Oaxaca: Truth Commission Presents its Final Report

May 23, 2016

OaxacaPhoto: @ Oaxaca Truth Commission

On May 17, the Oaxaca Truth Commission (CVO) presented its final report on the events that led to the violations of human rights against the Oaxacan people during the disturbances of 2006 and 2007. The document, titled “We already know! No more impunity in Oaxaca”, consists of 1,250 pages and is divided into four chapters dealing with complaints made by the victims, state repression, the social consequences of the violations of human rights, and getting justice and reparation of damages form the authorities, with the completion of the work started by the CVO in November 2014. The Commission reported that being an extrajudicial execution “arbitrary deprivation of life by state agents, or with the complicity, tolerance or acquiescence of these, without a judicial or legal process provided.”

Regarding the accusations against former PRI governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz (2004- 2010), Nayely Guillén, member of the CVO and human rights specialist, pointed out that the crimes of forced disappearance, torture and extrajudicial executions are crimes against humanity, so do not prescribe. “Ulises Ruiz is not saved from his crimes and is not saved from sitting in the dock. There is evidence of multiple violations of human rights committed by the former governor”, Guillen said. In this regard, Father Alejandro Solalinde, former president of the CVO, explained to Revolution 3.0, “so far the government institutions of Oaxaca have shown no sign of welcoming the report, what is more, the government of Gabino Cué has not even given signs of the existence of this document. “ The former commissioners stressed that the document is “the voice of the victims”, considering that after its presentation of the “victims should follow it up, we have already provided the tools they just need to strengthen themselves with the the report and fight for justice.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ulises Ruíz no está a salvo de sus crímenes ni de sentarse en el banquillo de los acusados: Comisión de la Verdad (Revolución 3.0, 18 de mayo de 2016)

INFORME FINAL ¡YA SABEMOS! NO MÁS IMPUNIDAD EN OAXACA (Comisión de la Verdad Oaxaca, 17 de mayo de 2016)

Denuncian ejecuciones extrajudiciales en Oaxaca, durante conflicto con APPO (Aristegui Noticias, 12 de mayo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Anuncia Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca pronta publicación de su informe final (3 de febrero de 2016)

Oaxaca: Más de 500 casos de tortura y 26 ejecuciones: Comisión de la Verdad (16 de junio de 2015)

Oaxaca: denuncian amenazas contra integrantes de la Comisión de la Verdad conformada para investigar el conflicto político-social del 2006 (23 de abril de 2015)

Oaxaca: A 8 años del conflicto de 2006, sigue la impunidad. Se conforma Comisión de la Verdad (27 de noviembre de 2014)


National: Unofficial Visit of UNO Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders

May 13, 2016

Frost.pngMichel Forst during the presentation of the CMDPDH book “40 Faces of Dignity”. Photo: @La opinión

The UNO Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Michael Frost, came to Mexico on an unofficial visit, stopping in Puebla, Chihuahua and Mexico City. During his stay he held meetings with a number of social organizations about threats and aggressions against defenders, the regulatory framework that encourages criminalization, the challenges of protection, the discrediting of the government by international mechanisms and recommendations, the defense of land and territory, and the situation of reporters.

Frost did not go into detail about the situation of defenders as he was on an unofficial visit, although he did acknowledge the vulnerability that defenders face in the country. Due to this, he said he aspires to “organize an official visit for 2017”, given that in 2016 his visit was cancelled by the Mexican Government without reason according to La Jornada. After listening to testimonies of human rights violations of defenders, the rapporteur stated that, “in the whole world there still exist different and varied problems against those who dedicate themselves to making the rights of different groups in society respected. Many factors and new actors combine to affect them and to make their defense work even more difficult, because now the transnational companies are added to fundamentalisms.” Frost concluded saying that, “the companies buy mountains, hills, lakes, lagoons and rivers and in the face of this there is an aim to carry out very concrete activities and meetings with those in charge of the transnationals to remind them of their responsibilities.”

For more information in Spanish:

 40 Rostros de la Dignidad: voces en defensa de los derechos humanos en México (CMDPDH, 4 de mayo 2016)

Trasnacionales, riesgo para activistas, dice Michel Forst (La Jornada, 4 de mayo 2016)

Ante el Relator Especial de ONU, denuncian que período peñista tiene como práctica desaparecer pruebas, personas y verdades (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 4 de mayo 2016)

Relator especial de la ONU, Michel Forst, realiza visita a Puebla (Puebla Online , 4 de mayo de 2016)

Michel Forst relator especial ONU sobre situación de defensores de DDHH podría visitar México en 2017 (Canal Judicial WordPress, 3 de mayo 2016)

Libro ’40 Rostros de la dignidad’, homenaje a personas defensoras de DDHH en México: relator de ONU (Noticias MVS, 3 de mayo 2016)

Exhorta la CNDH al gobierno a concretar visita de relator de ONU (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2016)

Deplora relator de ONU-DH cancelación de su visita a México (Proceso, 25 de febrero 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:


Oaxaca: OPDDH solicitó intervención urgente ante intento de asesinato de defensora (21 de julio de 2015)

Nacional/internacional: La CIDH expresa su preocupación ante el endurecimiento de las autoridades mexicanas hacia los migrantes y sus defensores en la frontera Sur (15 de junio de 2015)


Oaxaca: Radio broadcaster murdered in Ejutla de Crespo

May 11, 2016

Radio.pngOaxaca: Radio broadcaster murdered in Ejutla de Crespo

On April 26, Apolonio Hernandez Gonzalez, broadcaster of one of Ejutla de Crespo’s radio stations, “was murdered inside his home with a bladed weapon”, the Attorney General of Oaxaca confirmed. According to the preliminary investigation of the case, the body of the 52-year-old from Radio Need showed signs of a wound on his neck from a blade and was found dumped beside an illegal work site. The authorities do not know the motive for the murder at present, while his work colleagues have sent their condolences to his relatives and demand justice through their radio transmissions and the Internet. For its part, the Benito Juarez Association of Community Radios, as well as condemning this crime, demand clarification of the murders of two other private community radio braodcasters in recent months, Filadelfo Sanchez Sarmiento in Miahuatlán and Abel Bautista in Santiago Juxtlahuaca.

The organization Article 19 learned of the case and demanded that the state authorities examine the reporting work of Apolonio Hernandez as the main line of investigation of his murder. According to Article 19, “The Special Attorney for Attention to Crimes against Freedom of Expression (READLE in its Spanish acronym) is obliged to investigate the murders of reporters.” Nevertheless, Article 19 complained that, “it has eluded its responsibility to investigate crimes that attack freedom of expression.” Reporters Without Borders (RWB) and Amnesty International (AI) recalled that 63 journalists died due to causes related to the exercise of their profession and a further 40 were murdered while the motive of their death was unknown in 2015. Both organizations have warned that there are four “hotspots” where freedom of the press is more and more restrained, Mexico being among those. In a statement, both organizations reported that, “threats, harassment and killings continued against journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico during 2015. Despite the existence of a Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, passed in 2012, the lack of resources and coordination meant that adequate protection is not offered.”

It should be noted that World Freedom of the Press Day, established by the United Nations Organization (UNO) was celebrated on May 3. According to Sol de Mexico, Mexican reporters have little to celebrate for this commemoration, as freedom of expression is more and more limited.

 

For more information:

México encabeza la lista de los países más peligrosos para ejercer el periodismo (El Sol de México, 4 de mayo de 2016)

Asesinan a Apolonio Hernández, locutor de radio por internet en Oaxaca (SDP Noticias, 27 de abril de 2016)

Radios comunitarias condenan asesinato de locutor de Radio Need Ejutla (27 de abril de 2016, EDUCA Oaxaca)

Asesinan a locutor de radio en Oaxaca (Zócalo Salillo, 27 de abril de 2016)

Asesinan a locutor de radio en Oaxaca (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2016)

En Oaxaca los periodistas están siendo asesinados, amenazados, hostigados y perseguidos (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 1 de abril de 2016)

Veracruz, Guerrero y la CDMX, donde más agreden periodistas: Art. 19; es la impunidad, dice (Vanguardia, 3 de mayo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Asesinan a locutor de radio en Miahuatlán (3 de julio de 2015)

Oaxaca: Nuevas agresiones a periodistas (29 de agosto de 2014)

Oaxaca: Estado del país con mayor número de agresiones a mujeres defensoras de los derechos humanos y periodistas (29 de mayo de 2014)

Oaxaca: Denuncian ola de ataques contra periodistas y activistas (20 de julio de 2013)

Oaxaca: Article 19 condena ataque a periodistas (9 de marzo de 2012)


Guerrero/Mexico: IGIE Ends its Work in Mexico Presenting a Second Report

May 7, 2016

IGIE.png

On April 24, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE), appointed by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) to investigate the enforced disappearance of 43 students from the Teacher Training School at Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, in September 2014, ended its work of more than one year with the presentation of a second report. The final stage of the work the IGIE carried out occurred in the middle of a media campaign to discredit its members and work. Some weeks ago, a complaint was made against the executive secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Alvarez Icaza, for alleged fraud in detriment of the Federation for almost two million dollars given by the Federal Government for the investigation of the Ayotzinapa case.

The mothers and fathers of the disappeared believe that the group of experts “has been thrown out of the country” by the Federal Government as their work has not been concluded and the 43 have not been found. The Government for its part argues that the presence of the IGIG was agreed with a time limit, which was even extended by a second six-month period. Since its first report, the IGIE concluded that there is not sufficient scientific evidence to support the official version of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR in its Spanish acronym) which claims that the missing student teachers were incinerated at a dump in the municipality of Cocula, Guerrero. This presumably happened at the hands of municipal police in collusion with members of organized crime.

In the second report (of over 600 pages) various inconsistencies and omissions in the file of the Attorney General of the Republic on the Ayotzinapa case were revealed. It pointed out that, “The investigation had difficulties that cannot be exclusively attributed to the complexity of the case. The slowness in responses to requests of the IGIE, the delay in the practice of evidence, the formal and not substantial responses to many concerns, the [fact that] other lines of investigation were not followed, cannot be seen as simple improvised or partial obstacles. They demonstrate structural barriers.” Among the lines of investigation which were not exhausted are the cell phones of the some of the student teachers, which continued to work hours and even days after the events, the participation of police from other localities, and the fifth bus that the students had taken and that was not being investigated. All of these lines could give more clues as to what happened.

The document also produced evidence that proved the participation of the Federal Police in the events and the responsibility at least through negligence of the 27 Battallion of the army in Iguala. It poses that at least 17 of the 61 arrested by the State and Federal authorities were tortured. Another fact that posed questions was the presence of the director of the Criminal Investigation Agency of the PGR on Sunday, October 28, 2014, at the San Juan riverbed, the day before the “official version” of the discovery of the supposed remains of some of the students in the same river and the Cocula dump was made public. The IGIE commented that, “We did not find any report about these facts, any dispatch of the 28. All the official information begins after the 29 of October.”

For more information in Spanish:

Los 10 puntos explosivos del informe #GIEIAyotzinapa (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2016)

Mostró el GIEI un sistema judicial corrupto y brutal: NYT (La Jornada, 26 de abril de 2016)

Padres reciben con tristeza informe GIEI, nos sentimos desamparados: voc. Con Ricardo Rocha (Radio Formula, 26 de abril de 2016)

Evita Osorio Chong reunirse con integrantes del GIEI; los remite con Campa Cifrián (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2016)

9 ‘huecos’ del expediente Ayotzinapa detectados en el informe final del GIEI (Expansión CNN, 25 de abril de 2016)

Remata el GIEI: evidencias manipuladas, omisiones y torturas en caso Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 24 de abril de 2016)

Confrontado con el gobierno, concluye el GIEI trabajo en México (La Jornada, 24 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/ Nacional: EAAF y GIEI reaccionan ante conclusiones sobre fuego en el basurero de Cocula (11 de abril de 2016)

Guerrero: ONG y expertos en derechos humanos respaldan labor del GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (25 de enero de 2016)

Nacional/Internacional : PGR abre investigación contra Emilio Álvarez Icaza, Secretario Ejecutivo de la CIDH (31 de marzo de 2016)


Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero/National: Criminalization of Social Protest

April 26, 2016

Protest.pngDuring the teachers’ mobilizations in Chiapas. Photo: @Cuartoscuro

On Friday April 15, the teachers began a day of mobilizations across the country as part of a “new struggle against educational reform, for the defense of public education, and employment stability”, which began with the blockade of highways, ports and border crossings in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan, and Chiapas.

Teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) on the Tehuantepec Isthmus led two highway blockades as part of their actions against educational reform, the education law in Oaxaca, and to demand the release of political prisoners. In Guerrero, contingents of the State Coordinator of Education Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) blocked the lanes of the Sol Mexico-Acapulco motorway from morning as well as demonstrating on a number of streets of the capital. In Michoacan, at least three thousand members of CNTE, accompanied by trainee teachers of Arteaga municipality and some social organizations took control of the entrances to the industrial zone and blocked the exit to the Morelia motorway.

In Chiapas, the “disproportionate use of the security forces, arbitrary arrests, torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatments which characterize repression and criminalization of social protest” were committed and documented by the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) in San Cristobal de Las Casas and Tuxtla Gutierrez during the actions of the teachers from CNTE and the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE). CDHFBC pointed out that elements of the Federal Police, the Gendarmerie, and the State Police took part and used “indiscriminately and unjustifiably tear gas and rubber bullets damaging the health of those who were protesting.” Also, they denounced that they physically injured the passersby or those who were at the site of the repression, including children, women, and seniors. In the two cities, elements of the police “arbitrarily detained and with inhumane and/or degrading treatment, without respect for personal guarantees nor mediating protocols that protect security and integrity, at least eight women teachers, ten male teachers and three passersby” who were removed to the maximum security prison at Tepic, Nayarit.

The Ministry of Public Education (SEP) made it known that it sanctioned “with discounts […] and with separation from service 13,700 teachers” who participated in the protests against educational reform in different states of the country. CDHFBC urged the Mexican State to “assume the obligation to protect, guarantee and respect human rights; cease repression and criminalization of social protest; guarantee life, integrity and personal security of those who exercise their legitimate right to free protest; immediately, effectively, seriously, thoroughly and impartially see to these events, sanctioning those responsible for the human rights violations described; and immediately release the people arbitrarily arrested and unjustifiably transferred accused of invented crimes as justification for the repressive actions.”  

For more information in Spanish:

Movilización de la CNTE contra la reforma educativa en 28 estados (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2016)

SEP sancionará a más de 13 mil docentes por protestas (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2016)

Policías repliegan a maestros en Chiapas (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2016)

Boletín: La represión del Estado mexicano criminaliza la protesta social en Chiapas (CDHFBC, 16 de abril de 2016)

Tortura y represión en operativos contra SNTE en Chiapas: Frayba (La Jornada, 17 de abril de 2016)

Criminaliza el Estado a los maestros en Chiapas: Frayba (Desinformémonos, 17 de abril de 2016)

Acusan golpes y torturas contra maestros detenidos en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de abril de 2016)

Con marchas y protestas, exigen la liberación de maestros detenidos en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de abril de 2016)

NotiFrayba:Criminalización de la protesta social en Chiapas (CDHFBC, 18 de abril de 2016)

For more information form SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero: Protestas del magisterio contra la reforma educativa en varios estados (25 de febrero de 2016)

Guerrero: Maestros en Acapulco lograron sabotear la evaluación de docentes (14 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Choques entre policía y magisterio en el bloqueo a la evaluación (21 de octubre de 2015)


Guerrero/National AFAT and IGIE Respond to the Conclusions on Fire at Dump in Cocula

April 16, 2016

43.pngThe search continues. Photo: @Mujeres y La Sexta

On April 1, the Attorney General of the Republic and a representative of the panel of experts on the dynamics of fire caused controversy at a press conference where they shared preliminary conclusions on the possibility that the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa had been burned at the dump at Cocula. Dr. Ricardo Damian Torres, from the panel of experts, confirmed that it is possible that the 43 were incinerated in the said dump given that “there was a controlled fire of huge proportions at the place called the dump of Cocula” and that “at least 17 adult humans were burned at that place.” According to Damian Torres, this allows for the establishment of a hypothesis that there was a massive cremation of 43 bodies, but that “this possibility could only be confirmed with large scale proof.”

Both the Argentinian Forensic Anthropology Team (AFAT) and the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) doubted the hypothesis of the Attorney General. On the one hand, the AFAT – which also confirmed that there had been cremation of human bodies at the dump – pointed out that the analysis of the panel of experts “neither confirms nor denies the Attorney General’s hypothesis” as it could not determine when the fire occurred, if it was a question of one or various cremations, nor did it manage to identify the human remains found. On the other hand, the members of the IGIE dubbed the press conference as “a unilateral action against previous agreements” and were of the opinion that the preliminary two-and-a-half page report “lacks answers to a number of technical questions that been made to the judges at the outset of their work.” Like the AFAT, the IGIE were of the opinion that the report had few novelties on the Iguala case but that the public presentation had not been agreed neither with the relatives of the disappeared nor with the IGIE, which “demonstrated great irresponsibility and little sensitivity as regards the rights of the victims.”

For more information in Spanish:

Nuevo peritaje: hubo 17 quemados; se atiza pugna PGR-GIEI por Cocula (Excelsior, 6 de abril de 2016)

EAAF emite opinión sobre peritaje de Cocula (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 2 de abril de 2016)

Equipo Argentino de Antropología forense (EAAF) presenta peritaje sobre caso Ayotzinapa; confirma la imposibilidad científica de la “verdad histórica” oficial (Centro Prodh, 9 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Familiares de los 43 emprenden caravana de búsqueda a Iguala (7 de marzo de 2016)

Guerrero: Padres y madres de Ayotzinapa van a la Corte, a 16 meses de la desaparición de sus hijos  (27 de enero de 2016)

Guerrero: ONG y expertos en derechos humanos respaldan labor del GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (25 de enero de 2016)


National: Disturbances in Indigenous Territories over the Implementation of Megaprojects: San Francisco Xochicuautla and Atenco

April 14, 2016

Unrest.pngDemolition of one of the homes in Xochicuautla protected by the riot police. Photo: @FJXochicuautla.

In recent days there have been at least two major disturbances in indigenous territories to allow the entrance of megaprojects. In one case, some 700 members of the police forced entrance into the Otomi-Ñatho community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, in the municipality of Lerma, Mexico State, to permit the entrance of bulldozers of a construction company. This community has been resisting the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway and through popular mobilization and the granting of two legal decisions won the definitive suspension of a presidential decree to expropriate almost 38 hectares of their lands. Despite this, the police force entered the community offering protection to the company, which demolished the Peace and Dignified Resistance Camp and a number of houses which were on the planned highway route. According to statements from the spokesperson of the community, Jose Luis Fernandez, 25 people were evicted and beaten, among them a woman who is almost 80 years old.

As Proceso pointed out, the work “is carried out by Autovan-Teya, a subsidiary of Grupo Higa, which belongs to Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantu, one of the main contractors of the Federal Government and whose financial dealings in tax havens were uncovered through the investigation of the Panama Papers.” Furthermore, the corporate group has been identified by various media sources as the main contractor of Mexico State since it was governed by the current President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, and as the “supplier of the luxury residences of the leader’s wife and of Luis Videgaray Caso, Minister of Finance and Public Credit”, according to La Jornada.

In another case, the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra – FPDT) reported the forced entrance of an army tank into the communally owned lands of Atenco, Mexico State, escorting a group of workers “from a private company that carried out studies for the construction of the new airport. This was all done illegally and intimidating the inhabitants who had met on becoming aware of the incursion. Nevertheless, we managed to expel them pacifically.” Due to this, Jose Antonio Lara Duque, general director of Zeferino Ladrillero Center for Human Rights (Centro de Derechos Humanos Zeferino Ladrillero – CDHZL) stated: “We believe that, given the facts, the local government is trying to justify the Eruviel Law. That is to say, provoke the peoples who have been defending their land, territory and natural resources. If anybody falls into [the trap of] provocation, it would legitimize the use of lethal force to control the people who are defending themselves.” It should be remembered that the struggle of the people of Atenco against the construction of an airport on their lands was violently repressed. In the protests, two youths lost their lives, more than 200 were arrested, and at least 26 women were sexually tortured by the police.

For more information in Spanish:

Irrumpe Higa con fuerza pública a Xochicuautla; derriba viviendas pese a amparos (Proceso, 11 de abril de 2016)

Editorial / Xochicuautla, atropello a la legalidad (La Jornada, 13 de abril de 2016)

Sociedad civil resiste en Xochicuautla e Higa se niega a detener las demoliciones ilegales (Sistema Integral de Información en Derechos Humanos, 13 de abril de 2016)

Constata ONU violación de órdenes judiciales en obras de la autopista Naucalpan-Toluca (La Jornada, 13 de abril de 2016)

Declaración de alerta máxima del CNI, ante la cobarde traición a la comunidad indígena Ñatho de San Francisco Xochicuautla (Enlace Zapatista, 13 de abril de 2016)

Hay un acuerdo para suspender las obras en Xochicuautla: habitantes (Animal Político, 14 de abril de 2016)

Frente por la Libertad de Expresión condena desalojo de la comunidad de San Francisco Xochicuautla (Noticias MVS, 12 de abril de 2016)

Policías en Xochicuautla y ayer, militares en Atenco; “nos están provocando”, dicen comuneros (Sin Embargo, 13 de abril de 2016)

Denuncian en Atenco que militares escoltan a trabajadores de constructora (Proceso, 12 de abril de 2016)

Ejército irrumpe en tierras ejidales de San Salvador Atenco (Desinformémonos, 12 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Xochicuautla obtiene cancelación de la autopista (17 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Comunidad de Xochicuautla denuncia proyecto carretero y se solidariza con pueblos indígenas de Chiapas que enfrentan despojo (20 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Marcha en solidaridad con la comunidad de San Francisco Xochicuautla (29 de julio de 2015)

Nacional: El FPDT de Atenco inicia movilizaciones después de anuncio de próximo aeropuerto (4 de septiembre de 2014)

Nacional: A 8 años de impunidad en Atenco, continúa amenaza de construcción del aeropuerto (8 de mayo de 2014)


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