On Tuesday 27 July was published in an article in El Sur de Acapulco declarations made by the Guerrero governor Zefererino Torreblanca regarding the imprisonment of Raúl Hernández and his designation as a politicla prisoner by Amnesty International (AI). He insinuated that AI is mistaken in this case, saying that “if the state-government is sure that it will be accused, it should not retire [the charges],” and that “defense of human rights is confused with legality, since there is evidence.” AI responded with a pronouncement: “Amnesty International takes up cases of prisoners of conscience only following copious analysis of a given case that allows it to conclude not only regarding the innocence of the processed person, but also [...] of the form in which the justice system is utilized on occasion to persecute leaders, social activists, and individuals for their ethnic origin, sex, social condition–and if they are human-rights defenders.” Hernández was detained in 2008 for a supposed homicide of an informant of the Mexican army. The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights is organizing the defense of Raúl Hernández and has already shown all the evidence for the innocence of the member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM). The sentence is expecte dto be announced during the first half of the month of August.
On Wednesday 28 July, a month after the appearance of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), a forum was held on environmental defenders and criminalization of social protest in the installations of hte Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Center ProDH) in Mexico City. Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera are members of the Organization of Ecological Campesinos of the Sierra of Petatlán and Coyucade Catalán (OCESP); they will have their audience against the Mexican State this month in San José, Costa Rica. Both environmental defenders were detained and tortured by the Mexican army in 1990 for crimes they did not commit. In 2000 they were sentenced to prison for a term of between 6 and 10 years. After having presented the case to the IACHR in 2001, they were released without having been exonerated for the crimes they were charged with.
For more information (in Spanish):
Zeferino insinuates that he is sure of the accusation against the indigenous prisoner of conscience of Ayutla (El Sur de Acapulco, 27 July)
Environmental defenders: the new patriots (CentroProdh, 29 July)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):