Treatment of persons collecting and delivering food, money and clothing for peasants in the State of Veracruz (1998-2000) [MEX36538.E]

Further to the information provided in MEX34223.E of 2 May 2000, no reports specifically referring to a treatment of persons collecting and delivering food, money and clothing for peasants in the State of Veracruz, could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Various sources report severe droughts in mid-1998, 1999 and 2000, and torrential rains in late-1998 and 1999, which caused devastation in Veracruz and other states, leaving several communities in need of basic supplies. Several reports refer to assistance efforts, particularly by government and non-government agencies, including security forces and the Catholic Church organization Caritas. However, some articles refer to the problems in the distribution of aid in some areas and limited or non-existent government assistance to some communities, although without reference to a specific treatment of those involved in such distribution or assistance efforts.

For example, in October 1999 Excelsior reported that 536 medical brigades were working non-stop to assist the 1,200 communities severely affected by floods in Veracruz and three other states (20 Oct. 1999), while La Jornada reported on several Veracruz communities devastated by floods receiving some assistance while others had to fend for themselves to establish minimal links of supplies (11 Oct. 1999).

Veracruz was reported in 1998 as having

a population of 7 million in 210 districts, out of which 120 are isolated, rural and marginalized areas. The remaining districts are industrialized, centred around the port of Veracruz. In addition, there are 17,000 settlements or communities within the State, out of which 6 are in Xalapa. The State has a high percentage of indigenous populations, representing 10 languages and ethnic regions (UNHCHR 23 Feb. 1998).

Please note that various sources refer to some areas of Veracruz with indigenous communities, such as the Huasteca mountains, as reporting conflicts involving ranchers or farmers, indigenous peasants, and security forces.

For example, a 1998 report on Mexico of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) refers to a "deepening conflict" where indigenous peasants and communities of the Huastecas in Veracruz and Hidalgo states were targets of abuse by hired gunmen or security forces (IACHR 1998, Secs. 176-78, 180-82). The report includes a general statement to the effect that the IACHR "has noted the considerable efforts made by different State organs to control the situation of increasing violence that has broken out in the country," although without specifics on the efforts or the areas where these had been implemented (ibid. Sec. 681). The complete report can be found in the REFWORLD database.

The Mexican human rights organization Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez (PRODH) reported in early 1999 harassment and threats against travelling Zapatista "sympathizers and delegates" in Veracruz and other states, by various state, municipal and federal authorities (PRODH 1999, Ch. 6).

An October 1999 article based on reports by two local human rights organizations states that in a region of Veracruz with a significant indigenous Nahua population, with the particular example of the community Xococapa, despite military presence established since 1997 robberies along the roads had increased as had the discontent and insecurity of inhabitants (La Jornada12 Oct. 1999).

Although these reports provide examples or statistics of abuses in Veracruz, these did not include specific references to persons involved in the collection or distribution of supplies for peasants.

The Research Directorate was unable to contact local human rights organizations within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez (PRODH), Mexico City. 1999. Promedhio: Represión y violencia política en México, Enero-Abril 1999. [Accessed 19 Feb. 2001]

Excelsior [Mexico City]. 20 October 1999. Pablo Gonzalez et al. "Crítica Falta de Víveres: Cruz Roja." [Accessed 19 Feb. 2001]

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Washington, DC. 1998. Country Report(Mexico 1998. (REFWORLD)

La Jornada [Mexico City]. 12 October 1999. "Xococapa, Veracruz: Con el Ejército encima." [accessed 20 Feb. 2001]

_____. 11 October 1999. Juan Antonio Zúñiga M. "Devastada, toda la zona de acceso a Totonacapan." [accessed 20 Feb. 2001]

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), Geneva. 23 February 1998. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography: Mexico. (E/CN.4/1998/101/Add.2) (REFWORLD)