Chiapas/National: 2000 indigenous prisoners to be released in 2014. Will Alejandro Díaz be one of them?

March 1, 2014

Foto @ Especial / Am

The National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI) seeks to release 2,000 indigenous prisoners in 2014 by means of the Excarcelation of Indigenous Persons Program, which has a budget of 50 million pesos.  The reason is that there are more than 9,000 indigenous people incarcerated in Mexico, due to lack of translators and other failures to due process. Nuvia Mayorga, director of the CDI, explained that most cases are found in states such as Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, and Sinaloa, thus reflecting that poverty continues to be a factor perpetuating this phenomenon.

Alejandro Díaz Santis, prisoner held in the Cereso No. 5 San Cristóbal de Las Casas and a member in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, expressed in an interview with SIPAZ that a representative from the CDH had visited the prison to ask him, among other things, if he were indigenous.  Alejandro is Tsotsil, from the Highlands of Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Alejandro Díaz (Koman Ilel, 14 de febrero de 2014)

Buscan excarcelar a 2 mil indígenas (Am, 6 de febrero de 2014)

Buscan excarcelar a 2 mil indígenas (El Universal, 6 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Santis announces fast to demand freedom (15 January 2014)

National: Patishtán requests that Peña Nieto release all prisoners who are unjustly imprisoned (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: 9 prisoners in solidarity with the Voz del Amate released, but Patishtán will remain imprisoned (20 July 2013)


Chiapas: Liberation of paramilitaries unleashes attacks in Chenalhó

June 24, 2013


Photo @Koman Ilel

On 10 June, Catholics from San Pedro Chenalhó, via their authorities and representatives, denounced the looting of land on which is located their construction materials.  This act was carried out by neighborhood officials, “in light of the silence or complicity” of the municipal, agrarian, and human-rights authorities.  The invasion, which was carried out by 140 people brandishing machetes, began on 29 April and worsened throughout the month of May.  In June, the invading group carried out several aggressions against the Catholic minority in the Puebla colony.  The protestors denounce that “It seems that the tragic events of 1997 are repeating thesmelves, leading to the Acteal massacre.  One of the spots where this began was precisely in the Puebla neighborhood.”  The attack coincides with the release of those accused and sentenced for the Acteal massacre.

According to the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), the “release of the paramilitaries has sent a signal to these groups (never themselves dismantled) or to some whom participated in them, that they can act freely by attacking whomever they please without consequencesa.  This could well be the case in the Puebla neighborhood, the locale of one of the recently released paramilitaries who was originally indicated as the leader of the group that carried out the massacre in Acteal.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Liberación de paramilitares desata ataques en Chenalhó: Centro Frayba (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2013)

Frayba: denuncia la comunidad católica de la Parroquia de San Pedro Chenalhó el despojo que pretenden hacer las autoridades del mal gobierno. (5 de junio de 2013)

Denuncia de católicos de la colonia Puebla de Chenalhó (Koman Ilel, 10 de junio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation from Las Abejas of Acteal on 22 May 2013 (7 June 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas denounce lack of justice in the Acteal case (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas lament release of yet another of those charged for Acteal massacre (27 March 2013)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas de Acteal (24 January 2013)


National: Mobilizations at the national level against high-electricity prices

February 12, 2013

Imagen de la movilización en la Ciudad de México @ La Jornada

On 7 February there were carried out protests and blockades in the capital and in several states of Mexico to protest high-electricity prices.  The mobilization had been organized by the National Network of Civil Resistance against High-Electricity Prices, the National Alliance of Electricity Users (ANUEE), and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME).  The marches and actions were held in Chiapas, Campeche, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Chihuahua, and Mexico City.  The principal demand of these protests was a change in energy policy that would include just prices, access to electricity as a human right, and the generation of sustainable energy from the people.  Furthermore, there was demanded the cancellation of wind-energy, mining, and hydroelectrical projects, as well as end to the criminalization of social protest.

It should be mentioned that during these protests in Chiapas, Nataniel Hernandez, director of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights, was arrested while he was in a meeting with the regional sub-delegate for the government.  He was released during the evening, without any sort of explanation regarding the grounds for his arrest.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Tarifas justas de luz y fin a la presión, exigen miles en marcha (08/02/2013)

La Jornada: O comemos o pagamos, grito en jornada nacional contra altos cobros (08/02/2013)

La Jornada: Padecen usuarios de la CFE indefensión y maltrato al quejarse por altos cobros (08/02/2013)

Proceso: Policías retienen siete horas al director del centro Digna Ochoa en Chiapas (07/02/2013)

Proceso: Protestan en Oaxaca por altas tarifas de luz (07/02/2013)


For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: National day of protests against high electricity prices (4 April 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)

Campeche: Arrest of activist campaigning against high electricity prices (26 May 2010)

Mexico: AI Declares Activists against High Electricity Tariffs Prisoners of Conscience (10 March 2010)


Oaxaca: Detención y liberación posterior de la defensora Bettina Cruz Velázquez (23/02/2012)

Chiapas: Manifestaciones contra las altas tarifas de la luz (13/09/2011)

National: Female human-rights defenders organize to protect themselves

February 5, 2013


On 25 and 26 January in Mexico City, female members of the National Network of Female Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico met to analyze the impact of the present socio-political context on their work in defense of indigenous peoples, natural resources, victims of feminicide, sexual and reproductive health, and freedom of expression.  The activists, hailing from states such as Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Baja California, Chiapas, Guerrero, Coahuila, Durango, Oaxaca, and Puebla, presented a protocol of attention to respond to the imminent situations of danger they face.  During two work-days, the defenders joined together their knowledge within the context of violence and concluded that the simply act of supporting a cause makes them vulnerable.  With the creation of a protocol of protection, they now have the basic tools to collect information, establish contacts, and locate emergency services.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defensoras de DH se organizan para protegerse a sí mismas (CIMAC Noticias, 28 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: First state in attacks on female defenders, denounce organizations (21 December 2012)

National: MPJD criticizes presidential “veto” of Law on Victims (10 July 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Oaxaca: new intimidation directed at Alba Cruz (18 January 2011)

Oaxaca: attack on union leader Marcelino Coache (20 May 2010)