In an Urgent Action issued on June 19, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (CDHFBC) expressed concern for the death threats and harassment which threaten the life and integrity of the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez and other members of the Parish Council of the municipality of Simojovel. For several months, the parish has been particularly active in seeking the decommissioning of bars, nightclubs, and centers of prostitution in the municipality.
During the last pilgrimage organized in this context, on June 6, board members heard: “This fucking father who keeps on fucking, what he wants is a beating or a bullet.” Other people during the pilgrimage were defaming the cleric through flyers accusing him of being a “subversive apostate,” “false prophet,” and “social destabiliser of the region,” among other insults about his work.
The CDHFBC demands from the State that it protect and ensure the life, personal integrity, and security of Father Marcelo and those who make up the Parish Council; that it investigate and put an end to the acts of death threats, harassment, assault, defamation, and criminalization against Father Marcelo and those who make up the Parish Council; and that it guarantee and respect the right to freedom of thought and free expression in the region.
For more information (in Spanish):
Acción Urgente: Riesgo a la integridad y la vida del sacerdote Marcelo Pérez e integrantes del Consejo Parroquial en Simojovel (CDHFBC, 18 de junio de 2014)
Teme Frayba por párroco de Simojovel (La Jornada, 20 de julio de 2014)
Temen por vida de padre que pidió cerrar bares en Chiapas (Milenio, 20 de julio de 2014)
For more information in English:
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel for the closure of “cantinas” and the end of violence; parish priest receives threats (June 13, 2014)
Chiapas: Believing People holds pilgrimage in Simojovel to denounce the increase in violence in the municipality (October 26, 2013)