Chiapas/National: EZLN Postpones CompArte Festival to Support Teachers

July 6, 2016

Mural.pngMural in Cuxulj community (Photo:@SIPAZ)

“This is the time of the teachers in resistance. It is necessary and it is urgent to be with them” – so says the communiqué of July 4 of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), signed by Insurgent Sub-commander Moises and Insurgent Sub-commander Galeano. In the communiqué they summarize “the lessons of June.” Those above have been clear and cynical: “in Mexico, capital rules and the government obeys.” Those below: “the teachers in rebellion and the people who support them concluded their free, public and lay seminar this month of June and they gave us a more complete lesson: in Mexico, capital rules and the government obeys…but the people rebel.”

In the document they said, “when as Zapatistas we say that we respect a movement, it means just that: that we respect it. It means that we so not interfere in their way of doing things or schedules, in their organizational structure, in their decisions, strategies and tactics, their alliances, their decisions. All of that corresponds to those who make up [the movement] to evaluate and decide. … We Zapatistas only want the teachers to feel that we respect them, that we admire them and that we are attentive and taking note of the lessons they are giving us. … To put it more clearly, the most important thing now, on this calendar and from the limited geography in which we resist and struggle, is the struggle of the democratic teachers.” Due to this, they decided to postpone their “participation in the CompArte festival, both in Oventik ‘caracol’ and in CIDECI in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, which was to be held from July 17 to 30 […] and to donate the money and food we have saved for our transport to and from Oventik and CIDECI, for our upkeep during the festival, to the teachers in resistance.”

To continue with the idea of CompArte they asked “the ‘compañeroas’ of the Sixth, in so far as their possibilities allow them, to create in their calendars and geographies spaces and conditions for the Arts and their irreverent challenge to imagine other worlds, so that they can celebrate humanity, its pains, its joys, its struggles. Because this, and nothing else, is the objective of CompArte.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado “Las lecciones en Junio” (Enlace Zapatista, 4 de julio de 2016)

EZLN dona dinero y alimentos a maestros de la CNTE (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de julio de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Aumenta apoyo al magisterio al nivel nacional e internacionalpost magisterio (23 de junio de 2016)

Nacional: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales y comunicado de apoyo del EZLN (1 de junio de 2016)


National: Network for Peace Rejects Violence and Repression of Teachers and Calls for Dialogue

June 26, 2016

Paz

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, June 21, 2016

The member organizations of Network for Peace (Red por la Paz) express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out through the police forces against the teachers’ movement and civil society that has expressed its rejection in recent weeks of the educational reform passed in 2013. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the educational reform promoted by Enrique Peña Nieto, passed by the Congress of the Union and the congresses of the federal states, as well as permitting the gradual privatization of public education, is a labor reform that breaks with the principle of stable employment and the right to form a trade union.

The mobilizations of protest and rejection that have been organized by sections seven and 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan, among others, have been repressed through the excessive use of public force, extended to the sympathetic population or simply passersby in the places where the protests were happening.

In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested.

In this context, the risk of an escalation of repressive and indiscriminate violence, on the part of the State, in all of the states where the teachers’ movement has protested with the support of civil society (Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas, Michoacan, Guerrero, among others) is very high and against this, of a popular response that, tired of attacks and deaths, could respond with defensive violence. Against this context of violence in which several violations of human rights have occurred, and also due to the recurring climate of impunity, we call for national and international solidarity to show, in writing to the President of the Republic, its rejection of excessive use of force against the teachers’ movement and against civil society.

We demand from Enrique Peña Nieto:

  • Public and respectful dialogue that genuinely addresses and presents solutions to the just demands of the teachers’ union.
  • An end to the repression and criminalization of the teachers’ union.

Chiapas Network for Peace:

Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz A.C. (SERAPAZ)

Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria, A.C. (CORECO)

Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, A.C. (DESMI)

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba)

Educación para la Paz, A.C. (EDUPAZ)

ENLACE, Comunicación y Capacitación, A.C. (ENLACE CC)

Servicio Internacional para la Paz (Sipaz)

Centro de Derechos de la Mujer Chiapas, A.C. (CDMCH)

Comité de Derechos Humanos Fray Pedro Lorenzo de La Nada (CDHFP)

Centro de Derechos Indígenas A.C. (CEDIAC)


National/International: Growing Support for Teachers At Home and Abroad

June 23, 2016

Teachers.pngStudents and teachers support the CNTE in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Photo: @Rafael del Río

In support of the struggle that thousands of members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) carry on and following the most recent repressive actions against them by federal forces on June 19 last in the Oaxaca State, many civil society organizations expressed their solidarity with the teachers, demanding a peaceful solution to the conflict from the state and federal governments.

In Chiapas, Believing People parishes called a pilgrimage on June 20 in Tuxtla Gutierrez. They showed their support for the teachers and repudiated the violent acts that occurred in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, which left a toll of at least 11 people dead in altercations with the police. In a statement they explained that, “with such events we cannot remain on the sidelines, as a church we will always be on the side of the oppressed and we will raise our prophetic voice. The reforms are the expression of a new ‘Porfiariato’. We must struggle, we shouldn’t be conformists or slaves.” Father Marcelo from Simojovel parish extended an invitation to a mega-pilgrimage in support of the teachers for July 1 next with around thirteen parishes from the diocese of San Cristobal.

Another show of support and solidarity came from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). In a communiqué titled “Notes on the War Against the Teachers in Resistance (The Hour of the Police 3)”, they noted that, “There are more and more families helping the teachers, donating support for their trips and marches, becoming anxious when they are attacked, offering food, drink, and refuge.” They also pointed out the lack of educational arguments of the Secretary for Education, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, and the violence employed in repression of the mobilizations. Later, together with the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), they published another communiqué. Titled “FROM THE STORM”, both organizations expressed their repudiation of “the repressive escalation with which they intend to impose throughout the country the neoliberal capitalist reform that they call ‘educational'”. They highlighted that the resistance movement against this reform has become a mirror for more and more people, demanding an end to repression against the teachers in struggle and the immediate and unconditional release of “ALL political prisoners.” Their communiqué closed with an invitation to “all those peoples of the countryside and the cities to be attentive and sympathetic to the teachers’ struggle, to organize ourselves autonomously to be informed and alert facing this storm which falls on all.”

On a national level, Peace Brigades International (PBI) expressed their concern to state and federal authorities and the diplomatic corps over the deterioration of the situation. In a public announcement on June 20, they urged the Mexican authorities to respect the right to protest, to favor dialogue with the teachers and guarantee the integrity of teachers and defenders. On another note, in many states civil society, students, families and health workers are joining the mobilizations. Among others, in Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca State, the artistic community organized a cultural event called “Cultural Barricade”, in which hundreds of artists from Mexico and other parts of the world participated on June 20, raising their voices to repudiate the repression.

On an international level, Amnesty International reminded the authorities that they have an obligation to control public order and take measures to prevent, investigate and sanction those responsible for acts of violence. Due to the events of recent days, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) reinforced its presence in Oaxaca as well as in Tabasco, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacan, states which have also witnessed similar conflicts. The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) strongly condemned the serious acts of violence reported in Oaxaca State and called on the State to promote a process of dialogue in the framework of educational reform that allows the search for a solution in the context of a democratic society with full respect for human rights. Apart from the organizations mentioned, there were many actions on the part of civil society. Some examples are sit-ins and vigils organized in several cities in France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil, among others, in rejection of the repressive events in Mexico.

It is worth mentioning that on July 22 there were negotiations between the CNTE and the Interior Secretary. According to the CNTE, this dialogue, obtained thanks to the broad popular mobilization, did not result in concrete agreements but they were able to table three themes: “repeal of the badly named educational reform; a route for the transformation of education; and measures for the distention and revision of the consequences of the imposition of the administrative labor reform.” A second round of dialogue is expected next week. It is also noteworthy that the 23 people arrested in Nochixtlan have been released.

For more information in Spanish:

Convocan a participar en brigada cultural (El Imparcial, 23 de junio de 2016)

CIDH condena hechos de violencia en Oaxaca, México (CIDH, 22 de junio de 2016)

PBI México, Pronunciamiento público (PBI, 21 de junio de 2016)

Exigen en ciudades del mundo que cese la represión contra los maestros en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 21 de junio de 2016)

Pueblo Creyente peregrina de nuevo en respaldo al magisterio (Pye Chiapas, 21 de junio de 2016)

Comunicado Conjunto del Congreso Nacional Indígena y el EZLN (Enlace Zapatista, 20 de junio de 2016)

Apunte sobre la guerra contra el magisterio en resistencia: (La Hora del Policía 3) (Enlace Zapatista, 17 de junio de 2016)

Aún no hay acuerdos concretos con el gobierno: CNTE (La Jornada, 23 de junio de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

BOLETÍN URGENTE: REPRESIÓN MAGISTERIAL EN OAXACA (22 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales; al menos 6 muertos en Oaxaca (21 de junio de 2016)

Nacional: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales y comunicado de apoyo del EZLN (1 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas/National: Press Conference on the Forced Disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez

June 19, 2016

Max.pngSign for the search Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez

On June 13, one month and six days since the forced disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, his relatives, representatives of his community parish (Socoltenango), members of “La 72” Refuge Home for Migrants, Mesoamerican Voices, Action with Migrant Peoples and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), called a press conference to denounce the negligence of the authorities in this case.

In their statement entitled “Between Ineffectiveness and Concealment” they expressed their worries above all over the integrity and safety of Maximiliano given that his whereabouts are unknown to this date. They declare that they have “gone to the competent authorities, demanding that they fulfill their duties in the prompt, complete and impartial investigation that this event deserves.” Nevertheless, they indicated that they received no reply. They explained that have “lodged a formal complaint with the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), in which we have provided the necessary elements to indicate the participation of agents of the National Institute for Migration (INM) and the Tabasco State Police in the forced disappearance of Maximiliano”; and they report that “to date, the behavior of the PGR has been insufficient, inefficient and slow, given that instead of getting down to an exhaustive search for Maximiliano and an investigation of the responsible officials, they have subjected their action to excessive bureaucracy […] which leads us to ineffectiveness and government concealment.” The PGR and INM have “closed ranks to deny that the name of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez appears in their national and regional registers at any moment as a declared or deported migrant.” They also reveal that they have been “denied access to complementary information that allows elucidation of what happened that night on the route he was traveling, consisting of the identification of the agents who carried out the operation at the stated checkpoint, the collaboration agreements between the INM and Tabasco State Police, videos from the various installations of the INM, among others.

The relatives of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, along with the organizations who are accompanying the case, closed the press conference demanding that the Mexican State Authorities implement “all of the search mechanisms to find and present young Mazimiliano.”

For more information in Spanish:

Boletín: Desaparición forzada de personas migrantes en México: Entre la inoperancia y el encubrimiento (Frayba, 13 de junio 2016)

Familia de Maximiliano Gordillo exige su presentación con vida (Chiapas denuncia, 13 de junio 2016)

Desaparición forzada de Maximiliano Gordillo en un contexto de violencia e injusticia: Parroquia de Socoltenango (Chiapas denuncia, 13 de junio 2016)

Luz y Fuerza del Pueblo en solidaridad con la familia de Maximiliano Gordillo (Chiapas denuncia, 13 de junio 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional : Denuncian desaparición forzada de Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez por agentes del INM (24 de mayo 2016)


Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Request Collection for Displaced Families

June 15, 2016

Acopio.pngCollection during the displacement of Colonia Puebla in 2013. Photo: @Koman Ilel.

On May 26, a group of 14 families from Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society, residents of Colonia Puebla, Chenalho municipality, Chiapas, were displaced fleeing the violence caused by the conflict after the elections in that municipality. The displacement happened after violent incidents between sympathizers of the recently dismissed mayor, Rosa Perez Perez of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), and supporters of the new mayor, Miguel Santiz Alvarez, causing the death of two people, one of them a minor, who died from a bullet wound. The Chenalho Pedrano Movement, opponents of Perez Perez, said in a statement that they were attacked with “firearms, sticks, stones and machetes, in an ambush that was orchestrated by sympathizers of the ex-mayor.” Furthermore, there were “two houses burned, two destroyed, three vehicles destroyed and six people wounded”, according to the statement from Las Abejas.

Las Abejas noted that “until now, there are no conditions to return”, so that the displaced are currently in the headquarters of the organization. In another letter they outlined that, “the displaced from the colony are living through suffering. Therefore we ask you the favor of helping with supplies.” To this end, they have opened two collection centers for clothes in San Cristobal de Las Casas and they ask for financial support to be deposited in a bank account. According to La Jornada, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) “requested the government of Chiapas to apply cautionary measures and guarantee the rights of the people who have been displaced.” The measures are aimed at guaranteeing rights to food, health, a home, physical integrity and the lives of the displaced.

It is worth noting that the disagreement following the result of the municipal elections in Chenalho, with the victory of PVEM, gave rise to the Chenalho Pedrano Movement in rejection of the elected mayor, accusing her of “corruption, abuse of power and diverting resources.” This group organized a takeover of the town hall and a number of government offices, it took over the State Congress for some hours, and it kidnapped three civil servants who were negotiating a solution to the disagreement, among them the President of the State Congress and a deputy. Having put them on public show, one dressed as a woman, Congress accepted the resignation of the mayor.

It is also worth mentioning that 17 families of Colonia Puebla were displaced by in August 2013 in the conflict between Catholics and Evangelicals in dispute over the land where Catholic hermitage was located. Almost 100 displaced people returned after eight months off their lands, denouncing the lack of law enforcement for their aggressors.

For more information in Spanish:

Los desplazados y desplazadas de la colonia puebla están viviendo bajo el sufrimientos. Entonces le pedimos un gran favor a que nos puedan colaborar en las despensas. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de junio de 2016)

Hace apenas 8 días, jueves 26 de mayo, los miembros de la organización de la sociedad civil de las abejas de Acteal, en la colonia puebla se desplazaron 14 familias un total de 81 personas porque en esa misma colonia surgió nuevamente una gran violencia y balaceras a las 13:45pm hora normal. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 3 de junio de 2016)

Piden proteger a desplazados de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2016)

For more information in SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Riesgo de más violencia en Chenalhó después de secuestro y cambio de alcalde (31 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas : jóvenes denuncian violencia, impunidad y ausencia de justicia para Puebla (30 de abril de 2014)

Chiapas: regresan a su comunidad los desplazados de Ejido Puebla (15 de abril de 2014)

Chiapas:Incremento de la violencia en Colonia Puebla, Chenalhó (22 de julio de 2013)


National: Social Organizations Give Opinions on Torture Law

May 31, 2016

Tortura.pngProtest in solidarity with victims and survivors of torture. Archive photo: @Cuartoscuro.

More than four months later than the period granted to Congress to issue a law on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatments and punishments, there is still no legislation. In a statement, dozens of social organizations noted the delay of legislators in drafting such a law and denounced the reluctance to address the “penal miscellany”, a set of reform initiatives to various laws. Organizations that collaborated for nine months on the design of a bill felt that “several of them [proposals] encourage human rights violations”, according to Process. They specifically rejected the legalization of not putting detainees at the disposal of the ministerial authority of the location of arrest, legalizing, according to the statement “‘the stroll’, that is unconstitutional and prolonged detention during which acts of torture occur”; the suspension of the maximum period of preventive detention for accused persons who report torture, “a measure which will cause victims of torture to simply drop their complaint”; and the elimination of the right to presentation of evidence at the initial hearing, such that a person could be imprisoned despite having evidence from the outset to prove his innocence.

The statement recalled the fabrication of statements under torture to support the “historical truth” of Ayotzinapa or the Tlatlaya case. It also mentioned viral videos that showed federal and state agents torturing a woman in Guerrero and of an official of the State Attorney of Mexico that “recognizes that fabricating crime is a ‘lifelong’ practice'”. Facing this, they made a “strong call to Senate not to approve the proposals made […] to demonstrate a clear commitment to the eradication of torture as a legislative priority.” “For a country like Mexico, where patterns of torture and other cruel treatments have been on the rise in recent years, it becomes essential to have norms that guarantee maximum protection of people against possible abuses by the authorities”, Animal Politico published.

 For more information in Spanish:

Miscelánea Penal: propuestas inconstitucionales que fomentan la tortura (Comisión Mexicana en Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, 23 de mayo de 2016)

Exigen ONG que Senado aborde ley de tortura en periodo extra (Proceso, 23 de mayo de 2016)

4 puntos que no se deben olvidar para la ley contra la tortura (Animal Político, 24 de mayo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/Nacional: Reacciones ante vídeo de participación de fuerzas públicas en tortura (22 de abril de 2016)

Nacional: Juez absuelve militares implicados en la masacre de Tlatlaya (18 de mayo de 2016)

Nacional: Gobierno rechazó visita del relator para la tortura de la ONU (31 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional: Dudas de organismos de la sociedad civil por la iniciativa de Ley contra la Tortura (9 de febrero de 2016)


Chiapas/National: Enforced Disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez by INM Agents Denounced

May 30, 2016

Maximiliano.png

In a [call to] Urgent Action on May 18, 2016, the civil organizations Mesoamerican Voices, Action with Migrant Peoples A.C., the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba), and The 72 Hogar Refuge for Migrants, denounced the enforced disappearance of Maximiliano Martinez Gordillo, an 18-year-old native of Tzinil community, Socoltenango municipality, Chiapas.

On 7 May, he was detained by people who presented themselves as agents of the National Migration Institute (INM) and unidentified elements of the police, on the road from Comitan de Domínguez, Chiapas, to Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, to where he was travelling to look for work. Six or seven people who did not have official voter identification were taken off the vehicle, including Maximilian. Realizing that he was being accused of being an undocumented migrant, he showed his original birth certificate and CURP as proof of his Mexican nationality, as he had no voter identification. However the agents claimed that they were false documents. The last time Maximiliano was seen was in the migration office, where there were between 15 to 20 more people detained by the INM.

The INM has denied registration of Maximilian in the national system of INM, and has not provided more information to assist in his search. A complaint was filed with the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), a body that reported the INM denial that there was any detention of migrants on the date referred to along the entire said route. A complaint was filed with the District Attorney’s office of the Highlands, Chiapas.

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente Desaparición Forzada de Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez por agentes del INM (18 de mayo de 2016)

Denuncian desaparición forzada de joven chiapaneco en retén de Migración (Desinformémonos, 20 de mayo de 2016)

La extraña desaparición de Maximiliano Gordillo (La Opinión, 19 de mayo de 2016)


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