Guerrero/National/International: UN Committee against Forcible Disappearance (CED) to evaluate the case of Mexico

February 10, 2015


Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 2 and 3 February, the UN Committee against Forcible Disappearance (CED) evaluated the question of Mexico’s observance of its obligations, as stipulated in the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons against Forcible Disappearance, for the first time.  Relatives of two of the 43 disappeared students from the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, accompanied by a dozen Mexican human-rights organizations, arrived to Geneva to represent their peers.  They gave presentations at the United Nations and shared with the international community their profound indignation over the events of late September that took place in Guerrero state.  Bernabé Abraham Gaspar, father of Adán Abraham de la Cruz, one of the victims, emphasized that “for us, our sons are not dead.  They have been disappeared.  It is for that reason that we have come to the United Nations, so that you can help us find them.”

The CED has deeply questioned the Mexican State in relation to the actions and policies supposedly designed to prevent, investigate, and sanction forcible disappearances, as well as to search out the missing and protect their families.  In this sense, the Committee interrogated the State regarding the reasons for the closure of the FEMOSPP, an institution that had been charged with investigating the grave human-rights violations that took place during the “Dirty War” of the 1970’s, as well as the lengthy delay of the federal government in attending to the case of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.  The CED indicated that the Ayotzinapa case represents a serious challenge for the Mexican State, but that it also demonstrates a broader structural problem that has developed due to impunity. Stephanie Erin Brewer, coordinator of International Affairs at the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights, has indicated that the question of impunity has been present at all moments, given that the members of the Committee have indicated that there are exceedingly few cases in which sentences have been handed down.  She inquired into the reasons behind the closure of the Special Prosecutorial Office for Past Crimes and other events, such as the faulty classification of this type of crime.  The conclusions and recommendations for Mexico will be made public on 13 February.

For more information (in Spanish):

México ante el Comité contra la Desaparición Forzada: la obligación de hacer de la crisis actual un punto de inflexión en la política del Estado(Centro ProDH, 3 de febrero de 2015)

“Que no nos mientan más…que se haga justicia” (Alba TV, 2 de febrero de 2015)

INFORME | La Desaparición Forzada de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa frente al CED (Tlachinollan, 2 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: civil organizations and Mexican State before the IACHR

November 12, 2014


During the last week of October, at least 20 Mexican civil organizations testified at five audiences before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C., to denounce past cases of impunity as well as current human-rights violations and the criminalization of social protest in the country.

The first audience had been requested by the Mexican government to present the National Program on Human Rights.  At the doors of the hall where the audience was to be held, dozens of protestors were assembled, holding photos of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa.  They received the Mexican governmental delegation with the slogan, “Alive you took them; alive we want them back!”  Lía Limón García, subsecretary on Juridical Affairs and Human Rights from the Secretary of Governance (SEGOB), recognized that Mexico is experiencing a time that challenges the normative advances made by the country’s government in recent years, and she affirmed that “the Mexican State will not rest until we find the normalist students.”

The Mexican civil-society organizations denounced for their part that “the humanitarian crisis confronting the country due to testimonies and denunciations of the disappeared, murdered, displaced, tortured, and injured have been ignored, covered up, and reduced to mere statistics by the government.”  They indicated that “the government’s efforts are focused on demonstrating the ‘Mexican moment’ of supposed progress and welfare.”  They also accused the State of “being responsible for the perpetration and perpetuation of grave, generalized, and systematic human-rights violations.”

Cases of disappearances and execution of persons from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s were also discussed, with this period of time being stressed as featuring “the connection between impunity for crimes committed during the badly named Dirty War and what is now happening in Mexico.”

The executive secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Álvarez Icaza (Mexican), lamented that the forcible disappearances recur as practices in the country, and he affirmed that “the events of Ayotzinapa, Tlatlaya, and Puebla are lamentable, but so is the fact that these types of crimes took place previously.  This is a worrying sign.”

Another audience addressed the restrictions on protest made by legislation and the human-rights violations associated with repression of protest-actions.  10 federal and local bills were discussed that would regulate and constrain mobilizations.

For more information (in Spanish):

El Estado mexicano presume avances en la CIDH, y ONG’s reviran: el país está en crisis (Sin Embargo, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

México solicita ayuda a la CIDH por Ayotzinapa (El Universal, 31 de octubre de 2014)

Plantea la CIDH dar asistencia técnica a México para buscar a los 43 desaparecidos (La Jornada, 31 de octubre de 2014)

No sólo es en Ayotzinapa, Tlatlaya y Puebla, es en todo el país, advierte la CIDH (Sin Embargo, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Abuchean a delegación mexicana en la CIDH por caso Iguala: “Regrésalos EPN” (Sin Embargo, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Posicionamiento de organizaciones de la sociedad civil sobre las graves violaciones de derechos humanos y la falta de respuestas del Estado mexicano (OSC, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Informe completo “Derechos Humanos y Protesta Social en México” (Frente por la libertad de expresión y la protesta social, octubre de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Nacional: piden ONG a visita oficial de la CIDH a México ante la “crisis en derechos humanos” (14 de agosto de 2014)

Guerrero: 40 years since the forced disappearance of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco

September 2, 2014

imagesOn 25 August 1974, Rosendo Radilla Pacheco was illegally arrested at a military checkpoint. He was last seen alive in the Military Barracks of Atoyac de Álvarez, Guerrero. Rosendo Radilla was a celebrated social activist from the Atoyac municipality who worked for the health and education of his people and acted as mayor.

For the executive secretary of the Association of Relatives of the Detained, Disappeared, and Victims of Human-Rights Violations in Mexico (AFADEM), Julio Mata Montiel, the lack of political will from the federal government, “be from whichever [party] it may be,” is the principal cause for the continued impunity in the case. He assured that “on 25 August will have passed 40 years since the forced disappearance of Rosendo Radilla, one of 470 disappearances in Atoyac which took place during this time, despite the recommendations from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and a sentence that was handed down five years ago by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) against the Mexican State. However, the State still refuses to reveal the whereabouts of Rosendo Radilla, such that the Mexican government is not concerned by international condemnation.”

It should be mentioned in these terms that on 22 August ended the excavations which the Guerrero Truth Commission (Comverdad) carried out for three days in Atoyac in an attempt to seek out possible clandestine burial sites associated with the 49th Infantry Batallion. Nicomedes Fuentes García, Comverdad member, reported that they had found bones which will be analyzed to determine their origins. Tita Radilla Martínez, daughter to Rosendo Radilla, has insisted that it is necessary that this labor be carried out by specialized experts. She announced that no public act would be taken to commemorate the anniversary of her father’s disappearance.

For more information (in Spanish):

Más elementos sobre el caso Rosendo Radilla Pacheco (CMDPDH)

Al reanudar excavaciones, la Comverdad encuentra osamenta en Atoyac (La Jornada de Guerrero, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Sugieren familiares a la Comverdad parar las excavaciones hasta que lleguen especialistas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 23 de agosto de 2014)

Concluye la Comverdad las excavaciones en Atoyac; esperan que se reanuden con peritos (El Sur de Acapulco, 24 de agosto de 2014)

No le importa al gobierno aclarar crímenes: Afadem (La Jornada de Guerrero, 24 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Mexican State is denounced for failing to observe its obligations in the Rosendo Radilla Pacheco case (2 June 2014)

Guerrero: Homage to Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, disappeared by the Army (15 March 2014)

Guerrero: Soldiers harass Tita Radilla in Atoyac (7 December 2013)

Guerrero/National: SCJN affirms observance of IACHR sentences in Radilla and Cantú cases (28 September 2012)

Guerrero: Homage to Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, disappeared by the Army

March 15, 2014

rosendo radilla

Coinciding with the centenary of the birth of the activist Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, who was forcibly disappeared by Army elements in 1974, relatives and members of social organizations have rendered him an homage in Atoyac de los Libres, demanding punishment of the perpetrators of his disappearance.

“100 years have passed in the life of Rosendo; for us this is a very special date, because as family we cannot let this important date pass because this man struggled greatly for his people, and though we do not have him with us anymore, we remember him with much tenderness,” said Tita Radilla, Rosendo’s daughter and president of the Association of Relatives of the Detained, Disappeared, and Victims of Human-Rights Violation (AFADEM).

Although the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) released a sentence condemning the Mexican State for grave human-rights violations, Tita Radilla has criticized the lack of observance of said sentence on the government’s part: “yes there has been compensation, but due to security concerns I would rather not disclose the amount.  The problem is not this; the problem is the hope that we would like to share with the families of the disappeared.  We always think that if we found Rosendo, then there would be hope among the people: we continue with this hope, but it takes its toll.  I am now 62 years old.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Celebran centenario de Rosendo Radilla en Guerrero (El Universal, 1 de marzo de 2014)

Activistas y familiares rinden homenaje a Rosendo Radilla (Terra, 1 de marzo de 2014)

Celebran deudos 100 años del nacimiento de Rosendo Radilla (La Jornada de Guerrero, 2 de marzo de 2014)

Caso Rosendo Radilla Pacheco (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Soldiers harass Tita Radilla in Atoyac (7 December 2013)

Guerrero/National: SCJN affirms observance of IACHR sentences in Radilla and Cantú cases (28 September 2012)

Guerrero briefs: The PGR should report on the Radilla case (13 December 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: government announces installation of Commission of Truth and Tita Radilla receives recognition (28 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: State accepts responsibility in Radilla case in absence of relatives (27 November 2011)

Guerrero: Attack on members of the Truth Commission (Comverdad)

February 7, 2014


On 29 January, the president of the Truth Commission (Comverdad), Enrique González Ruiz, denounced that the human-rights defender Pilar Noriega García and the ex-guerrillero Nicomedes Fuentes García, both of themmembers of the Comverdad, were subjected to an attack on 28 January on the federal highway between Iguala and Chilpancingo, on the outskirts of the latter city.

Two trucks carrying armed men approached the Comverdad vehicle in which Fuentes and Noriega were traveling, and the former requested the latter to stop.  They stopped in a hilly region and then abandoned the vehicle, fleeing into nature until the following day.  A penal denunciation was submitted to the Guerrero State Attorney General’s Office.

In light of these acts, the Commission for Human Rights of Mexico City demanded that the federal and Guerrero state governments to create the necessary conditions for rights-defenders like Pilar Noriega and Nicomedes Fuentes to be able to continue their work securely.

The Comverdad has as its mission “the elaboration of a report of those persons affected during the period of the Dirty War of the twentieth century (1969-1979), […] so as to provide recommendations for the justice system in relation to the offended victims and families.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Sufren atentado Comisionados de la Comisión de la Verdad de Guerrero(Boletín de prensa, Comverdad. 29 de enero de 2014)

Atentado contra dos miembros de la Comisión de la Verdad de Guerrero (La Jornada, 30 de enero de 2014)

Hombres armados intimidan a integrantes de la Comverdad en carretera, denuncian (La Jornada de Guerrero, 30 de enero de 2014)

Pide CDHDF seguridad para defensores de Comisión de la Verdad (Milenio, 30 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Death-threats directed against two activists with the Truth Commission (7 February 2013)

Guerrero: 18th anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre

July 19, 2013

Vado de Aguas Blancas (@SIPAZ)

On 28 June, some 500 persons, members of social organizations from Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Mexico City, marched in Coyuca de Benítez, Guerrero, to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the “Aguas Blancas” massacre, which took place in June 1995, taking the lives of 17 campesinos.  Participants in the march denounced that, 18 years later, justice still had not been done, and so they requested that the case be reopened, that those responsible be punished, and that better security be afforded to social movements, given that repression against social leaders continues to date.

Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, legal coordinator for the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, affirmed that “accounts must be settled with the past, especially the so-called Dirty War, which in terms of El Charco or Aguas Blancas necessitates justice, truth, and reparation of damages done, given that 18 years later, we have not achieved any of these points.”  He said that those truly responsible today “continue making policy in the state.”

For his part, Luis Walton Aburto, mayor of Acapulco, called for never again such crimes to be committed due to excessive power being projected against the citizens, and much less against the poorest of Guerrero.  He recognized that “despite the great efforts taken today by the federal government and the state government, we should recognize that in Guerrero the conditions of backwardness and social exclusion persist.”  He stressed that social movements in Guerrero promote legitimate causes and that “we are convinced that neither repression nor harassment will be able to resolve the conflicts presented in the state.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan por 18 años de masacre en Aguas Blancas (El Universal, 28 de junio de 2013)

Piden sancionar a responsables de Aguas Blancas (El Universal, 28 de junio de 2013)

Reactivó la represión el gobierno de Peña, acusan en Aguas Blancas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 29 de junio de 2013)

Que nunca se repita un exceso de poder contra ciudadanos, plantea Luis Walton (La Jornada de Guerrero, 29 de junio de 2013)

Fue homicidio político, dicen en el vado (La Jornada de Guerrero, 29 de junio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: 17th anniversary of the Aguas Blancas massacre (10 July 2012)

Guerrero: Solidarity marches 16 years after the Aguas Blancas massacre (17 July 2011)

Guerrero: PGJE requests 50 years for Raúl Hernández (11 August)

Guerrero: Briefs: Detention of FODEG member, Raúl Hernández received threats and announcement of the commemoration of the massacre at Aguas Blancas (30 June 2010)

Guerrero: 2nd anniversary of the imprisonment of Raúl Hernández (23 April 2010)


Guerrero: Death-threats directed against two activists with the Truth Commission

February 7, 2013


The Guerrero Truth Commission (Comverdad Guerrero), which investigates human-rights violations committed in this southern state during the so-called “Dirty War” of the 1960s and 1970s, has denounced on 5 February that one of its investigators, Carlos Ernesto López, and the son of one of the disappeared whose whereabouts comprises part of the investigation, Miguel Flores Leonardo, have received anonymous death-threats and harassment during the past week.  Precautionary measures have been requested for the affected.  Carlos Ernesto López is a member of the investigation team whose work has to do with evidence from the General Archive of the Nation.  Miguel Flores, for his part, is a witness for the commission, being the child of a detained/disappeared person.  The authors of the death-threats have warned the family that if Miguel continues to work with the investigation, “you will find his body in pieces.”

Comverdad Guerrero, which a year ago began its work to clarify historical crimes against humanity as committed by the State in its counter-insurgent work, will in April publish its latest findings, as it is required to do so, according to its internal laws.  The final results will be made public in 2014.

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazas de muerte contra dos activistas de la Comisión de la Verdad de Guerrero (La Jornada de Guerrero, 5 de febrero de 2013)

Amenazas de muerte contra dos activistas de la Comisión de la Verdad de Guerrero (NoticiasABC, 5 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – breves: request for investigation period for Truth Commission to be expanded (13 December 2011)