Chiapas: Denunciation of police violence against trans* individuals in Palenque

December 26, 2015

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Protest carried out by the Network for the Inclusion of Sexual Diversity in Chiapas to denounce impunity in cases against LGBTQI persons. Photo: @Chiapas Paralelo

The Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas released a pronunciation denouncing the violence exercised by municipal police during the arrest of two trans* women in Palenque. In this document, those undersigned express their solidarity “amidst the violence that municipal police of Palenque exercised on 19 November against trans* women and that has continued now for several days.”

According to the communique, five trans* youth were taking photos in front of a club in Palenque when they were surrounded by five patrol-cars from the municipal police that arrested them arbitrarily, “treating them cruelly, inhumanely, and in a degrading fashion.” These acts gave evidence to the violation of their “right to non-discrimination, recognition of their juridical person, and to their personal integrity.” The denunciation includes testimony from one of those arrested, explaining how in the police offices she was disrobed and had her genitals examined, an experience that was reproduced for all the others, she said.

Since that night, the women have denounced police persecution against them on the charge of prostitution. As they note, “this happens every year; it is nothing new. There are times when they terrorize and mock us more; this year it was the same.” In this sense, the Campaign denounces the human-rights violations experienced daily in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and intersexual communities (LGBTQI). “As a campaign we stress the fact that those who are obliged to protect the integrity of persons such as the municipal police of Palenque are in reality the ones who violate the rights of the people and put their lives most at risk.”

In this sense, the Inter-American Commission on Human rights (IACHR) published in November 2015 a report on violence that expresses concern for police abuse against LGBTQI individuals, “given that this leads others to think that they can hurt others without punishment if they have different sexual orientations or gender identities.” In this way, the Network for Inclusion of Sexual Diversity in Chiapas denounced that in the last two years, there have been 24 murders of gays in the state, all of which continue in impunity. It is worth mentioning the recent arrest of trans* persons in Comitán, who according to Chiapas Paralelo were arrested, bound for 18 hours, and threatened with lynching and being burned alive with gasoline after having been unjustly accused of robbery.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento contra violencia ejercida de Policías Municipales al momento de detener mujeres Transexuales de Palenque (Espoir Chiapas, 16 de diciembre de 2015)

Intentan linchar a jóvenes “trans” en Comitán. Procuraduría se niega a intervenir (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de noviembre de 2015)

Al menos 24 crímenes por homofobia ocurridos en Chiapas en los últimos dos años siguen impunes, denuncian (Chiapas Paralelo, 27 de noviembre de 2015)

Violencia contra personas LGBTI (Acnur, noviembre de 2015)

Violencia contra personas LGBTI: altos niveles de ensañamiento y crueldad (Adital, 17 de noviembre de 2015)

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Chiapas: In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, commemorations for Day of the Dead

November 19, 2015

Altar de la Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas.  Foto: cortesía.

Altar of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas. Photo credit: courtesy.

In observance of the Day of the Dead, several organizations and collectives organized commemorative events in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. For one, Melel Xojobal, a civil association that works to promote, defend, and exercise the human rights of children and youth through participatory processes, organized an act against child mortality due to discrimination, violence, and poverty. With slogans such as “they should not die” protestors marched through downtown, where they installed an altar with information regarding several cases and statistics on child mortality in Chiapas and Mexico. “We do these marches to raise our voices, so that people come to realize that the government does nothing, that when something happens to children or youth, impunity remains,” said a youth protestor.

For its part, the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas also installed an altar. Using photos of femicide victims, both from the state as well as from other parts of the country, they commemorated the victims of violence against women and demanded the end of the violence against women and female human-rights defenders.

Beyond this, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Lucio Hernández Patishtan, and Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, prisoners held in the Center for Social Readaptation (CERESO) of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, published a letter denouncing “the injustices, discrimination, and unjust incarcerations” due to which “we have not been able to visit our homes” to remember their dead. “Today and in this space we create our own altar to commemorate our families, friends, and all those who fell in 1994, as well as those killed in the Acteal massacre, tatic Samuel Ruiz García, who lamentably has left this world. Some of them died in the struggle, such that they are not present any longer as persons, but their spirits will live on in our hearts.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Día de muertos – Melel Xojobal (Vientos Culturales, 5 de noviembre de 2015)

Carta de presos en el día de muertos (Chiapas denuncia pública, 31 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: 5 years since the massacre of 72 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas (11 September 2015)

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of migration agents, says La 72 (22 March 2015)

Chiapas: Justice is demanded in the case of the feminicide of the youth Itzel Yanet Méndez Pérez (16 May 2012)

Chiapas: XV Aniversario de Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)


Chiapas: Sewing to denounce increase of femicides in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

June 2, 2014

A sewing voice that is not silenced (photo @ Sipaz)

On 19 May, there was held a new type of meeting in San Cristóbal de las Casas to denounce and make-visible the increase in femicide in the state.

As an initiative of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas and the Art Action and Red Sources collectives, activists and family-members joined up to embroider in Resistance and Peace Plaza after setting up an altar with flowers and candles.  Sewing Femicide is part of the Sewing for Peace initiative, and it has its origins in the end of the prior presidential administration of Felipe Calderón, when the idea was to sew a handkerchief for each person killed in the drug war.  This project, begun in Mexico in 2012, now has support from other countries, given that embroidery for resistance has been taking place also in Guatemala, Argentina, and even Europe.

This type of protest seeks to call attention to a peaceful and unique action in public space.  It also seeks to personalize and give voice to women who have victimized by femicide, so that they do not remain in anonymity: in the sewn handkerchiefs, all have a proper presence, with their name, age, and date of death sewn in.  Finally, the sewing has therapeutic function for family-members of those killed by femicide.  By engaging in embroidery, they have an intimate moment with their lost ones and can share their pain and memories with others who have experienced the same as they pass through the space in downtown San Cristóbal.  Tourists also can approach these women to learn about what they are doing.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: State complicity in femicide is denounced (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Commemoration of the murder of Itzel Janet Méndez-Pérez and other victims of femicide (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Amidst increase in femicide and impunity, civil organization proclaims permanent Gender Alert (30 March 2014)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)


Chiapas: Organizations denounce uses and customs of indigenous peoples that limit women’s rights

March 30, 2014

Marcha del 8 de marzo en San Cristóbal. Foto (@Sipaz)

March on 8 March in San Cristóbal. Photo (@Sipaz)

The Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas has denounced the discrimination exercised against a female child on 9 March in the San Juan Chamula municipality, Chiapas.  The case has to do with the sale and forced marriage of the minor on the part of her family as well as the arrest of the girl on the part of traditional authorities of the community following her abandonment of her husband.

For the Popular Campaign, this is an example of violence directed against women consented to by the State, given that the sale of women in indigenous communities is a practice that has been denounced for decades.  For this reason, different non-governmental organizations have indicated since 2012 the existence of uses and customs of indigenous peoples which limit the rights of women and result in gender inequalities that affect all aspects of life.

Experts who comprise the Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) note their concern for the situation, “given that such practices perpetuate discrimination against indigenous women and children, we call on the State to draw up a general strategy to eliminate said practices, particularly through carrying out campaigns of awareness-raising directed at indigenous communities to reinforce a positive and non-stereotypical image of women, without having this serve as a pretext that would rationalize the State’s violation of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chamula, encarcelan a niña de 14 años por abandonar a su marido (Chiapas Paralelo, 12 de marzo de 2014)

“Estuve detenida 29 horas en San Juan Chamula entre ‘basura y mierda’”: Niña tzotzil de 14 años (Vanguardia, 13 de marzo de 2014 ¿)

Sí estuvo presa, confirma menor indígena de Mitontic, y fueron 29 horas entre la pestilencia, el frío y la basura (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Niña toztzil vendida a los 11 años, huyó de su concubino a los 14 (Sipse, 15 de marzo de 2014)

La venta de niñas y las bodas arregladas son comunes en Chiapas: ONG; el Estado le incumple a mujeres, dice (Sinembargo, 17 de marzo de 2014)

La Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas ratifica la declaratoria de Alerta Popular Permanente contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio (Campaña Popular, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Ha cambiado mentalidad de los indígenas (Es!, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Venta de niñas, práctica recurrente en comunidades de los Altos (Mirada Sur, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Chiapas: XV Anniversary of Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Chiapas/Oaxaca: Commemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead

November 13, 2013

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Photo @Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas

Due to the alarming number of femicides that has taken place in the state, activists and different organizations which form part of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas organized different activities and set up an altar in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. On the altar was collected white crosses made of paper to denounce the violent deaths and femicides of more than 80 women this year, a statistic that places the state of Chiapas fifth among other Mexican states in terms of the number of femicides.

In Oaxaca City, there was offered bread, fruit, flowers, liquor, and candles on an altar that was installed aside a Oaxacan university to commemorate the women who have been killed in Oaxaca and throughout the country.  Prayers were offered for female victims of violence, “recalling their names, their ages, their work, their successes, who it was who attacked them, and what the status is of their legal processes,” as Daniela Ramírez explained, a member of the International Diplomat in Studies of Women and the Group on Femicide in the Republic.

Presented just a few days ago, the report “From survivors to defenders: Women who confront violence in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala,” as compiled by the Initiative of Nobel Prize Winning Women, warns that the problem of femicide and violation of human rights in Mexico has reached “crisis” levels.  The report notes that in Mexico 6.4 women are killed per day, with 95% of these crimes going unpunished, according to data from the report and the UN.

For more information (in Spanish):

Recuerdan a mujeres víctimas de feminicidio en Chiapas (Reporte ciudadano, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

En recuerdo de las muertas por la barbarie de los machos en Oaxaca (NSS Oaxaca, 1 de noviembre de 2013)

Exigen “ni una muerta más” en el país (Educa Oaxaca, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

Crecen 40% feminicidios en México (Diario de Oaxaca, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

Feminicidios alcanzan nivel de “crisis” en México: Informe de premios Nobel; cada día asesinan a 6.4 mujeres (Sin Embargo, 4 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Marches against violence against women and femicide (26 October 2013)

Chiapas: Careful, patriarchy kills! Presentation of the “Campaign against violence against women and femicide in Chiapas” (3 October 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Increase in feminicide and State Accord for Gender Equality (22 April 2013)

Chiapas: Colem Group of Women take action against feminicide (19 October 2012)