Guerrero: Activists and artists demand the release of Nestora Salgado

July 23, 2015

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Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 17 July, social collectives, artists, and activists protested at a political-cultural event in favor of the release of Nestora Salgado, commander of the Communal Police of Olinalá, Guerrero, who has been imprisoned for two years now. The event was held outside the Tetepan Center for Social Reinsertion, as organized by the “Women to Free Nestora” committee. As part of this activity, the concert “Let us open paths for liberation” was held, with the participation of several female rappers. Through music and rhythms, they pronounced themselves in favor of the release of Nestora, and against the criminalization of social struggles.

During the action, an audio message from Nestora was played, wherein she expressed gratitude for the support evinced at the action. In this way, she also called on the Guerrero state congress to support the Law on Amnesty, and she called on the Secretary for Governance and the United Nations High Commissioner in Mexico to follow her case. She stressed that she “wants to show that this incarceration is unjust. I have been imprisoned on false charges, these being crimes I never committed.” Lastly, she called on Mexican society to unite efforts to promote the liberty of political prisoners: “Only with your support will our freedom be assured.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen libertad para Nestora Salgado (Somos el Medio, julio de 2015)

Nestora Libre

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: Nestora Salgado, newly accused (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: Nestora Salgado is transferred to a Mexico City prison (10 June 2015)

Guerrero: Still on hunger strike, Nestora Salgado continues to hope for transfer as her health declines (9 June 2015)

Guerrero: political prisoner Nestora Salgado, coordinator of the Communal Police of Olinalá, begins hunger strike (16 May 2015)


Guerrero: March in Tlapa de Comonfort, one month after the murder of Antonio Vivar Díaz

July 22, 2015

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Federal police invade the Tepeyac community, Tlapa, 7 June 2015. Photo @Tlachinollan

On 7 July, a month after the murder of Antonio Vivar Díaz, an activist from the Popular Guerrerense Movement (MPG), at the hands of federal police, some 2,000 teachers, retirees, and neighbors of the Tepeyac community marched in Tlapa to demand justice and punishment for those responsible. On 7 June, election day, Federal Police arrested eight people from El Tepeyac while lacking any arrest-orders. The tensions between the federal police and neighbors was controlled at about 8pm, when it was agreed that the 8 prisoners would be released and transferred to Tlapa, in exchange for 30 federal police who had been taken by the community. Regardless, this agreement was broken by the police and military, who entered forcibly using tear-gas to rescue the detained police. This action caused the death of the activist and teacher Antonio Vivar Díaz by gunshot.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, in a report on 7 July notes that “the victims of the grave human-rights violations […] find themselves in a very high-risk situation. For this reason it is critical that the State implement the necessary measures to protect the lives and physical and psychological integrity of the victims, witnesses, and all other residents of the Tepeyac community […].” In this way, on 7 July, the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) released an open letter to the Secretary for Governance and the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) which demands that “an immediate, exhaustive, effective, and impartial investigation be launched into these acts, particularly the death of Antonio Vivar Díaz,”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan maestros y estudiantes en Tlapa; exigen justicia por el activista asesinado por federales (El Sur de Acapulco, 8 de julio de 2015)

Los ocho de Tlapa no se conocían ni fueron detenidos en la CETEG (El Sur de Acapulco, 6 de julio de 2015)

OPINIÓN | Las ejecuciones del Ejército en Guerrero (CDHM Tlachinollan, 6 de julio de 2015)

Ficha Informativa (CDHM Tlachinollan, 7 de julio de 2015)

Carta Abierta (OMCT, 7 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: PRI wins elections within violent context (25 June 2015)

Guerrero: Murders and death-threats against candidates for June elections (17 May 2015)


Guerrero: Relatives of disappeared students from Ayotzinapa meet with PGR for first time in 4 months

July 22, 2015

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March in Chilpancingo, February 2015

Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 9 July, the relatives of the 43 forcibly disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, together with their representatives, met with the Federal Attorney General, Arely Gómez. This was the first meeting since the time when Gómez was ratified in this position, and after four months of a breakdown in communication between the relatives and the authorities. The meeting was organized and accompanied by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), which in a press release mentions that “the Group believes that this meeting is an important step to advance in the investigation and improve the relationship with the relatives, and we believe that the result was fruitful.” In the meeting, the Attorney General and the relatives of the students made reference to the importance of the GIEI’s work in terms of the investigation, and they agreed to follow-up mechanisms and for dialogue with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

The lawyer from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, Vidulfo Rosales, reported that the head of the PGR did not pronounce herself about the “historical truth” established by the previous Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam, but rather only indicated that the case continues to be open. The third report from GIEI, published in May 2015, confirmed that the fate of the 43 students victimized by forcible disapeparance cannot be considered resolved in any sense, considering the version and evidence offered by the PGR: firstly, because there exist allegations of torture on the part of some of these persons whose declarations are based on their understanding of the case, and secondly, because there is no solid motive that would explain the beginning of the line advanced by the federal authorities.

It bears mentioning that the GIEI is comprised of 5 international and independent experts who operate under the precautionary measures awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa. The GIEI will be releasing a series of recommendations to the Mexican State regarding the case and the situation of forced disappearance in Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa GIEI (9 de julio de 2015)

Nuevas líneas de investigación para Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 10 de julio de 2015)

Tercer boletín GIEI (11 de mayo 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express taht they will not be silenced (2 de julio de 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (3 May 2015)

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


National/International: Army and security forces involved in extrajudicial executions, torture, and forcible disappearances: US State Department

July 21, 2015

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The U.S. State Department has released its annual report on the human-rights situation in Mexico. It indicated that, in 2014, the Mexican Army and security forces were involved in forcible disappearances and murder, as in the cases of the 43 disappeared youth from Ayotzinapa and the 22 civilians killed in Tlatlaya. In this sense, the report notes that “significant problems related to human rights include the police and military due to their involvement in serious abuses, such as extrajudicial murders, torture, forcible disappearances, and physical abuse.” Furthermore, the report shared the conclusions come to by Juan Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, who denounced that these crimes are the consequence of the various irregularities that exist within the Mexican judicial system. “Impunity and corruption continue to be serious problems, particularly at the state and local levels, in the armed forces, and the judiciary,” the report notes. With reference to organized crime, it mentions that “organized-crime groups are also responsible for numerous murders, frequently acting with impunity and in alliance with corrupt state, local, and federal security officials.”

With respect to the Tlatlaya case in Mexico State, which took place on 30 June 2014, the report reviewed the confrontation between civilians and soldiers in which “22 individuals were killed under suspicious circumstances, some of them after having surrendered.” With regard to the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, the report sustained the conclusions which the Federal Attorney General’s Office had come to, maintaining the charges against the mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife, who were directly accused of responsibility for the disappearance of the students.

Beyond this, State highlighted other serious human-rights problems in Mexico, including the lamentable conditions in prisons and arbitrary arrests. In addition, the State report mentioned the death-threats and violence directed against human-rights defenders and journalists, abuse against migrants, domestic violence, human trafficking, abuse against people with disabilities, social and economic discrimination against the indigenous population, the exploitation of child labor, and attacks and threats against the gay community.

It should be mentioned that the conclusions of the report will serve as evidence for the U.S. Congress to consider when reviewing the amount of economic assistance to be granted next year to Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos en materia de Derechos Humanos 2014, versión en inglés: Mexico 2014 Human Rights Report

Ejército y fuerzas de seguridad de México, involucradas en asesinatos y desaparición de personas: EU (Proceso, 25 de junio de 2015)

Unilateral informe de EU sobre derechos humanos, responde Gobierno de México (Aristegui Noticias, 27 de junio de 2015)

Impunidad y corrupción son “problemas serios” en México, advierte EU(CNN México, 25 de junio de 2015)


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured

July 21, 2015

80 aniversario del Ejido Tila, octubre 2014 @ SIPAZ

80th anniversary of the Tila ejido, October 2014 @ SIPAZ

The ejidatarios from Tila, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, denounced that on 20 June, groups pertaining to the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had a confrontation, given that members of the PVEM “blockaded the crossroads of Jolpokitioc and Yajalón, using all the trucks from the City Hall” on the orders of the PVEM candidate, Edgar Leopoldo Gómez Gutiérrez, with the participation of masked youth who created “social intimidation because they have been seen on the paths near the ejido,” as the public denunciation noted.

Furthermore, on 6 July, the ejidatarios reported that the PRI candidate, Eliseo Trinidad Trujillo, was attacked with a firearms, provoking the arrival of eight cars “full of masked men carrying sticks, rocks, and firearms, as guided by the municipal police director, Jorge Antonio Decelis Guillén, the son of the cacique Gustavo Decelis.” “All of this was taking place within our ejido due to the action of the political parties and their elections, which always end in mutual death, because it is a choice between criminals […]. We want to say that in our Ch’ol indigenous people settled on ejidal land, we have spent 72 years confronting attacks on our land and territory, and it is not a legal space for political parties to come to fight, because the ejido is protected by a presidential resolution from 30 July 1934, published in the Official Diary of the Federation on 16 October of the same year,” they added in their denunciation.

State media mentioned that the PRI candidate had submitted a complaint before the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE). Trinidad Trujillo was injured, but a youth who was accompanying him on tour was injured in the head. Official sources also reported that they had received reports that three youth were injured by gunfire in the Nueva Esperanza neighborhood, being three PVEM militants who were presumably attacked by PRI members.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Tila denuncia sobre la violencia armada partidista (La Otra Ejido Tila, 8 de julio de 2015)

Un candidato a alcalde de Tila, Chiapas, es baleado tras acto de campaña (CNN México, 7 de julio de 2015)

Disputa entre militantes del PRI y PVEM en Chiapas deja cuatro heridos(La Jornada, 7 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (22 January 2014)


National/International: WOLA requests that U.S. suspends the Mérida Initiative

July 21, 2015

WOLA

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), together with another seven human-rights Mexican and U.S. organizations, has requested that the U.S. government arrest the resources earmarked for the Mérida Initiative, due to the fact that the Mexican State has not observed its requirements in terms of human rights. In 008, when the Initiative began, the U.S. Congress made the resources destined for Mexican security forces conditional on significant advances in the realm of human rights. “To detain these resources would signify a very clear message that the U.S. condemns the grave human-rights violations seen in Mexico,” explained Maureen Meyer, the primary coordinator of WOLA in Mexico. In their report, the organizations indicated that, according to their investigations and data, in addition to the findings made by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, Mexico has not progressed in this sense. “In general, to provide Mexican security forces with more training and equipment while corruption and abuses go on unchecked does not contribute to security in the country, but instead continues exacerbating an already grave human-rights situation,” notes the memo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden a EU retener fondos a México por derechos humanos (LaJornada, 9 de julio de 2015)

El memorándum completo (WOLA.org, 9 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/US: 15% of the funds of the Mérida Initiative may be tied conditionally for human-rights concerns (18 May 2012)


National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced

July 3, 2015

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@LaJornada

On 26 June, nine months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, parents of the youth and other groups mobilized in Mexico City, carrying out a rally and an artistic event of 43 hours in length that included poetry-readings and theater next to the Bellas Artes (Fine Arts) Palace. Felipe de la Cruz, the spokesperson for the movement of relatives of the disappeared, said that “just as we have remained firm from the beginning, so will we continue until our youth appear with life.” “We tell you, State, and we say to you that we will be the pebble in your shoe, because we are not going to be silent, and we are not going to stop on our path […]. We will not stop struggling until our sons are presented with life,” said another relative of the disappeared. Also in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, many social organizations united their demands toward the presentation with life of the youth, and they took to the streets to demand justice. Using slogans such as “Down with the State!” and “Investigate the military!” protestors also carried banners denouncing military harassment and educational reforms.

On 17 June, Proceso reported that one of the 43 disappeared students was an active soldier. Previously, a journalist had requested information from the Ministry for National Defense (SEDENA) inquiring into whether any of the disappeared students had been an active soldier. According to the editors, this approach had to do with “a line of investigation regarding the degree of infiltration o the State within the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, which is considered by the political authorities to be a ‘fountain of guerrilleros.” SEDENA responded by saying that “we have found one person whose name corresponds to one of the 42 disappeared students from the Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, following your request; however, the name is classified to protect personal data.” Amidst this revelation, relatives of the disappeared stressed that this “shows clearly the military’s responsibility” in the case. Subsequently, on 26 June, personnel from the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) visited the municipal landfill of Cocula, where in October of last year a clandestine mass-grave was discovered. Beyond this, the command of the Iguala Preventive Police was shuttered, with no further information provided regarding the aim sought by this move.

For more information (in Spanish):

No nos vamos a callar”: familiares a 9 meses del caso Ayotzinapa (CNN México, 26 de junio de 2015)

Manifestantes marchan en Guerrero a 9 meses de caso Ayotzinapa(Informador.mx, 26 de junio de 2015)

Personal de PGR acude a basurero de Cocula a 9 meses del caso Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 17 de junio de 2015)

A nueve meses de su desaparición, padres de normalistas dicen: “está muy cerca la verdad” (Proceso, 27 de junio de 2015)

Personal de PGR acude a basurero de Cocula a 9 meses del caso Ayotzinapa (CNN México, 26 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (3 May 2015)

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


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