Guerrero: Murders and death-threats against candidates for June elections

May 17, 2015

Instituto Nacional Electoral (@redpolitica.mx)

National Electoral Institute (@redpolitica.mx)

On 1 May, a group of hitmen murdered Ulises Fabián Quiroz, the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s (PRI) candidate for the mayorship of Chilapa in the forthcoming elections planned for 7 June.  José Santos Valdivia, the substitute choice for the PRI-Green alliance for the same office, refused to continue with the electoral campaign.  The candidate for the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA), Laura Patricia Hernández Carrillo, had just announced days before that she would be suspending her candidacy for security reasons.

On 31 April, the New Alliance Party (PANAL) reported the murder of four of its members as they were returning from a campaign rally in Ixcapuzalco, the municipal center of Pedro Ascención, in the north of the state

Also in April, the gubernatorial candidate for the Citizens’ Movement (MC), Luis Walton Aburto, cancelled his proselytizing tour in the Mountain region, after he had been intercepted together with his cabinet by an armed group in the municipal center of Chilapa de Álvarez.

In mid-March, Aidé Nava González, candidate of the Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD) for the mayorship of Ahuacuotzingo, located below the Mountain region, was found dead in the surroundings of the Tecoanapa community, near where she had been taken by armed subjects days prior.

To date, the authorities believe these violent acts to be localized, and that there still exist the adequate conditions for elections next month.

In a communique published at the beginning of May, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights warned that the “violence has no limits, and the lack of capacity of the authorities to confront it is evident.  The political class finds itself trapped within its own labyrinth.  It fell into the same claws of the crow that gave birth to it, and it has had to submit itself to the very laws of barbarism which it has itself imposed.  Guerrero is a territory mined by violence.  There is no place there that escapes control by organized crime […].  The weakness of State institutions contrasts with the strength of criminal organizations, whose power has been demonstrated as being capable of executing local and state authorities.  This monster has set down its roots within the very same State structures.  It is a central part of the way in which power is exercised, and in which politics take place […].  Violence traps us, and what has disrupted the electoral process is what the authorities have not desired to see and address.  They prefer to focus their attention on the social organizations that openly have called for there not to be elections.  The State dismisses them for being bold enough to call into question the carrying-out of said elections.  It views them as a great threat, and among the most dangerous groups within this electoral situation.  The State has not attended to their demands in a profound way: that is, the situations that truly imperil the lives of the people.  Nor has it paid attention to the claims that within the political parties candidates develop which respond above all to the interests of organized crime.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Candidatos temen por su seguridad; suplente del PRI-Chilapa rehúye postulación (Excelsior, 5 de mayo de 2015)

Guerrero, en medio de la tormenta. (Centro de derechos humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 5 de mayo de 2015)

Nueva Alianza lamenta el asesinato de cuatro miembros en Guerrero (CNN México, 4 de mayo de 2015)

Sicarios preguntaron por líder criminal antes de ejecutar a candidato en Guerrero (Proceso, 4 de mayo de 2015)

La violencia del narco amenaza las elecciones al sur de México (El País, 4 de mayo de 2015)

“Violencia en Guerrero, focalizada”, Ortega descarta crisis en elecciones(CNN México, 2 de mayo)

Grupo armado intercepta y encañona a Luis Walton en Chilapa (Proceso, 25 de abril de 2015)

Hallan decapitada a precandidata perredista a edil de Ahuacuotzingo (La Jornada, 12 de marzo de 2015)

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Guerrero: update in the Ayotzinapa case

December 17, 2014

San_Cristobal

Photo @SIPAZ

The parents and relatives of the disappeared normalist students have rejected the version presented by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) that the youth were burned and reduced to ashes in the garbage-dump of Cocula, Guerrero.  The families held that the remains of Alexander Mora Venancio, the only one of the 43 students who has been identified, were provided by the government to maintain the version of the three narco-hitmen who confessed to burning the remains of the students after killing them.  “The Argentinian investigators cannot confirm that these remains were found in Cocula, because they were not present at the time of the discovery of the remains [of Alexander Mora], such that the black bags containing the remains were open,” said a representative.  The director of the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Innsbruck, Austria, affirmed that expectations are “very low” that the laboratory will be able to identify the human remains that were presumably found in Cocula, because the conditions to which they were consciously exposed converted them to a “very challenging” state.

Beyond this, civil-society organizations have defended the legal representatives of the families of the 43 students disappeared by the police in Iguala, after it was reported that the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN), associated with the Secretary of Governance, had qualified them as a “danger for governance,” making reference to members of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights.  In a communique, 19 human-rights organizations denounced and lamented that the government would try to discredit human-rights defenders and use public resources to weaken the movement for the disappeared in place of employing the capacities of intelligence agencies to combat the infiltration and corruption of the “narco-State” and ensure that grave human-rights violations do not remain in impunity.

On 3 December, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OACNUDH) visited the Rural Normal school of Ayotzinapa to meet with relatives and friends of the disappeared students.  The visit was part of a follow-up campaign that the OACNUDH has provided in the case.  The Office reiterated its solidarity and energetic denunciation of the events of Iguala.

In a communique from 10 December, the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico demanded that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto clarify the role played by the Mexican Army and federal police in the disappearance of the 43 students.  In this way, it also demanded that Angela Merkel’s government suspend negotiations regarding security agreements with Mexico until the latter government provides a report on the general situation of human rights in Mexico.  On 10 December, the German daily Tages Zeitung reported that at least 36 of the weapons presumably used against the normalist students of Ayotzinapa were G-36 German assault rifles, produced by the Heckler & Koch corporation.  A day previous, on 9 December, deputies of the green parties in the European Parliament protested inside the parliament building in Brussels, demanding that the Mexican government use all possible means of finding the disappeared students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School alive.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defienden 19 ONG a Vidulfo Rosales y Abel barrera ante ataques del CISEN (El Sur de Acapulco, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa – ONU-DH visita a familiares y compañeros de los normalistas en Ayotzinapa y reitera su respaldo a sus demandas de justicia (Tlachinallon, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Defendamos a Tlachinollan ante ataques del Cisen (EDUCA, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Son “muy bajas” las expectativas para identificar los restos de Cocula, dice la universidad de Austria (El Sur de Acapulco, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Ayotzinapa: Vivos los queremos (El Topil, diciembre de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa (Coordinación alemana, 10 de diciembre de 2014)

Acuerdo de seguridad Alemania-México: inminente y poco transparente(Deutsche Welle, 10 de diciembre de 2014)

Se utilizaron armas alemanas en ataque a normalistas (Proceso, 10 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: At least 170,000 displaced in Mexico

December 15, 2014

índice

On 26 November in Mexico City, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights presents its book Internal Displacement Induced by Violence: A Global Experience, a Mexican Reality, as written by Laura Rubio Díaz-Leal, an investigator and member of said organization.

The aim of the book is to make visible the victims of displacement and to call on the State to create an assistance program and to take into account this now-ignored phenomenon.

The author of the work commented during her presentation that, in the majority of the country, it was quite impossible to document how many Mexicans have left their homes due to violence, but a very conservative calculation estimates at least 170,000.

In this sense, Esperanza Hernández, the spokesperson for at least 600 families from 40 communities in Sinaloa state that have been displaced by the violence of organized crime in the state, noted that “They [the cartels] patrolled as though they were the government; they threatened us and told us that if we didn’t leave, they would conscript us into their service.  On 10 January 2012, they killed a neighbor of Ocurague and the next day during the night, they killed an entire family.  Maddened by fear, we decided to flee and leave everything behind.”

Ramón Cossío, justice for the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), noted for his part that “this involves not only the act of leaving the place where one would desire to stay, but also it is a question of leaving due to finding oneself in a situation of extraordinary complexity.  The phenomenon of the displaced continues without name in Mexico, and for this reason it is not attended to by the State.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Desdeña el gobierno desplazamientos forzados por la inseguridad: expertos,  La Jornada 30 de noviembre de 2014

Al menos 170 mil personas desplazadas por violencia en México, Diariopresente, 1 de diciembre de 2014

Desplazados por violencia en México, un fenómeno ignorado que afecta al menos a 170 mil personas, Animal Politico, 1 de diciembre de 2014

Desplazados en México son víctimas y requieren tratamiento, CNN, 26 de julio de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas : “return without justice” of those displaced from the Puebla ejido (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)


Chiapas/International: Spanish journalists leave the country amidst threats of extortion and disappearance

November 12, 2014

Melchor Miralles (@Wikipedia)

Melchor Miralles (@Wikipedia)

On 1 November, Melchor Miralles, the ex-director of Mundo TV (Spain) and present director general of Atar Productions, received several calls threatening him with extortion and kidnapping.  He was located in Tapachula, Chiapas, with five other Spanish journalists to collect information regarding the migration of Central Americans toward the U.S. on the southern Mexican border.  They have all decided to leave Mexico.  The Federal Police and agents from the Special Prosecutorial Office for Crimes Committed against Migrants from the Chiapas state Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) provided a security escort for their departure.

In an article entitled “Hell” published in his column “On the sidewalk” on the Spanish daily Republica.com, Miralles noted that “It is no consolation, but the corruption in this country is a joke compared with the processes that have converted Mexico not into a failed state, but rather into a comatose state that has been taken over or handed over entirely to organized crime.”

En un artículo titulado “El Infierno” publicado en su columna denominada “En el andén” del diario español Republica. com, Miralles expresó: : “No consuela, pero nuestra corrupción es una broma si la comparamos con la que ha convertido a México no en un Estado fallido, sino en un Estado comatoso en el que los tres poderes están tomados, o entregados, al crimen organizado que todo lo puede”.

For more information (in Spanish):

El infierno (En el Anden, Reforma.com, 2 de noviembre de 2014)

Periodistas españoles huyen del país tras recibir amenazas de secuestro (Proceso, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Periodistas españoles salen de Chiapas ante amenazas (Milenio, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Españoles dejan el país ante amenaza (El Universal, 4 de noviembre de 2014)