Guerrero: death-threats directed against Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, president of the OPIM

February 26, 2013

Obtilia Eugenio Manuel (@Amnistía Internacional)

The National Network of Communication and Urgent Action for Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico has condemned the new death-threats directed against human-rights defender Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, president of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM), based in Ayutla de los Libres.  An anonymous letter was found at midday on 11 February in the OPIM offices which said that “You Obtilia are enjoying precautionary measures, but no matter we will beat you Obtilia and Cuauhtémoc, as you are the leaders… The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights does not protect you from bullets.” It should be remembered that she and all OPIM members enjoy precautionary measures, as awarded by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in 2009.

The death-threat, as asserts the communique, makes mention that it is not clear that it was soldiers who raped Inés Fernández Ortega, a Me’phaa indigenous woman and member of the OPIM who took her case before the IACHR.  The IACHR in turn released a sentence of condemnation for the Mexican State in October 2010.

The urgent bulletin of the National Network details that “Lamentably, this is not the first time that Obtilia Eugenio has received this type of threat against her life, as related directly to her denunciations of human-rights violations committed in the state of Guerrero.  Obtilia Eugenio has been victimized by permanent harassment and has been forced to leave the state of Guerrero so as to protect her physical and psychological life, as well as that of her family.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazan de muerte a indígena que denunció violación por parte de militares (Proceso, 20 de febrero de 2013)

Boletín de prensa de la Red Nacional de Comunicación y Acción Urgente de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en México

For more information in Spanish (in English):

Guerrero: Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered (17 July 2011)

Guerrero: The ecologist campesino Javier Torres Cruz is murdered (6 May 2011)

Guerrero – briefs:  Concern for the safety of the inhabitants of La Morena (28 December 2010)

Guerrero: briefs – New threats against leaders of the OPIM; inclusion of resources for La Parota in federal budget; Invitation to the sixth anniversary of Radio Ñomndaa (14 December 2010)

Guerrero: briefs – NGOs present amicus brief to Inter-American Court on case of environmentalists; activist is detained (September 23, 2010)

Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture (29 December 2008)

Guerrero: Delegation of the Initiative of Female Nobel Prize Recipients meets with female defenders

February 9, 2012

Jody Williams y Obtilia Eugenio Manuel (OPIM) Foto: La Jornada Guerrero

Jody Williams and Obtilia Eugenio Manuel (OPIM) Photo: La Jornada Guerrero

On 23 January, the Delegation of the Initiative of Female Nobel Prize Recipients led by Jody Williams, who in 1997 received the Nobel Peace Prize for her actions in favor of a prohibition of mines, met with female human-rights defenders in the state of Guerrero in an event entitled “Tying our struggles together with our rights.”  The visit formed part of the agenda of work and meetings that the delegation has been carrying out in Mexico since 22 January 2012.

By means of more than 20 testimonies by women from Guerrero, the Initiative of Female Nobel Prize Recipients came to know about the grave situation of violence against women and female rights-defenders in Mexico, as well as the impacts militarization has on the lives of indigenous woen, who carry out their work in a context of impunity and insecurity.  In this way, upon concluding the mission that will continue on into Honduras and Guatemala, the delegation will put together a report with recommendations directed at the governments of the three countries as well those of the U.S. and Canada.

The dialogue seeks to reinforce the visibility of these struggles and to make visible the role, support, and actions of the female defenders as well as to demand that the Mexican State guarantee protection for activists who are threatened or at risk.

The international delegation also met with Mexican authorities to present them with seven cases of grave rights-violations and to request information regarding the protocol of protection for female defenders, data regarding disappeared women, and the sanctions against functionaries who exercise institutional violence.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exponen en Guerrero el rezago que viven las mujeres indígenas (La Jornada, 24 January 2012)

Jody Williams, Premio Nobel de la Paz en 1997 se reúne con defensoras de derechos humanos de Guerrero (CDH Tlachinollan, 24 January 2012)

Premio Nobel exige se esclarezcan ataques a defensoras (CIMAC Noticias, 25 January 2012)

Delegación de la iniciativa de mujeres galardonadas con el premio Nobel sostienen encuentro con defensoras de Guerrero (CENCOS, 24 January 2012)

Lamentan mujeres premios Nobel el alza en delitos contra féminas (La Jornada de Guerrero, 21 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Presentation of the 2010-2011 diagnostic regarding human-rights observers (8 February 2012)

Guerrero – Briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in the case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)

Guerrero: Briefs – Members of OPIM and the Tlachinollan Mountain CDH suffer death-threats; invitation to the Tlachinollan anniversary; case of ecologists of the Sierra de Petatlán

July 4, 2011

On 16 June, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel y Cuauhtémoc Ramírez, directors of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (IPIM), were threatened with case if they continue to stress the observance of the sentences handed down by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández, indigenous women who were raped by soldiers in 2002.

According to the Urgent Action published by Amnesty International (AI), a handwritten message was found on 16 June in the house of Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and Cuauhtémoc Ramírez insisting that they cease demanding that the government observe the sentences of the IACHR.  The message also threatens the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, this just following the re-opening of its offices in Ayutla de Los Libres after a two-year closure due to harassment and aggressions against office-staff.  “We will never leave you alone, even if you ask the government for protection […] if you don’t shut up we’ll kill you […] protection is shit we are protected.”

Within this adverse context, the Tlachinollan Mountain CDH has called for a forum in defense of land entitled “Struggle to construct the dawn of justice” in observation of its XVII anniversary, to be held in Tlapa de Comonfort, Montaña de Guerrero, on 1 and 2 July.  During this event, there will be shared organizational communal processes that the peoples of Guerrero are promoting amidst mining and dam-projects, among other things.

In other news, with regard to another case in which the IACHR has sentenced Mexico, on 21 June the Mexican State publicly committed itself for the first time to observing the IACHR’s ruling in the case of the ecologist campesinos Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, protectors of forests in the Sierra de Petatlán, Guerrero.  It should be noted that in a December 2010 ruling, the IACHR condemned the Mexican State for kidnapping, violations of personal liberty, judicial guarantees, and juridical protection to these two individuals.

On 20 December of this year the State will have to present its first report regarding advances in the observation of said sentence with regard to the various criteria that have been proposed: publications, justice, economic reparations, registration of arrests, reforms of the military tribunals, and training.

For more information (in Spanish):

Guerrero: las comunidades se quedan solas (Proceso, 24 June 2011)

Acción Urgente de Amnistía Internacional (23 June 2011)

Amenazan de nuevo a líderes de la OPIM (La Jornada de Guerrero, 23 June 2011)

México se compromete públicamente a cumplir la sentencia de la Corte IDH por el caso de los Campesinos Ecologistas (Boletín de prensa del Centro de Derechos Humanos Agustín Pro, 21 June 2011)

Sólo algunos soldados cometen violaciones, asegura subsecretario de Gobernación(EL Sur de Acapulco, 23 June 2011)

Gobierno atenderá sentencia de Derechos Humanos por campesinos agredidos (CNN México, 21 June 2011)

Campesinos ecologistas exigen justicia por encarcelamiento en 1999(Proceso, 21 June 2011)


Reporte 13 Montiel y Cabrera Su lucha por los bosques (Youtube, 23 June 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: briefs – New threats against leaders of the OPIM; inclusion of resources for La Parota in federal budget; Invitation to the sixth anniversary of Radio Ñomndaa (14 December 2010)

Guerrero: briefs – NGOs present amicus brief to Inter-American Court on case of environmentalists; activist is detained (September 23, 2010)

Guerrero: briefs – New threats against leaders of the OPIM; inclusion of resources for La Parota in federal budget; Invitation to the sixth anniversary of Radio Ñomndaa

December 14, 2010

On November 28, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and Cuauhtémoc Ramírez Rodríguez, respectively president and director of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), received new death threats at their home. Both have been campaigning to hold accountable the soldiers responsible for the rape of two Me’phaa indigenous women, Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo, in 2002. The threat-letter was written by hand, saying, in fragments: “Hello Obtilia. Now we know where you live because the case of Ines and Valentina bothers you too much to stop fucking around in the matter of the sentencing for the two women…calm your people from the organization or else you are going to be fucked…calm down Cuahtémoc because they are going to fuck him up…stop fucking around with the government compliance with the sentencing which has made the government angry therefore we are here stop fighting the sentencing of ines and valentina” [sic]. On December 2, Amnesty International released an Urgent Action about the situation. Supporting the Urgent Action, federal deputy of the PRD, Filemón Navarro Aguilar, urged the government of the Guerrero state and federal authorities to deploy cautionary measures for the defense of Obtilia’s safety.

Also, on November 26, the Chamber of Deputies approved the inclusion of resources for the construction of the La Parota hydroelectric dam near Acapulco in the Expenditure Budget of the Federation for 2011, despite widespread rejection of the project throughout the area of its intended location. Providing resources to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) for the construction of La Parota ignores the existence of four judgments issued by the agrarian courts in 2007, which also prevent the federal and state government from working in the zone where the dam is supposed to be built. It also ignores the decision made at an August 12, 2007 meeting when, after hearing the arguments for and against the project, landowners determined to reject it. Also on July 1, the head of the Agrarian Tribunal (TUA), Martha Leticia Gracida Jiménez, granted a suspension measure, which will prohibit work that involves the implementation of the hydroelectric project until all instances of the nullification lawsuit are resolved. The lawsuit is still on the first instance.

Lastly, on December 17 to 20, 2010, the community of Suljaa’, in the Costa Chica of the Guerrero state, will celebrate the sixth anniversary of the autonomous radio project, Radio Ñomndaa  – the Word of the Water. The socio-cultural event will contain various discussions about popular media and the defense of communication for the people among other topics.

For more information:

Urgent action – Nuevas amenazas a activistas indígenas (December 2)

Continúan amenazas en contra de defensores y defensoras de derechos humanos en Guerrero (Protectionline, November 30)


Demanda diputado del PRD al gobierno del estado proteger a Obtilia Eugenio tras amenazas de muerte


Presupuesto para la construcción de la Parota: cheque en blanco a los violadores de derechos humanos (CENCOS, November 27)


Según CFE, la construcción de La Parota iniciará el 5 de julio de 2011 (El Sur Acapulco)


Invitation to the sixth aniversary of Radio Ñomndaa

Guerrero: Andrea Eugenio Manuel, indigenous activist and sister to Obtilia, is threatened with death

March 26, 2010

In her complaint filed before the Public Ministry on 19 March, Andrea Eugenio Manuel explained that, on 17 March at approximately 4:30pm, while she awaited friends in front of a vegetable grocer “a stranger approached and began taking pictures.  [Manuel] demanded an explanation of him, but he responded by saying, ‘Soon, you’re going to get fucked over'” (La Jornada).

Andrea Eugenio Manuel has worked for years to defend the human rights of the Me’phaa people.  She has “served as translator […] in the cases of soldiers who raped Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosenda Cantú.  She has also accompanied indigenous women […] from Ayutla de los Libres in their public legal denunciations of units of the Mexican military that have harassed communities and violated their human rights.  Andrea also participated as translator in the denunciation and complaint process presented by 14 indigenous individuals from El Camalote, municipality of Ayutla de los Libres, who were forcibly sterilized by personnel of the Health Ministry” (La Jornada).

This latest death-threat directed at Andrea took place 11 days after she denounced similar aggression against her sister Obtilia, president of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM).  Recently, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, which has been accompanying OPIM in its condemnations of human-rights violations, has also been subjected to harassment.  Both organizations have since April 2009 been granted precautionary measures by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.

Together with the Guerrero Network, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights and OPIM declare that “These increased death-threats and acts of harassment directed at human-rights defenders from Guerrero occur as a precursor to the hearing made by the Inter-American Court for Human Rights in the case of Inés Fernández Ortega during her hearings in April […].  We are concerned that obscure interest-groups are attempting to silence victims and witnesses just before the hearing that will be realized in the next few days, and that the State is trying to evade having to engage in an exhaustive investigation that would allow for the identification and sanctioning of those responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Obtilia’s sister, who has supported complaints made by indigenous women raped by soldiers, is menaced with death (press release by Tlachinollan, OPIM, and the Guerrero Network, 22 March)

OHCHR condemns harassment and death-threats that persist against defenders in Guerrero (press release by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 23 March)

Indigenous activist is threatened with death in Guerrero (La Jornada, 23 March)

Tlachinollan:  The sister of OPIM’s Obtilia Eugenio is threatened (La Jornada, 23 March)

The UN condemns harassment of indigenous defenders protected by the CIDH (Cronica de Hoy, 24 March)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero:  New Threats against Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, president of OPIM and witness in the Ines Fernandez Ortega vs. Mexico case (17 March)

Guerrero: New Threats against Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, President of the OPIM and Witness in the Inés Fernández Ortega vs. Mexico case

March 17, 2010

On Wednesday, March 6, 2010, Obtilian Eugenio Manuel—an indigenous Me´phaa, human rights defender in the state of Guerrero, president of the Organization of the Me´phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM, Organización del Pueblo Indígena Me´phaa) and, since April 2009, a recipient of provisional measures ordered by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights—was again the victim of threats made in an anonymous letter directed to her that was found in the OPIM offices.

It is important to note that Obtilia is also a witness in the cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú which will be studied this year by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR). Both women, of the indigenous Me´phaa people, were raped and tortured by members of the military in 2002 amidst a context of repression against social movements and indigenous organizations in the state of Guerrero. To date the cases have not been investigated, the responsible parties have not been sanctioned and there has been no compensation for the damages.

In a public declaration, the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña emphasized: “The majority of the cases of attacks against human rights defenders in the state of Guerrero the facts have not been brought to light, the responsible parties have not been tracked down or been subjected to an indictment under the law. The impunity, the total absence of any investigation or access to justice has made human rights defenders in Guerrero more vulnerable. When the State refuses to comply with its duty to guarantee and protect [the rights defenders] the message is one of impunity for the offenders.”

For More Information:

Account of the events linked to new threats against Obtilia Eugenio Moreno (Tlachinollan, English)

Declaration from the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña (English,16/3/2010)

Amnesty International Urgent Action: Indigenous human rights defender in danger (15/3/2010)

Letter from Tlachinollan and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) soliciting support for the case of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú (Spanish)

More Information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Continued Harassment and Attacks against Human Rights Defenders (Spanish, March 2009)

Guerrero: Hostilities and aggressions continue against human rights defenders

April 2, 2009

The director of the CDHM Tlachinollan, Abel Barrera

On March 25, the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CDHM Tlachinollan) denounced, in a letter signed by hundreds of national and international organizations, that in recent weeks aggressions and threats against human rights defenders have intensified. They denounced hostilities against the wives of Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, the two murdered indigenous human rights defenders, and also hostilities against Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, the president of the Indigenous Me’phaa Peoples Organization (OPIM), who has received death threats for her work as a human rights defender.

The CDHM Tlachinollan also denounced aggressions and hostilities against its own members. According to a press release, some of its members were followed in a threatening manner while they were traveling in Ayutla de los Libres. The CDHM Tlachinollan stated: “The organizations of human rights defenders are living in an intolerable atmosphere for their work as human rights defenders in the state of Guerrero and in reality, the search for justice in the case of the disappearance and murder of the two human rights defender has generated a situation of high risk for those demanding a thorough investigation and punishment for those responsible. In this respect we must declare that this situation is a consequence of the failure of the local authorities to carry out their obligations.”

On March 26, the CDHM Tlachinollan announced that it was temporarily closing its offices in Ayutla de los Libres because of a lack security related to the recent intensification of hostilities against human rights defenders. Abel Barrera Hernández, the director of the Center, stated that this was a “drastic decision” “brought on by the lack of conditions for human rights defenders in one of the poorest regions of the country, where the government has opted for militarization”.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Se intensifican agresiones contra defensores de derechos humanos en Guerrero, CDHM Tlachinollan, 25/3.

Cierra centro de derechos humanos en Guerrero por amenazas, PROCESO, 25/3.

Por falta de garantías, Tlachinollan anuncia cierre de oficina en Ayutla, La Jornada Guerrero, 25/3.