National/Chiapas: INM offers public apology to four indigenous migrants from Chiapas

November 11, 2019
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@Proceso

On November 7, in the Hall of Fine Arts in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the National Institute of Migration (INM) offered a public apology to four Tzeltal indigenous people from Chiapas who were detained, tortured and almost deported by INM elements. In 2015, the two men and two women were on their way north, looking for work in one of the country’s several industrial crops. Presenting their birth certificates and their electoral identification at a checkpoint in San Juan del Río, Querétaro, “INM agents told them they were false, took them to a migratory station and told them they were Guatemalans; they mistreated them so that they would admit to being from Guatemala”, explained María Fernanda Pincus, director of the Legal Clinic of the University program of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). One of the victims was still a minor at the time of the arrest.

Accompanied by the Municipal President of San Cristóbal, Jerónima Toledo Villalobos, Francisco Garduño Yáñez, commissioner of INM, apologized to the legal representative of the victims, Gretchen Kuhner, for the violation of their human rights and the “damage to the image, honor and dignity“, of the 4 people. “They were not present at the ceremony because they want to maintain a private life, but it was very important that a public apology be made because it is not something that happens only to them; they said we don’t want it to happen to us, but neither to other people”, said María Fernanda Pincus. According to Gretchen Kuhner, the victims accept the apology.

As consequence and in an administrative process, two deputy directors, an agent, a coordinator and two heads of department were punished with suspensions between 15 and 30 days. “Through me, the Institute is committed to guaranteeing measures of non-repetition, so that the acts that violated the human rights of these people do not happen again”, Garduño Yáñez said. He added that the end of non-repetition “translates into prevention through the sensitization of public servants attached to the INM, on issues related to indigenous communities and the urgency of its members to migrate to other parts of the country.” According to María Fernanda Pincus, in addition, there will be “reparation of the damage in economic terms, because they were going to work in the north of the country as agricultural day laborers and they will be paid what they missed earning in those days.”

Mario Peña, also from the Legal Clinic of the UNAM’s University Program on Human Rights, pointed out that “there are no conditions to know who are Mexicans and who are foreigners. We have noticed that people in vulnerable conditions with little command of Spanish are more affected and that they are not provided with an interpreter of their language in migration procedures”.

For more information:

Pide el INM disculpas a indígenas tzeltales por agresión en retén (La Jornada, November 7, 2019)

El INM ofrece disculpa pública a indígenas chipanecos confundidos con migrantes (El Proceso, November 7, 2019)

Ofrece INM disculpa pública a 4 indígenas de Chiapas (El Heraldo de México, November 7, 2019)

Ofrecen disculpa pública a tzeltales torturados en 2015 (EL Universal, November 8, 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Effort to Protect Migrants “Lasted a Few Months”, UNHCHR (November 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula (October 17, 2019)

National/International: CSOs Denounce Poor Conditions in Provisional Migration Centers in Chiapas (October 13, 2019)

Chiapas: African Migrants Clash with National Guard in Tapachula (October 8, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

National/International: Mexico and US Reevaluate Migration Agreement after Three Months; Disagreement over Desired Outcomes (September 23, 2019)

International/National: UNO Calls for Evaluation of National Guard as Migratory Control in Mexico (September 2, 2019)


Guerrero: CRAC-PC marches in Chilpancingo demanding the reform of the Law 701

November 11, 2019

On November 7, more than 1,000 members of the 5 Houses of Justice of the Regional Coordination of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC) marched in Chilpancingo to demand the repeal of Article 14 of Law 701, which was modified a year ago. They denounced that it violates the rights of indigenous peoples, in particular, the validity of their own system of security and community justice.

The aim of the reform was to harmonize the States legal system and the indigenous and afro-mexican regulatory systems for public security as well as the dispensing of justice by regulating the procedures for the validation of community decisions by competent judges and courts. The CRAC-PC denounced that “the last legislature demolished the figure of the CRAC as a legitimate justice system”, when the reform led delinquents arrested by community members to file injunctions against the community justice system.

In the local Congress, the demonstrators were attended by a commission of deputies of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), to whom they delivered a document with the request for the repeal of the reforms of Law 701. Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for the Defense of Human Rights, was also present. He declared that the march seeks “to make visible what is happening and not to take steps backwards to the rights of the people as the last legislature did”. He also stated that there was willingness on the part of the congressmen to review the petition and that there is hope that a meeting can be held by the end of this month.

For more information:

Marcha la Crac; exige derogar el artículo 14 de la Ley 701 (La Jornada de Guerrero, November 7, 2019)

Marcha la CRAC-PC en Chilpancingo en rechazo a reforma a la Ley 701 (Quadratin, November 7, 2019 )
Marcha la CRAC en Chilpancingo contra reformas a la Ley 701 y la Constitución (Ahora Guerrero,
November 7, 2019)

CRAC marcha para recuperar derechos de Casas de Justicia (Bajo Palabra, November 7, 2019)

Marcha De Autodefensas De El CRAC-PC en chilpancingo guerrero mexico defiendes sistema normativo (Vídeo, November 7, 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: 16 CRAC PC and CECOP Prisoners Released (June 17, 2019)

Guerrero: Urgent Action “No Dam, No Prisoners”, Demands Release of 16 Indigenous CECOP Members (March 14, 2019)

Guerrero/International: MEPs and International Organizations Express Concern over Criminalization of CECOP Members (February 13, 2019)

Guerrero: national and international organizations visit prisoners of the CECOP and the CRAC-PC (October 10, 2018)

 


International/National: Laguna Larga Continues to Demand Immediate Return 28 Months after Forced Displacement

October 29, 2019

LLIPhoto @ SIPAZ

On October 20th, the Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman, Jordan Rodas, and the Fifth Visitor of the Mexican National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Edgar Corzo, visited families who are victims of forced displacement from the Laguna Larga community (Guatemala) to verify the serious situation facing families in the camp on the border between Guatemala and Mexico.

Currently, the Guatemalan victims have been displaced for more than 28 months, after the community of Laguna Larga was violently evicted by 1400 elements of the Guatemalan army in June 2017. Since then the community has been accompanied by different civil organizations, including; Voces Mesoamericanas, the “All Rights for All” Network (Red TDT), the Legal Office for Human Rights, Candelaria Civil Resistance, Health and Community Development AC (SADEC in its Spanish acronym) and SIPAZ, who, as a follow-up to the process, gave a press conference to air the current situation of the displaced families process.

In the Campeche City, along with displaced representatives, they announced that the situation of the approximately 350 people, including more than 100 boys, girls and adolescents, remains worrying. Representatives of the displaced said they continue to resist at the border waiting for the government of their country to give them guarantees to return.

They announced that during the months of forced displacement “they have survived in conditions of extreme precariousness, which has especially impacted minors, the elderly and pregnant women, groups among which there have already been eight deaths.”

They denounced “the lack of guarantee of access to health, the lack of adequate and quality food, water in conditions not suitable for human consumption, as well as difficulties in the identity procedures of girls and boys born in Mexico.”

Another issue of urgency is the repair of a dirt road between the current site of the camp on the border strip and the ejido of El Desengaño, which currently represents three seriously damaged kilometers. Properly fixing it could substantially improve the lives of families.

LLIIThe road to the camp @ SIPAZ

In this regard, during a meeting in June 2019, the state government of Campeche and the municipal government of La Candelaria, committed themselves to the construction of the road in a period not exceeding 15 days. “Unfortunately, four months later, this has not happened and is justified between changes of the state government of Campeche and municipality of La Candelaria.”

They urged the state and municipal governments, in a collaborative framework, to immediately comply with the road repair commitment. Failure to do so will continue to put the life and integrity of the people in the camp at risk.

“Faced with this context of repeated omissions, breach of commitments and systematic absence of the Guatemalan government, directly responsible for the displacement of the community of Laguna Larga, families continue to demand, as the optimal measure of care and reparation, immediate return,” they stressed

For more information in Spanish:

A 28 meses de desplazamiento forzado, Laguna Larga continúa exigiendo retorno inmediato (Red TdT, 21 de octubre de 2019)

Activistas exigen ayuda humanitaria para guatemaltecos desplazados (Proceso, 21 de octubre de 2019)

Desplazados de Laguna Larga cumplen 28 meses de impunidad (22 de octubre de 2019, Chiapas Paralelo)

Exigen ayuda urgente para desplazados en frontera Campeche-Guatemala (La Jornada Maya, 21 de octubre de 2019)

Piden atención urgente para guatemaltecos desplazados (Novedades Campeche, 22 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Nacional: Dos años después de su desplazamiento forzado, la comunidad de Laguna Larga sigue exigiendo el retorno a sus tierras en Guatemala. (June 6th, 2019)

International/National: Over 100 Guatemalan Campesina Families Take Refuge at Mexican Border (June 11, 2017)


Chiapas: denunciation of criminalization against environmental activists in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

January 4, 2019

 

On December 27th, during a press conference that took place at the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, the board of Colonia Maya in the municipality San Cristóbal de Las Casas denounced the existence of arrest warrants against its members and demanded their immediate cancellation.

In June 2016, the construction of a housing estate caused a flooding that affected 20 families in Colonia Maya. As a reaction, various habitants started to organize themselves to defend their rights and the environmental rights.

Since then, the members of Colonia Maya’s board faced various threats and the criminalization of their movement to defend their district.

Three moths ago, the board met with representatives of Manuel Velasco’s government who proposed the construction of a rain drain in the settlement. The board responded that they could not take any decisions without the participation of the the Colonia’s assembly. The arrest warrants were released after that meeting.

In the words of the board about the criminalization: “We are in fear. Fear that justice one more will be bought. During the last days we have affirmed once more that the legal authorities in our country can be bought. We know that some of our members have received arrest warrants without committing any crime. We are being accused of kidnapping, when we only ever acted peacefully, consulting and respecting the settlement’s assembly.”

They solicited “that the hostility and the criminalization against human environmental rights defenders for the land and the territory are eradicated or cease as they are pillars of democracy and with their work they can promote and strengthen the civil participation”.

For more information in Spanish:

Cese la criminalización a defensores de la Madre Tierra (27 de diciembre de 2018, Chiapas Denuncia Publica).

Colonos de la Maya denuncian que les fueron inventados delitos (27 de diciembre de 2018, Noticias Voz e Imagen de Chiapas).

Se defienden activistas demandados (27 de diciembre de 2018, El Heraldo de Chiapas).

Criminalización por la defensa de la Madre Tierra (21 de junio de 2017, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas).

For more information from SIPAZ :

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

Nacional : Se pospone entrega de concesiones de agua vía Internet por seis meses en medio de protestas. (17 de octubre de 2018).


Chiapas: 21 Years Since the Massacre in Acteal

January 4, 2019

On December 21 and 22, 2018, members of the Civil Society Las Abejas de Acteal and guests commemorated the 21st anniversary of the Acteal massacre, which took place on December 22, 1997, in which 45 Tsotsil indigenous people, mainly women and children, members of Las Abejas, were murdered in Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, by alleged paramilitaries. The massacre “was committed with fury, treachery, and premeditation when they [the victims] were in the second day of fasting and prayer for the end of the violence unleashed in the municipality”, remembered Las Abejas.

Las Abejas denounced that they have “gone through 21 years of darkness that represents the impunity nourished by the PRI and PAN rulers, including the misnamed and corrupt “Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation,” which ordered the release of the perpetrators of the Acteal Massacre, despite the fact that they were directly pointed out by the survivors and that they had confessed to killing in Acteal, for which they had sentences of up to 30 years, now they walk with impunity in Chenalhó and around Acteal. And the intellectual authors [of the massacre] are free, mocking justice and the memory of our massacred brothers and sisters”.

Las Abejas and the Fray Batolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) indicated that they are not seeking dialogue with the current government but announced that they will continue to speak up, so that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) can make a pronouncement on the merits of the case. Pedro Faro Navarro, director of Frayba, indicated that “for a long time the situation has been closed at the national level, since the Mexican State has not only refused to take legal action, but has attributed to impunity with the release of almost all of the perpetrators”. For their part, Las Abejas clarified that “we will not exchange justice for money in any way. The real objective of our petition before the IACHR is for the Mexican State to recognize its responsibility for action and its failure in the Acteal Massacre and to guarantee the non-repetition of acts like Acteal”.

For more information in Spanish:

Nuestro país ha vivido un patrón sistemático de represión, corrupción, colusión, impunidad desde los años 60’, hasta el día de hoy (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Acteal 21 años de impunidad (Frayba, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Insiste Frayba en que CIDH se pronuncie sobre Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A 21 años de la matanza de Acteal, familiares y sobrevivientes recuerdan a las 45 víctimas (Sin Embargo, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Conmemoran 21 años de masacre de Acteal, la justicia aún pendiente(Regeneración, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Abejas de Acteal anuncian que no buscaran diálogo con AMLO; esperan dictamen de la CIDH (AlertaChiapas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A once días de la conmemoración de la Masacre de Acteal, les compartimos cartel de dicho evento (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Twentieth Anniversary of Acteal Massacre (January 14, 2018).

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal “Roots, Memory and Hope” Tour (July 28, 2017).

Chiapas: Launch of Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope (March 30, 2017).


Oaxaca: Verdict of the Popular Community Trial against the Mexican State and the mining companies

January 4, 2019

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On December 10th, on the International Human Rights Day as part of a political act in front of the Government Palace villages in Oaxaca-City, communities and organizations that participated in the “Popular Community Trial against the State and Mining Companies in Oaxaca” last October publicly presented the final verdict.

It should be remembered that in the Popular Community Trial participated 52 communities who presented 22 cases of affectations caused by mining in 5 of the state’s regions including – says the verdict- “irreversible affectations to the ecosystem, river contamination, fractures in the social structure and generalized insecurity in the regions, where those mining projects operate through mining companies, shock groups and state authorities”.

The verdict put forward the necessity to rescind the 322 concessions and the 41 valid mining projects within the State “as those were imposed without previous, free and informed consent by the communities and while violating our right to self-determination and autonomy to our cultural integrity, to administrate and control our territories and to maintain the collective property of our lands and communal natural goods”.

Equally, it demanded the immediate suspension of the issue of quarrying rights “until a new legal framework has been elaborated that fully and effectively respects the indigenous people’s rights as they were established in international treaties and the Constitution, until the repeal of the current mining law and others that protect the relations with that industry”. Likewise, it urged the authorities to pass laws and public policies which protect the indigenous people’s rights, which recognize them as subjects to public rights and include the in effective mechanisms of integral reparations for the caused damage.

The legal judgment also put forward the necessity to protect those who defend their territories so that they can do so in “conditions of liberty and security” and it demanded that “the politics of criminalization against the social protest are stopped, that the people responsible for assassinations are punished and that the disappeared territorial activists are presented alive immediately as well as the suspension of arrest warrants issued for the same reasons, individual and collective threats”.

The political act ended proclaiming “Yes to life, no to mining!” and “Neither gold nor silver, mining kills!”.

The report about the civil trial details that until 2017 there haven been registered 42 mining projects by 38 companies from Canada, the United States, Peru, Australia and Mexico. 36 of them in stage of exploration, 2 in development, one was postponed and 2 are already in the phase of commercial exploitation.

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca territorio prohibido para la minería”: exigencia de pueblos, comunidades y organizaciones frente al nuevo gobierno federal (Pronunciamiento e Informe, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Juicio Popular Comunitario contra el Estado y las Empresas Mineras (Vídeo, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Comunidades indígenas de Oaxaca exigen la prohibición total de la minería en el estado (Animal Político, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Demandan pueblos que Oaxaca sea territorio libre de minería (NVI Noticias, 12 de diciembre de 2018)

Oaxaca, territorio prohibido para la minería”: exigencia de comunidades al nuevo gobierno (Desinformémonos, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Repudian proyectos de mineras en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies Held (October 16th, 2018)

Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies Held

Oaxaca: Anuncian juicio popular contra empresas mineras. (9 de agosto de 2018)


Guerrero: national and international organizations visit prisoners of the CECOP and the CRAC-PC

October 10, 2018
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Press Conference at the Las Cruces prison (@La Jornada de Guerreo)

On October 5, members of Services and consultancies for peace (Serapaz), in representation of the Space of Civil Society Organizations for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (Espacio OSC), and the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) visited 16 of the 18 prisoners of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (Cecop) and the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC PC), held in the prison of Las Cruces, in Acapulco, since January 7. They were accompanied by the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, which has assumed the defense of said prisoners.

At a press conference outside the prison after the visit, Alberto Solís Castro, director of Serapaz stated that the struggle that has led the Cecop has been emblematic for the country: they have resisted for more than 12 years the onslaught of different governments and faced unfair situations and repressions. What we are seeing is a new effort to criminalize them, to stop them and attack them, because they fight for the land, because they oppose a dam megaproject that would end the environment and a good part of community life in the region”. He reported that they will issue a recommendation to the state government to release the prisoners and stressed that at least eight cases of torture during detention were documented. The complaints on those case have not been addressed, despite visits by representatives of state and national human rights organizations. He announced that next week they will report this situation to the person that will be in charge of the Institute of Indigenous Peoples, Adelfo Regino; to the next head of the Welfare Ministry, as well as to Senators Félix Salgado Macedonio and Nestora Salgado García.

Tommy Van Straten, member of Sipaz, indicated that as an international organization with a presence in Guerrero since 2005, they are concerned about the mistreatment of the detainees. He said that in this visit they documented the cases of torture inside the jail and the differential treatment the prisonners have received, including the isolation of the rest of the prison population. He also highlighted the situation and traumas of the prisoners’ relatives.

For his part, Rogelio Téliz García, Tlachinollan’s lawyer, said that the defense process is progressing, that there will be a new hearing on October 26 where the prisonners are expected to be released, such as a group of eight community members already was. He pointed out that there are 50 arrest warrants against the same number of community members in Cacahuatepec who, he said, are being persecuted by the government. He said that this happens despite the fact that the Crac-PC is protected by Law 701.

For more information (in Spanish):

Visitan ONG a los presos del Cecop; documentan 8 casos de tortura (El Sur, 5 de octubre de 2018)

Documentan ONG 8 casos de tortura a presos del Cecop en Acapulco (Quadartín, 5 de octubre de 2018)
Visitan activistas a los presos del Cecop en la cárcel de Las Cruces (El Sur, 6 de octubre de 2018)

Visita una ONG internacional a miembros del Cecop y de la Crac (La Jornada de Guerrero, 6 de octubre de 2018)

Visita SIPAZ a los presos del Cecop y la CRAC PC (La Plaza, 6 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Guerrero: 50 arrest warrants against members of CECOP (September 24, 2018)

Guerrero: 9 of the 25 detainees for a confrontation in La Concepción in January are released September 17, 2018

Guerrero: Judge Orders Guarantees for Rights to Water, Health and Dignified Treatment for 25 CECOP Prisoners April 24, 2018

Guerrero: Extrajudicial Executions and Arrests of Community Police and Members of CECOP January 22, 2018