October 18, 2017

SIPAZFrayba

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, October 12th, 2017.

Joint communiqué.

International accompaniment and observation of human rights

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, (Frayba) and the International Peace Service (SIPAZ) report that they will be accompanying the caravan organized in the framework of the tour of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Council of Government, which will take place from October 13th to 19th of this year in the state of Chiapas according to the following announced program:

Friday, October 13th, 2017.- Start of caravan to Las Margaritas.

Saturday, October 14th, 2017.- Village of Guadalupe Tepeyac.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017.- Morelia Caracol.

Monday, October 16th, 2017.- La Garrucha Caracol.

Tuesday October 17th, 2017 .- Roberto Barrios Caracol.

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017.- Palenque.

Thursday October 19th, 2017.- Oventik Caracol.

The objective of the accompaniment will be to provide a presence for observation and documentation for the respect of human rights in the course of the caravan and in the planned events. Regrettably, in the face of the denunciations made by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) in recent months, which have included threats, attacks and aggressions, we see this deterrent presence as necessary. We consider it important that these activities be carried out with peace of mind, as part of a peaceful organizational effort aimed at defending the rights of indigenous peoples in the country.

The present communiqué is to inform the Mexican authorities and international human rights bodies, so that in their area of ​​competence, they provide guarantees of protection to the caravan, which we reiterate, is a civil and peaceful action.

In the same way, we ask for guarantees of respect and protection of the integrity and safety of the members of the caravan, the right to life, and individual and collective rights and freedoms, guaranteeing in the immediate future the necessary conditions to carry out the caravan, without police accompaniment being considered in the activities.

The members of SIPAZ will be present in the activities wearing vests with the organization logo and the text ‘international observer’.

The members of the Frayba will be accompanying the Caravan as human rights observers.

See: https://www.congresonacionalindigena.org/

We call for permanent accompaniment by international human rights organizations.

We call for national and international solidarity to demand the Mexican State in its three levels of government:

1.- Guarantee the work of human rights defenders in Mexico.

2.- Immediately adopt appropriate measures to guarantee the safety and physical integrity of the members of the Caravan of the National Indigenous Congress as well as the Indigenous Council of Government.

3.- Ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9th, 1998.

4.- In general, ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with international human rights standards ratified by Mexico.

We declare that we will be attentive at all points of the tour, with the aim of ensuring respect for human rights and documenting any security incident.

This communiqué has been sent to the authorities of the Mexican State, as well as to international human rights bodies.

For more information:

Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI)

Este sábado se registra Marichuy, la aspirante presidencial zapatista (El Proceso, 6 de octubre de 2017)

La aspirante indígena a la presidencia de México rechaza dinero público para su campaña (El País, 9 de octubre de 2017)

Para más información en ingles:

Mexico’s Indigenous Congress: Decolonising politics (Al Jazeera, 27 de septiembre de 2017)

Zapatista-Backed Indigenous Woman Registers to Run for Mexican Presidency (teleSUR, 7 de octubre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional : Candidata presidencial “no es decisión de una persona” (Subcomandante Moíses) (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas / Nacional : CNI y EZLN realizarán consulta para nombrar a una candidata indígena hacia las elecciones presidenciales de 2018 (15 de octubre de 2016)

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Chiapas: 5,000 Men and Women on Pilgrimage against Mining in Chicomuselo

October 17, 2017

Chicomsuelo.pngPhoto @ SIPAZ

On October 1st, in the municipality of Chicomuselo, a meeting was held in Grecia ejido to analyze the threats posed by the mining concessions for the towns of Chiapas. The following day, the pilgrimage called “Movement against Mining and the Depletion of the Earth”, called by the parishes San Pedro and San Pablo and the “Samuel Ruiz” Committee for the Promotion and Defense of the Life of Chicomuselo, took place The march-procession was accompanied by Father Marcelo Perez, parish priest of Simojovel, several other religious leaders and human rights organizations, such as the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights and the Chiapas Women’s Rights Center.

The inhabitants of the ejidos of Ricardo Flores Magon and Grecia was supported by men and women of several communities of Chiapas, some that faced a trip of twelve hours to attend the event, in its fight against projects of mining companies in the municipality of Chicomuselo. At the end, according to Proceso, 5,000 participants raised their voices and walked with banners and signs denouncing the damages caused by mining companies. The same media reported that at the end of the pilgrimage the participants concluded that: “Having heard the problems of different communities and organizations in resistance, we coincide in that our struggle in defense of Mother Earth has brought us as a consequence, omission, repression, intimidation, threats, persecution, imprisonment and killings of human rights defenders in Chiapas and other parts of the country and the world.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunidad chiapaneca repudia operación de minera (Video) (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de octubre del 2017)

“Defensa de la tierra nos ha traído represión, amenazas, asesinatos”, denuncian en Chiapas (Proceso, 2 de octubre del 2017)

Empresas mineras provocan división comunitaria en Chicomuselo (CDH Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 26 de septiembre del 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Conferencia de prensa – NO A LA MINERÍA (28 de septiembre del 2017)

Chiapas: Comunidades de Chicomuselo denuncian incursiones de empresas mineras (25 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncian reinicio ilegal de actividades mineras en Chicomuselo (29 de enero de 2014)

Chiapas: marchan 2 mil personas al finalizarse el “Encuentro Chiapaneco en Unidad contra el Modelo Extractivo Minero” en Frontera Comalapa (1 de diciembre de 2012)

Chiapas: poder judicial exige que mina explotada por Blackfire permanezca clausurada (26 de octubre de 2010)

Chiapas: Amenaza de muerte al párroco de Chicomuselo (11 de octubre de 2010)

Chiapas: delegación canadiense investiga abusos de explotaciones mineras (2 de abril de 2010)

Chiapas: Matan a Mariano Abarca líder opositor a la operación en una mina (28 de noviembre de 2009)


Mexico: Announcements and Actions for International Day of the Victims of Forced Disappearances

September 7, 2017

Forced disappearance.png(@ONU-DH)

On August 30th, International Day of Victims of Forced Disappearances, hundreds of family members and friends of missing persons marched in Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Baja California to demand that the authorities make progress in the search for their loved ones and punish those responsible for this crime.

In this same context, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-HR) in Mexico urged the Mexican State to recognize the competence of the United Nations Committee to oversee the Convention that deals with this issue to receive and to examine individual complaints of victims of enforced disappearances. Jan Jarab, UN-HR representative in Mexico reported that “despite the fact that eight years have passed since it ratified the International Convention for the Protection of Persons against this scourge, there are currently more than 30,000 disappeared in Mexico.” In this context, UN-HR reiterated its demand to the Chamber of Deputies to approve the general law on forced disappearance.

For the same reason, Amnesty International launched the campaign “Nothing is the same if someone disappears”, with an emphasis on the situation in Syria, Mexico and Spain. In the case of Mexico, the organization emphasized: “As of June 2017, according to the Government, 32,096 people were missing, without specifying how many had been forced to disappear. An emblematic case is the 43 students of Ayotzinapa who disappeared in September 2014. In April 2016, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, accused the Mexican Government of not following the key research lines, manipulating evidence, protecting officers suspected of participating in enforced disappearances, and torturing suspects to secure “confessions.” It has recently been verified that members of this group and of human rights organizations working on the case have been spied on with sophisticated programs available only to governments.”

On its part, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) affirmed on the same occasion that disappearances still occur in Mexico and urged the Chamber of Deputies to approve the General Law on the subject at the next sitting.

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC in its Spanish acronym) issued a bulletin in which it denounced that “forced disappearance is part of the strategy used by the Mexican State to infuse terror in society and annihilate organizational experiences” and recalled that in Chiapas, “cases of forced disappearance, in the context of the Internal Armed Conflict, as a consequence of the implementation of the Chiapas Campaign Plan 94, committed by state agents and paramilitary groups that operated with the support, tolerance and acquiescence of the Mexican State, remain unpunished, creating conditions for their repetition.”

 For more information in Spanish:

« Amnistía Internacional lanza la campaña: Nada es igual si alguien desaparece » (Amnistía Internacional, 29 de agosto de 2017)

México: ONU-DH lanza campaña a favor de los derechos de las personas desaparecidas (ONU-DH, 30 de agosto de 2017)

Llama la ONU a México a reforzar la lucha contra desapariciones (La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2017)

Desapariciones subsisten en México como consecuencia de la impunidad: CNDH (Proceso, 30 de agosto de 2017)

Urge en México una Ley General sobre Desaparición (CDHFBC, 30 de agosto de 2017)

Desapariciones forzadas en México, “crimen de Estado” (La Jornada, 31 de agosto de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Guerrero: Foro sobre desaparición forzada (22 de agosto de 2017)

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 : cierre de año legislativo con agenda polémica en el Congreso (8 de diciembre de 2016)


Chiapas: Press Conference to Demand Release Roberto Carlos Ruiz Hernandez

July 8, 2017

roberto.jpgRoberto Carlos Ruiz Hernandez. Photo: @No Estamos Todxs

A press conference was held at the offices of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) on June 29th in San Cristobal de Las Casas, to demand the release of Roberto Carlos Ruiz Hernandez, an immigrant of Honduran origin currently imprisoned State Social Reintegration Center for the Sentenced No. 13 (CERSS No.13), in Tonala Chiapas and detained since May 22nd, 2013, accused of extortion.

The “No Estamos Todxs” Working Group, and the lawyers of the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Centers and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center participated in the press conference.

In 2015, his file was presented to the Reconciliation Table of the Government of Chiapas so that the case would be reviewed, and in 2017, according to information from Frayba: “the members of the Reconciliation Board had determined to grant him his freedom, but due to bureaucratic delays from February to date the government maintains an arbitrary deprivation that has caused anguish and psychological wear and tear from the promise of freedom.”

In addition to this, “independent experts conducted medical and psychological assessments based on the Istanbul Protocol, with the result that Roberto Carlos suffers from physical and psychological consequences due to acts of torture and/or cruel and inhuman treatment during his detention.”

They point out that: “Roberto Carlos has more than 70% of his sentence served, is a survivor of torture, his judicial process contained faults of due process and resulted in an unfair trial, had no consular assistance and the Reconciliation Board determined to grant him freedom.”

Frayba considers that: “The Embassy of Honduras in Mexico has not granted the appropriate consular assistance to Roberto Carlos, nor the political or diplomatic efforts to obtain his freedom, arguing that they do not have him registered as a citizen of their country, although Carlos has been deported by the Mexican State on three occasions, so the government of that country does have the records that accredit him as a Honduran citizen.”

It is worth remembering that in May 2017 Roberto Carlos sewed his lips and began a hunger strike to demand his immediate release or at least transfer to San Cristobal de Las Casas prison for having received threats, according to Roberto, from the authority of the prison.

Frayba laments that, “the case of Roberto Carlos is one more example of the criminalization of migrants who decide to transit or to settle in our country.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Hondureño preso injustamente en Chiapas denuncia tortura, montaje de expediente y exige su liberación (Centro de medios libres, 22 de junio de 2017)

Denuncia de Roberto Carlos Ruiz, hondureño preso en México (Grupo de trabajo No estamos Todxs, 27 de junio de 2017)

Inmigrante hondureño continúa en detención prolongada e injusta (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 28 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/internacional: La CIDH expresa su preocupación ante el endurecimiento de las autoridades mexicanas hacia los migrantes y sus defensores en la frontera Sur

México : Caravana de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos “buscando vida en caminos de muerte”

Nacional: Senado aprueba Ley contra la Tortura


Chiapas: Burglary and Information Theft from Member of Semilla Digna and CNI

June 9, 2017

CNI(Photo@Web del CNI)

In a bulletin published on June 6th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC in its Spanish acronym, also known as Frayba) expressed concern about the robbery and burglary at Alejandra Padilla Garcia’s home, a member of Semilla Digna, an organization that forms part of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), as well as being a collaborator of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Indigenous Center for Integral Training – Unitierra Chiapas (CIDECI – Unitierra Chiapas).

The events occurred in San Cristobal de Las Casas, on May 28th, 2017 while Alejandra Padilla Garcia was in CIDECI – Unitierra Chiapas, where the General Assembly of the CNI was held for the formation of the Indigenous Council of Government and the election of its spokesperson.

According to documents from the CDHFBC, “the door of Alejandra’s house was found open, as well as that of her room, from which a laptop with important information about the work she does accompanying organizational processes in communities of Chiapas and other states of the Republic”.

In this context, the CDHFBC underscored that during the last three months, “Alejandra and other members of the CNI and the support team of CIDECI – Unitierra Chiapas have been monitored and monitored and followed by several individuals on board suspicious vehicles.”

The CDHFBC repudiated “these types of actions that undermine the security of human rights defenders, whose objective is to fracture the fabric of solidarity with indigenous and peasant communities, as well as instill fear in people who dedicate their efforts to commitment in favor of the rights of indigenous peoples.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Allanamiento y robo de información a la defensora Alejandra Padilla (Boletín del CDHFBC, de junio de 2017)

Allanan y roban domicilio de defensora de derechos en Chiapas (Desinformémonos, 7 de junio de 2017)

Allanan y roban casa de defensora (Cuarto Poder, 7 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional / Chiapas : El CNI conforma su Concejo Indígena de Gobierno y elige a su vocera (31 de mayo de 2017)


Chiapas: Agreement to End Second Nurses’ Hunger Strike in Chiapas

May 29, 2017

Nurses(Photo@La silla rota)

On May 24th, the five nurses who held a hunger strike for 23 days at Rafael Pascacio Gamboa Regional Hospital in Tuxtla Gutierrez ended the strike. The decision was taken after a meeting between representatives of the protestors and officials of Manuel Velasco’s government.

The government entered the dialogue after the deep concern expressed by the UN and non-governmental organizations such as the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) and Women’s Rights of Chiapas (CDMCH), who asked the International Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) for precautionary measures to protect the lives of the five nurses.

 The nurses had begun this strike to demand “the unconditional reinstallation of 15 health workers dismissed by the protest they have been promoting over the payment of salaries and legal benefits, as well as the supply of medicines and supplies in hospitals and clinics in Chiapas.”

Despite ending the strike, workers in the health sector assured that the protest movement has not ended and will continue until the government meets all demands.

 For more information in Spanish:

Enfermeras en Chiapas concluyen huelga de hambre, pero advierten que su lucha sigue (Proceso, 24 de mayo de 2017)

Liberan a enfermeras de huelga de hambre en Chiapas (Debate, 24 de mayo de 2017)

Piden medidas por enfermeras de Chiapas (NTRZacatecas, 23 de mayo de 2017)

Se agrava salud de enfermeras en huelga de hambre, ONU pide a gobierno atienda sus legítimas demandas (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de mayo de 2017)

Internan de emergencia a otra enfermera en huelga de hambre en Chiapas (Proceso, 22 de mayo de 2017)

Reportan gravedad de enfermeras en huelga de hambre en Chiapas (El Universal, 20 de mayo de 2017)

Enfermeras continúan en huelga de hambre en Chiapas (La Jordana, 19 de mayo de 2017)

Hospitalizan a enfermera que estaba en huelga de hambre en Chiapas (El Financiero, 23 de mayo de 2017)

Representante de ONU visita a enfermeras en huelga de Chiapas (El Universal, 20 de mayo de 2017)

Reportan en estado crítico a enfermera en huelga de hambre en Chiapas (Proceso, 17 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Enfermeras retoman huelga de hambre y denuncian incumplimiento de acuerdos por parte del gobierno del estado (2 de mayo de 2017)

Chiapas : Enfermeras levantan huelga de hambre tras llegar a acuerdos (17 de abril de 2017)

Chiapas : Siguen en huelga de hambre ocho enfermeras en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (11 de abril de 2017)

Chiapas : Cinco enfermeras inician huelga de hambre en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (3 de abril de 2017)

Chiapas/México: Sector salud entra en paro contra las reformas del sector salud, la falta de medicamentos y equipo (22 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas: Meeting of Peoples to Exchange Experiences of Threats of Territorial Dispossession from Megaprojects

May 15, 2017

Peoples.png

From 4 to 6 May, the Peoples’ Meeting was held to exchange experiences facing threats of plunder of our territories by megaprojects in the municipal seat of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, which was co-convened by the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights, the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center, the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) and the Samuel Ruiz Committee for the Promotion and Defense of Life, under a joint project of Pax Christi International.

In a final statement, participants from Chiapas and Oaxaca denounced that the processes of defense of the Earth and Territory of which they are a part have brought them the “consequence of repression, intimidation, threat, persecution, Imprisonment and the murder of community human rights defenders. Those who have decided to defend life and Mother Earth are at constant risk under the threats of businessmen, organized crime and the State in its three levels of government that only favor the paths of impunity, injustice, inequality, plunder, exploitation, contempt for our native peoples, communities and ejidos.”

As a result they demanded:

  • “Respect for the autonomy and self-determination of peoples in Chiapas and Oaxaca based on Article 2 of the Constitution and international conventions, as well as guaranteeing the physical integrity of those who defend life, Mother Earth and nature.
  • The cancellation of death projects in our territories that only bring destruction, plunder, poverty, disease, community conflicts and divisions.
  • The cancellation of arrest warrants, criminal charges, legal proceedings against defenders of the Earth and the Territory, as is the case of compañeros from Acacoyagua, Chicoasen and Tecpatan.”

Finally, they invited “the peoples, communities, ejidos, grassroots organizations, the men and women of this country, to maintain their struggle, their resistance and to organize, not to surrender, not to sell out, and not to let themselves be cheated. It is important to join together our struggles in any geography against this capitalist system and the system of death. Land is an inheritance of our ancestors, and we must guard it and defend it. Our peoples and organizations have firmly decided to defend life, territory and the environment, because the future of our country is at risk. “

 For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento completo (Chicomuselo, 6 de mayo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Pronunciamiento de participantes en Taller/Encuentro sobre la Transformación No-violenta de Conflictos en Defensa de Nuestros Territorios (19 de abril de 2016)