Guerrero: Tlachinollan celebrates 20 years of struggle in defense of human rights

August 5, 2014

Foto @SIPAZ

In Tlapa de Comofort, Guerrero, on 25 and 26 July, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights celebrated its XX anniversary, with these twenty years being characterized by struggle besides indigenous peoples in defense of their rights.   More than 400 representatives from 85 communities of the Mountain region, together with different organizations and social movements from various states and representatives of international institutions, arrived to attend the forum “From the communal heart of resistance.”  On this occasion Abel Barrera Hernández, director of Tlachinollan, declared that “the criminalization of indigenous peoples has risen, and so has the threats against their lands.  There are attempts to loot [these lands] by means of mining concessions and attempts to build hydroelectric dams.  The situation of life in these communities is worsening due to abuse, looting, and the complacence of the authorities in the face of organized crime.”  Furthermore, he stressed the inequity and lack of attention from the government for indigenous peoples in the region.

At the end of the forum, a march was held toward the city center to demand the release of representatives of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) and of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP), including Nestora Salgado García, Arturo Campos, Gonzalo Molina, and Marco Antonio Suástegui.  Furthermore, members of the Council of Victims of the Mountain of Guerrero demanded that the state government observe its promises to support communities that were affected by the storms that destroyed crops and homes last September.

During the event itself, the importance of collective work was recognized as fundamental for the defense of human rights in the Mountain region, and Abel Barrera Hernández expressed his gratitude to indigenous peoples: “They gave us tortilla, coffee, petate, and shade, and they showed us how to sow communal justice.  For this reason, these twenty years have no sense without you, because you are the fathers, mothers, and founders of Tlachinollan.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Festeja Tlachinollan sus 20 años con una marcha en Guerrero (La Jornada, 27 de julio de 2014)

Reconocen 20 años de Tlachinollan, trabajo que busca justicia social para las comunidades (Sididh, 28 de julio de 2014)

Tlachinollan, 20 años de defensa de los derechos humanos en la Montaña(Sin Embargo, 28 de julio de 2014)

OPINIÓN: 20 años por los derechos humanos (Tlachinollan, 23 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Celebration of the 19th anniversary of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights (4 August 2013)

Guerrero: 18th Anniversary of Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights (20 June 2012)

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Guerrero: Communal Police prisoners are “political prisoners,” declares General Gallardo

July 20, 2014

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Photo @Desinformémonos

The six communal police from the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC) incarcerated in the Las Cruces jail are political prisoners, noted the retired Army General Francisco Gallardo, who himself is considered a former prisoner of conscience due to his past struggles for human rights within the armed forces.  He declared that “they were imprisoned for defending a cause; a political prisoner should not break under the circumstances, nor should those who are fighting for his or her liberation.  I hope to see them released very soon.”  Within the context of a visit from the general to the prisoners, the Network Decade against Impunity (led by Bishop Raúl Vera) announced the beginning of its international campaign for the liberation of the communal police members.

Nestora Salgado, a commander of the Commuanl Police in Olinalá who was arrested together with other communal police yet transferred to a maximum-security prison in Tepic, Nayarit, declared in a telephone interview that “The government is bothered that we exist; we only request security for our people.  We have debts to no one but our people.”  In the Mountain and Little Coast regions of Guerrero, criminalization, incarceration, and the buying off of social activists has been on the rise since different groups organized themselves to impede the entrance of mining firms to the area.

As part of the repressive climate experienced in Guerrero, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, member of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP) and of the communal police which adheres to the CRAC-PC, has been arrested. He was detained and tortured on 17 June by the Ministerial Police, accused of attempted murder.  He has been incarcerated in the same location as Nestora Salgado.

For more information (in Spanish)

Gobierno de Guerrero, fabricador de delitos: Nestora Salgado(Desinformémonos, julio de 2014)

Anuncian campaña por la libertad de los comunitarios (La Joranda de Guerrero, 16 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Several injured after atttack on communal police of CECOP near Acapulco (23 April 2014)

Guerrero: CRAC accepts 48 new communities from Acapulco (16 March 2014)


Guerrero: commemoration of the 16th Anniversary of the El Charco Massacre in demand of justice

June 13, 2014
@CIMAC Noticias

@CIMAC Noticias

On June 7, various social organizations marched to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the El Charco Massacre, near Ayutla de Los Libres, where on June 7, 1998, eleven people were killed by soldiers of the Mexican Army.

Jose Rosario Marroquin, director of the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center (PRODH), said that “impunity prevails in this case, there is no advance, only two or three spectacular actions, but in the end there is nothing concrete although justice has been demanded for several years. There is nothing that clarify the facts; there is no will from the government to do it. “

Eleven people were killed in the massacre among a group of 70 Mixteco indigenous persons who met in the elementary school in El Charco to discuss the situation of marginalization and poverty in their communities. Mario Palma, one of the survivors of the massacre explained “We had asked commissioners and representatives of the peoples of the region to organize and develop productive projects because we couldn’t endure much more poverty and marginalization provoked by the government. There were no health centers, doctors, schools, or field support. That’s what we were talking about when the people of the government arrived.”

Efren Chavez Cortes, another survivor, said, “Nothing has changed in El Charco in 16 years. There remains the same poverty, the same neglect of Mixteco indigenous peoples and, worse, governor Angel Aguirre Rivero has divided the CRAC- PC. In conclusion, there has been no justice (…) The government only gives pure palliatives. There is no development strategy in the communities.” He added that “the case was presented to other institutions such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), for the summary execution of the compañeros, because they had surrendered. Here the people who were murdered had surrendered and were unarmed.”

“[The] person who is guilty of all is Angel Aguirre Rivero, who was governor at that time as he is today. Therefore, he should be in jail,” said Nazario Gatica, one of the survivors.

During the march, the cartels also demanded the release of the members of the Community Police-Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC-PC), who are imprisoned at present.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen ONG y personalidades a la Coidh atender ya el caso de matanza de El Charco (La Jornada, 6 de junio de 2014)

En la matanza de El Charco murieron 100 militares, dicen (La Jornada, 7 de junio de 2014)

Sobreviviente de El Charco desmiente versión oficial; murieron 10 militares, dice (La Jornada Guerrero, 7 de junio de 2014)

En El Charco se asesinó a la gente rendida y desarmada, narra uno de los sobrevivientes (La Jornada, 8 de junio de 2014)

A 16 años, en El Charco lo único que cambió es el partido en el poder: Cortés (La Jornada Guerrero, 8 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: Presentation of the Observation Mission Report “A light against impunity” (April 10, 2014)

Guerrero: 18th anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre (July 19, 2013)

Guerrero: 14th anniversary of the El Charco massacre (June 17, 2012)


Guerrero: Police operation provokes confrontations and new arrest of member of CRAC-PC in Tixtla

March 30, 2014

Miembros de las CRAC-PC. Foto (@Sipaz)Members of CRAC-PC. Photo (@Sipaz)

During the morning of 19 March, a police operation carried out by federal and state units took place in the municipal head of Tixtla.

The police intervention had the objective of observing five search-orders and several arrest-orders against members of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) from the El Paraíso Justice House, Ayutla de los Libres municipality, which had been indicated by the state governor Ángel Rivero as having links with guerrilla movements.

The operation resulted in the arrest of Aurora Molina González, sister to Gonzalo Molina, leader of the communal police who was arrested last October, accused by the state and municipal governments of terrorism and links to guerrilla movements.  According to official reports, Aurora Molina had taken control of the communal police of Tixtla following her brother’s arrest.

During the departure of the police convoy, several confrontations took place between police and youth from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, which lies adjacent to Tixtla.

In the afternoon, there was held a march to the Tixtla City Hall to demand the release of Aurora Molina and 12 others detained from the CRAC, whom the protestors qualified as political prisoners.

In the past year, there has developed a crossfire of accusations between the Communal Police and the Tixtla mayor, Gustavo Alcaraz (PRD), whom the former accuse of being allied with organized crime, while the latter accuses the Communal Police of being a destabilizing force linked to guerrilla movements and directed by persons from outside the region.

Beyond this, during the night of 19 March, there was produced an armed confrontation between members of the Communal Police pertaining to the group of coordinator Eliseo Villar Castillo and members of the CRAC, who accuse Villar Castillo of embezzling 740,000 pesos.  What is more, they sought to take the San Luís Acatlán House of Justice unarmed.

The confrontation ended with the intervention of the Army, which entered the CRAC offices to disarm the followers of Villar Castillo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se enfrentan policías de Guerrero y comunitarios en El Fortín (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

La Policía Federal detiene a una dirigente de la guardia comunitaria de Tixtla de Guerrero (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Chocan miembros de la CRAC con policía y Ejército en Guerrero (El Financiero, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Chocan en Guerrero la CRAC y policías (El Universal, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Autodefensas disidentes atacan a comunitarios (Crónica, 20 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Ministerial Police detain Gonzalo Molina, CRAC promoter, en Tixtla (14 November 2013)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC in Olinalá (13 September 2013)

Guerrero: Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) pronounces itself against state decree (26 February 2013)

Guerrero: Authorities linked to the UPOEG occupy the House of Justice of the CRAC in San Luis Acatlán (26 February 2013)

Guerrero: CECOP announces creation of Communal Police in Cacahuatepec communities (22 January 2014)


Guerrero: La Parota communards denounce agression of police-military operation

March 2, 2014

La Parota. Foto (@Sipaz)La Parota (@SIPAZ)

During the morning of 27 February, units from the Army and the federal, state, ministerial, and municipal police invaded the community of Concepción, the site of a sit-in maintained by the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP).

During the operation, which had at its end the location and arrest of CECOP spokesperson Marco Suástegui Muñoz, a number of houses were searched, with possessions stolen and some communards beaten, according to the denunciation made in press-conference by Marco Suástegui, who avoided detection and arrest.

Marco held Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero responsible for the act and warned that CECOP would not allow similar acts to be repeated.

At the root of the events, the CECOP assembly decided to present a complaint before the National Commission on National Rights (CNDH), to strengthen the sit-in, install more checkpoints, and prohibit the entrance of the municipal police and any other governmental representative.

“Now more than ever we will not surrender, nor will we have fear; the message to the governor is that if he wants war, we await him here.  We will await the entrance of the Army; we will install more checkpoints and barricades so that if they want to invade again, we will not be surprised.  In place of intimidating us and making us feel fear, we fear more rage and it strengthens us,” noted Marco Suástegui.

The operation took place days after residents of the zone pertaining to the 47 communities which make up the Communal Goods of Cacahuatepec in the rural area of Acapulco formally installed their own communal police, as regulated by the Regional Council of Communal Authorities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian comuneros de La Parota que policías ministeriales allanaron vivienda (La Jornada, 27 de febrero de 2014)

Denuncian pobladores irrupción del Ejército en La Parota (El Universal, 27 de febrero de 2014)

Irrumpen soldados y policías en busca del líder del Cecop y agreden a una familia (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 de febrero de 2014)

Entrega el Cecop solicitud a la Crac para crear la comunitaria de Cacahuatepec (La Jornada de Guerrero, 5 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: CECOP announces creation of Communal Police in Cacahuatepec communities (22 January 2014)

Guerrero: Sympathizers of the La Parota dam injure two CECOP members with machetes (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: CECOP on red alert after invasion by Army (5 March 2013)

Guerrero: Governor Aguirre Rivero will not support construction of La Parota (27 August 2012)

Guerrero: Federal tribunal confirms end to La Parota dam project (20 July 2012)


Guerrero: CRAC inaugurates fifth House of Justice in the Ometepec municipality

December 18, 2013

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Photo @SIPAZ

On 15 December, during the eighteenth anniversary of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC), a fifth house of justice was inaugurated, which is to be based in Cochoapa, Ometepec municipality.  The protest action also included the integration of the communities Juchitán Callejones de San Luis Acatlán, Chapultepec de Marquelia, Totomixtlahuaca de Tlacoapa, Tixtla, Acatempan, El Troncón, and Los Amates to the CRAC-PC.  In fact, the action to found a new House of Justice in Cochoapa divided the councilors and other members of the CRAC. Adelaida Hernández Nava, coordinator of the House of Justice based in San Luis Acatlán, departed from the march which took place on the anniversary, while the four coordinators of other Houses of Justice in El Paraiso similarly left the scene prematurely so as not to be seen to support the mobilization.

These differences have to do with the internal rule demanding that two years should pass for new members to exercise their rights and so integrate themselves into this alternative system of justice and security.  However, Eliseo Villar Castillo, coordinator of the House of Justice in San Luis Acatlán, recalled that a general assembly had approved the creation of the House of Justice in Cochoapa.  Several members of the CRAC opted for prudence, consensus, and observance of internal regulations.  Councilor Ignacio Navarro called on the new members of the PC to observe the internal rules of the CRAC and to proceed slowly so as not to commit errors.  Valentín Hernández, assessor for the CRAC, noted that there was a silence in terms of the imprisoned communal police: “We are not all here; there are still 13 comrades who are imprisoned.  In case they have made mistakes, this should be discussed and potentially sanctioned by the CRAC, but not by the federal government.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan policías comunitarios en Ometepec, Guerrero (Excelsior, 15 de diciembre de 2013)

La nueva casa de justicia divide a la CRAC (Novedades Acapulco, 15 de diciembre de 2013)

Crea la Crac casa de justicia; tendrá su sede en Cochoapa, Ometepec (La Jornada de Guerrero, 16 de diciembre de 2013)

Marcharon 3 mil policías comunitarios en Ometepec (El faro de la Costa, 17 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC in Olinalá (13 September 2013)

Guerrero: Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) pronounces itself against state decree (26 February 2013)

Guerrero: Authorities linked to the UPOEG occupy the House of Justice of the CRAC in San Luis Acatlán (26 February 2013)

Guerrero: Governor Aguirre intervenes in situation of insecurity in Ayutla. Communal Police repeats: “it is not us” (24 January 2013)

Guerrero: Self-defense against organized crime in 4 municipalities (15 January 2013)

Guerrero: Social insurrection in Olinalá against organized crime (9 November 2012)


Guerrero: CRAC makes announcement in favor of release of arrested coordinators

September 16, 2013

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Nestora Salgado and José Ávila, foto @Los Ángeles Press

On 31 August, in the Playa Larga colony, at a regional assembly which dealt principally with the budget recently assigned them by governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero, the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC) pronounced itself in favor of the release of Nestora Salgado García and Bernardino García Francisco, coordinators from Olinalá y Ayutla, and the 21 communal police who have similarly been detained, in addition to publicly denouncing militarization in communal lands.  The coordinator of the justice house in San Luis Acatlán, Eliseo Villar Castillo, was found guilty of the mistake of having signed an agreement with the government which would officially integrate the communal police into the State structure.  Villar Castillo testified that he had no other option but to accept the imposed credentialing process, as had been agreed to by the rest of the coordinators from San Luis Acatlán, so as to slow down the forcible disarmament processes overseen by the Army.

In other news, Jośe Luis Ávila Baez, husband to Nestora Salgado García, or Commander Nestora, undertook an indefinite hunger strike starting on 28 August in his city of residence in Seattle, Washington.  Nestora Salgado, coordinator of the Communal Police of Olinala, which is associated with the CRAC-PC, has been accused of kidnapping criminals.  She was formally imprisoned, according to the Guerrero state-government’s bulletin, leading her husband to request the intervention of the government of the U.S. toward the end of the immediate release of Nestora, who is a U.S. citizen.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acuerda la Crac exigir la libertad de los comandantes y policías detenidos (Jornada de Guerrero, 1 de septiembre de 2013)

Esposo de Comandante Nestora inicia huelga de hambre en EEUU (Los Angeles Press, 28 de agosto de 2013)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):