Chiapas: Press Conference – Crises of Health and Violence against Women

May 25, 2017

Women.pngPress conference – Crises of healthe and violence against women (Photo: @Sipaz)

On May 23rd, a press conference was convened by the People’s Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas, in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

Members of the convening group explained that they were present at the third regular meeting of the Inter-institutional and Multidisciplinary Group (GIM in its Spanish acronym), held in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez on May 18th and 19th, to follow up the Declaration of an Alert on Gender Violence (AVG in its Spanish acronym) against women in the state. They explained that three working groups were held: one to coordinate and implement the AVG in localities declared on alert (some of the municipal mayors were present); a health group with officials of the state health secretariat and a justice group where representatives of district attorneys and specialists for the state of Chiapas were present. The meetings were coordinated by Maria de los Angeles Aguilar on behalf of the National Commission for the Prevention and Eradication of Violence against Women (CONAVIM in its Spanish acronym) and on behalf of the Chiapas government, Pedro Villafuerte, Undersecretary of Political Operation of the General Secretariat of Government, was present.

The campaign noted “some urgent comments to address as the increase in violence against women and femicide in different regions of the state continues to indicate the lack of capacity of institutions in the state to react and address the urgent measure of the Alert.” It denounced the “inability of state government institutions to address the AVG”, the “absence of progress and setbacks in AVG implementation”, the “lack of accountability and transparency”, and the “lack of political will and absence of governability.”

Maria de Jesus Espinosa de los Santos, spokeswoman for the protest movement of the Rafael Pascacio Gamboa Women’s Hospital in Tuxtla Gutierrez was present at the same press conference. She noted the seriousness of the “health crisis in the state” and called on society to stand in solidarity with the nurses who were on hunger strike as of May 23rd.

Women2.pngMaria de Jesus Espinosa de los Santos: spokesperson for the protest movement at the Women’s Hospital (Photo: @Sipaz)

At the end of the conference they called for a mobilization in Tuxtla Gutierrez on May 26th “to demand that the state government comply with the obligation to guarantee the right to health and life, given the imminent health risk at the beginning of the season of heat and rain, such omission may lead to a significant increase in infant, maternal and deaths in the general population.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Incumple gobierno de Chiapas Declaratoria de Alerta de Violencia de Género (Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas, a 23 de mayo de 2017)

Convocatoria a Marcha Estatal por el Derecho a la Salud en Chiapas (Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas, a 10 de mayo de 2017)

Garantizar la vida de las mujeres (Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres cuestiona falta de avances de Alerta de Violencia de Género

Chiapas : Enfermeras retoman huelga de hambre y denuncian incumplimiento de acuerdos por parte del gobierno del estado

Chiapas : Enfermeras levantan huelga de hambre tras llegar a acuerdos

Chiapas : Siguen en huelga de hambre ocho enfermeras en Tuxtla Gutiérrez


Chiapas: Leader of CIAOC-H Executed in Comitan de Dominguez

May 25, 2017

CIOAC-H.pngLuis Hernandez Cruz, ex-federal deputy for the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) (Photo@Alfaro Noticias)

On May 4th, 2017, one of the leaders of the Historical Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H in its Spanish acronym) was assassinated in Chiapas. His name was Luis Hernandez Cruz, who was a federal deputy for the PRD.

The campesino leader was executed by gunmen in a van in front of his home in the Magueyes neighborhood of the city of Comitan de Dominguez.

CIOAC-H, an organization to which Luis Hernandez Cruz belonged, is linked to different conflicts in the area, including clashes with the EZLN and the assassination of Jose Luis Solis Lopez (the Zapatista Galeano), in May 2014. “In particular, Luis Hernandez had had political differences with other campesino groups who singled him out for financing armed groups to dispute land in the Las Margaritas region,” Proceso highlighted.

The investigation continues.

For more information in Spanish:

Ejecutan a exdiputado federal del PRD en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Matan a ex diputado del PRD en Chiapas; investiga Fiscalía (El Universal, 5 de mayo de 2017)

Asesinan a dirigente de la Cioac Comitán en Chiapas (La Jordana, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Asesinan a líder de la CIOAC a balazos (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Ejecutan a ex diputado del PRD en Chiapas (El Milenio, 4 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “Grupo armado de la CIOAC-Histórica atacó” a comunidad en el municipio de Las Margaritas (26 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Desplazados del Poblado Primero de Agosto denunciaron escalamiento de hostigamiento, amenazas de muerte y desalojo (7 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncian hostigamiento militar a la JBG zapatista de La Realidad (13 de marzo de 2015)

Chiapas: Agresión contra Bases de Apoyo del EZLN deja un muerto y 15 heridos zapatistas (6 de mayo de 2014)


Chiapas: Celebration in Defense of Mother Earth in San Cristobal de Las Casas

May 24, 2017

San Cris.png

Photo@ Cuarto Poder

On May 20th, Ecclesial Base Communities (CEB in its Spanish acronym), in coordination with the pastoral ministry of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas and various organizations of the city, made a pilgrimage, for the care of Life and Mother Earth in the Jovel Valley.

They walked from the La Kisst wetland to Cuxtitali square, stood in front of Na Bolom and Pronatura, to exhort them to work for the good of Mother Earth and “called on them not to deviate from their goals and their ideals.”

They also expressed concern about the health situation in Chiapas and expressed their solidarity with the nurses on hunger strike.

 For more information in Spanish:

Realizan celebración por la Madre Tierra, Cuarto Poder, 22 de mayo de 2017

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos humanos al agua y el saneamiento concluyó visita a México, (16/04/2017)

Chiapas : llevan a cabo II Foro en defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio, (17/04/2017)

Chiapas : Peregrinación de unos 400 católicos en defensa de los pueblos, la Madre Tierra y por la liberación de presos, (06/09/20


National: UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Concludes Visit to Mexico

May 21, 2017

Water.pngChildren transporting water in an indigenous community in Oaxaca. Photo: @Jose Luis de la Cruz

From May 2nd to 12th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, Leo Heller, visited Mexico.

Various social organizations exposed inequality in access to water, as they said in a statement: “Notably, these policies have promoted their monopoly, privatization and unsustainable management, including the overexploitation and contamination of water resources on which rural and urban communities depend to live with dignity, leading to multiple and repeated violations of human rights to drinking water and sanitation and other related human rights such as health, by the actions and omissions of both public and private players.”

One of the places visited by the Rapporteur is Chiapas, where he held meetings with state officials, as well as with activists and non-governmental organizations who denounced that FEMSA’s Coca-Cola bottling plant “is obliterating large amounts of water from the inhabitants of San Cristobal de Las Casas, in Chiapas, and the amount left available for the inhabitants has no quality, Dr. Marcos Arana Cedeño, director of the Ombudsman’s Office for the Right to Health in the state claimed. (…) The last problem noted, he stressed, is of particular concern and claimed that the Coca-Cola plant extracts 6,112 cubic meters of water every day; that is to say, 16 million liters of the vital liquid in the municipality, a sufficient quantity to supply 200,000 inhabitants with 80 liters per person daily during a year.”

The Rapporteur publicly presented his preliminary impressions and conclusions on May 12th. He said that in Chiapas he observed indigenous women collecting water “from sources clearly hazardous to their health.” He said: “Indigenous people I spoke to denounced the lack of services and pollution of the water sources on which they depend due to the largely unregulated activities of mining, industry and hydrocarbon extraction companies. Therefore, I call on the Mexican government to urgently expand and improve access to water and sanitation, because despite advances in this area, there is no real provision of such services in homes and in the most marginalized communities, such that it is necessary to give the highest priority to this strategic sector and to guarantee the necessary resources to expand and improve the service for all, including numerous communities in a situation of abandonment. “

The rapporteur was struck by the situation in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where untreated sewage flows into the irrigation canals that supply water to vegetable and fruit crops, which are sold in the city’s markets. “It is really shocking. I went to visit the final discharges of the sewage and is very worrisome, (…) the population consumes the pollutants that the city has generated,” he protested.

Even so, the Mexican government boasts that infrastructure provides access to water and sanitation to more than 90% of the population.

In September, the Rapporteur will submit the complete Mission report with recommendations for the Mexican State to the United Nations Human Rights Council .

For more information in Spanish:

En Chiapas, se violenta el Derecho Humano al Agua Potable y al Saneamiento (OSC, 15 de mayo de 2017)

El agua en México, un “problema crónico”: relator de la ONU (Proceso, a 12 de mayo de 2017)

Comunidades indígenas, víctimas del insuficiente sistema nacional de agua: ONU (Desinformemonos, a 12 de mayo de 2017)

Relator de la ONU para el Derecho al Agua inicia visita en Chiapas (Proceso, a 10 de mayo de 2017)

Evaluarán acceso al agua y saneamiento en México (Centro de Información de las Naciones Unidas, a 26 de abril de 2017)

El acceso a servicios de agua y saneamiento asequibles (Leo Heller, marzo de 2017)

Coca-Cola se bebe el agua de 200 mil habitantes de San Cristóbal de las Casas, acusa especialista (SinEmbargo, a 6 de mayo de 2017)

Las etnias de Chiapas casi sin agua pero ahogadas en Coca-Cola (Proceso, a 5 de febrero de 2016)

“El ataque que ahora nos hace el mal gobierno es el corte de agua y luz eléctrica que hicieron a nuestros compañeros”: Las Abejas de Acteal (Centroprodh, a 10 de mayo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Foro “Servicios de Agua en Tuxtla Gutiérrez” denuncia el “deficiente servicio que se brinda por parte del SMAPA”

Chiapas: Ciudadanxs de Tuxtla Gutiérrez están preocupados por el tema del agua potable

Chiapas: Zinacantán contra la privatización de su agua y el despojo de su manantial

Nacional: Relator Especial de la ONU visita a México para evaluar la situación de Derechos Humanos

Nacional: Visita no oficial del relator especial de la ONU sobre la Situación de las y los defensores de Derechos Humanos


Chiapas: 236 Student Teachers Arrested for Presumed Acts of Vandalism Released

May 15, 2017

Normalistas.pngStudent teacher arrests, May, 2017 (Photo @Cuartoscuro)

On May 4th, state and municipal police detained some 236 young people from the Coordinator of Student Teachers [normalistas] of the State Chiapas (CENECH in its Spanish acronym) who were carrying out a political action in the context of the three-day protest held in Tuxtla Gutierrez by the teachers of Chiapas against the educational reform bill. Videos recorded by witnesses of the operation show that the youths were beaten by the uniformed police. Most of them belong to the State Normal School and the Normal High School, both in Tuxtla Gutierrez.

They were charged with vandalism, and although they were released the following day, they are still under investigation for the crimes of damages, robbery with violence and gangs membership, according to the Attorney General’s Office (FGE in its Spanish acronym).

The Office of the Prosecutor in charge of these investigations reported that 144 men and 92 women were detained in the moment they looted different vehicles owned by the companies Sonric’s, Lala and Coca-Cola, and that another group of young people were aboard three buses of the OCC and Aury companies, which had been stolen. It indicated that it had ascertained there were products in these vehicles, which were also stolen from an Oxxo store, as well as several Molotov cocktails.

 For more information in Spanish:

236 normalistas detenidos por la Policía de Chiapas (La Jornada, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Policía de Chiapas detiene a 236 normalistas por « daños, robos y pandillerismo » (Proceso, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Detienen a 236 normalistas por supuesto vandalismo en Chiapas (Aristegui Noticias, 4 de mayo de 2017)

236 normalistas son detenidos en Chiapas por toma de autobuses y saqueo; protestan en la FGE (VIDEOS) (Sin Embargo, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Liberan a los 236 normalistas detenidos por actos vandálicos en Chiapas (Proceso, 5 de mayo de 2017)

 


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)

 


Chiapas: IACHR Determines Responsibility for Extrajudicial Execution in Context of Chiapas Campaign Plan 94

May 6, 2017

Frayba.pngPress conference at Frayba, May 3rd, 2017. Photo: @Sipaz

On May 3rd, a press conference was held at the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC) in which it was reported that, in the case of the extrajudicial execution of the Tzeltal indigenous Gilberto Jimenez Hernandez in February 1995 in the community of La Grandeza, Altamirano, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) determined “the responsibility of the Mexican State for violating the right to life and the principle of equality and non-discrimination, personal integrity and judicial guarantees and judicial protection, in the context of the implementation of the counterinsurgency strategy designed within the Chiapas Campaign Plan 94.”

 22 years after the military operation in that community, the CDHFBC Press Bulletin recalled: “On February 20th, 1995, in La Grandeza ejido, in the municipality of Altamirano, Chiapas, the population was alerted to the military operation carried out by the reconnaissance patrol of the 17th Infantry Battalion, commissioned in the Task Force “Arcoiris” in the “Yabur” Group, composed of 65 military agents who were carrying 3 MP5 Cal. 9mm and 62 G-3 Cal 7.62mm armaments. At the same time Army aircraft flew over the region. The population of the ejido La Grandeza, made up mostly of women, girls, children and the elderly, were forced to the mountain to save their lives, while in the village, soldiers burned the belongings of displaced persons. Mr. Gilberto Jimenez Hernandez, a 43-year-old indigenous Tseltal, was extrajudicially executed by a soldier while fleeing with his family to the mountains. The soldier ordered him to stop, lie down and shot him, even though that he had his five-year-old daughter tied with a shawl on his back.”

The Director of the CDHFBC, Pedro Faro, stressed that, “to date the military court has served to ensure impunity. The investigations of the present case have been framed by lack of due diligence to cover up the Mexican Army, the file has been lost by the justice authorities since 1997. The right of access to the justice to know the truth of what happened so that those responsible are punished does not exist in Mexico “.

Ruben Moreno, lawyer for the the Center, stated that the family of Jimenez Hernandez decided not to receive any financial compensation for damages, but chose to have the IACHR’s report made public.

 For more information in Spanish:

Estado mexicano responsable de crímenes de lesa humanidad: CIDH (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 3 de Mayo de 2017)

CIDH culpa al Estado por muerte de tzetzal: Frayba (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2017)

CIDH culpa al Estado mexicano por ejecución extrajudicial de indígena tzeltal (Proceso, 3 de mayo de 2017)

Determinan responsabilidad del Estado en muerte de indígena (Cuarto Poder, 4 de mayo de 2017)