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Mexico

    January 24, 2019

    The Mexican state failed in its obligation to ensure the effective protection of the environmental human rights defender Julián Carrillo, said Amnesty International in the report Caught between bullets and neglect: Lack of protection for defenders of the territory in the Sierra Tarahumara, published today, three months after his death.

    “The Indigenous Rarámuri people of the community of Coloradas de la Virgen have for years faced a series of attacks and threats because of their work defending human rights and their ancestral territory,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    “The killing of Julián Carrillo is the most obvious and appalling evidence of the Mexican authorities’ failure to comply with their obligation to guarantee effective protection from all types of violence, threats or reprisals resulting from their work defending human rights.”

    December 06, 2018

    Following a statement from the Regional Public Prosecutor for Puebla state, Jaime Huerta, in relation to the arrest of an individual allegedly connected to the killing of the environmental defender Manuel Gaspar Rodríguez, and the claim that the crime could be attributed to personal problems, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said:

    “It is essential that the authorities carry out a comprehensive, independent and impartial investigation, including into those who could have ordered or planned the killing of Manuel Gaspar Rodríguez. If it fails to do so, the Public Prosecutor’s Office would be sending a message of impunity and encouraging further attacks against defenders of the land, territory and environment.”

    “Amnesty International urges the Mexican authorities to include within the line of investigation the possibility that the attack could be related to Manuel Gaspar’s work to defend the environment, before hastily speaking out about possible motives for his killing.”

    December 04, 2018

    By Maha Asad, Amnesty Canada's National Youth Action and Advisory Council

    Signing petitions and writing letters to protect human rights matters! Achieving our desired goals may take time but raising our voices helps create pressure. I saw that first hand during a visit to the Embassy of Mexico in Ottawa on November 20th.

    We met with Ambassador Arturo Hernández Basave (below 3R) and Legal Affairs Secretary Alfonso Vera Sanchez (left) and handed over more than 35,000 messages of support, solidarity and calls for action on behalf of the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, as well as other victims of grave human rights abuses in Mexico.

    November 28, 2018

    Amnesty International launched a campaign today urging President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador to take concrete measures during the first 100 days of his administration to improve the human rights situation in Mexico.

    “The government of President-elect López Obrador has a historic opportunity to build a Mexico in which the human rights of every individual are respected and protected,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The mistakes of the past cannot keep being repeated. We ask the next government to take decisive, timely and effective measures to improve the human rights situation in Mexico and to demonstrate that the rights of individuals in the country will be at the core of all public policy and government action.”

    November 21, 2018

    Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, has addressed Mexican president elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in response to his recent announcements regarding the creation of a National Guard conformed by trained military personnel and federal police to take over public security in Mexico.

    Find the video of Kumi Naidoo calling on Andrés Manuel López Obrador to prevent further militarization of Mexico on Facebook or download the file here.

    Below an excerpt of the video transcript:

    November 15, 2018

    In response to the announcement made by the government of Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who will take office on 1 December, in relation to a proposal for a train that would run across five states in south-eastern Mexico, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “The new authorities must ensure that this mega-project only goes ahead if the Indigenous Peoples who could potentially be affected give their free, prior and informed consent. Mexico must respect its obligations under international law and properly consult Indigenous Peoples on public policies and government actions that could affect their rights to territory and their economic, social and cultural rights.”

    October 26, 2018
    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 187/18 HERE

    Julián Carrillo was shot to death on 24 October, after receiving several death threats for his work defending the territory of his Indigenous community in Mexico. He is the latest death in a series of killings, including several members of his family and Indigenous authorities. The community fears that other attacks could take place.

    Indigenous environmental, land and territory defender, Julián Carrillo was shot dead by an unknown person in the state of Chihuahua (northern Mexico) in the evening of 24 October. According to his family, they heard shooting in the mountains and, hours later, Julián Carrillo’s body was found disfigured by shots from high-calibre firearms. Since 23 October, Julián Carrillo was in hiding in the Tarahumara mountain range because he was being followed by members of an alleged organized crime group in his community of Coloradas de la Virgen.

    October 26, 2018

    The killing of the Rarámuri Indigenous human rights defender Julián Carrillo in the state of Chihuahua yesterday highlights yet again the lack of protection and inefficiency of the protective measures provided by the Mexican authorities to the Indigenous communities of the Sierra Tarahumara, Amnesty International said today.

    “Once again we have seen how, without changes which take into account the structural causes of the violence against human rights defenders, providing a police escort or a telephone is not enough to stop the wave of violence facing those who dare to speak out to defend their territory”, said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    October 22, 2018

    Mexican authorities must guarantee that no one at risk of danger in Honduras is deported and that caravan members are informed of their right to seek asylum, said Amnesty International today in response to news that several members of the caravan were transferred to a migration detention center rather than to a shelter.

    “Mexican authorities must at all times avoid detaining children and separating families; they should also attend to the urgent humanitarian needs, avoid using force at all costs and identify those people who are fleeing violence and are in need of international protection,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    Thousands of members of a caravan of people from Honduras and Central America began to cross the bridge that divides Guatemala and Mexico yesterday. Several people were wounded during the crossing and tear gas was briefly used by federal police. Thousands of people spent the night on the bridge without proper shelter, food or protection. Several caravan members were transported to a detention center in the city of Tapachula, which is commonly the place where deportation buses depart from.

    October 18, 2018

    The Mexican government must listen to the individual stories of those fleeing Honduras and inform them of their right to seek asylum, said Amnesty International today in response to news that the Mexican government deployed its federal police chief to its southern border to await the arrival of a caravan of over 1,600 people from Honduras, including dozens of families and children. 

    “Mexican authorities should not take a Trump approach treating people like a security threat. These families deserve dignity and respect to ensure that no one is illegally returned to situations where they could risk serious harm due to violence,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International. 

    September 24, 2018

    After four years of trying to hide the truth about the enforced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has one final chance to take appropriate action and stop obstructing the creation of a special investigative commission, Amnesty International said today.

    “The world is watching Mexico, waiting for the government to finally guarantee the victims’ rights by permitting the creation of an investigative commission that can uncover the truth of what happened and achieve justice for the 43 students of Ayotzinapa and their families,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    On 26 September 2014, 43 students of the Ayotzinapa teaching school were forcibly disappeared in Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero. Despite intense international and domestic pressure, including from the families of the disappeared students, their whereabouts are still unknown, as are the events that led to these grave human rights violations.

    September 21, 2018

    In response to the ruling of the First Collegiate Court of the Nineteenth District in Tamaulipas in which it was confirmed that there are no legal impediments to the creation of a special investigative commission in the case of the enforced disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “This ruling confirms that the main obstacle to the proper investigation of the Ayotzinapa case has been the lack of willingness of the Mexican authorities to uncover the truth of what happened. Amnesty International calls on the Mexican authorities not to prevent or discourage the creation of the special investigative commission”.

    “The special investigative commission represents hope for the students’ families because it could be, subject to certain conditions, a mechanism that helps achieve truth, justice, and reparation in this case”, Guevara-Rosas concluded.

    August 29, 2018

    In reaction to the video released today by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in relation to the enforced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in the southern state of Guerrero in 2014, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “It is negligent and apathetic for the president of Mexico to continue to publicly defend the alleged ‘historical truth’ of an investigation which has now been discredited by several different organizations and independent experts following a rigorous analysis. This is yet another example of the political decision of Peña Nieto’s government to dedicate all available resources to hiding the facts rather than to guaranteeing truth, justice and reparation for the victims and their families”.

    For more information please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bbberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    Further information:

    Mexico: Government insists on hiding the truth about Ayotzinapa (News, 18 July 2018)

    August 10, 2018

    In a memorandum delivered to President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador yesterday, Amnesty International presented findings and concerns regarding the human rights situation in Mexico, together with a series of specific recommendations, with the aim of contributing to the new government’s plans and actions to resolve the human rights crisis facing the country.

    “Mexico and the world are waiting to see whether this new government will take on the challenge of ending the severe human rights crisis in the country,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The change that Mexico needs requires the president-elect and his team to prioritise the human rights agenda in government decisions and to review the public policies and legislation that today pose a threat to the rights of all individuals.”

    July 31, 2018

    Mexico’s federal authorities continue to overlook key lines of investigation into the disappearances of 36 people in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo, while failing to protect the victims’ families who have alleged the Navy’s involvement in the disappearances, Amnesty International said today.

    “The Federal Attorney General’s Office is losing crucial time in its investigations into these disappearances, which gives those suspected of criminal responsibility the chance to cover their tracks. The investigators must step up their efforts to find the victims while they’re still alive,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The authorities must urgently activate effective protection measures for witnesses and victims’ family members, who often see little option but to risk their safety, jobs and livelihoods in the desperate search for their loved ones.”

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