Guerrero: The PGR Denies Concealing Information from the IGIE in Ayotzinapa Case

January 28, 2017

ayotziRelatives continue to demand justice, Photo@: Ronaldo Schemidt

Alfredo Higuera Bernal, head of the investigation office of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR in its Spanish acronym) in the Iguala case, denied concealing information from the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) and the relatives of the 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa in 2014 in an interview with La Jornada.

 One of IGIE’s hypotheses to explain the attack on the students was that they took buses used by an organized crime cartel, Guerreros Unidos, to smuggle drugs into the United States. According to La Jornada, the PGR was aware of the use of buses by the cartel for its trafficking. Two months before the disappearance of the 43, in July 2014, the Army and the PGR detained Gonzalo Martin Souza Neves and Jose Bahena Salgado, members of Guerreros Unidos, in possession of about 250,000 dollars in cash, three vehicles and 24 kilos of heroin. On the day of the arrest, the Ministry of the Interior reported through bulletin 351/14 that Gonzalo Martin Souza Neves had “taken control of the criminal group […] and was in charge of drug trafficking through hidden compartments in various vehicles, mainly in passenger buses (sic).”

However, when the IGIE requested information from the PGR to investigate its hypothesis, the PGR never provided it with background information related to the trafficking of heroin in passenger buses. According to La Jornada, in response to a request for information on Guerreros Unidos, the PGR indicated that it only found “data according to which the criminal group was formed in 2011 by members of the Familia Michoacana and the Beltran Leyva”, without mentioning the arrest of July 2014. Similarly, on presenting its final report on the Ayotzinapa case – known as the white paper – in June 2016, the PGR stated that “so far no evidence has been found that sustains” the IGIE hypothesis.

Failure to mention this information to either the parents or the IGIE could indicate that there has been no good faith on the part of the PGR according to La Jornada, and it is even more serious because it is information of special relevance. Alfredo Higuera Bernal did not confirm the accusations of concealment and assured that “that line of investigation was one of the main approaches that the IGIE took and has been the subject of treatment in the talks that we have with the representatives of the parents.”

Despite the difficulties encountered in the investigation to find their children, the parents of the missing continue their search and their demand for justice and truth. Six months after suspending dialogue with the government, they declared that next February 9 they will meet with the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), Raul Cervantes Andrade, and a member of the Follow-up Commission of the Iguala Case of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which acts as a mediator between the parties to arrive at a new negotiating table. The parents will present their demands, including legal action against Tomas Zeron, exercise of criminal action against the Huitzuco municipal police and two agents of the Federal Police, for participating in the disappearance of the student teachers.

For more information in Spanish:

Padres de los 43 y PGR reanudarán diálogo en febrero (La Jornada, 26 de enero de 2017)

Rechaza Alfredo Higuera que haya habido ocultamiento en el caso Iguala (La Jornada, 24 de enero de 2017)

PGR ocultó el trasiego de droga en autobuses (La Jornada, 23 de enero de 2017)

PGR ocultó datos sobre trasiego de drogas en caso Iguala (UniRadioInforma, 23 de enero de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/México: GIEI concluye su trabajo México entregando un segundo informe (28 de abril de 2016)

Guerrero: Grupo de Expertos sobre caso Ayotzinapa presenta su informe a 6 meses (7 de septiembre de 2015)

Guerrero: Familiares de estudiantes desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa se reunen con PGR por primera vez en 4 meses (16 de julio de 2015)

 


Chiapas: Banavil Displaced Families Announce Provisional Return to their Community for Day of the Dead.

November 2, 2016

banavilProvisional return of displaced Banavil families at their homes. Photo@SIPAZ

On October 28, the families displaced from Banavil provisionally returned to their lands in the framework of the Day of the Dead. In a statement, they reported that “our customs, as we were taught by our grandmothers and grandfathers, is to remember and bring to mind our dead, such as Antonia Lopez Mendez, who died in the forced displacement, and her little sisters Petrona and Maria, surnamed Lopez Mendez, who are buried in the lands of their grandfather Alonso Lopez Luna, forcibly disappeared by PRI supporters from the same location of Banavil since December 4, 2011.”

In the same statement, they again demanded that the Mexican government have an investigation into the forced disappearance of Alonso López Luna. They denounced that “so far the Mexican state has not done investigations, nor has it asked or questioned Mr. Alonso Lopez Ramirez, who is being held at the State Center for Social Reinsertion No. 5, the alleged perpetrator” of that enforced disappearance.

They concluded their statement by saying they sympathized “with the families of the north of Masojá Shucjá, the massacre of Viejo Velasco and families of the martyrs of Acteal, still unpunished, like our family they also seek truth and justice” and demanding “the presentation with life of our 43 student compañeros from the normal rural [school] of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.”

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas: Familias desplazadas de Banavil anuncian retorno provisional a su comunidad (Pozol, a 28 de octubre de 2016)

Desplazados retornan de manera provisional (Cuatro poder, a 30 de octobre de 2016)

Documental “Justicia, verdad y retorno para las familias desplazadas de Banavil “ (YouTube, 17 abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Inauguración de exposición fotográfica de familias desplazadas de Banavil ( a 8 de julio de 2016)

Chiapas: Desplazados y desplazadas de Banavil, 4 años de impunidad (9 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Retorno provisional de las familias desplazadas de Banavil para Día de MuertosTumba de Antonia López Méndez (9 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil retornan temporalmente a su comunidad (12 de agosto de 2015)

 

 


Guerrero: Former Chief of Police of Iguala, Fugitive after Disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa Students, Arrested

November 1, 2016

Iguala.pngFelipe Flores Velazquez, former chief of police of Iguala, implicated in the disappearance of the 43 students. Photo@ La Jornada

On October 21, Felipe Flores Velazquez, former chief of police of Iguala, fugitive after the disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa in September 2014, was arrested. It was in Iguala that elements of the Federal, marine and military police tracked him down and arrested him. The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) had announced a reward of two and a half million pesos to anyone who provided information leading to the location, arrest or detention of Flores. The former police chief is accused of organized crime, kidnapping student teachers and covering up the municipal police officers involved in the disappearance of students.

According to statements from one of those detained for the Ayotzinapa case, Felipe Flores along with the deputy police chief of Cocula, Cesar Nava Gonzalez, were the ones who handed over the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa to members of Guerreros Unidos on night September 26, under orders from Jose Luis Abarca, the former mayor of Iguala.

According to Animal Politico, the PGR considers his capture as key to the outcome of investigations into the Ayotzinapa case.

For more information in Spanish:

Detienen al ex jefe policial de Iguala, clave en la desaparición de los 43 normalistas (Animal político, a 21 de octubre de 2016)

Abren juicio contra Felipe Flores, el ex jefe policial de Iguala, clave en el caso Ayotzinapa (Animal político, a 26 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Actualización “caso Iguala” – siguen desaparecidas 43 personas (a 3 de octubre de 2014)

 

 


Chiapas: Statement from Las Abejas on the Monthly Anniversary of the Acteal Massacre

October 25, 2016

abejas.png

On October 22, to mark the monthly anniversary of the Acteal Massacre (1997), Las Abejas Civil Society released a statement in which they recalled key dates in October: October 2, 1968, the day of a “government crime recorded in the memory of the people,” even while the current government continues “to commit other crimes against young students such as the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa”; and October 12, 1492, “what was the beginning of the pillage of the resources of our continent, a pillage that has not ended. This is what we saw just eight days ago when we were present at the Fifth National Indigenous Congress (CNI) where an endless [list of] testimonies of grievances and dispossessions from a range of peoples throughout Mexico, from Sonora to the Yucatan Peninsula the lands of campesinos have been invaded, to be exploited and destroyed by transnational companies, while the real owners are imprisoned, killed or disappeared “. Las Abejas said that, “a thing that gives us great sadness and indignation is to see that this pillage that foreigners did in the past is now carried out by the same governments that claim to represent Mexicans.”

On this same date, Las Abejas also launched an invitation issued to commemorate the nineteenth anniversary of the Acteal Massacre framework in which they will hold a meeting to be held on December 21 and 22 this year in Acteal, Chenalho municipality.

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado « En este mes de octubre nos reunimos en esta Tierra Sagrada de Acteal para recordar una vez más lo que no puede ser olvidado, el asesinato impune de nuestros hermanos y hermanas el 22 de diciembre de 1997 » (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de octubre de 2016)

Convocatoria a XIX Aniversario de la Masacre de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, octubre de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas : niegan amparo e indemnización a acusados liberados de la masacre de Acteal (9 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal se solidarizan con la lucha del magisterio (29 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas: Solicitan Las Abejas de Acteal acopio para familias desplazadas (9 de junio de 2016)

 


Guerrero: March in Chilpancingo for Release of Community Police Prisoners

October 18, 2016

CRAC.jpgPhoto @Alaide Martinez, Desinformemonos

On October 12, some 2,000 people, including prisoners’ relatives, members of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC PC), of the State Coordinator of Education Workers in Guerrero (CETEG), Section 18 the Single Union of Public Servants of the State of Guerrero (SUSPEG), as well as relatives of the 43 student teachers arrested and missing since 2014 and students from the Normal Rural School, Ayotzinapa, among others, marched in Chilpancingo in the framework of Columbus Day. The march ended with a rally in front of Government Offices.

The protesters demanded the release of the Tixtla Community Police promoter, Gonzalo Gonzalez Molina, the community policeman from the Zitlaltepec House of Justice, Samuel Ramirez Galvez, both held in the prison of Chilpancingo; as well as the advisor to the El Paraiso House of Justice, Arturo Herrera Campos, imprisoned in Ayutla de los Libres. They also called for the abrogation of the structural reforms of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government, especially educational reform, and the presentation of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa.

For more information on Spanish:

Marchan por la libertad de presos de la Policía Comunitaria (El Sur de Acapulco, 13 de octubre de 2016)

Marchan en Chilpancingo por libertad para presos de la Policía Comunitaria (Desinformémonos, 12 de octubre de 2016)

Organismos piden en Chilpancingo la libertad de comunitarios presos (La Jornada de Guerrero, 13 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: En libertad seis presos de la CRAC-PC (13 de mayo de 2016)

Guerrero/Nacional: Finaliza Tercer Encuentro Nacional por la Libertad de las y los Presos Políticos (29 de abril de 2016)

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

Guerrero: Autodefensa en contra del crimen organizado en 4 municipios (11 de enero de 2013)

 


International: IGIE Presents Second Report on Ayotzinapa in the European Parliament

October 8, 2016

Ayotzi1.pngProtest in front of the European Parliament. Photo @Marco Appel

On September 26, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) officially presented its second report on the Ayotzinapa case to the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament and also demanded “that human rights take their place in the negotiations that the European Union (EU) is currently holding with the Mexican government for the “modernization” of the free trade agreement.”

In the meeting of the subcommittee, coinciding with the second anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa, IGIE members Francisco Cox and Claudia Paz y Paz also considered “quite disappointing” the appointment of Thomas Zeron as technical secretary of the National Council for Public Safety immediately after resigning as director of the Criminal Investigation Agency and responsible for solving the disappearance of the students. According to Cox, in an interview before his intervention at the European Parliament, “We hope that the follow-up mechanism (which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Mexican government launched) is given all the access we saw blocked at the end of our mandate.”

Before the IGIE presentation in Brussels, Amnesty International and a group of Mexican residents held a protest in Luxembourg Square, located opposite the European Parliament. “Two years later, 43 students are still missing in Mexico” read a banner in English placed on top of a monument surrounded by 43 human silhouettes with pasted photographs of the disappeared youths.

For more information in Spanish:

Pide GIEI-Ayotzinapa a Unión Europea incluir derechos humanos en renegociación del TLC (Educa, Servicios Para una Educación Alternativa A.C., a 28 de septiembre 2016)

Pide el GIEI a Eurocámara incluir derechos humanos en acuerdo comercial con México(Proceso, a 26 de septiembre 2016)

For more information from Sipaz:

Nacional: Ayotzinapa, dos años de desasosiego, dolor e impunida  (30 de septiembre de 2016)

Nacional: Se aprueba la implementación del Mecanismo de Seguimiento para el caso Ayotzinapa (30 de septiembre de 2016)

Guerrero/México: GIEI concluye su trabajo México entregando un segundo informe (28 de abril de 2016)


Guerrero: Two Student Teachers from Ayotzinapa Murdered

October 8, 2016

Ayotzi.pngDesinformémonos Photo @Aurora Roja

On October 4 (5:50 pm), five passengers were shot dead during an assault on public transport, including the students from the Ayotzinapa Normal Rural School: Johnatan Morales Hernandez and Filemon Tacuba Castro.

The Ministry of Public Security of the state confirmed that it was an armed assault on the Chilpancingo-Tixtla road. According Sur newspaper “and according to an audio broadcast on social networks, the attackers were inside the unit and knew that several of the occupants were students from Ayotzinapa.”

The attackers killed the students Jonatan Morales Hernandez, a fourth-year student, Group A of Saucito community in the Municipality of Tecoanapa, and Filemon Tacuba Castro, also a fourth-year student, Group B, from Apantla, Ayutla de los Libres Municipality, Guerrero.

Jonatan Hernandez Morales and Filemon Tacuba Castro were travelling with others on public transport from Chilpancingo to Tixtla where the Normal school is located. “A source from the State Police reported that two victims died where the assault occurred and the other three died while receiving medical care.” The other gunshot victims are a woman, a girl and an eight-year-old boy.

According to Radio Formula, “with great sadness and pain, the parents of the 43 students missing from Iguala on September 26, 2014, as well as the students of the Raul Isidro Burgos Normal Rural School said farewell” this October 5 to the two murdered youths recalling that “they can cut all the flowers, but never stop the spring.”

For more information in Spanish:

Confirman normalistas de Ayotzinapa asesinato de dos de sus compañeros en carretera Chilpancingo-Tixtla (Desinformémonos, a 5 de octubre 2016)

Matan en Chilpancingo a cinco pasajeros de una Urvan; dos eran alumnos de Ayotzinapa (El Sur periódico de Guerrero, a 5 de octubre 2016)
Velan en normal de Ayotzinapa a estudiantes asesinados, padres de 43 condenan su muerte ( RadioFórmula, a 05 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from Sipaz:

Nacional: Ayotzinapa, dos años de desasosiego, dolor e impunidad

Nacional: Se aprueba la implementación del Mecanismo de Seguimiento para el caso Ayotzinapa