Chiapas: National Day: “The Victims of State Terrorism are of the People, We will not Stop until We Find Them!”

March 15, 2017

FNLS.pngFNLS Press Conference (Photo: @Sipaz)

 On March 6, the National Front for Struggle for Socialism (FNLS) began its National Day of Struggle in Chiapas.

The first event was a press conference along with the ‘Committee of Relatives of Missing until Found Persons’. The conference remembered the anniversaries of the forced disappearance of Fidencio Gomez Santiz, who disappeared in Ocosingo on March 5, 2016, as well as Edmundo Reyes Amaya and Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez, arrested and disappeared in May 2007 in Oaxaca.

During the conference, they also reported on the latest developments against members of the FNLS: “With deep regret we inform you that on Tuesday, February 28, our compañero Humberto Morales Santiz, who was only 13 years old and who was in the first grade of a telesecundaria in the town of Cuxul-ja was cruelly and cowardly murdered by the paramilitaries known as “Los Petules”, in coordination with police and other state bodies who are invading the ejidal lands of the compañeros in El Carrizal.”

At the end of the conference, the FNLS and the ‘Committee of Relatives of Missing until Found Persons’ demanded that the state government of Chiapas and the federal government investigate and punish those responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Humberto Morales Santis and the presentation of compañeros Fidencio Gomez Santiz, Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya.

On March 7, the FNLS organized the “Victims of State Terrorism in Mexico” forum in the Aula Magna of the Campus III UNACH Law School. Speakers shared their experiences of the impact of forced disappearances on the victims’ families and on the relationship between forced disappearances and migration.

FNLS1.png

The following day, the FNLS participated in the Women’s March in the context of International Women’s Day in San Cristobal de Las Casas: “In the Context of the National Day: The Victims of State Terrorism are of the People, We will not Stop until We Find Them! The National Front for Struggle for Socialism (FNLS) commemorates this March 8: International Day of Proletarian Women, as a day of struggle and protest against the current conditions of misery, economic exploitation and political oppression, to which is added the grim reality that leaves the wave of institutional violence emanating from the policy of state terrorism.”

On the same afternoon, the FNLS occupied the offices of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) in San Cristobal de Las Casas to demand justice and a response to the aforementioned lawsuits and to urge the CNDH to speak out about the constant violations of human rights and police-military harassment against the communities organized in the FNLS.

They demanded that they “resume these cases” denouncing that  “although it [theCNDH] has information, it is not doing its job as it should be.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Miembros del FNLS toman oficinas de la CNDH en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Proceso, 8 de Marzo de 2017)

‘Toman’ oficinas de CNDH en Chiapas (La Jordana, 8 de Marzo de 2017)

DÍA INTERNACIONAL DE LA MUJER PROLETARIA (FNLS, 9 de Marzo de 2017)

Video. El FNLS y el Comité Hasta Encontrarlos toman oficinas de la CNDH para exigir investigue desapariciones (FNLS, 9 de Marzo de 2017)

Acción Urgente – Ejecución Extrajudicial del niño Humberto Morales Sántiz de 13 años de edad, integrante del Frente Nacional de Lucha por el Socialismo en Chiapas. (Comité Cerezo, 4 de Marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “Jornada nacional contra el terrorismo del estado en Chiapas” del FNLS (2 de Mayo de 2016)

Nacional/Oaxaca/Chiapas: Gira nacional: desaparición forzada en México (6 de Marzo de 2015)

Nacional: Comisión Civil de Seguimiento y Búsqueda de dos miembros del Ejército Popular Revolucionario (EPR) desaparecidos desde 2007 denuncia falta de avances (19 de Septiembre de 2014)


National/International: “Torture and Mistreatment Continue to Be Widespread in Mexico”, Juan E. Mendez

March 8, 2017

Torture.pngAmnesty International campaign against torture in Mexico

On 24 February, the current UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, presented the follow-up report on the mission carried out by his predecessor Juan E. Mendez in Mexico on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The report pointed out that “torture continues to be widespread on the part of security forces and investigators”; that suffocation, sexual violence, electric shocks, death threats, beatings, and psychological torture are “commonly used for obtaining information, confessions or as a method of punishment. To this is added a context of serious impunity, where the lack of investigation into these facts is the rule.”

In his assessment of the situation, the rapporteur stated that “organized crime is a challenge for the authorities and the population.” He commented that since 2006 and under the so-called “war against drug trafficking”, “militarization of public security remains as strategy.” He expressed concern about the “extremely vulnerability” of migrants by stating that “the detention of migrants by state agents is often violent and includes insults, threats and humiliations.”

 The Rapporteur regretted to conclude in his report that since his visit two years ago the situation “has not changed”, that “torture and mistreatment are still widespread in Mexico.” He noted that the “elimination of this practice is a fundamental challenge and that is why it is important to enact the General Law on Torture, with provisions that comply with the highest international standards […] so that torture, enforced disappearances, the persecution of victims and defenders of human rights and impunity cease to be part of everyday life. “ He further requested from Mexico that there be no “exceptions to the rule of exclusion of evidence obtained through torture” in that law.

For more information in Spanish:

Pide ONU a Peña mayores esfuerzos para combatir tortura, desapariciones e impunidad ( Proceso, 3 de marzo de 2017)

Cuatro veces más quejas por tortura en último año: CNDH ( La Jornada, 28 de febrero de 2017)

Gobernación le pegó por 4 años al Papa, ONU, CIDH, HRW, AI… y dejó a México solo frente a Trump ( Sin Embargo, 27 de febrero de 2017)

La tortura aún es una práctica generalizada por parte de las autoridades en México: Relator de la ONU( Sin Embargo, 27 de febrero de 2017)

Preocupa a ONU política migratoria aplicada en México (El universal , 26 de febrero de 2017)

Violaciones, asfixia y descargas: las prácticas de tortura de las fuerzas policiales en México (Animal Político, 2 de marzo de 2017)

La tortura aún es generalizada en México: relator de la ONU ( Nwnoticias , 2 de marzo de 2017)

Informe del Relator Especial sobre la tortura y otros tratos o penas crueles, inhumanos o degradantes, Juan E. Méndez (Oficina del Alto Comisionado de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, 29 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Amnistía Internacional presenta su informe anual sobre la situación de derechos humanos en el mundo. México, “en una de las peores crisis de derechos humanos y justicia” (3 de marzo de 2017)

Nacional/Internacional: relator especial de Naciones Unidas sobre Tortura presenta informe sobre México en Ginebra, Suiza (10 de marzo de 2015)

Nacional: Organizaciones sociales se pronuncian sobre ley de tortura (31 de mayo de 2016)


National: Amnesty International Presents Report on Global Situation of Human rights. Mexico “One of the Worst Crisis of Human Rights and Justice”

March 7, 2017

AI

On February 21, Amnesty International presented its annual report. In the section corresponding to events in Mexico in 2016, AI summarized: “Ten years after the beginning of the so-called “war against drug trafficking and organized crime”, military personnel continued to be employed in public security operations, and violence in the country continued to be widespread. Reports of torture and other abuses, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests continued to be reported. Impunity persisted for violations of human rights and crimes under international law. Mexico received the highest number of asylum applications in its history, the majority of people fleeing violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Intensive smear campaigns against human rights defenders and independent observers were carried out and homicides and threats against journalists due to their work continued to be reported. Violence against women continued to be a source of serious concern, and gender-based violence was reported in the states of Jalisco and Michoacan. Congress rejected one of two bills that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.”

In the presentation of the report in Mexico City, Tania Reneaum Panszi, Executive Director of the Mexican section of AI was even more succinct: “We are in one of the worst human rights and justice crisis in Mexico.”

On February 28, the Government of Mexico addressed the report, recognizing “the challenges it faces in the area of human rights, while reaffirming its ineludible commitment to respond to each of them.”

 

For more information in Spanish:

Informe anual de Amnistía Internacional/México 2016-2017 (AI, 21 de febrero de 2017)

Estas son las fallas de Mexico en derechos humanos durante 2016 (Animal Político, 22 de febrero de 2017)

México enfrenta una de las peores crisis de derechos humanos en todo el hemisferio, dice Amnistía Internacional (New York Times, 22 de febrero de 2017)

Grave crisis de derechos humanos en México a diez años de la “guerra contra el narcotráfico”: AI (Desinformémonos, 23 de febrero de 2017)

Vive México la peor crisis de derechos humanos, acusa Amnistía Internacional (La Jornada, 23 de febrero de 2017)

Posición del gobierno mexicano respecto al informe de la organización Amnistía Internacional (Comunicado SEGOB-SRE-PGR, 1 de marzo de 2017)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Amnistía Internacional acusa PGR de falta de investigación acerca de involucramiento del Ejército en caso Ayotzinapa (23 de enero de 2015)

Nacional: Amnistía Internacional “Defender Derechos Humanos: Necesario, Legítimo y Peligroso” (12 de diciembre de 2014)

 

 

 


Chiapas: Judicial Process against Roberto Paciencia Cruz Continues

February 12, 2017

robertoBanner at the ‘Freedom for Roberto Paciencia Cruz” press conference

Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Tsotsil indigenous, campesino and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, was and continues to be a “victim of torture, cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and violations of due process.”

On August 7, 2013, in Pantelho municipality, Roberto Paciencia Cruz was held for an alleged kidnapping without any arrest warrant. He was transferred to the facilities of the Specialized Prosecutor Against Organized Crime (FECDO) in Tuxtla Gutierrez, where “he was physically and psychologically tortured for two days and locked up in a punishment cell.” Later he was transferred to the State Center for Social Reinsertion (CERSS) No. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where he was unjustly deprived of his liberty for three years and three months without being sentenced although according to the relatives of Roberto, Sympathizers Of the Voice of Amate and the No Estamos Todxs Working Group (GTNET) “the innocence of the compañero has been demonstrated legally on several occasions: the only prosecution witness has not appeared at any of the several citations, and, on the contrary, there are witnesses who testified that Roberto was not present at the time at the scene of the crime of which he is falsely accused.”

 According to the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC), as a result of torture, Roberto has “marks, scars, physical and psychological consequences. He did not receive adequate medical care. In addition, his prolonged imprisonment has affected his life plan, in particular his family.” On September 24, 2016, in the framework of International Prisoners’ Day, Roberto shared his pain, his worries and the injustice he is suffering from being separated from his family in a letter. He declared that “those most punished by these injustices” are the families of the prisoners. He denounced the lack of consideration of the authorities for them: “the rulers do not care that the family of a prisoner is crying, or that they sleep with hunger or that they walk barefoot to our children because they do not have the support of their parents (sic.).”

On November 24, 2016, Guillermo Hernandez Ovando, Judge of the Criminal Court of the District of San Cristobal de Las Casas, issued an acquittal in the case of Roberto, who was then released. However, the judicial process against Roberto Paciencia Cruz continues. Two months after his release, Roberto was notified that the Public Ministry “despite not being able to sustain the charge against him and despite the violations of his human rights, filed an appeal against that acquittal.”

Since his release, Roberto has moved to San Cristobal de Las Casas, where he is working to try to continue a life project with his family. However, the likelihood that his acquittal may be changed creates a situation of uncertainty, stress and anxiety for him and his family.

On the subject, sociologist Aida Cipriano, a specialist in human rights, denounces the various cases of arbitrary detention and torture of indigenous people in an interview with Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO: “The prisons in Chiapas are plagued by indigenous people who, because they do not know how to read and speak [Spanish], have been prisoners for years, because the first thing the authorities do is to lock them up, then they just have to leave the case file in the trash and make sure that the facts are not known, to have them there for life.” She adds that the indigenous are unjustly detained “by a poor and tricky Mexican judicial system, which in Chiapas is racist, corrupt and a creator of false positives. And it is the indigenous, who have become the target to follow.”

The GTNET and the CDHFBC urge Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez and the members of the Mixed Regional Room 03 of San Cristobal de Las Casas to review the criminal case file “to confirm the acquittal, because there are no legal elements to revoke the said sentence.” They also request the public to be attentive to the resolution that will be given in the middle of this month.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletin conjunto: En riesgo la libertad personal de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs & Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 02 de enero de 2017)

Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia víctima de Tortura (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 10 de noviembre de 2016)

Velasco Coello el acérrimo enemigo de indígenas, a quienes se les fabrica delitos y se les encierra en la cárcel ( Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO, a 11 de agosto 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Libertad de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en riesgo ( 2 de febrero de 2017)

Chiapas : Liberan a Roberto Paciencia (26 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia’s Liberty at Risk

February 5, 2017

Roberto.pngRoberto Paciencia Cruz on the day of his release, Photo @: Espoir Chiapas

On February 2, the No Estamos Todxs Working Group (GTNET in its Spanish acronym) and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) expressed their concern in a joint statement over the risk to personal freedom of Roberto Paciencia Cruz. Roberto is an indigenous Tsotsil from Chenalho, Chiapas and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. On August 9, 2013 he was arrested and charged with an alleged abduction. The GTNET and the CDHFBC recall in their communiqué that at the time of Roberto’s arrest and imprisonment “acts of torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trial were documented, violating the rights of personal liberty, integrity, personal security and access to due process.” They add that “since his arrest, and throughout a judicial process that lasted three years and three months, Roberto did not cease to fight against the injustices of the corrupt Mexican justice system, until on November 26, 2016, he was released on recognition of innocence by the Judge of the Criminal Branch of the Judicial District of San Cristobal de Las Casas, by acquittal “.

However, despite not being able to sustain an accusation against Paciencia during the trial, and despite the violations mentioned against him, the public prosecutor filed an appeal against that acquittal. The GTNET and the CDHFBC emphasize that, “the arbitrary and unjust detention of Roberto brought physical and psychological consequences for him and his family, disrupting his life plans and generating family impoverishment.”

According to information in their possession, they report that “the study of the case and the proposed sentence of appeal will be in charge of the Speaker C, of the Mixed Regional Court, Zone 3, San Cristobal de Las Casas, headed by Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez; the proposal will be voted by the judges who hold court in the middle of February.” The likelihood that the sentence of acquittal of Roberto Paciencia can be modified generates a situation of uncertainty, stress and anxiety for him and his family.

The GTNET and the CDHFBC exhort Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez and the members of the Mixed Regional Court, Zone 03 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas “to confirm the acquittal, because there are no legal elements to revoke the said sentence.” In addition, they ask the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and national and international civil society to be attentive to the resolution of the Mixed Regional Court and to carry out solidarity actions for Roberto Paciencia Cruz and his family when they can.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletin conjunto: En riesgo la libertad personal de Roberto Paciencia Cruz ( Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs (GTNET) & Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 02 de enero de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Liberan a Roberto Paciencia (26 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, injustamente preso, denuncia la negación del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (19 de octubre 2016)


Oaxaca/National: NGOs Document Arbitrary Detentions of Defenders – Relatives Demand their Release

December 28, 2016

Defenders.pngPedro Canche Herrera, Nestora Salgado and Enrique Guerrero Aviña (Photo@: Consorciooaxaca)

On December 14, 2016, the report Arbitrary and Illegal Detentions – Criminalization: a State Policy to Inhibit the Defense of Human Rights in Mexico, jointly prepared by 11 Mexican and international civil society organizations, was launched in Oaxaca. This report analyzes the case of five human rights defenders who were “illegally arrested without warrant and imprisoned for crimes they committed only for their legitimate activities in defense of human rights”: Damian Gallardo Martinez, Enrique Guerrero Aviña, Librado Baños Rodriguez, Pedro Canche Herrera and Nestora Salgado – the last two of whom have already been released.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, having studied these cases, confirmed that they were arbitrary detentions and that they were carried out “without warrant or charges against them [those involved in the said cases]“. The WG underlined the numerous irregularities presented by criminal proceedings. In its opinion, the detention of Librado Baños corresponds to “acts of retaliation and reprisal for his active defense of the rights of the indigenous and Afro-descendant population of the region.” It should be noted that the Working Group stated that it requested information from the Mexican Government regarding those cases, which was not provided in the legal period for that purpose.

The 11 organizations and relatives of the victims say that the arrests, acts of torture and other human rights violations they have been subjected to illustrate “a much broader pattern of criminalization of social protest in Mexico that seeks to inhibit the defense of human rights and social protest, turning them into illegal and criminal activities. In addition to this the fact that, far from affecting the eradication of this practice, the Mexican state continues to detain and intimidate defenders in the country.”

The authors of the report emphasize that “the responsibility for these violations of human rights is shared between the plurality of players directly or indirectly involved in the process of criminalization and arbitrary detention of defenders: the Mexican State may be involved at different levels, federal and state, as well as the police, the army, the same government authorities, the judiciary through justice operators, sharing responsibility with private players such as private companies and landowners.”

During the presentation of the report, the organizations and families demanded: “the immediate release of Damian Gallardo, Enrique Guerrero and Librado Baños as well as the cessation of criminalization and full reparation to the five human rights defenders for the numerous human rights violations to which they have been subjected.”

The report clarifies that “the five cases of arbitrary detention presented show the serious human rights crisis in Mexico. These five cases are emblematic and represent only a small part of the arbitrary detentions that occur with impunity in the country.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Inéditas, 5 detenciones arbitrarias de defensores de DDHH reconocidas por la ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

ONGs documentan detenciones arbitrarias de defensoras y defensores, familiares exigen su libertad (Educa, 15 de diciembre 2016)

Informe : detenciones arbitraria e ilegal (Consorcio Oaxaca, diciembre 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:


Guerrero/Nacional: Nestora Salgado lanza campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos del país (4 de abril 2016)


Guerrero: NCHR and OHCHR on Joint Mission in the State

December 16, 2016

HR.pngMembers of the NCHR and OHCHR (Photo@Tlachinollan)

On December 6 and 7, the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Mexico carried out a joint mission in the state of Guerrero during which they held various meetings with victims, human rights defenders and authorities. At the end of that mission, both institutions reaffirmed their concern about “the state of insecurity in the State, impunity in cases of human rights violations, particularly disappearances, lack of access to justice, threats against human rights defenders, and forced internal displacement.” They reiterated “the need to address the situation in the state of Guerrero in a comprehensive manner so that proposed security solutions also address the problem of access to justice.”

The NCHR and OHCHR agreed that to reduce levels of violence impunity must end. In this context, both institutions reiterated their concern about the lack of human and material resources available to the Attorney General’s Office and other institutions to deal with the worrying human rights situation in the state. They stated that, “it is necessary that the three branches of the State, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary, be actively and effectively involved, especially in the area of justice.”

At the closing session of the mission, both institutions sent a message of solidarity to families and victims of human rights violations and reaffirmed their readiness to support them in their search for truth, justice and reparation. They also expressed their permanent willingness to technically assist the state of Guerrero in the field of human rights.

For more information in Spanish:

Termina misión conjunta de CNDH y ONU-DH México al estado de Guerrero (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, a 8 de diciembre de 2016)

ONU-DH y CNDH instan a atender derechos humanos en Guerrero ( La Jornada, a 7 de diciembre de 2016)

Termina misión conjunta de CNDH y ONU-DH México al estado de Guerrero ( Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, a 7 de diciembre de 2016)