Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances

October 8, 2015

© Koman Ilel, Zapatistas por Ayotzinapa

Zapatistas for Ayotzinapa @ Koman Ilel

On 26 September a year passed since the 43 students from the Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, were forcibly disappeared. In different states and abroad, actions and mobilizations were held to demand clarification for what happened to the youth as well as those killed and injured on the tragic night of 26-27 September 2014.

For its part, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced in a communique entitled “For pain, rage, truth, justice” that “on that day 26 September, thousands of Zapatistas, children, youth, women, men, others, elders, and the living and the dead will mobilize ourselves in our territories to embrace all those persons who have been affected by sorrow and rage due to the prisons, disappearances, and death imposed by those from above. We will embrace them also because thus we also embrace ourselves as Zapatistas. In this way we call on all honest and upright persons on Earth to do the same, according to your calendars and geographies, and in accordance with your times and means. While at the same time they seek to placate us with lies and insults using lack of truth and justice, humanity will continue to be nothing more than a grotesque face in the history of the Earth.”

Beyond this, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal dedicated some words to the disappeared in a public communique, declaring that “we wish to be in the hearts of the parents of the young students; we wish to be in the heart of Ayotzinapa. We wish to be in the heart, the dream, the soul, the struggle, the memory, and the hope of the 43 disappeared, as well as the 3 murdered and the other comrade who remains in a coma. We also wish to be I the heart, dreams, memory, and hope of the thousands of disappeared throughout Mexico. We wish to be in the heart, dream, memory, and hope of the comrade women who have been victimized by femicides […]. But we do not wish to have a simulated justice, that justice full of corruption and hypocrisy, as the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) sought to sell to the parents of the 43 from Ayotzinapa and to the people of Mexico. Instead, what we wish for is a justice that would be as we always have stressed it must be: truthful, dignified, righteous, lasting, healthy, and human. This is what we call ‘The Other Justice.’ And this Other Justice we must develop ourselves from below, the women and women of good conscience […]. Ayotzinapa is a crime of State, and it must remain within the consciousness of the three levels of government in Mexico. As people of Mexico meanwhile we will walk and strive for the Other Justice, against this crime against humanity that targeted young students who had a dream of educating themselves to become educators in their communities. We will tell this to our children, our youth, so that it becomes living history.”

Beyond this, several people protested in the state in at least 40 municipalities, by carrying out marches, roadblocks, and cultural festivals.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chiapas también el pueblo se organizó para exigir justicia y aparición con vida de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (Voces Mesoamericanas, 29 de septiembre de 2015)

POR EL DOLOR, POR LA RABIA, POR LA VERDAD, POR LA JUSTICIA (EZLN 24 de septiembre de 2015)

Comunicado de Las Abejas de Acteal en solidaridad con Ayotzinapa (Las Abejas de Acteal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

También en Chiapas hoy #DíaDeLaIndignación, manifestaciones de apoyo a Ayotzinapa (Chiapasparalelo, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

EZLN protesta en Chiapas por los desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa (La Jornada  26 de septiembre de 2015)

Congregan ciudades de Chiapas marchas por Ayotzinapa (El Universal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)

Guerrero: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa (11 September 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

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Guerrero: More updates in the Ayotzinapa case

January 21, 2015

omar-garcía

Omar García, a student from Ayotzinapa, after having beaten by soldiers in Iguala. Foto @Regeneración

Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, has confirmed that the team of experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will analyze the investigation of the massacre and forcible disappearance of the students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School which took place on 26 September in Iguala.  The IACHR continues to seek out persons to come to Mexico to review the evidence provided by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), the search-work carried out by the National Gendarmerie, and to decide whether the authorities are in fact exhausting all lines of investigation.  Barrera Hernández has confirmed that an agreement had been signed with the federal government to ensure that the experts also be protected by the precautionary measures that the IACHR will award to the parents of the disappeared students.

Meanwhile, the search for the disappeared students continues.  The relatives of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa began their citizens’ searches on Saturday 10 January in the northern sierra of Guerrero, in the community known as Filo del Caballo. During a meeting between the parents of the disappeared and representatives from the Citizens’ Forensic Science organization, which has documented more than 300 cases of disappearances in this city, Felipe de la Cruz, a father of the disappeared, indicated that their counterparts have information that suggests that the students could be in this region.  De la Cruz recalled that all social organizations are invited to participate in the search for the students.  He repeated that the parents would not request the assistance of the federal government, given that it has produced no results, more than 3 months after the students were taken.  “They have no leads.  They have arrested more than 90 [people], but no one has said where they are.  For that reason, we believe the word of the people,” he declared.

Beyond this, on 12 January, parents of the disappeared students had a confrontation with military riot police and state forces when they attempted to enter the barracks of the 27th Infantry Batallion in Iguala, to continue their search for their disappeared sons.  Students who were present near the infantry base were attacked by the police with tear-gas and water-cannons.  The protestors used two trucks to tear down the entrance of the base and rescue the students they believe are being held there.  Mobilizations against military installations spread to the Acapulco and Cruz Grande municipalities.  In these, protestors demanded the opening of the barracks to facilitate the search for the disappeared youth, as they hold that there is “evidence” that the Army participated in the crime.  Regardless, the federal authorities deny that that is the case, and they claim the case to be the responsibility of the municipal police of Iguala and Cocula, tied to drug-trafficking interests.

For more information (in Spanish):

Cabildea ya la CIDH entre los expertos que revisarán el expediente de Ayotzinapa, adelanta Tlachinollan (Sur Acapulco, 12 de enero de 2015)

Comenzará mañana en la sierra norte búsqueda de normalistas (El Universal, 9 de enero de 2015)

Se enfrentan padres de Ayotzinapa con militares, cuatro heridos(Regeneración, 12 de enero de 2015)

Padres de normalistas se enfrentan con militares en Iguala (CNN México, 12 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Oaxaca/Guerrero: Walmart closes 17 stores due to teachers’ protests

December 7, 2014

Foto @ Zócalo Saltillo

Foto @ Zócalo Saltillo

Following the blockade of commercial plazas as engaged in by teachers belonging to Section 22 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE-CNTE) from 14 to 17 November, taken as a measure to demand that the government present the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa with life, Walmart decided to suspend operations in 17 stores, 16 in Oaxaca and 1 in Guerrero, on 17 November.

This is the first time that the corporation carries out a mass-shuttering of its chains, and Oaxaca is the first state to see this.  In Guerrero, due to recent protests, only one store was closed down.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se va Walmart de Oaxaca, cierra 16 tiendas ante constantes cierres por maestros (Evolución México, 18 de noviembre de 2014)

Walmart se va de Guerrero y Oaxaca (La Razón de México, 23 de noviembre de 2014)

Maestros de Oaxaca toman ocho plazas comerciales en solidaridad con normalistas (Proceso, 14 de noviembre de 2014)

Cierra Walmart 8 tiendas en Oaxaca por bloqueos (Quadratín Oaxaca, 17 de noviembre de 2014)

Walmart invertirá 414 mdp en Oaxaca (Sin embargo, 27 de agosto de 2014)

Chiapas: State congress approves initiative on “legitimate use of force”

May 18, 2014

Congreso local (@Gobierno del estado de Chiapas)

Chiapas state congress (@Chiapas state government)

On 15 May, the state congress of Chiapas approved the initiative presented by governor Manuel Velasco regarding the Code for the legitimate use of public force with 26 votes in favor, four in favor, and one abstention.  It will regulate the responses that security forces can make against social protests and possible disturbances, as well as the use of less-lethal weapons to disperse violent protests.

This reform has been considered by human-rights defenders and legislators in opposition as “yet another regression in terms of human rights” in Chiapas.  The new Code considers a protest to be violent when a group of people is armed, if a threat is made to intimidate or obligate someone else to do something they desire, or if there is incitement to commit a crime or disturb the peace and citizens’ security.  In case of peaceful mobilizations the Code will allow preventive police operations to supposedly protect the rights of bystanders in case the protest becomes violent.

In the Congress, Hortensia Zúñiga (PRD) denounced that the reform would “silence the protests and limit the freedom of expression that citizens have to request that the authorities observe their commitments to generate better living conditions for the governed.  This seeks to criminalize social protest and regulate marches and mobilizations.  Hence, to vote in favor of its terms would be to give the State yet more reason to continue with impunity.”

Interviewed in the media, human-rights defender Miguel Ángel de los Santos Cruz said that “in reality, the Code initiative seeks to legalize the abuses already committed by police and to increase the legal grounds on which they can violate our rights within the context of public mobilizations.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Aprueban diputados ley que “criminaliza la protesta” en Chiapas(Proceso, 15 de mayo de 2014)

Aprueba el Congreso de Chiapas el uso de la fuerza contra protestas (La Jornada, 16 de mayo de 2014)

Aprueban uso legítimo de la Fuerza Pública (Cuarto Poder, 16 de mayo de 2014)

Aprueba Congreso el Código de Uso Legítimo de la Fuerza Pública, uso de Armas y control de manifestaciones (Chiapas Paralelo, 16 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Creation of the Front for Freedom of Expression and Social Protest (26 April 2014)