On March 8th, more than 2,000 people had already demanded “the immediate release of the 16 indigenous members of the Council of Ejidos and Opposition Communities to the Presa la Parota (CECOP), whose crime was to defend their lands and natural assets against the La Parota Dam”, through the Avaaz petition website. This is due to the multiple violations of due process, torture and the arbitrary and illegal circumstances of the arrests, which “demonstrate that there are political and economic interests against the communities that oppose the dam.” They also requested that harassment and arbitrary arrests of the inhabitants of the community of Cacahuatepec, municipality of Acapulco, stop.
In the same case, on March 5th, members of CECOP, the Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPPEG in its Spanish acronym) and the Montaña Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights held a meeting with the Governor of Guerrero, Hector Astudillo Flores, to follow up on the tables established to review the cases of these same prisoners, as well as to demand the cessation of harassment against the members of CECOP. The MOLPPEG reported that, “it filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission (CODDEHUM in its Spanish acronym), to intervene and no longer continue to pressurize the comrades of the communal property of Cacahuatepec, in the municipality of Acapulco, as well as the Zapata Vive collective.” He explained that the State and Ministerial police have been raiding computers to identify comrades who have an arrest warrant.
For his part, the Tlachinollan lawyer, Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, reported that through this meeting he was following up a dialogue path begun in December, with a view to solving the problem of political prisoners in the state, mainly those of CECOP. He stated that the government authorities have said that it will be resolved according to law and that the legal route will be that which is privileged.
A day earlier, Tlachinollan listed 8 reasons why it considers that the 16 CECOP prisoners should be granted freedom:
“• They were arbitrarily detained on January 7th, 2018 in a violent operation where the police murdered three CECOP campesinos.
- On the way to the Prosecutor’s Office they were tortured and given cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to force them to plead guilty. • During their detention, they were held incommunicado for more than 48 hours, preventing their relatives and lawyers from being interviewed.
- During their solitary confinement, the Public Ministry obtained evidence in an unlawful manner to indict them for homicide.
- The weapons allegedly obtained by the police were obtained from illegal searches carried out at the houses of the CECOP community members.
- The CECOP detainees were not at the scene when the confrontation took place between those who were killed on both sides. They were arrested in the place when they went to the Sunday Assembly of the CECOP.
- There is an onslaught to dismantle the CECOP and the resistance against the La Parota hydroelectric project.
- Gravel workers who irrationally exploit the gravel and sand of the Papagayo River have organized the villagers to confront CECOP.
For more information in Spanish:
Acción Urgente en línea “Ni presa ni presos” (marzo de 2019)
Se reúne ONG con Héctor Astudillo para pedir la libertad de 16 miembros del Cecop (La Jornada de Guerrero, 6 de marzo de 2019)
Denuncian en Guerrero acoso de policías contra opositores a La Parota (LA Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2019)
Se reúne Astudillo con Tlachinollan, Cecop y Molppeg (Quadratin, 5 de marzo de 2019) 8 Razones para la libertad de los presos políticos del CECOP (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 4 de marzo de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Guerrero: Liberan bajo fianza a dos integrantes de la CECOP (28 de febrero de 2019)
Guerrero/Internacional : Europarlamentarios y organizaciones internacionales expresan su preocupación por criminalización de integrantes de CECOP; marchan en Acapulco a favor de la liberación de sus presos (7 de febrero de 2019)
Guerrero: Piden la liberación de 19 presos políticos (10 de enero de 2019)
Guerrero: 50 órdenes de aprehensión contra comuneros del CECOP (17 de septiembre de 2018)