Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest

April 23, 2015

Padre Marcelo Pérez, parroco de Simojovej (@SIPAZ)

Padre Marcelo Pérez, priest from Simojovel (@SIPAZ)

In an Urgent Action published on 2 April, the Observatory for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders, comprised in part by the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH), called on the Mexican State to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez, priest from the Simojovel municipality, who “has received constant death-threats, attacks, and harassment which threaten his life.”  Similarly, it requested security guarantees for the others members of the Parish Council and the Believing People who live here, as they also “have received death-threats.”

For this reason, the Observatory has called on the Mexican State to “carry out an immediate investigation that is independent, exhaustive, effective, and impartial regarding the threats and acts of intimidation, toward the end that those responsible are taken to a competent, independent, just, and impartial tribunal, and that the appropriate penal, civil, and/or administrative sanctions stipulated in the law.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgen a proteger a párroco chiapaneco amenazado (La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2015)

Urgen al gobierno garantías para párroco de Simojovel por amenazas(Proceso, 6 de abril de 2015)

Acción Urgente completa: México: Amenazas de muerte, hostigamiento, seguimiento y vigilancia en contra del Sr.Marcelo Pérez Pérez (OMCT, FIDH, 2 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)


Mexico/National: Honduran migrant dies of drowning in presence of migration agents, says La 72

March 22, 2015

Fray Tomás González en Acteal. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Fray Tomás González in Acteal. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 17 March, “La 72, Home and Refuge for Migrant People,” located in Tenosique, Tabasco, directed by the human-rights defender Fray Tomás González, released an Urgent Action (UA) due to events “that leave us absolutely indignant,” with reference to the death of a Honduran youth.  On 6 March, agents of the National Migration Institute (INM) working with federal police in Tenosique stopped a freight-train at the Chacamax station, 60 kilometers from Palenque, where they began a search.  Among the hundreds of persons traveling atop the train, the Honduran youth in question suffered a panic attack, jumped off the “Beastly” train, and entered the river, where he began to drown and then requested assistance.  In the end, the youth died.  According to the man who gave witness, the INM “agents said: ‘leave that fucker,'” as the UA claims.

In addition, the UA indicates that the migrants who had been witnesses “both of the savage raid as well as death of the youth and what followed [noted] that the persecution by the migration agents lasted more than 2 hours.  Once they saw that the youth was drowning, they withdrew and provided no assistance; the corpse remained for 10 hours on the river bank, cared for by the other migrants who witnessed the acts.  People from the local community also testified and told us of many crimes and human-rights violations that the INM agents commit.”

Lastly, the document ends with a call “on national and international human-rights organizations” to express themselves “in light of these lamentable acts and others that have been caused by the Southern Border Program.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: El INM Y La PF a través del Programa Frontera Sur provocan la muerte de  personas Migrantes Centroamericanas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 18 de marzo de 2015)

El Programa Frontera Sur no cesa la represión en contra de personas migrantes (La 72 – Refugio para personas migrantes, 12 de enero de 2015)

Agentes de Migración y de la PF dejan a hondureño ahogarse (Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Tabasco: INM agent’s legal demand against Fray Tomás González (13 November 2014)

Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children(2 November 2012)


Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto

March 8, 2015

images

On 23 February 2015, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) released an urgent action regarding the forcible displacement of a group of Tojolabal indigenous people from the Primero de Agosto community, Las Margaritas municipality, Chiapas.

The CDHFBC “has received trustworthy documentary evidence regarding the displacement of the 57 Tojolabal indigenous persons, including 12 minors and one neonate, 20 women, and 25 men from the Primero de Agosto community, with this being an action perpetrated by members of the Independent Historic Campesino Agricultural Worker Center (CIOAC-H), who have been protected in this region by the municipal government of Las Margaritas.”

The bulletin adds that “according to the received information, today at 8am, 50 members of the CIOAC-H, including Reynaldo López Pérez, the ejidal commissioner, Antonio Méndez Pérez, the auxiliary agent, as well as other authorities from Miguel Hidalgo ejido, Las Margaritas municipality, entered the Primero de Agosto community, carrying high-powered firearms and surrounding the homes of the residents, leading to the displacement of the residents who fled to the closest highway, where they now reside in grave conditions: women and children lacking shelter, food, and security guarantees amidst the possibility of attacks from the group affiliated to the Miguel Hidalgo ejido.”

For this reason, in its Urgent Action the CDHFBC urgently calls on the Mexican governments to take the necessary measures to guarantee the human rights of the displaced, that those responsible for the forcible displacement and other harms of the group from Primero de Agosto be investigated and sanctioned, and that comprehensive attention be provided in accordance with the appropriate laws regarding internal displacement.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: Desplazamiento forzado de familias tojolabales del poblado Primero de Agosto, CDHFBLC, 23 de febrero de 2013

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: amenazas contra familias simpatizantes del EZLN (29 December 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (12 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN communique “Pain and Rage” (18 May 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)


Oaxaca: New threats against members of Indigenous Women for Conservation, Investigation, and Management of Natural Resources (CIARENA)

February 8, 2015


ciarena

In an Urgent Action published on 27 January 2015, Amnesty International calls on State authorities to protect the security of Silvia Pérez Yescas, a human-rights defender for the indigenous people of the community of Matías Romero, Oaxaca, given that she has received new threats, despite having security protocols in place.

The UA details that on 13 January, Silvia Pérez discovered that several members of her organization, Indigenous Women for Conservation, Investigation, and Management of Natural Resources (CIARENA), had been threatened.  A group of people who said they represented a cacique from the zone told them that they should “[abandon] the stupidities because you can even be thrown in jail for being accomplices of Silvia, and anyway she will be fucked over for getting involved in this problem of land distribution.”  Furthermore, they added that “there are people waiting for when she will show her face.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente en línea México: Defensores de indígenas reciben nuevas amenazas (AI, 27 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Bounty placed on head of female rights-defender for 100,000 pesos (2 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Armed men threaten human-rights defender (29 January 2013)


Guerrero: Victims from the Mountain region carry out “Hunger Pilgrimage” due to lack of governmental support

February 13, 2014

Movilización de damnificados de la Montaña de Guerrero (@CENCOS)

Mobilization of victims from the Mountain region Guerrero (@CENCOS)

On 4 February, more than a thousand indigenous persons from 13 municipalities of the Mountain region of Guerrero state carried out a march in Tlapa de Comomfort, as organized by the Council of Victimized Communities of the Mountain of Guerrero; the action was named the “Hunger Pilgrimage.”  Protestors demanded that the state and federal governments provide them resources given that thousands of people still go without any support after the tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel which struck the region last September.  They noted furthermore that at least 20 communities still must be resettled.  Victims also blockaded the Tlapa-Marquelia and Tlapa-Chilpancingo highways to demand the distribution of domestic goods while residents of the Costa Grande region of the state blockaded the federal highway between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo to demand aid.

In an Urgent Action, the Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (TDT) called on President Enrique Peña Nieto and Rosario Robles Berlanga, head of the Ministry for Social Development (Sedesol), to return to dialogue with the Council of Victimized Communities of the Mountain of Guerrero “so that measures be taken to avert the food crisis foreseen for March and April.”  The federal government calculates that it will provide 30 billion pesos for public works, according to the president’s office.

Robles Berlanga claimed to be calm amidst the protests being carried out by victims, noting that those who did not meet the requirements for aid did not receive it.  For his part, Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero clarified that the distribution of goods has now ended, such that it is illegitimate for some persons to invoke some political program which has never before been seen in the state.

For more information (in Spanish):

Más de dos mil indígenas de Guerrero participan en ‘Peregrinación del hambre’ (La Jornada, 4 de febrero de 2014)

Alertan sobre “crisis alimentaria” en la Montaña de Guerrero (Proceso, 4 de febrero de 2014)

Damnificados en Guerrero amenazan con bloqueos (El Universal, 4 de febrero de 2014)

Robles, tranquila ante protestas de damnificados (El Universal, 4 de febrero de 2014)

AU Red TdT “Delicada situación en la región de la montaña en Guerrero”(Red TdT, 4 de febrero de 2014)

Declaratoria de los integrantes del Consejo de Comunidades afectadas de la región Montaña del estado de Guerrero (4 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Victims of storms migrate to survive (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: The situation continues to be dramatic for storm victims in Guerrero (4 October 2013)

Guerrero: Deaths and victims of tropical storm Manuel (4 October 2013)


Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community to harvest coffee

January 22, 2014

(@http://caravanapuebla.wordpress.com/)

(@http://caravanapuebla.wordpress.com/)

On 17 January, 17 families representing 98 persons from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó municipality, who had been displaced for more than 4 months returned to their community of origin to harvest their coffee plants.  They were accompanied by Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, Secretary General for Governance, and national and international observers.

These families fled from the Puebla ejido due to the increase in number of death-threats and aggressions resulting from a conflict over possession of land on which a Catholic church was being built.  In contrast to the failed attempt at return made in August 2013, the displaced were received in Puebla with live music provided by the ejidal commissioner, Agustín Cruz Gómez, and an Evangelical group, both of whom had previously been indicated as being the principal aggressors in the violent acts of the previous months.  White roses were given to officials as a sign of peace.

Eduardo Ramirez called on the displaced to judge whether they would remain definitively, promising his support if they did so: “We understand that you go to cut your coffee and that you will evaluate whether to stay or not in your ejido; we will be attentive to your decision.  The state executive sent me, and there are national human rights groups, in addition to the presence of non-governmental organizations that are recording everything, so that you know that for us it is important than the Puebla ejido, Chenalhó municipality, be at peace or on the way to peace.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) noted in an Urgent Action published on the occasion of the provisional return that “the 10-day stay of the displaced persons who will go harvest their coffee as a means of survival constitutes a civil and peaceful act that demands principally that the state authorities immediately guarantee the necessary conditions for permanent return, in addition to the restitution of the individual and collective rights of which they had been arbitrarily deprived.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: Familias desplazadas del ejido Puebla retornan para el corte de café” (CDHFBC, 17 de enero de 2014)

Blog de la Misión de Observación: http://caravanapuebla.wordpress.com/

Los 98 desplazados regresan al ejido Puebla (Cuarto Poder, 18 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony announce return for coffee harvest (15 January 2014)

Chiapas: Solidarity requested for those displaced from the Puebla Colony (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: After attempting to return, the displaced of the Puebla Colony transfer themselves to Acteal (13 September 2013)

Chiapas: Increase in violence in Puebla Colony, Chenalho (4 August 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society, “the government is using two weapons in its strategy, lead bullets and sugar bullets” (25 June 2013)


Urgent Action in the case of Alberto Cerezo Contreras, human-rights defender

April 17, 2010

On 15 April, the organizations Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz (Serapaz), the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, the Fray Francisco de Vitor Human-Rights Center, the Project for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), The Inter-Ecclesiastical Commision for Justice and Peace (Colombia), the Associazione Centro di Accoglienza e di Promozione Culturale E. Balducci (Udine, Italy), and Protection International (Belgium) published an Urgent Action that has to do with the harassment, vigilance, and stalking that Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, member of the Cerezo Committee-México and vice-president of Urgent Action for Human-Rights Defender AC, has recently experienced.

According to Contreras, on 13 April, at the close of the forum “Criminalization of social protest:  new challenges for human-rights defenders” that was held at the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM) in México City, he noticed that he was being filmed by a stranger from a distance of approximately 50 meters.  Later, Contreras and two colleagues of his from Peace-Brigades International (PBI) came to realize that they were being filmed once again by the same person from a distance of about 55 meters; this time, though, he was accompanied by another stranger.

Two days later, Contreras suffered new stalking-episodes on the part of one of the same persons who had been filming him on the 13th, among others.  Contreras says that he was followed by people on foot as well in a car, and that they attempted to take his picture.

The organizations that signed on to the Urgent Action made four demands:  that the Mexican government “immediately” take “the appropriate measures to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, his family-members and friends, as well as that of members of the Cerezo Committee-México and Urgent Action for Human-Rights Defenders AC,” undertake “an immediate, exhaustive, and impartial investigation into the vigilance, stalking, and harrassment suffered [by Contreras], the findings of which are to be made public, and those responsible dealt with justly,” assure “the application of the demands of the Declaration on Human-Rights Defenders,” and “realize in its actions that which is called for by the pacts and international conventions ratified by México.”

The Urgent Action concludes by calling on “international human-rights organizations” to “express their concern regarding the gravity of the acts and pressure the Mexican government to attend to recent petitions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgent Action, 15 April


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