Chiapas: Large increase in femicides; monument to be built to honor victims

September 15, 2014

Foto @ Chiapas Paralelo

Photo @ Chiapas Paralelo

On 1 October, relatives of victims of femicide and women’s human-rights defenders will construct a monument to commemorate femicide victims in Chiapas at the bridge in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, from where the body of Viridians Flores Martínez was thrown in June 2013.

At this bridge on 1 September, some 200 persons–including relatives, friends, and activists–held a mass and made floral offerings to honor the memory of Viridians Flores, who was killed by Omar Fernando Rosales Toledano, a former secteary of the PVEM Senator Luis Armando Melgar Bravo.

Beyond this, the relatives of a youth of 21 years rejected the mandated reconstruction of events ordered by a judge in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, which would involve the use of a pig, as this would be a moral outrage; besides, as they say, all the evidence points to Fernando Rosales as the confessed murderer of Viridians Flores.  For this reason, judicial efforts were canceled after it was denounced that these would violate the Law on Victims, which establishes that victims must be treated with humanity, respecting their humanity.  Juan Carlos Flores Santiago, father of the murdered youth, mentioned that it is presumed that the judge is trying to find ways to bring evidence to light that favors the suspect and in this way to nullify any possible sentence against him.  He also declared that the witnesses are retracting the statements they provided in June 2013, when the body of his daughter was found.

Chiapas has become one of the top ten states in the Republic with the highest number of femicides.  However, no protocols exist to investigate this type of crime, nor are there adequate personnel who are trained to attend to such victims and provide justice.  As evidence of this trend, one could consider the release in 2014 of two confessed murderers of women.  Not a single perpetrator of femicide in Chiapas has faced the maximum sentence of 60 years.  In the state, the increase in violence against women has become increasingly visible in the last three years: in 2010, 22 femicides were registered; in 2012, this number climbed to 97, while in 2013 83 cases were registered, and from January to September 2014, 41 cases have been documented, in accordance with the statistics provided by the Group of Women of San Cristóbal (COLEM).

For more information (in Spanish):

Construirán monumento contra el feminicidio para honrar la memoria de las víctimas (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de septiembre de 2014)

Reclaman justicia por caso de feminicidio en Chiapas (Proceso, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Realizan ceremonia religiosa en memoria de Viridians Flores (Reporte Ciudadano, 1 de septiembre de 2014)

Familiares de Viridians Flores rechazan peritaje (Noticias, Voz e Imagen de Chiapas, 30 de agosto de 2014)


Chiapas: The Women’s Collective (COLEM) celebrates 25 years

June 2, 2014

Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Archive photo @ SIPAZ

The Women’s Collective (COLEM) of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, has celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary of its work in defense of human rights and against violence against women, particularly indigenous.  Martha Figueroa Mier, founder of COLEM, related that the group began with a march on 10 May 1989 in San Cristóbal, in which 186 women mobilized against sexual violence.  According to Figueroa, COLEM “was the only social movement in the 1995 UN Beijing conference on women that warned that recognition of the traditions, uses, and customs of the indigenous should be done with precaution” and succeeded in imposing the following qualifier globally: “always insofar as these do not violate women’s rights.”

Martha Figueroa recalled that in December 1994, the Center for Investigation and Training of Women edited the book Chiapas and What of Women?, which questioned any approach toward revolution that excluded women–in this case, following the insurrection of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).  It notes that “the armed uprising recognizes social ills: it is a progressive or regressive, or what have you, coming from the social movements, particularly indigenous, but women were left to the side.  Confirmation of this can be seen in the San Andrés, which provided only three sentences for us, using a fairly welfarist conception that supposedly was to protect women’s rights.”

The Women’s Collective created a Feminary to reflect on feminism and women’s rights; it challenged the terms being pushed by international foundations, such as Ford and MacArthur, in terms of sexual and reproductive rights and maternal health.  As Figueroa says, in COLEM “we have been active participants in the proposal of a cultural vision based in gender perspectives and indigenous women from a social vantage point to make gender, name, and face central to another form of justice.”  Furthermore, the group seeks to train lawyers, form and informal, to litigate cases of women from a gender perspective.

For more information (in Spanish):

No democrática, la revolución que excluye a las mujeres: Colem (La Jornada, 19 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Rejection of gender alert without prior investigation (15 January 2014)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

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

Chiapas: social organizations present report regarding situation of women in Chiapas (16 August 2012)

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


Chiapas: Rejection of gender alert without prior investigation

January 15, 2014

Manta en San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Banner in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

On 10 January 2013, the National System to Prevent, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women (SNPASEVM) refused to undertake an investigation into the violent context suffered by women in Chiapas, which would lead most likely to the declaration of a gender alert in the state.  The request for investigation was made on 25 November 2013 by the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas and the Women’s Collective of San Cristóbal de las Casas (COLEM), among other civil society organizations.

The National Citizens’ Observatory on Femicide has denounced that the request which was presented sought to render visible the lack of prevention in the cases of femicides in the state.  An example of this are the 1,077 acts of violence registered from January 2007 to June 2013, with only 3% of these cases leading to the provision of a protection order lasting for 72 hours.

For more information (in Spanish):

Niegan en Chiapas alerta de género sin previa investigación (Milenio, 10 de enero de 2014)

Niegan alerta de género para Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de enero de 2014)

Niegan alerta de género sin previa investigación (Noticias Net, 12 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)


Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence

July 20, 2013

DSCF8781

Martha Figueroa Mier, @SIPAZ archive

Organized women from San Cristóbal de las Casas have declared an “Alert on Gender Violence” in light of the lack of response from the State to take adequate steps to arrest the feminicides and violence against women in Chiapas. Martha Figueroa Mier, member of the Collective of Women of San Cristóbal, explained that in 2012 the number of feminicides increased in the region, leaving nearly 200 dead in Chiapas.  In a press conference, Figueroa and representatives of other groups of organized women explained that this year “the situation is equally as serious.”  The degree of violence is repeated, and during the first sixth months 45 women have been murdered.

Figueroa said that in light of the increase of cases in municipalities such as Tuxtla and Tapachula, “it is urgent to extend and institutionalize the gender alert to the state level.  The proposal for Chiapas is to implement the alert together with the authorities and so implement protocols to locate the disappeared women.  The State Attorney General’s Office has been arresting some of the aggressors, identifiying them, but we need more, so as to prevent [these crimes].  It is not the same to detain a murderer of women as to prevent feminicide.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Mujeres de Chiapas decretan la alerta de violencia de género (Proceso, 3 de julio de 2013)

Activistas exigen que se decrete la alerta de género en Chiapas (Proceso, 28 de junio)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Increase in feminicide and State Accord for Gender Equality (22 April 2013)

Chiapas: Colem Group of Women take action against feminicide (19 October 2012)

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

Chiapas: social organizations present report regarding situation of women in Chiapas (16 August 2012)

National: Amnesty International publishes report on violence against women in Mexico (20 July 2012)

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

 


Chiapas: Increase in feminicides and State Accord for Gender Equality

April 22, 2013

@CIMAC Noticias

@CIMAC Noticias

Some days ago was found the body of Violeta Margarita Cancino González, a youth of 18 years of age from Nueva Independencia (Ángel Albino Corzo municipality) in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, where she studied.  According to the police and experts, the young female was wrapped in blankets and seemingly preserved in ice before having been thrown to the site where she was located.

According to Martha Figueroa, from the Collective of Women (Colem), from January 2013 to date there have been registered 25 murders of women in the state, with 18 of these having to do with reasons of gender.  She affirms that the number has increased considerably this year.  Figueroa indicated that furthermore, Colem has requested a meeting with the Attorney General Raciel López Salazar to discuss the question, but on three occasions the official has canceled the meeting.

For his part, at the close of the signing of the state Accord for Gender Equality, López Salazar indicated that from January to date there have been registered around 20 homicides of women, and that six people have been arrested for these crimes.  He assured that the cases have nothing to do with drug-trafficking or serial murders, but he also refused to classify them as feminicides, though he did concede that 60% of the crimes had had to do with “emotional conflicts and jealousy.”According to the Law for Access to a Life Free of Violence for Women in the state of Chiapas, feminicide occurs whenever there exists or there has existed between the perpetrator and the victim a relation of familiarity due to blood-relations or sexual relations.  It is feminicide also when the victims presents signs of sexual violence of any sort, and when injuries or mutilations can be seen on the body, whether these be imposed before or after murder.

For more information (in Spanish):

Hallan a joven estudiante muerta en Chiapas; suman 20 feminicidios en el año (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2013)

El 60% de feminicidios en Chiapas, por ‘desencuentros’ entre parejas: procurador (Proceso, 17 de abril)

Por “celos”, mayoría de asesinatos de mujeres en Chiapas/Cimacnoticias  (CIMAC Noticias, 18 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Colem Group of Women take action against feminicide (19 October 2012)

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

Chiapas: social organizations present report regarding situation of women in Chiapas (16 August 2012)

National: Amnesty International publishes report on violence against women in Mexico (20 July 2012)

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


Chiapas: Colem Group of Women takes action against feminicide

October 19, 2012

March for the Itzel case, 14 May 2012 @ SIPAZ

On 15 October, the Group of Women of San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Colem published a press-release regarding the present situation of women in the state of Chiapas with regard to feminicide.  They denounce that generalized violence continues against women in Chiapas, that women do not have access to justice, and that from September 2012 to present there have been more than 50 murders of women, including more than 40 feminicides, and that 132 others have been subjected to violent crimes.

Among these different questions of concern, they stressed the lack of attention paid to women from governmental structures, and the insecurity that women in the state suffer from.  In the public text they pose the following questions: “What will happen with the control of taxi-drivers, security, and vigilance for families?  When will the attorney general arrest Itzel’s murderer, who continues to be free?  Or will it continue to be occupied in persecuting and detaining women who decided that it has been enough, demanding or leaving a violent relation, due to ‘attempted murder,’ harassment taken to the DIF: when will they arrest the rapists and those responsible for other aggressions, and stop justifying these acts, especially against women?”  They add: “There also exists the lack of access to justice for women, who live within a context of insecurity and impunity that enables the reproduction of violence and inhibits women from seeking out justice.”

Beyond this, they discussed reproductive rights, among other things, indicating that women in Chiapas find themselves in a “climate of persecution against those women who decide to interrupt pregnancies,” and also with regard to the question of sexual exploitation, aggravated as it is by “the presence of official armed groups and non-official ones,” it is women who are “condemned for these crimes, passing from being victims to criminals, leaving those responsible free.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa de COLEM (Radio Pozol, 15 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: social organizations present report regarding situation of women in Chiapas (16 August 2012)

National: Amnesty International publishes report on violence against women in Mexico (20 July 2012)

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

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)


Chiapas: social organizations present report regarding situation of women in Chiapas

August 16, 2012

Press conference @Sipaz
At a press conference at Museo Café on Monday 6 August, the Center for Women’s Rights of Chiapas (CDMHCh) and the Group of Women of San Cristóbal (COLEM) presented their joint report entitled “The situation of discrimination and lack of access to justice for women in Chiapas and Mexico.”  They indicate that on 17 July “in observance of the 52nd period of sessions  of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a human-rights organ of the United Nations, the 23 experts examined the VII and VIII reports of the Mexican State regarding its observance of [CEDAW].” The authors of the report mention that experts in the field “expressed their alarm regarding the high levels of insecurity and gender violence that we Mexicans suffer, in addition to the public-security strategy against organized crime together with the persistent impunity and corruption that have contributed to the intensification of existing patterns of discrimination and violence against women.”
The report details that COLEM and CDMHCh, which are part of the coalition CEDAW Citizens, put together the report “The Situation of Discrimination and Lack of Access to Justice for the Women of Chiapas” which refers to a series of causes linked to gender an ethno-social origins of women that limit their access to justice and the exercise of their rights.  For this reason, they demand that the Mexican State “observe the recommendations that the CEDAW Commitee has presented, and specifically in the case of Chiapas to eradicate the structural poverty, marginalization, and discrimination against women in Chiapas and throughout the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletin de Prensa Informe Sombra – CDMCh y COLEM

INCUMPLE Y SIMULA “EL ESTADO MEXICANO ANTE EL COMITÉ PARA LA ELIMINACIÓN DE LA DISCRIMINACIÓN CONTRA LA MUJER”. (Melel Xojobal, 6 de agosto)

Informe Sombra “La situación de discriminación y no acceso a la justicia para las mujeres en Chiapas, México” (CDMCh y COLEM)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Amnesty International publishes report on violence against women in Mexico (20 July 2012)

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

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)