Guerrero: 4 years since the forcible disappearance of ecologist peasants from the Costa Grande

December 26, 2015

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Photo @EDUCA Oaxaca

On 7 December, four years passed since the forcible disappearance of the leaders of the Organization of Ecologist Peasants from Sierra of Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán, Eva Alarcón Ortiz and Marcial Bautista Valle. The daughter of Eva, Coral Rojas Alarcón, said, “I am convinced that they have been killed, but they deserve a burial. I want to find my mother and Marcial.” Marcial Bautista and Eva Alarcón were forcibly disappeared on 7 December 2011 in the Grand Coast of Guerrero by a group of armed men that according to eyewitnesses were being protected by the Army and agents from the ministerial police. The activists had dedicated themselves to the management, conservation, and sustainable use of the forests. The defense of the forests led them to denounce abuses committed by the Army and the illegal work in which police had been involved.

Since the disappearance of her mother, Coral has sought justice and become a human-rights defender, collaborating with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the federal police (PF) to seek out clandestine graves and to identify victims. She reported that they had found bodies in Michoacán and Guerrero, “and I believe that each identified person is a triumph.” She shared that the judicial process in the case of Eva and Marcial continues, with the last “declaration saying that they were killed. This is the only line of investigation from the PGR.” She refers to the declarations made by a hitman who was arrested by the Army in February 2012 in Tecpan de Galeana, who supposedly confessed to his participation in the forcible disappearance of the social activists. According to unofficial information obtained in recent days, the hitman José Jhonny López Galván, “El Güero,” had made these statements to the federal public ministry and had driven the soldiers to the site where the burned remains of the community leaders were found. According to preliminary investigation, these remains did not belong to Eva or Marcial, and to date, “there is no scientific evidence showing they have been killed.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Autoridades apuestan al olvido” en desaparición de campesinos activistas ¨(La Jornada, 3 de agosto de 2013)

La única línea en el caso de los dirigentes ecologistas, desaparecidos hace 4 años, es que los mataron (Sur Acapulco, 3 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: two nephews of ecological leadership are murdered (16 November 2012)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists (8 February 2012)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)

Guerrero: violence in the Sierra de Petalán (17 October 2011)

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July 2011)

Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán (9 June 2011)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)


Guerrero: One year after the IACHR sentences in favor of Inés y Valentina; anniversary and expansion of the Communal Police; violence in the Sierra de Petatlán

October 17, 2011

On 1 October 2010, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) sentenced the Mexican State in the cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, determining that both indigenous Me’phaa women had been sexually violated and tortured by members of the Mexican Army in the year 2002.  One year after these sentences were passed down, civil organizations that have accompanied the two have denounced that “a year having passed since the decisions were released, substantial advances in the observance [of the sentence] remain fleeting.  Moreover, at all times, the work related to the questi0n of reparations has had to be taken up by Fernández Ortega and Rosendo Cantú and their representatives themselves.”  In particular, they indicate in a press-release that “the persistence of the impunity that protects soldiers who tortured and sexually assaulted Fernández Ortega y Rosendo Cantú is evidence of the reticence of the State to observe the sentences.  The investigations have continued in military tribunals during essentially all of this year; only recently was the case turned over to the PGR, after both Me’phaa women formally requested this change.  This delay makes it so that today the investigations have not progressed, and that still there is no possibility that Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú access them to provide evidence.”  On 6 October, the Senate of the Republic requested the presence before the Commission of Justice of Francisco Blake, Secretary of Governance, so that he present a detailed report regarding the actions taken to observe the sentences released by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of Inés and Valentina.

In other news, on 14 and 15 October, the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) will celebrate its XVI anniversary.  On this occasion it organized this together with indigenous organizations at the XXX meeting of the National Indigenous Congress.  The event, entitled “For the defense of our territorities,” will be held int he community of Paraje Montero, municipality of Malinaltepec.  Some days before the event, press articles and alternative media discussed the process, including subjects like the participation of women at the meeting and the news that 55  communities from the municipality of Atoyac Alvarez (Costa Grande) will form a communal police unit, considering that the state and municipal governments do not ensure their security.

Finally, on 3 October, civil organizations from Guerrero and Chiapas that comprise the “Program of Interchange, Dialogue, and Assessment in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security” (PIDAASSA) denounced that due to the violence of drug-trafficking and the militarization of the country, many communities find themselves obligated to abandon their homes, lands, and crops.  They emphasized in particular the case of the sierra of Petatlán in Guerrero, where families from 15 communities have been displaced.  In a press-conference, they affirmed that in this place “from July to present, 471 persons from 85 families have been forced to leave their communities int his region.  Of these 15 communities, seven–Zapotillo, Campo del Cielo, El Timbirichal, El Roblar, La Florida, El Guamilón y Los Limones–have been left either abandoned entirely or cut off.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A un año de las sentencias de la CoIDH a favor de Inés y Valentina México no avanza en su cumplimiento (Boletín de prensa Tlachinollan, CEJIL, OPIM, 4 October 2011)

CARTA ABIERTA A FELIPE CALDERÓN: Solicitan al Presidente Felipe Calderón dar cumplimiento a las sentencias emitidas por la CoIDH en los casos de Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (OSC de derechos humanos, 5 October 2011)

Punto de acuerdo en el Senado para que Segob comparezca sobre el Caso de Inés y Valentina (Sididh, 7 October)

Campaña “Cumplir las Sentencias para Romper el Muro de la Impunidad” (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, August 2011)

Más comunidades tendrán policía propia (La Jornada, 3 October)

Las mujeres en La Montaña de Guerrero(Desinformémonos, 4 October)

Convocatoria al XVI Aniversario de la Policía Comunitaria, 14-15 October 2011

La sierra de Petatlán, Guerrero, asolada por los narcos, la violencia y la militarización (4 October)

Familias desplazadas de sus pueblos exigen al Estado seguridad(Pronunciamiento del Programa de Intercambio, Diálogo y Asesoría en Agricultura Sostenible y Seguridad Alimentaria,PIDAASSA México, 3 October)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican state fails to comply with sentencing in the case of Valentina and Inés (7 October 2011)

Guerrero: “Indigenous peoples are subject to rights and are not electoral merchandise” February 4, 2011

Guerrero – briefs: Mining exploration continues in the Montaña region without permission from communities; reinstallation of the blockade against La Parota January 13, 2011


Guerrero: Second murder of ecologists in the Sierra de Petatlán

June 9, 2011

Sierra de Petatlán @ Guerrero Noticias

Brothers of the ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz, an activist from the Sierra of Petatlán murdered in April, denounced that on Friday 27 May Adrián Silva, another campesino from the community La Morena, was taken by presumed loggers while he was traveling between the populations of Banco Nuevo and Parotitas.  On 28 May Silva was found dead in a place known as Parotitas, reported Felipe Torres Cruz.

Felipe Torres indicated that the murderers of Silva are a man he identified as Chano Arreola and the Bautista family, whom he linked to illegal logging in the area.  The activist was reportedly shot at by at least 10 men.

The ecologist suspects that the actions have the intention of suspending the precautionary measures that the Commission on Defense of Human Rights (Coddehum) had requested for the Torres Cruz family, in light of the constant aggressions it has suffered.  “They want to kill us; they’ve told us.  They want to kill me and my family.  That is what they will do.  We request aid.”

Torres recalled the murder of his brother Javier, which occurred on 18 April and was denounced the following day.  He indicated that when the body was found it was realized that his cellular phone had been robbed.  “We know that they have been threatening the leaders of the organizations with whom my brother had contact, such as Tadeco, the CCTI, and even the Human Rights [Center] have been contacted for defamation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Aparece muerto el ecologista Silva, secuestrado el viernes, La Jornada Guerrero, 30 May 2011

Talamontes levantan a campesino ecologista de La Morena, denuncian, La Jornada Guerrero, 29 May 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)


Guerrero – briefs: “Danger continues for relatives of murdered activist”: NGOs; TUA annuls the 28 April 2010 assembly regarding La Parota; evidence of Chavarría’s crime disappears

May 12, 2011

Aguascalientes (@SIPAZ)

Three days after the murder of activist Javier Torres Cruz on 18 April in the Sierra of Petatlán, several human-rights organizations expressed their concern regarding the security of his relatives.  Amnesty International released an Urgent Action denouncing the continuation of the dangerous situation in which Javier Torres’ relatives found themselves.  Upon learning of the events, two of Javier’s brothers went to the site of the murder, where they were fired upon.  One of the two was injured gravely by gunshot wounds.  Similarly, the World Organization against Torture (OMCT), expressed its concern in a 28 April communiqué regarding the life and physical integrity of Torres Cruz’s family members and the residents of the community of La Morena, where he lived.  In its communiqué the OMCT requested among other things that Mexican authorities carry out an “immediate, independent, exhaustive, and impartial investigation into the murder.”

In other news, the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP) celebrated its triumph in light of the annulment of the assembly carried out on 28 April 2010 when, in the absence of opponents of the project and with the presence of hundreds of soldiers, the expropriation of 1,300 hectares was ‘approved’ in favor of the construction of the dam.  On 19 April of this year, the Agrarian Unitary Tribunal 41 of Acapulco accepted the petition to nullify this decision as presented by the CECOP.  The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights emphasized that “with the recent resolution there are FIVE JUDGES who have ruled in favor of the ejidatarios opposed to La Parota.”  A spokesperson for CECOP, Marco Suástegui Muñoz, stated that “[t]his does not mean that CECOP will stop its efforts, given that the signature of a federal judge has political weight.  Until we see an announcement that the dam will be constructed in the Official Diary of the Federation, we will be calm.”  On 7 May members of CECOP will meet with governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero in the community of Cacahuatepec, where they will argue against the construction of the dam once again.

Lastly, on 25 April, the Attorney General of Guerrero, Alberto López Rosas, revealed that in the archives of this agency “there is no trace” of the investigation initiated into the murder of Armando Chavarría Barrera, killed on 20 August 2009.  López Rosas, who took on the case on 12 April, said that only some copies without official signatures were found, and he added that one of these figures responsible for the investigation was the ex-prosecutor for Grave Crimes in the Central Zone of the state, Jesús Miranda Rodríguez, who suffered two armed attacks and has since the end of February been found to be disappeared.  In a press-conference, Alberto López remembered that on 28 March the ex-governor Zeferino Torreblanca affirmed that the investigation into the killing of Chavarría was 99% advancing and that the only thing left was to “bring forth those responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente (Amnistía Internacional, 18 April)

Comunicado TADECO (26 April)

Comunicado OMCT (28 April)

Tribunal anuló asamblea que cedía tierras para La Parota, según ejidatarios (La Jornada, 27 April)

Falla el TUA a favor del Cecop; declara nula la asamblea de La Concepción (La Jornada, 28 April)

Guerrero: Desaparece expediente del crímen de Chavarría (Proceso, 25 April)

Pierden en Guerrero el expediente del asesinato de Armando Chavarría (La Jornada, 26 April)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May)


Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered

May 6, 2011

Photo @www.vientodelibertad.org

On Monday 18 April, the defend of the forests of the sierra of Petatlán, Javier Torres Cruz, known also for his having denounced before the Prosecutorial Office of Mexico City the cacique Rogaciano Alba as author of the murder of the lawyer Digna Ochoa, was killed by hired assassins, presumably at the service of Alba, who is imprisoned for presumed offenses linked to organized crime.  Similarly, it was reported that his brother, Felipe Torres Cruz, finds himself gravely injured.  In accordance with information released by the coordinator of the Workshop of Communal Development (TADECO), Javier Monroy Hernández, Torres Cruz, 30 years old, was traveling through the area known as Puerto de la Mosca in the Sierra of the municipality of Petatlán when he was shot by a group of men with the last name Arreola, identified as hired assassins at the service of Alba.

The non-governmental organizations TADECO and the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) condemned the crime in a press-release on 19 April and demanded that the state and federal government investigate the case and punish those responsible.  “Javier Torres is yet another victim of the criminalization of social struggle and of the so-called war on drugs, which is a war of dark capital in which the State has taken part and the government of Calderón collaborates with groups of political and economic power found in the turrets of the parties and the groups of large firms […].  In light of the aforementioned, the organizations demand, among other things, that the discourse of the struggle against narco-trafficking not be used to cover up acts of harassment and intimidation against the communities of the Sierra of Guerrero, that the military presence in the region be clarified, and that the presence of paramilitaries be covered by reports having to do with their actions and results.  We also demand the immediate exit of the Mexican Army from the communities of the Sierra of Guerrero, their return to their barracks, punishment of the soldiers responsible for violations of human rights, and reparations for damages caused to communities, social organizations, and families.”  Finally, TADECO and CCTI call on “social organizations and civil organisms and human-rights defenders to stand in solidarity and join the actions of denunciation and solidarity.”

In other news, the National Association of Democratic Laywers (ANAD) and the CCTI expressed in a 20 April press-release that “it is important to stress the period of 10 days during which Javier Torres Cruz was disappeared (1 to 10 December 2008) during which he was tortured and threatened with death by soldiers pertaining to the 19th Infantry Batallion of the Mexican Army, who apparently ‘worked for the people of Rogaciano.’  This disappearance and torture were never investigated by the competent authorities.  Other events related to the threats against Javier are found during the year 2009 when on at least 6 different occasions soldiers of the Army entered the community of La Morena, attacking Javier’s family-members and threatening him with death.  All these violations as well as incursions were denounced in a punctual manner, but no appropriate authority has resolved any of the cases.”  The press-release emphasizes that “the murder of the ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz cannot remain in impunity, given what it represents” and that “the state government must act immediately to find the evidence and testimonies to detain, disarm, and demobilize the group known as ‘Los Arreola’.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Matan en la sierra de Petatlán al campesino que denunció el asesinato de Digna Ochoa; culpan a sicarios de Rogaciano (Sur Acapulco, 20 April)

Sicarios emboscan y matan al ecologista Javier Torres Cruz (La Jornada, 19 April)

Boletín de prensa  (TADECO y CCTI, 19 April)

Boletín_de_Prensa_ANAD_y_CCTI (20 April)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)