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: New detention of OPIM member for same case as Raúl Hernández; Lucio Cabañas’ widow and her sister are murdered

July 17, 2011

Rafael Rodríguez Dircio (@Tlachinollan)

On 29 June, Rafael Rodríguez Dircio, member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous Peoples (OPIM) and recipient of precautionary measures as recommended by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), was detained at a checkpoint by units of the Ministerial Investigational police (PIM) and taken to the prison of Ayutla de Los Libres.  He faces the same charge for which were detained in April 2008 five members of OPIM, among them Raúl Hernández Abundio, prisoner of conscience defended by Amnesty International who was deprived of liberty until August 2010.  Another five members of OPIM were awarded an injunction blocking their arrest-orders in 2009 in the same case.  The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights stresses that “the accusation today faced by Rafael Rodríguez Dircio is based in evidence that has been considered illegal and inconsistent in at least ten other cases,” adding that “the case of [Dircio] is a test for the new government of Guerrero with regard to the work carried out by defenders of human rights.  If the accusation originated with the previous administration, it will be the authorities of the government of Ángel Aguirre Rivero and the new Superior Tribunal of Justice that will presently decide to release or maintain detained the Me’phaa defender.  In this sense, the resolution of the juridical situation constitutes a test by which to measure whether during the six-year term that has just begun will continue with the criminalization of rights-denfeders and social activists as carried out by the previous administration.”

In other news, on 3 July, Isabel Ayala Nava, widow of the guerrilla ex-commander Lucio Cabañas Barrientos, 54 years of age, was murdered by gunfire along with her sister Reyna Ayala Nava (58 years old) by unknown subjects from a car in movement as they were leaving a church in Xaltianguis, municipality of Acapulco.  Some hours later, Micaela Cabañas Ayala, daughter of Isabel and member of Nacidos en la Tempestad AC, received a death-threat against her person from the cellular number of her mother.  Relatives, leaders of social organizations, and civil organizations have condemned these murders and have demanded that the Guerrero state-government clarify them immediately.

Isabel Ayala Nava pertained to the Partido de los Pobres (PdlP, or Party of the Poor), an insurgent Mexican organization born at the beginning of the 1970s, and had been subjected to torture and other cruel treatment.  In the last three years she had participated in activities organized by the groups United Left of the South and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Guerrero.  In the first months of 2011 two brothers of Isabel and Reyna were murdered.  Upon demanding that the crimes be clarified, the family began to receive anonymous death-threats.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fue detenido en Ayutla el defensor indígena Rafael Rodríguez Dircio, integrante de la OPIM (Boletín de prensa del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 2 July 2011)

Denuncia ONG detención de defensor indígena Rafael Rodríguez (La Jornada, 4 July)

Amnistía exige juicio justo a un indígena de Guerrero acusado de asesinato (CNN México, 5 July)

Juez de Ayutla resolverá el martes 5 de julio si el defensor me’phaa Rafael Rodríguez Dircio recupera su libertad o continúa en prisión(Boletín de prensa del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 5 July 2011)

Matan a viuda de Lucio Cabañas (El Universal, 3 July)

Organización “Nacidos en la Tempestad AC” exige justicia en el asesinato de activistas políticas (4 July 2011)

Exigen esclarecer homicidio de viuda de Lucio Cabañas (Proceso, 4 July 2011)

ONG exigen esclarecer crimen de Isabel Ayala (El Universal, 4 July)

Hija de Lucio Cabañas exige justicia por asesinato de su madre(Milenio, 4 July)

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: OPIM members win appeal for legal protection

February 25, 2010

On February 22, five members of the Indigenous People’s Organization Me’phaa (OPIM) were granted an appeal for legal protection, putting a stop to arrest warrants against them. The five members had been accused of being responsible for the murder of an army informant. Raul Hernandez Abundio is still in prison – unjustly — for this same crime. Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience in November 2008.

In a statement, the Montana Tlachinollan Human Rights Center said: “This latest appeal for legal protection in favour of five human rights defenders once again shows the clear and obvious intention of the Mexican State to persecute and imprison whoever organizes themselves to put in practice their collective rights, and document and denounce cases of abuse by the military. The Me’phaa indigenous people have fought for their rights, among them Ines Fernandez Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantu whose cases are now before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

– Boletin del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan (22 de febrero de 2010)

Frenan orden de aprehensión contra 5 indígenas (El Universal, 23 de febrero de 2010)

Guerrero: appeal is granted to 5 members of the OPIM

May 6, 2009
Raúl Hernández Abundio, the only remaining prisoner of the OPIM

Raúl Hernández Abundio, the only remaining prisoner of the OPIM

On April 29, the Eighth District Judge in Acapulco granted an appeal of the arrest warrants against 5 members of the Organization of the Indigenous Me’phaa People (OPIM). The five men are Cuauhtémoc Ramírez Rodríguez (the ex-president of the OPIM), Braulio Manzanares Lorenzo, José Eugenio Cruz, Félix Ortega Dolores and Merced Santiago Lorenzo. The Judge, Livia Lizbeth Larumbe Radilla, acknowledged that there did not exist sufficient evidence to corroborate their involvement in the killing of Alejandro Feliciano, which took place on January 1 of 2008.

In total, 15 members of the OPIM were accused of killing Alejandro Feliciano, claimed to be an informant of the Army. Five of them were detained; however 4 were freed on an appeal on March 18 of this year. It is important to remember that one remains prisoners; Raúl Hernández Abundio who was adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, and who remains in jail in Ayutla de los Libres since April 18 of 2008. There are also still arrest warrants against 5 other members of the OPIM. In a press release, the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CDHM Tlachinollan) stated that “The granting of the appeal shows that the government of Guerrero uses the institutions of justice to persecute human rights defenders who organize and question authoritarianism, militarization, and the lack of education, healthcare, and other rights which are systematically violated”.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado sobre el amparo, CDHM Tlachinollan, 29/4

Juzgado otorga amparo a 5 indígenas acusados de homicidio, El Universal, 30/4.

Otorgan amparo a 5 integrantes de la OPIM, La Jornada, 30/4.

More Information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: 4 of the 5 jailed human rights defenders are freed, (SIPAZ Blog, 3/19/2009)

Guerrero: Memebers of the OPIM request another appeal, (SIPAZ Blog 2/5/2009)

Guerrero: Federal government overturns appeal granted to 4 of the 5 detained members of OPIM (SIPAZ Blog, 11/6/08)

Guerrero: 4 of the 5 jailed human rights defenders are freed

March 19, 2009

On March 18, the judge Jesús Rafael Aragón granted an appeal to 4 of the 5 members of the Indigenous Me´phaa People´s Organization (OPIM), who have been incarcerated since April 17 of last year. Manuel Cruz Victoriano, Orlando Manzanarez Lorenzo, Natalio Ortega Cruz, y Romualdo Santiago Enedina were freed, while Raúl Hernández Abundio remains in jail.

The five human rights defenders were accused of killing Alejandro Feliciano García, an army informant, on January 1, 2008. In October of last year, the Eigth District judge in Acapulco granted an appeal, but it was overturned by the Attorney General´s office, without any new evidence.

According to the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CDHM Tlachinollan), “We are awaiting within the next few hours the confirmation of this appeal with the First Instance Judge of Ayutla, Alfredo Sánchez Sánchez, so that within 24 hours he will order the immediate release of the 4 indigenous persons from El Camalote who were adopted as perisoners of conscience by Amnesty International(AI).” The CDHM Tlachinollan has been defending the case of the 5 human rights defenders since they were first jailed.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado del CDHM Tlachinollan, 18/3/2009

México: Retiran cargos penales contra cuatro Indígenas presos de conciencia, pero uno continúa detenido injustamente, Amnestia Internacional, 18/3

Retiran cargos a mixtecos; sólo uno seguirá en prisión, El Universal, 19/3.

More Information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Memebers of the OPIM request another appeal, (SIPAZ Blog 5/2/2009)

Guerrero: Federal government overturns appeal granted to 4 of the 5 detained members of OPIM (SIPAZ Blog, 11/6/08)

SIPAZ Website- Civil Society: OPIM

Guerrero: prisoners of the OPIM are released

October 23, 2008

The Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña (CDHM, El Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan) released the following press release regarding the appeal granted to 4 of the 5 members of the Indiginous Me’phaa People’s Organization (OPIM, Organización del Pueblo Indígena Me’phaa):

Federal judge grants appeal by Me’phaa indigenous men imprisoned in Ayutla

  • The verdict was announced on 15th October in favour of four prisoners. One will remain in prison.
  • The prisoners who won the appeal should be freed by tomorrow, Tuesday 21st October.
  • The verdict demonstrates that the aim of the arrests was to put an end to their organised work

Tlapa, Guerrero, Mexico on October 20, 2008- The Eigth District judge based in Acapulco, Livia Lizabeth Larumbe Radilla, granted the appeal by four of the five members of the Indigenous Me’phaa People’s Organisation (Organización del Pueblo Indígena Me´phaa, OPIM). For six months they have been imprisoned in Ayutla jail, accused of the murder of an Army informer.

Following this verdict that was announced on 15th October, the First Instance Mixed judge in Ayutla, Alfredo Sánchez Sánchez, was notified on Friday 17th and he has 24 hours to release the accused indigenous men.

This would mean that tomorrow, 21st October, at the latest, the prisoners will be leaving the jail, except for Raúl Hernández Abundio, who will remain in prison because the District judge says that the witnesses claim that he was present when the gun that killed Alejandro Feliciano García was fired, on 1st January this year. However, this accusation is very vague. Read the rest of this entry »