National: MPJD denounces “treason of government” and demands advances in the cases of victims of violence

October 15, 2012

MPJD, press-conference on 9 October 2012 (@MPJD)

In a press conference on 9 October, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) assured that it has been betrayed by the federal government, given that the State has not observed the accords signed in Chapultepec in October 2011, and that above all the cases that were presented at that time have not been resolved.  It detailed that “Of the accords mentioned, Felipe Calderón has not created the memorial; he has not observed the General Law on Victims, instead creating a Special Prosecutorial Office for Attention to Victims that is governed by a limited supportive scheme, having no resources to establish a system of attention for victims.  This has meant fatal consequences for Don Nepomuceno Moreno, Eva Alarcón and Marcial Bautista, Pedro Leyva, and Don Trino, who formed part of the Dialogue Tables with the Executive and who, like Don Nepo who had presented his case to the president, were murdered or find themselves disappeared.”  They indicate moreover that “as family members of victims we clearly know that our murdered and/or disappeared sons and daughters are not the family-members of former governors, as in the case of the ex-governor who lost his son to murder, or the case of the brother of the former State Attorney General of the state of Chihuahua who was kidnapped and murdered.  If our families had these last names, then we would have the attention of Felipe Calderón or Alejandro Poire.”

On 10 October, as was announced in the press-conference, MPJD members met outside the office of the Secretary of Governance to denounce “the omission and lack of political will to resolve cases of disappearances, which like the thousands killed demand an immediate response.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo MPJD exige se cumplan acuerdos del gobierno federal y avances en los casos de víctimas de la violencia (MPJD, 9 de octubre de 2012)

Reprocha Movimiento por la paz al gobierno justicia para unos cuantos (La Jornada, 10 de octubre de 2012)

Acusa Movimiento por la Paz traición del gobierno (Milenio, 9 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Binational: Presentation of the “Caravan for Peace of the MPJD in the United States” (20 June 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)

Guerrero: Challenges to the Secretary of Governance during his visit to Ayutla de los Libres

September 19, 2012

On 11 September 2012, Alejandro Poiré, Secretary of Governance, visited Ayutla de Los Libres to set the founding stone of the Center for Attention to Women and to preside over the signing of a Plan of Action and Commitment for the Development of the Me’Phaa and Mixteca Zone, which is slated to be supported by 30 million pesos for different programs.  In this way, members of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights and the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) noted before Poiré and the state government the failure of the observance of the sentence handed down by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) regarding the case of Inés Fernández Ortega, an indigenous woman raped by soldiers in 2012.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Reclamos a Poiré en Ayutla de los Libres (La Jornada, 12 de septiembre de 2012)

Conferencia de prensa que ofrecieron el Secretario de Gobernación, Alejandro Poiré, y el Gobernador del Estado de Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre(Secretaria de gobernación, 11 de septiembre de 2011)

Guerrero: Human-rights organizations call on Secretary of Governance to observe sentences of the Inter-American Court

July 20, 2012

Inés Fernández Ortega during the State’s recognition of responsibility, 6 March.  Photo @SIPAZ

On 16 July, national and international human-rights organizations sent a letter to Alejandro Poiré, head of the Secretary of Governance (Segob), in which they point out that two years have passed since the Inter-American Court on Human Rights handed down sentences in favor of the indigenous women Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, who were raped by soldiers in 2002.  They also note that to date grave omissions can be seen as regards the State’s observance of these sentences, mentioning that “more than 10 years after the events, the evidence has not even been presented before a judicial authority.”  The letter emphasizes furthermore that “the Secretary that you lead has a last opportunity to leave behind a respectable legacy in terms of human rights by means of the full observance of the sentences of the Court.”  They also refer to the fact that Poiré is personally familiar with the situation, given that several worktables have been held in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, to observe the sentence in favor of Inés Fernández Ortega, and that on 17 July there will be held a new meeting with federal and state authorities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Carta completa (16 de julio)

Instan ONG a SG a cumplir una sentencia de la CIDH (La Jornada, 17 de julio)

Carta completa en página web de Tlachinollan

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Act of recognition of responsibility on part of Mexican State in case of Inés Fernández Ortega (6 March 2012)

Guerrero – Briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in the case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO informs US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under Mérida Initiative (26 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO demands that Calderón observe sentence in case of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández (28 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina (4 February 2011)

National: “March for National Dignity, mothers seeking out their children and justice”

May 18, 2012

(@Centro ProDH)

After visiting various cities in the country, on 10 May some 150 mothers of victims of forced disappearance in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and other countries marched in the Mexican capital to demand that the Mexican State find their relatives.  It should be remembered that during Calderón’s six-year term, at least 50,000 people have been killed and more than 25,000 disappeared.  Members of civil society and those in solidarity also participated in the march, as well as representatives of civil organizations.

This event coincided with Mother’s Day in Mexico, in light of the fact that the members of the march noted the following in a communiqué: “What can a mother celebrate in light of the disappearance of a child?  Certainly, there can be no celebration at all–instead sadness, anger, anguish, and despair.  The uncertainty we suffer is terrible and degrading.”

On 11 May they met with Federal Attorney General, Marisela Morales, from whom they demanded new protocols and better mechanisms to seek out their disappeared.  The PGR committed itself to intervening in the investigation and resolution of the cases.  In exchange, they did not succeed in obtaining an audience Alejandro Poiré, Secretary for Governance.

From the beginning of the march, on 8 May, they affirmed that “We want to yell from the four cardinal points that fear DOES NOT PARALYZE US, that on the contrary it is that which drives us to continue seeking our children.  We are sick of false promises, lack of action by the government, negative experiences in finding them.  We demand until exhaustion that the authorities find them, investigate their disappeared, and give the location of our loved ones.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgen madres de desaparecidos apoyo de a la PGR (El Universal, 11 de mayo de 2012)

La PGR colaborará con las madres de la Marcha por la Dignidad Nacional(CNN México, 11 de mayo de 2012)

Madres, en su día, imploran por sus hijos desaparecidos (El Universal, 10 de mayo de 2012)

Exigen madres buscar a hijos desaparecidos (Milenio, ‎10 de mayo 2012‎)

Madres de desaparecidos marchan en Reforma (El Universal, 10 de mayo de 2012)

Se solidariza AI con madres de desaparecidos (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Report of the UN Work Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances (24 March 2012)

Mexico: the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained ends (9 June 2011)

Mexico: National Day against Forgetting and Impunity by the FNLS (8 June 2011)

Guerrero: Act of recognition on part of Mexican government in case of Inés Fernández Ortega

March 12, 2012

Act of recognition on part of Mexican government in case of Inés Fernández Ortega (@SIPAZ)

On 6 March, in the name of the Mexican State, Alejandro Poiré, Secretary of Governance, together with Marisela Morales, Federal Attorney General, both pled forgiveness to Inés Fernández Ortega, a Tlapan indigenous woman who was raped by soldiers in 2002.  This act was held in observance of a sentence dictated by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in 2010 against the Mexican State that demands the reparation of damage done to Inés Fernández and her family, punishment for the responsible soldiers, and the investigation of the acts on the part of civil authorities.  The act of recognition was held in Ayutla de Los Libres, Guerrero, where Inés is from, in the presence of hundreds of persons, mostly indigenous individuals from nearby communities.  Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero was also present, and he joined the public apologies on the part of the authorities in the case.

In her intervention, Inés Fernández denounced that harassment continues against her on the part of soldiers dressed in civilian clothes.  She said that she seeks justice in international institutions, because she did not have faith in the promises and apologies of the functionaries of the federal government.  She affirmed that in spite of the sentence of the IACHR the situation of violence and discrimination against indigenous peoples continues.  She noted: “Listen to me all, men, women, and children: the government, though it may tell it is on your side, will never do so.  Don’t trust it.”  She expressed as well that more than a hundred members of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM) to which she pertains have precautionary measures dictated by the Inter-American Commission, but she noted that the Mexican State has not observed these and that, even worse, one of their beneficiaries, Maximino García Catarino, has been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.  For her part, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, from OPIM, who translated Ines during the process, spoke of the historical context of popular struggle and repression in the region of the the Costa Chico.  She said, “This public apology to Inés is a victory of the organized peoples.”

Amnesty International released a communiqué in which it “energetically calls on the Mexican authorities to observe all the elements of the sentence, whcih includes an impartial and exhaustive investigation for civil justice as well as the carrying out of necessary reforms to assure that all human-rights abuses against civilians on the part of members of the armed forces be investigated and processed by civil rather than military courts […].  The military tribunal in its current form is an obstacle for truth, justice, and reparations to those who have been victimized by abuses committed by members of the armed forces.”

Para más información:

México debe garantizar verdad y justicia a las víctimas de abusos militares (Amnistía Internacional, 6 de marzo de 2012)

Militares violan a indígena; 10 años después, el gobierno pide perdón(Proceso, 6 de marzo de 2012)

El secretario de Gobernación pide perdón a Inés Hernández (La Jornada, 6 de marzo de 2012)

El Estado ofrece disculpa light a tlapaneca víctima de abuso militar (La Jornada, 7 de marzo de 2012)

Estado admite responsabilidad por violación a indígena (El Universal, 6 de marzo de 2012)

La obligación del Estado de pedir perdón a las víctimas (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 5 de marzo de 2012)


Guerrero – Briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo

December 21, 2011

Valentina Rosendo durante el acto oficial de reconocimiento @ quoruminformativo

Valentina Rosendo during the act of recognition @ quoruminformativo

A year and four months late, Alejandro Poiré, secretary of Governance, offered a public apology in the name of the Mexican State to the Guerrero indigenous woman Valentina Rosendo Cantú, in an act of recognition of its international responsibility in the violation of her humans rights and lack of adequate attention in observing the points outlined in a sentence of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR).  The act was held in Mexico City in the presence of social and human-rights organizations.

Poiré assured that despite the near-decade of struggle, total observance of the sentence should be had, given that the acts suffered by Valentina were “so lamentable and so terrible [… that] they should never be repeated with any other person in any other part of the country.”

Without referring to which types of public servants it was who violated Valentina’s rights, Poiré indicated that the “deviations” of public officials who violate human rights “should be investigated, punished, and compensated entirely by the Mexican State.”  He added that the acts which occurred in 2002 and the impunity of the case is not a generalized affair in the Calderón government: “It is evident that those isolated cases in no way represent the policy of the Mexican State, which is oriented always to the promotion, respect, protection, and guarantee of human rights.”

Valentina Rosendo related her nearly ten years of suffering not only due to the sexual violence of the soldiers but also because of the consequences that followed from her denunciation of members of the armed forces, such as her having to flee from her land and live in the face of constant threat of death: “I continue struggling as a woman and [my husband] has never valued that.  He left cowardly, but I continue with my face high, I brought up my daughter, and here I am proud of myself, of being who I am.”  Valentina shared that she thought her violation should help other besieged women defend themselves and denounce their attackers

To conclude, Poiré directed himself to the victim: “Esteemed Valentina, example Valentina: Nearly a decade ago the State did not protect you or procure you justice; today the Mexican State recognizes its responsibility and acts in consequence; this public act is a reflection of this conviction, and, knowing that your suffering is irreparable, we desire that for you and the little Yenis and all your relatives this symbolic act translate into a minimal restitution of justice, and that it serves for the reconstruction of your project of life.  Once again, apologies.”

Before leaving the hall, Valentina warned that her struggle has not ended.  “It continues because those responsible are still out there; they still are where they should not be.  But we have advanced a bit and there is hope.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alejandro Poiré Romero, Secretario de Gobernación, durante el acto de Reconocimiento de Responsabilidad del Estado Mexicano, Caso Valentina Rosendo Cantú (Presidencia de la República, 15 December 2011)

“Tienen que reconocer que dije la verdad” (El Universal, 14 December 2011)

Caso Valentina Rosendo: Estado reconoce responsablidad (El Universal, 15 December 2011)

Reconoce Estado mexicano responsabilidad pública en caso Rosendo Cantú (La Jornada, 15 December 2011)

Con un “usted disculpe”, el Estado admite responsabilidad ante Valentina Rosendo (La Jornada de Guerrero, 15 December 2011)

Pide Gobernación perdón a Valentina (Milenio, 16 December 2011)

Acto de Reconocimiento Público. Caso Valentina Rosendo Cantú (15 December 2011)

“Usted disculpe”, dice gobierno a indígena violada por militares hace nueve años (Proceso, 15 December 2011)

El secretario de Gobierno, Humberto Salgado, refrendó el compromiso de la administración de Ángel Aguirre de respetar los derechos humanos y la democracia (Gobierno del estado de Guerrero, 15 December 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – briefs: NGO informs US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under Mérida Initiative (26 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO demands that Calderón observe sentence in case of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández (28 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina (4 February 2011)