The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued a statement on the criminalization that is being carried out against activists and human rights defenders in Mexico. In particular, it highlighted his concern about the “alleged criminalization” of Kenia Ines Hernandez Montalvan, coordinator of the Colectivo Libertario Zapata Vive, imprisoned since October 2020 and sentenced to 21 years and nine months for her activism in favor of sectors such as women. and political prisoners. The indigenous defender, also a member of the National Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners, has been prosecuted for at least five criminal cases, according to information from the State.
“The criminalization of human rights defenders sends an intimidating message, while judicial processes serve to intimidate them”, thereby generating a paralysis in the face of the work carried out by defenders, the organization explained. When it comes to women defenders, she warned, criminalization inhibits the activities they carry out, increases and exacerbates existing social inequalities.
The IACHR also lamented the murders of Luis Ortiz Donato, leader of the Maquelia Citizen Council and defender of the Afro-Mexican people in the state of Guerrero, on April 28th; Nestor Ivan Merino Flores, leader of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of Oaxaca (API), in Oaxaca on March 20th; and the environmental defender Jose Trinidad Baldenegro, in the municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua, on March 7th.
In addition, it urged “the States to investigate exhaustively, seriously and impartially, and to take as a first hypothesis the possible link of these acts of violence with defense work.” Similarly, it proposed incorporating a differentiated gender and ethnic-racial approach in the investigation, prosecution, punishment of these crimes, and in the implementation of reparation measures for the families of all the victims, and to provide guarantees of non-repetition.
Finally, the IACHR called on “the States to guarantee a favorable and safe environment for the defense of human rights”, in the understanding that the people dedicated to this activity “play a fundamental role in the strengthening and consolidation of democracies”, Proceso reports.
For more information in Spanish:
10 años encarcelados sin sentencia afromexicanos víctimas de tortura en Oaxaca (EDUCA, 19 de enero de 2022)
Alerta CIDH por criminalización de la activista indígena Kenia Hernández Montalván (Aristegui Noticias, 31 de mayo de 2022)
CIDH señala criminalización contra activista Kenia Hernández, recluida en penal de Morelos (Proceso, 31 de mayo de 2022)
CIDH retoma el caso de la activista indígena Kenia Hernández presa desde 2020(EDUCA, 1 de junio de 2022)
For more information from SIPAZ: