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

June 27, 2019

Prisoners@No estamos todxs

Prisoners, victims of torture and cruel treatment in Chiapas, have already spent more than 100 days on hunger strike since they began their demand for justice and their freedom.

Adrian Gomez Ruiz, Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Abraham Lopez Montejo and German Lopez Montejo, are on hunger strike at the State Center for the Social Reintegration of the Sentenced (CERSS in its Spanish acronym) No. 5, in San Cristobal de Las Casas; and Marcelino Ruiz Gomez in the CERSS No. 10, in Comitan de Dominguez. All of them have denounced violations of their human rights, inter alia, for torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment during their detention and deprivation of liberty.

On several occasions these prisoners have reported omission and negligence in the care of their health, which is the responsibility of the Mexican State as they are in custody. On June 20th, 2019, it was reported that they are denied the right to immediate access to drinking water. Due to the above, they manifest liver and kidney problems, which represent a serious and progressive deterioration in their physical and emotional health, exacerbated by being on hunger strike.

They reported that the government of the state of Chiapas has not adequately and promptly resolved their request for freedom, so despite the deterioration in their health they have decided to continue their hunger strike.

In a document published on June 25th, 2019, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, the relatives of the prisoners and the Working Group No EStamos Todxs demanded that the Government provide adequate medical attention that guarantees the right to health of the five prisoners. They urged it to immediately resolve their request for freedom due to the violations of their human rights committed during their detention and in their legal proceedings.

For more information in Spanish:

Presos víctimas de Tortura en huelga de hambre urgen atención médica en Chiapas, Frayba 25 de junio de 2019

Necesidad de atención médica de Germán López Montejo, Grupo de trabajo No estamos Todxs, 25 de junio de 2019}

“Libertad o muerte”: indígenas presos en Chiapas cumplen 100 días sin comer, Contralinea, 24 de junio de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

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

Chiapas: Six Prisoners Resume Indefinite Hunger Strike in San Cristobal and Comitan Prisons (May 17, 2019)

Little Progress 60 Days after Start of Hunger Strike in Various Sate Prisons (May 15, 2019)

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National: Process of “Free, Prior and Informed Consultation” on Constitutional and Legal Reform of Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples Begins

June 27, 2019
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Photo @ Alcaldes de Mexico

According to the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI in its Spanish acronym) and the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym) “there is a need to harmonize and reform the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, in accordance with the various international and national legal instruments on human rights of the indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples, as well as in the jurisprudential criteria and in the recommendations of various bodies of the United Nations Organization and the Inter-American Human Rights System.”

For this reason, on June 21st, the Mexican government began “the free, prior and informed consultation of the indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples and communities, “which will aim to “receive opinions, and proposals on the principles and criteria that will sustain the Constitutional Reform Initiative and the corresponding regulatory laws on the rights of indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples.” There will be 54 Regional Consultation Forums, 53 in Mexican territory and one last forum on August 4th in Los Angeles, California, USA specifically for the indigenous migrant population.

In the regional forums indigenous municipal authorities; community authorities, delegates, agents, curators, heads of tenure, site authorities, assistantships, among others, depending on what the federative entity may be; traditional indigenous and Afro-Mexican authorities; indigenous and Afro-Mexican agrarian authorities (communal and from ejidos); organizations, institutions and citizens belonging to indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples, and academic and research institutions related to indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples, may participate.

In a first informative stage, the subjects consulted must be informed through a wide dissemination of information on the subjects to be consulted. “For this, the document “Principles and Criteria for Constitutional and Legal Reform” has been prepared with the topics and their possible contents that encourage reflection, debate and consensus of proposals.” In addition, “community assemblies, discussion groups, workshops, among others, will take place in indigenous and Afro-Mexican communities and communities, as well as in academic institutions specialized in the investigation of indigenous problems.” In accordance with the consultation protocol, these actions will be done from the issuance of the convocation and up to one day before the Regional Consultation Forums.

The consultation focuses on the following topics:

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With the purpose of generating the greatest possible consensus in the different subjects subject to consultation, a National Forum will be held in Mexico City on August 7th, 8th and 9th. In this National Forum representatives will participate, who must be indigenous authorities who were elected in the regional forums.

“For the follow-up of the agreements and consensus reached in the consultation process, in the National Forum, among the participants, a Follow-up Commission will be chosen that will have the objective of establishing dialogues with the national debate and decision-making bodies, as well being in charge of promoting the deliberation and analysis of the Constitutional Reform proposals and, where appropriate, the reforms to the corresponding secondary laws. Said Commission shall be composed of an equal number of men and women.”

For more information in Spanish:

Pueblos indígenas y afromexicano inician consultas para fortalecer sus derechos (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de junio de 2019)

Publica DOF protocolo de consulta para reforma sobre derechos indígenas (La Jornada, 21 de junio de 2019)

CONVOCATORIA al proceso de consulta libre, previa e informada para la Reforma Constitucional y Legal sobre Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicano. (Secretaría de Gobernación, 13 de junio de 2019)

PROTOCOLO DE LA CONSULTA LIBRE, PREVIA E INFORMADA PARA EL PROCESO DE REFORMA CONSTITUCIONAL Y LEGAL SOBRE DERECHOS DE LOS PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS Y AFROMEXICANO (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, 3 de junio de 2019)

PUBLICACIÓN DE LOS DOMICILIOS EN QUE SE REALIZARÁN LOS FOROS REGIONALES DE CONSULTA (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples Calls on AMLO Government to Comply with International Standards on Indigenous Consultation for Megaprojects in their Territories, March 19th, 2019

Oaxaca/National: Federal Government Presents National Program for Indigenous Peoples December 28th 2018

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Presents Report in Mexico City One Year after her Visit (October 22nd, 2018)

 


Chiapas: Intellectuals Express Concern over Militarization in Zapatista Territory

June 20, 2019

EZLN

Intellectuals and national and international social and political organizations expressed their concern over the renewed militarization in Zapatista territories since the change of government. Below we reproduce the contents of their statement:

To whoever is still willing to listen:

This is a message of concern for life, for dignity. Those of us who signed this letter are worried about what is happening, again, in that forgotten corner of the Mexican southeast that became the heart of hope and rebellion, Chiapas.

This is not an ideological manifesto nor a declaration of position against the political changes that are taking place in Mexico, it is a genuine concern over what it is felt is approaching looming those from below that after 25 years, of 500 years, continue to resist extermination and oblivion. We are concerned about those who for a quarter of a century have fought for their autonomy, who have placed dignity above political pragmatism, who have been an example of freedom in a world chained by fear, we are concerned about the Zapatistas.

We are concerned to learn about the growing military activity in the territories of the Zapatista communities. We see that in the midst of Mexico’s complex security situation, the path of militarization of the country is becoming even stronger. It is a warning sign that under the much-questioned strategy surrounding the National Guard, that this, as has happened many times, be a “security” force that does not distinguish between crime and resistance, between cruelty and dignified rebellion. It is contradictory that when the Mexican Government’s own data indicate that the Zapatista zone has one of the lowest crime rates, the security strategy is directed in a threatening manner in those areas that are of the few sanctuaries of freedom and security for Mexico of those below. This seems more like a war strategy than a security strategy.

Although among the signatories we are a diverse group of people that can see the administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador with hope or skepticism, we are all people who dream of a different, better world. Those of us who support these words believe that a change in Mexico cannot occur under a shadow of political pragmatism, yielding to pressures that lead to authoritarianism, to dispossession and violence for the benefit of the 1%, nor to the disqualification of critical voices. that with their authenticity and consistency have earned the respect of the world.

We see an increasing process of hostility towards authentic, historical and legitimate resistances that oppose projects such as the Maya Train, the Trans-isthmus Corridor and the Morelos Integral Plan, among others. We are concerned about the recent homicides of members of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Council of Government. We are concerned about the possibility that this new administration, like its predecessors, liberals or conservatives, once again insults indigenous peoples on the verge of extermination.

The world is looking with eyes and heart at what is happening in Mexico and Chiapas.

Stop the war against the Zapatistas and the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico!

For more information in Spanish:

Carta contra la militarización de zonas indígenas del EZLN, La Jornada, 18 de junio de 2019

Militarización de territorio zapatista “parece estrategia de guerra”: intelectuales, Radio Formula, 18 de junio de 2019

Militarización en zona zapatista pone en riesgo a indígenas, La Jornada, 17 de junio de 2019

La “guerra” contra el Congreso Nacional Indígena (Contralínea, 17 de junio de 2019)

Chomsky denuncia militarización de territorio zapatista: «parece estrategia de guerra», Revistadefrente, 17 de junio de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018 (June 4, 2019)

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Increased Militarization in Zapatista Territories (May 10, 2019)

Chiapas: Denuncian vigilancia militar en Chicomuselo (March 27, 2019)

Chiapas: Centro de derechos humanos denuncia riesgos ante militarización de Chilón (January 25th, 2019)


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)


Chiapas/National/International: Global Solidarity Action for Life and against the War against Zapatista Communities

June 7, 2019

Zapatistas

On May 31st, a Global Solidarity Action for Life and against War against Zapatista communities was carried out both in Mexico and in other countries (including France, Spain and the United States).

The actions were organized in response to accusations of a new militarization in Zapatista territories and carried out by both the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), which has been able to monitor this situation through of the Civil Observation Brigades (BriCO in its Spanish acronym), which have registered an increase of 100 percent in the number of incursions by the Mexican Army, land patrols and helicopter flights since December 2018.

Frayba has also expressed that it fears that the “siege” will deepen with the presence of the National Guard in the region. According to information compiled by Contralínea, of the 266 planned postings, Chiapas will have several of them, noting that “the region of Zapatista influence will have more barracks than other regions with high rates of violence, despite the fact that the document itself establishes that the criminal indices in the autonomous territories are among the lowest in the country.”

For more information in Spanish:

Por la vida y contra la guerra en las comunidades zapatistas (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2019)

CNI y organizaciones preparan jornada global contra la militarización y paramilitarización de comunidades zapatistas (Periodistas Unidos, 29 de mayo de 2019)

La Guardia Nacional y los territorios zapatistas (Contralínea, 26 de mayo de 2019)

Convocatoria a Acción Global contra la militarización en teritorio zapatista (CNI, 23 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018 (June 4, 2019)

Chiapas/National: Commission for Concord and Pacification Seeks to Meet Secretariat of Government to Explore Possibiity of Dialogue between Federal Government and EZLN (May 30, 2019)

National: CNI, EZLN and Indigenous Organizations Announce “Zapata Lives, Samir Lives, The Struggle Continues” (March 21, 2019)

National: Controversy between EZLN and AMLO Supporters Floods Social Networks (January 18, 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

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)


Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018

June 4, 2019

Frayba

On May 27th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a bulletin warning that, “aggressions against peoples, communities and organizations have intensified as part of a strategy to contain civil and peaceful resistance in defense of territory.” Two years after the Constituent Assembly of the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym), of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym).

It illustrated the statement by referring to the six indigenous defenders who have been murdered so far in 2019, as well as mentioning the CNI’s own denunciations since December 2018 with situations of “dispossession, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, threats, harassment, criminalization and attempts of executions.”

Frayba denounced that “this logic of war against the peoples that build autonomy, is reproduced in the increase of militarization of Zapatista territories, especially the incursions, flights and espionage of the Mexican Army to the headquarters of the Junta de Buen Government Toward Hope, in La Realidad Caracol (Official Municipality of Las Margaritas). This containment is deepened by the presence of the National Guard in the region, which increases risks to the integrity and security of the population.”

In this context, Frayba demanded that the Mexican State: “Cease the attacks against peoples, communities and organizations that make up the National Indigenous Congress; justice for the defenders and communicators murdered in the country; and high militarization in Chiapas and Mexico.”

For more information in Spanish:

Contrainsurgencia a Pueblos Originarios que construyen la vida digna (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 27 de mayo de 2019)

Las agresiones contra pueblos originarios se intensifican: Frayba (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Two Members of CRAC-PF and CIPOG-EZ Murdered (May 28, 2019)

Guerrero: CNI Denounces Kidnapping and Murder of Two Members (May 11, 2019)

Chiapas: denuncian dos comunidades choles de Salto de Agua amenazas, persecución y hostigamientos (El 22 de abril de 2019)

National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City (March 14, 2019)

Chiapas : CNI denuncia amenazas y agresiones en la zona Norte (El 16 de agosto de 2018)