From November 15th to 17th, six national and two international organizations carried out an observation mission of human rights on the Coast of Chiapas. They visited the municipalities of Tonala and Pijijiapan, two of the most affected by the earthquake of 8.2 on the Richter scale of September 7th. The objective of the mission was to document human rights violations against the population, assaults on human rights defenders and “provide a solidarity and observation presence in communities affected by the earthquake.”
The mission obtained “the testimony of victims and communities whose situation of humanitarian emergency has not been sufficiently visible or attended” and held meetings with the municipal presidents of Tonala and Arriaga, as well as with State Government officials.
In its main conclusions, the mission found “serious misinformation about the criteria and procedures in granting support for the reconstruction process.” It also observed “certain inequities and discriminatory elements in the granting of support”, as well as “a serious lack of coordination of the federal government with the municipal authorities and with society”.
Regarding the reconstruction process, they expressed their concern about “an attempt to channel public resources without clear bidding that wants to pass themselves off as charity and solidarity” and “a process of cultural imposition through construction prototypes that respond to a centralist logic and they are not capable of adapting to the needs of the local population, they do not meet the minimum criteria that allow an exercise of the human right to decent housing and do not even meet basic quality criteria.” They also affirmed that there are “important deficiencies in the areas of health, water, sanitation and psychosocial care for the population affected by the earthquakes, as well as worrying delays in the care and response to the effects of public health and education facilities.”
Finally, they stressed and asked for actions in response to the “worrying testimonies of assaults on defenders in the context of their work documenting human rights violations and supporting victims and communities in relation to earthquakes and aftershocks.”
For more information in Spanish:
Misión de observación de derechos humanos a la Costa de Chiapas (OSC, 15 de noviembre de 2017)
Lanzan misión de observación en costa de Chiapas, a 2 meses del sismo (Contralínea, 16 de noviembre de 2017)
Recomendaciones preliminares de misión de observación a la Costa (OSC 17 de noviembre de 2017)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Nacional: México, sacudido por dos potentes sismos enfrenta el shock con una gran ola de solidaridad (26 de septiembre de 2017)
Nacional: sismo de 8,2 grados Richter. Fuertes afectaciones en Chiapas y Oaxaca (14 de septiembre de 2017)