International/National : Un Human Rights Committee Issues 48 Human Rights Recommendations for Mexico

November 12, 2019


On November 7th, at the end of Mexico’s sixth periodic review of the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations (UN) issued 48 recommendations.

Among the main ones, the Committee gave the Mexican State a period of two years to “advance in the process of formation of the National Guard as a civil institution.” It expressed concern “for the militarized nature of law enforcement in general, including the National Guard, and for the lack of a clear timetable on the withdrawal of military force in civic security tasks.”

On the other hand, it lamented the lack of progress in the case of the forced disappearance of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa (Iguala, Guerrero, 2014) and urged to “strengthen the research capacity and independence of all the actors involved in the investigation, including prosecutors and experts, as well as ensuring the consolidation of the accusatory system and the autonomy of the institutions of law enforcement.”

A third recommendation, also with a period of two years to assess progress, is the situation of vulnerability of journalists and human rights defenders. The Committee requested that more resources be allocated towards the prevention of aggressions towards these two sectors as well as an exhaustive investigation in case they occur.

Another concern raised is the mistreatment of migrants, including cases of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, enforced disappearances, extortion, trafficking, murder and other crimes, in a context of increased migration flows from Central America to the United States and pressures from US government to the Mexican government to stop them. It expressed concern about the widespread use of detention many times by force. It also said it was concerned about the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols, which require that asylum seekers in the United States remain in Mexican territory during their processing.

On a positive note, it valued the approval of laws such as the Law to Prevent, Investigate and Punish Torture or the Law on the Forced Disappearance of Persons (both from 2017), although it regretted their slow application. In the case of the General Victims Law, it considered its implementation “insufficient” and therefore urged “the State party to provide the bodies responsible for applying the General Victims Law with the necessary resources, adequate training and effective control mechanisms so that victims of human rights violations promptly receive comprehensive reparation… The State party must also ensure, even through legislative reforms, a fast and efficient procedure to achieve legal recognition of the quality of victims.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comité de Derechos Humanos Observaciones finales sobreelsexto informe periódico de México (CCPR, 7 de noviembre de 2019)

Señala ONU violación de derechos de migrantes en México (La Jornada, 7 de noviembre de 2019)

ONU le da dos años a México para desmilitarizar la Guardia Nacional y resolver caso Ayotzinapa (Animal Político, 7 de noviembre de 2019)

La ONU-DDHH pide desde Ginebra a México desmilitarizar la Guardia Nacional y apurar caso de los 43 (Sin Embargo, 7 de noviembre de 2019)

Desmilitarizar la Guardia Nacional y resolver caso Ayotzinapa pide ONU a México (Radio Formula, 8 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

Internacional/Nacional: Alta Comisionada de la ONU para Derechos Humanos expresa preocupación ante varios pendientes en derechos humanos en México (5 de septiembre de 2019)

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

Guerrero: CRAC-PC marches in Chilpancingo demanding the reform of the Law 701

November 11, 2019

On November 7, more than 1,000 members of the 5 Houses of Justice of the Regional Coordination of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC) marched in Chilpancingo to demand the repeal of Article 14 of Law 701, which was modified a year ago. They denounced that it violates the rights of indigenous peoples, in particular, the validity of their own system of security and community justice.

The aim of the reform was to harmonize the States legal system and the indigenous and afro-mexican regulatory systems for public security as well as the dispensing of justice by regulating the procedures for the validation of community decisions by competent judges and courts. The CRAC-PC denounced that “the last legislature demolished the figure of the CRAC as a legitimate justice system”, when the reform led delinquents arrested by community members to file injunctions against the community justice system.

In the local Congress, the demonstrators were attended by a commission of deputies of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), to whom they delivered a document with the request for the repeal of the reforms of Law 701. Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for the Defense of Human Rights, was also present. He declared that the march seeks “to make visible what is happening and not to take steps backwards to the rights of the people as the last legislature did”. He also stated that there was willingness on the part of the congressmen to review the petition and that there is hope that a meeting can be held by the end of this month.

For more information:

Marcha la Crac; exige derogar el artículo 14 de la Ley 701 (La Jornada de Guerrero, November 7, 2019)

Marcha la CRAC-PC en Chilpancingo en rechazo a reforma a la Ley 701 (Quadratin, November 7, 2019 )
Marcha la CRAC en Chilpancingo contra reformas a la Ley 701 y la Constitución (Ahora Guerrero,
November 7, 2019)

CRAC marcha para recuperar derechos de Casas de Justicia (Bajo Palabra, November 7, 2019)

Marcha De Autodefensas De El CRAC-PC en chilpancingo guerrero mexico defiendes sistema normativo (Vídeo, November 7, 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: 16 CRAC PC and CECOP Prisoners Released (June 17, 2019)

Guerrero: Urgent Action “No Dam, No Prisoners”, Demands Release of 16 Indigenous CECOP Members (March 14, 2019)

Guerrero/International: MEPs and International Organizations Express Concern over Criminalization of CECOP Members (February 13, 2019)

Guerrero: national and international organizations visit prisoners of the CECOP and the CRAC-PC (October 10, 2018)


Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula

October 17, 2019

Migrants@Daniel Zacarias

On October 13th, 2019, elements of the National Migration Institute (INM in its Spanish acronym) as well as the Chiapas State Police and the National Guard launched an operation to stop a caravan of migrants, which started early in the evening.

Around five o’clock in the morning between 1,500 and 3,000 Central American, Caribbean and African migrants, including young people and children, left the “Miguel Hidalgo” central park of Tapachula, Chiapas, heading to Tijuana. They intended to make a stop in Mexico City and organize a meeting with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to ask for his help and accelerate their migration processes.

To date, the National Institute of Migration and the Mexican Commission for Assistance to Refugees (COMAR in its Spanish acronym) have not responded to their requests: they ask that they be granted an Office of Departure or regularize their stay one way or another. That is why thousands of migrants have been stranded for several months in the Tapachula immigration stations without employment and basic services.

The caravan moved rapidly along the state’s coastal highway that leads to the southern state of Oaxaca towards Huixtla, its first planned stop. It crossed two checkpoints guarded by State Police and the National Guard, one of them being the Viva Mexico bridge where they shouted “Goodbye, Tapachula!” in front of the public forces.

Around 4:30 p.m. 30 kilometers from the point of departure, at Xochiltepec community, the caravan was stopped by elements of the INM, the State Police and the National Guard. Migrants were surrounded by the authorities, causing them to flee among the bushes, pastures and agricultural crops. Before that, about 150 had been assured that they were behind the caravan and were transferred to the Siglo XXI Migration Station in Tapachula.

Luis Garcia Villagran, lawyer and activist for the rights of migrants, who accompanied the caravan said: “They came on us like there was a war, rather there is a sordid war here. I was with my wife and about 200 agents arrived, between Migration and National Guard. We showed them that they all brought documentation, that they were all shelter applicants. Then the pulling began, the pulling changed to beatings. They even took children to the hospital.”

However, the official INM statement states that its officials “convinced” foreigners to return to Tapachula using trucks provided by the authorities, or on foot along the road. It says that “with full respect for human rights [the INM] carried out actions to invite foreign people who made up the contingent that left the city of Tapachula to go to the Institute to know the options to regularize their stay in the country.”

It also said that all the migrants who participated in the caravan were transferred to the Siglo XXI Migration Station while the activist Irineo Mujica, president of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said that about 300 were locked in Siglo XXI, another 280 in Tuxtla Gutierrez and a small Group of 90 in Huixtla. Cases of family separation were also recorded.

This caravan was the first mass migration movement since Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ratified an agreement with Donald Trump, president of the United States, which aims to contain illegal migration and occurred after numerous protests made by migrants in Tapachula, demanding that the authorities expedite their paperwork so that they can continue their journey to the United States.

For more information in Spanish:

Nueva caravana de migrantes sale de Tapachula, Chiapas (Multimedios, el 12 de octubre de 2019)

Frenan autoridades caravanas de migrantes (Cuarto Poder, el 13 de octubre de 2019)

Las autoridades mexicanas paran una caravana de casi 3.000 migrantes, incluyendo cubanos (14 y medio,l 13 de octubre de 2019)

Guardia Nacional bloquea caravana de migrantes africanos en Chiapas (Animal Político, 13 de octubre de 2019)

Migración detiene y encierra a solicitantes de refugio pese a tener papeles (Animal Político, el 14 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: African Migrants Clash with National Guard in Tapachula (October 8, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula (September 2, 2019)

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

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

Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula

September 2, 2019


On the morning of August 26th, federal police attacked migrants and two journalists while they were dispersing a blockade in front of the Siglo XXI migration center in Tapachula.

The two journalists, Damian Sanchez and Jose E. Torres, reported that they were beaten and kicked by the police when they were already on the ground. Some migrants were injured by police as well, and one was taken to the hospital for medical attention.

According to journalists, before the confrontation, an member of the Federal Police imitated a monkey with a very derogatory and racist gesture, directed against African migrants.

In the confrontation, the Federal Police used shields and pepper spray. A police officer was also taken to the hospital.

The violence comes after 11 days of blockade by a group of African migrants, who have been in front of the Siglo XXI facility seeking to obtain a change in the treatment of migrants from Africa and Asia. In the past, a migrant from one of these continents could receive a document that gave him 20 days to leave the country, which allowed him to travel legally to the northern border, and eventually enter the United States. However, since July 10th, the National Migration Institute (INM in its Spanish acronym) issued an executive order that states that migrants from these backgrounds will have to leave the country through the southern border. It is not clear if this policy change responds to pressure from the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, to force the Mexican government to curb migratory flows.

For more information in Spanish:

Policías federales agreden a migrantes y periodistas en estación Siglo XXI en Chiapas Animal Político, 27 de agosto de 2019.

Investigarán agresión a reporteros tras protesta de migrantes africanos El Sol de México, 27 de agosto de 2019.

Policía Actuó apegada a derechos humanos en enfrentamiento con migrantes: SSPC El Universal, 27 de agosto de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: #DefensoresSinMuros-DefendersBeyondWalls Campaign Calls for End to Attacks against Defenders of Migrants’ Rights (July 8, 2019)

National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants (July 2, 2019)

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

Chiapas: Public Denouncement of Human Rights Violations in CERSS nº10 in Comitan

August 22, 2019


On August 14th, prisoners Marcelino Ruiz Gomez and Baldemar Gomez Hernandez, of the Viniketik Organization in Resistencia, issued a public complaint from CERSS nº10 in Comitan against mistreatment received and to request “intervention by human rights and social organizations to demand the cessation of all abuse.”

Both prisoners have just carried out a hunger strike as a strategy of non-violent political struggle to make their situation of injustice visible. In their complaint they explain that, “for more than four months since the beginning of our fight in this CERSS nº10 of Comitan Chiapas, we are recovering from the hunger strike, and the chief director of this center and his warden David Arias Jimenez, haven’t stopped harassing us. We denounce that all the time we have been subjected to mistreatment and intimidation given that in the site of protest where we had put our tarpaulin to protect us from the sun yesterday, August 13th at 6:00 pm, Commander Bili and his guards destroyed the site of protest and today the director came to threaten to move us to another prison arguing that we are planning an escape. All this time we have been threatened by Alejendro Constantino Hernandez.”

They ask “the competent authorities and to the governor of the State of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandon Cadenas, to stop the harassment of psychological torture and to respect our space of protest where we have been in a sit-in where our voice that we are asking for justice to be done for us and freedom (sic.)”

For more information in Spanish:

Viniketik en Resistencia: denuncia ante el desmantelamiento de su plantón (Grupo de trabajo “No estamos todxs”, 14 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Hunger Strikers’ Lives at Risk (July 20, 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

Chiapas: Plantón y Ayuno en Solidaridad con Presos en Huelga de Hambre (a 84 días de su inicio), (June 6, 2019)

Chiapas: Indigenous Prisoner Released after 16 Years Awaiting Sentencing and 60 Days Hunger Strike (May 26, 2019)

Guerrero: Four Costa Grande Political Prisoners Freed

August 19, 2019

PPs@El Sur de Acapulco

On August 9th, social activists Maximo Mojica Delgado, Javier Cordova Ruiz, Maria de los Angeles Hernandez Flores, originally from Teloloapan, and Santiago Nazario Lezma, from Atoyac, members of the Teloloapan Popular Movement, were released through direct protection, after spending ten years, eight months and 11 days in the Tecpan de Galeana Center for Social Reinsertion on the Costa Grande, accused of kidnapping. On leaving, they were received by members of social organizations shouting: “Freedom, freedom, prisoners to the fight” and “Our compañeros are not criminals, their only crime is to be consistent.”

Professor Maximo Mojica Delgado said that, “we were imprisoned for prefabricated crimes, because as social activists they consider us criminals. We appreciate the support of the organizations that encouraged us: we prove that we are and were innocent.” The released also said they will continue fighting to demand the freedom of all political prisoners and said that the amnesty law proposed by the federal government has been a failure but that the political prisoners who have been released nationwide were released “through the effort and the struggle undertaken by human rights centers and the pressure exerted by social organizations.”

The leader of the Francisco Villa Popular Defense Front, Clemencia Guevara Tejedor, said that the position of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to marginalize social organizations, has left human rights activists and defenders vulnerable and denounced that in Guerrero there are still 60 political prisoners.

For more information in Spanish:

A pesar de que estuvo 10 años en la cárcel, no abandonará su lucha: Máximo Mojica (Pueblo Guerrero, 12 de agosto de 2019)

Para más información : Liberan a cuatro presos político de la cárcel de Tecpan incluido Máximo Mojica (El Sur, 10 de agosto de 2019)

Libres, luego de 11 años presos, cuatro activistas de la ONG Tierra y Libertad (La Jornada, 10 de agosto de 2019)

Liberan después de más de 10 años a 4 presos políticos en Tecpan (Quadratín, 9 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero / National: Nestora Salgado announces campaign for the freedom of political prisoners (September 16, 2018)

Nestora Salgado Launches Campaign to Demand Release of Political Prisoners (April 7, 2016)

Guerrero: Acciones Urgentes de varias organizaciones internacionales llaman la atención sobre la detención arbitraria de Máximo Mojica (8 de diciembre de 2008)

Chiapas: FRAYBA Denounces Attack on Zapatista Autonomy

August 12, 2019

ZapatistaMember of EZLN transport cooperative, archive photo, Angeles Mariscal/Chiapas PARALELO

On July 22nd, in its statement “Attack on Zapatista Autonomy”, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (FRAYBA) denounced the confiscation of two vans that provide autonomous transportation service by the Ministry of Mobility and Transportation in the Municipality of Salto de Agua in the North of Chiapas.

FRAYBA considered that this action represents one more attack against the support bases of the EZLN in the context of military harassment of its territory. It said that “these acts of aggression and harassment contradict the statements of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who during his visit to Chiapas said on July 6 that ‘we endorse our respect for the Zapatista Army despite our differences.'”

For this reason, FRAYBA demanded that the attacks and harassment of the autonomy of the Zapatista peoples cease and that they desist from the acts of criminalization against the drivers and autonomous transport, as well as return the two vehicles retained by the delegation of Transportation in Palenque.

For more information in Spanish:

Agresión a la autonomía zapatista (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas , 22 de julio de 2019)

Frayba exige devolver a bases zapatistas vehículos asegurados (La Jornada, 23 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Chiapas: Zapatista Mass Meeting in Realidad Caracol 25 Years after Armed Uprising (January 14, 2019)