Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination

November 24, 2017

MODEVITEAuthorities from La Candelaria, Municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas. Photo @: SIPAZ

On November 20th, thousands of indigenous people grouped in the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (Modevite in its Spanish acronym) mobilized in 11 municipalities and an ejido of Chiapas in defense of Mother Earth, for a dignified life and to demand respect for the free self-determination of indigenous peoples. In a statement, they explained: “We are one people who today want to express ourselves in each of the 12 fronts where we are. We denounce the constant threat of transnational extractive megaprojects and demand our right to the self-determination of peoples, in order to change the outdated and oppressive system that governs us.”

The event was called on 107 years of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, and stressed that “the marginalization and misery of our peoples persist; violence is the daily bread and insecurity is what is breathed in the environment. Coupled with this, the colorful circus of political parties divides us, and they take advantage of our poverty” while governments at all levels “are accomplices of dispossession, abuses, violence and injustice.”

For this reason they propose “creating another system that promotes the community rather than individuality, that looks at the earth as a Mother and not as merchandise, that embraces the cultural diversity rooted in the spirituality of our ancestors to make way for the reconstruction of the fabric of social community”. They intend to promote “community governments that renew social relations among indigenous peoples, mestizos, diverse religions, adults and youth; community governments that renew politics by exercising the right to elect the authorities according to the indigenous normative systems of each people, to combat corruption and division of bad governments and thus ensure the defense of our Mother Earth and community harmony.”

More specifically, they asked the authorities to respond positively to the requests presented by the Community Government Commissions of the municipalities of Chilon and Sitala to the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute (IEPC in tis Spanish acronym) of Chiapas, on November 17th for that they can govern themselves according to their own indigenous normative system.

For more information in Spanish:

Indígenas de Chiapas denuncian amenaza constante de megaproyectos y ambición de trasnacionales (Proceso 20 de noviembre de 2017)

MODEVITE se expresa en sus 12 frentes y afirma su apoyo a los municipios de Chilón y Sitalá en su búsqueda del gobierno comunitario (MODEVITE 20 de noviembre de 2017)

Pronunciamiento de las Comisiones de Gobierno Comunitario de Chilón y Sitalá (Boletín de prensa del MODEVITE 18 de noviembre de 2017)

Comisiones de Sitalá y Chilón exigen al IEPC respetar su derecho al Gobierno Comunitario, sin partidos políticos (Anuncio de Conferencia de prensa del MODEVITE 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pronunciamiento de MOVEDITE ante las campañas políticas anticipadas (22 de agosto de 2017)

Chiapas : Culmina peregrinación de 12 días del Movimiento de Defensa de la Vida y el Territorio en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (29 de noviembre de 2016)

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Chiapas: Coastal Civil Observation Mission Ends Two Months after the 8.2 Earthquake

November 23, 2017

QuakePhoto:@ SIPAZ

 From November 15th to 17th, six national and two international organizations carried out an observation mission of human rights on the Coast of Chiapas. They visited the municipalities of Tonala and Pijijiapan, two of the most affected by the earthquake of 8.2 on the Richter scale of September 7th. The objective of the mission was to document human rights violations against the population, assaults on human rights defenders and “provide a solidarity and observation presence in communities affected by the earthquake.”

The mission obtained “the testimony of victims and communities whose situation of humanitarian emergency has not been sufficiently visible or attended” and held meetings with the municipal presidents of Tonala and Arriaga, as well as with State Government officials.

In its main conclusions, the mission found “serious misinformation about the criteria and procedures in granting support for the reconstruction process.” It also observed “certain inequities and discriminatory elements in the granting of support”, as well as “a serious lack of coordination of the federal government with the municipal authorities and with society”.

Regarding the reconstruction process, they expressed their concern about “an attempt to channel public resources without clear bidding that wants to pass themselves off as charity and solidarity” and “a process of cultural imposition through construction prototypes that respond to a centralist logic and they are not capable of adapting to the needs of the local population, they do not meet the minimum criteria that allow an exercise of the human right to decent housing and do not even meet basic quality criteria.” They also affirmed that there are “important deficiencies in the areas of health, water, sanitation and psychosocial care for the population affected by the earthquakes, as well as worrying delays in the care and response to the effects of public health and education facilities.”

Finally, they stressed and asked for actions in response to the “worrying testimonies of assaults on defenders in the context of their work documenting human rights violations and supporting victims and communities in relation to earthquakes and aftershocks.”

For more information in Spanish:

Misión de observación de derechos humanos a la Costa de Chiapas (OSC, 15 de noviembre de 2017)

Lanzan misión de observación en costa de Chiapas, a 2 meses del sismo (Contralínea, 16 de noviembre de 2017)

Recomendaciones preliminares de misión de observación a la Costa (OSC 17 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: México, sacudido por dos potentes sismos enfrenta el shock con una gran ola de solidaridad (26 de septiembre de 2017)

Nacional: sismo de 8,2 grados Richter. Fuertes afectaciones en Chiapas y Oaxaca (14 de septiembre de 2017)


National/International: Visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Mexico Ends

November 23, 2017

UNPhoto: @frayba

From November 5th to 17th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, indigenous leader of the Philippines, made an official visit to Mexico, which included the capitals of the states of Guerrero, Chiapas and Chihuahua. She met with more than 200 representatives of 23 indigenous peoples, civil organizations defending their rights and officials at all levels.

At the end of his visit, she declared that “the current inadequate legal recognition of indigenous peoples as holders of rights, together with structural discrimination, are at the basis of all the issues and concerns” in the areas “lands and territories; autonomy, self-determination and political participation; self-ascription of indigenous peoples; access to justice; violence and impunity; the right to determine their development priorities; consultation and free, prior and informed consent; economic, social and cultural rights, and the particular situation of specific sectors of indigenous peoples.” While acknowledging “Mexico’s support for advancing the indigenous agenda in international forums,” “this commitment must be coherent and should be reflected in the application of these standards in Mexico.”

On the controversial issue of the consultation, she said that “even in the absence of national legislation on this issue, Mexico already has the obligation to consult indigenous peoples on any activity or legislative or administrative measures that could affect them according to the standards of the ILO Convention 169, the Inter-American jurisprudence and the UN Declaration. The adoption of specific legislation is not the only mechanism to apply the right to consultation and the fact that there is no single model for consultation should also be taken into account, since each indigenous people has its own authorities and decision-making processes.”

The rapporteur also stressed that “the initiatives of indigenous peoples in the area of ​​autonomy and self-government should enjoy greater recognition, and be recognized and incorporated into the overall political structure of the country. In addition to self-government, indigenous peoples have the right to participate fully, if they so wish, in the political life of the country. I have seen some positive developments that could facilitate the political participation of indigenous peoples in this area, such as the possibility of registering independent candidacies.”

For more information in Spanish:

Relatora de la ONU constata violaciones a derechos de indígenas en Chiapas (Proceso, 15 de noviembre de 2017)

Declaración de cierre de Misión a México (Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, ONU, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Discriminación indígena persiste por falta de voluntad política: ONU (La Jornada, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Indígenas no son consultados sobre megaproyectos que afectan su territorio en México: ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Relatora Especial sobre Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas de la ONU visita Guerrero (Boletín de prensa, Tlachinollan, Guerrero, 14 de noviembre de 2017)

Pueblos indígenas presentan recomendaciones ante ONU (Boletín de prensa, Chiapas,15 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional – México: Visita de la Relatora especial de la ONU sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas (8 de noviembre de 2017)


Chiapas: Agrarian Conflict between the Municipalities of Chenalho and Chalchihuitan Reignites

November 19, 2017

Chenalho

On October 18th, an individual from the community of Canalumtic, in the municipality of Chalchihuitan, was shot dead.

The following day, a group of police from the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSyPC in its Spanish acronym) and detachments from Zacatonal and Majumpepentic, from the municipality of San Pedro Chenalho, had to flee to San Cristobal following a threat of retention. This occurred after they arrived in Chalchihuitan due to the report of a shootout, according to the newspaper Cuarto Poder.

Several days later, on October 29th, Sebastian Ruiz Ruiz, originally from Chenalho, was shot dead.

In November, a new confrontation with firearms took place between residents of the two municipalities. According to Mural Chiapas, during the events “more than 300 residents of Chenalho entered the community of Pom, Chalchihuitan and burned a house made of wood and sheet iron.”

According to press sources, this confrontation caused the displacement of 670 women and 520 men from the Kanalumtic, Bejelton, Pom and Chen Mut communities, municipality of Chalchihuitan, despite the fact that the Secretary of Government of Chiapas, Juan Carlos Gomez Aranda, met with the municipal presidents of these two locations to solve the problem.

The parish priest of Chenalho, Manuel Perez, in a telephone interview with Expreso Chiapas, “pointed out that it is a very old problem, but the government has not helped and on the contrary it has prolonged this situation. On this occasion,due to the upcoming elections there is no solution, they are more concerned about this and neglecting this ancestral problem, he said. At other times the parish has made complaints to address this conflict but the competent authorities have ignored them. Now, we will see what steps will be taken since it is unfortunate that they are displaced.”

These events are related to the agrarian conflict over the limits between the two municipalities of Chalchihuitan and Chenalho. This conflict began in 1973, as a result of the works of recognition and titling of communal property by the extinct Secretariat of Agrarian Reform. They have resulted in a dispute over more than 900 hectares located between the two entities.

For more information in Spanish:

Gobierno Del Estado Propicia Diálogo Entre Chenalhó y  Chalchihuitán (Mega Noticias, 9 de noviembre de 2017)

Ayuda, claman desplazados de Chalchichuitán (Diario de Chiapas, 13 de noviembre de 2017)

Teme iglesia baño de sangre entre tzotziles de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (Expreso Chiapas, 14 de noviembre de 2017)

Solicitan ayuda humanitaria para auto desplazados de Chalchihuitán (El Siete de Chiapas, 13 de noviembre de 2017)

Persiste conflicto entre municipios (Cuarto Poder, 9 de noviembre de 2017)

Chiapas: Asesinan a indígena en territorio en conflicto (La Jornada, 19 octubre de 2017)

Gobierno del Estado propicia diálogo entre Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán (El Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 9 noviembre de 2017)

Conflicto territorial Chenalho – Chalchihuitan, retroceso de 7 años (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Iglesia llama a privilegiar el diálogo (Cuarto Poder, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento de la parroquia de Chenalhó (28 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de mayo de 2014)

Entran comuneros de Chenalhó a terreno en disputa con vecinos de Chalchihuitán (La Jornada, 15 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Resurgimiento del conflicto agrario entre los vecinos municipios de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (29 de mayo de 2014)


Guerrero: False Accusations of Kidnapping against Community Police

November 15, 2017

CP.pngPhoto@SIPAZ

The Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center denounced another false accusation of kidnapping against community officers of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC – PC in its Spanish acronym). In a bulletin they explained that in the course of a confrontation on November 7th in the Criminal Court of First Instance in Tlapa, Guerrero, three alleged kidnap victims from the community of Santa Cruz, municipality of Huamuxtitlan and one from Tlatlauquitepec, admitted to have not been kidnapped and or deprived of their freedom by community police.

“This is another element that demonstrates the innocence of the community police and that should lead to their complete freedom, because they did not commit any crime, and in any case they only applied and adhered to their normative systems”, said Rogelio Teliz, lawyer of the the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center, at the end of the confrontation.

Tlachinollan accused the Guerrero state justice system of criminalizing “the community justice system, falsely accusing them of kidnapping when what they exercise what is their right to self-determination and to build their own systems of security and justice under their uses and customs.”

It should be remembered that during its XXII anniversary in October, the CRAC – PC, had already denounced the criminalization and denial of their rights and of Law 701 of Recognition, Rights and Culture of the Indigenous Peoples and Communities of the State of Guerrero.

For more information in Spanish:

Presuntos agraviados, advierten en careo, no reconocer a policías comunitarios acusados falsamente de secuestro(Centro de derechos humanos de la montaña Tlachinollan, 9 de noviembre de 2017)

Advierteron que quienes de desempeñanan entonces como policia comunitario, no son quienes los secuetraron (Bajo palabra , 9 de noviembre de 2017)

Protestan en Cereso para exigir libertad de dirigente de la policía comunitaria de Tixtla (La Jornada en línea, 6 de noviembre de 2017)

Crac-Pc, 22 años (La Jornada Guerrero, 27 de octubre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: se celebra el XXII Aniversario de la Coordinadora Regional de Autoridades Comunitarias-Policía Comunitaria (CRAC-PC) ( 18 de octubre de 2017)

Guerrero : Testigos de cargo del caso de Arturo Campos Herrera reconocen que no cometió el delito de secuestro por lo cual se encuentra preso (9 de diciembre de 2016)
Guerrero : exigen liberación de Arturo Campos Herrera, integrante de la CRAC PC ( 03 de diciembre de 2016)
Guerrero : marchan en Chilpancingo por la libertad de los presos de la Policía Comunitaria (14 de octubre de 2016)


National/International: WOLA Shows High Level of Impunity for Human Rights Violations by Soldiers in Mexico

November 13, 2017

WOLA.pngPhoto @ Desinformemonos

On November 7th, the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA) published its new report with the title “Forgotten Justice: Impunity for human rights violations committed by soldiers in Mexico” In the same report, it denounces that “the soldiers who commit crimes and human rights violations generally do not respond for their actions, neither do the public officials who request the presence of soldiers in their states or municipalities, nor the political leaders who for decades have not committed themselves really improve the police in Mexico.”

The WOLA highlights that of the 505 cases registered between 2012 and 2016 which the PGR has investigated against members of the armed forces, mostly due to human rights violations such as torture and forced disappearance, only 16 accused have been convicted by the civil justice system. That corresponds to a 3.2% level of success in the investigations, against which La Jornada denounces the “lack of effectiveness to sanction the army”.

The report states that, “more than ten years have passed in Mexico of a strategy of security and the fight against organized crime based strongly on the deployment of the military and in the use of force, but not on justice. The strengthening of civil institutions such as the police and the Public Ministry has been left in the background. The United States also supported this approach during the first years of security assistance to Mexico, as through the Merida Initiative a significant part of the resources went to the Mexican armed forces.”

The three serious consequences in the strategy of militarized Mexican security according to the report have been:

  1. The increase in violence in Mexico and the constant violation of human rights.
  2. The decrease in urgency and pressure for police reform.
  3. That the rendering of accounts has been practically non-existent, due to impunity.

According to Proceso, the Mexican government rejected the report and published a statement in which it denies “that there is a violation of human rights.”

For more information in Spanish:

Informe de WOLA expone “impunidad” en violaciones por parte de soldados; gobierno responde (Aristegui Noticias, 8 de noviembre del 2017)

Peña rechaza informe de WOLA sobre abuso militar y pide a EU estudio sobre tráfico de armas (Proceso, 8 de noviembre del 2017)

Sólo 16 condenas en 505 investigaciones contra militares: WOLA (La Jornada, 7 de noviembre del 2017)

Justicia Olvidada: La impunidad de las violaciones a derechos humanos cometidos por soldados en México (WOLA, 7 de noviembre del 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: México ocupa el primer lugar de impunidad en América (12 de septiembre del 2017)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa, tercera audiencia de oficio en la CIDH: “el gobierno federal no quiere resolver el caso” (26 de octubre del 2017)

Nacional/Internacional: Ejército y fuerzas de seguridad involucradas en asesinatos extrajudiciales, tortura, desaparición forzada: EU (10 de julio del 2015)


National–Mexico: Visit of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

November 12, 2017

UNSR.pngVictoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Photo@: unwomen.org

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, will make an official visit to Mexico from November 8th to 17th, 2017.

She will visit Mexico City and the states of Guerrero, Chiapas and Oaxaca to meet with representatives of indigenous peoples in order to learn about the problems that affect the communities of these territories. According to La Jornada, the main issues to be addressed will be discrimination, autonomy and indigenous territories, harmonization of domestic legislation, mega-projects, access to justice and the impact of violence on women and indigenous peoples. The Special Rapporteur will also hold meetings with government officials, the National Commission for Human Rights and the National Electoral Institute.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights underlined that “Mrs. Tauli-Corpuz is an indigenous leader of the Cordillera region in the Philippines. She has worked for more than three decades in the construction of movements in favor of indigenous peoples and is a tenacious defender of women’s rights.”

For more information in Spanish:

Guerrero en la agenda de la ONU ( Centre de Derechos Humanos de la montaña de Guerrero Tlachinollan, 6 de noviembre de 2017)

Anuncian visita oficial de Relatora de ONU sobre Derechos de Pueblos Indígenas (Proceso, 7 de noviembre de 2017)

Relatora especial de la ONU se reunirá con representantes en México (La Jornada de Oriente, 8 de noviembre de 2017)

Indígenas llevan a ONU abusos de megaproyectos; pintan al Estado mexicano como un verdugo más (Sín Embargo, 8 de noviembre de 2017)