Oaxaca: State Congress Approves Marriage Equality Bill

September 10, 2019


On August 27th, the local Congress of Oaxaca approved a reform of the Civil Code to legalize marriage and cohabitation between same-sex couples with 25 votes in favor and 10 votes against, while several deputies of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA in its Spanish acronym) abstained or were absent during the vote.

This makes Oaxaca the nineteenth state that introduces marriage equality in its legislation. In addition to Mexico City, the states of Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Campeche, Colima, Hidalgo, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Quintana Roo and San Luis Potosí recognize this, while in Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Nuevo Leon, and Puebla same-sex couples need validation from the Court if they want to get married.

Until now, Article 143 of the Oaxaca Civil Code defined marriage as “one man and one woman” which aims to “perpetuate the species.” Now the reformed article says that, “marriage is the civil contract between two people, who come together to live a common life and provide respect, equality and mutual help.”

There had already been attempts to enable same-sex marriages before that reform. In August 2011, the requests of three homosexual couples were denied by the Civil Registry of Oaxaca, but in April of the following year, with the support of the civil organization Equaity Mexico (Mexico Igualitario), one of them achieved for the first time in all of Mexico a sentence allowing their marriage by court order without having to reform the constitution. Antonio Medina, national director of Sexual Diversity of the Aztec Sun (Diversidad Sexual del Sol Azteca) stressed that the reform of the Civil Code “was the result of the hard work of civil organizations that for several years did not stop insisting on achieving this goal.”

While the LGBTTTIQ + Oaxaqa community is celebrating the reform presented by deputies Hilda Perez Luis, Magaly Lopez Dominguez and deputy Noe Doroteo Castillejos as a great achievement, the State Confraternity of Christian Evangelical Pastors expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision. On the day of the vote, members of the evangelical community protested in front of Congress and demanded that the initiative be rejected.

Despite the protests, Alex Ali Mendez Diaz, president of the Equal Mexico organization, announced: “we will continue to fight for other rights that are still necessary to achieve the eradication of discrimination based on sex, sexual preference, among others.”

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca da luz verde al matrimonio igualitario (Proceso el 28 de agosto de 2019)

Aprueban en Oaxaca matrimonio igualitario; protestan evangélicos (La Jornada el 29 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Organización defensora de la diversidad sexual recibe amenazas por su trabajo en el marco del Mes de Orgullo LGBTTTIQA+ (June 27th, 2019)

Chiapas: alto a la violencia homofóbica (May 17th, 2018)

National: Senate Agrees to Guarantee Equal Rights to Same-Sex Couples (November 12, 2018)

Nacional: Aprueba Senado garantizar igualdad de derechos para las parejas del mismo sexo (7 de noviembre de 2018)

Oaxaca: Mujer transgénero recibe su credencial de elector de una representación del INE (8 de agosto de 2017)



Oaxaca: 126 Femicides One Year after Declaration of Gender Violence Alert

September 2, 2019

GVA(@Rio Oaxaca)

On August 30th, one year after the declaration of the Gender Violence Alert (GVA) in 40 municipalities in Oaxaca, several organizations that work in defense of women’s rights reported that 126 women were killed in this period, including a victim the same day. This figure implies that the GVA “did not make a difference” and in addition, 60% of the cases occurred in municipalities that have the GVA. Symbolically, protesters placed 126 masks and 126 hearts with the names of each of the women killed.

Yessica Sanchez Maya, a member of the Consortium for Dialogue and Equity, said that the Oaxaca Prosecutor, Ruben Vasconcelos Mendez, has spent his time making up figures and that state and federal governments have not been complying with the actions established in the GVA.

GESMujer organization considered the scope of the alerts limited and called on the government to continue implementing and strengthening the “State Program to Prevent, Address, Punish and Eradicate Gender Violence Against Women”, recently published in the Official State Bulletin.

They called on the governor of the state to meet immediately with the municipal presidents so that they do not continue to simulate and apply the gender alert as it should be. Likewise, they asked the three levels of government as well as the executive, judicial and legislative branches to make public the budget for the implementation of the alert (more than 12 million pesos are allocated to Oaxaca), as well as a detailed report of the results of each of the actions.

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca : 126 feminicidios en un año, 60 en municipios con AVG (Proceso, 30 de agosto de 2019)

A pesar de la Alerta de Género, Oaxaca registró 126 feminicidios en un año (Desinformémonos, 30 de agosto de 2019)

Van 126 feminicidios, a un año de la Alerta de Violencia de Género (NVI Noticias, 30 de agosto de 2019)

Van 126 feminicidios en Oaxaca, a un año de la alerta de género (Río Oaxaca, 30 de agosto de 2019)

Colectivos feministas se manifiestan ante las 126 mujeres asesinadas en Oaxaca (NVI Noticias, 30 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Aprueban la ley contra la violencia digital de género (12 de julio de 2019)

Oaxaca: Se suman 37 feminicidios en lo que va del año (24 de abril de 2019)

National: Over 424,000 on Mexican #Me Too (May 7, 2019)


International/National: UNO Calls for Evaluation of National Guard as Migratory Control in Mexico

September 2, 2019

National Guard@billieparkernoticias

The United Nations Committee against Racial Discrimination (UNCRD) insisted that the Mexican government evaluate the effects of the deployment of the National Guard as a form of immigration control. In addition, it raised the possibility of withdrawing this function by recommending “evaluating the effects of the deployment of the National Guard for immigration control with a view to its withdrawal from immigration control and intensify its efforts to eliminate the practice of racial profiling in management and migratory operations, including through the wide dissemination and due implementation of the Guide for Public Action for the Prevention of Racial Profiling Practices.”

The UNCRD also mentioned international agreements regarding the rights of migrants, and suggested that, “the necessary measures be implemented so that Migration Centers have adequate living conditions in accordance with international standards.”

The UNCRD made these recommendations on August 23rd, in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more information in Spanish:

Pide ONU evaluar efectos de acciones policiales para control migratorio La Jornada, 29 de agosto de 2019.

ONU solicita retiro de Guardia Nacional de operaciones migratorias El Heraldo de México, 29 de agosto de 2019.

ONU pide retirar a Guardia Nacional de operaciones migratorias Forbes México, 30 de agosto de 2019.

Guía para la Acción Pública para la Prevención de Prácticas de Perfilamiento Racial Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación, 2018.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula (September 2, 2019)

National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants (July 2, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)

National: Concrete Measures Needed to Stop Fracking Despite Government Promises. Foreign Company Drills Oil in Mexico for First Time in 80 Years.

September 2, 2019


On August 27th, the Mexican Alliance against Fracking, composed of more than 40 civil organizations, stressed that, despite the commitment of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to stop the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract hydrocarbons in the country, not enough has been done to achieve this. It pointed out that the Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Business Plan, published in July, indicates that fracking will continue to be used.

For his part, Manuel Llano of the Carto Critica organization noted that “an absolute continuity in the regulatory framework that allows hydraulic fractures in the country is maintained, without any action implemented by the Executive that is within the meaning of the President’s words.”

On another note, AMLO publicly thanked the Italian company Eni, which started to extract oil from the Gulf of Mexico a few months ago, for “trusting in Mexico.” Eni is the first foreign company to do so in 80 years. These activities were possible thanks to the energy reform bill, promoted by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and criticized by AMLO.

For more information in Spanish: 

Más de 40 ONGs exhiben el uso de fracking con AMLO; Pemex, Sener, CNH y ASEA “no tienen estrategia” Sin Embargo, 27 de agosto de 2019.

AMLO agradece a la primera empresa extranjera en extraer petróleo en 80 años Forbes México, 28 de agosto de 2019.

AMLO ha incumplido compromiso de frenar el fracking, exhiben más de 40 ONG’s Espejo, 28 de agosto de 2019.

Más de ocho mil pozos usan fracking para extraer recursos en México Vanguardia, 28 de agosto de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Fracking or not in Mexico? (February 13, 2019)

National: Mexican Alliance against Fracking Urges President Elect to Legally Stop the Activity (August 19, 2018)

Pronunciamiento de la Alianza Mexicana contra el Fracking con respecto a declaraciones recientes de Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMCF, 7 de agosto de 2018)

Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula

September 2, 2019


On the morning of August 26th, federal police attacked migrants and two journalists while they were dispersing a blockade in front of the Siglo XXI migration center in Tapachula.

The two journalists, Damian Sanchez and Jose E. Torres, reported that they were beaten and kicked by the police when they were already on the ground. Some migrants were injured by police as well, and one was taken to the hospital for medical attention.

According to journalists, before the confrontation, an member of the Federal Police imitated a monkey with a very derogatory and racist gesture, directed against African migrants.

In the confrontation, the Federal Police used shields and pepper spray. A police officer was also taken to the hospital.

The violence comes after 11 days of blockade by a group of African migrants, who have been in front of the Siglo XXI facility seeking to obtain a change in the treatment of migrants from Africa and Asia. In the past, a migrant from one of these continents could receive a document that gave him 20 days to leave the country, which allowed him to travel legally to the northern border, and eventually enter the United States. However, since July 10th, the National Migration Institute (INM in its Spanish acronym) issued an executive order that states that migrants from these backgrounds will have to leave the country through the southern border. It is not clear if this policy change responds to pressure from the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, to force the Mexican government to curb migratory flows.

For more information in Spanish:

Policías federales agreden a migrantes y periodistas en estación Siglo XXI en Chiapas Animal Político, 27 de agosto de 2019.

Investigarán agresión a reporteros tras protesta de migrantes africanos El Sol de México, 27 de agosto de 2019.

Policía Actuó apegada a derechos humanos en enfrentamiento con migrantes: SSPC El Universal, 27 de agosto de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: #DefensoresSinMuros-DefendersBeyondWalls Campaign Calls for End to Attacks against Defenders of Migrants’ Rights (July 8, 2019)

National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants (July 2, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

Chiapas: Public Act of Recognition of State Responsibility in Gonzalez Sisters Case Announced

September 2, 2019

Gonzalez Sisters

On August 26th, several media released statements by Gloria Flores, representative of the Gonzalez Perez Sisters Committee (Tseltal Indians who were raped by members of the Mexican Army at a military checkpoint in Altamirano, Chiapas in June 1994). She reported that after a meeting with the Undersecretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration of the Ministry of the Interior, Alejandro Encinas in July, the official promised to hold a Public Act of Recognition of Responsibility of the Mexican State, which is scheduled for next October 18th in the municipality of Ocosingo, near Altamirano.

Under the conditions under which the State will offer this apology, the Gonzalez Perez sisters and their mother, Delia Perez de Gonzalez have insisted on the presence of the high command of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym). In 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) recognized that they were victims of arbitrary detention, deprivation of liberty and sexual torture, in addition to the violation of the rights of children in the case of Celia Gonzalez Perez who at that time was a minor, such that it recommended the investigation of the case and adequate reparation to the sisters.

Accompanying organizations in the case stressed that, “the recognition of responsibility of the Mexican State is an essential guarantee for the non-repetition of human rights violations, hence the importance of public apology as a primary symbolic measure that allows repairing the hurt to begin. Therefore, the presence of senior officials of the Ministry of National Defense in the event is essential and necessary as part of the victims’ access to justice: the Gonzalez Perez sisters, their mother, their family and the Tseltal Maya indigenous people. By not fulfilling these conditions, the Mexican State would be omitting its obligation to guarantee adequate reparation.”

For more information in Spanish:

El Estado ofrecerá disculpa pública a indígenas violadas (La Jornada, 26 de agosto de 2019)

Estado se disculpará por militares que violaron a indígenas (El Universal, 26 de agosto de 2019)

El Estado mexicano ofrecerá disculpas públicas a las Hermanas González Pérez por la violación a sus derechos humanos perpetrados por militares hace 25 años (Comité Hermanas González Pérez, CMDPDH, Amnistía Internacional, 24 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Tzeltal Women Tortured and Raped by Military in 1994 Denounce Total Impunity (June 9, 2019)

Chiapas: Indigenous Tzeltal women raped by the Mexican Army accept “compensation” with conditions (October 25, 2010)

Chiapas: Groups Denounce Increase in Femicides and Transfemicides in the State

August 27, 2019


On August 22nd, the Popular Campaign against Femicide in Chiapas expressed its “repudiation” in a statement given the “lack of commitment of the Governments of the different levels, given the serious increase of femicidal violence in Chiapas and in the whole country.” It denounced that, according to figures from the Feminist Observatory against Violence against Women, so far in 2019 there have been 120 violent deaths of women, of which only 49 have been classified as femicides; and that “to these figures are added the data of four cases of femicides and 63 cases of disappearances of girls and adolescents (between two and 17 years of age)”.

The Campaign noted that although since November 2016, a Gender Violence Alert has been activated in the state, “the alarming figures cited” that reflect gender violence cannot be explained except by “the lack of interest of the authorities of the different levels for the implementation of concrete and urgent measures in all areas of public action.”

It called for the authorities of the three levels of government recognize femicidal violence as a social, cultural and political problem that requires concrete and urgent action in all areas of public action; greater coordination in prevention and protection actions to eradicate violence against women and femicide; and that the Gender Violence Alert be extended to all the municipalities of the state and not only be limited to the 23 municipalities that were integrated into the original declaration, among other demands.

The next day, lesbian, trans women and members of the Chuvajetik Collective held a press conference in San Cristobal de Las Casas, broadening their eyes to the situation of violence faced by the LGTBI community and demanding that homicides against trans people be classified as femicides. They underlined that ”although the initiative was presented to recognize the right to identity of transgender people in the State Congress, so far there is no resolution that recognizes this fundamental right. For trans women, such denial violates the guarantee of other rights: education, health, decent work and living a life free of violence.”

For more information in Spanish:

Colectivo Chuvajetik piden un alto a la violencia de género (Portavoz, 26 de agosto de 2019)

Entre el odio y la impunidad (Cuarto Poder, 24 de agosto de 2019)

Mujeres ‘trans’, también peligran en San Cristóbal (Diario de Chiapas, 23 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas Estado Feminicida (Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas, 22 de agosto de 2019)

Van 120 muertes violentas y 63 desapariciones de mujeres en el año (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: March in San Cristobal de Las Casas Following Another Femicide (August 25, 2019)

National: Over 424,000 on Mexican #Me Too (May 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Already Five Femicides in January (February 1, 2019)

Chiapas/National: Femicides on the Rise (May 24, 2018)