National: Mobilizations at the national level against high-electricity prices

February 12, 2013

Imagen de la movilización en la Ciudad de México @ La Jornada

On 7 February there were carried out protests and blockades in the capital and in several states of Mexico to protest high-electricity prices.  The mobilization had been organized by the National Network of Civil Resistance against High-Electricity Prices, the National Alliance of Electricity Users (ANUEE), and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME).  The marches and actions were held in Chiapas, Campeche, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Chihuahua, and Mexico City.  The principal demand of these protests was a change in energy policy that would include just prices, access to electricity as a human right, and the generation of sustainable energy from the people.  Furthermore, there was demanded the cancellation of wind-energy, mining, and hydroelectrical projects, as well as end to the criminalization of social protest.

It should be mentioned that during these protests in Chiapas, Nataniel Hernandez, director of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights, was arrested while he was in a meeting with the regional sub-delegate for the government.  He was released during the evening, without any sort of explanation regarding the grounds for his arrest.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Tarifas justas de luz y fin a la presión, exigen miles en marcha (08/02/2013)

La Jornada: O comemos o pagamos, grito en jornada nacional contra altos cobros (08/02/2013)

La Jornada: Padecen usuarios de la CFE indefensión y maltrato al quejarse por altos cobros (08/02/2013)

Proceso: Policías retienen siete horas al director del centro Digna Ochoa en Chiapas (07/02/2013)

Proceso: Protestan en Oaxaca por altas tarifas de luz (07/02/2013)

Koman Ilel: PRIMER REPORTE MOVILIZACIÓN NACIONAL CONTRA ABUSOS DE CFE (07/02/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: National day of protests against high electricity prices (4 April 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)

Campeche: Arrest of activist campaigning against high electricity prices (26 May 2010)

Mexico: AI Declares Activists against High Electricity Tariffs Prisoners of Conscience (10 March 2010)

 

Oaxaca: Detención y liberación posterior de la defensora Bettina Cruz Velázquez (23/02/2012)

Chiapas: Manifestaciones contra las altas tarifas de la luz (13/09/2011)


Chiapas: detentions vis-a-vis blockade of road Tonalá-Pijijiapan during action of the Other Campaign

February 26, 2011

On 22 February 2011, members of the Autonomous Council of the Coast, adherents to the Other Campaign, organized partial blockades of the Tonalá-Pijijiapan road that connects the coastal zone with Tuxtla Gutiérrez, capital of the state, as well as a campaign of information and denunciation as a part of an action of solidarity demanding that repression directed against adherents of San Sebastián Bachajón be halted together with repression targeting the political prisoners of the Voz of Amate, those in a solidarity hunger-strike, and the organized peoples of Mitzitón.  According to the demonstrators, hours after their action ended there arrived approximately 300 federal and state police who arrested more than 50 people, among them women and minors.

During the morning of the following day the women and minors were released, leaving 19 detained.  Among them is found Nataniel Hernández, director of the “Digna Ochoa” Center for Human Rights, a civil association created in 2009 that works to defend and promote human rights in the coastal zone of the state, and two lawyers from this organization.  On 23 February, the Public Minister of Tonalá confirmed that the detained found themselves offering their declarations; as of mid-day, their juridical situation had not been clearly defined.

A communiqué of the State Attorney General’s Office indicated that the operation to dismantle the roadblock was carried out “in observation of the eviction-protocols that respect human rights, obeying the state of alert released by users of the road who reported that the blockaders were charging 100 pesos for pedestrians to cross, which affected hundreds of people, personal automobiles and private and public transport.”

Collective-members of the Other Campaign denounced for their part a new escalation of violence and repression against the communities organized as a part of the Other Campaign, indicating the aggressions and attacks in Bachajón, Mitzitón, and now the coast as part of the same strategy.

For more information (in Spanish):

Federal police detain 19 adherents of the Other Campaign of the EZLN (CNN Mexico, 23 February 2011)

The release of 19 campesinos and fisherfolk of Chiapas is demanded (Proceso, 23 February 2011)

19 activists arrested in Chiapas (La Jornada, 24 February 2011)

Communiqué from the Coastal Zone, Tonalá, Chiapas (23 February 2011)

Denunciation of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights

Denunciation of the Network against Repression Chiapas in light of the escalation of violence (23 February 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Caravan of women to San Sebastian Bachajón (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: Agua Azul, new happenings and denunciations (17 February 2011)

Chiapas: update in the Agua Azul case (14 February 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (10 February 2011)

Chiapas: confrontation over control point at Agua Azul leaves one dead and several injured (7 February 2011)

Chiapas: Judicial harassment of human-rights defender (21 June 2010)


Chiapas: the Peace Network expresses its concern for the possible detention of human-rights defender

July 19, 2010
Marcha del movimiento en contra de las altas tarifas en Tonalá, el 8 de marzo de 2010 @ Consejo Regional Autónomo de la Zona Costa de Chiapas

March of the movement against high electricity-prices in Tonalá, 8 March 2010 @ the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas

The Peace Network, comprised of civil and human-rights organizations in the state of Chiapas, expressed in a pronouncement its worry regarding the open judicial process against Nataniel Hernández Nuñez, director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, which could result in his detention.  We here reproduce the bulletin in full:

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

13 July 2010

Pronouncement of the Peace Network

  • Concern for the criminalization of the work of human-rights defender
  • Call to respect the accompaniment of organizational processes

We, the civil organizations that comprise the Peace Network in Chiapas, manifest our profound concern for the judicial process that accuses Nataniel Hernández Nuñez, director of the “Digna Ochoa” Human-Rights Center, in the city of Tonalá, Chiapas.

The accusation was presented against Hernández Nuñez for his presence as a human-rights observer in a peaceful protest carried out by the Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone on 13 April 2010.  During the event, the Council, which is part of the Other Campaign, denounced the stealing of electrical cables that two communities that pertain to the Autonomous Council had suffered.  Furthermore, protestors demanded that the Federal Commission of Electricity reinstall the electrical service that had left more than 150 families–resisting high-electricity prices–without electricity for more than a week.

On 11 June 2010, the AFI arrived at Nataniel Hernández Nuñez’s home to present an order demanding his presence on 15 June at 10:00am in the city of Arriaga, Chiapas.  In this order Hernández Nuñez was informed that there exists an investigation (no. AVP/PGR/032/2010) against him, one that charges him with the crime of attacking means of communication, a situation that places him in a state of permanent vulnerability: “The procedural state in which [Nataniel Hernández Nuñez] finds himself is that of the previously mentioned investigation; pending is the arraignment and the request for the arrest-order, if the necessary elements are found to exist.”

As human-rights defenders, we are concerned by the legal punishment imposed by the state government against this human-rights defender, a case that seems to represent yet another example of the recurring criminalization of the work of defense and accompaniment realized by human-rights organizations in the case of different organizations and communities that promote civil and peaceful transformation in Chiapas.

We call on the appropriate state and federal authorities to do the following:

  1. Immediately suspend the judicial process against the director of the “Digna Ochoa” Human-Rights Center, seeing as it is clearly a crime invented to criminalize and make difficult his work.
  2. Cease the vigilance and harassment of Nataniel Hernández Nuñez, as well as the rest of the members of the “Digna Ochoa” Human-Rights Center.
  3. Respect the work of human-rights defenders in all of Mexico.

Regards

Member organizations of the Peace Network

Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Políticas de Acción Comunitaria, A.C. (Ciepac)

Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, A.C. (Desmi)

Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria, A.C. (Coreco)

Enlace Capacitación y Comunicación, A.C. (Enlace CC)

Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz, A.C. (Serapaz)

Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, A.C. (CDMCH)

Centro de Derechos Indígenas, A.C. (Cediac)

Comité de Derechos Humanos Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada, A.C.

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, A.C. (Frayba)

Educación para la Paz (Edupaz)

For more information (in Spanish):

Joint bulletin from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human-Rights Center and the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center (pdf) (16 July 2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Judicial Harrassment of Human-Rights Defender (21 June 2010)


Chiapas: Judicial Harassment of Human-Rights Defender

June 21, 2010

Manifestación Consejo Autónomo dela Costa (@CDH Digna Ochoa)

On 18 June, the Observation-Institution for the Protection of Human Rights, which is associated with the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requested the intervention of the Mexican government in light of acts of judicial harassment against Nataniel Hernández, director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, in the coastal region of Chiapas.

On 11 June, Nataniel Hernández was called before the Public Ministry; he arrived on the 15th, there to be informed that an investigation had been undertaken into his participation in a road-block in the municipality of Pijijiapan in April.  This road-block had been organized by several community organizations engaging in civil resistance against high electricty-prices; they form the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas.  During the interrogation that lasted three hours, Hernández admitted having been presented at the road-block, given that “in his capacity as director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, […] his presence as an observer had been requested, so that he could document any rights-violation that could occur during the event”.

In a joint communiqué, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human-Rights Center and the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center find that “the investigations of the Federal Attorney General’s Office in the city of Arriaga, Chiapas, constitute acts of harassment against Mr. Nataniel, linked to his work in defense and promotion of human rights.  We fear that the Federal Public Minister Angel Sandoval Lara turn the case over the corresponding judge and concurrently request an arrest-order against the director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Joint bulletin Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human-Rights Center (16 June)

Urgent Action from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH, 17 June)

Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center Blog