National: “To Defend Human Rights Is Necessary, Legitimate, and Dangerous” – Amnesty International

December 17, 2014

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On 9 December, day for human-rights defenders, Amnesty International (AI) presented the document “To Defend Human Rights Is Necessary, Legitimate, and Dangerous” regarding the work of human-rights observers and journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report notes that journalists and rights-defenders risk their lives and liberty to struggle for human rights, and continue to suffer from intimidation, assault, and other forms of violence.

The document stresses the “high levels of violence and repression” against those who work in questions having to do with the land, territory, and natural resources, as well as the rights of women and children, migrants, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans* and intersexual persons, in addition to journalists and trade-unionists who defend human rights.

“The saddening reality is that many of these persons who defend human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean suffer constant persecution and attacks as revenge for their efforts.  In different countries we have observed a disquieting and lamentable increase in the levels of violence and repressions suffered by these persons just for defending human rights and justice,” noted Erika Guevara Rosas, director of the American Program with AI.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defender Derechos Humanos en las Américs: Necesario, Legítimo y Peligroso, Amnestía Internacional, 9 de diciembre de 2014

Denuncia AI aumento de violencia contra defensores de Derechos Humanos en Latinoamerica, SDPNoticias, 9 de diciembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries for environmental defenders (12 June 2014)

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Chiapas: OCEZ-RC installs sit-in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 10, 2014

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On 31 March, some 200 members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) held a march and installed an indefinite sit-in in downtown San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  They demand that the state authorities respond to their series of demands, denouncing “the politics of closure to dialogue on the part of the government led by Manuel Velasco Coello.”

Said demands include among others the regularization and redistribution of 1000 hectares of land from the Venustiano Carranza municipality; the cancellation of arrest-orders; the “retirement of nocturnal patrols of the specialized forces of the Army and Navy in our communities, as well as overflights performed by airplanes and even drones as well as helicopters belonging to the security forces and the Army”; the regularization of transport concessions from MOTO-TAXI, in addition to several productive, educational, and health projects.

Mariano Díaz Ochoa, subsecretary for Governance in the highlands region, has signed a document in which he committed himself to a dialogue between an OCEZ-RC commission with governmental authorities, to take place in Tuxtla Gutiérrez on 7 April.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la OCEZ-RC al instalar su plantón (OCEZ-RC, 31 de marzo de 2014)

OCEZ instala plantón en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Se plantan ocesistas en la plaza de la paz (Noticias.net.mx, 3 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)