On 23 May, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights denounced that Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, lawyer for the organization and beneficiary of provisional measures dictated by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), received an anonymous death threat for the work he carries out in defense of human rights in Guerrero. The text-message in question makes reference to the cases he accompanies for the organization, noting “YOU SHIT LAWYER, STOP DEFAMING THE AUTHORITIES. YOU OWE US. YOU INTERFERE WITH LA PAROTA, THE SUPPOSEDLY RAPED WOMEN, AND NOW WITH THE AYOTZINAPO VANDALS: SHUT UP […] YOU WILL DIE.” The threat is signed by a person known as The Law (La Ley). Following this death-threat, Tlachinollan formally presented a denunciation before the State Attorney General’s Office and thereafter met with high functionaries of the state government.
In light of these death-threats, several national and international organizations manifested their concern and indicated by means of communiques that these death-threats seek to inhibit the work of Tlachinollan, which presently attends different cases of human-rights violations, among them the defense of the students of Ayotzinapa. Furthermore, Rosales Sierra has also been a key part of the defense of important cases of human-rights violations that have even reached the IACHR, such as those of the Guerrense indigenous women Valentina Rosendo Cantú and Inés Fernández Ortega, Tlapan women who were raped by soldiers in 2002.
For these organizations, the content of the message reflects that the death-threats against Rosales Sierra “constitute a direct attack on the work that has been undertaken collectively by the organization for the defense and promotion of human rights among the people of Guerrero for the past 18 years.” They called on state and federal authorities to institute the protection measures demanded by the IACHR and to guarantee the security and physical integrity of Rosales Sierra, his family, and the Tlachinollan team. Furthermore, they demand that the authorities engage in an effective investigation into these threats.
In the same pronunciation, it was reported that while this threat will be investigated, the lawyer will be out of the country. With this, Vidulfo Rosales is the second defender who in less than a month sees it as necessary to leave the country in light of the intensification of death-threats and harassment against his person. “Despite the announcement of new instruments such as the mechanism of protection for defenders and the recently approved law on this, harassment and aggression against activists continue to accumulate, leading some to leave the country, as the state and federal governments fail to implement effective security measures,” they lament. They demand the institution of a protection mechanism for human-rights defenders, recalling the “climate of adversity” in which activists operate within Guerrero.
For more information (in Spanish):
Denuncia Tlachinollan que uno de sus abogados recibió amenaza de muerte (La Jornada Guerrero, 24 de mayo 2012)
AU: Amenazas de muerte contra un abogado de DH (Acción Urgente Amnistía Internacional, 24 de mayo 2012)
Denuncian amenazas contra defensor de normalistas (El Universal, 23 de mayo 2012)
Abogado de Tlachinollan recibe amenaza (Comunicado WOLA, 24 de mayo 2012)
Denuncia del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan por amenazas (La Jornada, 24 de mayo 2012)
Abogado de “Tlachinollan”, segundo activista que sale del país por amenazas (El Proceso, 23 de mayo 2012)
Demandan Organizaciones Nacionales e Internacionales seguridad para integrantes de Tlachinollan (Comunicado de prensa Tlachinollan, 23 de mayo 2012)
Demandan Organizaciones Nacionales e Internacionales seguridad para integrantes de Tlachinollan (CENCOS, 23 de mayo 2012)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Guerrero: CNDH confirms serious rights-violations against students of Ayotzinapa (16 January 2012)
Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (21 December 2011)
Guerrero: Spanish lawyers confirm the innocence of Maximino García (12 March 2012)
Guerrero: OFPM activist is detained despite having precautionary measures (27 January 2012)
Guerrero: briefs – Attack on OPFM leader (3 September 2011)