Guerrero: 4 of the 5 jailed human rights defenders are freed

March 19, 2009

On March 18, the judge Jesús Rafael Aragón granted an appeal to 4 of the 5 members of the Indigenous Me´phaa People´s Organization (OPIM), who have been incarcerated since April 17 of last year. Manuel Cruz Victoriano, Orlando Manzanarez Lorenzo, Natalio Ortega Cruz, y Romualdo Santiago Enedina were freed, while Raúl Hernández Abundio remains in jail.

The five human rights defenders were accused of killing Alejandro Feliciano García, an army informant, on January 1, 2008. In October of last year, the Eigth District judge in Acapulco granted an appeal, but it was overturned by the Attorney General´s office, without any new evidence.

According to the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CDHM Tlachinollan), “We are awaiting within the next few hours the confirmation of this appeal with the First Instance Judge of Ayutla, Alfredo Sánchez Sánchez, so that within 24 hours he will order the immediate release of the 4 indigenous persons from El Camalote who were adopted as perisoners of conscience by Amnesty International(AI).” The CDHM Tlachinollan has been defending the case of the 5 human rights defenders since they were first jailed.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado del CDHM Tlachinollan, 18/3/2009

México: Retiran cargos penales contra cuatro Indígenas presos de conciencia, pero uno continúa detenido injustamente, Amnestia Internacional, 18/3

Retiran cargos a mixtecos; sólo uno seguirá en prisión, El Universal, 19/3.

More Information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Memebers of the OPIM request another appeal, (SIPAZ Blog 5/2/2009)

Guerrero: Federal government overturns appeal granted to 4 of the 5 detained members of OPIM (SIPAZ Blog, 11/6/08)

SIPAZ Website- Civil Society: OPIM

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Guerrero: Members of the OPIM request another appeal

February 5, 2009

On January 21, five members of the Indigenous Mphaa People´s Organization (OPIM) requested an appeal of the arrest warrants which led to their incarceration by a federal judge. The 5 members, who are human rights defenders, were detained on April 18, 2008 and accused of killing Alejandro Feliciano on January 1, 2008.

On October 15, 2008, the Eighth District Judge in Acapulco, Livia Lizbeth Larumbe Radilla, granted an appeal to 4 of the 5 detainees. However they were not freed and on November 3 the Federal Public Prosecutor submitted an appeal which overturned the decision without presenting new evidence in the case.

In their press release the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CHDM Tlachinollan) stated that “As a Human Rights Center we hope that the Eighth District Judge grants the appeal to the five accused because it has become evident that there does not exist sufficient evidence to continue the investigation and maintain the arrest warrants, all of which is corroborated by the appeal granted on October 15 of last year”.

The CDHM Tlachinollan also added that there are 10 other people, the majority of whom belong to the OPIM, who are accused of the same crime and that they will be submitting an appeal within the next few days.

More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado del CHDM Tlachinollan (20/1/09)

Miembros de la OPIM interponen un amparo (La Jornada, 22/1/09)

More Information From SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Federal government overturns appeal granted to 4 of the 5 detained members of OPIM (SIPAZ, 11/6/08)

Guerrero: prisoners of the OPIM are released (SIPAZ, 10/22/08)

Guerrero: Human rights defenders in Ayutla held in prison for nearly two months (SIPAZ, 6/13/08)

SIPAZ Website- Civil Society: OPIM