Guerrero: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa

September 11, 2015

imagenTlachiInformeOn Saturday 29 August, with the participation of some 3000 persons, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights celebrated its XXI anniversary in the city of Tlapa de Comonfort, Guerrero. Tlachinollan dedicated its activity report, entitled From the Trenches of Ayotzinapa, the Defense of Education and the Lives of the Children of the People, to the mothers and fathers of the 43 disappeared students from the Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Due to the events of 26 September 2014, “we left aside being just an office of lawyers and accompaniers to fully join the struggle of this exemplary movement,” said dijo Abel Barrera, director of Tlachinollan. He spoke of a movement that has “unmasked the reality of this country in which the military, parties, and firms collude with organized crime.”

Beyond this, he denounced that there exists a systematic pattern of attacks on the rural normal schools, particularly Ayotzinapa, and that, nearly a year after the acts, not one legal case has been initiated due to the forcible disappeared, nor has the possible responsibility of the 27th Infantry Batallion of Iguala for the crimes, which also included six other executions and torture. The representative of the UN High Commissioner’s Office in Mexico for Human Rights, Jesús Peña Palacios, indicated that “the State should never stop seeking out the disappeared until they are found.” A father of one of the 43 disappeared, Mario César González, also participated, saying that not knowing where his son causes him great despair, and that it is a sort of pain he would not wish anyone else to experience. The event ended with a march for the Ayotzinapa case toward the center of Tlapa, where a rally was held that incorporated the participation of many people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Desnuda Ayotzinapa “patrón de ataque a normales rurales” (La Jornada, 29 de agosto de 2015)

De ¡Eureka! a Tlachinollan (Carlos Fazio en La Jornada, 31 de agosto de 2015)

XXI_Informe_Tlachinollan  (agosto de 2015)

El Estado nunca debe de dejar la búsqueda de un desaparecido, dice representante de la ONU en Tlapa (El Sur de Acapulco, 30 de agosto de 2015)

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National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced

July 3, 2015

9meses

@LaJornada

On 26 June, nine months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, parents of the youth and other groups mobilized in Mexico City, carrying out a rally and an artistic event of 43 hours in length that included poetry-readings and theater next to the Bellas Artes (Fine Arts) Palace. Felipe de la Cruz, the spokesperson for the movement of relatives of the disappeared, said that “just as we have remained firm from the beginning, so will we continue until our youth appear with life.” “We tell you, State, and we say to you that we will be the pebble in your shoe, because we are not going to be silent, and we are not going to stop on our path […]. We will not stop struggling until our sons are presented with life,” said another relative of the disappeared. Also in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, many social organizations united their demands toward the presentation with life of the youth, and they took to the streets to demand justice. Using slogans such as “Down with the State!” and “Investigate the military!” protestors also carried banners denouncing military harassment and educational reforms.

On 17 June, Proceso reported that one of the 43 disappeared students was an active soldier. Previously, a journalist had requested information from the Ministry for National Defense (SEDENA) inquiring into whether any of the disappeared students had been an active soldier. According to the editors, this approach had to do with “a line of investigation regarding the degree of infiltration o the State within the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, which is considered by the political authorities to be a ‘fountain of guerrilleros.” SEDENA responded by saying that “we have found one person whose name corresponds to one of the 42 disappeared students from the Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, following your request; however, the name is classified to protect personal data.” Amidst this revelation, relatives of the disappeared stressed that this “shows clearly the military’s responsibility” in the case. Subsequently, on 26 June, personnel from the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) visited the municipal landfill of Cocula, where in October of last year a clandestine mass-grave was discovered. Beyond this, the command of the Iguala Preventive Police was shuttered, with no further information provided regarding the aim sought by this move.

For more information (in Spanish):

No nos vamos a callar”: familiares a 9 meses del caso Ayotzinapa (CNN México, 26 de junio de 2015)

Manifestantes marchan en Guerrero a 9 meses de caso Ayotzinapa(Informador.mx, 26 de junio de 2015)

Personal de PGR acude a basurero de Cocula a 9 meses del caso Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 17 de junio de 2015)

A nueve meses de su desaparición, padres de normalistas dicen: “está muy cerca la verdad” (Proceso, 27 de junio de 2015)

Personal de PGR acude a basurero de Cocula a 9 meses del caso Ayotzinapa (CNN México, 26 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (3 May 2015)

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


Guerrero: Valentina Rosendo renounces MORENA candidacy after attack

June 9, 2015

Valentina Rosendo Cantú (@Amnesty International)

Valentina Rosendo Cantú (@Amnesty International)

Valentina Rosendo Cantú has renounced her candidacy for the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador) for the mayorship of Acatepec, after she received death-threats and suffered a motor-vehicle accident that she qualified as an attack on her person. On 10 May, she was followed on the highway that leads to Tlapa de Comomfort, and for this reason had an accident. Pablo Amílcar Sandoval Ballesteros, the MORENA candidate for Guerrero state, reported the decision.

It should be recalled that Valentina Rosendo Cantú is an indigenous woman who was raped in 2000 by Army soldiers in the Ayutla de los Libres municipalities. In 2010, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights sentenced the Mexican State in the case, and demanded compensation for damages, and ordered an adequate investigation and punishment for those responsible, among other dictates.

For more information (in Spanish):

Atentan contra Valentina Rosendo y renuncia a candidatura de Morena en Guerrero (Proceso, 20 de mayo de 2015)

Una candidata de Morena en Guerrero deja la contienda por seguridad (CNN México, 20 de mayo de 2015)

La mujer a la que el gobierno de México pidió perdón renuncia a su candidatura en Guerrero (Animal Político, 20 de mayo de 2015)

Candidata de Morena a edil renuncia por temor (EL Universal, 20 de mayo de 2015)

From more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: SCJN decision in the case of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo “far from the heights” of the Court’s decision on the Radilla case (2010) (17 May 2015)

Guerrero: Murders and death-threats against candidates for June elections (17 May 2015)


Chiapas: Denunciation of military harassment of the Zapatista Good-Government Council in La Realidad

March 21, 2015

Homanaje a Galeano, La Realidad, agosto de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Homage to Galeano, La Realidad.  May 2014 (@SIPAZ)

In a communiqué released on 12 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced harassment by the Mexican Army against the Zapatista Good-Government Council of La Realidad, where a new school and clinic were recently inaugurated.  It should be recalled that on 2 May 2014, members of the Independent Historical Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) attacked support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), leading to the death of José Luis Solís López, “Galeano.”  The attack also caused the destruction of the installations that have just been rebuilt.

The CDHFBC reported that members of the Civil Observation Brigades (BriCO), made up of activists in solidarity who find themselves in the community, have reported “incursions using convoys of trucks, Hummers, Jeeps, and other motorized equipment containing between 4 and 30 Mexican soldiers each.  There have also been continuous overflights by planes and helicopters that capture images and film the BriCO members, the EZLN support bases, and the JBG offices.  Since July 2014, these actions have been on the rise, both in terms of total number of soldiers involved, as well as in the frequency of events.”

For this reason, the CDHFBC expressed its concern, “given that these constitute acts of provocation and assault that violate the rights to autonomy and self-determination as stipulated in the Mexican Constitution, the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights, Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the San Andrés Sacamchem de los Pobres Accords.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín: Ejército mexicano hostiga a la Junta de Buen Gobierno Zapatista de La Realidad (CDHFBC, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Denuncian zapatistas incursión militar en una junta de buen gobierno(Proceso, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Denuncian bases de apoyo zapatistas hostigamiento del Ejército Mexicano (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new communiques from the EZLN (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)


Guerrero: More updates in the Ayotzinapa case

January 21, 2015

omar-garcía

Omar García, a student from Ayotzinapa, after having beaten by soldiers in Iguala. Foto @Regeneración

Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, has confirmed that the team of experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will analyze the investigation of the massacre and forcible disappearance of the students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School which took place on 26 September in Iguala.  The IACHR continues to seek out persons to come to Mexico to review the evidence provided by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), the search-work carried out by the National Gendarmerie, and to decide whether the authorities are in fact exhausting all lines of investigation.  Barrera Hernández has confirmed that an agreement had been signed with the federal government to ensure that the experts also be protected by the precautionary measures that the IACHR will award to the parents of the disappeared students.

Meanwhile, the search for the disappeared students continues.  The relatives of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa began their citizens’ searches on Saturday 10 January in the northern sierra of Guerrero, in the community known as Filo del Caballo. During a meeting between the parents of the disappeared and representatives from the Citizens’ Forensic Science organization, which has documented more than 300 cases of disappearances in this city, Felipe de la Cruz, a father of the disappeared, indicated that their counterparts have information that suggests that the students could be in this region.  De la Cruz recalled that all social organizations are invited to participate in the search for the students.  He repeated that the parents would not request the assistance of the federal government, given that it has produced no results, more than 3 months after the students were taken.  “They have no leads.  They have arrested more than 90 [people], but no one has said where they are.  For that reason, we believe the word of the people,” he declared.

Beyond this, on 12 January, parents of the disappeared students had a confrontation with military riot police and state forces when they attempted to enter the barracks of the 27th Infantry Batallion in Iguala, to continue their search for their disappeared sons.  Students who were present near the infantry base were attacked by the police with tear-gas and water-cannons.  The protestors used two trucks to tear down the entrance of the base and rescue the students they believe are being held there.  Mobilizations against military installations spread to the Acapulco and Cruz Grande municipalities.  In these, protestors demanded the opening of the barracks to facilitate the search for the disappeared youth, as they hold that there is “evidence” that the Army participated in the crime.  Regardless, the federal authorities deny that that is the case, and they claim the case to be the responsibility of the municipal police of Iguala and Cocula, tied to drug-trafficking interests.

For more information (in Spanish):

Cabildea ya la CIDH entre los expertos que revisarán el expediente de Ayotzinapa, adelanta Tlachinollan (Sur Acapulco, 12 de enero de 2015)

Comenzará mañana en la sierra norte búsqueda de normalistas (El Universal, 9 de enero de 2015)

Se enfrentan padres de Ayotzinapa con militares, cuatro heridos(Regeneración, 12 de enero de 2015)

Padres de normalistas se enfrentan con militares en Iguala (CNN México, 12 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Oaxaca: Civil organizations denounce attack on female human-rights defender

July 14, 2014

Foto (@EDUCA)

Photo (@EDUCA)

During the early morning of 4 July 2014, a female activist and human-rights defender was sexually assaulted by a soldier in the Mexican Army.  The defender, member of the organization Union of Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) and the Network of Female Defenders, whose name has not been disclosed for security reasons, was en route to Oaxaca City from Matías Romero to attend the “Communication in Defense of Land” conference in the School for Communal Human-Rights Defenders.  The assault took place on an ADO bus in which she was traveling.

The victim attempted to denounce the abuse, firstly to the bus driver and then at a military checkpoint that halted the bus in San Pedro Totolapan, but on both occasions she was ignored.  On the contrary, since the case involved a high-level military man, she was told that nothing could be done.

The next day, close to 20 civil organizations published a letter denouncing the aggression, stressing that “beyond constituting a crime stipulated in article 241 of the Penal Code of Oaxaca as well as a clear human-rights violation, this is a very serious act in terms of the security of users of the system maintained by the firm, and even graver still because it involves an assault perpetrated by a high-ranking military official.”  The organizations added that the lack of response “shows the abuse of power and discrimination engaged in by the members of the armed forces.”

Lastly, in the letter the organizations demanded that the ADO bus firm “immediately respond to the complaint made by the human-rights defender, that it provides the corresponding authorities with the details of the aggressor soldier, that it guarantee reparations, and that it provide a public response regarding security policies for their users.”

Sadly, the case of 4 July is no isolated case.  Between 2011 and 2013, according to the Network All Rights for All, there were 409 assaults committed against human-rights defenders in Mexico.  Included within these aggressions most commonly are harassment, surveillance, robbery, kidnapping, forced disappearance, arbitrary arrests, death-threats, and torture, as well as murders.  27 human-rights defenders have been killed between 2011 and 2013: 16 men and 11 women, the majority of them in Guerrero, Michoacán, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, and Puebla.

For more information (in Spanish):

Militar agrede sexualmente a defensora de derechos humanos en autobus de empresa ADO (EDUCA, 7 de julio de 2014)

Militar ebrio abusa sexualmente de una activista en Oaxaca (Proceso, 7 de julio de 2014)

ONG´s denuncian irresponsabilidad del ADO; activista fue agredida a bordo de autobús (Página3, 7 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: One of the most violent and dangerous states for the exercise of journalism (May 16, 2014)

National: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM (30 March 2014)
Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (2 May 2013)


Guerrero: Beginning of legal processes against soldiers presumed as responsible in the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo

January 15, 2014

(@justiciaporinesyvalentina.wordpress.com)

(@justiciaporinesyvalentina.wordpress.com)

During the final third of 2013, the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) arrested four soldiers from the Mexican Army who in February and March 2002 presumably raped the Guerrerense indigenous women Valentina Rosendo Cantú and Inés Fernández Ortega.  In both cases, the Mexican State was judged and found guilty by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in August 2010.  Three of the four subjects remained as soldiers at the time of their arrests.

In a 9 January 2014 press release, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights announced the beginning of the legal processes on the charges of rape, torture, and abuse of authority, among others.  The bulletin emphasized that “this decisive step toward justice for Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, nearly twelve years since the occurrence of the acts, would have been impossible without the resolve of the two Me’phaa women.  In this sense, it is an emblematic triumph for all women who, despite the obstacles and adversities, raise their voices and denounce violence.”  Tlachinollan demanded that “the security and integrity of both women, their families, and their representatives be guaranteed.  Toward this end, it will be indispensable that national and international public opinion continue following the course of the trials which have just begun.

For more information (in Spanish):

COMUNICADO | Comienzan procesos penales contra probables responsables de las violaciones graves de Derechos Humanos cometidas contra Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (Tlachinollan, 9 de enero de 2014)

Capturan a militares por violar a indígenas hace 12 años (Animal político, 6 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Guerrero: Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández receive recognitions of their struggle (16 November 2012)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)