Oaxaca: Truth Commission Presents its Final Report

May 23, 2016

OaxacaPhoto: @ Oaxaca Truth Commission

On May 17, the Oaxaca Truth Commission (CVO) presented its final report on the events that led to the violations of human rights against the Oaxacan people during the disturbances of 2006 and 2007. The document, titled “We already know! No more impunity in Oaxaca”, consists of 1,250 pages and is divided into four chapters dealing with complaints made by the victims, state repression, the social consequences of the violations of human rights, and getting justice and reparation of damages form the authorities, with the completion of the work started by the CVO in November 2014. The Commission reported that being an extrajudicial execution “arbitrary deprivation of life by state agents, or with the complicity, tolerance or acquiescence of these, without a judicial or legal process provided.”

Regarding the accusations against former PRI governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz (2004- 2010), Nayely Guillén, member of the CVO and human rights specialist, pointed out that the crimes of forced disappearance, torture and extrajudicial executions are crimes against humanity, so do not prescribe. “Ulises Ruiz is not saved from his crimes and is not saved from sitting in the dock. There is evidence of multiple violations of human rights committed by the former governor”, Guillen said. In this regard, Father Alejandro Solalinde, former president of the CVO, explained to Revolution 3.0, “so far the government institutions of Oaxaca have shown no sign of welcoming the report, what is more, the government of Gabino Cué has not even given signs of the existence of this document. “ The former commissioners stressed that the document is “the voice of the victims”, considering that after its presentation of the “victims should follow it up, we have already provided the tools they just need to strengthen themselves with the the report and fight for justice.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ulises Ruíz no está a salvo de sus crímenes ni de sentarse en el banquillo de los acusados: Comisión de la Verdad (Revolución 3.0, 18 de mayo de 2016)

INFORME FINAL ¡YA SABEMOS! NO MÁS IMPUNIDAD EN OAXACA (Comisión de la Verdad Oaxaca, 17 de mayo de 2016)

Denuncian ejecuciones extrajudiciales en Oaxaca, durante conflicto con APPO (Aristegui Noticias, 12 de mayo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Anuncia Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca pronta publicación de su informe final (3 de febrero de 2016)

Oaxaca: Más de 500 casos de tortura y 26 ejecuciones: Comisión de la Verdad (16 de junio de 2015)

Oaxaca: denuncian amenazas contra integrantes de la Comisión de la Verdad conformada para investigar el conflicto político-social del 2006 (23 de abril de 2015)

Oaxaca: A 8 años del conflicto de 2006, sigue la impunidad. Se conforma Comisión de la Verdad (27 de noviembre de 2014)


National: Indefinite Strike of Dissident Teachers against Labor Reform

May 23, 2016

Profes.pngIn Oaxaca, dissident teachers demand a negotiation table with the government. Photo @ Ejecentral

On May 15, Teachers’ Day, teachers opposing education reform and the evaluation of teachers called an indefinite strike. Thousands of teachers in 23 states of the Mexican Republic mobilized to hold marches and sit-ins.

In Mexico City, members of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) and supporters held their demonstration in front of the Ministry of the Interior (Segob). In Chiapas, thousands of teachers from sections 7 and 40 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) marched in Tuxtla Gutierrez, where they took over four radio stations and three television stations to “spread the news about the problems of teaching and to call on parents, social organizations and the general public to join the struggle”, according to accounts in La Jornada. It should be remembered that the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit withheld payment and froze the bank accounts at savings banks of thousands of teachers of Section 7 in Chiapas. In Oaxaca, the teachers staged a sit-in in the main square of the capital and took over ten state offices for ten hours as leverage for negotiation tables. In response, about 1,200 members of the Federal Police and the Gendarmerie arrived to, “according to the government version, strengthen public safety services in the state, […] however, their arrival is more a kettling of Section 22 teachers” said Process. The leader of Section 22 of the CNTE, Ruben Nunez, said that “the federal government does not have the ability to replace the thousands of teachers who have begun an indefinite strike” because in the state of Oaxaca alone they are estimated to be between 13 and 14 thousand. In Guerrero, dissident teachers also mobilized in different parts of the state. In Chilpancingo they blocked the highway del Sol and suspended work in about 240 schools.

The aim of this broad mobilization was to obtain roundtable discussions with the federal government to demand the repeal of education reform and teacher evaluation, request the reinstatement of teachers dismissed for not taking this assessment and to solve the teachers’ conflict. However, according to La Jornada, the Secretary of Public Education, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, stated that, “the government is open to dialogue as long as the discussions are aiming to enrich the educational reform and never knock it down.” He further threatened that “teachers who are leaving children without classes will receive a discount the first day of strike; the second, there will be discount, and the third the same. That’s what the law states. If eventually there is a fourth day of strike they will be discharged.” He added that he has “26,000 teachers ready to replace teachers who are on strike.”

For more information in Spanish:

Descuentos y ceses a paristas, ratifica Nuño (La Jornada, 16 de mayo 2016)

CNTE inicia paro en Michoacán, Chiapas y Oaxaca; Nuño pide a maestros no caer en trampas de líderes (Animal Político, 16 de mayo de 2016)

Con plantón indefinido, maestros de la CNTE exigen a Segob mesa de diálogo (Proceso, 16 de mayo de 2016)

Maestros de Chiapas toman radiodifusoras y televisoras para dar a conocer los objetivos de su movimiento (Proceso, 16 de mayo 2016)

Inician paro miles de maestros de la CNTE en Chiapas (Proceso, 15 de mayo 2016)

Instala SNTE plantón en centro de Tuxtla (La Jornada, 15 de mayo 2016)

La CNTE instala plantón afuera de Gobernación (La Jornada, 15 de mayo 2016)

Reclama la CNTE diálogo en SG (La Jornada, 15 de mayo 2016)

Arriban a Oaxaca mil 200 elementos federales ante protestas del magisterio (Proceso, 18 de mayo de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero: Protestas del magisterio contra la reforma educativa en varios estados (25 de febrero 2016)

Guerrero: Maestros en Acapulco lograron sabotear la evaluación de docentes (14 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Muere un maestro en los enfrentamientos de oposición a la evaluación magisterial (10 de diciembre de 2015)

Oaxaca: Baja participación en la evaluación magisterial en Oaxaca (7 de diciembre de 2015)

Nacional: Policías federales acuden a estados que se oponen a la Evaluación de Desempeño; se anuncian actividades en rechazo a la Reforma Educativa (21 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Choques entre policía y magisterio en el bloqueo a la evaluación (21 de octubre de 2015)


Oaxaca: Radio broadcaster murdered in Ejutla de Crespo

May 11, 2016

Radio.pngOaxaca: Radio broadcaster murdered in Ejutla de Crespo

On April 26, Apolonio Hernandez Gonzalez, broadcaster of one of Ejutla de Crespo’s radio stations, “was murdered inside his home with a bladed weapon”, the Attorney General of Oaxaca confirmed. According to the preliminary investigation of the case, the body of the 52-year-old from Radio Need showed signs of a wound on his neck from a blade and was found dumped beside an illegal work site. The authorities do not know the motive for the murder at present, while his work colleagues have sent their condolences to his relatives and demand justice through their radio transmissions and the Internet. For its part, the Benito Juarez Association of Community Radios, as well as condemning this crime, demand clarification of the murders of two other private community radio braodcasters in recent months, Filadelfo Sanchez Sarmiento in Miahuatlán and Abel Bautista in Santiago Juxtlahuaca.

The organization Article 19 learned of the case and demanded that the state authorities examine the reporting work of Apolonio Hernandez as the main line of investigation of his murder. According to Article 19, “The Special Attorney for Attention to Crimes against Freedom of Expression (READLE in its Spanish acronym) is obliged to investigate the murders of reporters.” Nevertheless, Article 19 complained that, “it has eluded its responsibility to investigate crimes that attack freedom of expression.” Reporters Without Borders (RWB) and Amnesty International (AI) recalled that 63 journalists died due to causes related to the exercise of their profession and a further 40 were murdered while the motive of their death was unknown in 2015. Both organizations have warned that there are four “hotspots” where freedom of the press is more and more restrained, Mexico being among those. In a statement, both organizations reported that, “threats, harassment and killings continued against journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico during 2015. Despite the existence of a Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, passed in 2012, the lack of resources and coordination meant that adequate protection is not offered.”

It should be noted that World Freedom of the Press Day, established by the United Nations Organization (UNO) was celebrated on May 3. According to Sol de Mexico, Mexican reporters have little to celebrate for this commemoration, as freedom of expression is more and more limited.

 

For more information:

México encabeza la lista de los países más peligrosos para ejercer el periodismo (El Sol de México, 4 de mayo de 2016)

Asesinan a Apolonio Hernández, locutor de radio por internet en Oaxaca (SDP Noticias, 27 de abril de 2016)

Radios comunitarias condenan asesinato de locutor de Radio Need Ejutla (27 de abril de 2016, EDUCA Oaxaca)

Asesinan a locutor de radio en Oaxaca (Zócalo Salillo, 27 de abril de 2016)

Asesinan a locutor de radio en Oaxaca (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2016)

En Oaxaca los periodistas están siendo asesinados, amenazados, hostigados y perseguidos (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 1 de abril de 2016)

Veracruz, Guerrero y la CDMX, donde más agreden periodistas: Art. 19; es la impunidad, dice (Vanguardia, 3 de mayo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Asesinan a locutor de radio en Miahuatlán (3 de julio de 2015)

Oaxaca: Nuevas agresiones a periodistas (29 de agosto de 2014)

Oaxaca: Estado del país con mayor número de agresiones a mujeres defensoras de los derechos humanos y periodistas (29 de mayo de 2014)

Oaxaca: Denuncian ola de ataques contra periodistas y activistas (20 de julio de 2013)

Oaxaca: Article 19 condena ataque a periodistas (9 de marzo de 2012)


Oaxaca: Homicides Increase in Oaxaca

May 5, 2016

Homicide

According to a report of the Attorney General of Oaxaca, 182 “intentional homicides” were registered between January and March, with the Coastal Region having the greatest number of these crimes. The study shows that there was an increase of 11.6% compared with the same period last year, in which 162 homicides were registered in the whole state. According to the report, the Coastal Region is top of the list of intentional homicides with 47 cases. As regards the rest of the state, the Central Valleys reported 36 killings; the Southern Sierra 24; Cuenca 21; Mixteca 13; Cañada 5; the Northern Sierra 2, and 34 in the Isthmus. In the Isthmus Region, a multiple homicide of two women and three men was recently registered, as a result of which the authorities reinforced security presence in Juchitan de Zaragoza and some other municipalities of the area.

 For his part, the regional Vice Attorney of Tehuantepec Isthmus, Luis Sanchez Castellanos, reported that the judicial hypotheis for the surge in violence and aggression of organized crime in the municipality of Juchitan de Zaragoza was due more to political problems than to control of the streets. He said that so far this year they had registered 40 homicides in Juchitan “although they are not all related to organized crime.” Sanchez Castellanos said that many of the delinquents “are protected by the politicians and social organizations, which makes their capture more difficult.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Reporta Fiscalía de Oaxaca 182 homicidios dolosos de enero a marzo (Quadtratin Oaxaca, 21 de abril de 2016)

Aumentan homicidios en Oaxaca 11.6 por ciento; Costa es la región más violenta (Servicios para una Educación Alternativa, A.C., EDUCA, 21 de abril de 2016)

Van 40 ejecuciones en Juchitán; política y control de plaza desatan violencia: Vicefiscalía (NVI Noticias, 20 de abril de 2016)

Asesinan a cinco en un predio perteneciente a Telmex en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 17 de abril de 2016)


Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero/National: Criminalization of Social Protest

April 26, 2016

Protest.pngDuring the teachers’ mobilizations in Chiapas. Photo: @Cuartoscuro

On Friday April 15, the teachers began a day of mobilizations across the country as part of a “new struggle against educational reform, for the defense of public education, and employment stability”, which began with the blockade of highways, ports and border crossings in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan, and Chiapas.

Teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) on the Tehuantepec Isthmus led two highway blockades as part of their actions against educational reform, the education law in Oaxaca, and to demand the release of political prisoners. In Guerrero, contingents of the State Coordinator of Education Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) blocked the lanes of the Sol Mexico-Acapulco motorway from morning as well as demonstrating on a number of streets of the capital. In Michoacan, at least three thousand members of CNTE, accompanied by trainee teachers of Arteaga municipality and some social organizations took control of the entrances to the industrial zone and blocked the exit to the Morelia motorway.

In Chiapas, the “disproportionate use of the security forces, arbitrary arrests, torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatments which characterize repression and criminalization of social protest” were committed and documented by the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) in San Cristobal de Las Casas and Tuxtla Gutierrez during the actions of the teachers from CNTE and the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE). CDHFBC pointed out that elements of the Federal Police, the Gendarmerie, and the State Police took part and used “indiscriminately and unjustifiably tear gas and rubber bullets damaging the health of those who were protesting.” Also, they denounced that they physically injured the passersby or those who were at the site of the repression, including children, women, and seniors. In the two cities, elements of the police “arbitrarily detained and with inhumane and/or degrading treatment, without respect for personal guarantees nor mediating protocols that protect security and integrity, at least eight women teachers, ten male teachers and three passersby” who were removed to the maximum security prison at Tepic, Nayarit.

The Ministry of Public Education (SEP) made it known that it sanctioned “with discounts […] and with separation from service 13,700 teachers” who participated in the protests against educational reform in different states of the country. CDHFBC urged the Mexican State to “assume the obligation to protect, guarantee and respect human rights; cease repression and criminalization of social protest; guarantee life, integrity and personal security of those who exercise their legitimate right to free protest; immediately, effectively, seriously, thoroughly and impartially see to these events, sanctioning those responsible for the human rights violations described; and immediately release the people arbitrarily arrested and unjustifiably transferred accused of invented crimes as justification for the repressive actions.”  

For more information in Spanish:

Movilización de la CNTE contra la reforma educativa en 28 estados (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2016)

SEP sancionará a más de 13 mil docentes por protestas (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2016)

Policías repliegan a maestros en Chiapas (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2016)

Boletín: La represión del Estado mexicano criminaliza la protesta social en Chiapas (CDHFBC, 16 de abril de 2016)

Tortura y represión en operativos contra SNTE en Chiapas: Frayba (La Jornada, 17 de abril de 2016)

Criminaliza el Estado a los maestros en Chiapas: Frayba (Desinformémonos, 17 de abril de 2016)

Acusan golpes y torturas contra maestros detenidos en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de abril de 2016)

Con marchas y protestas, exigen la liberación de maestros detenidos en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de abril de 2016)

NotiFrayba:Criminalización de la protesta social en Chiapas (CDHFBC, 18 de abril de 2016)

For more information form SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero: Protestas del magisterio contra la reforma educativa en varios estados (25 de febrero de 2016)

Guerrero: Maestros en Acapulco lograron sabotear la evaluación de docentes (14 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Choques entre policía y magisterio en el bloqueo a la evaluación (21 de octubre de 2015)


National: Senate Passes Federal Law for Special Economic Zones (SEZ)

April 17, 2016

SEZ.pngThe Special Economic Zones @Presidencia de la República

On Thursday, April 14, the Senate passed the Federal Law for Special Economic Zones (SEZ) with 88 votes in favor and eight against. The purpose of this law is to reduce poverty, allow for the provision of basic services and broaden the opportunities for a healthy and productive life in the regions which have the greatest deficiencies in social and economic development, according to the judgment. It will do so through the promotion of investment, productivity, competitiveness, employment, and a greater distribution of income among the population. The law establishes preferential conditions for national and foreign private companies. It will give concessions for 40 years, renewable for 40 more, and will enjoy tax and customs exemptions for eight years, for example.

While the Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN), Ecologist Green Party (PVEM) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) endorsed the law, the PRD senator, Dolores Padierna, rejected it. She pointed out that the law does not provide for any social benefit but benefits “for the economic elite of this country and foreign companies.” Similarly, senator Layda Sansores San Ramon, Citizens Movement (MC), considers that “it auctions Mexico.” Sharing this idea, the coordinator of the Work Party (PT), Manuel Bartlett warned that the developers of the SEZ will become administrators of the states of the republic in which they operate and seek “to deepen the appropriation of national territory for big international finance companies.” In effect, the law plans the expropriation of all territories required to establish investment projects, which will be administered by businessmen, who will be able to operate their own surveillance and security companies. Bartlett concluded assuring that “this is not a Peña Nieto project, because Peña Nieto has no projects. This is a North American plan studied in its universities. It is a big lie that with growth there can be a distribution of wealth.”

For more information in Spanish:

Aprueba el Senado ley sobre zonas económicas especiales (Educa, 15 de abril 2016)

Con ZEE, Peña Nieto pretende terminar de rematar a México: Layda (Pagin@bierta, 15 de abril 2016)
Avanza ley de Zonas Económicas Especiales en el Senado (La Jornada, 14 de abril 2016)
Senado votará el jueves por ley de Zonas Económicas Especiales (La jornada, 13 de abril 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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


Chiapas: Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice Reaches San Cristobal de Las Casas

April 10, 2016

Caravan.png

The event in Plaza de la Paz, San Cristobal de las Casas, Photo @ SIPAZ

On April 7, the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice reached Plaza de La Paz in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where it held a discussion with representatives of various civil organizations which expressed their accompaniment and solidarity. The Caravan is a broad initiative of families of victims of human rights violations, civil society organizations and social movements from different nations, which call for a “halt to the war on drugs.” On their journey, the Caravan has joined a group of some 35 people from seven countries. It left Honduras on March 28 and will arrive to New York on April 18. According to Otros Mundos, “the route reflects the commitment to raise the voice of the victims and of the heroes of the war on drugs, and it turns out they are the same. From their pain, the victims are becoming in an organized way the people who struggle for peace and justice, for an exit from the war.” On their way through Mexico, the Caravan entered through the border of Guatemala – Mexico at La Mesilla – Ciudad Cuauhtemoc on April 6. There they held an event in which they listened to the words and struggles in the region of the southern border of Mexico, “invaded by a growing militarization which worsens the human rights situation of the peoples in defense and care of the earth as well as migrants from Central America and Chiapas year after year.” The participants in the Caravan proposed a compilation of testimonies of violations of human rights committed combatting drugs with the aim of presenting it at the special session on narcotics at the General Assembly of the United Nations, to be held from April 19 – 21.

During the event in San Cristobal de Las Casas, some civil organizations, among them Otros Mundos, The Civil Society of Las Abejas of Acteal, and Mesoamerican Voices shared their words. They demanded “that justice be done for the killing of the coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH), Berta Caceres, murdered on March 3 last in Honduras.” The Colombian Alex Serra, who coordinated the passage of the Caravan through Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala reiterated that, “one of our principal demands is that justice be done because she was part of the Caravan and with her murder, we are in mourning.” In commemoration of the Honduran leader, there was a minute of applause during the event. Las Abejas de Acteal underlined that if “there is insecurity for the life of the population of Honduras, migration and pillage of our mother earth, it is not only in Honduras, there is also a wave of violence and injustice here in Chiapas and in Mexico, the youth of Ayotzinapa being a clear example.” Marco Castillo of the Popular Assembly of Migrant Families and coordinator of the Caravan in Mexico, sustained that, “it would appear that the great gain of the war is not security but the control of territory, terrorism in the population, such that it is undeniable that the security policy has failed.”

The Caravan left at noon on the same day to Oaxaca, from where it will travel to Morelos to have a meeting with Javier Sicilia, leader of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. From there it will continue its way to the seat of the United Nations Organization (UNO) in New York to demand justice and dignity.

For more information in Spanish:

Página Web de la Caravana por la Paz, la Vida y la Justicia

La Caravana por la Paz, la Vida y la Justicia, en la ruta de la violencia y la resistencia (Otros Mundos, 8 de abril de 2016)

Arriba Caravana por la Paz y la Justicia (Cuarto Poder, 8 de abril de 2016)

La caravana por la paz llegó ayer a San Cristóbal (La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2016)

Acogida a la Caravana por La Paz, la Vida y la Justicia en su entrada al país y en su paso por Chiapas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 7 de abril de 2016)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal: “La sangre de la compañera Bertha podría expandir en todas partes del mundo. “ (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Justicia para Berta Cáceres y Nelson Noé García. Protección para Gustavo Castro Soto (29 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas/Internacional: Asesinan a defensora hondureña (Berta Cáceres) en presencia de defensor mexicano (Gustavo Castro) (7 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/internacional: La CIDH expresa su preocupación ante el endurecimiento de las autoridades mexicanas hacia los migrantes y sus defensores en la frontera Sur© SIPAZ Mural de migrantes, Chiapas (17 junio de 2015)


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