Guerrero: 16 CRAC PC and CECOP Prisoners Released

June 17, 2019
rednoticias

@Red Noticias

On June 7th, the 16 members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP in its Spanish acronym) and the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC in its Spanish acronym) were declared innocent. They had been arrested on January 7th, 2018, following violence in La Concepcion, in the rural area of ​​Acapulco, where six civilians and five community policemen were killed, The first thirteen were released on the same day, including the spokesman and leader of the CECOP, Marco Antonio Suastegui Muñoz. It is expected that the others will leave in the coming days.

In an interview with reporters, the lawyer of La Montaña, Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of, Vidulfo Rosales Sierra said that the judges ruled in favor, since the Public Prosecutor’s Office could not verify the full responsibility of the detainees. He stressed that the court expressed “its concerns about these extremely inadequate investigations, where there was torture, evidence was extracted illegally, where they were also in the Office of the Prosecutor for many days and the defense was not allowed to enter to speak with them, and in all that time, illegal evidence was obtained.”

Given the risk of fresh confrontation between the inhabitants of La Concepcion and the people who will be released, Vidulfo Rosales called for a reconciliation and pacification path that “is not only of the parties, but must also come from the State”, recognizing that there are many old grievances and disputes that exist in the area.

On the same day, in Chilpancingo, members of the Movement for the Liberation of the Political Prisoners of Guerrero were evicted by riot police when they blocked the Sol highway between Mexico and Acapulco precisely to demand the release of the prisoners who were innocent.

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a comunitarios y miembros del Cecop (La Jornada, 7 de junio de 2019)

Liberaron a 16 defensores del agua en Guerrero (Regeneración, 7 de junio de 2019)

Dictan libertad absolutoria a los 16 detenidos de la CRAC-PC y CECOP (Quadratin, 7 e de junio de 2019)


Excarcelan a 13 opositores a La Parota (La Jornada, 8 de junio de 2019)

Policías desalojan a manifestantes de la Autopista del Sol (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2019)

Bloquea Movimiento por Libertad de Presos Políticos la Autopista del Sol (Quadratin, 7 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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)

Advertisements

Chiapas: Tzeltal Women Tortured and Raped by Military in 1994 Denounce Total Impunity

June 9, 2019

Abejas 1@SIPAZ

On June 4th, dozens of members of civil groups (including SIPAZ), women from Las Abejas Civil Society and members of the San Cristobal de Las Casas diocese, accompanied the Tzeltal sisters Ana, Beatriz and Celia Gonzalez Perez in the symbolic takeover of the military barracks in this city, to demand that justice be done for the torture and rape of those who were victims, 25 years ago, of the military in the municipality of Altamirano.

The lawyer, Gloria Guadalupe Flores Ruiz, member of the Gonzalez Parez Sisters’ Committee, recalled that the three indigenous women and their mother Delia Perez de Gonzalez, were detained at a Mexican Army checkpoint in Altamirano on June 4th, 1994, accused of being support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) and that “they were beaten, tortured and raped by the military, who forced the mother to witness the attacks” so that they would provide information about the Zapatistas.

In April 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ruled on the case and recommended that the Mexican State “investigate the facts in a complete, impartial and effective manner in the ordinary Mexican criminal jurisdiction to determine the responsibility and sanction of all authors of human rights violations.” No government wanted to attend to the case and impunity and oblivion have prevailed. On May 7th, however, a working group of the IACHR was held in Jamaica and the Mexican government undertook to comply “in a comprehensive manner” with the 2001 recommendation.

The demands of the victims and their defense include: “Investigation and punishment of the military responsible for the rape and torture; to hold a public acknowledgment of responsibility in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and with the presence of military commanders, and integral reparation for the damage caused, in accordance with the worldview of the Perez Gonzalez sisters.”

Flores Ruiz emphasized that “the Mexican State refuses to recognize that the perpetrators of serious violations of the human rights of the Gonzalez Perez sisters were the military. This has been the point that has stalled the case in the previous administrations, because they did not want to go out and say that the Army was responsible for this violence generated in the context of the low intensity war in 1994, but we hope that this government of the fourth transformation shows that the civilian command is above the military.”

For his part, the priest Marcelo Perez Perez, responsible for the social pastoral of the three dioceses of Chiapas, asked “the maximum commander of the Mexican Army, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of the Republic,” that justice be done in the case of the Gonzalez Perez sisters and their mother. “If there is no justice for the Gonzalez Perez sisters, they will be accomplices and traitors to the indigenous peoples,” he stressed.

Abejas 2@SIPAZ

 Women of Las Abejas Civil Society stated that, “today we come here to join the demand for justice from compañeras Ana, Beatriz, Celia Gonzalez Perez and Delia Perez (…) and with all those hundreds, thousands and thousands of women who have been victims of the perpetrating army and violator of women and of human rights.” They also denounced that “we know that the Mexican army not only tortured and raped women 25 years ago, but, that they continued with their barbarism, they continued to humiliate women, either raping them or massacring them directly or indirectly as with the 21 women massacred by the PRI members from Chenalho, four of whom were pregnant, and after Acteal they followed, with the women of Atenco, compañeras of the Sierra Zongolica de Veracruz and, we can continue with an endless list. The Mexican Army is not an army that serves the Mexican nation, it is an army that is at the service of the capitalist system, which is trained to kill and exterminate the original peoples of Mexico and the women and men who criticize the bad government and the system of death.”

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen justicia a 25 años de la violación tumultuaria de tres hermanas cometida por militares en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2019)

A 25 años, hermanas violadas por militares en Chiapas exigen justicia (La Jornada, 4 de junio de 2019)

Mujeres indígenas de Chiapas acusan impunidad por violación de militares hace 25 años (Sin Embargo, 4 de junio de 2019)

Tzeltales en Chiapas exigen justicia por violación atribuida a militares (El Universal, 4 de junio de 2019)

El ejército mexicano no es un ejército que sirve a la nación mexicana, es un ejército que está al servicio del sistema capitalista. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 4 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Indigenous Tzeltal women raped by the Mexican Army accept “compensation” with conditions (October 25, 2010)


Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”

June 9, 2019

BorderCivil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast (@RedTdT)

From May 29th to 31st, the “Civil Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in the Mexican Southeast” (MCO in its Spanish acronym), composed of 24 organizations from Mexico, Central America and the United States, including SIPAZ, academics and journalists, toured various control points and immigration authorities on the coast and southern border of Chiapas “in order to strengthen the documentation and support that local organizations have made in the face of Central American exoduses in recent months.”

In a press conference at the end of the mission, the organizations asserted that, “the southern border is silent torture.” They denounced that “a militarized security approach continues and is sharpening above the respect and protection of the human rights of people in movement. We documented multiple immigration control points with strong presence of state security forces, particularly federal police and military police, without clarity about their functions and powers in the context of migration“, something that was considered “incongruous with the official discourse of a migration policy that respects human rights.”

They also identified “a strategy of attrition and containment, which is intended to generate fatigue, demobilization and dissuasion of people before access to the right to seek refuge and regularization procedures, as well as to restrict and criminalize human mobility.”

They documented that “immigration detention serves as a strategy of repression and punishment” as “raids and migration control operations have intensified along the entire coast.” They pointed out that “the conditions of immigration detention, which are in themselves violating human rights, have intensified, amounting to forms of physical and psychological torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” In addition to racist and xenophobic practices towards specific groups, they expressed their concern when “families are separated in raids, during detention, release and deportation, thus violating the principle of family unity.” They were also outraged by “the deprivation of freedom of migrant children and adolescents and asylum seekers in detention centers, the lack of humanitarian aid and lack of general respect for their rights, contrary to their Higher Interest.”

The MCO pointed to several flaws in government attention, including “the lack of institutional coordination and co-responsibility among the different levels of government, as well as a lack of comprehensive care protocols on migration and humanitarian issues with a focus on human rights, prevailing improvised reactions, assistance and with an emphasis on security “; as well as the “limitation of human, financial and infrastructure resources.”

Finally, it noted “with particular alarm that the stigmatization and criminalization of migration is increasing, resulting in the denial of the right to due process and to have a defense in immigration procedures. As a result, solidarity and the work of defending human rights is hindered and criminalized.”

Interestingly, on May 30th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador came out in defense of the migrants through a letter stating that “human beings do not leave their villages for pleasure but for necessity”, which was directed to the US president, Donald Trump, who threatened to impose tariffs on domestic products (from five to 25%) if Mexico does not solve the phenomenon of irregular migration.

For more information in Spanish:

La frontera sur es una tortura silenciosa: Misión de Observación (Misión de Observación de la Crisis Humanitaria de Personas Migrantes y Refugiados en el Sureste Mexicano, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Protección migratoria no puede subordinarse a relación México-EU: ONG (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2019)

Trump advierte que los aranceles a México aumentarán si no se controla el flujo de inmigrantes ilegales (CNN México, 31 de mayo de 2019)

AMLO defiende a migrantes frente a Trump, pero las detenciones en México se disparan 100% (Animal Político, 1ero de junio de 2019)

Discurso oficial sobre migrantes difiere de la realidad, afirman ONG (La Jornada, 1ero de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: Human Rights Organizations Demand End to Child and Adolescent Migrant Detentions (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: First Depolyment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: OSC presentan el “Informe del monitoreo de derechos humanos del éxodo centroamericano en el sureste mexicano: octubre 2018 – febrero 2019” (May 3, 2019)

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

National/International: Contrasting Mexican and US Government Approaches to Central American Migration (April 2, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Secretaria de Gobernación se reúne con funcionarios del gobierno de Donald Trumpf para abordar el tema Migración (March5, 2019)

International/National: Registration of Humanitarian Visas for Migrants Closes (February 12, 2019)


Oaxaca/International: Oaxaca Consortium Presents Damian Gallardo Case to UN Committee against Torture (CAT)

May 26, 2019

CAT

On May 16th, the Oaxacan organization Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity filed a complaint with the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) within the framework of the 66th period of sessions of that body, for torture and serious violations of the guarantees of the defender of human rights, Damian Gallardo Martinez from his detention on May 18th, 2013 until his release on December 28th, 2018. It is worth noting that, since 2002, one of the powers of the CAT is to be able to hear individual complaints.

Consortium explained that by resorting to this mechanism “justice is sought not only in the individual case but to generate a precedent that transcends and ends with the criminalization of social protest and the use of torture in arbitrary arrests of defenders in Oaxaca.” It recalled that “Gallardo Martinez was arbitrarily detained on May 18th, 2013, within the framework of the criminalization of the teachers’ struggle and social protest, deployed during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto against opponents of the “educational reform””; and that “during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, at least 141 arbitrary detentions of defenders in Oaxaca have been documented.”

Consortium also emphasized that “in the case of the state of Oaxaca, there is not a single sentence for torture to date”; and that “at national level, sentences are also very rare.” It indicated that in the case of Gallardo Martinez, after six years of denouncing torture, “progress in the investigations is null and void”, which is why it “decided to seek justice at the international level by filing a complaint with the United Nations.”

The complaint asked the CAT to urge the Mexican State to prosecute, and punish with appropriate penalties all state agents and authorities responsible for violations of the Convention Against Torture as well as to fully compensate for the damage suffered, including “a public acknowledgment of responsibility that impacts on the cessation of the criminalization of social protest in Oaxaca”; among other demands.

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia ONG a México ante la ONU (Vanguardia, 18 de mayo de 2019)

Denuncia al Estado mexicano por tortura (NVI Noticias, 17 de mayo de 2019)

Frente a impunidad en el país se denuncia ante la ONU a Estado Mexicano por Tortura en el caso de Damián Gallardo Martínez (Consorcio, 16 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca : Exigen atención para 33 personas defensoras de derechos humanos bajo procesos judiciales (3 de agosto de 2018)

Nacional/Oaxaca: German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico (April 10, 2017)

Oaxaca: Demand for the immediate release of Damian Gallardo (December 30, 2014)

Oaxaca: 16 months after the imprisonment of Damian Gallardo, and following call from the UN, there is no response from the Mexican State (October 12, 2014)

Oaxaca/National: Assault on teacher Damian Gallardo in a prison of Jalisco (June 13, 2014)


National/International: CAT Issues Recommendations on Torture in Mexico

May 22, 2019

Torture

On May 17th, the United Nations Organization Committee against Torture of (CAT) gave its opinion after the evaluation of the matter submitted by Mexico in April. It issued 98 recommendations that the Mexican government, through Foreign Affairs, undertook to analyze and work on: “Mexico will continue open to international scrutiny and will place special emphasis on the cooperation that the various agencies, agencies and countries have offered, to address to make effective the existing legal framework to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights in Mexico, as well as to perfect it, when required.” The Mexican authorities will have a year to present new developments regarding compliance.

The CAT considered that the practice of torture in Mexico “is very worrying” and urged the Mexican State to “pronounce itself unambiguously in favor of respecting the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and publicly announce that whoever commits acts of this nature, be complicit in them or tolerate them, will be personally responsible for such acts before the law, will be subject to criminal prosecution and appropriate sanctions.”

It pointed out “the serious shortcomings of the investigation of acts of torture and ill-treatment in Mexico, as well as the persistence of high levels of impunity associated with this type of crime.” It also regretted that detention in custody of suspects is maintained in the legal system, although the existence of a constitutional reform project is taken into account, which, if approved, would suppose its elimination.

The CAT asked Mexico to guarantee the civilian command of the National Guard in order to “preserve its independence” and “ensure that the tasks of maintaining public order are in charge, to the greatest extent possible, of civil and non-military authorities.“On the other hand, the lack of clarity about the applicable regulations regarding the use of force and in relation to the identification of members of the security forces and their vehicles is also a matter of concern,” it stressed.

It was concerned by reports that “the use of torture to obtain confessions is common and that confessions obtained through torture are used against the accused as evidence of guilt before the courts.”

The CAT urged the implementation of “effective measures” to ensure that detainees enjoy in practice all fundamental safeguards from the start of their detention in accordance with international standards, in particular: the right to be assisted without delay by a lawyer and to receive free legal assistance in case of need, among other concerns.

For more information in Spanish:

“Muy preocupante”, práctica de tortura en México: Comité de ONU (La Jornada, 17 de mayo de 2019)

La ONU cuestiona designación de militar en retiro al mando de la GN (Proceso, 17 de mayo de 2019)

Urge ONU a México a prohibir la tortura y contar con un registro de detenciones (SDP Noticias, 17 de mayo de 2019)

Emite ONU 98 recomendaciones a México ante preocupación por práctica de tortura (MVS Noticias, 17 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International: “Group of Litigants against Torture in Latin America” Formed (May 7, 2019)

Internacional/Nacional:
El gobierno Mexicano niega que la tortura sea generalizada; sus
respuestas decepcionan a ONG (April 28, 2019)

Internacional: Grupo de ONGs presenta “Informe Alternativo de las Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil de México” sobre la tortura (April 24th, 2019)

National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico (April 11, 2019)

National/International: Mexico Accepts 262 of 264 UN Recommendations from 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (March 21, 2019)


Little Progress 60 Days after Start of Hunger Strike in Various Sate Prisons

May 15, 2019

Hunger strikePrisoners’ relatives (@“No estamos todxs” Working Group)

On May 7th, the “No estamos todxs” Working Group published a statement on the situation of prisoners on hunger strike almost 60 days after starting it.

It recalled that on March 6th, six prisoners in different prisons of the State of Chiapas initiated this action demanding “justice and immediate and unconditional release,” with seven more inmates initiating an indefinite strike three days later. At the same time, relatives and friends, ex-prisoners and different civil and social organizations began “dissemination, accompaniment and denunciation activities, adding to the same demands.”

The Working Group again denounced that “the legal processes of these people are plagued by irregularities and serious violations of their human rights. Arbitrary arrests without arrest warrants, humiliation of dignity, fabrication of crimes, statements extracted under torture, lack of translator, loss of files, violation of the right to an adequate defense, delays of up to 14 years in obtaining a sentence, lack of presence of the accusatory party, among others.”

Before the strike, the state government opened a dialogue process between March 20th and 29th to address the following issues: review and study of the files and files; improvements in the conditions of the strikers (ending isolation, degrading treatment, threats and coercion); as well as investigation and immediate, effective and adequate documentation of the cases of allegations of torture. The relatives left the negotiating table after that, noting in a press conference “the discrimination they felt on the part of government interlocutors and the lack of real interest in solving the demand for freedom.” They demanded the state and federal government to create a “suitable space, with competent authorities and decision-making capacity that could fully meet the demands of this process of struggle”

On April 10th, a new process of dialogue began in which the state government asked to review the files without additional “pressure” from the strikers. By that time, 20 people were participating in the process, and “symbolically” agreed to give the authorities 20 days to show progress, a deadline that ends on May 13th. Meanwhile the strikers decided to eat food every third day “so that their agency has the capacity to return to the hunger strike in case their demands are not heard.”

The Working Group affirmed that to date “beyond the administrative management of the conflict itself, there has been no progress in concrete responses. Alluding to the workload, the holiday period, the difficulty of the agenda and communication problems with other agents necessary for progress, they have been delaying the processes and avoiding giving concrete answers about the real situation of the evolution of the procedures to find a solution to the conflict.”

It is worried that, “there is nothing to suggest an exit other than the extreme action of a hunger strike demanding justice and freedom. Everything points to the integrity, health, safety, life of these people, as well as their freedom, it is not something that is on the agenda of the government. The changes, of which they boast so much in their speeches, do not seem to coincide with the reality of their actions and that the only alternative in the search for justice is to risk life to try to achieve it.”

For more information in Spanish:

A casi 60 días del inicio de la huelga de hambre en los penales del Estado de Chiapas y sin respuestas concretas en la resolución del conflicto (Grupo de Trabajo “No estamos todxs”, 7 de mayo de 2019)

Sin respuesta, presos indígenas se mantienen en huelga de hambre (Sie7e de Chiapas, 8 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Press Conference for Prisoners on Hunger Strike (May 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike (April 8, 2019)

Chiapas: Thirteen Prisoners on Hunger Strike (March 24, 2019)


International: “Group of Litigants against Torture in Latin America” Formed

May 7, 2019

TorturePhoto @ La Jornada

 

In San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, lawyers from ten countries formed the Group of Litigants against Torture in Latin America. The group consists of 16 lawyers from ten organizations in the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina and Mexico after analyzing patterns of torture that are replicated in various regions. It aims to “discuss common challenges, improve, strengthen and overcome obstacles in the fight against torture, an endemic practice that occurs in many ways in all nations.”

“The idea is to carry out common actions, as a single group (…) what we are doing is something unique, because we know it has never happened on the continent, which is the starting point of what will be a group of litigants or lawyers who fight against torture and impunity at a regional level in Latin America”, said Helena Sola Martin, in charge of the World Organization against Torture in Latin America (OMCT in its Spanish acronym), in an interview with La Jornada.

“The practice of torture does not only occur in one sector or in certain countries, but is general in women, migrants, indigenous and others, so it is a major challenge of work we have in the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba)”, said lawyer Gilberto Hernandez.

For more informatio in Spanish:

Abogados de 10 países conforman grupo litigante contra la tortura (La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2019)

Arman bloque legal contra tortura en AL (Zócalo, 11 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Alta Comisionada de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos visita México (10 de abril de 2019)

Chiapas: se lleva a cabo el Encuentro Encuentro “Por la Vida y la Memoria de nuestros Pueblos: Festival de la Palabra”. (29 de marzo de 2019)

Nacional/Internacional : México acepta 262 de las 264 emitidas por la ONU en el marco del Examen Periódico Universal (EPU) 2018 (18 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Liberan a Diego López Méndez, preso de la organización Solidarios de la Voz del Amate (13 de marzo de 2019)