Chiapas: Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice Reaches San Cristobal de Las Casas

April 10, 2016

Caravan.png

The event in Plaza de la Paz, San Cristobal de las Casas, Photo @ SIPAZ

On April 7, the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice reached Plaza de La Paz in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where it held a discussion with representatives of various civil organizations which expressed their accompaniment and solidarity. The Caravan is a broad initiative of families of victims of human rights violations, civil society organizations and social movements from different nations, which call for a “halt to the war on drugs.” On their journey, the Caravan has joined a group of some 35 people from seven countries. It left Honduras on March 28 and will arrive to New York on April 18. According to Otros Mundos, “the route reflects the commitment to raise the voice of the victims and of the heroes of the war on drugs, and it turns out they are the same. From their pain, the victims are becoming in an organized way the people who struggle for peace and justice, for an exit from the war.” On their way through Mexico, the Caravan entered through the border of Guatemala – Mexico at La Mesilla – Ciudad Cuauhtemoc on April 6. There they held an event in which they listened to the words and struggles in the region of the southern border of Mexico, “invaded by a growing militarization which worsens the human rights situation of the peoples in defense and care of the earth as well as migrants from Central America and Chiapas year after year.” The participants in the Caravan proposed a compilation of testimonies of violations of human rights committed combatting drugs with the aim of presenting it at the special session on narcotics at the General Assembly of the United Nations, to be held from April 19 – 21.

During the event in San Cristobal de Las Casas, some civil organizations, among them Otros Mundos, The Civil Society of Las Abejas of Acteal, and Mesoamerican Voices shared their words. They demanded “that justice be done for the killing of the coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH), Berta Caceres, murdered on March 3 last in Honduras.” The Colombian Alex Serra, who coordinated the passage of the Caravan through Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala reiterated that, “one of our principal demands is that justice be done because she was part of the Caravan and with her murder, we are in mourning.” In commemoration of the Honduran leader, there was a minute of applause during the event. Las Abejas de Acteal underlined that if “there is insecurity for the life of the population of Honduras, migration and pillage of our mother earth, it is not only in Honduras, there is also a wave of violence and injustice here in Chiapas and in Mexico, the youth of Ayotzinapa being a clear example.” Marco Castillo of the Popular Assembly of Migrant Families and coordinator of the Caravan in Mexico, sustained that, “it would appear that the great gain of the war is not security but the control of territory, terrorism in the population, such that it is undeniable that the security policy has failed.”

The Caravan left at noon on the same day to Oaxaca, from where it will travel to Morelos to have a meeting with Javier Sicilia, leader of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. From there it will continue its way to the seat of the United Nations Organization (UNO) in New York to demand justice and dignity.

For more information in Spanish:

Página Web de la Caravana por la Paz, la Vida y la Justicia

La Caravana por la Paz, la Vida y la Justicia, en la ruta de la violencia y la resistencia (Otros Mundos, 8 de abril de 2016)

Arriba Caravana por la Paz y la Justicia (Cuarto Poder, 8 de abril de 2016)

La caravana por la paz llegó ayer a San Cristóbal (La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2016)

Acogida a la Caravana por La Paz, la Vida y la Justicia en su entrada al país y en su paso por Chiapas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 7 de abril de 2016)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal: “La sangre de la compañera Bertha podría expandir en todas partes del mundo. “ (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Justicia para Berta Cáceres y Nelson Noé García. Protección para Gustavo Castro Soto (29 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas/Internacional: Asesinan a defensora hondureña (Berta Cáceres) en presencia de defensor mexicano (Gustavo Castro) (7 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/internacional: La CIDH expresa su preocupación ante el endurecimiento de las autoridades mexicanas hacia los migrantes y sus defensores en la frontera Sur© SIPAZ Mural de migrantes, Chiapas (17 junio de 2015)


Chiapas: Legal Protection Granted Against the San Cristobal-Palenque Highway Project

April 10, 2016

Highway.pngThe San Cristobal-Palenque super-highway has been met with massive rejection, Photo @ Espoir Chiapas

On April 3, the inhabitants of the Tsotsil communities of Los Llanos and San Jose El Porvenir in the municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas, made known in a statement that on January 18 of this year they were granted legal protection against the San Cristobal-Palenque highway project. In the sentence for legal protection 16/2014, the judge orders the cancellation of the outlines of the construction project or any other program for the highway on the stretch between the municipalities of San Cristobal-Huixtan, in particular on the lands of the communities, by the Secretariat of Communications and Transport and the Secretariat of Infrastructure of the State of Chiapas.

In the statement, the ejido demanded that, “the authorities should respect our community’s right to free consultation, previous and informed through its representatives and traditional authorities, providing information in good faith, including the possible environmental and health risks resulting from the construction of operation of the highway project.” They also underlined that their “land is not for sale, now or in the future, and we completely reject the San Cristobal-Palenque highway project because it dispossesses the indigenous communities of the most sacred thing in this life which is land.” It should be mentioned that since its beginning, many communities and those possibly affected expressed their concern about the construction of the highway, whose cost would be around ten billion pesos and would reduce the journey from San Cristobal to Palenque, two of the zones most visited by overseas and domestic tourists, from five to less than two hours

For more information in Spanish:

Dan a conocer amparo contra proyecto de autopista San Cristóbal de las Casas-Palenque (Desinformémonos, 4 de abril de 2016)

Existe amparo sobre proyecto autopista San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque (Diario de Chiapas, 4 de abril de 2016)

Se otorgó el amparo contra el proyecto de la #autopista #SanCristóbal de Las Casas-#Palenque al Ejido Los Llanos y San José El Porvenir (Koman Ilel, 3 de abril de 2016)

Opositores a carretera San Cristóbal-Palenque presentan documento en contra (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas: Nuevo comunicado de San Sebastián Bachajón (18 de febrero de 2015)

Chiapas: Nuevo encuentro en Los Llanos en contra de la carretera SCLC-Palenque (14 de octubre de 2014)

Chiapas: Movilizaciones en contra del proyecto de autopista SCLC-Palenque (18 de septiembre de 2014)

Chiapas: Los Llanos y San José El Porvenir rechazan paso de autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque por sus comunidades (10 de febrero de 2014)


Oaxaca: Morena Regional Leader Murdered

April 9, 2016

QuirozThe leader of Morena in the Coast Region, Enrique Quiroz Quiroz @ Oaxacamira

On the night of Friday, April 1, Enrique Quiroz Quiroz was murdered. He was the coordinator of the Movement for National Regeneration (Morena) party in the Coast Region of Oaxaca State and was an active militant. The killing took place after 7 pm at the entrance to San Andres de Huaxtaltepec municipality according to information from the State Public Prosecutor. Quiroz received at least four shots from unidentified [gunmen].

This murder follows that of the reporter Marcos Hernandez Bautista on January 21 last in the same municipality and potential Morena candidate for mayor. The general secretary of the Morena state committee, Sesul Bolaños, demanded from “the state and federal authorities the investigation of these events that muddy the electoral process of June 5.” Sesul Bolaños declared, “We don’t dare to say that it is a campaign against Morena, but we have to highlight that it the second crime in the same region and in the same municipality.” He considered it “alarming that there is a climate of insecurity and uncertainty on the eve of elections.”

For more information in Spanish:

Asesinan en Oaxaca a líder regional de Morena (La Jornada, 02 de abril de 2016)

Ejecutan a seis hombres en Oaxaca, uno era militante de Morena y otro del PRD (Proceso, 02 de abril de 2016)

Morena condena asesinato de Enrique Quiroz Quiroz (Vanguardia, 02 de abril de 2016)

Un policía, presunto asesino del periodista Marcos Hernández (Proceso, 25 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Allanan domicilio de regidor de Morena en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (31 de marzo de 2016)

Oaxaca: “Levantan” y ejecutan a líder triqui representante de Morena (13 de enero de 2015)


Guerrero: Threats Against Member of “The Other Disappeared”

April 9, 2016

Disappeared.pngMember of “The Other Disappeared” during the searches. Photo: @Revolución Tres Punto Cero.

Mario Vergara, member of the Search Committee of the “The Other Disappeared” (Los Otros Desaparecidos), reported an increase in threats against his person and family by organized crime. The Other Disappeared is made up of over 500 families that have a missing relative, who organize to find their disappeared loved ones. On Sundays they gather in the hills of and surroundings of Iguala, in the state of Guerrero, to locate hidden graves and bodies. “Recently we have found many bones of our disappeared relatives, we are experiencing something horrible”, Vergara declared. It should be pointed out that since its establishment until now, they have found more than 90 graves with some 140 bodies and hundreds of incomplete remains. Of these, 15 have been identified.

As the Committee pointed out, ” we don’t seek justice, nor who killed our relatives, we only want to get the body back, the bones, to give them a burial.” Despite this, they have received threats since it was founded in November 2014. “Many people have threatened us and the threats have become harder”, Vergara claimed. The activist asked for cautionary measures to protect him and his family, which were denied as “there were not sufficient grounds” to grant them according to Pueblo Guerrero. The Committee member expresses the opinion that, “delinquency is unstoppable, they continue to kidnap, disappear people, collect protection money. What the government says about implementing security programs and that violence rates have dropped are lies […] on the contrary, it is getting worse.” In February of this year, Norma Angelica Bruno, member of The Other Disappeared, was killed. It should be noted that the official figures from the National Register of Lost or Missing People indicate that there are currently more than 27 thousand missing people throughout the Republic. Moreover, it is suspected that this figure could be higher as only cases that are under investigation by the Public Prosecutor are registered. According to United Forces for Our Disappeared in Mexico (FUNDEM in its Spanish acronym), only one in every nine disappearances is reported. “Mexico is a huge mass grave”, Javier Sicilia, member of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD in its Spanish acronym) stated.

For more information in Spanish:

“El jefe te va a chingar a ti y a toda tu familia”, amenazan a familiares que buscan a sus desaparecidos en Iguala (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 5 de abril de 2016)

Los Otros Desaparecidos hallan restos humanos en fosas clandestinas en Iguala (El Financiero, 4 de abril de 2016)

Amenaza crimen organizado a “Los Otros Desaparecidos” de Iguala (Agencia Periodística de Investigación, 1 de abril de 2016)

“Los Otros Desparecidos” denuncian amenazas de crimen organizado (SDP Noticias, 1 de abril de 2016)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Asesinan en Iguala a la activista Norma Angélica Bruno (26 de febrero de 2016)

Nacional: Manifestaciones dentro y fuera del país por el primer aniversario de la desaparición forzada de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (29 de septiembre de 2015)


Oaxaca/Chiapas/National: Oxfam Presents Inequality Report

April 9, 2016

Oxfam.pngPhoto @ Oxfam

According to the international NGO Oxfam, the growing inequality crisis has become a recurring theme on international agendas due to the effects that this has on the world population. Mexico, Oaxaca and Chiapas are examples of this. On March 31, a group of researchers from the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH in its Spanish acronym), from the Isitame Collective and from Oxfam Mexico presented the report “Inequality and Social Exclusion in Chiapas, a Long Term View.” Specifically, the document seeks to “find a reason for the inequalities in Mexico that different regions of the country experience, from territorial to local constructions as well as the solutions that can be locally outlined.” The report points out that Chiapas is considered to be “the state with the highest concentration of population in conditions of poverty and extreme poverty. As a result of a historical process of high rates of population growth, recurring crises and economic stagnation, a vicious circle of poverty and inequality has been generated, which reports the highest levels in all areas of poverty and inequality in the entity.” Jorge Alberto Lopez Arevalo, one of the researchers, commented that between 1995 and 2014 almost 40 million dollars have been invested in Social Development in Chiapas, a shocking figure, but poverty has not diminished. On the contrary, it is on the increase. ” We can say that this is the failure of social policy”, he said.

Extreme Inequality and Development Tendencies. The Case of the Oaxaca State” was also presented in the report, produced in collaboration between Services for an Alternative Education (Servicios para una Educación Alternativa A.C. – EDUCA) and Oxfam Mexico in Oaxaca State on March 29. According to the report, Oaxaca not only suffers from income poverty but also lack of social rights, which prevents equal access to development opportunities for the population. According to the study carried out, “this poverty and inequality favored the growth of drug addiction and alcoholism among the inhabitants.” Although the report does not specifically address inequality among women, it reveals that some elements of social policy, such as those aimed at empowering women, in fact increase work duties for them while other programs also increase their responsibilities. It also evaluates mega-projects and points out that the refinery at Salina Cruz, for example, has not had an impact on the welfare of the population and that wind farm projects have resulted in the dispossession of lands in the region of Tehuantepec Isthmus.

Ricardo Fuentes of Oxfam Mexico said that there is a growing tendency of inequality and that it is a world phenomenon that Oxfam has been warning about since 2014, when they revealed that 85 people possess more wealth than half of the population of the world. As a result of their analysis they published the document “Extreme Inequality. Concentration of Economic and Political Power” in June 2015, in which they warned about the gap between those who have everything and those who have nothing.

For more information in Spanish:

Más de 20 años de millonaria de derrama económica y Chiapas sigue igual de pobre (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de abril de 2016)

Presentaron diagnóstico de desigualdad social (Cuarto Poder, 1 de abril de 2016)

Millones de dólares y la pobreza sigue en Chiapas: OXFAM (Areópago, 1 de abril de 2016)

Megaproyectos, desigualdad en Oaxaca: OXFAM (IstmoPress, 31 de marzo de 2016)

Oaxaca un estado de desigualdad extrema (SEM México, 30 de marzo de 2016)

Informe Desigualdad Extrema y Tendencias de Desarrollo. El Caso del Estado de Oaxaca, México (EDUCA, 29 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Nacional: Múltiples críticas a la presentación del Tercer Informe de Gobierno de Peña Nieto (8 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Foro “Defendiendo la esperanza y la autonomía desde el Sureste mexicano” (28 de junio de 2013)

México: crece pobreza en el país, en particular en zonas urbanas. Oaxaca, Chiapas y Guerrero con mayor índice de pobres. Campaña por la ratificación del PF PIDESC (9 de diciembre de 2011)


Nestora Salgado Launches Campaign to Demand Release of Political Prisoners

April 7, 2016

Nestora.pngCall to the campaign. Photo: @Regeneración

On March 18 last, Nestora Salgado, commander of the Olinala Community Police, Guerrero, member of the Regional Coordinator of Communitty Authorities (CRAC in its Spanish acronym), was released after two years and eight months in prison. On leaving prison, Nestora called on the Government of Guerrero to release the nine members of CRAC who are still prisoners and assured that she would begin a campaign “for the freedom” of her compañeros. For April 10, International Day of Political Prisoners, she called for actions within the framework of the national campaign “Put a Face and Name on the Political Prisoners in Mexico”, to give visibility to the situation of prisoners and demand their release. She stated that, “We are missing 500 political prisoners and I’m going to fight to get them out. I am going to get the release of my compañeros. I will go wherever I have to because I am with you in your struggle and in all the struggles of the people.

Nestora added that only together will the citizens be able to achieve change, justice and the freedom of their compañeros and of those in the rest of the country. She intends to travel to other countries to “exhume what has been buried and give voice to the silenced.” According to El Sur newspaper, social organizations also denounced “the grave crisis of human rights in Mexico and the criminalization of those who defend territory, education, land, water, the air and life. For this reason they have called [on people] to join Salgado’s movement and international tour. “We are aware that Mexico is suffering the most ruthless attack by the interests of foreign capital. Currently the territories of indigenous peoples are pillaged and (their inhabitants) are being displaced from their lands through the violence of paramilitary groups, by organized crime, or the territory is being militarized by soldiers and the state police” as is outlined on the call.

It is worth noting that the social leader returned to her home in Seattle, USA. In Washington she visited the International Clinic of Human Rights of the Faculty of Law of Washington University, where she started the campaign. The clinic played an important role in the struggle for the Nestora’s release. During her stay in the US, the commander from Olinala plans to visit Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington. She intends to return to Guerrero soon as she is the representative of the Community Police and due to her post in CRAC.

For more information in Spanish:

Nestora Salgado convoca a campaña “Ponle rostro y nombre a las y los presos políticos en México” (Regeneración, 30 de marzo de 2016)

Nestora y los presos políticos de la CRAC (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2016)

Lanza Nestora Salgado una campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos de México (El Sur, 28 de marzo de 2016)

Video de la campaña “Ponle rostro y nombre a las y los presos políticos en México” (YouTube, 25 de marzo de 2016)

Emprende Nestora Salgado campaña en EU por presos políticos (La Jornada, 22 de marzo de 2016)

“Nos faltan 500 presos políticos y yo voy a luchar por sacarlos”: Nestora Salgado (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Nestora Salgado en libertad (18 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/Guerrero: Exhorta ONU al gobierno mexicano a liberar a Nestora Salgado (24 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Jornada nacional e internacional por presos políticos del 6 al 13 de diciembre (15 de diciembre de 2015)

Guerrero: presos de la Policia Comunitaria “son presos políticos”, según general Gallardo (16 de julio de 2014)

Guerrero: Denuncian CRAC y habitantes de Papaxtla allanamientos violentos y decomisos (1 de junio de 2015)


Guerrero: 3,000 Members of the Council of Affected Communities of Guerrero Mountain March against Hunger and Oblivion

April 6, 2016

Oaxaca block.png

Image of the blockade of one of the entrances to Tlapa. Photo:@Tlachinollan

On March 30 last, more than 3,000 indigenous from the High Mountain zone of Guerrero marched to demand reparations for damages caused by hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel in September 2013. More than two and a half years after the damages caused by the storms, 185 communities organized under the Council of Affected Communities of Guerrero Mountain denounced the lack of attention to the commitment that the State Government gave in support of their demands for the reconstruction of their homes and of their productive base. Until today, “dozens of families are still living in the hills under tin roofs as the government still hasn’t rebuilt their homes”, Sintesis de Guerrero said. Taking the main entrances of the city of Tlapa de Comonfort they demanded “immediate attention from the State and Federal Governments and to demand that they meet their unfulfilled [agreements]according to the Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre.

According to the same source, “given of the grave crisis of production that the indigenous families are facing, the people whose economy is based on seasonal agriculture and the sale of coffee, they are on the brink of a serious situation.” In spite of that, “the State and Federal Governments have insisted on postponing basic solutions to a structural problem”, such that the Council of Affected Communities proposed the “Raining Maize in the Mountain” program. This proposes the compensation of the deficit of production of basic grains, which has forced dozens of families to migrate to work mostly as casual agricultural workers, and also that homes are built. It is worth remembering that the Guerrero Mountain region is one of the poorest in the country and that around 4,250 homes were damaged by the hurricanes. According to declarations of a member of the Council, “more than two years have passed and the primary still hasn’t been built, we are still missing 13 houses for families that had to leave the community because the town was buried.”  

As Tlachinollan indicated, the process of the Council of Affected Communities is carrying out a “struggle against discrimination, the abuse of the authorities and the selective and corrupt practices that are used in this forgotten region […] and to make the authorities promise to fulfill their commitments.” The Council asked to begin dialogue again with the State and Federal Governments to complete the building phase of homes in the “Raining Maize in the Mountain Program.

For more information in Spanish:

BOLETÍN | Mas de 3 mil Indígenas de la Montaña se movilizan contra el hambre y la discriminación (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 31 de marzo de 2016)

Exige el Consejo de Damnificados de La Montaña que se amplíen los apoyos de granos básicos (El Sur Acapulco, 31 de marzo de 2016)

Exigen familias indígenas de La Montaña al gobierno cumpla con la entrega de granos (La Jornada de Guerrero, 31 de marzo de 2016)

Cierran carreteras en Tlapa damnificados de la montaña (Síntesis de Guerrero, 31 de marzo de 2016)

For more information form SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Marcha de familias damnificadas a un año de la tormenta Manuel y el huracán Ingrid (15 de septiembre de 2014)

Guerrero: Se logra acuerdo para implementación de un programa de abastecimiento de granos básicos para los damnificados de la Montaña (22 de febrero de 2014)

Guerrero: Damnificados de la Montaña realizan “Peregrinación del Hambre” por falta de apoyo gubernamental (5 de febrero de 2014)

Guerrero: Damnificados de las tormentas migran para poder subsistir (22 de octubre de 2013)

 


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