National: Thousands of Campesinos March on Mexico City

October 19, 2016

Campesino.jpgCampesinos. March in Mexico City. Photo @Cuartoscuro

On October 13, more than 30,000 campesinos (from the ‘El Campo es de Todos” movement) marched in various parts of Mexico City with the aim of “demanding from the government a new deal for the land in this struggle for the defense of territory and defense of food.” The “National Campesino and Indigenous Caravan: in Defense of Territory and the Right to Food” halted to protest at the Ministry of Finance, the Supreme Court, the National Human Rights Commission, the Chamber of Deputies and the Angel of Independence.

Max Correa, head of the Central Campesina Cardenista, explained that they want “to show society what is happening in the countryside, it is a matter for everyone, especially for the human right to food and also for the cases of dispossession that our ejidos, our communities and villages are suffering to make profit and satisfy the greed of businessmen and projects that are destroying forests, jungles, polluting water.”

According to Jose Dolores Lopez of the Independent Center of Workers and Campesinos“(At the beginning of the presidential term…the authorities) were not interested, they were more interested in the Pact for Mexico and some other reforms…we are demanding that negotiations be opened, the countryside is very complicated right now.” “We are proposing a budget to be focused mainly on small production to boost domestic production,” he added.

For more information in Spanish:

105 millones de hectáreas ejidales y comunales, en el abandono y pobreza: Narro (Aristegui Noticias, a 13 de octubre 2016)

Campesinos “toman” la CDMX (Aristegui Noticias, a 13 de octubre 2016)

Alistan campesinos manifestaciones en diferentes puntos de la CDMX (La Jornada, a 13 de octubre 2016)


Oaxaca/International: Fifth Person Arrested in Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola Murder Case

October 19, 2016


On October 6, John Macario Bautista Ramirez was arrested in Brownsville, Texas, United States, and was deported by immigration authorities, identified as one of those responsible for the death of activists Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, who were participating in a humanitarian convoy bound for San Juan Copala and who were ambushed in the Triqui region of Oaxaca, on April 27, 2010. This arrest makes five the number of people detained for the events.

According to Virginia Lopez, a relative of Bety Cariño, the event has not been forgotten. She noted that although this represents progress, they will continue to demand that justice be done and that all the killers are imprisoned with their corresponding punishment.

Omar Esparza, leader of the Indigenous Zapatista Agrarian Movement (MAIZ) and widower of Bety Cariño, acknowledged that this is a step but “there are still eight arrest warrants to be executed. During these six years as a family and organization we presented evidence, much of which was turned down, lines of investigation involving organized crime were closed and that tells us a lot, furthermore all federal investigation was put on hold due to lack of evidence without notifying us.” He insisted that “justice will not be done until everyone involved is arrested and duly tried and that it is not only a show trial”.

Meanwhile Michell Karla Salas, who is legally accompanying the case, claimed that “the whole process has been extremely slow, none of those arrested has been tried. The first [trial] will take place in early November and the Investigating Judge in Oaxaca dismissed two of the main testimonies that came from two women who were witnesses and managed to see the faces of those who attacked the convoy. “ According to information from Desinformemonos, “the current political context in Oaxaca is worrying for the lawyer, the return of the PRI to state government and also the recent appointment of Rene Juarez Cisneros, PRI politician and former governor of Guerrero, named yesterday as the new Government Undersecretary of the Interior Ministry which could influence the outcome of the trials of the five people arrested so far and whether or not the eight arrests pending are made.”

For more information in Spanish:

“Estamos muy decepcionados de la justicia mexicana, el asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola permanece impune”: Omar Esparza (Desinformémonos, 7 de octubre de 2016)

Cae otro de los asesinos de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (NVI Noticias, 6 de octubre de 2016)

Detienen en Estados Unidos a triqui implicado en los asesinatos de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Pagina3, 7 de octubre de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: PGR archiva el caso del asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (28 de abril de 2016)

Oaxaca: Gobierno del estado no recibe a eurodiputadas por “falta de voluntad” hacia el caso de Bety y Jyri (2 de octubre de 2015)

Oaxaca: Omar Esparza denuncia grupo contratado para asesinarlo; amenazas para abogados del caso Bety y Jyri (3 de junio de 2015)

Oaxaca: Amenazan a dos mujeres testigos en el caso del asesinato de los activistas Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (13 de febrero de 2015

Oaxaca: Front Formed against Mining and Wind Farms on the Tehuantepec Isthmus

October 18, 2016

Tehuantepec.jpgMining in the Isthmus (@Diana Manzo)

At the end of a meeting held in San Pedro Tapanatepec, more than 500 people from seven municipalities of the Tehuantepec Isthmus (Chahuites, Tapanatepec, Ixhuatán, Reforma, Niltepec, San Francisco del Mar and Zanatepec) declared themselves against open pit mining that Canadian companies intend to install in 30,000 hectares of the eastern part of the Isthmus, including 19 thousand hectares of forest in Chimalpas. Given the predicted effects, they unanimously agreed to form a Regional Defense Committee Against Mining. They denounced that the government sold the permits without asking, violating rights.

It should be recalled that between 2005 and 2013 the federal government awarded five grants for a period of 50 years to three Canadian mining companies, including Minaurum Gold Inc., in the municipalities of Zanatepec, Chahuites, San Pedro Tapanatepec and San Miguel Chimalpas .

“It is not only the mines, we should not forget that wind farm company officials have reached the ejidos, from Arriaga to Salina Cruz, who want to convince [people]; there are already companies trying to install their wind farms on our land, but there is also a regional movement of compañeros in resistance,” said one participant.

For more information in Spanish:

No permitiremos minería en nuestro territorio: istmeños (EDUCA, 10 de octubre de 2016)

Integran frente contra mineras y eólicas en el istmo de Tehuantepec (NSS Oaxaca, 12 de octubre de 2016)

Crean movimiento de resistencia contra mineras y eólicas en el istmo de Tehuantepec (Regeneración, 12 de octubre de 2016)

Conforman alianza contra minera canadiense (NVI Noticias, 13 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Se llevó a cabo Foro Regional “La minería en Oaxaca. Impactos sociales y ambientales” (29 de abril de 2016)

Oaxaca: Encuentro estatal de comunidades y organizaciones en resistencia a proyectos mineros (4 de febrero de 2016)

Oaxaca: Ejidos y comunidades de Valles Centrales declaran sus territorios libres de minería (4 de diciembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: Presenta ONU publicación sobre derecho a la consulta y megaproyectos (29 de junio de 2011)


Mexico: IACHR Demands Investigation into Case of Female Victims of Sexual Abuse in Atenco in 2006

October 10, 2016

mujeresPhoto @Regeneracion Radio

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will assess the case of “Mariana Selvas Gomez and others” this September, all Mexican and foreign women who were subjected to sexual violence by police in May 2006 in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State.

“Between May 3 and 4, 2006, in San Salvador Atenco, with Peña Nieto as Mexico State governor, three thousand police officers entered the community -by order of then Governor- to repress social protests arising from the proposal of President Vicente Fox Quesada to build a new international airport on ejido land. The fuse was lit on May 3, when several florists intended to relocate the local market; agents entered the town with excessive violence, raided homes and withdrew several blocks. The toll of the confrontation between villagers and the police was two dead, over 200 injured and 47 women raped and humiliated “.

Although the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) found that there were serious human rights violations and excessive use of public force, and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN in its Spanish acronym) found that officials of the State Security Agency and the Government of the State of Mexico violated individual rights of the people, as well as finding beaten women, an indigenous Mazahua woman, two Spaniards, a Chilean and a German; so far there have been no consequences for any official.

“This week, the American newspaper The New York Times published the stories of the women who decided to take their case before the Court. The influential US daily said that, “the request by the Human Rights Commission to initiate an investigation to get to the top of the hierarchy is a blow to a presidency under siege. Corruption scandals and violence have already affected his approval ratings, the lowest for a Mexican president in a quarter century.”

For more information in Spanish:

La CIDH exige una investigación sobre el abuso sexual que sufrió un grupo de mujeres en Atenco en 2006, NYT, 22 de septiembre de 2016

Las mujeres de Atenco, NYT, septiembre 2016

Atenco, hace 10 años, mostró al país cómo sería la Presidencia de Peña, dice activista, Sinembargo, 25 de septiembre de 2016

México solicita a Corte Interamericana intervenir en caso de Atenco, Milenio, 17 de septeimbre de 2016

Remiten caso Atenco a Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, La Jornada, 17 de septeimbre de 2016

For more information from SIPAZ: 

Nacional: Irrupciones en territorios indígenas para la implementación de megaproyectos: San Francisco Xochicuautla y Atenco (14/04/2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Marcha en solidaridad con la comunidad de San Francisco Xochicuautla (29 de julio de 2015)

Nacional: El FPDT de Atenco inicia movilizaciones después de anuncio de próximo aeropuerto (4 de septiembre de 2014)

Nacional: A 8 años de impunidad en Atenco, continúa amenaza de construcción del aeropuerto (8 de mayo de 2014)


National: March for Resignation of Enrique Peña Nieto

September 28, 2016

epnCall for march for resignation of Peña Nieto

On September 15, the symbolic commemoration day of “El Grito” – the cry for the Independence of Mexico – thousands of people responded to the call launched on social networks for a march to demand the resignation of Enrique Peña Nieto.

#RenunciaYa, is the hashtag with which this non-partisan demonstration was called for on social networks since September 2, just after the publication of the Government’s fourth report. Led by parents of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa, followed by farmers from Atenco, machete in hand, about 4,000 citizens, mostly young, began the #RenunciaYa protest, according to Animal Politico. The protesters left the Angel of Independence monument with the aim of reaching the Zocalo to face the president. However, at the Palace of Fine Arts, thousands of riot police, deployed by the Ministry of Public Security of Mexico City, blocked their passage. However, in the Zocalo, a small group of protesters who had managed get through started whistling and shouting slogans against the president just as President Enrique Peña Nieto appeared. According to La Jornada, “a young man showed a poster criticizing the federal administration and was immediately surrounded by elements of the Federal and Presidential Police. Some people demanded that the police allow the youth to express himself, to which they responded “we are only following orders.” Federal Police kept the young man surrounded until the fireworks ended, he was photographed and they made video of the youth and finally two policemen said they would accompany him to the exit.”

In Chiapas, the governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, did “El Grito” from an alternative site to the square of Tuxtla Gutierrez, as it was occupied by teachers opposed to the education reform bill.

For their part, the Las Abejas of Acteal Civil Society Organization, in their last statement, give several examples of why, according to them, “there is no longer independence.” They claim that, “this heroic and historic struggle for the independence of Mexico […] has been betrayed by the PRI governments and other political parties in Mexico who have been in power.” Because “The idea of the struggle, independence in 1810, meant that Mexico was independent, sovereign, democratic. […] However, the edge of that independence began to end with the government of Carlos Salinas de Gortari with agreements and commercial, political and military treaties with neoliberal and capitalist countries, one of them is: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the United States and Canada.”

In addition, the Xinich’ Coordinator of Social Organizations remembered September 15 with a statement in which it demands the removal of Enrique Peña Nieto as an “incompetent” in addition to “delivering our nation into the hands of foreigners.” It also expressed support for the struggle of the teachers against the so-called educational reform and demanded “the repeal of structural reforms, justice for the people massacred at Viejo Velasco, Acteal, for the 43 disappeared student teachers of Ayotzinapa, for Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, compliance with the San Andrés agreements signed between the federal government and the EZLN…”

 In Oaxaca, in the state capital, the governor, Cué Monteagudo, did his sixth and last “Grito” from the balcony of the government palace amid shouts of “murderer” and “traitor”. According to Educa, “elements of the State Police prevented the entry of teachers from Section 22 into the square to give their alternative ‘Grito’ with teargas, sparking a confrontation”. At least 20 people sustained minor injuries.

For more information in Spanish:

En méxico ya no existe independencia, es por las mal llamadas reformas constitucionales (Las abejas de Acteal, 22 de septembre de 2016)

#Chiapas Xinich’ recordó el “15 de Septiembre” exigiendo la renuncia de EPN, la abrogación de las reformas estructurales y el cumplimientos de los “Acuerdos de San Andrés” (Koman Iles, 20 de septiembre)

Marchan para exigir la renuncia de Peña Nieto (La Jornada, a 16 de septiembre 2016)

15 de septiembre: Policías repliegan marchas en Oaxaca y Chiapas (Educa, a 15 de septiembre 2016)

Miles de personas dan el Grito en el Zócalo (La Jornada, a 15 de septiembre 2016)

Renuncia ya y los acarreados: dos marchas rumbo al Zócalo (Animal político, a 16 de septiembre 2016)

Hay apertura para la crítica, dice presidencia sobre posible rechifla a Peña durante el Grito (Animal político, a 14 de septiembre 2016)

15 razones para marchar y gritar #RenunciaYA (Animal político, a 6 de septiembre 2016)

Ciudadanos convocan a marchar hoy 15 de septiembre para exigir renuncia de Peña (Animal político, a 2 de septiembre 2016)

 For more information from Sipaz:

Nacional : cuarto informe del gobierno de Peña Nieto (12 de septiembre 2016)


National: Official Visit to Mexico of UNO Working Group on Business and Human Rights

September 26, 2016

ONU.jpgPavel Sulyandziga and Dante Pesce, United Nations Working Group, during the presentation of their preliminary report. Photo:@Jesús Villaseca.

From August 29 to September 7, two representatives of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights of the UN made an official visit to Mexico: Pavel Sulyandziga, a human rights defender of Russian origin, who currently serves as president of the Working Group, and Chilean Dante Pesce, who has a long history of working with civil organizations both nationally and internationally. The purpose of the visit was, first, to identify cases of damages to individuals, communities and the environment due to business activities. After, to promote respect for human rights on the part of any company implementing the three Guiding Principles of the United Nations on business and human rights. The first principle states that, “the State is responsible to respect, protect and enforce human rights.” The second defines that “companies must comply with the laws made by the state and respect human rights.” The third states that, “Those affected should have access to redress mechanisms.”

Prior to the arrival of the Working Group, more than 100 civil society organizations, groups, communities and academics prepared a report to give an overview of the situation at national level. This coalition documented 68 cases that show serious violations and abuses of human rights by the State and companies from different sectors, and a lack of access to remediation for victims. It shows that the most frequently violated rights are: to land and territory (32 cases), access to information (28 cases) and to a healthy environment (22 cases). The sectors where most abuses were documented were: mining (11 cases), hydrocarbons (9), energy (8), construction (8) and industrial agriculture (6). In addition, more than 50% of cases of intimidation and threats against opponents of business projects were documented.

During their ten-day visit, members of the Working Group went to Mexico City, the States of Mexico, Oaxaca, Jalisco and Sonora, where they held meetings with various actors: officials from the three levels of government; companies like Grupo Bimbo, Grupo Mexico, Cemex, Pemex and CFE; civil society organizations and human rights defenders. They also received 81 testimonies from individuals and representatives of communities affected by various business activities, lack of access to information and consultation and on behalf of victims of violations of labor rights, and victims of serious impact to their health and environment. In Oaxaca, they listened to indigenous communities in the municipalities of El Espinal and Juchitan de Zaragoza affected by wind farm projects, who claim that “the whole consultation process was considered defective, since windmills had already been installed in the region without any prior consultation.” In the State of Mexico, they visited the Otomi-Mexica indigenous community in San Francisco Xochicuautla, opposed to a compulsory purchase order issued in October 2012 without any prior consultation in order to build the Toluca-Naucalpan highway on their land. Despite obtaining a restraining order, the construction of the highway has continued with the approval of state and federal authorities. The representatives of the Working Group reported that the Grupo Higa, builders of the project, never responded to their request for an interview.

On September 7, members of the working group presented a preliminary report on the results of their visit at a press conference. At the conference, Pavel Sulyandziga said: “It became clear that the main concerns about human rights violations linked to business are related to improper exercise of due diligence by the government and companies in the design and implementation of large scale projects. These are mainly projects in the mining, energy, construction and tourism sectors, which often affect indigenous communities. “

Furthermore, the preliminary report addresses challenges regarding labor rights in the country to remedy “the precarious situation of workers hired temporarily, the lack of access to social security, low wages and a minimum wage which is currently below the level [of the cost of] the basic food basket and is not sufficient to allow workers to support themselves and their families”, and “the weak capacity of the labor inspectorate to effectively monitor compliance with labor standards. “

The final report will be submitted in June 2017, at the 35th session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations Organization. Meanwhile, the Working Group calls on the Mexican Government to “advance transparency, consultation, due diligence and respect for people and the environment” and on companies to “maintain standards of human rights and avoid seeking profit from impunity, corruption and lack of transparency and accountability.” It concluded by saying that there is much to be done to improve the current crisis of human rights in Mexico: “greater efforts are needed to change public policies, practices, mentalities but also to foster a culture of transparency, integrity, ethical behavior and democratic values.”

 Para más información: ( Proceso, a 24 de agosto de 2016)
Visita a México del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Empresas y DDHH: Puntos desde la Sociedad Civil (Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente (AIDA), a 29 de agosto de 2016)

12 claves sobre la investigación de la ONU a empresas y los derechos laborales en México (Animal político, a 8 de septiembre 2016)
Boletín: El Estado mexicano debe cumplir las recomendaciones del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos ( Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, a 08 de septiembre 2016)

Deberá acatar México recomendaciones de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos: ONGs (Aristegui Noticias, a 08 de septiembre 2016)

Declaración del Grupo de trabajo de Naciones Unidas sobre empresas y derechos humanos al final de su visita a México Ciudad de México, 7 de septiembre de 2016 ( Oficina del Alto Comisionada de las Naciones Unidad Derechos Humanos, a 09 de septiembre de 2016)

Concluye visita de grupo de trabajo de la ONU en México ( La Jornada, a 17 de septiembre 2016)

Para más información de Sipaz:

Nacional: Irrupciones en territorios indígenas para la implementación de megaproyectos: San Francisco Xochicuautla y Atenco (4 de abril de 2016)

Nacional: Xochicuautla obtiene cancelación de la autopista (17 de marzo de 2016)

Oaxaca: Indígenas zapotecos se amparan por violaciones graves al derecho a la consulta (21 de agosto de 2015)


National: Report Launch “Defending Human Rights in Mexico: Normalization of Political Repression”

September 6, 2016


On August 24 last, the Mexico Cerezo Committee, the organization Urgent Action for Human Rights Defenders and the National Campaign Against Forced Disappearance presented the report Defending Human Rights in Mexico: Normalization of Political Repression, which covers the period from June 2015 to May 2016. The report indicates that 87 violations of the human rights of defenders which occurred in 2011, increased to 118 in 2012, 160 in 2013, 225 in 2014 and 302 in 2015. Another 35 were documented so far this year.

For the first time, the number of physical assaults surpassed that of threats and harassment of activists and human rights defenders, and also that Guerrero, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Michoacan and Veracruz account for half of these abuses (293 attacks on activists of a total of 482). The fifth report included 41 death threats, three forced disappearances, 186 physical assaults, 55 evictions, nine cases where shots were fired and an equal number of damage to or theft of property.

The document notes that most of the violations are related to the promotion of various mega-projects, where activists and advocates accompany social movements fighting for their territory, water, forests and natural resources.

Commenting on the report, Jesus Peña Palacios, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico, underlined the obligation of the government and its authorities to ensure the work of human rights defenders. Father Miguel Concha stated that “there is always a political intention to commit these violations.” Fernando Rios, Rights for All Network, denounced for his part the existence of a state policy characterized by insults, harassment and attacks against domestic and foreign defenders, as in the case of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) in the Ayotzinapa case.

 For more information in Spanish:

CONSULTA 5° Informe VDH: Defender los derechos humanos en México:- La normalización de la represión política (Junio de 2015 a mayo de 2016). (Comité Cerezo, agosto de 2016)

Concentran cinco entidades casos de agresión contra activistas: ONG (Revista Proceso, 24 de agosto de 2016)

Superan ya las agresiones físicas a las amenazas contra activistas (La Jornada Maya, 25 de agosto de 2016)

Aumentan ataques a defensores de DH debido a protestas contra reformas estructurales y caso Ayotzinapa: Comité Cerezo (Revolución 3.0, 25 de agosto de 2016)

Normalización de la represión política (La Jornada, 27 de agosto de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ :

Nacional/Guerrero: Informes poco favorables sobre corrupción y derechos humanos en México (3 de febrero de 2016)