SIPAZ: Documenting 20 years of peacebuilding in Mexico

June 23, 2015


SIPAZ is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

Support our crowdfunding campaign

SIPAZ was founded in 1995 as an international team of volunteers to reconstruct peace in the communities in the mountains of Chiapas. Today, we want to share the fruits of our work through a documentary film that showcases our experiences of 20 years of active non-violence in the south of Mexico. The women and men who appear in the film are indigenous campesinos from the southern states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero who share their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the difficulties they face as peacemakers in their rural communities. The film will be showcased during a day of celebrations in November.

Click here to learn more about the makings of the film and get enthusiastic to support us financially!

You can also contribute your donation:

– Through Indiegogo by creditcard (Visa/Mastercard)
– Through Paypal:
– Or by sending a cheque (mentioning “crowdfunding campaign”) to:
P.O. BOX 20067

Guerrero/National: Transfer of Nestora Salgado to a Mexico City prison

June 10, 2015

(@La Opinión)

(@La Opinión)

After 17 months of solitary confinement in the federal prison of Tepic, Nayarit, Nestora Salgado was transferred on 29 May to the Femenil Center for Social Readaptation “Tepepan” in Mexico City.

The coordinator of the Communal Police (PC) of Olinalá was arrested on 21 August 2013, accused of kidnapping. After numerous attempts to have her released, on 5 May she undertook a hunger strike and refused to consume liquids for 5 days.

From the Medical Tower of the prison, where Nestora is attempting to recover her physical and menatl health, she declared in an interview with La Jornada: “I do not request amnesty. Everyone knows I am a political prisoner, that I was subjected to an arbitrary arrest. They know that they have violated all my rights, individual and constitutional.”

They wanted to end my life—to make me go crazy. But they failed. I was all those months imprisoned without combing my hair. I didn’t even have the right to a hairbrush or toothbrush.” From this, she demands her release and that of her two comrades from the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC), who have also undertaken hunger strikes, together with a comrade from the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP).

For more information (in Spanish):

Yo no pido amnistía, todo mundo sabe que soy una presa política (La Jornada, 1 de junio de 2015)

Nestora Salgado, en “delicado estado de salud” (Proceso, 1 de junio de 2015)

Trasladan a Nestora Salgado a la ciudad de México (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Activista Nestora Salgado inicia huelga de hambre (Cimac Noticias, 8 de mayo de 2015)

Vuelve a tomar líquidos Nestora Salgado; cumple 26 días en huelga de hambre (El Sur, 31 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Still on hunger strike, Nestora Salgado continues to hope for transfer as her health declines (9 June 2015)

Guerrero: political prisoner Nestora Salgado, coordinator of the Communal Police of Olinalá, begins hunger strike (16 May 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR calls on Mexican government to guarantee medical attention to Nestora Salgado (8 February 2015)

Guerrero: CRAC and residents of Papaxtla denounce violent searches and seizures

June 10, 2015



Residents of Papaxtla, Chilapa municipality, Guerrero, and members of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC) have denounced the violent harassment of seven homes in the community. According to La Plaza, on 27 May, some 50 police from the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the Federal Police (PF) arrived in unmarked vehicles, masked and carrying heavy weapons, and proceeded to break the security line at the principal access-point of the community, entering violently into homes. Though they lacked search warrants, they seized arms and the electoral card of commissioner Pablo Narciso Rosario. According to El Sur, the material they confiscated in the home of the CRAC coordinator, Genaro Francisco, included a .22 caliber rifle, a .20-odd rifle, a .22 pistol, and a 9mm pistol, in addition to ammunition, and three radios. They also mentioned the presence of a helicopter flying over the zone at low elevation.

Bernardino Sánchez Luna, coordinator of the Communal Police of Rincón de Chautla, has requested that the state government return the arms to the organization, as they had been acquired by the people to protect themselves and the territory. In this way, he distanced the CRAC from participation in the occupation of Chilapa city on 9 to 14 May, as perpetrated by an armed group.

The day after the violent searches, another convoy of State forces, ministerial police, and military arrived to Papaxtla, supposedly after having received reports of armed men in the community. Communal police and residents of the community explained their possession of arms as having to do with their membership in the CRAC. Thereafter, the Army and police withdrew.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia la Crac de Chilapa allanamiento militar y policiaco en Papaxtla (La Plaza, 28 de mayo de 2015)

Irrumpen policías embozados en siete casas y amenazan a vecinos en Papaxtla, Chilapa (El Sur, 29 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: Emergence of Committee of Women for the Liberty of Nestora Salgado (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on(29 August 2014)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC en Olinalá (13 September 2013)

Guerrero/National: Nestora Salgado suspends her hunger strike

June 10, 2015

Nestora Salgado  (@revoluciontrespuntocero)

Nestora Salgado

After completing 31 days of a hunger strike (the final five without consuming liquids), the coordinator of the Communal Police of Olinalá, Guerrero, Nestora Salgado García, suspended this form of protest after the Guerrero state government committed himself to promoting her release and the transfer of two other communal police officers who are imprisoned in a federal prison.

She has called on Gonzalo Molina Gonzalez, a promoter from the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC), one of these two prisoners, who has been held for more than a year and 7 months, to suspend his hunger strike which he had undertaken in solidarity with her on 14 May for health reasons.

For more information (in Spanish):

Cesa Nestora Salgado su ayuno tras 31 días; lo retomará si el gobierno no cumple los acuerdos, advierte (El Sur, 5 de junio de 2015)

Nestora Salgado levantó la huelga de hambre que sostenía desde hace 31 días (Desinformémonos, 5 de junio de 2015)

Nestora Salgado levanta su ayuno tras aceptarse parte de sus peticiones (La Jornada, 5 de mayo de 2015)

Piden sus familiares a Nestora que termine su ayuno; cumple 30 días y Gonzalo Molina 20 (El Sur, 4 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (In English):

Guerrero: political prisoner Nestora Salgado, coordinator of the Communal Police of Olinalá, begins hunger strike (16 May 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR calls on Mexican government to guarantee medical attention to Nestora Salgado (8 February 2015)

Mexico: Denunciations of new attacks against indigenous community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán

June 10, 2015

(@Koman Ilel)

(@Koman Ilel)

On 26 May, the Commission for the Defense of the Common Lands of Santa María Ostula, Aquila municipality, Michoacán, denounced that the day prior, it had suffered a new attack at the hands of the Knights Templar Cartel. It expressed that this represents “not only an alarm in terms of security, but also in terms of the very existence of our communal organization and ability to continue as a people.”

It warned that “newly, the Knights Templar Cartel is seeking to destroy our communal organization, for this attack coincides with the new actions taken by the community, beginning on 23 May, when a new agrarian order was consolidated in the recovered lands of Xayakalan.”

It should be noted that, though the Santa María Ostula community has organized itself to exercise its own forms of justice and self-defense, it has experienced harassment and attacks since 2009, when communards recovered approximately 1,300 hectares. It has also seen the consequences of mass-deforestation due to the operations of transnational corporations during 2012-2013.

The commission demanded respect for its communal police and the life and integrity of the general commander and coordinator of the self-defense units of the coastal and mountainous regions of Michoacán, Cemeí Verdía, as well as punishment of those responsible for the attacks on the community, and “respect for autonomy and lands belonging from time immemorial to the indigenous community of Santa María Ostula.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la comisión para la Defensa de los Bienes Comunales de Santa María Ostula (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 26 de mayo de 2015)

Reporta policía comunitaria enfrentamientos en Michoacán (El Universal, 26 de mayo de 2015)

Boletín 3 sobre los hechos en Santa María Ostula, Michoacán (Radio Zapatista, 30 de mayo de 2015)

Oaxaca: Omar Esparza denounces group contracted to murder him; threats against lawyers in the case of Bety and Jyri

June 10, 2015

Foto @ Aristegui Noticias

Photo @ Aristegui Noticias

Omar Esparza Zárate, widower of Bety Cariño, a human-rights defender who died alongside Jyri Jaakkola for participating in a humanitarian-aid caravan to San Juan Copala in 2010, denounced the existence of an armed group that seeks to kill him, being contracted by Antonio Cruz (alias “Toño Bird), the leader of the Movement for Triqui Struggle and Unification (MULT), which is allied with the Union for Social Welfare in the Triqui Region (UBISORT). Omar Esparza holds the federal and state governments responsible for whatever attack he or his family would suffer, due to their failures to arrest all those responsible for the murders of Bety y Jyri. In an interview with Revolución Tres Punto Cero, Esparza indicated that “someone heard the conversation and told us to take the necessary security measures. It is not just a death-threat. There exists an armed group that has been hired to kill me.”

Beyond this, David Peña, lawyer from the National Association of Democratic Laywers (ANAD), declared in an interview with Aristegui CNN that the case is pending. Though three have been incarcerated, 10 arrest-orders are still open. He indicated that the “government of Finland (where Jyri Jaakkola had held citizenship) has been present and attentive to the process from the beginning. We have been accompanied by the Finnish Embassy, other embassies from the European Union, and the European Parliament itself held a special audience within the subcommittee on human rights.” He added that “this case was discussed by the Finnish president with Peña Nieto, who reiterated the Mexican State’s commitment to resolving the case. He has made this claim on three or four separate occasions. The problem is that the commitment Peña Nieto supposedy has is not translated into concrete actions.” Regardless, David Peña added that “there has been a near-total absence of the judiciary: no protection for witnesses, or investigation of those responsible. No resources for the arrest of the murderers, nor even now to guarantee the security of those who of us who are promoting the process, who in recent weeks have received death-threats and warnings to abandon the case.”

The lawyer explained the history of the Triqui region, wherein a group was created “by PRI governments with their finances. These groups have been publicly recognized, even by the Federal Attorney General’s Office, as a paramilitary group.” This group “attacked the caravan. We performed a process of documentation and investigation and succeeded in identifying who it was who attacked the caravan. Then the arrest-orders are released, but only three have been implemented, with 10 more pending. We are in an initial process of the trial against these three people, but the problem is that these put us at risk. Though we have 3 people incarcerated, 10 others are free, including two of the principal leaders. They have economic and military power, and with this protection or permissibility toward them on the part of politicians, they continue operating.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: Preocupación por la seguridad de Omar Esparza, Viudo de Bety Cariño (Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, 3 de junio de 2015)

Ausencia de la Federación en el caso del asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola: David Peña en CNN (Aristegui Noticias, 1 de junio de 2015)

Entrevista de Aristegui Noticias (29 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: 5 years since the murder of human rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (28 April 2015)

Oaxaca: Two female witnesses threatened in the murder case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (March 1, 2015)

Oaxaca: 4 years and 7 months later, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola is apprehended (February 8, 2015)

Chiapas: San Sebastián Bachajón ejido denounces a death and peaceful marches against the “looting of territory”

June 10, 2015


Logo from the Viva Bachajón blog

Members of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, Chilón municipality, reported that on 20 May Delmar Feliciano Méndez, 17 years of age and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, died by drowning when two municipal police patrols pursued him until he fell into the river. The ejidatari@s in resistance demadned justice for the death of Delmar Feliciano and expressed that his struggle for the defense of the land and territory will not stop.

Similarly, they published a note announcing that on 29 and 30 May, they would mobilize themselves peacefully to protest “the plundering of our territory and the murders committed by the bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto and Manuel Velasco Coello,” given that “they care nothing about murdering and forcibly disappearing students like our comrades from Ayotzinapa, the teacher comrade Galeano, Juan Vázquez Guzmán, and Juan Carlos Gomez Silvano. Their idea is to sow terror in the communities to continue doing their Narco-State big business,” they added. In addition, they demand “the liberation of our prisoners in Yajalón, JUAN ANTONIO GOMEZ SILVANO, MARIO AGUILAR SILVANO and ROBERTO GOMEZ HERNANDEZ; prisoners in Playas de Catazajá, SANTIAGO MORENO PEREZ and EMILIO JIMENEZ GOMEZ; and our prisoner in Amate, ESTEBAN GOMEZ JIMENEZ.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Bachajón denuncia la muerte de uno de sus integrantes por culpa del hostigamiento policíaco (Pozol Colectivo, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Bachajón se moviliza contra el despojo, asesinatos y por sus presos políticos (Centro de Medios Libres, 31 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Commemoration of 2 years since the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán in San Sebastián Bachajón (28 April 2015)

Chiapas: legal motion denied to the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón(April 24, 2015)

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)


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