National: Mexico, second-worst country in terms of impunity

April 24, 2015

Presentación IGI 2015 (@UDLAP)

IGI 2015 presentation (@UDLAP)

On April 20, the results of the 2015 Global Impunity Index (IGI) were presented, by the University of the Americas in Puebla (UDLAP).  The study’s authors concluded that Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, and Russia are the worst countries in terms of impunity–in this order.  It should be stressed, nonetheless, that the analysis of official data regarding security, justice, and human rights was applied to only 59 countries, not the 193 member-nations of the United Nations, given that 134 lack the requisite systematic information.

The report establishes a series of recommendations: for example, the need to have more judges in the justice system (the index estimates an average of 17 judges per 100,000 citizens, while Mexico has only 4 per 100,000), or the fact that “it is not necessary to invest more resources to expand the number of police, but rather this should be focused on the effective guarantee of their actions,” especially when “a deficiency is seen in nearly half of the population arrested without charge (46%).”

For more information (in Spanish):

México ocupa el lugar 58 de 59 países en materia de impunidad (UDLAP, 20 de abril de 2015)

Alertan por niveles de impunidad en México (El Universal, 21 de abril de 2015)

México es el segundo país con mayor impunidad en el mundo, según informe(CNN México, 21 de abril de 2015)

La Impunidad en México (El País, 21 de abril de 2015)

México, el segundo país con más altos índices de impunidad (sólo debajo de Filipinas) (Animal Político, 20 de abril de 2015)

México, segundo lugar en Índice Global de Impunidad (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2015)


Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats

April 24, 2015

Campamento de desplazados de Primero de Agosto (@ChiapasParalelo)

Campsite of the forcibly displaced people from the (Community) Poblado Primero de Agosto (@ChiapasParalelo)

In a communique published on April 17, 2015,  the forcibly displaced people of the community Primero de Agosto, released the lastest harassments they´ve suffered on lands they currently occupy, next to the diversion of the road to Las Margaritas – New Momón towards Monte Cristo Viejo.

In the public denouncement, they shared that from April 9-15, members of the ejido Miguel Hidalgo have fired three shots at 500 yards from where they are currently forcibly displaced, received verbal (shouts) threats, and entered and burgled the house of one of the displaced persons.

It should be recalled that that those who are accused of the recent harassments belong to the Historic Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) and are also responsible for, both, the forced displacement of 57 people of the territory “El Roble” on February 23, 2015 and of the previous acts of threats, assaults, and agresions.

In voice of the displaced women, the statement includes a description of the physical and psychological health of the displaced persons: “… we are becoming ill due to the new threats of attacks and agresions. Where are we now there is much insecuirty, we are restless, uneasy and we can not sleep due to the fear that the authorities of Miguel Hidalgo might harm us again and because they´ve told us they will kidnap our compañeros. Our children are ill with cough, fever, stomach aches, headaches, typhoid, and they always ask us when we will return to our homes.” They also demand that the government fulfills the agreements made on February 25 – in which it was agreed to distribute the 74 hectares of the Poblado Primero de Agosto equally between the two groups – the administration of justice, the return to Primero de Agosto, the punishment to the perpetrators and masterminds of the attacks, and comprehensive compensation for the damages incurred. Lastly, they hold the three levels of government responsible for whatever could happen to the forcibly displaced Tojolabal families, in case the conflict is not resolved.

For more information (in Spanish):

Desplazados de Primero de Agosto denuncian amenazas en su campamento‏ (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de abril de 2015)

Familias desplazadas del poblado Primero de Agosto en condiciones precarias (Red TdT, 9 de marzo de 2015)

#VIDEO #Desplazados de Primero de Agosto dan su palabra frente a la agresión de la #CIOAC-H #Paramilitar en #CHIAPAS (Koman Ilel, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)


Oaxaca/National: Arrests of migrants at close of “Allied Borders” Way of the Cross

April 24, 2015

Viacrucis Migrante (@Centroprodh)

Migrant Way of the Cross (@Centroprodh)

Following several episodes of obstruction of their progress and path, the “Allied Borders” Way of the Cross succeeded in arriving on 18 April to Mexico City.

The Way of the Cross group was made up by 300 Central American migrants accompanied by the priest Alejandro Solalinde, in an attempt to make visible the rise in human-rights violations of migrants in transit following the implementation in Mexico of the Southern Border Program.

There were two moments in which the path of the migrants was impeded.  The first took place, according to the organizers of the action, due to a police blockade of the exit from the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, together with electronic jamming of cell phones, local phone lines, and the Internet.  Beyond this, the bus-drivers who had been hired for transport refused to continue their services after the federal authorities threatened to charge them with human trafficking.  The second police blockade occurred in El Espinal in Oaxaca, which was overcome thanks to a human chain that was comprised of activists and teachers from Setcion 22.

Upon arrival in Mexico City, the migrants visited the Basílica of Guadalupe, met with the president of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), and concluded the action with a public event at the Mexico City Human Rights Commission (CDHDF).  After this, each of the migrants continued on their journeys, promised protection from arrest or deportation.  Nonetheless, at least 30 migrants who participated in the action have been arrested in Guanajuato and Querétaro.  In response, close to 80 comrades from the “Way of the Cross” installed a sit-in before the Mexico City branch of the National Migration Institute (INM) to demand the release of those arrested.  Some of the incarcerated migrants have declared themselves on hunger strike, and their sympathizers at the sit-in have warned that they will adopt this tactic if the detained are not released immediately.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian detención de 30 migrantes del Viacrucis; estaban amparados(Proceso, 21 de abril de 2015)

Migrantes que participaron en “viacrucis” son detenidos en Querétaro (CNN México, 21 de abril de 2015)

Viacrucis Migrante llega a su fin con acto en la CDH (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2015)

Preocupa a AI la seguridad de integrantes del Viacrucis Migrante en Ixtepec, Oaxaca. (Amnistía Internacional, 10 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: authorities attempt to repress “Migrant Way of the Cross” (23 April 2015)

Nacional/Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco: Conforman el Colectivo de Defensores de Migrantes y Refugiados (Codemire) (9 de abril de 2015)

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of INM agents, says La 72 (22 March 2015)

Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Fray Tomás González (13 November 2014)


Chiapas: Change of General Secretary for Governance

April 24, 2015

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda y Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

On April 16, Chiapas´ state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, announced the resignation of his General Secretary for Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, who is to be replaced by the PRI official Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda. Ramírez Aguilar, a former mayor of Comitán, will return to the House of Deputies.  In July 2013, he solicited the license for the position that he just left.

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda was a founding member of the Federal Congress’s Commission for Concordance and Pacification, which participated in dialogues with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).  He held the position of federal representative in the time-period during which he was coordinating the PRI Chiapas group and oversaw the Southern Border Commission.  Before taking up his new charge, he was head of the Secretary for Planning, Public Management, and Government Program.

No explanation was given as to the change in the cabinet, though rumors point to differences between the Mexican Green Ecologist Party (PVEM, to which the governor belongs) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), in a government that has been in alliance between these two parties.  Rumors indicate that the resignation of Ramírez Aguilar took place following a meeting between the state potentate and the federal Secretary for Governance (SEGOB), Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong. Other sources stress the presumed connections between the state official with a “paramilitary organized crime group” as a possible motive.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: nuevo secretario de Gobierno; el anterior, señalado por nexos con paramilitares (Aristegui Noticias, 18 abril de 2015)

Nombran nuevo secretario general en Chiapas (El Universal, 17 de abril de 2015)

Gobernador de Chiapas va a la Segob y luego cambia a su secretario de Gobierno (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2015)

La Secretaría General de Gobierno, la rifa del tigre (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de abril de 2015)


Chiapas: legal motion denied to the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón

April 24, 2015

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

Ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, who struggle against the imposition of tourist megaprojects on their land, have been denied the legal motion they had presented to the courts in March 2011.  After three cancellations, an attempt to transfer the case to the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation, and despite the the detection of violations of due process, a federal tribunal denied the motion 274/2011.  In a communique released on 10 April, the anniversary of the murder of Emiliano Zapata, the ejidatarios reported their knowledge of the refusal of the motion, reaffirmed their commitment to the struggle against the State, and denounced that official authorities are meeting with party-members from the region, seeking to develop strategies to crush their own autonomous process.

This struggle over the management of lands surrounding the Agua Azul waterfalls has resulted in three violent displacement operations, two murdered communal leaders (Juan Vázquez Guzmán, killed on 24 April 2013, and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, killed on 21 March 2014), and several political prisoners.  Recently, the ejidatarios also had their regional headquarters burned down, in an operation that involved 600 police, who threatened two autonomous journalists and took their equipment.

In the latest communique, released on 11 April, the ejidatarios make an invitation to the commemoration of the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.  On 24 April, the second anniversary of his, a mass will be held in the family home of Juan Vázquez Guzmán at 3pm.

As a means of popular pressure, a petition has been launched on www.change.org, and the Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights seeks signatures for its communique in support of the ejidatarios.  Those interested can email adorsetchiapassolidarity@aol.co.uk.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona. Chiapas. México. (Blog Viva Bachajón, 11 de abril de 2015)

Piden solidaridad para habitantes de San Sebastián Bachajón (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists attacked (10 April 2015)

Chiapas: new national and international brigade in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón (1 March 2015)

Chiapas: Tensions maintained in San Sebastián Bachajón(10 February 2015)

Chiapas: first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth to San Sebastían Bachajón after the violent displacement of 9 January (29 January 2015)

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (21 January 2015)


Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest

April 23, 2015

Padre Marcelo Pérez, parroco de Simojovej (@SIPAZ)

Padre Marcelo Pérez, priest from Simojovel (@SIPAZ)

In an Urgent Action published on 2 April, the Observatory for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders, comprised in part by the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH), called on the Mexican State to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez, priest from the Simojovel municipality, who “has received constant death-threats, attacks, and harassment which threaten his life.”  Similarly, it requested security guarantees for the others members of the Parish Council and the Believing People who live here, as they also “have received death-threats.”

For this reason, the Observatory has called on the Mexican State to “carry out an immediate investigation that is independent, exhaustive, effective, and impartial regarding the threats and acts of intimidation, toward the end that those responsible are taken to a competent, independent, just, and impartial tribunal, and that the appropriate penal, civil, and/or administrative sanctions stipulated in the law.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgen a proteger a párroco chiapaneco amenazado (La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2015)

Urgen al gobierno garantías para párroco de Simojovel por amenazas(Proceso, 6 de abril de 2015)

Acción Urgente completa: México: Amenazas de muerte, hostigamiento, seguimiento y vigilancia en contra del Sr.Marcelo Pérez Pérez (OMCT, FIDH, 2 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)


Chiapas: Pilgrimage of the Believing People ends in Tuxtla Gutiérrez after a four-day journey

April 23, 2015

Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente, en el camino (@SIPAZ)

Pilgrimage of the Believing People (@SIPAZ)

On 26 March, the pilgrimage held by the Believing People ended, having begun in Simojovel four days prior.  Its close came after 120 kilometers were covered by foot and the pilgrimage arrived in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.  This peaceful action was born through a series of demands that include the closure of bars, an end to murders, and the abolition of prostitution, drug-trafficking, and narco-politicians.  For two years, these demands have led to a series of pilgrimages and actions carried out in Simojovel to denounce the situation of insecurity in which the municipality finds itself.  The federal and Chiapas state governments have been absent while the death-threats have worsened against the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Peréz Peréz, and the rest of the clerical staff.

Before the march arrived in Tuxtla, the Secretary of Governance Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar publicly expressed that the Chiapas state government was disposed to set up a negotiation table with the Believing People, to “specify and evaluate a just response to their demands.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuestra lucha es pacífica: Pueblo Creyente de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 27 de marzo de 2015)

Miles de indígenas marchan en Chiapas para exigir alto a la corrupción y la narcopolítica (Sin Embargo, 27 de marzo de 2015)

4 días de peregrinación para exigir justicia y seguridad en los Altos de Chiapas (Animal Político, 27 de marzo de 2015)

Gobierno del estado invita al pueblo creyente de Simojovel al diálogo (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 26 de marzo de 2015)

Peregrinación arriba hoy a capital de Chiapas para exigir acciones contra la delincuencia organizada (Chiapas Paralelo, 26 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chipas: Beginning of grand pilgrimage of the Believing People from Simojovel (24 de marzo de 2015)

Chiapas: Believing People from Simojovel announce pilgrimage to Tuxtla to demand peace and justice (22 March 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November de 2014)


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