Guerrero/International: Brigade for Ayotzinapa travels to Europe

April 24, 2015

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Photo @animalpolitico.com

After holding a meeting with Stravos Lambardini, representative for human rights from the European Union, the father of a normalist student, an Ayotzinapa student, and a member of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights departed on 15 April to Europe.  Between that time and 19 May, the brigade plans to visit 18 cities in 13 countries to inform the European community about the continuing struggles of the parents for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared students.  Meetings will be held with student communities, collectives, social organizations, and unionists, while there will also be held marches and rallies in front of Mexican embassies and consulates.  Talks will also be given at universities.

In a communique, Tlachinollan explains that “included within the objectives of the European brigade is support for the demands of the parents that investigative liens be opened regarding the responsibility of the Mexican Army and the federal police in the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, as well as to stress the international responsibility of the European governments for the grave human-rights violations committed against the students, for they have signed bilateral security and trade agreements with Mexico.  This has meant the sale of arms and training of the Mexican police and military, despite the fact that human rights are so violated in Mexico.”

“We seek real guarantees of non-repetition.  These we must construct among ourselves, with the peoples and communities, together with social organizations and collectives.  We cannot ask for these guarantees from the very same governmental institutions that contribute to human-rights violations,” says Omar García, a member of the Ayotzinapa Student Committee and a survivor of the 26 September attack.  He indicated as well that the tour seeks to bring the movement to the global sphere: “on this occasion, our counterparts in Europe are social and human-rights organizations, collectives, autonomous media (or however they are called), and organized civil society.  We come to express our gratitude for all the support, and to insist that it is necessary for us from below to continue to organize ourselves toward the transformation of this entire system of power and corruption that is based on looting, racism, exploitation, and repression against our peoples.  We must do this together, from our countries of origin, coordinated and organized.  This way, while the powerful have globalized plundering, we have the sacred right of globalizing resistance, dignified rage, and joyful rebelliousness.”

For more information (in Spanish):

COMUNICADO | Recorre Europa brigada de Ayotzinapa (México) por la presentación con vida de los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos ( Tlachinollan, 15 de abril de 2015)

Brigada por Ayotzinapa viaja a Europa; visitarán 13 países para exigir justicia (Animal Político, 15 de abril de 2015)

Comisión de Ayotzinapa denunciará en 13 países de Europa la crisis de derechos humanos en el país (El Sur, 16 de abril de 2015)

Padres de los 43 viajan a la Unión Europea para informar caso Aytozinapa en embajadas de 13 países (Revolución 3.0, 16 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and a crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (6 de marzo de 2015)

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Oaxaca/National: authorities attempt to repress “Migrant Way of the Cross”

April 23, 2015

Ciudad Ixtepec (@SIPAZ archivo)

Ciudad Ixtepec (@SIPAZ archive)

The “Migrant Way of the Cross,” comprised of about 400 Central American migrants and activists, began on 24 March in Chiapas and arrived a week later in Oaxaca.  After spending five days at the Migrants’ Home in Ciudad Ixtepec, it planned to leave on 9 April toward Mexico City.  The plan there was to meet with human-rights organizations and a group of senators toward the end of denouncing the human-rights violations that undocumented migrants, principally Central American in origin, face while traversing the country en route to the United States.

However, the migrants were not allowed to leave Ciudad Ixtepec, as units from the federal police and the National Institute on Migration (INM) erected three checkpoints in the zone and threatened the bus operators, warning that they would arrested for human trafficking.  For this reason, the operators refused to transport the migrants.

The priest Alejandro Solalinde denounced these actions as a “boycott” and a demonstration of what migrants suffer.  A dialogue table was then agreed to that would include Ardelio Vargas Fosado, head of the INM, to negotiate the transit of the 400 migrants to Mexico City.  Nonetheless, to date no agreement has been come to, and the risk continues that the members of the caravan will be deported.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fracasan negociaciones para continuar Viacrucis del Migrante (La Jornada, 11 de abril de 2015)

Viacrucis del Migrante parte de Oaxaca rumbo al DF (El Universal, 9 de abril de 2015)

El Viacrucis del Migrante avanza rumbo al DF (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

Impiden salida del Viacrucis del Migrante encabezado por Solalinde (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

INM boicotea vía crucis migrante, denuncia Solalinde (SDP Noticias, 9 de abril de 2015)

Sale Viacrucis del Migrante hacia el DF pese a operativos del INM (Agencia Quadratin, 9 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco: Founding of the Collective of Defenders of Migrants and Refugees (23 April 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)

Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)


Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope for the Ayotzinapa case

March 21, 2015

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March-rally, 5 February 2015 in Chilpancingo. Photo @SIPAZ

The parents of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala confirmed their trust in the team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which at the beginning of this month started to review the evidence on the happenings of 26 September 2014.  Felipe de la Cruz, spokesperson for the parents of the disappeared, said that the arrival of the independent specialists represents an advance, given that it provides hope that truthful results will result from the investigations that they plan to undertake, “rather than a theater put on by the Federal Attorney General’s Office [PGR].”  He added that it is hoped that the PGR will come to an agreement regarding the inspection of military barracks on the part of the parents, as they have been told that the conditions are not appropriate at this time.  The parents want to know that they are not just going in circles.  Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, their lawyer, has specified that the IACHR specialists are not those in charge of carrying out the investigation, but rather that they will review what has occurred so far within the ongoing investigation so as to make recommendations when irregularities are found.

In recent days, relatives of Julio César Mondragón Fontes, the student who was murdered and defigured, rejected the conclusions made by the PGR that accuse the Iguala municipal police officer Luis Francisco Martínez Díaz as responsible for the murder.  The relatives noted that after five months without the minimum of attention dedicated to clarifying the torture and execution of Julio César, “now the PGR seeks to close the case with a summary media action, thus leaving unresolved one of the very ‘reasons for which the Ayotzinapa case cannot be closed.'”  Beyond this, they demanded that the torture and extrajudicial execution of the youth be investigated as a murder.  They have demanded that the investigation be serious, profound, and based in science.  In a communique released on 4 March, the family denounces that the case has been investigated using two lines directed by Chilpancingo: murder and organized crime.  “This makes no sense, given that it was torture and an extrajudicial execution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Llegada del grupo de CIDH, un “avance”, afirman familiares (Milenio, 6 de marzo de 2015)

Expertos de la CIDH se reúnen con autoridades encargadas de la investigación de Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Familiares de normalista exigen a Arely Gómez que retome el caso (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


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

February 5, 2015

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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/International: Book presentation “Opening Borders with the Heart: Guide for the Application of a Psychosocial Focus in Migrant Contexts”

September 29, 2014

Portada de la guía (@OSC de defensa de derehos de los migrantes)

Cover of the Guide (@civil-society organizations defending the rights of migrants)

At the beginning of September, eight non-governmental organizations from Mexico and Central America met in Tapachula, Chiapas, to present their guide for the provision of comprehensive attention to migrants in public and private institutions: “Opening Borders with the Heart: Guide for the Application of a Psychosocial Focus in Migrant Contexts.”

This document, published in May 2014, seeks to contribute to the “recognition and implementation of a psychosocial focus in our region of Central America and Mexico, for migrants themselves, their families, and local communities as well as the organizations that work daily to defend their rights.”  The guide covers four themes: communities of origin, especially with regards to women; relatives of the disappeared; migrants homes; and teams that work with migrants.

For more information (in Spanish):

Descargar material Abriendo fronteras con el corazón: Guía para la aplicación del enfoque psicosocial en contextos migratorios

Proponen ONG´s guía para la atención integral de migrantes (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Oaxaca: Father Solalinde declares that migrant flows will not diminish amidst imposition of new federal measures (5 August 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)


National: creation of mechanism for human-rights observation amidst the militarization of the Southern Border

September 2, 2014

(@fronterasurmx.wordpress.com)On 19 August, organizations from southeastern Mexico decided to “launch coordinated actions for monitoring, so as to demand the observance of responsibilities amidst the possible increase in human-rights violations” due to the “Southern Border Program” which was announced by the federal government on 7 July. These organizations foresee the program as including “the construction of more border infrastructure. Beyond this, there will be greater border control due to increased coordination among authorities of different State agencies, in addition to a greater presence of Army and Navy units. There will also be founded Centers for Comprehensive Attention to Border Transit.”

The organizations denounced that “this plan contains numerous ambiguities and retains a vision of natural security, prioritizing the control and flow of migration above human security” as well as the “lack of a Mexican migratory policy based in human rights that promotes the non-discrimination and multiculturalism implied by migratory flows.”

These organizations affirm that “since 2013 there have been observed numerous movements along the southern border which seek to increase its militarization, augment the presence of federal police, and re-enforce customs and biometrical controls. This militarization continues apace today, whether with the Southern Border Program or not, as we see in the constant and violent operations suffered by migrants in Tabasco and the coastal region of Chiapas.”

The organizations which are participating in this initiative include the following: the Migrant Home “la 72” in Tenosique, Tabasco; the San Francisco de Asís Migrant Home in Huixtla, Chiapas; the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas; the Fray Matías de Córdova Center for Human Rights in Tapachula, Chiapas; and Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación in Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Instalan mecanismo de observación con visión de derechos humanos ante la militarización de la Frontera Sur (boletín del Observatorio, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Estas son las principales acciones del Programa Frontera Sur para proteger a migrantes (Animal Político, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Critican Plan Frontera Sur; ven riesgos para migrantes (El Universal, 26 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Four years after the San Fernando massacre, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants (26 de agosto de 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)


Mexico: Amnesty International presents its report on forced disappearances

June 10, 2013

On 4 June, the human-rights group Amnesty International (AI) presented its special report on forced disappearances in Mexico, entitled “Confronting a Nightmare: The Disappearance of Persons in Mexico.”  The report points out the “magnitude of what has happened and the negligence of the State” to provide justice to thousands.

“Between 2006 and 2012 there were registered in Mexico more than 26,000 persons as disappeared or not located.  It is not clear how many presently continue to have the status of disappeared.  Some are victims of forced disappearances in which public officials have been implicated,” claims the report.

AI also details that the police and security forces have been infiltrated by criminal groups, and that, for this reason, many officials collaborate with the disappearances carried out by these criminal groups.

The NGO asserts that “despite the alarming number” of cases, “the authorities have failed systematically to investigate and clarify the great majority of these,” not just during the presidency of Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), but also during that of Enrique Peña Nieto.

For more information (in Spanish):

Enfrentarse a una pesadilla: Desapariciones en México, informe Amnistía Internacional, 4 de junio 2013

Funcionarios están metidos en más de la mitad de las desapariciones forzadas en México: Informe de Amnistía, Sinembargo, 4 de junio de 2013

 AI pide a México dar resultados sobre desapariciones, Crónica, 4 de junio de 2013

Insuficientes, los pasos del gobierno en combate a desapariciones: AI, La jornada, 4 de junio de 2013

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Insufficient attention to human rights on the part of EPN (20 March 2013)

National: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)

National: International judges report on conclusions of the observation of state of justice in Mexico (12 October 2012)

Chiapas: Presentation of report on torture in Chiapas “From Cruelty to Cynicism” (2 July 2012)

The OMCT condemns torture in Chiapas (18 August 2011)


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