Guerrero/International: Eurocaravan for Ayotzinapa prohibited from protesting in front of Mexican embassy in Spain

June 7, 2015

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Photo @SIPAZ archive

On May 7 in Madrid, police prohibited a protest that had been planned outside the Mexican Embassy in Spain over the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School Isidro Burgos from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.  Some 50 meters from the embassy, the police closed off access to the march attended by more than a hundred person, being a peaceful protest led by relatives and representatives of the disappeared youth who are visiting Europe to demand justice from the Mexican State and the return with life of the 43 students.  “The demand for the presentation with life of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural School who were disappeared by the Mexican State last September continues to be valid,” stressed Román Hernández, from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, during a press-conference held with members of the EuroCaravana43 in Madrid. Hernández added that in Mexico there is a “human-rights crisis” and he denounced that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto tends toward repudiation of international oversight in terms of human-rights violations.

Beyond this, parents of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa and people in solidarity have called on the world to sign a letter to the European Parliament calling for a review of the observance of treaties with Europe to which Mexico is a signatory.  The letter mentions that “the European Union and the member-states have signed a treaty of association with Mexico, and accordingly they must take responsibility for the complete execution of international law.  For this reason, we call for the creation of a Specialized Commission for the Investigation of the participation of the Mexican State in the murder of 6 individuals in Guerrero State and the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.”

The Facebook page “EuroCaravana 43 Ayotzinapa” denounces the responsibility of the German State for the disappearance of the students, given the illegal arms sale prosecuted by a German firm in Mexico.  Heckler & Koch, the corporation in question, sent thousands of weapons to Mexico illegally, as authorities from the surrounding region of Cologne have determined in an investigation that was published in local media on 7 May.  According to these findings, Heckler & Koch sold 9,472 G-36 rifles to Mexico between 2003 and 2011.  4,767 of these reached Jalisco, Guerrero, Chiapas, and Chihuahua states without official authorization.

For more information (in Spanish):

Impiden protesta por Ayotzinapa en Embajada Mexicana en España (UNO Oaxaca, 7 de mayo de 2015)

Invitación a firmar carta dirigida al Parlamento Europeo (change.org)

Confirma Alemania envío ilegal de armas a México (La Jornada, 7 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (28 de abril de 2015)

Guerrero/International: Brigade for Ayotzinapa travels to Europe (24 April 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and a crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

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National/International: Conclusions of the Fifth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between the European Union and Mexico

April 24, 2015

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Upon the conclusion of the Fifth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between the European Union (EU) and Mexico, a meeting which took place in Tlatelolco, between the Mexican State and an EU representative, the bilateral agreements that had been arranged were announced.  During this fifth edition of the Dialogue, the recommendations from the Third Seminar of Civil Society were contemplated in terms of the question of the strengthening of the State of Right; the situation of the rights of migrants, refugees, and the displaced; the situation of children and adolescents; and respect for firms and human rights.

The civil society concluded that the present crisis of severe human-rights violations has been made possible due to the levels of corruption and impunity and the lack of effective mechanisms to prevent, investigate, punish, and compensate for human-rights violations.  In this sense, they call on the EU and Mexican governments to observe these same standards for respect for human rights that they demand from other countries.  In addition, they called on the authorities to carry out effective investigations that will guarantee the appropriate penal and administrative sanctions for those responsible and guarantee the adequate classification of human-rights violations.  Specifically with regard to the Ayotzinapa case, the civil society calls on the Mexican State to “implement the recommendations released by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts empowered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to put an end to forcible disappearances.”  Similarly, the civil-society organizations have demanded the creation of a transnational mechanism for the immediate search and rescue of disappeared peoples, in consultation with their families.

As an agreement within the Dialogue, Mexico and the EU commit themselves to strengthening three of the areas of their bilateral relations: to prevent and combat the employment of torture, to register all those forcibly disappeared, as well as to advance the mission of the Mechanism of Protection for Journalists and Human-Rights Defenders.

For more information (in Spanish):

Tlatlaya y Ayotzinapa, temas en el diálogo entre México y Unión Europea (La Jornada, 17 de abril de 2015)
Conclusiones del Tercer Seminario de la Sociedad Civil en el marco del Quinto Diálogo de Alto Nivel sobre Derechos Humanos entre México y la Unión Europea (CDHFBC, 16 de abril de 2015)

Exigen ONG mexicanas y europeas a Peña acatar recomendaciones sobre tortura (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2015)

México debe acatar recomendaciones de CIDH: ONGs (El Universal, ‎16 de abril de 2015‎)

Pactan México y UE promoción de derechos humanos y democracia (El Universal, 15 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: Mexico confronts a “humanitarian crisis” amidst context of violence and impunity, denounces civil society in Brussels (30 March 2014)


Oaxaca: “Justice in Mexico is slow and selective, and it leaves victims without protection”: Euro-deputies on the Copala case

March 10, 2015

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Photo: Cuartoscuro/Archive

In mid-February, a committee of female deputies from the European Parliament who participate in the Mixed Parliamentary Commission (CPM) Mexico-European Union lamented that in Mexico justice is slow, selective, and dismissive of protection for the families of victims, after finishing a meeting with Oaxacan officials.  During their seventh visit to Mexico, they came to assess progress in the investigation of the murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, of Finnish citizenship, on 27 April 2010, as they were participating in a humanitarian-aid caravan toward San Juan Copala.  One member of the committee held that it is incredible that, five years after the murders, the Mexican authorities had only made two arrests, and that the 11 arrest-orders against the presumed killers who serve in public office go unobserved.  “The advance in the process has been incredibly slow.  As a European I can really say that this is a simple case that could have been resolved very rapidly, because from the start it has been clear who those responsible have been, but now the lawyers must seek out the suspects as well as possible witnesses.  That is very strange,” she said.

Beyond this, the National Association of Democratic Laywers (ANAD) denounced that two of the principal witnesses in the case are at risk because they have been threatened by members of Unity for Social Welfare in the Triqui Region (UBISORT), thus leading them to request political asylum in Finland or another European country.  The Euro-deputies said it would be “disastrous” for the Mexican government if the two primary witnesses in the case find it necessary to flee the country.  “Until November 2014 there was a clear commitment to protect the witnesses with concrete measures, but for some reason it now seems that there is no agreement about who will do it now.  There is a sort of back-and-forth among the federal and state authorities.  It is unacceptable that the victims suffer, and that impunity prevail,” stressed the deputies.

Another of the representatives affirmed that “the case of Jyri and Bety is a possible opening to defy impunity.  It is an emblematic case that exemplifies how a relatively straightforward case can be converted into a process full of injustice.”  She added that, “If this case has been so slow, despite all the public attention it has received, we ask how it is for those victims whose cases go unheard.”  The legislators have announced that they will continue to return to Mexico until the Cariño and Jaakkola case is resolved.

For more information (in Spanish):

Detienen a dos funcionarios de Oaxaca por el homicidio de los activistas Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Animal Político, 2 de marzo de 2015)

La justicia en México es lenta y selectiva, y no busca proteger a las víctimas: Eurodiputadas (Sin embargo, 23 de febrero de 2015)

Eurodiputadas piden proteger a testigos del caso Bety Cariño (CIMAC Noticias, 18 de febrero de 2015)

Eurodiputadas exigen avance en caso Jaakkola (La Jornada, 22 de febrero de 2015)

¿Cómo se ve México desde el extranjero? Corrupto y con dolor, dicen periodistas en EU (Sin embargo, 21 de febrero de 2015)

Testigos del crimen de los activistas Cariño y Jaakkola pedirán asilo político en Finlandia (Proceso, 11 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Two female witnesses threatened in the murder case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (1 March 2015)

Oaxaca: 4 years and 7 months later, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola is apprehended (8 February 2015)

Oaxaca: Parents of Jyri Jaakkola visit Mexico for fifth time to demand justice (7 December 2014)

National/Oaxaca: Mothers of the disappeared express solidarity with Omar Esparza and his family on hunger strike (18 May 2014)

Oaxaca: In response to 4 years of impunity, hunger strikes and protests taken to resist murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (2 May 2014)


Oaxaca: 4 years and 7 months on, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola is apprehended

February 8, 2015

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On 21 January, Elías Cruz Merino, leader of the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and official of San Juan Copala, was arrested as one of the presumed murderers of the human-rights defenders Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Finnish).  Both were killed in April 2010 as they participated in a humanitarian caravan headed to San Juan Copala.  Cruz Merino is accused of the premeditated murder of the two activists.

Since April of last year, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers denounced that those responsible for the murders had been plainly identified, but that the government had refused to implement the corresponding arrest-orders.

Omar Esparza Zárate, widower of Bety Cariño and leader of the Indigenous Zapatista Agrarian Movement (MAIZ), affirmed that this arrest constitutes an advance, but he observed that 10 other arrest-orders remain unobserved.  He noted: “For us it is clear that they continue to be protected by certain power-groups in Oaxaca.  Still, we will continue to demand that justice not be delayed but instead expedited.”    Esparza Zárate also announced that European parliamentarians will carry out a visit to Mexico in February to pressure the Mexican State and continue demanding justice.

For more information (in Spanish):

Capturan a policía implicado en crimen de los activistas Cariño y Jaakkola (Proceso, 22 de enero de 2015)

Encarcelan a dirigente del MULT por homicidio de ‘Bety’ Cariño y de finlandés (Radio Formula, 22 de enero de 2015)

Capturan a presunto homicida de Bety Cariño (Noticias.net, 23 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Parents of Jyri Jaakkola visit Mexico for fifth time to demand justice (7 December 2014)

National/Oaxaca: Mothers of the disappeared express solidarity with Omar Esparza and his family on hunger strike (18 May 2014)

Oaxaca: In response to 4 years of impunity, hunger strikes and protests taken to resist murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (2 May 2014)

Oaxaca: Three-year impunity continues in the case of the murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (17 May 2013)

Oaxaca: 12 arrest-orders released against presumed material authors of the murder of the Mexican defender Bety Cariño and the Finnish observer Jyri Jaakkola (12 October 2012)


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

November 3, 2014

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Mobilization “A light for Ayotzinapa” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Photo@SIPAZ

On 22 October, the protest-day “A light for Ayotzinapa” was held in dozens of cities in Mexico and abroad.  In Mexico City itself, 50,000 participated in the march, according to city authorities.  In Iguala, protestors marched the same route taken by the normalist students before they were attacked by police.  In Chiapas, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) carried out a prayer and protest.  Furthermore, thousands of citizens, including students and teachers, participated in the mobilizations in several cities of the state.  Students from different educational centers throughout the world joined the action, manifesting themselves in their countries for the disappearances of the 43 students.

On 23 October, Navy units arrested José Luis Abarca, former mayor of Iguala, and his wife Maria de Los Ángeles Pineda Villa, who have been indicated by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) as those who ordered the disappearance of the 43 students on 26 September.  Following their arrest, they were required to declare themselves before the Specialized Subprosecutorial Office for Investigations into Organized Crime (SEIDO).  The arrest was executed by the Navy with support from the PGR in a hotel in the capital of Veracruz state.

Also on 23 October, following weeks of calls to this end from all standpoints, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, governor of Guerrero, publicly announced his resignation before the state congress over the Iguala case.  He began the announcement by summarizing the advances his administration had made in the Iguala case, though he did not provide any information regarding the actual whereabouts of the disappeared.  In fact, the administration of Ángel Aguirre Rivero began with the murder of two other normalist students from Ayotzinapa: Gabriel Echeverría de Jesús and Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino were shot dead by federal and ministerial police on the Sol Highway on 12 December as they were clearing a blockade. This case continues in impunity.

The same day, nine new mass-gravesites were located in the La Parota zone near Iguala by communards who are members of the Union of Peoples and Organizations from Guerrero State (UPOEG).  They referred their findings to the federal police for investigation.

In other news, the European Parliament on 23 October approved a resolution condemning the events in Iguala that calls for the European Union (EU) to restrengthen its cooperation with Mexico in terms of human rights.  The resolution demands the continuation of investigations “until the students [are found to be] safe,” lamenting the “apparent infiltration of organized crime in local police and administrative organizations.”  The resolution presented the government of Enrique Peña Nieto as a victim of organized crime, and not as a principally responsible party in the acts.  In this sense, the European Green Party and the Unified European Left/Nordic Greens decided to distance themselves from this declaration and instead released their own proposal for resolution.  Both groups support the intervention in Mexico of the International Criminal Court (ICC) located in the Hague, as well as the suspension of the bilateral Global Mexico-EU accord, security agreements, and the arms trade with Mexico.  This alternative resolution interprets the events of Ayotzinapa as a spiral of violence that originates in years of impunity and broken promises by Mexican authorities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Detiene a exedil de Iguala y a su esposa (Eje Central, 24 de cotubre de 2014)

Parlamento Europeo condena desaparición de normalistas (El Universal, 23 de octubre de 2014)

Rechaza Parlamento Europeo condenar a México (El Universal, 22 de octubre de 2014)

Se divide Parlamento Europeo por desapariciones en Ayotzinapa(Proceso, 22 de octubre de 2014)
Tomó por sorpresa a diputados decisión de Aguirre de renunciar: Campos Aburto (La Jornada de Guerrero, 24 de octubre de 2014)

Hallazgo de 9 fosas más en Iguala; “había mochilas y lapiceros”: UPOEG(Aristegui Noticias, 24 de octubre de 2014)

Cobertura de marcha por Ayotzinapa: padres dan plazo de 2 días a autoridades (La Jornada, 22 de octubre de 2014)

“Nuestra luz es una forma de abrazar a quienes hoy hacen falta”: EZLN (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

Guerrero: Contradictory versions regarding findings from graves in Iguala three weeks after the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa – Protests are radicalized (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)

Guerrero: Impunity continues in the Ayotzinapa case (17 May 2013)

Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (21 December 2011)


Guerrero: Contradictory versions regarding findings from graves in Iguala three weeks after the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa – protests are radicalized

October 25, 2014

Protesta ante caso Ayotzinapa (@pocamadrenews.blogspot.com)

Protest for the Ayotzinapa case (@pocamadrenews.wordpress.com)

More than three weeks after the forcible disappearance of 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, their whereabouts are still unknown.  6 mass-grave sites have been identified containing at least 28 cadavers.  According to Jesús Murillo Karam, head of the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), the DNA evidence does not match that of the 43 students.  Argentine specialists who joined the work to identify the bodies that have been located have claimed that this conclusion cannot be definitively reached yet, and that an additional 15 days to 2 months would be required for them to present their conclusions.  For their part, relatives of the disappeared students and communal police from the Union of Peoples and Organizations of Guerrero State (UPOEG) have located four new grave-sites.

In the meanwhile, protests continue both in Guerrero, as in other parts of the Mexican Republic.  Teachers from the State Coordination of Educational Workers of Guerrero (CETEG) and comrades of the students occupied banks and radio stations in Chilpancingo.  One day prior, governmental offices burned in the same city.  The protests have been increasingly radicalized, leading state governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero to report that mayors of 16 of the 81 municipalities of the state decided to suspend activities in said municipalities on Friday 17 October so as to “avoid all types of confrontations,” making reference to the protests that were expected to demand the presentation of the disappeared students.

The Ayotzinapa case has also generated repudiation outside of Mexico.  On 12 October, the representative of the European Union (EU) condemned the violent acts in the Tlatlaya municipality, Mexico State (wherein 22 civilians died, 14 due to gunfire and 8 other due to executions carried out by 3 soldiers after they surrendered on 30 June), a well as the crimes committed against students in the Iguala municipality of Guerrero.

For more information (in Spanish):

18 ayuntamientos de Guerrero cierran ante protestas por el caso Ayotzinapa (CNN México, 16 de octubre de 2014)

 Y luego de 19 días, con 50 detenidos y 10 fosas, los 43 siguen desaparecidos (Sin embargo, 15 de octubre de 2014)

Halla la UPOEG cuatro fosas y una osamenta de mujer en el cerro Gordo, en Iguala (El Sur de Acapulco, 15 de octubre de 2014)

Miles de universitarios exigen justicia por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 15 de octubre de 2014)

Equipo argentino refuta a la PGR: no identifica aún cuerpos de fosas de Iguala. (Proceso, 14 de octubre de 2014)

La Unión Europea expresa su preocupación por los casos Tlatlaya e Iguala (CNN México, 12 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)

Guerrero: Impunity continues in the Ayotzinapa case (17 May 2013)

Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (21 December 2011)


National/International: Mexico confronts a “humanitarian crisis” amidst context of violence and impunity, denounces civil society in Brussels

March 30, 2014

Seminario sobre Derechos Humanos en Bruselas, marzo de 2014 (@CADHAC)

Seminar on human rights in Brussels, March 2014 (@CADHAC)

On 18 March, during the seminar on human rights that was held to observe the Fourth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between Mexico and the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Belgium, 32 organizations denounced that in Mexico “there is experienced a context of violence and impunity that has led the country to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”

In a joint pronunciation, Mexican and European civil organizations stressed that “the lack of professional investigation signifies that the structures of violence, looting, and discrimination operate in Mexico unchecked, this being a country where the rate of impunity is 98-99% […].  The statistics on abuse speak of a systematic and generalized violation of human rights hailing from the police, soldiers, and public officials, who commit arbitrary arrests, torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions, among other violations; public and private actors commit acts of violence and discrimination against women; and Mexican and transnational corporations pollute, displace, and exploit natural resources without consulting the affected peoples and communities.”

After presenting a lengthy diagnostic, the civil organizations released a series of recommendations to the Mexican government and the EU, which included placing the question of human rights at the center of the bilateral agenda, suspending support for megaprojects that affect communities, designing a new strategy for public security, and eradicating violence against women.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de la sociedad civil en el marco del Diálogo de Alto Nivel en Derechos Humanos entre México y la Unión Europea (OSC, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Alertan ONG sobre la crisis humana sin precedente que enfrenta México (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Tendrán México y Unión Europea encuentro sobre derechos humanos (El Universal, 16 de marzo)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: civil-society organizations call on European Union to address deterioration of human rights in Mexico (26 October 2012)