Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity

April 10, 2015

20150205_164829Photo @SIPAZ

The first report from the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), a branch of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), indicates that the forcible disappearance of the 43 students on 26 and 27 September 2014 in Iguala amounts to a crime against humanity.  The families of the youth and the organizations which accompany them welcomed this first conclusion from the GIEI.  They expressed that the primary recommendations, which call on the Mexican State to treat the case as a forcible disappearance, gives the hope that justice and truth will soon prevail.  Among the requests made by the Group, stress is placed on gaining access to a digital copy of the evidence that is available to the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), treating the case as a forcible disappearance, establishing a mechanism of medical attention for the relatives in the region, and urgently providing the comatose student Aldo Gutiérrez with a second neurological evaluation, beyond protecting the evidence that exists and continuing with the searches.

On 23 March, relatives of the students and representatives of civil organizations announced that the Mexican government lied to the IACHR during the audience on “Denunciations of forcible disappearance and impunity in Mexico.”  Manuel Olivares, director of the “José María Morelos y Pavón” Center for Human Rights, located in Chilapa, Guerrero, denounced that, contrary to what the State officials said, there existed no search protocol in the Ayotzinapa case, and that the demand for the presentation with live of the students has not been met, either.  “The response from the State is highly inadequate,” he concluded.

In other news, the report indicates that two units from the Reaction Force of the 27th Infantry Batallion, based in Iguala, were patrolling the streets from 11pm on 26 September until 6am the next day.  The soldiers saw the dead, invaded the hospitals in which the injured were found, and were fully knowledgeable of the gunfire and attacks.  On 27 September, the students were looking for their disappeared comrades in the streets, while others made reports to the Ministry of the Interior, but the report from the patrols provided by the 27th Batallion that day claims it to have been a day “without news.”  This information is contained within one of the documents provided to Proceso by the Secretary for National Defesne (SEDENA) in accordance with the Law on Transparency.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de normalistas saludan informe de expertos de CIDH, que acusa desaparición forzada (Centro Prodh, 20 de marzo de 2015)

Insatisfactorias, respuestas de Estado ante CIDH por desaparición forzada (Centro Prodh, 23 de marzo de 2015)

En manos del PJF, petición de la CIDH sobre desaparición forzada (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2015)

Ayotzinapa: sus propios informes comprometen al Ejército (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (6 de marzo de 2015)

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Guerrero: Tlachinollan announces extemporaneous actions from the State to halt the transfer of CECOP spokesperson

March 22, 2015

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On 12 March, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights denounced in a bulletin that, in an extemporaneous way, the penal director for Guerrero State has submitted a motion to review the motion granted to Marco Antonio Suástegui, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), that would have allowed him to be transferred to a jail within the state.  Tlachinollan indicates that this “denotes the clear lack of political will and the arbitrary use of the juridical system on the part of the state government of Guerrero, toward the sole end of continuing with the criminalization of human-rights defenders.”

On 14 March, some 800 people marched in Acapulco in solidarity with CECOP, which had organized a mobilization to demand the release of Suástegui Muñoz, who has been imprisoned since 17 June 2014 in the federal prison in Tepic, Nayarit, and of María de la Cruz Dorantes, who has been imprisoned in Acapulco since 6 October 2014.  Leaders of Cecop denounced that Rogelio Ortega Martínez, the interim governor, has not observed his commitment to intervening to facilitate the release of Suástegui Muñoz, something which he promised to do on 3 March upon signing a pact of reconciliation in Salsipuedes with leaders of CECOP and relatives of the communard in question.  CECOP warned that, as long as Suástegui Muñoz is not released, political candidates and State functionaries will not be allowed entry to Cacahuatepec.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín Retrasa injustificadamente ejecutivo estatal el traslado a Guerrero del defensor comunitario Marco Antonio Suástegui (CDH de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Marchan estudiantes y maestros en apoyo al Cecop para exigir la liberación de Suástegui (La Jornada de Guerrero, 14 de marzo de 2015)

Falta de voluntad política del gobierno estatal que se apelara el amparo de Suástegui: Tlachinollan (El Sur de Acapulco, 16 de marzo de 2015)

Líder del Cecop, enfermo y amenazado por policías de Iguala en Cefereso de Tepic

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Marco Antonio Suastegui, opponent to the La Parota dam, is ordered to return to a Guerrero prison (8 February 2015)

Guerrero: Attack on CECOP members leaves 5 dead (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of María de la Cruz Dorantes, CECOP member (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: demand for release of political prisoners in observance of the eleventh anniversary of CECOP (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on (29 August 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (23 June 2014)


National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Torture presents report about Mexico in Geneva

March 21, 2015

Juan E. Méndez, Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre la Tortura (@Naciones Unidas)

Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (@UN)

On 9 March, Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading Treatment, presented the report based on his visit to Mexico between April and May 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.  In his conclusions, he mentions that “torture and ill-treatment of the incarcerated after their arrest and prior to their presentation to the justice system are generalized phenomena in Mexico which take place within the context of impunity.”  He added that there is evidence of the active participation of police and military forces, “but also tolerance, indifference, or complicity on the part of some doctors, public defenders, prosecutors, and judges.”  He indicated furthermore that torture is used “to punish the arrested and to extract confessions or incriminating information.”  He highlighted moreover that “the impunity of torture and other abuses is sufficient to lead to its repetition and exacerbation.”

For this reason, the Special Rapporteur recommended legislative reforms that would integrate international standards into domestic law, thus effectively preventing and punishing torture and other abuses, as well as to undertake the investigation of all denunciations that are presented, including “the tasks that remain in terms of the Dirty War.”  He recommended also that the dimension of the phenomenon be publicly recognized, and that all the authorities receive strong public pressure insisting that all abuses will be seriously investigated and punished.

Following the presentation of this report, Jorge Lomónaco, Mexican representative before international organizations, affirmed that “we cannot agree with the view that torture is generalized in the country, because that is not the case in reality.”  He added that what the Special Rapporteur claimed “does not reflect the enormous efforts that my country’s government has made to strengthen a culture of respect for human rights in the law and in practice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ver Informe completo (Juan E. Méndez, diciembre de 2014)

Generalizada, la tortura en México (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2015)

“Todos los cuerpos policiales torturan en el país” (El País, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México: entre la tortura y la impunidad (Centro PRODH, Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

La tortura es generalizada en México: relator de ONU; eso es mentira, responde embajador (Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México y ONU ahora chocan por informe sobre la tortura (Milenio, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and killing of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and kidnapping of youth Hiber Audentino García Villafuerte (1 January, 2014)


Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope for the Ayotzinapa case

March 21, 2015

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March-rally, 5 February 2015 in Chilpancingo. Photo @SIPAZ

The parents of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala confirmed their trust in the team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which at the beginning of this month started to review the evidence on the happenings of 26 September 2014.  Felipe de la Cruz, spokesperson for the parents of the disappeared, said that the arrival of the independent specialists represents an advance, given that it provides hope that truthful results will result from the investigations that they plan to undertake, “rather than a theater put on by the Federal Attorney General’s Office [PGR].”  He added that it is hoped that the PGR will come to an agreement regarding the inspection of military barracks on the part of the parents, as they have been told that the conditions are not appropriate at this time.  The parents want to know that they are not just going in circles.  Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, their lawyer, has specified that the IACHR specialists are not those in charge of carrying out the investigation, but rather that they will review what has occurred so far within the ongoing investigation so as to make recommendations when irregularities are found.

In recent days, relatives of Julio César Mondragón Fontes, the student who was murdered and defigured, rejected the conclusions made by the PGR that accuse the Iguala municipal police officer Luis Francisco Martínez Díaz as responsible for the murder.  The relatives noted that after five months without the minimum of attention dedicated to clarifying the torture and execution of Julio César, “now the PGR seeks to close the case with a summary media action, thus leaving unresolved one of the very ‘reasons for which the Ayotzinapa case cannot be closed.'”  Beyond this, they demanded that the torture and extrajudicial execution of the youth be investigated as a murder.  They have demanded that the investigation be serious, profound, and based in science.  In a communique released on 4 March, the family denounces that the case has been investigated using two lines directed by Chilpancingo: murder and organized crime.  “This makes no sense, given that it was torture and an extrajudicial execution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Llegada del grupo de CIDH, un “avance”, afirman familiares (Milenio, 6 de marzo de 2015)

Expertos de la CIDH se reúnen con autoridades encargadas de la investigación de Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Familiares de normalista exigen a Arely Gómez que retome el caso (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police

March 10, 2015

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Homage to teacher Claudio Castillo. Photo @SIDIDH

On 25 February, the Guerrero state government confirmed the death of the teacher Claudio Castillo Peña due to cranial trauma, following the conflict between the Federal Police and members of the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) the day prior in Acapulco.  Raúl Miliani Sabido,  the Secretary for Civil Protection in the state, said in an interview that “unfortunately we do have the confirmation” of Castillo’s death, being 65 years of age.  Castillo Peña belonged to the teachers’ movement of the retired and usually was one of the speakers at the actions organized by the teachers in resistance.  Due to his state of health, the teacher used crutches, and witnesses observe that he could not run to escape the police displacement operation.  The Attorney General of Guerrero State announced on 26 February that the appropriate investigations had begun to investigate and establish the legal responsibilities of the civilian courts.

Testimony from female members of CETEG who had been at the front of the contingent when it was attacked by the Federal Police confirms the sexual abuse of a teacher who has been hospitalized in Cuernavaca, Morelos.  In a communique she relates that during the chase, the police caught up with her “and began to beat me, then I fell.  So they took me to a remote place where they raped me multiple times, hurt me, and caused me to lose consciousness due to so much pain.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Guerrero confirma la muerte de un profesor en Acapulco (La Jornada, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Maestro jubilado muere tras desalojo en Acapulco (Cuartoscuro, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Fiscalía de Guerrero investiga desalojo y asesinato de maestro(Excelsior, 26 de febrero de 2015)

Fue violada “una y otra vez” por policías federales, denuncia maestra(Sur Acapulco, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Al maestro sí lo mató la Policía Federal; cuatro profesoras fueron violadas, denuncia la Ceteg (CENCOS, 26 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


National/Oaxaca/Chiapas: National tour on forcible disappearance in Mexico

March 10, 2015

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Press-conference, 2 March.  Photo@Sipaz

On 2 and 3 March, in observance of the “National tour on forcible disappearance in Mexico: the case of Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya, a crime against humanity,” as organized by the National Front for the Struggle toward Socialism (FNLS) and the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared “Until We Find Them,” a press-conference was organized together with a teacher’ meeting in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The relatives in question, Nadin Reyes Maldonado and Margarita Cruz Sánchez, as well as the lawyer César Augusto Sandino Rivero Espinosa, presented the case of the two social activists, who were detained and disappeared in 2007.  They denounced that “the Mexican State continues insists on maintaining the military on the margins of consideration.  Of the four lines of investigation in the case, at least three mention the participation of federal forces.  However, those reaches of federal power must remain in impunity, and so they blame local officials.”

Furthermore, Nadin Reyes Maldonado and Margarita Cruz Sánchez denounced the criminalization of the search for the relatives and their struggle for a broad investigation.  Their lawyer indicated the gravity of the impact of a case like this, being a “direct repression against a social struggle.”  The organizations calling for the tour indicate as well in their communique the national dimensions of this crime: “The forcible disappearances of people are a reality that hurt increasingly more people, including millions of Mexicans like Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya, […] as well as the Triqui indigenous women Daniela and Virginia Ortiz Ramírez, the Chatino indigenous man Lauro Juárez, and the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.”  They call for the Mexican State to “be judged before international courts for State terror and crimes against humanity.  In this same way, State authorities must be held accountable for their participation or omission in the commission of multiple human-rights violations.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa (FNLS, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Los desaparecidos, “en manos de militares” y policías federales (La Jornada, 9 de julio de 2007)

Invitación de Hasta Encontrarlos (10 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Internacional: Actions taken on the International Day of the Detained and Disappeared (6 September 2014)

National: International Week of the Detained and Disappeared concludes in Mexico (10 June 10 2014)

National: 30 August, International Day for Victims of Forced Disappearance (16 September 2013)


National: Changes in EPN’s cabinet, as Murillo Karam resigns as Attorney General, and Lía Limón resigns from post as Subsecretary for Legal Affairs and Human Rights

March 10, 2015

Jesús Murillo Karam (@Wikipedia)

Jesús Murillo Karam (@Wikipedia)

At the end of February, following large protests in Mexico City in observance of five months since the forcible disappearance of 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero, Jesús Murillo Karam, Federal Attorney General, presented his resignation from the post which he had held for more than two years.  He will now lead the Secretary for Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (SEDATU) while Arely Gómez González, an attorney and senator, will direct the PGR.

On 4 March, the ex-PAN member Lía Limón García resigned from the Subsecretary for Legal Affairs and Human Rights, leaving Ricardo Sepúlveda Iguíniz in her place.  This latter figure had previously served as director general of Public Policies on Human Rights in the same institution.  The media indicated the Ayotzinapa case as a possible reason for her departure, given that she had been in charge of attention to victims and governmental responses to national and international human-rights groups that released alerts and recommendations regarding the forcible disappearance of the students.  Lía Limón will pursue a congressional seat, now that she has joined the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM).

For more information (in Spanish):

Murillo Karam deja la poderosa PGR y lo mandan a la marginal Sedatu(Proceso, 26 de febrero de 2015)

Sale Murillo Karam de PGR: es el primer cambio en el gabinete de Peña Nieto (Animal Político, 27 de febrero de 2015)

Peña remueve a Murillo Karam de PGR (La Jornada, 27 de febrero de 2015)

Ayotzinapa y otros casos emblemáticos de Murillo Karam a cargo de la PGR (CNN México, 28 de febrero de 2015)

Se va Lía Limón de Segob; intentó “indemnizar” a padres de los 43(Proceso, 3 de marzo de 2015)

Renuncia Lía Limón a subsecretaría; va por una diputación (La Jornada, 4 de marzo de 2015)


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