National: Absence of President Lopez Obrador at Presentation of CNDH Report “Disheartening for the Defense of Human Rights”

June 9, 2019

CNDHLuis Raul Gonzalez Perez (@Tribuna)

At a press conference held on June 3rd, the president of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, lamented that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had not found a space in his agenda to receive personally the 2018 annual report of the agency’s activities. This occurred for the first time in the history of the CNDH (which is almost 29 years old) when, in general, an official ceremony was organized in the presence of the president, representatives of civil organizations, and other officials.

The ombudsman reported that, despite the repeated requests of the CNDH to have an event of this nature, the federal government responded that the report would be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, which occurred on the same day as the conference.

Gonzalez Perez lamented that “facts, actions and omissions are beginning to accumulate that, taken as a whole, would make us suppose that seeking the validity of human rights is not being taken on as a premise and limit of all public actions, nor are they adopting relevant measures to reverse the situation that, for several years, our country has faced in various areas.” He affirmed that the previous format, “opened a direct and immediate space so that the CNDH could present before the Federal Executive an annual report on the situation of the same, as well as to reflect, prospectively, on the challenges and situations that demanded special attention for the year in progress, issues that in this 2019 could not materialize, having not generated a space for human rights to be heard.”

Anyway, the ombudsman presented the report of activities 2018 that highlights several areas of concern. In the health sector, and in references to the austerity measures taken by the government, he stressed that, “there are areas in which the allocation of public resources cannot only depend on economic calculations or administrative weights, such as public health services.” He emphasized that, “weakening or rendering public health systems inoperative implies a violation of human rights.”

In terms of security and justice, and after referring to homicides, the head of the CNDH stressed that the outlook “is also far from positive, unless there is a radical change in the approach and magnitude of the institutional response to problems and security needs of people.” He also spoke of “the need to address the crisis that Mexico is experiencing in terms of violence and insecurity, under a comprehensive approach, based on a strategy that prioritizes prevention and is not limited to the rethinking of an eminently reactive body, as is the National Guard, as well as the increase of the crimes to which the mandatory preventive prison would be applicable.”

In the areas of concern, he also mentioned femicides, attacks against journalists and human rights defenders, and disappearances, among others. Gonzalez Perez reported that in 2018 the CNDH issued 101 recommendations, 90 of them ordinary, eight for serious violations and three general ones.

For more information in Spanish:

Lamenta González Pérez que AMLO no acepte conocer informe de CNDH (La Jornada, 3 de junio de 2019)

AMLO no escucha informe de la CNDH; “es un hecho inédito en 29 años”: González Pérez (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de junio de 2019)

“Desalentador”, que AMLO se negara a recibir en ceremonia oficial el informe anual de CNDH: ombudsman (Proceso, 3 de junio de 2019)

CNDH reprocha a AMLO por no dar prioridad a derechos, ataques a contrapesos y recortes en Salud (Animal Político, 3 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

National: NGOs, Activists and CNDH Insist on Necessity that National Guard Be “Truly Civil” (April 8, 2019)

Chiapas/Nacional : emite CNDH recomendaciones a autoridades de Chiapas por desplazamientos forzados en Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (January 18, 2019)

Nacional/Chiapas: Emite CNDH recomendación al anterior titular de Sedena (December 18, 2018)

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

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Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”

June 9, 2019

BorderCivil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast (@RedTdT)

From May 29th to 31st, the “Civil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast” (MCO in its Spanish acronym), composed of 24 organizations from Mexico, Central America and the United States, including SIPAZ, academics and journalists, toured various control points and immigration authorities on the coast and southern border of Chiapas “in order to strengthen the documentation and support that local organizations have made in the face of Central American exoduses in recent months.”

In a press conference at the end of the mission, the organizations asserted that, “the southern border is silent torture.” They denounced that “a militarized security approach continues and is sharpening above the respect and protection of the human rights of people in movement. We documented multiple immigration control points with strong presence of state security forces, particularly federal police and military police, without clarity about their functions and powers in the context of migration“, something that was considered “incongruous with the official discourse of a migration policy that respects human rights.”

They also identified “a strategy of attrition and containment, which is intended to generate fatigue, demobilization and dissuasion of people before access to the right to seek refuge and regularization procedures, as well as to restrict and criminalize human mobility.”

They documented that “immigration detention serves as a strategy of repression and punishment” as “raids and migration control operations have intensified along the entire coast.” They pointed out that “the conditions of immigration detention, which are in themselves violating human rights, have intensified, amounting to forms of physical and psychological torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” In addition to racist and xenophobic practices towards specific groups, they expressed their concern when “families are separated in raids, during detention, release and deportation, thus violating the principle of family unity.” They were also outraged by “the deprivation of freedom of migrant children and adolescents and asylum seekers in detention centers, the lack of humanitarian aid and lack of general respect for their rights, contrary to their Higher Interest.”

The MCO pointed to several flaws in government attention, including “the lack of institutional coordination and co-responsibility among the different levels of government, as well as a lack of comprehensive care protocols on migration and humanitarian issues with a focus on human rights, prevailing improvised reactions, assistance and with an emphasis on security “; as well as the “limitation of human, financial and infrastructure resources.”

Finally, it noted “with particular alarm that the stigmatization and criminalization of migration is increasing, resulting in the denial of the right to due process and to have a defense in immigration procedures. As a result, solidarity and the work of defending human rights is hindered and criminalized.”

Interestingly, on May 30th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador came out in defense of the migrants through a letter stating that “human beings do not leave their villages for pleasure but for necessity”, which was directed to the US president, Donald Trump, who threatened to impose tariffs on domestic products (from five to 25%) if Mexico does not solve the phenomenon of irregular migration.

For more information in Spanish:

La frontera sur es una tortura silenciosa: Misión de Observación (Misión de Observación de la Crisis Humanitaria de Personas Migrantes y Refugiados en el Sureste Mexicano, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Protección migratoria no puede subordinarse a relación México-EU: ONG (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Trump advierte que los aranceles a México aumentarán si no se controla el flujo de inmigrantes ilegales (CNN México, 31 de mayo de 2019)

AMLO defiende a migrantes frente a Trump, pero las detenciones en México se disparan 100% (Animal Político, 1ero de junio de 2019)

Discurso oficial sobre migrantes difiere de la realidad, afirman ONG (La Jornada, 1ero de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

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

Nacional/Internacional: OSC presentan el “Informe del monitoreo de derechos humanos del éxodo centroamericano en el sureste mexicano: octubre 2018 – febrero 2019” (May 3, 2019)

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

National/International: Contrasting Mexican and US Government Approaches to Central American Migration (April 2, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Secretaria de Gobernación se reúne con funcionarios del gobierno de Donald Trumpf para abordar el tema Migración (March5, 2019)

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


Oaxaca: Founder and Director of Community Radio Murdered. Tenth Journalist Murdered under AMLO Government

May 10, 2019

Radio.png@Facebook Victor Mendoza

On May 2nd, Telesforo Santiago Enriquez, founder and communicator of “El Cafetal” 98.7 F.M. community radio, was assassinated in an ambush in the municipality of San Agustin Loxicha, in the southern highlands of Oaxaca. He received multiple bullet wounds while traveling in his car and died instantly.

In his programs, Telesforo, who was also an indigenous education teacher and defender of indigenous languages, covered topics of critical analysis of municipal and state governments. Authorities of the vice attorney of the Costa region are following the necessary procedures, however, until now there are no elements that identify a motive.

The organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 reported that people close to the journalist, said that Telesforo had received threats recently. He indicated that the murder of Telesforo is the third against journalists of community radio stations in the year and the fourth of journalists in the same period. In addition, “Oaxaca is the third most lethal state in Mexico for the press: since the year 2000 there have been 13 murders. These figures exemplify the adverse landscape which community media confront.”

Articulo 19 demanded an “objective, impartial and exhaustive investigation that takes as a first line of investigation the exercise of journalism and that brings the material and intellectual culprits of the crime to justice”; and that the Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB), “be aware of the case and provide the necessary protection measures to protect the integrity of the family and collaborators of Telesforo Santiago.”

For more information:

Asesinan en Oaxaca a director de radio comunitaria El Cafetal (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2019)

Asesinan a Telésforo Santiago Enríquez, fundador y director de una radio comunitaria en Oaxaca (Animal Político, 2 de mayo de 2019)

Emboscan y asesinan a Telésforo Santiago Enríquez, locutor de radio comunitaria en Oaxaca (Radio Formula, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Asesinan a Telésforo Santiago Enríquez en Oaxaca, el tercer comunicador comunitario en el año (Artículo 19, 3 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Reportero herido en atentado inicia huelga de hambre ante retiro de escoltas y nulos avances en investigación. (April 23, 2019)

Oaxaca: periodista es herido con arma de fuego en el Istmo de Tehuantepec (March 22nd, 2019)

National: Several Organizations Express Concern over Freedom of Expression in Mexico (March 19th, 2019)

Oaxaca: siete periodistas denuncian amenaza colectiva vía Facebook (December 14th, 2018)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)


National: AMLO’s Declarations “Authorization and Instigation to Carry out any Attack or Harassment against Journalists”

May 9, 2019

AMLO.png@Gobierno de Mexico

On April 15th, the organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 condemned the statements of the same day of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) who, in his morning conference, suggested that reporters should be “prudent” because otherwise “they know what happens.”

“The message that the President is giving is an authorization and an instigation to carry out any attack or harassment against journalists,” said Sebastian Salamanca, Articulo 19 journalist defense program official. He questioned if with these last statements AMLO is saying how journalists “must act” and suggesting that “they will receive the punishment of the people” if they do not behave properly. “Any follower of Lopez Obrador will interpret these words as tolerance to continue attacking journalists who are critical,” he said.

Just at the morning conference on April 12th, Univision journalist Jorge Ramos contradicted the figures of violence in Mexico offered by Lopez Obrador, a participation that was harshly criticized on social networks by Lopez Obrador’s followers and even by journalists from media close to the president.

Shortly before there was another controversy after AMLO asked the newspaper Reforma to reveal the source that leaked the draft of the letter sent by the Mexican government to King Felipe VI of Spain demanding an apology for the conquest.

Articulo 19 regretted that Lopez Obrador’s most recent statements “add up to a series of attacks” carried out by the President, who on more than one occasion has labeled some critical media as “conservatives” and “fifí [opposition] press”, This is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to practice journalism, according to Reporters Without Borders.

For his part, Jorge Ramos in an article published by the New York Times stressed that “the power-press relationship will always be fraught with tension. But in a democracy under construction like the Mexican one it is fundamental to discuss, defer and dialogue; do not disqualify. The challenge is to continue living together, even if sometimes we do not agree.”

For more information in Spanish:

El mensaje que da AMLO es una autorización para hostigar a periodistas, alerta Artículo 19 (Sin Embargo, 15 de abril de 2019)

“Si ustedes se pasan, pues ya saben lo que sucede”, dice AMLO a los periodistas (ADN Político, 15 de abril de 2019)

Declaraciones de AMLO alientan ataques a periodistas: Artículo 19 (SDP Noticias, 16 de abril de 2019)

El presidente no es el jefe de los periodistas (NY Times, 16 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11th, 2019)

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)


National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico

April 11, 2019

UNHCHR.pngMichelle Bachelet (@CINU)

At the end of her official visit to Mexico, which took place between April 5th and 9th, the United Nations Organization High Commissioner of the for Human Rights (UN-DH), Michelle Bachelet, said she was surprised by the levels of violence and the dimension of the human rights crisis in the country. “It was a surprise to me what I found. Without a doubt, the case of Ayotzinapa is well known by the press, but the 40 thousand disappeared was not something that was so clear, of the 26 thousand bodies without identification (in the forensic services). Or ten women murdered a day. I knew very well about the violence, but I had no idea of ​​the dimension (…) The data are terrifying.” She pointed out that Mexico has figures for violent deaths equivalent to a country at war: 252,538,000 since 2006.

She highlighted outstanding human rights issues in different areas, in particular regarding forced disappearances, femicides, violence against defenders and journalists, torture, abuses against migrants, as well as high poverty rates -especially in indigenous communities- and the need to carry out consultations in accordance with international standards, among others, in order to undertake megaprojects.

The High Commissioner also signed a collaboration agreement on the National Guard and another on the collaboration of the agency in charge of the investigation of the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014).

The former president of Chile stressed that the new authorities of the country “have recognized that Mexico has a human rights crisis,” that there is political will to move forward with the pending issues and that “President Lopez Obrador has expressed his willingness to implement a change of paradigm.” She stressed that in the case of the National Guard, the Mexican government is talking about “accountability, transparency, human rights indicators that allow us to see if the National Guard is indeed going in the right direction or is deviating.” “The office will not hesitate to raise the alarm if it sees that there is any type of situation that does not correspond to the spirit of what is sought and the spirit of the agreement”, she said.

In the Ayotzinapa case, she said: “My office will be an ally that will not hesitate to contribute to progress and at the same time will raise the alarm in case of non-compliance. We request to know the whereabouts of the boys”, she added.

For more information in Spanish:

Enfrentar las desapariciones forzadas es el problema central en México, insta Michelle Bachelet (ONU México, 9 de abril de 2019)

México tiene cifras de muertes violentas propias de un país en guerra: Bachelet (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

La ACNUDH asesorará la creación de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet defiende a la sociedad civil: Es importante para la democracia, le dice al gobierno de México (Animal Político, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet se va desolada de tanto horror en México: “No sabía de todo lo que me he encontrado…” (Sin Embargo, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet: como una guerra, las muertes violentas en México (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

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

September 21, 2018

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


National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists

April 11, 2019

Mechanism.png

On April 4th, on the eve of the official visit of Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from the 5th to 9th this month, the Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, requested, “in compliance with the recommendations of both the United Nations System and the Inter-American System, the Mexican authorities respect and revindicate the work of human rights defenders and journalists in our country.” This followed “from different points -even from the highest levels of the executive- that call into question the work of journalists and defenders.” The Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism affirmed that, “statements that disqualify the exercise of journalism, the promotion and defense of human rights, in addition to delegitimizing it, contribute to sharpening the adverse context that day by day, both defenders and journalists live in.” It recalled that since the entry of the new government, 17 defenders and journalists have been killed in the country.

The Consultative Council raised the need to strengthen the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico, “since this is the main official tool to guarantee their protection and exercise the right to freedom of expression, the right to information and the right to defend human rights” and proposed a series of actions in this regard, including the importance of guaranteeing not only economic resources, but also human resources for this purpose.

It concluded that the Protection Mechanism “is not everything, but a tool that can contribute to the construction of a governmental system and/or policy that protects the exercise of these rights, and that without a doubt has to be a State priority.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado completo ( Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo de Protección a Defensores de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas, 4 de abril de 2019)

Activistas y periodistas en riesgo por críticas gubernamentales (La Jornada, 4 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet debe contribuir a garantizar protección a periodistas y activistas: Mecanismo de Protección (Proceso, 4 de abril de 2019)

Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo exige respeto a defensores y periodistas (Contralínea, 4 de abril de 2019)

Señalamientos del gobierno contra la prensa y activistas “contribuyen a agudizar el contexto adverso que viven día con día”: Mecanismo de Protección (Desinformemonos, 5 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)