The Justice Center for Peace and Development (CEPAD) met in Guadalajara to submit its annual report on human rights in the state of Jalisco. The general consensus: 2011 was not a good year for human rights.
“2011 can be defined by a series of breaches of human rights by the authorities of the state and the municipalities…We have shown an escalation of unprecedented violence in the state, and at the same time we see the inability and the inaction by the authorities in law enforcement and public security,” said César Octavio Perez Veronica,the organization’s director of legal strategy.
This comment certainly applies to the situation at Tenacatita, which was one of the cases reviewed during the conference.
As Maricarmen Rello reports for Milenio, “In the presence of activists and academics, Perez Veronica exposed some of the paradigmatic cases of 2011: serious violations of human rights such as the ongoing harassment of the inhabitants of Temacapulín, who are opposed to the construction of the El Zapotillo dam that will flood its people; harassment and persecution of the community of Mezcala and its defenders; the same situation toward the defenders who have denounced environmental damage to the Santiago River ; and finally the closure, for one year and ten months, of the road to the playa Tenacatita, where neighbors with 30 years of settlement were evicted and have lost their source of work.”
Dolores Morfín Moreno (known to some of us as Lola, restauranteur and volleyball player extraordinaire) traveled from El Rebalsito to speak at the conference about the continued illegal occupation of Tenacatita. Morfín Moreno reproached the the Jalisco State Commision of Human Rights (CEDHJ) for shutting its doors to the people of Tenacatita. “We are searching for human rights and they don’t do anything. We are evicted and we have nothing.” In denouncing the CEDHJ, she echoed a general theme of the conference.
CEPAD lambasted the CEDHJ, accusing the state organization of negligence. “It’s a crisis year for human rights. We are beyond all the norms. Violence is overflowing due to the inabilities of the authorities,” César Pérez Verónica emphasized. CEPAD representatives noted that, as in the case of Tencatita, citizens who report human rights violations to the CEDHJ are in no way guaranteed an investigation. “The inability and inaction of the state commission has led only to an increase in the violations of human rights,” Pérez Verónica stated.