Guerrero: NGOs denounce grave negligence in the investigation of the killing of 2 Mixteco leaders

January 13, 2010

Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo

On the 28th of December 2009, the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) published a recommendation to various authorities of the state of Guerrero regarding the case of two leaders of the Organization for the Future of the Mixteco People (OFPM), Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, who were originally abducted in February 2009 and later discovered to be dead.  When found, their bodies indicated severe physical abuse.

In a joint letter, the widows of these Mixteco leaders together with several human-rights organizations from Guerrero and Mexico City denounced the glaring omissions and general negligence of the Public Ministry and municipal and state governments in the case:  first for failing seriously to have investigated the whereabouts of Raúl and Manuel in the first few days of their disappearance, and also for not adequately pursuing those responsible for their deaths.

In addition, the letter’s authors reproach the CNDH’s publication on the matter, stating that it “at no point discloses that Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas in fact were human-rights defenders or that their murders likely resulted from their very promotion of these rights.”

To read the communiqué in full (in Spanish):

The government of Guerrero was negligent in its investigation of the extrajudicial executions of Raúl and Manuel (All Rights for All, 04/01/10)

To read the CNDH’s recommendation on the case (in Spanish):

Recommendation 078/2009

For more information (in Spanish):

The CNDH releases a recommendation to the government of Guerrero (article, Milenio Online, 04/01/10)

The CNDH requests historical truth in the killing of Mixtecos (article, El Sur de Acapulco, 04/01/10)

Silenced: violence against human-rights defenders in southern Mexico (PBI-Mexico report, May 2009)

For more information on SIPAZ:

Guerrero: the bodies of two mixteco leaders, reported disappeared since February 13, are found (SIPAZ blog, 02/24/09)

Guerrero: National and international organizations demand an investigation into the killing of the two human rights defenders (SIPAZ blog, 03/02/09)

Guerrero: The IACHR grants precautionary measures to 107 human rights defenders in Guerrero (SIPAZ blog, 04/05/09)

Presentation by OPIM and OPFM (SIPAZ document, in Spanish)


Guerrero: The IACHR grants precautionary measures to 107 human rights defenders in Guerrero

May 4, 2009

On April 21, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) approved a resolution which demanded that the Federal Government and the Government of the Guerrero implement measures of protection of 107 human rights defenders in the state of Guerrero. 41 from the Organization of the Indigenous Me’phaa People (OPIM), the members of the Organization of the Future of the Mixteco People (OFPM) and the family members of Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, the two human rights defenders who were murdered in February of 2009, and the members of the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CDHM Tlachinollan).

The precautionary measures were granted by way of a request made on April 7 and they demonstrate the lack of adequate conditions for the realization of the work of human rights defenders in the state of Guerrero. After the forced disappearance and the extrajudicial execution of Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, the threats against human rights defenders have intensified. There have been constant denunciations of death threats against the families of Lucas Lucía and Ponce Rosas, as well as threats against the members of the CDHM Tlachinollan. In addition the members of the OPIM have received threats because of their work in the region of Ayutla de los Libres.

In response to the call of national and international human rights organizations to implement measures of protection in favor of human rights defenders in Guerrero, the State Government stated that it could not guarantee special protection for a few citizens. According the Jornada of Guerrero, the Secretary of Government, Guillermo Ramírez Ramos, stated that “not only social organizations have the right to protection”. In response Abel Barrera, the director of the CDHM Tlachinollan, denounced the lack of political will to protect the work of human rights defenders.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Denuncian al país por violaciones a indígenas, El Universal, 21/4/09.

Demanda CIDH protección para defensores ante nuevas amenazas, La Jornada Guerrero, 22/4/09.

Rechaza el gobierno de Torreblanca proteger a defensores de derechos, La Jornada Guerrero, 23/4/09.

For More Information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Hostilities and aggressions continue against human rights defenders, SIPAZ Blog, (4/2).

 

 

Guerrero: National and international organizations demand an investigation into the killing of the two human rights defenders, SIPAZ Blog, (3/2)

Guerrero: the bodies of two mixteco leaders, reported dissapeared since February 13, are found, SIPAZ Blog, (2/24).


Guerrero: Hostilities and aggressions continue against human rights defenders

April 2, 2009

The director of the CDHM Tlachinollan, Abel Barrera

On March 25, the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CDHM Tlachinollan) denounced, in a letter signed by hundreds of national and international organizations, that in recent weeks aggressions and threats against human rights defenders have intensified. They denounced hostilities against the wives of Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, the two murdered indigenous human rights defenders, and also hostilities against Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, the president of the Indigenous Me’phaa Peoples Organization (OPIM), who has received death threats for her work as a human rights defender.

The CDHM Tlachinollan also denounced aggressions and hostilities against its own members. According to a press release, some of its members were followed in a threatening manner while they were traveling in Ayutla de los Libres. The CDHM Tlachinollan stated: “The organizations of human rights defenders are living in an intolerable atmosphere for their work as human rights defenders in the state of Guerrero and in reality, the search for justice in the case of the disappearance and murder of the two human rights defender has generated a situation of high risk for those demanding a thorough investigation and punishment for those responsible. In this respect we must declare that this situation is a consequence of the failure of the local authorities to carry out their obligations.”

On March 26, the CDHM Tlachinollan announced that it was temporarily closing its offices in Ayutla de los Libres because of a lack security related to the recent intensification of hostilities against human rights defenders. Abel Barrera Hernández, the director of the Center, stated that this was a “drastic decision” “brought on by the lack of conditions for human rights defenders in one of the poorest regions of the country, where the government has opted for militarization”.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Se intensifican agresiones contra defensores de derechos humanos en Guerrero, CDHM Tlachinollan, 25/3.

Cierra centro de derechos humanos en Guerrero por amenazas, PROCESO, 25/3.

Por falta de garantías, Tlachinollan anuncia cierre de oficina en Ayutla, La Jornada Guerrero, 25/3.


Guerrero: National and international organizations demand an investigation into the killing of the two human rights defenders

March 2, 2009

National and International organizations from the civil society, including SIPAZ, have joined together in order to condemn the extrajudicial executions of­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Raúl Lucas Lucía y Manuel Ponce Rosas, two human rights defenders from the Organization for the Future of the Mixteco People (OFPM). All of these organizations signed a statement written by Insyde (Institute for Security and Democracy) and Fundar (Center of Investigations and Analyis), demanding an immediate and impartial investigation into the forced disappearance and killing of Raúl Lucas and Manuel Ponce. The letter states, “Organizations from Mexico and the rest of the world demand an immediate investigation in order to explain the extrajudicial executions of Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, protect their families integrity, and guarantee reparations for the victims families”.

In addition, the Presidency of the European Union has condemned the torture and extrajudicial executions of the two human rights defenders. In a letter, they state: “the Presidency calls for strict punishment of those responsible, and in addition urges that human rights defenders of the indigenous population be given protection so that more attacks do not occur”.

Also international human rights organizations like Amnesty International (AI), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) of the United Nations have denounced the killing of the human rights defenders.

The letter signed by organizations from the civil society also demands that the Mexican State comply with the recommendations made by the Human Rights Council of the UN as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on February 10. The recommendations include the necessity of “Increasing the effectiveness of preventative measures for the protection of human rights defenders”.

For More Information:

Statement written by Insyde-Fundar and signed by organizations from the civil society.

Mexico: Further Information on Fear for safety, Amnesty International, (2/25).

IACHR CONDEMNS MURDER OF INDIGENOUS LEADERS IN MEXICO, IACHR (2/24).

More Information in Spanish:

Comunicado de la Presidencia de la Unión Europea (25/2)

Condenan CIDH, ONU y AI ejecución de dos defensores de derechos en Guerrero, La Jornada (25/2)

More Information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: the bodies of two mixteco leaders, reported dissapeared since February 13, are found, SIPAZ Blog, (2/24).


Guerrero: the bodies of two mixteco leaders, reported dissapeared since February 13, are found

February 24, 2009

On February 22, 2009, the bodies of two members of the Organization for the Future of the Mixteco People (Organización para el Futuro del Pueblo Mixteco, OFPM), who had been reported disappeared, were discovered. On February 13, Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, president and secretary of the OFPM, were forcibly abducted by 3 armed men who were presumed to be agents of the Ministerial Investigative Police (PIM). These armed men arrived at a public event taking `place in the town of Ayutla de los Libres, they threatened Ponce Rosas and Lucas Lucía, and forced them into a car without license plates.

According to the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CDHM Tlachinollan), “Participating at the same event was the director of Public Security of Ayutla, an ex-military member, Luis José Sánchez Hernández who along with police escorts left the event just minutes before Raúl Lucas and Manual Ponce were abducted in a car without license plates and taken to an unknown location”.

On Sunday morning, February 22, the wives of Lucas Lucía and Ponce Rosas identified their husbands’ bodies in the Forensic Medical Center in Acapulco. The bodies were found buried 80 centimeters underground in plastic bags. Their bodies showed clear signs of torture and execution.

The two members of the OFPM had worked for many years as human rights defenders for indigenous peoples in the mixteco region. Amnesty International, in an urgent action report on the February 16, stated that “the disappearance of Manuel Ponce Rosas and Raúl Lucas Lucía could have been motivated by the work that both have done promoting human rights of the indigenous mixteco people of the region”.

In its communiqué on February 22, the CDHM Tlachinollan stated: “As Human Rights Center we are convinced that the killing of these indigenous human rights defenders is a “crime of the state”, because it has not made guarantees for the safety of human rights defenders so that they can carry out their work, in addition it has failed to ensure that they are not the target of attacks, threats, forced disappearances, and assassination as a consequence of their work”.

For More Information:

Mexico: Alleged enforced disappearance of indigenous rights defenders, Mr Manuel Ponce Rosas and Mr Raúl Lucas Lucía (Frontline Defenders, 2/17)

Urgent Action from Amnesty International “Mexico: Further Information on Fear for safety” (2/25)

More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado del CHDM Tlachinollan (22/2/09)

AU de Amnestia Internacional “Posible desaparición / temor por la seguridad” (16/2/09)

Crimen de Estado, la doble ejecución de líderes mixtecos, asegura ONG: La Jornada (23/2/09)

El doble homicidio, un crimen de Estado, acusa Tlachinollan: La Jornada Guerrero (23/2/09)


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