Guerrero: The PGR Denies Concealing Information from the IGIE in Ayotzinapa Case

January 28, 2017

ayotziRelatives continue to demand justice, Photo@: Ronaldo Schemidt

Alfredo Higuera Bernal, head of the investigation office of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR in its Spanish acronym) in the Iguala case, denied concealing information from the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) and the relatives of the 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa in 2014 in an interview with La Jornada.

 One of IGIE’s hypotheses to explain the attack on the students was that they took buses used by an organized crime cartel, Guerreros Unidos, to smuggle drugs into the United States. According to La Jornada, the PGR was aware of the use of buses by the cartel for its trafficking. Two months before the disappearance of the 43, in July 2014, the Army and the PGR detained Gonzalo Martin Souza Neves and Jose Bahena Salgado, members of Guerreros Unidos, in possession of about 250,000 dollars in cash, three vehicles and 24 kilos of heroin. On the day of the arrest, the Ministry of the Interior reported through bulletin 351/14 that Gonzalo Martin Souza Neves had “taken control of the criminal group […] and was in charge of drug trafficking through hidden compartments in various vehicles, mainly in passenger buses (sic).”

However, when the IGIE requested information from the PGR to investigate its hypothesis, the PGR never provided it with background information related to the trafficking of heroin in passenger buses. According to La Jornada, in response to a request for information on Guerreros Unidos, the PGR indicated that it only found “data according to which the criminal group was formed in 2011 by members of the Familia Michoacana and the Beltran Leyva”, without mentioning the arrest of July 2014. Similarly, on presenting its final report on the Ayotzinapa case – known as the white paper – in June 2016, the PGR stated that “so far no evidence has been found that sustains” the IGIE hypothesis.

Failure to mention this information to either the parents or the IGIE could indicate that there has been no good faith on the part of the PGR according to La Jornada, and it is even more serious because it is information of special relevance. Alfredo Higuera Bernal did not confirm the accusations of concealment and assured that “that line of investigation was one of the main approaches that the IGIE took and has been the subject of treatment in the talks that we have with the representatives of the parents.”

Despite the difficulties encountered in the investigation to find their children, the parents of the missing continue their search and their demand for justice and truth. Six months after suspending dialogue with the government, they declared that next February 9 they will meet with the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), Raul Cervantes Andrade, and a member of the Follow-up Commission of the Iguala Case of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which acts as a mediator between the parties to arrive at a new negotiating table. The parents will present their demands, including legal action against Tomas Zeron, exercise of criminal action against the Huitzuco municipal police and two agents of the Federal Police, for participating in the disappearance of the student teachers.

For more information in Spanish:

Padres de los 43 y PGR reanudarán diálogo en febrero (La Jornada, 26 de enero de 2017)

Rechaza Alfredo Higuera que haya habido ocultamiento en el caso Iguala (La Jornada, 24 de enero de 2017)

PGR ocultó el trasiego de droga en autobuses (La Jornada, 23 de enero de 2017)

PGR ocultó datos sobre trasiego de drogas en caso Iguala (UniRadioInforma, 23 de enero de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/México: GIEI concluye su trabajo México entregando un segundo informe (28 de abril de 2016)

Guerrero: Grupo de Expertos sobre caso Ayotzinapa presenta su informe a 6 meses (7 de septiembre de 2015)

Guerrero: Familiares de estudiantes desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa se reunen con PGR por primera vez en 4 meses (16 de julio de 2015)

 


Guerrero: NCHR and OHCHR on Joint Mission in the State

December 16, 2016

HR.pngMembers of the NCHR and OHCHR (Photo@Tlachinollan)

On December 6 and 7, the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Mexico carried out a joint mission in the state of Guerrero during which they held various meetings with victims, human rights defenders and authorities. At the end of that mission, both institutions reaffirmed their concern about “the state of insecurity in the State, impunity in cases of human rights violations, particularly disappearances, lack of access to justice, threats against human rights defenders, and forced internal displacement.” They reiterated “the need to address the situation in the state of Guerrero in a comprehensive manner so that proposed security solutions also address the problem of access to justice.”

The NCHR and OHCHR agreed that to reduce levels of violence impunity must end. In this context, both institutions reiterated their concern about the lack of human and material resources available to the Attorney General’s Office and other institutions to deal with the worrying human rights situation in the state. They stated that, “it is necessary that the three branches of the State, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary, be actively and effectively involved, especially in the area of justice.”

At the closing session of the mission, both institutions sent a message of solidarity to families and victims of human rights violations and reaffirmed their readiness to support them in their search for truth, justice and reparation. They also expressed their permanent willingness to technically assist the state of Guerrero in the field of human rights.

For more information in Spanish:

Termina misión conjunta de CNDH y ONU-DH México al estado de Guerrero (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, a 8 de diciembre de 2016)

ONU-DH y CNDH instan a atender derechos humanos en Guerrero ( La Jornada, a 7 de diciembre de 2016)

Termina misión conjunta de CNDH y ONU-DH México al estado de Guerrero ( Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, a 7 de diciembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas/Mexico: CNI and EZLN Denounce Attacks during the Indigenous Consultation

December 14, 2016

CNI.pngPhoto@SIPAZ

Members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) denounced in a communiqué on December 2 numerous acts of aggression and harassment of participants in their fifth Congress during the consultation they have been conducting. “The fear of the powerful, the extractive companies, the military, the narco-paramilitaries is such that our consultation is being attacked and harassed where our peoples are gathering to discuss and decide the steps to follow as the CNI “.

 They specifically denounced:

 “-In the Nahua indigenous community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán, the narco-paramilitary harassment by the Templar Knights cartel has intensified, and through a paper signed on November 19, 2016, the same date on which a regional assembly discussed on the Michoacan coast the resolutions of the first stage of the V CNI, they threatened to do a “clean up” of those who participate in demonstrations together with the community police commanders.

 – That compañeros who, by agreement of the assembly of the V CNI in October 2016, have moved through different geographies of the country where the original peoples have wanted to dialogue with delegates of other peoples regarding our political proposal, have been victims of aggression and harassment by criminal gangs or by unknown persons, such as the burning of homes in their places of origin, or attacks on other vehicles to try to remove them from the roads where they need to travel.

 – That while foreign companies intend to seize 12 oil wells in the northern Zoque territory of Chiapas, on November 23, 2016, a group of armed men pretending to be government teachers and with the consent of the Undersecretary of Federated Education of Chiapas, Eduardo Campos Martinez and the chief, Delfino Alegria Garcia, abducted a group of indigenous teachers from the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) in the northern area of Chiapas, and attacked them with high-powered weapons. Outside the office of the Secretary of Education in the municipality of Ixtacomitán, Chiapas. The attack resulted in the loss of life of Professor Zoque Roberto Diaz Aguilar, originally from Chapultenango, Chiapas and three other people were injured.

 – That the teacher Irineo Salmerón Dircio, Coordinator of the House of Justice in San Luis Acatlan and member of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC-PC) was abducted – disappeared by an armed group in the municipality of Tixtla, Guerrero; and two days later his dead body was found in the municipality of Chilapa, Guerrero, a few days after in that same municipality at least 15 communities of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata held an assembly as part of the consultation in which we are participating.”

 For more information in Spanish:

 EZLN denuncia agresiones durante consulta indígena, La Jornada, 2 de diciembre de 2016

A pesar de agresiones contra pueblos indígenas la consulta va, anuncian EZLN y CNI, Radio Formula, 2 de diciembre de 2016

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional : Nuevo comunicado del EZLN aclara propuesta conjunta con el CNI (25/11/2016)

Chiapas/Nacional : Candidata presidencial “no es decisión de una persona” (Subcomandante Moíses) (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas /Nacional: Polémica después de la propuesta planteada por el EZLN y el CNI en octubre (24 de octubre de 2016)

Chiapas / Nacional : CNI y EZLN realizarán consulta para nombrar a una candidata indígena hacia las elecciones presidenciales de 2018 (15 de octubre de 2016)

 


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)