Four months after receiving a ruling from the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (CoIDH), concerning the case of the indigenous women Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández, the Mexican state still has not complied with the Court’s decision and there were even signals that it might never do so. This has been denounced by activists, intellectuals, and artists of more than 20 counties through a letter that was filed on February 10, with the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center. Additionally, the Interior Ministry has refused to initiate a dialogue to meet the provisions of the Court, and even presented a request of interpretation on the ruling. The previous week, Valentina travelled to Washington to meet with US State Department officials and Congressional aids, from whom she requested support in the investigation of her case, which remains in the military justice system whereas it should be held in the civil system. Accompanied by the Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights of the Montaña and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Valentina presented her petition: “That the government move my case to the civil justice system, which is why I came here, to make this happen.”
For his part, Germany’s Human Rights Coordinator for Mexico urged the government of Felipe Calderón to reform the Military Justice Code. In a statement, the European organization referred to comments made by the CoIDH, particularly that the military courts should be restricted from all cases of human rights violations – and not only in cases of rape, forced disappearance and torture, as proposed by Calderón to the Senate in his October 18 initiative.
Additionally, on February 5, a first general assembly was held in the community of Colombia de Guadalupe regarding mineral exploration by transnational mining corporations in the Montaña region . The Federal government has, for 50 years, given permission to mining corporations for the exploration of areas where land use could be altered, even though that part of the region was considered a priority territory for ecological conservation by the National Comission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP). The area educational coordinator of Tlachinollan, reported that the organization has documented that permission has been granted for mining activities, within an area of 15,000 hectares, between the boundaries of Zitlaltepec, Iliatenco and Paraje Montero. It was granted by the federal government, under the name of Diana, to the foreign corporation Camsim, for 46 years. Another case that was presented was the 47,000 hectares granted to the mining corportion Salamera for the project Heart of Darkness, which includes part of Totomixtlahuaca, Colombia de Guadalupe, Pascala del Oro and Acatepec, to the Hochschild mining corporation.
Pablo Guzmán, coordinator of the Community Police-Regional Coordinator of Communal Authorities (PC-CRAC), asked more than 70 representatives of community and ejidal properties “not to consent to an irreversible ecological disaster in the region.” On February 17, the CRAC held a workshop about mining companies in the municipality of Iliatenco. They also convened a meeting of agricultural authorities from the Montaña and Costa Chica regions, for February 26 in Paraje Montero, where they are seeking to definitively ban mining.
Lastly, members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), demanded that the magistrate, Martha Leticia Gracida Jiménez, adhere to the law. More than a month after the date on which she would supposedly challenge the ruling of the April 28 assembly, which approved the expropriation of more than 1,300 hectares of land for the La Parota hydroelectric dam project, there has still been no response. CECOP spokesperson, Rodolfo Chávez Galindo, said it would be required to issue a resolution in favor of them because the assembly was illegal in every way, from its call to its development.
For more information (in Spanish):
Caso Rosendo y Fernández: sin voluntad el Estado mexicano para acatar fallo de CIDH (La Jornada, 10 de febrero)
Ante impunidad, indígenas tlapanecas exigen intervención de EU (CIMAC Noticias, 8 de febrero)
Instan a Calderón a concretar reforma al Código de Justicia Militar (Proceso, 7 de febrero)
Apegarse a derecho, pide Cecop en juicio de impugnación por La Parota (La Jornada, 14 de febrero)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):