Chiapas: International Women’s Day in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

March 21, 2015

DSCF4273

Photo@Sipaz

In observance of International Women’s Day, 8 March, close to 200 women and men marched in San Cristóbal de Las Casas for equal rights.  They marched from the south of the city to downtown to demand a cessation of violence against women, patriarchy, and femicide, as well as “an end to the privatization of the natural goods such as lands and water, because it is a plundering of our peoples and communities.”  During the rally with which the march concluded, different groups, collectives, and communities reported about the creation of a Movement in defense of the land, the territory, and in favor of the participation and recognition of women in decision-making processes.  “The Movement arose as a response organized within the context of the plundering and destruction of natural resources, as well as the generalized violence exercised by the State through its neoliberal policies and gender violence,” they explained.  Participants stressed that the declaration of principles of the group establishes 11 principles that govern it, toward a position “from below and to the left, like our hearts, using a logic of autonomy, democracy, and independence from the government and all political parties.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marcha en San Cristóbal por el Día Internacional de la Mujer (LaJornada, 8 de marzo de 2015)

8 de marzo, #Mujeres de #Chiapas forman el Movimiento en defensa de la tierra, el territorio y por la participación y el reconocimiento de las mujeres en las decisiones (Koman Ilel, 9 de marzo de 2015)

[AUDIO Y FOTOS] [COMUNICADO] ¡Con éste Movimiento nos llevamos un compromiso para toda la vida y vamos a luchar juntas y juntos!. (Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, A.C., 8 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: During International Women’s Day on 8 March, a meeting, a march, and a rally (10 March 2015)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)


Chiapas: new communiques from the EZLN

March 21, 2015

Homenaje a Galeano, La Realidad, agosto de 2015 (@SIPAZ archivo)

Homage to Galeano, La Realidad, August 2014 (@SIPAZ archive)

In a communique published on 4 March entitled “On the Bulletin Board,” the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a series of activities it has programmed for the remainder of 2015.  On 2 May, there will in the Oventik caracol be held an homage to Luis Villoro Toranzo  and the Zapatista support-base José Luis Solís López (Galeano), who was murdered in May 2014 in La Realidad, Las Margaritas municipality.  The EZLN announced the event as having special guests, including the relatives of Villoro Toranzo and of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, as well as members of the Sixth International.  It also noted that, from 3 to 9 May, the seminar on “Critical Thought in light of the Capitalist Hidra” will be hosted at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

The news also announces the second “grade” of the Zapatista Escuelita (31 July-2 August), the anniversary of the caracoles on 8-9 August, and the third level of the Escuelita in November and December 2015.

The EZLN added that, from 5 March onwards, being the anniversary of the death of Villoro Toranzo, there will be “many words regarding critical thinking, beginning with the report on the inauguration of the School and Clinic in La Realidad.”  Starting on 5 March, indeed, three more communiques appeared, entitled “Thank You I, II, III.”

For more information (in Spanish):

EN EL TABLÓN DE AVISOS. El Conserje (Comunicado del EZLN, 4 de marzo de 2015)

El EZLN realizará un homenaje a Luis Villoro y al zapatista José Luis Solís(La Jornada, 4 de marzo de 2015)

‘Toda la clase política vive de la actuación’, dice el líder del EZLN (CNN México, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Gracias I, Gracias II y Gracias III (Comunicados del EZLN, marzo de 2015)

La vida de un zapatista vale más que la casa blanca de Peña: EZLN (La Jornada, 9 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: threats against families sympathizing with the EZLN (29 December 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

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


National: Broad societal rejection of the General Law on Water leads to its tabling

March 21, 2015

(@fan.mexico.net)

(@fan.mexico.net)

On 5 March, deputies from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN), and the Green-Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) approved the General Law on Water in committee.  Among the controversial points stipulated by this law is the privatization of the provision and construction of water infrastructure throughout the country, a move that is made with the supposed “public interest” in mind, as well as the participation of finance-capitalists and private entities that would replace the public service, in addition to the regulation of water use for hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Legislators in opposition have indicated that the law has been passed only to grant immunity to the firms that already exploit large amounts of water, such as Coca Cola and Nestlé.  The PRD deputy Aleida Alavez Ruiz indicated that it is a “shadily” edited law, given that it claims to defend the human right to water, but then succumbs to a commercial view of the vital substance, as it would impose taxes on all forms of its consumption and eliminate the subsidies that support thousands of families.

In a pronunciation, more than 5,000 persons and 1,000 scientists rejected the Law in question (also known as the “Korenfeld Law”), and they have called on society to mobilize itself when the proposal comes up for consideration again.  The document challenges the adoption of  “a model of management that has proven to be unsustainable, and that now favors more the commercialization of water toward a burgeoning in private enterprise in the realm of infrastructure and services.”  It is stressed also that the initiative omits completely the right to health and freedom from pollution, as “the impunity to pollute lives on,” and “concessions of huge hydraulic works are being promoted which use massive amounts of energy, thus contributing to global warming.”

On 9 March, Manlio Fabio Beltrones, the parliamentary coordinator for the PRI, reported that the Council on Political Coordination of the Congress had agreed to postpone discussion of the new law so as to provide “the time that is necessary to clarify the questions and information” in such matters.

On 10 March, however, civil organizations and hundreds of persons held a forum outside the Congres to protest what they see as the “privatization” of water.

For more information (in Spanish):

Posicionamiento de la Generación de candidatos a Doctores en Ciencias Sociales (2015-2019) de la UAM – Xochimilco

Avalan diputados dictamen que facilita la privatización del agua (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Coca Cola y Nestlé están entre las grandes beneficiarias de la nueva Ley del agua (Sin Embargo, 9 de marzo de 2015)

OSC y más de 5 mil personas demandan desechar la iniciativa de Ley General de Aguas (Pronunciamiento, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Diputados frenan “el tiempo que sea necesario” la Ley de Aguas, tras las protestas (Sin Embargo, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Ley de aguas afecta a millones para beneficiar a la insustria, acusa protesta en San Lázaro (Sin Embargo, 10 de marzo de 2015)

Repudio Social contra la ley general de aguas (La Jornada, 11 de marzo de 2015)


Chiapas/International: Grave situation of defenders denounced before the UN Human Rights Council; “We Are All Female Defenders” gives presentation

March 21, 2015

Foto @  RIDH | Panorama diplomático

Photo @RIDH | Panorama diplomático

In observance of the twenty-eighth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Consorcio for Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca (Consorcio Oaxaca), the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra, and the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) denounced the climate of hostility and violence in which they carry out their work in defense of human rights in Mexico.  “We are here to denounce that the Mexican government is failing to protect human-rights defenders,” noted Yésica Sánchez, director of Consorcio Oaxaca. For her part, Norma Mesino, a member of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS), indicated that the goal of the visit was to raise awareness about “the Mexican government denies us the right to justice” as female human-rights defenders.  In her case, the precautionary measures needed to protect her life were only granted after being ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  “We want the international community to focus itself on Mexico and demand that the government observe human rights,” she added.

These defenders participated together with the UN Special Rapporteur on human-rights defenders during the event, and the CMDPDH campaign called “#MakeThemVisible” was launched, toward the end of sharing the life-stories of 40 female human-rights defenders in Mexico.

Beyond this, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the report “We Are All Female Rights-Defenders” wa presented.  This provides a national diagnostic regarding the situation of attacks on female human-rights defenders and the type of violence they have suffered–in the majority of cases, at the hands of State agents.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defensoras de derechos humanos mexicanas denuncian en la ONU falta de garantías para ejercer su labor (RIDH – Panorama diplomático, 9 de marzo de 2015)

La lucha de las mujeres defensoras en un México de violencia e impunidad (Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Participa Consorcio Oaxaca en Diálogo “Contexto de la violencia en México y su impacto en las mujeres defensoras de DH” frente al Relator de la ONU (Consorcio Oaxaca, 9 de marzo de 2015)


Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions”

March 21, 2015

Familias desplazadas del Poblado Primero de Agosto (@CDHFBC)

Displaced families from the Primero de Agosto community (@CDHFBC)

In an Urgent Action published on 6 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced that the families displaced from the Primero de Agosto community, Las Margaritas municipality, find themselves “in precarious conditions” while the “state government fails to observe its obligations.”

After documenting the forcible displacement of 57 individuals, “a situation caused by the events which took place on 23 February 2015, due to the actions of members of the Independent Historical Campesino-Agricultural Worker Center (CIOAC-H), who are protected in the region by the municipal government of Las Margaritas and authorities from the Chiapas state government,”  the CDHFBC indicated that the Tojolabal indigenous individuals find themselves in “precarious conditions in terms of food, water, and health.  They are protecting themselves from the elements only using plastic, and there are several families living together in one space.”

The CDHFBC also noted that “despite the denunciation of the acts that occurred, to date the authorities have not carried out judicial inspections and have not verified the conditions of the forcible displacement.  Beyond this, the government of Manuel Velasco Coello has made no response, despite the fact that there exists a formal commitment to do so, in accordance with the agreement made in terms of the property of the lands from which the Tojolabal indigenous were expelled by the CIOAC-H.”

For this reason, the CDHFBC requested the following: the adoption of measures that guarantee the human rights of the displaced, the investigation and punishment of those responsible for their displacement and the damages committed against the goods of the residents of the Primero de Agosto community, as well as a comprehensive treatment of the victims, in accordance with the laws governing internal displacement, humanitarian aid, and compensation for damages, violated rights, and the return of the displaced families under secure conditions.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente del CDHFBC: Familias del Poblado Primero de Agosto en condiciones precarias (CDHFBC, 7 de marzo de 2015)

Familias indígenas desplazadas en Chiapas, presentan problemas de salud (Animal Político, 7 de marzo de 2015)

Poblado Primero de Agosto denuncia desplazamiento forzado sincondiciones de seguridad (7 de marzo de 2015)

Mujeres del Poblado Primero de Agosto exigen retorno a su comunidad (8 de marzo de 2015)

La expulsión violenta y el desplazamiento forzado, una constante en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)

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

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (10 June 2014)

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

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


National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Torture presents report about Mexico in Geneva

March 21, 2015

Juan E. Méndez, Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre la Tortura (@Naciones Unidas)

Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (@UN)

On 9 March, Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading Treatment, presented the report based on his visit to Mexico between April and May 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.  In his conclusions, he mentions that “torture and ill-treatment of the incarcerated after their arrest and prior to their presentation to the justice system are generalized phenomena in Mexico which take place within the context of impunity.”  He added that there is evidence of the active participation of police and military forces, “but also tolerance, indifference, or complicity on the part of some doctors, public defenders, prosecutors, and judges.”  He indicated furthermore that torture is used “to punish the arrested and to extract confessions or incriminating information.”  He highlighted moreover that “the impunity of torture and other abuses is sufficient to lead to its repetition and exacerbation.”

For this reason, the Special Rapporteur recommended legislative reforms that would integrate international standards into domestic law, thus effectively preventing and punishing torture and other abuses, as well as to undertake the investigation of all denunciations that are presented, including “the tasks that remain in terms of the Dirty War.”  He recommended also that the dimension of the phenomenon be publicly recognized, and that all the authorities receive strong public pressure insisting that all abuses will be seriously investigated and punished.

Following the presentation of this report, Jorge Lomónaco, Mexican representative before international organizations, affirmed that “we cannot agree with the view that torture is generalized in the country, because that is not the case in reality.”  He added that what the Special Rapporteur claimed “does not reflect the enormous efforts that my country’s government has made to strengthen a culture of respect for human rights in the law and in practice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ver Informe completo (Juan E. Méndez, diciembre de 2014)

Generalizada, la tortura en México (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2015)

“Todos los cuerpos policiales torturan en el país” (El País, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México: entre la tortura y la impunidad (Centro PRODH, Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

La tortura es generalizada en México: relator de ONU; eso es mentira, responde embajador (Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México y ONU ahora chocan por informe sobre la tortura (Milenio, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and killing of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and kidnapping of youth Hiber Audentino García Villafuerte (1 January, 2014)


Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope for the Ayotzinapa case

March 21, 2015

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March-rally, 5 February 2015 in Chilpancingo. Photo @SIPAZ

The parents of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala confirmed their trust in the team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which at the beginning of this month started to review the evidence on the happenings of 26 September 2014.  Felipe de la Cruz, spokesperson for the parents of the disappeared, said that the arrival of the independent specialists represents an advance, given that it provides hope that truthful results will result from the investigations that they plan to undertake, “rather than a theater put on by the Federal Attorney General’s Office [PGR].”  He added that it is hoped that the PGR will come to an agreement regarding the inspection of military barracks on the part of the parents, as they have been told that the conditions are not appropriate at this time.  The parents want to know that they are not just going in circles.  Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, their lawyer, has specified that the IACHR specialists are not those in charge of carrying out the investigation, but rather that they will review what has occurred so far within the ongoing investigation so as to make recommendations when irregularities are found.

In recent days, relatives of Julio César Mondragón Fontes, the student who was murdered and defigured, rejected the conclusions made by the PGR that accuse the Iguala municipal police officer Luis Francisco Martínez Díaz as responsible for the murder.  The relatives noted that after five months without the minimum of attention dedicated to clarifying the torture and execution of Julio César, “now the PGR seeks to close the case with a summary media action, thus leaving unresolved one of the very ‘reasons for which the Ayotzinapa case cannot be closed.'”  Beyond this, they demanded that the torture and extrajudicial execution of the youth be investigated as a murder.  They have demanded that the investigation be serious, profound, and based in science.  In a communique released on 4 March, the family denounces that the case has been investigated using two lines directed by Chilpancingo: murder and organized crime.  “This makes no sense, given that it was torture and an extrajudicial execution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Llegada del grupo de CIDH, un “avance”, afirman familiares (Milenio, 6 de marzo de 2015)

Expertos de la CIDH se reúnen con autoridades encargadas de la investigación de Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Familiares de normalista exigen a Arely Gómez que retome el caso (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


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