Oaxaca: CODEDI Denounces Military Harassment and Persecution

August 13, 2018

CODEDI.pngMembers of CODEDI (@CDH Fray Bartolom de Las Casas)

On July 26th, the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Peoples (CODEDI in its Spanish acronym) denounced in a statement that a group of soldiers installed a checkpoint 500 meters from the entrance to the Alemania for one hour, where their center is located in Santa María Huatulco, to later retreat to Santiago Xanica, Miahuatlan. It reported that on questioning the military about what they were doing without authorization, the military responded that they were there under the firearms and explosives law.

It recalled that this happened just five months after the ambush and murder of three of its members (on February 12th) in the Sierra de Miahuatlan at the hands of an armed commando when they returned from a meeting convened by the state government; and just days after the assassination of Abraham Hernandez Gonzalez, CODEDI Regional Coordinator in the Sierra Sur, after hooded armed men dressed in military clothes entered his home and took him away on July 17th. Between these two events, several members of that organization suffered surveillance, threats (including death), house searches and arbitrary arrest. All this “without any progress in the judicial investigation to date.”

For CODEDI, the background of all this violence against their organization and the peoples of the region is the construction project of three hydroelectric dams on the Copalita River, called Copalita, Alemania and San Miguel by the federal and state governments. It urgently asked “to all organizations, communities, groups, civil society organizations in resistance against megaprojects and teachers of Section 22 to publicly demonstrate against the militarization and paramilitarization of the coastal region, to impose the megaprojects of dispossession of the federal and state government, and demand the immediate departure of the Army from Santiago Xanica.”

Given these latest denunciations, Espacio Civil de Oaxaca, composed of several civil organizations of the state said, “we reject and warn against the militarization of Oaxacan territory, a few months after the promulgation of the controversial Law of Internal Security, which institutionalizes the militarization of public security and, as the UN and the IACHR have pointed out, represents a serious danger to human rights. In Oaxaca, this is being translated into the military occupation of the territories where the peoples struggle against the exploitation of natural resources. We also hold the State and Federal Government responsible for repeated and particularly serious attacks against CODEDI. We condemn the excessive increase of the aggressions against all the defenders and members of the Oaxacan social movement; we denounce the lack of interest in and lack of response from the Government of the State in this situation.”

For more information in Spanish:

Espacio Civil de Oaxaca condena hostigamiento militar y persecución a CODEDI (Espacio Civil, 30 de julio de 2018)

Como una piedra en el zapato – Documental sobre el CODEDI y la ocupación de tierras en la Sierra Sur de Oaxaca (Radio zapatista, 29 de julio de 2018)

Cinco activistas fueron asesinados este año por oponerse a proyectos extractivos en Oaxaca: ONG (Sin Embargo, 27 de julio de 2018)

Acusan militarización en pueblos indígenas de la Costa de Oaxaca (El Despertar de Oaxaca, 27 de julio de 2018)

Denuncia CODEDI impunidad en crímenes y acoso del ejército (El Universal, 27 de julio de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca : impunidad y amenazas a tres meses del asesinato de 3 integrantes de CODEDI (16 de mayo de 2018)

Oaxaca : CODEDI denuncia « allanamiento, intimidación, acoso y violencia política » (9 de marzo de, 2018)

Oaxaca: Emboscan y asesinan a tres integrantes de Codedi (20 de febrero de 2018)


Guerrero/National: Obstruction in Formation of Truth Commission in Ayotzinapa Case Denounced

August 8, 2018

Ayotzi.png(@CDH Tlachinollan)

On July 25th, relatives of the 43 student teachers from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero in September 2014, demanded at a press conference that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN in its Spanish acronym) act with impartiality and autonomy when deciding whether or not there should be a truth commission for the case. “In the face of the unusual legal offensive – formed with more than one hundred legal resources – unleashed by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto against the ruling of a Collegiate Court that orders the creation of a commission of inquiry into the Iguala case with guarantees of impartiality, and in anticipation that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation must resolve several of these resources, fathers and mothers of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa asked the ministers of the Supreme Court not to bend to the pressures of the Executive and be on the side of the truth and the victims. The families reported that it is “a shame” that, 46 months after the events, the authorities have not found the whereabouts of their children but they are devoting so much energy and coordination to reversing the ruling issued by the First Collegiate Court of the Nineteenth Circuit of Tamaulipas, which – after considering that the investigation of the PGR lacked independence and effectiveness – ordered the creation of a commission of inquiry with external controls to guarantee the rights of the victims“, the statement denounced.

“We are denouncing the appeals filed by institutions such as the Army and the Navy against the ruling of the Collegiate Court. If they do not fear anything, why are they against being investigated?” Mrs. Blanca Nava, mother of student teacher Jorge Alvarez asked, and pointed out that this confirms that the federal government wants to hide the truth before leaving office.

For his part, Mario Patron, director of the PRODH Center, said: “This government, far from using its forces to locate students, has used them to attack the ruling of the Collegiate Court.”

It should be recalled that the previous week, the Third Unitary Court of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit declared that “there is a legal impossibility to comply with the sentence” issued in June towards the creation of a Truth Commission.

Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer of the parents of the student teachers later informed the media that if the SCJN decides against the creation of the commission they will seek to meet with the representative of the next administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to find a way out of “the obstruction” of the current federal authorities.

“We want to give a message to the new government that has been appointed on July 1st, to commit to the truth, to help us find the truth, and also to resume the investigation of the experts of the IGIE (Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts ), following the line of investigation to be able to find the whereabouts of our children”, the relatives proposed.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletín de Prensa / “La Corte debe ser valiente y estar con la verdad”: familias de Ayotzinapa (Cdh Tlachinollan, 25 de julio de 2018)

Denuncian bloqueos a la Comisión de la Verdad en Ayotzinapa (Político MX, 29 de julio de 2018)

Padres de los 43 piden a López Obrador honrar compromisos en caso Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 25 de julio de 2018)

Los padres de Ayotzinapa exigen a la Suprema Corte ser imparcial en el caso (ADN Político, 25 de julio de 2018)

Padres de Ayotzinapa acusan a Peña y ponen esperanzas en AMLO (El Sur, 25 de julio de 2018

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Graduaron los compañeros de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (16 de julio de 2018)

Guerrero/Nacional : CNDH informa que se tiene a un preso inocente por el caso Ayotzinapa (22 de junio de 2018)

Guerrero/Nacional/Internacional : Llamados a redigirir investigación en el caso Ayotzinapa (14 de junio de 2018)

Guerrero/Nacional: Tribunal Federal ordena la creación de una Comisión de la Verdad para reponer la investigación en el caso Ayotzinapa(6 de junio de 2018)

Guerrero/Internacional: nueva audiencia del caso Ayotzinapa ante la CIDH ; riesgo de carpetazo denuncian familiares y sus representantes legales (10 de mayo de 2018)

Internacional/Guerrero: Exigen que la PGR agote todas las líneas de investigación que surgen de nueva información en caso Ayotzinapa (18 de abril de 2018)

Guerrero/Nacional/Internacional : Nuevos informes sobre caso Ayotzinapa (15 de marzo de 2018)

National/International: “Final Observations on the Ninth Periodic Report from Mexico, the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women” Published

August 6, 2018


On July 23rd, the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) released its conclusions on the violence faced by women in Mexico based on the ninth periodic report submitted by the Mexican authorities in Geneva, Switzerland, this month. Although there is legal reinforcement to prevent and eradicate violence against women, CEDAW regretted that the “persistent high levels of insecurity, violence and organized crime, as well as the challenges associated with public security strategies, negatively affect the enjoyment of those rights of women and girls.”

He urged the authorities to take “urgent measures to prevent violent deaths, homicides and forced disappearances of women, which includes addressing the roots of the problem, such as violence, armed violence, organized crime, drug trafficking, discriminatory stereotypes and marginalization.” It demanded that the Mexican State ensure that “the authors are investigated, prosecuted and punished appropriately” for acts of violence against women, which include state and non-state players. It also made recommendations on the rights and sexual and reproductive health of girls and women.

The same report reported on the issuance of gender violence alerts (some requested and others specified) in the great majority of the national territory, but recognized limitations to the mechanism when proposing recommendations such as “harmonizing and expanding the application and coordination at the federal, state and municipal levels for Gender Violence Alerts against women” or “ensure participation in the mechanism of CSOs and human rights defenders.”

It also highlighted “the urgency of guaranteeing the rights of vulnerable populations such as the LGBTI population, indigenous women, rural women, human rights defenders and journalists”, as well as including specific recommendations for Mexico on migrant women, asylum seekers and refugees.

The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) immediately reported that it will responsibly monitor the attention to each of the 53 action recommendations and the four disclosure recommendations addressed to the Mexican State, and ratified its commitment announced before the CEDAW to give timely follow-up to its implementation and compliance.

For more information in Spanish:

Admite convención esfuerzos para evitar violencia de género; cifras no los avalan (La Jornada, 29 de julio de 2018)

Los asesinatos de niñas muestran otra cara de los feminicidios en México (ADN Político, 28 de julio de 2018)

Tres asesinatos de niñas cimbran a México; la ONU urge al Estado proteger ya a mujeres y menores (Sin Embargo, 26 de julio de 2018)

CEDAW emite recomendaciones a México por violencia contra las mujeres (Regeneración, 25 de julio de 2018)

Comité CEDAW emite observaciones a México sobre derechos de las mujeres luego de 9ª revisión (ONU Mujeres, 24 de julio de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Reunión de evaluación de la Alerta de Violencia de Género sin participación de las organizaciones peticionarias (19 de junio de 2018)

Guerrero : se disparan los feminicidios a pesar de Alerta de Género (8 de junio de 2018)

Nacional: el Estado mexicano no acata las recomendaciones del Comité para la Eliminación de la Discriminación contra la Mujer (CEDAW) (17 de junio de 2014)

Guerrero: feminicidios a la alza en 2017 (11 de enero de 2018)

Oaxaca: instalan con retraso una Comisión Especial para atender e investigar la violencia feminicida. (11 de enero de 2018)

Nacional/Chiapas: En el marco del Día Internacional para la Eliminación de la Violencia contra las Mujeres (1 de diciembre de 2017)

Nacional/Internacional: Se lanza la campaña 16 días de activismo contra la violencia hacia las mujeres (30 de noviembre de 2017)

National/International: Global Witness Publishes “At What Price? Irresponsible Business and the Murder of Land and Environment Defenders 2017”

August 6, 2018

Global Witness.jpg(@Global Witness)

On July 24th, the international organization Global Witness, based in London, England, published the report “At What Price? Irresponsible Business and the Murder of Land and Environment Defenders 2017.” In reported that in 2017, 207 environmental defenders were killed in the world, making this year the bloodiest for this sector. It stressed that the victims were mostly indigenous and community leaders, as well as environmental defenders, who were killed or subjected to death threats, arrests, cyber attacks, sexual assaults and lawsuits. It acknowledged that the number of murders could be “much higher”. Latin America is the most dangerous region with 60% of cases.

In the case of Mexico, the country that ranks fourth in murders after Brazil, the Philippines and Colombia, the report noted that “collusion between companies and authorities and the presence of organized crime are factors that in Mexico affect the murder of environmental defenders, which multiplied between 2016 and 2017, in that it went from three cases to 15, 13 of them indigenous.” Global Witness also indicated that mining is the activity that generates the greatest number of cases of violence in the Mexican communities, followed by infrastructure projects.

During the presentation of the report in Mexico, in a video message transmitted through the Internet, Ben Leather, head of Advocacy of the organization, warned that, “the defenders who work on issues of land and defense of the environment face risks because they question big economic interests.”

He called on the next federal government headed by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his transition government to address the problem “as a matter of priority”, and to guarantee the participation of communities and civil society organizations in decision-making about mega projects. He also asked to end the “impunity that permeates the cases of murdered activists, and that their activities to defend land rights become the main line of investigation to be followed by the courts.”

“We know that (Lopez Obrador) has said that his government will be one of human rights and without corruption, but it will be impossible if those who defend them are in situations of risk, if those who report are suffering assaults and murders and if they do not include them in their decision-making about the future,” Ben Leather noted. Finally, he stressed that it is important for other players to act to stop violence against environmentalists, including companies.

For more information in Spanish:

« ¿A qué precio ? Negocios irresponsables y el asesinato de personas defensoras de la tierra y del medio ambiente en 2017 » (Global Witness, libro completo, 24 de julio de 2017)

2017 es el año con más muertes registradas de personas defensoras de la tierra y el medio ambiente (Global Witness, 24 de julio de 2018)

Se multiplican en México asesinatos de defensores ambientales (La Jornada, 24 de julio de 2017)

Aumenta 400% asesinato de defensores del medio ambiente: Global Witness (Regeneración, 24 de julio de 2018)

En un año aumentaron 400% los asesinatos de defensores de la tierra en México (Animal Político, 24 de julio de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : CEMDA publica informe 2017 que indica incremento de la vulnerabilidad de defensores ambientalistas (7 de marzo de 2018)

Nacional : informes de organizaciones de derechos humanos contrastan con avances señalados en el Quinto Informe de Gobierno (7 de septiembre de 2017)

México: Amnistía Internacional presenta nueva campaña mundial en contra de la ola de ataques a defensores y defensoras (30 de mayo de 2017)

National: Cerezo Committee Demands Amnesty, Truth Commissions and Protection of Defenders and Journalists from AMLO

August 2, 2018

AMLO.pngPhoto  @ Mexico Cerezo Committee

On July 11th, the Mexico Cerezo Committee and Urgent Action for Human Rights Defenders published an open letter to the president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), in which they demand compliance with three key points from the new government:

1 The enactment of a National Amnesty Law;

2 the creation of Truth Commissions;

3 the implementation of effective mechanisms to comply with the General Law for the Protection of Defenders and Journalists.

In this letter they reiterate that the focus of their demands is “to initiate in Mexico a real and effective process that guarantees the human rights of victims of human rights violations, taking justice, truth, memory and integral reparation into account.”

As regards the National Amnesty Law, which has been one of the central proposals of AMLO, they point out “that it helps to contribute to the democratic transition in our damaged Mexico, freeing all political and conscientious prisoners, stopping the judicial political persecution against hundreds of Mexicans and erasing the criminal record of hundreds of social activists whose crime has been fighting for democracy and a dignified life in our country. (…) It is necessary to mention that the Amnesty Law for all prisoners and political and prisoners of conscience in the country cannot benefit those who have committed crimes against humanity or war crimes.”

The Cerezo Committee points out that “the amnesty has no legal obstacles, it is an essentially human problem, and will ultimately measure the political will and the degree of humanism of those who aspire to govern our country.” It also includes in the open letter a proposal for this law, prepared by the organization.

The issue of the Truth Commissions arises from the need to address serious cases of human rights violations, such as the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa. These commissions “would be made up of civil society, priests, as well as international experts to clarify the events that have taken place in the country.”

Lately it is highlighted that “the existence of the Law and the mechanism of protection for defenders and journalists, lacks a comprehensive policy at national level that allows compliance with the obligations of the Mexican State in the area of ​​human rights and protection of human rights defenders.” For this reason, they demand that AMLO “enact a General Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists that harmonizes all existing policies on prevention, protection and security for defenders and journalists: general laws, federal and state, mandates and judicial resolutions, administrative and civil measures, and those that are known; with the purpose of laying the foundations of a comprehensive protection policy.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comité Cerezo | Carta abierta al Presidente electo Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Red TdT, 11 de julio de 2018)

Carta abierta al Presidente electo Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Chiapas Paralelo, 12 de julio de 2018)

ANEXO 01: Propuesta de Ley de Amnistía Federal 2018 (Comité Cerezo, 9 de julio)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Andrés Manuel López Obrador nuevo Presidente electo de México. (3 de julio de 2018)

Guerrero/Nacional: Tribunal Federal ordena la creación de una Comisión de la Verdad para reponer la investigación en el caso Ayotzinapa (6 de junio de 2018)

Guerrero/National: Federal Court Orders Creation Truth Commission to Reopen Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case

July 12, 2018

Ayotzi.png(@Centro PRODH)

On June 4th, a federal court, based in Tamaulipas, ordered the Attorney General’s Office (PGR in its Spanish acronym) to reinstate the procedure in the Ayotzinapa case and create a Truth Commission to re-investigate the enforced disappearance of 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014. This occerrefd in the context of ruling that the investigation “was not prompt, effective, independent or impartial.” This ruling discredits the so-called “historical truth” that refers to the official versions presented by the federal government to date that the youths were murdered and incinerated in the dump of Cocula, Guerrero, and the ashes thrown into the river San Juan.

The court held that there is “sufficient evidence to presume that the confessions and accusations against co-defendants were obtained under torture” and “in the face of serious human rights violations, such as torture, forced disappearance of persons and extrajudicial executions, and that it was ordered to investigate the participation of authorities of the three levels of government, in addition to the fact that in Mexico there is no independent prosecutor’s office, it was determined to create a commission of investigation for truth and justice.” The court ruled that the commission “will be consist of the representatives of the victims, the National Commission of Human Rights and the Public Ministry of the Federation“, although it will be the relatives of the victims and the CNDH that will decide which lines of investigation will be followed and the tests to be used. They can also validate the incorporation of more national and international human rights organizations. The Court based its decision on the need to enforce “the fundamental right of access to justice for the victims, provided for in Article 17 of the Constitution, whose purpose is to arrive at the truth and to ensure that this type of crime serious violations of human rights is not repeated.”

In a statement on the same day of the publication of the sentence, the PGR said it does not share the criteria of the Court, considering that the resolution issued “ignores the division of powers and the powers of prosecution, investigation and the exercise of penal action that, according to Article 21 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, corresponds to the Public Ministry of the Federation.” Before the accusations of torture, it indicated that, “through the Specialized Unit, it has opened several Investigation Cases in which the opinions are recorded of certified experts and with technical autonomy according to the Istanbul Protocol.” It finally stated that “different lines are being worked on, including those suggested by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), through the Follow-up Mechanism, and taking into account the observations of the National Human Rights Commission.”

For its part, the ProDH Center, representative of the families of the 43 student teachers, indicated that the families “will initiate a process of analysis to review their extremes and position themselves publicly in the coming days.” It welcomed the Court’s ruling and considered that “it confirms that the truth in the Ayotzinapa case is not stated, that the whereabouts of the victims are not clear and that the current federal government committed multiple irregularities during the investigation. By virtue of the judgment, this assessment no longer comes only from international instances, but has been established by a national court.” It demanded “a public commitment that in the rest of the six-year term of office the ruling will be fulfilled and the case will not be manipulated to prevent its clarification.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado de prensa “Histórica sentencia del poder judicial dela Federación en el caso Ayotzinapa: estabblece las graves irregularidades en que incurrió PGR y ordena crear un mecanismo extraordinario de justicia y verdad”  (Centro PRODH, 4 de junio de 2018)

Tribunal ordena crear Comisión para la Verdad en caso Ayotzinapa; no compartimos criterio de magistrados: PGR (Animal Político, 4 de junio de 2018)

Magistrados ordenan crear Comisión de la Verdad y piden a PGR reponer procedimiento en caso Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2018)

La PGR dice no compartir criterio de magistrados sobre Comisión de la Verdad para Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2018)

La investigación del caso Iguala no fue independiente ni imparcial (La Jornada, 5 de junio de 2018)

CNDH analiza la sentencia que ordena reponer el proceso del caso Ayotzinapa y crear la Comisión de la Verdad (Sin Embargo, 5 de junio de 2018)

For more informaton from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/Internacional: nueva audiencia del caso Ayotzinapa ante la CIDH ; riesgo de carpetazo denuncian familiares y sus representantes legales (10 de mayo de 2018)

Internacional/Guerrero: Exigen que la PGR agote todas las líneas de investigación que surgen de nueva información en caso Ayotzinapa (18 de abril de 2018)

Guerrero/Nacional/Internacional : Nuevos informes sobre caso Ayotzinapa (15 de marzo de 2018)

Guerrero: PGR buscará cerrar caso Ayotzinapa antes de diciembre (6 de marzo de 2018)

International: Case against for Illegal Sale of Firearms to Mexico by Heckler and Koch Begins

June 25, 2018

Guns.pngPhoto @ Deutsche Welle

On May 15th, 2018, the trial against six former employees of the German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch began in Stuttgart, Germany. The Stuttgart district court investigates the illegal sale of thousands of G-36 assault rifles to Mexico between 2006 and 2009. Executives are accused of knowing that those same weapons were destined for regions of the country that, according to Deutsche Welle, “did not have export permission from the German authorities, thus violating the German war arms control laws and the export law. They will also respond to accusations of corruption in relation to alleged bribes that were paid to Major General Humberto Alfonso Guillermo Aguilar, then director of the Armament and Munitions Marketing Department (DCAM) of the [Mexican] National Defense Secretariat (SEDENA).”

Deutsche Welle adds that, “German and Mexican journalists, as well as activists, verified that H & K’s weapons were used in the armed attack against Mexican students on September 26th, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, which left dozens injured, six dead and 43 missing persons.” The German Cooperation for Human Rights in Mexico denounced that the business carried out by Heckler & Koch in Guerrero contributed to “serious human rights violations.” It further stated that, “the limitations on the export of the G36 automatic rifles to some especially conflictive Mexican federated states were, at that time, unsustainable from a human rights perspective. All this indicates the existence of an agreement that made these exports possible.” A total of 24 trial dates are scheduled and a sentence is expected for October 25th of this year.

For more information in Spanish:

Heckler & Koch: la historia detrás del fabricante de armas alemán (Deutsche Welle, 15 de mayo del 2018)

Inicia juicio por envío ilegal de armas alemanas a México (La Jornada, 14 de mayo del 2018)

Heckler & Koch en el banquillo de los acusados (Deutsche Welle, 14 de mayo del 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/Nacional/Internacional : Nuevos informes sobre caso Ayotzinapa (15 de marzo del 2018)

Internacional/Nacional: OSC alertan a Unión Europea sobre crisis de derechos humanos en México ante modernización del Acuerdo Global (8 de junio del 2017)

Nacional/Guerrero: “no más venta de armas a México” – Gobierno alemán (27 de febrero del 2015)