On June 27 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requested from the Mexican government the implementation of an extension of precautionary measures for 41 members of the Organization of the Indigenous Me’phaa/Tlapaneco People (OPIM/OPIT, Organización del Pueblo Indígena Me’phaa/Tlapaneco). This would constitute an extension of the precautionary measures originally implemented by the IACHR in January, 2005 which were extended once before in September, 2007.
The request comes after several threats received by Obtilia Eugenio Manuel among other human rights defenders who pertain to the OPIM/OPIT. The OPIM/OPIT has accompanied the cases of two indigenous women who were raped by members of the Mexican Army (cases brought before the IACHR) as well as several cases of forced sterilization in El Camalote.
According to a report from the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), involvement in these cases has made the OPIM/OPIT the object of “…acts of harassment and intimidation… with the intention of intimidating them and limiting their activities as human rights defenders.” Among the cases that prompted the IACHR to request a new extension was the death of the brother of one of the aforementioned victims of rape as well as the arrest of five members of the OPIM/OPIT on April 17, 2008 who were accompanying the cases of sterilization.
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