National: Several criticisms of the presentation of Peña Nieto’s Third Report of Government

September 13, 2015

Enrique Peña Nieto during the presentation of the Third Report of Governance. Photo: @cnn méxico

Under the slogans “Mexico at peace,” “inclusive Mexico,” “Mexico with quality education,” “prosperous Mexico,” and “Mexico with global responsibility,” President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) presented his Third Governance Report on 2 September. During the presentation made at the National Palace in Mexico City, EPN made public his evaluation of the first half of his presidency, noting that he would not change the path of the reforms he had promoted, but rather accelerate this. “We will continue to build on the base we have established during the first half,” he expressed.

EPN discussed the previous year (September 2014-August 2015) as “difficult.” “Our country was profoundly hurt by a series of lamentable cases: the events of Iguala and the escape of a criminal recall the situations of violence,” he noted. According to La Jornada, the president’s comments alluded to the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa and the escape of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, “el Chapo.” Beyond this, he recognized the indignation and social rejection of both acts due to “indications of conflicts of interest that even involved the Executive branch.”

EPN also announced that there would be no new taxes or increases on those already existing, despite the decline in income from the petroleum sector. He also reported the fall in impactful crimes and the increase in poverty rates, according to the Measurement of the National Council for the Evaluation of the Policies of Social Development (CONEVAL). Beyond this, he declared that the changes to the State Institute of Public Education in Oaxaca (IEEPO) were oriented toward the “liberation of public education in Oaxaca, the particular interests that have maintained it captive for decades,” beyond ratifying the progression of the Educational Reform: “For our children and youth in Oaxaca—and throughout Mexico—the law will be applied. There will no retreat: despite the difficulties, the Educational reform will reach the last corner and school of the country.” He also warned of the risk of “believing in demagoguery, intolerance, and populism” in these moments during which there reigns “frustration and pessimism.” At the end of the report, he presented a new decalogue called “10 measures for new challenges.”

The Third Report received many criticisms by national and international organizations that believe Mexico is passing through a severe human-rights crisis that they feel was ignored in the presidential report.

For more information (in Spanish):

3r Informe de Gobierno 2014-2015 (Presidencia de la República)

El Tercer Informe de Peña Nieto en 10 frases (Animal Político, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

Iguala perturbó a México, reconoce Peña Nieto (La Jornada, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

Al dar un balance de su mandato, EPN reconoce hechos que causaron desconfianza e incertidumbre (Animal Político, 2 de septiembre de 2015)

A casi 1 año de Ayotzinapa, EPN no ha cumplido decálogo en seguridad (SinEmbargo, 7 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Nacional: Lack of confidence and strong criticisms of the Second Governmental Report presented by EPN (15 September 2014)

National: Submission of First Governmental Report amidst protests and mass-disturbances (13 September 2013)

National: Polemical ascension of EPN (7 December 2012)

Oaxaca: Multiple protests and demands that Oaxaca overcome “state of siege”

September 11, 2015

Foto @ Página 3Photo @ Página 3

Since 4 June, units from the Federal Police, the National Gendarmerie, and the Army have occupied Oaxaca due to the possibility that the teachers of this state would impede the electoral day that was held on 7 June, according to official sources. On 18 July, the security forces were reinforced after the state government assumed control of the State Institute of Public Education, an administrative entity that was previously overseen by the Section 22 of the teachers’ union. To date, over seven thousand forces have been involved in the operation.

Human-rights defense groups and social organizations from the state have called on the governor, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, to press for the immediate withdrawal of the policial and military forces from the state, following their warning that such a presence provides “evidence of the criminalization of social protest.” “In Oaxaca is lived an undeclared state of emergency,” warned several civil organizations in a public declaration.

Beyond this, the president of the Council for Political Coordination of the LXII state legislature, Jesús López Rodríguez, declared it as being unnecessary that the federal forces remain after Section 22 announced it would not boycott the beginning of the school year. “We point out to the state executive that if we could come to an agreement of peaceful coexistence with the teachers’ movement and the social movement, it would not be necessary for the federal forces to stay,” López Rodríguez observed. Beyond this, he assured that the governor went over the authority of the state congress in requesting the presence of federal forces directly from Enrique Peña Nieto, and the legislator added that there is no evidence of social instability. In his opinion, the militarization of the state only provokes fear and psychosis because “it would seem that Oaxaca is living a stage of long-term instability, and this is untrue.” He further noted that “the fear that the teachers would paralyze the state is unjustified because they are returning now to their classes. We support this move.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen organizaciones retirar de Oaxaca a militares y agentes de Policía Federal (Educa, 13 de agosto de 2015)

La militarización de Oaxaca y el magisterio (La Jornada, 18 de agosto de 2015)

Líder del Congreso pide desmilitarizar Oaxaca (Proceso, 19 de agosto de 2015)

Fuerzas federales cumplen más de un mes en Oaxaca a petición de Cué y su estancia no ha sido oficializada (Página 3, 19 de agosto de 2015)

La tentación autoritaria (Noticias Net, 19 de agosto de 2015)

Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation

September 11, 2015

La Ventosa. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

La Ventosa. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 20 August, the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), together with the organizations Project for Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH), the Project on Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER), and the National Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (Red TdT) made public a communique in which they reported a legal motion regarding grave violations to the right to consultation. This motion was carried through following the announcement by the Secretary for Energy (SENER) on 4 August that the wind-energy park owned by the Southern Wind-Energy corporation would begin to be built in the communities of Juchitán and El Espinal in the Tehuantepec Isthmus. SENER awarded the concession for construction of the park after a consultative process was effected.

In this consultation, the organizations that signed the communique, which formed part of the Civil Observation Mission reviewing the process, detected several irregularities such as the awarding of permits and contracts before the consultation was even carried out; more than 30 security incidents; 75 requests for information that went unheeded; a lack of certified translators; the development of sessions without considering the community’s traditions; and generally, a context of insecurity, coercion, violence, and lack of transparency. Furthermore, they indicated that “This is the first time that the authorities have developed a consultation with indigenous people as based on national legislation (the Law on Electrical Industry […] modified to conform with the Energy Reform). The consultation in Juchitán, in accordance with the authorities, will be the precedent to follow for projects derived from this reform, and it is for this reason that the grave human-rights violations we have documented during this process take on a national relevance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Zapotecas se amparan por violación al derecho a la consulta ante el inicio de proyecto eólico anunciado por la SENER (Prodesc, 20 de agosto de 2015)

Estado mexicano valida simulación de consulta indígena para aprobar megaproyecto de energía eólica (Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 31 de julio de 2015)

Sólo el 1% aprobó el parque eólico en Juchitán y no la mayoría como dijo Sener, acusa ONG (Sin embargo, 19 de agosto de 2015)

Reportes de la consulta sobre la construcción del parque de Eólica del Sur en Juchitán, Oaxaca (Prodesc, 8 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER celebrates its eighth anniversary

July 23, 2015

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

Río Verde (@Sipaz)

On 11 June, the Council of United Peoples in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER) observed the eighth anniversary since its founding in favor of the defense of land and life. The Council struggles for the cancelation of the “Paso de la Reina Project for Hydroelectric Exploitation,” which consists in the construction of an installation comprised of two dams being built by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). This project has been rejected by local people, “who have realized that the government seeks to allow foreign investment on their lands to appropriate natural resources,” members affirmed.

This anniversary commemorates also the sixth year of the existence of the El Zanate block, a strategy of non-violent resistance to impede CFE workers’ access to the Paso de la Reyna community, Santiago Jamiltepec municipality, in the coastal region of Oaxaca, which would be the most affected, as it is located between the two planned dams.

We will not countenance the environmental devastation that the government seeks to promote. As indigenous peoples we have the right to defend our land and to decide what we want to have happen on our ejidos, and what we do not want,” said Eloy Cruz Gregorio, a resident of the Paso de la Reyna community and member of COPUDEVER. “The Paso de la Reina hydroelectric project threatens indigenous peoples, their lands, culture, natural resources, and subsistence practices, thus threatening their right to consultation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

COPUDEVER conmemora ocho años “defendiendo la vida y el territorio” (video) (Educa, 10 de julio de 2015)

Comunidades de la costa de Oaxaca dieron su “no” rotundo a hidroeléctrica Paso de la Reina y se niegan a la consulta(DesInformémonos, 16 de julio de 2015)

Comunidad de Paso de la Reina celebra 6 años de organización y 8 de la fundación de COPUDEVER (Boca de Polen, 16 de julio de 2015)

Mantienen rechazo contra presa Paso de la Reyna (NoticiasNet, 12 de diciembre de 2014)

This is Not Development – The Story of Paso de la Reina (YouTube, 4 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/National: Peaceful protest by COPUDEVER to mark “International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life” (28 March 2014)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER mobilizes in defense of the Río Verde (20 March 2011)

Oaxaca: Radio-show host murdered in Miahuatlán

July 21, 2015


Photo @ E_oaxaca

Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento, a radio-show host for La Favorita, was killed on 2 July in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, located in the southern sierra of Oaxaca state. According to the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE), Filadelfo was intercepted by two individuals who were awaiting him at the exit of the radio-station where he worked, and they shot him to death. He has the brother of the journalist Misael Sánchez Sarmiento.

According to several media sources, the governor has ordered that the PGJE carry out an investigation to arrest the radio-show host’s murderers. A search operation was then launched.

It should be mentioned that, according to the organization Journalists without Borders, Mexico is the couintry with the sixth-highest number of murders of journalists. In the past 15 years, 103 journalists have been killed, with 25 others disappeared, according to the statistical report of the Special Prosecutorial Office for Attention to Crimes Committed against Freedom of Expression, affiliated with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a tiros a locutor en Oaxaca (Proceso, 2 de julio de 2015)

Asesinan a un locutor de radio y a un reportero (La Jornada, 3 de julio de 2015)

Asesinan a locutor en Oaxaca; hermano de periodista (Página3, 2 de julio de 2015)

En 15 años, 103 periodistas asesinados y otros 25 desaparecidos: informe de la PGR (La Jornada, 24 de febrero de 2015)

México, sexto país con más periodistas asesinados y quinto en secuestros (México CNN, 16 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists (30 March 2014)

National: launching of Consultative Council of Mechanism for Protection of Journalists and Rights-Defenders (26 October 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)

Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission

June 29, 2015

(@ADN Sureste)

(@ADN Sureste)

On the ninth anniversary of the attempt to displace the teachers’ sit-in at the zócalo in Oaxaca de Juárez in 2006, on 14 June there was held a public session at the Oaxaca Truth Commission (CVO). 14 witnesses presented testimony, while members of the CVO, including its president Alejandro Solalinde, as well as the journalist Carmen Aristegui and the Mexican representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Javier Hernández Valencia, were also present.

The CVO is an autonomous organization that seeks to clarify the repressive historical events that took place in Oaxaca between 14 June 2006 and 30 May 2007, the time period covering the displacement of the teachers from Section 22 of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) from the sit-in they had undertaken to demand better working and educational conditions. This police operation was ordered by the then governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and gave rise to the creation of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), a social movement that opposed the PRI-led government.

According to an advance copy of the CVO’s report, there were at least 500 cases of torture and 26 executions of social activists and those connected to the struggle. The public session gave voice to the testimony of women who lost their husbands, families that continue to seek out their disappeared, and political prisoners. According to Solalinde, the gravity of the acts is reflected well in the various testimonies that were presented, even if many other victims did not share their experiences out of fear. The public audience, which Javier Hernández Valencia understood as “a first step toward justice,” affirmed words such as those of Carmen Aristegui: “What should happen in the near future must incorporate the truth and memory, but above all justice, as Oaxacan society has sought out now for nearly a decade.” The CVO will put together a final report, to be presented before the judiciary in March 2016. The aim is to pressure authorities to put an end to the impunity of the acts, which represent crimes against humanity, in the view of Solalinde and his lawyer and assessor, Cuauhtémoc Ruiz.

On the same day of the public audience, a march organized by the CNTE took place, with the participation of 10,000 people. Protestors sought to commemorate the attempted displacement of 2006 and repeated their call for justice, the cancellation of articles 3 and 73 of the Constitution, and the cancellation of the educational reforms. They also protested in favor of boycotting the assessment exams for teachers that have been announced by the Secretary for Public Education (SEP).

For more information (in Spanish):

Hubo 500 casos de tortura y 26 ejecuciones en Oaxaca: Comisión de la Verdad (La Jornada, 12 de junio de 2015)

Ciudadanos de Oaxaca exigen justicia por el desalojo policial de 2006(CNN México, 14 de junio de 2015)

Confirman 26 ejecuciones y 500 torturados durante movimiento magisterial en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 15 de junio de 2015)

Sesión Pública de Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca, ejercicio inédito e importante: Aristegui (Educa, 15 de junio de 2015)

CNTE rememoró intento de desalojo del zócalo en el 2006 (e-Consulta, 14 de junio de 2015)

Comisión de la Verdad de Oaxaca (16 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Commemoration of seventh annivesary of APPO (24 June 2013)

Oaxaca: Sixth anniversary of the beginning of the 2006 social conflict (20 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Presumed killer of Brad Will is detained (5 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Violent election day: 440 incidents, 92 arrests, injured, disappeared, and one killed

June 25, 2015

Foto @ Educa

Photo @ Educa

Election day on 7 June in Oaxaca ended with 440 incidents, 92 arrests, injured, disappeared, and one killed. 283 electoral booths were burned down, 26 robbed, 56 left uninstalled, and 75 suspended operations. Given these conditions, close to 300,000 votes were nullified.

The murder of José Alfredo Jiménez Cruz, brother to the former PRI mayor of San Miguel Chimalapa, in the Tehuantepec Isthmus was confirmed. He died after being shot outside an electoral booth. The Communal General Assembly of Álvaro Obregón denounced another shooting incident, while the General Assembly of Juchitán de Zaragoza denounced the invasion of an armed group that open fired, leaving six injured, three of them gravely. In Tuxtepec, relatives of the teacher Sandra Dianelle Herrera Castro, a union leader, denounced her forcible disappearance at the hands of the Secretary for National Defense (SEDENA). She is not listed in the official registry of the arrested.

Furthermore, during the early morning of 6 June, federal security forces displaced teachers’ occupations in the cities of Huajuapan de León, Tlaxiaco, Pinotepa Nacional, Tuxtepec, and Salina Cruz. Previously, the deployment of federal forces in the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, and Oaxaca had been announced, “to guarantee the citizens’ right to vote,” amidst the possibility of violent acts. Official reports indicated the arrival of 600 soldiers to Oaxaca. For this reason, 56 civil-society organizations called on the international community, given that “the violence seen in the electoral process, including 21 political assassinations during the campaigns, is worse than prior elections at the national level, being the product of impunity, corruption, violence, and collusion with organized crime, both on the part of the political parties and the three levels of government.” In another public communique, civil-society organizations from Oaxaca denounced the “climate of terror imposed by the Mexican State by means of the Army, the Federal Police, the Gendarmerie, and the Navy.” Lastly, some 24 electoral advisors from Oaxaca demanded that the president of the National Electoral Institute, Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, postpone the elections due to the “military siege,” and as long as political and economic conditions do not improve.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Prensa de OSC de Oaxaca (Consorcio para el Diálogo y la Equidad de Género de Oaxaca, 6 de junio de 2015)

56 OSC hacen un llamamiento a la comunidad Internacional desde Oaxaca (Servicios para una Educación Alternativa, 7 de junio de 2015)

Un muerto y 440 incidentes enmarcaron elección en Oaxaca (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2015)

El diálogo fracasó, no puede haber elección en Oaxaca con cerco militar: Consejeros (Sin embargo, 6 de junio de 2015)

México: Atacan a balazos a la comunidad Gui´xhi´ro´- Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca (Kaos en la Red, 7 de junio de 2015)

Desaparecen a lideresa magisterial (Noticias Net, 8 de junio de 2015)

Maestros y activistas sabotean comicios en Oaxaca; 88 detenidos por quemar urnas (La Jornada, 8 de junio de 2015)


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