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

March 6, 2019


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)



National/Guerrero: Support Plan for Victims of the Dirty War

February 14, 2019

Dirty warPhoto @ EllosyNosotros

On February 11th, the Plan of Attention and Reparation for the Victims of Political Violence of the Dirty War was announced in the municipality of Atoyac de Alvarez in Guerrero.

The Executive Commission of Attention to Victims (CEAV in its Spanish acronym), relatives and survivors of victims of the “dirty war”, as well as the governor Hector Astudillo Flores, the president of the CEAV, Jaime Rochin del Rincon, presented the strategy of collective reparation that is intended to be implemented.

“The Care and Reparation Plan for the victims of past political violence in Guerrero seeks to give visibility to those who disappeared, give voice to those who were silenced and recover and reconstruct the social fabric of the communities”, according to information from Proceso.

According to the Economist, Jaime Rochin del Rincon, executive commissioner of the CEAV, acknowledged that, “actions such as forced disappearance, torture and arbitrary detention in Guerrero during the period of the Dirty War, followed a State policy of repression and extermination.”

The strategy emerged from the recommendation 26/2001 endorsed by the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanisg acronym) addressed to the then president of the republic, Vicente Fox, and as well as the proposals included in the Special Report on the Disappearance of Persons and Clandestine Graves in Mexico of the CNDH, presented in 2017.

Through a statement, the CNDH announced that “in assessing the institutional progress represented by the Plan for Attention and Reparation for the Victims of the “Dirty War”, the CNDH established that the Mexican State has an outstanding debt with the victims of disappearance and their families, which will not be paid while the authorities of the three levels of government fail to comply with their basic and fundamental obligation to guarantee minimum conditions of security for peaceful coexistence between people and to put an end to the environment of violence, impunity and illegality that we face.”

For more information in Spanish:

Presentan en Guerrero plan de atención a víctimas de la guerra sucia (Aristegui Noticias, 11 de febrero de 2019)

La CEAV presenta Plan de Atención y Reparación a las Víctimas de la Violencia Política del Pasado (Proceso, 11 de febrero de 2019)


Recomendación 26/2001 (CNDH, 2001)


For more information from SIPAZ:

National: INAI Orders SENEDA to Submit Information on Generals Linked to “Dirty War” (June 26, 2018)

International/National: IACHR presents report regarding right to truth which includes the case of the “Dirty War” in Mexico (December 14, 2014)

The Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal condemns Mexican State for crimes against humanity (October 11, 2014)

Chiapas: One Dead and Two Wounded in Latest Confrontation in Aldama – Chenalho Conflict

January 29, 2019


In the early hours of January 22nd, an attack by residents of Santa Martha, municipality of Chenalho, against their neighbors from Aldama who were going to their plots to work left one person dead and two wounded by bullets, as a result of the old conflict over the dispute of 60 hectares between the two municipalities, government sources reported.

As a consequence of this conflict, at least 2,036 people from communities bordering Santa Martha (Xuxch’en, Coco, Tabak and San Pedro Cotzilnam) are displaced in camps far from the disputed area.

According to the inhabitants of Aldama, in 2009, Santa Marta and Aldama signed an agreement to end the conflict, by which the inhabitants of the first community received from the state government one 1,300,000 thousand pesos. However, this agreement has been broken and the situation has been growing ever more violent since 2016.

In view of the most recent events, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights urged the Mexican State to “adopt effective measures to guarantee the life and personal integrity of the population of Aldama, especially of the communities located in the territorial limits with Manuel Utrilla , Chenalho, as well as the municipal seat; investigate, sanction, disarm and dismantle the armed groups of Santa Martha, Manuel Utrilla, Chenalho; address the humanitarian emergency of the displaced population in the Chiapas Highlands region, Mexico; and cancel arrest warrants that criminalize representatives of displaced families.”

For more information in Spanish:

Un muerto y dos heridos, saldo de agresión entre Chenalhó y Aldama (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2019)

Nuevo ataque paramilitar en Aldama, Chiapas, un muerto y dos heridos (Regeneración, 22 de enero de 2019)

Un muerto y dos heridos deja añeja disputa de tierra entre tsotsiles de Aldama y Chenalhó (Alerta Chiapas, 22 de enero de 2019)

Acción Urgente : Persiste riesgo a la vida en comunidades desplazadas, en Aldama, Chiapas (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 22 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Se necesita atención al Desplazamiento Forzado Interno en Chenalhó y Aldama, ataque armado deja dos jóvenes heridos (14 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Sigue la violencia entre Aldama y Chenalhó (5 de enero de 2019)

AMLO sobre el caso de Desplazamiento Forzado Interno en el Municipio de Aldama, Chiapas. (18 de diciembre de 2018)

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces New Attacks in Aldama and Demands End to Violence
(November 19th, 2018)

Chiapas :Se mantienen amenazas y desplazamiento forzado en Aldama ; Frayba lanza acción urgente (October 14th, 2018)

Chiapas : Persiste riesgo a la vida de indígenas tsotsiles en Aldama, denuncia el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (April 26th, 2018)

Chiapas: Violence increases in the Highlands of Chiapas, 747 displaced and 3 dead in Aldama (May 10th, 2018)


Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered

January 28, 2019

Amatan.pngProtest in Tuxtla Gutierrez (@Chiapas Paralelo)

Fifteen days after the human rights defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca was murdered in the municipality of Arriaga, Noe Jimenez Pablo, member of the Ayala Plan Coordinating Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement (MOCRI-CNPA-MC in its Spanish acronym) and Jose Santiago Gomez Alvarez, of the Movement for Welfare, Peace and the Common Good of Amatan, were found dead and with signs of torture in a garbage dump near the municipality of Amatan. These events occurred after the denunciation of the disappearance of 50 members of the Movement for Welfare, Peace and the Common Good of Amatan on January 17th, after an armed commando broke up the sit-in maintained by the organisation since last November, against the caciques Wilbert and Manuel de Jesus Carpio Mayorga (the latter currently mayor for MORENA). The other 48 people have already appeared alive.

On January 19th, the Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan held a protest in Amatan. The following day, MOCRI-CNPA-MN marched with the coffins of the two murdered individuals in Tuxtla Gutierrez accompanied by social organizations, displaced families from Chiapas, human rights defenders and students of the Rural Normal “Mactumatzá” School to demand justice requesting that the Federal authorities investigate the case.

Within the framework of this protest, Jesus Gutierrez Valencia, spokesman for the MOCRI-CNPA, denounced that this crime occurred despite the fact that 31 people from that municipality were already being monitored by the Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders of the Secretariat of Government (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym), including Noe Jimenez Pablo. “We came here to Tuxtla, to march with their bodies and show them here in front of the doors of the Palace of Government, what they denied so much, the existence of paramilitary groups and the dead that they do not want to see or that nobody sees what happens daily in Chiapas,” Gutierrez said. He denounced that “at all times the state government denied the facts and was negligent in its investigative role, since it always protected the mayor and his armed civilian groups.”

The lawyer Leonel Rivero, legal advisor of the CNPA-MN, reported that the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) and the Attorney General’s Office already took on the case, and that “it cannot be investigated by Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, Attorney General of the State, because in June 2001 he himself, as public prosecutor, arrested, tortured and kept Jimenez Pablo himself aprisoner, which earned him a recommendation from the CNDH.”

The lawyer also reported that there are currently threats from the same group aggressors against defenders of the Antonio Esteban Human Rights Center and against the parish priest of the municipality of Amatan, Jose Dominguez Dominguez, who has been an intermediary for the reconciliation of the people of Amatan and has already suffered attacks on two occasions.

Francisco Jimenez Pablo, Noe’s brother, blamed Rutilio Escandon Cadenas, governor of the state, and the Secretary General of Government, Ismael Brito Mazariegos, “because to date they have not had the will to resolve social conflicts, and despite being shown evidence of the operation of armed civilian groups, protected by state and municipal police, they continue operating with impunity and killing people at ant time of the day.”

Several social and civil organizations have condemned these murders. The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights recalled that “Amatan is a strategic step for transferring drugs and weapons through its border with Tabasco, it is a corridor formed by the municipalities of Bochil, Simojovel, Pueblo Nuevo and Huitiupan, where the armed groups are linked to local caciques, who in turn are linked or protected by the municipal authorities and police, for the economic and political control of the region. The negligence that the government of Rutilio Escandon Cadenas maintains with caciques, as well as the unpunished activity of armed groups in several zones, has generated an outbreak of violence in different municipalities of Chiapas, generating fear in the population in general and high risk to the work that we exercise as journalists, communicators, social leaders and human rights defenders.”

For more information in Spanish:

Quince días después del homicidio de Sinar Corzo, otro activista es asesinado en Amatán, Chiapas (Sin Embargo, 19 de enero de 2019)

Asesinan al líder de la Coordinadora Plan de Ayala en Chiapas (La Jornada, 19 de enero de 2019)

Hallan ejecutado con huellas de tortura a líder de resistencia civil de Amatán (Proceso, 19 de enero de 2019)

Campesinos y estudiantes exigen justicia por asesinato de dos líderes sociales asesinados en Amatán (Proceso, 20 de enero de 2019)

Marcha fúnebre exige justicia para líderes campesinos y el pueblo de Amatán (Chiapas, 20 de enero de 2019)

Condenamos el asesinato de Noé Jiménez Pablo (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 19 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: el Movimiento por el Bien Común, la Paz y Justicia de Amatán denuncia nueva agresión (18 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Grupo armado en Amatán intimida al párroco (17 de diciembre de 2018)

Chiapas/National: Intellectuals, Artists and Activists Denounce “The Current Campaign of Disinformation, Lies and Slander Against the Zapatismo”

January 23, 2019


More than 700 intellectuals, academics, artists and activists expressed their solidarity with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) in an open letter, given “the current campaign of misinformation, lies and slander directed against Zapatismo.” The Zapatista struggle represents “a great example of resistance, dignity, congruence and political creativity,” they stressed. They said that the Zapatista “Ya Basta!” Of 25 years ago “was an event of great transcendence and one of the first overwhelming reactions on an international level against neoliberal globalization, which contributed to the rejection and criticism of a model that, at that time, seemed unquestionable. It was also, and continues to be, an expression of the legitimate struggle of the indigenous peoples against the domination and contempt suffered for centuries and even today, as well as in favor of their rights to autonomy.”

They also underlined the achievement of the forms of popular self-government “that the Zapatistas have put into practice with the Good Government Councils in their five caracoles”, constituting in this way “an example of true and radical democracy” in “the constant, honest and critical search for an alternative and emancipatory project of great importance when facing the challenges of a world that seems to sink increasingly into a deep crisis, at the same time economic, social, political, ecological and human.”

They expressed concern about the situation “faced by the Zapatista communities and the indigenous peoples of Mexico, when their territories and communities were attacked by mining, tourist, agro-industrial, and infrastructure projects, (…) especially the huge projects promoted by the new Mexican government, such as the Trans-isthmus Corridor, the million hectares of commercial trees and the so-called “Maya Train”, recently denounced as a humiliation and a provocation by Sub-commander Moises, spokesman of the EZLN.” They affirmed they share the “total rejection expressed by the EZLN facing these and other great projects that seriously affect the autonomous territories and the ways of life of the peoples.”

They denounced “any aggression against the Zapatista communities, either directly by the Mexican state or through groups and organizations of armed or unarmed “civilians”” and blamed the Mexican government “for any confrontation that may arise within the framework of the implementation of these megaprojects, which correspond to a model already exceeded by, unsustainable and devastating “development”, decided by power at the top and shamelessly violating the rights of indigenous peoples.”

For more information in Spanish:

Carta de solidaridad y a apoyo a la resistencia y la autonomía zapatista (Documento completo, 16 de enero de 2019)

Intelectuales apoyan al EZLN y rechazan “calumnias” (La Jornada, 16 de enero de 2019)

Intelectuales y activistas mexicanos y extranjeros firman carta de apoyo al EZLN; rechazan Tren Maya (Proceso, 16 de enero de 2019)

La consistencia del EZLN (Contralínea, 15 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Controversy between EZLN and AMLO Supporters Floods Social Networks
(January 18th, 2019)

Chiapas: Zapatista Mass Meeting in Realidad Caracol 25 Years after Armed Uprising (January 14th, 2019)

Chiapas: Second Assembly of National Indigenous Congress (CNI) (October 22nd, 2018)


Chiapas: Frayba Denounces New Attacks in Aldama and Demands End to Violence

November 19, 2018

AldamaDisplaced in Aldama (@Rompeviento)

In an urgent action notice published on November 9th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) denounced new attacks perpetrated by an armed group of Santa Martha Manuel Utrilla, in the municipality of Chenalho, endangering the lives of the inhabitants of the neighboring municipality of Aldama.

It explained that on November 7th, a group of about 20 people arrived at the plots in the community of Xuxch’en, in Aldama, to cut their coffee and that, at approximately 11 am, armed individuals of Santa Martha Manuel Utrilla began to shoot at them. It added that a similar event occurred on October 19th, when indigenous people from the communities of Tulantic, Cotzilnam, Tabac, Coco and the capital of Aldama went to take in the harvest at their farms and an armed group of Santa Martha shot at them. Two people were injured, it said.

Faced with the most recent events that stem from an unresolved agrarian conflict since 1977, the Center demanded that the authorities intervene “urgently” and guarantee the life, integrity and personal security of the inhabitants of Aldama. It also urged them to deal with the displacement of 12 families of Xuxch’en and other communities in conditions of forced displacement in Aldama, immediately applying “the Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement of the United Nations, as well as how to carry out preventive actions in order to prevent forced displacements from the Aldama communities from continuing due to the armed aggressions in the region.” It also asked “to implement an effective strategy of dismantling, disarming, arresting and punishing the armed civilian groups of Santa Martha Manuel Utrilla and thoroughly investigate the authorities responsible for the organization and action of these groups. We again call for a ceasefire.” The Center asked the Governor Manuel Velasco Coello to assume his responsibility as representative and to see to in a comprehensive manner “and in depth the spiral of violence” that exists in the region, human rights violations and the emergency in which Aldama residents find themselves.

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente: En riesgo la vida de indígenas tsotsiles de Aldama (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 9 de noviembre de 2018)

El Frayba exige frenar ataques contra indígenas de Aldama, Chiapas(Proceso, 9 de noviembre de 2018)

Dos heridos y en riesgo comunidades tsotsiles de Aldama tras nuevas agresiones de grupos armados (Rompeviento, 9 de noviembre de 2018)

Solución definitiva a Chenalhó y Aldama (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 9 de noviembre de 2018)

Frayba denuncia ataques de grupo armado en la comunidad indígena de Aldama (Desinformémonos, 10 de noviembre de 2018)

El Frayba exige frenar ataques contra indígenas de Aldama, Chiapas (Diario Contrapaoder, 10 de noviembre de 2018)

For more inofrmation from SIPAZ:

Chiapas :Se mantienen amenazas y desplazamiento forzado en Aldama ; Frayba lanza acción urgente (October 14th, 2018)

Chiapas : Persiste riesgo a la vida de indígenas tsotsiles en Aldama, denuncia el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (April 26th, 2018)

Chiapas: Violence increases in the Highlands of Chiapas, 747 displaced and 3 dead in Aldama
(May 10th, 2018)

Chiapas: Otro conflicto agrario en los límites de Chenalhó provoca desplazados en el municipio de Aldama [blog incluye antecedentes] (27 de marzo de 2018)

Oaxaca: CODEDI Denounces Military Harassment and Persecution

August 13, 2018

CODEDI.pngMembers of CODEDI (@CDH Fray Bartolom de Las Casas)

On July 26th, the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Peoples (CODEDI in its Spanish acronym) denounced in a statement that a group of soldiers installed a checkpoint 500 meters from the entrance to the Alemania for one hour, where their center is located in Santa María Huatulco, to later retreat to Santiago Xanica, Miahuatlan. It reported that on questioning the military about what they were doing without authorization, the military responded that they were there under the firearms and explosives law.

It recalled that this happened just five months after the ambush and murder of three of its members (on February 12th) in the Sierra de Miahuatlan at the hands of an armed commando when they returned from a meeting convened by the state government; and just days after the assassination of Abraham Hernandez Gonzalez, CODEDI Regional Coordinator in the Sierra Sur, after hooded armed men dressed in military clothes entered his home and took him away on July 17th. Between these two events, several members of that organization suffered surveillance, threats (including death), house searches and arbitrary arrest. All this “without any progress in the judicial investigation to date.”

For CODEDI, the background of all this violence against their organization and the peoples of the region is the construction project of three hydroelectric dams on the Copalita River, called Copalita, Alemania and San Miguel by the federal and state governments. It urgently asked “to all organizations, communities, groups, civil society organizations in resistance against megaprojects and teachers of Section 22 to publicly demonstrate against the militarization and paramilitarization of the coastal region, to impose the megaprojects of dispossession of the federal and state government, and demand the immediate departure of the Army from Santiago Xanica.”

Given these latest denunciations, Espacio Civil de Oaxaca, composed of several civil organizations of the state said, “we reject and warn against the militarization of Oaxacan territory, a few months after the promulgation of the controversial Law of Internal Security, which institutionalizes the militarization of public security and, as the UN and the IACHR have pointed out, represents a serious danger to human rights. In Oaxaca, this is being translated into the military occupation of the territories where the peoples struggle against the exploitation of natural resources. We also hold the State and Federal Government responsible for repeated and particularly serious attacks against CODEDI. We condemn the excessive increase of the aggressions against all the defenders and members of the Oaxacan social movement; we denounce the lack of interest in and lack of response from the Government of the State in this situation.”

For more information in Spanish:

Espacio Civil de Oaxaca condena hostigamiento militar y persecución a CODEDI (Espacio Civil, 30 de julio de 2018)

Como una piedra en el zapato – Documental sobre el CODEDI y la ocupación de tierras en la Sierra Sur de Oaxaca (Radio zapatista, 29 de julio de 2018)

Cinco activistas fueron asesinados este año por oponerse a proyectos extractivos en Oaxaca: ONG (Sin Embargo, 27 de julio de 2018)

Acusan militarización en pueblos indígenas de la Costa de Oaxaca (El Despertar de Oaxaca, 27 de julio de 2018)

Denuncia CODEDI impunidad en crímenes y acoso del ejército (El Universal, 27 de julio de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca : impunidad y amenazas a tres meses del asesinato de 3 integrantes de CODEDI (16 de mayo de 2018)

Oaxaca : CODEDI denuncia « allanamiento, intimidación, acoso y violencia política » (9 de marzo de, 2018)

Oaxaca: Emboscan y asesinan a tres integrantes de Codedi (20 de febrero de 2018)