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

July 21, 2015

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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)


Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case

November 12, 2014

Acciones globals por Ayotzinapa (@CENCOS)

Global actions for Ayotzinapa (@CENCOS)

On 5 November, in solidarity with the 43 students from the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, who have been disappeared for over 40 days now, students from at least 70 colleges and universities throughout the country organized a third global day of action for Ayotzinapa.

The previous day, the former mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, and his wife María de los Ángeles Pineda were arrested in Mexico City.  They are considered to be the intellectual authors in the case.  With these arrests, a total of 59 have now been arrested, including police and members of the “United Warriors” drug cartel.  Regardless, there still has been little progress in terms of actually locating the disappeared students.

The interim governor of Guerrero, Rogelio Ortega, has on several occasions called on the “United Warriors” group to negotiate for the release of the students, given his view that it is probable that they are still alive.

On 29 October, relatives of the students from Ayotzinapa met with President Enrique Peña Nieto, stressing the lack of results from investigations.  Some of them publicly declared that two weeks after the disappearance of the students, the Guerrero state government offered 100,000 pesos per student to the parents, so that maintain silence and cease their searches.

For more information (in Spanish):

Universitarios inician tercer paro nacional por Ayotzinapa (Animal Político, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

59 detenidos por el caso Ayotzinapa, pero… ¿y los 43 normalistas? (CNN México, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

Llama Ortega a Guerreros Unidos a pactar liberación de los normalistas; “están vivos” (La Jornada de Guerrero, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

A horas de su detención, el exalcalde de Iguala declara en la SEIDO (Animal Político, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

El gobierno quiso comprar el silencio de los padres de los normalistas desaparecidos (Aristegui Noticias, 1 de noviembre de 2014)

Padre de normalista denuncia que gobierno de Guerrero ofreció $100 mil para que callaran (Proceso, 1 de noviembre de 2014)

Padres de normalistas desaparecidos reclaman a Peña falta de resultados (CNN México, 29 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

Guerrero: Contradictory versions regarding findings from graves in Iguala three weeks after the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa – Protests are radicalized (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)

Guerrero: Impunity continues in the Ayotzinapa case (17 May 2013)

Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (21 December 2011)


Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa

November 3, 2014

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Mobilization “A light for Ayotzinapa” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Photo@SIPAZ

On 22 October, the protest-day “A light for Ayotzinapa” was held in dozens of cities in Mexico and abroad.  In Mexico City itself, 50,000 participated in the march, according to city authorities.  In Iguala, protestors marched the same route taken by the normalist students before they were attacked by police.  In Chiapas, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) carried out a prayer and protest.  Furthermore, thousands of citizens, including students and teachers, participated in the mobilizations in several cities of the state.  Students from different educational centers throughout the world joined the action, manifesting themselves in their countries for the disappearances of the 43 students.

On 23 October, Navy units arrested José Luis Abarca, former mayor of Iguala, and his wife Maria de Los Ángeles Pineda Villa, who have been indicated by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) as those who ordered the disappearance of the 43 students on 26 September.  Following their arrest, they were required to declare themselves before the Specialized Subprosecutorial Office for Investigations into Organized Crime (SEIDO).  The arrest was executed by the Navy with support from the PGR in a hotel in the capital of Veracruz state.

Also on 23 October, following weeks of calls to this end from all standpoints, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, governor of Guerrero, publicly announced his resignation before the state congress over the Iguala case.  He began the announcement by summarizing the advances his administration had made in the Iguala case, though he did not provide any information regarding the actual whereabouts of the disappeared.  In fact, the administration of Ángel Aguirre Rivero began with the murder of two other normalist students from Ayotzinapa: Gabriel Echeverría de Jesús and Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino were shot dead by federal and ministerial police on the Sol Highway on 12 December as they were clearing a blockade. This case continues in impunity.

The same day, nine new mass-gravesites were located in the La Parota zone near Iguala by communards who are members of the Union of Peoples and Organizations from Guerrero State (UPOEG).  They referred their findings to the federal police for investigation.

In other news, the European Parliament on 23 October approved a resolution condemning the events in Iguala that calls for the European Union (EU) to restrengthen its cooperation with Mexico in terms of human rights.  The resolution demands the continuation of investigations “until the students [are found to be] safe,” lamenting the “apparent infiltration of organized crime in local police and administrative organizations.”  The resolution presented the government of Enrique Peña Nieto as a victim of organized crime, and not as a principally responsible party in the acts.  In this sense, the European Green Party and the Unified European Left/Nordic Greens decided to distance themselves from this declaration and instead released their own proposal for resolution.  Both groups support the intervention in Mexico of the International Criminal Court (ICC) located in the Hague, as well as the suspension of the bilateral Global Mexico-EU accord, security agreements, and the arms trade with Mexico.  This alternative resolution interprets the events of Ayotzinapa as a spiral of violence that originates in years of impunity and broken promises by Mexican authorities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Detiene a exedil de Iguala y a su esposa (Eje Central, 24 de cotubre de 2014)

Parlamento Europeo condena desaparición de normalistas (El Universal, 23 de octubre de 2014)

Rechaza Parlamento Europeo condenar a México (El Universal, 22 de octubre de 2014)

Se divide Parlamento Europeo por desapariciones en Ayotzinapa(Proceso, 22 de octubre de 2014)
Tomó por sorpresa a diputados decisión de Aguirre de renunciar: Campos Aburto (La Jornada de Guerrero, 24 de octubre de 2014)

Hallazgo de 9 fosas más en Iguala; “había mochilas y lapiceros”: UPOEG(Aristegui Noticias, 24 de octubre de 2014)

Cobertura de marcha por Ayotzinapa: padres dan plazo de 2 días a autoridades (La Jornada, 22 de octubre de 2014)

“Nuestra luz es una forma de abrazar a quienes hoy hacen falta”: EZLN (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

Guerrero: Contradictory versions regarding findings from graves in Iguala three weeks after the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa – Protests are radicalized (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)

Guerrero: Impunity continues in the Ayotzinapa case (17 May 2013)

Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (21 December 2011)


Guerrero: Beginning of Civil Observation Mission “A light against impunity”

February 14, 2014

Raúl Vera López (@Desde abajo; archivo)

Raúl Vera López (@Desde abajo; archivo)

On 9 February there began the Civil Observation Mission “A light against impunity” in Guerrero, which is slated to visit several municipalities to document violations of the human rights of social activists in the state.  Led by Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, the mission includes among other civil and social organizations (local, national, and international) the Network in Solidarity Decade against Impunity, the Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights, the Guerrerense Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations (REDGROAC), the Front of Democratic Organizations of Guerrero State (FODEG), the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Guerrero, and SIPAZ.

The visit began in Iguala where dozens of campesinos welcomed the observation mission with flower necklaces.  A contingent of workers from the Taxco mine similarly welcomed the delegates by taking off their helmets.  The mission was received by Sofía Lorena Mendoza Martínez, wife of the deceased Arturo Hernández Cardona, leader of Popular Unity in this municipality, who was kidnapped together with seven comrades on 30 May 2013.  Three of them were killed and all showed signed of torture.  Suspicions abound in terms of the involvement of councilmember José Luis Abarca.  The Taxco miners denounced for their part that despite their strike of 6.5 years against the Mexico Group, the federal government continues without attending to their demands. Before those present, Raúl Vera warned that “These politicians who now persecute and hurt you should know that they are now observed by society, that they are not fully removed [from their actions], and that justice will be done, however late it comes.”

The Mission then traveled to the capital, Chilpancingo, where bishop Vera offered a mass in front of the cathedral, noting that “there is a persecution of human-rights defenders, social activists, and all those who have the courage to defend human rights […].  Human-rights defenders become the enemies because they want to establish a regime that is different from the status quo–that is all.”

The bishop said that other paths must be taken to achieve peace: “it must be a peaceful path of reason, demanding that those who govern us establish the state of right and do not bear complicity with those who hire them, because there are strong feelings suggesting that these murders (of social activists) are performed by hired killers, in place of establishing true social justice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Impunes, el secuestro y asesinato de tres luchadores sociales en Iguala, Guerrero (La Jornada, 10 de febrero de 2014)

Critica Raúl Vera que el Estado trate como enemigos a luchadores sociales(La Jornada de Guerrero, 10 de febrero de 2014)

Pide Vera en Chilpancingo que cesen los crímenes contra los luchadores sociales (EL Sur de Acapulco, 10 de febrero)

Guerrero: crisis profunda (La Jornada, 7 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: Network Solidarity Decade against Impunity denounces intimidation against two members days before Observation Mission to Guerrero (5 February 2014)

Guerrero: 3 of 8 disappeared PRD Members found dead in Iguala (10 June 2013)