Residents of Cruztón denounce threats and invasion of their lands

May 14, 2015

@RadioPozol

    @RadioPozol

On 26 April, in a communique, the Cruztón community, Venustiano Carranza municipality, Chiapas, which adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, denounced “before the bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto, president of Mexico, and the state governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello” the invasion of their lands, new threats of displacement, and the prohibition on working their lands due to the actions of the “Nuevo Guadalupe Victoria Organization,” based in the same municipality.

In 2007, Cruztón recovered nearly 250 hectares of land.  Since 2011, the community has suffered threats of forcible displacement and presently is being threatened by armed groups.

The community requests “immediate intervention, given that in 2013 we were threatened by this group, and on 16 April of this year, they appeared on our lands threatening us […].  They have also prevented us from entering our lands, frightening us with gunfire emanating from high-caliber weapons.  They also have prevented us from entering the sacred lands.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunidad Cruztón denuncia invasión de sus tierras (28 de abril de 2015)

Denuncian amenazas a pobladores de Cruztón, municipio de Venustiano Carranza, adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona (24 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Cruztón denounces invasion of lands (8 June 2011)


Guerrero/National: SCJN examines IACHR sentence in the case of Inés and Valentina, indigenous women who were raped by the military in 2002

May 3, 2015

Inés y Valentina (@Tlachinollan)Inés and Valentina (@Tlachinollan)

On 21 April, the plenary of the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) began a discussion regarding the sentence provided by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in August 2010 which condemned the Mexican State for the violation of the human rights of Valentina Rosendo Cantú and Inés Fernández Ortega, indigenous women who were sexually assaulted by soldiers in Guerrero state in 2002.

Valentina and Inés have requested that the SCJN treat their case as it did the Radilla case (a forcible disappearance, also from Guerrero state) to determine the obligations of the judiciary amidst the sentences emitted by the IACHR.  They believe that the discussion within the Supreme Court is critically important, as this could lead to penal processes against soldiers with a focus on sexual torture and the administration of justice with a sensitivity to matters of gender and ethnicity, among other questions.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, which has provided counsel for the two indigenous women, has declared that the process of debate “opens the possibility that the SCJN would recognize the symbolic struggle for justice that both women have undertaken, and to hand down criteria that would help indigenous women experience better conditions in their search for justice.  Above all, it would contribute to the cause of having sexual torture by investigated and adequately judged in Mexico.”

However, during one of the initial sessions, the SCJN decided to exclude from consideration the constitutionality of part II of the new article 57 of the Military Justice Code, which has to do with military tribunals.  Civil-society organizations present at the session expressed their concern due to this evident lack of concern for a deep analysis of the question.

For more information (in Spanish):

COMUNICADO “Inicia la SCJN discusión sobre las obligaciones del Poder Judicial de la Federación frente a las sentencias dictadas por la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en los casos de Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo” (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 21 de abril de 2015)

Discute SCJN sentencia de CIDH por violación a indígenas en 2002 (La Jornada, 21 de abril de 2015)

Resoluciones de COIDH son obligatorias (El Universal, 21 de abril de 2015)

SCJN no revisará ley militar en caso de Valentina Rosendo e Inés Fernández (La Jornada, 23 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Beginning of legal processes against soldiers presumed to be responsible in the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (15 January 2014)

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (5 February 2013)

Guerrero: Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández receive recognitions of their struggle (16 November 2012)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)


National: Mexico, second-worst country in terms of impunity

April 24, 2015

Presentación IGI 2015 (@UDLAP)

IGI 2015 presentation (@UDLAP)

On April 20, the results of the 2015 Global Impunity Index (IGI) were presented, by the University of the Americas in Puebla (UDLAP).  The study’s authors concluded that Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, and Russia are the worst countries in terms of impunity–in this order.  It should be stressed, nonetheless, that the analysis of official data regarding security, justice, and human rights was applied to only 59 countries, not the 193 member-nations of the United Nations, given that 134 lack the requisite systematic information.

The report establishes a series of recommendations: for example, the need to have more judges in the justice system (the index estimates an average of 17 judges per 100,000 citizens, while Mexico has only 4 per 100,000), or the fact that “it is not necessary to invest more resources to expand the number of police, but rather this should be focused on the effective guarantee of their actions,” especially when “a deficiency is seen in nearly half of the population arrested without charge (46%).”

For more information (in Spanish):

México ocupa el lugar 58 de 59 países en materia de impunidad (UDLAP, 20 de abril de 2015)

Alertan por niveles de impunidad en México (El Universal, 21 de abril de 2015)

México es el segundo país con mayor impunidad en el mundo, según informe(CNN México, 21 de abril de 2015)

La Impunidad en México (El País, 21 de abril de 2015)

México, el segundo país con más altos índices de impunidad (sólo debajo de Filipinas) (Animal Político, 20 de abril de 2015)

México, segundo lugar en Índice Global de Impunidad (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2015)


Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats

April 24, 2015

Campamento de desplazados de Primero de Agosto (@ChiapasParalelo)

Campsite of the forcibly displaced people from the (Community) Poblado Primero de Agosto (@ChiapasParalelo)

In a communique published on April 17, 2015,  the forcibly displaced people of the community Primero de Agosto, released the lastest harassments they´ve suffered on lands they currently occupy, next to the diversion of the road to Las Margaritas – New Momón towards Monte Cristo Viejo.

In the public denouncement, they shared that from April 9-15, members of the ejido Miguel Hidalgo have fired three shots at 500 yards from where they are currently forcibly displaced, received verbal (shouts) threats, and entered and burgled the house of one of the displaced persons.

It should be recalled that that those who are accused of the recent harassments belong to the Historic Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) and are also responsible for, both, the forced displacement of 57 people of the territory “El Roble” on February 23, 2015 and of the previous acts of threats, assaults, and agresions.

In voice of the displaced women, the statement includes a description of the physical and psychological health of the displaced persons: “… we are becoming ill due to the new threats of attacks and agresions. Where are we now there is much insecuirty, we are restless, uneasy and we can not sleep due to the fear that the authorities of Miguel Hidalgo might harm us again and because they´ve told us they will kidnap our compañeros. Our children are ill with cough, fever, stomach aches, headaches, typhoid, and they always ask us when we will return to our homes.” They also demand that the government fulfills the agreements made on February 25 – in which it was agreed to distribute the 74 hectares of the Poblado Primero de Agosto equally between the two groups – the administration of justice, the return to Primero de Agosto, the punishment to the perpetrators and masterminds of the attacks, and comprehensive compensation for the damages incurred. Lastly, they hold the three levels of government responsible for whatever could happen to the forcibly displaced Tojolabal families, in case the conflict is not resolved.

For more information (in Spanish):

Desplazados de Primero de Agosto denuncian amenazas en su campamento‏ (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de abril de 2015)

Familias desplazadas del poblado Primero de Agosto en condiciones precarias (Red TdT, 9 de marzo de 2015)

#VIDEO #Desplazados de Primero de Agosto dan su palabra frente a la agresión de la #CIOAC-H #Paramilitar en #CHIAPAS (Koman Ilel, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)


Oaxaca/National: Arrests of migrants at close of “Allied Borders” Way of the Cross

April 24, 2015

Viacrucis Migrante (@Centroprodh)

Migrant Way of the Cross (@Centroprodh)

Following several episodes of obstruction of their progress and path, the “Allied Borders” Way of the Cross succeeded in arriving on 18 April to Mexico City.

The Way of the Cross group was made up by 300 Central American migrants accompanied by the priest Alejandro Solalinde, in an attempt to make visible the rise in human-rights violations of migrants in transit following the implementation in Mexico of the Southern Border Program.

There were two moments in which the path of the migrants was impeded.  The first took place, according to the organizers of the action, due to a police blockade of the exit from the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, together with electronic jamming of cell phones, local phone lines, and the Internet.  Beyond this, the bus-drivers who had been hired for transport refused to continue their services after the federal authorities threatened to charge them with human trafficking.  The second police blockade occurred in El Espinal in Oaxaca, which was overcome thanks to a human chain that was comprised of activists and teachers from Setcion 22.

Upon arrival in Mexico City, the migrants visited the Basílica of Guadalupe, met with the president of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), and concluded the action with a public event at the Mexico City Human Rights Commission (CDHDF).  After this, each of the migrants continued on their journeys, promised protection from arrest or deportation.  Nonetheless, at least 30 migrants who participated in the action have been arrested in Guanajuato and Querétaro.  In response, close to 80 comrades from the “Way of the Cross” installed a sit-in before the Mexico City branch of the National Migration Institute (INM) to demand the release of those arrested.  Some of the incarcerated migrants have declared themselves on hunger strike, and their sympathizers at the sit-in have warned that they will adopt this tactic if the detained are not released immediately.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian detención de 30 migrantes del Viacrucis; estaban amparados(Proceso, 21 de abril de 2015)

Migrantes que participaron en “viacrucis” son detenidos en Querétaro (CNN México, 21 de abril de 2015)

Viacrucis Migrante llega a su fin con acto en la CDH (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2015)

Preocupa a AI la seguridad de integrantes del Viacrucis Migrante en Ixtepec, Oaxaca. (Amnistía Internacional, 10 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: authorities attempt to repress “Migrant Way of the Cross” (23 April 2015)

Nacional/Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco: Conforman el Colectivo de Defensores de Migrantes y Refugiados (Codemire) (9 de abril de 2015)

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of INM agents, says La 72 (22 March 2015)

Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Fray Tomás González (13 November 2014)


Chiapas: Change of General Secretary for Governance

April 24, 2015

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda y Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

On April 16, Chiapas´ state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, announced the resignation of his General Secretary for Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, who is to be replaced by the PRI official Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda. Ramírez Aguilar, a former mayor of Comitán, will return to the House of Deputies.  In July 2013, he solicited the license for the position that he just left.

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda was a founding member of the Federal Congress’s Commission for Concordance and Pacification, which participated in dialogues with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).  He held the position of federal representative in the time-period during which he was coordinating the PRI Chiapas group and oversaw the Southern Border Commission.  Before taking up his new charge, he was head of the Secretary for Planning, Public Management, and Government Program.

No explanation was given as to the change in the cabinet, though rumors point to differences between the Mexican Green Ecologist Party (PVEM, to which the governor belongs) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), in a government that has been in alliance between these two parties.  Rumors indicate that the resignation of Ramírez Aguilar took place following a meeting between the state potentate and the federal Secretary for Governance (SEGOB), Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong. Other sources stress the presumed connections between the state official with a “paramilitary organized crime group” as a possible motive.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: nuevo secretario de Gobierno; el anterior, señalado por nexos con paramilitares (Aristegui Noticias, 18 abril de 2015)

Nombran nuevo secretario general en Chiapas (El Universal, 17 de abril de 2015)

Gobernador de Chiapas va a la Segob y luego cambia a su secretario de Gobierno (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2015)

La Secretaría General de Gobierno, la rifa del tigre (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de abril de 2015)


Chiapas: legal motion denied to the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón

April 24, 2015

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

Ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, who struggle against the imposition of tourist megaprojects on their land, have been denied the legal motion they had presented to the courts in March 2011.  After three cancellations, an attempt to transfer the case to the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation, and despite the the detection of violations of due process, a federal tribunal denied the motion 274/2011.  In a communique released on 10 April, the anniversary of the murder of Emiliano Zapata, the ejidatarios reported their knowledge of the refusal of the motion, reaffirmed their commitment to the struggle against the State, and denounced that official authorities are meeting with party-members from the region, seeking to develop strategies to crush their own autonomous process.

This struggle over the management of lands surrounding the Agua Azul waterfalls has resulted in three violent displacement operations, two murdered communal leaders (Juan Vázquez Guzmán, killed on 24 April 2013, and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, killed on 21 March 2014), and several political prisoners.  Recently, the ejidatarios also had their regional headquarters burned down, in an operation that involved 600 police, who threatened two autonomous journalists and took their equipment.

In the latest communique, released on 11 April, the ejidatarios make an invitation to the commemoration of the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.  On 24 April, the second anniversary of his, a mass will be held in the family home of Juan Vázquez Guzmán at 3pm.

As a means of popular pressure, a petition has been launched on www.change.org, and the Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights seeks signatures for its communique in support of the ejidatarios.  Those interested can email adorsetchiapassolidarity@aol.co.uk.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona. Chiapas. México. (Blog Viva Bachajón, 11 de abril de 2015)

Piden solidaridad para habitantes de San Sebastián Bachajón (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Chiapas: first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth to San Sebastían Bachajón after the violent displacement of 9 January (29 January 2015)

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (21 January 2015)


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