Chiapas: Leader of CIAOC-H Executed in Comitan de Dominguez

May 25, 2017

CIOAC-H.pngLuis Hernandez Cruz, ex-federal deputy for the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) (Photo@Alfaro Noticias)

On May 4th, 2017, one of the leaders of the Historical Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H in its Spanish acronym) was assassinated in Chiapas. His name was Luis Hernandez Cruz, who was a federal deputy for the PRD.

The campesino leader was executed by gunmen in a van in front of his home in the Magueyes neighborhood of the city of Comitan de Dominguez.

CIOAC-H, an organization to which Luis Hernandez Cruz belonged, is linked to different conflicts in the area, including clashes with the EZLN and the assassination of Jose Luis Solis Lopez (the Zapatista Galeano), in May 2014. “In particular, Luis Hernandez had had political differences with other campesino groups who singled him out for financing armed groups to dispute land in the Las Margaritas region,” Proceso highlighted.

The investigation continues.

For more information in Spanish:

Ejecutan a exdiputado federal del PRD en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Matan a ex diputado del PRD en Chiapas; investiga Fiscalía (El Universal, 5 de mayo de 2017)

Asesinan a dirigente de la Cioac Comitán en Chiapas (La Jordana, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Asesinan a líder de la CIOAC a balazos (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Ejecutan a ex diputado del PRD en Chiapas (El Milenio, 4 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “Grupo armado de la CIOAC-Histórica atacó” a comunidad en el municipio de Las Margaritas (26 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Desplazados del Poblado Primero de Agosto denunciaron escalamiento de hostigamiento, amenazas de muerte y desalojo (7 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncian hostigamiento militar a la JBG zapatista de La Realidad (13 de marzo de 2015)

Chiapas: Agresión contra Bases de Apoyo del EZLN deja un muerto y 15 heridos zapatistas (6 de mayo de 2014)


National/Guerrero: Attacks and Murders of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders Continue

May 21, 2017

Journalists.pngPhoto @ InfoLibre

In the month of May, just as in April, several journalists and human rights defenders were victims of attacks and murders for their activities.

On May 10th, Mothers’ Day, Miriam Elizabeth Rodriguez Martinez, was gunned down by gunmen at her home. After the kidnapping of her daughter, she had founded a group to search for missing persons in Tamaulipas.

On May 13th, seven journalists were ambushed by a group of about 100 armed men. They covered the operation that federal and state authorities initiated in San Miguel Totolapan, in the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero. They were stripped of their work equipment, cell phones and one of their units by the gunmen, who according to La Jornada, beat them and warned that if they did not hand over their belongings they would burn them with along with everything and their vehicles.

On May 15th, journalist Javier Valdez, a correspondent for La Jornada, was murdered in the capital of Sinaloa. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Edison Lanza, demanded concrete results from the Special Prosecutor’s Office Of Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE in its Spanish acronym) on the investigations into the murder of Javier Valdez.

In his preliminary report, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Defenders and Journalists said that Mexico has become one of the most dangerous countries to practice journalism.

For more information in Spanish:

ONU y CIDH urgen a México frenar ataques a periodistas (Milenio, 18 de mayo de 2017)

La violencia que no cesa, la protección que no alcanza(La Jornada, 16 de mayo 2017)

Grupo armado ataca a siete periodistas en Guerrero (La Jornada, 13 de mayo 2017)

Autoridades dejaron a su suerte a activista ejecutada en Tamaulipas (La Jornada, 12 de mayo 2017)

Hombres armados atacan a periodistas y les quitan su equipo de trabajo en Guerrero (Animal politico, 14 de mayo 2017)

Carta urgente para la protección de los periodistas en Guerrero (Centro de derechos humanos de la montaña Tlachinollan,18 de mayo 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero : asesinan al periodista Cecilio Pineda (6 de marzo de 2017)

Guerrero: Asesinaron a periodista en Taxco (26 de abril de 2016)

 


Oaxaca: Civil Society Organizations Denounce Safety Levels in State

May 17, 2017

Oaxaca.png

In a statement issued on May 9th, more than 50 civil society organizations (CSOs) strongly urged the federal and state governments of Enrique Peña Nieto and Alejandro Murat Hinojosa to act against increased insecurity in the state : “We note with concern this situation of insecurity that according to the National Survey of Urban Public Security conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, notes that the percentage of people over the age of 18 that considers living in Oaxaca to be dangerous rose from 68.6 in March to 82.6 in December last year. The same survey indicates that 85% of Oaxacans think that the government was inefficient in dealing with problems of crime such as robbery, extortion, kidnapping, fraud, among other issues.”

They also pointed out that the official figures do not reflect the extent of the problem, since “most citizens do not report incidents of insecurity, according to a research study of the Center for Social Studies and Public Opinion (CESOP in its Spanish acronym) of the Chamber of Deputies. In 2015, the “black figures” of unreported crimes increased by 94.8% as they consider going to report it as a waste of time and they distrust authority.”

Furthermore, they indicated that “According to the National Citizen’s Observatory earlier this year it was reflected that in Oaxaca the crimes that registered increases were kidnapping, robbery with violence, vehicle theft, business theft and robbery. This reality sharpens the social and structural problems of the population through having economic and material losses, stops investment in the state and increases the closure of businesses that brings as a consequence job losses. Unfortunately, these events have become normal in Oaxacan society, a context that highlights the vulnerability in which we find ourselves, without the presence of a clear integral strategy from the different levels of government to improve the conditions of life of the population.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Urgente Mejorar las Condiciones de Seguridad que vivimos en el Estado de Oaxaca (OSC, 9 de mayo de 2017)

OSC de Oaxaca llaman a Peña y a Murat a garantizar seguridad ante alza de delitos (Proceso, 9 de mayo de 2017)

Violencia, un monstruo que crece en Oaxaca: ONG (NVI Noticias, 5 de mayo de 2017)

Con 211 homicidios dolosos, Oaxaca registra el primer trimestre más violento en siete años (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Registra Oaxaca 500 mujeres asesinadas durante el sexenio de Gabino Cué Monteagudo (12 de septiembre de 2016)

Oaxaca: Aumentan homicidios en Oaxaca (22 de abril de 2016)


National/International: Mexico Second Most Violent Country World (IISS)

May 16, 2017

Death toll.png

On May 9th, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) published the results of its 2017 Armed Conflict Study, which places Mexico as the second country with the highest number of deaths (23,000 counted in 2016) after Syria (50,000), and before Afghanistan (17,000) and Iraq (16,000). Mexico is the only country in America in the top ten.

The IISS claims that the levels violence coming from the fight against organized crime in Mexico reached those of a country in open war. “It is very unusual for criminal violence to reach a level similar to an armed conflict. But it happened in the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) and especially in Mexico”, the IISS warned.

 The Mexican Interior Ministry (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym) and Ministry for Foreign Affairs (SRE in its Spanish acronym) criticized the report questioning both the figures that it uses for being “unlikely” and “lacking technical rigor”; such as the fact that “Organized crime violence is a regional phenomenon that goes beyond the borders that Mexico shares with the United States, Guatemala and Belize, among many other countries. The challenges Mexico faces in this area cannot be isolated from related phenomena in other jurisdictions, such as arms trafficking and drug demand. The fight against transnational organized crime must be analyzed in an integral way.”

For more information in Spanish:

México es el segundo país del mundo con más muertos por “guerra”, según estudio (SDP Noticias, 9 de mayo de 2017)

México alcanzó los niveles de violencia de un país en guerra abierta: IISS (Proceso, 9 de mayo de 2017)

México, el segundo país más violento del mundo: IISS (La Jornada, 9 de mayo de 2017)

La SRE y Segob niegan que haya un conflicto armado en México; Trump retuitea encuesta inglesa (Sin Embargo, 10 de mayo de 2017)

Reporte del IISS sobre la violencia en México “carece de rigor técnico”: Segob y SRE (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : Pobres resultados diez años después de iniciar la guerra contra el crimen organizado ; El Ejército seguirá en las calles, EPN (16 de diciembre de 2016)


Oaxaca: COPUVO Denounces Harassment by Municipal Authorities and Mining Company

May 15, 2017

COPUVO.pngValle Ocotlan (Photo @COPUVO)

In a statement issued on May 9th, the Coordinator of the United Nations Ocotlan Valley United Peoples Coordinator (COPUVO in its Spanish acronym) reported harassment and threats when it sought to hold a regional meeting against mining in San Jose del Progreso, “where for eight years [the inhabitants] have defended their territory against the “San Jose” mining project, promoted by the Cuzcatlan company, a subsidiary of the Canadian Fortuna Silver Mines.

It said that prior to this meeting, the current mayor of San Jose del Progreso, Servando Daaz Vasquez, “publicly threatened our organization, communities in the region and civil organizations” proposing “not to allow the population to enter to hold a forum.” He added that Diaz Vasquez asked the state and federal police “to place a ring of officers and a filter at the check point at the town so as to prevent the entrance of the organizations the following Mat 7th…”

Accordingly, the Ombudsman’s Office for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DPHPO in its Spanish acronym) requested precautionary measures in favor of human rights defenders from the various civil and community organizations that would attend said meeting “for which there was State Police Agents presence during May 6th and 7th in the community; it is important to note that the State Police was also protecting the mining project with security forces during these dates.”

COPUVO denounced that “behind the campaign of threats and harassment of our movement, the mining company Fortuna Silver Mines is involved, who in its intent to expand to other ejidos and communities in the region has criminalized and violated our rights to autonomy, to the territory, to the freedom of protest, among the most important. This company has irrationally extracted our common goods and caused violence, destroying the peace and harmony that existed among our peoples.”

 For more information in Spanish:

COPUVO denuncia amenazas por parte de empresa minera y autoridades de San José del Progreso (COPUVO, 9 de mayo de 2017)

Mineras generan conflictividad en Oaxaca y Chiapas (Contralínea, 11 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Se exige justicia para el defensor comunitario Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, asesinado hace 5 años (23 de marzo de 2017)

Oaxaca: Comunidades afectadas por el proyecto minero “San José” toman oficinas de SEMARNAT (1 de marzo de 2017)

 


Chiapas: 236 Student Teachers Arrested for Presumed Acts of Vandalism Released

May 15, 2017

Normalistas.pngStudent teacher arrests, May, 2017 (Photo @Cuartoscuro)

On May 4th, state and municipal police detained some 236 young people from the Coordinator of Student Teachers [normalistas] of the State Chiapas (CENECH in its Spanish acronym) who were carrying out a political action in the context of the three-day protest held in Tuxtla Gutierrez by the teachers of Chiapas against the educational reform bill. Videos recorded by witnesses of the operation show that the youths were beaten by the uniformed police. Most of them belong to the State Normal School and the Normal High School, both in Tuxtla Gutierrez.

They were charged with vandalism, and although they were released the following day, they are still under investigation for the crimes of damages, robbery with violence and gangs membership, according to the Attorney General’s Office (FGE in its Spanish acronym).

The Office of the Prosecutor in charge of these investigations reported that 144 men and 92 women were detained in the moment they looted different vehicles owned by the companies Sonric’s, Lala and Coca-Cola, and that another group of young people were aboard three buses of the OCC and Aury companies, which had been stolen. It indicated that it had ascertained there were products in these vehicles, which were also stolen from an Oxxo store, as well as several Molotov cocktails.

 For more information in Spanish:

236 normalistas detenidos por la Policía de Chiapas (La Jornada, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Policía de Chiapas detiene a 236 normalistas por « daños, robos y pandillerismo » (Proceso, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Detienen a 236 normalistas por supuesto vandalismo en Chiapas (Aristegui Noticias, 4 de mayo de 2017)

236 normalistas son detenidos en Chiapas por toma de autobuses y saqueo; protestan en la FGE (VIDEOS) (Sin Embargo, 4 de mayo de 2017)

Liberan a los 236 normalistas detenidos por actos vandálicos en Chiapas (Proceso, 5 de mayo de 2017)

 


Chiapas: Meeting of Peoples to Exchange Experiences of Threats of Territorial Dispossession from Megaprojects

May 15, 2017

Peoples.png

From 4 to 6 May, the Peoples’ Meeting was held to exchange experiences facing threats of plunder of our territories by megaprojects in the municipal seat of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, which was co-convened by the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights, the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center, the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) and the Samuel Ruiz Committee for the Promotion and Defense of Life, under a joint project of Pax Christi International.

In a final statement, participants from Chiapas and Oaxaca denounced that the processes of defense of the Earth and Territory of which they are a part have brought them the “consequence of repression, intimidation, threat, persecution, Imprisonment and the murder of community human rights defenders. Those who have decided to defend life and Mother Earth are at constant risk under the threats of businessmen, organized crime and the State in its three levels of government that only favor the paths of impunity, injustice, inequality, plunder, exploitation, contempt for our native peoples, communities and ejidos.”

As a result they demanded:

  • “Respect for the autonomy and self-determination of peoples in Chiapas and Oaxaca based on Article 2 of the Constitution and international conventions, as well as guaranteeing the physical integrity of those who defend life, Mother Earth and nature.
  • The cancellation of death projects in our territories that only bring destruction, plunder, poverty, disease, community conflicts and divisions.
  • The cancellation of arrest warrants, criminal charges, legal proceedings against defenders of the Earth and the Territory, as is the case of compañeros from Acacoyagua, Chicoasen and Tecpatan.”

Finally, they invited “the peoples, communities, ejidos, grassroots organizations, the men and women of this country, to maintain their struggle, their resistance and to organize, not to surrender, not to sell out, and not to let themselves be cheated. It is important to join together our struggles in any geography against this capitalist system and the system of death. Land is an inheritance of our ancestors, and we must guard it and defend it. Our peoples and organizations have firmly decided to defend life, territory and the environment, because the future of our country is at risk. “

 For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento completo (Chicomuselo, 6 de mayo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Pronunciamiento de participantes en Taller/Encuentro sobre la Transformación No-violenta de Conflictos en Defensa de Nuestros Territorios (19 de abril de 2016)