Nacional/Oaxaca: German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico

April 10, 2017

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At the end of March, the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico, a network created in 2000 and composed of 15 German organizations and institutions, presented the main results of its observation mission in which they visited human rights defenders Enrique Guerrero Aviña (UNAM student) and Damian Gallardo Martinez (Oaxacan activist) imprisoned at CEFERESO No.2, in Jalisco. It stressed that, “it has known of these cases in which experts of the UN have pronounced for more than two years on the arbitrary nature of the arrest and in demand for their immediate freedom.” They reported that for this reason, the German Coordination has launched a campaign for their release.

 It denounced that, “it was informed of the hunger strike that began on March 6 in which more than half of the persons deprived of their liberty denounced the situation of cruel, inhuman treatment and torture in CEFERESO. The human defenders Damian Gallardo and Enrique Guerrero have denounced this situation on multiple occasions, promoting legal actions and protesting. The German Coordination firmly condemns any retaliation that may occur against both defenders for their legitimate work of denunciation and demand for rights in the prison.”

The German Coordination also denounced that “another element of particular seriousness was the confirmation that the cases of arbitrary detention of Damian Gallardo and Enrique Guerrero are not isolated cases, since the members of the mission could observe that there is a pattern of criminalization of defenders In Mexico, which is a worrying indicator of the deep human rights crisis in the country.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado « Culmina Red Alemana por los Derechos Humanos en México misión en el país » (31 de marzo de 2017)

ONG alemana expresa ‘‘enorme preocupación por permanente violación a DH y pretensión de criminalizar protesta social” (Revolución 3.0, 31 de marzo de 2017)

Viola México derechos humanos: ONG alemana (La Jornada, 31 de marzo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Exigen liberación inmediata de Damián Gallardo (23 de diciembre de 2014)

Oaxaca: A 16 meses del encarcelamiento de Damián Gallardo, y tras llamamiento de la ONU, no hay respuesta del Estado mexicano (10 de octubre de 2014)

 


Chiapas: Zoque Activist, Silvia Juarez Juarez, Released

April 9, 2017

Zoque.pngSilvia Juarez Juarez (photo @OMCT)

On March 28th, Silvia Juarez Juarez, a community human rights defender and member of the Movement in Defense of Zoque Territory, was released having been held for 35 days. This movement has been developing a process of civil and peaceful resistance against exploration, extraction of hydrocarbons and mining projects in the municipality of Tecpaan, Chiapas and in the Zoque region. Silvia had been arrested on February 21st in Tuxtla Gutierrez on charges of mutiny, harassment and kidnapping – allegedly against municipal officials – in the framework of a protest in which she did not participate, on February 13th.

On March 28th, the head of the State Attorney General’s Office, Raciel Lopez Salazar, withdrew from the criminal action for the crimes that were charged “considering that the agent of the Public Prosecutor’s Office lacked elements to prove the aforementioned crimes.” Therefore, the activist was released from the State Center for Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced No. 14, El Amate, in the municipality Cintalapa de Figueroa.

Nevertheless, Silvia Juarez is still subject to prosecution, “with the obligation to sign before the Court every two weeks, because Judge Cesar Rodriguez Robles, Supervisory Judge, considered that there are elements to prove the crime of damages. Facing threats of risk to her integrity and repeated harassment against the defenders of Zoque territory, Silvia Juarez cannot return home with her family.”

It is also worth mentioning that on the day Silvia Juarez Juarez was released, “the municipal president of Tecpatan, Armando Pastrana Jimenez, filed for an injunction for the withdrawal of the PGJE to prevent the community defender from leaving prison” and also maintained his complaint against 29 other community defenders.

In a statement on the case, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (FRAYBA),  expressed concern that “despite changes in the criminal justice system, in Chiapas, practices of violations of judicial guarantees and judicial protection, including presumption of innocence, continue, which result in arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

For more information in Spanish:

Libre activista zoque, tras desistimiento de denuncia de PGJ Chiapas (Proceso, 5 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a indígena zoque Silvia Juárez (Expreso Chiapas, 6 de abril de 2017)

Silvia Juárez Juárez, defensora del territorio, en libertad (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de abril de 2017)

Libre Silvia Juárez, defensora zoque (Primera edición Chiapas, 5 de abril de 2017)

Condena el Frayba encarcelamiento de Silvia Juárez (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 5 de abril de 2017)

Luego de 35 días en prisión, la activista Silvia Juárez Juárez es liberada (Aqui Noticias, 6 de abril de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque (1 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas : comunidades zoques se oponen a extracción de hidrocarburos en el norte de Chiapas (20 de octubre de 2016)

Chiapas: Silvia Juárez Juárez anima a sus compañeros a seguir en la defensa de la tierra desde la cárcel (27 de marzo de 2017)

 


Guerrero: Internal Security Law Initiative Rejected

April 4, 2017

Forum.pngSecurity or human rights forum: a false dichotomy Photo@: Tlachinollan

On March 28, in Guerrero, one of the most violent states in Mexico and also one of the most militarized, a forum on militarization entitled “Security or human rights: a false dichotomy” was held during which civil organizations, victims, representatives from the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico defended different reasons for rejecting the initiative of the Internal Security Law currently under debate in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies.

Parents of the 43 students took part in the event, who reported that soldiers from the 27th Infantry Battalion and police from the three levels of government participated in the attacks, murders and forced disappearances suffered by their children. Also participating were Tita Radilla, daughter of the Atoyac peasant leader, Rosendo Radilla Pachecho, arrested and disappeared at a military checkpoint in 1974 and Valentina Rosendo Cantu, raped by soldiers at age 17.

Prior to this forum, the Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon Human Rights Center, the Guerrero Network of Civil Organisms for Human Rights, the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center and the Mexican Institute of Human Rights and Democracy, among others, declared themselves to be against the Internal Security Law, explaining that it would “give rise to more violations of human rights and complete impunity.” These organizations argued that, “it has been useless for the military to assume public security tasks in the state if levels of violence continue to increase exponentially every day because organized crime groups have taken over institutions and exercise territorial control by imposing their rules and self-government.”

For more information in Spanish:

Rechazan la iniciativa de Ley de Seguridad Interior (El Sur de Acapulco, 29 de marzo de 2017)

Foro | Seguridad o Derechos Humanos: Una falsa dicotomía (Centro de derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinolla, 27 de marzo 2017)

 For more information from SIAPZ:

Nacional : cierre de año legislativo con agenda polémica en el Congreso (18 de diciembre 2016)

 


Chiapas: Emilio Jimenez Gomez, Prisoner from San Sebastian Bachajon, Released

March 26, 2017

PresosLogo @: VivaBachajon WordPress

On March 16, Emilio Jimenez Gomez, an ejidatario from San Sebastian Bachajon and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle (the Sixth), was released from prison. He was imprisoned in Playas de Catazaja, Chiapas (CERSS # 17) for two years and eight months.

According to the “No Estamos Todxs” working group, “he was identified by PRI members from the Xanil community for an assault on a foreigner but the same foreigner said that the compañero was not the person who assaulted him. The PRI took him prisoner to Playas de Catazaja with the complicity of the preventative state police.” Likewise, the adherents to the Sixth of San Sebastian Bachajon, in their last statement, assured that Emilio Jimenez Gomez had been arrested for fight against dispossession in the Agua Azul Waterfalls.

In the same statement, they recalled that two other ejidatarios were still “kidnapped by the state”, Esteban Gomez Jimenez, prisoner in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, (CERSS # 5) and Santiago Moreno Perez, prisoner in Playas de Catazaja, Chiapas (CERSS # 17). They denounced that they were also arrested “in an arbitrary manner, for defending their natural resources…for raising their voices and defending life and territory.”

For more information in Spanish:

Libre uno de tres ejidatarios, que luchan contra el despojo en Cascadas de Agua Azul, Bachajón, Chiapas (VivaBachajon WordPress, 18 de marzo de 2018)
Emilio Jiménez Gómez (Grupo de trabajo « No estamos todxs »)

 


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.

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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)