Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Mexico

Assassinations and assassination attempts

Ongoing investigation into the assassination of Ms. Digna Ochoa y Plácido178

On February 24, 2005, the General Prosecutor of Mexico decided to re-examine the forensic evidence of the assassination of Ms. Digna Ochoa y Plácido, head of the legal department of the Miguel Agustín Pro-Juárez Human Rights Centre (Centro de Derechos Humanos "Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez" – PRODH) and a prominent human rights defender who was murdered on October 19, 2001 in her office in Mexico City.

By the end of 2006, all the evidence given by the experts involved in this new inquiry proved that her death was a homicide, whereas the official inquiry conducted by the General Prosecutor of the state of Mexico in 2003 had concluded to a suicide179. It was in particular revealed that Ms. Digna Ochoa could not have committed suicide as her hands bore no trace of gunpowder.

On April 21, 2006, the experts' reports were submitted to the Prosecutor's assistant and coordinator of public prosecution's employees. On July 21, 2006, the Prosecutor submitted his report to the seventh criminal judge of habeas corpus (Juez Septima de Amparo en Materia Penal), who had still not ruled in this case in late 2006.

As of the end of 2006, although Mr. Leonel Rivero, a lawyer and a colleague of Ms. Ochoa, continued to benefit from precautionary measures ordered by the IACHR, those granted to Ms. Barbara Zamora, another of her colleagues, had been suspended.

Status of the investigation into the assassination of Mr. Octavio Acuña Rubio180

On June 18, 2006, Mr. Miguel Ángel Palacios Río, a minor, was arrested and charged with the assassination of Mr. Octavio Acuña Rubio, one of the heads of the Association for Sexual Education of Queretaro (Asociación Queretana de Educacion para la Sexualidad – AQUESEX), who had been stabbed to death in his organisation's office on June 21, 2005. However, Mr. Rubio's relatives were not convinced of the minor's responsibility and feared that his arrest only sought to create a diversion in order to put an end to the investigation.

One week before he was murdered, Mr. Acuña Rubio had taken part in a Forum on sexual rights and had expressed his fears of reprisals by the police after denouncing violations committed by several officers.

AQUESEX had on several occasions been subjected to acts of harassment (theft, homophobic graffiti, etc.) in the past.

As of the end of 2006, the person behind Mr. Acuña Rubio's assassination had still not been identified.

Lack of investigation into the assassination attempt against Mr. Gustavo Jiménez Pérez181

By the end of 2006, no investigation had been opened into the assassination attempt against Mr. Gustavo Jiménez Pérez, a member of the Civic Alliance – Chiapas (Alianza Cívica – Chiapas) on November 20, 2005, although a complaint was filed.

Torture and assassination of Mr. Francisco Concepción Gabino Quiñones182

On March 11, 2006, the body of Mr. Francisco Concepción Gabino Quiñones, an indigenous leader who opposed the activities of mining operations belonging to the Italian multinational Ternium of the Techint Group, in Peña Colorada (State of Jalisco), was found bearing traces of torture183.

M. Gabino Quiñones belonged to the Cuzalapa Náhua community and was leading the fight against the introduction of the government privatisation programme PROCECOM, thus opposing the "reallotment" of over 7,000 hectares of communal lands184.

The inquiry into his assassination was closed in late 2006.

Arbitrary detentions

Arbitrary detention of Mr. Martín Amaru Barrios Hernández185

On December 29, 2005, Mr. Martín Amaru Barrios Hernández, president of the Human Rights Commission of the Tehuacán Valley (Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Valle de Tehuacán – CDHLVT) and a defender of the rights of indigenous people in Tehuacán and Sierra de Puebla, was arrested by the Puebla judicial police on suspicion of "blackmail". This accusation was based on statements made by Mr. Lucio Gil Zárate, a textile factory owner, according to which Mr. Barrios Hernández had allegedly extorted him 150,000 Mexican pesos (76 euros) for ending the social movement undertaken by 163 maquiladores workers186. The workers, who had lost their jobs after accusing Mr. Gil Zárate before the Local Conciliation and Arbitration Board, were demanding fair redundancy packages.

On January 4, 2006, the Third Criminal Court remanded Mr. Barrios Hernández in custody. His lawyers announced they would file a habeas corpus claim before the federal courts, and subsequently filed a petition with the IACHR denouncing the numerous irregularities in his trial.

On February 12, 2006, Mr. Barrios Hernández was released after Mr. Lucio Gil Zárate withdrew his complaint.

On February 12, 2006, Mr. Barrios Hernández and his sister, Ms. Inti Barrios, were informed by a relative close to several maquileros businessmen of the Tehuacán region that a contract killer had been hired to kill Mr. Barrios Hernández and all CDHLVT members.

In this respect, Messrs. Rodrigo Santiago Hernández and Gastón de la Luz Albino, CDHLVT members, asserted that they had noticed a group of men who seemed to be members of the security forces, who followed, watched and photographed them on several occasions in February 2006.

In addition, on February 26, 2006, three officers of the Tehuacán municipal police arrested Mr. Rodrigo Santiago Hernández near his home, on grounds that they wanted to check his personal belongings. Having found no compromising elements against him, they had to release him.

On February 21, 2006, the IACHR ordered the implementation of precautionary protective measures in favour of CDHLVT members for a period of six months. Thus, telephones and video intercoms were installed on the organisations' premises and officers of the federal police were patrolling around the office building on a regular basis. However, CDHLVT members did not enjoy individual protection. The measures were stopped in September 2006 and the IACHR asked for an examination of the current risks to assess the need for protection to be resumed.

Arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Messrs. Dámaso Villanueva Ramírez and Mario Álvarez Rodríguez187

On February 24, 2006, Mr. Dámaso Villanueva Ramírez, a member of the Citizens' Committee for the Peoples' Defence (Comité Ciudadano para la Defensa Popular – COCIDEP),188 and a supporter of the "Other Campaign"189, was arrested and taken by municipal police officers to the centre for social rehabilitation No. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, for "damaging private property", i.e. of the Pegaso mobile phone company (one of the antennas of this company had been destroyed in 2004). An arrest warrant had been issued against him on October 19, 2005 by the second judge of the Criminal Section responsible for minor offences, in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Mr. Villanueva Ramírez was informed that he would be released if he paid a bail equal to the cost of the damaged antenna – about two million euros.

On March 2, 2006, as a witness for the prosecution could not be identified, Mr. Dámaso Villanueva Ramírez was finally released for lack of evidence. However, the charges against him remained pending as of the end of 2006.

Legal proceedings were also resumed by the Catazajá judge against Mr. Mario Álvarez Rodríguez, a member of the Palenque Central Workers' Union (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores en Palenque – CUT-ONPP), and a supporter of the "Other Campaign", on charges of "theft with violence". This accusation refers to a charge from which Mr. Álvarez Rodríguez had already been cleared in 2004 for lack of evidence.

By the end of 2006, legal proceedings against Mr. Rodríguez were still pending.

Threats and harassment

Acts of harassment and threats against several human rights defenders in Chiapas190

Harassment of Mr. Mario M. Ruiz

On February 2, 2006, Mr. Mario M. Ruiz, a contributor to the Support Commission for Community Reconciliation and Unity (Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria – CORECO), was followed by an unregistered van in San Cristóbal de las Casas. The vehicle blocked his path and its two occupants, who were obviously military officers, threatened to kill him.

Harassment of SIPAZ members

In January 2006, the International Service for Peace (Servicio Internacional para la Paz – SIPAZ) carried out an observation mission on the human rights situation in Chiapas, in the framework of the "Other Campaign"191 and on the initiative of Mexican civil organisations.

On the night of February 8 to 9, 2006, a van with the Zapatist hymn bursting out of its speakers parked for a few minutes in front of the house of Ms. Marina Pagès, SIPAZ coordinator in Chiapas. Similarly, the same van stationed in front of the home of Ms. Hélène Cannie, another member of the organisation, later that afternoon.

On February 15, 2006, a complaint was lodged with the Deputy Prosecutor of the Altos region and with the Deputy Vice-Prosecutor of the Indigenous Zone (Subfiscal de la Subprocuraduría de la Zona Indígena).

On September 30, 2006, Mr. Jon Izagirre García, a SIPAZ member, was stopped by two young men who threatened him, advising him to "watch his back" because they knew "who [he was]".

As of the end of 2006, SIPAZ members still suspected that they were being watched, and their complaints had not been examined.

Death threats against Ms. Marisa Kramsky

On January 21, 2006, a man named Kevin Maldonado, who had come the day before as a customer to the laundry of Ms. Marisa Kramsky, a well-known Chiapas social activist, came back along with two men and repeatedly threatened to kill her and her son, Mr. Yksmark Kramsky Espinosa. He then ordered one of his companions to go and get his weapon from the car. When Ms. Krasmky managed to get hold of her mobile phone, the attackers left, promising to come back and kill them.

Threats and acts of harassment against members of the "Fray Bartolomé de las Casas" Human Rights Centre

– On March 14, 2006, several unidentified individuals searched the house of Mr. David Méndez, a member of the "Fray Bartolomé de las Casas" Human Rights Centre, and Ms. Norma Medina, director of the Cáritas organisation against poverty and social exclusion192 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, after breaking the locks and doors open. Only a laptop was stolen. A complaint was filed with the Public Prosecutor.

Mr. David Méndez organised the first national gathering against the government programme PROCEDE/PROCECOM193 to privatise indigenous peoples' lands, which took place from March 10 to 12, 2006 in Petalcingo, Tila.

On March 10, 2006, the military blocked access roads to Petalcingo, where soldiers photographed Mr. David Méndez and other participants.

As of the end of 2006, no investigation into this break-in had been opened.

– On July 17, 2006, Mr. Manuel Gómez Hernández, a member of the Fray Bartolomé Centre and of the Tsotsil indigenous group, received an anonymous phone call at his home. The caller advised him not to interfere with "the problems of the Zinacantán commune", or he would face "serious troubles", referring in particular to his family. When Mr. Gómez Hernández replied that he did not know what he was talking about, the man threatened him once again. Before hanging up, the caller told him that his name was "Germán" and that he was a judge in Zinacantán.

Mr. Gómez Hernández had already been harassed in May 2006.

As of the end of 2006, no investigation into these threats had been launched.

– On the morning of October 22, 2006, the members and collaborators of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre found the main door of their headquarters opened, without any sign of the locks having been broken. Nothing was stolen.

On November 8, 2006, the members of the Centre noticed individuals filming their building from a car parked in front of their offices.

– Lastly, in December 2006, the Lacandona Foundation, A.C. and the Organisation for the Protection of Indigenous and Peasants' Rights (Organización para la Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas y Campesinos – OPDDIC), a paramilitary group, published a document entitled "The face of the Lacandona community", condemning the work carried out by several organisations in the region and claiming responsibility for the attack on the population of Viejo Velasco Suárez (Ocosingo), on November 13, 2006. Following this attack, the Fray Bartolomé Centre and other organisations had created a Civil Observation Commission (Comisión Civil de Observación), which notably produced reports from the witness statements recorded.

Harassment of CIEPAC and its members194

In 2006, members of the Research Centre for Economic and Political Community Action (Centre de Investigaciones Económicas y Políticas de Acción Comunitaria – CIEPAC), which works in favour of the protection and autonomy of farmers and indigenous people in Chiapas since 1998, were regularly followed and watched by suspicious individuals in cars with tinted windows when travelling, whether for professional reasons or on their way home.

On October 30, 2006 for instance, while a CIEPAC member was attending a work-related meeting out of town, three men in a pick-up truck identifying themselves with badges of the Municipal Drinking Water and Sewage System (Sistema de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado Municipal – SAPAM) tried to force open the door of his house. When the warden approached to ask them what they were doing, the men answered that the owner had not paid the water bill. They left as the warden refused to open the door.

Lastly, on December 31, 2006, an unidentified individual was caught by security services as he was trying to break into CIEPAC offices in San Cristóbal de las Casas. However, he was unable to get in. The man was accompanied by a second person waiting in a vehicle. This incident occured at the same time as the Meeting of the Zapatist Peoples with Peoples of the World (Encuentro de los Pueblos Zapatistas con los Pueblos del Mundo), which took place in Oventic from December 30, 2006 to January 2, 2007.

Acts of harassment against several human rights defenders in Oaxaca195

On May 22, 2006, teachers of the region of Oaxaca and the Education Workers' National Union (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación – SNTE) initiated a social movement calling for the improvement of their work conditions. The movement was violently repressed in late May 2006 and subsequently grew and widened the range of its claims, demanding in particular the resignation of the Governor of the State of Oaxaca. The movement and its suppression intensified from August 2006 onwards. Human right defenders working in Oaxaca who criticised these acts of repression were subjected to reprisals.

– On July 20, 2006, the home of Mr. Alexandre Cruz López, leader of the Indian Organisations for Human Rights (Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos), a member association of the Popular Assembly of the Oaxaca People (Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca – APPO)196, was attacked with a Molotov cocktail, which caused no damage as the home-made device failed to explode.

– On July 22, 2006, the homes of Mr. Enrique Rueda Pacheco, secretary general of the 22nd SNTE section in Oaxaca, and of Mr. Macario Otalo Padilla, a member of the Extended Negotiations Commission (Comisión Negociadora Ampliada) of the 22nd SNTE section, in the commune of Ocotlan de Morelos, were also attacked with home-made bombs, which caused no major damage.

– On the same day, the premises of Radio Universidad, located in the Benito Juárez Independent University in Oaxaca (UABJO) and administered by academics and APPO members, were fired at with weapons exclusively used by the armed forces. The radio station was broadcasting live reports regarding the teachers' strike in Oaxaca and the acts of repression committed by the government.

– On August 11, 2006, Mr. Erangelio Mendoza González, former secretary general of the 22nd section of SNTE, was placed in detention in the prison of Cuiclacán, State of Oaxaca. He was released in late October 2006.

– On August 6, 2006, Mr. Catarino Torres Pereda, a representative of the indigenous organisation Urban Defence Committee (Comité de Defensa Ciudadana – CODECI) and an APPO member, was placed in detention at the high security prison of La Palma de Mexico, where he remained detained by the end of 2006.

– On August 8, 2006, the Radio Universidad's transmitter was voluntarily damaged with an acid, preventing it from broadcasting information reports.

– On August 9, 2006, Mr. Germán Mendoza Nube, a member of the 22nd SNTE section and founder of the Teachers' Commission for Human Rights (Comisión Magisterial de Derechos Humanos), was arrested by members of the ministerial police, who manhandled him. He was transferred to the prison of Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, in Oaxaca, and released in late October 2006.

– Moreover, on the morning of October 31, 2006, the members of the Oaxaca branch of the Mexican League for the Defence of Human Rights (Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos – LIMEDDH) found graffiti on the walls of their organisation's premises, which said: "Here the APPO meets" and "barricades are contrary to human rights".

These graffiti were likely to put LIMEDDH and its members at risk of being targeted by APPO opponents. It could also potentially damage the credibility and work of the organisation, which, as an observer, denounces human rights violations in connection with the conflict of Oaxaca.

LIMEDDH members further noticed the suspicious presence of unidentified individuals watching their office building on October 27, 2006. Earlier that day, the organisation had denounced the serious human rights violations perpetrated in Oaxaca before the IACHR.

In addition, on December 7, 2006, Ms. Yésica Sánchez Maya, president of the Oaxaca section of LIMEDDH, was informed that the Criminal Court of First Instance of the judicial district of Elta, Oaxaca, had allegedly issued an arrest warrant against her and Ms. Aline Castellanos Jurado, former head of the section and currently a member of the Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity A.C (Concorcio para el Dialogo Parlementario y la Equidad A.C). Ms. Sánchez Maya and Ms. Castellanos Jurado were reportedly charged with "illegal occupation" of the Radio and Television Corporation of Oaxaca (Corporación Oaxaqueña de Radio y Televisión), Canal 9, for facts dating back to August 1, 2006. An arrest warrant was also allegedly issued against 35 APPO members, including Mr. Enrique Rueda Pacheco, head of the 22nd SNTE section.

As of the end of 2006, Ms. Sánchez Maya, Ms.Castellanos Jurado and Mr. Enrique Rueda Pacheco had been unable to obtain further information about these possible charges and intended to file a motion in order to be granted access to their judicial record.

Lastly, on December 30, 2006, five prisoners of the detention centre of Tlacolula de Matamoros (Oaxaca) wrote a letter to the Governor of Oaxaca, in which they claimed to have been "deceived by human rights organisations" and accused Ms. Sánchez Maya "of being responsible for acts of violence and for having forced them to support APPO".

The next day, during a press conference, the detainees admitted that they had been coerced into signing this letter in exchange of facilitating their release.

Death threats and acts of harassment against Mr. Israel Ochoa Lara and several of his employees197

In early April 2006, Mr. Israel Ochoa Lara, head of the People's Legal Office (Asesoría Jurídica Popular)198, was subjected to constant surveillance by members of the anti-sequestration police group attached to the office of the Public Prosecutor.

Shortly before these events, Mr. Israel Ochoa Lara had lodged a complaint with the office of the Public Prosecutor of the State of Oaxaca in connection with death threats that he had received during several trials in which he was involved as a barrister. These threats were also directed at Messrs. Laureano Martínez Martínez and Amado Rosales Robles, employees of his organisation, as well as Messrs. Carlos Javier Ramírez Martínez, Mireya Amparo Ochoa Cortés, Y'aha Rosa Sandoval Juárez, Ciria Nayeli Pérez Huesca and Hilario López Luis, all law students.

In his complaint, Mr. Ochoa Lara stated that the perpetrator of these threats was accompanied by members of the office of the Public Prosecutor, who subsequently reiterated these threats.

As of the end of 2006, the two preliminary investigations opened by the General Prosecutor had produced no results due to a lack of "substantial elements".

Members of the People's Legal Office were further regularly harassed (abductions, threats, confiscation orders, insults and verbal abuse).

Acts of harassment and threats against ROGAZ members199

On June 6, 2006, in the José Azueta municipality (State of Guerrero), Mr. Francisco Aguirre Palacios, the father of Mr. Noé Aguirre Orozco, a member of the Zihuatanejo Network of Environmental Organisations (Red de Organizaciones Ambientalistas de Zihuatanejo – ROGAZ), received a phone call at the family jewellery. The caller first checked his identity, and then informed him that Mr. Noé Aguirre was being closely watched and that "his physical integrity was at risk". When Mr. Francisco Aguirre asked the man to stop bothering his son and his family, he repeated his threats. When Mr. Aguirre tried to call back the number that had appeared on the phone's display, he was asked to which office or commander he wished to speak.

Several men were subsequently seen nearby the shop, including an armed police officer, who allegedly threateningly stared at Messrs. Aguirre Palacios and Aguirre Orozco.

Mr. Noé Aguirre and Ms. Erica Serrano Farias, a lawyer and legal advisor for ROGAZ, lodged a complaint with the office of the Public Prosecutor, and an inquiry was opened. As of the end of 2006, the person behind the threats had still not been identified.

Moreover, on February 23, 2006, Ms. Erica Serrano Farias found a grenade opposite her family's restaurant.

Mr. Noé Orozco and Ms. Erica Serrano Farias had in particular campaigned against the construction of the Marina Puerto Moi tourist complex on the Bay of Zihuatanejo, south of Guerrero State, and had denounced the dumping of waste water into the bay.

Death threats against Mr. and Ms. Francisco and Emiliana Cerezo Contreras200

On September 6, 2006, the Cerezo Committee received an email containing threats against Mr. and Ms. Francisco and Emiliana Cerezo Contreras, brother and sister, and founding members of the Committee201. The message stated that it "wasn't going to go down well" for "Francisco, the lousiest bastard [...], if he [kept] on doing what he's doing [...], because [they] had already let him get away with enough stupid things".

Mr. Francisco Cerezo Contreras had previoulsy been harassed in relation to his support to Ms. Melanie del Carmen Salgado López, a student and a member of the Committee frequently threatened and intimidated (threats sent by email, break-in of her home, etc.). On May 8, 2006 for instance, Mr. Cerezo Contreras, Mrs. Salgado López and the Café "Villa", a Cerezo Committee project, were filmed by an unknown individual holding a National Defence Secretary document that identified him as a journalist.

On September 27 and October 10, 2006, the Cerezo Committee again received death threats.

As of the end of 2006, the preliminary investigations which were opened at federal and local levels failed to identify the perpetrators of these threats. On October 30, 2006, the IACHR urged the Mexican State to adopt precautionary measures in favour of members of the Cerezo Committee.

Closure of the judicial proceedings against Ms. Lydia Cacho202

On January 2, 2007, the Federal District Criminal Court withdrew the pending judicial proceedings against Ms. Lydia Cacho, president of the Crisis Centre for Victims – Women's Assistance Centre (Centro de Crisis para Víctimas – Centro Integral de Atención a las Mujeres – CIAM) in Cancún, Quintana Roo. These proceedings had been initiated following a defamation complaint lodged by the textile businessman Mr. Camel Nacif Borges in December 2005. This decision notably followed the repeal, on August 8, 2006, of Article 214 of the Mexican Criminal Code, which criminalised any act of defamation.

Mr. Camel Nacif Borges lodged his complaint following the publication of a book entitled The Demons of Eden, which denounced prostitution circles, and in which she mentioned the suspected involvement of Mr. Nacif Borges.

On December 16, 2005, Ms. Cacho was arrested without a warrant and transferred to the San Miguel prison, in the State of Puebla, over 1,500 kilometres away from Cancún, despite her ill heath condition.

She was released after 30 hours of detention in exchange of a 70,000 Mexican pesos bail (about 5, 500 euros).

On December 23, 2005, the Court of Puebla deemed that Ms. Cacho Ribeiro could be tried for "defamation" and "calumny", both offences punishable by prison sentences. Considering that these were minor offences, the Court decided to release her pending trial.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

178. See Annual Report 2005.

179. In June 2003, the IACHR had conveyed to the Mexican authorities a report which pointed out several shortcomings in the inquiry, such as: the lack of diligence with which the first autopsy had been carried out, the irregularities in the gathering, processing and conservation of evidence, and the discovery of new crucial evidence eighteen months after the events. The report underlined in particular the lack of attention paid to all the possible leads in the investigation. Yet, despite these criticisms, the case had been closed.

180. See Annual Report 2005.

181. See "Fray Bartolomé de las Casas" Human Rights Centre.

182. See Urgent Appeal MEX 005/0306/OBS 036.

183. The Peña Colorada mine in the State of Jalisco is a large iron mine, the exploitation of which causes significant air pollution of the most protected rural zones of Mexico, and puts at risk the survival of ancestral cultures.

184. In 1992, Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution was amended in order to permit the purchase and sale of communal land (when the land belongs to all members of the community) and the land belonging to "ejidatarios" (every "ejidatario" receives a plot of land, and any decision regarding this plot of land must be taken by the "ejidatarios" Assembly). In order to implement this constitutional amendment, which generated a strong social mobilisation in the whole country, the government created "ejidal" and Communal Certification Programmes, PROCEDE and PROCECOM.

185. See Urgent Appeals MEX 001/0106/OBS 002 and 002.1.

186. Maquiladoras are factories of subcontracting and assembling for export, which are exempt of business tax, local and value-added tax, tax on the import of raw materials and guaranties of free repatriation of capital and profits.

187. See Urgent Appeal MEX 003/0306/OBS 023.

188. This association fights, among other things, against the privatisation of water systems, high electricity rates and the illegal installation of mobile phone antennas.

189. The "Other Campaign" was launched in 2006, on the occasion of the campaign for the presidential elections. It aims at mobilising popular organisations and drawing attention to political and social issues, in particular on indigenous peoples' rights and human rights violations committed in the country.

190. See Urgent Appeals MEX 002/0206/OBS 017, MEX 004/0306/OBS 034 and MEX 009/0806/OBS 093.

191. See above.

192. Cáritas notably provided humanitarian aid to populations affected by hurricane "Stan" and spoke out against the management irregularities on part of the State authorities in this emergency situation.

193. See above.

194. See Centre for Economic and Political Research for Community Action (CIEPAC).

195. See Urgent Appeals MEX 008/0706/OBS 089, 089.1, MEX 011/1106/OBS 131, MEX 012/1206/OBS 149 and 149.1.

196. APPO has centralised all social claims of teachers since the beginning of the social movement. It strongly criticised the officials of the State of Oaxaca following the suppression of the protest by the authorities, in particular through the request for the resignation of the Governor, Mr. Ulises Ruiz Ortis. APPO has on several occasions been subjected to a series of attacks by State agents, which caused the death of several of its members.

197. See Urgent Appeal MEX 006/0406/OBS 054.

198. The People's Legal Office provides legal and political assistance to indigenous communities fighting for the right to and recognition of the land. It has also brought various cases before international institutions such as the IACHR.

199. See Urgent Appeal MEX 007/0606/OBS 073.

200. See Urgent Appeal MEX 010/0906/OBS 108.

201. Mr. Francisco Cerezo Contreras and Ms. Emiliana Cerezo Contreras created the Cerezo Committee following the detention of their three brothers, who were, among other people, accused of being involved in an attack on a bank in 2001. Currently, the Committee is concentrating on a wider scope, in particular the protection of the rights of political prisoners and the denunciation of the use of torture as well as the detention conditions in Mexican prisons.

202. See Annual Report 2005.


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