Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released

June 17, 2019

irineo-y-cristobal.png

In the early hours of June 12th, the migrants’ human rights defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, were released after a judge in Tapachula, Chiapas, determined not to put them on trial. A week earlier, they had been arrested accused by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR in its Spanish acronym) of the alleged crime of trafficking in persons, that is, of moving people without documents and supposedly for profit.

The People Without Borders Organization, of which Irineo Mujica is director, had denounced that the accusations against the two activists were “false, the product of a campaign to criminalize by the Mexican government under strong pressure from the US government,” such that in the days leading up to the hearing it was demanding that due process be respected, the right to the presumption of innocence, and that there be real justice for both defenders that it considered were ”scapegoats” of Mexico’s policy to be able to meet the newly signed agreement with the US government.

More than a hundred organizations, collectives and academics had made the same demands, considering that “the deprivation of freedom of both defenders represents a form of criminalization against migrants’ human rights defenders, which threatens the right to defend rights, which is even more worrying in a context as complex as that facing migration in the country.” They also expressed their concern that “from the recent agreements reached by the Mexican government with the United States, sending elements of the National Guard throughout the territory was announced, prioritizing the Southern Border, in order to “reduce irregular migration”, thereby advancing a militarization agenda on the southern border and criminalization of migrants and those who defend and accompany them.”

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a Irineo Mujica y Cristóbal Sánchez; no hay pruebas en su contra (Radio Formula, 12 de junio de 2019)

Liberan a Cristóbal Sánchez e Irineo Mujica defensores de migrantes (Político.MX, 12 de junio de 2019)

Infundadas, acusaciones contra defensores de migrantes: Pueblos Sin Fronteras (Proceso, 10 de junio de 2019)

Irineo Mujica se ofreció a colaborar con la Fiscalía y testificar dos meses antes de ser detenido (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)

Juicio justo para Cristóbal e Irineo, exigen OSC; acusan militarización de la frontera (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)

Criminalizan a defensores de migrantes, denuncian ONG (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2019)

Irineo Mujica y Cristobal Sánchez: ¿los dos primeros presos políticos del Gobierno de López Obrador? (RT, 11 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:    

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)     

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”(June 9, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Human Rights Organizations Demand End to Child and Adolescent Migrant Detentions (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: First Deployment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)

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Chiapas/Tabasco: Ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores Murdered

June 17, 2019

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@Regeneración

On June 10th, the Tabasco ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores was found murdered, near Calatraba ejido, municipality of Palenque, in Chiapas. The 64-year-old was a defender of the howler (Saragauto) monkey sanctuary and the Usumacinta River. His body had five bullet wounds and threatening messages were found next to it on cardboard against his family and ecologists.

Since 2012, Alvarez Flores was in charge of the Saraguato Environmental Management Unit (UMA) and at various times made accusations about the illegal extraction of sand and gravel from the Usumacinta River. As a result, he requested protection measures from the government but never received them.

Miguel Perez, president of the Tabasco Environmental Management Units, declared after the events: “We condemn this cowardly murder, we demand justice, protection for his family and two other defenders who were threatened.” According to figures from Global Witness, at least 125 environmentalists were killed in Mexico in the last decade.

Among possible contextual elements, Minuta de EDUCA recalls that, “the Usumacinta River is the largest river in Mexico and if the Maya Train project is materialized, it would be the main source of extraction of stone for the construction of this megaproject questioned by environmentalists.”

For more information in Spanish:

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista que luchaba por el mono saraguato (Animal Político, 11 de junio de 2019)

José Luis Álvarez, ecologista y defensor del santuario del mono saraguato, es asesinado (Sin Embargo, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan al ecologista mexicano José Luis Álvarez (Desinformémonos, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista en Tabasco (Regeneración, 11 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca Murdered (January 14, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)


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)


Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”

June 9, 2019

BorderCivil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast (@RedTdT)

From May 29th to 31st, the “Civil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast” (MCO in its Spanish acronym), composed of 24 organizations from Mexico, Central America and the United States, including SIPAZ, academics and journalists, toured various control points and immigration authorities on the coast and southern border of Chiapas “in order to strengthen the documentation and support that local organizations have made in the face of Central American exoduses in recent months.”

In a press conference at the end of the mission, the organizations asserted that, “the southern border is silent torture.” They denounced that “a militarized security approach continues and is sharpening above the respect and protection of the human rights of people in movement. We documented multiple immigration control points with strong presence of state security forces, particularly federal police and military police, without clarity about their functions and powers in the context of migration“, something that was considered “incongruous with the official discourse of a migration policy that respects human rights.”

They also identified “a strategy of attrition and containment, which is intended to generate fatigue, demobilization and dissuasion of people before access to the right to seek refuge and regularization procedures, as well as to restrict and criminalize human mobility.”

They documented that “immigration detention serves as a strategy of repression and punishment” as “raids and migration control operations have intensified along the entire coast.” They pointed out that “the conditions of immigration detention, which are in themselves violating human rights, have intensified, amounting to forms of physical and psychological torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” In addition to racist and xenophobic practices towards specific groups, they expressed their concern when “families are separated in raids, during detention, release and deportation, thus violating the principle of family unity.” They were also outraged by “the deprivation of freedom of migrant children and adolescents and asylum seekers in detention centers, the lack of humanitarian aid and lack of general respect for their rights, contrary to their Higher Interest.”

The MCO pointed to several flaws in government attention, including “the lack of institutional coordination and co-responsibility among the different levels of government, as well as a lack of comprehensive care protocols on migration and humanitarian issues with a focus on human rights, prevailing improvised reactions, assistance and with an emphasis on security “; as well as the “limitation of human, financial and infrastructure resources.”

Finally, it noted “with particular alarm that the stigmatization and criminalization of migration is increasing, resulting in the denial of the right to due process and to have a defense in immigration procedures. As a result, solidarity and the work of defending human rights is hindered and criminalized.”

Interestingly, on May 30th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador came out in defense of the migrants through a letter stating that “human beings do not leave their villages for pleasure but for necessity”, which was directed to the US president, Donald Trump, who threatened to impose tariffs on domestic products (from five to 25%) if Mexico does not solve the phenomenon of irregular migration.

For more information in Spanish:

La frontera sur es una tortura silenciosa: Misión de Observación (Misión de Observación de la Crisis Humanitaria de Personas Migrantes y Refugiados en el Sureste Mexicano, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Protección migratoria no puede subordinarse a relación México-EU: ONG (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Trump advierte que los aranceles a México aumentarán si no se controla el flujo de inmigrantes ilegales (CNN México, 31 de mayo de 2019)

AMLO defiende a migrantes frente a Trump, pero las detenciones en México se disparan 100% (Animal Político, 1ero de junio de 2019)

Discurso oficial sobre migrantes difiere de la realidad, afirman ONG (La Jornada, 1ero de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: Human Rights Organizations Demand End to Child and Adolescent Migrant Detentions (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: First Depolyment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: OSC presentan el “Informe del monitoreo de derechos humanos del éxodo centroamericano en el sureste mexicano: octubre 2018 – febrero 2019” (May 3, 2019)

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

National/International: Contrasting Mexican and US Government Approaches to Central American Migration (April 2, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Secretaria de Gobernación se reúne con funcionarios del gobierno de Donald Trumpf para abordar el tema Migración (March5, 2019)

International/National: Registration of Humanitarian Visas for Migrants Closes (February 12, 2019)


Chiapas/National/International: Global Solidarity Action for Life and against the War against Zapatista Communities

June 7, 2019

Zapatistas

On May 31st, a Global Solidarity Action for Life and against War against Zapatista communities was carried out both in Mexico and in other countries (including France, Spain and the United States).

The actions were organized in response to accusations of a new militarization in Zapatista territories and carried out by both the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), which has been able to monitor this situation through of the Civil Observation Brigades (BriCO in its Spanish acronym), which have registered an increase of 100 percent in the number of incursions by the Mexican Army, land patrols and helicopter flights since December 2018.

Frayba has also expressed that it fears that the “siege” will deepen with the presence of the National Guard in the region. According to information compiled by Contralínea, of the 266 planned postings, Chiapas will have several of them, noting that “the region of Zapatista influence will have more barracks than other regions with high rates of violence, despite the fact that the document itself establishes that the criminal indices in the autonomous territories are among the lowest in the country.”

For more information in Spanish:

Por la vida y contra la guerra en las comunidades zapatistas (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2019)

CNI y organizaciones preparan jornada global contra la militarización y paramilitarización de comunidades zapatistas (Periodistas Unidos, 29 de mayo de 2019)

La Guardia Nacional y los territorios zapatistas (Contralínea, 26 de mayo de 2019)

Convocatoria a Acción Global contra la militarización en teritorio zapatista (CNI, 23 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018 (June 4, 2019)

Chiapas/National: Commission for Concord and Pacification Seeks to Meet Secretariat of Government to Explore Possibiity of Dialogue between Federal Government and EZLN (May 30, 2019)

National: CNI, EZLN and Indigenous Organizations Announce “Zapata Lives, Samir Lives, The Struggle Continues” (March 21, 2019)

National: Controversy between EZLN and AMLO Supporters Floods Social Networks (January 18, 2019)

 


Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018

June 4, 2019

Frayba

On May 27th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a bulletin warning that, “aggressions against peoples, communities and organizations have intensified as part of a strategy to contain civil and peaceful resistance in defense of territory.” Two years after the Constituent Assembly of the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym), of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym).

It illustrated the statement by referring to the six indigenous defenders who have been murdered so far in 2019, as well as mentioning the CNI’s own denunciations since December 2018 with situations of “dispossession, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, threats, harassment, criminalization and attempts of executions.”

Frayba denounced that “this logic of war against the peoples that build autonomy, is reproduced in the increase of militarization of Zapatista territories, especially the incursions, flights and espionage of the Mexican Army to the headquarters of the Junta de Buen Government Toward Hope, in La Realidad Caracol (Official Municipality of Las Margaritas). This containment is deepened by the presence of the National Guard in the region, which increases risks to the integrity and security of the population.”

In this context, Frayba demanded that the Mexican State: “Cease the attacks against peoples, communities and organizations that make up the National Indigenous Congress; justice for the defenders and communicators murdered in the country; and high militarization in Chiapas and Mexico.”

For more information in Spanish:

Contrainsurgencia a Pueblos Originarios que construyen la vida digna (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 27 de mayo de 2019)

Las agresiones contra pueblos originarios se intensifican: Frayba (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Two Members of CRAC-PF and CIPOG-EZ Murdered (May 28, 2019)

Guerrero: CNI Denounces Kidnapping and Murder of Two Members (May 11, 2019)

Chiapas: denuncian dos comunidades choles de Salto de Agua amenazas, persecución y hostigamientos (El 22 de abril de 2019)

National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City (March 14, 2019)

Chiapas : CNI denuncia amenazas y agresiones en la zona Norte (El 16 de agosto de 2018)


Chiapas/National: Commission for Concord and Pacification Seeks to Meet Secretariat of Government to Explore Possibiity of Dialogue between Federal Government and EZLN

May 30, 2019

EZLN

On May 26th, the Commission of Concord and Pacification (COCOPA in its Spanish acronym) stated its willingness to summon Olga Sanchez Cordero to the Interior Ministry to see the possibility of establishing a dialogue with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym).

The COCOPA is composed of federal deputies and senators, and was formed after the uprising of the EZLN in 1994 to mediate the negotiation process between the government and the EZLN. Although this commission has not been active in this role for many years, each legislature has renewed its existence.

Alfredo Vazquez Vazquez, deputy of the third district of Chiapas and part of MORENA, commented that the government has not complied with the San Andres Accords on indigenous rights and culture signed in February 1966 because “the Mexican government did not give it its deserved importance.”

For his part, the current president of COCOPA, Eduardo Zarzosa (PRI) who assumed this role in February, said, among other things, that: “We want to know the position of the federal government in relation to this issue that remained pending and given this climate of violence that we live in, it would be very useful for the country to achieve a lasting peace in Chiapas … It is not an easy matter, but we must promote actions that give continuity to the negotiations between the federal government and the members of the EZLN. Why? To achieve lasting peace in the region.”

For more information in Spanish:

Busca Cocopa restablecer diálogo entre Segob y EZLN (La Jornada, 26 de mayo de 2019)

Comisión Bicamaral de Concordia y Pacificación se reunirá con titular de Segob, para restablecer diálogo con EZLN (Cámara de Diputados,  26 de mayo de 2019)

Buscarán posición del gobierno de AMLO con el EZLN, para reiniciar diálogo y cumplir acuerdos de San Andrés Larrainzar (Chiapas Paralelo, 27 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National: San Andres Accords unfulfilled 20 years later (February 29, 2016)

National: Forum advances legislative reforms for observance of San Andrés Accords on indigenous rights and culture (March 2, 2014)

Chiapas: 18 years after the signing of the San Andrés Accords on Indigenous Rights and Culture, these continue not to be recognized by the State (March 1, 2014)

Chiapas: new governor calls for observance of San Andrés Accords (January 8, 2013)