Oaxaca: State Congress Approves Marriage Equality Bill

September 10, 2019


On August 27th, the local Congress of Oaxaca approved a reform of the Civil Code to legalize marriage and cohabitation between same-sex couples with 25 votes in favor and 10 votes against, while several deputies of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA in its Spanish acronym) abstained or were absent during the vote.

This makes Oaxaca the nineteenth state that introduces marriage equality in its legislation. In addition to Mexico City, the states of Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Campeche, Colima, Hidalgo, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Quintana Roo and San Luis Potosí recognize this, while in Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Nuevo Leon, and Puebla same-sex couples need validation from the Court if they want to get married.

Until now, Article 143 of the Oaxaca Civil Code defined marriage as “one man and one woman” which aims to “perpetuate the species.” Now the reformed article says that, “marriage is the civil contract between two people, who come together to live a common life and provide respect, equality and mutual help.”

There had already been attempts to enable same-sex marriages before that reform. In August 2011, the requests of three homosexual couples were denied by the Civil Registry of Oaxaca, but in April of the following year, with the support of the civil organization Equaity Mexico (Mexico Igualitario), one of them achieved for the first time in all of Mexico a sentence allowing their marriage by court order without having to reform the constitution. Antonio Medina, national director of Sexual Diversity of the Aztec Sun (Diversidad Sexual del Sol Azteca) stressed that the reform of the Civil Code “was the result of the hard work of civil organizations that for several years did not stop insisting on achieving this goal.”

While the LGBTTTIQ + Oaxaqa community is celebrating the reform presented by deputies Hilda Perez Luis, Magaly Lopez Dominguez and deputy Noe Doroteo Castillejos as a great achievement, the State Confraternity of Christian Evangelical Pastors expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision. On the day of the vote, members of the evangelical community protested in front of Congress and demanded that the initiative be rejected.

Despite the protests, Alex Ali Mendez Diaz, president of the Equal Mexico organization, announced: “we will continue to fight for other rights that are still necessary to achieve the eradication of discrimination based on sex, sexual preference, among others.”

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca da luz verde al matrimonio igualitario (Proceso el 28 de agosto de 2019)

Aprueban en Oaxaca matrimonio igualitario; protestan evangélicos (La Jornada el 29 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Chiapas: alto a la violencia homofóbica (May 17th, 2018)

National: Senate Agrees to Guarantee Equal Rights to Same-Sex Couples (November 12, 2018)

Nacional: Aprueba Senado garantizar igualdad de derechos para las parejas del mismo sexo (7 de noviembre de 2018)

Oaxaca: Mujer transgénero recibe su credencial de elector de una representación del INE (8 de agosto de 2017)



Oaxaca: 126 Femicides One Year after Declaration of Gender Violence Alert

September 2, 2019

GVA(@Rio Oaxaca)

On August 30th, one year after the declaration of the Gender Violence Alert (GVA) in 40 municipalities in Oaxaca, several organizations that work in defense of women’s rights reported that 126 women were killed in this period, including a victim the same day. This figure implies that the GVA “did not make a difference” and in addition, 60% of the cases occurred in municipalities that have the GVA. Symbolically, protesters placed 126 masks and 126 hearts with the names of each of the women killed.

Yessica Sanchez Maya, a member of the Consortium for Dialogue and Equity, said that the Oaxaca Prosecutor, Ruben Vasconcelos Mendez, has spent his time making up figures and that state and federal governments have not been complying with the actions established in the GVA.

GESMujer organization considered the scope of the alerts limited and called on the government to continue implementing and strengthening the “State Program to Prevent, Address, Punish and Eradicate Gender Violence Against Women”, recently published in the Official State Bulletin.

They called on the governor of the state to meet immediately with the municipal presidents so that they do not continue to simulate and apply the gender alert as it should be. Likewise, they asked the three levels of government as well as the executive, judicial and legislative branches to make public the budget for the implementation of the alert (more than 12 million pesos are allocated to Oaxaca), as well as a detailed report of the results of each of the actions.

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca : 126 feminicidios en un año, 60 en municipios con AVG (Proceso, 30 de agosto de 2019)

A pesar de la Alerta de Género, Oaxaca registró 126 feminicidios en un año (Desinformémonos, 30 de agosto de 2019)

Van 126 feminicidios, a un año de la Alerta de Violencia de Género (NVI Noticias, 30 de agosto de 2019)

Van 126 feminicidios en Oaxaca, a un año de la alerta de género (Río Oaxaca, 30 de agosto de 2019)

Colectivos feministas se manifiestan ante las 126 mujeres asesinadas en Oaxaca (NVI Noticias, 30 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Aprueban la ley contra la violencia digital de género (12 de julio de 2019)

Oaxaca: Se suman 37 feminicidios en lo que va del año (24 de abril de 2019)

National: Over 424,000 on Mexican #Me Too (May 7, 2019)


Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula

September 2, 2019


On the morning of August 26th, federal police attacked migrants and two journalists while they were dispersing a blockade in front of the Siglo XXI migration center in Tapachula.

The two journalists, Damian Sanchez and Jose E. Torres, reported that they were beaten and kicked by the police when they were already on the ground. Some migrants were injured by police as well, and one was taken to the hospital for medical attention.

According to journalists, before the confrontation, an member of the Federal Police imitated a monkey with a very derogatory and racist gesture, directed against African migrants.

In the confrontation, the Federal Police used shields and pepper spray. A police officer was also taken to the hospital.

The violence comes after 11 days of blockade by a group of African migrants, who have been in front of the Siglo XXI facility seeking to obtain a change in the treatment of migrants from Africa and Asia. In the past, a migrant from one of these continents could receive a document that gave him 20 days to leave the country, which allowed him to travel legally to the northern border, and eventually enter the United States. However, since July 10th, the National Migration Institute (INM in its Spanish acronym) issued an executive order that states that migrants from these backgrounds will have to leave the country through the southern border. It is not clear if this policy change responds to pressure from the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, to force the Mexican government to curb migratory flows.

For more information in Spanish:

Policías federales agreden a migrantes y periodistas en estación Siglo XXI en Chiapas Animal Político, 27 de agosto de 2019.

Investigarán agresión a reporteros tras protesta de migrantes africanos El Sol de México, 27 de agosto de 2019.

Policía Actuó apegada a derechos humanos en enfrentamiento con migrantes: SSPC El Universal, 27 de agosto de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: #DefensoresSinMuros-DefendersBeyondWalls Campaign Calls for End to Attacks against Defenders of Migrants’ Rights (July 8, 2019)

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

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

National: “Defending Human Rights in Mexico: The End of Impunity?” Report Launched

August 27, 2019

Cerezo@Comite Cerezo

On August 20th, the organizations Urgent Action for Human Rights Defenders (ACCUDEDH in its Spanish acronym) and the Cerezo Committee MEXICO launched the report “Defending Human Rights in Mexico: The End of Impunity?”, which documents the situation of human rights defenders of in the country between June 1st, 2018 and May 31st, 2019.

The report confirms that, generally, during the first six months of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), violations have decreased in comparison with the last six months of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, as well as the harassment of this sector . However, in the first six months of the new government there have been 41 instances that include 331 acts of human rights violations, and acts of individual violations towards human rights defenders have increased.

The report also notes that “although there are changes in the figures and in some trends, the serious human rights violations committed in the period covered by this report, as well as the long list of serious human rights violations for more than ten years show that it is not enough to reduce the use of these repressive mechanisms, the important thing is, and this will measure the current government, the fight against impunity.”

It also notes that the prevention and protection measures of the current government are “insufficient”, “it is also clear that it is not their priority”, and that the data included in the document “do not reflect the ahead years of AMLO’s six year term.”

In the framework of the presentation of the 8th report of the organizations, the representative in Mexico of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), Jan Jarab, said that the end of impunity will be the best possible prevention measure and that it is important that not only serious cases, but all attacks are investigated, however minimal. He also acknowledged that although progress has been made, “structural dynamics that favor inequality and violations of fundamental guarantees still persist in the country, especially at the local level.”

For more information in Spanish:

Octavo Informe. Defender los derechos humanos en México: ¿Fin de la impunidad? Junio de 2018 a mayo de 2019 ( ACCUDEH, 20 de agosto de 2019)

ONG advierten una “baja considerable” en agresiones contra defensores de derechos humanos (Proceso, 20 de agosto de 2019)

Impunidad, factor que impulsa las agresiones contra activistas: Jarab (La Jornada, 21 de agosto de 2019)

Ven insuficientes medidas de protección a defensores y periodistas en la 4T (Periodistas de a pie, 22 de agosto de 2019)

For more informaion from SIPAZ:

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

National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico (April 11, 2019)

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

Chiapas: Public Denouncement of Human Rights Violations in Denuncia CERSS nº10 in Comitan

August 22, 2019


On August 14th, prisoners Marcelino Ruiz Gomez and Baldemar Gomez Hernandez, of the Viniketik Organization in Resistencia, issued a public complaint from CERSS nº10 in Comitan against mistreatment received and to request “intervention by human rights and social organizations to demand the cessation of all abuse.”

Both prisoners have just carried out a hunger strike as a strategy of non-violent political struggle to make their situation of injustice visible. In their complaint they explain that, “for more than four months since the beginning of our fight in this CERSS nº10 of Comitan Chiapas, we are recovering from the hunger strike, and the chief director of this center and his warden David Arias Jimenez, haven’t stopped harassing us. We denounce that all the time we have been subjected to mistreatment and intimidation given that in the site of protest where we had put our tarpaulin to protect us from the sun yesterday, August 13th at 6:00 pm, Commander Bili and his guards destroyed the site of protest and today the director came to threaten to move us to another prison arguing that we are planning an escape. All this time we have been threatened by Alejendro Constantino Hernandez.”

They ask “the competent authorities and to the governor of the State of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandon Cadenas, to stop the harassment of psychological torture and to respect our space of protest where we have been in a sit-in where our voice that we are asking for justice to be done for us and freedom (sic.)”

For more information in Spanish:

Viniketik en Resistencia: denuncia ante el desmantelamiento de su plantón (Grupo de trabajo “No estamos todxs”, 14 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Hunger Strikers’ Lives at Risk (July 20, 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

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

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

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Pilgrimage-March to Demand True and Dignified Justice

August 19, 2019

Las AbejasBanner “Las Abejas Civil Society Demand True and Dignified Justice” Photo @ Sipaz

On August 12th, survivors of the Acteal Massacre and members of the Civil Society Organization of Las Abejas de Acteal, joined in solidarity by the Believing People of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas and several organizations in Chiapas and Mexico, held a Pilgrimage to remember that the “Acteal Massacre continues to go unpunished for almost twenty-two years and, because the material and intellectual authors of the crime enjoy impunity.”

They recalled that on August 12th, 2009 “the misnamed “Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation” (SCJN), in the first court, protected and released 20 paramilitary prisoners, perpetrators of the Acteal massacre” as a “political strategy to avoid investigation of the main intellectual authors of said massacre.”

In the pilgrimage-march “true and dignified justice was demanded for the Acteal Massacre” and the IACHR was asked to “issue the report for case 12,790 of Manuel Santiz Culebra and others of “Acteal Massacre”, where it held the Mexican State responsible for serious violations of human rights and guarantee the non-repetition of events such as Acteal.”

For more information in Spanish:

Marcha-Peregrinación por justicia a la Masacre de Acteal y que la CIDH emita ya el informe de fondo por el caso 12.790 Manuel Sántiz Culebra y otros “Masacre de Acteal” (Sitio web de la sociedad civil Las Abejas, a 12 de agosto de 2019)

Parroquia de San Pedro y San Pablo, chicomuselo,Chiapas; se solidariza con la organización las abejas de Acteal (Sitio web de la sociedad civil Las Abejas, a 12 de agosto de 2019)

Las Abejas exige a CIDH informe de fondo sobre matanza de Acteal (La Jornada, 12 de agosto de 2019)

Las Abejas de Acteal, Chiapas: ¿Acaso Escandón va a reproducir lo que hizo Ruiz Ferro (Desinformémonos, 14 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Forced Displacement of Four Families of Las Abejas Civil Society Denounced (August 18, 2019)

Chiapas: Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal rechaza solución amistosa en el caso de la masacre de Acteal presentado ante la CIDH (March 7, 2019)

Chiapas: A 21 años de la Masacre de Acteal (December 26, 2018)

Chiapas : Las Abejas recuerdan el inicio de la liberación de los perpetradores de la masacre de Acteal con una « Fiesta de la resistencia no violenta » (August 17, 2018).

Chiapas: Agresión armada a la sede de las Abejas de Acteal (April 26th, 2018).

Chiapas: Threats against Las Abejas Continue in Los Chorros, Chenalho Municipality(April 27, 2017)

Chiapas: Alejandro Diaz Santiz Free

August 19, 2019

AleSolidarios de la Voz del Amate, Photo @Sipaz

On August 8th, Alejandro Diaz Santiz, a Tsotsil indigenous, obtained the benefit of pre-release after twenty years and four months in prison. Alejandro became a member of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in 2006 and is a member of the group Solidarios de la Voz del Amate.

In a press conference held on August 14th, Alejandro spoke of violations of his rights and due process of which he was a victim. He reported not having had the right to a translator during his detention. He denounced the criminalization suffered by being indigenous. He said he had been beaten several times for “being indigenous and from Chiapas.” He explained that in the prison of Ignacio Allende, in Verarcuz, in which he was imprisoned for about ten years, he was beaten under the orders of the sub-directorate for the reason of being from Chiapas and because it was thought that “all people from Chiapas were Zapatistas”.

Pre-release is a right that can be obtained under the following conditions: having more than 50 percent of your sentence purged, having participated in social reintegration activities and obtaining accreditation of the social work and health exams performed inside the jail.

 For more information in Spanish:

Alejandro Diaz Santiz LIBRE YA! (Espoir Chiapas, 9 de agosto del 2019)

¡¡¡Alejandro Díaz Santiz Libre!!! (Voces de Jovel Radio, 8 de agosto de 2019)

Trasladan al indígena tzotzil Alejandro Diaz a penal de San Cristóbal (La Jornada, 1 de julio de 2019)

Padre Solalinde pide intervención de gobernador de Veracruz en caso de indígena preso (El Heraldo de México, 31 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Alejandro Diaz Santiz Reiterates His Demand for Freedom (September 12, 2016)

Chiapas: Alejandro Diaz Santiz Reports Mistreatment of Prisoners (June 8, 2016)