National: Deputies Declare Forced Displacement a Crime

April 15, 2019

Forced displacement.png@ MSN Photo

On April 10th, in the absence of a General Law on Internal Displacement, the Chamber of Deputies approved a ruling that reforms the Federal Criminal Code to categorize Internal Forced Displacement (DFI) as a crime.

The ruling of the Justice Commission by which article 287 is added and a Chapter III to the Eighteenth Title of the Federal Criminal Code was approved with a unanimous vote of 429 votes in favor.

Article 287 says that “one commits the crime of internal forced displacement, who individually or collectively, through violence or any other means or coercive act, made against a person or group of people, causes them to leave their place of residence.

A penalty of six to twelve years in prison and 300 to 600 days of fine will be imposed on the person who commits the conduct contemplated in the previous paragraph.

The penalty will be increased by up to half when the crime is committed against a child, adolescent, human rights defender and journalists.

Internal displacement shall not be understood as the movement of the population carried out by the authority when its purpose is the security of the same or by judicial order.”

With the approval, the ruling was turned over to the Senate of the Republic to continue with its constitutional process.

For more information in Spanish:

Se sancionará penalmente a quien propicie el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (Canal del Congreso, 10 de abril de 2019)

Dictamen de la Comisión de Justicia a la iniciativa que adiciona el artículo 287 Bis y un capitulo III al título decimoctava del Código Penal Federal, referente al desplazamiento forzado interno (Gaceta Diputados, 10 de abril de 2019)

Desplazamiento forzado es tipificado (El Economista, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: desplazados de la Sierra llegan a un acuerdo con el gobierno y dejan su plantón en la Ciudad de México (29 de marzo de 2019)

Nacional: Comisión Mexicana en Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH) organizó eventos sobre el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (19 de febrero de 2019)

Nacional/Chiapas: la Comisión de Pueblos Indígenas de la Cámara de diputados exhorta a diversas autoridades a resolver la problemática causada por el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (19 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Organizaciones Civiles llaman a que se implementen las recomendaciones de la CNDH, en cuanto al Desplazamiento Forzado en Chalchihuitán (15 de febrero de 2019)

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National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico

April 11, 2019

UNHCHR.pngMichelle Bachelet (@CINU)

At the end of her official visit to Mexico, which took place between April 5th and 9th, the United Nations Organization High Commissioner of the for Human Rights (UN-DH), Michelle Bachelet, said she was surprised by the levels of violence and the dimension of the human rights crisis in the country. “It was a surprise to me what I found. Without a doubt, the case of Ayotzinapa is well known by the press, but the 40 thousand disappeared was not something that was so clear, of the 26 thousand bodies without identification (in the forensic services). Or ten women murdered a day. I knew very well about the violence, but I had no idea of ​​the dimension (…) The data are terrifying.” She pointed out that Mexico has figures for violent deaths equivalent to a country at war: 252,538,000 since 2006.

She highlighted outstanding human rights issues in different areas, in particular regarding forced disappearances, femicides, violence against defenders and journalists, torture, abuses against migrants, as well as high poverty rates -especially in indigenous communities- and the need to carry out consultations in accordance with international standards, among others, in order to undertake megaprojects.

The High Commissioner also signed a collaboration agreement on the National Guard and another on the collaboration of the agency in charge of the investigation of the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014).

The former president of Chile stressed that the new authorities of the country “have recognized that Mexico has a human rights crisis,” that there is political will to move forward with the pending issues and that “President Lopez Obrador has expressed his willingness to implement a change of paradigm.” She stressed that in the case of the National Guard, the Mexican government is talking about “accountability, transparency, human rights indicators that allow us to see if the National Guard is indeed going in the right direction or is deviating.” “The office will not hesitate to raise the alarm if it sees that there is any type of situation that does not correspond to the spirit of what is sought and the spirit of the agreement”, she said.

In the Ayotzinapa case, she said: “My office will be an ally that will not hesitate to contribute to progress and at the same time will raise the alarm in case of non-compliance. We request to know the whereabouts of the boys”, she added.

For more information in Spanish:

Enfrentar las desapariciones forzadas es el problema central en México, insta Michelle Bachelet (ONU México, 9 de abril de 2019)

México tiene cifras de muertes violentas propias de un país en guerra: Bachelet (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

La ACNUDH asesorará la creación de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet defiende a la sociedad civil: Es importante para la democracia, le dice al gobierno de México (Animal Político, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet se va desolada de tanto horror en México: “No sabía de todo lo que me he encontrado…” (Sin Embargo, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet: como una guerra, las muertes violentas en México (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018

September 21, 2018

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018 (September 21, 2018)


Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike

April 8, 2019

Presos

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike in different prisons in Chiapas have now entered their fourth week on this protest. Their health situation is deteriorating: “German Lopez Montejo, a prisoner on hunger strike, is suffering from fainting due to low blood glucose levels. The Working Group No Estamos Todxs claims that in the CERSS # 14 (Amate Prison) the prisoners are not ingesting the minimum amount of honey for survival because the prison authorities have retained it [their supply].”

On April 4th, SIPAZ visited the inmates of The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance (La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia) and Supporters of the Voice of Amate (Solidarios de La Voz de Amate). Both are located in CERRS # 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

The reasons for their protest are that they declare themselves innocent of the crimes of which they are accused, and that they were forced to plead guilty under torture. They began their hunger strike to demand their freedom.

Furthermore, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a document on March 22nd denouncing that “the 13 people deprived of their liberty began a hunger strike inside prisons to denounce human rights violations they live daily in the penitentiary centers where they are held, as well as to proclaim their innocence given the unfair trials in which they are being prosecuted. It is important to point out that they have denounced torture and cruel inhuman and/or degrading treatment since the moment of their arrest, 12 of them are indigenous Tsotsiles.

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike have indicated that they constantly receive threats and harassment from the prison authorities to give up their protest.

We request that the personal integrity of the 13 persons deprived of their liberty who are on hunger strike be respected and that they be treated in accordance with their dignity and that due respect for fundamental rights be respected.

We urge the authorities of the state of Chiapas to immediately cease acts of threats and intimidation, as well as acts of punishment that constitute torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment. “

The people who are on hunger strike are: Abraham Lopez Montejo and German Lopez Montejo, in the Social Rehabilitation Center for Sentences No. 14 El Amate (CERSS No. 14 El Amate), in Cintalapa; Adrian Gomez Jimenez, Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Mariano Gomez Lopez, Marcos Gomez Lopez, Martin Gomez Lopez, Mariano Perez Velasco, Mario Diaz Rodriguez, Felipe Diaz Mendez and Juan Castellanos Gomez in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas; as well as Marcelino Ruiz Gomez and Baldemar Gomez Hernandez in CERSS No. 10 in Comitan de Dominguez.

For more information in Spanish:

Presos indígenas, 18 días en huelga de hambre, 2 de abril de 2019, Chiapasparalelo

Riesgo grave a la salud de nuestros compañeros en huelga de hambre en el CERSS#14, noestamostodxs.tk, 4 de abril de 2019

Reos indígenas de Chiapas se cosen los labios para exigir su libertad,  Proceso, 29 de marzo de 2019

Cese de amenazas y hostigamientos a presos en huelga de hambre en Chiapas, CDHFBLC, 22 de marzo de 2019

Trece presos indígenas cumplen 18 días en huelga en Chiapas; acusan tortura y exigen su liberación, Sinembargo 2 de abril de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Thirteen Prisoners on Hunger Strike  (March 24, 2019)

Chiapas : seis presos indígenas inician huelga de hambre (16 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate (March 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristóbal carry out fast to demand respect for their rights (January 4, 2019)

Chiapas: Indígenas presos en San Cristóbal de Las Casas exigen revisión de sus expedientes (4 de enero de 2019)


National: 21 Environmental Defenders Murdered in 2018 (CEMDA)

April 1, 2019

CEDMA.pngPresentation of CEMDA 2018 Report (@MVS Noticias)

On March 25th, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA in its Spanish acronym) presented its report on the situation of Defenders of Environmental Human Rights 2018, in which it reports that there were 21 murders of activists in our country during 2018, maintaining “the lethal trend of 2017 when the country was included in fourth place in the world where there have been most murders of people who defend the environment.”

CEMDA stressed that “homicide was placed first of the aggressions committed against defenders of the environment in Mexico,” 49 attacks being documented in 2018 and acknowledged that “not all aggressions are reported or recorded by public media.” The report details that of these aggressions, 25% were murders; 19%, acts of criminalization; while threats and physical aggression accounted for 17% of the cases. The states most affected by aggressions were Puebla followed by Oaxaca and Chihuahua.

The vast majority of the attacks (37) occurred in a context of dispute over land and territory. The report also emphasizes that, “unfortunately, it is the Mexican State itself – which should be the guarantor of the human rights of environmental defenders – who was identified as one of the main aggressors.”

CEMDA urged the Mexican government to opt “for the consolidation of the pluricultural State” and to ratify the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (The Escazu Agreement, September 2018)) as soon as possible to establish a comprehensive and effective policy for the effective protection of environmental defenders and the prevention of aggressions.

Some recommendations issued by CEMDA in its Report include: “a) Align and harmonize the legal framework and public policies under a human rights approach and the principle of the pluricultural State; b) Implement, in environmental legislation and public policies, the gender perspective; c) Respect the right to autonomy, to the territory and to their own development for the indigenous communities facing development megaprojects; d) Guarantee timely compliance with the right to free, prior and informed consent of the peoples and communities and indigenous peoples, as well as information and participation in development projects that significantly affect their way of life; e) Implement measures such as the temporary suspension of work and activity until the rights of the indigenous communities are guaranteed; f) Review the content of the criminal types that facilitate the criminalization of environmental defenders; g) Suspend the implementation of a development project when there is evidence of attacks and aggressions against environmental defenders; h) Carry out the social and environmental impact assessments in the first stages of the project, before granting concessions or permits for natural resources; i) Strengthen the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, providing sufficient budget and material resources to fulfill its objective; as well as granting protection to groups that defend environmental human rights; j) Guarantee the right to full reparation of damage to defenders for attacks and violations of their human rights “; among others.

For more information in Spanish:

En 2018 fueron asesinadas 21 personas en México por defender la tierra, el medio ambiente y el territorio (CEMDA, boletín de prensa, 25 de marzo de 2019)

Informe sobre la situaciónde las personas defensoras de losderechos humanos ambientales México 2018 (CEMDA, 25 de marzo de 2019)

Defensores ambientales viven una complicada situación: AI (La Jornada, 26 de marzo de 2019)

Advierten tendencia al alza en homicidios de defensores del medio ambiente en 2019 (MVS Noticias, 25 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Map of over 800 Environmental Conflicts Caused by Megaprojects in 12 Years (March 12, 2019)

National/International: Global Witness Publishes “At What Price? Irresponsible Business and the Murder of Land and Environment Defenders 2017”

(August 6th, 2018)

National: CEMDA 2017 Report Shows Increase in Vulnerability of Environmental Defenders (March 26th, 2018)


National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed

March 31, 2019

Mechanism.png

At the morning press conference on March 25th, the president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) and the Undersecretary of Human Rights, Migration and Population of the Ministry of the Interior, Alejandro Encinas, presented their diagnosis of the functioning of the mechanism of protection for journalists and human rights defenders, and announced new measures.

Regarding the functioning to date, Encinas acknowledged several deficiencies, among them, its bureaucratic and fundamentally reactive nature: “the preventive part is not taken care of not only of those who are subject to the Protection Mechanism, but journalists defenders in general”, he stressed. He also presented as a limitation the fact that the person in charge of “all the application of the mechanisms for each one of the persons who are subject to protection and who report deficiencies in the operation, particularly in their technological equipment and in their personnel” is a private company.

He said that the services of the company will be maintained, but “under a much more direct control mechanism” until the State can assume this responsibility “that cannot be delegated to a private person … We will rethink everything, which will even involve a saving of at least 15%, more than 30 million pesos currently channeled to a private company”, he explained.

He also questioned the use of panic buttons: “Of the 792 buttons, 209 of the users have turned off the button for more than 150 days a year; 100 more have it off between 61 and 150 days of the year. And although an important number, 230, have it on practically permanently, it is very unequally used.”

Currently, there are 790 beneficiaries of the mechanism: 292 journalists and 498 human rights defenders. Since December 1st (when AMLO came to power) to date there have been six murders of journalists, of which only one was under the protection of the mechanism, and in four cases there have been arrests. In the case of the defenders, nine homicides have been reported and only two have been clarified.

For more information in Spanish:

Mecanismo de protección a periodistas y defensores es reactivo, no preventivo: Encinas (Proceso, 25 de marzo de 2019)

Presenta AMLO mecanismo de protección para periodistas (Video; Aristegui Noticias, 25 de marzo de 2019)

El Gobierno anterior entregó a empresa privada la protección de periodistas y defensores: Encinas (Sin Embargo, 25 de marzo de 2019)

AMLO reconoce el asesinato de seis periodistas y ocho defensores en lo que va de su gobierno (Proceso, 25 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)

National: Defenders and Journalists Denounce Insufficient Resources for Continuity of Protection Mechanism (September 26th, 2018)

National: UN-DH urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders (September 17, 2018)


Chiapas/International: Urgent Action – Canadian Embassy before Courts for Undue Intervention in Chicomuselo Mining Conflict

March 27, 2019

Mining.png

On March 25th, a hearing will be held in Ottawa, Canada as representatives of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico were sued in an administrative complaint before the Federal Court of Canada “for their dangerous negotiations in a mining conflict,” related to the criminalization and the murder of Mariano Abarca in Chicomuselo, Chiapas in 2009.

It should be remembered that the local leader of the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) was murdered “after an active and peaceful resistance that the villagers carried out against this company that extracted barite ore. All the suspects in the case had links to the mining company Blackfire Exploration, but no one was convicted of the murder. The investigation is still open.” In addition, “until the day of his murder, Mariano suffered threats, intimidation, beatings, arbitrary detention under false accusations made by the mining company, among other abuses.”

In the framework of the hearing, the website #Justicia for Mariano Abarca published an Urgent Action in which it stressed that “documentation obtained through the transparency law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada, shows that, despite the significant knowledge that the Canadian embassy had on the facts between the company Blackfire and Mr. Abarca -including the death threats that he faced- it went to the state government of Chiapas to ask it to control the protests against the Canadian company in the community.”

It also denounced that, “there is no will or legal frameworks, regulations or binding protocols for the personnel of the Canadian embassies in order to ensure human rights.” Therefore the Urgent Action raises the demand for “a full and impartial investigation into the case of Mariano Abarca Roblero, and ensure legal measures to prevent embassies from continuing to intervene to overlap the abuse and violation of human rights that Canadian mining companies commit in other countries.”

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente en línea: Embajada Canadiense a los tribunales por su intervención indebida en conflicto minero en México (#Justicia para Mariano, 19 de marzo de 2019)

“En México, los intereses de Canadá son los de las empresas mineras” (Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros en América Latina, 15 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Chiapas : Interponen solicitud formal ante gobierno de Canadá para investigar a los diplomáticos en este país ante caso de ambientalista asesinado (7 de febrero de 2018)

Chiapas: 5 years since the murder of mining critic Mariano Abarca (December 15, 2014)

Chiapas: 5,000 Men and Women on Pilgrimage against Mining in Chicomuselo (October 17, 2017)

Chiapas: Anti-Mining Activist Mariano Abarca Killed (December 1, 2009)


Oaxaca: German Trasnational Siemens Building New Wind Farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio

March 26, 2019

SiemensTehuantepec (@Noe Pineda Arredondo)

In mid-March, the secretary of the Environment, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development of Oaxaca, Jose Luis Calvo Ziga, announced that soon the German transnational Siemens will start building another wind farm in Santo Domingo Ingenio, La Minuta reported.

This announcement causes concern and the development of wind farms in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec has often been pointed out as a source of violations of human rights, corruption and violence in this region.

For more information in Spanish:

Pese a estela de corrupción y violaciones a los derechos humanos, anuncian nuevo parque eólico en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 20 de marzo de 2019)

La eólica más grande de AL la tiene Oaxaca (NVI Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Beneficiadas por eólicas en el Istmo más de 400 empresas (El Universal, 26 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: SCJN avala consulta indígena realizada en Juchitán (16 de noviembre de 2018)

Oaxaca: SCJN is called to protect the collective rights of the Zapotec community and to cancel the permits of the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation

(November 2, 2018)

Oaxaca: Asesinan a defensor quien se opuso contra un proyecto de la empresa Eólica del Sur (25 de julio de 2018)

Oaxaca : Emiten Alerta Temprana a favor de indígenas zapotecas de Unión Hidalgo (22 junio de 2018)

Oaxaca : Suspenden la construcción de un parque eólico en Unión Hidalgo (24 de mayo de 2018)

Oaxaca : comuneras y comuneros de Unión Hidalgo rechazan consulta indígena (18 de abril de 2018)

Oaxaca: Eviction and Arrests at Bií Hioxo Wind Farm (July 25, 2017)

Oaxaca: Eleven Ejidatarios Arrested in Eviction of French EDF Wind Farm (May 4, 2017)