18 November 2011)

Comunicado completo de la Limeddh-Oaxaca (18 November 2011)

ONG de Oaxaca rompe con la Limeddh por indemnizaciones (La Jornada, 24 November 2011)


For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Creation of the Citizens’ Space for Justice and Truth (22 September 2011)