On December 9th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) denounced at a press conference death threats against its staff and those who make up the Collective of Relatives of Prisoners in Struggle “who received in November and so far in December death threats, surveillance, harassment and intimidation, in the context of the struggle for the freedom of native prisoners, particularly Juan de la Cruz Ruiz.”
It explained that the threats began to appear from November 12th, 2019, when “approximately at 10 pm, a black car with tinted windows left an envelope inside the home of a defender of the Family of Prisoners in Struggle. The envelope contained a message with newspaper clippings that said: Faro: catastrophic warning, call for help (the defender’s name is omitted) is in danger of death, life is very short, death is inevitable, one more, November, take care of her, try to save her life. It is worth mentioning that Faro is the last name of the Director of Frayba.”
Another incident occurred on November 19th when a new message was discovered at the domicile of the same defender where they wrote the name apparently in blood. That same night, at 9:00 p.m., an advertisement related to a funeral home was found in the house of a member of FRAYBA. “It is possible to say that in none of the neighboring houses they left this announcement”, it emphasized.
FRAYBA also reported that “as a result of these threats we have documented greater vigilance and harassment of both the families of the prisoners and the organizations and groups that accompany them.” It denounced that “to date, an adequate protection response has not been obtained from the mechanisms of the Mexican State” although “the defender filed a complaint with the Attorney General of the State of Chiapas for the threats and FRAYBA has made several written interventions before state and federal authorities.” It said that “the guarantee and protection is not made effective by the Mexican State, minimizing the risk situation that due to the circumstances we value coming from agents of the State itself.”
“After one year after Rutilio Escandon’s government, neglect, indifference and no response to the human rights situation persist; resulting in the obstruction towards the demand for justice and discrimination for indigenous peoples,” it claimed.
It urged the authorities to cease the death threats, vigilance, intimidation and harassment towards those who make up the Collective of Families of Prisoners in Struggle and Frayba, as well as their solidarity networks; to guarantee the life, security and personal integrity of the defenders mentioned, as well as the prisoners organized in La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia, La Verdadera Voz del Amate and Viniketik in Resistencia; and that immediate measures are implemented to obtain the freedom of Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Adrian Gómez Jimenez, Abraham Lopez Montejo, Germán Lopez Montejo and Marcelino Ruiz Gomez “who are arbitrarily deprived of their freedom and whose human rights have been violated by the Mexican State.”
For more information in Spanish:
Amenazas de muerte a defensora y al Frayba (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 9 de diciembre de 2019)
Denuncian amenazas de muerte contra activistas y defensores del Frayba y familiares de presos (Proceso, 9 de diciembre de 2019)
Frayba pide a CIDH medidas cautelares para indígenas amenazados (La Jornada, 9 de diciembre de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Freedom for Juan de la Cruz Ruiz (December 5, 2019)
Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)