National: Civil society organizations express doubts about initiative for Law against Torture

February 11, 2016

Torture.pngPress conference Photo @ Luis Barrón, SinEmbargo

On February 3, some 30 civil society organizations, such as the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos – CMDPDH), the Collective against Torture and Impunity (Colectivo Contra la Tortura y la Impunidad), and the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Centre for Human Rights (Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez – Centro Prodh), shared their indignation at a press conference over the initiative for the Law against Torture. They called on the Legislative Executive to pass legislation against torture that meets international standards and showed that, on December 10, 2015, Enrique Peña Nieto, “President of the Republic, sent his initiative to the Senate without consulting the organizations, which, apart from not knowing a range of minimum contents that this law should have, incorporates judicial norms that promote the torture commission, and establishes policies that impede its efficient investigation.” His proposal “does not reflect the requirements for the true eradication of this practice“, the organizations indicated. For example, it does not include the Istanbul Protocol, an international manual for the investigation and documentation of torture, nor does it forbid the use of illicit evidence obtained under torture. In October 2015, the government carried out a series of consultations in a process of dialogue with civil society organizations, as well as academics and social agents, and agreements were reached about the standards a General Law against Torture should contain. According to the organizations, “the proposals of civil society and the academic sector are not included in their entirety” in the final text.

Among others, the Committee against Torture and the Special Envoy against torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading punishments and treatments, both from the United Nations, have declared the practice of torture in Mexico as being systematic and generalized. “Torture has been used by the Mexican State for a long period of time to obtain information, confessions, to punish, sexually violate and break the personality of thousands of people who live in or are in transit through Mexico.” The coordinator of CMDPDH, Jose Antonio Guevara, recalled that between 2006 and 2014, the National Commission for Human Rights (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos – CNDH) received some 100 complaints about torture and 4,000 for cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, while in state commissions there are some 4,500 outstanding cases. Prior to the imminent start of the legislative work of the current sitting of government, the organizations called on the Legislative Executive to “take into account the observations and reports made by civil society organizations, academic groups and experts on these issues and that they approve legislation in line with international standards as regards the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment that would permit the generalized practice of torture and impunity that prevails in the country to be prevented.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ley general contra la tortura (La Jornada, 6 de febrero de 2016)

EPN no tomó en cuenta a las ONG al enviar iniciativa de ley sobre tortura (Diario Cambio, 5 de febrero de 2016)

La iniciativa de Ley contra la Tortura promueve …aún más tortura, dicen grupos civiles (Sin Embargo, 3 de febrero de 2016)

Legislativo debe aprobar una ley contra la Tortura a la altura de los estándares internacionales (Codigo DH, 3 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Nacional: 20 ONG critican el proceso para crear la Ley General contra la Tortura (7 de julio de 2015)

Chiapas/Nacional: 26 de junio, Día Internacional en Apoyo de las Víctimas de la Tortura (1 de julio de 2015)

Nacional/Internacional: relator especial de Naciones Unidas sobre Tortura presenta informe sobre México en Ginebra, Suiza (10 de marzo de 2015)


Chiapas: Supporters of The Voice of Amate make agreement for freedom of prisoners and damages

February 9, 2016

Amate

Members of Supporters of The Voice of Amate in front of San Cristóbal de Las Casas Cathedral.

Photo: @Chiapas Denuncia Pública

On February 4 last, members of the ex-prisoners organization Supporters of The Voice of Amate, adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) released a message at a press conference of their demand for damages for having been unjustly deprived of their liberty. Those who were imprisoned for over a decade demanded that the state government “fulfills its promise to pay material damages and losses of goods and estate caused by the unjust imprisonments that we suffered with our families over a number of years.”

After the press conference they staged a sit-in in front of the San Cristobal de Las Casas Cathedral, where they remained until an agreement was signed with representatives of the State Government promising to meet the damages in staged payments, meeting the total by April 30 of this year at the latest. They announced the rest of the commitments on the part of the government through a communiqué, such as the liberation of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, unjustly imprisoned in the State Center for Social Reintegration (CERSS) No. 5, as well as finding a way to free Alejandro Diaz Santiz, member of The Voice of Amate, held at Villa Comaititan maximum security prison, near Tapachula, who is being immediately transferred to San Cristobal de Las Casas prison “as a sign of good will.”

For more information:

Expresos levantan plantón (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 8 de febrero de 2016)

Levantan ex reos indígenas plantón en la Plaza Catedral de San Cristóbal (La Jornada, 7 de febrero de 2016)

Expresos “solidarios de la Voz del Amate” continuarán su plantón (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 4 de febrero de 2016)

Comunicado de expresos solidarios de La Voz del Amate Adherentes a la Sexta (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 4 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncia Roberto Paciencia escasez de alimentos y negación de visitas (27 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: 11 aniversario de la fundación de La Voz del Amate (13 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Jornada por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal (9 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Trasladan a Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, junto a 386 presos, a penal de alta seguridad (15 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Liberan a 9 presos solidarios de la Voz del Amate, Patishtán seguirá encarcelado (5 de julio de 2013)

 


Oaxaca: State meeting of communities and organizations in resistance to mining projects

February 6, 2016

Mining resistance.png

Authorities of the communities that attended the meeting @ SIPAZ

On January 29 and 30, representatives of 48 communities, 30 social organizations, two research centers, and three community radio stations took part in the State Encounter of Communities and Organizations against Mining (Encuentro Estatal de Comunidades y Organizaciones contra la Minería), in Cerro de Las Huertas community, in the municipality of Ejutla de Crespo. The meeting had the aim of generating a space for reflection at a state level on the advances and challenges of movements against mining, strengthening the resistance and defense of communities and organizations in Oaxaca, analyzing how to improve movements in struggle against mining projects, and the coordination of activists to confront foreign companies. In a statement agreed by the participants in the event, they demanded the cancellation of all mining projects in state by the state and federal governments. There are more than 400 mining concessions in the territory of Oaxaca, “none of which was subjected to consultation.” They recalled that apart from environmental violations and effects, the companies create internal conflicts in each location. The participants in the encounter showed the close relationship that exists between mining magnates and federal and state government representatives to strip the peoples and indigenous communities of their territories.

In their statement they emphasized that, “They are violating the people’s right to information as there are already mining concessions given by the government without the consent of our community assemblies. The mining companies violate our rights using a range of strategies and mechanisms to divide and confront communities, while on the other hand the federal and state governments make legislative and institutional changes to benefit the interests of the transnational companies, such as Fondo Minero, and these changes have as their aim taking territories away from the indigenous peoples and communities. At the same time, the work of defenders of territory is criminalized, they are persecuted, imprisoned, and in the worst of cases their lives are taken away.”

Those gathered called on communities, peoples and organizations to defend land and territory against “death projects” and declared July 22 of each year as “State Day of Resistance against Mining”.

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen cancelación de 400 concesiones mineras en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 2 de febrero de 2016)

La Minuta de EDUCA con audios del evento (EDUCA, 2 de febrero de 2016)

Comunidades y organizaciones exigen cancelar proyectos mineros en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 1 de febrero de 2016)

DECLARATORIA DE CERRO DE LAS HUERTAS EJUTLA DE CRESPO OAXACA (EDUCA, 30 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Encuentro Chiapaneco de afectadas y afectados por represas y minería (2 de febrero de 2016)

Oaxaca: Ejidos y comunidades de Valles Centrales declaran sus territorios libres de minería (4 de diciembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: En la Costa declaran el rechazo a proyectos hidroeléctricos y de minería (18 de noviembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: A 3 años del asesinato de Bernardo Vásquez, Fortuna Silver espera mayores ganancias (26 de marzo de 2015)

 


National/Guerrero: Unfavorable reports about corruption and human rights in Mexico

February 5, 2016

CNDH

Luis Raúl González Pérez, CNDH president. Photo: @CuartOscuro

Two reports on human rights in Mexico coincided in that there is little progress in the areas of human rights and combatting corruption. In one report, the president of the National Commission for Human Rights (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos – CNDH), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, declared that Guerrero is the state with most complaints, followed by Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz. According to Aristegui Noticias news outlet, forced disappearances have risen to 26 thousand since the beginning of the “war against drugs” in 2006 to the present. During the presentation of the Commission’s (CNDH) annual report to the Permanent Commission of the General Congress, Gonzalez Perez highlighted that “the problem of disappearances challenges and questions the abilities and resources of the Mexican State to respond to a situation that, we the passage of time, we have not been able to overcome.” Likewise, he added that “the Chalchihuapan, Tlatlaya, Iguala, and Apatzingán cases had altered the general and historical perception of human rights in our country, testing its institutions.” As regards the violation of human rights, Chiapas is the sixth state with the highest frequency of reports, and Oaxaca eighth.

In another report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) noted in its 2015 annual report that “members of the Mexican security forces have participated in numerous forced disappearances. […] Since 2006, the CNDH received approximately 9,000 complaints of abuses committed by members of the army – including 1,700 during the [term of office] of the current government.” The same organization highlighted that the executive has made little progress in sanctioning members of the military implicated in cases of human rights violations as they are under the jurisdiction of military courts. Added to this, Alejandro Salas, director of Americas of International Transparency (Americas de Transparencia Internacional), noted that ‘in countries like Mexico where the police are at the service of local ‘caciques’, or at the service of mayors, of provincial governors, the police is not doing its professional and independent work, but instead responding to the interests of certain groups, often illegal groups, such as drug traffickers.”

For more information in Spanish:

Guerrero, Tamaulipas y Veracruz, los estados con más denuncias por desapariciones: CNDH (Eme Equis, 27 de enero de 2016)

Ni combate a la corrupción, ni avances en DDHH, coinciden dos reportes globales sobre México (Sin Embargo, 27 de enero de 2016)

Autoridades, incapaces de responder a casos de desaparición forzada: CNDH, en su informe 2015 (Animal Político, 27 de enero de 2016)

Escasos avances para castigar a militares violadores de derechos humanos en México: Human Rights Watch (Sididh, 28 de enero de 2016)

Impunidad enmarca desapariciones en México, denuncia Cadhac ante la ONU (Proceso, 27 de enero de 2016)

Informe anual de actividades 2015 (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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)

Guererro: Se cumplen 4 años de desaparición forzada de campesinos ecologistas de la Costa Grande (8 de diciembre de 2015)

Nacional/Internacional: Ejército y fuerzas de seguridad involucradas en asesinatos extrajudiciales, tortura, desaparición forzada: EU (10 de julio de 2015)

 


Oaxaca: Oaxaca Truth Commission announces the prompt publication of its final report

February 5, 2016

 

Fox

Ex-president Vicente Fox giving evidence before the Truth Commission. Photo@CVO

The Oaxaca Truth Commission (Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca – CVO) announced through its Facebook account on January 25 that “it is in the final draft stage of its report on the events that brought about the violations of the human rights of the people of Oaxaca in 2006.” This autonomous organism was founded in 2013 to investigate possible violations of human rights during the repression in Oaxaca in 2006 and 2007, mainly directed against the National Coordination of Education Workers (Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación – CNTE) and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca – APPO). In the post, they included a photo of ex-president Fox, giving evidence to the Commission as ex-head of state during the time of the events under investigation.

In the same vein, the Truth Commission reported mid-January through one of its members, Father Alejandro Solalinde, that deputies of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional – PRI), in complicity with the National Action Party (Partido de Acción Nacional – PAN) and the Mexican Green Ecologist Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de México – PVEM) attempted to protect the ex-governor of the state, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, preventing the mission of the Truth Commission through a budgetary cutback of two million pesos. As a result, the Federal Electricity Commission (Comisión Federal de Electricidad – CFE) cut off the electricity supply at the offices of the Truth Commission. In spite of this, “this document that seeks to propel truth, justice and reparation and not repeat the events of Oaxaca ten years ago, will be ready in a few weeks”, they declared.

For more information in Spanish:

Fox declara ante la Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca (Foto) (Aristegui Noticias, 25 de enero de 2016

PRONUNCIAMIENTO ANTE DECISIÓN DEL CONGRESO DE RECORTAR PRESUPUESTO (Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca, 19 de enero de 2016)

Diputados locales de PRI, PAN y PVEM protegen a Ulises Ruiz, acusa Solalinde (Proceso, 14 de enero de 2016)

Por nulo presupuesto, cortan luz en oficinas de la Comisión de la Verdad (Ciudadanía Express, 1 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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


Chiapas: Public apology from the Mexican government for El Aguaje case (2000)

January 30, 2016

Aguaje.png

@SIPAZ

On January 28, there was an act of recognition of responsibility of the Mexican State and the signing of an agreement of amicable settlement in the El Aguaje case, a community located in Rancho Nuevo, some ten kilometers from San Cristobal de Las Casas, where a child died and two more were wounded in 2000 when a grenade exploded, which had been left by members of the 31st Military Zone, which borders the community. The event took place in the auditorium of the Faculty of Law of the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH) in San Cristobal.

Jose Lopez Cruz, representing his family (his children were wounded) and Cristina Reyna Cruz Lopez (mother of the deceased child), said at the event, “The authorities never recognized that we were civilians and that our case should be seen to by a civil and not a military court, as they only cared about the type of weapon that exploded but never cared for our human rights. […] The days were long, have been long, as we have sought justice during these 15 years. Up to now, we do not know who was truly guilty of causing this tragedy and even less what their punishment was.”

For their part, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba), which took on the defense of this case and took it to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, pointed out that the actions of the judiciary in Mexico came “late and in partial form, mutilated, incomplete and somewhat battered.” They highlighted that no representative of the army was present at the event saying that, “Today the main character of this story is missing […] The Mexican Army is not present because it is untouchable in Mexico; it is clear to us that it is a power above civil government.”

Representing the State, Roberto Campa Cifrían, sub-secretary for the Human Rights division of the Ministry of the Interior, recognized the responsibility of the State for not having adequately taken charge of and guarded artifacts as dangerous as rifle grenades, used for practice in security institutions. He specified that the agreement that was signed during the event includes promises of transparency in the case, acts of rehabilitation, guarantees of non-repetition, and economic compensation “fair and calculated according to the highest national and international standards in this subject”, the provision of health care, productive projects, and grants among other things. He added that the clinic in the community of El Aguaje, part of the agreement, will bear the name of Angel Diaz Cruz, the child who died when the grenade exploded.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletín: La justicia en México llega tarde y mutilada: Caso El Aguaje (CDHFBC, 28 de enero de 2016)

“Nuestro caso debió ser atendido por la jurisdicción civil y no la militar”, reclamo de indígenas tsotsiles al Estado mexicano. (Pozol Colectivo, 28 de enero de 2016)

El Estado mexicano cumple reparación del daño por niño muerto y dos heridos (La Jornada, 29 de enero de 2016)

Una disculpa pública sin el agresor presente. Fuerzas Armadas son un poder superior al civil, acusan (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de


Guerrero: Sixteen months after the disappearance of their sons, the mothers and fathers of Ayotzinapa go to the Supreme Court

January 29, 2016

Ayotzi 1.png
Photo @Somos el Medio

On January 26, 16 months after the disappearance of the students of Ayotzinapa Normal Rural School, their fathers and parents marched from the Angel of Independence monument to the Supreme Court of the Nation in Mexico City. During the protest, the relatives of the student teachers insisted on their demand that the Federal Judicial System behave according to law, with impartiality and independence in the case of the protections that the Iguala police have sought against the detention orders for homicide. On arrival at the Zocalo of Mexico City they encountered a heavy security presence, which prevented them from entering the public square.

Before the march, a commission of fathers and mothers of the disappeared students went to the Supreme Court and demanded a meeting with the president of the Court, Luis Maria Aguilar. The attorney for the relatives, Vidulfo Rosales, explained that his objective is that the president of the Court “conducts and manages a meeting with the Iguala courts so that they can fully inform us what proceedings are being conducted, what state the protections are in” and that “their resolutions take into account the gravity of the events.”

For more information in Spanish:

Padres de Ayotzinapa van a la Corte, a 16 meses de la desaparición de sus hijos (Animal Político, 26 de enero de 2016)

Acción por Ayotzinapa a 16 meses de la desaparición de los 43 (Sur Acapulco, 26 de enero de 2016)

Marchan a 16 meses de Ayotzinapa; les impide policía ingresar al Zócalo (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de enero de 2016)

Repudian familias de los 43 normalistas amparos a detenidos (Centro ProDH, 27 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Guerrero/Nacional: Tras creación de Unidad de Investigación Especializada, familiares de los 43 levantan plantón (4 de diciembre de 2015)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,168 other followers