National/International: “Government Should Halt Abuses of Public and Private Companies”: Civil Society Focal Group on Companies and Human Rights

July 12, 2019

CompaniesPhoto @ Animal Politico

On July 4th, 2019, the Civil Society Focal Group of on Companies and Human Rights, which is made up of different national and international organizations, among others, Oxfam Mexico and Services and Consultancy for Peace (SERAPAZ in its Spanish acronym), published a statement in which it demands that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) “attends to human rights violations committed by companies” in Mexico.

It specifies that given the human rights crisis and omnipresent impunity in the country, the government has the obligation to “act with consistency and ensure respect for individual and collective guarantees also in their commitment to megaprojects and all collaboration agreements it makes with large Mexican and foreign companies.”

The Group identifies as a fundamental point that the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights are respected, in addition to international agreements, such as the Escuazu Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, be ratified and put into action. Manifesting that “the balance between development projects and respect for the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples over their territories and natural commons is necessary, particularly as regards megaprojects such as the Dos Bocas Refinery, the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus corridor, roads and dams, among others, without neglecting campesino communities and respect for labor and union rights.”

They conclude that government strategies, such as the National Human Rights Program, should contemplate “a discussion on the responsibility of companies in the matter”, in addition to promoting solid public policies incorporating a human rights approach. This is necessary so that the ten billion dollars of foreign direct investment entering the country are applied coherently between economic interests and the aforementioned rights.

For more information in Spanish:

México: Grupo Focal de Empresas y Derechos Humanos recuerda al gobierno que está pendiente atender a violaciones de derechos humanos cometidos por empresas (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 4 de julio de 2019)

Atender violaciones a derechos humanos cometidas por empresas, otra tarea pendiente de la 4T (Comunicado del Grupo Focal en CEMDA, 4 de julio de 2019)

Gurría pide congruencia a AMLO en megaproyectos; “no tiene autoridad moral”, le responde (El Sol de México, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Ante los megaproyectos, el mega-reproche: AMLO no cumple (Proceso, 9 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Cuarto aniversario del Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusno en Acacoyagua (June 24th, 2019)

Oaxaca: Es publicado el decreto del decreto del Corredor Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec; se movilizan para detener su instrumentación (June 15th, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13, 2018)

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International/National: #DefensoresSinMuros-DefendersBeyondWalls Campaign Calls for End to Attacks against Defenders of Migrants’ Rights

July 8, 2019

MigrantsPhoto @ El Heraldo

The National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (Red TDT in its Spanish acronym), the Migration Issues Program (PRAMI in its Spanish acronym) of the Mexico City-Tijuana Ibero-American University and the international non-governmental organization Frontline Defenders launched the #DefensoresSinMuros – #DefendersBeyondWalls campaign. The new campaign aims to “highlight the valuable work of organizations, activists, groups and shelters, in the face of a report (August 2019) that documents and calls for an end to attacks against the defenders of migrants’ human rights along the migratory routes to the United States.”

“In the campaign, defenders who walked alongside the caravans, migrant homes, shelters and organizations that are on the road and carry out humanitarian work and defense of human rights are presented in a context in which criminalization is on the rise. The faces of the campaign are journalists and researchers who document the impacts with a gender approach of displacement and violence against migrants; humanitarian workers offering water and food to families traveling through the deadliest corridors of the Sonoran Desert; queer activists who create communities and physical spaces for undocumented queer and trans communities and attorneys who offer free legal assistance; among many other people who have fighting for a more just world with more solidarity for all in common.”

The new campaign began in the context of a hectic period on migration issues. Amnesty International (AI) reported that, “since 2018, the US government has carried out an illegal and discriminatory campaign of intimidation, threats, harassment and criminal investigations against people who defend the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on the border between Mexico and the United States.”

In relation to the new policy adopted by the US government that specifically returns certain immigrants seeking asylum to Mexico, in recent days the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that “those seeking asylum from Central America, Cuba and Africa – including 4,780 children – face ‘potentially dangerous and unsustainable conditions’ after the US authorities send them back to Mexico.”

“While waiting for the US government to accept their asylum claims, migrants and activists who support them are exposed to harassment, intimidation, insecurity, exploitation and overcrowded conditions, warned the HRW organizations, Amnesty International (AI) and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym).”

The CNDH noted that in Mexico the recent modification of migration policies has generated a greater presence of immigration authorities and security forces in the northern and southern borders of the national territory, as well as the detention of people in the context of migration in different cities of our country. The fifth visitor of the National Commission of Human Rights, Edgar Corzo, said that, “for all the euphemisms to be found, the government detains migrants in centers (…) than what happens with migrants who are taken to the migratory centers, there is deprivation of liberty, where the minimum conditions of survival or a decent treatment are not guaranteed.”

The CNDH said that “it is necessary that organizations and activists receive the full and permanent support of the authorities of the three levels of government and of society as a whole; that it does not discredit or criminalize their work, since contexts that are not conducive to the defense of fundamental rights are generated, and that the intervention of the authorities in the migratory issue does not affect, for any reason, the work of people and organizations dedicated to the defense of people in the context of mobility.”

For more information in Spanish:

Campaña #DefendersBeyondWalls/#DefensoresSinMuros (Frontline Defenders, 3 de julio de 2019)

Amnistía, HRW y CNDH reclaman a gobierno de AMLO trato a migrantes (Expansión Política, 2 de julio de 2019)

CNDH acusa al gobierno de AMLO de privar de la libertad a migrantes (Milenio, 2 de julio de 2019)

Pide CNDH respaldo de gobiernos a defensores de migrantes (La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2019)

La CNDH acusa a la Comar de incumplir con la protección de 112 solicitantes de refugio entre 2017 y 2018 (Sin Embargo, 2 de juliode 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants (July 2, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released (June 17, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture” (June 9, 2019)


Guerrero: New Stage in Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case – Creation of Special Investigation Unit with Omar Gomez Trejo as Head

July 8, 2019

AyotziPhoto @ teleSUR

On June 26th, Agreement A/010/19 was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, with which the Special Investigation and Litigation Unit for the Ayotzinapa case was created.

“The agreement establishes that the Special Unit will be responsible for the investigation and prosecution of the crimes committed in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014, until the conclusion of all the criminal proceedings related to the events that led to the disappearance of the 43 students from the ‘Raúl Isidro Burgos’ Normal School.”

On the same day, the Attorney General’s Office (FGR in its Spanish acronym) reported that the teacher Omar Gomez Trejo would occupy the ownership of the new unit.

“For the relatives of the disappeared students and for the organizations that accompany them, the announcement means the beginning of a new stage in the criminal investigation (…) in particular, the appointment of the new head is a reason for hope.” This is due to his knowledge of the case and his long career in human rights organizations.

As a first initiative, the head of the Special Unit for Investigation and Litigation of the FGR and the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice for the Ayotzinapa case, agreed to design a work plan to guarantee progress such as, “the integration of all the archives of investigation linked to the case and that, depending directly on the Attorney General, would guarantee substantive progress in the investigation and clarification of the Ayotzinapa case”, the Government Secretariat stated.

For more information in Spanish:

Inician nueva etapa en investigación del caso Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 28 de junio de 2019)

Omar Gómez se reúne con unidad especial del Caso Ayotzinapa (Milenio, 28 de junio de 2019)

Comunicado FGR 313/19 Se crea por Acuerdo, Unidad Especial de Investigación y Litigación para el caso Ayotzinapa (Fiscalía General de la República, 26 de junio de 2019)

Familiares y organizaciones saludan inicio de una nueva etapa en la investigación del caso Ayotzinapa (Tlachinollan, 28 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: VIDEO of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case Belies “Historic Truth” (June 27, 2019)

Guerrero: Attorney General and SEDENA Denounced for Lack of Interest in Solving Ayotzinapa Case (May 17, 2019)

Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case (March 15, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in Ayotzinapa Case Set Up. Federal Judge Orders Investigation into Possible Responsibility of Attorney General Employees for Irregularities (January 22nd, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Decree Establishes Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case (December 19th, 2018)

Guerrero/National/International: CNDH and IACHR Ayotzinapa Reports (December 14th, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Ayotzinapa, Four Years On… (October 1st, 2018)


National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants

July 2, 2019

Migration@Chiapas Paralelo

Since June 14th, the agreement between Mexico and the United States to contain the flow of migrants in recent months has involved a militarization of both borders, according to human rights organizations.

On the southern border, the arrival of six thousand elements of the National Guard (GN in its Spanish acronym) was announced. In addition, “elements of the 101st Infantry Battalion of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) stationed in the Chiapas sierra put on a black armband with the initials GN (National Guard) and began patrolling in the Comalapa Border municipalities and others of the sierra de Chiapas”, this occurring after “the number of migrants using this road multiplied, after the route that starts from the Suchiate River and runs along the coast of Chiapas became more difficult, with the integration of elements of the Military Police and the Marina in the checkpoints”, Chiapas Paralelo reported a few days after the signing of the agreement.

The civil organizations that work on behalf of the migrants expressed their concern about the “double discourse” of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), which changed from a humanitarian policy to a militarist one. They accused the federal government of having let “the administration of Donald Trump, extend its border domain to southern Mexico.” They also indicated that the increase in police and military surveillance will not stop migration but will lead them to resort to more dangerous and risky routes for their security and integrity. They are also concerned about the tendency to stigmatize all civil society organizations, increasing the risks for migrant advocates and closing possible channels of dialogue. They warned that there is little clarity in the functions of the GN: “since March 2011, when migration was decriminalized as a crime, this was left as an administrative fault and the INM (National Institute of Migration) as the only authority empowered to detain migrants. However, now everyone is doing it doing, Marines, Army, Federal Police, state police bodies and even municipal police”, Chiapas Paralelo points out.

Another problem linked to the strategy of containment has to do with the saturation of migratory centers that are exceeded in their capacity by up to 400 percent with “overcrowded conditions, without health or adequate food or sufficient access to health services”. The fifth visitor of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Edgar Corzo Sosa, also pointed out the lack of personnel and infrastructure to process requests for refuge or regulation of migratory stay.

Civil organizations have also reported that the INM has asked transport companies to collaborate to prevent the entry of undocumented persons into their vehicles, which some of them agreed to do when the Institute threatened to sue them for crimes comparable to trafficking in persons, with penalties of between one thousand and ten thousand days penalty or up to 16 years in prison. The CSOs will question that the latter action hinders “free transit, not only for this population, but also for Mexican people” since there are “millions of people living in Mexico -who do not have these documents- and they travel on the roads of the country in different transportation systems: young people, agricultural day laborers -of which, many are indigenous, immigrants with immigration documents, thousands of Mexican returnees or deportees who do not have identity documents, and those who do not have their credentials from the INE because they were stolen, they have not updated it, etc.”

In the Northern Border, “we have a total deployment between the National Guard and army units of almost 15,000 men”, the Secretary of National Defense, Luis Cresentcio Sandoval, acknowledged during AMLO’s morning conference on June 25th. He affirmed that “considering that migration is not a crime, it is an administrative problem, so we only stop them and put them at the disposition of the authorities” of the National Institute of Migration. In this same framework, AMLO confirmed that the National Guard troops do detentions of migrants in aid of the INM authorities. He declared that, “there may be these excesses, but the instruction they all have is that the human rights of migrants be respected and that will continue that way.”

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones, activistas y defensores denuncian doble discurso del gobierno de AMLO en política migratoria (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de junio de 2019)

Por “contingencia migratoria”, personas sin identificación oficial no podrán abordar en ADO y ETN (Proceso, 18 de junio de 2019)

Acciones para contener migración en el país ponen en peligro libertad de tránsito de población mexicana (OSC, 19 de junio de 2019)

Organizaciones denuncian que medidas gubernamentales contra migrantes son anticonstitucionales (Desinformémonos, 20 de junio de 2019)

15 mil elementos de la Guardia Nacional impedirán el cruce de migrantes hacia EU (Animal Político, 24 de junio de 2019)

Puede Guardia Nacional detener a migrantes: López Obrador (Excelsior, 25 de junio de 2019)

For more information SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released (June 17, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture” (June 9, 2019)


Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom

June 27, 2019

Prisoners@No estamos todxs

Prisoners, victims of torture and cruel treatment in Chiapas, have already spent more than 100 days on hunger strike since they began their demand for justice and their freedom.

Adrian Gomez Ruiz, Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Abraham Lopez Montejo and German Lopez Montejo, are on hunger strike at the State Center for the Social Reintegration of the Sentenced (CERSS in its Spanish acronym) No. 5, in San Cristobal de Las Casas; and Marcelino Ruiz Gomez in the CERSS No. 10, in Comitan de Dominguez. All of them have denounced violations of their human rights, inter alia, for torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment during their detention and deprivation of liberty.

On several occasions these prisoners have reported omission and negligence in the care of their health, which is the responsibility of the Mexican State as they are in custody. On June 20th, 2019, it was reported that they are denied the right to immediate access to drinking water. Due to the above, they manifest liver and kidney problems, which represent a serious and progressive deterioration in their physical and emotional health, exacerbated by being on hunger strike.

They reported that the government of the state of Chiapas has not adequately and promptly resolved their request for freedom, so despite the deterioration in their health they have decided to continue their hunger strike.

In a document published on June 25th, 2019, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, the relatives of the prisoners and the Working Group No EStamos Todxs demanded that the Government provide adequate medical attention that guarantees the right to health of the five prisoners. They urged it to immediately resolve their request for freedom due to the violations of their human rights committed during their detention and in their legal proceedings.

For more information in Spanish:

Presos víctimas de Tortura en huelga de hambre urgen atención médica en Chiapas, Frayba 25 de junio de 2019

Necesidad de atención médica de Germán López Montejo, Grupo de trabajo No estamos Todxs, 25 de junio de 2019}

“Libertad o muerte”: indígenas presos en Chiapas cumplen 100 días sin comer, Contralinea, 24 de junio de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Plantón y Ayuno en Solidaridad con Presos en Huelga de Hambre (a 84 días de su inicio), (June 6th, 2019)

Chiapas: Indigenous Prisoner Released after 16 Years Awaiting Sentencing and 60 Days Hunger Strike (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: Six Prisoners Resume Indefinite Hunger Strike in San Cristobal and Comitan Prisons (May 17, 2019)

Little Progress 60 Days after Start of Hunger Strike in Various Sate Prisons (May 15, 2019)


Oaxaca: Third Anniversary of Nochixtlan

June 21, 2019

oaxaca-1-e1466435002690

Nochixtlan 2016 (@Animal Político)

On June 19th, three years after the police eviction of a blockade carried out in opposition to the educational reform in Nochixtlan, which left eight people dead and 198 wounded by firearms, thousands of professors from Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (CNTE in its Spanish acronym) marched to demand that the current government imprison former President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), former Secretaries of the Interior and Public Education, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong and Aurelio Nuño Mayer, as well as former governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cue Monteagudo for their responsibility in the massacre. Similarly, they demanded punishment for the material authors, among which are elements of the Federal and State Police, for the crimes of genocide, homicide, attempted homicide, abuse of authority and injuries.

They denounced the lack of progress in response to their demands for justice, truth, reparation for the damage and non-repetition of events of this nature. They recalled that the case of Nochixtlan was sent to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for the extrajudicial execution of persons.

The march culminated with a rally before the “Monument to the Fallen”. Eloy Lopez Hernandez, Secretary General of Section 22, highlighted the work in defense of education that three years ago society in general and teachers defended “to the ultimate consequences, a unity that the people must maintain and with which they will face the neoliberal projects that the current president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador intends to impose such as the Interoceanic projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec or the Maya Train in the southeast.”

For his part, the member of the Committee of Victims for Justice and Truth June 19 (COVIC in its Spanish acronym), Daniel Mayoral Lopez, reported that victims and their families continue to suffer harassment and assaults: “the last occurred on Tuesday, June 18th, when unknown persons vandalized the victims’ monument”, he said.

“The repression experienced on June 19th, 2016 in Asuncion Nochixtlan by state and federal forces that claimed the lives of eight civilians, was the result of an action by state to “punish” those who resist and oppose the projects that from the government they intend to impose”, the defender of Human Rights and presbyter, Miguel Concha said, on celebrating a mass at the end of the meeting.

On the same day of the commemoration, the state government appointed the former inspector general of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca, Juan Rodriguez Ramos, special commissioner for the events that took place on June 19th, 2016. However, survivors of the eviction have rejected this appointment.

For more information in Spanish:

Demandan justicia en marcha por tres años de la masacre de Nochixtlán (La Jornada, 19 de junio de 2019)

A tres años de Nochixtlán, sobrevivientes exigen justicia (Proceso, 19 de junio de 2019)

A tres años, sobrevivientes del fallido desalojo en Nochxitlán exigen justicia y castigo a Peña Nieto y Gabino Cué (Página3.mx, 19 de junio de 2019)

Juan Rodríguez, comisionado especial por hechos violentos de 2016 (Quadratin, 19 de junio de 2019)
Víctimas de Nochixtlán, sin justicia a 3 años del enfrentamiento (El Imparcial, 20 de junio de 2019)

19 de junio ¡Ni perdón ni olvido! (NVI Noticias, 20 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/National: CNDH Issues Recommendation for Serious Human Rights Violations during Events in Nochixtlan on June 16th, 2016 (October 28, 2017)

Oaxaca: Impunidad amparada por el gobierno a dos años de Nochixtlán: ONU-DH (June 22, 2018)

Oaxaca: President of Nochixtlan Victims Committee Attacked (April 12, 2018)


National: Work Begins on National Plan for Human Rights (PNDH)

June 20, 2019
pndh-1

@Serapaz

On June 12th, at an event led by the Secretary of the Interior Olga Sanchez Cordero and the Undersecretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration, Alejandro Encinas Rodriguez, the work began for the preparation of the National Human Rights Program 2019-2024 (PNDH in its Spanish acronym), and it is expected to be published in December by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Sanchez Cordero stressed that the “painful crisis in human rights was inherited by the current government” and affirmed that “the reality is not going to be invented, no matter how hard it is if we want to find a permanent solution”, particularly by the omnipresent factor of impunity. She said that, “presidential instruction, as a way to have a more just society, is to address the problems caused by inequality, violence, misogyny, impunity and corruption.” She stated that to build this national program there will be 15 forums, technical tables and other events throughout the country for the design of “the public policy that the country needs.”

The Undersecretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration, Alejandro Encinas, asked the federal public agencies to “get out of their comfort zone and address the very difficult reality of human rights,” including the issue of migration and refugee applicants. He acknowledged that, “our country has been subject to more than three thousand recommendations for violations (to these guarantees) from international organizations, both the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and other institutions that account for the seriousness of this problem.” It revealed the importance of the advising citizen council, before “an emergency situation that demands the firm action of the State, in concurrence with society.” The academic Clara Jusidman, the member of Services and Advice for Peace (SERAPAZ in its Spanish acronym) Dolores Gonzalez; the representative of UN-Women, Belen Sanz; Consuelo Morales of Citizens in Support of Human Rights (CADHAC in its Spanish acronym); Miguel Concha, from the Francisco de Vitoria Human Rights Center; the former Minister of the SCJN, Jose Ramon Cossio, the researcher Mauricio Merino and the representative of the UNHCHR, Jan Jarab. are members of this council.

Representing the council, Dolores Gonzalez stressed that, “the participation of all is required, the history of these exercises has made us skeptical, but the serious, unsustainable, intolerable reality that we live today forces us to deploy all possible resources to transform it. It will depend on the institutional commitment to the process, on the commitment that the victims and civil society put into this process, but above all on the conviction of each to break the mechanisms that perpetuate violence and that it is possible to get closer and closer to the truth, justice, reparation and measures of non-repetition, by which it is possible to build true peace.”

For more information in Spanish:

INICIA GOBIERNO DE MÉXICO DISEÑO DEL PROGRAMA NACIONAL DE DERECHOS HUMANOS 2019-2024 (Gobierno de México, 12 de junio de 2019)

Inician trabajos para el Programa Nacional de Derechos Humanos (Proceso, 12 de junio de 2019)

Instalación del Consejo Asesor del Programa Nacional para Derechos Humanos (Serapaz, 12 de junio de 2019)

Segob inicia Programa Nacional de Derechos Humanos 2019-2024 (SDP Noticias, 12 de junio de 2019)

No se maquillará la crisis de derechos humanos: SG (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Seven Journalists and 11 HR Defenders Murdered in 2019 – UNHCHR (20 de junio de 2019)

National: Absence of President Lopez Obrador at Presentation of CNDH Report “Disheartening for the Defense of Human Rights” (June 9, 2019)

National/International: UNO and IACHR Warn of Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Latin America. At Least Ten Murdered in Mexico (June 6, 2019)