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”.
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