Guerrero/National: Social and Human Rights Defenders under Threat from Army


In the latest documents from the so-called “Guacamaya Leaks”, information was revealed indicating that the Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA) identifies Vidulfo Rosales Sierras, lawyer for the relatives of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, as a member of an organization dedicated to the collection of fees, extortion and deprivation of liberty in the state of Guerrero.

According to a SEDENA report, Vidulfo Rosales is part of the structure of the State Council for Public Works (CECOP), which, according to the Army, is an organization dedicated to committing a variety of crimes.

In addition to Vidulfo Rosales, accusations are made of other social activists and human rights defenders, such is the case of Marco Antonio Suastegui Muñoz, who is identified as the leader of the CECOP. They also mention his brother Vicente, as well as Rogelio Teliz García, legal representative of CECOP and lawyer in Marco Antonio’s criminal proceedings. Similarly, among the names are Gustavo Teliz Hernandez, and Abel Herrera, all identified as CECOP litigants.

Given these accusations, various organizations came together to launch a statement a in solidarity with the aforementioned defenders, which reads as follows:

“The Counterinsurgency Strategy is not only used against armed insurgent movements, but also against anyone who fights for truth, justice and reparation of damage, as some human rights defenders, social fighters and journalists do, as is the case of compañeros Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, Abel Barrera, Rogelio Teliz Garcia and Marco Antonio Suastegui Muñoz. The first three members of the Human Rights Center of La Montaña Tlachinollan and the last leader of the Council of Ejido and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP).

The foregoing is demonstrated by a recent publication in the newspaper, La Silla Rota, in its note “Guacamaya Leaks: Sedena links Vidulfo Rosales with Kidnappings and Extortions.” There they affirm that a report from the National Defense Secretariat (SEDENA) describes the presence of three civil organizations that commit various illicit acts and one is linked to Vidulfo Rosales, a lawyer for the relatives of Ayotzinapa.

In the article, reference is made to the documents, obtained from the hack, where SEDENA affirms that Vidulfo Rosales “is part of the structure of the State Council for Concertation for Public Works (CECOP)” sic. which according to the army, is an organization dedicated to committing different crimes.

The information contains errors, is false and shows the inability of the army’s intelligence bodies to confuse a peasant organization with a government body.

The defense that Vidulfo Rosales Sierra carried out is with the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), a peasant organization that defends land and water against extractive companies.

We are concerned that the armed forces have a perception whose tendency is to criminalize human rights defenders and classify them with criminal groups.

We call on the media, their work is important, so we ask them not to irresponsibly reproduce information that the army has to repress and punish human rights defenders, as well as social fighters.

With the foregoing, there is no doubt that an imminent judicial action is being prepared against the defender that will become effective as the mothers and fathers of our 43 compañeros  from Ayotzinapa who disappeared on September 26th and 27th, 2014 get closer to the truth. To date, all the investigations point to members of the army, government officials and high-level politicians. Comrade Vidulfo’s defense has been decisive in this fight, which is why the army seeks to neutralize and silence him and will not hesitate to take criminal or other actions against him.

We are firmly convinced that when the struggle is true, honest and unyielding it affects the economic and political interests of the elites who resort to slander, defamation, criminalizing and delegitimizing our struggle.

The struggle of the mothers and fathers of the 43 threatens to place the army in the dock of the accused and the voice and permanent denunciation of compañero Vidulfo has sounded shrill to the point that it annoys the military power that is now striking to silence uncomfortable voices and monitor those it considers enemies by making unfounded accusations with impunity.

The agreement between the armed forces and the President of the Republic assures them immunity and they believe they have the right to target and attack social activists and human rights defenders, meanwhile criminal gangs are allowed to act freely and in many cases they are associate with them to commit crimes, as the Ayotzinapa case shows. Criminals from Guerreros Unidos coexisted and met with high-ranking military commanders from the 27th Infantry Battalion based in Iguala, meanwhile, they booked and harassed defenders and social activists associating them with illicit activities that they did not even verify and that are false.

For all of the above, we demand an end to the harassment and imminent repression against compañeros Vidulfo Rosales, Abel Barrera, Marco Antonio Suastegui Muñoz and Rogelio Teliz Garcia, that guarantees be given so that they continue with their work as human rights defenders and that investigations be carried out against the Mexican army for carrying out illegal monitoring and surveillance operations.”

Para más información:

Guacamaya Leaks: Sedena vincula a Vidulfo Rosales con secuestros y extorsiones (14 de octubre de 2022)

Luchadores sociales y defensores de derechos humanos bajo la amenaza del ejército (17 de octubre de 2022)

Luchadores sociales y defensores de derechos humanos bajo la amenaza del Ejército (17 de octubre de 2022)

Para màs información de Sipaz:

National: Continuation of Military Spying with Pegasus in AMLO’s Presidency Denounced (October 5, 2022)

National: CSOs against Presidential Agreement Passing GN to SEDENA (August 13, 2022)
National: Judge Grants Injunction against Operational Control of National Guard by SEDENA(October 16, 2021)

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