International/National: UN Experts Criticize Judicialization of HR Defenders in Mexico

@Consorcio Oaxaca

At the end of February, 2021, an urgent action was published directed to the Mexican State signed by several UN experts in which they express concern about the use of judicialization in retaliation for the work of defense of environmental and territory rights in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Queretaro.

The action was supported by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Special Rapporteur on the question of human rights obligations related to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment; the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. They stated that they wanted to “bring to the urgent attention of the Government” that they have received information on human rights violations committed against defenders Pablo Lopez Alavez and Fredy Garcia Ramirez from Oaxaca, Jose Luis Guiterrez Hernandez and Cesar Hernandez Feliciano from Chiapas and Teresa Roldan Soria from Queretaro.

In relation to the case of the defender Pablo Lopez Alavez, they denounced the seriousness of the fact that he has been in prison for more than ten years, during which time he has suffered acts of mistreatment, torture and threats by prison officials of the Men’s Penitentiary Center in Tanivet. In addition, they mentioned the detention of Fredy Garcia Ramirez, which “has already been identified as contrary to human rights to personal liberty and security, as well as to a fair trial, with due process and judicial guarantees, according to the opinion of the Group of Work on Arbitrary Detention (Opinion number 23/2017).”

They expressed their “serious concern about the conditions in which Messrs. Jose Luis Gutierrez and Cesar Hernandez were allegedly detained in a peaceful demonstration, and the possible disproportionate use of force.”

They were also concerned about “the death threats received by the environmental rights defender Teresa Roldan, and the seriousness of the attack against her family.”

In this context “of attacks, acts of harassment and criminalization against environmental human rights defenders who are facing mega development projects to take care of their lands and the environment in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Quéretaro”, the rapporteurs requested a response on the measures adopted by the Mexican State to guarantee the security of defenders, within a period of 60 days.

For more information in Spanish: 

Expertos de la ONU critican judicialización de defensa de derechos ambientales y del territorio en México (Educa Oaxaca, 9 de marzo de 2021)

Expertos de la ONU piden garantizar derechos y libertades de defensores de DH mexicanos, entre ellos Pablo López Alavez y Fredy García Ramírez. (Consorcio Oaxaca, 4 de marzo de 2021)

Acción Urgente UA MEX 14/2020 (ONU, 22 de diciembre de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Fourteen HR Defenders Extrajudicially Executed in 2020 (January 17, 2021)
National/International: UN Rapporteurs Express Concern over Human Rights Violations Related to Maya Train (November 26, 2020)
Chiapas: Prisoners from Demonstration against National Guard Barracks in Chilon to Continue Trial in Liberty (November 11, 2020)
Oaxaca: One Year after the Arrest of Fredy Garcia, Social Organizations Demand his Release(November 9, 2020)

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