WE DEMAND TO STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION OF THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY OF MEZCALA DE LA ASUNCIÓN, JALISCO, MEXICO

Foto: Archivos CEPAD
 By Luis Carlos Vega Pámanes, 
President of the Supreme Court of Jalisco 


CC. Members of the Judicial Council of the State of Jalisco C. Óscar Martín Morales Vázquez, Criminal Judge of Ocotlan 

To the general public 

We, the civil society organizations and the people signing this document, want to express our concerns about the criminalization of the Indigenous Community of Mezcala de la Asuncion, located in the town of Poncitlán, Jalisco, and for the rights violations collectively and individually committed with incriminal proceedings, full of irregularities, contrary to the provisions of our Supreme Constitution, the laws of the state of Jalisco and the International Instruments concerning indigenous people. Since 1999, the Community has struggled defending its territory because of the illegal invasion of the entrepreneur, Guillermo Moreno Ibarra, who with impunity and acquiescence of the authorities has taken their land to build, on the hill “El Pandillo”, a residence over looking Chapala Lake, deforesting and destroying their areas of sacred worship. As well he has promoted criminal complaints against members of the Community with consent and complicity of the Public Prosecutor’s Office attached to the municipality, which have ended in consignations of indigenous men and women into criminal processes and sentenced as guilty of fabricated crimes. It is important to note that in 2011, this businessman pressed charges against some of the members of the Community for the crime of aggravated robbery so they couldn’t argue for a bail, subsequently the charges were reclassified into damage of things, the paradox is that the Community Assembly decided to dismount the solar panel Moreno Ibarra had installed without permission from the Community in the communal territory in order to divert the flow of a river. The indigenous members only acted defending their territory. This is not the first time that Moreno Ibarra has pressed charges against the indigenous people of Mezcala; In 2002 they were falsely accused of kidnapping. We have observed with concern, how from the start and despite the inconsistencies of the prosecution, the Public Prosecutor Researcher of Poncitlán, Lucero Moreno Murguía, integrated the preliminary investigation number 1327/2011 violating the collective right ofself-determination of the Community and individual rights of ten of its members such as due process, legality and personal security, physical and psychological integrity, omitting to inform what they were being charged with, who was pressing charges and not mentioning the evidence on which they based the accusation. All these legal inconsistencies were endorsed by the Judiciary Power of the State through Óscar Martín Morales Vázquez, Criminal Judge of the Sixth Judicial District, in Ocotlan, Jalisco. In Mexico, the Mezcala case is not the first in which the authorities harassed, imprisoned and sentenced the indigenous leaders who defend their land rights, self-determination and autonomy as indigenous people. In recent decades, they have suffered dispossession of their lands, water bodies and resources besides its members having spent unnecessary jail time, threatened and disappeared. Similarly, in several Latin American countries this pattern of constant criminalization and stigmatization towards indigenous people struggling against exploitation and dispossession of their ancestral lands has been occurring. We believe that this trial has been a way to criminalize the Indigenous Community of Mezcala, who is looking to exercise their legitimate right to defend its territory and selfdetermination, which implies the obligation of the State to recognize and ensure the political autonomy of its institutions and competence of their communal authorities to decide and manage their territory and natural resources. It is unacceptable that the Judge of Ocotlan responsible for administering justice has irresponsibly driven this criminal proceeding, persecuting and punishing the indigenous Coca people, ignoring the guidelines of “Action Protocol for those who administer justice in cases involving rights of individuals, communities and indigenous peoples” and ignoring the legitimate power of indigenous institutions and authorities to manage and resolve conflicts over land and natural resources. Currently, we are waiting for the Criminal Judge of Ocotlan to give its decision, so we urge the Judiciary Power of the stateof Jalisco to: First: That they rectify the violations of due process committed against members of the Coca Community of Mezcala and recognize their regulatory practices derived from their status as indigenous people, this in accordance with international standards in this matter, particularly the Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) of Indigenous and Tribal people in Independent Countries. Second: That the Judge resolves against the criminal liability of the members of the community of Mezcala, applying the “Action Protocol for those who administer justice in cases involving rights of individuals, communities and indigenous peoples” published by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.Third: To ensure that all staff has appropriate training in Human Rights, particularly on the right to equality and non-discrimination, where access to justice to this groups and individuals is ensured in a vulnerable situation, due process, and the implementation of the designed Protocols. Fourth: That the Judicial Council assumes responsibility for reviewing the performance of the Criminal Judge of Ocotlan and takes appropriate punitive measures for their acts and omissions that would constitute discrimination against indigenous Coca people.


IN DEFENSE OF TERRITORY AND INDIGENOUS AUTONOMY

Jorge Alonso Sánchez, Gustavo Marín Guardado; Gricelda Cruz; Renée de la Torre; Tania Paulina Frías; Paulina Cerdán Corona; Alicia Hernández Molina; Margarita Pérez Negrete; Manuel Alfonso Martínez Treviño; Andrés Fábregas Puig; Paola Lazo; José Luis Albizu Beristain; Nelton Rivera González; María de Lourdes Álvarez Fragoso; Santiago Bastos; Quimy de León; Nelton Rivera; Mónica Salas; María Bertely Busquets; Miguel Bazdresch; Libertad Chávez Rodríguez; Osorio Goicoechea; José Joaquín Eugenio; Saríah Acevedo; Manuel de Jesús Ríos Morales; Santiago Bastos; Julio Antonio; Luís Gabriel Torres González; Humberto González ; Itzia E. Pérez Ruiz; Patricia Fortuny; Juan José Briseño Guerrero; Eugenia De La O Martínez; Carlos Armando Peralta Varela; Augusto Chacón; Felipe De Jesús Alatorre Rodríguez; Francisco Morfín Otero; WedorBertho Ducange; Selene Cruz Pastrana; Ignacio Gutiérrez; Elizabeth Pérez Márquez; José Antonio Torres Reyes; Mary L Pratt; Juan Ignacio Castiello; Inés Durán Matute; Rodrigo Camarena González; Guillermo De la Peña; Leif Korsbaek; Jesús Carlos Soto Morfín; Patricia Torres; Efrén Sandoval Hernández; Juan Julián Caballero; Mónica Toussaint; José Casillas Martínez; María Cristina Guadalupe Romo Gil; José Juan Olvera Gudiño; Emma Delfina Chirix; Enrique Valencia Lomelí; Isabel Blanco Velasco; Manuela Camus Bergareche; Ligia González Martínez; Victoria Chenaut; José Bautista Farías; Francisco Macías Medina; Alberto Aziz Nassif; Isabel Sepúlveda; María Teresa Sierra; María Bastos; Alberto Bayardo Pérez Arce; Jaime Antonio Preciado Coronado; Elisa Cruz Rueda; Cecilia Díaz Romo; Ivette Flores Laffont; Aurora Segura G.; Susan Linda Street Naused; Arturo Taracena Arriola; Jesús Eduardo Montero Munguía; Agustin Avila Mendez; Teresa Valdivia Dounce; Araceli Burguete Cal y Mayor; Georgina Gaona Pando; Consuelo Sánchez; Héctor Castañón R.; María Guadalupe Morfín Otero; Karen Gutiérrez Lascurain; Elizabeth Oglesby; Alejandra de la Torre Díaz; Carlos Antonio Flores Pérez; Eduardo L. Menéndez; Elvira Madrid Romero; Jaime Montejo; Rodrigo Lazo Corvera; Carolina Márquez Méndez; Leonor Hurtado Paz y Paz; Alonso González-Villalobos; María Clementina de la Asunción Gutiérrez Zúñiga; José de Jesús Soto Romero; Dulce Vianey Polanco Rodriguez; Paloma Robles Muro; Juan Manuel Esquivias Farías; Angie Acosta; Héctor González Schmal; Martha Alvarez Castañeda; Elen María Sánchez Sánchez; Manuel Flores Robles; Carlos Moreno Jaimes; Luis Alonso Garibay Serrano; Luis Oscar Mora Yañez; Carlos Ortiz Tirado Kelly; José de Jesús Ibarra Cárdenas; Carlos Alberto Valdivia Rodríguez; Luis Arturo Soria Martin; José Alberto Santillán Mendoza; Leticia Araceli González Navarro; María Jacqueline Galaviz Ramos; Madela Bada; Gerardo Moya García; Teresa Gutiérrez; Jorge Narro; César O. Pérez Verónica; Cinthia Ramírez; Giovanna Peña Partida; Claudia Lourdes Pérez Arellano.


Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos “Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos” (conformada por 73 organizaciones en 21 estados de la República mexicana): Agenda LGBT (Estado de México), Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos, A.C. (Distrito Federal); Asociación Jalisciense de Apoyo a los Grupos Indígenas, A.C. (Guadalajara, Jal.); Bowerasa, A.C. “Haciendo Camino”. (Chihuahua, Chih.); Casa del Migrante Saltillo (Coahuila) Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, A.C. (Distrito Federal); Centro “Fray Julián Garcés” Derechos Humanos y Desarrollo Local, A. C. (Tlaxcala, Tlax.); Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador, A.C. (Distrito Federal); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas”, A. C. (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chis); Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa A.C; Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Francisco de Vitoria O.P.”, A. C. (Distrito Federal); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez”, A. C. (Distrito Federal); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Don Sergio” (Jiutepec, Mor.); Centro de Derechos Humanos “Fray Matías de Córdova”. A.C. (Tapachula, Chis); Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña, Tlachinollan, A. C. (Tlapa, Gro.); Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres (Chihuahua), Centro de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos del Sur de Veracruz “Bety Cariño” A.C. (Tatahuicapan de Juárez, Ver.) Centro de Derechos Humanos, “Juan Gerardi”, A. C. (Torreón, Coah.); Centro de Derechos Humanos Paso del Norte (Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua); Centro de Derechos Humanos Victoria Diez, A.C. (León, Gto.); Centro de Derechos Indígenas “Flor y Canto”, A. C. (Oaxaca, Oax.); Centro de Derechos Humanos Toaltepeyolo (Orizaba, Veracruz); Centro de Derechos Indígenas A. C. (Bachajón, Chis.); Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (Distrito Federal); Centro de Justicia para la Paz y el Desarrollo, A. C. (CEPAD) (Guadalajara, Jal.); Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral (CEREAL-DF) (Distrito Federal); Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral (CEREAL-Guadalajara) (Guadalajara, Jal.); Centro Diocesano para los Derechos Humanos “Fray Juan de Larios”, A.C. (Saltillo, Coah.); Centro Juvenil Generando Dignidad (Comalcalco, Tabasco); Centro Hermanas Mirabal de Derechos Humanos (León, Gto.), Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (Distrito Federal), Centro Mujeres (La Paz, BCS.), Centro Regional de Defensa de DDHH José María Morelos y Pavón, A.C. (Chilapa, Gro.); Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos “Bartolomé Carrasco”, A.C. (Oaxaca, Oax.); Ciencia Social Alternativa, A.C. – KOOKAY (Mérida, Yuc.); Ciudadanía Lagunera por los Derechos Humanos, A.C. (CILADHAC) (Torreón, Coah.); Colectivo Educación para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos, A.C. (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chis.); Colectivo contra la Tortura y la Impunidad (Distrito Federal); Comité Cerezo (Distrito Federal); Comité Cristiano de Solidaridad Monseñor Romero (Distrito Federal); Comisión de Derechos Humanos y Laborales del Valle de Tehuacán, A.C. (Tehuacan, Pue.); Comisión de Solidaridad y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, A.C. (Chihuahua, Chih.); Comisión Independiente de Derechos Humanos de Morelos, A. C. (CIDHMOR) (Cuernavaca, Mor.); Comisión Regional de Derechos Humanos “Mahatma Gandhi”, A. C. (Tuxtepec, Oax.); Comité de Defensa Integral de Derechos Humanos Gobixha A.C. (Oaxaca, Oax.); Comité de Defensa de las Libertades Indígenas (Palenque, Chis.); Comité de Derechos Humanos Ajusco (Distrito Federal); Comité de Derechos Humanos “Fr. Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada”, A. C. (Ocosingo, Chis.); Comité de Derechos Humanos “Sierra Norte de Veracruz”, A. C. (Huayacocotla, Ver.); Comité de Derechos Humanos de Colima, A. C. (Colima, Col.); Comité de Derechos Humanos de Comalcalco, A. C. (Comalcalco, Tab); Comité de Derechos Humanos de Tabasco, A. C. (Villahermosa, Tab); Comité de Derechos Humanos y Orientación Miguel Hidalgo, A. C. (Dolores Hidalgo, Gto.); Comité Sergio Méndez Arceo Pro Derechos Humanos de Tulancingo, Hgo A.C. (Tulancingo,Hgo.); El Caracol A.C (Distrito Federal); Estancia del Migrante González y Martínez, A.C. (Querétaro, Qro.); Frente Cívico Sinaloense. Secretaría de Derechos Humanos. (Culiacán, Sin.); Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho (Distrito Federal); Indignación, A. C. Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos (Mérida, Yuc.); Iniciativas para la Identidad y la Inclusión A.C. (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chis.); Instituto de Derechos Humanos Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J. Universidad Iberoamericana- Puebla; Instituto Guerrerense de Derechos Humanos, A. C. (Chilpancingo, Gro.); Instituto Mexicano de Derechos Humanos y Democracia (Distrito Federal); Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario, A. C. (IMDEC), (Guadalajara, Jal.); Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente, – Programa Institucional de Derechos Humanos y Paz. (Guadalajara, Jal.); Mujeres indígenas por la Conservación, Investigación y Aprovechamiento de los Recursos Naturales CIARENA A. C (Oaxaca); Oficina de Defensoría de los Derechos de la Infancia A.C. (Distrito Federal), Programa Universitario de Derechos Humanos. UIA –León (León, Gto.); Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales Y Culturales (Distrito Federal); Proyecto sobre Organización, Desarrollo, Educación e Investigación (PODER) (Distrito Federal); Promoción de los Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales (Estado de México); Respuesta Alternativa, A. C. Servicio de Derechos Humanos y Desarrollo Comunitario (San Luis Potosí); Servicio, Paz y Justicia de Tabasco, A.C. (Villahermosa, Tab.); Servicios de Inclusión Integral, A.C. (Pachuca, Hidalgo); Taller Universitario de Derechos Humanos, A. C. (Distrito Federal); Tequio Jurídico A.C. (Oaxaca, Oax.)