National: New death-threats directed against Fray Tomás, director of “La 72″

March 27, 2013

Fray Tomás González @ Periódico ABC

Fray Tomás González @ Periódico ABC

On 17 March, Fray Tomás González Castillo, director of the Refuge Home “La 72” for migrant persons, denounced that he and those residing in the home received two death-threats from organized crime operating in Tenosique, Tabasco. “It should be mentioned that in recent weeks, we have accompanied many persons who have gravely victimized by extortion and death-threats.  We have denounced this before the PGR and PGJ of Tabasco,” notes the communique published by Fray Tomás.

His communique adds that the home had reported this to public security forces (Ministerial Federal Police, PGJ, Federal Police, Mexican Army), leading to the provocation of “an operation with a great lack of coordination: they took three people indicating as being migrants.  Regardless, they did not detain those who we consider to be the principal leaders, among them the chief who leads the gang that operates between Tenosique y Coatzacoalcos. This puts us at greater risk and danger.”

Both Fray Tomás and Rubén Díaz Figueroa, from the Usumacinta Center for Human Rights and a member of Amnesty International (AI), have denounced the death-threats and aggressions engaged in by soldiers, state police, and other uniformed people in Tenosique before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE).  Raúl Izquierdo and Samuel Villicana León, visitors with the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), have accompanied the migrant defenders in their presentation of complaints before the government in Tenosique, where the events occurred.

The “All Rights for All” National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations has announced that “it is important to indicate that these aggressions against the migrant home and the rights-defenders who work there has to do with the accompaniment and the denunciations made regarding the situation of migrant peoples transiting through Mexico.  From this Network we manifest our support and solidarity with the “72” migrant home; we recognize the important work done their daily to support our brother migrants.”  Amnesty International (AI) itself has called on Mexican authorities to provide “effective and immediate” protection for Fray Tomás González and Rubén Figueroa.

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgente desde Tenosique: Amenaza del crimen organizado a Defensores de Derechos Humanos (Frontera Sur, 18 de marzo de 2013)

Exigimos proteger la vida de Fray Tomás González y del personal del albergue “La 72” (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos “Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos”, 18 de marzo de 2013)

Denuncian agresión contra defensores de migrantes en Tabasco (Proceso, 20 de marzo de 2013)

Pasan noche de zozobra en el refugio La 72 (La Jornada Veracruz, 19 de marzo de 2013)

Amnistía Internacional urge a las autoridades a dar protección a defensores de migrantes amenazados de muerte (Periódico Sin Embargo, 18 de marzo de 2013)

Pide mafia mi cabeza: fraile; caen 3 bandidos (Tabasco Hoy, 20 de marzo de 2013)

Fray Tomás, defensor de los migrantes, denuncia amenazas de muerte (Diario El País, 20 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)

Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)

Mexico: Caravan for Peace concludes after journeying to Tabasco, Veracruz, and Puebla (28 September 2011)