Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal reject “friendly solution” with Mexican State

October 25, 2015

Juan Vázquez Luna, Secretario de la Mesa Directiva de Las Abejas de Acteal, ante la CIDH sobre la masacre de Acteal @Daniel Cima para CIDHJuan Vázquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table of Las Abejas of Acteal, before the IACHR to discuss the case of the Acteal massacre @DanielCima paraCIDH

On 20 October, two days before their monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society, together with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), participated in a public audience before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, DC, regarding impunity in the case of the Acteal massacre. In this audience, allegations were presented regarding the basis of the case that evidences “the responsibility of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre and the lack of investigation, sanction, and compensation for the victims.” Las Abejas assured in the voice of Juan Vásquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table, that for the Tsotsiles of the Chiapas Highlands, “this massacre was planned by the Mexican State.” Before the IACHR, Las Abejas requested “that a profound report be prepared to investigate the Acteal massacre, declaring the Mexican State responsible for this crime.” For his part, the official representative of the Mexican government rejected all responsibility for the atrocity, using the argument that there is no report or recommendation that claims the State to have been responsible.

Subsequent to the audience before the IACHR, in the offices of the CDHFBC in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, a press conference was held denouncing the “cynicism of the Mexican State in denying its responsibility for the Acteal massacre. We say as our comrade Juan Vázquez manifested before the IACHR today in Washington, that we will NOT accept coming to any friendly resolution with the Mexican State.”

On 22 October, during their monthly commemoration, Las Abejas recognized that they are not surprised “by the response of the Mexican State during the public audience […] not accepting its responsibility for this massacre […] because for nearly 18 years, it has denied its participation and planning of this massacre. On the contrary, with its policy of attrition toward the survivors and victims of Acteal and toward our organization of Las Abejas, it has attempted to use several means and faces to divide us and silence us.” They assured that, despite the “attempt by the Mexican State to exterminate our children on 22 December 1997, the children of today are now seeds and immortal hopes for the just and humane world that we Tsotsils and Tseltals are building, being men and women of different colors, thought, and struggle.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Organizacion de las Abejas 22 de Octubre de 2015 (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de octubre de 2015)

México: Caso Masacre de Acteal (Youtube, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Audiencia ante la CIDH sobre la Masacre de Acteal (Frayba, Intervenciones, 20 de octubre de 2015)

NO aceptamos llegar a una solución amistosa con el Estado mexicano (Las Abejas de Acteal, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Masacre de Acteal en audiencia ante la CIDH (Frayba, Boletín de prensa, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Rechaza Estado mexicano responsabilidad en masacre de Acteal (La Jornada, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Abejas de Acteal rechazan “conciliación” con el “Estado criminal” (Regeneración, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Masacre de Actal planeada por el Estado mexicano; lejos de castigar a responsables los premia con pensiones: Frayba (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 20 de octubre de 2015)

“Nuestra memoria es inmensa, más que la impunidad sembrada por el Estado mexicano”, Abejas de Acteal. (Radio Pozol, 23 de octubre de 2015)

NO aceptamos llegar a una solución amistosa con el Estado mexicano: Sociedad Civil las Abejas de #Acteal (Koman Ilel, 20 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Monthly commemoration by Las Abejas de Acteal (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce 6 years of release of paramilitaries (10 September 2015)

Chiapas: A member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

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National: IACHR closes visit to Mexico and presents preliminary conclusions

October 10, 2015

@4vientos@4vientos

On 2 October, the last day of its visit to Mexico, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented its preliminary conclusions. During its visit to six states of the Republic, the delegation heard the testimony of victims of human-rights violations, held meetings with representatives of civil society as well as international organizations, academics, journalists, and interviewed officials from the three levels of government. In conclusion, the IACHR spoke to “the grave human-rights crisis experienced in Mexico, as characterized by an extreme situation of insecurity and violence and grave violations. The problems we have described are the result of a structural situation that Mexico has suffered now for decades.” With regard to the reasons for this crisis, the team indicated “the lack of access to justice” which has generated a structural situation of impunity which allows for the repetition of human-rights violations. The IACHR expressed its willingness to work with the Mexican State to seek solutions to protect basic rights and promote the observation of international standards in human rights. The IACHR will prepare and publish a report on Mexico next year.

After hearing these conclusions, Roberto Campa Cifrián, Subsecretary for Human Rights at the Ministry for Governance, reacted by saying this preliminary report “does not reflect the reality of the country,” as the conclusions were the product of “interviews and meetings” in “only six of the 32 states […] held over a course of five days.” Several non-governmental organizations condemned the response of the Subsecretary, holding it to be a dismissal of the international organizations and experts who have documented the reality of the country. The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center proposed in a communique that the government “take up the conclusions and recommendations made [by the IACHR] […] to then implement policies, programs, laws, and above all practices to allow for the effective access to truth, justice, compensation, and the decrease in human-rights violations throughout the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Condenan ONG respuesta del Estado a informe de la CIDH (Centro ProDH, 7 de octubre de 2015)

El gobierno federal debe atender la crisis de derechos humanos que afecta a la población y dejar de rechazar con argumentos falaces las conclusiones de la CIDH (Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, 6 de octubre de 2015)

CIDH culmina visita in loco a México (Organización de los Estados Americanos, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Video: CIDH emite observaciones preliminares tras su visita In Loco (Centro ProDH/YouTube, 2 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: IACHR carries out visit to Mexico (10 October 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (21 March 2015)


National: IACHR carries out visit to Mexico

October 10, 2015

(Tres integrantes de la CIDH antes del encuentro en Tenosique, @ La 72)(Three members of the IACHR before the meeting in Tenosique, @ La 72)

From 28 September to 2 October, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IAHCR) held a visit to Mexico to observe the human-rights situation in the country, with an emphasis on extrajudicial executions, torture, and forcible disappearances. Bertha Santoscoy, a representative from the Organization of American States (OAS), indicated that one of the criteria most utilized by the IACHR to carry out the investigation is “the gravity and elevated number of denunciations regarding systematic violations of human rights that are detected in any given country.” The delegation sought to monitor the human-rights situation, collect information, and evaluate the observation of international law. “Our concern has been constant in recent years, but it is true that at this time there have been a series of very grave incidents,” remarked Cavallaro, member of the IACHR. Beginning on 28 September, the delegation visited Guerrero, Tabasco, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Veracruz, and Mexico City. The delegation led by the president of the IACHR, Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, interviewed governmental authorities from the three levels of government and met with civil-society representative as well. As part of the visit, on 29 September, the delegation also met with several organizations working with migrants and refugees in Tenosique, Tabasco. In this way, it collected testimonies of victims regarding human-rights violations and from relatives of victims in the different places it visited. Beyond this, the IACHR carried out a meeting with the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) to address the latter’s report on the events of Ayotzinapa.

On 2 October, the delegation will give a press-conference to share its preliminary observations. For 2016 it plans to publish a report regarding its findings.

For more information (in Spanish):

La CIDH ve graves violaciones a derechos humanos en México (Informador, 30 de septiembre de 2015)

CIDH revisará graves violaciones a Derechos Humanos en México (Centro Prodh, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Visita in loco a México de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. (Diario de Chiapas, 20 de septiembre de 2015)

CARTA INVITACIÓN DE LA CIDH PARA REUNIÓN EN LA 72 EL 29 DE SEPTIEMBRE (La 72, 20 de septiembre de 2015)

CIDH realiza visita in loco a México (Organización de los Estado Americanos, 17 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (21 March 2015)


National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first annivesary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa

October 10, 2015

DSCF6154Photo @SIPAZ

On 26 September, protests were held in several cities in Mexico as well as abroad to commemorate the forcible disappearance of the 43 students of the Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, which took place on 26 September of last year, and to demand justice. The parents of the students marched in Mexico City after holding a 43-hour hunger strike, and subsequent to a meeting with the president in which they presented 8 demands that were dismissed.

At the Zócalo of the capital, the parents of the disappeared thanked all those who supported them in their time of need. One of the parents, Epifanio Álvarez, expressed gratitude for the popular support, saying, “Here we are standing upright. If they will kill us, we will face them directly. Our sons are innocent. We will struggle for them and the thousands of other disappeared. Thanks to all who continue to struggle in the rain supporting us.” The claims were that the authorities have done nothing concrete to return the students, and that they do not accept the government’s equivocations with regard to the “historical truth” and the devalorization of the report published by the independent experts of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

In the communique released on 26 September, a number of civil-society organizations and independent individuals notes that “the wave of denunciations has become the principal political crisis of the last decade, and it has left uncovered the networks of complicity that uphold the impunity of all the levels of government, all the parties, and to the deepest levels of the institutions. Beyond this, it has demonstrated the lack of capability of the State to respond effectively to said crisis. The parents of the disappeared have had to request independent investigations from other international institutions, such as the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.”

The parents of the disappeared have called for a General Popular Assembly for 16 October, to be held at the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College, where they will define the plan of action for the coming months. At the end of the protest, the government of Mexico City reported that 15,000 people participated in the march, and that 18,000 were present at the subsequent rally.

Beyond this, a delegation from the IACHR that arrived on Monday 28 September will be visiting the mountains of Iguala, Guerrero, where relatives of the disappeared have found clandestine graves. Mario Vergara, member of the organization that was founded after the search for the disappeared students yielded dozens of illegally buried corpses, observed that the intention has been that the delegation see the work performed by the families. “We want them to see something real, to see the work that we are doing and under what conditions […].” His organization has found more than 75 bodies and has located several sites to be investigated.

For more information (in Spanish):
A un año de Ayotzinapa, padres convocan a nueva asamblea general (Animal Político, 26 de septiembre de 2015)
La delegación de la CIDH visitará cerros de Iguala donde se han hallado fosas clandestinas (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 de septiembre de 2015)
Llovió la indignación y la solidaridad en el aniversario de Ayotzinapa (Información Sididh, 28 de septiembre de 2015)
Ayotzinapa pronunciamiento (sociedad civil, 26 de septiembre de 2015)
Sembraron balas en Cocula, acusan forenses (El Universal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year annivesary 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: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa (11 September 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)


National: Journalist house of Contralínea and Desinformémonos harassed, with computer equipment and documentation stolen

September 13, 2015

Documentación y equipo de computo fue sustraido @ DesinformémonosStolen documentation and computer equipment @ Desinformémonos

On 8 September, the home of the journalists Elva Mendoza, journalist of the Contralínea magazine, and Flor Goche, collaborator with Contralínea and journalist for Desinformémonos, was broken into. Computer equipment and journalistic documentation was stolen from the apartment, located in Mexico City, leaving intact valuable objects such as screens and cash. The act took place during the day, and the door did not show evidence of forcible entry.

The members of the Contralínea magazine had been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Beyond this, since July 2014, both journalists were incorporated into the Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists and Human-Rights Defenders administered by the Secretary for Governance.

It bears mentioning that Flor Goche has been following the case of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, beyond other human-rights violations and femicides. Elva Mendoza has followed lines of investigation on megaprojects for investment, environmental destruction, transgenic crops, and the destruction of natural resources.

Mexico has been identified as being one of the most dangerous countries in which to practice journalism.

For more information (in Spanish):

Allanan casa de reporteras de Desinformémonos y Contralínea (Desinformemonos, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Allanan domicilio de reporteras de Contralínea (Revista Contralínea, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Domicilio de reporteras de Contralínea y Desinformémonos es allanado; roban documentos y equipo de trabajo (Sin embargo, 9 de septiembre 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: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on

September 13, 2015

DSCF5588March for Ayotzinapa, Mexico City, 26 September. Photo @SIPAZ

The disappeared students from Ayotzinapa were not incinerated in the Cocula dump, as the Federal Attorney General’s Office had indicated at the beginning of this year, in accordance with the findings of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), as asserted during the presentation of its report 6 months on (6 September 2015). What took place against the students of Ayotzinapa nearly a year ago in Iguala, Guerrero, was “a massive attack” that involved 180 direct victims, including 6 extrajudicial executions and 43 “forcible disappearances,” as the IACHR experts discuss. The expert Carlos Beristain affirmed that “there was the presence of different State agents (municipal, ministerial, and federal police) and we did not find any evidence of attempts to rescue. What happened was an attack that went beyond the mere neutralization of persons.” Beyond this, “there was a delay in attention to the victims. The ambulance crews were afraid to go out.” The experts further stressed that the ovens and crematories that may have been used to burn the students’ bodies must be investigated. For their part, the parents of the disappeared request the indefinite presence of the specialists until truth and justice are revealed.

The expert José Torero visited the Cocula dump on 12 July, accompanied by the GIEI, and he established the necessary conditions to incinerate a human body. “He showed us the evidence and the state-of-the-art science indicating that the optimal means of incinerating a body is a crematory oven. These conditions require between 90 and 120 minutes to burn a sole corpse,” noted the expert Francisco Cox during the press-confernece. He also specified that to incinerate a body 650 kilograms of wood are needed. Besides this, the flames that would be needed would have overwhelmed the dump altogether, destroying everything else present—something that did not happen. “The incineration of the 43 could not have transpired in the Cocula dump,” stressed Carlos Beristain. In light of this, the experts called for an investigation of the crematory ovens that could have been used to burn the bodies of the students.

Another affair that the experts clarified is that there were five, not four, buses that had been taken by the students on 26 September. The existence of the fifth bus was first denied in the initial investigations. In light of video evidence indicating its presence, federal authorities presented a truck for the experts to examine, and the latter concluded that it did not seem to be the same one that appeared in the video taken the day of the disappearances. To date, this bus has not been found, and the GIEI suspects that it could have been a vehicle used for the transport of drugs that had been casually taken by the youth, thus provoking the massive and indiscriminate attack prosecuted by unknown actors who have been protected by total impunity.

Both the parents and mothers of the disappeared as well as the organizations that accompany them, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, and the Prodh Center stressed that all the authorities who have impeded the investigation should themselves be investigated. They also specified that the investigation should incorporate the entire context of criminality, as it is not believable that collusion between organized crime and the authorities is limited merely to the municipal level.

For more information (in Spanish):

“Los muchachos no fueron incinerados en basurero de Cocula”: #InformeGIEI (Aristegui Noticias, 6 de septiembre de 2015)

Investiguen los hornos crematorios, piden expertos del caso Ayotzinapa al gobierno (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de septiembre de 2015)

Trasiego de drogas en autobuses, línea por indagar en caso Iguala (La Jornada, 6 de septiembre de 2015)

Informe completo Ayotzinapa (GIEI, 6 de septiembre de 2015)

video: Informe Ayotzinapa

video: Posición oficial de la PGR

video: Pronunciamiento de familiares

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa (11 September 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express taht they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (3 May 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and a crime against humanity (10 April 2015)


Guerrero/National: 41 years after the forcible disappearance of Rosendo Radilla, demand for justice continues

September 11, 2015

Tita Radilla (@SIPAZ)

41 years after the forcible disappearance of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, his family continues steadfastly to seek out his whereabouts. The last time Rosendo was seen alive was in the military barracks of Atoyac de Álvarez, Guerrero, within the context of the “Dirty War.” The fate of Radilla, who was a social activist, composer, and mayor of Atoyac, continue to be unknown, all this years later.

On 26 August an event was held in front of the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) in Mexico City to emphasize the demand for justice in the case. At this event were present relatives of the 43 students who were forcibly disappeared 11 months ago in Iguala, a member of the UN Commission against Forcible Disappearances, as well as members of social organizations and collectives that struggle for the appearance with life of the disappeared. There were songs regarding the disappearances and at the end, white balloons were launched with the names of the disappeared.

“Since the arbitrary arrest of Mr. Radilla, his whereabouts have been unknown. The arrest and subsequent disappearance of Mr. Radilla was denounced by his family before the government. Due to the lack of response and due diligence on the part of the Mexican State, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) released in 2009 its first sentence against the Mexican State due to grave human-rights violations, ordering a series of measures of compensation,” as the communique released by members of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights asserts.

It bears stressing that the Radilla case has been a paradigmatic one, as it is the first sentence in which the IACHR has condemned the Mexican State. Furthermore, it has provoked structural changes such as the reform of the code of military justice. At the present time, the petitioners continue to await the observance of this sentence.

For more information (in Spanish):

Verdad, justicia, y reparación para Rosendo Radilla y todas las víctimas de desaparición forzada en México (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, 26 de agosto de 2015)

La desaparición es aún una práctica de Estado, lamentan a 41 años del caso Rosendo Radilla (El Sur, 26 de agosto de 2015)

Caso Rosendo Radilla Pacheco (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos)

A 41 años de la desaparición forzada de Rosendo Radilla Pacheco: Ni verdad ni justicia (Síntesis de Guerrero, 20 de agosto de 2015)

Ven retroceso en desapariciones (La Razón, 26 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: 40 years since the forcible disappearance of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: Mexican State is denounced for failing to observe its obligations in the Rosendo Radilla Pacheco case (2 June 2014)

Guerrero: Homage to Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, disappeared by the Army (15 March 2014)

Guerrero: Soldiers harass Tita Radilla in Atoyac (7 December 2013)

Guerrero/National: SCJN affirms observance of IACHR sentences in Radilla and Cantú cases (28 September 2012)