Guerrero: 4 years since the forcible disappearance of ecologist peasants from the Costa Grande

December 26, 2015


Photo @EDUCA Oaxaca

On 7 December, four years passed since the forcible disappearance of the leaders of the Organization of Ecologist Peasants from Sierra of Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán, Eva Alarcón Ortiz and Marcial Bautista Valle. The daughter of Eva, Coral Rojas Alarcón, said, “I am convinced that they have been killed, but they deserve a burial. I want to find my mother and Marcial.” Marcial Bautista and Eva Alarcón were forcibly disappeared on 7 December 2011 in the Grand Coast of Guerrero by a group of armed men that according to eyewitnesses were being protected by the Army and agents from the ministerial police. The activists had dedicated themselves to the management, conservation, and sustainable use of the forests. The defense of the forests led them to denounce abuses committed by the Army and the illegal work in which police had been involved.

Since the disappearance of her mother, Coral has sought justice and become a human-rights defender, collaborating with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the federal police (PF) to seek out clandestine graves and to identify victims. She reported that they had found bodies in Michoacán and Guerrero, “and I believe that each identified person is a triumph.” She shared that the judicial process in the case of Eva and Marcial continues, with the last “declaration saying that they were killed. This is the only line of investigation from the PGR.” She refers to the declarations made by a hitman who was arrested by the Army in February 2012 in Tecpan de Galeana, who supposedly confessed to his participation in the forcible disappearance of the social activists. According to unofficial information obtained in recent days, the hitman José Jhonny López Galván, “El Güero,” had made these statements to the federal public ministry and had driven the soldiers to the site where the burned remains of the community leaders were found. According to preliminary investigation, these remains did not belong to Eva or Marcial, and to date, “there is no scientific evidence showing they have been killed.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Autoridades apuestan al olvido” en desaparición de campesinos activistas ¨(La Jornada, 3 de agosto de 2013)

La única línea en el caso de los dirigentes ecologistas, desaparecidos hace 4 años, es que los mataron (Sur Acapulco, 3 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: two nephews of ecological leadership are murdered (16 November 2012)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists (8 February 2012)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: violence in the Sierra de Petalán (17 October 2011)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July 2011)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June 2011)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists; the CFE returns to the area of La Parota

February 8, 2012

@ Milenio

 Photo @ Milenio

The Observatory for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders, a program associated with the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has requested the urgent intervention of the international community in light of the lack of progress that has been had in the official investigation regarding hte forced disappearance of the human-rights defenders Marcial Bautista Valle, presdient of OCESP, and Eva Alarcón Ortiz, coordinator of the same organization.  More than a month after their disappearance, the international organization has expressed its grave “concern for the security and physical and psychological integrity of Eva Alarcón Ortiz and Marcial Bautista Valle, fearing that their disappearance is clearly linked to their work as human-rights defenders.  We fear also that this act has as its end the discouragement of other rights-defenders in the state of Guerrero in their work.”

In other news, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP), has denounced that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has initiated work to measure space related to the the La Parota project in the zone of the communal lands of Cacahuatepec.  “It would seem that they are measuring a line, a breach, through which a high-electricity line would pass from the area in which the dam would be located,” noted Suástegui Muñoz.  He said that there exists fear among the opponents to the project because the federal government has earmarked 750 million pesos for the hydroelectric dam in its 2012 budget.  For this reason CECOP will organize to prevent the work from being undertaken.

For more information (in Spanish):

Observatorio para la protección de defensores emite llamado urgente ante nulos avances de autoridades para encontrar a Eva y Marcial (CENCOS, 17 January 2012)

ONG exigen acelerar la búsqueda de los activistas Eva Alarcón y Marcial Bautista (La Jornada, 18 January 2012)

Observatorio Internacional para la protección de DDHH, hace llamado urgente a autoridades mexicanas por desaparición forzada de ecologistas Marcial Bautista y Eva Alarcón (CDH Tlachinollan, 17 January 2012)

120117 Accion Urgente_Eva_Marcial_ El Observatorio_OMCT_FIDH(OMCT, Acción Urgente, 17 January 2012) (pdf)

Acción Urgente Internacional: Eva y Marcial continúan desaparecidos (Centro ProDH, 18 January 2012)

Vuelve la CFE al área de La Parota, denuncia CECOP; comunidades detuvieron a un grupo de obreros (Educa, 12 January 2012)

Vuelve la CFE a Cacahuatepec a pesar de la orden del Tribunal (La Jornada Guerrero, 11 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologist are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: CFE contemplates acceleration of La Parota project (27 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: CECOP celebrates its 8th anniversary (18 August 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Mining exploration continues in the Montaña region without permission from communities; reinstallation of the blockade against La Parota January 13, 2011

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán; Movement for Peace condemns the act; Civil Monitor of the Police of the Mountain publishes new report

December 14, 2011

Civil Monitor of the Police press-conference (@CENCOS)

Marcial Bautista Valle, president of the Organization of Ecologist Campesinos of the Sierra de Petatlán (OCESP), and Eva Alarcón Ortiz, assessor of this organization, were taken by a commando-team on 7 December in the region of the Costa Grande of Guerrero.  They had been traveling on a bus that was held up by armed subjects who took them by force.

Federal and state forces that make up the Coordination Guerrero group, which is comprised of military authorities and representatives from the thee levels of government who are in charge of analyzing questions of security, chose to carry out a joint operation to find the two but have not been successful to date.

The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity pronounced itself in this regard, noting that “Both have stressed the question of the problem of Petatlán in the first dialogue with President Felipe Calderón and were members of the Caravan to the South.”  The MPJD denounced that “in the last two weeks, we have seen a sharp increase in aggressions against human-rights defenders.”

In other news, on 7 December there was presented publicly in Mexico City the latest report by the Civil Monitor of the Police in the Mountain of Guerrero.  This report documents 353 cases of police abuse, the most frequent violations being arbitrary detention, extortion, and death-threats, in addition to cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment.  It also stresses that only 10% of the received complaints were followed up on by police.  The civil organizations that comprise MOCIPOL have affirmed in press-conference that the document “provides evidence that the security policies impelled by federal plans causes there to be a reproduction of risk, with the examples of the warlike conceptions and the progressive militarization of public security; the blurring of the local and federal spheres; the increase in human-rights violations and the stigmatization of victims; and finally the move for legislative reforms that generally lack sufficient deliberation.  This situation, as our reports shows, is exacerbated in regions such as the Mountain of Guerrero, one of the most impoverished regions of the country, where impunity and corruption prevail.”

For more information (in Spanish):

PGR indaga desaparición de ecologistas en Guerrero (El Universal, 8 December 2011)

Privan de la libertad a dos ecologistas en Acapulco (Milenio, 7 December 2011)

Hallan muerto a activista plagiado; ‘levantan’ a dos ecologistas en Guerrero (Proceso, 7 December 2011)

El MPJD exige investigar el caso del secuestro de don Trinidad de la Cruz comunero de Ostula Michoacán; y el de Eva Alarcón y Marcial Bautista de Valle, defensores de la Sierra de Petatlán (Boletín de prensa, MPJD, 7 December 2011)

Realizan en Guerrero operativo de búsqueda de líderes ecologistas (La Jornada, 9 December 2011)

Informe completo del Monitor Civil de la Policía en la Montaña de Guerrero (7 December 2011).

El Monitor Civil de la Policía presenta informe sobre violaciones de DDHH por las fuerzas de seguridad en la Montaña de Guerrero (Boletín de prensa, 7 December 2011)

Debe cambiar la estrategia de seguridad para proteger también a civiles: ONG (La Jornada, 8 December 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: violence in the Sierra de Petalán (17 October)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)