Chiapas: Tzeltal Women Tortured and Raped by Military in 1994 Denounce Total Impunity

June 9, 2019

Abejas 1@SIPAZ

On June 4th, dozens of members of civil groups (including SIPAZ), women from Las Abejas Civil Society and members of the San Cristobal de Las Casas diocese, accompanied the Tzeltal sisters Ana, Beatriz and Celia Gonzalez Perez in the symbolic takeover of the military barracks in this city, to demand that justice be done for the torture and rape of those who were victims, 25 years ago, of the military in the municipality of Altamirano.

The lawyer, Gloria Guadalupe Flores Ruiz, member of the Gonzalez Parez Sisters’ Committee, recalled that the three indigenous women and their mother Delia Perez de Gonzalez, were detained at a Mexican Army checkpoint in Altamirano on June 4th, 1994, accused of being support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) and that “they were beaten, tortured and raped by the military, who forced the mother to witness the attacks” so that they would provide information about the Zapatistas.

In April 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ruled on the case and recommended that the Mexican State “investigate the facts in a complete, impartial and effective manner in the ordinary Mexican criminal jurisdiction to determine the responsibility and sanction of all authors of human rights violations.” No government wanted to attend to the case and impunity and oblivion have prevailed. On May 7th, however, a working group of the IACHR was held in Jamaica and the Mexican government undertook to comply “in a comprehensive manner” with the 2001 recommendation.

The demands of the victims and their defense include: “Investigation and punishment of the military responsible for the rape and torture; to hold a public acknowledgment of responsibility in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and with the presence of military commanders, and integral reparation for the damage caused, in accordance with the worldview of the Perez Gonzalez sisters.”

Flores Ruiz emphasized that “the Mexican State refuses to recognize that the perpetrators of serious violations of the human rights of the Gonzalez Perez sisters were the military. This has been the point that has stalled the case in the previous administrations, because they did not want to go out and say that the Army was responsible for this violence generated in the context of the low intensity war in 1994, but we hope that this government of the fourth transformation shows that the civilian command is above the military.”

For his part, the priest Marcelo Perez Perez, responsible for the social pastoral of the three dioceses of Chiapas, asked “the maximum commander of the Mexican Army, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of the Republic,” that justice be done in the case of the Gonzalez Perez sisters and their mother. “If there is no justice for the Gonzalez Perez sisters, they will be accomplices and traitors to the indigenous peoples,” he stressed.

Abejas 2@SIPAZ

 Women of Las Abejas Civil Society stated that, “today we come here to join the demand for justice from compañeras Ana, Beatriz, Celia Gonzalez Perez and Delia Perez (…) and with all those hundreds, thousands and thousands of women who have been victims of the perpetrating army and violator of women and of human rights.” They also denounced that “we know that the Mexican army not only tortured and raped women 25 years ago, but, that they continued with their barbarism, they continued to humiliate women, either raping them or massacring them directly or indirectly as with the 21 women massacred by the PRI members from Chenalho, four of whom were pregnant, and after Acteal they followed, with the women of Atenco, compañeras of the Sierra Zongolica de Veracruz and, we can continue with an endless list. The Mexican Army is not an army that serves the Mexican nation, it is an army that is at the service of the capitalist system, which is trained to kill and exterminate the original peoples of Mexico and the women and men who criticize the bad government and the system of death.”

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen justicia a 25 años de la violación tumultuaria de tres hermanas cometida por militares en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2019)

A 25 años, hermanas violadas por militares en Chiapas exigen justicia (La Jornada, 4 de junio de 2019)

Mujeres indígenas de Chiapas acusan impunidad por violación de militares hace 25 años (Sin Embargo, 4 de junio de 2019)

Tzeltales en Chiapas exigen justicia por violación atribuida a militares (El Universal, 4 de junio de 2019)

El ejército mexicano no es un ejército que sirve a la nación mexicana, es un ejército que está al servicio del sistema capitalista. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 4 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Indigenous Tzeltal women raped by the Mexican Army accept “compensation” with conditions (October 25, 2010)

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National/International: UNO and IACHR Warn of Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Latin America. At Least Ten Murdered in Mexico

June 6, 2019

HRD@El Economista

In a statement published on May 30th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the United Nations (UN) expressed their concern facing an increase in acts of violence committed against human rights defenders in Latin America during the first four months of the year.

In the case of Mexico, this trend is notorious where “according to information available to both agencies, at least ten human rights defenders were murdered during this period, nine men and a woman, a figure close to at least 13 cases documented throughout the year 2018, which represents a significant increase in violence. It is especially worrying that eight of the murdered defenders are indigenous.” They listed several of the cases and also expressed their concern over the disappearance of Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and Hilario Cornelio Castro, in Guerrero from February 12th to February 19th, “until they were released by their captors after an intense search campaign.”

The two multilateral organizations acknowledged that “in Mexico the federal government has publicly committed to strengthen the action of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, initiating a diagnosis on the current situation in which the UN Human Rights participates.”

They recalled that it is “the obligation of the states to investigate ex officio facts of this nature and to punish those responsible materially and intellectually. Both agencies urge the states to exhaust all relevant lines of investigation to clarify these facts, including the possible link between murders, disappearances and other aggressions and the work of defending human rights. Such investigations must be conducted with due diligence, in a thorough, serious and impartial manner.” They also stressed that in the case of women human rights defenders and groups in a situation of special vulnerability, “States must take due account of the fact that the inherent risk of their work is compounded by the context of discrimination based on gender or belonging to historically discriminated groups and adopt protection measures and conduct research with full incorporation of the gender and intercultural perspective. States must adopt reasonable measures to prevent acts of violence against persons of these groups and remedy the context of discrimination that promotes their repetition.”

For more information in Spanish:

CIDH y las Oficinas de ONU Derechos Humanos expresan su preocupación por la situación de personas defensoras de derechos humanos en el primer cuatrimestre del año (CIDH/OMU, 30 de mayo de 2019)

Alertan CIDH y ONU por aumento de asesinatos de activistas en México (Proceso, 30 de mayo de 2019)

Aumentaron asesinatos de activistas en México este año, alertan ONU y CIDH (LA Jornada, 30 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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)

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


National/International: Movement for Our Disappeared Calls for Special Mechanism for Forensic Identification and High-level Meeting with IACHR

May 15, 2019

Missing.png(@mexico.com)

On May 9th, in the framework of the 172nd session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), in Kingston, Jamaica, the hearing “Enforced Disappearances and Proposal for a Extraordinary Forensic Identification Mechanism in Mexico” was held, in which representatives of the Mexican State and civil organizations discussed the situation regarding this issue, whose toll is more than 40 thousand missing persons, 26 thousand unidentified bodies and more than 850 clandestine graves.

The Movement for Our Disappeared in Mexico denounced the situation of crisis and impunity and detailed the efforts of civil society in the absence of effective and coordinated government actions. It presented a series of proposals for the creation of an extraordinary forensic identification mechanism, which should have technical, economic and administrative independence. It also requested the installation of a high-level negotiating table for its creation, in which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Secretaries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs and Finance, as well as the national prosecutor of the Republic and the National Search Commissioner, would participate and the representatives of Central American countries with disappeared persons in Mexican territory. Finally, it asked the IACHR to establish, in agreement with the Mexican State, coordination with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) to establish a technical assistance scheme for the setting up construction, monitoring and evaluation of said mechanism.

For his part, the undersecretary of human rights, Alejandro Encinas, acknowledged the humanitarian crisis and argued that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador have as a priority to address the problem of disappearances, for which there would be no limits of resources: “Today this is a full responsibility of the State that we are going to assume”, he stressed. He promised to release a diagnosis of the forensic system on May 13th but considered that there would be no need for a new mechanism of international assistance to address the forensic crisis. The head of the National Search Commission (CNB in its Spanish acronym), Karla Quintana Osuna, reported that “there are already 266 forensic centers in the country, in which 5,900 people of different specialties work, in addition to 40 genetic identification laboratories and only 35 specialists in this field, while in 21 states they have the same genetic identification markers, which would allow an exchange of information.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ante
la CIDH, urgen a crear mecanismo extraordinario de identificación
forense (Centro PRODH, 10 de mayo de 2019)

Demandan
Mecanismo extraordinario de identificación forense ante la CIDH(Contralínea, 9 de mayo de 2019)

Atender
emergencia forense en el país, prioridad del Gobierno de México,
reafirma Alejandro Encinas (Notimundo,

9 de mayo de 2019)

En
audiencias de la CIDH, proponen al Estado mexicano crear mecanismo
forense y mesa de “alto nivel” (Proceso,

9 de mayo de 2019)

Evaluarán
en la CIDH crisis por desapariciones en México (La

Jornada, 9 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: Disappearances Increasing in Mexico – CNDH. No Progress in Victor Ayala Tapia Case (May 11, 2019)

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

National/International: Centro Pro DH Urges Foreign Ministry to Accept UN Committee on Forced Disappearance (March 26, 2019)


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)


Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case

March 15, 2019

ayotzi@Cuartoscuro

The National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) has reported that it has corroborated a link between organized crime and the Mexican government in the forced disappearance of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero, on September 26th, 2014. In addition, the Commission has declared that there was “connivance or collusion” between the local, state, and federal governments regarding the follow-up of the case. Additionally, the CNDH has indicated obstacles on the part of the authorities during its investigation that led to a series of recommendations at the end of 2018.

In December, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) in one of his first acts as the new president created by decree the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in the Ayotzinapa case. On March 11th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented the Technical Support Group (TSG) that will provide technical support to the Mexican authorities to arrive at the truth in the facts. In presenting the new work plan, the president of the IACHR and rapporteur of that agency for Mexico, Esmeralda Arosamena de Troitiño, applauded the position of the new federal authorities, which unlike the previous administration, have opened an impulse that represents “a historic opportunity to break impunity.” During the event, the Undersecretary of the Interior for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, remarked that the TSG will technically support all the open criminal investigation lines, which were not followed by the former Attorney General’s Office.

One of the most delicate in this sense is the role that the Mexican Army could have played in the events. On March 12th, a video was published that shows that Julio Cesar Lopez Patolzin, one of the 43 missing student teachers, had been recruited by the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) to infiltrate the Ayotzinapa School.

Faced with this, civil organizations accompanying the families of the 43 students declared that the video shows that the army “did not deliver or have given all the information it has about the Iguala case and its context (…) to more than four and a half years after the events.”

The second reason for concern, they said, is that it confirmed that SEDENA practices the infiltration of the Ayotzinapa School, which “does not delegitimize in any way the requirement of the relatives of Julio Cesar to know the whereabouts of their son.”

Finally, they stressed that this new material “confirms the urgent need for a thorough investigation into the role of the Armed Forces in this new phase” and that they provide “all information in their possession that is relevant to the full clarification of the whereabouts of the 43 students, as ordered in the presidential decree that instructed to establish effective material, legal and human conditions, to strengthen the human rights of the relatives of the victims of the Ayotzinapa case to the truth and access to justice, signed, among other authorities, by the President of the Republic, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of National Defense and the Secretary of the Navy.”

For more information in Spanish:

CNDH a ONU: “obstáculos y negativas” en caso Iguala (Milenio, 14 de marzo de 2019.)

Proceso y la historia del normalista-soldado infiltrado en Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 14 de marzo de 2019)

CNDH presenta recomendación por violaciones graves en caso Ayotzinapa (Excelsior, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Normalista de Ayotzinapa desaparecido era infiltrado de la Sedena (VIDEO) (Radio Formula, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Un normalista de Ayotzinapa era militar e informante del Ejército: reporte (ADN Politico, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Señalan necesidad de esclarecer papel del Ejército en caso Ayotzinapa SIDIDH, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Abren, formalmente, nueva etapa de investigación por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 11 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/National: Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in Ayotzinapa Case Set Up. Federal Judge Orders Investigation into Possible Responsibility of Attorney General Employees for Irregularities (January 22nd, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Decree Establishes Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case

(December 19th, 2018)

Guerrero/National/International: CNDH and IACHR Ayotzinapa Reports  (December 14th, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Ayotzinapa, Four Years On…  (October 1st, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Incoming Government Confirms Creation of Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case (Aug. 13th, 12018)

 


International: IACHR Asks Honduras and Guatemala to Respect Human Rights

March 6, 2019

IACHR.pngPhoto @ BBC

On February 19th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed its concern in a press release about the human rights situation of migrants and refugees that make up caravans that since January began to settle in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The IACHR informed that they received information that members, mostly Hondurans, of a caravan, which is headed to Mexico and the United States, “faced various obstacles to leave their country, such as the establishment of at least seven roadblocks, blockades with human fences formed by agents of different security bodies, and filters implemented by the police that requested identity documents at the border checkpoint. Likewise, the use of force was recorded by the Honduran police, who allegedly fired tear gas towards the caravan, wounding several people, including children and adolescents (…) as a consequence, many people, including families and children, and girls, decided to avoid regular crossings, using more dangerous routes through blind spots.”

On the Guatemalan side of the border, they documented the use of force by Guatemalan authorities, “as well as the use of a riot police barrier with batons, rubber bullets and weapons, which only gave way to women with children.”

In the communiqué they reminded the Honduran and Guatemalan states, “that any person has the right to freely leave any country, including their own, in terms of Article 22.2 of the American Convention on Human Rights. Likewise, the impossibility of leaving their country may also imply a restriction on the right to seek and receive asylum, in accordance with the provisions of Article 22.7 of the American Convention.”

In addition “that the use of force in migratory operations should be used only in compliance with the principles of legitimate purpose, absolute necessity and proportionality; and that migrants do not pose a threat to national security and that the human rights of migrants and refugees are guaranteed, including the right to seek and receive asylum, the right to non-repatriation.”

In this regard, the Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants of the IACHR noted: “Today more than ever we must remember that migration is not a crime. The massive migratory movements that we have been observing for several years are a reflection of the situation of generalized violence, discrimination, poverty and inequality faced by people in a greater situation of exclusion in the countries of the Northern Triangle.”

For more information in Spanish:

CIDH insta a garantizar derechos de personas que integran la caravana de migrantes y refugiados en Honduras y Guatemala (CIDH, 19 de febrero de 2019)

CIDH insta a Guatemala y Honduras a garantizar derechos de migrantes (24-horas, 20 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

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

National/International: New Migrant Caravans Arrive at Border; Others Advance through Mexico (January 28th, 2019)

National/International: New Migrant Caravan Reaches Mexico (January 23rd, 2019)

National/International: 181 Countries Approve United Nations Global Pact for Refugees

(January 4th, 2019)

National/International: 164 Countries Approve UN Global Migration Pact (January 2nd, 2019)