Mexico: 2019 Highest Number of Attacks on the Press – Articulo 19

May 28, 2020

disonancias

On May 26th, the organization in defense of freedom of expression, Articulo 19, presented its 2019 annual report “Dissonance: Voices in Dispute”, which records the highest number of attacks against the press ever in one year: 609 cases, including ten murders of journalists.

The ten journalists killed imply an increase of 12% compared to 2018; in addition, 99% of crimes against communicators remain unsolved and, out of 1,614 cases pending since the creation of the Special Prosecutor’s Office for this sector in 2010, only 14 sentences have been handed down.

“In 43% of the 609 attacks, public officials from the three levels of government were identified as perpetrators, especially at the state and municipal levels, and that the coverage of political and corruption-related information was 56% of the cause of the attacks”, the report states.

“After murder, journalists in Mexico were also victims of illegal entry, threats, attacks on material goods, attacks on digital communications media and computer systems, physical attacks, forced displacement, illegal communications surveillance, torture, as well as illegitimate use of the public power”, it also stresses.

Ana Cristina Ruelas of Articulo 19 expressed that at the beginning of the administration, there were expectations of change due to the presidential commitment to end censorship, due to the public apology to journalist Lydia Cacho, for the budget reduction for the hiring of official advertising; for the preparation of the diagnosis on the failures of the Mechanism to Protect Journalists and Human Rights Defenders. However, throughout 2019, “we witnessed new threats arising from stigmatization of journalistic work from the presidential rostrum.” She stated that the president “made his word an instrument and a weapon of government (and) decided to neutralize or annul anyone who sought to question his version. He confused the resistance of his adversaries and the old elites, with the rationality of those who sought to understand and report on the strategy that supports the narrative.”

Articulo 19 also reported that last year the attacks classified as “illegitimate use of public power” by the three levels of government increased by 100% due to attacks such as “stigmatization through official communication, threats of legal action and smear campaigns.”

The report raises the use of automated accounts on social networks as another point of concern, as well as “a coordinated and sustained articulation of networks to promote the image of governments, local and federal, and reduce the reach of critical and dissident voices”, reflecting in “waves of aggression” against journalists, especially women.

For more information in Spanish:

Registra 2019 la cifra más alta de agresiones contra la prensa en México: Artículo 19, SDP Noticias, 26 de mayo de 2020

AMLO hizo de su palabra un arma de Gobierno: Art. 19; condiciona el debate público y polariza, afirma, Sin Embargo, 26 de mayo de 2020

Más agresiones contra periodistas pese a expectativas con AMLO: Artículo 19, Proceso 26 de mayo de 2020

2019 registró el mayor número de ataques contra periodistas de la última década: Artículo 19, Animal Político, 26 de mayo de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Reform Of Law for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Debated in Context of Greater Vulnerability in Pandemic (May 26, 2020)

Nacional: ONU-DH condena asesinato de un defensor ambiental (Oaxaca) y un periodista (Sonora); sexta persona defensora y el segundo periodista asesinados en 2020 (May 21, 2020)

National: CNDH Demands Clarification of Crimes against Journalists in Mexico – 90% Remain in Impunity (November 8, 2019)

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)


Oaxaca/National: No Truth nor Justice for Victims 13 Years after Forced Disappearance Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya

May 28, 2020

índice

May 25th marked thirteen years since the enforced disappearance of the militants of the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR), Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya in Oaxaca.

In an online press conference, Nadin Reyes, daughter of Edmundo Reyes and representative of the Comite Hasta Encontrarlos (Until They Are Found Committee), declared that “these have been difficult years and, undoubtedly, today they are more difficult given the context that forces us this year to remain in the compulsory confinement given the COVID-19 pandemic that has paralyzed everything in the country and which is blamed for all the ills of this system, as if the virus were responsible for impunity.”

She claimed that in the case of Cruz Sanchez and Reyes Amaya three presidents passed without any significant progress, which, she considered, is “the evident proof that, regardless of who is ruling in the country, the policy of enforced disappearances is a State policy that is committed government after government and that the government headed by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has not changed and we say this because it has not fulfilled its commitment to find the thousands of disappeared detainees in the country, much less to prosecute and punish those responsible.”

She explained that in the case of the new administration “despite having endless documentation that confirms the crime that was committed against our relatives and having a legal resolution for more than six years which orders the search for both fighters in military barracks and the creation of a special search commission, among other points, to this day it has not been accomplished.” This, she stated is because “although it is said that this government is different, in fact, it maintains the same policy of covering up with impunity and giving greater power to those who for years have repressed and committed the worst crimes against the people: the army.”

For this reason, she considered that the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is “co-responsible for maintaining and expanding access to truth and justice more and more in the case of our relatives. During this last year, on repeated occasions, he was notified of the latest developments in the case, and of the recent request of the Second Court to the SCJN to take on the case and has done nothing to expedite and guarantee true access to Justice for the victims.”

In view of this, the Committee confirmed that “we will carry out all legal and human rights actions to firmly maintain our demand. Neither will this government be the one to bend us in this decision.” It extended the invitation to join the activities planned in the framework of the International Week of the Disappeared Detainee (#NOSFALTANENCASA).

For more information in Spanish:

Como Peña y Calderón, AMLO mantiene impunidad del ejército: Comité Hasta Encontrarlos (Proceso, 26 de mayo de 2020)

Continúan con incansable búsqueda de desaparecidos (NVI Noticias, 26 de mayo de 2020)

Reclaman a AMLO esclarecer desaparición de miembros del EPR (La Jornada, 25 de mayo de 2020)

Boletín de prensa : A 13 años de la Desaparición Forzada de Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez y Edmundo Reyes Amaya: sin verdad ni justicia para las víctimas (Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos Hasta Encontrarlos, 25 de mayo de 2020)

“4T”, sin noticias de los desaparecidos del EPR (Contralínea, 21 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/National : SCJN May Take On Case of Forced Disappearance of Two EPR Members in 2007 (January 31, 2020)

Oaxaca: FGR and SEDENA Dispute Search for EPR Disappeared (May 30, 2019)

Oaxaca: Order to Open Army Barracks in Search for EPR Members Disappeared in 2007 (May 16, 2019)

Oaxaca: Search for EPR Members Missing for 11 Years on State Properties (August 21, 2018)

Chiapas: National Day: “The Victims of State Terrorism are of the People, We will not Stop until We Find Them!” (March 15, 2017)

 


Chiapas: Fear that Infected Prisoners in San Cristobal de Las Casas “Will only Come Out Dead”

May 26, 2020

presos@Diario del Sur

On May 25th, at a press conference held in the City of San Cristobal de Las Casas, the former political prisoner and founder of Solidarios de la Voz de Amate, Alberto Patishtan Gomez, denounced that the situation of the prisoner members of that group at the State Center for Social Reintegration for Sentences Number 5 (CERSS 5) remains delicate and they have not received medical attention. This occurs one week after they began to present symptoms of COVID-19 and contrary to the statements of the Ministry of Health that has affirmed that they have received attention.

Patishtan Gomez assured that the only thing that has been done is that these prisoners have been isolated inside the prison itself. He demanded their transfer “to a private or public hospital, but not to remain in the nursing area of ​​that penitential center, as although they have come to carry out studies on all, it is known that many are infected.” He requested prompt and timely medical attention to detect cases that require hospitalization or other specialized care.

He announced that they made an “international appeal in support of prisoners” that is being disseminated in several languages ​​to exert pressure for attention for their demands.

For more information in Spanish:

Temen a que presos “solo muertos salgan” por padecer Coronavirus: Alberto Patishtán(Diario del sur, 26 de mayo de 2020)

Exigen atención para infectados (Ultimatum, 26 de mayo de 2020)

Temen por la vida de presos contagiados de Coronavirus (NVI Noticias, 25 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Outbreak of COVID-19 in San Cristobal Las Casas Prison (May 23, 2020)

Chiapas: Prisoners Start Hunger Strike over Health Fears Due to COVID-19 (May 21, 2020)

Chiapas: Prisoners Start Three-day Fast to Demand Freedom (March 23, 2020)

 


National: Reform Of Law for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Debated in Context of Greater Vulnerability in Pandemic

May 26, 2020

cc_postal_com1-3-2-1-1024x791

On May 20th, a controversial initiative was proposed to the Permanent Commission by the MORENA deputies that proposes to abolish 44 trusts, related to support for the Mexican film industry, agriculture, science and technology, national sports, and energy sector contractors and suppliers among others. It proposes to modify 14 legal systems, among them the Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists.

Given this, former members of the Governing Board and the Advisory Council of the Protection Mechanism for both sectors warned of the fact that “it intends to disappear all those measures and locks that allow the management of resources through the trust to be transparent, with supervision of a collegiate body and with the active participation of a representative of civil society or academia.” “The Protection Mechanism (…) must be strengthened not weakened,” they declared. “Legislative measures to modify the regulatory framework that regulates the Mechanism are not necessary. What is urgent is the generation of a comprehensive public policy of protection that coordinates ordinary state scaffolding, until now ignored, which should guarantee that journalists and defenders can do their daily work in safety”, they stressed. “Although the operation of the Mechanism has had great vicissitudes, the trust has guaranteed that the lives of hundreds of defenders and journalists were protected in the last seven years,” they recalled.

Shortly before, activists, organizations and networks justly denounced that “in the current context of the health emergency caused by COVID-19, the risk situation experienced by human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico has worsened, without an adequate response from the authorities.” Espacio OSC (SCO Space) noted that “since March 15th, the date on which the health emergency was decreed, according to official figures from the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (…) at least 44 attacks against human rights defenders and journalists have been identified and the murder of two journalists and four human rights defenders, with the state of Guerrero presenting the greatest increase in risk situations for journalists.”

Putting these figures in context, it indicated that “according to the annual report of the Mechanism, in 2019 a total of 295 attacks were registered, on average 24.5 attacks per month, which implies that in the context of a health crisis the attacks have doubled.”

The CSOs expressed their concern about the fact that “the Head of the Executive continues to use a discourse that discredits the role of the media and journalistic work. These statements contribute to creating a hostile environment against those who practice journalism and the media, and to that extent can undermine freedom of expression.” They noted that in several states the imposition of measures that restrict and hinder freedom of transit and association, such as curfews, “have a negative impact on the work of defense of human rights and freedom of expression.” They called to “strengthen the work of the Mechanism.”

For its part, Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todas (Red TdT – Rights for All Network)) also stressed that in the case of the homicides of defenders, “two of these murders were in the homes of human rights defenders, which shows the increase in vulnerability to the health crisis due to COVID-19.” It also highlighted that of the four, “the work of three of these people was linked to the defense of land and territory, which is consistent with the trend that has been pointed out by the Red TdT and other organizations. With these four murders, there would already be 30 defenders killed during the six-year term of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.”

They also warned about the fact that “in the framework of the health contingency, it is clear that the work of defending human rights does not stop, but becomes especially relevant at a time when institutional absences become multiple windows of opportunity for the commission of crimes and human rights violations.”

For more information in Spanish:

Las ocurrencias legislativas ponen en riesgo a periodistas y personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Animal Político, 22 de mayo de 2020)

Propuesta de eliminar fideicomisos tambien toca a periodistas (La Jornada, 21 de mayo de 2020)

Espacio OSC, personas defensoras y periodistas llaman a respetar el derecho a defender derechos humanos y el ejercicio de la libertad de expresión durante la pandemia provocada por el Covid-19 (Espacio OSC, 20 de mayo de 2020)

Lista de personas defensoras y periodistas asesinados en México en 2020 (Educa, 20 de mayo de 2020)

Organizaciones denuncian que durante contingencia sanitaria se han recrudecido agresiones contra personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Red Tdt, 14 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: ONU-DH condena asesinato de un defensor ambiental (Oaxaca) y un periodista (Sonora); sexta persona defensora y el segundo periodista asesinados en 2020 (May 21, 2020)

National: CNDH Demands Clarification of Crimes against Journalists in Mexico – 90% Remain in Impunity (November 8, 2019)

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)

 

 


Chiapas: Outbreak of COVID-19 in San Cristobal Las Casas Prison

May 23, 2020

solidariosPhoto: chiapasparalelo

The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 in San Cristobal de Las Casas prison. Those affected so far are eight indigenous Tzotzil prisoners, all members of the organization Solidarios la Voz de El Amate (The Solidarity Voice of Amate) but more people could be infected. They have been quarantined since midnight on May 20th. During the previous weeks they had asked for sanitary control measures several times to avoid this situation.

“Our family members no longer enter the prison. We were told that this is a measure to prevent coronavirus disease from spreading to us. But the risk of contagion comes from the jailers themselves”, a group of prisoners reported by telephone. This is because, they affirmed, the jailers, or personnel on duty, do not use any protective measures when entering the area of ​​cells and patios where the inmates are located, nor gloves nor face masks. After this complaint, the Ministry of Public Security and Citizen Protection, which is in charge of prisons, said that the complaint of the inmates was false, and argued that there was a protocol to avoid contagion.

Meanwhile, relatives of the police officer Artemio Jimenez Estrada, who worked in San Cristobal de Las Casas prison, reported that he allegedly died of COVID-19: “His last wish was to report the lack of medical attention he received from the command at CERESO number 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, they never gave him permission to receive medical attention until the last day when he was already serious and could not fight the disease”, his family said on their Facebook accounts.

no estamos todos

On another note, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) demanded the implementation of measures to guarantee the life, health, integrity and freedom of prisoners on hunger strike in Chiapas. Since May 21st, members of the organization La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia (The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance) and La Voz Verdadera del Amate (The True Voice of Amate) started a hunger strike from CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas and CERSS No. 10 in Comitan de Dominguez.

Therefore, the relatives of prisoners on hunger strike for their freedom filed an injunction on May 20th, 2020, before a Judge in Tuxtla Gutierrez. They claim that the state authorities fails the security and protection of the health of those who are in prison, suffering uncertainty regarding the increased risk of contagion.

The Colectivo Cereza Chiapas (Chiapas Cherry Collective), which accompanies the women prisoners in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, denounced that the women were gassed for protesting. For four days they had no phone to communicate with their defense or their relatives. They have been without a doctor since the beginning of March and lack basic hygiene and cleaning products. They are also afraid of the risks of contagion from COVID-19.

For more information in Spanish:

Brote de COVID-19 en penal de Chiapas, presos indígenas contagiados, Chiapasparalelo, 20 de mayo de 2020

Brote de Covid-19 en penal de San Cristóbal, Chiapas: 8 infectados, La Jornada, 20 de mayo de 2020

Denuncian brote de covid-19 en penal de San Cristóbal, Proceso, 21 de mayo de 2020

Firma por: Garantías de vida, salud, integridad y libertad a presos en huelga de hambre en Chiapas, Frayba, 21 de mayo de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Prisoners Start Hunger Strike over Health Fears Due to COVID-19 (May 21, 2020)

Chiapas: Prisoners Start Three-day Fast to Demand Freedom (March 23, 2020)

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: Prisoners Start Hunger Strike over Health Fears Due to COVID-19

May 21, 2020

voz

Several prisoners’ organizations in Chiapas have denounced the health situation within the San Cristobal de Las Casas prison. Some inmates have fever and cough and other symptoms that could be associated with COVID 19. On May 20th, the eight members of Solidarios de la Voz de Amate (Solidarity with the Voice of Amate) were taken to the infirmary and were informed that they should remain there for 14 days. Supporters of their cause demanded that the governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandon Gordillo, report on the prisoners’ health situation.

At the same time, members of the organization La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia (The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance) and the organization La Voz Verdadera del Amate (The True Voice of Amate) announced that on May 21st they would start a hunger strike that would continue until June 5th to demand attention to their health and for their their release.

“The authorities of this center have denied the contagion of an officer, rank Commander and named: Alejandro and the alleged death of an officer named: Artemio”, they denounced.

“We also emphasize that the internal population is suffering from fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, which we do not know if it is the COVID 19 Virus or normal fever. Inmates are violating our rights to health. There is no way to take the COVID 19 test and there are also no medications for the inmates. Supposedly there is a high amount of fever symptoms in inmates. For this reason, we prisoners are in danger for the integrity of our health and life”, they also claimed.

For more information in Spanish:

Presos indígenas en Chiapas reportan síntomas de covid-19 y nula atención, Pie de Pagina, 19 de mayo de 2020

Piden intervención de autoridades por posibles casos de Covid en cárceles, Cuarto Poder, 19 de mayo de 2020

Piden reos de penal en Chiapas reforzar medidas sanitarias por Covid-19, La Jornada 18 de mayo de 2020

For more information form  SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Prisoners Start Three-day Fast to Demand Freedom (March 23, 2020)

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)

 


National: Claims Fracking Continues in 4T; AMLO Denies it

May 20, 2020

fracking-mexico-ok

On May 19th, the Mexican Alliance against Fracking denounced that this extraction method, recognized for its multiple dangers to the environment, is still present in Mexico, despite the commitment of the Government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to ban it: “We have seen new signs, and already with decisions taken without a doubt by the current administration, that ‘fracking’ continues,” it assured in a conference detailing that the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) approved six exploration plans related to this technique in 2019, in addition to giving the green light to another that also includes it. It also reported that the state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) would implement six of these seven exploration contracts.

The Mexican Alliance against Fracking concluded, based on its investigations, that “all the aforementioned shows that it is necessary for the government and the Legislative Branch to take immediate measures to make the 4T commitments reality in acts that prevent fracking from being used and, consequently protect the population, the environment and the climate from this harmful technique, the damages of which cannot be avoided as they are inherent to it, as has been demonstrated by its use elsewhere.”

In his morning conference this same day, Lopez Obrador rejected the accusations stating: “Today I saw a note that permits for fracking were authorized in 2019. It is not true and I am going to investigate it. We said no to fracking, no to mining left and right, we have not awarded a single mining concession, among other things because there are millions of hectares under concession from the neoliberal period that are not even being exploited.”

Some media highlight that this discussion is taking place in a troubled energy sector after several changes in recent weeks: in April, the National Center for Energy Control (CENACE) published an agreement that prevents operational tests in clean energy plants that were about to open; and just a few days ago, a new regulation was presented that has also been strongly criticized by private initiative when it “contemplates changes in criteria, since now the regulator will choose by means of a ‘reliability’ criterion, without privileging the lower economic cost of the energy, which could favor state-owned PEMEX and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to the detriment of renewables”, EFE notes.

For more information in Spanish:

Información oficial confirma que el fracking sigue avanzando en México (Alianza mexicana contra el fracking, 19 de mayo de 2020)

Pese a promesas, 4T aprueba siete propuestas de fracking (El Universal, 19 de mayo de 2020)

Pemex continúa perforando con fracking, denuncia red de ONG (El Economista, 19 de mayo de 2020)

Asegura AMLO que investigará si CNH autorizó 19 permisos para el fracking (El Universal, 19 de mayo de 2020)

AMLO niega que haya dado permisos para ‘fracking’ (Vanguardia, 19 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

National: Concrete Measures Needed to Stop Fracking Despite Government Promises. Foreign Company Drills Oil in Mexico for First Time in 80 Years. (September 2, 2019)

National: Fracking or not in Mexico? (February 13, 2019)

National: Mexican Alliance against Fracking Urges President Elect to Legally Stop the Activity (August 19, 2018)