Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”

June 9, 2019

BorderCivil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast (@RedTdT)

From May 29th to 31st, the “Civil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast” (MCO in its Spanish acronym), composed of 24 organizations from Mexico, Central America and the United States, including SIPAZ, academics and journalists, toured various control points and immigration authorities on the coast and southern border of Chiapas “in order to strengthen the documentation and support that local organizations have made in the face of Central American exoduses in recent months.”

In a press conference at the end of the mission, the organizations asserted that, “the southern border is silent torture.” They denounced that “a militarized security approach continues and is sharpening above the respect and protection of the human rights of people in movement. We documented multiple immigration control points with strong presence of state security forces, particularly federal police and military police, without clarity about their functions and powers in the context of migration“, something that was considered “incongruous with the official discourse of a migration policy that respects human rights.”

They also identified “a strategy of attrition and containment, which is intended to generate fatigue, demobilization and dissuasion of people before access to the right to seek refuge and regularization procedures, as well as to restrict and criminalize human mobility.”

They documented that “immigration detention serves as a strategy of repression and punishment” as “raids and migration control operations have intensified along the entire coast.” They pointed out that “the conditions of immigration detention, which are in themselves violating human rights, have intensified, amounting to forms of physical and psychological torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” In addition to racist and xenophobic practices towards specific groups, they expressed their concern when “families are separated in raids, during detention, release and deportation, thus violating the principle of family unity.” They were also outraged by “the deprivation of freedom of migrant children and adolescents and asylum seekers in detention centers, the lack of humanitarian aid and lack of general respect for their rights, contrary to their Higher Interest.”

The MCO pointed to several flaws in government attention, including “the lack of institutional coordination and co-responsibility among the different levels of government, as well as a lack of comprehensive care protocols on migration and humanitarian issues with a focus on human rights, prevailing improvised reactions, assistance and with an emphasis on security “; as well as the “limitation of human, financial and infrastructure resources.”

Finally, it noted “with particular alarm that the stigmatization and criminalization of migration is increasing, resulting in the denial of the right to due process and to have a defense in immigration procedures. As a result, solidarity and the work of defending human rights is hindered and criminalized.”

Interestingly, on May 30th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador came out in defense of the migrants through a letter stating that “human beings do not leave their villages for pleasure but for necessity”, which was directed to the US president, Donald Trump, who threatened to impose tariffs on domestic products (from five to 25%) if Mexico does not solve the phenomenon of irregular migration.

For more information in Spanish:

La frontera sur es una tortura silenciosa: Misión de Observación (Misión de Observación de la Crisis Humanitaria de Personas Migrantes y Refugiados en el Sureste Mexicano, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Protección migratoria no puede subordinarse a relación México-EU: ONG (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Trump advierte que los aranceles a México aumentarán si no se controla el flujo de inmigrantes ilegales (CNN México, 31 de mayo de 2019)

AMLO defiende a migrantes frente a Trump, pero las detenciones en México se disparan 100% (Animal Político, 1ero de junio de 2019)

Discurso oficial sobre migrantes difiere de la realidad, afirman ONG (La Jornada, 1ero de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: Human Rights Organizations Demand End to Child and Adolescent Migrant Detentions (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: First Depolyment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: OSC presentan el “Informe del monitoreo de derechos humanos del éxodo centroamericano en el sureste mexicano: octubre 2018 – febrero 2019” (May 3, 2019)

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

National/International: Contrasting Mexican and US Government Approaches to Central American Migration (April 2, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Secretaria de Gobernación se reúne con funcionarios del gobierno de Donald Trumpf para abordar el tema Migración (March5, 2019)

International/National: Registration of Humanitarian Visas for Migrants Closes (February 12, 2019)


National/International: Spotlight Initiative against Gender Violence Launched in Mexico

June 6, 2019

Spotlight@CINU Mexico

On May 29th, the government of Mexico presented the Spotlight initiative, a project that will be managed and financed by six agencies of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) to eradicate gender violence in a country where nine women are murdered every day and six out of ten women have suffered a violent incident – twice the world average.

The program involves an initial investment of €14 million and will focus on the problem of femicide, prioritizing five of the most violent Mexican municipalities for girls and women: Ecatepec and Naucalpan (State of Mexico), Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua), Chilpancingo (Guerrero) and Chihuahua (Chihuahua). After four years, it is intended to expand successful experiences to the rest of the country.

Within the framework of the presentation of the project, the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, reported the inclusion of federal funds to implement this new proposal that it considers complementary to the plan to address gender violence that the government presented in March.

The objectives of the initiative will be to review the legislative framework and improve current public policies, strengthen institutions, improve quality care services with attention to prevention and resilience, change macho culture and strengthen the work of civil society organizations. It is “an international cooperation effort that seeks to link the three powers and levels of government with organized civil society and the movements of women and girls in local states and municipalities”, the head of the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women (Conavim), Maria Candelaria Ochoa Avalos stressed.

During the presentation, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that in July dialogue will begin in the 32 states, “where we will listen and collect proposals directly, we will listen to women, their needs, their solutions.”

For more information in Spanish:

México combatirá los feminicidios con una ayuda millonaria de la Unión Europea (El País, 30 de mayo de 2019)


Lanzamiento de SPOTLIGHT en México para erradicar feminicidio en el País (VIDEO, ONU Noticias, 29 de mayo de 2019)

Iniciativa Spotlight: Invertirán 7 mdd para combatir feminicidios en 5 municipios (Animal Político, 29 de mayo de 2019)

El gobierno federal se suma a la Iniciativa Spotlight que busca eliminar la violencia contra mujeres (Proceso, 29 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

National: Presentation of ‘Emergent Plan to Guarantee the Integrity, Security and Life of Women and Girls in Mexico” (March 14, 2019)

Nacional : OSC denuncian omisiones en investigación y combate a feminicidios (August 16, 2018)

National/International: “Final Observations on the Ninth Periodic Report from Mexico, the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women” Published (August 6, 2018)


Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018

June 4, 2019


On May 27th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a bulletin warning that, “aggressions against peoples, communities and organizations have intensified as part of a strategy to contain civil and peaceful resistance in defense of territory.” Two years after the Constituent Assembly of the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym), of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym).

It illustrated the statement by referring to the six indigenous defenders who have been murdered so far in 2019, as well as mentioning the CNI’s own denunciations since December 2018 with situations of “dispossession, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, threats, harassment, criminalization and attempts of executions.”

Frayba denounced that “this logic of war against the peoples that build autonomy, is reproduced in the increase of militarization of Zapatista territories, especially the incursions, flights and espionage of the Mexican Army to the headquarters of the Junta de Buen Government Toward Hope, in La Realidad Caracol (Official Municipality of Las Margaritas). This containment is deepened by the presence of the National Guard in the region, which increases risks to the integrity and security of the population.”

In this context, Frayba demanded that the Mexican State: “Cease the attacks against peoples, communities and organizations that make up the National Indigenous Congress; justice for the defenders and communicators murdered in the country; and high militarization in Chiapas and Mexico.”

For more information in Spanish:

Contrainsurgencia a Pueblos Originarios que construyen la vida digna (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 27 de mayo de 2019)

Las agresiones contra pueblos originarios se intensifican: Frayba (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Two Members of CRAC-PF and CIPOG-EZ Murdered (May 28, 2019)

Guerrero: CNI Denounces Kidnapping and Murder of Two Members (May 11, 2019)

Chiapas: denuncian dos comunidades choles de Salto de Agua amenazas, persecución y hostigamientos (El 22 de abril de 2019)

National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City (March 14, 2019)

Chiapas : CNI denuncia amenazas y agresiones en la zona Norte (El 16 de agosto de 2018)

International: The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and The Mexican Government Announce Plan for Gas Pipeline Connecting Mexico and Central America

June 4, 2019

Pipeline@Tiempo Digital

At the beginning of May, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) proposed to the president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), an electricity network and a gas pipeline to connect Mexico with Central America.

The plan would connect the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus Corridor with these new projects. ECLAC stated that the proposal will promote development in the region, and would be a response to the structural causes behind migration from Central America to the North, which include slow economic growth and lack of employment.

On May 27th, the Mexican government and ECLAC announced a gas pipeline project, from Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico, to Puerto Cortes, in northern Honduras. The gas pipeline would also cross Guatemala and El Salvador.

At a press conference, President AMLO and the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Barcena Ibarra, explained that the project will cost 19 billion dollars, which they hope to cover between public and private investments.

For more information in Spanish:

Proponen conectar Tren Maya y Corredor Transístmico hasta Centroamérica Educa, 27 de mayo de 2019.

De Salina Cruz, gas y energía vital para Centro América NVI Noticias, 27 de mayo de 2019.

Propone Cepal impulsar Tren Maya hasta Centroamérica Tiempo Digital, 5 de mayo de 2019.

Para más información de SIPAZ:

National: Bidding Process Begins for Maya Train without Previous Consultation with Indigenous Peoples (May 10, 2019)

National: AMLO Announces Consultation for the Construction of the Maya Train (November 14, 2018)

Mexico: proposal from future AMLO government – Mayan Train to tour the southern states of the country and attract more tourism  (September 15, 2018)

Chiapas: First Depolyment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center

May 23, 2019

National GuardPhoto @ La Jornada/Luis Castillo

On May 18th, the National Migration Institute (INM) announced that the newly formed National Guard will support “perimeter surveillance” tasks in the facilities of the Siglo XXI Migration Center, in Tapachula, Chiapas. According to the statement, the deployment will be temporary and the only access the National Guard has had to the migration center was “to set up a small kitchen in the maneuver yard and feed its members who provide this service to the INM.”

Aristegui News reports that, “a hundred elements of the Navy and the Military Police, heavily armed and with riot gear, installed a camp outside the migratory center, where migrants wait to regularize their legal stay in the country, or be deported.”

This decision was made by the authorities as in previous weeks there were six mutinies of “secured” migrants (since they are not considered detained by the authorities), who sought to escape from the facilities to avoid their deportation.

This act represents the first formal operation of the National Guard in the state of Chiapas. The controversial creation of this body has been strongly questioned by civil society and national and international human rights organizations. The All Rights for All Network (TDT in its Spanish acronym) notes that “the migration policy and the arrival of the military, follows a national security strategy where the rights of migrants are not respected.”

For more information in Spanish:

Migrantes, bajo vigilancia de Guardia Nacional en Chiapas (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de mayo de 2019)

Guardia Nacional vigilará Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI en Chiapas (La Jornada, 18 de mayo de 2019)

Para evitar ser deportados, 90 cubanos se fugan de estación migratoria en Chiapas (Aristegui Noticias, 5 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: OSC presentan el “Informe del monitoreo de derechos humanos del éxodo centroamericano en el sureste mexicano: octubre 2018 – febrero 2019” (May 3, 2019)

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

National/International: Contrasting Mexican and US Government Approaches to Central American Migration (April 2, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Secretaria de Gobernación se reúne con funcionarios del gobierno de Donald Trumpf para abordar el tema Migración (March5, 2019)

International/National: Registration of Humanitarian Visas for Migrants Closes (February 12, 2019)

Chiapas: Menores de edad no acompañados implica reto legal (January 30, 2019)

International/Mexico: Xenophobic Violence Erupts Against Migrants in Tecun Uman (February 1, 2019)

National/International: Sanchez Cordero Warns Migrant Caravan Will Only Have “Orderly Access” to Mexican Territory (January 16, 2019)

National: 337 Unidentified Bodies in 222 Clandestine Graves

May 21, 2019

Graves@ Regeneracion

On May 14th in his morning press conference, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) and the Undersecretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration, Alejandro Encinas, reported that since the beginning of the current administration, the authorities have identified 222 clandestine graves at 81 sites in which presumably the skeletal remains of 337 bodies were found in 17 states. Veracruz, Sonora, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Colima and Nayarit are the entities in which the greatest number of discoveries were recorded. “Although it hurts, we need to know what really happened and unfortunately continues to happen because you cannot, overnight, end these inheritances of insecurity and violence,” AMLO said and described the preceding years as “a very sad period for Mexico”.

President Lopez Obrador stressed that it will start a 500-million-peso budget for the search tasks but said that this amount would be expanded if necessary. New measures were announced such as an update in the process of the National Registry of Missing Persons and the integration of the National Register of Graves, created by the current administration in coordination with the Undersecretary of Human Rights, with the National Search Commission, the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic, state prosecutors and victim groups. Alejandro Encinas also announced that a National Forensic Diagnostic is being developed and that a report on the registration of clandestine graves, bodies and sites will be delivered every two weeks to the public security cabinet, verifying the information coming from the prosecutor’s offices. “Although this is a phenomenon that has been in the country for many years, the information was always hidden or minimized. However, it was sent to the marasmus of statistical data, where the data of forced disappearance or disappearance by individuals were mixed with the data of homicides committed every day”, he said.

Civil society organizations expressed their approval for the presentation of the first National Registry of Clandestine and Mass Graves. They made their methods and information public, and made a series of recommendations for the next steps in the preparation of the registry asking for “transparency” and “generating certainty in the figures: the main problem that have faced organizations is the lack of rigor that exists on the part of the State in terms of figures on graves. The same authority reports contradictory information with itself and with other institutions. This generates mistrust regarding the figures and the methodologies used to prepare them.” They called for citizen participation to be promoted: “in this subject of public interest it is essential to guarantee public scrutiny in the construction of information sources.”

For more information in Spanish:

Suman 222 fosas en cinco meses; son herencia de una política equivocada: AMLO (Proceso, 14 de mayo de 2019)

Identifican 337 cuerpos en 222 fosas clandestinas (La Jornada, 14 de mayo de 2019)

Encinas reporta 222 fosas clandestinas y 337 cuerpos sin identificar (Regeneración, 14 de mayo de 2019)

Organizaciones de la sociedad civil ofrecen al Gobierno federal su información sobre fosas clandestinas
(Centro PRODH, 15 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ: National: Mothers Demand Whereabouts of their Disappeared on 7th National March for Dignity (May 16, 2019)

National/International: Movement for Our Disappeared Calls for Special Mechanism for Forensic Identification and High-level Meeting with IACHR (May 15, 2019)

National/Guerrero: Disappearances Increasing in Mexico – CNDH. No Progress in Victor Ayala Tapia Case (May 11, 2019)

National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico (April 11, 2019)

Centro Pro DH urge a Relaciones Exteriores a aceptar competencia del
Comité sobre Desaparición Forzada de la ONU (March 20, 2019)




Chiapas: Six Prisoners Resume Indefinite Hunger Strike in San Cristobal and Comitan Prisons

May 17, 2019

Hunger strike@SIPAZ

On May 13th, a press conference was held by the organizations The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance (La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia), The True Voice of Amate (La Voz Verdadera del Amate) and Viniketik in Resistance (Viniketik en Resistencia), their families, the working group No Estamos Todxs and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights to announce the resumption of an indefinite hunger strike by six people “in the absence of an adequate response from the government.” Six indigenous prisoners had begun a hunger strike on March 15th this year, demanding their immediate release and denouncing the conditions of life inside the prison in terms of food, health, security and justice. Shortly after, another seven prisoners joined the strike.

In a subsequent press conference, on April 12th, they announced that their hunger strike became a partial fast while a negotiating table with the government was opened. However, this process did not prosper: “We make public that our relatives and we have been the object of mockery and object of lies on the part of the Government by named: Ismael Brito Mazariegos together with the President of the Reconciliation Table, because last April 15th they asked our relatives to lift the hunger strike in exchange for the review of our files and followed by our freedom, but we gave an “show of trust” demonstrating our trust by making the strike a fast, eating every three days, so that a period of 20 working days was given. The Reconciliation Board emphasized that it would take them ten days, but like any official they do not care about our physical health, but we have not seen satisfactory answers from them.” The prisoners added that “they have faced discrimination and have witnessed that the government did not comply with the necessary measures to guarantee access to justice” and that “they do not have an adequate defense, because they are in a situation of cultural, social and economic marginalization.”

In addition, they questioned the absence of an “in-depth investigation” of the accusations of torture and fabrication of files that is “an everyday practice” and “habitual with which it locks people up and that immediately dismantles all that discourse of ‘Rule of Law’ with which fill the mouth and bags (sic.).”” The State seeks to perpetuate torture with its denial,” they denounced.

The conference took place 18 days after the presentation of the “Alternative Report of Civil Society Organizations of Mexico” before the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) on torture in Mexico. This report confirms that “there are structural causes, scale and specific characteristics of torture committed against indigenous people and peoples.” The UNCAT will present its conclusions on May 17th.

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado de regreso a la huelga de hambre ante la falta de respuesta adecuada del gobierno (Grupo de trabajo No estamos Todxs el 14 de mayo de 2019)

Inician presos huelga de hambre en Chiapas (El Universal el 13 de mayo de 2019)

Reos indígenas reinician huelga de hambre; alegan detención ilegal y tortura (El Proceso el 14 de mayo de 2019)

Denuncias por tortura no se investigan en Chiapas (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas el 13 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Little Progress 60 Days after Start of Hunger Strike in Various Sate Prisons (May 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Press Conference for Prisoners on Hunger Strike (May 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike (April 8, 2019)

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