On October 14th, several human rights organizations presented a report on the situation of human rights workers in Oaxaca. The document contained information compiled in 2008 and the first half of 2009, and highlighted that fact that human rights work is criminalized and subject to persecution.
The report called “A Diagnosis of the Situation of Human Rights Workers in Oaxaca” was released with a press communiqué that denounced “the increase in abuse against human rights workers registered by NGOs, with more frequent cases of intimidation and harassment, as well as an increase in more serious crimes like assault, threats to personal safety, illegal detentions, defamation, discrediting, legal persecution, and others, with the goal of preventing the work of human rights workers to defend and promote human rights and report infringements on those rights.”
Written by Peace Watch Switzerland, the report is based on interviews with 17 organizations working in the defense and promotion of human rights. The report covers subjects such as Impunity, Criminalization of Social Protest, Militarization, Rupture of the Social Fabric, Agricultural Conflict, the Defense of Natural Resources as well as the Electoral Process Leading to 2010. In addition, the report reveals the need for coordination between human rights organizations in order to create “a ‘Working Space for Human Rights Defenders’ where they can share intervention methods as well as monitor the pattern of attacks against human rights workers who promote, defend or organize to demand the validity of human rights.” So far this space is made up of the Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue A.C., Bartolome Carrasco Briseno Human Rights Center A.C., the Mexican Human Rights League A.C., Alternative Education Services A.C., the 25th of November Committee A.C., and the Miguel Agustin Pro Human Rights Center A.C.
For more information (in Spanish):