Chiapas: Destruction of Camps and Threats to Tsotsil Population in Forced Displacement

January 4, 2019

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On December 23, 2018, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center published this Urgent Action:

New forced displacements in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas

Destruction of camps and threats to Tsotsil population as forced displacement increases conditions of vulnerability and risks for 1,146 people.

Nine camps which housed internally displaced people in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, were destroyed on December 21, 2018, between 14:00 and 17:00 hours, approximately, in a context of aggression on the part of Hermelindo García Núñez, Municipal Union of Chalchiuitán, member of the National Action Party.

238 displaced families in the Barrio Shishimtotik, Tulantik, Ch’enmut, Bololchojon, Cruz K’ak’anam, Jolcantetik, Cruzton, Bejelton, and Barrio Pom camps lost the few belongings they had in the houses made of plastic, wood, and some with sheets. They also demolished toilets built with donations from solidarity organizations such as Caritas.

The population, mostly women and children, moved again after the aggression and intimidation. Families have lent them spaces, but there have been threats to expel anyone from their community if they help displaced people in this way. Testimonies say that community authorities prohibited humanitarian access, and threatened to tie up and burn representatives of the Chalchihuite Committee, as well as anyone who tries to enter the demolished camps.

At least 1,237 people remain in forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, in conditions of vulnerability and risk, without being able to return to their homes because their land is on the edge of the conflict where armed groups from Chenalhó continue to fire weapons which intensify in the early hours of the morning.

More than a year after the massive forced displacement of communities of Tsotsil people of Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, the situation remains serious and human rights violations continue due to the failure of the Mexican State. The government of Chiapas fails to comply with international commitments to care for and protect displaced people and violates precautionary measure No. 882-17 granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on February 24, 2018, “to guarantee the rights of members of indigenous peoples in a situation of risk to the life, safety, and personal integrity of the 10 displaced communities since November 2017.

For this reason, we demand that the Mexican State:

Guarantee the safety, integrity, and life of the population in forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.

Stop the threats and aggression coming from Hermelindo García Núñez, Municipal Union of Chalchiuitán, against representatives of the Chalchihuite Committee.

In accordance with the Guiding Principles on Forced Displacement of the United Nations, deal comprehensively with the forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.

We ask national and international solidarity to send your appeals to:

C. Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Presidente Constitucional de México     Residencia Oficial de los Pinos. Casa Miguel Alemán. Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850 Ciudad de México. Fax: (+52) 55 5093 4901:Twitter@lopezobrador_

Lic.Olga Sánchez Cordero. Secretaria de Gobernación de México                              Bucareli 99, 1er. piso. Col. Juárez. Delegación Cuauhtémoc;  C.P. 06600 Ciudad de México. Fax: (+52) 55 5093 34 14; Correo:secretario@segob.gob.mx: Twitter@M_OlgaSCordero

Lic. Luis Raúl González Pérez. Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, Edificio “Héctor Fix Zamudio”, Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos 1922, 6°piso. Col. Tlacopac San Ángel. Delegación Álvaro Obregón. C.P. 01040; Ciudad de México.              Fax: (+52) 0155 36 68 07 67: Correo: correo@cndh.org.mx : Twitter: @CNDH

Lic. Rutilio Escandón Cadenas. Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 1er Piso Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009. Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México                                                Fax: +52 961 61 88088 – + 52 961 6188056; Extensión 21120. 21122;                              Correo: secparticular@chiapas.gob.mx: Twitter: @JuntoscnRutilio

Lic. Ismael Brito Mazariegos. Secretario General de Gobierno en Chiapas: Palacio De Gobierno, 2o. Piso, Centro C.P. 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Conmutador: (961) 61 8 74 60 Ext. 20003: Correo: secretariaparticular.sgg@gmail.com

Lic. Alonso Méndez Guzmán. Subsecretario de Gobierno de la Región V. Altos Tsotsil-Tseltal: Francisco I. Madero No. 101, Barrio Guadalupe C.P. 29200 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Teléfono: 01 (967) 67 465 94 Fax: 01 (967) 67 465 94

C. Margarita Díaz García. Presidente Municipal de Chalchihuitán                                Avenida Central S/N, Palacio Municipal C.P. 29850 Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.              Teléfono: (01 919) 10 1-10-28 o Teléfono: 9671245086

 

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia el Frayba la destrucción de 9 campamentos de desplazados (La Jornada, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Destruyen nueve campamentos de mujeres e infantes en Chalchihuitán(Regeneración, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Destruyen campamentos de 238 familias tsotsiles desplazadas en Chiapas(Contralínea, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Navidad en Chiapas: destruyen 9 campamentos con 1146 indígenas, la mayoría mujeres, niñas y niños (Sin Embargo, 25 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: displaced families from Banavil return to their home to celebrate the Day of the Dead (November 3, 2018).

Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas (October 30, 2018).

National: 20,390 Forcibly Displaced in 2017 – Over 329,900 in the Last 12 Years (May 11, 2018).

 

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International/ National: Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets Used Against Migrants at U.S. Mexico Border

November 27, 2018
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(@Ramon Espinosa / Associated Press)

November 25, 2018, Tijuana- U.S. Border patrol agents fired tear gas and rubber bullets at migrants after individuals threw rocks at border agents and attempted to enter the United States.

Children and adults fainted from the effects of tear gas, as hundreds of peaceful protesters were caught in the violence.

A peaceful protest in response to the slow processing of asylum requests was being held next to the border by migrants that day. Mexican federal police attempted to break up the protest and detained dozens of migrants. U.S. Border patrol agents detained individuals who attempted to cross the border. In response to the attempted crossings, the U.S. closed the San Ysidro border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana for hours.

It is unclear what level of coordination there was and is between U.S. and Mexican authorities in response to the caravan, but there appears to be some level of cooperation between the law enforcement agencies.

U.S. President Donald Trump took advantage of the days events to push his narrative of the caravans as “an invasion”, calling migrants “stone cold criminals” on twitter.

Meanwhile, at least 4,700 migrants from Central America are sheltered in a sports complex in the city of Tijuana, where negative sentiment against migrants appears to be growing.

 

For more information in Spanish:

Estados Unidos rocía gases en territorio mexicano para contener a migrantes (En El Camino, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

EU arrestó a 42 migrantes tras incidente fronterizo (La Jornada, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

Protestan en Tijuana contra los migrantes hondureños (La Prensa, 18 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National / International: First Migrant Caravan advances in Mexico; a person dies in the second caravan trying to enter; Trump announces operation «Faithful Patriot» to close US border (November 3, 2018)

Chiapas / National / International: Migrant Caravan about to enter Oaxaca (November 3, 2018)

National / International: Caravan of migrants from Honduras arrives in Mexico (October 22, 2018)

 


National / International: Caravan of mothers of disappeared migrants arrives in Mexico

November 1, 2018
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Ruben Figueroa, Mesoamerican Migrants Movement


On October 23, in the midst of the exodus of thousands of Hondurans who entered Mexico to reach the United States, the XIV caravan of Central American mothers who seek their missing children in this same attempt also arrived in Mexico.

The Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, which has been supporting this process, estimates that more than 70,000 people from Central America, including Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans, disappeared in Mexican territory. The violence and human rights violations to which they may be exposed have been widely documented by various human rights organizations, including the United Nations (UN), which have documented the risks of migrants in Mexico and the crimes they may face.

The women who participate in the caravan this year integrate several search groups in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. They will be in Mexico from October 23 to November 7, “carrying out actions of research, communal living and protest in 12 states of the Mexican territory covering almost 4,000 kilometers in length and with the confidence of impacting the Mexican society to which they ask for solidarity with their cause”, the statement announcing the activity informed.

The same statement emphasized that “in this edition, one of the purposes of the caravan is to arrive at Mexico City in time to participate in the World Summit of Mothers of Missing Migrants, which will take place in parallel and as a part of the World Social Forum on Migration. on November 2, 3, and 4 of this year, where for the first time there will be a historic meeting between mothers from Maghreb countries: Mauritania, Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, in addition to Italy, areas of the Asian Pacific, the United States, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and also Mexican mothers. “

The objective of this summit is “to link emerging organizations of family members, mothers in particular, who share the struggle to find their loved ones and reunite their families broken by the phenomenon of forced displacement, to share experiences of search and healing, to feed the hope and to recognize that the problem of the disappearances of people in movement is global, diverse and extremely complex “; as well asto send a strong message of repudiation to the world powers, governments and institutions, to tell them that their migration management models, instead of solving what they erroneously assume as a problem, criminally aggravate the situation they cause in this era of capitalist accumulation by dispossession and violence, and that they will not succeed, no matter how many dead they produce, to “order” and control the migratory flows ».

For more information (In Spanish)

Inicia Caravana de migrantes desaparecidos 2018 – vídeo (La Jornada, 23 de octubre de 2018)

Llegará a México caminata de madres de migrantes desaparecidos (La Jornada, 23 de octubre de 2018)

Madres centroamericanas llegan a México este martes en busca de sus hijos desaparecidos (Animal Político, 23 de octubre de 2018)

Madres centroamericanas avanzan hacia México buscando a sus parientes migrantes desaparecidos (CNN México, 20 de octubre de 2018)

COMUNICADO: XIV Caravana de Madres de Migrantes Desaparecidos 2018 (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 5 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English) :

National/International: “Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants” Arrives to Mexico December 27, 2017

Mexico: Mothers of Disappeared Migrants “Looking for Life on Roads of Death” November 28, 2016

Chiapas: Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice Reaches San Cristobal de Las Casas April 10, 2016


National: 245 NGO publicly present the “Joint Report for the Third Universal Periodic Review of Mexico”

September 20, 2018
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#COlectivoEPUmx

On September 12, at a press conference, members of 245 civil society organizations, integrated in #ColectivoEPUmx, presented the “Joint Report for the Third Universal Periodic Review of Mexico”, a mechanism that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) established to monitor progress and challenges that the countries that make it up may have.

In this context, the defenders urged López Obrador to instruct his next chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón, to attend the audience in which the member states of the Human Rights Council will analyze the human rights situation in Mexico on November 7, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Zué Valenzuela, legal coordinator of the Network of Civil Organizations of Human Rights All Rights for All (TDT Network) expressed that there is a “preoccupation” that “the observations of the [International] organisms might be considered as issues that correspond to the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto and not issues to be assumed as a State responsibility, since “until now, there is no clear pronouncement by Ebrard Casaubón about international obligations nor is there a rapprochement with civil society organizations to talk about it”. He stressed that the recommendations resulting from the UPR “will be made known in the first days of December, when the next government has assumed its mandate.”

Fernando Ríos Martínez, executive secretary of the TDT Network, warned that given the “budgetary restriction that the government of López Obrador intends to impose, there might not be enough budget for” human rights policies that have worked fairly well”, such as the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, upon which at the moment the security of 702 people depends.

The defenders also underlined that in the two previous reports of the UPR (2009 and 2013), the States that have participated have made 267 recommendations to Mexico. The majority of them have not been complied with, which is why they consider that the Mexican State has unfulfilled its obligations.

They stressed that the situation of violence and violation of human rights in the country remains “critical” and suggested some recommendations that could help reverse it: “an integral system of citizen security, an adequate model of attention to victims, an autonomous prosecutor’s office, effective attention to the victims, the abrogation of the internal security law and a follow-up mechanism to international recommendations as a minimum to demonstrate real commitment to solve the serious structural human rights violations “.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe completo « Tercer Examen Periódico Universal de México por organizaciones de la sociedad civil mexicanas » (OSC, agosto de 2018)

ONG emplazan a López Obrador a aceptar las recomendaciones en derechos humanos (Proceso, 12 de septiembre de 2018)

Piden apertura a Ebrard en tema de DDHH (El Sur, 12 de septiembre de 2018)

México vive una triple crisis de violencia, corrupción e impunidad, al incumplir con recomendaciones emitidas en administraciones de Calderón y Peña Nieto: Informe (Revolución 3,0, 12 de septiembre de 2018)

México reprobó examen de la ONU en derechos humanos: ONG (La Jornada, 13 de septiembre de 2018)

Piden ONG’s a AMLO que acepte las recomendaciones en tema de derechos humanos (MX.Politico, 13 de septiembre de 2018)


URGENT RELEASE: REPRESSION OF TEACHERS IN OAXACA

June 22, 2016

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URGENT RELEASE

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México
June 21, 2016

REPRESSION OF TEACHERS IN OAXACA

On June 19, elements of the police in the state of Oaxaca violently repressed teachers and organized civil society in opposition of the education reform of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. Such events caused the death of at least six people, the apprehension and/or disappearance of 22, and 45 left with gunshot wounds between Nochixtlán and Hacienda Blanca. Their medical attention was not guaranteed, to which the general population responded by building “attention centers” to serve and treat those wounded. In the last few days, planes of the Federal Police and the Gendarmerie have arrived to the capital of the state.

Such event is the most recent within the escalating context of the repressive violence in all of the entities where the teachers’ movement has manifested with the support of the civil society (Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas, Michoacan, Guerrero, among others) in the last few weeks. All of these mobilizations have been in demand for a dialogue with the federal government about the reform, which has maintained a stern stance of not wanting to modify such reform, and has threatened with the immediate cessation of those on strike.

Background History:

In 2013, the federal government approved the education reform, included in the packet of reforms derived from the “Pact for Mexico” -an agreement between principal political parties planting the construction of a society with human rights and liberties, economic growth, security, justice, transparency, combat of corruption, and democratic governance-. Since its announcement from the President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, the education reform caused inconformity between the teachers. It was presented by the government as an improvement in the education system from the evaluation of teachers; aimed to promote the autonomy of the families of students in terms of maintenance of the schools in practice, involving the covering of expenses of school maintenance. It was interpreted by a wide sector of teachers as a labor reform -more so than educational content- that would permit selective dismissals and the beginning of the privatization of education in the country.

As a result, dissident teachers organized multiple protests in several states in search for a dialogue with the federal government for the repeal of the reform. Various of the mobilizations were repressed by police forces, causing the death of three teachers (one from Chiapas and two from Guerrero in 2015 and 2016).

Organizations of the civil society of Oaxaca denounced the “criminalization of teachers”, with examples such as “mass media campaigns of defamation”, or the detention of at least 75 people -among which are several leaders of the movement-, who find themselves “in a situation of political imprisonment”. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations assessed that several of the arrests were directed against human rights defenders and they were carried out arbitrarily. Furthermore, some of those arrested were transported to high security prisons intended for severe federal crimes.

The civil society of Oaxaca rejected the dozens of arrest warrants issued to members of the Section 22 of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE, in its Spanish acronyms) -known for demanding the cancellation of the education reform and for being a prominent part of the Oaxacan social movement-, looking to “dismantle the movement”. Before this situation, various rapporteurs of the United Nations emitted “urgent phone calls to Mexican authorities” due to the human rights violations, mainly for arrests without warrants, nor search warrants, and for the use of torture.

Since May 15 of this year, the teachers in opposition declared a labor strike, closing a large part of schools, with percentages above 95% in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. Adding to the strike, teachers organized marches, blocked roads, held encampments and symbolic “sit-ins” of city councils and radio stations, among other actions, which have received growing support from the parents of the families of students, as well as the general population. The teachers currently maintain an encampment in the downtown center of the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, which is being guarded by barricades in the historic center of town and by road blockades of strategic points to prevent the entry of police forces.

The Civil Society of Oaxaca published an Urgent Action reporting a Humanitarian Alert issue “for State armed civilian attacks”. They requested the removal of governmental forces and repression against teachers and the general population, a space for dialogue, immediate medical attention, a stop to the criminalization of the teachers, the cancellation of the arrest warrants, the liberation of those detained, as well as the punishment of those responsible of the human rights violations.

As the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ), we are highly concerned due to the human rights violations in the context of the teachers’ mobilizations, which is why we invite you all to sign the Urgent Action from the Civil Society of Oaxaca in the web-page of the All Rights for All Network (Red TdT, in its Spanish acronym).

We also assess that the situation of high tension is not only present in Oaxaca, but in Chiapas as well, to which we invite the national and international society remain attentive and aware of the events in the state.

For more information:

AU: Sociedad Civil de Oaxaca emite Alerta Humanitaria por ataque armado del Estado a la población civil


Chiapas: SIPAZ event – 20 years accompanying lights of hope

December 26, 2015

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SIPAZ Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope”

Photo @SIPAZ

On 27 and 28 November was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas the Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope” to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ). Those participating in the event included women and men from communities, organizations, human-rights centers, the academy, as well as activists, both from Mexico and other countries. By means of panels, the invited speakers shared reflections regarding their experiences, situating them also within an historical analysis incorporating the principal tendencies, challenges, and obstacles. The event stressed concern for the present situation in the country, given that participants agreed that we are in a war situation.

Two media based in the lessons learned through SIPAZ’s years of work in Mexico were presented at the event. One was a documentary, entitled “That the Heart Not Break. Non-Violent Struggles for Justice and Defense of Land,” produced in collaboration with the Koman Ilel community media collective. The video was presented with the participation of the involved communities and organizations: communities displaced below Tila and the Las Abejas Civil Society, based in Chiapas, along with the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER), from Oaxaca. In parallel, the book Struggle with a Woman’s Heart: The Situation and Participation of Women in Chiapas (1995-2015), was presented and discussed. This volume brings together the major experiences and lessons from women’s struggle to participate and for gender equality.

For more information (in Spanish):

SIPAZ: 20 años acompañando luces de esperanza (EDUCA, 1 de diciembre de 2015)


National: IACHR closes visit to Mexico and presents preliminary conclusions

October 10, 2015

@4vientos@4vientos

On 2 October, the last day of its visit to Mexico, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented its preliminary conclusions. During its visit to six states of the Republic, the delegation heard the testimony of victims of human-rights violations, held meetings with representatives of civil society as well as international organizations, academics, journalists, and interviewed officials from the three levels of government. In conclusion, the IACHR spoke to “the grave human-rights crisis experienced in Mexico, as characterized by an extreme situation of insecurity and violence and grave violations. The problems we have described are the result of a structural situation that Mexico has suffered now for decades.” With regard to the reasons for this crisis, the team indicated “the lack of access to justice” which has generated a structural situation of impunity which allows for the repetition of human-rights violations. The IACHR expressed its willingness to work with the Mexican State to seek solutions to protect basic rights and promote the observation of international standards in human rights. The IACHR will prepare and publish a report on Mexico next year.

After hearing these conclusions, Roberto Campa Cifrián, Subsecretary for Human Rights at the Ministry for Governance, reacted by saying this preliminary report “does not reflect the reality of the country,” as the conclusions were the product of “interviews and meetings” in “only six of the 32 states […] held over a course of five days.” Several non-governmental organizations condemned the response of the Subsecretary, holding it to be a dismissal of the international organizations and experts who have documented the reality of the country. The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center proposed in a communique that the government “take up the conclusions and recommendations made [by the IACHR] […] to then implement policies, programs, laws, and above all practices to allow for the effective access to truth, justice, compensation, and the decrease in human-rights violations throughout the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Condenan ONG respuesta del Estado a informe de la CIDH (Centro ProDH, 7 de octubre de 2015)

El gobierno federal debe atender la crisis de derechos humanos que afecta a la población y dejar de rechazar con argumentos falaces las conclusiones de la CIDH (Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, 6 de octubre de 2015)

CIDH culmina visita in loco a México (Organización de los Estados Americanos, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Video: CIDH emite observaciones preliminares tras su visita In Loco (Centro ProDH/YouTube, 2 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: IACHR carries out visit to Mexico (10 October 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (21 March 2015)