Oaxaca: Conflict in Mixe Region between Inhabitants of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla and Tamazulapam del Espiritu Santo Continues

July 31, 2019

MixePhoto @ Red TdT

Last June, in the framework of the commemoration of the second anniversary of the armed attack, perpetrated against residents of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla, the Gobixha Human Rights Integral Defense Committee (Codigo DH in its Spanish acronym) and the National Network of Civil Organizations All Rights for Everyone (Red TdT in its Spanish acronym) visited the affected area.

The “attack” occurred on June 5th, 2017, the result of an agrarian conflict between the people of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla and Tamazulapam del Espiritu Santo. During the conflict “Luis Juan Guadalupe lost his life. In addition, six people were injured by gunfire and four women were held and tortured by local authorities.”

Through a statement, the organizations announced that: “Two years after these events, we found that Ayutla Mixes do not have a connection to their spring (Jënanyëëj), because their water and pipe system was destroyed, causing lack of the vital fluid, mainly affecting children and older adults, who have consistently presented profiles of gastrointestinal diseases.” According to the statement, also, “attacks and disqualifications against defenders have been present, including Elena Gil, academic and defender of the Ayuuk language and culture, who has repeatedly received death threats, as well as other people in  the community who have been victims of aggressions and intimidation in order to silence them, details of which we reserve because of the fear they show.”

They mentioned that according to official documents “27 families of the community have been stripped of their homes and land by an agrarian invasion of more than 200 hectares that seeks to cross the boundaries recognized by both communities.”

In addition, they informed that, in the disputed spring “an installation has been built unilaterally by the state authorities, according to the complaint of the local authorities, to replace the one that was allegedly dynamited on August 25th, 2017 by Tamazupalam and that may collate with archive photos. Given these facts, the state authorities such as the Secretary General of Government (SEGEGO) and the Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca, have ignored and progress is unknown on the complaints filed, violating the right to security and physical integrity of the residents of Ayutla, and her access to justice, with investigations related to the law.”

Currently, Ayutla is still without water despite more than 30 meetings and a “historic agreement” between the two communities [which was denied by the Ayutla authorities]. Also, it should be remembered that recently, the General Secretary of Government (SEGEGO) sent the State Water Commission (CEA in its Spanish acronym) to reconnect the water to Ayutla.

Codigo DH and the Red TdT called:

  • “To the State Government to give priority to the solution to the agrarian conflict and guarantee at all times access to justice for victims, security against the risk of violence and new dispossession, as well as respect for the history and documents that keep the memory of the boundaries between both communities.
  • To the General Secretary of Government, we demand that you adhere to the agreements signed and recognized by both communities, including May 2018, to avoid new acts of violence and dispossession towards settlers who have suffered repeated violations of their human rights. We also demand the cessation of attacks and disqualifications against defenders.
  • To the State Water Commission to guarantee the completion of water reconnection works for Ayutla. It has been more than two years without a drinking water service that violates their human right to water and health, mainly for children and the elderly.
  • To the Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca, to continue with the investigations for the clarification and punishment of those responsible for the acts perpetrated on June 5th, 2017, guaranteeing at all times free access to their victims’ information.
  • To the Secretary of Public Security of the State of Oaxaca, to guarantee the security and help the population of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla given the risk of future aggressions.
  • To national and international Human Rights organizations to be aware of the events that may arise in the following weeks.”

For more information in Spanish:

Para Ayutla no hay fiesta, ni agua; solo duelo, injusticia y riesgo de más violencia ante la inacción gubernamental (Codigo DH, 18 de julio de 2019)

Sin solución conflicto por agua en zona mixe (Imparcial Oaxaca, 26 de julio de 2019)

Justicia y agua, para Ayutla (NVI Noticias, 26 de julio de 2019)

Denuncian inacción gubernamental en Ayutla (Red TdT, 18 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Enfrentamiento entre pobladores en la región Mixe. (June 8, 2017)

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Oaxaca: Indigenous Communities Celebrate “Guelaguetza” against Extractivism

July 29, 2019

Guela1

On July 23rd, 2019, several Zapotec communities of the Central Valleys, members of the “Non-Mining Front, for a Future of All”, organized an alternative Guelaguetza in San Martin de los Cansecos, Oaxaca. This was the first Guelaguetza of the Peoples of Oaxaca against mining that began with a traditional ritual of gratitude to Mother Earth.

“What they are looking for in this event is to recover the essence of the Cerro Mondays Festival, where with cooperation, love of neighbor and an attitude of sharing nature and life, they seek to reinforce the social fabric that unite us as indigenous communities.”

Marcos Leyva Madrid of the organization Services for Alternative Education (Educa in its Spanish acronym) mentioned that during the event “the towns and communities affected by mining projects and concessions celebrate life, autonomy, resistance processes and community alternatives that they are exercising within their territories.”

Guela2Photo @ SIPAZ

People and agricultural authorities from nine municipalities participated in the alternative Guelaguetza. The program included a forum, spaces for reflection for the communities about the defense of their lands against extractivism, and there were also cultural spaces.

It should be remembered that there are more than three hundred mining concessions in Oaxaca, which represent five percent of the state territory. Communities and civil organizations attribute damage to the environment and the social fabric of the communities to the extractivist model, among other consequences. In addition, they highlight the criminalization of defenders of the land, by extractive companies and the government, with the aim of protecting their economic interests.

According to the magazine Proceso, the Cuzcatlan mining company which is three kilometers away in San Jose del Progreso, also organized a Guelaguetza to “justify that it promotes traditions, gives employment and generates development.” The company is related to the Canadian company Fortuna Silver Mines.

For more information in Spanish:

Celebran comunidades indígenas la Guelaguetza antiminera en Oaxaca (EDUCA, 23 de julio de 2019)

Realizan en Valles Centrales la primera Guelaguetza de los Pueblos de Oaxaca contra la Minería (Proceso, 22 de julio de 2019)

Con Guelaguetza alternativa, protestan en Oaxaca contra mineras (La Jornada, 22 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: “Negamos el desarrollo que nos niega a nosotros”: Concluye Tercer Encuentro Estatal de Pueblos, Comunidades y Organizaciones “Aquí Decidimos Sí a la Vida No a la Minería” (May 22nd, 2019)

Oaxaca: Cabildo municipal anuncia el territorio de Magdalena Ocotlán prohibido para minería (April 11th, 2019)

National: No Cancellations but No More Mining Concessions in Mexico – AMLO (March 24, 2019)


Oaxaca: Nochixtlan Victims Say FGR Refuses to Call Chain of Command of Violent Eviction

July 20, 2019

NochixtlanPhoto @ 24-Horas

In a press conference on July 10th, the Victims’ Committee for Truth and Justice (COVIC in its Spanish acronym) announced that the Attorney General’s Office (FGR in its Spanish acronym) has refused their request to investigate the chain of command involved in the violent eviction on June 19th, 2016 in Nochixtlan.

In their request, which they made last March, COVIC wanted the federal authorities to cite the then president Enrique Peña Nieto, the secretary of the Interior, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, the former governor of Oaxaca Gabino Cue Monteagudo, the former national commissioner of the Federal Police, Enrique Galindo Ceballos, and the former National Security Commissioner, Renato Sales Heredia.

COVIC’s lawyer, Daniel Blas Garcia, said that “the demands are part of the first point of the recommendation 7VG/2017 issued by the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH).”

He pointed out that they know “that the order came from above (…) however, on June 25th, the Public Prosecutor’s Office only granted that Enrique Galindo be interviewed, while it continues to oppose the collection (of the other interviews), under the appreciation that there are no reasons to call them.”

COVIC called on the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as well as the FGR, to show signs of certainty and will to the tens of thousands of victims in Mexico about an effective access to truth and justice, through processes that are not re-victimizing or debilitating, Proceso reported.

It should be recalled that in Nochixtlan, on June 19th, 2016, an eviction carried out by federal police against residents and teachers of Section 22 of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE in its Spanish acronym), which left eight dead and more than 100 injured.

For more information in Spanish:

La FGR rechaza citar a Peña Nieto y Osorio Chong por caso Nochixtlán, denuncian víctimas (El Proceso, 10 de julio de 2019)

FGR se niega a investigar a exfuncionarios implicados en hechos violentos de Nochixtlán: Comité de Víctimas por la Verdad y Justicia (Desinformémonos, 11 de julio de 2019)

Fiscalía rechaza citar a Peña Nieto y Osorio Chong por caso Nochixtlán, acusan víctimas (SDP Noticias, 10 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Third Anniversary of Nochixtlan (June 21st, 2019)

Oaxaca/National: CNDH Issues Recommendation for Serious Human Rights Violations during Events in Nochixtlan on June 16th, 2016 (October 28, 2017)

Oaxaca: Impunidad amparada por el gobierno a dos años de Nochixtlán: ONU-DH (June 22, 2018)

Oaxaca: President of Nochixtlan Victims Committee Attacked (April 12, 2018)


Oaxaca: Third Anniversary of Nochixtlan

June 21, 2019

oaxaca-1-e1466435002690

Nochixtlan 2016 (@Animal Político)

On June 19th, three years after the police eviction of a blockade carried out in opposition to the educational reform in Nochixtlan, which left eight people dead and 198 wounded by firearms, thousands of professors from Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (CNTE in its Spanish acronym) marched to demand that the current government imprison former President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), former Secretaries of the Interior and Public Education, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong and Aurelio Nuño Mayer, as well as former governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cue Monteagudo for their responsibility in the massacre. Similarly, they demanded punishment for the material authors, among which are elements of the Federal and State Police, for the crimes of genocide, homicide, attempted homicide, abuse of authority and injuries.

They denounced the lack of progress in response to their demands for justice, truth, reparation for the damage and non-repetition of events of this nature. They recalled that the case of Nochixtlan was sent to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for the extrajudicial execution of persons.

The march culminated with a rally before the “Monument to the Fallen”. Eloy Lopez Hernandez, Secretary General of Section 22, highlighted the work in defense of education that three years ago society in general and teachers defended “to the ultimate consequences, a unity that the people must maintain and with which they will face the neoliberal projects that the current president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador intends to impose such as the Interoceanic projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec or the Maya Train in the southeast.”

For his part, the member of the Committee of Victims for Justice and Truth June 19 (COVIC in its Spanish acronym), Daniel Mayoral Lopez, reported that victims and their families continue to suffer harassment and assaults: “the last occurred on Tuesday, June 18th, when unknown persons vandalized the victims’ monument”, he said.

“The repression experienced on June 19th, 2016 in Asuncion Nochixtlan by state and federal forces that claimed the lives of eight civilians, was the result of an action by state to “punish” those who resist and oppose the projects that from the government they intend to impose”, the defender of Human Rights and presbyter, Miguel Concha said, on celebrating a mass at the end of the meeting.

On the same day of the commemoration, the state government appointed the former inspector general of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca, Juan Rodriguez Ramos, special commissioner for the events that took place on June 19th, 2016. However, survivors of the eviction have rejected this appointment.

For more information in Spanish:

Demandan justicia en marcha por tres años de la masacre de Nochixtlán (La Jornada, 19 de junio de 2019)

A tres años de Nochixtlán, sobrevivientes exigen justicia (Proceso, 19 de junio de 2019)

A tres años, sobrevivientes del fallido desalojo en Nochxitlán exigen justicia y castigo a Peña Nieto y Gabino Cué (Página3.mx, 19 de junio de 2019)

Juan Rodríguez, comisionado especial por hechos violentos de 2016 (Quadratin, 19 de junio de 2019)
Víctimas de Nochixtlán, sin justicia a 3 años del enfrentamiento (El Imparcial, 20 de junio de 2019)

19 de junio ¡Ni perdón ni olvido! (NVI Noticias, 20 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/National: CNDH Issues Recommendation for Serious Human Rights Violations during Events in Nochixtlan on June 16th, 2016 (October 28, 2017)

Oaxaca: Impunidad amparada por el gobierno a dos años de Nochixtlán: ONU-DH (June 22, 2018)

Oaxaca: President of Nochixtlan Victims Committee Attacked (April 12, 2018)


Oaxaca: FGR and SEDENA Dispute Search for EPR Disappeared

May 30, 2019

EPRPhoto @ La Jornada

On May 25th, 2019, the Attorney General’s Office (FGR in its Spanish acronym) and the National Defense Secretariat (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) challenged the sentence which favored the families of the victims of forced disappearance Edmundo Reyes Amaya and Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez, both militant social fighters of the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR in its Spanish acronym). By order of the Judicial Power of the Nation a search commission for both of the disappeared for 12 years was to be created, “as well as the appearance of all the public officials who could have been involved in the events and the opening of military barracks to make inquiries”, La Jornada recalled.

Family members and civil society organizations, who accompany their cases, declared in a press conference on the same day that “the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador demonstrates the lack of political will to comply with the aforementioned resolution.”

Sandino Rivero, legal counsel for both families, stressed that the families and the accompanying organizations will maintain a sit-in in the Zocalo of the City of Oaxaca for an indefinite period of time, until they are addressed by the heads of the Interior and Human Rights (Olga Sanchez Cordero and Alejandro Encinas respectively), with whom they had already requested to have negotiation tables.

For more information in Spanish:

FGR y Sedena impugnan creación de comisión por desaparición forzada (La Jornada, 25 de mayo de 2019)

Impugnan FGR y Sedena sentencia a favor de desaparecidos (eje central, 25 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Order to Open Army Barracks in Search for EPR Members Disappeared in 2007 (May 16, 2019)

Oaxaca: Search for EPR Members Missing for 11 Years on State Properties (August 21, 2018)

Chiapas: National Day: “The Victims of State Terrorism are of the People, We will not Stop until We Find Them!” (March 15, 2017)

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

Nacional/Oaxaca/Chiapas: Gira nacional: desaparición forzada en México (March 6, 2015)

National: Civil Commission for Pursuit and Search for two disappeared members of the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) denounces lack of progress (September 29, 2014)


Oaxaca/International: Oaxaca Consortium Presents Damian Gallardo Case to UN Committee against Torture (CAT)

May 26, 2019

CAT

On May 16th, the Oaxacan organization Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity filed a complaint with the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) within the framework of the 66th period of sessions of that body, for torture and serious violations of the guarantees of the defender of human rights, Damian Gallardo Martinez from his detention on May 18th, 2013 until his release on December 28th, 2018. It is worth noting that, since 2002, one of the powers of the CAT is to be able to hear individual complaints.

Consortium explained that by resorting to this mechanism “justice is sought not only in the individual case but to generate a precedent that transcends and ends with the criminalization of social protest and the use of torture in arbitrary arrests of defenders in Oaxaca.” It recalled that “Gallardo Martinez was arbitrarily detained on May 18th, 2013, within the framework of the criminalization of the teachers’ struggle and social protest, deployed during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto against opponents of the “educational reform””; and that “during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, at least 141 arbitrary detentions of defenders in Oaxaca have been documented.”

Consortium also emphasized that “in the case of the state of Oaxaca, there is not a single sentence for torture to date”; and that “at national level, sentences are also very rare.” It indicated that in the case of Gallardo Martinez, after six years of denouncing torture, “progress in the investigations is null and void”, which is why it “decided to seek justice at the international level by filing a complaint with the United Nations.”

The complaint asked the CAT to urge the Mexican State to prosecute, and punish with appropriate penalties all state agents and authorities responsible for violations of the Convention Against Torture as well as to fully compensate for the damage suffered, including “a public acknowledgment of responsibility that impacts on the cessation of the criminalization of social protest in Oaxaca”; among other demands.

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia ONG a México ante la ONU (Vanguardia, 18 de mayo de 2019)

Denuncia al Estado mexicano por tortura (NVI Noticias, 17 de mayo de 2019)

Frente a impunidad en el país se denuncia ante la ONU a Estado Mexicano por Tortura en el caso de Damián Gallardo Martínez (Consorcio, 16 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca : Exigen atención para 33 personas defensoras de derechos humanos bajo procesos judiciales (3 de agosto de 2018)

Nacional/Oaxaca: German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico (April 10, 2017)

Oaxaca: Demand for the immediate release of Damian Gallardo (December 30, 2014)

Oaxaca: 16 months after the imprisonment of Damian Gallardo, and following call from the UN, there is no response from the Mexican State (October 12, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Assault on teacher Damian Gallardo in a prison of Jalisco (June 13, 2014)


Oaxaca: Order to Open Army Barracks in Search for EPR Members Disappeared in 2007

May 16, 2019

EPR

On May 9th, the order of Judge Maria Dolores Nuñez Solorio, attached to the Fourth District Court for Injunction in Criminal Matters in Mexico City, was published and may be challenged within a period of ten days. The sentence urges the head of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym), Luis Cresencio Sandoval, to order the opening of the barracks and allow soldiers and officers to be interrogated on the case of the forced disappearance of the members of the People’s Army Revolutionary (EPR in its Spanish acronym) Edmundo Reyes Amaya and Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez in Oaxaca, in May 2007. “The Secretary of National Defense, through all the members of the Army, must provide the necessary facilities to the federal prosecutor in charge of the integration of the investigation of origin, as well as to any authority that has the task of finding the whereabouts of the complainants”, the sentence states.

The Coordinator of the Committee Until They Are Found (Hasta Encontrarlos) and daughter of Reyes Amaya, Nadin Reyes Maldonado, considered that it would be possible for a commission of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office in Search of Disappeared Persons to enter the barracks, which would set a precedent for more relatives to seek refuge and seek their relatives there. “What we hope is that this government, which calls itself different, does not interpose resources to evade compliance with this ruling and that it begins to show will with concrete facts … that searches are made”, she said.

For the Cerezo Committee it is a judicial resolution with several scopes because it recognizes the forced disappearance for political reasons and the participation of the Armed Forces in those crimes, and because “it creates conditions so that other relatives of the disappeared do the same and do not demand less than what is happening with this resolution.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ordena juez buscar a los activistas Edmundo Reyes y Alberto Cruz (La Jornada, 12 de mayo de 2019)

Boletín sobre los DH de las Víctimas de VDH plasmados en la Sentencia del Amparo del Poder Judicial de la Federación en el caso de Edmundo Reyes y Alberto Cruz (Comité Cerezo, 13 de mayo de 2019)

Ordena una juez la apertura de cuarteles para buscar a eperristas desaparecidos (Proceso, 13 de mayo de 2019)

Jueza ordena abrir cuarteles militares para buscar a integrantes del EPR desaparecidos (Página3.mx, 13 de mayo de 2019)

Piden a FGR acatar sentencia y abrir cuarteles militares (Pie de página, 14 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Search for EPR Members Missing for 11 Years on State Properties (August 21, 2018)

Chiapas: National Day: “The Victims of State Terrorism are of the People, We will not Stop until We Find Them!” (March 15, 2017)

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

Nacional/Oaxaca/Chiapas: Gira nacional: desaparición forzada en México (March 6, 2015)

National: Civil Commission for Pursuit and Search for two disappeared members of the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) denounces lack of progress (September 29, 2014)