International/National: USA Closes Southern Border to Asylum Seekers Due to Coronavirus

March 25, 2020

merlin_147497259_5b459f8d-d2a3-4a2b-aa17-6c8d62a74ef4-superJumbo (1)@New York Times

On March 24th, the United States government closed access to any asylum application on its border with Mexico. According to the New York Times, analysts say this is the first time since the current asylum system began that the United States has closed the asylum program on its border.

The US government has also postponed appointments for asylum seekers, who are thousands waiting in Mexico, some for months. In addition, the government has announced that all foreigners found crossing the Mexican border without documents will be returned to Mexico.

One justification given for returning everyone to Mexico is that there are many people in detention centers in the United States, and that if someone with coronavirus enters, it could quickly spread inside. On the Mexican side of the border, there is also a coronavirus-related health risk for migrants.

In Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, where there are more than 1,300 migrants from various countries in shelters, there is concern regarding coronavirus for migrants who are waiting there, not only because they are a transitional group by definition, but also because they have underlying health issues, and because there is a lack of personal space, basic cleaning supplies and personal care.

Critics of the Trump government accuse him of taking advantage of the cornavirus pandemic to intensify his anti-immigration policies, while the people of the country are preoccupied with their own economic and health concerns.

For more information in Spanish:

El cierre de la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México frustra la esperanza de los solicitantes de asilo New York Times, 23 de marzo de 2020.

Migrantes, desamparados frente al coronavirus Educa, 23 de marzo de 2020.

EEUU pospone todas las audiencias de solicitantes de asilo devueltos a México debido al coronavirus Univision, 24 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Mexico and US Reevaluate Migration Agreement after Three Months; Disagreement over Desired Outcomes (September 23, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Acuerdo sobre migración entre EUA y México cancela imposición de aranceles al segundo (June 8,2019).

Mexico – National/International: Latest Amnesty International Report on the Deadly Return of Central American Asylum Seekers from Mexico (February 15, 2018)


National: Proposal to Reform Article 4 of the Constitution Regarding Social Programs

March 23, 2020

AMLO-programasRegeneracion

On March 16th, the Senate of the Republic reported that “the Ruling Board of the Senate of the Republic turned to the united committees of Constitutional Points; and of Legislative Studies, Second, the minute sent by the co-legislator that reforms Article 4 of the Constitution to elevate access to social programs to the constitutional level.”

With the reform, they seek “that the State guarantees the delivery of social programs to the population with permanent disabilities, to people over 68 years of age, scholarships for students in poverty, as well as to provide health services to those who do not have social security.”

The minutes establish that a National Health System for Welfare will be created, in order to have a progressive, quantitative and qualitative extension of these services.

“People over 68 years of age will receive a non-contributory pension from the State in the terms established by law; furthermore, in the case of indigenous people, this benefit will be granted from the age of 65. There will be a scholarship system for students at all school levels belonging to families in poverty to guarantee, with equity, the right to education, and deficiencies in health services will be addressed.”

For more information in Spanish:

Recibe Senado minuta para elevar a rango constitucional los programas sociales (Senado de la República, 16 de marzo de 2020)

Conservadores no podrán echar atrás programas sociales, celebra AMLO tras reforma constitucional (Proceso, 11 de marzo de 2020)

‘PAN no avalará reformas para cumplir caprichos’ (El Universal, 16 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held (February 28, 2020)

Chiapas: First State Assembly in Support of AMLO’s National Project Held in San Cristobal de Las Casas (February 28, 2020)

Oaxaca: People Demand Payment of Social Programs During AMLO’s Tour of State (October 14, 2019)


Chiapas: Prisoners Start Three-day Fast to Demand Freedom

March 23, 2020

presos

The prisoners, members of the organization Solidarios de la Voz de Amate, announce three days of fasting to demand their freedom:

“Indigenous Prisoners “Solidarios de la Voz de Amate” adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the EZLN Lacandon Jungle, held in CERSS Number 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

Once again, we raise our voices because of the wave of injustices that exist in this state of Chiapas. Here we continue waiting for the “Fourth Transformation”, since we are still unjustly deprived of our freedom.

Enough mistreatment and discrimination against all of us who demonstrate peacefully to demand justice! Today, Wednesday, March 18th, 2020, we celebrate exactly one year of fighting for our freedom.

Here we continue with our family members, compañeros, and different organizations that have dignifiedly accompanied us in search for our freedom. For a year, the government of the state of Chiapas pledged before them that there would soon be a clear solution for our freedom. This promise has not come to this day, but on the contrary, it is a mockery and a deception.

For this reason, starting today, Wednesday the 15th, we announce that we will be fasting for three days, to demand once again our immediate freedom from the governor of the state of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandon Cadenas, as he is aware of each case and he knows that we are innocent, he clearly knows the violation of our rights at the time of our arrest, as well as in the trials.

Furthermore, to remind the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of his promise of “No more political prisoners.” One year and three months of his government, we continue waiting for this promise.

Our families have gone out knocking on doors at the state and federal levels, they have witnessed false promises, so we have decided to carry out this action.

Our 29-day strike last year will not go unpunished.

We will never be silent!

Freedom, freedom!

Finally, we invite the different local, national and international organizations to unite to demand our freedom, as well as that of the country’s political prisoners.”

The prisoners are: Mariano Perez Velasco, Martin Gomez Lopez, Marcos Gomez Lopez, Mariano Gomez Lopez, Felipe Diaz Mendez, Mario Diaz Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez Perez, Mario Gomez Lopez held at the State Center for Social Reintegration for Sentenced Persons Number 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Exigen libertad para las 9 presos solidarios de la Voz del Amate, (6 /11/2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)


Chiapas: EZLN Closes Caracoles Due to Coronavirus and Calls on People to Continue Struggle

March 19, 2020

ezln

On March 16th, 2020, the EZLN published a communiqué about the actions that they are going to take against the Coronavirus and a strong call not to give up the struggle:

“CONSIDERING THE REAL, SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN THREAT TO HUMAN LIFE THAT  COVID-19, ALSO KNOWN AS “CORONAVIRUS” PRESENTS;

CONSIDERING THE FRIVOLOUS IRRESPONSIBILITY AND THE LACK OF SERIOUSNESS OF THE BAD GOVERNMENTS AND OF THE POLITICAL CLASS IN ITS ENTIRETY, THAT MAKE USE OF A HUMANITARIAN PROBLEM TO ATTACK EACH OTHER, INSTEAD OF TAKING THE NECESSARY MEASURES TO CONFRONT THE LIFE-THREATENING VIRUS, WHICH ENDANGERS EVERYONE IRREGARDLESS OF NATIONALITY, GENDER, RACE, LANGUAGE, RELIGIOUS BELIEF, POLITICAL AFFILIATION, SOCIAL CONDITION OR HISTORY;

CONSIDERING THE LACK OF TRUE AND TIMELY INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCOPE AND GRAVITY OF THE VIRUS, AS WELL AS THE ABSENCE OF A REAL PLAN TO CONFRONT THE THREAT;

CONSIDERING THE ZAPATISTA COMMITMENT IN OUR FIGHT FOR LIFE;

WE HAVE DECIDED:

FIRST.- DECLARE A RED ALERT IN OUR VILLAGES, COMMUNITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS, AND IN ALL THE ZAPATIST ORGANIZATIONAL BODIES.

SECOND.- TO GOOD GOVERNMENT COUNCILS AND AUTONOMOUS REBEL ZAPATISTA MUNICIPALITIES, WE RECOMMEND THE TOTAL AND IMMEDIATE CLOSURE OF THE CARACOLES AND CENTERS OF RESISTANCE AND REBELLION.

THIRD.- WE RECOMMEND THE SUPPORT BASES AND ALL THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE TO FOLLOW A SERIES OF SPECIAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND HYGIENE MEASURES THAT WILL BE SENT TO THE ZAPATIST COMMUNITIES, TOWNS AND NEIGHBORHOODS.

FOURTH.- IN THE ABSENCE OF THE BAD GOVERNMENTS, WE URGE EVERYONE, IN MEXICO AND THE WORLD, TO TAKE THE NECESSARY WITH SCIENTIFICALLY-BASED SANITARY MEASURES THAT WILL ALLOW US TO SURVIVE THIS PANDEMIC.

FIFTH.- WE CALL ON YOU NOT TO CEASE THE STRUGGLE AGAINST FEMICIDAL  VIOLENCE, TO CONTINUE THE STRUGGLE IN DEFENSE OF TERRITORY AND MOTHER EARTH, TO KEEP UP THE STRUGGLE FOR THE DISAPPEARED, MURDERED, AND IMPRISONED, AND KEEP THE FLAG OF THE FIGHT FOR HUMANITY RAISED HIGH.

SIXTH.- WE CALL ON YOU NOT TO LOSE HUMAN CONTACT, BUT TO TEMPORARILY CHANGE THE WAYS WE RELATE TO EACH OTHER AS COMRADES, SISTERS, BROTHERS, SISTERS.

THE WORD, THE EAR, AND THE HEART, HAVE MANY ROADS, MANY WAYS, MANY CALENDARS AND MANY GEOGRAPHIES TO MEET. THIS FIGHT FOR LIFE MAY BE ONE OF THEM.”

For more information in Spanish:

POR CORONAVIRUS EL EZLN CIERRA CARACOLES Y LLAMA A NO ABANDONAR LAS LUCHAS ACTUALES, Enlace Zapatista, 16 de marzo de 2020

EZLN decreta “alerta roja” por coronavirus y cierra sus centros de autogobierno en Chiapas, Aristeguinoticias, 17 de marzo de 2020

EZLN cierra sus centros de reunión, por COVID-19, Chiapasparalelo, 16 de marzo de 2020

EZLN decreta “alerta roja” en sus pueblos, comunidades por Covid-19, La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2020


National: Federal Judge Halts Indefinitely Construction of Maya Train in Calakmul, Campeche

March 9, 2020

calakmul@ElEconomista

A federal judge has suspended the construction of any new works in Calakmul, Campeche, including the Maya Train project.

Behind the decision is an injunction presented by the Regional and Popular Council of Xpujil (CRIPX), which represents the interests of the indigenous communities of the Peninsular Mayan people and Ch’ol, in the municipality of Calakmul. The suspension only has jurisdiction in Calakmul, which affects the section of the Maya Train between Bacalar and Escarcega, Campeche.

In her ruling, the judge noted that the suspension will be limited in scope: “it does not prevent the authorities from carrying out administrative acts aimed at carrying out the work, such as: tenders, obtaining environmental permits and any other item; preparation of budgets and projects, etc., because such acts do not entail any imminent damage to the claimant community.”

The legal advisor of the Indigenous and Popular Regional Council of Xpujil, Elisa Cruz Rueda, stressed that, although the resolution is a positive step, its geographical limitations would not allow the protection of indigenous peoples: with this, “it limits the suspension to Calakmul, with that ruling violates the rights of indigenous peoples to the integrity of their territories, their habitat and the exercise of their autonomy and self-determination.”

Regarding the case, on March 5th, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) denounced “harassment, intimidation, and aggressions by MORENA members towards fellow CRIPX members.”

At the state level, since February 27th, a Collegiate Court of Campeche prevented the federal government from executing the works of the Maya Train in the municipality of Calakmul, for the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, and also for environmental reasons.

The injunction was filed on January 14th, when, according to the CRIPZ, the Federal Judicial Branch granted them a provisional suspension of the construction of the “Maya Train Development Project”, which was quickly challenged by the government.

For more information in Spanish:

Revés judicial al Tren Maya en Calakmul La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2020.

Jueza federal concedió suspensión que frena por tiempo indefinido el Tren Maya en Calakmul, Campeche Infobae, 5 de marzo de 2020.

Conceden suspensión definitiva del Tren Maya en Xpujil, Calakmul El Economista, 4 de marzo de 2020.

Denuncian “acoso y agresiones” de Morena, hacia el CNI en Calakmul, Campeche Pozol Colectivo, 5 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Campeche: Injunction against Maya Train Limited to Municipality Calakmul (March 2, 2020)

National/Campeche: Government Denies Reports of Suspension of Maya Train (January 31, 2020)

National/International: Consultation on Maya Train did not Meet International Standards (January 4, 2020)


Chiapas: Kidnapping of Permanent Deacon San Cristobal de Las Casas Denounced

March 9, 2020

339722_294568090559367_11244267_oPhoto @ Archivo Misión de Guadalupe

We share a statement from the Guadalupe Mission, Comitan de Dominguez:

GUADALUPE MISSION.

FOR THE RELEASE OF THE DEACON ARSENIO VELASCO RODRIGUEZ

To the general public

To the Diocese of San Cristobal

To the parishes and communities of the Southeastern Team of the Diocese of San Cristobal

To federal, state and municipal authorities

To the media

We are against any arbitrary detention!

Yes to dialogue, no to violence!

We denounce the kidnapping of Brother Arsenio Velasco Rodriguez, Permanent Deacon of the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, from Saltillo community, municipality of Las Margaritas; who was beaten and kidnapped by hooded and armed men about 600 meters from his community, on the road to Nuevo San Juan Chamula, at approximately 6:30 on the morning on March 4th, 2020; hooded and armed men intercepted the red motorcycle with rope, throwing him onto the road, and taking him to San Jose Zapotal community. He was accompanied by his 14-year-old grandson, Osmar Rodriguez Velasco, who was taking him to work on the plot; The minor was also beaten, his cell phone and motorcycle keys were taken away so that he did not immediately raise he alarm, the young man is a witness to what happened, identifying that they are people from the San Jose Zapotal community.

We demand that the inhabitants of San Jose Zapotal release Deacon Arsenio Velasco Rodriguez, as he is not responsible for any crime.

We request the immediate intervention of the Chiapas State and Las Margaritas municipal governments and corresponding institutions, as the population of Saltillo is at risk of being attacked, by the inhabitants of San Jose Zapotal, to avoid a confrontation.

We demand that all agencies of the Chiapas state and Las Margaritas municipal governments investigate the facts as soon as possible and release the Deacon and that they solve the problem of this conflict that has been going on for many years.

We thank all the people of good will who have expressed their solidarity for the cause of truth and justice and for the liberation of the brother deacon Arsenio Velasco Rodriguez

Comitan de Dominguez, Chiapas March 5th, 2020

Sincerely

The two Missions and the 12 parishes of the Southeastern Team of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

For more information in Spanish:

Por conflicto de tierras, pobladores detienen a diácono en Chiapas (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2020)


National: #UnDíaSinNosotras – National Women’s Strike Convened amid Controversy

February 28, 2020

ERGH5WaWsAEViUwPhoto @MujeresdelMar

Amid the controversy surrounding different cases of femicide in the country, and following the massive response to the call for a national women’s strike by different feminist groups, the issue of violence against women in Mexico was placed in the center of attention, generating controversy nationwide.

On February 18th, the collective Brujas del Mar (Sea Witches) formalized the idea of ​​the national strike “On the 9th, No Woman Moves”, and launched an invitation to the national strike on March 9, 2020, in a Twitter a post.

“If we stop, the world stops,”

NOT ONE WOMAN ON THE STREETS

NOT ONE WOMAN AT WORK

NOT ONE GIRL AT SCHOOLS

NOT ONE YOUNG WOMAN AT UNIVERSITY

NOT ONE WOMAN BUYING

# UnDíaSinNosos #ParoNacional

The post began to go viral and generated a discussion on social networks.

The idea of ​​national strike is not new in the world and exists since 1975, the year in which the UN declared March 8th International Women’s Day. Since that date in different countries women have performed different actions around this date.

“On March 8th, 2018, Spain captured the world’s attention, especially in Europe, with a 24-hour strike of women and demonstrations of unseen proportions: around six million workers stopped, according to trade union organizations, and there were demonstrations in 120 cities, where the conveners spoke of up to one million attendees in Madrid and 600 thousand in Barcelona.” Similarly, in previous years, in the United States, Poland and Argentina, women held national strikes to highlight irregularities in relation to the gender issue.

Currently in Mexico different public and private organizations, universities, civil society and women from different parts of the nation responded to the call. Similarly politicians and parties joined in and the call was “also shared by the president of the party, parliamentary coordinators and governors of PAN, the PRI Twitter account in the State of Mexico, the PRD governor of Michoacan, and supported by the governor Jalisco of Movimiento Ciudadano, among other known personalities,” the newspaper Animal Politico reported.

The dimension of the call and the diversity of players who disseminated it in turn generated confusion about who is really calling for the national strike. Thus there were accusations by public officials that the “right”, opposed to the current government, was behind the call. “Given this wave of accusations about the origin of the call,  Brujas del Mar themselves clarified that they were the authors of the purple background image and that they had nothing to do with the right.”

However, according to information from Animal Politico, after the clarifications of Brujas del Mar, the President of the Republic, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) stated during a press conference from La Paz, Baja California Sur, that he is in favor of the movement but recommended caution with the conservatives who also promote it.

“Just be very careful because now conservatives have already become feminists (…) the only thing is to be aware of the reason for this action, if it is a good thing that helps, and does not allow itself to be manipulated, be careful because conservatism, the right, it is very hypocritical and very given to manipulation.” He also stressed “of course the right is involved, conservatives. That is, as there are women who, out of conviction and freely, protest and will continue to do so, there are also opportunists. I’m seeing that even the political parties, out of respect, I’m not going to say which parties, but they overdo, they overdo it.” During the conference, in relation to the controversy he also referred to the coup d’etat against Salvador Allende in Chile.

The controversy still worsened after these responses from the president. Carmen Aristegui, addressed AMLO, asking him to “make no mistake” since the call itself for the national strike is not against his government. “Although many opportunists are undoubtedly wanting to use this strike for purposes of another nature … women have a very powerful reason for women and men in this country to demonstrate in this way.” For this reason she suggested to the president that it would be better if he joins the strike.

marchafeminista-focus-0-0-400-333Photo @ElHorizonte

Taking into consideration that the fact that “being a woman anywhere in the world is incredibly complex; but, undoubtedly, in Mexico the challenge has intense peculiarities. Especially since gender violence, despite the enormous awareness that already exists about it, continues to increase and is revealed in virtually all social spaces.”

The existing hard data in this regard are sometimes considered too hard, and moreso, “violence against women is not only in murder but in prosecutors who do not respond in time or at all to allegations of disappearance, in police officers who they do not intervene in calls for help, in the community that does not get involved in domestic problems because ‘dirty linen washed at home’”.

It is true that the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) and the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), under the Ministry of the Interior take account of figures in this regard. However, in spite of all these efforts, according to the organization Data Critica, “although we know a lot about homicides [murders of women], the reality is that there is still a lot to know. And this must be remedied for a simple reason: a problem that we do not understand is a problem that we cannot solve.” In other words, it is difficult to design a successful strategy that fights violence against women without concrete information.

Obviously, the current government, which has a little more than one year in power, cannot be held solely responsible for the high levels of violence in the country. However, the cuts made by the government (for shelters for women who have been victims of violence and to address maternal, sexual and reproductive health issues at the national level, or the reduction of the budget of two agencies aimed at combating violence towards women: the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women and the National Women’s Institute), were their responsibility. These decisions are considered counterproductive by organizations that work on the gender issue and have struggled for years to create governmental bodies that address the problem or ensure that sufficient resources are allocated for the corresponding bodies.

From the perspective of Data Critica, the most important lesson derived from the data analyzed by the study “Keys to understanding and preventing the killing of women in Mexico”, “in addition to demanding policies to address, punish and prevent, for example, domestic violence or to eradicate gender discrimination that persists in different spaces, we also have to demand policies that address the broader security crisis. Among them, policies that guarantee effective arms control; that promote the demilitarization of public security; and that they strengthen civil institutions so that they are really capable of responding to violence in an intelligent, focused, transparent and fair way, at local level and together with the community.”

For years, the promotion of the discussion on gender equality and violence in Mexico has been sought in different fields. The call for a national strike is a massive cry to call attention to these complex and urgent problems and to demand a concrete agenda that can lay the foundations of public policies and clear actions to begin to solve them.

For more information in Spanish:

AMLO asegura que los conservadores están infiltrados en #UnDíaSinNosotras (El Economista, 21 de febrero de 2020)

La derecha está metida en protestas de mujeres, dice AMLO y les pide no dejarse manipular (Animal Político, 21 de febrero de 2020)

Cuál es el origen del paro nacional del 9 de marzo #UnDíaSinMujeres (animal Político, 22 de febrero de 2020)

Claves para entender y prevenir los asesinatos de mujeres en México (Data Crítica)

Presidente AMLO, no se equivoque; paro feminista no es contra su gobierno: Aristegui | Video (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Olimpia Law Used for First Time (February 17, 2020)

Oaxaca: Femicide Violence Worsens as Year Begins (February 5, 2020)

Oaxaca: 126 Femicides One Year after Declaration of Gender Violence Alert (September 2, 2019)

Chiapas: Groups Denounce Increase in Femicides and Transfemicides in the State (August 27, 2019)

National: Over 424,000 on Mexican #Me Too (May 7, 2019)