Chiapas: Annual report from Frayba on “Human-Rights Insurgency”

November 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Participation by Estela Barco during presentation of report @ SIPAZ

On 5 November, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report that carries the title “The Human-Rights Insurgency,” which deals with the “perspective, questions, and situations” that the CDHFBC has documented and monitored in Chiapas from March 2014 to March 2015. During the presentation of the document, several members of the directive council of CDHFBC spoke, including Blanca Martínez Bustos, director of the Fray Juan de Larios Center for Human Rights; Jorge Santiago Santiago; Estela Barco Huerta, general coordinator for the Social and Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans; and the president of the council, jtatik Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo.

The CDHFBC described the present context as a moment that “is a dark time, amidst the implementation of saddening repressive measures that constitute State terrorism, whereby military occupation and the state of siege are normalized. With this, the violations that make up crimes against humanity such as torture, forcible disappearance, extrajudicial executions, femicide, and forcible displacement, among other crimes, are daily occurrences in Chiapas and Mexico.”

The document proclaims the comprehensive defense of human rights that is the work of the CDHFBC. The questions it addressed include torture, impunity, defense of land and territory, as well as the ongoing war context, which in the report corresponds to four chapters: Torture, an implicit negation; A look at the cracks of impunity; War in Chiapas, territory, and peoples; and Reality of war-context.

The CDHFBC expressed that torture “is engrained and generalized in the Mexican justice system, and it is not only denied but even rationalized.” From the perspective of historical memory, remembrance is the principal pillar “of the struggle of victims and their families in the cases of crimes against humanity […]. They collectively protect and transmit memory against forgetting and impunity.” With regard to the “internal armed conflict in Chiapas,” the “communities and organizational processes persist and resist in defense of their autonomy and territory amidst State policies that seek to plunder land, spirit, and culture.” Lastly, the chapter on “Reality” is dedicated to the Zapatista teacher Galeano, who was murdered on 2 May 2014 in La Realidad, official municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos

Boletín Frayba presenta su Informe Anual: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos (CDHFBC, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

Despojo territorial, espiritual y cultural, una constante en Chiapas: Frayba (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba” (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)

 

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Chiapas: Chiapas state government refuses to investigate claims of torture in its prisoners

October 10, 2015

(@alainet.org)(@alainet.org)

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) and the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) have denounced obstructions in the documentation and application of the Istanbul Protocol, which is recognized by Mexico as a means of avoiding the use of torture. Between 21 and 25 September, the government inhibited the entrance of two independent investigations into the Istanbul Protocol and members of the CCTI, as accompanied by Frayba personnel, in three state Centers for the Social Reinsertion (CERSS), so as to complete documentation and application work. Previously, eleven prisoners had denounced torture during their detention or within the Chiapas prisons—being in the majority indigenous. Those releasing this information presented different levels of harm with regard to their physical and mental health due to lack of medical and psychological attention, especially when in urgent need. Another aspect that left many indigenous prisoners more vulnerable has been the lack of adequate interpretation, both in their judicial processes, as in the prisons proper.

Despite the efforts made by the CCTI and Frayba to meet with several authorities regarding the denunciations that have emerged, these officials denied the experts access to the prisons. For Gilberto Hernández from Frayba, “this way of acting corresponds to an interest of maintaining impunity and avoiding all forms of investigation.” Among the prisoners who went to visit the experts was included Alejandro Díaz Santiz from the Voz del Amate collective, who on repeated occasions has denounced the miserable conditions faced by his comrades held in the CERSS. After his declarations, he was transferred on 11 September from the prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to a new Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) no. 15 in Villa Comaltitlán, being a maximum-security prison. According to the information from the “We Are Not All Present” Workgroup (GTNET), this forcible transfer “is political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, who has been punished for supporting and raising the consciousness of other prisoners.”

Within the context in which the General Law on Torture is being discussed, the Chiapas state authorities have failed to express their interest in investigating acts of torture among prisoners, and so to provide greater credibility in terms of the protection of human rights of torture survivors.

For more information (in Spanish):

Presos denuncian malos tratos, discriminación e injusticias (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 29 de septiembre de 2015)

Niega gobierno de Chiapas investigar casos de tortura en sus penales (Desinformémonos, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Gobierno de Chiapas obstruye la documentación de violaciones a los Derechos Humanos (Pozol, 25 de septiembre de 2015)

Indígena tsotsil es trasladado a penal de máxima seguridad, pese a “compromiso” de Velasco por obtener su libertad (Pozol, 13 de septiembre de 2015)

De la tortura al protocolo de Estambul (Amnistía Internacional, 9 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)


Chiapas: Displaced Tojolabal families from Primero de Agosto community denounce threats of a new displacement

October 10, 2015

Mujeres, hombres, niñas y niños desplazados en campamento de desplazamiento @RadioPozolTojolabal men, women, and children displaced from the Primero de Agosto community @RadioPozol

On 1 October, in a public denunciation, the displaced Tojolabales who comprise the Primero de Agosto community denounced that “due to the omission of the official authorities, the violations of our rights, death-threats, threats of kidnapping, threats of a new displacement, and harassment continue.” On 29 September “authorities and ejidatarios from the Miguel Hidalgo ejido came to threaten us from 30 meters’ distance from where we are living displaced to tell us that they had plans to jointly kidnap six of our comrades and perform a new armed displacement with the backing of their leaders, the CIOAC-Historical, and the three levels of government.” Furthermore, on 30 September, “Armando Méndez López fired into the air with a gun, telling us that any one of these days we would be displaced and our comrades taken.” On 2 October, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights released an Urgent Action indicating that “the present situation is similar to that which immediately preceded the first forcible displacement. This puts at risk the lives, security, and physical integrity of the displaced families.”

These families, which have now spent seven months displaced in the 23 September community, observed that “the Chiapas state government committed itself on 25 February 2015 to make justice and distribute the lands equally […] but it has not observed its promise; on the contrary, it has allowed the situation to worsen. The Mexican State has been absent or complicit in the criminal actions taken against our people.”

It bears mentioning that on 23 February 2015, ejidatarios from the Miguel Hidalgo ejido who pertain to the Independent Historical Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) violently displaced 57 people from the Primero de Agosto community, which since 1 August 2013 had “suffered death-threats, murder-attempts, and attempted kidnappings, robbery, looting, and destruction at the hands of the ejidatarios from the Miguel Hidalgo ejido, members of CIOAC-H.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias de Primero de Agosto temen nuevo desplazamiento forzado (Chispas Denuncia Pública, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Riesgo de nuevo desplazamiento forzado a tojolabales del poblado Primero de Agosto (Frayba, Acción Urgente, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Tojolabales de Primero de Agosto cumplen siete meses en desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de octubre de 2015

Familias de Primero de Agosto temen nuevo desplazamiento forzado (Radio Zapatista, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Chiapas, AU: Riesgo de nuevo desplazamiento contra tojolabales del poblado Primero de Agosto (Centro de Medios Libres México, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Chiapas: Indígenas tojolabales temen nuevo desplazamiento forzado. Con armas de fuego son hostigados por la Cioac-H (Radio Pozol, 2 de octubre de 2015)

FRAYBA: Riesgo de nuevo desplazamiento forzado a tojolabales del poblado Primero de Agosto (Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad, 4 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: At nearly half a year of forcible displacement, the Poblado Primero de Agosto denounces new threats (7 September 2015)

Chiapas: Peace Network denounces absence of Chiapas state government in the Primero de Agosto case (22 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement and continues demanding its forthright return (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)


Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions”

March 21, 2015

Familias desplazadas del Poblado Primero de Agosto (@CDHFBC)

Displaced families from the Primero de Agosto community (@CDHFBC)

In an Urgent Action published on 6 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced that the families displaced from the Primero de Agosto community, Las Margaritas municipality, find themselves “in precarious conditions” while the “state government fails to observe its obligations.”

After documenting the forcible displacement of 57 individuals, “a situation caused by the events which took place on 23 February 2015, due to the actions of members of the Independent Historical Campesino-Agricultural Worker Center (CIOAC-H), who are protected in the region by the municipal government of Las Margaritas and authorities from the Chiapas state government,”  the CDHFBC indicated that the Tojolabal indigenous individuals find themselves in “precarious conditions in terms of food, water, and health.  They are protecting themselves from the elements only using plastic, and there are several families living together in one space.”

The CDHFBC also noted that “despite the denunciation of the acts that occurred, to date the authorities have not carried out judicial inspections and have not verified the conditions of the forcible displacement.  Beyond this, the government of Manuel Velasco Coello has made no response, despite the fact that there exists a formal commitment to do so, in accordance with the agreement made in terms of the property of the lands from which the Tojolabal indigenous were expelled by the CIOAC-H.”

For this reason, the CDHFBC requested the following: the adoption of measures that guarantee the human rights of the displaced, the investigation and punishment of those responsible for their displacement and the damages committed against the goods of the residents of the Primero de Agosto community, as well as a comprehensive treatment of the victims, in accordance with the laws governing internal displacement, humanitarian aid, and compensation for damages, violated rights, and the return of the displaced families under secure conditions.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente del CDHFBC: Familias del Poblado Primero de Agosto en condiciones precarias (CDHFBC, 7 de marzo de 2015)

Familias indígenas desplazadas en Chiapas, presentan problemas de salud (Animal Político, 7 de marzo de 2015)

Poblado Primero de Agosto denuncia desplazamiento forzado sincondiciones de seguridad (7 de marzo de 2015)

Mujeres del Poblado Primero de Agosto exigen retorno a su comunidad (8 de marzo de 2015)

La expulsión violenta y el desplazamiento forzado, una constante en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (12 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN communique “Pain and Rage” (18 May 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)


Chiapas: Presentation of annual report from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, “Between official cynicism and popular dignity”

October 12, 2014


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On 8 October, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report, entitled “Human Rights under Debate: Between official cynicism and popular dignity,” which corresponds to the period between January 2013 and July 2014, as based in information compiled in Chiapas.  Those who spoke on the panel to present the report were Dolores González Saravia, director of Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ); Fray Gonzalo Ituarte, member of the directive council of the CDHFBC; and  José Javier Avilés Arreola, vicar for justice and peace from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese.

The report is comprised of four chapters.  First, “Faces of plunder,” describes how “the governments seek to commodify the Earth and land”; second, a discourse on the defense of human rights, and third, the impacts of the armed internal conflict in Chiapas on the national system.  In the fourth chapter, it is written that “life, death, and rebirth is resignified by those who survived the Acteal massacre , those who testify about the terror of the crimes against humanity committed in the northern zone of Chiapas, the continued impunity in the case of the Viejo Velasco massacre, and the invisibilization of our disappeared, among other stories that have lacerated humanity.  Despite this, the spirit of searching for truth and justice is the path that illuminates our path amidst the war standing,” as the CDHFBC indicated in its press-bulletin.

On 20 October, the report will also be presented at the Lamm Cultural Center in Mexico City.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: Los derechos humanos a debate “Entre el cinismo oficial y la Dignidad de los Pueblos”

Presenta Frayba su Informe Anual: Los Derechos Humanos a Debate(Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, 5 de octubre de 2014)

Audio – Video:Informe Frayba 2014 – Presentación (Ustream.tv)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: CDHFBC denounces cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment by municipal police of San Cristóbal de Las Casas against two indigenous persons

March 2, 2014

índiceIn a bulletin released on 24 February, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced that on 17 February, three municipal police from San Cristóbal de las Casas arrested and subjected two indigenous persons in the Tlaxcala neighborhood to cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment.  The CDHFBC indicated that they were insulted and beaten, and that they were held incomunicado and denied medical assistance before being released.

In light of these acts, the CDHFBC stressed that “we are concerned that elements of the municipal police, public security forces, and citizens’ protection and ministerial police act in Chiapas in such a disproportionate and arbitrary manner, using cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, as we have documented.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín del CDHFBC: “Tratos y penas crueles, inhumanos y degradantes, por elementos de la Policía Municipal de San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas” (24 de febrero de 2014)

Chiapas: denuncian a policías por torturar y humillar a dos indígenas Proceso, 25 de febrero de 2014


Chiapas: Body of campesino leader of the National Organization for Popular Power is found

March 1, 2014

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On Tuesday 18 February, the lifeless body of the regional leader of the National Organization for Popular Power (ONPP) was found near Teopisca, Chiapas.

The corpse, found in the municipal dump of the city, showed signs of torture, according to relatives and friends of the former leader.

Manuel de Jesús Vázquez disappeared on Saturday 15 February after leaving his home to visit his father, resident of the same community.  Due to his disappearance, relatives of the victim denounced the act before the Public Ministry,a nd the ONPP released a communique demanding to know the whereabouts of its member, and to wish him luck: “Who has kidnapped our brother Manuel?  Today we fear for his life, because he could have been kidnapped and tortured in clandestine security houses, or even murdered, with his body then appearing afterward as that of a common criminal.”

According to the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, in the course of the recovery of the body of the dead, officials from the State Attorney General’s Office committed violations to individual rights, given that they failed to observe the basic standards for investigative work in the field.

ONPP-Chiapas defines Manuel as having been a key political and regional leader who defended the rights of his people and land for many years.

For more information (in Spanish):

Hallan en basurero el cadáver de líder campesino en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de febrero de 2014)

En Teopisca, hallan muerto a líder indígena desaparecido desde el sábado (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de febrero de 2014)

Encuentran cuerpo de dirigente en basurero de Chiapas (Milenio, 19 de febrero de 2014)

Hallan muerto a líder de la ONPP (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 19 de febrero de 2014)

Procuraduría de Justicia viola derecho a las garantías judiciales en el caso de la muerte sospechosa de líder de la ONPP (Frayba, 20 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: teacher Adela Gómez regains her freedom (12 November 2013)

Chiapas: AI concerned for security and health of imprisoned activist Adela Gómez (25 October 2013)

Chiapas: State police arbitrarily arrest ONPP members (16 September 2013)