Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia reports lack of food and denial of visits

January 29, 2016

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Roberto Paciencia’s letter. Photo: @Kolektivo Zero

This January, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, unjustly imprisoned in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, has reported a scarcity of food as well as denial of visits. Through his first letter he reported that the accountant of the Center for Social Reinsertion (CERESO) No. 5 “has never cared about the welfare of the prison population, we lack our blessed foods, the meals which they gave us before have been progressively reduced.” According to Paciencia’s letter, the prisoners have protested this lack to the accountant, who has promised improvements that haven’t materialized. On the same note, “He says that if we complain, it could be worse in another center, as happened to Alejandro Diaz Santiz, who was transferred to another prison for simply telling the truth.” On another note, he made it known that a commander and a guard of the prison did not allow his visitors to enter. “They didn’t take into account the time, money and the efforts of my visitors. As poor indigenous people, you totally humiliate us”, he reported. He also demanded that his case be analyzed, that the government take note of the issue of the officials named and he invites independent organizations to continue to demand freedom for persons unjustly imprisoned.  

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia Pública de Roberto Paciencia Cruz, preso injustamente en el CERESO No 5 (Radio Zapatista, 14 de enero de 2016)

Denuncia pública de Roberto Paciencia Cruz preso injustamente, tras haber sido negada la entrada al penal a sus visitas (Red contra la Represión y la Solidaridad, 25 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: 11 aniversario de la fundación de La Voz del Amate (13 de enero de 2015)

Chiapas: Preso de San Cristóbal, Roberto Paciencia, denuncia que le fabricaron su delito (28 de agosto de 2015)

 


Chiapas: CDHFBC denounces arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process for BAEZLN

December 27, 2015

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In a bulletin published on 18 December, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) reported on the arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process during the arrest of José Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, a support-base for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN). Since December 2012, the Good-Government Council “The Path of the Future” at La Garrucha (Caracol III, “Resistance for a New Dawn”), which administers the region to which Cruz Espinosa belongs, denounced the fabrication of charges against his person.

According to the CDHFBC, the BAEZLN was arrested on 10 November 2015 in Ocosingo by “police dressed in civilian clothes who did not identify themselves, specify the reason for arrest, or even show an arrest-order. They simply put him on a truck and transferred him to the command center of the specialized police in the center of the municipality.” After being incarcerated in the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 16 El Encino (CERSS no. 16), he was transferred via helicopter the next day to the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 14, El Amate.

The CDHFBC reported moreover that “at all times we were denied access to the detainee and our credentials as his counsel were also rejected. The State argued that he had already been transferred, which was untrue.” The CDHFBC added that “the charges placed against him are ecocide and looting due to the events that took place on 16 November 2012 […]. However, José Alfonso was not at the place of the incidents that took place that day.” The Center stressed as well that Cruz Espinoza was placed at the disposition of those judged for serious crimes, this despite the fact that none of the charges against him are serious. Bail was set for him at 136,122.96 pesos for both charges, being “an excessive amount that prevents bail from being posted,” as the CDHFBC noted. On 20 November, he was released with caution after bail was posted, such that the process in his case will continue.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín: Privación Arbitraria de la Libertad y violación a garantías judiciales a Base de Apoyo del EZLN. (CDHFBC, 18 de diciembre de 2015)

Denuncia el Frayba la arbitraria detención de Alfonso Cruz Espinosa (La Jornada, 19 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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


National: Increase in attacks on journalists in Mexico

December 27, 2015

@Cuartoscuro

@Cuartoscuro

In recent weeks have transpired a number of attacks and acts of harassment against journalists in Mexico.  On 20 November in Mexico City, the home of the journalist Gloria Muñoz Ramírez was raided.  Muñoz Ramírez is the director of the electronic magazine Desinformémonos and a columnist for La Jornada.  Moreover, the editorship of Desinformémonos suffered a robbery and a cyber-attack.  The magazine is dedicated to documenting popular struggles and social movements in Mexico and throughout the world.  “This attack takes place within the context of grave attacks on journalists in the country, thus harming the right to information and putting at risk the lives, integrity, and personal security of those who dedicate themselves to communication,” noted the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, based in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in a communique.

Moreover, on 25 November, the journalist Maite Azuela received a death-threat at her home in Mexico City.  The articles written by the journalist are dedicated to human-rights policies and violations, recently related to the Army, as led by General Salvador Cienfuegos, and the state government of Puebla, directed by Rafael Moreno Valle. On 27 November in Guerrero, the general secretary of the state government, Florencio Salazar Adame, interrupted into a radio program and threatened the journalist Sergio Ocampo Arista, a news reporter, who had been discussing “suspicious” acts taken by the State.  According to the Journalistic Investigation Agency, Salazar Adame “arrived violently to the radio station and took the microphone to warn Ocampo […] that he should be careful with the criticisms he launches against the PRI government of Astudillo Flores,” governor of Guerrero.  Recently in Veracruz, at least 12 journalists were attacked by public-security forces.

Amidst these incidents, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) and Amnesty International Mexico (AI Mexico) submitted more than 12,000 signatures to the state authorities to demand that all the necessary measures be taken so that the Mechanism of Protection for Rights-Defenders and Journalists in Mexico function effectively. CMDPDH and AI indicated that the “work of rights-defenders in the country is risky and despite the fact that since 2012, there exists a law establishing a mechanism to protect these defenders and journalists who are at risk, it has not been implemented effectively due to lack of interest on the part of politicians.”  From 2000 to date, the National Commission on Human Rights in Mexico (CNDH) has registered 107 murders of journalists; 20 disappearances of journalists between 2005 and 2015; 48 attacks on media institutions from 2006 to date and a total of 506 complaints from 2010 to 2015.  Beyond this, between 2014 and 2015 the CNDH has authorized 26 precautionary measures.

For more information (in Spanish):

Recibe amenaza de muerte articulista Maite Azuela en el Distrito Federal (Desinformémonos, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Periodistas veracruzanos exigen tipificar delito de “ataque a la libertad de expresión” y garantías de seguridad (Revolución 3.0, 29 de noviembre de 2015)

Secretario general del gobierno priista de Guerrero irrumpe en cabina de radio con sus guaruras y amenaza a periodista (Revolución 3.0, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Basta de agresiones contra periodistas en México (Desinformémonos, 27 de noviembre de 2015)

Exigen eficacia en protección a periodistas (El Economista, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Condenamos agresiones a periodistas y el ataque a Desinformémonos (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Mexico: Torture and murder of journalist and four women (10 September 2015)

National: Disappeared journalist Gregorio Jiménez is found dead (16 February 2014)

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: New attacks on journalists (2 September 2014)


Chiapas: Events to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

December 26, 2015

Mitin del MODEVITE y del Movimiento de Mujeres en Defensa de la Tierra, el Territorio y por el Derecho de las Mujeres a decidir. Foto: @SIPAZ

Rally by MODEVITE and the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide
Photo: @SIPAZ

On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, several events were held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

For one, the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide held its first assembly on 23-24 November. Through this action, the organization released a communique “in favor of social property, in opposition to all forms of privatization of the land and territory” and denouncing “the energy reform as well as its continuation in the strategic rural reform.” The women, together with some men, ended the meeting with a march against violence against women. Beyond this, the Movement in Defense of Land and Life (MODEVITE), from the Believing People of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese, also marched on the same day. Simultaneously, thousands of persons (30,000 according to Proceso) mobilized in ten other municipalities in the state, “to remember that Mother Earth must be protected against the mining, oil-extraction, and hydroelectric-dam megaprojects, among others, that are being imposed on our lands […]. We will raise our voices to prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages, drugs, and prostitution in our communities, and we will denounce the ineptitude and corruption of authorities in terms of failing to resolve these problems.” Both marches converged and reached Central Park jointly.

Despite the fact that the two groups had already announced their events, in the Cathedral Plaza, where the marches traditionally end to give way to rallies, the space was occupied by the state-government. From early in the morning, privatized space was installed for the event at which Governor Manuel Velasco Coello awarded support “From Heart to Heart” to 4,000 single mothers. It bears noting that initiatives like the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide have denounced the welfarism promoted by the state governments, which lead to dependency and end up becoming a form of social control over women.

For more information (in Spanish):

#SanCristóbal de las Casas sale a la calle contra las agresiones machistas y en defensa del territorio #Chiapas (Koman Ilel, 25 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunicado del l Movimiento de Mujeres en Defensa de la Tierra, el Territorio y por el Derecho de las Mujeres a decidir (Koman Ilel, 25 de noviembre de 2015)

Realizan mujeres Asamblea en Defensa de la Tierra (Cimac Noticias, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

Marchan miles en Chiapas en pro de la vida y la defensa del territorio (Proceso, 25 de noviembre de 2015)

Miles de indígenas integrantes del Pueblo Creyente marcharon en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Peregrinación en defensa de la vida y el territorio en 11 municipios de Chiapas (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

Por la vida y la libertad de las mujeres (Cimac Noticias, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Center for Women’s Rights in Chiapas denounces threats (26 December 2015)

Chiapas: During International Women’s Day on 8 March, a meeting, a march, and a rally (10 March 2015)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)

 


Guerrero/National: Following the creation of the Office for Specialized Investigation, relatives of the 43 suspend their sit-in

December 26, 2015

Imagen de la conmemoración de un año de la desaparición forzada de los 43 en San Cristóbal de Las Casas Foto: @SIPAZ

Image commemorating one year since the forcible disappearance of the 43, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

Photo: @SIPAZ

After five days of sit-ins near the presidential residence of Los Pinos in Mexico City, parents of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, suspended their protest on 1 December. The catalyst of this action was their meeting with the Attorney General Arely Gómez González, who announced to the families the creation of an Office for Specialized Investigation, which will be assessed by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer for the families of the disappeared students, declared that the creation of this new office for investigation signifies a change in the federal government’s posture, rejecting the line of investigation known as the “historical truth” and instead investigating new lines proposed by the GIEI report. “The creation of a new office is the beginning, but for us it is significant because we are starting a new phase in the investigations, and for this reason I have some hope for the parents,” he said. According to Cimac News, the relatives will meet each 15 days with members of the Office and monthly with the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to monitor progress in the case.

It bears mentioning that the government attempted to close the case and has failed to observe several of the agreements previously made with the families. In this way, the families gave a vote of confidence in the new office, being accompanied by the GIEI. “We’re going to go, but we’re going to continue struggling. We hope that they do what they say,” added the father of one of the disappeared students.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de los 43 dan voto de confianza a nueva unidad de investigación de PGR por la supervisión del GIEI (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Nos vamos, pero no confiamos en el gobierno: madres de los 43 (Cimac Noticias, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Padres de Ayotzinapa levantan plantón; ya tenemos confianza en las autoridades, dicen (Animal Político, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Papás de Ayotzinapa instalan plantón en DF, exigen inmediata conformación de fiscalía especial (Animal Político, 27 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Denunciation of Mexican State before Inter-American System of Human Rights due to death and torture of student-teachers in Ayotzinapa, 2011 (26 December 2015)

Guerrero: Body of tortured and executed Ayotzinapa student, Julio César Mondragón, is exhumed (21 November 2015)

National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa (10 October 2015)

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances (8 October 2015)

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)


Chiapas: SIPAZ event – 20 years accompanying lights of hope

December 26, 2015

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SIPAZ Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope”

Photo @SIPAZ

On 27 and 28 November was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas the Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope” to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ). Those participating in the event included women and men from communities, organizations, human-rights centers, the academy, as well as activists, both from Mexico and other countries. By means of panels, the invited speakers shared reflections regarding their experiences, situating them also within an historical analysis incorporating the principal tendencies, challenges, and obstacles. The event stressed concern for the present situation in the country, given that participants agreed that we are in a war situation.

Two media based in the lessons learned through SIPAZ’s years of work in Mexico were presented at the event. One was a documentary, entitled “That the Heart Not Break. Non-Violent Struggles for Justice and Defense of Land,” produced in collaboration with the Koman Ilel community media collective. The video was presented with the participation of the involved communities and organizations: communities displaced below Tila and the Las Abejas Civil Society, based in Chiapas, along with the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER), from Oaxaca. In parallel, the book Struggle with a Woman’s Heart: The Situation and Participation of Women in Chiapas (1995-2015), was presented and discussed. This volume brings together the major experiences and lessons from women’s struggle to participate and for gender equality.

For more information (in Spanish):

SIPAZ: 20 años acompañando luces de esperanza (EDUCA, 1 de diciembre de 2015)


Oaxaca: Low participation in teachers’ performance evaluation

December 26, 2015

Foto @NVI noticias

Photo @NVI noticias

On 28 November was held the performance evaluation of Oaxacan educators, a process characterized by strong militarization of the state, with 8,000 to 10,000 elements involved. The statistics regarding teachers who participated in the evaluations are not clear: according to the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca (IEEPO), 2,981 participated, while the Secretary for Public Education (SEP) claimed 2,600 participants. It bears noting that the higher estimate would only represent about 60% of the 4,900 initial registrations among the 6,000 who had been invited, as compared with the approximate 60,000 teachers in the state. Beyond this, the head of the SEP, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, declared that “the most important thing is that we had the participation of teachers from Oaxaca who slowly are beginning to overcome the pressure and yoke that Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) had had, and instead they increasingly join the educational reform that favors the development of children in Mexico.”

In parallel terms, there was a protest march against the evaluation that incorporated around 20,000 people. Using slogans like “if evaluation is necessary, it must begin with Peña,” the dissident magisterium showed the strength it still has in the state. It should be mentioned that two confrontations between teachers and police took place, with Section 22 distancing itself from these acts, claiming them to have been the work of infiltrators. For the past six months there has been worsening persecution of the dissident teachers, incorporating actions like the deep reforms to the IEEPO, which traditionally had been managed by the CNTE, and the arrest of 4 teacher leaders from Section 22, who were transferred to a maximum-security prison in Altiplano, Mexico State. Beyond this, there still remain about thirty arrest-orders against other teachers that are still to be completed. In this way, members of Section 22 announced that they would continue with their actions in opposition to the evaluation.

It also should be noted that the body of the teacher Marjorie Xolio Meléndez, from Jalapa del Marqués and an affiliate of Section 22, has recently been found. In response, residents and teachers protested before the Municipal Palace and carried out a roadblock, demanding a forthright investigation of the feminicide and punishment of those responsible. “We demand before the authorities justice for this crime, because there is more concern for saving the head and protecting Peña Nieto and the federal police behind an evaluation, rather than the truth of the people,” declared protestors.

The performance evaluations have been held in all states of the Republic other than Chiapas, where it is expected that they will be carried out in the next few days. In this way, one can expect the implementation of special security operations to prevent the dissident teachers from inhibiting the evaluation as a means of blocking implementation of the educational reform.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a profesora en Oaxaca; maestros exigen cese a feminicidios (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Repudian la prueba maestros de Oaxaca (La Jornada, 29 de noviembre de 2015)

En medio de protestas, 60% de maestros de Oaxaca que se registraron fueron evaluados (Sin Embargo, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Sección 22 reporta “infiltrados” en marcha a Ciudad Administrativa (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

La SEP presume buena convocatoria a la evaluación docente en Oaxaca (CNN México, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Protestas en DF, Edomex y Chiapas en apoyo a maestros de Oaxaca (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Aprehenden a 4 maestros de la CNTE y los trasladan al penal del Altiplano (Animal Político, 29 de octubre de 2015)

Cué cede educación de Oaxaca a la federación: desaparece el IEEPO; PF vigila instalaciones (Sin Embargo, 21 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Teachers in Acapulco successfully sabotage educational evaluation (26 December 2015)

Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police (10 March 2015)

National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform (4 October 2013)


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