On February 6th, MEPs expressed their deep concern over “the situation of the defenders of land and territory in Mexico, particularly the incessant criminalization of members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to “La Parota” Dam (CECOP in its Spanish acronym) in the State of Guerrero”, in a letter sent among others to the Governor of Guerrero, Hector Astudillo.
They believe that the CECOP members “continue to be criminalized and stigmatized for defending their right to the territory of their communities opposing the construction of “La Parota” hydroelectric dam”, and that, “additionally, the lawyers and members of the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights group were the target of defamations in the media and social networks when assuming legal representation.” They stressed that to date there are “no investigative acts that indicate any progress in clarifying the responsibility for the alleged extrajudicial executions and acts of torture. In addition, we have received with concern information on several violations of due process and the right to an adequate defense, as well as on the probable fabrication of evidence and the non-individual character of the evidence presented by the Public Ministry for the formulation of imputation and connection in the trial of the 17 defenders who are indicted. “
Similarly, 13 international human rights organizations stated their positions on the same case denouncing that, “the justice system was used in bad faith to detain these people, already in custody for another crime that had no legal or factual basis. In all cases, there was ill-treatment and, in at least eight of them, torture. Additionally, the lawyers and members of the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center were publicly defamed for assuming their legal representation.” They expressed their concern at the fact that “the circumstances in which these human rights violations occurred are related to the work of defending the rights of the indigenous peoples of the CECOP and the CRAC-PC, as the umpteenth form of reprisal particularly for their work of defense of the rights related to the land and the territory opposing a hydroelectric project that threatens the means of subsistence and the security of the communities.”
At the same time, relatives of the prisoners and social organizations close to the CECOP carried out a blockade against the Viaducto Diamante, in Acapulco, to demand the government release political prisoners and in support of the members of the CECOP, who have been in jail since January 7th, 2018. On the same day, February 6th, a hearing was scheduled for the Criminal Control and Prosecution Court in the same area of Acapulco to decide whether the evidence obtained under torture and other evidence that has also been discredited by the defense will be permitted.
For more information in Spanish:
Pronunciamiento | Carta de 15 euro parlamentarios a favor de los presos del CECOP (Europarlamentarios, 6 de febrero e 2019)
COMUNICADO DE PRENSA CONJUNTO : La criminalización de los integrantes del CECOP debe cesar (OSC internacionales, 6 de febrero de 2019)
Con bloqueo, exigen liberación de 19 comuneros en Acapulco (La Jornada, 6 de febrero de 2019)
Bloquean organizaciones el Viaducto Diamante en apoyo a comuneros del Cecop presos (El Sur de Acapulco, 7 de febrero de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Guerrero: Piden la liberación de 19 presos políticos (10 de enero de 2019)
Guerrero: 50 órdenes de aprehensión contra comuneros del CECOP (17 de septiembre de 2018)
Guerrero : Liberan a 9 de los 25 detenidos por enfrentamiento en La Concepción en enero (1ero de septiembre de 2018)
Guerrero/Nacional : Nestora Salgado anuncia campaña por la libertad de los presos políticos (31 de agosto de 2018)