National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico

April 11, 2019

UNHCHR.pngMichelle Bachelet (@CINU)

At the end of her official visit to Mexico, which took place between April 5th and 9th, the United Nations Organization High Commissioner of the for Human Rights (UN-DH), Michelle Bachelet, said she was surprised by the levels of violence and the dimension of the human rights crisis in the country. “It was a surprise to me what I found. Without a doubt, the case of Ayotzinapa is well known by the press, but the 40 thousand disappeared was not something that was so clear, of the 26 thousand bodies without identification (in the forensic services). Or ten women murdered a day. I knew very well about the violence, but I had no idea of ​​the dimension (…) The data are terrifying.” She pointed out that Mexico has figures for violent deaths equivalent to a country at war: 252,538,000 since 2006.

She highlighted outstanding human rights issues in different areas, in particular regarding forced disappearances, femicides, violence against defenders and journalists, torture, abuses against migrants, as well as high poverty rates -especially in indigenous communities- and the need to carry out consultations in accordance with international standards, among others, in order to undertake megaprojects.

The High Commissioner also signed a collaboration agreement on the National Guard and another on the collaboration of the agency in charge of the investigation of the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014).

The former president of Chile stressed that the new authorities of the country “have recognized that Mexico has a human rights crisis,” that there is political will to move forward with the pending issues and that “President Lopez Obrador has expressed his willingness to implement a change of paradigm.” She stressed that in the case of the National Guard, the Mexican government is talking about “accountability, transparency, human rights indicators that allow us to see if the National Guard is indeed going in the right direction or is deviating.” “The office will not hesitate to raise the alarm if it sees that there is any type of situation that does not correspond to the spirit of what is sought and the spirit of the agreement”, she said.

In the Ayotzinapa case, she said: “My office will be an ally that will not hesitate to contribute to progress and at the same time will raise the alarm in case of non-compliance. We request to know the whereabouts of the boys”, she added.

For more information in Spanish:

Enfrentar las desapariciones forzadas es el problema central en México, insta Michelle Bachelet (ONU México, 9 de abril de 2019)

México tiene cifras de muertes violentas propias de un país en guerra: Bachelet (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

La ACNUDH asesorará la creación de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet defiende a la sociedad civil: Es importante para la democracia, le dice al gobierno de México (Animal Político, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet se va desolada de tanto horror en México: “No sabía de todo lo que me he encontrado…” (Sin Embargo, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet: como una guerra, las muertes violentas en México (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018

September 21, 2018

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018 (September 21, 2018)

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National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists

April 11, 2019

Mechanism.png

On April 4th, on the eve of the official visit of Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from the 5th to 9th this month, the Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, requested, “in compliance with the recommendations of both the United Nations System and the Inter-American System, the Mexican authorities respect and revindicate the work of human rights defenders and journalists in our country.” This followed “from different points -even from the highest levels of the executive- that call into question the work of journalists and defenders.” The Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism affirmed that, “statements that disqualify the exercise of journalism, the promotion and defense of human rights, in addition to delegitimizing it, contribute to sharpening the adverse context that day by day, both defenders and journalists live in.” It recalled that since the entry of the new government, 17 defenders and journalists have been killed in the country.

The Consultative Council raised the need to strengthen the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico, “since this is the main official tool to guarantee their protection and exercise the right to freedom of expression, the right to information and the right to defend human rights” and proposed a series of actions in this regard, including the importance of guaranteeing not only economic resources, but also human resources for this purpose.

It concluded that the Protection Mechanism “is not everything, but a tool that can contribute to the construction of a governmental system and/or policy that protects the exercise of these rights, and that without a doubt has to be a State priority.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado completo ( Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo de Protección a Defensores de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas, 4 de abril de 2019)

Activistas y periodistas en riesgo por críticas gubernamentales (La Jornada, 4 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet debe contribuir a garantizar protección a periodistas y activistas: Mecanismo de Protección (Proceso, 4 de abril de 2019)

Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo exige respeto a defensores y periodistas (Contralínea, 4 de abril de 2019)

Señalamientos del gobierno contra la prensa y activistas “contribuyen a agudizar el contexto adverso que viven día con día”: Mecanismo de Protección (Desinformemonos, 5 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)


National: Espacio OSC Requests Dialogue and Effective Protection Measures for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists

April 1, 2019

OSC.png

In a statement published on March 26th, following statements the previous day by the Undersecretary for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, Espacio OSC (Civil Society Organization Space), an articulation of national and international organizations for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico, urged the Mexican State to take urgent measures for the attention of both sectors guaranteeing their right to defend human rights and exercise freedom of expression.

They regretted that the “ineffectiveness” of the Mechanism for the Protection of Defenders and Journalists has not been recognized until “after 114 days of government”, and even “after the assassination of at least 15 human rights defenders and journalists so far of the current [period of] government.”

Beyond the Mechanism, they emphasized “the need to take a turn towards an integral public policy that addresses structural problems from the axes of: respect, prevention, protection and investigation, sanction and reparation.” They also demanded that the authorities at all three levels of government “recognize the importance of the work of human rights defenders and journalists in strengthening a democracy, as well as ceasing to give stigmatizing speeches that delegitimize such work.”

They stressed, however, that the recognition of the failures of the Mechanism could be an opportunity for “the construction of solutions.” Therefore, they requested “to form work groups in conjunction with organizations and human rights defenders and journalists throughout the country to meet the set of challenges facing the Mechanism; and that there be wide spaces for discussion at the national level with different authorities and organizations that pave the way for the construction of an Integral Public Policy.”

 For more information in Spanish:

ONG llaman a proteger de forma eficaz a defensores y a periodistas (Proceso, 26 de marzo de 2019)

Pide Espacio OSC mesas de trabajo sobre Mecanismo de Protección de Segob (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de marzo de 2019)

EPN dejó en una empresa privada seguridad de periodistas, es hora de que el Estado la asuma: ONGs (Sin Embargo, 26 de marzo de 2019)

La Segob empleó entre polémica a empresa que “cuida” a periodistas, y aún así la recontrató 6 veces (Sin Embargo, 27 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)

National: Defenders and Journalists Denounce Insufficient Resources for Continuity of Protection Mechanism (September 26th, 2018)

National: UN-DH urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders (September 17, 2018)


National: Several Organizations Express Concern over Freedom of Expression in Mexico

March 19, 2019

Freedom.png(@Reporters without Borders)

On March 12th, in Mexico City, Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of the organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB) held a meeting with the Assistant Secretary for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, and reported that he had gone to the International Criminal Court (ICC) ask it to intervene in Mexico given the murders of 102 journalists and the forced disappearance of 14 others that occurred between 2012 and 2018 in the country. In the text presented, it is argued why they should be classified as crimes against humanity, as stipulated in Article 7 of the Statute of Rome, which establishes the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Deloire told Encinas of the great concern of his organization because in Mexico there continue to be numerous murders and acts of violence against reporters, being one of the most dangerous in the world for the press; it is ranked 147 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Ranking. In the first months of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), three journalists have been murdered. In a subsequent press conference, he affirmed that “the mandate of President Andres Lopez Obrador must be marked by profound reforms in order to advance in the fight against impunity in which the murders and disappearances of journalists remain, as well as to improve the effectiveness of the protection mechanism for journalists, even in the states of the country where the situation is most difficult, so that journalists can work freely and disseminate all the information that is useful to Mexicans, for the country.”

For its part, the organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 has expressed its concern over the fact that the new government has not pronounced on improvements in protection policies for journalists or presented clear actions to ensure that crimes committed against the press are investigated and punished: “The violence against the press did not end on July 1st nor in fact did it end on December 1st”, said Ana Cristina Ruselas, regional director of Articlulo 19. She also stated that “it is important and very necessary that the new government refuses to stigmatize the press, in a context like ours, the statements of the President of the Republic against the press only revive the violence and give guidelines to different individuals and different perpetuators to go against the press (…) The highest officials, including the President of the Republic, must expressly acknowledge the importance of the journalists, an express sanction to any type of aggression and a consequent fact that has to do with other State institutions of an investigation and sanction of this type of aggressions.”

Articulo 19 has documented that by using stigmatizing statements such as “conservative” [fifí] press and bribed journalists, AMLO might “legitimize and encourage attacks against journalists in the digital, in the physical physical and affect the plurality of public debate. This increases the level of vulnerability and risk faced by journalists in the most dangerous country to exercise freedom of expression in the Americas.” He demanded the head of state “unequivocally recognize the importance of a free press in democracy.”

In a similar vein, a study by Signa Lab of the Technological Institute of Higher Studies of the West (ITESO in its Spanish acronym) revealed that in recent months a trend in users related to the president in the social network Twitter emerged, whereby they carry out attacks against journalists and media critical to his mandate. The document “Democracy, freedom of expression and the digital sphere. Analysis of topologies on Twitter: the case # RedAMLOve” recommended “that there should be an official statement from the Presidency or from the Office of Social Communication of the same, to clarify what the position of the government against these online non-organic strategies is”. Signa Lab said that these actions “may result in critical voices, necessary in a democracy, retreating given the virulence of the attacks.”

When questioned about this study, the president denied that there is a group organized by the government to defend him from those who question or criticize him. He assured that the media will not be disrespected, freedom of expression will not be curtailed, “but we will exercise our right of reply.”

For more information in Spanish:

Reporteros Sin Fronteras denuncia ante la CPI crímenes contra periodistas en México (CNN México, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Dichos de AMLO incentivan ataques a la prensa, dice Artículo 19; Obrador niega bots a favor suyo (Vanguardia, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Impunidad de los crímenes contra periodistas en México: RSF anuncia su comunicación oficial a la Corte Penal Internacional (Reporteros sin fronteras, 12 de marzo de 2019)

En los primeros cien días de gobierno se ha intensificado la intolerancia a la crítica y al discurso disidente (Artículo 19, 12 de marzo de 2019)

Con AMLO van ya 3 periodistas asesinados y las acciones para protegerlos no aparecen: Art.19 (Sin Embargo, 9 de marzo de 2019)

DEMOCRACIA, LIBERTAD DE EXPRESIÓN Y ESFERA DIGITALANÁLISIS DE TENDENCIAS Y TOPOLOGÍAS EN TWITTEREL CASO DE LA #REDAMLOVE (Signa_Lab, ITESO, 28 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National/Guerrero/Chiapas: More Attacks on Journalists; Articulo 19 and European Parliament Launch “By the Hand” Initiative to Protect Journalists at Risk (February 14, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

National: Journalist Rafael Murua Murdered (January 28, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

 


International/National/Guerrero/Chiapas: More Attacks on Journalists; Articulo 19 and European Parliament Launch “By the Hand” Initiative to Protect Journalists at Risk

February 14, 2019

JournalistsPhoto @ Medium

On February 6th, the director of the office in Mexico City of El Sur newspaper in Guerrero, Vietnika Batres, received death threats and was the victim of identity theft. According to the information received by the organization Articulo 19, the journalist reported that “she detected unusual activity in both her personal and work email accounts (…) threats began to come from one of her own accounts (…) several more messages were sent from her own emails with explicit death threats addressed to her family, which included names and addresses of their homes, along with schedules of their activities.”

Articulo 19 asked for the Protection Mechanism for Defenders and Journalists to be granted to the journalist Vietnika Batres, as well as the necessary protection measures for her family.

On February 9th, the announcer, Jesus Ramos Rodriguez, from the station Oye 99.9 FM de Tabasco was murdered. According to El Pais, Rodriguez was the presenter of the morning program Our Region Today and was attacked when he was having breakfast at a hotel restaurant in the municipality of Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco.

On February 11th, the owner and announcer of a radio station in the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, was shot in the head. According to La Jornada, the announcer, Bersain Galvez Ramirez, broadcasts a “program of musical tastes in a FM station, presumably of the so-called pirates, that is, that does not have an official permit.” There is no greater clarity about the reason for the attack.

Given the high number of attacks against journalists in the country and “the ineffectiveness and inoperativeness of the law enforcement agencies” the initiative was presented on February 6th in the Senate of the Republic; “By the Hand; the European Parliament with Mexican Journalism.”

The initiative “consists of a political support tool to maintain a regular and constant dialogue between members of parliament, journalists and Mexican authorities such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and state and federal authorities, to rule on any threat and attack against the journalists who are part of the program.”

For more information in Spanish:

Artículo 19 denuncia amenazas de muerte contra Viétnika Batres, periodista del diario El Sur (Sin Embargo, 10 de febrero de 2019)

Amenazan de muerte a periodista en CDMX, suplantando su propia identidad (Aristegui, 10 de febrero de 2019)

Balean a Bersaín Gálvez, locutor de radio en Chiapas (El Sol de México, 11 de febrero de 2019)

Balean a locutor de radio en Chiapas (La Jornada, 11 de febrero de 2019)

Personas desconocidas amenazan de muerte a periodista suplantando su propia identidad (Artículo 19, 10 de febrero de 2019)

Parlamento Europeo y ARTICLE 19 lanzan el programa “De la Mano” para la protección de periodistas en riesgo (Artículo 19, 7 de febrero de 2019)

Asesinado un periodista en Tabasco, el segundo en México en 2019 (El País, 9 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

National: Journalist Rafael Murua Murdered (January 28, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)


Guerrero: Proceso Magazine Reports Threats against State Correspondent Ezequiel Flores Contreras

December 19, 2018

proceso

At the beginning of December, Proceso magazine denounced the “climate of harassment, threats and intimidation that prevails in Guerrero against independent journalism” and particularly against its correspondent in that state, Ezequiel Flores Contreras.

He reported on the harassment to which he was subjected through social networks via anonymous users, coinciding with “the information published by the correspondent of this weekly on the displacements of inhabitants of the Sierra de Guerrero, specifically Los Morros, municipality of Leonardo Bravo. In those anonymous attacks, it has been attempted to criminalize our colleague, which we strongly reject, while we denounce the greater risk he is placed in with such accusations.”

The organization for freedom of expression Articulo 19 explained that Ezequiel Flores “was the victim of a smear campaign via Twitter by an unknown person who linked him to organized crime in the region, in addition to making a call [for him] to be investigated and “swallowed by the earth.””

In view of this, Proceso demanded that the federal and state governments do “the right thing so that these acts against Ezequiel Flores cease, in a real and effective way, and offer all the guarantees that the said authorities are obliged to provide for the performance of his activity and so that through it, the right of women and men from Guerrero to be informed is guaranteed.”

For its part, the General Secretariat of the state of Guerrero declared that it immediately reported what happened to the State Mechanism, which in turn participated in the National Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, and offered Flores Contreras measures of protection by the Attorney General’s Office, which he did not accept. The government of Hector Astudillo Flores, reiterated “its commitment to the respect that communicators deserve” and called on the State Attorney General’s Office “to speed up investigations in cases of attacks on journalists in Guerrero and see to the denunciation that Mr. Ezequiel Flores Contreras could present at the time with the greatest efficiency and promptness.”

For more information in Spanish:

Corresponsal en Guerrero de la revista Proceso es víctima de campaña de desprestigio vía Twitter (Artículo 19, 4 de diciembre de 2018)

Proceso denuncia amenazas en contra de su corresponsal Ezequiel Flores (Proceso, 5 de diciembre de 2018)

Desconocidos amenazaron al corresponsal Ezequiel Flores Contreras, denuncia la revista Proceso (Sin Embargo, 5 de diciembre de 2018)

Posición del gobierno de Guerrero sobre las amenazas en contra del corresponsal Ezequiel Flores (Proceso, 6 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero : Artículo 19 llama a investigar motivaciones políticas en el caso del asesinato del periodista, Gabriel Soriano (30 de octubre de 2018)

Guerrero : asesinan a locutor de Radio y Televisión de Guerrero (25 de octubre de 2018)

Nacional: Relatores sobre libertad de expresión de la CIDH y la ONU presentan informe después de visita a México (21 de junio de 2018)

Guerrero : allanan las oficinas de la agencia de noticias Quadratín en Acapulco (25 de abril de 2018)

Guerrero : Asesinan y estigmatizan a la periodista y bloguera Leslie Ann Pamela Montenegro del Real en Acapulco (13 de febrero de 2018)

Guerrero: Denuncian intimidación contra el reportero de El Sur, Zacarías Cervantes (27 de noviembre de 2017)

Guerrero: agresiones contra el corresponsal de Proceso (14 de junio de 2017)

Guerrero: denuncian intimidaciones en contra del corresponsal de la revista Proceso en el estado (21 de agosto de 2014)


National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office

December 14, 2018

journalists(@Proceso)

On November 29th, at a press conference in Mexico City, the Network All Rights for All (Red TdT in its Spanish acronym) reported that during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto (December 2012-November 2018), 161 defenders and 40 journalists were murdered with impunity. “This demonstrates conclusively that the six-year term of office that ended was lethal for dissenting voices: painful data, which become lives torn apart for a country that is democratic and that, officially, is not at war,” it stressed.

In its report “From Memory … Hope”, the Tdt Network stressed that only 3% of the cases of murdered defenders are judged and that these investigations “often ignore their activity as the cause of the murder.” 42 of the defenders belonged to an indigenous people. 40% of the people killed were community defenders, and most of them were working for the defense of Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (ESCE) and of the Earth and the territory. 19 were women and three were trans. The most dangerous states were Guerrero (28% of cases), Oaxaca (20%) and Chihuahua (11%).

The Tdt Network denounced that the response of the Mexican State to this situation “has been limited to the action of the Protection Mechanism for Defenders and Journalists operated by the Ministry of the Interior, which has only reactive measures and does not obey the specific needs of the beneficiaries. This year, even, the Trust that endows the Mechanism with resources ran out of resources, putting 727 defenders and journalists at greater risk.”

It proposed that the struggle of all these defenders “was interrupted in a violent way, but not their ideals and convictions, not their dreams or the memory of their just struggle for a different world. There lies the hope. In all those people who during these six years and still now persist in the defense of human rights, in this service for life. The hope is in the learning, achievements and seeds sowed of those people who, although they are no longer there, continue to be present in their fighting and dignified spirit.”

For more information in Spanish:

161 personas defensoras de DH asesinadas en sexenio que termina, sembradores de esperanza: Red TDT (Red Tdt, 29 de noviembre de 2018)

Red TDT: 161 defensores de derechos y 40 periodistas asesinados en el sexenio (Proceso, 29 de noviembre de 2018)

En el actual sexenio, 161 defensores fueron asesinados en México (El Imparcial, 29 de noviembre de 2018)

Con Peña, 161 defensores de derechos humanos y 40 periodistas asesinados: Red TDT (30 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: “The Time is Now, Effective Public Policies for the Right to Defend Human Rights” Report Published  (October 30th, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14th, 2018)

National: Defenders and Journalists Denounce Insufficient Resources for Continuity of Protection Mechanism (September 26th, 2018)

National: UN-DH urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders (September 17th, 2018)

National/International: International organizations call Mechanism for Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists into question (May 16th, 2015)