National: Deputies Declare Forced Displacement a Crime

April 15, 2019

Forced displacement.png@ MSN Photo

On April 10th, in the absence of a General Law on Internal Displacement, the Chamber of Deputies approved a ruling that reforms the Federal Criminal Code to categorize Internal Forced Displacement (DFI) as a crime.

The ruling of the Justice Commission by which article 287 is added and a Chapter III to the Eighteenth Title of the Federal Criminal Code was approved with a unanimous vote of 429 votes in favor.

Article 287 says that “one commits the crime of internal forced displacement, who individually or collectively, through violence or any other means or coercive act, made against a person or group of people, causes them to leave their place of residence.

A penalty of six to twelve years in prison and 300 to 600 days of fine will be imposed on the person who commits the conduct contemplated in the previous paragraph.

The penalty will be increased by up to half when the crime is committed against a child, adolescent, human rights defender and journalists.

Internal displacement shall not be understood as the movement of the population carried out by the authority when its purpose is the security of the same or by judicial order.”

With the approval, the ruling was turned over to the Senate of the Republic to continue with its constitutional process.

For more information in Spanish:

Se sancionará penalmente a quien propicie el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (Canal del Congreso, 10 de abril de 2019)

Dictamen de la Comisión de Justicia a la iniciativa que adiciona el artículo 287 Bis y un capitulo III al título decimoctava del Código Penal Federal, referente al desplazamiento forzado interno (Gaceta Diputados, 10 de abril de 2019)

Desplazamiento forzado es tipificado (El Economista, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: desplazados de la Sierra llegan a un acuerdo con el gobierno y dejan su plantón en la Ciudad de México (29 de marzo de 2019)

Nacional: Comisión Mexicana en Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH) organizó eventos sobre el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (19 de febrero de 2019)

Nacional/Chiapas: la Comisión de Pueblos Indígenas de la Cámara de diputados exhorta a diversas autoridades a resolver la problemática causada por el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (19 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Organizaciones Civiles llaman a que se implementen las recomendaciones de la CNDH, en cuanto al Desplazamiento Forzado en Chalchihuitán (15 de febrero de 2019)

Advertisements

National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico

April 11, 2019

UNHCHR.pngMichelle Bachelet (@CINU)

At the end of her official visit to Mexico, which took place between April 5th and 9th, the United Nations Organization High Commissioner of the for Human Rights (UN-DH), Michelle Bachelet, said she was surprised by the levels of violence and the dimension of the human rights crisis in the country. “It was a surprise to me what I found. Without a doubt, the case of Ayotzinapa is well known by the press, but the 40 thousand disappeared was not something that was so clear, of the 26 thousand bodies without identification (in the forensic services). Or ten women murdered a day. I knew very well about the violence, but I had no idea of ​​the dimension (…) The data are terrifying.” She pointed out that Mexico has figures for violent deaths equivalent to a country at war: 252,538,000 since 2006.

She highlighted outstanding human rights issues in different areas, in particular regarding forced disappearances, femicides, violence against defenders and journalists, torture, abuses against migrants, as well as high poverty rates -especially in indigenous communities- and the need to carry out consultations in accordance with international standards, among others, in order to undertake megaprojects.

The High Commissioner also signed a collaboration agreement on the National Guard and another on the collaboration of the agency in charge of the investigation of the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014).

The former president of Chile stressed that the new authorities of the country “have recognized that Mexico has a human rights crisis,” that there is political will to move forward with the pending issues and that “President Lopez Obrador has expressed his willingness to implement a change of paradigm.” She stressed that in the case of the National Guard, the Mexican government is talking about “accountability, transparency, human rights indicators that allow us to see if the National Guard is indeed going in the right direction or is deviating.” “The office will not hesitate to raise the alarm if it sees that there is any type of situation that does not correspond to the spirit of what is sought and the spirit of the agreement”, she said.

In the Ayotzinapa case, she said: “My office will be an ally that will not hesitate to contribute to progress and at the same time will raise the alarm in case of non-compliance. We request to know the whereabouts of the boys”, she added.

For more information in Spanish:

Enfrentar las desapariciones forzadas es el problema central en México, insta Michelle Bachelet (ONU México, 9 de abril de 2019)

México tiene cifras de muertes violentas propias de un país en guerra: Bachelet (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

La ACNUDH asesorará la creación de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet defiende a la sociedad civil: Es importante para la democracia, le dice al gobierno de México (Animal Político, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet se va desolada de tanto horror en México: “No sabía de todo lo que me he encontrado…” (Sin Embargo, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet: como una guerra, las muertes violentas en México (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018

September 21, 2018

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018 (September 21, 2018)


National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists

April 11, 2019

Mechanism.png

On April 4th, on the eve of the official visit of Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from the 5th to 9th this month, the Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, requested, “in compliance with the recommendations of both the United Nations System and the Inter-American System, the Mexican authorities respect and revindicate the work of human rights defenders and journalists in our country.” This followed “from different points -even from the highest levels of the executive- that call into question the work of journalists and defenders.” The Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism affirmed that, “statements that disqualify the exercise of journalism, the promotion and defense of human rights, in addition to delegitimizing it, contribute to sharpening the adverse context that day by day, both defenders and journalists live in.” It recalled that since the entry of the new government, 17 defenders and journalists have been killed in the country.

The Consultative Council raised the need to strengthen the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico, “since this is the main official tool to guarantee their protection and exercise the right to freedom of expression, the right to information and the right to defend human rights” and proposed a series of actions in this regard, including the importance of guaranteeing not only economic resources, but also human resources for this purpose.

It concluded that the Protection Mechanism “is not everything, but a tool that can contribute to the construction of a governmental system and/or policy that protects the exercise of these rights, and that without a doubt has to be a State priority.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado completo ( Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo de Protección a Defensores de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas, 4 de abril de 2019)

Activistas y periodistas en riesgo por críticas gubernamentales (La Jornada, 4 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet debe contribuir a garantizar protección a periodistas y activistas: Mecanismo de Protección (Proceso, 4 de abril de 2019)

Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo exige respeto a defensores y periodistas (Contralínea, 4 de abril de 2019)

Señalamientos del gobierno contra la prensa y activistas “contribuyen a agudizar el contexto adverso que viven día con día”: Mecanismo de Protección (Desinformemonos, 5 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)


Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike

April 8, 2019

Presos

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike in different prisons in Chiapas have now entered their fourth week on this protest. Their health situation is deteriorating: “German Lopez Montejo, a prisoner on hunger strike, is suffering from fainting due to low blood glucose levels. The Working Group No Estamos Todxs claims that in the CERSS # 14 (Amate Prison) the prisoners are not ingesting the minimum amount of honey for survival because the prison authorities have retained it [their supply].”

On April 4th, SIPAZ visited the inmates of The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance (La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia) and Supporters of the Voice of Amate (Solidarios de La Voz de Amate). Both are located in CERRS # 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

The reasons for their protest are that they declare themselves innocent of the crimes of which they are accused, and that they were forced to plead guilty under torture. They began their hunger strike to demand their freedom.

Furthermore, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a document on March 22nd denouncing that “the 13 people deprived of their liberty began a hunger strike inside prisons to denounce human rights violations they live daily in the penitentiary centers where they are held, as well as to proclaim their innocence given the unfair trials in which they are being prosecuted. It is important to point out that they have denounced torture and cruel inhuman and/or degrading treatment since the moment of their arrest, 12 of them are indigenous Tsotsiles.

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike have indicated that they constantly receive threats and harassment from the prison authorities to give up their protest.

We request that the personal integrity of the 13 persons deprived of their liberty who are on hunger strike be respected and that they be treated in accordance with their dignity and that due respect for fundamental rights be respected.

We urge the authorities of the state of Chiapas to immediately cease acts of threats and intimidation, as well as acts of punishment that constitute torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment. “

The people who are on hunger strike are: Abraham Lopez Montejo and German Lopez Montejo, in the Social Rehabilitation Center for Sentences No. 14 El Amate (CERSS No. 14 El Amate), in Cintalapa; Adrian Gomez Jimenez, Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Mariano Gomez Lopez, Marcos Gomez Lopez, Martin Gomez Lopez, Mariano Perez Velasco, Mario Diaz Rodriguez, Felipe Diaz Mendez and Juan Castellanos Gomez in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas; as well as Marcelino Ruiz Gomez and Baldemar Gomez Hernandez in CERSS No. 10 in Comitan de Dominguez.

For more information in Spanish:

Presos indígenas, 18 días en huelga de hambre, 2 de abril de 2019, Chiapasparalelo

Riesgo grave a la salud de nuestros compañeros en huelga de hambre en el CERSS#14, noestamostodxs.tk, 4 de abril de 2019

Reos indígenas de Chiapas se cosen los labios para exigir su libertad,  Proceso, 29 de marzo de 2019

Cese de amenazas y hostigamientos a presos en huelga de hambre en Chiapas, CDHFBLC, 22 de marzo de 2019

Trece presos indígenas cumplen 18 días en huelga en Chiapas; acusan tortura y exigen su liberación, Sinembargo 2 de abril de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Thirteen Prisoners on Hunger Strike  (March 24, 2019)

Chiapas : seis presos indígenas inician huelga de hambre (16 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate (March 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristóbal carry out fast to demand respect for their rights (January 4, 2019)

Chiapas: Indígenas presos en San Cristóbal de Las Casas exigen revisión de sus expedientes (4 de enero de 2019)


National: NGOs, Activists and CNDH Insist on Necessity that National Guard Be “Truly Civil”

April 8, 2019

National Guard.png@Juan Carlos Cruz, Cuarto Oscuro

On March 31st, over 50 civil organizations, academics and activists, including #SeguridadsinGuerra published a statement in which they insisted on the need for a “truly civilian” National Guard. The decree that will allow its creation was published five days before. They expressed their concern about the possibility of it ending up being a military body if it is confirmed that the recruitment, training and operation will be in the charge of the Armed Forces taking the risk that “the only civil thing about this guard will be their administrative disguise.”

They asked President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to fulfill his campaign promises and “no longer insist on militarizing the country” by stressing that the indications sent by the Federal Government point towards the construction of a military body. They recalled in particular that as recently as March 27th, AMLO declared that it was not ruled out that the National Guard should have as a commander an active member of the military.

“It would be a militarization that does not dare to speak its name, a simulation and a betrayal of the meaning of the reform approved by Congress … it should already be clear that military structures have not served or will serve to address situations of public insecurity, especially when More than 90% of crimes committed in the country are not federal, but common law”, they said.

“It would also be an attack against the project of a democratic country that strengthens the rule of law and that places the defense of human rights as the highest priority”, they said.

“Mr. President, fulfill what you promised. No longer insist on militarizing the country, build a truly civil Guard, do not destroy the Federal Police and promote the development of our local police”, they concluded.

On the other hand, on April 3rd, Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and also urged that the command of the National Guard be civil.

For more information in Spanish:

La CNDH pide a AMLO un mando civil para la Guardia Nacional durante su reunión en Palacio Nacional (Sin Embargo, 3 de abril de 2019)

Construya una Guardia verdaderamente civil, no insista en militarizar, exigen organizaciones a AMLO (Animal Político, 1ero de abril de 2019)

ONGs advierte militarización en Guardia Nacional (El Universal, 1ero de abril de 2019)

Critican activistas conformación de la Guardia Nacional (MVS Noticias, 31 de marzo de 2019)
Guardia Nacional se convertiría en corporación militar, advierten ONGs (OSC, 31 de marzo de 2019)

Ahora sí, todo está listo para crear la Guardia Nacional; Presidencia publica decreto (Animal Político, 26 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National: Senate Will Not Approve National Guard Bill. Morena and #SeguridadSinGuerra Propose Alternatives (February 13th, 2019)

National: Deputies Approve National Guard amid Doubts in the Executive (January 24th, 2019)

National: Public Hearings to Debate the Creation of National Guard Begin (January 15th, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Asks Congress for Civil Controlled National Guard and that it Last Five Years Maximum (January 2nd, 2019)

National: Faced with Rejection of National Guard, AMLO Proposes New Consultation (December 12th, 2018)

National: Supreme Court Invalidates Security Law; AMLO Announces National Peace and Security Plan 2018-2024  (November 27th, 2018)

National: CNDH Asks SCJN to Declare Interior Security Law Unconstitutional (November 7th, 2018)

National: Reactions to Minister for Supreme Court’s Proposal on Interior Security Law (November 7th, 2018)

National: AMLO “The Army and the Navy will continue on the streets in internal public security tasks” (September 15th, 2018)


National/International: Contrasting Mexican and US Government Approaches to Central American Migration

April 2, 2019

Migration.pngAGENCIAS/LIBERAL Olga Sanchez Cordero

Mexico is preparing to stop the growing flow of Central American migrants and for this it will establish a kind of containment belt of federal forces in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrowest part of the south of the country, and therefore the easiest to control.

This was announced on Wednesday by the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, a day after meeting in Miami with her American counterpart Kirstjen Nielsen. Sanchez Cordero stressed that the situation is especially complicated, because in Honduras the so-called “Mother Caravan” is forming, which could have more than 20,000 people.

“We are going to deploy the migratory, Federal Police and Civil Protection bodies and, harmoniously and with collaboration among all the federal government bodies, in such a way that we have the containment in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec,” she said. “That’s going to be the big change.”

Although she did not specify how many troops will be used for this plan or offer more details, Sanchez Cordero stressed that it will not mean the militarization of the border with Guatemala nor its hardening because it is not intended to affect the economic activity of that area, where people constantly flow on both sides of the border.

The flow of Central American migrants to the United States has multiplied since last year with the formation of caravans from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador (the well-known Northern Triangle) that have put Mexican and US authorities in check by saturating the shelters and the systems to request asylum or refuge, especially at the northern border of Mexico.

The detentions at the US-Mexico border increased to 66,450 in February, 149% more than in the same period last year, given the increase in the arrival of Central American families in search of asylum, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP in its English acronym). That agency estimates there were about 100,000 arrests in March. More than 55,000 of these immigrants would have arrived as a family, including 40,000 children.

The president of the United States Donald Trump increased his rhetoric against countries that are sources of migrants to the US, and last Saturday announced cutting off economic aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, countries that he accuses of sending migrant caravans deliberately. Given this, he announced that he would close the border or large sections of it, if the Mexican government does not slow the flow of migration.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, caused a diplomatic dispute with Honduras, which rejected the US and Mexican accusations in relation to the “Mother caravan”.

In his morning press conference, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was reiterative in his plan to promote cooperation for development, he recalled that the Central American countries are the main producers of migratory flows, as he assured that only between 10% and 15% of Mexican citizens are the crossing to the United States, of the total migratory intake of the US: “I say, nothing else to know where we stand.”

The president of Mexico was hopeful that the expulsion of Mexicans would stop, insisting on not wanting to fall into a dynamic of confrontations, particularly with the president of the United States, who has not shown prudence with his foreign policy.

Since his arrival in power in December, the Lopez Obrador government opted for the development of the countries of origin and for facilitating work visas for Central Americans, but shortly after opted to stop handing over humanitarian visas, which were granted more than 15,000 and with which the majority of caravan members crossed the country.

Now he is opting for more controlled visitor permits that, in addition, only allow the migrant to live and work in southern Mexico.

According to Sanchez Cordero, the United States will not contribute money to the new containment plan on the Isthmus but will have the technology and intelligence to detect who is behind the caravans and who is involved with organized crime or haa a criminal record.

“We are going to establish order for those who enter our country,” she said.

While Sanchez Cordero was making such statements in Mexico, a caravan of approximately 2,500 migrants crossed the southern part of the country and the US National Security Secretariat was in Tegucigalpa, where she held a six-hour meeting with internal security officials from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

In a meeting with the press after that meeting, Nielsen was satisfied with the agreements reached before what she described as “an unprecedented migration crisis.”

The US official did not give details about the agreements, but she sent a clear message: “We are united, we are committed, we are operating jointly and this is our message to the criminals: they will be captured and brought to justice.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ante amenazas de Trump por migrantes, “prefiero ser prudente”, reitera López Obrador (Proceso, 1 de abril de 2019)

Centroamericanos serán “contenidos” en el Istmo (Milenio, 28 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Secretaria de Gobernación se reúne con funcionarios del gobierno de Donald Trump para abordar el tema Migración (5 de marzo de 2019)

International/National: Registration of Humanitarian Visas for Migrants Closes (February 12, 2019)

National: Judge Recognizes Migrant Caravan Children and Adolescents as Refugees (March 6, 2019)

International/Mexico: Xenophobic Violence Erupts Against Migrants in Tecun Uman (February 1st, 2019)

National/International: Sanchez Cordero Warns Migrant Caravan Will Only Have “Orderly Access” to Mexican Territory (January 16, 2019)


National: Espacio OSC Requests Dialogue and Effective Protection Measures for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists

April 1, 2019

OSC.png

In a statement published on March 26th, following statements the previous day by the Undersecretary for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, Espacio OSC (Civil Society Organization Space), an articulation of national and international organizations for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico, urged the Mexican State to take urgent measures for the attention of both sectors guaranteeing their right to defend human rights and exercise freedom of expression.

They regretted that the “ineffectiveness” of the Mechanism for the Protection of Defenders and Journalists has not been recognized until “after 114 days of government”, and even “after the assassination of at least 15 human rights defenders and journalists so far of the current [period of] government.”

Beyond the Mechanism, they emphasized “the need to take a turn towards an integral public policy that addresses structural problems from the axes of: respect, prevention, protection and investigation, sanction and reparation.” They also demanded that the authorities at all three levels of government “recognize the importance of the work of human rights defenders and journalists in strengthening a democracy, as well as ceasing to give stigmatizing speeches that delegitimize such work.”

They stressed, however, that the recognition of the failures of the Mechanism could be an opportunity for “the construction of solutions.” Therefore, they requested “to form work groups in conjunction with organizations and human rights defenders and journalists throughout the country to meet the set of challenges facing the Mechanism; and that there be wide spaces for discussion at the national level with different authorities and organizations that pave the way for the construction of an Integral Public Policy.”

 For more information in Spanish:

ONG llaman a proteger de forma eficaz a defensores y a periodistas (Proceso, 26 de marzo de 2019)

Pide Espacio OSC mesas de trabajo sobre Mecanismo de Protección de Segob (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de marzo de 2019)

EPN dejó en una empresa privada seguridad de periodistas, es hora de que el Estado la asuma: ONGs (Sin Embargo, 26 de marzo de 2019)

La Segob empleó entre polémica a empresa que “cuida” a periodistas, y aún así la recontrató 6 veces (Sin Embargo, 27 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)

National: Defenders and Journalists Denounce Insufficient Resources for Continuity of Protection Mechanism (September 26th, 2018)

National: UN-DH urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders (September 17, 2018)