Chiapas: IACHR Determines Responsibility for Extrajudicial Execution in Context of Chiapas Campaign Plan 94

May 6, 2017

Frayba.pngPress conference at Frayba, May 3rd, 2017. Photo: @Sipaz

On May 3rd, a press conference was held at the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC) in which it was reported that, in the case of the extrajudicial execution of the Tzeltal indigenous Gilberto Jimenez Hernandez in February 1995 in the community of La Grandeza, Altamirano, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) determined “the responsibility of the Mexican State for violating the right to life and the principle of equality and non-discrimination, personal integrity and judicial guarantees and judicial protection, in the context of the implementation of the counterinsurgency strategy designed within the Chiapas Campaign Plan 94.”

 22 years after the military operation in that community, the CDHFBC Press Bulletin recalled: “On February 20th, 1995, in La Grandeza ejido, in the municipality of Altamirano, Chiapas, the population was alerted to the military operation carried out by the reconnaissance patrol of the 17th Infantry Battalion, commissioned in the Task Force “Arcoiris” in the “Yabur” Group, composed of 65 military agents who were carrying 3 MP5 Cal. 9mm and 62 G-3 Cal 7.62mm armaments. At the same time Army aircraft flew over the region. The population of the ejido La Grandeza, made up mostly of women, girls, children and the elderly, were forced to the mountain to save their lives, while in the village, soldiers burned the belongings of displaced persons. Mr. Gilberto Jimenez Hernandez, a 43-year-old indigenous Tseltal, was extrajudicially executed by a soldier while fleeing with his family to the mountains. The soldier ordered him to stop, lie down and shot him, even though that he had his five-year-old daughter tied with a shawl on his back.”

The Director of the CDHFBC, Pedro Faro, stressed that, “to date the military court has served to ensure impunity. The investigations of the present case have been framed by lack of due diligence to cover up the Mexican Army, the file has been lost by the justice authorities since 1997. The right of access to the justice to know the truth of what happened so that those responsible are punished does not exist in Mexico “.

Ruben Moreno, lawyer for the the Center, stated that the family of Jimenez Hernandez decided not to receive any financial compensation for damages, but chose to have the IACHR’s report made public.

 For more information in Spanish:

Estado mexicano responsable de crímenes de lesa humanidad: CIDH (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 3 de Mayo de 2017)

CIDH culpa al Estado por muerte de tzetzal: Frayba (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2017)

CIDH culpa al Estado mexicano por ejecución extrajudicial de indígena tzeltal (Proceso, 3 de mayo de 2017)

Determinan responsabilidad del Estado en muerte de indígena (Cuarto Poder, 4 de mayo de 2017)


Oaxaca: Series of Threats against Human Rights Defenders Rodrigo Flores Peñaloza and Bettina Cruz Velazquez

May 6, 2017

Bettina.pngBettina Cruz Velzquez, center (Photo@tierrayterritorio.wordpress.com)

The Human Rights Defenders Rodrigo Flores Peñaloza and Bettina Cruz Velazquez, members of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of the Land and Territory (APIIDTT in its Spanish acronym) and the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of the Territory (APOYO in its Spanish acronym), denounced a series of threats against them in recent months.

In the case of Rodrigo Peñaloza Flores, he has experienced surveillance on more than five occasions, a firearm assault while leaving work on February 10th, the arrival of an armed man to the same place repeatedly asking for him on February 24th, and on April 26th, he found a death threat on the windshield of his vehicle on leaving his home.

In the case of Bettina Cruz Velazquez, she also reported surveillance on at least two occasions and both were verbally assaulted last April 19th in a program broadcast by Juchitan radio station.

In a call for Urgent Action to guarantee their lives and physical integrity, there are several antecedents that could explain this series of threats and harassment: “[this] coincides with the intense mobilizations carried out to demand the clarification of the murder of Jose Alberto Toledo Villalobos from Chahuites, defender of the human right to electrical energy and ex- compañero of Rodrigo and Bettina; also active support for the defense of Cerro Iguú carried out by the Zapotec indigenous communities of Puente Madera, Rancho Llano and Loma Bonita de San Blas Atempa, before the construction of the electrical substation of SEDENA. It is also worth noting the recent presentation of the collective injunction filed before the Sixth District Court against the designation of the region as Special Economic Zone, the second phase of wind projects and mining concessions; and the recent fact that a minister has shown interest in taking the case of Eolica del Sur to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.”

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente | Peligro de vida e integridad física de los Defensores de DH Rodrigo Flores Peñaloza y Bettina Cruz Velázquez (OSC, 2 de mayo de 2017)

En Oaxaca, denuncian hostigamiento contra activistas que se oponen a Zona Económica Especial (Revolucion 3.0, 2 de mayo de 2017)

Ong denuncia amenazas en contra de defensor de la tierra y territorio en el Istmo (Istmo Press, 29 de abril de 2017)

Defensor de Derechos Humanos en el istmo es amenazado por la defensa del territorio (IstmoPress, 28 de abril de 2017)

DENUNCIA URGENTE. Amenazan al compañero Rodrigo Flores de la APIIDTT, APOYO y de la Red Nacional de Resistencia Civil. (APIIDTT, 27 de abril de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Se amparan pueblos del Istmo contra Zona Económica Especial (ZEE) (23 de marzo de 2017)

Oaxaca: Agresión contra integrantes de la Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (APIIDTT) a manos de constructores ligados a la Empresa Eólica del Sur (8 de mayo de 2015)


Oaxaca: Three Community of San Blas Atempa Begin Blockade against Illegal Megaproject

May 4, 2017

San Blas.png“Puente Madera Burns”, Photo@Educa Oaxaca

On April 24th, three communities started a road blockade on the Tehuantepec-Juchitan stretch in the Ithmus, due to the non-compliance with the commitments acquired by the authorities on April 12th. The communities of Puente Madera, Rancho Llano and Loma Bonita, in the municipality of San Blas Atempa, oppose the imposition of a wind farm by the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) on communal lands, extraction of stone material in the Cerro Iguu’, one of their ancestral ceremonial centers, as well as the sanitary landfill in the Pitayal.

 Due to this, they demanded negotiations to resolve the question the compliance by the state government, with the minutes of agreementsof April 12th, 2017. In a statement, the General Assembly of the Binniza People denounced that the exploitation of their resources is happening without their consent. It pointed out that “the only culprits of the political-social situation currently being experienced in the Zapotec municipality of San Blas Atempa are the municipal government, the state government and the federal government, for wanting to impose above the will of the indigenous peoples, their plots of pillage and plunder, both neoliberal and militaristic.”

For its part, the Tepeyac Human Rights Center issued an alert to warn that “Puente Madera Burns” in which it denounced that “municipal agent David Hernandez Salazar and the comunero Jorge Rasgado Lopez, were threatened with death by the hitmen and attackers Cesar Morales Toledo and Victor Ramirez (mercenaries at the service of the city council), characters who have also burned grasslands of the community in the vicinity of the blockade to intimidate the people in struggle.”

As regards context, the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of the Oaxacan Isthmus in Defense of the Territory to which San Blas Atempa belongs has denounced that the second phase of wind farm expansion in the Isthmus aims to almost triple the current wind energy production in the region, with some 1,900 wind turbines on 22 wind farms. It pointed out that, for several years, it has seen how wind farms have been imposed in their communities which have seriously affected their life, culture and natural assets, violating the social fabric of communities.

 For more information in Spanish:

Se profundiza conflicto en San Blas Atempa, Oaxaca (Contralínea, 26 de abril de 2017)

Pronunciamiento de comunidades de Puente Madera, Rancho Llano y Loma Bonita, San Blas Atempa (Radio Pozol, 24 de abril de 2017)

Arden terrenos comunales de Puente Madera para exigir suspensión de parque eólico de la SEDENA (Página 3, 24 de abril de 2017)

Se agudiza en el Istmo de Tehuantepec inconformidad por proyectos eólicos (Despertar de Oaxaca, 3 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ

Oaxaca: Se amparan pueblos del Istmo contra Zona Económica Especial (ZEE) (23 de marzo de 2017)

Oaxaca: comunidades del Istmo presentan amparo ante la ZEE (17 de noviembre de 2016)


National: Senate Approves Law against Torture

May 4, 2017

Torture.png

On April 25th, the Senate unanimously approved the Law against Torture initiatve and sent the document to the Federal Executive for its promulgation. This legislation was under discussion for almost a year in the Chamber of Deputies, while “from December 1st, 2006 to December 31st, 2014, the National Human Rights Commission received 104 complaints and issued 79 recommendations on the subject of torture. This is compounded by the 4,440 complaints filed before the agency by the commission on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in the same period, of which, 1,000 correspond to cases related to the Army and Navy. According to figures obtained by the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, the Attorney General’s Office received 4,555 complaints of torture, and reported that only 1,884 cases are under investigation. Of these, only 11 were recorded, and only five sentences for this crime are known in the period referred to.”

This general law is intended to enable the prevention, investigation and punishment of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In the case of committing the crime of torture, in order to “obtain information or confession, for purposes of criminal investigation, as an intimidating means, as personal punishment or as a means of coercion, causing pain or suffering to another person”, a penalty of ten to 20 years imprisonment, as well as 500 to 1,000 days of a minimum wage penalty, for the public servant who incurs such a crime. When the victim of torture is a child, girl or teenager, the sentence will be increased to 30 years in prison. The same shall apply if a pregnant woman, a person with a disability, or an older adult is subjected to any form of sexual violence, if the person has the status of migrant, Afro-descendant or belongs to an indigenous community.

The law also proposes “to apply the same sanctions to hierarchical superiors, accomplices and collaborators in acts of torture and as a temporary measure the removal of public officials appointed or investigated for this crime is foreseen, with the aim of not obstructing the investigation against him.”

The Mexico Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights celebrated the approved law given that it completely forbids torture, “punishes the behavior throughout the country under the same definition in accordance with international treaties, excludes evidence obtained through torture and other violations of human rights and establishes clear rules to combat impunity. It also considered that another step forward in the legislation is that it “distributes powers among the three levels of government, creates a national registry of cases of torture and includes measures for the assistance, care and reparation of victims.”

For its part, Amnesty International said it represents a step forward in addressing the human rights crisis prevailing in the country, but that “unless the Mexican authorities make a real effort to guarantee the trial of all those responsible for the thousands of cases of torture reported every year throughout the country, this law will be nothing more than words on paper. We should not allow this to continue.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Por unanimidad, aprueba el Senado Ley contra la Tortura (La Jornada, a 27 de abril de 2017)

Aprueba Senado ley contra tortura: penas de hasta 30 años (Aristegui Noticias, a 26 de abril de 2017)

Senado aprueba por unanimidad ley para prevenir, investigar y sancionar la tortura (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2017)

Y ONU-DH urge a Peña Nieto promulgarla (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2017)

‘Un paso adelante’, nueva ley contra la tortura en México: AI (MVS, 26 de abril de 2017)

La ONU-DH felicita al Congreso de la Unión por la aprobación de la ley general de tortura (La Oficina en México del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (ONU-DH), a 26 de abril de 2017)

Sociedad civil insta al Senado a aprobar Ley General contra la Tortura esta semana (Tlachinollan, a 24 de abril de 2017)

Ley general contra la tortura (La Jornada, a 6 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Dudas de organismos de la sociedad civil por la iniciativa de Ley contra la Tortura (9 de febrero de 2016)

Nacional: Organizaciones sociales se pronuncian sobre ley de tortura (31 de mayo de 2016)

Nacional/Internacional : « la tortura y los malos tratos siguen siendo generalizados en México» Juan E. Mendez (7 de marzo de 2017)

 


Chiapas: Popular Campaign against Violence against Women Questions Lack of Progress on Gender Violence Alert

May 4, 2017

GVA.png

On April 21st, a regular meeting of the Inter-institutional and Multidisciplinary Group (GIM in its Spanish acronym) was held in Tuxtla Gutierrez, following up on the Declaration of a Gender Violence Alert (GVA) issued more than five months ago by the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) through the National Commission for the Prevention and Eradication of Violence against Women (CONAVIM in its Spanish acronym).

 Following this, the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas – made up of 21 civil organizations and dozens of individuals – said that “despite the commitments made by state and federal government institutions for the implementation of immediate actions to address the GVA, we point to the lack of commitment in clear and forceful actions to address the multiple complaints presented due to acts of violence and femicide against women in the different regions of Chiapas.”

 It questioned “the lack of interest and absence of the governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, and officials with decision-making capacity” as well as the fact that “the offices of attention to cases, health and coordination of municipalities have not been installed, despite the urgent need to see to the events of violence against women who continue to mount in the state.”

 The Campaign reiterated that “the partial declaration of GVA for 23 municipalities omits the serious violations of the human rights of women that are being committed in the other municipalities of the state that were not considered as part of the Declaration.”

It also criticized “the use and abuse that the state government, public servants and people invlved in domestic politics make of public resources to instrumentalize women beneficiaries of welfare programs, such as the “Prospera”, for political electoral purposes violating their right to decide and participate freely without any conditionins.”

 It is worth rcalling that according to data from the National Citizen Observatory on Femicide (OCNF in its Spanish acronym), Chiapas is in tenth place in the states of Mexico with the highest number of registered attacks on women.

 For more information in Spanish:

Aumentan feminicidios y dilación y omisión de autoridades en Chiapas: activistas y organizaciones (Desinformémonos, 22 de abril de 2017)

Gobierno estatal irresponsable en atender la Alerta por Violencia de Género en Chiapas (Comunicado de la Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio, Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de abril de 2017)

Lejos de cumplir Alerta de Género, gobierno de Chiapas usa programa con fines electorales: ONG (Contralínea, 26 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Chiapas: Día Internacional de la Mujer (13 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas : sigue la violencia hacia las mujeres (24 de febrero de 2017)

Chiapas: Día Internacional de Lucha Contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres (28 de noviembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Miners Cause Community Division in Chicomuselo

May 4, 2017

Chicomsuelo.pngSigns against mining exploitation (Photo@Frayba)

In a bulletin published on April 26th, the Samuel Ruiz Committee for the Promotion and Defense of Life expressed concern “at the strategy implemented by mining employees to confront campesinos of the ejido Ricardo Flores Magon, municipality of Chicomuselo, who oppose the mining activity,” which, not coincidentally, “is the road that leads to Ejido Grecia of the same municipality, and is the place where until 2009 the Canadian Black Fire kept extracting the mineral known as Barita that to this date is suspended.”

 The Committee said that about 70 people were offered gifts for Children’s Day, 50,000 pesos and the construction of social works such as drinking water, a clinic, and a Cobach College among other things, in exchange for “a contract of agreements which must be approved by a public notary whereby they allow the passage”, and in addition they were “asked to appoint a commission of people in charge of protecting it in its passage through the communities against any unforeseen [events].

The Samuel Ruiz Committee for the Promotion and Defense of Life also recalled that “the opposition of the communities of the municipality of Chicomuselo to mining projects began in 2008 in the face of environmental damage caused by the Canadian mining company Black Fire, and they have currently organized as a civil society to carry out surveillance operations to stop the entry of mining companies, such that to accept the proposal would be promoting a confrontation between campesinos that could result in a greater problem.

 For more information in Spanish:

Mineros promueven división comunitaria en Chicomuselo (Boletín informativo, 26 de abril de 2017)

 

For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas: Comunidades de Chicomuselo denuncian incursiones de empresas mineras (25 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncian reinicio ilegal de actividades mineras en Chicomuselo (29 de enero de 2014)

 


Oaxaca: Seven Years of Impunity in Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola Case

May 4, 2017

Bety & Jyri(Photo@Amnistía Interncional)

April 27th marked seven years since the murder of human rights defenders Bety Cariño (37) and Jyri Jaakkola (33, Finnish) while they were involved in a caravan of humanitarian aid to the indigenous community of San Juan Copala, in the Triqui zone of Oaxaca. Although 13 perpetrators are fully identified, only five have been imprisoned so far.

Indigenous and campesino organizations recalled the events with a march and denounced that “During these seven years we have attended innumerable meetings with all kinds of authorities, and we have met with a wall of indifference, weak institutions and the complicities of federal authorities, which have not wanted to get to the bottom of things to punish the perpetrators of this crime, filing various inquiries that point to those responsible, seeking to hide the truth of what happened in the attack on the caravan and protect the authors, not only material but also intellectual of this and other crimes committed against community defenders in Oaxaca. Unsuccessful and appealing that the detention of those who murdered Bety and Jyri is not possible, the government seeks to simulate a trial by disqualifying the evidence that indicates the responsibility of the perpetrators, while the witnesses and victims who participated in the caravan have been subjected to harassment, permanent threats, attacks and all kinds of bother.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Con marcha exigen justicia para activistas asesinados hace siete años en Oaxaca (Proceso, 27 de abril de 2017)

La justicia para Bety y Jyri no llega (EL Imparcial de Oaxaca, 27 de abril de 2017)

Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola, siete años de un crimen impune (Contralínea, 27 de abril de 2017)

Pronunciamiento de organizaciones sociales e indígenas (26 de abril de 2017)

Siete años de impunidad en la Mixteca de Oaxaca: MAIZ (NVI Noticias, 26 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Parlamentarias europeas vuelven a denunciar impunidad en el caso del asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (2 de marzo de 2017)

Oaxaca/Internacional : Suman 5 detenidos en el caso del asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (2010) (15 de octubre de 2016)

Oaxaca: PGR archiva el caso del asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (28 de abril de 2016)

Oaxaca: Gobierno del estado no recibe a eurodiputadas por “falta de voluntad” hacia el caso de Bety y Jyri (2 de octubre de 2015)