Chiapas: Civil Observation Mission to the Coast one year after the earthquake of September 7, 2017

September 18, 2018
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Civil Observation MIssion to the Coast (@SIPAZ)


From September 4 to 6, a Civil Observation Mission made a visit to communities of the municipalities of Arriaga, Tonalá and Pijijiapán one year after the earthquake of September 7, 2017. I
t was organized by the Network All rights for all, the Human Rights Center “Digna Ochoa”, the Human Rights Center “Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas”, the Human Rights Center “Fray Matías de Cordova” as well as Mesoamerican Voices, Action with Migrant Peoples in addition to the Service and Consultancy for Peace (Serapaz); and accompanied by SIPAZ and the Swedish Movement for Reconciliation (SweFOR). It should be remembered that this earthquake left damages in 97 municipalities of Chiapas and that, according to official data, more than 46 thousand families suffered damages to their homes, mainly in rural areas. There were also affectations in more than 800 schools, 184 hospitals, clinics, health centers and public buildings; as well as in 462 churches and historical monuments.


In the main conclusions after this visit, the Mission affirmed that the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (Sedatu) left more than 8 thousand victims of the Coast of Chiapas outside the censuses of damages, and without the possibility of receiving any resource for reconstruction.
Another 2 thousand 769 families that were registered didn’t receive the resources for the reconstruction that were given via BANSEFI cards. Those who obtained cards only received 70 percent of those resources for reconstruction since the government of Chiapas has not deposited the remaining 30 percent, which it was supposed to contribute. More than 90 percent of the families affected continue to live in adverse conditions, under tents and tarps, renting or living in semi-destroyed houses. Others had to request loans from banks to carry out the reconstruction.

Among the activities realized by the Mission, a meeting was held with the elected governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, in which he was told about the serious damage suffered by the affected people, a situation that was aggravated by the ineffective action of the different levels of government : neither attended to all the people affected, nor made an adequate use of the resources. For this reason, the organizations of the Mission called on him to make changes in public policies as soon as he takes office. Escandón Cadenas reported that one of his first actions on the subject will be to elaborate what he called a “true census”.


The main recommendations of the Mission include:
to guarantee the right to a decent life and housing in favor of the thousands of victims in Chiapas due to the earthquake of September 7, 2017; to investigate and sanction all kinds of acts of corruption in the use of public funds for the reconstruction process; to urgently conclude the reconstruction of schools and health centers, as well as water and sanitation services; to create a program that allows the more than 8 thousand families of the coast of Chiapas that have not been considered within the reconstruction programs, to be granted support without any conditioning; and to guarantee the right to defend the human rights of the defenders and defenders in Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish) :

Misión Civil de Observación inicia visita a un año de los sismos reuniéndose con Gobernador electo Rutilio Escandón (Mco, 4 de septiembre de 2018)

Afectaciones de los damnificados se agravaron por la ineficacia del Gobierno” Misión Civil de Observación (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de septiembre de 2018)

La simulación de la reconstrucción en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de septiembre de 2018)

Prometer no empobrece, dar es lo que aniquila”. A un año del sismo la costa de Chiapas sigue en emergencia (Regeneración, 7 de septiembre de 2018)

En Chiapas, a un año del terremoto, reconstrucción a cuenta gotas (Chiapas Paralelo, 7 de septiembre de 2018)

A un año del sismo del 7 de Septiembre en Chiapas, persisten violaciones a los Derechos Humanos de las familias damnificadas (CDH Digna Ochoa, 7 de septiembre de 2018)

10 mil damnificados sin ayuda en costa de Chiapas a un año de sismo (Regeneración, 7 de septiembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca / National: 8th National Meeting of victims of the earthquakes of September 2017 in Juchitán September 16, 2018

Chiapas: Coastal Civil Observation Mission Ends Two Months after the 8.2 Earthquake November 23, 2017

National: Mexico Shaken by Two Huge Earthquakes Faces the Shock with a Wave of Solidarity September 30, 2017

Oaxaca: NGOs denounce “inadequate and insufficient response from the three levels of government” to earthquake disaster September 21, 2017


Chiapas: Denunciation of displacement and threats in Tonalá, Digna Ochoa CDH

November 2, 2012

Photo @ Cencos

On 26 October, the Digna Ochoa AC Center for Human Rights, located in the city of Tonalá, denounced “the arbitrary actions of the authorities of City Hall against Mr. José del Carmen Ramírez, who was displaced from his home by means of excessive use of public force, violating his right to dignified work without any basis for this action.  [We also denounce] the death-threats and intimidation directed at this Center for Human Rights on the part of public officials of the municipality.”  Said human-rights center, which published an urgent action, added that “at no time did there exist any previous notification on the part of the municipal authority regarding the basis for this displacement.”

In the antecedents to the affair it has been clarified that “the merchants of the Manuel Larrainzar market in their majority have spent more than 30 years selling in the public sphere with the authorization of the municipal authorities of the city of Tonalá, Chiapas, given that they carry out their corresponding dues for the right to space as well as their taxes for City Hall.”  They also indicate that other persons have been displaced “in an arbitrary manner, despotically, using public force without any forewarning or notification that would justify such behavior.”

For more information (in Spanish):

AU: El Ayuntamiento Municipal de Tonalá desaloja violentamente a comerciantes, ¡Exijo su protección! (Cencos, 30 de octubre de 2012)

Desalojo violento, amenazas e intimidación en contra de locatarios del mercado Manuel Larrainzar, y de integrantes del Centro de DH (Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa AC, 26 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 3 human-rights defenders from the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights released from El Amate (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: Judicial harassment of human-rights defender (21 June 2010)


Chiapas: CDH Digna Ochoa denuncia amenazas a su director por parte del gobierno del estado abril 2, 2012

April 3, 2012

Nataniel Hernández (@proyectoambulante.org)

In a communiqué published on 28 March, the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights, with headquarters in Tonalá, denounced that its director, Nataniel Hernández Núñez, received death-threats and was subject to intimidation via telephone by state-government officials of Chiapas.  The Center indicates that by this means, members of the Sub-Secretary of the Coastal Isthmus and of the Delegation of Governance attempted to halt the mobilization of the Regional Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas, which had been planned for 29 March on the coast of Chiapas, towards the end of demanding the cessation of judicial harassmetn and the cancellation of arrest-orders and penal processes against those who form part of the National Network of Civil Resistance against High Electricity Prices.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de Prensa CDH Digna Ochoa (28 de marzo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: Forum for the defense of rights-defenders (18 October 2011)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)

Chiapas: 3 human-rights defenders from the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights released from El Amate (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: detentions vis-a-vis blockade of road Tonala-Pijijiapan during action of the Other Campaign (26 February 2011)

Chiapas: Judicial harassment of human-rights defender (21 June 2010)


Chiapas: Forum for the defense of human-rights defenders

October 18, 2011

Forum for the defense of human-rights defenders (Tonalá, October 2011, @SIPAZ)

Different human-rights centers, including the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights (Tonalá), the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, and the Center for Rights of Women in Chiapas, the Bety Cariño Center (from southern Veracruz=, and the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights (from Guerrero) met on 8 and 9 October to observe a “Forum for the defense of human-rights defenders,” held in Tonalá, Chiapas.  The objective of the same was to “visibilize the harassment and persecution of human-rights defenders in the central, southern, and southeastern regions of Mexico, as well as to articulate an agenda of actions for the protection and defense of rights-defenders in the region.”

Yazmin Hernández, director of the Digna Ochoa Center, denounced the criminalization and harassment suffered by human-rights defenders in Chiapas, remembering that the ex-director of the same center, Nataniel Hernández Núñez, continues to be persecuted by the courts.  She also accused the government of treating defenders “as criminals” and called on the different centers to coordinate their actions so as to find measures “to protect ourselves together.”

Civil groups and organizations such as the community of Candelaria (Venustiano Carranza), relatives of prisoners on hunger strike and fast in different Chiapas prisons, the Cerezo Committee, the House for Migrants in Arriaga, the Assembly of the Peoples Adherents to the Other Campaign, Civil Resistance against High Electricity Prices from Candelaria, the Ocez Di Unopi, and the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas also participated.  They denounced the aggressions directed against adherents to the Other Campaign as well as harassment against those who defend migrants, women, and the indigenous.

The participants also make more profound the subjects dealt with at the Forum by means of 5 work-tables:

Work-table 1: Mechanisms of prevention for rights-defenders

Work-table 2: Mechanisms of protection for defenders

Work-table 3: Mechanisms for defense for defenders

Work-table 4: Support in solidarity for the defense of defenders

Work-table 5: Technical support and new knowledges

In the final pronunciation of the Forum was highlighted the following: “1. That the harassment and repression exercised by the Mexican State toward all human-rights defenders at the national level is committed with the objective of dismantling and inhibiting the legitimate work of promoting and defending human rights.  2. That this premeditated aggression against human-rights defenders seeks to make-vulnerable the organizational processes in resistance to the ravages of neoliberal capitalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento final del Foro (9 October 2011)

Termina en Tonalá un foro en pro de defensores de derechos, Constante, la violencia del Estado contra los mexicanos, afirma ONG (La Jornada, 10 October 2011)

Necesario buscar el fin al hostigamiento contra “humanistas” (Cuarto Poder, 11 October)

Audios del Foro por la defensa del los defensores y las defensoras de derechos, desde Tonala, Chiapas (Radio Pozol)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Growing insecurity for the work of human-rights defenders–denunciations from Washington, Brussels, and Chiapas (31 March 2011)

México: Pronunciations and actions as regards the situation of human-rights defenders in the country and southeastern Mexico (25 March 2011)

Chiapas: 3 human-rights defenders from the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights released from El Amate (8 March 2011)

Mexico: Accord to establish a Mechanism for Protection of Human-Rights Defenders; campaign “Declare yourself” is launched (20 July 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: Judicial harassment of human-rights defender (21 June 2010)


Chiapas: Caravan to the South Day 2

September 26, 2011

Caravan to the South in Tonala (@SIPAZ)

On the second day of its journey in Chiapas, the Caravan to the South coordinated by the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity directed itself from Tapachula to Tonalá where it was received by the “Digna Ochoa” Center for Human Rights AC, together with the Tonalá Civic Front and the Autonomous regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas.  There was held an event in the plaza of the central park in which also participated organizations such as the migrant house of Chiapas.  There was a letter read by Nataniel Hernández Núñez, ex-director of the Digna Ochoa Center, who had to leave the state in light of the death-threats and harassment directed against him.

Later the caravan began its journey to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, stopping in Cahuare, near Chiapas de Corzo, where the population has been demanding the relocation of the firm “Cuts and mortar of Grijalba” for the negative environmental, labor, and social impacts it has had.  Despite the rain, the Caravan’s members marched to the zócalo where they carried out a public act for the Cry of Independence, calling for silence as a form of protest against the violence that reigns over the country.  “There is nothing to celebrate.  There is no independence,” noted Javier Sicilia, the most well-known figure who has led the Movement for Peace.

From there members went ot the theater of the city where they carried out another public act.  Members of the diocese of San Cristóbal, civil and social organizations, survivors of the massacre of Acteal, and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center For Human Rights, among others, held public banners of welcome and support for the Caravan.  They indicated that hte Caravan arrives “to these lands and in this context in which autonomous, indigenous, and campesino communities face and resist paramilitary sieges; federal troops occupy their lands; poverty now grips urban population; and migration leaves communities empty.”  They also denounced “the official looting that facilitates private exploitation of natural resources and minerals that criminalizes entire communities; hundreds of prisoners unjustly incarcerated who are silenced by means of torture; the cases of feminicides that have risen; the free expression which is restricted by public conventions; thousands of youth who are stigmatized for protesting the present and demanding a possible future; the reigning impunity in tribunals; and governmental omission, another aspect of the exercise of the criminal politics of the State.”

In his comments Javier Sicilia expressed that “from these lands near San Andrés Larrainzar, we not only opine but also demand as a task of the nation without which there can be no peace, justice, or dignity–without which there is no true independence–that the Accord come to there, which the nation recognizes, be respected–that the San Andrés Accords be respected.”

 

Acteal, arrival of the Caravan to the South, 15 September 2011 (@SIPAZ)

That same night, a representation of about 100 members of the Caravan went ot he community of Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, where there was held an event that, more than just hte traditional cry of independence on the date, gave a cry of pain for the 50000 victims of the war against drug-trafficking and the 45 victims of the 1997 Acteal massacre.  A cry in which protestors demanded that the federal government change its strategy of combatting organized crime, one that expressed the commitment to find a new, more just and dignified, life, by means of strategies of civil non-violent resistance.

The rain and delays resulting from the numerous landslides on the highway notwithstanding, the activists were received with traditional music by more than 400 indigenous persons who waited their arrival during more than seven hours.  The Las Abejas civil society read a communiqué regarding its support for the Caravan for Peace which denounces the violence and injustice caused by the Army and the National-Security Law, remembering that the authors of the massacre of Acteal continue to be free: “our struggle now for nearly 14 years has been one for truth and justice regarding the Acteal massacre, and now we have joined the struggle to put an end to Calderón’s war.  We are here united to give evidence once again that our Mexico every day increasingly is flooded by the blood spilled by all the violence that has its roots in the bad government and its system.”

The ceremony lasted nearly five hours.  Upon ending the members of the caravan returned to San Cristóbal to continue their journey to Ocosingo and Palenque with the rest of the caravan.

For more information (in Spanish):

Bienvenida la Caravana al Sur del Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad a Chiapas (Comunicado de prensa de organizaciones e individuos, 12 September)

Centro Frayba Saluda al Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad(CDHFBC, 15 September)

Caravana del Sur en tierra zapatista: expectativa por diálogo con Marcos (CNN México, 15 September)

Palabras de Javier Sicilia en San Cristobal de las Casas (Radio informaremos, 15 September)

Marcha expedición en San Cristóbal de las Casas contra militarización(La Jornada, 16 September)

Diócesis de San Cristóbal respalda a caravana (El Universal, 16 September)

… y el silencio se alzó contra la violencia (El Universal, 16 September)

Caravana por la Paz exige en Grito que se cumplan acuerdos de San Andrés (Proceso, 16 September)

Comunicado Las Abejas de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 16 September 2011)

¡Mexican@s al grito de PAZ! (Audios del evento en Acteal, Blog de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas)

Exigen en Las Abejas cambiar la estrategia oficial para combatir al crimen organizado (La Jornada, 17 September 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Day 1 of the Caravan to the South (26 September 2011)

Oaxaca receives Caravan to the South (23 September 2011)

Chiapas: Annunciation of the Caravan to the South in Chiapas (23 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: organizations will welcome the Caravan to the South of the Movement for Peace (22 September)

Mexico: March “Steps for Peace” (19 August)


Mexico: Pronunciation of the National Network of Civil Resistance to High Electricity Prices

July 29, 2011

On 23 and 24 July, in the community of El Naranjo, municipality of Palenque (Chiapas), there was held a meeting of the National Network of Civil Resistance to High Electricity prices.  In the meeting participated organizations and communities from the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz that have organized themselves in civil resistance in light of the high electricity prices, opting to not pay given prices, given that the costs are considered excessively high.

In their communiqué, the participants of the meeting denounced that “We see and suffer in alarm, but also with anger and impotence given how they repress us and subject us to judicial process, this just for raising our voices.  They seek to sap us of our strength and will, subjecting us to a justice that denies us the most fundamental human rights and which criminalizes our struggles and our comrades.”  They expressed their solidarity with the National and International Campaign against Judicial Harassment and the Criminalization of Human-Rights Defenders and Social Activists of Mexico, initiated by the Regional Autonomous Council of the coastal zone of Chiapas and the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights A.C. from Tonalá (Chiapas), due to the judicial investigations targeting Nataniel Hernández Núñez, ex-director of the Center, which have been considered legal harassment.  Among other demands, they call for the cancellation of arrest-orders, investigations, and penal processes targeting several members of the National Network of Civil Resistance to High Electricity Prices.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de la Red Nacional de Resistencia Civil a las Altas Tarifas de la Energía eléctrica (24 July 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Campeche: Arrest of activist campaigning against high electricity prices (26/05/2010)

Mexico: AI Declares Activists against High Electricity Tariffs Prisoners of Conscience (10/03/2010)

Campeche: National Meeting for the Liberation of Political Prisoners of Candelaria, Campeche (27/10/2009)


Chiapas: Judicial harassment of relatives of the director of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights AC

July 20, 2011

Nataniel Hernández Nuñez (@Front Line Defenders)

In a 4 July press-release, the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights, with headquarters in Tonalá in the coastal region of Chiapas, expressed its concern “for the continuing acts of judicial harassment to which the relatives of the director of this organization have been subjected.  C.C. Bersain Hernández Zavala and Guadalupe Núñez Salazar came to the home of the relatives to leave a citation from the Ministerial Police (AFI) demanding that they appear before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) located in the city of Arriaga […] without knowing the reasons for which they have been called before this penal authority.”

The Center locates this new act in the tendency on the part of the Mexican State and in particular the Chiapas state-government to “use the judicial system to persecute, harass, incarcerate human-rights defenders and [in this case] relatives of those who dedicate their work to the defense of human rights.”  They demand that the “Mexican government and the Chiapas government put an end to these acts of harassment directed against human-rights defenders and their relatives [as well as] observe the numerous international accords on human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín del CDH Digna Ochoa (4 July 2011)

Defensores de derechos humanos denuncian hostigamiento y persecución en Chiapas (La Jornada, 8 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

México: Pronunciations and actions as regards the situation of human-rights defenders in the country and southeastern Mexico (25 March 2011)

Chiapas: director of Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights detained once again (20 March 2011)

Chiapas: 3 human-rights defenders from the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights released from El Amate (8 March 2011)