National: Presentation of the report “We Are All Female Defenders”

December 30, 2014


Captura-de-pantalla-2014-12-17-a-las-10.15.14-225x300

In mid-December, the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Morelos (CIDH-Morelos) and the National Network of Female Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM), as well as other organizations, presented the report “We Are All Female Defenders,” which proffers a national diagnostic regarding the work organizations and positions they have held and questions documented by women who defend and promote human rights when they have been attacked, in their majority by State officials.

The diagnostic indicates that, from 2001 to date, 34 female rights-defenders have been murdered; it highlights eight cases in Guerrero, seven in Chihuahua, and five in Mexico City.  In this way, the document specifies that the most violent states for female human-rights defenders to carry out their work to be Oaxaca, Guerrero, Chihuahua, Veracruz, and Mexico City.

The female defenders also warn of the increase in attacks on female activists and journalists as regards the manifestations which have demanded the presentation with life of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, who have been disappeared since September.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe completo (diciembre de 2014)

Oaxaca, Guerrero y Chihuahua, estados con más violencia hacia defensoras de DH (La Jornada, 15 de diciembre de 2014)

Red civil exige al Estado proteger a mujeres activistas en Guerrero y todo el país (Sin Embargo, 16 de diciembre de 2014)

Van 34 defensoras de DH asesinadas (El Economista, 15 de diciembre de 2014)

Aumentan agresiones a defensoras de derechos humanos (Azteca Noticias, 15 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: First state in attacks on female defenders, denounce organizations (21 December 2013)


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)


National: Social organizations carry out “Disjointed National Mobilization” to demand release of political prisoners

July 14, 2014

movilizacion8julio

Photo (@EDUCA)

On 8 July, members of 38 social organizations organized a “Disjointed National Mobilization” involving roadblocks and protests in Mexico City, Yucatán, Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Morelos, and Chihuahua. The mobilization was organized to demand the release of Juan Carlos Flores Solís, Enedina Rosas Vélez, and Abraham Cordero Calderón, who have been imprisoned in Puebla state since April of this year for their opposition to the Comprehensive Morelos Project (PIM).

PIM, which is overseen by the Federal Electricity Commission, seeks to build two geothermal plants as well as an aqueduct and a gas pipeline to supply these plants; the additional infrastructure would cross the states of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala.  The construction works are being conceded to transnational firms, both Spanish and Italian.

Also during the mobilization, organizations demanded the release of Marco Antonio Suastegui, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), who was detained in the state of Nayarit on 17 June.  The member organizations note in a communique that “we cannot allow the bad governments to continue imprisoning members of our people so that the conquistadores of today who own the large transnational corporations have all the ability to continue looting us of our land, polluting our nature, threatening our life, destroying our culture, and violating our rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado Mobilización Dislocada Nacional 8 de julio 2014 (Alianza Única del Valle, 26 junio 2014)

Exigen liberación de activistas y cancelación de megaproyectos (EDUCA, 8 de julio de 2014)

Protestas en 8 estados por el Proyecto Integral Morelos (La Jornada, 8 de julio de 2014)

Campesinos de Ixtapa anuncian movilización (Reporte Ciudadano, 7 de julio de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: 13 días de ayuno y oración de Alejandro Díaz Santis para pedir por su liberación (8 de julio de 2014)

Guerrero: Organizaciones exigen la inmediata liberación del vocero del CECOP, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (27 de junio de 2014)

Guerrero: Operativo policial detiene a opositor de la presa de La Parota(17 de junio de 2014)


National: Harassment of home of director of Article 19 shortly before publication of report “Dissent in silence: violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013”

March 28, 2014

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

Darío Ramírez (@Desinformémonos)

On 16 March, the home of the General Director of the Mexico and Central American Office of Article 19 belonging to Darío Ramírez was harassed.  Work documents as well as other valued objects and computers were stolen, according to a denunciation submitted to the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City (PGJDF).  The press release distributed by Article 19 after the act stressed that this is “the fifth security incident that personnel from the organization have faced […] since April 2013.”  Beyond this, the acts took place two days before the organization released its report “Dissent in Silence: Violence against the press and criminalization of protest, Mexico 2013.”  In this sense, the bulletin expressed that “we are concerned that the harassment of the home would be a message of intimidation for those who seek to inhibit our work in favor of freedom of expression.”

On 18 March, however, there was held an event to present the 2013 report as planned, which indicates that each 26.5 hours a journalist is attacked in Mexico.  In 2013, Article 19 documented 330 aggressions against journalists and media institutions (59% more than in 2012), including 59 against women.  These statistics are the highest since 2007, though in 2013 five journalists died, two fewer than in 2012.  More than 60 attacks on journalists took place during protests, in a way that the report indicates as showing the “authorities choosing for the path of repression and direct confrontation.”  In 59.3% of the cases, a public official has been responsible.  Although the problem revolves around states already noted in the country (such as Veracruz, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas), Article 19 notes that the documented attacks allow one to see a “pattern of dissemination toward other states” such as, for example, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Baja California, and Zacatecas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Funcionarios públicos y crimen organizado, principales agresores de periodistas (Analisis Centro Prodh, 19 de marzo de 2014)

2013, el año más violento para la prensa en México: Artículo 19 (Animal político, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Primer año de Peña, el más violento para la prensa desde 2007: Artículo 19(Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Informe completo 2013 (Artículo 19, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Allanan la casa del Director de Artículo 19; solicita protección (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de Artículo 19 (Artículo 19, 17 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Article 19 receives death-threats (23 April 2013)


Mexico/Chiapas: International Day of Action against Monsanto and transgenics

June 7, 2013

Día internacional contra Monsanto

On Saturday 25 May 2013, there was held the International Day of Action against Monsanto and transgenics and in favor of food sovereignty, with movilizations and rallies held in many countries, including different states and cities of Mexico.

Different environmental and social organizations called on the federal government to deny the transnational corporation Monsanto the right to grow transgenic maize in the country, after on 15 March this firm presented three applications to do so in “approximately 33 million hectares of the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango.

In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, there was held a cultural act of protest in the Peace Plaza with an organic tianguis, local food, theatre, informational booths, and a Mayan altar.  Furthermore, there was music, and the event ended with a screening of the documentary “Transgenic maize in Mexico.”

Monsanto has existed for 112 years.  Located centrally in the U.S., it dominates 27% of the international market in seeds (both conventional and transgenic) and a full 86% of the transgenic market.  There were events held in more than 50 countries of the world against this corporation on this day.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ambientalistas rechazan la siembra de maíz transgénico, La Jornada, 26 de mayo de 2013

Marchan contra Monsanto y el maíz transgénico en el DF, Milenio, 25 de mayo de 2013

Unen voces en el mundo contra Monsanto, El Universal, 25 de mayo de 2013

Activistas se sumarán a marcha contra Monsanto, Cuarto Poder, 15 de mayo de 2013

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Popular Forum for the Defense of the Land, Territory, and Food Sovereignty (26 November 2012)


Mexico: Preliminary conclusions from the UN relator regarding extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions in the country

May 17, 2013

Christof Heyns (@ONU)

From 22 April to 2 May, the Special Relator of the Untied Nations on extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, visited Mexico, where he met with governmental officials, judges, members of civil society, and victims in Mexico City and the states of Chihuahua, Guerrero, and Nuevo León.

Upon finishing his visit, Heyns urged the Mexican government to strengthen the structure of the country in terms of protection of human rights in general and the right to life in particular, so as to reduce the necessity of the use of force.  Mr. Heyns also recommended the reduction of the involvement of military forces in police tasks.

“From my point of view, it is particularly important to diminish the participation of soldiers in police work, to assure that civil courts judge members of the armed forces who have been accused of committing human-rights violations, including murders of civilians; and to establish clear and broadly recognized standards on the use of force on the part of public-security forces,” he said.  The Special Relator also called special attention to the problem of impunity: “All of these lives that have been lost should be investigated with the same rigor, and each perpetrator should be apprehended and judged.  To follow this object it would serve not only to diminish impunity but also to re-establish the value that society places on life,” he emphasized.  Heyns stressed the importance of making justice by solving past homicides, whether committed during the Dirty War, or the more than 100,000 registered during the government of Felipe Calderón.  Whichever strategy is chosen for the future, he noted, must first look to the past.

For more information (in Spanish):

El desastre mexicano pone a dudar al relator Heyns (Proceso, 7 de mayo de 2013)

Comunicado de prensa: Relator Especial de la ONU urge al Estado mexicano a fortalecer la protección de los DH y reducir el uso de las fuerzas militares en labores policíacas(OACNUDH, 3 de mayo de 2013)

La estrategia militar contra crimen no funciona: ONU(El Universal, 3 de mayo de 2013)

Impunidad sistémica y endémica, principal desafío del gobierno federal: Christof Heyns (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2013)

Observaciones preliminares sobre la visita oficial a México del Relator Especial sobre ejecuciones extrajudiciales, sumarias o arbitrarias, Christof Heyns, 22 de abril al 2 de mayo del 2013b (2 de mayo de 2013)

Ojalá gendarmería no se trate del Ejército con “otro uniforme”: Relator de la ONU (Proceso. 2 de mayo de 2013)

Activistas y víctimas de Guerrero se reúnen con el relator de la ONU (La Jornada, 30 de abril de 2013)

Presenta ombudsman a relator de la ONU panorama de derechos (La Jornada, 25 de abril de 2013)

Especial interés de relator de la ONU en temas de fuero y justicia militar del país(La Jornada, 24 de abril de 2013)

Detallan a relator de la ONU un negro panorama en derechos humanos en México (Proceso, 24 de abril de 2013)


Oaxaca: PBI calls for strengthening of protection of rights-defenders in the state

February 26, 2013

PBI

Following a meeting with Oaxaca state governor Gabino Cué, representatives of Peace Brigades International (PBI Mexico) reported in a press-release on 19 February some of the challenges for the protection of human-rights defenders in the state, such as “the adequate functioning and strengthening of the institutions and implementation of the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights-Defenders at the state level, in cooperation with those who benefit from this.”

Ben Leather, representative of the PBI, recognized the opening of the Gabino Cué administration in terms of human rights, but he warned of the worrying statistics on assaults registered to date.  The latest report by Urgent Action for Human-Rights Defenders indicated that Oaxaca is the second state in Mexico (after Chihuahua) in the number of attacks on rights-defenders in 2011, and it leads for the first third of the year 2012.  Human-rights defenders continue to report death-threats, harassment, defamation, criminalization, physical attacks, and murder.  Due to the situation of risk confronted by rights-defenders, PBI has maintained a permanent team in Oaxaca since 2008.

For more information (in Spanish):

PBI México llama al gobernador de Oaxaca a fortalecer la protección a personas defensoras (PCI, boletín de prensa, 21 de febrero de 2013)

Oaxaca, el estado con más ataques contra activistas (Proceso, 20 de febrero de 2013)


National: Mobilizations at the national level against high-electricity prices

February 12, 2013

Imagen de la movilización en la Ciudad de México @ La Jornada

On 7 February there were carried out protests and blockades in the capital and in several states of Mexico to protest high-electricity prices.  The mobilization had been organized by the National Network of Civil Resistance against High-Electricity Prices, the National Alliance of Electricity Users (ANUEE), and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME).  The marches and actions were held in Chiapas, Campeche, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Chihuahua, and Mexico City.  The principal demand of these protests was a change in energy policy that would include just prices, access to electricity as a human right, and the generation of sustainable energy from the people.  Furthermore, there was demanded the cancellation of wind-energy, mining, and hydroelectrical projects, as well as end to the criminalization of social protest.

It should be mentioned that during these protests in Chiapas, Nataniel Hernandez, director of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights, was arrested while he was in a meeting with the regional sub-delegate for the government.  He was released during the evening, without any sort of explanation regarding the grounds for his arrest.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Tarifas justas de luz y fin a la presión, exigen miles en marcha (08/02/2013)

La Jornada: O comemos o pagamos, grito en jornada nacional contra altos cobros (08/02/2013)

La Jornada: Padecen usuarios de la CFE indefensión y maltrato al quejarse por altos cobros (08/02/2013)

Proceso: Policías retienen siete horas al director del centro Digna Ochoa en Chiapas (07/02/2013)

Proceso: Protestan en Oaxaca por altas tarifas de luz (07/02/2013)

Koman Ilel: PRIMER REPORTE MOVILIZACIÓN NACIONAL CONTRA ABUSOS DE CFE (07/02/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: National day of protests against high electricity prices (4 April 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)

Campeche: Arrest of activist campaigning against high electricity prices (26 May 2010)

Mexico: AI Declares Activists against High Electricity Tariffs Prisoners of Conscience (10 March 2010)

 

Oaxaca: Detención y liberación posterior de la defensora Bettina Cruz Velázquez (23/02/2012)

Chiapas: Manifestaciones contra las altas tarifas de la luz (13/09/2011)


National: Female human-rights defenders organize to protect themselves

February 5, 2013

Informe-Defensoras-DDHH

On 25 and 26 January in Mexico City, female members of the National Network of Female Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico met to analyze the impact of the present socio-political context on their work in defense of indigenous peoples, natural resources, victims of feminicide, sexual and reproductive health, and freedom of expression.  The activists, hailing from states such as Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Baja California, Chiapas, Guerrero, Coahuila, Durango, Oaxaca, and Puebla, presented a protocol of attention to respond to the imminent situations of danger they face.  During two work-days, the defenders joined together their knowledge within the context of violence and concluded that the simply act of supporting a cause makes them vulnerable.  With the creation of a protocol of protection, they now have the basic tools to collect information, establish contacts, and locate emergency services.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defensoras de DH se organizan para protegerse a sí mismas (CIMAC Noticias, 28 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: First state in attacks on female defenders, denounce organizations (21 December 2012)

National: MPJD criticizes presidential “veto” of Law on Victims (10 July 2012)

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

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Oaxaca: new intimidation directed at Alba Cruz (18 January 2011)

Oaxaca: attack on union leader Marcelino Coache (20 May 2010)


National: Peace Brigades International will open new team to attend to human-rights defenders in Chihuahua and Coahuila

November 9, 2012

In a press-bulletin from 5 November 2012, the Peace Brigades International (PBI) announced that in 2013, its Mexican Project will open a new regional team to attend to human-rights defenders in Chihuahua and Coahuila.  PBI explained that during 2012 it carried out exploratory missions in Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Mexico State, Puebla, and Tlaxacala. It also reported that in 2013 it will publish a diagnostic regarding the work and situation of these rights-defenders.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de prensa PBI México ampliará el acompañamiento internacional a estados del norte de México (PBI México, 5 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Peace Brigades International (PBI) presents its annual report (13 April 2012)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)