Mexico: 5 years since the massacre of 72 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas

September 11, 2015

La 72 Hogar Refugio Para Personas Migrantes @VICE “La 72,” Refuge Home for Migrants @VICE

Five years ago, on 23 August 2010, 72 bodies of migrants appeared in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. 58 men and 14 women, principally from Central and South America, were kidnapped and executed in a ranch in San Fernando, close to the border with Texas. The indignation over the case was immediate. San Fernando recalled all those who are made invisible during their passage through Mexico in search of a new life. Since that time, the authorities have arrested a number of individuals but have not published information regarding whether anyone has been sentenced. Amnesty International (AI) has warned that the lack of investigation in the case “gives a green light to the criminal groups that terrorize and murder those who cross Mexico in search of security and a better life.” AI also hypothesizes that those responsible belong to criminal gangs, and it suspects that many of these worked in collusion with local security agents.

In Tenosique, Tabasco, the year after these events transpired, in honor of the 72 victims, there was founded the “72 Refuge Home for Migrants,” which provides housing for migrants en route to the U.S. AI specified that, since the massacre in San Fernando, hundreds of other men, women, and children who sought to reach the United States via Mexico have been harassed, disappeared, kidnapped, raped, forced into sexual slavery, and massacred.

For more information (in Spanish):

La historia de la 72: Un mensaje de esperanza frente a masacres de migrantes (VICE, 25 de agosto de 2015)

Masacre en San Fernando: lo que la PGR le oculta a las familias (Proceso, 22 de agosto de 2015)

A 5 años de masacre de 72 migrantes en San Fernando, caso sigue impune: Amnistía Internacional (Animal Político, 22 de agosto de 2015)

Falta de justicia a cinco años de una masacre convierte a México en una ‘zona de riesgo’ para migrantes (Amnistía Internacional, 21 de agosto de 2015)

Denuncia Amnistía impunidad a cinco años de la masacre de San Fernando (Proceso, 21 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Four years after the massacre of San Fernando, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants (2 September 2014)

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Guerrero: Valentina Rosendo renounces MORENA candidacy after attack

June 9, 2015

Valentina Rosendo Cantú (@Amnesty International)

Valentina Rosendo Cantú (@Amnesty International)

Valentina Rosendo Cantú has renounced her candidacy for the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador) for the mayorship of Acatepec, after she received death-threats and suffered a motor-vehicle accident that she qualified as an attack on her person. On 10 May, she was followed on the highway that leads to Tlapa de Comomfort, and for this reason had an accident. Pablo Amílcar Sandoval Ballesteros, the MORENA candidate for Guerrero state, reported the decision.

It should be recalled that Valentina Rosendo Cantú is an indigenous woman who was raped in 2000 by Army soldiers in the Ayutla de los Libres municipalities. In 2010, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights sentenced the Mexican State in the case, and demanded compensation for damages, and ordered an adequate investigation and punishment for those responsible, among other dictates.

For more information (in Spanish):

Atentan contra Valentina Rosendo y renuncia a candidatura de Morena en Guerrero (Proceso, 20 de mayo de 2015)

Una candidata de Morena en Guerrero deja la contienda por seguridad (CNN México, 20 de mayo de 2015)

La mujer a la que el gobierno de México pidió perdón renuncia a su candidatura en Guerrero (Animal Político, 20 de mayo de 2015)

Candidata de Morena a edil renuncia por temor (EL Universal, 20 de mayo de 2015)

From more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: SCJN decision in the case of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo “far from the heights” of the Court’s decision on the Radilla case (2010) (17 May 2015)

Guerrero: Murders and death-threats against candidates for June elections (17 May 2015)


Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police

March 10, 2015

2015-03-02_09-58-36

Homage to teacher Claudio Castillo. Photo @SIDIDH

On 25 February, the Guerrero state government confirmed the death of the teacher Claudio Castillo Peña due to cranial trauma, following the conflict between the Federal Police and members of the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) the day prior in Acapulco.  Raúl Miliani Sabido,  the Secretary for Civil Protection in the state, said in an interview that “unfortunately we do have the confirmation” of Castillo’s death, being 65 years of age.  Castillo Peña belonged to the teachers’ movement of the retired and usually was one of the speakers at the actions organized by the teachers in resistance.  Due to his state of health, the teacher used crutches, and witnesses observe that he could not run to escape the police displacement operation.  The Attorney General of Guerrero State announced on 26 February that the appropriate investigations had begun to investigate and establish the legal responsibilities of the civilian courts.

Testimony from female members of CETEG who had been at the front of the contingent when it was attacked by the Federal Police confirms the sexual abuse of a teacher who has been hospitalized in Cuernavaca, Morelos.  In a communique she relates that during the chase, the police caught up with her “and began to beat me, then I fell.  So they took me to a remote place where they raped me multiple times, hurt me, and caused me to lose consciousness due to so much pain.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Guerrero confirma la muerte de un profesor en Acapulco (La Jornada, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Maestro jubilado muere tras desalojo en Acapulco (Cuartoscuro, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Fiscalía de Guerrero investiga desalojo y asesinato de maestro(Excelsior, 26 de febrero de 2015)

Fue violada “una y otra vez” por policías federales, denuncia maestra(Sur Acapulco, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Al maestro sí lo mató la Policía Federal; cuatro profesoras fueron violadas, denuncia la Ceteg (CENCOS, 26 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

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


Oaxaca: New attack on members of the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec

October 1, 2014

Foto @ Albergue Hermanos en el Camino

On 18 September, agents of the National Institute on Migration (INM) and the Mexican Army physically and verbally assaulted members and human-rights defenders associated with the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, as the latter were carrying out their work in the Chivela community, located in the northern zone of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  The attacks took place as the workers were traveling in the train that leaves Ixtepec for Medias Aguas, Veracruz.  In response to the attacks, the workers submitted a penal denunciation before the Ixtepec Prosecutorial Office on Migrants against the INM and also submitted complaints to the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH).  They indicated that while they were documenting attacks against migrant persons, they observed the presence of three INM vehicles and three Army convoys.

It should be noted that, following the federal government’s implementation of the Southern Border Plan (PFS) two months ago, 57 persons have been victims of grave crimes, such as robbery, extortion, rape, and assault, according to the findings of the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home.  Attacks on migrants have increased 90% during this period.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Albergue Hermanos en el Camino (19 de septiembre de 2014)

INM y Ejército agreden a defensores de migrantes; les decomisan material documentado (Centro ProDH, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

Agrede INM a defensores de Derechos Humanos (Noticias Net, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

Testimonio narra agresiones de agentes del INM a activistas en Oaxaca(Animal Político, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

El Plan Frontera Sur: violencia institucionalizada (Más de 131, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM (30 March 2014)

National: Collaborators of the “72″ migrant home abandon work due to threats (24 June 2013)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)