Oaxaca: Violent Attacks in San Mateo del Mar Leave 15 Dead

June 23, 2020

san mateo del mar@Unotv

On June 21st and 22nd, two attacks occurred in the municipality of San Mateo del Mar on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which resulted in 15 deaths and several injuries. There were also reports of people being tortured and burned.

On June 21st, after a call by the municipal agencies of San Mateo del Mar to an analysis and information assembly between the community authorities in Huazantlan del Rio, people from the Union of Ikoots Agencies and Communities traveling to the meeting “found burning tires everywhere” at a Coronavirus checkpoint “that impeded the passage and in the middle of the flames, men with their faces covered began to fire their firearms, immediately injuring several people who were in the trucks.” In a statement published the same day by the Ikoots Union of Agencies and Communities, the complicity of the municipal president and a businessman from San Mateo del Mar was noted, and an urgent call was made to have a public security presence. In this instance, at least four people were reported injured.

On the morning of June 22nd, a new violent clash was reported between members of the San Mateo del Mar city council, headed by the municipal president, and people from the Ikoots Union of Agencies and Communities. It took place after elements of the National Guard and State Police entered to escort the inhabitants of San Mateo del Mar to Huazantlan del Rio to carry out the community assembly, which was not possible. In that moment, violence broke out, leaving a balance of 15 deaths.

It should be remembered that there was an attack in May of this year in the same municipality and that San Mateo del Mar, where a regulatory system of customary law prevails, and it has remained in political conflict since last year because five of the eight municipal agencies consider that there were irregularities in the election of the municipal president.

For more information in Spanish:

Crece masacre en San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca; suman 15 muertos. (El Universal Oaxaca, 22 de junio)

Tras tercer atentado en San Mateo del Mar escala la violencia en municipio ikoots(Educa Oaxaca, 22 de junio)

Escala violencia en san Mateo del Mar; agresión en filtro sanitario deja al menos 4 heridos. (El Universal, 21 de junio)

Enfrentamiento deja al menos 15 muertos en San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca (El sol de México, 22 de junio)

 For more information from SIPAZ

Oaxaca: Violence in San Mateo del Mar Leaves One Dead (May 7, 2020)

Oaxaca: Threats from shock groups in San Dionisio del Mar; alternative plan for wind-energy in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (October 26, 2012)

Oaxaca: Ikoots community denounces incursion by private firm and “rigged” assembly in San Dionisio del Mar; invitation to a Meeting for Resistance (September 18, 2012)

Chiapas: Food Crisis in Displaced Communities; Over Three Thousand at Risk of Hunger

June 4, 2020


At a press conference on May 26th, the Trust for the Health of Indigenous Children of Mexico (FISANIM) and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, (Frayba) warned of the risk of famine for more than 3,000 displaced people in the Highlands of Chiapas.

They documented that based on direct information received from the population of the Maya Tsotsil People from the municipality of Aldama, Chalchihuitan and from the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas de Acteal in Chenalho, people displaced in said municipalities face a food emergency situation that could lead to famine if prolonged. Being in itself one of the most marginalized municipalities in the country, the lives of 3304 displaced persons are also at high risk of contagion by COVID-19 when they are “in overcrowded conditions: in borrowed, rented houses and in critical situations, when armed violence begins they take refuge in the mountains. Several of the families have had their houses burned, destroyed and/or been shot, without access to their farms to cultivate their land and without being able to plant and harvest their corn, beans, fruits and vegetables. Up to now, they do not have the possibility of going somewhere to work, they have not been able to harvest their coffee, being one of the sources of economic income to complete their livelihood throughout the year.”

“In all three cases, the omission of the Mexican State and the lack of compliance with the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of the United Nations (UN) prevail,” they also denounced. This is due to “the constant lack of food, medical attention and emotional damage due to the permanent fear and despair of being attacked, girls, boys, women and the elderly women/men are the most vulnerable victims.”

Faced with this situation, they demanded from the authorities: the implementation of a Food Emergency Plan; the efficient action of the State Council for Comprehensive Attention to Internal Displacement of Persons in the State of Chiapas; the intervention of the International Red Cross to contribute to humanitarian aid; and to deactivate “the violence in these territories caused by armed paramilitary civilian groups that comes from decades of impunity, since today we are in the previous scenarios of what was the Acteal Massacre”, among others.

The two organizations also called for solidarity actions from national and international civil society, including the possibility of financial support to address the food emergency: Trust for the Health of Indigenous Children in Mexico. Scotiabank bank. Account: 00107853564 Interbank password: 044180001078535644.

For more information in Spanish:

Alertamos posible hambruna de Pueblos Mayas en desplazamiento forzado (Frayba, 26 de mayo de 2020)

En riesgo de hambruna más de 3 mil indígenas desplazados de Chiapas; coronavirus agravó su situación (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de mayo de 2020)

Más de 3 mil 300 desplazados en el umbral de la hambruna en Chiapas, alerta el Frayba(Proceso, 27 de mayo de 2020)

Centro Frayba alerta de un “desastre humanitario” en los Altos de Chiapas (La Jornada, 27 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Injunction Granted to Protect Life, Integrity and Security of Displaced Tsotsil Communities in Aldama (May 4, 2020)

Chiapas: Authorities in Santa Martha and Aldama Denounce New Attacks (March 5, 2020)

Chiapas: Death of Displaced Baby Girl from Rio Jordan, Chenalho (February 28, 2020)



Guerrero: Mining Leader of Opposition to Media Luna Company Murdered in Cocula

May 19, 2020

Oscar-OntiverosOscar Ontiveros Martínez (@Proceso)

On May 12th, the mining leader in opposition to the Media Luna company, Oscar Ontiveros Martinez, was murdered by an armed group in the town of Real de Limon, municipality of Cocula.

Relatives of the victim denounced that “the murder of Oscar Ontiveros was for political-labor reasons and in repression for his activism in the Media Luna mining company, as he was a key worker in the work stoppage in November 2017.” They recalled that for the same reason he was one of the workers fired by the managers of the mining company after the strike movement that ended in early 2018.

They stated that the same paramilitary group allegedly hired by the mining company based in Cocula, was the one which murdered Quintin Salgado in January 2018, another activist opposed to the mining company who led a work stoppage to demand union independence and respect for the rights of tenant farmers . “This armed group has positioned itself in the Rio Balsas area, in favor of the Media Luna mining company because they receive monetary benefits to control the stoppages and any sign of community organization to denounce what is happening within the company,” they stated.

It should be remembered that, in January 2018, the brothers Victor and Marcelino Sahuanitla Peña, both workers of the Media Luna company, who were participating in the work stoppage, were also killed.

This week, Media Luna, a subsidiary of Torex Gold Resources led by Canadian Fred Staford, announced that it was about to resume activities after stopping due to the health emergency that is caused by the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) since April 2nd. It added that from May 18th operations will be resumed immediately and by June the mine will already be in “routine production.”

For more information in Spanish: 

Ejecutan a opositor a la minera Media Luna en Cocula, Guerrero (Proceso, 16 de mayo de 2020)

Inseguridad y pandemia factores de riesgo para operar en Guerrero: minera Torex Gold (El Sur, 15 de mayo de 2020)

Astudillo “actuó para remover bloqueos ilegales” del sindicato minero en 2018: Media Luna(Proceso, 14 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Desapareció líder comunitario de Cocula, Sindicato de EU pide a México su localización (October 2, 2019)

Guerrero: Conflict at Mine of Canadian Company Torex Gold Resources (February 17, 2018)

Guerrero: NGO releases Urgent Action to protect Evelia Bahena García, Diana Coralina Brito, and Félix Rodríguez Navarrete (September 10, 2015)


National: Numerous Collectives Call National and International Communities to Back Urgent Action against Maya Train

May 14, 2020


@ Enlace Zapatista

On May 11th, different groups made a call to support an urgent action against the Maya Train project, since, despite the injunctions filed by the communities of Ocosingo, Palenque and Salto del Agua and the COVID-19 pandemic, work has not been suspended, thus violating the “Right to Health, life and active participation in the defense of their rights.”

It is expected that on May 14th, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) will resolve the definitive suspension of this project, which had been provisionally done by a Federal Judge in previous weeks.

Added to this is the decree published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, where the government announced that it will have the Armed Forces carry out public security tasks, which represents for indigenous peoples and communities not only “unleashing a war against the drug cartels, which impose dispossession of forests, waters, minerals, wood and facilitate the entry of business and government megaprojects, but also face corruption, the links it has with organized crime, its complicity with fuel theft, the acts of repression and dispossession of indigenous peoples and communities, the use of public force to impose megaprojects, the forced displacement that they cause in the communities, according to them to bring order, as well as the murders, rapes and the criminalization of social protest social.”

Given what is happening and could happen, it seeks to promote knowledge and resistance against the project in civil society through actions such as concentrating information on the subject for its dissemination; share the existing poster (s) and/or design new ones that denounce the project and its damages; write and disseminate pronouncements in this regard; identify campaign initiatives by existing Mexican citizen groups to support them, or launch one; promote saturation of phone calls or emails to SCJN, FONATUR, CNDH, etc., speaking out against the project; and, invite networks, groups, contacts, to join in the campaign tasks.

For more information in Spanish:

Diversos colectivos promueven acción virtual contra el proyecto de despojo nombrado tren maya (Enlace Zapatista, 11 de mayo 2020)

Urgen intervención de la CNDH para frenar obras del Tren Maya (Aristegui Noticias, 11 de mayo 2020)

¿Por qué decir ¡NO! al “Tren Maya”? (Los Hijos del Maíz- Tlax, 11 de mayo 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Armed Forces Decreed Public Security Duties for Five Years; “Militarism Came out of the Closet” – CSO(May 14, 2020)

Chiapas: Federal Court Orders Suspension of Palenque Section of Maya Train; FONATUR Considers Injunction “Unfair” (May 13, 2020)

National: Online Forum “No to the Misnamed Maya Train”(May 5, 2020)


Oaxaca: Organizations, Communities and Movements Demand Suspension of Trans-Isthmus Project (May 2, 2020)

Oaxaca: Illegal Start on Trans-Isthmus Corridor without EIR Denounced (April 28, 2020)

National: Almost 200 Organizations Demand Halt to Maya Train Works During Emergency; AMLO Confirms Megaprojects Will Continue (April 25, 2020)


Chiapas: Injunction Granted to Protect Life, Integrity and Security of Displaced Tsotsil Communities in Aldama

May 4, 2020

Aldamaamparo© Frayba

On April 28th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) published a bulletin in which the injunction granted to communities of the Maya Tsotsil people in forced displacement from Aldama is disclosed, this as a result of the petition filed by representatives of communities in said municipality on March 27th.

The third district court, based in Tuxtla Gutierrez, granted an injunction to protect the life, integrity and security of the Aldama communities. This request was made for the “definitive suspension of violence by armed paramilitary civilian groups who act with the acquiescence and tolerance of State officials.” In this sense, the omission of the responsible authorities was denounced in view of compliance with this resolution.

In addition to the aggravation of violence in this area, the communities of Original Peoples are highly vulnerable to the health emergency caused by COVID-19 and the recently announced Phase Three. On the one hand, the population faces attacks with firearms, and on the other, contracting the virus and not having, in any case, guarantees of adequate medical attention. From this perspective, the United Nations Essential Guidelines establish the need to protect the most vulnerable populations, such as communities in forced displacement: “States must apply additional measures in order to address the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 may have on minorities, because of the remote areas where they live, where there is limited access to essential goods and services.”

For this reason, Frayba demanded that the President of the Republic, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the Governor of the state of Chiapas, Rutilio Cruz Escandon Cadenas, comply with the judicial mandate and also:

  • Guarantee security to “protect the life of the population of the Maya Tsotsil people in the municipality of Aldama, from armed aggressions that intensified since March 24th, 2020.”
  • The investigation of the armed aggressions registered since March 2018 that caused the forced displacement of these communities.
  • Provide humanitarian care, housing, health, adequate and dignified food for the victims of these forced displacements and in greater vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information in Spanish:

Otorgan amparo a comunidades del Pueblo Maya Tsotsil en Desplazamiento Forzado(Frayba, 28 abril 2020)

Otorgan amparo a indígenas de Chiapas en desplazamiento forzado (Contralínea, 28 abril 2020)

Indígenas de los Altos de Chiapas, entre el acoso del gobierno y el Covid-19 (La Jornada, 28 abril 2020)

Otorgan amparo para proteger a comunidades de Aldama (Prensa Libre, 29 abril 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “ Not Only COVID Threatens Life” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society (April 25, 2020)

Chiapas: Attacks against Tsotsil Communities in Aldama Continue (April 16, 2020)

Chiapas: Authorities in Santa Martha and Aldama Denounce New Attacks (March 5, 2020)

National: CNDH Requests Cautionary Measures for Cristobal Santiz Jimenez (March 30, 2020)

Chiapas: Por tercera vez en plantón, desplazados de Ejido Puebla, Chenalhó

Chiapas: Death of Displaced Baby Girl from Rio Jordan, Chenalho (February 28, 2020)


Guerrero: Urgent Action for Centro Morelos Defenders

April 5, 2020

Tlachinollan© Tlachinollan

On April 2nd, the Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center published a statement on its website in which it denounces, in conjunction with the All Rights for All Network (Red TdT), the risks that Teodomira Rosales and Manuel Olivares face, defenders from Centro Morelos and compañeros of the victims of internal forced displacement from the Leonardo Bravo Municipality (Chichihualco). This is a result of the smear campaign against them and their work published on social networks on March 22nd and 26th.

This statement traces the situation of people who have been displaced from their communities since 2018 due to violence carried out by armed civilian groups, the breach of the agreements signed with the Ministry of the Interior regarding the return of these families to their communities as well as the sexual assault on Teodomira Rosales and the physical assault of Manuel Olivares perpetrated by an elite group of the State Police in December 2019.

In this context, Tlachinollan and the Red TDT demand:

  • not criminalize or disqualify the work carried out by the defenders of the Morelos Center;
  • investigate the elite group that committed the attacks against Teodomira Rosales and Manuel Olivares;
  • and that federal authorities “comply with the commitments assumed to guarantee the return to their communities, as well as to establish order and security in the region.”

For more information in Spanish:

COMUNICADO | En alto riesgo la vida y la seguridad de los defensores y defensoras del Centro Morelos de Chilapa (Tlachinollan, 2 abril 2020)

Campaña de desprestigio pone en riesgo a defensores del Centro Morelos, denuncian Tlachinollan y Red TDT (El Sur, 3 abril 2020)

Policía de Guerrero no garantiza seguridad y viola derechos de víctimas y defensores de DH (Red TDT, 8 enero 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Forced Displacements Continue to Increase in Sierra (March 30, 2020)

Guerrero: Desplazados preocupados por interrupción de grupos armados en Chichihualco (March 20, 2020)

Guerrero: Desplazados de Leonardo Bravo y Zitlala aún sin seguridad, y ya tampoco con apoyo para su renta y alimentación (February 28, 2020)

Guerrero: Visita SIPAZ a desplazados de Leonardo Bravo y Zitlala (May 2, 2019)

Chiapas: Authorities in Santa Martha and Aldama Denounce New Attacks

March 5, 2020

Aldama1_IsaacGuzman_ChiapasPPhoto @ Pie de Pagina

In recent days, authorities of Aldama and Santa Martha denounced the resumption of attacks among residents, which have their origin in an old conflict over the dispute of 60 hectares of land in the border area between the two villages.

The municipal president of Aldama, Adolfo Lopez Gomez, and the Fray Bartolome de Las Centere for Casas Human Rights (Frayba) reported on “attacks with firearms from armed civilian paramilitary-type groups in the communities of Santa Martha, Chenalho” against inhabitants of the municipality of Aldama, with the result that “many families flee [again] to the mountains” where they are sheltered in existing camps from previous forced displacements that derive from the same problem. Frayba reported that, although on June 4th, in Tuxtla Gutierrez, constitutional and traditional authorities of Aldama and Chenalho, accompanied by Governor Rutilio Escandon Cadenas and the federal undersecretary of Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas Rodriguez, signed a non-aggression, attacks against residents of Aldama “have not stopped throughout 2019 and so far in 2020, given the complicity of federal and state governments.”

Meanwhile, according to information from Proceso, “Efrain Alvarez Velasco, president of the Commission, and Miguel Alvarez Lopez, municipal rural agent of Saclum, Santa Martha, accused their neighbors in Aldama of being the ones who initiated the shooting. Today in the morning, when three community members of Santa Martha were cutting coffee on their plots, located in the place known as Tulhuitz, one of them was injured by a gun at knee level, a person who responds to the name of Lorenzo Ruiz Hernandez, originally from the Saclum community.”

For more information in Spanish:

Pobladores de Aldama denuncian ataques armados de sus vecinos de Chenalhó (Proceso, 3 de marzo de 2020)

Hieren a indígena en Chiapas por disputa de tierras (La Jornada, 4 de marzo de 2020)

Alto riesgo a la vida e integridad de familias tsotsiles (Frayba, 4 de marzo de 2020)

Incursión armada obliga a comunidad de Chiapas a desplazarse (El Universal, 4 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: CNDH emite recomendación al gobierno del estado en caso de Aldama/Chenalhó (10 de octubre de 2019)

Chiapas: Sigue la violencia entre Aldama y Chenalhó a pesar de pacto de no agresión. (8 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Firman pacto de no agresión autoridades de Aldama y Chenalhó (5 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: encuentran cuerpo del síndico de Aldama quien fungía como alcalde de dicho municipio (6 de mayo de 2019)

Chiapas: JBG de Oventik responsabiliza a gobierno de situación de violencia entre Aldama y Chenalhó (6 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Ejército instala base militar para patrullar los municipios en conflicto de Aldama y Chenalhó (25 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: One Dead and Two Wounded in Latest Confrontation in Aldama – Chenalho Conflict (January 29, 2019)

Chiapas: Death of Displaced Baby Girl from Rio Jordan, Chenalho

February 28, 2020

Acteal@Otros Mundos

In a statement published on February 26th, Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society denounced the death of Maria Angelica Jimenez Ramirez, an 11-month-old baby, who was part of the displaced families of the Rio Jordan neighborhood who have been refugees in Acteal since August last year in the municipality of Chenalho.

It recalled that they are displaced due to the threats of “the members of the Green Ecologist Party and paramilitaries of the Rio Jordan neighborhood, when their homes were destroyed and looted, on August 10th, 2019, all for refusing to accept charges that are not from the community and not accepting a drainage work.”

It lamented that Maria Angelica died “being a victim of forced displacement and without enjoying the full right to childhood, to health and to live in peace, like other girls and other children who were also displaced with the deceased girl, who are not being guaranteed their rights to peace while living forcibly displaced.”

It claimed that behind this forced displacement is a conflict that “has now been unresolved for five years, although Chenalho’s municipal president Abraham Cruz Gomez has pledged to intervene so that this problem is resolved and as a result, our displaced companions return with justice to their community of origin, but, to date, no meeting has been made with said official authority since he has only been postponing the dates and so the suffering of the displaced has been prolonged.”

Las Abejas Civil Society announced that family members and executives of their organization will bury the infant in the Rio Jordan community cemetery neighborhood, “so we ask that you be aware of our physical and psychological integrity, otherwise we will hold the rural agent in the Rio Jordan neighborhood, Vicente Perez Ruiz, the president of Chenalho, Abraham Cruz Gomez, and Rutilio Escandon Cadenas Governor of Chiapas, responsible”.

For more information in Spanish:

Fallecimiento de una hermanita desplazada (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 26 de febrero de 2020)

Niña lluvia (Regeneración Radio, 26 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Desplazan a 36 personas del barrio Río Jordán, Chenalhó (September 18, 2019)

Chiapas: Forced Displacement of Four Families of Las Abejas Civil Society Denounced (August 18, 2019)

National: Fourth Open Letter to Cuarta Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from Javier Sicilia

January 30, 2020

13acf625-19ad-41e5-aec6-ecdf957b2f97-696x351Photo @ Somoselmedio

Dear president,

You know that I am a poet, a poet who, for very painful reasons that you also know and that are related to what brought me along with others to your home, stopped practising the craft of the poem. However, poetry – which is a gift, a grace – remains in me and has not stopped accompanying me, along with the suffering of the victims and through the voice of other poets, along this path. It, from time immemorial, guards the meanings of the tribe and becomes present when those meanings are corrupted or falter in public life. The Nabi, who the tradition of the West are called prophets (“those who speak in the name of …” is their etymological meaning) proliferated when the Hebrew people had a descendant of kings, of human beings, we could say, of State. Its function – beyond what Judeo-Christian theology attributes to them and from what popular imagery has attributed them with – was not to guess the future, but to remind the king and the people of fundamental and old truths like the mountains, which were forgotten or lost. Remember, President, Natan and his relationship with David. A heavy job, sometimes ungrateful, that forces the poet to leave his solitude – the privileged scope of his work – and sometimes to suffer from misunderstanding, insult, disqualification and defamation. Remember, President, Jeremiah.

Despite this, the poet, wrote Albert Camus, “in any circumstance of his life, dark or provisionally famous, constrained by tyranny or free to express himself” finds a community that justifies it on condition that, as we have done now walking to your home, assume those two tasks that constitute the greatness and weight of one’s vocation: the service of truth, justice, dignity and freedom. His nature as voice of the tribe cannot accommodate lies, servitude or crime, because where they prevail, as they prevail today in our nation, horror and destruction of common life grow.

That is why despite my personal weaknesses, the possibility that you refuse to receive us, the nobility of that vocation has led me to walk again, next to others, to resist, to give a place to the meaning that the word holds and look again for truth, justice and peace that one day, on November 14th, 2018, at the Tlatelolco University Cultural Center (CCUT), you and the victims agreed, that you forgot and that, in so much horror, so much impunity and death, you owe us and owe yourself, President.

Therefore, I am going to summarize, through some verses, what we have come to tell you today. They are neither mine nor any of the poets who have accompanied me. But they belong to the river of tradition that goes back to the Hebrew Nabis, the Hellenic Rapsodas and the Nahua Xochikuikani. They are from Maria Mercedes Carranza, a Colombian poet, killed in 2003, who suffered, along with her people, horrors similar to those that our country has been living for almost two decades:

“Everything is ruined in this house, / the embrace and music are in ruins, / fate every morning, laughs are ruins; / tears, silence, dreams. / The windows show destroyed landscapes, / flesh and ash get confused on faces, / in mouths the words stir with fear./ In this house we are all buried alive. ”

Our house, Mexico, and the flag that represents it and that we have carried and brought with us throughout these days of long walking, is, like the house of Mercedes Carranza, full of violence, blood, death, disappearances, graves, lies and impunity; it is plagued with heinous crimes against which language fails; its roads, its squares, its enclosures are taken by soulless beings that, with the support of state officials and companies, corrupt, disappear and kill our children, our women, our young people, our old people, dig sinister graves, they threaten us and exhibit their atrocities to inhibit our vital reactions.

We know you are not responsible for it, President. You inherited this horror from administrations that only had imagination for violence, impunity and corruption. But the fact that you have turned your back on the agenda of truth, justice and peace as a priority of the nation, an agenda to which you committed on September 14th, 2018 and that you asked us to create together with the SEGOB; the fact that you do not heed the call of the indigenous peoples to stop the megaprojects, whose base is neoliberal and, therefore, destructive of the land and community and peoples’ lives; the fact that migration is criminalized; the fact that in your morning you use a language that, far from calling for unity, polarizes the nation; the fact that you have abandoned, disarticulated and questioned the institutions that citizens create to attend to victims (the Victim Assistance Commission, the National Search Commission and the CNDH); the fact of reducing peace to a security issue and abandoning truth and justice, the State’s networks of complicity with organized crime have been articulated, and their costs in pain and death have been too high: about 35,000 murders added to the 61,000 disappeared – more than 5,000 in the last year -, to the hundreds of thousands of victims inherited from past bad administrations – practically all of them still do not know the truth and much less justice – to an even greater and still inaccurate number of tortured and displaced, and the serious mistreatment of Central American migrants and indigenous peoples.

This has nothing to do with the good things you have undertaken. It has to do with a reality that goes beyond ordinary institutions and that if it is not assumed in the dimension of its national emergency and its humanitarian tragedy, it will spoil that good your government seeks. Without truth – let’s repeat it again – there will be no justice or reconciliation or amnesty or peace or transformation. All there will be is more hell.

You ask us for more time to seek security, but you don’t talk about truth or justice. After the massacre of the LeBaron family, which once again brought the dimension of the horror and tragedy of the country to the public consciousness, there is only time to face it with a State policy that, given the networks of complicity confined in the State, it is based on extraordinary mechanisms of truth and justice – a truth that must weave, based on those mechanisms, with the institutions created to confront it; a truth that must also happen for the respect to the indigenous autonomies, to the migrants and the strengthening of the municipalities. A State policy that, as a priority of the country, calls for the unity of the nation and the work of all (governments, victims, social organizations, churches, parties, universities, unions, companies, citizens). A State policy to which you, President, committed yourself more than a year ago, which victims, organizations, academia and experts worked with SEGOB and that today more than ever urgently needs to be carried out. A State policy that goes beyond, as is evident, the Security Cabinet and that must, therefore, be assumed and promoted by you who unfortunately you are not present because of serious and unfortunate prejudices towards the victims and the suffering of the country.

We must not repeat the past, President. That past has destroyed us and continues to destroy us. You have to create the new that preserves life. A true and authentic transformation of the country must be based on truth, justice and peace.

We know it is not easy. It is never easy to face a crisis of civilization of the size that we suffer today with radical measures. But not doing so from the root of truth and justice will make violence reign forever over a field of ossuaries, dispossession and fear. The truth, as Ricardo Raphael recently pointed out, “is the one that must prevail so that reality is known, so that the facts are exposed, so that the arguments weigh, so that justice is done and violence cannot be repeated.”

We, when walking here, have fulfilled our duty, which the word and poetry, which guard the meaning of a tribe, call us and which we will always defend. You, on the other hand, as President, have the dilemma of continuing to walk towards the horror that the first steps of your government have gone through or of uniting and taking us all through a State policy based on truth, justice, respect and the strengthening of the indigenous autonomies and of the municipalities, towards a true transformation, towards that hope to which one day you called us and which today as a bloody nation summons you.

While you respond to this dilemma in which the fate of everyone is played, we leave you with the Security Cabinet, in addition to these words, the verses of David Huerta, Tomas Calvillo and Maria Mercedes Carranza, who accompanied the press conferences and press releases of our walk, the voice of poetry that accompanied us in that of its poets along the way, to meditate in the silence of your heart the meaning. We also leave you the documents with the Transitional Justice proposals and, together with the Belisario Domínguez medal, which Mrs. Rosario Ibarra left in your custody, the symbol of the homeland that today is shot, bloodied, inverted, kidnapped, obscured by murders, disappearances, dispossession and destruction of lands, communities and aberrant crimes.

Return it to us along with the restored homeland as you promised to the victims and indigenous peoples during your campaign and to the victims when we met on May 8th at the Memory and Tolerance Museum and, as President-elect, on September 14th at CCUT. It is time, President, to put a real stop to so much pain, to so much death, to humiliation, to such a lie; time for suffering to beat again the heart and the earth can flourish; time to unite the bloody fractures of the country and to make with everyone the truth, justice and peace that we need so much. It is time to put the new wine in new wineskins.

You decide, President, on which side of history you want to walk to.

Javier Sicilia

Guerrero: Children in Community Police Spark Controversy

January 28, 2020

CuartoscuroDassaev Téllez@ Cuartoscuro/Dassaev Tellez

The murder of ten musicians in Chilapa and the presentation by the Regional Coordinator of Citizen Authorities-Founding Peoples (CRAC-PF) of 19 minors from the communities of Ayahualtempa and Alcozacan as new members of the community police have highlighted the situation of insecurity that prevails in La Montaña area in Guerrero. The public incorporation of these children (mostly orphaned by violence) in which they were carrying out tactical training for combat with firearms and sticks caused a range of reactions.
The head of the Ministry of Security and Citizen Participation (SSPC), Alfonso Durazo said that the participation of minors in community police is “unfortunate” and “irresponsible” when they have “no chance of defending themselves properly.” He announced that the case will be reviewed.
Abel Barrera, director of La Montaña Tlalchinollan Human Rights Center, stressed that Chilapa is imprisoned with the “demon of crime”, which has led to self-defense groups to hand over weapons to minors.
For its part, the Network for the Rights of the Child in Mexico (REDIM) expressed concern about the incorporation of children and adolescents into the ranks of the CRAC-PF , which it considered as a “performance” and a “desperate act” to get the attention of the Mexican state. It stressed that “it is not possible to prevent crime while exposing children to acts of violence.” It called on the CRAC PF to “assume as a great responsibility of protecting children and adolescents from any form of violence and recognize their rights, making them partakers of community solutions.” It also urged the authorities to “attend to the so-called citizens and human rights organizations to build a national strategy to stop armed violence against children and adolescents, which is Priority Project 26 (# Project26) of this administration”.

For more information in Spanish:

Reclutamiento de niños en Guerrero, performance para llamar la atención del Estado: Redim (Aristegui Noticias, 23 de enero de 2020)

Grupos criminales reclutan a niños ante falta de sicarios, dice López Obrador (Proceso, 23 de enero de 2020)

Irresponsable que adultos den armas a jóvenes: Durazo (Excelsior, 23 de enero de 2020)

El demonio de la delincuencia” derivó en niños armados en Chilapa: Activista (Aristegui Noticias, 23 de enero de 2020)

Urge presencia de AMLO y Astudillo en Chilapa, Guerrero, por crisis de seguridad: CRAC-PF (Aristegui Noticias, 23 de enero de 2020)

Niños se enlistan como policías en Chilapa para defender a la región del crimen (El Sol de México, 22 de enero de 2020)

Enfrentan clima de violencia con niños armados (El Universal, 22 de enero de 2020)

Presentan a 19 niños como policías comunitarios en Chilapa (Excelsior, 22 de enero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Tlachinollan Highlights Need for Coordinated Action to Dismantle Criminal Organizations after Murder of Ten Indigenous in Alcozacan (January 21, 2020)

Guerrero: Organizaciones Civiles denuncian agresión y robo contra defensores del Centro Regional de Defensa de los Derechos Humanos José María Morelos y Pavón (6 de enero de 2020)

Guerrero: Two Members of CRAC-PF and CIPOG-EZ Murdered (May 28, 2019)

Guerrero: CNI Denounces Kidnapping and Murder of Two Members (May 11, 2019)