Chiapas: CNDH to Investigate Attacks on Parents of Ayotzinapa 43

April 5, 2020


The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) will investigate the attacks on February 16th against the relatives of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa who disappeared in 2014, while they were participating in a demonstration in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.

Relatives and several students from the Mactumactza Normal School in Chiapas were attacked by elements of the state’s Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection on February 16th, leaving three students injured along with two mothers, and a minor.

The State Commission for Human Rights in Chiapas initiated a complaint file ex officio, which has been taken on by the CNDH, which explained that “in the exercise of the powers conferred on the CNDH regarding the investigation of acts that may constitute human rights violations, that by their nature transcend the interest of a federative entity and influence national public opinion, it was agreed to exercise the appeal of the file.”

For more information in Spanish:

Atrae CNDH caso de ataque de policías de Chiapas a familiares de los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos de la Normal de Ayotzinapa y alumnos de la Normal Mactumactzá, CNDH, 31 de marzo de 2020

CNDH atrae caso de agresión hacia familiares de los 43 estudiantes, Chiapasparalelo, 2 de abril de 2020

CNDH investigará agresiones contra padres de 43 normalistas, El Imparcial, 31de marzo de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)

Chiapas: National Guard and Police Oppression of Migrants Protesting over COVID-19 Fears

March 30, 2020

gobierno-desvanece-la-promesa-de-migracin-ordenada-y-segura-organizaciones@Conexion Migrante

On March 23rd, between 50 and 70 migrants, mainly from Central American countries, clashed with Federal Police and National Guard agents inside the Siglo XXI Migration Center in Tapachula.

Given the worldwide spread of COVID-19, Guatemala closed its borders on March 17th and asked Mexico to end the deportations of Central American migrants. For this reason, many find themselves unable to return to their countries of origin or continue their journey through Mexico to the United States. They are trapped in Tapachula.

In addition to that, at least two shelters on the border between Guatemala and Mexico stopped their service due to the pandemic meaning that migrants who have not been detained by elements of the National Guard are in a high risk situation as they have no place of refuge.

Information on the events of last Monday at the immigration station was obtained through interviews with witnesses and victims.

They reported that there was a protest by a group of migrants in the courtyard of the men’s module at around 5 pm to express their fear in the context of COVID-19 and demand their release or return to their countries of origin. Previously, they had repeatedly denounced the conditions in the migration station, which has severe overcrowding, food and water shortages, and limited medical care.

In response to the protest, a brigade of Federal Police and some 20 National Guard agents entered, who dispersed the group using pepper spray and water jets. According to what was documented by the Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Collective, they dragged the protesters to the bathrooms, a place without surveillance cameras, to punish them with kicks and punches, as well as Taser devices for electric shocks.

They then led people by bus to an unknown location. “It is urgent to find out how many people were removed from the Migration Center, where they are and what the current physical and mental health situation is,” said Conexion Migrante.

In a statement, the Collective for Observation and Monitoring of Human Rights in Southeast Mexico and the Driving Group against Immigration Detention and Torture expressed that they condemn “energetically all acts of violence and the use of disproportionate force against people, men, women and adolescents in immigration detention.” They demand “that the facts be clarified, those responsible be punished and that the physical and mental integrity of all persons who are in immigration detention or other forms of deprivation of liberty be guaranteed.”

They also pointed out that according to Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment “the term ‘torture’ shall be understood as any act by which serious pain or suffering is intentionally inflicted on a person; whether physical or mental, in order to obtain information or a confession from her or from a third party.”

For its part, the National Institute of Migration (INM) published a statement stating that “it seeks to implement actions so that migrants of Central American origin, housed in migratory centers and provisional stays of the institute, can return safely to their places of origin.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado de las organizaciones de derechos de migrantes (25 de marzo de 2020)

Guardia Nacional reprime violentamente protesta de migrantes en Tapachula, Chiapas (Conexión Migrante el 25 de marzo de 2020)

Activistas mexicanos denuncian violencia contra inmigrantes que protestan por temor a coronavirus (Infobae el 26 de marzo de 2020)

Migrantes quedan atrapados en México por COVID-19 (Chiapasparalelo el 25 de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: Caravan of 4,000 Reaches Southern Border – Stopped by National Guard (January 21, 2020)

Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula (October 17, 2019)

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)

National: CEMDA Highlights Continued Danger for Environmental Defenders

March 24, 2020

agresiones-ambientalistas.jpg_1348255499@El Economista

On March 17th, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) presented a report in which it reiterated the danger that environmental defenders face in Mexico.

Entitled “Report on the Situation of Environmental Human Rights Defenders,” the document highlights that between January 2012 and December 2019, there were 499 attacks against environmental defenders and 83 murders.

According to the report, of the violent actions against defenders, the authorities were responsible for 179 of the attacks – 114 by state governments, 42 by municipal authorities, and 22 by the federal government.

Regarding the role of the State and the conditions of danger, the report stresses that: “Despite the measures that the Mexican State has adopted, it is observed that no progress has been made in the country in a structural change that generates the appropriate and safe conditions for the exercise of the right to defend human rights. Currently, we still find discourses and narratives from the government that disqualify and stigmatize the defense of human rights, which polarizes the perception of society, managing to delegitimize and create a hostile environment so that other attacks can be committed against these people.”

29% of all attacks were related to energy projects. Therefore, it is not surprising that Oaxaca was the state with the highest number of attacks, with 79 cases. Sonora was the second with 49 attacks, and the State of Mexico the third, with 48.

During the year of 2019, the first full year of the Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) government, there were 39 attacks against environmental defenders, 15 of them being murders.

The report includes ten recommendations to guarantee the work of environmental defenders. One of them is to ratify the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Affairs in Latin America (Escazu Agreement), an international treaty that seeks to establish rules for the protection of the environment. 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have signed the agreement, including Mexico, but only 6 have ratified it.

For more information in Spanish:

Informe sobre la situación de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos ambientales CEMDA, marzo de 2020.

En México persiste el riesgo para defensores del medio ambiente: Cemda El Proceso, 17 de marzo de 2020.

Hubo 83 asesinatos a defensores ambientales entre 2012 y 2019: Cemda La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Death Threats against Defenders of Life and Territory in Chicomuselo Denounced (February 9, 2020)

Chiapas/International: Urgent Action – Canadian Embassy before Courts for Undue Intervention in Chicomuselo Mining Conflict (March 27, 2019)

National: 21 Environmental Defenders Murdered in 2018 (CEMDA) (April 1, 2019)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue

February 26, 2020

LennynFloresHeraldo@Lennyn Flores, El Herlado de Chiapas

At a press conference held on February 22nd in Tuxtla Gutierrez, the head of the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE), Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, reported that two State Police agents were arrested for the violent events that occurred a week before during the eviction of a blockade of students from the Normal Rural Mactumactza School (Chiapas) and relatives of the 43 disappeared student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014), and that left a balance of several wounded. Both police officers are accused of attempted murder, inflicting injuries and abuse of authority.

For his part, the Secretary of Health of the state, Jose Manuel Cruz Castellanos, said that of the most seriously injured, a student of the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa continues with a reserved prognosis, while another is stable (although pending surgery), and another was already discharged.

The FGE also indicated that it continues putting together an investigation file against “the protesters and those who are responsible for the riot crimes, breaches of the peace and bodily and patrimonial integrity of the community and the state and attacks on the communication routes, as well as agrieved injuries of four Chiapas oficers, three men and a woman.”

Present at the press conference, the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Gabriela del Socorro Zepeda Soto, said that “all the necessary investigations are carried out so that the police are certain that while they do their job well, justice will be demanded and their rights will be defended because the Secretariat’s commitment is to serve, protect and maintain order, peace and citizen tranquility.”

For more information in Spanish:

Detienen a 2 policías por reprimir a grupo de normalistas en Chiapas (La Jornada, 22 de febrero de 2020)

Detienen a dos policías por agresiones con papás de 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa (El Universal, 22 de febrero de 2020)

Detienen a policías por agresiones contra papás de los 43 de Ayotzinapa (El Informador, 22 de febrero de 2020)

Informa FGE sobre evolución de caso de conflicto entre normalistas y antimotines (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 22 de febrero de 2020)

Abren dos carpetas de investigación por desalojo de padres de normalistas en Chiapas (El Universal, 19 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society Denounces Persecution and Murder of Human Rights Defenders and Protectors of Mother Earth and other Violent Situations

February 25, 2020

AreadecomunicacionAbejas@Area de comunicación de Las Abejas

On February 22nd, within the framework of the monthly anniversary of the Acteal massacre (1997), Las Abejas Civil Society issued a statement in which it denounced not only impunity in that case but that “in Mexico of the era of the “Fourth transformation “human rights defenders, protectors of Mother Earth are persecuted and murdered, the truth is still covered up and women and girls are murdered, just as the criminal governments of the PRI and the PAN did.”

It also stated that “if we had a premature conscience, we would swallow the tale of the MORENA president that uncontrollable violence in the country, femicides, kidnapping and murder of girls is the fault of previous governments. It is outrageous that this president does not have the decency to admit that once he assumed power in Mexico, he assumed to serve a rotten system of government that can only persist causing destruction and feeding on blood.”

It outlined several more recent cases, also stating that “every day there is news of murders that make the news of the previous day remain forgotten, taking away from the fact that there is a new woman or girl murdered and raped.” It mentioned the case the repression against the fathers and mothers of the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, during their visit to the Mactumatza Normal Rural school in Chiapas; the detention of Miguel Lopez Vega, delegate of the National Indigenous Congress, member of the Zacatepec community radio station and member of the Puebla Peoples in Defense of the Land and Water Front, Morelos and Tlaxcala (although he was released through social pressure, Las Abejas believe that it was to intimidate the movement against companies in the Huejotzingo Industrial corridor) and femicides; among others.

For more information in Spanish:

Hoy sólo vamos a poder mencionar algunos casos de violencia, de injusticia y de asesinatos contra hombres y mujeres (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de febrero de 2020)

Se deslindan Abejas de Acteal de supuesto integrante de su Mesa Directiva (Reporte Ciudadano, 23 de febrero de 2020)

Se deslindan Abejas de Acteal de supuesto integrante de su Mesa Directiva (Noticias Primer Plano, 23 de febrero de 2020)

Se deslindan las Abejas de supuesto integrante (Diario de Chiapas, 24 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “This year begins with a lot of violence and it is increasing” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society (January 28, 2020)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Hold Commenoration 22 Years after Acteal Masacre (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Celebrate 27th Anniversary (January 4, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez

February 17, 2020

87059675_498583520855636_824448225489453056_oPhoto @ Padres y Madres de Ayotzinapa

On the morning of February 16th, the “In search of the 43” caravan for the students who were disappeared in Iguala in 2014, and in which the mothers and fathers of the young people who studied at the Rural Normal School Raul Isidro Burgos d Ayotzinapa are participating with others, arrived at the Mactumactza Normal Rural School in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. This is part of the visits they have scheduled in all the normal rural schools of the country.

Different media outlets reported that as a joint protest “they intended to carry out a blockade” in the capital of the state of Chiapas. The organizers of the caravan reported that their arrival had been made public since days ago as part of a national information campaign, and that “they were conducting a “flying campaign” (…) inviting to join the demonstration to be held this Sunday afternoon.”

In response to the mobilization “more than two hundred state policemen with tear gas tanks and bombs were posted at the entrance of the Normal School without any valid explanation. Around 8:30 in the morning the Policemen without any protocol began to launch the tear gas towards the fathers and mothers of the 43 and student teachers, the repression lasted for an hour with a balance of three students, two mothers and their three-year-old granddaughter injured. Two students were hit with a projectile on their heads, one of them from Ayotzinapa”, the Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center reported.

Regarding the events, the Ministry of Citizen Security and Protection (SSyPC) reported that they acted “under the eviction protocol with respect for human rights and restored order.” They accused the students and parents of the missing 43 students from Ayotzinapa of “throwing Molotov cocktails, stones and fireworks at those in uniform.”

The undersecretary of Human Rights, Population and Migration, Alejandro Encinas, asked the state government “for immediate attention for the injured people and an investigation into these unfortunate events, the immediate and specialized medical attention for the young people attacked by the state pólice, Jose Antonio Flores, Javier Lopez Bernal, Alex Alvarez. The investigation and punishment of those responsible for giving the order to repress the caravan of Ayotzinapa is urgent.”

The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reported that the “State Commission has initiated an ex officio complaint; however, the CNDH will be following closely the investigation of the unfortunate events in which several members of the Caravan were injured. The CNDH, for its part, has requested precautionary and/or protective measures for the students of the Mactumatza Normal Rural School, the relatives of the 43 student taechers from Ayotzinapa and members of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center.”

Or more information in Spanish:

Policías reprimen a padres y normalistas en Chiapas; hay 4 hospitalizados (Proceso, 16 de febrero de 2020)

Desalojan en Chiapas a padres de los 43 de Ayotzinapa con gases lacrimógenos (El Financiero, 16 de febrero de 2020)

COMUNICADO | Policías Estatales del Estado de Chiapas reprimen la Caravana en Busca de los 43 (Tlachinollan, 16 de febrero de 2020)

CNDH condena actos de violencia en contra de familiares de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa, cometida por elementos policíacos en la Normal Rural de Chiapas (CNDH, 16 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: “Walk for Truth, Justice and Peace” Ends at Parliament in Mexico City (January 29, 2020)

Nacional: “Caminata por la Paz” se dirige al Palacio Nacional y exige justicia y seguridad (24 de enero de 2020)

International/National: UNHCHR Calls on Mexican State to Increase Efforts to Effectively Implement General Law on Forced Disappearance of Persons (January 21, 2020)

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN, CNI and CIG Convene Actions in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth “We Are All Samir” (January 14, 2020)

Oaxaca/Nacional: Nuevas agresiones a periodistas; se modificará mecanismo de protección, Encinas (9 de diciembre de 2019)

National: Rosario Ibarra de Piedra Sworn in as New President of CNDH (November 15, 2019)

National: One Year of AMLO Presidency (December 5, 2019)

Mexico: March “Steps for Peace” (August 19, 2011)

National/International: Mexico, Fourth Most Dangerous Country for Human Rights Defenders (Frontline Defenders)

February 16, 2020


On February 12th, the Frontline Defenders (FLD) organization publicly presented its “Global Analysis 2019” report in Mexico City, in which it pointed out that Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world to defend human and environmental rights: in 2019, it recorded more than 200 of the 304 documented murders in 31 countries globally. It also reported that four of the five most dangerous countries for activism are part of the subcontinent (with 68% of cases). FLD explained that the five countries with the highest number of murders of defenders in 2019 were Colombia with 106, the Philippines – the only non-American country on the list – with 43, Honduras with 31, Mexico with 23 and also Brazil with 23.

Mexico is also the most dangerous country for environmental defenders: 75% of the 23 murders documented by FLD in the country were against nature defenders and against extractive or development megaprojects in which “there are powerful corporate interests and of public officials and possible profits at stake.” 20% of the murders were against women (internationally the figure was 13%). In addition, by 2020, “we have already documented at least three murders of defenders (two in Michoacan and one in Ciudad Juarez)”.

FDL regretted that impunity remains the norm. In the case of Mexican, in at least 11 cases investigations were initiated without results so far. Impunity is common even in cases identified as “emblematic”, not only with murdes but also in the “high level of criminalization of environmental defenders, who are exposed to physical aggressions, acts of legal intimidation and threats, in particular women, indigenous people and sexual diversity groups.”

Jesus Peña, deputy representative in Mexico of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, present at the event condemned the unfortunate fourth place and stressed that “the best form of protection is undoubtedly the fight against impunity in which many of the aggressions are.”

For more information in Spanish:

México, el cuarto país más peligroso en el mundo para ambientalistas y defensores, revela ONG (Sin Embargo, 13 de febrero de 2020)

Colocan a México como el 4° país más peligroso para defensores de DH (La Jornada, 12 de febrero de 2020)

Ambientalistas, 70 % de los activistas asesinadas en 2019 : ONG (El Universal, 12 de febrero de 2020)

Análisis global 2019 (Human Rights Defenders, enero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Red TdT Publishes Human Rights Balance for 2019 (January 13, 2020)

Nacional: 28 activistas asesinados en 2019 por rechazar proyectos del gobierno, según organizaciones civiles.  (December 2, 2019)

National/International: “When Words Are Not Enough” – Amnesty International Report almost One Year after AMLO Takes Office (December 4, 2019)

National: Mexico Sixth Most Dangerous Country for Environmentalists According to Global Witness; 12 Activists Killed in 2019 (October 13, 2019)

National: 21 Environmental Defenders Murdered in 2018 (CEMDA) (April 1, 2019)