Mexico/Guatemala: International Human Rights Observation Mission on Guatemala-Mexico Border

December 1, 2016

gm1“72” Refuge for Migrant Persons, Tenosique, Mexico. Photo@SIPAZ

An International Human Rights Observation Mission on the Guatemala-Mexico Border (MODH in its Spanish acronym) was held from November 10 to 16 to document and highlight the situation of systematic violations of human rights in the border region between Guatemala and Mexico.

The MODH was made up of 24 human rights defenders from countries such as Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, the United States and Canada, and more than 30 who accompanied them belonging to the member organizations of the Cross-border Migration and Gender Coordination Committee (MTMG in its Spanish acronym) on both the Mexican and Guatemalan sides [of the border].

The MODH divided along two routes, both beginning their journey in the City of Guatemala.

– Route one passed through: Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, La Mesilla and on the Mexican side to Comalapa Border, Tapachula, Suchiate, Acacoyagua, Mapastepec, Tonala and Arriaga.

– Route two passed through: Coban, Sayaxche, Santa Elena and on the Mexican side, Tenosique, Palenque, Salto de Agua and Ocosingo.

They travelled in vehicles to a total of 30 locations and 2,211 kilometers of the cross-border region. Both routes met on November 15 in San Cristobal de Las Casas where they shared their experiences and observations.

GM2.jpgPhoto@SIPAZ

The observers had the opportunity to listen to problems of more than 70 organizations and collectives as well as different ways of combating them. They interviewed approximately 1,600 people affected by dispossession, violence against migrants and refugees, and gender-based violence, including members of the Mam, Quiche, Q’anjobal, Kakchiquel, Tseltal, Tsotsil, Tojolabal, Zoque, Chol and mestizos. The MODH visited places that are directly affected by this violence, and were able to verify and document not only constant situations of injustice but also that, in spite of this, people are still fighting for life and dignity.

Among the observations of the MODH, are:

– Since 2012, the number of Central American people who are arriving at the Guatemala/Mexico border has seen a steady increase.

– The number of women migrants has risen, accounting for almost 20% of the migration phenomenon.

– Although migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are the majority, people from other countries, such as the Congo, are now being registered.

– As a consequence of the implementation of energy, mining, agro-industrial, tourism and infrastructure projects, an accelerated dispossession of territory is happening, due to forced displacement, alteration of ecosystems, pollution of agricultural soils and water sources, as well as damage to health, divisions and impacts on the livelihoods of campesino and indigenous communities.

– There is “a common pattern of criminalization, persecution and repression of migrant women and human rights and territory defenders that can lead to loss of liberty and even murder.”

– Even the MODH was watched and harassed in some places by security and intelligence agents in both countries.

– In general, a lack of access to justice for those affected and the prevalence of impunity in the case of those who dare to report can be seen.

– The testimonies revealed a deep crisis of human rights violations with multiple cases of threats, criminality, trafficking, disappearance, kidnapping, robbery, assault, torture, mass murder, rape and sexual abuse, femicide, and corruption, among others.

GM3.jpgNovember 16: The MODH presents its findings in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, where it also met with the “Caravan of Mothers of Disappeared Migrants.”

The MODH warned: “In most cases of human rights violations heard by the Mission, a direct responsibility of public authorities is identified, in collusion with organized crime and national and transnational corporations, which act through co-optation and corruption of the justice system, supported by the presence of private security companies and groups of armed civilians.”

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncian persecución a migrantes, mujeres y defensores en frontera sur (Desinformémonos, 21 de noviembre de 2016)

Patrón en la frontera sur, criminalización y persecución a mujeres, migrantes y defensores (Proceso, 17 de noviembre de 2016)

Comunicado final de la MODH (Voces mesoamericanas, a 16 de noviembre de 2016)

Plan Frontera Sur potencia deportaciones, acusan ONG (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2016)

Inicia Misión Internacional de Observación de Derechos Humanos en la Frontera Guatemala-México (MODH) (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de derechos Humanos, Todos los Derechos para Todos y Todas, a 10 de noviembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: anuncian Misión Internacional de Observación de Derechos Humanos en la frontera Guatemala-México (4 de noviembre de 2016)

 

 


Guerrero: Former Chief of Police of Iguala, Fugitive after Disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa Students, Arrested

November 1, 2016

Iguala.pngFelipe Flores Velazquez, former chief of police of Iguala, implicated in the disappearance of the 43 students. Photo@ La Jornada

On October 21, Felipe Flores Velazquez, former chief of police of Iguala, fugitive after the disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa in September 2014, was arrested. It was in Iguala that elements of the Federal, marine and military police tracked him down and arrested him. The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) had announced a reward of two and a half million pesos to anyone who provided information leading to the location, arrest or detention of Flores. The former police chief is accused of organized crime, kidnapping student teachers and covering up the municipal police officers involved in the disappearance of students.

According to statements from one of those detained for the Ayotzinapa case, Felipe Flores along with the deputy police chief of Cocula, Cesar Nava Gonzalez, were the ones who handed over the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa to members of Guerreros Unidos on night September 26, under orders from Jose Luis Abarca, the former mayor of Iguala.

According to Animal Politico, the PGR considers his capture as key to the outcome of investigations into the Ayotzinapa case.

For more information in Spanish:

Detienen al ex jefe policial de Iguala, clave en la desaparición de los 43 normalistas (Animal político, a 21 de octubre de 2016)

Abren juicio contra Felipe Flores, el ex jefe policial de Iguala, clave en el caso Ayotzinapa (Animal político, a 26 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Actualización “caso Iguala” – siguen desaparecidas 43 personas (a 3 de octubre de 2014)

 

 


Guerrero: Three Years of Impunity in the Rocio Mesino Murder Case

October 24, 2016

rocio

On October 19, about 100 people including social activists, members of social organizations and relatives held a ceremony at the Mexcalpetec Bridge in Atoyac, to remember Rocio Mesino Mesino, former leader of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS), three years after her assassination at that very spot. In addition to the performance of an Aztec ritual of a force of memory circle, a mural was unveiled in the community of Mexcaltepec, which was painted by the Tecuanes youth organization, and in which Rocio Mesino’s face appears. The activities carried out in the framework this third anniversary ended with a cultural evening in Atoyac the Zocalo.

At the end of the commemoration, the OCSS demanded a gender alert in the state due to the increase in femicide. Norma Mesino, Rocio’s sister, said that “they cannot be allowed to keep on killing women for being critical for thinking differently, for being activists and defending a cause, or any other woman for the fact of being a woman, that is reprehensible.” She mentioned in particular the case of Dr. Adela Rivas Obe, former Atoyac PRD councilor who was recently murdered.

Faced with impunity in the case of her sister, Norma Mesino has claimed that the government refuses to investigate the political line of investigation as the main motive and that relatives have been denied the right to copies of the file. She says, “it is a case that was well planned and the people who did this did it with total impunity and with the support of the municipal and ministerial police and the army.”

For its part, the National Network of Human Rights Defenders (RNDDHM) in Mexico, composed of 218 women defenders and journalists in 23 states, expressed “outrage at the negligent performance and remiss of the Mexican government, which has permitted that three years after the murder of the defender there is no hint of justice, despite existing evidence, and that the case had the attention of the Guerrero State Attorney. We believe that there is no justification for official inaction. This passivity reinforces the hypothesis that the murder of Rocio, member of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS) -to which the 17 campesinos killed on June 28, 1995 in Aguas Blancas belonged-, derives from her work in defense of human rights, which led her to confront the government on several occasions, denouncing, for example, acts of corruption.”

For more information in Spanish:

Efectúan ceremonia ritual en memoria de Rocío Mesino en el puente Mexcaltepec (La Jornada de Guerrero, 19 de octubre de 2016)

ONG marchan en Atoyac por el tercer aniversario del asesinato de Rocío Mesino (La Jornada de Guerrero, 19 de octubre de 2016)

A tres años del asesinato de la dirigente Rocío Mesino organizaciones exigen justicia en Atoyac (El Sur, 19 de octubre de 2016)

Pronunciamiento « Asesinato de Rocío Mesino : tres años de impunidad » (Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en México, 19 de octubre de 2016)

A tres años del crimen, exige la familia de Rocío Mesino al fiscal Olea investigar su asesinato (El Sur, 18 de octubre de 2016)

Rocío Mesino, tres años (La Plaza, 16 de octubre de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Impunidad a un año del asesinato de Rocío Mesino Mesino, lideresa de la OCSS (22 de octubre de 2014)

Guerrero: asesinan a luchadora social de la Organización Campesina de la Sierra del Sur (22 de octubre de 2013)

 


National: Increase in Murders of Transgender People Denounced

October 12, 2016

itzelItzel Castellanos @FacebookItzel

On October 9, Itzel Castellanos, a nineteen-year-old transgender person, was killed with a knife outside her home in Comitan, Chiapas. On September 30, Paola, a 25-year-old transgender sex worker was shot dead in Mexico City.

In the case of the Isthmus of Juchitan in Oaxaca, being muxe (homosexual or transgender) is considered a gift because parents believe that the son or daughter muxe is loyal to the family and will not be married and will look after them. However, several organizations have reported an increase in murders of transgender people in this area also, “According to the Sexual Diversity organization, from 2010 to May 2016 over 120 killings of non-heterosexual people were committed in Oaxaca. Meanwhile, the National Catholic Youth Network for the Right to Decide reported that in the last 14 months 17 hate crimes were committed; 15 in 2015 and two in 2016, in the regions of the coast, the Isthmus and the Central Valleys.”

In a broader sense, according to La Jornada newspaper, the Observatory of Murdered Trans People and the Citizens Commission Against Hate Crimes Homophobia argues that Mexico ranks second in the world with 229 such killings (ahead Brazil, with 802, and followed by the US with 132)

For more information in Spanish:

 El asesinato atroz e impune de Paola, una transexual, deja muy mal parada a la “tolerante” CdMx (Sin Embargo, 6 de octubre de 2016)

Asesinato de joven transexual indigna a la comunidad gay de Chiapas (Revista Proceso, 8 de octubre de 2016)

Itzel, transexual de 19 años, es asesinada a puñaladas, en su casa de Chiapas; van 20 en 2016 (Sin Embargo, 9 de octubre de 2016)

Crímenes por homofobia en Juchitán derrumban el mito de paraíso muxe (La Jornada, 10 de octubre de 2016)

Itzel Durán, una joven transexual de 19 años, fue asesinada en Chiapas (Animal Político, 10 de octubre de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncian violencia policial en la detención de transexuales en Palenque (17 de diciembre de 2015)

 


International: IGIE Presents Second Report on Ayotzinapa in the European Parliament

October 8, 2016

Ayotzi1.pngProtest in front of the European Parliament. Photo @Marco Appel

On September 26, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) officially presented its second report on the Ayotzinapa case to the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament and also demanded “that human rights take their place in the negotiations that the European Union (EU) is currently holding with the Mexican government for the “modernization” of the free trade agreement.”

In the meeting of the subcommittee, coinciding with the second anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa, IGIE members Francisco Cox and Claudia Paz y Paz also considered “quite disappointing” the appointment of Thomas Zeron as technical secretary of the National Council for Public Safety immediately after resigning as director of the Criminal Investigation Agency and responsible for solving the disappearance of the students. According to Cox, in an interview before his intervention at the European Parliament, “We hope that the follow-up mechanism (which the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Mexican government launched) is given all the access we saw blocked at the end of our mandate.”

Before the IGIE presentation in Brussels, Amnesty International and a group of Mexican residents held a protest in Luxembourg Square, located opposite the European Parliament. “Two years later, 43 students are still missing in Mexico” read a banner in English placed on top of a monument surrounded by 43 human silhouettes with pasted photographs of the disappeared youths.

For more information in Spanish:

Pide GIEI-Ayotzinapa a Unión Europea incluir derechos humanos en renegociación del TLC (Educa, Servicios Para una Educación Alternativa A.C., a 28 de septiembre 2016)

Pide el GIEI a Eurocámara incluir derechos humanos en acuerdo comercial con México(Proceso, a 26 de septiembre 2016)

For more information from Sipaz:

Nacional: Ayotzinapa, dos años de desasosiego, dolor e impunida  (30 de septiembre de 2016)

Nacional: Se aprueba la implementación del Mecanismo de Seguimiento para el caso Ayotzinapa (30 de septiembre de 2016)

Guerrero/México: GIEI concluye su trabajo México entregando un segundo informe (28 de abril de 2016)


Guerrero: Two Student Teachers from Ayotzinapa Murdered

October 8, 2016

Ayotzi.pngDesinformémonos Photo @Aurora Roja

On October 4 (5:50 pm), five passengers were shot dead during an assault on public transport, including the students from the Ayotzinapa Normal Rural School: Johnatan Morales Hernandez and Filemon Tacuba Castro.

The Ministry of Public Security of the state confirmed that it was an armed assault on the Chilpancingo-Tixtla road. According Sur newspaper “and according to an audio broadcast on social networks, the attackers were inside the unit and knew that several of the occupants were students from Ayotzinapa.”

The attackers killed the students Jonatan Morales Hernandez, a fourth-year student, Group A of Saucito community in the Municipality of Tecoanapa, and Filemon Tacuba Castro, also a fourth-year student, Group B, from Apantla, Ayutla de los Libres Municipality, Guerrero.

Jonatan Hernandez Morales and Filemon Tacuba Castro were travelling with others on public transport from Chilpancingo to Tixtla where the Normal school is located. “A source from the State Police reported that two victims died where the assault occurred and the other three died while receiving medical care.” The other gunshot victims are a woman, a girl and an eight-year-old boy.

According to Radio Formula, “with great sadness and pain, the parents of the 43 students missing from Iguala on September 26, 2014, as well as the students of the Raul Isidro Burgos Normal Rural School said farewell” this October 5 to the two murdered youths recalling that “they can cut all the flowers, but never stop the spring.”

For more information in Spanish:

Confirman normalistas de Ayotzinapa asesinato de dos de sus compañeros en carretera Chilpancingo-Tixtla (Desinformémonos, a 5 de octubre 2016)

Matan en Chilpancingo a cinco pasajeros de una Urvan; dos eran alumnos de Ayotzinapa (El Sur periódico de Guerrero, a 5 de octubre 2016)
Velan en normal de Ayotzinapa a estudiantes asesinados, padres de 43 condenan su muerte ( RadioFórmula, a 05 de octubre de 2016)

For more information from Sipaz:

Nacional: Ayotzinapa, dos años de desasosiego, dolor e impunidad

Nacional: Se aprueba la implementación del Mecanismo de Seguimiento para el caso Ayotzinapa


National: March for Resignation of Enrique Peña Nieto

September 28, 2016

epnCall for march for resignation of Peña Nieto

On September 15, the symbolic commemoration day of “El Grito” – the cry for the Independence of Mexico – thousands of people responded to the call launched on social networks for a march to demand the resignation of Enrique Peña Nieto.

#RenunciaYa, is the hashtag with which this non-partisan demonstration was called for on social networks since September 2, just after the publication of the Government’s fourth report. Led by parents of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa, followed by farmers from Atenco, machete in hand, about 4,000 citizens, mostly young, began the #RenunciaYa protest, according to Animal Politico. The protesters left the Angel of Independence monument with the aim of reaching the Zocalo to face the president. However, at the Palace of Fine Arts, thousands of riot police, deployed by the Ministry of Public Security of Mexico City, blocked their passage. However, in the Zocalo, a small group of protesters who had managed get through started whistling and shouting slogans against the president just as President Enrique Peña Nieto appeared. According to La Jornada, “a young man showed a poster criticizing the federal administration and was immediately surrounded by elements of the Federal and Presidential Police. Some people demanded that the police allow the youth to express himself, to which they responded “we are only following orders.” Federal Police kept the young man surrounded until the fireworks ended, he was photographed and they made video of the youth and finally two policemen said they would accompany him to the exit.”

In Chiapas, the governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, did “El Grito” from an alternative site to the square of Tuxtla Gutierrez, as it was occupied by teachers opposed to the education reform bill.

For their part, the Las Abejas of Acteal Civil Society Organization, in their last statement, give several examples of why, according to them, “there is no longer independence.” They claim that, “this heroic and historic struggle for the independence of Mexico […] has been betrayed by the PRI governments and other political parties in Mexico who have been in power.” Because “The idea of the struggle, independence in 1810, meant that Mexico was independent, sovereign, democratic. […] However, the edge of that independence began to end with the government of Carlos Salinas de Gortari with agreements and commercial, political and military treaties with neoliberal and capitalist countries, one of them is: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the United States and Canada.”

In addition, the Xinich’ Coordinator of Social Organizations remembered September 15 with a statement in which it demands the removal of Enrique Peña Nieto as an “incompetent” in addition to “delivering our nation into the hands of foreigners.” It also expressed support for the struggle of the teachers against the so-called educational reform and demanded “the repeal of structural reforms, justice for the people massacred at Viejo Velasco, Acteal, for the 43 disappeared student teachers of Ayotzinapa, for Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, compliance with the San Andrés agreements signed between the federal government and the EZLN…”

 In Oaxaca, in the state capital, the governor, Cué Monteagudo, did his sixth and last “Grito” from the balcony of the government palace amid shouts of “murderer” and “traitor”. According to Educa, “elements of the State Police prevented the entry of teachers from Section 22 into the square to give their alternative ‘Grito’ with teargas, sparking a confrontation”. At least 20 people sustained minor injuries.

For more information in Spanish:

En méxico ya no existe independencia, es por las mal llamadas reformas constitucionales (Las abejas de Acteal, 22 de septembre de 2016)

#Chiapas Xinich’ recordó el “15 de Septiembre” exigiendo la renuncia de EPN, la abrogación de las reformas estructurales y el cumplimientos de los “Acuerdos de San Andrés” (Koman Iles, 20 de septiembre)

Marchan para exigir la renuncia de Peña Nieto (La Jornada, a 16 de septiembre 2016)

15 de septiembre: Policías repliegan marchas en Oaxaca y Chiapas (Educa, a 15 de septiembre 2016)

Miles de personas dan el Grito en el Zócalo (La Jornada, a 15 de septiembre 2016)

Renuncia ya y los acarreados: dos marchas rumbo al Zócalo (Animal político, a 16 de septiembre 2016)

Hay apertura para la crítica, dice presidencia sobre posible rechifla a Peña durante el Grito (Animal político, a 14 de septiembre 2016)

15 razones para marchar y gritar #RenunciaYA (Animal político, a 6 de septiembre 2016)

Ciudadanos convocan a marchar hoy 15 de septiembre para exigir renuncia de Peña (Animal político, a 2 de septiembre 2016)

 For more information from Sipaz:

Nacional : cuarto informe del gobierno de Peña Nieto (12 de septiembre 2016)