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Mexico: News & Updates
Mexico shares a 2,000-mile border with its neighbor to the north. The US has played a significant role in militarizing the nation in misguided and ineffective policies to stop the flow of drugs and immigrants. Human rights abuses are prevalent throughout Mexico but especially in the southern, mostly indigenous states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas. Human rights defenders and indigenous community leaders—working to protect their ancestral lands and heritage—are targeted with threats, assaults, abductions and assassinations. Their struggles for peace and liberation are linked with those of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples throughout the hemisphere.
Learn more here.
RRN Case Update
March 7, 2019
Mexico - case summaries 2018
IRTF's team of Rapid Response volunteers wrote letters on behalf of environmental defenders in the mostly indigenous states of Guerrero and Oaxaca. Throughout 2018 we saw a significant increase in two areas of human rights violations: assassinations and criminalization of protest. Many of these occurred where communities are organizing resistance to protect their ancestral lands, waterways, and cultures against the enormous threats they are facing from "development" mega-projects, such as hydro-electric dams and “clean energy” windfarms. This is a disturbing trend that threatens their ability to protect the environment and their democratic rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech.
February 24, 2019
We wrote to officials in Mexico about the unjust criminalization of Froylán González, a member of CODEDI (Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Peoples) in Oaxaca. He was illegally detained on Feb 11, was beat up in detention, and released (but is still facing fabricated charges) . This kind of criminalization of social leaders is part of a systematic pattern by the state to undermine the rights of indigenous peoples. Over the past year, CODEDI has been the subject of several attacks: five murders, three other arbitrary arrests, three raid incidents, theft, and ongoing threats (cf our letter Nov 24 2018).
February 23, 2019
We wrote to officials in Mexico about the disappearance, torture, and assassination of Noé Jiménez Pablo and José Santiago Gómez Álvarez, members of the Independent Regional Campesino Movement (MOCRI) in Amatán, Chiapas State. They disappeared on January 17 when a group of unidentified armed men attacked MOCRI demonstrators who, since November 2018, had been protesting the failure of authorities to guarantee the basic needs of their community. On January 18, the bodies of the two victims, showing signs of torture, were found in a garbage dump near Amatán.
January 29, 2019
U.S. funding for the region continues to support state security forces with track records of human rights abuses and violent repression of social movements...Deep institutional crises in the governments of the region leaves many wary of regional leaders’ will and ability to effectively administer funds in ways that will benefit populations in need. While the idea of a Marshall Plan for Central America sounds promising, it is unlikely to produce meaningful results without rethinking the ways foreign aid has been allocated and administered, critics say.
January 25, 2019
the murder of human rights defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca inArriaga, Chiapas. At 9:45pm on January 3, he died instantly close to his home when unidentified men on a motorcycle shot him in the head at close range.
November 24, 2018
killing of Noel Castillo Aguilar, age 44, a member of the Committee for Defense of Indigenous Rights (CODEDI), in the community of Barra de la Cruz in the municipality of Santiago Astata, Oaxaca Department.
October 29, 2018
Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas as more than 1,000 migrants and refugees attempted to cross border into Mexico.
July 25, 2018
Indigenous community leader Rolando Crispin López has been assassinated in the community of Álvaro Obregón in the municipality of Juchitán de Zaragoza in Oaxaca State. He was a member of the Assembly of Indigenous People of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Defense of Land and Territory (APIITDTT), the Peoples' Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), and the Peoples' Assembly of Álvaro Obregón.
February 16, 2018
death threats against journalist Marco Antonio Cornel, reporting on involvement of police in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, in the disappearance and torture of six men; two found dead Jorge Arturo Vázquez Campos (age 30) and Marcos Catalán Cabrera (age 34), two remain missing Abel Aguilar García (age 18) and Efraín Patrón Ramos (age 25)
January 23, 2018
killing of two members of indigenous community police force (CRAC-PC) by unknown attackers in Cacahuatepec, Guerrero; subsequent crackdown on the community by state and federal police and the army, killing three CRAC-PC members, detaining 30 CRAC-PC members, along with environmental defenders Marco Antonio Suástegi Muñoz and Vicente Suástegi Muñoz of CECOP (Council of Communal Lands and Communities Opposing the La Parota Dam).