Chiapas/National: March in solidarity with the San Francisco Xochicuautla community

September 10, 2015

(@Sin Embargo)(@Sin Embargo)

Residents of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Lerma municipality, Mexico State, mobilized themselves on 28 July in Mexico City of defend their sacred forest Otomí. The action was organized to protest the expropriatory decree imposed by the federal government that removes part of their territory from their control in favor of the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway.

Present at the march were many representatives from other social processes, including from the Nahua community of Ostula, Michoacán; Ayotzinapa, Guerrero; and San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State, among others.  The march expressed its solidarity with the Santa María Ostula community, which is struggling to exercise its right to autonomy as an indigenous population, and who have recently suffered an attack on the part of the Army that killed a girl and left ten others injured.  There were also demonstrations of solidarity with the demand for justice for Ayotzinapa.

It should be recalled that San Francisco Xochicuautla is an Otomí-ñatho community that for eight years has resisted the planned construction of the highway in question.  Recently, the central government published a decree expropriating 37 hectares to carry out the project, which would plunder the locals’ land.  The concession for the construction and maintenance of the highway was made in 2009 by the former Mexico State governor and current president, Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN), to a firm associated with the Higa group.  The clear links between the head of state and this corporation have been made clear, as the firm has carried out projects involving millions of pesos during EPN’s administration in Mexico City.  In this way have been clarified its links with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), for it also built the polemical “White House” in the Chapultepec hills in Mexico City.

The expressions of support for the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla have been forthcoming through pronunciations and events.  In San Cristóbal de Las Casas there was planned an event to raise awareness and express solidarity to include projections of videos and talks about the attacks on the Xochicuautla and Ostula communities, as well as against the Autonomous Rebel Zapatista Municipalities (MAREZ).  As organized by adherents to the Sixth Declaration, it was to take place on 31 July in El Paliacate Espacio Cultural, starting at 5pm.

For more information (in Spanish):

Realizan manifestación en defensa de Xochicuautla (SIDIDH, 29 de julio de 2015)

Comuneros se movilizan en el DF contra “el despojo” de tierras para autopista Higa (Sin Embargo, 28 de julio de 2015)

Xochicuautla Abraza y Convoca a Marchar por sus Hermanos Indígenas de Ostula. (Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en defensa de la Madre Tierra, 27 de julio de 2015)

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

Pobladores de Xochicuautla rechazan decreto expropiatorio por construcción de autopista (Aristegui Noticias, 10 de julio de 2015)

La casa blanca de Enrique Peña Nieto (investigación especial) (Aristegui Noticias, 9 de noviembre de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

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

National: Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion (30 December 2015)

National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues

May 16, 2014

Foto @ Regeneración Radio

Photo @ Regeneración Radio

8 years ago, on 3 and 4 May 2006, residents of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco suffered a strong repression when Enrique Peña Nieto, the current president of Mexico, was governor of the state of Mexico.  As a result of this, 47 women were sexually assaulted by police, two youth were killed, and 207 were arrested.

On 5 May, the Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights presented the campaign “Breaking the silence: all together against sexual violence.”  The objective of the campaign is to make visible the torture–principally sexual–exercised systematically against women by security forces after these were arrested for protesting; the campaign also seeks to accompany these women and to continue denouncing the government’s strategy to see these women as “war booty.”  Norma Jiménez noted that nothing has been easy since they undertook this struggle to denounce the acts which took place 8 years ago, given that they were sexually tortured, but she observed that people in solidarity have given them the strength to carry on, though now they think that it is is important to express solidarity with other women, because “it seems that all of us are in a similar situation, as though they had arrested us all–that is because this is all a conscious strategy.”  For this reason, other women who have joined the campaign include Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, Me’phaa indigenous women from Guerrero who in 2002 began another struggle to denounce the rights-violations and sexual torture to which they were subjected by soldiers in the Mexican Army.

Beyond this, the Front for Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT) recently accused the municipal government of San Salvador Atenco of organizing assemblies in which representatives of federal authorities have attempted to convince ejidatarios from Atenco and Texcoco to sell their lands for the construction of a new international airport for Mexico City.  Jesús Adán Espinoza noted that the federal government would face serious opposition if it attempted to carry out its urbanization plans for “Future City” and “Rescue of the Former Texcoco Lake,” as such works would only reactivate the project to build the new airport.  “These projects will only bring the further degradation of our traditions, customs, and our lands if we allow them to pass,” he declared.

For more information (in Spanish):

“Rompiendo el silencio:Todas juntas contra la tortura sexual”(Regeneración Radio, 6 de mayo de 2014)

Acusan a autoridades de Atenco de convencer a ejidatarios para aceptar construcción de aeropuerto (La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2014)

A 8 años. Atenco no olvidamos: una mirada desde La Sexta (Coordinador Valle de Chalko, 8 de mayo de 2014)

“No insistan, no vamos a desistir en abandonar nuestras tierras y viviendas” (Reporteros en Movimiento, 5 de mayo de 2014)

Carta de Solidaridad con Atenco: ¡No olvidamos lo que pasó los 3 y 4 de mayo, tampoco la lucha en contra del aeropuerto! (Enlace Zapatista, 8 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)

Chiapas/National: Lawyers for Patishtán and communal police of Michoacán denounce death-threats and harassment

March 28, 2014

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archivo)

Leonel Rivero (@SIPAZ archive)

In an Urgent Action published on 14 March, Amnesty International (AI) denounced the death-threats and harassment suffered by the lawyers of the Strategic Defense for Human Rights, Leonel Rivero Rodríguez and Augusto César Sandino Rivero Espinoza.  These lawyers are known for their interventions in cases such as that of now ex-prisoner Alberto Patishtán, those arrested from the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land from San Salvador Atenco, and communal police from Michoacán.

On 17 January, Rivero Rodríguez received a threatening telephone call and then presented a denunciation before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), though the perpetrator of the action has not yet been identified.  Indeed, the PGR has now informed her that it plans to place the affair in the archive.

On 4 March, “three unknown persons invaded a hotel in which Leonel Rivero Rodríguez was meeting with members of communities from Michoacán state to address delicate issues,” regarding a case that she was covering together with Sandino Rivero Espinosa.  On 10 March, the office that Leonel Rivero Rodríguez has in her home in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas was harassed.

AI has called on the authorities to guarantee the security of the lawyers of Strategic Defense for Human Rights, to undertake an impartial investigationi into the telephone threats made on 17 January, and the harassment of 10 March, as well as to guarantee that “the lawyers who work on potentially delicate affairs be allowed to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of suffering repression.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente de Amnistía Internacional, 14 de marzo de 2014

Amnistía Internacional denuncia amenazas contra abogados de Patishtán(Proceso, 17 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncia Amnistía Internacional hostigamiento contra abogado de Patishtán (La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2014)

 Los abogados de Alberto Patisthán denuncian amenazas y hostigamientos(CNN México, 18 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)

National: Actions to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán, 13 years after his arrest

June 25, 2013

Acción afuera del CERSS 5 @ SIPAZ

On 19 June, 13 years after his arrest, at least two events were held to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a Tsotsil professor from the El Bosque community who is presently being held in the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced (CERSS) No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Chiapas). Outside this prison, there was a mass offered by the priests of El Bosque, Magdaleno Sánchez Ruiz, and Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez Pérez.  Once the religious act ended, messages in solidarity were read, and hundreds of protestors held a march to emphasize their demand.  In Mexico City, there was organized a political-cultural event with the same demand, which was attended by members of different groups, including the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT) from San Salvador Atenco, and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME).  Different persons, such as the former rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Pablo González Casanova, and the local deputy for the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD), Carlos de Jesús Alejandro, expressed their support and demanded the release of Patishtán Gómez, member of the Voz del Amate and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the EZLN.  The PRD representative did not discard the possibility of requesting presidential pardon as a final gesture, in case of a failure from the federal tribunal in Tuxtla Gutiérrez in its decision on Alberto Patishtán, which is expected in the coming weeks.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Exigen liberación de Patishtán con marcha en torno a penal (20/06/2013)

La Jornada: Podría quedar libre pronto: ONG (20/06/2013) “No tomaron en cuenta mis derechos”: Patishtán, a 13 años de encarcelado (20/06/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pilgrimage by the Believing People for the release of professor Alberto Patishtan (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Petition from the CDHFBC to release Alberto Patishtán (15 April 2013)

Chiapas: Forthcoming actions for the release of Alberto Patishtán (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: “Justice is its opposite,” declares Alberto Patishtán (20 March 2013)


Mexico: IACHR admits case of 11 women victimized by physical and verbal violence

November 26, 2011


Three years after having been presented, the case of 11 women who were victimized by sexual and verbal violence on the part of police after been arrested in San Salvador Atenco, state of Mexico, in May 2006 was accepted on 4 November by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  They were part of the 47 arrested women (out of a total of 207) in the operations ordered by the then PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto.  At the time, there were denounced 26 rapes, but only 14 were denounced before the Special Prosecutorial Office for Attention to Crimes Related to Acts of Violence against Women (Fevim).  In light of the lack of results in the demand for justice, only 11 requested that the IACHR admit the case, as it finally did.

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Prodh Center), legal representative with the Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil) of those attacked, celebrated the decision of the IACHR.  It denounced that “the admission of the case represents a substantive advance in the large path national and international taken by those victimized by sexual torture.  Doubtless, the national and international solidarity that has been expressed over more than 5 years has allowed that these women continue resisting in light of the sexual torture used by the State as a strategy to demobilize and generate fear.  The case is paradigmatic of the institutional violence exercised by the Mexican state, and the struggle for justice is for all women.”

The IACHR decision opens the possibility that the case pass eventually to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Admite la CIDH caso de las mujeres agredidas en Atenco (9 November 2011)

CIDH admite el Caso de las Mujeres que sufrieron Tortura Sexual de Atenco (Boletín de prensa, CentroProDH, 8 November 2011)

Admite la CIDH caso de mujeres ultrajadas en Atenco (Proceso, 8 November 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples Build Justice and Truth” (25 March 2011)

Chiapas: Celebration of the release of prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón

September 22, 2011

Photo @Zapateando

On 3 September, members of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala, San Salvador Atenco, and members of the Sector of Workers from the states of Veracruz, Mexico state, and Mexico city responded to the call from the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Other Campaign, to celebrate the release of the prisoners of San Sebastián Bachajón in the same community.  There were also present ejidatarios from Tila (northern zone of Chiapas) and from communities close to San Sebastián Bachajón.  The authorities of the ejido gave their word, as did the ex-prisoners, who declared themselves in favor of continuing to struggle.  They thanked those present and invited them to continue working together in struggle.  The women of the ejido shared the difficulties of their struggle and how they are participating.

It should be remembered that at the end of the month of July were released all the prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón who had been incarcerated for 5 months.  On 5 February, the State Attorney General’s Office of Chiapas had detained 10 ejidatarios, including a minor, following a confrontation with militants from the Institutional Revolutionary Party for the control of an entrance-point located in the touristic center of the Agua Azul waterfalls.

For more information (in Spanish):

A defender San Sebastián Bachajón (Zapateando, 7 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The four prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón are released (18 August 2011)

Chiapas: Facing police repression, adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón abandon control-post they had taken the previous day (24 April 2011)

Chiapas: Press conference by ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón (20 March  2011)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: The Peace Network visits prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: detentions vis-a-vis blockade of road Tonala-Pijijiapan during action of the Other Campaign (26 February 2011)

Chiapas: Caravan of women to San Sebastian Bachajón (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: Agua Azul, new happenings and denunciations (17 February 2011)

Chiapas: update in the Agua Azul case (14 February 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (10 February 2011)

Chiapas: confrontation over control point at Agua Azul leaves one dead and several injured (7 February 2011)

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice

May 6, 2011

Photo: Centro-Prodh

Five years after the police incursion in Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco on 3 and 4 May 2006, women who have denounced their sexual torture firmly maintain their demands for justice.  Civil organizations indicate that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the State Attorney General’s Office of Mexico have impeded advances in the path toward justice for these women, and that due to the inefficacy of the internal institutions the case of 11 women finds itself presently before the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

The police operative implemented in the state of Mexico in 2006 against the Popular Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) in its struggle against the construction of an airport in Texcoco left two youth dead and 207 detained, of whom 47 were women.  Of the 47 women who were attacked, the National Commission on Human rights (CNDH) noted rape in 26 cases.  On this the fifth anniversary of the Atenco events, the Movement of Peoples in Defense of the Land, Amnesty International, and SME protested in front of the offices of the PGR to demand justice.

For more information (in Spanish):

Atenco, cinco años de resistencia frente a la tortura sexual, Cencos, 3 May 2011)

Atenco, a 5 años no se olvidan los excesos en el uso de la fuerza pública, El Universal, 3 May 2011

Víctimas de violación en Atenco se resisten a quedar en el olvido, cimacnoticas, 3 May

En Atenco prevalecen 5 años de impunidad, todotexcoco, 3 May 2011

A un lustro de hechos en Atenco, activistas exigen justicia frente a PGR, La Jornada, 2 May 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples Build Justice and Truth” (25 March 2011)


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