On Friday 12 August and Saturday 13 August, human-rights defenders and journalists met to hold the Fourth National Meeting, which was originally called for by the Solidarity Network Decade against Impunity, the Program of Human Rights of the Ibero-American University of Mexico City and the ProDH Center. In the declaration of the meeting, participants recalled that all persons who either individually or collectively promote and request the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental rights whether nationally or internationally are to be considered human-rights defenders. For this reason, one’s professional experience or degree of pertenance to a given civil-society organization does not matter, insofar as the methods employed to defend human rights are to be found compatible with the same.
Participants also expressed their concern for the situation of human rights in Mexico. They indicated that the situation has suffered a grave relapse in light of the context of violence that prevails under the so-called war on drugs. Alejandro Nuño, director of the Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil), noted it was an advance that “the agreement for the creation of the mechanism of protection of defenders be published in the Official Daily of the Federation (DOF); regardless, it should be required that organizations be consulted so that there be a real instrumentation of the mechanisms and so that the investigation of aggression and death-threats be considered an indisputable part of protection.” Cuahthémoc Ramírez, secretary of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM), denounced that on Wednesday 10 August at midnight, some seven armed men identified as informants for the Army attempted to harass the offices of his organization. Magdalena López Paulino, from the Solidarity Network Decade against Impunity, indicated that in Los Pinos more excuses are sought so as not to observe the orders of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), as in the cases of the ecologist campesinos Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera.
For more information (in Spanish):
Video de la rueda de prensa (Centro Prodh, 13 August)
El mecanismo de SG en pro de activistas, posible plan para lavar la cara al gobierno (La Jornada, 13 August)
Defensores de Derechos Humanos exigen a Calderón garantías para su labor (Proceso, 14 August)
Grave retroceso en derechos humanos: ONG (La Jornada, 14 August)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):