Guerrero: Governance pretends to have observed IACHR sentence, claim NGOs

July 20, 2013


Inés Fernández Ortega, photo @SIPAZ

Civil organizations denounced that the Secretary of Governance claimed to have observed measures that in fact had not been observed in the sentence released against the Mexican State by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) in the cases of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, indigenous women of Guerrero who were sexually abused by soldiers in 2002.  The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, as well as the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), sent a letter to the Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, in which they express their concern and confusion in these terms.  “In the response, Governance claimed to have observed measures that in fact have not been observed and makes claims that have very little to do with reality,” they mention.  Furthermore, the organizations reported that in these cases “there exists lack of observation in terms of compensation, health, and education, whose mechanisms of observation have not been realized.  The fault in these terms lies directly with Governance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

ONG: Gobernación finge haber cumplido sentencia de la CIDH (La Jornada, 2 de julio de 2013)

Carta de las ONGs a SEGOB (1 de julio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (5 February 2013)

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

Guerrero – briefs: NGO informs US authorities regarding Mexico’s obligations under Mérida Initiative (26 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO demands that Calderón observe sentence in case of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández (28 November 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: Judge acquits attacker of Radio Ñomndaa Committee member; Interior Ministry evades compliance with sentencing in the case of Inés and Valentina (4 February 2011)


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: Act of recognition on part of Mexican government in case of Inés Fernández Ortega

March 12, 2012

Act of recognition on part of Mexican government in case of Inés Fernández Ortega (@SIPAZ)

On 6 March, in the name of the Mexican State, Alejandro Poiré, Secretary of Governance, together with Marisela Morales, Federal Attorney General, both pled forgiveness to Inés Fernández Ortega, a Tlapan indigenous woman who was raped by soldiers in 2002.  This act was held in observance of a sentence dictated by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in 2010 against the Mexican State that demands the reparation of damage done to Inés Fernández and her family, punishment for the responsible soldiers, and the investigation of the acts on the part of civil authorities.  The act of recognition was held in Ayutla de Los Libres, Guerrero, where Inés is from, in the presence of hundreds of persons, mostly indigenous individuals from nearby communities.  Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero was also present, and he joined the public apologies on the part of the authorities in the case.

In her intervention, Inés Fernández denounced that harassment continues against her on the part of soldiers dressed in civilian clothes.  She said that she seeks justice in international institutions, because she did not have faith in the promises and apologies of the functionaries of the federal government.  She affirmed that in spite of the sentence of the IACHR the situation of violence and discrimination against indigenous peoples continues.  She noted: “Listen to me all, men, women, and children: the government, though it may tell it is on your side, will never do so.  Don’t trust it.”  She expressed as well that more than a hundred members of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM) to which she pertains have precautionary measures dictated by the Inter-American Commission, but she noted that the Mexican State has not observed these and that, even worse, one of their beneficiaries, Maximino García Catarino, has been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.  For her part, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, from OPIM, who translated Ines during the process, spoke of the historical context of popular struggle and repression in the region of the the Costa Chico.  She said, “This public apology to Inés is a victory of the organized peoples.”

Amnesty International released a communiqué in which it “energetically calls on the Mexican authorities to observe all the elements of the sentence, whcih includes an impartial and exhaustive investigation for civil justice as well as the carrying out of necessary reforms to assure that all human-rights abuses against civilians on the part of members of the armed forces be investigated and processed by civil rather than military courts […].  The military tribunal in its current form is an obstacle for truth, justice, and reparations to those who have been victimized by abuses committed by members of the armed forces.”

Para más información:

México debe garantizar verdad y justicia a las víctimas de abusos militares (Amnistía Internacional, 6 de marzo de 2012)

Militares violan a indígena; 10 años después, el gobierno pide perdón(Proceso, 6 de marzo de 2012)

El secretario de Gobernación pide perdón a Inés Hernández (La Jornada, 6 de marzo de 2012)

El Estado ofrece disculpa light a tlapaneca víctima de abuso militar (La Jornada, 7 de marzo de 2012)

Estado admite responsabilidad por violación a indígena (El Universal, 6 de marzo de 2012)

La obligación del Estado de pedir perdón a las víctimas (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 5 de marzo de 2012)


Guerrero – briefs: Release of OPIM leader; incursion of Navy forces in La Morena community

July 27, 2011

OPIM members @La Jornada

On 7 July, Rafael Rodríguez Dircio, member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), was released, having been detained and incarcerated on 29 June on the charge of homicide of Alejandro Feliciano García.  On these same charges had been detained five other members of OPIM on 17 April 2000.  One of these persons was Raúl Hernández Abundio, a prisoner of conscience as recognized by Amnesty International who spent more than two years in jail on this charge, with the four others having been released previously.  Inocencio Orduño Magallón, judge in the case, resolved in favor of Rafael Rodríguez’s release in light of lack of evidence.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights reminds us that there exist four other arrest-orders against OPIM members for this same crime.  “It is for this reason that we request the Guerrero State Attorney General’s Office to suspend these arrest-orders, given that with the release of Rafael Rodríguez Dircio, it has once again been demonstrated that the accusations and the legal process against these indigenous defenders are derived by fabricated evidence against those who demand the realization of their human rights and who organize toward that end.”

In other news, on 20 July, units of the Armed Navy of Mexico invaded the community of La Morena, municipality of Petatlán.  They detained for two hours state police who had been monitoring the community as well as residents of the community, denounces Elvia Torres Cruz, sister to Javier Torres, a campesino who was murdered in April.  The justification for the operation was that the unit had on the previous Sunday (17 July) left one of its vehicles in the community.  On that day there was had a confrontation in the community between units of the Armed Navy and of the state police.  One marine and one police-officer died.  On 18 April of this year Javier Torres was murdered by a uniformed group carrying high-caliber weapons, presumably operatives linked to organized crime.  His family has received protectionary measures and since that time the community of La Morena has been protected by the state police.

In an interview, Javier Monroy, coordinator of the Workshop for communal development (TADECO), said that leaders of organizations that comprise the Front of the Popular Masses of the State of Guerrero met with the Minister of Justice, Alberto López Rosas, and demanded that the clarify the acts and prioritize the investigation of the murder of Javier Torres.  In this vein, he indicated that TADECO has requested support for construction materials and other goods for La Morena, given the events of 17 July.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia que esperamos (boletín de Tlachinollan)

Declara el juez la inocencia del indígena Rafael Rodríguez Dircio y sale libre (El Sur de Acapulco, 16 July)

Pide la OPIM al gobierno mecanismos para que otros acusados no pisen la cárcel (El Sur de Acapulco, 17 July)

Libre Rafael Rodríguez, defensor del pueblo indígena me’phaa(Indymedia, 7 July)

Indígena de la OPIM libre (La Jornada, 6 July)

Liberan a integrante de la OPIM; no hubo pruebas (La Jornada, 6 July)

Irrumpen marinos en La Morena; retienen a policías y habitantes (La Jornada, 21 July)

Oficial: un marino y un policía estatal murieron en el choque en La Morena (El Sur de Acapulco, 21 July)

¨No tengo confirmado¨ que hayan sido efectivos de la Marina los que atacaron a policías del estado: Aguirre (El Sur de Acapulco, 22 July)

Huyen familias de la sierra de Petatlán por amenazas y asesinatos (El Sur de Acapulco, 22 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Guerrero: Liberty for Raúl Hernández, prisoner of conscience

August 30, 2010

Raúl Hernández free (@ Tlachinollan)

After having been held for 28 months in the prison of Ayutla de los Libres, Raúl Hernández Abundio, member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), was released on Friday, 27 August.  The judge overseeing his case, Alfredo Sánchez Sánchez, ordered Hernández’s immediate and unconditional release, basing his demand in arguments advanced by the defense.  Sánchez Sánchez said that Raúl Hernández “is neither guilty nor judicially responsible for the murder of Alejandro Feliciando García, which occurred in January 2008.”  Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, the defense lawyer from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, proclaimed the development to be “a triumph for the social movement both in Guerro and Mexico generally.”

Hernández left prison at 2:45pm and was received by members of the OPIM as well as his juridical advisers and lawyers from Tlachinollan.  Via telephone conversation with media sources, he stressed that he “feels happy, now that they have given me my liberty,” and that “we will continue to work so that they give us infrastructure, schools, medical clinics; we will continue to struggle, and I will continue to work.”

In a 27 August communiqué, Amnesty International (AI), which has recognized Raúl Hernández as a prisoner of conscience, requests that Hernández’s “groundless” processing be thoroughly reviewed, and that he receive compensation for his “unjust imprisonment.”  AI claims that “the case against Raúl Hernández constitutes reprisal on the part of the authorities for his legitimate activities in promotion of indigenous rights by means of the OPIM as well as his exposure of the abuses committed by local caciques, soldiers, and authorities.”  In a communiqué released the same day, Tlachinollan reiterates that “the sentence proclaimed today shows the forcefulness of the evidence brought forth by Raúl and his defense and furthermore confirms the inconsistencies of the accusations that the national and international human-rights organizations have denounced with the strong convinction and belief that Raúl is innocent, and that his imprisonment followed from the constant denunciation of fundamental rights carried out objectively by his organization since 1998.”  Raúl Hernández was imprisoned since April 2008, charged for the crime of murdering an informant of the Mexican army, crime he did not commit.

For more information (in Spanish):

Following two years in prison, judge demands liberty for Raúl Hernández (La Jornada, 27 August)

Amnesty International demands compensation for Raúl Hernández, given his unjust imprisonment (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 August)

Prisoner of conscience Raúl Hernández is released; call for clarification of crime for which he was unjustly accused (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 August)

Indigenous defender from Guerrero accused of murder is released (La Jornada, 28 August)

Amnesty International communiqué(27 August)

Communiqué-Raúl Hernández, free (27 de agosto)

Weblog on the case of Raúl Hernández

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: PGJE requests 50 years for Raúl Hernández (11 August)

Guerrero: PGJE requests 50 years for Raúl Hernández

August 11, 2010

On Friday 6 August there was held an audience on the case of Raúl Hernández Abundio who, according to his counsel, has been unjustly accused of the murder of an army-informant in January 2008.  Such claims notwithstanding, the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) of Guerrero has requested Hernández Abundio be given the maximum sentence of 50 years.  It should be remembered that the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, which is heading the defense of Hernández Abundio, member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM), has already invalidated previous evidence.  Furthermore, the judge who visited the crime-scene has confirmed that the declaration of the principal witness in the case is incorrect and hence affirmed that Hernández Abundio could not have committed the murder.  The PGJE also has not taken into account the declarations of ocular witnesses who established that Raúl Hernández was not in the vicinity where the crime occurred when it did.  Following this audience, the judge will have 10 days to release the corresponding sentence.

Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, a lawyer with Tlachinollan, stressed that “this is a clear indication that the state government–the government of Zeferino Torreblanca–continues with its sober and deliberate intention to persecute human-rights defenders and other social activists in Guerrero; it is clear evidence because of the lack of evidence, because the accusation is nonsense.” Similarly, Amnesty International (AI) condemned the conclusions of the PGJE in a 7 August press-release.  The adjunct director of the AI Program for the Americas, Kerrie Howard, declared that “[t]he decision to continue [with the case] despite the fabricated charges of murder against Raúl Hernández is part of a systematic campaign of the Mexican authorities against members of this indigenous community who defend the human rights of their people.” Tlachinollan circulated a model letter directed at the Guerrero Judicial Power to request justice and liberty for Raúl Hernández.

For more information (in Spanish):

AI condemns accusation against indigenous Mexican (La Jornada, 8 August)

Official repression, ratification of charges against Hernández: NGO (La Jornada, 7 August)

Amnesty International press-release (7 August)

Model-letter to the Judicial Power (Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights)

Press-release of the Observatory for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders (10 August)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Briefs: Detention of FODEG member, Raúl Hernández received threats and announcement of the commeoration of the massacre at Aguas Blancas (30 June 2010)

Guerrero: 2nd anniversary of the imprisonment of Raúl Hernández (23 April 2010)

Guerrero: Briefs – AI pronouncement; Forum of Environmental Defenders

August 2, 2010

On Tuesday 27 July was published in an article in El Sur de Acapulco declarations made by the Guerrero governor Zefererino Torreblanca regarding the imprisonment of Raúl Hernández and his designation as a politicla prisoner by Amnesty International (AI).  He insinuated that AI is mistaken in this case, saying that “if the state-government is sure that it will be accused, it should not retire [the charges],” and that “defense of human rights is confused with legality, since there is evidence.”  AI responded with a pronouncement: “Amnesty International takes up cases of prisoners of conscience only following copious analysis of a given case that allows it to conclude not only regarding the innocence of the processed person, but also […] of the form in which the justice system is utilized on occasion to persecute leaders, social activists, and individuals for their ethnic origin, sex, social condition–and if they are human-rights defenders.”  Hernández was detained in 2008 for a supposed homicide of an informant of the Mexican army.  The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights is organizing the defense of Raúl Hernández and has already shown all the evidence for the innocence of the member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM). The sentence is expecte dto be announced during the first half of the month of August.

On Wednesday 28 July, a month after the appearance of Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), a forum was held on environmental defenders and criminalization of social protest in the installations of hte Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Center ProDH) in Mexico City.  Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera are members of the Organization of Ecological Campesinos of the Sierra of Petatlán and Coyucade Catalán (OCESP); they will have their audience against the Mexican State this month in San José, Costa Rica.  Both environmental defenders were detained and tortured by the Mexican army in 1990 for crimes they did not commit.  In 2000 they were sentenced to prison for a term of between 6 and 10 years.  After having presented the case to the IACHR in 2001, they were released without having been exonerated for the crimes they were charged with.

For more information (in Spanish):

Zeferino insinuates that he is sure of the accusation against the indigenous prisoner of conscience of Ayutla (El Sur de Acapulco, 27 July)


Environmental defenders: the new patriots (CentroProdh, 29 July)

Campesinos ecologistas en busca de justicia ante la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CENCOS, 29 de julio)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: resurgence of conflict over the possible construction of the La Parota dam (27 April 2010)

Guerrero – Briefs: Detention of FODEG member, Raúl Hernández receives threats and announcement of the commemoration of the massacre at Aguas Blancas (30 June 2010)