Oaxaca: NGOs present their diagnosis of human rights work

October 31, 2009


On October 14th, several human rights organizations presented a report on the situation of human rights workers in Oaxaca. The document contained information compiled in 2008 and the first half of 2009, and highlighted that fact that human rights work is criminalized and subject to persecution.


The report called “A Diagnosis of the Situation of Human Rights Workers in Oaxaca” was released with a press communiqué that denounced “the increase in abuse against human rights workers registered by NGOs, with more frequent cases of intimidation and harassment, as well as an increase in more serious crimes like assault, threats to personal safety, illegal detentions, defamation, discrediting, legal persecution, and others, with the goal of preventing the work of human rights workers to defend and promote human rights and report infringements on those rights.”


Written by Peace Watch Switzerland, the report is based on interviews with 17 organizations working in the defense and promotion of human rights. The report covers subjects such as Impunity, Criminalization of Social Protest, Militarization, Rupture of the Social Fabric, Agricultural Conflict, the Defense of Natural Resources as well as the Electoral Process Leading to 2010. In addition, the report reveals the need for coordination between human rights organizations in order to create “a ‘Working Space for Human Rights Defenders’ where they can share intervention methods as well as monitor the pattern of attacks against human rights workers who promote, defend or organize to demand the validity of human rights.” So far this space is made up of the Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue A.C., Bartolome Carrasco Briseno Human Rights Center A.C., the Mexican Human Rights League A.C., Alternative Education Services A.C., the 25th of November Committee A.C., and the Miguel Agustin Pro Human Rights Center A.C.

For more information (in Spanish):


Mexico: “Protest is a Right, Repression is a Crime.” Statement from Edgar Cortez (Red TDT)

August 19, 2008

Edgar Cortez presents the “Protest is a Right, Repression is a Crime” campaign at Centro Prodh

Edgar Cortez, Executive Secretary of the National Network of Civil Organizations for Human Rights ‘All Rights for All’ (Red TDT, Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos), spoke on the organization’s national campaign “Protest is a Right, Repression is a Crime” at the First National Meeting of Human Rights Defenders and Family Members of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience which took place July 24 through 26 in Mexico City.

The introduction to his comments touched on the poverty in Mexico as well as the lack of human rights vigilance stating that “there is not only an economic inequality, but rather this inequality is translated into an inequality of the possibility of enjoying all of one’s rights.” His remarks revolved around the recent constitutional reforms of the Mexican judicial system which were approved on June 18 of this year. While Cortez admits that there are some good changes made in the reform, the definition of “organized crime” has been extended so broadly that it may very well be applied to social protest and social activists. His presentation refers to the fact that “the full weight of the law” is used against social protest without evidence or the guarantee of due process.” The presentation also claims that “in Mexico, rights are used to ‘mistreat those they should care for, persecute those they should protect, ignore those they should pay more attention to and serve those they should control.’”

Read the rest of this entry »