Chiapas: new threats against the priest and members of the Believing People in Simojovel

July 2, 2015

Padre Marcelo Pérez Pérez (@Red TdT)

In a communique published on 22 June, members of the parish of San Antonio de Padúa, Simojovel municipality, denounced that, since 16 June, death-threats have been on the rise against Father Marcelo Pérez, catechists, and members of the Parish Council and Believing People, thus putting at risk their lives and physical and psychological integrity. This increase has presented itself following the arrest of Juan Gómez Domínguez, a former PRI mayor, and two of his accomplices, given that “the PRI leaders from different communities hold the Believing People and Pérez Pérez responsible for these arrests, such that now we have entered a high-risk situation.”

Within these new aggressions, the Simojovel Catholics detail that on 16 June, PRI militants “met at the offices of the National Campesino Confederation, several of them carrying machetes, sticks, and gasoline amphoras. Even at night, they went to buy more gasoline, and during the day it was heard that they would attack the church and remove the priest forcibly to kill him.” Beyond this, on 20 June, “a parish council that has been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) received strong threats against its person and family, leading them to decide to leave and seek out refuge in another municipality for some days.” Two days later, 10 people “strongly armed harassed the CIRSA offices, being a cooperative created by the Catholic Church, whose board members work in the Church, yet no valuable objects were stolen.” That same day in Bochil, close to Simojovel, four people in a parked car were overheard saying, “We are going to decapitate Father Marcelo from Simojovel. We are just finding the right time to do so, given all the fucked-up things he does.”

It should be recalled that for the past year, the Catholics from Simojovel have through pilgrimages demanded the closure of cantinas and sex-houses, and that the sale of drugs and arms in the zone be curtailed. The result is the death-threats they now confront.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento completo: Situación de riesgo contra defensores comunitarios del Pueblo Creyente en Simojovel (Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel,

Por denunciar la corrupción y la venta de drogas, grupos priistas amenazan de muerte al sacerdote y habitantes de Simojovel, Chiapas(Desinformémonos, 25 de junio de 2015)

Prevalece en Simojovel “situación de alto riesgo” por detención de ex alcalde(La Jornada, 25 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)


Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement and continues demanding its forthright return

July 2, 2015

Familias desplazadas del Poblado Primero de Agosto (@Koman Ilel)

In a communique published on 23 June, the residents of the Primero de Agosto community denounced the 120 days of forcible displacement experienced by the “17 Tojolabal families because of [the actions of] ejidatarios from Miguel Hidalgo who pertain to the CIOAC-Historical organization, led by Luis Hernández Cruz,” and it adds that Elvira Méndez Pérez, who just gave birth, “is suffering greatly because of the cold and the rain, as she lacks proper shelter in which her child can grow up happily.”

In their denunciation, the displaced describe “how for the last 4 months we are awakened by raindrops that penetrate the plastic tarps which we use to cover ourselves at night. We awaken with our clothes wet and cold due to the humidity of the land on which we live, as it is the time of rain, and the government has done nothing […]. Look at where we are displaced, and you will see the face of impunity and the reality of indigenous peoples.”

Despite this suffering and the conditions in which the displaced live, the families assure that they continue “to struggle for our land, because it is the only resource we have. We are not asleep in the struggle for our land, which continues, and will live on […]. We will not become tired of denouncing until the government observes its promises. We will not tire of denouncing until there is justice, because we are in favor of justice and peace. As our ancestors say, ‘ts omanotik b’a sk’ulajel jsak’aniltik.’ That is to say, together we build life.”

The Primero de Agosto community continues to demand that the three levels of government guarantee the proper conditions for return, “because there is where our happy Iives take place.” Furthermore, they call on the government to observe the accord that was signed on 25 February 2015, which stipulates that the state government commit itself to redistributing lands equally.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuestra compañera que acaba de dar a luz, aquí donde estamos está sufriendo mucho por el frío y la lluvia”, indígenas tojolabales desplazados en Chiapas. (Radio Pozol, 26 de junio de 2015)

120 días de desplazamiento forzado de 17 familias tojolabales (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de junio de 2015)

¿Dónde nacerá el hijo o hija de Elvira Méndez?, indígena tojolabal desplazada en Chiapas (Radio Pozol, 21 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (April 24, 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)


Chiapas/National: 26 June, International Day of Support for Torture Victims

July 2, 2015

IMAGEN_STOP_TORTURA_PARA_COMPARTIR_EN_RRSS

On 26 June was celebrated the International Day of Support for Torture Victims, which this year was focused on the right to rehabilitation. The declarations and denunciations regarding torture have not ceased after the visit to Mexico by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, who in his report stressed that “torture and abuses of the incarcerated on the part of the authorities in Mexico are generalized.” Many cases are not denounced due to fear of revenge, and principally they are the committed by municipal, state, and federal police, as well as ministerial agents and the military. “Torture and abuse take place during the first 24 to 48 hours of the arrest, and generally they end after the person is arraigned: the methods that are used include threats, insults, destruction of belongings, as well as beatings (usually involving hard objects), electrocution, water-boarding, violence, and sexual abuse.” Beyond this, he added that the disparity between the number of denunciations and testimonies received and the number of condemnations is a “worrying sign of impunity.” The Rapporteur declared he had been pressured to keep his report short, leading in turn to the accusation that the report was based on a small number of cases.

On the one hand, the National Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Mexico communicated that from 2001 to May 2015 it received 10,688 complaints regarding torture and other abuses (on average 2 a day). It affirms that in just over two years of the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, it has received 2,119 denunciations, with the military being the most frequently accused force. It also poinst to the fact that the country has lacked a national registry to reflect the totality of the cases of torture and other abuses. The results it has available have been compiled by the CNDH, state human-rights commissions, and the denunciations that have been brought together.

Beyond this, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) declared that despite the fact that thirty years have passed since the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Sanction Torture, this practice persists in the region. Several commissions have expressed their concerns regarding the use of rape as a method of torture against women, the attempt to justify such actions with arguments based on threats to national security or the need to obtain information in investigations, or to prevent attacks. In this way, the IACHR has called on members of the Organization of American States (OAS) to investigate all denunciations of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Amnesty International also pronounced itself on the question, reporting that 64% of Mexicans fear being subjected to torture after arrest; this places Mexico as the second-highest country with this fear on the global scale. Beyond this, AI adds that 7,000 denunciations of torture have been made in the past 3 years, but only 7 cases sanctioned at the federal level. AI is organizing a graphical campaign against torture.

In observance of the day, a number of denunciations appeared in the media, including the charge that 40% of those arrested for the Ayotzinapa case have been subjected to torture and other abuses during their arrest, or the hunger strike undertaken by eight prisoners from different institutions in Mexico City to demand the cessation of prison abuse. In Chiapas, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced the torture of a Tzotzil couple as a means of forcing them to incriminate themselves in a murder case. The CDHFBC also organized a projection and conversation regarding torture in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where two experts on the question were present together with Silvia Domínguez, who gave testimony on the case of her brother Gabriel Domínguez, who died in police custody.

For more information (in Spanish):

La tortura y los malos tratos son generalizados en México, dice la ONU(CNN México, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Recibí presiones para minimizar mi informe sobre tortura’’: Méndez (La Jornada, 2 de abril de 2015)

En 14 años, 10 mil 688 quejas por tortura y otros tratos crueles(ContraLínea, 28 de junio de 2015)

Se deben indagar de oficio todas las denuncias de tortura: CIDH (CIMAC Noticias, 26 de junio de 2015)

Comienzan ocho reclusos huelga de hambre indefinida para denunciar tortura y extorsión (La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2015)

Torturados, la mitad de los procesados por caso Ayotzinapa: expertos del GIEGI (Proceso, 29 de junio de 2015)

Torturan a pareja tzotzil para que se inculpe de crimen, acusa el Frayba(Proceso, 29 de junio de 2015)

Cambiemos la historia #ALTOTORTURA (Amnistía Internacional)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission (29 June 2015)

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)


Guerrero: Twenty years since the Aguas Blancas massacre, justice is demanded

July 2, 2015

@JornadaUNAM

28 June marked 20 years since the murder of 17 campesino members of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS) and the injuring of 23 others by Guerrero state police. To date, no one has been arrested for the massacre that left behind widows and orphans and led to the resignation of the state governor. Over the course of these years, the relatives have demanded justice for the murder, but the only advance in the case was the resignation of Guerrero state governor at the time, Rubén Figueroa Alcocer, from the PRI.

In 2008, the defense counsel for the widows of Aguas Blancas, José Sánchez, submitted to the Secretary for Governance a motion in which he requests the speeding-up of the investigations and the reconstruction of the acts involving the ambush of the campesinos. “There are no advances in the investigation being carried out by the Federal Attorney General’s Office against Figueroa for these acts. The case has not been referred to a federal judge, and no sentence has been made. This genocide continues to go unpunished, with no compensation for the victims,” the lawyer lamented.

About a thousand people marched on 28 June in Aguas Blancas, Coyuca de Benítez municipality, to commemorate the massacre and to continue demanding justice. This commemoration brought together the struggles of Ayotzinapa and Aguas Blancas. There were claims made, as well pain and activist calls shared between the social movements, in addition to condemnations over the lack of results and ongoing injustice.

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan en Coyuca a 20 años de la matanza de Aguas Blancas (La Jornada Guerrero, 29 de junio de 2015)

Recuerdan la masacre de Aguas Blancas (La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2015)

Aguas Blancas, un genocidio que aún espera justicia en México (CNN México, 28 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: 18th anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre (19 July 2014)

Guerrero: 17th anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre (10 July 2012)

Guerrero: Solidarity marches 16 years after the Aguas Blancas massacre (17 July 2011)


Chiapas: a member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered

July 2, 2015

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A communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal published on 23 June 2015 reports the murder of Manuel López Pérez, a member of the organization. According to the report, Manuel was killed while returning from Pantelhó to his home of San José Bochtik, Pantelhó municipality, when the public transit in which he had been traveling was stopped by a group of seven masked men dressed ni military fatigues and carrying firearms. Manuel had been accompanied by his 11-year old son, Juan López Guzmán, who recognized the voice of one of the killers, claiming it to be that of his older brother, Alonso López Guzmán.

The municipal judge did not allow photographs to be taken of the crime scene, nor did he respect the wishes of Manuel’s wife not to remove the body until members of the Las Abejas Society were present. It is also reported that the judge and the municipal police chief had pressured Juan to declare that he had been traveling in a different car, and that he was not a witness to the murder of his father.

It should be noted that Manuel López Pérez, together with his wife and four sons, was displaced in 2013 from the San Joaquín community, Pantelhó municipality, Chiapas, on the charge of wizardry. These accusations emanated from his son Alonso, who is considered a suspect in the murder, and the present municipal judge, Pedro Giron López, who is accused of irregularities at the crime-scene. Manuel attempted to sell the land on which his family was displaced, but Alonso appropriated it and then sold it, thus violating a previous agreement between the municipal authorities and his father. Though the case was referred to the Agrarian Court and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), nothing concrete followed.

The Directive Table of the Las Abejas Civil Society added in its communique that Manuel’s family had for long been subjected to death-threats, with this being a situation that had been denounced before the authorities, though no measures were taken to avoid the murder.

In another communique published on 26 June, death-threats, surveillance, and harassment aganist Antonio López Jiménez and his family were denounced, as these were displaced in 2007 by the construction of a sewage system that proceeded without the consent of the owners of the land on which it proceeded. There were fruit trees and a space for the construction of a home on the land in question. Antonio and two members of his family were attacked during the installation of the sewage system, after they went to inform and attempt to negotiate. No authority attempted a mediation or compensation of the damages incurred. “We fear for the lives of Antonio and his family, given that the municipal authorities from Pantelhó and the mayor and judge are complicit in a series of death-threats directed against Antonio in his family, instead of respecting, guaranteeing, and protecting their physical and psychological well-being. Furthermore, the judge in question threatened Manuel and according to testimonies, told his son to prepare his weapon to kill him.”

It should also be mentioned that on 22 June was held the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, which as usual demanded justice for this crime, as for others committed in Mexico and the world.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a miembro de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal en Pantelhó (Las Abejas de Acteal, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denunciamos más amenazas de muerte contra miembros de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal en Pantelhó (Las Abejas de Acteal, 26 de junio de 2015)

Comunicado 22 de junio 2015 (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de junio de 2015)

Chiapas: Comando armado asesina a Manuel López Pérez, integrante de la organización Las Abejas de Acteal. (Radio Pozol, 25 de junio de 2015)

Asesinan a sobreviviente de Acteal, lo acusaron de “brujería” (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denuncian ‘Las Abejas’ el homicidio de uno de sus integrantes (La Jornada, 26 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal reject dams and high electricity prices, affirming “Free Rivers and Free People” instead  (April 10, 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (February 5, 2015)


Chiapas: Denunciation of paramilitary attack on the El Rosario community, pertaining to the La Garrucha caracol

June 30, 2015

DSC_1112

In a communique from 25 June, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) made known the facts of a new attack on Zapatistas on recuperated lands in the El Rosario community, which belongs to the autonomous municipality of San Manuel. The Subcomandante also includes the denunciation made by the La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) regarding the events.

The “Path to the Future” JBG explains that 28 “paramilitaries” from the Chiquinibal neighborhood of the Pojkol ejido arrived on 24 June to El Rosario, 8 of them openly carrying firearms. According to the JBG, in this community there live 21 “paramilitaries” who occupy lands recovered by the EZLN in 1994. According to the JGB, there was a meeting between these paramilitaries with an engineer and Guadalupe Flores, the owner of the lands in question before the 1994 uprising. The JBG claims that this group carried out measurements of the lands, supposedly to plan the subsequent construction of a church and homes. It adds that 10 gunshots were fired behind the home of a Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN) to intimidate the population, and that the aggressors entered two other homes and destroyed yet another, robbing the belongings of its inhabitants: animals, construction materials, tools, food, and cash. The JBG concludes that the engineer and the landowner are advisors to the paramilitary group.

It should be recalled that the La Garrucha JBG had in August 2014 denounced actions taken by this same group, including the killing of a stud bull, the destruction of homes and a collective store, robbery, the defoliation with pesticides of common grazing lands, shooting of live ammunition, and the writing of “Pojkol territory” on burned-out homes. In May 2015, the JBG denounced that one of them shot at a BAEZLN girl.

The JBG affirms that these events are a provocation which form part of the government’s counter-insurgent strategy. “We say clearly that we will not remain with our arms crossed while our comrades are attacked by any of the means that the bad government uses against us. We have said clearly that we will defend our lands, because on them were we born, from them we live, and on them we will die, regardless of the costs.”

The JBG holds the federal, state, and municipal governments responsible for any acts that might follow, and it calls on the public to remain attentive.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuevo ataque de paramilitares. Caracol Resistencia Hacia un Nuevo Amanecer. La Garrucha. (Enlace Zapatista, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denuncia EZLN un ataque de paramilitares a indígenas de Ocosingo (La Jornada, 26 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks (17 May 2015)

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)


Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission

June 29, 2015

(@ADN Sureste)

(@ADN Sureste)

On the ninth anniversary of the attempt to displace the teachers’ sit-in at the zócalo in Oaxaca de Juárez in 2006, on 14 June there was held a public session at the Oaxaca Truth Commission (CVO). 14 witnesses presented testimony, while members of the CVO, including its president Alejandro Solalinde, as well as the journalist Carmen Aristegui and the Mexican representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Javier Hernández Valencia, were also present.

The CVO is an autonomous organization that seeks to clarify the repressive historical events that took place in Oaxaca between 14 June 2006 and 30 May 2007, the time period covering the displacement of the teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) from the sit-in they had undertaken to demand better working and educational conditions. This police operation was ordered by the then governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and gave rise to the creation of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), a social movement that opposed the PRI-led government.

According to an advance copy of the CVO’s report, there were at least 500 cases of torture and 26 executions of social activists and those connected to the struggle. The public session gave voice to the testimony of women who lost their husbands, families that continue to seek out their disappeared, and political prisoners. According to Solalinde, the gravity of the acts is reflected well in the various testimonies that were presented, even if many other victims did not share their experiences out of fear. The public audience, which Javier Hernández Valencia understood as “a first step toward justice,” affirmed words such as those of Carmen Aristegui: “What should happen in the near future must incorporate the truth and memory, but above all justice, as Oaxacan society has sought out now for nearly a decade.” The CVO will put together a final report, to be presented before the judiciary in March 2016. The aim is to pressure authorities to put an end to the impunity of the acts, which represent crimes against humanity, in the view of Solalinde and his lawyer and assessor, Cuauhtémoc Ruiz.

On the same day of the public audience, a march organized by the CNTE took place, with the participation of 10,000 people. Protestors sought to commemorate the attempted displacement of 2006 and repeated their call for justice, the cancellation of articles 3 and 73 of the Constitution, and the cancellation of the educational reforms. They also protested in favor of boycotting the assessment exams for teachers that have been announced by the Secretary for Public Education (SEP).

For more information (in Spanish):

Hubo 500 casos de tortura y 26 ejecuciones en Oaxaca: Comisión de la Verdad (La Jornada, 12 de junio de 2015)

Ciudadanos de Oaxaca exigen justicia por el desalojo policial de 2006(CNN México, 14 de junio de 2015)

Confirman 26 ejecuciones y 500 torturados durante movimiento magisterial en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 15 de junio de 2015)

Sesión Pública de Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca, ejercicio inédito e importante: Aristegui (Educa, 15 de junio de 2015)

CNTE rememoró intento de desalojo del zócalo en el 2006 (e-Consulta, 14 de junio de 2015)

Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca (16 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Commemoration of seventh annivesary of APPO (24 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Sixth anniversary of the beginning of the 2006 social conflict (20 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)


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