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)

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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)


Chiapas: Preventative Prison for Three People from Chiapa de Corzo after EPN”S Visit

August 28, 2017

Chiapa.pngPhoto: @ Isain Mandujano

On August 7th, after Enrique Peña Nieto’s visit to Chiapa de Corzo on the occasion of “International Day of Indigenous Peoples”, seven federal police, six women and one man were beaten and detained by villagers for 6 hours, after which were released.

According to Proceso magazine, “One of the trucks of the local AVC company that transported federal police was destroyed in front of the municipal presidency. The young men ransacked the unit and riot gear pack came out of it. Helmets, vests, kneepads, shields and other accessories that were aboard the bus were distributed as war trophies. With their faces covered, the young people turned to a federal police with a bloodied face. They took him to the square where he was taunted by the crowd. He was then taken to one of the neighborhoods to put him with six more who were previously captured.”

Following these events, on Saturday, August 12th, agents of the Attorney General of the Republic’s Office (PGR) and the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE), began a search and arrested at least four people, allegedly involved in the riots on August 7th, “Although the state and federal governments were committed not to retaliate in exchange for the police being released – an event that happened around 2 of the morning of Tuesday 9th”, according to Proceso.

According to Meganoticias website, “The State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) reported that in the context of the initial hearing, the Control Judge determined that it was appropriate to impose the precautionary measure of preventive detention against three detainees resulting from the riots in the municipality of Chiapa de Corzo last August 7th.” Those three people remain imprisoned in the prison of “El Amate”.

It should be remembered that according to Aristegui Noticias: “From a day before their arrival, residents of Chiapa de Corzo expressed their rejection for the visit of the President and declared him a ‘persona non grata'”, where the Governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Suarez, expressed his interest in replicating economic policy and in particular the Special Economic Zones to indigenous regions of Chiapas in his spech.

 For more information:

Pobladores retienen a siete policías federales tras visita de Peña a Chiapas (Proceso, 7 de agosto de 2017)

Detienen a presuntos instigadores de disturbios durante visita de Peña a Chiapa de Corzo. (Proceso, 13 de agosto de 2017)

Prisión preventiva a detenidos en Chiapa de Corzo. (Meganoticias, 14 de agosto de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Habitantes de Chiapa de Corzo rechazan visita de EPN en el Día Internacional de los Pueblos Indígenas. (SIPAZ, 8 de agosto de 2017)

México/Nacional: Diputados aprueban Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales. (SIPAZ, 18 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque. (SIPAZ, 1 de marzo de 2017)


Nacional/Oaxaca: German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico

April 10, 2017

German.png

At the end of March, the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico, a network created in 2000 and composed of 15 German organizations and institutions, presented the main results of its observation mission in which they visited human rights defenders Enrique Guerrero Aviña (UNAM student) and Damian Gallardo Martinez (Oaxacan activist) imprisoned at CEFERESO No.2, in Jalisco. It stressed that, “it has known of these cases in which experts of the UN have pronounced for more than two years on the arbitrary nature of the arrest and in demand for their immediate freedom.” They reported that for this reason, the German Coordination has launched a campaign for their release.

 It denounced that, “it was informed of the hunger strike that began on March 6 in which more than half of the persons deprived of their liberty denounced the situation of cruel, inhuman treatment and torture in CEFERESO. The human defenders Damian Gallardo and Enrique Guerrero have denounced this situation on multiple occasions, promoting legal actions and protesting. The German Coordination firmly condemns any retaliation that may occur against both defenders for their legitimate work of denunciation and demand for rights in the prison.”

The German Coordination also denounced that “another element of particular seriousness was the confirmation that the cases of arbitrary detention of Damian Gallardo and Enrique Guerrero are not isolated cases, since the members of the mission could observe that there is a pattern of criminalization of defenders In Mexico, which is a worrying indicator of the deep human rights crisis in the country.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado « Culmina Red Alemana por los Derechos Humanos en México misión en el país » (31 de marzo de 2017)

ONG alemana expresa ‘‘enorme preocupación por permanente violación a DH y pretensión de criminalizar protesta social” (Revolución 3.0, 31 de marzo de 2017)

Viola México derechos humanos: ONG alemana (La Jornada, 31 de marzo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Exigen liberación inmediata de Damián Gallardo (23 de diciembre de 2014)

Oaxaca: A 16 meses del encarcelamiento de Damián Gallardo, y tras llamamiento de la ONU, no hay respuesta del Estado mexicano (10 de octubre de 2014)

 


Chiapas: Zoque Activist, Silvia Juarez Juarez, Released

April 9, 2017

Zoque.pngSilvia Juarez Juarez (photo @OMCT)

On March 28th, Silvia Juarez Juarez, a community human rights defender and member of the Movement in Defense of Zoque Territory, was released having been held for 35 days. This movement has been developing a process of civil and peaceful resistance against exploration, extraction of hydrocarbons and mining projects in the municipality of Tecpaan, Chiapas and in the Zoque region. Silvia had been arrested on February 21st in Tuxtla Gutierrez on charges of mutiny, harassment and kidnapping – allegedly against municipal officials – in the framework of a protest in which she did not participate, on February 13th.

On March 28th, the head of the State Attorney General’s Office, Raciel Lopez Salazar, withdrew from the criminal action for the crimes that were charged “considering that the agent of the Public Prosecutor’s Office lacked elements to prove the aforementioned crimes.” Therefore, the activist was released from the State Center for Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced No. 14, El Amate, in the municipality Cintalapa de Figueroa.

Nevertheless, Silvia Juarez is still subject to prosecution, “with the obligation to sign before the Court every two weeks, because Judge Cesar Rodriguez Robles, Supervisory Judge, considered that there are elements to prove the crime of damages. Facing threats of risk to her integrity and repeated harassment against the defenders of Zoque territory, Silvia Juarez cannot return home with her family.”

It is also worth mentioning that on the day Silvia Juarez Juarez was released, “the municipal president of Tecpatan, Armando Pastrana Jimenez, filed for an injunction for the withdrawal of the PGJE to prevent the community defender from leaving prison” and also maintained his complaint against 29 other community defenders.

In a statement on the case, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (FRAYBA),  expressed concern that “despite changes in the criminal justice system, in Chiapas, practices of violations of judicial guarantees and judicial protection, including presumption of innocence, continue, which result in arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

For more information in Spanish:

Libre activista zoque, tras desistimiento de denuncia de PGJ Chiapas (Proceso, 5 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a indígena zoque Silvia Juárez (Expreso Chiapas, 6 de abril de 2017)

Silvia Juárez Juárez, defensora del territorio, en libertad (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de abril de 2017)

Libre Silvia Juárez, defensora zoque (Primera edición Chiapas, 5 de abril de 2017)

Condena el Frayba encarcelamiento de Silvia Juárez (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 5 de abril de 2017)

Luego de 35 días en prisión, la activista Silvia Juárez Juárez es liberada (Aqui Noticias, 6 de abril de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque (1 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas : comunidades zoques se oponen a extracción de hidrocarburos en el norte de Chiapas (20 de octubre de 2016)

Chiapas: Silvia Juárez Juárez anima a sus compañeros a seguir en la defensa de la tierra desde la cárcel (27 de marzo de 2017)