Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of migration agents, says La 72

March 22, 2015

Fray Tomás González en Acteal. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Fray Tomás González in Acteal. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 17 March, “La 72, Home and Refuge for Migrant People,” located in Tenosique, Tabasco, directed by the human-rights defender Fray Tomás González, released an Urgent Action (UA) due to events “that leave us absolutely indignant,” with reference to the death of a Honduran youth.  On 6 March, agents of the National Migration Institute (INM) working with federal police in Tenosique stopped a freight-train at the Chacamax station, 60 kilometers from Palenque, where they began a search.  Among the hundreds of persons traveling atop the train, the Honduran youth in question suffered a panic attack, jumped off the “Beastly” train, and entered the river, where he began to drown and then requested assistance.  In the end, the youth died.  According to the man who gave witness, the INM “agents said: ‘leave that fucker,'” as the UA claims.

In addition, the UA indicates that the migrants who had been witnesses “both of the savage raid as well as death of the youth and what followed [noted] that the persecution by the migration agents lasted more than 2 hours.  Once they saw that the youth was drowning, they withdrew and provided no assistance; the corpse remained for 10 hours on the river bank, cared for by the other migrants who witnessed the acts.  People from the local community also testified and told us of many crimes and human-rights violations that the INM agents commit.”

Lastly, the document ends with a call “on national and international human-rights organizations” to express themselves “in light of these lamentable acts and others that have been caused by the Southern Border Program.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: El INM Y La PF a través del Programa Frontera Sur provocan la muerte de  personas Migrantes Centroamericanas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 18 de marzo de 2015)

El Programa Frontera Sur no cesa la represión en contra de personas migrantes (La 72 – Refugio para personas migrantes, 12 de enero de 2015)

Agentes de Migración y de la PF dejan a hondureño ahogarse (Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Fray Tomás González (13 November 2014)

Nacional: crean mecanismo de observación de derechos humanos ante la militarización de la Frontera Sur (28 de agosto de 2014)

Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children(2 November 2012)


Chiapas: International Women’s Day in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

March 21, 2015

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Photo@Sipaz

In observance of International Women’s Day, 8 March, close to 200 women and men marched in San Cristóbal de Las Casas for equal rights.  They marched from the south of the city to downtown to demand a cessation of violence against women, patriarchy, and femicide, as well as “an end to the privatization of the natural goods such as lands and water, because it is a plundering of our peoples and communities.”  During the rally with which the march concluded, different groups, collectives, and communities reported about the creation of a Movement in defense of the land, the territory, and in favor of the participation and recognition of women in decision-making processes.  “The Movement arose as a response organized within the context of the plundering and destruction of natural resources, as well as the generalized violence exercised by the State through its neoliberal policies and gender violence,” they explained.  Participants stressed that the declaration of principles of the group establishes 11 principles that govern it, toward a position “from below and to the left, like our hearts, using a logic of autonomy, democracy, and independence from the government and all political parties.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marcha en San Cristóbal por el Día Internacional de la Mujer (LaJornada, 8 de marzo de 2015)

8 de marzo, #Mujeres de #Chiapas forman el Movimiento en defensa de la tierra, el territorio y por la participación y el reconocimiento de las mujeres en las decisiones (Koman Ilel, 9 de marzo de 2015)

[AUDIO Y FOTOS] [COMUNICADO] ¡Con éste Movimiento nos llevamos un compromiso para toda la vida y vamos a luchar juntas y juntos!. (Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, A.C., 8 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: During International Women’s Day on 8 March, a meeting, a march, and a rally (10 March 2015)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)


Chiapas: new communiques from the EZLN

March 21, 2015

Homenaje a Galeano, La Realidad, agosto de 2015 (@SIPAZ archivo)

Homage to Galeano, La Realidad, August 2014 (@SIPAZ archive)

In a communique published on 4 March entitled “On the Bulletin Board,” the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a series of activities it has programmed for the remainder of 2015.  On 2 May, there will in the Oventik caracol be held an homage to Luis Villoro Toranzo  and the Zapatista support-base José Luis Solís López (Galeano), who was murdered in May 2014 in La Realidad, Las Margaritas municipality.  The EZLN announced the event as having special guests, including the relatives of Villoro Toranzo and of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, as well as members of the Sixth International.  It also noted that, from 3 to 9 May, the seminar on “Critical Thought in light of the Capitalist Hidra” will be hosted at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

The news also announces the second “grade” of the Zapatista Escuelita (31 July-2 August), the anniversary of the caracoles on 8-9 August, and the third level of the Escuelita in November and December 2015.

The EZLN added that, from 5 March onwards, being the anniversary of the death of Villoro Toranzo, there will be “many words regarding critical thinking, beginning with the report on the inauguration of the School and Clinic in La Realidad.”  Starting on 5 March, indeed, three more communiques appeared, entitled “Thank You I, II, III.”

For more information (in Spanish):

EN EL TABLÓN DE AVISOS. El Conserje (Comunicado del EZLN, 4 de marzo de 2015)

El EZLN realizará un homenaje a Luis Villoro y al zapatista José Luis Solís(La Jornada, 4 de marzo de 2015)

‘Toda la clase política vive de la actuación’, dice el líder del EZLN (CNN México, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Gracias I, Gracias II y Gracias III (Comunicados del EZLN, marzo de 2015)

La vida de un zapatista vale más que la casa blanca de Peña: EZLN (La Jornada, 9 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: threats against families sympathizing with the EZLN (29 December 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)


National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Torture presents report about Mexico in Geneva

March 21, 2015

Juan E. Méndez, Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre la Tortura (@Naciones Unidas)

Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (@UN)

On 9 March, Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading Treatment, presented the report based on his visit to Mexico between April and May 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.  In his conclusions, he mentions that “torture and ill-treatment of the incarcerated after their arrest and prior to their presentation to the justice system are generalized phenomena in Mexico which take place within the context of impunity.”  He added that there is evidence of the active participation of police and military forces, “but also tolerance, indifference, or complicity on the part of some doctors, public defenders, prosecutors, and judges.”  He indicated furthermore that torture is used “to punish the arrested and to extract confessions or incriminating information.”  He highlighted moreover that “the impunity of torture and other abuses is sufficient to lead to its repetition and exacerbation.”

For this reason, the Special Rapporteur recommended legislative reforms that would integrate international standards into domestic law, thus effectively preventing and punishing torture and other abuses, as well as to undertake the investigation of all denunciations that are presented, including “the tasks that remain in terms of the Dirty War.”  He recommended also that the dimension of the phenomenon be publicly recognized, and that all the authorities receive strong public pressure insisting that all abuses will be seriously investigated and punished.

Following the presentation of this report, Jorge Lomónaco, Mexican representative before international organizations, affirmed that “we cannot agree with the view that torture is generalized in the country, because that is not the case in reality.”  He added that what the Special Rapporteur claimed “does not reflect the enormous efforts that my country’s government has made to strengthen a culture of respect for human rights in the law and in practice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ver Informe completo (Juan E. Méndez, diciembre de 2014)

Generalizada, la tortura en México (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2015)

“Todos los cuerpos policiales torturan en el país” (El País, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México: entre la tortura y la impunidad (Centro PRODH, Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

La tortura es generalizada en México: relator de ONU; eso es mentira, responde embajador (Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México y ONU ahora chocan por informe sobre la tortura (Milenio, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and killing of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and kidnapping of youth Hiber Audentino García Villafuerte (1 January, 2014)


Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope for the Ayotzinapa case

March 21, 2015

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March-rally, 5 February 2015 in Chilpancingo. Photo @SIPAZ

The parents of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala confirmed their trust in the team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which at the beginning of this month started to review the evidence on the happenings of 26 September 2014.  Felipe de la Cruz, spokesperson for the parents of the disappeared, said that the arrival of the independent specialists represents an advance, given that it provides hope that truthful results will result from the investigations that they plan to undertake, “rather than a theater put on by the Federal Attorney General’s Office [PGR].”  He added that it is hoped that the PGR will come to an agreement regarding the inspection of military barracks on the part of the parents, as they have been told that the conditions are not appropriate at this time.  The parents want to know that they are not just going in circles.  Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, their lawyer, has specified that the IACHR specialists are not those in charge of carrying out the investigation, but rather that they will review what has occurred so far within the ongoing investigation so as to make recommendations when irregularities are found.

In recent days, relatives of Julio César Mondragón Fontes, the student who was murdered and defigured, rejected the conclusions made by the PGR that accuse the Iguala municipal police officer Luis Francisco Martínez Díaz as responsible for the murder.  The relatives noted that after five months without the minimum of attention dedicated to clarifying the torture and execution of Julio César, “now the PGR seeks to close the case with a summary media action, thus leaving unresolved one of the very ‘reasons for which the Ayotzinapa case cannot be closed.'”  Beyond this, they demanded that the torture and extrajudicial execution of the youth be investigated as a murder.  They have demanded that the investigation be serious, profound, and based in science.  In a communique released on 4 March, the family denounces that the case has been investigated using two lines directed by Chilpancingo: murder and organized crime.  “This makes no sense, given that it was torture and an extrajudicial execution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Llegada del grupo de CIDH, un “avance”, afirman familiares (Milenio, 6 de marzo de 2015)

Expertos de la CIDH se reúnen con autoridades encargadas de la investigación de Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Familiares de normalista exigen a Arely Gómez que retome el caso (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police

March 10, 2015

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Homage to teacher Claudio Castillo. Photo @SIDIDH

On 25 February, the Guerrero state government confirmed the death of the teacher Claudio Castillo Peña due to cranial trauma, following the conflict between the Federal Police and members of the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) the day prior in Acapulco.  Raúl Miliani Sabido,  the Secretary for Civil Protection in the state, said in an interview that “unfortunately we do have the confirmation” of Castillo’s death, being 65 years of age.  Castillo Peña belonged to the teachers’ movement of the retired and usually was one of the speakers at the actions organized by the teachers in resistance.  Due to his state of health, the teacher used crutches, and witnesses observe that he could not run to escape the police displacement operation.  The Attorney General of Guerrero State announced on 26 February that the appropriate investigations had begun to investigate and establish the legal responsibilities of the civilian courts.

Testimony from female members of CETEG who had been at the front of the contingent when it was attacked by the Federal Police confirms the sexual abuse of a teacher who has been hospitalized in Cuernavaca, Morelos.  In a communique she relates that during the chase, the police caught up with her “and began to beat me, then I fell.  So they took me to a remote place where they raped me multiple times, hurt me, and caused me to lose consciousness due to so much pain.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Guerrero confirma la muerte de un profesor en Acapulco (La Jornada, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Maestro jubilado muere tras desalojo en Acapulco (Cuartoscuro, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Fiscalía de Guerrero investiga desalojo y asesinato de maestro(Excelsior, 26 de febrero de 2015)

Fue violada “una y otra vez” por policías federales, denuncia maestra(Sur Acapulco, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Al maestro sí lo mató la Policía Federal; cuatro profesoras fueron violadas, denuncia la Ceteg (CENCOS, 26 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


National/Oaxaca/Chiapas: National tour on forcible disappearance in Mexico

March 10, 2015

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Press-conference, 2 March.  Photo@Sipaz

On 2 and 3 March, in observance of the “National tour on forcible disappearance in Mexico: the case of Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya, a crime against humanity,” as organized by the National Front for the Struggle toward Socialism (FNLS) and the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared “Until We Find Them,” a press-conference was organized together with a teacher’ meeting in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The relatives in question, Nadin Reyes Maldonado and Margarita Cruz Sánchez, as well as the lawyer César Augusto Sandino Rivero Espinosa, presented the case of the two social activists, who were detained and disappeared in 2007.  They denounced that “the Mexican State continues insists on maintaining the military on the margins of consideration.  Of the four lines of investigation in the case, at least three mention the participation of federal forces.  However, those reaches of federal power must remain in impunity, and so they blame local officials.”

Furthermore, Nadin Reyes Maldonado and Margarita Cruz Sánchez denounced the criminalization of the search for the relatives and their struggle for a broad investigation.  Their lawyer indicated the gravity of the impact of a case like this, being a “direct repression against a social struggle.”  The organizations calling for the tour indicate as well in their communique the national dimensions of this crime: “The forcible disappearances of people are a reality that hurt increasingly more people, including millions of Mexicans like Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya, […] as well as the Triqui indigenous women Daniela and Virginia Ortiz Ramírez, the Chatino indigenous man Lauro Juárez, and the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.”  They call for the Mexican State to “be judged before international courts for State terror and crimes against humanity.  In this same way, State authorities must be held accountable for their participation or omission in the commission of multiple human-rights violations.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa (FNLS, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Los desaparecidos, “en manos de militares” y policías federales (La Jornada, 9 de julio de 2007)

Invitación de Hasta Encontrarlos (10 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Internacional: Actions taken on the International Day of the Detained and Disappeared (6 September 2014)

National: International Week of the Detained and Disappeared concludes in Mexico (10 June 10 2014)

National: 30 August, International Day for Victims of Forced Disappearance (16 September 2013)


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