Chiapas: Change of General Secretary for Governance

April 24, 2015

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda y Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

On April 16, Chiapas´ state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, announced the resignation of his General Secretary for Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, who is to be replaced by the PRI official Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda. Ramírez Aguilar, a former mayor of Comitán, will return to the House of Deputies.  In July 2013, he solicited the license for the position that he just left.

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda was a founding member of the Federal Congress’s Commission for Concordance and Pacification, which participated in dialogues with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).  He held the position of federal representative in the time-period during which he was coordinating the PRI Chiapas group and oversaw the Southern Border Commission.  Before taking up his new charge, he was head of the Secretary for Planning, Public Management, and Government Program.

No explanation was given as to the change in the cabinet, though rumors point to differences between the Mexican Green Ecologist Party (PVEM, to which the governor belongs) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), in a government that has been in alliance between these two parties.  Rumors indicate that the resignation of Ramírez Aguilar took place following a meeting between the state potentate and the federal Secretary for Governance (SEGOB), Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong. Other sources stress the presumed connections between the state official with a “paramilitary organized crime group” as a possible motive.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: nuevo secretario de Gobierno; el anterior, señalado por nexos con paramilitares (Aristegui Noticias, 18 abril de 2015)

Nombran nuevo secretario general en Chiapas (El Universal, 17 de abril de 2015)

Gobernador de Chiapas va a la Segob y luego cambia a su secretario de Gobierno (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2015)

La Secretaría General de Gobierno, la rifa del tigre (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de abril de 2015)

National/Oaxaca: Father Solalinde declares that migrant flows will not diminish amidst imposition of new federal measures

August 5, 2014

Padre Alejandro Solalinde (@MPJD)

Padre Alejandro Solalinde (@MPJD)

If the number of undocumented migrants who have boarded the “Beast” (this being the train that travels from Arriaga, Chiapas, to Ixtepec, Oaxaca) seems to have diminished since the declarations made by the federal Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, that migrants would not be allowed to travel this way, Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, priest and recognized rights-defender for migrants, assured for his part that said policy would only increase the risks of travel without inhibiting migratory flows.

According to a report in La Jornada, Solalinde denounced that “Osorio Chong seeks to suppress the human rights of migrants; he is digging their graves even before they leave their countries.  He will be the only one responsible for whatever happens to the Central Americans.”

For his part, Alberto Donis Rodríguez, who heads the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, affirmed that the number of migrants continues steady, as train travel has now been replaced by overland routes on the highways.

Carlos Bartolo Solís, director of the Migrant Home of Compassion in Arriaga, Chiapas, affirmed that according to testimony from Central American migrants, masked armed men dressed in civilian clothes (presumably federal police) travel on the trains to persecute and detain migrants.

For more information (in Spanish):

Cava Osorio Chong tumbas de migrantes al impedirles viajar en La Bestia: Solalinde (1ero de agosto de 2014)

Sacerdote mexicano critica decisión contra viajes en la Bestia (Prensa Latina, 1ero de julio de 2014)

Flujo migratorio continuará pese a amenazas de Osorio Chong, asegura Solalinde (Pá, 31 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)

National: Patishtán requests that Peña Nieto release all prisoners who are unjustly imprisoned

December 9, 2013

Reunión de Patishtán con Peña Nieto. Foto @Chiapas Paralelo

Meeting between Patishtán and Peña Nieto. Photo @Chiapas Paralelo

A month after having received a presidential pardon which put an end to the thirteen years he spent imprisoned, Tsotsil Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez met with President Enrique Peña Nieto in the National Palace.

At the meeting, which also included Secretary of Governance Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, Subscretary Luis Enrique Miranda Nava, relatives of Patishtán, and representatives from civil organizations, Patishtán requested the review of cases of other indigenous and non-indigenous prisoners who have been unjustly incarcerated.  “You should consider that there are many indigenous and non-indigenous prisoners and pay attention to their rights; as in my case, they were violations of human rights.  I wish that the cases of other comrades be analyzed,” said the Tsotsil professor.

Among others, Patishtán stressed the cases of the Tsotsil indigenous person Alejandro Díaz Santís, who has been imprisoned for 15 years in San Cristóbal de las Casas with a sentence of 30 years, in addition to the cases of Antonio Estrada and Miguel Demeza, from Bachajón, Chiapas, who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle.

Following the meeting, the president’s office released a communique expressing that Peña Nieto would commit himself to remaining vigilant with regard to the cases mentioned by Patishtán and consider awarding other pardons.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pide Patishtán a Peña Nieto indultar a “presos políticos” (Proceso, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Pide Patishtán a Peña Nieto revisar casos de indígenas presos injustamente (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Peña Nieto se reúne con Patishtán en Los Pinos (Excelsior, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Patishtán interviene por presos injustamente detenidos (Chiapas Paralelo, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

Video: Patishtán se reúne con Peña Nieto (Animal Político, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of death threats in Prison No. 5  of San Cristóbal (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: After 13 years of unjust incarceration, freedom for Patishtán (13 November 2013)

Legal initiative for Amnesty for Alberto Patishtán (4 October 2013)

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)

National: Submission of First Governmental Report amidst protests and mass-disturbances

September 13, 2013

Entrega del Informe de Gobierno

Submission of First Governmental Report. Photo @Proceso

Toward the end of observing the first 9 months of the governance of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, Secretary of Governance, submitted the First Governmental Report to the Congress.  The report enumerates different challenges the PRI wishes to overcome to overcome during its administration, including the attainment of an inclusive and peaceful Mexico, the provision of quality education, promotion of prosperity, and to promote progress on the Pact for Mexico.  According to the PRI senator Blanca Alacalá, “The report [says] that what has been achieved shows results, but at the same time it is necessary to accelerate the pace of change,” adding that the country needed its legislators to approve structural reforms without reference to party affiliation but rather for the good of the nation.

For their part, the opposition parties launched various criticisms against the presidency, noting its inefficiency, the economic crisis, and the lack of governance.  Representative Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, vice-coordinator of the Citizens’ Movement in San Lázaro, noted that “the report from the first year of government will be yet another means of promoting the legitimization of several of the reforms contained within the Pact for Mexico which assure the generation of short-term structural changes; we know it will not be like this.”

To mark the submission of this First Report, several protest marches occurred simultaneously, including one organized by the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) against educational reforms.  The protests all revolved around the Legislative Palace of San Lázaro in Mexico City.  Protests resulted in confrontations between police and dissidents, leading to the arrests of 16 youths accused of carrying assault weapons, insubordination to authority, and resisting arrest.  According to the “We Are Not All Here” Working Group, a collective which adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle and a member of the Network against Repression and for Solidarity, “the use of force was excessive from the get-go; the police units launched gases and trapped protestors at several points and moments.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Entrega Osorio Chong al Congreso el Primer Informe de Peña Nieto (Proceso, 1 de septiembre de 2013)

Ineficiencia, crisis económica e ingobernabilidad es lo que resalta oposición en primeros 9 meses de gobierno (, 2 de septiembre de 2013)

Se enfrentan anarquistas y granaderos durante marcha (Proceso, 1 de septiembre de 2013)

Hay 16 detenidos por manifestaciones: SSPDF (Animal Político, 2 de septiembre de 2013)

Pronunciamiento del GT No Estamos Todxs, por detenciones 1º de septiembre (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de septiembre de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

National: Polemical ascension of EPN (7 December 2012)

Guerrero: Governance pretends to have observed IACHR sentence, claim NGOs

July 20, 2013


Inés Fernández Ortega, photo @SIPAZ

Civil organizations denounced that the Secretary of Governance claimed to have observed measures that in fact had not been observed in the sentence released against the Mexican State by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, indigenous women of Guerrero who were sexually abused by soldiers in 2002.  The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, as well as the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), sent a letter to the Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, in which they express their concern and confusion in these terms.  “In the response, Governance claimed to have observed measures that in fact have not been observed and makes claims that have very little to do with reality,” they mention.  Furthermore, the organizations reported that in these cases “there exists lack of observation in terms of compensation, health, and education, whose mechanisms of observation have not been realized.  The fault in these terms lies directly with Governance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

ONG: Gobernación finge haber cumplido sentencia de la CIDH (La Jornada, 2 de julio de 2013)

Carta de las ONGs a SEGOB (1 de julio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (5 February 2013)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in 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)


Mexico: the government creates a commission to “assess debt to the indigenous,” to be led by Jaime Martínez Veloz

January 22, 2013

Marcha silenciosa zapatista, Palenque, 21 de diciembre de 2012 (@SIPAZ)

On 14 January, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, secretary of Governance, announced the decision to transform the Commission for Dialogue and Negotiation in Chiapas into the Commission for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples.  He reported that President Enrique Peña Nieto had designated Jaime Martínez Veloz as being responsible for this new commission.  A former member of the Commission for Concordance and Pacification (Cocopa) on two occasions, Martínez Veloz is also a former PRI militant and a former senatorial candidate for the Coalition for the Good of All (2006), beyond having held various other offices at the federal and state levels.

Osorio Chong noted that with this move it is sought to evaluate the debt owed to indigenous peoples, by means of a permanent policy of dialogue to guarantee all peoples access to justice, education, healthcare, and infrastructure.  Regarding the possibility of a dialogue with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), he noted that “the naming has to do with a new reality, particularly in the region of Chiapas, but above all with regard to all indigenous peoples.  The call is to all to sit down to resolve the problems politically so as to allow for development and respect for indigenous communities.  Of course, there will be an invitation, and naturally we are disposed to come to agreements by means of dialogue.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Crea el gobierno comisión para saldar la deuda con indígenas (La Jornada, 15 de enero de 2013)

Acuerdos de San Andrés: 17 años de incumplimiento activo (La Jornada, 15 de enero de 2013)

Martínez Veloz encabezará Comisión para Pueblos Indígenas (El Universal, 14 de enero de 2013)

Segob llama al diálogo al EZLN; Martínez Veloz, nuevo comisionado (Proceso, 14 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: a communique and two letters from the EZLN (8 January 2013)

National: Reactions by state and federal governments to the Zapatista mobilization of 21 December (27 Decemer 2012)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas (27 December 2012)


National: Reactions by federal and state governments to the Zapatista mobilization of 21 December

December 27, 2012

Inicio de la movilización zapatista en Palenque @ SIPAZ

Beginning of the Zapatista mobilization in Palenque @ SIPAZ

On different occasions, both the federal government and the Chiapas state government have expressed comments about the mass-mobilization of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) that took place on 21 December in 5 cities in Chiapas, as well as on the communique released by the rebel group that same day.  In the name of the federal government, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, secretary of Governance, declared that “they still do not know us; we hope they do not come out too soon, given that President Enrique Peña Nieto has a great commitment to the indigenous peoples.”  In comments published by La Jornada, Osorio Chong added that “President Peña knows of the problems, and for that reason he will support the indigenous peoples and particularly examine the demands of the people of Chiapas.”

For its part, the Chiapas state-government released a press-bulletin affirming that the Zapatista mobilization was carried out peacefully and respectfully.  Furthermore, it reported that it was aware of the communique published by the Zapatista leadership, indicating that on that day “all police units in the State were garrisoned so as to allow for the free flow of mobilization.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: “Todavía no nos conocen; no se adelanten”, dice Osorio al EZLN (24/12/2012)

La Jornada: Brindar justicia al EZLN y a indígenas daría legitimidad a Peña Nieto: expertos (24/12/2012)

La Jornada: Zapatistas sí conocen a gobiernos del PRI: réplica a Osorio Chong (26/12/2012)

Proceso: El ominoso silencio de los zapatistas (22/12/2012) Movilizaciones del EZLN fueron pacíficas: gobierno de Chiapas (22/12/2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas (27 December 2012)