National/International: Mexico and IACHR Formalize Reinstallation of IGIE for Ayotzinapa Case

May 11, 2020

QueEsElGIEIIGIE in previous phase (@Centro PRO DH)

In a statement published on May 7th, the Interior and Foreign Relations Secretariats reported that the Mexican government signed an agreement with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for the reinstatement of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE).

The objective in this new stage will be to provide international technical assistance for the advancement of investigations and to assist in the preparation of search plans, care for victims and other relevant aspects in the case of the forced disappearance of 43 students from Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014.

The statement explained that the process “was carried out taking into account the representation of the parents of the students, the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the experts themselves who will form part of the International Group of Independent Experts.”

It specified that this action is part of the commitment established in the “Decree that instructs to establish effective material, legal and human conditions to strengthen the human rights of the relatives of the victims of the Ayotzinapa case to truth and access to justice”, issued by President Lopez Obrador on December 4th, 2018 and which raised, among other points, the possibility of passing agreements that allow the IACHR to cooperate.

For more information in Spanish: 

Gobierno de México y CIDH firman acuerdo para reinstalación del GIEI, a fin de seguir brindando asistencia técnica en el caso Ayotzinapa (comunicado completo, 7 de mayo de 2020)

Firman Segob y SRE acuerdo con CIDH para reinstalación del GIEI (La Jornada, 7 de mayo de 2020)

Firman acuerdo de reinstalación de GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de mayo de 2020)

Formalizan reinstalación del GIEI en el caso Ayotzinapa (Regeneración, 8 de mayo de 2020)

Acuerdan México y CIDH reinstalar el GIEI para el caso Ayotzinapa (El Universal, 7 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)

 

Guerrero: Attorney General Will Investigate Ayotzinapa Case “Almost from Scratch”(September 25, 2019)

 

Guerrero: New Stage in Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case – Creation of Special Investigation Unit with Omar Gomez Trejo as Head (July 8, 2019)

 


Chiapas/National: “Denying the Existence of Torture in Mexico Encourages Impunity”, CSO

April 20, 2020

200416_contralatortura_pronunciamiento@Frayba

In a bulletin published on April 16th, the Collective Against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the World Organization Against Torture (WOAT) and the Group of Litigants in Latin America said that the statements of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) last April 5th, affirming that in Mexico “we have eradicated torture” contradict “what was sustained by various instances of the United Nations Organization (UN) on their different visits to this country who affirm that torture in Mexico is widespread and systematic”, a perception they share.

As an example of this, between January 2019 and March 2020, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) documented 18 cases of torture perpetrated in the current penal system in Chiapas.

“The practice of torture is rooted and propagated in Mexico. There is mistrust within the new penal system, specifically in the officials in charge of law enforcement for continuing to validate the acts of torture carried out by the police forces, which perpetuate this method as part of their practice of investigating crimes. This is due to the lack of education, training and awareness regarding the new judicial system, where we have verified the lack of technique to investigate, preserve evidence, guard evidence and take care of the chain of custody in the facts”, they maintained.

They also noted that “despite having a General Law to Prevent, Investigate and Punish Torture in Mexico, the Special Prosecutors for the Investigation of the Crime of Torture are unaware of it, which allows this violation of human rights to continue to be committed on a daily basis.”

They ended by urging “the President of the Republic not to use the public health crisis derived from the pandemic by COVID 19, to issue information that goes against the protection, respect and guarantee of human rights, since such circumstances contribute to the climate impunity and favors torture.”

For more information in Spanish:

Negar la existencia de la Tortura en México alienta la impunidad (OSC, 16 de abril de 2020)

AMLO da informe trimestral y plan económico para México por coronavirus (Milenio el 5 de abril de 2020)

Pestes, créditos y abrazos. Informe trimestral de AMLO en 23 frases clave (El Universal el 5 de abril de 2020)

Esto fue lo anunciado por AMLO para México en su informe trimestral (El Imparcial el 5 de abril de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Lopez Obrador Makes Fifth Trimster Report; Assures “We Will Prevail” (April 10, 2020)

National/International: “When Words Are Not Enough” – Amnesty International Report almost One Year after AMLO Takes Office (December 4, 2019)

International/National: Un Human Rights Committee Issues 48 Human Rights Recommendations for Mexico (November 12, 2019)

National/International: CAT Issues Recommendations on Torture in Mexico (May 22, 2019)


National/Guerrero: Federal Judge Gives Prison Sentences to Three Accused of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case

March 30, 2020

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On March 26th, three former security officials were sent to prison for their alleged participation in the torture of detainees in the investigation of the case of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School who disappeared in Iguala in 2014.

Different sources reported that the Special Investigation and Litigation Unit for the Ayotzinapa case obtained a formal prison order against the officials “Isidro Junco Barajas, who currently served as Deputy Director of Operational Control of the Security Directorate of the Chamber of Deputies (…) Ezequiel Peña Cerda, now area director at the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) and the marine Ariel Agustin Castillo Reyes.”

“According to judicial sources, Ezequiel Peña Cerda and Ariel Agustin Castillo Reyes, in addition to the crime of torture, were charged with the crime against the administration of justice and abuse of authority,” the media reported.

On March 17th, the three former officials were detained by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) for their involvement in the arrest of Carlos Canto, who was allegedly involved in the disappearance of the missing students, who was tortured to force his confession.

For more information in Spanish:

Juez dicta prisión a tres acusados de tortura en el caso Ayotzinapa (Política Expansión, 26 de marzo de 2020)

Dictan formal prisión por tortura a tres implicados en el caso Ayotzinapa (El Proceso, 26 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: First Legal Actions against Officials in Ayotzinapa Case Investigation (March 24, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Meeting on New Evidence in Ayotzinapa Case (March 9, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)


Chiapas: National Guard and Police Oppression of Migrants Protesting over COVID-19 Fears

March 30, 2020

gobierno-desvanece-la-promesa-de-migracin-ordenada-y-segura-organizaciones@Conexion Migrante

On March 23rd, between 50 and 70 migrants, mainly from Central American countries, clashed with Federal Police and National Guard agents inside the Siglo XXI Migration Center in Tapachula.

Given the worldwide spread of COVID-19, Guatemala closed its borders on March 17th and asked Mexico to end the deportations of Central American migrants. For this reason, many find themselves unable to return to their countries of origin or continue their journey through Mexico to the United States. They are trapped in Tapachula.

In addition to that, at least two shelters on the border between Guatemala and Mexico stopped their service due to the pandemic meaning that migrants who have not been detained by elements of the National Guard are in a high risk situation as they have no place of refuge.

Information on the events of last Monday at the immigration station was obtained through interviews with witnesses and victims.

They reported that there was a protest by a group of migrants in the courtyard of the men’s module at around 5 pm to express their fear in the context of COVID-19 and demand their release or return to their countries of origin. Previously, they had repeatedly denounced the conditions in the migration station, which has severe overcrowding, food and water shortages, and limited medical care.

In response to the protest, a brigade of Federal Police and some 20 National Guard agents entered, who dispersed the group using pepper spray and water jets. According to what was documented by the Human Rights Observation and Monitoring Collective, they dragged the protesters to the bathrooms, a place without surveillance cameras, to punish them with kicks and punches, as well as Taser devices for electric shocks.

They then led people by bus to an unknown location. “It is urgent to find out how many people were removed from the Migration Center, where they are and what the current physical and mental health situation is,” said Conexion Migrante.

In a statement, the Collective for Observation and Monitoring of Human Rights in Southeast Mexico and the Driving Group against Immigration Detention and Torture expressed that they condemn “energetically all acts of violence and the use of disproportionate force against people, men, women and adolescents in immigration detention.” They demand “that the facts be clarified, those responsible be punished and that the physical and mental integrity of all persons who are in immigration detention or other forms of deprivation of liberty be guaranteed.”

They also pointed out that according to Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment “the term ‘torture’ shall be understood as any act by which serious pain or suffering is intentionally inflicted on a person; whether physical or mental, in order to obtain information or a confession from her or from a third party.”

For its part, the National Institute of Migration (INM) published a statement stating that “it seeks to implement actions so that migrants of Central American origin, housed in migratory centers and provisional stays of the institute, can return safely to their places of origin.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado de las organizaciones de derechos de migrantes (25 de marzo de 2020)

Guardia Nacional reprime violentamente protesta de migrantes en Tapachula, Chiapas (Conexión Migrante el 25 de marzo de 2020)

Activistas mexicanos denuncian violencia contra inmigrantes que protestan por temor a coronavirus (Infobae el 26 de marzo de 2020)

Migrantes quedan atrapados en México por COVID-19 (Chiapasparalelo el 25 de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: Caravan of 4,000 Reaches Southern Border – Stopped by National Guard (January 21, 2020)

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

Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula (September 2, 2019)

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

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


National/Guerrero: First Legal Actions against Officials in Ayotzinapa Case Investigation

March 24, 2020

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On March 17th, three suspects involved in acts of torture against those accused of the case of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School who disappeared in Iguala in 2014 were arrested by the Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

According to different sources, “Isidro Junco Barajas, who currently served as Deputy Director of Operational Control of the Security Directorate of the Chamber of Deputies (…) Ezequiel Peña Cerda, now area director at the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) and the marine Ariel Agustín Castillo Reyes.”

In addition, “the former director of the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC), Tomas Zeron de Lucio, and the ex-head of the Federal Ministerial Police, Carlos Gomez Arrieta, against whom the FGR would have requested the intervention of Interpol, are about to be arrested,” the newspaper Proceso reported.

Organizations accompanying the relatives of the disappeared students reported that they welcome and recognize “the first legal actions of the FGR against officials who committed torture and/or irregularities in the investigation of the Ayotzinapa case, since they confirm what the families have always denounced: the manipulation of the investigation.”

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) also ruled in this regard, stating that “it observes the development of the investigation in light of Mexico’s human rights obligations”, and hopes that the arrest warrants “against those who participated in acts of obstruction of justice in the enforced disappearance of the 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa are taken independently.”

For more information in Spanish:

La CIDH aplaude actuación de FGR en caso Ayotzinapa (El Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2020)

Detienen a marino por tortura en caso Ayotzinapa (El Debate, 18 de marzo de 2020)

Detienen a ex policías que torturaron a imputados por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: Meeting on New Evidence in Ayotzinapa Case (March 9, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)


Chiapas: Prisoners Start Three-day Fast to Demand Freedom

March 23, 2020

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The prisoners, members of the organization Solidarios de la Voz de Amate, announce three days of fasting to demand their freedom:

“Indigenous Prisoners “Solidarios de la Voz de Amate” adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the EZLN Lacandon Jungle, held in CERSS Number 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

Once again, we raise our voices because of the wave of injustices that exist in this state of Chiapas. Here we continue waiting for the “Fourth Transformation”, since we are still unjustly deprived of our freedom.

Enough mistreatment and discrimination against all of us who demonstrate peacefully to demand justice! Today, Wednesday, March 18th, 2020, we celebrate exactly one year of fighting for our freedom.

Here we continue with our family members, compañeros, and different organizations that have dignifiedly accompanied us in search for our freedom. For a year, the government of the state of Chiapas pledged before them that there would soon be a clear solution for our freedom. This promise has not come to this day, but on the contrary, it is a mockery and a deception.

For this reason, starting today, Wednesday the 15th, we announce that we will be fasting for three days, to demand once again our immediate freedom from the governor of the state of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandon Cadenas, as he is aware of each case and he knows that we are innocent, he clearly knows the violation of our rights at the time of our arrest, as well as in the trials.

Furthermore, to remind the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of his promise of “No more political prisoners.” One year and three months of his government, we continue waiting for this promise.

Our families have gone out knocking on doors at the state and federal levels, they have witnessed false promises, so we have decided to carry out this action.

Our 29-day strike last year will not go unpunished.

We will never be silent!

Freedom, freedom!

Finally, we invite the different local, national and international organizations to unite to demand our freedom, as well as that of the country’s political prisoners.”

The prisoners are: Mariano Perez Velasco, Martin Gomez Lopez, Marcos Gomez Lopez, Mariano Gomez Lopez, Felipe Diaz Mendez, Mario Diaz Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez Perez, Mario Gomez Lopez held at the State Center for Social Reintegration for Sentenced Persons Number 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Exigen libertad para las 9 presos solidarios de la Voz del Amate, (6 /11/2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)


National/Guerrero: Meeting on New Evidence in Ayotzinapa Case

March 9, 2020

ayotzinapa-focus-0-0-730-410Photo @ XeVT

On March 5th, a meeting was held in the National Palace in which relatives of the 43 students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa disappeared in Iguala in 2014, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), representatives of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s Office participated.

In this regard, the president reported that “today we signed an agreement with the Attorney General of the Republic, Alejandro Gertz Manero and the president of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, Arturo Zaldivar, to work together, with respect for our autonomies, with the purpose of clarifying definitively the case of the disappeared young people of Ayotzinapa and doing justice. It is not just for the State, but for the nation.”

The undersecretary of Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, detailed some findings from this week; “The Commission for Truth and Access to Justice for the Ayotzinapa case found six remains linked to the search of the 43 students (…) the remains found in the searches were sent to the University of Innsbruck, in Austria, for analysis. It said the University of Innsbruck has already begun evaluating the findings, although it did not estimate a date for possible results.”

In turn, “family members of the 43 disappeared student students from Ayotzinapa asked to create a court to deal with all the files of the process, in order to avoid delays in the delivery of justice. Today we have many criminal cases in several courts that decide with such different criteria that all this does is delay access to justice for the mothers and fathers”, the legal representative of the relatives from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, Vidulfo Rosales said.

They also requested “that the federal and municipal police of Huitzuco be investigated for the crime of forced disappearance and torture, in addition to criminal proceedings against those responsible for creating investigations with the use of torture.”

In recent days, through an information note, the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center stated that “the hope that the government of the fourth transformation will fulfill its commitment to find the whereabouts of the 43 students is running out.”

For more information in Spanish:

Convenio de colaboración que celebran el poder ejecutivo federal, la suprema corte de justicia de la nación y la fiscalía general de la república para el esclarecimiento de los hechos del caso Ayotzinapa (Presidencia de la República, 5 de marzo de 2020)

Ayotzinapa. Hallan nuevas pistas en caso de los 43; las analizarán en Austria (El Universal, 5 de marzo de 2020)

Hallan restos vinculados a caso Ayotzinapa; los analizarán en Innsbruck (Animal Político, 5 de marzo de 2020)

AMLO, FGR y Corte firman acuerdo por caso de Ayotzinapa (Debate, 5 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)