Guerrero: A year after Nestora Salgado’s arrest, organizations demand her immediate release

September 2, 2014

Foto (@SIPAZ)Photo (@SIPAZ)

A year ago, on 21 August 2013, Nestora Salgado García, member of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC-PC) in Olinalá, Guerrero, was arrested and accused of aggravated kidnapping and organized crime. She was then transferred to the maximum-security prison in Tepic, Nayarit, where she has been held to this day. From prison, she has written, “Remember, my beautiful people, that I am imprisoned.” The last time that her daughter Saira Rodríguez Salgado visited her was on 2 August, when she reported that she found her mother desperate due to the inhumane treatments she received. Saira Rodríguez reported that “this is a punishment against my mother for fighting for her people.”

On the occasion of the first anniversary of her arrest, the National Network of Defenders of Human Rights in Mexico (RNDDHM) published a communique to demand her transfer to a jail in Mexico City as well as adequate attention to her health, in addition to demanding the “immediate and unconditional release of the human-rights defender.” The RNDDHM declared that “we call on the authorities of the federal government and the Guerrero state government to provide security guarantees for human-rights defenders, and we demand the cessation of the impunity of murders and forced disappearances of rights-defenders. We have had quite enough of the criminalization of human-rights defenders and of the social movement in Guerrero.”

The Committee of Women #NestoraLibre initiated the campaign “We are all Nestora,” toward the end of expressing solidarity toward her. In this way, both organizations demanded the release of other political prisoners: 9 members of the CRAC-PC and Marco Antonio Suástegui, spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP). These arrests, according to the RNDDHM, “evince the political character of penal persecution and the illegal use of federal prisons, using the complicity of the federal government, from which no human-rights defender in Guerrero is exempt.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Me quieren matar o enloquecer, acusa Nestora Salgado; cumple un año en prisión (La Jornada, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa: RNDDHM exige libertad inmediata de Nestora Salgado (RNDDHM, 21 de agosto de 2014)

Mujeres crean frente por la libertad de presos políticos (Cimacnoticias, 20 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: Emergence of Committee of Women for the Liberty of Nestora Salgado (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on (29 August 2014)

Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (20 July 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (23 June 2014)

Guerrero: Navy kidnaps coordinator of CRAC en Olinalá (13 September 2013)

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Oaxaca: the Mexican state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists

June 10, 2014

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The Network of Female Activists and Human Rights Defenders of Oaxaca announced that, from January 1st to date, 38 attacks on 17 defenders, three journalists, and 5 women’s organizations and/or groups have been recorded in Oaxaca. Those statistics make this the state with the highest number of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists in Mexico, according to data from the Register of the National Network of Female Human Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM).

The Network is particularly concerned about the exponential increase in attacks on female journalists that was recorded during the month of May in the state of Oaxaca. It also indicates that impunity in the cases of attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists contributes to increase their reproduction.

Therefore, the network asks the government to “guarantee the exercise of the right to defend human rights including the right to information and freedom of expression; the recognition of danger and specific attacks suffered by female human rights defenders and journalists; the design and immediate implementation of preventive and protective measures, in consultation with female defenders and journalists in response to their needs; the prompt investigation and punishment of those responsible for the attacks against the journalists Citlalli Lopez and Alejandra Janet Martinez, as well as in all the attacks against female HR defenders and journalists. “

For more information (in Spanish):
Oaxaca: Primer lugar en ataques a mujeres defensoras de DH y periodistas (Página 3, 23 de mayo de 2014)

Oaxaca, primer lugar en ataques a defensoras de DH y periodistas (Ciudadanía Express, 23 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ:
Oaxaca: One of the most violent and dangerous states for the exercise of journalism (May 16, 2014)


Oaxaca: Denunciations of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus

December 9, 2013

Bettina Cruz. Foto @Sipaz

Bettina Cruz. Photo @Sipaz

The National Network of Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM), made up of 135 human-rights defenders from 20 states in the Republic, has in a communique expressed its concern for the attacks and acts of harassment that Oaxacan defenders of indigenous and land rights have recently faced.  This is particularly the case for Bettina Cruz Velázquez, member of the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), Sara Bartolo López, and María del Carmen Sánchez Martínez, members of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ).

Since the year 2007, these human-rights defenders have together with others been carrying out a struggle in defense of the rights of indigenous peoples and their rights in light of the attempts by large multinational corporations (such as Fenosa Natural Gas and Mareña Renewables) to build large wind-energy parks on communal lands, without providing for free, prior and informed consent to the Ijkoots and Binnizá indigenous peoples who have been affected by the projects–as corresponding laws mandate.

The Network has demanded that Oaxacan state governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo guarantee the work of these rights-defenders free from harassment, reprisals, and death-threats by establishing and applying the necessary means to achieve this end.

In this way, the Network calls for guarantees for “members of the APIITDTT and the APJJ to have security measures to protect their lives and territory.  The rights of the people to defend their land and to decide not to allow the construction of wind-energy parks on their communal territory [must also be guaranteed].  [Moreover,] the rights of the people to free, prior, and informed consent [must be respected].”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian campaña de hostigamiento contra defensoras de derechos humanos en el Istmo (Ciudadanía Express, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Denuncian campaña de intimidación en contra de indígena de Tehuantepec (La Jornada, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Closing off of communal paths and police operation over construction of wind-energy park (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: The Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People denounces attack on wind-energy camp (26 October 2013)

Oaxaca: New threats of displacement from Playa Vicente (25 October 2013)

Oaxaca: Death by gunfire of opponent to wind-energy projected promoted by multinational Fenosa Natural Gas (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus at the Crossroads” Seminar (20 August 2013)

Oaxaca: Attacks on those opposed to the wind-energy park in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (4 August 2013)

Oaxaca: judge concedes motion against wind-energy project in San Dionisio del Mar (21 December 2012)