Guerrero: Murders and death-threats against candidates for June elections

May 17, 2015

Instituto Nacional Electoral (@redpolitica.mx)

National Electoral Institute (@redpolitica.mx)

On 1 May, a group of hitmen murdered Ulises Fabián Quiroz, the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s (PRI) candidate for the mayorship of Chilapa in the forthcoming elections planned for 7 June.  José Santos Valdivia, the substitute choice for the PRI-Green alliance for the same office, refused to continue with the electoral campaign.  The candidate for the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA), Laura Patricia Hernández Carrillo, had just announced days before that she would be suspending her candidacy for security reasons.

On 31 April, the New Alliance Party (PANAL) reported the murder of four of its members as they were returning from a campaign rally in Ixcapuzalco, the municipal center of Pedro Ascención, in the north of the state

Also in April, the gubernatorial candidate for the Citizens’ Movement (MC), Luis Walton Aburto, cancelled his proselytizing tour in the Mountain region, after he had been intercepted together with his cabinet by an armed group in the municipal center of Chilapa de Álvarez.

In mid-March, Aidé Nava González, candidate of the Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD) for the mayorship of Ahuacuotzingo, located below the Mountain region, was found dead in the surroundings of the Tecoanapa community, near where she had been taken by armed subjects days prior.

To date, the authorities believe these violent acts to be localized, and that there still exist the adequate conditions for elections next month.

In a communique published at the beginning of May, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights warned that the “violence has no limits, and the lack of capacity of the authorities to confront it is evident.  The political class finds itself trapped within its own labyrinth.  It fell into the same claws of the crow that gave birth to it, and it has had to submit itself to the very laws of barbarism which it has itself imposed.  Guerrero is a territory mined by violence.  There is no place there that escapes control by organized crime […].  The weakness of State institutions contrasts with the strength of criminal organizations, whose power has been demonstrated as being capable of executing local and state authorities.  This monster has set down its roots within the very same State structures.  It is a central part of the way in which power is exercised, and in which politics take place […].  Violence traps us, and what has disrupted the electoral process is what the authorities have not desired to see and address.  They prefer to focus their attention on the social organizations that openly have called for there not to be elections.  The State dismisses them for being bold enough to call into question the carrying-out of said elections.  It views them as a great threat, and among the most dangerous groups within this electoral situation.  The State has not attended to their demands in a profound way: that is, the situations that truly imperil the lives of the people.  Nor has it paid attention to the claims that within the political parties candidates develop which respond above all to the interests of organized crime.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Candidatos temen por su seguridad; suplente del PRI-Chilapa rehúye postulación (Excelsior, 5 de mayo de 2015)

Guerrero, en medio de la tormenta. (Centro de derechos humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 5 de mayo de 2015)

Nueva Alianza lamenta el asesinato de cuatro miembros en Guerrero (CNN México, 4 de mayo de 2015)

Sicarios preguntaron por líder criminal antes de ejecutar a candidato en Guerrero (Proceso, 4 de mayo de 2015)

La violencia del narco amenaza las elecciones al sur de México (El País, 4 de mayo de 2015)

“Violencia en Guerrero, focalizada”, Ortega descarta crisis en elecciones(CNN México, 2 de mayo)

Grupo armado intercepta y encañona a Luis Walton en Chilapa (Proceso, 25 de abril de 2015)

Hallan decapitada a precandidata perredista a edil de Ahuacuotzingo (La Jornada, 12 de marzo de 2015)


Mexico/Chiapas: National Brigade for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa

December 7, 2014

©SIPAZ Marcha en San Cristóbal de las Casas de la Brigada Nacional por los desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa

March in San Cristóbal de las Casas by the National Brigade for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa @ SIPAZ

On 12 November, in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, relatives of the disappeared students and the student committee reported on the activities of the National Brigade regarding the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa.

The brigade was organized into three branches, one towards the north (passing through the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Jalisco, and Michoacán); one toward the south (visiting the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Morelos, and Tlaxcala), and another state brigade in Guerrero, which visited the municipalities of Tlapa, San Luis Acatlán, Ayutla, Tecoanapa, Zihuatanejo, Atoyac, and Acapulco.  The three caravans met in Mexico City on 20 November to conclude their work with a mass-march and rally in the Zócalo.  The objective of the Brigade was to collect direct information regarding the acts of 26 and 27 September, the investigative process, and the search for the 43 disappeared students, beyond making proposals for the elaboration of a program for struggle and action that would transform the causes led to the events seen in Iguala.

The “Daniel Solís Gallardo” Brigade arrived to Chiapas on 14 November, being named for one of the normalist students who was killed on 26 September, and it led a march through the streets of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, to the applause of onlookers.  “Alive they took them; alive we want them,” “Ayotzinapa, hold on; Chiapas is rising” together with other slogans were heard until the march reached the Cathedral Plaza.

At the rally, two women spoke, being the mothers of two of the disappeared.  They said that they no longer have fear, and that they are prepared to give their lives to find their sons, because though the government says they are dead, they believe in their hearts that they are still alive.

On 15 November, the members of the Brigade visited the Zapatista caracol of Oventik, where they met with the high command of the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and the EZLN expressed its sympathy for the pain, rage, and powerlessness of the parents who still have yet to find their sons.

The activities in San Cristóbal de Las Casas concluded with a press-conference during which Brigade members noted that the EZLN had suggested that they “visit those who like us have suffered forcible disappearances or extrajudicial executions–who are not few in number in this country–because it is only they who will understand us and accompany us in our pain and struggle.  It is they with whom we can articulate a movement, a larger and more powerful nucleus with all the social organizations that would like to join,” following their return through Oaxaca.

For more information (in Spanish):

Expresa el EZLN total apoyo a familias de normalistas desaparecidos, La Jornada, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Caravanas por Ayotzinapa llegan a Chiapas y Chihuahua, Proceso, 14 de noviembre de 2014

Concluye visita a Chiapas de la caravana de Ayotzinapa, Proceso 16 de noviembre de 2014

Palabras del Comandante Tacho en el inicio del encuentro del EZLN con la caravana de Ayotzinapa, el 15 de noviembre del 2014, Enlace Zapatista, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Palabras de la Comandancia General del EZLN en voz del Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, Enlace Zapatista, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Palabras del Comandante Javier, dando la bienvenida en el caracol de Oventik a la caravana de Ayotzinapa, el 15 de noviembre del 2014, Enlace Zapatista, 15 de noviembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protest for Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)


Guerrero: Beginning of “popular trial” to judge 54 arrestees in Ayutla

February 7, 2013

autodef1-440x293

Photo @Xinhua / Camilo Mónaco

Communal authorities from four municipalities of the Costa Chica region who have now for more than three weeks taken up arms to directly confront organized crime have organized a “popular trial” to begin the judgment of 54 persons accused of collaborating with organized crime.  The popular trial had its first session on Thursday 31 January in the El Mezón community (Ayutla de los Libres municipality); around 500 people participated.  The assembly was held despite the insistence on the part of the state-government that the citizenry desist in this action, leaving formal judges to carry out judgment.  The trial ended with the presentation of the accused and with a hand-vote which decided that the process will begin on 22 February in the Tecoanapa municipality, continuing with the review of evidence and analysis of the case.In Chilpancingo, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, state governor, announced that on 1 February there will be installed a commission for peace and development of indigenous peoples, particularly to evaluate “the handing over of the arrested who find themselves in Ayutla […] who should be subjected to the established laws and institutions.”  He assured that this commission “is a proposal that has been accepted by the Union of Peoples and Organizations of the State of Guerrero [UPOEG] and the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities.”  In this will also participate the mayors of these municipalities.In other news, on 3 February, Arturo Campos Herrera, member of the Communal Police in Ayutla, denounced that the directors of the UPOEG have ordered the arrest of three indigenous leaders.  Campos Herrera noted that they were warned that they listed on a blacklist that has been organized by citizens involved with self-defense actions, toward their arrest if they should pass through the checkpoints in Ayutla de los Libres and Tecoanapa.The same day, the state government accepted the petition for precautionary measures for those arrested in Ayutla, as formulated by the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), but this decision calls for not only that the preservation of the human rights of these accused and all other residents of the state, but also for those who work in social programs to promote health, education, and basic services in indigenous municipalities.  According to the CNDH, the installation of popular trials violates article 17 of the Constitution, which prohibits taking justice into one’s own hands.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acepta el gobierno dar medidas cautelares a detenidos en Ayutla (La Jornada de Guerrero, 4 de febrero de 2013)

Ordenó la Upoeg detener a tres líderes indígenas, denuncia miembro de la CRAC (La Jornada de Guerrero, 3 de febrero de 2013)

Ayutla de los Libres, el lugar donde los civiles ejercen la justicia (CNN, 1 de febrero de 2013)

Instalan “tribunal popular” para juzgar a 54 detenidos en Guerrero (Proceso, 31 de enero)

Comienza juicio a 54 capturados en la Costa Chica (La Jornada, 1 de febrero de 2013)

Presentan ante el Tribunal Popular a 54 detenidos por la autodefensa (La Jornada de Guerrero, 31 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Self-defense against organized crime in 4 municipalities (15 January 2013)

Guerrero: Social insurrection in Olinalá against organized crime (9 November 2012)


Guerrero: Self-defense against organized crime in 4 municipalities

January 15, 2013

In the early morning of 7 January, civilians set up checkpoints at the entrance and exit of Ayutla de los Libres, Costa Chica, following an extended exchange of gunfire.  In a press-conference at the Casa de Justicia in El Paraíso, Arturo Campos Herrera, regional adviser for the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) in Ayutla, distanced the CRAC-PC from this act: “the persons who installed checkpoints do not belong to the Communal Police or to any of the more than 30 communities that pertain to this communal system of justice,” he said.  In a 13 January bulletin, the CRAC-PC once again formally distanced itself from the uprising.

The residents of Tecoanapa, Florencio Villarreal, and Copala have joined the movement by also installing checkpoints int he entrances and exits to the municipalities.  One of the coordinators of the movement reported that the citizens’ operation would last an indefinite amount of time, “until we cleanse the municipality.”  Another of the leaders said that the movement began in more than 22 communities from the Tecoanapa and Tierra Colorada municipalities that have been affected by organized crime for several months.

Campos Herrera explained that it is known that the presumed criminals demanded money from cattle-ranchers and that this was “one of the reasons fro the checkpoints that were installed, one near the gasoline-station and another at the Bachelors College in Ayutla.”  He added that “there was also one death; we do not know to which side this person pertains, and we know that there have been arrests.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín CRAC-PC (13 de enero de 2013)

La vigilancia armada en Ayutla, “hasta que limpiemos el municipio” de la delincuencia organizada, advierten (Sur de Acapulco,  de enero de 2013)

De la Policía Comunitaria a la Autodefensa Popular (La Jornada de Guerrero, 11 de enero de 2013)

Civiles montan retenes de autodefensa en Ayutla tras levantón y tiroteo, informan (La Jornada de Guerrero, 7 de enero de 2013)

Comisión de Guerrero considera necesario legislar sobre Policía Comunitaria (Sin Embargo, 10 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Social insurrection in Olinalá against organized crime (9 November 2012)


Guerrero: Wounds of conflict over water access in Tecoanapa (Costa Chica)

March 27, 2011

Tecoanapa

Photo @ Guerrerense Network of Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations

On March 17, the lack of intervention by the state and municipal governments in Tecoanapa, in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero, resulted in a clash between the inhabitants of five villages belonging to the municipality, and the inhabitants of the county seat. The clash was due to the decision of residents from the five villages Mecatepec, Tepintepec, El Guayabo, Barrio Nuevo and El Carrizo to finish establishing a drinking water system by themselves.

The aformentioned communities lack access to water because, in spite of having a concession to the liquid, there is no infrastructure to get it into the communities. At the same time, there is discharge of drainage from the head municipality, Tecoanapa, flowing into the only river accessible to the communities, causing contamination, as well as skin, gastrointestinal, eye and ear diseases. Since 2005, in the face of increasing pollution of the river, the five communities formed the “Council of Authorities of the Five Towns of Tecoanapa” to make arrangements for access to water, and in 2006, this resulted in the adoption of the project called the “Tecoanapa Multiple Drinking Water System”.

However, to date, the project has not been completed. The work has been slowed by a group of the municipal seat, calling itself the Tecoanapa Water Committee, a body composed of individuals who manage the water, without having legal authority to do so. This committee has also been exploiting the water by selling it to ranches, ponds and purification companies in the area. The “Multiple Water System”, to be completed, would affect the economic interests of the members of this Committee.

The clash between the two groups on March 17 left at least 20 injured – 15 of the community group and 5 of the municipal seat. Present at the confrontation were members of the State Preventative Police, but they did not intervene to prevent violence. The standoff ended when roughly 50 soldiers arrived, which calmed the people. At night, the technical secretary of the Guerrerense Network of Civil Society and Human Rights Organizations, Manuel Olivares Hernández, reported that the inhabitants of the towns spoke of the possibility of continuing with the laying of the pipeline. The chairman of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CODDEHUM), Juan Alarcón Hernández, asked the state government to take protective measures for the five communities in the municipality of Tecoanapa. The request was accepted but not fulfilled so far.

Given the unwillingness of the authorities to take responsibility for complying with the construction of the potable water pipeline, the Five Communities ask civil society to send urgent appeals to the Mexican authorities (see release of the Five Communities below).

For more information:

Enfrentamiento por el agua en Tecoanapa; reportan 12 heridos (La Jornada, 17 March)

Dejan 20 lesionados enfrentamientos por el agua en Tecoanapa (Sur Acapulco, 18 March)

Cumplen el emplazamiento y retoman cinco pueblos la obra del agua potable (Sur Acapulco, 18 March)

No cumplió el gobierno las medidas cautelares a favor de los cinco pueblos de Tecoanapa: Codehum (Sur Acapulco, 18 March)

Ficha tecnica-agua-caso tecoanapa dic2010

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