Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity

April 10, 2015

20150205_164829Photo @SIPAZ

The first report from the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), a branch of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), indicates that the forcible disappearance of the 43 students on 26 and 27 September 2014 in Iguala amounts to a crime against humanity.  The families of the youth and the organizations which accompany them welcomed this first conclusion from the GIEI.  They expressed that the primary recommendations, which call on the Mexican State to treat the case as a forcible disappearance, gives the hope that justice and truth will soon prevail.  Among the requests made by the Group, stress is placed on gaining access to a digital copy of the evidence that is available to the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), treating the case as a forcible disappearance, establishing a mechanism of medical attention for the relatives in the region, and urgently providing the comatose student Aldo Gutiérrez with a second neurological evaluation, beyond protecting the evidence that exists and continuing with the searches.

On 23 March, relatives of the students and representatives of civil organizations announced that the Mexican government lied to the IACHR during the audience on “Denunciations of forcible disappearance and impunity in Mexico.”  Manuel Olivares, director of the “José María Morelos y Pavón” Center for Human Rights, located in Chilapa, Guerrero, denounced that, contrary to what the State officials said, there existed no search protocol in the Ayotzinapa case, and that the demand for the presentation with live of the students has not been met, either.  “The response from the State is highly inadequate,” he concluded.

In other news, the report indicates that two units from the Reaction Force of the 27th Infantry Batallion, based in Iguala, were patrolling the streets from 11pm on 26 September until 6am the next day.  The soldiers saw the dead, invaded the hospitals in which the injured were found, and were fully knowledgeable of the gunfire and attacks.  On 27 September, the students were looking for their disappeared comrades in the streets, while others made reports to the Ministry of the Interior, but the report from the patrols provided by the 27th Batallion that day claims it to have been a day “without news.”  This information is contained within one of the documents provided to Proceso by the Secretary for National Defesne (SEDENA) in accordance with the Law on Transparency.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de normalistas saludan informe de expertos de CIDH, que acusa desaparición forzada (Centro Prodh, 20 de marzo de 2015)

Insatisfactorias, respuestas de Estado ante CIDH por desaparición forzada (Centro Prodh, 23 de marzo de 2015)

En manos del PJF, petición de la CIDH sobre desaparición forzada (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2015)

Ayotzinapa: sus propios informes comprometen al Ejército (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (6 de marzo de 2015)

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)


Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists are attacked

April 10, 2015

Foto @ Pozol Colectivo

Photo @ Pozol Colectivo

On 21 March, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón denounced that more than 600 state security forces burned down the regional headquarters of San Sebastián, with the participation of the ejidal commission and the security council.  They explaiend that “after the violent displacement of 9 January 2015, we founded a regional headquarters for San Sebastián to continue caring for the lands and demand the withdrawal of the bad government.  We will continue, as we are indigenous to these lands, and we will not allow the bad government come to rule over the people.”  They also indicated that the group from the ejidal commission “has blockaded the highway between Ocosingo and Palenque at the Agua Azul crossing in an attempt to blame us for the blockade.  Also, these stooges from the bad government are cutting down trees, and we know that they seek to fabricate crimes of ecocide with which to imprison the autonomous authorities of our organization.”

They demanded “the withdrawal of public forces from our lands, which have been plundered since February 2011, and of the National Commission on Protected Natural Areas,” besides the “release of our political prisoners Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano, and Roberto Gómez Hernández, and of the unjustly imprisoned comrades Santiago Moreno Perez, Emilio Jimenez Gomez, and Esteban Gomez Jimenez.

Beyond this, two members of autonomous-media collectives denounced having been attacked by the ejidal commissioner’s group of San Sebastián Bachajón. They reported that they were surrounded, arrested, beaten, and threatened with machetes, so that they would hand over a Canon 70D camera and a tripod on 21 March, when they sought to document the displacement and arson of the regional headquarters.  Beyond this, they indicated that, upon passing the control-point and continuing toward the regional autonomous headquarters of San Sebastián, they found four state police trucks and more than 200 “officialists armed with machetes, some of them inebriated.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Comunicado San Sebastián Bachajon: Fuerzas públicas incendian sede regional (Blog Viva Bachajón, 21 de marzo de 2015)

Bachajón, Chiapas, 600 policías incendian sede ejidal (Regeneración Radio, 21 de marzo de 2015)

“Más de 600 elementos de las fuerzas públicas incendiaron nuestra sede regional San Sebastián”, denuncia ejido Bachajón (Pozol Colectivo, 21 de marzo de 2015)

Ataque y robo a medios libres por grupos oficialistas en Agua Azul, ejido de San Sebastián Bachajón (Radio Zapatista, 23 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new communique from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 March 2015)

Chiapas: new national and international brigade in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón (1 March 2015)

Chiapas: Tensions maintained in San Sebastián Bachajón(10 February 2015)

Chiapas: first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth to San Sebastían Bachajón after the violent displacement of 9 January (29 January 2015)

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)


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

images

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)


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