National/International: Army and security forces involved in extrajudicial executions, torture, and forcible disappearances: US State Department

July 21, 2015

usdos-logo-seal

The U.S. State Department has released its annual report on the human-rights situation in Mexico. It indicated that, in 2014, the Mexican Army and security forces were involved in forcible disappearances and murder, as in the cases of the 43 disappeared youth from Ayotzinapa and the 22 civilians killed in Tlatlaya. In this sense, the report notes that “significant problems related to human rights include the police and military due to their involvement in serious abuses, such as extrajudicial murders, torture, forcible disappearances, and physical abuse.” Furthermore, the report shared the conclusions come to by Juan Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, who denounced that these crimes are the consequence of the various irregularities that exist within the Mexican judicial system. “Impunity and corruption continue to be serious problems, particularly at the state and local levels, in the armed forces, and the judiciary,” the report notes. With reference to organized crime, it mentions that “organized-crime groups are also responsible for numerous murders, frequently acting with impunity and in alliance with corrupt state, local, and federal security officials.”

With respect to the Tlatlaya case in Mexico State, which took place on 30 June 2014, the report reviewed the confrontation between civilians and soldiers in which “22 individuals were killed under suspicious circumstances, some of them after having surrendered.” With regard to the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, the report sustained the conclusions which the Federal Attorney General’s Office had come to, maintaining the charges against the mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife, who were directly accused of responsibility for the disappearance of the students.

Beyond this, State highlighted other serious human-rights problems in Mexico, including the lamentable conditions in prisons and arbitrary arrests. In addition, the State report mentioned the death-threats and violence directed against human-rights defenders and journalists, abuse against migrants, domestic violence, human trafficking, abuse against people with disabilities, social and economic discrimination against the indigenous population, the exploitation of child labor, and attacks and threats against the gay community.

It should be mentioned that the conclusions of the report will serve as evidence for the U.S. Congress to consider when reviewing the amount of economic assistance to be granted next year to Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos en materia de Derechos Humanos 2014, versión en inglés: Mexico 2014 Human Rights Report

Ejército y fuerzas de seguridad de México, involucradas en asesinatos y desaparición de personas: EU (Proceso, 25 de junio de 2015)

Unilateral informe de EU sobre derechos humanos, responde Gobierno de México (Aristegui Noticias, 27 de junio de 2015)

Impunidad y corrupción son “problemas serios” en México, advierte EU(CNN México, 25 de junio de 2015)


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured

July 21, 2015

80 aniversario del Ejido Tila, octubre 2014 @ SIPAZ

80th anniversary of the Tila ejido, October 2014 @ SIPAZ

The ejidatarios from Tila, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, denounced that on 20 June, groups pertaining to the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had a confrontation, given that members of the PVEM “blockaded the crossroads of Jolpokitioc and Yajalón, using all the trucks from the City Hall” on the orders of the PVEM candidate, Edgar Leopoldo Gómez Gutiérrez, with the participation of masked youth who created “social intimidation because they have been seen on the paths near the ejido,” as the public denunciation noted.

Furthermore, on 6 July, the ejidatarios reported that the PRI candidate, Eliseo Trinidad Trujillo, was attacked with a firearms, provoking the arrival of eight cars “full of masked men carrying sticks, rocks, and firearms, as guided by the municipal police director, Jorge Antonio Decelis Guillén, the son of the cacique Gustavo Decelis.” “All of this was taking place within our ejido due to the action of the political parties and their elections, which always end in mutual death, because it is a choice between criminals […]. We want to say that in our Ch’ol indigenous people settled on ejidal land, we have spent 72 years confronting attacks on our land and territory, and it is not a legal space for political parties to come to fight, because the ejido is protected by a presidential resolution from 30 July 1934, published in the Official Diary of the Federation on 16 October of the same year,” they added in their denunciation.

State media mentioned that the PRI candidate had submitted a complaint before the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE). Trinidad Trujillo was injured, but a youth who was accompanying him on tour was injured in the head. Official sources also reported that they had received reports that three youth were injured by gunfire in the Nueva Esperanza neighborhood, being three PVEM militants who were presumably attacked by PRI members.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Tila denuncia sobre la violencia armada partidista (La Otra Ejido Tila, 8 de julio de 2015)

Un candidato a alcalde de Tila, Chiapas, es baleado tras acto de campaña (CNN México, 7 de julio de 2015)

Disputa entre militantes del PRI y PVEM en Chiapas deja cuatro heridos(La Jornada, 7 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (22 January 2014)


National/International: WOLA requests that U.S. suspends the Mérida Initiative

July 21, 2015

WOLA

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), together with another seven human-rights Mexican and U.S. organizations, has requested that the U.S. government arrest the resources earmarked for the Mérida Initiative, due to the fact that the Mexican State has not observed its requirements in terms of human rights. In 008, when the Initiative began, the U.S. Congress made the resources destined for Mexican security forces conditional on significant advances in the realm of human rights. “To detain these resources would signify a very clear message that the U.S. condemns the grave human-rights violations seen in Mexico,” explained Maureen Meyer, the primary coordinator of WOLA in Mexico. In their report, the organizations indicated that, according to their investigations and data, in addition to the findings made by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, Mexico has not progressed in this sense. “In general, to provide Mexican security forces with more training and equipment while corruption and abuses go on unchecked does not contribute to security in the country, but instead continues exacerbating an already grave human-rights situation,” notes the memo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden a EU retener fondos a México por derechos humanos (LaJornada, 9 de julio de 2015)

El memorándum completo (WOLA.org, 9 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/US: 15% of the funds of the Mérida Initiative may be tied conditionally for human-rights concerns (18 May 2012)


Oaxaca: Radio-show host murdered in Miahuatlán

July 21, 2015

@e_oaxaca

Photo @ E_oaxaca

Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento, a radio-show host for La Favorita, was killed on 2 July in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, located in the southern sierra of Oaxaca state. According to the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE), Filadelfo was intercepted by two individuals who were awaiting him at the exit of the radio-station where he worked, and they shot him to death. He has the brother of the journalist Misael Sánchez Sarmiento.

According to several media sources, the governor has ordered that the PGJE carry out an investigation to arrest the radio-show host’s murderers. A search operation was then launched.

It should be mentioned that, according to the organization Journalists without Borders, Mexico is the couintry with the sixth-highest number of murders of journalists. In the past 15 years, 103 journalists have been killed, with 25 others disappeared, according to the statistical report of the Special Prosecutorial Office for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression, affiliated with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a tiros a locutor en Oaxaca (Proceso, 2 de julio de 2015)

Asesinan a un locutor de radio y a un reportero (La Jornada, 3 de julio de 2015)

Asesinan a locutor en Oaxaca; hermano de periodista (Página3, 2 de julio de 2015)

En 15 años, 103 periodistas asesinados y otros 25 desaparecidos: informe de la PGR (La Jornada, 24 de febrero de 2015)

México, sexto país con más periodistas asesinados y quinto en secuestros (México CNN, 16 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

National: launching of Consultative Council of Mechanism for Protection of Journalists and Rights-Defenders (26 October 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)


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

July 3, 2015

@RadioPozol

@RadioPozol

In an Urgent Action published by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casa Center for Human Rights (Frayba) on 30 June, the Center expressed its concern “for the new attacks and death-threats against support-bases that comprise the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in the communities of El Rosario, belonging to the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality (MAREZ) of San Manuel; and Nuevo Paraíso, MAREZ Francisco Villa (official municipality of Ocosingo), who pertain to the ‘Path of the Future’ Good-Government Council (JBG), located in the ‘Toward a New Dawn’ Caracol III of La Garrucha in the Tseltal Jungle Zone of Chiapas. Due to the omission of the municipal and state governments to attend to the problem and to take up their responsibilities, there exist risks to the life, integrity, and personal security of BAEZLN.”

On 10 May, according to information published by the “Path of the Future” JBG, a group of 28 persons from the Pojcol ejido, Chiquinival neighborhood (official municipality of Chilón), together with another group of 21 people from El Rosario harassed and attacked BAEZLN from this same Zapatista Autonomous Community. That same afternoon, Andrés López Vázquez fired four times at a child of 13 years of age, being the daughter of a BAEZLN. On 14 May 2015, Frayba responded by sending notice to the governments of Chiapas regarding the armed attacks.

On 24 June, members of the Pojcol and El Rosario groups who were carrying firearms and accompanied by Guadalupe Flores, the presumed ex-owner of recovered lands, and an engineer went to measure lands belonging to the BAEZLN. They fired ten times into the air, forcibly entered two BAEZLN homes, and robbed belongings as well roof of one of the domiciles, according to an EZLN communique published on 25 June.

Frayba calls for national and international solidarity to express support for the threatened BAEZLN.

For more information (in Spanish):

Riesgos a la Vida y a la Integridad personal de BAEZLN en El Rosario y Nuevo Paraíso (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 30 de junio de 2015)

Nuevo ataque de paramilitares. Caracol Resistencia Hacia un Nuevo Amanecer. La Garrucha. (Enlace Zapatista, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denuncia de la JBG El Camino del Futuro. Caracol III La Garrucha (Enlace Zapatista, 11 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced

July 3, 2015

9meses

@LaJornada

On 26 June, nine months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, parents of the youth and other groups mobilized in Mexico City, carrying out a rally and an artistic event of 43 hours in length that included poetry-readings and theater next to the Bellas Artes (Fine Arts) Palace. Felipe de la Cruz, the spokesperson for the movement of relatives of the disappeared, said that “just as we have remained firm from the beginning, so will we continue until our youth appear with life.” “We tell you, State, and we say to you that we will be the pebble in your shoe, because we are not going to be silent, and we are not going to stop on our path […]. We will not stop struggling until our sons are presented with life,” said another relative of the disappeared. Also in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, many social organizations united their demands toward the presentation with life of the youth, and they took to the streets to demand justice. Using slogans such as “Down with the State!” and “Investigate the military!” protestors also carried banners denouncing military harassment and educational reforms.

On 17 June, Proceso reported that one of the 43 disappeared students was an active soldier. Previously, a journalist had requested information from the Ministry for National Defense (SEDENA) inquiring into whether any of the disappeared students had been an active soldier. According to the editors, this approach had to do with “a line of investigation regarding the degree of infiltration o the State within the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, which is considered by the political authorities to be a ‘fountain of guerrilleros.” SEDENA responded by saying that “we have found one person whose name corresponds to one of the 42 disappeared students from the Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, following your request; however, the name is classified to protect personal data.” Amidst this revelation, relatives of the disappeared stressed that this “shows clearly the military’s responsibility” in the case. Subsequently, on 26 June, personnel from the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) visited the municipal landfill of Cocula, where in October of last year a clandestine mass-grave was discovered. Beyond this, the command of the Iguala Preventive Police was shuttered, with no further information provided regarding the aim sought by this move.

For more information (in Spanish):

No nos vamos a callar”: familiares a 9 meses del caso Ayotzinapa (CNN México, 26 de junio de 2015)

Manifestantes marchan en Guerrero a 9 meses de caso Ayotzinapa(Informador.mx, 26 de junio de 2015)

Personal de PGR acude a basurero de Cocula a 9 meses del caso Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 17 de junio de 2015)

A nueve meses de su desaparición, padres de normalistas dicen: “está muy cerca la verdad” (Proceso, 27 de junio de 2015)

Personal de PGR acude a basurero de Cocula a 9 meses del caso Ayotzinapa (CNN México, 26 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


Chiapas: new threats against the priest and members of the Believing People in Simojovel

July 2, 2015

Padre Marcelo Pérez Pérez (@Red TdT)

Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez (@Red TdT)

In a communique published on 22 June, members of the parish of San Antonio de Padúa, Simojovel municipality, denounced that, since 16 June, death-threats have been on the rise against Father Marcelo Pérez, catechists, and members of the Parish Council and Believing People, thus putting at risk their lives and physical and psychological integrity. This increase has presented itself following the arrest of Juan Gómez Domínguez, a former PRI mayor, and two of his accomplices, given that “the PRI leaders from different communities hold the Believing People and Pérez Pérez responsible for these arrests, such that now we have entered a high-risk situation.”

Within these new aggressions, the Simojovel Catholics detail that on 16 June, PRI militants “met at the offices of the National Campesino Confederation, several of them carrying machetes, sticks, and gasoline amphoras. Even at night, they went to buy more gasoline, and during the day it was heard that they would attack the church and remove the priest forcibly to kill him.” Beyond this, on 20 June, “a parish council that has been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) received strong threats against its person and family, leading them to decide to leave and seek out refuge in another municipality for some days.” Two days later, 10 people “strongly armed harassed the CIRSA offices, being a cooperative created by the Catholic Church, whose board members work in the Church, yet no valuable objects were stolen.” That same day in Bochil, close to Simojovel, four people in a parked car were overheard saying, “We are going to decapitate Father Marcelo from Simojovel. We are just finding the right time to do so, given all the fucked-up things he does.”

It should be recalled that for the past year, the Catholics from Simojovel have through pilgrimages demanded the closure of cantinas and sex-houses, and that the sale of drugs and arms in the zone be curtailed. The result is the death-threats they now confront.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento completo: Situación de riesgo contra defensores comunitarios del Pueblo Creyente en Simojovel (Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel,

Por denunciar la corrupción y la venta de drogas, grupos priistas amenazan de muerte al sacerdote y habitantes de Simojovel, Chiapas(Desinformémonos, 25 de junio de 2015)

Prevalece en Simojovel “situación de alto riesgo” por detención de ex alcalde(La Jornada, 25 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)


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