National/International: Mexico, Fourth Most Dangerous Country for Human Rights Defenders (Frontline Defenders)

February 16, 2020

global_analysis_2019_cover_0

On February 12th, the Frontline Defenders (FLD) organization publicly presented its “Global Analysis 2019” report in Mexico City, in which it pointed out that Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world to defend human and environmental rights: in 2019, it recorded more than 200 of the 304 documented murders in 31 countries globally. It also reported that four of the five most dangerous countries for activism are part of the subcontinent (with 68% of cases). FLD explained that the five countries with the highest number of murders of defenders in 2019 were Colombia with 106, the Philippines – the only non-American country on the list – with 43, Honduras with 31, Mexico with 23 and also Brazil with 23.

Mexico is also the most dangerous country for environmental defenders: 75% of the 23 murders documented by FLD in the country were against nature defenders and against extractive or development megaprojects in which “there are powerful corporate interests and of public officials and possible profits at stake.” 20% of the murders were against women (internationally the figure was 13%). In addition, by 2020, “we have already documented at least three murders of defenders (two in Michoacan and one in Ciudad Juarez)”.

FDL regretted that impunity remains the norm. In the case of Mexican, in at least 11 cases investigations were initiated without results so far. Impunity is common even in cases identified as “emblematic”, not only with murdes but also in the “high level of criminalization of environmental defenders, who are exposed to physical aggressions, acts of legal intimidation and threats, in particular women, indigenous people and sexual diversity groups.”

Jesus Peña, deputy representative in Mexico of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, present at the event condemned the unfortunate fourth place and stressed that “the best form of protection is undoubtedly the fight against impunity in which many of the aggressions are.”

For more information in Spanish:

México, el cuarto país más peligroso en el mundo para ambientalistas y defensores, revela ONG (Sin Embargo, 13 de febrero de 2020)

Colocan a México como el 4° país más peligroso para defensores de DH (La Jornada, 12 de febrero de 2020)

Ambientalistas, 70 % de los activistas asesinadas en 2019 : ONG (El Universal, 12 de febrero de 2020)

Análisis global 2019 (Human Rights Defenders, enero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Red TdT Publishes Human Rights Balance for 2019 (January 13, 2020)

Nacional: 28 activistas asesinados en 2019 por rechazar proyectos del gobierno, según organizaciones civiles.  (December 2, 2019)

National/International: “When Words Are Not Enough” – Amnesty International Report almost One Year after AMLO Takes Office (December 4, 2019)

National: Mexico Sixth Most Dangerous Country for Environmentalists According to Global Witness; 12 Activists Killed in 2019 (October 13, 2019)

National: 21 Environmental Defenders Murdered in 2018 (CEMDA) (April 1, 2019)


International/National: UNHCHR Calls on Mexican State to Increase Efforts to Effectively Implement General Law on Forced Disappearance of Persons

January 21, 2020

1028CBF9-1BAB-4B70-9148-E6CB3F181161Photo @ novedadesaca.mx

On January 14th, the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) called on the Mexican State in a statement to redouble efforts to advance the effective implementation of the General Law for Matters of Forced Disappearance of Persons, Disappearance committed by Individuals and on the National Persons Search System.

Two years after the entry into force of this law, the UNHCHR announced that “the publication of new official information and public recognition of the problem are advances. Likewise, it has observed progress in the institutional consolidation of the National Search Commission and the formation of the majority of the state commissions.”Two years after the entry into force of this law, the UN-DH announced that “the publication of new official information and public recognition of the problem are progress. Likewise, it has observed progress in the institutional consolidation of the National Search Commission and in the formation of the majority of the state search commissions.”

However, “it is still necessary to continue promoting legislative harmonization and institutional consolidation. In this regard, there are 23 federated entities to pass their local legislation harmonized with the General Law; 28 do not have a harmonized law of special declaration of absence; seven must still form their prosecutor’s office specializing in crimes of disappearance and three have yet to create their local commission.”

It considered that in relation to a diagnosis that favors the design of better strategies for the attention and eradication of disappearances “it is worrisome that there is still no full collaboration in the matter between the federation and the states. An example of this is that not all state law enforcement agencies have sent updated or complete information on missing persons for their incorporation into the National Registry of Missing and Unlocated Persons.”

It especially encouraged the state authorities to continue advancing “in the adoption of the programs, registries and databases established in the Law and to continue working to strengthen the search and research efforts, through institutional, budgetary and regulations. ”And to all the authorities involved in consolidating the operation of the Extraordinary Forensic Identification Mechanism.

Finally, it invited the Mexican State to strengthen the spaces for collaboration and technical assistance with specialized international organizations.National Search Commission and in the formation of the majority of the state search commissions. ”

However, “it is still necessary to continue promoting legislative harmonization and institutional consolidation. In this regard, there are 23 federated entities to pass their local legislation harmonized with the General Law; 28 do not have a harmonized law of special declaration of absence; seven must still form their prosecutor’s office specializing in crimes of disappearance and three have yet to create their local commission. ”

It considered that in relation to a diagnosis that favors the design of better strategies for the attention and eradication of disappearances “it is worrisome that there is still no full collaboration in the matter between the federation and the states. An example of this is that not all state law enforcement agencies have sent updated or complete information on missing persons for their incorporation into the National Registry of Missing and Unlocated Persons.”

It especially encouraged the state authorities to continue advancing “in the adoption of the programs, registries and databases established in the Law and to continue working to strengthen the search and research efforts, through institutional, budgetary and regulations measures”, and to all the authorities involved in consolidating the operation of the Extraordinary Forensic Identification Mechanism.

Finally, it invited the Mexican State to strengthen the spaces for collaboration and technical assistance with specialized international organizations.

For more information in Spanish:

ONU-DH: a dos años de su entrada en vigor, es necesario redoblar esfuerzos en la implementación de la ley sobre desaparición de personas (ONU-DH, 14 de enero de 2020)

ONU-DH presiona para que gobiernos implementen ley sobre desaparición de personas (Proceso, 14 de enero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)

Guerrero: Body of Activist Arnulfo Cero Found in Hidden Grave More than One Month after his Disappearance in Tlapa de Comonfort (November 24, 2019)

International/National : Un Human Rights Committee Issues 48 Human Rights Recommendations for Mexico (November 12, 2019)

Nacional: Se lleva a cabo el coloquio “El Estado de la Búsqueda de Desaparecidos en Guerrero. Retos y perspectivas” (November 6, 2019)


Chiapas/International: Second Encounter of Women Who Struggle Held by EZLN

January 13, 2020

36D0A1FA-3181-4746-AC97-FBE38419734E@Enlace Zapatista

On December 27th, the Second International Encounter of Women who Struggle was convened by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and took place in Morelia from December 27th to 29th. It was inaugurated by Commander Amada, who indicated in her speech that “we have done everything possible to make you happy and safe. It seems easy to say, but we know very well that there are very few places in the world where we can be happy and safe (…) all, regardless of the calendar we have or the geography in which we live, we are in the same situation: the struggle for our rights as women we are. For example, our right to life. And this is where we are sad because, more than a year after the first meeting, we cannot give good accounts. Around the world they continue to kill women, they continue to disappear, they continue to rape them, they continue to despise them. In this year the number of violated, disappeared and murdered has not stopped. What we know is that it has increased.”

In total, women from 49 countries were present, men were not allowed during the three days of the meeting. As of December 26th, 3,259 women and 95 boys and girls had been registered, but many participants also arrived without prior registration. The program proposed a different approach for each day: “Today is a single reporting table and here the microphone will be open. Here we will be able to pass and take the floor and take out our anger, our courage from everything we do (…). And then, tomorrow we have to share the ideas, work and experiences that you bring to find ways to end this nightmare of pain and death. And on the last day of this meeting we will dedicate it to culture, art and celebration. So one day we shout our pains and courage. Another day we share ideas and experiences. And on the third day we shout for joy and strength. Because we are women who suffer. But we are also women who think and organize themselves.” Apart from the official activities, there were several spontaneous discussions and workshops facilitated by women participants who arrived with knowledge or a special interest that they wanted to share with the other women.

Regarding the results and proposals of the meeting, during the closing, Commander Yesica Commander summarized what was agreed upon “1. That we all make and know the proposals as it comes in our thinking on the issue of violence against women. That is, proposals for how to stop this serious problem that we have as women that we are (…) 2. That if any woman in any part of the world, of any age, of any color asks you for help because she is attacked with violence, we respond to her called and let’s look for ways to support it, protect it and defend it. (…) 3. That all the groups and organizations of women who fight that want to coordinate for joint actions exchange with each other ways of communicating with each other, either by telephone or internet or whatever.”

Both the inauguration and the closure were accompanied by the Zapatista women parts of the armed branch of the EZLN in the form of a military exercise.

In the end, the event ended with a final proposal by the Zapatistas: “We propose that each day [on March 8, 2020] each organization or group do what they think is best. And we each carry the color or signal that identifies us, according to the thought and mode of each one. But we all wear black in pain and sorrow for all missing and murdered women around the world. So that we tell you, in all languages, in all geographies and with all calendars: That they are not alone. That we need them. That we miss them. We do not forget them. That we need them. Because we are women who fight. And we don’t sell ourselves, we don’t surrender and we don’t give up.”

For more information in Spanish:

PALABRAS DE LAS MUJERES ZAPATISTAS EN LA INAUGURACIÓN DEL SEGUNDO ENCUENTRO INTERNACIONAL DE MUJERES QUE LUCHAN (Enlace Zapatista el 27 de diciembre de 2019)

PALABRAS DE LAS MUJERES ZAPATISTAS EN LA CLAUSURA DEL SEGUNDO ENCUENTRO INTERNACIONAL DE MUJERES QUE LUCHAN (Enlace Zapatista el 31 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: EZLN lleva a cabo el 26 aniversario de su levantamiento (3 de enero de 2020)

Chiapas/Nacional : Se lleva a cabo Foro en Defensa del Territorio y la Madre Tierra en el nuevo caracol zapatista Jacinto Canek 26 de diciembre de 2019.

Chiapas/Nacional: se lleva a cabo 4ª Asamblea del CNI-CIG en San Cristóbal de Las Casas 21 de diciembre de 2019.

Chiapas: EZLN – Una Ballena en las montañas del sureste mexicano: Segundo Festival de Ciné zapatista 18 de diciembre de 2019.

Chiapas: EZLN convoca al Segundo Encuentro Internacional de Mujeres que Luchan (20 de septiembre de 2019)

Chiapas: Primer Encuentro Internacional Político, Artístico, Deportivo y Cultural de Mujeres que Luchan (13 de marzo de 2018)


Chiapas/National: Forum in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth Held in New Zapatista Caracol Jacinto Canek

January 13, 2020

35E69EA4-3CF9-46B0-9106-0DB17A7BCB79@Radio Pozol

On December 21st and 22nd, the Forum in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth was held in the new Jacinto Canek caracol, at the Cideci/Unitierra facilities in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Convened by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), it was attended by more than 900 people from 25 Mexican states and 24 countries.

The welcome was given by the former candidate for the presidency and spokesperson of the CIG, María de Jesus Patricio Martinez, Marichuy. During the event, presentations and testimonies were made by peoples and organizations in Mexico, as well as of indigenous peoples of Colombia, the Mapuche people of Chile and Kurdish women, with an emphasis on the impacts that megaprojects have on the territory and Mother Earth. We also heard stories of struggle and resistance to continue defending life through organization, collectivity, autonomy, legal action, direct action or the strengthening of one’s own cultures.

It is also worth mentioning the participation of 20 men and women from the Zapatista support bases that explained how for more than 20 years they have made progress in consolidating their own forms of government without omitting the difficulties they have encountered along the way. “The ‘Fourth Annihilation’ will destroy everyone, there will be a lot of sadness, but it gives us courage and anger to see how they continue to deceive our brothers, the situation that comes with the new government that is dispossession. Therefore, given this, we can only resist and face the war of the Fourth Annihilation,” said one of the Zapatista delegates. He also said that “to fight or organize you do not need to be a Zapatista, the important thing is to fight and face the bad system, let’s carry out a great task and take you to work with other colleagues, that is the only way to defend what we have.”

At the end of the event, some agreements were made among which is the convening of Days in Defense of the Territory and Mother Earth “Samir Somos Todxs”, for February 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2020.

The next day, the Jacinto Canek caracol was formally inaugurated, in the facilities of the Cideci/Unitierra, in San Cristobal de Las Casas, from where the Good Government Council will work as “Flower of our word, light of our peoples that reflects for all”.

For more information in Spanish:

Foro en Defensa del Territorio y la Madre Tierra [audios y fotos] (Radio zapatista, 24 de diciembre de 2019)

Indígenas acuerdan conformar modelo económico paralelo al capitalista (Aristegui Noticias, 23 de diciembre de 2019)

Bases del EZLN advierten que seguirán resistiendo la “Cuarta Aniquilación” (Proceso, 23 de diciembre de 2019)

EZLN: al capitalismo no le importa destruirnos; no lo permitamos (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2019)

PROGRAMA DEL FORO EN DEFENSA DEL TERRITORIO Y LA MADRE TIERRA (Enlace zapatista, 20 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional: se lleva a cabo 4ª Asamblea del CNI-CIG en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (21 de diciembre de 2019)

Chiapas: EZLN – Una Ballena en las montañas del sureste mexicano: Segundo Festival de Ciné zapatista (18 de diciembre de 2019)

Chiapas/Nacional : CNI- CIG “vivimos la guerra del capital contra los pueblos del mundo”, convocatoria a la cuarta Asamblea Nacional (8 de noviembre de 2019)

Chiapas/Nacional/Internacional: EZLN invita a participar en el “Combo por la Vida: Diciembre de Resistencia y Rebeldía” (7 de noviembre de 2019)


National/International: Consultation on Maya Train did not Meet International Standards

January 4, 2020

7727E51E-85FA-4B7C-A346-EF6F1BE0557F@Aristegui Noticias

In a statement published on December 19th, the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) said that the indigenous consultation process on the “Maya Train Development Project”, “has not complied with all international standards in the field.”

It reported that it participated as an observer in this process and attended four of the 15 regional information assemblies and eight of the 15 regional consultative assemblies in Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan, Tabasco and Quintana Roo.

“While the Office recognizes the decision of the Government of Mexico to make efforts to respect, protect and guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples, including their right to consultation and consent for the aforementioned project and welcomes the participation of multiple governmental entities in the process, it observed that the call, the protocol and the information presented only referred to the possible benefits of the project and not to the negative impacts that it could cause,” says the statement regarding the limitations of the informed nature of the process.

In other concerns, the UNHCHR noted that although “during the briefings and in the consultative stage, some authorities stated that the guarantee of various economic, social and cultural rights was not conditional on the acceptance of the project”, “as a consequence of the way in which the project was presented and the sessions were developed, the people of the communities expressed their agreement with the project as a means to receive attention to basic needs such as water, health, education, work, housing, healthy environment and culture, a logic that affects the free nature of the query.”

The UN DH also expressed concern about the cultural adequacy of the process, when the methodology of the process was not built and agreed with the communities involved. “This implied that the definition of whom to consult, where to do it and at what time it was established unilaterally by the authorities,” it said.

It deplored the low participation and representation of indigenous women in the process and that “the majority of those who participated were municipal and ejidal authorities, leaving out other groups and people who are part of the communities.”

It also stressed that the purpose of the information and consultative assemblies was to “establish agreements with the communities regarding their participation in the implementation and distribution of benefits, which could imply that the project will be done regardless of the outcome of the consultation.”

For more information in Spanish:

Consulta por Tren Maya no cumple estándares internacionales: ONU (La Jornada, 19 de diciembre de 2019)

Consulta sobre el Tren Maya incumple estándares internacionales: ONU-DH (Proceso, 19 de diciembre de 2019)

Rechaza ONU consulta ciudadana del Tren Maya (El Universal, 19 de diciembre de 2019)

ONU-DH emite observaciones sobre consulta de Tren Maya (Excelsior, 19 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: los participantes de la Consulta Indígena aceptaron el proyecto del Tren Maya, autoridades; sigue sin respetarse convenio 169 de la OIT, OSC(17 de diciembre de 2019)

Nacional: Organizaciones civiles, indígenas, y académicos se pronuncian en contra de la consulta por proyecto del Tren Maya. 9 de diciembre de 2019.

Nacional: Inicia proceso de licitación del Tren maya sin consulta previa a pueblos indígenas 4 de mayo de 2019

México: Consulta sobre el Tren Maya y 9 otros proyectos “prioritarios” del próximo gobierno 27 de noviembre de 2018

Nacional: AMLO anuncia consulta para la construcción por el tren maya 10 de noviembre de 2018


International/National/Chiapas: Eighth Anniversary of Banavil Displaced, Seeking International Monitoring of Problem of Internal Forced Displacement

December 5, 2019

banavilVictims of internal forced displacement @SIPAZ

Eight years after their forced internal displacement (FID) and the forced disappearance of Alonso Lopez Luna, a Tseltal family from the Banavil community, Tenejapa, continues to seek solutions to their demands.

It is important to remember that the main demands are in line with Recommendation CEDH / VGEAAI / 003/2017 of the State Commission of Human Rights of the State of Chiapas. This recommendation was approved on April 24th, 2017 by the Secretary General of the State of Chiapas.

The anniversary of the forced displacement of the family is commemorated a few days after the Joint Service of Characterization of Displaced Population (JSCDP) made an exploratory visit to Mexico (including a special visit to Chiapas), with the objective of “strengthening the technical capacities of the players that affect the attention of internal forced displacement; as well as contributing to quantitative and qualitative research work on the phenomenon in the country, in addition to establishing bases for a long-term strategy and joint work on prevention and care policies.” They concluded their visit by presenting recommendations to the Mexican State.

In addition, on November 22nd, organizations, victims of forced internal displacement, members of the academic sector, human rights defenders and journalists requested through a letter addressed to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, “which is included in the agenda for special procedures visits next year 2020, the visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, who has requested a visit to Mexico since 2015.”

For more information in Spanish:

Solicitud de visita a México de la Relatora Especial sobre los derechos humanos de los desplazados internos en carácter prioritario (CMDPDH, 22 de noviembre de 2019)

Participa CEAVE en mesa de trabajo para el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (Fiscalia General del Estado de Chihuahua, 2 de diciembre de 2019)

Recomendación: CEDH/ 03/2017-R. (CEDH)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: A 7 años de los hechos violentos que suscitaron el desplazamiento forzado de familias de Banavil (7 de diciembre de 2018)

Chiapas: displaced families from Banavil return to their home to celebrate the Day of the Dead (November 3, 2018)

Chiapas: Banavil Displaced Families Remember the Death of Antonia Lopez Luna (March 5, 2017)

Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil siguen exigiendo justicia tras 5 años de desplazamiento forzado (2 de diciembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Banavil Displaced Families Announce Provisional Return to their Community for Day of the Dead. (November 2, 2016)


Chiapas: MODEVITE Receives Recognition for Environmental Defense in Chiapas

December 4, 2019

MODEVITE@Proceso

On November 27th, the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Chiapas environmentalist Mariano Abarca Roblero, who defended the rights of nature in the municipality of Chicomuselo from the year 2007 when he saw the socio-environmental effects of the Canadian mining company BlackFire that extracts the mineral from Barita, was remembered in that same municipality. After several threats by company workers he was killed. Since then, his family has carried out a long process with the support of various organizations demanding justice and punishment for the culprits.

In commemoration of his murder, relatives of the environmentalist as well as 32 national and international organizations convened the “Mariano Abarca” Environmental Defense Forum in Chiapas, which was held on November 27th, 2019 at the Sala de Bellas Artes in San Cristobal de Laa Casas.

In the framework of this event, the “Mariano Abarca Award”, the first recognition of environmental defense in Chiapas, was also given to the indigenous organization Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) that is present in 11 municipalities of the state populated by Tseltales, Tsotsiles and Ch’oles from the area of ​​Los Altos and La Selva and which is also part of the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas. The prize that was awarded must recognize “year after year the community, collective or organization of the State of Chiapas, Mexico, that with their struggle for the defense of the rights of nature they defend their peoples, and they defend us all, dignify life, make us not lose hope that Other Worlds are possible” as indicated in the blog dedicated to the “Justice for Mariano Abarca” campaign.

Gustavo Castro of the Other Worlds organization stressed that “the first recognition of the environmental defense in Chiapas 2019 granted to MODEVITE means that we see it, accompany it, make it visible and thank you for your struggle for the good of all peoples.”

The forum was also an important occasion to share experiences of various groups and organizations in defense of land and territory. In the first part, the Movement for the Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE), the Popular Front for the Defense of Soconusco “June 20” (FPDS in its Spanish acronym), Somos La Maya, Zoques in Defense of Life and the Territory (Zodevite), a representative of the Pascacio Gamboa Community, Ixtacomitán and the Regional Council of Agricultural Authorities in Defense of the Territory (CRAADT), an active organization in the Mountains and Costa Chica area of ​​the state of Guerrero participated.

In addition, specialists and panelists from different human rights organizations and institutions were invited. Norma Gonzalez Benitez of Amnesty International attended with an analysis on the criminalization of human rights defenders and the environment in Mexico, Edgar Cortes of the Mexican Institute of Human Rights and Democracy (IMDHD in its Spanish acronym) who spoke on the Mechanism for the Protection of Defenders of Human Rights and Journalists and finally the Swedish Movement for Reconciliation (SweFOR) shared their experiences on the accompaniment work of human rights and environmental defenders and their situation in Chiapas.

For more information in Spanish:

MODEVITE recibirá Reconocimiento a la Defensa Ambiental “Mariano Abarca” (Chiapas Paralelo el 20 de noviembre de 2019)

Exigen justicia a 10 años del asesinato del activista Mariano Abarca; Modevite obtiene premio con su nombre (Proceso el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

PREMIO A LA DEFENSA AMBIENTAL (Justicia para Mariano Abarca el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

Entregarán el primer “Premio Mariano Abarca” al MODEVITE (Educa el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

PRIMER RECONOCIMIENTO A LA DEFENSA AMBIENTAL EN CHIAPAS 2019 “MARIANO ABARCA” (Otros Mundos el 19 de noviembre de 2019)

La minera canadiense Blackfire en Chiapas contra defensores de los territorios y de la vida (REMA el 18 de octubre de 2017)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Megaperegrinación del Movimiento en Defensa de La Vida y del Territorio (MODEVITE) en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (21 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas : Creciente polarización en Chilón ante posible cambio de modo de elección, del sistema oficial al por usos y costumbres. (15 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas: Expresiones de solidaridad y preocupación ante los hostigamientos a integrantes del CEDIAC y de la Misión Jesuita de Bachajón (20 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Modevite ratifica su rechazo a la construcción de la super carretera entre San Cristóbal de las Casas y Palenque (2 de mayo de 2019)

Chiapas: realizan foro sobre Libre determinación(10 de agosto de 2018)

Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determinationm (November 24, 2017)

Chiapas: Movement in Defense of Life and Territory 12-Day Pilgrimage Ends in San Cristobal de Las Casas (December 2, 2016)