Chiapas: Chiapas state government refuses to investigate claims of torture in its prisoners

October 10, 2015

(@alainet.org)(@alainet.org)

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) and the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) have denounced obstructions in the documentation and application of the Istanbul Protocol, which is recognized by Mexico as a means of avoiding the use of torture. Between 21 and 25 September, the government inhibited the entrance of two independent investigations into the Istanbul Protocol and members of the CCTI, as accompanied by Frayba personnel, in three state Centers for the Social Reinsertion (CERSS), so as to complete documentation and application work. Previously, eleven prisoners had denounced torture during their detention or within the Chiapas prisons—being in the majority indigenous. Those releasing this information presented different levels of harm with regard to their physical and mental health due to lack of medical and psychological attention, especially when in urgent need. Another aspect that left many indigenous prisoners more vulnerable has been the lack of adequate interpretation, both in their judicial processes, as in the prisons proper.

Despite the efforts made by the CCTI and Frayba to meet with several authorities regarding the denunciations that have emerged, these officials denied the experts access to the prisons. For Gilberto Hernández from Frayba, “this way of acting corresponds to an interest of maintaining impunity and avoiding all forms of investigation.” Among the prisoners who went to visit the experts was included Alejandro Díaz Santiz from the Voz del Amate collective, who on repeated occasions has denounced the miserable conditions faced by his comrades held in the CERSS. After his declarations, he was transferred on 11 September from the prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to a new Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) no. 15 in Villa Comaltitlán, being a maximum-security prison. According to the information from the “We Are Not All Present” Workgroup (GTNET), this forcible transfer “is political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, who has been punished for supporting and raising the consciousness of other prisoners.”

Within the context in which the General Law on Torture is being discussed, the Chiapas state authorities have failed to express their interest in investigating acts of torture among prisoners, and so to provide greater credibility in terms of the protection of human rights of torture survivors.

For more information (in Spanish):

Presos denuncian malos tratos, discriminación e injusticias (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 29 de septiembre de 2015)

Niega gobierno de Chiapas investigar casos de tortura en sus penales (Desinformémonos, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Gobierno de Chiapas obstruye la documentación de violaciones a los Derechos Humanos (Pozol, 25 de septiembre de 2015)

Indígena tsotsil es trasladado a penal de máxima seguridad, pese a “compromiso” de Velasco por obtener su libertad (Pozol, 13 de septiembre de 2015)

De la tortura al protocolo de Estambul (Amnistía Internacional, 9 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)


Guerrero: Organizations clarify that they have no relationship with guerrilla movements

January 22, 2014

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On 13 January, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Prodh) affirmed its support for the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), which faces criminalization due to its work for human rights.  This criminalization was revealed on 7 January on the electronic news page Milenio.com, which published an article referring to State intelligence reports from the federal and Guerrero state governments.  This article observes that “the social groups which in 2013 were very active in the state (such as the teachers’ movements and the communal police) had been assessed and infiltrated by guerrilla movements or members of insurgent groups that work in the region.”

In light of this, the CCTI clarified to Milenio that it has no relationship or tie with any guerrilla groups, whether state or national, and it stressed that the published article threatens the physical and psychological integrity of Dr. Raymundo a human-rights coordinator for CCTI in Guerrero; Bertoldo Martínez Cruz, member of the Front of Organizations of Guerrero State (FODEG); Minervino Morán Hernández, memember of the State Coordination of Education Workers in Guerrero (CETEG); Bernardino García Francisco, survivor of the El Charco massacre; Manuel Olivares Hernández, from the Guerrerense Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations; Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer in defense of human rights from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights; and Javier Monroy, from the Workshop for Communal Development (Tadeco).

Para más información:

COMUNICADO DEL COLECTIVO CONTRA LA TORTURA E IMPUNIDAD ANTE DIFAMACIONES DE INTELIGENCIA DEL ESTADO MEXICANO (CCTI, 10 de enero de 2014)

Centro Prodh repudia la criminalización contra organizaciones guerrerenses(Centro Prodh, 13 de enero de 2014)

Guerrilla “mueve” a grupos de autodefensa y maestros (Milenio, 7 de enero de 2014)


Guerrero: 3 of 8 disappeared PRD members found dead in Iguala

June 10, 2013

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Iguala municipality @wikipedia

On 3 June, in a community of the Tepecoacuilco municipality, were found three bodies of the eight PRD members who were “taken” on Thursday, 30 May, following their participation in the occupation of a control-point in Iguala, on the Sol highway, to demand the delivery of fertilizer.  Extra-official sources assert that among the victims is found PRD leader Arturo Hernández Cardona, who headed the Popular Unity (UP) faction, who was executed by gunshot after being beaten jointly with two comrades who were disappeared after the protest.

Organizations like the Front of Democratic Organizations of the State of Guerrero (FODEG), the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the Guerrero Network of Civil Human-Rights Organization (Redgroac), and the Movement for National Regeneration (Morena) have demanded that state authorities locate the whereabouts of the UP activists, following their disappearance on 30 May.

The UP has manifested its support for the teachers of the Coordination of Educational Workers of the State of Guerrero (CETEG) during the recent conflict of March and April.  The state director of the PRD, Carlos Reyes Torres, noted that the disappearance of the eight social leaders of Iguala has to do with organized crime, and not conflict among parties.

For more information (in Spanish):

Encuentran ejecutados a tres de los 8 perredistas desaparecidos en Iguala (Libertad Guerrero, 3 de junio de 2013)

Exigen organizaciones sociales dar con el paradero de los activistas de Iguala (La Jornada de Guerrero, 1 de mayo de 2013)

Acción Urgente (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos – Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, 3 de junio de 2013)

Los desaparecidos, víctimas de criminales, sugiere Carlos Reyes (La Jornada de Guerrero, 3 de junio de 2013)

La vorágine delincuencial (CDHM Tlachinollan, 3 de junio de 2013)

COMUNICADO DESPARECIDOS IGUALA (Comité de Familiares y Amigos de Secuestrados, Desaparecidos y Asesinados en Guerrero, y Taller de Desarrollo Comunitario, 31 de mayo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Teachers’ megamarch ends with occupation of Congress (23 April 2013)

Oaxaca: March-meeting of Section 22 of the SNTE in commemoration of 25 November (30 November 2012)

Guerrero: Briefs – Reactivation of arrest-orders against CETEG members (10 November 2010)


Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán

June 9, 2011

Sierra de Petatlán @ Guerrero Noticias

Brothers of the ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz, an activist from the Sierra of Petatlán murdered in April, denounced that on Friday 27 May Adrián Silva, another campesino from the community La Morena, was taken by presumed loggers while he was traveling between the populations of Banco Nuevo and Parotitas.  On 28 May Silva was found dead in a place known as Parotitas, reported Felipe Torres Cruz.

Felipe Torres indicated that the murderers of Silva are a man he identified as Chano Arreola and the Bautista family, whom he linked to illegal logging in the area.  The activist was reportedly shot at by at least 10 men.

The ecologist suspects that the actions have the intention of suspending the precautionary measures that the Commission on Defense of Human Rights (Coddehum) had requested for the Torres Cruz family, in light of the constant aggressions it has suffered.  “They want to kill us; they’ve told us.  They want to kill me and my family.  That is what they will do.  We request aid.”

Torres recalled the murder of his brother Javier, which occurred on 18 April and was denounced the following day.  He indicated that when the body was found it was realized that his cellular phone had been robbed.  “We know that they have been threatening the leaders of the organizations with whom my brother had contact, such as Tadeco, the CCTI, and even the Human Rights [Center] have been contacted for defamation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Aparece muerto el ecologista Silva, secuestrado el viernes, La Jornada Guerrero, 30 May 2011

Talamontes levantan a campesino ecologista de La Morena, denuncian, La Jornada Guerrero, 29 May 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)


Guerrero: 107 forcibly displaced by violence

June 1, 2011

Río Balsas from Coyuca de Catalán @ Wikipedia

107 persons, of whom 2 are pregnant women and 77 minors  (including 34 children under 5 years of age) have been living in the elements since the evening of 21 April, according to information made available by the Collective Against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), members of the Guerrero Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations of the state of Guerrero (Redgroac), the Front of Democratic Organizations of the State of Guerrero (FODEG), and the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights of the state of Guerrero (Coddehum), which traveled to Puerto las Ollas.  The person in question had to abandon the La Laguna community, municipality of Coyuca de Catalán, to take refuge in Puerto las Ollas, due to the wave of violence experienced in this part of the sierra.

Prosecutor Alberto López Rosas has assured that this part of the state suffers from great violence and is for this reason requesting that people leave such areas.  “We know that there are displaced peoples, self-displaced peoples.  We have even requested that some people who live there temporarily abandon these sites while we establish complete control together with federal authorities,” he said.  He also rejected that it would be a zone abandoned by the government or free territory.  “We simply need to take certain precautions to avoid having this violence get out of control.  For this reason our presence is permanent.”

In other news, Raymundo Díaz Taboada, representative of the CCTI, detailed that these displacements are due to the violent climate “provoked by groups of organized crime who seek to control the sierra, whether it be so as to exploit the forests or to grow drugs in a way that directly implies the municipalities of Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Enviarán ayuda para desplazados, La Jornada Guerrero, 19 May 2011

Más de 100 desplazados forzosos por la violencia en la sierra de Coyuca de Catalán, CENCOS, 16 May 2011

Más de 100 habitantes de la sierra huyen de la violencia, La Jornada Guerrero, 14 May 2011


Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered

May 6, 2011

Photo @www.vientodelibertad.org

On Monday 18 April, the defend of the forests of the sierra of Petatlán, Javier Torres Cruz, known also for his having denounced before the Prosecutorial Office of Mexico City the cacique Rogaciano Alba as author of the murder of the lawyer Digna Ochoa, was killed by hired assassins, presumably at the service of Alba, who is imprisoned for presumed offenses linked to organized crime.  Similarly, it was reported that his brother, Felipe Torres Cruz, finds himself gravely injured.  In accordance with information released by the coordinator of the Workshop of Communal Development (TADECO), Javier Monroy Hernández, Torres Cruz, 30 years old, was traveling through the area known as Puerto de la Mosca in the Sierra of the municipality of Petatlán when he was shot by a group of men with the last name Arreola, identified as hired assassins at the service of Alba.

The non-governmental organizations TADECO and the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) condemned the crime in a press-release on 19 April and demanded that the state and federal government investigate the case and punish those responsible.  “Javier Torres is yet another victim of the criminalization of social struggle and of the so-called war on drugs, which is a war of dark capital in which the State has taken part and the government of Calderón collaborates with groups of political and economic power found in the turrets of the parties and the groups of large firms […].  In light of the aforementioned, the organizations demand, among other things, that the discourse of the struggle against narco-trafficking not be used to cover up acts of harassment and intimidation against the communities of the Sierra of Guerrero, that the military presence in the region be clarified, and that the presence of paramilitaries be covered by reports having to do with their actions and results.  We also demand the immediate exit of the Mexican Army from the communities of the Sierra of Guerrero, their return to their barracks, punishment of the soldiers responsible for violations of human rights, and reparations for damages caused to communities, social organizations, and families.”  Finally, TADECO and CCTI call on “social organizations and civil organisms and human-rights defenders to stand in solidarity and join the actions of denunciation and solidarity.”

In other news, the National Association of Democratic Laywers (ANAD) and the CCTI expressed in a 20 April press-release that “it is important to stress the period of 10 days during which Javier Torres Cruz was disappeared (1 to 10 December 2008) during which he was tortured and threatened with death by soldiers pertaining to the 19th Infantry Batallion of the Mexican Army, who apparently ‘worked for the people of Rogaciano.’  This disappearance and torture were never investigated by the competent authorities.  Other events related to the threats against Javier are found during the year 2009 when on at least 6 different occasions soldiers of the Army entered the community of La Morena, attacking Javier’s family-members and threatening him with death.  All these violations as well as incursions were denounced in a punctual manner, but no appropriate authority has resolved any of the cases.”  The press-release emphasizes that “the murder of the ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz cannot remain in impunity, given what it represents” and that “the state government must act immediately to find the evidence and testimonies to detain, disarm, and demobilize the group known as ‘Los Arreola’.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Matan en la sierra de Petatlán al campesino que denunció el asesinato de Digna Ochoa; culpan a sicarios de Rogaciano (Sur Acapulco, 20 April)

Sicarios emboscan y matan al ecologista Javier Torres Cruz (La Jornada, 19 April)

Boletín de prensa  (TADECO y CCTI, 19 April)

Boletín_de_Prensa_ANAD_y_CCTI (20 April)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)