On Friday 6 August there was held an audience on the case of Raúl Hernández Abundio who, according to his counsel, has been unjustly accused of the murder of an army-informant in January 2008. Such claims notwithstanding, the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) of Guerrero has requested Hernández Abundio be given the maximum sentence of 50 years. It should be remembered that the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, which is heading the defense of Hernández Abundio, member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM), has already invalidated previous evidence. Furthermore, the judge who visited the crime-scene has confirmed that the declaration of the principal witness in the case is incorrect and hence affirmed that Hernández Abundio could not have committed the murder. The PGJE also has not taken into account the declarations of ocular witnesses who established that Raúl Hernández was not in the vicinity where the crime occurred when it did. Following this audience, the judge will have 10 days to release the corresponding sentence.
Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer with Tlachinollan, stressed that “this is a clear indication that the state government–the government of Zeferino Torreblanca–continues with its sober and deliberate intention to persecute human-rights defenders and other social activists in Guerrero; it is clear evidence because of the lack of evidence, because the accusation is nonsense.” Similarly, Amnesty International (AI) condemned the conclusions of the PGJE in a 7 August press-release. The adjunct director of the AI Program for the Americas, Kerrie Howard, declared that “[t]he decision to continue [with the case] despite the fabricated charges of murder against Raúl Hernández is part of a systematic campaign of the Mexican authorities against members of this indigenous community who defend the human rights of their people.” Tlachinollan circulated a model letter directed at the Guerrero Judicial Power to request justice and liberty for Raúl Hernández.
For more information (in Spanish):
AI condemns accusation against indigenous Mexican (La Jornada, 8 August)
Official repression, ratification of charges against Hernández: NGO (La Jornada, 7 August)
Amnesty International press-release (7 August)
Model-letter to the Judicial Power (Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Guerrero: 2nd anniversary of the imprisonment of Raúl Hernández (23 April 2010)