Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa

February 5, 2015


Familiares y compañeros de los estudiantes desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa, diciembre de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Relatives and comrades of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, December 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 22 January, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique expressing solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero.  With respect to the case, Las Abejas asked “how it is possible that the supposed president of Mexico and his collaborators repress the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students instead of engaging in a truthful investigation and applying punishment to those responsible for their disappearance?”  They noted beyond this that, if it was the case that the Army was involved in the atrocity, “why hide or cover this up–why do they fear?”

At the municipal level, the Las Abejas Civil Society denounced that Manuel Ansaldo Meneses, whom it indicates as being one of the “paramilitaries [who was responsible for] the Acteal massacre […] is requesting economic support for the other material authors of the massacre and those released from prison by the supposed ministers of justice of the Supreme Court [sic].”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Las Abejas 22 de enero 2015 (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de enero de 2015)

Las Abejas se solidarizan con Bachajon y Ayotzinapa y anuncian su presencia el 24 por Jtatik Samuel (Espoir Chiapas, 22 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: During the XVII anniversary of the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas denounce impunity and affirm, “They could not kill our roots” (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

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Guerrero: 2 months after the disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, more cases of forced disappearances and violence emerge

December 15, 2014

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Photo @SIPAZ

On 26 November, French television channel France 24 reported that two months after the case of the disappearance of 43 normalist students in Iguala, another 31 youth from the neighboring municipality of Cocula were disappeared by organized crime.  The high-school students have been missing since 7 July, though the case was not well-known due to the fear of the locals in light of the death-threats issued by those who carried out the disappearances.  The final day of classes before the start of summer vacations, masked men dressed in marine blue, seemingly riding in police vehicles, kidnapped the youth as they were leaving the Justo Sierra high school.  The school is located just by the mayor’s hall of Cocula.  Local police have also been implicated in the Ayotzinapa case.  National and international journalistic coverage of the 43 normalists from Ayotzinapa motivated the mother of one of the disappeared youth to break the silence.  Other off-camera testimonies confirmed the kidnapping of the youth.  However, the Office for National Security (CNS) reported that no denunciation exists, nor is there any report from the educational authorities, regarding the missing 30 students.  Beyond this, units from the federal police visited the Justo Sierra high school, and the vice principal claimed not to know anything about the disappearance of any students attending the school.  The governor of Guerrero, Rogelio Ortega, indicated that the disappearances of the youth of Cocula took place between 2 and 3 July.  He mentioned that this was documented on the Guerrero state-government’s web page, even though “there was no denunciation made.”

It must be stressed that, in the first 10 months of 2014, at least 12 cases of collective disappearances have been seen in Mexico.  Cases similar to that of Ayotzinapa, even including the same number of victims, have been presented in seven other states.  In the month before the events in Iguala, 199 persons were disappeared.  The states with the highest number of victims have been Puebla, Tamaulipas, and Guerrero.  A year before the disappearance of the 43 Mexican students in Iguala, there was another night of terror in a neighboring community, where residents relate that an armed commando group invaded various houses and forcibly took groups of people, in their majority youth.  Cocula is one of the municipalities of Guerrero where violence has most acutely affected the population.  At least 82 have been disappeared, murdered, or kidnapped in the past 3 years.

Another case of extreme violence in the state took place on 27 November: at least 11 burned and decapitated bodies were found on a path by the community of Ayahualulco in Chilapa. In a communique, the State Prosecutorial General’s Office (FGE) reported that the 11 males killed lost their lives due to gunfire and were then semi-burned.  Their corpses appeared ridden with gunshot wounds emanating from high-caliber firearms.  Beside the bodies, there was a note left that was directed to a criminal group known as “The Squirrels” saying: “There you go, trash.”  Chilapa de Álvarez has been the site of other violence episodes this year.  Between 8 and 10 July, confrontations were registered between presumed criminals and police that left 14 dead.  A day later, six more bodies were found.  It was reported that these persons died after a confrontation between two organized-crime gorups.

For more information (in Spanish):
11 decapitados en Guerrero; PGR atrae investigación (Aristegui Noticias, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Reportan desaparición de otros 31 estudiantes en Cocula (Proceso, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

France 24 revela nuevo secuestro masivo de estudiantes en Guerrero (VIDEO) (SDP Noticias, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

Confirma gobernador de Guerrero desaparición de jóvenes en Cocula (La Jornada, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

Afirman autoridades que no hay denuncia sobre secuestro en Cocula (La Jornada, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

La noche olvidada de Cocula (El Faro, 23 de octubre de 2014)

Desaparecen 5 al día tras caso Ayotzinapa (Excelsior, 26 de noviembre de 2014)

Cocula: 82 desaparecidos, asesinados o secuestrados en los tres últimos años (El Sur de Acapulco, 27 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Day of actions for Ayotzinapa to observe the Mexican Revolution (7 December 2014)

Mexico/Chiapas: National Brigade for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protest for Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)


National: Secretary General of Amnesty International visits Mexico

March 1, 2014

@Informador

From 15 to 18 February, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International (AI), visited Mexico for the first time since taking his charge in June 2010.  In this sense, Shetty deplored that in Mexico human rights “are not a priority, particularly in the agenda of the president”: “In the last five or six years we have seen a regression […] and some of the data even tell us of a crisis.”

The AI official expressed his concern regarding forced disappearances “which have taken tens of thousands of lives in the last decade,” the vulnerabilities faced by undocumented migrants who suffer “extortion, murder, and sexual violence, while the authorities fail their obligations to protect them,” and the continuous aggressions against journalists and human-rights defenders.  In this respect, AI recommends in its report to “guarantee that those responsible be brought to justice.”  It also recalls that, despite EPN’s promise during the presidential campaign to “implement policies and actions to eradicate all forms of torture,” the “justice system continue to use torture as a principal means of investigation.”

Finally, Shetty lamented “the near-total impunity of these crimes and the infiltration of organized crime in the security forces,” stressing the risks that are run by allowing self-defense groups to do the work of the government.

The visit of the Secretary General closed with a meeting with Peña Nieto in which the former told the latter of his analysis of the human-rights situation in the country, as summarized in the report “The Challenges for Mexico in Terms of Human Rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Peña Nieto no tiene en su agenda a los derechos humanos” : Amnistía Internacional (Animal Politico, 18 de febrero de 2014)

México vive una crisis de derechos humanos : AI en CNN (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de febrero de 2014)

Proyecta México una falsa imagen de respeto a garantías, dice Shetty (La Jornada, 17 de febrero de 2014)

En México, graves retrocesos y violaciones a derechos :  AI (Aristegui Noticias, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Espera AI apoyo de las autoridades (Vanguardia, 16 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Insufficient attention to human rights on the part of EPN (20 March 2013)

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)

Chiapas: Presentation of report on torture in Chiapas “From Cruelty to Cynicism” (2 July 2012)

The OMCT condemns torture in Chiapas (18 August 2011)

 


Chiapas: Preaudience of the Permanent Tribunal of the People in Susuclumil, Tila

December 17, 2013

Conferencia de prensa donde leyeron el Dictamen del TPP

On 6 and 7 December 2013 in the community of Susuclumil, Tila, Chiapas, there was held a pre-audience for the Mexico chapter of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), part of the “Focus on Dirty War – violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice.”  Relatives of victims, survivors, and those displaced from the Northern Zone and Highlands of Chiapas presented their word regarding the “victims of the counter-insurgent and extermination strategies contemplated in the Plan for Chiapas Campaign 94 which was implemented by the Mexican government following the insurrection of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in 1994, which resulted in dozens of forced disappearances, murders, force displacements, rapes, and massacres; all of these are crimes against humanity which continue to go unpunished.”

In the event, there were presented testimonies regarding the extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances committed during the second half of the 1990s in the zone below Tila, in addition to the forced displacements of the communities of Chuctiejá, Miguel Alemán, Jolnixtié I Sección, Masojá Shuchá, El Limar, and Masojá Grande. The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights has documented 85 extrajudicial executions, 35 forced disappearances, and at least 3500 displaced persons during this time in the northern zone of Chiapas.

The ruling of the TPP, also presented in a press-conference in San Cristobal de las Casas on 9 December, stresses that “We have heard the pain, fear, and injustice of the looting experienced and suffered by the survivors of extrajudicial executions, torture, forced disappearances, forced displacement, rape, looting of resources and land as a consequence of the actions taken by the Mexican government […].  The Mexican State is responsible at the three levels of government, as originating in the security forces at the state, municipal, and Army levels, for they gave support and economic aid to paramilitary groups, particularly the grouping named ‘Development, Peace, and Justice’ […].  From the evidence which speak to these human-rights violations, crimes against humanity and genocide can be seen in the policies exercised against the indigenous Ch’ol, Tzotzil, and Tseltal peoples.  These actions continue to the present day, when we celebrate this pre-audience.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La guerra contra el EZLN, las otras víctimas (Parte 1), Chiapas paralelo, 10 de diciembre de 2013

Siguen impunes crímenes en Chiapas (El Universal, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Inicia preaudiencia del Tribunal Permanente de Pueblos en Tila, Chiapas (La Jornada, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Dictamen de la preaudiencia en Chiapas

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Invitation to attend the preaudience “Meeting for justice and truth” in Susuclumil, Tila municipality (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces “climate of violence” generated by the CFE in the zone below Tila (11 de abril de 2013)

Chiapas: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)

Chiapas: in Masojá Shucjá, memory and demand for justice for the victims of paramilitaries in 1995 and 1996 (7 October 2010)

Chiapas: 14 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Pérez Torres by Paz y Justicia paramilitaries (30 June 2010)


Oaxaca: Publication of report “Human rights in Oaxaca 2009-2013. Citizens’ report: a pressing debt”

August 20, 2013

imagesCivil-society organizations have published the report “Human rights in Oaxaca 2009-2013. Citizens’ report: a pressing debt.”  The report indicates that, although during the period analyzed there were legislative advances (changes in 30 articles of the Oaxacan constitution), these changes were no reflected in the public policies applied by authorities.  The report mentions the principal problems faced in the state: attacks on human-rights defenders and impunity in these crimes; an official rights-defense ministry that does not award precautionary measures, having neither personnel nor budget; indigenous peoples who are greatly marginalized, lacking access to the justice system and facing the violation of their collective rights through the construction of megaprojects; criminalization of social protest; torture; arbitrary arrests; extrajudicial executions; and forced disappearences, among other human-rights violations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca y los DH ante el EPU (PRODH, retomado por El Universal, 7 de agosto de 2013)

Los Derechos Humanos en Oaxaca 2009-2012. Informe Ciudadano: Una Deuda Pendiente (pdf, 33 pág.)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Denunciation of wave of attacks against journalists and activists (21 July 2013)


National: UN presents “Report on the situation of human-rights defenders in Mexico: update for 2012 and assessment 2013”

July 19, 2013

Screenshot-2013-06-18_18.52.19-300x225On 25 June, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico presented the “Report on the situation of human-rights defenders in Mexico: update for 2012 and assessment 2013,” which reported that, from 2010 to 2012, 89 cases of aggressions against activists had been found, and that authorities had only prosecuted three presumed people responsible for the documented attacks; however, there exists no “firm sentence” against any of them.  The Commissioner emphasizes that “the lack of sanctioning of perpetrators does not only contribute to the repetition of the acts, but also aggravates the level of risk in which rights-defenders carry out their work.”

The report notes that in the majority of aggressions reported during this period took place in the states of Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero, and Mexico City, affecting 26 women, 35 men, 11 human-rights organizations, and four relatives of rights-defenders.  It stresses that at least 23 persons or organizations had been awarded precautionary measures in their favor, having been attacked.  A plurality of the cases referred to death-threats (38%), arbitrary actions (13%), harassment (12%), arbitrary arrests (11%), murder (11%), attacks (6%), and forced disappearances (2%).  From 2006 to date, 22 rights-defenders and five familymembers have been killed in Mexico, and the whereabouts of six other defenders is unknown.

Javier Hernández Valencia, representative of the High Commissioner’s Office, stressed that “it it not only organized crime which attacks defenders,” given that “at least in nearly a fourth of the cases state actors were identified as those responsible for the actions, and for this reason we must continue strengthening our efforts to activate protocols and not remain stuck with accusations, but rather progress to the arrest of those responsible.”

The subsecretary of governance, Lía Limón García, who was present at the event, reported that since the launching of the “Mechanism of protection for rights-defenders and journalists,” there have been received 81 requests for incorporation, of which 33 correspond to journalists and 48 to activists.  She agreed that the “best means of protecting rights-defenders and journalists is to investigate the cases which exist of aggressions, attacks, and death-threats, so as to sanction and inhibit these abuses.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Defensores de DH, víctimas de caciques: ONU (El Universal, 27 de junio de 2013)

Alerta ONU por impunidad en agresiones a activistas en México (Proceso, 26 de junio de 2013)

ONU: persisten agresiones contra defensores de DH (El Universal, 26 de junio de 2013)

Defensores de derechos humanos, en la indefensión (Proceso, 25 de junio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Governmental Council for Mechanism of Protection for Journalists and Defenders is Installed (20 July 2012)

Mexico: human-rights organizations affirm that “human rights are NOT an existing reality in the country” (3 March 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)

Mexico: Presentation of the 2010-2011 diagnostic regarding human-rights observers (8 February 2012)