Guerrero – briefs: PGR will investigate case of ecologist campesinos; communities in La Montaña and Costa Chica resist mineral exploitation; high electricity prices are denounced

September 27, 2011

Don Ramón y su recibo de la CFE (@Tlachinollan)

On 21 September, Jacqueline Sáenz, coordinator of wholesome defense of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights reported that the case of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera was sent to the civil courts.  Eleven years after the ecologist campesinos were tortured by Army units and forced to declare themselves as guilty for a crime they did not commit, the cases have been sent to the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) as demanded byt he sentence of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR).  Sienz noted that “in terms of justice, this is an important first step for Rodolfo and Teodoro, but it should not be forgotten that the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation has mandated that all cases in which soldiers have committed human-rights violations should be held in civil courts.”

In other news, on 21 September, the delegate of the Agrarian Office (PA), Fernando Jaimes Ferrer, reported that in La Montaña only in the agrarian nucleus of Paraje Montero, Malinaltepec, have ejidatarios allowed mineral firms to exploit their lands, and that in Costa Chica, where all peoples oppose mineral exploitation, there definitely can be no entrance for such firms.  He assured that the mineral firm Camsi which explores this part of La Montaña has met with ejidatarios of the alnd who agreed to allow the zone to be explored following a payment of 2 million pesos.  The Communal police organized operatives of information in Costa Chica and La Montaña to avoid that Canadian and English mining companies to which the federal government has awarded concessions exploit minerals in both zones due to the destruction this implies.  Inded, Jaimes Ferrer mentioned that those who oppose mineral explorations are misinformed regarding the development of the zones and he blamed certain organizations such as the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights in these terms.

Lastly, on 13 September, Tlachinollan released a press-release regarding the high electricity prices experienced in the region of La Montaña of Guerrero.  The communiqué mentions that from 2007 to date the Center has registered close to 400 complains, both individual and communal, related to excessive prices for the service of electrical energy, for which the Federal Commission on Electricity (CFE) is responsible in the region of La Montaña.  The communiqué gives the example of “Mr. Ramón Solano Soto, a Me’phaa indigenous man from the community Piedra Blanca in the municipality of  Atlamajalcingo del Monte, […who] received […] a receipt for light from the CFE for twenty-one thousand nine hundred seventy pesos [while he has] only one electricity bulb and a televisión.”  The communiqué continues emphasizing that “in accordance with the General Observation number 4 suggested by the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, signatory states such as Mexico should adopt measures to guarantee that the percentage of living costs be adjusted to income levels.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Investigará la PGR caso de campesinos torturados (La Jornada, 21 September)

PA: permiten en Malinaltepec la exploración minera de sus tierras(La Jornada, 22 September)

Acusa la Procuradoría Agraria a Tlachinollan de mal informar sobre daños de las mineras (Sur de Acapulco, 22 September)

Video: Don Ramon y su lucha por una vivienda digna

Comunicado de prensa (Tlachinollan, 13 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – briefs: Tlachinollan requests support in the case of Radio Ñomndaa; Invitation to a workshop against mining in the Montaña and Costa Chica regions (18 March)

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

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Guerrero: Briefs – Members of OPIM and the Tlachinollan Mountain CDH suffer death-threats; invitation to the Tlachinollan anniversary; case of ecologists of the Sierra de Petatlán

July 4, 2011

On 16 June, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel y Cuauhtémoc Ramírez, directors of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (IPIM), were threatened with case if they continue to stress the observance of the sentences handed down by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández, indigenous women who were raped by soldiers in 2002.

According to the Urgent Action published by Amnesty International (AI), a handwritten message was found on 16 June in the house of Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and Cuauhtémoc Ramírez insisting that they cease demanding that the government observe the sentences of the IACHR.  The message also threatens the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, this just following the re-opening of its offices in Ayutla de Los Libres after a two-year closure due to harassment and aggressions against office-staff.  “We will never leave you alone, even if you ask the government for protection […] if you don’t shut up we’ll kill you […] protection is shit we are protected.”

Within this adverse context, the Tlachinollan Mountain CDH has called for a forum in defense of land entitled “Struggle to construct the dawn of justice” in observation of its XVII anniversary, to be held in Tlapa de Comonfort, Montaña de Guerrero, on 1 and 2 July.  During this event, there will be shared organizational communal processes that the peoples of Guerrero are promoting amidst mining and dam-projects, among other things.

In other news, with regard to another case in which the IACHR has sentenced Mexico, on 21 June the Mexican State publicly committed itself for the first time to observing the IACHR’s ruling in the case of the ecologist campesinos Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, protectors of forests in the Sierra de Petatlán, Guerrero.  It should be noted that in a December 2010 ruling, the IACHR condemned the Mexican State for kidnapping, violations of personal liberty, judicial guarantees, and juridical protection to these two individuals.

On 20 December of this year the State will have to present its first report regarding advances in the observation of said sentence with regard to the various criteria that have been proposed: publications, justice, economic reparations, registration of arrests, reforms of the military tribunals, and training.

For more information (in Spanish):

Guerrero: las comunidades se quedan solas (Proceso, 24 June 2011)

Acción Urgente de Amnistía Internacional (23 June 2011)

Amenazan de nuevo a líderes de la OPIM (La Jornada de Guerrero, 23 June 2011)

México se compromete públicamente a cumplir la sentencia de la Corte IDH por el caso de los Campesinos Ecologistas (Boletín de prensa del Centro de Derechos Humanos Agustín Pro, 21 June 2011)

Sólo algunos soldados cometen violaciones, asegura subsecretario de Gobernación(EL Sur de Acapulco, 23 June 2011)

Gobierno atenderá sentencia de Derechos Humanos por campesinos agredidos (CNN México, 21 June 2011)

Campesinos ecologistas exigen justicia por encarcelamiento en 1999(Proceso, 21 June 2011)

Audio-Video:

Reporte 13 Montiel y Cabrera Su lucha por los bosques (Youtube, 23 June 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: briefs – New threats against leaders of the OPIM; inclusion of resources for La Parota in federal budget; Invitation to the sixth anniversary of Radio Ñomndaa (14 December 2010)

Guerrero: briefs – NGOs present amicus brief to Inter-American Court on case of environmentalists; activist is detained (September 23, 2010)


Guerrero: The IACHR’s sentence in the Cabrera García and Montiel Flores is published

June 20, 2011

Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera @ El Universal

The Secretary of Governance (Segob) published on Tuesday 7 June in the Official Diary of the Federation (DOF) the sentence handed down by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of Cabrera García and Montiel Flores against Mexico, in which this international organism condemned the Mexican State and demanded that it pay reparations due to the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of these two.  The sentence finds the state responsible for the abuses directed against Teodoro Cabrera García and Rodolfo Montiel Flores while they found themselves detained in the custody of Army soldiers.  Furthermore, due to the lack of expeditious presentation before a judge and for the irregularities throughout the legal process.  The IACHR finds the Mexican State guilty of having engaged in insufficient investigations into denunciations of torture, as well as the use of military courts within the investigation of human-rights violations committed in 1999.

These two ecologist-campesinos who worked to halt illegal logging in the sierra of Petatlán were detained by the army on 2 May 1999 in Pizotla, Guerrero, and were subjected to five days of torture and abuse before being presented to a judge who found them guilty of carrying firearms and cultivating marijuana.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno mexicano acata fallo de la Corte IDH por caso campesinos ecologistas, EPA-European Pressphoto Agency, 7 June 2011

Estado mexicano publica sentencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos por caso de campesinos ecologistas, Periodismo transversal, 8 June 2011

Cabrera García y Montiel Flores vs México 26 de noviembre de 2011, SEGOB, 7 June 2011

Sentencia de la CIDH caso Cabrera García y Montiel Flores vs. México, 26 November 2010

Publican en el DOF sentencia de CIDH, La Jornada, 8 June 2011
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: briefs – New threats against leaders of the OPIM; inclusion of resources for La Parota in federal budget; Invitation to the sixth anniversary of Radio Ñomndaa (14 December 2010)

Guerrero: briefs – NGOs present amicus brief to Inter-American Court on case of environmentalists; activist is detained (September 23, 2010)


Guerrero: Briefs – Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena, NGOs sent a letter to the Minister of the Interior regarding the recent threats against OPIM; Monitor Civil documented 384 cases of human rights violations by the police; Inter-American Court of Human Rights rules in favor of campesino ecologists

December 28, 2010

Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera (@El Universal)

On December 7, about 35 military personnel aboard three Hummer vehicles entered the community of La Morena, municipality of Petatlan, using their weapons and causing panic among residents. According to testimonies, men and teenagers rushed to the nearby hills, while women, children and elders gathered in their homes, which were raided by the military. In February, Adolfo Torres Rosas was killed by soldiers, while Anselmo Torres Quiroz and Huber Vega Correa were arrested. Both are currently imprisoned in the prison of Acapulco for alleged drug crimes. In recent months, the harassment against the Cruz Torres family has focused on the intermittent and threatening presence of military in their community, as well as on the promotion of rumors suggesting that the Torres Cruz family is involved in kidnappings, a denunciation that hasn’t been properly reported to the civil authorities.

In a press release of December 7, the Collective Against Torture and Impunity (CCIC) and the Workshop for Community Development (TADECO), demanded to the authorities, among other things: to cease harassment against the Torres family, the immediate departure of the Army from the indigenous community of La Morena, and not to use the discourse of the struggle against drug trafficking to conceal acts of harassment and intimidation against the communities of the Sierra of Guerrero. Similarly, on 21 December, the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) expressed concern about the situation in La Morena sending out an urgent action. It reiterated that to date nothing is known about the new investigation into the circumstances of the death of Adolfo Torres Rosas, and it denounced violence during the arrest and detention of Anselmo Torres and Huber Vega, who have presumably been victims of abuse and torture.

Moreover, on December 15, Social and Civil Organizations, sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB), expressing concern about the threats occurred against members of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) on November 28. OPIM’s members have accompanied Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, me’phaa indigenous women who were raped by soldiers in 2002, whose cases were recently resolved by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CoIDH) against the Mexican State. These organizations emphasized that “in light of the recent threats, a prompt and full compliance with the sentences of the CoIDH [against the Mexican state] becomes crucial to prevent that unfortunate new facts may occur.”

On another hand, the Monitor of Civil Police and Public Safety Corps in the mountains of Guerrero (Monitor Civil), which was created three years ago, made public the fact that it documented 384 cases of police abuses. It mentioned that the ministerial authorities are the police that most violates the fundamental rights of citizens in the Mountain region (179 registered cases). From the experience of the Civil Monitor, institutional conditions of this corporation lead to police abuses, since the absence of internal and external mechanisms of control and accountability allows ministerial elements to violate human rights and legality without punitive consequences. The most frequent violations perpetrated by the police corps were arbitrary detention (122 cases), extortion (87 cases) and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment (59 cases). To a lesser extent, there were other also violations such as torture (6 cases), extrajudicial execution (3 cases), unlawful entries (22 cases) and the imposition of excessive fines (31 cases). The Civil Monitor issued a report on the status of the police in the mountains of Guerrero through which it seeks to establish guidelines for a democratic reform of the police.

Finally, on December 20, the CoIDH condemned the Mexican state for violating the rights of freedom, integrity, judicial guarantees and judicial protection of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, known as “the campesino ecologists.” The court ruling noted that the Mexican government must make a criminal investigation into the alleged acts of torture that Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera have denunciated. In addition, within two months, it will have to compensate the farmers for all the damages they have suffered, as well as for the cost of medical and psychological treatments they have received.

In 1999, Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera were arrested by the military, for their fight against deforestation in the Sierra de Petatlán, and according to their testimonies, they were tortured. In 2004, the case of “the ecological campesinos” was presented to the American Commission on Human Rights and in 2009 it was taken by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CoIDH). The ruling of the CoIDH also ratified that Mexico should reform the Code of Military Justice, to exclude the jurisdiction of military courts for crimes related to human rights violations.

For more information (in Spanish):

– México: Preocupación por la seguridad de los habitantes de la comunidad de La Morena en Petatlán, en particular por los familiares del Sr. Javier Torres Cruz, Estado de Guerrero, México. (Acción Urgente Organización Mundial contra la Tortura, OMCT, 21 de diciembre)

– OSC envían carta a Segob por las recientes amenazas contra la OPIM entorno a las sentencias de la CoIDH (CENCOS, 15 de diciembre)

A tres años de trabajo Monitor Civil documenta 384 casos de violación a los derechos humanos por parte de la policía (CENCOS, 17 de diciembre)

– CIDH falla a favor de campesinos ecologistas (El Universal, 20 de diciembre)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

– Guerrero: briefs – New threats against leaders of the OPIM; inclusion of resources for La Parota in federal budget; Invitation to the sixth anniversary of Radio Ñomndaa (December 14, 2010)

– Guerrero: briefs – NGOs present amicus brief to Inter-American Court on case of environmentalists; activist is detained (September 23, 2010)

– Guerrero: The Civil Monitor documents 117 cases of police abuse (December 3, 2008)


Guerrero: briefs – NGOs present amicus brief to Inter-American Court on case of environmentalists; activist is detained

September 23, 2010

Teodoro Cabrera García and Rodolfo Montiel Flores (@TVSur)

On 10 September, the Mexican Center for Environmental Rights (CEMDA) and the Inter-American Association for the Defense of the Environment (AIDA) presented an amicus brief to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of the environmental activists Teodoro Cabrera García and Rodolfo Montiel Flores against the Mexican State.  The document emphasizes the importance of the work of environmental-rights defenders and identifies those responsible for attacks on such defenders in Meixco.  The document concludes by requesting that the IACHR “recognize the special importance of the work of Cabrera and Montiel Flores […], in particular given the lack of effective resources that exist for environmental protection,” “take into consideration the general context of attacks and harassment directed against human-rights defenders in Mexico,” and “declare the violation of the right of liberty of association of Cabrera García and Montiel Flores.”

In 1998, Teodoro Cabrera and Rodolfo Montiel founded the Organization of Ecological Campesinos of the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán (OCESP) in the hopes of protecting the forests of the state of Guerrero.  In 1998 they were arbitrarily detained and tortured for their work.  Although released in 2001, they were not declared to be innocent.  The two activists appealed to the IACHR in 2010, asserting that Mexican authorities had done nothing to compensate them for their suffering nor to guarantee their security.

In other news, on Tuesday 14 September, a commando-group kidnapped Víctor Ayala Tapia, leader of the Free Front Hermenegildo Galeana, in the community of Papanoa from the municipality of Tecpan de Galeana, Guerrero.  In a press conference, Javier Monroy, leader of the Workshop for Communal Development (TADECO), reported that Ayala Tapia is member of the National Civic Revolutionary Association (ACNR) and that he led the occupation of city hall to demand a solution to the requests of the social court last week.  Monroy claimed that “we believe that the disappearance of our comrade constitutes an action taken by the municipal police and by groups of armed individuals dressed as civilians.” Ayala Tapia’s relatives released a communiqué in which they request that those who have the leader imprisoned release him.  “The relatives, fathers, brothers, wife, and friends of Víctor Ayala Tapia request those who have Víctor Ayala in their power to respect his life.  We have faith that you will come to realize that Víctor is innocent and that you will understand all that we are suffering.  His wife and children await his return, alive […].  We guarantee that the captors will suffer no revenge from anyone.” The document ends by listing the numbers 7424241431 and 7421063324 for those who wish to share information regarding the whereabouts of Ayala Tapia.  Enlace Zapatista released an Urgent Action on 14 September, demanding that the activist be presented alive immediately.

For more information (in Spanish):

CEMDA and AIDA letter to the Inter-American Court (10 September)

CEMDA and AIDA present case before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in the case of Teodoro Cabrera Carcía and Rodolfo Montiel Flores against Mexico (Centro Pro, 17 September)

Relatives of Víctor Ayala call for his release; “he is a wholesome person” (La Jornada, 20 September)

Urgent Action (Enlace Zapatista, 14 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Briefs – AI pronouncement; Forum of Environmental Defenders (2 August 2010)


Guerrero: Briefs – AI pronouncement; Forum of Environmental Defenders

August 2, 2010

On Tuesday 27 July was published in an article in El Sur de Acapulco declarations made by the Guerrero governor Zefererino Torreblanca regarding the imprisonment of Raúl Hernández and his designation as a politicla prisoner by Amnesty International (AI).  He insinuated that AI is mistaken in this case, saying that “if the state-government is sure that it will be accused, it should not retire [the charges],” and that “defense of human rights is confused with legality, since there is evidence.”  AI responded with a pronouncement: “Amnesty International takes up cases of prisoners of conscience only following copious analysis of a given case that allows it to conclude not only regarding the innocence of the processed person, but also […] of the form in which the justice system is utilized on occasion to persecute leaders, social activists, and individuals for their ethnic origin, sex, social condition–and if they are human-rights defenders.”  Hernández was detained in 2008 for a supposed homicide of an informant of the Mexican army.  The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights is organizing the defense of Raúl Hernández and has already shown all the evidence for the innocence of the member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM). The sentence is expecte dto be announced during the first half of the month of August.

On Wednesday 28 July, a month after the appearance of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), a forum was held on environmental defenders and criminalization of social protest in the installations of hte Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Center ProDH) in Mexico City.  Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera are members of the Organization of Ecological Campesinos of the Sierra of Petatlán and Coyucade Catalán (OCESP); they will have their audience against the Mexican State this month in San José, Costa Rica.  Both environmental defenders were detained and tortured by the Mexican army in 1990 for crimes they did not commit.  In 2000 they were sentenced to prison for a term of between 6 and 10 years.  After having presented the case to the IACHR in 2001, they were released without having been exonerated for the crimes they were charged with.

For more information (in Spanish):

Zeferino insinuates that he is sure of the accusation against the indigenous prisoner of conscience of Ayutla (El Sur de Acapulco, 27 July)

Amnesty International Declaration: CLARIFICATIONS REGARDING RECENT DECLARATIONS OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF GUERRERO

Environmental defenders: the new patriots (CentroProdh, 29 July)

Campesinos ecologistas en busca de justicia ante la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CENCOS, 29 de julio)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: resurgence of conflict over the possible construction of the La Parota dam (27 April 2010)

Guerrero – Briefs: Detention of FODEG member, Raúl Hernández receives threats and announcement of the commemoration of the massacre at Aguas Blancas (30 June 2010)