Guerrero/National AFAT and IGIE Respond to the Conclusions on Fire at Dump in Cocula

April 16, 2016

43.pngThe search continues. Photo: @Mujeres y La Sexta

On April 1, the Attorney General of the Republic and a representative of the panel of experts on the dynamics of fire caused controversy at a press conference where they shared preliminary conclusions on the possibility that the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa had been burned at the dump at Cocula. Dr. Ricardo Damian Torres, from the panel of experts, confirmed that it is possible that the 43 were incinerated in the said dump given that “there was a controlled fire of huge proportions at the place called the dump of Cocula” and that “at least 17 adult humans were burned at that place.” According to Damian Torres, this allows for the establishment of a hypothesis that there was a massive cremation of 43 bodies, but that “this possibility could only be confirmed with large scale proof.”

Both the Argentinian Forensic Anthropology Team (AFAT) and the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) doubted the hypothesis of the Attorney General. On the one hand, the AFAT – which also confirmed that there had been cremation of human bodies at the dump – pointed out that the analysis of the panel of experts “neither confirms nor denies the Attorney General’s hypothesis” as it could not determine when the fire occurred, if it was a question of one or various cremations, nor did it manage to identify the human remains found. On the other hand, the members of the IGIE dubbed the press conference as “a unilateral action against previous agreements” and were of the opinion that the preliminary two-and-a-half page report “lacks answers to a number of technical questions that been made to the judges at the outset of their work.” Like the AFAT, the IGIE were of the opinion that the report had few novelties on the Iguala case but that the public presentation had not been agreed neither with the relatives of the disappeared nor with the IGIE, which “demonstrated great irresponsibility and little sensitivity as regards the rights of the victims.”

For more information in Spanish:

Nuevo peritaje: hubo 17 quemados; se atiza pugna PGR-GIEI por Cocula (Excelsior, 6 de abril de 2016)

EAAF emite opinión sobre peritaje de Cocula (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 2 de abril de 2016)

Equipo Argentino de Antropología forense (EAAF) presenta peritaje sobre caso Ayotzinapa; confirma la imposibilidad científica de la “verdad histórica” oficial (Centro Prodh, 9 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Familiares de los 43 emprenden caravana de búsqueda a Iguala (7 de marzo de 2016)

Guerrero: Padres y madres de Ayotzinapa van a la Corte, a 16 meses de la desaparición de sus hijos  (27 de enero de 2016)

Guerrero: ONG y expertos en derechos humanos respaldan labor del GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (25 de enero de 2016)


Guerrero: Threats Against Member of “The Other Disappeared”

April 9, 2016

Disappeared.pngMember of “The Other Disappeared” during the searches. Photo: @Revolución Tres Punto Cero.

Mario Vergara, member of the Search Committee of the “The Other Disappeared” (Los Otros Desaparecidos), reported an increase in threats against his person and family by organized crime. The Other Disappeared is made up of over 500 families that have a missing relative, who organize to find their disappeared loved ones. On Sundays they gather in the hills of and surroundings of Iguala, in the state of Guerrero, to locate hidden graves and bodies. “Recently we have found many bones of our disappeared relatives, we are experiencing something horrible”, Vergara declared. It should be pointed out that since its establishment until now, they have found more than 90 graves with some 140 bodies and hundreds of incomplete remains. Of these, 15 have been identified.

As the Committee pointed out, ” we don’t seek justice, nor who killed our relatives, we only want to get the body back, the bones, to give them a burial.” Despite this, they have received threats since it was founded in November 2014. “Many people have threatened us and the threats have become harder”, Vergara claimed. The activist asked for cautionary measures to protect him and his family, which were denied as “there were not sufficient grounds” to grant them according to Pueblo Guerrero. The Committee member expresses the opinion that, “delinquency is unstoppable, they continue to kidnap, disappear people, collect protection money. What the government says about implementing security programs and that violence rates have dropped are lies […] on the contrary, it is getting worse.” In February of this year, Norma Angelica Bruno, member of The Other Disappeared, was killed. It should be noted that the official figures from the National Register of Lost or Missing People indicate that there are currently more than 27 thousand missing people throughout the Republic. Moreover, it is suspected that this figure could be higher as only cases that are under investigation by the Public Prosecutor are registered. According to United Forces for Our Disappeared in Mexico (FUNDEM in its Spanish acronym), only one in every nine disappearances is reported. “Mexico is a huge mass grave”, Javier Sicilia, member of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD in its Spanish acronym) stated.

For more information in Spanish:

“El jefe te va a chingar a ti y a toda tu familia”, amenazan a familiares que buscan a sus desaparecidos en Iguala (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 5 de abril de 2016)

Los Otros Desaparecidos hallan restos humanos en fosas clandestinas en Iguala (El Financiero, 4 de abril de 2016)

Amenaza crimen organizado a “Los Otros Desaparecidos” de Iguala (Agencia Periodística de Investigación, 1 de abril de 2016)

“Los Otros Desparecidos” denuncian amenazas de crimen organizado (SDP Noticias, 1 de abril de 2016)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Asesinan en Iguala a la activista Norma Angélica Bruno (26 de febrero de 2016)

Nacional: Manifestaciones dentro y fuera del país por el primer aniversario de la desaparición forzada de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (29 de septiembre de 2015)


Guerrero: Phone threats to Community Development Workshop (TADECO)

April 1, 2016

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The coordinator of the Community Development Workshop (TADECO), Javier Monroy Hernandez, reported receiving threatening phone calls through a statement. In one call, a man said he was from the Michoacan Knights Templar drug cartel and asked, “if he wanted to be treated as a friend or an enemy.” According to TADECO, although it could be a case of common extortion, “it seems strange to us that we should be victims of threats at a time that we are carrying out activities in favor of victims of social violence, as recently we held an event to remember our colleague Jorge Gabriel Ceron Silva, nine years after his disappearance and on a national level we took part in the process of elaboration of a Law on Forced Disappearance and Disappearance for the full recognition of the rights of the victims of these crimes and their families.”

It is worth remembering that this organization had experienced harassment and threats since 2009, after the establishment of the Committee of Relatives and Friends of the Kidnapped, Disappeared and Murdered of Guerrero. Since that date, TADECO has had an information point evicted, been asked for protection money, been arrested, received threats, been subjected to aggression, assault, received anonymous messages, along with the minimization or omission [of these events] by the authorities and defamation in the media.

“We do not know the origin of these threats and given that it is not the first time, we place the responsibility for the physical integrity of our colleague Javier Monroy and other members of our Association on the authorities.” They asked for solidarity from the people of Guerrero, along with the intervention of human rights groups and authorities to guarantee that they can continue to carry out their work “of support, orientation, assessment and accompaniment for the victims of social violence and for community development in the state.”

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia director de Tadeco amenazas de presuntos Caballeros Templarios; responsabiliza al gobierno (El Sur, 30 de marzo de 2016)

Denuncia Tadeco amenazas por medio de llamadas telefónicas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 30 de marzo de 2016)

COMUNICADO SOBRE AMENAZAS A INTEGRANTE DE NUESTRA ASOCIACIÓN, EL TALLER DE DESARROLLO COMUNITARIO (Resistencia Creativa, 30 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Denuncia TADECO hostigamiento hacia Javier Monroy (1 de diciembre de 2014)

Guerrero: TADECO sigue sin módulo en la Plaza Cívica de Chilpancingo e integrante cumple 5 años de desaparición (2 de abril de 2012)


National/International: PGR opens investigation into Emilio Alvarez Icaza, IACHR Executive Secretary

March 31, 2016

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Emilio Alvarez Icaza, Executive Secretary of CIDH (@oas.org)

In a statement on March 29, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights denounced “a smear campaign in Mexico” against its Executive Secretary, Emilio Alvarez Icaza (Mexican) and against the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE). The Organization of American States (OAS) rejected “in the strongest manner” the preliminary investigation of Alvarez Icaza for the alleged offense of fraud to the detriment of the Mexican State regarding the work of the IGIE. It further said that the preliminary investigation “was rash and groundless” and that it backed the work of its Executive Secretary, “who at all times acted in accordance with the decisions and instructions of the members of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights.”

It is worth remembering that in 2014, the IACHR signed an assistance convention with the Mexican Government and with representatives of the 43 student teachers from the training college at Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, who were victims of forced disappearance. This led to the formation of the IGIE, whose aim was to investigate what happened to the student teachers at Iguala, Guerrero, on September 26, 2014. The report of the investigation and the first conclusions of the IGIE, presented in September 2015, pointed out “irregularities, inconsistencies, and/or gaps in the investigation of the facts.” Since that moment, human rights organizations have pointed to the existence of a media and political campaign to diminish the legitimacy and recognition that the work of the IGIE has achieved.

For his part, Alvarez Icaza confirmed on social media that “the preliminary investigation against me has a chilling effect on human rights defenders and if it persists, it is an regression to authoritarian Mexico” and that “it is unprecedented that on the one hand the Mexican State works with the IGIE and on the other hand initiates a preliminary investigation for supposed fraud.”

For more information in Spanish:

Inicia PGR averiguación contra Emilio Álvarez Icaza, secretario ejecutivo de la CIDH por fraude (MVS Noticias, 23 de marzo de 2016)

CIDH rechaza categóricamente campaña de desprestigio en México contra el GIEI y el Secretario Ejecutivo (Comunicado de prensa, CIDH, 29 de marzo de 2016)

La CIDH acusa a la PGR de abrir una investigación “infundada” contra Emilio Álvarez Icaza (Sin Embargo, 29 de marzo de 2016)

Averiguación contra mí es un regreso al México autoritario: Álvarez Icaza (Animal Político, 30 de marzo de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ :

Guerrero: ONG y expertos en derechos humanos respaldan labor del GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (25 de enero de 2016)

Nacional: CIDH culminó visita “in loco” en México y presentó primeras conclusiones (8 de octubre de 2015)

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

Guerrero: Caso Ayotzinapa es desaparición forzada, confirman expertos de la CIDH (24 de marzo de 2015)

 


Chiapas: Community of Faith in Simojovel reject dialogue with Gomez brothers

March 23, 2016

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Photo: @Chiapas Denuncia Pública

The Community of Faith in Simojovel, Chiapas, held a march for the first anniversary of “the magna via crucis pilgrimage” of Lent, which they held in March 2015. Through a statement, they described the struggle they are carrying out since October 2013 following the murder of one of their members, “to continue to live in peace.”

They publicly rejected the invitation for dialogue from the Gomez brothers (Juan and Ramiro Gomez Dominguez), who are identified as political caciques in Simojovel, as well as being involved in the illegal sale of alcohol and weapons. The Gomez brothers oppose Father Marcelo, the parish priest of Simojovel, who has endured harassment, threats and attempted ambushes. It should be noted that Juan Gomez was mayor of Simojovel and was imprisoned in 2015 for carrying firearms for exclusive army use by the army and movement of drugs. His brother Ramiro had an arrest order and in January 2016 both cases were dismissed by the Attorney General of the State’s Office, which, according to Chiapas Paralelo “could only have happened through a process of political negotiation.” According to the statement, the Gomez brothers are campaigning for the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (Partido Verde Ecologista de México – PVEM). Furthermore, they mentioned that a member of Community of Faith was kidnapped and interrogated to obtain information about the people who support Marcelo. Another member who was blamed on Juan Gomez’s imprisonment received threats and high caliber firearm shots have started again in the neighborhoods.

They also denounced the existence of an armed group known as Los Diablos [The Devils] in Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan, who have killed three members of the same family and caused the displacement of a further 14 people “because they fear for their lives.” The Community of Faith highlighted that “it isn’t Father Marcelo who has denounced the Gomez, we ratify that it is Community of Faith who have raised their voices against all that is happening, we are Community of Faith who pointed out that the Gomez brothers have done a lot of damage in Simojovel.” For this reason, they decided to reject the proposed dialogue “because we have nothing to talk about, they have resorted to this because they have no other way to clean up their image, they ask for dialogue so that when they carry out their perverse intentions against our parish priest and members of Community of Faith, they can say: ‘It wasn’t us.'”

For more information in Spanish:

COMUNICADO DEL PRIMER ANIVERSARIO DE LA MAGNA PEREGRINACIÓN VIACRUCIS CUARESMAL (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 22 de marzo de 2016)

Indígenas de Simojovel rechazan diálogo con caciques que los amenazan (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2016)

Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel rechaza “diálogo”, con quienes por otro lado amenazan y contratan sicarios (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de marzo de 2016)

Se intensifica ola de violencia en Simojovel; grupo delincuencial relacionado con PRI-Verde acecha a población (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 22 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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: Nuevas amenazas en el Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (28 de agosto de 2015)

Chiapas: nuevas amenazas contra el sacerdote e integrantes del Pueblo Creyente en Simojovel (29 de julio de 2015)


Guerrero: Relatives of the 43 begin search caravan to Iguala

March 10, 2016

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Image from mass in Iguala. Photo @ SIPAZ

On March 3, relatives, organizations and sympathizers began a caravan to Iguala in search of information about the forcefully disappeared youths at almost a year and a half since the forced disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. A number of lorries left the Isidro Burgos Teacher Training School to the town where the trainee teachers disappeared on the night of September 26 to 27, 2014, a date since which protests demanding truth and justice have not ceased, as well as actions on the part of the mothers and fathers of the youths to find their whereabouts.

For three days they held events focused on the search for the 43. The first day they staged a sit-in in the main square of the city where they also held a press conference with the presence of relatives and student teachers, as well as a mass in which the parish priest urged the inhabitants of Iguala to come forwatrd with information about the disappeared. They also installed ballot boxes to support the youths anonymously. The second day they toured the neighborhoods of the city with the aim of collecting information that might help the investigations as to the whereabouts of the student teachers. On the third day the search was closed with a meeting in the square.

For more information in Spanish:

Caravana por Ayotzinapa parte a Iguala para buscar a los 43 normalistas (Proceso, 3 de marzo de 2016)

Padres de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa retoman búsqueda en Iguala (Sin Embargo, 3 de marzo de 2016)

Familiares reinician búsqueda de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 4 de marzo de 2016)

Ayotzinapa, ejemplo de la aparente colusión Estado-crimen, dice CIDH (La Jornada, 3 de marzo de2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Padres y madres de Ayotzinapa van a la Corte, a 16 meses de la desaparición de sus hijos (27 de enero de 2016)

Guerrero: ONG y expertos en derechos humanos respaldan labor del GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (25 de enero de 2016)

Guerrero: Denuncian al Estado mexicano ante el Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos por muerte y tortura de normalistas de Ayotzinapa en 2011 (16 de diciembre de 2015)

Guerrero: Agresión a normalistas de Ayotzinapa deja 8 heridos graves y 13 detenidos (17 de noviembre de 2015)


Chiapas: Displaced families continue to demand justice

March 7, 2016

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During the commemoration in Banavil, Tenejapa, Chiapas. Photo @ SIPAZ

February 21 last marked one year since the death of Antonia Lopez Mendez, a Tseltal girl who died in a situation of forced displacement and without medical attention. Her family returned for two days to the community of Banavil in the municipality of Tenejapa to remember Antonia in accordance with their customs. In front of the tomb of the girl, her family recalled the suffering that they experience in forced displacement. Her mother, Maria Mendez, said, “Antonia left displaced and she became ill in San Cristobal de Las Casas. We have nowhere to live, no land, and she became ill for this reason and she couldn’t receive proper medical attention. She also sought our return and for this we remember her.” A caravan of some 90 people from social organizations, of human rights observers and free media accompanied the displaced families on their return to their lands. This is the fourth time they returned provisionally having been displaced on December 4, 2011 by an attack by armed members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). It is also worth remembering that since that date, Alonso Lopez Luna has been missing.

Likewise, February 23 marked one year since the forced displacement of 60 Tojolabales from the village of Primero de Agosto in the municipality of Las Margaritas. For one year, “when the ‘ejidatarios’ of Miguel Hidalgo forcefully displaced us from our village”, they have been living in a camp 15 minutes from their place of origin in precarious conditions. In the communiqué on the first anniversary of their displacement, they pointed out that, “as villagers we have put up with death threats, kidnapping, humiliation, harassment, one year of living under pieces of plastic, sleeping on wet ground, facing illnesses when our women and children are ill, a year of pain, a long year asking the federal, state, and municipal governments for a return to our village and for justice for those responsible for those criminal acts, who to date continue with impunity […] This year we have shared our pain with the world, we have walked to make new paths of peace and justice with dignity, and as campesinos we need land to be able to live and work because the land belongs to those who work it.” It is worth highlighting that on February 7 last, Marisa Fernandez Mendez Perez, a four-month-old baby dies due to the vulnerability of the conditions in which she was born. Apart from the displaced, various civil organizations, among them the Network for Peace (Red por la Paz) have asked “energetically that the State of Chiapas fulfills its agreements to bring about the conditions to resolve this situation of displacement.”

It is worth mentioning that at the end of 2014, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) launched a campaign, “Faces of Disposession” with the objective of giving visibility to the problem of forced displacement in Chiapas, and which is included in what they refer to as “within the government strategies which systematically eliminate community culture and denies the full recognition of the collective rights of indigenous peoples.”

For more information:

Comunicado de los pobladores de Primero de Agosto a un año de su desplazamiento forzado (Koman Ilel, 24 de febrero de 2016)

A más de 4 años, desplazados de Banavil mantienen la esperanza de retornar al verdadero hogar (Desinformémonos, 23 de febrero de 2016)

NotiFrayba: Antonia, niña tzeltal, a un año de su muerte en desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 23 de febreo de 2016)

Manuel Velasco incumplió a desplazados (Mural Chiapas, 23 de febrero de 2016)

Comunicado Red por la Paz (CDHFBC, 17 de febrero de 2016)

Boletín de prensa No. 04A un año del desplazamiento forzado de la comunidad Primero de Agosto, niña muere por condiciones de vulnerabilidad, omisión y negligencia médica (CDHFBC, 16 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

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 2015)

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

Chiapas: Desplazados del Poblado Primero de Agosto denunciaron escalamiento de hostigamiento, amenazas de muerte y desalojo (7 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: 8 meses de “amenazas y hostigamiento” a tojolabales en desplazamiento forzado del poblado Primero de Agosto (5 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Red por la Paz denuncia actitud omisa del gobierno de Chiapas ante caso de Primero de Agosto (16 de julio de 2015)


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