National: Increase in attacks on journalists in Mexico

December 27, 2015

@Cuartoscuro

@Cuartoscuro

In recent weeks have transpired a number of attacks and acts of harassment against journalists in Mexico.  On 20 November in Mexico City, the home of the journalist Gloria Muñoz Ramírez was raided.  Muñoz Ramírez is the director of the electronic magazine Desinformémonos and a columnist for La Jornada.  Moreover, the editorship of Desinformémonos suffered a robbery and a cyber-attack.  The magazine is dedicated to documenting popular struggles and social movements in Mexico and throughout the world.  “This attack takes place within the context of grave attacks on journalists in the country, thus harming the right to information and putting at risk the lives, integrity, and personal security of those who dedicate themselves to communication,” noted the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, based in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in a communique.

Moreover, on 25 November, the journalist Maite Azuela received a death-threat at her home in Mexico City.  The articles written by the journalist are dedicated to human-rights policies and violations, recently related to the Army, as led by General Salvador Cienfuegos, and the state government of Puebla, directed by Rafael Moreno Valle. On 27 November in Guerrero, the general secretary of the state government, Florencio Salazar Adame, interrupted into a radio program and threatened the journalist Sergio Ocampo Arista, a news reporter, who had been discussing “suspicious” acts taken by the State.  According to the Journalistic Investigation Agency, Salazar Adame “arrived violently to the radio station and took the microphone to warn Ocampo […] that he should be careful with the criticisms he launches against the PRI government of Astudillo Flores,” governor of Guerrero.  Recently in Veracruz, at least 12 journalists were attacked by public-security forces.

Amidst these incidents, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) and Amnesty International Mexico (AI Mexico) submitted more than 12,000 signatures to the state authorities to demand that all the necessary measures be taken so that the Mechanism of Protection for Rights-Defenders and Journalists in Mexico function effectively. CMDPDH and AI indicated that the “work of rights-defenders in the country is risky and despite the fact that since 2012, there exists a law establishing a mechanism to protect these defenders and journalists who are at risk, it has not been implemented effectively due to lack of interest on the part of politicians.”  From 2000 to date, the National Commission on Human Rights in Mexico (CNDH) has registered 107 murders of journalists; 20 disappearances of journalists between 2005 and 2015; 48 attacks on media institutions from 2006 to date and a total of 506 complaints from 2010 to 2015.  Beyond this, between 2014 and 2015 the CNDH has authorized 26 precautionary measures.

For more information (in Spanish):

Recibe amenaza de muerte articulista Maite Azuela en el Distrito Federal (Desinformémonos, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Periodistas veracruzanos exigen tipificar delito de “ataque a la libertad de expresión” y garantías de seguridad (Revolución 3.0, 29 de noviembre de 2015)

Secretario general del gobierno priista de Guerrero irrumpe en cabina de radio con sus guaruras y amenaza a periodista (Revolución 3.0, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Basta de agresiones contra periodistas en México (Desinformémonos, 27 de noviembre de 2015)

Exigen eficacia en protección a periodistas (El Economista, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Condenamos agresiones a periodistas y el ataque a Desinformémonos (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Mexico: Torture and murder of journalist and four women (10 September 2015)

National: Disappeared journalist Gregorio Jiménez is found dead (16 February 2014)

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: New attacks on journalists (2 September 2014)


Guerrero: 4 communal police killed in El Fortín, Tixtla

December 26, 2015

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Image of the funeral of one of the murdered communal police

Photo @Sergio Ocampo

On 27 November were buried the four members of the justice house La Patria es Primero (“The Nation First”), affiliated with the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC), who were killed the previous Thursday in Tixtla by presumed members of organized-crime groups.  The prosecutorial office of Guerrero state released a communique reporting that it will “investigate the aggression perpetrated against seven members of the CRAC-PC’s justice house […] in which four of these agents lost their lives in the Tixtla municipality.”  According to the representatives of the justice house in question, behind the execution of their comrades the responsibility likely belongs to the organized-crime groups Los ardillos and Los rojos that are battling over control of the Tixtla plaza.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sepultan a 4 policías comunitarios asesinados en El Fortín, Guerrero (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Matan en Tixtla a 4 integrantes de la policía comunitaria (La Jornada, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Asesinato de cuatro policías comunitarios en Tixtla es una declaratoria de guerra: CRAC (Cambio de Michoacan, 27 de noviembre de 2015)


Guerrero/National: Following the creation of the Office for Specialized Investigation, relatives of the 43 suspend their sit-in

December 26, 2015

Imagen de la conmemoración de un año de la desaparición forzada de los 43 en San Cristóbal de Las Casas Foto: @SIPAZ

Image commemorating one year since the forcible disappearance of the 43, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

Photo: @SIPAZ

After five days of sit-ins near the presidential residence of Los Pinos in Mexico City, parents of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, suspended their protest on 1 December. The catalyst of this action was their meeting with the Attorney General Arely Gómez González, who announced to the families the creation of an Office for Specialized Investigation, which will be assessed by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer for the families of the disappeared students, declared that the creation of this new office for investigation signifies a change in the federal government’s posture, rejecting the line of investigation known as the “historical truth” and instead investigating new lines proposed by the GIEI report. “The creation of a new office is the beginning, but for us it is significant because we are starting a new phase in the investigations, and for this reason I have some hope for the parents,” he said. According to Cimac News, the relatives will meet each 15 days with members of the Office and monthly with the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to monitor progress in the case.

It bears mentioning that the government attempted to close the case and has failed to observe several of the agreements previously made with the families. In this way, the families gave a vote of confidence in the new office, being accompanied by the GIEI. “We’re going to go, but we’re going to continue struggling. We hope that they do what they say,” added the father of one of the disappeared students.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de los 43 dan voto de confianza a nueva unidad de investigación de PGR por la supervisión del GIEI (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Nos vamos, pero no confiamos en el gobierno: madres de los 43 (Cimac Noticias, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Padres de Ayotzinapa levantan plantón; ya tenemos confianza en las autoridades, dicen (Animal Político, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Papás de Ayotzinapa instalan plantón en DF, exigen inmediata conformación de fiscalía especial (Animal Político, 27 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Denunciation of Mexican State before Inter-American System of Human Rights due to death and torture of student-teachers in Ayotzinapa, 2011 (26 December 2015)

Guerrero: Body of tortured and executed Ayotzinapa student, Julio César Mondragón, is exhumed (21 November 2015)

National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa (10 October 2015)

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances (8 October 2015)

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)


Guerrero: 4 years since the forcible disappearance of ecologist peasants from the Costa Grande

December 26, 2015

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Photo @EDUCA Oaxaca

On 7 December, four years passed since the forcible disappearance of the leaders of the Organization of Ecologist Peasants from Sierra of Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán, Eva Alarcón Ortiz and Marcial Bautista Valle. The daughter of Eva, Coral Rojas Alarcón, said, “I am convinced that they have been killed, but they deserve a burial. I want to find my mother and Marcial.” Marcial Bautista and Eva Alarcón were forcibly disappeared on 7 December 2011 in the Grand Coast of Guerrero by a group of armed men that according to eyewitnesses were being protected by the Army and agents from the ministerial police. The activists had dedicated themselves to the management, conservation, and sustainable use of the forests. The defense of the forests led them to denounce abuses committed by the Army and the illegal work in which police had been involved.

Since the disappearance of her mother, Coral has sought justice and become a human-rights defender, collaborating with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the federal police (PF) to seek out clandestine graves and to identify victims. She reported that they had found bodies in Michoacán and Guerrero, “and I believe that each identified person is a triumph.” She shared that the judicial process in the case of Eva and Marcial continues, with the last “declaration saying that they were killed. This is the only line of investigation from the PGR.” She refers to the declarations made by a hitman who was arrested by the Army in February 2012 in Tecpan de Galeana, who supposedly confessed to his participation in the forcible disappearance of the social activists. According to unofficial information obtained in recent days, the hitman José Jhonny López Galván, “El Güero,” had made these statements to the federal public ministry and had driven the soldiers to the site where the burned remains of the community leaders were found. According to preliminary investigation, these remains did not belong to Eva or Marcial, and to date, “there is no scientific evidence showing they have been killed.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Autoridades apuestan al olvido” en desaparición de campesinos activistas ¨(La Jornada, 3 de agosto de 2013)

La única línea en el caso de los dirigentes ecologistas, desaparecidos hace 4 años, es que los mataron (Sur Acapulco, 3 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: two nephews of ecological leadership are murdered (16 November 2012)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists (8 February 2012)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: violence in the Sierra de Petalán (17 October 2011)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July 2011)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June 2011)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)


Chiapas/National: National and international day for political prisoners, from 6 to 13 December

December 26, 2015

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From 6 to 13 December was held a national and international action in solidarity with political prisoners in Mexico and the world. In recent dates, the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR) called for a national meeting with adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, students from the Zapatista Escuelita, communities, groups, and organizations in solidarity, toward the end of developing accords and tasks to “continue the struggle for the freedom of our comrade political prisoners.” From this National Meeting of the RvsR for Our Political Prisoners and the Eurozapatista Meeting of Barcelona came the call for this week of action that seeks to build bridges of dialogue with all those who “also build from their spaces places for struggle, because the struggle for our comrade political prisoners is not something to forget, but instead is a basic act of justice.” The action called on adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, students from the Zapatista Escuelita, communities, groups, and organizations in solidarity to carry out actions “in solidarity and camaradery with our friends taken by power.”

The action served to commemorate the men and women who have been politically imprisoned in Chiapas, Mexico City, Tlanixco (Mexico State), Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, and the U.S. whom the “capitalist system seeks to eliminate, using tools of isolation and forgetting.” This was accomplished through different events, meetings, expositions, murals, chats, flyers, performances, and conferences throughout Mexico and the world.

Presently, Chiapas has four political prisoners who adhere to the Sixth Declaration: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, Emilio Jiménez Gómez, Esteban Gómez Jiménez, and Santiago Moreno Pérez. The families, ex-prisoners, friends, and comrades of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, a Tsotsil indigenous man and a “struggling prisoner” who adheres to the Sixth Declaration, held a press-conference on 14 December regarding his case and transfer on 10 September to the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (CEFERESO) in Villa de Comamtitlán, Chiapas. At the press-conference, which took place at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, the relatives, “ex-prisoners, friends, and comrades” of Alejandro denounced that “he finds himself in isolation, with a very limited ability to communicate with the outside […]. He is held all day in his cell, with only 30 minutes outside, without access to readings, photographs, and much less correspondence. Neither does he enjoy any right to an education, nor does he have access even to paper and pencils.”

In its communique, the RvsR reaffirmed its “commitment to not giving up the struggle for a world without political prisoners, repression, marginalization, exploitation, or plundering: in sum, for a world that is just, free, and democratic.” Besides, amidst the power of the “Capitalist Hydra that uses repression as one of its basic pillars, we are not intimidated, but rather we will learn how to respond with organization, rebellion, and resistance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

JORNADA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL POR NUESTR@S PRES@S DEL 6 AL 13 DE DICIEMBRE (Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Jornada Nacional e Internacional por Nuestr@s Pres@s del 6 al 13 de diciembre (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de diciembre de 2015)

Presos Políticos (Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad)

Jornada por Nuestr@s Pres@s: Audios y Videos (Radio Zapatista, 8 de diciembre de 2015)

Red Contra la Represión: Actividades dentro de la Jornada Nacional e Internacional por Nuestr@s Pres@s y pláticas con familiares de Nuestr@s Pres@s (Enlace Zapatista, 12 de diciembre de 2015)

“No olvidamos a los hombres y mujeres que el sistema capitalista pretende eliminar, bajo sus instituciones de aislamiento y de olvido”, jornada x pres@s polític@s. (Radio Pozol, 14 de diciembre)

Los presos del Ejido de San Sebastián Bachajón, del municipio de Chilón. (6 de diciembre, Kolectivo Zero)

Alejandro Díaz Santiz (Kolectivo Zero, 8 de diciembre de 2015)

Sin acceso a lecturas, imágenes, correspondencia y con visitas cada 15 días, mantienen preso injustamente a indígena tzeltal en Chiapas. (Radio Pozol, 15 de diciembre de 2015)

Pronunciamiento de Solidaridad y comunicado de los familiares y amigxs de Alejandro Diaz Santiz (Espoir Chiapas, 15 de diciembre de 2015)

Álvaro Sebastián (8 de diciembre de 2015, Subversiones)

Audio del mitin de solidaridad con Ostula y por la Libertad de Semei Verdia Comandante Comunitario.Casa de Michoacan en DF (Noticias de Abajo ML, 14 de diciembre 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)


Oaxaca: Creation of tool for monitoring and denunciation about territorial rights

December 26, 2015

 

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At the beginning of December was made public the creation of the Observatory of Territorial Rights, an initiative that has been promoted by Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA A.C.), “focused on the monitoring, investigation, analysis, diffusion, and denunciation of violations of popular and communal rights to territories at the hands of transnational corporations, the State, and other power-groups.”

As EDUCA’s website notes, “the Observatory has as its general objective to influence State policies and public opinion so as to guarantee respect for the rights of the peoples and communities of Oaxaca by means of the monitoring of specific cases, the systematization of information, sessions of analysis with different sectors of society, and bulletins and journalistic information.” During this year, the Observatory will monitor the projects of “Paso de la Reina,” the construction of two dams in the Paso de la Reyna community; “San José,” or the construction of a subterranean mine in San José del Progreso; and “the Doctor,” for exploratory mining work in Magdalena Teitipac.

It bears mentioning that the attacks on environmental defenders has been on the rise during the past five years at least. According to the Second Annual Report on Attacks against Environmental Defenders, as compiled by the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA), the attacks have worsened during the reign of Enrique Peña Nieto. In accordance with a proper media registry, 240 cases of attacks on environmental defenders have been observed, nearly half of which have taken place between April 2014 and May 2015, with the states of Sonora, Oaxaca, Mexico, and Guerrero being those with the highest number of incidents.

For more information (in Spanish):

Observatorio de Derechos Territoriales

Inicia Observatorio de Derechos Territoriales a partir de procesos de defensa en Oaxaca (8 de diciembre de 2015)

El Topil. Observatorio de Derechos Territoriales (Septiembre 2015)

Con EPN crecen agresiones contra defensores ambientalistas;“en el último año 109 ataques y una tendencia preocupante a la criminalización” (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 9 de diciembre de 2015)

Oaxaca, primer lugar en agresiones a defensoras de derechos humanos (Sididh, 14 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Detained and disappeared, anti-mining activists from San José del Progreso (12 December 2013)

Oaxaca: New death-threats directed against members of the CPUVO in San José del Progreso (7 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Civil Observation Mission to San José del Progreso (30 November 2012)

Oaxaca: access to the Cuzcatlán mine is blocked in San José el Progreso (16 May 2012)

Oaxaca: Actions, denunciations, and mobilizations in the case of San José del Progreso (3 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Murder of the spokesperson of the Coordination of the United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (25 March 2012)

 


Guerrero: Attack on Ayotzinapa students leaves 8 seriously injured and 13 arrested

November 21, 2015

Marcha en rechazo a las agresiones a los normalistas. Foto @El Sur

March to reject attack on student-teachers @El Sur

On 11 November, 8 buses carrying about 150 student-teachers from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Teachers College were stopped by federal, state, and ministerial police as well as the military on the highway between Chilpancingo and Tixtla. According to media, the police attacked the buses three times, leaving 20 students injured and requiring hospitalization, while 8 of these have been seriously injured, and 13 arrested.

According to the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, “the units of the different police corporations treated these students cruelly and inhumanely,” detailing that “approximately 5 of these students had their pants forcibly removed by state and ministerial police and were told obscene things and threatened with torture, while others were beaten over the head.” Beyond this, one of the arrested student-teachers who has been released declared that “there is a comrade who has had his leg broken, while another had his lips split by a kick to the face, and others were burned with cigarettes after having been arrested. I was strangled with a scarf and they had me hanging.” In this way, there is information that the police shattered the windows of the buses, fired tear-gas grenades, trapped a group of 7 students in a bus using four gas-grenades, thus preventing their exit for 20 minutes. The students in question were arrested just after escaping.

In reaction to these attacks, some of the student-teachers fled to the mountains. At first, there were reports that 20 students had been disappeared, but these were presented with life at midnight. Beyond this, thanks to social pressure, the arrested were transferred to the Human Rights Commission of Guerrero State, where their injuries were certified, and after which they were released. There have been several marches to reject the violence exercised against the students, such as one that was led by relatives of the 43 student-teachers disappeared on 26 September 2014 together with 500 other student-teachers from Ayotzinapa. For its part, the United Front of Public Teachers Colleges of Guerrero State (FUNPEG) announced the suspension of its dialogue with Governor Héctor Astudillo Flores (PRI), in response to the repressive action. Some of the protests have joined the rejection of the educational reform and the assessment of teachers.

For more information (in Spanish):

Brutalidad policiaca contra estudiantes de la Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa (Tlachinollan, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Suspenden en Guerrero diálogo con el gobierno; protestan contra represión (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Normalistas de Oaxaca repudian represión a estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Policías persiguen y se enfrentan a normalistas: 8 estudiantes hospitalizados y 12 liberados (Animal Político, 12 de noviembre de 2015)

[México] Después de la brutal agresión policial del 11 de noviembre, aparecen los normalistas que huyeron a los cerros (12 de noviembre de 2015)

Padres de Ayotzinapa y normalistas marchan para protestar por la agresión del miércoles (Sin Embargo, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Body of tortured and executed Ayotzinapa student, Julio César Mondragón, is exhumed (21 November 2015)

National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa (10 October 2015)

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances (8 October 2015)

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)


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