Guerrero: Nestora Salgado Free

March 22, 2016


Nestora Salgado Garcia leaving prison. Photo: @Eduardo Miranda

After two years and seven months in detention, Nestora Salgado Garcia, who was a commander of the Community Police (la Policía Comunitaria – PC) in Olinala, Guerrero, has been released. Having obtained an order for formal release on the three main charges against her, last month she was informed that she was accused of three more charges: kidnapping, homicide, and theft. After an innocent ruling by judges on these accusations, she left prison in the PC uniform, in the company of relatives, community members and sympathizers.

It’s worth remembering that the commander was detained in August 2013 during a heavy-handed operation that included the participation of different police and army bodies. Following this, Salgado Garcia was imprisoned at the high security installation at Tepic, Nayarit, from where she was moved to the medical center at the Women’s Prison at Tepepan after a hunger strike demanding her freedom.

Since 2012, Olinala created its own Community Police after the appearance of organized crime and a lack of faith in the efficacy of the official justice system. It should be noted that the PC is based on ruling systems – the rules of traditional behavior which govern indigenous peoples in Guerrero – and are focused on the re-education of lawbreakers through community work as opposed to punishment and imprisonment. This system is recognized by the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (Organización Internacional del Trabajo – OIT), and Law 701 for Recognition, Rights and Culture of the Indigenous Peoples and Communities of the State of Guerrero.

After her release, Nestor declared that she would continue the struggle for the release of political prisoners in Guerrero and throughout Mexico. To do this, she called for the initiation of a campaign for the release of the estimated 500 people in the country denied their freedom for political reasons.

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a Nestora Salgado, este viernes sale de prisión (Desinformémonos, 17 de marzo de 2016)

Nestora Salgado, libre (Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2016)

Nestora Salgado sale libre luego de dos años y medio en prisión (Animal Político, 18 de marzo de 2016)

Soy libre y es la libertad del pueblo”: Nestora Salgado (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2016)

“Yo soy la voz del pueblo”: Nestora Salgado llama a liberación de presos políticos (SDP Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Tras órdenes de libertad, notifican otros tres cargos en contra de Nestora Salgado (17 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/Guerrero: Exhorta ONU al gobierno mexicano a liberar a Nestora Salgado (24 de febrero de 2016)

Guerrero/Nacional: Nestora Salgado levanta su huelga de hambre (6 de junio de 2015)


Chiapas: Calls for release of Alejandro Diaz Santiz

March 19, 2016

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Press conference for the release of Alejandro Diaz Santiz, December 2015.
Photo @Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad

More than 70 organizations, collectives, networks, and individuals signed a statement demanding the release of Alejandro Diaz Santiz, who “has spent almost 17 years without seeing the open sky, locked up in different prisons in Veracruz and Chiapas.” The unjustly imprisoned 35-year-old Tsotsil indigenous was arrested in 1999, “accused of a murder he didn’t commit”, and moreover “didn’t speak Spanish at the time of his arrest, was tortured, never had access to an interpreter and didn’t have enough money for an adequate legal defense”, the statement claims. The prisoner, who is an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and member of the prisoners’ collective Sympathizers of The Voice of Amate, has been organizing with others deprived of their freedom to denounce human rights violations inside the prisons and to seek justice in their cases. The members of the Sympathizers of the Voice of Amate have published many reports and organized actions, notably the 39-day hunger strike of 2011.

Currently Diaz Santiz is deprived of his liberty in the high security federal prison at Villa Comaltitlán, Tapachula, Chiapas. At this prison, “those sentenced for federal crimes are held, which is NOT the case of Alejandro Diaz.” The statement adds that, “the forced transfer to Villa Comaltitlán is political vengeance by the bad government against Alejandro, punishing him for supporting and raising the consciousness of the other prisoners and for not remaining silent in the face of abuses against those detained.” It also mentions that the state government did not fulfil its promise to release Diaz Santiz, as well as the fact that there are legal grounds to free him due to benefits he is legally entitled to. The statement ends with the demand for his immediate release and announcing upcoming activities and actions “so that this injustice ends.”

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas: Toman acuerdo Solidarios de la Voz del Amate para liberación de presos y reparación del daño (9 de febrero de 2016)

Personas, colectivos y organizaciones exigen Libertad para Alejandro Diaz Santiz (Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs, 5 de marzo de 2016)

Piden libertad inmediata para tzotzil acusado de asesinato que no cometió (SDP Noticias, 9 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Jornada por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal (9 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Trasladan a Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, junto a 386 presos, a penal de alta seguridad (15 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz denuncia amenazas por parte del director del penal nº5 de San Cristóbal (17 de febrero de 2015)

Chiapas: nueva denuncia del preso Alejandro Díaz Santis al finalizar ayuno (24 de octubre de 2014)

Chiapas: Multiple events for International Women’s Day

March 19, 2016


Pilgrimage of the women of Las Abejas de Acteal. Photo @SIPAZ

Multiple events were organized in Chiapas within the framework of International Women’s Day. In a state which ranks in the top ten as regards violence against women, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas – CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) published that “the right to life, personal integrity and safety, access to justice, to a life free from violence, among other fundamental rights is an outstanding subject in Chiapas, where women are the booty of war in the wide panorama of human rights violations that the Mexican State tolerates, perpetrates and reproduces, using terror as a strategy to detain multiple resistances.”

The Movement for Defense of Land and Territory and for the participation and recognition of women in decision making held an assembly, closing the encounter with a march and meeting. They published their agreements in a statement demanding the recognition and modification of Ejidal Rules and Statutes (Reglamentos Ejidales y Estatutos) to recognize women as co-owners of land and that their territories be declared free of megaprojects. Likewise, they rejected machismo and government programs “in the form of aid” aimed at women, they demanded that their right to health be met, the cancellation of the San Cristobal-Palenque and San Cristobal-Frontera Comalapa highways, recognition of the autonomy of Tila ejido and of Chimalapas, the declaration of Gender Violence Alert (Alerta de Violencia de Género – AVG) in Chiapas, and the removal of the armed forces from their territories.

There was a pilgrimage called for by the women of the Civil Society of Las Abejas de Acteal, who have maintained their opposition to the militarization of their territory since the massacre of 45 people in 1997. In their statement they recalled the murder of “21 women, 15 children, and nine men; as well as 26 wounded and four pregnant women who had their wombs opened, their babies taken out and cut up” and made a call “to resist but not to take on [the path of] violence” because “it is time to open the ears, it is time to awaken all those who have been in a deep sleep.”

On their part, the women of Simojovel, who through People of Faith (Pueblo Creyente) have been struggling against alcohol, for the closure of cantinas, and against drug trafficking in the region, protested “for so many injustices, ambition, delinquency, prostitution, etc., that we are living through.”

It should be noted that in the majority of the events the recent murder of Berta Caceres, Lenca indigenous defender of human rights, land and and territory in La Esperanza, Intibuca, Honduras, was condemned, and they expressed solidarity with Gustavo Castro and demanded that his safety be guaranteed and his immediate return to Mexico.

For more information in Spanish:

Nosotras también tenemos planes, proyectos, nuestro movimiento tiene pies y es nuestro trabajo comunitario, Movimiento de Mujeres en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (Casa de la Mujer Ixim Antsetik, 7 de marzo de 2016)

Por la defensa de la Madre Tierra y por la participación de las Mujeres (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 9 de marzo de 2016)

Palabra de las Abejas en el día internacional de la mujer (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 9 de marzo de 2016)

Si no existiera la mujer, no existiera la vida (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 9 de marzo de 2016)

Pronunciamiento ¡8 de marzo, nada que celebrar y mucho que denunciar! (Campaña popular contra la violencia hacia las mujeres y el feminicidio en Chiapas, 10 de marzo de 2016)

Conmemora Unich Día Internacional de la Mujer (Prensa Libre Chiapas, 8 de marzo de 2016)


Violencia hacia las mujeres, violación sistemática y estructural de derechos humanos (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 8 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: En 2016 continúan los feminicidios (25 de febrero de 2016)

México: Quinto aniversario de la Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en México (RNDDHM) (14 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas denuncia amenazas (8 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Eventos en el marco del Día Internacional de la Eliminación de la Violencia contra las Mujeres (2 de diciembre de 2015)

Guerrero: Relatives of the 43 begin search caravan to Iguala

March 10, 2016

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Image from mass in Iguala. Photo @ SIPAZ

On March 3, relatives, organizations and sympathizers began a caravan to Iguala in search of information about the forcefully disappeared youths at almost a year and a half since the forced disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. A number of lorries left the Isidro Burgos Teacher Training School to the town where the trainee teachers disappeared on the night of September 26 to 27, 2014, a date since which protests demanding truth and justice have not ceased, as well as actions on the part of the mothers and fathers of the youths to find their whereabouts.

For three days they held events focused on the search for the 43. The first day they staged a sit-in in the main square of the city where they also held a press conference with the presence of relatives and student teachers, as well as a mass in which the parish priest urged the inhabitants of Iguala to come forwatrd with information about the disappeared. They also installed ballot boxes to support the youths anonymously. The second day they toured the neighborhoods of the city with the aim of collecting information that might help the investigations as to the whereabouts of the student teachers. On the third day the search was closed with a meeting in the square.

For more information in Spanish:

Caravana por Ayotzinapa parte a Iguala para buscar a los 43 normalistas (Proceso, 3 de marzo de 2016)

Padres de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa retoman búsqueda en Iguala (Sin Embargo, 3 de marzo de 2016)

Familiares reinician búsqueda de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 4 de marzo de 2016)

Ayotzinapa, ejemplo de la aparente colusión Estado-crimen, dice CIDH (La Jornada, 3 de marzo de2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Padres y madres de Ayotzinapa van a la Corte, a 16 meses de la desaparición de sus hijos (27 de enero de 2016)

Guerrero: ONG y expertos en derechos humanos respaldan labor del GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (25 de enero de 2016)

Guerrero: Denuncian al Estado mexicano ante el Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos por muerte y tortura de normalistas de Ayotzinapa en 2011 (16 de diciembre de 2015)

Guerrero: Agresión a normalistas de Ayotzinapa deja 8 heridos graves y 13 detenidos (17 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Displaced families continue to demand justice

March 7, 2016


During the commemoration in Banavil, Tenejapa, Chiapas. Photo @ SIPAZ

February 21 last marked one year since the death of Antonia Lopez Mendez, a Tseltal girl who died in a situation of forced displacement and without medical attention. Her family returned for two days to the community of Banavil in the municipality of Tenejapa to remember Antonia in accordance with their customs. In front of the tomb of the girl, her family recalled the suffering that they experience in forced displacement. Her mother, Maria Mendez, said, “Antonia left displaced and she became ill in San Cristobal de Las Casas. We have nowhere to live, no land, and she became ill for this reason and she couldn’t receive proper medical attention. She also sought our return and for this we remember her.” A caravan of some 90 people from social organizations, of human rights observers and free media accompanied the displaced families on their return to their lands. This is the fourth time they returned provisionally having been displaced on December 4, 2011 by an attack by armed members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). It is also worth remembering that since that date, Alonso Lopez Luna has been missing.

Likewise, February 23 marked one year since the forced displacement of 60 Tojolabales from the village of Primero de Agosto in the municipality of Las Margaritas. For one year, “when the ‘ejidatarios’ of Miguel Hidalgo forcefully displaced us from our village”, they have been living in a camp 15 minutes from their place of origin in precarious conditions. In the communiqué on the first anniversary of their displacement, they pointed out that, “as villagers we have put up with death threats, kidnapping, humiliation, harassment, one year of living under pieces of plastic, sleeping on wet ground, facing illnesses when our women and children are ill, a year of pain, a long year asking the federal, state, and municipal governments for a return to our village and for justice for those responsible for those criminal acts, who to date continue with impunity […] This year we have shared our pain with the world, we have walked to make new paths of peace and justice with dignity, and as campesinos we need land to be able to live and work because the land belongs to those who work it.” It is worth highlighting that on February 7 last, Marisa Fernandez Mendez Perez, a four-month-old baby dies due to the vulnerability of the conditions in which she was born. Apart from the displaced, various civil organizations, among them the Network for Peace (Red por la Paz) have asked “energetically that the State of Chiapas fulfills its agreements to bring about the conditions to resolve this situation of displacement.”

It is worth mentioning that at the end of 2014, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) launched a campaign, “Faces of Disposession” with the objective of giving visibility to the problem of forced displacement in Chiapas, and which is included in what they refer to as “within the government strategies which systematically eliminate community culture and denies the full recognition of the collective rights of indigenous peoples.”

For more information:

Comunicado de los pobladores de Primero de Agosto a un año de su desplazamiento forzado (Koman Ilel, 24 de febrero de 2016)

A más de 4 años, desplazados de Banavil mantienen la esperanza de retornar al verdadero hogar (Desinformémonos, 23 de febrero de 2016)

NotiFrayba: Antonia, niña tzeltal, a un año de su muerte en desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 23 de febreo de 2016)

Manuel Velasco incumplió a desplazados (Mural Chiapas, 23 de febrero de 2016)

Comunicado Red por la Paz (CDHFBC, 17 de febrero de 2016)

Boletín de prensa No. 04A un año del desplazamiento forzado de la comunidad Primero de Agosto, niña muere por condiciones de vulnerabilidad, omisión y negligencia médica (CDHFBC, 16 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas: Desplazados y desplazadas de Banavil, 4 años de impunidad (9 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Retorno provisional de las familias desplazadas de Banavil para Día de MuertosTumba de Antonia López Méndez. (9 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil retornan temporalmente a su comunidad (12 de agosto de 2015)

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

Chiapas: 8 meses de “amenazas y hostigamiento” a tojolabales en desplazamiento forzado del poblado Primero de Agosto (5 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Red por la Paz denuncia actitud omisa del gobierno de Chiapas ante caso de Primero de Agosto (16 de julio de 2015)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia reports neglect of visual health

February 26, 2016


CERSS NO.5, San Cristobal de Las Casas. Photo @ CGT Chiapas

On February 15, the unjustly imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz publicly denounced loss of vision he is experiencing “from the blows of the torture I suffered in the installations of FECDO” during his detention. According to Paciencia, who has now been a prisoner for two years awaiting sentencing, “On September 24 last of the year 2015, they took me to hospital to an ophthalmologist, who prescribed spectacles.” He added that, “The director of the prison and the accountant told me that I would have to buy them, but unfortunately I am a poor prisoner and I don’t have the resources to buy them. For this reason I make this public denouncement. I blame the state for any complication that occurs.”

It is worth remembering that this prisoner, unjustly denied his freedom, has been denouncing the irregularities, such as lack of food, denial of visits, as well as his unjust detention and imprisonment, at the State Centre for Social Reintegration of Prisoners No. 5 (Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados – CERSS- n°5) of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Furthermore, referring to the case, the state government promised to “release [Paciencia] as soon as possible in a period of less than a month after February 5 of this year” at the negotiating table with ex-prisoners, members of the organization Supporters of the Voice of Amate (Solidarios de La Voz de Amate), who are claiming for damages for their years of unjust imprisonment, along with the release of prisoners of conscience such as Roberto Paciencia Cruz and Alejandro Diaz Santis.

For more information in Spanish:

Roberto Paciencia exige su libertad (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 17 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncia Roberto Paciencia escasez de alimentos y negación de visitas (27 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Preso de San Cristóbal, Roberto Paciencia, denuncia que le fabricaron su delito (28 de agosto de 2015)

Chiapas: Toman acuerdo Solidarios de la Voz del Amate para liberación de presos y reparación del daño (9de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas: Organizations warn of possible repression in Tila ejido

February 26, 2016


Photo @ SIPAZ

On February 22, dozens of human rights and peace organizations, among them International Service for Peace, SIPAZ, sent a letter to the Chiapas and federal authorities in which they warned of a possible repression of the Chol ejidatarios of Tila, who declared their autonomy last year in defense of their territory. Seven years ago, the ejidatarios won a protection order for the restitution of 130 hectares of their territory that were illegally taken by the municipal authorities for the establishment of an urban zone. With the refusal of those responsible to return the land, the ejido lodged a Non-compliance of Sentence case 1302/2010 with the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, which has been unresolved for five years.

“We know that in the commemoration of the 7th anniversary of the concession of protection, inhabitants of the ejido held a demonstration on December 16, 2015, which ended in front of the Town Hall, turning into a confrontation between the authorities and the demonstrators. This act culminated in a Declaration of Autonomy and Self-determination”, the organizations stated. The signatory organizations recognized the “legitimate” process of defense of territory that the ejido of Tila has exercised for more than 50 years. The Home for Migrants in Saltillo, the United Nations Professor of Human Rights of UNAM, The Montaña Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights and the Friar Francis of Vitoria Center for Human Rights, among other signatories, expressed their concern over the possibility that there may be a repressive reaction against the Choles by the federal, state and local authorities.

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones alertan por posible represión en Tila (Dentro ProDH, 23 de febrero de 2016)

OSC manifiestan preocupación por posible represión en Ejido Tila (CENCOS, 22 de febrero de 2016)

Carta OSC sobre ejido Tila (22 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Ejido Tila denuncia “célula paramilitar y mentiras del gobierno” (8 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: Indígenas Ch´oles toman la alcaldía de Tila tras décadas de no haber sido atendid@s (17 de diciembre de 2015)



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