Oaxaca: More harassment and threats during the second phase of the wind-energy consultation in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

March 22, 2015

Juchitán de Zaragoza, foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Juchitán de Zaragoza, @ SIPAZ archive

Mariano López Gómez, member of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), Héctor and Gloria Sánchez López, directors of civil and political organizations from Juchitán, and David Henestrosa, a columnist covering the Tehuantepec Isthmus, have denounced that they have suffered harassment and threats during the second phase of the wind-energy consultation, which began on 3 March in Juchitán de Zaragoza.  They claimed that they were booed and insulted by people in attendance, but they indicated in particular Eduardo Centeno, the legal representative of the Southern Wind-Energy firm (previously, Mareña Renewables Capital), such that they will submit a penal denunciation holding the wind-energy firm responsible for whatever could happen to them and their families.  Mariano López added that the CTM construction union is bringing “yes-men” to the forum who “obey the interests of the PRI, some PRI property-owners, and other abusers.  They are not taking into account the women’s groups, artisans, or fisher-people.”

The consultation process for the installation of the wind-energy park has been gravely challenged since its start in November 2014.  The Assembly of Indigenous People of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), in a letter written to the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, affirmed that it does not oppose wind-energy, “but its use should be based in the form and means of life of the indigenous peoples and communities, promoting communal control,” as has been ignored byt he government and the firms that have installed 21 wind-energy parks by means of “injustice, abuse, and the illegal occupation of our communal lands.”

Beyond this, the organizations Project for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), the Project on Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER), and the Gobixha A.C. Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH) documented in a second report from the Observation Mission the “worrying procedural vices” related to the observance of the right to consultation and free, prior, and informed consent, as well as the rights to participation and information on the part of indigenous peoples.  They detected more than 20 security incidents, including threatening phone-calls and text messages, vigilance, and acts of intimidation in homes, verbal aggressions, and threatening actions taken by armed persons.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian asistentes a consulta eólica hostigamiento de empresa eólica Del Sur (Página 3, 4 de marzo de 2015)

Foro de consulta indígena en Juchitán con tintes violentos (Romo Noticias, 4 de marzo de 2015)

Vicios procesales y violaciones a derechos humanos caracterizan consulta sobre proyecto eólico en Oaxaca (Prodesc, 23 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Consultative process in the Tehuantepec Isthmus challenged on several fronts (16 December 2014)

Oaxaca: Mareña Renewables to cancel wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (15 January 2014)

Oaxaca: Meeting of Peoples in Resistance for the Defense of Territory in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: Confrontation over supposed “approval” of wind-energy park in San Dionisio del Mar (8 January 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


Chiapas: Luisa Margareth Castillo Mora undertakes hunger-strike amidst “governmental refusal to attend to her petition”

March 22, 2015

Acto en solidaridad con Margareth, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 12 de marzo de 2015 (@SIPAZ)

Act in solidarity with Margareth, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 12 March 2015 (@SIPAZ)

Since 8 March, in observation of International Women’s Day, Luisa Margareth Castillo Mora began a hunger-strike in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to demand that the state authorities attend to her calls for justice.  She requests that the state government observe the complaint made against it in 2013 which condemns the Secretary of Education for not providing 61 persons (including her) nomination as base-workers, retroactive from February 2010.

It should be clarified that since 2010, she and 30 other people have been struggling to have their labor rights recognized.  In October 2013, an investigation was launched against her on the charges of extortion, delincuent association, and attacks on communication media, charges which civil organizations consider to be “revenge for the protest-actions which have been carried out.”

In November 2013, as an Urgent Action details, being published by the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas, Margareth was “taken,” tortured, and subsequently left on the highway between San Cristóbal and Tenejapa.  Nearly two years on, the events continue in impunity, and the motion handed down in her favor has not been observed.  For this reason, the members of the Campaign have made a call for an investigation that be carried out soon, impartially, exhaustively, and efficiently into the attacks on her, for the observance of the dictated decision in terms of labor, for the compensation of damages and the cancellation of the arrest-orders against Margareth and other people involved in the protest-actions that have been mentioned.

For more information (in Spanish):

Una mujer denuncia ataques e inicia huelga de hambre en Chiapas (La Jornada, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Sobreviviente de feminicidio en huelga de hambre, ante la omisión del gobierno de Chiapas (Acción Urgente, Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio, 15 de marzo de 2015)


Guerrero: Tlachinollan announces extemporaneous actions from the State to halt the transfer of CECOP spokesperson

March 22, 2015

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On 12 March, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights denounced in a bulletin that, in an extemporaneous way, the penal director for Guerrero State has submitted a motion to review the motion granted to Marco Antonio Suástegui, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), that would have allowed him to be transferred to a jail within the state.  Tlachinollan indicates that this “denotes the clear lack of political will and the arbitrary use of the juridical system on the part of the state government of Guerrero, toward the sole end of continuing with the criminalization of human-rights defenders.”

On 14 March, some 800 people marched in Acapulco in solidarity with CECOP, which had organized a mobilization to demand the release of Suástegui Muñoz, who has been imprisoned since 17 June 2014 in the federal prison in Tepic, Nayarit, and of María de la Cruz Dorantes, who has been imprisoned in Acapulco since 6 October 2014.  Leaders of Cecop denounced that Rogelio Ortega Martínez, the interim governor, has not observed his commitment to intervening to facilitate the release of Suástegui Muñoz, something which he promised to do on 3 March upon signing a pact of reconciliation in Salsipuedes with leaders of CECOP and relatives of the communard in question.  CECOP warned that, as long as Suástegui Muñoz is not released, political candidates and State functionaries will not be allowed entry to Cacahuatepec.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín Retrasa injustificadamente ejecutivo estatal el traslado a Guerrero del defensor comunitario Marco Antonio Suástegui (CDH de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Marchan estudiantes y maestros en apoyo al Cecop para exigir la liberación de Suástegui (La Jornada de Guerrero, 14 de marzo de 2015)

Falta de voluntad política del gobierno estatal que se apelara el amparo de Suástegui: Tlachinollan (El Sur de Acapulco, 16 de marzo de 2015)

Líder del Cecop, enfermo y amenazado por policías de Iguala en Cefereso de Tepic

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Marco Antonio Suastegui, opponent to the La Parota dam, is ordered to return to a Guerrero prison (8 February 2015)

Guerrero: Attack on CECOP members leaves 5 dead (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of María de la Cruz Dorantes, CECOP member (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: demand for release of political prisoners in observance of the eleventh anniversary of CECOP (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on (29 August 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (23 June 2014)


Chiapas/International: Grave situation of defenders denounced before the UN Human Rights Council; “We Are All Female Defenders” gives presentation

March 21, 2015

Foto @  RIDH | Panorama diplomático

Photo @RIDH | Panorama diplomático

In observance of the twenty-eighth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Consorcio for Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca (Consorcio Oaxaca), the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra, and the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) denounced the climate of hostility and violence in which they carry out their work in defense of human rights in Mexico.  “We are here to denounce that the Mexican government is failing to protect human-rights defenders,” noted Yésica Sánchez, director of Consorcio Oaxaca. For her part, Norma Mesino, a member of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS), indicated that the goal of the visit was to raise awareness about “the Mexican government denies us the right to justice” as female human-rights defenders.  In her case, the precautionary measures needed to protect her life were only granted after being ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  “We want the international community to focus itself on Mexico and demand that the government observe human rights,” she added.

These defenders participated together with the UN Special Rapporteur on human-rights defenders during the event, and the CMDPDH campaign called “#MakeThemVisible” was launched, toward the end of sharing the life-stories of 40 female human-rights defenders in Mexico.

Beyond this, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the report “We Are All Female Rights-Defenders” wa presented.  This provides a national diagnostic regarding the situation of attacks on female human-rights defenders and the type of violence they have suffered–in the majority of cases, at the hands of State agents.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defensoras de derechos humanos mexicanas denuncian en la ONU falta de garantías para ejercer su labor (RIDH – Panorama diplomático, 9 de marzo de 2015)

La lucha de las mujeres defensoras en un México de violencia e impunidad (Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Participa Consorcio Oaxaca en Diálogo “Contexto de la violencia en México y su impacto en las mujeres defensoras de DH” frente al Relator de la ONU (Consorcio Oaxaca, 9 de marzo de 2015)


National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Torture presents report about Mexico in Geneva

March 21, 2015

Juan E. Méndez, Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre la Tortura (@Naciones Unidas)

Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (@UN)

On 9 March, Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading Treatment, presented the report based on his visit to Mexico between April and May 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.  In his conclusions, he mentions that “torture and ill-treatment of the incarcerated after their arrest and prior to their presentation to the justice system are generalized phenomena in Mexico which take place within the context of impunity.”  He added that there is evidence of the active participation of police and military forces, “but also tolerance, indifference, or complicity on the part of some doctors, public defenders, prosecutors, and judges.”  He indicated furthermore that torture is used “to punish the arrested and to extract confessions or incriminating information.”  He highlighted moreover that “the impunity of torture and other abuses is sufficient to lead to its repetition and exacerbation.”

For this reason, the Special Rapporteur recommended legislative reforms that would integrate international standards into domestic law, thus effectively preventing and punishing torture and other abuses, as well as to undertake the investigation of all denunciations that are presented, including “the tasks that remain in terms of the Dirty War.”  He recommended also that the dimension of the phenomenon be publicly recognized, and that all the authorities receive strong public pressure insisting that all abuses will be seriously investigated and punished.

Following the presentation of this report, Jorge Lomónaco, Mexican representative before international organizations, affirmed that “we cannot agree with the view that torture is generalized in the country, because that is not the case in reality.”  He added that what the Special Rapporteur claimed “does not reflect the enormous efforts that my country’s government has made to strengthen a culture of respect for human rights in the law and in practice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ver Informe completo (Juan E. Méndez, diciembre de 2014)

Generalizada, la tortura en México (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2015)

“Todos los cuerpos policiales torturan en el país” (El País, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México: entre la tortura y la impunidad (Centro PRODH, Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

La tortura es generalizada en México: relator de ONU; eso es mentira, responde embajador (Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México y ONU ahora chocan por informe sobre la tortura (Milenio, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and killing of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and kidnapping of youth Hiber Audentino García Villafuerte (1 January, 2014)


Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope for the Ayotzinapa case

March 21, 2015

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March-rally, 5 February 2015 in Chilpancingo. Photo @SIPAZ

The parents of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala confirmed their trust in the team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which at the beginning of this month started to review the evidence on the happenings of 26 September 2014.  Felipe de la Cruz, spokesperson for the parents of the disappeared, said that the arrival of the independent specialists represents an advance, given that it provides hope that truthful results will result from the investigations that they plan to undertake, “rather than a theater put on by the Federal Attorney General’s Office [PGR].”  He added that it is hoped that the PGR will come to an agreement regarding the inspection of military barracks on the part of the parents, as they have been told that the conditions are not appropriate at this time.  The parents want to know that they are not just going in circles.  Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, their lawyer, has specified that the IACHR specialists are not those in charge of carrying out the investigation, but rather that they will review what has occurred so far within the ongoing investigation so as to make recommendations when irregularities are found.

In recent days, relatives of Julio César Mondragón Fontes, the student who was murdered and defigured, rejected the conclusions made by the PGR that accuse the Iguala municipal police officer Luis Francisco Martínez Díaz as responsible for the murder.  The relatives noted that after five months without the minimum of attention dedicated to clarifying the torture and execution of Julio César, “now the PGR seeks to close the case with a summary media action, thus leaving unresolved one of the very ‘reasons for which the Ayotzinapa case cannot be closed.'”  Beyond this, they demanded that the torture and extrajudicial execution of the youth be investigated as a murder.  They have demanded that the investigation be serious, profound, and based in science.  In a communique released on 4 March, the family denounces that the case has been investigated using two lines directed by Chilpancingo: murder and organized crime.  “This makes no sense, given that it was torture and an extrajudicial execution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Llegada del grupo de CIDH, un “avance”, afirman familiares (Milenio, 6 de marzo de 2015)

Expertos de la CIDH se reúnen con autoridades encargadas de la investigación de Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Familiares de normalista exigen a Arely Gómez que retome el caso (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police

March 10, 2015

2015-03-02_09-58-36

Homage to teacher Claudio Castillo. Photo @SIDIDH

On 25 February, the Guerrero state government confirmed the death of the teacher Claudio Castillo Peña due to cranial trauma, following the conflict between the Federal Police and members of the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) the day prior in Acapulco.  Raúl Miliani Sabido,  the Secretary for Civil Protection in the state, said in an interview that “unfortunately we do have the confirmation” of Castillo’s death, being 65 years of age.  Castillo Peña belonged to the teachers’ movement of the retired and usually was one of the speakers at the actions organized by the teachers in resistance.  Due to his state of health, the teacher used crutches, and witnesses observe that he could not run to escape the police displacement operation.  The Attorney General of Guerrero State announced on 26 February that the appropriate investigations had begun to investigate and establish the legal responsibilities of the civilian courts.

Testimony from female members of CETEG who had been at the front of the contingent when it was attacked by the Federal Police confirms the sexual abuse of a teacher who has been hospitalized in Cuernavaca, Morelos.  In a communique she relates that during the chase, the police caught up with her “and began to beat me, then I fell.  So they took me to a remote place where they raped me multiple times, hurt me, and caused me to lose consciousness due to so much pain.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Guerrero confirma la muerte de un profesor en Acapulco (La Jornada, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Maestro jubilado muere tras desalojo en Acapulco (Cuartoscuro, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Fiscalía de Guerrero investiga desalojo y asesinato de maestro(Excelsior, 26 de febrero de 2015)

Fue violada “una y otra vez” por policías federales, denuncia maestra(Sur Acapulco, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Al maestro sí lo mató la Policía Federal; cuatro profesoras fueron violadas, denuncia la Ceteg (CENCOS, 26 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


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