Guerrero: Right to Elect Authorities by Traditions and Customs in Ayutla de los Libres Recognized

July 4, 2017

Ayutla.pngInhabitants approve of the consultation El Paraiso, Photo@: Resumen Latinoamericano

After more than five years of struggle, the municipality of Ayutla de los Libres in the state of Guerrero got the local government to recognize their right to choose authorities according to traditions and customs, whose promoters faced a climate of intimidation from a range of political parties.

According to La Jornada, the scheme of traditions and customs establishes that each neighborhood of the 140 communities in the municipality elects two representatives – a man and a woman – who in turn form part of an assembly that appoints officials of the new government, their duties and how the budget should be used.

The new community government of Ayutla will take office in July 2018.

For more information in Spanish:

Reconocen a Ayutla de los Libres derecho de elegir autoridades mediante usos y costumbres (La Jornada, a 17 de junio de 2017)

México: La localidad de Ayutla de los Libres, en Guerrero, se regirá sin partidos políticos en julio de 2018; es hora de que los pueblos se gobiernen (Resumen Latinoamericano, 15 de junio de 2017)


Oaxaca: Campaign against SEZ Announced

July 4, 2017

SEZ.pngSpecial Economic Zones (@Proceso)

On June 22nd, during the forum “Special Economic Zones and Implications in Community Life and the Environment”, about 250 participants from 50 civil and social organizations expressed their rejection of “the implementation of the SEZs in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca and elsewhere in the state.”

Participants pointed out that SEZs are intended to generate employment but through the implementation of mining, wind, and gas mega-projects, among others, which would end the communal life of indigenous peoples. Furthermore, they denounced that they promote extralegal and paramilitary violence and are the spearhead of the extractive and predatory industries that today are covered under the laws of the SEZs that benefit them.

They also pledged “to implement a massive campaign of counter information on SEZs and megaprojects, and to hold regional and state forums to strengthen the defense of our territories.”

For more information in Spanish: 

Anuncian campaña contra las ZEE (El Sol del Istmo, 28 de junio de 2017)

Advierten “nueva oleada de devastación” en Oaxaca con la creación de las Zonas Económicas Especiales (Proceso, 27 de junio de 2017)

Declaratoria del foro: “Zonas Economicas Especiales y las implicaciones en la vida comunitaria y al medio ambiente” (EDUCA, 26 de junio de 2017)

Con las Zonas Económicas Especiales se avista una nueva devastación para Oaxaca (Regeneración, 28 de junio de 2017)

El capital internacional y la élite política mexicana se ciernen sobre el territorio Oaxaqueño con avaricia, avidez y rapacidad (Activista, 28 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: El Senado aprueba la Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales (ZEE) (15 de abril de 2016)

México / Nacional: Diputados aprueban Ley Federal de Zonas Económicas Especiales (18 de diciembre 2015)

Oaxaca: comunidades del Istmo presentan amparo ante la ZEE (noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas

July 3, 2017

Zoque1.pngThe movement declared itself against extractivist projects, “which put the social, environmental and cultural life of the 60,000 Zoque speakers at risk.” Photo: @Sipaz

On June 22nd, the indigenous movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth organized a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutierrez, in which about six thousand people from 3 zones, members of civil society as well as priests of the Archdiocese of Tuxtla Gutierrez and the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas participated, according to La Jornada.

Participants denounced that the energy reform approved in 2013 along with ten other constitutional reforms “constitute a serious threat of dispossession of indigenous peoples’ lands”, as only their proponents would benefit from them.

In this case, the International Public Bidding known as Round 2.2 involves “the concession of 12 natural gas and oil extraction wells in the coastal states of the Gulf of Mexico and Southeastern Basin, which is composed of 12 blocks, two of which have an impact on the state of Chiapas. A total of 84,500 hectares of land in nine municipalities in northern Chiapas would be used for the extraction of natural gas through dispossession and environmental contamination of Zoque territory.”

Blocks 10 and 11 in Chiapas would affect the municipalities of Tecpatan, Francisco Leon, Ostuacan, the town of Chapultenango, Ixtacomitan, Ixtapangajoya, Pichucalco, Solosuchiapa, Sunuapa and even Teapa (Tabasco) in order to obtain moist gas, light oil and super light oil.

Zoque2.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

In March 2017, representatives of the movement reported a series of irregularities in the bidding process awarded by the Federal Government’s Energy Secretariat (SENER in its Spanish acronym), because all the affected communities were not consulted and there were no translators in their maternal Zoque language and neither has an Environmental Impact Statement been presented as required by law.

According to the movement, the specific risks would be “excessive use of water, migratory movements, contamination of soil, air and springs, loss of biodiversity, environmental imbalance, reduction of food production, damage to property and public health.”

 The movement stated that they are proceeding “to make the corresponding complaints before the national and international courts over omission in the absence of the presentation of the corresponding Environmental Impact Statement, as well as by the faults that are being committed in the process prior, free and informed consultation.”

Equally, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) said that “we salute the mobilization and organization undertaken from below for respect for what is theirs … to resist and to repudiate in an organized manner the so-called Round 2.2 on their ancestral territory with which the capitalists plan the extermination of the peoples of the north of Chiapas.”

Zoque3.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

For more information in Spanish:

Pagina facebook del movimiento

Comunidades zoques resisten a proyectos de despojo (Chiapas Denuncia, a 22 de Junio 2017)

Marchan 6 mil personas en Chiapas en rechazo a explotación de hidrocarburos (La Jornada, a 23 de Junio 2017)

“Alto al despojo, destrucción y muerte”: Pueblo Zoque ante Ronda 2.2 de la SENER que ofrece su territorio al mejor postor (Desinformémonos, a 23 de Junio 2017)

Pronunciamiento del Congreso Nacional Indígena en apoyo y solidaridad con la lucha del pueblo Zoque y por la libertad de Luis Fernando Sotelo (Enlace Zapatista, a 23 de Junio 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque

Chiapas : comunidades zoques se oponen a extracción de hidrocarburos en el norte de Chiapas


Chiapas: The Center for Women’s Rights Denounces Lack of Due Process and Access to Justice in Cases of Violence against Women and Femicides

July 3, 2017

cdmchPhoto: @CDMCH

On June 26th, 2017, the Center for Women’s Rights of Chiapas (CDMCH in its Spanish acronym), announced that the state government has failed both to implement the urgent measures and the basic agreements taken in the different sessions of the Inter-Institutional and Multidisciplinary Group, established since the Declaration of a Gender Violence Alert of (GVA) in Chiapas, more than half a year ago now. It is worth mentioning that on November 18th, 2016, the GVA was declared in the state of Chiapas.

 The CDMCH stated that, “We denounce in particular the most recurring acts and omissions that we continue to document in our day-to-day work as Rights Defenders before the bodies responsible for procuring and administering justice in Chiapas.”

Specifically, they showed “Omission by the Operators of the system to their duty to preserve the life, physical integrity, rights and interests of women in situations of violence” as well as “Omission in the application of the Protocol of Operative and Technical Action in the Investigation of the crimes of homicide and femicide.”

The Center for Women’s Rights in Chiapas reported that “These patterns of action and omission are just some of the most common that we observe in a systematically, directly by the cases that we have accompanied we have documented these faults in prosecutors such as Bachajon, Yajalon, Ocosingo and San Cristobal; similarly in other Districts, without the Indigenous Public Prosecution taking on the responsibility conferred, we document negligent attention to indigenous people of municipalities such as Salto de Agua, Palenque, Margaritas and Teopisca.”

 Therefore, the CDMCH assured that “we will remain vigilant to the actions that the State implements to meet its obligation to safeguard the life and integrity of women in the state.”

For more information in Spanish:

Omisiones ante Alerta de Violencia de Género en Chiapas (26 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Centro de Derechos de la mujer de Chiapas denuncia amenazas (8 de diciembre de 2015)

Guerrero : emiten Alerta de Género en 8 estados (24 de junio de 2017)

National/International: Espionage of Journalists and Activists in Mexico

June 29, 2017

Spying1.pngPhoto: @SinEmbargo

On June 19th, The New York Times (NYT) published a report entitled “We are the new enemies of the State: espionage of activists and journalists in Mexico” in which they reported that Mexican journalists and activists have been spied on with software acquired by the government, called Pegasus.

Pegasus software infiltrates phones and other devices to monitor every detail of a person’s daily life through their cell phone: calls, text messages, emails, contacts and calendars. You can use the microphone and phone cameras for surveillance. The company said they sell this application “exclusively to governments on the condition that it is used only to combat terrorists or criminal groups and drug cartels” and that only a federal judge can give permission to monitor private communications by demonstrating that there is a well-founded case to make that request. According to several ex-officials of the Mexican intelligence services “it is very unlikely that the government has received such judicial approval to hack the phones of activists and journalists.”

Eduardo Guerrero, a former member of Mexico’s National Security and Research Center, questioned: “How would it be possible for a judge to authorize monitoring of someone dedicated to the protection of human rights?”

There is no definitive evidence that the Mexican government was responsible because “Pegasus software leaves no trace of the hacker who used it. Even the maker, the NSO Group, points out that you cannot determine exactly who is behind the specific hacking attempts. But cyber experts can verify when the software has been used on a target’s phone, leaving them little doubt that the Mexican government or some corrupt internal group is involved.” In addition, the NSO Group said that, “the program can only be used by government agencies in which the technology has been installed.”

According to Animal Politico newspaper, among the targets are:

– “Agustin Pro. Center [for Human Rights]. During the period of attacks, the directors of the center were actively involved in the documentation and defense of serious cases of human rights violations such as the disappearance of Ayotzinapa student teachers or the alleged extrajudicial execution committed by the Army in Tlataya.”

– “Carmen Aristegui and her son, as well as Rafael Cabrera and Sebastian Barragan, received intrusion attempts via SMS from April 2015 until the middle of 2016. Months after the publication of the report of La Casa Blanca and during the dissemination of other articles of possible corruption. “

– “Carlos Loret de Mola. He was the target of at least eight intrusion attempts since August 2015, the month in which the journalist published the first column of several related to the alleged extrajudicial execution in Tanhuato.

– “On May 25, 2016, Salvador Camarena, director of the journalistic research area of ​​this organization, received an attempted intrusion. It was a day after that organization in collaboration with Animal Political revealed the report The Ghost Companies of Veracruz that ended with the resignation and subsequent arrest of former governor Javier Duarte.

– “Juan Pardinas and Alexandra Zapata of the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness were victims of intrusion attempts, in the period in which they promoted several investigations into alleged acts of corruption, and the promotion of ‘Law 3 of 3’, for officials to declare assets which they possess publicly. “

The federal government responded in “a three-paragraph statement to the editor of the New York Times, where it officially says that “there is no evidence” that Mexican government agencies are responsible for espionage and asked those spied on to report the alleged intrusion.” Faced with this response, journalists and defenders who had been spied on filed a complaint for possible illegal intervention of communications with the PGR but doubt that it will have results since the government would have to be judge and part of this case.

Spying2.pngActivists demand the PGR investigate espionage – Periodico Proceso Photo: @Benjamin Flores

In protest over the case #GovernmentEspía, on June 23rd, journalists and human rights defenders were handed themselves over symbolically to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR in its Spanish acronym). Denise Dresser, a politician and participant in the demonstration, said: “Just as it criminalized those who are the eyes and the conscience of the country, we come to give ourselves up as criminals of the same type. In full solidarity with Carmen Aristegui, with Juan Pardiñas, Daniel Lizarraga and Salvador Camarena, and with the other journalists and activists who were spied on. We expect an independent, international, clean, autonomous and credible investigation. That is something the Mexican State cannot do it on its own.”

 For more information in Spanish:

5 claves para entender el caso del espionaje a periodistas con el software Pegasus (Animal Politico, a 20 de junio de 2017)

‘Somos los nuevos enemigos del Estado’: el espionaje a activistas y periodistas en México (The New York Times, a 19 de junio de 2017)

Proponen comisión especial para indagar espionaje a periodistas y activistas (Proceso, a 19 de junio de 2017)

En manos de PGR, denuncia por espionaje gubernamental a periodistas y activistas (Aristegui Noticias, a 20 de junio de 2017)

Activistas y periodistas en México son espiados con un software adquirido por el gobierno: NYT (Animal Politico, a 19 de junio de 2017)

Periodistas y defensores se entregan ante PGR en protesta por #GobiernoEspía (CentroProdh, a 26 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Cámara de Diputados aprueba cateos militares a domicilios y espionaje telefónico

Chiapas: EZLN denuncia sobrevuelos militares nocturnos sobre Caracoles zapatistas

Chiapas : Liberan a 236 normalistas detenidos por presuntos actos vandálicos en el marco de protesta contra reforma educativa

México: La CIDH exige una investigación sobre el caso de varias mujeres víctimas de abuso sexual en San Salvador Atenco en el 2006


National/Guerrero: Caravan in the South-Southeast in Search of the Ayotzinapa Disappeared

June 28, 2017

AyotziSSI.pngPhoto @SIPAZ

33 months after the forced disappearance of 43 student teachers from the Raul Isidro Burgos Normal School and the murder of 6 others, their families continue to travel the country in their search and to demand justice. Since June 18th, they started a caravan in the South-Southeast of the Republic. The caravan started in Campeche and will pass through five states: Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Chiapas.

The aim of this caravan is that more than a thousand days after the attack on the student teachers, “in every corner of Mexico, it is known that the Mexican State, while still hiding the truth, is responsible, and that it not be forgotten”, said Felipe de la Cruz, a spokesman for relatives.

Relatives and friends of the victims as well as other students are asking the government to follow the four lines of investigation identified by the group of independent experts of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which, they are sure, will lead to the truth about what happened. The first request is to investigate the elements of the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym), who were, they propose, directly involved in the events. The other is the drug raid that was supposed to be the motive for the disappearance, as the young people allegedly had taken a bus loaded with drugs and money. The third is the detention of the federal and municipal police of Huitzuco, Guerrero, who took the 25 young people, because it has not been determined who is the “boss” who ordered their disappearance. The last line of research is cell phones. According to Aristegui Noticias, during their journey, participants were arrested by a patrol and violently taken off the bus on which they were traveling at the point of high-caliber guns, because they had passed a toll booth without paying: “It does not fit with disappearing our children, today they harass repress us for looking for them”, they said.

 For more information in Spanish:

Caso Ayotzinapa fue un crimen de Estado (La Jornada Maya, 26 de junio de 2017)

Ciudadanía se une a la marcha por Ayotzinapa de la caravana del sureste en Chetumal (Proceso, 25 de junio de 2017)

A punta de pistola, bajan de autobús a padres de Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, a 18 de junio de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/ Nacional: Madres y padres de los 43 consideran no acudir a la reunión con la PGR y la CIDH (20 de abril de 2017)

Guerrero : padres de los 43 participan en audiencia de la CIDH (22 de marzo de 2017)

National/International: REMA Questions Report of UN Working Group on Corporations and Human Rights in Mexico

June 28, 2017


In a statement published on June 19th, the Mexican Network of Workers Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) claimed that the report presented by the United Nations Working Group on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations after its visit to Mexico in September 2016 is “condescending”, “insulting”, “onerous” and “overlapping” government bodies.

REMA stated: “Certainly we did not expect a strong and categorical report that was in line with the very serious human rights violations that we have suffered in Mexico for several years, but we were surprised by such a level of diplomatic and condescending delicacy, overlooking repression and forgetting the disappeared, murdered and sick inhabitants, as well as to the ecosystems ruined by the companies and overlapped by the instances of government. In contrast, in their analysis it is practically concluded that the causes of this disaster are lack of consultation and non-alignment or, as they say, “harmonization” of laws.”

It claimed on the contrary: “Our denunciations and indications expressed the lack of respect of our right to the consent or not of their projects that seek the dispossession of our natural assets, but this does not mean that we were requesting the consultation from them as a solution, on the contrary, we emphasized that we have assumed what our constitution, the laws and international conventions and declarations say: the full exercise of our right to self-determination, therefore, we are the ones who are conducting our consultations, our assemblies, just to avoid that now, with fashion and the auspices of the guiding principles, these governments and companies violating rights, impose mechanisms and procedures as already happens in many countries, in addition to what has already been experienced in some places in our country.”

It indicated that the UN has “ceased to be a small hope for the people, while governments and companies are mocking their conclusions because they know that – even when fully applied – looting, dispossession, displacement of populations and the diversity of crimes inherent in all this will remain unpunished and legitimized because they fully complied with the recommendations of the UN Working Group.”


 For more information in Spanish:

Informe del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos acerca de su misión a México (8 de junio de 2017)

Señalan en la ONU a empresas por atropellar los derechos humanos en México (Educa, 9 de junio de 2017)


Afectados por la minería cuestionan informe de relatores de la ONU (Contralínea, 19 de junio de 2017)

Informe de la ONU es “condescendiente” y “solapa” al gobierno: Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería (Desinformémonos, 20 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Nacional/Internacional: Organizaciones civiles llaman a tomar acciones urgentes ante informe del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Derechos Humanos y Empresas (14 de junio de 2017)

Nacional: Visita oficial del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos a México (21 de septiembre de 2016)