International/National: Northern Command suspends part of its military assistance to Mexico

May 16, 2015

Seal_of_the_United_States_Northern_Command

Declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the U.S. that have been published in The Intercept provide access to an October 2014 report from the U.S. military’s Northern Command (Northcom); the document reveals that due to the extrajudicial executions carried out by Batallion 102 in June 2014 in Tlatlaya, Mexico State, Washington suspended some aid that had been earmarked for the Mexican Army.  The same report also addresses the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal Rural School which took place in September 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, in which various public officials were involved: “[this case raises] alarming questions about the generalized character of the cartel violence in the region and the level of complicity with the State.”

The Intercept article notes that, since 2008, the U.S. government has transferred $3 billion in security assistance to Mexico, with much of this having been channelled through the Mérida Initiative, an anti-drug strategy inspired by Plan Colombia.  To this support is added the sale of arms and other police and military equipment (Mexico being the U.S.’s principal Latin American trade partner), which reached $1.15 billion last year.

For more information (in Spanish):

Suspende EU apoyo a batallón del Ejército implicado en el caso Tlatlaya: “The Intercept” (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2015)

‘‘Preguntas alarmantes’’ de Northcom sobre matanzas y desapariciones en México (La Jornada, 13 de mayo de 2015)

El Departamento de Estado de EU suspende asistencia al Batallón implicado en el caso Tlatlaya (Sin Embargo, 13 de mayo de 2015)


Guerrero: political prisoner Nestora Salgado, Communal Police Commander from Olinalá, begins hunger strike

May 16, 2015

(@kaosenlared.net)

(@kaosenlared.net)

On 5 May, Nestora Salgado García, commander of the Communal Police from Olinalá, who has been imprisoned in a federal institution in Tepic, Nayarit, since August 2013, began a hunger strike amidst the lack of progress in her legal case.  She expressed that she was prepared to die to demand that this process advance: “I do not believe it is just that I will now have spent two years here, with my legal case arrested.  I have never been had the chance to make a broad statement, nor have my accusers ever presented their charges against me.  They have done nothing with me.  I am losing my life and health.”  Her husband, José Luis Ávila Báez, reported that he would sent a report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to denounce that the precautionary measures which were awarded to Nestora Salgado on 28 January still have not been implemented.

Leonel Rivero Rodríguez, Nestora’s counsel, has pressed the federal government to transfer the prisoner somewhere where she can have her health managed and develop the necessary meetings for her legal case to progress.

Meanwhile, governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez affirmed once again that he has newly requested that the state prosecutor review the case for its nullification.  He added that another step could be taken, as the Popular Movement of Guerrero (MPG) had suggested: that is, to say, an amnesty law.

For more information (in Spanish):

Está Nestora Salgado en huelga de hambre en la cárcel de Tepic; su proceso no avanza, se queja (El Sur, 8 de mayo de 2015)

Nestora Salgado, en huelga de hambre (Proceso, 8 de mayo de 2015)

Mantiene Nestora Salgado huelga de hambre; exigen cambiarla de penal (La Jornada, 10 de mayo de 2015)

El agobio en la prisión orilló a Nestora Salgado a ponerse en huelga de hambre (La Jornada, 10 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR calls on Mexican government to guarantee medical attention to Nestora Salgado (8 February 2015)

Guerrero: Delay in release for Nestora Salgado; her daughter claims to have been threatened by phone (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: Death-threat directed against Nestora Salgado’s daughter and Communal Police commander from Olinalá (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release (2 September 2014)


Chiapas/National/International: Seminar on “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra” ends

May 16, 2015

Seminario "Pensamiento Crítico frente a la Hidra Capitalista", mayo de 2015 (@SIPAZ)

Seminar on “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra,” May 2015 (@SIPAZ)

From 3 to 9 May, the seminar entitled “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra” was held at the Center for Comprehensive Indigenous Training (CIDECI) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) had called for.  Over the course of the week, more than 1,500 people from Mexico and other countries participated in the event.  Many interventions were made physically, by writing, or audiovisual means, produced both by intellectuals and activists.  The work sessions were facilitated and closed by the Zapatistas present at the event, including Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, Comandanta Miriam, and Commanders David and Tacho, among others.

At the conclusion of the event, Subcomandante Moisés noted that “Our tasks, obligations, and thoughts are grand, so our comrades will leave with much to think about and to imagine.  Go forth and speak to the rest of your comrades wherever you live, as we will have to find new ways of working together in the future to come.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Cobertura audios, fotos y primeros escritos (Radio zapatista, mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN renders homage to the philosopher Luis Villoro Toranzo and the Zapatista teacher Galeano (14 May 2015)

Chiapas: New communiques from the EZLN (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: threats against families sympathizing with the EZLN(29 December 2014)


National/International: International organizations call Mechanism for Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists into question

May 16, 2015

Mecanismo

In a communique published on 29 April, international human-rights organizations expressed their concern that the National Mechanism for the Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico is “leaderless,” putting at risk its beneficiaries and applicants.  This acephalous situation has to do with the resignations in February and March of 2015 of Víctor Manuel Serrato, former director of human rights, and Lía Limón, subsecretary for juridical affairs and human rights at the Governance Ministry (SEGOB).

The groups warn that, “though Roberto Campa Cifraín has been named as the new subsecretary for juridical affairs and human rights, nearly two months have passed since the departure of the director on human rights, and there is little clarity regarding when this position will be covered once again in a permanent fashion.  The absence of management within the institution puts the Mechanism under a great deal of pressure and makes difficult the function for which it was established, thus increasing risk to human-rights defenders and journalists (both beneficiaries and applicants).”

The International Human Rights Federation (FIDH), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Jass  (Associates for Justice), the Latin America Working Group Education Fund, Peace Brigades International (PBI), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and the Global Organization against Torture (OMCT) have similarly expressed consternation amidst the serious lack of implementation of the Mechanism due to reduced budgets (according to members from the Consultative Council, the analysts within the Mechanism have themselves had to cover their travel expenses since October 2014), the lack of a physical space within the institute’s office to attend to beneficiaries and applications, the lack of follow-up training provided to the members of the Mechanism who work on temporary contracts.  They have also pointed to the lack of clarity in terms of criteria for review of cases, the lack of preventative measures, and the impunity in the cases of attacks on human-rights defenders and journalists.

To address these problems, the organizations make the following recommendations: to find a replacement director on human rights, to guarantee greater transparency within the operations of the Mechanism, in terms of the criteria that are used to accept or reject cases, and considering the follow-up that is done when precautionary measures are provided, as well as to improve the means by which the analyses of risk are carried out, to respond in a timely fashion to applications, and to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of all human-rights defenders and journalists “who are at risk as a result of their legitimate work, and who find themselves in high-risk situations during this latest crisis of leadership and the other problems that have been identified in terms of the implementation of the Mechanism for Protection.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Acéfalo” el mecanismo de protección a activistas y comunicadores, denuncian ONG (Proceso, 30 de abril de 2015

Mecanismo de protección acéfalo pone en alto riesgo a defensores y periodistas: Brigadas de Paz (Página3, 30 de abril de 2015)

Comunicado conjunto: Organizaciones internacionales identifican fallas preocupantes en la implementación del Mecanismo Nacional de Protección a Personas Defensoras y Periodistas en México (OSC, 29 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


Guerrero/International: Brigade for Ayotzinapa travels to Europe

April 24, 2015

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Photo @animalpolitico.com

After holding a meeting with Stravos Lambardini, representative for human rights from the European Union, the father of a normalist student, an Ayotzinapa student, and a member of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights departed on 15 April to Europe.  Between that time and 19 May, the brigade plans to visit 18 cities in 13 countries to inform the European community about the continuing struggles of the parents for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared students.  Meetings will be held with student communities, collectives, social organizations, and unionists, while there will also be held marches and rallies in front of Mexican embassies and consulates.  Talks will also be given at universities.

In a communique, Tlachinollan explains that “included within the objectives of the European brigade is support for the demands of the parents that investigative liens be opened regarding the responsibility of the Mexican Army and the federal police in the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, as well as to stress the international responsibility of the European governments for the grave human-rights violations committed against the students, for they have signed bilateral security and trade agreements with Mexico.  This has meant the sale of arms and training of the Mexican police and military, despite the fact that human rights are so violated in Mexico.”

“We seek real guarantees of non-repetition.  These we must construct among ourselves, with the peoples and communities, together with social organizations and collectives.  We cannot ask for these guarantees from the very same governmental institutions that contribute to human-rights violations,” says Omar García, a member of the Ayotzinapa Student Committee and a survivor of the 26 September attack.  He indicated as well that the tour seeks to bring the movement to the global sphere: “on this occasion, our counterparts in Europe are social and human-rights organizations, collectives, autonomous media (or however they are called), and organized civil society.  We come to express our gratitude for all the support, and to insist that it is necessary for us from below to continue to organize ourselves toward the transformation of this entire system of power and corruption that is based on looting, racism, exploitation, and repression against our peoples.  We must do this together, from our countries of origin, coordinated and organized.  This way, while the powerful have globalized plundering, we have the sacred right of globalizing resistance, dignified rage, and joyful rebelliousness.”

For more information (in Spanish):

COMUNICADO | Recorre Europa brigada de Ayotzinapa (México) por la presentación con vida de los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos ( Tlachinollan, 15 de abril de 2015)

Brigada por Ayotzinapa viaja a Europa; visitarán 13 países para exigir justicia (Animal Político, 15 de abril de 2015)

Comisión de Ayotzinapa denunciará en 13 países de Europa la crisis de derechos humanos en el país (El Sur, 16 de abril de 2015)

Padres de los 43 viajan a la Unión Europea para informar caso Aytozinapa en embajadas de 13 países (Revolución 3.0, 16 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and a crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

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)


National/Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco: Founding of the Collective of Defenders of Migrants and Refugees (CODEMIRE)

April 23, 2015

Conformación Codemire (@izq.mx)

CODEMIRE Group (@izq.mx)

In an 8 April press-conference, there was announced the founding of the Collective of Defenders of Migrants and Refugees (CODEMIRE), comprised of 28 migrant homes located in southern, centrla, and northern Mexico.  Members of the new grouping expressed their rejection of the Southern Border Plan, launched by President Enrique Peña Nieto in July 2014, considering it to have contributed to greater human-rights violations against the migrants who cross through Mexico toward the United States.  They added that in comparison with 2013, there was a 47% increase int he number of arrests in 2014–not just on the border, but also aboard buses, on highways, and on freight-trains, among other locations.  They stressed that migrants’ vulnerability has not declined, for they face multiple challenges: extortion by the police, agents from the National Migration Institute (INM), the Navy, and the Army; kidnapping, disappearance, rape, and assault from organized-rime groups “that have found more fertile land after this plan was implemented.”

The members of the new collective have announced that they will unify their efforts toward the end of attending to and defending migrants transiting through the country, and protecting the rights-defenders of this populace who are threatened with death, criminalized, and persecuted for carrying out their work.

They called on the Mexican State to observe its obligation of providing security and protection to migrants; to cease the operations of migratory verification which imperil life, physical integrity, and human rights; to suspend the Southern Border Plan; and never to allow a plan of this magnitude to be implemented again without social scrutiny.

For more information (in Spanish):

Crean red de albergues y casas para desplazados (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

Defensores de migrantes en México rechazan Plan Frontera Sur (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de abril de 2015)

Organizaciones exigen la cancelación del programa Frontera Sur, por “poner en riesgo” a migrantes (Emeequis, 8 de abril de 2015)

Fore more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of INM agents, says La 72 (22 March 2015)

Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Fray Tomás González(13 November 2014)

Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)


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)


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