Death toll rises to nine – teachers and government due to hold talks Monday 27th

Witnesses – including journalists who have been targeted for reporting in the attacks – report violent state repression against teachers in Nochixtlan, Oaxaca and in the state capital where educators and students are protesting against government backed educational reforms.

On June 19th, members of the Federal Police carried out extrajudicial killings, attacks on citizens’ houses and acts of torture in various municipalities within Oaxaca, all of these targeted towards those who were exercising their right to protest against the Education Reform. Victims were mainly members of the National Union of Teachers (CNTE in Spanish).

In the early hours of the 20th of June, the list of extrajudicial killings reached a total of 9. 20 people had been disappeared and at least 45 people were confirmed as injured. But the vicious attacks, which included air and on-the-ground operations, are more likely to have left at least 150 people injured. Federal police forces reportedly surrounded hospitals and health care centres to ensure that only their operatives were treated and forced medical personnel to refer any incoming casualties to the police forces for their arrest.

Violent clashes also took place in the city of Oaxaca, where rallies were also being held against the reform. Police forces cut power in the capital city of Oaxaca to allow for the deployment of their elements throughout the city.

The CNTE has for years opposed the proposed reforms to the education system in Mexico because it jeopardises teachers’ social and economic rights. They have on many occasions requested for dialogue to be initiated between teachers and the government around modifying the reform but the government has made it clear that they will only talk if the CNTE agrees to the reform first.

The reaction of the Mexican government on 19 June is yet another proof of how entrenched violence and the violation of human rights are in the country. The situation has never been so bad and it is time to step up international pressure to end it.

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In June 2009 a fire at a government-sponsored day-care centre in Hermosillo in northern Mexico killed 49 infants.

Almost seven years on, no one has been held accountable ; not the supervisors, not the regulatory authorities and certainly not the owners of the business, one of whom was distantly related to Margarita Zavala, the wife of the then president of Mexico who is now active in Mexican politics.

Successive administrations have made a string of promises – and left them unfulfilled.
Meanwhile the parents, some of whom were not even told their children were already dead when they arrived at the scene, have not given up their demand for answers to how the fire started and why the building had inadequate smoke and fire alarms and why two of the three exits were locked.

In the run up to events planned to mark the seventh anniversary of the fire, one of the bereaved fathers, Julio Cesar, travelled to London this week with Daniel Gershenson, a dedicated and highly respected activist at NGO Al Consumidor, who believes that sooner or later someone must be held responsible for the catalogue of errors that impeded the rescue of more children – and possibly the more sinister motives that some observers believe was the real cause of the blaze.

To lose a loved one, especially such a young child is traumatic and the sadness is evident in Julio Cesar’s eyes as he recounted how he used to take his youngest son, Yeye, to nursery every day before heading to his own job.

He told the audience at an event hosted the by Institute of the Americas at University College London how the parents had been belittled by the authorities in Hermosillo, the capital of the state of Sonora.

Emboldened by successive rulings that exonerated more and more of those who should have had a role in the oversight of the day-care centre ( be it regarding building regulations or in the department that issued permits to open a childcare business – the permit for the ABC nursery was invalid at the time of the fire) even the state prosecutor in charge of the government investigation “made the parents feel like criminals”. Later, that same prosecutor would become Mexico’s ambassador to Great Britain and then to the United States.

The real criminals, insist the two men, are still walking free. They decline to say with absolute certainty if they believe one hypothesis which suggests that the document storage warehouse (which shared a wall with the nursery) housed a toxic bundle of records that linked the previous governor, Eduardo Bours, to a huge debt amassed by the state of Sonora during his tenure.

These documents were dangerously flammable in more ways than one and their destruction would assure that there would be no evidence linking Bours to the scandal.

“We are talking about people who should end up answering for their crimes in The Hague,” says Gershenson who says many families persisted in putting their faith in the notorious Mexican court system even after the number of disappointing rulings and succession of exonerations started.

“It is likely that we will have to wait five, ten or more years for this case to come before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights”, he told the audience at UCL

In the meantime, he told @JusticeMexicoUK that there has been barely any official response to the incident in terms of improving and tightening up regulations around childcare in Mexico.
One study found that more than 1,000 guarderias – or daycare centres – showed dangerous faults during checks by authorities, “but nothing is done.”

With reports this week suggesting that Mexico may be looking to team up with the US to present a bid to host a future world cup, it gives very little hope that a country with such a fluid attitude to the safeguarding of its most vulnerable citizens – children of working families who do not earn enough for private or home based childcare – would be anywhere near able to reassure the international authorities that it could satisfy the most stringent safety requirements.

At the end of his busy trip criss crossing Europe to raise awareness of the failure to settle the issue after so long – or to fully address the mooted cover up regarding the reasons behind the fire – Julio Cesar will return to his two surviving children. Yeye and the 48 others will never return home.

Reply to Ambassador Mr. Gómez Pickering’s letter to The Guardian


Dear Sir/Madam, We are writing in regard to the response* written by the Ambassador of Mexico in the UK, Diego Gómez Pickering, about your Editorial “The Guardian view on Mexico’s missing students: justice indefinitely deferred“:

  1. The government is NOT committed to a transparent and in-depth investigation to clarify the social tragedy of Ayotzinapa. Despite allowing an international independent panel of experts (GIEI) to get involved in the case, from the beginning of their work the government never gave this group full access to the records and evidences (only 50% of total evidence was given).
  2. The GIEI declared in their last press conference at Mexico to have been defamed in different Mexican newspapers (like El Financiero or Milenio, as the New York Times certified) once their research pointed out to different pathways than the “Historical Truth” defended by the government.
  3. Photographic evidence leaves no doubt that the Battalion 27…

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Running for Justice in Mexico

DONATE NOW! Please support JMN Team! Running for Justice In Mexico.

We are JMN Team!

A warm hello from team Justice Mexico Now (JMN). Your support is hugely important to help free an entire country from shocking human rights abuses.

That country is Mexico and it is currently at its worst:

* You might have heard of 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. Well a year and a half later they’re still missing. The government keeps ducking away and refusing to meaningfully engage with the independent group of expert investigators appointed by the Inter American Commission for Human Rights.
* Did you read those stories about murdered journalists that made headlines in the UK? Well unfortunately they are more common than you think, especially in the state of Veracruz – just not all of them get internationally reported.
* Did you hear about the president’s ostentatious mansion, built by the same developers who have won the biggest infrastructure projects in the country since Peña Nieto came to power? Well the investigative journalists who uncovered the corruption scandal were silenced, while the president and his wife were ‘found squeaky clean’.

As a UK based organization JMN works to raise awareness of the Mexican situation. We also function as a channel for fellow Mexico based organizations, experts, victims and thought leaders to reach out to British institutions and public opinion. This will make the movement stronger, louder and impossible to ignore. But we need your help. All your donations will be used to increase pressure on the Mexican government to finally be accountable, responsible and respectful of its citizens’ rights. Also raise public awareness of the human rights situation in Mexico by all avenues open to us and support the parents of the disappeared students.

Please join us on the:

* Sunday 8th May 2016 at 9:00AM
for the Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon 2016

*Saturday 7th May 2016 at 3:00PM
for the Run Hackney 5k 2016

Hackney Marshes, Homerton Road, London Borough of Hackney, London E9 5PF

Thanks for your help!

Get in touch with us:
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JMN team members:
Lila Caballero
Jack Cattell
Laura Alvarez
Lupita Casillas
Pablo Allison
Marisa Polin
Laura Morales

Marchas por Ayotzinapa. De la indignación a la digna acción


Da cuenta de las movilizaciones de la sociedad en torno a las tres primeras Jornadas Globales por Ayotzinapa en rechazo a la impunidad, la injusticia y la desigualdad representada por la desaparición forzada de los 43 estudiantes de la Normal Rural Isidro Burgos. Movilizaciones aglutinadas bajo la consigna “¡Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos!”. Recupera la repercusión global de las acciones locales y la solidaridad global en la exigencia local, sustentadas en el papel de las redes sociales como herramientas de compresión del tiempo y el espacio.