Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case

February 5, 2015


March for Ayotzinapa in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 14 November 2014

Photo @ SIPAZ archive

The Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has failed adequately to investigate the denunciations that have been made of the complicity of the armed forces and other authorities in the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, according to Erika Guevara Rosas, Regional Director of the Americas for Amnesty International, as she claimed in a press-conference on 22 January.  The Amnesty experts have criticized the inconsistencies in the investigations carried out by the PGR, whose head, Jesús Murillo Karam, declared on 21 January that his conclusion is that the 43 students have been killed, based on the identification of the remains of the student Alexander Mora Venancio among the evidence recovered at the waste-dump in Cocula, Guerrero.  On 22 January, relatives and friends of Alexander Mora marched through the streets of the Tecoanapa municipality to demand the presentation of the remains of the student.  José Félix Rosas Rodríguez, spokesperson of the Popular Movement of Guerrero (MPG) in Tecoanapa, said that “more than a month and a half on, they have not returned the remains of the student to his father, Ezequiel Mora Chona.”

On 20 January, Institute of Forensic Medicine at Innsbruck University announced that the scientific studies that were applied to the remains collected in Cocula–that is, which presumably belong to the disappeared students–establish that “the excessive heat has destroyed the DNA […] of the remains, such that to date, the routine methods that have been used have not produced a conclusive result.”  The Institute mentioned the possibility of using a new technology that could serve as a useful tool to continue examining the presumed remains of the disappeared students.  Without having consulted the relatives of the disappeared, the PGR requested that the Institute immediately carry out said studies.

The relatives and their counsel, Vidulfo Rosales, from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, have insisted that the investigation must include the role of the Army in the disappearances, and that the military barracks must be opened to search for evidence.  However, on 21 January, the search for the students in these barracks “has been suspended,” according to Rosales, who indicated that the agreement made with the Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, had been to “examine all the barracks, but now we are surprised that they are saying that only Iguala will be investigated.”  All the relevant police stations and jails have been investigated to date, but not Army installations.  Beyond this, “there is evidence” against the military, in light of the “defensive attitude taken by the federal government,” the lawyer added.

Four months after the disappearance of the 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, the parents of the disappeared have organized new mobilizations for 26 January at 10am, when four megamarches will be launched in Mexico City.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ayotzinapa: Amnistía Internacional acusa falta de investigación sobre la participación del ejército (Información SIDIDH, 22 de enero de 2015)

PGR falló en investigación sobre el caso Ayotzinapa: AI (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de enero de 2015)

Crece la rabia: que por lo menos investiguen al Ejército (Proceso, 18 de enero de 2015)

“Calor excesivo ha destruido el ADN” de presuntos restos de estudiantes de Ayotzinapa: Innsbruck (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de enero de 2015)

National: Peace Brigades International (PBI) publishes report, “Mexico at Peace? Security Strategy and Human Rights”

February 5, 2015


On 21 January, Peace Brigades International, a non-governmental organization with 30 years of experience in international accompaniment and a permanent presence in Mexico since 1999, published its new report, “Mexico at Peace? Security Strategy and Human Rights.”  The document is based on interviews carried out by PBI with human-rights defenders who call into question a number of aspects of the federal government’s security strategy, particularly with regard to the “considerable role still played by the Army in public-security tasks, with no clear end-date [in sight].”

The new report stresses that, despite the official discourse, “PBI has not observed a Mexico at peace during the first two years of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, but rather can speak to the continuity of the problems related to public-security policies and their worrying effects on the respect for human rights in the country.”

The report has been presented publicly at a meeting attended by members of civil organizations who shared their concerns regarding the human-rights situation in the country, as well as diplomatic representatives from the German, Dutch, Canadian, French, Swiss, Norwegian, and European Union embassies.

In its conclusions to the report, PBI manifests its worry for the present context of insecurity and calls on foreign governments and their diplomatic representatives in Mexico to base their relations with Mexico on the state of Mexican human-rights defenders.  In this way, it also called on the Mexican State to recognize the importance and legitimacy of the work carried out by rights-defenders, to assure their physical and psychological integrity, and to implement effective measures of protection, both nationally and internationally.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe completo

Boletín de PBI México destaca consecuencias de la estrategia de seguridad para la defensa de DDHH (PBI, 21 de enero de 2015)

México, sin paz a pesar del discurso oficial: PBI (Centro ProDH, 22 de enero de 2015)

Repite Peña la lucha anticrimen del calderonismo, afirma grupo PBI (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Peace Brigades International presents report on situation of human-rights defenders in Mexico (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Inauguration of the International Film Festival amidst protests

February 5, 2015


Photo @Ivett Salgado (Milenio)

On 16 January, the first installment of the International Film Festival was launched in San Cristóbal de las Casas, amidst popular protest calling on authorities to remember the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa.  When the organizers of the festival and the state governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, came on stage to inaugurate the festival, the protest-cries began: “Alive you took them, alive we want them back!”  These slogans were repeated time and again within the Ciudad Hermanos Domínguez theater, located in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  In response to the action, the secretary for tourism took the microphone in an attempt to drown out the cries and began to list the supposed advances brought by the Velasco Coello administration in a loud voice, concluding his speech with the message that at this first installment of the festival, “all voices are welcome.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Arranca el FIC de San Cristóbal en medio de protestas (Milenio, 17 de enero de 2015)

Inicia Festival Internacional de Cine de San Cristóbal de las Casas (Radio Formula, 17 de enero de 2015)

Guerrero: Delay in release for Nestora Salgado; her daughter claims to have been threatened by phone

February 5, 2015


Photo @We Demand Freedom for Nestora Salgado (Facebook)

Though the Human Rights Commission from the Chamber of Deputies and different civil non-governmental organizations have demanded the release of Nestora Salgado García, member of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC), Isabel Miranda de Wallace and Alejandro Martí, the presidents of the Halt Kidnapping and Mexico SOS organizations, came out against the call for her release.  In a press-conference, they called on President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Supreme Court to review the case and carry out due process, rather than succumb to politics.  They indicated that to release of Salgado García would be “illegal and against the state of right.”

Nestora Salgado was arrested on 21 August 2013 in Olinalá, Guerrero, where she had served as a coordinator for CRAC, by Army and police units, accused of kidnapping.  This presumed kidnapping of which she is accused was the legitimate arrest of a person accused of robbery, according to the CRAC.

Meanwhile, Saira Rodríguez, daughter of Nestora Salgado, denounced that the previous week, she once again received a threatening phone call, and though she admitted being frightened by this act of intimidation, she also noted that it is a sign that the legal process to free her mother from incarceration is progressing well.  “On 9 January, when I came to visit my mother, I received a call from an unknown number.  It was a man who told me: ‘Pray to God that your mother remains where she is, because otherwise, you and your angels will pay the consequences.’  At that moment I became scared and I hung up,” Rodríguez noted in an interview with La Jornada.  It bears noting that the government of Rogelio Ortega Martínez has presented a request for the cancellation of the charges against Nestora Salgado to Miguel Ángel Godínez Muñoz, the state prosecutor, who must now evaluate whether this is to proceed or not.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nueva demora en liberación de Nestora Salgado (La Jornada, 12 de enero de 2015)

Hija de Nestora Salgado acusa que recibió una amenaza telefónica (La Jornada, 15 de enero de 2015)

Se oponen Alejandro Martí y Miranda de Wallace a liberar a Nestora Salgado (La Jornada, 12 de eenero de 2015)

Nestora Salgado, a un paso de la libertad (Proceso, 12 de enero de 2015)

Acusan a perredistas de presionar para liberar a Nestora Salgado (Milenio, 12 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Death-threat directed against Nestora Salgado’s daughter and Communal Police commander from Olinalá (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release (2 September 2014)

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

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

Oaxaca: MORENA-affiliated Triqui leader kidnapped and executed

February 5, 2015

Foto @ Contralínea

Photo @ Contralínea

On 11 January, Julián González Domínguez, leader of the International Network of Oaxacan Indigenous Persons (RIIO) and representative of the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA) in the Triqui region, was murdered after an armed group forcibly removed him from his home in the La Brama Paraje Pérez community in the Santiago Juxtlahuaca municipality.  The RIIO state coordination expressed that Julián González, founder of the Movement for the Unification of Triqui Struggle (MULT) and MULT-Independent (MULT-I) was subsequently found in the same municipality with two gunshot wounds in the head.  It added that the leader had received death-threats owing to agrarian conflicts in the region.

It should be noted that González Domínguez was the point-man for organizing the visit of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the Tlaxiaco municipality on 24 January.  His wife had previously been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a líder triqui, impulsor de la autonomía (Contralínea, 13 de enero de 2015)

Ejecutan a líder de Morena (Noticias Net, 13 de enero de 2015)

La Mixteca, Oaxaca, asesinan dirigente de MORENA (Regeneración, 11 de enero de 2015)

Comando asesina en Oaxaca a dirigente triqui afín a Morena (Excelsior, 12 de enero de 2015)

Chiapas: first report of the Caravan of adherents to the Sixth Declaration to San Sebastian Bachajón after the violent eviction on January 9

January 29, 2015
Agua Azul Waterfalls (@SIPAZ)

Agua Azul Waterfalls (@SIPAZ)

On January 14, a First Report of the Caravan of adherents to the Sixth Declaration that visited San Sebastián Bachajón after the January 9th eviction was published. It should be recalled that on that day, at least 900 members of the State and Federal Police evicted the camp that ejidatarios had installed at the entrance of the ecotouristic park of Agua Azul waterfalls. In the Caravan, people from Colombia, France, United States and Mexico participated.

Their report describes what happened in the area since the recovery of the entrance, on December 21, when the ejidatarios occupied the “land stripped from them by the government of Juan Sabines Guerrero and Noe Castañón León in complicity the official ejido commissioner, Francisco Guzmán Jiménez, on February 2, 2011″.

It argues that after they reclaimed the land, “on December 30, between 40 and 50 people paid and organized by the official ejido commissioner, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, blocked the roads San Cristobal-Palenque and San Cristobal-Chilón in the villages of Temó and Pamalá. They demanded not only the intervention of the public forces but they also painted the events as if they were part of an intra-community conflict involving only intern politics of the Bachajón community and not the interests of the government nor the ones of tourism enterprises “.

The report also notes that after the eviction, free media confirmed the occupation of the land by security forces and documented “the presence of 10 police trucks, many of them full of policemen in the area of the recovered territories and two more trucks parked on the premises of the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection of the State of Chiapas”.

It narrates that on January 11, the ejidatarios tried to retake their land, claiming that “as a response, the state police blocked the road with trees at a distance of five hundred meters and that from a barricade they fired at the ejidatarios for twenty minutes. There were two people injured by rubber bullets”. In subsequent days, the report notes finally that there were overflights and intimidation by opposing groups.

For more information (in Spanish):

Primer Informe de la Caravana Sexta Internacional sobre su visita a San Sebastián Bachajón (14 de enero de 2014)

Crónica de un violento desalojo contra comuneros de Bachajón (Kolectivo Zero, Koman Ilel y Más de 131, 11 de enero de 2014)

Ejido Bachajón hace frente al despojo y a la destrucción del medio ambiente (Subversiones, 6 de enero de 2014)

Blog de las y los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón:

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Controversial arrest warrants in the case of the Viejo Velasco Massacre

January 29, 2015


In a bulletin issued on January 8, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (CDHFBC) reported that the new arrest warrants against those allegedly responsible for the Viejo Velasco Massacre, Ocosingo municipality, “violate the right to fair trial, including the presumption of innocence”.

It noted that in September 2014, the suspects, members of the Xi’Nich organization and support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), obtained Court Protection. However, the District Judge of Ocosingo dictated new arrest warrants, although the prosecution has not collected sufficient elements to establish the existence of the alleged crimes nor the responsibility of those indigenous persons.

The CDHFBC complained that “the investigation of the Attorney General of the State of Chiapas has been ineffective: they have accused the victims as if they were the perpetrators”, and they have been “criminalized and judicialized “. It warned that from the beginning, the investigation “of this crime against humanity” was distorted.

Giving more context to this new facts, the CDHFB recalled that “on November 13, 2006, in Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo municipality, about 40 people from Nueva Palestina, Frontera Corozal and Lacanjá Chansayab, communities of the Lacandon Community, accompanied by 300 elements of the State Police of Chiapas, five Prosecutors of the Public Ministry, two experts, the Jungle Zone Regional Commander of the State Investigation Agency (with 7 more persons) and a representative of the Ministry of Social Development, assaulted the Viejo Velasco community. They broke into the houses, stole people’s belongings, and caused the forced displacement of 36 people, the extrajudicial killing of four persons and the forced disappearance of four others. “

The day of the incident, the alleged perpetrators were in the ejido Nuevo Tila, where actually arrived the displaced persons from Viejo Velasco. The inhabitants provided them support and organized a brigade of observation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Dictan nuevas órdenes de aprehensión en el caso Viejo Velasco, Red Todos los Derechos para Todos, 7 de enero de 2015

Órdenes de aprehensión en masacre de Viejo Velasco, violatorios de los derechos humanos: Frayba, centroprodh, 8 de enero de 2015

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Palenque, eight years after the Viejo Velasco massacre; beginning of “Faces of looting” campaign

(December 6, 2014)

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (July 27, 2014)


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