Chiapas: FRAYBA Denounces Attack on Zapatista Autonomy

August 12, 2019

ZapatistaMember of EZLN transport cooperative, archive photo, Angeles Mariscal/Chiapas PARALELO

On July 22nd, in its statement “Attack on Zapatista Autonomy”, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (FRAYBA) denounced the confiscation of two vans that provide autonomous transportation service by the Ministry of Mobility and Transportation in the Municipality of Salto de Agua in the North of Chiapas.

FRAYBA considered that this action represents one more attack against the support bases of the EZLN in the context of military harassment of its territory. It said that “these acts of aggression and harassment contradict the statements of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who during his visit to Chiapas said on July 6 that ‘we endorse our respect for the Zapatista Army despite our differences.'”

For this reason, FRAYBA demanded that the attacks and harassment of the autonomy of the Zapatista peoples cease and that they desist from the acts of criminalization against the drivers and autonomous transport, as well as return the two vehicles retained by the delegation of Transportation in Palenque.

For more information in Spanish:

Agresión a la autonomía zapatista (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas , 22 de julio de 2019)

Frayba exige devolver a bases zapatistas vehículos asegurados (La Jornada, 23 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Controversy between EZLN and AMLO Supporters Floods Social Networks (January 18, 2019)

Chiapas: Zapatista Mass Meeting in Realidad Caracol 25 Years after Armed Uprising (January 14, 2019)

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National: Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation Eases Abortion for Rape Victims

August 12, 2019

Rape@Uniradio Informa

On August 5th, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN in its Spanish acronym) endorsed the Official Mexican Standard (NOM) 046-SSA2-2005 that allows abortion after rape without making an official complaint to the Public Ministry (PM). Terminating a pregnancy for rape was already legal in all the states of the Republic. The new modifications, which will also come into force throughout the country, include access to abortion with a written request under oath to tell the truth without needing the authorization of a competent authority. Among these modifications, the personnel terminating the pregnancy do not need to verify the veracity of the applicant’s word. In the case of girls under 12 years of age, the request will be made by the father and/or the mother or, in their absence, their guardian.

“According to the previous Official Mexican Standard they [women] had to prove that violation, resorting, forcibly, to accusing their aggressor before the PM and they had to wait for the PM’s authorization to terminate the pregnancy. In this case, the norm is aimed primarily at teenage women and women in general,” Javier Laynez Potisek, SCJN minister, said. Arturo Zaldivar, Minister of the SCJN and one of the eight ministers who voted in favor of the modifications, said that, “what is being done is to facilitate access to the victims, precisely so that they can interrupt the pregnancy when it is the result of rape. In the case of rape it seems to me that it is almost unquestionable that this right must be accessible, close, fast and soon.”

“We have indexes, we have very serious statistics on abuse of women, mistreatment, femicide, rape and we also have, unfortunately, recent cases where the authorities try to enforce any subterfuge to deny access to the legal interruption of pregnancy to women and, particularly, girls. As we have said on other occasions, this type of limitations, of obstructions to this right of women, normally affects the poorest, most unprotected women, girls, indigenous women, because there is a certain social sector of the Mexican population that interrupts pregnancy anyway, because it has access to reach places where these types of issues are done, but [for] those layers of our population that are more unprotected, more vulnerable, this Official Mexican Standard is a form of protecting women and girls,” he concluded.

For more information in Spanish:

La SCJN protege los derechos de mujeres y niñas víctimas de violación (Suprema Corte Judicial de la Nación el 5 de agosto de 2019)

México aprobó el aborte por violación sin que medie una denuncia (El Nacional el 6 de agosto de 2019)

Corte, a favor de aborto en violaciones (El Universal el de agosto de 2019)

SCJN garantiza el derecho al aborto en caso de violación (Televisa News el 5 de agosto de 2019)

SCJN aprueba aborto en caso de violación aunque no haya denuncia (Radio Formula el 6 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Spotlight Initiative against Gender Violence Launched in Mexico (June 6, 2019)

Chiapas: denuncian grave incremento de la violencia feminicida en el primer bimestre de 2019 (18 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Tzeltal Women Tortured and Raped by Military in 1994 Denounce Total Impunity (June 9, 2019)

National/International: “Green Tide” – Activists March for Free and Safe Abortion; Threatened across Republic (October 9, 2018)

Oaxaca: Nine Femicides after 28 Days of Gender Violence Alert – Some Municipalities Yet to Implement Declaration (October 2, 2018)

Oaxaca: Segob decrees Gender Violence Alert in Oaxaca for unfullfillment of governor Murat (September 18, 2018)


Oaxaca: Conflict in Mixe Region between Inhabitants of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla and Tamazulapam del Espiritu Santo Continues

July 31, 2019

MixePhoto @ Red TdT

Last June, in the framework of the commemoration of the second anniversary of the armed attack, perpetrated against residents of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla, the Gobixha Human Rights Integral Defense Committee (Codigo DH in its Spanish acronym) and the National Network of Civil Organizations All Rights for Everyone (Red TdT in its Spanish acronym) visited the affected area.

The “attack” occurred on June 5th, 2017, the result of an agrarian conflict between the people of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla and Tamazulapam del Espiritu Santo. During the conflict “Luis Juan Guadalupe lost his life. In addition, six people were injured by gunfire and four women were held and tortured by local authorities.”

Through a statement, the organizations announced that: “Two years after these events, we found that Ayutla Mixes do not have a connection to their spring (Jënanyëëj), because their water and pipe system was destroyed, causing lack of the vital fluid, mainly affecting children and older adults, who have consistently presented profiles of gastrointestinal diseases.” According to the statement, also, “attacks and disqualifications against defenders have been present, including Elena Gil, academic and defender of the Ayuuk language and culture, who has repeatedly received death threats, as well as other people in  the community who have been victims of aggressions and intimidation in order to silence them, details of which we reserve because of the fear they show.”

They mentioned that according to official documents “27 families of the community have been stripped of their homes and land by an agrarian invasion of more than 200 hectares that seeks to cross the boundaries recognized by both communities.”

In addition, they informed that, in the disputed spring “an installation has been built unilaterally by the state authorities, according to the complaint of the local authorities, to replace the one that was allegedly dynamited on August 25th, 2017 by Tamazupalam and that may collate with archive photos. Given these facts, the state authorities such as the Secretary General of Government (SEGEGO) and the Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca, have ignored and progress is unknown on the complaints filed, violating the right to security and physical integrity of the residents of Ayutla, and her access to justice, with investigations related to the law.”

Currently, Ayutla is still without water despite more than 30 meetings and a “historic agreement” between the two communities [which was denied by the Ayutla authorities]. Also, it should be remembered that recently, the General Secretary of Government (SEGEGO) sent the State Water Commission (CEA in its Spanish acronym) to reconnect the water to Ayutla.

Codigo DH and the Red TdT called:

  • “To the State Government to give priority to the solution to the agrarian conflict and guarantee at all times access to justice for victims, security against the risk of violence and new dispossession, as well as respect for the history and documents that keep the memory of the boundaries between both communities.
  • To the General Secretary of Government, we demand that you adhere to the agreements signed and recognized by both communities, including May 2018, to avoid new acts of violence and dispossession towards settlers who have suffered repeated violations of their human rights. We also demand the cessation of attacks and disqualifications against defenders.
  • To the State Water Commission to guarantee the completion of water reconnection works for Ayutla. It has been more than two years without a drinking water service that violates their human right to water and health, mainly for children and the elderly.
  • To the Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca, to continue with the investigations for the clarification and punishment of those responsible for the acts perpetrated on June 5th, 2017, guaranteeing at all times free access to their victims’ information.
  • To the Secretary of Public Security of the State of Oaxaca, to guarantee the security and help the population of San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla given the risk of future aggressions.
  • To national and international Human Rights organizations to be aware of the events that may arise in the following weeks.”

For more information in Spanish:

Para Ayutla no hay fiesta, ni agua; solo duelo, injusticia y riesgo de más violencia ante la inacción gubernamental (Codigo DH, 18 de julio de 2019)

Sin solución conflicto por agua en zona mixe (Imparcial Oaxaca, 26 de julio de 2019)

Justicia y agua, para Ayutla (NVI Noticias, 26 de julio de 2019)

Denuncian inacción gubernamental en Ayutla (Red TdT, 18 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Enfrentamiento entre pobladores en la región Mixe. (June 8, 2017)


International/National/Chiapas: Director of Internal Displacement Monitoring Center Highlights Problem in Mexico

July 31, 2019

DisplacementCamp for displaced persons from Colonia Puebla in SCLC @AlexandraBilak

On July 24th, Alexandra Bilak, director of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC in its Spanish acronym), visited displaced people from Puebla ejido in the municipality of Chenalho.

The IDMC is an internationally recognized organization that publishes figures and analysis on internal forced displacement (FID). This organization visited the camp where FID victims are currently living in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

Excelsior newspaper reported that during her visit Bilak “heard testimonies of women and men who are going through this process, as part of a global report. She also noted the conditions in which these families are, in order to know the methodology with which they are cared for and to support the states that are engaged in the matter.”

On the visit, Bilak highlighted that it is a great injustice that they have been displaced for three years “with limited services and under constant threat of new violence.”

During her visit to Mexico, she also met with the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB in its Spanish acronym), the Mexican Commission for Assistance to Refugees (COMAR in its Spanish acronym), the United Nations and other international organizations. She stressed that a first step to address internal displacement in Mexico is to have reliable figures on the phenomenon, which currently do not exist. Without these figures, Bilak pointed out that the magnitude of the problem is not known, nor how it affects children, or is related to sexual violence.

In addition, she drew attention to the lack of an official government authority to monitor internal displacement and attend to those affected. In her presentation, Bilak also posed challenges and advances on the adoption of a general law on the subject that could be based on the experience of other countries, and request the support of organizations for the elaboration of this.

The coordinator of COMAR, Andres Ramirez Silva, “stressed that the institution in charge, for example, serves foreigners who request shelter, but there is no institution that cares for the internally displaced in Mexico (…) emphasized that the general law in the matter, will have to create the budget and the structures that see to the phenomenon, as well as clarify the role that COMAR will play in the issue of internal displacement, since its operational capacity has been limited to foreign flows.”

For more information in Spanish:

“Crimen Desplazó en México a 380 mil personas” El Universal, 24 de julio de 2019.

Realiza IDMC informe de desplazados en Chiapas Excelsior, 25 de julio de 2019.

Urgen en México leyes y recursos para atender desplazamiento forzado Mi Punto de Vista, 23 de julio de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Interceptan hombres armados a integrantes del CDH Ku’untik y un desplazado del ejido Puebla. (June 24, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: Piden CIDH y ONU crear ley para atender a víctimas de desplazamiento forzado (April 18, 2019)

National: Deputies Declare Forced Displacement a Crime (April 15, 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 (February 19, 2019)

Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas (October 30, 2018)

Chiapas: Nace la organización “Coordinadora de Personas Desplazadas del Estado de Chiapas” (July 25, 2018)


Oaxaca: Indigenous Communities Celebrate “Guelaguetza” against Extractivism

July 29, 2019

Guela1

On July 23rd, 2019, several Zapotec communities of the Central Valleys, members of the “Non-Mining Front, for a Future of All”, organized an alternative Guelaguetza in San Martin de los Cansecos, Oaxaca. This was the first Guelaguetza of the Peoples of Oaxaca against mining that began with a traditional ritual of gratitude to Mother Earth.

“What they are looking for in this event is to recover the essence of the Cerro Mondays Festival, where with cooperation, love of neighbor and an attitude of sharing nature and life, they seek to reinforce the social fabric that unite us as indigenous communities.”

Marcos Leyva Madrid of the organization Services for Alternative Education (Educa in its Spanish acronym) mentioned that during the event “the towns and communities affected by mining projects and concessions celebrate life, autonomy, resistance processes and community alternatives that they are exercising within their territories.”

Guela2Photo @ SIPAZ

People and agricultural authorities from nine municipalities participated in the alternative Guelaguetza. The program included a forum, spaces for reflection for the communities about the defense of their lands against extractivism, and there were also cultural spaces.

It should be remembered that there are more than three hundred mining concessions in Oaxaca, which represent five percent of the state territory. Communities and civil organizations attribute damage to the environment and the social fabric of the communities to the extractivist model, among other consequences. In addition, they highlight the criminalization of defenders of the land, by extractive companies and the government, with the aim of protecting their economic interests.

According to the magazine Proceso, the Cuzcatlan mining company which is three kilometers away in San Jose del Progreso, also organized a Guelaguetza to “justify that it promotes traditions, gives employment and generates development.” The company is related to the Canadian company Fortuna Silver Mines.

For more information in Spanish:

Celebran comunidades indígenas la Guelaguetza antiminera en Oaxaca (EDUCA, 23 de julio de 2019)

Realizan en Valles Centrales la primera Guelaguetza de los Pueblos de Oaxaca contra la Minería (Proceso, 22 de julio de 2019)

Con Guelaguetza alternativa, protestan en Oaxaca contra mineras (La Jornada, 22 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: “Negamos el desarrollo que nos niega a nosotros”: Concluye Tercer Encuentro Estatal de Pueblos, Comunidades y Organizaciones “Aquí Decidimos Sí a la Vida No a la Minería” (May 22nd, 2019)

Oaxaca: Cabildo municipal anuncia el territorio de Magdalena Ocotlán prohibido para minería (April 11th, 2019)

National: No Cancellations but No More Mining Concessions in Mexico – AMLO (March 24, 2019)


National/Chiapas: Forums on Process of Free, Prior and Informed Consultation for Constitutional and Legal Reform of Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples Go Ahead

July 29, 2019

Forums.pngPhoto @ INPI

On July 20th and 21st, in the framework of the Free, Prior and Informed Consultation Process for the Constitutional and Legal Reform on the Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples, several regional consultation forums were held in the territory of Chiapas.

In San Cristobal de Las Casas, Copainala, Palenque, Ocosingo and Comitan de Domínguez “the voices of the Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Totonaco, Chinanteco, Ch’ol, Zoque, Lacandon, Chuj, Maya, Q’eqchi’ and of the indigenous migrant population settled in the Highlands, North and Lacandon Jungle regions came together”, the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI in its Spanish acronym) said.

During his participation in the forum in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the indigenous poet Irma Pineda, member of the Committee of Experts and representative of the indigenous peoples before the United Nations, mentioned that “the peoples themselves must decide what they want from their culture and life forms. We are in a historical moment and we must make our voices resonate in the laws.”

One of the approaches in which the voices of the participants in Chiapas coincided was that “their autonomy and free self-determination to be governed under their own organizational systems be respected (…) that their full right to use and exploitation of their lands, territory and natural resources be recognized in the Constitution.” These are requirements that were raised by other peoples of the nation in previous weeks.

In Copainala, they highlighted “the requirement to modify Article 27 of the Constitution to recognize full ownership over their lands and territories; in addition, guarantee the participation of translators and interpreters in government institutions to guarantee access to justice in their own languages.”

In Ocosingo they asked for “the laws to be modified and the judicial and criminal system to be harmonized to recognize their regulatory systems, as well as access to justice while respecting their human rights. The presence of experts and speakers of indigenous languages ​​in the corresponding institutions is considered fundamental to improve legal procedures.” The women asked for the right to land tenure.

From the beginning, the INPI free consultation process was criticized by different organizations and individuals. They criticized “that there was no participation of the players consulted in its elaboration (…) the rush with which the consultation was made (…) that the assemblies [of the communities and peoples] had not been taken into account.”

For more information in Spanish:

Cumplimiento de los Acuerdos de San Andrés, asignatura pendiente del Gobierno de México: Regino Montes. (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, 21 de julio de 2019)

Más de dos mil autoridades y representantes indígenas de Oaxaca participan en foro de consulta para reforma constitucional (Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas, 13 de julio de 2019)

Se cumplirán acuerdos de San Andrés: INPI (La Jornada, 23 de julio de 2019)

Acerca de la Consulta para el proceso de reforma constitucional sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas y afromexicanos (La Jornada, 14 de julio de 2019)

Reprograman autoridades indígenas de la Sierra Juárez mesa “Territorio” de consulta del INPI (EDUCA, 19 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Process of “Free, Prior and Informed Consultation” on Constitutional and Legal Reform of Rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Peoples Begins (June 27, 2019)

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples Calls on AMLO Government to Comply with International Standards on Indigenous Consultation for Megaprojects in their Territories, March 19th, 2019

Oaxaca/National: Federal Government Presents National Program for Indigenous Peoples December 28th 2018

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Presents Report in Mexico City One Year after her Visit (October 22nd, 2018)

Oaxaca/National: Federal Government Presents National Program for Indigenous Peoples (January 14, 2019)

Chiapas: 18 años years after the signing of the San Andrés Accords on Indigenous Rights and Culture, these continue not to be recognized by the State (March 1, 2014)

Chiapas: new governor calls for observance of San Andrés Accords (January 8, 2013)

La ONU aprueba la Declaración de los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas (September 13, 2007)


Chiapas: Hunger Strikers’ Lives at Risk

July 20, 2019

Hunger StrikePhoto: frayba

On July 18th, 2019, the families of the prisoners on hunger strike began a fast outside the doors of the Government Palace of Chiapas, to make a new appeal to the governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandon, to address the situation of their relatives.

On March 15th, 2019, Marcelino Ruiz Gomez, prisoner in CERSS No. 10 (Comitan), as well as Adrian Gomez Jimenez, Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Abraham Lopez Montejo and German Lopez Montejo, currently imprisoned in CERSS No. 5 (San Cristobal de Las Casas), began a hunger strike as a form of protest for the injustice and discrimination they suffered during their legal process. They reported that they obtained sentences of between 20 to 25 years in prison, for crimes they did not commit and that their statements were extracted under torture. In addition, their trials are full of violations of due process.

At this moment, according to the reports of Doctors of the World, Switzerland, an international organization that works in the defense of the right to health and provides accompaniment to Juan, Adrian, Abraham and German, the situation in which the prisoners on hunger strike in the San Cristobal de Las Casas prison is worrying, their health has deteriorated badly.

“The risk to the health of the prisoners on hunger strike is increased by the lack of conditions inside CERSS. No. 5 due to medical malpractice in their care and the indifference of the government of the State of Chiapas to see to their demands. Especially, the denial of drinking water has caused diseases such as salmonellosis. Other complications are: tachycardia, liver and kidney problems, gastrointestinal diseases and anxiety.”

According to the bulletin of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, “the struggle of prisoners on hunger strike demonstrates the critical situation of a system that does not guarantee justice and where prisons become centers of ‘social cleansing’, to which poor people, indigenous people, who can not afford a lawyer to make an adequate defense are subjected. Therefore, we remind the authorities of the State of Chiapas to take into account the Set of Principles for the protection of all persons subjected to any form of detention or imprisonment of the United Nations Organization where they indicate that: Every person submitted to any form of detention or imprisonment will be treated humanely and with due respect for the inherent dignity of the human being.”

For more information in Spanish:

“Nuestra lucha es justa, ni barrotes nos detendrán, ni gobiernos, ni alcaides, ni directores o funcionarios públicos, nada ni nadie nos callará.” Denuncia de los presos en Huelga de Hambre, 18 de julio de 2019

Verdad, justicia y libertad para presos en huelga de hambre en Chiapas, CDHFBLC, 18 de julio de 2019

 

En riesgo la vida de 4 presos indígenas que cumplieron 67 días en huelga de hambre, Chiapas Paralelo, 19 de julio de 2019

Indígenas presos en Chiapas suman 65 días en huelga de hambre, La Jornada, 18 de julio de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Chiapas: Plantón y Ayuno en Solidaridad con Presos en Huelga de Hambre (a 84 días de su inicio), (June 6th, 2019)

Chiapas: Indigenous Prisoner Released after 16 Years Awaiting Sentencing and 60 Days Hunger Strike (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: Six Prisoners Resume Indefinite Hunger Strike in San Cristobal and Comitan Prisons (May 17, 2019)

Little Progress 60 Days after Start of Hunger Strike in Various Sate Prisons (May 15, 2019)