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)

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Guerrero – Briefs: PGJE denigrates the killing of Lorenzo Fernandez; NGOs continue to pressure for the release of Raul Hernández

July 12, 2010

Two years and five months after the murder of Lorenzo Fernández Ortega, brother of Inés Fernández Ortega, who was raped by soldiers in 2002, the Attorney General of the State of Guerrero (PGJE) has presented a homicide suspect. The PGJE has concluded that the killing resulted from a conflict that arose during a drinking binge.

The defense has argued that on February 9, 2008, Lorenzo was subject to enforced disappearance.  A day later, he was found dead – with his body showing visible signs of torture – in the river that runs through the city of Ayutla. Lorenzo was a member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) and played an important role in defending human rights of indigenous people from their region. He actively campaigned to denounce the acts carried out against his sister, Inés Fernández, and supported the denunciations in the case brought before the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights (CODDEHUM) concerning the 14 indigenous women of El Camalote who were forcibly sterilized by the Ministry of Health in 1998.

In a July 5th communiqué, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, the Guerrero Network of Human-Rights Organizations (Red Guerrerense), and OPIM denounced that Tlachinollan, as collaborator in the case, only had a limited access to the advances of the investigation and that the conclusion that the homocide had been the result of a drinking binge denigrates Lorenzo Fernandez as a defender of human rights.

On the same day, Amnesty International (AI) released an Urgent Action demanding the immediate release of political prisoner Raúl Hernández, a member of OPIM.  He was detained on April 17, 2008 and accused of the murder of Alejandro Feliciano García, committed on January 1, 2008. On June 30, 2010, the judge presiding over the trial of this defender of human rights and indigenous peoples closed the evidentiary phase of his trial for murder. The crime-scene investigation conducted by the judge confirmed that the statements of witnesses who claimed that Raul Hernandez was present at the time of the murder were unreliable. AI called on civil society to demand the release of Hernandez from the PGJE in a letter to be sent before August 14, 2010. (See Urgent Action below).

Finally, on July 6th, the Solicitor’s International Human Rights Group (SIHRG) published a report regarding the situation of Raúl Hernández. In the report, the organization emphasized that the incarceration of Hernández was based on lies and that there exists no evidence of his participation in the criminal acts for which he has been accused. The SIHRG expressed profound worry over the case of Hernández and claimed it to be willing to take further measures to protect the human-rights defender.

For more information (in Spanish):

Joint communiqué by Tlachinollan, the Guerrero Network, and OPIM (5 July)

Amnesty International campaign for the release of Raúl Hernández

Amnesty International Urgent Action: Key moment in the trial for murder of activist (5 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Briefs–CECOP receive precautionary measures; Report on human rights; Civil society organizations continue asking for the liberation of Raúl Hernández (5 July 2010)


Guerrero: Briefs – CECOP receive precautionary measures; Report on human rights; Civil society organizations continue asking for the liberation of Raúl Hernández

July 5, 2010

On the 1st of July, the first nullification hearing was held before the Agrarian Court (TUA) by the members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam (CECOP). They asked for an annulment of the assembly held on April 28 of this year that approved the expropriation of 300 thousand hectares for the construction work on the La Parota dam. The TUA granted injunctions that would prevent the undertaking of work related to the hydroelectric project.

On the same day, a report about the situation of human rights in Guerrero was presented publicly in Chilpancingo. Civil society organizations denounced new threats against human rights defenders before international organisms such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico (OACNUDH). The president of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña, Abel Barrera Hernández, mentioned that in Guerrero 178 human rights defenders have received precautionary warnings, reflecting the critical situation in which they find themselves. Various organizations were present, including the Network of Guerrerense Civil Organizations for Human Rights, the Collective Against Torture and Impunity  and the Regional Center for the Defense of Human Rights José María Morelos y Pavón. In turn, government officials who were invited did not attend the event. Abel Barrera lamented missed opportunity for dialogue between the state government and civil society organizations. Within this context, they continued to demand the immediate release of Raúl Hernández, who remains imprisoned in the jail Ayutla despite having already proved his innocence.

In fact, on the 30th of June, Tlachinollan and the Organization of Me’phaa Indgenous People (OPIM) released a communique together, asking the state Attorney General to present no accusatory conclusions in the case against Raul Hernandez. The document included an Urgent Action in which the two organizations asked people to send letters to the state Attorney General of Guerrero to push for a decision favorable to Hernandez.

For more information (in Spanish):

The TUA grants precautionary measures to impede the CFE’s construction of La Parota (La Jornada, 2 July)

Organizations: threats against rights-defenders persist (La Jornada, 2 July)

Joint communiqué from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights and OPIM: Demand that the State Attorney General’s Office present non-accusatory conclusions (1 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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