Document – Mexico: Death threat for community activist
FU UA: 16/10 Index: AMR 41/085/2010 Mexico Date: 26 November 2010
death threat for community activist
Community activist Margarita Guadalupe Martínez Martínez was approached by unknown men in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, and threatened with death. Several human rights defenders with whom Margarita Martínez works were also threatened.
On 24 November, Margarita Martínez reports that she left a café in San Cristóbal de la Casas and was approached by three men, two on foot and one in a pick-up truck, and told “do as we tell you otherwise we’ll shoot you”(tienes que hacer lo que te decimos si no te damos tres plomazos). She was given a letter addressed to ‘Diego’, the head of Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas). This is a local organization which represents Margarita Martínez in a case she initiated against police officers and other officials who carried out an illegal raid on her home on 8 November 2009. The letter, cut out in newsprint, stated “Diego, the lives of the Martinez family is in your hands, you will face charges, fucking defenders”. (Diego en tus manos esta la vida de esta familia enfrentarás cargos defensores de la verga).
The men then told Margarita Martínez to take a taxi to the cemetery “so that you can talk to your dead ones because you will soon meet them” (para que puedas platicar con tus muertitos porque ya pronto te vas a encontrar con ellos) and then to the municipal market “without fucking around because you’re a dead person” (sin hacer pendejadas porque eres persona muerta). She took a taxi and could see that the three men were following her in a pick-up truck. When the men lost sight of her because of traffic, she got out of the taxi and ran away.
Margarita Martínez and her family have received some police protection. Margarita Martínez had a police officer allocated to her on 24 November but when she came out of the café, she could not find the officer. Shortly afterwards, she was threatened by her assailants.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Spanish or your own language:
Expressing concern for the safety of Margarita Martínez and her family and for Diego Cadenas and his colleagues at Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre;
Urging the authorities to provide them with effective protection in strict accordance with their wishes;
Calling on the authorities to carry out a full and impartial investigation into these death threats and into previous acts of intimidation against Margarita Martínez and her family;
Reminding them of their duty to guarantee the safety of all human rights defenders as established by the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 7 JANUARY 2010 TO:
Minister of the Interior
Lic. José Francisco Blake Mora
Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juárez
México D.F., C.P. 06600, MÉXICO
Fax: (+52) 55 5063 3405
Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado
Lic. Juan José Sabines Guerrero
Gobernador del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno,
1er. piso, Col. Centro, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, C.P. 29000, Chiapas, MÉXICO
Fax: +52 961 618 8087/88
Salutation: Dear Governor/Estimado Señor Gobernador
Chiapas Attorney General
Mtro. Raciel López Salazar
Procurador General de Justicia del Estado de Chiapas
Libramiento Norte Oriente No. 2010, Col. El Bosque, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, C.P. 29049, Chiapas, MÉXICO
Fax: +52 961 616 5724
Salutation: Dear Attorney General/Estimado Señor Procurador
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the second update of UA 16/10 Index: AMR 41/015/2010. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR41/015/2010/en
death threat for community activist
Margarita Martínez and her husband and activist Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz have been supporting local Indigenous communities in the Chiapas municipality of Comitán. The communities have demanded a space to set up their traditional market in the town of Comitán and have organized demonstrations and road blocks to put pressure on the authorities. Margarita Martínez and Adolfo Guzmán are members of the local organization Communication and Training Link (Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación).
State police raided the home of the Guzmán Martínez family in the early hours of 8 November 2009 without a judicial warrant. The raid could have been an attempt to dissuade Margarita Martínez and Adolfo Guzmán from carrying out their work with Indigenous communities. The couple have suffered subsequent death threats and acts of intimidation, including the abduction of Margarita Martínez on 25 February 2010, as an apparent reprisal for pursuing the case against the police officers and other officials responsible for the raid. According to reports, the State Attorney General’s Office has recently taken important steps in the investigation of this incident.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requested the Mexican authorities to guarantee the safety of the Guzmán Martínez family in March 2010.
Further information on UA: 16/10 Index: AMR 41/085/2010 Issue Date: 26 November