Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike

April 8, 2019

Presos

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike in different prisons in Chiapas have now entered their fourth week on this protest. Their health situation is deteriorating: “German Lopez Montejo, a prisoner on hunger strike, is suffering from fainting due to low blood glucose levels. The Working Group No Estamos Todxs claims that in the CERSS # 14 (Amate Prison) the prisoners are not ingesting the minimum amount of honey for survival because the prison authorities have retained it [their supply].”

On April 4th, SIPAZ visited the inmates of The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance (La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia) and Supporters of the Voice of Amate (Solidarios de La Voz de Amate). Both are located in CERRS # 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

The reasons for their protest are that they declare themselves innocent of the crimes of which they are accused, and that they were forced to plead guilty under torture. They began their hunger strike to demand their freedom.

Furthermore, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a document on March 22nd denouncing that “the 13 people deprived of their liberty began a hunger strike inside prisons to denounce human rights violations they live daily in the penitentiary centers where they are held, as well as to proclaim their innocence given the unfair trials in which they are being prosecuted. It is important to point out that they have denounced torture and cruel inhuman and/or degrading treatment since the moment of their arrest, 12 of them are indigenous Tsotsiles.

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike have indicated that they constantly receive threats and harassment from the prison authorities to give up their protest.

We request that the personal integrity of the 13 persons deprived of their liberty who are on hunger strike be respected and that they be treated in accordance with their dignity and that due respect for fundamental rights be respected.

We urge the authorities of the state of Chiapas to immediately cease acts of threats and intimidation, as well as acts of punishment that constitute torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment. “

The people who are on hunger strike are: Abraham Lopez Montejo and German Lopez Montejo, in the Social Rehabilitation Center for Sentences No. 14 El Amate (CERSS No. 14 El Amate), in Cintalapa; Adrian Gomez Jimenez, Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Mariano Gomez Lopez, Marcos Gomez Lopez, Martin Gomez Lopez, Mariano Perez Velasco, Mario Diaz Rodriguez, Felipe Diaz Mendez and Juan Castellanos Gomez in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas; as well as Marcelino Ruiz Gomez and Baldemar Gomez Hernandez in CERSS No. 10 in Comitan de Dominguez.

For more information in Spanish:

Presos indígenas, 18 días en huelga de hambre, 2 de abril de 2019, Chiapasparalelo

Riesgo grave a la salud de nuestros compañeros en huelga de hambre en el CERSS#14, noestamostodxs.tk, 4 de abril de 2019

Reos indígenas de Chiapas se cosen los labios para exigir su libertad,  Proceso, 29 de marzo de 2019

Cese de amenazas y hostigamientos a presos en huelga de hambre en Chiapas, CDHFBLC, 22 de marzo de 2019

Trece presos indígenas cumplen 18 días en huelga en Chiapas; acusan tortura y exigen su liberación, Sinembargo 2 de abril de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Chiapas : seis presos indígenas inician huelga de hambre (16 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate (March 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristóbal carry out fast to demand respect for their rights (January 4, 2019)

Chiapas: Indígenas presos en San Cristóbal de Las Casas exigen revisión de sus expedientes (4 de enero de 2019)

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Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case

March 15, 2019

ayotzi@Cuartoscuro

The National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) has reported that it has corroborated a link between organized crime and the Mexican government in the forced disappearance of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero, on September 26th, 2014. In addition, the Commission has declared that there was “connivance or collusion” between the local, state, and federal governments regarding the follow-up of the case. Additionally, the CNDH has indicated obstacles on the part of the authorities during its investigation that led to a series of recommendations at the end of 2018.

In December, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) in one of his first acts as the new president created by decree the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in the Ayotzinapa case. On March 11th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented the Technical Support Group (TSG) that will provide technical support to the Mexican authorities to arrive at the truth in the facts. In presenting the new work plan, the president of the IACHR and rapporteur of that agency for Mexico, Esmeralda Arosamena de Troitiño, applauded the position of the new federal authorities, which unlike the previous administration, have opened an impulse that represents “a historic opportunity to break impunity.” During the event, the Undersecretary of the Interior for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, remarked that the TSG will technically support all the open criminal investigation lines, which were not followed by the former Attorney General’s Office.

One of the most delicate in this sense is the role that the Mexican Army could have played in the events. On March 12th, a video was published that shows that Julio Cesar Lopez Patolzin, one of the 43 missing student teachers, had been recruited by the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) to infiltrate the Ayotzinapa School.

Faced with this, civil organizations accompanying the families of the 43 students declared that the video shows that the army “did not deliver or have given all the information it has about the Iguala case and its context (…) to more than four and a half years after the events.”

The second reason for concern, they said, is that it confirmed that SEDENA practices the infiltration of the Ayotzinapa School, which “does not delegitimize in any way the requirement of the relatives of Julio Cesar to know the whereabouts of their son.”

Finally, they stressed that this new material “confirms the urgent need for a thorough investigation into the role of the Armed Forces in this new phase” and that they provide “all information in their possession that is relevant to the full clarification of the whereabouts of the 43 students, as ordered in the presidential decree that instructed to establish effective material, legal and human conditions, to strengthen the human rights of the relatives of the victims of the Ayotzinapa case to the truth and access to justice, signed, among other authorities, by the President of the Republic, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of National Defense and the Secretary of the Navy.”

For more information in Spanish:

CNDH a ONU: “obstáculos y negativas” en caso Iguala (Milenio, 14 de marzo de 2019.)

Proceso y la historia del normalista-soldado infiltrado en Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 14 de marzo de 2019)

CNDH presenta recomendación por violaciones graves en caso Ayotzinapa (Excelsior, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Normalista de Ayotzinapa desaparecido era infiltrado de la Sedena (VIDEO) (Radio Formula, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Un normalista de Ayotzinapa era militar e informante del Ejército: reporte (ADN Politico, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Señalan necesidad de esclarecer papel del Ejército en caso Ayotzinapa SIDIDH, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Abren, formalmente, nueva etapa de investigación por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 11 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/National: Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in Ayotzinapa Case Set Up. Federal Judge Orders Investigation into Possible Responsibility of Attorney General Employees for Irregularities (January 22nd, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Decree Establishes Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case

(December 19th, 2018)

Guerrero/National/International: CNDH and IACHR Ayotzinapa Reports  (December 14th, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Ayotzinapa, Four Years On…  (October 1st, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Incoming Government Confirms Creation of Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case (Aug. 13th, 12018)

 


Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate

March 15, 2019

Diego.png

On July 18th, after six years and eight months in prison, Diego Lopez Mendez, an indigenous Tseltal native from San Juan Cancuc, was released after an intense national and international campaign by his relatives, friends, activists and human rights defenders, who alleged that he was tortured to incriminate himself for a crime he did not commit. Lopez Mendez was part of the organization “Solidarios de la Voz del Amate”, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and in the last stage, he was imprisoned in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

In 2018, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights documented thirteen complaints of torture of six Tseltals, six Tsotsiles and one Chol, who are in prison. It affirmed that Diego’s case makes visible a recurrent practice of the ministerial authorities of trying to legitimize arbitrary arrest carried out in a context of torture as well as the “disinterest of the judicial authorities of being a counterweight in charge of reviewing the ministerial actions.”

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a Diego López, indígena tseltal que fue torturado para autoinculparse en 2012 (Proceso, 12 de marzo de 2019)

COMUNICADO A PROPÓSITO DE LA LIBERACIÓN DE DIEGO LÓPEZ MÉNDEZ (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos todos, 12 de marzo de 2019)

Celebran libertad de Diego López Méndez (Cuarto Poder, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Dan libertad a indígena tseltal que fue torturado para autoinculparse (Regeneración, 13 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Indígenas presos en San Cristóbal de Las Casas exigen revisión de sus expedientes (4 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristóbal carry out fast to demand respect for their rights (January 4th, 2019)

Chiapas: Voice of Amate Supporter Moved to High Security Prison (November 27th, 2018)


Guerrero: Urgent Action “No Dam, No Prisoners”, Demands Release of 16 Indigenous CECOP Members

March 14, 2019

cecop

On March 8th, more than 2,000 people had already demanded “the immediate release of the 16 indigenous members of the Council of Ejidos and Opposition Communities to the Presa la Parota (CECOP), whose crime was to defend their lands and natural assets against the La Parota Dam”, through the Avaaz petition website. This is due to the multiple violations of due process, torture and the arbitrary and illegal circumstances of the arrests, which “demonstrate that there are political and economic interests against the communities that oppose the dam.” They also requested that harassment and arbitrary arrests of the inhabitants of the community of Cacahuatepec, municipality of Acapulco, stop.

In the same case, on March 5th, members of CECOP, the Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPPEG in its Spanish acronym) and the Montaña Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights held a meeting with the Governor of Guerrero, Hector Astudillo Flores, to follow up on the tables established to review the cases of these same prisoners, as well as to demand the cessation of harassment against the members of CECOP. The MOLPPEG reported that, “it filed a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission (CODDEHUM in its Spanish acronym), to intervene and no longer continue to pressurize the comrades of the communal property of Cacahuatepec, in the municipality of Acapulco, as well as the Zapata Vive collective.” He explained that the State and Ministerial police have been raiding computers to identify comrades who have an arrest warrant.

For his part, the Tlachinollan lawyer, Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, reported that through this meeting he was following up a dialogue path begun in December, with a view to solving the problem of political prisoners in the state, mainly those of CECOP. He stated that the government authorities have said that it will be resolved according to law and that the legal route will be that which is privileged.

A day earlier, Tlachinollan listed 8 reasons why it considers that the 16 CECOP prisoners should be granted freedom:

“• They were arbitrarily detained on January 7th, 2018 in a violent operation where the police murdered three CECOP campesinos.

  • On the way to the Prosecutor’s Office they were tortured and given cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to force them to plead guilty. • During their detention, they were held incommunicado for more than 48 hours, preventing their relatives and lawyers from being interviewed.
  • During their solitary confinement, the Public Ministry obtained evidence in an unlawful manner to indict them for homicide.
  • The weapons allegedly obtained by the police were obtained from illegal searches carried out at the houses of the CECOP community members.
  • The CECOP detainees were not at the scene when the confrontation took place between those who were killed on both sides. They were arrested in the place when they went to the Sunday Assembly of the CECOP.
  • There is an onslaught to dismantle the CECOP and the resistance against the La Parota hydroelectric project.
  • Gravel workers who irrationally exploit the gravel and sand of the Papagayo River have organized the villagers to confront CECOP.

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente en línea “Ni presa ni presos” (marzo de 2019)

Se reúne ONG con Héctor Astudillo para pedir la libertad de 16 miembros del Cecop (La Jornada de Guerrero, 6 de marzo de 2019)

Denuncian en Guerrero acoso de policías contra opositores a La Parota (LA Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2019)

Se reúne Astudillo con Tlachinollan, Cecop y Molppeg (Quadratin, 5 de marzo de 2019)
8 Razones para la libertad de los presos políticos del CECOP (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 4 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Liberan bajo fianza a dos integrantes de la CECOP (28 de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero/Internacional : Europarlamentarios y organizaciones internacionales expresan su preocupación por criminalización de integrantes de CECOP; marchan en Acapulco a favor de la liberación de sus presos (7 de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero : Siguen exigiendo la libertad de 19 presos detenidos por oponerse a la construcción de la Presa La Parota (1ero de febrero de 2019)

Guerrero: Piden la liberación de 19 presos políticos (10 de enero de 2019)

Guerrero: organizaciones nacionales e internacionales visitan a presos del CECOP y la CRAC-PC (6 de octubre de 2018)

Guerrero: 50 órdenes de aprehensión contra comuneros del CECOP (17 de septiembre de 2018)


National/Guerrero: Support Plan for Victims of the Dirty War

February 14, 2019

Dirty warPhoto @ EllosyNosotros

On February 11th, the Plan of Attention and Reparation for the Victims of Political Violence of the Dirty War was announced in the municipality of Atoyac de Alvarez in Guerrero.

The Executive Commission of Attention to Victims (CEAV in its Spanish acronym), relatives and survivors of victims of the “dirty war”, as well as the governor Hector Astudillo Flores, the president of the CEAV, Jaime Rochin del Rincon, presented the strategy of collective reparation that is intended to be implemented.

“The Care and Reparation Plan for the victims of past political violence in Guerrero seeks to give visibility to those who disappeared, give voice to those who were silenced and recover and reconstruct the social fabric of the communities”, according to information from Proceso.

According to the Economist, Jaime Rochin del Rincon, executive commissioner of the CEAV, acknowledged that, “actions such as forced disappearance, torture and arbitrary detention in Guerrero during the period of the Dirty War, followed a State policy of repression and extermination.”

The strategy emerged from the recommendation 26/2001 endorsed by the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanisg acronym) addressed to the then president of the republic, Vicente Fox, and as well as the proposals included in the Special Report on the Disappearance of Persons and Clandestine Graves in Mexico of the CNDH, presented in 2017.

Through a statement, the CNDH announced that “in assessing the institutional progress represented by the Plan for Attention and Reparation for the Victims of the “Dirty War”, the CNDH established that the Mexican State has an outstanding debt with the victims of disappearance and their families, which will not be paid while the authorities of the three levels of government fail to comply with their basic and fundamental obligation to guarantee minimum conditions of security for peaceful coexistence between people and to put an end to the environment of violence, impunity and illegality that we face.”

For more information in Spanish:

Presentan en Guerrero plan de atención a víctimas de la guerra sucia (Aristegui Noticias, 11 de febrero de 2019)

La CEAV presenta Plan de Atención y Reparación a las Víctimas de la Violencia Política del Pasado (Proceso, 11 de febrero de 2019)

CNDH EL PLAN DE REPARACIÓN A VÍCTIMAS DE LA “GUERRA SUCIA”, QUE ATIENDE LAS PROPUESTAS DE LA RECOMENDACIÓN 26/2001 Y EL INFORME ESPECIAL SOBRE DESAPARICIÓN DE PERSONAS Y FOSAS CLANDESTINAS DE ESTE ORGANISMO NACIONAL (CNDH, 11 de febrero de 2019)

Recomendación 26/2001 (CNDH, 2001)

INFORME ESPECIAL SOBRE DESAPARICIÓN DE PERSONAS Y FOSAS CLANDESTINAS EN MÉXICO. (CNDH, 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: INAI Orders SENEDA to Submit Information on Generals Linked to “Dirty War” (June 26, 2018)

International/National: IACHR presents report regarding right to truth which includes the case of the “Dirty War” in Mexico (December 14, 2014)

The Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal condemns Mexican State for crimes against humanity (October 11, 2014)


Oaxaca: Muxe Activist Oscar Cazorla Lopez Murdered

February 14, 2019

Muxe@Facebook Tradiciones Istmeñas, Minatitlan, Ver.

On February 9th, the Muxe activist and leader of the LGTTBI community, Oscar Cazorla Lopez, was found dead. The organizer of one of the biggest parties for the sexual diversity “Auténticas Intrepida Buscadorras del Peligro” (Authentic Intrepid Danger Seekers), which has been running for 40 years, was found at his home in Juchitan de Zaragoza, where an autopsy showed he was attacked at night with a knife. The body also showed signs of torture.

After the murder, Muxe collectives, civil society organizations and members of the LGTTBI community demanded a clear and exhaustive investigation to clarify the case. Calls for justice were also made by Congress. “The murder of Oscar Cazorla hurts the Muxe community and in general the Oaxacan people; as Legislative Power, we are obliged to join in the demand for justice to prevent the crime from going unpunished”, said Elisa Zepeda Lagunas, President of the Standing Committee on Administration and Law Enforcement, demanding the Attorney General of the State to carry out the appropriate actions.

The murder occurred in a context of hatred and violence against members of the LGTTBI community and defenders of the rights of that community. In the community where Oscar Cazorla Lopez comes from, five murders have been documented in the last 15 years. “There have been more than five murders and in only one, that of our friend Nisa, someone was arrested, who was later released. These crimes continue unpunished. We demand justice for them and for all the murders that have taken place in this city, considered the ninth most violent in the country”, reports Amaranta Gomez Regalado, another Muxe activist. Throughout Mexico, a record number of murders of LGTTBI people was recorded with 95 dead, as well as 14 murders of rights defenders of this group in 2017 and it is estimated that the figures for 2018 were similar.

For more information in Spanish:

Encuentran muerto al activista muxe Óscar Cazorla en Juchitán (El Sol de México, 10 de febrero de 2019)

Hallan sin vida al activista muxe Oscar Cazorla (La Jornada, 10 de febrero de 2019)

Hallan muerto y con signos de violencia a activista muxe en Juchitán; exigen justicia (Proceso, 11 de febrero de 2019)

Se une Congreso a comunidad muxhe para pedir justicia por asesinato de Óscar Cazorla (Oaxaca Digital, 10 de febrero de 2019)

Asesinan a líder de la comunidad muxe en Juchitán (El Universal, 11 de febrero de 2019)

Urgen a implementar protección para activistas LGBTTTI (Segundo Segundo, 11 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: 17 Men Pose as Transgender to Register as Candidates (May 14, 2018)

National: Increase in Murders of Transgender People Denounced (October 12, 2016)

Guerrero: Brutal murder of LGBT activist in Chilpancingo (May 6, 2011)


National/International: Civil Organizations Ask Mexico to Erradicate Torture

February 11, 2019

Torture.png

On January 30th, at a press conference after three days of meetings, national and international organizations and networks reported that the Mexican State did not fulfill its obligation to present a National Program against Torture, a commitment included in the General Law on the subject approved in 2017 and that is “completely stopped” and of “low priority for official spaces”

They exhorted the new government led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to “recognize the seriousness of the phenomenon of torture and to collaborate with civil society in combatting it, recognizing the experience and value of its contribution.” They demanded the new government “incorporate an axis of work on combating torture in the context of the new National Development Plan, as well as to make known opportunely the mechanisms so that civil society can make contributions in this process.”

They also highlighted “the opportunity represented by the national review to which Mexico will be submitted in April of this year before the Committee Against Torture (CAT). This space will be a fundamental test that will permit determing the true commitment of the new government to take concrete actions to eradicate torture.”

They revealed that they plan to contribute to the fight against torture in two says. On the one hand, “they will strengthen the updated diagnosis of the problem, with the coordinated production of a joint report (…) which will be presented to the UNCAT in April in Geneva.” On the other hand, they reported that in the meeting they began to work together on “an initial draft of the National Program to Prevent and Punish Torture based on internationally tested methodologies. The purpose of this exercise is to contribute constructively to the design and implementation of a State policy that effectively counteracts and discourages the practice of torture.”

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones exigen al Estado mexicano erradicar la tortura (OSC, 30 de enero de 2019)

Oportunidad histórica de México para erradicar la tortura: OMCT (La Jornada, 30 de enero de 2019)

Piden voluntad en combate a tortura (Reforma, 30 de enero de 2019)

Organizaciones nacionales e internacionales piden a Gobierno Federal incluir lucha contra tortura en el Plan de Desarrollo (Vanguardia, 30 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Nacional: México ante el Examen Periódico Universal (EPU) 2018 (8 de noviembre de 2018)

Nacional/Internacional: Organizaciones civiles fuerzan a Relaciones Exteriores a hacer público el informe del Subcomité para la Prevención de la Tortura de Naciones Unidas

(20 de abril de 2018)

Internacional/Nacional : Human Rights Watch publica informe sobre la situación de derechos humanos en México y el mundo (19 de enero de 2018)

Nacional: Senado aprueba Ley contra la Tortura (29 de abril de 2017)