Oaxaca: Third Anniversary of Nochixtlan

June 21, 2019


Nochixtlan 2016 (@Animal Político)

On June 19th, three years after the police eviction of a blockade carried out in opposition to the educational reform in Nochixtlan, which left eight people dead and 198 wounded by firearms, thousands of professors from Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (CNTE in its Spanish acronym) marched to demand that the current government imprison former President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), former Secretaries of the Interior and Public Education, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong and Aurelio Nuño Mayer, as well as former governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cue Monteagudo for their responsibility in the massacre. Similarly, they demanded punishment for the material authors, among which are elements of the Federal and State Police, for the crimes of genocide, homicide, attempted homicide, abuse of authority and injuries.

They denounced the lack of progress in response to their demands for justice, truth, reparation for the damage and non-repetition of events of this nature. They recalled that the case of Nochixtlan was sent to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for the extrajudicial execution of persons.

The march culminated with a rally before the “Monument to the Fallen”. Eloy Lopez Hernandez, Secretary General of Section 22, highlighted the work in defense of education that three years ago society in general and teachers defended “to the ultimate consequences, a unity that the people must maintain and with which they will face the neoliberal projects that the current president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador intends to impose such as the Interoceanic projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec or the Maya Train in the southeast.”

For his part, the member of the Committee of Victims for Justice and Truth June 19 (COVIC in its Spanish acronym), Daniel Mayoral Lopez, reported that victims and their families continue to suffer harassment and assaults: “the last occurred on Tuesday, June 18th, when unknown persons vandalized the victims’ monument”, he said.

“The repression experienced on June 19th, 2016 in Asuncion Nochixtlan by state and federal forces that claimed the lives of eight civilians, was the result of an action by state to “punish” those who resist and oppose the projects that from the government they intend to impose”, the defender of Human Rights and presbyter, Miguel Concha said, on celebrating a mass at the end of the meeting.

On the same day of the commemoration, the state government appointed the former inspector general of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca, Juan Rodriguez Ramos, special commissioner for the events that took place on June 19th, 2016. However, survivors of the eviction have rejected this appointment.

For more information in Spanish:

Demandan justicia en marcha por tres años de la masacre de Nochixtlán (La Jornada, 19 de junio de 2019)

A tres años de Nochixtlán, sobrevivientes exigen justicia (Proceso, 19 de junio de 2019)

A tres años, sobrevivientes del fallido desalojo en Nochxitlán exigen justicia y castigo a Peña Nieto y Gabino Cué (Página3.mx, 19 de junio de 2019)

Juan Rodríguez, comisionado especial por hechos violentos de 2016 (Quadratin, 19 de junio de 2019)
Víctimas de Nochixtlán, sin justicia a 3 años del enfrentamiento (El Imparcial, 20 de junio de 2019)

19 de junio ¡Ni perdón ni olvido! (NVI Noticias, 20 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/National: CNDH Issues Recommendation for Serious Human Rights Violations during Events in Nochixtlan on June 16th, 2016 (October 28, 2017)

Oaxaca: Impunidad amparada por el gobierno a dos años de Nochixtlán: ONU-DH (June 22, 2018)

Oaxaca: President of Nochixtlan Victims Committee Attacked (April 12, 2018)

Oaxaca: Cancellation of construction of CCCO on the Fortín Mountain

October 25, 2015

Francisco Toledo, opositor al CCCO en el Cerro el Fortín, colocando una manta de rechazo. Foto: @Óscar RodríguezFrancisco Toledo, opponent to CCCO on the Fortín Mountain, exhibiting a protest banner Photo: @Óscar Rodríguez

On 21 October, the governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué, announced the relocation of the construction project of the Cultural and Convention Center of Oaxaca (CCCO), which will no longer be built on the Fortín Mountain. According to an official communique, this decision was made to “guarantee the unity of Oaxacan society,” though the construction that has already begun for a parking complex to hold 600 vehicles will nonetheless continue.

It bears mentioning that by means of marches, fora, and expositions, there has been a large movement against this project, which was presented behind closed doors by the local Minister of Tourism, José Zorrilla de San Martín Diego, who was supposed to benefit by being a shareholder in a hotel close to the Fortín Mountain. Similarly, there was strong opposition condemning the harassment and attacks against people linked to the opposition of the building. It also should be noted that a public consultation was organized, which saw more than 96% of votes in favor of construction, though there are accusations that this process was manipulated.

In a communique, members of the Front in Defense of the Fortín Mountain observed that, though it took a while, the decision “is a triumph for organized civil society, and the Front can do no less than welcome the news.” In the same document, they demanded the cancellation of the parking lot project, the realization of an investigation into the process of construction, the immediate suspension of the campaign of harassment against activists, punishment of violence and threats and, lastly, the resolution of the legal demands that have been submitted and that they do not plan to cancel.

For more information (in Spanish):

Reubicación del CCCO; una decisión tardía de Cué: Defensores del Fortín (Uno Oaxaca, 22 de octubre de 2015)

Ganó Oaxaca: Cué cancela construcción del CCCO en el Cerro del Fortín (Educa, 22 de octubre de 2015)

La construcción del CCCO en el Fortín queda suspendida (La Jornada, 22 de octubre de 2015)

Toledo celebra “a medias” cancelación de construcción en el Fortín (Proceso, 22 de octubre de 2015)

Consulta favorece construcción de Centro de Convenciones de Oaxaca: Cué; Toledo acusa manipulación (Sin Embargo, 4 de octubre de 2015)

Gobierno de #Oaxaca pretende desaparecer el Cerro del Fortín (Más de 131, 8 de julio de 2015)

Oaxaca: 344 women killed during the administration of Gabino Cué, according to Consorcio Oaxaca

December 15, 2014

infografía actualizada

To commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, Eduardo Liendro Zingoni, director of the Center for the Re-Education of Men, indicated that the “grave situation of gender violence is becoming increasingly obvious over time, as has been demonstrated in an explosion of cases involving extreme violence.”  This center has been working for a year, and it is a dependency of the the state Secretary for Public Security.  Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca (Consorcio Oaxaca) stressed with respect to the Center for Re-Education that “on several occasions, it has been thought that working on violence within couples is the only aspect [worth pursuing], thus leaving to the side another facets of violence, as the state and federal laws stipulate women’s rights to live lives free of violence.”  It added that “from civil society with respect to the question, recognizing that a great step forward was taken with the founding of the center as a means of contributing to eradicating, attending to, and preventing violence against women, though progress should not stop there, given that it is necessary to continue.  From this position we are discussing a mechanism for surveillance of the impacts of this new institution.”

Within the past 10 years, the number of femicides has nearly trebled.  In 2004, 42 femicide cases were registered in Oaxaca, but in 2014, 110 women have been killed, and by mid-November, the Oaxaca State Health Services reported having attended to 541 cases of injuries provoked through domestic violence.  Consorcio Oaxaca has documented 91 cases of femicides and 36 disappearances of women in the state.  These statistics add on to the previous findings to sum a total of 344 femicides and 122 forcible disappearances of women that have not been prosecuted during the four years of the present state government, as Yésica Sánchez Maya has stressed, being the coordinator of Consorcio Oaxaca. Sánchez Maya has noted that in her time as a women’s-rights defender, she has perceived that impunity has led women’s access to justice to be a major obstacle.  “The frequent accusations make it seem that the only question is to simply attend to femicide, but this is just the maximum expression of the situation of violence suffered by women in their everyday lives.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Un feminicidio cada 3 días (Noticias Net, 24 de noviembre de 2014)

Llegan al hospital 541 mujeres agredidas (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Reeducan a 129 hombres violentos (Noticias Net, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Ponencia “Los retos y desafíos del centro de reeducación para hombres en un contexto de agudización de la violencia contra las mujeres y niñas”en el “Foro: Reeducación de los hombres, un aporte para prevenir, atender y erradicar la violencia contra las mujeres” (Consorcio Oaxaca)

Infografías sobre el Feminicidio en México del Observatorio Ciudadano Nacional del Feminicidio (Las Caracolas, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: State complicity in femicide is denounced (2 May 2014)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Commemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Oaxaca: New attacks on journalists

September 2, 2014


Organizations as well as nearly 30 female journalists and photojournalists have energetically condemned the criminal acts committed against Carina García Sosa, correspondent of MVS Radio; Jazmín Gómez Ortega, president of the Oaxaca Press Group (GPO), and Saraí Jiménez, journalist for ADN Sureste, who were assaulted and robbed of their work implements in the months of July and August. They have called on Governor Gabino Cué and Secretary for Public Security Alberto Esteva Salinas to provide the necessary guarantees for communicators to continue developing their work in the state. These journalists have been following the teachers’ movement, documenting the series of mobilizations carried out by Section 22 as well as the destruction of the offices of Section 59 of the SNTE, or the National Educational Workers’ Union.

The communicators and organizations stressed in their communique that “the insecurity which we experience in the state of Oaxaca has placed female journalists in a state of defenselessness, such that we are not only denied the conditions for the exercise of our work, but neither does there exist a mechanism to ensure that these acts do not repeat themselves.” They added that “we cannot leave aside the context faced by Oaxacan journalists in their work. The report ‘Impunity. Violence against female journalists. Legal analysis’ which was put together by Communication and Information for Women (CIMAC) shows that Oaxaca, just like Chiapas and Puebla, shares the fourth-highest national level of attacks on female protests. This means that the violence is worse than that registered in very conflictive areas controlled by drug-traffickers, such as in Tamaulipas.”

On 19 August, the day on which was registered 2 of the attacks just mentioned against women journalists, the graphical journalist Vico Miravete was subjected to assault and robbery by police as he was covering a social protest outside the Del Carmen neighborhood in Tuxtepec city. The previous day, a member of the municipal police decided to photograph and intimidate a reporter from Noticias as he was investigating the case of someone who had been detained by the police patrol.

For more information (in Spanish):

Inseguridad vulnera a mujeres periodistas de Oaxaca (Noticias.net, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Repudian agresiones a comunicadoras en Oaxaca (Proceso, 20 de agosto de 2014)

Boletín de las organizaciones sobre los hechos (20 de agosto de 2014)

A mujeres reporteras 75% de medidas cautelares en Oaxaca (Noticias.net.mx, 16 de agosto de 2014)

Oaxaca, cuarto lugar por agresiones a mujeres periodistas (Noticias.net.mx, 15 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: new journalist’s murder (30 August 2014)

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

Oaxaca: One of the most violent and dangerous states for the exercise of journalism (16 May 2014)

Oaxaca: Hunger strike over murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola concludes upon conclusion of agreement with authorities

May 18, 2014


Omar Esparza, former husband of Bety Cariño, together with other persons in solidarity who had engaged in a hunger strike in front of the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) in Mexico City have ended their protest after 16 days upon reaching an agreement with the Secretary of Governance (SEGOB), the PGR, and the Oaxacan State Attorney General’s Office in which the latter institutions agree to arrest the 12 presumed perpetrators of the murders of Betty and Jyri Jaakkola and to provide protection to witnesses of the murders.

“In essence, the agreement is a commitment to carry out actions to protect those who witnessed the murders and to arrest those responsible.  The authorities have never said that they would not do their work, but it all remained at the level of talk and good intentions; now we have it signed in writing, and this gives us much certainty and tranquility,” said Karla Michel Salas, president of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers.

Esparza noted that “This is a small victory, but not the final one.  Instead, it is a beginning and we are going to be attentive to seeing whether the authorities follow through with their commitments and perform their work.  It is a first step to make visible the impunity that prevailed in the case.”  He added that he would hold monthly meetings with the SEGOB to evaluate progress in the case.

Beyond this, the UN Office in Mexico of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has promised Esparza to continue following the case and to call on the governments of Enrique Peña Nieto and Gabino Cué to “promote pertinent actions to re-establish dialogue and reconstruct the social fabric in the community of San Juan de Copala toward the end of transcending the causes that have led to the present situation there.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Activistas levantarán huelga de hambre; acuerdan acciones para capturar a asesinos de Betty Cariño (SDP noticias, 14 de mayo de 2014)

Cumplen 15 días en huelga de hambre (Noticias, 14 de mayo de 2014)

Levantan familiares de Bety Cariño el plantón frente a instalaciones de la PGR (La Jornada, 15 de mayo de 2014)

ONU-DH toma nota de acciones de apoyo por huelga de hambre de Omar Esparza (Grupo Fórmula, 15 de mayo de 2014)

Insta ONU a Peña y Cué a solucionar el conflicto en Copala (Proceso, 15 de mayo de 2014)

Video: 13 dias en huelga de hambre exigiendo justicia para Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Serapaz, 14 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides

March 2, 2014

Día contra la violencia de género, Oaxaca. Foto (@Sipaz)Day against gender violence in Oaxaca. Photo (@Sipaz)

In light of the increasing number of femicides in the state of Oaxaca, the civil association Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca has made an urgent call for other civil organizations, the social movement, and academics in Oaxaca to join the presentation of a request for the activation of a gender alert before the three levels of governmental power in Mexico, as a means of resisting the grave situation being seen in the state in these terms.

According to data collected by Consorcio, there have been 266 women killed during the administration of Gabino Cué. In just the first two months of 2014 there have been 13 women killed in the state, a statistic that is much higher than the 4 who were murdered in the same period last year.  These data locate Oaxaca as being one of the most violent states in Mexico for women.

For the civil association, it is necessary to build legislation, budget, and public policies to guarantee the freedom, security, and lives of women: “It is evident that the generalized gender violence is a result of the omissions of the State in protecting women; it also reflects the impunity which reigns in this type of crime.”

For his part, Arturo Peimbert Calvo, head of the Defense Institute for the Human Rights of the Oaxacan People (DDHPO), has announced that he will present an initiative before the local congress to create a domestic gender alert that would not depend upon federal criteria to be implemented.

For A. Peimbert, it was an error on the part of the Secretary of Governance (SEGOB) to have rejected the declaration of a gender violence alert in Oaxaca previously, in April 2013: “It was an error to reject the gender alert; the evidence is that in Oaxaca the cases of femicide continue with an impressive increase.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Consorcio Oaxaca ante la situación de violencia contra las mujeres (Consorcio, 21 de febrero de 2014)

Crece alarma por feminicidios en Oaxaca (El Imparcial, 23 de febrero de 2013)

Plantea DDHPO alerta de género doméstica (Noticiasnet.mx, 24 de febrero de 2014)

Video: En Oaxaca no hay políticas públicas a la altura para prevenir y sancionar la violencia de género (Oaxaca tres punto cero, 25 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Conmemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

Oaxaca: March of releatives of victims of feminicide and members of human rights organizations for women (22 April 2013)

Oaxaca: More feminicides under Gabino Cué than in the final years of Ulises Ruiz (24 January 2013)

Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

December 9, 2013

Bettina Cruz. Foto @Sipaz

Bettina Cruz. Photo @Sipaz

The National Network of Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM), made up of 135 human-rights defenders from 20 states in the Republic, has in a communique expressed its concern for the attacks and acts of harassment that Oaxacan defenders of indigenous and land rights have recently faced.  This is particularly the case for Bettina Cruz Velázquez, member of the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), Sara Bartolo López, and María del Carmen Sánchez Martínez, members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ).

Since the year 2007, these human-rights defenders have together with others been carrying out a struggle in defense of the rights of indigenous peoples and their rights in light of the attempts by large multinational corporations (such as Fenosa Natural Gas and Mareña Renewables) to build large wind-energy parks on communal lands, without providing for free, prior and informed consent to the Ijkoots and Binnizá indigenous peoples who have been affected by the projects–as corresponding laws mandate.

The Network has demanded that Oaxacan state governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo guarantee the work of these rights-defenders free from harassment, reprisals, and death-threats by establishing and applying the necessary means to achieve this end.

In this way, the Network calls for guarantees for “members of the APIITDTT and the APJJ to have security measures to protect their lives and territory.  The rights of the people to defend their land and to decide not to allow the construction of wind-energy parks on their communal territory [must also be guaranteed].  [Moreover,] the rights of the people to free, prior, and informed consent [must be respected].”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian campaña de hostigamiento contra defensoras de derechos humanos en el Istmo (Ciudadanía Express, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Denuncian campaña de intimidación en contra de indígena de Tehuantepec (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)