National: IACHR Sentence Expected in Digna Ochoa Case 20 Years after her Death

@ Aristegui Noticias

On October 19th, 2001, Digna Ochoa y Placido, a human rights lawyer, was assassinated, considered “an invention” by the officials who handled her case at that time. Two decades later, the crime remains unpunished.

The lawyer’s body was found with gunshot wounds in her office in the Roma neighborhood in Mexico City. In 2003, the prosecutor Margarita Guerra, appointed by the now Federal Judiciary counselor, Bernardo Batiz, concluded that the Veracruz lawyer, “had created a whole crime scene to commit suicide, pretending that she had been murdered.” This version “minimized fundamental lines of investigation” such as the role of Digna Ochoa’s work in the Sierra de Guerrero and the army, and categorically absolved the latter.

In 2010, the defense of the family presented the case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with all this evidence. After a hearing before the Inter-American Court, they await the next step. Twenty years after her death, she is close to meeting the requirement that the case be recognized as a murder and not as a suicide and that this line of investigation be followed.

Karla Micheel Salas, director of the Action Group for Human Rights and Social Justice, estimated that at the end of this year the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) could issue a judgment against the Mexican State for the murder of Digna Ochoa, which will be a watershed in vindication of the work of women human rights defenders.

“A few months ago we had the hearing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; the Mexican State justly recognized that it was a crime”, she pointed out. She also said that, for this anniversary, Jesus Ochoa, Digna’s brother, reported that they are carrying out a campaign to vindicate her work as her defender.

The Cerezo Mexico Committee joined this demand through a bulletin where it talks about the work of the lawyer in the defense of the Cerezo Contreras brothers, unjustly accused of various crimes in 2001. They regretted that those officials “of selective forgetfulness” occupy positions in the current administration and that others deny and remain silent about his murder.

For more information in Spanish:

El de Digna Ochoa, crimen que nadie ha querido indagar a fondo (La Jornada, 19 de octubre de 2021)

A 20 años del asesinato impune de Digna Ochoa, esperan pronta sentencia de CIDH (Educa Oaxaca, 19 de octubre de 2021)

Con sentencia de la CIDH, esperan justicia para Digna a 20 años de su muerte | Video (Aristegui Noticias, 19 de octubre de 2021)

Verdad y Justicia para Digna Ochoa y Plácido (Comité Cerezo México, 19 de octubre de 2021)

En caso Digna Ochoa alteraron escena del crimen, se desvió investigación y se hizo creer que tenía depresión: Cossío | Video (Aristegui Noticias, 19 de octubre de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Mexico: Family and defense of Digna Ochoa take a stance against PGJDF resolution (December 14, 2010)
Guerrero: Key witness in the Digna Ochoa y Plácido case, Javier Torres Cruz, disappears (December 15, 2008)

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