Guerrero: Escalation in Unstoppable Violence

February 22, 2017

tlachinollan.jpg

The Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, in its latest publication called “Armed Civilians”, denounces the escalation of the unstopable violence that is being experienced in the state of Guerrero “where visible power is absent and moreover if complicit with criminality.” Tlachinollan explains the links that state politicians have established with new players belonging to organized crime and big transnational corporations. It affirms that the state is no longer in the service of nor does it protect the population but the macroeconomic interests of the large transnational corporations and those of organized crime, both linked to each other, generating “an atmosphere of fear that places people in a state of extreme vulnerability.” It declares that the development model is “deployed in the dispossession and privatization of strategic resources” and that “the entire strength of the state is focused on safeguarding the wealth of the looters” while seriously undermining social inequality. In addition, the Center for Human Rights points to the criminalization of social leaders: they “disappear and violently attack those who oppose such truculent businesses and the plunder of natural resources of transnational corporations.”

In that same publication, Tlachinollan reports that “[in] Guerrero in different regions of the state non-state actors linked to organized crime which society labels as armed civilian groups have incubated. They are armed men who invade villages to attack entire families and communities.”

Tlachinollan concludes by blaming the security forces and the Army itself of being “unable to contain this institutional disorder because they are called to protect macroeconomic interests and the different twists of the criminal economy that are laundered with the businesses of transnational corporations. They are never at the place or time when the population needs protection. In contrast, armed civilians move freely, knowing that the street is under their control. “

For more information in Spanish:

OPINIÓN | Los civiles armados (Centro de derechos humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 5 de febrero de 2017)

 


Guerrero: Massive Mobilization to Guarantee Basic Rights in La Montaña

February 8, 2017

Mont.jpgLa Montaña rises against hunger and discrimination. Photo@Tlachinollan

On February 6, the communities that form the Council of Damaged Communities of La Montaña (CCDM in its Spanish acronym) called for a massive mobilization in Tlapa de Comonfort “given [the] fault of the authorities to guarantee basic rights in the mountain of Guerrero.”

More than three years after the devastation of Hurricane Ingrid and Storm Manuel, CCDM communities “decided to raise their voices and take action until their voices are heard.” They denounce that in the midst of the devastation that affected sixteen thousand families; which forced 35 communities to move; which totally destroyed 4,350 homes, which led to the disappearance of schools and clinics razed by rivers, and the death of at least 40 people, “the response of state and federal authorities is inaction.”

Hurricane Ingrid and Storm Manuel also caused the losses in the agricultural cycle and shortages in the distribution networks, directly affecting not only the only economic income for the communities’ livelihoods, but their only means of subsistence. The La La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, which accompanies the CCDM, explains in its latest report entitled “With the Strength of the Mountain we will Collapse the Wall of Iniquity”, that despite the various agreements between representatives of the federal and state institutions and the CCDM and despite many mobilizations of the CCDM to demand their application, these agreements were not met. Therefore, given the delay in the delivery of basic grains, the worsening of the food crisis, the increase of diseases caused by malnutrition, the CDMW decided to undertake another mobilization “to call on the authorities to comply with the commitments made [ ] ensure the continuity of deliveries and respect the agreements agreed with the mountain peoples.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Derrumbar el muro de la iniquidad (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 6 de febrero de 2017)
Miles de indígenas contra el hambre y la marginación en la Montaña de Guerrero(Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 6 de febrero de 2017)

Damnificados en Guerrero por huracán denuncian indiferencia de autoridades (La Jornada, 6 de febrero de 2017)
Denuncian en Tlapa falta de cumplimiento de la Federación con las familias indígenas (La Jornada Guerrero, 4 de febrero de 2017)
Invitación: Masiva movilización en Tlapa, Guerrero. Ante omisión de las autoridades (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 3 de febrero de 2017)
Con la fuerza de la montaña derrumbaremos el muro de iniquidad (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 3 de febrero de 2017)

For more information from Sipaz:


Guerrero: Se logra acuerdo para implementación de un programa de abastecimiento de granos básicos para los damnificados de la Montaña (22 de febrero 2014)

Guerrero: Damnificados de la Montaña realizan “Peregrinación del Hambre” por falta de apoyo gubernamental (5 de febrero de 2014)

Guerrero: Damnificados de las tormentas migran para poder subsistir (22 de octubre de 2013)


National: UNO Special Rapporteur Visits Mexico to Evaluate Human Rights Situation

February 5, 2017

UNO.pngMichael Forst, UNO Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. Photo@MuralChiapas

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, visited Mexico from January 16 to 24 with the aim of assessing the situation of human rights defenders and evaluating the efforts made by the Mexican authorities for their protection. After traveling the country from Mexico City to the states of Chihuahua, Guerrero, Oaxaca and the State of Mexico, and meeting more than 800 defenders from 24 states, 60% of whom were women, the UNO Rapporteur noted “high levels of insecurity and violence faced by defenders in the country” in a “complex context marked by organized crime, corruption and state repression.”

Based on his observations, Forst points out that, “the situation of human rights defenders is marked by the criminalization of their activities through the undue and deliberate use of criminal law and manipulation of punitive power by both state and non-state players, to prevent and even avoid the legitimate activities of defenders to promote and protect human rights.” He also added that “the use of arbitrary arrests and detentions as an instrument to silence dissident voices and to curb social movements is also worrying (…) in many cases, those who defend human rights by reporting violations committed by the authorities are criminalized and face indirect reprisals through attacks or criminal proceedings directed against their families or people close to them.”

The Special Rapporteur expressed concern about the fact that “98% of crimes in Mexico are not solved”: “The low rate of successful investigations and solution of crimes committed against human rights defenders has generated a generalized sense of impunity.” He continued and warned that, “The lack of investigation and sanction of the aggressors sends a dangerous message that there are no consequences for committing such crimes. This creates an environment conducive to the repetition of violations.”

“Impunity has become the cause and effect of the general insecurity of human rights defenders in Mexico,” the Special Rapporteur warned at the close of his official visit to the country and presented a preliminary report with a series of recommendations to the authorities and other players to strengthen the protection of human rights defenders and facilitate their important work. Forst concluded by reaffirming his willingness to provide assistance to all players interested in combating impunity and ensuring the protection of defenders in Mexico.

For more information in Spanish

México / Defensores de DD HH: “La mejor forma de protegerlos es luchando contra la impunidad” – Experto de la ONU (Naciones Unidas, 25 de enero de 2017)

Relator de la ONU concluye visita en México (El Financiero, 24 de enero de 2017)

DEFENSORAS Y DEFENSORES DEL TERRITORIO DENUNCIAN AGRESIONES ANTE RELATOR DE LA ONU (23 de febrero de 2017)

Repudian ONU y ONG asesinato del ambientalista Isidro Baldenegro (19 de enero de 2017)

Relator de la ONU evalúa violación de DD.HH. en México (TeleSUR, 17 de enero de 2017)

Viene a México relator especial de ONU para defensores de DH (La Jornada, 11 de enero de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Visita no oficial del relator especial de la ONU sobre la Situación de las y los defensores de Derechos Humanos (13 de mayo de 2016)

Nacional: Gobierno rechazó visita del relator para la tortura de la ONU (13 de mayo de 2016) Nacional: Relator especial de la ONU sobre la tortura finaliza visita oficial a México (6 de mayo de 2014)


Guerrero: The PGR Denies Concealing Information from the IGIE in Ayotzinapa Case

January 28, 2017

ayotziRelatives continue to demand justice, Photo@: Ronaldo Schemidt

Alfredo Higuera Bernal, head of the investigation office of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR in its Spanish acronym) in the Iguala case, denied concealing information from the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) and the relatives of the 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa in 2014 in an interview with La Jornada.

 One of IGIE’s hypotheses to explain the attack on the students was that they took buses used by an organized crime cartel, Guerreros Unidos, to smuggle drugs into the United States. According to La Jornada, the PGR was aware of the use of buses by the cartel for its trafficking. Two months before the disappearance of the 43, in July 2014, the Army and the PGR detained Gonzalo Martin Souza Neves and Jose Bahena Salgado, members of Guerreros Unidos, in possession of about 250,000 dollars in cash, three vehicles and 24 kilos of heroin. On the day of the arrest, the Ministry of the Interior reported through bulletin 351/14 that Gonzalo Martin Souza Neves had “taken control of the criminal group […] and was in charge of drug trafficking through hidden compartments in various vehicles, mainly in passenger buses (sic).”

However, when the IGIE requested information from the PGR to investigate its hypothesis, the PGR never provided it with background information related to the trafficking of heroin in passenger buses. According to La Jornada, in response to a request for information on Guerreros Unidos, the PGR indicated that it only found “data according to which the criminal group was formed in 2011 by members of the Familia Michoacana and the Beltran Leyva”, without mentioning the arrest of July 2014. Similarly, on presenting its final report on the Ayotzinapa case – known as the white paper – in June 2016, the PGR stated that “so far no evidence has been found that sustains” the IGIE hypothesis.

Failure to mention this information to either the parents or the IGIE could indicate that there has been no good faith on the part of the PGR according to La Jornada, and it is even more serious because it is information of special relevance. Alfredo Higuera Bernal did not confirm the accusations of concealment and assured that “that line of investigation was one of the main approaches that the IGIE took and has been the subject of treatment in the talks that we have with the representatives of the parents.”

Despite the difficulties encountered in the investigation to find their children, the parents of the missing continue their search and their demand for justice and truth. Six months after suspending dialogue with the government, they declared that next February 9 they will meet with the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), Raul Cervantes Andrade, and a member of the Follow-up Commission of the Iguala Case of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which acts as a mediator between the parties to arrive at a new negotiating table. The parents will present their demands, including legal action against Tomas Zeron, exercise of criminal action against the Huitzuco municipal police and two agents of the Federal Police, for participating in the disappearance of the student teachers.

For more information in Spanish:

Padres de los 43 y PGR reanudarán diálogo en febrero (La Jornada, 26 de enero de 2017)

Rechaza Alfredo Higuera que haya habido ocultamiento en el caso Iguala (La Jornada, 24 de enero de 2017)

PGR ocultó el trasiego de droga en autobuses (La Jornada, 23 de enero de 2017)

PGR ocultó datos sobre trasiego de drogas en caso Iguala (UniRadioInforma, 23 de enero de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Guerrero: Grupo de Expertos sobre caso Ayotzinapa presenta su informe a 6 meses (7 de septiembre de 2015)

Guerrero: Familiares de estudiantes desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa se reunen con PGR por primera vez en 4 meses (16 de julio de 2015)

 


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/Mexico: CNI and EZLN Denounce Attacks during the Indigenous Consultation

December 14, 2016

CNI.pngPhoto@SIPAZ

Members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) denounced in a communiqué on December 2 numerous acts of aggression and harassment of participants in their fifth Congress during the consultation they have been conducting. “The fear of the powerful, the extractive companies, the military, the narco-paramilitaries is such that our consultation is being attacked and harassed where our peoples are gathering to discuss and decide the steps to follow as the CNI “.

 They specifically denounced:

 “-In the Nahua indigenous community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán, the narco-paramilitary harassment by the Templar Knights cartel has intensified, and through a paper signed on November 19, 2016, the same date on which a regional assembly discussed on the Michoacan coast the resolutions of the first stage of the V CNI, they threatened to do a “clean up” of those who participate in demonstrations together with the community police commanders.

 – That compañeros who, by agreement of the assembly of the V CNI in October 2016, have moved through different geographies of the country where the original peoples have wanted to dialogue with delegates of other peoples regarding our political proposal, have been victims of aggression and harassment by criminal gangs or by unknown persons, such as the burning of homes in their places of origin, or attacks on other vehicles to try to remove them from the roads where they need to travel.

 – That while foreign companies intend to seize 12 oil wells in the northern Zoque territory of Chiapas, on November 23, 2016, a group of armed men pretending to be government teachers and with the consent of the Undersecretary of Federated Education of Chiapas, Eduardo Campos Martinez and the chief, Delfino Alegria Garcia, abducted a group of indigenous teachers from the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) in the northern area of Chiapas, and attacked them with high-powered weapons. Outside the office of the Secretary of Education in the municipality of Ixtacomitán, Chiapas. The attack resulted in the loss of life of Professor Zoque Roberto Diaz Aguilar, originally from Chapultenango, Chiapas and three other people were injured.

 – That the teacher Irineo Salmerón Dircio, Coordinator of the House of Justice in San Luis Acatlan and member of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC-PC) was abducted – disappeared by an armed group in the municipality of Tixtla, Guerrero; and two days later his dead body was found in the municipality of Chilapa, Guerrero, a few days after in that same municipality at least 15 communities of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata held an assembly as part of the consultation in which we are participating.”

 For more information in Spanish:

 EZLN denuncia agresiones durante consulta indígena, La Jornada, 2 de diciembre de 2016

A pesar de agresiones contra pueblos indígenas la consulta va, anuncian EZLN y CNI, Radio Formula, 2 de diciembre de 2016

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional : Nuevo comunicado del EZLN aclara propuesta conjunta con el CNI (25/11/2016)

Chiapas/Nacional : Candidata presidencial “no es decisión de una persona” (Subcomandante Moíses) (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas /Nacional: Polémica después de la propuesta planteada por el EZLN y el CNI en octubre (24 de octubre de 2016)

Chiapas / Nacional : CNI y EZLN realizarán consulta para nombrar a una candidata indígena hacia las elecciones presidenciales de 2018 (15 de octubre de 2016)

 


Guerrero: Former Chief of Police of Iguala, Fugitive after Disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa Students, Arrested

November 1, 2016

Iguala.pngFelipe Flores Velazquez, former chief of police of Iguala, implicated in the disappearance of the 43 students. Photo@ La Jornada

On October 21, Felipe Flores Velazquez, former chief of police of Iguala, fugitive after the disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa in September 2014, was arrested. It was in Iguala that elements of the Federal, marine and military police tracked him down and arrested him. The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) had announced a reward of two and a half million pesos to anyone who provided information leading to the location, arrest or detention of Flores. The former police chief is accused of organized crime, kidnapping student teachers and covering up the municipal police officers involved in the disappearance of students.

According to statements from one of those detained for the Ayotzinapa case, Felipe Flores along with the deputy police chief of Cocula, Cesar Nava Gonzalez, were the ones who handed over the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa to members of Guerreros Unidos on night September 26, under orders from Jose Luis Abarca, the former mayor of Iguala.

According to Animal Politico, the PGR considers his capture as key to the outcome of investigations into the Ayotzinapa case.

For more information in Spanish:

Detienen al ex jefe policial de Iguala, clave en la desaparición de los 43 normalistas (Animal político, a 21 de octubre de 2016)

Abren juicio contra Felipe Flores, el ex jefe policial de Iguala, clave en el caso Ayotzinapa (Animal político, a 26 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Actualización “caso Iguala” – siguen desaparecidas 43 personas (a 3 de octubre de 2014)