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Rage One (blog)

domingo, marzo 23, 2008

Mexico Week In Review: 03/17-03.23

Mexico Week In Review: 03/17-03.23
Published since 1994, 'Mexico Week In Review' is a service of the
Committee of Indigenous Solidarity (CIS). CIS is a Washington, D.C.
based activist group committed to the ongoing struggles of Indigenous
peoples in the Americas. CIS is actively supporting the struggles
of the Indigenous peoples of Mexico while simultaneously combating
related structures of oppression within our own communities.

To view newsletter archives, visit:

"Para Todos, Todo; Para Nosotros Nada"


The Investigative Committee of the Supreme Court issued a preliminary
finding this week, claiming "possibly grave violations" of human
rights in the police initiated riots on May 3 and 4, 2006, in San
Salvador Atenco. The Committee found coordination "at the highest
levels between the State Police (ASE) and the Federal Preventative
Police (PFP)" in planning the operation that resulted in two deaths
and 207 arrests, of which "only nine were unharmed." The Committee
found evidence that "various elements of the police mounted attacks
against demonstrators who were apparently not resisting." Many of
the arrestees were transported in buses "with people piled on top of
each other while they were attacked, and despite the fact that their
hands were bound, they were beaten with clubs, kicked and in some
cases the police walked on top of them." The Supreme Court will
mount a full investigation of the incidents.

Source: Mexico Solidarity Network Weekly News Summary: 03/10-16


Saying that he is "willing to die," Zacario Hernández Hernández began
a hunger strike on February 12, 2008. Zacario is a catechist from
San Juan Chamula municipality and a member of Pueblo Creyente
(Believing People), a Catholic organization in the Diocese of San
Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. In 2003, Zacario and 3 other
Tzotziles from Chamula were accused of murder, arrested and have been
confined in the state's El Amate prison ever since. One of the four,
Mariano Heredia Gómez, was just released because of his poor health
and age. He is 88! Mariano is now at home cared for by his family,
but under restrictions. The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights
Center (Frayba) has followed their case, known as the Tres Cruces
case and implied that Zacario was accused of crimes because he was
affecting the interests of the political bosses in Chamula by
practicing the Catholic religion as a catechist.

On February 19, approximately ten thousand Catholics belonging to
Pueblo Creyente marched through the streets of San Cristóbal de las
Casas, Chiapas. Singing, carrying banners and accompanied by their
priests and bishops, they demanded the release of Zacario Hernández
Hernández and the three others imprisoned in the Tres Cruces case.
Pueblo Creyente stated, "They have suffered a judicial process full
of falsities, injustices and corruption." The marchers also demanded
the release of the two Zapatistas from Tila, imprisoned in Tacoalpa,

On February 25, twelve more indigenous prisoners joined the protest,
eight of them belonging to the Voice of El Amate, which is adhered as
an organization to the Other Campaign. On February 26, Mateo
Hernández Bautista, a member of the Central Independiente Obrera y
Campesina (CIOAC), joined the hunger strike, bringing the total
number of participants to fourteen.

On March 4, 9 prisoners in the Center for Social Readaptation 5
(Cereso, its acronym in Spanish), located in San Cristóbal de las
Casas municipality, joined the hunger strike. They call themselves
the Voice of Los Llanos and say they are "political prisoners," as do
those on the hunger strike in El Amate. All claim they signed
confessions under torture.

On March 9, eleven more indigenous prisoners in Cereso 17 at Playas
de Catazajá (north of Palenque), as well as three more in El Amate,
joined the hunger strike. The latter three are members of the
Movimiento Campesino Regional Independiente (MOCRI-CNPA), a peasant
organization. According to La Jornada, there are now 37 indigenous
prisoners on strike in three different prisons of Chiapas. About one
half are adherents to the Other Campaign.

The eleven male prisoners in Playas de Catazajá are all from Busiljá,
a community located in the eastern part of the Lacandón Jungle. Some
are Zapatista support bases and others are PRD members. There is also
a woman prisoner from Busiljá in Cereso 5 (San Cristóbal). It has not
been confirmed if she is participating in the hunger strike. The men
from Busiljá talk about what they term their "agrarian suffering."
They tell of kidnapping, torture and murder by PRI members also
belonging to the Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and
Campesino Rights (Opddic, its initials in Spanish), a group with
paramilitary characteristics. All these prisoners were evicted by
PRI members in 1997 and remained displaced from their homes until
2005, when they returned to Busiljá.

After his return to Busiljá, Pablo Gutiérrez Hernández was kidnapped
by Opddic members. He was taken to the communal house where Pedro
Chulín Jiménez himself ordered the Opddic members to burn him alive
with gasoline if he didn't tell them where the Zapatista military
camp was. Pablo Gutiérrez Hernández was taken to the woods, shot and
left for dead. One of the PRI members was also shot in front of
Gutiérrez Hernández, whose unconscious body was found by family
members and taken to San Cristóbal to recuperate from the bullet
wound to his head. He stayed in San Cristóbal for eight months. When
he was feeling a little better, he traveled to Busiljá to visit his
mother and was promptly apprehended by judicial police, beaten, and
placed in Cereso 17 in Playas de Catazajá. He has received no medical
attention and his condition is grave.

The other Busiljá prisoners were detained and tortured in July 2006.
They were accused of kidnapping and extortion, which crimes they say
were fabricated by the Opddic members headed by Pedro Chulín Jiménez.
"Our struggle is with all our heart has to give. If we have to die,
it will not be because of murderers, extortionists or kidnappers but
because of the miscarriage of justice," say the hunger-strikers from

The courage and desperation of these indigenous prisoners is
dramatizing the fact that violation of human rights and principles of
justice are common everyday practice for the poor and indigenous in
Chiapas. There is no justice.

There is a support network inside El Amate and from organizations and
individuals adhered to the Other Campaign in Chiapas, as well as on
the outside from Frayba, Pueblo Creyente, the CIOAC and the
MOCRI-CNPA. Supporters are visiting as often as permitted and
checking on the health of the hunger strikers. The Diocese of San
Cristóbal de las Casas is in contact with the governor about the
situation. It's a little different at the San Cristóbal prison (Los
Llanos). Information is harder to come by. The Voice of Los Llanos
is, however, able to send out messages and has sent messages to the
APPO folks in Oaxaca, the residents of San Salvador Atenco and the
prisoners at Playas de Catazajá who just joined the hunger strike.

Meanwhile, it has been one month since Zacario Hernández Hernández
began his hunger strike in El Amate. His situation is becoming
critical. There are now 37 prisoners in three Chiapas prisons
participating in the hunger strike and ten more fasting in
solidarity. The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center wrote
Chiapas governor Juan Sabines on March 13, asking for a resolution to
what it termed the "penitentiary crisis."

The governor's apparent response was published by certain Chiapas
media the next day: "No one has reason to call themselves a
'political prisoner.'" The governor went on to say that he was
reviewing 360 requests for release from 'political prisoners,' and
that he would have a response in no more than thirty days. It seems
that the Governor overlooked the fact that some of the
hunger-strikers could die during the next 30 days, while others could
sustain irreversible damage to vital organs.

Not surprisingly, the participating organizations responded to the
government by saying that they didn't have another month to wait, and
calling its response "a joke." Pueblo Creyente responded with a march
to the El Amate prison on Sunday, March 15 and a "concentration"
there on March 17, demanding release of the political prisoners.

Zacario Hernández Hernández was granted his freedom on March 17! 36
others remain on the hunger strike and the clock is ticking.

You can send an email (in either English or Spanish) to Chiapas
Governor Juan Sabines Guerrero demanding the immediate liberation of
all political prisoners. His email is:

We will keep you updated on the situation of the remaining 36 prisoners.

Source: Chiapas Support Committee: 03/22


Once again, the specter of femicide is haunting Chihuahua City. The
murder of high school student Paulina Elizabeth Lujan Morales sparked
outbreaks of "collective psychosis" and triggered youth protests this
month. On Monday, March 17, hundreds of high school students marched
through downtown Chihuahua City carrying placards and chanting the
familiar slogan "Not One More." Halting at city government offices,
the young people were nevertheless greeted with silence since
officials were away on vacation. A 16-year-old student at Chihuahua
City's Cobach 2 school, Paulina Lujan was last seen leaving classes
early on the evening of Monday, March 10. Her sexually assaulted and
severely beaten body was discovered on Thursday, March 13 off the
highway that leads from the Chihuahua state capital to the nearby
town of Aldama. The young woman's shoes were located in a nearby

Lujan's body was discovered in the same area where the corpses of
other femicide victims were found in the past, including 16-year-old
ECCO computer school student Paloma Angelica Escobar, who disappeared
in 2002 under similar circumstances as Lujan did and almost six years
to the day of the latest victim's murder. The Chihuahua-Aldama
highway zone is near the headquarters of the Chihuahua state police.
The Lujan slaying bore resemblances to other women's killings that
struck Chihuahua City between 1999-2003. Besides having the same
physical, age and occupational profile of other victims, Paulina
Lujan was described as a tranquil, reserved young person by her
mother. "Paulina" was a model student who didn't have behavior
problems," Patricia Morales Rodriguez said. "Let there be no doubt,
we will get the murderers of Paulina," vowed Chihuahua Governor Jose
Reyes Baeza, adding that authorities would not fabricate scapegoats
in the murder case.

According to PGJE spokesman Rene Medrano, 18 persons have rendered
declarations in connection with the Lujan crime. A young man who's
been mentioned as a possible suspect, Alexis Garcia, complained that
presumed friends and family members of Lujan unfairly have harassed
him. Garcia said he had "nothing to do with the crime." Early press
accounts of the Lujan murder mention the possibility that the victim
could have met her killer via an Internet blog and e-mail.

Paulina Lujan was the fourth women murdered in Chihuahua City since
last November. The other victims have been identified as Angelica
Lopez Cruz, Claudia Janeth Llana Moreno and Irene Pena Monje. Lujan's
disappearance occurred two days after International Women's Day, an
anniversary which was marked in the borderlands this year by a
protest rally in Ciudad Juarez staged by relatives of femicide
victims from the border city and Chihuahua City. Only days earlier,
victims' relatives were met with a police response in the Chihuahua
State Legislature during an unsuccessful attempt to convince state
lawmakers to renew a special commission dedicated to investigating
the women's murders.

Additionally, the Lujan crime occurred within a broader context of
escalating violence in the region involving organized crime gangs and
Mexican security forces. Two days prior to Lujan's disappearance,
Mexican soldiers and suspected members of the Sinaloa drug cartel
engaged in a bloody Chihuahua City shootout that left one army
officer and six gunmen dead. Youths, meanwhile, demanded greater
security for Chihuahua City's schools. Students said they were
concerned about loud strangers hanging around Paulina Lujan's school
at dismissal time.

Sources: Frontera NorteSur (FNS): 03/20; El Heraldo de Chihuahua:
03/12, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20; La Jornada: 03/15;


The families of four Mexican students murdered by the Colombian army
during an illegal raid in a FARC encampment in Ecuadorian territory
two weeks ago are threatening to take their case to international
legal institutions. To date, the Calderon administration has not
condemned the invasion of Ecuadorian territory, instead mounting a
witch hunt for Mexican students who were researching the FARC as part
of a 40-day visit to Ecuador. Lucia Morett, the only Mexican student
to survive the attack, gave testimony this week that Colombian forces
murdered most of the 22 students and FARC members who died during the
attack, shooting many in the head at point blank range after they
surrendered. The students were in Ecuador to participate in the
Second Continental Bolivarian Conference from February 25-27.
Apparently during the conference they received an invitation to visit
the FARC camp. Since the students were involved in research on Latin
American guerrilla movements at the UNAM in Mexico City, they readily
accepted. They arrived at the FARC camp only hours before the
massacre. The families of the victims are charging Colombia with
illegitimate acts of war, use of fragmentation bombs (supplied by the
US), assassination of prisoners, and abandonment of the wounded.

Source: Mexico Solidarity Network Weekly News Summary: 03/10-16

The above articles were originally published and copyrighted by the
listed sources. These articles are offered for educational purposes
which CIS maintains is 'fair use' of copyrighted material as
provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

end: Mexico Week In Review: 03/17-03.23

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