National/International: “Torture and Mistreatment Continue to Be Widespread in Mexico”, Juan E. Mendez

March 8, 2017

Torture.pngAmnesty International campaign against torture in Mexico

On 24 February, the current UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, presented the follow-up report on the mission carried out by his predecessor Juan E. Mendez in Mexico on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The report pointed out that “torture continues to be widespread on the part of security forces and investigators”; that suffocation, sexual violence, electric shocks, death threats, beatings, and psychological torture are “commonly used for obtaining information, confessions or as a method of punishment. To this is added a context of serious impunity, where the lack of investigation into these facts is the rule.”

In his assessment of the situation, the rapporteur stated that “organized crime is a challenge for the authorities and the population.” He commented that since 2006 and under the so-called “war against drug trafficking”, “militarization of public security remains as strategy.” He expressed concern about the “extremely vulnerability” of migrants by stating that “the detention of migrants by state agents is often violent and includes insults, threats and humiliations.”

 The Rapporteur regretted to conclude in his report that since his visit two years ago the situation “has not changed”, that “torture and mistreatment are still widespread in Mexico.” He noted that the “elimination of this practice is a fundamental challenge and that is why it is important to enact the General Law on Torture, with provisions that comply with the highest international standards […] so that torture, enforced disappearances, the persecution of victims and defenders of human rights and impunity cease to be part of everyday life. “ He further requested from Mexico that there be no “exceptions to the rule of exclusion of evidence obtained through torture” in that law.

For more information in Spanish:

Pide ONU a Peña mayores esfuerzos para combatir tortura, desapariciones e impunidad ( Proceso, 3 de marzo de 2017)

Cuatro veces más quejas por tortura en último año: CNDH ( La Jornada, 28 de febrero de 2017)

Gobernación le pegó por 4 años al Papa, ONU, CIDH, HRW, AI… y dejó a México solo frente a Trump ( Sin Embargo, 27 de febrero de 2017)

La tortura aún es una práctica generalizada por parte de las autoridades en México: Relator de la ONU( Sin Embargo, 27 de febrero de 2017)

Preocupa a ONU política migratoria aplicada en México (El universal , 26 de febrero de 2017)

Violaciones, asfixia y descargas: las prácticas de tortura de las fuerzas policiales en México (Animal Político, 2 de marzo de 2017)

La tortura aún es generalizada en México: relator de la ONU ( Nwnoticias , 2 de marzo de 2017)

Informe del Relator Especial sobre la tortura y otros tratos o penas crueles, inhumanos o degradantes, Juan E. Méndez (Oficina del Alto Comisionado de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, 29 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Amnistía Internacional presenta su informe anual sobre la situación de derechos humanos en el mundo. México, “en una de las peores crisis de derechos humanos y justicia” (3 de marzo de 2017)

Nacional/Internacional: relator especial de Naciones Unidas sobre Tortura presenta informe sobre México en Ginebra, Suiza (10 de marzo de 2015)

Nacional: Organizaciones sociales se pronuncian sobre ley de tortura (31 de mayo 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)

 

 

 


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia’s Liberty at Risk

February 5, 2017

Roberto.pngRoberto Paciencia Cruz on the day of his release, Photo @: Espoir Chiapas

On February 2, the No Estamos Todxs Working Group (GTNET in its Spanish acronym) and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) expressed their concern in a joint statement over the risk to personal freedom of Roberto Paciencia Cruz. Roberto is an indigenous Tsotsil from Chenalho, Chiapas and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. On August 9, 2013 he was arrested and charged with an alleged abduction. The GTNET and the CDHFBC recall in their communiqué that at the time of Roberto’s arrest and imprisonment “acts of torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trial were documented, violating the rights of personal liberty, integrity, personal security and access to due process.” They add that “since his arrest, and throughout a judicial process that lasted three years and three months, Roberto did not cease to fight against the injustices of the corrupt Mexican justice system, until on November 26, 2016, he was released on recognition of innocence by the Judge of the Criminal Branch of the Judicial District of San Cristobal de Las Casas, by acquittal “.

However, despite not being able to sustain an accusation against Paciencia during the trial, and despite the violations mentioned against him, the public prosecutor filed an appeal against that acquittal. The GTNET and the CDHFBC emphasize that, “the arbitrary and unjust detention of Roberto brought physical and psychological consequences for him and his family, disrupting his life plans and generating family impoverishment.”

According to information in their possession, they report that “the study of the case and the proposed sentence of appeal will be in charge of the Speaker C, of the Mixed Regional Court, Zone 3, San Cristobal de Las Casas, headed by Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez; the proposal will be voted by the judges who hold court in the middle of February.” The likelihood that the sentence of acquittal of Roberto Paciencia can be modified generates a situation of uncertainty, stress and anxiety for him and his family.

The GTNET and the CDHFBC exhort Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez and the members of the Mixed Regional Court, Zone 03 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas “to confirm the acquittal, because there are no legal elements to revoke the said sentence.” In addition, they ask the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and national and international civil society to be attentive to the resolution of the Mixed Regional Court and to carry out solidarity actions for Roberto Paciencia Cruz and his family when they can.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletin conjunto: En riesgo la libertad personal de Roberto Paciencia Cruz ( Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs (GTNET) & Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 02 de enero de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Liberan a Roberto Paciencia (26 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

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 negación del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (19 de octubre 2016)


Oaxaca/National: NGOs Document Arbitrary Detentions of Defenders – Relatives Demand their Release

December 28, 2016

Defenders.pngPedro Canche Herrera, Nestora Salgado and Enrique Guerrero Aviña (Photo@: Consorciooaxaca)

On December 14, 2016, the report Arbitrary and Illegal Detentions – Criminalization: a State Policy to Inhibit the Defense of Human Rights in Mexico, jointly prepared by 11 Mexican and international civil society organizations, was launched in Oaxaca. This report analyzes the case of five human rights defenders who were “illegally arrested without warrant and imprisoned for crimes they committed only for their legitimate activities in defense of human rights”: Damian Gallardo Martinez, Enrique Guerrero Aviña, Librado Baños Rodriguez, Pedro Canche Herrera and Nestora Salgado – the last two of whom have already been released.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, having studied these cases, confirmed that they were arbitrary detentions and that they were carried out “without warrant or charges against them [those involved in the said cases]“. The WG underlined the numerous irregularities presented by criminal proceedings. In its opinion, the detention of Librado Baños corresponds to “acts of retaliation and reprisal for his active defense of the rights of the indigenous and Afro-descendant population of the region.” It should be noted that the Working Group stated that it requested information from the Mexican Government regarding those cases, which was not provided in the legal period for that purpose.

The 11 organizations and relatives of the victims say that the arrests, acts of torture and other human rights violations they have been subjected to illustrate “a much broader pattern of criminalization of social protest in Mexico that seeks to inhibit the defense of human rights and social protest, turning them into illegal and criminal activities. In addition to this the fact that, far from affecting the eradication of this practice, the Mexican state continues to detain and intimidate defenders in the country.”

The authors of the report emphasize that “the responsibility for these violations of human rights is shared between the plurality of players directly or indirectly involved in the process of criminalization and arbitrary detention of defenders: the Mexican State may be involved at different levels, federal and state, as well as the police, the army, the same government authorities, the judiciary through justice operators, sharing responsibility with private players such as private companies and landowners.”

During the presentation of the report, the organizations and families demanded: “the immediate release of Damian Gallardo, Enrique Guerrero and Librado Baños as well as the cessation of criminalization and full reparation to the five human rights defenders for the numerous human rights violations to which they have been subjected.”

The report clarifies that “the five cases of arbitrary detention presented show the serious human rights crisis in Mexico. These five cases are emblematic and represent only a small part of the arbitrary detentions that occur with impunity in the country.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Inéditas, 5 detenciones arbitrarias de defensores de DDHH reconocidas por la ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

ONGs documentan detenciones arbitrarias de defensoras y defensores, familiares exigen su libertad (Educa, 15 de diciembre 2016)

Informe : detenciones arbitraria e ilegal (Consorcio Oaxaca, diciembre 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:


Guerrero/Nacional: Nestora Salgado lanza campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos del país (4 de abril 2016)


National: Legislative Year Ends with Controversial Agenda in Congress

December 27, 2016

Congress.jpgCongress of the Union (@ADN Político)

The closing of the legislative year was marked by a particularly sensitive agenda on human rights in the Congress of the Union. In short, the reforms to the General Law of Victims were approved. On the other hand, although they were approved by the Justice and Human Rights Commission, the laws on trafficking, torture, and the regulatory law of Article 29 of the Constitution, which regulates the declaration of a State of emergency in cases of invasion, serious disturbance of the public peace or another phenomenon that puts society in serious danger or conflict.

All of these issues have been sources of great controversy over their contents and possible impacts. The reform of the general law to prevent, investigate and punish torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has been questioned by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for its “regressive” modifications. In particular, a modification that would prevent an official accused of torture from being removed from office was criticized.

The initiative that generated the biggest stir was the possible approval of a judgement for a statutory law of Article 29 of the constitution. The debate became even more intense after statements by the Secretary of National Defense, Salvador Cienfuegos, who urged that a legal framework be defined for the actions of the military in the fight against organized crime. The All Rights for All Network demanded a public discussion on this project. It said: “The legislative initiatives that have been proposed with the aim of normalizing the presence and military intervention in the country are of concern. They seek to normalize what in any democracy would be an exception: the involvement of the army in public security tasks – from patrol, to arrests, to crime investigation. Providing the Armed Forces with a legal framework is undoubtedly important. The Armed Forces have done a job that the civil authorities have not been able to or wanted to do, tasks that constitutionally do not correspond to them and they are not trained to perform. This has put its members in a situation of legal vulnerability. However, such a legal framework cannot simply – as in the legislative proposals for Internal Security proposed by Roberto Gil Zuarth (PAN) and by Cesar Camacho (PRI) – normalize and make permanent what today happens unconstitutionally. Neither should they advocate suspending individual guarantees so that the army can carry out the task that corresponds to civil authority without controls and without transparency.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Golpe de Estado silencioso (Proceso, 3 de diciembre de 2016)

Debatir el modelo de seguridad, SIDIDH, 5 de diciembre de 2016

Sociedad civil exige a Diputados no militarizar al país ni legislar sin discusión la suspensión de garantías (Red Todos los Derechos para Todos, 11 de diciembre de 2016)

ONG instan a no apresurar ley sobre militares (La Jornada, 11 de septiembre)

ONG piden al Congreso frenar iniciativas que normalicen presencia militar para seguridad pública (Animal Político, 11 de diciembre de 2016)

Una Ley de Tortura sin contradicciones y que respete ddhh (Animal Político, 12 de diciembre de 2012)

A marchas forzadas, aprueban Ley contra Tortura y de Trata de Personas (Quadratín, 13 de diciembre de 2016)
Cuestiona la ONU cambios a legislación (El Economista, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

Aprueban diputados reforma a Ley General de Víctimas (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

PRI cierra las puertas a expertos internacionales al aprobarse Ley de Víctimas (Proceso, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

Retira PRI dictamen de reforma a ley de trata y tortura (La Jornada, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

Urgen en Sedena a aprobar la Ley de Seguridad Interior (Proceso, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

Las dos iniciativas de ley de seguridad interior (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Nacional : Pobres resultados diez años después de iniciar la guerra contra el crimen organizado ; El Ejército seguirá en las calles, EPN (16 de diciembre de 2016)

Nacional: Organizaciones sociales se pronuncian sobre ley de tortura (31 de mayo de 2016)

Nacional: Gobierno rechazó visita del relator para la tortura de la ONU (31 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional: Dudas de organismos de la sociedad civil por la iniciativa de Ley contra la Tortura (9 de febrero de 2016)

México: Publicación de la Ley General de Atención a Víctimas (10 de enero de 2013)


Guerrero: NCHR and OHCHR on Joint Mission in the State

December 16, 2016

HR.pngMembers of the NCHR and OHCHR (Photo@Tlachinollan)

On December 6 and 7, the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Mexico carried out a joint mission in the state of Guerrero during which they held various meetings with victims, human rights defenders and authorities. At the end of that mission, both institutions reaffirmed their concern about “the state of insecurity in the State, impunity in cases of human rights violations, particularly disappearances, lack of access to justice, threats against human rights defenders, and forced internal displacement.” They reiterated “the need to address the situation in the state of Guerrero in a comprehensive manner so that proposed security solutions also address the problem of access to justice.”

The NCHR and OHCHR agreed that to reduce levels of violence impunity must end. In this context, both institutions reiterated their concern about the lack of human and material resources available to the Attorney General’s Office and other institutions to deal with the worrying human rights situation in the state. They stated that, “it is necessary that the three branches of the State, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary, be actively and effectively involved, especially in the area of justice.”

At the closing session of the mission, both institutions sent a message of solidarity to families and victims of human rights violations and reaffirmed their readiness to support them in their search for truth, justice and reparation. They also expressed their permanent willingness to technically assist the state of Guerrero in the field of human rights.

For more information in Spanish:

Termina misión conjunta de CNDH y ONU-DH México al estado de Guerrero (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, a 8 de diciembre de 2016)

ONU-DH y CNDH instan a atender derechos humanos en Guerrero ( La Jornada, a 7 de diciembre de 2016)

Termina misión conjunta de CNDH y ONU-DH México al estado de Guerrero ( Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, a 7 de diciembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Released

November 28, 2016

robertopacienciaRoberto Paciencia. Photo@CDHFBC

On the afternoon of November 24, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, an indigenous tsotsil (Chenalhó), adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, was released having been acquitted.

Patcencia Cruz was received by relatives, friends and ex-prisoners in the Cathedral Square of San Cristobal de Las Casas, where a small party had been organized to demand his release since morning. “I was imprisoned for three years and three months, accused of the crime of kidnapping that I did not commit because I had nothing to do with it. Accused me just because justice is very regrettable in the country”, he said in an interview with media.

The “No Estamos Todxs” Working Group stated in a release: “Roberto, a former prisoner adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, is one of those people who do not keep silent, do not legitimize barbarism and are ready to take on the consequences of their cry of conscience and rebellion. In this way, through his voice he has denounced the human rights violations suffered by the prison population by the prison authorities and has inspired the awakening of other prisoners within the prison. This was one more case of a system of racist and classist state justice for which the fact of being poor and indigenous is a crime enough to imprison us. But also, an example of how the jail can be another trench of struggle from which to follow the relief of those who fought before and set an example for those who continue fighting for their freedom.”

For more information in Spanish:

Chiapas: absuelven a indígena tzotzil preso desde hace tres años (La Jornada, 24 de noviembre de 2016)

Pronunciamiento del Grupo de Trabajo « No estamos todxs » (24 de noviembre de 2016)

Vídeo (Regeneración Radio, 24 de noviembre de 2016)

 For more information form SIPAZ :

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

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)