Guerrero: Guerrero State Congress approves law against torture

January 22, 2014



On 14 January, the Guerrero state congress approved a law to prevent, sanction, and eradicate torture in the state, this by initially imposing prison terms of between 4 and 12 years and fines amounting to 500 days’ salary, as well as by mandating the definitive resignation of all public officials who commit this crime.  This punishment is envisioned against all public servants who inflicts pain and physical, psychological, or sexual suffering on anyone.  When the question is one of sexual violation as a form of torture, the crime of rape or sexual abuse will also be applied, according to the case.  The law also stipulates that when torture is directed against a woman, a minor, a disabled person, or an elderly person, the term of punishment will be increased by an additional 50% at most.

The bill also considers the question of compensation for victims and creates a Technical Committee for Analysis and Evaluation as a technical institution to examine and follow up on torture cases.  This committee will be directed by the president of the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights (Coddehum).

For more information (in Spanish):

Aprueban en Guerrero ley contra la tortura (Milenio, 15 de enero de 2014)

Aprueba Congreso la Ley contra la Tortura (Diario de Guerrero, 16 de enero de 2014)

Tipifican la tortura como delito (La Jornada de Guerrero, 15 de nero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: International organizations conclude observation mission on torture in Mexico (10 June 2013)

Mexico: UN Committee against Torture expresses grave concern for the practice of torture in Mexico (9 November 2012)

National: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)

National: International judges report on conclusions of the observation of state of justice in Mexico (12 October 2012)

Guerrero: Nomination of new head of Coddehum provokes controversy

January 15, 2014


Photo @SIPAZ

The nomination made by Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero of Ramón Navarrete Magdaleno as head of the State Commission for the Defense of Human Rights (Coddehum) has generated debate and discussion among representatives of different parties.  The Technical Council, the maximum organ of this institution, had designated Hipólito Lugo Cortés as interim president following the death of Juan Alarcón Hernández.  The governor then removed him and nominated the regional visitor of Acapulco, Ramón Navarrete Magdaleno, to the position.  This action was interpreted by the Technical Council as an interference from the executive branch.  From Ometepec, Ramón Navarrete Magdaleno previously worked as regional coordinator for human rights in Acapulco.

Interviewed on radio, Lugo Cortés noted that the executive has the right to remove and nominate functionaries and employees “only in the executive branch [itself], not in Coddehum, such that there can be no violation or attempted violation of the autonomy and independence of this human-rights defense group.”  Cortés noted that, if the governor were the one to nominate the president of Coddehum, “what faith could a citizen have who has been affected by an act emanating from the government, when this government runs the very office to which he might present a complaint?”  Juan Alarcón Hernández, the first ombudsman of the country, died on the evening of Wednesday 11 December in Chilpancingo, due to stomach cancer.

For more information (in Spanish):

Discrepan diputados por injerencia de Aguirre en la designación de titular de la Coddehum (La Jornada de Guerrero, 9 de enero de 2014)

Ilegal, el nombramiento de Navarrete: Lugo Cortés (La Jornada de Guerrero, 9 de enero de 2014)

Designa AAR a Ramón Navarrete como presidente de la Coddehum (Diario de Guerrero, 8 de enero de 2014)

Desconoce Congreso Local a Hipólito Lugo Cortés como encargado de la Coddehum-Gro (El Dictamen Online de Guerrero, 9 de enero de 2014)

Muere Juan Alarcón, primer ombudsman del país (Milenio, 11 de diciembre de 2013)

Guerrero – briefs: Protestors submit complaint against soldiers; NGO notifies US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under the Mérida Initiative

November 26, 2011

On 9 November, members of the movements in resistance to high electricity-prices submitted a complaint to the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights in Guerrero (CODDEHUM) due to the intimidation suffered at the hands of soldiers on Tuesday 8 November who forced them to abandon the sit-in they had been engaging in at the office of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).  That Tuesday, some hours after the members of the resistance movement succeeded in closing the CFE offices in Chilpancingo as a form of protest against the high electricity prices imposed on marginalized communities, they were displaced by several soldiers.  Manuel Rivera Salazar, who was part of this protest, noted that although there was neither physical nor verbal violence, the mere act by the soldiers of disembarking from the Hummer with their arms “intimidated the comrades and we fell back to the other side of the street.”

In other news, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights is reporting that one year after the release of the historic sentences by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, several work-meetings were held in Washington DC to inform a number of US governmental authorities of the process of the implementation of both sentences, the operation of the military court and its implications for the investigations of these cases, and the content of what would be an adequate reform of the Code of Military Justice.  The informational bulletin of 8 November stresses that “The cases of Inés and Valentina form part of a large number of grave military abuses that go on in impunity.  To date, in Mexico the Military Prosecutor continues to investigate human-rights violations committed by soldiers against civilians, despite the decision by the Supreme Court of Justice in the Nation, the four sentences released by the IACHR, and the obligations of the Mérida Initiative.  The incapacity to appropriately judge these cases even with international attention and its high political costs reflects the lack of established civilian controls in Mexico over the armed forces.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Interponen queja contra militares en la Coddehum por desalojo en la CFE (La Jornada, 10 November)

Informan a autoridades del Gobierno de EEUU obligaciones de México Iniciativa Mérida (Tlachinollan, 8 November)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerero – briefs: high electricity prices are denounced (27 September)

Guerrero – briefs: march from Guerrero to Mexico City to demand a single price from CFE (22 September)

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina (4 February 2011)

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 – briefs: The violent legacy of the Zeferino Torreblanca administration; New Governor Ángel Aguirre to meet with La Parota opposition; Tlachinollan receives Human Rights award from Amnesty International

April 18, 2011

On April 1, Guerrero’s new governor, Ángel Aguirre Rivero took office. The previous governor, Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, was strongly criticized by various civil society actors during his term in office. In a press release on March 25, the Community Development Workshop (TADECO) and the Committee of Relatives and Friends of Kidnapped, Disappeared and Murdered in Guerrero said, “Under the agonizingly bad governance of Zeferino Torreblanca, the lack of coherent and effective policies on security and human rights was not only a result of the inefficiency and inability of his government, but rather, such crimes were being organized by the state, reaffirming the fact that the governments of Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo and Felipe Calderón Hinojosa are ultimately responsible for this situation by action, omission or connivance. ” Similarly, the president of the Human Rights Commission of Guerrero (CODDEHUM), Juan Alarcón Hernández, said that during the term of Torreblanca, Guerrero suffered setbacks on human rights and now faces a stage that is “unfortunate and of crisis.” At least 202 abductions, more than 5,000 intentional homicides, including 11 journalists and 447 against women, and 170 missing, is the legacy left by Zeferino Torreblanca in Guerrero, according to CODDEHUM.

The new governor, Angel Aguirre, in an interview with Formula Radio on Tuesday April 5, clarified that in the case of the La Parota dam, he did not say he supported its construction and that he would consult the mayor Manuel Anorve Baños. “No, I did not say ‘yes’ to La Parota, I said that there were a number of projects to be analyzed, among which is La Parota.” He said the April 11 Council will meet with the Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP), accompanied by Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos from the Diocese of Acapulco. During his campaign, Aguirre first came out against the hydroelectric project, possibly for the support of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but after a meeting with the former governor, Zeferino Torreblanca, he said he would consider it. For his part, the mayor of Acapulco, Manuel Anorve – who was a candidate for governor of the state alliance, Better Times for Guerrero – reiterated his support for the construction of the hydroelectric dam. He stated that no one can be against the development of Acapulco. He said hydroelectric power is “a new and economically important industry that will generate 10,000 jobs. I’ll be doing what corresponds to me being a mayor in order for the project to be realized.”

Finally, on 19 March, Amnesty International issued a statement that the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña and its director, Abel Barrera Hernández, will receive the VI Human Rights Award from Amnesty International. The organization wants to recognize the struggle for the human rights of the indigenous population in the state of Guerrero, parting from the work of the anthropologist Abel Barrera and the Human Rights Center of the Montaña. The awards ceremony will take place during the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International in Berlin, Germany on May 27 this year.

For more information:

Cinco mil asesinatos, 202 secuestros y 170 desaparecidos, la herencia de Torreblanca (Proceso, 29 March)

Se extingue un gobierno de pesadilla y en el horizonte no percibimos ninguna luz de justicia (TADECO and the Comittee of Relatives and Friends of Kidnapped, Disappeared and Murdered in Guerrero, 25 March)

Dice Aguirre sobre el sexenio de Zeferino que no habrá revanchismos, pero tampoco impunidad (Sur Acapulco, 7 April)

Se reunirá Ángel Aguirre con los opositores a la presa La Parota (La Jornada, 7 April)

Refrenda Añorve su apoyo a La Parota; nadie puede ir contra el desarrollo, dice (Sur Acapulco, 7 April)

Incluirá Aguirre a la Iglesia en discusión por La Parota (La Jornada, 7 April)

Con Aguirre, relación de trabajo y de respeto, dice Añorve Baños (La Jornada, 7 April)

Comunicado de Amnistía Internacional (19 March)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero – breves: Instalación de mesas de trabajo en los casos de Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo; Acto simbólico en el río Papagayo en contra de la presa La Parota, CRAC convoca para Foro contra la minería – 12 de abril (25 March)

Guerrero: Wounds of conflict over water access in Tecoanapa (Costa Chica)

March 27, 2011


Photo @ Guerrerense Network of Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations

On March 17, the lack of intervention by the state and municipal governments in Tecoanapa, in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero, resulted in a clash between the inhabitants of five villages belonging to the municipality, and the inhabitants of the county seat. The clash was due to the decision of residents from the five villages Mecatepec, Tepintepec, El Guayabo, Barrio Nuevo and El Carrizo to finish establishing a drinking water system by themselves.

The aformentioned communities lack access to water because, in spite of having a concession to the liquid, there is no infrastructure to get it into the communities. At the same time, there is discharge of drainage from the head municipality, Tecoanapa, flowing into the only river accessible to the communities, causing contamination, as well as skin, gastrointestinal, eye and ear diseases. Since 2005, in the face of increasing pollution of the river, the five communities formed the “Council of Authorities of the Five Towns of Tecoanapa” to make arrangements for access to water, and in 2006, this resulted in the adoption of the project called the “Tecoanapa Multiple Drinking Water System”.

However, to date, the project has not been completed. The work has been slowed by a group of the municipal seat, calling itself the Tecoanapa Water Committee, a body composed of individuals who manage the water, without having legal authority to do so. This committee has also been exploiting the water by selling it to ranches, ponds and purification companies in the area. The “Multiple Water System”, to be completed, would affect the economic interests of the members of this Committee.

The clash between the two groups on March 17 left at least 20 injured – 15 of the community group and 5 of the municipal seat. Present at the confrontation were members of the State Preventative Police, but they did not intervene to prevent violence. The standoff ended when roughly 50 soldiers arrived, which calmed the people. At night, the technical secretary of the Guerrerense Network of Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations, Manuel Olivares Hernández, reported that the inhabitants of the towns spoke of the possibility of continuing with the laying of the pipeline. The chairman of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CODDEHUM), Juan Alarcón Hernández, asked the state government to take protective measures for the five communities in the municipality of Tecoanapa. The request was accepted but not fulfilled so far.

Given the unwillingness of the authorities to take responsibility for complying with the construction of the potable water pipeline, the Five Communities ask civil society to send urgent appeals to the Mexican authorities (see release of the Five Communities below).

For more information:

Enfrentamiento por el agua en Tecoanapa; reportan 12 heridos (La Jornada, 17 March)

Dejan 20 lesionados enfrentamientos por el agua en Tecoanapa (Sur Acapulco, 18 March)

Cumplen el emplazamiento y retoman cinco pueblos la obra del agua potable (Sur Acapulco, 18 March)

No cumplió el gobierno las medidas cautelares a favor de los cinco pueblos de Tecoanapa: Codehum (Sur Acapulco, 18 March)

Ficha tecnica-agua-caso tecoanapa dic2010