National: Over 40 Organizations Demand Protection from the State for Migrants in the Pandemic

July 4, 2020


On July 1st in an online transmission, the report “Proposal of alternative routes to detention for the migrant population and asylum seekers in Mexico during the Covid-19 pandemic” was presented. In the event which was coordinated by the University Seminar for Studies on Internal Displacement, Migration, Exile and Repatriation of the UNAM, representatives from OXFAM Mexico, the International Detention Coalition, the Fray Matias de Cordova Center for Human Rights on the southern border, and Al Otro Lado Tijuana on the northern border participated.

The report reveals the conditions of risk of contagion and violation of rights faced by thousands of migrants in Mexico and calls on the responsible authorities and control and surveillance bodies to act urgently in order to guarantee that migrants in Mexico have access to their rights.

The report also emphasizes that children continue to be victims of arrests: “We are particularly concerned about the presence of thousands of accompanied children and adolescents, whose best interests are also permanently omitted in the considerations of the Mexican authorities.”

The report, backed by more than 40 civil society organizations, proposes 11 minimum lines of action for the implementation of emergency sanitary measures with the population on the move in the country, in order to reduce the risks of transmission of the virus in this sector, as well as for the officials who serve them and for the communities that host them.

In the presentation, it was repeatedly emphasized that it is not a matter of implementing a different policy but of ensuring that Mexico meets its responsibilities, which derive from international conventions that it has ratified.

More information in Spanish:

En México hay 100 mil migrantes en riesgo por Covid-19, alerta la UNAM (La Jornada 1 de julio)

“Propuesta de rutas alternativas a la detención para la población migrante y solicitante de asilo en México durante la pandemia del Covid-19”(Informe, julio 2020)

UNAM pide acciones para proteger de la pandemia a 100 mil migrantes. (ejecentral 2 de julio)


National: Over 100 Deaths from COVID-19 in Mexican Prisons

July 3, 2020


At the end of June, several sources reported an alarming increase in infections and deaths from COVID-19 in prisons in Mexico, with 23 states of the country presenting cases.

The organization AsíLegal reported, through the COVID-19 Penitentiary Map, that up to that date they had already registered 718 people deprived of their liberty and 119 custodians confirmed cases, as well as 102 deaths in the prison population and 27 in prison staff. It warned of a “continuous increase” since the start of the pandemic, due to the lack of measures in the prison system to prevent outbreaks.

The same organization also recorded 16 violent incidents in prisons in the country with causes related to the health emergency: three in Chiapas, two in CDMX, Colima and Edomex, and with an incident in Guanajuato, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Puebla, Michoacan, Chihuahua and Veracruz.

AsíLegal also reported that 3,625 releases were granted, a figure that “increases slowly despite the mechanisms for early release of the prison population at risk or with the recently approved Amnesty Law.”

It reiterated that it is still urgent to reverse the conditions of overcrowding, and sanitation in the prison system. It also urged the authorities to redouble efforts in favor of this population and to seek measures that may allow a new, safe normality.

For its part and according to its count, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) confirmed that it has registered 656 confirmed coronavirus cases, 252 suspects and 103 deaths. Despite the slight difference with the AsíLegal data, the figure shows an acceleration in the lethality caused by the virus, as just two weeks earlier the number of deaths was 68.

For more information in Spanish:

Muertes en cárceles se triplicaron en mayo, en medio de emergencia por COVID (Animal Político, 1ero de julio de 2020)

Semáforo penitenciario en rojo: Contabilizan 131 muertes por Covid-19 en cárceles (SDP Noticias, 30 de junio de 2020)

Suman 625 casos de COVID-19 en cárceles de México (Enterate, 30 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Commission to Implement Amnesty Law Created (June 22, 2020)

National: “Due to Cuts and Bureaucracy, Amnesty Law Hasn’t Been Applied to or Benefitted any Prisoner” – Animal Politico(June 17, 2020)

Chiapas: CSOs Denounces Chiapas State Prosecutor’s Office Setting Conditions for Release of Prisoners Entitled to New Amnesty Law (April 28, 2020)

National: Amnesty Law Approved to Stop Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons (April 23, 2020)

National: Calls on Federal and State Authorities to Take Special Measures to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons (March 25, 2020)


Guerrero: “Orange with Red Color” Light for COVID

July 3, 2020

mapa-semaforo-epidemiologico-semana-junio© Milenio

On June 29th, La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center stated its opinion regarding the change in color, from red to orange, of the epidemiological stage declared by the Secretary of Health in Guerrero. In the text, he explained the difficulties of decreeing the orange phase, which indicates a high risk, in a state like Guerrero whose residents face not only the pandemic but also, among other things, the difficult search for missing relatives.

Undersecretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell affirmed that there was a decrease in cases in Acapulco, which motivated the municipal president Adela Roman to announce the reopening of the beaches, a decision supported by Governor Hector Astudillo who “has been announcing that this week they will restart tourist activities at 30 percent of their capacity.”

In addition, pressure from the business sector, as well as from the tertiary sector, has meant that, despite the fact that the number of infections in Acapulco has not been controlled, the intention is to reactivate economic activity. The perception of the population is that the pandemic continues to rise, especially in indigenous and rural communities that do not have the same media impact and are at the peak of infections. Tlachinollan pointed out that the cases are not being registered, in principle because tests are not being applied and also because of the fear that exists among the population of becoming infected if they go to hospital.

“We face a very difficult crossroads, because the pandemic has not yet been tamed in an entity made up of an extremely vulnerable population, due to its economic precariousness, difficult access to hospital centers and the lack of sanitary controls”, said Tlachinollan.

On that note, a call was made to the authorities to consider the consequences of the reopening of activities and, above all, to deal with them, especially if infections spread again, “the authorities have to carefully weigh the risks entailed by a partial opening, without assuring the mitigation of the contagion and attention to the population that requires hospitalization.”

For more information in Spanish:

Naranja con color rojo (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinollan, 29 de junio 2020)

Confía Astudillo que cambie a naranja semáforo sanitario de Guerrero (El Sol de Acapulco, 30 de junio de 2020)

Espera el gobierno de Guerrero pasar a semáforo naranja el miércoles (El Sur, 28 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Orange Light Despite Serious Doubts about Official COVID Figures (July 3, 2020)

Guerrero: 25th Anniversary of Aguas Blancas Massacre…No Justice (June 30, 2020) 

Chiapas: Violent Demonstrations and Damage in San Andres Larrainzar during Alleged Sanitation (June 30, 2020)

Oaxaca/National: 7.5 Earthquake in State Ravaged by Pandemic (June 24, 2020)

Chiapas: Health System in Chiapas Collapsed Due to Coronavirus (June 23, 2020)

National: First Report on Monitoring of Indigenous and Comparable Communities Published in Response to SARS-COV-2 Emergency (June 22, 2020)


Chiapas: Orange Light Despite Serious Doubts about Official COVID Figures

July 3, 2020

Photo: Chiapas Paralelo San Cristobal de Las Casas Cemetery, “Covid-19 Colony”

The Secretary of Health of Chiapas, Jose Manuel Cruz Castellanos confirmed that Chiapas went from a red to orange epidemiological stage, registering a reduction in the positivity of the virus.

“It is a reality that we have decreased the percentage of positivity, because we have adhered to an operational definition that fully aligns with the Federation; but the orange means adjustment and preparation for the new normality”, according to Cruz Castellanos

In the orange stage, non-essential economic sectors may partially reopen and respecting an occupancy percentage, as of July 1st. These include bookstores, restaurants, hotels and tourist accommodation but also cinemas, theaters, places of worship, churches, hairdressers, beauty salons and barber shops, gyms, swimming pools, sports centers, as well as spas and massage centers.

For June 28th, the State Health Secretariat presented the following figures: 281 deaths, 3,996 confirmed cases and 2,630 recovered. However, for the same dates, the figures from the federal government for Chiapas were 525 deaths (including 36 people from the medical sector), 4,339 accumulated confirmed cases and 2,624 people recovered.

The Secretary of Health of the State of Chiapas explained the discrepancy of almost 50% of deaths, referring to the fact that institutions such as the IMSS and ISSSTE “report directly to Mexico City, and are not necessarily registered here (in Chiapas).”

However, on a platform generated by various media, including Chiapas Paralelo, they question all these figures … “The reality manifested by the population is different, hundreds of people denounce the contagion and death of their relatives, in their homes, without medical attention, without having been tested despite having the symptoms of the disease.” In the case of deaths according to sampling, tests to detect the virus were not carried out in 64.3 percent of the 273 people who died. One in four deaths did not even have access to a hospital, they reported.

They related multiple examples of families who were looking for a hospital where they could receive their patients but were sent from one place to another without medical attention and with the resulting death of the sick person before being treated.

In an article they also reported that between June 24th and 25th, in the Municipal Cemetery of San Cristobal de Las Casas, six people were buried in what local workers call “COVID Colony”, a place intended for people who die as a consequence of the new coronavirus.

In the official figures of the Ministry of Health, there is only a record of two of these cases. So it can be said that in that city alone, conservative data indicates that at least two out of three people who die from the virus do not appear in the official figures, even though there is a certificate that indicates COVID as the cause of death.

In San Cristobal de Las Casas, the media explained that before the pandemic there was an average of 35 burials per month. As of March the figure shot up. That month it rose to 45, in April there were 65, in May 170 and until June 26th, they already had 100 funerals. In other words, there were 379 people who died during this period. The number of deaths multiplied but very few of them registered in official sources about the pandemic.

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas pasa de semaforo epidemiologico rojo naranja, El Universal, 27 de junio de 2020

Chiapas podría pasar a semáforo naranja, Cuarto Poder, 28 de junio 2020

COVID-19, los muertos que no contaron, Chiapasparalelo, 29 de junio de 2020

En Chiapas han muerto 524 personas por Covid-19; cifras diarias del Secretario de Salud son de su dependencia, Chiapasparalelo, 29 de junio de 2020

Muertes en personal médico suman 36 en Chiapas; 4 en las últimas 24 horas, Chiapasparalelo, 29 de junio de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Violent Demonstrations and Damage in San Andres Larrainzar during Alleged Sanitation (June 30, 2020)

Chiapas: Health System in Chiapas Collapsed Due to Coronavirus (June 23, 2020)

Chiapas: Misinformation about COVID-19 Leads to Attacks on Hospitals and Staff (June 13, 2020)

Chiapas: por rumores por sanitización ante coronavirus, queman alcaldía y casas en Venustiano Carranza


Oaxaca/National: 7.5 Earthquake in State Ravaged by Pandemic

June 24, 2020

oaxaca-sismo© Forbes Mexico

On June 23rd, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake was registered in the town of Crucecitas, Oaxaca. As a result, several private and public buildings were damaged in more than 83 municipalities. However, the most regrettable thing is that, mainly due to roof and building collapses, seven people lost their lives. For this reason, the state governor, Alejandro Murat, decided to request an emergency declaration for all affected areas.

Other incidents caused by the tremor were also reported, such as a fire at the Salina Cruz refinery, which was immediately extinguished or some minor effects in hospitals such as the IMSS Hospital in Huatulco and in 15 other health centers. For its part, the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) activated the DN-III-E plan in its phase of assisting the population in Oaxaca with 2,356 members.

Saul Arellano Almanza, researcher at UNAM, explained that “the impact of an accident like this is greater for the Oaxaca region when there are precarious social and economic conditions.” This is due to the little evidence of reconstruction that there were after past earthquakes. In addition, the state of Oaxaca reports a strong impact in this pandemic situation since, along with Chiapas and Guerrero, it is 40% below the national average in the availability of doctors and health infrastructure.

As for the possible aftershocks, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador invited the population to be alert for the situations that can arise.

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca, estado vulnerable en jaque por el sismo y la pandemia (Forbes, 24 de junio 2020)

Sedena activa Plan DN-III-E en Oaxaca y la Ciudad de México tras sismo (El Universal, 23 de junio 2020)

Terremoto en México: un sismo de magnitud 7,5 y epicentro en Oaxaca deja al menos 6 muertos y se siente con fuerza en Ciudad de México (BBC, 24 de junio 2020)

Así quedó Oaxaca tras el sismo de 7.5 (Excelsior, 23 de junio 2020)

Suman siete muertos en Oaxaca tras el sismo magnitud 7.5 (ADN40, 24 de junio 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Detienen obras de remodelación para el Tren Transítmico en San Juan Guichicovi hasta llegar a acuerdos

Chiapas “Nos indigna que los desplazamientos forzados sean métodos de ‘castigo’ a las minorías”, Abejas de Acteal

Oaxaca: Violent Attacks in San Mateo del Mar Leave 15 Dead (June 23, 2020)

Oaxaca: After Four Years, Still No Justice for Nochixtlan Massacre (June 22, 2020)

Oaxaca: Death Threat at Door of Oaxaca Consortium Office (June 17, 2020)

International: World Refugee Marked

June 24, 2020

MONTERREY, NUEVO LEÓN, 13JUNIO2020.- Al menos treinta migrantes que acuden al albergue casa INDI, Parroquia Santa María Goretti dieron positivo a las pruebas por Covid-19, otras 500 personas están en espera de resultados. Los migrantes fueron aislados en las instalaciones del albergue. Nuevo León registra 4mil 781 contagios y 179 defunciones hasta el 13 de junio de 2020.FOTO: GABRIELA PÉREZ MONTIEL /CUARTOSCURO.COM@Cuartoscuro

World Refugee Day, established by the UN in 2001, was celebrated on June 20th. It is especially relevant in Mexico to commemorate this day, not only because it is the eighth country in the world with the highest number of asylum requests in 2019, but also due to the large number of internal displacements in this country. According to the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH), it is estimated that there have been at least 338,405 internally displaced persons from 2006 to date.

Regarding the flow of migrants that passes through Mexico from the Central American countries to the United States, there has been a strong increase in recent years: in 2015, only 3,442 people requested refuge in Mexico. That number gradually rose to 70,709 in the past year.

Since 2013, approximately 150 thousand people have requested asylum in Mexico in total, of which only a third of these cases have been resolved to date. Of these, a total of 29,132 were recognized as refugees, while the rest received Complementary Protection or a rejection. Most of the accepted refugees in Mexico come from Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

For many years Mexico was only a transit country to the United States. But that has changed, especially due to the more restrictive immigration policy under President Donald Trump. Now the country is also becoming a destination for refugees, explains Andres Ramirez, general coordinator of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR).

However, the year 2020 broke with the trend of the migratory movement. Although in the first quarter of the year the number of applications increased compared to 2019, the emergence of the coronavirus completely cut off the flow of migrants. For as long as the inhumane conditions prevailing in the migratory stations in Mexico during the pandemic have been pointed out, they constitute a very high risk of contagion from the virus. Because of this, many refugees have even expressed the desire to return to their country of origin, but in more than one case they have found the borders of their countries closed by the same pandemic.

For more information in Spanish:

Desplazamiento interno forzado en México (CMDPDH)

Día Mundial de los Refugiados 20 de junio (Naciones Unidas)

Día del Refugiado: epidemia de COVID-19 frena llegada de solicitantes (Animal Político el 20 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: HRW Asks Mexico for “Immediate” Release of All Detained Immigrants Due to Coronavirus (April 19, 2020)

National: Migrant Dies in Protest at Migrant Center in Tabasco; INM Blamed (April 5, 2020)

International/National: USA Closes Southern Border to Asylum Seekers Due to Coronavirus (March 25, 2020)

Chiapas: National Guard and Police Oppression of Migrants Protesting over COVID-19 Fears (March 30, 2020)

National/International: Food Insecurity Increases for LGBTIQ+ Community in Pandemic

June 24, 2020


During the month of June, organizations and institutions have drawn attention to the specific situation of the LGBTIQ+ population, when this is usually the month when millions of people around the world take to the streets in “pride marches” to fight for their rights and highlight the discrimination that this population experiences.

In this context, on June 18th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) convened a webinar under the title “Situation of the Rights of LGBTI People in the Context of the Pandemic,” with the participation of human rights defenders and activists from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, the United States and Mexico.

The Commissioner and IACHR Rapporteur for the Rights of LGBTI People, Flavia Piovesan, was the first to speak, highlighting three structural challenges in the region: extreme inequality; discrimination (the virus does not discriminate but its impact is discriminatory); and the dilemmas of democratic institutions to combat the pandemic.

Those invited confirmed the challenges mentioned by the rapporteur and also pointed out how the new confinement regulations implemented by governments have given an excuse for security forces to commit more attacks on LGBTI+ people. They reported that many people in this sector who have lost their jobs cannot return to their homes because several of them fled domestic violence due to not being accepted into their homes. With various examples, they denounced that different discriminations are experienced by people with an intersectional perspective, stressing that it is not a homogeneous population. For example, the total invisibility of bisexual people in Latin America and the absence of documentation of their situation were mentioned. The complexity and double discrimination in cases of being trans, black and Latin American women in the United States were also highlighted.

Several people specifically pointed out the serious situation of violence that trans women experience, before the pandemic and now even worse, since a food emergency has been generated, since confinement implies that several cannot do their work, cannot return home, and they find it difficult to receive financial support from the government due to discrimination and mistreatment because their identity card shows their trans identity.

In the report “Amplified Vulnerability”, Kennedy Carrillo of OutRight Action International, Belize, shared the impacts of the pandemic on the global LGBTIQ + population. Increasing food insecurity was one of the most salient issues. Topics such as interruptions in access to medical care, abuse of power by the State, fear of social violence, stigma, discrimination, social isolation and increased anxiety, as well as concerns about organizational survival, also emerged.

More information in Spanish:

Situación de los derechos de las personas LGBTI en el contexto de la pandemia; (Webinar CIDH 18 junio 2020)

Vulnerabilidad amplificada. El impacto de la pandemia del COVID-19 en las personas LGBTIQ. (Outright Acion Internacional, 4 de junio 2020)

More information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: La comunidad LGBTTTI+ en México celebra el Día Internacional Contra la Homo-, Bi- y Transfobia (May 18, 2020)

Chiapas: Organización defensora de la diversidad sexual recibe amenazas por su trabajo en el marco del Mes de Orgullo LGBTTTIQA+ (June 27, de 2019)

Chiapas: Meeting of Citizens’ Observatory of LGBT+ Population Rights with Government Representatives (October 7, 2019)

Oaxaca: State Congress Approves Marriage Equality Bill (September 10, 2019)

Chiapas: Exigen verdad y justicia por el asesinato de Aylin, mujer transexual y 7 otros casos de odio (September 1, de 2019)

Chiapas: Health System in Chiapas Collapsed Due to Coronavirus

June 23, 2020


After 120 days of the pandemic in Chiapas, journalists from Chiapas Paralelo and Alerta Chiapas agreed in a discussion “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Citizens of Chiapas” that the health sector in the state is saturated in the effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People such as the SNTSA leader, the union representative from Gomez Maza Hospital and the delegate of the Red Cross in Chiapas have raised their voices to say that the system has collapsed. Citizens contradict the official figures because there are sick people in their environment, people who have sought care at COVID clinics and have not received it; the general figures generate mistrust, Facebook seems like an obituary [page], said Samuel Revueltas, a journalist with Alerta Chiapas.

“The figures are laughable and the truth is that people don’t believe them. There is strong under-registration, the numbers of deaths and those infected have nothing to do with reality,  funeral homes alone report 5 [compared] to 1 deaths in the civil registry. The system has collapsed, everything has gone out of control and it is a scenario that was expected, but it seems that there is a desire not to tell the truth”, according to the journalist from the magazine, Isain Mandujano.

Angeles Mariscal, a journalist from Chiapas Paralelo, called on the citizens to initiate a strategy that permits knowing the real numbers of positive patients and deceased in order to be certain of how the situation is and how to deal with the pandemic. She said that for that they are going to launch surveys to have a more specific diagnosis.

On another note, the leader of Section 50 of the National Union of Workers of the Ministry of Health (SNTSSA) of Chiapas warned about the increase in attacks on health sector workers in some communities of the state, that 622 workers have been registered as infected, and 24 of its members have already died from COVID-19.

“Now the health workers have to face the risks of attacks and aggressions on the part of the relatives of the patients who are becoming ill from this pandemic” and he is concerned that the Secretary of Health, Jose Manuel Cruz Castellanos, who has “ignored” and dismissed health workers who are causing difficulties or contradicting, or legally intimidating those who protest in each of the work centers where they are employed.

For more information in Spanish:

CONVERSATORIO “El impacto del COVID-19 en la ciudadanía de Chiapas”, Youtube 21 de junio de 2020

Sistema de Salud colapsado y credibilidad por los suelos: Periodistas, Alerta Chiapas, 22 de junio de 2020

Sindicato denuncia aumento de agresiones a personal médico; confirman 24 muertes por Covid-19, Chiapasparalelo, 22 de junio de 2020

ASEGURAN periodistas en panel que Sistema de Salud en Chiapas ha colapsado,El Sol de Chiapas, 22 de junio de 2020

Sector Salud en Chiapas, al borde del colapso por el coronavirus, AFN noticias, 22 de junio de 2020

For more information in SIPAZ:

National: First Report on Monitoring of Indigenous and Comparable Communities Published in Response to SARS-COV-2 Emergency (June 22, 2020)

Chiapas: Misinformation about COVID-19 Leads to Attacks on Hospitals and Staff (June 13, 2020)

Chiapas: por rumores por sanitización ante coronavirus, queman alcaldía y casas en Venustiano Carranza(29/05/2020)

Chiapas: Personal de salud denuncia falta de pagos, de insumos y de equipo de protección en la fase más crítica de la pandemia por Covid-19 en el estado, (23/05/2020)

Chiapas: Outbreak of COVID-19 in San Cristobal Las Casas Prison (May 23, 2020)

National: Commission to Implement Amnesty Law Created

June 22, 2020


On June 18th, an agreement signed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), which will enable the creation of an Amnesty Commission to “coordinate the acts to comply with and monitor the application of the Amnesty Law” approved almost two months ago, as well as to “determine the origin of the benefit and submit its decision to the qualification of a federal judge.”

The Commission will be chaired by the Ministry of the Interior with the participation of the heads of the secretariats of Security and Citizen Protection, Welfare, as well as the national institutes for Women (Inmujeres) and Indigenous Peoples (INPI).

This new body must “resolve the amnesty requests that are presented to it and submit its decision to the appropriate jurisdictional authority, within a period not exceeding four months from the date of submission of the request.” It will operate through sessions that may be in person or distance. The first session in which the Commission will have to define and publish the procedure that the inmates will have to follow to present their request for amnesty will have to take place no later than 72 hours after the agreement comes into force.

The amnesty law was passed quickly, mainly on the grounds of taking pressure off overcrowded prisons and preventing COVID-19 infections. It will exclusively benefit people in prison for minor crimes of the federal jurisdiction who have been accused of abortion, simple robbery, drug crimes if the accused was in a situation of poverty, and inmates from indigenous communities who have not been properly legally advised.

The organization AsiLegal welcomed the publication of the agreement and urged that the corresponding procedures be streamlined so that the first releases can occur soon.

For more information in Spanish:

Crean comisión para aplicar Ley de Amnistía a casi dos meses de su aprobación (Animal Político, 18 de junio de 2020)

AMLO crea Comisión para verificar cumplimiento de la Ley de Amnistía (Milenio, 18 de junio de 2020)

Crean Comisión que resolverá solicitudes de amnistía (El Universal, 18 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: “Due to Cuts and Bureaucracy, Amnesty Law Hasn’t Been Applied to or Benefitted any Prisoner” – Animal Politico (June 17, 2020)

Chiapas: CSOs Denounces Chiapas State Prosecutor’s Office Setting Conditions for Release of Prisoners Entitled to New Amnesty Law (April 28, 2020)

National: Amnesty Law Approved to Stop Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons (April 23, 2020)

National: Calls on Federal and State Authorities to Take Special Measures to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons (March 25, 2020)



National: First Report on Monitoring of Indigenous and Comparable Communities Published in Response to SARS-COV-2 Emergency

June 22, 2020


On June 18th, the first report on monitoring of indigenous and comparable communities in the emergency due to SARS-COV-2 was published, the result of the collaboration of various civil society organizations that documents the situation of 42 indigenous localities of in states of the republic. Based on a compilation of data in recent weeks, CSOs concluded that “the pandemic has exposed a long list of structural conditions that deepen the exclusion of indigenous and comparable peoples to the full exercise of rights.”

The aim of the study was “to identify the living conditions during the pandemic, as well as the effects due to internal and external factors, to coordinate support and solidarity actions” in indigenous communities, focusing on different areas such as the health, economic, and emerging security and conflicts, food security and access to water, as well as the State’s responses.

Monitoring yielded quite troubling conclusions in the vast majority of indigenous communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In managing the pandemic, the organizations questioned that while the measures taken by the authorities “were dictated for the entire population, they did not have a culturally pertinent focus since they did not contemplate the different realities of the country, particularly those experienced by indigenous and comparable peoples.” With this, “information and sanitary protection measures have come late” and that, at first, what affected the communities was disbelief and fear.

The report also emphasized that “this backward situation is not new, in a large part of the indigenous and comparable communities the pandemic has exposed the consequences of the neoliberal model that throughout history has generated inequality and exclusion limiting access to economic, social and cultural rights.”

Another point of concern reflected in the report is that “almost 70% of the communities monitored mention that people who lived outside the community are returning”: temporary workers who have lost their jobs in the United States and in other states of the Republic; students and people who work in other cities and who are no longer able to find work. All this can feed the tendency that “in the following weeks more cases of economic instability will be observed in the communities.”

Another warning signal: it was observed that the levels of violence that existed before the start of the pandemic are still maintained in the midst of the contingency. “These incidents during the contingency speak, on the one hand, of the absence of the State in its security tasks; and on the other, of the intention of actors such as organized crime who take advantage of the confinement of the communities to advance in the control of the territory”, they pointed out.

The most positive news was that “as of the close of this monitoring, there have been no community outbreaks that have led to massive infections.” However, this situation “can change at any time.”

The observatory that prepared this first report is made up of the following organizations: Aura Strategic Research, Training Center in Ecology and Health for Campesinos – Ombudsman for the Right to Health (CCESC), Montaña Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights of the, Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights, Communication and Training Link, Fundar Center for Analysis and Research, Community Health and Decelopment (SADEC), Services for an Alternative Education, (EDUCA), and Services and Advice for Peace, (SERAPAZ).

For more information inn Spanish:

Primer informe de Monitoreo de comunidades indígenas y equiparables ante la emergencia sanitaria por el virus SARS-COV-2 (OSC, 18 de junio de 2020)

Las comunidades indígenas ante la emergencia sanitaria (Desinformémonos, 19 de junio de 2020)

ONG: las comunidades indígenas, más vulnerables en la actual crisis (La Jornada, 19 de junio de 2020)

Falta perspectiva intercultural para atender pandemia en zonas indígenas: Serapaz (Aristegui Noticias, 19 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: CSOs Request Dialogue Spaces “Given the Disturbing Vulnerability of [Indigenous] Peoples and Communities” in Coronavirus Pandemic (May 18, 2020)

National: Cuts for Indigenous Women in Violent Situations (May 15, 2020)

National: CNDH Calls for Protection of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Populations against COVID-19 (April 14, 2020)

National: Organizations Denounce Health Neglect in Open Letter to AMLO (April 16, 2020)