Oaxaca/National: NGOs Document Arbitrary Detentions of Defenders – Relatives Demand their Release

December 28, 2016

Defenders.pngPedro Canche Herrera, Nestora Salgado and Enrique Guerrero Aviña (Photo@: Consorciooaxaca)

On December 14, 2016, the report Arbitrary and Illegal Detentions – Criminalization: a State Policy to Inhibit the Defense of Human Rights in Mexico, jointly prepared by 11 Mexican and international civil society organizations, was launched in Oaxaca. This report analyzes the case of five human rights defenders who were “illegally arrested without warrant and imprisoned for crimes they committed only for their legitimate activities in defense of human rights”: Damian Gallardo Martinez, Enrique Guerrero Aviña, Librado Baños Rodriguez, Pedro Canche Herrera and Nestora Salgado – the last two of whom have already been released.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, having studied these cases, confirmed that they were arbitrary detentions and that they were carried out “without warrant or charges against them [those involved in the said cases]“. The WG underlined the numerous irregularities presented by criminal proceedings. In its opinion, the detention of Librado Baños corresponds to “acts of retaliation and reprisal for his active defense of the rights of the indigenous and Afro-descendant population of the region.” It should be noted that the Working Group stated that it requested information from the Mexican Government regarding those cases, which was not provided in the legal period for that purpose.

The 11 organizations and relatives of the victims say that the arrests, acts of torture and other human rights violations they have been subjected to illustrate “a much broader pattern of criminalization of social protest in Mexico that seeks to inhibit the defense of human rights and social protest, turning them into illegal and criminal activities. In addition to this the fact that, far from affecting the eradication of this practice, the Mexican state continues to detain and intimidate defenders in the country.”

The authors of the report emphasize that “the responsibility for these violations of human rights is shared between the plurality of players directly or indirectly involved in the process of criminalization and arbitrary detention of defenders: the Mexican State may be involved at different levels, federal and state, as well as the police, the army, the same government authorities, the judiciary through justice operators, sharing responsibility with private players such as private companies and landowners.”

During the presentation of the report, the organizations and families demanded: “the immediate release of Damian Gallardo, Enrique Guerrero and Librado Baños as well as the cessation of criminalization and full reparation to the five human rights defenders for the numerous human rights violations to which they have been subjected.”

The report clarifies that “the five cases of arbitrary detention presented show the serious human rights crisis in Mexico. These five cases are emblematic and represent only a small part of the arbitrary detentions that occur with impunity in the country.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Inéditas, 5 detenciones arbitrarias de defensores de DDHH reconocidas por la ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

ONGs documentan detenciones arbitrarias de defensoras y defensores, familiares exigen su libertad (Educa, 15 de diciembre 2016)

Informe : detenciones arbitraria e ilegal (Consorcio Oaxaca, diciembre 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:


Guerrero/Nacional: Nestora Salgado lanza campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos del país (4 de abril 2016)


National: Legislative Year Ends with Controversial Agenda in Congress

December 27, 2016

Congress.jpgCongress of the Union (@ADN Político)

The closing of the legislative year was marked by a particularly sensitive agenda on human rights in the Congress of the Union. In short, the reforms to the General Law of Victims were approved. On the other hand, although they were approved by the Justice and Human Rights Commission, the laws on trafficking, torture, and the regulatory law of Article 29 of the Constitution, which regulates the declaration of a State of emergency in cases of invasion, serious disturbance of the public peace or another phenomenon that puts society in serious danger or conflict.

All of these issues have been sources of great controversy over their contents and possible impacts. The reform of the general law to prevent, investigate and punish torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has been questioned by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for its “regressive” modifications. In particular, a modification that would prevent an official accused of torture from being removed from office was criticized.

The initiative that generated the biggest stir was the possible approval of a judgement for a statutory law of Article 29 of the constitution. The debate became even more intense after statements by the Secretary of National Defense, Salvador Cienfuegos, who urged that a legal framework be defined for the actions of the military in the fight against organized crime. The All Rights for All Network demanded a public discussion on this project. It said: “The legislative initiatives that have been proposed with the aim of normalizing the presence and military intervention in the country are of concern. They seek to normalize what in any democracy would be an exception: the involvement of the army in public security tasks – from patrol, to arrests, to crime investigation. Providing the Armed Forces with a legal framework is undoubtedly important. The Armed Forces have done a job that the civil authorities have not been able to or wanted to do, tasks that constitutionally do not correspond to them and they are not trained to perform. This has put its members in a situation of legal vulnerability. However, such a legal framework cannot simply – as in the legislative proposals for Internal Security proposed by Roberto Gil Zuarth (PAN) and by Cesar Camacho (PRI) – normalize and make permanent what today happens unconstitutionally. Neither should they advocate suspending individual guarantees so that the army can carry out the task that corresponds to civil authority without controls and without transparency.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Golpe de Estado silencioso (Proceso, 3 de diciembre de 2016)

Debatir el modelo de seguridad, SIDIDH, 5 de diciembre de 2016

Sociedad civil exige a Diputados no militarizar al país ni legislar sin discusión la suspensión de garantías (Red Todos los Derechos para Todos, 11 de diciembre de 2016)

ONG instan a no apresurar ley sobre militares (La Jornada, 11 de septiembre)

ONG piden al Congreso frenar iniciativas que normalicen presencia militar para seguridad pública (Animal Político, 11 de diciembre de 2016)

Una Ley de Tortura sin contradicciones y que respete ddhh (Animal Político, 12 de diciembre de 2012)

A marchas forzadas, aprueban Ley contra Tortura y de Trata de Personas (Quadratín, 13 de diciembre de 2016)
Cuestiona la ONU cambios a legislación (El Economista, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

Aprueban diputados reforma a Ley General de Víctimas (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

PRI cierra las puertas a expertos internacionales al aprobarse Ley de Víctimas (Proceso, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

Retira PRI dictamen de reforma a ley de trata y tortura (La Jornada, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

Urgen en Sedena a aprobar la Ley de Seguridad Interior (Proceso, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

Las dos iniciativas de ley de seguridad interior (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Nacional : Pobres resultados diez años después de iniciar la guerra contra el crimen organizado ; El Ejército seguirá en las calles, EPN (16 de diciembre de 2016)

Nacional: Organizaciones sociales se pronuncian sobre ley de tortura (31 de mayo de 2016)

Nacional: Gobierno rechazó visita del relator para la tortura de la ONU (31 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional: Dudas de organismos de la sociedad civil por la iniciativa de Ley contra la Tortura (9 de febrero de 2016)

México: Publicación de la Ley General de Atención a Víctimas (10 de enero de 2013)


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Released

November 28, 2016

robertopacienciaRoberto Paciencia. Photo@CDHFBC

On the afternoon of November 24, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, an indigenous tsotsil (Chenalhó), adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, was released having been acquitted.

Patcencia Cruz was received by relatives, friends and ex-prisoners in the Cathedral Square of San Cristobal de Las Casas, where a small party had been organized to demand his release since morning. “I was imprisoned for three years and three months, accused of the crime of kidnapping that I did not commit because I had nothing to do with it. Accused me just because justice is very regrettable in the country”, he said in an interview with media.

The “No Estamos Todxs” Working Group stated in a release: “Roberto, a former prisoner adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, is one of those people who do not keep silent, do not legitimize barbarism and are ready to take on the consequences of their cry of conscience and rebellion. In this way, through his voice he has denounced the human rights violations suffered by the prison population by the prison authorities and has inspired the awakening of other prisoners within the prison. This was one more case of a system of racist and classist state justice for which the fact of being poor and indigenous is a crime enough to imprison us. But also, an example of how the jail can be another trench of struggle from which to follow the relief of those who fought before and set an example for those who continue fighting for their freedom.”

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas: absuelven a indígena tzotzil preso desde hace tres años (La Jornada, 24 de noviembre de 2016)

Pronunciamiento del Grupo de Trabajo « No estamos todxs » (24 de noviembre de 2016)

Vídeo (Regeneración Radio, 24 de noviembre de 2016)

 For more information form SIPAZ :

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, injustamente preso, denuncia la negacion del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (a 19 de octubre 2016)

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Judge to Deliver Sentence for Roberto Paciencia

November 22, 2016

Paciencia.jpgPress conference for Roberto Paciencia Cruz. Photo@ChiapasDenunciaPublica

On November 10, relatives of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Sympathizers The Voice of Amate and the Working Group “No Estamos Todxs” (GTNET in its Spanish acronym) announced at a press conference at the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC or Frayba) that on November 26, William Hernandez Ovando, Judge of the Criminal Law Section of San Cristobal de Las Casas District, will deliver a sentence on the case of Roberto.

Roberto Paciencia, indigenous Tsotsil, campesino and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle; “Victim of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and/or Degrading Treatment, Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty and Violations of Due Process” was arrested on August 7, 2013, in the municipality of Pantelho, Chiapas, and transferred to the premises of the Specialized Prosecutor against Organized Crime’s Office (FECDO in its Spanish acronym) in Tuxtla Gutierrez. In this place, Roberto was physically and psychologically tortured for two days and locked in a punishment cell. He was later transferred to the State Center for Social Reintegration of Sentenced Persons (CERSS) No. 5 of San Cristobal de Las Casas, where he is currently held, without sentence.

According to the CDHFBC, Roberto Paciencia, as a result of torture, “has physical and psychological scars, without receiving adequate medical care, and his prolonged detention has affected his life project, especially his family.” On numerous occasions “he has used his voice to denounce the injustices that the prison population lives in the prison where he is held” and the existence of other cases of human rights violations in CERSS No. 05. Relatives, the Sympathizers and the GTNET stated that regarding the delivery of a sentence, “the compañero’s innocence has been legally demonstrated on various occasions: the only prosecution witness has not appeared at any of the numerous hearings, and, on the contrary, there are witnesses who stated that Roberto was not present at the time at the scene of the crime of which he is falsely accused.”

In Chiapas, human rights violations committed against vulnerable populations “is a daily practice in the system of administration of justice, which keeps persons whose right to personal integrity and security is violated in jail in inhuman conditions.” Due to this, the relatives, Sympathizers and the GTNET denounced “the injustice of the deprivation of liberty of Roberto Paciencia and we make a call to stay alert to the judicial decision of the next days demanding that finally justice be done for our compañero.”

For more information in Spanish:

Conferencia de prensa “Libertad para Roberto Paciencia Cruz” (Grupo de Trabajo, “no estamos todxs”, 11 de noviembre de 2016)

Boletín de la conferencia de prensa por La Libertad de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Red contra la represión y por la Solidaridad, 11 de noviembre de 2016)

Justicia para Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 10 de noviembre de 2016)

Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia víctima de Tortura (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 10 de noviembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, injustamente preso, denuncia la negacion del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (a 19 de octubre 2016)

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Niegan entrada a visitas del injustamente preso, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, en el CERESO No. 5 (30 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, tres años preso en el Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados (CERSS) número 5 (19 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia escribe a Alejandro Díaz (24 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas: Procession outside CERSS No.5 to Demand the Release of Roberto Paciencia Cruz

November 1, 2016

Paciencia.jpgPedro Lopez Jimenez during the procession around CERSS No.5. Photo@SIPAZ

On October 29, the parish of St. Augustine of Teopisca, member of the Human Rights Committee “Jcanan Lum”, convened a Eucharistic celebration outside the State Center for Social Reinsertion (CERSS) No. 5. The objective of the activities was to denounce the “bad administration of justice that exists in the Mexican State” and the resulting torture of innocents, in particular the case of torture victim Roberto Paciencia Cruz. “We demand the prompt and impartial investigation of torture perpetrated against Roberto Paciencia Cruz the day of his arbitrary detention. Currently he is held in the CERSS 5, as an investigation by the Special Prosecutor for Combating Corruption is open into torture for the above stated.”

During the concentration, former prisoners, sympathizers of the Voice of Amate, demanded compliance with the memorandum of agreement of February 5, 2016, in which representatives of the State Government pledged to repair the damage caused by the unjust imprisonment and the streamlining of procedures to free Alejandro Diaz Santiz and Roberto Paciencia Cruz, both adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.

Pedro Lopez Jimenez, one of the former prisoners, said representatives of the state government had then committed to achieving his release within a month regarding the release of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, and assured that the case of Alejandro Diaz Santiz would be analyzed and as a guarantee offered his immediate return to the prison located in San Cristobal. To date, no commitment has been fulfilled.

The concentration ended with a procession around the prison, in which over 300 participants with banners, blankets and shouting slogans in chorus such as “Roberto, brother, you are not alone” or “Freedom, freedom, freedom” demanded the release and of all political prisoners, unjustly imprisoned “just for being poor and being indigenous (sic)”

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen en Chiapas liberar a presos políticos (La Jornada, a 30 de octubre de 2016)

PIDEN GARANTIZAR SEGURIDAD DE PERSONAS QUE REALIZARÁN UN MITIN EN EL CERSS 5 (Prensa libre Chiapas, a 28 de octubre de 2016)

Comité de Derechos Humanos de Teopisca invita a actividad por personas injustamente presas ( Chiapas Denuncia, a 20 de octubre de 2016)

Levantan ex reos indígenas plantón en la Plaza Catedral de San Cristóbal ( La Jornada, a 7 de febrero de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, injustamente preso, denuncia la negacion del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (a 19 de octubre 2016)

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Niegan entrada a visitas del injustamente preso, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, en el CERESO No. 5 (30 de agosto de 2016)Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, tres años preso en el Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados (CERSS) número 5 (19 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia escribe a Alejandro Díaz (24 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas: Unjustly Imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz Denounces the Denial of Visits for Second Time

October 23, 2016

Paciencia.jpgPilgrimage of the youth of Chenalho in support of the unjustly imprisoned. Photo @SIPAZ

On October 14, unjustly imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Tzotzil indigenous, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, held in CERESO No. 5 of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, again suffered unfair treatment. In a letter, he publicly denounced that the prison director, Jorge Antonio Utrilla Muñoa, along with his guard, Ernesto Guzman Lopez, denied entry to his visits “although the director had authorized permission the day before so they could go inside the prison”. Roberto reported threats and intimidation on the part of the prison director in order to deny the inmates their right of expression and to [make them] suffer in silence the ill-treatment both to prisoners and their visitors “[…] he tells us, if we, if we complain to some dependency he can move us to another CERESO (sic.)”. It is the second time in less than two months that Roberto has been denied his “sacred visits” arbitrarily. In his letter, Roberto declares that, “the injustices, humiliations, threats, psychological torture, is the daily bread that the authorities give us in different jails of the state (sic.)”.

It should be recalled that despite the numerous pieces of evidence of his innocence, more than three years after his detention Roberto Paciencia Cruz has still not had his sentence delivered, given that the prosecution has not presented [its case], although it has been called several times to testify before the judge.

According to the NIV News Group, the current director of CERESO No. 5, Jorge Antonio Muñoa Utrilla, had already been denounced by guards and custodians for mistreatment and abuse of authority while he was director of CERESO No. 8. Through a letter they sent to local media, the complainants claimed that Utrilla “behaves in a despotic and rude manner with the staff of the prison and the families of inmates”, that, under threat of dismissal or being moved to another prison if orders are not carried out, he makes guards do personal work of the direction, neglecting the security of the jail, that he uses “the prison vehicle for emergency transfers of inmates as if it were his personal bus” so that they have had to “bring the inmate in private cars to hospital, a situation that puts the safety of the transfer at risk .” According to the complainants, the worst is that Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa “blames them for mistakes that he deliberately causes.” On February 22, 2015 in CERESO No. 8, “several inmates went on strike hunger and sewed their mouths to denounce Utrilla Jorge Antonio Muñoa’s abuse.” According to the NIV News Group, during Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa’s term as head of CERSS Comitan No. 10 “there was evidence of corruption and drug trafficking.”

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncian violación de derechos en penal de Chiapas (La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2016)

Trabajadores del CERSS No 8 denuncian abusos del director (Grupo NVI Noticias, 24 de abril del 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Niegan entrada a visitas del injustamente preso, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, en el CERESO No. 5 (30 de agosto de 2016)Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, tres años preso en el Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados (CERSS) número 5 (19 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia escribe a Alejandro Díaz (24 de junio de 2016)

 


Guerrero: March in Chilpancingo for Release of Community Police Prisoners

October 18, 2016

CRAC.jpgPhoto @Alaide Martinez, Desinformemonos

On October 12, some 2,000 people, including prisoners’ relatives, members of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC PC), of the State Coordinator of Education Workers in Guerrero (CETEG), Section 18 the Single Union of Public Servants of the State of Guerrero (SUSPEG), as well as relatives of the 43 student teachers arrested and missing since 2014 and students from the Normal Rural School, Ayotzinapa, among others, marched in Chilpancingo in the framework of Columbus Day. The march ended with a rally in front of Government Offices.

The protesters demanded the release of the Tixtla Community Police promoter, Gonzalo Gonzalez Molina, the community policeman from the Zitlaltepec House of Justice, Samuel Ramirez Galvez, both held in the prison of Chilpancingo; as well as the advisor to the El Paraiso House of Justice, Arturo Herrera Campos, imprisoned in Ayutla de los Libres. They also called for the abrogation of the structural reforms of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government, especially educational reform, and the presentation of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa.

For more information on Spanish:

Marchan por la libertad de presos de la Policía Comunitaria (El Sur de Acapulco, 13 de octubre de 2016)

Marchan en Chilpancingo por libertad para presos de la Policía Comunitaria (Desinformémonos, 12 de octubre de 2016)

Organismos piden en Chilpancingo la libertad de comunitarios presos (La Jornada de Guerrero, 13 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: En libertad seis presos de la CRAC-PC (13 de mayo de 2016)

Guerrero/Nacional: Finaliza Tercer Encuentro Nacional por la Libertad de las y los Presos Políticos (29 de abril de 2016)

Guerrero/Nacional: Nestora Salgado lanza campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos del país (4 de abril de 2016)

Guerrero: Autodefensa en contra del crimen organizado en 4 municipios (11 de enero de 2013)