Oaxaca/International: WOAT Warns about State Inaction in Disappearance Case of Ernesto Sernas Garcia

October 17, 2019

Ernesto@Zona Roja

On October 10th, 17 months after the forced disappearance of Dr. Ernesto Sernas Garcia, the World Organization Against Torture (WOAT) published a video in which it denounced the inaction of the Mexican State in the case. Miguel Martin Zumalacarregui, Director of the WOAT in Brussels, Belgium, called on the federal authorities to “take action on the matter,” as well as to initiate an effective search to find Sernas Garcia’s whereabouts and he be presented alive. It also reiterated its support for those who make up the Sol Rojo (Red Sun) organization.

“It has been 500 days, 500 days in what has been an important mobilization by human rights organizations in Oaxaca, Mexico and internationally, 500 days in which it has been achieved that the United Nations Rapporteur show her concern with on the subject, 500 days in which the Mexican authorities have not taken action on the matter,” it said.

It should be remembered that, according to the Front Line Defender organization, on May 10th, 2018, the lawyer and university professor Dr. Ernesto Sernas Garcia disappeared in San Agustin de las Juntas, Oaxaca. His disappearance “coincided with a crucial moment of a criminal process in which he legally represented 23 defenders, whose detention in 2015 was declared arbitrary by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in its Opinion 17/2016. The case is being followed by the UN Committee against Enforced Disappearances and four members of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances condemned the lack of significant progress in the investigation.”

For more information in Spanish:

Dr. Sernas Presentación con vida (OMCT, 10 de octubre de 2019)

Denuncia OMCT inacción del Estado para iniciar búsqueda efectiva de Ernesto Sernas (El Universal, 11 de octubre de 2019)

Organización Mundial contra la Tortura exige aparición con vida de Ernesto Sernas (Zona Roja, 12 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca/Internacional: A un año de su desaparición, no hay avances en la desaparición del defensor de derechos humanos Ernesto Sernas García (May 16, 2019)

Oaxaca: 22 Members of Sol Rojo (Red Sun) Released (November 14, 2018)

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Guerrero: Disappearance of Activist in Tlapa de Comonfort Reported. Member of Regional Council of Agrarian Authorities in Malinaltepec

October 17, 2019

GuerreroPhoto @ Tlachinollan

In the afternoon of October 11th, a member of the Popular Front of La Montaña (FPM in its Spanish acronym) and the Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPEG in its Spanish acronym), Arnulfo Ceron Soriano, was reported missing in Tlapa de Comonfort.

According to a public complaint from the La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, relatives reported that the last information they had about him was when Ceron Soriano “left his home to go to talk at a recovery center for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), located in the Caltitlan neighborhood Tlapa de Comonfort city, Guerrero, where he never arrived.”

On October 12th, the van in which “the activist Ceron Soriano was traveling in the Magisterio neighborhood was found abandoned, even with the keys in it, without any further indication of him. Due to these facts, a complaint was lodged with the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Enforced Disappearance and Search for Missing Persons in the city of Chilpancingo, Guerrero, to which the investigation file number 12022510400165121019 was assigned.”

According to different newspapers 11 social organizations have stressed “that Cerón Soriano accused the mayor of Tlapa of having threatened him because of the defense he made so that street traders were not evicted.”

On October 13th, social and family organizations “took over the town hall of Tlapa to demand the mayor’s presentation of the indigenous leader and demanded that the Ministerial Police, the State, the National Guard begin an operation” to find the missing activist.

For its part, the State of Guerrero Human Rights Commission (CDHEG in its Spanish acronym), urged the corresponding agencies of the state and federal government, to speed up investigations.

During the same weekend, on Friday, Isaias “N”, president of the Commissariat of Paraje Montero Communal Assets, in the municipality of Malinaltepec, was killed, El Sol de Acapulco reported. The victim “had attended meetings in the morning that Friday and in the afternoon on his return he was murdered near the police station.” He was “member of the Regional Council of Agricultural Authorities in Defense of the Territory (CRAADT in its Spanish acronym), which opposes the mining exploitation of the region.”

For more information in Spanish:

ACCIÓN URGENTE: DESAPARECEN AL LUCHADOR SOCIAL DE LA MONTAÑA: ARNULFO CERÓN SORIANO (Tlachinollan, 13 de octubre de 2019)

Exhorta la CDHEG agilizar investigaciones por desaparición de Arnulfo Cerón Soriano (El Sol de Acapulco, 13 de octubre de 2019)

Un defensor de la montaña de Guerrero es asesinado y otro es reportado desaparecido el fin de semana (Sin Embargo, 14 de octubre de 2019)

Identifican a tres hombres asesinados en distintos hechos (El Sol de Acapulco, 14 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Declaran libres de minería los municipios de Malinaltepec y San Luis Acatlán. (October 8, 2019)

Guerrero: Denuncian una “campaña de desprestigio” en contra de una abogada de Tlachinollan y una reportera del El Sur de Acapulco (11 de julio de 2019)


National: Parents of 43 Ayotzinapa Student Teachers March in Mexico City, Numerous Protests Mark Fifth Anniversary of Disappearance

October 7, 2019

Ayotzi@sopitas.com

On the fifth anniversary of the disappearance of their children, parents of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014, held a peaceful demonstration in Mexico City and demanded results in the investigation of the case from the Mexican government. This same day they also spoke in the Chamber of Deputies, where they told their personal experiences, and highlighted the irregularities and the failure of government investigations and actions so far.

Cruz Mendoza, one of the parents, said: “This government that we have right now, I believe it is willing, although until now there have just been words and more words, because the case has not progressed much, as we would like it to. We will continue in this fight, walking, as for five years, that have been of suffering, tormented. It’s five years I don’t want to remember, I feel like it’s the first day. We don’t know anything about our children, where they are, what happened to them.”

Demonstrations were also held in other parts of the country. In Chiapas, students from the Jacinto Canek and Mactumatza schools held a march of around 500 people in Tuxtla Gutierrez. In Oaxaca, student teachers also demonstrated, while the Institute of Graphic Arts of Oaxaca (IAGO in its Spanish acronym) organized an exhibition of kites made by Francisco Toledo, in memory of the 43 victims.

In the activities in Mexico City, around one hundred people committed acts of vandalism, which damaged 30 businesses and public offices, and left two injured police officers. The parents of the 43 distanced themselves from these actions, emphasizing that they were the work of only a fraction of the more than 5,000 people who participated in the demonstrations in this City.

For his part, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) wore a shirt that the parents of the 43 gave him on the day, as an expression of his support. He reiterated his government’s commitment to establishing the truth about what happened.

For more information in Spanish:

‘Vamos a seguir en esta lucha, caminando, como desde hace 5 años’: padres de normalistas en marcha en CDMX Animal Político, 26 de septiembre de 2019.

Marchan en Oaxaca y Chiapas a cinco años de caso Ayotzinapa Milenio, 26 de septiembre de 2019.

Padres de desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa hablan en la Cámara de Diputados E-consulta.com Oaxaca, 26 de septiembre de 2019.

Dañaron 30 inmuebles y lesionaron a dos policías en marcha de Ayotzinapa Milenio, 26 de septiembre de 2019.

En la mañanera, AMLO usa playera alusiva a Ayotzinapa Milenio, 26 de septiembre de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Attorney General Will Investigate Ayotzinapa Case “Almost from Scratch” (September 25, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Reactions to Liberation of 24 Involved in Ayotzinapa Case (September 23, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Relatives of the 43 Student Teachers Disappeared in Iguala in 2014 Meet AMLO (September 23, 2019)

Guerrero: New Stage in Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case – Creation of Special Investigation Unit with Omar Gomez Trejo as Head (July 8, 2019)

National/Guerrero: VIDEO of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case Belies “Historic Truth” (June 27, 2019)

Guerrero: Attorney General and SEDENA Denounced for Lack of Interest in Solving Ayotzinapa Case (May 17, 2019)

Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case (March 15, 2019)

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: Attorney General Will Investigate Ayotzinapa Case “Almost from Scratch”

September 25, 2019

Ayotzi

On September 18th, Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer for the relatives of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School who disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero in September 2014, reported that after a meeting with the attorney general, Alejandro Gertz Manero, he agreed to restart the investigations “almost, almost from scratch” while recognizing “the irregularities that were committed.”

After the meeting in which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) participated as an honorary witness, the member of the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center announced that it seeks to have “a solid base” and that, in December, a first evaluation will be made of the new inquiries. He added that Gertz Manero offered that all mechanisms would be sought to prevent the continued release of more accused persons in relation to the events.

“We have the route from here to December, we must have clear advances in the lines of investigation that we have pointed out, there must be people held responsible for the irregularities, indications of where the students are must be strengthened, who, as long as we do not have scientific and irrefutable evidence, are still being looked for alive,” the lawyer said.

For his part, and upon leaving the meeting in the national palace, the Special Prosecutor of the Ayotzinapa Case Unit, Omar Gomez Trejo, said that “many officials who have been acting in the different areas of responsibility” are being investigated. He added that “we are carrying out nine searches in different places” and will soon undertake two more. He stressed that “the main commitment is to make an independent, objective, clear investigation that breaks that narrative that has been created in the previous years.”

Upon leaving the meeting, on behalf of the fathers and mothers of the 43 student teachers, Cristina Bautista, stressed that these commitments generate “faith and hope” as “a step forward to continue with the investigations.” She clarified, however, that “trust in officials will be built as the investigation progresses.”

For more information in Spanish:

Reiniciarán “desde cero” investigaciones del caso Ayotzinapa, acuerdan padres de los 43 y FGR (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de septiembre de 2019)

FGR y familiares de los 43 de Ayotzinapa acuerdan reuniones trimestrales (Proceso, 18 de septiembre de 2019)

FGR ofrece a padres reconstruir investigaciones por desaparición de normalistas de Ayotzinapa (Animal Político, 18 de septiembre de 2019)

Ayotzinapa, cinco años (Ayotzinapa, 18 de septiembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/National: Reactions to Liberation of 24 Involved in Ayotzinapa Case (September 23, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Relatives of the 43 Student Teachers Disappeared in Iguala in 2014 Meet AMLO (September 23, 2019)

Guerrero: New Stage in Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case – Creation of Special Investigation Unit with Omar Gomez Trejo as Head (July 8, 2019)

National/Guerrero: VIDEO of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case Belies “Historic Truth” (June 27, 2019)

Guerrero: Attorney General and SEDENA Denounced for Lack of Interest in Solving Ayotzinapa Case (May 17, 2019)

Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case (March 15, 2019)

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: Reactions to Liberation of 24 Involved in Ayotzinapa Case

September 23, 2019

Ayotzi

On September 15th, a few days before the fifth anniversary of the forced disappearance of 43 students from the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, in Iguala, Guerrero, the undersecretary of Human Rights of the Interior, Alejandro Encinas, reported that a judge granted the freedom to 24 accused for their alleged participation in the events. He added that there are already 77 people released, of the 142 who had been arrested in the case, and that there are only 65 people detained in relation to it. He left open the possibility that there could still be more releases. He considered that this constitutes a “serious precedent” and an “affront to the victims, to the parents and a mockery of justice”; He said that “it shows the misery, the rot in which the justice system in the country finds itself.” “The Attorney General’s Office (FGR) must endorse responsibilities to the ex-judge Jesus Murillo Karam, as well as Tomas Zeron de Lucio – formerly in charge of the Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA) ”, Encinas, who heads the Commission for the Truth and Access to Justice in the Ayotzinapa case, also stated. The day before, the Prosecutor’s Office of Ayotzinapa, attached to the FGR, announced that it will “present all the resources” against the officials who “have failed to fulfill their functions” since the beginning of the case.

The next day, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) also regretted these releases and reiterated the “need for all criminal proceedings initiated to be strengthened” following the recommendation 15VG / 2018 issued by this body in November 2018, which “has not yet been seen to or fulfilled.” “It is urgent that the current Prosecutor General of the Republic (FGR in its Spanish acronym) acts to remedy such situations, strengthening, redirecting or initiating new criminal proceedings, duly supported, that allow the re-apprehension of those who were responsible that had been released,” he said.

For more information in Spanish:

Lamenta CNDH liberación de 24 inculpados en caso Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 17 de septiembre de 2019)

Liberan a otros 24 inculpados en la desaparición de normalistas (CNN en México, 16 de septiembre de 2019)

Preocupa liberación de inculpados a 5 años del caso Ayotzinapa: Melitón Ortega (MVS Noticias, 16 de septiembre de 2019)

Quedaron libres otros 24 inculpados por el caso Ayotzinapa: Encinas (Animal Político, 15 de septiembre de 2019)

Liberan a 24 personas más ligadas al caso Ayotzinapa; quedan sólo 65 detenidos de 142 (Proceso, 15 de septiembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/National: Relatives of the 43 Student Teachers Disappeared in Iguala in 2014 Meet AMLO (September 23, 2019)

Guerrero: New Stage in Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case – Creation of Special Investigation Unit with Omar Gomez Trejo as Head (July 8, 2019)

National/Guerrero: VIDEO of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case Belies “Historic Truth” (June 27, 2019)

Guerrero: Attorney General and SEDENA Denounced for Lack of Interest in Solving Ayotzinapa Case (May 17, 2019)

Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case (March 15, 2019)

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: Relatives of the 43 Student Teachers Disappeared in Iguala in 2014 Meet AMLO

September 23, 2019

Ayotzi

On September 11th, relatives of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa who disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014, held a private meeting with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO).

According to the PRODH Center, which accompanies the family members, they “stated before the president that not all institutions – notably, the FGR, SEDENA and the Federal Police – are making efforts together with the Commission for Truth and Access to the Justice of the Ayotzinapa case, headed by Alejandro Encinas, from whom they recognized the commitment put things in the order.” For this reason they asked AMLO to intercede before the Attorney General, Alejandro Gertz Manero, “to reiterate his commitment in the investigation, including in the investigations of those responsible for the irregularities, and to meet with them. They also asked for the deepening of international aid, which has arrived in a timely manner and, especially, that Lopez Obrador does not leave them alone.” The PRODH Center also reported that “the head of the Executive established four commitments: establish bimonthly meetings with families; manage a meeting with the FGR; call on institutions, including SEDENA, to support the Commission and deepen international assistance.”

After the meeting, the undersecretary of the Interior for human rights, Alejandro Encinas, informed that there is “new evidence” available to the Ayotzinapa Truth Commission that allows us to assume that disappeared student teachers remain in the state of Guerrero: “There are indications that we are investigating just now. New clues, lines of inveatigation that were not taken care of and the lines of investigation that we are developing.” He also said that the meeting with the parents of the student teachers was “excellent and on very good terms.”

The next day, AMLO explained the actions carried out by the government in a press conference and said that, “we need results, to know where youths are, and we are doing everything that can be done, should be done, everything. Yesterday I explained the decisions that have been taken in this regard and our interest in continuing the search for the youths is a matter of the highest priority for the government, it is a justice and humanitarian issue.”

For more information in Spanish:

AMLO se reúne con los familiares de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa: “A 5 años de la desaparición de nuestros hijos, la herida sigue abierta” (BBC News, 12 de septiembre de 2019)

Necesitamos resultados para el caso Ayotzinapa: AMLO (La Jornada, 12 de septiembre de 2019)

Ayotzinapa: Tras encuentro con presidente, logran familias seguimiento estrecho a investigación (Centro ProDH, 12 de septiembre de 2019)

Nuevas evidencias estiman que normalistas de Ayotzinapa estarían en Guerrero: Encinas (Aristegui Noticias, 11 de septiembre de 2019)

Normalistas de Ayotzinapa podrían permanecer en Guerrero: Alejandro Encinas (Vanguardia, 11 de septiembre de 2019)

Los errores en el expediente de Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 9 de septiembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: New Stage in Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case – Creation of Special Investigation Unit with Omar Gomez Trejo as Head (July 8, 2019)

National/Guerrero: VIDEO of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case Belies “Historic Truth” (June 27, 2019)

Guerrero: Attorney General and SEDENA Denounced for Lack of Interest in Solving Ayotzinapa Case (May 17, 2019)

Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case (March 15, 2019)

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)


International/National: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Expresses Concern over Unresolved Issues in Mexico

September 22, 2019

UNMichelle Bachelet (UNO News)

On September 4th, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed concern about the “terrible” situation of journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland. She recalled that the Office of the High Commissioner in Mexico (UNHCHR) has “documented the murder of 11 journalists and 13 human rights defenders this year, an analysis was made on the Protection Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders and (…) We gave 104 recommendations to the government to strengthen it.” Bachelet called on the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to take them into account. Likewise, she expressed concern about the increase in violence in the country, in particular for femicides and the situation of women and girls in general.

On the issue of migration, she commented that “another alarming thing (…) is that on the border with the United States more than 332 people have died or disappeared since early 2019 and 24 of them are children. We don’t know if they were kidnapped, trafficked or enslaved.” She clarified that “when migration is restricted, it must always be in accordance with certain international standards.” She said that “countries like the United States are adopting policies that put people in a more vulnerable situation” underlining that “unfortunately the separation of families continues and hundreds of children in the United States are still being held there and we have also received reports of this in Mexico , but we don’t have figures yet (regarding Mexico).”

As regards the National Guard, she mentioned that “we are about to increase our collaboration with Mexican institutions in the implementation of the agreement with the National Guard.”

She also addressed the issue of disappearances, with 40,000 missing and 23,000 bodies that remain unidentified “due to the forensic crisis.” She recognized the announcement of the AMLO government to accept the competence of the UN Committee on forced disappearances to receive individual communications as a “step forward.”

In this regard, Erika Guevara Rosas, director of Amnesty International for the Americas, also stated: “The announcement of the Mexican government is an important sign of its will to achieve justice, truth, and reparation in cases of forced disappearance in the country. This issue, which for years has put a shadow on human rights in Mexico, requires all the efforts and resources available to find a solution.” For her part, Tania Reneaum, Executive Director of Amnesty International Mexico, said that “it is a good step towards the recognition of the responsibility of the State in the disappearance of people, and we hope it will be the beginning of a path to the certainty to which the more than 40 thousand families that continue to suffer the pain of uncertainty have a right”

For more information in Spanish:

ONU-DH: “Terrible”, la situación de periodistas y defensores en México; pide acatar recomendaciones (Proceso, 4 de septiembre de 2019)

ONU expresa preocupación ante ausencia de consultas a pueblos indígenas en México (Proceso, 4 de septiembre de 2019)

El mundo se aleja poco a poco de las soluciones globales para los problemas mundiales (ONU Noticias, 4 de septiembre de 2019)

México: Autoridades dan importante paso al anunciar que aceptarán la competencia del Comité de la ONU sobre desapariciones forzadas (Amnistía Internacional, 30 de agosto de 2019)

Acepta gobierno federal participación de comité de la ONU contra las Desapariciones Forzadas (Aristegui Noticias, 30 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)

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

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)