Guerrero: Relative of PRD member is killed in the Petatlán municipality

June 20, 2012

Landscape of Petatlán. Photo @Colectivo Atecocolli

On 13 June, in the La Barranca community, Petatlán municipality, Justiniano Rosas Farías, father of Álvaro Rosas Martínez, ex-director of the PRD in this municipality who was disappeared and later killed in 2009, was himself shot dead.  Perfecto Rosas Martínez, ex-member of the PRD state directorship and collaborator with federal representative Sebastián de la Rosas Peláez, held Ángel Aguirre Rivero’s government to be responsible for giving protection to the Torres community of La Morena who had threatened his father.  One of the Torres Perfecto was referring to was Felipe, brother of the ecologist Javier TOrres Cruz, who was ambushed and murdered in April 2011.  The activist in defense of the forests of the Petatlán sierra denounced ex-mayor and cattle-herder Rogacinao Alva Álvarez of being the intellectual author of the murder of the human-rights defender Digna Ochoa y Placido in 2007.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan en pueblo de Petatlán al jefe de una familia de militantes perredistas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 14 de junio)

Ejecutan al padre de un exlíder del PRD en Guerrero (Proceso, 13 de junio)

Guerrero vive una situación de “alerta máxima”, afirma lider perredista(Proceso, 12 de junio)

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: violence in the Sierra de Petalán (17 October)

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 – briefs: Release of OPIM leader; incursion of Navy forces in La Morena community

July 27, 2011

OPIM members @La Jornada

On 7 July, Rafael Rodríguez Dircio, member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), was released, having been detained and incarcerated on 29 June on the charge of homicide of Alejandro Feliciano García.  On these same charges had been detained five other members of OPIM on 17 April 2000.  One of these persons was Raúl Hernández Abundio, a prisoner of conscience as recognized by Amnesty International who spent more than two years in jail on this charge, with the four others having been released previously.  Inocencio Orduño Magallón, judge in the case, resolved in favor of Rafael Rodríguez’s release in light of lack of evidence.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights reminds us that there exist four other arrest-orders against OPIM members for this same crime.  “It is for this reason that we request the Guerrero State Attorney General’s Office to suspend these arrest-orders, given that with the release of Rafael Rodríguez Dircio, it has once again been demonstrated that the accusations and the legal process against these indigenous defenders are derived by fabricated evidence against those who demand the realization of their human rights and who organize toward that end.”

In other news, on 20 July, units of the Armed Navy of Mexico invaded the community of La Morena, municipality of Petatlán.  They detained for two hours state police who had been monitoring the community as well as residents of the community, denounces Elvia Torres Cruz, sister to Javier Torres, a campesino who was murdered in April.  The justification for the operation was that the unit had on the previous Sunday (17 July) left one of its vehicles in the community.  On that day there was had a confrontation in the community between units of the Armed Navy and of the state police.  One marine and one police-officer died.  On 18 April of this year Javier Torres was murdered by a uniformed group carrying high-caliber weapons, presumably operatives linked to organized crime.  His family has received protectionary measures and since that time the community of La Morena has been protected by the state police.

In an interview, Javier Monroy, coordinator of the Workshop for communal development (TADECO), said that leaders of organizations that comprise the Front of the Popular Masses of the State of Guerrero met with the Minister of Justice, Alberto López Rosas, and demanded that the clarify the acts and prioritize the investigation of the murder of Javier Torres.  In this vein, he indicated that TADECO has requested support for construction materials and other goods for La Morena, given the events of 17 July.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia que esperamos (boletín de Tlachinollan)

Declara el juez la inocencia del indígena Rafael Rodríguez Dircio y sale libre (El Sur de Acapulco, 16 July)

Pide la OPIM al gobierno mecanismos para que otros acusados no pisen la cárcel (El Sur de Acapulco, 17 July)

Libre Rafael Rodríguez, defensor del pueblo indígena me’phaa(Indymedia, 7 July)

Indígena de la OPIM libre (La Jornada, 6 July)

Liberan a integrante de la OPIM; no hubo pruebas (La Jornada, 6 July)

Irrumpen marinos en La Morena; retienen a policías y habitantes (La Jornada, 21 July)

Oficial: un marino y un policía estatal murieron en el choque en La Morena (El Sur de Acapulco, 21 July)

¨No tengo confirmado¨ que hayan sido efectivos de la Marina los que atacaron a policías del estado: Aguirre (El Sur de Acapulco, 22 July)

Huyen familias de la sierra de Petatlán por amenazas y asesinatos (El Sur de Acapulco, 22 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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: Briefs – Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena, NGOs sent a letter to the Minister of the Interior regarding the recent threats against OPIM; Monitor Civil documented 384 cases of human rights violations by the police; Inter-American Court of Human Rights rules in favor of campesino ecologists

December 28, 2010

Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera (@El Universal)

On December 7, about 35 military personnel aboard three Hummer vehicles entered the community of La Morena, municipality of Petatlan, using their weapons and causing panic among residents. According to testimonies, men and teenagers rushed to the nearby hills, while women, children and elders gathered in their homes, which were raided by the military. In February, Adolfo Torres Rosas was killed by soldiers, while Anselmo Torres Quiroz and Huber Vega Correa were arrested. Both are currently imprisoned in the prison of Acapulco for alleged drug crimes. In recent months, the harassment against the Cruz Torres family has focused on the intermittent and threatening presence of military in their community, as well as on the promotion of rumors suggesting that the Torres Cruz family is involved in kidnappings, a denunciation that hasn’t been properly reported to the civil authorities.

In a press release of December 7, the Collective Against Torture and Impunity (CCIC) and the Workshop for Community Development (TADECO), demanded to the authorities, among other things: to cease harassment against the Torres family, the immediate departure of the Army from the indigenous community of La Morena, and not to use the discourse of the struggle against drug trafficking to conceal acts of harassment and intimidation against the communities of the Sierra of Guerrero. Similarly, on 21 December, the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) expressed concern about the situation in La Morena sending out an urgent action. It reiterated that to date nothing is known about the new investigation into the circumstances of the death of Adolfo Torres Rosas, and it denounced violence during the arrest and detention of Anselmo Torres and Huber Vega, who have presumably been victims of abuse and torture.

Moreover, on December 15, Social and Civil Organizations, sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB), expressing concern about the threats occurred against members of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) on November 28. OPIM’s members have accompanied Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, me’phaa indigenous women who were raped by soldiers in 2002, whose cases were recently resolved by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CoIDH) against the Mexican State. These organizations emphasized that “in light of the recent threats, a prompt and full compliance with the sentences of the CoIDH [against the Mexican state] becomes crucial to prevent that unfortunate new facts may occur.”

On another hand, the Monitor of Civil Police and Public Safety Corps in the mountains of Guerrero (Monitor Civil), which was created three years ago, made public the fact that it documented 384 cases of police abuses. It mentioned that the ministerial authorities are the police that most violates the fundamental rights of citizens in the Mountain region (179 registered cases). From the experience of the Civil Monitor, institutional conditions of this corporation lead to police abuses, since the absence of internal and external mechanisms of control and accountability allows ministerial elements to violate human rights and legality without punitive consequences. The most frequent violations perpetrated by the police corps were arbitrary detention (122 cases), extortion (87 cases) and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment (59 cases). To a lesser extent, there were other also violations such as torture (6 cases), extrajudicial execution (3 cases), unlawful entries (22 cases) and the imposition of excessive fines (31 cases). The Civil Monitor issued a report on the status of the police in the mountains of Guerrero through which it seeks to establish guidelines for a democratic reform of the police.

Finally, on December 20, the CoIDH condemned the Mexican state for violating the rights of freedom, integrity, judicial guarantees and judicial protection of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, known as “the campesino ecologists.” The court ruling noted that the Mexican government must make a criminal investigation into the alleged acts of torture that Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera have denunciated. In addition, within two months, it will have to compensate the farmers for all the damages they have suffered, as well as for the cost of medical and psychological treatments they have received.

In 1999, Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera were arrested by the military, for their fight against deforestation in the Sierra de Petatlán, and according to their testimonies, they were tortured. In 2004, the case of “the ecological campesinos” was presented to the American Commission on Human Rights and in 2009 it was taken by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CoIDH). The ruling of the CoIDH also ratified that Mexico should reform the Code of Military Justice, to exclude the jurisdiction of military courts for crimes related to human rights violations.

For more information (in Spanish):

– México: Preocupación por la seguridad de los habitantes de la comunidad de La Morena en Petatlán, en particular por los familiares del Sr. Javier Torres Cruz, Estado de Guerrero, México. (Acción Urgente Organización Mundial contra la Tortura, OMCT, 21 de diciembre)

– OSC envían carta a Segob por las recientes amenazas contra la OPIM entorno a las sentencias de la CoIDH (CENCOS, 15 de diciembre)

A tres años de trabajo Monitor Civil documenta 384 casos de violación a los derechos humanos por parte de la policía (CENCOS, 17 de diciembre)

– CIDH falla a favor de campesinos ecologistas (El Universal, 20 de diciembre)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

– Guerrero: briefs – New threats against leaders of the OPIM; inclusion of resources for La Parota in federal budget; Invitation to the sixth anniversary of Radio Ñomndaa (December 14, 2010)

– Guerrero: briefs – NGOs present amicus brief to Inter-American Court on case of environmentalists; activist is detained (September 23, 2010)

– Guerrero: The Civil Monitor documents 117 cases of police abuse (December 3, 2008)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture

December 29, 2008


Digna Ochoa y Placido [Source: Amnesty International]

On December 13 2008, Javier Torres Cruz, from the community of La Morena in the municipality of Petatlán, Guerrero, was able to escape his kidnappers. According to the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), during the 10 days in which Torres was missing, he was blindfolded and suffered beating and torture. The Urgent Action put out by Amnesty International states that upon his reappearance, he showed signs of “contusions and bruises, especially on his hands and continued to suffer abdominal pains.” According to Torres’ family members, it is most likely that he was being held by members of the Mexican Army.

It is important to mention that Javier Torres Cruz is a member of the Ecologist Organization of the Sierra of Coyuca and Petatlán (Organización Ecologista de la Sierra de Coyuca y Petatlán), a witness in the case of human rights defender Digna Ochoa y Placido, and has previously denounced being accosted by the military, police and armed and hooded civilians on several occasions. On November 13, 2008, 100 soldiers from the 19th Batallion of the Mexican Army entered his community and entered several homes in search of Torres and his brothers. In addition “they threatened, struck and prodded women and children with their weapons.”

More information:

Document – Mexico: Further information on possible disappearance/fear for safety: Javier Torres Cruz (AU, 18/12/08)

Guerrero: Key witness in the Digna Ochoa y Plácido case, Javier Torres Cruz, disappears (SIPAZ, 15/12/08)

More information in Spanish:

Seguimiento al caso Javier Torres Cruz, OMCT (19/12/2008)

Denuncia pública, CCTI, ANAD y Familiares (18/12/2008)

Golpeado y con huellas de tortura aparece el ecologista Javier Torres, La Jornada (16/12/2008)

Guerrero: Key witness in the Digna Ochoa y Plácido case, Javier Torres Cruz, disappears

December 15, 2008


According to an Urgent Action from the World Organization Against Torture, December 3, Javier Torres Cruz disappeared while on route to visit his sister Agustina Torres Cruz in Petatlán from his own community of La Morena. Family members began looking for Torres after a telephone conversation between he and his siter was abruptly dropped, however they were unable to find either Torres or his vehicle.

Torres Cruz is a member of the Ecologist Organization of the Coyuca and Petatlán Sierra in addition to being one of the principle witnesses for the Attorney General of the Federal District [Mexico City] (PGJDF, Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal) in their case regarding the death of lawyer and human rights defender Digna Ochoa y Plácido. Last year Torres Cruz testified along with his uncle Isaías Torres Rosas that the ex mayor of Petatlán and major landowner Rogaciano Alva Álvarez had ordered three gunmen to kill Digna Ochoa on October 19, 2001. Due to this testimony, the PGJDF recently opted to reopen the case. Isaías Torres Rosas was subsequently murdered in January of this year leaving Torres Cruz the sole remaining witness in the Ochoa case.

It is worth mentioning that on November 13, 2008, Torres Cruz’ community of La Morena was subject to a military operation consisting of 100 military personnel. According to several eyewitnesses, the same Rogaciano Alva Álvarez was present at the operation along with a group of armed civilians. The armed group remained in the community until the following morning. According the Mexican daily, La Jornada, the lawyer representing the family of Digna Ochoa, Manuel Fuentes Muñiz, pointed out that it is quite likely that Rogaciano Alva Álvarez is implicated in the disappearance of Javier Torres Cruz.

More information:

UA 336/08: Javier Torres Cruz (m), aged 28 (AI, 11/12/08)

More information in Spanish:

AU: MEX 111208 Presunta desaparición forzada/Temor por integridad personal (OMCT, 11/12/08)

AU: Desaparición forzada de Javier Torres Cruz (CCTI, 11/12/08)

Exigen aclarar desaparición de testigo que señala a autor de la muerte de Digna Ochoa (La Jornada, 11/12/08)