Guerrero: Precautionary measures denied to Norma Mesino Mesino, leader of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS)

March 1, 2015

Norma Mesina (@Haz que se vean)

Norma Mesina (@Haz que se vean)

In February, both the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights as well as the National Network of Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM) demanded that the Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, take the necessary steps so that the Mexican State effectively protect the life of Norma Mesino Mesino, a human-rights defenders from Guerrero State and leader of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS).

The two groups denounced that she had been subjected to libel, death-threats, and direct as well as indirect attacks in recent months.  The Mexican Commission detailed that “Norma Mesino and her close co-workers have received anonymous messages containing death-threats, they have been photographed and videotaped during different public events, and Norma’s security cameras have been disabled.  All of this comes in addition to the deficient escort work provided by the state police, who constantly distance themselves from the vehicle in which she travels, thus completely losing the point of their work of protection and reaction to an unexpected dangerous situation.”

In October 2014, the case was presented before the Mechanism for Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists, but the Secretary for Governance responded negatively, given his assessment that there was “no evidence of threats that put the defender at risk…”  Amidst this context, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights has requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Norma Mesino Mesino is the sister of Rocío Mesino, who belonged to the same organization and was killed in October 2013.

For more information (in Spanish):

Carta pública de la RNDDHM (Página3.mx, 9 de febrero de 2015)

Piden ONG a Osorio Chong proteger a Norma Mesino (La Jornada de Guerrero, 10 de febrero de 2015)

SEGOB niega protección a Norma Mesino, defensora de derechos humanos en grave riesgo en Guerrero (CMDPDH, 5 de febrero de 2015)

Presentación de la defensora Norma Mesino (Haz que se vean, video y resumen)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Impunity one year after the murder of Rocío Mesino Mesino, OCSS leader (26 October 2014)

Guerrero: murder of a social activist from the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: Murder of leader of the Organization of Ecologist Campesinos of the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán (7 December 2012)


Guerrero: IACHR calls on Mexican government to guarantee medical attention to Nestora Salgado, political prisoner from the Communal Police of Olinalá, Guerrero, held in federal prison in Tepic, Nayarit

February 8, 2015

Nestora Salgado (@Desinformémonos)

Nestora Salgado (@Desinformémonos)

On 28 January, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called on the Mexican government to guarantee medical attention to the activist Nestora Salgado, a member of the Communal Police from Olinalá, Guerrero, who is at present being held in the federal prison of Tepic, Nayarit.

Nestora Salgado, 41 years of age, was arrested in August 2013 after individuals who had been arrested by the Communal Police that she led claimed to have been kidnapped.  A federal judge dismissed these charges in 2014, but several state-level charges remain against her to date.  In January, Rogelio Ortega Martínez, governor of Guerrero, requested that the state attorney general, Miguel Ángel Godínez Muñoz, suspend the charges against her.  However, the petition was ignored following pressure applied by the anti-kidnapping activists Alejandro Martí and Isabel Miranda de Wallace.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pide la CIDH atención médica para Nestora Salgado (Proceso, 2 de febrero de 2015)

CIDH pide a México garantizar atención médica a Nestora Salgado (La Jornada, 2 de febrero de 2015)

CIDH exige iniciar medidas cautelares para Nestora Salgado (El Universal, 3 de febrero de 2015)

La CIDH ordenó que se proteja a Nestora Salgado (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Delay in release for Nestora Salgado; her daughter claims to have been threatened by phone (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: Death-threat directed against Nestora Salgado’s daughter and Communal Police commander from Olinalá (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release (2 September 2014)

Guerrero/National: Emergence of Committee of Women for the Liberty of Nestora Salgado (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC en Olinalá (13 September 2013)


Guerrero: More updates in the Ayotzinapa case

January 21, 2015

omar-garcía

Omar García, a student from Ayotzinapa, after having beaten by soldiers in Iguala. Foto @Regeneración

Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, has confirmed that the team of experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will analyze the investigation of the massacre and forcible disappearance of the students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School which took place on 26 September in Iguala.  The IACHR continues to seek out persons to come to Mexico to review the evidence provided by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), the search-work carried out by the National Gendarmerie, and to decide whether the authorities are in fact exhausting all lines of investigation.  Barrera Hernández has confirmed that an agreement had been signed with the federal government to ensure that the experts also be protected by the precautionary measures that the IACHR will award to the parents of the disappeared students.

Meanwhile, the search for the disappeared students continues.  The relatives of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa began their citizens’ searches on Saturday 10 January in the northern sierra of Guerrero, in the community known as Filo del Caballo. During a meeting between the parents of the disappeared and representatives from the Citizens’ Forensic Science organization, which has documented more than 300 cases of disappearances in this city, Felipe de la Cruz, a father of the disappeared, indicated that their counterparts have information that suggests that the students could be in this region.  De la Cruz recalled that all social organizations are invited to participate in the search for the students.  He repeated that the parents would not request the assistance of the federal government, given that it has produced no results, more than 3 months after the students were taken.  “They have no leads.  They have arrested more than 90 [people], but no one has said where they are.  For that reason, we believe the word of the people,” he declared.

Beyond this, on 12 January, parents of the disappeared students had a confrontation with military riot police and state forces when they attempted to enter the barracks of the 27th Infantry Batallion in Iguala, to continue their search for their disappeared sons.  Students who were present near the infantry base were attacked by the police with tear-gas and water-cannons.  The protestors used two trucks to tear down the entrance of the base and rescue the students they believe are being held there.  Mobilizations against military installations spread to the Acapulco and Cruz Grande municipalities.  In these, protestors demanded the opening of the barracks to facilitate the search for the disappeared youth, as they hold that there is “evidence” that the Army participated in the crime.  Regardless, the federal authorities deny that that is the case, and they claim the case to be the responsibility of the municipal police of Iguala and Cocula, tied to drug-trafficking interests.

For more information (in Spanish):

Cabildea ya la CIDH entre los expertos que revisarán el expediente de Ayotzinapa, adelanta Tlachinollan (Sur Acapulco, 12 de enero de 2015)

Comenzará mañana en la sierra norte búsqueda de normalistas (El Universal, 9 de enero de 2015)

Se enfrentan padres de Ayotzinapa con militares, cuatro heridos(Regeneración, 12 de enero de 2015)

Padres de normalistas se enfrentan con militares en Iguala (CNN México, 12 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


National: Presentation of the report “We Are All Female Defenders”

December 30, 2014


Captura-de-pantalla-2014-12-17-a-las-10.15.14-225x300

In mid-December, the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Morelos (CIDH-Morelos) and the National Network of Female Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM), as well as other organizations, presented the report “We Are All Female Defenders,” which proffers a national diagnostic regarding the work organizations and positions they have held and questions documented by women who defend and promote human rights when they have been attacked, in their majority by State officials.

The diagnostic indicates that, from 2001 to date, 34 female rights-defenders have been murdered; it highlights eight cases in Guerrero, seven in Chihuahua, and five in Mexico City.  In this way, the document specifies that the most violent states for female human-rights defenders to carry out their work to be Oaxaca, Guerrero, Chihuahua, Veracruz, and Mexico City.

The female defenders also warn of the increase in attacks on female activists and journalists as regards the manifestations which have demanded the presentation with life of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, who have been disappeared since September.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe completo (diciembre de 2014)

Oaxaca, Guerrero y Chihuahua, estados con más violencia hacia defensoras de DH (La Jornada, 15 de diciembre de 2014)

Red civil exige al Estado proteger a mujeres activistas en Guerrero y todo el país (Sin Embargo, 16 de diciembre de 2014)

Van 34 defensoras de DH asesinadas (El Economista, 15 de diciembre de 2014)

Aumentan agresiones a defensoras de derechos humanos (Azteca Noticias, 15 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: First state in attacks on female defenders, denounce organizations (21 December 2013)


Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared studetns of Ayotzinapa and their families

December 30, 2014


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Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, a prisoner held in the no. 5 prison of San Cristóbal de Las Casas who is also in solidarity with the Voz del Amate and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), has published a communique directed at all the “comrade mothers and fathers of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and Iguala, Guerrero.  By means of this space I wish to send you a greeting and a strong embrace to each of you; I hope that the blessings of God will always illuminate each of your activities.  I greatly lament the events of 26 September.  In light of these lamentable acts of the bad governments, [we see that] they seek ways to silence the people who defend the people: some are imprisoned, while others are killed or disappeared altogether.  With pain in my heart I express my solidarity with all of you.  I request of God that they appear alive, for they were taken alive, and we want them alive once again.  Despite the hundreds of kilometers that divide us, I feel very close to you all, knowing that you will never tire of telling the truth.”

Beyond this, he continued discussing the situation “of the bad governments” which are “huge assassins and kidnappers, but they never will enter prison, because they protect one another.  On the other hand, a Tsotsil indigenous man can be deprived of his liberty for several years, as in my own case.  I have been incarcerated for 15 years and 7 months for having committed no crime at all.”

Lastly, he called on the parents of the disappeared to continue struggling, as well as for “all the independent organizations of the world to join the demand of return home with life of each and all of our disappeared brothers.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Alejandro Díaz Solidario de la voz del Amate (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 12 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: Prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis fasting to demand justice (11 October 2014)

Chiapas: 13 days of fasting and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santís to demand his release (14 July 2014)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz announces 10-day hunger strike to protest 15 years’ imprisonment (May 16, 2014)

Chiapas: day of fasting and prayer for Alejandro Díaz on International Political Prisoners’ Day (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from Alejandro Díaz Santis from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas jail (30 March 2014)


Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case

December 29, 2014

twitter_maldito_ayotzinapa

Photo @SinEmbargo

According to an investigation published by the Proceso magazine, federal forces participated in the attack on the disappeared students on 26 September 2014.  The work carried out with the support of the Program for Investigative Journalism at the University of California Berkeley, based on testimonies, videos, unedited reports, and judicial declarations, shows that the federal police (PF) actively and directly participated in the attack.  The article indicates the contradictions that exist between the account provided by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the testimonies of those arrested, as well as those provided by students who survived the attack.  One of the key points in the investigation is that the Ayotzinapa students had been surveilled, such that the federal police knew of their arrival to Iguala.  It shows furthermore that the attack and forcible disappearance of the students was specifically directed at the ideological structure of the school they attended, given that of the 43 disappeared, one was a member of the Commitee for Student Struggle, the highest-ranking organ within the school’s administration, while 10 others were “budding political activists” associated with the Committee for Political and Ideological Orientation (COPI).

Beyond this, information has begun to appear in social networks that the majority of the disappeared students still live and are being held by the Army and federal police as part of a military intelligence operation.  The truth of these claims still has yet to be confirmed.  The communiqué was published presumably by soldiers of the Mexican Army who pertain to the 35th military zone (which includes Iguala); the sources in question no longer belong to the unit, as they were sent elsewhere or dismissed.  The objective of this operation, called “Az,” was to fracture “the transgressor groups of the school who disrupt order in Iguala by appropriating vehicles that are the property of the mayor, and bother people from various localities.”  According to the communiqué, “the transgressors were divided into 3 groups by military intelligence, with 21 sent to two military barracks for interrogation,” with the rest divided into two groups that were then sent to Cocula and Chilapa by municipal police and the “United Warriors” drug cartel.

Beyond this, on 14 December, confrontations in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, left 22 injured (14 of them teachers, parents, and students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, and 8 federal police).  The events took place when a group of students who were preparing a rock concert “A light in the darkness” were attacked with stones, beatings, and tear-gas by police.  “This is an act of police brutality that clearly seeks to silence the voices of the parents of the disappeared,” noted Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, lawyer for the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights. Omar García, director of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, related that despite the fact that the police had been told that “we were students, and that we were preparing the concert, they told us: ‘It matters not; we are going to even beat your mothers.'”  The parents of the disappeared accused the federal government of having provoked the incident deliberately.  The National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) has launched an investigation into the events in question.

For more information (in Spanish):

Filtración: “Los normalistas de Ayotzinapa están vivos, los tiene el Ejército mexicano” (RT, 14 de diciembre de 2014)

Iguala: la historia no oficial (Proceso, 13 de diciembre de 2014)

COMUNICADO | Agrede Policía Federal a estudiantes y familiares de desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa durante la preparación de jornada cultural(Tlachinollan, 14 de diciembre de 2014)

Investiga la CNDH hechos violentos en Chilpancingo (Proceso, 14 de diciembre de 2014)

Caso Iguala: federales involucrados y tortura a testigos.- Anabel Hernández(Aristegui Noticias, 15 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Entry into law of bill on the rights of children and adolescents

December 29, 2014

(@elconstituyente.com)

On 3 December, President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) signed into law the new bill on the rights of minors that was shortly thereafter published in the Official Diary of the Federation (DOF).  Peña Nieto affirmed that it would represent “a legal instrument for progress to create the appropriate conditions for the comprehensive development of minors.”

In a press-bulletin, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Mexico stressed “the creation at the highest level of the National System for the Comprehensive Protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, of the Federal Prosecutorial Office for Protection, and of the National System for Information on Infancy, as well as the obligation of assigning an adequate budget to observe the implementation of the law, among other things.”

UNICEF considered the consolidation of a legal mark that would provide greater protection to the 40 million children and adolescents who live in Mexico a great opportunity.  Nonetheless, it stressed the following challenges faced by minors in the country:

“• Slightly more than half of children and adolescents in Mexico (21 million) lived in poverty in 2012; of these, 5 million suffered extreme poverty.

• There are still 6.1 million children between 3 and 17 years of age who do not attend school, despite the fact that attendance in basic and middle-school education has increased.  Child mortality (defined as applying to those under 5 years of age, per 1,000 children born) is still high in states like Guerrero (19.4), Chiapas (19.5), Puebla (19.7), and Oaxaca (20), despite the fact that the national rate has declined considerably (from 41 in 1990 to 16 in 2012).

• Six of each 10 children and adolescents have directly experienced some form of violence in their homes or schools.

• In 2013 15,561 unaccompanied children and adolescents were deported from the United States to Mexico.  These migrants have been exposed to all types of dangers and human-rights violations.

• 2.5 million children and adolescents work, despite efforts in recent years to reduce the rate of child labor.”

UNICEF stresses that “This law will be transcendental for the future and present of children in the country, and for this reason for development in Mexico with regard to social and economic questions, as well as matters related to justice, such that the next step will consist in assuring the adequate implementation of the law and guaranteeing that new mechanisms and institutions stipulated by this law will have the means to operate in an efficient manner.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El presidente Peña promulga la nueva ley sobre derechos de los menores(CNN México, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Promulga EPN Ley de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes, fundamental para progreso y paz social (Radio Fórmula, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Promulga Peña la ley de niños y adolescentes (El Universal, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

Más de 40 millones de niños podrán contar con un mejor marco legal(Boletín de prensa, UNICEF, 4 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents (1 October 2014)

National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)


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