Guerrero: Activists and artists demand the release of Nestora Salgado

July 23, 2015

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Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 17 July, social collectives, artists, and activists protested at a political-cultural event in favor of the release of Nestora Salgado, commander of the Communal Police of Olinalá, Guerrero, who has been imprisoned for two years now. The event was held outside the Tetepan Center for Social Reinsertion, as organized by the “Women to Free Nestora” committee. As part of this activity, the concert “Let us open paths for liberation” was held, with the participation of several female rappers. Through music and rhythms, they pronounced themselves in favor of the release of Nestora, and against the criminalization of social struggles.

During the action, an audio message from Nestora was played, wherein she expressed gratitude for the support evinced at the action. In this way, she also called on the Guerrero state congress to support the Law on Amnesty, and she called on the Secretary for Governance and the United Nations High Commissioner in Mexico to follow her case. She stressed that she “wants to show that this incarceration is unjust. I have been imprisoned on false charges, these being crimes I never committed.” Lastly, she called on Mexican society to unite efforts to promote the liberty of political prisoners: “Only with your support will our freedom be assured.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen libertad para Nestora Salgado (Somos el Medio, julio de 2015)

Nestora Libre

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: Nestora Salgado, newly accused (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: Nestora Salgado is transferred to a Mexico City prison (10 June 2015)

Guerrero: Still on hunger strike, Nestora Salgado continues to hope for transfer as her health declines (9 June 2015)

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


Oaxaca: COPUDEVER celebrates its eighth anniversary

July 23, 2015

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

On 11 June, the Council of United Peoples in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER) observed the eighth anniversary since its founding in favor of the defense of land and life. The Council struggles for the cancelation of the “Paso de la Reina Project for Hydroelectric Exploitation,” which consists in the construction of an installation comprised of two dams being built by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). This project has been rejected by local people, “who have realized that the government seeks to allow foreign investment on their lands to appropriate natural resources,” members affirmed.

This anniversary commemorates also the sixth year of the existence of the El Zanate block, a strategy of non-violent resistance to impede CFE workers’ access to the Paso de la Reyna community, Santiago Jamiltepec municipality, in the coastal region of Oaxaca, which would be the most affected, as it is located between the two planned dams.

We will not countenance the environmental devastation that the government seeks to promote. As indigenous peoples we have the right to defend our land and to decide what we want to have happen on our ejidos, and what we do not want,” said Eloy Cruz Gregorio, a resident of the Paso de la Reyna community and member of COPUDEVER. “The Paso de la Reina hydroelectric project threatens indigenous peoples, their lands, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices, thus threatening their right to consultation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

COPUDEVER conmemora ocho años “defendiendo la vida y el territorio” (video) (Educa, 10 de julio de 2015)

Comunidades de la costa de Oaxaca dieron su “no” rotundo a hidroeléctrica Paso de la Reina y se niegan a la consulta(DesInformémonos, 16 de julio de 2015)

Comunidad de Paso de la Reina celebra 6 años de organización y 8 de la fundación de COPUDEVER (Boca de Polen, 16 de julio de 2015)

Mantienen rechazo contra presa Paso de la Reyna (NoticiasNet, 12 de diciembre de 2014)

This is Not Development – The Story of Paso de la Reina (YouTube, 4 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (28 March 2014)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER mobilizes in defense of the Río Verde (20 March 2011)


Guerrero: March in Tlapa de Comonfort, one month after the murder of Antonio Vivar Díaz

July 22, 2015

150607-Policia-Federal-invade-col-Tepeyac-Tlapa

Federal police invade the Tepeyac community, Tlapa, 7 June 2015. Photo @Tlachinollan

On 7 July, a month after the murder of Antonio Vivar Díaz, an activist from the Popular Guerrerense Movement (MPG), at the hands of federal police, some 2,000 teachers, retirees, and neighbors of the Tepeyac community marched in Tlapa to demand justice and punishment for those responsible. On 7 June, election day, Federal Police arrested eight people from El Tepeyac while lacking any arrest-orders. The tensions between the federal police and neighbors was controlled at about 8pm, when it was agreed that the 8 prisoners would be released and transferred to Tlapa, in exchange for 30 federal police who had been taken by the community. Regardless, this agreement was broken by the police and military, who entered forcibly using tear-gas to rescue the detained police. This action caused the death of the activist and teacher Antonio Vivar Díaz by gunshot.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, in a report on 7 July notes that “the victims of the grave human-rights violations […] find themselves in a very high-risk situation. For this reason it is critical that the State implement the necessary measures to protect the lives and physical and psychological integrity of the victims, witnesses, and all other residents of the Tepeyac community […].” In this way, on 7 July, the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) released an open letter to the Secretary for Governance and the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) which demands that “an immediate, exhaustive, effective, and impartial investigation be launched into these acts, particularly the death of Antonio Vivar Díaz,”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan maestros y estudiantes en Tlapa; exigen justicia por el activista asesinado por federales (El Sur de Acapulco, 8 de julio de 2015)

Los ocho de Tlapa no se conocían ni fueron detenidos en la CETEG (El Sur de Acapulco, 6 de julio de 2015)

OPINIÓN | Las ejecuciones del Ejército en Guerrero (CDHM Tlachinollan, 6 de julio de 2015)

Ficha Informativa (CDHM Tlachinollan, 7 de julio de 2015)

Carta Abierta (OMCT, 7 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: PRI wins elections within violent context (25 June 2015)

Guerrero: Murders and death-threats against candidates for June elections (17 May 2015)


Chiapas/National: Global Day of Solidarity with Zapatista communities

July 22, 2015

(@Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad)

(@Network against Repression and for Solidarity)

Following the attacks denounced by the La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) on 25 June, several letters of rejection and demonstrating solidarity with the Zapatista communities were released. Said letters originated from different parts of Mexico, and beyond: Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Colima, Distrito Federal, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Zacatecas, and Germany, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Catalunya, Colombia, Spain, USA, France, the UK, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

In this way, the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR) organized the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and the students of the Escuelita Zapatista as well as social and political organizations to participate in a global day of action, “THE ZAPATISTAS ARE NOT ALONE!” The same actionw as organized to carry out decentralized actions between 12 and 19 July 2015, and actions were taken in Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Tampico. Whatever action that may be taken can be communicated to the following e-mail addresses: comunicacion@redcontralarepresion.org and redcontralarepresion@gmail.com.

It should be mentioned that on 19 July, elections will be held for the mayorships of Chiapas. The RvsR has declared itself on alert for whatever act of provocation that could take place within the electoral context that could in turn “worsen the climate of harassment against the Zapatista communities.”

For more information (in Spanish:

Con la dignidad zapatista frente a la represión, la violencia y las elecciones (Enlace Zapatista, 9 de julio de 2015)

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

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Risks to the lives of Zapatista support-bases (3 July 2015)

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)


Chiapas: Peace Network denounces absence of Chiapas state government in the Primero de Agosto case

July 22, 2015

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Temporary camp, Photo@Sipaz

On 15 July, the Peace Network, of which SIPAZ forms a part, published a communique denouncing the omission of the Chiapas state government with regard to the violation of the human rights of the forcibly displaced people from the Primero de Agosto community. This conclusion has to do with the fact that, two days prior, both the Coordinator of the Subsecretary for Governance, Gustavo Víctor Moscoso Zenteno, as well as the Special Prosecutor for Indigenous Justice, Cristóbal Hernández Hernández, failed to show to the meetings that had been arranged with the Peace Network.

Two months after the civil observation mission that was held on 11 May, the member-organizations of the Peace Network presented evidence showing that the grave conditions of the displaced families have not improved, and that death-threats and attacks on the camp of the displaced continue to be prosecuted by members of the Historical Independent Center for Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H). The Network’s communique expresses that “despite the various meetings that we have had with the state government, the State has not observed the accords to which it had agreed as a means of resolving the problem in a profound way, through the recognition of the right to the land from which the families of the Primero de Agosto community were displaced. These commitments were signed in a meeting on 25 February 2015, when the Chiapas state government committed itself to guaranteeing the redistribution of 50% of the land [the displaced] had had in the Primero de Agosto community.”

In addition, the Network responded to the reason for which the officials were absent: “We believe that the argument of the officials to ignore us due to the electoral situation is not valid, amidst the grave human-rights violations that the displaced families are experiencing. On the contrary, the electoral context worsens their vulnerability, as violence can take place in the region before, during, or subsequent to the elections. For this reason, we request a guarantee for the lives and physical and psychological integrity of the displaced persons from Primero de Agosto.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Chiapas mantiene actitud omisa para atender violaciones a derechos humanos de personas desplazadas forzadamente del Poblado Primero de Agosto (Red por la Paz, 15 de julio de 2015)

Acusan de omiso al gobierno de Chiapas ante desplazamiento forzado de indígenas (Proceso, 15 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (24 April 2015)

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)


Chiapas: Climate of violence between PRI and Green Ecologist Party in days before elections

July 22, 2015

comitan-grupos-de-choque

Photo @Juan Orel

The final days in the run-up to local elections in Chiapas were marked by violence. In terms of the alliance for local deputies, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are in coalition for 16 of the 24 electoral districts. However, in at least 12 Chiapas municipalities there have been documented incidents and attacks between members of the two parties: in Playas de Catazaja, Oxchuc, Tzimol, Tumbala, Chilón, Cacahoatán, Tila, Frontera Comalapa, Ocotepec, Tuxtla Chico, Huixtla, and Mapastepec.

During the night of 16 July, a group of masked men armed with sticks, stones, and rockets (presumably allied to the PVEM) robbed photographic equipment and cash, and beat the journalist Juan Orel, during his coverage of an incident in the Boulevard of the Federations in the Comitán municipality. The incident in question occurred when the reporter was covering an attack by the masked men against a group of PRI militants. Another case of aggression took place in Tila. The Committee on Human Rights Digna Ochoa made public that residents of the Tila municipality denounced that “there prevails in the Tila municipality a climate of generalized terror among the population, provoked by the presence of armed groups that serve the PRI and PVEM.” Beyond this, the communique from the Digna Ochoa Committee mentions that “among the residents there exists a fear that the electoral process will end with a massacre, given that, to date, the Chiapas state government led by Manuel Velasco Coello has been totally absent in terms of guaranteeing the right to life, integrity, and personal security of the people of the Tila municipality.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Grupo de choque ligado al PVEM agrede y roba equipo de reportero (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Se confrontan PRI y Verde en Comitán (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Conflictos entre PRI y PVEM marcan elecciones en Chiapas (Red Política, 8 de julio de 2015)

Comunicado Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base de Chiapas Digna Ochoa (15 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)

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)


Guerrero: Relatives of disappeared students from Ayotzinapa meet with PGR for first time in 4 months

July 22, 2015

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March in Chilpancingo, February 2015

Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 9 July, the relatives of the 43 forcibly disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, together with their representatives, met with the Federal Attorney General, Arely Gómez. This was the first meeting since the time when Gómez was ratified in this position, and after four months of a breakdown in communication between the relatives and the authorities. The meeting was organized and accompanied by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), which in a press release mentions that “the Group believes that this meeting is an important step to advance in the investigation and improve the relationship with the relatives, and we believe that the result was fruitful.” In the meeting, the Attorney General and the relatives of the students made reference to the importance of the GIEI’s work in terms of the investigation, and they agreed to follow-up mechanisms and for dialogue with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

The lawyer from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, Vidulfo Rosales, reported that the head of the PGR did not pronounce herself about the “historical truth” established by the previous Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam, but rather only indicated that the case continues to be open. The third report from GIEI, published in May 2015, confirmed that the fate of the 43 students victimized by forcible disapeparance cannot be considered resolved in any sense, considering the version and evidence offered by the PGR: firstly, because there exist allegations of torture on the part of some of these persons whose declarations are based on their understanding of the case, and secondly, because there is no solid motive that would explain the beginning of the line advanced by the federal authorities.

It bears mentioning that the GIEI is comprised of 5 international and independent experts who operate under the precautionary measures awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa. The GIEI will be releasing a series of recommendations to the Mexican State regarding the case and the situation of forced disappearance in Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa GIEI (9 de julio de 2015)

Nuevas líneas de investigación para Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 10 de julio de 2015)

Tercer boletín GIEI (11 de mayo 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express taht they will not be silenced (2 de julio de 2015)

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)


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