Oaxaca: Human Rights Organizations Present Report on Repression in Nochixtlan

July 18, 2016

Nochixtlan.pngHuman Rights Defenders. Photo:@CentroProDH

On July 8, various civil society organizations, including the Gobixha Committee for Integral Defense of Human Rights (CODE DH) and Fundar, presented the “Preliminary Report on Violations of Human Rights on June 19 in Oaxaca”. It is based on research and documentation by those organizations, who interviewed witnesses and victims of the repressive events that occurred on June 19, confrontations arising from political decisions of the state and federal governments, to send in an operation to clear the roads. According to the report, “it responds to the need to publicize the chronology of events and human rights violations that occurred in Nochixtlán, and close to the city of Oaxaca in places like Hacienda Blanca, Viguera, San Pablo Huitzo and San Francisco Telixtlahuaca, some of them carried simultaneously.” For the safety of the people who shared their testimonies, their personal details were omitted. Beginning with an introduction to the context, chapters follow on the events in those places near the city of Oaxaca, and then there a list of human rights violations and urgent recommendations.

One day after the publication of the report, the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and the Commission of Authorities of various municipalities met at the “Teachers and Popular Meeting” on Saturday July 9, along with agricultural authorities, unions and social organizations to “provide a context for the information on the situation of the teachers and popular movement, operate the agreements last meeting of the authorities held in Nochixtlán, and build an agenda of the peoples against structural reforms”. One of the agreements that came out is to have a caravan to Mexico City on Sunday July 17 to get there on July 19, one month after “the Nochixtlán massacre”.

For more information in Spanish

La Minuta del 11 de julio (EDUCA A.C., 11 de julio de 2016)

Acuerdan maestros, ediles y grupos sociales “caravana motorizada” a la CDMX el día 17 (La Jornada, 10 de julio de 2016)

INFORME PRELIMINAR SOBRE VIOLACIONES DE DERECHOS HUMANOS 19 DE JUNIO EN OAXACA (EDUCA A.C., 8 de julio de 2016)

El asalto a Nochixtlán (Ojarasca La Jornada, 8 de julio de 2016)

La Minuta del 8 de julio (EDUCA A.C., 8 de julio de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas: Miles de creyentes peregrinan en apoyo al movimiento magisterial (5 de julio de 2016)

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

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales; al menos 6 muertos en Oaxaca (21 de junio de 2016)

 

 


Oaxaca: Death of Teacher Wounded in Violent Eviction of IEEPO

July 10, 2016

Palabras.pngImage from the “Barricade of Words” in San Cristobal de Las Casas [In Mexico education is not free…you pay for it with life and liberty] (Photo:@SIPAZ)

On July 5, the teacher Jose Caballero Julian died as a result of a brain injury he received from a blow of a stone to the head during the eviction in front of the Oaxaca State Institute of Public Education (IEEPO), carried out by the state police on June 11. Relatives said in a statement that he died “as a result of State aggression in the eviction of IEEPO, causing him a head injury from which he seemed to be recovering but had a relapse.”

On June 11, some teachers blocked Federal Highway 190 Oaxaca-Mexico in protest over the arrest of Francisco Villalobos, secretary of Section 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE). After almost five hours, state police removed them using tear gas and stones. “The number of deaths associated with the implementation of the educational reform rises to nine in Oaxaca in three violent evictions by the State and Federal Police in IEEPO, Nochixtlan and Viguera” with the death of Caballero Julian. The teachers demanded punishment for the police who injured him and those who ordered the eviction, among them, the director of IEEPO, Moises Robles; the Governor, Gabino Cue, and President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The teachers continued to take over shopping centers and businesses in the center of the Oaxaca State capital in support of their demands for the repeal of the education reform bill, justice for the fallen in Nochixtlan and the release of their leaders and they blocked access to the Victoria Hotel, which has been the seat of meetings of school supervisors. They also maintained blockades in the rest of the state, especially in the Tehuantepec Isthmus where they have been blocking roads for 22 days.

For more information in Spanish:

Muere maestro herido durante el desalojo realizado por la policía el pasado 11 de junio (La Jornada, 6 de julio de 2016)

México: Muere otro profesor en el estado de Oaxaca por la violencia de la policía+video del desalojo del 11 de junio (Avispa Midia, 6 de julio de 2016)

Fallece maestro herido en el desalojo del IEEPO del 11 de junio (CódigoDH, 5 de julio de 2016)

Muere otro maestro que fue herido en desalojo del 11 de junio frente al IEEPO (Proceso, 5 de julio de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales; al menos 6 muertos en Oaxaca (21 de junio de 2016)

Nacional: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales y comunicado de apoyo del EZLN (1 de junio de 2016)

Oaxaca: 162 normalistas detenidos/as en desalojo de la Policía Estatal Preventiva (24 de marzo de 2016)


Chiapas/National: EZLN Postpones CompArte Festival to Support Teachers

July 6, 2016

Mural.pngMural in Cuxulj community (Photo:@SIPAZ)

“This is the time of the teachers in resistance. It is necessary and it is urgent to be with them” – so says the communiqué of July 4 of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), signed by Insurgent Sub-commander Moises and Insurgent Sub-commander Galeano. In the communiqué they summarize “the lessons of June.” Those above have been clear and cynical: “in Mexico, capital rules and the government obeys.” Those below: “the teachers in rebellion and the people who support them concluded their free, public and lay seminar this month of June and they gave us a more complete lesson: in Mexico, capital rules and the government obeys…but the people rebel.”

In the document they said, “when as Zapatistas we say that we respect a movement, it means just that: that we respect it. It means that we so not interfere in their way of doing things or schedules, in their organizational structure, in their decisions, strategies and tactics, their alliances, their decisions. All of that corresponds to those who make up [the movement] to evaluate and decide. … We Zapatistas only want the teachers to feel that we respect them, that we admire them and that we are attentive and taking note of the lessons they are giving us. … To put it more clearly, the most important thing now, on this calendar and from the limited geography in which we resist and struggle, is the struggle of the democratic teachers.” Due to this, they decided to postpone their “participation in the CompArte festival, both in Oventik ‘caracol’ and in CIDECI in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, which was to be held from July 17 to 30 […] and to donate the money and food we have saved for our transport to and from Oventik and CIDECI, for our upkeep during the festival, to the teachers in resistance.”

To continue with the idea of CompArte they asked “the ‘compañeroas’ of the Sixth, in so far as their possibilities allow them, to create in their calendars and geographies spaces and conditions for the Arts and their irreverent challenge to imagine other worlds, so that they can celebrate humanity, its pains, its joys, its struggles. Because this, and nothing else, is the objective of CompArte.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado “Las lecciones en Junio” (Enlace Zapatista, 4 de julio de 2016)

EZLN dona dinero y alimentos a maestros de la CNTE (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de julio de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Aumenta apoyo al magisterio al nivel nacional e internacionalpost magisterio (23 de junio de 2016)

Nacional: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales y comunicado de apoyo del EZLN (1 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas/Oaxaca/Guerrero: Teachers Continue Mobilizations Due to Lack of Agreements over Educational Reform

June 30, 2016

TeachersPeople crossing blockade on foot in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Photo: @Oscar León.

In negotiations that lasted about seven hours, the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and the Government Secretariat (SG) resolved that ‘attaining justice for the people of Nochixtlan, Guerrero, is the priority of the dialogue”, according to La Jornada. The news outlet noted that the government will seek to carry out exhaustive investigations into the events in Nochixtlan on June 19, where nine civilians lost their lives in a confrontation between dissident teachers and state and federal police. The government committed itself to damage reparations for the families of the dead.

At the same time, both parties in the dialogue continue to formulate an agenda for discussion in which the CNTE proposed the repeal of educational reform as a central point. In a statement, Adelfo Alejandro Gomez, of Section 7 of Chiapas, declared that they want to find a “deep” solution, one that “is not passing nor momentary.” He warned that the mobilizations and blockades will not be stopped but they will continue with their plan of action so that the educational reform is reversed. For his part, the Secretary for the Interior, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, reiterated that repeal of the reform is not the competency of his Secretariat: “it is not a theme that we can see to, it is a constitutional mandate, it is a reform made by the legislators, by the Constituent Assembly.” He also emphasized “co-responsibility”, referring to the necessity of both parties to reach an agreement, requesting the teachers to guarantee conditions of calm, stability, passage for supplies and ending the academic year. Meanwhile, blockades continue on ten highways in Oaxaca and 14 in Chiapas, blocked by teachers, families and civil society that sympathizes with the CNTE to reject the police repression in Nochixtlan as well as the repeal of the educational reform. It should be highlighted that the first round of negotiations took place after a month of teachers’ protests against the government refusal to establish communication with the teachers, and that this only happened after the death of nine people in the blockade in Oaxaca. No date has been announced to resume the negotiations for the moment.

On another note, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, unjustly imprisoned in in the State Center for Social Reinsertion for Prisoners (CERSS) No. 5 in San Crsitobal de Las Casas, observed two days of fasting and prayer in solidarity with the CNTE. In a public letter, the adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), wrote that “such a painful event as occurred in Oaxaca that our brothers lost their lives (sic)” motivated him to sympathize with the teachers “who have been fighting against the educational reform for more than a month.” He also demanded that the President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, “exhort the Governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, for the freedom of compañero Alejandro Diaz Santiz”, an organized prisoner who has been imprisoned for 17 years and would have the right to partial remission of his sentence to be paroled.

For more information in Spanish:

Las protestas seguirán, dice la CNTE luego de 7 horas de diálogo en Segob; la reforma se mantiene: Osorio Chong (Sin Embargo, 28 de junio de 2016)

Impasse en diálogo entre CNTE y Segob; agendan encuentro por Nochixtlán (Aristegui Noticias, 28 de junio de 2016)

Atención a Nochixtlán, primer acuerdo Segob-CNTE (La Jornada, 28 de junio de 2016)

Inicia bloqueo carretero permanente en ocho puntos estratégicos de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 27 de junio de 2016)

La CNTE reanuda bloqueos en carreteras de Oaxaca; en Chiapas protesta en frontera con Guatemala (Sin Embargo, 27 de junio de 2016)

Desde el CERESO No 5 Roberto Paciencia inicia ayuno en solidaridad a la lucha magisterial (Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs, 24 de junio de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Aumenta apoyo al magisterio al nivel nacional e internacional (23 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia escribe a Alejandro Díaz (24 de junio de 2016)

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


National: Network for Peace Rejects Violence and Repression of Teachers and Calls for Dialogue

June 26, 2016

Paz

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, June 21, 2016

The member organizations of Network for Peace (Red por la Paz) express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out through the police forces against the teachers’ movement and civil society that has expressed its rejection in recent weeks of the educational reform passed in 2013. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the educational reform promoted by Enrique Peña Nieto, passed by the Congress of the Union and the congresses of the federal states, as well as permitting the gradual privatization of public education, is a labor reform that breaks with the principle of stable employment and the right to form a trade union.

The mobilizations of protest and rejection that have been organized by sections seven and 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan, among others, have been repressed through the excessive use of public force, extended to the sympathetic population or simply passersby in the places where the protests were happening.

In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested.

In this context, the risk of an escalation of repressive and indiscriminate violence, on the part of the State, in all of the states where the teachers’ movement has protested with the support of civil society (Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas, Michoacan, Guerrero, among others) is very high and against this, of a popular response that, tired of attacks and deaths, could respond with defensive violence. Against this context of violence in which several violations of human rights have occurred, and also due to the recurring climate of impunity, we call for national and international solidarity to show, in writing to the President of the Republic, its rejection of excessive use of force against the teachers’ movement and against civil society.

We demand from Enrique Peña Nieto:

  • Public and respectful dialogue that genuinely addresses and presents solutions to the just demands of the teachers’ union.
  • An end to the repression and criminalization of the teachers’ union.

Chiapas Network for Peace:

Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz A.C. (SERAPAZ)

Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria, A.C. (CORECO)

Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, A.C. (DESMI)

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba)

Educación para la Paz, A.C. (EDUPAZ)

ENLACE, Comunicación y Capacitación, A.C. (ENLACE CC)

Servicio Internacional para la Paz (Sipaz)

Centro de Derechos de la Mujer Chiapas, A.C. (CDMCH)

Comité de Derechos Humanos Fray Pedro Lorenzo de La Nada (CDHFP)

Centro de Derechos Indígenas A.C. (CEDIAC)


National/International: Growing Support for Teachers At Home and Abroad

June 23, 2016

Teachers.pngStudents and teachers support the CNTE in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Photo: @Rafael del Río

In support of the struggle that thousands of members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) carry on and following the most recent repressive actions against them by federal forces on June 19 last in the Oaxaca State, many civil society organizations expressed their solidarity with the teachers, demanding a peaceful solution to the conflict from the state and federal governments.

In Chiapas, Believing People parishes called a pilgrimage on June 20 in Tuxtla Gutierrez. They showed their support for the teachers and repudiated the violent acts that occurred in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, which left a toll of at least 11 people dead in altercations with the police. In a statement they explained that, “with such events we cannot remain on the sidelines, as a church we will always be on the side of the oppressed and we will raise our prophetic voice. The reforms are the expression of a new ‘Porfiariato’. We must struggle, we shouldn’t be conformists or slaves.” Father Marcelo from Simojovel parish extended an invitation to a mega-pilgrimage in support of the teachers for July 1 next with around thirteen parishes from the diocese of San Cristobal.

Another show of support and solidarity came from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). In a communiqué titled “Notes on the War Against the Teachers in Resistance (The Hour of the Police 3)”, they noted that, “There are more and more families helping the teachers, donating support for their trips and marches, becoming anxious when they are attacked, offering food, drink, and refuge.” They also pointed out the lack of educational arguments of the Secretary for Education, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, and the violence employed in repression of the mobilizations. Later, together with the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), they published another communiqué. Titled “FROM THE STORM”, both organizations expressed their repudiation of “the repressive escalation with which they intend to impose throughout the country the neoliberal capitalist reform that they call ‘educational'”. They highlighted that the resistance movement against this reform has become a mirror for more and more people, demanding an end to repression against the teachers in struggle and the immediate and unconditional release of “ALL political prisoners.” Their communiqué closed with an invitation to “all those peoples of the countryside and the cities to be attentive and sympathetic to the teachers’ struggle, to organize ourselves autonomously to be informed and alert facing this storm which falls on all.”

On a national level, Peace Brigades International (PBI) expressed their concern to state and federal authorities and the diplomatic corps over the deterioration of the situation. In a public announcement on June 20, they urged the Mexican authorities to respect the right to protest, to favor dialogue with the teachers and guarantee the integrity of teachers and defenders. On another note, in many states civil society, students, families and health workers are joining the mobilizations. Among others, in Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca State, the artistic community organized a cultural event called “Cultural Barricade”, in which hundreds of artists from Mexico and other parts of the world participated on June 20, raising their voices to repudiate the repression.

On an international level, Amnesty International reminded the authorities that they have an obligation to control public order and take measures to prevent, investigate and sanction those responsible for acts of violence. Due to the events of recent days, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) reinforced its presence in Oaxaca as well as in Tabasco, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacan, states which have also witnessed similar conflicts. The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) strongly condemned the serious acts of violence reported in Oaxaca State and called on the State to promote a process of dialogue in the framework of educational reform that allows the search for a solution in the context of a democratic society with full respect for human rights. Apart from the organizations mentioned, there were many actions on the part of civil society. Some examples are sit-ins and vigils organized in several cities in France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil, among others, in rejection of the repressive events in Mexico.

It is worth mentioning that on July 22 there were negotiations between the CNTE and the Interior Secretary. According to the CNTE, this dialogue, obtained thanks to the broad popular mobilization, did not result in concrete agreements but they were able to table three themes: “repeal of the badly named educational reform; a route for the transformation of education; and measures for the distention and revision of the consequences of the imposition of the administrative labor reform.” A second round of dialogue is expected next week. It is also noteworthy that the 23 people arrested in Nochixtlan have been released.

For more information in Spanish:

Convocan a participar en brigada cultural (El Imparcial, 23 de junio de 2016)

CIDH condena hechos de violencia en Oaxaca, México (CIDH, 22 de junio de 2016)

PBI México, Pronunciamiento público (PBI, 21 de junio de 2016)

Exigen en ciudades del mundo que cese la represión contra los maestros en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 21 de junio de 2016)

Pueblo Creyente peregrina de nuevo en respaldo al magisterio (Pye Chiapas, 21 de junio de 2016)

Comunicado Conjunto del Congreso Nacional Indígena y el EZLN (Enlace Zapatista, 20 de junio de 2016)

Apunte sobre la guerra contra el magisterio en resistencia: (La Hora del Policía 3) (Enlace Zapatista, 17 de junio de 2016)

Aún no hay acuerdos concretos con el gobierno: CNTE (La Jornada, 23 de junio de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales; al menos 6 muertos en Oaxaca (21 de junio de 2016)

Nacional: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales y comunicado de apoyo del EZLN (1 de junio de 2016)


URGENT RELEASE: REPRESSION OF TEACHERS IN OAXACA

June 22, 2016

logocolor

URGENT RELEASE

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México
June 21, 2016

REPRESSION OF TEACHERS IN OAXACA

On June 19, elements of the police in the state of Oaxaca violently repressed teachers and organized civil society in opposition of the education reform of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. Such events caused the death of at least six people, the apprehension and/or disappearance of 22, and 45 left with gunshot wounds between Nochixtlán and Hacienda Blanca. Their medical attention was not guaranteed, to which the general population responded by building “attention centers” to serve and treat those wounded. In the last few days, planes of the Federal Police and the Gendarmerie have arrived to the capital of the state.

Such event is the most recent within the escalating context of the repressive violence in all of the entities where the teachers’ movement has manifested with the support of the civil society (Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas, Michoacan, Guerrero, among others) in the last few weeks. All of these mobilizations have been in demand for a dialogue with the federal government about the reform, which has maintained a stern stance of not wanting to modify such reform, and has threatened with the immediate cessation of those on strike.

Background History:

In 2013, the federal government approved the education reform, included in the packet of reforms derived from the “Pact for Mexico” -an agreement between principal political parties planting the construction of a society with human rights and liberties, economic growth, security, justice, transparency, combat of corruption, and democratic governance-. Since its announcement from the President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, the education reform caused inconformity between the teachers. It was presented by the government as an improvement in the education system from the evaluation of teachers; aimed to promote the autonomy of the families of students in terms of maintenance of the schools in practice, involving the covering of expenses of school maintenance. It was interpreted by a wide sector of teachers as a labor reform -more so than educational content- that would permit selective dismissals and the beginning of the privatization of education in the country.

As a result, dissident teachers organized multiple protests in several states in search for a dialogue with the federal government for the repeal of the reform. Various of the mobilizations were repressed by police forces, causing the death of three teachers (one from Chiapas and two from Guerrero in 2015 and 2016).

Organizations of the civil society of Oaxaca denounced the “criminalization of teachers”, with examples such as “mass media campaigns of defamation”, or the detention of at least 75 people -among which are several leaders of the movement-, who find themselves “in a situation of political imprisonment”. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations assessed that several of the arrests were directed against human rights defenders and they were carried out arbitrarily. Furthermore, some of those arrested were transported to high security prisons intended for severe federal crimes.

The civil society of Oaxaca rejected the dozens of arrest warrants issued to members of the Section 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE, in its Spanish acronyms) -known for demanding the cancellation of the education reform and for being a prominent part of the Oaxacan social movement-, looking to “dismantle the movement”. Before this situation, various rapporteurs of the United Nations emitted “urgent phone calls to Mexican authorities” due to the human rights violations, mainly for arrests without warrants, nor search warrants, and for the use of torture.

Since May 15 of this year, the teachers in opposition declared a labor strike, closing a large part of schools, with percentages above 95% in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. Adding to the strike, teachers organized marches, blocked roads, held encampments and symbolic “sit-ins” of city councils and radio stations, among other actions, which have received growing support from the parents of the families of students, as well as the general population. The teachers currently maintain an encampment in the downtown center of the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, which is being guarded by barricades in the historic center of town and by road blockades of strategic points to prevent the entry of police forces.

The Civil Society of Oaxaca published an Urgent Action reporting a Humanitarian Alert issue “for State armed civilian attacks”. They requested the removal of governmental forces and repression against teachers and the general population, a space for dialogue, immediate medical attention, a stop to the criminalization of the teachers, the cancellation of the arrest warrants, the liberation of those detained, as well as the punishment of those responsible of the human rights violations.

As the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ), we are highly concerned due to the human rights violations in the context of the teachers’ mobilizations, which is why we invite you all to sign the Urgent Action from the Civil Society of Oaxaca in the web-page of the All Rights for All Network (Red TdT, in its Spanish acronym).

We also assess that the situation of high tension is not only present in Oaxaca, but in Chiapas as well, to which we invite the national and international society remain attentive and aware of the events in the state.

For more information:

AU: Sociedad Civil de Oaxaca emite Alerta Humanitaria por ataque armado del Estado a la población civil


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