Chiapas: Public proclamation on the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in San Cristóbal

December 26, 2015

Constituyente

Public proclamation in San Cristóbal of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power (@SIPAZ)

On 5 December, more than 15,000 people, the majority of them indigenous, as well as representatives from seven countries in Central and South America, marched and held a rally in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to proclaim the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power. This initiative seeks to establish the basis for a new political Constitution in Mexico, which would refound the nation and lead to a new social contract.

Raúl Vera López, former assistant bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and present bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, led the event at which the indigenous protestors gave him a command scepter. The bishop acknowledged that the Zapatista uprising of 1994 represented the “ferment” of a new constitutional power, but that at present “it it not just our Mayan brothers and sisters who seek a new social contract, but rather all Mexicans.” He asserted that “we do not want this deviation of power whereby the authority we delegate in a government becomes perverse, placing our resources and lands in the hands of multinational corporations and their home governments and states. Instead, these must be placed at the service of all Mexicans who want peace with justice and development with dignity.”

The Council of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in Chiapas stressed that “today is an historical day that will be remembered throughout Chiapas and Mexico, because the presence of thousands of people is a clear demonstration that the people have recognized how disastrous our living conditions are, and have armed themselves with valor and dignity, taking on the responsibility of transforming this reality.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan miles en Chiapas para proclamar una nueva Constitución (La Jornada, 7 de diciembre de 2015)

Tribunal Permanente de Pueblos urge a la refundación del país (Proceso, 6 de diciembre de 2015)

Presentan indígenas su constituyente ciudadana (El Universal, 7 de diciembre de 2015)

Sitio de la iniciativa: constituyenteciudadana.org


Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto

March 8, 2015

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On 23 February 2015, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) released an urgent action regarding the forcible displacement of a group of Tojolabal indigenous people from the Primero de Agosto community, Las Margaritas municipality, Chiapas.

The CDHFBC “has received trustworthy documentary evidence regarding the displacement of the 57 Tojolabal indigenous persons, including 12 minors and one neonate, 20 women, and 25 men from the Primero de Agosto community, with this being an action perpetrated by members of the Independent Historic Campesino Agricultural Worker Center (CIOAC-H), who have been protected in this region by the municipal government of Las Margaritas.”

The bulletin adds that “according to the received information, today at 8am, 50 members of the CIOAC-H, including Reynaldo López Pérez, the ejidal commissioner, Antonio Méndez Pérez, the auxiliary agent, as well as other authorities from Miguel Hidalgo ejido, Las Margaritas municipality, entered the Primero de Agosto community, carrying high-powered firearms and surrounding the homes of the residents, leading to the displacement of the residents who fled to the closest highway, where they now reside in grave conditions: women and children lacking shelter, food, and security guarantees amidst the possibility of attacks from the group affiliated to the Miguel Hidalgo ejido.”

For this reason, in its Urgent Action the CDHFBC urgently calls on the Mexican governments to take the necessary measures to guarantee the human rights of the displaced, that those responsible for the forcible displacement and other harms of the group from Primero de Agosto be investigated and sanctioned, and that comprehensive attention be provided in accordance with the appropriate laws regarding internal displacement.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: Desplazamiento forzado de familias tojolabales del poblado Primero de Agosto, CDHFBLC, 23 de febrero de 2013

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: amenazas contra familias simpatizantes del EZLN (29 December 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (12 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN communique “Pain and Rage” (18 May 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)


Oaxaca: New threats against members of Indigenous Women for Conservation, Investigation, and Management of Natural Resources (CIARENA)

February 8, 2015


ciarena

In an Urgent Action published on 27 January 2015, Amnesty International calls on State authorities to protect the security of Silvia Pérez Yescas, a human-rights defender for the indigenous people of the community of Matías Romero, Oaxaca, given that she has received new threats, despite having security protocols in place.

The UA details that on 13 January, Silvia Pérez discovered that several members of her organization, Indigenous Women for Conservation, Investigation, and Management of Natural Resources (CIARENA), had been threatened.  A group of people who said they represented a cacique from the zone told them that they should “[abandon] the stupidities because you can even be thrown in jail for being accomplices of Silvia, and anyway she will be fucked over for getting involved in this problem of land distribution.”  Furthermore, they added that “there are people waiting for when she will show her face.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente en línea México: Defensores de indígenas reciben nuevas amenazas (AI, 27 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Bounty placed on head of female rights-defender for 100,000 pesos (2 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Armed men threaten human-rights defender (29 January 2013)


Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz

October 1, 2014

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archivo)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archive)

In a press conference held on 23 September, federal legislators called on the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to stop the looming incarceration of Oaxacan rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez, who presently free faces accusations of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and national wealth.

It bears mentioning that on 22 February 2012, the defender was detained and incarcerated, accused of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and the national wealth, though she only participated in a protest a year previous opposing high electricity prices in Oaxaca.  On 24 February 2012 she posted bail and was released, but the legal process against her continues.

The legislators in question affirm that they “consider that the moves and process against Bettina represent acts of criminalization of social protest, illustrating the risky situations faced by persons who work to defend human rights.  Through this process, it has become clear that the justice system has deviated greatly against them, particularly those who work in defense of the land amidst the imposition of megaprojects.”

Beyond this, in a communique published on 25 September, Amnesty International (AI) warned that, if the judiciary power decided to imprison the rights-defender, it would “consider nominating her as a prisoner of conscience.”  AI stressed that the obligation of the Mexican authorities “is to guarantee that the justice system does not work in favor of the persecution of those who defend human rights, as revenge against their legitimate actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden legisladores a PGR evitar encarcelamiento de activista (Cimac Noticias, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Carta completa de los legisladores (23 de septiembre de 2014)

No a la persecución judicial de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

Campaña en twitter: etiqueta #JusticiaparaBettina

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol

September 2, 2014

índiceIn a new Urgent Action published on 15 August, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced the persistence of attacks against support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in communities of Ocosingo, as prosecuted by members of the Regional Organization of Coffee-Cultivators of Ocosingo (ORCAO). The events began in “recuperated” lands that are collectively worked in the San Manuel autonomous rebel Zapatista municipality (MAREZ), which pertains to the La Garrucha caracol: on 13 August, nine Zapatista families founded the Nuevo Poblado San Jacinto on said lands, which adjoin the Egipto and El Rosario communities.

The bulletin noted that on 14 August, an armed group of 18 ORCAO members for the Pojcol community (Chilón municipality) surrounded the land and began to shoot into the air for 40 minutes and warning the BAEZLN that they had 6 hours to withdraw definitively. The 9 families (40 persons in total) and the 250 BAEZLN who were supporting them “decided to withdraw to a different place.” After this, the ORCAO members destroyed the houses, robbed store merchandise and cash from the homes, among other crimes.

The bulletin details that on 14 August, the women and children of the El Rosario community who belong to ORCAO abandoned the community, leaving only the men, while witnesses claim that these men were threatening the BAEZLN with immediate displacement. The female and children BAEZLN, for their part, also decided to leave amidst the risk of a possible confrontation. The CDHFBC reported that the threats of the ORCAO against BAEZLN in El Rosario “were intensifying to the point of indicating a possible forcible displacement” in the late hours.

For this reason, the CDHFBC expressed its “concern for the imminent risk to life, security, and physical integrity to which the BAEZLN” of the El Rosario, Kexil, Egipto, and Nuevo Poblado San Jacinto communities face. The Center held the Chiapas state government responsible “for being absent during the initial denunciations, thus allowing the perpetration of increasingly flagrant violations of human rights.” It called on State and federal authorities to cease the death-threats and attacks that have served as the basis for the displacement of BAEZLN from three communities, in addition to the adoption of measures to protect the life, integrity, and security of the BAEZLN from the San Manuel autonomous municipality.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (CDHFBC, 15 de agosto de 2014)

Denuncia Centro Frayba agresiones contra bases de apoyo zapatistas en Ocosingo (La Jornada, 16 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)


Chiapas/National: Lawyers for Patishtán and communal police of Michoacán denounce death-threats and harassment

March 28, 2014

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archivo)

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archive)

In an Urgent Action published on 14 March, Amnesty International (AI) denounced the death-threats and harassment suffered by the lawyers of the Strategic Defense for Human Rights, Leonel Rivero Rodríguez and Augusto César Sandino Rivero Espinoza.  These lawyers are known for their interventions in cases such as that of now ex-prisoner Alberto Patishtán, those arrested from the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land from San Salvador Atenco, and communal police from Michoacán.

On 17 January, Rivero Rodríguez received a threatening telephone call and then presented a denunciation before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), though the perpetrator of the action has not yet been identified.  Indeed, the PGR has now informed her that it plans to place the affair in the archive.

On 4 March, “three unknown persons invaded a hotel in which Leonel Rivero Rodríguez was meeting with members of communities from Michoacán state to address delicate issues,” regarding a case that she was covering together with Sandino Rivero Espinosa.  On 10 March, the office that Leonel Rivero Rodríguez has in her home in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas was harassed.

AI has called on the authorities to guarantee the security of the lawyers of Strategic Defense for Human Rights, to undertake an impartial investigationi into the telephone threats made on 17 January, and the harassment of 10 March, as well as to guarantee that “the lawyers who work on potentially delicate affairs be allowed to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of suffering repression.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente de Amnistía Internacional, 14 de marzo de 2014

Amnistía Internacional denuncia amenazas contra abogados de Patishtán(Proceso, 17 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncia Amnistía Internacional hostigamiento contra abogado de Patishtán (La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2014)

 Los abogados de Alberto Patisthán denuncian amenazas y hostigamientos(CNN México, 18 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


Oaxaca: Harassment and death-threats directed against members of the Democratic Civic Union of Neighborhoods Colonies and Communities (UCIDEBACC)

March 1, 2014

Denuncia púbica sobre las agresiones a integrantes de Ucidebacc. Foto (@Kaos en la Red)

On 15 February, Eva Lucero Rivero Ortiz, a human-rights defender and spokesperson for the Democratic Civic Union of Neighborhoods Colonies and Communities (UCIDEBACC), received two death-threats to her cell phone after having participated in a meeting with Oaxaca state officials.

The previous day, other members of UCIDEBACC, María Dolores Merino Ortiz, Reina Clavel Tapia, Cinthia Narciso Bernal, and a minor, were injured as a result of beatings received by the State Preventive Police during a peaceful protest they were carrying out in Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca.

According to the urgent action released by Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca A.C., “These acts take place within a context of constant and systematic attacks against the rights-defender Eva Lucero Rivero Ortiz and her organization,” which since June 2013 has suffered multiple acts of intimidation, death threats, defamation, harassment, and arbitrary arrest.

Though the case has been presented before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Defense Institute for the Human Rights of the Oaxacan People (DDHPO), the security of neither the defender nor the other members of the organization has been maintained.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian ataque de la Secretaría de Seguridad a organización UCIDEBACC (NSS Oaxaca, 16 de febrero de 2014)

Policía Estatal agrede a manifestantes de la Ucidebacc en Pinotepa Nacional (Diario Oaxaca, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Denuncia pública de la represión policial contra Ucidebacc (Kaos en la Red, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Preocupación por la vida e integridad física de Defensoras de DH integrantes de la UCIDEBACC (Consorcio Oaxaca, 18 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Communique by Consorcio in light of multiple attacks by the State (2 July 2012)


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