International/National/Chiapas: Director of Internal Displacement Monitoring Center Highlights Problem in Mexico

July 31, 2019

DisplacementCamp for displaced persons from Colonia Puebla in SCLC @AlexandraBilak

On July 24th, Alexandra Bilak, director of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC in its Spanish acronym), visited displaced people from Puebla ejido in the municipality of Chenalho.

The IDMC is an internationally recognized organization that publishes figures and analysis on internal forced displacement (FID). This organization visited the camp where FID victims are currently living in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

Excelsior newspaper reported that during her visit Bilak “heard testimonies of women and men who are going through this process, as part of a global report. She also noted the conditions in which these families are, in order to know the methodology with which they are cared for and to support the states that are engaged in the matter.”

On the visit, Bilak highlighted that it is a great injustice that they have been displaced for three years “with limited services and under constant threat of new violence.”

During her visit to Mexico, she also met with the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym), the Mexican Commission for Assistance to Refugees (COMAR in its Spanish acronym), the United Nations and other international organizations. She stressed that a first step to address internal displacement in Mexico is to have reliable figures on the phenomenon, which currently do not exist. Without these figures, Bilak pointed out that the magnitude of the problem is not known, nor how it affects children, or is related to sexual violence.

In addition, she drew attention to the lack of an official government authority to monitor internal displacement and attend to those affected. In her presentation, Bilak also posed challenges and advances on the adoption of a general law on the subject that could be based on the experience of other countries, and request the support of organizations for the elaboration of this.

The coordinator of COMAR, Andres Ramirez Silva, “stressed that the institution in charge, for example, serves foreigners who request shelter, but there is no institution that cares for the internally displaced in Mexico (…) emphasized that the general law in the matter, will have to create the budget and the structures that see to the phenomenon, as well as clarify the role that COMAR will play in the issue of internal displacement, since its operational capacity has been limited to foreign flows.”

For more information in Spanish:

“Crimen Desplazó en México a 380 mil personas” El Universal, 24 de julio de 2019.

Realiza IDMC informe de desplazados en Chiapas Excelsior, 25 de julio de 2019.

Urgen en México leyes y recursos para atender desplazamiento forzado Mi Punto de Vista, 23 de julio de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Interceptan hombres armados a integrantes del CDH Ku’untik y un desplazado del ejido Puebla. (June 24, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Piden CIDH y ONU crear ley para atender a víctimas de desplazamiento forzado (April 18, 2019)

National: Deputies Declare Forced Displacement a Crime (April 15, 2019)

Nacional/Chiapas: la Comisión de Pueblos Indígenas de la Cámara de diputados exhorta a diversas autoridades a resolver la problemática causada por el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (February 19, 2019)

Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas (October 30, 2018)

Chiapas: Nace la organización “Coordinadora de Personas Desplazadas del Estado de Chiapas” (July 25, 2018)

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National/International: “Government Should Halt Abuses of Public and Private Companies”: Civil Society Focal Group on Companies and Human Rights

July 12, 2019

CompaniesPhoto @ Animal Politico

On July 4th, 2019, the Civil Society Focal Group of on Companies and Human Rights, which is made up of different national and international organizations, among others, Oxfam Mexico and Services and Consultancy for Peace (SERAPAZ in its Spanish acronym), published a statement in which it demands that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) “attends to human rights violations committed by companies” in Mexico.

It specifies that given the human rights crisis and omnipresent impunity in the country, the government has the obligation to “act with consistency and ensure respect for individual and collective guarantees also in their commitment to megaprojects and all collaboration agreements it makes with large Mexican and foreign companies.”

The Group identifies as a fundamental point that the recommendations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights are respected, in addition to international agreements, such as the Escuazu Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, be ratified and put into action. Manifesting that “the balance between development projects and respect for the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples over their territories and natural commons is necessary, particularly as regards megaprojects such as the Dos Bocas Refinery, the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmus corridor, roads and dams, among others, without neglecting campesino communities and respect for labor and union rights.”

They conclude that government strategies, such as the National Human Rights Program, should contemplate “a discussion on the responsibility of companies in the matter”, in addition to promoting solid public policies incorporating a human rights approach. This is necessary so that the ten billion dollars of foreign direct investment entering the country are applied coherently between economic interests and the aforementioned rights.

For more information in Spanish:

México: Grupo Focal de Empresas y Derechos Humanos recuerda al gobierno que está pendiente atender a violaciones de derechos humanos cometidos por empresas (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 4 de julio de 2019)

Atender violaciones a derechos humanos cometidas por empresas, otra tarea pendiente de la 4T (Comunicado del Grupo Focal en CEMDA, 4 de julio de 2019)

Gurría pide congruencia a AMLO en megaproyectos; “no tiene autoridad moral”, le responde (El Sol de México, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Ante los megaproyectos, el mega-reproche: AMLO no cumple (Proceso, 9 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Cuarto aniversario del Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusno en Acacoyagua (June 24th, 2019)

Oaxaca: Es publicado el decreto del decreto del Corredor Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec; se movilizan para detener su instrumentación (June 15th, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13, 2018)


International/National: #DefensoresSinMuros-DefendersBeyondWalls Campaign Calls for End to Attacks against Defenders of Migrants’ Rights

July 8, 2019

MigrantsPhoto @ El Heraldo

The National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (Red TDT in its Spanish acronym), the Migration Issues Program (PRAMI in its Spanish acronym) of the Mexico City-Tijuana Ibero-American University and the international non-governmental organization Frontline Defenders launched the #DefensoresSinMuros – #DefendersBeyondWalls campaign. The new campaign aims to “highlight the valuable work of organizations, activists, groups and shelters, in the face of a report (August 2019) that documents and calls for an end to attacks against the defenders of migrants’ human rights along the migratory routes to the United States.”

“In the campaign, defenders who walked alongside the caravans, migrant homes, shelters and organizations that are on the road and carry out humanitarian work and defense of human rights are presented in a context in which criminalization is on the rise. The faces of the campaign are journalists and researchers who document the impacts with a gender approach of displacement and violence against migrants; humanitarian workers offering water and food to families traveling through the deadliest corridors of the Sonoran Desert; queer activists who create communities and physical spaces for undocumented queer and trans communities and attorneys who offer free legal assistance; among many other people who have fighting for a more just world with more solidarity for all in common.”

The new campaign began in the context of a hectic period on migration issues. Amnesty International (AI) reported that, “since 2018, the US government has carried out an illegal and discriminatory campaign of intimidation, threats, harassment and criminal investigations against people who defend the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on the border between Mexico and the United States.”

In relation to the new policy adopted by the US government that specifically returns certain immigrants seeking asylum to Mexico, in recent days the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that “those seeking asylum from Central America, Cuba and Africa – including 4,780 children – face ‘potentially dangerous and unsustainable conditions’ after the US authorities send them back to Mexico.”

“While waiting for the US government to accept their asylum claims, migrants and activists who support them are exposed to harassment, intimidation, insecurity, exploitation and overcrowded conditions, warned the HRW organizations, Amnesty International (AI) and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym).”

The CNDH noted that in Mexico the recent modification of migration policies has generated a greater presence of immigration authorities and security forces in the northern and southern borders of the national territory, as well as the detention of people in the context of migration in different cities of our country. The fifth visitor of the National Commission of Human Rights, Edgar Corzo, said that, “for all the euphemisms to be found, the government detains migrants in centers (…) than what happens with migrants who are taken to the migratory centers, there is deprivation of liberty, where the minimum conditions of survival or a decent treatment are not guaranteed.”

The CNDH said that “it is necessary that organizations and activists receive the full and permanent support of the authorities of the three levels of government and of society as a whole; that it does not discredit or criminalize their work, since contexts that are not conducive to the defense of fundamental rights are generated, and that the intervention of the authorities in the migratory issue does not affect, for any reason, the work of people and organizations dedicated to the defense of people in the context of mobility.”

For more information in Spanish:

Campaña #DefendersBeyondWalls/#DefensoresSinMuros (Frontline Defenders, 3 de julio de 2019)

Amnistía, HRW y CNDH reclaman a gobierno de AMLO trato a migrantes (Expansión Política, 2 de julio de 2019)

CNDH acusa al gobierno de AMLO de privar de la libertad a migrantes (Milenio, 2 de julio de 2019)

Pide CNDH respaldo de gobiernos a defensores de migrantes (La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2019)

La CNDH acusa a la Comar de incumplir con la protección de 112 solicitantes de refugio entre 2017 y 2018 (Sin Embargo, 2 de juliode 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants (July 2, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released (June 17, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture” (June 9, 2019)


National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants

July 2, 2019

Migration@Chiapas Paralelo

Since June 14th, the agreement between Mexico and the United States to contain the flow of migrants in recent months has involved a militarization of both borders, according to human rights organizations.

On the southern border, the arrival of six thousand elements of the National Guard (GN in its Spanish acronym) was announced. In addition, “elements of the 101st Infantry Battalion of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) stationed in the Chiapas sierra put on a black armband with the initials GN (National Guard) and began patrolling in the Comalapa Border municipalities and others of the sierra de Chiapas”, this occurring after “the number of migrants using this road multiplied, after the route that starts from the Suchiate River and runs along the coast of Chiapas became more difficult, with the integration of elements of the Military Police and the Marina in the checkpoints”, Chiapas Paralelo reported a few days after the signing of the agreement.

The civil organizations that work on behalf of the migrants expressed their concern about the “double discourse” of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), which changed from a humanitarian policy to a militarist one. They accused the federal government of having let “the administration of Donald Trump, extend its border domain to southern Mexico.” They also indicated that the increase in police and military surveillance will not stop migration but will lead them to resort to more dangerous and risky routes for their security and integrity. They are also concerned about the tendency to stigmatize all civil society organizations, increasing the risks for migrant advocates and closing possible channels of dialogue. They warned that there is little clarity in the functions of the GN: “since March 2011, when migration was decriminalized as a crime, this was left as an administrative fault and the INM (National Institute of Migration) as the only authority empowered to detain migrants. However, now everyone is doing it doing, Marines, Army, Federal Police, state police bodies and even municipal police”, Chiapas Paralelo points out.

Another problem linked to the strategy of containment has to do with the saturation of migratory centers that are exceeded in their capacity by up to 400 percent with “overcrowded conditions, without health or adequate food or sufficient access to health services”. The fifth visitor of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Edgar Corzo Sosa, also pointed out the lack of personnel and infrastructure to process requests for refuge or regulation of migratory stay.

Civil organizations have also reported that the INM has asked transport companies to collaborate to prevent the entry of undocumented persons into their vehicles, which some of them agreed to do when the Institute threatened to sue them for crimes comparable to trafficking in persons, with penalties of between one thousand and ten thousand days penalty or up to 16 years in prison. The CSOs will question that the latter action hinders “free transit, not only for this population, but also for Mexican people” since there are “millions of people living in Mexico -who do not have these documents- and they travel on the roads of the country in different transportation systems: young people, agricultural day laborers -of which, many are indigenous, immigrants with immigration documents, thousands of Mexican returnees or deportees who do not have identity documents, and those who do not have their credentials from the INE because they were stolen, they have not updated it, etc.”

In the Northern Border, “we have a total deployment between the National Guard and army units of almost 15,000 men”, the Secretary of National Defense, Luis Cresentcio Sandoval, acknowledged during AMLO’s morning conference on June 25th. He affirmed that “considering that migration is not a crime, it is an administrative problem, so we only stop them and put them at the disposition of the authorities” of the National Institute of Migration. In this same framework, AMLO confirmed that the National Guard troops do detentions of migrants in aid of the INM authorities. He declared that, “there may be these excesses, but the instruction they all have is that the human rights of migrants be respected and that will continue that way.”

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones, activistas y defensores denuncian doble discurso del gobierno de AMLO en política migratoria (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de junio de 2019)

Por “contingencia migratoria”, personas sin identificación oficial no podrán abordar en ADO y ETN (Proceso, 18 de junio de 2019)

Acciones para contener migración en el país ponen en peligro libertad de tránsito de población mexicana (OSC, 19 de junio de 2019)

Organizaciones denuncian que medidas gubernamentales contra migrantes son anticonstitucionales (Desinformémonos, 20 de junio de 2019)

15 mil elementos de la Guardia Nacional impedirán el cruce de migrantes hacia EU (Animal Político, 24 de junio de 2019)

Puede Guardia Nacional detener a migrantes: López Obrador (Excelsior, 25 de junio de 2019)

For more information SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released (June 17, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture” (June 9, 2019)


National/Guerrero: VIDEO of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case Belies “Historic Truth”

June 27, 2019
sipaz blog Iguala

@nytimes

In recent days, a video showing acts of torture against Carlos Canto Salgado during his detention in the case of Ayotzinapa was made public by several media outlets.

According to information from Aristegui Noticias, “Canto was arrested by elements of the Federal Ministerial Police and the Secretariat of the Navy (SEMAR in its Spanish acronym); his case is one of 34 cases in which the UNHR found “strong elements of conviction” that indicate the commission of acts of torture, in addition to other human rights violations.”

“In response to accusations like that of the UN, the Attorney General’s Office (PGR in its Spanish) – now the Attorney General of the Republic – denied having built the so-called “historical truth” based on torture and affirmed that it only verified vexations in two cases,” different human rights centers reported. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the Attorney General’s Office to relaunch the investigation of the case, as well as to definitively dismiss the so-called “historical truth”.

The video “confirms that the investigation of the disappearance of the student teachers resorted to practices that violated human rights” and shows “that the internal investigation of the officials who have diverted and obstructed justice is pending.”

It should be recalled that the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) in its recommendation on Ayotzinapa regarding Canto Salgado “expressly concluded that there was no evidence that he had been subjected to asphyxiation or electric shocks, despite the abundance of evidence and despite the repeated complaint of the detainee himself.” The video also proves that the CNDH “covered up this practice with a recommendation that is not reliable”, the organizations SERAPAZ, Tlachinollan, Fundar and CentroProdh indicated.

“It is time to break the chain of complicity and cover-ups around the Ayotzinapa case, and to focus the Mexican State’s efforts on truth and justice for all those involved with strict adherence to human rights,” said Jan Jarab, representative of the UNHR in Mexico.

For more information in Spanish:

ONU pide nueva investigación de caso Ayotzinapa tras video de tortura de detenido (Aristegui Noticias, 24 de junio de 2019)

Video de tortura comprueba inacción de gobierno en caso Ayotzinapa: ONU (Milenio, 24 de junio de 2019)

Video confirma tortura en caso Ayotzinapa y acredita encubrimiento de CNDH: OSC (23 de junio de 2019)

Ayotzinapa: video demuestra uso impune de la tortura en la investigación (Comunicado de Prensa, 23 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Attorney General and SEDENA Denounced for Lack of Interest in Solving Ayotzinapa Case (May 17, 2019)

Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case (March 15, 2019)

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)


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/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released

June 17, 2019

irineo-y-cristobal.png

In the early hours of June 12th, the migrants’ human rights defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, were released after a judge in Tapachula, Chiapas, determined not to put them on trial. A week earlier, they had been arrested accused by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR in its Spanish acronym) of the alleged crime of trafficking in persons, that is, of moving people without documents and supposedly for profit.

The People Without Borders Organization, of which Irineo Mujica is director, had denounced that the accusations against the two activists were “false, the product of a campaign to criminalize by the Mexican government under strong pressure from the US government,” such that in the days leading up to the hearing it was demanding that due process be respected, the right to the presumption of innocence, and that there be real justice for both defenders that it considered were ”scapegoats” of Mexico’s policy to be able to meet the newly signed agreement with the US government.

More than a hundred organizations, collectives and academics had made the same demands, considering that “the deprivation of freedom of both defenders represents a form of criminalization against migrants’ human rights defenders, which threatens the right to defend rights, which is even more worrying in a context as complex as that facing migration in the country.” They also expressed their concern that “from the recent agreements reached by the Mexican government with the United States, sending elements of the National Guard throughout the territory was announced, prioritizing the Southern Border, in order to “reduce irregular migration”, thereby advancing a militarization agenda on the southern border and criminalization of migrants and those who defend and accompany them.”

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a Irineo Mujica y Cristóbal Sánchez; no hay pruebas en su contra (Radio Formula, 12 de junio de 2019)

Liberan a Cristóbal Sánchez e Irineo Mujica defensores de migrantes (Político.MX, 12 de junio de 2019)

Infundadas, acusaciones contra defensores de migrantes: Pueblos Sin Fronteras (Proceso, 10 de junio de 2019)

Irineo Mujica se ofreció a colaborar con la Fiscalía y testificar dos meses antes de ser detenido (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)

Juicio justo para Cristóbal e Irineo, exigen OSC; acusan militarización de la frontera (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)

Criminalizan a defensores de migrantes, denuncian ONG (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2019)

Irineo Mujica y Cristobal Sánchez: ¿los dos primeros presos políticos del Gobierno de López Obrador? (RT, 11 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:    

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)     

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”(June 9, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Human Rights Organizations Demand End to Child and Adolescent Migrant Detentions (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: First Deployment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)