National: Calls on Federal and State Authorities to Take Special Measures to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus in Prisons

March 25, 2020


In a statement released on March 19th, several civil organizations called on the authorities to take special measures in prisons to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). They recalled that “due to the close proximity conditions in prisons, incarceration generates the ideal conditions for contagion and these are aggravated when there is overcrowding, lack of water and hygienic conditions.”

They detailed that according to INEGI, “in Mexico there are currently 202,337 people in prisons and 37% of prisons are overcrowded. Nationally, 46% of people deprived of liberty share a cell with more than five people, and in some states the number of people per cell is much higher.” According to this same source, 11.2% of the incarcerated population “is over 50 years of age and among them there is a high incidence of diseases that can cause more serious forms of COVID-19.” The organizations also pointed out that “the lack of water and personal hygiene items make it impossible to achieve the hygiene conditions that would prevent mass contagion in the penitentiary centers.”

Among other things, they recommended adopting a policy of non-detention of people for non-violent crimes; release women today deprived of liberty for crimes that are not serious or that did not involve violence (a proposal that is part of the Amnesty Law presented in September last year, “which has already been presented in Congress and whose approval must be accelerated to safeguard them and their daughters and sons”); release older adults, or those at high risk of developing complications from COVID-19, including pregnant women, people with diabetes, hypertension and HIV; and adopt urgent measures within detention centers to guarantee the right to health of persons deprived of liberty.

They warned about the fact that “the suspension of visits is not a sufficient measure and before opting for it, governments must take into account that in several penitentiary centers it is families and not institutions that provide food, medicine, water and other items to the population. In this sense, denying entry to visitors will put people deprived of liberty at greater risks.”

It is worth noting that since March 14th, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) asked all the authorities of the penitentiary system to take at least preventive measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in the country’s prisons and to protect the life and health of persons deprived of liberty; of visits; prison staff, and service providers. However, its recommendations were mainly focused on information and awareness about the disease and ways to avoid contagion inside and outside the prison.

For more information in Spanish:

Reclusas en México elaboran mascarillas para afrontar crisis del coronavirus (El Imparcial, 22 de marzo de 2020)

México debe cambiar prácticas de detención y despresurizar sus cárceles ante pandemia de COVID-19 (OSC, 19 de marzo de 2020)

Crisis de COVID-19: mayor vulnerabilidad para las personas privadas de libertad (Asilegal, 19 de marzo de 2020)

Personas presas, en riesgo por coronavirus: ¿Qué están haciendo las cárceles para prevenir contagios? (Animal Político, 17 de marzo de 2020)

Pide CNDH prevenir contagio de coronavirus en cárceles del país (El Universal, 14 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: AMLO Sends Proposal for Amnesty Law to Congress (September 23, 2019)

National Strike – A Day without Women

March 13, 2020


On March 9th, the national women’s strike was held within the framework of International Women’s Day the day before. On February 18th, the Veracruz feminist collective “Las Brujas del Mar” had summoned all the women in the country not to appear in their work or on the street, nor to have a presence in social networks or shopping centers that day with hashtags such as #UnDíaSinNosotras y #ElNueveNingunaSeMueve.

The action was expected to have a major impact on society as well as the country’s economy in order to attract the government’s attention and show the importance of women.

It is estimated that around 22 million women joined and left their jobs on March 9th and although it is difficult to determine the exact economic impact of the action Jorge Mauricio Reynoso Nassar, director general of the Mexican Association for Human Resources Management (AMEDIRH) explained that “if we consider the full value of the work that women do, such as that produced by those who work in offices, in the informal economy or in their homes without receiving a salary, the result would be an accumulation of more than 37 billion pesos (mp) per day ”, a figure that is equivalent to around 0.5% of Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product, according to Anselmo Chavez Capó, professor of the Bachelor’s Degree in Financial and Stock Market Administration at UPAEP.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared that despite the strike “the government is working (…) because the people help me push the rheumatic elephant (the bureaucracy); (…) With the people, everything, without the people, nothing ”. Regarding the economic impact of the strike, he said that “it depends, if we rely on the people, and the benefits of social programs being delivered, it’s no problem; you have to see what can happen with the companies, but I think it is not of great impact.”

For more information in Spanish:

El paro nacional del 9 M tuvo un impacto de 37,000 millones de pesos (Milenio el 10 de marzo de 2020)

Cumplen mujeres con paro nacional (EL Universal el 10 de marzo de 2020)

Por qué las mujeres realizarán paro nacional el 9 de marzo (El Universal el 7 de marzo de 2020)

Paro nacional de mujeres impactó en un 0.5 del PIB: UPAEP (Unión Puebla el 11 de marzo de 2020)

‘Nunca imaginé ver algo así, una ciudad sin mujeres’: Así se vivió el paro del 9M en la capital (Animal Político el 10 de marzo de 2020)

Aun con paro de mujeres el gobierno está funcionando: AMLO (El Universal el 9 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Historic Women’s Day In Mexico (March 11, 2020)

National/Chiapas: Zapatista Women Will Join National “On the Ninth, No Woman Moves” Strike (March 4, 2020)

National: #UnDíaSinNosotras – National Women’s Strike Convened amid Controversy (February 28, 2020)

Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held (February 28, 2020)

Chiapas/International: Second Encounter of Women Who Struggle Held by EZLN (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: EZLN Convenes Second International Encounter of Women who Struggle (September 26, 2019)

National: Historic Women’s Day In Mexico

March 11, 2020

a3b2c9e4-esnrmcqxkaa721uPhoto @ Factor Nueve

On March 8th, within the framework of International Women’s Day, in one of the most dangerous countries in the world for their safety and integrity, Mexican women from all over the nation made history by conducting marches and other types of demonstrations, holding a protest the likes of which had never been seen before to protest for greater equality, respect for their human rights and against gender violence and femicides.

In the capital of the country alone in Mexico City, more than a hundred thousand women, girls, adolescents and grandmothers took to the streets with different marches that came together in the main square of the city. The mobilizations were a significant demonstration that women are no longer willing to continue to tolerate abuse and assault. They also consider that the massive response to the calls shows that in recent years there have been significant changes, in particular, participants stressed that “they took everything from us, even fear.”

On the flagpole of the Zocalo (main square), women put up posters with photos and names of victims of femicide, and also accusations against men for rape and harassment.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of speakers come from the largest cities in the country, the same day indigenous women raised their voices in different states. In Oaxaca, “Mixe, Zapotec, Barreña and Mixtec women carried out a road blockade at kilometer 186 of the Trans-Isthmus highway, near San Juan Guichicovi to demand that the federal government listen to the voice and feelings of the women of the Isthmus in relation to the eventual construction of the interoceanic corridor.”

In Chiapas, as announced, thousands of Zapatistas met in the Caracoles and spoke “of the pain and rage” that have been expressed in two encounters of women organized for this purpose.

For more information in Spanish:

“Canción sin miedo”, el himno feminista mexicano contra los feminicidios que retumbó en el Zócalo y en la marcha (CNN Español, 9 de marzo de 2020)

“Nos quitaron todo, hasta el miedo”: así fue la marcha del 8 de marzo en la CdMx (Milenio, 8 de marzo de 2020)

Esta fue la transmisión especial de Aristegui desde la marcha 8M (Aristegui Noticias, 8 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Chiapas: Zapatista Women Will Join National “On the Ninth, No Woman Moves” Strike (March 4, 2020)

National: #UnDíaSinNosotras – National Women’s Strike Convened amid Controversy (February 28, 2020)

Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held (February 28, 2020)

Chiapas/International: Second Encounter of Women Who Struggle Held by EZLN (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: First International Gathering for Politics, Art, Sport and Culture for Women in Struggle (March 27, 2018)

National/Chiapas: Zapatista Women Will Join National “On the Ninth, No Woman Moves” Strike

March 4, 2020

image_largePhoto @ Víctor Camacho

Zapatista women stated in a communiqué that during International Women’s Day, on March 8th, that they will meet in their caracoles to talk and reflect on “the pain and rage we heard in the two women’s encounters” that they have organized in recent times.

In addition, after the invitation of the Brujas del Mar (Witches of the Sea) collective to a national strike on March 9th, “On the Ninth, No Woman Moves,” the Zapatista women reported that “we salute their initiative. We see it as something valuable, good, noble, honest and legitimate. And we will support it according to our ways. Because any woman, be it one, or a few, or many, who fights for life, should know that they are not alone. Because our thinking is that, if the absent, the murdered, the disappeared and the incarcerated should know that they are not alone, the living ones that fight should even moreso.”

They announced that “the compañeras who are in charge, whether of autonomous authority, of organizational command or military command or commissions of education, health, of ‘tercias´ and of all the work we do as the Zapatista women that we are, we will  not attend our work (…) and as indigenous women are the majority in the Zapatista autonomy, that day Zapatista autonomy will stop.”

“On March 9th, many of us will not go to our villages, but we will stay and, at dawn on that March 9th, we will turn on thousands of lights. In the caracoles and in the Zapatista villages the light of women will shine.”

For more information in Spanish:


Mujeres Zapatistas se unirán al paro nacional en Chiapas (1 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: #UnDíaSinNosotras – National Women’s Strike Convened amid Controversy (February 28, 2020)

Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held (February 28, 2020)

Chiapas/International: Second Encounter of Women Who Struggle Held by EZLN (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: EZLN Convenes Second International Encounter of Women who Struggle (September 26, 2019)

Chiapas: First International Gathering for Politics, Art, Sport and Culture for Women in Struggle (March 27, 2018)

National: #UnDíaSinNosotras – National Women’s Strike Convened amid Controversy

February 28, 2020

ERGH5WaWsAEViUwPhoto @MujeresdelMar

Amid the controversy surrounding different cases of femicide in the country, and following the massive response to the call for a national women’s strike by different feminist groups, the issue of violence against women in Mexico was placed in the center of attention, generating controversy nationwide.

On February 18th, the collective Brujas del Mar (Sea Witches) formalized the idea of ​​the national strike “On the 9th, No Woman Moves”, and launched an invitation to the national strike on March 9, 2020, in a Twitter a post.

“If we stop, the world stops,”






# UnDíaSinNosos #ParoNacional

The post began to go viral and generated a discussion on social networks.

The idea of ​​national strike is not new in the world and exists since 1975, the year in which the UN declared March 8th International Women’s Day. Since that date in different countries women have performed different actions around this date.

“On March 8th, 2018, Spain captured the world’s attention, especially in Europe, with a 24-hour strike of women and demonstrations of unseen proportions: around six million workers stopped, according to trade union organizations, and there were demonstrations in 120 cities, where the conveners spoke of up to one million attendees in Madrid and 600 thousand in Barcelona.” Similarly, in previous years, in the United States, Poland and Argentina, women held national strikes to highlight irregularities in relation to the gender issue.

Currently in Mexico different public and private organizations, universities, civil society and women from different parts of the nation responded to the call. Similarly politicians and parties joined in and the call was “also shared by the president of the party, parliamentary coordinators and governors of PAN, the PRI Twitter account in the State of Mexico, the PRD governor of Michoacan, and supported by the governor Jalisco of Movimiento Ciudadano, among other known personalities,” the newspaper Animal Politico reported.

The dimension of the call and the diversity of players who disseminated it in turn generated confusion about who is really calling for the national strike. Thus there were accusations by public officials that the “right”, opposed to the current government, was behind the call. “Given this wave of accusations about the origin of the call,  Brujas del Mar themselves clarified that they were the authors of the purple background image and that they had nothing to do with the right.”

However, according to information from Animal Politico, after the clarifications of Brujas del Mar, the President of the Republic, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) stated during a press conference from La Paz, Baja California Sur, that he is in favor of the movement but recommended caution with the conservatives who also promote it.

“Just be very careful because now conservatives have already become feminists (…) the only thing is to be aware of the reason for this action, if it is a good thing that helps, and does not allow itself to be manipulated, be careful because conservatism, the right, it is very hypocritical and very given to manipulation.” He also stressed “of course the right is involved, conservatives. That is, as there are women who, out of conviction and freely, protest and will continue to do so, there are also opportunists. I’m seeing that even the political parties, out of respect, I’m not going to say which parties, but they overdo, they overdo it.” During the conference, in relation to the controversy he also referred to the coup d’etat against Salvador Allende in Chile.

The controversy still worsened after these responses from the president. Carmen Aristegui, addressed AMLO, asking him to “make no mistake” since the call itself for the national strike is not against his government. “Although many opportunists are undoubtedly wanting to use this strike for purposes of another nature … women have a very powerful reason for women and men in this country to demonstrate in this way.” For this reason she suggested to the president that it would be better if he joins the strike.

marchafeminista-focus-0-0-400-333Photo @ElHorizonte

Taking into consideration that the fact that “being a woman anywhere in the world is incredibly complex; but, undoubtedly, in Mexico the challenge has intense peculiarities. Especially since gender violence, despite the enormous awareness that already exists about it, continues to increase and is revealed in virtually all social spaces.”

The existing hard data in this regard are sometimes considered too hard, and moreso, “violence against women is not only in murder but in prosecutors who do not respond in time or at all to allegations of disappearance, in police officers who they do not intervene in calls for help, in the community that does not get involved in domestic problems because ‘dirty linen washed at home’”.

It is true that the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) and the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP), under the Ministry of the Interior take account of figures in this regard. However, in spite of all these efforts, according to the organization Data Critica, “although we know a lot about homicides [murders of women], the reality is that there is still a lot to know. And this must be remedied for a simple reason: a problem that we do not understand is a problem that we cannot solve.” In other words, it is difficult to design a successful strategy that fights violence against women without concrete information.

Obviously, the current government, which has a little more than one year in power, cannot be held solely responsible for the high levels of violence in the country. However, the cuts made by the government (for shelters for women who have been victims of violence and to address maternal, sexual and reproductive health issues at the national level, or the reduction of the budget of two agencies aimed at combating violence towards women: the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women and the National Women’s Institute), were their responsibility. These decisions are considered counterproductive by organizations that work on the gender issue and have struggled for years to create governmental bodies that address the problem or ensure that sufficient resources are allocated for the corresponding bodies.

From the perspective of Data Critica, the most important lesson derived from the data analyzed by the study “Keys to understanding and preventing the killing of women in Mexico”, “in addition to demanding policies to address, punish and prevent, for example, domestic violence or to eradicate gender discrimination that persists in different spaces, we also have to demand policies that address the broader security crisis. Among them, policies that guarantee effective arms control; that promote the demilitarization of public security; and that they strengthen civil institutions so that they are really capable of responding to violence in an intelligent, focused, transparent and fair way, at local level and together with the community.”

For years, the promotion of the discussion on gender equality and violence in Mexico has been sought in different fields. The call for a national strike is a massive cry to call attention to these complex and urgent problems and to demand a concrete agenda that can lay the foundations of public policies and clear actions to begin to solve them.

For more information in Spanish:

AMLO asegura que los conservadores están infiltrados en #UnDíaSinNosotras (El Economista, 21 de febrero de 2020)

La derecha está metida en protestas de mujeres, dice AMLO y les pide no dejarse manipular (Animal Político, 21 de febrero de 2020)

Cuál es el origen del paro nacional del 9 de marzo #UnDíaSinMujeres (animal Político, 22 de febrero de 2020)

Claves para entender y prevenir los asesinatos de mujeres en México (Data Crítica)

Presidente AMLO, no se equivoque; paro feminista no es contra su gobierno: Aristegui | Video (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Olimpia Law Used for First Time (February 17, 2020)

Oaxaca: Femicide Violence Worsens as Year Begins (February 5, 2020)

Oaxaca: 126 Femicides One Year after Declaration of Gender Violence Alert (September 2, 2019)

Chiapas: Groups Denounce Increase in Femicides and Transfemicides in the State (August 27, 2019)

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

Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held

February 28, 2020

IMG-20200224-WA0020@Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas

On February 20th and 21st, the “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum was held at the CIDECI-Unitierra facilities in San Cristobal de Las Casas. More than 120 people from the Highlands, Plains, Jungle and North of Chiapas regions participated

In a final pronouncement, the participants commented that during the Forum they analyzed “the situation that we live in our territories against the implementation of megaprojects undertaken by the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in complicity with the large transnational companies.” They expressed that they managed to “map the military presence in the territories, the social programs present, the arrival of officials in search of information about our families: number of children, amount of land, number of young people in our homes, among others; which puts us in a situation of uncertainty because we don’t know the purpose of that data.”

They expressed their “total rejection of the megaprojects of destruction and death such as the San Cristobal-Palenque super highway, the privatization of water, mining, as well as the hydroelectric plant, the Maya Train, agricultural programs such as Sembrado Vida that combined with other social programs and the militarization of Chiapas, aim to break the social fabric, divide communities, families and weaken social movements that fight and resist in defense of life, land and territory.”

Women denounced that “assistance programs and projects are reaching our communities, specifically agroindustrial projects aimed mostly at men, excluding us for the simple fact of being women,” in particular the Sembrando Vida Program and other programs aimed at the countryside. “They grant financial support only to men and do not solve family needs; On the contrary, they strengthen male chauvinism, the consumption of alcohol and drugs, generating a significant increase in violence against women and the abandonment of family plots. By prioritizing the programs of the countryside that submit, control, manipulate and decide for the lives of the people, the government manipulates the situation of poverty experienced by hundreds of indigenous and campesino families, turning them into slaves and waiters of the capitalist government. In this way we see how neoliberalism is disrupting community structures, breaking the processes of self-determination and autonomy of the original peoples,” they declared.

They concluded by telling the government that “we are not afraid of their military, that we declare our territories free of megaprojects and military. Despite the criminalization of our partners and social advocates, we will not abandon our struggle, quite the opposite, we will unite our voice, our resistance and rebellion, our anger and our hearts in our struggle that is for life.”

For more information in Spanish:

PRONUNCIAMIENTO EN EL MARCO DEL FORO: “Hablemos sobre los programas de gobierno, megaproyectos y los efectos que tienen en la vida de las mujeres campesinas indígenas y en las comunidades” (23 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : se lleva a cabo la asamblea Nacional en Defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio, en la comunidad de Amilcingo, Morelos (February 24, 2020)

National: EZLN and CNI Hold Events on the First Anniversary of the Murder Samir Flores (February 25, 2020)

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN, CNI and CIG Convene Actions in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth “We Are All Samir” (January 14, 2020)

Chiapas/National: Fourth Assembly of CNI-CIG Held in San Cristobal de Las Casas (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society Denounces Persecution and Murder of Human Rights Defenders and Protectors of Mother Earth and other Violent Situations

February 25, 2020

AreadecomunicacionAbejas@Area de comunicación de Las Abejas

On February 22nd, within the framework of the monthly anniversary of the Acteal massacre (1997), Las Abejas Civil Society issued a statement in which it denounced not only impunity in that case but that “in Mexico of the era of the “Fourth transformation “human rights defenders, protectors of Mother Earth are persecuted and murdered, the truth is still covered up and women and girls are murdered, just as the criminal governments of the PRI and the PAN did.”

It also stated that “if we had a premature conscience, we would swallow the tale of the MORENA president that uncontrollable violence in the country, femicides, kidnapping and murder of girls is the fault of previous governments. It is outrageous that this president does not have the decency to admit that once he assumed power in Mexico, he assumed to serve a rotten system of government that can only persist causing destruction and feeding on blood.”

It outlined several more recent cases, also stating that “every day there is news of murders that make the news of the previous day remain forgotten, taking away from the fact that there is a new woman or girl murdered and raped.” It mentioned the case the repression against the fathers and mothers of the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, during their visit to the Mactumatza Normal Rural school in Chiapas; the detention of Miguel Lopez Vega, delegate of the National Indigenous Congress, member of the Zacatepec community radio station and member of the Puebla Peoples in Defense of the Land and Water Front, Morelos and Tlaxcala (although he was released through social pressure, Las Abejas believe that it was to intimidate the movement against companies in the Huejotzingo Industrial corridor) and femicides; among others.

For more information in Spanish:

Hoy sólo vamos a poder mencionar algunos casos de violencia, de injusticia y de asesinatos contra hombres y mujeres (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de febrero de 2020)

Se deslindan Abejas de Acteal de supuesto integrante de su Mesa Directiva (Reporte Ciudadano, 23 de febrero de 2020)

Se deslindan Abejas de Acteal de supuesto integrante de su Mesa Directiva (Noticias Primer Plano, 23 de febrero de 2020)

Se deslindan las Abejas de supuesto integrante (Diario de Chiapas, 24 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “This year begins with a lot of violence and it is increasing” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society (January 28, 2020)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Hold Commenoration 22 Years after Acteal Masacre (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Celebrate 27th Anniversary (January 4, 2020)