Oaxaca: CODEDI Denounces Military Harassment and Persecution

August 13, 2018

CODEDI.pngMembers of CODEDI (@CDH Fray Bartolom de Las Casas)

On July 26th, the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Peoples (CODEDI in its Spanish acronym) denounced in a statement that a group of soldiers installed a checkpoint 500 meters from the entrance to the Alemania for one hour, where their center is located in Santa María Huatulco, to later retreat to Santiago Xanica, Miahuatlan. It reported that on questioning the military about what they were doing without authorization, the military responded that they were there under the firearms and explosives law.

It recalled that this happened just five months after the ambush and murder of three of its members (on February 12th) in the Sierra de Miahuatlan at the hands of an armed commando when they returned from a meeting convened by the state government; and just days after the assassination of Abraham Hernandez Gonzalez, CODEDI Regional Coordinator in the Sierra Sur, after hooded armed men dressed in military clothes entered his home and took him away on July 17th. Between these two events, several members of that organization suffered surveillance, threats (including death), house searches and arbitrary arrest. All this “without any progress in the judicial investigation to date.”

For CODEDI, the background of all this violence against their organization and the peoples of the region is the construction project of three hydroelectric dams on the Copalita River, called Copalita, Alemania and San Miguel by the federal and state governments. It urgently asked “to all organizations, communities, groups, civil society organizations in resistance against megaprojects and teachers of Section 22 to publicly demonstrate against the militarization and paramilitarization of the coastal region, to impose the megaprojects of dispossession of the federal and state government, and demand the immediate departure of the Army from Santiago Xanica.”

Given these latest denunciations, Espacio Civil de Oaxaca, composed of several civil organizations of the state said, “we reject and warn against the militarization of Oaxacan territory, a few months after the promulgation of the controversial Law of Internal Security, which institutionalizes the militarization of public security and, as the UN and the IACHR have pointed out, represents a serious danger to human rights. In Oaxaca, this is being translated into the military occupation of the territories where the peoples struggle against the exploitation of natural resources. We also hold the State and Federal Government responsible for repeated and particularly serious attacks against CODEDI. We condemn the excessive increase of the aggressions against all the defenders and members of the Oaxacan social movement; we denounce the lack of interest in and lack of response from the Government of the State in this situation.”

For more information in Spanish:

Espacio Civil de Oaxaca condena hostigamiento militar y persecución a CODEDI (Espacio Civil, 30 de julio de 2018)

Como una piedra en el zapato – Documental sobre el CODEDI y la ocupación de tierras en la Sierra Sur de Oaxaca (Radio zapatista, 29 de julio de 2018)

Cinco activistas fueron asesinados este año por oponerse a proyectos extractivos en Oaxaca: ONG (Sin Embargo, 27 de julio de 2018)

Acusan militarización en pueblos indígenas de la Costa de Oaxaca (El Despertar de Oaxaca, 27 de julio de 2018)

Denuncia CODEDI impunidad en crímenes y acoso del ejército (El Universal, 27 de julio de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca : impunidad y amenazas a tres meses del asesinato de 3 integrantes de CODEDI (16 de mayo de 2018)

Oaxaca : CODEDI denuncia « allanamiento, intimidación, acoso y violencia política » (9 de marzo de, 2018)

Oaxaca: Emboscan y asesinan a tres integrantes de Codedi (20 de febrero de 2018)

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National: INAI Orders SENEDA to Submit Information on Generals Linked to “Dirty War”

June 26, 2018

Dirty WarDirty War Victims (@Centro ProDH)

On May 23rd, the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection (INAI in its Spanish acronym) ordered the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) to hand over the public version of the files of officers Francisco Quiros Hermosillo and Mario Acosta Chaparro, allegedly responsible for various serious human rights violations during the so-called “Dirty War” (the period of military-police repression in the 60s and 70s). Both have been accused of committing murders, tortures and disappearance of corpses in the state of Guerrero during that period, in addition to providing protection to groups of drug traffickers. Although they were prosecuted on the same charges in 2002, they were only sentenced on the last count. However, three years later a Federal Court overturned the sentences and ordered the trials reinstated.

An individual had requested such files but the SEDENA refused to hand them over on the grounds that the information was private, confidential and could “compromise the security of the Mexican state.”

During the session of the IFAI commissioners, one of them stressed that “we must know the dark episodes of our history to avoid their repetition” and the project to give the information was approved unanimously.

For more information in Spanish:

Solicita INAI datos de militares vinculados a “guerra sucia” (La Jornada, 23 de mayo de 2018)

INAI pide a Sedena información de militares relacionados a la ‘guerra sucia’ (Excelsior, 23 de mayo de 2018)

Ordenan abrir expedientes de generales vinculados a guerra sucia (Bajo Palabra, 23 de mayo de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Nacional: CIDH presenta informe sobre el Derecho a la Verdad que incluye el caso de la “Guerra sucia” en México (11 de diciembre de 2014)

Nacional/Internacional: organizaciones civiles y Estado mexicano ante la CIDH (5 de noviembre de 2014)

Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos condena al Estado Mexicano por crímenes de lesa humanidad (30 de septiembre de 2014)

Guerrero: Atentado contra integrantes de la Comisión de la Verdad (Comverdad) (3 de febrero de 2014)


International: Case against for Illegal Sale of Firearms to Mexico by Heckler and Koch Begins

June 25, 2018

Guns.pngPhoto @ Deutsche Welle

On May 15th, 2018, the trial against six former employees of the German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch began in Stuttgart, Germany. The Stuttgart district court investigates the illegal sale of thousands of G-36 assault rifles to Mexico between 2006 and 2009. Executives are accused of knowing that those same weapons were destined for regions of the country that, according to Deutsche Welle, “did not have export permission from the German authorities, thus violating the German war arms control laws and the export law. They will also respond to accusations of corruption in relation to alleged bribes that were paid to Major General Humberto Alfonso Guillermo Aguilar, then director of the Armament and Munitions Marketing Department (DCAM) of the [Mexican] National Defense Secretariat (SEDENA).”

Deutsche Welle adds that, “German and Mexican journalists, as well as activists, verified that H & K’s weapons were used in the armed attack against Mexican students on September 26th, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, which left dozens injured, six dead and 43 missing persons.” The German Cooperation for Human Rights in Mexico denounced that the business carried out by Heckler & Koch in Guerrero contributed to “serious human rights violations.” It further stated that, “the limitations on the export of the G36 automatic rifles to some especially conflictive Mexican federated states were, at that time, unsustainable from a human rights perspective. All this indicates the existence of an agreement that made these exports possible.” A total of 24 trial dates are scheduled and a sentence is expected for October 25th of this year.

For more information in Spanish:

Heckler & Koch: la historia detrás del fabricante de armas alemán (Deutsche Welle, 15 de mayo del 2018)

Inicia juicio por envío ilegal de armas alemanas a México (La Jornada, 14 de mayo del 2018)

Heckler & Koch en el banquillo de los acusados (Deutsche Welle, 14 de mayo del 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/Nacional/Internacional : Nuevos informes sobre caso Ayotzinapa (15 de marzo del 2018)

Internacional/Nacional: OSC alertan a Unión Europea sobre crisis de derechos humanos en México ante modernización del Acuerdo Global (8 de junio del 2017)

Nacional/Guerrero: “no más venta de armas a México” – Gobierno alemán (27 de febrero del 2015)


National: 20,390 Forcibly Displaced in 2017 – Over 329,900 in the Last 12 Years

May 11, 2018

Displaced(@CMDPDH)

On May 2nd, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH in its Spanish acronym) published a report on forced internal displacement in Mexico that indicated that in 2017, the climate of violence that prevails in the country caused 25 internal forced mass displacement events in nine states of the Republic, which affected 20,390 people. In the last 12 years at least 329,917 people have had to flee their homes, a figure that is “extremely conservative” as it only includes the cases in which entire communities have had to move. The CMDPDH estimates the figure could exceed one million people, although it affirms that the government has not published figures due to not wanting to “recognize the scale of the problem and the existence of an armed conflict.”

The report states that the states of Guerrero (seven cases), Sinaloa (five), Chihuahua (three), Chiapas (three) and Oaxaca (three) concentrated practically all mass displacement episodes registered in 2017. Chiapas was the entity where the phenomenon affected the largest number of people: 6,090, most of them originating in the municipalities of Altos de Chalchihuitan and Chenalho. 60.44% of the people affected were indigenous and the vast majority lived in rural areas

Of all the factors that led to forced displacement, the majority of them were caused by armed organized groups. Other causes were political violence, social conflict and territorial disputes and, to a lesser extent, the implementation of extractive mining projects.

The CMDPDH regretted that in Mexico the issue of forced internal displacement remains an issue without diagnosis, without public policies or official responses: “Internally displaced people do not have a framework of protection, they are like a kind of legal limbo where nobody confers them rights. The displaced people are left at the mercy of the will of local governments.” In addition, although it acknowledged the existence are two local laws, in Chiapas and in Guerrero, lack of regulations has prevented their proper enforcement to date.

For more information in Spanish:

Informe 2017 : Desplazamiento interno forzado en México (CMDPDH, informe completo, 2 mayo de 2018)

La violencia provocó el desplazamiento forzado de 20 mil 390 personas en 2017: CMDPDH (Proceso, 2 de mayo de 2018)

Más de 20 mil desplazados en México durante 2017; la mayoría, indígenas: Informe (Aristegui Noticias, 2 de mayo de 2018)

En 12 años, 329.9 mil víctimas de desplazamiento forzado en el país (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2018)

Los conflictos territoriales y la violencia llevan al éxodo a más de 12.000 indígenas en México (El País, 3 de mayo de 2018)

Por la violencia, más de 325 mil personas han dejado sus hogares a la fuerza en México (Animal Político, 3 de mayo de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Persiste riesgo a la vida de indígenas tsotsiles en Aldama, denuncia el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (26 de abril de 2018)

Chiapas: SIPAZ visitó a personas desplazadas de Chalchihuitán (20 de abril de 2018)

Guerrero: De la civilidad truncada a la desaparición de la razón, informe final de la Misión de Observación al Estado de Guerrero (16 de abril de 2018)

Chiapas: Plantón desplazados ejido Puebla, Chenalhó (10 de abril de 2018)

Chiapas: Otro conflicto agrario en los límites de Chenalhó provoca desplazados en el municipio de Aldama [blog incluye antecedentes] (27 de marzo de 2018)

Chiapas: desplazados de Chalchihuitán denuncian condiciones en las que se siguen encontrando(23 de marzo de 2018)

Chiapas : sin condiciones de seguridad regresan a casa más de 4000 desplazados en Chalchihuitán (4 de enero de 2018)

SIPAZ: BOLETÍN URGENTE – Reactivación del conflicto agrario entre Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán : violencia generalizada e impunidad (16 de diciembre de 2017)


National: 84 Organizations and Collectives Oppose Gendarmerie at Southern Border

April 30, 2018

MigrationPhoto@ChiapasParalelo

On April 10th, the Mexican government announced that it will multiply the number of troops of the National Gendarmerie on the southern border to reinforce security but maintaining the commitment to protect the human rights of Central American migrants who cross the country to the United States. This announcement came amid strong tensions with the United States after the Tweets from President Donald Trump before the advance through Mexican territory of the “Viacrucis Migrante” in which more than a thousand Central American migrants participated.

In a joint statement, 84 organizations, collectives and networks of 23 states of Mexico demanded that the plan be canceled because, they believe, “the increase in the forces of the State does not guarantee security and also affects the rights of the migrant and the local population.”

They claimed that this proposal obeys “the demand of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, for the federal government to stop the flow of migrants in Mexico as a condition to promote a renegotiation agreement on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).”

They denounced that, “this decision of the Mexican government shows that there is no comprehensive, defined or clear approach to human mobility, persisting in a strategy that criminalizes Central American forced migration. Rather, it takes place exactly on the same days as the deployment of the United States National Guard on our northern border to replicate this border reinforcement between Mexico and Central America. This decision, taken last April 3rd, is opposed to the message issued by President Peña Nieto in response to Trump on April 5, in which he made an alleged call for national unity in defense of the dignity and sovereignty of Mexico, a speech that was applauded by wide social sectors of the country, without contemplating concrete actions to revert the decision of Trump.”

They warned that “the decision to reinforce the southern border of Mexico, by sending agents of the National Gendarmerie, puts at serious risk the integrity of people in a context of human mobility, which will undoubtedly result in a further increase in violence, xenophobia and criminalization of migrants, refugees and those who defend them, as well as the population in general.”

For more information in Spanish:

¿Al estilo Trump? México aumenta el despliegue de gendarmes en la frontera sur para frenar la migración (Animal Político, 10 de abril de 2018)

Navarrete Prida se reúne con gobernador de Chiapas; reforzarán frontera sur (La Jornada, 11 de abril de 2018)

Pronunciamiento completo « Rechazamos el aumento de la Gendarmería Nacional en la frontera sur » (OSC, 14 de abril de 2018)

Repudian 84 colectivos envío de agentes de la Gendarmería a la frontera sur (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Encuentro « Desde la Selva Lacandona, comunidades indígenas, organizaciones civiles y sociales dicen no al despojo, no al desalojo y no a la militarización » (7 de marzo de 2018)

Chiapas : Indígenas tseltales de Amador Hernández expulsan a 17 soldados por incursionar en su comunidad sin permiso (11 de enero de 2018)

Nacional : grave crisis de personas refugiadas en la frontera sur de México (3 de marzo de 2017)


Oaxaca: President of Nochixtlan Victims Committee Attacked

April 12, 2018

Nochixtlan.pngPhoto @ SinEmbargo

On the morning of April 1st, the president of the Nochixtlan Victims Committee (COVIC in its Spanish acronym), Santiago Ambrosio Hernandez, was found tied up in his house with signs of torture.

El Debate reported that Ambrosio was attacked in Asuncion Nochixtlan by four individuals who entered his house by force and began to beat him. He was wounded with a knife in the back and arms and received several kicks to the body.

After the attack, he was admitted to a private hospital in Oaxaca, “where he was already visited by the Attorney General of Oaxaca and by staff of the General Secretariat of the State Government (SEGEGO).” In light of the incident, Ambrosio filed a complaint with the Ombudsman for the Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO in its Spanish acronym) and a complaint to the Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca.

On April 2ndi in a press conference, the secretary general of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE in its Spanish acronym) demanded the removal of state forces from Nochixtlan and blamed the attack on “the municipal and state governments,” whom he also accused of “avoiding continuing the investigation of the violent events of June 19th, 2016, where eight people died and more than 100 were injured.”

It is worth remembering that the conflict in Nochixtlan resurfaced on March 26th of this year, when residents opposed the removal of vehicles that were set on fire during the confrontation with the federal police on June 19th, 2016.

For more information in Spanish:

Santiago Ambrosio, líder cívico de Nochixtlán, es agredido y torturado en su domicilio (Sin Embargo, 1 de abril de 2018)

Atacan a líder de Nochixtlán (Huffington Post, 1 de abril de 2018)

Líder de Nochixtlan fue torturado por 4 desconocidos (El Debate, 1 de abril de 2018)

Sección 22 pide desaparición de poderes en Nochixtlán, Oaxaca (El Imparcial de Oaxaca, 2 de abril de 2018)

Pide CNTE desaparición de poderes en Nochixtlán (Oaxaca Quadratín, 2 de abril de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Resurge la tensión en Nochixtlán (28 de marzo de 2018)

Oaxaca/Nacional: CNDH emite recomendación por violaciones graves a derechos humanos en los hechos de violencia ocurridos en Nochixtlán, el 16 de junio de 2016 (19 de octubre de 2017)

Oaxaca/Guerrero: Balean autobús de víctimas de Nochixtlán (28 de julio de 2017)

Oaxaca: Persisten agresiones y hostigamientos hacia víctimas de Nochixtlán (24 de abril de 2017)

Oaxaca: Comité de Víctimas de Nochixtlán denuncia “intento de homicidio” contra dos de sus integrantes (7 de marzo de 2017)

Oaxaca: Organizaciones de Derechos Humanos presentan informe sobre represión en Nochixtlán (11 de julio de 2016)

Oaxaca/Nacional: Allanan casa de fotoperiodista que cubrió hechos en Nochixtlán (4 de septiembre de 2016)

BOLETÍN URGENTE: REPRESIÓN MAGISTERIAL EN OAXACA (22 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas: Military Spying and Harassment of Indigenous Communities in Palenque, Ocosingo, Chilon and La Libertad Reported

April 10, 2018

militaryPress conference (@Fray Bartolome de Las Casas)

At a press conference held at its offices on March 21st, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Fryba) and indigenous representatives of 120 communities and Tseltal ejidos, Choles, Tsostiles, Zoques and Mestizos reported that they documented acts of spying and harassment by the military against indigenous peoples in recent times.

They argued that “under the pretext of the application of the Internal Security Law and the “fight against crime”, communities living on the so-called southern border road in the municipalities of Palenque, Ocosingo, Chilon and La Libertad, Chiapas, have been violated in their right to security and personal integrity by elements of the 18th Infantry Battalion of the Mexican Army, based in Tenosique, Tabasco.” They detailed that the acts of “surveillance, harassment, intimidation, threats and criminalization by the Mexican Army (…) put at risk the life and freedom of those who make up the Organization of Autonomous Peoples in Defense of Uses and Customs.”

For the same reason and since February 21st, by community agreement, the Autonomous Peoples Organization began to hold peaceful demonstrations with the distribution of flyers in the stretches of El Tulipan, Tabasco, and Chancala, Chiapas, to request the return of livestock confiscated in a protest on February 16th and the cessation of harassment.

In the framework of these actions they retained a person who took photos of them, who identified himself as Ezequiel Lopez Lopez, originally from Puebla and who, they discovered, was a soldier in civilian clothing, spying on them. Several soldiers went to the place where he was being held to negotiate his release. However, “while a negotiating table was being set up, the SEDENA besieged the community: some 200 soldiers from Tenosique arrived in the vicinity, cut off access, as well as communication to the outside and electricity and were stationed in attack position, while deploying a media campaign to discredit the organization. On February 24th, government authorities released the confiscated livestock and signed an agreement, which established that there would be no reprisals against members of the Organization. In addition, Ezekiel was handed over without harm.”

However, after these events, the communities and ejidos of the Organization of Autonomous Peoples in Defense of the Uses and Customs of Palenque have reported “greater vigilance and military patrols in the region, as well as an increase in intermittent lockdowns of elements of the Mexican Army, who have shown hostile, threatening and discriminatory behavior.”

When their behavior was questioned, they argued aggressively that “they are powers that the Internal Security Law gives them and that, as indigenous people, they have to abide by the new rules.”

For all the above, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Fryba) urged the Ministry of National Defense to cease acts of harassment, intimidation, threats and criminalization against those who are organized peacefully in the construction of alternative of ways of life, and also respect for the collective rights of indigenous peoples.

For more information in Spanish:

Ejército mexicano realiza espionaje a pueblos originarios en Chiapas (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 21 de marzo de 2018)

El Frayba denuncia espionaje y hostigamiento militar contra indígenas en Chiapas (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2018)

Municipios de Chiapas, prisioneros del ejército: Frayba (Juicio Político, 22 de marzo de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : EPN promulga Ley de Seguridad Interior. CNDH promoverá acciones de inconstitucionalidad. (29 de diciembre de 2017)

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)