Learn about the drama of those displaced by drug trafficking in Guerrero

The forced displacement in Guerrero has proportions of crime against humanity. It is made possible by an accumulation of crimes committed permanently by authorities and cartels. In the state one lives, more than a vacuum of power, a deviation of power. Hundreds of communities, unarmed before a "military-political narco-state".

Federal police of Mexico
Federal police of Mexico

Guerrero has lived for years the weakening of the rule of law. This situation was exploited by "organized crime", which acted unchecked and unpunished, by the inability of the state government and municipal governments to ensure public safety and access to justice. Violence has reached its maximum expression to the extent of confronting the population. How to recompose the fragmented social fabric?

This state of affairs became the commission of crimes: homicides, extortions, disappearances, theft of property ... and also led to internal forced displacement. As these crimes were not sanctioned, the violations to various human rights of the population increased: protection of life, liberty, personal and family integrity, work, property and possessions, access to justice and public safety.

The National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) had already highlighted, in its Special Report on the Self-Defense Groups and Public Security in the State of Guerrero, 2013, that public security is a non-delegable state function, since only authorities of the three levels of government are those who are obliged to guarantee the physical integrity, property and rights of the people, as well as to preserve public freedom, order and peace. This must be interpreted in conjunction with Article 17, first paragraph, of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, which prohibits justice by own hand and the exercise of violence to claim rights.

With the beginning of the fight against drug trafficking in Mexico, the reaction of criminal groups was violence against citizens, charging "quotas", kidnapping, extorting, disappearing people, murdering. As a social reaction to the omission of the State in matters of public security, groups of civilians who called themselves "self-defense groups" were formed, in order to protect themselves, their families, their properties and possessions from the attack against these legal rights on the part of organized crime groups.

It is striking that the authorities have been aware of the situation that has been generated in the state, since in many cases it is the authorities themselves that help the communities, before the acts of violence, to leave their lands. There are few references to effective actions by the authorities to stop this violence and prevent people from being forced to move. The inability to effectively confront and combat the criminal groups that generate the violence that results in the forced displacement of entire communities is remarkable. So much so, that they tend to be the authorities themselves who support people to move and flee their homes.

This generates what we call "power vacuum".

The First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) has referred to the "deviation and excess of power" as a distorted use of discretional powers, use that, therefore, becomes arbitrary.

This famous figure is recognized legally and jurisprudentially in Latin America and Europe, but in Mexico, it is a term that, in spite of practice, in theory, is hardly being placed. The first time this concept was used for the case of Mexico was when the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH), in its report 43/96, on the case of General Gallardo, regarding the actions of the Mexican State, referred to to the deviation of power as an anomalous attitude of the latter, whose organs and authorities used their legal powers for purposes other than those established in the Mexican legal system, resorting to apparently legal actions. Later this concept is recognized and applied to the situation in which we live by the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples (TPP), who in its ruling of 2014 for Mexico refers:

"The deviation of power in Mexico has become a crime that advances invisible and silent. Well, it is not only that their results are blurred and silenced, but by its very nature and mechanism of commission it is a crime that, despite the empirical evidence, seems not to have been committed and, therefore, its perpetrators do not seem to be it The deviation has to do with the exercise of attributions in principle foreseen in the own norms, but whose particular, general, institutional and constitutional purpose, during the process in which the norms are produced, interpreted and applied, transmutes in a different, autonomous purpose and that responds to its own logic and to independent interests of law and justice. "

What is distorted by the deviation of power as a crime is not only the objective of the norm, or of the institution, but that of the law itself. And since the law responds to the needs and liberties of the communities it governs, then the misuse of power is a crime that implies the distortion of the right and ignorance of such needs and freedoms. Therefore, misuse of power is the basic crime against the rights of peoples.

It is a crime whose commission is fraudulent since it is carried out in the context of the implementation and development of a project of a different and contradictory nation that could be derived from the Mexican Constitution. This vacuum and deviation of power have generated that we live today a "narco-state-politico-military" and this is the great challenge for this new government: how to stop and end this state so far from the law and justice.

We understand that this deviation from the political power of the Mexican State is composed of a set of anomalous attitudes (which, as has been analyzed, range from abuse of mandate to the instrumentalization of laws and institutions) deployed by the ruling politicians and powers in turn, which through acts of corruption, manipulation of institutions, abusive use of rights, legislative omission, legalization of injustice and barbarism, or applying a false citizenship of the State, use the powers and powers of the institution to biased the freedom of action of the and to unilaterally favor the freedom of action of powerful cacique groups, criminal, or to provide greater freedom to the State itself.

In addition, it is a crime with degrees of authorship and participation, since there are intellectual authors (United States and international financial organizations), direct authors (the Mexican State as a collective legal entity), mediated authors (caciques, local businessmen and transnationals and criminal groups that have benefited), the accomplices (such as the organic intellectuals who have built the ideology of the period) and instigators (the group of other States and other international bodies that pushed for the Mexican State to act in the same manner that did it).

The deviation of political power sustained by the State has a central component: the need to exhaustively fragment social subjects, which implies the systematic dismantling of all forms of collective organization, whether the ancestral forms of peasant and indigenous communities or the most modern forms of anti-capitalist resocialization that belong to the workers, the inhabitants of the cities, the young people, women, etc., or the peasants themselves.

With this, authorities and criminals have managed to appropriate the territory without the communities can defend themselves, without the resistance of the people. In this deviation of power, the restrictions on freedoms do not respond to the need to resolve any public interest, nor any real historical emergency, because it is about restrictions of fundamental rights, dynamics of extreme exclusion and even the perpetration of crimes of humanity, such as extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture, extermination and forced displacement.

Here the most important thing is to recognize the state of affairs in which we find ourselves and understand this deviation of power as a crime of State, at the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

We can demonstrate the above with a few brief examples. Let's see the first one. Since 1999, human rights organizations have been denouncing the situation in Guerrero regarding the felling of trees in the Sierra de Petatlán, which led to the repression of the communities and the Organization of Ecological Peasants of the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca. de Catalán, (OCESP) and the arrest of ecologists Rodolfo and Teodoro for defending the forests and trying to stop this immoderate logging.

From that time until 2009, atrocities and incursions against the communities were committed. Hundreds of extrajudicial executions have been documented, causing the departure of women and children from the communities. The first displaced were from the communities of Coyuca de Catalán and Petatlán (case of La Laguna).

In 2010, the case was brought before the IACHR. Precautionary measures were requested, which were denied when assessing that the number of displaced persons reported at around 3,000 was not compared with displaced Colombians who reached 30,000, and especially if the Mexican government denied the existence of these.

The Mexican government refused to recognize the existence of displaced persons on that occasion, although since 2003, through the response to the report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Internally Displaced Persons, the country officially recognized the existence of the Internal Forced Displaced in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Sinaloa, a situation that has prevailed since then and that has not increased since then.

Second case

The federal government recognized in the very bases of the National Program for the Social Prevention of Violence and Crime and the Installation of the Inter-Secretarial Commission 2013, that among the factors that have most influenced the increase in violence in our country, the most important are the disputes between criminal organizations dedicated to drug trafficking. This assertion was accepted since 2010 with information from the National Center for the Prevention of Crime and Citizen Participation.

In this regard, in the Special Report on the Self-Defense Groups and Public Security in the State of Guerrero, published in 2013, as well as in the Special Report on the Self-Defense Groups of the State of Michoacán and the Violations of Human Rights Related to The Conflict, published in 2015 by the CNDH, reiterated that the authorities of the three levels of government are obliged to guarantee the physical integrity, property, and rights of the people and to preserve public freedom, order, and peace. Public safety is a human right that is provided to people through preventive or security measures that must be timely and effectively applied.

In addition, this right constitutes a fundamental factor for the consolidation of the system of freedoms and the guarantee of unrestricted respect in the exercise, protection, and promotion of human rights, which entails the requirement of protection of public order. However, in the information sent by the then Human Rights Unit of the Ministry of the Interior (official letter UDDH / 911 / DGAEI / 920/2015) it was concluded that in Mexico "the existence of any of the necessary elements for the the presence of forced internal displacement, which makes it impossible to recognize them, "adding that" although there is mobility due to violence, violence is not widespread ".

Third case

According to the Diagnosis: Forced displacement and protection needs, generated by new forms of violence and crime in Central America, prepared by the International Center for the Human Rights of Migrants, carried out at the request of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2012, the forced displacement of people is due to new forms of violence and crime, including organized crime. A great problem of national character is one of the disputes between criminal groups. These conflicts affect entire communities that, faced with the threat of aggression or forced recruitment of adolescents, youth and adults, these people choose to leave their places of origin or residence and move to spaces where they can survive in peace.

Among those criminal groups are those dedicated to drug trafficking, which is causing internal forced displacement. Therefore, it is not only necessary to develop actions against the consumption of drugs and the treatment of people with addictions, but also to look at the victims of systemic violence because of the groups that handle illegal drugs. According to the documented, the displacements due to violence are presented in a context of struggle between the cartels through drug transport routes and production fields, since the presence of groups of organized crime in dispute over the dominance of the square It causes confrontations that affect the entire population and, in some cases, only two options are presented to the population: collaborating in illegal acts or leaving their place of residence.

The Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) reported in 2013 that it had not participated in specific actions of humanitarian aid and protection of displaced persons in the country. However, in various testimonies gathered during an on-site visit, the participation of the Army in various security actions and the transfer of displaced persons was mentioned. The aforementioned was verified with a request for information made to the municipal government of Teloloapan, Guerrero, who reported that it is known of some cases of internal forced displacement (without specifying the number of people).

And before the questioning of what? type of actions have been carried out to address the problem of violence in the region, responded that in that municipality everything related to public safety and violence is? being attended directly by the Tierra Caliente operative commands coordinated by the Sedena, the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar) and the Federal Police. They reaffirm that they do not have protocols of action in the municipality for the care of victims of internal forced displacement and that the victims have been treated based on programs of the Municipal DIF: medical assistance and pantry and delivery of slides.

Fourth case

The State Human Rights Commission of Guerrero (Coddehum) reported that in 2011 it learned of a case of collective displacement in La Laguna, municipality of Coyuca de Catalán, in which 164 people were affected, threatened by armed groups of communities of the same municipality. In 2012, it learned of another case in the same area in which 180 people are affected, from which Recommendation 35/2012 was issued, in which the violation of the right of residence was analyzed and recommended the members of the Municipal Council Constitutional of Trujano, Guerrero, respect the right of the complainant to the residence, be reinstated to his residence and be guaranteed his peaceful stay.

In 2013, Coddehum documented the displacement of 542 people, from around 20 communities in the municipality of San Miguel Totolapan (the communities of Rancho Viejo, Buena Vista de los Hurtado, Tetela de Río, El Caracol, Ixtayotla, El Capire, El Organ, La Laguna de Comunitlali, Las Shascuitas, The Tables II of the Ejido of San Juan Tetehuetla) All cases of displacement derived from threats by organized crime groups. And in spite of the fact that precautionary measures were requested on four occasions from various state authorities, in order to guarantee that displaced families had access to housing, education, health, employment, productive projects, and security, in a way that would improve their living conditions, The problem was not practically addressed. All this reported was settled in the complaint file CODDEHUM-CRZN / 092/2011-II, by which Recommendation 035/2012 was issued. This Recommendation was accepted and partially fulfilled by the authority to which it was addressed.

In 2014, these reports, both national and international, as well as the constant demands of social and human rights organizations, led to the enactment of Law 487 to Prevent and Address Internal Displacement in the State of Guerrero (published in the Government Official Newspaper). of the State of Guerrero, on Tuesday, July 22, 2014).

For its part, the Program for Integral Attention to Victims 2014-2018, approved by the full National Victim Assistance System of which the Ministry of the Interior is a part, includes in its fourth objective the strategy of "promoting adequate care for victims of forced internal displacement ", which must be developed through several lines of action.

The government of Guerrero, when questioned in relation to alleged acts of displacement in 2015 and early 2016, made known by the media, reported on both occasions to be unaware of the displacement events that point to it. He also stated that the state government agencies devoted to the care of displaced persons are already acting in accordance with Law 487 to Prevent and Address the Internal Displacement of the State of Guerrero.

Fifth case

The CNDH indicates, in its most recent special report on internal forced displacement, that since 2017 about 35,433 people have left the place where they lived. In nine of every 10 cases, the origin of the displacement was the violence unleashed in the zones. The agency stresses that there is an inability of the government to effectively confront and combat the criminal groups that generate insecurity.

It warns human rights violations by the omission of the authorities of the three spheres of government, by not taking actions to prevent and control the causes that generate forced mobility of social groups. In addition to this, attention to the needs provided to the victims of displacement is scarce or null in most cases.

The foregoing is supported by the Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Mexico, published by the IACHR in 2015, which insists on the seriousness of the problem of internal forced displacement in our country, due to the absence of official figures and the lack of recognition on the part of the Mexican authorities of the existence of this problem, which causes its invisibility. The document warns that internal forced displacement has not been documented and analyzed comprehensively by the State, which constitutes the main obstacle facing the integral response that Mexico must give to this phenomenon.

This omission has violated human rights and, more than that, the continued impunity is causing these serious crimes to reach proportions of crimes against humanity. Before the arrival of criminal groups in a community, the authority must carry out actions in order to apprehend these people according to the law and thus safeguard social tranquility.

The displacements have been occurring due to the absence of authority and the refusal to go to certain areas because of the risk that this represents. By leaving unprotected the population at risk, the Public Security authorities are generating impunity and an incentive to these groups to continue affecting the communities.

We reiterate that in Mexico, and especially in Guerrero, we live a vacuum and deviation of power. It is urgent to address this situation in order to put an end to this politico-military narco-state that has generated so many victims of State violence.

The original text of this article was published by the Contra Linea at the following address: https://www.contralinea.com.mx/archivo-revista/2019/02/05/guerrero-el-drama-de-los-desplazados-por-el-narcotrafico/

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