Mexico/Guatemala: International Human Rights Observation Mission on Guatemala-Mexico Border

December 1, 2016

gm1“72” Refuge for Migrant Persons, Tenosique, Mexico. Photo@SIPAZ

An International Human Rights Observation Mission on the Guatemala-Mexico Border (MODH in its Spanish acronym) was held from November 10 to 16 to document and highlight the situation of systematic violations of human rights in the border region between Guatemala and Mexico.

The MODH was made up of 24 human rights defenders from countries such as Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, the United States and Canada, and more than 30 who accompanied them belonging to the member organizations of the Cross-border Migration and Gender Coordination Committee (MTMG in its Spanish acronym) on both the Mexican and Guatemalan sides [of the border].

The MODH divided along two routes, both beginning their journey in the City of Guatemala.

– Route one passed through: Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, La Mesilla and on the Mexican side to Comalapa Border, Tapachula, Suchiate, Acacoyagua, Mapastepec, Tonala and Arriaga.

– Route two passed through: Coban, Sayaxche, Santa Elena and on the Mexican side, Tenosique, Palenque, Salto de Agua and Ocosingo.

They travelled in vehicles to a total of 30 locations and 2,211 kilometers of the cross-border region. Both routes met on November 15 in San Cristobal de Las Casas where they shared their experiences and observations.

GM2.jpgPhoto@SIPAZ

The observers had the opportunity to listen to problems of more than 70 organizations and collectives as well as different ways of combating them. They interviewed approximately 1,600 people affected by dispossession, violence against migrants and refugees, and gender-based violence, including members of the Mam, Quiche, Q’anjobal, Kakchiquel, Tseltal, Tsotsil, Tojolabal, Zoque, Chol and mestizos. The MODH visited places that are directly affected by this violence, and were able to verify and document not only constant situations of injustice but also that, in spite of this, people are still fighting for life and dignity.

Among the observations of the MODH, are:

– Since 2012, the number of Central American people who are arriving at the Guatemala/Mexico border has seen a steady increase.

– The number of women migrants has risen, accounting for almost 20% of the migration phenomenon.

– Although migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are the majority, people from other countries, such as the Congo, are now being registered.

– As a consequence of the implementation of energy, mining, agro-industrial, tourism and infrastructure projects, an accelerated dispossession of territory is happening, due to forced displacement, alteration of ecosystems, pollution of agricultural soils and water sources, as well as damage to health, divisions and impacts on the livelihoods of campesino and indigenous communities.

– There is “a common pattern of criminalization, persecution and repression of migrant women and human rights and territory defenders that can lead to loss of liberty and even murder.”

– Even the MODH was watched and harassed in some places by security and intelligence agents in both countries.

– In general, a lack of access to justice for those affected and the prevalence of impunity in the case of those who dare to report can be seen.

– The testimonies revealed a deep crisis of human rights violations with multiple cases of threats, criminality, trafficking, disappearance, kidnapping, robbery, assault, torture, mass murder, rape and sexual abuse, femicide, and corruption, among others.

GM3.jpgNovember 16: The MODH presents its findings in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, where it also met with the “Caravan of Mothers of Disappeared Migrants.”

The MODH warned: “In most cases of human rights violations heard by the Mission, a direct responsibility of public authorities is identified, in collusion with organized crime and national and transnational corporations, which act through co-optation and corruption of the justice system, supported by the presence of private security companies and groups of armed civilians.”

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncian persecución a migrantes, mujeres y defensores en frontera sur (Desinformémonos, 21 de noviembre de 2016)

Patrón en la frontera sur, criminalización y persecución a mujeres, migrantes y defensores (Proceso, 17 de noviembre de 2016)

Comunicado final de la MODH (Voces mesoamericanas, a 16 de noviembre de 2016)

Plan Frontera Sur potencia deportaciones, acusan ONG (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2016)

Inicia Misión Internacional de Observación de Derechos Humanos en la Frontera Guatemala-México (MODH) (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de derechos Humanos, Todos los Derechos para Todos y Todas, a 10 de noviembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: anuncian Misión Internacional de Observación de Derechos Humanos en la frontera Guatemala-México (4 de noviembre de 2016)

 

 


Mexico: Mothers of Disappeared Migrants “Looking for Life on Roads of Death”

November 28, 2016

Mothers.jpgXII Mothers of Disappeared Migrants Caravan, Comitan de Dominguez, Chiapas, November, 2016. Photo@SIPAZ

On November 15, the XII Caravan of Central American Mothers entered Mexico to search for their missing children. The Caravan will pass through 11 states and 30 localities that the mothers who make up the twelfth caravan will tour from November 15 to December 3, 2016, called “We Look for Life on the Roads of Death” in memory of comrade Berta Caceres.

On November 15, delegations from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador met at La Mesilla border in the Guatemalan department of Huehuetenango to enter Mexican territory and cover part of the migratory route in search of traces of their children. The press release explains: “This year we have decided to move along new routes. The point of entry marks the beginning of a route that, although not new, has been growing since the plans for containment and detention of the Southern Border Plan, which has forced transit through the territory to blur increasing the risks and threats during the trip”.

Under the auspices of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement and supported by a large network of Mexican and international humanitarian organizations, the caravan seeks to make the absence of thousands of Central Americans who have been disappearing in Mexico for decades visible.

For more information in Spanish:

COMUNICADO: Caravana de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos 2016, Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 8 de noviembre de 2016

Ingresa a México caravana de madres migrantes, El Universal, 15 de noviembre de 2016

11 estados en 19 días: Así será el viaje de madres de migrantes desaparecidos por México, Animal Político, 12 de noviembre de 2016

Ingresa a México la Caravana de Madres de migrantes desaparecidos (Proceso, 15 de noviembre de 2016)

Ingresa a México la doceava Caravana de Madres Centroamericanas (La Jornada, 15 de noviembre de 2016)

Madres de desaparecidos en México y Centroamérica “hermanan” su dolor en Hemiciclo a Juárez (Proceso, 24 de noviembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/Nacional: Viacrucis del Migrante exige derecho de refugio para migrantes (31/03/2016)

Nacional/Internacional: WOLA presentó nuevo informe: “Siguen violaciones a Derechos Humanos de migrantes” (19 de noviembre de 2015)

México: 5 años de la masacre de 72 migrantes en San Fernando, Tamaulipas (26 de agosto de 2015)

Nacional/internacional: La CIDH expresa su preocupación ante el endurecimiento de las autoridades mexicanas hacia los migrantes y sus defensores en la frontera Sur (17 de junio de 2015)

Nacional: XI Caravana de Madres Migrantes Centroamericanas en busca de sus hijos está en camino por México (14/12/2015)


Chiapas: Threats to Simojovel Parishioners

November 17, 2016

puebloMarcelo Perez (Photo@ Red TdT)

On November 4, Simojovel Believing Peoples released a statement announcing the renewal of threats and attacks against the priest Marcelo Perez Perez.

“As community human rights defenders, we also affirm, if anything happens to any member of Believing Peoples, especially the threatened women and their children or our parish priest Marcelo Perez, those immediately responsible will be Ramiro Gomez Dominguez, Juan Gomez Dominguez And Cleopatra Flores del Carpio, in complicity with the State for protecting the Gomez Dominguez brothers,” they argue.

In the statement they say that on November 9, Gilberto Martinez Lara, 52, was kidnapped and found dead before midday.

They point out that on when Juan Gomez was released from prison on January 19 last, gunshots in the neighborhoods increased and “on November 4 and 5 Juan Gomez Dominguez was in Simojovel and five days after Juan Gómez’s visit, the kidnapping and murder of Gilberto Martínez Lara occurred.”

Furthermore, they specify that on November 2, around 12:30 pm, in the middle of the celebration of the mass in the municipal cemetery of Simojovel de Allende, members of the Believing Peoples who were there realized that three people were photographing and recording the priest and his companions.

“Based on this fact and feeling harassed, a member of Believing Peoples approached and questioned one of them saying why do they follow us and take pictures of us? (sic). This person responding nervously: ‘We provide protection on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office and the photographs are to verify our work.'”

“We do not know if these people really are from the government or are from organized crime; in view of the risk situation in which we live, we don’t trust suspicious actions and if these people were from the Attorney General’s Office, as we have said, they are responsible for the impunity, violence and the freedom of the Gomez Dominguez brothers,” they conclude.

For more information in Spanish:

Se reactivan ataques en contra del Pueblo Creyente y del padre Marcelo Pérez en Simojovel, Chiapas Denuncia, 11 de noviembre de 2016

Reviven amenazas contra el párroco Marcelo Pérez, El Heraldo de Chiapas, 12 de noviembre de 2016

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Realizaron marcha en Simojovel en respuesta a los ataques violentos de la semana pasada, 12 de mayo de 2016

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel rechaza diálogo con los hermanos Gómez (22 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel sigue en defensa por la “vida, paz, justicia, libertad y democracia” (13 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Gritos de libertad en el Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (23 de septiembre de 2015)


Chiapas: Commemoration of 20 Years of Crimes against Humanity in Northern Zone

November 10, 2016

Norte.jpgVictims’ relatives continue to seek justice 20 years later. Photo@SIPAZ

On October 22, victims’ relatives and survivors of the “counterinsurgency strategy operated in the northern zone of Chiapas” met in the community of Susuclumil, Tila municipality, to denounce “the lack of justice for crimes against humanity Committed by the paramilitary group Peace and Justice (Paz y Justicia), with the complicity and responsibility of the Mexican State.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) recalls in its press bulletin No. 21 that with the emergence of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), on January 1, 1994, violence increased in the northern zone. It explains that the Mexican State implemented a strategy of counterinsurgency war against the civilian population, through the Chiapas Campaign ’94 plan, with the objective of eliminating support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. From 1995 to 1999, paramilitary groups responsible for crimes against humanity were formed: “In the north of Chiapas, paramilitary groups such as the Peace and Justice Development Organization (Paz y Justicia) appeared, with the training and protection of different levels of government, and who between 1995 and 1999 systematically committed serious human rights violations. “

The CDHFBC recorded a total of “22 cases of serious human rights violations in the north, of which 37 were forced disappearances and 85 extrajudicial executions and more than 4,500 people were forcefully displaced, followed by arbitrary detention, torture, sexual torture, harassment, intimidation, destruction of property, among others, committed by the paramilitary group Peace and Justice.”

Victims’ relatives and survivors continue to denounce, “constant harassment, intimidation and persecution with unjust arrest warrants and subpoenas, with threats of fines, by the justice administration system in Chiapas.” They request that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) continue its monitoring and determine the responsibility of the Mexican State for human rights violations committed in the context of the Internal Armed Conflict.

For more information in Spanish:

Sucuclumil conmemoración de la memoria ( Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 21 de octubre de 2016)

Estado mexicano responsable de crímenes de lesa humanidad (Chiapas Denuncia, a 26 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Amenazas de muerte a defensor comunitario (23 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Conmemoración por las y los asesinados y desaparecidos durante conflicto en la zona baja de Tila (22 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Evento “Corazón de memoria, sembrando en nuestro territorio” en Masoja Shucjá, Tila (03 de noviembre de 2014)


Chiapas: Banavil Displaced Families Announce Provisional Return to their Community for Day of the Dead.

November 2, 2016

banavilProvisional return of displaced Banavil families at their homes. Photo@SIPAZ

On October 28, the families displaced from Banavil provisionally returned to their lands in the framework of the Day of the Dead. In a statement, they reported that “our customs, as we were taught by our grandmothers and grandfathers, is to remember and bring to mind our dead, such as Antonia Lopez Mendez, who died in the forced displacement, and her little sisters Petrona and Maria, surnamed Lopez Mendez, who are buried in the lands of their grandfather Alonso Lopez Luna, forcibly disappeared by PRI supporters from the same location of Banavil since December 4, 2011.”

In the same statement, they again demanded that the Mexican government have an investigation into the forced disappearance of Alonso López Luna. They denounced that “so far the Mexican state has not done investigations, nor has it asked or questioned Mr. Alonso Lopez Ramirez, who is being held at the State Center for Social Reinsertion No. 5, the alleged perpetrator” of that enforced disappearance.

They concluded their statement by saying they sympathized “with the families of the north of Masojá Shucjá, the massacre of Viejo Velasco and families of the martyrs of Acteal, still unpunished, like our family they also seek truth and justice” and demanding “the presentation with life of our 43 student compañeros from the normal rural [school] of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.”

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas: Familias desplazadas de Banavil anuncian retorno provisional a su comunidad (Pozol, a 28 de octubre de 2016)

Desplazados retornan de manera provisional (Cuatro poder, a 30 de octobre de 2016)

Documental “Justicia, verdad y retorno para las familias desplazadas de Banavil “ (YouTube, 17 abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Inauguración de exposición fotográfica de familias desplazadas de Banavil ( a 8 de julio de 2016)

Chiapas: Desplazados y desplazadas de Banavil, 4 años de impunidad (9 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Retorno provisional de las familias desplazadas de Banavil para Día de MuertosTumba de Antonia López Méndez (9 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil retornan temporalmente a su comunidad (12 de agosto de 2015)

 

 


Guerrero: Former Chief of Police of Iguala, Fugitive after Disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa Students, Arrested

November 1, 2016

Iguala.pngFelipe Flores Velazquez, former chief of police of Iguala, implicated in the disappearance of the 43 students. Photo@ La Jornada

On October 21, Felipe Flores Velazquez, former chief of police of Iguala, fugitive after the disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa in September 2014, was arrested. It was in Iguala that elements of the Federal, marine and military police tracked him down and arrested him. The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) had announced a reward of two and a half million pesos to anyone who provided information leading to the location, arrest or detention of Flores. The former police chief is accused of organized crime, kidnapping student teachers and covering up the municipal police officers involved in the disappearance of students.

According to statements from one of those detained for the Ayotzinapa case, Felipe Flores along with the deputy police chief of Cocula, Cesar Nava Gonzalez, were the ones who handed over the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa to members of Guerreros Unidos on night September 26, under orders from Jose Luis Abarca, the former mayor of Iguala.

According to Animal Politico, the PGR considers his capture as key to the outcome of investigations into the Ayotzinapa case.

For more information in Spanish:

Detienen al ex jefe policial de Iguala, clave en la desaparición de los 43 normalistas (Animal político, a 21 de octubre de 2016)

Abren juicio contra Felipe Flores, el ex jefe policial de Iguala, clave en el caso Ayotzinapa (Animal político, a 26 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Actualización “caso Iguala” – siguen desaparecidas 43 personas (a 3 de octubre de 2014)

 

 


Chiapas: Statement from Las Abejas on the Monthly Anniversary of the Acteal Massacre

October 25, 2016

abejas.png

On October 22, to mark the monthly anniversary of the Acteal Massacre (1997), Las Abejas Civil Society released a statement in which they recalled key dates in October: October 2, 1968, the day of a “government crime recorded in the memory of the people,” even while the current government continues “to commit other crimes against young students such as the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa”; and October 12, 1492, “what was the beginning of the pillage of the resources of our continent, a pillage that has not ended. This is what we saw just eight days ago when we were present at the Fifth National Indigenous Congress (CNI) where an endless [list of] testimonies of grievances and dispossessions from a range of peoples throughout Mexico, from Sonora to the Yucatan Peninsula the lands of campesinos have been invaded, to be exploited and destroyed by transnational companies, while the real owners are imprisoned, killed or disappeared “. Las Abejas said that, “a thing that gives us great sadness and indignation is to see that this pillage that foreigners did in the past is now carried out by the same governments that claim to represent Mexicans.”

On this same date, Las Abejas also launched an invitation issued to commemorate the nineteenth anniversary of the Acteal Massacre framework in which they will hold a meeting to be held on December 21 and 22 this year in Acteal, Chenalho municipality.

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado « En este mes de octubre nos reunimos en esta Tierra Sagrada de Acteal para recordar una vez más lo que no puede ser olvidado, el asesinato impune de nuestros hermanos y hermanas el 22 de diciembre de 1997 » (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de octubre de 2016)

Convocatoria a XIX Aniversario de la Masacre de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, octubre de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas : niegan amparo e indemnización a acusados liberados de la masacre de Acteal (9 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal se solidarizan con la lucha del magisterio (29 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas: Solicitan Las Abejas de Acteal acopio para familias desplazadas (9 de junio de 2016)