Guerrero: Representatives of municipalities in the Mountain and Costa Chica regions reject mining exploitation

September 10, 2015

2862421_n_vir1Photo @WRadio

The representatives of the Regional Council of Agrarian Authorities in Defense of Land (CRAADT) of the Mountain and Costa Chica regions of Guerrero have mobilized themselves for the definitive cancellation of the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources by transnational corporations, considering that instead of benefiting local communities, they damage the latter’s health. Beyond this, mining presents serious threats of pollution by cyanide to the Balsas and Papagayo rivers. In a press-conference on 22 July at the offices of the Prodh Center in Mexico City, attended by more than 15 commissioners from communities in the Mountain and Costa Chica Region, the region was declared as being free of mineral exploitation, and those present stressed that, if the planned project would be carried out, it would affect more than 187,000 hectares and more than 100,000 people.

They explained that, this same day, they would submit a manifesto to President Enrique Peña Nieto and the national congress that requests the cancellation of the mining project, beyond demanding respect for the human rights of the peoples who have historically cared for and preserved nature. They express that the struggle will continue, and they denounced that the National Agrarian Registry denies having recognizing the representative nuclei that by law correspond to it, according to the Constitution.

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaran comisariados La Montaña y la Costa Chica territorio libre de minería (La Jornada de Guerrero, 23 de julio de 2015)

Carta abierta a Jaime Martínez Veloz (22 de julio de 2015)

Rechazan trabajos de minería en Guerrero (WRadio, 22 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Self-defense brigades against looting by mining corporations (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: two thousand march at the close of the “Chiapan Meeting of Unity against the Extractive Mining Model” in Frontera Comalapa (7 December 2012)

Chiapas: Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” (21 September 2012)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

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Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido

October 26, 2014

© SIPAZ

© SIPAZ

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (PRODH Center) has reported on a denunciation of the recent acts of harassment targeting ejidatari@s of Tila which “could affect the personal integrity and […] collectively affect the ejidal autonomy of the Ch’ol indigenous people.”

On 16 October,1500 ejidatarios from Tila (northern zone of Chiapas) marched to commemorate the creation of their ejido 80 years ago.  During the march, “the commander of the municipal police filmed protestors from the balcony of the police office,” noted the PRODH Center.  PRODH also indicated that “a day later, an ejidataria was assaulted by unknown persons, though witnesses could observe that one of the assailants was wearing a municipal police uniform.”

PRODH has manifested its concern for the harassment against the ejidal authorities of Tila, given that the ejidal commissioner has been followed and surveilled in the wake of the mobilization.  PRODH noted as well that “unknown persons have surrounded his home and asked local residents if that is where the ejidal president lives; as a consequence, indigenous ejidal authorities have found themselves displaced, amidst the threat of suffering new attacks.”

For this reason, PRODH has demanded the cessation of all harassment and attacks on members of the Tila ejido; that the necessary, sufficient, and effective measures be implemented to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of the members of the ejidal commission of Tila; and that those responsible for these threats and acts of harassment be investigated and punished forthright.

It is critical to note that in 2008, the Tila ejido won a motion it has advanced against one of the several attempts at plundering its lands it has suffered since 1964 due to the actions of Tila City Hall, the Chiapas state government, and the local congress.  This motion ordered the restitution of 130 hectares of ancestral lands; however, using the false argument that said sentence would be impossible to observe, City Hall has failed to observe it.  This is the reason the Tila ejidatari@s have advanced the case of the violation of sentence 1302/20130 before the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN).

For more information (in Spanish):

Centro Prodh denuncia nuevos ataques contra ejido Tila en Chiapas, Centro Prodh, 20 de octubre de 2014

Denuncian hostigamiento a ejidatarios y ejidatarias del ejido Tila, Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de octubre de 2014

Marcha mitín por 80 aniversario de nuestro ejido, laotraejidotila, 17 de octubre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (January 22, 2014)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: March and rally in Tila to commemorate the founding of the Tila ejido 79 years ago (20 August 2013)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones decision on case of the Tila ejidatario(16 August 2012)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios march in Tila and Mexico City (16 August 2012)


National: Creation of the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest

April 26, 2014


sinembargo

On 9 April, there was presented the report “Control of Public Space: Report on Regressions in Freedom of Expression and Association in the Present Government” which was carried out at the Agustín Pro Center for Human Rights (Prodh Center) in Mexico City.  During this presentation, there were analyzed 11 legislative initiatives and reforms “which would lead to the restriction and criminalization of social protest.”

For this reason, civil organizations announced the creation of a Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest and the launch of a social-network campaign #Don’tGetTurnedOff.  They seek to raise awareness among the citizenry of its right to dissent and to continue following the legislative proposals that would limit the freedom of expression of protestors.

Dolores González Sarabia, from Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ), indicated the “disproportionate repression targeting social protest and a tendency to penalize social groups using criminalization from the vantage point of controlling delinquency.”  Miguel Concha Malo, director of the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Center for Human Rights, condemned the “legal tendency to criminalize social protest, the legal form of expressing dissent.”  Other speakers stressed the role of the mass-media in reporting on protests by deliberately omitting certain facts, and they expressed their concern for the “siege on democratic freedoms in the streets and now also on the Internet.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Impulsan ONG frente común contra la criminalización de la protesta(Proceso, 9 de abril de 2014)

Nuevas legislaciones criminalizan protesta e inhiben libertad de expresión: Frente (Radio Formula, 10 de abril de 2014)

Crean frente en defensa de la protesta pública (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2014)

ONGs van a la Corte contra SLP, QRoo, DF y Jalisco por leyes contra la protesta social, y lanzan #QueNoTeApaguen (Sin Embargo, 10 de abril de 2014)

Informe sobre criminalización de la protesta social: Control del Espacio Público : informe sobre retrocesos en las libertades de expresión y reunión en el actual gobierno

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Harssment of home of director of Article 19 shortly before publication of report “Dissent in silence: violence against the press and criminalization of proetest, Mexico 2013” (28 March 2014)


Guerrero: Presentation of the Observation Mission Report “A light against impunity”

April 10, 2014

Misión de Observación a Guerrero, febrero de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Observation mission to Guerrero, February 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 2 April, members of the Observation Mission on human rights that was carried out in Guerrero last February presented a report at a press-conference which details the main results of the mission.  The members recalled that Guerrero finds itself in a phase of social disaster and that 13 social activists were murdered in 2013, without a single one of these cases being clarified to date.  The report indicates that “passing through the state of Guerrero, where there is a permanent persecution of human-rights defenders, social activists, and those who have the courage to denounce and to defend, confirms that the Mexican State criminalizes action that expresses solidarity with victims of injustice, [that] makes denunciations, and that defends just causes.”

During the presentation of the report, José Rosario Marroquin, director of the Prodh Center, stressed that although a handful of cases have had media coverage, the general situation in the state is a “palpable demonstration of the great lack which Mexico suffers from in terms of human rights.”

The members of the Mission made eight recommendations to the Mexican State, including the “cessation of security policies based in the militarization of public and communal spaces,” as well as putting an end to the policies of criminalization of communal police, social activists, and human-rights defenders.  The Mission also demanded respect for international agreements such as Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and called for social demands to be attended to and resolved by the authorities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden respeto a los derechos humanos en comunidades guerrerenses(Centro ProDH, 3 de abril de 2014)

Piden a Peña no criminalizar a policías comunitarias de Guerrero (Proceso, 2 de abril de 2014)

Piden cesar la criminalización de los disidentes sociales en el estado (La Jornada de Guerrero, 2 de abril de 2014)

Informe de la Misión de Observación a los Derechos Humanos al estado de Guerrero (abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Caravan “A light against impunity” ends in Acapulco after visiting Ayutla de Los Libres (14 February 2014)

Guerrero: Beginning of Civil Observation Mission “A light against impunity”(14 February 2014)

Guerrero/National: Network Solidarity Decade against Impunity denounces intimidation against two members days before Observation Mission to Guerrero (5 February 2014)


National: ProDH and CNDH present reports

February 12, 2013

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On 7 February, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Prodh Center) published a new report entitled “Betrayed Transition: Human Rights in Mexico, 2006-2012.”  Appraising these questions during the administration of Felipe Calderón, the report notes that “the last few years have been generous in terms of progress regarding human rights on the part of the Legislative and Judicial powers.  But these very progressions paper over what has not occurred, and the gravity of the omissions.”  The report concludes that “human rights were systematically violated” during a “six-year term marked by violence and statistics of death.”

The report stressed the advances during this time, particularly the Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists, the General Law on Victims, and the reforms of the military-justice code that now allow cases of accused soldiers to be judged in civilian courts.  However, the report emphasized that there has been an increase in the number of forced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, torture, and other crimes against humanity, particularly as committed against vulnerable groups, such as women, youth, migrants, indigenous persons, journalists, and human-rights defenders.

On the same day was also presented the 2012 Report on Activities made by the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) at the presidential palace in Los Pinos, an event that was presided over by President Enrique Peña Nieto.  This report stresses that “it is true that in our country there has been seen progress in the past few years, above all in terms of human rights.  Regardless, we should equally recognize that grave rights-violations have reappeared, ones that we thought had been buried.  It is urgent to correct these crimes, such as forced disappearances, inhuman and degrading treatment, illegal searches, arbitrary arrests, and torture: the majority of these acts have been related to the actions taken by authorities to combat organized crime.”  During 2012, the CNDH received 41,662 complaints and released 93 recommendations to different authorities from the 3 levels of government.  The document focused on the repeated refusals of the Secretary for Public Security to accept and observe these recommendations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Un informe destaca “graves omisiones” de derechos humanos en México (CNN México, 7 de febrero de 2013)

Denuncian violación sistemática de las garantías en el sexenio de Calderón (La Jornada, 8 de febrero de 2013)

Informe completo del Centro Prodh

Discurso completo del Dr. Rául Plascencia Villanueva en la presentación del Informe de actividades de la CNDH 2012

Presenta CNDH su informe 2012 (Noticieros Televisa, 7 de febrero de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Centro ProDH presents report “Violence and Impunity, the Twin Faces of Mexico” (10 March 2010)