Guerrero: SCJN decision in case of Inés and Valentina “far from the heights” of the SCJN’s resolution on the Rosendo Radilla case (2010)

May 17, 2015

Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (@Amnistía Internacional)

Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (@Amnesty International)

The Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights, which has provided legal counsel for Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, indigenous women who were raped by soldiers in Guerrero in 2002, expressed in a press-release that the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has lost all possibility of contributing to the advance of the human rights of indigenous women.  Following several sessions, the Court justices rejected the call made by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in its decision on the case of the two indigenous women in 2010: for the Mexican State to open a profound analysis of matters of gender, ethnicity, and sexual torture.

Tlachinollan wrote that “the project approved by the SCJN lamentably fails to indicate precisely which obligations the courts have in terms of the legal processes initiated against the suspected perpetrators of the crimes committed against Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, a question that the IACHR had alluded to quite explicitly in its sentencing.”  The communique ends: “this resolution is far from the heights represented by the resolution of the case 912/2010, which has to do with Rosendo Radilla, [an activist who was] disappeared by the military in Guerrero in 1974.  It is illuminating in terms of the present status of the SCJN.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Aprueba SCJN alcances de participación del PJF en sentencias de la CIDH(La Jornada, 11 de mayo de 2011)

COMUNICADO | Concluye SCJN sin un análisis profundo en materia de género y etnicidad la revisión de las sentencias de la CoIDH en los casos de Inés y Valentina (Comunicado del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 11 de mayo de 2015)

Rechaza la Suprema Corte analizar estándares que pidió la Coidh en el caso de Inés y Valentina (El Sur, 12 de mayo de 2015)

Desechan proyecto para juzgar violencia sexual con visión de género (CIMAC Noticias, 12 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: SCJN examines IACHR sentence in the case of Inés and Valentina, indigenous women who were raped by the military in 2002 (3 May 2015)

Guerrero: Beginning of legal processes against soldiers presumed to be responsible in the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (15 January 2014)

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (5 February 2013)

Guerrero: Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández receive recognitions of their struggle (16 November 2012)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)


International/National: Northern Command suspends part of its military assistance to Mexico

May 16, 2015

Seal_of_the_United_States_Northern_Command

Declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the U.S. that have been published in The Intercept provide access to an October 2014 report from the U.S. military’s Northern Command (Northcom); the document reveals that due to the extrajudicial executions carried out by Batallion 102 in June 2014 in Tlatlaya, Mexico State, Washington suspended some aid that had been earmarked for the Mexican Army.  The same report also addresses the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal Rural School which took place in September 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, in which various public officials were involved: “[this case raises] alarming questions about the generalized character of the cartel violence in the region and the level of complicity with the State.”

The Intercept article notes that, since 2008, the U.S. government has transferred $3 billion in security assistance to Mexico, with much of this having been channelled through the Mérida Initiative, an anti-drug strategy inspired by Plan Colombia.  To this support is added the sale of arms and other police and military equipment (Mexico being the U.S.’s principal Latin American trade partner), which reached $1.15 billion last year.

For more information (in Spanish):

Suspende EU apoyo a batallón del Ejército implicado en el caso Tlatlaya: “The Intercept” (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2015)

‘‘Preguntas alarmantes’’ de Northcom sobre matanzas y desapariciones en México (La Jornada, 13 de mayo de 2015)

El Departamento de Estado de EU suspende asistencia al Batallón implicado en el caso Tlatlaya (Sin Embargo, 13 de mayo de 2015)


Guerrero: political prisoner Nestora Salgado, Communal Police Commander from Olinalá, begins hunger strike

May 16, 2015

(@kaosenlared.net)

(@kaosenlared.net)

On 5 May, Nestora Salgado García, commander of the Communal Police from Olinalá, who has been imprisoned in a federal institution in Tepic, Nayarit, since August 2013, began a hunger strike amidst the lack of progress in her legal case.  She expressed that she was prepared to die to demand that this process advance: “I do not believe it is just that I will now have spent two years here, with my legal case arrested.  I have never been had the chance to make a broad statement, nor have my accusers ever presented their charges against me.  They have done nothing with me.  I am losing my life and health.”  Her husband, José Luis Ávila Báez, reported that he would sent a report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to denounce that the precautionary measures which were awarded to Nestora Salgado on 28 January still have not been implemented.

Leonel Rivero Rodríguez, Nestora’s counsel, has pressed the federal government to transfer the prisoner somewhere where she can have her health managed and develop the necessary meetings for her legal case to progress.

Meanwhile, governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez affirmed once again that he has newly requested that the state prosecutor review the case for its nullification.  He added that another step could be taken, as the Popular Movement of Guerrero (MPG) had suggested: that is, to say, an amnesty law.

For more information (in Spanish):

Está Nestora Salgado en huelga de hambre en la cárcel de Tepic; su proceso no avanza, se queja (El Sur, 8 de mayo de 2015)

Nestora Salgado, en huelga de hambre (Proceso, 8 de mayo de 2015)

Mantiene Nestora Salgado huelga de hambre; exigen cambiarla de penal (La Jornada, 10 de mayo de 2015)

El agobio en la prisión orilló a Nestora Salgado a ponerse en huelga de hambre (La Jornada, 10 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR calls on Mexican government to guarantee medical attention to Nestora Salgado (8 February 2015)

Guerrero: Delay in release for Nestora Salgado; her daughter claims to have been threatened by phone (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: Death-threat directed against Nestora Salgado’s daughter and Communal Police commander from Olinalá (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release (2 September 2014)


Guerrero/Internacional: Prohiben a Eurocaravana por Ayotzinapa manifestarse en frente de la embajada de México en España

May 16, 2015

DSCF4180

Photo @SIPAZ archive

On May 7 in Madrid, police prohibited a protest that had been planned outside the Mexican Embassy in Spain over the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School Isidro Burgos from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.  Some 50 meters from the embassy, the police closed off access to the march attended by more than a hundred person, being a peaceful protest led by relatives and representatives of the disappeared youth who are visiting Europe to demand justice from the Mexican State and the return with life of the 43 students.  “The demand for the presentation with life of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural School who were disappeared by the Mexican State last September continues to be valid,” stressed Román Hernández, from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, during a press-conference held with members of the EuroCaravana43 in Madrid. Hernández added that in Mexico there is a “human-rights crisis” and he denounced that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto tends toward repudiation of international oversight in terms of human-rights violations.

Beyond this, parents of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa and people in solidarity have called on the world to sign a letter to the European Parliament calling for a review of the observance of treaties with Europe to which Mexico is a signatory.  The letter mentions that “the European Union and the member-states have signed a treaty of association with Mexico, and accordingly they must take responsibility for the complete execution of international law.  For this reason, we call for the creation of a Specialized Commission for the Investigation of the participation of the Mexican State in the murder of 6 individuals in Guerrero State and the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.”

The Facebook page “EuroCaravana 43 Ayotzinapa” denounces the responsibility of the German State for the disappearance of the students, given the illegal arms sale prosecuted by a German firm in Mexico.  Heckler & Koch, the corporation in question, sent thousands of weapons to Mexico illegally, as authorities from the surrounding region of Cologne have determined in an investigation that was published in local media on 7 May.  According to these findings, Heckler & Koch sold 9,472 G-36 rifles to Mexico between 2003 and 2011.  4,767 of these reached Jalisco, Guerrero, Chiapas, and Chihuahua states without official authorization.

For more information (in Spanish):

Impiden protesta por Ayotzinapa en Embajada Mexicana en España (UNO Oaxaca, 7 de mayo de 2015)

Invitación a firmar carta dirigida al Parlamento Europeo (change.org)

Confirma Alemania envío ilegal de armas a México (La Jornada, 7 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (28 de abril de 2015)

Guerrero/International: Brigade for Ayotzinapa travels to Europe (24 April 2015)

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


Chiapas/National/International: Seminar on “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra” ends

May 16, 2015

Seminario "Pensamiento Crítico frente a la Hidra Capitalista", mayo de 2015 (@SIPAZ)

Seminar on “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra,” May 2015 (@SIPAZ)

From 3 to 9 May, the seminar entitled “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra” was held at the Center for Comprehensive Indigenous Training (CIDECI) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) had called for.  Over the course of the week, more than 1,500 people from Mexico and other countries participated in the event.  Many interventions were made physically, by writing, or audiovisual means, produced both by intellectuals and activists.  The work sessions were facilitated and closed by the Zapatistas present at the event, including Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, Comandanta Miriam, and Commanders David and Tacho, among others.

At the conclusion of the event, Subcomandante Moisés noted that “Our tasks, obligations, and thoughts are grand, so our comrades will leave with much to think about and to imagine.  Go forth and speak to the rest of your comrades wherever you live, as we will have to find new ways of working together in the future to come.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Cobertura audios, fotos y primeros escritos (Radio zapatista, mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN renders homage to the philosopher Luis Villoro Toranzo and the Zapatista teacher Galeano (14 May 2015)

Chiapas: New communiques from the EZLN (21 March 2015)

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


National/International: International organizations call Mechanism for Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists into question

May 16, 2015

Mecanismo

In a communique published on 29 April, international human-rights organizations expressed their concern that the National Mechanism for the Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico is “leaderless,” putting at risk its beneficiaries and applicants.  This acephalous situation has to do with the resignations in February and March of 2015 of Víctor Manuel Serrato, former director of human rights, and Lía Limón, subsecretary for juridical affairs and human rights at the Governance Ministry (SEGOB).

The groups warn that, “though Roberto Campa Cifraín has been named as the new subsecretary for juridical affairs and human rights, nearly two months have passed since the departure of the director on human rights, and there is little clarity regarding when this position will be covered once again in a permanent fashion.  The absence of management within the institution puts the Mechanism under a great deal of pressure and makes difficult the function for which it was established, thus increasing risk to human-rights defenders and journalists (both beneficiaries and applicants).”

The International Human Rights Federation (FIDH), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Jass  (Associates for Justice), the Latin America Working Group Education Fund, Peace Brigades International (PBI), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and the Global Organization against Torture (OMCT) have similarly expressed consternation amidst the serious lack of implementation of the Mechanism due to reduced budgets (according to members from the Consultative Council, the analysts within the Mechanism have themselves had to cover their travel expenses since October 2014), the lack of a physical space within the institute’s office to attend to beneficiaries and applications, the lack of follow-up training provided to the members of the Mechanism who work on temporary contracts.  They have also pointed to the lack of clarity in terms of criteria for review of cases, the lack of preventative measures, and the impunity in the cases of attacks on human-rights defenders and journalists.

To address these problems, the organizations make the following recommendations: to find a replacement director on human rights, to guarantee greater transparency within the operations of the Mechanism, in terms of the criteria that are used to accept or reject cases, and considering the follow-up that is done when precautionary measures are provided, as well as to improve the means by which the analyses of risk are carried out, to respond in a timely fashion to applications, and to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of all human-rights defenders and journalists “who are at risk as a result of their legitimate work, and who find themselves in high-risk situations during this latest crisis of leadership and the other problems that have been identified in terms of the implementation of the Mechanism for Protection.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Acéfalo” el mecanismo de protección a activistas y comunicadores, denuncian ONG (Proceso, 30 de abril de 2015

Mecanismo de protección acéfalo pone en alto riesgo a defensores y periodistas: Brigadas de Paz (Página3, 30 de abril de 2015)

Comunicado conjunto: Organizaciones internacionales identifican fallas preocupantes en la implementación del Mecanismo Nacional de Protección a Personas Defensoras y Periodistas en México (OSC, 29 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists (30 March 2014)


Guerrero/National: SCJN examines IACHR sentence in the case of Inés and Valentina, indigenous women who were raped by the military in 2002

May 3, 2015

Inés y Valentina (@Tlachinollan)Inés and Valentina (@Tlachinollan)

On 21 April, the plenary of the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) began a discussion regarding the sentence provided by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in August 2010 which condemned the Mexican State for the violation of the human rights of Valentina Rosendo Cantú and Inés Fernández Ortega, indigenous women who were sexually assaulted by soldiers in Guerrero state in 2002.

Valentina and Inés have requested that the SCJN treat their case as it did the Radilla case (a forcible disappearance, also from Guerrero state) to determine the obligations of the judiciary amidst the sentences emitted by the IACHR.  They believe that the discussion within the Supreme Court is critically important, as this could lead to penal processes against soldiers with a focus on sexual torture and the administration of justice with a sensitivity to matters of gender and ethnicity, among other questions.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, which has provided counsel for the two indigenous women, has declared that the process of debate “opens the possibility that the SCJN would recognize the symbolic struggle for justice that both women have undertaken, and to hand down criteria that would help indigenous women experience better conditions in their search for justice.  Above all, it would contribute to the cause of having sexual torture by investigated and adequately judged in Mexico.”

However, during one of the initial sessions, the SCJN decided to exclude from consideration the constitutionality of part II of the new article 57 of the Military Justice Code, which has to do with military tribunals.  Civil-society organizations present at the session expressed their concern due to this evident lack of concern for a deep analysis of the question.

For more information (in Spanish):

COMUNICADO “Inicia la SCJN discusión sobre las obligaciones del Poder Judicial de la Federación frente a las sentencias dictadas por la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en los casos de Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo” (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 21 de abril de 2015)

Discute SCJN sentencia de CIDH por violación a indígenas en 2002 (La Jornada, 21 de abril de 2015)

Resoluciones de COIDH son obligatorias (El Universal, 21 de abril de 2015)

SCJN no revisará ley militar en caso de Valentina Rosendo e Inés Fernández (La Jornada, 23 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Beginning of legal processes against soldiers presumed to be responsible in the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (15 January 2014)

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (5 February 2013)

Guerrero: Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández receive recognitions of their struggle (16 November 2012)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)


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