National/International: Mexico Second Most Violent Country World (IISS)

May 16, 2017

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On May 9th, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) published the results of its 2017 Armed Conflict Study, which places Mexico as the second country with the highest number of deaths (23,000 counted in 2016) after Syria (50,000), and before Afghanistan (17,000) and Iraq (16,000). Mexico is the only country in America in the top ten.

The IISS claims that the levels violence coming from the fight against organized crime in Mexico reached those of a country in open war. “It is very unusual for criminal violence to reach a level similar to an armed conflict. But it happened in the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) and especially in Mexico”, the IISS warned.

 The Mexican Interior Ministry (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym) and Ministry for Foreign Affairs (SRE in its Spanish acronym) criticized the report questioning both the figures that it uses for being “unlikely” and “lacking technical rigor”; such as the fact that “Organized crime violence is a regional phenomenon that goes beyond the borders that Mexico shares with the United States, Guatemala and Belize, among many other countries. The challenges Mexico faces in this area cannot be isolated from related phenomena in other jurisdictions, such as arms trafficking and drug demand. The fight against transnational organized crime must be analyzed in an integral way.”

For more information in Spanish:

México es el segundo país del mundo con más muertos por “guerra”, según estudio (SDP Noticias, 9 de mayo de 2017)

México alcanzó los niveles de violencia de un país en guerra abierta: IISS (Proceso, 9 de mayo de 2017)

México, el segundo país más violento del mundo: IISS (La Jornada, 9 de mayo de 2017)

La SRE y Segob niegan que haya un conflicto armado en México; Trump retuitea encuesta inglesa (Sin Embargo, 10 de mayo de 2017)

Reporte del IISS sobre la violencia en México “carece de rigor técnico”: Segob y SRE (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : Pobres resultados diez años después de iniciar la guerra contra el crimen organizado ; El Ejército seguirá en las calles, EPN (16 de diciembre de 2016)


Oaxaca: COPUVO Denounces Harassment by Municipal Authorities and Mining Company

May 15, 2017

COPUVO.pngValle Ocotlan (Photo @COPUVO)

In a statement issued on May 9th, the Coordinator of the United Nations Ocotlan Valley United Peoples Coordinator (COPUVO in its Spanish acronym) reported harassment and threats when it sought to hold a regional meeting against mining in San Jose del Progreso, “where for eight years [the inhabitants] have defended their territory against the “San Jose” mining project, promoted by the Cuzcatlan company, a subsidiary of the Canadian Fortuna Silver Mines.

It said that prior to this meeting, the current mayor of San Jose del Progreso, Servando Daaz Vasquez, “publicly threatened our organization, communities in the region and civil organizations” proposing “not to allow the population to enter to hold a forum.” He added that Diaz Vasquez asked the state and federal police “to place a ring of officers and a filter at the check point at the town so as to prevent the entrance of the organizations the following Mat 7th…”

Accordingly, the Ombudsman’s Office for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DPHPO in its Spanish acronym) requested precautionary measures in favor of human rights defenders from the various civil and community organizations that would attend said meeting “for which there was State Police Agents presence during May 6th and 7th in the community; it is important to note that the State Police was also protecting the mining project with security forces during these dates.”

COPUVO denounced that “behind the campaign of threats and harassment of our movement, the mining company Fortuna Silver Mines is involved, who in its intent to expand to other ejidos and communities in the region has criminalized and violated our rights to autonomy, to the territory, to the freedom of protest, among the most important. This company has irrationally extracted our common goods and caused violence, destroying the peace and harmony that existed among our peoples.”

 For more information in Spanish:

COPUVO denuncia amenazas por parte de empresa minera y autoridades de San José del Progreso (COPUVO, 9 de mayo de 2017)

Mineras generan conflictividad en Oaxaca y Chiapas (Contralínea, 11 de mayo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Se exige justicia para el defensor comunitario Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez, asesinado hace 5 años (23 de marzo de 2017)

Oaxaca: Comunidades afectadas por el proyecto minero “San José” toman oficinas de SEMARNAT (1 de marzo de 2017)

 


Chiapas: IACHR Determines Responsibility for Extrajudicial Execution in Context of Chiapas Campaign Plan 94

May 6, 2017

Frayba.pngPress conference at Frayba, May 3rd, 2017. Photo: @Sipaz

On May 3rd, a press conference was held at the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC) in which it was reported that, in the case of the extrajudicial execution of the Tzeltal indigenous Gilberto Jimenez Hernandez in February 1995 in the community of La Grandeza, Altamirano, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) determined “the responsibility of the Mexican State for violating the right to life and the principle of equality and non-discrimination, personal integrity and judicial guarantees and judicial protection, in the context of the implementation of the counterinsurgency strategy designed within the Chiapas Campaign Plan 94.”

 22 years after the military operation in that community, the CDHFBC Press Bulletin recalled: “On February 20th, 1995, in La Grandeza ejido, in the municipality of Altamirano, Chiapas, the population was alerted to the military operation carried out by the reconnaissance patrol of the 17th Infantry Battalion, commissioned in the Task Force “Arcoiris” in the “Yabur” Group, composed of 65 military agents who were carrying 3 MP5 Cal. 9mm and 62 G-3 Cal 7.62mm armaments. At the same time Army aircraft flew over the region. The population of the ejido La Grandeza, made up mostly of women, girls, children and the elderly, were forced to the mountain to save their lives, while in the village, soldiers burned the belongings of displaced persons. Mr. Gilberto Jimenez Hernandez, a 43-year-old indigenous Tseltal, was extrajudicially executed by a soldier while fleeing with his family to the mountains. The soldier ordered him to stop, lie down and shot him, even though that he had his five-year-old daughter tied with a shawl on his back.”

The Director of the CDHFBC, Pedro Faro, stressed that, “to date the military court has served to ensure impunity. The investigations of the present case have been framed by lack of due diligence to cover up the Mexican Army, the file has been lost by the justice authorities since 1997. The right of access to the justice to know the truth of what happened so that those responsible are punished does not exist in Mexico “.

Ruben Moreno, lawyer for the the Center, stated that the family of Jimenez Hernandez decided not to receive any financial compensation for damages, but chose to have the IACHR’s report made public.

 For more information in Spanish:

Estado mexicano responsable de crímenes de lesa humanidad: CIDH (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 3 de Mayo de 2017)

CIDH culpa al Estado por muerte de tzetzal: Frayba (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2017)

CIDH culpa al Estado mexicano por ejecución extrajudicial de indígena tzeltal (Proceso, 3 de mayo de 2017)

Determinan responsabilidad del Estado en muerte de indígena (Cuarto Poder, 4 de mayo de 2017)


Guerrero: Internal Security Law Initiative Rejected

April 4, 2017

Forum.pngSecurity or human rights forum: a false dichotomy Photo@: Tlachinollan

On March 28, in Guerrero, one of the most violent states in Mexico and also one of the most militarized, a forum on militarization entitled “Security or human rights: a false dichotomy” was held during which civil organizations, victims, representatives from the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico defended different reasons for rejecting the initiative of the Internal Security Law currently under debate in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies.

Parents of the 43 students took part in the event, who reported that soldiers from the 27th Infantry Battalion and police from the three levels of government participated in the attacks, murders and forced disappearances suffered by their children. Also participating were Tita Radilla, daughter of the Atoyac peasant leader, Rosendo Radilla Pachecho, arrested and disappeared at a military checkpoint in 1974 and Valentina Rosendo Cantu, raped by soldiers at age 17.

Prior to this forum, the Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon Human Rights Center, the Guerrero Network of Civil Organisms for Human Rights, the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center and the Mexican Institute of Human Rights and Democracy, among others, declared themselves to be against the Internal Security Law, explaining that it would “give rise to more violations of human rights and complete impunity.” These organizations argued that, “it has been useless for the military to assume public security tasks in the state if levels of violence continue to increase exponentially every day because organized crime groups have taken over institutions and exercise territorial control by imposing their rules and self-government.”

For more information in Spanish:

Rechazan la iniciativa de Ley de Seguridad Interior (El Sur de Acapulco, 29 de marzo de 2017)

Foro | Seguridad o Derechos Humanos: Una falsa dicotomía (Centro de derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinolla, 27 de marzo 2017)

 For more information from SIAPZ:

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

 


Chiapas: Conflict between Parties Unleashes Violence in Chenalho

March 29, 2017

Chenalho.pngFamilies displaced due to violence in Chenalho Photo@:Quorum Informativo

In March, faced with the context of violence stemming from the post-electoral conflict in the municipality of Chenalho, several organizations and the Coordination of the Parish of San Pedro Apostol of this municipality issued statements to express their concerns, demand that the State to disarm armed groups and ensure the integrity and personal safety and life of the villagers of the municipality.

The parish of San Pedro Apostol recalled in its pronouncement how the Massacre of Acteal came about almost twenty years ago and declared with great concern “how history seems to repeat itself: acts of violence, threats, dead and wounded, displaced people, burnt houses, actions by armed groups, arms trafficking.” What most distresses the parish is that “the authorities do nothing to solve the problem (…) they abandon their responsibility to enforce justice and the law, which is the only reason for their existence as authorities.” It points out that the two sides of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are armed with weapons considered “for exclusive use by the army.” So far, the conflict has resulted in over 200 displaced persons and four deaths: “It is public and notorious that in the municipality the armed groups have bee reactivated and are acting with total freedom and impunity.” The parish called on the inhabitants of Chenalho so that “as Christians they refrain from engaging in acts of violence against their own brothers.”

In a joint statement, civil organizations blamed the State for “action and omission, in a context of violence that could continue to escalate.” They also alleged that they had been insisting on the disarmament of the paramilitary groups that perpetrated the Acteal Massacre in 1997 and that “not only have they not listened to us in terms of disarmament, but also the armed groups have been reactivated under the current administration of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello.” They stated that, “the authorities cannot continue to evade their responsibility in the face of the evident and obvious consequences of the unpunished actions of armed groups and arms trafficking in the region.”

They asked if “this mode of action is a prolongation of the counterinsurgency in which the paramilitaries are the material executors of the plan drawn up by the Army? Is it connivance and active complicity of the authorities with criminal groups? Or is it simple and crass inability to govern? Or perhaps it is a question of creating a sense of ungovernability to justify the Internal Security Law that seeks to institutionalize the action of the Mexican Army in tasks that correspond by their nature to civil authority?”

 For more information in Spanish:

En Chiapas imposición y violencia son la forma de gobernar: ONGs; “confrontaciones son encabezados por PRI y PVEM” (Revolución 3.0, 21 de marzo de 2017)

Pronunciamiento conjunto: Chiapas: Imposición y violencia como modo de gobierno (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 20 de marzo de 2017)

Zozobra en Chenalhó ante inminente violencia por la disputa del poder político, económico y social (Chiapas en contacto, 15 de marzo de 2017

Manifiesta parroquia preocupación por violencia (La Jornada, 14 de marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Dos muertos y decenas de heridos en Chenalhó por disputa de la alcaldía (9 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas: TEPJF ordena restitución de alcaldesa de Oxchuc (5 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas : Restitución en su cargo de alcaldesa de Chenalhó hace temer nueva situación de violencia (22 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Riesgo de más violencia en Chenalhó después de secuestro y cambio de alcalde (31 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Protestas post electorales en el municipio de Chenalhó (6 de mayo de 2016)


Chiapas: National Day: “The Victims of State Terrorism are of the People, We will not Stop until We Find Them!”

March 15, 2017

FNLS.pngFNLS Press Conference (Photo: @Sipaz)

 On March 6, the National Front for Struggle for Socialism (FNLS) began its National Day of Struggle in Chiapas.

The first event was a press conference along with the ‘Committee of Relatives of Missing until Found Persons’. The conference remembered the anniversaries of the forced disappearance of Fidencio Gomez Santiz, who disappeared in Ocosingo on March 5, 2016, as well as Edmundo Reyes Amaya and Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez, arrested and disappeared in May 2007 in Oaxaca.

During the conference, they also reported on the latest developments against members of the FNLS: “With deep regret we inform you that on Tuesday, February 28, our compañero Humberto Morales Santiz, who was only 13 years old and who was in the first grade of a telesecundaria in the town of Cuxul-ja was cruelly and cowardly murdered by the paramilitaries known as “Los Petules”, in coordination with police and other state bodies who are invading the ejidal lands of the compañeros in El Carrizal.”

At the end of the conference, the FNLS and the ‘Committee of Relatives of Missing until Found Persons’ demanded that the state government of Chiapas and the federal government investigate and punish those responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Humberto Morales Santis and the presentation of compañeros Fidencio Gomez Santiz, Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya.

On March 7, the FNLS organized the “Victims of State Terrorism in Mexico” forum in the Aula Magna of the Campus III UNACH Law School. Speakers shared their experiences of the impact of forced disappearances on the victims’ families and on the relationship between forced disappearances and migration.

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The following day, the FNLS participated in the Women’s March in the context of International Women’s Day in San Cristobal de Las Casas: “In the Context of the National Day: The Victims of State Terrorism are of the People, We will not Stop until We Find Them! The National Front for Struggle for Socialism (FNLS) commemorates this March 8: International Day of Proletarian Women, as a day of struggle and protest against the current conditions of misery, economic exploitation and political oppression, to which is added the grim reality that leaves the wave of institutional violence emanating from the policy of state terrorism.”

On the same afternoon, the FNLS occupied the offices of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) in San Cristobal de Las Casas to demand justice and a response to the aforementioned lawsuits and to urge the CNDH to speak out about the constant violations of human rights and police-military harassment against the communities organized in the FNLS.

They demanded that they “resume these cases” denouncing that  “although it [theCNDH] has information, it is not doing its job as it should be.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Miembros del FNLS toman oficinas de la CNDH en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Proceso, 8 de Marzo de 2017)

‘Toman’ oficinas de CNDH en Chiapas (La Jordana, 8 de Marzo de 2017)

DÍA INTERNACIONAL DE LA MUJER PROLETARIA (FNLS, 9 de Marzo de 2017)

Video. El FNLS y el Comité Hasta Encontrarlos toman oficinas de la CNDH para exigir investigue desapariciones (FNLS, 9 de Marzo de 2017)

Acción Urgente – Ejecución Extrajudicial del niño Humberto Morales Sántiz de 13 años de edad, integrante del Frente Nacional de Lucha por el Socialismo en Chiapas. (Comité Cerezo, 4 de Marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “Jornada nacional contra el terrorismo del estado en Chiapas” del FNLS (2 de Mayo de 2016)

Nacional/Oaxaca/Chiapas: Gira nacional: desaparición forzada en México (6 de Marzo de 2015)

Nacional: Comisión Civil de Seguimiento y Búsqueda de dos miembros del Ejército Popular Revolucionario (EPR) desaparecidos desde 2007 denuncia falta de avances (19 de Septiembre de 2014)


National: CNI Denounces that “The War against its Peoples” Continues

March 14, 2017

CNI.pngPhoto @ SipazOn

March 9, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) published a communiqué denouncing that while they continue to organize themselves towards “the formation of an Indigenous Council of Government (…) the dispossession and repression from the bad governments on its three levels continues to act against our Mother Earth, our peoples and our autonomous organizations. “

 The CNI again gives various examples of repression being suffered by indigenous peoples, among others, the acts of violence that occurred in the state of Oaxaca against the community of San Francisco del Mar, Tehuantepec Isthmus region “to impose the approval of wind projects involving the dispossession of an important part of common land of this community and would seriously affect its rich and delicate ecosystem.” This region is a vital place for thousands of fishermen and fishing is the source of food for the entire population. “If the project was approved, it would mean taking away their right to their source of life and livelihood.” The CNI stated that, “this is an integral plan of dispossession of the territories of the communities of the Isthmus to fulfill the megaprojects they intend to impose in the region with the so-called Tehuantepec Isthmus Special Economic Zone (SEZ).”

It also lashed out against the armed forces of “bad government that have acted in unison with the criminal gangs and particularly against the indigenous community of Santa María Ostula” in the state of Michoacan, where 34 comuneros have been killed and at least 5 are disappeared. It again demanded “the punishment of the responsible military and politicians, the cancellation of arrest warrants against Ostula commanders and the Sierra Costa region, the presentation of the disappeared alive, and absolute respect for the communal territory of Ostula.”

Finally, the CNI demanded the immediate release of the unjustly imprisoned indigenous ñhañhú Raymundo Pascual Garcia, originally from San Ildefonso, Amealco, in the state of Queretaro, who was arrested for participating with his community in the mobilizations against the “gasolinazo“.

 For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado del Congreso Nacional Indígena del 9 de marzo de 2017 (Enlace Zapatista, 9 de marzo de 2017)

Pescadores rechazan proyecto eólico en San Francisco del Mar (Istmo Press, 7 de marzo de 2017)

Comunicado “Una historia para tratar de Entender (Enlace Zapatista, , 17 de noviembre de 2016)

Lo importante es la insumisión, no ganar la presidencia con candidata indígena: EZLN (Proceso, 17 de noviembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional : Candidata presidencial “no es decisión de una persona” (Subcomandante Moíses) (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas /Nacional: Polémica después de la propuesta planteada por el EZLN y el CNI en octubre (24 de octubre de 2016)

Chiapas / Nacional : CNI y EZLN realizarán consulta para nombrar a una candidata indígena hacia las elecciones presidenciales de 2018 (15 de octubre de 2016)