Chiapas: Monthly commemoration of Las Abejas of Acteal

September 11, 2015

Las Abejas de Acteal @KomanIlel

Las Abejas de Acteal @KomanIlel

As during every other month, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal commemorated the Acteal massacre using words compiled in a communique on 22 August. Las Abejas denounced that “in Mexico there exists a pestilent and chronic disease called impunity. To put an end to this condition we must do something; that is to say, we must work and struggle.”

Las Abejas recalled that on 12 August, while they were holding a press-conference to denounce the release of the paramilitaries who committed the Acteal massacre, “Mr. Víctor Manuel Zepeda López, the supposed judge of the circuit including Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas, released Messrs. Carmelino Rodríguez Jiménez and Javier López Rodríguez, who are responsible for the attack on our brother and comrade Galeano […]. And as they know they have the support of the bad government, the murderous paramilitaries return here to do what they wish.”

Las Abejas finalized their communique affirming that “the deaf ears of the murderous bad government must come to know and understand our eyes and our consciences, which see the attacks and aggressions committed by the paramilitaries and party-members against our Zapatista brothers and sisters and other peoples in struggle” and the struggle “for Truth, Memory, Justice, and Non-Forgetting.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En México existe una enfermedad pestilente que se llama: impunidad. (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de agosto de 2015)

En #México existe una enfermedad pestilente que se llama: #impunidad. (Koman Ilel, 22 de agosto de 2015)

“En México existe una enfermedad pestilente que se llama: impunidad”, Abejas de Acteal. (Radio Pozol, 22 de agosto de 2015)

En México existe una enfermedad pestilente que se llama: impunidad. (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 24 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: EZLN denounces the release of the murderers of Zapatista teacher Galeano

August 28, 2015


It is once again made clear that truth and justice will never, ever come from above.

From above the only thing we can expect is pretense, deceit, impunity, and cynicism.

The criminal above will always receive absolution and reward, because the one who judges him is the same one who pays him. They are the same, criminals and judges. They are poisonous heads of the same Hydra.

The Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) denounced in a communique signed by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés y Galeano (previously Marcos) on August 18th that the two people accused of the murder of the Zapatista teacher Galeano were freed. Galeano, José Luis Solís López, was murdered on May 2, 2014 en La Realidad, municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas.

In the communique, they informed that on August 12th, the self-proclaimed judge declared innocent the two intellectual authors of the murder, “despite that fact that they and their accomplices in the CIOAC-Histórica know that they are guilty of organizing the crime. They aren’t the only ones responsible, but they are guilty”. They further stated: “fat and happy, to their homes in the village of La Realidad. They were supposedly being held prisoner for the murder of our teacher and compañero. We already know that they have been declared innocent of this crime by the same people who financed and supported them: the federal and Chiapas state governments.

For more information:

Truth and Justice Will Never, Ever, Come from Above (EZLN, August 18, 2015)

EZLN: Truth and Justice Will Never, Ever, Come from Above. (Radio Zapatista, August 18, 2015)

EZLN denuncia liberación de homicidas de mastro Galeano (El Universal, August 19, 2015)

Exculpan y liberan a autores intelectuales del asesinato del profesor Galeano: EZLN )La Jornada, August 19, 2015)

Cada crimen e injusticia impunes abren camino para que el odio y rabia se organicen: EZLN (Radio Formula, August 18, 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ in English:

Chiapas: EZLN renders homage to the philosopher Luis Villoro Toranzo and the Zapatista teacher Galeano (May 14, 2015)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (June 13, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered support base and announces organizational changes (June 10, 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (June 9, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces homage to Zapatista murdered in La Realidad and announces primary results of investigation on the case (May 18, 2014)

Chiapas: Chiapas Peace Network repudiates attack on EZLN support bases (May 18, 2014)

Chiapas: Displaced famailies of Banavil return temporarily to their community

August 28, 2015
Photo: SIPAZ Banavil

Photo: SIPAZ Banavil

On August 3rd, the forcibly displaced families from the community of Banavil, muncipality of Tenejapa returned temporarily to work their lands for a period of 15 days “without a guarantee of minimum safety conditions from the Mexican State”, affirmed the Center for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas.

Before this temporary return, representatives of the displaced families they made it clear in a press conference that they are retuning “not because their denouncements are resolved, or because the authorities have offered full guarantee that the agressions will not be repeated”, but because they want to work their land to be able to sustain their families. “Our temporary return is to check up on our houses, clean the adjoining properties of our parcels and it is a temporary return without justice”, they mentioned.

From their part, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas denounced that “Since months ago the authorities told us they could return”, but it was not until the last meeting held with officials, hours before going to Banavil, when they were warned that there were no safety conditions. “Those were the exact words of Edgar Alonso, legal adviser of the authorities in Banavil, who were responsible for the attacks.” He told the government to say that there is no security, remarked the CDHFBC.

For more Information:

Niñas, niños y mujeres indígenas tseltales de Banavil retornan temporalmente a sus casas sin garantías de protección a sus Derechos (Chiapasparalelo, August 6, 2015)

Retornan temporalmente desplazados (Cuarto Poder, August 6, 2015)

Melel Xojobal llama a proteger niños de familias desplazadas (, August 8, 2015)

Ante la impunidad del gobierno de México, indígenas tseltales de Banavil deciden

retornar de manera provisional (Frayba, August 3, 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement (July 21, 2015)

Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa (March 8, 2015)

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (December 16, 2014)

National/International: Army and security forces involved in extrajudicial executions, torture, and forcible disappearances: US State Department

July 21, 2015


The U.S. State Department has released its annual report on the human-rights situation in Mexico. It indicated that, in 2014, the Mexican Army and security forces were involved in forcible disappearances and murder, as in the cases of the 43 disappeared youth from Ayotzinapa and the 22 civilians killed in Tlatlaya. In this sense, the report notes that “significant problems related to human rights include the police and military due to their involvement in serious abuses, such as extrajudicial murders, torture, forcible disappearances, and physical abuse.” Furthermore, the report shared the conclusions come to by Juan Méndez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, who denounced that these crimes are the consequence of the various irregularities that exist within the Mexican judicial system. “Impunity and corruption continue to be serious problems, particularly at the state and local levels, in the armed forces, and the judiciary,” the report notes. With reference to organized crime, it mentions that “organized-crime groups are also responsible for numerous murders, frequently acting with impunity and in alliance with corrupt state, local, and federal security officials.”

With respect to the Tlatlaya case in Mexico State, which took place on 30 June 2014, the report reviewed the confrontation between civilians and soldiers in which “22 individuals were killed under suspicious circumstances, some of them after having surrendered.” With regard to the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, the report sustained the conclusions which the Federal Attorney General’s Office had come to, maintaining the charges against the mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife, who were directly accused of responsibility for the disappearance of the students.

Beyond this, State highlighted other serious human-rights problems in Mexico, including the lamentable conditions in prisons and arbitrary arrests. In addition, the State report mentioned the death-threats and violence directed against human-rights defenders and journalists, abuse against migrants, domestic violence, human trafficking, abuse against people with disabilities, social and economic discrimination against the indigenous population, the exploitation of child labor, and attacks and threats against the gay community.

It should be mentioned that the conclusions of the report will serve as evidence for the U.S. Congress to consider when reviewing the amount of economic assistance to be granted next year to Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos en materia de Derechos Humanos 2014, versión en inglés: Mexico 2014 Human Rights Report

Ejército y fuerzas de seguridad de México, involucradas en asesinatos y desaparición de personas: EU (Proceso, 25 de junio de 2015)

Unilateral informe de EU sobre derechos humanos, responde Gobierno de México (Aristegui Noticias, 27 de junio de 2015)

Impunidad y corrupción son “problemas serios” en México, advierte EU(CNN México, 25 de junio de 2015)

Chiapas/National: 26 June, International Day of Support for Torture Victims

July 2, 2015


(@Amnesty International)

On 26 June was celebrated the International Day of Support for Torture Victims, which this year was focused on the right to rehabilitation. The declarations and denunciations regarding torture have not ceased after the visit to Mexico by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, who in his report stressed that “torture and abuses of the incarcerated on the part of the authorities in Mexico are generalized.” Many cases are not denounced due to fear of revenge, and principally they are the committed by municipal, state, and federal police, as well as ministerial agents and the military. “Torture and abuse take place during the first 24 to 48 hours of the arrest, and generally they end after the person is arraigned: the methods that are used include threats, insults, destruction of belongings, as well as beatings (usually involving hard objects), electrocution, water-boarding, violence, and sexual abuse.” Beyond this, he added that the disparity between the number of denunciations and testimonies received and the number of condemnations is a “worrying sign of impunity.” The Rapporteur declared he had been pressured to keep his report short, leading in turn to the accusation that the report was based on a small number of cases.

On the one hand, the National Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Mexico communicated that from 2001 to May 2015 it received 10,688 complaints regarding torture and other abuses (on average 2 a day). It affirms that in just over two years of the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, it has received 2,119 denunciations, with the military being the most frequently accused force. It also poinst to the fact that the country has lacked a national registry to reflect the totality of the cases of torture and other abuses. The results it has available have been compiled by the CNDH, state human-rights commissions, and the denunciations that have been brought together.

Beyond this, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) declared that despite the fact that thirty years have passed since the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Sanction Torture, this practice persists in the region. Several commissions have expressed their concerns regarding the use of rape as a method of torture against women, the attempt to justify such actions with arguments based on threats to national security or the need to obtain information in investigations, or to prevent attacks. In this way, the IACHR has called on members of the Organization of American States (OAS) to investigate all denunciations of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Amnesty International also pronounced itself on the question, reporting that 64% of Mexicans fear being subjected to torture after arrest; this places Mexico as the second-highest country with this fear on the global scale. Beyond this, AI adds that 7,000 denunciations of torture have been made in the past 3 years, but only 7 cases sanctioned at the federal level. AI is organizing a graphical campaign against torture.

In observance of the day, a number of denunciations appeared in the media, including the charge that 40% of those arrested for the Ayotzinapa case have been subjected to torture and other abuses during their arrest, or the hunger strike undertaken by eight prisoners from different institutions in Mexico City to demand the cessation of prison abuse. In Chiapas, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced the torture of a Tzotzil couple as a means of forcing them to incriminate themselves in a murder case. The CDHFBC also organized a projection and conversation regarding torture in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where two experts on the question were present together with Silvia Domínguez, who gave testimony on the case of her brother Gabriel Domínguez, who died in police custody.

For more information (in Spanish):

La tortura y los malos tratos son generalizados en México, dice la ONU(CNN México, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Recibí presiones para minimizar mi informe sobre tortura’’: Méndez (La Jornada, 2 de abril de 2015)

En 14 años, 10 mil 688 quejas por tortura y otros tratos crueles(ContraLínea, 28 de junio de 2015)

Se deben indagar de oficio todas las denuncias de tortura: CIDH (CIMAC Noticias, 26 de junio de 2015)

Comienzan ocho reclusos huelga de hambre indefinida para denunciar tortura y extorsión (La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2015)

Torturados, la mitad de los procesados por caso Ayotzinapa: expertos del GIEGI (Proceso, 29 de junio de 2015)

Torturan a pareja tzotzil para que se inculpe de crimen, acusa el Frayba(Proceso, 29 de junio de 2015)

Cambiemos la historia #ALTOTORTURA (Amnistía Internacional)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission (29 June 2015)

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)

National: Mexico, second-worst country in terms of impunity

April 24, 2015

Presentación IGI 2015 (@UDLAP)

IGI 2015 presentation (@UDLAP)

On April 20, the results of the 2015 Global Impunity Index (IGI) were presented, by the University of the Americas in Puebla (UDLAP).  The study’s authors concluded that Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, and Russia are the worst countries in terms of impunity–in this order.  It should be stressed, nonetheless, that the analysis of official data regarding security, justice, and human rights was applied to only 59 countries, not the 193 member-nations of the United Nations, given that 134 lack the requisite systematic information.

The report establishes a series of recommendations: for example, the need to have more judges in the justice system (the index estimates an average of 17 judges per 100,000 citizens, while Mexico has only 4 per 100,000), or the fact that “it is not necessary to invest more resources to expand the number of police, but rather this should be focused on the effective guarantee of their actions,” especially when “a deficiency is seen in nearly half of the population arrested without charge (46%).”

For more information (in Spanish):

México ocupa el lugar 58 de 59 países en materia de impunidad (UDLAP, 20 de abril de 2015)

Alertan por niveles de impunidad en México (El Universal, 21 de abril de 2015)

México es el segundo país con mayor impunidad en el mundo, según informe(CNN México, 21 de abril de 2015)

La Impunidad en México (El País, 21 de abril de 2015)

México, el segundo país con más altos índices de impunidad (sólo debajo de Filipinas) (Animal Político, 20 de abril de 2015)

México, segundo lugar en Índice Global de Impunidad (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2015)

National: Launch of initiative “Society responds” amidst the “crisis of impunity, corruption, and human-rights violations”

April 21, 2015


On 26 March, a forum entitled “Society responds: Proposals to confront the crisis of impunity, corruption, and human-rights violations” was held in Mexico City.  The first part of the event was an open dialogue to characterize the situation experienced in the country, while the second focused on initiatives supported by more than 30 civil organizations.

“Civil society responds” is offered as “an initiative that seeks to intervene in public debate to establish a civil agenda amidst the crisis of impunity, corruption, and human-rights violations that include alternative proposals for legislative reform, institutional reconstruction, and concrete actions based in lessons learned and successful experiences from other countries that have passed through similar crises.”

Some of the proposals include “to strengthen the ministerial institutions that investigate grave human-rights violations, to overcome the obstacles inhibiting the observance of the International Convention for the Protection of All People against Forcible Disappearance, to guarantee the correct institution of the new penal-justice system, changing practices as well; to retire the armed forces from security tasks; to reformulate public policy to prevent, sanction, and eradicate gender violence, using specific strategies to deal with crimes committed by State agents; to approve the pending normative tasks in terms of transparency and protection of personal data; and to guarantee processes for transparent public institutions, among other measures.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Estas son las 20 propuestas de la sociedad civil contra la impunidad (Animal Político, 27 de marzo de 2015)

Menos queja y más propuesta… lanzan un sitio con ideas ciudadanas para ‘salvar’ a México (Animal Político, 26 de marzo de 2015)

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