National: Increase in attacks on journalists in Mexico

December 27, 2015

@Cuartoscuro

@Cuartoscuro

In recent weeks have transpired a number of attacks and acts of harassment against journalists in Mexico.  On 20 November in Mexico City, the home of the journalist Gloria Muñoz Ramírez was raided.  Muñoz Ramírez is the director of the electronic magazine Desinformémonos and a columnist for La Jornada.  Moreover, the editorship of Desinformémonos suffered a robbery and a cyber-attack.  The magazine is dedicated to documenting popular struggles and social movements in Mexico and throughout the world.  “This attack takes place within the context of grave attacks on journalists in the country, thus harming the right to information and putting at risk the lives, integrity, and personal security of those who dedicate themselves to communication,” noted the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, based in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in a communique.

Moreover, on 25 November, the journalist Maite Azuela received a death-threat at her home in Mexico City.  The articles written by the journalist are dedicated to human-rights policies and violations, recently related to the Army, as led by General Salvador Cienfuegos, and the state government of Puebla, directed by Rafael Moreno Valle. On 27 November in Guerrero, the general secretary of the state government, Florencio Salazar Adame, interrupted into a radio program and threatened the journalist Sergio Ocampo Arista, a news reporter, who had been discussing “suspicious” acts taken by the State.  According to the Journalistic Investigation Agency, Salazar Adame “arrived violently to the radio station and took the microphone to warn Ocampo […] that he should be careful with the criticisms he launches against the PRI government of Astudillo Flores,” governor of Guerrero.  Recently in Veracruz, at least 12 journalists were attacked by public-security forces.

Amidst these incidents, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) and Amnesty International Mexico (AI Mexico) submitted more than 12,000 signatures to the state authorities to demand that all the necessary measures be taken so that the Mechanism of Protection for Rights-Defenders and Journalists in Mexico function effectively. CMDPDH and AI indicated that the “work of rights-defenders in the country is risky and despite the fact that since 2012, there exists a law establishing a mechanism to protect these defenders and journalists who are at risk, it has not been implemented effectively due to lack of interest on the part of politicians.”  From 2000 to date, the National Commission on Human Rights in Mexico (CNDH) has registered 107 murders of journalists; 20 disappearances of journalists between 2005 and 2015; 48 attacks on media institutions from 2006 to date and a total of 506 complaints from 2010 to 2015.  Beyond this, between 2014 and 2015 the CNDH has authorized 26 precautionary measures.

For more information (in Spanish):

Recibe amenaza de muerte articulista Maite Azuela en el Distrito Federal (Desinformémonos, 30 de noviembre de 2015)

Periodistas veracruzanos exigen tipificar delito de “ataque a la libertad de expresión” y garantías de seguridad (Revolución 3.0, 29 de noviembre de 2015)

Secretario general del gobierno priista de Guerrero irrumpe en cabina de radio con sus guaruras y amenaza a periodista (Revolución 3.0, 28 de noviembre de 2015)

Basta de agresiones contra periodistas en México (Desinformémonos, 27 de noviembre de 2015)

Exigen eficacia en protección a periodistas (El Economista, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Condenamos agresiones a periodistas y el ataque a Desinformémonos (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Mexico: Torture and murder of journalist and four women (10 September 2015)

National: Disappeared journalist Gregorio Jiménez is found dead (16 February 2014)

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists (30 March 2014)

Oaxaca: New attacks on journalists (2 September 2014)

Advertisements

Chiapas: Events to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

December 26, 2015

Mitin del MODEVITE y del Movimiento de Mujeres en Defensa de la Tierra, el Territorio y por el Derecho de las Mujeres a decidir. Foto: @SIPAZ

Rally by MODEVITE and the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide
Photo: @SIPAZ

On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, several events were held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

For one, the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide held its first assembly on 23-24 November. Through this action, the organization released a communique “in favor of social property, in opposition to all forms of privatization of the land and territory” and denouncing “the energy reform as well as its continuation in the strategic rural reform.” The women, together with some men, ended the meeting with a march against violence against women. Beyond this, the Movement in Defense of Land and Life (MODEVITE), from the Believing People of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese, also marched on the same day. Simultaneously, thousands of persons (30,000 according to Proceso) mobilized in ten other municipalities in the state, “to remember that Mother Earth must be protected against the mining, oil-extraction, and hydroelectric-dam megaprojects, among others, that are being imposed on our lands […]. We will raise our voices to prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages, drugs, and prostitution in our communities, and we will denounce the ineptitude and corruption of authorities in terms of failing to resolve these problems.” Both marches converged and reached Central Park jointly.

Despite the fact that the two groups had already announced their events, in the Cathedral Plaza, where the marches traditionally end to give way to rallies, the space was occupied by the state-government. From early in the morning, privatized space was installed for the event at which Governor Manuel Velasco Coello awarded support “From Heart to Heart” to 4,000 single mothers. It bears noting that initiatives like the Movement of Women in Defense of the Land and Territory and for the Right of Women to Decide have denounced the welfarism promoted by the state governments, which lead to dependency and end up becoming a form of social control over women.

For more information (in Spanish):

#SanCristóbal de las Casas sale a la calle contra las agresiones machistas y en defensa del territorio #Chiapas (Koman Ilel, 25 de noviembre de 2015)

Comunicado del l Movimiento de Mujeres en Defensa de la Tierra, el Territorio y por el Derecho de las Mujeres a decidir (Koman Ilel, 25 de noviembre de 2015)

Realizan mujeres Asamblea en Defensa de la Tierra (Cimac Noticias, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

Marchan miles en Chiapas en pro de la vida y la defensa del territorio (Proceso, 25 de noviembre de 2015)

Miles de indígenas integrantes del Pueblo Creyente marcharon en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 26 de noviembre de 2015)

Peregrinación en defensa de la vida y el territorio en 11 municipios de Chiapas (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

Por la vida y la libertad de las mujeres (Cimac Noticias, 24 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Center for Women’s Rights in Chiapas denounces threats (26 December 2015)

Chiapas: During International Women’s Day on 8 March, a meeting, a march, and a rally (10 March 2015)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

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

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)

 


Chiapas: Public proclamation on the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in San Cristóbal

December 26, 2015

Constituyente

Public proclamation in San Cristóbal of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power (@SIPAZ)

On 5 December, more than 15,000 people, the majority of them indigenous, as well as representatives from seven countries in Central and South America, marched and held a rally in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to proclaim the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power. This initiative seeks to establish the basis for a new political Constitution in Mexico, which would refound the nation and lead to a new social contract.

Raúl Vera López, former assistant bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and present bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, led the event at which the indigenous protestors gave him a command scepter. The bishop acknowledged that the Zapatista uprising of 1994 represented the “ferment” of a new constitutional power, but that at present “it it not just our Mayan brothers and sisters who seek a new social contract, but rather all Mexicans.” He asserted that “we do not want this deviation of power whereby the authority we delegate in a government becomes perverse, placing our resources and lands in the hands of multinational corporations and their home governments and states. Instead, these must be placed at the service of all Mexicans who want peace with justice and development with dignity.”

The Council of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in Chiapas stressed that “today is an historical day that will be remembered throughout Chiapas and Mexico, because the presence of thousands of people is a clear demonstration that the people have recognized how disastrous our living conditions are, and have armed themselves with valor and dignity, taking on the responsibility of transforming this reality.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan miles en Chiapas para proclamar una nueva Constitución (La Jornada, 7 de diciembre de 2015)

Tribunal Permanente de Pueblos urge a la refundación del país (Proceso, 6 de diciembre de 2015)

Presentan indígenas su constituyente ciudadana (El Universal, 7 de diciembre de 2015)

Sitio de la iniciativa: constituyenteciudadana.org


Chiapas: In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, commemorations for Day of the Dead

November 19, 2015

Altar de la Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas.  Foto: cortesía.

Altar of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas. Photo credit: courtesy.

In observance of the Day of the Dead, several organizations and collectives organized commemorative events in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. For one, Melel Xojobal, a civil association that works to promote, defend, and exercise the human rights of children and youth through participatory processes, organized an act against child mortality due to discrimination, violence, and poverty. With slogans such as “they should not die” protestors marched through downtown, where they installed an altar with information regarding several cases and statistics on child mortality in Chiapas and Mexico. “We do these marches to raise our voices, so that people come to realize that the government does nothing, that when something happens to children or youth, impunity remains,” said a youth protestor.

For its part, the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas also installed an altar. Using photos of femicide victims, both from the state as well as from other parts of the country, they commemorated the victims of violence against women and demanded the end of the violence against women and female human-rights defenders.

Beyond this, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Lucio Hernández Patishtan, and Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, prisoners held in the Center for Social Readaptation (CERESO) of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, published a letter denouncing “the injustices, discrimination, and unjust incarcerations” due to which “we have not been able to visit our homes” to remember their dead. “Today and in this space we create our own altar to commemorate our families, friends, and all those who fell in 1994, as well as those killed in the Acteal massacre, tatic Samuel Ruiz García, who lamentably has left this world. Some of them died in the struggle, such that they are not present any longer as persons, but their spirits will live on in our hearts.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Día de muertos – Melel Xojobal (Vientos Culturales, 5 de noviembre de 2015)

Carta de presos en el día de muertos (Chiapas denuncia pública, 31 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: 5 years since the massacre of 72 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas (11 September 2015)

Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of migration agents, says La 72 (22 March 2015)

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: Prisoner from San Cristóbal, Roberto Paciencia, denounces that his charges were fabricated

September 11, 2015

Foto del Cereso 5 de San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ Moysés Zúniga SantiagoPhoto of Cereso 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ Moysés Zúniga Santiago

On 7 August, the prisoner Roberto Paciencia Cruz, held in prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, denounced that he has been imprisoned unjustly for 2 years. He asserted that there were witnesses who saw him working on 18 May 2013, when the crime for which he is being held was committed, “but the corresponding authorities did not take into account the testimony of these witnesses.” In a public communique, Paciencia expressed “due to the unjust incarcerations that we continue to suffer each day, we grow isolated from our families. Many people are being held in different prisoners throughout the state and country for not knowing how to speak Spanish and not having resources to hire an adequate lawyer, as happened with me two years ago. I have spent this time imprisoned for a crime that was fabricated.” At the end of his declaration, Paciencia noted that “it is for this reason that I make this public denunciation. I request that the judges review my case, because it is unjust that they would hold me like this. They must release me as soon as possible, because my family is suffering.”

Para más información:

Roberto Paciencia Cruz, preso injustamente, exige su libertad (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de agosto de 2015)


Chiapas: Attacks against and harassment of wetlands defenders in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

June 9, 2015

On 13 May, local organizations and human-rights groups reported that, since the beginning of the year, the construction firm Peje de Oro has been pressuring neighboring residents of the FSTSE 2001 district of San Cristóbal de las Casas who are defending the María Eugenia wetland by use of physical attacks, threatened injuries, and legal cases. They have indicated that, since this time, the construction firm has begun work to develop a residential project on land “that is found within the reaches of the Natural Protected Area Subject to Wetland Protection from the Montaña María Eugenia, as decreed in 2008 and subsequently in 2011, and recognized as a RAMSAR site.”

Civil organizations have warned that, finding itself subject to the urban sprawl of San Cristóbal de las Casas, the decline in the wetland’s health is ever-accelerating, thus emphasizing the “great importance of conserving this area that provides 70% of the water that is distributed to the people of San Cristóbal de las Casas.”

Since 25 April, the attacks have been on the rise. This is the case, according to the organizations, as seen in the “possible acts or omissions, ignorance, corruption, or irresponsibility on the part of the authorities and public officials, both municipal and State, in both the judicial and executive branches.” For this reason, they have demanded that the human rights of the residents of FSTSE2001 be ensured, that the perpetrators of attacks be arrested, that existing arrest-orders be cancelled, and that a work-table be installed to implement immediate actions to avert the destruction of the wetland, beyond initiating an exhaustive and professional investigation into the probable conflict of interest with the Díaz Ochoa family, especially Mariano Díaz Ochoa, the ex-mayor of San Cristóbal, former sub-delegate for governance in the highland, and now a candidate for the mayorship of San Cristóbal for the third time.

For more information (in Spanish):

HOSTIGAMIENTO, AGRESIONES Y AMENAZAS A VECINOS DEL FRACCIONAMIENTO FSTSE 2001 EN SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS POR DEFENDER EL HUMEDAL DE MONTAÑA MA. EUGENIA (Acción Urgente del Colectivo de Educación para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos, CEPAZ, 13 de mayo de 2015)

Agreden a defensores de humedales en Chiapas(Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín PRO, 18 de Mayo de 2015)


National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa

October 12, 2014

DSCF2935

EZLN march in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

On 8 October, in at least 25 states of the Mexican Republic and in different cities of the U.S. and Europe, millions of persons marched to demand the appearance with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students of Ayotzinapa, and to demand justice for the 6 who were murdered and more than 20 who were injured during the events of 26 and 27 September.  Following these acts, 22 municipal police were arrested by the authorities in Guerrero, in addition to four suspected members of the United Warriors cartel.  Federal and state experts are analyzing if the 28 recently identified corpses from mass-graves correspond to those who have been disappeared.

Marcha

March in SCLC @ SIPAZ

In Chiapas, more than 60,000 mobilized in seven regions of the state.  Indeed, approximately 20,000 members of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) marched in rigorous silence, carrying signs with messages like “your pain is ours” and “your rage is ours.”  Furthermore, members of section 7 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE), social organizations, students, and citizens marched as well, with the most popular slogan that was heard being “You took them alive; we want them back alive!”

Beyond this, the Revolutionary Army of the Insurgent People (ERPI) announced the creation of a “justice brigade” to confront drug-trafficking organizations in Guerrero, particularly the “United Warriors” cartel, who are presumed as being responsible for the violence seen in Iguala.

Para más información:

Ayotzinapa convoca a la solidaridad ciudadana (Más de 131, 7 de octubre de 2014)

15,000 personas exigen a Peña hallar a normalistas desaparecidos en Iguala (CNN México, 8 de octubre de 2014)

Marchas en 25 estados para pedir justicia por Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Marcha silenciosa de unos 20 mil zapatistas por Ayotzinapa(Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Se movilizan miles en Chiapas para exigir justicia para Ayotzinapa (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de octubre de 2014)

RvsR: Ante los asesinatos y desapariciones de Ayotzinapa (Enlace Zapatista, 7 de octubre de 2014)

Video: ERPI declara la guerra a “Guerreros Unidos” (Aristegui Noticias, 9 de octubre de 2014)

Sign the Amnesty Internacional petition: Ayotzinapa Justicia

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)

Guerrero: Impunity continues in the Ayotzinapa case (17 May 2013)

Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (21 December 2011)