Chiapas: Tzeltal Women Tortured and Raped by Military in 1994 Denounce Total Impunity

June 9, 2019

Abejas 1@SIPAZ

On June 4th, dozens of members of civil groups (including SIPAZ), women from Las Abejas Civil Society and members of the San Cristobal de Las Casas diocese, accompanied the Tzeltal sisters Ana, Beatriz and Celia Gonzalez Perez in the symbolic takeover of the military barracks in this city, to demand that justice be done for the torture and rape of those who were victims, 25 years ago, of the military in the municipality of Altamirano.

The lawyer, Gloria Guadalupe Flores Ruiz, member of the Gonzalez Parez Sisters’ Committee, recalled that the three indigenous women and their mother Delia Perez de Gonzalez, were detained at a Mexican Army checkpoint in Altamirano on June 4th, 1994, accused of being support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) and that “they were beaten, tortured and raped by the military, who forced the mother to witness the attacks” so that they would provide information about the Zapatistas.

In April 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ruled on the case and recommended that the Mexican State “investigate the facts in a complete, impartial and effective manner in the ordinary Mexican criminal jurisdiction to determine the responsibility and sanction of all authors of human rights violations.” No government wanted to attend to the case and impunity and oblivion have prevailed. On May 7th, however, a working group of the IACHR was held in Jamaica and the Mexican government undertook to comply “in a comprehensive manner” with the 2001 recommendation.

The demands of the victims and their defense include: “Investigation and punishment of the military responsible for the rape and torture; to hold a public acknowledgment of responsibility in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and with the presence of military commanders, and integral reparation for the damage caused, in accordance with the worldview of the Perez Gonzalez sisters.”

Flores Ruiz emphasized that “the Mexican State refuses to recognize that the perpetrators of serious violations of the human rights of the Gonzalez Perez sisters were the military. This has been the point that has stalled the case in the previous administrations, because they did not want to go out and say that the Army was responsible for this violence generated in the context of the low intensity war in 1994, but we hope that this government of the fourth transformation shows that the civilian command is above the military.”

For his part, the priest Marcelo Perez Perez, responsible for the social pastoral of the three dioceses of Chiapas, asked “the maximum commander of the Mexican Army, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of the Republic,” that justice be done in the case of the Gonzalez Perez sisters and their mother. “If there is no justice for the Gonzalez Perez sisters, they will be accomplices and traitors to the indigenous peoples,” he stressed.

Abejas 2@SIPAZ

 Women of Las Abejas Civil Society stated that, “today we come here to join the demand for justice from compañeras Ana, Beatriz, Celia Gonzalez Perez and Delia Perez (…) and with all those hundreds, thousands and thousands of women who have been victims of the perpetrating army and violator of women and of human rights.” They also denounced that “we know that the Mexican army not only tortured and raped women 25 years ago, but, that they continued with their barbarism, they continued to humiliate women, either raping them or massacring them directly or indirectly as with the 21 women massacred by the PRI members from Chenalho, four of whom were pregnant, and after Acteal they followed, with the women of Atenco, compañeras of the Sierra Zongolica de Veracruz and, we can continue with an endless list. The Mexican Army is not an army that serves the Mexican nation, it is an army that is at the service of the capitalist system, which is trained to kill and exterminate the original peoples of Mexico and the women and men who criticize the bad government and the system of death.”

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen justicia a 25 años de la violación tumultuaria de tres hermanas cometida por militares en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2019)

A 25 años, hermanas violadas por militares en Chiapas exigen justicia (La Jornada, 4 de junio de 2019)

Mujeres indígenas de Chiapas acusan impunidad por violación de militares hace 25 años (Sin Embargo, 4 de junio de 2019)

Tzeltales en Chiapas exigen justicia por violación atribuida a militares (El Universal, 4 de junio de 2019)

El ejército mexicano no es un ejército que sirve a la nación mexicana, es un ejército que está al servicio del sistema capitalista. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 4 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Indigenous Tzeltal women raped by the Mexican Army accept “compensation” with conditions (October 25, 2010)

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National/International: Inter-American Court Rules Mexico Responsible for Sexual Torture of Women in Atenco

January 5, 2019

Atenco.png(@Centro ProDH)

On December 21st, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) determined that the Mexican State was responsible for the sexual torture of which 11 women were victims during a 2006 police operation in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State.

It should be recalled that on May 3rd and 4th, 2006, police forces carried out an operation in San Salvador Atenco supposedly to “re-establish order” during a series of protests by the inhabitants over the construction of an airport. More than 200 people were arrested during the raids. 50 of them were women, 31 of whom later reported sexual assaults by the police.

“The use of force by the police authorities when arresting them was not legitimate or necessary, but it was also excessive and unacceptable due to the sexual and discriminatory nature of the aggressions suffered. The Court concluded that the indiscriminate use of force by the State in this case, as a result of an absence of adequate regulation, a lack of training of the agents, inefficient supervision and monitoring of the operation, and a misconception that violence of some justified the use of force against all”, the Court said.

It should be emphasized that the judgments of the IACHR are binding for Mexico, and therefore the State is obliged to comply with all the measures ordered by the Inter-American Court. The Miguel Agustin Pro Juárez Human Rights Center declared that, “with this historic sentence, the State has the possibility to put an end to impunity in the emblematic case of Atenco and to take concrete measures to prevent such violations of human rights from being reproduced in other contexts. The full and prompt compliance with the sentence announced by the Court today will be a clear sign of the new government’s commitment to human rights. Moreover, in a context in which the security model is under discussion in Mexico, with the intention of creating a militarized National Guard, the sentence issued by the Court in the Atenco case – as with the resolution published yesterday regarding the Alvarado case – obllige the Mexican Legislative Power to review the legislation that it intends to pass in light of the standards set by the Inter-American Court, which reinforce the perspective of citizen security of a civil nature and external supervision of security institutions.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado MÉXICO ES RESPONSABLE POR TORTURA SEXUAL DE MUJERES EN ATENCO (Corte IDH, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

En sentencia histórica, Corte Interamericana ordena al Estado mexicano sancionar represión y tortura en Atenco (Centro ProDH, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Ilegítimo e innecesario, el uso de la fuerza en Atenco: Corte Interamericana al notificar sentencia al Estado mexicano (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Culpa Corte IDH al Estado por tortura de mujeres de Atenco (La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Responsabilidad internacional del Estado mexicano en actos de tortura contra 11 mujeres de Atenco: CoIDH (Proceso, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Corte IDH: El Estado mexicano violó DDHH de mujeres en Atenco, cuando Peña gobernaba Edomex (Sin Embargo, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

CIDH responsabiliza al Estado por tortura sexual de 11 mujeres en Atenco (Radio Fórmula, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Hearing of Cases of Sexual Torture in San Salvador Atenco at IACHR Court (November 29th, 2017)

Mexico: IACHR Demands Investigation into Case of Female Victims of Sexual Abuse in Atenco in 2006 (October 10th, 2016)

 

 


National: March in Favor of NAICM in Texcoco Polarizes Public Opinion

November 20, 2018

Airport.pngPhoto @ Aristegui Noticias

 On November 11th, a march with around five thousand participants took place, according to reports from the police of the capital, which walked from the Angel of Independence to the Zocalo in Mexico City. According to La Jornada, it was called by “organizations, Citizens for Mexico, the Pro-Neighbor Movement, whose leader was a candidate for representative of the PRI in Mexico City and for the Senate in 2006 for New Alliance, Stop Kidnapping, Citizens’ Chain, Citizens’ Coordinator, among others”, to demonstrate in favor of the continuation of the construction of the New International Airport of Mexico City (NAICM in its Spanish acronym) on Lake Texcoco.

The controversial demonstration, which has been disparaged as the “posh march”, whose participants dressed mostly in black, representing the mourning for the cancellation of the project, generated polarization in several media and social networks due to the participation of Juan Dabdoub, homophobic ultra-right activist, leading the contingent, as well as the use of blankets and xenophobic posters against the migrant caravans carried by several participants of the march.

According to La Jornada, the organizers rigorously rejected in a statement “the way in which the past consultation on the NAIM was manipulated.” They also denounce “that it is intended to replace the laws and institutions of our democracy by crude simulations, which are attempted to be passed off as legitimate mechanisms.”

For more information in Spanish:

La marcha de la ultraderecha: #111111xMexico (Proceso, 12 de noviembre de 2018)

Llega al Zócalo marcha en apoyo de NAIM en Texcoco (La Jornada, 11 de noviembre de 2018)

Activista homófobo de ultraderecha participa en ‘marcha fifí’ (SDPnoticias, 11 de noviembre de 2018)

Así fue la ‘marcha fifí’ en CDMX (Plumas Atómicas, 11 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mexico International Airport in Texcoco is canceled after consultation (November 3rd, 2018)

National: Disturbances in Indigenous Territories over the Implementation of Megaprojects: San Francisco Xochicuautla and Atenco (April 14th, 2016)

National: FPDT of Atenco initiates mobilizations following announcement of new airport
(September 15th, 2014)

National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues (May 16th, 2014)

Mexico: Atenco prisoners released (July 12th, 2010)

 


National: Hearing of Cases of Sexual Torture in San Salvador Atenco at IACHR Court

November 29, 2017

Torture(@Ciudadanía Expres)

On November 16th and 17th, in the framework of a public hearing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR Court), the eleven women survivors of sexual torture in the events of San Salvador Atenco, State of Mexico, in May 2006, shared their testimonies about what happened and the impunity that has prevailed.

It should be recalled that on May 3rd and 4th, 2006, police forces carried out an operation in San Salvador Atenco supposedly to “re-establish order.” More than 200 people were arrested during the raids. 50 of them were women, 31 of whom later reported sexual assaults by the police.

Human rights defenders requested that the I/A Court HR order the State to carry out a serious investigation to end impunity, as well as “adopt transparent policies and mechanisms to regulate the use of police force and eradicate sexual torture as an extended practice.”

Civil organizations that have accompanied the case stressed that “the eleven women of Atenco represent thousands of victims and account for the major structural problems of the State: the excessive use of police force, violence against women, torture as a mechanism of control and the impunity that allows its chronic repetition.”

The representation of the Mexican State asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to declare before the Court that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the IACHR committed a “serious error” in its report by not taking into account the reparation measures proposed by the State to the women who were victims of sexual violence in that operation, nor the advances that the State has implemented in terms of gender equity after the facts. However, it said that the State admits its responsibility for human rights violations committed, including sexual torture. However, although some people are still under trial, there is no public servant with a conviction for the case.

For more information in Spanish:

Mujeres de Atenco (Síntesis de medios del Centro ProDH, noviembre de 2017)

Las mujeres de Atenco, ante la CIDH: “Nos han hecho sentir, repetidamente, pequeñas” (El País, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

“Error grave” de CIDH sobre Atenco, alega el Estado mexicano, pero acepta tortura (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de noviembre de 2017)

Luchadoras de Atenco rompen el silencio (Animal Político, 24 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

México: La CIDH exige una investigación sobre el caso de varias mujeres víctimas de abuso sexual en San Salvador Atenco en el 2006 (30 de septiembre de 2016)


Mexico: IACHR Demands Investigation into Case of Female Victims of Sexual Abuse in Atenco in 2006

October 10, 2016

mujeresPhoto @Regeneracion Radio

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will assess the case of “Mariana Selvas Gomez and others” this September, all Mexican and foreign women who were subjected to sexual violence by police in May 2006 in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State.

“Between May 3 and 4, 2006, in San Salvador Atenco, with Peña Nieto as Mexico State governor, three thousand police officers entered the community -by order of then Governor- to repress social protests arising from the proposal of President Vicente Fox Quesada to build a new international airport on ejido land. The fuse was lit on May 3, when several florists intended to relocate the local market; agents entered the town with excessive violence, raided homes and withdrew several blocks. The toll of the confrontation between villagers and the police was two dead, over 200 injured and 47 women raped and humiliated “.

Although the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) found that there were serious human rights violations and excessive use of public force, and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN in its Spanish acronym) found that officials of the State Security Agency and the Government of the State of Mexico violated individual rights of the people, as well as finding beaten women, an indigenous Mazahua woman, two Spaniards, a Chilean and a German; so far there have been no consequences for any official.

“This week, the American newspaper The New York Times published the stories of the women who decided to take their case before the Court. The influential US daily said that, “the request by the Human Rights Commission to initiate an investigation to get to the top of the hierarchy is a blow to a presidency under siege. Corruption scandals and violence have already affected his approval ratings, the lowest for a Mexican president in a quarter century.”

For more information in Spanish:

La CIDH exige una investigación sobre el abuso sexual que sufrió un grupo de mujeres en Atenco en 2006, NYT, 22 de septiembre de 2016

Las mujeres de Atenco, NYT, septiembre 2016

Atenco, hace 10 años, mostró al país cómo sería la Presidencia de Peña, dice activista, Sinembargo, 25 de septiembre de 2016

México solicita a Corte Interamericana intervenir en caso de Atenco, Milenio, 17 de septeimbre de 2016

Remiten caso Atenco a Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, La Jornada, 17 de septeimbre de 2016

For more information from SIPAZ: 

Nacional: Irrupciones en territorios indígenas para la implementación de megaproyectos: San Francisco Xochicuautla y Atenco (14/04/2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Marcha en solidaridad con la comunidad de San Francisco Xochicuautla (29 de julio de 2015)

Nacional: El FPDT de Atenco inicia movilizaciones después de anuncio de próximo aeropuerto (4 de septiembre de 2014)

Nacional: A 8 años de impunidad en Atenco, continúa amenaza de construcción del aeropuerto (8 de mayo de 2014)

 


National: Disturbances in Indigenous Territories over the Implementation of Megaprojects: San Francisco Xochicuautla and Atenco

April 14, 2016

Unrest.pngDemolition of one of the homes in Xochicuautla protected by the riot police. Photo: @FJXochicuautla.

In recent days there have been at least two major disturbances in indigenous territories to allow the entrance of megaprojects. In one case, some 700 members of the police forced entrance into the Otomi-Ñatho community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, in the municipality of Lerma, Mexico State, to permit the entrance of bulldozers of a construction company. This community has been resisting the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway and through popular mobilization and the granting of two legal decisions won the definitive suspension of a presidential decree to expropriate almost 38 hectares of their lands. Despite this, the police force entered the community offering protection to the company, which demolished the Peace and Dignified Resistance Camp and a number of houses which were on the planned highway route. According to statements from the spokesperson of the community, Jose Luis Fernandez, 25 people were evicted and beaten, among them a woman who is almost 80 years old.

As Proceso pointed out, the work “is carried out by Autovan-Teya, a subsidiary of Grupo Higa, which belongs to Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantu, one of the main contractors of the Federal Government and whose financial dealings in tax havens were uncovered through the investigation of the Panama Papers.” Furthermore, the corporate group has been identified by various media sources as the main contractor of Mexico State since it was governed by the current President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, and as the “supplier of the luxury residences of the leader’s wife and of Luis Videgaray Caso, Minister of Finance and Public Credit”, according to La Jornada.

In another case, the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra – FPDT) reported the forced entrance of an army tank into the communally owned lands of Atenco, Mexico State, escorting a group of workers “from a private company that carried out studies for the construction of the new airport. This was all done illegally and intimidating the inhabitants who had met on becoming aware of the incursion. Nevertheless, we managed to expel them pacifically.” Due to this, Jose Antonio Lara Duque, general director of Zeferino Ladrillero Center for Human Rights (Centro de Derechos Humanos Zeferino Ladrillero – CDHZL) stated: “We believe that, given the facts, the local government is trying to justify the Eruviel Law. That is to say, provoke the peoples who have been defending their land, territory and natural resources. If anybody falls into [the trap of] provocation, it would legitimize the use of lethal force to control the people who are defending themselves.” It should be remembered that the struggle of the people of Atenco against the construction of an airport on their lands was violently repressed. In the protests, two youths lost their lives, more than 200 were arrested, and at least 26 women were sexually tortured by the police.

For more information in Spanish:

Irrumpe Higa con fuerza pública a Xochicuautla; derriba viviendas pese a amparos (Proceso, 11 de abril de 2016)

Editorial / Xochicuautla, atropello a la legalidad (La Jornada, 13 de abril de 2016)

Sociedad civil resiste en Xochicuautla e Higa se niega a detener las demoliciones ilegales (Sistema Integral de Información en Derechos Humanos, 13 de abril de 2016)

Constata ONU violación de órdenes judiciales en obras de la autopista Naucalpan-Toluca (La Jornada, 13 de abril de 2016)

Declaración de alerta máxima del CNI, ante la cobarde traición a la comunidad indígena Ñatho de San Francisco Xochicuautla (Enlace Zapatista, 13 de abril de 2016)

Hay un acuerdo para suspender las obras en Xochicuautla: habitantes (Animal Político, 14 de abril de 2016)

Frente por la Libertad de Expresión condena desalojo de la comunidad de San Francisco Xochicuautla (Noticias MVS, 12 de abril de 2016)

Policías en Xochicuautla y ayer, militares en Atenco; “nos están provocando”, dicen comuneros (Sin Embargo, 13 de abril de 2016)

Denuncian en Atenco que militares escoltan a trabajadores de constructora (Proceso, 12 de abril de 2016)

Ejército irrumpe en tierras ejidales de San Salvador Atenco (Desinformémonos, 12 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Xochicuautla obtiene cancelación de la autopista (17 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Comunidad de Xochicuautla denuncia proyecto carretero y se solidariza con pueblos indígenas de Chiapas que enfrentan despojo (20 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Marcha en solidaridad con la comunidad de San Francisco Xochicuautla (29 de julio de 2015)

Nacional: El FPDT de Atenco inicia movilizaciones después de anuncio de próximo aeropuerto (4 de septiembre de 2014)

Nacional: A 8 años de impunidad en Atenco, continúa amenaza de construcción del aeropuerto (8 de mayo de 2014)


Chiapas/National: March in solidarity with the San Francisco Xochicuautla community

September 10, 2015

(@Sin Embargo)(@Sin Embargo)

Residents of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Lerma municipality, Mexico State, mobilized themselves on 28 July in Mexico City of defend their sacred forest Otomí. The action was organized to protest the expropriatory decree imposed by the federal government that removes part of their territory from their control in favor of the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway.

Present at the march were many representatives from other social processes, including from the Nahua community of Ostula, Michoacán; Ayotzinapa, Guerrero; and San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State, among others.  The march expressed its solidarity with the Santa María Ostula community, which is struggling to exercise its right to autonomy as an indigenous population, and who have recently suffered an attack on the part of the Army that killed a girl and left ten others injured.  There were also demonstrations of solidarity with the demand for justice for Ayotzinapa.

It should be recalled that San Francisco Xochicuautla is an Otomí-ñatho community that for eight years has resisted the planned construction of the highway in question.  Recently, the central government published a decree expropriating 37 hectares to carry out the project, which would plunder the locals’ land.  The concession for the construction and maintenance of the highway was made in 2009 by the former Mexico State governor and current president, Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN), to a firm associated with the Higa group.  The clear links between the head of state and this corporation have been made clear, as the firm has carried out projects involving millions of pesos during EPN’s administration in Mexico City.  In this way have been clarified its links with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), for it also built the polemical “White House” in the Chapultepec hills in Mexico City.

The expressions of support for the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla have been forthcoming through pronunciations and events.  In San Cristóbal de Las Casas there was planned an event to raise awareness and express solidarity to include projections of videos and talks about the attacks on the Xochicuautla and Ostula communities, as well as against the Autonomous Rebel Zapatista Municipalities (MAREZ).  As organized by adherents to the Sixth Declaration, it was to take place on 31 July in El Paliacate Espacio Cultural, starting at 5pm.

For more information (in Spanish):

Realizan manifestación en defensa de Xochicuautla (SIDIDH, 29 de julio de 2015)

Comuneros se movilizan en el DF contra “el despojo” de tierras para autopista Higa (Sin Embargo, 28 de julio de 2015)

Xochicuautla Abraza y Convoca a Marchar por sus Hermanos Indígenas de Ostula. (Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en defensa de la Madre Tierra, 27 de julio de 2015)

Embestida del ejército contra la comunidad nahua de Santa María Ostula (SubVersiones, 20 de julio de 2015)

Pobladores de Xochicuautla rechazan decreto expropiatorio por construcción de autopista (Aristegui Noticias, 10 de julio de 2015)

La casa blanca de Enrique Peña Nieto (investigación especial) (Aristegui Noticias, 9 de noviembre de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Nation: Denunciations of new attacks against indigenous community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán (10 June 2015)

National: Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion (30 December 2015)