Oaxaca: 4 years and 7 months on, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola is apprehended

February 8, 2015


On 21 January, Elías Cruz Merino, leader of the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and official of San Juan Copala, was arrested as one of the presumed murderers of the human-rights defenders Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Finnish).  Both were killed in April 2010 as they participated in a humanitarian caravan headed to San Juan Copala.  Cruz Merino is accused of the premeditated murder of the two activists.

Since April of last year, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers denounced that those responsible for the murders had been plainly identified, but that the government had refused to implement the corresponding arrest-orders.

Omar Esparza Zárate, widower of Bety Cariño and leader of the Indigenous Zapatista Agrarian Movement (MAIZ), affirmed that this arrest constitutes an advance, but he observed that 10 other arrest-orders remain unobserved.  He noted: “For us it is clear that they continue to be protected by certain power-groups in Oaxaca.  Still, we will continue to demand that justice not be delayed but instead expedited.”    Esparza Zárate also announced that European parliamentarians will carry out a visit to Mexico in February to pressure the Mexican State and continue demanding justice.

For more information (in Spanish):

Capturan a policía implicado en crimen de los activistas Cariño y Jaakkola (Proceso, 22 de enero de 2015)

Encarcelan a dirigente del MULT por homicidio de ‘Bety’ Cariño y de finlandés (Radio Formula, 22 de enero de 2015)

Capturan a presunto homicida de Bety Cariño (Noticias.net, 23 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Parents of Jyri Jaakkola visit Mexico for fifth time to demand justice (7 December 2014)

National/Oaxaca: Mothers of the disappeared express solidarity with Omar Esparza and his family on hunger strike (18 May 2014)

Oaxaca: In response to 4 years of impunity, hunger strikes and protests taken to resist murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (2 May 2014)

Oaxaca: Three-year impunity continues in the case of the murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: 12 arrest-orders released against presumed material authors of the murder of the Mexican defender Bety Cariño and the Finnish observer Jyri Jaakkola (12 October 2012)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa

February 5, 2015

Familiares y compañeros de los estudiantes desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa, diciembre de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Relatives and comrades of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, December 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 22 January, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique expressing solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero.  With respect to the case, Las Abejas asked “how it is possible that the supposed president of Mexico and his collaborators repress the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students instead of engaging in a truthful investigation and applying punishment to those responsible for their disappearance?”  They noted beyond this that, if it was the case that the Army was involved in the atrocity, “why hide or cover this up–why do they fear?”

At the municipal level, the Las Abejas Civil Society denounced that Manuel Ansaldo Meneses, whom it indicates as being one of the “paramilitaries [who was responsible for] the Acteal massacre […] is requesting economic support for the other material authors of the massacre and those released from prison by the supposed ministers of justice of the Supreme Court [sic].”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Las Abejas 22 de enero 2015 (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de enero de 2015)

Las Abejas se solidarizan con Bachajon y Ayotzinapa y anuncian su presencia el 24 por Jtatik Samuel (Espoir Chiapas, 22 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: During the XVII anniversary of the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas denounce impunity and affirm, “They could not kill our roots” (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case

February 5, 2015


March for Ayotzinapa in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 14 November 2014

Photo @ SIPAZ archive

The Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has failed adequately to investigate the denunciations that have been made of the complicity of the armed forces and other authorities in the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, according to Erika Guevara Rosas, Regional Director of the Americas for Amnesty International, as she claimed in a press-conference on 22 January.  The Amnesty experts have criticized the inconsistencies in the investigations carried out by the PGR, whose head, Jesús Murillo Karam, declared on 21 January that his conclusion is that the 43 students have been killed, based on the identification of the remains of the student Alexander Mora Venancio among the evidence recovered at the waste-dump in Cocula, Guerrero.  On 22 January, relatives and friends of Alexander Mora marched through the streets of the Tecoanapa municipality to demand the presentation of the remains of the student.  José Félix Rosas Rodríguez, spokesperson of the Popular Movement of Guerrero (MPG) in Tecoanapa, said that “more than a month and a half on, they have not returned the remains of the student to his father, Ezequiel Mora Chona.”

On 20 January, Institute of Forensic Medicine at Innsbruck University announced that the scientific studies that were applied to the remains collected in Cocula–that is, which presumably belong to the disappeared students–establish that “the excessive heat has destroyed the DNA […] of the remains, such that to date, the routine methods that have been used have not produced a conclusive result.”  The Institute mentioned the possibility of using a new technology that could serve as a useful tool to continue examining the presumed remains of the disappeared students.  Without having consulted the relatives of the disappeared, the PGR requested that the Institute immediately carry out said studies.

The relatives and their counsel, Vidulfo Rosales, from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, have insisted that the investigation must include the role of the Army in the disappearances, and that the military barracks must be opened to search for evidence.  However, on 21 January, the search for the students in these barracks “has been suspended,” according to Rosales, who indicated that the agreement made with the Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, had been to “examine all the barracks, but now we are surprised that they are saying that only Iguala will be investigated.”  All the relevant police stations and jails have been investigated to date, but not Army installations.  Beyond this, “there is evidence” against the military, in light of the “defensive attitude taken by the federal government,” the lawyer added.

Four months after the disappearance of the 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, the parents of the disappeared have organized new mobilizations for 26 January at 10am, when four megamarches will be launched in Mexico City.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ayotzinapa: Amnistía Internacional acusa falta de investigación sobre la participación del ejército (Información SIDIDH, 22 de enero de 2015)

PGR falló en investigación sobre el caso Ayotzinapa: AI (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de enero de 2015)

Crece la rabia: que por lo menos investiguen al Ejército (Proceso, 18 de enero de 2015)

“Calor excesivo ha destruido el ADN” de presuntos restos de estudiantes de Ayotzinapa: Innsbruck (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de enero de 2015)

National: Peace Brigades International (PBI) publishes report, “Mexico at Peace? Security Strategy and Human Rights”

February 5, 2015


On 21 January, Peace Brigades International, a non-governmental organization with 30 years of experience in international accompaniment and a permanent presence in Mexico since 1999, published its new report, “Mexico at Peace? Security Strategy and Human Rights.”  The document is based on interviews carried out by PBI with human-rights defenders who call into question a number of aspects of the federal government’s security strategy, particularly with regard to the “considerable role still played by the Army in public-security tasks, with no clear end-date [in sight].”

The new report stresses that, despite the official discourse, “PBI has not observed a Mexico at peace during the first two years of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, but rather can speak to the continuity of the problems related to public-security policies and their worrying effects on the respect for human rights in the country.”

The report has been presented publicly at a meeting attended by members of civil organizations who shared their concerns regarding the human-rights situation in the country, as well as diplomatic representatives from the German, Dutch, Canadian, French, Swiss, Norwegian, and European Union embassies.

In its conclusions to the report, PBI manifests its worry for the present context of insecurity and calls on foreign governments and their diplomatic representatives in Mexico to base their relations with Mexico on the state of Mexican human-rights defenders.  In this way, it also called on the Mexican State to recognize the importance and legitimacy of the work carried out by rights-defenders, to assure their physical and psychological integrity, and to implement effective measures of protection, both nationally and internationally.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe completo

Boletín de PBI México destaca consecuencias de la estrategia de seguridad para la defensa de DDHH (PBI, 21 de enero de 2015)

México, sin paz a pesar del discurso oficial: PBI (Centro ProDH, 22 de enero de 2015)

Repite Peña la lucha anticrimen del calderonismo, afirma grupo PBI (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Peace Brigades International presents report on situation of human-rights defenders in Mexico (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Inauguration of the International Film Festival amidst protests

February 5, 2015


Photo @Ivett Salgado (Milenio)

On 16 January, the first installment of the International Film Festival was launched in San Cristóbal de las Casas, amidst popular protest calling on authorities to remember the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa.  When the organizers of the festival and the state governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, came on stage to inaugurate the festival, the protest-cries began: “Alive you took them, alive we want them back!”  These slogans were repeated time and again within the Ciudad Hermanos Domínguez theater, located in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  In response to the action, the secretary for tourism took the microphone in an attempt to drown out the cries and began to list the supposed advances brought by the Velasco Coello administration in a loud voice, concluding his speech with the message that at this first installment of the festival, “all voices are welcome.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Arranca el FIC de San Cristóbal en medio de protestas (Milenio, 17 de enero de 2015)

Inicia Festival Internacional de Cine de San Cristóbal de las Casas (Radio Formula, 17 de enero de 2015)

Guerrero: Delay in release for Nestora Salgado; her daughter claims to have been threatened by phone

February 5, 2015


Photo @We Demand Freedom for Nestora Salgado (Facebook)

Though the Human Rights Commission from the Chamber of Deputies and different civil non-governmental organizations have demanded the release of Nestora Salgado García, member of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC), Isabel Miranda de Wallace and Alejandro Martí, the presidents of the Halt Kidnapping and Mexico SOS organizations, came out against the call for her release.  In a press-conference, they called on President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Supreme Court to review the case and carry out due process, rather than succumb to politics.  They indicated that to release of Salgado García would be “illegal and against the state of right.”

Nestora Salgado was arrested on 21 August 2013 in Olinalá, Guerrero, where she had served as a coordinator for CRAC, by Army and police units, accused of kidnapping.  This presumed kidnapping of which she is accused was the legitimate arrest of a person accused of robbery, according to the CRAC.

Meanwhile, Saira Rodríguez, daughter of Nestora Salgado, denounced that the previous week, she once again received a threatening phone call, and though she admitted being frightened by this act of intimidation, she also noted that it is a sign that the legal process to free her mother from incarceration is progressing well.  “On 9 January, when I came to visit my mother, I received a call from an unknown number.  It was a man who told me: ‘Pray to God that your mother remains where she is, because otherwise, you and your angels will pay the consequences.’  At that moment I became scared and I hung up,” Rodríguez noted in an interview with La Jornada.  It bears noting that the government of Rogelio Ortega Martínez has presented a request for the cancellation of the charges against Nestora Salgado to Miguel Ángel Godínez Muñoz, the state prosecutor, who must now evaluate whether this is to proceed or not.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nueva demora en liberación de Nestora Salgado (La Jornada, 12 de enero de 2015)

Hija de Nestora Salgado acusa que recibió una amenaza telefónica (La Jornada, 15 de enero de 2015)

Se oponen Alejandro Martí y Miranda de Wallace a liberar a Nestora Salgado (La Jornada, 12 de eenero de 2015)

Nestora Salgado, a un paso de la libertad (Proceso, 12 de enero de 2015)

Acusan a perredistas de presionar para liberar a Nestora Salgado (Milenio, 12 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Guerrero/National: Emergence of Committee of Women for the Liberty of Nestora Salgado (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC en Olinalá (13 September 2013)

Oaxaca: MORENA-affiliated Triqui leader kidnapped and executed

February 5, 2015

Foto @ Contralínea

Photo @ Contralínea

On 11 January, Julián González Domínguez, leader of the International Network of Oaxacan Indigenous Persons (RIIO) and representative of the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA) in the Triqui region, was murdered after an armed group forcibly removed him from his home in the La Brama Paraje Pérez community in the Santiago Juxtlahuaca municipality.  The RIIO state coordination expressed that Julián González, founder of the Movement for the Unification of Triqui Struggle (MULT) and MULT-Independent (MULT-I) was subsequently found in the same municipality with two gunshot wounds in the head.  It added that the leader had received death-threats owing to agrarian conflicts in the region.

It should be noted that González Domínguez was the point-man for organizing the visit of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the Tlaxiaco municipality on 24 January.  His wife had previously been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a líder triqui, impulsor de la autonomía (Contralínea, 13 de enero de 2015)

Ejecutan a líder de Morena (Noticias Net, 13 de enero de 2015)

La Mixteca, Oaxaca, asesinan dirigente de MORENA (Regeneración, 11 de enero de 2015)

Comando asesina en Oaxaca a dirigente triqui afín a Morena (Excelsior, 12 de enero de 2015)


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