National: Injunctions against New CNDH President Growing

December 11, 2019

CNDH

On December 4th, a judge admitted the injunction case brought by the independent senator Emilio Alvarez Icaza against the flaws that were recorded in the process of appointing Rosario Piedra Ibarra as president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym). The senator argued that this appointment violated article 9 of the Law of the CNDH itself, which states that one of the requirements to fill the position is “not to perform, or have held a position of national or state leadership, in any political party in the year prior to his appointment.” The National Electoral Institute (INE in its Spanish acronym) has confirmed that Piedra Ibarra was the national advisor of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA, the party in power) until November 14th. In the arguments for the case, Alvarez Icaza also stated that the appointment did not respect Article 10 of the aforementioned legislation, since the vote of two thirds of the members present in the House of Senators was not reached.

Although it is the first injunction that has been successful, it is far from being the first complaint linked to the controversial vote that gave rise to the appointment. Three former candidates for the presidency of the CNDH (Michael Chamberlin Ruiz, Carlos Perez Vazquez and Laura Castellanos Mariano), also presented an injunction stating that in the election process that was followed in the Senate “five constitutional articles were violated.”

Opposition lawmakers also did the same and contemplate, if necessary, filing a criminal complaint against Piedra “for false statements”, “since she swore under oath to tell the truth that in a year before the election she did not hold the executive position of any party and instead the National Electoral Institute confirmed that she is registered as a member of MORENA State Council in Nuevo León,” said Kenia Lopez, president of the Senate Human Rights Commission.

Even members of the Advisory Council of the CNDH expressed their disagreement by resigning their position, a situation that had no precedent. This includes Mariclaire Acosta Urquidi, Maria Ampudia Gonzalez, Angelica Cuellar and Maria Olga Noriega Saenz who expressed in a letter that “an ombudsperson without legitimacy will be unable to establish a valid interlocution with the different actors involved in the observation, protection and promotion of human rights, nor can they generate confidence or legal certainty necessary for their mission.”

Non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, Fundar and Articulo 19, in addition to about twenty associations grouped in the #CNDH Autonomous Collective, and even the UN itself have questioned the same process.

For more information in Spanish:

Juez admite amparo contra designación de Rosario Piedra (MVS Noticias, 4 de diciembre de 2019)
AUTORIDADES, LEGISLADORES Y ONGs… EN SU CONTRA (Vertigo Político, 4 de diciembre de 2019)

Admiten amparo contra designación de Ombudsperson (El Heraldo de México, 4 de diciembre de 2019)

Ex candidatos a la CNDH impugnan ante tribunal federal la presidencia de Rosario Piedra (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de diciembre de 2019)

PRI interpone amparo contra designación de Rosario Piedra en la CNDH (MVS Noticias, 30 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International: UNHCHR Expresses Doubts over Independence and Autonomy of National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) after Rosario Piedra Ibarra’s Election (November 24, 2019)

National: Rosario Ibarra de Piedra Sworn in as New President of CNDH (November 15, 2019)

National: Process of Voting for Head of CNDH to Return (November 15, 2019)

National: Activist Rosario Piedra Ibarra is elected new president of the CNDH (November 11, 2019)


Chiapas: MODEVITE Receives Recognition for Environmental Defense in Chiapas

December 4, 2019

MODEVITE@Proceso

On November 27th, the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Chiapas environmentalist Mariano Abarca Roblero, who defended the rights of nature in the municipality of Chicomuselo from the year 2007 when he saw the socio-environmental effects of the Canadian mining company BlackFire that extracts the mineral from Barita, was remembered in that same municipality. After several threats by company workers he was killed. Since then, his family has carried out a long process with the support of various organizations demanding justice and punishment for the culprits.

In commemoration of his murder, relatives of the environmentalist as well as 32 national and international organizations convened the “Mariano Abarca” Environmental Defense Forum in Chiapas, which was held on November 27th, 2019 at the Sala de Bellas Artes in San Cristobal de Laa Casas.

In the framework of this event, the “Mariano Abarca Award”, the first recognition of environmental defense in Chiapas, was also given to the indigenous organization Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) that is present in 11 municipalities of the state populated by Tseltales, Tsotsiles and Ch’oles from the area of ​​Los Altos and La Selva and which is also part of the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas. The prize that was awarded must recognize “year after year the community, collective or organization of the State of Chiapas, Mexico, that with their struggle for the defense of the rights of nature they defend their peoples, and they defend us all, dignify life, make us not lose hope that Other Worlds are possible” as indicated in the blog dedicated to the “Justice for Mariano Abarca” campaign.

Gustavo Castro of the Other Worlds organization stressed that “the first recognition of the environmental defense in Chiapas 2019 granted to MODEVITE means that we see it, accompany it, make it visible and thank you for your struggle for the good of all peoples.”

The forum was also an important occasion to share experiences of various groups and organizations in defense of land and territory. In the first part, the Movement for the Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE), the Popular Front for the Defense of Soconusco “June 20” (FPDS in its Spanish acronym), Somos La Maya, Zoques in Defense of Life and the Territory (Zodevite), a representative of the Pascacio Gamboa Community, Ixtacomitán and the Regional Council of Agricultural Authorities in Defense of the Territory (CRAADT), an active organization in the Mountains and Costa Chica area of ​​the state of Guerrero participated.

In addition, specialists and panelists from different human rights organizations and institutions were invited. Norma Gonzalez Benitez of Amnesty International attended with an analysis on the criminalization of human rights defenders and the environment in Mexico, Edgar Cortes of the Mexican Institute of Human Rights and Democracy (IMDHD in its Spanish acronym) who spoke on the Mechanism for the Protection of Defenders of Human Rights and Journalists and finally the Swedish Movement for Reconciliation (SweFOR) shared their experiences on the accompaniment work of human rights and environmental defenders and their situation in Chiapas.

For more information in Spanish:

MODEVITE recibirá Reconocimiento a la Defensa Ambiental “Mariano Abarca” (Chiapas Paralelo el 20 de noviembre de 2019)

Exigen justicia a 10 años del asesinato del activista Mariano Abarca; Modevite obtiene premio con su nombre (Proceso el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

PREMIO A LA DEFENSA AMBIENTAL (Justicia para Mariano Abarca el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

Entregarán el primer “Premio Mariano Abarca” al MODEVITE (Educa el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

PRIMER RECONOCIMIENTO A LA DEFENSA AMBIENTAL EN CHIAPAS 2019 “MARIANO ABARCA” (Otros Mundos el 19 de noviembre de 2019)

La minera canadiense Blackfire en Chiapas contra defensores de los territorios y de la vida (REMA el 18 de octubre de 2017)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Megaperegrinación del Movimiento en Defensa de La Vida y del Territorio (MODEVITE) en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (21 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas : Creciente polarización en Chilón ante posible cambio de modo de elección, del sistema oficial al por usos y costumbres. (15 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas: Expresiones de solidaridad y preocupación ante los hostigamientos a integrantes del CEDIAC y de la Misión Jesuita de Bachajón (20 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Modevite ratifica su rechazo a la construcción de la super carretera entre San Cristóbal de las Casas y Palenque (2 de mayo de 2019)

Chiapas: realizan foro sobre Libre determinación(10 de agosto de 2018)

Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determinationm (November 24, 2017)

Chiapas: Movement in Defense of Life and Territory 12-Day Pilgrimage Ends in San Cristobal de Las Casas (December 2, 2016)


National/International: “When Words Are Not Enough” – Amnesty International Report almost One Year after AMLO Takes Office

December 4, 2019

AI

On November 27th, almost one year after the inauguration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) as the new president of Mexico, Amnesty International (AI) presented a report entitled “When Words Are Not Enough” in which it takes stock of progress made on the human rights crisis in the country.

“The government of President Lopez Obrador has shown a willingness to move forward partially on some initiatives, especially on the issue of disappearances in the country. However, after a year of his government, there are no substantial changes in the lives of millions of people facing a very serious human rights crisis that has lasted for more than a decade. The very high levels of violence that undermine the right to life, the torture that is still widespread, the alarming rates of violence against women, and a militarized security strategy more alive than ever, are a sign of the tragic reality in Mexico,” Erika Guevara Rosas, director for the Americas of Amnesty International, said.

Refarding advances, she considered that the decision of the government in August to recognize the competence of the Committee against Enforced Disappearances of the UN to review communications on individual cases, gave a solution to one of the repeated demands of relatives of missing persons and human rights organizations. “However, this measure has not yet been implemented.”

AI said it sees “a huge incongruity between what the government says and what it then does. It promises a more humane treatment for migrants and in need of international protection, but sends the National Guard to persecute and detain them. It says he will protect human rights defenders and journalists, but publicly discredits them. It is worrisome that human rights violations remain the rule in Mexico and not the exception,” Erika Guevara Rosas added.

Amnesty International concluded that “in order to achieve a substantial change in human rights, the government must stop blaming previous administrations for the situation and, instead, accept responsibility for what is happening in the present and seek solutions to address the serious debts pending in the matter, making sure that any policy of the current administration has human rights and its international obligations as a fundamental basis.”

For more information in Spanish:

Cuando las palabras no bastan (Amnistía Internacional, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

México: Amnistía Internacional alerta sobre la falta de avances en derechos humanos después de un año del nuevo gobierno (Amnistía Internacional, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

“Las palabras no bastan”, la evaluación de AI al gobierno de AMLO en materia de derechos humanos (Proceso, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

México mantiene crisis de derechos humanos en gobierno de AMLO según Amnistía Internacional (El Sol de México, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

Amnistía Internacional califica de “incongruente” la política de derechos humanos de López Obrador (El País, 28 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: Un Human Rights Committee Issues 48 Human Rights Recommendations for Mexico (November 12, 2019)

National/International: Attacks on Migrant Defenders in Central America, Mexico and U.S. Increase (October 1, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Expresses Concern over Unresolved Issues in Mexico (September 22, 2019)