Chiapas: Death-threats and physical attacks against BAEZLN in the Tzakukum community

September 13, 2015

@ Enlace Civil A.C.@ Enlace Civil A.C.

The support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in the Tzakukum community, official municipality of Chalchihuitán, have been threatened with death for months and have incurred physical aggressions. On 9 September, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights A.C. (Frayba) documented the threats and harassment against the BAEZLN. The information was provided by the Good-Government Council of Oventik, Central Heart of the Zapatistas before the World (Oventik JBG), which pertains to Caracol II, Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity.

According to testimony, the BAEZLN reported having been threatened with death on multiple occasions. On 10 August 2015, the BAEZLN Aurelio Gómez Girón was threatened with death by machete by a woman and man from the PRI, who then cut the water-house supplying Mariano García Núñez, another BAEZLN, who in turn was threatened with death by machete. On 14 August Librado Pérez Núñez, BAEZLN, was insulted and attacked on the path by a PRI leader who told him, “You are murderers. Little Zapatista, what are you doing here?” On 26 July a group of party militants detained four BAEZLN, threatening to burn them with gasoline. Beyond this, the bulletin mentions more examples that underline the urgency of the situation. The victims indicated that a group of approximately 25 people harassed and threatened them. In light of these acts, Frayba noted that “We are concerned that the authorities of Chiapas state encourage human-rights violations by being absent when attacks are directed against the BAEZLN.” The bulletin stresses that “these human-rights violations in Tzakukum take place within a context of counterinsurgency that is implemented by the Mexican State against Zapatista autonomy.”

It bears recalling that there were antecedents of this conflict in the same community in July 2015, when members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) began to build a school on common lands without consulting the BAEZLN, who insisted that the agreements on land be respected. In this sense, Frayba intervened toward the end of having the denounced acts be attended to. It is feared that for this reason the PRI members were angered and struck out, after having had to abandon the project on common lands.

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazas de muerte y agresiones físicas en contra de BAEZLN de la comunidad Tzakukum (Frayba, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Denuncian agresiones contra bases del EZLN (Quadratin Chiapas, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Ejército mexicano hostiga a la Junta de Buen Gobierno Zapatista de La Realidad (Frayba, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Risks to the lives of Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN) (3 July 2015)

Chiapas: Denunciation of paramilitary attack on the El Rosario community, pertaining to the La Garrucha caracol (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks (17 May 2015)

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)

National: Journalist house of Contralínea and Desinformémonos harassed, with computer equipment and documentation stolen

September 13, 2015

Documentación y equipo de computo fue sustraido @ DesinformémonosStolen documentation and computer equipment @ Desinformémonos

On 8 September, the home of the journalists Elva Mendoza, journalist of the Contralínea magazine, and Flor Goche, collaborator with Contralínea and journalist for Desinformémonos, was broken into. Computer equipment and journalistic documentation was stolen from the apartment, located in Mexico City, leaving intact valuable objects such as screens and cash. The act took place during the day, and the door did not show evidence of forcible entry.

The members of the Contralínea magazine had been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Beyond this, since July 2014, both journalists were incorporated into the Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists and Human-Rights Defenders administered by the Secretary for Governance.

It bears mentioning that Flor Goche has been following the case of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, beyond other human-rights violations and femicides. Elva Mendoza has followed lines of investigation on megaprojects for investment, environmental destruction, transgenic crops, and the destruction of natural resources.

Mexico has been identified as being one of the most dangerous countries in which to practice journalism.

For more information (in Spanish):

Allanan casa de reporteras de Desinformémonos y Contralínea (Desinformemonos, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Allanan domicilio de reporteras de Contralínea (Revista Contralínea, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Domicilio de reporteras de Contralínea y Desinformémonos es allanado; roban documentos y equipo de trabajo (Sin embargo, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Mexico: Torture and murder of journalist and four women (10 September 2015)

National: Disappeared journalist Gregorio Jiménez is found dead (16 February 2014)

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: New attacks on journalists (2 September 2014)

National: Several criticisms of the presentation of Peña Nieto’s Third Report of Government

September 13, 2015

Enrique Peña Nieto during the presentation of the Third Report of Governance. Photo: @cnn méxico

Under the slogans “Mexico at peace,” “inclusive Mexico,” “Mexico with quality education,” “prosperous Mexico,” and “Mexico with global responsibility,” President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) presented his Third Governance Report on 2 September. During the presentation made at the National Palace in Mexico City, EPN made public his evaluation of the first half of his presidency, noting that he would not change the path of the reforms he had promoted, but rather accelerate this. “We will continue to build on the base we have established during the first half,” he expressed.

EPN discussed the previous year (September 2014-August 2015) as “difficult.” “Our country was profoundly hurt by a series of lamentable cases: the events of Iguala and the escape of a criminal recall the situations of violence,” he noted. According to La Jornada, the president’s comments alluded to the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa and the escape of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, “el Chapo.” Beyond this, he recognized the indignation and social rejection of both acts due to “indications of conflicts of interest that even involved the Executive branch.”

EPN also announced that there would be no new taxes or increases on those already existing, despite the decline in income from the petroleum sector. He also reported the fall in impactful crimes and the increase in poverty rates, according to the Measurement of the National Council for the Evaluation of the Policies of Social Development (CONEVAL). Beyond this, he declared that the changes to the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca (IEEPO) were oriented toward the “liberation of public education in Oaxaca, the particular interests that have maintained it captive for decades,” beyond ratifying the progression of the Educational Reform: “For our children and youth in Oaxaca—and throughout Mexico—the law will be applied. There will no retreat: despite the difficulties, the Educational reform will reach the last corner and school of the country.” He also warned of the risk of “believing in demagoguery, intolerance, and populism” in these moments during which there reigns “frustration and pessimism.” At the end of the report, he presented a new decalogue called “10 measures for new challenges.”

The Third Report received many criticisms by national and international organizations that believe Mexico is passing through a severe human-rights crisis that they feel was ignored in the presidential report.

For more information (in Spanish):

3r Informe de Gobierno 2014-2015 (Presidencia de la República)

El Tercer Informe de Peña Nieto en 10 frases (Animal Político, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

Iguala perturbó a México, reconoce Peña Nieto (La Jornada, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

Al dar un balance de su mandato, EPN reconoce hechos que causaron desconfianza e incertidumbre (Animal Político, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

A casi 1 año de Ayotzinapa, EPN no ha cumplido decálogo en seguridad (SinEmbargo, 7 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Nacional: Lack of confidence and strong criticisms of the Second Governmental Report presented by EPN (15 September 2014)

National: Submission of First Governmental Report amidst protests and mass-disturbances (13 September 2013)

National: Polemical ascension of EPN (7 December 2012)

National: 20 NGOs criticize process to create General Law on Torture

September 13, 2015

(@ Amnistía Internacional)(@ Amnesty International)

On 31 August, twenty civil non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and institutions called on the federal government to incorporate international standards and the suggestions of experts in elaborating the General Law on Torture, which will be developed over the next six months. They criticized the consultative process to elaborate the General Law on Torture and demanded mechanisms to promote dialogue and the participation of interested groups, victims, and persons. In a letter directed to President Enrique Peña Nieto, the persons in question note that “in difficult times such as these in Mexico, the creation of a law that aspires to effective participation, eradication, and sanctioning of torture should be effected through a democratic process that involves the diverse voices that have demanded the creation of this normative mark in recent years.” The NGOs call on the government to take into account international standards and the recommendations made by experts on the question so that this reform promotes authentic transformation and not be limited to cosmetic changes that end up being insufficient for uprooting this practice, as through the fabrication of charges, the lack of serious investigations, and the damages imposed on victims and their families.

In whatever case, torture is a question of a practice that in Mexico has been consistently denounced by the NGOs, both domestic and international, and that has been used with impunity by public servants as a means of investigating crimes to obtain confessions or “punishing” those who have been arrested. Intervening on the question, Juan E. Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel and unusual punishments, expressed that torture in Mexico is generalized and takes place within a context of impunity. Méndez has recommended that Mexico “publicly recognize the dimension of impunity with regard to torture and abuses and send clear public messages to all security and justice officials, state and federal, that all tortures and abuses will be seriously investigated and punished, in accordance with international law, as well as constitutional and criminal statutes.” Another point that the NGOs made and that will be forwarded to the Congress of Deputies is that the General Law must take into account the perspectives of victims, limit military jurisdiction, break with the obstacles before the denunciations, and not allow the law to be limited merely to abstractions, but rather it must become a real tool.

For more information (in Spanish):

ONGs piden al Congreso las incluya en Ley contra Tortura y acate estándares internacionales (Sin Embargo, 03 de septiembre de 2015)

Critican 20 ONG el proceso para crear la ley general contra la tortura (La Jornada, 01 de septiembre de 2015)

La iniciativa de Ley General contra la Tortura deberá ser acorde con el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos (Desinformemonos, 19 de agosto de 2015)

Indispensable retomar aportes de OSC y personas expertas en la elaboración de la Ley General contra la Tortura (Amnistía Internacional, 12 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: Army and security forces involved in extrajudicial executions, torture, and forcible disappearances: US State Department (21 July 2015)

Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission (29 June 2015)

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on

September 13, 2015

DSCF5588March for Ayotzinapa, Mexico City, 26 September. Photo @SIPAZ

The disappeared students from Ayotzinapa were not incinerated in the Cocula dump, as the Federal Attorney General’s Office had indicated at the beginning of this year, in accordance with the findings of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), as asserted during the presentation of its report 6 months on (6 September 2015). What took place against the students of Ayotzinapa nearly a year ago in Iguala, Guerrero, was “a massive attack” that involved 180 direct victims, including 6 extrajudicial executions and 43 “forcible disappearances,” as the IACHR experts discuss. The expert Carlos Beristain affirmed that “there was the presence of different State agents (municipal, ministerial, and federal police) and we did not find any evidence of attempts to rescue. What happened was an attack that went beyond the mere neutralization of persons.” Beyond this, “there was a delay in attention to the victims. The ambulance crews were afraid to go out.” The experts further stressed that the ovens and crematories that may have been used to burn the students’ bodies must be investigated. For their part, the parents of the disappeared request the indefinite presence of the specialists until truth and justice are revealed.

The expert José Torero visited the Cocula dump on 12 July, accompanied by the GIEI, and he established the necessary conditions to incinerate a human body. “He showed us the evidence and the state-of-the-art science indicating that the optimal means of incinerating a body is a crematory oven. These conditions require between 90 and 120 minutes to burn a sole corpse,” noted the expert Francisco Cox during the press-confernece. He also specified that to incinerate a body 650 kilograms of wood are needed. Besides this, the flames that would be needed would have overwhelmed the dump altogether, destroying everything else present—something that did not happen. “The incineration of the 43 could not have transpired in the Cocula dump,” stressed Carlos Beristain. In light of this, the experts called for an investigation of the crematory ovens that could have been used to burn the bodies of the students.

Another affair that the experts clarified is that there were five, not four, buses that had been taken by the students on 26 September. The existence of the fifth bus was first denied in the initial investigations. In light of video evidence indicating its presence, federal authorities presented a truck for the experts to examine, and the latter concluded that it did not seem to be the same one that appeared in the video taken the day of the disappearances. To date, this bus has not been found, and the GIEI suspects that it could have been a vehicle used for the transport of drugs that had been casually taken by the youth, thus provoking the massive and indiscriminate attack prosecuted by unknown actors who have been protected by total impunity.

Both the parents and mothers of the disappeared as well as the organizations that accompany them, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, and the Prodh Center stressed that all the authorities who have impeded the investigation should themselves be investigated. They also specified that the investigation should incorporate the entire context of criminality, as it is not believable that collusion between organized crime and the authorities is limited merely to the municipal level.

For more information (in Spanish):

“Los muchachos no fueron incinerados en basurero de Cocula”: #InformeGIEI (Aristegui Noticias, 6 de septiembre de 2015)

Investiguen los hornos crematorios, piden expertos del caso Ayotzinapa al gobierno (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de septiembre de 2015)

Trasiego de drogas en autobuses, línea por indagar en caso Iguala (La Jornada, 6 de septiembre de 2015)

Informe completo Ayotzinapa (GIEI, 6 de septiembre de 2015)

video: Informe Ayotzinapa

video: Posición oficial de la PGR

video: Pronunciamiento de familiares

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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 taht 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)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (3 May 2015)

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

Mexico: 5 years since the massacre of 72 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas

September 11, 2015

La 72 Hogar Refugio Para Personas Migrantes @VICE “La 72,” Refuge Home for Migrants @VICE

Five years ago, on 23 August 2010, 72 bodies of migrants appeared in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. 58 men and 14 women, principally from Central and South America, were kidnapped and executed in a ranch in San Fernando, close to the border with Texas. The indignation over the case was immediate. San Fernando recalled all those who are made invisible during their passage through Mexico in search of a new life. Since that time, the authorities have arrested a number of individuals but have not published information regarding whether anyone has been sentenced. Amnesty International (AI) has warned that the lack of investigation in the case “gives a green light to the criminal groups that terrorize and murder those who cross Mexico in search of security and a better life.” AI also hypothesizes that those responsible belong to criminal gangs, and it suspects that many of these worked in collusion with local security agents.

In Tenosique, Tabasco, the year after these events transpired, in honor of the 72 victims, there was founded the “72 Refuge Home for Migrants,” which provides housing for migrants en route to the U.S. AI specified that, since the massacre in San Fernando, hundreds of other men, women, and children who sought to reach the United States via Mexico have been harassed, disappeared, kidnapped, raped, forced into sexual slavery, and massacred.

For more information (in Spanish):

La historia de la 72: Un mensaje de esperanza frente a masacres de migrantes (VICE, 25 de agosto de 2015)

Masacre en San Fernando: lo que la PGR le oculta a las familias (Proceso, 22 de agosto de 2015)

A 5 años de masacre de 72 migrantes en San Fernando, caso sigue impune: Amnistía Internacional (Animal Político, 22 de agosto de 2015)

Falta de justicia a cinco años de una masacre convierte a México en una ‘zona de riesgo’ para migrantes (Amnistía Internacional, 21 de agosto de 2015)

Denuncia Amnistía impunidad a cinco años de la masacre de San Fernando (Proceso, 21 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Four years after the massacre of San Fernando, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Prisoner from San Cristóbal, Roberto Paciencia, denounces that his charges were fabricated

September 11, 2015

Foto del Cereso 5 de San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ Moysés Zúniga SantiagoPhoto of Cereso 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ Moysés Zúniga Santiago

On 7 August, the prisoner Roberto Paciencia Cruz, held in prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, denounced that he has been imprisoned unjustly for 2 years. He asserted that there were witnesses who saw him working on 18 May 2013, when the crime for which he is being held was committed, “but the corresponding authorities did not take into account the testimony of these witnesses.” In a public communique, Paciencia expressed “due to the unjust incarcerations that we continue to suffer each day, we grow isolated from our families. Many people are being held in different prisoners throughout the state and country for not knowing how to speak Spanish and not having resources to hire an adequate lawyer, as happened with me two years ago. I have spent this time imprisoned for a crime that was fabricated.” At the end of his declaration, Paciencia noted that “it is for this reason that I make this public denunciation. I request that the judges review my case, because it is unjust that they would hold me like this. They must release me as soon as possible, because my family is suffering.”

Para más información:

Roberto Paciencia Cruz, preso injustamente, exige su libertad (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de agosto de 2015)


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