Mexico/Chiapas: National Brigade for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa

December 7, 2014

©SIPAZ Marcha en San Cristóbal de las Casas de la Brigada Nacional por los desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa

March in San Cristóbal de las Casas by the National Brigade for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa @ SIPAZ

On 12 November, in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, relatives of the disappeared students and the student committee reported on the activities of the National Brigade regarding the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa.

The brigade was organized into three branches, one towards the north (passing through the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Jalisco, and Michoacán); one toward the south (visiting the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Morelos, and Tlaxcala), and another state brigade in Guerrero, which visited the municipalities of Tlapa, San Luis Acatlán, Ayutla, Tecoanapa, Zihuatanejo, Atoyac, and Acapulco.  The three caravans met in Mexico City on 20 November to conclude their work with a mass-march and rally in the Zócalo.  The objective of the Brigade was to collect direct information regarding the acts of 26 and 27 September, the investigative process, and the search for the 43 disappeared students, beyond making proposals for the elaboration of a program for struggle and action that would transform the causes led to the events seen in Iguala.

The “Daniel Solís Gallardo” Brigade arrived to Chiapas on 14 November, being named for one of the normalist students who was killed on 26 September, and it led a march through the streets of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, to the applause of onlookers.  “Alive they took them; alive we want them,” “Ayotzinapa, hold on; Chiapas is rising” together with other slogans were heard until the march reached the Cathedral Plaza.

At the rally, two women spoke, being the mothers of two of the disappeared.  They said that they no longer have fear, and that they are prepared to give their lives to find their sons, because though the government says they are dead, they believe in their hearts that they are still alive.

On 15 November, the members of the Brigade visited the Zapatista caracol of Oventik, where they met with the high command of the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and the EZLN expressed its sympathy for the pain, rage, and powerlessness of the parents who still have yet to find their sons.

The activities in San Cristóbal de Las Casas concluded with a press-conference during which Brigade members noted that the EZLN had suggested that they “visit those who like us have suffered forcible disappearances or extrajudicial executions–who are not few in number in this country–because it is only they who will understand us and accompany us in our pain and struggle.  It is they with whom we can articulate a movement, a larger and more powerful nucleus with all the social organizations that would like to join,” following their return through Oaxaca.

For more information (in Spanish):

Expresa el EZLN total apoyo a familias de normalistas desaparecidos, La Jornada, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Caravanas por Ayotzinapa llegan a Chiapas y Chihuahua, Proceso, 14 de noviembre de 2014

Concluye visita a Chiapas de la caravana de Ayotzinapa, Proceso 16 de noviembre de 2014

Palabras del Comandante Tacho en el inicio del encuentro del EZLN con la caravana de Ayotzinapa, el 15 de noviembre del 2014, Enlace Zapatista, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Palabras de la Comandancia General del EZLN en voz del Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, Enlace Zapatista, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Palabras del Comandante Javier, dando la bienvenida en el caracol de Oventik a la caravana de Ayotzinapa, el 15 de noviembre del 2014, Enlace Zapatista, 15 de noviembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protest for Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

Guerrero: Soldiers harass Tita Radilla in Atoyac

December 7, 2013



Tita Radilla Martínez, vice president of the Association of Relatives of the Detained, Disappeared, and Victims of Human-Rights Violations in Mexico (AFADEM), has denounced acts of intimidation exercised by the Army on 8 November, when soldiers presented themselves to her home, revising and frightening children and one of her grandchildren.  She noted that this day, for no apparent reason and without providing any explanation, the soldiers inspected youth who were present in the area, while she was with her grand-daughter and a neighbor during a time she referred to as being “high-tension.”  She added that the inspection was arbitrary and that the soldiers were present in front of her house for at least 10 minutes, thus qualifying as an act of harassment.

On 14 November, Tita Radilla said that she did not present a denunciation before the Public Ministry because she has no faith in the State Attorney General (PGJE), given her past experiences which indicate to her that “that would lead nowhere.”  Interviewed after offering a press-conference together with relatives and victims of forced disappearances, Tita Radilla noted that the situation is “highly grave,” especially for social activists and human-rights activists.  “The truth is that it is very grave and there is much fear among the social groups and organizations for this reason, because we do not really know where all this is coming from; we believe that the State has the responsibility of protecting human-rights defenders, but they have instead been killed,” she asserted.  Radilla criticized that no crimes against activists have been clarified.

Tita Radilla is the daughter of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, a campesino disappeared by the Army in Atoyac in 1974, a case in which the Mexican State has been found guilty of crimes against humanity, in the opinion of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR).  The sentence was published on 23 November 2009, and it obliges the federal government to abolish military courts and find the remains of Radilla Pacheco, among other stipulations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Hostigan militares a Tita Radilla en Atoyac; se mantiene el terrorismo de Estado, denuncia (El Sur de Acapulco, 13 de noviembre de 2013)

Militares allanaron mi casa: Radilla (La Jornada de Guerrero, 12 de noviembre de 2013)

Tita y la guerra sucia (Proceso, 14 de diciembre de 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: SCJN affirms observance of IACHR sentences in Radilla and Cantú cases (28 September 2012)

Guerrero briefs: The PGR should report on the Radilla case (13 December 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: government announces installation of Commission of Truth and Tita Radilla receives recognition (28 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: State accepts responsibility in Radilla case in absence of relatives (27 November 2011)

Guerrero: One year after the IACHR sentences in favor of Inés y Valentina; anniversary and expansion of the Communal Police; violence in the Sierra de Petatlán

October 17, 2011

On 1 October 2010, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) sentenced the Mexican State in the cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, determining that both indigenous Me’phaa women had been sexually violated and tortured by members of the Mexican Army in the year 2002.  One year after these sentences were passed down, civil organizations that have accompanied the two have denounced that “a year having passed since the decisions were released, substantial advances in the observance [of the sentence] remain fleeting.  Moreover, at all times, the work related to the questi0n of reparations has had to be taken up by Fernández Ortega and Rosendo Cantú and their representatives themselves.”  In particular, they indicate in a press-release that “the persistence of the impunity that protects soldiers who tortured and sexually assaulted Fernández Ortega y Rosendo Cantú is evidence of the reticence of the State to observe the sentences.  The investigations have continued in military tribunals during essentially all of this year; only recently was the case turned over to the PGR, after both Me’phaa women formally requested this change.  This delay makes it so that today the investigations have not progressed, and that still there is no possibility that Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú access them to provide evidence.”  On 6 October, the Senate of the Republic requested the presence before the Commission of Justice of Francisco Blake, Secretary of Governance, so that he present a detailed report regarding the actions taken to observe the sentences released by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of Inés and Valentina.

In other news, on 14 and 15 October, the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) will celebrate its XVI anniversary.  On this occasion it organized this together with indigenous organizations at the XXX meeting of the National Indigenous Congress.  The event, entitled “For the defense of our territorities,” will be held int he community of Paraje Montero, municipality of Malinaltepec.  Some days before the event, press articles and alternative media discussed the process, including subjects like the participation of women at the meeting and the news that 55  communities from the municipality of Atoyac Alvarez (Costa Grande) will form a communal police unit, considering that the state and municipal governments do not ensure their security.

Finally, on 3 October, civil organizations from Guerrero and Chiapas that comprise the “Program of Interchange, Dialogue, and Assessment in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security” (PIDAASSA) denounced that due to the violence of drug-trafficking and the militarization of the country, many communities find themselves obligated to abandon their homes, lands, and crops.  They emphasized in particular the case of the sierra of Petatlán in Guerrero, where families from 15 communities have been displaced.  In a press-conference, they affirmed that in this place “from July to present, 471 persons from 85 families have been forced to leave their communities int his region.  Of these 15 communities, seven–Zapotillo, Campo del Cielo, El Timbirichal, El Roblar, La Florida, El Guamilón y Los Limones–have been left either abandoned entirely or cut off.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A un año de las sentencias de la CoIDH a favor de Inés y Valentina México no avanza en su cumplimiento (Boletín de prensa Tlachinollan, CEJIL, OPIM, 4 October 2011)

CARTA ABIERTA A FELIPE CALDERÓN: Solicitan al Presidente Felipe Calderón dar cumplimiento a las sentencias emitidas por la CoIDH en los casos de Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (OSC de derechos humanos, 5 October 2011)

Punto de acuerdo en el Senado para que Segob comparezca sobre el Caso de Inés y Valentina (Sididh, 7 October)

Campaña “Cumplir las Sentencias para Romper el Muro de la Impunidad” (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, August 2011)

Más comunidades tendrán policía propia (La Jornada, 3 October)

Las mujeres en La Montaña de Guerrero(Desinformémonos, 4 October)

Convocatoria al XVI Aniversario de la Policía Comunitaria, 14-15 October 2011

La sierra de Petatlán, Guerrero, asolada por los narcos, la violencia y la militarización (4 October)

Familias desplazadas de sus pueblos exigen al Estado seguridad(Pronunciamiento del Programa de Intercambio, Diálogo y Asesoría en Agricultura Sostenible y Seguridad Alimentaria,PIDAASSA México, 3 October)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican state fails to comply with sentencing in the case of Valentina and Inés (7 October 2011)

Guerrero: “Indigenous peoples are subject to rights and are not electoral merchandise” February 4, 2011

Guerrero – briefs: Mining exploration continues in the Montaña region without permission from communities; reinstallation of the blockade against La Parota January 13, 2011

Guerrero: IACHR condemns Mexican government in disappearance case

January 16, 2010

In its 23 November sentence that was made public in December, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) found the Mexican government to bear responsibility for the disappearance of Guerrero-based social activist Rosenda Radilla Pacheco in 1974 and condemned the great number of massive and systematic rights-violations that took place during México’s so-called “Dirty War.”  IACHR further questioned the military tribunals and called on Mexican authorities to adopt reforms that would guarantee that human-rights violations committed by the military be dealt with in civilian courts.

The CIDH demanded that the Mexican State continue in its search for the missing campesino and that it publicly recognize its responsibility in this case as well as produce a biography of Pacheco’s life, make available psychological assistance to his family members, and pay the equivalent of $238,000 in reparations.

In the weeks following the public release of IACHR’s statement on the case, the government faced pressure to attack the findings through sources both in government and outside of it:  the CNDH (whose ombudsman found it “ridiculous” to have to resort to international justice organizations in cases such as this one); the Permanent Commission of the National Congress; Amnesty International; and the Association of Families of the Incarcerated, Disappeared, and Victims of Human-Rights Violations.  In this light, the Minister of the Interior, who during a press conference on the matter claimed that CIDH should not bear judgment on a case that occurred 35 years ago, promised to respect the sentence and pay the recommended fine, all in the public eye.  Nonetheless, “Tito Radilla, who struggled in this case at both the national and international level, stated that an honorary plaque in memory of her father was not enough, and made clear that what she demands is an investigation to locate his remains” (Milenio).

For more information (in Spanish):

Mexico is condemned for its “Dirty War” (article, Informador, 15/01/10)

The Permanent Commission of Governance calls on the Secretary of Governance to fight the CIDH sentence in the case of Radilla Pacheco (article, La Jornada, 13/01/10)

New sentence by CIDH finds government responsible in the Radilla case (article, La Jornada, 16/01/10)

Ombudsman will oversee the implementation of CIDH’s ruling (article, Milenio, 18/12/09)

CIDH condemns México for its dirty war (article, El Universal, 15/12/09)

The case of Radilla Pacheco vs. México, ruling of 23 November 2009 (Inter-American Court on Human Rights)

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Impunity in Guerrero:  An Endemic Problem (SIPAZ document, September 2007)