National: After 8 years of impunity in Atenco, threat to build airport continues

May 16, 2014

Foto @ Regeneración Radio

Photo @ Regeneración Radio

8 years ago, on 3 and 4 May 2006, residents of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco suffered a strong repression when Enrique Peña Nieto, the current president of Mexico, was governor of the state of Mexico.  As a result of this, 47 women were sexually assaulted by police, two youth were killed, and 207 were arrested.

On 5 May, the Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights presented the campaign “Breaking the silence: all together against sexual violence.”  The objective of the campaign is to make visible the torture–principally sexual–exercised systematically against women by security forces after these were arrested for protesting; the campaign also seeks to accompany these women and to continue denouncing the government’s strategy to see these women as “war booty.”  Norma Jiménez noted that nothing has been easy since they undertook this struggle to denounce the acts which took place 8 years ago, given that they were sexually tortured, but she observed that people in solidarity have given them the strength to carry on, though now they think that it is is important to express solidarity with other women, because “it seems that all of us are in a similar situation, as though they had arrested us all–that is because this is all a conscious strategy.”  For this reason, other women who have joined the campaign include Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, Me’phaa indigenous women from Guerrero who in 2002 began another struggle to denounce the rights-violations and sexual torture to which they were subjected by soldiers in the Mexican Army.

Beyond this, the Front for Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT) recently accused the municipal government of San Salvador Atenco of organizing assemblies in which representatives of federal authorities have attempted to convince ejidatarios from Atenco and Texcoco to sell their lands for the construction of a new international airport for Mexico City.  Jesús Adán Espinoza noted that the federal government would face serious opposition if it attempted to carry out its urbanization plans for “Future City” and “Rescue of the Former Texcoco Lake,” as such works would only reactivate the project to build the new airport.  “These projects will only bring the further degradation of our traditions, customs, and our lands if we allow them to pass,” he declared.

For more information (in Spanish):

“Rompiendo el silencio:Todas juntas contra la tortura sexual”(Regeneración Radio, 6 de mayo de 2014)

Acusan a autoridades de Atenco de convencer a ejidatarios para aceptar construcción de aeropuerto (La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2014)

A 8 años. Atenco no olvidamos: una mirada desde La Sexta (Coordinador Valle de Chalko, 8 de mayo de 2014)

“No insistan, no vamos a desistir en abandonar nuestras tierras y viviendas” (Reporteros en Movimiento, 5 de mayo de 2014)

Carta de Solidaridad con Atenco: ¡No olvidamos lo que pasó los 3 y 4 de mayo, tampoco la lucha en contra del aeropuerto! (Enlace Zapatista, 8 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice (6 May 2011)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)

National: Suprema Corte presents protocol to judge gender crimes

September 13, 2013


On 26 August, the head justice of the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), Juan Silva Meza, presented the Protocl to Judge with Gender Perspectives, which he claimed to respond to the constitutional mandate obliging judges to promote and respect the right to gender equality and non-discrimination.  The justice commented that this document, which does not represent a violation of judges’s autonomy, is the result of a reform in terms of human rights, the international treaties signed by Mexico in these terms, and particularly represents a result of the resolutions made by the Inter-American Court on Human RIghts in the cases of cotton agriculture (due  to the lack of interest of the government in doing justice for the thousands of females killed in Ciudad Juárez) and that of the indigenous females Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Protocolo para Juzgar con Perspectiva de Género

Presenta la SCJN protocolo para juzgar con perspectiva de género (La Jornada, 27 de agosto de 2013)

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo

February 5, 2013


Inés Fernández, March 2012. Photo @SIPAZ

In a public letter published on 24 January, national and international human-rights organizations called on President Enrique Peña Nieto to make the comprehensive observance of the sentences of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) regarding the cases of the Me’phaa indigenous females Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo a top priority for his government.  Both women were raped by Mexican soldiers in 2002.  The IACHR sentences in both cases were handed down in November 2010, and since then, the two women have been waiting for them to be observed.  Organizations such as Amnesty International, the World Organization against Torture, Article 19, and Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ), as well as the Fray Francisco de Vitorio, Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, and Tlachinollan Mountain Centers for Human Rights have indicated that the “the previous federal administration came to an end without […] punishing the perpetrators.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acatar orden de la CIDH en casos de indígenas violadas, piden ONG a Peña (La Jornada, 25 de enero de 2013)

Carta pública a Enrique Peña Nieto (24 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO informs US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under Mérida Initiative (26 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO demands that Calderón observe sentence in case of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández (28 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina (4 February 2011)


National: NGOs request SCJN resolve affairs relating to military tribunals in 32 cases

June 17, 2012

Relatives of Bonfilio Rubio Villegas, one of the cases before the SCJN (@Tlachinollan)

On 12 June, more than 76 Mexican civil human-rights organizations called on the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) to expedite its review of 28 cases, some of them begun in 2011, that have to do with military courts.  These cases are currently found in the Maximum Tribunal; the demand is that the SCJN decide if military or civil courts are more appropriate. are in fact competent.  The NGOs recommend that these affairs be resolved before 16 July, when the SCJN will initiate its period of recess, and that it consider international human-rights agreements which Mexico has signed and ratified in its review, in addition to the recent constitutional reforms the Mexican State has undertaken in these terms. It should be remembered that the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) has decided against the State in four out of five cases recently (in the Rosendo Radilla, Valentina Rosendo, Inés Fernández, and ecologist campesino cases), and that it has called on Mexicoto reform article 57 of its Military Code of Justice so that any abuse committed against civilians by soldiers be considered in civil court.

In a press-conference, the NGOs that have signed on warn of the risk that the SCJN justices’ behavior be “contaminated” by pressure on the part of the Secretary for National Defense (Sedena) or by electoral considerations.  Alberto Herrera, representative in Mexico for Amnesty International (AI), recognizes that the question of the military courts is “politically sensitive, and even moreso during this six-year term in which the Mexican Army has had a large influence and presence in public life.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden a la Corte resolver el envío a la justicia civil de 28 casos de militares (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2012)

Instan a la Corte a resolver 28 casos vinculados al fuero militar(Proceso, 12 de junio de 2012)

Boletín de prensa de ONGs: La SCJN debe resolver en breve y conforme a DDHH asuntos relacionados con el fuero militar que están bajo su conocimiento (12 de junio)

México: Es hora de limitar la justicia militar conforme con sus obligaciones en derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 12 de junio de 2012)

México: Informe del Grupo de Trabajo de Naciones Unidas sobre las Desapariciones Forzadas o Involuntarias (17 de marzo de 2012)

México: “Ni seguridad, ni derechos: ejecuciones y tortura en la guerra contra el narcotráfico en México” (12 de noviembre de 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican state fails to comply with sentencing in the case of Valentina and Inés; Indigenous communities against mining exploration in the Montaña region; CECOP requests resolution on the nullification petition for the April 28 assembly

March 7, 2011

Assembly in Colombia de Guadalupe (@SIPAZ)

Four months after receiving a ruling from the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (CoIDH), concerning the case of the  indigenous women Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández, the Mexican state still has not complied with the Court’s decision and there were even signals that it might never do so. This has been denounced by activists, intellectuals, and artists of more than 20 counties through a letter that was filed on February 10, with the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center. Additionally, the Interior Ministry has refused to initiate a dialogue to meet the provisions of the Court, and even presented a request of interpretation on the ruling. The previous week, Valentina travelled to Washington to meet with US State Department officials and Congressional aids, from whom she requested support in the investigation of her case, which remains in the military justice system whereas it should be held in the civil system. Accompanied by the Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights of the Montaña and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Valentina presented her petition: “That the government move my case to the civil justice system, which is why I came here, to make this happen.”

For his part, Germany’s Human Rights Coordinator for Mexico urged the government of Felipe Calderón to reform the Military Justice Code. In a statement, the European organization referred to comments made by the CoIDH, particularly that the military courts should be restricted from all cases of human rights violations – and not only in cases of rape, forced disappearance and torture, as proposed by Calderón to the Senate in his October 18 initiative.

Additionally, on February 5, a first general assembly  was held in the community of Colombia de Guadalupe regarding mineral exploration by transnational mining corporations in the Montaña region . The Federal government has, for 50 years, given permission to mining corporations for the exploration of areas where land use could be altered, even though that part of the region was considered a priority territory for ecological conservation by the National Comission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP). The area educational coordinator of Tlachinollan, reported that the organization has documented that permission has been granted for mining activities, within an area of 15,000 hectares, between the boundaries of Zitlaltepec, Iliatenco and Paraje Montero. It was granted by the federal government, under the name of Diana, to the foreign corporation Camsim, for 46 years. Another case that was presented was the 47,000 hectares granted to the mining corportion Salamera for the project Heart of Darkness, which includes part of Totomixtlahuaca, Colombia de Guadalupe, Pascala del Oro and Acatepec, to the Hochschild mining corporation.

Pablo Guzmán, coordinator of the Community Police-Regional Coordinator of Communal Authorities (PC-CRAC), asked more than 70 representatives of community and ejidal properties “not to consent to an irreversible ecological disaster in the region.” On February 17, the CRAC held a workshop about mining companies in the municipality of Iliatenco. They also convened a meeting of agricultural authorities from the Montaña and Costa Chica regions, for February 26 in Paraje Montero, where they are seeking to definitively ban mining.

Lastly, members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), demanded that the magistrate, Martha Leticia Gracida Jiménez, adhere to the law. More than a month after the date on which she would supposedly challenge the ruling of the April 28 assembly, which approved the expropriation of more than 1,300 hectares of land for the La Parota hydroelectric dam project, there has still been no response. CECOP spokesperson, Rodolfo Chávez Galindo, said it would be required to issue a resolution in favor of them because the assembly was illegal in every way, from its call to its development.

For more information (in Spanish):

Caso Rosendo y Fernández: sin voluntad el Estado mexicano para acatar fallo de CIDH (La Jornada, 10 de febrero)

Ante impunidad, indígenas tlapanecas exigen intervención de EU (CIMAC Noticias, 8 de febrero)

Instan a Calderón a concretar reforma al Código de Justicia Militar (Proceso, 7 de febrero)

Nula voluntad del Estado mexicano para cumplir las sentencias dictadas por la CoIDH en los casos de Valentina Rosendo Cantú e Inés Fernández Ortega. (10 de febrero)

Se pronuncian indígenas contra la explotación minera en La Montaña (7 de febrero)

Apegarse a derecho, pide Cecop en juicio de impugnación por La Parota (La Jornada, 14 de febrero)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina February 4, 2011

Guerrero: “Indigenous peoples are subject to rights and are not electoral merchandise” February 4, 2011

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

Guerrero: Briefs – Reactivation of arrest-orders against members of CETEG; social organizations meet before the Inter-American Commission; Mexican State violating sentence, it is accused; homage to Comandante Ramiro

November 10, 2010

During the final week of October were reactivated 40 arrest-orders against social leaders of the Guerrero teacher’s movement, and five of them were in fact detained.  In a 29 October press-release, the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG), the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, the Revolutionary Popular Front, and the National Network of Citizens and Organizations for Democracy (RENACID) stressed that these events demonstrate the criminalization of social protest that Governor Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo has undertaken in place of listening and attending to the demands of civil society.  Furthermore, the press-release requested the cessation of arbitrary repression against members of social movements as well as respect for freedom of assembly.

CEMDA conference (@CENCOS)

On 28 October, in Mexico City, there was held before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) an audience in whcih social organizations denounced the violation on the part of the Mexican State of the right to consultation and participation in matters related to the public interest, in light of the construction of megaprojects such as for example the hydroelectric dam La Parota.  The Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA), the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), and Tlachinollan, among others, demonstrated that the authorities of different levels of government have violated the Constitution, especially article 2, which demands that the State implement and carry out consultation processes regarding legislative measures, development-programs, or the implementation of works or infrastructure on territory and natural resources belonging to indigenous communities.  They related that, with regard to the hydroelectric dam La Parota, it was not informed that 17,300 hectares would be flooded, that 25000 campesinos would be displaced, and that it would affect 75000 others who live downstream.  No one was consulted as to whether s/he would consent to being displaced.

In the case of Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, indigenous Me’phaa women who were raped by soldiers in 2002, the lawyers Miguel Pulido Jiménez, director of the Center for Analysis and Investigation; Guadalupe Barrera, from the Center for Economic Investigation and Teaching A.C.; and Daphne Cuevas, from the Parliamentary Consortium and Equity A.C. denounced that the Mexican State is not observing the sentence handed down by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR).  In a 7 November press-conference, they denounced that, while the Mexican State first was incapable of guaranteeing the rights of the indigenous women, it later refused to recognize their condition as victims, and when the IACHR condemned it, it failed to make available the necessary resources for reparations.  Guadalupe Barrera and Daphne Cuevas stated that, while the federal government assures that it does not have money for compensation, it enjoys a large budget for the financing of publicity and image.

On 4 November in Chilpancingo, moreover, social organizations held a commemoration on the first anniversary of the death of Omar Guerrero Solís, also known as Commander Ramiro, member of the Revolutionary Army of Insurgent Peoples (ERPI), who was killed in the sierra of Coyuca de Catalán on 4 November of last year.  The Workshop of Communal Development (TADECO), the Guerrero Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations  (Guerrero Network), the mining union of Taxco, and CETEG, among others, celebrated a mass in the church of San Mateo and later carried out an event in the zócalo.  Javier Monroy, member of TADECO, stressed that “Ramiro gave his life for his people, to give them a dignified life, and to build a better world.  For that reason he is a model to follow for the youth.”

For more information (in Spanish):

NGO criticizes harassment of professors (La Jornada, 29 October)

Guerrero, Mexico: Reactivation of arrest-orders against teachers and criminalization of protest (Kaos en la Red, 29 October)

Organizations expose violations of the right to consultation before the IACHR (CENCOS, 28 October)

IACHR sentence is ignored, it is accused (La Jornada, 8 November)

Organizations hold homage for Commander Ramiro, killed in 2009(La Jornada, 4 November)