National: Multiple Mobilizations on Centenary of Death of Emiliano Zapata

April 15, 2019

ZapataCNI march in Chiapas (@SIPAZ)

On April 10th, as part of the centenary of Emiliano Zapata’s death, indigenous people, campesinos and teachers mobilized in seven states: Chiapas, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Michoacan, Guerrero, Aguascalientes and Morelos.

In Chiapas, approximately 3,000 members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) and the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym) marched in San Cristobal de Las Casas. They denounced that the president’s development plan “brings dispossession and the destruction of our territories”, with projects such as the Maya Train, which, they warned, “will not happen, whatever the cost, we will not allow their rotten ideas, with their megaprojects, enter and strip us of our territory, because the bad government will not come to command, to silence or to intimidate in our houses, even if they are thinking of doing it with their national Guard.” In a pronouncement they stated that, “those who dressed up as the left have only put on masks of good faces, but of very bad intentions. They wear clothes of other colors and call themselves by other names, but they do not deceive us the original peoples in struggle and resistance, because they are the same foremen who want to impose plans of death with their lying and rigged consultations.” They also said that the government “does not ask us in their consultation if we want to live, but in what way we want to die. There are many wars that we face, but we are not afraid of them.”

Although it was not present here or in Morelos, where the CNI also called a march, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) published a statement in which he explained that his absence has a “simple” reason: “in our mountains and valleys the military presence has increased, police, paramilitary, and spies, ears and informants (…), the threat of death travels by air and land to indigenous communities who have decided to remain in resistance and rebellion to defend the land.” Although it noted a continuity with the previous governments, it pointed out that “today the persecution, harassment and attack against our communities is “for the good of all” and is done under the banner of the supposed “IV Transformation.” The EZLN also said that the new government seeks to appropriate the image of Zapata “so that, with his death, the defense of the land also dies.” However, “the original peoples will continue in rebellion and resistance,” it said.

In Morelos, social organizations from various states of the Republic arrived in Chinameca, where Zapata was murdered, and criticized President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for “the incongruity with which he seeks to legitimize his government by trampling on the rights of the people.” Jorge Zapata Garcia, grandson of the revolutionary, said that “100 years ago Madero betrayed Zapata and now 100 years later, the same government again betrays the ideals of Zapata. For me it is a mockery what he did to decree 2019 the year of General Emiliano Zapata and to commemorate it by handing over the water of the ejidos to the transnational companies. In addition, it is a provocation because the peoples have already shown that the thermoelectric plant is not going to be allowed.” For its part, the People’s Front in Defense of the Land and Water for Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala denounced the lack of action in the case of the murder of Samir Flores on February 20th, and demanded that Lopez Obrador announce the suspension and cancellation of the gas pipeline in Morelos.

The members of the CNI present at the event declared themselves on alert to the megaprojects that the federal government intends to impose on their territories and against the criminalization of social protest. They warned that “today 100 years after the betrayal and the lie that cowardly ended life of General Emiliano Zapata, that lie and betrayal returned with a supposed face of democracy, but, as then, that word, when it comes from above, only means war, impersonation and deception of the whole nation.” They announced that they would continue an organizational process that articulates the different expressions of struggles and agreed on a second national assembly on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, with a date to be defined.

In Veracruz, the demonstrations also denounced the projects of transnational companies, in particular Nestlé, which intends to grow coffee for a plant it wants to establish in the state. In Oaxaca, professors of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE in its Spanish acronym) demanded the abrogation of the educational reform. They also raised demands regarding reconstruction after the 2017 earthquakes and rejection of the federal megaprojects based on the Special Economic Zones and the Program for the Isthmus of the Tehuantepec Region. In Michoacan, the teachers also marched. In Guerrero, teachers and students of Ayotzinapa marched and took over highway tollbooths and reiterated their request that their 43 disappeared in Iguala in 2014 companions reappear. Finally, in Aguascalientes, the offices of the Welfare Secretariat were occupied to demand the delivery of programs.

For more information in Spanish:

PRONUNCIAMIENTO DE LOS PUEBLOS DEL CONGRESO NACIONAL INDIGENA, CONCEJO INDIGENA DE GOBIERNO EN CHIAPAS (CNI Chiapas, 10 de abril de 2019)

Mensaje del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional en los 100 años del asesinato del General Emiliano Zapata (EZLN, 10 de abril de 2019)

Recuerdan a Zapata con protestas contra autoridades en seis estados (La Jornada, 11 de abril de 2019)

El gobierno actual quiere secuestrar la imagen de Zapata: EZLN (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

Más de 3 mil indígenas marchan en Chiapas en memoria de Zapata (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

“Así como Madero quiso comprar a Zapata, el mal gobierno quiso comprar a Samir y a los pueblos que resisten”: EZLN a cien años del asesinato de Emiliano Zapata (Desinformémonos, 10 de abril de 2019)

Entre consignas contra el “mal gobierno”, lanzan vivas a Zapata en Chinameca (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

Congreso Nacional Indígena, en alerta contra los megaproyectos del gobierno de AMLO (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

En ceremonia por Zapata, Blanco justifica consulta de AMLO sobre termoeléctrica en Huexca (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

En ceremonia por Zapata, Blanco justifica consulta de AMLO sobre termoeléctrica en Huexca (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

Con ausencia de nieto de Zapata “decepcionado” de la 4T, AMLO conmemora centenario luctuoso del caudillo (Proceso, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: CNI, EZLN y organizaciones indígenas convocan a las jornadas de lucha “Zapata vive, Samir vive, la lucha sigue” (19 de marzo de 2019)

Nacional: Se lleva a cabo la tercera asamblea del Congreso Nacional Indígena y el Concejo Indígena de Gobierno (CNI-CIG) en la Ciudad de México (8 de marzo de 2019)

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National: Deputies Declare Forced Displacement a Crime

April 15, 2019

Forced displacement.png@ MSN Photo

On April 10th, in the absence of a General Law on Internal Displacement, the Chamber of Deputies approved a ruling that reforms the Federal Criminal Code to categorize Internal Forced Displacement (DFI) as a crime.

The ruling of the Justice Commission by which article 287 is added and a Chapter III to the Eighteenth Title of the Federal Criminal Code was approved with a unanimous vote of 429 votes in favor.

Article 287 says that “one commits the crime of internal forced displacement, who individually or collectively, through violence or any other means or coercive act, made against a person or group of people, causes them to leave their place of residence.

A penalty of six to twelve years in prison and 300 to 600 days of fine will be imposed on the person who commits the conduct contemplated in the previous paragraph.

The penalty will be increased by up to half when the crime is committed against a child, adolescent, human rights defender and journalists.

Internal displacement shall not be understood as the movement of the population carried out by the authority when its purpose is the security of the same or by judicial order.”

With the approval, the ruling was turned over to the Senate of the Republic to continue with its constitutional process.

For more information in Spanish:

Se sancionará penalmente a quien propicie el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (Canal del Congreso, 10 de abril de 2019)

Dictamen de la Comisión de Justicia a la iniciativa que adiciona el artículo 287 Bis y un capitulo III al título decimoctava del Código Penal Federal, referente al desplazamiento forzado interno (Gaceta Diputados, 10 de abril de 2019)

Desplazamiento forzado es tipificado (El Economista, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: desplazados de la Sierra llegan a un acuerdo con el gobierno y dejan su plantón en la Ciudad de México (29 de marzo de 2019)

Nacional: Comisión Mexicana en Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH) organizó eventos sobre el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (19 de febrero de 2019)

Nacional/Chiapas: la Comisión de Pueblos Indígenas de la Cámara de diputados exhorta a diversas autoridades a resolver la problemática causada por el Desplazamiento Forzado Interno (19 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Organizaciones Civiles llaman a que se implementen las recomendaciones de la CNDH, en cuanto al Desplazamiento Forzado en Chalchihuitán (15 de febrero de 2019)


National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico

April 11, 2019

UNHCHR.pngMichelle Bachelet (@CINU)

At the end of her official visit to Mexico, which took place between April 5th and 9th, the United Nations Organization High Commissioner of the for Human Rights (UN-DH), Michelle Bachelet, said she was surprised by the levels of violence and the dimension of the human rights crisis in the country. “It was a surprise to me what I found. Without a doubt, the case of Ayotzinapa is well known by the press, but the 40 thousand disappeared was not something that was so clear, of the 26 thousand bodies without identification (in the forensic services). Or ten women murdered a day. I knew very well about the violence, but I had no idea of ​​the dimension (…) The data are terrifying.” She pointed out that Mexico has figures for violent deaths equivalent to a country at war: 252,538,000 since 2006.

She highlighted outstanding human rights issues in different areas, in particular regarding forced disappearances, femicides, violence against defenders and journalists, torture, abuses against migrants, as well as high poverty rates -especially in indigenous communities- and the need to carry out consultations in accordance with international standards, among others, in order to undertake megaprojects.

The High Commissioner also signed a collaboration agreement on the National Guard and another on the collaboration of the agency in charge of the investigation of the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014).

The former president of Chile stressed that the new authorities of the country “have recognized that Mexico has a human rights crisis,” that there is political will to move forward with the pending issues and that “President Lopez Obrador has expressed his willingness to implement a change of paradigm.” She stressed that in the case of the National Guard, the Mexican government is talking about “accountability, transparency, human rights indicators that allow us to see if the National Guard is indeed going in the right direction or is deviating.” “The office will not hesitate to raise the alarm if it sees that there is any type of situation that does not correspond to the spirit of what is sought and the spirit of the agreement”, she said.

In the Ayotzinapa case, she said: “My office will be an ally that will not hesitate to contribute to progress and at the same time will raise the alarm in case of non-compliance. We request to know the whereabouts of the boys”, she added.

For more information in Spanish:

Enfrentar las desapariciones forzadas es el problema central en México, insta Michelle Bachelet (ONU México, 9 de abril de 2019)

México tiene cifras de muertes violentas propias de un país en guerra: Bachelet (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

La ACNUDH asesorará la creación de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet defiende a la sociedad civil: Es importante para la democracia, le dice al gobierno de México (Animal Político, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet se va desolada de tanto horror en México: “No sabía de todo lo que me he encontrado…” (Sin Embargo, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet: como una guerra, las muertes violentas en México (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018

September 21, 2018

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018 (September 21, 2018)


National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists

April 11, 2019

Mechanism.png

On April 4th, on the eve of the official visit of Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from the 5th to 9th this month, the Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, requested, “in compliance with the recommendations of both the United Nations System and the Inter-American System, the Mexican authorities respect and revindicate the work of human rights defenders and journalists in our country.” This followed “from different points -even from the highest levels of the executive- that call into question the work of journalists and defenders.” The Consultative Council of the Protection Mechanism affirmed that, “statements that disqualify the exercise of journalism, the promotion and defense of human rights, in addition to delegitimizing it, contribute to sharpening the adverse context that day by day, both defenders and journalists live in.” It recalled that since the entry of the new government, 17 defenders and journalists have been killed in the country.

The Consultative Council raised the need to strengthen the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico, “since this is the main official tool to guarantee their protection and exercise the right to freedom of expression, the right to information and the right to defend human rights” and proposed a series of actions in this regard, including the importance of guaranteeing not only economic resources, but also human resources for this purpose.

It concluded that the Protection Mechanism “is not everything, but a tool that can contribute to the construction of a governmental system and/or policy that protects the exercise of these rights, and that without a doubt has to be a State priority.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado completo ( Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo de Protección a Defensores de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas, 4 de abril de 2019)

Activistas y periodistas en riesgo por críticas gubernamentales (La Jornada, 4 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet debe contribuir a garantizar protección a periodistas y activistas: Mecanismo de Protección (Proceso, 4 de abril de 2019)

Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo exige respeto a defensores y periodistas (Contralínea, 4 de abril de 2019)

Señalamientos del gobierno contra la prensa y activistas “contribuyen a agudizar el contexto adverso que viven día con día”: Mecanismo de Protección (Desinformemonos, 5 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)


National: AMLO Confirms Head of National Guard Will Be Serving Military Officer

April 9, 2019

NatG.pngNational Guard Uniforms (@Cuarto Oscuro)

At a press conference on April 5th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) confirmed that the head of the National Guard command will be an active military officer whose name will be announced in the near future, as well as that of the people who will form the General Staff of the new security corps, which will also be composed of representatives of the Federal Police, the Navy and the Army.

With this, the request of the head of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, that the command be civil, a request which echoes the demands of broad sectors of society, who consider the strategies of security focused on militarization have not worked.

In this regard, Lopez Obrador said he explained to the head of the CNDH “why he thought that the commander should be a military head of the National Guard, because we will have the support of the Army, I am talking about a reconversion in the Army and we need elements of this institution, also with experience, with discipline, with rectitude, with honesty, with professionalism and we already have it.” AMLO stressed that the National Guard will go through a process of training on two fundamental issues: human rights and “moderate, regulated use of force.” He recalled that 50 thousand more elements will be needed to cover the 236 territorial locations – it will begin with 150 – in which the country was divided. Finally, he declared that “I only want it to be also clear that the president of Mexico is at the same time supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and I am never going to give the order to the Army, to the Navy, to any body to repress the people of Mexico.”

For her part, the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero said that, “we have a problem of violence and security in our country that we are committed, at least, to try to solve efficiently.” She emphasized that the new strategy will focus on guaranteeing security to the population and no longer on specific operations against a cartel.

For more information in Spanish:

Guardia Nacional o guardia militar (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de abril de 2019)

Cifra récord de militares en las calles, con AMLO (El Economista, 7 de abril de 2019)

Comandará militar en activo la Guardia Nacional: AMLO (La Jornada, 6 de abril de 2019)

Un militar en activo encabezará la Guardia Nacional, confirma López Obrador (Proceso, 5 de abril de 2019)

Jefe de Guardia Nacional será militar en activo, confirma AMLO; No es una burla, defiende Gobernación (Animal Político, 5 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: NGOs, Activists and CNDH Insist on Necessity that National Guard Be “Truly Civil” (April 8, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National: Senate Will Not Approve National Guard Bill. Morena and #SeguridadSinGuerra Propose Alternatives (February 13th, 2019)

National: Deputies Approve National Guard amid Doubts in the Executive (January 24th, 2019)

National: Public Hearings to Debate the Creation of National Guard Begin (January 15th, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Asks Congress for Civil Controlled National Guard and that it Last Five Years Maximum (January 2nd, 2019)


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)


National: NGOs, Activists and CNDH Insist on Necessity that National Guard Be “Truly Civil”

April 8, 2019

National Guard.png@Juan Carlos Cruz, Cuarto Oscuro

On March 31st, over 50 civil organizations, academics and activists, including #SeguridadsinGuerra published a statement in which they insisted on the need for a “truly civilian” National Guard. The decree that will allow its creation was published five days before. They expressed their concern about the possibility of it ending up being a military body if it is confirmed that the recruitment, training and operation will be in the charge of the Armed Forces taking the risk that “the only civil thing about this guard will be their administrative disguise.”

They asked President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to fulfill his campaign promises and “no longer insist on militarizing the country” by stressing that the indications sent by the Federal Government point towards the construction of a military body. They recalled in particular that as recently as March 27th, AMLO declared that it was not ruled out that the National Guard should have as a commander an active member of the military.

“It would be a militarization that does not dare to speak its name, a simulation and a betrayal of the meaning of the reform approved by Congress … it should already be clear that military structures have not served or will serve to address situations of public insecurity, especially when More than 90% of crimes committed in the country are not federal, but common law”, they said.

“It would also be an attack against the project of a democratic country that strengthens the rule of law and that places the defense of human rights as the highest priority”, they said.

“Mr. President, fulfill what you promised. No longer insist on militarizing the country, build a truly civil Guard, do not destroy the Federal Police and promote the development of our local police”, they concluded.

On the other hand, on April 3rd, Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and also urged that the command of the National Guard be civil.

For more information in Spanish:

La CNDH pide a AMLO un mando civil para la Guardia Nacional durante su reunión en Palacio Nacional (Sin Embargo, 3 de abril de 2019)

Construya una Guardia verdaderamente civil, no insista en militarizar, exigen organizaciones a AMLO (Animal Político, 1ero de abril de 2019)

ONGs advierte militarización en Guardia Nacional (El Universal, 1ero de abril de 2019)

Critican activistas conformación de la Guardia Nacional (MVS Noticias, 31 de marzo de 2019)
Guardia Nacional se convertiría en corporación militar, advierten ONGs (OSC, 31 de marzo de 2019)

Ahora sí, todo está listo para crear la Guardia Nacional; Presidencia publica decreto (Animal Político, 26 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National: Senate Will Not Approve National Guard Bill. Morena and #SeguridadSinGuerra Propose Alternatives (February 13th, 2019)

National: Deputies Approve National Guard amid Doubts in the Executive (January 24th, 2019)

National: Public Hearings to Debate the Creation of National Guard Begin (January 15th, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Asks Congress for Civil Controlled National Guard and that it Last Five Years Maximum (January 2nd, 2019)

National: Faced with Rejection of National Guard, AMLO Proposes New Consultation (December 12th, 2018)

National: Supreme Court Invalidates Security Law; AMLO Announces National Peace and Security Plan 2018-2024  (November 27th, 2018)

National: CNDH Asks SCJN to Declare Interior Security Law Unconstitutional (November 7th, 2018)

National: Reactions to Minister for Supreme Court’s Proposal on Interior Security Law (November 7th, 2018)

National: AMLO “The Army and the Navy will continue on the streets in internal public security tasks” (September 15th, 2018)