National: presentation of the seventh report “Defending Human Rights: The six-years term of impunity”

September 17, 2018
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Presentation of the seventh report “Defending Human Rights” (@Comité Cerezo)


On August 21, the seventh report “Defending Human Rights in Mexico: The six-years term of impunity” elaborated by Urgent Action for Human Rights Defenders (ACUDDEH), the Cerezo Committee and the Campaign against Enforced Disappearance was presented publicly. It covers the period from June 2017 to May 2018.

This report states that during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) there have been 5527 attacks against human rights defenders and journalists; 949 of those cases were documented in this last period. It also states that « the largest number of cases registered are related to the opposition against the implementation of the structural reforms, particularly the people who defend the right to education were the most aggressed (224 cases); in second place were activists and people that demostrated in the streets; that is, those who exercised their human right to protest (219 cases) ». It also documents that “in this six-years term the major repression occurred in the states of Michoacán, Guerrero and Chiapas, states that, while suffering from high poverty rates, also have a long history of organizing to defend their human rights.”

The report also analyzes that after the Ayotzinapa case (2014), « the forced disappearance of human rights defenders or journalists implied a high political cost to the government to make it a widespread practice, so it was only used selectively against leaders or founders of indigenous, social or human rights movements, with which the case numbers are lower; however, this had a counterpoint : the Mexican government used extrajudicial execution to silence dissenting voices ». It highlights that the cases of forced disappearance increased by two times those of the previous six-year term.

It adds that “the cases of political imprisonment in Mexico are not unconnected or isolated facts, […], but they respond, in their vast majority, and are part of a mechanism of the strategy of political repression of the Mexican State to limit, dismantle and / or destroy, in practice, the human right to protest”. The organizations that wrote the report propose that within the national reconciliation proposed by the future government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) there might be an amnesty for this type of cases “that is, as a power of the president to “erase” the charges that are raised against these persons so thay they might obtain their freedom, as well as to eliminate the criminal record of those who have already served their sentence so that they might work or avoid being arrested for “recidivism”. An other option is to eliminate the cases that remain open as a silent threat to be able at any time to reactivate criminal proceedings, a situation thats wear down families and organizations and force them to stop demonstrating or compel them to give up from the defense of their rights”.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa Defender los Derechos Humanos en México: El Sexenio de la Impunidad (JUNIO DE 2017 A MAYO DE 2018) (Comité Cerezo, 25 de agosto de 2018)

Informe completo (Comité Cerezo, 25 de agosto de 2018)

México entre los países más peligrosos para defensores de derechos humanos (Vanguardia, 25 de agosto de 2018)

Una larga deuda: 5527 agresiones contra activistas y periodistas y el sexenio aún no concluye (Comité Cerezo, 28 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Cerezo Committee Demands Amnesty, Truth Commissions and Protection of Defenders and Journalists from AMLO August 2, 2018

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Guerrero: 9 of the 25 detainees for a confrontation in La Concepción in January are released

September 17, 2018
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Detentions in La Concepción, January 2018 (@Tlachinollan)


On August 24, nine of the 25 detainees arrested on January 7, after a confrontation that left 11 dead and 38 arrested in the community of La Concepción were released.

Among those released are four members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota dam (Cecop), three community police and two people who were in the process of reeducation and do not belong to any organization.

After the initial hearing, 13 of the 38 detainees had already been released while 25 of them were to be prosecuted, 16 of them community police.

Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer for the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, explained that evidence was presented that the detainees were tortured, “that the sodium rhodizonate test is not conclusive since a lack of certainty may exist and it was done without the presence of their defenders, which is a requirement within the new accusatory criminal system. In addition to that there was coercion for them to accept that the weapons presented were theirs and the presentation of the detainees was late”, explained El Sur. However, the criterion that was used to free the detainees was the fact that “the witnesses do not point them out (…) so they could not be linked to the accusation“.

Another detainee of those who should have been freed did not leave the prison because he is facing another process.

For more information (in Spanish) :

Liberan a 9 de los 25 detenidos tras el enfrentamiento en La Concepción (El Sur, 24 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Judge Orders Guarantees for Rights to Water, Health and Dignified Treatment for 25 CECOP Prisoners April 24, 2018

Guerrero: Extrajudicial Executions and Arrests of Community Police and Members of CECOP January 22, 2018


Guerrero / National: Nestora Salgado announces campaign for the freedom of political prisoners

September 16, 2018
regeneracion

@Regeneración


On August 29, at a first press conference after tooking oath as a new federal senator for the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), the ex-commander of Olinalá’s community police, Guerrero, Nestora Salgado, announced the start of a campaign for the freedom of all the political prisoners in the country. She declared that there are currently 500 of them in Guerrero, although the first thing that is required is to carry out a national diagnosis: “The intention is to make a mapping to integrate prisoners of conscience and social activists, as is the case of the Indigenous Dominga “N”, originally from Jalisco, who has been imprisoned for 15 years for various crimes. “

Having been imprisoned, it is not surprising that Salgado has stated that the fight for the freedom of political prisoners is the main axis of her legislative agenda: “We can not allow our comrades who fight for life to remain imprisoned.” “Justice in Mexico has been negotiated and for people who do not have money, they have no way to pay for it, but now that we have this voice it will sound stronger in the Senate in defense of them, we will make sure that it is taken into account”, she emphasized.

She was accompanied by inhabitants of San Pedro Tlanixco, municipality of Tenango del Valle, who demand the release of their family members, political prisoners for defending land and water, and by Professor Alberto Patishtan, from the El Bosque community in Chiapas, who was also Political prisoner and released through pardon in 2013.

Senator Salgado García announced that she is studying what initiatives could be promoted from the Upper House to help in this fight.

For more information (in Spanish) :

Trabajará Nestora Salgado para la liberación de 500 presos políticos (MX Político, 31 de agosto de 2018)

Nestora Salgado luchará por libertad de presos políticos (La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2018)

Nestora Salgado inicia campaña para liberar a los presos políticos (La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2018)

Nestora Salgado busca liberar a más de 500 presos políticos (Radio Fórmula, 30 de agosto de 2018)

Senadora Nestora Salgado inicia campaña por la libertad de presos políticos (Aristegui Noticias, 29 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Guerrero: Extrajudicial Executions and Arrests of Community Police and Members of CECOP January 22, 2018

Nestora Salgado Launches Campaign to Demand Release of Political Prisoners April 7, 2016

Guerrero: Nestora Salgado Free March 22, 2016


National/International: Civil Organizations Force Foreign Affairs to Publish Report of UN Sub-committee for the Prevention of Torture

May 1, 2018

TortureStop Torture (@Desinformemonos)

On April 12th, after four months in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE in its Spanish acronym) kept secret the report of the Sub-committee on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of the United Nations on its second visit to Mexico from December 12th to 21st, 2016, civil organizations forced the document to be made public through a request for access to information.

These organizations indicated that, “although the SPT recognized legislative advances regarding the prevention of torture in the country in the published report, it also reiterated that torture is a widespread practice and confirmed that the almost absolute impunity that prevails in cases fosters its repetition.” They stated that the Sub-committee noted that, “the lack of independence of the forensic services of the prosecutor’s offices translates into the concealment of acts of torture and documented that many persons deprived of their liberty do not denounce torture and ill-treatment for fear of reprisals.” In addition to the impunity, the Sub-committee noted its concern about “different forms of corruption and collusion between complex criminal groups and prison authorities and personnel.”

The organizations called on the Mexican State to fully comply with the recommendations made by the SPT, and include civil society organizations, and experts in its implementation.

“Among the recommendations made by the sub-committee to the Mexican State are ensuring that all authorities empowered to deprive the liberty of citizens are trained and fully apply the standards of rational and proportionate use of force with a human rights approach, instruct the State agents on the prohibition of the use of torture, adopt necessary measures to prevent it and sanction it, among others,” La Jornada concluded.

The president of the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, reported that in the last 17 years that organization issued about 300 recommendations for torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, based on more than 11,500 complaints. The CNDH found that “the gap between a phenomenon recognized as widespread and the few convictions for torture indicate that impunity for acts of torture is prevalent.”

For more information in Spanish:

Prevalece impunidad de actos de tortura en México, señala subcomité de la ONU (La Jornada, 18 de abril de 2018)

La CNDH emitió 300 recomendaciones por tortura y tratos crueles en los últimos 17 años (El Sur, 17 de abril de 2018)

La CNDH emitió 300 recomendaciones por tortura y tratos crueles en los últimos 17 años (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2018)

ONU confirma la práctica generalizada de la tortura en México (SIDIDH, 16 de abril de 2018)

Informe del Subcomité para la Prevención de la Tortura y Otros Tratos o Penas Crueles, Inhumanos o Degradantes (Subcomité de Naciones Unidas, diciembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Nacional : Human Rights Watch publica informe sobre la situación de derechos humanos en México y el mundo (19 de enero de 2018)

Nacional: Senado aprueba Ley contra la Tortura (29 de abril de 2017)

Nacional/Internacional : « la tortura y los malos tratos siguen siendo generalizados en México » Juan E. Mendez (7 de marzo de 2017)


Guerrero: Judge Orders Guarantees for Rights to Water, Health and Dignified Treatment for 25 CECOP Prisoners

April 24, 2018

PresosCECOP Prisoners (@Tlachinollan)

In the framework of the trial of 25 members of the Council of Ejidos and Opposition Communities to La Parota Dam (CECOP in its Spanish acronym) and the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC in its Spanish acronym), arrested on January 7th 2018, in La Concepción and currently imprisoned in Las Cruces Prison in Guerrero, four days of court hearings were held at the beginning of April in which the conditions of their imprisonment were verified.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center denounced several violations of their human rights, including the restriction of family visits and their lawyers, lack of health care, water and adequate food, as well as the unjustified isolation they suffered by some and overcrowding by others.

The Acapulco prison and the state authorities filed a motion for nullity arguing that these allegations would not have been made in accordance with law on the matter. For its part, the defense stated that the violations reported were urgent because many of them put health, dignity and life at risk.

The Judge who reviewed the case ruled to respect the right to dignified treatment, water and adequate conditions for the imprisonment of those prisoners, including the fact that the leader Marco Antonio Suastegui must have space for recreation like the other prisoners.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center celebrated that in the new Accusatory Criminal Justice System and with the new National Law of Criminal Enforcement, an enforcement judge is responsible for monitoring and supervising the rights of persons deprived of their liberty as well as the circumstances of imprisonment, infrastructure, health and food in prisons: “Prison systems are a cornerstone in the justice system, but it is the area where there are serious violations of the human rights of persons deprived of their liberty. The lack of respect for rights and laws on the part of the authorities, as well as the idea of criminal law that sees the person deprived of liberty as a sick person who requires treatment, is nowadays in a situation of collapse in the prisons.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ordenan celda ‘digna’; agua, alimentación y visitas a presos de La Parota (Regeneración, 6 de abril de 2018)

BOLETÍN | Juez de ejecución ordena al Cerereso se garantice derecho al agua, a la salud y trato digno a los 25 del CECOP (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinllan, 8 de abril de 2018)

Juez ordena que se garantice el derecho al agua y a la salud a los 25 del CECOP (Somos el medio, 8 de abril de 2018)

Los 25 presos del Cecop (La Jornada de Guerrero, 9 de abril de 2018)

Respeto a los derechos humanos de los 25 del Cecop (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinllan, 9 de abril de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Acción urgente: Ejecuciones extrajudiciales y detenciones de policías comunitarios y de miembros del CECOP (10 de enero de 2018)

Guerrero: Heridos siete integrantes del Cecop (3 de mayo de 2016)

Guerrero: Liberan a vocero del CECOP, Marco Antonio Suástegui (24 de agosto de 2015)


Mexico – National/International: Latest Amnesty International Report on the Deadly Return of Central American Asylum Seekers from Mexico

February 15, 2018

AI

Amnesty International (AI) denounced in its latest report “Ignored and Unprotected: The Deadly Return of Central American Asylum Seekers from Mexico” that the Mexican immigration authorities routinely force thousands of people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to return to their countries without taking into account the risks to their lives and safety when they return.

The report is based on a survey that reflects 500 experiences of Central American people traveling through Mexico. AI concluded that the National Institute of Migration (INM in its Spanish acronym) systematically violates the non-refoulement principle, a binding pillar of international and Mexican law that prohibits the return of people to situations where they are at real risk of persecution or other serious violations of human rights. “Instead of giving them the protection to which they are entitled, Mexico is illegally turning its back on these people in need”, said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s director for the Americas.

Amnesty International found that 75% of the people detained by the INM had not been informed of their right to seek asylum in Mexico, despite the fact that Mexican law expressly provides that it be done and that the public authorities assured Amnesty International that this provision was observed.

For more information in Spanish:

Informe: Ignoradas y sin protección (Amnistía Internacional)

Cortometraje: A través de los ojos de una persona refugiada (Amnistía Internacional)

México envía a centroamericanos a la muerte, denuncia Amnistía Internacional (Sididh, 24 de enero de 2018)

México incumple ante migrantes: Amnistía Internacional; “es un área de oportunidad”, responde el INM (Proceso, 23 de enero 2018)


International/National: Human Rights Watch Publishes Report on Human Rights Situation in Mexico and the World

February 4, 2018

Human Rights Watch

In its most recent report on the situation of human rights in the world, Human Rights Watch, an organization based in Washington, USA, highlighted the abuses of members of the armed forces, impunity in emblematic cases (as Tlatlaya and Ayotzinapa), the habitual use of torture, the Law of Internal Security and violence against defenders and journalists in the case of Mexico among other issues.

The document states that, “during the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, which began in 2012, members of the security forces have been implicated in serious and repeated human rights violations -including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, and torture- in the framework of actions against organized crime.” In addition, “the government has made little progress in the prosecution of those responsible for recent abuses, and even less in the large number of abuses committed by soldiers and police since former President Felipe Calderon began the “war on drug trafficking” in Mexico in 2006.”

Regarding forced disappearance, it indicated that “it is common for agents of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and police officers not to take basic investigative measures to identify those responsible for forced disappearances, and they often indicate to relatives of missing persons that they should investigate on their own. In general, the authorities have not identified remains or parts of human bodies found in different parts of the country, including clandestine graves”, despite the fact that “the federal government has promoted potentially promising initiatives to find people whose whereabouts are unknown.”

Regarding access to justice, the report emphasizes that “it is common for Mexico to torture detainees to obtain information and confessions. Torture is most frequently applied in the period between which the victims are detained, often arbitrarily, and until they are placed at the disposal of agents of the Public Ministry. During this time, victims are often held incommunicado in military bases or other illegal detention centers.” It also adds that “it is common for the criminal justice system not to provide justice to victims of violent crimes and human rights violations. This is due to reasons that include corruption, lack of training and sufficient resources, and the complicity of agents of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and public defenders with delinquents and abusive officials.”

For more information in Spanish:

Informe Mundial 2018 (Human Rights Watch, enero de 2018)

Human Rights Watch condena impunidad en abusos de fuerzas de seguridad en México (Proceso, 18 de enero de 2018)

Con Peña, “graves y reiteradas violaciones de derechos humanos”: HRW (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de enero de 2018)

Señalan impunidad en México (NVI Noticias, 19 de enero de 2018).

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Guerrero: Informes poco favorables sobre corrupción y derechos humanos en México (3 de febrero de 2016)