Chiapas: Public proclamation on the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in San Cristóbal

December 26, 2015

Constituyente

Public proclamation in San Cristóbal of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power (@SIPAZ)

On 5 December, more than 15,000 people, the majority of them indigenous, as well as representatives from seven countries in Central and South America, marched and held a rally in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to proclaim the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power. This initiative seeks to establish the basis for a new political Constitution in Mexico, which would refound the nation and lead to a new social contract.

Raúl Vera López, former assistant bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and present bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, led the event at which the indigenous protestors gave him a command scepter. The bishop acknowledged that the Zapatista uprising of 1994 represented the “ferment” of a new constitutional power, but that at present “it it not just our Mayan brothers and sisters who seek a new social contract, but rather all Mexicans.” He asserted that “we do not want this deviation of power whereby the authority we delegate in a government becomes perverse, placing our resources and lands in the hands of multinational corporations and their home governments and states. Instead, these must be placed at the service of all Mexicans who want peace with justice and development with dignity.”

The Council of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in Chiapas stressed that “today is an historical day that will be remembered throughout Chiapas and Mexico, because the presence of thousands of people is a clear demonstration that the people have recognized how disastrous our living conditions are, and have armed themselves with valor and dignity, taking on the responsibility of transforming this reality.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan miles en Chiapas para proclamar una nueva Constitución (La Jornada, 7 de diciembre de 2015)

Tribunal Permanente de Pueblos urge a la refundación del país (Proceso, 6 de diciembre de 2015)

Presentan indígenas su constituyente ciudadana (El Universal, 7 de diciembre de 2015)

Sitio de la iniciativa: constituyenteciudadana.org

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National: IACHR carries out visit to Mexico

October 10, 2015

(Tres integrantes de la CIDH antes del encuentro en Tenosique, @ La 72)(Three members of the IACHR before the meeting in Tenosique, @ La 72)

From 28 September to 2 October, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IAHCR) held a visit to Mexico to observe the human-rights situation in the country, with an emphasis on extrajudicial executions, torture, and forcible disappearances. Bertha Santoscoy, a representative from the Organization of American States (OAS), indicated that one of the criteria most utilized by the IACHR to carry out the investigation is “the gravity and elevated number of denunciations regarding systematic violations of human rights that are detected in any given country.” The delegation sought to monitor the human-rights situation, collect information, and evaluate the observation of international law. “Our concern has been constant in recent years, but it is true that at this time there have been a series of very grave incidents,” remarked Cavallaro, member of the IACHR. Beginning on 28 September, the delegation visited Guerrero, Tabasco, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Veracruz, and Mexico City. The delegation led by the president of the IACHR, Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, interviewed governmental authorities from the three levels of government and met with civil-society representative as well. As part of the visit, on 29 September, the delegation also met with several organizations working with migrants and refugees in Tenosique, Tabasco. In this way, it collected testimonies of victims regarding human-rights violations and from relatives of victims in the different places it visited. Beyond this, the IACHR carried out a meeting with the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) to address the latter’s report on the events of Ayotzinapa.

On 2 October, the delegation will give a press-conference to share its preliminary observations. For 2016 it plans to publish a report regarding its findings.

For more information (in Spanish):

La CIDH ve graves violaciones a derechos humanos en México (Informador, 30 de septiembre de 2015)

CIDH revisará graves violaciones a Derechos Humanos en México (Centro Prodh, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Visita in loco a México de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. (Diario de Chiapas, 20 de septiembre de 2015)

CARTA INVITACIÓN DE LA CIDH PARA REUNIÓN EN LA 72 EL 29 DE SEPTIEMBRE (La 72, 20 de septiembre de 2015)

CIDH realiza visita in loco a México (Organización de los Estado Americanos, 17 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (21 March 2015)


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)


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)