On February 7th, the hearing in the case of the murder of Simon Pedro Perez Lopez was scheduled to begin. He was a member of the Organization of Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society and catechist of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas in Simojovel in July 2021. This was because the presence of the accused was not guaranteed.
“We are people, we are subjects, we demand respect… they cancel or change the hearings when they want and how they want…. The same thing continues that they don’t want to see us because we are indigenous, but we are going to continue”, said Las Abejas de Acteal.
For its part, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), which is monitoring the case, declared that an opportunity was lost when the hearing represented “a key moment to demonstrate the truth of the facts, determine that the motive for his murder was in retaliation for his work as a defender of individual guarantees and for ordering comprehensive reparation in accordance with the General Law for Victims.”
As with Frayba, Las Abejas and Simon Pedro’s relatives have been questioning the process when “there is a risk that the case will be resolved from a reduced criminal logic and focused solely on proving the homicide, leaving aside their motives, the context in which the events took place and the activity of Simon Pedro as a defender.” Frayba added that “treating the arbitrary deprivation of life of human rights defenders as an isolated homicide is a sign of the state’s interest in making this phenomenon invisible, which leads to impunity and its repetition.”
For more information in Spanish:
Por ausencia del acusado, posponen juicio oral por el asesinato de Simón Pedro(Chiapas Paralelo, 7 de febrero de 2022)
Piden sentencia ejemplar contra asesino de líder indígena en Acteal (La Jornada, 7 de febrero de 2022)
Inicia juicio por el asesinato de Simón Pedro, exigimos verdad y justicia (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 6 de febrero de 2023)
For more information from SIPAZ: