Press Release #2
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Mexico City, Tuesday May 30th, 2006
SECOND PRESS RELEASE, INTERNATIONAL CIVIL COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS OBSERVATION, MEXICO
At the Commission's office we received the first testimonies of various civil society organizations in Mexico. Among them were those of Edgar Cortez of the "Todos los Derechos para Todos" (All Rights For All) Network, as well as Miguel Alvarez, Pablo Romo and Enrique Pineda of "Servicios y Asesoria para la paz" (Services and Counselling for Peace). These human rights specialists emphasized, "the significance of the events in Atenco is great, given the symbolic value of this population in civil resistance that developed as a result of their struggle against the construction of an airport on their land and given their exemplary position in support and solidarity of other struggles in the region".
During the afternoon we also spoke with Juan de Dios Hernandez Monje and Pedro David Suarez, two lawyers of a legal team who are following up on the events of Atenco.
They presented the commission with the following letter, written by the political prisoners of Atenco. "Brothers-they write from the jail in Santiaguito- despite the beating and the rape of women of Atenco, despite having also raped one man, killed a child, tried to take away what is ours; here among the cries of those imprisoned and despite the harassment by those inside the jail; we try to forget what was done to us, to forget the smell of blood, the cries, the beatings and the threats". They added, "Please review responsibly the irregularities and anomalies of our case and make them public in the world. We would like to bring to your attention that we are all on hunger strike. [ ] When there is justice there will be no more poor or rich, no jails, and no laws".
During the course of the day we also spoke to various youth who were detained during the operative in the early morning on May 4th in San Salvador Atenco. According to their testimonies, they were"held hostage by the Federal Preventive Police (Policia Federal Preventiva)" as well as victims of violations and abuse while being taken to jail. One of them presented information about the treatment of Maria Sostres, one of the Catalan women who were also detained in Atenco. During the trip to the penitentiary he had been thrown on the floor of the truck next to her.
During the afternoon, a delegation of the commission conducted an interview with members of the "Popular Front in Defence of the Land" ("Frente Popular en Defensa de la Tierra") where a plenary session of the Otra Campaña (the Other Campaign) was taking place, in order to plan the visit to San Salvador Atenco. There, a letter was also presented to the Delegado Zero, in order to reach members of the Otra Campaña and communicate to them: "we will draft an urgent report regarding the events, considering their significance as well as the vulnerability of individual and collective rights of affected organizations, populations, and persons".
Today, Tuesday May 30, the majority of the members of the Commission have travelled to San Salvador Atenco, having been asked to appear by the "Frente Popular en Defensa de la Tierra", in order to collect testimonies (including interviews, documentation, photographs) in the place where the abuses took place.
According to Ignacio Garcia Garcia, spokesperson for the commission "we consider our work yesterday to be developing in a very positive way: We have received significant testimonies, and have received documentation that is of high importance to the work we propose ourselves. We are carrying forward interviews with institutional and social actors, and the responses to our requests have been positive. We would like to thank all of those who provided us with information, and would like to thank in advance the many others who will do likewise in the following days".
Address: Fray Servando Teresa de Mier 92, second floor (in the Autonomous University of Mexico City)
May 29th June 4th (9AM-9PM)
Telephone (0052) 55785563