Guerrero: Body of tortured and executed Ayotzinapa student, Julio César Mondragón, is exhumed

November 21, 2015


Photo: @courtesy family album

On 4 November, the body of Julio César Mondragón, a student from the Ayotzinapa Teachers’ College who was tortured and executed on 26-27 September in Iguala, Guerrero, was exhumed to perform a new autopsy. The exhumation of the body was carried out by the Argentine Team for Forensic Anthropology (EAAF), being independent investigators contracted by the student’s family, as by personnel from the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR). Members of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) were present as observers, given that “in them we confide to carry out this task,” the family noted. Relatives and the collective recalled that the body of Julio César was found by soldiers on 27 September 2014 after making report to the Public Ministry in Iguala, and they were present during the recovery of the body. “The autopsy carried in Iguala was carried out without professionalism or any sense of rigor, concluding that Julio’s face was removed by local fauna. The authorities of Guerrero state ignored the clear indications of torture that his body presented,” the family has noted, having denounced that all investigations carried out by the State Attorney General’s Office of Guerrero have been full of mistakes, omissions, and failures.

The family expressed gratitude to all the organizations, collectives, journalists, activists, and civil society members throughout the world who have expressed their support, announcing the same day that the exhumation would be performed, the youth’s biography would also be published. “We want society to know the person who Julio was. We want to cleanse his name of all the lies that have been launched against him of late. We say it again: Julio is not the faceless youth. He is the student-teacher, the tireless worker, the loving husband, the committed father, the joyful son, the strong nephew, the rebellious friend, the brilliant grandson, and the helpful brother.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La exhumación de Julio Cesar Mondragón Fontes no fue iniciativa de ninguna instancia oficial: familiares (SIDIDH, 6 de noviembre de 2015)
Exhuman restos del normalista Julio César Mondragón (El Proceso, 4 de noviembre de 2015)
Exhuman el cuerpo del normalista Julio César Mondragón; lo revisarán forenses argentinos (Animal Político, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa (10 October 2015)

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances (8 October 2015)

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)


Guerrero: Valentina Rosendo renounces MORENA candidacy after attack

June 9, 2015

Valentina Rosendo Cantú (@Amnesty International)

Valentina Rosendo Cantú (@Amnesty International)

Valentina Rosendo Cantú has renounced her candidacy for the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador) for the mayorship of Acatepec, after she received death-threats and suffered a motor-vehicle accident that she qualified as an attack on her person. On 10 May, she was followed on the highway that leads to Tlapa de Comomfort, and for this reason had an accident. Pablo Amílcar Sandoval Ballesteros, the MORENA candidate for Guerrero state, reported the decision.

It should be recalled that Valentina Rosendo Cantú is an indigenous woman who was raped in 2000 by Army soldiers in the Ayutla de los Libres municipalities. In 2010, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights sentenced the Mexican State in the case, and demanded compensation for damages, and ordered an adequate investigation and punishment for those responsible, among other dictates.

For more information (in Spanish):

Atentan contra Valentina Rosendo y renuncia a candidatura de Morena en Guerrero (Proceso, 20 de mayo de 2015)

Una candidata de Morena en Guerrero deja la contienda por seguridad (CNN México, 20 de mayo de 2015)

La mujer a la que el gobierno de México pidió perdón renuncia a su candidatura en Guerrero (Animal Político, 20 de mayo de 2015)

Candidata de Morena a edil renuncia por temor (EL Universal, 20 de mayo de 2015)

From more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: SCJN decision in the case of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo “far from the heights” of the Court’s decision on the Radilla case (2010) (17 May 2015)

Guerrero: Murders and death-threats against candidates for June elections (17 May 2015)

National/International: Inter-American Court resolves that Mexican law on military tribunals remains inadequate

June 9, 2015

On 13 and 14 May, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) published two resolutions regarding the observance of four sentences the Court had handed down against the Mexican State (2009 and 2010), in cases related to abuses committed by Army soldiers (including forcible disappearance, torture, and sexual violence). The Court concludes that exist legislation on military tribunals continues without having standardized with international legal expectations.

The Court indicates that the limitations of existing law were demonstrated clearly by the Tlatlaya massacre in Mexico State: “In this case, if it is that the extrajudicial executions continue to be judged in civil courts, the cause will remain fragmented, as the Secretary for National Defense (SEDENA) has retained the military tribunal as appropriate for the judgment of certain crimes committed by soldiers, thus opening the possibility that the evidence be diverted, and that parallel cases may run, coming to different conclusions.” It determined for this reason that “military jurisdiction is not competent for the investigation, judgment, and punishment of those who violate human rights, particularly when either the perpetrator or victim is a soldier.”

For their part, civil legal organizations have requested that the debate on the Military Justice Code be opened during the next congressional session. They have stressed that “both the Committee against Forcible Disappearances and the United Nations Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, and Degrading Treatments have recommended that Mexico adopt legal measures to exclude human rights violations committed by soldiers from being considered by military tribunals. Instead, these acts must be investigated and judged by civilian authorities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Fuero militar sigue violando derechos humanos en México: Corte Interamericana (OSC, 18 de mayo de 2015)

Emplaza CoIDH a México cumplir sentencias sobre abusos militares(Proceso, 18 de mayo de 2015)

Insuficiente, la reforma en materia de fuero militar: CIDH (La Jornada, 18 de mayo de 2015)

Reforma al fuero militar en México no cumple la norma internacional: Corte Interamericana de DH (Animal Político, 20 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Senate approves reform to Military Justice Code (2 May 2014)

Guerrero: Beginning of legal processes against soldiers presumed as responsible in the cases of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo

January 15, 2014



During the final third of 2013, the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) arrested four soldiers from the Mexican Army who in February and March 2002 presumably raped the Guerrerense indigenous women Valentina Rosendo Cantú and Inés Fernández Ortega.  In both cases, the Mexican State was judged and found guilty by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in August 2010.  Three of the four subjects remained as soldiers at the time of their arrests.

In a 9 January 2014 press release, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights announced the beginning of the legal processes on the charges of rape, torture, and abuse of authority, among others.  The bulletin emphasized that “this decisive step toward justice for Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, nearly twelve years since the occurrence of the acts, would have been impossible without the resolve of the two Me’phaa women.  In this sense, it is an emblematic triumph for all women who, despite the obstacles and adversities, raise their voices and denounce violence.”  Tlachinollan demanded that “the security and integrity of both women, their families, and their representatives be guaranteed.  Toward this end, it will be indispensable that national and international public opinion continue following the course of the trials which have just begun.

For more information (in Spanish):

COMUNICADO | Comienzan procesos penales contra probables responsables de las violaciones graves de Derechos Humanos cometidas contra Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (Tlachinollan, 9 de enero de 2014)

Capturan a militares por violar a indígenas hace 12 años (Animal político, 6 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo (5 February 2013)

Guerrero: Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández receive recognitions of their struggle (16 November 2012)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)