Guerrero: Act of recognition on part of Mexican government in case of Inés Fernández Ortega

Act of recognition on part of Mexican government in case of Inés Fernández Ortega (@SIPAZ)

On 6 March, in the name of the Mexican State, Alejandro Poiré, Secretary of Governance, together with Marisela Morales, Federal Attorney General, both pled forgiveness to Inés Fernández Ortega, a Tlapan indigenous woman who was raped by soldiers in 2002.  This act was held in observance of a sentence dictated by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in 2010 against the Mexican State that demands the reparation of damage done to Inés Fernández and her family, punishment for the responsible soldiers, and the investigation of the acts on the part of civil authorities.  The act of recognition was held in Ayutla de Los Libres, Guerrero, where Inés is from, in the presence of hundreds of persons, mostly indigenous individuals from nearby communities.  Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero was also present, and he joined the public apologies on the part of the authorities in the case.

In her intervention, Inés Fernández denounced that harassment continues against her on the part of soldiers dressed in civilian clothes.  She said that she seeks justice in international institutions, because she did not have faith in the promises and apologies of the functionaries of the federal government.  She affirmed that in spite of the sentence of the IACHR the situation of violence and discrimination against indigenous peoples continues.  She noted: “Listen to me all, men, women, and children: the government, though it may tell it is on your side, will never do so.  Don’t trust it.”  She expressed as well that more than a hundred members of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM) to which she pertains have precautionary measures dictated by the Inter-American Commission, but she noted that the Mexican State has not observed these and that, even worse, one of their beneficiaries, Maximino García Catarino, has been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.  For her part, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, from OPIM, who translated Ines during the process, spoke of the historical context of popular struggle and repression in the region of the the Costa Chico.  She said, “This public apology to Inés is a victory of the organized peoples.”

Amnesty International released a communiqué in which it “energetically calls on the Mexican authorities to observe all the elements of the sentence, whcih includes an impartial and exhaustive investigation for civil justice as well as the carrying out of necessary reforms to assure that all human-rights abuses against civilians on the part of members of the armed forces be investigated and processed by civil rather than military courts […].  The military tribunal in its current form is an obstacle for truth, justice, and reparations to those who have been victimized by abuses committed by members of the armed forces.”

Para más información:

México debe garantizar verdad y justicia a las víctimas de abusos militares (Amnistía Internacional, 6 de marzo de 2012)

Militares violan a indígena; 10 años después, el gobierno pide perdón(Proceso, 6 de marzo de 2012)

El secretario de Gobernación pide perdón a Inés Hernández (La Jornada, 6 de marzo de 2012)

El Estado ofrece disculpa light a tlapaneca víctima de abuso militar (La Jornada, 7 de marzo de 2012)

Estado admite responsabilidad por violación a indígena (El Universal, 6 de marzo de 2012)

La obligación del Estado de pedir perdón a las víctimas (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 5 de marzo de 2012)


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