Chiapas: Tzeltal Women Tortured and Raped by Military in 1994 Denounce Total Impunity

June 9, 2019

Abejas 1@SIPAZ

On June 4th, dozens of members of civil groups (including SIPAZ), women from Las Abejas Civil Society and members of the San Cristobal de Las Casas diocese, accompanied the Tzeltal sisters Ana, Beatriz and Celia Gonzalez Perez in the symbolic takeover of the military barracks in this city, to demand that justice be done for the torture and rape of those who were victims, 25 years ago, of the military in the municipality of Altamirano.

The lawyer, Gloria Guadalupe Flores Ruiz, member of the Gonzalez Parez Sisters’ Committee, recalled that the three indigenous women and their mother Delia Perez de Gonzalez, were detained at a Mexican Army checkpoint in Altamirano on June 4th, 1994, accused of being support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) and that “they were beaten, tortured and raped by the military, who forced the mother to witness the attacks” so that they would provide information about the Zapatistas.

In April 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ruled on the case and recommended that the Mexican State “investigate the facts in a complete, impartial and effective manner in the ordinary Mexican criminal jurisdiction to determine the responsibility and sanction of all authors of human rights violations.” No government wanted to attend to the case and impunity and oblivion have prevailed. On May 7th, however, a working group of the IACHR was held in Jamaica and the Mexican government undertook to comply “in a comprehensive manner” with the 2001 recommendation.

The demands of the victims and their defense include: “Investigation and punishment of the military responsible for the rape and torture; to hold a public acknowledgment of responsibility in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and with the presence of military commanders, and integral reparation for the damage caused, in accordance with the worldview of the Perez Gonzalez sisters.”

Flores Ruiz emphasized that “the Mexican State refuses to recognize that the perpetrators of serious violations of the human rights of the Gonzalez Perez sisters were the military. This has been the point that has stalled the case in the previous administrations, because they did not want to go out and say that the Army was responsible for this violence generated in the context of the low intensity war in 1994, but we hope that this government of the fourth transformation shows that the civilian command is above the military.”

For his part, the priest Marcelo Perez Perez, responsible for the social pastoral of the three dioceses of Chiapas, asked “the maximum commander of the Mexican Army, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of the Republic,” that justice be done in the case of the Gonzalez Perez sisters and their mother. “If there is no justice for the Gonzalez Perez sisters, they will be accomplices and traitors to the indigenous peoples,” he stressed.

Abejas 2@SIPAZ

 Women of Las Abejas Civil Society stated that, “today we come here to join the demand for justice from compañeras Ana, Beatriz, Celia Gonzalez Perez and Delia Perez (…) and with all those hundreds, thousands and thousands of women who have been victims of the perpetrating army and violator of women and of human rights.” They also denounced that “we know that the Mexican army not only tortured and raped women 25 years ago, but, that they continued with their barbarism, they continued to humiliate women, either raping them or massacring them directly or indirectly as with the 21 women massacred by the PRI members from Chenalho, four of whom were pregnant, and after Acteal they followed, with the women of Atenco, compañeras of the Sierra Zongolica de Veracruz and, we can continue with an endless list. The Mexican Army is not an army that serves the Mexican nation, it is an army that is at the service of the capitalist system, which is trained to kill and exterminate the original peoples of Mexico and the women and men who criticize the bad government and the system of death.”

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen justicia a 25 años de la violación tumultuaria de tres hermanas cometida por militares en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2019)

A 25 años, hermanas violadas por militares en Chiapas exigen justicia (La Jornada, 4 de junio de 2019)

Mujeres indígenas de Chiapas acusan impunidad por violación de militares hace 25 años (Sin Embargo, 4 de junio de 2019)

Tzeltales en Chiapas exigen justicia por violación atribuida a militares (El Universal, 4 de junio de 2019)

El ejército mexicano no es un ejército que sirve a la nación mexicana, es un ejército que está al servicio del sistema capitalista. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 4 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Indigenous Tzeltal women raped by the Mexican Army accept “compensation” with conditions (October 25, 2010)

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National: Absence of President Lopez Obrador at Presentation of CNDH Report “Disheartening for the Defense of Human Rights”

June 9, 2019

CNDHLuis Raul Gonzalez Perez (@Tribuna)

At a press conference held on June 3rd, the president of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, lamented that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had not found a space in his agenda to receive personally the 2018 annual report of the agency’s activities. This occurred for the first time in the history of the CNDH (which is almost 29 years old) when, in general, an official ceremony was organized in the presence of the president, representatives of civil organizations, and other officials.

The ombudsman reported that, despite the repeated requests of the CNDH to have an event of this nature, the federal government responded that the report would be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, which occurred on the same day as the conference.

Gonzalez Perez lamented that “facts, actions and omissions are beginning to accumulate that, taken as a whole, would make us suppose that seeking the validity of human rights is not being taken on as a premise and limit of all public actions, nor are they adopting relevant measures to reverse the situation that, for several years, our country has faced in various areas.” He affirmed that the previous format, “opened a direct and immediate space so that the CNDH could present before the Federal Executive an annual report on the situation of the same, as well as to reflect, prospectively, on the challenges and situations that demanded special attention for the year in progress, issues that in this 2019 could not materialize, having not generated a space for human rights to be heard.”

Anyway, the ombudsman presented the report of activities 2018 that highlights several areas of concern. In the health sector, and in references to the austerity measures taken by the government, he stressed that, “there are areas in which the allocation of public resources cannot only depend on economic calculations or administrative weights, such as public health services.” He emphasized that, “weakening or rendering public health systems inoperative implies a violation of human rights.”

In terms of security and justice, and after referring to homicides, the head of the CNDH stressed that the outlook “is also far from positive, unless there is a radical change in the approach and magnitude of the institutional response to problems and security needs of people.” He also spoke of “the need to address the crisis that Mexico is experiencing in terms of violence and insecurity, under a comprehensive approach, based on a strategy that prioritizes prevention and is not limited to the rethinking of an eminently reactive body, as is the National Guard, as well as the increase of the crimes to which the mandatory preventive prison would be applicable.”

In the areas of concern, he also mentioned femicides, attacks against journalists and human rights defenders, and disappearances, among others. Gonzalez Perez reported that in 2018 the CNDH issued 101 recommendations, 90 of them ordinary, eight for serious violations and three general ones.

For more information in Spanish:

Lamenta González Pérez que AMLO no acepte conocer informe de CNDH (La Jornada, 3 de junio de 2019)

AMLO no escucha informe de la CNDH; “es un hecho inédito en 29 años”: González Pérez (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de junio de 2019)

“Desalentador”, que AMLO se negara a recibir en ceremonia oficial el informe anual de CNDH: ombudsman (Proceso, 3 de junio de 2019)

CNDH reprocha a AMLO por no dar prioridad a derechos, ataques a contrapesos y recortes en Salud (Animal Político, 3 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: CNDH Requests Special Measures for Migrants (May 8, 2019)

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

Chiapas/Nacional : emite CNDH recomendaciones a autoridades de Chiapas por desplazamientos forzados en Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (January 18, 2019)

Nacional/Chiapas: Emite CNDH recomendación al anterior titular de Sedena (December 18, 2018)

Guerrero/National/International: CNDH and IACHR Ayotzinapa Reports (December 14, 2018)


National/International: UNO and IACHR Warn of Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Latin America. At Least Ten Murdered in Mexico

June 6, 2019

HRD@El Economista

In a statement published on May 30th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the United Nations (UN) expressed their concern facing an increase in acts of violence committed against human rights defenders in Latin America during the first four months of the year.

In the case of Mexico, this trend is notorious where “according to information available to both agencies, at least ten human rights defenders were murdered during this period, nine men and a woman, a figure close to at least 13 cases documented throughout the year 2018, which represents a significant increase in violence. It is especially worrying that eight of the murdered defenders are indigenous.” They listed several of the cases and also expressed their concern over the disappearance of Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and Hilario Cornelio Castro, in Guerrero from February 12th to February 19th, “until they were released by their captors after an intense search campaign.”

The two multilateral organizations acknowledged that “in Mexico the federal government has publicly committed to strengthen the action of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, initiating a diagnosis on the current situation in which the UN Human Rights participates.”

They recalled that it is “the obligation of the states to investigate ex officio facts of this nature and to punish those responsible materially and intellectually. Both agencies urge the states to exhaust all relevant lines of investigation to clarify these facts, including the possible link between murders, disappearances and other aggressions and the work of defending human rights. Such investigations must be conducted with due diligence, in a thorough, serious and impartial manner.” They also stressed that in the case of women human rights defenders and groups in a situation of special vulnerability, “States must take due account of the fact that the inherent risk of their work is compounded by the context of discrimination based on gender or belonging to historically discriminated groups and adopt protection measures and conduct research with full incorporation of the gender and intercultural perspective. States must adopt reasonable measures to prevent acts of violence against persons of these groups and remedy the context of discrimination that promotes their repetition.”

For more information in Spanish:

CIDH y las Oficinas de ONU Derechos Humanos expresan su preocupación por la situación de personas defensoras de derechos humanos en el primer cuatrimestre del año (CIDH/OMU, 30 de mayo de 2019)

Alertan CIDH y ONU por aumento de asesinatos de activistas en México (Proceso, 30 de mayo de 2019)

Aumentaron asesinatos de activistas en México este año, alertan ONU y CIDH (LA Jornada, 30 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico (April 11, 2019)

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 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: Spotlight Initiative against Gender Violence Launched in Mexico

June 6, 2019

Spotlight@CINU Mexico

On May 29th, the government of Mexico presented the Spotlight initiative, a project that will be managed and financed by six agencies of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) to eradicate gender violence in a country where nine women are murdered every day and six out of ten women have suffered a violent incident – twice the world average.

The program involves an initial investment of €14 million and will focus on the problem of femicide, prioritizing five of the most violent Mexican municipalities for girls and women: Ecatepec and Naucalpan (State of Mexico), Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua), Chilpancingo (Guerrero) and Chihuahua (Chihuahua). After four years, it is intended to expand successful experiences to the rest of the country.

Within the framework of the presentation of the project, the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, reported the inclusion of federal funds to implement this new proposal that it considers complementary to the plan to address gender violence that the government presented in March.

The objectives of the initiative will be to review the legislative framework and improve current public policies, strengthen institutions, improve quality care services with attention to prevention and resilience, change macho culture and strengthen the work of civil society organizations. It is “an international cooperation effort that seeks to link the three powers and levels of government with organized civil society and the movements of women and girls in local states and municipalities”, the head of the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women (Conavim), Maria Candelaria Ochoa Avalos stressed.

During the presentation, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that in July dialogue will begin in the 32 states, “where we will listen and collect proposals directly, we will listen to women, their needs, their solutions.”

For more information in Spanish:

México combatirá los feminicidios con una ayuda millonaria de la Unión Europea (El País, 30 de mayo de 2019)

COMIENZA INICIATIVA SPOTLIGHT EN MÉXICO; GOBIERNO FEDERAL, ONU Y UNIÓN EUROPEA UNEN ESFUERZOS PARA PREVENIR Y ELIMINAR EL FEMINICIDIO (Gobierno de México, 29 de mayo de 2019)

Lanzamiento de SPOTLIGHT en México para erradicar feminicidio en el País (VIDEO, ONU Noticias, 29 de mayo de 2019)

Iniciativa Spotlight: Invertirán 7 mdd para combatir feminicidios en 5 municipios (Animal Político, 29 de mayo de 2019)

El gobierno federal se suma a la Iniciativa Spotlight que busca eliminar la violencia contra mujeres (Proceso, 29 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Over 424,000 on Mexican #Me Too (May 7, 2019)

National: Presentation of ‘Emergent Plan to Guarantee the Integrity, Security and Life of Women and Girls in Mexico” (March 14, 2019)

Nacional : OSC denuncian omisiones en investigación y combate a feminicidios (August 16, 2018)

National/International: “Final Observations on the Ninth Periodic Report from Mexico, the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women” Published (August 6, 2018)

 


National: Mothers Demand Whereabouts of their Disappeared on 7th National March for Dignity

May 16, 2019

Mothers

On May 10th, Mother’s Day in Mexico, thousands of mothers of missing persons marched, accompanied by national and international organizations, in several cities of the country, among others in Mexico City, Puebla, Colima, Morelos, Colima, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Guerrero, to demand justice.

In Mexico City, the VIII March for National Dignity arrived at the Angel of Independence, in the capital of the country, with the demand to put an end to the disappearances, the installation of state search committees and specialized prosecutor’s offices, and the creation of an International Extraordinary Mechanism on Forensic Identification in the case of the more than 26 thousand unidentified persons. The request list also included the strengthening of the National Search System, in which families of the victims, including those of migrants, participate; application of a reparations system with a human rights perspective “and not the administration of victims”; the implementation of the General Law on Disappearance in all states; guarantees for the proper functioning of the Foreign Support Mechanism for the search and investigation of cases of migrants who disappeared in Mexico, and for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to accept the competence of the UN Committee on Forced Disappearances (CFD) to analyze individual cases, among other demands.

“We do not want simulation, we will not endorse that they purge institutions when in reality they only recycle officials who are ignorant and responsible for the horror they should be fighting”, the women maintained, demanding from the current government “a State policy that recognizes truth and justice as urgent, necessary and non-negotiable.”

The representative of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), Jan Jarab, stressed that this date, which should be a day of joy, has become a day of mobilizations “a product of the tragedy that Mexico faces on regarding disappearance” with its more than 40 thousand disappeared. While acknowledging as a step forward a “change of attitude” in the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to have admitted the seriousness of the problem, Jarab warned that the emergency continues, so he urged the real construction of a search system throughout the country to “reduce the cloud of impunity.”

For more information in Spanish:

“Este día no es de fiesta”: Madres de desaparecidos marchan por justicia para sus hijos (Animal Político, 10 de mayo de 2019)

10 de Mayo en tiempos 4T: Madres de desaparecidos y su extenso pliego petitorio al Estado mexicano (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2019)

El dolor por los hijos ausentes une a miles de madres por todo el país: unas marchan, otras buscan (Sin Embargo, 10 de mayo de 2019)

¿Dónde están nuestros hijos?, claman miles de madres en el país (La Jornada, 11 de mayo de 2019)

Otro amargo Día de las Madres en el México de los desaparecidos (CNN México, 11 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: World Network of Mothers of Disappeared Migrants Formed in Mexico (November 12, 2018)

National / International: Caravan of mothers of disappeared migrants arrives in Mexico

(November 1st, 2018)

Nacional : madres de desparecidos marchan en el Día de la Madre(11 de mayo de 2018)

National/International: “Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants” Arrives to Mexico

(December 27th, 2017)

México : Caravana de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos “buscando vida en caminos de muerte” (25 de noviembre de 2016)


Oaxaca: Ninth Anniversary of Murder of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola in San Juan Copala

May 11, 2019

Bety.png@La Voz de la Nahuac

On May 7th, in the framework of the ninth anniversary of Bety Cariño Trujillo and Jyri Antero Jaakkola (Finnish), human rights defenders killed in San Juan Copala, Oaxaca when they participated in a humanitarian caravan on April 27th, 2010, relatives and friends placed commemorative plaques on the Beam of Light and on the representation of the Oaxaca government in Mexico City. Omar Esparza Zarate, widower of Bety Cariño, said that “a plaque was installed symbolically on the victims of the country, and this monument has been considered by the victims of violence as the monument of corruption that was the scam of light, where the relatives of the victims and the members of the Movement for Peace and Justice have been placing plaques of their relatives who have been victims of insecurity, so this is a way of demanding justice.”

He denounced that nine years later, there is no interest from the authorities to solve the murders and that many inconsistencies have been detected in the investigations: “Until now we have nothing, we want to say that since November we have been looking for the approach with other bodies and we have not had an answer either.” He expressed his fear that the case be forgotten. He continues to demand that those responsible be punished, since two of those who had been arrested have already been released and six more have never been arrested. “They continue to walk around Oaxaca, and they are even in public office, such as the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples”, he said.

The lawyer David Peña, from the Action Group for Human Rights and Social Justice, explained that the two persons who were released were done so because “the federal and state governments have not specified the protection of witnesses and survivors of the attack, who have not been able to attend the hearings due to the risks that exist against them.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ataque en San Juan Copala, nueve años de impunidad (La Jornada, 7 de mayo de 2019)

Exigen justicia en la Estela de Luz (NVI Noticias, 8 de mayo de 2019)

PRONUNCIAMIENTO A 9 AÑOS DEL ASESINATO DE BETY CARIÑO Y JYRI JAAKKOLA (familiares y amigos de Bety Cariño, 27 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Suspect in Murder of Human Rights Defenders in San Juan Copola in 2010 Arrested (January 31, 2019)

Oaxaca: MEPs Highlight Lack of Political Will Regarding Murder of Jyri Jaakkola and Bety Cariño (February 26, 2018)

Oaxaca/National: Another Suspect Implicated in the Murder of Defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakola Arrested (September 6, 2017)

Oaxaca: Seven Years of Impunity in Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola Case (May 4, 2017)

Oaxaca: European Parliamentarians Again Denounce Impunity in Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola Murder Case (March 6, 2017)

Oaxaca/International: Fifth Person Arrested in Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola Murder Case (October 19, 2016)


National: Over 424,000 on Mexican #Me Too

May 7, 2019

Me too

During the #MeTooMx Forum organized by the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District and held in Mexico City on April 11th, it was reported that the online complaint platform received a total of 424,867 complaints of sexual abuse and harassment by 230,578 users, from March 21st to April 4th. Furthermore, the thematic accounts of Me Too in the fields of employment of the Academy, Arts, Activism, Culture, UNAM, Journalism and Creativity, have already added a total of 2,393 confidential reports of harassment or sexual abuse. The final statement demanded that the State will report on the actions it will take in response to these complaints not later than May 6th, and in a general manner prevent and eradicate discrimination and violence against women.

The Mexican Me Too Movement began on March 21st, when women began to report aggressions committed against them, as well as the negligence or omission of different authorities to deal with their complaints. It is not the first collective action of denunciation online as there is a history since at least 2015 under different hashtags: #ropasucia, #MiPrimerAcoso, #SiMeMatan (emphasising the re-victimization of women who report) or # YoSíTeCreo, but none of the previous initiatives had achieved this level of going viral.

This phenomenon occurs in a country where six out of ten women have suffered at least one incident of violence – double the world average – and nine are killed daily. According to data from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP in its Spanish acronym), in 2011 there were 11,593 investigation files for rape, 18,288 for sexual abuse and 2,825 for sexual harassment, figures that are estimated to be far below the real levels of violence. In addition, almost 95% of crimes go unpunished.

One of the aspects that has been most questioned in this new attempt at visibility towards action is that many women have preferred that their testimonies remain anonymous. Critics claim that accusations lose credibility, that innocent people can be discredited and that cases cannot be brought to justice. The defenders point to the impunity in the cases and the right of the victims to express themselves without being recognized, besides being a tool of protection against possible reprisals.

For more information in Spanish:

Llegaron más de 424 mil denuncias en plataforma MeTooMX (La Jornada, 11 de abril de 2019)

#MeToo: un grito que cruza fronteras (NewsweekMexico, 7 de abril de 2019)

#MeTooMx: Romper con el silencio (Newsweek, 7 de abril de 2019)
‘MeToo’ mexicano, hoguera fuera de control (La Jornada, Blanche Petrich, 2 de abril de 2019)

El #MeToo mexicano: una marea que visibilizó el acoso y la violencia; el anonimato, a debate (Proceso, 1ero de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Presentan ‘Plan emergente para garantizar la integridad, la seguridad y la vida de las mujeres y niñas de México’ (11 de marzo de 2019)

Nacional : OSC denuncian omisiones en investigación y combate a feminicidios 16 de agosto de 2018.

Nacional/Internacional : Publican el informe « Observaciones finales sobre el noveno informe periódico de México, la Convención para la Eliminación de Todas las Formas de Discriminación contra la Mujer (CEDAW) » (30 de julio de 2018)