Chiapas: Death Threats against FRAYBA and Relatives of Prisoners

December 11, 2019

Juan

On December 9th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) denounced at a press conference death threats against its staff and those who make up the Collective of Relatives of Prisoners in Struggle “who received in November and so far in December death threats, surveillance, harassment and intimidation, in the context of the struggle for the freedom of native prisoners, particularly Juan de la Cruz Ruiz.”

It explained that the threats began to appear from November 12th, 2019, when “approximately at 10 pm, a black car with tinted windows left an envelope inside the home of a defender of the Family of Prisoners in Struggle. The envelope contained a message with newspaper clippings that said: Faro: catastrophic warning, call for help (the defender’s name is omitted) is in danger of death, life is very short, death is inevitable, one more, November, take care of her, try to save her life. It is worth mentioning that Faro is the last name of the Director of Frayba.”

Another incident occurred on November 19th when a new message was discovered at the domicile of the same defender where they wrote the name apparently in blood. That same night, at 9:00 p.m., an advertisement related to a funeral home was found in the house of a member of FRAYBA. “It is possible to say that in none of the neighboring houses they left this announcement”, it emphasized.

FRAYBA also reported that “as a result of these threats we have documented greater vigilance and harassment of both the families of the prisoners and the organizations and groups that accompany them.” It denounced that “to date, an adequate protection response has not been obtained from the mechanisms of the Mexican State” although “the defender filed a complaint with the Attorney General of the State of Chiapas for the threats and FRAYBA has made several written interventions before state and federal authorities.” It said that “the guarantee and protection is not made effective by the Mexican State, minimizing the risk situation that due to the circumstances we value coming from agents of the State itself.”

“After one year after Rutilio Escandon’s government, neglect, indifference and no response to the human rights situation persist; resulting in the obstruction towards the demand for justice and discrimination for indigenous peoples,” it claimed.

It urged the authorities to cease the death threats, vigilance, intimidation and harassment towards those who make up the Collective of Families of Prisoners in Struggle and Frayba, as well as their solidarity networks; to guarantee the life, security and personal integrity of the defenders mentioned, as well as the prisoners organized in La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia, La Verdadera Voz del Amate and Viniketik in Resistencia; and that immediate measures are implemented to obtain the freedom of Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Adrian Gómez Jimenez, Abraham Lopez Montejo, Germán Lopez Montejo and Marcelino Ruiz Gomez “who are arbitrarily deprived of their freedom and whose human rights have been violated by the Mexican State.”

For more information in Spanish:

Amenazas de muerte a defensora y al Frayba (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 9 de diciembre de 2019)

Denuncian amenazas de muerte contra activistas y defensores del Frayba y familiares de presos (Proceso, 9 de diciembre de 2019)

Frayba pide a CIDH medidas cautelares para indígenas amenazados (La Jornada, 9 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: Solidarios de la Voz del Amate Seeks Alliances with Other Processes in Latin America (December 6, 2019)

Chiapas: Freedom for Juan de la Cruz Ruiz (December 5, 2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

Chiapas: Indigenous Prisoner Released after 16 Years Awaiting Sentencing and 60 Days Hunger Strike (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate


Chiapas/International: Solidarios de la Voz del Amate Seeks Alliances with Other Processes in Latin America

December 6, 2019

AlbertoAlberto Patishtan (@El Sie7e de Chiapas)

In a press conference that was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on December 4th, members of the Solidarios de la Voz de Amate organization announced that on December 8th they will participate in the Observatory of Rights of Peoples “The Worthy Fight of the Latin American Peoples, is the Libertarian Air of the Peoples of the World” in which they will share the struggle for political prisoners and unduly imprisoned in Chiapas.

Former prisoner Alberto Patishtan (who was in jail from 2000 to 2013) said they intend “to raise our voice of struggle and resistance, for the government to listen to us that we are not alone in the demand for our rights.” He recalled that “nine colleagues who have been in criminal proceedings for several years without sentencing and others who have already been sentenced with evidence that was manufactured by public ministries” are still imprisoned in Chiapas. He affirmed that “the government from political operators has studied the criminal records, they realized the irregularities, but even so due to lack of will and arrogance they do not want to free our companions in struggle for many years.” He denounced that “with sacrifice they have demonstrated their innocence by exposing their bodies and their lives, by means of a hunger strike and fasting inside the prisons, where they stopped eating for several days, even so the government does not want to yield. It’s not about competition, it’s about the freedom of poor and innocent Indians.”

For more information in Spanish:

Buscan presos alianza de apoyo con el resto de Latinoamérica(El Sie7e de Chiapas, 5 de diciembre de 2019)

Pueblos latinoamericanos se reuniran en Oaxaca para alzar su voz de lucha (Prensa Libre, 5 de diciembre de 2019)

Buscan presos políticos alianza de apoyo con el resto de Latinoamérica (Noticias Primera Plano, 4 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Exigen libertad para las 9 presos solidarios de la Voz del Amate (6 de noviembre de 2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

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Chiapas: Plantón y Ayuno en Solidaridad con Presos en Huelga de Hambre (a 84 días de su inicio), 6 de junio de 2019


Chiapas: Freedom for Juan de la Cruz Ruiz

December 5, 2019

juanPhoto @Frayba

On December 3rd, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (also known as Frayba) announced through a press conference that it had presented an indirect injunction for the freedom of the torture survivor, victim of violations of due legal process and currently in arbitrary deprivation of his freedom, Juan de la Cruz.

The indigenous Tsotsil Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, a prisoner for more than 12 years accused of the crime of homicide, filed the injunction to request the protection of federal justice as since February 2016 there is a recommendation for freedom with suspended sentence issued by the Reconciliation Bureau, La Jornada reported.

At the conference Pedro Faro Navarro, director of Frayba, reported that the request for indirect injunction was delivered in the District Court of Injunction and Federal Trials in the State of Chiapas, of the Twentieth Circuit, based in the capital.

“In the aforementioned document, it is claimed that even when there is a recommendation for freedom with a suspended sentence, dated February 11th, 2016, Juan de la Cruz remains in unjust prison at the Center for Social Reinsertion for the Sentenced No. 5, in San Cristobal de Las Casas,” he added.

He also noted that the recommendation “was sent for specific processing before the Undersecretary of Executions of Criminal Penalties and Security Measures, which since February 12th, 2016 received and had to issue the freedom ruling.”

He said that Juan’s family and those “who accompany him in the defense of his rights” face harassment, threats, vigilance and intimidation, facts that were already denounced before the State Attorney General’s Office.

Frayba urged “the highest Court to grant the injunction and protection of federal justice and that the authorities responsible for resolving this case comply with the recommendation they have issued so that Juan is released immediately.”

For more information in Spanish:

Para más información vea esta conferencia de prensa, en el Museo de la Ciudad de Tuxtla. (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de diciembre de 2019)

Tras 12 años preso, indígena tzotzil solicita protección de la justicia (La Jornada, 3 de diciembre de 2019)

Indígena preso en Chiapas pide protección de la justicia federal (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 4 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

Chiapas: Indigenous Prisoner Released after 16 Years Awaiting Sentencing and 60 Days Hunger Strike (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike (April 8, 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate (March 15, 2019)


Guerrero: Disappearance of Activist in Tlapa de Comonfort Reported. Member of Regional Council of Agrarian Authorities in Malinaltepec

October 17, 2019

GuerreroPhoto @ Tlachinollan

In the afternoon of October 11th, a member of the Popular Front of La Montaña (FPM in its Spanish acronym) and the Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPEG in its Spanish acronym), Arnulfo Ceron Soriano, was reported missing in Tlapa de Comonfort.

According to a public complaint from the La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, relatives reported that the last information they had about him was when Ceron Soriano “left his home to go to talk at a recovery center for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), located in the Caltitlan neighborhood Tlapa de Comonfort city, Guerrero, where he never arrived.”

On October 12th, the van in which “the activist Ceron Soriano was traveling in the Magisterio neighborhood was found abandoned, even with the keys in it, without any further indication of him. Due to these facts, a complaint was lodged with the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Enforced Disappearance and Search for Missing Persons in the city of Chilpancingo, Guerrero, to which the investigation file number 12022510400165121019 was assigned.”

According to different newspapers 11 social organizations have stressed “that Cerón Soriano accused the mayor of Tlapa of having threatened him because of the defense he made so that street traders were not evicted.”

On October 13th, social and family organizations “took over the town hall of Tlapa to demand the mayor’s presentation of the indigenous leader and demanded that the Ministerial Police, the State, the National Guard begin an operation” to find the missing activist.

For its part, the State of Guerrero Human Rights Commission (CDHEG in its Spanish acronym), urged the corresponding agencies of the state and federal government, to speed up investigations.

During the same weekend, on Friday, Isaias “N”, president of the Commissariat of Paraje Montero Communal Assets, in the municipality of Malinaltepec, was killed, El Sol de Acapulco reported. The victim “had attended meetings in the morning that Friday and in the afternoon on his return he was murdered near the police station.” He was “member of the Regional Council of Agricultural Authorities in Defense of the Territory (CRAADT in its Spanish acronym), which opposes the mining exploitation of the region.”

For more information in Spanish:

ACCIÓN URGENTE: DESAPARECEN AL LUCHADOR SOCIAL DE LA MONTAÑA: ARNULFO CERÓN SORIANO (Tlachinollan, 13 de octubre de 2019)

Exhorta la CDHEG agilizar investigaciones por desaparición de Arnulfo Cerón Soriano (El Sol de Acapulco, 13 de octubre de 2019)

Un defensor de la montaña de Guerrero es asesinado y otro es reportado desaparecido el fin de semana (Sin Embargo, 14 de octubre de 2019)

Identifican a tres hombres asesinados en distintos hechos (El Sol de Acapulco, 14 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Declaran libres de minería los municipios de Malinaltepec y San Luis Acatlán. (October 8, 2019)

Guerrero: Denuncian una “campaña de desprestigio” en contra de una abogada de Tlachinollan y una reportera del El Sur de Acapulco (11 de julio de 2019)


Chiapas: Destruction Vineketik in Resistance Organization Camp Denounced

October 8, 2019

PresosPhoto @ SIPAZ

On October 4th, members of the Vineketik in Resistance Organization, currently imprisoned in the CERSS No. 10 at Comitan de Domínguez, announced through a public statement that on the same day they were attacked by the “Wolf [Lobo] group (…) they moved us for an alleged revision but instead it was robbery because they destroyed the camp where we were carrying out the protest that we started last March 15th of this year.”

They denounced that “they stole our canvas with which we protected ourselves from the sun’s rays and the rain during the day and stole our blanket and $500 that one of our compañeros had left in his wallet they left the wallet but they took the money “ [sic].

The prisoners reported that this attack on them had to do with the allegations they have made in recent days against the director of the prison on alleged cases of “corruption that have been carried out within this center along with his accomplices the representatives to extort the families of the new inmates and multiple tortures within this center.”

For more information in Spanish:

Destruyen campamento de presos en plantón: Viniketik en Resistencia(Grupo de trabajo no estamos todxs, 5 de octubre de 2019)

Organizacion VINIKETIK en resistencia. (CGT Chiapas)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (Sept. 6, 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

Chiapas: Plantón y Ayuno en Solidaridad con Presos en Huelga de Hambre (a 84 días de su inicio), (June 6th, 2019)

Chiapas: Indigenous Prisoner Released after 16 Years Awaiting Sentencing and 60 Days Hunger Strike (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: Six Prisoners Resume Indefinite Hunger Strike in San Cristobal and Comitan Prisons (May 17, 2019)

Little Progress 60 Days after Start of Hunger Strike in Various Sate Prisons (May 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate (March 15, 2019)


National: AMLO Sends Proposal for Amnesty Law to Congress

September 23, 2019

AMLO@Notimex

On September 15th, on the commemoration of Mexico’s Independence Day, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a law initiative that would allow granting amnesty to jailed people who have committed minor crimes and who can be considered “political prisoners” to the majority National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) in the Chamber of Deputies.

The parliamentary coordinator of MORENA, Mario Delgado, explained that this law would benefit in particular young people imprisoned for drug use or for having participated in drug trafficking activities; sentenced for simple robbery without violence; women imprisoned for having an abortion and the doctors or midwives who participated in it; indigenous people who had no opportunity for adequate defense because they had no interpreters and defenders with knowledge of their language and culture; and to political prisoners or of conscience, accused “for unlikely crimes.” He clarified that in return, it would not apply to crimes such as homicide, kidnapping, crimes committed with firearms, repeat offenders and, in general, those that have committed serious crimes.

The legislator also explained that this date was chosen to present the text since on September 16th, 1810, before the Grito de Independencia, “Miguel Hidalgo released from prison the political prisoners of the viceregal regime and people whose poverty or ignorance was the common cause of their confinement.” “The President presents the Amnesty Law, as a concrete expression of the commitment to alleviate the injustices suffered by the people of Mexico, such as the lack of real conditions of access to prompt and expedited justice closely related to poverty, marginalization and the scourge of corruption,” he added.

He said that “there are several common elements or distinctive signs in many of the prisoners, such as low schooling or even illiteracy, and in many cases their belonging to an indigenous community or people. Also, that different analyses show a relationship between poverty and injustice, between marginalization and denial of justice.”

He finally explained that “the Attorney General’s Office will ensure compliance with these conditions and the Ministry of the Interior will do the same with regard to political prisoners”; and that, if approved, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of the Interior, will promote similar amnesty laws before governments and legislatures of the federal entities. “Obviously it is a free and sovereign decision of all the congresses, but we do want it to be replicated so that then local crimes are included, and the beneficiary population is much larger,” he explained.

For more information in Spanish:

¿Por qué quiere AMLO liberar a miles de presos en México? (CNN, 6 de septiembre de 2019)

Propone AMLO Ley de Amnistía (Aristegui Noticias, 15 de septiembre de 2019)

AMLO lleva al Congreso Ley de Amnistía para presos políticos, mujeres que abortaron y quienes robaron sin violencia (Animal Político, 15 de septiembre de 2019)

López Obrador envía a San Lázaro su propuesta de Ley de Amnistía (Proceso, 15 de septiembre de 2019)

Faltantes a la Ley de Amnistía que propone AMLO | Artículo (Aristegui Noticias, 17 de septiembre de 2019)

AMLO busca replicar Ley de Amnistía en los estados: Mario Delgado (Aristegui Noticias, 17 de septiembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: AMLO cumplió 100 días en el poder; revisa avances en compromisos (12 de marzo de 2019) National: Cerezo Committee Demands Amnesty, Truth Commissions and Protection of Defenders and Journalists from AMLO (August 2, 2018)

Guerrero / National: Nestora Salgado announces campaign for the freedom of political prisoners (September 16, 2018)

Nacional : a punto de empezar los “Foros Escucha para Trazar la Ruta de Pacificación del País y la Reconciliación Nacional” (4 de agosto de 2018)


International/National: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Expresses Concern over Unresolved Issues in Mexico

September 22, 2019

UNMichelle Bachelet (UNO News)

On September 4th, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed concern about the “terrible” situation of journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland. She recalled that the Office of the High Commissioner in Mexico (UNHCHR) has “documented the murder of 11 journalists and 13 human rights defenders this year, an analysis was made on the Protection Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders and (…) We gave 104 recommendations to the government to strengthen it.” Bachelet called on the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to take them into account. Likewise, she expressed concern about the increase in violence in the country, in particular for femicides and the situation of women and girls in general.

On the issue of migration, she commented that “another alarming thing (…) is that on the border with the United States more than 332 people have died or disappeared since early 2019 and 24 of them are children. We don’t know if they were kidnapped, trafficked or enslaved.” She clarified that “when migration is restricted, it must always be in accordance with certain international standards.” She said that “countries like the United States are adopting policies that put people in a more vulnerable situation” underlining that “unfortunately the separation of families continues and hundreds of children in the United States are still being held there and we have also received reports of this in Mexico , but we don’t have figures yet (regarding Mexico).”

As regards the National Guard, she mentioned that “we are about to increase our collaboration with Mexican institutions in the implementation of the agreement with the National Guard.”

She also addressed the issue of disappearances, with 40,000 missing and 23,000 bodies that remain unidentified “due to the forensic crisis.” She recognized the announcement of the AMLO government to accept the competence of the UN Committee on forced disappearances to receive individual communications as a “step forward.”

In this regard, Erika Guevara Rosas, director of Amnesty International for the Americas, also stated: “The announcement of the Mexican government is an important sign of its will to achieve justice, truth, and reparation in cases of forced disappearance in the country. This issue, which for years has put a shadow on human rights in Mexico, requires all the efforts and resources available to find a solution.” For her part, Tania Reneaum, Executive Director of Amnesty International Mexico, said that “it is a good step towards the recognition of the responsibility of the State in the disappearance of people, and we hope it will be the beginning of a path to the certainty to which the more than 40 thousand families that continue to suffer the pain of uncertainty have a right”

For more information in Spanish:

ONU-DH: “Terrible”, la situación de periodistas y defensores en México; pide acatar recomendaciones (Proceso, 4 de septiembre de 2019)

ONU expresa preocupación ante ausencia de consultas a pueblos indígenas en México (Proceso, 4 de septiembre de 2019)

El mundo se aleja poco a poco de las soluciones globales para los problemas mundiales (ONU Noticias, 4 de septiembre de 2019)

México: Autoridades dan importante paso al anunciar que aceptarán la competencia del Comité de la ONU sobre desapariciones forzadas (Amnistía Internacional, 30 de agosto de 2019)

Acepta gobierno federal participación de comité de la ONU contra las Desapariciones Forzadas (Aristegui Noticias, 30 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)