DETERIORATING RULE OF LAW IN CHIAPAS, GOVERNORS AND INSTITUTIONS VIOLATE LOCAL, FEDERAL AND INTERNATIONAL LAW.

From Indymedia, Chiapas, October 1st 2009

At the hands of public authorities at different levels of government in Chiapas the legal system is being dismantled. In the past weeks we have seen the occurrence of events that demonstrate the involvement of the state together with paramilitary actions causing the violation of human rights. These violations, whether they be committed by the police or the military and with use of the judicial system to quiet dissidents, has been increasing the persecution of social activists, human rights lawyers and other defenders of human rights. This destruction of the rule of law in Chiapas is also evident in the criminalization of social protest and the untried murder of defenceless migrants.

Members of Government Sequester a Social Activist
Disguised as workers from the Federal Commission on Electricity (Comicion Federal de Electricidad, CFE) unknown persons kidnapped the leader of the OCEZ (Peasants Organization, Emiliano Zapata- Organización Campesina Emiliano Zapata). In trying to stop the kidnapping a neighbour was killed in a car accident and in the following hours after the kidnapping it was believed that the OCEZ leader, “el Chema” was murdered, though he later appeared in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas under custody of the PGR. This information was revealed by a government functionary without consulting his superiors at 4:45pm on Sept. 30th. Later the PGR retracted the information and “El Chema” continued to be considered as disappeared (as of 8:30pm, Sept. 30) (full story, Narco News). On October 1, 2009 it was revealed that “El Chema” is presently being held in the prison, El Amate.

This past Saturday, the 26th of September, in the offices of the Non-Government Organization, Kinal Antsetik A. C. (Tierra de Mujeres, Land of Women) in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, around 8pm one or two persons entered the building dressed in black and wearing ski masks so that they could not be identified. These persons began to burn down the building which is under construction. The perpetrators covered several of the main support columns to the new roof with gasoline and lit them on fire. Some of the young women that live in the building noticed the fire and alerted the rest of the residents to immediately put out the fire with buckets of water.

-URGENT ACTION- September 22, 2009
Risk to the Physical Integrity of Human Rights Defenders in Chiapas
Due to the violent events that have put at risk the physical integrity of one of our human rights lawyers, the Centre for Human Rights Fray Bartolome de las Casas states that the recent act of violence perpetrated by members of the Organization for the Defence of Indigenous and Peasant Rights (OPDDIC), forms part of the counter-insurgency strategy implemented by the state and federal government in its intention to neutralize civic organizations and defenders of human rights that accompany those that defend and revindicate different rights in Chiapas.

-Military Accused of the death of a Migrant-
Organizations of defenders of human rights accused the Mexican military of participating in the persecution of migrants. This past Friday, 18th of September one of the actions on part of the military left one person dead and several people gravely injured.

(Thanks to J.D.)

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