Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa

March 8, 2015

Comunidad Banavil, Tenejapa, durante el entierro @ SIPAZ

Banavil community, Tenejapa, during the burial @ SIPAZ

On 23 February took place the burial of Antonia López Méndez, 11 years of age, who died on 21 February due to cerebral edema.  The family buried their child in the Banavil community, Tenejapa municipality, as accompanied by a caravan of civil and social organizations, representatives from the state and municipal governments, and State Security Police, given that “the minor is one of the 13 persons (4 families) who were forcibly displaced […] on 4 December 2011,” as the press-release from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights notes (CDHFBC).  The bulletin continues: “After suffering more than three years of entirely undignified conditions of survival due to forcible displacement, Antonia the minor was admitted […] to emergencies at the Hospital of the Cultures […] though all attempts to save her life failed.”

It should be stressed that, according to news portal Chiapas Paralelo, more than 2,000 children in the Northern Zone and Highlands regions of Chiapas have been displaced from their communities due to violence.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sepelio en Banavil, Tenejapa (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 23 de febrero de 2015)

Un retorno provisional, con riesgos y condicionado para enterrar a Antonia López, niña tseltal desplazada (Rostros del Despojo, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Antonia, niña desplazada por la violencia en Tenejapa Chiapas, muere en el exilio (Chiapas Paralelo, 24 de febrero de 2015)

Sepelio en Banavil, Tenejapa (CGT Chiapas, 24 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (16 December 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from Banavil continue demanding justice (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from and announcement of action on part of the displaced from Banavil and the Aurora Ermita ejido(10 April 2014)

Chiapas: Two years after the attack in Banavil, displacement and forced disappearance live on,” CDHFBC (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)

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National: Entry into law of bill on the rights of children and adolescents

December 29, 2014

(@elconstituyente.com)

On 3 December, President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) signed into law the new bill on the rights of minors that was shortly thereafter published in the Official Diary of the Federation (DOF).  Peña Nieto affirmed that it would represent “a legal instrument for progress to create the appropriate conditions for the comprehensive development of minors.”

In a press-bulletin, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Mexico stressed “the creation at the highest level of the National System for the Comprehensive Protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, of the Federal Prosecutorial Office for Protection, and of the National System for Information on Infancy, as well as the obligation of assigning an adequate budget to observe the implementation of the law, among other things.”

UNICEF considered the consolidation of a legal mark that would provide greater protection to the 40 million children and adolescents who live in Mexico a great opportunity.  Nonetheless, it stressed the following challenges faced by minors in the country:

“• Slightly more than half of children and adolescents in Mexico (21 million) lived in poverty in 2012; of these, 5 million suffered extreme poverty.

• There are still 6.1 million children between 3 and 17 years of age who do not attend school, despite the fact that attendance in basic and middle-school education has increased.  Child mortality (defined as applying to those under 5 years of age, per 1,000 children born) is still high in states like Guerrero (19.4), Chiapas (19.5), Puebla (19.7), and Oaxaca (20), despite the fact that the national rate has declined considerably (from 41 in 1990 to 16 in 2012).

• Six of each 10 children and adolescents have directly experienced some form of violence in their homes or schools.

• In 2013 15,561 unaccompanied children and adolescents were deported from the United States to Mexico.  These migrants have been exposed to all types of dangers and human-rights violations.

• 2.5 million children and adolescents work, despite efforts in recent years to reduce the rate of child labor.”

UNICEF stresses that “This law will be transcendental for the future and present of children in the country, and for this reason for development in Mexico with regard to social and economic questions, as well as matters related to justice, such that the next step will consist in assuring the adequate implementation of the law and guaranteeing that new mechanisms and institutions stipulated by this law will have the means to operate in an efficient manner.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El presidente Peña promulga la nueva ley sobre derechos de los menores(CNN México, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Promulga EPN Ley de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes, fundamental para progreso y paz social (Radio Fórmula, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Promulga Peña la ley de niños y adolescentes (El Universal, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

Más de 40 millones de niños podrán contar con un mejor marco legal(Boletín de prensa, UNICEF, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents (1 October 2014)

National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)


Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents

October 1, 2014

Manifestación #x1leydealtura en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

Protest #x1heightlaw in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

On 24 September, the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico (#REDIM) and civil organizaitons carried out a symbolic protest in 11 cities of Mexico and in Geneva, Switzerland, “toward the end of calling on the Senate to be careful in the reforms it is implementing with regard to the bill presented by the president’s office, so that [senators] consider changes to be relevant and to guarantee the rights of the nearly 40 million children and adolescents who live in Mexico.”

The organizations stressed that “in this new General Law initiative, it is very important to guarantee an adequate and transparent budget for implementation; that the participation of civil society be contemplated via voice and vote; and that truly participatory mechanisms be established so that children and adolescents can opine regarding the decisions which affect them, such that these opinions be taken into account in terms of the construction of public policies having to do with children.”

Symbolic protests were carried out in Guadalajara, Jalisco; Morelia, Michoacán; Tehuacán, Puebla; Comitán, Tapachula , and San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas; La Paz, Baja California; Poza Rica and Xalapa, Veracruz, and in Mexico City.  Protestors carried black umbrellas to symbolize the protection that is sought with this new law.

For more information (in Spanish):

REDIM Y OSC REALIZAN ACTO SIMBÓLICO Y LLAMAN A SENADORESA CUIDAR LOS DETALLES PARA GARANTIZAR UNA LEY DE ALTURA (Melel Xojobal, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

REDIM presentará informe sobre los derechos de la niñez en México ante la ONU (Cencos, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Organizaciones llaman a senadores para analizar ley infantil (Reporte Ciudadano, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Hoy, debate final en el Senado de ley para proteger a niños (La Jornada, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Para solidarizarse: http://chn.ge/1wwb3mg

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)


National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day

May 16, 2014

@Agencia Cuartoscuro

@Agencia Cuartoscuro

Since 1924, 30 April has been celebrated as International Children’s Day.  In theory, the day was established to promote the rights of children.  However, the date has now become a “political festival of balloons and clowns,” as the daily newspaper El Universal charged, while Chiapas Paralelo indicated the “proselytism” of politicians who take advantage of the organized events to take pictures with children.  El Universal also mentioned the absurdity of inverting in toys and spectacles “more than in solutions to protect those who are being celebrated.”

Certainly, little can be celebrated, as these media and others have stressed: Mexico is one of the 30 countries in which children suffer conditions of slavery.  Beyond this, more than half of all children (20 million) live in poverty, with 10% of them residing in Chiapas.  The statistics regarding children in this state are equally alarming in terms of education, access to health services, and nutrition, among other things.  Melel Xojobal A.C. noted for its part that “the country has very little to celebrate when more than a half of its children and adolescents live in conditions of poverty, exclusion, and violence.”  The group observed for example that in Chiapas more than 21,000 minors live in the streets, that the state has the lowest percentage of school attendance in the country, that it has a rate of child labor higher than the national average, and that more than half of the children of the Highlands region suffer from malnutrition.

For more information (in Spanish):

Proselitismo con juguetes y despensas, en el marco del Día del Niño y la Niña (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Más de dos millones de niños, niñas y adolescentes en pobreza y exclusión en Chiapas: Melel Xojobal (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Día del Niño… o de los políticos? (El Universal, 30 de abril de 2014)

Día del niño con mucho que trabajar (Cuarto Poder, 30 de abril de 2014)

Día del niño, detrás de una sonrisa inocente está la pobreza y la desigualdad (Crónica de los Altos, 30 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)


Chiapas : Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico”

March 15, 2014

foro-infancia

On 1 March, Melel Xojobal A.C., REDIM (Network of the Rights of the Child in Mexico), and REDIAS (Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas) organized the first regional forum of NGOS on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico.”  The forum intended to create space for analysis and dialogue toward the end of joining together the work of civil organizations which labor in favor of the rights of children, so that there be greater efficiency and cooperation in this struggle.

Despite representing 35% of the national population (more than 40 million persons), children control only 6% of the country’s budget, with only a small portion of this going toward their protection. Juan Martín Pérez García, director of Redim, recalled that the rights of the child “are human rights and not small rights,” adding that adolescents comprise a full 50% of all femicides committed in the country.  The doctor denounced that Mexico “is not implementing conditions to observe the rights of children.”  It should be noted that, among the 176 recommendations made to Mexico by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), just 7 refer to children and adolescents.

Children make up a third of Mexico’s population and 40% of the population of Chiapas.  Lamentably, the situation of children in the latter context is very difficult: Chiapas is one of the places with the fewest legal tools enshrined into public policy, and the statistics for children in the state are among the worst in the country, always below the national average.  Chiapas has the least percentage of school attendance in Mexico and the lowest average number of years spent in formal education, but the majority of the population aged 12-17 is economically active.  Chiapas occupied third place in the number of adolescent pregnancies (15-19 years), and it is retrograde in terms of health-care access (42% of children lack such access, vs. 32% nationally); infant mortality reaches 19.5/1000 in the state, with 14.2/1000 being the national ratio.

In November, for the first time, Mexico will attend the VI Global Congress for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, which will coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Mexico in 1990.  This may be an opportunity to make visible the rights of youth, and to make them a reality….

For more information (in Spanish):

Llaman a trabajar por derechos de los niños (La Jornada, 2 de marzo de 2014)

Foro regional en atención a los derechos de niños y niñas (Cuarto Poder, 1 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: denunciation of acts of “social cleansing” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: Justice is demanded in the case of the feminicide of the youth Itzel Yanet Méndez Pérez (16 May 2012)

Chiapas: XV Aniversario de Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Chiapas: XV Anniversary of Melel Xojobal

February 9, 2012


On 2 February, the organization Melel Xojobal celebrated its 15th anniversary with the presentation of the report “Infancy counts in Mexico 2011, Use of public data to take decisions in favor of the rights of children and adolescents” as well as the essay regarding “Adolescents in Mexico: regional observations on their rights.”

Melel Xojobal was founded in 1997 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, and was born in the diocese before becoming a proper organization.  During its first years of existence, the work of the organization centered around educational programs for street children.  Later, its work evolved, broadening its scope so as to contribute more effectively to the observation of the rights of indigenous children and youth who are socially excluded.  The organization works with indigenous children and youth in the state of Chiapas to promote the defense and exercise of their rights by means of participatory processes aimed at improving their lives through cultural diversity.

For more information (in Spanish):

La infancia cuenta 2011

Melel Xojobal

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state”

November 27, 2011

On 22 November, in commemoration of the XXII anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the organization Melel Xojobal indicated that Chiapas is a state in which the rights of children are frequently violated, both in rural and urban zones.  In general terms, they note that “Mexico occupies the first place in physical violence, sexual violence, and homicides directed against minors younger than 14 years of age among the countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Linked to this scenario, since the federal government launched its ‘war’ against organized crime in 2006, violence has taken the lives of thousands of children and has been incorporated as a ‘normal’ aspect of the lives of millions of these.”

In urban zones in Chiapas, the organization details that the types of violence most identified are physical, very common above all within families and in schools, as well as cases of sexual exploitation of infants, above all in border towns.  Melel affirms also that “another expression of violence against children in the cities is social cleansing, or systematic action that consists in assaulting, harassing, and threatening the population that lives and works in the streets, pressing them to leave these public spaces.”

In rural zones, beyond child labor, the organization indicates that “the structural violence suffered by children and adolescents results in deaths from preventable diseases.”  It refers to the “communal conflicts [which] are also a source of violence, be it due to religious intolerance or political confrontations among parties or organizations,” giving the example of this problem in the case of Guaquitepec, municipality of Chilón, where due to communal conflict there were invaded school spaces and some furniture destroyed.

Regarding migration, the organization notes that children and adolescents in Chiapas “have their reasons to flee beatings at home, to stop being a burden on the family and instead find a job or a mother or father who before leaving for the United States promised to return but never did.”

In the case of Zapatista autonomous communities, Melel notes “that the panorama is violent, given that there exist cases of forced displacement due to the harassment of groups opposed to the autonomous organization,” as in the case of San Marcos Avilés, official municipality of Chilón.  The organization denounces also that the war of low intensity and the creation of so-called paramilitary groups “constitute a constant threat to the security, life, and integrity of the communities in resistance and of the children and youth who in part constitute these.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pide ONG protección a infantes trabajadores (Cuarto Poder, 22 November 2011)

Comunicado de prensa completo (Melel Xolobal, 22 November 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)