Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists; the CFE returns to the area of La Parota

February 8, 2012

@ Milenio

 Photo @ Milenio

The Observatory for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders, a program associated with the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has requested the urgent intervention of the international community in light of the lack of progress that has been had in the official investigation regarding hte forced disappearance of the human-rights defenders Marcial Bautista Valle, presdient of OCESP, and Eva Alarcón Ortiz, coordinator of the same organization.  More than a month after their disappearance, the international organization has expressed its grave “concern for the security and physical and psychological integrity of Eva Alarcón Ortiz and Marcial Bautista Valle, fearing that their disappearance is clearly linked to their work as human-rights defenders.  We fear also that this act has as its end the discouragement of other rights-defenders in the state of Guerrero in their work.”

In other news, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP), has denounced that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has initiated work to measure space related to the the La Parota project in the zone of the communal lands of Cacahuatepec.  “It would seem that they are measuring a line, a breach, through which a high-electricity line would pass from the area in which the dam would be located,” noted Suástegui Muñoz.  He said that there exists fear among the opponents to the project because the federal government has earmarked 750 million pesos for the hydroelectric dam in its 2012 budget.  For this reason CECOP will organize to prevent the work from being undertaken.

For more information (in Spanish):

Observatorio para la protección de defensores emite llamado urgente ante nulos avances de autoridades para encontrar a Eva y Marcial (CENCOS, 17 January 2012)

ONG exigen acelerar la búsqueda de los activistas Eva Alarcón y Marcial Bautista (La Jornada, 18 January 2012)

Observatorio Internacional para la protección de DDHH, hace llamado urgente a autoridades mexicanas por desaparición forzada de ecologistas Marcial Bautista y Eva Alarcón (CDH Tlachinollan, 17 January 2012)

120117 Accion Urgente_Eva_Marcial_ El Observatorio_OMCT_FIDH(OMCT, Acción Urgente, 17 January 2012) (pdf)

Acción Urgente Internacional: Eva y Marcial continúan desaparecidos (Centro ProDH, 18 January 2012)

Vuelve la CFE al área de La Parota, denuncia CECOP; comunidades detuvieron a un grupo de obreros (Educa, 12 January 2012)

Vuelve la CFE a Cacahuatepec a pesar de la orden del Tribunal (La Jornada Guerrero, 11 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologist are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: CFE contemplates acceleration of La Parota project (27 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: CECOP celebrates its 8th anniversary (18 August 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Mining exploration continues in the Montaña region without permission from communities; reinstallation of the blockade against La Parota January 13, 2011

Guerrero – briefs: Conflict continues in the Sierra de Petatlán; displaced in the sierra de Coyuca de Catalán return to La Laguna; pressure to retire the Communal Police from several communities

August 19, 2011

Javier Torres Cruz @ Viento de Libertad

On 27 July, the youth Natalia Ruiz Martínez, who has found the Torres family from the community of La Morena in the Sierra de Petatlán responsible for the murder of her brother, Zenaido Ruiz Martínez, has reported that two armed persons entered her house in Zihuatanejo, breaking the door so as to enter.  They threatened Natalia and her two children with death and pressured her to declare that her denunciation against the Torres family was false and that she instead say that those who killed her brother are the members of the Organization of Ecologist Campesinos in the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán (OCESP), Servando Bautista, Jesús Bautista, and Hilario Espinoza.

The governor of the state, in accordance with an investigation being held to determine the causes that drive the violence in this zone, reports that it could be that a conflict of consideration dimensions take place in said region due to the confrontation among these groups.  The coordination of the OCESP for its part said that the problem of the Sierra de Petatlán is not a dispute among groups of organized crime, but rather that they are murders and death-threats against the civil population, in light of which governmental authorities do nothing.  It added that it is this type of impunity which has provoked the exodus that is seen in these days.

In other news, the 177 displaced individuals from La Laguna who find themselves taking refuge in Puerto de Las Ollas, Sierra de Coyuca de Catalán, have decided to return to their lands, and they ask that the state government provide protective measures for the return journey.  It is known that on 27 July there was an interview held with the Secretary General of government and with the Secretary of Public Security and Protection, from whom representatives of the displaced requested that the police protection they currently have in Puerto de Las Ollas also be had in La Laguna, Hacienda de Dolores, and Los Huajes de Ayala, communities to which the displaced pertained before the murder of three youth on 17 April.

Lastly, the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC-Communal Police) has reported that citizens of the municipality of Marquelia have pressured mayor Jesús Rico Santana to retire the communal police who are providing their services in several communities of this municipality by 30 July.  The CRAC notes in a communiqué: “Our Communal Police is of the people and for the people.  The only commands our communal institution take are made in the assembly of each community, which decides and names its group of security, in such a way that only the communities decide whether to receive the services of the institution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazan a la joven que denunció un crimen en la sierra de Petatlán(El Sur de Acapulco, 28 July)

Piden desplazados en Las Ollas condiciones de paz y seguridad para regresar a su comunidad (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 July)

El gobierno del estado es responsable del éxodo en la sierra, dice la Organización Ecologista (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 July)

Presión para eliminar policía comunitaria (La Jornada Guerrero, 28 July)

Rechaza la CRAC presión para que retire de Marquelia a la Policía Comunitaria (El Sur de Acapulco, 29 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: briefs : incursion of Navy forces in La Morena community (27 July)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)

Guerrero: National Meeting for the Justice and Security of the People–15 years of the CRAC-PC (21 October 2010)

Guerrero: briefs – NGOs present amicus brief to Inter-American Court on case of environmentalists; activist is detained

September 23, 2010

Teodoro Cabrera García and Rodolfo Montiel Flores (@TVSur)

On 10 September, the Mexican Center for Environmental Rights (CEMDA) and the Inter-American Association for the Defense of the Environment (AIDA) presented an amicus brief to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of the environmental activists Teodoro Cabrera García and Rodolfo Montiel Flores against the Mexican State.  The document emphasizes the importance of the work of environmental-rights defenders and identifies those responsible for attacks on such defenders in Meixco.  The document concludes by requesting that the IACHR “recognize the special importance of the work of Cabrera and Montiel Flores […], in particular given the lack of effective resources that exist for environmental protection,” “take into consideration the general context of attacks and harassment directed against human-rights defenders in Mexico,” and “declare the violation of the right of liberty of association of Cabrera García and Montiel Flores.”

In 1998, Teodoro Cabrera and Rodolfo Montiel founded the Organization of Ecological Campesinos of the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán (OCESP) in the hopes of protecting the forests of the state of Guerrero.  In 1998 they were arbitrarily detained and tortured for their work.  Although released in 2001, they were not declared to be innocent.  The two activists appealed to the IACHR in 2010, asserting that Mexican authorities had done nothing to compensate them for their suffering nor to guarantee their security.

In other news, on Tuesday 14 September, a commando-group kidnapped Víctor Ayala Tapia, leader of the Free Front Hermenegildo Galeana, in the community of Papanoa from the municipality of Tecpan de Galeana, Guerrero.  In a press conference, Javier Monroy, leader of the Workshop for Communal Development (TADECO), reported that Ayala Tapia is member of the National Civic Revolutionary Association (ACNR) and that he led the occupation of city hall to demand a solution to the requests of the social court last week.  Monroy claimed that “we believe that the disappearance of our comrade constitutes an action taken by the municipal police and by groups of armed individuals dressed as civilians.” Ayala Tapia’s relatives released a communiqué in which they request that those who have the leader imprisoned release him.  “The relatives, fathers, brothers, wife, and friends of Víctor Ayala Tapia request those who have Víctor Ayala in their power to respect his life.  We have faith that you will come to realize that Víctor is innocent and that you will understand all that we are suffering.  His wife and children await his return, alive […].  We guarantee that the captors will suffer no revenge from anyone.” The document ends by listing the numbers 7424241431 and 7421063324 for those who wish to share information regarding the whereabouts of Ayala Tapia.  Enlace Zapatista released an Urgent Action on 14 September, demanding that the activist be presented alive immediately.

For more information (in Spanish):

CEMDA and AIDA letter to the Inter-American Court (10 September)

CEMDA and AIDA present case before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in the case of Teodoro Cabrera Carcía and Rodolfo Montiel Flores against Mexico (Centro Pro, 17 September)

Relatives of Víctor Ayala call for his release; “he is a wholesome person” (La Jornada, 20 September)

Urgent Action (Enlace Zapatista, 14 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Briefs – AI pronouncement; Forum of Environmental Defenders (2 August 2010)

Guerrero: Briefs – AI pronouncement; Forum of Environmental Defenders

August 2, 2010

On Tuesday 27 July was published in an article in El Sur de Acapulco declarations made by the Guerrero governor Zefererino Torreblanca regarding the imprisonment of Raúl Hernández and his designation as a politicla prisoner by Amnesty International (AI).  He insinuated that AI is mistaken in this case, saying that “if the state-government is sure that it will be accused, it should not retire [the charges],” and that “defense of human rights is confused with legality, since there is evidence.”  AI responded with a pronouncement: “Amnesty International takes up cases of prisoners of conscience only following copious analysis of a given case that allows it to conclude not only regarding the innocence of the processed person, but also […] of the form in which the justice system is utilized on occasion to persecute leaders, social activists, and individuals for their ethnic origin, sex, social condition–and if they are human-rights defenders.”  Hernández was detained in 2008 for a supposed homicide of an informant of the Mexican army.  The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights is organizing the defense of Raúl Hernández and has already shown all the evidence for the innocence of the member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM). The sentence is expecte dto be announced during the first half of the month of August.

On Wednesday 28 July, a month after the appearance of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), a forum was held on environmental defenders and criminalization of social protest in the installations of hte Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Center ProDH) in Mexico City.  Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera are members of the Organization of Ecological Campesinos of the Sierra of Petatlán and Coyucade Catalán (OCESP); they will have their audience against the Mexican State this month in San José, Costa Rica.  Both environmental defenders were detained and tortured by the Mexican army in 1990 for crimes they did not commit.  In 2000 they were sentenced to prison for a term of between 6 and 10 years.  After having presented the case to the IACHR in 2001, they were released without having been exonerated for the crimes they were charged with.

For more information (in Spanish):

Zeferino insinuates that he is sure of the accusation against the indigenous prisoner of conscience of Ayutla (El Sur de Acapulco, 27 July)


Environmental defenders: the new patriots (CentroProdh, 29 July)

Campesinos ecologistas en busca de justicia ante la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CENCOS, 29 de julio)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: resurgence of conflict over the possible construction of the La Parota dam (27 April 2010)

Guerrero – Briefs: Detention of FODEG member, Raúl Hernández receives threats and announcement of the commemoration of the massacre at Aguas Blancas (30 June 2010)