Chiapas: CNDH complaint continues over abuse of Haitians in Palenque

March 1, 2014

Foto de archivo @ SIPAZPalenque subdelegation of the INM, @ SIPAZ archive

The National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) met on 13 February with members of the Citizens Committee for Defense of the Naturalized and Afromexicans (CCDNAM) to give continuity to the case of 5 Haitians who were arrested on 20 October 2013 by agents of the National Institute on Migration (INM) of the Palenque subdelegation, while they were traveling on a passenger bus in Chiapas.  The CCDNAM reported that it hat met with the adjunct visitor of the CNDH, Francisco Martínez, in Mexico, before whom it was reiterated that “our Haitian brothers suffered discrimination and abuse at the hands of the authorities of the [INM],” given that the Haitians had denounced being the object of abuse and “subhuman conditions” during their stay in Palenque, lacking all legal assistance.  The CCDNAM activist noted that “they wanted to stay in Mexico to study but there was no will on the part of the authorities of this country,” such that “they now find themselves in the U.S. with their families.”  Furthermore, he added that the Haitians decided to leave the country “due to the humiliation to which they were subjected by the INM in Palenque, and for fear of being deported.”

On 7 November 2013, one of the migrants, Emmanuel Phanor, attempted suicide as a protest against the discriminatory treatment to which he had been subjected, and to demand that the INM subdelegate not deport them to Haiti.  After being hospitalized for three days, the youth returned to the Palenque station, where he was denied all medical attention, according to the activist.  He explained that on 21 November the five Haitians presented themselves before the migration authorities of the U.S. on the border with Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, to request asylum, and on 26 November “their demand was accepted by the authorities of California.”

In this way, the CCDNAM lamented that “this type of abuse is representative of the systematic treatment of migrants transiting through Mexico, as a result of the subordination of migratory policy to the imperatives of secularization, militarization of borders, and the criminalization of undocumented workers.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Insisten haitianos en denuncia contra el INM (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de febrero de 2014)

Denuncia ONG racismo de agentes del INM (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Obtienen visa de EU 5 migrantes haitianos detenidos en el INM en Chiapas (La Jornada, 1 de diciembre de 2013)

Agencia de viajes extorsionaba a migrantes en Chiapas (Noticias Terra, 28 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: March from the Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)

Chiapas: Organizations present report on migration during Sabines’ six-year reign (21 December 2012)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children (2 November 2012)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: #WeMigrantsAre132 (20 June 2012)

Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)


National: Suprema Corte presents protocol to judge gender crimes

September 13, 2013

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On 26 August, the head justice of the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), Juan Silva Meza, presented the Protocl to Judge with Gender Perspectives, which he claimed to respond to the constitutional mandate obliging judges to promote and respect the right to gender equality and non-discrimination.  The justice commented that this document, which does not represent a violation of judges’s autonomy, is the result of a reform in terms of human rights, the international treaties signed by Mexico in these terms, and particularly represents a result of the resolutions made by the Inter-American Court on Human RIghts in the cases of cotton agriculture (due  to the lack of interest of the government in doing justice for the thousands of females killed in Ciudad Juárez) and that of the indigenous females Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Protocolo para Juzgar con Perspectiva de Género

Presenta la SCJN protocolo para juzgar con perspectiva de género (La Jornada, 27 de agosto de 2013)


Chiapas: Meeting for Historical Memory and Alternatives to State Violence

March 12, 2012

On 28 and 29 February 2012, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights organized a “Meeting for Historical Memory: Alternatives in light of State violence,” carried out at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

After the opening with a Mayan altar, the morning of the first work-day was dedicated to a series of addresses revolving around 5 subjects.  The first was about “Violence and State of impunity,” which saw the participation of Rafael Landerreche (pastor from Chenalhó) and Mercedes Olivera (founder and assessor of the Chiapas Center for the Rights of Women as well as member of the Center for Higher Studies of Mexico and Central America, CESMECA).  The second was entitled “Exercise of rights within contexts of State violence,” in which participated representatives from the P’uerhepecha of Cherán, Michoacán, and the organization United Familes for the Disappeared of Coahuila (FUNDEC), who shared their experiences and difficulties.  A third subject, “Experience in the Inter-American system and other actions for the defense and exercise of rights,” was discussed by Ana Lorena Delgadillo, who talked about her thoughts on the Campo Algodonero case in Ciudad Juárez.  The others included expositions by female members of the organization Female Actors for Change from Guatemala, who spoke of their experiences with the positive transformation of conflict in cases of State violence from the context of armed conflict in Guatemala.  Finally, Fray Tomas (Human Rights Center from Usumacinta, Tabasco) and Camilo Pérez Bustillos from the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples discussed the struggle for the rights of migrants.

Panel during the Meeting for Historical Memory, CIDECI-Unitierra, February 2012 (@SIPAZ)

During the afternoon of 28 February, there were held worktables allowing participants to deepen their knowledge and share reflections and experiences.  On the 29th, a synthesis of the discussions from the previous day was presented, including these closing words: “Yesterday we said and we heard that we have reasons for hope.  Today we know.

We know that no one will save us if we do not do so.

We know also that we have each other.

And that our words are commitments to life and for life.

Today we learned of many organizations and persons who constantly struggle.

And we learned that in light of the fear and the divisions that the State seeks to instill within our hearts, each day there are more and more of us who find each other.  We take their value to heart, because we know that we had each other before, now, and into the future […].  Today the richness of our meeting in this space confirms that in light of violence, only organization, articulation, and the sum of our indignations will construct and amount to hope for all.”

After sharing the work that was performed in the plenary worktables, a final pronunciation was elaborated that expressed comments of analysis as well as solidarity, in addition to proposals for joint actions.

In the close of the Meeting, it was noted that “in this short period of time, a sea of words refreshed our memory, the same that goes on building the history of our peoples and organizations struggling against the faces of impunity.  Our words were of many colors, and it was many who were present, not to  mention the others we could not see, for we could only imagine them in our minds; it is great the pain that we have shared, but greater yet is our conviction to continue sowing dignity.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Memoria y pronunciamiento final del Encuentro (CDHFBC, 29 February, including photo and audio)


Mexico: founder of organization Our Daughters Returning Home in Ciudad Juárez suffers new attack

February 9, 2012

Photo @Vanguardia

On Friday 3 February, the activist Norma Esther Andrade, founder of the organization Our Daughters Returning Home in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, was attacked as she left her home.  According to police reports, as Andrade opened the door to leave her house the suspect surprised her and without a word knifed her in the face, subsequently escaping.  Norma Andrade suffered an injury measuring at least 5 centimeters in the right cheek and was for this reason hospitalized.

In light of the attack on Norma Andrade, the Commission on Human Rights in Mexico City (CDHDF) requested precautionary measures from the government of the capital to ensure the physical integrity of the activist, who last December suffered another attack in Ciudad Juárez, reason for which she was moved to Mexico City as a security precaution, to be protected by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), in accordance with the request of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Lilia Alejandra García Andrade, one of Norma Andrade’s daughters, was murdered in February 2011.  Norma Andrade has joined the Movement for Peace led by poet Javier Sicilia to seek a halt to the violence originating in the confrontations between the government and organized crime.  In a press-release on 6 February, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights “condemns the aggression that injured Norma Andrade, co-president of the human-rights organization ‘Our Daughters Returning Home.'”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente (Cencos, 3 February)

ONU-DH condena la nueva agresión contra Norma Andrade, activista de derechos humanos (Cencos, 6 February)

Atentan contra la activista Norma Andrade, protegida por la PGR (La Jornada, 4 February)

La activista Norma Andrade sufre un nuevo atentado en la Ciudad de México (CNN, 3 February)

Norma Andrade, la activista qu

e supuestamente era protegida por la PGR, es atacada y herida en el DF (Vanguardia, 3 February)

Agreden a activista Norma Andrade (UNO Noticias, 3 February)

For  more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Press-conference by Group of Women COLEM denounce violence against women (9 February 2012)

Guerrero – Briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in the case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)

Chiapas: activities on the International Day against Violence against Women (28 November 2011)

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

Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs – Tierra Caliente is second-highest national location in number of feminicides (14 September 2010)


The Mexican State apologizes for feminicides – “pretense,” say relatives

November 14, 2011

Photo @La Jornada

On 7 November, Felipe Zamora, subsecretary of Juridical Affairs and Human Rights for the Secretary of Governance, recognized the “omissions” in at least eight cases of feminicide that have occurred in Ciudad Juárez, and in the name of the Mexican State has apologized to the relatives of the victims, in compliance with a sentence released by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) published on 10 December 2009.  The Monument in memory of the Female Victims of Homicide for reasons of Gender in Ciudad Juárez was inaugurated on Mon day in the place known as Campo Algodonero, just where found tied and bound the bodies of eight tortured and strangled women 10 years ago.

During this act of initiation, authorities from the three levels of the government were booed by relatives of the disappeared and members of civil-society groups.  Relatives of disappeared women commented that this space will be converted into a “monument of morbidity” which instead of serving as an homage to their loved ones will attract the curiosity of persons from other latitudes and so would do little to resolve the deaths of these women.  The relatives of the victims whose names are written on the monument did not attend, as they feel the Mexican State has failed to comply with the international sentence, including the monument that should be built and was only done so partially.  In light of the absence of President Felipe Calderón or of Francisco Blake Mora, secretary of Governance, to apologize, they noted that “not even in this have they given importance to this act.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Víctimas abuchean a autoridades por inauguración de monumento en Juárez (Proceso, 7 November)

México pide perdón por feminicidios: son actos de irresponsabilidad(NSS Oaxaca, 8 November)

El Estado mexicano pide perdón por los feminicidios; acto de simulación: deudos (La Jornada, 8 November)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs – Tierra Caliente is second-highest national location in number of feminicides; SCJN will analyze recommendations of the Inter-American Court in the case of Radilla (14 September 2010)

Guerrero: briefs – feminicide increases in Guerrero (25 July 2011)

Mexico: Historic record of number of feminicides in 2010 (18 January 2011)


Mexico: end of official visit to Mexico by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

July 24, 2011

Navanethem Pillay (@UN)

On 8 July, Navathem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, concluded her six-day visit to Mexico with a  press-conference in which she shared her observations regarding the human-rights situation in the country.

As regards the security srrategy, she stressed the “increase in reports on human-rights violations and the excessive use of force by State agents within the development of their actionsa agsint organizeed crime.”  She emphaseized that she is “profoundly concerned by the extermeley high previlaing levels of criminal violence in parts of the country.  Organized crime, with its brutal actions and methods, threatens the profound heart of the State and attacks basic human rights that we strive to protect.  The magnitude of the challenge is enormous and some of the roots of the problem go beyond the borders of Mexico.  I call on the USA, noted as the principal consumer of drugs and supplier of arms within and outside of Mexico, to make additional efforts so that the people of this country be safe.  I understand that under extraordinary circumstances difficult decisions must be made–such as regarding the participation of armed forces in public-security operations–until that time in which the State has constructed the capacities so as to protect the citizenry in accordance with the State of Right.  Regardless, these exceptional measures should remain true to their nature: extraordinary and limited temporarily.  Additionally the military should be subordinated to civilian control within the restrictions established by the standards and principles of human rights.”

On the other hand, she expressed special preoccupation for the victims of feminicide in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, aggressions against migrants, attacks on human-rights defenders and journalists, as well as for the situation of indigenous peoples (in particular, indigenous women).

She stressed that “the mechanism for protection of journalists should be implemented post-haste with the full participation of journalists themselves, both at the national and state levels.”  Similarly, on the mechanism for protection of rights-defenders decreed and presented to the High Commissioner on 6 July, Pillay requested that it be implemented adequately, thus “strengthening the government.”  She assured that her offices in Mexico are disposed to collaborate with the adequate implementation of both mechanisms.

For more information (in Spanish):

La ONU, renuente para críticar a México: activistas (La Jornada, 11 July)

El crimen mina la democracia: Pillay (El Universal, 9 July)

Conferencia de prensa Palabras de la Alta Comisionada de la ONU para Derechos humanos al término de su visita a México (OACNUDH, 8 July)

Debe Calderón acabar con retórica: alta comisionada de la ONU(Proceso, 8 July)

En México, las mujeres enfrentan la peor parte de la violencia estructural: ONG (La Jornada, 8 July)

Pillay externa preocupación por normas para regular al Ejército (el Universal, 7 July)

Preocupan a la ONU violaciones a derechos humanos en México (La Jornada, 7 July)

Sedena y Pillay acuerdan plan de trabajo (El Universal, 7 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi pillay to the state (14 July)


Mexico: The Citizens’ Pact is signed in Juárez

June 21, 2011

Sicilia with the Citizens’ Pact @ El Universal

More than 500 persons traveled nearly 3000 kilometers in the seven days of the Caravan of Consolation that traversed 12 Mexican states and carried out public events in 9 such states.  Hundreds of women, wives, and children testified to their suffering.  Javier Sicilia sustains that President Felipe Calderón sees no more than the gardens of Los Pinos and that he continues to be deaf to the cries of thousands of people who demand justice and peace, while the political parties and actors such as Enrique Peña Nieto, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Marcelo Ebrard have demonstrated their lack of capacity for attending to the demands of relatives of those victimized by the war against drug-trafficking.  “What we see is a country of victims, and for this reason I said that I hoped that the president would listen.  We are bringing him a CD so that he can listen to the testimonies, that he see the impunity in the country, that he sees that crime is also found in the State, so that we can reach his heart to show him that his strategy is excessively puritan and aggressive, that it is not a good strategy for remaking the country,” expressed the poet.

The National Pact for Peace with Justice and Dignity was signed in Ciudad Juárez on 10 June.  The central point of the pact is the demilitarization of the country, but it also calls for a change in strategy with regard to combating organized crime, the struggle against governmental corruption, the restructuring of institutions, and a new social policy especially oriented toward offering more opportunities to the youth.  Six points define the manifesto: the clarification of the murder and disappearances of victims, an end to the strategy of war, that the authorities assume a focus on citizens’ security, against corruption and impunity as well as dealing with the economic roots and profits of crime.  Another of the points it demands is an end to the Mérida Initiative that has been supported since 2008 by the US government to give economic resources and training to the Mexican government in its struggle against narco-trafficking.  The signatories to the Pact demand that the deaths resulting from the war be clarified, that the human rights of the victims’ relatives be protected, and that the money set aside for x be transferred to the affected.  It also calls for efficient and ethical policies regarding media work.  The citizens’ agreement is still changeable, and it is hoped that the number of signatories increase following a national consultation.

During the caravan’s trip, Sicilia had warned the federal government that, if Calderón does not take seriously the points established by the Pact for Peace, there would be organized a peaceful civil-resistance movement led in various regions by a specific public representative, tax-evasion, and a boycott of the 2012 elections.

The document has been signed by Sicilia, Raúl Vera, Miguel Concha, Julián LeBarón, Emilio Álvarez Icaza, the 500 victims who traveled in the caravan, as well as representatives from social and citizens’ organizations that attended the public events.  The document can be signed in public plazas throughout the country and on the internet at redporlapaz.org.

For more information (in Spanish):

Resumen Pacto Nacional Ciudadano, Milenio, 10 June 2011

La Caravana por la Paz aguarda la respuesta de las autoridades mexicanas, CNN México, 14 June 2011

‘Aún se puede evitar el estallido’, El Diario de Coahuila, 12 June 2011

“Pacto Ciudadano por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad”, Milenio, 14 June 2011

La Caravana del Consuelo, La Jornada, 14 June 2011

Qué hacer, de nuevo, La Jornada, 13 June 2011

Respaldan iglesias el pacto ciudadano, La Jornada, 11 June 2011
Celebra Reginaldo Sandoval pacto nacional ciudadano contra la violencia en México
, La Jornada Michoacán, 11 June 2011

El Pacto de Sicilia…. Y la posibilidad de la radicalización, El Universal, 14 June 2011

Firmarán hoy en Juárez pacto ciudadano por la paz, El Universal, 10 June 2011

Signan pacto ciudadano en Ciudad Juárez, El Universal, 11 June 2011

Firman Pacto Ciudadano y anuncian resistencia, El Universal, 11 June 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Beginning of the caravan for peace from Cuernavaca to Ciudad Juárez (9 June 2011)

Mexico: Marches for Peace and Justice with Dignity (12 May 2011)