Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope for the Ayotzinapa case

March 21, 2015

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March-rally, 5 February 2015 in Chilpancingo. Photo @SIPAZ

The parents of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala confirmed their trust in the team from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which at the beginning of this month started to review the evidence on the happenings of 26 September 2014.  Felipe de la Cruz, spokesperson for the parents of the disappeared, said that the arrival of the independent specialists represents an advance, given that it provides hope that truthful results will result from the investigations that they plan to undertake, “rather than a theater put on by the Federal Attorney General’s Office [PGR].”  He added that it is hoped that the PGR will come to an agreement regarding the inspection of military barracks on the part of the parents, as they have been told that the conditions are not appropriate at this time.  The parents want to know that they are not just going in circles.  Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, their lawyer, has specified that the IACHR specialists are not those in charge of carrying out the investigation, but rather that they will review what has occurred so far within the ongoing investigation so as to make recommendations when irregularities are found.

In recent days, relatives of Julio César Mondragón Fontes, the student who was murdered and defigured, rejected the conclusions made by the PGR that accuse the Iguala municipal police officer Luis Francisco Martínez Díaz as responsible for the murder.  The relatives noted that after five months without the minimum of attention dedicated to clarifying the torture and execution of Julio César, “now the PGR seeks to close the case with a summary media action, thus leaving unresolved one of the very ‘reasons for which the Ayotzinapa case cannot be closed.'”  Beyond this, they demanded that the torture and extrajudicial execution of the youth be investigated as a murder.  They have demanded that the investigation be serious, profound, and based in science.  In a communique released on 4 March, the family denounces that the case has been investigated using two lines directed by Chilpancingo: murder and organized crime.  “This makes no sense, given that it was torture and an extrajudicial execution.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Llegada del grupo de CIDH, un “avance”, afirman familiares (Milenio, 6 de marzo de 2015)

Expertos de la CIDH se reúnen con autoridades encargadas de la investigación de Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Familiares de normalista exigen a Arely Gómez que retome el caso (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case

March 1, 2015

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Photo @SIPAZ

On 13 February, the UN Committee against Forced Disappearance (CED) declared that “generalized disappearances” are practiced “throughout” Mexico, and that the Ayotzinapa case “illustrates the serious challenges that the State confronts in terms of the prevention, investigation, and sanctioning of forcible disappearances and the search for the disappeared.”  It reminded the State of its obligation to “effectively investigate all State agents or organs that could have been involved, as well as to exhaust all lines of investigation” in response to forcible disappearances, with this being a recommendation that could clearly be applied to the Ayotzinapa case.

The inconsistencies that have been indicated by the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology (EAAF) with regards to the investigation of the Federal Attorney General (PGR) of the presumed murder of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa strengthen the demand to now open new lines of investigation and set the official story to the side, as relatives of the disappeared youth observed in a press-conference held on 9 February.  The spokesperson of the parents, Felipe de la Cruz, claimed that “the historical truth of this federal government in this case […] is in tatters.  Today certainly we can truly see clearly that we were not mistaken from the beginning, when we said we did not trust the government’s version and that of the PGR.”

In a communique released on 9 February, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, explained in detail about the failed investigation into the Ayotzinapa case.  It concludes by saying that “[Now the parents] await the international support of the UN and the Inter-American Commission, as well as the prestigious work being carried out by the Argentine team.  They request that the PGR listen to their demands and observe the rights of the victims by carrying out an investigation that takes into account all possible lines and is based in scientific evidence.”  On 12 February, representatives of the families of the 43 disappeared students expressed their welcome to the newly arrived Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Groups (GIEI) to Mexico, who will begin the work of verifying the investigation of the forcible disappearance of the youth on 1 March.

For more information (in Spanish):

‘‘La verdad histórica sobre Ayotzinapa se cae a pedazos’’, expresan padres de familia (La Jornada, 10 de febrero de 2015)

Un gobierno que sepulta la verdad (CDHM Tlachinollan, 9 de febrero de 2015)

ONU acusa “desapariciones generalizadas” en México (SIDIDH, 13 de febrero de 2015)


Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration; organizations express concern for disqualification of defenders from Guerrero; HRW considers Tlatlaya and Ayotzinapa to be “State crimes”

November 13, 2014

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March in solidarity with Ayotzinapa in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 22 October (photo @SIPAZ)

At a press-conference on 7 November, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam reported that the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa were presumed to have been incinerated and their remains thrown into the Cocula river, in accordance with information provided by three members of the “United Warriors” drug cartel.  The remains that have been found will be sent to an Austrian university for a process that will take some time, for, given “their high grade of decomposition, it will be difficult to extract DNA for identification,” argued Murillo Karam.  “We do not accept” the PGR’s conclusions, as it “is attempting to close the case” of the 43 disappeared students, claimed a parent of one of the students, who insisted that “our sons are still alive.”  “Today they want to surprise us saying that they made ashes of our children, so that we could not recognize them,” observed another.  The parents claimed that the intention of this information was to “allow President Enrique Peña Nieto to go on tour and say that everything has been resolved.”  On 9 November, Peña Nieto began a trip to China and Asia, where he will participate in the meeting of the Forum for Asia-Pacific Cooperation and also attend the G-2o summit.

Beyond this, organizations that have followed the fate of the Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists expressed their concern for the declarations and information that come out in recent days against members of the social organizations who work in Guerrero state.  Their concern was directed in particular against the accusation of the interim governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez, who called into question the work of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, and against the report of the Mexican intelligence report that was leaked by media, which accuses the technical secretary of the Guerrero Network of having ties with a guerrilla group.  In a document signed by dozens of human-rights organizations, they note that “the recent declarations by the governor […] are immensely worrying, since, amidst this human-rights crisis, he calls on the director of Tlachinollan to join the state government.  It should be stressed that both the José María Morelos Pavón Regional Center as well as Tlachinollan form a part of the ‘All Rights for All’ National Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations, and are organizations that have been recognized for their dedication to the strengthening of social leaders that are so lacking in the region, as for their juridical defense in cases of serious human-rights violations.”

In a press-conference, José Miguel Vivanco, representative of Human Rights Watch (HRW), claimed the disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa as well as the murder of 22 persons in Tlatlaya, Mexico state, to have “dragged” the name of Peña Nieto and his government “through the mud” in the international arena.  He mentioned that the federal executive had wanted to show the world a “Mexico that is fictitious,” and that he withdrew from considering questions of human rights and security, holding them to be “toxic” for his international image.  The HRW representative stressed that both cases are “crimes of State” to which the judicial authorities have reacted tardily and inefficiently.  The extrajudicial execution of at least 12 people at Tlatlaya by Army units and the forcible disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa must be included within the “gravest” cases of violence “in the contemporary history of Mexico and Latin America in recent years.”  He added, however, that these are not isolated events, but rather form part of an atmosphere of impunity and corruption.

For more information (in Spanish):

“No aceptamos” la hipótesis del asesinato de los normalistas, sostienen padres de desaparecidos (Desinformémonos, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

La desaparición de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa pudo evitarse, dice el Frayba (La Jornada de Guerrero, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Video: Los quemaron 15 horas, con leña, diesel, llantas, plástico.- PGR(Aristegui Noticias, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Desaparición de normalistas deja “por los suelos” imagen del gobierno, a nivel internacional: HRW (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Comienza Peña Nieto su gira de trabajo en China y Australia (Milenio, 9 de noviembre de 2014)

Inaceptable la postura del gobernador y la del gobierno federal, dicen defensores (La Jornada de Guerrero, 10 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)


Guerrero: Discourse of the interim governor of Guerrero puts at risk the work of human-rights defenders, Tlachinollan

November 13, 2014

Abel Barrera, director del CDH Tlachinollan (@Tlachinollan)

On 3 November, the interim governor of Guerrero, Rogelio Ortega Martínez, assured before media that he had sought out closeness with the relatives of the students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa who have been disappeared for 40 days, but he opined that groups like the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights and the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) have inhibited this dialogue.  He criticized radical groups for using recent events to carry out graffiti, arson, and vandalism rather than prioritizing the search for the disappeared.

In response to this challenge, Abel Barrera Hernández, director of Tlachinollan, lamented the slanderous claims against Tlachinollan, claiming that is puts at risk the labor carried out by the human-rights workers who work at the Center.  He clarified that they have been respectful and that the parents of the disappeared “are the ones who decide, and it has been a complex learning process, in light of this atrocious act, and they feel they have been cheated.”  He added that the authorities must come to understand that there is a marked lack of trust toward the government, and that “it is not enough to call for a mere sit-down chat.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Tlachinollan evita encuentro con padres de normalistas: Gobernador(Quadratin de Guerrero, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Propone el gobernador diálogo con grupos subversivos, incluyendo encapuchados (La Jornada de Guerrero, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Es importante la detención de Abarca para padres: activista (Milenio, 4 de noviembre de 2014)

Con su ataque a Tlachinollan Rogelio Ortega pone en riesgo a defensores, advierte Abel Barrera (El Sur de Acapulco, 5 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Guerrero: Contradictory versions regarding findings from graves in Iguala three weeks after the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa – Protests are radicalized (26 October 2014)

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

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)


Guerrero: demand for release of political prisoners in observance of the eleventh anniversary of CECOP

September 2, 2014

Marcha del CECOP, 18 de agosto de 2014 (@Tlachinollan)CECOP march, 18 August 2014 (@Tlachinollan)

On 15 August, in observance of the eleventh anniversary of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam (CECOP), thousands of campesin@s marched in Acapulco together with members of national and state social organizations, making for a mobilization in which nearly 3000 persons particiapted. The principal demand of the protestors was to demand the release of one of CECOP’s spokespeople, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, who was arrested last June. In parallel terms, protestors demanded justice in the case of the other political prisoners of the state, such as Julio Ventura Ascencio and Emilio Hernández Solís, also CECOP members, in addition to the commanders of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC): Nestora Salgado, Arturo Campos, and Gonzalo Molina.

Abel Barreara Hernández, director of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, assured that the transfer of Marco António Suástegui to the federal prison in Tepic, Nayarit, was “illegal,” affirming that “we seek to show to the bosses of criminalization that they are imposing themselves on the state and the country in transferring comrades who are communal defenders, like Marco Antonio, to federal prisons and to isolate them in places where it is impossible for relatives to have contact with them, for lawyers to implement an adequate defense, and for the comrade himself to avoid greater vulnerability through isolation.”

Ignacio del Valle, director of the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land of Atenco, declared at the event that “we are here because it is necessary to unify our resistance efforts. It is enough of this form of governance; we have had enough of the imposition of these projects that have nothing to do with the necessities that are priorities for our peoples […]. We came to tell you that you are not alone, that what is happening here is not an isolated case, given that both in Guerrero as in other parts of Mexico, we are obliged to say enough to the looting of territory.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan cientos en Acapulco; exigen liberar al vocero del Cecop (La Jornada, 16 de agosto de 2014)

Marchan Cecop y ONG en Acapulco; exigen liberar a Suástegui Muñoz (La Jornada de Guerrero, 16 de agosto de 2014)

Marchan organizaciones, pueblos y movimientos por libertad para defensor de los ríos y el agua (Nota Informativa de Tlachinollan, 15 de agosto de 2014)

Unas 179 órdenes de aprehensión hay contra cecopistas, dicen coordinadores (La Jornada de Guerrero, 18 de agosto de 2014)

Las arbitrariedades del poder: a once años del Cecop y a un año de Nestora Salgado (Tlachinollan, El Sur de Acapulco, 18 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on (August 29, 2014)

Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (July 20, 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (June 23, 2014)


Guerrero: Tlachinollan considers “illegal” Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz ‘s transfer to a Nayarit prison and demand his return to the state

August 30, 2014

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In a statement released on August 13, the Center for Human Rights Tlachinollan announced that it issued a complaint before the District Judge of Acapulco regarding the transfer of the leader of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (Cecop), Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui to the Federal Center for Social Rehabilitation of Tepic, Nayarit . Tlachinollan considers that this transfer was “illegal“, so it demanded the prison authorities to order his return to Guerrero.

It recalled that at the time of his arrest in June, “anticipating a transfer to a federal prison, as it has been seen in other cases of criminalization of Guerrero social activists”, Tlachinollan had filed a legal demand “to prevent his transfer and his subsequent confinement that might prevent access to an adequate defense for the community defender. “ It denounced that nevertheless “Suástegui was illegally transferred to the Social Rehabilitation Center of La Unión de Isidoro Montes de Oca, located in the Costa Grande of Guerrero; and finally to the Federal Center of Tepic, in Nayarit. Besides being a violation of his rights, it allowed the state government to gain time to manipulate the charges against the community leader and to avoid he might be freed. “

 Tlachinollan said that at the same hearing, it presented “information to the federal court about the systematic use made ​​by the State Executive of federal prisons, of medium and maximum security, as a tool of coercion against social movements, which violates international treaties ratified by Mexico” .

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia Tlachinollan ante Juez de Distrito ilegalidad de traslado a un penal federal a Marco Antonio Suástegui, líder histórico del CECOP (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 13 de agosto de 2014)

Ilegal, traslado a Tepic de activista guerrerense (La Jornada, 14 de agosto de 2014)

Regresar a Suástegui a un penal del estado, demandan en diligencia al juez (El Sur de Acapulco, 14 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on (August 29, 2014)

Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (July 20, 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (June 23, 2014)


Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on

August 29, 2014
(@SIPAZ)

(@SIPAZ)

On August 3, soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Community, where the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam (Cecop) had just finished their weekly meeting. The soldiers on board of four vehicles claimed that they were patrolling the area. They were intercepted while trying to pass the camp that the community keep there, and then threw out with machetes and sticks.

On the other hand, during the Assembly, the lawyer of the Center for Human Rights Tlachinollan, Vidulfo Rosales, said that he will file a petition for annulment in the Land Court against the complaint for dispossession presented by the entrepreneur Humberto Marín against the Cecop spokesman, Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui. The latter has been detained since mid-June and is currently imprisoned in Nayarit. Vidulfo Rosales said that the hearing on constitutional protection due to his transfer to the prison in Tepic, will be held on August 13. It might establish his mandatory transfer back to Guerrero.

The lawyer explained that after that, it will take an intensive campaign for the final release of the commoner: “First we want his transfer, and then his return.” Sierra Rosales asked the villagers to avoid actions that put them at risk of arrest or might generate greater conflict, as this would prevent the release of Suástegui.

For more information (in Spanish):

Corren comuneros a marinos y soldados que pretendían patrullar pueblo de Cacahuatepec (El Sur de Acapulco, 4 de agosto de 2014)

Irrumpen soldados y policías en La Concepción tras asamblea del Cecop (La Jornada de Guerrero, 4 de agosto de 2014)

Abogado: la próxima semana llegará el expediente del caso contra Suástegui (La Jornada de Guerrero, 4 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: 14 organizations march in favor of release of CECOP’s Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz (July 20, 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (June 23, 2014)

Guerrero: the State Government pressures to build the La Parota dam (June 12, 2014)