Chiapas: Peace Network denounces absence of Chiapas state government in the Primero de Agosto case

July 22, 2015

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Temporary camp, Photo@Sipaz

On 15 July, the Peace Network, of which SIPAZ forms a part, published a communique denouncing the omission of the Chiapas state government with regard to the violation of the human rights of the forcibly displaced people from the Primero de Agosto community. This conclusion has to do with the fact that, two days prior, both the Coordinator of the Subsecretary for Governance, Gustavo Víctor Moscoso Zenteno, as well as the Special Prosecutor for Indigenous Justice, Cristóbal Hernández Hernández, failed to show to the meetings that had been arranged with the Peace Network.

Two months after the civil observation mission that was held on 11 May, the member-organizations of the Peace Network presented evidence showing that the grave conditions of the displaced families have not improved, and that death-threats and attacks on the camp of the displaced continue to be prosecuted by members of the Historical Independent Center for Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H). The Network’s communique expresses that “despite the various meetings that we have had with the state government, the State has not observed the accords to which it had agreed as a means of resolving the problem in a profound way, through the recognition of the right to the land from which the families of the Primero de Agosto community were displaced. These commitments were signed in a meeting on 25 February 2015, when the Chiapas state government committed itself to guaranteeing the redistribution of 50% of the land [the displaced] had had in the Primero de Agosto community.”

In addition, the Network responded to the reason for which the officials were absent: “We believe that the argument of the officials to ignore us due to the electoral situation is not valid, amidst the grave human-rights violations that the displaced families are experiencing. On the contrary, the electoral context worsens their vulnerability, as violence can take place in the region before, during, or subsequent to the elections. For this reason, we request a guarantee for the lives and physical and psychological integrity of the displaced persons from Primero de Agosto.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Chiapas mantiene actitud omisa para atender violaciones a derechos humanos de personas desplazadas forzadamente del Poblado Primero de Agosto (Red por la Paz, 15 de julio de 2015)

Acusan de omiso al gobierno de Chiapas ante desplazamiento forzado de indígenas (Proceso, 15 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)

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Chiapas: the Peace Network presents report on Chiapas’ border zone

October 13, 2010

In light of the deterioration of the human-rights situation lived in Chiapas, the civil organizations that comprise the Peace Network agreed in early 2010 to carry out documentation-visits in distinct regions of the state of Chiapas from which have originated testimony regarding problems that disrupt the international protection and guarantee of human rights, thus putting at risk conditions of social peace.

The organizations that constitute the Peace Network organized a “Civil Mission of Observation of Human Rights and Social Conflictivity,” which began its work of observation and documentation in four municipalities of the border zone of Chiapas: Comitán, Trinitaria, Comalapa, and Chicomuselo.

The Civil Mission visited these municipalities during the days 16, 17, and 18 March 2010.  In each of the municipalities were held interviews with actors who agreed to share their testimony on various issues regarding human rights.  The questions that received the most emphasis during the interviews were organized around the following themes: migration; militarization; land and territory; economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights; rights of women; and criminalization of social protest.  The results of these interviews can be found in a published report that was presented during the 7 October press-conference.

On 6 August, there was held a space among interviewed individuals and organizations during the March civil mission to assess the information that went into the report, which allowed for the report that was presented at the press-conference to be finalized.  This report presents an evaluation of the tendencies and principal problems documented during the mission as well as possible moves toward the construction of peace that, despite everything, were seen as present in the visited municipalities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Peace Network press-release (7 October 2010)

Report of the Peace Network’s Civil Mission of Observation-Border Zone (October 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)


Oaxaca: the Peace Network’s Communiqué on the Caravan to San Juan Copala

June 9, 2010

The caravan en route to San Juan Copala ©La Jornada

The Peace Network, comprised of civil human-rights organizations in Chiapas, and of which SIPAZ is a part, demands security-guarantees for the members of the “National and International Humanitarian Caravana Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola” as well as for the population of the region to which the caravan is headed.  Below, we share the communiqué in full.

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

7 June 2010

* We demand security-guarantees for the caravan headed to San Juan Copala

* Solidarity group from Chiapas joins the caravan

The Peace Network, comprised of civil human-rights organizations in the state of Chiapas, calls on Felipe Calderón, president of Mexico, and on Ulises Ruíz Ortiz, governor of the state of Oaxaca, to guarantee the security of human-rights defenders, observers, and residents of the community of San Juan Copala.

We are alarmed at the current situation in San Juan Copala, given the violence seen on 27 April, when members of a caravan–human-rights defenders, both national and international, together with journalists–were ambushed in La Sabana by UBISORT (Union of Social Welfare for the Triqui Region) while en route to the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala.

The Peace Network is aware that, on 8 June, a new caravan will embark to take aid and basic necessities to the population that has been isolated, that has received no attention, that lacks basic services from local authorities.  We are also aware that a solidarity group from Chiapas will join the caravan to San Juan Copala.

We organizations that make up the Network call on state and federal authorities to guarantee the protection of the members of the caravan, as well as the men, women, and children of the Triqui region of Oaxaca.

It is important to stress that the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) has recognized the importanceof the work of human-rights defenders, indicating that “respect for human rights in a democratic State depends in large part on the effective and adequate guarantees enjoyed by human-rights defenders, so that they can freedly engage in their activities.  Special attention should be paid to actions that limit or constitute obstacles for the work of human-rights defenders.”

Member-organizations of the Peace Network

Educación para la Paz (Edupaz)

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

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

The International Service for Peace (Sipaz)

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

Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación 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)

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):