Tag Archives: Mexico

Mexico/USA: Lawyer opposing U.S. resort developer in Baja Mexico jailed 62 days

July 20, 2017

Lawyer opposing U.S. resort developer in Baja Mexico jailed 62 days

Lawyer John Moreno Rutowski’s incarceration 62 days ago spurred outcry against Black Creek Group, an American development company that plans to convert beaches, mangroves, and dunes in a tranquil fishing town near the popular destination Todos Santos on the Mexican Pacific into two hotels and 4,000+ housing units based upon the concept of ‘wellbeing.’

Every morning at dawn, the fishermen of Punta Lobos take their boats out to the high seas to find shrimp boats and give bread, cookies, and soft drinks to the crew members in exchange for shrimp heads to use as bait.

They do this out of necessity. Deep down, they surely would prefer not to have to depend on this. The boats usually arrive at the beaches of Todos Santos, in Baja California Sur, from the neighboring state of Sinaloa. The fishermen practice trawling — taking in tons of shrimp and young sole, a species that artisanal fishermen work with and protect.

The shrimp heads are for the fishermen, and the small sole go back into the sea dead. For decades, the members of the Punta Lobos Fishing Cooperative have seen tons of dead fish thrown overboard and have spoken out about it with anger as they take their afternoon breaks.

But nowadays, this is the least of their problems: in 2013, the Mexican government approved the construction of a hotel on Punta Lobos Beach and the lawyer who defended the members of the cooperative, John Moreno Rutowski, has been incarcerated in the height of a full legal battle against the company developing the project.





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Mexico: UN experts call for an independent and impartial investigation into the use of spyware against rights defenders and journalists

July 19, 2017

Image result for office of the high commissioner for human rights

A group of United Nations experts* today called on the Government of Mexico to carry out a transparent, independent and impartial investigation into allegations of monitoring and illegal surveillance against human rights defenders, social activists, and journalists.

The experts’ call comes a month after civil society organizations and the international media revealed allegations that the Mexican authorities deployed a spyware called ‘Pegasus’ to hack and monitor the mobile phones of people involved in the investigation and denunciation of cases of corruption and serious violations of human rights during 2015 and 2016.

“The allegations of surveillance, which represent a serious violation of the rights to privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of association, are highly concerning and are evidence of the hostile and threatening environment that human rights defenders, social activists and journalists face in Mexico today,” the experts said.

The surveillance has reportedly targeted human rights defenders from the NGO Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Centro Prodh), as well as members of other civil society organizations such as Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad and Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad.

The Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and some members of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), appointed to take part in the investigation into the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, are also said to have been affected.


Mexico: Mexico ‘spied on journalists, lawyers and activists’

June 20, 2017

Information on Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui is displayed on a screen during a journalists' press conference in Mexico City on June 19, 2017

Several prominent journalists and activists in Mexico have filed a complaint accusing the government of spying on them by hacking their phones.

The accusation follows a report in the New York Times that says they were targeted with spyware meant to be used against criminals and terrorists.

The newspaper says messages examined by forensic analysts show the software was used against government critics.

A Mexican government spokesman “categorically” denied the allegations.

The report says that the software, known as Pegasus, was sold to Mexican federal agencies by Israeli company NSO Group on the condition that it only be used to investigate criminals and terrorists.

The software can infiltrate smartphones and monitor calls, texts and other communications, the New York Times said. It can also activate a phone’s microphone or camera, effectively turning the device into a personal bug.

But instead of being used to track suspected criminals, the targets allegedly included investigative journalists, anti-corruption activists and even lawyers.








http://www.omct.org/es/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/mexico/2017/07/d24424/ (ESPANOL)

https://rsf.org/fr/actualites/mexique-des-journalistes-espionnes-le-mouchard-pegasus (FRANCAIS)

http://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Ameriques/Mexico-accuse-davoir-espionne-journalistes-militants-droits-lhomme-2017-06-22-1200857192 (FRANCAIS)

http://internacional.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,mexico-vigia-criticos-do-governo-com-software-que-hackeia-celulares,70001849650 (PORTUGUES)

Mexico: Lawyer for Mexico Leftist Party Morena Murdered as Part of Political ‘Terror Strategy’

June 7, 2017

Supporters of Morena

The violent act comes as the leftist party seeks a recount in the recent vote for governor in the state of Mexico.

In the wake of key elections in the state of Mexico and three other Mexican states, a lawyer representing the left-wing Morena party allegedly has been murdered by police, the party reported, bringing the death toll of people from the party to 17.

Eduardo Catarino Dircio was shot and killed in Tixtla, in the violence-ridden state of Guerrero, according to a Morena statement released Monday. Catarino was a lawyer for Morena, the up-and-coming progressive party headed by one of Mexico’s most well-known politicians, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The party stated that Catarino had taken shelter inside his home with his family after a shooting took place on the street when state police forces entered his home and executed him in front of his wife and children, placing an AK-47 rifle next to him.

“These acts of violence are part of the terror strategy of local and federal governments to intimidate Morena’s progress in the different states ahead of the federal election of 2018. We will not be intimidated and persist in our peaceful struggle,” the party stated.


http://www.proceso.com.mx/489586/denuncian-ejecucion-extrajudicial-abogado-morena-en-guerrero (ESPANOL)

http://suracapulco.mx/2/no-disparen-soy-el-casero-estoy-con-mi-familia-suplico-eduardo-catarino-al-policia-que-lo-mato-dice-su-esposa/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.debate.com.mx/mexico/El-gobierno-aclara-el-asesinato-de-Eduardo-Catarino-Dircio-20170605-0368.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.animalpolitico.com/2017/06/asesinan-militante-morena-guerrero/ (ESPANOL)

Mexico: How Mexican Human Rights Lawyers Found a New Route to Accountability

February 21, 2017

Mexico City’s Museum of Anthropology and History is world-renowned for its collection of Aztec and Mayan art, and for exhibitions on the modern culture of Mexico’s indigenous peoples. But on February 21, the museum provided the backdrop for an unprecedented modern ceremony: an official act of apology delivered to three indigenous women by representatives of the the federal prosecutor’s office, the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR), for the violation of their human rights.

The three women, Alberta Alcántara, Jacinta Francisco Marcial, and Teresa González, are members of the Hñä-Hñú (Otomí) people. In addition to the formal apology, they will also receive financial compensation for the wrongful prosecution and imprisonment they suffered over a decade ago at the hands of federal police and prosecutors in their home state of Querétaro. Their story, now nationally known, has also raised fundamental and still unresolved questions about the role and accountability of the PGR in Mexico’s criminal justice system.

The three women were first arrested and unlawfully detained in August 2006, four months after a fracas erupted in the marketplace of the town of Santiago Mexquititlán after the police tried to seize goods from indigenous vendors. All three women were falsely charged with the kidnapping of six federal police officers during the trouble (even though one of the accused—Jacinta Francisco Marcial—was attending mass and visiting the local pharmacy at the time of the alleged crime). The three were tried and convicted without the Hñähñu translator they should have been provided with under the law. Despite the lack of evidence against them, they were each sentenced to 21 years in prison.

It took three years of legal challenges by Centro Prodh, a leading Mexican human rights group, to secure the women’s release, and the overturning of the charges against them. Along the way, the case became emblematic of the failures of Mexico’s justice system to offer equitable access to justice to indigenous people.


Mexico: Yaqui tribe lawyer was kidnapped on her way to a community meeting to plan the next steps in their fight against the U.S.-Mexico Agua Prieta pipeline.

December 15, 2016

Human Rights lawyer and legal representative for the Yaqui Tribe, Anabela Carlon Flores

On Tuesday a group of masked men kidnapped at gunpoint Anabela Carlon Flores, a lawyer for the Yaqui tribe, who are facing increasingly violent repression in their fight against the cross-border Agua Prieta pipeline in Northern Mexico.

Anabela Carlon Flores told reporters she was driving with her husband to a community meeting in the Yaqui community of Bacum on Tuesday at approximately 7 p.m. when their car was stopped by a group of armed masked men. She and her husband were blindfolded and put in another car where the human rights lawyer was told to “stop fucking around.” She was later dropped on the outskirts of nearby Ciudad Obregon, while the kidnappers held on to her husband, Isabel Lugo Molina, who remains captive. Carlon Flores said she fears for his life.

The incident is the latest in a series of escalating attacks on members of the Yaqui Tribe who are opposing the construction of the Texas-based Sempra Energy pipeline project, which aims to bring natural gas from Arizona to the Mexican state of Sonora, crossing Yaqui territory.


http://zetatijuana.com/2016/12/14/abogada-de-tribu-yaqui-es-secuestrada-junto-a-su-esposo-ella-aparece-el-aun-no-se-oponen-a-gasoducto-transnacional/ (ESPANOL)

http://kaosenlared.net/mexico-urgente-grupo-armado-desaparece-a-abogada-de-la-tribu-yaqui-y-su-esposo/ (ESPANOL)

USA/Mexico: Man gets life in prison for role in cartel lawyer slaying in Southlake

December 2, 2016

Officers from several cities and counties work the May 2013 shooting at Southlake Town Square.

A 60-year-old man has been sentenced to two life sentences in federal prison for his part in the brazen 2013 murder of a Mexican cartel lawyer at a Southlake shopping center.

Jose Luis Cepeda-Cortes, a Mexican citizen, had been convicted in May on single counts of interstate stalking, conspiracy to commit murder for hire and tampering with documents or proceedings.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means sentenced Cepeda-Cortes to two life sentences as well as a 20-year sentence to run concurrently.

The man’s 60-year-old cousin, Jesus “Chuy” Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda, is expected to be sentenced Tuesday.

Ledezma-Cepeda was also convicted in May on single counts of interstate stalking and conspiracy to commit murder for hire. He faces up to a life sentence and a $250,000 fine on each count.

Ledezma-Cepeda’s son, 33-year-old Jesus Gerardo Ledezma-Campano, had pleaded guilty in March to one count of interstate stalking. He was sentenced in August to 20 years in prison.