Guerrero/National: SCJN affirms observance of IACHR sentences in the Radilla and Cantú cases; campaign against military impunity

September 28, 2012

Via the Secretary of Governance, the Judicial Power of the Federation sent a report to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in which it informs that the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has punctually observed the IACHR’s sentences in the cases of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco (forced disappearance) and Valentina Rosendo Cantú (rape by soldiers). The SCJN stressed in its report the recent resolutions adopted by the Court with regards to the restriction of military courts, as well as the implementation of programs and courses having to do with jurisprudence of the Inter-American System for Protection of Human Rights, regarding the due investigation and judgment of the forced disappearance of persons and the diligent investigation of cases of rape against women, which includes considerations of gender and ethnicity.

It should be remembered that on 1 October 2012 two years will have passed since the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) released its sentences in the cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, both against the Mexican State.  For this reason, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights has launched a new campaign, requesting signatures for a letter to be sent to President Felipe Calderón.  Tlachinollan notes that “To date, grave risks prevail with regard to the observance of the measures of compensation of damages incurred on the part of the federal government, due to the human-rights violations committed.  It is particularly alarming that despite the fact that the investigations have been transferred to civil courts since a year ago, to date there are no indications that those responsible will be judged and punished in the near term.  This is a result of the fact that the Secretary of National Defense has decided not to cooperate now for more than ten years.  The failures of military impunity persist.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Reporta SCJN cumplimiento a resoluciones de CIDH en casos Radilla y Cantú (La Jornada, 23 de septiembre de 2012)

Asegura la SCJN haber cumplido sentencias de la CIDH en los casos Radilla y Cantú (La Jornada, 24 de septiembre de 2012)

Campaña del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan “Contra la impunidad militar: Verdad, justicia y reparación para Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo” (septiembre de 2012)


Guerrero: Human-rights organizations call on Secretary of Governance to observe sentences of the Inter-American Court

July 20, 2012

Inés Fernández Ortega during the State’s recognition of responsibility, 6 March.  Photo @SIPAZ

On 16 July, national and international human-rights organizations sent a letter to Alejandro Poiré, head of the Secretary of Governance (Segob), in which they point out that two years have passed since the Inter-American Court on Human Rights handed down sentences in favor of the indigenous women Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, who were raped by soldiers in 2002.  They also note that to date grave omissions can be seen as regards the State’s observance of these sentences, mentioning that “more than 10 years after the events, the evidence has not even been presented before a judicial authority.”  The letter emphasizes furthermore that “the Secretary that you lead has a last opportunity to leave behind a respectable legacy in terms of human rights by means of the full observance of the sentences of the Court.”  They also refer to the fact that Poiré is personally familiar with the situation, given that several worktables have been held in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, to observe the sentence in favor of Inés Fernández Ortega, and that on 17 July there will be held a new meeting with federal and state authorities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Carta completa (16 de julio)

Instan ONG a SG a cumplir una sentencia de la CIDH (La Jornada, 17 de julio)

Carta completa en página web de Tlachinollan

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Act of recognition of responsibility on part of Mexican State in case of Inés Fernández Ortega (6 March 2012)

Guerrero – Briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in the case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO informs US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under Mérida Initiative (26 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO demands that Calderón observe sentence in case of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández (28 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina (4 February 2011)


National: NGOs request SCJN resolve affairs relating to military tribunals in 32 cases

June 17, 2012

Relatives of Bonfilio Rubio Villegas, one of the cases before the SCJN (@Tlachinollan)

On 12 June, more than 76 Mexican civil human-rights organizations called on the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) to expedite its review of 28 cases, some of them begun in 2011, that have to do with military courts.  These cases are currently found in the Maximum Tribunal; the demand is that the SCJN decide if military or civil courts are more appropriate. are in fact competent.  The NGOs recommend that these affairs be resolved before 16 July, when the SCJN will initiate its period of recess, and that it consider international human-rights agreements which Mexico has signed and ratified in its review, in addition to the recent constitutional reforms the Mexican State has undertaken in these terms. It should be remembered that the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided against the State in four out of five cases recently (in the Rosendo Radilla, Valentina Rosendo, Inés Fernández, and ecologist campesino cases), and that it has called on Mexicoto reform article 57 of its Military Code of Justice so that any abuse committed against civilians by soldiers be considered in civil court.

In a press-conference, the NGOs that have signed on warn of the risk that the SCJN justices’ behavior be “contaminated” by pressure on the part of the Secretary for National Defense (Sedena) or by electoral considerations.  Alberto Herrera, representative in Mexico for Amnesty International (AI), recognizes that the question of the military courts is “politically sensitive, and even moreso during this six-year term in which the Mexican Army has had a large influence and presence in public life.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden a la Corte resolver el envío a la justicia civil de 28 casos de militares (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2012)

Instan a la Corte a resolver 28 casos vinculados al fuero militar(Proceso, 12 de junio de 2012)

Boletín de prensa de ONGs: La SCJN debe resolver en breve y conforme a DDHH asuntos relacionados con el fuero militar que están bajo su conocimiento (12 de junio)

México: Es hora de limitar la justicia militar conforme con sus obligaciones en derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 12 de junio de 2012)

México: Informe del Grupo de Trabajo de Naciones Unidas sobre las Desapariciones Forzadas o Involuntarias (17 de marzo de 2012)

México: “Ni seguridad, ni derechos: ejecuciones y tortura en la guerra contra el narcotráfico en México” (12 de noviembre de 2011)


Guerrero: Act of recognition on part of Mexican government in case of Inés Fernández Ortega

March 12, 2012

Act of recognition on part of Mexican government in case of Inés Fernández Ortega (@SIPAZ)

On 6 March, in the name of the Mexican State, Alejandro Poiré, Secretary of Governance, together with Marisela Morales, Federal Attorney General, both pled forgiveness to Inés Fernández Ortega, a Tlapan indigenous woman who was raped by soldiers in 2002.  This act was held in observance of a sentence dictated by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in 2010 against the Mexican State that demands the reparation of damage done to Inés Fernández and her family, punishment for the responsible soldiers, and the investigation of the acts on the part of civil authorities.  The act of recognition was held in Ayutla de Los Libres, Guerrero, where Inés is from, in the presence of hundreds of persons, mostly indigenous individuals from nearby communities.  Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero was also present, and he joined the public apologies on the part of the authorities in the case.

In her intervention, Inés Fernández denounced that harassment continues against her on the part of soldiers dressed in civilian clothes.  She said that she seeks justice in international institutions, because she did not have faith in the promises and apologies of the functionaries of the federal government.  She affirmed that in spite of the sentence of the IACHR the situation of violence and discrimination against indigenous peoples continues.  She noted: “Listen to me all, men, women, and children: the government, though it may tell it is on your side, will never do so.  Don’t trust it.”  She expressed as well that more than a hundred members of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM) to which she pertains have precautionary measures dictated by the Inter-American Commission, but she noted that the Mexican State has not observed these and that, even worse, one of their beneficiaries, Maximino García Catarino, has been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.  For her part, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, from OPIM, who translated Ines during the process, spoke of the historical context of popular struggle and repression in the region of the the Costa Chico.  She said, “This public apology to Inés is a victory of the organized peoples.”

Amnesty International released a communiqué in which it “energetically calls on the Mexican authorities to observe all the elements of the sentence, whcih includes an impartial and exhaustive investigation for civil justice as well as the carrying out of necessary reforms to assure that all human-rights abuses against civilians on the part of members of the armed forces be investigated and processed by civil rather than military courts […].  The military tribunal in its current form is an obstacle for truth, justice, and reparations to those who have been victimized by abuses committed by members of the armed forces.”

Para más información:

México debe garantizar verdad y justicia a las víctimas de abusos militares (Amnistía Internacional, 6 de marzo de 2012)

Militares violan a indígena; 10 años después, el gobierno pide perdón(Proceso, 6 de marzo de 2012)

El secretario de Gobernación pide perdón a Inés Hernández (La Jornada, 6 de marzo de 2012)

El Estado ofrece disculpa light a tlapaneca víctima de abuso militar (La Jornada, 7 de marzo de 2012)

Estado admite responsabilidad por violación a indígena (El Universal, 6 de marzo de 2012)

La obligación del Estado de pedir perdón a las víctimas (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 5 de marzo de 2012)

 


Guerrero: Act of recognition of responsibility on part of Mexican State in case of Inés Fernández on 6 March

March 6, 2012

Inés Fernández Ortega. Photo@Centro Prodh

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights has reported that on 6 March at 1pm, in the Zócalo of Ayutla de Los Libres, Guerrero, there will be held a public act of recognition of responsibility by which the Mexican State will carry out for Inés Fernández Ortega and her family.  This would be in accordance with the sentence handed down by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in October 2010.  A Me’phaa indigenous woman, Inés Fernández Ortega, was raped by soldiers of the Mexican Army in 2002 and has been struggling since then for justice in the case.  For those who will not be able to be physically present at the event, there will be live transmission at the Tlachinollan website: http://www.tlachinollan.org/ines-y-valentina.html.

For more information (in Spanish):

Página web de Tlachinollan sobre casos de Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – Briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in the case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO informs US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under Mérida Initiative (26 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO demands that Calderón observe sentence in case of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández (28 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina (4 February 2011)


Guerrero – briefs: NGO requests that Calderón observe sentence in cases of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández; lawsuit on land between communities of Guerrero and Oaxaca; government announces installation of Commission of Truth and Tita Radilla receives recognition

November 28, 2011

Tita Radilla. Foto @CentroProdh

On 22 November, at least 79 national and international organizations as well as intellectuals demanded that President Felipe Calderón make effective his commitment to observe the sentences of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Valentina Rosendo Cantú and Inés Fernández Ortega, indigenous Guerrero women who were raped by soldiers in 2002.  In their letter to Calderón, the NGOs stress that in accordance with the IACHR ruling in the cases of these women, the act of public recognition of responsibility “is one of the central measures of reparation,” above all for the victims.  It has to do with, they say, a “solemn and public event in which the State would recognize the truth of the denunciation of the victims and reaffirm publicly the commitment of the State to respecting human rights, non-discrimination, and the struggle against violence against women.”  They insist that the sentences of the IACHR must be observed in their totality and, in the case of the act of recognition of responsibility, the tribunal has noted that “the modality and content of the event, the presence of authorities, the space in which it will be carried out and the date of its realization should be agreed to in accordance” previously with the relatives of the victims.

In other news, on 22 November, Carlos Moreno Derbez, president of the Junta for Agrarian Conciliation, reported that the Mexican Army and the state police are patrolling the zone between the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca to avoid that there be new violent events there.  Moreno Derbez noted that the Oaxacan population of Jicaral finds itself settled on the border region with Guerrero, due to “having received authorization to occupy land in the ejidal property of Jicayan de Tovar,” in Guerrero.  The Mixtecos of Jicaral, a community that pertains tot he municipality of Coicoyán de Las Flores, reject the idea that they should have to abandon the land, while the ejidatarios of Jicayán de Tovar–who pertain to Tlacoachistlahuaca, Guerero–reject the sale of these lands and on the contrary seek to recover them.  The conflict between the Mixteco peoples of Jicaral and Jicayán is for the possession of between 100 and 150 hectares, and it has already left 2 dead and 3 injured this year.  The latest killed was a communard from El Jicaral, who was killed during the morning of 21 November in an attack by residents of Jicayán del Tovar.

Lastly, also on 22 November, there was presented in the local Congress the advances of the legal initiative to create a Commission of Truth, and it was announced that this would deal only with the disappearances and executions committed in the state between 1969 and 1979, a period known as the Dirty War, but would exclude the massacre of Aguas Blancas (1995), for which ex-governor Rubén Figueroa Alocer has been found responsible, and that of El Charco (1997), to which the present governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero has been linked, as was announced.  The same day, in a ceremony held in London, Peace Brigades International and the Alliance in Favor of Lawyers at Risk awarded a recognition to Tita Radilla, daughter since 1974 of the disappeared social activist Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, “in recognition of her courage and commitment to human rights in Mexico.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen ONG a Calderón cumplir con sentencias de la CoIDH (Proceso, 21 November)

Carta a Calderón de OSC (Cencos, 22 November)

Militares y policías patrullan zona limítrofe entre Oaxaca y Guerrero(Proceso, 22 November)

Matan a comunero de Oaxaca por tierras (La Jornada, 22 November)

Comisión de la Verdad de Guerrero nacerá acotada, admiten promotores (La Jornada, 23 November)

Tita Radilla recibe reconocimiento internacional (La Jornada, 23 November)

Tita Radilla recibe premio de derechos humanos en Londres (CentroProdh, 23 November)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – briefs: NGO informs US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under Mérida Initiative (26 November)

Guerrero – briefs: State accepts responsibility in Radilla case in absence of relatives (27 November)


Guerrero – briefs: Protestors submit complaint against soldiers; NGO notifies US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under the Mérida Initiative

November 26, 2011

On 9 November, members of the movements in resistance to high electricity-prices submitted a complaint to the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights in Guerrero (CODDEHUM) due to the intimidation suffered at the hands of soldiers on Tuesday 8 November who forced them to abandon the sit-in they had been engaging in at the office of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).  That Tuesday, some hours after the members of the resistance movement succeeded in closing the CFE offices in Chilpancingo as a form of protest against the high electricity prices imposed on marginalized communities, they were displaced by several soldiers.  Manuel Rivera Salazar, who was part of this protest, noted that although there was neither physical nor verbal violence, the mere act by the soldiers of disembarking from the Hummer with their arms “intimidated the comrades and we fell back to the other side of the street.”

In other news, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights is reporting that one year after the release of the historic sentences by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, several work-meetings were held in Washington DC to inform a number of US governmental authorities of the process of the implementation of both sentences, the operation of the military court and its implications for the investigations of these cases, and the content of what would be an adequate reform of the Code of Military Justice.  The informational bulletin of 8 November stresses that “The cases of Inés and Valentina form part of a large number of grave military abuses that go on in impunity.  To date, in Mexico the Military Prosecutor continues to investigate human-rights violations committed by soldiers against civilians, despite the decision by the Supreme Court of Justice in the Nation, the four sentences released by the IACHR, and the obligations of the Mérida Initiative.  The incapacity to appropriately judge these cases even with international attention and its high political costs reflects the lack of established civilian controls in Mexico over the armed forces.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Interponen queja contra militares en la Coddehum por desalojo en la CFE (La Jornada, 10 November)

Informan a autoridades del Gobierno de EEUU obligaciones de México Iniciativa Mérida (Tlachinollan, 8 November)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerero – briefs: high electricity prices are denounced (27 September)

Guerrero – briefs: march from Guerrero to Mexico City to demand a single price from CFE (22 September)

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina (4 February 2011)