Nation: Program of Comprehensive Attention of Victims, 2014-2018

August 17, 2015

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The Executive Commission of Attention to Victims published the Program of Attention to VIctims 2014-2018 in the Official Diary of the Mexican Republic on July 16th. The general goal of this program is to establish and coordinate the actions and necessary measures to protect, respect, promote, guarantee, and allow the effective exercise of rights for victims of crime and human-rights violations. The document focuses on five specific objectives: strengthening the coordination of the parts involved in the National System of Attention to Victims in order to reach its adequate functioning; assuring the victims of the effective access to services and measures of assistance, protection, and attention; the consolidation of a culture of respect for human rights among the public servants who are responsible for assisting victims; to guarantee victims access to measures of attention with a specific focus as well as emphasis on conditions of vulnerability; and the generation of measures of prevention, attention, assistance, and reparations for victims of specific crimes and human-rights violations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Publican Programa de Atención Integral a Víctimas 2014-2018 (Rotativo, 16 de julio de 2015)

Se publica el Programa de Atención Integral a Víctimas 2014-18 (El Financiero, 16 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Entrance into law of General Law for Attention to Victims (15 January 2013)


Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society denounce impunity once again 

August 17, 2015

2015-07-22 13.30.11

Victims of the massacre @SIPAZ

On June 22nd, the day for the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997) in which 45 people were murdered, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal denounced impunity for the massacre as well for the murder of its member Manual López Pérez. Their communiqué stressed that “The authorities of bad government, “the Prosecutorial Office of Indigenous Justice, ” “the Agrarian Tribunal,” and the municipal president and judge of Pantelhó, had been informed that their comrade Manuel was risking his life, as his own son, Alonso López Guzman, had threatened to kill him on several ocassions.

The June murder has been connected to the lack of justice that still prevails since the massacre of 1997. “Almost 18 years after the atrocity, the Mexican State, instead of assuring the non-repetition of Acteal or reprisal murders of a member of our organization, is based fundamentally on impunity, which is bought through the misnamed Supreme Court for Justice (SCJN) in the Nation, a court of criminals and rich people that allowed that crime against us. The so-called Supreme Court liberated the paramilitary group that performed the massacre of Acteal. Their message is that killing innocent people is not punished but on the contrary is rewarded with money, houses, and land.”

For more information (in Spanish):

a un mes del asesinato de muestro compañero Manuel, sigue impune (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: A member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes (24 April 2015)


Chiapas: Organizations and collectives pronounce themselves against the commodification and objectification of women in print

August 17, 2015

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Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas A.C.

In a public letter to the director of the General Director of the Diario of Chiapas, Gerardo Toledo Coutiño, several collectives and human-rights organizations denounced the objectification and commodification of women in the media. The specific reason for this declaration was the publication of an image of a woman who had been raped and murdered in the common land of Las Champas, Comalapa border region. The authors stressed that murders of women are not simple criminal acts but a form of specific violence against women, this being the a product of a patriarchal, sexist society. The letter stated that “discourse and images produce and feed a common imaginary about women that needs to be treated with sensitivity in order to avoid reaffirming wrong values or strengthening discrimination against and mercantilization of women […]. To inform about femicides by using images of semi-naked bodies that are terribly degrading represents a form of violence against women and girls.”

The Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas denounced this publication and similar other ones, indicating the moral obligation of the media to protect the rights of male and female citizens as well as to abide by national and international laws on women’s rights. For this reason, the group demanded that Gerardo Toledo follow up its legal request and “change the gender perspective in the police report section of the media whenever women are victims of femicide, or any other kind of violence, as well as eliminate images of semi-naked bodies or dead bodies, since these images contribute neither to freedom of expression nor to the free exercise of journalism but on the contrary only represent violence and sensationalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Organizaciones y Colectivos se pronuncian contra la cosificación y la objetivación de las mujeres en medio impreso (Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, 17 de julio de 2015)


Guerrero: Relatives of disappeared students from Ayotzinapa meet with PGR for first time in 4 months

July 22, 2015

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March in Chilpancingo, February 2015

Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 9 July, the relatives of the 43 forcibly disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, together with their representatives, met with the Federal Attorney General, Arely Gómez. This was the first meeting since the time when Gómez was ratified in this position, and after four months of a breakdown in communication between the relatives and the authorities. The meeting was organized and accompanied by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), which in a press release mentions that “the Group believes that this meeting is an important step to advance in the investigation and improve the relationship with the relatives, and we believe that the result was fruitful.” In the meeting, the Attorney General and the relatives of the students made reference to the importance of the GIEI’s work in terms of the investigation, and they agreed to follow-up mechanisms and for dialogue with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

The lawyer from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, Vidulfo Rosales, reported that the head of the PGR did not pronounce herself about the “historical truth” established by the previous Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam, but rather only indicated that the case continues to be open. The third report from GIEI, published in May 2015, confirmed that the fate of the 43 students victimized by forcible disapeparance cannot be considered resolved in any sense, considering the version and evidence offered by the PGR: firstly, because there exist allegations of torture on the part of some of these persons whose declarations are based on their understanding of the case, and secondly, because there is no solid motive that would explain the beginning of the line advanced by the federal authorities.

It bears mentioning that the GIEI is comprised of 5 international and independent experts who operate under the precautionary measures awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa. The GIEI will be releasing a series of recommendations to the Mexican State regarding the case and the situation of forced disappearance in Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa GIEI (9 de julio de 2015)

Nuevas líneas de investigación para Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 10 de julio de 2015)

Tercer boletín GIEI (11 de mayo 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express taht they will not be silenced (2 de julio de 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (3 May 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and a crime against humanity (10 April 2015)


Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement

July 21, 2015

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@RostrosDelDespojo

On 4 July, the Tseltal families from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, completed 3 years and 7 months “since the armed aggression that took place on 4 December 2011,” which left several families displaced, and Alonso Lopéz Luna disappeared.

The families share that, to date, “the government has done nothing. To date, we continue displaced, and we have not been able to return to our lands where our homes are, and we continue living in inhuman conditions.” Further, “the Mexican State is protecting the PRI members who displaced us from Banavil and disappeared our father Alonso Lopez Luna.

In light of this failure of justice, the families have convened to ‘demand justice, truth, and peace for those other indigenous peoples who have been forcibly disappeared in Chiapas, particularly in the cases of Primero de Agosto, Las Margaritas.” They also expressed their solidarity with Manuel López Pérez, the member from the Las Abejas Civil Society who was killed on 23 June, as well as with the Simojovel municipality amidst the “high-risk situation and […] the threats against our brothers from the Believing People and the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez.”

The displaced closed their denunciation by noting that “this is what is happening in our communities in other communities and municipalities of Chiapas, because in Chiapas there is no justice. The law is made only for the rich against the poor.” They hold the three levels of the Mexican government repsonsible “for our forcible displacement and the forcible disappearance of Alonso Lopez Luna.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias tzeltales de Banavil cumplen 3 años y 7 meses en desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa (8 March 2015)

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (16 December 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from Banavil continue demanding justice (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from and announcement of action on part of the displaced from Banavil and the Aurora Ermita ejido (10 April 2014)


National/International: Army and security forces involved in extrajudicial executions, torture, and forcible disappearances: US State Department

July 21, 2015

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The U.S. State Department has released its annual report on the human-rights situation in Mexico. It indicated that, in 2014, the Mexican Army and security forces were involved in forcible disappearances and murder, as in the cases of the 43 disappeared youth from Ayotzinapa and the 22 civilians killed in Tlatlaya. In this sense, the report notes that “significant problems related to human rights include the police and military due to their involvement in serious abuses, such as extrajudicial murders, torture, forcible disappearances, and physical abuse.” Furthermore, the report shared the conclusions come to by Juan Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, who denounced that these crimes are the consequence of the various irregularities that exist within the Mexican judicial system. “Impunity and corruption continue to be serious problems, particularly at the state and local levels, in the armed forces, and the judiciary,” the report notes. With reference to organized crime, it mentions that “organized-crime groups are also responsible for numerous murders, frequently acting with impunity and in alliance with corrupt state, local, and federal security officials.”

With respect to the Tlatlaya case in Mexico State, which took place on 30 June 2014, the report reviewed the confrontation between civilians and soldiers in which “22 individuals were killed under suspicious circumstances, some of them after having surrendered.” With regard to the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, the report sustained the conclusions which the Federal Attorney General’s Office had come to, maintaining the charges against the mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife, who were directly accused of responsibility for the disappearance of the students.

Beyond this, State highlighted other serious human-rights problems in Mexico, including the lamentable conditions in prisons and arbitrary arrests. In addition, the State report mentioned the death-threats and violence directed against human-rights defenders and journalists, abuse against migrants, domestic violence, human trafficking, abuse against people with disabilities, social and economic discrimination against the indigenous population, the exploitation of child labor, and attacks and threats against the gay community.

It should be mentioned that the conclusions of the report will serve as evidence for the U.S. Congress to consider when reviewing the amount of economic assistance to be granted next year to Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos en materia de Derechos Humanos 2014, versión en inglés: Mexico 2014 Human Rights Report

Ejército y fuerzas de seguridad de México, involucradas en asesinatos y desaparición de personas: EU (Proceso, 25 de junio de 2015)

Unilateral informe de EU sobre derechos humanos, responde Gobierno de México (Aristegui Noticias, 27 de junio de 2015)

Impunidad y corrupción son “problemas serios” en México, advierte EU(CNN México, 25 de junio de 2015)


National/International: WOLA requests that U.S. suspends the Mérida Initiative

July 21, 2015

WOLA

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), together with another seven human-rights Mexican and U.S. organizations, has requested that the U.S. government arrest the resources earmarked for the Mérida Initiative, due to the fact that the Mexican State has not observed its requirements in terms of human rights. In 008, when the Initiative began, the U.S. Congress made the resources destined for Mexican security forces conditional on significant advances in the realm of human rights. “To detain these resources would signify a very clear message that the U.S. condemns the grave human-rights violations seen in Mexico,” explained Maureen Meyer, the primary coordinator of WOLA in Mexico. In their report, the organizations indicated that, according to their investigations and data, in addition to the findings made by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, Mexico has not progressed in this sense. “In general, to provide Mexican security forces with more training and equipment while corruption and abuses go on unchecked does not contribute to security in the country, but instead continues exacerbating an already grave human-rights situation,” notes the memo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden a EU retener fondos a México por derechos humanos (LaJornada, 9 de julio de 2015)

El memorándum completo (WOLA.org, 9 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/US: 15% of the funds of the Mérida Initiative may be tied conditionally for human-rights concerns (18 May 2012)


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