Guerrero – briefs: Conflict continues in the Sierra de Petatlán; displaced in the sierra de Coyuca de Catalán return to La Laguna; pressure to retire the Communal Police from several communities

August 19, 2011

Javier Torres Cruz @ Viento de Libertad

On 27 July, the youth Natalia Ruiz Martínez, who has found the Torres family from the community of La Morena in the Sierra de Petatlán responsible for the murder of her brother, Zenaido Ruiz Martínez, has reported that two armed persons entered her house in Zihuatanejo, breaking the door so as to enter.  They threatened Natalia and her two children with death and pressured her to declare that her denunciation against the Torres family was false and that she instead say that those who killed her brother are the members of the Organization of Ecologist Campesinos in the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán (OCESP), Servando Bautista, Jesús Bautista, and Hilario Espinoza.

The governor of the state, in accordance with an investigation being held to determine the causes that drive the violence in this zone, reports that it could be that a conflict of consideration dimensions take place in said region due to the confrontation among these groups.  The coordination of the OCESP for its part said that the problem of the Sierra de Petatlán is not a dispute among groups of organized crime, but rather that they are murders and death-threats against the civil population, in light of which governmental authorities do nothing.  It added that it is this type of impunity which has provoked the exodus that is seen in these days.

In other news, the 177 displaced individuals from La Laguna who find themselves taking refuge in Puerto de Las Ollas, Sierra de Coyuca de Catalán, have decided to return to their lands, and they ask that the state government provide protective measures for the return journey.  It is known that on 27 July there was an interview held with the Secretary General of government and with the Secretary of Public Security and Protection, from whom representatives of the displaced requested that the police protection they currently have in Puerto de Las Ollas also be had in La Laguna, Hacienda de Dolores, and Los Huajes de Ayala, communities to which the displaced pertained before the murder of three youth on 17 April.

Lastly, the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC-Communal Police) has reported that citizens of the municipality of Marquelia have pressured mayor Jesús Rico Santana to retire the communal police who are providing their services in several communities of this municipality by 30 July.  The CRAC notes in a communiqué: “Our Communal Police is of the people and for the people.  The only commands our communal institution take are made in the assembly of each community, which decides and names its group of security, in such a way that only the communities decide whether to receive the services of the institution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazan a la joven que denunció un crimen en la sierra de Petatlán(El Sur de Acapulco, 28 July)

Piden desplazados en Las Ollas condiciones de paz y seguridad para regresar a su comunidad (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 July)

El gobierno del estado es responsable del éxodo en la sierra, dice la Organización Ecologista (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 July)

Presión para eliminar policía comunitaria (La Jornada Guerrero, 28 July)

Rechaza la CRAC presión para que retire de Marquelia a la Policía Comunitaria (El Sur de Acapulco, 29 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: briefs : incursion of Navy forces in La Morena community (27 July)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)

Guerrero: National Meeting for the Justice and Security of the People–15 years of the CRAC-PC (21 October 2010)

Guerrero – briefs: Human-rights centers meet with Governor Aguirre; IACHR requests protection for Torres family in the Sierra de Petatlán; CECOP celebrates its 8th anniversary

August 18, 2011

Eighth anniversary of the CECOP.  @Jóvenes en Resistencia Alternativa

On 2 August, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (CRFK) and the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights reported that they had had a meeting with Ángel Aguirreo Rivero, governor of the state, and Alberto López Rosas, State Attorney General, as well as several other state functionaries.  The meeting had the objective of discussing the observance of the provisional measures granted to members of the Organization of Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM), the Organization for the Future of the Mixteco People (OFPM), and Tlachinollan.  The question of the implementation of the sentences handed down by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo against the Mexican State was also raised.  At the end of the meeting, Aguirre committed himself to observing the sentences of the IACHR in both cases and assured that the state government is committed to reiterating its recommendation that the investigations be transferred to the appropriate federal institution.  Furthermore, the government committed itself to soon reinstalling the public-security units for the protection of the offices of Tlachinollan in Ayutla de Los Libres.

In other news, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requested that the State authorities urgently grant protective measures to the relatives of Javier Torres Cruz, a campesino who was murdered on 18 April in the community of La Morena, Petatlán.  The measures that the IACHR is demanding for the Torres family are due to the incursion on 21 July by armed men dressed as Marines and civilians into the community of La Morena which developed into a confrontation with state police who were guarding the area.  The harassment against Javier Torres and his family began starting in 2007 when police were told that evidence had been found regarding the presumed murderer of the lawyer Digna Ochoa.

Finally, on 28 July in the community of Aguacaliente, a rural part of Acapulco, the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP) commemorated the eighth anniversary of its struggle against the construction of the La Parorta dam.  Felipe Flores, spokesperson for CECOP, stressed that those who formerly had been in favor of the dam “now are on our side; that gives us much strength.  Today we celebrate eight years of struggle.  To live it is difficult because it implies much exertion.”  He also mentioned that “now the members of CECOP have a responsibily and a commitment, because other organizations have approached us to ask us how we have kept up the fight.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado CRFK y Tlachinollan (2 August)

Pide la CIDH medidas cautelares para familiares de Javier Torres (La Jornada, 4 August)

Pide la Comisión Interamericana protección para la familia Torres de la sierra de Petatlán (El Sur de Acapulco, 4 August)

Celebra el Cecop octavo aniversario (La Jornada, 29 July)

Fotos del aniversario del CECOP (Jóvenes en resistencia alternativa, 3 August)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Guerrero: “Indigenous peoples are subject to rights and are not electoral merchandise” (February 4, 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Mining exploration continues in the Montaña region without permission from communities; reinstallation of the blockade against La Parota (January 13, 2011)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)

Guerrero – briefs: Release of OPIM leader; incursion of Navy forces in La Morena community

July 27, 2011

OPIM members @La Jornada

On 7 July, Rafael Rodríguez Dircio, member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), was released, having been detained and incarcerated on 29 June on the charge of homicide of Alejandro Feliciano García.  On these same charges had been detained five other members of OPIM on 17 April 2000.  One of these persons was Raúl Hernández Abundio, a prisoner of conscience as recognized by Amnesty International who spent more than two years in jail on this charge, with the four others having been released previously.  Inocencio Orduño Magallón, judge in the case, resolved in favor of Rafael Rodríguez’s release in light of lack of evidence.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights reminds us that there exist four other arrest-orders against OPIM members for this same crime.  “It is for this reason that we request the Guerrero State Attorney General’s Office to suspend these arrest-orders, given that with the release of Rafael Rodríguez Dircio, it has once again been demonstrated that the accusations and the legal process against these indigenous defenders are derived by fabricated evidence against those who demand the realization of their human rights and who organize toward that end.”

In other news, on 20 July, units of the Armed Navy of Mexico invaded the community of La Morena, municipality of Petatlán.  They detained for two hours state police who had been monitoring the community as well as residents of the community, denounces Elvia Torres Cruz, sister to Javier Torres, a campesino who was murdered in April.  The justification for the operation was that the unit had on the previous Sunday (17 July) left one of its vehicles in the community.  On that day there was had a confrontation in the community between units of the Armed Navy and of the state police.  One marine and one police-officer died.  On 18 April of this year Javier Torres was murdered by a uniformed group carrying high-caliber weapons, presumably operatives linked to organized crime.  His family has received protectionary measures and since that time the community of La Morena has been protected by the state police.

In an interview, Javier Monroy, coordinator of the Workshop for communal development (TADECO), said that leaders of organizations that comprise the Front of the Popular Masses of the State of Guerrero met with the Minister of Justice, Alberto López Rosas, and demanded that the clarify the acts and prioritize the investigation of the murder of Javier Torres.  In this vein, he indicated that TADECO has requested support for construction materials and other goods for La Morena, given the events of 17 July.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia que esperamos (boletín de Tlachinollan)

Declara el juez la inocencia del indígena Rafael Rodríguez Dircio y sale libre (El Sur de Acapulco, 16 July)

Pide la OPIM al gobierno mecanismos para que otros acusados no pisen la cárcel (El Sur de Acapulco, 17 July)

Libre Rafael Rodríguez, defensor del pueblo indígena me’phaa(Indymedia, 7 July)

Indígena de la OPIM libre (La Jornada, 6 July)

Liberan a integrante de la OPIM; no hubo pruebas (La Jornada, 6 July)

Irrumpen marinos en La Morena; retienen a policías y habitantes (La Jornada, 21 July)

Oficial: un marino y un policía estatal murieron en el choque en La Morena (El Sur de Acapulco, 21 July)

¨No tengo confirmado¨ que hayan sido efectivos de la Marina los que atacaron a policías del estado: Aguirre (El Sur de Acapulco, 22 July)

Huyen familias de la sierra de Petatlán por amenazas y asesinatos (El Sur de Acapulco, 22 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)

Guerrero – briefs: Rally for justice and the end of impunity in Chilpancingo; NGOs request definitive cancellation of La Parota

May 12, 2011


On Thursday May 5, social organizations in defense of human rights, such as the Community Development Workshop (TADECO), the Committee of Family and Friends of the Kidnapped, Disappeared and Murdered in Guerrero, the Guerrero Network of Human Rights (Redgroac), and the Regional Coordinator of Communal Authorities (CRAC), among others, protested in the zócalo of Chilpancingo against the violence that continues to pervade the state of Guerrero.  Minutes before the rally for justice and to end impunity, the authorities of the capital city council cut the electricity to prevent the protests from being heard through the speakers. However, this action did not stop the activists who, without microphones, raised their voices to speak. Manuel Olivares, of Redgroac, said he joined the march that was organized by Javier Sicilia to tell the authorities “enough murders, kidnappings, disappearances”. Javier Monroy, coordinator of TADECO, and the director of the Citizen Movement of Guerrero Alphabetization, Austreberto Basilio Goytia, expressed outrage over the murder of the director of the Center of Studies and Projects for Total Human Development, Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera, which occurred on May 4 in the central plaza of Chilpancingo. In a communique on May 5, TADECO and the Committee of Family and Friends of the Kidnapped, Disappeared and Murdered in Guerrero demanded, among other things, that the State Government of Guerrero “respect, facilitate and support the collaboration of the families of victims of social violence in the investigations”, and that the Federal Government “[…] clarify the cases of campesino Javier Torres Cruz, of the community of La Morena, who was murdered recently [and t]he identification and punishment of those responsible for the extrajudicial murders […] of Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas”.

Additionally, in a press statement on May 3, national and international human rights networks urged the federal and local government to cancel the La Parota hydroelectric dam project. On the day of April 19, 2011, the Agrarian Tribunal (TUA), based in Acapulco, issued a ruling that annulled the land assembly held on April 28, 2010, which was intended to impose the construction of the hydroelectric project. National and international networks have welcomed the cancellation of the agrarian assembly decision and now call for the definitive cancellation of the project, based on Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which states that the consent of communities is a requirement and without which, no project that involves the removal or relocation of the population can be carried out.

For more information:

Sabotea alcaldía capitalina mitin de ONG contra la violencia en el zócalo (La Jornada, 6 May)

Respaldan organizaciones en el Zócalo de Chilpancingo la Marcha por la Paz (Sur Acapulco, 6 May)

Communique of TADECO and Committee of Family and Friends of the Kidnapped, Disappeared and Murdered in Guerrero

Exigen ONG’s cancelar definitivamente La Parota, por fallo de juez (Radio Formula, 3 May)

Redes de OSC llaman a poner punto final a La Parota (CENCOS, 3 May)

For more information from SIPAZ:

TUA annuls the 28 April 2010 assembly regarding La Parota (May 12)

Brutal murder of LGBT activist in Chilpancingo (6 May)

Guerrero – briefs: “Danger continues for relatives of murdered activist”: NGOs; TUA annuls the 28 April 2010 assembly regarding La Parota; evidence of Chavarría’s crime disappears

May 12, 2011

Aguascalientes (@SIPAZ)

Three days after the murder of activist Javier Torres Cruz on 18 April in the Sierra of Petatlán, several human-rights organizations expressed their concern regarding the security of his relatives.  Amnesty International released an Urgent Action denouncing the continuation of the dangerous situation in which Javier Torres’ relatives found themselves.  Upon learning of the events, two of Javier’s brothers went to the site of the murder, where they were fired upon.  One of the two was injured gravely by gunshot wounds.  Similarly, the World Organization against Torture (OMCT), expressed its concern in a 28 April communiqué regarding the life and physical integrity of Torres Cruz’s family members and the residents of the community of La Morena, where he lived.  In its communiqué the OMCT requested among other things that Mexican authorities carry out an “immediate, independent, exhaustive, and impartial investigation into the murder.”

In other news, the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP) celebrated its triumph in light of the annulment of the assembly carried out on 28 April 2010 when, in the absence of opponents of the project and with the presence of hundreds of soldiers, the expropriation of 1,300 hectares was ‘approved’ in favor of the construction of the dam.  On 19 April of this year, the Agrarian Unitary Tribunal 41 of Acapulco accepted the petition to nullify this decision as presented by the CECOP.  The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights emphasized that “with the recent resolution there are FIVE JUDGES who have ruled in favor of the ejidatarios opposed to La Parota.”  A spokesperson for CECOP, Marco Suástegui Muñoz, stated that “[t]his does not mean that CECOP will stop its efforts, given that the signature of a federal judge has political weight.  Until we see an announcement that the dam will be constructed in the Official Diary of the Federation, we will be calm.”  On 7 May members of CECOP will meet with governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero in the community of Cacahuatepec, where they will argue against the construction of the dam once again.

Lastly, on 25 April, the Attorney General of Guerrero, Alberto López Rosas, revealed that in the archives of this agency “there is no trace” of the investigation initiated into the murder of Armando Chavarría Barrera, killed on 20 August 2009.  López Rosas, who took on the case on 12 April, said that only some copies without official signatures were found, and he added that one of these figures responsible for the investigation was the ex-prosecutor for Grave Crimes in the Central Zone of the state, Jesús Miranda Rodríguez, who suffered two armed attacks and has since the end of February been found to be disappeared.  In a press-conference, Alberto López remembered that on 28 March the ex-governor Zeferino Torreblanca affirmed that the investigation into the killing of Chavarría was 99% advancing and that the only thing left was to “bring forth those responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente (Amnistía Internacional, 18 April)

Comunicado TADECO (26 April)

Comunicado OMCT (28 April)

Tribunal anuló asamblea que cedía tierras para La Parota, según ejidatarios (La Jornada, 27 April)

Falla el TUA a favor del Cecop; declara nula la asamblea de La Concepción (La Jornada, 28 April)

Guerrero: Desaparece expediente del crímen de Chavarría (Proceso, 25 April)

Pierden en Guerrero el expediente del asesinato de Armando Chavarría (La Jornada, 26 April)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May)

Guerrero: Briefs – Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena, NGOs sent a letter to the Minister of the Interior regarding the recent threats against OPIM; Monitor Civil documented 384 cases of human rights violations by the police; Inter-American Court of Human Rights rules in favor of campesino ecologists

December 28, 2010

Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera (@El Universal)

On December 7, about 35 military personnel aboard three Hummer vehicles entered the community of La Morena, municipality of Petatlan, using their weapons and causing panic among residents. According to testimonies, men and teenagers rushed to the nearby hills, while women, children and elders gathered in their homes, which were raided by the military. In February, Adolfo Torres Rosas was killed by soldiers, while Anselmo Torres Quiroz and Huber Vega Correa were arrested. Both are currently imprisoned in the prison of Acapulco for alleged drug crimes. In recent months, the harassment against the Cruz Torres family has focused on the intermittent and threatening presence of military in their community, as well as on the promotion of rumors suggesting that the Torres Cruz family is involved in kidnappings, a denunciation that hasn’t been properly reported to the civil authorities.

In a press release of December 7, the Collective Against Torture and Impunity (CCIC) and the Workshop for Community Development (TADECO), demanded to the authorities, among other things: to cease harassment against the Torres family, the immediate departure of the Army from the indigenous community of La Morena, and not to use the discourse of the struggle against drug trafficking to conceal acts of harassment and intimidation against the communities of the Sierra of Guerrero. Similarly, on 21 December, the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) expressed concern about the situation in La Morena sending out an urgent action. It reiterated that to date nothing is known about the new investigation into the circumstances of the death of Adolfo Torres Rosas, and it denounced violence during the arrest and detention of Anselmo Torres and Huber Vega, who have presumably been victims of abuse and torture.

Moreover, on December 15, Social and Civil Organizations, sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB), expressing concern about the threats occurred against members of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) on November 28. OPIM’s members have accompanied Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, me’phaa indigenous women who were raped by soldiers in 2002, whose cases were recently resolved by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CoIDH) against the Mexican State. These organizations emphasized that “in light of the recent threats, a prompt and full compliance with the sentences of the CoIDH [against the Mexican state] becomes crucial to prevent that unfortunate new facts may occur.”

On another hand, the Monitor of Civil Police and Public Safety Corps in the mountains of Guerrero (Monitor Civil), which was created three years ago, made public the fact that it documented 384 cases of police abuses. It mentioned that the ministerial authorities are the police that most violates the fundamental rights of citizens in the Mountain region (179 registered cases). From the experience of the Civil Monitor, institutional conditions of this corporation lead to police abuses, since the absence of internal and external mechanisms of control and accountability allows ministerial elements to violate human rights and legality without punitive consequences. The most frequent violations perpetrated by the police corps were arbitrary detention (122 cases), extortion (87 cases) and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment (59 cases). To a lesser extent, there were other also violations such as torture (6 cases), extrajudicial execution (3 cases), unlawful entries (22 cases) and the imposition of excessive fines (31 cases). The Civil Monitor issued a report on the status of the police in the mountains of Guerrero through which it seeks to establish guidelines for a democratic reform of the police.

Finally, on December 20, the CoIDH condemned the Mexican state for violating the rights of freedom, integrity, judicial guarantees and judicial protection of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, known as “the campesino ecologists.” The court ruling noted that the Mexican government must make a criminal investigation into the alleged acts of torture that Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera have denunciated. In addition, within two months, it will have to compensate the farmers for all the damages they have suffered, as well as for the cost of medical and psychological treatments they have received.

In 1999, Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera were arrested by the military, for their fight against deforestation in the Sierra de Petatlán, and according to their testimonies, they were tortured. In 2004, the case of “the ecological campesinos” was presented to the American Commission on Human Rights and in 2009 it was taken by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CoIDH). The ruling of the CoIDH also ratified that Mexico should reform the Code of Military Justice, to exclude the jurisdiction of military courts for crimes related to human rights violations.

For more information (in Spanish):

– México: Preocupación por la seguridad de los habitantes de la comunidad de La Morena en Petatlán, en particular por los familiares del Sr. Javier Torres Cruz, Estado de Guerrero, México. (Acción Urgente Organización Mundial contra la Tortura, OMCT, 21 de diciembre)

– OSC envían carta a Segob por las recientes amenazas contra la OPIM entorno a las sentencias de la CoIDH (CENCOS, 15 de diciembre)

A tres años de trabajo Monitor Civil documenta 384 casos de violación a los derechos humanos por parte de la policía (CENCOS, 17 de diciembre)

– CIDH falla a favor de campesinos ecologistas (El Universal, 20 de diciembre)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

– Guerrero: briefs – New threats against leaders of the OPIM; inclusion of resources for La Parota in federal budget; Invitation to the sixth anniversary of Radio Ñomndaa (December 14, 2010)

– Guerrero: briefs – NGOs present amicus brief to Inter-American Court on case of environmentalists; activist is detained (September 23, 2010)

– Guerrero: The Civil Monitor documents 117 cases of police abuse (December 3, 2008)