National: WOLA Declaration on Worsening of Violence against Journalists and Human Rights Defenders

April 13, 2017

WOLA

On March 24th, the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA) expressed its “great concern about the dangerous upsurge of violence and armed and violent attacks against journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico” in a statement. It recalled that in the first weeks of March alone the murder of journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto (Guerrero), the aggression against Santiago Ambrosio Hernandez, president of the “Committee of Victims for Justice and Truth June 19 Nochixtlán” (Oaxaca), the murder of journalist Ricardo Monlui Cabrera (Veracruz), the armed attack against human rights defender Alma Barraza (Sinaloa) and the murder of journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea (Chihuahua), in addition to the two Raramuris human rights defenders killed in the month of January Isidro Baldenegro and Juan Ontiveros Ramos (Chihuahua) have been recorded.

WOLA stated that the mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) and all the country’s attorneys, including the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), “have not been sufficient to prevent attacks against journalists and defenders or to meet their protection needs and that impunity for these cases and for previous attacks and crimes perpetuates and aggravates the cycle of violence and abuse.” WOLA stated that, “the government has to give more than empty promises, generic statements and justifications. They urge specific commitments of the Mexican authorities to protect journalists and human rights defenders and justice for the aggressions against them.”

According to Animal Politico, the protection mechanism for journalists and human rights defenders “has no operating budget for this year, which prevents them from expanding their reach in situations of risk … it could not admit more beneficiaries and will even have to make an evaluation and dismiss some.”

Para más información:
Pronunciamiento de WOLA sobre la violencia en contra de periodistas y defensores de DDHH en México (WOLA, 24 de marzo de 2017)

Activistas denuncian ineficacia del Mecanismo de Protección de defensores y periodistas (Proceso, 24 de marzo de 2017)
Nos quedaremos sin memoria (Animal Político, 30 de marzo de 2017)

Presupuesto para mecanismo de protección a periodistas en 2017: cero pesos (Aristegui Noticias, 24 de marzo de 2017)

Insuficiente protección a periodistas en México: WOLA (La Jornada, 27 de marzo de 2017)

 


Chiapas: Celebration of Simojovel Believing People

April 12, 2017

PCS1Father Marcelo Perez at the Celebration in Simojovel, April 2017. Photo: @Acteal Las Abejas

From April 4th to 6th, Simojovel Believing People organized a series of events, including the appointment of two brothers who received the ministry of permanent deacons, and the fifteenth year of ordination as a priest of Father Marcelo Perez Perez, parish priest of Simojovel.

On April 4th and 5th, Father Arriaga Alarcon SJ, Father Gustavo Andrade Hernandez, parish priest in San Bartolome Carranza and Father Jose Aviles SJ, parish priest of the Chilon-Bachajon Mission participated in the masses and spaces for reflection on the Word Of God and the mission of the Believing People.

On April 6th, a Mass was celebrated, presided over by the bishops of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel and Bishop Enrique Diaz Diaz.

All the events were animated by the Simojovel choir “United in Jesus”, regional music from different villages.

PCS2.pngSweFor and SIPAZ accompanying Father Marcelo at the celebration Photo: @PuebloCreyente

 For more information in Spanish:

Jtotik Marcelo hace 15 años Papá Mamá Dios te eligió para trabajar en su milpa. (Organización Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, a 6 de abril de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente

Chiapas: El Pueblo Creyente peregrinó en Tuxtla en apoyo a las y los maestros

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel rechaza diálogo con los hermanos Gómez


Nacional/Oaxaca: German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico

April 10, 2017

German.png

At the end of March, the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico, a network created in 2000 and composed of 15 German organizations and institutions, presented the main results of its observation mission in which they visited human rights defenders Enrique Guerrero Aviña (UNAM student) and Damian Gallardo Martinez (Oaxacan activist) imprisoned at CEFERESO No.2, in Jalisco. It stressed that, “it has known of these cases in which experts of the UN have pronounced for more than two years on the arbitrary nature of the arrest and in demand for their immediate freedom.” They reported that for this reason, the German Coordination has launched a campaign for their release.

 It denounced that, “it was informed of the hunger strike that began on March 6 in which more than half of the persons deprived of their liberty denounced the situation of cruel, inhuman treatment and torture in CEFERESO. The human defenders Damian Gallardo and Enrique Guerrero have denounced this situation on multiple occasions, promoting legal actions and protesting. The German Coordination firmly condemns any retaliation that may occur against both defenders for their legitimate work of denunciation and demand for rights in the prison.”

The German Coordination also denounced that “another element of particular seriousness was the confirmation that the cases of arbitrary detention of Damian Gallardo and Enrique Guerrero are not isolated cases, since the members of the mission could observe that there is a pattern of criminalization of defenders In Mexico, which is a worrying indicator of the deep human rights crisis in the country.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado « Culmina Red Alemana por los Derechos Humanos en México misión en el país » (31 de marzo de 2017)

ONG alemana expresa ‘‘enorme preocupación por permanente violación a DH y pretensión de criminalizar protesta social” (Revolución 3.0, 31 de marzo de 2017)

Viola México derechos humanos: ONG alemana (La Jornada, 31 de marzo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Exigen liberación inmediata de Damián Gallardo (23 de diciembre de 2014)

Oaxaca: A 16 meses del encarcelamiento de Damián Gallardo, y tras llamamiento de la ONU, no hay respuesta del Estado mexicano (10 de octubre de 2014)

 


Chiapas: Zoque Activist, Silvia Juarez Juarez, Released

April 9, 2017

Zoque.pngSilvia Juarez Juarez (photo @OMCT)

On March 28th, Silvia Juarez Juarez, a community human rights defender and member of the Movement in Defense of Zoque Territory, was released having been held for 35 days. This movement has been developing a process of civil and peaceful resistance against exploration, extraction of hydrocarbons and mining projects in the municipality of Tecpaan, Chiapas and in the Zoque region. Silvia had been arrested on February 21st in Tuxtla Gutierrez on charges of mutiny, harassment and kidnapping – allegedly against municipal officials – in the framework of a protest in which she did not participate, on February 13th.

On March 28th, the head of the State Attorney General’s Office, Raciel Lopez Salazar, withdrew from the criminal action for the crimes that were charged “considering that the agent of the Public Prosecutor’s Office lacked elements to prove the aforementioned crimes.” Therefore, the activist was released from the State Center for Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced No. 14, El Amate, in the municipality Cintalapa de Figueroa.

Nevertheless, Silvia Juarez is still subject to prosecution, “with the obligation to sign before the Court every two weeks, because Judge Cesar Rodriguez Robles, Supervisory Judge, considered that there are elements to prove the crime of damages. Facing threats of risk to her integrity and repeated harassment against the defenders of Zoque territory, Silvia Juarez cannot return home with her family.”

It is also worth mentioning that on the day Silvia Juarez Juarez was released, “the municipal president of Tecpatan, Armando Pastrana Jimenez, filed for an injunction for the withdrawal of the PGJE to prevent the community defender from leaving prison” and also maintained his complaint against 29 other community defenders.

In a statement on the case, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (FRAYBA),  expressed concern that “despite changes in the criminal justice system, in Chiapas, practices of violations of judicial guarantees and judicial protection, including presumption of innocence, continue, which result in arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

For more information in Spanish:

Libre activista zoque, tras desistimiento de denuncia de PGJ Chiapas (Proceso, 5 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a indígena zoque Silvia Juárez (Expreso Chiapas, 6 de abril de 2017)

Silvia Juárez Juárez, defensora del territorio, en libertad (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de abril de 2017)

Libre Silvia Juárez, defensora zoque (Primera edición Chiapas, 5 de abril de 2017)

Condena el Frayba encarcelamiento de Silvia Juárez (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 5 de abril de 2017)

Luego de 35 días en prisión, la activista Silvia Juárez Juárez es liberada (Aqui Noticias, 6 de abril de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque (1 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas : comunidades zoques se oponen a extracción de hidrocarburos en el norte de Chiapas (20 de octubre de 2016)

Chiapas: Silvia Juárez Juárez anima a sus compañeros a seguir en la defensa de la tierra desde la cárcel (27 de marzo de 2017)

 


Guerrero: Internal Security Law Initiative Rejected

April 4, 2017

Forum.pngSecurity or human rights forum: a false dichotomy Photo@: Tlachinollan

On March 28, in Guerrero, one of the most violent states in Mexico and also one of the most militarized, a forum on militarization entitled “Security or human rights: a false dichotomy” was held during which civil organizations, victims, representatives from the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico defended different reasons for rejecting the initiative of the Internal Security Law currently under debate in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies.

Parents of the 43 students took part in the event, who reported that soldiers from the 27th Infantry Battalion and police from the three levels of government participated in the attacks, murders and forced disappearances suffered by their children. Also participating were Tita Radilla, daughter of the Atoyac peasant leader, Rosendo Radilla Pachecho, arrested and disappeared at a military checkpoint in 1974 and Valentina Rosendo Cantu, raped by soldiers at age 17.

Prior to this forum, the Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon Human Rights Center, the Guerrero Network of Civil Organisms for Human Rights, the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center and the Mexican Institute of Human Rights and Democracy, among others, declared themselves to be against the Internal Security Law, explaining that it would “give rise to more violations of human rights and complete impunity.” These organizations argued that, “it has been useless for the military to assume public security tasks in the state if levels of violence continue to increase exponentially every day because organized crime groups have taken over institutions and exercise territorial control by imposing their rules and self-government.”

For more information in Spanish:

Rechazan la iniciativa de Ley de Seguridad Interior (El Sur de Acapulco, 29 de marzo de 2017)

Foro | Seguridad o Derechos Humanos: Una falsa dicotomía (Centro de derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinolla, 27 de marzo 2017)

 For more information from SIAPZ:

Nacional : cierre de año legislativo con agenda polémica en el Congreso (18 de diciembre 2016)

 


Oaxaca/National: Fresh Death Threats against Father Solalinde

March 31, 2017

Solalinde.pngTaken from Youtube

Since March 27, a 20-second video of 20 has begun circulating on YouTube in which a distorted voice threatens Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, defender of the rights of the migrants and proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize, with death: “Father Solalinde, don’t talk bullshit, you have trafficked with the bodies of many migrant minors, and we ask you to shut your mouth or we will take the lives that you know scoundrel, greetings.”

A sheet of paper appears as background image on which is written “Father Solalinde”, and surrounded by seven bullets and a cross. It should be noted that the Twitter account and the image used to threaten Solalinde are the same as those used to attack journalist Andrea Noel last March 15.

These new threats could be due to statements made by the priest about organized crime during his tour of Veracruz to accompany the governor Miguel Angel Yunes Linares at a meeting with mothers of disappeared persons and in the context of which many denunciations were made against the current administration and the Attorney General’s Office.

Faced with these new threats, Father Solalinde said in an interview with Imagen del Golfo: “A risk review has just been made, but I sincerely tell you: what can my security matter when the whole country is as it is?” In his Twitter account, he ratified “they will not silence me, I will make the voices of those who have less, of those forgotten be heard more strongly!”

For more information in Spanish:

Con VIDEO amenazan de muerte al padre Solalinde, defensor de migrantes y activista social (Sin Embargo, 27 de marzo de 2017)

Amenazan de muerte al sacerdote Alejandro Solalinde (SDP Noticias, 27 de marzo de 2017)

Amenazas de muerte en mi contra no paran, pero no seré omiso ante el dolor: Solalinde (Imagen del Golfo, 25 de marzo de 2017)

Iglesia calló sobre fosas por favores que recibió de Herrera y Duarte: Solalinde (La Silla Rota, 22 de marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Nominan al padre Solalinde para Premio Nobel de la Paz 2017 (23 de marzo de 2017)

Nacional/Oaxaca: el padre Solalinde declara que el flujo migratorio no disminuirá a pesar de las nuevas medidas federales (1ero de agosto de 2014)

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde recibe Premio Nacional de Derechos Humanos por su trabajo a favor de migrantes (11 de diciembre de 2012)


Chiapas: Launch of Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope

March 30, 2017

Acteal.pngLaunch of the Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope. Photo@: Sipaz

 On 23 March, the Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope was launched from the offices of the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC) in San Cristobal de Las Casas. The campaign will take place within the framework of the XX anniversary of the Acteal Massacre and the 25th anniversary of the founding of Las Abejas Civil Society to “highlight our path as survivors and victims of the Acteal Massacre and as members of Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal, […] exchange and share experiences with men and women from towns and cities who also fight for the same cause as us” and to “point out the material and intellectual authors of the Acteal Massacre so that the Mexican State recognizes its responsibility that Acteal is a state crime, a crime against humanity. And denounce that the Mexican State has so far been unable to ensure the non-repetition of events such as that of Acteal” (sic). They affirmed that, “it is the path of the search for truth and true justice. But, it is also memory, because we will be remembering, reporting and denouncing.”

The campaign will last nine months with cultural, political and religious activities. It will culminate with the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the massacre on December 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2017, in Acteal, House of Memory and Hope.

During the launch, Gonzalo Ituarte, Secretary of the Board of Directors of CDHFBC and Vicar of Justice and Peace of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, shared his testimony. On the day of the massacre he reported receiving two calls from Chenalho informing him of the approach of an armed group shooting. He indicated that he had twice called the government secretary to address this situation. However, no aid was sent for which Gonzalo Ituarte denounced “the way the government had deceived us and how it had allowed, that is to say, how it had caused that massacre. The government that could stop all this did not do it and I am convinced that it did not because it was part of their plan, they wanted to kill, they wanted to destroy the heart of civil society, which sought just causes and a solution to the problem. They wanted to kill and they killed them consciously and this causes indignation and this is a crime unpunished today.”

For more information in Spanish:

En el marco de los XX años de la Masacre, realizaremos una campaña llamada, Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza (Las abejas de Acteal, 23 de marzo 2017)

Abejas de Acteal y Frayba lanzan campaña para romper los muros de la impunidad y contra el olvido (Centro de Derechos Humanos fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 24 de marzo de 2017)
Comunicado de Las Abejas de Acteal en el lanzamiento de la Campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 23 de Marzo de 2017)