Mexico: Where is Héctor Rangel Ortiz?
“I will carry on searching for my brother even if it costs me my life.”
These are the agonizing words of Brenda Rangel Ortiz, seen at right in a happier moment with her brother Héctor. He was on a business trip on November 10, 2009 when he phoned to say he had been stopped by municipal police in the town of Monclova. He was never seen again.
Brenda and her family have knocked on countless doors, in their efforts to find Héctor. It's a dangerous undertaking.
“We’ve received death threats warning us not to look for Hector, not to investigate what happened,” reports Brenda. “But we will not give up.”
Brenda’s quest is fuelled by both love and anguish. “I don’t know where he is, if he is still alive, if he is being tortured,” she says.
Many other families face the same suffering. More than 30,000 have been reported missing since 2006. Authorities have failed to properly investigate and find them, amidst widespread corruption and rampant impunity.
For Héctor and his family, there is a glimmer of hope. His case was accepted by the Specialized Search Unit for Disappeared People, a unit created in response to denunciations of indifference and negligence on the part of authorities.
Brenda and her family are appealing for expressions of international concern to ensure the Search Unit does its job and finds out what happened to Héctor. Progress on his case will set a precedent that can help other families of the disappeared. “Please raise your voices with us,” says Brenda. “It is very difficult for us alone.”
Write a short, polite letter to Mexico’s Attorney General. Bear in mind that Mexican officials are mindful of their international image.
- Begin with a sentence introducing yourself and where you are writing from.
- Express your concern about the enforced disappearance of Héctor Rangel Ortiz since 10 November 2009 and the threats that have met efforts by his family to find him.
- Urge the Federal Attorney General to ensure that the Specialized Search Unit for Disappeared People establishes Héctor's whereabouts and what happened to him, investigates all available leads, including those implicating public officials, and brings those responsible to justice.
- Request increased resources to enable the Specialized Search Unit to effectively investigate all cases of disappearances and publicly report on the results.
Raúl Cervantes Andrade, Attorney General
Procuraduría General de la República
Av. Paseo de la Reforma 211 – 213 Col. Cuahtemoc
Del. Cuahtemoc, México D.F., CP 06500
Fax: 011 52 55 5346 0908
Please send a copy of your letter to:
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6 (no postage needed within Canada)
SEND A MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY
Words of support are so important for Brenda and her family as they confront threats and injustice in their quest to find Héctor.
Send your message to Mexico campaigner Kathy Price for delivery to the Rangel Ortiz family:
Kathy Price, Amnesty International, 1992 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON. M4S 1Z7