Guerrero: Impunity One Year After 16 Enforced Disappearances in Chilapa

Chilapa.pngMarch of the armed citizens group that took Chilapa at the start of May 2015. Photo:@Agencia SubVersiones

In a joint statement, more than 80 social organizations condemned the “inefficiency in investigation and persistence of impunity” one year after the enforced disappearance of at least 16 people in Chilapa, Guerrero. These disappearances happened at the start of May 2015 after the city was taken over by an armed citizens group made up of some 300 people who allegedly entered the city to find and detain the leader of the crime gang “Los Rojos”. The citizens group, which described itself as community police, patrolled the city “threatening, detaining people that they considered suspect of belonging to ‘Los Rojos’, who were later tortured, interrogated and disappeared”, according to La Jornada in Guerrero. The same group was indicated by relatives of the disappeared as having links to “Los Ardillos”, another crime gang that operates in the region. MVS News (Noticias MVS) published that these two organized crime groups “dispute the zone for control of the poppy, from which they obtain heroin that is later trafficked to the United States.”

In the statement the social organizations pointed out that “the enforced disappearance happened in the presence and with the consent of the army, gendarmerie, federal police and state police’, as the violent actions happened “while the gendarmerie lay sheltered” in a nearby hotel, and also that “all levels of authority have pretended to look into the case.” They further stated that the armed citizens group continues to make incursions into the municipal cities of Zitlala and Chilapa “without anybody impeding or detaining them”, while the State Governor, Hector Astudillo, stated that normality has been restored in Chilapa and “there is no problem at the moment.” Added to this, the families of the disappeared victims stopped receiving aid from the Executive Commission for Attention to Victims (CEAV in its Spanish acronym), for which they condemned “energetically the lack of political will and negligence at all levels of government to find the whereabouts of these people and help the families through their institutions.”

The signatory organizations demanded that “the right to truth, justice and damage reparation to the relatives of the victims” be met and they made a “call to the groups of relatives of the disappeared in the State of Guerrero to build a common front to carry out coordinated actions.” This front would demand that the authorities carry out searches with clear results; the creation of a Special Attorney for the Disappearance of Persons; guarantee the right to truth, justice and damage reparation to the relatives of enforced disappearance victims; legislation regarding the declaration of absence in cases of disappearance, and the support of the CEAV for the the families without “bureaucratic obstacles.” It should be remembered that following this multiple enforced disappearance in May of last year, the organization of relatives of disappeared people, “Always Alive” (“Siempre Vivos, A.C.”), was formed, which was joined by relatives of people disappeared since 2011. This group has registered 100 disappearances in Chilapa in a year and a half, of which only 60 have been formally reported.

For more information in Spanish:

“No hay problemas en este momento” en Chilapa, asegura Héctor Astudillo Flores (La Jornada Guerrero, 9 de mayo de 2016)

BOLETÍN | A un año de desaparición forzada múltiple en Chilapa, ineficacia en investigación y persistencia de la impunidad. (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 8 de mayo de 2016)

Hace un año que civiles armados tomaron y desaparecieron a personas en Chilapa (La Jornada Guerrero, 8 de mayo de 2016)

A un año de la desaparición de 16 personas en Chilapa, denuncian investigación ineficaz (Noticias MVS, 8 de mayo de 2016)

Chilapa, entre la violencia y el poder del narco (Agencia SubVersiones, 19 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Amenazas hacia integrante de “Los Otros Desaparecidos” (5 de abril de 2016)

Guerrero: Asesinan en Iguala a la activista Norma Angélica Bruno (24 de febrero de 2016)

Nacional/Guerrero: Informes poco favorables sobre corrupción y derechos humanos en México (3 de febrero de 2016)

Guererro: Se cumplen 4 años de desaparición forzada de campesinos ecologistas de la Costa Grande (8 de diciembre de 2015)

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