International: German organizations call on Mexico to commit itself better to human rights

December 26, 2015

Blog Foto

On 15 December, the Mexican Embassy in Germany organized a meeting with the subsecretary for multilateral affairs and human rights from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Miguel Ruiz Cabañas Izquierdo, for a dialogue regarding the state of human rights in Mexico. After the event, the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico (DMKRM) lamented that the official had not recognized the human-rights crisis in the country. With regard to the presence of the Army in the streets and the accusations that exist against soldiers for numerous cases of extrajudicial executions and human-rights violations against the people, Carola Hausotter, executive director of DMKRM, said that “the fundamental contradictions between the official discourse of the diplomatic corps and the information received regarding human rights in Mexico that the German Coordination receives through its counterparts in Mexico and international organizations such as the UN has been notorious.” Regarding the problem of impunity, Ruiz Cabañas “denied the rate of 98%, calling into question the official data that support this conclusion.” According to a press conference published by DMKRM, the subsecretary failed to recognize that the majority of cases of attacks against human-rights defenders and journalists that remain in impunity. Due to such “evasive attitudes” the members of DMKRM, which include Amnesty International and the Ecumenical Office for Peace and Justice, called on the Mexican government to “submit a concrete plan of measures to implement […] in accordance with the human-rights recommendations formulated by international organizations, thus recognizing their validity and legitimacy.”

It should be mentioned that on 9 June 2015, the Mexican and German governments signed a Declaration of Intention to establish a binational commission that would incorporate broad collaboration in terms of security, foreign policy, development, sustainable development, science, education, and culture. After the conference “Forcible disappearance, a systematic crime: the political crisis in Mexico,” which took place on 25 October 2015 in Germany, the DMKRM expressed its doubts regarding this project because Mexico “finds itself presently in a profound political-juridical crisis: all the institutional levels are in fact linked to organized crime.” Amidst this panorama, DMKRM concluded that the Germany State must pressure the Mexican government to adopt policies that will help advance human rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen organizaciones alemanas compromiso con los derechos humanos a Estado (Centro ProDH, 18 de diciembre de 2015)

Indigna a activistas alemanes “postura evasiva” de Peña sobre violación de derechos humanos (Proceso, 17 de diciembre de 2015)

Comunicado de prensa Coordinación alemana por los derechos humanos en México (DMKRM, 16 de diciembre de 2015)

ONG alemanas cuestionan que su país declare a México respetuoso de los derechos (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2015)

Instituciones mexicanas, vinculadas al crimen organizado en todos sus niveles: ONG’s en Alemania (Proceso, 2 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Guerrero: “No more arms sales to Mexico” – German government (8 March 2015)

National/International: German activists reject security agreement with Mexico (10 February 2015

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Chiapas/National: Global Day of Solidarity with Zapatista communities

July 22, 2015

(@Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad)

(@Network against Repression and for Solidarity)

Following the attacks denounced by the La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) on 25 June, several letters of rejection and demonstrating solidarity with the Zapatista communities were released. Said letters originated from different parts of Mexico, and beyond: Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chiapas, Colima, Distrito Federal, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Zacatecas, and Germany, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Catalunya, Colombia, Spain, USA, France, the UK, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

In this way, the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR) organized the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and the students of the Escuelita Zapatista as well as social and political organizations to participate in a global day of action, “THE ZAPATISTAS ARE NOT ALONE!” The same actionw as organized to carry out decentralized actions between 12 and 19 July 2015, and actions were taken in Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Tampico. Whatever action that may be taken can be communicated to the following e-mail addresses: comunicacion@redcontralarepresion.org and redcontralarepresion@gmail.com.

It should be mentioned that on 19 July, elections will be held for the mayorships of Chiapas. The RvsR has declared itself on alert for whatever act of provocation that could take place within the electoral context that could in turn “worsen the climate of harassment against the Zapatista communities.”

For more information (in Spanish:

Con la dignidad zapatista frente a la represión, la violencia y las elecciones (Enlace Zapatista, 9 de julio de 2015)

Nuevo ataque de paramilitares. Caracol Resistencia Hacia un Nuevo Amanecer. La Garrucha. (Enlace Zapatista, 25 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Risks to the lives of Zapatista support-bases (3 July 2015)

Chiapas: Denunciation of paramilitary attack on the El Rosario community, pertaining to the La Garrucha caracol (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks (17 May 2015)

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)


National/Guerrero: “no more arms sales to Mexico” – German government

March 8, 2015

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Photo @SIPAZ

On 25 February, Christoph Strässer, the German commissioner on human rights, and Viktor Elbling, the German ambassador to Mexico, visited the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, where they held interviews with the parents of the 43 disappeared youth.  In a press-conference, the two figures announced that their country would commit itself to neither sell nor provide arms or security materiel to the Mexican State any longer.  Germany will continue to support Mexico in terms of human rights and the state of law.  The commissioner offered his apologies to the relatives of the students due to the evidence which suggests that German arms were used in the atrocity that led to the disappearance of the 43.  Strässer specified that there is a clear mechanism for arms sales, but in the case of Mexico, there is a convention “which was not respected and for that reason there is a court case in Germany.  While the outcome of that case is not decided, there will be no arms sales [to Mexico].”  The German representatives committed themselves to working with the families at the international level toward the clarification of what exactly took place on 26 and 27 September 2014.

For more information (in Spanish):

Armas usadas en Iguala serían alemanas (El Financiero, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Gobierno de Alemania se compromete a no suministrar armas a México (Desinformémonos, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Ofrece Alemania revisar exportaciones de armas a México (DW, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Heckler & Koch: ecos del conflicto mexicano en Alemania (DW, 18 de diciembre de 2014)

Ofrece disculpas funcionario alemán por armas que usaron policías en iguala contra los normalistas (Sur Acapulco, 26 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: German activists reject security agreement with Mexico (10 February 2015)

Guerrero: update in the Ayotzinapa case (17 December 2014)


National/International: German activists reject security agreement with Mexico

February 10, 2015

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German activists in front of the Ministry of the Interior. Photo@México Vía Berlín

On 3 February, dozens of persons protested in front of the German Ministry of the Interior against a security agreement that is planned with Mexico.  The activists submitted a list of 7,830 persons who reject the support Berlin provides for police and juridical authorities in Mexico.  These signatures are the results of a campaign promoted by the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico which has repeatedly pronounced itself against this type of agreement given that, as it argues, conditions do not exist in Mexico for a collaboration of this type.  The petition’s website explains that “this agreement would not serve to regulate the police who are systematically torturing their people, killing innocents, and raping women, besides being involved in the forcible disappearances of tens of thousands of people for decades.”  In response to the German government’s argument that corruption is limited to the local and municipal levels, the activists note that “this is a disingenuous argument, to claim that the problems have to do with the local police […].  The impunity of the security forces is the functional reality of all levels of the Mexican government, and only in a very limited set of situations can it be broken using particular tactics.  For the German police to collaborate with these structures would be to legitimate the principle of impunity.”

Present at the protest was a Mexican delegation, which included the bishop of Saltillo, Raúl Vera, and members of the Network in Solidarity Decade against Impunity.  After the protest, close to 40 activists met with officials from the Ministry, including Peter Steck and Siegfried Helmut Mueller. Bishop Vera handed over the list of signatures against the controversial security proposal and expressed the same sort of worry evinced by the other activists: “At this time, as Ayotzinapa has shown, the police, the Army, and organized crime act jointly together against the people of the country.  And the federal government knows that part of civil society disagrees with this, such that they feel insecure.  And this force that you are giving to the police will not be used to fight organized crime but instead people like us.”  For his part, Peter Steck promised the activists that he would transmit the information to be considered in the negotiations regarding the security accord.

For more information (in Spanish):

Campaña “No al acuerdo” de la Coordinación Alemana por los Derechos Humanos en México

Activistas rechazan en Berlín convenio de seguridad con México(LaJornada, 4 de febrero, 2015)

Obispo Vera pide al gobierno alemán evitar firma de acuerdo con México(Proceso, 3 de febrero, 2015)

Acuerdo de seguridad Alemania-México: inminente y poco transparente(Deutsche Welle, 8 de diciembre, 2014)

Los peligros del Acuerdo de Seguridad entre México y Alemania (eltoque, 4 de febrero, 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: update in the Ayotzinapa case (17 December 2014)


Oaxaca: European diplomatic delegation visits the Isthmus while attacks continue against defenders of land and territory

December 18, 2013

Delegación diplomática. Foto @Brigadas Internacionales de Paz (PBI)

Diplomatic delegation. Photo @PBI

During 12 and 13 December, representatives from the embassies of Switzerland, Norway, and Germany in Mexico carried out a trip to the Tehuantepec Isthmus toward the end of meeting with different human-rights defenders in the region and to “intensify the dialogue between the diplomatic corps and civil society and to make the prevailing conflicts over the construction of megaprojects in the region visible,” as the organization Peace Brigades International (PBI) notes.  PBI accompanied the diplomatic mission along with the Oaxacan organization Código DH during the visit.

Within the context of the visit, the delegation met with Father Solalinde in the Migrant Home “Brothers on the Path” as well as with the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ).  Along with the APPJ, the mission visited the lands on which the Fenosa Natural Gas corporation is building the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park.  The APPJ claims these lands to be communal.

Mariano López, spokesperson for the APPJ, noted that the delegation confirmed “the violations to the collective rights of the indigenous as committed by the Fenosa Natural Gas company with the construction of a wind-energy park on communal lands.”

Beyond this, the APPJ has denounced a new attempt at aggression against one of its members and spokespeople, Raymundo Regalado.  The acts took place on 11 December when a person associated with Fenosa Natural Gas followed Raymundo, threatened him, and tried to assault him.  The victim requested the assistance of the police and of passersby, leading the would-be attacker to flee.

For more information (in Spanish):

Constatan violación de eólicas a derechos de pueblos indígenas en Juchitán(La Jornada, 17 de diciembre de 2013)

Viaje a Tehuantepec (Embajada de Alemania en México, diciembre de 2013)

Empresa eólica Gas Natural Fenosa, hoy Bii Hioxho, atenta contra integrante de la APPJ (Observatorio Frontera Sur de México, diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

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: Protests continue in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 November 2012)