National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism

unJan Jarab, UNCHR representative (@Cuarto Oscuro)

On January 22nd, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico (UNHCHR) publicly condemned the murders of human rights defenders, Jose Santiago Gomez Alvarez and Noe Jimenez Pablo , in Amatan, Chiapas; as well as the journalist Jose Rafael Murua Manriquez, in Baja California Sur in a press release. It stressed that so far in 2019 there have already been at least three murdered defenders (all in Chiapas), while 13 were killed in 2018, according to their records. As for journalists, after 2018 the UNHCHR was aware of at least 12 murders of journalists, as in 2017, the new year also begins tragically with the murder of Mr. Murua Manriquez”, it said.

Two of the victims had protection measures through the Protection mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists from the Ministry of the Interior, it said, which “must lead to a profound reflection on its effectiveness. The protection measures granted, as well as their implementation, effectiveness and monitoring, must be analyzed and evaluated. In addition, these crimes must be fully clarified, because we must not forget that the best measure of protection and non-repetition in cases of attacks against defenders and journalists is a prompt and effective investigation that achieves justice for the victims.”

The statement also stressed that it is worrisome that “in all these cases the victims had previously reported threats and harassment, even pointing even to the authorities as responsible for these acts”, so “these complaints must be investigated thoroughly, without leaving on the other hand, the lines that indicate a possible involvement of public servants and thus help to fight against impunity and prevent similar events from happening again.”

“Mexico urgently needs to reverse the trend in increasing risk faced by those who practice journalism and the defense of human rights”, the statement concluded, stressing that these activities “should be protected and encouraged by the Mexican government as a whole, since they deals with fundamental actors for a democratic and legal State.”

For more information in Spanish:

condena asesinatos de beneficiarios del Mecanismo de protección a
defensores y periodistas, en Chiapas y Baja California Sur

(ONU-DH, 22 de enero de 2019)

ONU-DH México asesinatos de activistas en Amatán, Chiapas

(Aristegui Noticias, 22 de enero de 2019)

ONU-DH cuestiona mecanismo de protección a periodistas y defensores de derechos humanos (Proceso, 22 de enero de 2019)

ONU-DH condena asesinatos de 3 activistas y un periodista en 2019, pide a México mejorar su protección (Animal Político, 22 de enero de 2019)

ONU-DH llama a reflexionar sobre Mecanismo de Protección a Periodistas (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28th, 2019)

National: Journalist Rafael Murua Murdered (January 28th, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office

(December 14th, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14th, 2018)

National: Defenders and Journalists Denounce Insufficient Resources for Continuity of Protection Mechanism (September 26th, 2018)

National: UN-DH urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders (September 17th, 2018)



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