Chiapas: Despite conflicts amongst parties, PVEM and PRI gain the majority of votes in election

August 16, 2015

@eleccionesChiapas

@eleccionesChiapas

On July 19th, more than three million people from Chiapas voted to elect 122 majors and their staff members and 41 local deputies. Of the planned six thousand voting booths, 97% were installed.

The Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won in 91 of the 122 towns of Chiapas, according to the Program of Preliminary Electoral Results (PREP). The PVEM and the PRI are maintaining the same number of towns that they govern at the present time. United Chiapas and Move Chiapas, sponsored by the local governments, will administer 18 towns. The MORENA Party did not win anywhere, according to the PREP.

The Institution of Elections and Citizen Participation (IEPC) reported on the burning and robbery of four voting booths in the town of Las Margaritas and on the robbery of two voting booths located in the section La Hacienda in the capital city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. In two communities of Tila the voting booths could not be installed due to fighting during the last few days. In Pueblo Nuevo Solistahaucan an armed group stole the ballots of 4 voting booths and filled them with artificially marked ballots. The conselors of IEPC confirmed that nn Chenalhó, the electoral process was temporarily suspended because the ballots were not completed. According to the executive direct of the IEPC Jesus Moscoso Lorenca, in Ocosingo five voting booths were not installed for security reasons. In Venustiano Carranza the District Counsel had been taken and the protestors threatened to burn the building down. In Suchiate a voting booth had to be closed down because the people that had been registered there were migrants that received their birth certificates from the Civil Registry that had to be closed down for selling birth certificates.

For more information (in Spanish):
Chiapas: ganan PRI y PVEM 91 de 122 alcaldías (La Jornada, 22 de julio de 2015)
Las elecciones en Chiapas concluyen con casi 200 incidentes (CNN México, 20 e julio de 2015)
Elección en Chiapas: reportan robo de urnas, coacción del voto, acarreo y enfrentamientos (El Proceso, 19 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Climate of violence between PRI and Green Ecologist Party in days before elections (22 July 2015)
Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)

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Chiapas: Climate of violence between PRI and Green Ecologist Party in days before elections

July 22, 2015

comitan-grupos-de-choque

Photo @Juan Orel

The final days in the run-up to local elections in Chiapas were marked by violence. In terms of the alliance for local deputies, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are in coalition for 16 of the 24 electoral districts. However, in at least 12 Chiapas municipalities there have been documented incidents and attacks between members of the two parties: in Playas de Catazaja, Oxchuc, Tzimol, Tumbala, Chilón, Cacahoatán, Tila, Frontera Comalapa, Ocotepec, Tuxtla Chico, Huixtla, and Mapastepec.

During the night of 16 July, a group of masked men armed with sticks, stones, and rockets (presumably allied to the PVEM) robbed photographic equipment and cash, and beat the journalist Juan Orel, during his coverage of an incident in the Boulevard of the Federations in the Comitán municipality. The incident in question occurred when the reporter was covering an attack by the masked men against a group of PRI militants. Another case of aggression took place in Tila. The Committee on Human Rights Digna Ochoa made public that residents of the Tila municipality denounced that “there prevails in the Tila municipality a climate of generalized terror among the population, provoked by the presence of armed groups that serve the PRI and PVEM.” Beyond this, the communique from the Digna Ochoa Committee mentions that “among the residents there exists a fear that the electoral process will end with a massacre, given that, to date, the Chiapas state government led by Manuel Velasco Coello has been totally absent in terms of guaranteeing the right to life, integrity, and personal security of the people of the Tila municipality.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Grupo de choque ligado al PVEM agrede y roba equipo de reportero (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Se confrontan PRI y Verde en Comitán (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Conflictos entre PRI y PVEM marcan elecciones en Chiapas (Red Política, 8 de julio de 2015)

Comunicado Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base de Chiapas Digna Ochoa (15 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

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


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured

July 21, 2015

80 aniversario del Ejido Tila, octubre 2014 @ SIPAZ

80th anniversary of the Tila ejido, October 2014 @ SIPAZ

The ejidatarios from Tila, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, denounced that on 20 June, groups pertaining to the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had a confrontation, given that members of the PVEM “blockaded the crossroads of Jolpokitioc and Yajalón, using all the trucks from the City Hall” on the orders of the PVEM candidate, Edgar Leopoldo Gómez Gutiérrez, with the participation of masked youth who created “social intimidation because they have been seen on the paths near the ejido,” as the public denunciation noted.

Furthermore, on 6 July, the ejidatarios reported that the PRI candidate, Eliseo Trinidad Trujillo, was attacked with a firearms, provoking the arrival of eight cars “full of masked men carrying sticks, rocks, and firearms, as guided by the municipal police director, Jorge Antonio Decelis Guillén, the son of the cacique Gustavo Decelis.” “All of this was taking place within our ejido due to the action of the political parties and their elections, which always end in mutual death, because it is a choice between criminals […]. We want to say that in our Ch’ol indigenous people settled on ejidal land, we have spent 72 years confronting attacks on our land and territory, and it is not a legal space for political parties to come to fight, because the ejido is protected by a presidential resolution from 30 July 1934, published in the Official Diary of the Federation on 16 October of the same year,” they added in their denunciation.

State media mentioned that the PRI candidate had submitted a complaint before the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE). Trinidad Trujillo was injured, but a youth who was accompanying him on tour was injured in the head. Official sources also reported that they had received reports that three youth were injured by gunfire in the Nueva Esperanza neighborhood, being three PVEM militants who were presumably attacked by PRI members.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Tila denuncia sobre la violencia armada partidista (La Otra Ejido Tila, 8 de julio de 2015)

Un candidato a alcalde de Tila, Chiapas, es baleado tras acto de campaña (CNN México, 7 de julio de 2015)

Disputa entre militantes del PRI y PVEM en Chiapas deja cuatro heridos(La Jornada, 7 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

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


Mexico: Final results of the 2015 midterm elections

June 25, 2015

(@Portico online)

(@Portico online)

On Sunday, June 7, 2015, more than 83 million Mexicans voted for 1,996 public offices, including 9 governorships, 500 federal deputies, and hundreds of local offices in different states of the Republic.

A week after the elections, upon finalizing the calculation of votes, the National Electoral Institute (INE) reported that the deputies chosen by direct votes and proportional representation within the Chamber of Deputies would include 203 seats for the PRI (which will retain the majority vote), 108 for the PAN, 56 for PRD, 47 for the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM), 35 for MORENA, 26 for the Citizens’ Movement, 8 for Social Encounter, 10 for New Alliance (PANAL), and 6 for the Labor Party (PT). 41% of the offices will be held by women.

The election registered a participation of 47.72% of eligible voters, while the percentage of blank votes reached 4.76% of the total.

For more information (in Spanish):

¿Cuántos legisladores tendrá cada partido en la Cámara de Diputados? (Animal Político, 14 de junio de 2015)

INE confirma resultados para diputados federales; PRI obtuvo más de 11 milliones de votos (Sdp Noticias, 14 de junio de 2015)

PRI será mayoría en San Lazaro; finaliza el conteo (El Universal, 14 de junio de 2015)

Ganadores de las elecciones del 7 de junio del 2015 (El Economista, 15 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: PRI wins elections within violent context (25 June 2015)

Chiapas: abstentionism and blank votes “win” in midterm elections (25 June 2015)

Oaxaca: Violent election day: 440 incidents, 92 arrests, injured, disappeared, and one killed (25 June 2015)


Guerrero: PRI wins elections within violent context

June 25, 2015

150607-Policia-Federal-invade-col-Tepeyac-Tlapa

Federal police invade Tepeyac community, Tlapa. Photo @Tlachinollan

With a margin of 41%, the preliminary results of the Guerrero State elections place the PRI-PVEM candidate, Héctor Astudillo Flores, as the winner. Astudillo gained 465 mil 263 votes, 7% more than his most popular rival, the PRD-PT candidate, Beatriz Mojica Morga. The candidate for the Citizens’ Movement (MC), Luis Walton Aburto, took third place, with 91,651 votes. Beyond these, comes the National Action Party candidate (PAN), Jorge Camacho Peñaloza (58,005 votes); the MORENA candidate, Pablo Amílcar Sandoval (30,355 votes), and the New Alliance Party (PANAL), Karime Sevilla (19,625 votes).

In the mayorships, the PRI took 36, the PRD 24, the MC 7, the PAN 4, and the PT and PVEM 2 each, with PANAL taking 1. According to these results, the PRI will retake control of Acapulco, Iguala, and Tixtla, and it will maintain power in Chilpancingo, Taxco, and Chilapa, while the PRD will continue to govern in Zihuatanejo and Cocula, and it will recover Ayutla and Metlatónoc.

On election day, the process took place within a violent context in many parts of the state. In Tlapa de Comonfort, police and soldiers attacked citizens (including two women and a girl) who had kidnapped federal officials, whom they wanted to exchange for 9 imprisoned teachers. The group was arrested by the authorities at the headquarters of the State Coordination of Educational Workers of Guerrero (CETEG) and one house in particular. Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, arrived to the site to mediate a dialogue and interchange between the arrested teachers, who had been transferred by helicopter to Mexico City, and the federal officials. Barrera reported that the Secretary for Governance had accepted the exchange, but that the teachers would be handed over in Chilpancingo. Nonetheless, at night, federal police fired tear gas and live ammunition at the citizenry to disperse them. One youth died by gunfire for this reason.

Tlachinollan has demanded that the security forces that participated in this attack be investigated and sanctioned. The Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights published an Urgent Action on 8 June that demands that federal and state authorities “guarantee the security of the people of Tlapa and of the people arrested by the federal police at the CETEG offices,” beyond “carrying out an independent investigation,” among other things. Crescenciano Gallardo Sánchez, spokesperson for the CETEG in the Costa Grande, observed that “whoever wins the election, the protests carried out by social organizations in the state will continue, to demand the return with life of the 43 students of the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, who were forcibly disappeared on 26 September of last year in Iguala, as well as to demand the release of all political prisoners, especially the communal leader Nestora Salgado García.

A day before the elections were held, Saturday 6 June, there was a confrontation involving members of the United Front for Security and Social Development in Guerrero (FUSDEG) in a rural zone of the Acapulco municipality which left 16 dead and an unspecified number of injured. Nonetheless, the mayor, Luis Uruñuela, expressed that the events do not have to do with the elections, and he claimed that the State Attorney General would investigate the incident.

For more information (in Spanish):

Cómputo del Prep coloca a Astudillo Flores como ganador de la elección (La Jornada de Guerrero, 9 de junio de 2015)

Federales y militares disparan contra civiles en Tlapa; reportan un muerto (La Jornada de Guerrero, 7 de junio de 2015)

Policía ingresa a Tlapa y rescata a federales retenidos; confirman muerte de una persona (Sin Embargo, 7 de junio de 2015)

Gobierno estatal rompió la negociación antes de operativo en Tlapa, denuncian (Centro ProDH, 9 de junio de 2015)

Lamenta el alcalde el enfrentamiento del Fusdeg en Xolapa que dejó 16 muertos (La Jornada de Guerrero, 8 de junio de 2015)

Se proclama vencedor Héctor Astudillo con ventaja de 14 puntos sobre Mojica (La Jornada de Guerrero, 8 de junio de 2015)

Gane quien gane la elección, seguirán las protestas de organizaciones: Ceteg (La Jornada de Guerrero, 8 de junio de 2015)

ACCIÓN URGENTE (Tlachinollan, 7 de junio de 2015)

ACCIÓN URGENTE (Centro de DDHH Pro Juárez)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Guerrero/International: Eurocaravan for Ayotzinapa prohibited from protesting in front of Mexican embassy in Spain (7 June 2015)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (3 May 2015)


Chiapas: abstentionism and blank votes “win” in midterm elections

June 25, 2015

Elecciones intermedias 2015, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas (@SIPAZ)

Midterm elections 2015 San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas (@SIPAZ)

On June 7, together with the rest of the country, federal congressional elections took place in Chiapas. The environment in the days running up to the elections was marked by tensions resulting from the violent protests that members of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) had been carrying out since the beginning of June in the capital city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, together with its announcement of their boycott of the elections. To guarantee that elections be held, the Secretary of Governance announced on June 6 the deployment of federal forces in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacán. In the specific case of Chiapas, reports indicated at least 18,000 soldiers and federal police arrived.

At the end of the day, the General Secretary for Governance, Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda, stressed that the elections had taken place under normal conditions in Chiapas, though he recognizes that some “incidents” had been seen, though according to him, these neither threatened the elections nor the social stability of the state.

Within these “incidents,” not all the voting booths could be installed, and 35 ballots and electoral documents were burned in Ocosingo, Chilón, Venustiano Carranza, Comitán, Salto de Agua, Chiapa de Corzo, Huehuetán, and Tuxtla. The CNTE has distanced itself from these actions.

92% of the reporting results suggested the following outcomes: 46.5% of the eligible population abstained, while 5.8% submitted blank votes. This implies that at least half declared themselves for one candidate or another.

The rest of the voting gave a clear victory to the alliance between the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), whose candidates triumphed in the 12 districts comprising the state, obtaining 69.4% of the voters. In net terms, the PVEM consolidated itself as the primary political force, after it received 45.6% of the votes. MORENA took third place, with approximately 6% in favor.

It should be recalled that, in the case of Chiapas, there will be new elections on July 19 for local congressional positions (24 legislators by majority vote and 17 by proportion) and 122 mayorships.

For more information (in Spanish):

La coalición PRI-Partido Verde arrasa en las elecciones de Chiapas (CNN México, 8 de junio de 2015)

Gana el abstencionismo en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 8 de junio de 2015)

Detienen a campesinos en Chiapas por quema de material electoral (Proceso, 7 de junio de 2015)

Con tranquilidad concluye jornada electoral en Chiapas (Excelsior, 7 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Occupation of gas stations and burning of electoral offices during CNTE protests in Tuxtla Gutiérrez (10 June 2015)


Chiapas: Change of General Secretary for Governance

April 24, 2015

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda y Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

On April 16, Chiapas´ state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, announced the resignation of his General Secretary for Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, who is to be replaced by the PRI official Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda. Ramírez Aguilar, a former mayor of Comitán, will return to the House of Deputies.  In July 2013, he solicited the license for the position that he just left.

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda was a founding member of the Federal Congress’s Commission for Concordance and Pacification, which participated in dialogues with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).  He held the position of federal representative in the time-period during which he was coordinating the PRI Chiapas group and oversaw the Southern Border Commission.  Before taking up his new charge, he was head of the Secretary for Planning, Public Management, and Government Program.

No explanation was given as to the change in the cabinet, though rumors point to differences between the Mexican Green Ecologist Party (PVEM, to which the governor belongs) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), in a government that has been in alliance between these two parties.  Rumors indicate that the resignation of Ramírez Aguilar took place following a meeting between the state potentate and the federal Secretary for Governance (SEGOB), Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong. Other sources stress the presumed connections between the state official with a “paramilitary organized crime group” as a possible motive.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: nuevo secretario de Gobierno; el anterior, señalado por nexos con paramilitares (Aristegui Noticias, 18 abril de 2015)

Nombran nuevo secretario general en Chiapas (El Universal, 17 de abril de 2015)

Gobernador de Chiapas va a la Segob y luego cambia a su secretario de Gobierno (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2015)

La Secretaría General de Gobierno, la rifa del tigre (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de abril de 2015)