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)

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National: National Guard Secondary Laws Passed; Concerns over Human Rights Continue

May 28, 2019

National GuardNational Guard at Migration Center (@Cuartooscuro)

On May 21st, the Senate approved a set of four secondary laws that includes the organic law of this new security body, on the use of the force, the National Detention Registry and the National Public Security System. According to the president of the Political Coordination Board, Ricardo Monreal, the Senate modified 70% of the initiatives to ensure that the command of this security body is civil. “The National Guard will be civil. There is no way of maintaining or thinking about militarization. There is no doubt about that. The civil character is deepened, the judicial discipline is deepened and the civil command over all the members of the Guard is guaranteed”, he affirmed.

Two days later, the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies ratified the same package so that it would be ready for its enactment by the Executive, without taking into account the questions that the United Nations (UN) or the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest (FLEPS in its Spanish acronym).

It is worth noting that the Mexico Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico (UNHCHR) published a letter sent to the Chamber of Deputies pointing out as “worrying aspects” the lack of accountability, the omission of the responsibility of superior commanders, the absence of military records, the poor regulation of non-lethal force and the risk of the right to protest, when protests or demonstrations may be classified according to the “lawful objective” pursued, which would be contrary to the right to freedom of expression and assembly. It also noted that “although the law contains a regime of responsibilities, it does not include the four dimensions of responsibility necessary to comply with the duty to investigate illicit actions, which are direct responsibility, responsibility for omission, responsibility of the commanders and the responsibility of the commanders for the actions of their subordinates.” The UNHCHR clarified that its observations on both legislations were of a preliminary nature, given the short time it took to know the content of the initiatives, so it called on the Chamber of Deputies “to open a process of public and inclusive discussion in around the minutiae.” It should be noted that the content of the initiatives of the secondary laws were not publicly known until the Senate endorsed them.

For its part, the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest (FLEPS) recognized that there are “positive aspects such as the inclusion of international principles in the matter; the determination of the levels of use of force; the obligation of police agents to issue reports on the use of force they make; operational planning and strategy.” However, it is “worrying that a perspective of” crowd control be maintained in the context of demonstrations and meetings. It also stated that, “the definition and qualification of the “lawful objective” of the demonstrations as well as the discretional power conferred on the police authorities to do so is problematic.” It highlighted the ambiguous character of activation and escalation in the use of force when demonstrations “turn violent”, or the use of the term “public order”. It also stated that, “a law of this nature should be open to debate, widely discussed and constructed with the participation of civil society, in order to address the problematic aspects that we have identified in principle.”

The deputies acknowledged that there were flaws in the laws, but claimed they were urgent.

For more information in Spanish:

Amnistía Internacional critica “opacidad” en leyes secundarias de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 20 de mayo de 2019)

El Senado aprueba las cuatro leyes secundarias para la Guardia Nacional; pasan a Diputados (Animal Político, 21 de mayo de 2019)

Senado aprueba leyes secundarias de la Guardia Nacional (La Jornada, 21 de mayo de 2019)

Nueva Ley de Uso de la Fuerza: Criminalización de la protesta a nivel nacional (FLEPS, 21 de mayo de 2019)

Diputados dan luz verde a las cuatro leyes para la operación de la Guardia Nacional (Animal Político, 23 de mayo de 2019)

ONU-DH advierte “aspectos preocupantes” en leyes secundarias de la GN (Proceso, 23 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Directors of National Guard Publicly Presented (May 7, 2019)

National: AMLO Confirms Head of National Guard Will Be Serving Military Officer (April 9, 2019)

National: NGOs, Activists and CNDH Insist on Necessity that National Guard Be “Truly Civil” (April 8, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National: Deputies Approve National Guard amid Doubts in the Executive (January 24, 2019)


Oaxaca/International: Oaxaca Consortium Presents Damian Gallardo Case to UN Committee against Torture (CAT)

May 26, 2019

CAT

On May 16th, the Oaxacan organization Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity filed a complaint with the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) within the framework of the 66th period of sessions of that body, for torture and serious violations of the guarantees of the defender of human rights, Damian Gallardo Martinez from his detention on May 18th, 2013 until his release on December 28th, 2018. It is worth noting that, since 2002, one of the powers of the CAT is to be able to hear individual complaints.

Consortium explained that by resorting to this mechanism “justice is sought not only in the individual case but to generate a precedent that transcends and ends with the criminalization of social protest and the use of torture in arbitrary arrests of defenders in Oaxaca.” It recalled that “Gallardo Martinez was arbitrarily detained on May 18th, 2013, within the framework of the criminalization of the teachers’ struggle and social protest, deployed during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto against opponents of the “educational reform””; and that “during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, at least 141 arbitrary detentions of defenders in Oaxaca have been documented.”

Consortium also emphasized that “in the case of the state of Oaxaca, there is not a single sentence for torture to date”; and that “at national level, sentences are also very rare.” It indicated that in the case of Gallardo Martinez, after six years of denouncing torture, “progress in the investigations is null and void”, which is why it “decided to seek justice at the international level by filing a complaint with the United Nations.”

The complaint asked the CAT to urge the Mexican State to prosecute, and punish with appropriate penalties all state agents and authorities responsible for violations of the Convention Against Torture as well as to fully compensate for the damage suffered, including “a public acknowledgment of responsibility that impacts on the cessation of the criminalization of social protest in Oaxaca”; among other demands.

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia ONG a México ante la ONU (Vanguardia, 18 de mayo de 2019)

Denuncia al Estado mexicano por tortura (NVI Noticias, 17 de mayo de 2019)

Frente a impunidad en el país se denuncia ante la ONU a Estado Mexicano por Tortura en el caso de Damián Gallardo Martínez (Consorcio, 16 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca : Exigen atención para 33 personas defensoras de derechos humanos bajo procesos judiciales (3 de agosto de 2018)

Nacional/Oaxaca: German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico (April 10, 2017)

Oaxaca: Demand for the immediate release of Damian Gallardo (December 30, 2014)

Oaxaca: 16 months after the imprisonment of Damian Gallardo, and following call from the UN, there is no response from the Mexican State (October 12, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Assault on teacher Damian Gallardo in a prison of Jalisco (June 13, 2014)


National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico

April 11, 2019

UNHCHR.pngMichelle Bachelet (@CINU)

At the end of her official visit to Mexico, which took place between April 5th and 9th, the United Nations Organization High Commissioner of the for Human Rights (UN-DH), Michelle Bachelet, said she was surprised by the levels of violence and the dimension of the human rights crisis in the country. “It was a surprise to me what I found. Without a doubt, the case of Ayotzinapa is well known by the press, but the 40 thousand disappeared was not something that was so clear, of the 26 thousand bodies without identification (in the forensic services). Or ten women murdered a day. I knew very well about the violence, but I had no idea of ​​the dimension (…) The data are terrifying.” She pointed out that Mexico has figures for violent deaths equivalent to a country at war: 252,538,000 since 2006.

She highlighted outstanding human rights issues in different areas, in particular regarding forced disappearances, femicides, violence against defenders and journalists, torture, abuses against migrants, as well as high poverty rates -especially in indigenous communities- and the need to carry out consultations in accordance with international standards, among others, in order to undertake megaprojects.

The High Commissioner also signed a collaboration agreement on the National Guard and another on the collaboration of the agency in charge of the investigation of the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014).

The former president of Chile stressed that the new authorities of the country “have recognized that Mexico has a human rights crisis,” that there is political will to move forward with the pending issues and that “President Lopez Obrador has expressed his willingness to implement a change of paradigm.” She stressed that in the case of the National Guard, the Mexican government is talking about “accountability, transparency, human rights indicators that allow us to see if the National Guard is indeed going in the right direction or is deviating.” “The office will not hesitate to raise the alarm if it sees that there is any type of situation that does not correspond to the spirit of what is sought and the spirit of the agreement”, she said.

In the Ayotzinapa case, she said: “My office will be an ally that will not hesitate to contribute to progress and at the same time will raise the alarm in case of non-compliance. We request to know the whereabouts of the boys”, she added.

For more information in Spanish:

Enfrentar las desapariciones forzadas es el problema central en México, insta Michelle Bachelet (ONU México, 9 de abril de 2019)

México tiene cifras de muertes violentas propias de un país en guerra: Bachelet (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

La ACNUDH asesorará la creación de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet defiende a la sociedad civil: Es importante para la democracia, le dice al gobierno de México (Animal Político, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet se va desolada de tanto horror en México: “No sabía de todo lo que me he encontrado…” (Sin Embargo, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet: como una guerra, las muertes violentas en México (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018

September 21, 2018

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018 (September 21, 2018)


Chiapas/International: Urgent Action – Canadian Embassy before Courts for Undue Intervention in Chicomuselo Mining Conflict

March 27, 2019

Mining.png

On March 25th, a hearing will be held in Ottawa, Canada as representatives of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico were sued in an administrative complaint before the Federal Court of Canada “for their dangerous negotiations in a mining conflict,” related to the criminalization and the murder of Mariano Abarca in Chicomuselo, Chiapas in 2009.

It should be remembered that the local leader of the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) was murdered “after an active and peaceful resistance that the villagers carried out against this company that extracted barite ore. All the suspects in the case had links to the mining company Blackfire Exploration, but no one was convicted of the murder. The investigation is still open.” In addition, “until the day of his murder, Mariano suffered threats, intimidation, beatings, arbitrary detention under false accusations made by the mining company, among other abuses.”

In the framework of the hearing, the website #Justicia for Mariano Abarca published an Urgent Action in which it stressed that “documentation obtained through the transparency law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada, shows that, despite the significant knowledge that the Canadian embassy had on the facts between the company Blackfire and Mr. Abarca -including the death threats that he faced- it went to the state government of Chiapas to ask it to control the protests against the Canadian company in the community.”

It also denounced that, “there is no will or legal frameworks, regulations or binding protocols for the personnel of the Canadian embassies in order to ensure human rights.” Therefore the Urgent Action raises the demand for “a full and impartial investigation into the case of Mariano Abarca Roblero, and ensure legal measures to prevent embassies from continuing to intervene to overlap the abuse and violation of human rights that Canadian mining companies commit in other countries.”

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente en línea: Embajada Canadiense a los tribunales por su intervención indebida en conflicto minero en México (#Justicia para Mariano, 19 de marzo de 2019)

“En México, los intereses de Canadá son los de las empresas mineras” (Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros en América Latina, 15 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Chiapas : Interponen solicitud formal ante gobierno de Canadá para investigar a los diplomáticos en este país ante caso de ambientalista asesinado (7 de febrero de 2018)

Chiapas: 5 years since the murder of mining critic Mariano Abarca (December 15, 2014)

Chiapas: 5,000 Men and Women on Pilgrimage against Mining in Chicomuselo (October 17, 2017)

Chiapas: Anti-Mining Activist Mariano Abarca Killed (December 1, 2009)


Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case

March 15, 2019

ayotzi@Cuartoscuro

The National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) has reported that it has corroborated a link between organized crime and the Mexican government in the forced disappearance of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero, on September 26th, 2014. In addition, the Commission has declared that there was “connivance or collusion” between the local, state, and federal governments regarding the follow-up of the case. Additionally, the CNDH has indicated obstacles on the part of the authorities during its investigation that led to a series of recommendations at the end of 2018.

In December, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) in one of his first acts as the new president created by decree the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in the Ayotzinapa case. On March 11th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented the Technical Support Group (TSG) that will provide technical support to the Mexican authorities to arrive at the truth in the facts. In presenting the new work plan, the president of the IACHR and rapporteur of that agency for Mexico, Esmeralda Arosamena de Troitiño, applauded the position of the new federal authorities, which unlike the previous administration, have opened an impulse that represents “a historic opportunity to break impunity.” During the event, the Undersecretary of the Interior for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, remarked that the TSG will technically support all the open criminal investigation lines, which were not followed by the former Attorney General’s Office.

One of the most delicate in this sense is the role that the Mexican Army could have played in the events. On March 12th, a video was published that shows that Julio Cesar Lopez Patolzin, one of the 43 missing student teachers, had been recruited by the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) to infiltrate the Ayotzinapa School.

Faced with this, civil organizations accompanying the families of the 43 students declared that the video shows that the army “did not deliver or have given all the information it has about the Iguala case and its context (…) to more than four and a half years after the events.”

The second reason for concern, they said, is that it confirmed that SEDENA practices the infiltration of the Ayotzinapa School, which “does not delegitimize in any way the requirement of the relatives of Julio Cesar to know the whereabouts of their son.”

Finally, they stressed that this new material “confirms the urgent need for a thorough investigation into the role of the Armed Forces in this new phase” and that they provide “all information in their possession that is relevant to the full clarification of the whereabouts of the 43 students, as ordered in the presidential decree that instructed to establish effective material, legal and human conditions, to strengthen the human rights of the relatives of the victims of the Ayotzinapa case to the truth and access to justice, signed, among other authorities, by the President of the Republic, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of National Defense and the Secretary of the Navy.”

For more information in Spanish:

CNDH a ONU: “obstáculos y negativas” en caso Iguala (Milenio, 14 de marzo de 2019.)

Proceso y la historia del normalista-soldado infiltrado en Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 14 de marzo de 2019)

CNDH presenta recomendación por violaciones graves en caso Ayotzinapa (Excelsior, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Normalista de Ayotzinapa desaparecido era infiltrado de la Sedena (VIDEO) (Radio Formula, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Un normalista de Ayotzinapa era militar e informante del Ejército: reporte (ADN Politico, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Señalan necesidad de esclarecer papel del Ejército en caso Ayotzinapa SIDIDH, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Abren, formalmente, nueva etapa de investigación por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 11 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/National: Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in Ayotzinapa Case Set Up. Federal Judge Orders Investigation into Possible Responsibility of Attorney General Employees for Irregularities (January 22nd, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Decree Establishes Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case

(December 19th, 2018)

Guerrero/National/International: CNDH and IACHR Ayotzinapa Reports  (December 14th, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Ayotzinapa, Four Years On…  (October 1st, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Incoming Government Confirms Creation of Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case (Aug. 13th, 12018)

 


Guerrero: Urgent Action “No Dam, No Prisoners”, Demands Release of 16 Indigenous CECOP Members

March 14, 2019

cecop

On March 8th, more than 2,000 people had already demanded “the immediate release of the 16 indigenous members of the Council of Ejidos and Opposition Communities to the Presa la Parota (CECOP), whose crime was to defend their lands and natural assets against the La Parota Dam”, through the Avaaz petition website. This is due to the multiple violations of due process, torture and the arbitrary and illegal circumstances of the arrests, which “demonstrate that there are political and economic interests against the communities that oppose the dam.” They also requested that harassment and arbitrary arrests of the inhabitants of the community of Cacahuatepec, municipality of Acapulco, stop.

In the same case, on March 5th, members of CECOP, the Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPPEG in its Spanish acronym) and the Montaña Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights held a meeting with the Governor of Guerrero, Hector Astudillo Flores, to follow up on the tables established to review the cases of these same prisoners, as well as to demand the cessation of harassment against the members of CECOP. The MOLPPEG reported that, “it filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission (CODDEHUM in its Spanish acronym), to intervene and no longer continue to pressurize the comrades of the communal property of Cacahuatepec, in the municipality of Acapulco, as well as the Zapata Vive collective.” He explained that the State and Ministerial police have been raiding computers to identify comrades who have an arrest warrant.

For his part, the Tlachinollan lawyer, Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, reported that through this meeting he was following up a dialogue path begun in December, with a view to solving the problem of political prisoners in the state, mainly those of CECOP. He stated that the government authorities have said that it will be resolved according to law and that the legal route will be that which is privileged.

A day earlier, Tlachinollan listed 8 reasons why it considers that the 16 CECOP prisoners should be granted freedom:

“• They were arbitrarily detained on January 7th, 2018 in a violent operation where the police murdered three CECOP campesinos.

  • On the way to the Prosecutor’s Office they were tortured and given cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to force them to plead guilty. • During their detention, they were held incommunicado for more than 48 hours, preventing their relatives and lawyers from being interviewed.
  • During their solitary confinement, the Public Ministry obtained evidence in an unlawful manner to indict them for homicide.
  • The weapons allegedly obtained by the police were obtained from illegal searches carried out at the houses of the CECOP community members.
  • The CECOP detainees were not at the scene when the confrontation took place between those who were killed on both sides. They were arrested in the place when they went to the Sunday Assembly of the CECOP.
  • There is an onslaught to dismantle the CECOP and the resistance against the La Parota hydroelectric project.
  • Gravel workers who irrationally exploit the gravel and sand of the Papagayo River have organized the villagers to confront CECOP.

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente en línea “Ni presa ni presos” (marzo de 2019)

Se reúne ONG con Héctor Astudillo para pedir la libertad de 16 miembros del Cecop (La Jornada de Guerrero, 6 de marzo de 2019)

Denuncian en Guerrero acoso de policías contra opositores a La Parota (LA Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2019)

Se reúne Astudillo con Tlachinollan, Cecop y Molppeg (Quadratin, 5 de marzo de 2019)
8 Razones para la libertad de los presos políticos del CECOP (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 4 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Liberan bajo fianza a dos integrantes de la CECOP (28 de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero/Internacional : Europarlamentarios y organizaciones internacionales expresan su preocupación por criminalización de integrantes de CECOP; marchan en Acapulco a favor de la liberación de sus presos (7 de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero : Siguen exigiendo la libertad de 19 presos detenidos por oponerse a la construcción de la Presa La Parota (1ero de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero: Piden la liberación de 19 presos políticos (10 de enero de 2019)

Guerrero: organizaciones nacionales e internacionales visitan a presos del CECOP y la CRAC-PC (6 de octubre de 2018)

Guerrero: 50 órdenes de aprehensión contra comuneros del CECOP (17 de septiembre de 2018)