Chiapas/International: Grave situation of defenders denounced before the UN Human Rights Council; “We Are All Female Defenders” gives presentation

March 21, 2015

Foto @  RIDH | Panorama diplomático

Photo @RIDH | Panorama diplomático

In observance of the twenty-eighth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Consorcio for Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca (Consorcio Oaxaca), the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra, and the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) denounced the climate of hostility and violence in which they carry out their work in defense of human rights in Mexico.  “We are here to denounce that the Mexican government is failing to protect human-rights defenders,” noted Yésica Sánchez, director of Consorcio Oaxaca. For her part, Norma Mesino, a member of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS), indicated that the goal of the visit was to raise awareness about “the Mexican government denies us the right to justice” as female human-rights defenders.  In her case, the precautionary measures needed to protect her life were only granted after being ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  “We want the international community to focus itself on Mexico and demand that the government observe human rights,” she added.

These defenders participated together with the UN Special Rapporteur on human-rights defenders during the event, and the CMDPDH campaign called “#MakeThemVisible” was launched, toward the end of sharing the life-stories of 40 female human-rights defenders in Mexico.

Beyond this, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, the report “We Are All Female Rights-Defenders” wa presented.  This provides a national diagnostic regarding the situation of attacks on female human-rights defenders and the type of violence they have suffered–in the majority of cases, at the hands of State agents.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defensoras de derechos humanos mexicanas denuncian en la ONU falta de garantías para ejercer su labor (RIDH – Panorama diplomático, 9 de marzo de 2015)

La lucha de las mujeres defensoras en un México de violencia e impunidad (Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Participa Consorcio Oaxaca en Diálogo “Contexto de la violencia en México y su impacto en las mujeres defensoras de DH” frente al Relator de la ONU (Consorcio Oaxaca, 9 de marzo de 2015)

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Oaxaca: Communiqué by Consorcio in light of multiple attacks by the State

July 2, 2012

Yésica Sánchez, director of Consorcio @ Ciudadanía Express

On 19 June the civil association Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca requested in a press-note that the state government urgently guarantee the safety and work of human-rights defenders, given the incessant aggressions that have occurred during the past six months.

As the communiqué says, “In just one week there have occurred three aggressions against human-rights defenders in Oaxaca: the murder of the Zapotec indigenous man Severiano Hernández Méndez, who was killed in the morning last Friday; the gunfire that gravely injured Bertín Vásquez Ruiz and Guadalupe Andrés Vásquez Ruiz, members of the Coordination of United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (CPUVO) and the death-threats against members of UCIZONI [sic].”  It continues: “The aggressions against members of the CPUVO have happened repeatedly from January to June 2012, and in accordance with the denunciations that have followed, these have been perpetrated by members of the municipal authority, with the result that 2 human-rights defenders have been killed:  Bernardo Méndez Vásquez (18 January 2012) and Bernardo Vásquez Sánchez (15 March 2012).  Furthermore, there have been many who have been injured by gunfire, including Abigail Vásquez Sánchez, Rosalinda Dionisio Canseco, and Andrés Vásquez Sánchez.”

For these reasons, the same document by Consorcio requests that “the work and safety of human-rights workers urgently be guaranteed in the state of Oaxaca.  [We call for] reality in the discourse regarding human rights in the state, and that this reality be translated into guarantees so as to be able to carry out our work as rights-defenders.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Consorcio Oaxaca exige justicia ante el aumento de agresiones contra defensor@s en Oaxaca (Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la Equidad Oaxaca A.C., 19 de junio de 2012)

Se suman Pemex y CFE a “escalada represiva”, denuncia organismo indígena (Proceso, 20 de junio de 2012)

Persiste clima de permisibilidad para ataques a defensores: ONG (A Diario Oaxaca, 21 de junio de 2012)

Amnistía International: Acción Urgente para defensor@s de San José del Progreso (Amnistía International, 21 de junio de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Opponents to mining in San José del Progreso are attacked (25 June 2012)

Oaxaca: Murder of the spokesperson of the Coordination of the United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (25 March 2012)

Oaxaca: Two opponents of mining in San José del Progreso are fired on (8 February 2012)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Coordination of United People of the Ocotlán Valley close entrance to silver mine in San José del Progreso (14 March 2011)