Chiapas: threats to the Executive Secretary of the CEDH

August 16, 2012

Diego Cadenas @ Expreso Chiapas

Diego Cadenas Gordillo, Executive Secretary of the State Council on Human Rights (CEDH), has requested the intervention of the representative in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner, Javier Hernández Valencia, for the implementation of precautionary measures, given that he was recently threatened by Florencio Madariaga Granados, the named Councilor of the Commission of General Affairs on Human Rights, due to his refusal to fire several of his staff, according to Diego Cadenas’ denunciation, sent to various organizations and organisms.

In the letter sent to Hernández Valencia and Emilio Alvarez Icasa, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission (IACHR), Cadenas Gordillo revealed that in the extraordinary session of the 31 July General Council of the CEDH, Madariago Granados demanded that he “dismiss several human-rights defenders, with the argument that if he did not do it, he would not trust him.”  According to Diego Cadenas, he offered to resign himself as a protest against the mass-firing, and he denounced that as a response to his attitude, Madariaga threatened publicly to make available recorded telephone conversations with the prosecutor Raciel López Salazar.

Cadenas Gordillo accused Madariaga of using the name of governor Juan Sabines and that of López Salazar to demand the firing of public servants who oppose him.  Cadenas affirmed that Madariaga Granados requested the support of other councilors so that they aid him in taking on the presidency of the organization, in exchange for “special support.”  The present director of the CEDH is Lorenzo López Méndez.  The other councilors who have been similarly pressured are José Rafael Navas Pérez, Pedro Raúl López Hernández, and Marina Patricia Jiménez.

It should be remembered that Madariaga Granados worked as Secretary of the State Public Security Council and as sub-attorney general for Chiapas during the interim administration of governor Roberto Albores Guillén, from 1998 to 2000.  His successor, Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía, who has been imprisoned since 7 June 2011, imprisoned him; he was held in Spain for more than two years and another three in Chiapas, accused of the crimes of criminal association, having been fined more than 900 million pesos.

For more information (in Spanish):

Secretario Ejecutivo del CEDH en Chiapas, eleva queja ante la OACNUDH y la CIDH (Escrutinio Público, 2 de agosto de 2012)

Acusan a “protegido” de Sabines de dividir al Consejo Estatal de Derechos Humanos (Proceso, 1 de agosto de 2012)

Secretario ejecutivo del Consejo Estatal de DH en Chiapas denuncia amenazas en su contra (La Jornada, 2 de agosto de 2012)

Chiapas: New denunciation from San Sebastián Bachajón

July 10, 2012

In a communiqué published on 4 July, ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón who are adherents to the Other Campaign strongly challenged the State Council on Human Rights (CEDH), accusing that “The only thing it does is legitimate the dirty work to impose a megaproject in our lands by means of public force, thus violating also the authority of the ejido.  The representatives of this organization are simply puppets of Juan Sabines who is now filling his pockets while the people are repressed, their lands taken from them.”

The ejidatarios denounced the pressure exercised by the CEDH when, as in February following a confrontation, “they were having us think that the solution to the conflict was to integrate us into the convention that the state government has elaborated, but they acted as though there had been no human-rights violations.”  They indicate in the same communiqué that on 19 June, hundreds of police “violently displaced ejidatarios who are adherents to the Other Campaign on the orders of the CEDH.”

Finally, they found responsible the CEDH together with the ‘officialist’ ejidatarios for any possible confrontations having to do with the dispute over the control-point at the entrance of the Agua Azul cascades, noting that “Our organization is not responsible and we have demonstrated that on several occasions it is not we who provoke but rather the government in complicity with officialist authorities who seek to transfer our lands into the hands of the government, for its transnational projects.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón adherentes a la Otra Campaña (4 de julio de 2012)

Se crea disputa entre ejido Bachajón y CEDH (Cuarto Poder, 5 de julio de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Sit-in of the Front of Ejidos in Resistance in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (6 January 2012)

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: Ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón retake control-point in Agua Azul (13 December 2011)

Chiapas: Denunciations by ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón (7 November 2011)

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

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

Chiapas: National and international support for Patishtán and the prisoners fasting and on hunger strike

October 28, 2011


Following 27 days of fasting and hunger strike, the prisoners “now feel weakness and exhaustion, experiencing dizziness and shock,” reported Pedro López Jiménez, a new spokesperson for said prisoners who find themselves in the prisons of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Cintalapa, and Motozintla on Tuesday 25 October.

Several national and international movements and organizations have supported the cause of these prisoners as well as of their ex-spokesperson, Alberto Patishtán, who was transferred to the federal prison no. 8 in Guasave, Sinaloa, more than 2000 kilometers in distance from his place of origin last week.  During these days also have been held protest-actions in France, Spain, the UK, and in front of the representation of the Chiapas state government in Mexico City.

On 25 October, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity made public a letter directed to Alberto Patishtán: “Today we demand not only his rapid return to the prison in San Cristóbal de Las Casas but also his release as well as that of the 10 indigenous incarcerated persons who are carrying out a hunger strike in addition to the protection of those fasting in solidarity with them who find themselves in the atrium of the cathedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  The imprisonment of Patishtán Gómez, his sentencing, and transfer from the south to the north of the country, as though he were a criminal of highest danger, is clear evidence of the fallacy of justice we live and that demands our greatest energies to rebuild the country and create the justice we need.”

The same day, civil-society organizations that organized the Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Award, which Alberto Patishtán received in 2010 due to his work in favor of human rights within prisons, also published a letter in which they affirm that they “manifest our solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike […], as well as with their relatives who find themselves in an indefinite sit-in in the Cathedral Plaza in city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico.  […] We reaffirm our commitment to the persons, collectives, and communities that have received the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award; we support Professor Alberto Patishtán in his struggle for liberty and justice; and we call on authorities from the Mexican State to assure the return of Professor Alberto Patishtán post-haste to the detention center closest to his family, as is demanded by international human-rights law.”

Last week, Amnesty International (AI) also demanded Patishtán’s return to the state and made a call on the authorities to carry out a “complete review” of the evidence in the cases of the indigenous prisoners who have since 29 September been on hunger strike.  AI expressed its concern for the transfer of Patishtán Gómez to Guasave, considering that this amounts to “revenge” against the professor for his “active role in the hunger strike and in the struggle for the respect of the human rights of prisoners.”

For its part, the State Council on Human Rights (CEDH) has requested that the federal Secretary of Public Security carry out the necessary actions for Patishtán’s return to Chiapas, in light of the fact that his transfer constitues a serious human-rights violation.  As they say, “this is evidence of a flagrant violation of article 69 of the Federal Law on the Execution of Penal Sanctions, which stipulates that the transfer of the imprisoned should take account of the constitutional imperative to protect the organization and development of the family.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de las organizaciones co-convocantes del reconocimiento Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum (25 October)

Carta pública del Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad (25 October 2011)

Resienten debilidad presos chiapanecos en huelga de hambre: vocero(La Jornada, 25 October)

Chiapas: impiden autoridades que médico revise a los presos en huelga de hambre / La Jornada (La Jornada, 26 October)

Situación de los presos en huelga de hambre y ayuno en Chiapas.(Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs, Red contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad, 25 October 2011)

Reporte de la situación de la huelga de hambre y ayuno desde el interior del Ceress 5. (24 October)

Denuncia de Presos en Huelga de hambre -26 días (24 October)

Piden regresar a Chiapas a indígena reubicado en penal de Sinaloa(Proceso, 21 October)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New denunciation by Las Abejas (28 October 2011)

Chiapas: 20 days into hunger strike and 11 days into sit-in of relatives, 2 prisoners are released (27 October 2011)

Chiapas: 15 days of hunger strike and  days of sit-in (17 October 2011)

Chiapas: Sit-in of relatives of relatives of prisoners on hunger strike(17 October 2011)

Chiapas: MPJD arrives once again to Chiapas, there to express solidarity with Las Abejas, prisoners on strike, and Zapatistas (17 October 2011)

Chiapas: 8 days of hunger strike at CERSS no. 5 (7 October 2011)

Chiapas: Prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (4 October 2011)

Chiapas: Public day for Fasting and Prayer for Peace in the San Cristóbal prison (26 September 2011)

Chiapas: Release of one of the 5 of San Sebastián Bachajón

July 20, 2011

On 7 July, Mariano Demeza Silvano, a minor 17 years of age, one of the five adherents to the Other Campaign from the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, who was detained at the beginning of February on several charges following a confrontation regarding the control-point at the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls, was conditionally released.  He is to leave the juvenile-detention center of Villa Crisol and will be managed by the Chilón System for the Wholesome Development of the Family (DIF) to carry out community-service projects.

The other four adherents detained in March continue to be held in the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced (CERSS) number 17, in the Playas de Catazajá.  On 27 June, they published a communiqué denouncing abuses and discrimination on the part of prison authorities in Playas de Catazajá vis-a-vis prisoners’ relatives.  They denounce “energetically those persons and we demand more respect and more just treatment of the relatives of prisoners who want to enter to visit their family-members, given that they feel harassed and threatened in the way they are currently treaty.  The government should truly demonstrate its respect for human rights so that it does not in vain waste money paying the personnel of the State Council [on Human Rights].  The true reality is this: that the institution serves injustice and masks the government’s behvioar so it can better carry out its discriminatory acts.”

This same day, dozens of families of prisoners in this same prison also denounces sexual abuse and humiliation on the part of  prison authorities upon visiting.  The relatives found David Montero Montero, director, to be responsible, and they demand the intervention of the secretary of Citizens’ Protection and Security to remove Montero from office, given the abuses committed both inside the prison and with regard to relatives of the imprisoned.

In other news, in a new act that demonstrates that tensions continue in the zone of Bachajón, on 27 June, the ejidatarios who are adherents to the Other Campaign warned of an attempt to loot Alac Sac jun, part of the ejido, on the part of officialist groups.  They found the authorities responsible for anything that might take place in the vicinity of the terrain.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ordenan liberar a activista de Bachajón (La Jornada, 8 July)

Comunicado de los ejidatarios de Bachajón respecto a la liberación de Mariano Demeza (8 July)

Denuncian abusos en contra de internos y visitantes del penal de Catazajá, Chiapas (La Jornada, 6 July)

Alertan ejidatarios de Bachajón sobre intento de despojo en Alan Sac jun (La Jornada, 1 July)

San Sebastián Bachajón denuncian ex autoridades oficiales(Comunicado de los adherentes a La Otra Campaña de San Sebastián Bachajón, 27 June)

Denuncia de los presos de San Sebastián desde CERESO NUM. 17 PLAYAS DE CATAZAJÁ (27 June 2011)

Familiares de Internos de cárcel en Playas de catazajá en el Norte de Chiapas denuncian violencia sexual de funcionarios de dicha cárcel (27 June 2011)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

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)

Chiapas: Harassment and attack on journalists in the state; CEDH orders preventive measures for journalists Mariscal, Mandujano, and Elnecavé Luttman; meeting of journalists with governor and members of cabinet

July 5, 2011

Isaín Mandujano

In a letter published on 25 June, journalists Angeles Mariscal (CNN, Animal Político) and Isain Mandujano (Revista Proceso) detailed the harassment, slander, and surveillance to which they have been subjected on the part of different governmental authorities of Chiapas in recent weeks.

One of the incidents occurred on 23 June, when the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) released information claiming that journalist Isaín Mandujuano had participated in the attack on Jacobo Elnacavé Luttman, an official from the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH) and the Chiapas System of Radio, Television, and Cinematography, which occurred on 19 June as he was in a discotheque.  In previous days journalist Ángeles Mariscal was harassed and suffered informational impediments during her coverage of the public appearance of Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía, ex-governor of the state.

Mandujano distanced himself from the recent attack on Elnecavé and found “local authorities [responsible] for all [future] attacks on my person or any member of my family, as well as my close friend who also live with the threat of repression at work.”

The House of the Rights of Journalists, A.C. has declared that “We have documented that these journalists and others in the state have been met with judicial harassment, death-threats, and other types of hostilities that could originate in the Subprocurator for justice in Chiapas, Jorge Javier Culebro, and his son, Jaime Culebro Guillén, director of Social Communication of the State.  For this reason the accusation now directed against Isaín Mandujano and Ángel Mariscal is worrying.”

On 29 June, the State Council on Human Rights in Chiapas (CEDH) requested that the PGJE implement preventive measures for Mariscal and Mandujano, in light of the denunciation presented by them in previous days, as well as for journalist Elnecavé.

On the evening of 29 June, members of the House for the Rights of Journalists, A.C., met with Juan Sabines Guerrero, governor of Chiapas, Raciel López Salazar, head of the PGJE, and other members of the cabinet who committed themselves to respecting the integrity of the threatened journalist and to cancelling any detention that could proceed.

Sabines Guerrero reported that his government has dismissed Ignacio Soberano, the Prosecutor to Attend to Crimes Committed against Journalists, who he found responsible for the release of the press-bulletin that involved Mandujano in the aggression against Elnecavé.  He also committed himself to cease media attacks, above all those emanating from the Chiapas System of Radio, Television, and Cinematography, given that it is this one that has given rise to the vulnerability in which Mandujano and Mariscal now find themselves.

For more information (in Spanish):


– Pronuncian medidas cautelares sobre el caso de los periodistas(Cuarto Poder, 30 June)

– Boletín de Prensa de la Casa de los Derechos de Periodistas, A.C. (29 June 2011)

– La PGJE investiga la agresión contra periodista chiapaneco (Milenio, 24 June 2011)

– Investigan ataque a periodista en Chiapas (La Jornada, 24 June 2011)

– Carta pública de Angeles Mariscal e Isain Mandujano (25 June 2011)

– Preocupación por el acoso y ataques constantes a los periodistas Ángeles Mariscal e Isaín Mandujano en Chiapas (CENCOS, CIMAC, 27 June 2011)

 Impiden a reportera en Chiapas cubrir audiencia pública (CENCOS, Artículo 19, 19 June 2011)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: journalists denounce slander-campaign directed against them (30 July 2010)

Chiapas: naming of Diego Cadenas Gordillo as technical adviser for CEDH

July 1, 2011

Diego Cadenas Gordillo (@SIPAZ)

The plenary of the General Council of the State Council on Human Rights (CEDH) voted unanimously to name Diego Cadenas Gordillo new executive secretary of said organization.  Cadenas Gordillo, ex-director of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Cass Center for Human Rights and ex-visitor general of the State Commission on Human Rights in Chiapas, took office on 23 June.

Information received from different media explained that he has been granted “new and greater powers as executive secretary, converting the post into the most important operative column of the organization.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Chiapas: designan a Diego Cadenas nuevo secretario ejecutivo de CEDH (La Jornada, 23 June 2011)

Chiapas: Press conference by ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón

March 20, 2011

In a press-conference held at the office of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights on 9 March, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón adherents to the Other Campaign found the state-government responsible for the violent eviction of 2 February committed by a group of PRI militants who they say were organized by the Secretary of Government with authorities from the Chilón City Hall.  They claim that the operation to deny them access to the Agua Azul waterfalls “was financed by the three levels of government by putting together an agreement with the authorities from the  municipality of Tumbalá and the officialists from San Sebastián Bachajón to hand the eco-tourist center over to the government: it finds itself under the administration of the Secretary of Housing of the state, in accordance with the agreements signed among [these groups].”

They also made reference to the  declarations to the press of the State Council on Human Rights (CEDH) on 8 March that stated that the problem was due to “the absence of the Other Campaign” in the negotiation-tables set up by the government and that for this reason the conflict had yet to be resolved. They stated that “it is shameful that a human-rights organization has served as a mask for the bad government that seeks to hide the true intention of violently displacing with cruelty, hatred, and presumption those who defend their dignity, the territory, and their autonomy.” They affirmed that they would continue to struggle for the release of their 5 comrades who are still incarcerated.

The CEDH, represented by its advisor Pedro Raúl López Hernández, denied that the organization demonstrated partiality in the case and affirmed that the goal of the institution was to serve as mediator in the conflict that continues among residents, since they fear that the conflict could expand and end fatally: “With this intervention we offer impartiality and our services so that the parties can sit down and attempt to resolve this affair among themselves […]. The Council has requested that the state government revise the cases of the persons who are detained, to release them if their human rights had been violated.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de ejidatarios/as sobre sus acciones en Bachajón (7 March 2011)

Denuncia de Hostigamiento e intimidación por parte de Policía y funcionarios del Gobierno a Ejidatarios Bachajón (8 March)

El CEDH de Chiapas exhorta a adherentes a la otra campaña a privilegiar el diálogo (La Jornada, 8 march)

Comunicado Conferencia de prensa de los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (9 March)

Ejidatarios de Bachajón denuncian amenazas policiacas en un plantón (La Jornada, 9 March)

Acusan a Castañón León de utilizar la violencia para despojar de Agua Azul a ejidatarios (La Jornada, 10 March 2011)

Niegan parcialidad en el caso de Bachajón (Cuarto Poder, 12 March 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Chiapas: Creation of State Council on Human Rights

January 18, 2011

At the beginning of 2011 began the work of the State Council on Human Rights in Chiapas, which is comprised of five advisers.  Since the previous year, Juan Sabines Guerrero, governor of the state, had proposed that the state congress replace the State Commission on Human Rights with the State Council on Human Rights, which would function as a public autonomous organization with juridical presence and proper power.

The council will hear cases of human-rights violations that have to do with acts or omissions of administrative nature that originate from whichever authority or public servant, municipal or state, with the exception of those from the state judiciary.  The council will also have commissions for the protection of human rights as regards migrants, respect for the culture, customs, and traditions of indigenous communities, and gender equality, and will have the capacity to initiate laws regarding human rights before the state congress.

A  new aspect of this all is that the naming of the council must pass through a process of popular consultation as regulated by the Institute of Elections and Citizen Participation, with the goal of having proposals be made by the state congress, universities, NGOs, authorities of use and custom, and the citizenry in general.

Since 6 January 2011 Lorenzo López Méndez took the position of presidency; Pedro Raúl López Hernández in the Commission of Attention to the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Jesús Ernesto Molina Ramos in the Commission of General Affairs of Human Rights; Mauricio Mendoza Castañeda in the Commission of Attention to the Rights of Migrants; and Marina Patricia Jiménez Ramírez in the Commission of Attention to Rights related to Gender Equality.

Critical voices were heard from Miguel Angel de los Santos, lawyer and professor in the law department of the National Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH), published a letter which denounced “the total disregard that has been shown for the law annuls the institution’s moral authority to endorse the law when rights are violated,” thus stressing that the establishment of the new institution did not follow several criteria defined by the state constitution of Chiapas, as in the following:

“I. To be a Chiapan citizen by birth, in full enjoyment of civil and political rights.

III. Have experience in human rights or activities recognized by Mexican law and international law.

VI. Have studied law with a minimum of 5 years of professional experience.

VII. Not to have occupied a charge in municipal, state, or federal public administration at least six months before the moment of designation.  Not to have been subject of responsibility derived by recommendation emitted by whichever public organization of human rights as a consequence of the charges taken up as a public servant.'”

Noted: “It is lamentable that an organization by nature questionable for its inefficiency be reborn weak and illegitimate.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Human rights council of Chiapas underway (El Universal, 6 January 2011)

CEDH begins work as organization to protect human rights (Chiapas Hoy, 7 January 2011)

Recently created State Council on Human Rights begins work in Chiapas (La Jornada, 8 January 2011)

Chiapas: establishment of State Council on Human Rights is questioned (Revista Proceso, 13 January 2011)