National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first annivesary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa

October 10, 2015

DSCF6154Photo @SIPAZ

On 26 September, protests were held in several cities in Mexico as well as abroad to commemorate the forcible disappearance of the 43 students of the Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, which took place on 26 September of last year, and to demand justice. The parents of the students marched in Mexico City after holding a 43-hour hunger strike, and subsequent to a meeting with the president in which they presented 8 demands that were dismissed.

At the Zócalo of the capital, the parents of the disappeared thanked all those who supported them in their time of need. One of the parents, Epifanio Álvarez, expressed gratitude for the popular support, saying, “Here we are standing upright. If they will kill us, we will face them directly. Our sons are innocent. We will struggle for them and the thousands of other disappeared. Thanks to all who continue to struggle in the rain supporting us.” The claims were that the authorities have done nothing concrete to return the students, and that they do not accept the government’s equivocations with regard to the “historical truth” and the devalorization of the report published by the independent experts of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

In the communique released on 26 September, a number of civil-society organizations and independent individuals notes that “the wave of denunciations has become the principal political crisis of the last decade, and it has left uncovered the networks of complicity that uphold the impunity of all the levels of government, all the parties, and to the deepest levels of the institutions. Beyond this, it has demonstrated the lack of capability of the State to respond effectively to said crisis. The parents of the disappeared have had to request independent investigations from other international institutions, such as the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.”

The parents of the disappeared have called for a General Popular Assembly for 16 October, to be held at the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College, where they will define the plan of action for the coming months. At the end of the protest, the government of Mexico City reported that 15,000 people participated in the march, and that 18,000 were present at the subsequent rally.

Beyond this, a delegation from the IACHR that arrived on Monday 28 September will be visiting the mountains of Iguala, Guerrero, where relatives of the disappeared have found clandestine graves. Mario Vergara, member of the organization that was founded after the search for the disappeared students yielded dozens of illegally buried corpses, observed that the intention has been that the delegation see the work performed by the families. “We want them to see something real, to see the work that we are doing and under what conditions […].” His organization has found more than 75 bodies and has located several sites to be investigated.

For more information (in Spanish):
A un año de Ayotzinapa, padres convocan a nueva asamblea general (Animal Político, 26 de septiembre de 2015)
La delegación de la CIDH visitará cerros de Iguala donde se han hallado fosas clandestinas (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 de septiembre de 2015)
Llovió la indignación y la solidaridad en el aniversario de Ayotzinapa (Información Sididh, 28 de septiembre de 2015)
Ayotzinapa pronunciamiento (sociedad civil, 26 de septiembre de 2015)
Sembraron balas en Cocula, acusan forenses (El Universal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year annivesary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances (8 October 2015)

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)

Guerrero: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa (11 September 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)

National/Chiapas: Day of actions for Ayotzinapa to observe the Mexican Revolution

December 7, 2014


March in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Photo @SIPAZ

On 20 November, in observance of the Day for Global Action for Ayotzinapa, protests were held in solidarity with the relatives of the disappeared students from Ayotzianapa in many cities throughout the world.  From three points in Mexico City, thousands of persons marched, accompanying caravans of students and relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa to arrive at the rally in the Zócalo of the capital.  After the rally, when the mobilization that had been peaceful to that point ended, a group of youth launched rockets and attempted to break down the principal entrance of the National Palace.  Riot police intervened against them, as against the rest of the protestors who had not participated in this intensified phase.  People were injured and arrested, but the authorities have not released any official data.  Meanwhile, on social networks photographs emerged demonstrating presumed infiltrators in the protests, who were placed there supposedly to destabilize the protests.

The parents of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa expressed, before hundreds of thousands of people assembled in Mexico City’s Zócalo, that “this is not just about Guerrero: all throughout Mexico there are secret graves full of persons who have been executed outside the law and forcibly disappeared.”  This was their conclusion following the tour they carried out in several states of the country during the previous week, including the north and south of the country.  At the act at the Zócalo, one of the organizers reported that in more than 185 cities of the world, people had come out to the streets to demand the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared students.

In Chiapas, thousands of students, teachers, campesinos, and citizens in general marched in a dozen municipalities to demand the presentation of the students who were disappeared on 26 September.  At least 4000 marched peacefully in the capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez. In San Cristóbal de las Casas, a protest was organized that counted with the participation of a thousand people.  After a group of presumed infiltrators burned down shops after looted them, a strong police presence was deployed, leading to the arrest of several protestors.  Regardless, the police had been nowhere to be seen until 2pm; the morning of the protest progressed without any visible police presence.  The protestors distanced themselves from the counter-violence that was exhibited at the beginning of the march, when some set an Oxxo and part of a Soriana store on fire.  They accused the government of sending agents provocateurs.  Later, authorities announced the arrest of 13 “anarchists.”  Also in Comitán, Venustiano Carranza, Ocosingo, Tapachula, as elsewhere, protests were held.  Dissidents shared similar slogans, including, “You took them alive; alive we want them back,” and “Zapata lives; the struggle continues!”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Les decía ‘no me peguen, ya nos vamos’”; múltiples agresiones policiacas en DF (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Marcha pacífica realizan en la capital chiapaneca (Diario de Chiapas, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Videos: Histórica marcha por Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Culmina la Jornada de Acción Global por Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

La refriega en el Zócalo después de una marcha pacífica (Proceso, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Identifican en redes a encapuchados, antes de la marcha en DF (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Fosas por todo el país: padres de los 43 normalistas (La Jornada, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Multitudinarias movilizaciones de solidaridad en ciudades del mundo (La Jornada, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Chiapas: National Brigade for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protest for Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

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)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

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

National: During mobilization on 12 October, the teachers’ movement announces maintenance and increase in protests

October 26, 2013

Mitin de la CNTE en el Hemiciclo a Juárez.  Foto  @Cuartoscuro

CNTE rally in Hemiciclo to Juárez.
Photo @Cuartoscuro

After a march carried out through the streets of Mexico City, the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) announced, before the Hemiciclo to Juárez, that it would maintain the protests it has engaged in against educational and other reforms imposed by the federal government.  It was noted that the teachers’ movement find itself in a phase of reorganization during which it seeks to include new actors in their demands.

Rubén Nuñez, General Secretary of Section 22 of Oaxaca, proclaimed that mobilizations will also increase in Mexico City and different states of the Republic, in light of the lack of action on the part of the federal government to negotiate and reach accord.  He also observed that, starting on 12 October, the CNTE sit-in held at the Monument to the Revolution would be re-enforced, given the arrival of new contingents from the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Michoacán, Guerrero, and Mexico City, totaling some 6000 teachers.  He did not deny a plan to retake the Zócalo, though so far no date for this action has been decided upon.

For more information (in Spanish):

Continuarán las protestas en el DF: CNTE (Animal Político, 12 de octubre de 2013)

Intensificará la CNTE protestas en el país contra las reformas (La Jornada, 13 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Violent displacement of protest sit-ins held by the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) (4 October 2013)

National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform (4 October 2013)

National: More confrontations and repression against social movement, 2 October

October 25, 2013

Foto @ Animal Político

Photo @ Animal Político

Once again on 2 October, the social movement marched in the streets of Mexico City to commemorate the massacre of students on 2 October 1968, but on this occasion protestors’ advance on the Zócalo was impeded by a strong police presence, such that the march had to end at the Angel of Independence.

Several non-governmental organizations denounced a disproportionate use of public force.  “We have documented all the violations that were committed, and we hope that there are sanctions against those responsible,” declared Adrián Ramírez, president of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (Limeddh).  The confrontations left dozens injured, including 32 police, and more than 100 arrested, according to the Ministry for Public Security in Mexico City, which announced that it had acted “with strict conformity to applicable normativity in the case of the arrest of the multitudes.”  Regardless, activists indicated that on several occasions the riot police launched tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, and even rocks against protestors, thus violating protocols governing the use of public force.  “What we saw yesterday was clearly an unprofessional police force” and a “lack of protocols,” added Darío Ramírez, director of Article 19, which documented more than 30 attacks on journalists and photographers.

The Miguel Agustín Pro-Juárez Center for Human Rights (PRODH) reported that five of its members who had been observing the events were attacked, with two injured.  Furthermore, activists noted the presence of plainclothes officers who carried out arrests and that, moreover, police engaged in “actions of provocation.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights denounced that “during the actions of observation in which the solidarity network #BreakTheFear participated, as organized by civil human rights organizations and groups in favor of liberty of expression, there were registered several violations of human rights against those who were protesting.  In particular, we repudiate the acts of violence committed against members of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights A.C., whose labor of observation was inhibited by public security forces of Mexico City.”

At the rally participated leaders of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE) Rubén Núñez (Oaxaca) and Juan José Ortega (Michoacán), who centered their rejection not just on educational reform, but also on the general context of “structural reform,” including for energy and finance.

In the capitals of Chiapas and Oaxaca there were also held massive marches.  Arturo Peimbert, president of Defense for the Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca (DDHPO), reported that precautionary measures had been distributed for those persons who had been arrested by the state police during confrontations which took place on 2 October in the Oaxacan capital.

For more information (in Spanish):

A 45 años del 2 de octubre, añejas demandas y violencia (La Jornada, 3 de octubre de 2013)

2 de octubre: balas de goma, gases entintados (Contralínea, 4 de octubre de 2013)

Van 102 detenidos por manifestación del 2 de Octubre (Animal Político, 3 de octubre de 2013)

COMUNICADO | OSC condenan agresiones contra defensores de derechos humanos durante la marcha conmemorativa del 68 (CDHMTlachinollan, 3 de octubre de 2013)

Boletín: Represión en México, signo de este gobierno (CDHFBLC, 3 de octubre de 2013)

Una mega marcha por octubre 2, en Tuxtla (Cuarto Poder, 3 de octubre de 2013)


Video: Violencia en marcha del 2 de octubre debe ser esclarecida (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de octubre de 2013)

National: Violent displacement of protest sit-ins held by the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE)

October 4, 2013

Plantón magisterial en Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Foto @SIPAZ

On September 13, following a 20-day sit-in at the Zócalo of Mexico City, teachers affiliated with the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) who were protesting the educational reform, were expelled by units of the Federal Police (PF).  The official reason for the displacement was so that the sit-in could give way to the celebration of the Independence Cry on 15 September.

The magistrate and Secretary of Governance agreed to a margin of time for teachers to voluntarily leave the Zócalo.  Once that time-window had lapsed, police entered the plaza, attacking some of the teachers who had decided to stay.  “We never left this space willingly.  It was all the result of a repression, but we also do not renounce the possibility of retaking it,” said Francisco Villalobos, secretary of Section 22.

Following the displacement, the sit-in was transferred to the Plaza of the Republic in the Monument to the Revolution, where on 15 September, the CNTE celebrated its own Independence Cry.  “To the people of Mexico, from Oaxaca for Mexico and from Mexico to the world, that this cry be a cry of resistance from the CNTE, that it be a cry of insurgency and civil disobedience against the imposition of government in our country,” declared Rubén Nuñez, secretary general of Section 22 of Oaxaca, before thousands of assembled people.

During the early morning of Saturday 14 September, teachers and students who had been camping in the historical center of Xalapa, Veracruz, were violently displaced by riot police belonging to the Secretary of Public Security (SSP).

On Monday 16, coinciding with the ceremonies for the anniversary of independence, teachers from at least 12 states protested against the educational reform and the displacements carried out in different parts of the country.

It should be mentioned that during recent days numerous marches and acts of solidarity with the teachers’ protest have been spearheaded by parents and students in different states, such as Oaxaca, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, and Veracruz.

For more information (in Spanish):

Tensión e incertidumbre en el desalojo de maestros de la CNTE (La Jornada, 13 de septiembre de 2013)

Maestros salen del Zócalo pero otros se quedan atrincherados, y con apoyo de jóvenes, planean resistir (Sin embargo, 13 de septiembre de 2013)

Desalojan de madrugada a maestros y estudiantes de la plaza Lerdo de Xalapa (Proceso, 14 de septiembre de 2013)

Maestros de la CNTE dan su “Grito de resistencia” (Terra, 16 de septiembre de 2013)

Maestros se manifiestan en 12 estados contra reforma educativa y desalojos (17 de septiembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform (4 October 2013)