Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Amnesty International calls for humane treatment of detained peaceful protesters in Juarez, Mexico

[Video showing the police repression of the peaceful protest]

Last evening, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico,  the municipal police arrested and physically beat a group of peaceful activists involved in a peaceful protest honoring the dead victims of the extreme violence in Ciudad Juarez of the last five years. The student activists are part of Frente Plural Ciudadano--an organization that has been very actively involved against the injustice and violence in Ciudad Juarez.

Reports are that the students/activists planned to paint and place about 9000 crosses around the city in honor of the dead from Ciudad Juarez for Dia De los Muertos, the Day of the Dead commemoration. Informal reports as recent as this afternoon indicated that the 29 detained are still in custody and that family and friends spent the night outside the site of their detention and will continue there until they are released.

Blatant police oppression of peaceful protest

Amnesty International has joined the groundswell of grassroots support for the peaceful protesters who are in custody. The following is a rough English translation of the original report in Spanish, published today:

Amnesty International expresses concern over the arrest of 29 people in two peaceful demonstrations on November 1 in Ciudad Juarez. The first municipal police operation resulted in the arrest of 15 people at the center of town where there was a rally to remember the more than 10,000 violent deaths over the past five years in Ciudad Juarez. Hours later, 14 people were arrested outside the Aldama police station during a demonstration to demand the release of their arrested colleagues. Among those arrested were at least two children and two journalists. VIDEO HERE.

Amnesty International calls on the authorities in Ciudad Juarez to guarantee the physical integrity of detainees, give them immediate access to doctors, lawyers of their choice and allow them to see their families. The organization also reminds the authorities of their obligation to bring the arrested promptly to the public prosecutor to face charges or release them recognized.

Amnesty International believes it is essential that Chihuahua state authorities guarantee the right to freedom of association and expression. The maintenance of public order should not be a pretext to limit these rights and the use of force must always be limited to the necessity and proportionality as outlined by international human rights standards.

Amnesty International urges respect for the human rights of the protesters detained in Ciudad Juarez and asks for an investigation into the operations of the municipal police.

Additional information
According to information received by Amnesty International, the event was part of a series of protests in various cities in Mexico during the Day of the Dead to commemorate the victims of violence in recent years and highlight impunity.

In Ciudad Juarez several demonstrators pasted paper crosses on the walls to represent the dead. During attempts to stop the protest, a disruption ensued and several people were arrested. At night there were new arrests when demonstrators were reported to the police station Aldama. According to witnesses, several of those arrested during the day were subjected to mistreatment and police use of disproportionate force. Subsequently, the detained journalists were released. Other detainees were taken.
How you can help: It is almost impossible for those who live in Juarez to protest oppression in the city. Use your voice to speak the public outrage, thereby assisting the victims of police oppression.
  • A press conference will occurr in El Paso, Texas tomorrow, Thursday at 12:15pm, at Casa Vides, 325 Leon Street. 
  • Widely circulate information about this event to your contacts, both local, national and international, to raise pressure and ensure that the Juarez government knows that the international community is watching the situation. Links to videos of this event are below. 
  • Create pressure on the Juarez city government to release activists who are still detained and to prevent further aggressions in the coming days by emailing the following people/sample email in English is suggested below:

Presidente Municipal.
Ing. Hector Murguia Lardizabal
Responsable de la Secretaria de Seguridad Publica Municipal.
TTE. CORONEL. Julian Leyzaola Perez
Tel. 208-88-00
Secretaria Tecnica (responsable interdependencias)
Ing. Arturo Armendariz Diaz
Comision de Regidores encargados de seguridad publica.
Coordinador. Luis Manuel Aguirre Aguilera
Tel. 207-88 00 Ext 2002
Secretario Hector Hernandez Garcia
Tel. 207- 88 00 Ext 2002
vocal. Laurencio Gallegos Jimenez

A SAMPLE EMAIL to Mexican Officials:
Yesterday Tuesday November 1, 2011 at six p.m. the Juárez Municipal Police and Transit Division headed by the Secretary of Public Security, Lt. Col. Julian Leyzaola repressed a demonstration of young protestors from the organization Frente Plural Ciudadano who were undertaking a peaceful march commemorating victims of the war against organized crime and protesting against the strategy of the government of Mexico. Journalists and photojournalists were also beaten and stripped of their cameras and equipment.

The youth-led demonstration was overtaken as participants were pasting paper crosses at the intersection of Triunfo de la República and Avenida Lopez Mateos, where they were assaulted with baton blows and kicked by municipal police officers and transit police. Initial reports said that ten of the young people were handcuffed and taken to the cells of the Municipal Police where they were still being held at 10:30 pm. Later reports put the number of detained at 21 (see full list of names below).

The attitude of the police and Lt. Col. Leyzaola is totally illegal and reprehensible. On the one hand police are criminalizing peaceful youth-led demonstrations, in which young people are taking constructive action and demanding change from the government’s failed strategy to stop the crime and on the other hand, the police themselves are unable to stop or even significantly reduce the wave of crimes and murders that continues to plague the border.

For all these reasons, we DEMAND:

· The immediate release of youths arrested in the demonstration today in Ciudad Juarez.

· The return of the working tools stolen from the workers of the media and the truck Red de Infancia

· The identification of responsibility for these abuses of authority committed by municipal and transit police, and the naming of the person or persons who led the operation.

· An end to the criminalization and the systematic repression of Juárez youth.

· Implementation of a true culture of legality beginning with the authorities, police and military forces, to make them respect the individual rights, end impunity, punish those who are accomplices of the criminals and fight those responsible for the crimes that most we face as a community: femicide, targeting and murder of youth, extortion, rape, kidnapping, armed robbery.


People detained at Triunfo de la República and López Mateos:

Ana Pong Ríos, 28 años, alumna de Diseño Gráfico de IADA

Arturo Vázquez Flores, 22 años, estudiante de la UACJ

Beatriz Mercedes Sáenz García, 49 años, ingeniero agrónomo

Carlos Yeffin Pong Ronquillo, 37 años

César Antonio Ochoa Paredes, 22 años, estudiante de El Paso

Yazmín López Yáñez, 17 años

Jesús Fabio Ceballos, 24 años, estudiante de la UACJ

José Luis Rodríguez Isaí, 21 años, estudiante de la UACJ

Juan Pablo Rodríguez Isaí, 17 años

Michelle Baraza Nevares, 24 años

Naín Eastwood Romero, 22 años, estudiante de la UACJ

Sandra Isabel Frías Vela, 27 años

Pedro Mireles Contreras, 58 años

Verónica Castillo, 35 años, maestra de psicoterapia de la UACJ

Agustín Alberto Ortega Rodríguez

People detained at Estacion Aldama:

Karla Luisa Corral Morales, 17 años, estudiante de la UACJ

Gabriela Ortiz Enrique, 23 años, electricista

Armando Magallanes Chavira, 24 años

Emmanuel Albarrán Quiñónez, 28 años, estudiante de la UACJ

Jesús Armando Jiménez Gutiérrez, 59 años, epidemiólogo

Irving Luévano Pereira, 20 años

Julián Álvarez, 30 años, estudiante de Literatura en la UACJ

Antonio Muñoz Quintana, 26 años, estudiante de la UACJ

Daniel Delgadillo Díaz, 50 años, ingeniero agrónomo

Daniel Luévano Pereira, 23 años

Armando González Bailón, 47 años, maestro de la Escuela Secundaria Técnica 55

Arturo Vázquez Peral, 52 años, médico del IMSS

Gerardo Solís Quejalva, 39 años, maestro de la Preparatoria Altavista

Adolfo Grijalva Vázquez, jardinero

Crosses of protest--Protesters had hoped to post a cross for each of the 9,000  killed during the past five years in their city during the "war on drugs."


One Fly said...

It's difficult to understand all that's going on here. I do not disagree with this important issue.

From what saw a cop had something thrown at him that landed. When something like that happens then all bet are off the table because that flings open the door for cops to be inhuman and that's what they're trained to do. That and follow orders. No way will big whore media side with these people if cops are screwed with nor would they anyway. After all we're waging a war here ya see.

I will pay closer attention! Thank for this Billie.

Billie Greenwood said...

Thanks, One, for your comment and observation. The system will protect its own. As far as I know, the protesters have not yet been released. It is being pointed out that 9000 are murdered and we see little to no police investigations, yet for this, well...can anyone spell o-v-e-r r-e-a-c-t-i-o-n?

One Fly said...

They're brown and white folks don't care unless forced to. 9000 is an incredible amount. The killings seemed to have subsided a bit or at least I've not seen much these days.

Billie Greenwood said...

Juarez officials would like people to think violence is abated, but the death tally for November is over 24 and for the year it's 1,777. Added to the previous totals since 2008, there have been at least 9,776 people killed just in the city of Juarez.
Local commentary on the incident of the police repression of the nonviolent protest (original was in Spanish, this is my rough translation):

What conclusions can we draw from this episode? ...One is that far from addressing the distress and discontent of the population due to the security situation, the authorities prefer to assert the slogan of "zero tolerance" where they can act tough easily, attacking a small march of unarmed people without prior dialogue and appear as champions of legality by preventing the staining of walls with washable paint...