Mexico: Denunciations of new attacks aganist indigenous community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán

June 10, 2015

(@Koman Ilel)

(@Koman Ilel)

On 26 May, the Commission for the Defense of the Common Lands of Santa María Ostula, Aquila municipality, Michoacán, denounced that the day prior, it had suffered a new attack at the hands of the Knights Templar Cartel. It expressed that this represents “not only an alarm in terms of security, but also in terms of the very existence of our communal organization and ability to continue as a people.”

It warned that “newly, the Knights Templar Cartel is seeking to destroy our communal organization, for this attack coincides with the new actions taken by the community, beginning on 23 May, when a new agrarian order was consolidated in the recovered lands of Xayakalan.”

It should be noted that, though the Santa María Ostula community has organized itself to exercise its own forms of justice and self-defense, it has experienced harassment and attacks since 2009, when communards recovered approximately 1,300 hectares. It has also seen the consequences of mass-deforestation due to the operations of transnational corporations during 2012-2013.

The commission demanded respect for its communal police and the life and integrity of the general commander and coordinator of the self-defense units of the coastal and mountainous regions of Michoacán, Cemeí Verdía, as well as punishment of those responsible for the attacks on the community, and “respect for autonomy and lands belonging from time immemorial to the indigenous community of Santa María Ostula.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la comisión para la Defensa de los Bienes Comunales de Santa María Ostula (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 26 de mayo de 2015)

Reporta policía comunitaria enfrentamientos en Michoacán (El Universal, 26 de mayo de 2015)

Boletín 3 sobre los hechos en Santa María Ostula, Michoacán (Radio Zapatista, 30 de mayo de 2015)


Oaxaca: Omar Esparza denounces group contracted to murder him; threats against lawyers in the case of Bety and Jyri

June 10, 2015

Foto @ Aristegui Noticias

Photo @ Aristegui Noticias

Omar Esparza Zárate, widower of Bety Cariño, a human-rights defender who died alongside Jyri Jaakkola for participating in a humanitarian-aid caravan to San Juan Copala in 2010, denounced the existence of an armed group that seeks to kill him, being contracted by Antonio Cruz (alias “Toño Bird), the leader of the Movement for Triqui Struggle and Unification (MULT), which is allied with the Union for Social Welfare in the Triqui Region (UBISORT). Omar Esparza holds the federal and state governments responsible for whatever attack he or his family would suffer, due to their failures to arrest all those responsible for the murders of Bety y Jyri. In an interview with Revolución Tres Punto Cero, Esparza indicated that “someone heard the conversation and told us to take the necessary security measures. It is not just a death-threat. There exists an armed group that has been hired to kill me.”

Beyond this, David Peña, lawyer from the National Association of Democratic Laywers (ANAD), declared in an interview with Aristegui CNN that the case is pending. Though three have been incarcerated, 10 arrest-orders are still open. He indicated that the “government of Finland (where Jyri Jaakkola had held citizenship) has been present and attentive to the process from the beginning. We have been accompanied by the Finnish Embassy, other embassies from the European Union, and the European Parliament itself held a special audience within the subcommittee on human rights.” He added that “this case was discussed by the Finnish president with Peña Nieto, who reiterated the Mexican State’s commitment to resolving the case. He has made this claim on three or four separate occasions. The problem is that the commitment Peña Nieto supposedy has is not translated into concrete actions.” Regardless, David Peña added that “there has been a near-total absence of the judiciary: no protection for witnesses, or investigation of those responsible. No resources for the arrest of the murderers, nor even now to guarantee the security of those who of us who are promoting the process, who in recent weeks have received death-threats and warnings to abandon the case.”

The lawyer explained the history of the Triqui region, wherein a group was created “by PRI governments with their finances. These groups have been publicly recognized, even by the Federal Attorney General’s Office, as a paramilitary group.” This group “attacked the caravan. We performed a process of documentation and investigation and succeeded in identifying who it was who attacked the caravan. Then the arrest-orders are released, but only three have been implemented, with 10 more pending. We are in an initial process of the trial against these three people, but the problem is that these put us at risk. Though we have 3 people incarcerated, 10 others are free, including two of the principal leaders. They have economic and military power, and with this protection or permissibility toward them on the part of politicians, they continue operating.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: Preocupación por la seguridad de Omar Esparza, Viudo de Bety Cariño (Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, 3 de junio de 2015)

Ausencia de la Federación en el caso del asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola: David Peña en CNN (Aristegui Noticias, 1 de junio de 2015)

Entrevista de Aristegui Noticias (29 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: 5 years since the murder of human rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (28 April 2015)

Oaxaca: Two female witnesses threatened in the murder case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (March 1, 2015)

Oaxaca: 4 years and 7 months later, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola is apprehended (February 8, 2015)


Chiapas: San Sebastián Bachajón ejido denounces a death and peaceful marches against the “looting of territory”

June 10, 2015

bachajon-circulo_mesa-de-trabajo-46-spanish-round-small

Logo from the Viva Bachajón blog

Members of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, Chilón municipality, reported that on 20 May Delmar Feliciano Méndez, 17 years of age and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, died by drowning when two municipal police patrols pursued him until he fell into the river. The ejidatari@s in resistance demadned justice for the death of Delmar Feliciano and expressed that his struggle for the defense of the land and territory will not stop.

Similarly, they published a note announcing that on 29 and 30 May, they would mobilize themselves peacefully to protest “the plundering of our territory and the murders committed by the bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto and Manuel Velasco Coello,” given that “they care nothing about murdering and forcibly disappearing students like our comrades from Ayotzinapa, the teacher comrade Galeano, Juan Vázquez Guzmán, and Juan Carlos Gomez Silvano. Their idea is to sow terror in the communities to continue doing their Narco-State big business,” they added. In addition, they demand “the liberation of our prisoners in Yajalón, JUAN ANTONIO GOMEZ SILVANO, MARIO AGUILAR SILVANO and ROBERTO GOMEZ HERNANDEZ; prisoners in Playas de Catazajá, SANTIAGO MORENO PEREZ and EMILIO JIMENEZ GOMEZ; and our prisoner in Amate, ESTEBAN GOMEZ JIMENEZ.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Bachajón denuncia la muerte de uno de sus integrantes por culpa del hostigamiento policíaco (Pozol Colectivo, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Bachajón se moviliza contra el despojo, asesinatos y por sus presos políticos (Centro de Medios Libres, 31 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Commemoration of 2 years since the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán in San Sebastián Bachajón (28 April 2015)

Chiapas: legal motion denied to the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón(April 24, 2015)

Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists attacked (10 April 2015)

Chiapas: new national and international brigade in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón (1 March 2015)

Chiapas: Tensions maintained in San Sebastián Bachajón(10 February 2015)


Mexico/National: Controversial participation of Rigoberta Menchú as an electoral observer

June 10, 2015

Foto @ La Jornada de Jalisco

Photo @ La Jornada de Jalisco

The Guatemalan Rigoberta Menchú Tum, recipient of the Nobel Peace Price, visited Mexico from 26 to 30 May on the invitation of the National Electoral Institute, which paid $10,000 to the Rigoberta Menchú Foundatjon for the Guatemalan indigenous woman to be present to promote voting and liberal democracy. The INE confirmed that it spent said amount ($153,157 MX) after Menchú conceded in an interview that she had received $10,000 “as well as taxes.” The INE social communication coordinator reported that the amount had been transferred because “at the very hour a benefactor intervened,” explaining that, to pay for Rigoberta’s visit, the INE had taken these resources as a sort of payment for electoral training. The annual rate was said to be unknown.

In the first place, Menchú Tum was accredited as a foreigner by the INE council president Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, who had recently provoked a scandal after mocking an indigenous leader during a telephone conversation. This scandal led different organizations from Oaxaca to publish a communique demanding “the immediate resignation of C. LORENZO CÓRDOVA VIANELLO, who up to now has ostentatiously held the office of President of the [INE], due to his discriminatory and backward attitude toward indigenous people. His insults offend the dignity of the indigenous peoples of Mexico.”

Subsequently, Rigoberta Menchú participed in an event in Acapulco, Guerrero, to promote the vote, when a Guerrero youth interrupted the event to say that many different comunities such as San Luis Acatlán, her Nahua community of origin, are subjected to violence. She added, “Ms. Rigoberta Menchú, our indignation and rage cannot end, and I know you understand. One other thing: we cannot continue to ask for a minute of silence for the disappeared, because to request just a minute for each murder and each disappearance in the country or our own state, we would be remain silent eternally.” This intervention was met with great applause.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sobre las declaraciones de Rigoberta Menchú (Change.org, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Cooperó el INE con 10 mil dólares para estancia de Rigoberta Menchú (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2015)

¿Por qué el INE dio 10 mil dólares a Rigoberta Menchú? (Red Política, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Organizaciones civiles de Oaxaca exigen destitución inmediata del titular del INE (Educa, 26 de mayo de 2015)

INE acredita a Rigoberta Menchú como observadora electoral (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de mayo de 2015)

Consígueme a un indígena” (El Financiero, 29 de mayo de 2015)


Chiapas: Violence in Teopisca to force women to attend a PRI rally

June 10, 2015

Pinta:

Graffiti: “Votes are gained, not bought,” Teopisca (@Chiapas Paralelo)

On 27 May, women who benefit from the Próspera governmental welfare program occupied the Teopisca City Hall to protest the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and its mayoral candidate, as they had been forced to attend a rally from this party, planned for 10am the next day. They were threatened with having their support withdrawn if they did not attend the action, they denounced.

In retaliation, women painted graffiti against the PRI mayoral candidate, Raúl López; they also punctured the PRI bus’ tires and broke its windows. They demand the resignation of the Próspera municipal coordinator, and that the SEDESOL officials suspend political conditions for participation in the program.

In light of these acts, the Chiapas Center for Women’s Right A.C. (CDMCH) denounced “the violence that women face if they receive welfare programs from the political parties and officials of public policy, in exchange for votes, forcing them to join whatever political party to ensure the flow of support.” The CDMCH denounced that the women had been threatened with “having their programs withdrawn if they do not join the party, [which] takes advantage of their impoverished state, amidst the fact that there is no comprehensive attention granted by the State in terms of education, health, housing, and just work.”

The CDMCH has demanded a halt to violence against women, as well as the use of poverty for political ends, being “consequences of the impunity and social backwardness in which thousands of us women and our families live in Chiapas, in terms of the exercise of the right to free and informed voting on 7 June.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Beneficiarias de Prospera en Teopisca desocupan alcaldía tras cese de funcionaria, La Jornada, 30 de mayo de 2015

Protestas en Teopisca por uso electoral de programa social, La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2015

Comunicado del cdmch ante los hechos violentos een el municipio de Teopisca por motivos electorales, CDMCH, 29 de mayo de 2015

Mujeres denuncian que el PRI les condiciona la entrega de PROSPERA en Teopisca, Chiapasparalelo, 28 de mayo de 2015


Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress

June 9, 2015

Ayotzinapa, 8 meses (@Radio Pozol)

Ayotzinapa, 8 months on (@Radio Pozol)

26 May 2015 marked 8 months since the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero. Relatives of the disappeared continue to declare that they will “neither forget nor forgive.” As on each 26 of every month, thousands organized themselves to protest and demand justice. Manifestations were held in small communities and large cities throughout Mexico and the world to demand the appearance with life of the 43 students.

In Mexico City, parents and those in solidarity marched from four points of the city, converging on the Zócalo. At the end of the march, protestors lit electoral propaganda on fire, leading to a confrontation between some of the dissidents and the police. This confrontation resulted in one arrest.

Two weeks before the elections, parents of the disappeared called on civil society not to vote in the 7 June elections. Felipe de la Cruz, spokesperson for the relatives, said, “We as parents have decided not to vote. We say no to the elections.” In a communique from the “Raúl Isidro Burgos” Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, current students shared that “beyond being well-known that the electoral process has been infiltrated by criminals who seek only to continue looting our country within this context of inequality, poverty, violence, lack of security, and illiteracy that dishonorably affects a large part of the Mexican populace, the political parties have victimized our people.”

Presently, the relatives are separated among different parts of the world. On 19 May 2015 the European solidarity caravan for Ayotzinapa ended after visiting 18 cities over 34 days, while on 28 May, the “Caravan 43 South America” arrived in Uruguay to “globalize resistance.” The “Caravan 43 South America” began on 16 May in Córdoba, Argentina, and will end on 12 June in Río de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information (in Spanish):

Palabras de los normalistas de Ayotzinapa, a ocho meses de la desaparición forzada de 43 de sus compañeros (26 de mayo de 2015)

A dos semanas de las elecciones, padres de Ayotzinapa insisten en boicot electoral (Animal Político, 26 de mayo de 2015)

A 8 meses de Ayotzinapa, la protesta social se diluye y los padres piden: “No nos dejen solos”

(Sin Embargo, 27 de mayo de 2015)

Movilizaciones en el DF por la XII Acción Global por Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 26 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/International: Eurocaravan for Ayotzinapa prohibited from protesting in front of Mexican embassy in Spain (7 June 2015)

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

Guerrero/International: Brigade for Ayotzinapa travels to Europe (24 April 2015)

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


Guerrero: On hunger strike, Nestora Salgado continues to hope for transfer as her health declines

June 9, 2015

Nestora Salgado (@socialism.com)

Nestora Salgado (@socialism.com)

Zaira Rodríguez, daughter of Nestora Salgado García, the coordinator of the Communal Police in Olinalá who has been on hunger-strike in the maximum-security prison of Tepic, Nayarit, since 5 May, denounced that her mother is taken to the dining room with the rest of the prisoners at mealtimes as a form of psychological torture. She denounced that the director of the prison falsified a medical report claiming that her mother had been seen by a doctor.

Since 18 May, members of the federal and state governments of Guerrero, as well of Mexico City, agreed to transfer the political prisoner from the federal prison in Nayarit to a facility ruled by common law. This change is due to the precautionary measures awarded to Nestora Salgado by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), as well as to a formal petition from the National Commission Human Rights (CNDH). Regardless, this transfer had been expected in any case.

In parallel terms, on 20 May, Eladio Ávila Pérez, the in-law of Salgado, was murdered in the Tomatlán municipality of Jalisco. Differnet media sources attributed the murder to death-threats that the victim had received due to his activism in favor of Nestora’s release. José Luis Ávila Báez, her husband, noted regardless that “to date my family has seen no evidence that the homicide has to do with the activism in search of the release of my wife Nestora Salgado, or that the Jalisco cartel or any other criminal group are affiliated or responsible for the crime. The causes of my father’s murder are to be determined by the Jalisco State Attorney General, who must investigate and punish the person(s) who perpetrated the act. For this reason, I request that an expeditious and effective investigation be carried out, so that my father’s murder not remain in impunity.”

On 25 May, 20 days after beginning her hunger strike, Nestora Salgado decided to suspend her consumption of liquids to demand that the State Prosecutor Miguel Ángel Godínez Muñoz agree to meet with her lawyer to review the case. News of a possible transfer are presently hoped for.

For more information (in Spanish):

Lleva Nestora 20 días en ayuno; se espera su traslado al DF, que se acordó hace una semana (El Sur 25 de mayo de 2015)

Deja Nestora de tomar líquidos en demanda de su libertad; cumple 19 días en huelga de hambre (El Sur 24 de mayo de 2015)

Asesinan en Jalisco al suegro de Nestora; la familia no tiene evidencias de que sea por el activismo, declaran (El Sur, 22 de mayo de 2015)

Comunicado completo de José Luis Ávila Baéz (Los AngelesPress, 21 de mayo de 2015)

Trasladarán a Nestora Salgado a un centro de reclusión del fuero común (La Jornada, 19 de mayo de 2015)

Cumple Nestora 15 días en ayuno; Segob retrasa su traslado a Tepepan (Proceso, 19 de mayo de 2015)

Por protestar, empeora la situación de Nestora Salgado en la cárcel (La Jornada, 18 de mayo de 2015)

Torturan a Nestora, que cumple 13 días en huelga de hambre; la llevan a donde comen otras presas (El Sur, 18 de mayo de 2015)

Op-eds (in Spanish):

Nestora Salgado, por Elena Poniatowska (La Jornada, 17 de mayo de 2015)

La comandanta Nestora, por Luis Hernández Navarro (La Jornada, 19 de mayo de 2015)

Nestora: rehén del Estado mexicano, por Magdalena Gómez (La Jornada, 19 de mayo de 2015)

Nestora, mujer de linaloe, por el CDH Tlachinollan (El Sur, 19 de mayo de 2015)

Firma la Acción Urgente: La vida e integridad de Nestora Salgado García Coordinadora de la Policía Comunitaria del Municipio de Olinalá está en grave riesgo (RedTdt)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: political prisoner Nestora Salgado, coordinator of the Communal Police of Olinalá, begins hunger strike (16 May 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR calls on Mexican government to guarantee medical attention to Nestora Salgado (8 February 2015)

Guerrero: Delay in release for Nestora Salgado; her daughter claims to have been threatened by phone (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: Death-threat directed against Nestora Salgado’s daughter and Communal Police commander from Olinalá (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release (2 September 2014)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 949 other followers