National: Indefinite Strike of Dissident Teachers against Labor Reform

May 23, 2016

Profes.pngIn Oaxaca, dissident teachers demand a negotiation table with the government. Photo @ Ejecentral

On May 15, Teachers’ Day, teachers opposing education reform and the evaluation of teachers called an indefinite strike. Thousands of teachers in 23 states of the Mexican Republic mobilized to hold marches and sit-ins.

In Mexico City, members of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) and supporters held their demonstration in front of the Ministry of the Interior (Segob). In Chiapas, thousands of teachers from sections 7 and 40 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) marched in Tuxtla Gutierrez, where they took over four radio stations and three television stations to “spread the news about the problems of teaching and to call on parents, social organizations and the general public to join the struggle”, according to accounts in La Jornada. It should be remembered that the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit withheld payment and froze the bank accounts at savings banks of thousands of teachers of Section 7 in Chiapas. In Oaxaca, the teachers staged a sit-in in the main square of the capital and took over ten state offices for ten hours as leverage for negotiation tables. In response, about 1,200 members of the Federal Police and the Gendarmerie arrived to, “according to the government version, strengthen public safety services in the state, […] however, their arrival is more a kettling of Section 22 teachers” said Process. The leader of Section 22 of the CNTE, Ruben Nunez, said that “the federal government does not have the ability to replace the thousands of teachers who have begun an indefinite strike” because in the state of Oaxaca alone they are estimated to be between 13 and 14 thousand. In Guerrero, dissident teachers also mobilized in different parts of the state. In Chilpancingo they blocked the highway del Sol and suspended work in about 240 schools.

The aim of this broad mobilization was to obtain roundtable discussions with the federal government to demand the repeal of education reform and teacher evaluation, request the reinstatement of teachers dismissed for not taking this assessment and to solve the teachers’ conflict. However, according to La Jornada, the Secretary of Public Education, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, stated that, “the government is open to dialogue as long as the discussions are aiming to enrich the educational reform and never knock it down.” He further threatened that “teachers who are leaving children without classes will receive a discount the first day of strike; the second, there will be discount, and the third the same. That’s what the law states. If eventually there is a fourth day of strike they will be discharged.” He added that he has “26,000 teachers ready to replace teachers who are on strike.”

For more information in Spanish:

Descuentos y ceses a paristas, ratifica Nuño (La Jornada, 16 de mayo 2016)

CNTE inicia paro en Michoacán, Chiapas y Oaxaca; Nuño pide a maestros no caer en trampas de líderes (Animal Político, 16 de mayo de 2016)

Con plantón indefinido, maestros de la CNTE exigen a Segob mesa de diálogo (Proceso, 16 de mayo de 2016)

Maestros de Chiapas toman radiodifusoras y televisoras para dar a conocer los objetivos de su movimiento (Proceso, 16 de mayo 2016)

Inician paro miles de maestros de la CNTE en Chiapas (Proceso, 15 de mayo 2016)

Instala SNTE plantón en centro de Tuxtla (La Jornada, 15 de mayo 2016)

La CNTE instala plantón afuera de Gobernación (La Jornada, 15 de mayo 2016)

Reclama la CNTE diálogo en SG (La Jornada, 15 de mayo 2016)

Arriban a Oaxaca mil 200 elementos federales ante protestas del magisterio (Proceso, 18 de mayo de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero: Protestas del magisterio contra la reforma educativa en varios estados (25 de febrero 2016)

Guerrero: Maestros en Acapulco lograron sabotear la evaluación de docentes (14 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Muere un maestro en los enfrentamientos de oposición a la evaluación magisterial (10 de diciembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: Baja participación en la evaluación magisterial en Oaxaca (7 de diciembre de 2015)

Nacional: Policías federales acuden a estados que se oponen a la Evaluación de Desempeño; se anuncian actividades en rechazo a la Reforma Educativa (21 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Choques entre policía y magisterio en el bloqueo a la evaluación (21 de octubre de 2015)


Guerrero/National: Judges Presume 43 Missing Students from Ayotzinapa Dead

May 22, 2016

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According to Reforma, based on a copy of the judgements issued by the Tamaulipas courts, enforced disappearance has been discarded in the case of the 43 trainee teachers from the Teacher Training School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (September 2014) given that the indications are that the youths were executed and not hidden by an authority: “the procedural records coincidentally point [to the fact] that the victims were not kept in concealment; on the contrary, they were detained, deprived of their liberty and transported to where they were summarily executed.”

Due to this,  overturning the arrest warrants against 56 accused, including the former mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife, members of the Iguala and Cocula municipal police, and alleged members of “Guerreros Unidos” gang, was rejected.

On another note, two of the victims have been identified, Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz and Alexander Mora Venancio based on analysis of the remains found in Río San Juan, in Cocula. These identifications could eventually consign those involved for the crime of homicide.

For more information in Spanish: 

Los 43 normalistas, víctimas de ejecución sumaria, concluyen jueces (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de mayo de 2016)

Sentencias de jueces descartan el delito de desaparición forzada en el caso Ayotzinapa (Animal Político, 14 de mayo de 2016)

Los 43 están muertos y no fueron ocultados por el Gobierno: Jueces (Sdp Noticias, 14 de mayo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Guerrero/México: GIEI concluye su trabajo México entregando un segundo informe. (28 de abril de 2016)

Nacional/Internacional : PGR abre investigación contra Emilio Álvarez Icaza, Secretario Ejecutivo de la CIDH (31 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/Mexico: IGIE Ends its Work in Mexico Presenting a Second Report

May 7, 2016

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On April 24, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE), appointed by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) to investigate the enforced disappearance of 43 students from the Teacher Training School at Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, in September 2014, ended its work of more than one year with the presentation of a second report. The final stage of the work the IGIE carried out occurred in the middle of a media campaign to discredit its members and work. Some weeks ago, a complaint was made against the executive secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Alvarez Icaza, for alleged fraud in detriment of the Federation for almost two million dollars given by the Federal Government for the investigation of the Ayotzinapa case.

The mothers and fathers of the disappeared believe that the group of experts “has been thrown out of the country” by the Federal Government as their work has not been concluded and the 43 have not been found. The Government for its part argues that the presence of the IGIG was agreed with a time limit, which was even extended by a second six-month period. Since its first report, the IGIE concluded that there is not sufficient scientific evidence to support the official version of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR in its Spanish acronym) which claims that the missing student teachers were incinerated at a dump in the municipality of Cocula, Guerrero. This presumably happened at the hands of municipal police in collusion with members of organized crime.

In the second report (of over 600 pages) various inconsistencies and omissions in the file of the Attorney General of the Republic on the Ayotzinapa case were revealed. It pointed out that, “The investigation had difficulties that cannot be exclusively attributed to the complexity of the case. The slowness in responses to requests of the IGIE, the delay in the practice of evidence, the formal and not substantial responses to many concerns, the [fact that] other lines of investigation were not followed, cannot be seen as simple improvised or partial obstacles. They demonstrate structural barriers.” Among the lines of investigation which were not exhausted are the cell phones of the some of the student teachers, which continued to work hours and even days after the events, the participation of police from other localities, and the fifth bus that the students had taken and that was not being investigated. All of these lines could give more clues as to what happened.

The document also produced evidence that proved the participation of the Federal Police in the events and the responsibility at least through negligence of the 27 Battallion of the army in Iguala. It poses that at least 17 of the 61 arrested by the State and Federal authorities were tortured. Another fact that posed questions was the presence of the director of the Criminal Investigation Agency of the PGR on Sunday, October 28, 2014, at the San Juan riverbed, the day before the “official version” of the discovery of the supposed remains of some of the students in the same river and the Cocula dump was made public. The IGIE commented that, “We did not find any report about these facts, any dispatch of the 28. All the official information begins after the 29 of October.”

For more information in Spanish:

Los 10 puntos explosivos del informe #GIEIAyotzinapa (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2016)

Mostró el GIEI un sistema judicial corrupto y brutal: NYT (La Jornada, 26 de abril de 2016)

Padres reciben con tristeza informe GIEI, nos sentimos desamparados: voc. Con Ricardo Rocha (Radio Formula, 26 de abril de 2016)

Evita Osorio Chong reunirse con integrantes del GIEI; los remite con Campa Cifrián (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2016)

9 ‘huecos’ del expediente Ayotzinapa detectados en el informe final del GIEI (Expansión CNN, 25 de abril de 2016)

Remata el GIEI: evidencias manipuladas, omisiones y torturas en caso Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 24 de abril de 2016)

Confrontado con el gobierno, concluye el GIEI trabajo en México (La Jornada, 24 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/ Nacional: EAAF y GIEI reaccionan ante conclusiones sobre fuego en el basurero de Cocula (11 de abril de 2016)

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

Nacional/Internacional : PGR abre investigación contra Emilio Álvarez Icaza, Secretario Ejecutivo de la CIDH (31 de marzo de 2016)


Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero/National: Criminalization of Social Protest

April 26, 2016

Protest.pngDuring the teachers’ mobilizations in Chiapas. Photo: @Cuartoscuro

On Friday April 15, the teachers began a day of mobilizations across the country as part of a “new struggle against educational reform, for the defense of public education, and employment stability”, which began with the blockade of highways, ports and border crossings in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan, and Chiapas.

Teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) on the Tehuantepec Isthmus led two highway blockades as part of their actions against educational reform, the education law in Oaxaca, and to demand the release of political prisoners. In Guerrero, contingents of the State Coordinator of Education Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) blocked the lanes of the Sol Mexico-Acapulco motorway from morning as well as demonstrating on a number of streets of the capital. In Michoacan, at least three thousand members of CNTE, accompanied by trainee teachers of Arteaga municipality and some social organizations took control of the entrances to the industrial zone and blocked the exit to the Morelia motorway.

In Chiapas, the “disproportionate use of the security forces, arbitrary arrests, torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatments which characterize repression and criminalization of social protest” were committed and documented by the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) in San Cristobal de Las Casas and Tuxtla Gutierrez during the actions of the teachers from CNTE and the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE). CDHFBC pointed out that elements of the Federal Police, the Gendarmerie, and the State Police took part and used “indiscriminately and unjustifiably tear gas and rubber bullets damaging the health of those who were protesting.” Also, they denounced that they physically injured the passersby or those who were at the site of the repression, including children, women, and seniors. In the two cities, elements of the police “arbitrarily detained and with inhumane and/or degrading treatment, without respect for personal guarantees nor mediating protocols that protect security and integrity, at least eight women teachers, ten male teachers and three passersby” who were removed to the maximum security prison at Tepic, Nayarit.

The Ministry of Public Education (SEP) made it known that it sanctioned “with discounts […] and with separation from service 13,700 teachers” who participated in the protests against educational reform in different states of the country. CDHFBC urged the Mexican State to “assume the obligation to protect, guarantee and respect human rights; cease repression and criminalization of social protest; guarantee life, integrity and personal security of those who exercise their legitimate right to free protest; immediately, effectively, seriously, thoroughly and impartially see to these events, sanctioning those responsible for the human rights violations described; and immediately release the people arbitrarily arrested and unjustifiably transferred accused of invented crimes as justification for the repressive actions.”  

For more information in Spanish:

Movilización de la CNTE contra la reforma educativa en 28 estados (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2016)

SEP sancionará a más de 13 mil docentes por protestas (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2016)

Policías repliegan a maestros en Chiapas (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2016)

Boletín: La represión del Estado mexicano criminaliza la protesta social en Chiapas (CDHFBC, 16 de abril de 2016)

Tortura y represión en operativos contra SNTE en Chiapas: Frayba (La Jornada, 17 de abril de 2016)

Criminaliza el Estado a los maestros en Chiapas: Frayba (Desinformémonos, 17 de abril de 2016)

Acusan golpes y torturas contra maestros detenidos en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de abril de 2016)

Con marchas y protestas, exigen la liberación de maestros detenidos en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de abril de 2016)

NotiFrayba:Criminalización de la protesta social en Chiapas (CDHFBC, 18 de abril de 2016)

For more information form SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero: Protestas del magisterio contra la reforma educativa en varios estados (25 de febrero de 2016)

Guerrero: Maestros en Acapulco lograron sabotear la evaluación de docentes (14 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Choques entre policía y magisterio en el bloqueo a la evaluación (21 de octubre de 2015)


National: Senate Passes Federal Law for Special Economic Zones (SEZ)

April 17, 2016

SEZ.pngThe Special Economic Zones @Presidencia de la República

On Thursday, April 14, the Senate passed the Federal Law for Special Economic Zones (SEZ) with 88 votes in favor and eight against. The purpose of this law is to reduce poverty, allow for the provision of basic services and broaden the opportunities for a healthy and productive life in the regions which have the greatest deficiencies in social and economic development, according to the judgment. It will do so through the promotion of investment, productivity, competitiveness, employment, and a greater distribution of income among the population. The law establishes preferential conditions for national and foreign private companies. It will give concessions for 40 years, renewable for 40 more, and will enjoy tax and customs exemptions for eight years, for example.

While the Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN), Ecologist Green Party (PVEM) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) endorsed the law, the PRD senator, Dolores Padierna, rejected it. She pointed out that the law does not provide for any social benefit but benefits “for the economic elite of this country and foreign companies.” Similarly, senator Layda Sansores San Ramon, Citizens Movement (MC), considers that “it auctions Mexico.” Sharing this idea, the coordinator of the Work Party (PT), Manuel Bartlett warned that the developers of the SEZ will become administrators of the states of the republic in which they operate and seek “to deepen the appropriation of national territory for big international finance companies.” In effect, the law plans the expropriation of all territories required to establish investment projects, which will be administered by businessmen, who will be able to operate their own surveillance and security companies. Bartlett concluded assuring that “this is not a Peña Nieto project, because Peña Nieto has no projects. This is a North American plan studied in its universities. It is a big lie that with growth there can be a distribution of wealth.”

For more information in Spanish:

Aprueba el Senado ley sobre zonas económicas especiales (Educa, 15 de abril 2016)

Con ZEE, Peña Nieto pretende terminar de rematar a México: Layda (Pagin@bierta, 15 de abril 2016)
Avanza ley de Zonas Económicas Especiales en el Senado (La Jornada, 14 de abril 2016)
Senado votará el jueves por ley de Zonas Económicas Especiales (La jornada, 13 de abril 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

México / Nacional: Diputados aprueban Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales (18 de diciembre 2015)


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)


Chiapas: Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice Reaches San Cristobal de Las Casas

April 10, 2016

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The event in Plaza de la Paz, San Cristobal de las Casas, Photo @ SIPAZ

On April 7, the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice reached Plaza de La Paz in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where it held a discussion with representatives of various civil organizations which expressed their accompaniment and solidarity. The Caravan is a broad initiative of families of victims of human rights violations, civil society organizations and social movements from different nations, which call for a “halt to the war on drugs.” On their journey, the Caravan has joined a group of some 35 people from seven countries. It left Honduras on March 28 and will arrive to New York on April 18. According to Otros Mundos, “the route reflects the commitment to raise the voice of the victims and of the heroes of the war on drugs, and it turns out they are the same. From their pain, the victims are becoming in an organized way the people who struggle for peace and justice, for an exit from the war.” On their way through Mexico, the Caravan entered through the border of Guatemala – Mexico at La Mesilla – Ciudad Cuauhtemoc on April 6. There they held an event in which they listened to the words and struggles in the region of the southern border of Mexico, “invaded by a growing militarization which worsens the human rights situation of the peoples in defense and care of the earth as well as migrants from Central America and Chiapas year after year.” The participants in the Caravan proposed a compilation of testimonies of violations of human rights committed combatting drugs with the aim of presenting it at the special session on narcotics at the General Assembly of the United Nations, to be held from April 19 – 21.

During the event in San Cristobal de Las Casas, some civil organizations, among them Otros Mundos, The Civil Society of Las Abejas of Acteal, and Mesoamerican Voices shared their words. They demanded “that justice be done for the killing of the coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH), Berta Caceres, murdered on March 3 last in Honduras.” The Colombian Alex Serra, who coordinated the passage of the Caravan through Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala reiterated that, “one of our principal demands is that justice be done because she was part of the Caravan and with her murder, we are in mourning.” In commemoration of the Honduran leader, there was a minute of applause during the event. Las Abejas de Acteal underlined that if “there is insecurity for the life of the population of Honduras, migration and pillage of our mother earth, it is not only in Honduras, there is also a wave of violence and injustice here in Chiapas and in Mexico, the youth of Ayotzinapa being a clear example.” Marco Castillo of the Popular Assembly of Migrant Families and coordinator of the Caravan in Mexico, sustained that, “it would appear that the great gain of the war is not security but the control of territory, terrorism in the population, such that it is undeniable that the security policy has failed.”

The Caravan left at noon on the same day to Oaxaca, from where it will travel to Morelos to have a meeting with Javier Sicilia, leader of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. From there it will continue its way to the seat of the United Nations Organization (UNO) in New York to demand justice and dignity.

For more information in Spanish:

Página Web de la Caravana por la Paz, la Vida y la Justicia

La Caravana por la Paz, la Vida y la Justicia, en la ruta de la violencia y la resistencia (Otros Mundos, 8 de abril de 2016)

Arriba Caravana por la Paz y la Justicia (Cuarto Poder, 8 de abril de 2016)

La caravana por la paz llegó ayer a San Cristóbal (La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2016)

Acogida a la Caravana por La Paz, la Vida y la Justicia en su entrada al país y en su paso por Chiapas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 7 de abril de 2016)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal: “La sangre de la compañera Bertha podría expandir en todas partes del mundo. “ (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Justicia para Berta Cáceres y Nelson Noé García. Protección para Gustavo Castro Soto (29 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas/Internacional: Asesinan a defensora hondureña (Berta Cáceres) en presencia de defensor mexicano (Gustavo Castro) (7 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/internacional: La CIDH expresa su preocupación ante el endurecimiento de las autoridades mexicanas hacia los migrantes y sus defensores en la frontera Sur© SIPAZ Mural de migrantes, Chiapas (17 junio de 2015)


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