On 9 May, 37 deputies from the Oaxacan legislature named Arturo Peimbert Calvo president of the Defense Committee for the Human Rights of the Oaxacan People (DDHPO). The proposal made by the Permanent Commission on Human Rights from the LXI Legislature included Cira Mariana Morales Ramos, Arturo de Jesús Peimbert Calvo, and Yesica Sánchez Maya, who was selected from 21 persons who registered to compete for this citizens’ charge. During the same session, the Oaxacan Congress also elected the future members of the DDHPO.
Militants from different organizations who were supporting the other candidates protested in the hall of sessions in the Chamber of Deputies, carrying banners like “We demand real change,” “No to impositions,” “No to pretense, we call for citizens’ defense,” “With the exercise of this day in the Chamber of Deputies we see that only what we knew was confirmed, because Gabino Cué has intervened in the process of the election of ombudsman,” as Sánchez Maya claimed. She noted that the decision would be appealed for Peimbert Calvo to be a governmental official, the reason for which, she says, in accordance with the stipulations made by the law, he could not come to be ombudsman.
Peimbert Calvo for his part has minimized the importance of the protests, instead affirming that the Oaxacan Constitution and the new law on human rights only inhibit the participation of high-ranking officials while he merely sought an intermediary position: “I understand that they are allied with my opponent Yésica Sánchez Maya, who obtained only 1 of the 38 votes for the local deputies who voted for my proposal. The criticism is valid; it is part of the right of free expression that must be protected.” He assured that he would work firmly to rebuild the social fabric of Oaxaca that has been so damaged by social conflict in the past few years.
On 10 May, civil-society organizations reiterated in a press-release that “The imposition of the ex-official of the Executive, Arturo Peimbert Calvo, beyond constituting treason to Oaxacan society, whose demand in the latest years has been for independence and the development of autonomous citizens’ organizations, profoundly violates the recently approved Law for the Defense of Human Rights of the People of Oaxaca.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Boletín de prensa de OSC (10 de mayo de 2012)
Congreso de Oaxaca elige nuevo ombudsman (El Universal, 9 de mayo de 2012)
Peimbert nuevo Ombudsman de Oaxaca; activistas acusan imposición(Milenio, 9 de mayo de 2012)
Desestima Ombudsman de Oaxaca protestas en su contra (Milenio, 9 de mayo de 2012)
Lamentamos la simulación: Yésica Sánchez Maya (3 min., video)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Oaxaca: initiative for Law to Defend Human Rights is presented (18 October 2011)