Chiapas: denunciation of criminalization against environmental activists in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

January 4, 2019

 

On December 27th, during a press conference that took place at the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, the board of Colonia Maya in the municipality San Cristóbal de Las Casas denounced the existence of arrest warrants against its members and demanded their immediate cancellation.

In June 2016, the construction of a housing estate caused a flooding that affected 20 families in Colonia Maya. As a reaction, various habitants started to organize themselves to defend their rights and the environmental rights.

Since then, the members of Colonia Maya’s board faced various threats and the criminalization of their movement to defend their district.

Three moths ago, the board met with representatives of Manuel Velasco’s government who proposed the construction of a rain drain in the settlement. The board responded that they could not take any decisions without the participation of the the Colonia’s assembly. The arrest warrants were released after that meeting.

In the words of the board about the criminalization: “We are in fear. Fear that justice one more will be bought. During the last days we have affirmed once more that the legal authorities in our country can be bought. We know that some of our members have received arrest warrants without committing any crime. We are being accused of kidnapping, when we only ever acted peacefully, consulting and respecting the settlement’s assembly.”

They solicited “that the hostility and the criminalization against human environmental rights defenders for the land and the territory are eradicated or cease as they are pillars of democracy and with their work they can promote and strengthen the civil participation”.

For more information in Spanish:

Cese la criminalización a defensores de la Madre Tierra (27 de diciembre de 2018, Chiapas Denuncia Publica).

Colonos de la Maya denuncian que les fueron inventados delitos (27 de diciembre de 2018, Noticias Voz e Imagen de Chiapas).

Se defienden activistas demandados (27 de diciembre de 2018, El Heraldo de Chiapas).

Criminalización por la defensa de la Madre Tierra (21 de junio de 2017, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas).

For more information from SIPAZ :

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14th, 2018)

Nacional : Se pospone entrega de concesiones de agua vía Internet por seis meses en medio de protestas. (17 de octubre de 2018).

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National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018

September 21, 2018

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In a statement published on September 13, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-DH) in Mexico reported that 10 human rights defenders have been killed in the country so far this year, a figure that already exceeds the total number of cases registered last year.


Specifically, it condemned the case number 10: the murder, on September 8, of Margarito Díaz González, leader of the Wixárika community of Nayarit. The UN-DH highlighted that six of the 10 victims identified were indigenous and warned that the whereabouts of activist Sergio Rivera Hernández, who disappeared in Puebla on August 23, remain unknown to this day.


” So far in 2018 we have already recorded more murders of human rights defenders than in the whole 2017. Human rights defenders in Mexico live in a critical situation, and as Michel Forst, UN special rapporteur on HR defenders, pointed out, it is urgent to stop and reverse the trend, because Mexico could be the most dangerous place in the world for them”, it said.


A few days earlier, in her first public intervention as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet deplored that “in Mexico, eight human rights defenders were murdered in the first eight months of 2018. (…) many more have been victims of criminalization, abusive demands, smear campaigns, surveillance, death threats and attacks. Last year was also the deadliest year for journalists in Mexico, with at least 12 murders in 2017”.


For more information (in Spanish) :

Aumentan asesinatos de defensores de los derechos humanos en México: ONU (La Jornada, 14 de septiembre de 2018)

Suman 10 defensores asesinados: ONU-DH (El Economista, 14 de septiembre de 2018)

Condena ONU-Dh asesinato del defensor indígena Margarito díaz González (El Universal, 13 de septiembre de 2018)

Al inaugurar sesión de la ONU-DH, Bachelet deplora asesinatos de defensores y periodistas en México (Proceso, 10 de septiembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: UN-DH urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders September 17, 2018

National: UNO Special Rapporteur Visits Mexico to Evaluate Human Rights Situation February 5, 2017


National: presentation of the seventh report “Defending Human Rights: The six-years term of impunity”

September 17, 2018
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Presentation of the seventh report “Defending Human Rights” (@Comité Cerezo)


On August 21, the seventh report “Defending Human Rights in Mexico: The six-years term of impunity” elaborated by Urgent Action for Human Rights Defenders (ACUDDEH), the Cerezo Committee and the Campaign against Enforced Disappearance was presented publicly. It covers the period from June 2017 to May 2018.

This report states that during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) there have been 5527 attacks against human rights defenders and journalists; 949 of those cases were documented in this last period. It also states that « the largest number of cases registered are related to the opposition against the implementation of the structural reforms, particularly the people who defend the right to education were the most aggressed (224 cases); in second place were activists and people that demostrated in the streets; that is, those who exercised their human right to protest (219 cases) ». It also documents that “in this six-years term the major repression occurred in the states of Michoacán, Guerrero and Chiapas, states that, while suffering from high poverty rates, also have a long history of organizing to defend their human rights.”

The report also analyzes that after the Ayotzinapa case (2014), « the forced disappearance of human rights defenders or journalists implied a high political cost to the government to make it a widespread practice, so it was only used selectively against leaders or founders of indigenous, social or human rights movements, with which the case numbers are lower; however, this had a counterpoint : the Mexican government used extrajudicial execution to silence dissenting voices ». It highlights that the cases of forced disappearance increased by two times those of the previous six-year term.

It adds that “the cases of political imprisonment in Mexico are not unconnected or isolated facts, […], but they respond, in their vast majority, and are part of a mechanism of the strategy of political repression of the Mexican State to limit, dismantle and / or destroy, in practice, the human right to protest”. The organizations that wrote the report propose that within the national reconciliation proposed by the future government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) there might be an amnesty for this type of cases “that is, as a power of the president to “erase” the charges that are raised against these persons so thay they might obtain their freedom, as well as to eliminate the criminal record of those who have already served their sentence so that they might work or avoid being arrested for “recidivism”. An other option is to eliminate the cases that remain open as a silent threat to be able at any time to reactivate criminal proceedings, a situation thats wear down families and organizations and force them to stop demonstrating or compel them to give up from the defense of their rights”.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa Defender los Derechos Humanos en México: El Sexenio de la Impunidad (JUNIO DE 2017 A MAYO DE 2018) (Comité Cerezo, 25 de agosto de 2018)

Informe completo (Comité Cerezo, 25 de agosto de 2018)

México entre los países más peligrosos para defensores de derechos humanos (Vanguardia, 25 de agosto de 2018)

Una larga deuda: 5527 agresiones contra activistas y periodistas y el sexenio aún no concluye (Comité Cerezo, 28 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Cerezo Committee Demands Amnesty, Truth Commissions and Protection of Defenders and Journalists from AMLO August 2, 2018


National: UN-DH urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders

September 17, 2018

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In a statement published on August 28, the Mexico Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-DH) called on the Mexican government to guarantee the necessary funds for the functioning of the Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and journalists created in 2012 before the aggressions and threats that these sectors have suffered.

The UN-DH considered “worrying the information about the insufficiency of financial resources in the trust of the Fund for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, which could lead to the exhaustion of these resources in the coming weeks. The aforementioned Fund finances some of the measures granted by the Mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists and, therefore, its end would entail a risk for the 959 currently beneficiaries of the Mechanism; it would also cause new people at risk not to be able to receive protection”.

He denounced that “budget insufficiency is a limit to the institutional effort that the Mexican State has made to face the gravity of the situation of human rights defenders and journalists in the country.”

Jan Jarab, Representative of the UN-DH in Mexico, said that “we can not forget the importance of this Mechanism. Its existence has saved the lives of people who, through the exercise of journalism or the defense of human rights, stand out as a fundamental element for the enjoyment of the rights of all the people who live in Mexico. The lack of resources would involve exposing them to an unacceptable level of risk. “

For more information (in Spanish) :

ONU-DH exhorta Gobierno mexicano a garantizar recursos para Mecanismo de protección a periodistas y defensores (Boletín ONU DH, 27 de agosto de 2018)

Urge dotar de recursos al Mecanismo de Protección para Defensores y Periodistas: ONU-DH y CNDH (Proceso, 28 de agosto de 2018)

La protección de periodistas y defensores en México está en riesgo por falta de fondos (Noticias ONU, 28 de agosto de 2018)

Instan a no quitar recursos para proteger a periodistas (La Jornada, 28 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: International organizations call Mechanism for Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists into question May 16, 2015

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists and Human-Rights Defenders in México February 10, 2015

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


Chiapas/National: Barometer presented as a measurement of state of human rights in the southern border of Mexico

October 10, 2015

@ fronterasurmx.wordpress.com

@ fronterasurmx.wordpress.com

The Social Observatory on Human Rights and Migration at the southern border of Mexico has presented a new means of contributing to the analysis of social organizations and the citizenry in general regarding the situation of permanent conflict that is lived in the zone of the southern border of Mexico: that is, in Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

This barometer is a monthly tool of information and analysis regarding human-rights violations committed against people and social organizations in the region of the southern border. The barometer examines public denunciations and communiques that have been organized by the Observatory on the southern border. The objective is to contribute to the construction of an early warning system on human-rights violations and to strengthen the protective mechanisms for human-rights defenders in the area.

For more information (in Spanish):

EL BARÓMETRO (Observatorio Social de Derechos Humanos y Migraciones en la Frontera Sur de México)


SIPAZ has been nominated for the Human Rights Tulp award!

September 11, 2015

HRTulip

We have great news! SIPAZ has been nominated for the Human Rights Tulip, an annual award handed out by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs which stimulates the work of human rights defenders around the world. Out of more than 200 applicants, SIPAZ was selected to be one of the 30 nominees! Each year, the person or organization who receives most votes is awarded 100.000 Euros.

So please, we invite you to take a minute of your day and cast your vote for SIPAZ here:

http://www.humanrightstulip.nl/candidates-and-voting/sipaz

Note: voting can only be done this week from September 9-16 so VOTE NOW!

Thank you for supporting us!


SIPAZ is a candidate for the “Human Rights Tulip” award!

September 9, 2015

HRTulip

We have great news! SIPAZ has been nominated for the Human Rights Tulip, an annual award handed out by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs which stimulates the work of human rights defenders around the world. Out of more than 200 applicants, SIPAZ was selected to be one of the 30 nominees! Each year, the person or organization who receives most votes is awarded 100.000 Euros.

So please, we invite you to take a minute of your day and cast your vote for SIPAZ here:

http://www.humanrightstulip.nl/candidates-and-voting/sipaz

Note: voting can only be done this week from September 9-16 so VOTE NOW!

Thank you for supporting us!