National: Activists denounce increase in violence against women

July 19, 2014

Foto (@SiPaz)

Photo (@Sipaz)

Between 9 and 10 July, there was held a meeting in Mexico City among civil-society organizations seeking to relieve the situation of violence and discrimination experienced by women in Mexico, analyze the work that these organizations have carried out in recent years, and above all examine the challenges faced by the State still in advancing toward the guarantee of the full recognition and exercise of women’s rights.

Participants in the event included the UN Expert of the Work Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, Alda Facio, and Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women, the latter operating in a non-official capacity.  Eight years since the publication of their report “Integration of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Perspectives: Violence against Women, Mexico Mission,” the representatives of the Associates for Justice (JASS) stressed that, “If some reforms have been adopted in law, these have not resulted in structural changes, both in terms of prevention through investigation and sanctioning as well as access to a life free of violence.”  In effect, on this occasion it was recalled that Mexico has ratified the “Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women” (CEDAW), an international instrument to recognize the human rights of women, while there remain “many practices and policies that in effect favor and even deepen discrimination,” noted the JASS activists.

Finally, those at the event denounced the increase in violence against women in all their manifestations: impunity, the gravity of forced disappearance, sexual crimes, attacks against female human-rights defenders and journalists, the generalized increase in gender discrimination and inequality, particularly for poor, indigenous, and migrant women.  In this way, conference-goers called on the Mexican State forthrightly to adopt comprehensive policies to arrest the structural violence experienced by women.

In light of this context, the Special Rapporteur declared that gender violence is “the most generalized violation of human rights that we confront today,” explaining that “the lack of comprehension of gender violence is a barrier to the exercise of all human rights by women themselves.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 8 años de publicado informe sobre derechos humanos de las mujeres en México, regresa Relatora Especial sobre la Violencia contra la Mujer de la ONU (PRODESC, 8 de julio de 2014)

Responsabilidad del Estado Mexicano ante la CEDAW (JASS, 7 de julio de 2014)

La violencia hacia las mujeres “es la violación a DH más generalizada”: Relatora ONU (Sididh, 10 de julio de 2014)

Integración de los Derechos Humanos de la Mujer y la Perspectiva de Género: la violencia contra la mujer. Misión a México (CINU, 13 de enero de 2006)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: the Mexican government does not comply with the recommendations of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (23 June 2014)

Oaxaca: Every other day a woman is killed in the state (12 June 2014)

Oaxaca: the Mexican state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists (10 June 2014)

Guerrero: Harassment and attacks on individuals and organizations in favor of the decriminalization of abortion and the right to decide (12 June 2014)


National: Mothers of the disappeared on hunger strike before Segob

November 16, 2012


Mother of disappeared person on hunger strike in front of Segob @ Proceso

Since 6 November, members of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) have installed a sit-in before the Ministry of Governance (Segob) to demand that the head of this institution, Alejandro Poiré, resolve their cases. Margarita López, Julia Alonso, Malú García, and Paz Duarte have initiated a hunger-strike because to date they have met only omission and impunity on the part of the government of Felipe Calderón.  The cold night of 13 November became the eighth consecutive day of strike and sit-in on the street for the group of mothers who struggle against impunity in Mexico, given that their family members were kidnapped or murdered months or even years ago, and they have not received justice.  The long wait has reduced them.  Julia awoke ill, feeling very weak.  The headaches suffered by Margarita are ever-more frequent.  Regardless, and despite the cold weather, the dizziness, and their impotence, their love for the children keep them going.

“I gave [the authorities] all the investigations that I did myself; I spent all my savings paying investigators and paying fees to the government,” noted Margarita López.  “It is lamentable that while we have given them all our evidence and told them where to go to find our children, they do not lift a finger,” added the woman, very weakened by lack of food, whose daughter was taken by a commando-group of men in April 2011 in southern Oaxaca.  On 9 November, Poiré received Julia Alonso and Malú García expressing “good intentions but no solution” for their cases.  “Unfortunately, we fear what happened when we went to Maricela Morales [Attorney General]: their subordinates did not follow up with the indications we had given them.  The orders that Poire is giving were handed down by Morales a year ago, and nothing has happened,” noted Margarita López.  They have resorted to this desperate means because they fear the change of government to Enrique Peña Nieto, which will take place on 1 December, will signify the total closure of these cases, still resting in impunity.

The sit-in will be held indefinitely, “until they solve each one of our cases,” assured Alicia Trejo, one of the dozens of mothers whose children are disappeared who arrived from all over the country to be together with the three mothers who began the hunger-strike.

It should be noted that the daily newspaper Excelsior published an investigation that finds 14,300 disappeared persons in Mexico between the years 2008 and 2011, with an impunity rate of 87%, according to information received from 23 of the 32 state governments.  For its part, the UN Committee on Forced Disappearance finds that there exist 3,000 disappeared persons in Mexico whose cases have not been resolved.  Amnesty International  claims that local NGOs speak of tens of thousands of disappeared.

For more information (in Spanish):

Madres del MPJD realizan huelga de hambre frente a Segob (Proceso, 7 de noviembre de 2012)

Comunicado de Malú García Andrade, Defensora de Derechos Humanos (Facebook, 6 de noviembre de 2012)

Desaparecidos, el vergonzoso saldo de Calderón (Proceso, 12 de noviembre de 2012)

Impunidad en México lleva a madres a una huelga de hambre (Terra Noticias, 12 de noviembre de 2012)

Madres hacen huelga de hambre contra la impunidad de crímenes (El Nuevo Diario, 12 de noviembre de 2012)


Julia, Margarita, Malú y Bárbara, madres de desaparecidos en la llamada guerra contra el narco de Calderón llevan tres días en huelga de hambre frente a Gobernación (Reporte Indigo, 13 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Caravan of mothers of Central American migrants seeking out their children (2 November 2012)

National: “March for National Dignity, mother seeking out their children and justice” (18 May 2012)

Mexico: Report of the UN Work Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)

Mexico: the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained ends (9 June 2011)

Mexico: If alive they were taken, alive we would like them returned

September 18, 2012

© cadhac /cencos

On 30 August, the International Day of the Disappeared was celebrated throughout the world.  Commenting on the reason for the day, the United Nations stressed that “forced disappearance is not only a crime but also an act that negates the very essence of humanity, being in contradiction to the most profound values of all societies.”

In Mexico, the question of the disappeared has received more media coverage in the latest six years, given the drastic increase in numbers of those affected by the “war” on organized crime.  From 2006 to 2012 (so far), the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) has registered 5,397 reports of persons classified as being missing.  The number of denunciations regarding forced disappearances rose from 4 in 2006 to 346 in 2010, via the Program on Disappeared Persons.  Regardless, it is not a new phenomenon in the country.  Since 1970, Mexico has suffered from this phenomenon.  The Eureka group, led by Rosario Ibarra, has a list of 1,500 people who were disappeared by governmental forces during the so-called “dirty war,” when a campaign was undertaken to persecute guerrilla members, social leaders, and intellectuals and artists critical of the PRI regime.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen ONU, AI y CIDH fin a las desapariciones forzadas en México, La Jornada, 31 de Agosto de 2012

La desapareción forzada no es sólo un crimen: ONU, Centroprodh, 31 de Agosto de 2012

Protestan familiares de desaparecidos en Torreón, El Universal, 31 de Agosto de 2012

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Report of the UN Work Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances (24 March 2012)

Mexico: the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained ends (9 June 2011)

Mexico: National Day against Forgetting and Impunity by the FNLS (8 June 2011)

National: “March for National Dignity, mothers seeking out their children and justice”

May 18, 2012

(@Centro ProDH)

After visiting various cities in the country, on 10 May some 150 mothers of victims of forced disappearance in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and other countries marched in the Mexican capital to demand that the Mexican State find their relatives.  It should be remembered that during Calderón’s six-year term, at least 50,000 people have been killed and more than 25,000 disappeared.  Members of civil society and those in solidarity also participated in the march, as well as representatives of civil organizations.

This event coincided with Mother’s Day in Mexico, in light of the fact that the members of the march noted the following in a communiqué: “What can a mother celebrate in light of the disappearance of a child?  Certainly, there can be no celebration at all–instead sadness, anger, anguish, and despair.  The uncertainty we suffer is terrible and degrading.”

On 11 May they met with Federal Attorney General, Marisela Morales, from whom they demanded new protocols and better mechanisms to seek out their disappeared.  The PGR committed itself to intervening in the investigation and resolution of the cases.  In exchange, they did not succeed in obtaining an audience Alejandro Poiré, Secretary for Governance.

From the beginning of the march, on 8 May, they affirmed that “We want to yell from the four cardinal points that fear DOES NOT PARALYZE US, that on the contrary it is that which drives us to continue seeking our children.  We are sick of false promises, lack of action by the government, negative experiences in finding them.  We demand until exhaustion that the authorities find them, investigate their disappeared, and give the location of our loved ones.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgen madres de desaparecidos apoyo de a la PGR (El Universal, 11 de mayo de 2012)

La PGR colaborará con las madres de la Marcha por la Dignidad Nacional(CNN México, 11 de mayo de 2012)

Madres, en su día, imploran por sus hijos desaparecidos (El Universal, 10 de mayo de 2012)

Exigen madres buscar a hijos desaparecidos (Milenio, ‎10 de mayo 2012‎)

Madres de desaparecidos marchan en Reforma (El Universal, 10 de mayo de 2012)

Se solidariza AI con madres de desaparecidos (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Report of the UN Work Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances (24 March 2012)

Mexico: the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained ends (9 June 2011)

Mexico: National Day against Forgetting and Impunity by the FNLS (8 June 2011)

Chiapas: Denunciation of relatives and friends of José Hidalgo Pérez (murdered in June 1999)

June 20, 2011

On 10 June, relatives and friends of José Hidalgo Pérez, who was disappeared and presumably murdered by a soldier in June 1999, published a denunciation on the 12-year anniversary of the events which have remained in impunity.

They remembered that “the special targeting of the Hidalgo Pérez family is due to the fact that since the first days of 1994 several of the family’s members had joined citizens’ initiatives to demand a peaceful and political solution to the Zapatista movement and the promotion of social participation in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  For this reason, given that no other reasonable explanation can be found for [his] disappearance , and above all due to the circumstances in which the events took place–in light of the death-threats and harassment of which he was a target previously, during, and after these events, WE ASSUME THAT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JOSÉ HIDALGO IS A WARNING TO ALL CITIZENS WHO WOULD PARTICIPATE IN INDEPENDENT CITIZENS’ INSTITUTIONS APART FROM THE STATE.”

They furthermore denounced that “the 12 years of impunity in this case constitutes a serious failure on the part of the authorities with regard to their responsibility to provide justice, and it is a worrying sign regarding the lack of will among the governors to strive toward peaceful co-existence through official channels in Chiapas.  The lack of results carries the grave message of impunity and danger that acts like this one could repeat themselves, above all in the present moments when tensions return to the region.”

Finally, they demanded that the State Attorney General’s Office of Chiapas reactivate the investigation of the case and that Hidalgo Pérez’s remains be handed over to his relatives for burial.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia completa de familiares y amigos de José Hidalgo Perez , 10 June 2011

Desaparición de José Hidalgo, 10 años de impunidad. Un caso de la versión urbana de la “Guerra de baja intensidad en Chiapas”, 20 and 21 June 2009; Primer Encuentro Americano Contra la Impunidad, Caracol IV , Morelia, Municipio Autónomo Zapatista, Chiapas

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Beginning of the caravan for peace from Cuernavaca to Ciudad Juárez (9 June 2011)

Mexico: Marches for Peace and Justice with Dignity (12 May 2011)

Mexico: the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained ends

June 9, 2011

Photo @

In accordance with the National Campaign against Forced Disappearance, the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained (thusly named by the UN) was observed in different Mexican cities from 23 to 30 May.  Upon the conclusion of the event, several human-rights centers released communiqués regarding the week’s events.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) stresses the inefficiency of the justice system of the Mexican State and the lack of will to investigate the location of those victimized by disappearance and detainment.  On the other hand, the campaign They Continue Disappearing of the ProDH Center demands that there be re-established an institution to investigate State crimes in Mexico and that there be established a commission for historical clarification.  The campaign emphasized that the crimes of State are not only something of the past but rather a present reality–this not only because the effects of these crimes have not ceased, but rather because they continue being committed by different governmental agents.  These actions continue to affect not only dissidents or those who join social-political movements, but rather the population in general.

The CDHFBC denounced in a communiqué that “in Chiapas, during the most decisive period of internal armed conflict, the forced disappearance of persons was a common practice and, in the period 1995 to 2001, the Frayba documented in the northern zone of the state the forced disappearance of 32 men and 5 women as perpetrated by the paramilitary group ‘Desarrollo Paz y Justicia’ (Paz y Justicia) whose actions responded to a counter-insurgency plan that had existed since 1994, with the goal of doing away with the support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and its sympathizers.”  In that time Paz y Justicia acted against the civilian population of the municipalities of Tila, Tumbalá, Sabanilla, Yajalón, and Salto de Agua.  It used violence by means of ambushes, displacement, forced disappearances, murders, rapes, and torture, as was repeatedly denounced at that time by this Center for Human Rights.”

The ProDH Center indicated that “the Mexican government, in light of the forced-disappearance cases documented by this Center for Human Rights, does not respect, protect, or guarantee the human rights it has ratified before the internzational community, and this shows the inefficacy of the justice system and the lack of will to find the whereabouts of the victims of these crimes against humanity.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno mexicano responsable de la desaparición forzada de personas: Frayba, Enlace Zapatista, 1 June 2011

El Estado mexicano es responsable de la desaparición forzada de personas, Centro ProDH, 2 June 2011

Marchas por la presentación con vida de 6 desaparecidos en Oaxaca y Morelos, La Jornada, 31 May 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: National Day against Forgetting and Impunity by the FNLS, 8 June 2011

Mexico: National Day Against Forgetting and Impunity by the FNLS

June 8, 2011

Press-conference @ SIPAZ

In a press-conference on 25 May, the National Front of Struggle for Socialism (FNLS), in coordination witht he Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared “Until We Find them,” made a general invitation to the “National Day against Forgetting and Impunity ‘No more forced disappearances,'” which will be held from 25 to 30 May in different parts of Mexico, among them being San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.  Its representatives declared that they seek to unite forces so as to find more than 50 disappeared individuals, such as Edmundo Reyes, Alberto Cruz Sánchez, and Francisco Paredes Ruiz, all of them socialist activists from Oaxaca.

“Nearly 4 years after the forced disappearance of the Edmundo Reyes Amaya and Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez, of the human-rights defender Francisco Paredes Ruiz, Daniela and Virginia Ortiz, Lauro Juarez, and that of others victimized by forced disappearance for whatever reason, we call for solidarity for those who demand the presentation with life of these persons, for those who demand a halt to violence and State terrorism, to join forces in favor of popular movements to eradicate these crimes against humanity,” they affirmed in a communiqué.

The National Day, which began on 1 May, “is a date we remember for the struggles of the workers of the world for their emancipation against the exploitation of the bourgeoisie,” and was to end on 30 May, was declared International Week of the Detained and Disappeared by the United Nations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno mexicano, responsable de los indígenas desaparecidos en Chiapas, Escrutinio Público, 27 May 2011

FNLS hace manifestación, Cuarto Poder, 26 May 2011

Realizarán Jornada Nacional Contra la Impunidad y el Olvido, Milenio, 25 May 2011

Jornada Nacional Contra la Impunidad y el Olvido “No mas despariciones forzadas”, El Imparcial de Chiapas, 25 May 2011

FNLS:Jornada Nacional Contra el Olvido y la Impunidad “No más desapariciones forzadas”, Chiapas La Otra Cara, 2 May 2011

Boletín de prensa, FNLS, 25 May 2011