Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community

January 16, 2012


By means of a public letter written on 10 January 2012, the community of Candelaria El Alto, municipality of Venustiano Carranza, adherents to the Other Campaign, denounced that the looting of their lands continues by the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC).  In their communiqué they write the following: “We publicly denounce the government of Chiapas; 9 months have passed since we have been able to work [the land]; now we have lost this year of harvest, and we would like to say that we will not continue merely putting up with this, suffering from hunger.  This year we will work our land; we would prefer that this conflict not worsen, and so we demand an immediate solution, because the land is not to sell.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Continúa el despojo de sus tierras, según la comunidad Candelaria El Alto (La Jornada, 12 January 2011)

Denuncia de Candelaria El Alto a 10 de enero (Zapateando, Comunicado de la Comunidad Organizada Candelaria el Alto, Municipio Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, México)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)


Mexico: Mexican State requests immunity for ex-president Zedillo in Acteal case

January 16, 2012

According to media sources, the government of Mexico, by means of the Secretariat of Foreign Relations (SRE), sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. State Department in November of last year that requests that ex-president Ernesto Zedillo (1994-2000) be granted immunity, given that he has since 19 September 2010 confronted a legal case presented in the U.S. by a dozen relatives of victims of the Acteal massacre that took place in Chiapas in 1997.\

On 6 January, Zedillo himself presented a petition to the U.S. court in Connecticut and denied responsibility for the case.

Civil-society organizations and legislators have questioned both actions.  Deputies Sofia Castro (PRI) and Mauricio Toledo (PRD) have claimed that immunity should not be confused with impunity; for this reason the ex-president should be treated like any other Mexican citizen.  For her part, Zoila Luna, coordinator of the Méndez Arceo Foundation, has indicated that the petition for immunity formulated by the SRE is yet another demonstration of the commitment of the Mexican State to human rights.  She made this comment after presenting the call for the 20th iteration of the Sergio Méndez Arceo National Prize for Human Rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Zedillo reclama inmunidad en EU por caso Acteal (El Universal, 6 January 2011)

Zedillo, culpable; la queja en EU es alentada desde el PRI: Raúl Vera(La Jornada, 9 January 2011)

Solicita México a EU inmunidad par Zedillo (El Universal, 10 January 2011)

Critican que el Estado pida inmunidad para Zedillo (La Jornada, 12 January 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal distance themselves from demand against ex-president Zedillo (27 September 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican ex-president Zedillo is denounced in US court for the Acteal massacre (26 September 2011)

Guerrero: CNDH confirms serious rights-violations against students of Ayotzinapa

January 16, 2012

Manifestaciones Ayotzinapa @

Ayotzinapa protests @

On 12 December of last year, lethal force used against a student protest carried out by students of the Rural Normal School “Raúl Isidro Burgos” in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, killed two students and a gasoline-station worker.

In light of this situation, the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) released a preliminary report detailing the failures of the authorities involved in the acts.  In accordance with this public organism, the federal police, the Ministerial Investigative Police of the state, and the State Preventive Police are principally responsible for the death of the three persons, the injury of four by gunshot wounds, and the cruel treatment of fourteen others.  It concludes that “this group of persons who was protesting publicly carried no firearm whatsoever.”

The CNDH has documented grave violations to the constitutional rights of the students of the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa, among them two extrajudicial executions, the attempt to fabricate crimes, acts of police torture, inhumane and degrading treatment against the detained, and abuse of authority.  The preliminary report establishes that disproportionate force was used by the police against the social protest carried out by student youth, and that this led to the unnecessary use of lethal force against the students.

In light of this, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights indicates that this preliminary report constitutes an official recognition of the historical truth of the events, and it calls on the CNDH to continue its investigations until it releases a final report that would recommend guarantees that the acts not be repeated.  In this sense, the Center stresses that these investigations set a new and convincing precedent that will reflect a broad participation on the part of the victims.  Finally, Tlachinollan demands that, given the gravity of the crimes, it is urgent to delineate political responsibility, as well as the attention to the structural causes that motivated the conflict.  Furthermore, it reports that, in coordination with the students of Ayotzinapa, it will continue to support actions so that these events do not go unpunished.

Aguirre Rivero, governor of Guerrero, has made it clear that he is open to dialogue with the students.  He expressed that he is interested in clarifying the events of 12 December.

For more information (in Spanish):

“El Gobernador me ordenó limpiar y la carretera está limpia” (Informe CDH Tlachinollan, 16 December 2012)

Alteran en Guerrero escena dice CNDH (Reforma, 6 January 2012)

Arbitrarias, las detenciones de normalistas, acusan ONG (Milenio, 9 January 2012)

Documenta CNDH tortura (El Universal, 9 January 2012)

Ayotzinapa 2012: entre el dolor y la esperanza (CDH Tlachinollan, 2 January 2012)

Se reunirán dibutados con estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (El Universal, 9 January 2012)


Alumnos de Ayotzinapa se reunieron con diputados de la comisión especial (La Jornada, 10 January 2012)

Documenta laCNDH fabricación de culpables (Reforma 11 January 2012)

CNDH: graves violaciones cometidas contra estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (Centro ProDH, 9 January 2012)


Policías federales y de Guerrero dispararon contra los normalistas (La Jornada, 10 January 2012)

OSC exigen a la CNDH investigación puntual en el caso Ayotzinapa(Centro ProDH, 6 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (21 December 2011)

Mexico: Abuses in displacement of migrants in Tenosique are denounced

January 16, 2012

Displaced persons in Tenosique @ Centro ProDH

On 9 January at 5am there was carried out an operation in a farm on the border of the Nuevo Progreso ejido in Tenosique, Tabasco, in which were forcibly displaced 36 Guatemalan families–about 260 persons, including 115 minors–who had been seeking refuge in the community.  They had installed themselves there four months ago, after being displaced by the military in their country.

In this operation participated some 300 units of the police, Public Ministries, and municipal police; some of them were dressed as civilians, and on the orders of these authorities there was found a person who claimed to be the Regional Subdelegate of the National Institute on Migration.

According to testimony, “the authorities arrived in trucks and patrols to the camp and began to dismantle it with an excess of violence.”  Upon rejecting these actions and demanding explanations for them, the residents of the camp were detained.

Fray Tomás González, director of the Usumacinta Center for Human Rights, reported that “The federal [police] closed off the road and encircled the place; the strategy was first to detain the minors so that the adults would not flee.  Regardless, some 70 individuals succeeded in escaping.”  He added that the agents refused the exit of residents of the place so as to avoid that they report to human-rights defenders.

According to data that has been released, 71 persons were placed on four buses and driven to the migrant station in Tapachula, Chiapas.  It should be noted that a Spaniard was also detained, but this person’s whereabouts are unknown.

In light of the violent operation, different organizations such as the Prodh Center and the National Network of Human-Rights Organizations All Rights for All accused the Mexican authorities of violating the rights of the displaced and behaving cruelly and inhumanely; for this reason, they urgently demanded the avoidance of operations of this type, the guarantee for the security and dignified treatment of the displaced, as well as the presentation of those persons whose whereabouts are unknown.

Antecedents: On 23 August, the community Nueva Esperanza was forced to abandon its land due to operations by the Guatemalan army and the National police.  During the displacement, the houses, school, and church of the community were burned.  Consequently, 300 residents, including more than a hundred children and several pregnant women, sought refuge on the other side of the border with Mexico, in the community of Nuevo Progreso, Tabasco.

For more information (in Spanish):

Desalojo de familias guatemaltecas en Tenosique, Tabasco  (Accion Urgente Red TDT, 9 January 2012)

Violento desalojo del INM contra guatemaltecos desplazados (Cencos, 10 January 2012)

Denuncian abusos en desalojo de campamento de migrantes en Tenosique (La Jornada, 10 January 2012)

Exigen ONG en Tabasco destitución de titular de INM (La Jornada 10 January 2012)

Acción Urgente: Comunidad de desplazados guatemaltecos es detenida por autoridades (Accion Urgente Centro ProDH, 10 January 2012)

Tabasco: desaloja INM a refugiados (El Universal, 10 January 2012)

Denuncian desalojo en refugio de migrantes (El Universal, 10 January 2012)

Desalojan a guatemaltecos del territorio mexicano (Milenio, 10 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)

Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)

Mexico: Caravan for Peace concludes after journeying to Tabasco, Veracruz, and Puebla (28 September 2011)

Chiapas: Sixth Anniversary of the Voz del Amate

January 16, 2012

Image @ Solidaridad Chiapas

On 8 January was celebrated the sixth anniversary of the grouping la Voz del Amate.  Different collectives and organizations met at the CERSS no. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas to jointly celebrate with those in solidarity with la Voz del Amate and Rosario Díaz Méndez, member of the Voz del Amate.  Among the relatives of the prisoners was found the daughter of Alberto Patishtán Gómez, Gabriela, who shared her words to those present.  Professor Patishtán was transferred to a high-security prison in Sinaloa during a hunger-strike that was organized during the months of September, October, and November of 2011.

“We see in prison that 75% are unjustly imprisoned, without having committed any crime.  We are here because we are poor, because we do not have the resources to pay for a lawyer…  Our struggle is against corruption, against the bad system, and against the bad government,” declared Alfredo López Jiménez, one of those in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, during the day.

For more information (in Spanish):

Visita a los compañeros de la voz del Amate y solidarios de la voz del Amate por el sexto aniversario de su fundación (Pozol Colectivo, 10 January 2012)

Denuncia La Voz del Amate la grave situación de prisioneros indígenas considerados políticos (La Jornada, 13 January 2012)

Carta de lxs presxs al segundo Seminario Internacional de Reflexión y Análisis “… planeta tierra: movimientos antisistémicos…” CIDECI/Unitierra Chiapas (No estamos todxs, 9 January 2012)


Audios de las Entrevistas a los compañeros de la voz del Amate (Pozol Colectivo, 10 January 2012)

Más audios (Pozol Colectivo, 10 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Fifth anniversary of the “Voz de Amate” (8 January 2011)

Chiapas: Release of David Potenciano Torres

January 16, 2012

On 5 January, it was made publicly known at a press-conference that David Potenciano Torres was released from prison, having been held there from 25 May to 28 December 2011, accused of the murder of Pedro Fonz Ramos.  During the six months of his detention, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (CDHFBC) had documented acts of torture as well as violations of the right to due process in his case.

Torres’ family-members read a communiqué in which they referred to the behavior of the state-government: “As though it had to do with another act of social justice, the release of our David was carried out by the state-government amidst a political and mediatic show, which attempted to make invisible and bury the injustice, torture, abuse of power, harassment, and all damages committed against our family, and in this way give way to the flowering of impunity which is the pillar that sustains this corrupt and lying government, which only takes advantage of the poverty and necessities of the people for its electoral and economic interests.”  In the same document, they allude to their emphasis on the search for justice: “The release of David is only one step in the search for justice, given that we will continue struggling so that these acts of torture do not go unpunished.  We will similarly continue to report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights regarding this case, in light of the fears we have as a family that these acts of vigilance and harassment continue, in addition to new fabrications of crimes.”

In the words of David Potenciano: “They beat me; they tortured me; they bandaged all of my body; they stopped beating me; they made me lose consciousness and then revived me by beating me.  Now I will not return to Chiapas, much less to Palenque, given that twice they have disgraced my life. There are many innocents imprisoned in Palenque; one of them used to work at the Palenque daily [newspaper].  Previously he had been calm and tranquil, but since the arrival of the FECDO, everything has worsened for Palenque.”  FECDO is the Specialized Prosecutorial Office Against Organized Crime, associated with the State Attorney General’s Office of Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Conferencia de prensa: Liberación de David Potenciano, sobreviviente de tortura (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 5 January 2012)

Boletín del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (5 January 2012)


Tras la liberación de David Potenciano sobreviviente de tortura, instan al Estado a garantizar su integridad y la de su familia (Cencos, 5 January 2012)

Tras la liberación de David Potenciano Torres sobreviviente de tortura, instan al Estado a garantizar su integridad y la de su familia (Radio Informaremos, 5 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Torture in the case of David Potenciano is denounced, as are acts of vigilance against relatives (21 December 2011)

The OMCT condemns torture in Chiapas (18 August 2011)

Chiapas: Second International Seminar for Reflection and Analysis “… Planet Earth: Anti-systemic movements…” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

January 16, 2012

From 30 December 2011 to 2 January 2012 there was carried out the Second International Seminar for Reflection and Analysis “…Planet Earth: Anti-systemic movements…” in CIDEDCI-Unitierra, San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  Over the course of four days, intellectuals and social activists from Mexico and other parts of the world shared their reflections and experiences regarding the different social struggles that have been experienced in different places in recent years.  The Seminar began with the presentation of the book “The power of the Poor” by Majid Rahnema and Jean Robert that was commented on by Ana Valadez, Carlos Manzo, Xuno López, Rafael Landerreche, and Jean Robert himself.  At the work-tables that same day and on subsequent days participated Mercedes Olivera, Xochitl Leyva, Jérôme Baschet, Paulo Olivares, Danay Quintana and Boris Nerey from the Martin Luther King Memorial Center (Cuba), members of the Movement for Justice in the Barrio (Nueva York, Estados Unidos), a member of Occupy Wall Street (New York), Julieta Paredes, Luis Andrango, Paulina Fernández, Gustavo Esteva (by means of a letter), Javier Sicilia, Pablo González Casanova (by means of a letter), Boaventura de Souza Santos, Salvador Campanur (Cherán, Michoacán), Sylvia Marcos, Carlos Marentes, Anselm Jappe (by means of a letter), Fernanda Navarro, Jean Robert, and Luis Villoro (who could not be present but who sent a letter.  Some 500 to 600 persons attended the Seminar daily; the struggle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the 18th anniversary of its insurrection on 1 January 1994 were referred to in nearly all the events.

For more information (in Spanish):

Blog del Seminario

Koman Ilel (con información sobre y audios del Seminario)

Radio Zapatista (con información sobre y audios del Seminario)

Desinformémonos (con información sobre el Seminario)

La Jornada: Progreso, falsa promesa de los ricos para despojar a pobres (31 December 2011)

La Jornada: Juntos, al margen del Estado, movimientos antisistémicos (2 January 2012)

La Jornada: El EZLN, origen de la actual inquietud social en todo el orbe (3 January 2012)

La Jornada: El movimiento de los indignados empezó en la Lacandona (Pablo González Casanova) (4 January 2012)

La Jornada: Predominan las coincidencias en condenas al sistema en un seminario de reflexión (4 January 2012)