Guerrero: Beginning of Civil Observation Mission “A light against impunity”

February 14, 2014

Raúl Vera López (@Desde abajo; archivo)

Raúl Vera López (@Desde abajo; archivo)

On 9 February there began the Civil Observation Mission “A light against impunity” in Guerrero, which is slated to visit several municipalities to document violations of the human rights of social activists in the state.  Led by Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, the mission includes among other civil and social organizations (local, national, and international) the Network in Solidarity Decade against Impunity, the Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights, the Guerrerense Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations (REDGROAC), the Front of Democratic Organizations of Guerrero State (FODEG), the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Guerrero, and SIPAZ.

The visit began in Iguala where dozens of campesinos welcomed the observation mission with flower necklaces.  A contingent of workers from the Taxco mine similarly welcomed the delegates by taking off their helmets.  The mission was received by Sofía Lorena Mendoza Martínez, wife of the deceased Arturo Hernández Cardona, leader of Popular Unity in this municipality, who was kidnapped together with seven comrades on 30 May 2013.  Three of them were killed and all showed signed of torture.  Suspicions abound in terms of the involvement of councilmember José Luis Abarca.  The Taxco miners denounced for their part that despite their strike of 6.5 years against the Mexico Group, the federal government continues without attending to their demands. Before those present, Raúl Vera warned that “These politicians who now persecute and hurt you should know that they are now observed by society, that they are not fully removed [from their actions], and that justice will be done, however late it comes.”

The Mission then traveled to the capital, Chilpancingo, where bishop Vera offered a mass in front of the cathedral, noting that “there is a persecution of human-rights defenders, social activists, and all those who have the courage to defend human rights […].  Human-rights defenders become the enemies because they want to establish a regime that is different from the status quo–that is all.”

The bishop said that other paths must be taken to achieve peace: “it must be a peaceful path of reason, demanding that those who govern us establish the state of right and do not bear complicity with those who hire them, because there are strong feelings suggesting that these murders (of social activists) are performed by hired killers, in place of establishing true social justice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Impunes, el secuestro y asesinato de tres luchadores sociales en Iguala, Guerrero (La Jornada, 10 de febrero de 2014)

Critica Raúl Vera que el Estado trate como enemigos a luchadores sociales(La Jornada de Guerrero, 10 de febrero de 2014)

Pide Vera en Chilpancingo que cesen los crímenes contra los luchadores sociales (EL Sur de Acapulco, 10 de febrero)

Guerrero: crisis profunda (La Jornada, 7 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: Network Solidarity Decade against Impunity denounces intimidation against two members days before Observation Mission to Guerrero (5 February 2014)

Guerrero: 3 of 8 disappeared PRD Members found dead in Iguala (10 June 2013)

Guerrero: murder of a social activist from the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra

November 12, 2013


Sepelio de Rocío Mesino Mesino in the zócalo of Atoyác de Álvarez, photo @Javier Verdín

On 19 October, Rocío Mesino Mesino was murdered in the Mexcaltepec community, which pertains to the Atoyac de Álvarez municipality.  According to the story told by her relatives, the rights-defender found herself supervising the construction of a provisional bridge in this community, when a man arrived who shot her several times and then rode away on a motorcycle which had been awaiting him.

Iñaki Blanco Cabrera, State Attorney General, has said that different lines are being pursued for investigating this murder of the leader of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS), including the participation of organized crime syndicates which operate in the region of the Grand Coast of the state.  In a press-conference, the Guerrero state official said that the campesino leader had been shot six times by pistol.  Blanco Cabrera noted that her killers have not yet been identified, despite the fact that the crime took place in the middle of the day and in the presence of several witnesses.  It is understood that many are afraid of reprisals if they were to provide testimony.

The Guerrero Network for Human Rights (Redgro), the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the Front of Democratic Organizations of the State of Guerrero (Fodeg), the Regional Center in Defense of Human Rights José María Morelos and Pavón, and the Society of Students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, among others, demand an investigation into the crime.  Furthermore, they denounced that 10 homicides have been committed against social activists in the state of the PRD governor Ángel Aguirre, and that not one has yet been resolved.

For more information (in Spanish):

PGJE investiga el asesinato de dirigente de la OCSS (El Universal, 21 de octubre de 2013)

Impunes, muertes de 10 activistas en el gobierno de Ángel Aguirre (La Jornada, 20 de octubre de 2013)

Frente de Organizaciones Democráticas del Estado de GuerreroCondenan asesinato de la luchadora social Rocío Mesino (Centro Prodh, 21 de octubre de 2013)

PGJ-Guerrero investiga crimen de dirigente de la OCSS (Milenio, 20 de octubre de 2013)


For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Murder of leader of the Organization of Ecologist Campesinos of the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán (7 December 2012)

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)