Guerrero: New Threats against Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, President of the OPIM and Witness in the Inés Fernández Ortega vs. Mexico case

On Wednesday, March 6, 2010, Obtilian Eugenio Manuel—an indigenous Me´phaa, human rights defender in the state of Guerrero, president of the Organization of the Me´phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM, Organización del Pueblo Indígena Me´phaa) and, since April 2009, a recipient of provisional measures ordered by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights—was again the victim of threats made in an anonymous letter directed to her that was found in the OPIM offices.

It is important to note that Obtilia is also a witness in the cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú which will be studied this year by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR). Both women, of the indigenous Me´phaa people, were raped and tortured by members of the military in 2002 amidst a context of repression against social movements and indigenous organizations in the state of Guerrero. To date the cases have not been investigated, the responsible parties have not been sanctioned and there has been no compensation for the damages.

In a public declaration, the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña emphasized: “The majority of the cases of attacks against human rights defenders in the state of Guerrero the facts have not been brought to light, the responsible parties have not been tracked down or been subjected to an indictment under the law. The impunity, the total absence of any investigation or access to justice has made human rights defenders in Guerrero more vulnerable. When the State refuses to comply with its duty to guarantee and protect [the rights defenders] the message is one of impunity for the offenders.”

For More Information:

Account of the events linked to new threats against Obtilia Eugenio Moreno (Tlachinollan, English)

Declaration from the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña (English,16/3/2010)

Amnesty International Urgent Action: Indigenous human rights defender in danger (15/3/2010)

Letter from Tlachinollan and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) soliciting support for the case of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú (Spanish)

More Information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Continued Harassment and Attacks against Human Rights Defenders (Spanish, March 2009)

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