National: Latest wave of violence and attacks against communication media in Mexico

October 8, 2015

Instalaciones de Regeneración Radio @RegeneraciónRadio FacebookInstallations of Regeneración Radio @RegeneraciónRadio Facebook

On 21 September, members of the shock-group Third of March violently entered the hall of the College of Arts and Sciences (CCH) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), attacking the activists who operate Regeneración Radio, destroying and robbing materiel and equipment.

In a communique, representatives from the university condemned the events and reported that a penal denunciation would be presented to local and federal authorities whom they hold responsible for the acts and the damages incurred by the university. Students indicated to La Jornada that before 3pm, approximately 100 militants forcibly entered the hall and beat the activists who attempted to block their passage. UNAM reported that the confrontation left three injured, “none of them gravely.” José Luis Suaste, member of Regeneración Radio, said that members of the collective had been threatened and attacked for several days, and for this reason he reported on the existence of an “increase in violence,” the cessation of transmissions from the radio station, and called for the space to be defended.

It bears mentioning that Heriberto Paredes, a photojournalist from the Autonomous Agency for Communication Subversiones, denounced a death-threat made against his person on 31 August in Mexico City. Previously he had received three death-threats on the phone on 15 May and 7 and 13 July, while on 10 June he was harassed at the same Metro station as this last occasion. In this way, another member of Subversiones received a death-threat via telephone on 2 June. Moreover, in September the home of journalists and reporters from Desinformémonos and the magazine Contralínea were broken into, while in August the journalist-activist Rubén Espinosa Becerril and Nadia Vera Pérez, human-rights defender, were murdered together with three other women in Mexico City.

For more information (in Spanish):

Regeneración Radio cesa sus transmisiones (Regeneración Radio, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

Chocan “porros” y estudiantes en CCH Vallejo; 4 heridos (La Jornada, 21 de septiembre)

El porrismo, un cáncer que se expande, ataca a Regeneración Radio ( Subversiones, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

CCH Vallejo: Denuncian daños, violencia y destrucción contra Regeneración Radio. (Radio Pozol, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

21 sep: Agresión en proceso contra Regeneración Radio, saqueo de cabina y 2 heridos (Regeneración Radio, 21 de septiembre)

Porros atacaron a activistas del CCH Vallejo que operan una estación de radio (La Jornada, 22 de septiembre)

La UNAM denunciará toma violenta del CCH Vallejo (Proceso, 22 de septiembre)

Recuento de los daños, violencia y destrucción contra la comunicación libre (Ké Huelga Radio, 22 de septiembre de 2015)

Repudio a las agresiones contra estudiantes del CCH Vallejo (La Izquierda Diaro, 22 de septiembre de 2015)

Comunicado colectivo ante agresiones recientes (SubVersiones, 4 de septiembre de 2015)

Amenazan de muerte a reportero de Subversiones; es la quinta agresión contra el medio este año (Sin Embargo, 3 de septiembre de 2015)

Amenazan de muerte en la Cd de México a fotoperiodista de la Agencia Subversiones (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 1 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Journalist house of Contralínea and Desinformémonos harassed, with computer equipment and documentation stolen (13 September 2015)

National/Mexico: Torture and murder of journalist and four women (10 September 2015)

National: Disappeared journalist Gregorio Jiménez is found dead (16 February 2014)

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National/Mexico: Torture and murder of journalist and four women

September 10, 2015

Foto @ Cuartoscuro

Photo @ Cuartoscuro

The photojournalist Rubén Espinosa Becerril, who specialized in covering social movements and militated against attacks on the press in Veracruz, was killed together with four women in Mexico City after having decided to move to the nation’s capital given that, since June, he had noted that armed persons were following him and taking pictures of him.  The photographer, who worked freelance for Proceso and Cuartoscuro, warned of his situation to Article 19, the international NGO that defends journalists, and the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) based in New York.  “I have no faith in any State institution.  I do not have faith in the government.  Instead, I fear for my comrades and for myself,” he said.  The Proceso magazine expressed that he had “become a problematic photojournalist for the government,” given that Espinosa took the very photo of the Veracruz governor, Javier Duarte, which was published on the cover of the 1946 issue (15 February 2014) of Proceso, which bothered the potentate.  In Veracruz, the state government reportedly bought up a multiplicity of the issue.

Veracruz is considered the most dangerous state to conduct journalism in Mexico, as 13 journalists have been murdered and three disappeared since 2011, when Javier Duarte began to govern.  In July, Rubén Espinosa had been severe with the Veracruzan state government: “It is saddening to think of Veracruz.  There are no words to say how bad that state is, with that government and the state of the press, and how well-off is corruption.  Death seeks out Veracruz.  Death has decided to install itself there,” he observed in an interview.

The prosecutor Rodolfo Ríos said that “the bodies presented each with a gunshot wound in the head and excoriation in various parts.”  Espinosa and the four women were killed by coup de grace.  Beyond this, sources consulted by Sin Embargo added that the bodies showed signs of having been tortured for a prolonged period, while other media indicated that the women could have been raped.

The identity of the four women who were murdered has not been published in official media, but the names of two of them have been released.  One was a friend of Espinosa’s, named Nadia Vera Pérez.  She was an activist with the student movement #IAm132.  The other was Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro, 18 years of age, originally from Mexicali, Baja California.  Another could have been a Colombian woman of 29 years of age, but her name has yet to be released.  The fourth woman was identified as a domestic worker of 40 years of age.  She hailed from Mexico State.

On 2 August, hundreds of journalists, relatives, friends, and citizens carried out a rally at the Angel of Independence and a mobilization before the offices of the Veracruzan government, where they hung a black bun and images of the executed journalist.

For more information (in Spanish):

Rubén Espinosa, un fotógrafo ‘incómodo’ para el gobierno de Duarte (Proceso, 2 de agosto de 2015)

Hemeroteca de la revista Proceso sobre Rubén Espinosa

“La muerte escogió a Veracruz como su casa y decidió vivir ahí”, dice fotógrafo en el exilio (Sin embargo, 1 de julio de 2015)

Rubén Espinosa y las cuatro mujeres recibieron cada uno un tiro de gracia (El País, 3 de agosto de 2015)

Con tiro de gracia, fotoperiodista y 4 mujeres asesinados en la Narvarte (La Jornada, 3 de agosto de 2015)

La evidencia deja en ridículo la versión de “robo” de la PGJDF y pone en la mira a Javier Duarte (Sin embargo, 1 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Disappeared journalist Gregorio Jiménez is found dead (16 February 2014)

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)

Oaxaca: New attacks on journalists (2 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Radio-show host murdered in Miahuatlán

July 21, 2015


Photo @ E_oaxaca

Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento, a radio-show host for La Favorita, was killed on 2 July in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, located in the southern sierra of Oaxaca state. According to the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE), Filadelfo was intercepted by two individuals who were awaiting him at the exit of the radio-station where he worked, and they shot him to death. He has the brother of the journalist Misael Sánchez Sarmiento.

According to several media sources, the governor has ordered that the PGJE carry out an investigation to arrest the radio-show host’s murderers. A search operation was then launched.

It should be mentioned that, according to the organization Journalists without Borders, Mexico is the couintry with the sixth-highest number of murders of journalists. In the past 15 years, 103 journalists have been killed, with 25 others disappeared, according to the statistical report of the Special Prosecutorial Office for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression, affiliated with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a tiros a locutor en Oaxaca (Proceso, 2 de julio de 2015)

Asesinan a un locutor de radio y a un reportero (La Jornada, 3 de julio de 2015)

Asesinan a locutor en Oaxaca; hermano de periodista (Página3, 2 de julio de 2015)

En 15 años, 103 periodistas asesinados y otros 25 desaparecidos: informe de la PGR (La Jornada, 24 de febrero de 2015)

México, sexto país con más periodistas asesinados y quinto en secuestros (México CNN, 16 de diciembre de 2014)

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)

National: launching of Consultative Council of Mechanism for Protection of Journalists and Rights-Defenders (26 October 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)

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)

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of migration agents, says La 72

March 22, 2015

Fray Tomás González en Acteal. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Fray Tomás González in Acteal. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 17 March, “La 72, Home and Refuge for Migrant People,” located in Tenosique, Tabasco, directed by the human-rights defender Fray Tomás González, released an Urgent Action (UA) due to events “that leave us absolutely indignant,” with reference to the death of a Honduran youth.  On 6 March, agents of the National Migration Institute (INM) working with federal police in Tenosique stopped a freight-train at the Chacamax station, 60 kilometers from Palenque, where they began a search.  Among the hundreds of persons traveling atop the train, the Honduran youth in question suffered a panic attack, jumped off the “Beastly” train, and entered the river, where he began to drown and then requested assistance.  In the end, the youth died.  According to the man who gave witness, the INM “agents said: ‘leave that fucker,'” as the UA claims.

In addition, the UA indicates that the migrants who had been witnesses “both of the savage raid as well as death of the youth and what followed [noted] that the persecution by the migration agents lasted more than 2 hours.  Once they saw that the youth was drowning, they withdrew and provided no assistance; the corpse remained for 10 hours on the river bank, cared for by the other migrants who witnessed the acts.  People from the local community also testified and told us of many crimes and human-rights violations that the INM agents commit.”

Lastly, the document ends with a call “on national and international human-rights organizations” to express themselves “in light of these lamentable acts and others that have been caused by the Southern Border Program.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: El INM Y La PF a través del Programa Frontera Sur provocan la muerte de  personas Migrantes Centroamericanas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 18 de marzo de 2015)

El Programa Frontera Sur no cesa la represión en contra de personas migrantes (La 72 – Refugio para personas migrantes, 12 de enero de 2015)

Agentes de Migración y de la PF dejan a hondureño ahogarse (Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children(2 November 2012)

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protests for Ayotzinapa

December 6, 2014

Manifestación en Guerrero (

Manifestation in Guerrero (

On 11 November, Guerrero state police beat the journalist Carlos Navarrete Rubio from the Diario El Sur, beyond physically and verbally attacking at least 10 journalists who were documenting the violent displacement of at least 500 teachers from the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) at the state offices of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Chilpancingo.  These teachers were protesting the disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa.

The next day, media workers protested at the Guerrero Palace of Governance and at the CETEG sit-in to demand guarantees for their journalistic work.  The reporter from El Sur who had been attacked publicly read aloud a letter in which he affirms that “the lack of protocols to dissuade social protests and the lack of training in terms of human rights on the part of state police is now evident, as has been reflected during protests that have taken place in recent days in Acapulco and Chilpancingo (…).  We are clear that we will not allow any other attacks against our media representatives.  Indeed, if this is repeated, we will react using all means we have at our disposal.”

Article 19, an organization that protects the right to freedom of expression, noted that the Guerrero state police must adopt the necessary measures to guarantee effective protection of this right “within contexts of manifestations or public protests, as in the adoption of protocols that are to guide security forces and other authorities in such contexts, toward the end of having them observe their tasks of preventing and protecting against any attacks directed at journalists and those who assist with the realization of coverage of protests, including the mobilization of emergency medical aid in safe conditions rather than criminalization.”

For more information (in Spanish):

ALERTA: Policías de Guerrero golpean a periodistas durante manifestación (Artículo 19, 12 de noviembre de 2014)

Reporteros agredidos por policías reclaman al gobierno garantías para su trabajo (El Sur de Acapulco, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

Llama EU a ‘‘mantener la calma’’ mientras se investigan los hechos ocurridos en Iguala (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration; organizations express concern for disqualification of defenders from Guerrero; HRW considers Tlatlaya and Ayotzinapa to be “State crimes”

November 13, 2014


March in solidarity with Ayotzinapa in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 22 October (photo @SIPAZ)

At a press-conference on 7 November, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam reported that the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa were presumed to have been incinerated and their remains thrown into the Cocula river, in accordance with information provided by three members of the “United Warriors” drug cartel.  The remains that have been found will be sent to an Austrian university for a process that will take some time, for, given “their high grade of decomposition, it will be difficult to extract DNA for identification,” argued Murillo Karam.  “We do not accept” the PGR’s conclusions, as it “is attempting to close the case” of the 43 disappeared students, claimed a parent of one of the students, who insisted that “our sons are still alive.”  “Today they want to surprise us saying that they made ashes of our children, so that we could not recognize them,” observed another.  The parents claimed that the intention of this information was to “allow President Enrique Peña Nieto to go on tour and say that everything has been resolved.”  On 9 November, Peña Nieto began a trip to China and Asia, where he will participate in the meeting of the Forum for Asia-Pacific Cooperation and also attend the G-2o summit.

Beyond this, organizations that have followed the fate of the Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists expressed their concern for the declarations and information that come out in recent days against members of the social organizations who work in Guerrero state.  Their concern was directed in particular against the accusation of the interim governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez, who called into question the work of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, and against the report of the Mexican intelligence report that was leaked by media, which accuses the technical secretary of the Guerrero Network of having ties with a guerrilla group.  In a document signed by dozens of human-rights organizations, they note that “the recent declarations by the governor […] are immensely worrying, since, amidst this human-rights crisis, he calls on the director of Tlachinollan to join the state government.  It should be stressed that both the José María Morelos Pavón Regional Center as well as Tlachinollan form a part of the ‘All Rights for All’ National Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations, and are organizations that have been recognized for their dedication to the strengthening of social leaders that are so lacking in the region, as for their juridical defense in cases of serious human-rights violations.”

In a press-conference, José Miguel Vivanco, representative of Human Rights Watch (HRW), claimed the disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa as well as the murder of 22 persons in Tlatlaya, Mexico state, to have “dragged” the name of Peña Nieto and his government “through the mud” in the international arena.  He mentioned that the federal executive had wanted to show the world a “Mexico that is fictitious,” and that he withdrew from considering questions of human rights and security, holding them to be “toxic” for his international image.  The HRW representative stressed that both cases are “crimes of State” to which the judicial authorities have reacted tardily and inefficiently.  The extrajudicial execution of at least 12 people at Tlatlaya by Army units and the forcible disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa must be included within the “gravest” cases of violence “in the contemporary history of Mexico and Latin America in recent years.”  He added, however, that these are not isolated events, but rather form part of an atmosphere of impunity and corruption.

For more information (in Spanish):

“No aceptamos” la hipótesis del asesinato de los normalistas, sostienen padres de desaparecidos (Desinformémonos, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

La desaparición de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa pudo evitarse, dice el Frayba (La Jornada de Guerrero, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Video: Los quemaron 15 horas, con leña, diesel, llantas, plástico.- PGR(Aristegui Noticias, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Desaparición de normalistas deja “por los suelos” imagen del gobierno, a nivel internacional: HRW (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Comienza Peña Nieto su gira de trabajo en China y Australia (Milenio, 9 de noviembre de 2014)

Inaceptable la postura del gobernador y la del gobierno federal, dicen defensores (La Jornada de Guerrero, 10 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)


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