Chiapas: Two Dead and Dozens Injured in Chenalho in Dispute over Mayoralty

March 12, 2017

Chenalho.pngChenalho Town Hall (@Linkogecko)

The post-election dispute in the municipality of Chenalho claimed the lives of two people between February 22 and March 7, resulting in more than a dozen with gunshot wounds.

It should be recalled that since the beginning of 2016, nonconformists made a series of protests that led the mayor-elect, Rosa Perez Perez, Ecologist Green Party of Mexico, to apply for a license for the position last May and the local Congress appointed the trustee of the City Hall, Miguel Santiz Alvarez, as substitute mayor.

Nevertheless, on August 17, the Electoral Tribunal of the Judiciary of the Federation (TEPJF in its Spanish acronym) ordered the reinstatement of Rosa Perez, which could not be, but it was dispatched from offices in San Cristobal de Las Casas from where the official resources of the municipality are received.

On the morning of February 22, hundreds of supporters of Rosa Perez took over the Town Hall that more than one hundred municipal workers and sympathizers of the substitute mayor were guarding. The takeover of the building and a subsequent confrontation left one person dead, Jonhny Orlando Vasquez Ruiz, 16 wounded, vehicles destroyed and houses looted (including those of Santiz Alvarez and the treasurer, Manuel Clemente Gomez). Testimonies refer to the use of high-caliber firearms and “bullet-proof vests”.

About 270 displaced people from Puebla neighborhood, who since May 2016 were displaced in the Cultural Center in the municipal seat of Chenalho, dispersed before taking refuge in San Cristobal. They had fled Puebla in the face of threats from Rosa Perez supporters. Faced with the latest events, at least 49 of them decided to stop supporting Miguel Santiz Alvarez to support Rosa Perez Perez.

On another note, since March 6, rural agents from at least 60 of the 116 communities in Chenalho agreed to suspend classes at all levels of education, considering that “there are no safe conditions for students and teachers after the takeover of the Town Hall on February 22.” The agents who signed the agreement are supporters of Sanchez Alvarez, and demanded that “threats, intimidation and gunshots be stopped in the communities and that precautionary measures be taken in the localities where men, women and children live who repudiate and do not recognize Rosa Perez.”

On March 7, the body of Lorenzo Santiz Alvarez, son of the Chenalho trustee, Miguel Santiz Alvarez, was finally found in the community of Santa Marta from where they came. Supporters of the mayor Rosa Perez spread the story that he committed suicide because the victim was supposedly drunk, a story the relatives rejected because they claim he did not usually take or use a backpack like the one found next to him.

For more information in Spanish:

Hallan muerto a hijo de alcalde sustituto de Chenalhó, Chiapas (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2017)

Asesinan a hijo del alcalde sustituto de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 7 de marzo de 2017)

Comuneros de Chenalhó acuerdan suspender clases (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2017)

Seguidores de alcalde sustituto ahora apoyan a la edil Pérez (La Jornada, 28 de febrero de 2017)

Hallan cuerpo de joven desaparecido en toma de alcaldía de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 26 de febrero de 2017)

Simpatizantes de Pérez Pérez toman alcaldía de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 23 de febrero de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas: TEPJF ordena restitución de alcaldesa de Oxchuc (5 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas : Restitución en su cargo de alcaldesa de Chenalhó hace temer nueva situación de violencia (22 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Riesgo de más violencia en Chenalhó después de secuestro y cambio de alcalde (31 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Protestas post electorales en el municipio de Chenalhó (6 de mayo de 2016)

 

 

 

 

 


Chiapas: Banavil Displaced Families Remember the Death of Antonia Lopez Luna

March 5, 2017

banavil(@CDHFBC)

From 21-23 February, displaced families from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, temporarily returned to their homes to visit the tomb of Antonia Lopez Mendez, the daughter of one of the families, who died in conditions of forced displacement on February 21, 2015, at the age of 11.

In a statement, they complained that in the five years and two months they have been displaced, the government has not worried about “the suffering of other children who are displaced in the city of San Cristobal de Las Casas” and that “like Antonia, there are many girls, children killed, because of bad government and they have not clarified or investigated, as with the children massacred in Acteal.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento de las familias desplazadas de Banavil (20 de febrero de 2017)

Los desplazados de Chiapas, entre la impunidad y la fe en el papa (Animal Político, a 16 de febrero de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil siguen exigiendo justicia tras 5 años de desplazamiento forzado

Chiapas: Familias desplazadas de Banavil anuncian retorno provisional a su comunidad para el día de muertos

Chiapas: Inauguración de exposición fotográfica de familias desplazadas de Banavil

Chiapas: Desplazados y desplazadas de Banavil, 4 años de impunidad

Chiapas: Retorno provisional de las familias desplazadas de Banavil para Día de Muertos

 

 

 


Oaxaca: Political Violence in the Mixes Leads to the Forced Displacement of a Thousand People

January 16, 2017

mixesAnnouncement at San Pedro Ocotepec. Photo@Codigo DH Facebook

Violence due to a post-electoral and agrarian conflict in the municipal agency of Guadalupe Victoria, part of the municipality of San Juan Juquila, Mixes, “forced the forced displacement of about one thousand people; at least 800 of them took refuge in the municipality of San Pedro Ocotepec”, the municipal authority of the town reported. Meanwhile,”about 200 people arrived at the municipal seat of San Juan Juquila.”

On January 7, a confrontation in the town of Guadalupe Victoria “left a balance of a minor of 15 years dead and more than five with gunshot wounds, due to disagreement over the results of the municipal elections.” It is worth mentioning that San Pedro Ocotepec “has an agrarian conflict with Guadalupe Victoria”. Ten people were held in the municipal jail of San Juan Juquila Mixes and “the municipal authority has refused to hand them over to the prosecutor,” so officials from the General Secretariat of Government went to the community. On January 9, the funeral of the child killed during the confrontation took place during which, using banners, the inhabitants asked for a solution to the agrarian-political conflict.

For more information in Spanish:

Violencia política en los Mixes arroja mil desplazados (EDUCA, 10 de enero de 2017)

Mantienen retenidos a 10 pobladores tras enfrentamiento en los Mixes (NVI Noticias, 10 de enero de 2017)

Conflicto agrario provoca exodo de mil personas en Oaxaca (El Universal, 9 de enero de 2017)

Pronunciamiento de San Pedro Ocotepec. (Facebook de Codigo DH, 9 de enero de 2017)


Chiapas: Frayba Presents its Annual Report “Paths of Resistance”

December 28, 2016

Frayba.png

On December 19, the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its “Annual Report: Paths of Resistance”, in an event attended by Marina Pages, coordinator of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ); Ana Valadez Ortega, member of the Center for Studies for Change in the Mexican Field (CECCAM); Rafael Landerreche Morin, member of the Pastoral Team of Chenalho; Marcelo Perez Perez, parish priest of Simojovel and coordinator of the Social Pastoral of the Chiapas Province, as well as Pedro Faro Navarro, director of CDHFBC.

 The objective of the book is to “make visible the men and women, people and communities organized in the construction of dreams and hopes that crack the system, generate life and dignity, ways of resistance to this cruel and bloodthirsty reality that we live in Mexico.”

It has five chapters: “Detention and Megaprojects, Impacts on Human Rights”, “Forced Displacement in a War Context”, “From Discredit to Repression” (focused on human rights defenders), “From Internal Armed Conflict to Widespread Violence”, and “In the Midst of the Whistling of the Mountains, the Call to Truth and Justice ” (on historical memory and the “Other Justice “).

For more information in Spanish:

Informe completo “Los caminos de la Resistencia” (CDHFBC, diciembre de 2016)

Lucha de EZLN por DH de indígenas, blanco de ataques: Frayba (La Jornada, 20 de diciembre de 2016)

« Andamos los caminos de la resistencia » (Boletín de prensa, CDHFBC, 19 de diciembre de 2016)

Persisten violaciones a derechos a 19 años de masacre de Acteal: Frayba (Proceso, 19 de diciembre de 2016)

Los caminos de la resistencia: Informe Frayba 2016 (Audios, Radio Zapatista, 19 de diciembre de 2016)

Documenta Frayba, despojos, megaproyectos y ataques contra defensores de DH; en Chiapas, “ocasionadas por el Estado mexicano” (Revolucion 3.0, 20 de diciembre de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ :

Nacional : presentación del informe “Defender los derechos humanos en México, la normalización de la represión política” (31 de agosto de 2016)


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: Movement in Defense of Life and Territory 12-Day Pilgrimage Ends in San Cristobal de Las Casas

December 2, 2016

pilgrimsPhoto@SIPAZ

On November 25, after a 12-day walk through 11 indigenous municipalities in the North, Jungle area and Highlands of Chiapas, thousands of pilgrims arrived in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where they denounced the threats and insecurity that they live with in the villages where they come from.

The members of the pilgrimage belong to the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) and the Believing Peoples of the parishes of Candelaria, Huixtan, Cancuc, Tenejapa, Oxchuc, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Chilon, Sitala, Yajalon and Salto de Agua: “We are the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE), composed of ten parishes from 11 municipalities and 1 ejido. We are located in the high region of Chiapas. We started more than four years ago from the Believing Peoples of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas to stop the clandestine sale of alcohol in our communities but also our struggle stopped for a time the megaproject of government to build the San Cristóbal – Palenque highway. What are we looking for? Our goal is to organize and encourage the indigenous peoples of the area to build our autonomy as indigenous peoples and thus defend our Mother Earth; we want good living from our culture and that is why we say NO to everything that damages the lives of our children and our communities, NO to bad government and NO to the megaprojects that want to take away our territory.”

They declared: “We walk to unite with one voice, to give voice to the earth that calls for respect and protection, which demands from all an attitude of care and gratitude. This pilgrimage has been a moment of grace for us, because we have been able to converse, reflect and dream as one people.” They emphasized that as indigenous peoples they feel that their community belonging to Mother Earth “is our spirituality, so we believe that not only do we have to denounce the destruction of our territory by the ambition of extractivists, but we must take care of it. That is why strengthening our community roots is the way to take care of our common home.” In Oxchuc, a community torn by post-electoral conflict, the pilgrims also spoke of their right as indigenous peoples to govern themselves.

In one of the communiqués published during these days, MODEVITE announced that it will join the proposal of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) to consult its communities on the appointment of an independent indigenous candidate for the next elections: “A change is needed among us and that is why we join the proposal of the National Indigenous Congress to consult our communities about the decision to participate in the next national elections with an independent indigenous candidate. We share the same objective, we believe that it is necessary to strengthen the voice of our indigenous peoples on the political agenda and that is why we want to take this initiative to our communities and municipalities.”

When they entered San Cristobal de Las Casas on November 25, they met with the women’s organizations that were taking part in the International Day against Violence against Women and arrived together to the center of the city: “Today, for example, being International Day against Violence against Women, we remember that women continue to be victims of sexism, alcoholism and the assistance-based government programs. The women  of MODEVITE claim the right to exercise our self-determination as indigenous women to care for Mother Earth and the life of our communities.”

For more information in Spanish:

“Signos de muerte” en territorios indígenas de Chiapas, (Proceso, 25 de noviembre de 2016)

Es tiempo de manifestar nuestras inquietudes, no permitamos que las piedras empezar a gritar, por eso el pueblo de dios está presente ante esta mega peregrinación (Las Abejas de Acteal, 25 de noviembre de 2016)

Se suma MODEVITE a la consulta convocada por el CNI para buscar candidata mujer indígena independiente, Chiapasparalelo, 25 de noviembre de 2016

Movimiento Indígena de Chiapas consultara plan de candidata presidencial, El Universal, 25 de noviembre de 2016

Defender los ejidos, fuerza organizativa de los territorios: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Candelaria, 24 de noviembre de 2016)

En contra de este sistema económico de despojo: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Huixtán, 23 de noviembre de 2016)

No queremos autopistas ni proyectos capitalistas: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Tenejapa, 22 de noviembre de 2016)

Claman indígenas por desterrar a los partidos políticos y formar autogobiernos en Chiapas (Revista Proceso, 21 de noviembre de 2016)

Por la autonomía y resistencia de nuestros pueblos originarios: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Cancúc, 21 de noviembre de 2016)

Tenemos el derecho como pueblos indígenas de autogobernarnos: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Oxchuc, 20 de noviembre de 2016)

Modevite cumple 7 días de peregrinación por Chiapas, (La Jornada, 20 de noviembre de 2016)

En respeto a la tierra, el territorio, la autonomía y nuestra cultura: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Ocosingo, 19 de noviembre de 2016)

El agua es un derecho, no una mercancia: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Chilón, 18 de noviembre de 2016)

Exigimos la cancelación de concesiones mineras y proyectos hidroeléctricos: Pueblo Creyente en megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Yajalón, 17 de noviembre de 2016)

Nos comprometemos a defender la Madre Tierra: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Tumbalá, 16 de noviembre de 2016)

Indígenas de Chiapas inician peregrinación de 12 días contra megaproyectos, Proceso, 15 de noviembre de 2015

Queremos la buena vida para nuestras comunidades originarias: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Salto de Agua, 14 de noviembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Día Internacional de Lucha Contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres (28/11/2016)

 

 


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)