In the early hours of June 12th, the migrants’ human rights defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, were released after a judge in Tapachula, Chiapas, determined not to put them on trial. A week earlier, they had been arrested accused by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR in its Spanish acronym) of the alleged crime of trafficking in persons, that is, of moving people without documents and supposedly for profit.
The People Without Borders Organization, of which Irineo Mujica is director, had denounced that the accusations against the two activists were “false, the product of a campaign to criminalize by the Mexican government under strong pressure from the US government,” such that in the days leading up to the hearing it was demanding that due process be respected, the right to the presumption of innocence, and that there be real justice for both defenders that it considered were ”scapegoats” of Mexico’s policy to be able to meet the newly signed agreement with the US government.
More than a hundred organizations, collectives and academics had made the same demands, considering that “the deprivation of freedom of both defenders represents a form of criminalization against migrants’ human rights defenders, which threatens the right to defend rights, which is even more worrying in a context as complex as that facing migration in the country.” They also expressed their concern that “from the recent agreements reached by the Mexican government with the United States, sending elements of the National Guard throughout the territory was announced, prioritizing the Southern Border, in order to “reduce irregular migration”, thereby advancing a militarization agenda on the southern border and criminalization of migrants and those who defend and accompany them.”
For more information in Spanish:
Liberan a Irineo Mujica y Cristóbal Sánchez; no hay pruebas en su contra (Radio Formula, 12 de junio de 2019)
Liberan a Cristóbal Sánchez e Irineo Mujica defensores de migrantes (Político.MX, 12 de junio de 2019)
Infundadas, acusaciones contra defensores de migrantes: Pueblos Sin Fronteras (Proceso, 10 de junio de 2019)
Irineo Mujica se ofreció a colaborar con la Fiscalía y testificar dos meses antes de ser detenido (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)
Juicio justo para Cristóbal e Irineo, exigen OSC; acusan militarización de la frontera (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)
Criminalizan a defensores de migrantes, denuncian ONG (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2019)
Irineo Mujica y Cristobal Sánchez: ¿los dos primeros presos políticos del Gobierno de López Obrador? (RT, 11 de junio de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ: