Chiapas: Zoque Activist, Silvia Juarez Juarez, Released

April 9, 2017

Zoque.pngSilvia Juarez Juarez (photo @OMCT)

On March 28th, Silvia Juarez Juarez, a community human rights defender and member of the Movement in Defense of Zoque Territory, was released having been held for 35 days. This movement has been developing a process of civil and peaceful resistance against exploration, extraction of hydrocarbons and mining projects in the municipality of Tecpaan, Chiapas and in the Zoque region. Silvia had been arrested on February 21st in Tuxtla Gutierrez on charges of mutiny, harassment and kidnapping – allegedly against municipal officials – in the framework of a protest in which she did not participate, on February 13th.

On March 28th, the head of the State Attorney General’s Office, Raciel Lopez Salazar, withdrew from the criminal action for the crimes that were charged “considering that the agent of the Public Prosecutor’s Office lacked elements to prove the aforementioned crimes.” Therefore, the activist was released from the State Center for Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced No. 14, El Amate, in the municipality Cintalapa de Figueroa.

Nevertheless, Silvia Juarez is still subject to prosecution, “with the obligation to sign before the Court every two weeks, because Judge Cesar Rodriguez Robles, Supervisory Judge, considered that there are elements to prove the crime of damages. Facing threats of risk to her integrity and repeated harassment against the defenders of Zoque territory, Silvia Juarez cannot return home with her family.”

It is also worth mentioning that on the day Silvia Juarez Juarez was released, “the municipal president of Tecpatan, Armando Pastrana Jimenez, filed for an injunction for the withdrawal of the PGJE to prevent the community defender from leaving prison” and also maintained his complaint against 29 other community defenders.

In a statement on the case, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (FRAYBA),  expressed concern that “despite changes in the criminal justice system, in Chiapas, practices of violations of judicial guarantees and judicial protection, including presumption of innocence, continue, which result in arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

For more information in Spanish:

Libre activista zoque, tras desistimiento de denuncia de PGJ Chiapas (Proceso, 5 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a indígena zoque Silvia Juárez (Expreso Chiapas, 6 de abril de 2017)

Silvia Juárez Juárez, defensora del territorio, en libertad (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de abril de 2017)

Libre Silvia Juárez, defensora zoque (Primera edición Chiapas, 5 de abril de 2017)

Condena el Frayba encarcelamiento de Silvia Juárez (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 5 de abril de 2017)

Luego de 35 días en prisión, la activista Silvia Juárez Juárez es liberada (Aqui Noticias, 6 de abril de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque (1 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas : comunidades zoques se oponen a extracción de hidrocarburos en el norte de Chiapas (20 de octubre de 2016)

Chiapas: Silvia Juárez Juárez anima a sus compañeros a seguir en la defensa de la tierra desde la cárcel (27 de marzo de 2017)

 


Chiapas: Fresh Post-Election Incidents in Oxchuc

April 5, 2017

RosaPerez´Perez_MaríaGloriaSanchez01_MG_8123cesarmartinezlopez_0Rosa Perez Perez (left) and Maria Gloria Sanchez Gomez (right), mayors of the indigenous municipalities of Chenalho and Oxchuc (@ la CimacNoticias)

On April 1, the post-electoral conflict reemerged in the municipality of Oxchuc, with the arrest of eight people, roadblocks between San Cristobal de Las Casas and Palenque, fireworks, bombs and shots fired.

These latest events are related to the order of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation (TEPJF in its Spanish acronym), which was issued on September 1, 2016, to reinstate Maria Gloria Sanchez Gamez as mayor of Oxchuc,.

Oxchuc is not the only municipality which faces such problems. In the municipality of Chenalho, there is also post-election conflict. In recent months, different bodies that operate in the state expressed their concerns about the post-electoral conflicts happening in different municipalities. To date, no intervention or proposal for a solution has been registered by the authorities.

For more intervention in Spanish:

Retienen a 8 tzeltales, resurge conflicto por disputa de alcaldía de Oxchuc (Radio Formula, 1 de abril de 2017)

Retienen a 8 tzeltales y bloquean carretera Oxchuc-San Cristóbal (Quadratin Noticias, 1ero de abril de 2017)

Piden mayor seguridad en Oxchuc (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 2 de abril de 2017)

Solicitan seguridad para habitantes de Oxchuc  (Mega Noticias, 3 de abril de 2017)

TEPJF ordena restituir a alcaldesa de Oxchuc; fue forzada a renunciar, resuelve (Revista Proceso, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)

Tribunal Electoral restituye a la alcaldesa de Oxchuc, Chiapas, quien fue forzada a renunciar (Aristegui Noticias, 1ero de septiembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: TEPJF ordena restitución de alcaldesa de Oxchuc (5 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: conflicto partidista desata violencia en el municipio de Chenalhó (27 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas : Dos muertos y decenas de heridos en Chenalhó por disputa de la alcaldía (9 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas : Restitución en su cargo de alcaldesa de Chenalhó hace temer nueva situación de violencia (22 de agosto de 2016)


Chiapas: Five Nurses Begin Hunger Strike in Tuxtla Gutierrez

April 4, 2017

Nurses.png

On April 3, five nurses began an indefinite hunger strike in Tuxtla Gutierrez to demand the unconditional reinstatement of 15 health workers dismissed over the protest they have been promoting, the payment of wages and legal benefits, as well as the supply of medicines and supplies to the hospitals and clinics of Chiapas. They occupied the entrance of the Rafael Pascacio Gamboa Hospital and announced at a press conference that, if there was no response from the authorities, a new health worker will join the hunger strike every 48 hours.

They explained that they came to this extreme decision faced with the indifference and repression of the authorities to solve the deficiencies in the hospitals of the state: “we received violence and threat”, and the proposal to “exchange reinstatement for silence”, adding that “sadly, so far six accepted, but the others reject and despise [the offer].”

They explained that for several months, they have demanded that the authorities do not “steal” their money anymore, because each month the quotas for the System of Retirement Savings (SAR in its Spanish acronym), Infonavit and other credit institutions are deducted from their salary, but the government has not paid these sums. Maria de Jesus Espinosa de los Santos, one of the strikers who has 30 years of service, explained in this way the money they are deducting “is not ending up where it should, such as SAR or Infonavit, and that is something which has hurt thousands of workers in this sector.”

At the beginning of the strike, activists from various organizations were present, including the Chiapas Women’s Union Front and the Chiapas Feminist Front.

For more information in Spanish:

 Cinco enfermeras inician huelga de hambre en Chiapas; exigen la reinstalación de 14 compañeros (Proceso, 3 de abril de 2017)

Enfermeras inician huelga de hambre en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (La Jornada, 3 de abril de 2017)

Enfermeras inician huelga de hambre para exigir medicamentos en Chiapas (Regeneración. 3 de abril de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:


Chiapas/México: Sector salud entra en paro contra las reformas del sector salud, la falta de medicamentos y equipo (22 de junio de 2016)


Guerrero: Internal Security Law Initiative Rejected

April 4, 2017

Forum.pngSecurity or human rights forum: a false dichotomy Photo@: Tlachinollan

On March 28, in Guerrero, one of the most violent states in Mexico and also one of the most militarized, a forum on militarization entitled “Security or human rights: a false dichotomy” was held during which civil organizations, victims, representatives from the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico defended different reasons for rejecting the initiative of the Internal Security Law currently under debate in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies.

Parents of the 43 students took part in the event, who reported that soldiers from the 27th Infantry Battalion and police from the three levels of government participated in the attacks, murders and forced disappearances suffered by their children. Also participating were Tita Radilla, daughter of the Atoyac peasant leader, Rosendo Radilla Pachecho, arrested and disappeared at a military checkpoint in 1974 and Valentina Rosendo Cantu, raped by soldiers at age 17.

Prior to this forum, the Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon Human Rights Center, the Guerrero Network of Civil Organisms for Human Rights, the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center and the Mexican Institute of Human Rights and Democracy, among others, declared themselves to be against the Internal Security Law, explaining that it would “give rise to more violations of human rights and complete impunity.” These organizations argued that, “it has been useless for the military to assume public security tasks in the state if levels of violence continue to increase exponentially every day because organized crime groups have taken over institutions and exercise territorial control by imposing their rules and self-government.”

For more information in Spanish:

Rechazan la iniciativa de Ley de Seguridad Interior (El Sur de Acapulco, 29 de marzo de 2017)

Foro | Seguridad o Derechos Humanos: Una falsa dicotomía (Centro de derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinolla, 27 de marzo 2017)

 For more information from SIAPZ:

Nacional : cierre de año legislativo con agenda polémica en el Congreso (18 de diciembre 2016)

 


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

March 15, 2017

FNLS.pngFNLS Press Conference (Photo: @Sipaz)

 On March 6, the National Front for Struggle for Socialism (FNLS) began its National Day of Struggle in Chiapas.

The first event was a press conference along with the ‘Committee of Relatives of Missing until Found Persons’. The conference remembered the anniversaries of the forced disappearance of Fidencio Gomez Santiz, who disappeared in Ocosingo on March 5, 2016, as well as Edmundo Reyes Amaya and Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez, arrested and disappeared in May 2007 in Oaxaca.

During the conference, they also reported on the latest developments against members of the FNLS: “With deep regret we inform you that on Tuesday, February 28, our compañero Humberto Morales Santiz, who was only 13 years old and who was in the first grade of a telesecundaria in the town of Cuxul-ja was cruelly and cowardly murdered by the paramilitaries known as “Los Petules”, in coordination with police and other state bodies who are invading the ejidal lands of the compañeros in El Carrizal.”

At the end of the conference, the FNLS and the ‘Committee of Relatives of Missing until Found Persons’ demanded that the state government of Chiapas and the federal government investigate and punish those responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Humberto Morales Santis and the presentation of compañeros Fidencio Gomez Santiz, Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sanchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya.

On March 7, the FNLS organized the “Victims of State Terrorism in Mexico” forum in the Aula Magna of the Campus III UNACH Law School. Speakers shared their experiences of the impact of forced disappearances on the victims’ families and on the relationship between forced disappearances and migration.

FNLS1.png

The following day, the FNLS participated in the Women’s March in the context of International Women’s Day in San Cristobal de Las Casas: “In the Context of the National Day: The Victims of State Terrorism are of the People, We will not Stop until We Find Them! The National Front for Struggle for Socialism (FNLS) commemorates this March 8: International Day of Proletarian Women, as a day of struggle and protest against the current conditions of misery, economic exploitation and political oppression, to which is added the grim reality that leaves the wave of institutional violence emanating from the policy of state terrorism.”

On the same afternoon, the FNLS occupied the offices of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) in San Cristobal de Las Casas to demand justice and a response to the aforementioned lawsuits and to urge the CNDH to speak out about the constant violations of human rights and police-military harassment against the communities organized in the FNLS.

They demanded that they “resume these cases” denouncing that  “although it [theCNDH] has information, it is not doing its job as it should be.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Miembros del FNLS toman oficinas de la CNDH en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Proceso, 8 de Marzo de 2017)

‘Toman’ oficinas de CNDH en Chiapas (La Jordana, 8 de Marzo de 2017)

DÍA INTERNACIONAL DE LA MUJER PROLETARIA (FNLS, 9 de Marzo de 2017)

Video. El FNLS y el Comité Hasta Encontrarlos toman oficinas de la CNDH para exigir investigue desapariciones (FNLS, 9 de Marzo de 2017)

Acción Urgente – Ejecución Extrajudicial del niño Humberto Morales Sántiz de 13 años de edad, integrante del Frente Nacional de Lucha por el Socialismo en Chiapas. (Comité Cerezo, 4 de Marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: “Jornada nacional contra el terrorismo del estado en Chiapas” del FNLS (2 de Mayo de 2016)

Nacional/Oaxaca/Chiapas: Gira nacional: desaparición forzada en México (6 de Marzo de 2015)

Nacional: Comisión Civil de Seguimiento y Búsqueda de dos miembros del Ejército Popular Revolucionario (EPR) desaparecidos desde 2007 denuncia falta de avances (19 de Septiembre de 2014)


International/Chiapas: International Women’s Day

March 14, 2017

IWD1.pngWomen’s March in San Cristobal de Las Casas on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017. Photo: @Sipaz

On 8 March, in the context of International Women’s Day, women held two marches in which they demanded “justice for women, punishment of officials who do not fulfill their duty and effective investigation of all allegations of violence as well as cases of femicide” in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Rocio Garcia of San Cristobal de Las Casas Women’s Group A.C. (COLEM in its Spanish acronym) made a “call to women not to be silent, to denounce and demand their rights.” She pointed out that the problem of violence against women has intensified: “in 2016 there were 138 women [who died] by violent death, of which 65% have been classed as femicides, we are talking about [the fact] that there are 89 registered cases in the year 2016.” The Fourth Assembly for the Defense of the Earth, Territory and for the Participation of Women in Decision-making also denounced “the way in which the State and the death system shows their different faces in their war of extermination against peoples, men and especially against women.”

IWD2.pngWomen from Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization, handing over a letter to soldiers

For their part, the women from Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization also made a march during which, in a pacifist action, two representatives entered the military barracks of the area and handed the soldiers a letter asking them to leave their lands: “We do not come to harm you, we as women only want peace, so we tell you that we do not want you to be on our territory.” They reminded them that, “the Mexican Army trained and armed the paramilitaries who massacred 45 sisters and brothers our four babies who were not yet born and were violently removed from the womb of their mothers.”

After the march, the women read a statement in which they declared to celebrate that “every day there are more conscious women who defend their rights.” They denounced, among other things, the impunity and injustices of “the Acteal massacre (…) of the massive deportations of migrant workers (…) of the disappearance of the compañeros from Ayotzinapa.” They rejected the increase in “welfare projects and government programs that only cause division in communities”, and the distribution of chemicals “that in some cases have caused the death of the campesinos, just like the death of our mother earth.” They rejected the “gasolinazo” [increase in combustible prices]. They demanded the closure of bars “that every day become a problem causing family violence, illness and suicides.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento de la Campaña Permanente contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el feminicidio en Chiapas (CDH Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, a 9 de marzo de 2017)

Ong declararán a San Cristóbal de las Casas “ciudad insegura e impune” durante el Paro Internacional de Mujeres #8M (M-X, a 7 de marzo de 2017)

Pronunciamiento de la Cuarta Asamblea del Movimiento en Defensa de la Tierra, el Territorio y por la participación de las Mujeres en la toma de decisiones (8 de marzo de 2017)

“Nos están matando en medio de la permisibilidad”: un acercamiento a la violencia hacia las mujeres (CDH Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, a 8 de marzo de 2017)

En este año 2017 todavía no podemos celebrar que sean respetados todos nuestros derechos porque no es así. ( Las Abejas de Acteal, 8 de marzo de 2018)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Sigue la violencia hacia las mujeres (24 de febrero de 2017)

Chiapas: Mujeres marchan contra los feminicidios (7 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Día Internacional de Lucha contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres (28 de noviembre de 2016)


National: Amnesty International Presents Report on Global Situation of Human rights. Mexico “One of the Worst Crisis of Human Rights and Justice”

March 7, 2017

AI

On February 21, Amnesty International presented its annual report. In the section corresponding to events in Mexico in 2016, AI summarized: “Ten years after the beginning of the so-called “war against drug trafficking and organized crime”, military personnel continued to be employed in public security operations, and violence in the country continued to be widespread. Reports of torture and other abuses, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests continued to be reported. Impunity persisted for violations of human rights and crimes under international law. Mexico received the highest number of asylum applications in its history, the majority of people fleeing violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Intensive smear campaigns against human rights defenders and independent observers were carried out and homicides and threats against journalists due to their work continued to be reported. Violence against women continued to be a source of serious concern, and gender-based violence was reported in the states of Jalisco and Michoacan. Congress rejected one of two bills that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.”

In the presentation of the report in Mexico City, Tania Reneaum Panszi, Executive Director of the Mexican section of AI was even more succinct: “We are in one of the worst human rights and justice crisis in Mexico.”

On February 28, the Government of Mexico addressed the report, recognizing “the challenges it faces in the area of human rights, while reaffirming its ineludible commitment to respond to each of them.”

 

For more information in Spanish:

Informe anual de Amnistía Internacional/México 2016-2017 (AI, 21 de febrero de 2017)

Estas son las fallas de Mexico en derechos humanos durante 2016 (Animal Político, 22 de febrero de 2017)

México enfrenta una de las peores crisis de derechos humanos en todo el hemisferio, dice Amnistía Internacional (New York Times, 22 de febrero de 2017)

Grave crisis de derechos humanos en México a diez años de la “guerra contra el narcotráfico”: AI (Desinformémonos, 23 de febrero de 2017)

Vive México la peor crisis de derechos humanos, acusa Amnistía Internacional (La Jornada, 23 de febrero de 2017)

Posición del gobierno mexicano respecto al informe de la organización Amnistía Internacional (Comunicado SEGOB-SRE-PGR, 1 de marzo de 2017)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Amnistía Internacional acusa PGR de falta de investigación acerca de involucramiento del Ejército en caso Ayotzinapa (23 de enero de 2015)

Nacional: Amnistía Internacional “Defender Derechos Humanos: Necesario, Legítimo y Peligroso” (12 de diciembre de 2014)