National: WOLA Declaration on Worsening of Violence against Journalists and Human Rights Defenders

April 13, 2017

WOLA

On March 24th, the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA) expressed its “great concern about the dangerous upsurge of violence and armed and violent attacks against journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico” in a statement. It recalled that in the first weeks of March alone the murder of journalist Cecilio Pineda Birto (Guerrero), the aggression against Santiago Ambrosio Hernandez, president of the “Committee of Victims for Justice and Truth June 19 Nochixtlán” (Oaxaca), the murder of journalist Ricardo Monlui Cabrera (Veracruz), the armed attack against human rights defender Alma Barraza (Sinaloa) and the murder of journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea (Chihuahua), in addition to the two Raramuris human rights defenders killed in the month of January Isidro Baldenegro and Juan Ontiveros Ramos (Chihuahua) have been recorded.

WOLA stated that the mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) and all the country’s attorneys, including the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), “have not been sufficient to prevent attacks against journalists and defenders or to meet their protection needs and that impunity for these cases and for previous attacks and crimes perpetuates and aggravates the cycle of violence and abuse.” WOLA stated that, “the government has to give more than empty promises, generic statements and justifications. They urge specific commitments of the Mexican authorities to protect journalists and human rights defenders and justice for the aggressions against them.”

According to Animal Politico, the protection mechanism for journalists and human rights defenders “has no operating budget for this year, which prevents them from expanding their reach in situations of risk … it could not admit more beneficiaries and will even have to make an evaluation and dismiss some.”

Para más información:
Pronunciamiento de WOLA sobre la violencia en contra de periodistas y defensores de DDHH en México (WOLA, 24 de marzo de 2017)

Activistas denuncian ineficacia del Mecanismo de Protección de defensores y periodistas (Proceso, 24 de marzo de 2017)
Nos quedaremos sin memoria (Animal Político, 30 de marzo de 2017)

Presupuesto para mecanismo de protección a periodistas en 2017: cero pesos (Aristegui Noticias, 24 de marzo de 2017)

Insuficiente protección a periodistas en México: WOLA (La Jornada, 27 de marzo de 2017)

 


Guerrero: Journalist Cecilio Pineda Murdered

March 8, 2017

Journalist.pngCecilio Pineda, murdered at 38 years of age. Photo@: TeleSur

On March 2, in the city of Altamirano, the journalist Cecilio Pineda was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle. Pineda was 38 years old and was the director of the newspaper La Voz de la Tierra Caliente and a contributor to El Universal newspaper. The online magazine Animal Politico reported that Cecilio Pineda “was a journalist specialized in police issues in the region of Tierra Caliente, an area that is currently suffering from serious security problems, a product of violence by ‘Los Tequileros’ criminal gang, dedicated to drug trafficking, threats and extortion.” According to the same magazine, just before he was killed, he had posted two videos on his Facebook page in which community members of San Miguel Totolapan urged Governor Hector Astudillo to arrest “Tequilero”, the leader of the gang of the same name.

Proceso magazine stated that state governor Hector Astudillo Flores declined to comment on Cecilio Pineda’s statements regarding the alleged protection of his administration of crime and local PRI deputy Saul Beltran Orozco. According to the Sur de Acapulco newspaper, the state’s attorney general, Xavier Olea Pelaez, revealed that organized crime was involved in the murder of the journalist.

Animal Politico recalled that journalist had been under threat since September 2015, the day in which an armed man shot him when he arrived at his house, where his wife and daughters were told that those shots were “a message sent for his journalistic publications.” After that assassination attempt, Cecilio Pineda began receiving precautionary measures from the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym). On October 14, 2016, the Mechanism withdrew those measures “on the grounds that no risk was identified.”

Sin Embargo magazine declared that “Cecilio is the second journalist murdered in little more than a year of the government of Hector Astudillo Flores and number 28 in the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. From 2000 to date, 101 journalists have been killed.” In addition, he denounced that “protection of journalists will not be effective if impunity is not combated. Mexico is the country in the most dangerous region to practice journalism and today there is 99.75% impunity in these crimes.”

For more information in Spanish:

Confirma Fiscal participación del crimen organizado en asesinato de Cecilio Pineda (El Sol de Acapulco, a 3 de marzo de 2017)

Minimiza Astudillo acusaciones de Cecilio Pineda (Proceso, a 6 de marzo de 2017)

Gobernación le quitó la protección al periodista asesinado porque no identificó riesgo (Animal político, a 4 de marzo de 2017)

Tres veces intentamos sacar a Cecilio Pineda de Altamirano pero no quiso: Segob (Proceso, 6 de marzo de 2017)

Cecilio Pineda (Sin embargo, 6 de marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIAPZ:

Chiapas : amenazas a periodista tras hacer públicos actos de corrupción de funcionarios del estado (20 de junio de 2016)

Guerrero: Asesinaron a periodista en Taxco (26 de abril de 2016)


National: Amnesty International Presents Report on Global Situation of Human rights. Mexico “One of the Worst Crisis of Human Rights and Justice”

March 7, 2017

AI

On February 21, Amnesty International presented its annual report. In the section corresponding to events in Mexico in 2016, AI summarized: “Ten years after the beginning of the so-called “war against drug trafficking and organized crime”, military personnel continued to be employed in public security operations, and violence in the country continued to be widespread. Reports of torture and other abuses, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests continued to be reported. Impunity persisted for violations of human rights and crimes under international law. Mexico received the highest number of asylum applications in its history, the majority of people fleeing violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Intensive smear campaigns against human rights defenders and independent observers were carried out and homicides and threats against journalists due to their work continued to be reported. Violence against women continued to be a source of serious concern, and gender-based violence was reported in the states of Jalisco and Michoacan. Congress rejected one of two bills that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.”

In the presentation of the report in Mexico City, Tania Reneaum Panszi, Executive Director of the Mexican section of AI was even more succinct: “We are in one of the worst human rights and justice crisis in Mexico.”

On February 28, the Government of Mexico addressed the report, recognizing “the challenges it faces in the area of human rights, while reaffirming its ineludible commitment to respond to each of them.”

 

For more information in Spanish:

Informe anual de Amnistía Internacional/México 2016-2017 (AI, 21 de febrero de 2017)

Estas son las fallas de Mexico en derechos humanos durante 2016 (Animal Político, 22 de febrero de 2017)

México enfrenta una de las peores crisis de derechos humanos en todo el hemisferio, dice Amnistía Internacional (New York Times, 22 de febrero de 2017)

Grave crisis de derechos humanos en México a diez años de la “guerra contra el narcotráfico”: AI (Desinformémonos, 23 de febrero de 2017)

Vive México la peor crisis de derechos humanos, acusa Amnistía Internacional (La Jornada, 23 de febrero de 2017)

Posición del gobierno mexicano respecto al informe de la organización Amnistía Internacional (Comunicado SEGOB-SRE-PGR, 1 de marzo de 2017)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Amnistía Internacional acusa PGR de falta de investigación acerca de involucramiento del Ejército en caso Ayotzinapa (23 de enero de 2015)

Nacional: Amnistía Internacional “Defender Derechos Humanos: Necesario, Legítimo y Peligroso” (12 de diciembre de 2014)

 

 

 


National: Article 19 Report “From the Digital to the Tangible”

December 5, 2016

a19

At the end of November, the organization for freedom of expression, Article 19, presented its “Third Quarterly Report: From the Digital to the Tangible”, in which it documented that 70% of attacks against the press are committed by the authorities and that only three out of 88 attacks registered against media or journalists are investigated by the Attorney General’s Office during that period.

It also pointed out that in nine months in 2016 there have been ten murders of journalists in Mexico, a number that exceeds the homicides of communicators in 2015.

Moreover, and as the title of the report evokes, there has been an increase in threats using the Internet and social networks: “Attacks in digital space aim to infuse fear, feelings of persecution and insecurity before the perception of an imminent risk. In addition, they manage to spread the sensation to close circles like family and friends and even journalists’ sources. This virulence could be documented with greater clarity during the third quarter, where direct attacks are observed mainly against those who defend human rights and share information critical of governments”, it said. Of the total threats received by journalists between July and September, six out of ten were made through social networks like Twitter.

For more information in Spanish:

2016 bate récord de periodistas asesinados durante gobierno de Peña: van 10 en 9 meses (Animal Político, 30 de noviembre de 2016)

Sólo 3 de las 88 agresiones a la prensa del último trimestre son investigadas por PGR: Artículo 19 (Sin Embargo, 30 de noviembre de 2016)

Tercer Informe Trimestral: De lo digital a lo tangible (Artículo 19, 30 de noviembre de 2019)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : amenazan por Twitter al Centro Miguel Agustín PRODH (3 de octubre de 2016)

Oaxaca/Nacional: Allanan casa de fotoperiodista que cubrió hechos en Nochixtlán(14 de septiembre de 2016)

Oaxaca: Asesinaron a dos comunicadores en una semana (30 de junio de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Judge to Deliver Sentence for Roberto Paciencia

November 22, 2016

Paciencia.jpgPress conference for Roberto Paciencia Cruz. Photo@ChiapasDenunciaPublica

On November 10, relatives of Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Sympathizers The Voice of Amate and the Working Group “No Estamos Todxs” (GTNET in its Spanish acronym) announced at a press conference at the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC or Frayba) that on November 26, William Hernandez Ovando, Judge of the Criminal Law Section of San Cristobal de Las Casas District, will deliver a sentence on the case of Roberto.

Roberto Paciencia, indigenous Tsotsil, campesino and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle; “Victim of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and/or Degrading Treatment, Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty and Violations of Due Process” was arrested on August 7, 2013, in the municipality of Pantelho, Chiapas, and transferred to the premises of the Specialized Prosecutor against Organized Crime’s Office (FECDO in its Spanish acronym) in Tuxtla Gutierrez. In this place, Roberto was physically and psychologically tortured for two days and locked in a punishment cell. He was later transferred to the State Center for Social Reintegration of Sentenced Persons (CERSS) No. 5 of San Cristobal de Las Casas, where he is currently held, without sentence.

According to the CDHFBC, Roberto Paciencia, as a result of torture, “has physical and psychological scars, without receiving adequate medical care, and his prolonged detention has affected his life project, especially his family.” On numerous occasions “he has used his voice to denounce the injustices that the prison population lives in the prison where he is held” and the existence of other cases of human rights violations in CERSS No. 05. Relatives, the Sympathizers and the GTNET stated that regarding the delivery of a sentence, “the compañero’s innocence has been legally demonstrated on various occasions: the only prosecution witness has not appeared at any of the numerous hearings, and, on the contrary, there are witnesses who stated that Roberto was not present at the time at the scene of the crime of which he is falsely accused.”

In Chiapas, human rights violations committed against vulnerable populations “is a daily practice in the system of administration of justice, which keeps persons whose right to personal integrity and security is violated in jail in inhuman conditions.” Due to this, the relatives, Sympathizers and the GTNET denounced “the injustice of the deprivation of liberty of Roberto Paciencia and we make a call to stay alert to the judicial decision of the next days demanding that finally justice be done for our compañero.”

For more information in Spanish:

Conferencia de prensa “Libertad para Roberto Paciencia Cruz” (Grupo de Trabajo, “no estamos todxs”, 11 de noviembre de 2016)

Boletín de la conferencia de prensa por La Libertad de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Red contra la represión y por la Solidaridad, 11 de noviembre de 2016)

Justicia para Roberto Paciencia Cruz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 10 de noviembre de 2016)

Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia víctima de Tortura (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 10 de noviembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, injustamente preso, denuncia la negacion del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (a 19 de octubre 2016)

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Niegan entrada a visitas del injustamente preso, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, en el CERESO No. 5 (30 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, tres años preso en el Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados (CERSS) número 5 (19 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia escribe a Alejandro Díaz (24 de junio de 2016)


National: Fourth Report of Peña Nieto’s Government

September 15, 2016

4th-reportDemonstration in Mexico City marking the Fourth Presidential Report (@Centro PRODH)

On 1 September, thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of Mexico City to express their disagreement in response to the delivery of the Fourth Report of the Government. The march was led by relatives of the 43 student teachers who are missing from the Normal Rural School, Ayotzinapa, Guerrero since 2014. It is noteworthy that in mid-August, a survey published by the newspaper Reforma showed that support for the government of Peña Nieto stood at only 23%, the lowest a Mexican president has had in the last two decades.

In the days before the report, several media criticized the performance of the current administration, questioning, among other things, the increase in violence, political scandals, human rights violations and poor economic results.

The Secretary of the Interior, Osorio Chong, gave the document to the Mexican Congress, where he stressed that the relationship between the executive and legislative branches has shown effective dialogue towards establishing agreements, which allowed the approval of “the reforms that Mexico demanded.” He stated that “the transformation is already underway” and that it is time to move from a project with vision for the future to a better reality in the present. However, speaking to media, legislators from both the National Action Party (PAN) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) questioned the lack of results.

For his part, President Enrique Peña Nieto held a meeting with about 300 young people (under 35) at the National Palace, which was broadcast via streaming through YouTube and Facebook Live, to talk about the report.

The event began with a recorded message in which the president said the goal of this new format was “change from monologue to dialogue.” Peña Nieto gave details on the content of the report, noting among other things, lower prices for Internet and cellular services; the creation of two million formal jobs (“four times the jobs generated in the same period in the previous six years”), and the fact that Mexico is one of the countries that receives most tourists and attracts most investment. However, while employment figures are intended to show that things are going well for this government, beyond the national unemployment rate (3.9% in June 2016) there is another concept called “rate of critical employment conditions” (RCEC). THE RCEC measures the percentage of the working population working less than 35 hours and as a result receives a monthly income lower than the minimum wage. At national level, according to the government report, about 14.5% of the employed population, i.e. 7.7 million Mexicans, is in that condition. In 2015, the rate was 12.2% of the employed population, some 6.2 million people. In 2014, it was 11.4%, some 5.7 million workers. That is to say, one and half million Mexicans joined these deteriorating conditions of employment and salary from 2015 to date in 2016. Two million when compared with 2014. In some states the rate is above 20% and even 30%, as in Chiapas.

Peña Nieto was questioned about the visit of US presidential candidate, Donald Trump, (he said that “it allowed (the Republican candidate) to realize the relevance of Mexico for the USA”); on accusations of plagiarism of his law thesis (he said it was a “methodological error”); and increasing the price of gasoline (on which he assured that “he never promised gasoline wasn’t going to go up”).

On cases of human rights violations, such as Nochixtlán (Oaxaca) and Tanhuato (Michoacan), he argued that there is a commitment to the clarification of events from the investigations of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR). He stressed that there has been progress to create better conditions regarding human rights and that cases of violations involving the armed forces and the federal public security institutions have decreased.

Finally, on the topic of teachers, he reiterated that education reform aims to improve the quality of education in the country for young people to have more opportunities and tools for their future. He insisted that dialogue could be resumed until the right to education of children and young people of Oaxaca and Chiapas is guaranteed.

For more information in Spanish:

Reporte sobre ‘México Próspero’ confirma golpe a los más desprotegidos (Zocalo Saltillo, 2 de septiembre de 2016)

Peña Nieto sostiene que México avanza en materia de DH (La Jornada, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)

Peña ha logrado grandes cambios pese a resistencias, defiende Osorio Chong (Revista Proceso, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)

Palabras del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, previo al encuentro con jóvenes en Palacio Nacional con motivo de su 4o Informe de Gobierno (Radio Formula, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)

Nadie puede decir que plagié mi tesis, responde Peña a jóvenes por su Cuarto Informe (Animal Político, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)

Osorio Chong entrega el Cuarto Informe de Peña y pide a legisladores analizarlo sin ideologías de por medio (Animal Político, 1 de septiembre de 2016)

4to. Informe de Gobierno: más muertos, menos dinero y muchos escándalos (Aristegui Noticias, 31 de agosto de 2016)

Para descargar el cuarto informe de gobierno (@gob.mx)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Nacional: Múltiples críticas a la presentación del Tercer Informe de Gobierno de Peña Nieto

(8 de septiembre de 2015)

 


Chiapas/National: Demands That Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, Forcibly Disappeared in May, Be Presented Alive Continue

August 28, 2016

Max.pngPress conference to demand that Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez be presented alive (Photo @AFPTV)

Maximiliano Martinez Gordillo, 18, who left his home in the municipality of Socoltenango for Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo in search of work, was forcibly disappeared “at the hands of immigration agents” last May. Since then, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC), along with Mesoamerican Voices (Voices), Home 72 – Refuge for Migrants (La 72), and the disappeared boy’s parents have been seeking his whereabouts. On August 21, Maximilian turned 19 and is still missing. As part of the efforts being made to demand Maximilian be presented alive, parents, CDHFBC, Voices and the 72 have joined forces to hold several press conferences in Chiapas, Tabasco and recently in Mexico City, where they claimed that on May 7 last, the National Migration Institute (INM) “in conjunction with Tabasco State Police took Maximilian from the bus he was migrating on to another state of the republic in search of work, he was arrested, intimidated and disappeared.”

The arrests of migrants from Central America, Mexico and people on their way to the United States of America, is nothing new. The CDHFBC, Voices and 72 reported in a press conference in Mexico City that, “according to official figures, from October 2014 to April 2015, the US stopped 70,440 people, while 92,889 migrants were deported in the same period by the Mexican State. Meanwhile, in 2015, Mexico deported approximately 150,000 migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras primarily, representing an increase of 44% over the previous year, making it the biggest “deporter” of people at global level.” They also say that this hardening “is added to the crime of organized groups that steal from, extort, commit sexual crimes against and kidnap migrants. There have also been documented cases of trafficking for sex work and cases of young people who are forced to work for organized crime itself. These criminal groups operate in the territories under constant and staunch presence of the immigration authorities and public security bodies; from this the participation and responsibility of the authorities of the Mexican state is inferred, although they deny it, there is an abundance of testimonies from residents and victims, who constantly point out both direct participation of public officials across all hierarchical levels in these crimes, as well as complicity, tolerance and ineffectiveness in prosecuting those responsible.”

Given this panorama, human rights organizations, together with the family, made an urgent call for national and international solidarity to demand the immediate presentation with life of Maximilian, and “a comprehensive investigation into those responsible.” Among other actions, they invited people to sign and share the urgent action on the Avaaz website, and to widely share the story of Maximilian. Both links can be found below.

For more information in Spanish:

Firma la petición en Avaaz

La desaparición forzada práctica cotidiana en México Violaciones a derechos humanos cometidas por agentes de Migración (CDHFBC, Voces Mesoamericanas, La 72 Hogar y Refugio para personas migrantes, 22 de agosto de 2016)

Desaparición Forzada por agentes migratorios. Historia de Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez (Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, 22 de agosto de 2016)

México: Agentes de Migración participan en desapariciones (ONG) (22 de agosto de 2016)

Le diría a Peña Nieto que me devuelva mi hijo, porque su gente lo detuvo: padre de migrante desaparecido (Revolución res punto cero, 23 de agosto de 2016)

Perspectivas – La desaparición forzada del joven Maximiliano Gordillo (RompeViento TV, 23 agosto 2016)

A tres meses de la desaparición forzada de Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez, entre la impunidad y corrupción (Voces Mesoamericanas, 8 de agosto de 2016)

Instituto Nacional de Migración desaparece a Joven Migrante Chiapaneco (Radio Zapote, 18 de agosto de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional: Conferencia de prensa sobre la desaparición Forzada de Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez (16 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional : Denuncian desaparición forzada de Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez por agentes del INM (24 de mayo de 2016)