National: AMLO Confirms Head of National Guard Will Be Serving Military Officer

April 9, 2019

NatG.pngNational Guard Uniforms (@Cuarto Oscuro)

At a press conference on April 5th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) confirmed that the head of the National Guard command will be an active military officer whose name will be announced in the near future, as well as that of the people who will form the General Staff of the new security corps, which will also be composed of representatives of the Federal Police, the Navy and the Army.

With this, the request of the head of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, that the command be civil, a request which echoes the demands of broad sectors of society, who consider the strategies of security focused on militarization have not worked.

In this regard, Lopez Obrador said he explained to the head of the CNDH “why he thought that the commander should be a military head of the National Guard, because we will have the support of the Army, I am talking about a reconversion in the Army and we need elements of this institution, also with experience, with discipline, with rectitude, with honesty, with professionalism and we already have it.” AMLO stressed that the National Guard will go through a process of training on two fundamental issues: human rights and “moderate, regulated use of force.” He recalled that 50 thousand more elements will be needed to cover the 236 territorial locations – it will begin with 150 – in which the country was divided. Finally, he declared that “I only want it to be also clear that the president of Mexico is at the same time supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and I am never going to give the order to the Army, to the Navy, to any body to repress the people of Mexico.”

For her part, the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero said that, “we have a problem of violence and security in our country that we are committed, at least, to try to solve efficiently.” She emphasized that the new strategy will focus on guaranteeing security to the population and no longer on specific operations against a cartel.

For more information in Spanish:

Guardia Nacional o guardia militar (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de abril de 2019)

Cifra récord de militares en las calles, con AMLO (El Economista, 7 de abril de 2019)

Comandará militar en activo la Guardia Nacional: AMLO (La Jornada, 6 de abril de 2019)

Un militar en activo encabezará la Guardia Nacional, confirma López Obrador (Proceso, 5 de abril de 2019)

Jefe de Guardia Nacional será militar en activo, confirma AMLO; No es una burla, defiende Gobernación (Animal Político, 5 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: NGOs, Activists and CNDH Insist on Necessity that National Guard Be “Truly Civil” (April 8, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National: Senate Will Not Approve National Guard Bill. Morena and #SeguridadSinGuerra Propose Alternatives (February 13th, 2019)

National: Deputies Approve National Guard amid Doubts in the Executive (January 24th, 2019)

National: Public Hearings to Debate the Creation of National Guard Begin (January 15th, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Asks Congress for Civil Controlled National Guard and that it Last Five Years Maximum (January 2nd, 2019)

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National/International: Mexico Ranked 99th of 126 in Rule of Law Index – World Justice Project

March 12, 2019

Index.pngPhoto @ CentroPro DH

At the end of February, the civil organization World Justice Project (WJP) published its “Index on Rule of Law 2019”, in which Mexico was ranked 99 out of 126 listed countries, worse than countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and its neighbor, Guatemala. At a Latin American level, Mexico is still considered one of the countries with the least respect for the rule of law, ranking 26 out of 30.

The results obtained by the WJP are “based on surveys in 120,000 households and 3,800 experts in 126 countries, and measures the perception and experience of the general population of the rule of law in practical and everyday situations.” The Index evaluates eight key categories: Limits to Government Power, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Compliance, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.

Leslie Solis, researcher in the project, highlights in the report published by Animal Politico that the hot spots that Mexico should dedicate “immediate attention” to are: corruption, security and criminal justice. These factors are the worst valued by the citizens and the experts consulted, being in second last place regionally in two of the three categories. Jorge Morales, a member of WJP, adds that, “the rule of law in Mexico has not improved in recent years. Therefore, it is necessary to begin to change this situation with decisions based on evidence and data such as those shown in this Index, because these data will serve to identify weaknesses and strengths, and what are the priorities in the public policies to be developed, so that they have an impact on the population.”

Globally, the three countries with the highest rates are: Denmark, ranking leader, Norway and Finland; the last three, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cambodia and Venezuela, occupying last place. It is striking that in general more countries have obtained lower scores than the previous year, which according to the researchers “is a sign that suggests an increase in authoritarianism, the score of the factor ‘Limits to Government Power’ was the one that showed the highest deterioration: 61 countries decreased, 23 remained the same, and 29 improved.”

The founder of WJP, William Neukom, reiterates that, “the Rule of Law is the basis for communities to enjoy peace, equality and opportunities.” That is why the results of this research project are important as “a first step to establish reference points, inform and direct reforms.”

For more information in Spanish:

México, entre los países del mundo donde menos respeto hay por el Estado de Derecho: World Justice Project (Animal Político, 28 de febrero de 2019)

El Estado de Derecho continúa debilitándose en el mundo (World Justice Project, 28 de ferbrero de 2019)

México más corrupto que Venezuela: estudio de WJP 2019 (Vanguardia, 1 de marzo de 2019)

For more infromation from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: denuncian grave incremento de la violencia feminicida en el primer bimestre de 2019 (18 de febrero de 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: ONU-DH condena asesinatos de defensores y periodistas en Chiapas y Baja California. Cuestiona eficacia del Mecanismo de protección gubernamental para dichos sectores (25 de enero de 2019)

International/National: Mexico’s 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (November 14th, 2018)

International/National: Human Rights Watch Publishes Report on Human Rights Situation in Mexico and the World
(February 4th, 2018)

 


International: Trial Against German Company for Illegal Sale of Arms to Mexico Ends

March 6, 2019

Arms.png@n-tv

On February 21st, the trial against the German arms company Heckler & Koch in Stuttgart, for the illegal sale of arms to Mexico ended with sentences for a former head of sales and a member of the administrative staff. Between 2006 and 2009, Heckler & Koch delivered thousands of weapons to Mexico, including 4,219 semi-automatic G-36 rifles, two submachine guns and 1,759 gun barrels that arrived in Jalisco, Chiapas, Chihuahua and Guerrero, states where the export of weapons is prohibited by German law. The company itself will have to return all the profits of these sales amounting to 3.7 million euros (approximately 4.2 million dollars). The two individuals mentioned were sentenced to probation for 22 and 17 months with a fine of 80 thousand euros and 250 hours of social work. Three other employees, two former export managers and a sales assistant manager, were acquitted. The culprits obtained the export permit fraudulently, using false information from the Mexican government regarding the destination of the weapons.

During the sessions not only were there accusations against the German company, but also against politicians and members of the Armed Forces of Mexico, including the director of the Direction of Commercialization of Armament and Ammunition (DCAM in its Spanish acronym), Guillermo Aguilar, who received 117 thousand pesos as an accomplice to the events.

Jürgen Grässlin, activist and initiator of the trial, said that in this way thousands of German weapons were made available to state forces designated as co-opted by organized crime and responsible for serious human rights violations. Human rights organizations stressed that even legally imported weapons will end up in the hands of drug trafficking groups. A serious case of human rights violations in which a link with Heckler & Koch’s weapons was established is that of the 43 missing students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. It has been shown that these weapons were used in the violent events of September 27th, 2014.

Heckler & Koch reacted to the ruling with the promise of “fundamental changes to avoid unfortunate incidents in the future” such as a change in the internal compliance system and “to each potential distribution partner a rigorous compliance audit.” However, they criticized the ruling “that we should not only renounce the profits generated from the business in Mexico, but renounce the total sales price, despite the fact that none of the directors committed the offense.”

Also German pacifist organizations criticized the sentence for judging the company and its employees under the Law of Foreign Trade instead of the Law of Control of Weapons of War. The judges decided that the declaration to end use of arms is not part of the license to export arms, which is why the War Weapons Control Act cannot be applied. “If this ruling is maintained, the current controls on the export of weapons of war and military equipment do not work. You have to develop and introduce a new law to control the export of weapons that is effective”, said the German lawyer Holger Rothbauer. Other criticisms arose due to the absence of sentences against more influential employees. “This is a very clear case of two kinds of justice: the smallest are condemned and the biggest are let go,” said Jürgen Grässlin.

For more information in Spanish:

Multan a empresa alemana de armas usadas en caso de los 43 de Ayotzinapa (El Universal el 21 de febrero de 2019)

Juicio alemán por venta ilegal de armas a México concluye (El Universal el 21 de febrero de 2019)

Un tribunal alemán multa a Heckler & Koch por la exportación ilegal de armas a México (El País el 21 de febrero de 2019)

Condenas en Alemania por venta ilegal de armas a México (La Jornada el 21 de febrero de 2019)

Corte alemana condena a Heckler & Koch por exportar armas ilegalmente a México (Contra Linea el 21 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ :

International: Case against for Illegal Sale of Firearms to Mexico by Heckler and Koch Begins (June 25th, 2018)

Guerrero/National/International: New Reports on Ayotzinapa Case (March 27th, 2018)

International/National: CSOs Warn European Union about Human Rights Crisis in Mexico with Modernizing of Global Agreement (June 11th, 2017)

National/Guerrero: “No more arms sales to Mexico” – German Government (March 8th, 2015)

 


Guerrero/National/International: CNDH and IACHR Ayotzinapa Reports

December 14, 2018

AyotziAyotzinapa at Tlachinollan anniversary(@SIPAZ)

On November 27th, three days before the end of the six-year term of office of Enrique Peña Nieto, the president of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, presented recommendation 15VG/2018 on the events that took place in September 2014, in Iguala, Guerrero, that caused the forced disappearance of 43 students from the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, the death of six people and 42 more wounded. He considered it as a “point of departure and a clear guide to what remains to be done” so that the next government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will get truth and justice in the case.

At a press conference, he said that, “what happened in Iguala should not be seen as an isolated case, but as a reflection of the situation that covers several regions of the country, and in which the possibility of generating an episode of similar dimensions and characteristics is a latent risk.”

He stressed that “a crime of the dimensions that happened in Iguala could only occur because of the penetration of organized crime in government structures”, while “various authorities, at federal, local and municipal levels, knew that things were rotten and contaminated, but nobody did anything. This would have prevented an outcome like the one that happened.”

He indicated that the investigation showed “that the authorities violated the right to the truth of the victims and of society when formulating or disseminating biased statements or partial or false information, which disorientated, confused and generated uncertainty in public opinion, causing the victims to be victimized again.”

On another note, two years after the Special Follow-up Mechanism was installed, this body of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented its final work report, in which it analyzes the main anomalies, deficiencies and omissions detected in the investigation conducted by the Mexican government. It concludes that “despite all the proceedings contained in a dossier of more than 618 volumes, the investigations continue fragmented, and require a comprehensive analysis (…) many of the proceedings seem to be incomplete, are discarded or fail to be procedurally driven.” The IACHR also expressed its concern at the fact that “there is still no change in the official narrative regarding the line of investigation of the Cocula landfill, despite what has been indicated by this Commission, by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE), the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (AFAT).” It urged the Mexican State “to redouble the efforts to determine the whereabouts of the student teachers, to know the truth of what happened on the night of September 26th and 27th, 2014, to provide comprehensive assistance to families and to ensure that these atrocious events do happen again”.

For more information in Spanish:

RECOMENDACIÓN No. 15VG/2018 « Caso Iguala » (CNDH, 28 de noviembre de 2018)

Toca a AMLO enderezar investigación por caso Ayotzinapa: CNDH al emitir recomendación a Peña (Proceso, 28 de noviembre de 2018)

La CNDH revive “versión histórica” de la PGR en caso Iguala: mínimo 19 personas calcinadas en Cocula (Proceso, 28 de noviembre de 2018)

La CNDH señala que autoridades violaron el derecho a la verdad en el caso Iguala (ADN Politico, 28 de noviembre de 2018)

Informe Final: Mecanismo de Seguimiento al Asunto Ayotzinapa (CIDH, 25 de noviembre de 2018)

Profundizar investigación a militares y policías por caso Ayotzinapa, recomienda CIDH (Informe) (Aristegui Noticias, 28 de noviembre de 2018)

Sin identificar, 19 calcinados en basurero de Cocula: CNDH (La Jornada, 29 de noviembre de 2018)

Caso Ayotzinapa: la CIDH detecta más indicios de federales y militares en ataque a normalistas⁩ (Animal Político, 29 de noviembre de 2018)

Caso Ayotzinapa aún incompleto y sin detención de involucrados: CIDH (Vanguardia, 29 de noviembre de 2018)

Incompleta y fragmentada la “versión histórica” del caso Ayotzinapa; CIDH pide desecharla (Proceso, 29 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/National: Ayotzinapa, Four Years On…  (October 1st, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Incoming Government Confirms Creation of Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case (Aug. 13th, 12018)

Guerrero/National: Obstruction in Formation of Truth Commission in Ayotzinapa Case Denounced (Aug. 8th, 2018)Guerrero: Classmates of Ayotzinapa 43 Graduate

Guerrero: Classmates of Ayotzinapa 43 Graduate (Aug. 2nd, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Federal Court Orders Creation Truth Commission to Reopen Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case (July 12th, 2018)

Guerrero/Nacional : CNDH informa que se tiene a un preso inocente por el caso Ayotzinapa (22 de junio de 2018)

Guerrero/Nacional/Internacional : Llamados a redigirir investigación en el caso Ayotzinapa (14 de junio de 2018)

 


National: Faced with Rejection of National Guard, AMLO Proposes New Consultation

December 12, 2018

Guard.png@Guillermo Solguren, La Jornada

On November 21st, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) reported that on March 21st the formation of the National Guard, in addition to asking about the possibility of trial of former presidents for alleged acts of corruption and on the formation of the business advisory board will be tentatively put to consultation. He said that this consultation would take place until this date so that the amendment to Article 35 of the constitution is approved, which would allow the National Electoral Institute (INE in its Spanish acronym) to organize it.

Since the presentation of the security plan of the next government and what would be the National Guard, national and international organizations have questioned this option. “Lopez Obrador commits a colossal error that could thwart any hope of ending the atrocities that have caused so much suffering in Mexico in recent years,” Human Rights Watch said, referring to allegations of human rights violations committed by the military that have been occurring since 2006 (such as extrajudicial executions, torture and disappearance of people). “Lopez Obrador should commit to improving the country’s civilian police forces, a task that, however complex, is essential to sustainably end the violence and abuses that have proliferated in Mexico,” it said.

“It is extremely serious that the next federal government is committed to a militarized security model, as announced last week with the proposal to create a National Guard,” the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations said. All Rights for All” (TDT Network, made up of 87 organizations in 23 states of the Republic), expressed its “great concern” over “the political speed and inconsistency” with which the deputies of MORENA have presented various initiatives for constitutional reform that would allow the creation of the National Guard: “Even more so than the binned Law of Internal Security, the new initiative intends to raise military participation in public security tasks to constitutional rank, as it seeks to attach elements of the Secretariats of National Defense and the Navy to this institution in the work of public security and procurement of justice. In addition to this, its organic link with the Public Ministry puts at risk the advances that the model of delivery of justice is having in Mexico.”

On another note, a letter endorsed by 128 groups and 544 people, organized by Common Cause, makes a strong and urgent call to the president-elect to stop the constitutional reform announced to integrate the National Guard and opt, instead, for the development and strengthening of civilian security institutions. The text supports the reinforcement of the Federal Police, since although it is admitted that “it was abandoned during recent years, it considers that it has research, technological and operative capacities that allow contemplating a civil option for the attention of high impact crimes.”

AMLO, for his part, says he made this decision because the police bodies have no capacity to guarantee the country’s security. “The fact that the National Guard is attached to SEDENA in operational terms does not mean that the military personnel are responsible for security,” he says. “They will have a training process different from the military one, training to perform the tasks of public security,” including topics on the new criminal justice system and respect for human rights among others, he said.

For more information in Spanish:

AMLO prevé consultar en marzo sobre Guardia Nacional, juicio a expresidentes y consejo empresarial (Proceso, 22 de noviembre de 2018)

AMLO anuncia consulta sobre juicio a expresidentes, la Guardia Nacional y el consejo empresarial (Animal Político, 21 de noviembre de 2018)

Organizaciones de DH cuestionan plan de seguridad militar de AMLO (La Jornada, 20 de noviembre de 2018)

AMLO: las críticas al controvertido plan de seguridad en México presentado por López Obrador (BBC, 20 de noviembre de 2018)

ONGs y especialistas piden a AMLO dar marcha atrás en Guardia Nacional (Forbes, 20 de noviembre de 2018)

Guardia Nacional, el gran error de AMLO (Sin Embargo, 19 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Supreme Court Invalidates Security Law; AMLO Announces National Peace and Security Plan 2018-2024  (November 27th, 2018)

National: CNDH Asks SCJN to Declare Interior Security Law Unconstitutional (November 7th, 2018)

National: Reactions to Minister for Supreme Court’s Proposal on Interior Security Law (November 7th, 2018)

National: AMLO “The Army and the Navy will continue on the streets in internal public security tasks” (September 15, 2018)

 


Chiapas: Reporters Without Borders (RWB) and the Committee to Protect Journalists Describes State as “Red Flag” for Freddom of Press and Expression

November 27, 2018

Press.png“Justice for Mario” (@APECOCH)

From November 9th to 13th, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) visited Chiapas to monitor the progress that has been made in the investigation of reporter Mario Gomez’s murder, which occurred last September 21st in the municipality of Yajalon and to document the situation of freedom of the press and expression in the state. They conducted interviews with relatives and acquaintances of the El Heraldo de Chiapas correspondent, journalists from local and national media based in Chiapas, human rights defenders organizations and state authorities, as well as with the State Attorney General’s Office and the transition team of the Governor-elect Rutilio Escandon.

At the end of their visit, they affirmed that Chiapas is already a “red flag” in terms of freedom of the press and of expression, with Yajalon, Chilon, Tapachula, Comitan and the entire border strip being the areas with the greatest risk to practice journalism, due to the presence of organized crime. They documented intimidations, threats, lawsuits and physical aggressions, as well as a strong job precariousness. “This violence has provoked self-censorship among reporters that cover issues such as corruption, social conflicts, abuses of power by authorities, organized crime and its relationship with the authorities,” they said.

In the case of what happened to Mario Leonel Gomez Sanchez, they acknowledged that although there are advances, it is necessary to inquire who were the intellectual authors who gave the order to execute the journalist. They asserted that there are sufficient elements to consider that the murder of Mario Gomez was linked to his journalistic work.

“It is urgent that the incoming government of the governor-elect Rutilio Escandon develop comprehensive public policies of prevention, protection and combatting impunity, in order to guarantee the free exercise of journalism in the state,” stressed both organizations among several other recommendations.

It should be remembered that according to figures from RWB and CPJ, Mexico is the deadliest country for journalism in the Western Hemisphere, with at least nine private reporters losing their lives this year to date.

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas es ya “un foco rojo” en materia de libertad de prensa y de expresión: RSF y CPJ (Proceso, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Chiapas foco rojo en agresiones contra periodistas: Reporteros Sin Fronteras (Heraldo de México, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Exigen dar con verdaderos responsables de asesinar a Mario Gómez, en Chiapas (Excelsior, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Organizaciones internacionales declaran a Chiapas “foco rojo” en materia de libertad de prensa y de expresión (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Comunicado conjunto de CPJ y RSF sobre la visita que ambas organizaciones acabamos de realizar en el estado de #Chiapas (CPJ Américas, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Urgen políticas públicas a favor de periodistas (Cuarto Poder, 14 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Fourth Suspect Arrested One Month after Murder of Journalist Mario Gomez (November 1st, 2018)

Chiapas: Three Arrested for the Murder of Journalist Mario Gomez (October 8th, 2018)

Chiapas: Julión Alvarez Threatens to Sue Media and Frayba; Chiapas Paralelo Denounces “Erosion of Freedom of Expression” (October 1st, 2018)

Chiapas: Heraldo de Chiapas Journalist Murdered in Yajalon (September 27th, 2018)

National: Defenders and Journalists Denounce Insufficient Resources for Continuity of Protection Mechanism (September 26th, 2018)

National: UN-HR urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders (September 17th, 2018)

Nacional: Relatores sobre libertad de expresión de la CIDH y la ONU presentan informe después de visita a México (June 21st, 2018)


Guerrero: First Colloquium for Peace

November 12, 2018

PeacePhoto @ La Jornada

On November 5th, in the auditorium of the Superior Court of Justice in Chilpancingo de los Bravo, the Colloquium for Peace in Guerrero began. The event was convened by the Chilpancingo-Chilapa diocese and the Organization of the Americas for Educational Excellence (ODAEE in its Spanish acronym) and survivors of the Iguala massacre (2014), the current mayor of Chilpancingo participated among others.

On November 6th, in Chilapa, Salvador Rangel Mendoza, bishop of the Chilapa-Chilpancingo diocese, “proposed the inclusion of young people, who now constitute a key sector of the population for reconciliation and peace, as they represent most of the affected and victims in conflicts. He said that achieving peace is everyone’s task, building an inclusive democracy, and a path of peace, concrete actions from different fronts; they cannot sit and wait for only government institutions to build peace.

The cleric proposed a strategy that he commented, has given good results in Europe and the Middle East, as well as in Colombia, through education, establishing as obligatory the subject of peace and reconciliation in the study programs of all levels educational, from primary to professional; the promotion of cultural sports, recreational, and artistic activities; providing them with tools, materials, access to spaces and resources for it; recognizing young people as relevant actors, improving coexistence and transformation; strengthening of youth organizations; promotion of extra-curricular activities, with the purpose of rebuilding the social fabric and promoting general prosperity.”

According to several sources, during the Colloquium the bishop also mentioned that he continues to seek dialogue with organized crime groups in order to achieve a “Christmas truce” in December.

For more information in Spanish:

Contra la violencia en Guerrero se organiza Coloquio por la Paz (La Jornada, 5 de noviembre de 2018)

Obispo de Chilpancingo, Guerrero, pidió a narcotraficantes una “tregua” navideña (Vanguardia, 6 de noviembre de 2018)

Es tarea de todos lograr la paz en Guerrero, coinciden en coloquio en Chilpancingo (El Sur de Acapulco, 5 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Article 19 urges to investigate political motivations in the case of the murder of the journalist, Gabriel Soriano
(November 4th, 2018)

Guerrero: Radio and TV Broadcaster from Guerrero Murdered
(November 1st, 2018)

Guerrero: Mixed Unit Disarms 500 Municipal Police and Arrests Two Officers in Acapulco; Public Security Controlled by SEDENA, SEMAR and State Police
(October 2nd, 2018)

Nacional: Relatores sobre libertad de expresión de la CIDH y la ONU presentan informe después de visita a México (21 de junio de 2018)

Guerrero : allanan las oficinas de la agencia de noticias Quadratín en Acapulco (25 de abril de 2018)