National: IACHR closes visit to Mexico and presents preliminary conclusions

October 10, 2015


On 2 October, the last day of its visit to Mexico, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented its preliminary conclusions. During its visit to six states of the Republic, the delegation heard the testimony of victims of human-rights violations, held meetings with representatives of civil society as well as international organizations, academics, journalists, and interviewed officials from the three levels of government. In conclusion, the IACHR spoke to “the grave human-rights crisis experienced in Mexico, as characterized by an extreme situation of insecurity and violence and grave violations. The problems we have described are the result of a structural situation that Mexico has suffered now for decades.” With regard to the reasons for this crisis, the team indicated “the lack of access to justice” which has generated a structural situation of impunity which allows for the repetition of human-rights violations. The IACHR expressed its willingness to work with the Mexican State to seek solutions to protect basic rights and promote the observation of international standards in human rights. The IACHR will prepare and publish a report on Mexico next year.

After hearing these conclusions, Roberto Campa Cifrián, Subsecretary for Human Rights at the Ministry for Governance, reacted by saying this preliminary report “does not reflect the reality of the country,” as the conclusions were the product of “interviews and meetings” in “only six of the 32 states […] held over a course of five days.” Several non-governmental organizations condemned the response of the Subsecretary, holding it to be a dismissal of the international organizations and experts who have documented the reality of the country. The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center proposed in a communique that the government “take up the conclusions and recommendations made [by the IACHR] […] to then implement policies, programs, laws, and above all practices to allow for the effective access to truth, justice, compensation, and the decrease in human-rights violations throughout the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Condenan ONG respuesta del Estado a informe de la CIDH (Centro ProDH, 7 de octubre de 2015)

El gobierno federal debe atender la crisis de derechos humanos que afecta a la población y dejar de rechazar con argumentos falaces las conclusiones de la CIDH (Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, 6 de octubre de 2015)

CIDH culmina visita in loco a México (Organización de los Estados Americanos, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Video: CIDH emite observaciones preliminares tras su visita In Loco (Centro ProDH/YouTube, 2 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: IACHR carries out visit to Mexico (10 October 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: Chiapas state government refuses to investigate claims of torture in its prisoners

October 10, 2015


The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) and the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) have denounced obstructions in the documentation and application of the Istanbul Protocol, which is recognized by Mexico as a means of avoiding the use of torture. Between 21 and 25 September, the government inhibited the entrance of two independent investigations into the Istanbul Protocol and members of the CCTI, as accompanied by Frayba personnel, in three state Centers for the Social Reinsertion (CERSS), so as to complete documentation and application work. Previously, eleven prisoners had denounced torture during their detention or within the Chiapas prisons—being in the majority indigenous. Those releasing this information presented different levels of harm with regard to their physical and mental health due to lack of medical and psychological attention, especially when in urgent need. Another aspect that left many indigenous prisoners more vulnerable has been the lack of adequate interpretation, both in their judicial processes, as in the prisons proper.

Despite the efforts made by the CCTI and Frayba to meet with several authorities regarding the denunciations that have emerged, these officials denied the experts access to the prisons. For Gilberto Hernández from Frayba, “this way of acting corresponds to an interest of maintaining impunity and avoiding all forms of investigation.” Among the prisoners who went to visit the experts was included Alejandro Díaz Santiz from the Voz del Amate collective, who on repeated occasions has denounced the miserable conditions faced by his comrades held in the CERSS. After his declarations, he was transferred on 11 September from the prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to a new Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) no. 15 in Villa Comaltitlán, being a maximum-security prison. According to the information from the “We Are Not All Present” Workgroup (GTNET), this forcible transfer “is political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, who has been punished for supporting and raising the consciousness of other prisoners.”

Within the context in which the General Law on Torture is being discussed, the Chiapas state authorities have failed to express their interest in investigating acts of torture among prisoners, and so to provide greater credibility in terms of the protection of human rights of torture survivors.

For more information (in Spanish):

Presos denuncian malos tratos, discriminación e injusticias (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 29 de septiembre de 2015)

Niega gobierno de Chiapas investigar casos de tortura en sus penales (Desinformémonos, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Gobierno de Chiapas obstruye la documentación de violaciones a los Derechos Humanos (Pozol, 25 de septiembre de 2015)

Indígena tsotsil es trasladado a penal de máxima seguridad, pese a “compromiso” de Velasco por obtener su libertad (Pozol, 13 de septiembre de 2015)

De la tortura al protocolo de Estambul (Amnistía Internacional, 9 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The Other Justice”

October 10, 2015

On 10 and 11 October will be held the Forum “The Other Justice” in the community of Acteal, Chenalhó municipality. The event was organized by the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal, which on its Facebook page expressed that “the justice of the bad government in Mexico is rotten, expired, and it smells. For this reason the organized and conscious peoples will construct Another Justice that is true, dignified, just, and righteous, which we call: Lekil Chapanel. In other words: The Other Justice.” The objective of the Forum is for “indigenous peoples from Chiapas to meet in Acteal to continue advancing The Other Justice and reconstruct our memory due to the pain we have confronted as victims of the counterinsurgent war. We will share our experiences from our cultures within a context of impunity that allows the Mexican State to commit crimes against humanity.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Las Abejas invitan a un foro “La Otra Justicia” en acteal, el 10-11/10 (Espoir Chiapas, 5 de octubre de 2015)

Oaxaca: Another 2 October with 52 “arbitrary” arrests

October 10, 2015

Foto @ Proyecto AmbulantePhoto @ Proyecto Ambulante

Following the march on 2 October in Oaxaca de Juárez to commemorate the massacre of students in Tlatelolco in 1968, 52 individuals were arrested, including 10 women and minors.

The Network of Female Activists and Human-Rights Defenders from Oaxaca demanded the release of the human-rights defenders Rocío Celeste Martínez Gregorio and Fidel Desiderio Martínez, who were detained “illegally and arbitrarily” as they were en route to a work meeting that was to take place at the offices of the Defense Institute for Human Rights of the Oaxacan People (DDHPO). Of the arrested persons, the Network of Female Activists declared, in their communique, that “only four persons are awaiting the resolution of their juridical situation: the defender Rocío Celeste Martínez Gregorio, his comrade Fidel Desiderio Martínez, Irving Pérez Monjaraz, and Julio Eder Luria Vásquez; [they have clearly been victims] of efforts to criminalize the social movement, accused as they are of causing damage when there is no evidence of this.” According to local media, subsequently it became known that these four had been transferred to different jails before the legal processes had been completed, and even in spite of all lack of evidence against them.

It bears mentioning that Rocío Celeste and Fidel graduated recently from the Institute for Sociological Investigations at the Autonomous Autónoma Benito Juárez University of Oaxaca (UABJO), and both “have played important roles in the student movement in Oaxaca and have carried out actions in solidarity with victims of human-rights violations and political prisoners,” as the Network of Female Activists noted. In addition, they have worked to advance communal defense and have worked together with the New Women’s Collective, which promotes the rights of the women and communal participation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Petición de Libertad a Defensores de Derechos Humanos detenidos el 02 de Octubre en Oaxaca

México: Trasladan a penales centrales a 4 de las personas detenidas en Oaxaca el pasado 2 de octubre (Kaos en la Red, )

Oaxaca: 40 desaparecidos, detenidos en la marcha del 2 de octubre (Centro de Medios Libres, 3 de octubre de 2015)

Exige red de mujeres activistas libertad a defensores de derechos humanos detenidos en Oaxaca (Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO, 5 de octubre de 2015)

Defensoras de DH exigen inmediata liberación de defensora de DH Rocío Celeste Martínez Gregorio y Fidel Desiderio Martínez (Consorcio Oaxaca, 4 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: 75 arrests following march on 2 October (11 October 2014)

National: More confrontations and repression against social movement, 2 October (25 October 2013)

National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first annivesary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa

October 10, 2015

DSCF6154Photo @SIPAZ

On 26 September, protests were held in several cities in Mexico as well as abroad to commemorate the forcible disappearance of the 43 students of the Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, which took place on 26 September of last year, and to demand justice. The parents of the students marched in Mexico City after holding a 43-hour hunger strike, and subsequent to a meeting with the president in which they presented 8 demands that were dismissed.

At the Zócalo of the capital, the parents of the disappeared thanked all those who supported them in their time of need. One of the parents, Epifanio Álvarez, expressed gratitude for the popular support, saying, “Here we are standing upright. If they will kill us, we will face them directly. Our sons are innocent. We will struggle for them and the thousands of other disappeared. Thanks to all who continue to struggle in the rain supporting us.” The claims were that the authorities have done nothing concrete to return the students, and that they do not accept the government’s equivocations with regard to the “historical truth” and the devalorization of the report published by the independent experts of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

In the communique released on 26 September, a number of civil-society organizations and independent individuals notes that “the wave of denunciations has become the principal political crisis of the last decade, and it has left uncovered the networks of complicity that uphold the impunity of all the levels of government, all the parties, and to the deepest levels of the institutions. Beyond this, it has demonstrated the lack of capability of the State to respond effectively to said crisis. The parents of the disappeared have had to request independent investigations from other international institutions, such as the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.”

The parents of the disappeared have called for a General Popular Assembly for 16 October, to be held at the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College, where they will define the plan of action for the coming months. At the end of the protest, the government of Mexico City reported that 15,000 people participated in the march, and that 18,000 were present at the subsequent rally.

Beyond this, a delegation from the IACHR that arrived on Monday 28 September will be visiting the mountains of Iguala, Guerrero, where relatives of the disappeared have found clandestine graves. Mario Vergara, member of the organization that was founded after the search for the disappeared students yielded dozens of illegally buried corpses, observed that the intention has been that the delegation see the work performed by the families. “We want them to see something real, to see the work that we are doing and under what conditions […].” His organization has found more than 75 bodies and has located several sites to be investigated.

For more information (in Spanish):
A un año de Ayotzinapa, padres convocan a nueva asamblea general (Animal Político, 26 de septiembre de 2015)
La delegación de la CIDH visitará cerros de Iguala donde se han hallado fosas clandestinas (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 de septiembre de 2015)
Llovió la indignación y la solidaridad en el aniversario de Ayotzinapa (Información Sididh, 28 de septiembre de 2015)
Ayotzinapa pronunciamiento (sociedad civil, 26 de septiembre de 2015)
Sembraron balas en Cocula, acusan forenses (El Universal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year annivesary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances (8 October 2015)

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)

Guerrero: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa (11 September 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances

October 8, 2015

© Koman Ilel, Zapatistas por Ayotzinapa

Zapatistas for Ayotzinapa @ Koman Ilel

On 26 September a year passed since the 43 students from the Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, were forcibly disappeared. In different states and abroad, actions and mobilizations were held to demand clarification for what happened to the youth as well as those killed and injured on the tragic night of 26-27 September 2014.

For its part, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced in a communique entitled “For pain, rage, truth, justice” that “on that day 26 September, thousands of Zapatistas, children, youth, women, men, others, elders, and the living and the dead will mobilize ourselves in our territories to embrace all those persons who have been affected by sorrow and rage due to the prisons, disappearances, and death imposed by those from above. We will embrace them also because thus we also embrace ourselves as Zapatistas. In this way we call on all honest and upright persons on Earth to do the same, according to your calendars and geographies, and in accordance with your times and means. While at the same time they seek to placate us with lies and insults using lack of truth and justice, humanity will continue to be nothing more than a grotesque face in the history of the Earth.”

Beyond this, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal dedicated some words to the disappeared in a public communique, declaring that “we wish to be in the hearts of the parents of the young students; we wish to be in the heart of Ayotzinapa. We wish to be in the heart, the dream, the soul, the struggle, the memory, and the hope of the 43 disappeared, as well as the 3 murdered and the other comrade who remains in a coma. We also wish to be I the heart, dreams, memory, and hope of the thousands of disappeared throughout Mexico. We wish to be in the heart, dream, memory, and hope of the comrade women who have been victimized by femicides […]. But we do not wish to have a simulated justice, that justice full of corruption and hypocrisy, as the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) sought to sell to the parents of the 43 from Ayotzinapa and to the people of Mexico. Instead, what we wish for is a justice that would be as we always have stressed it must be: truthful, dignified, righteous, lasting, healthy, and human. This is what we call ‘The Other Justice.’ And this Other Justice we must develop ourselves from below, the women and women of good conscience […]. Ayotzinapa is a crime of State, and it must remain within the consciousness of the three levels of government in Mexico. As people of Mexico meanwhile we will walk and strive for the Other Justice, against this crime against humanity that targeted young students who had a dream of educating themselves to become educators in their communities. We will tell this to our children, our youth, so that it becomes living history.”

Beyond this, several people protested in the state in at least 40 municipalities, by carrying out marches, roadblocks, and cultural festivals.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chiapas también el pueblo se organizó para exigir justicia y aparición con vida de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (Voces Mesoamericanas, 29 de septiembre de 2015)


Comunicado de Las Abejas de Acteal en solidaridad con Ayotzinapa (Las Abejas de Acteal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

También en Chiapas hoy #DíaDeLaIndignación, manifestaciones de apoyo a Ayotzinapa (Chiapasparalelo, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

EZLN protesta en Chiapas por los desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa (La Jornada  26 de septiembre de 2015)

Congregan ciudades de Chiapas marchas por Ayotzinapa (El Universal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)

Guerrero: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa (11 September 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: OMCT releases Urgent Action in case of extrajudicial execution and torture in Tila

October 8, 2015

Mobilization by civil society for case of Tony Gutiérrez. Photo @Comité Digna Ochoa

On 18 September, the Global Organization against Torture (OMCT) released an urgent action for the case of a forcible disappearance, torture, and extrajudicial execution, this of Mr. Tony Reynaldo Gutiérrez López, which took place in the Tila municipality. The communique notes that “According to the received information, on 17 July 2015, Mr. Tony Reynaldo Gutiérrez López was arrested by municipal police from Tila as he was en route via public transit to the center of the Petalcingo community, Tila community, Chiapas state […]. On 24 July his corpse was found with signs of cruel torture in a ranch 2km from the Petalcingo community. On 27 July, relatives of Mr. Tony Reynaldo, together with ejidal authorities, members of civil society from Tila, and representatives of the Digna Ochoa Committee denounced the forcible disappearance, torture, and extrajudicial execution in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. However, the penal evidence […] only suggests that there has been launched an investigation into a ‘simple homicide.’” Furthermore, the communique mentions that after having denounced the case, Mrs. Cruz Pérez and other relatives had received death-threats on the part of members of groups who have links to paramilitary groups such as “Peace and Justice.”

In light of this situation, the OMCT requests that civil society write to the Mexican authorities demanding that they immediately adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the security of the relatives and representatives of Tony Gutiérrez, and carry out an immediate, independent, exhaustive, and impartial investigation into the case.

For more information (in Spanish):

México: Alegaciones de desaparición, tortura y ejecución extrajudicial del Sr. Gutiérrez López_temor por seguridad de familiares (OMCT, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

Urgen a investigar muerte de indígena chol (La Jornada, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)


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