Guerrero: Conflict at Mine of Canadian Company Torex Gold Resources

February 17, 2018

GoldPhoto @ Proceso

Since November 3rd, 2017, according to information from Proceso, a group of workers of the Media Luna mining company, part of the Canadian company Torex Gold Resources, have been on strike to “demand the change of ownership of their collective work contract, which is currently held by the Confederation of Workers of Mexico (CTM in its Spanish acronym).” The dissatisfied workers would like to join “the Napoleon Gomez Urrutia Union.”

Several newspapers reported that due to the problem that exists between the quarry workers and the mining company, three murders of employees of the mining company Media Luna have occurred to date. First on November 18, 2017 “Victor and Marcelino Sahuanitla were murdered and on January 24, Quintin Salgado, one of the leaders of the strike against the mining company Media Luna, was assassinated when he left his house in Nuevo Balsas, municipality of Cocula in Guerrero.”

According to the newspaper La Jornada de Guerrero, the national leaders of the National Mining Union, Sergio Beltran Reyes and Benito Melo Gonzalez, later denounced Salgado’s murder; “Comrade Quintin Salgado of the Media Luna mine, was cowardly murdered by the CTM of Guerrero and organized crime and we hope that the government of Canada, which is more interested in solving this situation, can put a stop to this company which, in addition to allowing them to take away our wealth, our authorities also allow you to assault, murder and violate the rule of law in our country, our workers and our organization Miners of Mexico.”

On January 27th, state and federal agents as well as soldiers took control of the facilities of the Canadian mining company Media Luna and practically broke the strike that the workers held. The military operation resulted in “the release of the security chief of the mining company Media Luna and seven workers who had allegedly been retained by the workers,” Proceso reported.

In a statement, the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) mentioned that “this problem has a framework, and it is the current federal and state policy of delivery of resources and unrestricted and servile support to domestic and foreign companies that impose this type of exploitation, affecting the territories irreversibly in environmental, social and health terms. Once installed, the companies, as part of the multiple devastation they generate, place their local workers in conditions of intensive exploitation, violating their rights with government support. It is important to point out that the above once again highlights:

  1. The clear link between these companies and the criminal groups’ “gunmen” that they finance for their protection, and
  2. That at the request of a transnational company, the state sends its army and its police not to put the project at risk with greater direct foreign investment in the state of Guerrero.”

It should be recalled that, since March 2016, “Proceso warned about the risk of mining projects promoted by the government of Hector Astudillo in a strip of the state where the narcos [drug cartels] control everything.”

For more information in Spanish:

Quintín Salgado Salgado fue ultimado a balazos en las inmediaciones de su casa en Cocula, Guerrero. (Regeneración, 24 de enero de 2018)

Empleados de firma canadiense, hermanos asesinados en Guerrero: Sindicato Minero (La Jornada, 23 de noviembre de 2017)

Asesinan a prestador de servicios de Media Luna que simpatizaba con los paristas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 25 de enero de 2018)

Rescatan 8 personas privada de su libertad en Minera Media Luna (Debate, 27 de enero de 2018)

Ejército y agentes toman el control de minera Media Luna en Guerrero (Proceso, 27 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: ONG emite Acción Urgente para proteger Evelia Bahena García, Diana Coralina Brito y Félix Rodríguez Navarrete (10 de agosto de 2015)

Guerrero/México/América Latina: Graves cuestionamientos a Goldcorp y empresas mineras canadienses (29 de abril de 2014)

Chiapas/México/América Latina: Violación de derechos por empresas mineras (25 de abril de 2012)

Advertisements

Oaxaca/Chiapas: SEZ Exclusive Jurisdiction of Federal Powers

February 17, 2018

SEZPhoto @ El Universal

On October 20th, 2017, several newspapers reported that the real estate of the Special Economic Zone of Puerto Chiapas, passed into the Federation.

The same thing has happened in the case in Oaxaca after the LXIII Legislature of the State Congress approved by majority vote the decree requested by Governor Alejandro Murat such that “consent is granted so that houses, buildings or any other construction (the real estate) that will be part of the special economic zone of Salina Cruz, be considered exclusive jurisdiction of the federal powers.” According to NVI News this means that the SEZ will be “protected by the Army or the police federal.”

On January 31st, Governor Alejandro Murat, the municipality of Salina Cruz and the Head of the Federal Authority for the Development of Special Economic Zones signed the Collaboration Agreement for the Operation of the SEZ of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca at a meeting.

For more information in Spanish:

Recibe Congreso del Estado decreto del Ejecutivo Estatal para ZEE (Congreso del Estado de Oaxaca, 31 de enero de 2018)

Desde hoy, inmuebles de la ZEE a manos de la Federación (Oaxaca Político, 20 de octubre de 2017)

Plantean aprovechar Zonas Económicas Especiales (Cuarto Poder, 5 de febrero de 2018)

Firma de Convenio de Colaboración para la Operación de la ZEE de Salina Cruz, Oaxaca. (Autoridad Federal para el Desarrollo de las Zonas Económicas Especiales, 31 de enero de 2018)

Meade promete impulsar Zonas Económicas Especiales de Oaxaca (Excélsior, 2 de febrero de 2018)

A manos de la Federación inmuebles de la ZEE (Diario de Chiapas, 20 de octubre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: EPN declara Zonas Económicas Especiales en Oaxaca y Yucatán (20 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas: Otros Mundos alerta sobre los riesgos que implicará la ZEE de Puerto Chiapas (7 de diciembre de 2017)

Nacional/Chiapas: Más Zonas Económicas Especiales (4 de septiembre de 2017)

Oaxaca: Anuncian campaña contra las ZEE (30 de junio de 2017)

Oaxaca: Se amparan pueblos del Istmo contra Zona Económica Especial (ZEE) (23 de marzo de 2017)

Oaxaca: comunidades del Istmo presentan amparo ante la ZEE (17 de noviembre de 2016)

Nacional: Nombran a titular de Zonas Económicas Especiales (15 de julio de 2016)

Nacional: El Senado aprueba la Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales (ZEE) (15 de abril de 2016)

México / Nacional: Diputados aprueban Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales (18 de diciembre 2015)


International/National: Human Rights Watch Publishes Report on Human Rights Situation in Mexico and the World

February 4, 2018

Human Rights Watch

In its most recent report on the situation of human rights in the world, Human Rights Watch, an organization based in Washington, USA, highlighted the abuses of members of the armed forces, impunity in emblematic cases (as Tlatlaya and Ayotzinapa), the habitual use of torture, the Law of Internal Security and violence against defenders and journalists in the case of Mexico among other issues.

The document states that, “during the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, which began in 2012, members of the security forces have been implicated in serious and repeated human rights violations -including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, and torture- in the framework of actions against organized crime.” In addition, “the government has made little progress in the prosecution of those responsible for recent abuses, and even less in the large number of abuses committed by soldiers and police since former President Felipe Calderon began the “war on drug trafficking” in Mexico in 2006.”

Regarding forced disappearance, it indicated that “it is common for agents of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and police officers not to take basic investigative measures to identify those responsible for forced disappearances, and they often indicate to relatives of missing persons that they should investigate on their own. In general, the authorities have not identified remains or parts of human bodies found in different parts of the country, including clandestine graves”, despite the fact that “the federal government has promoted potentially promising initiatives to find people whose whereabouts are unknown.”

Regarding access to justice, the report emphasizes that “it is common for Mexico to torture detainees to obtain information and confessions. Torture is most frequently applied in the period between which the victims are detained, often arbitrarily, and until they are placed at the disposal of agents of the Public Ministry. During this time, victims are often held incommunicado in military bases or other illegal detention centers.” It also adds that “it is common for the criminal justice system not to provide justice to victims of violent crimes and human rights violations. This is due to reasons that include corruption, lack of training and sufficient resources, and the complicity of agents of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and public defenders with delinquents and abusive officials.”

For more information in Spanish:

Informe Mundial 2018 (Human Rights Watch, enero de 2018)

Human Rights Watch condena impunidad en abusos de fuerzas de seguridad en México (Proceso, 18 de enero de 2018)

Con Peña, “graves y reiteradas violaciones de derechos humanos”: HRW (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de enero de 2018)

Señalan impunidad en México (NVI Noticias, 19 de enero de 2018).

For more information from SIPAZ:

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


Guerrero: Extrajudicial Executions and Arrests of Community Police and Members of CECOP

January 22, 2018

CRACMembers of the security forces in confrontation with the inhabitants of La Concepcion. Photo @: La Jornada/Xinhua

On January 7th, members of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC-PC in its Spanish acronym) from the town of La Concepcion, municipality of Acapulco, were ambushed by unknown armed persons according to the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center. In the confrontation, two community policemen and six members of the attacking group died.

Hours later, the government of the state of Guerrero mounted an operation of more than 100 elements of the security forces made up of ministerial and state police, as well as the army who deployed in surrounding communities in order to search the homes of members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP in its Spanish acronym), without any legal warrant issued by a competent authority. At the time of the events a helicopter was flying over the area, inside which a state policeman “unleashed a round of amunition that resulted in the extrajudicial execution of three community policemen. At that moment all the police forces gathered to arrest Marco Antonio Suastegui Muñoz and Vicente Suastegui Muñoz, leaders of the CECOP, as well as more than 30 community police officers. Around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, elements of the ministerial police moved Marco Antonio Suastegui out of the Prosecutor’s Office based in Acapulco without his family’s knowledge so far of his whereabouts.”

In addition, according to Proceso magazine, seven reporters were beaten and stripped of their work equipment, including photographer Bernardino Hernandez, to prevent them from documenting the violent operation led by the head of the State Public Security Secretariat (SSP in its Spansih acronym), the active general Pedro Almazan

For more information in Spanish:
Enfrentamiento en comunidad de Acapulco deja al menos ocho muertos (El Sol de Mexico, 7 de enero de 2018)
ACCIÓN URGENTE | Detienen e incomunican a más de 30 policías comunitarios de La Concepción, Acapulco y ejecutan a tres (Centro de derechos humanos de la montaña Tlachinollan, 8 de enero de 2018)
Cacahuatepec: los policías se habían ido; regresaron sólo para detener a Suástegui (La Jornada Guerrero, 8 de enero de 2018)
La CNDH emite medidas cautelares tras enfrentamiento en zona rural de Acapulco (Proceso, 8 de enero de 2018)
Deja 11 muertos enfrentamiento entre grupo armado y comunitarios en Guerrero (Proceso, 8 de enero de 2018)
Declaran tres de seis policías comunitarios del Cecop (La Jornada, 9 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Heridos siete integrantes del Cecop (3 de mayo de 2016)

Guerrero: Liberan a vocero del CECOP, Marco Antonio Suástegui (24 de agosto de 2015)

Guerrero: Ataque a integrantes del CECOP deja saldo de 5 muertos (19 de noviembre de 2014)


National: EPN Enacts Interior Security Law. CNDH Declares it Unconstitutional.

January 14, 2018

SecurityOn December 21st, President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) enacted the Internal Security Law, recently approved by Congress, which regulates the participation and timing in which the armed forces can participate in public safety work in municipalities and states. EPN affirmed that it will not implement it until the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN in its Spanish acronym) pronounces on its constitutionality. He acknowledged that “different civil society organizations, human rights groups and academics have expressed that, in their opinion, the content of the law is unconstitutional.”

For his part, the head of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym), General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, said that the armed forces will respect what both the Legislative and Judicial Powers decide and thanked Congress for its efforts to grant this law that they had been requesting.

The collective #SeguridadSinGuerra, made up of more than 250 civil organizations and more than 100 people, questioned that “if the President has doubts about the constitutionality of the law, the responsible thing would have been to make the pertinent observations to the Legislative Power, as is indicated by the Constitution.” It declared that, “today is a very sad day for the nation, but its citizens will be up to the challenge of building a rule of law despite a government that despises the Constitution and undermines its institutions.”

Amnesty International Mexico regretted that “the President has decided to enact the Internal Security Law despite multiple evidence against him and refusing to listen to international human rights organizations that have warned of the serious consequences of the presence of the armed forces on the streets.” It stressed that, “Enrique Peña Nieto has lost the opportunity to show his respect for the human rights of millions of Mexicans, by enacting a law that puts them in grave danger.”

The National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) also regretted that the federal executive enacted the Internal Security Law and set aside the opportunity to conduct an honest, plural, inclusive and informed dialogue. It stressed that, “its absence prevented the construction of consensus in society that would have avoided the polarization of positions implicit in the solution through the jurisdictional route.” It announced that it will present a claim of unconstitutionality before the SCJN on the grounds that “the Internal Security Law makes it possible to violate basic rights and freedoms recognized in favor of Mexicans, affecting the design and constitutionally established balance between entities, institutions, organs of the State and powers, and apply conditions of exception to democratic coexistence in Mexican society.” It trusted that, “the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation will exercise, in the actions and controversies on this subject, its full knowledge and full responsibility, its function as the maximum guarantor of constitutionality in Mexico, taking into account the content of the 2011 reform on human rights, which, due to its relevance and transcendence, marked the beginning of a new era for the high court and for Mexico.”

For more information in Spanish:

EPN promulga la Ley de Seguridad Interior; SCJN decidirá su constitucionalidad, dice (Animal Político, 21 de diciembre de 2017)

La Ley de Seguridad Interior posibilita que se vulneren derechos y libertades básicas: CNDH (Proceso, 27 de diciembre de 2017)

Ley de Seguridad no beneficia a ciudadanos, al Ejército, ni a la Policía: CNDH ante promulgación (Animal Político, 27 de diciembre de 2017)

Acataremos fallo de la Corte sobre ley de seguridad: Cienfuegos (La Jornada, 28 de diciembre de 2017)

Duras críticas de ‘Marcos’ (Galeano) contra el PRI, por Ley de Seguridad (Aristegui Noticias, 28 de diciembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Más aprobaciones controvertidas de Leyes Mexicanas (20 de diciembre de 2017)

Nacional: Senado aprueba Ley de seguridad interior (16 de diciembre de 2017)

Nacional: Ante rechazo a la Ley de Seguridad Interior, EPN pide ampliar “los espacios de diálogo y acercamiento con las distintas organizaciones de la sociedad civil” (11 de diciembre de 2017)

Nacional: Entre protestas se aprueba Ley de seguridad interior (1 de diciembre de 2017)


National/International: “Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants” Arrives to Mexico

December 27, 2017

MMM(@caravana.wordpress.com)

 From December 1st to 18th, the thirteenth “Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants” will be held, which will enter Mexico to “search for the disappeared, break the silence and demand justice,” as well as to “show the consequences of anti-migrant policies, make visible the mourning of mothers and create awareness that they are as important as any other person.” The Caravan entered the country through the border of Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas to begin a journey of 4,000 kilometers along the migratory route, crossing 12 states and 22 locations in Mexico.

In an initial communiqué, the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement (MMM) denounced that, “according to the United Nations, approximately 500,000 people cross the southern Mexican border each year. Most come from the Northern Triangle of Central America, a region hit by widespread violence and economic inequality. Economic insecurity combined with the impact of mega-projects for the extraction of minerals and other resources create a situation of structural violence and forced displacement. This economic precariousness occurs in a context of acute violence in these countries that have the highest levels of homicide and gender violence worldwide. When migrants flee from these conditions they encounter serious threats during their journey through Mexico where the violence of criminal groups and the corruption of state institutions results in migrants being kidnapped, extorted and trafficked by organized crime groups, among many other violations of their human rights.”

The MMM also expressed that “the risks of transit through Mexico have increased in recent years where the Mexican government, in cooperation with the government of the United States, has tried to prevent the migratory flow from reaching the northern border through the militarization of the territory. These tactics of persecution, detention and deportation combined with the threat of corrupt authorities colluded with criminal groups, have increased the vulnerability of migrants in transit. As in the case of disappeared Mexicans, there is a level of absolute impunity in cases of abuse and disappearance of migrants in Mexico. The absence of political will and the corruption of local authorities force the relatives of the disappeared migrants to carry out the difficult job of seeking and demanding justice. “

For more information in Spanish:

Caravana de madres de migrantes desaparecidos viaja a Veracruz (La Jornada, 6 de diciembre de 2017)

Madres de migrantes desaparecidos inician caravana en México (La Jornada, 2 de diciembre de 2017)

Llega a México la XIII Caravana de Madres Centroamericanas en busca de sus desaparecidos (Proceso, 1ero de diciembre de 2017)

Comunicado de prensa (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 27 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

México : Caravana de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos “buscando vida en caminos de muerte” (25 de noviembre de 2016)


National: Internal Security Law Passed amidst Protests

December 7, 2017

LawPhoto @ Regeneracion

On November 30th, the Internal Security Law was passed by the Chamber of Deputies, with 248 votes in favor, 115 against and 48 abstentions. This law that aims to regulate the actions of the armed forces in public security work has been strongly questioned by civil organizations and opposition parties that believe that it would militarize the country even more and that it would open the door to more human rights violations.

Among other aspects, the Internal Security Law establishes the procedure by which the president may order the intervention of the armed forces when “threats to internal security” are identified and when the capacities of the federal or local police forces are insufficient to face them. In the possible safeguards, article 7 establishes that “the acts carried out by the authorities for the application of this Law shall be subject, at all times and without exception, to the unrestricted preservation of human rights and their guarantees”.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) justified its support for the Law by arguing that “for no reason” will social protest mobilizations will be the target of the law, and that it will seek to guarantee the protection of human rights. The previous day, President Enrique Peña Nieto had expressed that “I trust that the Congress of the Union will address with the urgency that is required this important initiative that will provide greater certainty to the Armed Forces and Mexican society.”

The National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) expressed its concern about the progress of this Law. The representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico, Jan Jarab, warned that its approval “petrifies” the situation of violence and human rights violations, “You need (…) a true evaluation of how the strategy (of militarization of public security) worked for ten years, and that those who want to continue with it or legislate to continue, explain why they are convinced that it worked.” National and international civil organizations strongly questioned its wording and approval. Amnesty International Mexico stated that the approval marks “a day of backsliding for human rights.” It expressed that “We cannot allow the participation of the armed forces in police work to be normalized, since we have documented the violations of human rights that prevail under the sustained use of the armed forces for decades; on the contrary, one has to think about a progressive retirement along with a professionalization of the police.” In a statement #SeguridadSinGuerra said: “We categorically oppose the issuance of a law or reforms that allow federal, state and municipal authorities to continue evading their constitutional responsibilities in matters of public safety.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ley de Seguridad Interior ya es una “imperiosa necesidad”, dice Peña Nieto a legisladores (Proceso, 29 de noviembre de 2017)

Diputados sellan cobertura legal a militares en tareas de seguridad pública; activistas los acusan de “golpistas” (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2017)

Aval a Ley de Seguridad Interior “petrifica” la situación de violencia y abuso a derechos: ONU-DH (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2017)

Diputados aprueban en lo general ley de seguridad interior (Animal Político, 30 de noviembre de 2017)

8 puntos clave de la Ley de Seguridad Interior aprobada por los diputados (Animal Político, 30 de noviembre de 2017)

Cronología de la militarización: cómo fue que se aprobó la Ley de Seguridad Interior (Hufftington Post, 1ero de diciembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: WOLA evidencia el alto grado de impunidad ante violaciones a derechos humanos por soldados en México (8 de noviembre de 2017)

Nacional : cierre de año legislativo con agenda polémica en el Congreso (18 de diciembre de 2016)