National: Final audience of the Mexican Chapter of the People’s Permanent Tribunal

December 7, 2014

Sobrevivientes de la masacre de Viejo Velasco durante el TPP en El Limonar, Chiapas, julio 2014. Foto@SIPAZ

Survivors of the Viejo Velasco massacre during the TPP session in El Limonar, Chiapas, July 2014. Photo @ SIPAZ

From 12 to 15 November, the final audience of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP) was held, after having begun in October 2011.  After 3 years of collecting information and analyzing the totality of testimonies provided by victims, organizations, and experts regarding 10 thematic questions, the sentence “Free Trade, Violence, Impunity, and Rights of the People in Mexico (2011-2014)” was published.  This sentence concludes that juridical responsibilities exist among four actors: the Mexican State, transnational corporations, other countries (such as the US and Canada, among others), and international institutions (like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, and so on).  The four tiers are assigned varying degrees of responsibility.

The sentence is the culmination of 10 thematic and multidisciplinary audiences, themselves the fruit of 40 preaudiences, as well as the participation of nearly a thousands organizations of diverse character that involved thousands of individuals.  The cases that were presented showed the open violations of individual and collective human rights resulting from economic and commercial treaties.  It was also decided that the Mexican State is the party that “has objective international responsibility for the violation of rights, civil and political, social and cultural, as for the creation of a healthy environment and access to justice.  Such changes presuppose the observance of numerous international laws and of the Mexican Constitution.”

In this way, with regard to the normalist students who were disappeared and murdered in September 2014 in Iguala, it was mentioned “the events in Ayotzinapa constitute yet another chapter in the long list of violations of the rights to dignity and to life among the Mexican people: they are the dramatic expression, both real and symbolic, of present reality, and of the significance of the proposals for the TPP […].  All this that has been meticulously documented for three years was condensed in Iguala in a number of hours of barbarism.  And in this reign of impunity that is Mexico today, there are murders without murderers, torture without torturers, and sexual abuse without rapists.  This is a permanent deviation from social responsibility that has led to thousands of massacres, murders, and systematic violations of collective rights.  [For the State] these are crimes that are always isolated or marginal, rather than true crimes for which the State is responsible.”

The sentence specifies the gravest crimes, including crimes against humanity, that have been committed during the six-year terms of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, Vicente Fox Quesada, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, and Enrique Peña Nieto.  It concludes with a battery of recommendations directed to international groups, Mexican civil society, and international media, calling for a “refoundation of Mexico” to accord with the 20 lines of recommendations, so as to bring the country back from the “deviation of power” it has experienced.

One of the judges at the final audience, Bishop Raúl Vera, affirmed that what took place at the TPP “is a comprehensive study of the unjust system that deliberately has been promoted by the Mexican government”; he indicated the “lack of responsibility on the part of the State” which “is judged principally for its deviation of power to favor transnational corporations; its commitments do not identify with the people in the least.”  “Social discontent prevails because the people feel abandoned,” noted Raúl Vera.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sentencia de la audiencia final del Capítulo México del TPP (TPP México, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

Desde Salinas, gobiernos son “responsables de crímenes de lesa humanidad”: TPP  (Proceso, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

El Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos: a la sombra de Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

Violaciones del Estado, desde Salinas hasta EPN: documento del Tribunal de Pueblos (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

Tribunal establece crímenes de Estado y señala “desviación del poder” en México: Vera (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: TPP preaudience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace we will find truth” (19 July 2014)

National: the Mexican government does not comply with the recommendations of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (23 June 2014)


The Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal condemns Mexican State for crimes against humanity

October 11, 2014


Testimony from a survivor of the Viejo Velasco massacre during the TPP in El Limonar, Chiapas, July 2014. Photo@Sipaz

From 25 to 27 September in the indigenous community of Santa Fe de la Laguna, Quiroga municipality, Michoacán state, there was held the final audience on “The right to life, against violence and State terrorism” contained within the “Dirty War” Axis of the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP), Mexico Chapter.  16 cases were presented, covering the year 1960 to present, “by means of which was shown the systematic violation of human rights as a policy of the Mexican State against social movements, the defense of human rights, and the people in general.”  The international jury was lead by Alberto León Gómez Zuluaga (Colombia) and comprised of Marcelo Ferreira (Argentina), Marusia López Cruz (JASS Mexico), Beatriz Torres Abelaira (CaMeNA-UACM), Soila Luna Pineda (Don Sergio Méndez Arceo Foundation), Jtatic Juan Méndez Gutiérrez (Center for Indigenous Rights, CEDIAC AC-Chiapas), and Carlos Núñez Ruiz (Center for Indigenous Rights, CEDIAC AC-Chiapas).

In its ruling, the TPP condemned the Mexican State “for its direct and indirect participation, for action and omission, in the commission of crimes against humanity, as seen in the following: murder; extermination; deportation or forcible transfer of population; incarceration or other grave deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental international human rights law; torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment; rape and sexual abuse; persecution of groups and collectives for political and ethnic motives; forcible disappearance of persons and attacks against human-rights and environmental defenders.”

Beyond this, the TPP formulated recommendations to the Mexican United States, international organizations, social communication media, Mexican society, social organizations, and victims.  The tribunal closed its ruling by expressing its solidarity with the people’s struggles.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fallo del TPP Audiencia Guerra sucia (29 de septiembre de 2014)

Guerra Sucia como violencia, impunidad y falta de acceso a la justicia(Subversiones – Agencia Autónoma de Comunicación, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in Englsih):

Chiapas: TPP preaudience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace we will find truth” (19 July 2014)

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)

Chiapas: Acteal, 16 years in search of justice

January 1, 2014

22 de diciembre de 2013 @ SIPAZ

22 December 2013 @ SIPAZ

On 22 December 16 years passed since the Acteal massacre in the Chenalhó municipality, an act that killed 45 indigenous Tsotsil persons (14 girls, 4 boys, 8 men, 19 women, 4 of whom were pregnant) as they were praying in the Acteal chapel.  During the massacre, units of the Police of Public Security were located 200 meters from the site.  Members of the Las Abejas Civil Society once again commemorated the anniversary of the massacre this year, beginning on 21 December by sharing their experiences of struggle and ending with a pilgrimage and mass on 22 December.  Hundreds attended the commemoration.

“This sixteenth anniversary of the Acteal massacre we recall as being illuminated by a light that emerges from the Sacred Land of Acteal, but this light shines also through the darkness which covers our country in threatening clouds,” noted Las Abejas in their communique.  “Today counterinsurgency is for all, not just the indigenous of Chiapas.  It is made up of two parts: trickery and repression–or, as some say, the carrot and the stick.  Or, as Abejas have said at times: balls of sugar and bullets […].  It is precisely what the bad governments are doing, whether run by Manuel Velasco or Peña Nieto and their programs such as the National Crusade against Hunger.  They have created programs of assistance by taking advantage of the needs of the people in communities; their objective is to ease their conscience to cover over the looting and handing-over of our country to neoliberal foreigners.  The worst thing is that, so that the people don’t lose the ‘spell,’ they do propaganda, promoting the idea that the government brings good things and supports the people.”

Las Abejas also recalled the 98 persons displaced from the Puebla Colony “over a problem that has been going on for 8 months without resolution.  Now the government says that it wants to resolve the problem so that the displaced return to their homes, but it wants to impose conditions in exchange for such a resolution.  The conditions are that paramilitaries not be mentioned, that justice not be demanded, and that we silence ourselves […].  And now after leaving the side of justice and truth, the government says that the problems will be resolved with productive support and communal programs.”

Las Abejas ended by saying that “the people now are walking on the construction of another justice, and one of those paths is with the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP); we must meet more often.  We want nothing more than justice for Acteal, other massacres, and cases of human-rights violations throughout Mexico.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) read a communique at the commemoration which indicates that “Amidst impunity, the people save their memory, reflect, and find alternatives based on truth for the construction of justice.  In this way, relatives, witnesses, and victims of State crimes perpetrated in the Northern Zone, the Jungle, and Highlands of Chiapas met on 6 and 7 December in the Susuclumil community of Tila for the pre-audience of the work-group on Dirty War as violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice with the People’s Permanent Tribunal.  The session was called ‘Meeting for justice and truth,’ in which the judges declared: ‘It is not to the institutions of the Mexican State that we are looking for justice, but rather to alternative spaces for the construction and defense of our own justice, in addition to aiding with the convergence and union of the indigenous.'”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Las Abejas a 16 años de la Masacre de Acteal (22 de diciembre de 2013)

Boletín de CDHFBC: La memoria histórica: un instrumento para la verdad y la construcción de justicia (22 de diciembre de 2013)

El sistema de justicia, podrido: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (27 December 2012)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)

Chiapas: Survivor of Acteal massacre dies (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society denounces reactivation of paramilitaries in its community (12 October 2012)

National-International: Zedillo obtains immunity for the Acteal case(19 September 2012)