Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission

June 29, 2015

(@ADN Sureste)

(@ADN Sureste)

On the ninth anniversary of the attempt to displace the teachers’ sit-in at the zócalo in Oaxaca de Juárez in 2006, on 14 June there was held a public session at the Oaxaca Truth Commission (CVO). 14 witnesses presented testimony, while members of the CVO, including its president Alejandro Solalinde, as well as the journalist Carmen Aristegui and the Mexican representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Javier Hernández Valencia, were also present.

The CVO is an autonomous organization that seeks to clarify the repressive historical events that took place in Oaxaca between 14 June 2006 and 30 May 2007, the time period covering the displacement of the teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) from the sit-in they had undertaken to demand better working and educational conditions. This police operation was ordered by the then governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and gave rise to the creation of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), a social movement that opposed the PRI-led government.

According to an advance copy of the CVO’s report, there were at least 500 cases of torture and 26 executions of social activists and those connected to the struggle. The public session gave voice to the testimony of women who lost their husbands, families that continue to seek out their disappeared, and political prisoners. According to Solalinde, the gravity of the acts is reflected well in the various testimonies that were presented, even if many other victims did not share their experiences out of fear. The public audience, which Javier Hernández Valencia understood as “a first step toward justice,” affirmed words such as those of Carmen Aristegui: “What should happen in the near future must incorporate the truth and memory, but above all justice, as Oaxacan society has sought out now for nearly a decade.” The CVO will put together a final report, to be presented before the judiciary in March 2016. The aim is to pressure authorities to put an end to the impunity of the acts, which represent crimes against humanity, in the view of Solalinde and his lawyer and assessor, Cuauhtémoc Ruiz.

On the same day of the public audience, a march organized by the CNTE took place, with the participation of 10,000 people. Protestors sought to commemorate the attempted displacement of 2006 and repeated their call for justice, the cancellation of articles 3 and 73 of the Constitution, and the cancellation of the educational reforms. They also protested in favor of boycotting the assessment exams for teachers that have been announced by the Secretary for Public Education (SEP).

For more information (in Spanish):

Hubo 500 casos de tortura y 26 ejecuciones en Oaxaca: Comisión de la Verdad (La Jornada, 12 de junio de 2015)

Ciudadanos de Oaxaca exigen justicia por el desalojo policial de 2006(CNN México, 14 de junio de 2015)

Confirman 26 ejecuciones y 500 torturados durante movimiento magisterial en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 15 de junio de 2015)

Sesión Pública de Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca, ejercicio inédito e importante: Aristegui (Educa, 15 de junio de 2015)

CNTE rememoró intento de desalojo del zócalo en el 2006 (e-Consulta, 14 de junio de 2015)

Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca (16 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Commemoration of seventh annivesary of APPO (24 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Sixth anniversary of the beginning of the 2006 social conflict (20 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)

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Oaxaca/National: Arrests of migrants at close of “Allied Borders” Way of the Cross

April 24, 2015

Viacrucis Migrante (@Centroprodh)

Migrant Way of the Cross (@Centroprodh)

Following several episodes of obstruction of their progress and path, the “Allied Borders” Way of the Cross succeeded in arriving on 18 April to Mexico City.

The Way of the Cross group was made up by 300 Central American migrants accompanied by the priest Alejandro Solalinde, in an attempt to make visible the rise in human-rights violations of migrants in transit following the implementation in Mexico of the Southern Border Program.

There were two moments in which the path of the migrants was impeded.  The first took place, according to the organizers of the action, due to a police blockade of the exit from the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, together with electronic jamming of cell phones, local phone lines, and the Internet.  Beyond this, the bus-drivers who had been hired for transport refused to continue their services after the federal authorities threatened to charge them with human trafficking.  The second police blockade occurred in El Espinal in Oaxaca, which was overcome thanks to a human chain that was comprised of activists and teachers from Setcion 22.

Upon arrival in Mexico City, the migrants visited the Basílica of Guadalupe, met with the president of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), and concluded the action with a public event at the Mexico City Human Rights Commission (CDHDF).  After this, each of the migrants continued on their journeys, promised protection from arrest or deportation.  Nonetheless, at least 30 migrants who participated in the action have been arrested in Guanajuato and Querétaro.  In response, close to 80 comrades from the “Way of the Cross” installed a sit-in before the Mexico City branch of the National Migration Institute (INM) to demand the release of those arrested.  Some of the incarcerated migrants have declared themselves on hunger strike, and their sympathizers at the sit-in have warned that they will adopt this tactic if the detained are not released immediately.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian detención de 30 migrantes del Viacrucis; estaban amparados(Proceso, 21 de abril de 2015)

Migrantes que participaron en “viacrucis” son detenidos en Querétaro (CNN México, 21 de abril de 2015)

Viacrucis Migrante llega a su fin con acto en la CDH (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2015)

Preocupa a AI la seguridad de integrantes del Viacrucis Migrante en Ixtepec, Oaxaca. (Amnistía Internacional, 10 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: authorities attempt to repress “Migrant Way of the Cross” (23 April 2015)

Nacional/Chiapas/Oaxaca/Tabasco: Conforman el Colectivo de Defensores de Migrantes y Refugiados (Codemire) (9 de abril de 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)


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)


Oaxaca: Camp on communal lands of Juchitán once again destroyed

February 5, 2014

Foto @ APPJ

Photo @ APPJ

The Popular Assembly of the Juchitán People (APPJ) has denounced that during the early morning of 28 January, “hitmen” from the Fenosa Natural Gas company burned down the resistance camp in opposition to the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park for the second time, located on the communal lands of Juchitán de Zaragoza in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  According to the APPJ, these acts were performed “on the orders of Óscar Toral, Héctor Guillén, and Ricardo Morales,” all involved in the construction project.  The first attack took place on 15 October 2013.

In other news, the priest Alejandro Solalinde, a mediator among the APPJ, the Energy Ministry (Sener), Fenosa Natural Gas, and the Oaxaca state government, has warned that there could be a “bloodbath” resulting from the “aloofness” carried out by the firm and official authorities, given that the APPJ Zapotec indigenous people will defend their lands with their lives, given that even the state government representative, Javier Jiménez, has requested that agrarian conflict not be brought up in the negotiations.  Solalinde noted that Javier Jiménez, whom the APPJ does not recognize as a mediator, has a “conflict of interest” because he was an official under Ulises Ruiz, while he also “legalized the change in the status of communal lands to being private property, even though he had no jurisdiction to do so […].  Fenosa Gas has now called itself the owner of the land and with this has justified all that it has done, without consultation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Incendian por segunda vez campamento de opositores a eólica en Juchitán, Oaxaca (La Jornada, 29 de enero de 2014)

AU Exigimos seguridad para la APPJ ante la quema de su campamento en Juchitán (Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha – Código DH, 29 de enero de 2014)

Nota y comunicado de la Asamblea Popular del Pueblo Juchiteco – APPJ(Kaos en la Red, 29 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)


Oaxaca: Father Solalinde receives 2012 National Prize on Human Rights for his work in favor of migrants

December 21, 2012

Padre Alejandro Solalinde (@MPJD)

On 10 December, Father Alejandro Solalinde, founder of the migrant home Brothers on the Path, located in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, received the 2012 National Prize on Human Rights for his work in defense and for the protection of migrants transiting through Mexico.  He received this distinction at the hands of President Enrique Peña Nieto at the presidential palace in Los Pinos. Peña Nieto recognized the grand challenge for Mexico in terms of human rights is that these pass from being mere statements to reality.  He referred to the Pact for Mexico and assured that one of his priorities is human rights.

For his part, the priest–who in May had to leave the country for seven weeks, due to the repeated death-threats he had received due to his work–requested that social protest not be criminalized, affirming that “We should change our dynamic; we should leave aside our vision of parties and isolated churches; we need to unite to help Mexico.  Mexico needs to restructure itself through human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

EPN entrega premio de derechos humanos al Padre Solalinde (El Universal, 10 de diciembre de 2012)

Solalinde dará a Peña el ‘beneficio de la duda’ (El Universal, 10 de diciembre de 2012)

Reto para México, concretar en la realidad los DH: Peña (La Jornada, 10 de diciembre de 2012)

Debe EPN aceptar disidencia y evitar la represión: Solalinde (Proceso, 10 de diciembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde returns to Mexico (20 July 2012)

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde leaves the country temporarily due to death-threats (21 May 2012)

Oaxaca: Aggressions continue against migrants and Father Solalinde (19 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Father Solalinde denounces detention by local cacique (16 January 2012)


Oaxaca: Different versions regarding future departure of Father Solalinde from migrant home

August 27, 2012

Alejandro Solalinde @ Página3

Alejandro Solalinde @ Página3

During the first week of August, different stories were published regarding the future departure of Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra from the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec.  The priest, interviewed in media, commented that Óscar Armando Campos Contreras, bishop of the Tehuantepec diocese to whom Solalinde Guerra is subordinated, asked him to resign his post as director of the migrant home, so as to “put an end to conflicts,” as Father Solalinde put it.  This claim was later denied by Campos Contreras, who indicated that he had had a conversation with Solalinde regarding the possibility that he leave the home.  In any case, this question will be addressed again in November.

It was subsequently reported that Solalinde had to be taken to hospital, because he apparently suffers from dengue.  On 13 August, he was released in accordance with media reports so as to return to Ixtepec, but no mention was made of his specific condition.

For more information (in Spanish):

Página 3: Pide obispo de Tehuantepec a Solalinde dejar el albergue; es protagonismo, dice (07/08/2012)

La Jornada: Puedo luchar contra cárteles, pero no contra mi Iglesia: Alejandro Solalinde (08/08/2012)

La Jornada: Niega el obispo de Tehuantepec haberle pedido a Solalinde renunciar a albergue (09/08/2012)

Radio Red 1110 AM: Entrevista con Solalinde Guerra (en Youtube.com)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde returns to Mexico (20 July 2012)

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde leaves the country temporarily due to death-threats (21 May 2012)

Oaxaca: Aggressions continue against migrants and Father Solalinde (19 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Father Solalinde denounces detention by local cacique (16 January 2012)


Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde returns to Mexico

July 20, 2012

Padre Alejandro Solalinde (@ EDUCA)

In mid-May, Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, who was responsible for the migrant-home “Brothers on the Path,” found it necessary to leave Mexico, following the death-threats directed against him and his team, reportedly from the Los Zetas criminal group.  Despite the fact that the situation of insecurity that led him to leave the country has not changed in significant terms, father Solalinde declared in a press-conference that he will return to his pastoral work, although he recognized that the risks he confronts are real and continue being present.  “The mission is a risk, when it is taken seriously,” he noted.

Upon returning to Mexico, Solalinde warned that his position is non-partisan, but he commented also that the PRI has to date not given him reason to have faith in its governments, especially when “on the route of the kidnappings of migrants are found PRI state-governments: Tabasco, Veracruz, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. They are not hopeful signs,” he observed.  Furthermore, the priest recalled that the governments of the state of Mexico have been particularly hostile toward migrants.

This has been the case moreso during the government of Peña Nieto, said the priest, given the attack in 2010 by federal police on the San Juan Diego migrant home, and in light of the various attempts in 2011 to burn down the installment.

During the press-conference, Alberto Herrera Aragón, director of Amnesty Internacional México, lamented the “very insignificant advances” and the lack of investigations into the death-threats against Solalinde, a situation he claims to be “inexplicable.”  He indicated that “to guarantee the security of human-rights defenders, it is necessary to have adequate ministerial investigations that hold the aggressors responsible.”

In light of the persistence of the situation of risk lived by Solalinde and his work-team, Alberto Herrera demanded that the Mexican State observe the precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), some of which, in his view, “have taken more than 2 years to be implemented, increasing the risks that are experienced by Father Solalinde permanently.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Vuelve Solalinde a Oaxaca; “me preocupa el regreso del PRI”, dice(Página 3, 11 de julio de 2012)

Vuelve padre Solalinde a México para retomar actividades; expresa que le preocupa el regreso del PRI (EDUCA, 11 de julio de 2012)

Regresa padre Solalinde a México para retomar actividades (La Jornada, 10 de julio de 2012)

Regresa padre Solalinde a Oaxaca (Noticiasnet.mx, 10 de julio de 2012)

Exige Amnistía Internacional garantizar seguridad a Solalinde (Proceso, 5 de julio de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde leaves the country temporarily due to death-threats (21 May 2012)

Oaxaca: Aggressions continue against migrants and Father Solalinde (19 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Father Solalinde denounces detention by local cacique (16 January 2012)