Nation: A minor murdered and ten others wounded in Santa María Ostula

August 16, 2015



On 19 July, a 12-year old minor was shot in the Nahua community of Ostula. municipality of Aquila, Michoacán. Hidelberto Reyes García was in a shop when he was hit by a bullet fired by a military convoy comprised of 30 vehicles. According to the official version of the events, the soldiers were shooting in the air. During a press conference, the land commissioner Agustín Vera declared that the army was not provoked by the communards: “They acted in an arbitrary manner.” He also repudiated the official version: “The military troops shot in the air so people would get out of the way and they shot civilians.” Of the ten wounded people four are minors. One of the victims has disabilities, and another one is more than 60 years old. They were injured by bullets and tear gas.

Cemel Vardía Cepeda, commander of the community police of Ostula and general coordinator of the self-defenses of three municipalities, was arrested the same day of the attack. He was accused of carrying weapons reserved to the army as well as of burning ballots during the July 7th elections. “A member of the self-defenses declared that government authorities requested him to appear at a meeting in the village of La Placita, municipality of Aquila, where he was detained and moved to Morelia and soon afterwards to the maximum security prison in Tepic, Nayarit,” said a member of the self-defense forces. During the same operation, which involved more than a thousand police and federal authorities, other members of the self-defenses were detained and their radios and weapons confiscated. Members of police authorities have expressed their support for the accused, arguing that his weapons had been given to him by the government, since Cemel was part of the Rural Force. They understand this detention as an attempt to weaken the community’s self-defense system.

It is important to remember that Ostula recovered around 300 hectares of land on June 29, 2009, exercising its right to autonomy as a Nahua village and against drug-trafficking and mining exploitation. Since that time, 32 communards have been murdered and 5 have disappeared.

Several communiqués in social media showed support for the people of Ostula, demanding investigation and justice for the victims and the wounded of the Nahua community. Some of them are the joint communiqué of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), or the one released by the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico (REDIM).

For more information:

Comunicado urgente de la comunidad indigena de Ostula (La Jornada Michoacán, 19 de julio de 2015)

Denuncian que agresión del Ejército contra nahuas fue arbitraria (Sididh, 21 de julio de 2015)

Embestida del ejército contra la comunidad nahua de Santa María Ostula(SubVersiones, 20 de julio de 2015)

El niño muerto en Ostula estaba comprando pañales: familiares (La Jornada, 21 de julio de 2015)

Despiden al niño que mató el Ejército; sus amigos protestan: “Queremos que nos cuiden, no que nos maten” (Revolución tres punto cero, 21 de julio de 2015

Tres muertos, entre ellos dos niños, saldo del ataque del Ejército en Aquila (Proceso, 20 de julio de 2015)

Al grito de “¡Vivan los Templarios!” soldados atacaron en Aquila: comuneros (Proceso, 21 de julio de 2015)

Sepultan en Michoacán al niño baleado por militares (La Jornada, 22 de julio de 2015)

Comunicado conjunto del CNI y el CCRI-CG del EZLN sobre el ataque de fuerzas federales contra la comunidad indígena de Santa María Ostula.(Enlace Zapatista, 22 de julio de 2015)

Inadmisibles los ataques y ejecuciones extrajudiciales de niñas, niños y adolescentes a manos de policías y militares: REDIM (Redim, 20 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Mexico: Denunciation of new attacks against indigenous community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán (10 June 2015)

Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents

October 1, 2014

Manifestación #x1leydealtura en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

Protest #x1heightlaw in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

On 24 September, the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico (#REDIM) and civil organizaitons carried out a symbolic protest in 11 cities of Mexico and in Geneva, Switzerland, “toward the end of calling on the Senate to be careful in the reforms it is implementing with regard to the bill presented by the president’s office, so that [senators] consider changes to be relevant and to guarantee the rights of the nearly 40 million children and adolescents who live in Mexico.”

The organizations stressed that “in this new General Law initiative, it is very important to guarantee an adequate and transparent budget for implementation; that the participation of civil society be contemplated via voice and vote; and that truly participatory mechanisms be established so that children and adolescents can opine regarding the decisions which affect them, such that these opinions be taken into account in terms of the construction of public policies having to do with children.”

Symbolic protests were carried out in Guadalajara, Jalisco; Morelia, Michoacán; Tehuacán, Puebla; Comitán, Tapachula , and San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas; La Paz, Baja California; Poza Rica and Xalapa, Veracruz, and in Mexico City.  Protestors carried black umbrellas to symbolize the protection that is sought with this new law.

For more information (in Spanish):


REDIM presentará informe sobre los derechos de la niñez en México ante la ONU (Cencos, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Organizaciones llaman a senadores para analizar ley infantil (Reporte Ciudadano, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Hoy, debate final en el Senado de ley para proteger a niños (La Jornada, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Para solidarizarse:

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Chiapas : Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico”

March 15, 2014


On 1 March, Melel Xojobal A.C., REDIM (Network of the Rights of the Child in Mexico), and REDIAS (Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas) organized the first regional forum of NGOS on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico.”  The forum intended to create space for analysis and dialogue toward the end of joining together the work of civil organizations which labor in favor of the rights of children, so that there be greater efficiency and cooperation in this struggle.

Despite representing 35% of the national population (more than 40 million persons), children control only 6% of the country’s budget, with only a small portion of this going toward their protection. Juan Martín Pérez García, director of Redim, recalled that the rights of the child “are human rights and not small rights,” adding that adolescents comprise a full 50% of all femicides committed in the country.  The doctor denounced that Mexico “is not implementing conditions to observe the rights of children.”  It should be noted that, among the 176 recommendations made to Mexico by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), just 7 refer to children and adolescents.

Children make up a third of Mexico’s population and 40% of the population of Chiapas.  Lamentably, the situation of children in the latter context is very difficult: Chiapas is one of the places with the fewest legal tools enshrined into public policy, and the statistics for children in the state are among the worst in the country, always below the national average.  Chiapas has the least percentage of school attendance in Mexico and the lowest average number of years spent in formal education, but the majority of the population aged 12-17 is economically active.  Chiapas occupied third place in the number of adolescent pregnancies (15-19 years), and it is retrograde in terms of health-care access (42% of children lack such access, vs. 32% nationally); infant mortality reaches 19.5/1000 in the state, with 14.2/1000 being the national ratio.

In November, for the first time, Mexico will attend the VI Global Congress for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, which will coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Mexico in 1990.  This may be an opportunity to make visible the rights of youth, and to make them a reality….

For more information (in Spanish):

Llaman a trabajar por derechos de los niños (La Jornada, 2 de marzo de 2014)

Foro regional en atención a los derechos de niños y niñas (Cuarto Poder, 1 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: denunciation of acts of “social cleansing” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: Justice is demanded in the case of the feminicide of the youth Itzel Yanet Méndez Pérez (16 May 2012)

Chiapas: XV Aniversario de Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)