Chiapas: Change of General Secretary for Governance

April 24, 2015

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda y Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

On April 16, Chiapas´ state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, announced the resignation of his General Secretary for Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, who is to be replaced by the PRI official Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda. Ramírez Aguilar, a former mayor of Comitán, will return to the House of Deputies.  In July 2013, he solicited the license for the position that he just left.

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda was a founding member of the Federal Congress’s Commission for Concordance and Pacification, which participated in dialogues with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).  He held the position of federal representative in the time-period during which he was coordinating the PRI Chiapas group and oversaw the Southern Border Commission.  Before taking up his new charge, he was head of the Secretary for Planning, Public Management, and Government Program.

No explanation was given as to the change in the cabinet, though rumors point to differences between the Mexican Green Ecologist Party (PVEM, to which the governor belongs) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), in a government that has been in alliance between these two parties.  Rumors indicate that the resignation of Ramírez Aguilar took place following a meeting between the state potentate and the federal Secretary for Governance (SEGOB), Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong. Other sources stress the presumed connections between the state official with a “paramilitary organized crime group” as a possible motive.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: nuevo secretario de Gobierno; el anterior, señalado por nexos con paramilitares (Aristegui Noticias, 18 abril de 2015)

Nombran nuevo secretario general en Chiapas (El Universal, 17 de abril de 2015)

Gobernador de Chiapas va a la Segob y luego cambia a su secretario de Gobierno (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2015)

La Secretaría General de Gobierno, la rifa del tigre (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de abril de 2015)


Chiapas: legal motion denied to the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón

April 24, 2015

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

Ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, who struggle against the imposition of tourist megaprojects on their land, have been denied the legal motion they had presented to the courts in March 2011.  After three cancellations, an attempt to transfer the case to the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation, and despite the the detection of violations of due process, a federal tribunal denied the motion 274/2011.  In a communique released on 10 April, the anniversary of the murder of Emiliano Zapata, the ejidatarios reported their knowledge of the refusal of the motion, reaffirmed their commitment to the struggle against the State, and denounced that official authorities are meeting with party-members from the region, seeking to develop strategies to crush their own autonomous process.

This struggle over the management of lands surrounding the Agua Azul waterfalls has resulted in three violent displacement operations, two murdered communal leaders (Juan Vázquez Guzmán, killed on 24 April 2013, and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, killed on 21 March 2014), and several political prisoners.  Recently, the ejidatarios also had their regional headquarters burned down, in an operation that involved 600 police, who threatened two autonomous journalists and took their equipment.

In the latest communique, released on 11 April, the ejidatarios make an invitation to the commemoration of the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.  On 24 April, the second anniversary of his, a mass will be held in the family home of Juan Vázquez Guzmán at 3pm.

As a means of popular pressure, a petition has been launched on www.change.org, and the Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights seeks signatures for its communique in support of the ejidatarios.  Those interested can email adorsetchiapassolidarity@aol.co.uk.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona. Chiapas. México. (Blog Viva Bachajón, 11 de abril de 2015)

Piden solidaridad para habitantes de San Sebastián Bachajón (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists attacked (10 April 2015)

Chiapas: new national and international brigade in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón (1 March 2015)

Chiapas: Tensions maintained in San Sebastián Bachajón(10 February 2015)

Chiapas: first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth to San Sebastían Bachajón after the violent displacement of 9 January (29 January 2015)

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (21 January 2015)


Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest

April 23, 2015

Padre Marcelo Pérez, parroco de Simojovej (@SIPAZ)

Padre Marcelo Pérez, priest from Simojovel (@SIPAZ)

In an Urgent Action published on 2 April, the Observatory for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders, comprised in part by the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH), called on the Mexican State to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez, priest from the Simojovel municipality, who “has received constant death-threats, attacks, and harassment which threaten his life.”  Similarly, it requested security guarantees for the others members of the Parish Council and the Believing People who live here, as they also “have received death-threats.”

For this reason, the Observatory has called on the Mexican State to “carry out an immediate investigation that is independent, exhaustive, effective, and impartial regarding the threats and acts of intimidation, toward the end that those responsible are taken to a competent, independent, just, and impartial tribunal, and that the appropriate penal, civil, and/or administrative sanctions stipulated in the law.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgen a proteger a párroco chiapaneco amenazado (La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2015)

Urgen al gobierno garantías para párroco de Simojovel por amenazas(Proceso, 6 de abril de 2015)

Acción Urgente completa: México: Amenazas de muerte, hostigamiento, seguimiento y vigilancia en contra del Sr.Marcelo Pérez Pérez (OMCT, FIDH, 2 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)


Chiapas: Pilgrimage of the Believing People ends in Tuxtla Gutiérrez after a four-day journey

April 23, 2015

Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente, en el camino (@SIPAZ)

Pilgrimage of the Believing People (@SIPAZ)

On 26 March, the pilgrimage held by the Believing People ended, having begun in Simojovel four days prior.  Its close came after 120 kilometers were covered by foot and the pilgrimage arrived in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.  This peaceful action was born through a series of demands that include the closure of bars, an end to murders, and the abolition of prostitution, drug-trafficking, and narco-politicians.  For two years, these demands have led to a series of pilgrimages and actions carried out in Simojovel to denounce the situation of insecurity in which the municipality finds itself.  The federal and Chiapas state governments have been absent while the death-threats have worsened against the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Peréz Peréz, and the rest of the clerical staff.

Before the march arrived in Tuxtla, the Secretary of Governance Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar publicly expressed that the Chiapas state government was disposed to set up a negotiation table with the Believing People, to “specify and evaluate a just response to their demands.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuestra lucha es pacífica: Pueblo Creyente de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 27 de marzo de 2015)

Miles de indígenas marchan en Chiapas para exigir alto a la corrupción y la narcopolítica (Sin Embargo, 27 de marzo de 2015)

4 días de peregrinación para exigir justicia y seguridad en los Altos de Chiapas (Animal Político, 27 de marzo de 2015)

Gobierno del estado invita al pueblo creyente de Simojovel al diálogo (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 26 de marzo de 2015)

Peregrinación arriba hoy a capital de Chiapas para exigir acciones contra la delincuencia organizada (Chiapas Paralelo, 26 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chipas: Beginning of grand pilgrimage of the Believing People from Simojovel (24 de marzo de 2015)

Chiapas: Believing People from Simojovel announce pilgrimage to Tuxtla to demand peace and justice (22 March 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November de 2014)


Oaxaca: Second Day for the People, Water, Life, and Land

April 23, 2015

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In observance of the Second Day for the People, Water, Life, and Land on 10 April, there was held a Meeting of Experiences for Consultation amidst Infrastructural and Developmentalist Projects in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez.  Representatives from indigenous and campesino peoples and members and organizations of civil society hailing from the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Chiapas, Tabasco, Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Veracruz, and Distrito Federal met “to discuss and analyze the exercise of our right to decide about legislative and administrative measures as well as ‘developmental’ projects which affect our lands and territories, putting at risk our ways of life.”

At this meeting, the organizations and social processes defending land and territory shared their experiences, including the use of “closed season” for the use of water in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca; the El Zapotillo dam in Jalisco; the wind-energy projects in the Tehuantepec Isthmus; the Las Cruces (Nayarit) and Paso de la Reyna (Oaxaca) dam projects and the “Independence Aqueduct” in Sonora; the hydroelectric dams in Puebla and Veracruz; and the Plan for Territorial Exploitation on the Usumacinta River in Chiapas and Tabasco. As a central question, the great difficulty of implementing consultative processes vis-a-vis megaprojects was debated, given that “the Mexican State is promoting a series of consultations that do not respect international standards, but rather lead to a climate of harassment against communal defenders who oppose these projects,” as participants expressed in a final document.  They added that the “information we receive is only partial and distorted; it does not allow us to have a clear understanding of what the impacts are of said projects.  Furthermore, the process that continues is rigged, as there is no guarantee of impartiality.  The result is a number of simulated consultations.  In this way, we denounce the interference of power-groups and armed bands that are allied to the firms within this consultative process.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del Encuentro de Experiencias de Consulta ante Proyectos de Infraestructura y Desarrollo (Educa, 10 de abril de 2015)


Oaxaca/National: authorities attempt to repress “Migrant Way of the Cross”

April 23, 2015

Ciudad Ixtepec (@SIPAZ archivo)

Ciudad Ixtepec (@SIPAZ archive)

The “Migrant Way of the Cross,” comprised of about 400 Central American migrants and activists, began on 24 March in Chiapas and arrived a week later in Oaxaca.  After spending five days at the Migrants’ Home in Ciudad Ixtepec, it planned to leave on 9 April toward Mexico City.  The plan there was to meet with human-rights organizations and a group of senators toward the end of denouncing the human-rights violations that undocumented migrants, principally Central American in origin, face while traversing the country en route to the United States.

However, the migrants were not allowed to leave Ciudad Ixtepec, as units from the federal police and the National Institute on Migration (INM) erected three checkpoints in the zone and threatened the bus operators, warning that they would arrested for human trafficking.  For this reason, the operators refused to transport the migrants.

The priest Alejandro Solalinde denounced these actions as a “boycott” and a demonstration of what migrants suffer.  A dialogue table was then agreed to that would include Ardelio Vargas Fosado, head of the INM, to negotiate the transit of the 400 migrants to Mexico City.  Nonetheless, to date no agreement has been come to, and the risk continues that the members of the caravan will be deported.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fracasan negociaciones para continuar Viacrucis del Migrante (La Jornada, 11 de abril de 2015)

Viacrucis del Migrante parte de Oaxaca rumbo al DF (El Universal, 9 de abril de 2015)

El Viacrucis del Migrante avanza rumbo al DF (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

Impiden salida del Viacrucis del Migrante encabezado por Solalinde (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

INM boicotea vía crucis migrante, denuncia Solalinde (SDP Noticias, 9 de abril de 2015)

Sale Viacrucis del Migrante hacia el DF pese a operativos del INM (Agencia Quadratin, 9 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco: Founding of the Collective of Defenders of Migrants and Refugees (23 April 2015)

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of INM agents, says La 72 (22 March 2015)

Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Fray Tomás González(13 November 2014)

Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)


Chiapas: Presentation of “Infancy Counts 2014″ report in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 23, 2015


melel
On 7 April, one of the events organized by the Network for the Freedom of Expression was held in observance of the presentation of the 2014 World Press Photo exhibition in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  On this occasion, civil organizations that work with children and adolescents spoke about the “Infancy Counts in Mexico 2014″ report.  Emphasis was placed on the new Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents that was approved in December 2014 at the federal level and will be implemented in Chiapas before 6 June.  The objective of the event was to generate reflections that would allow for the optimization of the institution of the new law in the state, with special attention placed on the importance of the participation of civil society (organizations and those directly interested, that is to say, children and adolescents themselves).

(@Melel Xojobal)

(@Melel Xojobal)

The different talks included diagnostics regarding the situation faced by this population that continue to be critical: Chiapas still occupies one of the last places in terms of the observance of children’s rights, particularly in terms of those children and adolescents who find themselves in conditions of greatest vulnerability, such as the indigenous, migrants, and those with disabilities.  On the panel spoke Jennifer Haza (Melel Xojobal), Cinthia Velasco (a Tseltal youth worker and student), Juan Martín Pérez (from the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico, REDIM), Katia Lozaga (UNICEF), the governmental representative Ana Valdiviezo, and Nikté Nandayapa (Save the Children).

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de las organizaciones participantes (7 de abril de 2015)

La importancia del Informe “La Infancia cuenta 2014”, en la construcción de la nueva Ley de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes en el estado de Chiapas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 8 de abril de 2015)

Sociedad Civil, contrapeso para nueva Ley de Derechos de niñas, niños y adolescentes de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 10 de abril de 2015)

Proponen sumar a ONG en elaboración de ley de niños en Chiapas (Diario Contrapoder, 9 de abril de 2015)

Buscan reformar Ley del Derecho de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes en Chiapas(sie7e de Chiapas, 8 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Entry into law of bill on the rights of children and adolescents (29 December 2014)

Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents (1 October 2014)

National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day (16 May 2014)

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


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