Mexico: Enviromental rights defender killed, others at risk
Samir Flores Soberanes via Twitter
Samir Flores Soberanes, an environmental, land and territory human rights defender, was killed on 20 February, after receiving several death threats for his work defending the territory of his community. Members of an unknown armed group shot him four times, twice in the head, outside his house.
Samir was a member of a grassroots collective called the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Earth and Water (FPDTA) in the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala (southeast Mexico). The FPDTA is dedicated to protecting the environment and the territory in the area. He was vocal in his opposition to the thermal-electric plant and pipeline project called “Proyecto Integral Morelos”. As a result, he had received written death threats and in October 2018, an unidentified group of attackers beat him. The day before he was killed, Samir attended an information session on the project and expressed concerns about its human rights and social impacts.
Amnesty International fears for the safety of others in the collective.
Please send a letter, tweet or email without delay.
* Urge the authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of Samir Flores Soberanes, taking into account the possibility that the attack was retaliation for his activities as an environmental, land and territory defender.
* Ask them to ensure that his colleagues in the FPTDA are protected from harm and that they can express their views without fear of reprisals.
Governor of Morelos
Calle de la Luz, 88
CP: 62450, México
Email: Cuauhtemoc.Blanco@morelos.gob.mx or Maribel.firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: Morelos Governor: @cuauhtemocb10 or Morelos Government: @GobiernoMorelos
Salutation: Dear Governor
Attorney General of the State of Morelos
Av. Emiliano Zapata No. 803
Col. Buena Vista, Cuernavaca
C.P. 62130, México
Salutation: Dear Attorney General
His Excellency Arturo Hernández Basave
Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Mexico
45 O'Connor Street, Suites 1000 & 1030
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1A4
Fax: 613 235 9123
Phone: 613 233 8988 or 613 233 9272
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
111 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Postage: None required
Fax: 613 996 9607
Phone: 613 992 5234
In the January 2019 report Caught Between Bullets and Neglect: Lack of Protection for Defenders of the Territory in the Sierra Tarahumara, Amnesty International confirmed that Mexico is failing to comply with its obligation to protect human rights defenders who are at risk and, in general, to guarantee a favourable climate in which they can carry out their work in safety. Amnesty International asked the Mexican government to incorporate a comprehensive perspective on the protection of human rights defenders in relevant legislations, plans, programs and policies, with the objective of guaranteeing effective protection for them.
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