Guerrero: Beginning of Civil Observation Mission “A light against impunity”

Raúl Vera López (@Desde abajo; archivo)

Raúl Vera López (@Desde abajo; archivo)

On 9 February there began the Civil Observation Mission “A light against impunity” in Guerrero, which is slated to visit several municipalities to document violations of the human rights of social activists in the state.  Led by Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, the mission includes among other civil and social organizations (local, national, and international) the Network in Solidarity Decade against Impunity, the Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights, the Guerrerense Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations (REDGROAC), the Front of Democratic Organizations of Guerrero State (FODEG), the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Guerrero, and SIPAZ.

The visit began in Iguala where dozens of campesinos welcomed the observation mission with flower necklaces.  A contingent of workers from the Taxco mine similarly welcomed the delegates by taking off their helmets.  The mission was received by Sofía Lorena Mendoza Martínez, wife of the deceased Arturo Hernández Cardona, leader of Popular Unity in this municipality, who was kidnapped together with seven comrades on 30 May 2013.  Three of them were killed and all showed signed of torture.  Suspicions abound in terms of the involvement of councilmember José Luis Abarca.  The Taxco miners denounced for their part that despite their strike of 6.5 years against the Mexico Group, the federal government continues without attending to their demands. Before those present, Raúl Vera warned that “These politicians who now persecute and hurt you should know that they are now observed by society, that they are not fully removed [from their actions], and that justice will be done, however late it comes.”

The Mission then traveled to the capital, Chilpancingo, where bishop Vera offered a mass in front of the cathedral, noting that “there is a persecution of human-rights defenders, social activists, and all those who have the courage to defend human rights […].  Human-rights defenders become the enemies because they want to establish a regime that is different from the status quo–that is all.”

The bishop said that other paths must be taken to achieve peace: “it must be a peaceful path of reason, demanding that those who govern us establish the state of right and do not bear complicity with those who hire them, because there are strong feelings suggesting that these murders (of social activists) are performed by hired killers, in place of establishing true social justice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Impunes, el secuestro y asesinato de tres luchadores sociales en Iguala, Guerrero (La Jornada, 10 de febrero de 2014)

Critica Raúl Vera que el Estado trate como enemigos a luchadores sociales(La Jornada de Guerrero, 10 de febrero de 2014)

Pide Vera en Chilpancingo que cesen los crímenes contra los luchadores sociales (EL Sur de Acapulco, 10 de febrero)

Guerrero: crisis profunda (La Jornada, 7 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: Network Solidarity Decade against Impunity denounces intimidation against two members days before Observation Mission to Guerrero (5 February 2014)

Guerrero: 3 of 8 disappeared PRD Members found dead in Iguala (10 June 2013)

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